London Bombings

So England is now the unlucky recipient of a terrorist attack. After the horror of the attack wears off England is going to have to ask itself how it will respond. Will Tony Blair respond the way Bush did, by locking down freedoms and turning the U.K. into another America… I sure hope not. The English people should be asked to do more than “keep shopping”. They have an opportunity now to show the world that just because some crazy people plant some bombs they, the English people, are not going to degenerate into an Orwellian police state. Continue reading London Bombings

Lincoln to Power the Future

So yesterday I got to thinking. Lincoln would be spinning in his grave if he knew was what was going on. We could moan and groan about how bad things are but I have a different idea. Lets put all that grave turning to good use. I have a radical plan to use our disgruntled forefathers to power the future. My plan is simple yet elegant. We dig Lincoln up, cover him with copper wire, surround his grave with strong permanent earth magnets. Hook some wires up and let him twirl. My simple calculations show that one single “Lincoln” unit could produce as much as 1 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year. Continue reading Lincoln to Power the Future

Lincoln rolling in the grave

So sometimes it seems that small little things really make me mad. So Abe Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. He didn’t do all that much, you know just freed the slaves, won the civil war, all this while making managing to rock that hat. By all accounts he was an all right guy.

Weather he personally believed in all the stuff he came to stand for is unimportant because his actions were such that the slaves were freed and the nation began the long road to integration and freedom for all (a road we are still on). He showed that it didn’t matter what you say it’s what you do.

A lesson that our current president would do well to learn. Your actions are what you will be judged by, not your words. So you can call it the clean skies act, or the healthy forest act, the future will judge you a polluter of skies and a destroyer of forests. So what does all this have to do with Abe? Well it seems that good old Bushy and his buddies want to do a little revamp of the Lincoln Memorial. Seems there is too much in there about gays and anti-war and anti-gun protestors. See this for more details.

The National Park Service has bought footage of President George W. Bush, his father, pro-Iraq War demonstrations and anti-gun control rallies from news organizations for inclusion in a video to be displayed at the Lincoln Memorial, according to documents obtained by People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF) and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

The two groups obtained hundreds of pages of records through a lawsuit they filed this past January under the Freedom of Information Act. The surrendered records contain thousands of redactions; in many cases whole pages are blacked out. While the groups are negotiating for additional disclosures as part of an ongoing suit, the excerpts released so far paint a compelling picture of how much time and energy the Bush administration has expended in an effort to censor brief clips of footage depicting gay rights, reproductive rights and anti-war demonstrations at the Lincoln Memorial from an educational eight-minute video that has been shown at the memorial since 1994.

The groups filed their FOIA request in October 2003 after being alerted that Park Service officials planned to develop a “more balanced” version of the videotape to satisfy the objections of right wing organizations. The right wing organizations reportedly complained that brief segments of footage showing gay rights, reproductive rights, and anti-Vietnam War demonstrations implied that “Lincoln would have supported homosexual and abortion ‘rights’ as well as feminism.”

The documents show that the Bush administration has acted on their demands, having authorized over $200,000 for video acquisition, editing, and production. In one email, a Park Service official writes “the Director just stopped in to relay that Judge Manson [the Assistant Interior Secretary] wanted to move quickly on the recommendations in the Video paper.” In another email from this January, an official writes that he has been ordered to “fast track” work on the Lincoln Memorial, causing other scheduled projects to be delayed.

In order to revise the video, the Park Service paid thousands to purchase additional footage. Though the agency redacted much of the identifying information, the un-redacted portions indicate that the footage includes conservative events and both President Bush and his father. The Park Service has not disclosed the content of the new video, the instructions given for the revisions or who approved the final product.

“I had not realized the extent to which the Lincoln Memorial exhibits had turned into a vanity project for the Bush administration,” added PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that high school students from around the country put the current video together with no input by political appointees. “No expense is being spared to erase even fleeting images of feminists, war protestors and gays from display as part of our nation’s history.”

Shameful really. I guess we should be asking ourselves W.W.L.D. What Would Lincoln Do. Now the man who freed the slaves and fought a civil war so that all men could be created equal, would enjoy a robust and full expression of equal rights for all. And he was no warmonger; he would have supported the anti-war sentiment of the Vietnam generation. I think his own words speak for themselves. “Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves…”

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