March 18, 2013 archive

Mar 18

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Mar 18

Cartnoon

Disappearing in droves they are.  Whither Canada?

Mar 18

On This Day In History March 18

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.

March 18 is the 77th day of the year (78th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 288 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1766, the British Parliament repeals the Stamp Act

After four months of widespread protest in America, the British Parliament repeals the Stamp Act, a taxation measure enacted to raise revenues for a standing British army in America. However, the same day, Parliament passed the Declaratory Acts, asserting that the British government had free and total legislative power over the colonies.

The Stamp Act of 1765 (short title Duties in American Colonies Act 1765; 5 George III, c. 12) was a direct tax imposed by the British Parliament specifically on the colonies of British America. The act required that many printed materials in the colonies be produced on stamped paper produced in London and carrying an embossed revenue stamp. These printed materials were legal documents, magazines, newspapers and many other types of paper used throughout the colonies. Like previous taxes, the stamp tax had to be paid in valid British currency, not in colonial paper money. The purpose of the tax was to help pay for troops stationed in North America after the British victory in the Seven Years’ War. The British government felt that the colonies were the primary beneficiaries of this military presence, and should pay at least a portion of the expense.

The Stamp Act met great resistance in the colonies. The colonies sent no representatives to Parliament, and therefore had no influence over what taxes were raised, how they were levied, or how they would be spent. Many colonists considered it a violation of their rights as Englishmen to be taxed without their consent, consent that only the colonial legislatures could grant. Colonial assemblies sent petitions and protests. The Stamp Act Congress held in New York City, reflecting the first significant joint colonial response to any British measure, also petitioned Parliament and the King. Local protest groups, led by colonial merchants and landowners, established connections through correspondence that created a loose coalition that extended from New England to Georgia. Protests and demonstrations initiated by the Sons of Liberty often turned violent and destructive as the masses became involved. Very soon all stamp tax distributors were intimidated into resigning their commissions, and the tax was never effectively collected.

Opposition to the Stamp Act was not limited to the colonies. British merchants and manufacturers, whose exports to the colonies were threatened by colonial economic problems exacerbated by the tax, also pressured Parliament. The Act was repealed on March 18, 1766 as a matter of expedience, but Parliament affirmed its power to legislate for the colonies “in all cases whatsoever” by also passing the Declaratory Act. This incident increased the colonists’ concerns about the intent of the British Parliament that helped the growing movement that became the American Revolution.

Mar 18

152 bullets, 4 magazines, less than 5 minutes

Adapted from Rant of the Week at The Stars Hollow Gazette

Warning: Contents of this video may be disturbing for many.

Gun Control and the Newtown Tragedy

Rachel Maddow reports on how much easier high capacity magazines made it for the Newtown shooter to maximize the slaughter he could commit, and shores the video from the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting today in which Sen Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) dealt with the naivete of freshman Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) before the committee passed an assault weapons ban.

152 bullets, 4 magazines, less than 5 minutes

Adam Lanza Researched Mass Murderers, Sources Say

by Dave Altimari, Edmund H. Mahony and Jon Lender

Before carrying out the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Adam Lanza conducted research on several mass murders, sources close to the investigation into the shooting have told The Courant.

The Courant had previously reported that investigators found news articles about Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik at Lanza’s Newtown home. Sources now say that investigators found articles and other documents related to other mass murders in one of two bedrooms he used in the house that he shared with his mother, Nancy.

Lanza killed 26 people, including 20 first-graders, on the morning of Dec. 14 before taking his own life as police closed in. Lanza had first shot and killed his mother at their house.

State police gave the victims’ families, Sandy Hook teachers and first-responders an update on the investigation last week in which, sources said, they discussed the theory that Lanza was trying to outdo other killers.

Mar 18

In memory of Hugo who?

It seems that he’s already not even a memory in this part of the hemisphere.  But Venezuela is well remembered . . . . “Venezuela boasts the world’s largest oil reserves.”

And so, I guess, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to read:

CARACAS, March 17, 2013 (Reuters) – Venezuela’s acting president urged U.S. President Barack Obama to stop what he called a plot by the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency to kill his opposition rival and trigger a coup ahead of an April 14 election.

Nicolas Maduro said the plan was to blame his opponent’s murder on the OPEC nation’s government and to “fill Venezuelans with hate” as they prepare to vote following the death of socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

Maduro first mentioned a plot against his rival, Henrique Capriles, last week. He blamed it on former Bush administration officials Roger Noriega and Otto Reich. Both rejected the claim as untrue, outrageous and defamatory.

“I call on President Obama – Roger Noriega, Otto Reich, officials at the Pentagon and at the CIA are behind a plan to assassinate the right-wing presidential candidate to create chaos,” Maduro said in a TV interview broadcast on Sunday. . . . .

Of course, the United States State Department denied those charges as to a plot to cause harm to anyone in Venezuela.

Maduro, a 50-year-old former bus driver and union leader who is Chavez’s preferred successor as president, said the aim of the plan was to set off a coup and that his information came from “a very good source.” . . . .

During his [Chavez] 14 years in power, the former soldier often denounced U.S. plots against him and his “revolution.” Critics dismissed those claims as a smokescreen to keep voters focused on a sense of “imperialist” threat. . . . . .

Capriles, who kicked off the opposition’s bid to drum up support with big rallies in the provinces over the weekend, said Maduro would be to blame if anything happened to him.(emphasis mine)