the eyes of old penn station, it is not the conservative thesaurus that needs changing, audubon’s rats

Pennsylvania Station

This was the concourse roof on the old Pennsylvania Station in New York – erected in 1910 and demolished for a new building in 1963. I liked it because it looks like giant eyes.

Conor Friedersdorf writes in, The Right-Wing Hucksters Who Dare Not Be Named

President Obama’s critics “seem eager to believe he is a lightweight,” John Podhoretz writes in Commentary, “and he is not.” Conservatives underestimate him to their own detriment, he argues, utterly failing to know their adversary, for when they’re not calling him “a golf-mad dilettante,” they’re indulging in the polar-opposite delusion that he’s a power-mad Kenyan Marxist.

The unintended result:

The notion that Obama is a dangerous extremist helps him, because it makes him seem reasonable and his critics foolish. It also helps those who peddle it, because it makes them notorious and helps them sell their wares. But it has done perhaps irreparable harm to the central conservative cause of the present moment — making the case that Obama’s social-democratic statism is setting the United States on a course for disaster and that his anti-exceptionalist foreign policy is setting the world on a course for nihilistic chaos. Those are serious arguments, befitting a serious antagonist. They may not sell gold coins as quickly and as well as excessive alarmism, but they have the inestimable advantage of being true.

[   ]….All I can say for sure is that you’ve got individuals in mind who, by your own admission, are doing damage to the movement you’re both invested in far more earnestly than they are … and you’ll only criticize them obliquely. As best I can tell from regularly seeing your work, they’re the only sort you disdain but won’t name.

Conor has a point and he means well, yet, and I say this as someone on the the same side as Conor, Conor seems somewhat clueless. Conservative and libertarian intellectuals use phrases like “social-democratic statism” as a synonym for of Marxist Anti-Christ, but the pompous pretender  John Podhoretz, and the moral and intellectual vacuum known as Jonah Goldberg know this. Statism is is just another limp piece of hyperbole from mental defectives who think they’re being clever. If the Limbaughs, Glenn Becks, Michelle Malkins and Sean Hannitys would just start using the conservative intellectual thesaurus, the Orwellian dazzle from the new spin will make their proto-fascist agenda much more palatable to the average American. Podhertz is saying the same thing the cheap seats say on Fox News when he writes, “his anti-exceptionalist foreign policy is setting the world on a course for nihilistic chaos.” He will not and cannot give details because he is doing nothing more than what 13 year olds do in the cafeteria when they see someone they don’t like. They start making things up about them. They project their weird imagination on people. Goldberg had to rewrite history to make his point about liberulism, Hillary Clinton, Woodrow Wilson and FDR. What nihilism – killing Bin laden when the neocons could not do the job? Leaving Iraq after conservatives wasted thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. Anyone with a laptop can spew out accusations, how about some measurable, verifiable proof – Obama’s actions and how they pushed the world even one micrometer towards nihilistic chaos. If nothing else one cannot have a dark nothingness and chaos at the same time. I’ve been reading Podhoretz or his dad, since high school. The far Right treats them with a reverence reaching the heights of idolatry. Yet, John has a record of being wrong so often and egregiously, if America was truly a merit based culture, he’d be living in a cardboard box in an ally.

Audubon’s Work Becomes Feathering For Rats Nests

Audubon’s Work Becomes Feathering For Rats Nests. 

Unidentified Japanese Meiji artist, Audubon Opening His Box of Watercolors Destroyed by Norway Rats, 1872–77. Ukiyo–e woodblock print on paper. Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, Bella Landauer Collection. This is the post the paining goes with.


benton’s flood disaster, the bestest business startup tips ever

 Flood Disaster

 Flood Disaster, 1951. By American Regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton. I’ve been having a some good luck lately stumbling over things that are related to what I was researching, but I had not thought of. I finally got a good print of this painting and while looking Benton’s birth date (April 15, 1889 – January 19, 1975) I came across this recent article on Flood Disaster, Thomas Hart Benton An American Artist

I recently read an article about a 1951 Thomas Hart Benton painting that sold for nearly $1.9 million at a Southeby’s auction. The painting, Flood Disaster, was created to highlight the devastating flooding of the Kansas and Missouri rivers in July 1951 that killed 17 people and displaced more than half a million residents. The painting seems timely in light of the current flooding of the Mississippi River.

I was looking at a Benton painting in a museum once and some older women that seemed to be part of a tour group looked at the same painting and one said that it reminded her of a cartoon. They looked over at me – I was fascinated by that painting and was trying to sear it into my memory -I smiled and nodded. They seemed embarrassed that they might have made a silly evaluation. Especially in the context of what we grow up with in terms of graphics – his style does have an illustrated graphic novel quality about it. That might be because his style has influenced directly, or indirectly, so many graphic artists.

tree at sunrise

tree at sunrise

I got this link on Twitter. I generally don’t like links or articles that began with “Ten Tips…” I’m not sure why I clicked over, boredom, restless, anyway this turned out to be a major exception to my rule about such links, via Anil Dash, Ten Tips Guaranteed to Improve Your Startup Success

Having had the good fortune to work with a broad range of entrepreneurs and get a front-row seat to the foundations of their success, I thought it’d be good to share 10 key tips that I’ve found work 100% of the time to increase your odds of startup success. Try to execute on as many of these as you can!

  1. Be raised with access to clean drinking water and sanitation. (Every tech billionaire I’ve ever spoken to has a toilet!)
  2. Try to be born in a region that is politically and militarily stable.
  3. Have access to at least a basic free education in core subjects.
  4. Avoid being abused by family members, loved ones, friends or acquaintances during the formative years of your life.
  5. Be fluent in English, or have time to dedicate to continuously improving your language skills.
  6. Make sure there’s enough disposable income available to support your learning technology at a younger age.
  7. If you must be a member of an underrepresented community or a woman, get comfortable with suppressing your identity. If not, follow a numbingly conventional definition of dominant masculinity.
  8. Be within a narrow range of physical norms for appearance and ability, as defined by the comfort level of strangers.
  9. Practice articulating your cultural, technological or social aspirations exclusively in economic terms.

By following these ten simple tips, you’ll massively increase the odds of success of your startup! I guarantee it, or your money back.