Category Archives: History

The Knights Templar vs The Catholic Church?

People who believe themselves to be the descendents of the Knights Templar have filed suit against former Nazi Youth member Joseph Alois Ratzinger, who you probably know as Pope Benedict XVI, the current pope.  The heirs are seeking $150,000,000,000- that’s billion- in damages.

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If the Catholic Church was hard pressed to come off of dough and admit guilt to sexually abusing a multitude of still living children, then I find it highly improbably that this “christian” organization will budge on giving this group so much as the apology that they also seek.

Cheers,

Tom

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Filed under Comedy, Existentialism, History, lies, Politics, Religion

Dr. Seuss’s Political Cartoons

Before Suess began his epic children’s book career he drew adverts for companies and penned political cartoons.  Check’em out below and then hit up the link.

Here are a few:

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Filed under Europe, History, Politics

Are Democrats Really That Bad?

Yesterday a man went into the office of Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney fatally shooting him.  So far there is nothing being reported as the motive for the attack, but the shooting reminded me of the right wing nut job Jim D. Adkisson and his attack on “liberal” people in church.  In fucking church.  What kind of republican attacks people while they are in church?  While I would never want to label republicans as people that approved of the recent lethal attacks on democrats, it does also bring to mind that fringe “pro-life” group operation rescue was a republican domestic terrorist that routinely intimidated and bombed abortion clinics.  They even bombed the Olympics in Atlanta!

Again, I don’t want to lay all of this at the feet of the average republican, but I cannot recall *ANY* democrats in America that have attacked republicans based on their “conservative” beliefs, be it on abortion or any other…  If I am wrong on that please comment with *SPECIFIC* instances.  This is a time when I’d love to be wrong.  I’d much rather chalk these attacks up to random chance aka if you have enough people in a group there are going to be some that are murderers.

Cheers,

Tom

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Filed under Community, Conspiracy, Democrats, Guns, History, Politics, Religion, Republicans

The Greatest American Patriot You Have Probably Never Heard Of

You will likely recognize the last name of Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr.,  as he is the father of Maria Shriver, the journalist and first lady of the state of California aka Arnold Schwarzenegger’s wife.  Knowing who his daughter you probably also know that he married a Kennedy, John, Robert and Ted’s sister Eunice.

Here is what you probably do not know:

He served as the very first Director of the Peace Corp (which was created by executive order by John Kennedy in 1961).  His service was exemplary as wikipedia states, volunteers arrived in five countries during first year of creation and In just under six years, Shriver developed programs in 55 countries with more than 14,500 volunteers (source).

That alone would be an amazing accomplishment to hang your hat on, but consider this (again taken from wiki):

He founded numerous social programs and organizations, including Head Start, VISTA, Job Corps, Community Action, Upward Bound, Foster Grandparents, Special Olympics, the National Center on Poverty Law, Legal Services, Indian and Migrant Opportunities and Neighborhood Health Services, and directed the Peace Corps. Shriver also ran the War on Poverty during Johnson’s tenure as president. He was such an effective leader, that Job Corps and Adams and Associates dedicated a Center to his name in 1999.

I think part of the problem with “liberals” is they do not celebrate their leaders well.  While conservatives drool over the likes of Newt, W, Nixon, Ollie, Ronnie and even O’Reilly, what leaders of the democrats get the same adulation?

You could say Bill Clinton, JFK and Ted Kennedy, but I think they need to do a better job of praising the progressives that have left their mark on our society.

Cheers,

Tom

PS  I did not include Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to the list of democrats because I believe he is seen as a civil rights leader and not necessarily known as the progressive he was.  I guess to a degree his victorious march toward social change put things like his activism on poverty on the back burner.

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Filed under Bill O'Reilly, Civil Rights, Economy, History, Politics, Poverty, Racism, Republicans

Happy Birthday Hunter!

Today is Hunter S Thompson’s birthday.  He would have been 71.  I’m having a drink (or five) in his memory, I encourage you to do the same.

Cheers,

Tom

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Filed under First Amendment, Free Speech, History, Politics, Religion, Writers

Ireland

Last year after running with the bulls my wife (then girlfriend) and I went to Ireland.  We rented a Toyota stick shift (of note: in England and Ireland it is cheaper to rent a stick shift- automatics are much higher in price) and I was shocked that it took $75 to fill it up.  Of course, this was before the US dollar crashed (help in large part to W’s borrowing money from China and Japan to finance the Iraq War).  Today I paid $66 to fill my jalopy up, which is a record.

We set about to get a preview of as much of Ireland as possible.  Kind of a survey of what the island of nation had to offer.  One of the more memorable moments was pulling into Belfast on July 12th.  That’s the day known as “the troubles”.  Everything was closed.  We couldn’t even get fast food.  Luckily, we talked to a guy named Patrick who offered black cab taxi tours of the city.

Patrick's Cab

Patrick's Cab

Those tours take you through the city and showcase the struggle for Ireland’s independence from the tyranny of England.  While we wrapped up getting the blokes off of our back over 200 years ago, the Irish that live on the northern part of the island are still under control of the foreign invaders.  The 12th commemorates William of Orange’s victory at the Battle of Boyne.  Oddly, William wasn’t even English, being born in the Hague.

Anyways, what you need to know is every year on this date the good people of Belfast burn a city block of things.  Whatever will burn they put out and torch it in a central locale.  When we past it a child was sifting through the rubble with parts still burning.  It made me wonder what the American authorities would do if the same happened here.

Belfast fire

Belfast fire

From there we rode around the area of the “peace wall”, which is a wall built to separate the people that live in Belfast who want to continue under British rule- the protestants, and the Irish people that want to join the Republic of Ireland in the cause of independence- the Catholics.

The Peace Wall, Belfast, July 12, 2007

The Peace Wall, Belfast, July 12, 2007

As an atheist I have to just go with logic and say the whole island should be its own country.  It doesn’t make any sense to me that the UK commits military forces to keep the natives of the country down.  In my mind the island of Ireland should be one.

Here are some pics from the tour with some explanation following:

Picture of Oliver Cromwell- Hero to some, Asshole to Others

Picture of Oliver Cromwell- Hero to some, Asshole to Others

Taken from wikipedia’s account of Cromwell’s life “In Britain he was elected as one of the Top 10 Britons of all time in a 2002 BBC poll.[1] His measures against Irish Catholics have been characterized by some historians as genocidal or near-genocidal,[2] and in Ireland itself he is widely hated”.  If fact, Ireland has its own September 11th.  In 1649 Cromwell led the Massacre at Drogheda where he and his men killed about 3500 people after the town was captured.  These included many civilians and Priests.

Fredrick Douglas

Fredrick Douglas

Along the route were many murals.  Here is one to Fredrick Douglas.  To the left caption reads, “Inspired by two Irishmen to escape from slavery Frederick Douglas came to Ireland during the famine. Henceforth he championed the abolition of slavery, women’s rights and Irish freedom.”  To the right is a quote from Douglas, “Perhaps no class has carried prejudice against colour to a point more danger than have the Irish and yet no people have been more relentlessly oppressed on the account of race and religion”

Bobby Sands

Bobby Sands

Probably the most popular of the murals is the one dedicated to Bobby Sands.  Sands was jailed by the British for his involvement in IRA activities, but was denied the status of “political prisoner”.  While in prison Sands was voted in as a member of Parliament!  However, Margaret Thatcher and the UK authorities still would not end their iron hand upon the citizens of Ireland.  This led Bobby Sands head up a 1981 Hunger Strike that ultimately claimed his life, along with 9 others.  Now before you jump to the conclusion that Sands and others were starving themselves to “free Ireland” or some other large undoable request, here is a list of their five simple demands:

  1. The right not to wear a prison uniform;
  2. The right not to do prison work;
  3. The right of free association with other prisoners, and to organise educational and recreational pursuits;
  4. The right to one visit, one letter and one parcel per week;
  5. Full restoration of remission lost through the protest.

The significance of the hunger strike was the prisoners’ aim of being declared as political prisoners (or prisoners of war) and not to be classed as criminals.

That’s it.  They wanted to be treated better.  They wanted it to be known that they were being jailed for their actions toward freeing Ireland of English rule.  That’s it.  But Maggie wouldn’t budge.  Instead she allowed 10 of Ireland’s sons to die.  But it backfired.  The hunger strike led to massive media coverage and people joined the IRA in droves.  The deaths continue to be an inspiration to people the world over and a symbol of determination of self rule.

The caption beside Sands reads, “Everyone, Republican (Edit: the Irish nationalist) or otherwise has their own particular role to play…  our revenge will be the laughter of our children.”

And so it is…

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Filed under Civil Rights, Free Speech, History, Ireland, Politics, Religion

President Bush Pardons Himself of War Crimes?!?

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Filed under Civil Rights, History, Politics, Republicans