Billy The Kid Gets No Pardon

Whew!

Wild West outlaw Billy the Kid will not receive a posthumous pardon for killing a county sheriff in 1878, the governor of the US state of New Mexico has said.

Bill Richardson had been asked to pardon the infamous 19th Century bandit in order to fulfil a promise supposedly made in exchange for court testimony.

But Mr Richardson told US TV that Billy the Kid’s name – linked to as many as 27 murders – would not be cleared.

Billy the Kid was shot dead after escaping from jail in 1881, aged 21.

Albuquerque lawyer Randi McGinn recently began a campaign for his pardon, alleging that New Mexico’s territorial governor, Lew Wallace, had promised the outlaw a chance at freedom if he testified in a murder case against three men.

Bill Richardson, New Mexico’s current governor, leaves office at the end of 2010 and was asked to consider a pardon before he exits the governor’s mansion.

However, Mr Richardson said he decided against a pardon “because of a lack of conclusiveness and the historical ambiguity as to why Gov Wallace reneged on his promise”.

Scott Walker Took Oath Of Office For Governor From AG Van Hollen On Thursday

What?

I have never heard of something like this.

Gov.-elect Scott Walker took the oath of office on Thursday, sworn in by Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.

Walker will become governor at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

He took the oath early because the necessary papers must be filed with the secretary of state’s office, which is closed Friday.

In a one-on-one interview, Walker says he isn’t nervous about his upcoming term, but feels a sense of history as he prepares to become the top office-holder in the state.

Madison Ald. Brian Solomon Under Investigation For Sexual Assault Complaint

This story popped off the news page today. 

I find it sad as I knew and liked  Brian Solomon’s wife Lynn, who I worked with for a couple of years.  For her sake one can only hope the allegations are not true. 

The state Department of Justice is investigating a sexual assault complaint by a female city employee against Madison Ald. Brian Solomon.

Solomon, a state employee who has represented the 10th District on the Southwest Side since 2007, said he was good friends with the woman and strongly denied the allegation.

The woman initially filed a complaint with the Madison Police Department in September about an April incident, but the police determined they lacked jurisdiction because the alleged incident happened outside the city and referred the complaint to the Department of Justice.

Solomon said that he, the woman and four council members were at a Downtown bar after an April council meeting, and that he drove the woman home that night.

Solomon said he stayed at the woman’s apartment for a while at her request and that “nothing happened that wasn’t completely consensual.” He said he was unaware of any objections to his conduct that night until he was contacted by investigators several weeks ago.

Solomon said he and the woman became friends around February. He had surgery in May, he said, and she greeted him warmly when they saw each other again in July. But after that they drifted apart, he said.

City Council President Mark Clear and Alds. Tim Bruer, Marsha Rummel and Chris Schmidt, who were with Solomon and the woman at the bar in April, said they have been interviewed by state investigators related to the complaint.

Farewell 2010 With Boxcar Willie “Winds Of Yesterday Blow On Me”

This song seems to fit the mood that I have as we are to leave 201o.  For better or worse we all will move forward and turn the page and wait for the next chapter to unfold with a new year.  As we do so there is no way not to glance backwards and recall the smiles that we all would like to grab and hold on to forever.

With those feelings comes this song…..  You Tube needs to have this one viewed on their site….so forgive me…..and follow the link above…..or the one below.

Wisconsin Citizens To Be Blocked From Scott Walker Inauguration In Capitol

Is it just me, or is the news coming from the Wisconsin State Capitol truly perplexing?

Today comes word from one who works under the dome that there is work underway to prevent citizens…..you know the type…..the folks who work hard and pay taxes and hope for a brighter future……from getting to see the inauguration of Scott Walker on Monday.

Let me quote the email.

“They have stuff in place now on the ground floor to block off access to the elevators and the stairwells on Monday! “ 

Might I ask what in hell is going on?

And why?

If our new governor is shielding himself from the public on the most public of days, pray tell what does the future hold?

There is a time for safety and we all understand that.

But let me tell my readers that this has nothing to do with safety.

This has everything to do with the fact that there will those around the Capitol who disagree with the policy direction that Scott Walker has threatened to take this state.

There comes a time when leaders face the public and not try to dodge the tough appearances.  If Scott Walker can not deal with a couple of folks at his inauguration who differ with him what in heck will he do when he attempts to change tax policy or educational standards across the state?

This is a time for all those who care about a better way of governing to put other plans aside and make an all out committment to be at the Wisconsin State Capitol on Monday, January 3rd.  Step up to the plate and protest Scott Walker. 

Labor will be in attendance around the statehouse…..and you should be there too!

Join a silent protest outside the State Capitol on Inauguration Day.

Monday, January 3 • 11:15 am – 12:15 pm

Signs reading “WE WANT GOOD JOBS NOW!” will be available at 10:30 am in the basement of The Argus Bar and Grill, 123 East Main St.

Rep. John Hall Says America On Road To Fascism

I hear more and more people, of all backgrounds, making this argument about fascism in light of the antics of conservatives, and the way they are gaining power.  And what they want to do with it.

New York Democratic Rep. John Hall, who lost his seat in the midterm elections, is warning that the influx of corporate money into politics is putting America at risk of a decent into Fascism. 

“I learned when I was in social studies class in school that corporate ownership or corporate control of government is called Fascism,” he told the New York Observer. “So that’s really the question– is that the destination if this court decision goes unchecked?” 

The court decision he is referring to is Citizens United, the controversial Supreme Court ruling that led to greater corporate spending in the midterm elections, much of it anonymous. In the wake of the decision, Democrats tried to pass the DISCLOSE Act, which would have mandated that corporate donors identify themselves in their advertising, but the measure failed amid GOP opposition. Ads from groups with anonymous donors were particularly prone to misleading or false claims. 

Hall said the influx of corporate money in the wake of Citizens United handed the House of Representatives to Republicans. 

“The country was bought,” he told The Observer. “The extremist, most recent two appointees to the Supreme Court, who claimed in their confirmation hearings before the Senate that they would not be activist judges, made a very activist decision in that it overturned more than a century of precedent. And as a result there were millions of extra dollars thrown into this race.” 

Hall, who said he was particularly disappointed by the failure of DISCLOSE, said he had been approached by Democrats about running again in 2012. And while he isn’t closing the door on a run, he said he would already need to be raising money if he was serious about running — something he isn’t doing. 

The former leader of the rock bank Orleans, Hall lost in the midterms to ophthalmologist Nan Hayworth after two terms in Congress.

Video: Behind The Scenes Of Signing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal

Uplifting.

Saudi Arabia Making Profit From ‘House Of God’

This is why newspapers matter.  Stories likes this are not found on the CBS Evening News.

By far the best story in this morning’s paper is the article on Mecca.   It is a fascinating read, and I suggest the whole story.

It is an architectural absurdity. Just south of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the Muslim world’s holiest site, a kitsch rendition of London’s Big Ben is nearing completion. Called the Royal Mecca Clock Tower, it will be one of the tallest buildings in the world, the centerpiece of a complex that is housing a gargantuan shopping mall, an 800-room hotel and a prayer hall for several thousand people. Its muscular form, an unabashed knockoff of the original, blown up to a grotesque scale, will be decorated with Arabic inscriptions and topped by a crescent-shape spire in what feels like a cynical nod to Islam’s architectural past. To make room for it, the Saudi government bulldozed an 18th-century Ottoman fortress and the hill it stood on.

The Royal Mecca Clock Tower and a half-dozen luxury high-rises are being built, and more land has been cleared for development in the Saudi city; some critics see this as a capitalist makeover. More Photos »

 

The tower is just one of many construction projects in the very center of Mecca, from train lines to numerous luxury high-rises and hotels and a huge expansion of the Grand Mosque. The historic core of Mecca is being reshaped in ways that many here find appalling, sparking unusually heated criticism of the authoritarian Saudi government.

It is the commercialization of the house of God,” said Sami Angawi, a Saudi architect who founded a research center that studies urban planning issues surrounding the hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, and has been one of the development’s most vocal critics. “The closer to the mosque, the more expensive the apartments. In the most expensive towers, you can pay millions” for a 25-year leasing agreement, he said. “If you can see the mosque, you pay triple.”

Saudi officials say that the construction boom — and the demolition that comes with it — is necessary to accommodate the ever-growing numbers of people who make the pilgrimage to Mecca, a figure that has risen to almost three million this past year. As a non-Muslim, I was not permitted to visit the city, but many Muslims I spoke to who know it well — including architects, preservationists and even some government officials — believe the real motive behind these plans is money: the desire to profit from some of the most valuable real estate in the world. And, they add, it has been facilitated by Saudi Arabia’s especially strict interpretation of Islam, which regards much history after the age of Muhammad, and the artifacts it produced, as corrupt, meaning that centuries-old buildings can be destroyed with impunity.