Previous: Quotes of the Week (1)
Next: Summer Breeze Makes Me Feel Fine (1)
Epic in Softcover
Post #1609 • June 19, 2013, 10:28 PM
The latest on the easel.
I Read the News Today, Oh Hell
Representative Jim Himes, Democrat of Connecticut, told General Alexander that he was “more troubled” by the domestic calling log program, which he called “historically unprecedented in the extent of the data that is being collected on potentially all American citizens,” than with the gathering of foreign data. He pressed the officials to say how many attacks were stopped by it.
[F.B.I. Deputy Director Sean] Joyce replied that it was “an almost impossible question,” but that “I can tell you, every tool is essential and vital. And the tools, as I outlined to you, and the uses today have been valuable to stopping some of those plots.”
George Will noted a few months ago, "The basic position of liberalism is this: whatever the size of the government is at any moment, it’s the bare minimum standing between us and chaos and misery." To paraphrase, the basic position of the surveillance state is this: whatever tools are available at any moment, they're the bare minimum standing between us and mayhem and annihlation. Zero Hedge shreds the testimony so I don't have to.
The Portland arts tax, discussed here, was recently characterized by the Oregonian as a comedy of errors.
The deadline had been extended once before when the mayor's office decided to advocate for a $1,000 income floor so those with low-paying jobs living in households above the poverty level wouldn't have to pay the tax.
The city also faced heat over confusion about where it could tax social security income. That question led to a clumsy reversal and a promise of future refunds. That change alone could cost the city $750,000.
Officials also had to defend the tax in court against allegations that it might be unconstitutional. So far, that case has got little traction, but for a time it put schools in the difficult position of not knowing just how much funding they may receive.
A 14-year-old boy is under consideration for next year's Molly Norris Day.
The West Virginia eighth-grader who was suspended and arrested in late April after he refused to remove a t-shirt supporting the National Rifle Association appeared in court this week and was formally charged with obstructing an officer.
As CBS affiliate WTRF reports, 14-year-old Jared Marcum now faces a $500 fine and a maximum of one year in prison.
Godfrey Moase flaunts his innumeracy for art's sake at the Guardian.
Imagine the creativity, innovation and enterprise that would be unleashed if every citizen were guaranteed a living [of AUS$30,000 a year]. Universal income provides the material basis for a fuller development of human potential. Social enterprises, cooperatives and small businesses could be started without participants worrying where the next pay cheque would come from. Artists and musicians could focus on their work. More of us would be freed to volunteer our time for the public good. Some workers would no longer be faced with the unenviable position of having to choose between supporting their families and degrading their local environment. And all of us would have the option to pursue further education. Universal income won’t solve all our problems, but it puts us in a stronger position from which to start to solve them.
David Thompson counters.
Yes, the prospect of chronic and widespread idleness, with a huge number of people using their time to watch TV and generally pootle about – does seem to be a major flaw in the theory. As does the likelihood of a rapidly shrinking tax base to fund this slacker’s utopia. And how any of the dirty or unglamorous jobs – the ones that that Mr Moase frets about - would get done reliably, if at all, remains a mystery. If you’ve a choice of unblocking public toilets or listening to music, and you’re getting paid $30,000 either way, which would you be more likely to choose? Rather than workers getting “fair compensation for what they do,” i.e., something dirty and unpleasant, isn’t it just as likely that many would say, “Bugger it, I’m sitting in the sun”? It’s almost as if Mr Moase and his admirers hadn’t quite grasped human nature. Indeed, one commenter tells us, quite emphatically, that “there is no such thing.”
Said commenter turned out to be the author himself.
Coffee Continues to Supply Us with Inspiration
A recurring theme during the talks in D.C. was the need to articulate to the general public the need for music to be disseminated on the basis of fair trade. Some of the people who spoke proposed that music creators should look to the fair trade coffee movement of the past decade as a model for how to proceed. Many coffee drinkers are willing to pay more money for their coffee if they believe that their money will reach the farmers who actually produced the coffee. The creators of the music are like those farmers in that, as Eddie Schwartz put it, “We create the one essential element in an enormous value chain. Creators need to determine fair compensation; it shouldn’t be imposed on us from anyone else.”
Department of Whirls
Via Greg Cook: Vollis Simpson died last week.
Shows I will see, shows I wish I could see, and items of personal import for anyone keeping track.
Through June 21: "Albert York: A Loan Exhibition" at Davis and Langdale, New York City.
Starts June 22: "Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953–1966," at the Legion of Honor, de Young Museum, San Francisco.
Through July 20: "Karla Wozniak: This Weather Is Cosmic" at Gregory Lind, San Franciso.
Through August 11: "Franklin Einspruch: According" at Hess Gallery, Pine Manor College, Boston.
Starts October 14: "Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Runs through January 5.