Here’s Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s once again pressing into service his creative use of BBs, this time updating it to illustrate the dynamics of the current GOP tax scam. Even after reading about percentages and dollar figures, it can be difficult to get a handle on the relative amounts. This demonstration helps make the situation visceral. It may be too late to call the number displayed at the end, but there is a demonstration today, Monday Dec. 4th, at 4:30 pm at the Federal Building downtown (880 Front Street). [Read more…]
“You may say to yourself ‘How did I get here?’” and boy, lately I’ve been doing that a lot. Still not sure I know the answer, but I do know it’s important to keep asking …
Talking Heads fans will instantly recognize the work, but it’s been given a twist by skillfully replacing David Byrne with another iconic figure. [Read more…]
Audiophile Christa Blackmon over at Lawyers, Guns & Money, has a post that explores one of the songs—Nature Boy—written in 1947 by an odd character from that period, eden ahbez. It’s one of those songs so captivating that many performers over the years have been seduced into covering it. Here are two versions that resonate with me. The first, performed by Nat King Cole, is the one that brought the tune to wide national attention.
The second, more contemporary version, is performed by David Bowie & Massive Attack for the soundtrack of the 2001 Baz Lurhmann movie Moulin Rouge! [Read more…]
When confronted with the question of whether Michigan can afford to have an all woman slate, Dana Nessel in her campaign for the state’s Attorney General position, pushes back by asking if it can afford NOT to. [Read more…]
How do you know when your media outlet has made the big time? Why, when you become the target of one of Project Veritas’ sting operations! Samantha Bee can dream, can’t she?
And to better appreciate the Full Frontal effort, here’s the original Washington Post episode: [Read more…]
So, who were the men that were being honored by the ceremony that was unceremoniously dishonored by our current commander-in-chief? Here’s a brief video that features Chester Nez, relating some of his combat experiences. At the time of the recording he was the last survivor of the initial group of 29 Navajo code talkers.
For more about Chester Nez as well as the situation which created the nationwide buzz concerning this event, check out the Charles P. Pierce article on the Esquire site. In his witty acerbic style Charlie lays out the issues and skewers the current administration’s responses. [Read more…]
I don’t envy anyone showing up for work this week at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). There are two people claiming to be your boss. One of them is the person designated by law as the successor to the former director, and the other is someone who the White House has decided it wants to run the agency. How to decide?
One of the principal architects of the founding the agency, Elizabeth Warren, presents the case that the Dodd-Frank Act clearly specifies the terms of succession for the CFPB, and that with the departure of former Director Richard Cordray, the Deputy Director Leandra English, by law, assumes the position of Acting Director. The White House, in arguing that there’s a vacancy that needs to be filled, and using that opportunity to appoint current White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, is actually acting illegally. The Acting Director, English, has filed suit in the U.S. District Court of D.C asking for a temporary restraining order blocking Trump from appointing Mulvaney and affirming her position. But in the meanwhile, chaos? [Read more…]
The relatively warm winter of 2014/2015 permitted starlings to remain in the Nederlands rather than embark on their typical southern migration. This presented Dutch filmmaker Jan van IJken with an opportunity to capture the mesmerizing and ineffable flight patterns of these otherwise unremarkable aerial navigators. The collective noun for starlings is a “murmuration”, although after watching these fluid and breathtaking maneuvers, I submit that a “gasp” might be equally appropriate. [Read more…]
Steven Schick conducts the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus in the 2008 West Coast premiere of Evan Ziporyn’s Frog’s Eye. The performance was a collaboration with Tijuana-based dance troupe Lux Boreal under the direction of Henry Torres.
The concert hall space pulsates as the musicians and dancers explore the feelings of motion, stillness and survival in Ziporyn’s composition.
The full video includes a brief interview at the beginning with Schick, Ziporyn and Torres. [Read more…]
LADAMA is a group of four women, virtuosic musicians, and educators — Lara Klaus, Daniela Serna, Mafer Bandola and Sara Lucas—each from a different country and culture of the Americas, who are sisters in song, rhythm and spirit. Harnessing music from their respective countries of origin –Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and the United States, the group utilizes traditional and non-traditional instruments from across the Americas, but with a modern twist, to produce Latin Alternative music. [Read more…]
For some perspective on this Saturday’s “Me Too March” check out this recent interview of Rebecca Solnit by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of Democracy Now!. Elaborating on her recent Literary Hub article “Let This Flood of Women’s Stories Never Cease” she reminds us that in the case of Abu Ghraib, where initially an attempt was made to characterize the problem as merely being a case of a few “bad apples”, it was eventually acknowledged that the issue was systemic, an issue of a toxic culture which sustained the behavior. Similarly, when discussing the current cases of sexual abuse and harassment coming to light it is dangerous to focus only on the behavior of some number of individual cases. We need to examine the system and the culture that supports that behavior. And for those who might suggest that these behaviors are unalterable genetic traits, there appears to be at least one instance demonstrating that it is indeed possible to create a culture which does not enhrine the alpha male heirarchical structure.
She also notes that the tenor of the times is reminiscent of earlier events which had energized public action on these issues, events such as Anita Hill’s revelations about Clarence Thomas in 1991, the Steubenville sexual assault and the New Delhi rape in 2012, and the Isla Vista mass murder near UC Santa Barbara in 2014. Let’s hope that recent events bear out that observation. [Read more…]
Food for thought … As an antidote to overly saccharine Thanksgiving missives floating in the seasonal zeitgeist, here is über curmudgeon William S. Burroughs venting his “Thanks” for the holiday. It’s from 1986, but surprisingly still resonant …
And since no good meal is complete without dessert, how about a bit of culinary Jello magic … [Read more…]