Monday, October 31, 2016

 

The Blob is Back

Washington State Climatologist Nicholas Bond explains warm ocean mass and weather.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

 

Cultural Diversity

One of the prime examples of cultural diversity in the United States is found in the naming of a national monument in Wyoming 'Devils Tower'. The Indian tribes of the area called it Bear's Lodge and Tree Rock, referring to the Native American story about how it lifted the stars of the Big Dipper into the sky--a much more friendly narrative than that imposed by Christians intent on demeaning indigenous 'heathens'.

Friday, October 28, 2016

 

Bourdain Kills Pig

Cooking for Kids

Thursday, October 27, 2016

 

Examining Christian Identity

INSiGHT Volume 2, FALL 2016


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

 

Tewa Owingeh

San Juan Pueblo is Ohkay.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

 

Cops and Crooks

B movies of the 1940s and 1950s might seem hokey by today's standards, but some of the crime, drama, mystery, noir and suspense classics are still quite entertaining. For instance, The Big Heat and The Racket portray the challenge to police from organized crime, then rampant in American metropolitan cities. Pitfall and Dark City examine the crimes of conscience challenging individual cops and crooks. Kiss Me Deadly and City of Fear take a comically quaint look at the hard-boiled private eye and the federal agencies battling ridiculous threats from stolen atomic material in the aftermath of the Manhattan Project. Of note to connoisseurs of these classics, Lizabeth Scott stars in three of them.

Friday, October 21, 2016

 

Supporting Roles

Not everybody can be a star, but supporting characters, or actors, can play an important or memorable role. Whether in real life, or on stage, screen or TV, there's opportunity for all to contribute.

For example, who can forget Alfonso Bedoya in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, or the Broadway actor Arthur Hunnicutt, who was in Cat Ballou, as well as making guest appearances on the TV series Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, and The Twilight Zone.

And what about Jon Polito, who played supporting roles in The Big Lebowski and The Man Who Wasn't There.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

 

1962

In 1962, when I was ten years old, I wondered how life could possibly get better.

Willie Mays and the San Francisco Giants were in the World Series, JFK and Jackie were in the White House, the Beatles released their first hit single, and Lawrence of Arabia was showing at the cinema.

What a year.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

 

Dubious Statistics

The Social Security Administration reports that the cost-of-living adjustment for 2017 will be a whopping 0.3%. That translates into a monthly increase of less than $4 a month for the average Social Security recipient. The cost-of-living adjustment is based on the Consumer Price Index, generated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which measures price changes for food, housing, clothing, transportation, energy, medical care, recreation and education.

Meanwhile, the American Community Survey, part of the U.S. Census Bureau, reports that ten thousand low and middle income households leave San Francisco every year, replaced by new high income residents that can afford the skyrocketing rents. Anecdotally, a one-bedroom apartment in 2010 cost $1,000 a month. In 2012, it cost $2,000 a month. Today, it goes for $3,000 a month.

Three of the years since 2008 showed no cost-of-living increase for Social Security. Only once was it above 2%. Something doesn't add up.

Update on U.S. government screwing the elderly and disabled by cooking the books.



Monday, October 17, 2016

 

From Here to Eternity

One impact of the vast transfer of wealth from the U.S. Treasury to Wall Street in 2008-2009 is the disabling of American society to recreate community. With the massive infusion of public monies into the private equity sector--greater than that expended on the New Deal and World War II combined--our capacity to reinvent ourselves in the face of new global challenges has been devastated.

Cultural creatives that previously comprised a critical mass in our cities are now displaced, leaving us without the interdisciplinary, regenerative force of counter-power ideas in our communities. That social vacuum has been filled with the political theatre of venture capital philanthropy, which produces such Wall Street-funded starlets as Amy Goodman and Naomi Klein, the iconic 'revolutionaries' of the toy Che brigades in a world of make believe.

Given the resources now available for controlling consciousness from here to eternity, breaking the cycle of repetitive mass hypnosis is an almost insurmountable task.

Friday, October 14, 2016

 

Ad Man

Looking at the growing list of diminishing resources required for sustaining modern human society, it is clear that our species is on an exhaustive trajectory. In this sense, human beings today might be compared to locusts--individually innocuous, but in the swarming phase brought on by consumerism, devastating. Stripping everything in sight, the voracious appetite of Ad Man has a limited timeline.

Given this situation, humans understandably are giving up caring about the irreversible destruction wrought daily on the basis of life. It's beyond their mental capacity to cope with what they can't control. It doesn't make sense to worry about what is inevitable; why torture yourself?

That said, we can individually modify our consumptive behavior, and collectively curtail the corrupting influence of Ad Culture. Combined, such efforts can reduce individual misery and collective insanity, which are in themselves worthwhile--no matter the ultimate prognosis of Homo sapiens sapiens.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

 

Visual Messages

The International Journal of Communication, Volume 10, 2016 has two insightful pieces for those interested in how mass audiences are influenced by campaign and news images:



As noted in the above article and book review, visual shapes illustrate emotions, and merge with verbal meanings to create a holistic rhetorical message. Through the manipulation of simple shapes into a typopictorial design, and consequently the activation of existing mental associations, logos communicate prosperity, hope, and ideas that are relevant to people.

Press photographs have a narrative structure, and are part of an interactional system involving the relationship between the image, viewers, and the participants represented in the image. The compositional system involves framing, salience, and the reading path of the image.

In this structure, the nucleus includes the heading, the image, and a prosodic tail. The heading often relies on wordplay, calling on experiences of the reader to decode, while the image tends to depict represented participants in an eye-catching, aesthetically pleasing manner. The satellite is the caption text that consists of the experiential orientation and the contextual extension. The experiential orientation functions to clarify and sharpen our understanding of the image, while the contextual extension aims to extend beyond what is needed for readers to understand the image

Sunday, October 09, 2016

 

Turning Things Around

We now have three generations of Americans who came of age during major political scandals in the White House: Watergate (Richard M. Nixon), Iran-Contra (Ronald W. Reagan), and the Plame affair (George W. Bush). The last generation to come of age during a White House administration that worked for Main Street rather than Wall Street (Franklin D. Roosevelt) is fading fast.

The benefits we take for granted today, i.e. Social Security, Food Stamps and Medicare, came out of the New Deal programs of Roosevelt's presidency.

Those benefits, however, were not a gift from the U.S. Government; they were, rather, an achievement by the American people, through organized efforts to confront Wall Street in Congress and in every state and city across the country, where millions suffered the indignity of poverty during the Great Depression, caused by the financial elite. Turning things around today requires no less.

Friday, October 07, 2016

 

Depressing Opportunity

Coping With Depression is one of those 'caring' medical industry pieces that reveals an underlying problem. While the grants for research into psychotherapy--including shock treatment--are encouraging for researchers, it means little to those in need of help.

It shouldn't be any surprise that depression is rampant, given the state of the world. If it weren't for such ingrained corruption in the institutional and market sectors, we would have the resources to make programs available that alleviate the poverty and isolation that contribute to depression.

As it is, the beneficial effects of natural treatment with cannabis sativa are still inaccessible, due to antiquated laws and misplaced priorities of lawmakers on the take from pharmaceutical companies.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

 

Perpetuating Pipelines

In covering jurisdictional disputes between indigenous nations and modern states, independent media  plays a vital role. Foremost in that role is the responsibility to report inconvenient truths that constitute blind spots, which make the indigenous peoples movement vulnerable to attack.

Examples of blind spots include organized racism, private equity media, and the non-profit industrial complex. Examples of inconvenient truths include the fact that Obama's approval of fracking on millions of acres of public land in North Dakota created a need for more pipelines, and the fact that consumer demand for gasoline, heating fuel, and plastic products means pipelines will continue to be built, long into the future.

The basis for informed reporting is the same as for informed organizing: research. Research as an organizing tool, in regard to fossil fuel conflict, reveals such inconvenient truths as the following:

The deciding factor of Obama’s rejection of Keystone XL is that it pitted Canadian Alberta Tar Sands oil against US-produced Bakken crude, made possible by his approval of fracking on millions of acres in North Dakota. The resulting glut of oil, which overwhelmed Gulf Coast storage capacity, made it possible in turn for Obama’s advisor Warren Buffett to corner the oil-by-rail market now threatening the Pacific Coast of Northwest Washington and Southwest British Columbia.

Clean energy and fossil fuel divestment is a scam concocted by Wall Street to divert activists from effective organizing, and to create public support for nuclear power. The primary promoters of 'clean energy' are either Wall Street titans, or activists on Wall Street's payroll.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

 

Electronic Waste

50 million tons of toxic electronic waste--mainly computers and smartphones--are expected to be dumped in 2017. That's up 20% from 2015, when about 41 million tons of electronic waste was discarded, mostly into third world countries serving as global landfills.
--Waste Crime, United Nations Environment Programme

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