Spring and Summer at the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace is a collection of images and texts from the year I spent as an Americorps volunteer in Hillsboro, WV. I’d like to think the text and images speak for themselves, but the book wouldn’t exist at all if weren’t for the initiative and efforts of Martin Magee, who edited the volume. He saw something worth collecting in my work, and he had the will and persistence to push this project through to completion. I hope you will check out the book!
In: Pearl S. Buck, Photography, Recommendations, Social Media and Interesting Technology, West Virginia · Tagged with: Americorps, books, digital photography, Hillsboro, Martin Magee, Pearl Buck Birthplace
The album from which the Rachid Taha single comes, ZOOM, is released in Europe, and if you go to the YouTube page you’ll get iTunes link from which you can buy it. But as is often the case with music I like from other countries, I can’t actually do so. If I were buying the CD, which I may well do at some point, I could simply use my credit card and the internet, pay extra shipping charges, and take advantage of the borderless world of the internet to get the newest release by an artist I’ve been following for decades. There’s an Amazon link, too. Ironically, the digital store is more locked down.
Yes, I know there are ways around these restrictions such as proxies and such, but that’s not my point. I don’t want to have to result to those techniques in order to legally purchase music, just because the record label has decided it isn’t ready to distribute across the pond yet. And most people don’t know how to do take advantage of those methods yet. Make no bones about it, it’s a corporate decision to lock down distribution this way. The artists, with the possible exception of huge megastars, are usually just thrilled anyone at all is actually buying their music and paying full price for it. They love having fans wherever they are.
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In: Music, Recommendations · Tagged with: censorship, digital distribution, digital media, DRM, Music, music video, Rachid Taha
It’s only 5 multiple choice questions!
In: Activism, Global News, Human Rights and Academic Freedom, The Maghreb and the Middle East · Tagged with: crisis, Hunger, Middle East, refugees, Syria
I didn’t realize what evil I do when I put on that goofy bike helmet and ride down the road or trail, I swear. According Seattle Bike Blog Washington Representative Ed Orcutt argues,
“You would be giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car,” he said. However, he said he had not “done any analysis” of the difference in CO2 from a person on a bike compared to the engine of a car (others have).
Wow! Just WOW! Every once in a while a public figure says something that just leaves me speechless, and this is one of them.
Even if we never don’t register handguns, maybe we should at least start register these!
In: Bicycling, Higher Education, Human Rights and Academic Freedom, Humor, Massachusetts, Sports, US News, Virginia, West Virginia · Tagged with: accidents, Bicycling, bike trails, birthdays, Boston, CO2, emissions control, Environment, Hillsboro, rhetoric, Virginia, Wellesley
If, and it’s hard to see how they won’t, the “sequestrations” go into effect tonight, it will be a phenomenal act of cowardice on the part of Congress, particularly the Republicans, who will be getting the painful spending cuts they wants so badly, without having to make the necessary painful decisions who will be affected by those cuts.
Let’s review how the process works.
If Congress failed to produce a deficit reduction bill with at least $1.2 trillion in cuts, then Congress could grant a $1.2 trillion increase in the debt ceiling but this would trigger across-the-board cuts (“sequestrations”), as of January 2, 2013. These cuts would apply to mandatory and discretionary spending in the years 2013 to 2021 and be in an amount equal to the difference between $1.2 trillion and the amount of deficit reduction enacted from the joint committee. There would be some exemptions: reductions would apply to Medicare providers, but not to Social Security, Medicaid, civil and military employee pay, or veterans. Medicare benefits would be limited to a 2% reduction. –”2013 Sequestration,” Wikipedia
Legislators don’t have any discretion with the across-the-board cuts: They are intended to hit all affected programs equally, though the cuts to individual areas will range from 7.6 percent to 9.6 percent (and 2 percent to Medicare providers). The indiscriminate pain is meant to pressure legislators into making a budget deal to avoid the cuts. –”The sequester explained,” The Washington Post
If you are a fiscal conservative applauding this because you say that at last government is being forced to make cuts across the board, ask yourself it standards like efficiency, return on investment and the amount of waste in a program matters? Shouldn’t we cut programs that are less efficient or have more waste more than others? Sequestration defies that logic.
If you are a bleeding heart liberal like me, you’re concerns are more about impact. Let’s save programs that address real needs and cut programs that benefit those who are more likely to be able to replace them with alternative sources of revenue. Maybe we don’t need to spend so much on corporate welfare or assisting with research into commercially viable pharmaceuticals or technologies, and more on assistance to those who need it.
Shouldn’t criteria like that matter? Moreover, the fact is that the long term health of our economy requires additional revenue. Even most conservative economists admit this.
And so it is reasonable to suspect the refusal to compromise is largely political. Be able to claim you stood up to the president on tax increases, get your cuts, and not have to explain to constituents why the program that helps them or their loved ones was on the block! It’s politics at it’s worst because it’s not just rhetorical, constituents will actually suffer.
I, for one, am appalled!
In: Politics and Society, US News · Tagged with: congress, Democrats, legislation, Republicans, sequester
Speaks for itself.
From the excellent program Moyers & Company.
In: Humor, Politics and Society, US News · Tagged with: Bill Moyers, Campaign Finance, democracy, politics
In reality, I don’t have sense enough to wear boots to work on a drizzly, chilly day when there’s still two feet of snow piled everywhere from the weekend blizzard! To paraphrase the observation of a wise man very dear to me, sometimes it seems that the more education I get…
In: Humor, Rants · Tagged with: family, Humor, Winter
I work on some fascinating projects at the AKDC@MIT. One that we’ve just started on, and will be uploading in small increments over an extended period is a a new Special Collection in Archnet, the Michel Ecochard Archive. A collection of images of 19th-century Damascus is the first installment to be made available. I’m so intrigued by the images, I wanted to tell you about them here, and about the larger collection you will eventually see more of.
French architect and urban planner Michel Ecochard, 1905-1985, spent much of his career working in the Muslim world, starting in Damascus following his graduation from École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1929, then Beirut from 1931 to 1944, Rabat from 1946 to 1952 and finally Paris from 1953 to 1983. Read the rest of this post »
In: AKDC@MIT, Photography, Professional, The Arts
I believe in the importance of the Constitution with it’s Bill of Rights to the proper functioning of our democracy. I also believe Second Amendment. Without a new amendment directly annulling it being being ratified, the government cannot take away the guns of law abiding citizens.
On the other hand, I do not believe that reasonable legislation intended to keep criminals from getting and using guns to commit crimes or to keep innocent civilians, particularly children, from being killed by guns necessarily infringes on 2nd Amendment rights.
Most of all, I believe facts are facts, and that looking beyond the biased, skewed rhetoric of entrenched sides to the actual facts, we may stand a much better chance of coming up with good policy on the matter. That is clearly illustrated in the graphic at the top of this post that appeared on a friend’s Facebook page today. There was an emotional assertion made as a hearing that is contradictory to the facts. The emotional assertion was repeated a lot in the media. I didn’t hear it challenged until at least the next day. Read the rest of this post »
In: Activism, Journalism and Media, Rants, US News · Tagged with: Bil of Rights, Bill of Rights, Center for Gun Policy and Research, Concealed Weapons, facebook, fact checking, Factcheck.org, Gun Control, NRA, Partisanship, Pew Survey, politics, President Obama, rhetoric
Did you see this headline? “Dental assistant fired for being ‘irresistible’ to boss”
When I first heard it, I thought it must be from The Onion or some other satirical news outlet, because it just seemed to ridiculous. I didn’t actually hear the report until the evening on ABC News when I learned the incident had not only occurred, but the Iowa Supreme Court had upheld the right of the dentist to do so. Ryan Foley, reporting from Iowa city in an Associated Press article wrote:
December 24, 2012 (WPVI) — A dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant that he found attractive simply because he and his wife viewed the woman as a threat to their marriage, the all-male Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday.
The court ruled 7-0 that bosses can fire employees they see as an “irresistible attraction,” even if the employees have not engaged in flirtatious behavior or otherwise done anything wrong. Such firings may be unfair, but they are not unlawful discrimination under the Iowa Civil Rights Act because they are motivated by feelings and emotions, not gender, Justice Edward Mansfield wrote.
An attorney for Fort Dodge dentist James Knight said the decision, the first of its kind in Iowa, is a victory for family values because Knight fired Melissa Nelson in the interest of saving his marriage, not because she was a woman.
I don’t even know where to begin questioning the absurdity of the ruling.
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