Saturday, April 25, 2009

Birth, Life, Death, Infinity on 25 April

By The Associated Press Sat Apr 25, 12:01 am ET Today is Saturday, April 25, the 115th day of 2009. There are 250 days left in the year. [Nice even number. — Ed.] Also see: AP. AP A/V. The UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: In 1945, during World War II, U.S. and Soviet forces linked up on the Elbe River, a meeting that dramatized the collapse of Nazi Germany's defenses.On this date: In 1507, German cartographer Martin Waldseemueller named a huge land mass in the Western Hemisphere "America," in honor of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci.In 1792, highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier became the first person under French law to be executed by the guillotine. One hundred and fifty years ago, in 1859, ground was broken for the Suez Canal. In 1898, the United States formally declared war on Spain. In 1901, New York Gov. Benjamin Barker Odell Junior signed an automobile registration bill making New York the first state to require license plates on automobiles. The bill also imposed a 15 mph speed limit on highways. [Little did we know this would become the de facto limit on L. A.'s freeways. — Ed.] In 1915, during World War I, Allied soldiers invaded the Gallipoli Peninsula in an unsuccessful attempt to take the Ottoman Empire out of the war. In 1945, delegates from some 50 countries met in San Francisco to organize the United Nations. Fifty years ago, in 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway opened to shipping. In 1983, Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov invited Samantha Smith to visit his country after receiving a letter in which the Manchester, Maine, schoolgirl expressed fears about nuclear war. In 1990, Violeta Barrios de Chamorro was inaugurated as president of Nicaragua, ending 11 years of leftist Sandinista rule. Ten years ago: On the third and final day of their Washington summit, NATO leaders promised military protection and economic aid to Yugoslavia's neighbors for standing with the West against Slobodan Milosevic. More than 70,000 mourners gathered in Littleton, Colo., to remember the victims of the Columbine High School massacre. Lord Killanin, former president of the International Olympic Committee, died in Dublin at age 84. In 2003, Georgia lawmakers voted to scrap the Dixie cross from the state's flag. [Dixie Cross? WTF is that? The Stars & Bars have a new name? — Ed.] Five years ago: Hundreds of thousands of abortion-rights supporters marched in Washington, D.C. to protest Bush administration policies. One year ago: Three New York police detectives were acquitted in the 50-shot killing of Sean Bell, an unarmed groom-to-be, on his wedding day. Triathlete David Martin, 66, was killed by a great white shark in the waters off San Diego County. Today's Birthdays: Movie director-writer Paul Mazursky is 79. Songwriter Jerry Leiber is 76. Actor Al Pacino is 69. Rock musician Stu Cook (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 64. Singer Bjorn Ulvaeus (ABBA) is 64. Actress Talia Shire is 63. Actor Jeffrey DeMunn is 62. Rock musician Michael Brown (The Left Banke) is 60. Rock musician Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 59. Country singer-songwriter Rob Crosby is 55. Actor Hank Azaria is 45. Rock singer Andy Bell (Erasure) is 45. Rock musician Eric Avery (Jane's Addiction) is 44. TV personality Jane Clayson is 42. Actress Renee Zellweger is 40. Actress Gina Torres is 40. Actor Jason Lee is 39. Actress Marguerite Moreau is 32. Today In Entertainment History -- In 1968, The Beatles refused to perform for the Queen of England, saying regardless of the cause, they don't do benefits. [Ringo didn't like the menu. — Ed.] In 1977, Elvis Presley made what would be the last recordings of his life, at a concert in Saginaw, Michigan. Three songs appeared in the posthumously released album "Moody Blue." Thirty years ago, in 1979, the film "Rock and Roll High School" featuring The Ramones premiered. [We'll repeat that: Thirty years ago! Now two Ramones are dead. — Ed.] In 1981, the band Wings broke up after guitarist Denny Laine quit the group. In 1990, tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon died in Philadelphia of kidney failure at the age of 67. He helped define the be-bop movement, performing with such artists as Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.
In 1995, actress-dancer Ginger Rogers died in Rancho Mirage, California. She was 83.In 2002, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of TLC was killed in a car crash in Honduras. She was 30. 
Thought for Today: "There are two great rules of life, the one general and the other particular. The first is that everyone can, in the end, get what he wants if he only tries. This is the general rule. The particular rule is that every individual is more or less an exception to the general rule." — Samuel Butler, English author (1835-1902). Copyright ©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. The information contained in the AP News report may well be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. So there.
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Friday, April 24, 2009

Is This Sort Of Thing For Which The AP Wants To Imprison The Blog-O-Sphere?

By The Associated Press 39 mins ago Today is Friday, April 24, the 114th day of 2009. There are 251 days left in the year. The other AP. Their A/V. And the UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: On April 24, 1898, Spain declared war on the United States after rejecting America's ultimatum to withdraw from Cuba. (The United States responded in kind the next day.) On this date: In 1792, the national anthem of France, "La Marseillaise," was composed by Capt. Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle. In 1800, Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress. In 1877, federal troops were ordered out of New Orleans, ending the North's post-Civil War rule in the South. [At that rate AmeriKKKan baby-killers should be out of Iraq by 2020. — Ed.] In 1915, the Ottoman Empire rounded up Armenian political and cultural leaders in Constantinople at the start of what many scholars regard as the first genocide of the 20th century in which an estimated 1.5 million Armenians died. In 1916, some 1,600 Irish nationalists launched the Easter Rising by seizing several key sites in Dublin. (The rising was put down by British forces almost a week later.) In 1953, British statesman Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1962, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved the first satellite relay of a television signal, between Camp Parks, Calif., and Westford, Mass. In 1968, leftist students at Columbia University in New York City began a weeklong occupation of several campus buildings.In 1970, the People's Republic of China launched its first satellite, which kept transmitting "The East is Red." [And don't forget it, round-eyes!! — Ed.] In 1980, the United States launched an unsuccessful attempt to free the American hostages in Iran, a mission that resulted in the deaths of eight U.S. servicemen. President Carter announces the failed mission.In 1990, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., carrying the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope.Ten years ago: On the second day of a NATO summit, the alliance ran into objections from Russia and questions among its own members about enforcing an oil embargo against Yugoslavia by searching ships at sea. President Bill Clinton urged Americans to be patient with the bombing strategy in the meantime. Five years ago: Suicide boat bombers attacked Iraqi oil facilities in the Persian Gulf, killing three Americans and disabling Iraq's biggest terminal for more than 24 hours. A U.N. plan to reunify the war-divided island of Cyprus collapsed when Greek Cypriots rejected the proposal in one referendum and Turkish Cypriots endorsed it in another. In Los Angeles, Vitali Klitschko stopped Corrie Sanders late in the eighth round to win the WBC heavyweight title vacated by the retirement of Lennox Lewis. Cosmetics queen Estee Lauder died in New York at 97. One year ago: The White House accused North Korea of assisting Syria's secret nuclear program, saying a Syrian nuclear reactor destroyed by Israel in 2007 was not intended for "peaceful purposes." The U.S. government reported new home sales fell 8.5 percent in March to their lowest level since the 1990s. The housing backlog was reported to be the largest since 1981. Today's Birthdays: Film and drama critic Stanley Kauffmann is 93. Movie director-producer Richard Donner is 79. Actress Shirley MacLaine is 75. Author Sue Grafton is 69. Actor-singer Michael Parks is 69. Actress-singer-director Barbra Streisand is 67. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is 67. Country singer Richard Sterban (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 66. Rock musician Doug Clifford (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 64. Rock singer-musician Rob Hyman is 59. Actor-playwright Eric Bogosian is 56. Actor Michael O'Keefe is 54. Rock musician David J (Bauhaus) is 52. Actor-comedian Cedric the Entertainer is 45. Actor Djimon Hounsou is 45. Rock musician Patty Schemel is 42.  Today in Entertainment History: In 1957, Ricky Nelson released his first record, "Teenager's Romance" backed with a cover of Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin'." In 1958, Dion and the Belmonts' first single, "I Wonder Why" backed with "Teen Angel," was released. In 1961, Bob Dylan made his recording debut, playing harmonica on Harry Belafonte's "Midnight Special" album. He was paid $50. In 1969, Muddy Waters recorded the live album "Fathers and Sons," with a host of special guests, including Paul Butterfield and Mike Bloomfield. In 1972, several people were injured and at least six teenage girls fainted in a stampede prior to a Jethro Tull concert in New York. About 2,500 people rushed the lobby of the concert hall trying to get tickets. In 1974, comedian Bud Abbott of Abbott and Costello died in Woodland Hills, Calif. He was 78. In 1990, the road crew for Roger Waters of Pink Floyd discovered an unexploded World War Two-era bomb while constructing the set for "The Wall" in Potsdamer Platz, Germany. In 1992, singer David Bowie and fashion model Iman (EE'-mahn) got married in a secret ceremony in Switzerland. News of the wedding was not announced until more than a week later. [Probably because no one cared then or the next wk. — Ed.] In 1993, about 40,000 people turned out for Willie Nelson's Farm Aid Six concert in Ames, Iowa. Nelson was joined by Neil Young, John Mellencamp and more than 40 other top artists. In 2002, Jewel broke her collarbone and a rib when she was thrown from a horse at her boyfriend's ranch.
Thought for Today: "To change and to improve are two different things." — German proverb. Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

23 April: Dropping Like Flies Throughout History

By The Associated Press 2 hrs 47 mins ago Today is Thursday, April 23, the 113th day of 2009. There are 252 days left in the year. Ass. Press. Ass. Press A/V. UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: April 23, 1564, is believed to be the birthday of English poet and dramatist William Shakespeare; he died 52 years later, also on April 23. [Rather convenient & coincidental, innit? — Ed.] On this date: In 1616, the Spanish poet Cervantes died in Madrid. In 1789, President-elect George Washington moved into the first executive mansion, the Franklin House, in New York. In 1791, the 15th president of the United States, James Buchanan, was born in Franklin County, Pa. [Some say he was almost as bad a president as Bush 43. — Ed.] In 1896, the Vitascope system for projecting movies onto a screen was publicly demonstrated in New York City. In 1940, about 200 people died in the Rhythm Night Club Fire in Natchez, Miss. In 1954, Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit the first of his eventual 755 home runs, in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. (The Braves won, 7-5.) Aaron's career total is second only to Barry Bonds.In 1968, student protesters began occupying buildings on the campus of Columbia University in New York; police put down the protests a week later. In 1969, Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death for assassinating New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy. (The sentence was later reduced to life in prison.) In 1985, the Coca-Cola Co. announced it was changing the secret flavor formula for Coke. (Negative public reaction forced the company to resume selling the original version). Former U.S. Sen. Sam Ervin died at age 88. The North Carolina Democrat directed the Senate Watergate investigation that led to U.S. President Richard Nixon's resignation. In 1988, a federal ban on smoking during domestic airline flights of two hours or less went into effect. In 1993, labor leader Cesar Chavez died at age 66. In 1995, sportscaster Howard Cosell died at age 77. In 1998, James Earl Ray, who'd confessed to assassinating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and then insisted he'd been framed, died at a Nashville, Tenn., hospital at age 70. Ten years ago: On the first day of a 50th anniversary NATO summit in Washington, Western leaders pledged to intensify military strikes against Yugoslavia and vowed "no compromise" on demands that Slobodan Milosevic withdraw his troops from Kosovo. Five years ago: President George W. Bush eased Reagan-era sanctions against Libya in return for Moammar Gadhafi's giving up weapons of mass destruction. South African President Thabo Mbeki was elected unopposed for a second term.
In 2007, Boris Yeltsin, the first freely elected Russian president, died at age 76. Journalist and author David Halberstam died in a car crash at age 73.
One year ago: President Bush, pushing for a Mideast peace agreement, met at the White House with Jordan's King Abdullah II. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that Army Gen. David Petraeus would be nominated by Bush to be the next commander of U.S. Central Command. The Supreme Court unanimously affirmed that police have the power to conduct searches and seize evidence, even when done during an arrest that turns out to have violated state law. The Chicago Cubs won their 10,000th game, joining only the Giants franchise in reaching that mark with a 7-6 victory in 10 innings at Colorado. Today's Birthdays: Actress-turned-diplomat Shirley Temple Black is 81. Actor Alan Oppenheimer is 79. Actor David Birney is 70. Actor Lee Majors is 70. Irish nationalist Bernadette Devlin McAliskey is 62. Actress Blair Brown is 61. Writer-director Paul Brickman is 60. Actress Joyce DeWitt is 60. Actor James Russo is 56. Filmmaker-author Michael Moore is 55. Actress Judy Davis is 54. Actress Jan Hooks is 52. Actress Valerie Bertinelli is 49. Actor Craig Sheffer is 49. Actor George Lopez is 48. Rock musician Gen is 45. U.S. Olympic gold medal skier Donna Weinbrecht is 44. Actress Melina Kanakaredes is 42. Rock musician Stan Frazier (Sugar Ray) is 41. Actor Scott Bairstow is 39. Actor Barry Watson is 35. Actor Kal Penn is 32.   Today In Entertainment History -- On April 23rd, 1956, Elvis Presley made his Las Vegas debut, opening for comedian Shecky Greene. Presley's engagement was canceled after a week because of poor ticket sales, and he didn't return to Vegas for 13 years. Forty years ago, in 1969, the Los Angeles club the Ash Grove was destroyed by fire. Many artists, like Canned Heat and the Chambers Brothers, got their starts there. [That address on Melrose is now The Improv. Show biz never dies, it just smells worse. — Ed.] In 1971, the Rolling Stones album "Sticky Fingers" was released. In 1975, Peter Ham of Badfinger hanged himself. He was reported to be depressed about the band's financial problems. He was 27. In 1987, singer Carole King sued record company owner Lou Adler for breach of contract. She claimed she was owed more than $400,000 in royalties and demanded the rights to her old recordings. [But did she kill herself? No. — Ed.] In 1991, guitarist Johnny Thunders of The New York Dolls died of a drug overdose in New Orleans. He was 40.In 1996, actress Margot Kidder was found dazed and disheveled, hiding in bushes in a stranger's yard in Los Angeles after disappearing for three days.In 2002, Jerry Lee Lewis announced he and his sixth wife, Kerrie, were divorcing after 17 years of marriage. Thought for Today: "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." — From "Twelfth Night," by William Shakespeare (1564-1616). Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just Another Blog™ Military Focus Shifts From East Asia To South Asia. Just Like That.

More from Asia (w/ whom we have always been at war) from sell-out-to-the-Mohammedans- because-we-hate-AmeriKKKa-&-all-of-Western-Kultur exemplar The Nation.
In classic Just Another Blog™-stylee, it's mostly quotes from respectablecorporate media on the rapidly deteriorating (if you're not an America-hating lib or Talibanian) situation in the atomic nation. (Author Dreyfuss, naturally, picks the "terrrifying, frightening & graphic" good parts about the "spreading cancer" of the Taliban in Pakistan.) An actual conclusion is drawn (unlike how we like to do it here) & gibes are taken at B. O.'s policy in South Asia. Biggest surprise? If Bush's policies are continued, the results are the same. Again, we can type nothing more profound than "Who'da thunk it?" 
And wait six months or so.

Phrase Of The Wk., "The East Is Red" Division

As quoted by The NYT:
... China would unveil its nuclear submarines to the public on Thursday as part of an international review of the country’s naval fleet “aimed at promoting understanding about China’s military development”
Have we sufficiently promoted your understanding yet? Or do we have to march 100 million soldiers through here too?

22 April: Find Your Own Celebrity Pix

Today is Wednesday, April 22, the 112th day of 2009. There are 253 days left in the year. AP. A/V. UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: On April 22, 1898, with the United States and Spain on the verge of formally declaring war, the U.S. Navy began blockading Cuban ports. The USS Nashville captured a Spanish merchant ship, the Buena Ventura, off Key West, Fla. Congress authorized creation of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, also known as the "Rough Riders." On this date: In 1864, Congress authorized the use of the phrase "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins. [All others pay cash. — Ed.] In 1889, the Oklahoma Land Rush began at noon as thousands of homesteaders staked claims.In 1938, 45 workers were killed in a coal mine explosion at Keen Mountain in Buchanan County, Va. In 1944, during World War II, U.S. forces began invading Japanese-held New Guinea with amphibious landings at Hollandia and Aitape. In 1954, the publicly televised sessions of the Senate Army-McCarthy hearings began. In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson opened the New York World's Fair. In 1970, millions of Americans concerned about the environment observed the first "Earth Day." In 1983, the West German news magazine Stern announced the discovery of 60 volumes of personal diaries purportedly written by Adolf Hitler. However, the diaries turned out to be a hoax. In 1994, Richard M. Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, died at a New York hospital four days after suffering a stroke; he was 81. In 2000, in dramatic pre-dawn raid, armed immigration agents seized Elian Gonzalez from his relatives' home in Miami; Elian was reunited with his father at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington. Ten years ago: At Columbine High School in Colorado, investigators found a powerful bomb made from a propane tank, heightening suspicions that gunmen Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who killed 13 people before killing themselves, intended to destroy the school. NATO struck directly against Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, destroying his luxurious mansion. Five years ago: NFL player Pat Tillman, who'd traded in a multimillion-dollar contract to serve as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan, was killed by friendly fire; he was 27. Sex abuse victims were awarded nearly $70 million dollars after suing part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. An explosion at a railway station in Ryongchon, North Korea, killed a reported 160 people. One year ago: Hillary Rodham Clinton won the Pennsylvania Democratic primary, defeating Barack Obama and keeping her presidential hopes alive. At the close of a two-day North American summit in New Orleans, President George W. Bush chastised lawmakers for letting international trade deals falter and criticized Democratic presidential contenders for wanting to scrap or amend the vast North American free-trade zone. Singer-songwriter Paul Davis died in Meridian, Miss., a day after turning 60. Today's Birthdays: Actor George Cole is 84. Actress Charlotte Rae is 83. Actress Estelle Harris is 77. Singer Glen Campbell is 73. Actor Jack Nicholson is 72. Singer Mel Carter is 66. Author Janet Evanovich is 66. Country singer Cleve Francis is 64. Movie director John Waters is 63. Singer Peter Frampton is 59. Rock singer-musician Paul Carrack (Mike and the Mechanics; Squeeze) is 58. Actor Joseph Bottoms is 55. Actor Ryan Stiles is 50. Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona is 50. Comedian Byron Allen is 48. Actor Chris Makepeace is 45. Rock musician Fletcher Dragge is 43. Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan is 43. Actress Sheryl Lee is 42. Actress-talk show host Sherri Shepherd is 42. Country singer-musician Heath Wright (Ricochet) is 42. Country singer Kellie Coffey is 38. Actor Eric Mabius is 38. Actor Ingo Rademacher is 38. Rock musician Shavo Odadjian (System of a Down) is 35. Rock singer-musician Daniel Johns (Silverchair) is 30. Today In Entertainment History April 22 -- In 1961, the first annual Country Music Festival was held in Jacksonville, Florida. Performers included Webb Pierce, Porter Wagoner, Patsy Cline and Earl Scruggs. In 1966, "Wild Thing" by The Troggs was released in the US. In 1969, John Lennon changed his middle name from Winston to Ono. The Who performed the rock opera "Tommy" in its entirety for the first time in Dolton, England. That show was unannounced. They premiered it officially in London a few weeks later. In 1974, Tina Turner began filming her role as the Acid Queen in the film version of "Tommy." In 1978, Bob Marley and The Wailers performed at the One Love Peace concert in Jamaica. It was his first public appearance in his homeland since being wounded in an assassination attempt about a year-and-a-half earlier. The Blues Brothers -- John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd -- made their network debut on "Saturday Night Live." On the same show, Steve Martin performed his novelty hit "King Tut." In 1979, Keith Richards performed a benefit concert in Ottawa, Canada, with his band, The New Barbarians. The concert was part of his sentence for a 1977 drug arrest. In 2003, actor Alan Thicke was hit by a puck while playing hockey. He lost five front teeth and had to have 30 stitches in his face.  Thought for Today: "History is an accumulation of error." — Norman Cousins, American editor (1912-1990). Copyright ©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Good Idea From Hollywood (Well, Burbank) For A Change

The jills & jacks at the Four Warner Bros.' former studio (still bears the bros.' name) have come up w/ an idea both useful & semi-reasonably priced. Rather than buy a zillion more things of bandwidth & a pile of servers, & then making all their library available on-line, where one could stream it (always makes us think of urine, that "streaming") into one's teeny little monitor & speakers, the Warner Bros.' corporate heirs have established a deal whereby one can wander the WB archive (which will eventually include all the RKO & MGM flicks Ted Turner bought to colorize) pick a gem, a classic or crap,
and for $19.95 apiece, they'll burn a DVD-R and ship you the movie in a standard plastic case with cover art. There are no extras except the trailer, if it's available; there isn't even scene-by-scene chaptering. But you will get the film, shown in the correct aspect ratio and with a picture and soundtrack of mostly high quality. Virtually none of the movies in this collection has been available on DVD before. Many never even made it to VHS.
So you can watch a classic (or old, at least) American film on the DVD player & flat-screen telebision you bought from the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, instead of intermittent streaming on a monitor the size of the one in the back seat of the car you use to keep four-yr. olds distracted w/ Dora the Explorer® vids.  Really, you can't beat that (or the four-yr. olds) w/ a stick. 
Minions should go there & vote for what they'd like made available for the edification of the great unwashed. And suggest we'd all love to get some of those crappy WB tee vee shows from the distant past. The studio claims they'd like to make all of their shit available; the greater the demand, the sooner we'll all be able to see the rot that destroyed America's mind (Example: The Devil Is A Sissy.) in the privacy of our homes.
What we'd like most to see:
[T]he gratifyingly weird, including a large portion of the hitherto-unrecalled directorial oeuvre of William Conrad, better known as the portlier half of Jake and the Fatman.
We don't recall any of Mr. Conrad's directorial oeuvre either, but we're on the edge of our folding chair.

Let's Have A War (For Jesus This Time) So You Can Go Die

Photo added minutes after original post, if anyone cares.Jeff Sharlet, whose beat seems to be the radical right-wing Dominionists, etc., who want to impose Sharia LawXian Theocracy in these United Snakes, further documents the impending attempts at a military dictatorship. Harper's won't let non-subscribers look, but some hippies in Tacoma have duplicated what would appear to be the entire piece.
Certainly worth the reading, mini-font or no.

Annals Of Tenement Living

According to the Internet, it's 91°F outside (a pleasant, un-humid 78°F here inside the thick brick). As we took a quick hike in the solar flare to obtain sustenance earlier, we feel quite icky, & will soon be taking a shower in our newly decorated executive washroom.And then putting on a T-shirt that we haven't worn for well over a yr. It's the simple pleasures.

The King Is Dead, Long Live The Queen & The Ig!

By The Associated Press 2 hrs 38 mins ago Today is Tuesday, April 21, the 111th day of 2009. There are 254 days left in the year. AP. A/V. UPI Almanac. Today's Highlight in History: Five hundred years ago, in 1509, England's King Henry VII died; he was succeeded by his 17-year-old son, Henry VIII. On this date: In 1649, the Maryland Toleration Act, which provided for freedom of worship for all Christians, was passed by the Maryland Assembly. In 1789, John Adams was sworn in as the first vice president of the United States. In 1816, Charlotte Bronte, author of "Jane Eyre," was born in Thornton, England. In 1836, an army of Texans led by Sam Houston defeated the Mexicans at San Jacinto, assuring Texas independence. In 1910, author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, died in Redding, Conn., at age 74. In 1918, Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the German ace known as the "Red Baron," was killed in action during World War I.In 1955, the Jerome Lawrence-Robert Lee play "Inherit the Wind," inspired by the Scopes trial of 1925, opened at the National Theatre in New York. In 1960, Brazil inaugurated its new capital, Brasilia, transferring the seat of national government from Rio de Janeiro. In 1972, Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke explored the surface of the moon.In 1975, South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu resigned after 10 years in office. Ten years ago: A day after the mass killing at Columbine High School in Colorado, investigators continued their work, while memorial services were held across the city and dozens of counselors offered support to grieving students, parents, friends and family. Actor and bandleader Charles "Buddy" Rogers died in Rancho Mirage, Calif., at age 94. Five years ago: Five suicide attackers detonated car bombs against police buildings in Basra, Iraq, killing at least 74 people. Mordechai Vanunu walked out of prison, 18 years after exposing Israel's nuclear secrets. Karl Hass, a former Nazi officer convicted for the wartime massacre of 335 Italian civilians, died in a rest home near Rome, where he had been serving a life sentence under house arrest; he was 92. Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory died at age 85. One year ago: President George W. Bush opened a two-day summit in New Orleans with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Gasoline prices jumped to a record $3.50 a gallon in the U.S. Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya won the Boston Marathon in 2 hours, 7 minutes and 46 seconds to become the fourth man to win the race four times; Dire Tune won the women's race in 2:25:25. 1970s soul singer Al Wilson died in Fontana, Calif., at age 68. Today's Birthdays: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is 83. Actress-comedian-writer Elaine May is 77. Actor Charles Grodin is 74. Singer-musician Iggy Pop is 62. [And will not stop! — Ed.]Actress Patti LuPone is 60. Actor Tony Danza is 58. Actress Andie MacDowell is 51. Rock singer Robert Smith (The Cure) is 50. Rock musician Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 50. Actor John Cameron Mitchell is 46. Rapper Michael Franti (Spearhead) is 43. Rock singer-musician Glen Hansard (The Frames) is 39. Comedian Nicole Sullivan is 39. Actor James McAvoy is 30. Today In Entertainment History April 21 -- In 1960, "American Bandstand" host Dick Clark testified before a Congressional committee investigating payola. In 1963, The Beatles met The Rolling Stones at England's Crawdaddy Club. In 1965, The Beach Boys appeared on ABC's "Shindig!" program to perform "Do You Wanna Dance?" In 1974, the country duo of Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton performed together for the last time. In 1977, the musical play "Annie" opened on Broadway with Andrea McArdle in the title role. The show ran for more than 2,300 performances. In 1993, ex-Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman married Suzanne Accosta. In 1997, the ashes of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry were shot into orbit. In 2001, R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck was arrested for allegedly getting drunk and going on a rampage on a flight from Seattle to London. He was later found innocent of the charges. Thought for Today: "Modern man thinks he loses something — time — when he does not do things quickly. Yet he does not know what to do with the time he gains — except kill it." — Erich Fromm, German-American psychoanalyst and author (1900-1980). Copyright ©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Better Late Than Never:
First AccusationSpeculation Of Murder; (Not Just Birth Certificate But) Passport "Questions"

Here's the first Vince Foster-style suggestion that ACORN thugs or [Type your Boogy-Man of choice in this box] have been performing political assassinations. (The first we've seen, at least. The source, by the way, is the Reverend Moon's Washington Times. We'd really like to know what Paranoid Libertarian thinks of that self-proclaimed Messiah.)
The sketchy details:  Just over A YEAR AGO (!!) someone involved in State Dep't. contract employees snooping at candidate passport files was killed. One yr. ago, we'll repeat. Militarist Libertarian calls this a "DEVELOPING STORY." 
Now, some on the Right are alleging a possible connection to Obama's past passport problems. 
And:
Questions are also arising as to why this key witness was let loose to travel around DC without any federal protection.
From the LR sidebar:
We've been around since 2005. Since that time we've broken major political stories, and scooped other sites on candidate announcements, election results, and even politician scandals.
(Been a year late on most of them?) There would seem to be a "major political story" here, "libs." One of the large staff there could pick up the 'phone & call the D. C. Metropolitan PD to ask them just what's up w/ this case, A YEAR LATER(!!) couldn't they? Or could they "not handle the truth?" Three mins. on Google™ too much research? 
File under: Straws, Grasping at. And under: Hokey Smokes, lookit this, where it all seems to have started:
Another day, another creepy murder related in some way to Barack Obama. There is something about this guy that leads to unusual murders wherever his name arises.
Yes, keep it up. Pace yourselves a little, because it has to last until 2010, when all of your sputtering, incoherent rage will carry you back to Washington on a tsunami of victory.

"You Don't Look A Day Over 100, Mein Fuhrer. Seriously."

By The Associated Press 14 mins ago Today is Monday, April 20, the 110th day of 2009. There are 255 days left in the year. This is the AP too. A/V. UPI. Today's Highlight in History: Ten years ago, on April 20, 1999, the Columbine High School massacre took place in Colorado as two students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, shot and killed 12 classmates and one teacher before taking their own lives. On this date: In 1792, France declared war on Austria, marking the start of the French Revolutionary wars. In 1812, the fourth vice president of the United States, George Clinton, [Of Parilament/Funkadelic? Wow. — Ed.] died in Washington at age 72, becoming the first vice president to die while in office. In 1836, Congress voted to establish the Wisconsin Territory. One hundred and twenty years ago, in 1889, Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn, Austria.In 1902, scientists Marie and Pierre Curie isolated the radioactive element radium. Seventy years ago, in 1939, Baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams made his major league debut with the Boston Red Sox. In 1940, RCA publicly demonstrated its new electron microscope. In 1945, during World War II, allied forces took control of the German cities of Nuremberg and Stuttgart. Sixty years ago, in 1949, scientists at the Mayo Clinic announced they'd succeeded in synthesizing a hormone found to be useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis; the substance was named "cortisone." In 1968, Pierre Elliott Trudeau was sworn in as prime minister of Canada. In 1971 the U.S. Supreme Court, in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, unanimously upheld the use of busing to achieve racial desegregation in schools. In 1972, the manned lunar module from Apollo 16 landed on the moon. In 1978, a Korean Air Lines Boeing 707 crash-landed in northwestern Russia after being fired on by a Soviet interceptor after entering Soviet airspace. Two passengers were killed. In 1980, the first Cubans sailing to the United States as part of the massive Mariel boatlift reached Florida.In 1988, gunmen who'd hijacked a Kuwait Airways jumbo jet were allowed safe passage out of Algeria under an agreement that freed the remaining 31 hostages and ended a 15-day siege in which two passengers were slain. Five years ago: A tornado tore through north-central Illinois, killing eight people. A judge ordered Multnomah County, Ore., to stop issuing gay marriage licenses — but also ordered the state to recognize the 3,000 licenses already granted in the county. One year ago: Before a full house at Yankee Stadium, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his final Mass in the United States, blessing his enormous U.S. flock and telling Americans to use their freedoms wisely. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice mocked anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr as a coward during a visit to Iraq. [Easy to say from the Green Zone. — Ed.] Danica Patrick became the first female winner in IndyCar history, capturing the Indy Japan 300 in her 50th career start. President George W. Bush signed a bill making it harder for debt-ridden people to wipe clean their financial slates by declaring bankruptcy. [A compassionate conservative until the bitter end. — Ed.] Today's Birthdays: Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is 89. Actor Leslie Phillips is 85. Actor George Takei is 72. Singer Johnny Tillotson is 70. Actor Ryan O'Neal is 68. Bluegrass singer-musician Doyle Lawson (Quicksilver) is 65. Rock musician Craig Frost (Grand Funk; Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band) is 61. Actor Gregory Itzin is 61. Actress Jessica Lange is 60. Actress Veronica Cartwright is 60. Actor Clint Howard is 50. Actor Crispin Glover is 45. Country singer Wade Hayes is 40. Actor Shemar Moore is 39. Rock musician Mikey Welsh is 38. Actress Carmen Electra is 37. Reggae singer Stephen Marley is 37. Rock musician Marty Crandall (The Shins) is 34. Actor Joey Lawrence is 33. Country musician Clay Cook (Zac Brown Band) is 31. Today In Entertainment History -- On April 20th, 1959, the first single by 13-year-old Dolly Parton was released on Gold Band Records. It was called "Puppy Love." In 1960, Elvis Presley returned to Hollywood following his Army duty. He began work on the film "G.I. Blues." In 1968, Deep Purple played its first live concert, in Denmark. The band's big hit that year in the US was "Hush." In 1990, singer Janet Jackson received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1991, musician John Fogerty married Julie Lebiedzinski in Bristol, Indiana. Singer-guitarist Steve Marriot of Small Faces died in a fire in his home in England. He was 44. In 1992, the Concert For Life, a tribute to AIDS victim and Queen vocalist Freddie Mercury, was held in London. Metallica opened the show and was followed by artists George Michael and Elton John. Annie Lenox and David Bowie teamed up on the song "Under Pressure." Comedian Benny Hill was found dead in his London home. In 1994, Barbra Streisand gave her first London concert in 28 years at Wembley Stadium.  Thought for Today: "If anyone tells you something strange about the world, something you had never heard before, do not laugh but listen attentively; make him repeat it, make him explain it; no doubt there is something there worth taking hold of." — Georges Duhamel, French author (1884-1966). Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Last Gasp?

At the Paper of Record, drama crit (former) Frank Rich analyzes the homophobes & pronounces them on life-support, based on the reaction (not much of it) to recent court decisions & law-making. About the NOM advert:
What gives the ad its symbolic significance is not just that it’s idiotic but that its release was the only loud protest anywhere in America to the news that same-sex marriage had been legalized in Iowa and Vermont. If it advances any message, it’s mainly that homophobic activism is ever more depopulated and isolated as well as brain-dead.
We see. And agree. We also commend Mr. Rich on his ability to motivate his interns, flunkies, or research assistants, as the item is filthy w/ links to all sorts of nasty people.
“Gathering Storm” was produced and broadcast — for a claimed $1.5 million — by an outfit called the National Organization for Marriage. This “national organization,” formed in 2007, is a fund-raising and propaganda-spewing Web site fronted by the right-wing Princeton University professor Robert George and the columnist Maggie Gallagher, who was famously caught receiving taxpayers’ money to promote Bush administration “marriage initiatives.” Until last month, half of the six board members (including George) had some past or present affiliation with Princeton’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. (One of them, the son of one of the 12 apostles in the Mormon church hierarchy, recently stepped down.)
Always a shame to lose one of the Mormon aristocracy from your holy mission of repression. But even that "Church" may be deciding not to stand athwart history for this dance. Another Mormon (not in the actual LDS aristocracy, but not an unimportant Utahan) relaxing a bit
is Jon Huntsman Jr., the governor of Utah, who in February endorsed civil unions for gay couples, a position seemingly indistinguishable from Obama’s. Huntsman is not some left-coast Hollywood Republican. He’s a Mormon presiding over what Gallup ranks as the reddest state in the country.
Which gives us the opportunity to reproduce one of our favorite statistical images.

It Was (Almost) Twenty Yrs. Ago Today

From over a wk. ago, LITBRIT offers, from 1990, former personal acquaintance of Just Another Blog™ & current moldering corpse, Frank Zappa, squawking w/ the still-living to this day Daniel Schorr. Recommended w/o having seen it, due to dial-up.

Warsaw Ghetto Uprising; Ratzi Becomes Pope

By The Associated Press 2 hrs 7 mins ago Today is Sunday, April 19, the 108th day of 2009. There are 256 days left in the year. AP. A/V. UPI. Today's Highlight in History: On April 19, 1775, the American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord. On this date: In 1897, the first Boston Marathon was held; winner John J. McDermott ran the course in 2 hours, 55 minutes and 10 seconds. In 1933, the United States went off the gold standard. In 1939, Connecticut became the last of the original 13 colonies to ratify the Bill of Rights, 147 years after it took effect. In 1943, during World War II, tens of thousands of Jews living in the Warsaw Ghetto began a valiant but futile battle against Nazi forces. In 1951, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, relieved of his Far East command by President Harry S. Truman, bid farewell in an address to Congress in which he quoted a line from a ballad: "Old soldiers never die; they just fade away." Gen. Douglas MacArthur In 1982, astronauts Sally K. Ride and Guion S. Bluford Jr. became the first woman and first African-American to be tapped for U.S. space missions. In 1989, 47 sailors were killed when a gun turret exploded aboard the USS Iowa in the Caribbean. (The Navy initially suspected that a dead crew member, Clayton Hartwig, had deliberately sparked the blast, but later said there was no proof of that.) In 1989, Trisha Meili, a jogger in New York's Central Park, was brutally beaten and raped. (Five teenagers were convicted of the crime; all served prison time. But they were cleared in 2002 after another man, Matias Reyes, confessed.) In 1993, the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ended as fire destroyed the structure after federal agents began smashing their way in; dozens of people, including leader David Koresh, were killed. In 1995, a truck bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. (Timothy McVeigh was later convicted of federal murder charges and executed.)Ten years ago: The German parliament inaugurated its new home in the restored Reichstag in Berlin, its prewar capital. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a federal law aimed at limiting e-mail smut did not violate free-speech rights. Joseph Chebet of Kenya won the Boston Marathon, in 2 hours, nine minutes, 52 seconds; Fatuma Roba of Ethiopia won the women's race in 2 hours, 23 minutes, 25 seconds. Five years ago: A Russian rocket soared into space carrying an American, a Russian and a Dutchman to the international space station on the third manned mission since the halt of the U.S. shuttle program. Catherine Ndereba won the Boston Marathon for the third time, finishing in 2 hours, 24 minutes and 27 seconds; Timothy Cherigat won the men's race in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 37 seconds to complete a Kenyan sweep. One year ago: President George W. Bush wrapped up two days of talks at Camp David with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. A Russian capsule carrying South Korea's first astronaut, Yi So-yeon, touched down 260 miles off target in northern Kazakhstan after hurtling through the atmosphere in a bone-jarring descent from the international space station. Today's Birthdays: Actor Hugh O'Brian is 84. Actress Elinor Donahue is 72. Rock musician Alan Price (The Animals) is 67. Actor Tim Curry is 63. Pop singer Mark "The Phlorescent Leech" Volman (The Turtles; The Mothers; Flo and Eddie) is 62.Actor Tony Plana ("Ugly Betty") is 57. Former tennis player Sue Barker is 53. Recording executive Suge Knight is 44. Singer-songwriter Dar Williams is 42. Actress Ashley Judd is 41. Singer Bekka Bramlett is 41. Latin pop singer Luis Miguel is 39. Jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux is 35. Today in Entertainment History - April 19, 2009 3:13 AM ET On April 19th, 1945, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Carousel" opened on Broadway. In 1968, George Harrison, John Lennon and their wives left the religious retreat run by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi before their studies were completed. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr had left earlier. Later, all four renounced their association with the Maharishi. In 1982, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel announced that they would continue their reunion. They had gotten back together for a concert in New York's Central Park. After their announcement, they toured Europe but drifted apart again in 1983. In 1988, Sonny Bono was inaugurated as mayor of Palm Springs, Calif. In 1997, actress Brooke Shields married tennis star Andre Agassi in Monterey, Calif. They've since separated. On that same day, actor Chris O'Donnell married kindergarten teacher Caroline Fentress in Washington. In 2002, singer Layne Staley of Alice In Chains was found dead in his apartment in Seattle. He was 34. Thought for Today: "There is a Law that man should love his neighbor as himself. In a few hundred years it should be as natural to mankind as breathing or the upright gait; but if he does not learn it he must perish." — Alfred Adler, Austrian psychoanalyst (1870-1937). Copyright ©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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