Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

April 3, 2009




On April 4, 1968, Life photographer Henry Groskinsky and writer Mike Silva, on assignment in Alabama, learned that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had been shot at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. They raced to the scene and there, incredibly, had unfettered access to the hotel grounds, Dr. King's room, and the surrounding area. For reasons that have been lost in the intervening years, the photographs taken that night and the next day were never published. Until now.


Mike Huckabee on the stump in Virginia for GOP gubernatorial candidate Robert McDonnell
- You have two jobs. One - get all those people who are gonna vote for Bob out to the polls and vote. If they're not gonna vote for Bob, you have another job. Let the air out of their tires and do not let them out of their driveway on Election Day. Keep 'em home. Do the lord's work, my friend. I'm giving you an opportuninty. . . yes, do the right thing.



- The amount of the Arctic Ocean covered by ice at the end of summer by then could be only about about 620,000 square miles. That's compared to today's ice extent 2.8 million square . . . Out of the 23 models now available, the new projections are based on the six most suited for assessing sea ice, according to Muyin Wang, a University of Washington climate scientist with the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean based at the UW, and James Overland, an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle. . . . Averaged together the models point to a nearly ice-free Arctic in 32 years, with some of the models putting the event as early as 11 years from now.


Benjamin Smith, Changing the Court
- Bronx Judge Laura Safer-Espinoza and the Bronx Treatment Court . . . is among a group of judges who support legislation to expand the use of treatment as an alternative to jail for non-violent felony offenders by making more resources available and widening the group of defendants who would be able to get into drug court. Of all problem-solving innovations in the justice system, drug courts (like the one run by Judge Safer-Espinoza) are the most widespread and have received the most recognition for their effectiveness. In addition to pushing for greater resources to support treatment, the legislation would also give judges more say about who is eligible for drug court - currently that decision is up to the district attorney. It would also widen somewhat those individuals who are eligible, including those who are receiving methadone and those who are facing their second offense, who are currently excluded.

Marc Abrahams, Guardian, UK
- What is the lengthiest spoken oath commonly required of witnesses in a formal legal trial? The answer seems to be 374 words, in the judicial courts of Burma, until at least the middle of the 19th century. An English translation appears in Kenneth RH Mackenzie's 1853 book Burmah and the Burmese, published in London. Mackenzie writes: "The oath is written in a small book of palm leaves, and is held over the head of the witness:". . . Excerpt: "May false witnesses die of bad diseases, be bitten by crocodiles, be drowned. May they become poor, hated of the king. May they have calumniating enemies, may they be driven away, may they become utterly wretched, may every one ill-treat them, and raise lawsuits against them. May they be killed with swords, lances, and every sort of weapon. May they be precipitated into the eight great hells and the 120 smaller ones. May they be tormented. May they be changed into dogs. . .


Gay Rights -
Iowa's Supreme Court ruled that the state's 1998 law that limits marriage to one man and one woman is unconstitutional. The decision makes Iowa the third state in the country, and the first that doesn't touch an ocean shore, to legalize same-sex marriage.

Sacramento Bee - A Roseville couple who refused to sign their marriage license because new forms didn't use the terms bride and groom have settled their lawsuit with the state, their attorney said. The couple sued claiming their rights had been violated. Now, the attorney for Rachel and Gideon Codding says the state has agreed to accept the couple's marriage license and agreed to pay for attorney's fees. . . The Pacific Justice Institute last year announced it would sue in Placer Superior Court on on behalf of the Coddings. The couple claimed the state of California did not have the right to replace the terms "bride" and "groom" with "Party A" and "Party B" on state marriage documents. The courts had mandated state agencies use gender-neutral words on the forms after the state Supreme Court ruled in May 2008 that same-sex marriage is legal. . . After the story about the couple surfaced, California state officials, saying they had heard from residents all over the state who want to be identified as "bride" and "groom" on their marriage license, changed the forms again.


- The U.S. unemployment rate soared to 8.5 percent in March, the highest since 1983, as employers slashed 663,000 jobs and cut workers' hours to the lowest on record, government data showed. In a report underscoring the distress in the labor market, the Labor Department also revised its data for January to show job losses of 741,000 that month, the biggest decline since October 1949.

Reuters - A record 32.2 million people - one in every 10 Americans - received food stamps at the latest count, the government said . . . Food stamps, the major U.S. anti-hunger program, help poor people buy groceries. The average benefit was $112.82 per person in January. The January figure marks the third time in five months that enrollment set a record.


Glenn Beck, 2005 - You know, it took me about a year to start hating the 9/11 victims' families. . . When I see a 9/11 victim family on television of whatever, I'm just like, 'Oh, shut up!' I'm so sick of them because they're always complaining


Aiken Standard
- Officials gathered where the body of the late Rev. James Hines was exhumed to investigate allegations that the man's legs had been cut to fit him in a casket he pre-ordered when he learned he was sick with cancer. State officials have exhumed the body of an Allendale minister, who was buried in 2004, amid allegations his legs had been cut off to fit the 6-foot-7-inch man into a coffin too small for the body. Allendale County Coroner Hayzen Black, who was present during the Tuesday exhumation, said it has been long rumored that the casket the late Revelation Ministries pastor was laid to rest in was likely not long enough for the very tall man. After more than 30 minutes of digging into the ground with a bulldozer, the casket was unearthed and opened, and the agents and officials began snapping photographs. The coroner retreated from the group of officials to talk with church members and those with the media who stood outside the gates of the cemetery. He said he couldn't comment on what they saw, only that criminal charges would likely be filed. "There were problems with the body," Black added.


To those Washington friends who have questioned the wisdom of your editor moving his operations to Freeport, Maine: I have learned that the average winter temperature is ten degrees colder there than in DC, but also ten degrees cooler in the summer. Besides, as the Mainer once put it, "If you don't like our winters, you don't deserve our summers.". . . Also: Forbes has just listed the Portland Maine and vicinity as America's most liberal city.
Bethesda, Md., and Des Moines, Iowa., round out the top three, followed by Bridgeport/Stamford, Conn., and Tulsa, Okla.


Note: Eugene Mccarthy once observed that thanks to the rules of baseball, a game could theoretically go on forever and a home run could travel to infinity.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

One day, even the UN will wake up to realise you can get more sense out of super model than you can from a climate model.

April 5, 2009 2:52 AM  

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