In Cincinnati, Ohio this week I’m taking a look at the big picture.
Here is Cincinnati yesterday from one of the many overlook parks in the city.
Cincinnati and the Ohio River Valley is a place of geological history and of human history both collective and for individuals.
All these histories are connected. Everything is connected
This evening I went to the Obama headquarters in Cincinnati and made a $20 donation.
Included with this post is a picture of the Cincinnati Obama office. There were maybe 10 people making calls. I thought that was pretty good for a Wednesday night in August.
While I intend to vote for Green candidate Jill Stein for President in my non-swing state of Texas, the folks in this Obama office are decent people who are doing the work of freedom and who merit support.
And at least folks in Ohio are calling people close to home. In Texas Democrats are being asked to call over for the country for Obama while extremist Ted Cruz marches on the U.S. Senate.
I understand Texas is likely a Republican state in 2012. But how long will we be asked to hand our future over to crazies without even a fight? When do we begin to build the foundation of something hopeful in Texas?
In any case, the work of freedom and progress is up to each of us. We each need to take steps to move society in the direction we hope to see it go.
I’ll be blogging from Cincinnati, Ohio for the next few days.
Here is a picture of a coal barge staying the course this afternoon on the Ohio River.
I was standing on the Cincinnati side when I took this picture. Across the river is Northern Kentucky.
Lubbock County Democratic Chair Kenny Ketner And Amarillo Blogger Ted McLaughlin Are Two Great Texans—The United Nations Will Not Be Taking Over Texas Despite Claims To The Contrary
Good work by friend and Lubbock County Democratic Party Chair Kenny Ketner (left) who was referenced in the N.Y. Times today about the Lubbock elected official who says if Mr. Obama is reelected that the United Nations might take over and that troops might need to be raised to fight the U.N. back to New York City.
I took this picture in Houston during the Texas Democratic convention this past June.
There are so many hopeful people in our world who give their time to make stuff better.
I’ll be on the radio on Cincinnati’s community radio station WAIF-FM 88.3 on Saturday, September 1.
I’ll be on Trash Flow Radio with my friend Ken Katkin from 3-5 PM Eastern Time on that date.
You can hear the show on the WAIF livestream.
I was a weekly host on WAIF for a few years in the 1980’s. I co-hosted the punk rock show Search & Destroy with Handsome Clem Carpenter.
It was fun.
Here is a description of Trash Flow Radio from the host–
“Avant-garde punk, pop avant-garde, sad songs with loud guitars, loud songs with sad guitars, anti-Beatle exuberance, pro-drug psychedelia, bargain-bin outsider music, revisionist rock history, music made by teenagers with “sXe” tattoos, and timeless DIY. Absolutely no major label recording artists (except the Ramones). Music from the catholic school, not the parochial.Gushes and rants, stark realism and surrealism, dangerous audio stunts, irritainment, and bad puns. Faint echoes of H.L. Mencken, Coyle & Sharpe, Jorge Luis Borges, Thurgood Marshall, Ron Rosenbaum, Jean Shepard, Lester Bangs, Kim Philby, J.D. Salinger, Bob Lassiter, Carl Reiner, and Eugene V. Debs. Hopefully, some guests. It’s always something. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.”
I’m looking forward to be being on the air with Ken.
Which states have our Presidents called home? Which states have been the home states of the most Presidents?
(Above–John Tyler. He was the last President from Virginia.)
By home state. I mean the place where a President held office before becoming President. In one case—Dwight Eisenhower—there was really no home state. He did a lot of moving around. So I’ve made him “stateless.”
Zachary Taylor,a general like Eisenhower, is a close call on this matter. But he did live at a plantation he owned in Louisiana and his regional identity had a role in his election as President. So I’ll count Taylor as from Louisiana.
There are a few ways you could look at the question of what Presidents are from what states. You could list each state and count the number of Presidents from that state. This is what is done on the first list below.
You geta somewhat different picture if you limit the list only to Presidents who were elected, and exclude Vice Presidents who became President, but who never won election on their own. (These Presidents are Tyler, Fillmore, A. Johnson, Arthur, and Ford.) Doing it this way offers a sense of states and regions of the nation in the ascendancy at a given time. This is how the second list is complied.
(Below–Gerald Ford, in college here at the U. of Michigan, was not elected to the Presidency.)
Overall, 17 of the 50 states can claim a President.
New York (6) —Van Buren (8), Fillmore (13), Arthur (21), Cleveland (22 & 24), T. Roosevelt (26), F. Roosevelt (32)
Ohio (6) —W.H. Harrison (9), Hayes (19), Garfield (20), McKinley (25), Taft (27), Harding (29)
Virginia (5) — Washington (1) , Jefferson (3) , Madison (4) , Monroe (5), Tyler (10)
Massachusetts (4) — John Adams (2) , J.Q. Adams (6), Coolidge (30), Kennedy (35)
Tennessee (3) —Jackson (7), Polk (11), A. Johnson (17)
Illinois (3) —Lincoln (16), Grant (18), Obama (44)
California (3)—Hoover (31), Nixon (37), Reagan (40)
Texas (3) — L. Johnson (36), G.H.W. Bush (41), G.W. Bush (43)
New Hampshire— Pierce (14)
Indiana—B. Harrison (23)
New Jersey—Wilson (28)
(Below–Woodrow Wilson throwing out the first pitch in 1916.)
Lsit # 2—-
1789, 1792—Virginia (Washington)
1796—Massachusetts (John Adams)
1800, 1804, 1808, 1812, 1816, 1820—Virginia ( Jefferson, Madison, Monroe)
1828, 1832—Tennessee (Jackson)
1836—New York (Van Buren)
1840–Ohio (W. Harrison)
1852—New Hampshire (Pierce)
1860, 1864, 1868, 1872—Illinois (Lincoln, Grant)
1876, 1880—Ohio (Hayes, Garfield)
1884—New York (Cleveland)
(Below–Grover Cleveland in 1905. He left the White House, for a second time, in 1897.)
1892—New York (Cleveland)
1896, 1900—Ohio (McKinley)
1904—New York (T.Roosevelt)
1912, 1916—New Jersey (Wilson)
1932, 1936, 1940, 1944—New York (F.Roosevelt)
1968, 1972—California (Nixon)
(Below–Jimmy Carter in 1937.)
1980, 1984—California (Reagan)
1988—Texas (G.H.W. Bush)
1992, 1996—Arkansas (Clinton)
2000, 2004—Texas (G.W.Bush)
Our first six Presidents came from either Virginia or Massachusetts. Then there was a move west and towards the frontier with Jackson and Polk of Tennessee. Between 1860 and 1908 every elected President was from either Illinois, Ohio or New York. Hoover of California was in 1928 the first President from the West Coast. Beginning with Lyndon Johnson in 1964, every President gaining the White House by election was from either the Sunbelt or the South. Barack Obama of Illinois broke that trend in 2008.
Two good books to learn about the Presidents are The American Presidency–The Authoritative Reference edited by Alan Brinkley and Davis Dyer and The Complete Book Of U.S. Presidents by William Degregorio. These books compliment each other well. The first provides short essays about each President’s term and the second is more biographical information.
(Below–A bunch of them in one place.)
Or maybe it is done sweeping the nation and I’m a bit behind.
I’ve watched a number of versions of this song on You Tube and the best one was performed by U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
You see that video above. If it won’t play here than just click it through to You Tube.
Our soldiers have been fighting and dying in Afghanistan for a number of years now. We don’t care much anymore because our national character is so often just that cheap.
We’d let anybody die for us so long as we can live just as we please.
The soldiers you see in this video our are fellow human beings just as are the people they are engaging with in various ways in Afghanistan.
All people are complex and merit consideration as individuals and as who they are in the full context of our interdependent world.
Here is what my father—who died last year—wrote based on his combat experience in the Korean War—
“One thing that I learned is that the young men who fought in our wars should never be forgotten…Another fact I learned…is that millions may serve but far fewer fight. So, in reality, for many who have served, war is a glory-and-gory myth that feeds on its own legends and publicity. …Another truth I learned is that civilians are combatants in war–embattled victims perpetually on a losing side….That brings us to the biggest deception: The need to be ready defend our freedom if we are to keep it. Those who say that freedom has a price are absolutely right, and wrong: International conflict today is beyond ideology. The only freedom American and Russian leaders offer their people today is the freedom to kill ourselves in the name of freedom. This is not freedom, but allegiance to a suicidal death culture….Today, we are servile to our masters, mistaking economic well-being for true freedom, which is the freedom to live hopefully and not to die needlessly.”
I know our troops have to be fighting for more than our ongoing Presidential campaign where the two major party corporate-owned liars are discussing everything but the core issues of the disappearance of jobs in our changing economy and the realities of climate change.
Yet whatever that cause is, and whatever the virtues of service and sacrifice, something is obviously being lost on our troops. USA Today reports that there were 154 military suicides in 2012 up until June 3.
Meaning is very often hard to find. There is no shame in looking for relief in a silly pop song. I don’t have a neat thought to round out this post. I just know that as my father said we are very much living in a “death culture” and that we really don’t care who we harm so long as nothing much is asked of most of us and even as others fight for us far from home.
Here is the weekly posting of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas.
Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.
I run these words each week in this space. This is because there is nothing more important that I can tell you.
The work of freedom and justice is up to each of us.
Here is the round-up—
BossKitty at TruthHugger keeps waiting for any candidate to stop mudslinging long enough to help Americans navigate the stresses caused by natural climate changes. America, the wasteful, can’t seem to find a candidate brave enough to do anything but collect rewards from the same industries trashing America’s natural resources. America is consumed by Greed, Denial and Bad Water. Our transportation infrastructure is being neglected and will only cost more in the long run. Continue reading
Astronaut Neil Armstrong died this afternoon.
Above is the front page of the Utica (NY) Observer-Dispatch from the day after the first moon landing in 1969.
Wapakoneta was Mr. Armstrong’s hometown. I visited this museum nearly 30 years ago and I recall that it was pretty good.
This death is news around the world.
There are few figures known all around the world.
Mr. Armstrong’s death is a loss for the United States.
More significantly, his death is a global loss for a world that shared the moment of the first moon landing 43 years ago.
I’m pretty certain the brown furry thing in the picture is a Nutria.
I took this picture this past may at the Houston National Veteran’s Cemetery.
I wish I had gotten a better picture of the creature, but it scampered away into the pond.
In any case I was close to it as I needed to be.
At first I was uncertain what it was. But I poked around on the internet for a time and came to view that what I had seen was Nutria.
Below is better picture of this creature that also includes some nice ducks. (Photo by J. Patrick Fischer.)
The Nutria is native to South America and was imported to Louisiana in the 1930’s so that a Nutria fur trading trade could take place in the U.S.
Not surprisingly some escaped and now they are all over.
Here are facts about the Nutria from the online Mammals of Texas.
Here are facts and a number of Nutria related links from the National Invasive Species Information Center of the federal government.
You can get an affliction from this varmint called the “Nutria Itch.”
I’m glad that I when I saw the Nutria it chose to dive into the pond and not instead to charge at me.
(Update 8/26/12–If you click the first link below you will get the current report on Isaac. While I hope the storm breaks up, at current it is headed to Mississippi and Louisiana. These are conservative southern states that often send people to Washington who complain about the federal government. You can be certain though these places will looking for federal help in the unfortunate event that the storm does a lot of damage.)
As you see from the National Hurricane Center map above, Tropical Storm Isaac may be arriving in Florida at the same time as the Republican National Convention.
Though by Monday it may be known as Hurricane Isaac. Here is the hurricane center page on Isaac.
The convention is set to begin on Monday in Tampa. Tampa is on the Gulf of Mexico side of Florida.
I think the hurricane will go where it will go for whatever reason. I imagine though that some religious people might see a message if a hurricane comes and disrupts a major party convention.
There really are so many possible reasons.
Folks who live in areas prone to hurricanes will know that the area in which a hurricane might strike is called the cone of uncertainty.
You’ll see that there is a large swath of land and sea within the cone.
Also in a cone of uncertainty are your rights if the Romney/Ryan/Todd Akin ticket wins this November.
Mitt Romney met in 2012 with the Cincinnati doctor—Jack Wilke—who is an architect of many of Todd Akin’s extreme views. Dr. Wilke says that he–Wilke–and Governor Romney are in strong agreement on many concerns.
Hopefully the tropical storm will dissipate and people will not be hurt.
As for the Romney/Ryan/Akin Republican Party—You can bet on them inflicting full-blown misery on the American people every chance they get.
Houston Republican Councilmember Costello Hosting Screening Of Film About Street Artists At Taxpayer-Subsidized Downtown Movie House—Eric Dick Is Vindicated
Republican Houston City Councilmember is hosting a movie screening of a documentary called Stick Em’ Up.
This movie about so-called street artists here in Houston. The event is to be held at the taxpayer-subsidized Sundance Cinema in Downtown Houston on Tuesday, September 18. Here are details if you like to attend.
Here is a description of the movie from the Stick Em’ Up Facebook page—-
“Stick ‘Em Up! is a captivating film that explores the little-known world of wheat pasting, an inner-city art form that’s as provocative as it is misunderstood. Documentary filmmaker Alex Luster delves into the minds and motivations behind some of Houston’s most notorious guerilla street artists, capturing the lifespan of their art… conception, creation, placement and – ultimately – removal by the city’s abatement enforcement….”
It sure is something that “notorious guerilla street artists” can find a platform at a taxpayer-subsidized movie house and with the help of a Republican City Councilmember.
The revolution must be much closer than I had dared hope.
With one exception that I’ll discuss in a later post, I really don’t care that persons are engaged in street art or graffiti or whatever you wish to call it.
Everyday people are all out and about littering and polluting the air and befouling the world in so many ways. Graffiti is in many ways just what we merit for how we so often treat our surroundings.
But I also recall the criticism and scorn that my friend Eric Dick received for his quite comprehensive sign campaign in his unsuccessful 2011 Houston City Council bid.
I felt last year that the Republican Dick had run an honest effort in many ways even if I was not inclined to vote for him.
I’ll bet a dollar that many of the folks who did not like Eric’s signs are quite at home at the Downtown artsy movie house watching a movie about street artists.
I’m not going to go on with some rant that people should stop painting and plastering stuff on city streets. Nobody would listen to me if I did.
I’ll just say that the best and most well-known street artist in Houston is none other than Eric Dick. Below you see a picture I took of one his top 2011 efforts.
Labor Day for 2012 is Monday, September 3.
All work merits respect. We should treat all working people with respect. How we treat our fellow working people is a mirror of the extent to which we respect ourselves.
A good way to treat working people with respect on Labor Day is to tip at a time-and-a-half rate if you eat out or ride in a taxi or do anything else that normally merits a tip on this upcoming Labor Day. People workng on Labor day merit the same time-and-a-half rate of pay that you would expect for working a holiday.
( The picture above of people working at sea was taken by Danny Cornelissen for the portpictures.nl website.)
From that history–
“Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers. Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.” But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.”
Here is a series of article from the liberal magazine The American Prospect about where American workers stand today, and what can be done to improve how working people are treated in our nation.
The history of labor in the United States is your history. Work is the time and effort of your life. We need the wages and benefits we earn at work to be able to live decent lives.
There is also an International Labor Day. International Labor Day, or May Day, marks the Haymarket Riot in Chicago in 1886. Please click here to learn more about the Haymarket Riots and the Haymarket Trial.
Respect for working people involves understanding that the goods you buy must be sold for a fair price if the people who make and sell those goods are to receive a decent wage and good benefits. Selling goods at a fair price also helps your own employer stay in business.
Respect for working people does not stop at the American border. Cheap goods we purchase in America are often produced by underpaid and poorly treated workers in other nations.
Labor Day is, for many at least, a time to get a break from work.
It is also a time to reflect upon what it means to be a working person at a time when the rights of workers—to the extent they exist at all—are under ceaseless strain.
( Photo above by Holger Hubbs.)
Republican Missouri Rep. Todd Akin Says “Legitimate Rape” Not Likely To Lead To Pregnancy—Here In Texas, State-Mandated Rape Is The Law Of The Land
Republican U.S. Senate nominee Todd Akin of Missouri has said that women who experience a “legitimate rape” are unlikely to get pregnant.
Mr. Akin made these comments in response to a question about if abortion should be allowed in cases of rape. This conversation took place on a political interview show in Missouri.
“If abortion could be considered in case of, say, a tubal pregnancy [which threatens the mother’s life], what about in the case of rape?” asked KTVI host Charles Jaco, in a clip that was disseminated by Talking Points Memo. “Should it be legal or not?”
“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin said, referring to conception following a rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
Mother Jones magazine reports that Rep. Akin has worked with Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan to narrow the definition of rape. The matter of who is “legitimately raped”, and who might be raped in a more severe way that would draw the disapproval of Mr. Akin and Mr. Ryan matters to them because it impacts who gets government funds for a constitutionally protected abortion.
Here in Texas, women who seek a constitutionally protected abortion are forced to undergo the state-mandated rape of the forced sonogram law.
And while it is easy to say it is only Republicans who are part of the War on Women,—and for the most part that is true—the Texas law passed the Texas State Senate with the votes of three Democrats.
Below is a post I wrote last March about the state-mandated rape of the Texas forced sonogram law and three Texas Senate Democrats who helped make the law a reality. This post is just as relevant today as it was five months ago.
From March 15, 2012—-
Senator Patrick was feeling sorry for himself and saying that he was the victim of unfair attacks.
Here is some of what Senator Patrick said—
“Once again I couldn’t care less about what the opposition says no matter how mean spirited. We did the right thing in passing this bill on many levels. Mr Trudeau has conveniently skipped over the fact that our bill passed by only one vote and that it was 3 Latino pro life Catholic Democrats who joined me to pass the bill. But that storyline isn’t convenient for Trudeau or the opposition. Heaven forbid they have to acknowledge that Democrats, even if only 3, voted for this bill and were the final votes for passage.”
The Mr. Trudeau that Mr. Patrick is referring to is Doonesbury comic strip writer Gary Trudeau. Mr. Trudeau has written a Doonesbury series in which he says that the Texas forced sonogram bill is rape. Here is a link to the comics that Mr. Trudeau authored about this state-mandated rape.
In the excerpt of from Senator Patrick above, he references the fact that three Democrats voted for the forced sonogram bill in the Texas State Senate. I appreciate this reminder Senator Patrick. It is important that we know the names of the three Democrats in the Texas State Senate who voted for the forced sonogram bill.
The three Democratic Texas State Senators who in 2011 voted for the forced sonogram law were Eddie Lucio Jr. of Brownsville, Carlos Uresti of San Antonio and Judith Zaffirini of Laredo.
Because of this law, the precedent has been set that the State of Texas can force politically motivated unwanted medical produces on free citizens.
Also, the State of Texas now mandates the rape of its own people.
Why is the Texas forced sonogram law rape?
“Here’s what a woman in Texas now faces if she seeks an abortion. Under a new law that took effect three weeks ago with the strong backing of Gov. Rick Perry, she first must typically endure an ultrasound probe inserted into her vagina. Then she listens to the audio thumping of the fetal heartbeat and watches the fetus on an ultrasound screen. She must listen to a doctor explain the body parts and internal organs of the fetus as they’re shown on the monitor. She signs a document saying that she understands all this, and it is placed in her medical files. Finally, she goes home and must wait 24 hours before returning to get the abortion. “It’s state-sanctioned abuse,” said Dr. Curtis Boyd, a Texas physician who provides abortions. “It borders on a definition of rape. Many states describe rape as putting any object into an orifice against a person’s will. Well, that’s what this is. A woman is coerced to do this, just as I’m coerced.”
“Not only is this law an insult to women in Texas, a close reading of the Texas Penal Code, Section 22.011, suggests that the new law may also constitute a sexual assault upon women, which is a second-degree felony. The code defines a sexual assault as an offense in which a person intentionally or knowingly causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person’s consent. Furthermore, the law stipulates that one condition of nonconsent is met when the actor is a public servant who coerces the other person to submit or participate. “
This is rape. It is about the State of Texas doing whatever it wants to free citizens. It has nothing to do with the legally protected procedure of abortion.
The issues here are politics, and the power the State of Texas exerts for the purpose of state-mandated rape.