I just love my Linux “calendar” command. It’s an old Unix trick. *nix (Linux, Unix) systems have these special files on them where dated information is stored, for the user, the system, or just because it’s there. If you have a Linux computer, you have several such files already installed. If you go to a command prompt and type “calendar” (and hit enter) you get, typically, today and tomorrow’s entries by default, which include a bunch of historical entries. To wit:
- Oct 06 First GPSS manual published, 1961
- Oct 06 Antioch College is the first public school to admit men and women, 1853
- Oct 06 Egyptian President Anwar es-Sadat is assassinated in Cairo, 1981
- Oct 06 Israel is attacked by the alliance of Egypt and Syria, 1973
- Oct 06 Frodo wounded at Weathertop
- Oct 06 National Sports Day in Lesotho
- Oct 06* Yizkor
- Oct 06* Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement; 9 days after Rosh Hashanah)
- Oct 06 N’oubliez pas les Bruno !
- Oct 06 Bonne fête aux Foy !
- Oct 07 Foundation of the German Democratic Republic (GDR or DDR), 1949
- Oct 07 Georgia Tech. beats Cumberland Univ. 222-0, 1916
- Oct 07 Maryland Governor Marvin Mandel sent to prison on fraud charges, 1977
- Oct 07 Mother Teresa of Calcutta awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, 1979
- Oct 07 Police stop Wilbur Mills car, Fanne Fox jumps into water, 1974
- Oct 07 National Heroes Day in Jamaica
- Oct 07 First Bandstand (later, American Bandstand) broadcast, 1957
- Oct 07 Aujourd’hui, c’est la St(e) Serge.
- Oct 07 Gründung der DDR, 1949
Which begs the question, I think for most readers, “Who were Wilber Mills and Fanne Fox?” (Fifth item from the bottom.)
I admit I had no idea, even though I am cursed with one of those memories that does not let me forget anything. But it was the 1970s, and I think I may have forgotten quite a bit of the 1970s for various reasons I shall not go into now. Or ever, likely.
Anyway, even though The Internet is often mute regarding pre-Internet things that are not major-historical, Wilber and Fanne are well documented there, so it was easy to look them up. And it turns out that they are very relevant with respect to current events.
Wilber Mills was a very powerful member of congress, frequently re-elected, head of the House Ways and Means committee. Other than the speaker of the house, this is often considered the most powerful position a member of the house can have. So Wilber was in the top five on the “Most Powerful People in the World” list.
Fanne was a stripper in Boston.
You can imagine the rest of the story. I won’t bore you with what would surely be an inadequate re-telling, I’ll just send you to what seems like a good source, here.. (I apologize for providing a link to Time Magazine. Hey, there needs to be a Wikipedia article on this, anybody want to write it?)
Anyway, Wilber was brought down by a sex scandal. And today, of course, we have Larry Craig and his sex scandal. Why is this interesting? Well, the Craig scandal is interesting because he is an anti-gay Republican who plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge involving behavior that is not in accord with the behavior that the anti-gay Republican party demands of all of us. We have to keep things straight here … Craig is gay (or bisexual, but that may be splitting hairs really … the point is, he is not straight). The Republican position is that gay-ness is bad, wrong, immoral, etc. Since I personally don’t hold that position, I personally do not care one bit about Craig’s gayness. Therefore, I do not think he should be investigated or that he should resign over his sexuality. Obviously.
But he did commit a crime, and isn’t it the case that lawmakers should not commit crimes? Well, maybe, but this was a misdemeanor. He was seeking I assume, a convenient and casual blow job, which, when done in an airport in Minnesota, can get you a fine, apparently. The Republican Senators are saying that while they don’t like or condone Craig’s behavior, they do not routinely carry out ethics investigations for misdemeanors.
Unless, of course, you are the President of the United States seeking a convenient and casual blow job. The Republican position on that is: Drag the nation through the process of impeaching the President.
And just in case you have not read the Time piece on Wilber, or remember the events, I should tell you this: Wilber was a Democrat, and he was run out of power by the Republicans. (And I think all of his shenanigans was of the heterosexual variety, by the way.)
Here’s what I think should happen with Larry Craig:
The Democrats should do nothing. This could provide some useful brownie points later on for them. From the Republican perspective, they should drive him out of the Senate in order to not appear to be utter hypocrites. But I would prefer it if the Republicans did nothing, and, well, went ahead and fully demonstrated that they are total hypocrites.
But Larry Craig should not do nothing. He should continue on in the Senate, then, run for re-election. The left cannot lose. If he loses, then we get another Democratic Senator (presumably) and embarrass the Republicans in general (always good for a laugh). If he wins, then we will experience an incremental shift towards general liberalism, because the votors of Craig’s home state will be saying “We don’t care about this stupid issue.” They will, in a sense, have moved on. As in MoveOn. Dot org.
Which, of course, was the organization formed initially in response to the Republican’s inability to get over it, and move on, when the President went for his casual, and apparently (according to the documentation) fairly ineffective, blow job.