Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Born: 21 December 1940
Died: 4 December 1993 (prostate cancer)
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland
Best known as: Iconoclastic rocker
Guitarist Frank Zappa was also a production wizard whose early work with The Mothers of Invention displayed terrific musical knowledge and an outrageous sense of humor. His foul and funny lyrics were consciously crass, earning him cult status though at times masking the complexity of his compositions. After dozens of solo albums, including Weasels Ripped My Flesh, Apostrophe and Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar, Zappa went from being an underground rock star to being a highly regarded -- if not widely appreciated -- composer. He died in 1993.
Extra credit: After Václav Havel was elected president of Czechoslovakia in 1989, he asked Frank to take a position in the ministry of culture.
Most awful part of the whole thing: If he'd been diagnosed in time, he might still be among us today. Yet a guy w/ plenty of money & access to celebrity medical care still died of a relatively treatable form of cancer, while a shithead like Giuliani gets it & survives. Fuck!!! Someone should've made him give up the Winstons™.
Other dead people born on this date:
Benjamin Disraeli, statesman (1804)
Henrietta Szold, Zionist leader (1860)
Joseph Stalin, Soviet Communist leader (1879)
Dame Rebecca West, novelist and critic (1892)
Josh Gibson, baseball player (1911)
Today's Highlight in History:
On December 21st, 1620, Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower went ashore for the first time at present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts. [Including Just Another Blog's™ alleged ancestor, Gov. Bradford. — Ed.]
On this date:
In 1804, British statesman Benjamin Disraeli was born in London.
In 1891, the first basketball game, invented at Springfield College in Massachusetts by James E. Naismith, was played.
In 1898, Pierre and Marie Curie discovered radium.
In 1913, the first crossword puzzle was printed in the New York World.
In 1945, General George S. Patton died in Heidelberg, Germany, of injuries from a car accident.
In 1948, the state of Eire, or Ireland (formerly the Irish Free State), passed an act declaring itself a republic.
In 1967, the comedy-drama "The Graduate," starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, was released.
In 1968, Apollo 8 was launched on a mission to orbit the moon.
In 1971, the U.N. Security Council chose Kurt Waldheim to succeed U Thant as Secretary-General.
In 1976, the Liberian-registered tanker Argo Merchant broke apart near Nantucket Island almost a week after running aground, spilling 7 1/2 millions of gallons of oil into the North Atlantic.
In 1987, in New York, three white teen-agers from the Howard Beach section of Queens were convicted of manslaughter in the death of a black man who was chased onto a highway, where he was struck by a car; a fourth defendant was acquitted.
In 1988, 270 people were killed when a terrorist bomb exploded aboard a Pam Am Boeing 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland, sending wreckage crashing to the ground.
Ten years ago: President Clinton, accompanied by his wife and daughter, left for Bosnia to spread holiday cheer and to carry the news that he wanted U.S. troops to remain there indefinitely as the region recovered from its devastating war.
Five years ago: A military helicopter crash in Afghanistan killed seven German peacekeepers who were on board and two children on the ground; a US soldier was killed in combat. President Bush received a smallpox vaccination, fulfilling a promise he'd made when he ordered inoculations for about a-half million US troops.
One year ago: At Camp Pendleton, California, four Marines were charged with murder in the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha; four Marine officers were accused of failures in investigating and reporting the deaths. (Charges were later dropped against two of the Marines accused of murder, and two of the officers accused of dereliction of duty.) Final results showed opponents of Iran's ultra-conservative president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, winning nationwide elections for local councils.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Ed Nelson is 79. Talk show host Phil Donahue is 72. Movie director John Avildsen is 72. Actress Jane Fonda is 70. Singer Carla Thomas is 65. Musician Albert Lee is 64. Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas is 63. Actor Samuel L. Jackson is 59. Movie producer Jeffrey Katzenberg is 57. Singer Betty Wright is 54. Tennis star Chris Evert is 53. Actress Jane Kaczmarek is 52. Country singer Lee Roy Parnell is 51. Entertainer Jim Rose is 51. Actor-comedian Ray Romano is 50. Country singer Christy Forester (The Forester Sisters) is 45. Rock musician Murph (Dinosaur Jr.) is 43. Actor-comedian Andy Dick is 42. Rock musician Gabrielle Glaser is 42. Actor Kiefer Sutherland is 41. Actress Karri Turner ("JAG") is 41. Actress Khrystyne Haje is 39. Actress Julie Delpy is 38. Singer-musician Brett Scallions is 36.
In 1933, five-year-old Shirley Temple signed a movie contract with Fox. Her age was later changed to make her appear a year younger.
In 1937, the first feature-length animated cartoon in Technicolor, Walt Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," had its world premiere in Los Angeles.
In 1964, the book "Ode to a High-Flying Bird" by Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts was published. It was a tribute to jazz great Charlie (Bird) Parker.
In 1968, Janis Joplin made her first appearance after leaving Big Brother and the Holding Company. She performed in Memphis at the second annual "Yuletide Thing" event sponsored by Stax-Volt Records.
Also in 1968, Crosby, Stills and Nash performed together for the first time. [P. U. — Ed.]
In 1970, Elvis Presley paid a visit to President Nixon at the White House.
In 1979, Chicago, The Eagles and Linda Ronstadt played the first of two concerts to raise campaign money for California governor Jerry Brown, Ronstadt's then-boyfriend.
In 1991, actress Jane Fonda married broadcasting executive Ted Turner on his ranch in Florida. It was her 54th birthday. They've since split up.
In 1992, bluesman Albert King died at a Tennessee hospital at the age of 69. He had fallen into a coma after suffering a heart attack.
In 1996, singer Tony Bennett was rushed to a hospital in Washington after his hernia erupted while visiting the White House for a holiday dinner. He had to have emergency surgery but recovered without problems; singer Lionel Richie married former dancer and fashion designer Diane Alexander in New York.
In 2005, Elton John and his longtime partner, David Furnish, held a civil union ceremony in Windsor, England, the first day that same-sex partnerships became legal in Britain.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
"Dr. Paul stands for freedom, peace, prosperity and inalienable rights. If someone with small ideologies happens to contribute money to Ron, thinking he can influence Ron in any way, he's wasted his money," Paul spokesman Jesse Benton said. "Ron is going to take the money and try to spread the message of freedom."Including, of course, the "inalienable right" to discriminate against people based not on behavior/actions but skin color, accent, ethnicity & so on. After all, it's a businessman's business, & he should be able to do anything he wants w/ it. Anything at all. It's his. A certain point is made by the flunky:
"And that's $500 less that this guy has to do whatever it is that he does," Benton added.We'd still be more convinced of the Doctor's commitment to those "inalienable rights" were he to make a stand (& some noise) about how he's just not interested in money from "White Patriots." But we all know that the true libertarian commitment is to the "liberty" to get as much money, gold, arms & arable farmland as they can, by any means necessary, before their libertarian policies result in societal reversion to the feudalism under which they all think they'd do better. Natural law, survival of the fittest, & so on. As if some fuckwad of a computer consultant/electrical engineer/gamer in a clip-on tie & short-sleeved dress shirt will last five minutes in their version of the "New World Order."
"I'll get all the (working girls) together, and we can raise him some money," Hof told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "I'll put up a collection box outside the door. They can drop in $1, $5 contributions." [...] Paul spokesman Jeff Greenspan said Paul is a diehard supporter of states rights and an ardent libertarian who wants to return the purview of the federal government to what is articulated in the U.S. Constitution. Paul also is a devout Christian who opposes abortion. "On a personal basis, he doesn't condone those things," Greenspan said of prostitution. "At the same time, from his campaign perspective, it's not the role of federal government and it's not in the constitution for federal government to regulate these things."Umm-hmm. So what's the deal on, say, gay marriage? Will a marriage in one state be honored/respected in a state that doesn't allow it? Isn't that one of those constitutional thingies? And what constitutional amendments might the Dr. favor? As to the insufferable twit™:
Hof was accompanied to the Paul news conference by television news personality Tucker Carlson, who is traveling with Paul for a magazine article he is writing. "Dennis Hof is a good friend of mine, so when we got to Nevada, I decided to call him up and see if he wanted to come check this guy out," said Carlson, who hosts the show "Tucker" on MSNBC.Isn't that nice? Do you think Tucker would like any of his daughters to work for his "good friend" Mr. Hof? Hell, we'd give up our hippie free love ethos for an hour & pay for it if it were one of Tuck's spawn. Yes, we'll wait 'til she's eighteen. While it's one thing for Rep. Paul to accept money (w/ faint condemnation)from "White Patriots," which may take some funds away from whatever patriotic white activities they're up to, but it's a bit different to accept it from "working girls" & their pimp, whose money comes directly from activities Doc P. "doesn't condone." Although it's not clear how much of the pimp's own profits on the backs of the "working girls" will be going to the campaign. Sounded like he'd be getting the money straight from the prostitutes & the collection box. Will the not so good but "morally neutral" Doctor be accepting money from (illegal) drug-dealing profits next?
"She attended a police station voluntarily and at a pre-agreed time," the statement said. "She was arrested but that is common practice for someone being interviewed by police."See? Then they let her go, & she has to be back in March. Something to do w/ her husband's case, involving
"perverting the course of justice" stemming from a case in which he is accused of assaulting a barman in June.
On this date:
In 1732, Benjamin Franklin began publishing Poor Richard's Almanac.
In 1776, Thomas Paine published his first American Crisis essay, in which he wrote, "These are the times that try men's souls." [What times aren't? — Ed.]
In 1777, General George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, to camp for the winter.
In 1813, British forces captured Fort Niagara during the War of 1812.
In 1843, "A Christmas Carol," by Charles Dickens, was first published in England.
In 1907, 239 workers died in a coal mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania.
In 1932, the British Broadcasting Corporation began transmitting overseas with its Empire Service to Australia. ["London calling." — Ed.]
In 1946, war broke out in Indochina as troops under Ho Chi Minh launched widespread attacks against the French. [Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh, NLF is gonna win! And they did, too! — Ed.]
In 1972, Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, winding up the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.
In 1974, Nelson A. Rockefeller was sworn in as the 41st vice president of the United States.
In 1986, Lawrence E. Walsh was appointed independent counsel to investigate the Iran-Contra affair.
In 1998, President Clinton was impeached by the Republican-controlled House for perjury and obstruction of justice (he was later acquitted by the Senate).
Ten years ago: A SilkAir Boeing 737-300 plunged from the sky, crashing into an Indonesian river and killing all 104 people aboard. In Milwaukee, postal clerk Anthony Deculit killed a co-worker he'd feuded with, wounded a supervisor and injured another worker before taking his own life. James Cameron's epic film "Titanic," the highest-grossing film ever made, opened in US theaters.
Five years ago: Secretary of State Colin Powell declared Iraq in "material breach" of a U.N. disarmament resolution. After a prosecutor cited new DNA evidence, a judge in New York threw out the convictions of five young men in a 1989 attack on a Central Park jogger who had been raped and left for dead. Roh Moo-hyun won South Korea's presidential election.
In 2003, Muammar al-Qaddafi of Libya announced that his country would discontinue development of weapons of mass destruction.
One year ago: A Libyan court convicted five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor of deliberately infecting 400 children with HIV and sentenced them to death. (The six later had their death sentences commuted, and were transferred to Bulgaria, where they were pardoned and set free.)
Today's Birthdays:Country singer Little Jimmy Dickens (photo) is 87. Composer-lyricist Robert Sherman ("Mary Poppins") is 82. Actress Cicely Tyson is 74. Baseball Hall of Famer Al Kaline is 73. Rhythm-and-blues singer-musician Maurice White (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 66. Actor Tim Reid is 63. Paleontologist Richard E. Leakey is 63. Rock singer Alvin Lee (Ten Years After) is 63. Actress Elaine Joyce is 62. Singer Janie Fricke is 60. Basketball Hall of Famer Kevin McHale is 50. Actor Mike Lookinland is 47. Actress Jennifer Beals is 44. Actress Kristy Swanson is 38. Actress Alyssa Milano is 35. Football player Warren Sapp is 35. Football player Jake Plummer is 33. Actor Jake Gyllenhaal is 27. ["Hey Meester, joo wanna see dirty peectures of my seester?" — Ed.]
Others, Now Dead, Born this Date:
Ford Frick, NL president, commissioner of baseball (1894); Sir Ralph Richardson, actor (1902); Leonid Brezhnev, political leader (1906); Jean Genet, playwright (1910); Edith ["The Little Sparrow"] Piaf, cabaret singer (1915).
The Black Hole of Show Bidness:
In 1955, Carl Perkins recorded "Blue Suede Shoes" at Sun Records in Memphis.
In 1957, Meredith Willson's musical play "The Music Man," starring Robert Preston as charming con man Harold Hill, opened on Broadway.
In 1975, the C.W. McCall single "Convoy" went gold in the US.
In 1980, Dolly Parton's first movie, "9 to 5," opened nationwide.
In 1985, country singer Johnny Paycheck was arrested for shooting a man during a fight in Hillsboro, Ohio. He was released from jail in 1991.
In 1991, Oliver Stone's controversial film "JFK" premiered in Dallas, where President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.
In 1995, one person was killed and several others injured on the set of the Disney movie "Gone Fishin'." A boat used in a stunt went out of control and landed on a group of people.
In 1997, the movie "Titanic" opened. It was the most expensive movie ever made.
In 2000, musician Pops Staples of The Staple Singers died at his home outside Chicago at the age of 84. He had been recovering from a concussion suffered four weeks earlier. That same day, guitarist Rob Buck of 10,000 Maniacs died of complications from liver failure. He was 42.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
John Bailey, then the director of Arkansas's state police, tells NEWSWEEK that Governor Huckabee's chief of staff and personal lawyer both leaned on him to write a letter officially denying the local prosecutor's request.& Huck & his cronies say another (sort of):
Seven months later, he was called into Huckabee's office and fired. "I've lost confidence in your ability to do your job," Bailey says Huckabee told him. One reason Huckabee cited was "I couldn't get you to help me with my son when I had that problem," according to Bailey. "Without question, [Huckabee] was making a conscious attempt to keep the state police from investigating his son," says I. C. Smith, the former FBI chief in Little Rock, who worked closely with Bailey and called him a "courageous" and "very solid" professional.
Huckabee called Bailey's account "totally untrue" and described him as a "bitter" ex-employee. "I asked him to resign because he had so alienated the entire state police," he said. "It had nothing to do with my son." Brenda Turner, Huckabee's then chief of staff, and Kevin Crass, the Huckabee family lawyer, also disputed Bailey's account, although both acknowledged talking to him about the dog killing. "I asked him, 'Is it normal for the state police to … investigate something that happened at a Boy Scout camp?' " Turner says. "We wanted the same treatment that anybody else would get."Oh, yeah, Huckabee's son David was accused of killing a stray dog at a Boy Scout camp where he worked as a counselor. Huck's son may have all the exciting possibilities of Roger Clinton & Billy Carter as far as relatives of hick Presidents go, w/ the interesting addition of violence & maybe even gunplay:
In April of this year, he was arrested—and paid a fine—when he forgot to remove a loaded gun from his carry-on luggage at Little Rock airport.
Today's Highlight in History:
On December 18th, 1944, in a pair of rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the wartime relocation of Japanese-Americans (Korematsu v. United States), but also said undeniably loyal Americans of Japanese ancestry could not continue to be detained (Ex parte Endo). [The North Carolina telebision station website where we steal the majority of this feature decided this was today's "highlight," as opposed to the ratification of the 13th Amendment. Very interesting choice. — Ed.]
In 1737, Violin maker Antonio Stradivari died in Cremona, Italy. [Ciao, Toni! — Ed.]
In 1787, New Jersey became the third state to ratify the US Constitution.
In 1865, slavery ended in the United States as the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was declared in effect. [This was the AP's "Highlight in History." — Ed.]
In 1915, President Woodrow Wilson, widowed the year before, married Edith Bolling Galt.
In 1940, Adolf Hitler signed a secret directive ordering preparations for a Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. (Operation Barbarossa was launched in June 1941.)
In 1956, Japan was admitted to the United Nations.
In 1957, the Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, the first nuclear facility to generate electricity in the United States, went on line. (It was taken out of service in 1982.)
In 1969, Britain's Parliament permanently abolished the death penalty for murder.
In 1972, the United States began heavy bombing of North Vietnamese targets during the Vietnam War. (The bombardment ended 11 days later.)
In 1980, former Soviet Premier Alexei N. Kosygin died at age 76.
In 1987, Ivan F. Boesky was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in a major Wall Street insider-trading scandal. (Boesky served about two years of his sentence).
In 1997, President Clinton extended indefinitely the deadline for withdrawal of U.S. troops helping with the U.N. peacekeeping effort in Bosnia. Onetime dissident Kim Dae-jung of South Korea was elected the country's president. Fired California highway employee Arturo Reyes Torres shot and killed four people at a maintenance yard before being killed by police.
In 1998, the House of Representatives began debate on four articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton.
In 1999, environmental activist Julia "Butterfly" Hill came down after spending two years living atop an ancient redwood in Humboldt County, Calif., to protest logging.
In 2000, George W. Bush received 271 votes in the delayed Electoral College balloting.
In 2002, Embattled Senate Republican leader Trent Lott sustained a double-barreled setback as Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee broke ranks to call for a change in party leadership and Secretary of State Colin Powell forcefully criticized Lott's controversial remarks on race. Robert Johnson, the billionaire founder of Black Entertainment Television, was chosen as owner of the NBA's new Charlotte expansion franchise.
In 2003, a judge in Seattle sentenced confessed Green River killer Gary Ridgeway to 48 consecutive life terms.
In 2006, Robert Gates was sworn in as defense secretary. President Bush signed legislation to let America share its nuclear know-how and fuel with India. [In exchange for cheaper mangoes, if we're not mistaken. Good deal! — Ed.] The NBA suspended seven players for their roles in a brawl between Denver and New York; each team was fined $500,000.
Today's Birthdays: Television writer-producer Hal Kanter is 89. Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark is 80. Actor Roger Smith is 75. Blues musician Lonnie Brooks is 74. Rolling Stone Keith Richards is 64.Writer-director Alan Rudolph is 64. Movie producer-director Steven Spielberg is 61. Blues artist Ron Piazza is 60. [That tee vee station website is dense. We assume they mean Rod Piazza, not "Ron." How can they fuck up a copy & paste? — Ed.] Movie director Gillian Armstrong is 57. Movie reviewer Leonard ["Middlebrow"] Maltin is 57. Rock musician Elliot Easton is 54. Actor Ray Liotta is 52. Actor Brad Pitt is 44. Country singer Tracy Byrd is 41. Actress Rachel Griffiths is 39. Country/rap singer Cowboy Troy is 37.
Rapper DMX is 37. Tennis player Arantxa Sanchez Vicario is 36. Actress Katie Holmes is 29. Singer Christina Aguilera is 27. Christian rock musician Dave Luetkenhoelter is 25. [Fuck him, & butt-fuck Jesus in hell!! — Ed.]
Those Less Mobile Born on this Date: Paul Klee, artist (1879); Ty Cobb, baseball player (1886); Edwin Armstrong, engineer, inventor of FM radio (1890); Fletcher Henderson, jazz composer and pianist (1897)
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., air force general (1912); Willy Brandt, political leader (1913); Betty Grable, actress (1916); Ossie Davis, actor, director, screenwriter (1917)
From the World of Inane Drivel:
In 1892, Tchaikovsky's ballet "The Nutcracker" publicly premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia.
In 1957, the WWII epic "Bridge On The River Kwai" premiered in New York.
In 1964, funeral services were held in Chicago for singer Sam Cooke, who had been shot and killed in Los Angeles.
In 1971, Jerry Lee Lewis divorced his cousin, Myra Gale Brown. They had married in 1957 when she was 13.
In 1983, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards married model Patti Hansen in Mexico, on his 40th birthday. Mick Jagger was his best man.
In 1984, actress Jamie Lee Curtis married comedian Christopher Guest of "Saturday Night Live" in Rob Reiner's home in Los Angeles.
In 1991, actor Deforest Kelley, know for his role as Dr. McCoy on "Star Trek," got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 1995, Kenny G and his family escaped a fire that caused $275,000 dollars damage to their home in suburban Los Angeles.
In 1997, comedian Chris Farley was found dead in his apartment in Chicago of a cocaine and morphine overdose. He was 33. [Lesson from this? Don't be the fat guy on SNL & mix blow & smack. — Ed.]
In 2003, Michael Jackson was formally charged with seven counts of lewd or lascivious acts up on a child and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent. He was acquitted of the charges.
In 2006, animator Joe Barbera died in Los Angeles at age 95.
Monday, December 17, 2007
In case any one was wondering why all this NSA/Homeland Security/CIA/FBI/You Fuckin' Name It fuss about immunity for telecommunications cos. that help the gov't. insure "our" Nazional Security: The Intelligence Establishment is no longer able to send someone up the 'phone pole down the street from you & clamp a couple of alligator clips on your 'phone line. They need the telcos' help to get all your dirt, due to fiber-optics. Thus the assistance/complicity of the telcos is required. As in Room 641A. As hinted at in the AP story linked above:
The White House wants a permanent rewrite of FISA, contending that changes in telecommunications technology have made the law an obstacle to intelligence gathering. FISA requires the government to obtain court approval before conducting electronic surveillance on U.S. soil, even if the target is a foreign citizen in a foreign country.
However, many purely international communications are now routed through fiber-optic cables and computers in the United States.
© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Christopher (Do you think he hates his "Christian" name?) Hitchens exercises his right to free speech (while, ironically, being paid for it) in today's Slate. And we couldn't have typed it better ourselves. Really.
Discussing Article VI of our glorious Constitution:
Along with the establishment clause of the First Amendment, and the predecessor-language of the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom, it forms part of the chief glory of the first-ever constitution that guaranteed religious liberty, religious pluralism, and the freedom to be left alone by priests and rabbis and mullahs and other characters.Be sure to check the bullet list of wacky candidate statements & memberships. Wish he'd identified which candidate said or identified w/ what. Hey, maybe we could have typed it better!
However, what Article VI does not do, and was never intended to do, is deny me the right to say, as loudly as I may choose, that I will on no account vote for a smirking hick like Mike Huckabee, who is an unusually stupid primate but who does not have the elementary intelligence to recognize the fact that this is what he is. [...] And the right of Huckabee to win the election and fill the White House with morons like himself is unaffected by my expression of an opinion.
Every one who gives a good goshdarn (all several thousand of them) is aware that Willard Mitt Romney's campaign theme is something about a "stronger America." "Double Gitmo," etc.We're not sure how the World's Only Superpower™ is going to get much stronger, although steroids might be one approach. On the other hand, one way America won't get much stronger is tax avoidance by the already wealthy.
While in private business, Mitt Romney utilized shell companies in two offshore tax havens to help eligible investors avoid paying U.S. taxes, federal and state records show.Gee whillikers, seems awfully strange to us that Mittens wants a stronger America, but not if it's going to take anything out of his wallet.
Romney gained no personal tax benefit from the legal operations in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. But aides to the Republican presidential hopeful and former colleagues acknowledged that the tax-friendly jurisdictions helped attract billions of additional investment dollars to Romney's former company, Bain Capital, and thus boosted profits for Romney and his partners.
Romney has based his White House bid, in part, on the skills he learned as co-founder and chief of Bain Capital, one of the nation's most successful private equity groups. His campaign cites his record while governor of Massachusetts of closing state tax loopholes; his involvement with foreign tax havens had not previously come to light.
Brad Malt, who controls Romney's financial trust, said Bain Capital organized the Cayman fund to attract money from foreign institutional investors.
"This is not Mitt trying to do something strange," he said. "This is Bain trying to raise some number of billions from investors around the world."
Just one example of the incredible hypocrisy involved:
The privately held Cayman fund does not disclose its total investment pool. But Securities and Exchange Commission records show it has invested through a Delaware partnership in a California-based network of healthcare centers...And from Mittens' on-line position papers:
Bring Health Care Into The 21st Century. Improve quality and enhance transparency by introducing the same competitive forces that drive innovation in other sectors of the economy.So the answer to the health care crisis (we'll assume that a "stronger America" is not a diabetic, dying of heart disease collection of morbidly obese couch potatoes who'd kill themselves merely by trying to run from terrorists) is more profit-driven insurance companies (insulated from accountability by more gov't. regulation, but freed to profit as much as possible by less gov't. regulation) whose mission statements will involve as much money coming in as they can get & as few "expenses" (health care for the insured) as possible. Sounds like a winner to us! Go Mittens!!
Deregulate State Markets. Encourage states to eliminate the cumbersome insurance regulations that drive costs up and providers out of the market.
Stop The Free-Riders. Use some of the money currently spent on providing expensive "free care" for the uninsured at emergency rooms to instead help the truly needy buy private insurance.
Reform The Medical Liability System. Institute federal caps on non-economic and punitive damage awards to eliminate frivolous lawsuits and bring an end to the practice of defensive medicine.
Today's Highlight in Personal History: The parents of Malignant Bouffant, the editor & most prolific writer at Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ were married on this date in 1947 (they divorced in 1968, the male parent died in 1969, the female one holding on to make our life miserable until 2007) setting forth a rather unfortunate chain of events that led directly to the nihilism that is this web log. Don't blame us, blame our parents: Not only did we not ask to be born, we certainly would have chosen better & wealthier parents, even though the two often seem mutually exclusive.
Today's Highlight in [Impersonal] History:
On December 17th, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright of Dayton, Ohio, conducted the first successful manned powered-airplane flights, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, using their experimental craft, the Wright Flyer:Also on this date:
In 1777, France recognized American independence.
In 1807, American Quaker poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts.
In 1830, South American revolutionary Simon Bolivar died in Colombia. [The North Carolina tee vee station web site whence we steal this used the word "patriot" instead of "revolutionary." As a commie, & as it's hard to be a "patriot" to all of South America, we changed it even before seeing that the AP site also uses "revolutionary." More damn media bias. — Ed.]
In 1925, Colonel William "Billy" Mitchell was convicted at his court-martial of insubordination for accusing senior military officials of incompetence and criminal negligence; he was suspended from active duty.
In 1939, the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled by its crew, ending the World War II Battle of the River Plate off Uruguay.
In 1944, the US Army announced it was ending its policy of excluding Japanese-Americans from the West Coast.
In 1957, the United States successfully test-fired the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time.
In 1969, the U. S. Air Force ended its "Project Blue Book" and concluded that there was no evidence of extraterrestrial activity behind UFO sightings.
In 1975, Lynette Fromme was sentenced in Sacramento, California, to life in prison for her attempt on the life of President Ford. ["Squeaky" omitted by telebision station website. — Ed.]
In 1981, members of the Red Brigades kidnapped Brigadier General James L. Dozier, the highest-ranking US Army official in southern Europe, from his home in Verona, Italy. (Dozier was rescued 42 days later.)
In 1986, Eugene Hasenfus, the American convicted by Nicaragua for his part in running guns to the Contras, was pardoned, then released.
In 1996, Peruvian guerrillas took hundreds of people hostage at the Japanese embassy in Lima. Kofi Annan of Ghana became United Nations secretary-general.
Ten years ago: The United States and 33 other countries signed a convention in Paris aimed at eradicating bribery in international business. President Clinton's panel on race relations met at Annandale High School in Virginia.
Five years ago: Insurance and finance company Conseco Incorporated filed for Chapter 11 protection. Congo's government, rebels and opposition parties signed a peace agreement to end four years of civil war. In 2004, President George W. Bush signed into law the largest overhaul of U.S. intelligence-gathering in 50 years.
In 2005, President George W. Bush acknowledged he'd personally authorized a secret eavesdropping program in the U.S. following Sept. 11, calling it "crucial to our national security."
One year ago: Gunmen in Iraqi army uniforms kidnapped two dozen employees at the Red Crescent offices in downtown Baghdad. Searchers on Mount Hood in Oregon found the body of missing climber Kelly James; two other climbers remain missing. Dodgers reliever Larry Sherry, the most valuable player of the 1959 World Series, died in Mission Viejo, California, at age 71.
Newspaper columnist William Safire is 78. Magazine publisher Robert Guccione is 77. Actor George Lindsey is 72. Singer-actor Tommy Steele is 71. Rock singer-musician Art Neville is 70. Comedian-actor Eugene Levy is 61. Actor Wes Studi is 60. Pop musician Jim Bonfanti (The Raspberries) is 59. Rock singer Paul Rodgers is 58. Rhythm-and-blues singer Wanda Hutchinson (The Emotions) is 56. Actor Bill Pullman is 54. Actor Barry Livingston is 54. Country singer Sharon White is 54. Producer-director-writer Peter Farrelly is 51. Rock musician Mike Mills (R.E.M.) is 49. Pop singer Sarah Dallin (Bananarama) is 46.
People Born on This Date Who Have Since Died: Sir Humphry Davy, chemist, physicist (1778) "He investigated the properties of nitrous oxide (laughing gas)." [Does that mean he was the first person to discover that it gives one a buzz, or that he kept messing w/ it? — Ed.]; W.L. Mackenzie King, political leader (1874) [Canadian P. M. during WWII, later sold the Canucks out to the U. S. — Ed.]; Arthur Fiedler, conductor (1894); Sylvia Ashton-Warner, novelist and educator (1905).
Dep't. of Distraction & Trivia:
On 1969, an estimated 50 million TV viewers watched as singer Tiny Tim married Miss Vicki on NBC's "Tonight Show." The event earned the show its highest ratings to that date. [Another famous wedding on 17 December! — Ed.]
Also in 1969, Chicago's first album, "Chicago Transit Authority," was certified gold.
In 1970, the Beach Boys played a command performance for Princess Margaret in London.
In 1977, Elvis Costello and the Attractions performed on "Saturday Night Live" as a last-minute replacement for the Sex Pistols, who were denied US visas. Costello was told not to play his song "Radio, Radio" because of its criticisms of the broadcasting industry, but he interrupted another song to play it.
In 1982, The Who played the last show of its farewell tour at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens. By the end of the decade, they had reunited for another tour.
Also in 1982, bluesman Big Joe Williams died of natural causes in Macon, Mississippi, at the age of 79. His best know songs include "Baby Please Don't Go" and "Big Fat Mama."
In 1986, a jury in Las Vegas found NBC guilty of defaming singer Wayne Newton by linking him to organized crime.
In 1989, "The Simpsons" made its debut on Fox.
In 1992, Barbra Streisand signed a movie and music deal with Sony. Terms weren't revealed, but sources estimated the deal was worth $60million.
In 1997, The Presidents of the United States of America announced their breakup. They have since gotten back together.
In 2001, comedian Tom Green filed for divorce from actress Drew Barrymore after less than six months of marriage.
In 2002, playwright Frederick Knott, who wrote "Dial M For Murder" and "Wait Until Dark," died in New York City at age 86.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
How did the Mormon Church get started?Remember, just because your system of book-inspired delusion dates back 1400, 2000, or almost 5800 yrs., it is still cut from the same cloth of lies as Joseph Smith's upstate New York fantasy. But w/ Mormon moronicity we have the entire delusion laid out before us in the historical record. For example, those "golden plates" have never been seen by anyone not directly involved in the scam. They were lost, or taken back by the "angel" Moroni, or something. Do your own searching; it's easy to find what the "story" is.
In 1820, a 14-year-old boy named Joseph Smith Jr. knelt in the woods near Palmyra, N.Y., to ask God which church he should join. He later reported that he saw two glowing figures who told him that all the churches of the day had fallen into apostasy, believing false doctrines. It would be up to him to restore the truth. Over the next several years, Smith said he was visited by an angel named Moroni, son of Mormon, who directed him to golden plates buried in upstate New York and helped him translate them from a language Smith called "reformed Egyptian." The Book of Mormon was published in 1830; the church was founded that year with a handful of believers. Since then, it's grown to 13 million members worldwide, including nearly 5.8 million in the U. S.
What do Mormons believe about God?
Mormons believe the Heavenly Father is the same species as man; he has a body of flesh and bone -- only more perfect than we could imagine. He's married to a Heavenly Mother. Mormons do not accept the traditional Christian doctrine of the Trinity; they view God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as three separate beings.
Talk about "man" created in the "image of god." Or vice versa, as it truly is.
Why can't non-Mormons go into a Mormon temple?
Everyone is welcome to attend regular Sunday services in Mormon meeting rooms, known as wards. But Mormon authorities aim to keep their temples sacred by excluding nonbelievers. (They won't allow outsiders even to attend a son's or daughter's temple wedding.)
Practicing Mormons must be screened every two years by their bishops, who will ask questions such as: Do you believe in God and Christ? Are you giving 10% of your income to the church? Are you chaste? Are you honest? Do you smoke or drink? Those who pass get a "temple recommend" that allows them to participate in sacred rituals.
What are those sacred rituals?Most important question for the "temple recommend:" "Are we getting 10% of your income?" Especially funny since the Mormon "bishop" (equivalent to a parish priest) is a "ward" member who isn't compensated for his (never her) services. Where does all that moolah go, if the "bishops" are unpaid? The "sacred rituals" are a variation of Masonic "temple" rituals. Again, search for yourself. And the holy underwear, of course, remind the faithful of what saps they are, & how they've sacrificed what little was left of their dignity (not to mention that tithe). Below, we see that the "garmies" have changed as much as Mormon theology over the yrs.:Note the drawstrings on the first model. Imagine wearing a set of long johns under all the clothes a typical 19th century American was already bundled up in, especially in a Utah summer.
Men and women of good standing undergo a ritual cleansing ceremony when they reach maturity, usually about age 20. They also go through an "endowment session" when they are instructed in rules for faithful living. The temples are also used for weddings and for baptism, marriage and endowment ceremonies for the dead.
Don't Mormons have to wear special underwear?
At the time of their ritual cleansing (known as "washing and anointing"), both men and women are given temple garments, which look like a boxers-and-T-shirt set embroidered with sacred symbols. Mormons are expected to wear their garments daily, though not every minute. The garments are supposed to remind them of their promises to God and thus provide spiritual protection.
A last bit from the LAT:
And you thought the Pope was an authoritarian patriarch?
The church is led by a president who is considered a living prophet, a member of an unbroken chain of prophets including Joseph Smith and stretching back to Jesus Christ. The president governs the church with two counselors and 12 apostles, all males. All can receive divine revelation. In 1978, for instance, the church president said God revealed a need to end the practice of excluding blacks from the priesthood, even though the Book of Mormon describes dark skin as a divine mark of disfavor.
Today's Highlight in History:
One hundred years ago, on December 16th, 1907, 16 US Navy battleships, which came to be known collectively as the "Great White Fleet," set sail from Hampton Roads, Virginia, on a 14-month round-the-world voyage at the order of President Theodore Roosevelt, who wanted to demonstrate American sea power.[Speak softly & wave a big fleet. — Ed.]
On this date:
In 1653, Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.
In 1773, the Boston Tea Party took place as American colonists boarded a British ship and dumped more than 300 chests of tea overboard to protest tea taxes.
In 1809, Napoleon Bonaparte was divorced from the Empress Josephine by an act of the French Senate.
In 1916, Grigori Rasputin was assassinated by a group of Russian nobles. [Note from infoplease.com: Extra credit: Rasputin died on 30 December under the modern (Gregorian) calendar, on 17 December under the old (Julian) calendar; Russia didn't adopt the modern calendar until after the Revolution of 1917. Some sources list the death date as the 29th (or 16th) of December, on the theory that Rasputin died before midnight on the night of his murder.]
In 1920, one of the deadliest earthquakes in history hit the Gansu province in China. The 8.6 quake killed 200,000 people.
In 1944, the World War II Battle of the Bulge began as German forces launched a surprise attack against Allied forces in Belgium (the Allies were eventually able to beat the Germans back). [Really. Did we win that war, too? — Ed.]
In 1950, President Truman proclaimed a national state of emergency in order to fight "world conquest by Communist imperialism." [What a fucking tool. — Ed.]
In 1960, 134 people were killed when a United Air Lines DC-8 and a TWA Super Constellation collided over New York City.
In 1985, Reputed organized-crime chief Paul Castellano was shot to death outside a New York City restaurant.
In 1990, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected president of Haiti in the country's first democratic elections.
In 1991, the U.N. General Assembly rescinded its 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism by a vote of 111-25.
In 2000, President-elect Bush selected Colin Powell to become the first African-American secretary of state.
Ten years ago: U.N. weapons monitor Richard Butler left Iraq after failing to persuade President Saddam Hussein to open his palaces to inspections. A Pentagon-appointed panel concluded that the Army, Navy and Air Force should segregate male and female recruits in their earliest phases of basic training. In Japan, at least 700 mostly young TV viewers reportedly suffered nausea and other symptoms after watching an animated "Pokemon" cartoon featuring bright, flashing colors.
In 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered a sustained series of airstrikes against Iraq by American and British forces in response to Saddam Hussein's continued defiance of UN weapons inspectors.
Five years ago: President Bush named former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean to replace Henry Kissinger as head of the panel investigating the September 11th terror attacks. [Because Kissinger was unwilling to reveal for whom he "consults." — Ed.] Senate Republican leader Trent Lott, in an interview on Black Entertainment Television, asked black Americans to forgive his seeming [Seeming? Seeming? — Ed.] nostalgia for segregation. Canada ratified the Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A jury in Baltimore acquitted former altar boy Dontee Stokes of attempted murder in the shooting of a Roman Catholic priest he'd claimed molested him a decade earlier.
In 2004, Britain's highest court dealt a huge blow to the Bush administration's anti-terrorism policy by ruling that it could not detain foreign suspects indefinitely without trial.
One year ago: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for elections to end his violent standoff with Hamas. Ten players, including NBA scoring leader Carmelo Anthony, were ejected for fighting during a wild brawl near the end of a game between Denver and New York. Terrell Owens spat in the face of Atlanta cornerback DeAngelo Hall during a Cowboys-Falcons game. (Owens was fined $35,000 by the NFL.)
Today's Birthdays: Author Sir Arthur C. Clarke is 90. Civil rights attorney Morris Dees is 71. Actress Joyce Bulifant is 70. Actress Liv Ullmann is 69. CBS news correspondent Lesley Stahl is 66. TV producer Steven Bochco is 64. Pop singer Benny Andersson (ABBA) is 61. Actor Ben Cross is 60. Rock singer-musician Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) is 58. Rock musician Bill Bateman (The Blasters) is 56. Actress Alison LaPlaca is 48. Actor Jon Tenney is 46. Actor Benjamin Bratt is 44.
Really Historical Birthdays:
Ludwig van Beethoven, composer (1770)
Jane Austen, novelist (1775)
George Santayana, philosopher and poet (1863)
Zoltán Kodály, composer (1882)
Noel Coward, playwright, composer (1899)
Margaret Mead, anthropologist (1901)
Philip K. Dick, writer (1928)
This Date's Show Biz Shite:
In 1905, the entertainment trade publication Variety came out with its first weekly issue.
In 1966, "Hey Joe," the first single by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was released in Britain. The song was not released as a single in the US.In 1970, five singles and five albums by Creedence Clearwater Revival were certified gold. The songs were "Travelin' Band," "Up Around the Bend," "Lookin' Out My Back Door," "Down on the Corner" and "Bad Moon Rising."
In 1973, singer Jermaine Jackson married Hazel Gordy, the daughter of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy.
In 1974, Mott the Hoople split up.
In 1975, the Bay City Rollers got their first US gold record for the song "Saturday Night." [Doubtless the last one for the one-hit wonders, as well. — Ed.]
In 1977, the Bee Gees were awarded a gold record for "How Deep is Your Love;" the movie "Saturday Night Fever," starring John Travolta as a Brooklyn disco dancer, opened in wide release.
In 1997, singer Nicolette Larson died in Los Angeles of complications from cerebral edema. She was 45.
In 2005, actress Teri Hatcher won her libel suit against a British tabloid that printed a fake story claiming she neglected her daughter while having sex with men in a van outside her home; actor John Spencer died of a heart attack in a Los Angeles hospital, a day after checking in with a bad cold. He was 58. [Hospitals can kill you. — Ed.]