Monday, June 22, 2020

 In Which I Prove Once Again to be a Nudge

When I was in 10th grade the history teacher, who was also our football coach, often sent me to the library for some research during class.  That's because he was about to give a lecture and he got tired of me correcting his version of the record.  Nothing much has changed.

On June 4,  I got a nice note from Lauren Katzenburg,  editor of the NYT's At War newsletter, promising a correction.  She had written that the Bonus Army had been protesting to get paid money that was due to veterans.  Au contraire, I noted:    "The Bonus Army  "bonus" was in no way due and payable in 1932.  The Great War Compensation Act of 1924 issued veterans certificates that could be redeemed for cash value in 1948.  The veterans were trying to persuade the government to redeem the certificates at a discount. "  And I added,  "Thus, the government did not repeatedly decline to pay a bonus due.  Of course, if Hoover had any sense or compassion, he would have paid up.  Putting the money in the hands of spenders would have boosted the economy.  It would also have saved Hoover from his greatest embarrassment."

But there is more!  On June 20, I  was informed by the NYT that my comment on an article about the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, an all-black WAC unit, was accepted.  Again, I was just clarifying the record.  The article correctly noted that Harry Truman had desegregated the military in 1948.  I added:   "The order ending segregation in the military was issued by Truman in 1948. It was not fully implemented until the Eisenhower administration, 1953 to 1961."

(Two days later)   And speaking of the NYT, this morning I  picked up a copy of the Times Sunday Review from June 23, 2019 that I had put aside to read later (and never read).  Happened t glance at an article called Stonewall and the Myth of Self-Deliverance by Kwame Anthony Appiah.  The article cites a famous SCOTUS decision that placed consensual behavior by adults out of the jurisdiction of the government as Lawrence v. Kansas.  Well that caught my eye.  The correct cite is Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003).  Kansas is, of course, the whipping boy of  choice for East Coast pundits citing outrageous Bible Belt regulation.  

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