Thursday, February 26, 2015
Loose Llamas Lassoed in Sun City Enough of interrupting the news, prime time, and afternoon programming with high speed and low speed churches. Forget OJ in a slow speed chase in a white Bronco. The nation was transfixed earlier today by fleeing llamas on the loose in Sun City, Arizona. CNN, Fox, MSNBC, BBC, NPR, Washington Post covered the romp through the asphalts. Twitter lit up. Llamas are free roaming in nature. These sought free roaming rights on the asphalt of Maricopa County. Three llamas were being transported to an assisted living facility in Sun City for pet therapy for a retired llama rancher. Two llamas feigned a bathroom need, and then bolted for freedom. They were not ready for retirement in Sun City. The cry went out: “Escaped Llamas; Llamas on the lam.” The confusion of war: A Bolo went out for Fernando Lamas. The live llama drama ensued. Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s deputies couldn’t corral the desperados. Wannabe football stars futilely tried arm tackling the gallivanting llamas. Cars stopped. Drivers gawked. The Sun City seniors suffered cardiac arrests as they slammed the brakes on their golf carts. Sun City hasn't seen that much action since the feedlots closed. Phoenix is still in the West. In a scene out of Hollywood, real cowboys rode to the action with lariats to lasso the escapees from the beds of their pickups. What a sight to see! The smaller of the two went down easy, but the larger loping llama continued its flight to freedom. Finally, sadly, three urban cowboys roped the white llama.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
The Academy has called in TV’s CSI teams to conduct a forensic analysis of the slow, painful death of OSCAR while NCIS looks for the missing American Sniper. The corpse was shrouded in 50 shades of gray for the post-mortem. The coroner’s cause of death is listed as terminal ennui. Captain Brass is searching for the man who streaked the OSCARs in his briefs. A court order is sought to enjoin Jack Black from ever again interrupting the opening number, or even speaking at any future awards. He set the theme by basically saying movies were irrelevant. The FBI issued bolos for Harvey Weinstein, Bruce Vilanch, Joan Rivers, LEGOS, the audience, and Jack Kevokian. Oscar’s been terminal for some time. Viewership dropped 16% this year, or slightly less than 1/6 from last year. The theory of everything in Hollywood is viewership. The Oscars are losing. They are but an imitation of their former selves. James Franco phoned it in a few years ago. This year the viewers tuned it out. Billy Crystal said no. Ellen Degeneres said no. Neal Patrick Harris had proven himself in the Emmys and Tonys. He should have said no as his talent was wasted. We watch the Oscars to view the best of Hollywood. Once again, we got J Lo’s cleavage. Don’t the Oscars have anything else to show? We saw Benedict Cumberbatch sipping from a flask. We saw little of the best movies, and less of the Hollywood greats. Glory was the only glory in these Oscars. Lady Gaga rocked on 50 year old songs – a statement on the current status of the Oscars. Neal Patrick Harris suffered whiplash darting between the seat fillers. The winners deserved their Oscars, but America did not deserve this Oscars. Bette Davis said she named the Oscars after her ex-husband’s butt. We were the butt of the Oscar’s deflated jokes this year. The time has come to bring back David Letterman and his Stupid Pet tricks.
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Republican Legislature Are Enacting Right to Work Legislation in Wisconsin. The Media is Focusing on the Governor As a College Dropout
Scott Walker is Not a College Grad! So What! Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin announced that he will sign a fast track Right to Work bill if the Republican Legislature sends it to his desk. The Wisconsin Senate is expected to approve it this week and the Assembly next week. A Right to Work State means employees can neither be forced to join a union as a condition of employment nor otherwise pay dues to a union. Such an act will be revolutionary in the Progressive State of Wisconsin. The traditional industrial heartland of the United States, the upper Midwest, has been highly unionized led by the autoworkers, steelworkers, and teamsters. One of President Obama’s legacies is that he Republicanized the industrial heartland in the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections. Indiana and Michigan went Right to Work in 2012. Governor Walker crippled the public employee unions, except for police and fire, but left the private sector unions alone. That is about to change. Recent elections and declining union membership show the unions lack the power they once had. Union membership dropped to 11.7% of the Wisconsin workforce in 2014, down from 12.3% in 2013, and 14.2% in 2010. Union membership ranks have been sustained only by the large public sector unions One by one, state by state, Right to Work cripples the political fundraising powers of unions and decimates their ranks. The unions tried to defeat Governor Walker, even unsuccessfully mounting a recall campaign. They lost. Elections have consequences. Yet, the media is ignoring the Right to Work battle, focusing on the Governor dropping out of Marquette 34 credits short of graduating. If it spreads to other states, such as Ohio, then the once powerful industrial unions, the CIO unions, one of the building blocks of the middle class, may well shrink to political insignificance. Red State power will rise and Blue states continue their decline.Florida and Texas will continue to rapidly grow. One rule of politics is to narrow the field by knocking out opponents early. Governor Scott Walker has become a front runner for the 2016 Republican nomination. He has won election twice as a conservative Republican in the traditionally Progressive State of Wisconsin. He survived a recall election and a politically motivated criminal investigation. He defeated the public employee unions in Wisconsin. He survived the worse they could throw at him. The unions made Governor Walker a national hero to conservatives. Governor Walker comes across as a straight shooter who gets things done, a seemingly rare act in today’s political atmosphere. He doesn’t abandon his campaign pledges after winning elections. He presents compelling speeches. He now faces a new attack, designed to destroy his Presidential prospects. He is accused of not graduating from college. Reporters are flyspecking his college career. Did he leave because of drugs? An honor code violation? Trashing the student newspaper during an election campaign? Or was college just not the right route for him? The record shows that even in his college years he was a consummate politician. He has achieved great success in his given profession. The Constitution specifies the President must be at least 35 years old and a citizen born in the United States. This attack line will backfire. The nation deserves a substantive debate on Right to Work, ISIS, foreign policy, immigration, the economy, and ObamaCare. Instead we are getting major elements of the media and Howard Dean claiming you need a college degree to be President, a claim verging on elitism. He will win that debate
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
The Obama Administration declared its foreign policy is premised on “Strategic Patience.” The Obama Administration is currently hosting a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, not to be confused with Anti-extreme Islamic Terrorism. We are patiently waiting to hear the words “Islamic Extremism,” “Islamic Terrorism,” “radical Islam,” or even “Violent Islamic Extremism,” uttered at the Summit. The President started the week by declaiming Christian extremism in the Crusades. The State Department’s Marie Harf said yesterday that “we cannot win this war by killing them,” so we need to get them jobs. Let’s pull out more of those “shovel ready jobs,” which we are still patiently waiting for. Senator Robert Menendez (D. N.J.) thinks the Administration’s statements and quotes are “talking points coming out of Tehran.” Isis is using social media and bullets to win. The State Department is flooding social media with tweets. Bullets versus tweets. Patience. Fortunately for America, golf is a game of patience. The President is a master of the links. ISIS beheads James Foley. The President declaims the act, and then golfs on Martha’s Vineyard. ISIS beheads 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians. President Obama golfs in Rancho Mirage after decrying the death of the Egyptians, never acknowledging they’re Christians. He has time to think about the world’s problems as he golfs. He neglected to mention the Jews in his request for an Authorization for the Use of Military Force against ISIS as he referred to the French Kosher Market victims as victims of random violence. Kayla Mueller died because the President exercised patience over a week before the military launched its unsuccessful rescue mission. The hostages had been moved in the interim. The President is exceedingly patient in answering questions about the IRS, Benghazi, and Fast and Furious. Republicans are out of patience. He has patiently watched “Core Al-Qaeda” and “The JV Team” morph into the deadly ISIS. He has patiently supplied the Ukrainians with MRE's as Vladimir Putin supplies the Ukrainian "rebels' with special forces and tanks. MRE's versus tanks. Patience. He is patiently watching the Iranians progress to building the Bomb. His grand strategy apparently is to patiently await the fall of the Ayatollahs and Russia with the collapse of oil prices. He is also patiently awaiting, but doing his best, to speed up the fall of the Netanyahu government in Israel. He is patiently waiting for the Arab Spring to blossom into a secular, tolerant democracy. He is patiently watching ISIS gran more land in Syria, Iraq, and now Libya to establish the first Caliphate since the fall of the Ottoman Empire. He is patiently studying the fall of the Yemeni government to pro-Iranian rebels after he lauded the success of the Yemeni government and his strategy for fighting Al-Qaeda in Yemen. It is the model as we apply the strategy elsewhere in the Mideast. Patience hath its virtue, but what it is in the Mideast is known only to President Obama. Quick question: Association When you hear “Strategic Patience,” does General McClellan and ‘Strategic Withdrawal” pop into mind? Patience.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
The Republicam Congress Should Send Back to President Obama A New Authorization For the Use of Military Force
The Republicans Should Give President Obama a Real Military Force Authorization – Not the One the President Wants. President Obama sought authorization from Congress for the use of military force (AUMF) against ISIS, ISI, IS at the same time he claims he doesn’t need a new AUMF. He believes he has the Republicans stuck on the horns of a dilemma. He sees a Win-Win for the Democrats and a Lose-Lose for the Republicans. He knows the public will not support a political party, which fails to back a President when military force is necessary to protect the American people. The AUMF he seeks is so limiting that it could fail, making Republicans partners in the disaster. He believes the Republicans will lose either way. The Republicans should throw the dilemma back on him. He has outsmarted himself on the AUMF. The President argues the 2001 and 2002 AUMF’s presently give him the authority he needs to wage his limited war against ISIL The 2001 AUMF was broadly worded while the 2002 Resolution authorized the War against Iraq. He seeks to rescind the 2002 AUMF and replace it with a weak one, which would be limited to three years. It would allow air and special forces operations, but prohibit an “enduring offensive ground combat operation,” whatever that undefined, ambiguous term means. His proposed AUMF lists a number of aggrieved ethnicities and religions suffering under ISIL, but he leaves out the Jews in the list of victims. This omission is either intentional or Freudian. Either way it reflects the latent anti-Semitism of the Obama Presidency. The Peacenik Wing of the Democratic Party opposes the President’s proposed language as granting too much power to the President to wage war, but many influential Democratic Senators think it’s too weak. The President wishes to impose an artificial deadline, as he did with the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars. Wars are over when both sides agree or one side unilaterally withdraws. The Iraqi War never ended. The premature withdrawal is drawing America back in. If the Congressional Republicans are wise, they will turn the table on the President on a bi-partisan basis by approving an AUMF broader and stronger than the President wants. The revised AFUM should provide for the use of all necessary force as long as necessary. Put the President on the horns of the dilemma. If he vetoes it, then he and the Peacenik Democrats will pay at the 2016 polls. If he signs it, then the country wins. The Republicans should include an open-ended period, allow for the use of any necessary force with no time limit. The new AUMF should include riders, such as maintaining the fleet of A-10 Warthogs and restrictions on the release of additional prisoners from GITMO. Of course, the President will not use the broad authority to wage war against the radical Islamic terrorists if he signs the Bill, but his successor will. The AUMF is about the future – just not his future.
Friday, February 13, 2015
Oh what a winter! Bitter cold, followed by yet another blizzard racing into the Northeast. Boston’s already 7 feet deep, and another 15-18 inches may dump on it over the weekend. Central Park averages 25” of snow per winter. It already has 56.6 inches. Only residents of the Big Apple who cross country sky thrive in the snow. There’s nothing so classic as seeing a garbage truck with a snowplow barreling down Fifth Avenue. Priority goes to the Mayor’s Park Slope, Brooklyn residence. The past three storms have not only closed the airports, but also shut down the subways an Amtrak, paralyzing the East. New Jersey, home of Tony Soprano, permanently stuck between New York City and Philadelphia, is permanently conflicted. Yet, the snow is a bonanza for small entrepreneurs on the East Coast. The snow brings out the greatness in Americans, the good old Yankee Ingenuity, which built this great nation. Men stick snowplows on front of their pickups and SUV’s and charge neighbors and communities to plow their streets and driveways. Men lacking these vehicles pull out their rusty snow blowers to clear sidewalks. Then we have the young, healthy teenagers who walk house to house carrying snow shovels offering to dig out residents for unreported, untaxed pocket money, and performing the public service of sparing senior citizens from the risks of heart attacks. A few simple rules apply to the snow shovelers. First, that cannot toss the snow into the street because that would defeat the herculean efforts of the snow plows. Second, cities, such as Boston, require residents to shovel their sidewalks. Thus, Secretary of State John Kerry was fined for having an unshoveled sidewalk after the first storm. He was not saved by claiming to be in Europe at the time. Matt Molinari and Eric Schnepf, two 18 year olds, were carrying out the hallowed tradition in Bound Brook, New Jersey with an updated marketing approach. They went door to door, handing out flyers in advance of the impending snow. They were signing up clients in advance. Bound Brook’s finest were unimpressed. They informed the two young enterprising entrepreneurs that they could not solicit business without a $450 permit from the local government. Police Chief Michael Jannone said “We don’t make the laws, but we have to uphold them.” Police exercise discretion all the time in enforcing laws. The Bound Brook police follow the precedence of Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, and the Neanderthal communities which require the corner lemonade stand to be licensed in a misguided and economically perverse attempt to nickel and dime the public. Matt and Eric learnt a modern lesson in America: The Nanny State.
Sunday, February 8, 2015
President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu have a frosty relationship. The President has no respect for the Prime Minister. He was caught on a live mike saying to then France leader Sarkozy: “You’re fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day.” The President is pursuing a foreign policy of appeasement: strategic patience; none dare call it “Islamic terrorism,” a weak agreement with Iran, MRE’s to the Ukrainians, pulling the missile defense out of Czechoslovakia and Poland. The President believes peace can be achieved in the Mid East by Israel recognizing the Palestinians, reverting to the 1967 borders, halting new settlements, and abandoning existing settlements. He believes in appeasement. Prime Minister Netanyahu believes in the security of Israel and the Jewish people. He knows Hamas and Hezbollah would exterminate the Jewish people if they could. He fears a nuclear Iran. President Barack Hussein Obama views Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the problem. The President is petulant when he can’t get what he wants. It’s contagious with his assistants. A high level Obama assistant last October referred to Prime Minister Netanyahu as “Chicken Shit.” Republicans and many Democrats are seething at the President’s approach to Israel and Iran. The President has made it clear that he won and is free to do as he pleases. He is unfazed by the Republican landslide last November. House Speaker John Boehner on behalf of the House and Senate Republicans invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress on March 3, two weeks ahead of Israel’s elections.. The Speaker did not provide advance notice to the President. It’s called “Separation of Powers.” The Speaker runs the House. The petulant President Obama is throwing a “hissy fit.” He will not meet with the Prime Minister. His minions are telling the media that the Prime Minister’s speech could rupture the U.S. – Israel relationship. A team of five Obama campaign experts is in Israel to defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu. The President, whose Administration frequently violates the Constitution, claims a “Breach of Diplomatic Protocol.” This particular diplomatic protocol is newly created by the President. Vice President Biden presides over the Senate, but will be absent during Prime Minister Netanyahu’s presence. The Vice President will be traveling overseas, but doesn’t yet know where. Anti-Semitism is on the rise globally. President Obama is fanning the flames. Three Democratic House members have announced they will boycott the presentation. Others may follow. Speaker Boehner’s invitation is a brilliant political move. It shows widespread Congressional support for Israel, but more significantly it puts the Democrats on the horns of a dilemma. They can stand by their Israeli-hating President, out of party loyalty, or they can show their loyalty to Israel and AIPAC. Obama or Israel? They know they are caught on the horns of a dilemma. The choice is easy for most of us.. The Democrats are attempting to grab the bull by the horns through rhetorically forcing the Speaker or Prime Minister to cancel the invitation. The cacophony of voices in Israel emanate from his political opponents. Prime Minister Netanyahu will speak out against the Administration’s appeasement of Iran. His voice will not be silenced. So far no outcry has arisen over the Speaker’s invitation to Pope Francis to address a Joint Session of Congress on September 24 even though President Obama trashed Christianity at the National Prayer Breakfast last Friday.
Friday, February 6, 2015
Oh What A Life Brian Williams Has Led. Oh what a lucky man he is. Brian Williams has led an exciting life, far surpassing Indiana Jones. He has crammed several lives in just 55 years. We know his helicopter was shot down in Iraq. We know he drank floodwaters in New Orleans and suffered from dysentery. We know that on the drylands of the French Quarter he watched a body float by in the aftermath of Katrina. We learn that he rescued puppies from a burning fire. Here’s what he was too modest to tell us. He was in the back seat of the Mercedes with Dr. Nancy Snyderman on October 9, 2014 as her assistant fetched the takeout order at The Pleasant Grill. He survived Ebola and is recovering from measles. He was under fire with Hillary Clinton as she landed under sniper fire in Tuzla, Bosnia in March 1996. He was imbedded in Afghanistan when his Humvee struck an IED. He was rescued from World Trade Center I shortly before it collapsed. He was also shot at one night during a NYPD ride-along. He was gassed in Tahfir Square in Cairo during the 2011 Arab Spring. He was a hostage during the January 9, 2015 terrorist attack on the Hypercachet Kosher Supermarket in Paris. He was an infant on the last flight out of Saigon as it fell to the North Vietnamese. He marched in Selma with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He sat on the bus with Rosa Parks. He was commuting home the other night on Metro-North 659 through Valhalla, New York. He crossed the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis right before it collapsed on August 11, 2007. He barely escaped the Banda Acer tsunami in 2004. He survived the recent Trans Asia plane crash. He lost a small fortune to Bernie Madoff. He handed the Olympic Torch. He coached Malcolm Butler on interception techniques. Brian Williams cast the deciding chad in the 2000 Florida Presidential Election. It is no surprise Brian Williams has been diagnosed with PTSD. Brian Williams is now seeking advice from his best friend, Dan Rather.
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Orange County, California, once the fabled bastion in California of conservative whites safely ensconced behind “The Orange Curtain,” witnessed an ethnic revolution on the 5 member Orange County Board of Supervisors. Two Asian American women were elected to the Board in the November 5, 2014 general election. A third Asian American, Andrew Do, was just certified as winning a special election for the open seat in the First District by 43 votes over Lou Correa, the termed –out State Senator who held the seat 8 years ago. Supervisor Do served as Chief of Staff to Janet Nguyen, who vacated the seat upon her election to the State Senate in November. The First District is one of the few Democratic electoral districts by registered voters in Orange County. It is centered in Santa Ana, the county seat which is 78.2% Hispanic. The Hispanic Democratic vote is balanced by the Republican Asian American vote in Little Saigon, which comprises the large Vietnamese populations of Garden Grove, Westminster, Fountain Valley, and Santa Ana. Asian Americans in Orange County tend to register as Republicans unlike Asian American voters elsewhere in America, who favor Democrats. The GOP received only about 27% of the Asian American vote nationally in 2012. Orange County is the nation’s sixth largest county by population with an estimated 3,114,363 residents in 2013. It is 42.6$ Caucasian, 34.2% Hispanic, and 19.2% Asian American. It is thus an ethnically diverse county with the exception of African Americans, who comprise only 2.1% of the population. It is unfair to consider all Caucasians, or Hispanics, or Asian Americans as “one people.” The Asian American census figures show 183,766 Vietnamese, 79,082 Chinese, 71,060 Filipino, 87,697 Korean, 32,276 Japanese, 40,732 Indian, as well as Bangladeshi, Cambodians, and Sri Lankan. Three Asian Americans, one Vietnamese, one Korean, and one Japanese, comprise the Orange County Board of Supervisors, but they comprise less than 1/5 of the County’s population. This is a political revolution in a diverse county. The Orange County change is ethnic – not political. All five supervisors are Republicans in this consistently conservative Republican county in California. Yet,the three were overwhelmingly elected because of who they are as a person rather than by ethnicity, Supervisor Michelle Park Steel won the Second District, which includes Newport Beach and other affluent communities. It is 81.7% white and only 8.3% Asian American. Yet Supervisor Steel, who was born in Korea, won the district. She raised $758,766 for her campaign, about 4½ times the amount of her opponent. She had a major advantage in the election. Her husband since 1981 is Shawn Steel, a power in the California Republican Party. Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, who carried the 5th District, is Japanese American. Mayor Steve Choi of Irvine was also born in Korea. Irvine is about 43% Asian America – not a majority. The African American Al Murray recently served as Mayor of Tustin, of which the African American population is 2.2%. Let us also note that Edwin Lee is Mayor of San Francisco and Jean Quan just completed a term as Mayor of Oakland. California has overcome its past racial prejudice to Asian immigrants and is increasingly voting for the person as opposed to the race or ethnicity. The elections were free of the racial slurs that would have appeared in the past.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
The Seattle Supersonics were up 3-2 over the Washington Bullets for the 1978 NBA Championship. The final game was scheduled in Seattle. The odds were against the Bullets. Coach Dick Motta of the Bullets simply stated: “The Opera ain’t over until the Fat Lady sings.” The Bullets won the title. Pete Carroll is getting damned, almost universally, “for the dumbest play call” at the end of the game. Had it succeeded, it would have been ”one of the most brilliant calls in Superbowl history.” Both Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick are known for unconventional play calling, which sometimes blows up in the team’s face. The Patriots were leading the Colts 34 – 28 on November 15, 2009 with 2:08 on the clock. The Patriots had 4th and 2 on their own 28 yard line. The pass play came up short. Indianapolis won 35-34. Malcolm Butler’s interception was the critical play at the end of he game, but it was not the last play. The New England Patriots did not quit when they were the victim of a third weird pass reception in their last three Superbowls, two by the New York Giants. The reception by Jermaine Kearse should have broken their spirit if not their back. A lesser coach or team would have quit. The Fat Lady was silent. First and goal from the 5. Seattle has two timeouts remaining and New England one. New England actually had the Seahawks were they wanted them. Belichick was out-thinking Carroll. The Seahawks made the mistakes under the pressure. The Patriots are up 28-24. Seattle needs a touchdown. A field goal would be meaningless. An ordinary team would have quit after Kearse’s reception. Not the Patriots. The Opera Ain’t Over. The Seahawks had to burn a timeout, leaving one. They were burned by poor clock management. Bill Belichick continued to coach. No quit in Belichick. He outcoached Pete Carroll, also an outstanding coach. Conventional wisdom was that Belichick should call a timeout, let the Seahawks quickly score, and then get the ball back with about 60 seconds for a Brady Miracle. Belichick does not coach by conventional wisdom. Seattle’s great running back Marshawn Lynch gains 4. Second and goal from the one. Belichick does not call a timeout. The clock is running. It’s now a problem for Seattle. The burnt timeout limits their option. If they run the ball, then the Patriots jam the line. If Lynch doesn’t make it, Seattle will have to call a timeout. Lynch was 1 for 5 on the one yard line. It’s not a sure thing. Teams roughly run 50% and pass 50% in this position. Very few passes are intercepted from the One. - 61 passing touchdowns this season from the 1 with no interceptions. Contrary to mainstream, post hoc thought, a pass made sense – maybe not this pass, but a fade to the end zone or out of bounds, but a pass. Belichick put an extra CB in the game, Malcolm Butler, who made the interception. The Fat Lady still hadn’t sung. New England has the ball within its 2 yard line. A safety, followed by a free kick, is a distinct possibility. Tom Brady’s changed snap count drew the Seahawks offside. That’s when Seattle lost the game. One more snap, kneeing the ball, and Seattle has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. The Fat Lady was signing.
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Between the movie Selma and a visit last spring to Montgomery, Alabama with an opportunity to visit the historic civil rights sites in the state's capitol, I thought this chronology might be of interest to readers. Alabama was the “Cradle of the Confederacy.” It is also the Birthplace of the modern Civil Rights Movement. January 11, 1861: Alabama secedes from the United States. February 4, 1861: Seven states, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas form the Confederate States of America in Montgomery, Alabama. Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia subsequently join the Confederacy. February 11, 1861: Confederate Secretary of War Leroy Pope Walker sends telegram from the Winter Building in Montgomery to General P.G.T. Beauregard in Charleston, South Carolina ordering the attack on Fort Sumter. February 12, 1861: Shelling of Fort Sumter commences; the Civil War has begun. May 1861: Confederate Capitol moved to Richmond, Virginia. August 17, 1937: Senator Hugo Black (D. Ala.), a former member of the KKK, confirmed 63-16 to the United States Supreme Court. 1940: E.D. Nixon leads 750 African Americans in unsuccessful voting rights march in Montgomery. June 3, 1946: Morgan v. Virginia, Supreme Court rules unconstitutional Virginia statute requiring segregation on interstate buses. September 1, 1954: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. assumes full time ministry in the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church (now the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Church) one block from the Alabama Capitol. March 2, 1955: Claudette Colvin refuses to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. December 1, 1955: Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on the Montgomery bus, triggering the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott (381 days, December 1, 1955 - December 20, 1956). December 5, 1955: Montgomery Improvement Association created to support the Bus Boycott. Reverend King is elected Chair of the MIA. Much of the coordination of the bus boycott is done in Reverend King’s basement office. 1956-1957: KKK bombings January 30, 1956: Dr. Martin Luther King’s house bombed. February 1, 1956: E. D. Nixon’s house bombed. December 25, 1956 Birmingham house and church of the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth were bombed. January 10, 1957: Reverend Ralph David Abernathy’s house bombed June 1, 1956: Alabama Attorney General John Patterson seeks injunction shutting down the NAACP in Alabama. Judge Walter Jones promptly grants it. The NAACP does not return to Alabama until 1964. June 5, 1956: Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) founded in Birmingham. November 13/December 17, 1956: Browder v. Gayle, United States Supreme Court upholds lower court ruling that Montgomery’s bus segregation rules were unconstitutional (Claudette Colvin was one of the five plaintiffs). The Montgomery Bus Boycott ends as bus segregation is outlawed. March 6, 1957: Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and his wife attempt to desegregate the waiting room of the Birmingham train station. Birmingham Public Safety Commissioner Robert Lindberg orders the police to obey the 1946 Supreme Court decision in Morgan v. Virginia. He is defeated for reelection. June 1957: Eugene “Bull” Conner elected Public Safety Commissioner of Birmingham, Alabama, defeating the incumbent Robert Lindberg, who had followed the law. 1959-1963: Colonel Floyd Mann is the Director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety (Alabama State Patrol). June 30, 1958: NAACP v. Alabama, Supreme Court holds Alabama has no right to access membership lists of the NAACP. 1960: Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. moves to Atlanta and the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where his father is the Pastor. February 25, 1960 35 Alabama State students stage sit-in at the county courthouse cafeteria. Governor John Patterson orders Alabama State to expel the students. Alabama State President expels 9 and suspends 20 students. Montgomery Commissioner L. B. Sullivan recommended closing Alabama State, which he said provided only “graduates of hate and racial bitterness.” Students vote to boycott classes and exams. March 6, 1960: Rally at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. March 7, 1960: Over 1,000 students voted for mass strike during registration. Campaign failed. February 25, 2010: 9 students reinstated November 14, 1960: Gomillion v. Lightfoot; United States Supreme Court strikes down the boundary adjustments to Tuskegee, Alabama, designed to disenfranchise African American voters. 1961: Freedom Rides sponsored by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) begin: Washington, D.C. to New Orleans – 2 busses, one Greyhound and one Trailways. March 4, 1961 First bus leaves D.C. May 14, 1961 Greyhound Bus attacked in Anniston, Alabama. KKK slashes tires. Crippled bus forced to stop. Bus firebombed; KKK tried to keep the passengers on the bus. Plainclothes trooper on bus uses gun to effectuate to rescue the passengers from the burning bus Trailways bus arrives in Anniston. 8 KKK members severely beat the riders. Bus proceeds to Birmingham where Birmingham Commissioner of Public Safety Bull Connor gives the mob 15 minutes to attack the Freedom Riders. He sent the police home for Mother’s Day. One of the attackers was Gary Thomas Rowe, a FBI informant. Freedom ride is called off, but Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) sends reinforcements from Tennessee. Ride is scheduled to resume John Seigenthaler, Special Representative of Attorney General Robert Kennedy, meets with Governor Patterson and Montgomery Commissioner L. B. Sullivan. They promise safe passage to the Freedom Riders. Colonel Mann does not trust them; he stations Alabama State Troopers blocks from the Greyhound Bus Station. May 20, 1961: Freedom Ride resumes, arrives in Montgomery. No police present at the Greyhound Bus Station. Commissioner L. B. Sullivan promised the KKK several minutes to attack the riders. The mob attacks the riders. John Seigenthaler knocked unconscious, as is John Lewis (Now Congressman Lewis of Atlanta). Colonel Mann pulls a gun to save the life of a Freedom Rider and calls in the troopers. The riders (those not hospitalized) and a few federal marshals meet at Reverend Ralph David Abernathy’s First Baptist Church, where a mob of 3,000 surrounds the Church. President Kennedy is forced to act - Scores of federal marshals protect the Freedom Riders on the continuation of the ride. September 1962: Reverend Shuttlesworth, the ACHME and Birmingham Civic leaders agree to desegregate downtown water faucets and restrooms. The agreement was reneged on a few months later. November 1962: Birmingham voters adopt the Mayor-Council form of government. May 11, 1963: Bull Connor ordered to vacate office after Alabama Supreme Court decision. April 3, 1963: The Birmingham Campaign Begins (Marches and sit-ins) April 10, 1963: Circuit Judge issues injunction. April 12, 1963: Reverend King and other leaders arrested for violating the court order. April 16, 1963: Reverend King pens his famous “Letter From Birmingham Jail." May 2, 1963: “Children’s Crusade” – children, including teenagers, march in Birmingham; 959 arrested, filling the jails. May 3, 1963: Commissioner “Bull” Connor unleashes police dogs and fire hoses on the children marchers. A national outrage results, helping President Johnson pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. May 10, 1963: Birmingham business leaders and Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC) agree to integrate Birmingham. June 1963: Soldiers escort African American students Vivian Malone and James Hood into the University of Alabama, integrating the University. Vivian Malone is the sister-in-law of Eric Holder, the current Attorney General of the United States. September 15, 1963: 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing in Birmingham: 4 African American girls killed (Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Denise McNair and Carole Robertson); used by President Johnson to help pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, July 2, 1964. March 9, 1964: New York Times v. Sullivan: Supreme Court adopts the First Amendment to preclude states using common law of defamation to prevent media coverage of the civil rights movement. February 18, 1965: State troopers break up peaceful nighttime civil rights march in Marion, Alabama. Jimmie Lee Jackson, his mother and grandfather flee into Mack’s Café. Trooper James Fowler shoots Jackson, who dies 8 days later, leading to the Selma to Montgomery Marches. Fowler pled guilty to manslaughter in 2010. March 1965: Three Selma to Montgomery (54 miles) Voting Rights Marches. Dallas County Sheriff Jim Clark had viciously opposed voting rights for the African Americans. March 7, 1965: Bloody Sunday in Selma. 600 marchers attacked with clubs, whips and tear gas by state troopers, sheriff deputies, and sheriff posse after crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge (named after a Confederate general and Grand Wizard of the KKK). John Lewis has a fractured skull. March 9, 1965: Second march, Turnaround Tuesday, with 2,500, including white clergy from around the country. Reverend King kneeled on the bridge, prayed, and then turned back. James J. Reeb, a Unitarian Minister from Boston, was beaten to death that night by Birmingham racists. March 15, 1965: President Johnson addressed a Joint Session of Congress to introduce the Voting Rights Bill. March 21-25, 1965: 25,000 marchers, protected by federal soldiers, complete the march. Viola Liuzzo, a white volunteer from Detroit is murdered that night in neighboring Lowndes County while ferrying marchers back to Selma. One of the attackers was Gary Thomas Rowe, the FBI informant. March 26, 1965: Dr. Marin Luther Kings, Jr. delivers his famous “How Long, Not Long” speech from the steps of the Alabama State Capitol. August 20, 1965: Jonathan Daniels, Episcopal seminarian and SNCC member from New Hampshire, killed in “Bloody” Lowndes county after release from jail. August 6, 1965: President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Bill. 1966: Sheriff Jim Clark defeated for reelection by the newly enfranchised African American voters. 1970 African American activist John Hulett elected Sheriff of Lowndes County. September 12, 1970: USC defeats Alabama 42-21 in Birmingham. Sam “The Bam” Cunningham, a African-American fullback, is the star for USC. He gained 135 yards and 2 touchdowns on 12 carries. The story is that Alabama Coach Paul “Bear” Bryan brought Sam Cunningham into the Alabama locker room after the game and said “This is what a football player looks like.” Alabama Assistant Coach Jerry Claiborne said “Sam Cunningham did more to integrate Alabama in 60 minutes than Martin Luther King did in 20 years.” Coach Bryant awards first scholarship to an African American football player. 1971: Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) founded in Montgomery 1989: SPLC Civil Rights Memorial. 1995: Greyhound Bus Station closed. 2001: SPLC Civil Rights Memorial Center. 2008: Former Governor John Patterson endorses Senator Barack Obama for President. 2011: Greyhound Bus Station reopens as the Freedom Rides Museum.