"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Links of the Day

New Zealand Struck by 6.3 EarthquakeAround 1pm yesterday downtown Christchurch, New Zealand was struck by a 6.3 earthquake that has devastated the city. Reports indicate that 75 have died with many more injured. Rescue operations continue to find people trapped in buildings. The earthquake "toppled buildings onto buses, buckled streets, forced the collapse of a cathedral spire and cut power for most of the city." The city also experienced 33 aftershocks with range of magnitudes of 4 to 6. Condolences to all those that lost family and friends.

R.I.P. Dwayne McDuffie
The name may not be familiar but if you enjoy cartoons or comics you are probably familiar with his work even if don't know it. He started in comics working for both Marvel and DC. He eventually created Milestone Media in an attempt to create a more diversified super hero world which included the hero Static. Later he moved onto animation where he wrote stories for acclaimed cartoon series Justice League, was story editor and producer of Justice League Unlimited. He also worked on Ben 10 and Static Shock cartoon series. He later returned to write comics but never stepped far from his animation with his most recent work, All-Star Superman just hitting DVD and Blu-ray shelves today. Thanks to his DC animated efforts and Ben 10; I have a feeling that many generations of children (and adults like me) will enjoy his legacy for years to come. (image from aalbc.com)

Clarence Thomas Milestone
If you need any further proof of what a fraud Clarence Thomas is, how about this "milestone." The Supreme Court justice has now officially gone five years without asking a single question while a lawyer argues a case before the high court. In general, the Justices pepper lawyers with questions in an attempt to reach clarity on an issue they are overseeing but in Thomas' case he just goes through the motions. The reason he doesn't ask questions is simple - he votes 100% along GOP beliefs. Why bother asking questions when your vote has been decided before the oral arguments even begin? To give him credit, at least he doesn't waste time pretending he cares about the arguments like Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito and John Roberts. To my knowledge the four have never voted against each other. As a result for any lawyer going in, if it’s a decision that isn't supported by the GOP, you are already looking at a 4 vote deficit. Why people continue to give Thomas any respect eludes me.

Wisconsin Protests Continue, Indiana Joins GOP Cause
To now surprise, what began in Wisconsin has spread. Indiana is the first of what will likely be the first of many copy cat GOP state governments. The GOP has hit upon a plan to try and begin to outlaw unions by first outlawing it at the government level. They are using "fiscal responsibility" as the excuse even though they themselves admit that outlawing the unions will do nothing to balance state budgets. The Wisconsin plan from Governor Scott Walker started after the governor pushed through a bill to reduce corporate taxes by $150 million which in turn then caused a $140 million deficit in the state budget. As has been the continue practice of the GOP, they have dramatically reduced state and federal revenue with no means of making up that difference. As has historically always been the case, those that benefit most from the GOP string-free cuts (the rich and corporations) have simply pocketed the money and enjoyed their new net income with no real benefit to the economy at a local, state, or national level. Unspent money benefits no one and as long as the GOP just gives things away without strings, the economic situation for non-rich members of America (aka 98% of the country) will continue to deteriorate. Of course the Tea Party, backed by the very same corporations, has rallied to Wisconsin's cause pretty much saying that the rich should be our first priority. Ironic considering most of the Tea Party members have not benefited in any meaningful way from most of the GOP's causes beyond a lot of lip service but no real action.

The Legend of Zelda Turns 25
Monday was the 25th anniversary of the Zelda franchise from Nintendo. What began as The Legend of Zelda on the NES in 1986 remains strong as new titles are in the works to be released later this year. A very sweet painting has been created to mark the occasion, click here to get a look.

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