Category Archives: Politics

It takes cyberspace to get one in trouble.

Awesome original artwork by the fabulous Molly Kiely for Poetrylandia, Issue 4 publishing in October.

Thanks Muna.

Oh, and there’s still time to join the Wapshott Press Book Club. Next book is Storylandia 32, Drunk on Time, which received a nice review at Cultural Weekley.

“Only an outsider like Swiss architect Peter Zumthor would propose something like this. His voyeuristic vision is supported and championed by Govan, who hails from Massachusetts and moved to L.A. only once he was appointed LACMA director in 2006. The two have worked closely on this $750 million project that destroys four buildings on the Miracle Mile campus. One is already down.” ~snip~ “The Zumthor/Govan plan was eventually approved by the museum’s board in 2013. Govan then started seeking approvals from lawmakers in 2015. The County Board of Supervisors approved the plans unanimously in April 2019, followed by unanimous approval by the City Council in December 2019. The approvals include $117.5 million in taxpayer funding and $300 million in county bonds. Pushback has been both pragmatic and philosophical as two different opposition groups formed: Save LACMA and the Citizens Brigade to Save LACMA. Though each group takes their own distinct stances against the Zumthor/Govan redesign, they find a shared grievance in the loss of exhibition space — from 170,000 square feet down to 109,000, a 36% decrease. These two groups are not alone: the Ahmanson Foundation, which has gifted $130 million worth of European art to LACMA, announced that it would cease gifting due to lack of gallery space in this new design. How can we pay homage to the additional 27,000 pieces of art that Govan has helped the museum acquire during his tenure if much of it will sit in storage due to a lack of space?”
What Will Los Angeles Lose as LACMA’s Michael Govan Tries to Make His Mark?, by Rachel Reyes, Los Angeleno, 13 August 2020

I suppose LACMA will be the Red Car of Los Angeles art. Or something equally sad.
Continue reading It takes cyberspace to get one in trouble.

And the Internets go on and on and on and on

The more I think about it, the more I realize there is nothing more artistic than to love others.
Vincent Van Gogh

“At the time, my friend Brian argued that if it came down to it, he wanted to be able to defend himself. That if he didn’t have a gun, he was really just prepping for his someone else, who could just come and take all his carefully curated supplies.”
The Case For Not Panic Buying A Gun, by Jacob Margolis, LAist, 18 March 2020

Continue reading And the Internets go on and on and on and on

Sure and begorrah the internets

“My Poet loves words in a way that I feel is quite unhealthy and unnatural. She owns a dictionary decades old and so large she uses a small buffet cart to wheel it around our apartment like some invalid relative. For true fiction writers, words are just a kind of filling for the plot. A novel is like one of those mock apple pies made with Ritz crackers and cinnamon—and anyone who claims he can tell the difference is a damn liar!”
My Poet, by Naeem Murr, Poetry, July/August 2007

“L.A.’s hottest neighborhood is where the city’s existential crises have come home to roost.”
Gentrifying Highland Park’s War on the Middle Class, by Andrew Gumbel, Los Angeleno, 30 Jan 2020

“The decision by employees at crowdfunding company Kickstarter to unionize is a historic first in the tech industry, highlighting the growing trend of worker activism in Silicon Valley.”
Kickstarter union seen as breakthrough for tech activism by Chris Mills Rodrigo, The Hill, 20 Feb 2020

“Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said Monday he wants to give monthly checks to low-income and middle-class Americans so they can afford necessities during the coronavirus outbreak.

“‘Let’s cut out employers as the middle men and get relief to people not in weeks but in days,’ Cotton wrote in a Medium post outlining his proposals for a Senate bill. ‘We should send relief directly to American families most likely to be in need — those in the bottom and middle tax brackets — to pay for rent, groceries, childcare, and other necessary expenses, as well as to spend at local businesses that are hurting during this crisis.’

“Cotton, who knocked the House-passed coronavirus response bill as too complicated, suggested the money could come from tax rebates or through unemployment agencies.”
GOP Sen. Cotton calls for monthly cash payments to Americans during coronavirus pandemic, by Brooke Seipel, The Hill, 16 March 2020

If this isn’t some kind of trap… this is my kind of Republican!
Continue reading Sure and begorrah the internets

Sometimes annoyed by The Economist magazine

“But if the argument for abolition is primarily moral, it must be made more carefully than it often is.”
In defence of America’s prison-industrial complex, The Economist, October 17, 2019

Well, here’s my moral argument against private prisons: if the great and glorious State is going to turn a citizen into a non-being for a period of time, then the great and glorious State is morally obliged to look after that non-being’s mind and body for that period of time. The State enriching the private sector is not new, but this version of that seems particularly heinous to me. I hope it becomes illegal for anything other than the State to incarcerate another human being for any reason. Lastly, if taxpayers foot the bill for the sick society they seem not to notice they live in, well, they might notice, and demand rehabilitation and cheaper prison deterrent programs in their communities to lower the understandably high costs of being our brothers and sisters keepers, for God’s sake. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. What’s wrong with America? Greed and stupidity? Oh, that’s right.

Hackenblog: Advantage Amazon

“Over the past decade Amazon Web Services (AWS) lured untold numbers of consumers and corporations onto its billowing cloud. The division earned its giant e-commerce parent $7.3bn in operating profits last year. It could soon be earning more. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s boss, is going after a potentially more lucrative customer: the government. Amazon has outspent all technology firms on lobbying in the first quarter, and is building a second headquarters in Virginia, near the Pentagon.”
Amazon is eyeing billions in federal contracts, by The Economist, July 11, 2019

Y’know, even I thought I was kind of kidding when I’ve been saying that one day either Google or Amazon, particularly AWS, was going to own us all. Alas, I think we just got one day closer to that day.

“No wonder. Next month the Defence Department may award a cloud-computing contract worth $10bn. The Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure (JEDI) initiative aims to create a unified ‘war-fighter cloud’ to modernise the Pentagon’s existing networks and data centres. In April AWS and Microsoft edged out Oracle and IBM onto the final shortlist.”

JEDI. Really? And something else for Russia, N Korea, and Billy in his mom’s basement to hack into for fun and profit. Is there a forest I can live in somewhere?

Google seems to regrouping.

“Confronted last year with an employee backlash against its sale of artificial-intelligence software to America’s armed forces, Google backed off and withdrew from the JEDI tender.”

Retreat, hell, they’re just fighting in a different direction.

Oh well. Is it better to know these things? I wonder.

2024 maybe?

“Absent from the 20 candidates who were selected for the Democrats’ first televised debates was Steve Bullock, the governor of Monatana and the only Democratic governor of a state won by Mr Trump in the race, because he was lower in the polls and had fewer individual campaign donors than other candidates. Meanwhile Marianne Williamson, spiritual guru, whose assertion that ‘there’s no higher art than living a beautiful life’ may not be the winning message Democrats are searching for in 2020, was allowed to speak on the party’s platform to millions of Americans. It does not have to be like this. Party leaders used to exercise more sway over primaries. They could do so again.” (emphases mine)
Should political parties really let anyone run for president?, The Economist, July 25, 2019

Get ready for 4 more years of stupid if the Dems are this STUPID. GAH!

I guess it’s too late, but I just sent Governor Bullock $10 if only to make myself feel better about… something (and I’m really broke right now).

Update! Steve B is at the 2nd debate. I feel much better now; totally worth that $10.

Note: I seem to recall from HS civics class that our president must have a college degree to be president. Maybe we should require a JD and bar license number. I know, I know, Nixon was a lawyer, but at least the JDs really know what laws they’re breaking (and break them anyway, alas). And let’s get rid of the electoral college; we don’t need it anymore. After all, this isn’t the French Revolution, is it? IS IT? Oh well, just a thought, before my brain turns into election year goo.