A glimpse of what action films would be like if they had to deal with the cellular service the rest of us do.
Book Of The Day-–Samuel Slater Bobblehead is reading The Age Of Reform–From Bryan To F.D.R. by the great historian Richard Hofstadter. It is quite industrious of Samuel Slater to read such a learned book. The link above is to a Hofstadter reading list and reviews of some of his famous titles. An education in American [...]
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On Motion to Concur in Senate Amendment to House Amendment to Senate Amendment: H.R. 1586 To modernize the air traffic control system, improve the safety, reliability, and availability of transportation by air in the United States, provide for modernization of the air traffic control system, reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, and for other purposes. Passed 247-161, 25 not voting. 98% of Democrats supporting, 99% of Republicans opposing. Rep. Brown [R-SC1]: Nay Go to Bill Status: H.R. 1586: FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act
Aug 10, 2010 - House Vote On Passage - H.Res. 1606 Providing for consideration of the Senate amendment to the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1586, to modernize the air traffic control system, improve the safety, reliability, and availability of transportation by air in the United States, provide for modernization of the air traffic control system, etc. Passed 229-173, 30 not voting. 93% of Democrats supporting, 100% of Republicans opposing. Rep. Brown [R-SC1]: Nay Go to Bill Status: H.Res. 1606: Providing for consideration of the Senate amendment to the House amendment to the Senate amendment to the bill (H.R. 1586) to modernize the air traffic control system, improve the safety, reliability, and availability of transportation by air in the United States, provide for modernization of the air traffic control system, reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, and for other purposes.
Aug 10, 2010 - House Vote On Ordering the Previous Question: H.Res. 1606 Providing for consideration of the Senate amendment to the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1586, to modernize the air traffic control system, improve the safety, reliability, and availability of transportation by air in the United States, provide for modernization of the air traffic control system, etc. Passed 244-164, 24 not voting. 98% of Democrats supporting, 100% of Republicans opposing. Rep. Brown [R-SC1]: Nay Go to Bill Status: H.Res. 1606: Providing for consideration of the Senate amendment to the House amendment to the Senate amendment to the bill (H.R. 1586) to modernize the air traffic control system, improve the safety, reliability, and availability of transportation by air in the United States, provide for modernization of the air traffic control system, reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, and for other purposes.
Aug 10, 2010 - House Vote Table Appeal of the Ruling of the Chair: MOTION Passed 236-163, 33 not voting. 97% of Democrats supporting, 100% of Republicans opposing. Rep. Brown [R-SC1]: Nay
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At the very end, TMCP identifies for a coy Stretch Gregory a General whose statement he'll emulate with regard to running for, or even becoming, President. And it's not U S Grant![...]
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Still another recurrent argument from the Thurmond era has it that no judge should overrule the voters, who voted 52 to 48 percent in California for Prop 8 in 2008. But as Olson also told Chris Wallace, ?We do not put the Bill of Rights to a vote.? It?s far from certain in any event that a majority of California voters approve of Prop 8 now. A Field poll released two weeks before Walker?s ruling found that Californians approved of same-sex marital rights by 51 to 42 percent. Last week a CNN survey for the first time found that a majority of Americans (52 percent) believed ?gays and lesbians should have a constitutional right to get married.?
None of this means that full equality for gay Americans is a done deal. Even if it were, that would be scant consolation to the latest minority groups to enter the pantheon of American scapegoats, Hispanic immigrants and Muslims. We are still a young, imperfect, unfinished country. As a young black man working as a nurse in a 1980s AIDS clinic memorably says in Tony Kushner?s epic drama ?Angels in America?: ?The white cracker who wrote the national anthem knew what he was doing. He set the word ?free? to a note so high nobody can reach it.?
But sometimes we do hit that note, however tentatively.
After the Fantasia on "Greensleeves" Friday night and the Serenade to Music last night, we've got some meat-and-potatoes Vaughan Williams today. We start with a work we already heard, in "Who can resist the 'elaborate' and 'extravagant' song of the high-flying lark?," the rhapsodic Lark Ascending for violin and orchestra. I noted back then how the work has been tending to spread over the years, as it has come to be played more often, and in this connection mentioned the two recordings conducted by Sir Adrian Boult, which reflect that trend: 13:20 in 1952, 14:41 in 1967 -- and the latter is rather an up-tempo pace by more recent standards.Here they are.
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: The Lark Ascending
Jean Pougnet, violin; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult, cond. EMI, recorded Oct. 21, 1952
Hugh Bean, violin; New Philharmonia Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult, cond. EMI, recorded March 1, 1967
Setting aside the little "Greensleeves" Fantasia, surely Vaughan Williams' best-known work is the other fantasia, the one on a theme of Thomas Tallis. Given its deep, burnished beauty, this isn't hard to understand.
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, André Previn, cond. Telarc, recorded July 6-7, 1988
BBC Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Davis, cond., recorded October 1990
To dispel any notion that Vaughan Williams wrote only in modes sultry and elegiac, here are the Overture and the "March Past of the Kitchen Utensils" from his "Aristophanic Suite" from The Wasps, incidental music written for the Aristophanes play. This music is not only jolly and jaunty but downright satirical (appropriately, for the subject), starting with the buzzing opening of the Overture. It all suggest, rather surprisingly, a sort of British Prokofiev.
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: The Wasps: Aristophanic Suite
iii. March Past of the Kitchen Utensils
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult, cond. Decca, recorded early 1950s
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It was the fall of 2006. The setting was a bar in New York City. The "who's who" of the New York blogger scene was gathered together over drinks to fundraise for Brian Keeler's run for New York State Senate. I happened to be there, interviewing candidates for a documentary project that has yet to be released. One of my subjects was a blogger known pseudonymously as pontificator. And at the conclusion of the interview, he told me he had one more thing to say; it was very important. He proceeded to look into the camera and utter five immortal words:
Peter King is an a**hole.
Pontificator was referring to this Peter King--the Representative from New York's Third Congressional District. The more you learn about Peter King, the more you realize just how right pontificator is. But those with any remaining doubts need just examine this brief quote from a recent Politico story on the political consequences of Judge Walker's decision striking down Proposition 8:
King, the Long Island congressman, said that in terms of social issues, the raging controversy over the Arizona border laws is providing more than enough ammunition for Republicans in key districts.
“The Arizona immigration law is there, there’s no reason to be raising an issue of gay rights” as a wedge, he said.
Quotes like this ought only to be given by political hack strategists on condition of anonymity. It's the job of people like Karl Rove to determine exactly what issues to focus on to maximize the chances of electoral victory; it should be the job of Peter King to represent the people of his district, rather than simply figure out what inflammatory issue will make them more likely to vote him back for another two years in Washington. But for the sake of what follows, let's acknowledge that Republicans in Congress don't seem to have any sort of vested interest in hating on gay people or brown people, outside of using their base's stringent dislike of the same as a motivational tool to drive them to the polls on the first Tuesday of November in even-numbered years.
The era of conservatives trying to use same-sex marriage to drive moral majority voters to the polls is over and done with--at least for the time being. First, the conservative base that would be driven by the issue is already fired up and ready to go because televangelist Beck has already sent the message loud and clear that the theocracy envisioned by the Founding Fathers (in his fevered mind) must be protected from the Leninist ravages of Barack Obama. Second, protecting the sanctity of straight people simply isn't that inspiring to anyone else: The crowds that the National Organization for Marriage has been drawing to its rallies on its farce of a nationwide bus tour have been anemic. Lastly, opposing gay marriage is a losing issue for the future: in a significant majority of states--and almost every single state outside the South--a majority of people between ages 18 and 29 support marriage equality. Taking a position that runs contrary to the values of the voters that will decide the future of the country is generally a fruitless endeavor.
Hating on brown people, however, is equally as perilous, but potentially slightly more fruitful for Republican prospects in the short term as we approach November. To begin with, the economy is a key consideration for many voters today--and while bad economic times to tend to engender xenophobia, it is much more logical to push that xenophobia in the direction of immigrants than it is gay people. The narrative of someone with darker skin taking away a good job from an "American" is well known (Jesse Helms, anyone?), but no conservative man out of work ever said, "You know, I could have been a fashion designer, but my job went to a homosexual instead."
But if indeed the main focus of the Republican Party's renewed focus on immigration had to do with ensuring that the undocumented were not taking away jobs from "lawful Americans," one might have expected a focus on issues like tougher border security, or perhaps a crackdown on employers who hire illegal immigrants as opposed to those who are able to work legally in the country. As we approach the election, we might have expected a debate more along the lines of what Representative King was initially envisioning: SB1070, Arizona's draconian anti-melanin bill. But that's not what we're getting.
What we're being treated to instead is something else entirely: a debate over the 14th amendment, which guarantees birthright citizenship to virtually everyone born in the United States. This would initially appear odd, because a belief that ending birthright citizenship as expressed in the constitution would be a workable solution to the current immigration debate would itself require two major underlying assumptions: 1) that the undocumented will stop migrating to the United States if their children are no longer eligible to be citizens by birth; and 2) that it would somehow be humane to deport children on account of the crimes committed by their parents.
Either would be a hard case to prove. And yet despite that, we are seeing a major number of prominent Republican Johns (Boehner, McCain and Kyl, for instance) endorsing the idea of modifying the 14th amendment. We are seeing Republican legislators taking the news cycle by storm with unfounded claims of "terror babies" that are forming their own birthright citizen sleeper cells. We're even seeing conservative judicial analysts eviscerating those same politicians for ignoring their oaths to the Constitution by attempting an "end run" around it.
These Republicans know that as of now, they stand no chance of repealing the 14th amendment anytime soon. They know that it takes a full two-thirds of both the House and the Senate, and then a full three-quarters of the legislatures of the states to modify the Constitution. They know that repeal of birthright citizenship isn't a short-term solution to the immigration issue in our country. But they're starting the push anyway, and with good reason. And it all comes down to demography.
In a post earlier this week, Markos made clear what's at stake for the Republican Party. With the exception of the Cuban-American community that still has some loyalty to the GOP, Latinos are a key Democratic constituency, whether by choice or by the simple default of voting for the one major party that does not seem to denigrate and oppress them at every turn. Combined with the preference of younger voters for the more progressive positions generally espoused by the Democratic Party, the GOP--barring any major philosophical shift or major realignment--is facing some serious long-term viability problems as a national party. And as we saw in the elections of 2000 and 2004--when Republicans are facing viability problems, their default solution is to prevent people from voting. As Harold Meyerson noted earlier this week in the Washington Post:
Sentient Republican strategists such as Karl Rove have long understood that unless their party could win more Latino votes, it would eventually go the way of the Whigs. That's the main reason George W. Bush tried to persuade congressional Republicans to support immigration reform. But most lawmakers, reflecting the nativism of the Republican base, would have none of it.
By pushing for repeal of the 14th Amendment's citizenship clause, the GOP appears to have concluded: If you can't win them over -- indeed, if you're doing everything in your power to make their lives miserable -- revoke their citizenship.
GOP calls to modify the Constitution have nothing to do with solving immigration. Denying citizenship to extended generations of descendants of the undocumented would in fact create far more problems than it would solve. It would have nothing to do with stopping immigration, because the desperate people that come here would rather be able to feed their families, regardless of whether their children end up citizens. And it's not about public safety, because any infant citizens training as terror babies in a Pakistan madrassa are likely pretty few and far between.
What this conversation should really be about is what the GOP is willing to do for the sake of longer-term electoral strategy. Rather than accepting Latinos as a part of the American fabric, they are willing to create an underclass of non-citizens that spans across generations--as long as it means that they can maintain their nativist ways in a country that no longer resembles their ideal. And this conversation will not go away after November. This is not an election-year issue. This is a generational issue of the future viability of an entire political party.
The GOP was given a choice. Move forward into the future, or more back to the 1860s. Good going, pachyderms.
Abbey Lincoln, an acclaimed jazz singer, songwriter and actress who evolved from a supper-club singer into a strong voice for civil rights, has died. She was 80.[..]
Lincoln built a career as an actress and singer in the late 1950s through the turbulent 1960s, then stepped away during the 1970s and, years later, returned to prominence as a singer praised for her songwriting abilities.
"There was a passion to what she did," said jazz critic Don Heckman, who noted that Lincoln's songwriting made her a rarity among jazz singers. "She was not someone who was just singing a song. She had an agenda, and a lot of it had to do with civil rights.... She expressed herself in dramatic and impressive fashion in what she said and how she sang."[..]
She was often compared with Billie Holiday, one of her early influences. Times jazz writer Leonard Feather, writing after a Lincoln performance in 1986, said he could see glimpses of Holiday. "Not so much vocally as visually ? a slight toss of the head, a jutting of the jaw," he wrote. "As Lincoln said, 'We all stand on the shoulders of those who preceded us.' "
John Lee Hooker maybe one of the greatest blues men of all-time. He was “rediscovered”[...]
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A few weeks back I asked whether we weren't seeing a perceptible rise in Islamophobia, paradoxically many years after the 9/11 attacks. And if we are, why? There are many potential and probable reasons. But of all the emails I received, the couple[...]
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