With The Red Dirt Boys
Emmylou Harris ~ Old Five and Dimers
[...] Among the plutocracy there were stylish stoics — most notably Benjamin Guggenheim, traveling with his valet, chauffeur, and (clandestinely) his mistress, the singer Leontine Aubert, and her maid. Guggenheim saw the women into a lifeboat and then returned to his cabin to don his tuxedo. “We have dressed in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen,” he reportedly said, adding, “if anything happens, tell my wife I have done my best in doing my duty” (not mentioning that he did it by Leontine).
Plenty of the dollar dukes went down like gents on the Titanic: an Astor, two Wideners, and a Thayer. But its real heroes were often among the crew, none more stirring than Second Officer Herbert Lightoller, who had survived one shipwreck and a cyclone before getting his position on the Titanic. He had gone off watch when the ship struck the iceberg but was the most energetic and resourceful in getting as many women and children as he could into the boats, which he knew very well would only have room for around half of the passengers and crew even when fully loaded (and many weren’t). Told at the end to get in one himself, his reply, without irony, was “not on your life.” Attempting to make the last “collapsible” lifeboat usable, the rush of water swept him away. The force of an engine explosion brought him back to the surface, where he managed to struggle to the capsized collapsible to which 30 men were desperately hanging. Such was the brutal frigidity of the - water—28 degrees -Fahrenheit — that hypothermia did half of them in during the night. Eventually transferred to another lifeboat, Lightoller was the very last of the survivors to board the Carpathia. He went on to serve in the First World War and took his converted yacht Sundowner to Dunkirk, where he got 130 off the doomed beach.
[...] Although the Titanic was memorably characterized by Walter Lord in his classic A Night to Remember as a “small town,” it was in fact made up of villages from an astonishing diversity of cultures. There were whole communities of Lebanese and Syrian peasants and townspeople, many on their way to Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where some of their countrymen must already have settled. A community of Flemish sugar-beet farmers were headed to Ohio to work in the fields for American sugar companies. There were also Croatians and a big contingent of Finns, Swedes, and Danes.
Many had come from worlds embittered not just by poverty but by brutal class conflict: strikes, strike-breaking, and quasi-military industrial lockouts. Some of this acrimony touched the White Star Line directly and the crew closest to steerage — the stokers, firemen, and stewards — knew it. Titanic’s original master during trials at Belfast — one Captain Haddock (yes, honestly)* — faced a strike precisely over the inadequacy of lifeboat accommodation on the liners: the very thing that condemned 1,500 to death.
The Titanic might have avoided the iceberg altogether had one piece of technology been better suited to the monstrously sized ship. The rudder wasn’t up to moving the vessel with the speed it would need in an emergency. When Captain Smith had to turn the liner hard to starboard to try to avoid the berg, it took a full 37 seconds between the tiller’s command and the rudder changing course.
We had a good run, Irony, but you are as dead as Ron Paul’s chances of winning the GOP primary. It’s been coming for some time now, as the Onion is finding it more and more difficult to parody the right but the final nail has been put into your coffin. Last week, Rep. Steve King (R-Why does it have to be the state I live in?), stood up in front of the United States Supreme Court and announced, on camera, that he was against the government telling the American people what to do with their bodies:
I would have sold my left pinky toe to have been able to ask Rep. King if his aversion to government mandates included forced trans-vaginal probes and forcing doctors to read a script riddled with medical lies designed to both shame and scare women out of having an abortion. I’m going to assume that doesn’t count because it only affects women and, as every good conservative knows, women are sluts and whores anyway, so who cares?
Considering that the individual mandate was a conservative idea forwarded by the Heritage Foundation, a far right think tank, it’s interesting that the GOP is so opposed to it. The entire premise is that every person will eventually be in the health care system in some manner. They will get sick, have an accident or what have you. Everyone will need a doctor, sooner or later. If they never buy insurance when they can afford to do so then they are simply shifting the burden on to everyone else that does. Hospitals, by law, must treat anyone that requires it so in order to recoup the losses due to the uninsured, they charge the rest of us more. I thought Republicans worshiped “personal responsibility” and despised wealth redistribution? But, as always, consistency is not a conservative strong suit. No logic contortion is too much as long as it means standing in opposition to President Obama.
The GOP doesn’t stand for anything, anymore. They only stand against and that’s no way to run the country.
TUBA CITY, ARIZONA – Senators Jon Kyl, Arizona - R, and John McCain, Arizona - R, will be in Tuba City on Thursday, April 5, 2012, to persuade Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribal leaders to give up their peoples' aboriginal and Treaty-guaranteed priority Water Rights by accepting a "Settlement Agreement" written to benefit some of the West's most powerful mining and energy corporations.
Senate Bill 2109 45; the "Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement Act of 2012" was introduced by Kyl and McCain on February 14, 2012, and is on a fast track to give Arizona corporations and water interests a "100 th birthday present" that will close the door forever on Navajo and Hopi food and water sovereignty, security and self-reliance.
The Secret Torture Memo Cheney Didn't Want You To See
It appears that Zelikow was right about the archives: the secret memo, which he called a "direct assault on [the Bush Justice Department's] interpretation of American law," was finally released by the State Department on Tuesday, three years after the National Security Archive and WIRED reporter Spencer Ackerman (then at the Washington Independent) first requested it under the Freedom of Information Act. You can read it here:
Neil Kinkopf, who worked for the Justice Department under the Clinton administration (and is now an Obama administration official), told Mother Jones in 2009 why Cheney might have wanted to get rid of the document: "People in the White House — Dick Cheney for example; David Addington, his legal adviser — didn't want the existence of dissent to be known. It's not hard to imagine David Addington playing very hardball internal politics and not only wanting to prevail over the view of Zelikow but to annihilate it. It would be perfectly consistent with how he operated."
Zelikow told WIRED on Wednesday that he believes the Bush administration's harsh interrogation techniques constituted a "felony war crime."
The AMA Bessie Stringfield Award, first awarded in 2000, memorializes the accomplishments of AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame member Bessie Stringfield, an African-American motorcycling pioneer of the mid-20th century. The award recognizes individuals who have introduced motorcycling to emerging markets. Until her recent retirement announcement, Rep. Giffords was the co-chair of the Congressional Motorcycle Caucus. As a rider for more than 20 years, and as a member of the U.S. House and the caucus, she worked with the AMA and the motorcycling community on a number of issues to protect and promote motorcycling. Arguably, Giffords is the most visible woman motorcyclist ever elected at the national level, and her embrace of motorcycling encouraged many other women to take up riding.
"This is a great honor from the AMA," said Gifford's husband, astronaut Mark E. Kelly, on her behalf. "Gabby and I have been motorcyclists for many years, and I can tell you that motorcycling, and motorcyclists, have been important in our lives. She has been able to inspire so many others to take up riding, particularly women."
Kelly added that Giffords is progressing in her recovery from the failed assassination attempt on her life in January 2011, and that the couple hope to ride together again one day in the future.
Bessie Stringfield (1911–1993), nicknamed "The Motorcycle Queen of Miami", was an African American woman credited with breaking down barriers for both women and African American motorcyclists. She was the first African-American woman to ride across the United States solo and during World War II she served as one of the few motorcycle despatch riders for the United States military. The award bestowed by the American Motorcyclist Association for 'Superior Achievement by a Female Motorcyclist' is named in her honour. In 2002 Stringfield was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
Stringfield was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1911, but her parents migrated to Boston when she was still young. Her parents died when Stringfield was five and she was adopted and raised by an Irish woman.
At the age of sixteen Stringfield taught herself to ride her first motorcycle, a 1928 Indian Scout. At the age of nineteen she commenced travelling across the United States and eventually rode through the 48 lower states. During this time she earned money from performing motorcycle stunts in carnival shows. Due to her skin colour, Stringfield was often denied accommodation while travelling, so she would sleep on her motorcycle at filling stations.
During WWII Stringfield served as a civilian courier for the US Army, carrying documents between domestic army bases. During the four years she worked for the Army she crossed the United States eight times. She regularly encountered racism during this time, reportedly being deliberately knocked down by a white male in a pickup truck while travelling in the South.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Bessie took eight long-distance, solo rides across the United States. Speaking to a reporter, she dismissed the notion that "nice girls didn’t go around riding motorcycles in those days." Further, she was apparently fearless at riding through the Deep South when racial prejudice was a tangible threat. Was Bessie consciously championing the rights of women and African-Americans? Bessie would most likely have said she was simply living her life in her own way.
Late in life, Bessie suffered from symptoms caused by an enlarged heart. "Years ago the doctor wanted to stop me from riding," she recalled. "I told him if I don’t ride, I won’t live long. And so I never did quit."
MOGADISHU (The Borowitz Report) April 5, 2012 – In yet another public relations setback for the beleaguered cruise industry, Somali pirates today said they would no longer board cruise ships, citing "unsafe working conditions."
The pirate said that the recent fire that crippled the cruise ship Azamara Quest "has sent a shiver through the pirate community."
When asked if the Somali pirates might attempt to board cruise ships in the future, he responded, "I am telling me hearties that if they were thinking of pillaging a cruise ship of its booty over Easter Break, they should make alternative plans."
Carol Foyler, a spokesperson for cruise industry, said that the cruise ship companies "would be working overtime to win back the pirates' trust."
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio — who previously claimed he was cooperating with the Justice Department in an attempt to settle allegations that he violated the civil rights of Latinos in his jurisdiction — told Fox News on Wednesday that he’ll “be glad to meet them in court.”
DOJ cut off negotiations with Arpaio Tuesday saying he had refused to let an independent monitor be a part of any settlement agreement.
I wonder what this paragon of virtue would say about a theoretical Pakistani terrorist who planted a bomb in front of the Pentagon, using the same rationale to complain about children killed by drone strikes. He would doubtless argue that it's totally different, except for the part where it totally isn't. Terrorism is terrorism.
A former Colorado police sheriff, who was once named national “Sheriff of the Year,” pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of trading methamphetamine for sex with a male prostitute.
The former sheriff, who already spent eight days in prison, will serve the remainder of his 38-day sentence in a jail named after him in Arapahoe County, Colorado.
Do you know how to defile innocence? Do you know the best way to permanently stain a relatively clean soul, corrupt a vibrant imagination, molest a heart full of wonder and raw, unchecked power? I bet you do.
Let's see: You could drag said innocence to a GOP convention, or maybe Las Vegas, or let it watch five minutes of "Real Housewives" or "Brooklyn 11223" or "Doomsday Bunkers." You could hand it a rifle and tell it to blast a wild animal to death, have it attend an anti-gay rally at a Colorado Springs megachurch or Mormon temple, or plop it down at a One Direction concert. That would certainly do it.
But let's say you really want to mess it up, forever and true, tattoo it down deep with adulthood's most vile energy, a poison that's hugely common in the culture but is just shy of being actually physically abusive or illegal. Can you name it?
Our topic today is picking the worst new trend of the political season.
Not including putting the dog on the car roof.
But since I still have some space here, let me throw in a plug for the terribleness of the idea of Americans Elect.
The thing that makes our current politics particularly awful isn’t procedural. It’s that the Republican Party has become over-the-top extreme. You can try to fix that by working from within to groom a more sensible pack of future candidates, or from without by voting against the Republicans’ nominees until they agree to shape up.
You know what? It doesn't matter what the case was about. Here's the outcome of Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders (in New Jersey's Essex County): if you are stopped by police and you have a few too many parking tickets, even if it's a mistake, you can be arrested and, if going to be placed in the jail, strip-searched by the police. Don't worry, though, the Supreme Court says, because the cops can't touch you, but they may ask you to lift your nutsack so they can see if you have drugs under there.
Playing the fucking fool, Justice Anthony "Swings Both Ways, But Hangs to the Right" Kennedy says that the lawyers of the plaintiff, a poor bastard who got chewed up by our incarceration nation mentality, didn't even really define "strip search," despite there being, you know, a definition offered in police manuals.
Another batch of Republican National Convention delegates will be allocated on Tuesday as voters in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C. make their picks for the GOP nominee.
GREEN BAY, Wis.—Mitt Romney has long been criticized for being awkward on the stump, but his wife, Ann, defended her husband in a radio interview today, rejecting a host's statement that Romney is "too stiff" on the campaign trail.
Per ABC News' Emily Friedman, Ann Romney told Baltimore WBAL radio that she's working to show another side of her husband. Asked about criticism that Romney is "too stiff," Ann Romney laughed and replied, "I guess we better unzip him and let the real Mitt Romney out because he is not!"
You may be inclined to consider this ridiculous. However, Shocking Footage has emerged of an enraged Pierce hurling barrels at an innocent Italian plumber, probably because Pierce suspected the little fellow is Catholic:
A small, homemade bomb exploded outside a Planned Parenthood office in Wisconsin on Sunday night, prompting a federal investigation and the swift condemnation of violence by a Republican presidential candidate ahead of the state’s primary on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) April 1, 2012 – In an April Fool's Day announcement that took the political world by storm, the Republican Party revealed today that its entire presidential race had been an elaborate prank.
Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain agreed that the prank had gone well, but added, "I'm just amazed that the American people never figured out we were kidding."
"I mean, I kept saying ‘9-9-9' every four seconds, which was total and utter bullshit," he said. "And everything out of Michele's mouth made her sound like a mental patient."
"True that," Rep. Bachmann agreed.
Texas Governor Rick Perry said he worried that "every time I screwed up at a debate people would figure out I was pulling their legs," but added, "The American people seemed to accept the idea that a Governor of Texas could be a blithering idiot."
When one reporter mentioned that Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) was not at the press conference, a sudden silence fell over the gathering.
"Did anyone ever tell Ron this was supposed to be a prank?" Mr. Romney asked. "Holy cow, maybe he's really serious."
Tea Party/CABPRO Activists Have a Conniption
GENEVA/NEVADA CITY, Calif. April 1, 2012 - Nevada County's sluggish economic recovery will receive a substantial boost, thanks to an application submitted several years ago by a group of non-profits focused on sustainable living and development. The UN's Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio +20) just released the list of counties chosen to receive advanced planning and investment help. Nevada County was selected as the only rural county in California. Other counties selected throughout the US include Maricopa, Arizona - Madison, Wisconsin - Collin County, Texas - Utah County, Utah and Broward, Florida.
Sue McGuire, also running for District 1, didn't want to comment on the record at first. But, after hearing that the UN was involved, she didn't hold back: "This is socialism, pure and simple. Agenda 21 is a danger to the American way of life and I will fight this. Our community doesn't need UN troops and black helicopters. Thankfully, our strong opposition will send this communist plot back to where it belongs, to the trash heap that is the UN headquarters." She pointed to the local Republican party's resolution Exposing United Nations Agenda 21, saying she fully supported the resolution.
Ask someone in heli-logging how business is going and they will inevitably answer, “Up and down.”
“Conservatives may find that they weren’t careful about what they wished for in opposing ‘Obamacare,’” Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at UCLA School of Law, told TPM. “The economic, social and political pressure for health care reform aren’t going to just disappear. There’s a reason every major industrialized country has national health care. If the Supreme Court invalidates the Affordable Care Act, we are likely to see a government takeover of health care in the next decade.”
In that scenario, progressives could turn to two alternatives that have proven successful at lowering costs in other countries: A single-payer plan a la Medicare but for everyone, or a two-tier system in which private and public insurers compete. Both concepts are anathema to Republicans, but their constitutionality is not in doubt — and the GOP has been unable to devise a replacement plan, which could give liberals ammunition for their cause.
There’s little doubt that the idea behind the individual mandate — in which Americans either buy insurance or pay more in taxes — would be constitutional if rewritten explicitly as a “tax” as opposed to a “penalty” for not buying a product. But the political fallout of a Supreme Court decision to strike it down may well scare lawmakers away from the concept altogether.
“The defenders of federalism will be rewarded with an even bigger federal government,” Winkler said. “Wouldn’t that be ironic?”
“I trust the government more than insurance companies.” Caldwell went on to endorse the idea of a single-payer health care system, saying it’d “be a whole lot better” than Obamacare:KEYES: You don’t think the subsidies for low-income people are going to be helpful?
CALDWELL: No, no. The worst thing you can do is give it to an insurance company. I want to make my point. All insurance companies are controlled in their particular state. If you have a hurricane come up the east coast, the first one that’s going to leave you when they gotta pay too many claims is an insurance company. Insurance companies are the absolute worst people to handle this kind of business. I trust the government more than insurance companies. If the government wants to put forth a policy where they will pay for everything and you won’t have to go through an insurance policy, that’d be a whole lot better.
Santorum Open to VP Position
Says he'd be proud to serve under liberal flip-flopping no-better-than-Obama Romney.
Apple CEO Tours Foxconn Plant, Asks for Changes
Calls for shorter hours, higher pay, then flies to Philippines to shop for cheaper factory.
Chocolate Good For You
According to studies that always appear right before Easter, Halloween and Valentine's Day.
Supreme Court to Release Health Care Decision in Late June
You might want to get your annual checkup by then.
Pew research and other polling organizations have shown that there has been a growing gender gap on the presidential level, with President Obama doing better with women against his likely rival in former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney than the President did against Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) at the same point in 2008. But other recent numbers show the presidential race isn’t the only one being affected.
It’s one point both Democrats and Republicans agree on: social issues at the top of the ticket are poisoning the well and creating a gender gap across the board — mostly to the benefit of Democrats.
And when I say fraudulent, I mean just that. The trouble with the budget devised by Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, isn’t just its almost inconceivably cruel priorities, the way it slashes taxes for corporations and the rich while drastically cutting food and medical aid to the needy. Even aside from all that, the Ryan budget purports to reduce the deficit — but the alleged deficit reduction depends on the completely unsupported assertion that trillions of dollars in revenue can be found by closing tax loopholes.