Saturday, March 10, 2007


Bush Dodges a Constitutional Bullet in New Mexico

President Bush dodged a Constitutional bullet in New Mexico Thursday, when nine Democrats in the state senate joined all 17 Republicans to prevent a proposed joint resolution calling for the US House to begin impeachment hearings to come to a floor vote. Supporters of the measure said it appeared that the Democrats in question mostly came from Republican districts and were worried about electoral repercussions of a pro-impeachment vote.

There is reason to suspect, however, that there was some arm-twisting from national Democratic leaders, who appear dead set on avoiding impeachment hearings...
What the hell?!?

"History is what we choose to remember"

This morning NPR featured a bit of American history that's been conveniently forgotten or rewritten.
I collected census data for other southern states. Tennessee. Georgia. North Carolina. Kentucky. Texas. Each time I found some counties that were either all white or populated by so few blacks as to be virtually all white. This was not what I had expected.

It was pure coincidence that, on one of the days that I was going over the census data in my office at Cox Newspapers in Washington, a woman from the Atlanta bureau was visiting. As we chatted I told her about the odd distribution of blacks in some southern states. She launched into a story about her brother, who is a cook. He had been recently hired as a chef in a restaurant in Forsyth County just outside of Atlanta. On the day she visited him there, she said the Klan was holding a rally on the courthouse lawn. She explained how all the blacks had been run out of the county around the turn of the century and had been kept out ever since. I went back to my census tables and found Forsyth County. In 1990, there were twelve blacks living in a county of over 40,000 people.



The seven-paragraph story was to the point.

"Negroes began leaving this mining town early this afternoon, following the warning issued by white residents to be out of town by 7 o'clock tonight."

I mounted another reel and found another story:

"MISSOURI MOB'S WORK, Kills Three Negroes, Burns Their Homes and Drives Every Negro Out of Pierce City."

"For nearly 15 hours, ending at noon today this town of 3,000 people has been in the hands of a mob of armed whites, determined to drive every negro from its precincts."

I had found America's racial cleansings.

Obviously, the U.S. has a history of crimes against humanity including a law on the books called the Indian Removal Act, but maybe Elliot Jaspin is differentiating between "racial cleansing" and "ethnic cleansing."

According to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and Wikipedia: "Ethnic cleansing as a crime under international law."
There is no formal legal definition of ethnic cleansing.[8] However, ethnic cleansing in the broad sense - the forcible deportation of a population - is defined as a crime against humanity under the statutes of both International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[9] The gross human-rights violations integral to stricter definitions of ethnic cleansing are treated as separate crimes falling under the definitions for genocide or crimes against humanity of the statutes.[10]
My point is we're never going to get those shiny rings, are we?

Goin' back to Saturn where the Rings all Glow...

One of the more thrilling things I've ever seen is the planet, Saturn, in all its ringed glory. The big telescope at Chicago's Planetarium can get you up close, and personal. This was more than 10 years ago, well before the Cassini spacecraft entered Saturn's orbit and beamed these amazing photos back to Earth. When the professor was a child, he used to think you could walk on those gorgeous rings.

One day, when we've solved the problem of inequality, and by extension, every other thing we need to address: hunger, poverty, war, disease, greed, and on, and on...
...let's get us some shiny rings around the Earth.

If you have a few minutes, take this trip.

Thanks to Jesse "Doc" Wendel, pinch-hitting for Steve, over at the News Blog.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Friday Malamute Blogging

Does he look guilty to you?

He just escaped from the backyard, ran across the street to pick a fight with the German Shepherd who lives there...and...what was I doing when this transpired? I was plugging away at converting all the illustrations in Fetal Pig Coloring Book to grayscale—in my jammies. I was jolted awake by simultaneous doorbell buzzing and pounding on the living room window. It was my neighbor, Barbra.

"I think I have your dog in my backyard..."

She couldn't possibly have my dog.

As we schlepped across the icy, mud-puddly street, me in my jammies, sandals and parka, she said, "My dog's never been in a fight with another dog before this..."

And then, of course, there he was. In Barbra's backyard. Wagging himself in half, sooooo happy to see me. I wanted to throttle him.

After apologizing for my bad, neglected dog and my disheveled appearance, Kodi and I slinked home, shooting "it's all your fault" looks at each other.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Newt Gingrich: Still a Slimy SOB

With shit for brains, Newt just keeps spewing it out. First in a speech at Johns Hopkins in October:
The city of New Orleans failed. And for 22,000 citizens in the lower 9th ward, citizenship failed. They literally did not have the education, the training, the habits of responsibility, or the capacity to get out of the way of a hurricane.
And again at CPAC this weekend:
How can you have the mess we have in New Orleans, and not have had deep investigations of the federal government, the state government, the city government, and the failure of citizenship in the Ninth Ward, where 22,000 people were so uneducated and so unprepared, they literally couldn't get out of the way of a hurricane.
I wonder if Newt has the "habits of responsibility" to haul his fat ass out the way of an eighteen-foot-high wall of water at 5:00 am?

Thanks to Michael L. for the link.

Big Brother hasn't been fiction since 1994

I'm not sure why things like this still shock me.

The Bush administration has accelerated its Internet surveillance push by proposing that Web sites must keep records of who uploads photographs or videos in case police determine the content is illegal and choose to investigate, CNET has learned.
A second purpose of the meeting in Washington, D.C., according to the sources, was to ask Internet service providers how much it would cost to record details on their subscribers for two years. At the very least, the companies would be required to keep logs for police of which customer is assigned a specific Internet address.

Come and get me, coppers!