April 5, 2012 archive

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ALEC Made Easy: At the Point of a Gun

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Mark Fiore, a political cartoonist and animator has his character, Shoot-em-up Charlie, explain at the point of a gun how the American Legislative Exchange schemes with corporations (like Koch Industries), right wing organizations (read the NRA) and politicians (Bully NJ Gov Chris Christie) to pass legislation that favors their agenda and whittles away at individual rights.

Mark warns to view with caution, there are hoodies. 😉

Shoot-em-up Charlie Discovers ALEC

Coca-Cola, Facing Boycott, Cuts Ties With ALEC Over Voter ID Laws

Voter ID laws are quickly becoming a hot-button issue — and Coca-Cola is jumping back from the heat.

The soft-drink company has severed its ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a conservative lobbying group that drafts legislation and sends it out to lawmakers. ALEC’s fingerprints have been found on bills and laws in a number of states, and the group’s opponents have grown resistant to what they call ALEC’s efforts to shape the legislative agenda in a way that harms minority and low-income voters.

For more information on ALEC and what they’re up to read ALEC Exposed.org

h/t twolf @ Dependable Renegade


Hurdy Gurdy Hare

On This Day In History April 5

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

April 5 is the 95th day of the year (96th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 270 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1774, Benjamin Franklin publishes “An Open Letter to Lord North”.

On this day in 1774, Benjamin Franklin writes an open letter to Great Britain’s prime minister, Frederick, Lord North, from the Smyrna Coffee House in London. It was published in The Public Advertiser, a British newspaper, on April 15, 1774.

Franklin’s tongue-in-cheek letter suggested that the British impose martial law upon the colonies and appoint a “King’s Viceroy of all North America.” Franklin satirically went on to suggest that such centralized power over “Yankee Doodles,” who had “degenerated to such a Degree” from their British ancestors, “that one born in Britain is equal to twenty Americans,” would allow the crown to collect its taxes, then sell their impoverished colonies and colonists to Spain.

Smyrna Coffee House on St. James Street in London had been a meeting place of Whigs, or political liberals, since the 17th century. For Franklin to sign a letter drafted at Smyrna’s “A Friend of Military Government” was an obvious use of irony. The details of his purported plan for a military government, including the exclusive use of military courts in colonies known for their commitment to trial by jury, and “One Hundred to a Thousand Lashes in a frosty Morning” for offenders made Franklin s disdain for Lord North and his heavy-handed tactics clear.

An Open Letter to Lord North

For The Public Advertiser.

To Lord North.

My LORD, All your small Politicians, who are very numerous in the English Nation, from the patriotic Barber to the patriotic Peer, when big with their Schemes for the Good of poor Old England, imagine they have a Right to give Advice to the Minister, and condemn Administration if they do not adopt their Plan. I, my Lord, who have no mean Opinion of my Abilities, which is justified by the Attention that is paid to me when I harangue at the Smyrna and Old Slaughter’s, am willing to contribute my Mite to the public Welfare; and have a Proposal to make to your Lordship, which I flatter myself will be approved of by the Ministry, and if carried into Execution, will quiet all the Disturbances in America, procure a decent Revenue from our Colonies, make our royal Master (at least there) a King de facto, as well as de jure; and finally, as it may be managed, procure a round Sum towards discharging the national Debt.

My Scheme is, without Delay to introduce into North America a Government absolutely and entirely Military. The Opposition which some People suspect would be made by the Colonies, is a mere Bugbear: The Sight of a few Regiments of bold Britons, appearing with Ensigns displayed, and in all the Pomp of War, a Specimen of which may be seen every Summer at the Grand Review on Wimbledon Common, with that great Commander G —— l G —— e at their Head, accompanied with a Detachment from the Artillery, and Half a Dozen short Sixes, would so intimidate the Americans, that the General might march through the whole Continent of North America, and would have little else to do but to accept of the Submission of the several Towns as he passed. But as the Honour would be too great for one Man to reduce to absolute Subjection so great an Extent of Territory, I would propose that a separate Command be given to L —— d G —- G —— e, who by his animated Speeches in the House, and coinciding so entirely with your Lordship’s Opinion on the proper Methods for humbling America, deserves a Share in the Fame of such a grand Exploit. Let him have one half of the Army under his Direction, and march from New York to South Carolina. No one can object to the Nomination, as his Military Prowess is upon Record. The Regiments that are in America, with those who are about to embark, will be amply sufficient, without being at the Expence of sending more Troops. Those who served in America the last War, know that the Colonists are a dastardly Set of Poltroons; and though they are descended from British Ancestors, they are degenerated to such a Degree, that one born in Britain is equal to twenty Americans. The Yankey Doodles have a Phrase when they are not in a Humour for fighting, which is become proverbial, I don’t feel bould To-day. When they make this Declaration, there is no prevailing on them to attack the Enemy or defend themselves. If contrary to Expectation they should attempt an Opposition, procure Intelligence when it happens not to be their fighting Day, attack them and they will fly like Sheep pursued by a Wolf. When all North America have thus bent their Neck to the Yoke designed for them, I would propose that the Method made use of by the Planters in the West Indies may be adopted, who appoint what they call a Negro Driver, who is chosen from among the Slaves. It is observed that the little Authority that is given him over his Fellow Slaves, attaches him to his Master’s Interest, and his Cruelty would be without Bounds were he not restrained; but the Master is certain, that the utmost Exertion of Strength will be exacted by this cruel Task-master for the Proprietor’s Emolument. Let all the Colonists be enrolled in the Militia, subject of course to Martial Law. Appoint a certain Number of Officers from among the conquered People, with good Pay, and other Military Emoluments; they will secure their Obedience in the District where they command. Let no other Courts be allowed through the whole Continent but Courts Martial. An Inhabitant, who disobeys an Order, may by a Court Martial be sentenced to receive from One Hundred to a Thousand Lashes in a frosty Morning, according to the Nature of his Offence. Where Punishment is thus secure, this Advantage will accrue, that there will not be the same Necessity of hanging up so many poor Devils as in this free Country; by which Means the Service of many an able Man is lost to the Community. I humbly propose that the General and Commander in Chief be vested with the Power, and called by the Name of the King’s Viceroy of all North America. This will serve to impress the Americans with greater Respect for the first Magistrate, and have a Tendency to secure their Submission. All Orders issuing from this supreme Authority to have the Force of Laws. After this happy Change of Government, how easy to collect what Taxes you please in North America. When the Colonists are drained of their last Shilling, suppose they should be sold to the best Bidder. As they lie convenient for France or Spain, it may be reasonably expected one of those little Powers would be a Purchaser. I think Spain is to be preferred, as their Power hath more of the Ready than France. I will venture a Conjecture, that the Ministry might get at least Two Millions for the Soil, and the People upon it. With such a Sum what glorious Things might he not atchieve! Suppose it should be applied towards the Payment of one hundredth Part of the National Debt, I would give him an Opportunity of drawing down upon him the Blessing of the Poor by making him to take off the Halfpenny Duty on Porter. Considering the probable Stability of the present Ministry, this Honour may be reserved for your Lordship.

My Lord, excuse the Crudity of these indigested Hints, which your Wisdom is so capable of improving; and believe me, with infinite Respect, Your Lordship’s Most obedient Humble Servant, A Friend to Military Government.

Smyrna Coffee-House, April 5.

The Public Advertiser, April 15, 1774

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning


Naturally Dyed Eggs


Late Night Karaoke

My Misspent Youth

Happy Bloggiversary to Me.

kos seems to think I joined on April 5, 2005 and while my memory is different (I contend it was April Fools Day) I can’t prove it.

That’s a total of 2557 days or 61,368 hours or 3,682,080 minutes or 220,924,800 seconds of my life I’ll never get back.

Including 629 days of unexpected absence, because I didn’t just sit on my ass feeling sorry for myself.

My character is static and fictional (diary #4, but who’s counting?).  I haven’t changed a bit or grown any more than Jerry, George, Elaine, or Kramer, my level of obnoxiousness has remained constant.  I’ve never pushed a noun against a verb except to blow up something.  I do hateful things for which people love me, and I do loveable things for which they hate me.  I’m admired for my detestability.

Nor am I likely to learn hugging in the future.  I’m over 120 years old and they’re still trying to ban evolution in Tennessee where the trees of knowledge are almost extinct and ignorance bushes thick.  I don’t miss Hillsboro, a mélange of Moorish and Methodist, it must have been designed by a congressman.

Since I’ve only ever been in love with the sound of my own voice I’ll spare you the trouble of actual research and direct you to some milestones-

When you’re as old as I am you pile up some numbers-

Daily Kos

  • 4/5/05 (2,557 days)
  • 46,147 comments (18 a day)
  • 426 diaries (1 every 6 days)


  • 8/20/07 (1,690 days)
  • 8,033 comments (4.75 a day)
  • 1,974 essays (1+ a day)

The Stars Hollow Gazette

  • 6/12/10 (663 days)
  • 10,611 comments (16 a day)
  • 1,797 diaries (2.7 a day)

Overall (2,557 days)

  • 64,791 comments (25 a day)
  • 4,197 diaries (1.64 a day)

I had never blogged before I came to Daily Kos, but I’ve always been a writer (and a critic, NOT a reporter Jim) even when it was just poetry for machines.  While I remain timeless I have taken my craft in different directions and I’m much more involved with the sites I manage and edit- The Stars Hollow Gazette and DocuDharma than I am concerned about minutia at the moment.  Still I’ve not forgotten where I got my start and should I happen on topics of mutual interest I don’t hesitate to share.

I hope all of you enjoy your time online as much as I do mine.

My Little Town 20120404: Personal Tribute and Family Secrets

Those of you that read this regular series know that I am from Hackett, Arkansas, just a mile or so from the Oklahoma border, and just about 10 miles south of the Arkansas River.  It was a rural sort of place that did not particularly appreciate education, and just zoom onto my previous posts to understand a bit about it.

Today, my father would have been 93 years old.  He lived to be 85, which is not bad.  His dad lived to be 91 (passing away in 1968 or 1969), so I have some pretty good genes in my paternal line.  My maternal grandfather died at about 55 from heart disease, but my maternal grandmum lived to 101 and a half, lucid until the almost the end.

Roy Willard Smith, my father, was born on this date in 1919.  That year is also know for the first year that Ford offered an electric starter as an option for the Model “T”.

The Science of “God”

Bob Dean, a retired seargent major who has seen it all.  A real life account of The Men in Black so to speak.  Area 51 and beyond with a message of hope.

“We” are going to survive.  “They”  which includes multi-dimensional benevolent guardians have interviened on our behalf to save us from our own infinite retardedness.  Ok, so you perhaps have not spend a hundred hours viewing the offerings of Project Camelot, David Wilcock, deep and or exo-politics.  Me, I find these places a much needed counter to the social engineering Pavlovianisms that are mainstream media, “our” institutions, culture and mostly the systems the elite create in slave farming people.  Trust me all of the keywords are there to launch yourself into my Jedi Knights of the Veil world.  Disclaimer…Be careful what you wish for grasshopper.

No really I mean you won’t be the same.  You won’t look at people the same way.  You may not value the same horseshit you valued yesterday if you might possible accept even one tenth of this……..hmmm…perhaps some people might need the full expat experience as a  primer……ya… for some people but it does depend upon intelligence level, emotional quotient, certain medications, professional and educational backgrounds, age demographics, financial picture, family situation…..Oh look…I took a walk in my suburban woods and happened upon a pheasant….What comes into mind..a stupid lamestream commercial for Citizens Bank about the founding fathers leaving a pheasant in the microwave.

OK, I know it doesn’t make sense right now but we are supposed to all Zen out and manifest a better destiny for everybody but thinking about the things that are uplifting.  Right now I am the King in the eyes of three grandsons.