Saturday, November 3, 2007

Remember to "fall back" tonight

Friendly reminder that you're supposed to set your clocks back an hour at 2 a.m. tonight. (But only the first time it reaches 2 a.m.)

Amusing Daylight Savings Time flashback from an article in the New York Times, February 27, 1967...

...legislators are getting protests from farmers who object to doing chores in the morning darkness, from drive-in movie proprietors, from early-to-bed, early-to-rise communities, from the mothers of children who will not sleep until the sun goes down, and from indignant defenders of "God's time."

State Senator Bobby Rowan of Enigma, GA, rose recently in the Senate chamber and said:

"Not since Biblical times has there been a man who could change sunrise and sunset, but the bureaucrats are attempting to do it."

And Gov. Harold E. Hughes of Iowa, who has promised to veto any legislative action that would keep his state off daylight saving time, was criticized sharply by a rural delegation a short time back.

A spokesman for the group, Hugh A. Vail of Indianola, told the Governor that daylight saving time would weaken are resistance of Iowa's children to Communism.

"A child gets up in the morning under daylight time and cries because he has lost an hour of sleep," Mr. Vail asserted. "A parent has to whip him to get him to go to school. Maybe he has had breakfast and maybe not.

"He whines all day. When he comes home, his parents give him aspirin. We are living in a drug age. The schoolchildren are so busted that they have to have drugs. Then when Communism comes along, what are we going to do?"

(I don't have an actual picture of Mr. Vail, but this is how I imagine him.)

I can only assume that, were we having this debate today, somebody would claim that accepting Daylight Savings Time means the terrorists have already won.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Adventures of Testiculo, Starring Dennis Kucinich

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

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In Town Called Dobson, I have been referring to Dennis Kucinich as Ultra K but Ultra may be too small a word for Dennis.

On October 23rd, Dennis Kucinich announced he would introduce to the House of Representatives on a point of personal privilege a resolution of impeachment against Dick Cheney sometime before Thanksgiving.

BALLS - Total balls.

Why aren't the rest of the Dem candidates screaming about impeachment? For that matter, why isn't Peolsi?

Impeachment is not an unpopular view. Take Vermont for example...

Earlier this year, town meetings across Vermont asked citizens if impeachment proceedings should be initiated against the president and vice president. Thirty-seven towns voted yes, and the Senate approved a resolution calling for impeachment.

Now a statewide poll conducted by CBS affiliate WCAX in Burlington, Vt. posed the question to 400 likely voters. Sixty-one percent said they would be in favor of Congress beginning impeachment proceedings against President Bush. Thirty-three percent opposed it, and 6% were not sure.

The numbers for Vice President Cheney differed only slightly: Sixty-four percent favored impeachment, while 31% opposed it.

Seventy-five percent of respondents said they categorized the president's performance as "fair" or "poor."

For me personally, I would also want to see the Administration before the Hague, have all the appointed judges removed from the bench and Gore installed as the rightful President for 8 years.

But for now, I will need to live vicariously though Dennis' testicles.

SPECIAL NOTE: Wikipedia To Delete Town Called Dobson Entry.
Wikipedia is far from perfect. Last year I stopped donating to Wikipedia due to their notability policy. Other than being vague, it allows "admins" to delete entries at will and usually without cause, justification or accountability. When the community votes to keep an article, admins have in the past EDITED the voting to reflect their personal wishes. No joke.

Last week, without warning, Town Called Dobson was selected for "rapid deletion" for the reason of non-notability. Even though, TCD has appeared in print, won awards, has over 300,000 hits in Google and has over 100,000 readers a day, via its front page status on many leading blogs, it has been classified as non-notable.

The best way to rectify this is write an article about TCD or political webcomics in general and mention TCD. Then go and add that link to the Reference section of the TCD article. If the editing system of Wikipedia is too daunting (it is a steep learning curve) send me the link and I will have the guy that maintains the entry to post it.

If you are a newspaper reporter or editor, slip in an article about TCD! (long shot I know, but I am not above begging.)

If you have used TCD graphics for use in a protest or campaign, please blog about the event and post it. TCD licensed under the creative commons agreement, so that is legal.

Lastly, I want to thank all of my readers. You folks have meant a lot to me over the last 3+ years.

America, Open For Business, Closed To Freedom

Is there any area of our government, over the span of the last seven years, any area, in domestic or foreign policy, national defense, public welfare, the economy, name it, where the average, reasonably informed American might point to success, to signs of progress, of improvement, something, anything, to point to with satisfaction, with pride?

Yesterday I read an article by Steve Benin on the resignation of Karen Hughes from her post as Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, a mouthful there, and a job for which she was as ill suited and unqualified as the man who appointed her and in which, during her two year tenure, she accomplished little, if anything.

In truth, she accomplished nothing, unless you want to count convincing large portions of the world that all Americans must be as out of touch with reality, as clueless and unthinking as their current Commander in Chief, and at that she excelled, as anyone might, having been dispatched to the Middle East with the rank of Ambassador, but without knowledge of the language, culture, history, religions, and general pet peeves of the various states and peoples of the region.

But Karen Hughes was tapped for her office for the same reasons as all Bush appointees are chosen, not for expertise or experience, not for performance or integrity in public service but for loyalty, for unwavering belief in the Messianic delusions of neo conservatism, and a willingness to march in lockstep, nah, goose step, against all who might disagree or dissent.

As I read Benin's article I had the thought that he might have written a very similar piece about nearly any federal department and the Bush appointees thereto in the last seven years. Which of the various cabinet level branches of the executive department of this country have not suffered greatly under the politically connected cronyism of the Bush/ Cheney administration?

We witnessed it at Justice, the politicization of the office of the Attorney General, the perversion of law and the resulting descent into the barbarity of denial of human rights and torture.

We saw it at Defense, where the best military minds of a generation were ignored in favor of the views of sychophantic careerists who allowed a lying Vice President and a comic opera Commander in Chief and their apparatchiks to lead them over the cliff and into the abyss of an endless and disastrous war.

We have seen time and again the incompetence, indifference and criminal neglect at "Homeland" Security and FEMA.

We have seen heads of federal departments turned into agents of electioneering, where party politics takes precedence over public welfare and the machinery and energy of the state is turned to the furtherance of private goals.

Agriculture, Interior, Commerce, Treasury and the rest are now run by the industries that they are legally bound to restrain, regulate and control in the public interest.

Executive branch departments have been stripped of many of their most dedicated, long serving professionals and replaced with Bush loyalists from business and industry, or, in many cases directly from the most favored campuses, the ivy leagues of Christian evangelism. Regulatory functions have been curtailed, enforcement budgets slashed, and inspection schedules diminished to a laughable degree in nearly every regulatory corner of the federal system.

But this, after all, was the intent, to create central government that would gladly do the bidding of the corporate structure, throw aside all restraints, all regulation and increase its profits and its power.

Nearly every day I encounter a story in the media, a story of illness, injury, death or disaster befalling unsuspecting citizens due to the inattention, incompetence, lack of inspection and failures of enforcement of existing federal laws regulating consumer products, work place safety, environmental prohibitions or other areas where purity, safety and security were once almost taken for granted.

During the last seven years we have devolved into a country whose livestock, produce and other foodstuffs are ridden with bacteria and other contaminants, whose drugs and medical services are becoming untrustworthy, whose ports and borders are dangerously porous, whose bridges and highways are collapsing, whose military is being misused and abused in continuous illegal and futile adventures on behalf of corporate America, whose jobs have largely been moved to other countries and continents, whose pensions have collapsed and whose Barbie Dolls contain enough lead to write a novella. (Or, perhaps, the last paragraph)

The real problem however, the crux of the matter and what may finally deliver us stumbling and stuttering, quavering with dread at the terminus of the road to Fascist hell is the incredible damage that has been inflicted on the American spirit, the American soul, the American psyche. I may be accused of naivete' but in my world, in my mind and in my memory there was a time when the eyes of America contained a great measure of compassion, of kindness, of simple good will.

Those days are gone. Under the current regime the eyes of America, official America, the America of the ruling oligarchy are now filled with hunger, with avarice, with an insatiable lust for resources and power, for wealth and influence. America's eyes are no longer the warm welcoming eyes of Lady Liberty but the cold calculating gaze of the largest and most dangerous predator to ever stalk the planet, a predator to be feared and distrusted, to be resisted at all costs.

The eyes of Americans, our citizens, our electorate are filled with a mixture of apathy and fear, of meekness, a cowering attitude and a shuffling posture which is all too heavily reflected in their parliament.

America, in the brief span of my lifetime and largely in the span of a single decade has devolved into a killer of humanity, a dream slayer, despoiler of freedom, a destroyer, the destroyer of America.

Bob Higgins

Worldwide Sawdust

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Debunking the Saint of 9/11

It looks like Saint Rudy may have to face the music as to why the firefighters on 9/11 had the same old radios that hadn't worked during the 1993 attacks:

In the midst of his presidential candidacy, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani now faces a looming government investigation into his handling of the radios used by firefighters on 9/11.

The investigation, which will examine how the FDNY ended up using faulty equipment during the terrorist attacks and why Giuliani gave a no-bid contract to Motorola for that equipment, has been endorsed by New York City Councilman Eric Gioia, chair of the city's oversight and investigations committee.

"I will do everything in my power to get answers, to get the truth," said Gioia, a Democrat. "These families deserve answers and really the entire city and our country deserve answers."

Calls for an investigation were first proposed by filmmaker Robert Greenwald who has documented Giuliani's handling of 9/11 in a series of shorts for Brave New Films. In The Real Rudy: Radios, Greenwald documents how radios used by the FDNY on 9/11 were the same ones that malfunctioned during the 1993 attack on the Twin Towers. When - eight years later - Giuliani finally purchased new communications equipment for $14 million from Motorola, it was never field-tested. A week later, the equipment was recalled after a firefighter's mayday went un-heard. Giuliani reissued the old batch of radios. And on 9/11 when a police helicopter warned that the North Tower could collapse, more than 120 firefighters remained inside.

"To know that we had failing radios in 1993 and did virtually nothing until September 11 is shocking to say the least," said Gioia. "To watch this documentary and see the important questions that were asked and seemingly unanswered and ignored for so many years, it's disturbing."

More than 20,000 people signed a petition demanding an investigation into Giuliani's handling of the FDNY radios. In an interview posted on YouTube, Gioia confirmed that he will take the steps to initiate public hearings, including sending out letters to fellow council members and requesting pertinent documents. Greenwald praised the initial steps forward.

Since Ghouliani has decided to run an entire presidential campaign on the backs of the corpses of those who died that day, and has claimed that only he had been obsessed with terrorism during the Clinton years (despite his testimony before the 9/11 commission that he wasn't thinking about terrorism at all before then), it's only appropriate that questions about his leadership and about his actual record in considering terrorism be asked.

I'm under no illusions that this investigation will ever actually go forward. Those who question Republicans and dig too deeply have a habit of either disappearing or suddenly backing off. But we can hope, and while they might be able to touch Eric Gioia, Robert Greenwald has already put the truth out there.

(cross posted at Brilliant at Breakfast)

GOP = Gay. Out. Proud.

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

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Exactly one week ago, I ran a strip pondering when the next GOP sex scandal would happen (see Hot Buttery GOP Action). Well, it didn't take long.

From the AP:

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A state lawmaker who has voted against gay rights resigned Wednesday, days after he was quoted in police reports as saying a man he had sex with after they met at an erotic video store was trying to blackmail him.

Rep. Richard Curtis, 48, said he was resigning immediately to spare his wife and children more public embarrassment. In a written statement, Curtis said, "Events that have recently come to light have hurt a lot of people. I sincerely apologize for any pain my actions may have caused."

Curtis, a Republican, told a newspaper in his southwest Washington district on Monday that sex was not involved in what he said was an extortion attempt. He also declared he was not gay.

But in police reports, Curtis said he was being extorted by a man he had sex with at a hotel room in Spokane, where Curtis was attending a GOP retreat. The other man, Cody Castagna, 26, contends Curtis reneged on a promise to pay $1,000 for sex.

CNN is reporting that the police report on this incident is FIFTY PAGES LONG! That I must find. It will make great reading.

So where does that leave us? Well more proof that the GOP has suckered the Religious Right all this time. I wonder when they will wake up? The rest of us have our eyes open.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My Disappointment of Hillary

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

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I do not get it.

Back during the first go-around with the Iraq war, it is clear Congress was lied to - we all were. They should have known better than to let Bush commit us to preemptive war, but they didn't. So you would think when the drum beat starts up for Iran, Congress would be a lot wiser.

I thought they would be too until I saw the disappointing support of Kyl-Lieberman. Been there and done that but still Congress, a Democratically led Congress, can't get enough war. And the worst part was Hillary Clinton's support of it. What The Fuck?

For me, that was the last straw.

If we invade Iran, we will occupy a swath of Earth that ranges from Europe to China - from Saudi Arabia to the Former Soviet Union. That my friends is nation-building on a Roman scale. I have had enough of that. Honestly.

Support for an Iranian war is beyond excusable, it should be seen as treasonous. I don't want to get on that "Bill Clinton is a traitor" line of bullshit left over from the 90's, but a war with Iran is wrong on a multitude of fronts, firstly being it is un-American.

I'll take UFO's over war any day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

GOP Front Runners to Black Voters: We are the Grand Old "White" Party

AAPP says: Well the grand old party is doing it's racist thing again. A month or so ago, I wrote in the Huffington Post about how the GOP Won't Even Talk with Black Folks. Since that time nothing has changed. The Grand Old "White" Party is establishing itself as the New White Citizens Council of the 21st Century. Here is the scary thing, not many black people are surprised.


Hat Tip and Michael Roston who are reporting on the Republicans avoiding a second black voter forum, which has now been postponed.

Michael Roston says: In recent weeks, Republican presidential candidates have found time in their busy schedules to speak or debate before the Republican Jewish Coalition, "Value Voters," conservative Floridians, even Wyoming Republicans, who hold virtually no sway in the primary race. They've also agreed to appear at the CNN/YouTube debate they at one point shunned.

2007-10-30-debate.jpgBut it appears that some GOP frontrunners are once again letting an opportunity to appear before African-American voters lapse, just as they decided to sit out a black voter forum hosted last month by Tavis Smiley.

The Congressional Black Caucus Institute announced in September that it had scheduled a debate for November 4 on Fox News for Republican presidential candidates. But a spokeswoman for the group confirmed to the Huffington Post that it has now been postponed, with no new date set.

"The debate will not take place on November 4, and we're still considering the debate schedule," said CBC Institute spokesperson Georgella Muirhead.

Republican candidates have cited scheduling conflicts in resisting new proposed dates, Muirhead said.

"It's the same issue they had with some of the other debates," she added. "We're getting a new working date, that's what's being considered."

The CBC Political Education and Leadership Institute is a non-profit organization linked to the Congressional Black Caucus, which includes 43 African-American members of the House and Senate. Read more of Micheal Roston's report HERE

The Goresque Statement

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

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A lot of bandwidth has been used for the phrase "Shermanesque Statement" in reference to Gore's plans about the 2008 Presidential race. Gore is not one of those guys who uses words in an unmeasured fashion. From his years in Congress and the White House, Gore is known for his precise language. He has even been accused of being a total geek about it.

When he said he will not make a "Shermanesque statement" about his plans to run, I seriously doubt he pulled that out of thin air. Let's look at the origins of the phrase.

The term derives from the Sherman pledge, a remark made by American Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman when he was being considered as a possible Republican candidate for the presidential election of 1884. He declined, saying "If drafted, I will not run; if nominated, I will not accept; if elected, I will not serve."

Gore had to of known what the actual quote was. Hints at the future? Portents? Chicken entrails? The imagination runs wild.

it is obvious to Gore and his staff that there is a HUGE movement afoot to draft him to run for 2008. I know, I called his office and they added me to a list of hundreds that call on the typical day. So if he ISN'T going to run, why not just say "time has passed for me to consider a run in 2008?" Why NOT make that Shermanesque statement?

Could it be if drafted, he will run; if nominated, he will accept; if elected, he will serve?

We can only hope.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hillary “Supports” the Troops, Troops Support Ron Paul and Obama

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

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I am truly sick and tired of this God-awful war. Maybe I am overly critical of the Bush Administration's policy of preemptive war - Roman Style, but since I have a brother in the service who has had two missions in the alleged "War On Terror," I am open to the idea that I might be overly sensitive to the pure and utter waste of human life under the Bush Regime. What's a million refugees and a few hundred thousand dead bodies among friends?

This makes it doubly painful when the Democratic Congressional Leadership and Presidential front-runner Hillary can't seem to fall out of love with war. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are abysmal excuses for leaders and should lose their seats in Congress for their total disregard of the people's voice at the ballot box a year ago. Hillary's drum beat towards a showdown with Iran is just as inexcusable. I have seen this movie before and it doesn't end well.

Condi was emphatic last week saying the US will gladly participate in "open negotiation" with Iran. How about closed? How about behind closed doors like we did during the halcyon days of the Cold War? Yeah, same movie.

I think we are hosed - hosed on a monumental scale of complete and total fuck-up. Rome didn't go this bad, this quick. The plebs are pissed and the Legions are even more upset. When the only Republican, Ron Paul, who is running on the platform of "Get The Hell Out" and gets the most troops donating, it should be telling somebody something. It should really tell Hillary something since the troops are bypassing her up to dump cash on Obama who has a more rational idea of preemptive war "it's a bad idea." Much more rational I say to you.

It is so bad and so upside down in circumstance, peace-nik, hippie-like San Francisco might become Ron Paul territory.

That should be a wake-up call.

But then again, San Francisco is prone to earthquakes.

P.S. Please take my blog reader poll.

Barak Obama vs Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton

Why is it that a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll shows Hillary Clinton leading Barak Obama by more than 20 percent, with a lead of 13 percent among African American voters? While some say the Polls don't reflect Obama's star power. I remember writing some time ago that I felt Obama had peaked much to early. I also mentioned that Howard Dean peaked to early as well.

The Washington Post wrote recently, "Obama's campaign could certainly use reenergizing. Since he announced his intention to run for the presidency, Obama -- and the powerful ebb that surrounded him wherever he woke, spoke, ate and sat -- seems to have withered beneath the supernova that is the Clinton campaign." Now Obama vows to challenge Clinton more forcefully

AAPP: Have black folks begun to give up on Obama? Should black folks listen more to voices like Randall Robinson, (Who by the way left America) is living on some Island, enjoying warm sun, beaches and no longer experiencing all the hatred of American society. Damn, how fortunate is he and his family? I wonder if Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton are is bad as he makes them out to be? Is Mia T on to something? Check out the video again. Listen clearly to the words of Mr. Robinson. I think he may be on to something.

Thoughts anyone?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Albany's Mayor For Life: An Interview With Erastus Corning Biographer Paul Grondahl

The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal as well as the Independent Bloggers Alliance, The Peace Tree, The Wild Wild Left and Worldwide Sawdust.

Erastus Corning 2nd
was elected mayor of Albany, New York eleven times, serving forty-two consecutive years, an unsurpassed tenure in American political history. Even before birth, Corning’s destiny as Albany’s “mayor for life” was scripted. As pillars of the WASP establishment, Corning men were expected to attend Groton and Yale and assume positions of leadership in industry and politics. One could say that the Corning family was noblesse oblige on steroids: an assumption that with wealth, power and prestige come social responsibilities. Yet the noblesse oblige represented by the Cornings had a dark side as their class established an oligarchy in Albany to preserve their status and power.

In the 1920s, the financial, institutional and industrial strength represented by the Corning dynasty forged an omnipotent alliance led by a salty tongued Irish working class political boss named Dan O’Connell. This unlikely union of the well bred Corning family and the O’Connell clan of Irish saloonkeepers initially bonded through cock fighting! Eratus’s father Edwin served as Lt. Governor in the late ‘20s and collaborated with O’Connell until poor health forced him to step away from politics.

When Edwin Corning died in 1934, Dan O’Connell became a surrogate father for the future mayor. As Albany’s political boss, O’Connell paved the way for Corning to assume the reins and become mayor at the age of thirty-two in 1941. Corning served until he died in 1983. Ironically, this powerful man who battled Thomas Dewey, sparred with Nelson Rockefeller and mentored Mario Cuomo, never enjoyed the power of self-determination.

A complex and lonely soul, Corning presided over a fiefdom of cronyism, corruption and stability. He mingled easily with the working class that the O’Connell-Corning machine kept obedient while enjoying the exclusive privileges of men in his social class. As other cities peaked with post war development and endured social turbulence in the 1960s, Albany remained virtually unchanged. And the citizens of Albany continued to return Corning to power.

Paul Grondahl, an award winning journalist with the Albany Times Union skillfully captured the “shadow" and “light” of Corning’s rule, as well as his convoluted private life in his book, Mayor Erastus Corning: Albany Icon, Albany Enigma. Originally published in 1997, Grondahl’s biography about Corning was just released in paperback by the State University of New York Press.

William Kennedy, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Ironweed, writes in the introduction that,

“This is an important book for Albany, for anyone interested in political power. It widens our vision (with a view from inside City Hall) of the O’Connell Democratic organization, which controlled Albany from 1921 until the Mayor died in 1983, making it the longest-running boss machine in American political history.”
Grondahl agreed to a podcast interview with me over the telephone about his book and Erastus Corning. Our conversation lasted forty-five minutes as we discussed the public figure, the political machine he served and his private life. Please refer to the media player below.

This interview can also be accessed via the Itunes store at no cost by searching for “Intrepid Liberal Journal.”