Daily Archive: September 22, 2012

This Vigil Needs Your Support

   

Photobucket

Martin Baumgold

In the wake of 9/11, on Saturday, September 22, 2001, eleven years ago today, my friend Martin Baumgold decided to stand at the Seventh Street Park in Hudson, New York to demonstrate for peace.  The world needed to find peace, and he saw that. He’s been at it since. Every week. Every Saturday. People have come to stand with him, and they have gone away. New ones have come and they too have gone away.  Usually, there are 3 or 4 or even 5 people standing at the South side of the Seventh Park on Warren Street. Martin is undeterred, he stands anyway.  He’s not the leader of a movement; he just hopes that others will stand with him. But even if they don’t, obviously he’s in it for the long haul.

Cartnoon

Mary PickfordSparrows (1926) (1:47)

America’s sweetheart until she cut her hair, Pickford was actually Canadian and while she is best known for her ‘Little Girl’ roles Sparrows is straight melodrama.

Yes, those are real live alligators and a real live baby too.

On This Day In History September 22

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

September 22 is the 265th day of the year (266th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 100 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issues a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which sets a date for the freedom of more than 3 million black slaves in the United States and recasts the Civil War as a fight against slavery.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, shortly after Lincoln’s inauguration as America’s 16th president, he maintained that the war was about restoring the Union and not about slavery. He avoided issuing an anti-slavery proclamation immediately, despite the urgings of abolitionists and radical Republicans, as well as his personal belief that slavery was morally repugnant. Instead, Lincoln chose to move cautiously until he could gain wide support from the public for such a measure.

In July 1862, Lincoln informed his cabinet that he would issue an emancipation proclamation but that it would exempt the so-called border states, which had slaveholders but remained loyal to the Union. His cabinet persuaded him not to make the announcement until after a Union victory. Lincoln’s opportunity came following the Union win at the Battle of Antietam in September 1862. On September 22, the president announced that slaves in areas still in rebellion within 100 days would be free.

The Emancipation Proclamation consists of two executive orders issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War. The first one, issued September 22, 1862, declared the freedom of all slaves in any state of the Confederate States of America  that did not return to Union control by January 1, 1863. The second order, issued January 1, 1863, named ten specific states where it would apply. Lincoln issued the Executive Order by his authority as “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy” under Article II, section 2 of the United States Constitution.

The proclamation did not name the slave-holding border states of Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, or Delaware, which had never declared a secession, and so it did not free any slaves there. The state of Tennessee had already mostly returned to Union control, so it also was not named and was exempted. Virginia was named, but exemptions were specified for the 48 counties that were in the process of forming West Virginia, as well as seven other named counties and two cities. Also specifically exempted were New Orleans and thirteen named parishes of Louisiana, all of which were also already mostly under Federal control at the time of the Proclamation.

The Emancipation Proclamation was criticized at the time for freeing only the slaves over which the Union had no power. Although most slaves were not freed immediately, the Proclamation did free thousands of slaves the day it went into effect in parts of nine of the ten states to which it applied (Texas being the exception). In every Confederate state (except Tennessee and Texas), the Proclamation went into immediate effect in Union-occupied areas and at least 20,000 slaves[2][3] were freed at once on January 1, 1863.

Additionally, the Proclamation provided the legal framework for the emancipation of nearly all four million slaves as the Union armies advanced, and committed the Union to ending slavery, which was a controversial decision even in the North. Hearing of the Proclamation, more slaves quickly escaped to Union lines as the Army units moved South. As the Union armies advanced through the Confederacy, thousands of slaves were freed each day until nearly all (approximately 4 million, according to the 1860 census) were freed by July 1865.

Near the end of the war, abolitionists were concerned that while the Proclamation had freed most slaves as a war measure, it had not made slavery illegal. Several former slave states had already passed legislation prohibiting slavery; however, in a few states, slavery continued to be legal, and to exist, until December 18, 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment was enacted.

They See Dead Voters

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

A North Carolina anti-election fraud group delivered a list of nearly 30,000 names to the state board of elections insisting that the names be removed from eligible voters list because, the group claims, these voters are dead. The facts are not all of these people are dead and the group, the Voter Integrity Project, had no evidence that any voted were cast by anyone using a dead person’s name.

The board began reviewing the list last Tuesday and determined that it had almost 20,000 of the names from a 10-year audit of data from the state Department of Health and Human Services, said Veronica Degraffenreid, the board’s director of voter registration and absentee voting.

More than one third of those 20,000 names were already listed as inactive, meaning they were on track for removal from the voting rolls, Degraffenreid said. Of the remaining names provided by the Voter Integrity Project, 4,946 had a match on first and last names and date of birth, Degraffenreid said, and county election boards will investigate to see if they should be removed.

She said that of all the records submitted by the organization, 196 showed voting activity after their date of death, though many of them died within days of the election and had submitted absentee ballots. [..]

Meanwhile, cases of fraud remain rare. In 2009, the board referred 29 cases of double voting to county district attorneys, according to a board report. Since 2000, the board has referred one case of voter impersonation, the report states.

Some voters were pretty upset when they received letters from their local board of elections informing them that they were no longer eligible to vote because they were dead.

Carolyn Perry remembers voting in her first election. It was 1967 in Ohio, a municipal election, and she was 21 years old.

“The people at the polls introduced me and said, ‘This is Carolyn and this is her first time to vote,'” recalled the retired special education teacher.

Perry, who has been registered to vote in North Carolina since at least 1975, according to election records, was dismayed to receive a letter this month from the Wake County Board of Elections suggesting she may no longer be qualified to vote because she might be dead.

“My initial reaction? I was mad as hell,” Perry said Monday morning. [..]

“I’ve had some people call who have been enraged,” said Gary Sims, deputy director of the Wake County Board of Elections. Others, he says, have laughed off the errant letters. That range of reactions has been seen in other states where either official actions or similar nonprofit-driven efforts have sought to purge dead voters. [..]

Gary Bartlett, director of the State Board of Elections, said state officials discovered that the Department of Health and Human Services wasn’t reporting some deaths that occurred out of state to elections officials. Those voters are now being investigated, he said.

But Bartlett adds that neither the state nor any of the county boards have yet discovered someone who voted when they should not have as a result of the Voter Integrity Project’s submission. Bartlett says he doesn’t rule out the possibility it could happen, but he points out that election officials have access to Social Security numbers, birthdays and drivers license numbers that citizen groups cannot legally get. All of those pieces of information have been used to differentiate between those who are really dead and those who are expected to show up at the polls this November, he said.

“The West Wing” Returns

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Don’t get excited. “The West Wing” hasn’t really returned but the cast did get together to make a campaign video for cast member, Mary ” Kate Harper” McCormack‘s sister, Bridget Mary McCormack who is running for State Supreme Court Judge in Michigan. The video also has a voting education lesson in it about filling out the non-partisan section of the voting ballot. This is how Michigan and 14 other states choose their supreme court justices. If you think that these races aren’t important, remember that this week the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that returned that state’s controversial voter ID law (pdf) back to the Commonwealth Court for review.

Bridget Mary McCormack is a professor at the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, who also serves as Michigan Law School’s associate dean of clinical affairs. From her wikipedia bio, she is the founder and co-director of the Michigan Innocence Clinic, the first exclusively non-DNA innocence clinic in the country. Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed the woman who reunited the “West Wing” on his show “The Last Word.”

Autumnal Equinox 2012

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Autumn 2012At 10:49 AM EDT, the Northern Hemisphere passes from Summer into Autumn as the sun passes over the equator heading south to give the Earth’s Southern Hemisphere its turn at Summer. The Autumnal Equinox is also known as: Alban Elfed, Autumn Equinox, Fall Equinox, Cornucopia, Feast of Avilon, Festival of Dionysus, Harvest Home, Harvest Tide, Mabon, Night of the Hunter, Second Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, Witch’s Thanksgiving, and the first day of autumn.

It is the second harvest, a time for gathering the Summer’s last fruits, giving thanks for the harvest and marking a celebration in gratitude as the soil and plants die away. This year’s Harvest Moon reaches its peak on Saturday, September 29, 2012 at 11:19 PM EDT . The “Harvest Moon” is another name for the full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox, which marks the change of seasons. The moon gets its name from the amount of light it emits, allowing farmers to continue harvesting the summer’s crops through the evening. The Harvest Moon usually appears before or after the equinox.

The equinox actually lasts just a moment when the sun passes over the Equator and rises due east, setting due west along the horizon, everywhere except the poles.

A scientific myth is that day and night are equal around the entire world, not really:

   Most Northern Hemisphere locations, however, do not see an exact 12-hour day until a few days after the fall equinox (and a few days before the spring equinox).

   The main reason is atmospheric refraction: This bending of the sun’s light allows us to see the entire sun before and after it crosses the horizon. (By definition, actual sunrise occurs as soon as the upper edge of the solar disk appears above the horizon, while sunset occurs the moment the sun’s trailing edge disappears below it – though that’s not how our eyes see it.)

   This helps explain why the day is slightly more than 12 hours long on the equinox. It also explains why places on the equator always see just over 12 hours of daylight year-round: It’s because of the angle from which they observe the sun.

The seasons change and the world continues on it coarse through time and space. Take some time to notice our home, Earth.

My Autumn Leaves

~ Bruce Weigl

I watch the woods for deer as if I’m armed.

I watch the woods for deer who never come.

I know the hes and shes in autumn

rendezvous in orchards stained with fallen

apples’ scent. I drive my car this way to work

so I may let the crows in corn believe

it’s me their caws are meant to warn,

and snakes who turn in warm and secret caves

they know me too. They know the boy

who lives inside me still won’t go away.

The deer are ghosts who slip between the light

through trees, so you may only hear the snap

of branches in the thicket beyond hope.

I watch the woods for deer, as if I’m armed.

from The Unraveling Strangeness: Poems

h/t Hecatedemeter

Popular Culture 20120921: Jethro Tull — Thick as a Brick Side One

Last time we sort of did the history about this record, and tonight we shall deal with the first side of the album.  It is quite complex, and is just one long song called “Thick as a Brick Part I”.  Obviously, the second side, to be covered next time, is called “Thick as a Brick Part II”.  Here is how I suggest that you read this blog.

Open a second entry of this in a new tab (if you are using Firefox or other browsers that support multiple tabs).  If not, just open a second browser window.  Use the second one to play the music, and I will give you prompts when to go back the the first one for discussion.  I believe that will be the most efficient way to cover one long (22 minutes, forty seconds) bit of music.  I am going to break it into chunks at what I deem to be different songs.

Burns Like a Red Coal Carpet

Ronald Reagan . . .

I’ve spoken of the Shining City On a Hill all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it’s a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity,

Well . . . he got wind-swept right.

Everything got blown away except the illusions.  They’re still here.

This used to be the Department of Justice . . .

Ionic columns on the Department of Justice building (Photo 2)

It’s the Department of Complicity now.  

Everyone there knows damn well that the rule of law is long gone, it got buried ten-feet-deep under the amber waves of grain by the politicians, profit-chasers, and hypocrites of the corporate media machine, who are all either directly involved in systemic fraud and abuses of power or are complicit in the ongoing cover ups that have been concocted in order to keep covering up the cover ups of all the earlier cover ups.

In a rare moment of candor, George H. W. Bush explained why the political, economic, and media elites are so fond of this perpetual, bipartisan, across-the-board, you cover my ass and I’ll cover yours partnership they’ve forged with one another . . .

“If the American people ever find out what we have done, they will chase us down the streets and lynch us.”

We have a BINGO. Thank you for playing, Poppy.

Unfit to Serve

With the anniversary of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell just passed, questions are arising over the military’s continued stance that transgender people are unfit to serve.

The Advocate tracked down some current and recent transpeople who are serving or have just finished serving.

In the interest of full disclosure, this author must admit to serving in the US Army during the Vietnam Era  (1971-1973).  She did not serve oversees , but rather was stationed at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, KS, where she was a correctional specialist who rose to the pay grade of E5 (Spec-5, which is equivalent to sergeant).  She separated with an Honorable Discharge and a Presidential Commendation.  

This was all around two decades before she transitioned.