April 30, 2010 archive

On This Day in History: April 30

1803 – Louisiana Purchase: The United States purchases the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million, more than doubling the size of the young nation. With this acquisition President Thomas Jefferson secured the Port of New Orleans, free access to the Mississippi River and opened expansion of US territory westward to the Rocky Mountains.

Originally the purchase was for the port of new Orleans, portions of the east bank of the Mississippi, and free navigation of the river for U.S. commerce but at the last minute, on April 11, the French Minister Talleyrand was ordered by Napoleon to offer the entire territory to US Minster, Robert Livingston. This was mostly due to France’s difficulties in the Caribbean. Napoleons’ inability to secure Santo Domingo made the granaries of Louisiana useless without the the sugar. Considering his other difficulties with Spain and the temperament of the Americans, Napoleon threw in the entire territory for less than 5 cents an acre.

1812 – The Territory of Orleans becomes the 18th U.S. state under the name Louisiana.

Docudharma Times Friday April 30

Friday’s Headlines:

Louisiana oil slick: fishermen sue BP over spill

My encounter with the world’s hottest chilli


Oil Spill’s Blow to BP’s Image May Eclipse Costs

Arizona law on immigration puts police in tight spot


Greece signs up to €24bn austerity package

Turkey plans constitutional reform granting prime minister unrivalled power

Middle East

The fear factor: A year after the ‘green’ uprising, Iranians are no closer to breaking free

As Iraqi election recount about to launch, Maliki faces other troubles


Sri Lanka must listen to its people

Thai protesters storm Bangkok hospital

Latin America

Why Mexico opposes the Arizona immigration law

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning


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35 yrs. Later and Still in Denial

We never came to terms with those years leading up to April 30th 1975, one of the reasons we’ve had the recent past decade, will we come to terms with that, doubt it, but it will just add to what the coming generations will face and their presents and future.

Thanks to the “This week in History” from the Peace Buttons site for the following:

To Attract Tourists, Louisiana Governor Announces Free Oil Giveaway

Baton Rouge (FNS)-Facing both a massive oil slick from a sunken offshore drilling platform and a second year of declining tourism revenues along the Louisiana Gulf Coast caused by high gas prices, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal today introduced a new tourism promotion that he reports is going to “…make lemons into lemonade”.

Jindal, flanked by British Petroleum’s Director of Marketing Dick Timoneous and the Executive Director of the Louisiana State Tourism Board, Jenna Talia, announced that the “All The Oil You Can Carry Festival” would officially commence today just east of New Orleans, and last at least through the month of May.

Late Night Karaoke


May ’70: 1. Finally On Our Own

Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming, We’re finally on our own… Forty years ago today, on Thursday, April 30, 1970, Richard Milhouse Nixon, the president of the United States, appeared on television for a special announcement about the Vietnam War. He told us that US troops, tens of thousands of them, had moved into Cambodia, expanding an already prolonged and costly war into another country. He claimed it was a necessary step toward ending the war, and toward insuring that the US would not be perceived in the world as “a pitiful helpless giant.”

Today that incredible upsurge, which pretty much shut down the 1969-70 school year throughout much of the American higher education system, is remembered mainly through one of its most dramatic events–the killing of four students at Kent State University by a sustained fusillade of gunfire from Ohio National Guard troops occupying their campus.

For forty years, the veterans of those days and younger activists have struggled to keep alive the memories of Kent State and of the subsequent police murders of two more students, this time at a traditionally Black college in Mississippi, Jackson State. We have succeeded in this, helped in part by that amazing mnemonic, Neil Young’s heartbreaking song, “Ohio,” which opens with the couplet at the start of this piece.

Popular Culture 20100429. One of the bad guys, Jack Webb

The series Dragnet was one of the most watched and most horrible TeeVee programs aired in the late 1960’s.  It used all of the negative stereotypes to produce a vile and completely in disregard of reality program that ever aired, until the Fox “News” Network aired later.

It was created by the alcoholic Jack Webb, who drank himself to death at age 52.  It started in the waning days of radio, and came back with a vengeance on the TeeVee in the mid 1960’s.  He was Joe Friday on the radio from 1949 until 1954, and was simultaneous on the TeeVee until 1959.  Most of those shows are not readily available, but everyone remembers the next series.

Who will build the World’s Largest Solar Power Plant?

Within the space of six hours, the world’s deserts receive more energy than all the people in the world consume in a year. The only question we have to answer is:

“How can this radiant energy be economically transformed into useful

energy and transported to consumers?”

The DESERTEC Concept provides a solution to this.


In order to meet today’s global power demand […] it would suffice to equip about 3/1000th of the world’s deserts (about 90,000 km2) with solar collectors of solar thermal power plants. About 20 m2 of desert would be enough to meet the individual power demand of one human being day and nightall this absolutely CO2 free.

[pg 6] Europe’s Desertec project Red Paper (pdf)

The Race is ON — to find the World’s Largest Solar Footprint!

Here are some of the contenders …

Large-scale photovoltaic power plants

Ranks 1 – 50

Bill Kristol is a REAL MAN OF GENIUS, except . . .

    Witness the unfathomable genius of Bill Kristol in action.

    Off-shore drilling is “quite safe” and “very environmentally clean, except … when there’s a disaster like this”

~ Bill Kristol, real man of genius, except . . .


    Yes, Bill Kristol is a real man of genius, except when he is talking.

More below the fold, except what is below the fold


“..blood of Mexicans is primarily American Indian.”

As a previous editor of the Classic Progressive Historians, I was trying to get a historian I had met on line to post there. He was in Mexico and as we corresponded, he told me that at least 80% of “Mexicans” are Lipan Apache. Who is Arizona wanting to “send back to where they came from?”


The privileges of citizenship were slow to come for Indians while the responsibilities came right away. It’s hard not to think of the island-hopping campaign in the Pacific, some of the toughest combat of WWII. The Navajo code talkers served though that campaign at a time when Arizona was still denying them the vote. Now, it appears that Arizona Indians who visit the cities will have to be careful about being brown in a no-brown zone, whether or not they are veterans.

Arizona Immigration Law Ripe for Abuse

(published at Truthout.org)

Immigration is a sensitive issue, but the immigration bill that passed the Arizona legislature is the wrong way to try to solve it. The new law gives Arizona law enforcement broad new authority to enforce federal immigration laws. It is so broad, not to mention vague, that abuse of this new authority by law enforcement is assured.

The New York Times summarizes the new law: “The law would require the police ‘when practicable’ to detain people they reasonably suspected were in the country without authorization. It would also allow the police to charge immigrants with a state crime for not carrying immigration documents. And it allows residents to sue cities if they believe the law is not being enforced.”

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