an obsession with color, banks still stealing homes

Notes on painting from Oscar Bluemner's Theory Diary, 1920 Jan. 12

Notes on painting from Oscar Bluemner’s Theory Diary, 1920 Jan. 12. Bluemner’s notes in German regarding color theory, supplemented with watercolor samples. Oscar Bluemner papers, Archives of American Art.

 Bluemner’s notes in German regarding color theory, supplemented with watercolor samples. These papers are interesting in the context of obsessions. We’re told not to have them. The daily news is filled with the tragic results of unhealthy obsessions. Which may leave the impressions that there are no healthy ones. Bluemner’s obsession was  being the Proust of color. Nothing wrong with that. Though since I wasn’t there it wouldn’t surprise me if he drove his friends crazy on occasion.

 Turns out much-hyped settlement still allows banks to steal homes

The absolute least Americans can hope for from a major government settlement with a large industry over well-documented crimes is that the industry wouldn’t, after signing the settlement, just continue to commit the same crimes day after day. After all, following the tobacco industry settlement, cigarette makers did manage to stop advertising to teenagers that their product had no medical side effects.

But new evidence reveals the nation’s largest banks have apparently continued to fabricate documents, rip off customers and illegally kick people out of their homes, even after inking a series of settlements over the same abuses. And the worst part of it all is that the main settlement over foreclosure fraud was so weakly written that it actually allows such criminal conduct to occur, at least up to a certain threshold. Potentially hundreds of thousands of homes could be effectively stolen by the big banks without any sanctions.

One of the things state and federal officials agreed to was an error level below five percent. And they would not go storming in for another round of legal sanctions, with more fines. Now, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight officials and public interest groups who are keeping an eye on the banks have noted that even under five percent that could add up, and probably is, to hundreds of thousands of people being forced out of their homes with fraudulent paperwork. Homeowners themselves could sue, but despite all we hear about how easy it is to sue someone, it can take years and a lot of expense before a homeowners gets a settlement.


there’s a certain slant of light, sometimes the brain can rewire itself

Aachen Railroad Station, 1945

Aachen Railroad Station, WWII,1945.

There’s a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are –

None may teach it – Any –
‘Tis the Seal Despair –
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air –

When it comes, the Landscape listens –
Shadows – hold their breath –
When it goes, ’tis like the Distance
On the look of Death –

There’s a certain Slant of light – by Emily Dickinson.

Brain rewires itself after damage or injury, life scientists discover

When the brain’s primary “learning center” is damaged, complex new neural circuits arise to compensate for the lost function, say life scientists from UCLA and Australia who have pinpointed the regions of the brain involved in creating those alternate pathways — often far from the damaged site.

[  ]…Zelikowsky said she found it interesting that sub-regions in the prefrontal cortex compensated in different ways, with one sub-region — the infralimbic cortex — silencing its activity and another sub-region — the prelimbic cortex — increasing its activity.

“If we’re going to harness this kind of plasticity to help stroke victims or people with Alzheimer’s,” she said, “we first have to understand exactly how to differentially enhance and silence function, either behaviorally or pharmacologically. It’s clearly important not to enhance all areas. The brain works by silencing and activating different populations of neurons. To form memories, you have to filter out what’s important and what’s not.”

It is probably important to not let this news give one false hope. In cases of severe head trauma – brain injury from an accident or war wound, there may not be enough healthy tissue in possible alternate neurons to form new connections.

deck chairs rain wallpaper, benghazi and orwell

deck chairs rain wallpaper

deck chairs rain wallpaper

This is your conservative media at work,  ABC, The Weekly Standard, The Daily Mail Townhall, The American Thinker, Hot Air, and Breitbart  All Misrepresented White House Benghazi Email. This is yet another inconvenient truth in the bag of conservative myths about Benghazi, Ambassador Stevens twice said no to military offers of more security, U.S. officials say. So some conservative operative doctors an e-mail and that  “news” report is echoed far and wide. Just an odd coincidence this are the same people that helped lie over 4,000 Americans to their death in Iraq. Than tried to blame their bungling of the economy on Barny Frank and liberals. People that have trouble finding anything resembling a moral conscience most days, that have a well documented track record of strangling the truth and leaving it for dead in an alley. These are the people America is supposed to go to for the truth. Note much has changed, it just seems we’re have a peak in the news cycle where conservatives are especially hell bent on honking their horn as they drive around drunk in the clown car. Give a conservative a clown car, a full bottle and apparently a dictionary, and you have a recipe for comedy gold, Benghazi Was Neither a Terrorist Attack Nor an Act of Terror

I am hereby declaring 99 Pinocchios on Barack Obama, all the people who work for him, everyone in the Republican party, and most everyone in the press who has reported on Benghazi.

This is about what has to be one of the most inane disagreements in the history of American politics, the argument about whether Obama called the Benghazi attack an “act of terror” or a “terrorist attack.” Incredibly, people are still bickering over this. The other day Darrell Issa expressed his outrage that Obama had, in his diabolical attempt to cover up the incident, used the phrase “act of terror,” which, let’s be honest, is almost like saying, “Way to go, al Qaeda!”, instead of using the far, far, far more condemnatory phrase “terrorist attack.” It’s like the difference between saying “steaming pile of bullshit” when you ought to say “steaming bullshit pile”—anyone who can’t tell the difference between the two obviously can’t be trusted to run the country. Then the ordinarily reasonable Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post’s fact-checker, sternly judged Obama to be guilty of a Four Pinnochio whopper, because at his last press conference he said, “The day after it happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism,” when in fact he didn’t say “act of terrorism but just “act of terror.” Facts? Checked.

But here’s what nobody seems to get: Benghazi was not a terrorist act. Or an act of terror. Or an act of terrorism.

Before my Republican friends start getting red in the face, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t awful. Many awful things are not terrorism. Pearl Harbor wasn’t terrorism. Jeffrey Dahmer’s murders weren’t terrorism. Adam Sandler’s Jack and Jill wasn’t terrorism. Terrorism is something quite specific: the intentional killing of civilians in order to achieve a political end.

Before anyone tries to describe something, define something and consult your watch about the time that you described or defined anything call The Conservative Orwellian Office of Language Framing. make sure your nouns follow your verbs or vice versa, because otherwise you might say something like blue sky instead of the sky is blue. Paul goes on to recite the law defining terrorism, U.S. law, section 2656f(d) of Title 22 of the United States Code, which reads, “the term ‘terrorism’ means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.” Of the personnel in that Benghazi compound seven worked for the State Department, and probably all of the remaining 23 worked for the CIA. That does not mean, as Paul also states that Benghazi was not a terrible tragedy, only that conservatives have taken the framing of what constitutes terrorism, with Democrats in tow, to ridiculous extremes. Conservatives seem to want to have it both ways. Whether you say act of terror or terrorist act is supposedly as different as night and day, yet every violent act is terrorism. If you don’t say terrorism at one AM and wait until after sunrise, the space-time continuum is also warped, so make sure you say what you’re supposed to say on time after you check in with Pravda or the conservative word slayers.