cape cod pier sunset wallpaper, experts and climate, that old time censorship

cape cod pier sunset wallpaper

cape cod pier sunset wallpaper

We know that some things are just common sense. When you’re diagnosed with cancer you ask an accountant what course of treatment to pursue. When your drain is clogged you call a watchmaker and ask them to come over to have a look. When you need help learning to read, you turn to the nearest illiterate. These things are so obvious and boring that repeating them is just taking up blog space and wasting everyone’s time. 10 Dumbest Things Fox Said About Climate Change In 2012

6. Instead Of Scientists, Fox Turns To Mark Levin And A Coal Miner To Say “CO’s What Make Plants Grow.” During an hour-long special on the “green agenda” hosted by anchor Bret Baier, Fox News did not interview a single scientist. Instead they turned to right-wing radio host Mark Levin, who denied that carbon dioxide is a pollutant that should be regulated, saying: “Carbon dioxide is what we exhale. Carbon dioxide is necessary for plants.” Fox later aired video of coal miner Robert “Buz” Hilberry echoing this, saying: “I’m no scientist but CO’s what make plants grow and what make you breathe, so they’re trying to choke us all out by stopping the burning of coal.” At no point did Fox clarify that it’s the unusually high amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide that has scientists concerned, or acknowledge the scientific consensus.

Why would Levin need any credentials in climate science when he has received the very famous and much coveted Ronald Reagan Award from the American Conservative Union. Mark received the award for that scientific paper he wrote proving that shoving a chunk of coal up your butt cures hemorrhoids. And Buz is the man, did anyone else know that there is some super sneaky plan afoot to completely stop the mining and burning of coal. You know what happens when we do that? All the plants on earth will die because they need that exhaust from burning coal to breathe. Missed that class didn’t ya smarty pants scientists with your Ph.Ds.

this tape will self destruct

this tape will self destruct

A century of British film censorship

The British Board of Film Censors was established 100 years ago, on 1 January 1913, to censor films “which may be considered in any way opposed to the better feelings of the general public”.

[  ]…By the end of its first year the British Board of Film Censors had rejected over 22 films in their entirety for one or more of the following reasons:

a)    Indelicate or suggestive sexual situations

b)    Indecent dancing

c)    Holding up a minister of Religion to ridicule

d)    Cruelty to animals

e)    Indelicate accessories in the staging

f)     Judicial executions

g)    Excessive drunkenness

h)   Subjects depicting procuration, abduction and seduction

i)     Native customs in foreign lands abhorrent to British ideas

j)     Impropriety in conduct and dress

k)    Materialisation of Christ or the Almighty

Sounds like a dream come true by way of the Taliban, The American Family Association and Iran’s ruling mullahs. While there is probably an unhealthy amount of self censorship and political correctness in Holly wood we have come a long way since a court decision named Mutual Film Corporation v. Industrial Commission of Ohio 1915, in which movie production was considered a completely commercial venture, not art, thus not entitled to protection under the 1st Amendment.

Marilyn Monroe, communist?

The records reveal that some in Monroe’s inner circle were concerned about her association with Frederick Vanderbilt Field, who was disinherited from his wealthy family over his leftist views.

A trip to Mexico earlier that year to shop for furniture brought Monroe in contact with Field, who was living in the country with his wife in self-imposed exile. Informants reported to the FBI that a “mutual infatuation” had developed between Field and Monroe, which caused concern among some in her inner circle, including her therapist, the files state.

“This situation caused considerable dismay among Miss Monroe’s entourage and also among the (American Communist Group in Mexico),” the file states. It includes references to an interior decorator who worked with Monroe’s analyst reporting her connection to Field to the doctor.

Field’s autobiography devotes an entire chapter to Monroe’s Mexico trip, “An Indian Summer Interlude.” He mentions that he and his wife accompanied Monroe on shopping trips and meals and he only mentions politics once in a passage on their dinnertime conversations.

“She talked mostly about herself and some of the people who had been or still were important to her,” Field wrote in “From Right to Left.” ”She told us about her strong feelings for civil rights, for black equality, as well as her admiration for what was being done in China, her anger at red-baiting and McCarthyism and her hatred of (FBI director) J. Edgar Hoover.”

Marilyn Monroe with orange beads

Marilyn Monroe with orange beads

Her short friendship with Field was the extent of Marilyn’s supposed communism. Hoover is said to have decided that Martin Luther King and the entire civil rights movement was communistic.
Happy New Years, John Coltrane – In A Sentimental Mood

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a sinister kind of freedom, amber glass boat wallpaper, destroying pleasure and motivation

One of the neighbors is going to start his own business. He going to fit every employee with a state of the art surveillance camera so he can monitor them for proper behavior. He thinks bubble gum is a plaque on civilized society – its under tables in restaurants, under chairs at the theater. Anyone one he sees buying gum will have the same amount deducted from their paychecks. He hates dolls, especially the ones with the black lifeless eyes. He’s not sure, but suspects they’re evil so he’ll be deducting for that. he thinks high heels are provocative, so he will not be paying for those either. he feels badly for men who suffer from impotence so it’ll pay them a little extra if they have to get a prescription for impotence medication. His mom used to get yeast infections all the time so he’ll pay women who have to get treatment a few extra dollars as well. He really hates the south side of town so any employees that live there he is going to take the cost of their rent or mortgage payment out of their check. It is for their own good. he is merely encouraging them to do what is absolutely the right thing to do. These issues and many more are moral issues over which he and his religious council have prayed, discussed and given very deep thought, so one can hardly blame him for basing his pay on deeply held moral convictions, right? Hobby Lobby To Deny Contraception To Employees, Ignoring Court Order. Freedom.

rust marches on

rust marches on

More thoughtful morality and freedom, Islamic “justice” in Mali

BAMAKO, Mali — Moctar Touré was strapped to a chair, blindfolded, his right hand bound tight to the armrest with a rubber tube. A doctor came and administered a shot. Then Mr. Touré’s own brother wielded a knife, the kind used to slaughter sheep, and methodically carried out the sentence.

Souleymane Traoré had his right hand cut off by Mr. Touré’s brother, a police chief in the Islamist-held north.

“I myself cut off my brother’s hand,” said Aliou Touré, a police chief in the Islamist-held north of this divided nation. “We had no choice but to practice the justice of God.”

Such amputations are designed to shock — residents are often summoned to watch — and even as the world makes plans to recapture northern Mali by force, the Islamists who control it show no qualms about carrying them out.

After the United Nations Security Council authorized a military campaign to retake the region last week, Islamists in Gao, Mr. Touré’s town, cut the hands off two more people accused of being thieves the very next day, a leading local official said, describing it as a brazen response to the United Nations resolution. Then the Islamists, undeterred by the international threats against them, warned reporters that eight others “will soon share the same fate.”

This harsh application of Shariah law, with people accused of being thieves sometimes having their feet amputated as well, has occurred at least 14 times since the Islamist takeover last spring, not including the recent vow of more to come, according to Human Rights Watch and independent observers.

I’m an expert at skimming text. Though I am aware that in issues of importance, contracts, developing a moral philosophy is is best to take in the whole texts, not just the ones about vengeance, say like this one, Quran 18:29, “The truth is from your Lord”: it is the free will of any person to believe (in God) or to be an Infidel (Un believer). Muslims do get a mixed message from the Quran, at one point condemning Jews as jst so much human trash, yet at the same time citing Moses, Aaron, Yusuf (Joseph), David, Solomon, Zachariah, Younis (Jonah) as prophets, but they were all Jews. If one is going to treat religious doctrine as a buffet table – and most religions do – why not choose to emphasize the more virtuous and tolerant aspects.

amber glass boat wallpaper

amber glass boat wallpaper

Physicians in China treat addictions by destroying the brain’s pleasure center

The authors [of a new study], led by Guodong Gao, claim that the surgery is “a feasible method for alleviating psychological dependence on opiate drugs.” At the same time, they report that more than half of the 60 patients had lasting side effects, including memory problems and loss of motivation. Within five years, 53% had relapsed and were addicted again to opiates, leaving 47% drug free.

Conventional treatment only results in significant recovery in about 30-40% of cases, so the procedure apparently improves on that, but experts do not believe that such a small increase in benefit is worth the tremendous risk the surgery poses. Even the most successful brain surgeries carry risk of infection, disability and death since opening the skull and cutting brain tissue for any reason is both dangerous and unpredictable. And the Chinese researchers report that 21% of the patients they studied experienced memory deficits after the surgery and 18% had “weakened motivation,” including at least one report of lack of sexual desire. The authors claim, however, that “all of these patients reported that their [adverse results] were tolerable.” In addition, 53% of patients had a change in personality, but the authors describe the majority of these changes as “mildness oriented,” presumably meaning that they became more compliant. Around 7%, however, became more impulsive.

So if I understand this correctly they are asking people who had part of their brain removed to give an informed opinion of the benefits of that tissue removal. I was wondering how this works in terms of motivation. Few people are or can afford to be pure hedonists, but being able to feel pleasure – of the kind after you accomplish something like a finished work project, some pleasurable release to look forward to like relations with your partner or playing with your kids – are major life motivators. In at least some of these patients they no longer have that motivation or the ability to feel the reward.

The Diplomats of Solid Sound — Soul Connection

old barn wallpaper, mining’s notorious traditions, when impotent demagogues speak

old barn wallpaper

old barn wallpaper

 

By the time one reaches their teen years it is relatively easy to suffer from outrage fatigue and perhaps have become even a little calloused about the hardships of others. Some news seems like recycled fights for justice and individual dignity from a hundred years ago – How Dare Mine Workers Demand Pay – from a contract that their mining company employer’s signed. Mining companies do not hold a particularly virtuous place in North American history. Few – i actually do not know of any – have conducted their business in a fair manner. They have literally murdered miners, let them die through criminal negligence, hired thugs to beat them up, forced them to financially support conservative/libertarian politicians and hired scabs to take their jobs. Hiring practices that remind me of the 1880s are still occurring, HD Mining refuses to show B.C. unions the files on work permits for Chinese miners. This Canadian mining company decided to hire and import what will total 76 Chinese workers rather than hire unionized Canadian workers – the workers may be making the same wages. That would seem to further validate the accusation that hiring these workers is more about weakening unions than any other issue.  HD has refused a direct legal order from the Canadian government to provide the proper paperwork. There may be some financial ties between HD and the Chinese government.

Recently federal authorities decided not to criminally prosecute a bank and settled for a very large fine. Some people think that was fair. The bank employees, management actually, will continue in their jobs with their generous incomes. If you’re a convicted of marijuana possesses and come from the lower rungs of the economic ladder, you’ll have a very difficult time finding any type of job. The job you do find is unlikely to pay a single adult a living wage much less enough to take care of a child. Prostitution for the Price of a Happy Meal

Why food-stamp bans are perpetuating risky behaviors among America’s most vulnerable.

Carla walked into my office with despair in her eyes. I was surprised. Carla has been doing well in her four months out of prison; she got off drugs, regained custody of her kids, and even enrolled in a local community college.

Without much prodding she admitted to me that she had retuned to prostitution: “I am putting myself at risk for HIV to get my kids a f—ing happy meal.”

Despite looking high and low for a job, Carla explained, she was still unemployed. Most entry-level jobs felt out of reach with her drug record, but what’s worse, even the state wasn’t willing to throw her a temporary life preserver.

You see, Carla is from one of the 32 states in the country that ban anyone convicted of a drug felony from collecting food stamps. With the release of the Global Burden of Disease Study last week, it bears looking at how we are perpetuating burdens among the most vulnerable Americans with our outdated laws.

If she’d committed rape or murder, Carla could have gotten assistance to feed herself and her children, but because the crime she committed was a drug felony, Carla joined the hundreds of thousands of drug felons who are not eligible.

Like any other day, today the well financed noise machine that says we have too much regulation of things like toxins in our drinking water and too much anti-business consumer protection (34 million people are injured or killed every year due to unsafe products) will have their say about what is fair and what is not. People with little money, thus very little power, will not. They will be the victims of bizarre Puritanical laws that no one has much incentive to do anything about. All the while shaking their fists and shouting get a job you lazy moochers… and hey…freedom.

aileen, canadian garden around 1920. photo by John Boyd.

aileen, canadian garden around 1920. photo by John Boyd.

Christian right blames atheists for Sandy Hook shootings

Dobson commented while speaking to listeners of his Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk program: “I mean millions of people have decided that God doesn’t exist… And a lot of these things are happening around us, and somebody is going to get mad at me for saying what I am about to say right now, but I am going to give you my honest opinion: I think we have turned our back on the scripture and on God almighty and I think he has allowed [this Newtown massacre] judgment to fall upon us. I think that’s what’s going on.”

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association said the victims at Sandy Hook had lost God’s protection because prayer has been prohibited from schools. “The question is going to come up, where was God?,” Fischer said. “I thought God cared about the little children. God protects the little children. Where was God when all this went down. Here’s the bottom line, God is not going to go where he is not wanted… Now we have spent since 1962 — we’re 50 years into this now–we have spent 50 years telling God to get lost, telling God we do not want you in our schools, we don’t want to pray to you in our schools, we do not want to pray to your before football games, we don’t want to pray to you at graduations, we don’t want anybody talking about you in a graduation speech… In 1962 we kicked prayer out of the schools. In 1963 we kicked God’s word out of ours schools. In 1980 we kicked the Ten Commandments out of our schools. We’ve kicked God out of our public school system. And I think God would say to us, ‘Hey, I’ll be glad to protect your children, but you’ve got to invite me back into your world first. I’m not going to go where I’m not wanted. I am a gentlemen.”

Do the Dobsons, Fischers and their followers hear what they’re saying. According to them their deity is a very sensitive being. It’s feelings were hurt so it 1) Is not everywhere and not all powerful 2) Could have prevented those murders, but did not because it’s feelings were hurt 3) These fleshly representatives are a direct communication’s line to this, not almighty or benevolent or merciful deity, according to them 4) All those children and their parents were either atheists and not good enough Christians, thus deserved to be punished. Perhaps the reason for the general decline of membership in organized religion is that it is so often represented by the Dobsons and Fischers. People who seem to believe in something dark and malevolent instead of something merciful and caring.

 

scottish river bridge wallpaper, giving milton credit for inventing science fiction, ball gowns and cocktail dresses

scottish river bridge wallpaper

scottish river bridge wallpaper

 

 How John Milton Invented Science Fiction in the 1600s

Not to mention that the text of Paradise Lost is saturated in science. Milton met Galileo, for the first and only time, in a 1638 visit that Jonathan Rosen compared to “those comic book specials in which Superman meets Batman.” The “Tuscan artist” appears in Paradise Lost more than once. Book I compares Satan’s shield to the moon seen through a telescope. And the poem is studded with scientific details—“luminous inferior orbs” churning through outer space, descriptions of sunspots and seasons, creatures that evolve (according to divine plan, but still). Through it all, Milton, a storyteller, comes off as entranced by the laws governing the universe. (His mouthpiece in this regard is Adam, who cannot get enough of the angel Raphael’s disquisition on celestial motions in Book VIII.) There’s something very sci-fi about anyone who, while taking care to present his era’s astronomical theories as speculative, still likes to spin that speculation out into long descriptions of cosmic phenomena. Arthur C. Clarke would surely be proud.

Also, Milton kinda sorta thought that extraterrestrial life might be possible. In Book III of Paradise Lost, Satan flies down from Heaven to Earth, passing distant stars that, on closer inspection, turn out to be “other Worlds.” Other worlds with aliens on them? Could be! “Who dwelt happy there,” Milton explains, the archangel “stayd not to enquire.”

John Milton (9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674)  would have been exposed to the Baroque art of his era, but certainly the art of the Romanesque or Medieval art would have been all around him. Much of Romanesque art was other worldly. he would have likely seen depictions of the chimeras of Greek mythology, a fire-breathing female monster resembling a lion in front, a goat in the middle, and a dragon behind. Certainly Milton would have seen gargoyles used lining the tops of some public buildings and churches. Both as decorative elements that siphoned water off the building and also to ward off creatures or spirits from the nether world. Where in lies the problem with giving Milton too much credit. The legend of gargoyles themselves sounds like science fiction-fantasy. It is a fairly well-known legend that  St. Romanus  (AD 631–641) told stories of how he delivered the country around Rouen from a monster called Gargouille or Goji. That legend also only works well with a public not knowledgeable of the history of using “grotesques” around building roofs to help shed water that goes as far back as the Ancient Egyptians.

Ball gown late 1850 blue and white silk damask

Ball gown, late 1850. blue and white silk damask. part of the Custome Institute at the metropolitan museum of art. it is that time of the year where many are dressing up a bit to attend parties and dinners, and  happen to coincide with my recent reading of an e-book on the history of fashion. I honestly do not know if, as some assert, if fashion is art. this dress would have been extremely expensive. custom made for the customer. the cut at the waist, the neck line, part of a trend that, at the time, was considered modern and daring. while this dress or something similar in quality and workmanship would not have been available to the masses, if someone of proper social status wore it, that made it socially acceptable.

yves saint laurent cocktail dress c1964

yves saint laurent cocktail dress c1964. black silk cloque with black grosgrain-ribbon binding.
part of the Costume Institute collection at the metropolitan museum of art. today this dress is probably socially acceptable anywhere. a genuine classic. some variation of this dress has been sold millions of times over. it has been worn by every variety of race, religion and political leanings. it is a tasteful but nevertheless provocative outfit. it accentuates the derrière by curving in toward the back, it exposes part of the waist, it bares the arms and shoulders and highlights the bust line. someone once said that fashion is sex. they could have been talking about this dress.

While not a fan of Harry Nilsson Everybody’s Talking At Me I can appreciate the concept of talking, ethics and garbled nonsense about values, just becoming so much noise: Everybody’s talking at me/I don’t hear a word they’re saying/Only the echoes of my mind./People stopping staring/I can’t see their faces/Only the shadows of their eyes. – The Lie that Prosecuting Bank Fraud Will Destabilize the Economy Is What Is REALLY Destroying the Economy

The Departments of Justice and Treasury are pretending that criminally prosecuting criminal banksters will destabilize the economy.

The exact opposite is true.

Failing to prosecute criminal fraud has been destabilizing the economy since at least 2007 … and will cause huge crashes in the future.

After all, the main driver of economic growth is a strong rule of law.

Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says that we have to prosecute fraud or else the economy won’t recover:

The legal system is supposed to be the codification of our norms and beliefs, things that we need to make our system work. If the legal system is seen as exploitative, then confidence in our whole system starts eroding. And that’s really the problem that’s going on.

***

I think we ought to go do what we did in the S&L [crisis] and actually put many of these guys in prison. Absolutely. These are not just white-collar crimes or little accidents. There were victims. That’s the point. There were victims all over the world.

***

Economists focus on the whole notion of incentives. People have an incentive sometimes to behave badly, because they can make more money if they can cheat. If our economic system is going to work then we have to make sure that what they gain when they cheat is offset by a system of penalties.

Though in the U.S. and much of Western Europe the powers that be, and for whatever reasons, a sizable minority of wage slaves see the bankers, hedge fund managers and the Mitt Romney leveraged buy-out specialists as demigods – a tiny army of John Galts. If we start throwing some of these criminals in jail it is like sending in unarmed martyrs to fight lions and tigers; a tragedy and a blasphemy. The people who feel this way are not a majority, but altogether they are a powerful and shrill minority. That watered down piece of financial regulation called Dodd-Frank has, like so many things, been compared to Stalinism and Nazism. I suspect the DOJ just doesn’t want to get tangled up in the political noise that would go with throwing people in jail. The bank that caused that gave rise to that editorial is going to pay $1.92 billion in penalties. Maybe that will be some incentive not to steal.

van dongen and the fauves, firearms and hyper-rationalizations

 Kees Van Dongen - Lucie and Her Partner

Lucie and Her Partner, c1911 by Kees Van Dongen. Van Dongen (Cornelis Theodorus Maria van Dongen,1877-1968) painted in the short lived Fauvism – as a group they only had about three official shows over four years (es Fauves is French for “the wild beasts”). A chart of the art movements of the time might show lines from both impressionism and realism. Rather than trying to capture the subtle natural colors of the impressionists, the Fauves emphasized strong color and an aura of realism. In this sense the realism of the Fauves was not about photographic realism, but more a realism of perception.

A short biographical film on Van Dongen and you get to see some of his other paintings as well. All Eyes on Kees van Dongen

 

Oh boy I got a new bullet proof backpack for the holidays, Kids Sent to School With Armored Backpacks

Underneath Cinderella, the Amendment II brand of the Disney Princess backpack contains the company’s signature carbon nanotube armor. And since last week’s mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., sales have skyrocketed.

“I can’t go into exact sales numbers, but basically we tripled our sales volume of backpacks that we typically do in a month — in one week,” company president Derek Williams told Mother Jones. “We want to be sensitive to how we do that, but we are gonna try to get the word out that this product does exist that there are ways to at least provide our children with some protection.”

NEWS: How to Talk to Your Kids About Killings

At least six companies sell armored backpacks designed for kids, reports Mother Jones, and most retail for around $300. Other companies also reported an immediate rise in sales after the Newtown massacre, The Associated Press reports.

Loading kids or the general population up with Kevlar fashions, is according to some people much preferable to deescalating the hand held arms race. Have we taken the final steps into J. G. Ballard’s hyper-rationalizations. The blinding fetishist love of an object, a hand held heroin. With so many addicts willing to say or do anything to remain attached to their fix.

 It's too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes

“That is my principal objection to life, I think: It’s too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes.” from Deadeye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut.

Partly because of because of Schrödinger’s uncertainty principle I’m wary of any claims to the ultimate secrets(s) of life. Though Kurt’s fictional speculations are fun to think about,

The Secret of Life (p. 25)

“What is the secret of life?” I asked.

“I forget,” said Sandra.

“Protein,” the bartender declared.  “They found out something about protein.”

“Yeah,” said Sandra, “that’s it.”

Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle (United States: Dial Press Trade Paperbacks, January 2006)

time for a cultural shift in the food and retail business, carol highsmith photographs

The subtitle to this amazing essay – Sustainable food makes no sense when restaurants pay only sustenance wages – may sound like the beginning of a tirade against the local or sustainable food movement, but it is really about some structural issues in the restaurant business and retailing. Both industries employ millions of people. Very few of those people make a living wage.

That career has spanned eleven years, during which I’ve worked as a prep cook, fry cook, pantry cook, grill cook, pastry chef, and baker. The least I’ve made was $7.50 per hour; the most was $13.50. To be a line cook and eventually a chef you must submit to the hell that is the professional kitchen: long hours, low pay, no breaks, no respect. As you advance up the line, the work gets harder and the responsibility increases while the pay does not. An entry level line cook job starts at as low as $8 an hour and tops out at around $15. (In 2011, the national median wage for line cooks was $10.61, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.) If you want to make more, you have to advance up to a management position such as sous chef or chef de cuisine. Even then, the pay is going to be around $16 to $18 an hour and is not likely to top $23. I never advanced to the top of the pay scale, mostly because the added hours and stress those jobs demanded never seemed quite worth the pay. The last sous chef I worked under was all-consumed by work. You could see in his leering eyes that he was in a constant state of caffeinated fatigue. I didn’t want that.

When I was growing up and still today I hear that if you work hard, have good work ethic – on time, few missed days, put in the extra effort, you’ll make a living and get ahead. Simply not true for a large part of the U.S. work force. Like this gentleman, you might eventually make a decent living, but only if you work yourself into the ground for years. And not everyone is suited for management. There is such a thing as management skills, but they are not so valuable that they should be prized over the day to day work skills of the people who make it possible for management to even exist. He mentions a possible solution,

If people working in the kitchen are to earn an actual living wage, fine dining restaurants will have to charge twice as much they already do. In other words, if I am to be paid enough for me to feel valued as an employee, the cost of dinner is going to have to go way up, to the point where it is inaccessible for the average person — for me — to eat there. When you’re in the industry you get around the hurdle of high prices by knowing people: Your friends at other restaurants “hook you up” or “style you out” when you visit. But there’s no guarantee of being hooked up. I don’t know everyone at every restaurant, and I’m only in luck if Joey happens to be working the night I happen to go out. In the end, affordability and fair pay in the restaurant are mutually exclusive. The only solution to this contradiction that I can imagine is an operation where the money goes directly to the worker: for example, an owner-run food cart, or a fine dining establishment structured as a worker-owned co-op.

The food and retail industry would be best served – in terms of doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people if most of it were structured as a co-op. To make that kind of paradigm shift would make herding turtles in a hurricane seem easy. If I started my own restaurant – that is a common conservation topic – i would not mind at all structuring it so that employees from dishwashers to wait staff to cooks become part owners. To have a self directed staff – where as much as possible the chain of management is flat – not like the current very steep pyramid. Maybe I would make a little less money, maybe more, who knows, over the life time of the business. In the interim everyone involved got to have a life. They get to take pride in what they do, be self motivated and largely self directed and reap the rewards. I can’t take the money with me, but I could leave a nice humanitarian capitalism  legacy.

abandoned travel agency, san antonio, texas by carol highsmith

abandoned travel agency, san antonio, texas by carol highsmith. this photo was taken around 2005. there were some efforts underway to revitalize this neighborhood that was very vibrant back in the 1950s-60s.

A mural on the side of a grocery store located on the West side of San Antonio, Texas.

A mural on the side of a grocery store located on the West side of San Antonio, Texas. also by Carol Highsmith.

tattoo collage

tattoo collage. the individual snips all have a little artsy Photoshop texture and color enhancement.

The Real Rationale for the 2nd Amendment, That Conservatives Are Totally Ignorant About

The reality was that the Framers wrote the Constitution and added the Second Amendment with the goal of creating a strong central government with a citizens-based military force capable of putting down insurrections, not to enable or encourage uprisings. The key Framers, after all, were mostly men of means with a huge stake in an orderly society, the likes of George Washington and James Madison.

President George Washington, as Commander-in-Chief, leading a combined force of state militias against the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794.

The men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 weren’t precursors to France’s Robespierre or Russia’s Leon Trotsky, believers in perpetual revolutions. In fact, their work on the Constitution was influenced by the experience of Shays’ Rebellion in western Massachusetts in 1786, a populist uprising that the weak federal government, under the Articles of Confederation, lacked an army to defeat.

As far as I’ve read, the conservative freak-out is all about some modest new restrictions like closing the gun show loop hole and bringing back the assault weapons ban that George W. H. Bush signed into law. While Parry writes a good article I don’t this rational arguments will go far to convince people that worship fire arms the way ancient tribes worships idols.

examples of the art of american realism, democracy is not an age appropriate toy for conservatives and libertarians

study of a young man by william glackens,1903

study of a young man by william glackens,1903. red chalk on paper ( this is a black and white print obviously)
the figure is glacken’s friend everett shinn. the chair in this painting also appeared in another famous painting by glackens called ‘the ermine muff”. i did previously did post that featured some american impressionists. glackens(1870-1930) was part of the next trend, american realism. he and his friend shinn were part of the short lived, though influential Ashcan school art movement.

at the shore by a.h. maurer, 1901. oil on cardboard.

at the shore by a.h. maurer, 1901. oil on cardboard.  the painting was inspired by a scene on the beach in new york. maurer was highly influenced by james whistler, with the tones verging on being monochromatic with just accents of color. the first time i saw this painting i guessed it to be a whistler. i would have put one of whistler’s paintings up to day, but i don’t have a good print of one. alfred henry maurer (1868-1932) was also a transitional figure with some of his work having a strong impressionist’s influence, with others leaning toward the realistic.

pure by william m. chase c1888

pure by william m. chase, c1888. pastel on paper. this pastel by chase, one of a series shows a kind of final break with the impressionists. it borders on being photographic rather than painterly. it also shows that like some paintings of mary cassat, the continuing influence of Japanese art with the Oriental design of the fabric. chase also did some paintings in the impressionist style.

tea leaves-by-william m-paxton-inkbluesky

tea leaves by william m. paxton, oil on canvas, 1909. originally from Massachusetts paxton traveled to paris to study under jean-leon gerome where he also became influenced by the French classicist Ingres.  it is perhaps that influence that is rflected in the fine details of the figure and
the table settings. combined with the character study, the woman’s expression,
those details make many of his paintings anecdotal records of the time. while
there are touches of impressionism, paxton concentrates on providing some
context and narrative… what is she contemplating.

Michigan Republicans Prove That Democracy is Not an Age Appropriate Toy For Conservatives

Ironically, voters had given Snyder and his cohort of right-wing corporate ideologues a spanking for this kind of nastiness in a November referendum. The GOP cabal in Lansing had conspired last year to usurp the local authority of city governments and allow Snyder to send in unelected, unaccountable autocrats to fire elected officials and seize control, but last month, Michigan voters overthrew this absurdity.

This month, however, Snyder and gang doubled down on their dumbfounding, anti-democratic zealotry. With no warning, no hearings, no public input, no floor debate, and no time for citizens to even know what was happening, the same legislative czarists rammed a union-busting bill into law. Even though he had publicly rejected such a proposal earlier this year as being “very divisive,” Emperor Snyder gleefully signed this measure.

Who’s behind this madness? Say hello to two infamous, anti-union, billionaire plutocrats: the Koch brothers. They had funneled as much as a million dollars into Snyder’s 2010 gubernatorial election, and three Michigan front groups funded by the billionaire brothers aggressively pushed the exact same anti-worker proposal that the Republican thugs just bullied into law.

The social contract, that understanding where employers and politicians agree that workers are partners in making capitalism and democracy work, has been declared the enemy in the scorched earth policies of conservatives and libertarians. In the past various types of economic-government systems have been tried, from feudalism to colonialism to communism to various degrees of fascism. They all failed because they violated the social contract.