“Founded nearly 250 years ago, the United States of America is the world’s oldest constitutional democracy. Its infancy, under the Articles of Confederation, was turbulent. Its early prospects, at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, were very much uncertain. At the Convention, Benjamin Franklin—catalyst of the Revolution, leading citizen of the republic, enslaver turned abolitionist—wondered as he observed the conflicts, compromises, and contradictions of the process: was the young nation’s sun rising or setting? With the signing of the Constitution, he concluded, the sun was rising.”
Introduction: Our Common Purpose, by American Academy 2020
“As many as 30 million American workers without four-year college degrees have the skills to realistically move into new jobs that pay on average 70 percent more than their current ones. That estimate comes from a collaboration of academic, nonprofit and corporate researchers who mined data on occupations and skills.”
Up to 30 Million in U.S. Have the Skills to Earn 70% More, Researchers Say, by Steve Lohr, NYT, 03 December 2020
“The demand for a skilled workforce is increasing even faster than the supply of workers with college degrees – the result: rising wage inequality by education levels, and firms facing a skills gap. While it is often assumed that increasing the number of college graduates is required to fill this gap, this paper explores the extent to which workers without BA college degrees can help fill this gap. To find workers without BA degrees who are potentially skilled through alternative routes (STARs), we use data on the skill requirements of jobs to compute the “skill distance” between a worker’s current occupation and higher wage occupations with similar skill requirements in their local labor market. Based on our calculations, of the 16 million non-college educated workers with skills for high-wage work (> twice median earnings), 11 million whom we term “Rising STARs” are currently employed in middle-to low-wage work. We propose a general taxonomy for STARs to identify potential job transitions to higher wage work within their current earnings category and across earnings categories.”
SEARCHING FOR STARS: WORK EXPERIENCE AS A JOB MARKET SIGNAL FOR WORKERS WITHOUT BACHELOR’S DEGREES, by Peter Q. Blair, Tomas G. Castagnino, Erica L. Groshen, Papia Debroy, Byron Auguste, Shad Ahmed, Fernando Garcia Diaz, Cristian Bonavida, Working Paper 26844 (http://www.nber.org/papers/w26844), NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH, March 2020
“Other politicians who received donations from peopleconnected to Leung included Huizar, former Councilman Mitchell Englander and Councilman Gil Cedillo — all of whom served on the council committee that reviewed Sea Breeze in 2014. Donations also went to the 2015 reelection campaign of Councilwoman Nury Martinez.”
Real estate developer pleads guilty in sprawling L.A. campaign money laundering case, by LA Times, 03 December 2020
“Such an agreement would be a major breakthrough in the library e-book market. Amazon currently does not make its digital content available to libraries under any terms—an exclusion that librarians have loudly criticized for years, and brought to the attention of lawmakers in an ALA report last year. In fact, an Amazon spokesperson revealed news of the potential deal with DPLA this week after The Hill contacted the company regarding a petition launched this month to urge Congress to pursue “an antitrust investigation and legislative action to preserve and expand library services.” The petition, created by digital advocacy group Fight for the Future, has garnered nearly 13,000 signatures so far.”
Amazon Publishing in Talks to Offer E-books to Public Libraries, by Andrew Albanese, PW, 04 December 2020
“A few weeks ago Mamutjan Abdurehim was trying to remember a poem that he and his wife used to teach their four-year-old daughter. The rhyming couplets were easy to remember instructions on etiquette at the dinner table – to say bismillah before eating and to start with one’s right hand. He hoped that by helping his daughter recite the qoshaq, a traditional Uighur folk poem, she would remember where she came from even as the family was living overseas.” ~snip~ “Few cultures revere and incorporate poetry into daily life as much as Uighurs, a Muslim Turkic population in northwestern China whose elevation of the written verse dates back centuries, drawing comparisons with other cultures of rich poetic traditions from the Persians to the Russians.”
Poetry, the soul of Uighur culture, on verge of extinction in Xinjiang, by Lily Kou, Guardian, 05 December 2020
“Since 2017, this culture has come under unprecedented pressure as the Chinese state has carried out a campaign against its Uighur minority. Internment camps and other detention facilities are believed to have detained over a million Uighurs and other members of Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. The use of the Uighur language has been curtailed in schools and the everyday practice of Islam has been criminalised.”
‘Do you know that I am with you?’: Uighur poetry preserves culture under attack, Guardian, 05 December 2020
“The identity of the new Batman, estranged son of Bruce Wayne’s business manager Lucius Fox, was announced by the comics publisher on Thursday. The new series will be written by John Ridley, the screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave, with art by Nick Derington and Laura Braga. It is set in a future Gotham City controlled by the villainous Magistrate, where all masked vigilantes are outlawed and Batman has been killed. Fox, as a new Batman, will rise up to save the day.”
New Batman will be black, DC Comics announces, by Alison Flood, Guardian, 11 December 2020
“Comics have had a record-breaking year on Kickstarter. By October this year, backers had pledged $22m (£16.5m) to comics projects, up from $17m by the same point in 2019. Since the platform began in 2009, Kickstarter has funded 10,000 comic book projects, to the tune of $127m. With Marvel and DC putting out around 850 individual issues this year between them, that makes Kickstarter far and away the single most prolific publishing platform for comics in the world. That even actor Keanu Reeves is dipping his toe into Kickstarter, raising $1.45m (£1m) for his comic BRZRKR, created with Matt Kindt and Ron Garney for Boom!, is indicative of a quiet revolution in the medium, one that is now posing a challenge to traditional publishing models.”
Even Keanu Reeves is doing it: why are comics going to Kickstarter?, by David Barnett, Guardian, 08 December 2020
2020 at the Wapshott Press
“Past, present, and future on view in a wondrous machine. Everything everywhere in every universe. Better than YouTube, but can this device bring happiness to a young slacker looking for love and life’s meaning?”
Storylandia, Issue 32, Drunk on Time, by J. H. Malone
“Haunting and harrowing in its portrayal of supernatural creatures, “A Route Obscure and Lonely” explores the road less traveled by restless ghosts, sexually curious aliens, cunning vampires, transgressive angels, regretful mermaids, defiant witches, surly goddesses, mysterious phantoms, fearless fortune tellers, and “goth’s Mr. Goodbar” himself — — Edgar Allan Poe. The boroughs of the dead invite you to approach the gate guarding their abyss.”
Poetrylandia, Issue 2, A Route Obscure and Lonely, by LindaAnn LoSchiavo
Storylandia, Issue 33, short stories, by Jim McCullen, Jason Feingold, Alice Wickham, Chip Jett, and Arthur Davis
Poetrylandia, Issue 3, Fortune Written on Wet Grass, by Eileen “Mish” Murphy
“Nopalito, Texas—1965, 1985, 2005. An aging liquor store proprietor faces the confines of small-town life 5,000 miles from the one place that offered happiness. A young man evades attraction to his charismatic but erratic cousin. An elderly widower is beset by visits from the dead in the aftermath of a near-fatal heart attack. Albert, Dusty, Berndt—each one faces a wordless question: how to live with an impossibility that cannot be changed.”
Storylandia, Issue 34, The Distance Between Here
and Elsewhere: Three Stories , by David Meischen
Poetrylandia, Issue 4, Trio, by Karla Huston, Ellaraine Lockie, and Connie Posgt
Finding the late Mrs. Taggart’s missing jewels had made Freddie Babington famous. People with problems began to come to him, hoping to engage his services as a private detective. Freddie expected his new career to involve thrilling cases such as restoring diamond necklaces to Duchesses and secret plans to government ministers, perhaps rescuing a kidnapped heiress or two. Most of his cases were more mundane–but every once in a while, a client with a truly strange and interesting problem came to his door.
Publishes in November 2020
Storylandia, Issue 35, Odd Goings-on at Ferndell Farm and other Stories, by Kathryn L. Ramage
“Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer
“The Incal” by Jodorowsky and Giraud (Moebius)
People to whom nothing has ever happened cannot understand the unimportance of events.
People with great gifts are easy to find, but symmetrical and balanced ones never.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is.
Personality is the most important thing to an actress’s success.
Personally, I like two types of men – domestic and foreign.
Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul. Strictly speaking, therefore, all that is separate from us, all which Philosophy distinguishes as the ‘Not Me,’ that is, both nature and art, all other men and my own body, must be ranked under this name, ‘Nature.’
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Pictures must not be too picturesque.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Playwriting gets into your blood and you can’t stop it. At least not until the producers or the public tell you to.
Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.
Poetry may make us from time to time a little more aware of the deeper, unnamed feelings which form the substratum of our being, to which we rarely penetrate; for our lives are mostly a constant evasion of ourselves.