Photo Shop Politics: William The Youth

Must not be too much to do in New Mexico...

Outgoing New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is mulling whether to grant a pardon to Billy the Kid, the outlaw convicted of murdering a sheriff in 1878. The potential pardon has ignited a debate on this chapter of frontier history, with supporters saying state authorities reneged on a deal struck with Billy the Kid -- also known as William H. Bonney -- and opponents arguing that a pardon would sully the memories of the lawmen who tracked him down.

An unofficial poll set up by the governor's office found public support for the pardon, according to the Associated Press, with 430 respondents in favor and 379 opposed.

Pardons are a traditional goodwill gesture from departing governors but few involve convicts who died more than a century ago. Richardson, a Western history buff, first started considering a pardon for Bonney after receiving a petition from Albuquerque attorney Randi McGinn this month, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Billy the Kid was convicted of killing Lincoln County Sheriff William Brady in 1878 but the territorial governor of New Mexico, Lew Wallace, offered him a pardon if he testified in a separate murder case. The Kid agreed but was never pardoned. He escaped from prison in 1881 and killed two deputies before he was tracked down and killed on July 14, 1881.

McGinn told the Times her petition was "only to enforce one promise the governor made."

Wallace's great grandson, however, opposes the pardon. William N. Wallace said a pardon would portray the former governor as a "dishonorable liar."

Richardson has until Friday night to make up his mind. His successor, Susana Martinez, says she has better things to do with her time than argue about frontier-era outlaws.


Is Mother Earth Losing Her Balance?

"We live in a democracy and policies represent our collective will. We cannot blame others. If we allow the planet to pass tipping points...it will be hard to explain our role to our children. We cannot claim...that 'we didn’t know.'"

Jim Hansen
Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies

"...Taxes do two things. First and most obviously, they fund the operations of government. But far more importantly, taxes have been used since the founding of this country to encourage behaviors that we deem good for the nation and to discourage behaviors we consider bad..."

"...In Denmark gasoline is taxed heavily and costs nearly $10 per gallon because the government—with the consent of its citizens, the result of a public information campaign that wasn’t drowned out because there is no domestic oil industry to speak of—realized it was picking up about $3 per gallon of the real cost of gasoline.
Cars and trucks produce exhaust, which deteriorates buildings and statues, causes cancers and asthmas, and, when rain catches it on the way down, pollutes waterways and crops, with those poisons ending up in the food chain. With a national health-care system in addition to other public services, taxpayers in Denmark are picking up the cost of cleaning public areas and historic sites, treating the cancers and the asthmas, cleaning waterways, and restoring farmland that’s been polluted by gas additives, like lead and MTBE (methyl tertbutyl ether).

So they decided to recover those “externalized costs” from gasoline with an increased gas tax..."

Thom Hartmann
Cool Our Fever


The Chamber Pot Is Full Of Fraud...

On this date in 1973...

The Chamber of Commerce of Akron, OH, terminated its association with the All-American Soap Box Derby. It was stated that the race had become "a victim of cheating and fraud."

Evidently, the Chamber has had a change of heart. Now it endorses cheating and fraud, as long as it is being done by big business.

TEA Party: Return To The Bad Old Days

On December 28, 1869...

The (Noble and Holy Order of the) Knights of Labor, a labor union formed by tailors in Philadelphia, held the first Labor Day ceremonies in American history. Led by Uriah S. Stephens, they advocated and end to child and convict labor, equal pay for women, a progressive income tax and cooperative ownership of mines and factories by management and workers. They organized among the growing mass of industrial workers, their motto, “An Injury to One Is the Concern of All.”

On January 3, 2011...

Wisconsin GovenorScott Walker and the new Republican Legislature declare war on working people. They intend to abolish public employee unions and turn Wisconsin into a so-called right-to-work state, meaning no more union shops and no more dues from anyone who objects. This also means no more pressure from anywhere to keep wages at a livable level for anyone, union or not.

It’s all under the guise of cutting the state’s $3 billion budget deficit and creating 250,000 jobs. Sound familiar? Since the Reagan era, Republicans and corporate Democrats have pushed the big lie that tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, and busting unions would bring jobs and prosperity. Instead we got the Great Recession. And now the people of Wisconsin have voted to cure the disease with more disease and turn our state into an economic dictatorship..

When Adolf Hitler outlawed “trade unions, collective bargaining and the right to strike, the German worker in the Third Reich became an industrial serf, bound to his master, the employer, much as medieval peasants had been bound to the lord of the manor,” writes William Shirer in his classic, “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” This was done “democratically” when Germany’s parliament passed the 1934 Charter of Labor, which “put the worker in his place and raised the employer to his old position of absolute master.”