Political Cartoon is by Monte Wolverton at caglecartoons.com.
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Recently, there has been a big hullabaloo made about Southern politicians honoring those who fought for the Confederate States of America in the Civil War. This is really nothing new in the South. For years there have been Confederate apologists who don't mind re-writing history to fit their own viewpoint.
These people always overlook the real reason the Confederacy was created and the Civil War was fought. They will tell you it was to protect Southern "heritage and values" or to defend "states' rights". But none of them, including the recent proclamations by Southern politicians, will mention slavery. They'd like for people to think their ancestors weren't traitors (as they really were), but defenders of the South.
Frankly, that's a gross and ridiculous misrepresentation of history. Here in Texas, the people of the state voted on whether to secede from the Union or not. At that time, there were 604,215 people in the state (30% of whom were slaves). The vote to secede was won by a 76% majority of Texas voters.
To learn the reason the people voted to secede, just look at this direct quote from a document the state published in 1861. It's called "A Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union":
"That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states."
I don't see anything there about "states' rights". But it clearly states that Texas is leaving the Union because it believes that white men are the only ones that should have equal rights and the institution of slavery needed to be continued and protected. In fact, they even try to claim this is the "revealed will" of christianity's god, and slavery is good for both the slaves and slave-owners.
In my mind, the only saving grace is that not all Texans in 1861 (or now) wanted to defend slavery or leave the Union. The governor, Texas hero Sam Houston, resigned his office and left the state when the people voted to secede and join the Confederacy. There were also 24% of the voters who voted to stay in the United States. They did not support slavery or the traitorous actions of the secessionists. In four counties, a majority of voters voted against secession, and dozens of Union supporters were hanged by secessionists in one of those counties (Cooke county).
But the majority of Texans at that time voted to join the other Southern states in committing treason by seceding from and fighting against the United States. None of these states did this to protect their heritage or defend states' rights. They committed this treason for only one reason -- to continue enslaving and abusing their fellow humans.
Where is the honor in that? How can there be any honor in slavery or treason?
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Political Cartoon is by Rex Babin in the Sacramento Bee.
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A couple of months ago, I posted about the problems Glenn Beck has been having. Here in America, more than 100 companies have withdrawn their advertising from his television show on Fox News. They simply don't want their company names to be associated with Beck's wacky views. In Great Britain, it is even worse. There they can't sell any ads at all for the show. Now it looks like Beck is having problems other than the loss of advertisers.
It seems that Beck is not only losing advertisers. Viewers are also abandoning the show in droves. As the chart above shows (from Nielsen data), Beck's Fox News show has lost nearly 800,000 viewers just in the first third of 2010. His viewership went from 2,913,762 in January to 2,118,200 in April -- that's a drop-off in viewership of over 27% in just four months.
Jolly Roger of the blog Reconstitution 2.0 believes this drop-off is due to Beck's criticism of the "birther" movement (who are convinced that President Obama was not born in the United States). Others think many are just tiring of his over-the-top views and outright lies. Either way, Beck cannot stand to keep losing viewers at this rate or he'll soon have no viewers at all.
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Political Cartoon is by Mike Luckovich in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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The Newscasters with Carol Burnett and Rock Hudson, a sketch on The Carol Burnett Show that aired on January 29, 1977.[...]
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Today's world Malaria Awareness Day Rescue Rangers are dadanation, jlms qkw, Got a Grip, grog, srkp23 and claude.
The Rescued diaries...
and some bread...
our regular features...
bronte17 has tonight's Top Comments (04-25-2010): Unions & Solar: Toledo - Glass City Extraordinaire.
Please treat this Open Thread with care and knead gently.
No democracy, no peace, no change. "A Darfuri tribe says 55 of its members have been killed in a clash with soldiers from Southern Sudan's army. A Rezeigat tribal spokesmen said the tribe had been looking for new pastures for its cattle when fighting erupted on Friday near the south Sudan boundary. Southern Sudan accused the northern government of attacking and reported a new assault on Sunday, saying its troops had been forced to retreat. It is the worst violence reported since Sudan's historic polls on 11-15 April."
Like Roger Goodell being caught fixing the Super Bowl. India's cricket board has suspended IPL chief Lalit Modi over corruption allegations in the worst scandal to hit the Indian game this century. The head of the Indian Premier League faces the sack when the board (the BBCI) begins a series of meetings on his fate on Monday. Mr Modi, who is being investigated by tax officials, denies all allegations of wrongdoing made against him. Some of the world's top cricketers play for the lucrative IPL. BCCI president Shashank Manohar waited until the end of the IPL final on Sunday to announce Mr Modi's suspension."
Does it have missile detection? "The first passenger flight between Iraq and the UK for 20 years has landed at London Gatwick airport. The Iraqi Airways flight had been due to take off from Baghdad nine days ago, but was grounded by the volcanic ash cloud drifting over Europe. The flight, nearly a year behind its original schedule, is the first since the UN imposed sanctions after Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. It stopped in Malmo, Sweden, for security checks en route to Gatwick. Flight IA237 touched down at 2308 BST on Sunday having left Baghdad 10 hours earlier. Thirty foreign and Iraqi passengers were on board, including transport minister Amer Abduljabbar Ismail and Iraqi Airways chief Kifah Hassan."
Cue wingnut omen chorus. "Hungary's conservative opposition party Fidesz has won a two-thirds general election victory, second round results have confirmed. With 99.22% of votes counted, the party had nearly 68% of the popular vote and 263 of the 386 seats in parliament, the national election committee said. Almost a third of the seats were left to be decided on Sunday following the first round two weeks ago. Fidesz promised to create jobs, lower taxes and reduce bureaucracy. The ruling Socialists were in second place on 15% (59 seats), the far-right Jobbik had 12% (47 seats) and a new Green party called Politics Can be Different had 4.1% (16 seats). One seat went to an independent. Fidesz leader Viktor Orban is set to become prime minister. Mr Orban welcomed the result, saying he would rule "with humility". He told supporters: "We saw a revolution in the polling stations." The entire leadership of the Socialist party, who had governed for the past eight years, tendered its resignation after the results were revealed."
"Cartoon" is not the word for this. "Hamas, the Islamist movement which controls the Gaza Strip, has released another animated cartoon depicting captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. It shows Mr Shalit, who was captured by Hamas in June 2006, being returned to Israel in a coffin and features what appears to be his voice. His father Noam is shown wandering empty streets past billboards of Israeli leaders vowing to free his son. Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu said the cartoon was "despicable". The three-minute, slickly produced video says that if Israel does not agree to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, Mr Shalit will meet the same fate as Ron Arad, an Israeli pilot captured in Lebanon in 1986 and never seen since."
Funny how dictatorships never learn: suppressing dissent always strengthens it. "Wives and mothers of political prisoners' in Cuba have again been prevented from marching in Havana. Six women - known as the Ladies in White - were surrounded by an angry mob of pro-government supporters and then pushed off the street into a park. The women stood silently for several hours as the crowd shouted insults and pro-revolutionary slogans. The women, who are demanding freedom for their husbands and sons, were similarly treated last week. They have been staging weekly marches in Havana for several years, but government loyalists began breaking up the protests earlier this month with the help of security officials. Cuban officials say the women do not have a permit to march in the capital. Until recently very few people in Cuba were aware of the Ladies in White, and there is still very little sympathy for their cause, the BBC's Michael Voss in Havana reports. But this sort of intimidation and violence is doing serious damage to Cuba's reputation abroad, our correspondent adds."
150 mph winds - amazing only 10 died. "US rescue teams are fanning out to search isolated rural homes in Mississippi after a tornado swept through, killing at least 10 people. They are checking areas they were unable to reach in the first hours after Saturday's devastating storm, state Governor Haley Barbour said. At least 100 houses suffered severe damage in Yazoo County alone, he added. Meteorologists say it is too soon to tell whether one single tornado or multiple, briefer ones hit the state. Wind speeds in Mississippi were put at about 150mph (240km/h). Tornadoes were also reported in Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama, and the severe weather continued to move north-eastward on Sunday, as gusty winds downed trees in north-west Georgia, the Associated Press news agency reports. In all, eight states were placed on tornado watch."
A clean renewal energy source you hear too little about. "Indonesia is hosting what is being called the world's biggest Geothermal energy conference. The congress in Bali is an attempt to look at how to better develop geothermal power as an environmentally friendly fuel for the future. Geothermal power is energy extracted from the heat stored in the Earth, and environmentalists say it could be the key to using cleaner forms of fuel. Representatives from 80 countries are attending the talks. It is often dubbed volcano power but the correct scientific explanation for geothermal energy is power extracted from the heat stored in the Earth's core. Indonesia has ambitious plans to tap geothermal power and in particular the energy created by its volcanoes. The archipelago of more than 17,000 islands sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" - one of the most active regions in the world for volcanic activity. Indonesia does not have the resources to be able to provide a consistent supply of electricity to all of its population, so finding an alternative source of energy is critical for south-east Asia's largest economy as it rapidly expands."
When we hear about this sort of thing, we automatically assume it happened somewhere in Mississippi or Georgia, perhaps Alabama, not in Adelaide, Australia Australia's Equal Opportunity Tribunal has ordered a restaurant in the city of Adelaide to submit a written apology and pay $1500 to a blind man who was refused service last year after a waiter at the restaurant objected that his guide dog was gay.
Right-wing rhetoric watch At a rally with Glenn Beck, Rick "Governor Goodhair" Perry referred to anti-Obama teabaggers as an "army" that will "take the country back."
Austrian investigation into murder of Chechen whistleblower in Vienna goes all the way to the top "A 15-month Austrian investigation into the crime has uncovered links between the suspected killers and one of Mr. Kadyrov's close advisers, a one-legged former rebel who has been described, in unrelated allegations in Russia, as an organizer of Mr. Kadyrov's dirty work. ... It has also shown how the brutal rules of a place like Chechnya can reach from the Caucasus into Western Europe, where Mr. Israilov found refuge. Federal counterterrorism investigators here unraveled a plot with bungling, panicky Chechen hit men frantically talking on their cellphones - including placing a call to Mr. Kadyrov's adviser in Russia, Shaa Turlayev, while trying to escape. Before the killing, two of these men also met in Austria with Mr. Turlayev, a copy of whose passport was found in the getaway car."
South Korea edges closer to blaming North Korea for the sinking of one of their warships last month " South Korea's defense minister on Sunday said a torpedo attack was the most likely cause for the sinking of a South Korean warship that killed at least 40 sailors last month, a statement that inched the country closer to placing blame on North Korea and added urgency to the question of how the South might respond. ... Still, the minister did not mention the North, continuing a cautious government approach that reflected the lack of good options available to South Korea's leaders if they decided that North Korea was responsible for what would be one of the most serious attacks since the Korean War ended in a truce. ... Any military retaliation could provoke a response from a country with the capacity to strike Seoul and a mercurial leader who has proved violent and unpredictable. A lesser response, hard-liners in the South argue, could lead North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to conclude that he could lash out again without facing consequences."
The key to New York City can be yours for only $27 Copies of the master key that unlocks the swing gate next to every subway turnstile - thereby offering free access to all trains and platforms - are making the rounds after one of the keys fell into the hands of an enterprising New Yorker who has apparently grown too old to hop turnstiles anymore.
Update: AP: Arizona's new immigration law is unconstitutional
A civil liberties fight looms on Arizona's new look-like-an-immigrant law on Fourth Amendment and 14th Amendment grounds, as the political consequences of the newly signed statute look to dampen the GOP's appeal to America's largest-growing ethnic group.
The Obama adminstration stated last Friday it will "examine the civil rights ... implications of this legislation."
From the ACLU:
Arizona Immigration Law Threatens Civil Rights And Public Safety, Says ACLU
PHOENIX ? Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today signed into law Arizona's discriminatory immigration enforcement bill which requires law enforcement to question individuals about their immigration status during everyday police encounters. The law creates new immigration crimes and penalties inconsistent with those in federal law, asserts sweeping authority to detain and transport persons suspected of violating civil immigration laws and prohibits speech and other expressive activity by persons seeking work. The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Arizona strongly condemn the governor's decision to sign the unconstitutional law and are dismayed by her disregard for the serious damage it could cause to civil liberties and public safety in the state.
"Governor Brewer and the Arizona legislature have set Arizona apart in their willingness to sacrifice our liberties and the economy of this state," said Alessandra Soler Meetze, Executive Director of the ACLU of Arizona. "By signing this bill into law, Brewer has just authorized violating the rights of millions of people living and working here. She has just given every police agency in Arizona a mandate to harass anyone who looks or sounds foreign, while doing nothing to address the real problems we're facing."
The new law, which will not go into effect for more than 90 days, requires police agencies across Arizona to investigate the immigration status of every person they come across whom they have "reasonable suspicion" to believe is in the country unlawfully. To avoid arrest, citizens and immigrants will effectively have to carry their "papers" at all times. The law also makes it a state crime for immigrants to willfully fail to register with the Department of Homeland Security and carry registration documents. It further curtails the free speech rights of day laborers and encourages unchecked information sharing between government agencies.
"Forcing local police to demand people's papers and arrest those who can't immediately prove their status will do nothing to make us safer," said Dan Pochoda, Legal Director of the ACLU of Arizona. "What it will do is divert scarce police resources to address false threats and force officers to prioritize immigration enforcement over all other public safety responsibilities. It is a dark day for Arizona when the goalof appeasing one state Senator, Russell Pearce, takes priority over fundamental rights and economic needs of residents."
Before the governor signed the bill, President Obama criticized it harshly, calling it "misguided" and saying that it threatens to "undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans." Obama promised to "closely monitor the situation and examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation."
The president's statement is consistent with his longstanding opposition to anti-immigrant laws that attempt to bypass the federal government. As a senator, he lauded the 2007 legal ruling blocking the anti-immigrant law in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, calling the law "unconstitutional and unworkable."
Despite the president's statements, his administration has not taken strong action against state and local anti-immigrant laws, paving the way for extreme laws like the one signed today. Currently, the administration has a prime opportunity to take a stand on the issue, because the solicitor general will soon file a brief explaining the administration's position on Arizona's unconstitutional employer sanctions law, passed in 2007, which creates a state-level immigrant employment verification and sanctions regime.
"Actions speak louder than words," said Omar Jadwat, a staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project. "As the federal government sits on its hands, Arizona's anti-immigrant brushfireshave turned into a firestorm. We call on the administration to file a brief categorically opposing Arizona's employer sanctions law to demonstrate its commitment to stopping anti-immigrant laws that interfere with federal authority, wreak havoc on businesses and cause discrimination against Latinos."
Additional materials on the "Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act" signed by Governor Brewer today, including the ACLU of Arizona's analysis and written testimonies against the law, are available at: www.acluaz.org/legislature.html
The ACLU's cert petition in the Arizona employer sanctions case, Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America et al. v. Candelaria et al., is available at: www.aclu.org/immigrants-rights/chamber-commerce-united-states-et-al-v-candelaria-petition-certiorari
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