Sunday, September 11, 2011

It was a beautiful Tuesday morning

September 11, 2001 -

At 8:45 AM (EDT), hijacked American Airlines "Flight 11" crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in NYC. At 9:03 AM, a second hijacked plane, United Airlines "Flight 175" crashed into the South Tower of the Center. At 9:43 AM, American Airline "Flight 77" crashed into the Pentagon in the nation's capital. At 10:05 AM, the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed, followed by the North Tower at 10:28 AM.

September 11, 1932 -
MGM proved that the in fact ahd more stars than there were in heaven with the release of the Grand Hotel on this date.

The ensemble cast of the film never actually all appeared together in any of the scenes of the movie. I did not know this but the original 1932 trailer is apparently lost. It would have most likely looked similar in design to the film's opening credit sequence.

(With one kid starting Middle School and the other starting 4th Grade, we're still trying to work out all the changing that are going on in the home office here)
An Abbreviated Today in History:
September 11, 1936-
Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicates Boulder Dam (now Hoover Dam) by pressing a key in Washington to signal the startup of the dam's first hydroelectric generator in Nevada.

Hoover Dam is 726 feet tall and 660 feet thick at its base. Enough rock is excavated in its construction to build the Great Wall of China. Contrary to urban myths, no workers are buried in the dam's concrete.

September 11, 1967 -
The Carol Burnett Show premiered on CBS on this date.

After Jim Nabors appeared on the premiere episode, Carol Burnett would have him as the guest for each seasons first show because she considered him her "good luck charm". Carol Burnett and Vicki Lawrence were the only series regulars to stay with the program throughout its entire run.

September 11, 1987-
CBS went black for six minutes after anchorman Dan Rather walked off the set of "The CBS Evening News" on this date.

Because the tournament ended abruptly, CBS featured a blank screen for six minutes while producers frantically searched for the missing Rather.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Keep Me In Your Heart

Break out the hooch kids, we're here to celebrate Warren Zevon on the 8th anniversary of his death -

... I heard the General whisper to his aide-de-camp
"Be watchful for Mohammed's lamp"

Monday, September 5, 2011

Solidarity forever!

"Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country," explained Samuel Gompers, founder of the American Federation of Labor. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Mr. Gompers elaborated further: "All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day. . . is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation."

And yet, despite Mr. Gompers's assertions, Labor Day is not a Seinfeldian holiday about nothing. It is, according to Department of Labor, "dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

Workers being whom, exactly?

Whenever someone talks about Labor with an audible capital L, I picture a bunch of sweaty, grease-stained steelworkers, or guys in blue overalls and goggles with soldering irons. Their contribution is the oft-cited "sweat of their brows." Union regulations being what they are, though, they seem to be pretty well compensated for that sweat.

The term "Workers" has to include more than steelworkers and welders—otherwise we could just call it "Steelworkers and Welders Day." After all, a worker is just "one who works." I'm a worker (yes sporadically I consider myself a worker). Almost everyone I know is or was a worker.

The difference seems to be unions. If you belong to a union, you're a Worker or a Laborer (I'm not sure if they have different unions). If you don't belong to a union, you're a lousy lazy-ass—an exploiting bourgeois bastard.

Think what this means: Glenn Beck, Kim Kardashian, Snooki and the Situation are Workers. Your friends who work awful hours at lousy jobs in wretched offices — they're bourgeois scum.

But let's take a step back and see how we got a Labor Day holiday.

Grover Cleveland was a very unpopular man back in 1896. He was one of the fattest Presidents in US history. No one really likes a fat man - weighing over 300lbs, his nieces and nephews called him Uncle Jumbo to his face; only William Howard Taft was fatter, weighing in at a ginormous 335lbs, but I digress.

Two years earlier, Cleveland had broken up the Pullman Car strike using United States Marshals and some 2,000 United States Army troops, on the premise that the strike interfered with the delivery of U.S. Mail. During the course of the strike, 13 strikers were killed and 57 were wounded. It didn't win him any friends with the fledgling labor movement in America.

In order to throw a bone to Labor, Cleveland supported a holiday honoring workers on the first Monday in September, hoping it would help Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections. May 1st was initially proposed but was then rejected because government leaders believed that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the Chicago Haymarket riots which had occurred in early May of 1886.

Cleveland was proven wrong and the Democratic party suffered their worse defeat ever.

So remember the cynical origins of the holiday while you are BBQ'ing this afternoon.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Rick Santorum's platform

And furthermore, the jury is still out on that whole gravity theory,

for the Bible tells me so.