Sinking Louisiana: Preserving Culture
The Bayou Culture Collaborative
www.louisianafoklife.org/bayouculture) has attracted more media attention
than any other project in 30+ years in Louisiana (not Florida).
www.louisianafoklife.org/bayouculture) has attracted more media attention
than any other project in 30+ years in Louisiana (not Florida).
Wolfgang Mieder, an international proverb scholar, stands amidst his lifelong collection of proverb books at the U. of Vermont.
He learned that many of the proverbs people treasure are traceable to Greek and Roman antiquity (“Time flies.”) or to religious texts (“Pride comes before the fall.”) or to an era in which Latin was the lingua franca (“Not everything that glitters is gold.”). Then there are proverbs that are indigenous to specific cultures. “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” and “Go big or go home” are quintessentially American, Mieder says.
Proverbs are not absolute truth, Mieder says, since the wisdoms they impart often don’t align. Yes, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” But also, if you’re “out of sight,” you’re “out of mind.”
“Proverbs are as contradictory as life,” he says.
To many, quippy sayings like “Time is money” are synonymous with the Founding Father. People think Franklin thought them up. But Wolfgang Mieder, one of the world’s leading proverb scholars, knows better.
Mieder and a colleague traced the saying to a short, anonymous text published in a London-based newspaper, Free Thinker, in 1719. In fact, many of the sayings commonly attributed to Franklin actually come from English proverb collections, said Mieder, a professor of German and folklore at the University of Vermont.
Tracking down the origins of proverbs is “detective work,” he says. “You kind of feel like you’re discovering things.” He has researched and written about cultural wisdoms for nearly five decades and, in the process, amassed a one-of-a-kind scholarly library. It includes about 9,000 books (including 252 that Mieder has written, co-authored, or edited) and 6,500 photocopied articles and dissertations, all about proverbs. He doubts anything like it exists, anywhere.
►Discover the right school for your child.
Add Your School / Update Your School or Organization
►Find and compare K12 Schools and School Districts in the USA and Territories.
►Join Interdisciplinary #STEAM #STEM K12 School Projects. Link to your video project from your school information page and promote your work.
►JOIN Folklore / Folklife and National Security projects across the nation.
The National Endowment for the Arts Folk & Traditional Arts team
is very excited to share a summary and video from the Close Listening: A National Case for the Value and Impact of the Folk & Traditional Arts convening that was held at the 2018 National Assembly of State Arts Agency’s pre-conference in Baltimore, MD last October: https://www.arts.gov/artistic-fields/folk-traditional-arts/close-listening-on-the-value-and-impact-of-the-folk-and-traditional-arts.
The video <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_rALZNb-7M> includes highlights from conversations with several participants, and the summary <https://www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/Close-Listening-Summary-July2019.pdf> includes a list of key recommendations from the convening and brief summaries of each session. We hope that you will find these materials as inspiring as we have. Please feel free to share far and wide.
Cheryl Schiele~ Folk & Traditional Arts Specialist | Multidisciplinary Arts National Endowment for the Arts
“End of Old Song“
See the entire film at http://www.folkstreams.net/
Filmed in the mountains of North Carolina, this acclaimed documentary revisits the region where English folklorist Cecil Sharp collected British ballads in the early 1900s. The film contrasts the nature of the ballad singers with the presence of the juke box.
The uproar over Disney casting Halle Bailey as the Little Mermaid overlooks generations of Caribbean and African folklore
SCIENCE – STEM
Find a School – Discover the right school for your child.
Find and compare K12 Schools and School Districts in the USA and Territories. https://k12playground.com/
ARTS – STEAM
The history of sign language
Anatomy of a Perfect Album: On Joni Mitchell’s Blue
“ONLY A PHASE, THESE DARK CAFÉ DAYS.”
Mitchell starts the record right off with wanderlust, her first words: I am on a lonely road and I am traveling, traveling, traveling, traveling, amplifying the feeling later: I am on a lonely road and I am traveling / Looking for the key to set me free. By boat, plane, foot, and ice skate, her whims and fancies take her to a Greek island, Paris (she doesn’t like it there), Spain, Las Vegas, maybe Amsterdam and Rome, and return home to her Ithaca, which is California. You hear Mitchell’s original Canadian-ness when she lands on the word “sorrow” as “soe-row” on “Little Green,” a poignant 1967 song, revived for this recording, from the perspective of a young single mother, also in the reverent way she intones the Canadian national anthem, “O Canada,” in the middle of “A Case of You.”
Friend JOEL BERNSTEIN Musician / Photographer / Writer / Archivist Compilation of Photographs – all the album covers you know
2018 IPHF FEATURES PROFILE ON JOEL FOR HIS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD [ friend during junior high / high school times ]
Images of rock legends from Laurel Canyon
“Virality Is Dead
I’m an independent concert promoter going on 40 years now. My clients are now only a few, and I work them nationwide. Without question, Facebook “boosted posts” are quietly putting radio and print out of business in terms of how to get the word out on a cost-effective basis. And you don’t really need virality anymore in order to promote an artist or event.
I’m not talking Facebook “ads,” but “boosted posts.” Users see these posts from the artist’s page in their newsfeeds and can share them organically, unlike “ads,” which cannot be shared. I used to spend thousands of dollars breaking a show with print ads and radio. I won’t mention the act or the market, but recently I spent $1000 on a print ad in a major metropolitan market and… in a literal example of the old saying… “Did 10 tickets.” That’s right. I sold exactly 10 tickets, not even covering the cost of the ad. I spent a fraction of that amount on boosted Facebook posts and did 500 tickets. And you wonder how the Russians spent only $100k on Facebook and turned an entire election in 2016? ~ Brian Martin”
David Epstein on the Genius of the Self-Taught Musician
What David Bowie Borrowed From William Burroughs On the Shifting Personas of a Rock ‘N’ Roll Icon
Online Spreadsheet Discloses Museum Workers’ Salaries
In another sign of increasing demand for transparency at art institutions across the world, museum workers have begun making public their salary rates via a Google Spreadsheet document that began circulating on Friday morning. Titled Art/Museum Salary Transparency 2019, the document allows users to add information about the terms of their employment and their rates of pay at some of the biggest museums in the world.
Folklore: The contemporary Icelandic belief in elves explained
Overview of the ArtPlace/DAISA initiative (download a copy of the report) here: https://www.artplaceamerica.org/agriculture-food
The report argues that “integrating artistic and cultural practices with food and agriculture enables a creative and inclusive process and ensures community members see their identities, histories, and interests reflected in the work.” ~ Clifford Murphy – Folk & Traditional Arts Director | Multidisciplinary Arts National Endowment for the Arts
SCIENCE – STEM
Don’t smile for surveillance: Why airport face scans are a privacy trap
How Boeing’s Bean-Counters Courted the 737 MAX Disaster Just when the smallest jet should have been replaced with a new model, the company fell into tight-fisted hands—with fatal consequences. https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-boeing-bean-counters-courted-the-737-max-disaster
US Customs And Border Protection’s Database Of Traveler Facial Recognition Photos Was Stolen In A Data Breach
“CBP learned that a subcontractor … transferred copies of license plate images and traveler images collected by CBP to the subcontractor’s company network. The subcontractor’s network was subsequently compromised by a malicious cyber-attack.” https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/daveyalba/the-us-governments-database-of-traveler-photos-has-been
GPS Degraded Across Much of US
Blog Editor’s Note: Even as a Presidential Advisory Board was discussing GPS as “the Gold Standard” for satellite-based navigation last week, the system may have been operating in a degraded mode.
On Sunday the Federal Aviation Administration held a teleconference to discuss the issue that seems to have persisted for several days. While not “failing,” GPS signal quality seems to have degraded and this is impacting some equipment and services. Specifically, the aviation safety Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast system has been impacted across much of the United States. FAA has posted the following map depicting the areas impacted:
These problems have delayed and cancelled flights, possibly by the thousands. The FAA seems to have addressed some of this problem by issuing waivers for some aircraft to fly without operable ADS-B safety systems, as long as they stay on pre-planned routes and below 28,000 ft altitude.
Speculation on some on-line forums point to specific manufactures’ equipment and aircraft that are primarily effected. Previous degradation in GPS signal quality, such as the SVN-23 caused problem in January 2016, have shown that equipment from different vendors react differently to the problem. Some are unaffected, some go offline, and some just perform poorly.
The January 2016 SVN-23 degradation caused much of the nation’s ADS-B system to be unavailable for much of the day. Other receivers and systems were impacted also. Cellular networks, first responder systems, digital broadcast, and numerous other systems were impacted.
Watchstanders at the US Coast Guard Navigation Center seemed unaware of the problem early Monday morning, but promised to investigate and respond.
Jaron Zepel Lanier is an American computer philosophy writer, computer scientist, visual artist, and composer of classical music. Considered a founding father of the field of virtual reality, Lanier and Thomas G. Zimmerman left Atari in 1985 to found VPL Research, Inc., the first company to sell VR goggles and gloves.
Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now
No, Jaron does not have a Twitter account. No Reddit account. No Facebook account. They’re all fake fake FAKE!
From media to manufacturing to medicine, technology is reshaping the face of more and more industries, marching them lock-step into an information economy. However, as author Jaron Lanier asks, if …
“The Facebook business model is mass behavior modification for pay. And for those who are not giving Facebook money, the only … reward they can get or positive feedback is just getting attention.”
Jaron Lanier interview on how social media ruins your life …
In this interview Jaron Lanier talks about Facebook, YouTube, Google and how the tech and social media giants are using algorithms to record data about their users – and how internet algorithms …
In the early days of digital culture, Jaron Lanier helped craft a vision for the internet as public commons where humanity could share its knowledge — but even then, this vision was haunted by the dark side of how it could turn out: with personal devices that control our lives, monitor our data and feed us stimuli.
Antitrust Law – They have to much power over people with this “it’s all free” model. Father of virtual reality: Facebook and Google are ‘behavior modification empires’ resulting from a tragic mistake #TED2018
@shoshanazuboff‘s explosive new book “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism” argues that big tech platforms like Facebook and Google are building “a global architecture of behavior modification” with dire consequences for democracy. 8-9AM ET: http://democracynow.org
Behavior modification through surveillance
“we write the music and they [the users] dance to it.”
Anybody can be manipulated. It’s quite easy. And it’s the whole endgame of surveillance capitalism.
Tech companies know so much about us that they can predict our behavior. It’s especially easy for them because they can manipulate behavior. So “behavioral futures markets” are a way for these companies to place bets on our future behavior.
For the third year in a row, Congressman Blumenauer will hold his own OR-03 Arts Competition for high school students in his congressional district in lieu of participating in the traditional Congressional Art competition. The winning entry will hang in Congressman Blumenauer’s Washington, DC office.
Republican members of the House of Representatives actually removed a students art from the wall. The decision to censor a student artist who had depicted the conflict between the African-American community and the police surrounding the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, led Congressman Blumenauer to make this decision.
“Artistic expression is critical to a healthy and vibrant democracy. In good conscience, I cannot be part of a contest that restricts the expression of young artists and their first amendment rights,” said Blumenauer. “We must defend the arts – which I believe are now under attack by the President as he seeks to slash cherished programs like the National Endowment of the Arts. We can’t let artists lose their voices. The minute we let censorship take hold, the closer we get to an authoritarian regime.”
The traditional Congressional Art Competition allows high school students to submit artwork to their Congressional representative, and one submission from each district is selected as the winner. The artwork is then featured in the Capitol, alongside pieces from Congressional districts across the nation, to be enjoyed by members of Congress, staff, and visitors alike.
The competition sparked controversy <https://blumenauerforms.house.gov/components/redirect/r.aspx?ID=1647-211538> in 2017 when some Republican members of the House removed a painting from display. In Congressman Blumenauer’s opinion, this act inherently silenced the student artist from Missouri. The painting portrayed conflict between the African American community and law enforcement in Ferguson after the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen. Republican leadership repeatedly called for the painting’s removal, and as a result, it was permanently removed—deemed a violation of a rule that artwork in the Capitol cannot “depict contemporary political controversy, or of a sensationalistic or gruesome nature.” Following this incident, Congressman Blumenauer instituted his own OR-03 Arts Competition.
Please note that this is a secure building and you will need to call 503-231-2300 to have someone come down to receive your art.
“60 Minutes” in May, Mr. Bigelow said he was “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist and that U.F.O.s have visited Earth.
The program collected video and audio recordings of reported U.F.O. incidents, including footage from a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet showing an aircraft surrounded by some kind of glowing aura traveling at high speed and rotating as it moves. The Navy pilots can be heard trying to understand what they are seeing. “There’s a whole fleet of them,” one exclaims. Defense officials declined to release the location and date of the incident.
Luis Elizondo, who led the Pentagon effort to investigate U.F.O.s until October. He resigned to protest what he characterized as excessive secrecy and internal opposition to the program.
Mr. Bigelow, Bigelow Aerospace, Mr. Reid, Mr. John Glenn, Mr. Elizondo, Mr. Stevens and Mr. Inouye, used to work with the Navy, C.I.A. Pentagon, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Harold E. Puthoff, William Lynn III
Robert Bigelow, a billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Mr. Reid, received most of the money allocated for the Pentagon program. On CBS’s “60 Minutes” in May, Mr. Bigelow said he was “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist and that U.F.O.s have visited Earth.
The sightings were reported to the Pentagon’s shadowy, little-known Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program
$600 billion annual Defense Department budgets, the $22 million spent on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was almost impossible to find. Which was how the Pentagon wanted it.
How to report what the military calls unexplained aerial phenomena, or unidentified flying objects.
One was captured by a plane’s camera off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla., on Jan. 20, 2015. That footage, published previously but with little context, shows an object tilting like a spinning top moving against the wind. A pilot refers to a fleet of objects, but no imagery of a fleet was released. The second video was taken a few weeks later.
#UFO Videos filmed by Navy pilots #UFOVideosfilmedbyNavyPilots
Resizeable pull the bottom right corner to the right
The genes of living fungi indicate that their common ancestor lived over a billion years ago.
New fossils were found in the remote Northwest Territories of the Canadian Arctic. The fossils were single-celled organisms. They were much bigger than bacteria, but Mr. Loron couldn’t determine exactly what they were. Dr. Rainbird’s analysis of the rocks showed that these organisms, whatever they were, had fossilized a billion years ago in an estuary, where a river flowed into a sea.
Three fossils produced a pattern that matches that of a substance called chitin. All fungi make chitin to build their tough walls. Only insects and a few other species do the same.
The researchers concluded they had found an ancient fungus, which they named Ourasphaira giraldae. “This is the first evidence that fungi are a billion years old, even though we’ve thought they were for a long time,” said Mary Berbee, a mycologist at the University of British Columbia, who was not involved in the new research.
This program was established by Executive Order in 1964 to honor academic achievement by graduating high school seniors.
It was expanded in 1979 to honor students in the arts and in 2015 to honor students in career and technical education (CTE). Each year, up to 161 students are named, including at least one young man and woman from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American families living abroad. Another 15 students are chosen at-large, 20 students are scholars in the arts, and 20 students are scholars in CTE. More than 5,200 candidates qualified based on outstanding ACT or SAT scores or through nominations by Chief State School Officers, partner organizations, or the National Young Arts Foundation’s nationwide Young Arts competition. The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars — appointed by the President — selects the finalists based on their academic success, school evaluations, transcripts, and essays, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Scholars will be recognized at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on June 23.
The Commission on Presidential Scholars is a group of eminent private citizens appointed by the President to select and honor the Presidential Scholars. Commissioners are selected from across the country, representing the fields of education, medicine, law, social services, business, and other professions. The Commissioners make the final selection of the 161 Presidential Scholars. The Scholars demonstrate exceptional accomplishments in academics, the arts, career and technical education and an outstanding commitment to public service.
Eileen L. Weiser
Member, Michigan State Board of Education
The Weisers, both alumni of the University of Michigan, are Vice Chairs on the Campaign Leadership Board. 2014 $50 million gift to the University of Michigan.
$25 million designated to the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies (WCED), in the International Institute. The WCED studies how democracies emerge, the conditions necessary for assuring and extending political, social, and economic freedom, and how autocracies endure in Europe, Eurasia, and beyond.
The Weisers have long been committed to the study of emerging democracies, an interest that deepened in 2001-04 when Ron Weiser was tapped by President George W. Bush to serve as the ambassador to Slovakia, a country that faced considerable challenges in its transition to a democracy.
Ronald and Eileen Weiser donate $1.25M for UM-Dearborn’s new $90M Engineering Lab Building project
The other schedules contained herein are effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2019.
Sec. 8. Prior Order Superseded.
Executive Order 13856 of December 28, 2018, is superseded as of the effective dates specified in section 7 of this order.
DONALD J. TRUMP THE WHITE HOUSE March 28, 2019
Days before runoff, Sally Atwater accused of assaulting student
Education superintendent candidate’s spokesman calls lawsuit a ‘political hit job’ https://ballotpedia.org/Sally_Atwater
Harvey LeRoy “Lee” Atwater (February 27, 1951 – March 29, 1991) was an American political consultant and strategist for the Republican Party.He was an adviser to US presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush and chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Tina S. Holland Ph.D.
President, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University
President, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University President’s Office 225-768-1710 Tina.Holland@franu.edu
President & COO, Children’s Scholarship Fund
His Eminence Cardinal Donald Wuerl
Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Washington
Archbishop of Washington resigns over sexual abuse scandal
Pope accepts resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl following claims of cover-up
The cardinal’s repeated denials of knowledge and responsibility for sexual-abuse cover-ups defy all credibility.
The Catholic Church’s nightmare of a summer began with Theodore McCarrick. After news broke in June about his past sexual misconduct, including the abuse of minors, he resigned from the College of Cardinals and was exiled to a life of prayer and penance, out of the public eye. But the Archdiocese of Washington, which McCarrick once oversaw, remains very much in the eye of the storm.
There, McCarrick’s direct successor, the embattled cardinal Donald Wuerl, clings to his leadership role, even after weeks of criticism and calls for his resignation. He has done little to silence them and much to bring further censure upon himself.
The Catholic Sex-Abuse Scandal Takes Down a Cardinal
The pope has accepted the resignation of the leader of the Archdiocese of Washington. Wuerl was a leading character in the Pennsylvania grand-jury report about abuse in six Catholic dioceses that was released over the summer. During the time he was the bishop of Pittsburgh, from 1988 to 2006, he wrote to the Vatican warning about sexual abusers within his diocese, calling pedophilia “incurable,” according to the report. But he also oversaw the reassignment of abusive priests, the report alleges, and even lent money to one cleric after accusations surfaced. Once the report was published, he faced pressure to resign, as well as backlash from home: At one Pittsburgh-area Catholic school named for Wuerl, vandals spray-painted over his name, apparently in protest.
“Controlled” inflation is generally considered superior to recession (a fortiori depression) with steady growth in the GNP. But inflation, particularly in certain areas, also can inflict harm on many citizens (our focus is on the United States of America). Allocation of resources, caused by public policy (including taxes on individuals and corporations coupled markets with corporation influence (particularly pernicious with monopolies) so that the poor and working classes, are often adversely affected. Trump’s tariffs will increase inflation for many items including household essentials.
Those on fixed income, even with minor raises, suffer from inflation in general. American teachers, for example, have less real income over the last ten years when salaries are adjusted for inflation. Social Security has been diminished in many ways and does not provide a sufficient living income for its recipients. It is now taxed as income although the employee’s contribution (one-half) has already been taxed.
The age of “normal retirement” has been raised to the particular detriment of manual workers whose bodies have paid a physical toll. The payment is now delayed to the middle or the end of the month. Ronald Reagan had payments rounded down to the lower dollar. The increases do not reflect actual inflation (yet there are moves now to use lower formulas than current) and, of course, are in lower cash amounts for the recipients of lower amounts. (Since the financial crash in 2008, not-risky investments pay those dependent on savings and very low interest – CDs, money markets, saving accounts, and annuities – municipal bonds have disappeared.) Pensions promised, in effect delayed salary, in the private sector are often subject to substitution of claimed equivalent lump sum; unexpected reductions and extensive denials only possibly rectified by protracted litigation, terminations of plans (sometimes invoking the federal Pension Guarantee Fund) and assorted other difficulties.
Public sector pensions and associated fringe benefits, e.g. health insurance have often been reduced for later hires (New York has multiple tiers). Unemployment insurance has limited duration and amount. Workman’s Compensation not only often requires litigation for receipt but is limited with recipients generally unable to work in other secondary jobs as they once did (and often prevent private personal injury suits which would have resulted in substantially greater awards). “Welfare as you know it” was demolished by Clinton without reason although it was always inadequate to support women rearing children and those children. (The Supreme Court had already upheld the “Family Cap” which some States are now removing.) Food stamps have been decreased as are other benefits in what is absurdly called “the safety net.” All these exacerbate the negative effects of inflation on fixed income individuals.
The cost of necessities often rises faster than general increase in cost. In the background of housing exist the homeless. One source of this suffering group was initiated by Ronald Reagan who, not motivated by mistakes and deprivations in mental institutions, emptied mental health facilities in California to create a national trend. Some of the individuals were not able to function, particularly with no preparation, in the outside world. The needed provision for mental health community centers was not only not forthcoming but the existence of the ones available reduced and eliminated. Half way houses suffered similar treatment. Effective outreach to those in the streets (which are often preferable to them then “shelters” is minimum. In this time of mass incarceration with a Rhenquist led Supreme Court 1986 until his death in 2005 – focused on punishment rather than rehabilitation, we have not only the spectacle of prison horrors (e.g. solitary confinement, sometimes for many years “maximum security” jails, shackles, demeaning underpaid work, capital punishment etc.) specially featured by private prisons in the industrial prison complex, resulting in those released being unprepared for freedom and untrained for employment.
[The Associated Press reports that Chief Justice William Rehnquist has given the Smithsonian Institution the robe–the one with the ridiculous yellow stripes on the sleeves–that he wore while presiding over President Clinton’s impeachment trial in the Senate. Rehnquist valued the donation at $30,000, according to his 1999 financial disclosure form. How does he know the value? He had it appraised by Sotheby’s!
In writing his new book about O’Connor called First, which will be published in 2019, biographer Evan Thomas discovered that Rehnquist proposed to O’Connor in the early 1950s, after he graduated early from Stanford. As NPR reported, the two dated briefly, and O’Connor—at the time called Sandra Day—later referred to him as a “study buddy” (mid-20th-century vernacular for “friend zone”). That spring, Rehnquist wrote O’Connor a letter saying that he wanted to talk about “important things.” He went on: “To be specific, Sandy, will you marry me this summer?” O’Connor turned her “study buddy” down and married John O’Connor in 1952.]
The mass incarceration (considerably based on the War on Drugs I condemned is grotesque to the extent it is now drawing some legislative and local attention. The ex-prisoners (often not able to vote, now under scrutiny and challenges) have tarnished records, along often with little training for jobs so their employment possibilities and any “benefits” are increasingly inadequate in inflationary times.
Public or “affordable” housing in often not available for the homeless but for many with low incomes (the current Trump-Carson HUD management is focused not on badly needed maintenance and (job creating) construction but rather eviction, particularly of immigrants in “mixed residences”, etc. The original provision of high rises (over five floors) and clusters have produced predictable social chaos with youth not prepared for gainful employment in a dangerous environment. The lack of maintenance has often created unlivable conditions. This country faces a great need for proper public housing properly maintained and “affordable housing”. Those in need often have to choose between payments for necessities or the equally important shelter. Building properly constructed and place public housing would also create jobs.
Of general concern is the rapidly rising rents and purchase prices in many urban centers, both residential and commercial (creating many empty stores formerly housing small businesses because of tax advantages) – and commercial rent control, which although desirable seems politically unlikely and even utopian, in spite of the obscene unjustified wealth of developers and many large Realtors and real estate owners (and resulting political power). Residential rent controls, when available, are under constant attack (only 20, 000 rent control tenants are left in New York City and only one million apartments are rent “stabilized”) with raises every year, a special inflation. Its absence has led to the gentrification of Washington, D.C. to compare with very high rents in San Francisco, New York. etc. which results also in gentrification with only some preservation of all types of diversity. Proposals for requiring some “affordable” housing in new residential buildings are resisted but enforced in some Cities but never near the real quantity needed. Rents and purchase prices for apartments, condominiums, coops and houses are accelerating upwards.
The resulting “gentrification” produces, in a partial reversal of suburban and ex-urban preference, with many rich people moving into formerly middle class, working, and poor neighborhoods in many cities. The former residents are driven out from proximity to commercial and industrial centers (to the degree they survive) thereby entailing costly (and time consuming) commutes – a hidden housing and transportation inflation along with the increases in rents and purchases.
Trump with his reflexive reactionary administration and Congressional supporters changed the tax code with an obvious retaliation against States whose citizens voted heavily against his election so that he lost by about 3 million votes (See my article on Trump and Hitler ) . The limitation of the deduction for State Real Estate taxes to $10,000 punishes the many who pay much more (often in order to provide for better schools) creating an inflation in the actual cost of house ownership. Construction and maintenance, particularly for quality, are increasingly expensive.
Encouraged by Eisenhower and his Secretary of Agriculture, agribusiness has transformed food production to become its very dominant force. (This situation has also led to the monopolistic intrusion in farming of poisonous pesticides, soil destroying fertilizers, monocropping, and even great reduction of seed variety. The movie, a few years back, Food Inc.
documented Monsanto’s (see Clarance Thomas) evil activities in this area. They are now losing suits over the carcinogenic properties of the widely marketed pesticide Roundup).
A great deal of food has degenerated in quality and nutritional value. Fowl, swine, and beef are raised in inhumane settings. Chickens furnish a prime example. They have been bred (while confined with no movement possible) to grow much larger, particularly in the breast but shrunken in the legs so they can not walk with drumsticks much smaller – tasteless flesh purveyed with coatings for fast food. Champion layers of eggs used to produce about 250 a year. Now flocks produce eggs every day. Triple A eggs (and pullets) once were available. Double A is now almost unknown.
For many years the “Rutgers” tomato was standard (with some combinations like the Prichard crossed with Cooper’s Special.) Now there is a new variety designed for profusion, speed, and ease in machine (and maltreated migrants) harvesting. The result is no taste and less nutrition in their often partially white interiors. Berries, imported and domestic, with limited companies distributing. have suffered the same fate, often packaged so mold and rot are hidden.
Some popular fish are now “farmed”, consider the Franken salmon developed. It is impossible to ignore the devastating damage ecologically and environmentally (including the danger of specially bred fishes mixing with the natural ones). Fresh fish have been particularly eliminated by pollution, oil spills, water diversion, and dams. Richard Nixon once mistakenly urged people to buy fish instead of meat as fish was already more expensive. Desirable as fresh fish is for health, it is now priced notably higher than other protein sources widely available.
The list goes on. What is the consequence?
If one wants food with flavor and nutrition, one has to go to special sources. (The purchaser should not be fooled by the slapping of “organic” on the labels since there is no legal standard. Extra virgin olive oil entails pressing without breaking the grapes’ skin – but similarly the label is slapped on without justification.) To buy from special sources means to pay more, often a multiple of what is available in standard stores. This requirement means a real inflation in the cost of desirable food.
According to exit polls, health was the number one concern for voters in the 2018 election. Insurance and care costs have greatly increased. Even though every income earner pays into Medicare (with a limit on increasing premiums for those receiving over $225,000), it costs close to $300 a month to use as insurance. The needed “supplemental health insurance” (without long term care usually) costs about the same.
The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) based on the right wing Heritage Foundation’s plan does nothing to control the highly profitable and powerful insurance industry. Premiums are therefore high.
Nonetheless, it managed to cover many individuals for whom insurance was not possible (e.g. the broadly defined “prior condition” exclusion which includes pregnancy). John McCain, lauded a hero, for his necessary vote to save that Act, then voted to exclude the “mandate” to enroll.
It was that linchpin, considering it as a tax, which led Chief Justice Roberts to forge a 5 vote majority to save the increased coverage. Without that provision, the Court may not uphold the law thereby casting an estimated over 20 million off any insurance to pay for health care.
As it is, many famed specialists, and others, do not take Medicare (many more Medicaid) and insurance often only covers small amount. This inflation excludes many possible patients. Medical costs now include not only many care providers (often stopped early when still needed for recovering people’s assistance and rehabilitation) but expensive machinery and tests. Rehabilitation is expensive with a 30 visit limit for Medicare. Many hospitals have closed, particularly in rural areas, limiting access and increasing transportation costs (particularly ambulances.
Nursing home costs are so high, people divorce to be eligible for Medicaid, set up (paying lawyers) Special Needs trusts, or spend all their savings to become eligible, a suffering subset.
George W, Bush established Part D payments for drug companies to increase their market with no funding source.
Many drugs are developed by government research. Drug companies (uniquely in the world able to advertise on television) spend as much on advertisement as they do on research as part of the costs to consumers.
The research developing drugs is often paid, in full or part, by the Federal Government but then sold with great profit by drug, manufacturers.
With scholarships and student work, work on vacations (much easier to obtain, in menial and manual) I lived comfortably with money for socialization and recreation. I left Chicago and Yale schools while enjoying a similar life style with only $5000 in loans which I was able to pay off in under two years.
Attendance at the best Public schools often require moving to special areas with higher costs including taxes. To get into specialized schools, parents pay fortunes for tutoring, etc. Private schools have costs similar to colleges. For the “best” schools donations and activities are often required (impossible for the poor.) (In New York, the welcome trend is to free State colleges, dependent on income. and NYU medical school for free.) Charter schools, a bad privatization, and “home” schooling are often inadequate, bad, and undermine the great American history of providing public education.
TEXAS – READING FIRST PROGRAM OWNED BY PRESIDENT BUSH’S BROTHER NEIL BUSH IS A FRAUD SCAM Ignite! whose original investors include Neil’s parents BARBARA BUSH AND PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH. “Neil Bush had raised about $23 million from more than a dozen outside investors, including Mohammed Al Saddah, the head of a Kuwaiti company, and Winston Wong, the head of a Chinese computer firm.”
#Technology #STEM #SECURITY #edtech #edchat #edutech #edtechchat
Computers (with all their negative effects on reading, writing, communicating, concentrating, and posture caused in part by being subject to randomness, no uniformity in systems and software as well as unnecessary changes) are required for students (note effect of class and cultural orientation.) Schools now have them with costly internet and their provision is one public project. A new cost. The necessity for education costs can create a real burden except for the “better off”..
I discussed transportation in my article on this website of the desirability of free transportation. With tolls, fuel, parking, “congestion prices” (currently debated in Washington, D.C. half implemented in New York. D.C and price of purchase, purchases owning a car has become more expensive for those dependent on them (a necessity in many rural areas.). In this connection, whereas bikes are an excellent means of transport in place like Amsterdam, in New York, the bike lanes (and parking for revenue) reduces the room for cars by a half, while bike riders, ride the wrong way, in the street, on the sidewalks, and weaving (some are people delivering goods spurred on by need for money) with no identification, warning systems and now often illegally very fast powered by electricity – all laws and safety concerns not being subject to police action while endangering money. The resulting traffic jams produce much noise and pollution while decreasing efficiency in moving around. Chicago, St. Louis and other American cities have subways and rails to the airports; New York only has a “skyline” from Brooklyn for one airport (with a local bus with limited pick up on West Side) to another, and nothing of this nature for the third, forcing flyers to use motor vehicles creating more congestion.
Of particular note for car owners, is unibody exteriors and computer controls so repairs can no longer be done by the owner but require special equipment – so that that cost has accelerated specialty. Of course, given complication and randomness (and unnecessary features now considered, in this country, requirements, such as buttons for windows, automatic shifting) and the mania for SUVs, costs for car ownership has increased considerably more than it should have. Commuter costs (invoked above and often required more for “lower classes.”) have escalated more then many other costs. Public transportation, used by workers and the non-wealthy) has often gone up considerably and declined disastrously as part of the great decay of the infra structure including roads, bridges, and tunnels now dangerous.
Once again, the escalation of prices is remarkable, particularly recently. Movies are much more expensive. The theater has gone up considerably (even discount services). Some “hits” like Hamilton sell seats at $350 (most Broadway productions have extra expensive select seats in the orchestra.) The Metropolitan Opera in New York starts the Orchestra at $350 and seats in the second balcony for $150. Museums and parks charge much more even some which used to be free. Consider also National Parks- also now being irreversibly destroyed by Trump – some for oil extraction with bad environmental consequences.
David Zinn has demonstrated the rip off of the public to build new Sports stadiums for teams with ultra-rich owners which just move the entertainment dollar around rather than create new revenue.
They now are like shopping malls (and some indoor arena like dance floors with excessive noise and flashing lights.) Cheap seat areas are now replaced by enclosed “sky boxes”, like fancy hotel suites, for multi-millionaires and billionaires. Once a simple cheap excursion for a family, not only are ticket prices way up, but children are assaulted with temptations of all sorts while food is now not just a cheap snack but expensive bites or more, some offering expensive liquor and beer at $15! For a family, even avoiding the mall, unable to bring their food and drink in as they used to be able, the experience is more akin to an amusement park than cheap family spectating. <more>
Many maintain that with television and these costs, the three most popular American sports have degenerated (as well as expanded so that teams and players are much harder to follow.
Fundamentals in baseball, such as sliding, bunting, base running have disappeared so that games feature home runs (with lower pitching mounds, juiced balls, closer fences and sometimes high altitudes) and strike outs (by those seeking home runs, particularly; basketball has three point shots and dunks (often preceded by non-called “traveling”) with a decrease in ball handling, passing, and running; football features 300 pounders (and up) straining against each other with a plethora of passing,- perhaps retired Suma wrestlers should be used for “goal line” stands. Football’s “prevent defense” predictably leads to touchdowns, extending the time of game greatly (“2 minutes” take up to an half hour allowing for many more commercials.)
Sadly American horse racing 23 DEAD HORSES Santa Anita Track had badly declined (longer seasons and gambling have contributed to this decline).
The “sport of kings” attracted many far from rich, offering way better odds than lotteries, and somewhat better than casinos. Money now is made on stud fees. not racing, so stand out colts are retired sometimes after three years and certainly after four. Ironically, breeding does not work out with a few cheap horses winning and the most expensive colts and fillies failing. Bold Rules was a very good sire of sprinters. Yet his son Secretariat, maybe the greatest racer of all time, was better the longer the course, as demonstrated in the Belmont. He, in turn, was a complete failure at stud. Horses here are now bred and trained only for sprints (no more steeple chases) which becomes boring. Horses, possibly as a result, seem to be breaking down (while running with chemicals infused) considerably more often in American racetracks. Greyhound racing has been banned as inhumane…suggesting that possibility in this country.
There are now a plethora of television channels.
No one could watch them all. Most watch only a few. There are many devices on which to watch the presentations. On most, the commercials are mind numbing in quantity and quality (particularly at the end of football and basketball games). For home television, cable TV is required for many in the cities because of the big buildings and for most for the preferred channels. Originally offered for about $9 a month, basic cable costs often around $150 plus any specialized channels for entertainment or some foreign language. It often offers the main entertainment for poor and working people – and for the mobility limited.
Eating out is often almost required for entertainment.
Restaurants (in part because of rising rents) are now much more expensive than a decade ago. (The famous fancy ones range in the multiples of $100 for each person (up to $700) before costly special water, wine (way up), and/or drinks.) Pity the poor people who must drive in, park, eat, pay for a baby sitter, just to go to the theater or movie.
Special treats for home consumption are for the wealthy alone.
Many other “luxury” items are exclusive territory for the wealthy.
Wine has become notably expensive. (The Chinese are reputed to have bought up a large number of French wines). Even though many countries and American locales now produce wine, its inflationary costs rise (with extra increases in bars, restaurants, etc.) I do not invoke the fancy extravagant whiskeys, tequilas, and vodkas (most identical in flavor and just prestige priced) as they basically represent indulgence and “conspicuous consumption.” Much consumable now is the province only of the rich.
Maybe golf clubs’ costs have just matched regular inflation having traditionally been for rich white men to play, drink, and consummate business deals. Trump has said golf is for the rich to play with the rich. (His malignant megalomania reaches revelatory heights in cheating there see Reilly, The Commander in Cheat a golfer’s attack on Trump, or at least on the way Trump plays the game, a game Reilly reveres as revealing of character. Recently, however, the terrific charismatic Tiger Woods has led to greatly increased popularity for the public (with integration in clubs, possibly connected.).
Here lies a research project.
Consider what is destroyed to create a golf course (years required for some tournaments’ preparation once built), what it costs for water, planting, fertilizing, pesticides – particularly how they destroy the environment (including flying creature migrations) and contribute to pollution and global warming. The result of such research for environmental harm may produce figures that are dismaying…at the least. Inflation may be an indirect result (even without costs for spectators to attend and watch on television.) Trump golf course partially destroys Site of Special Scientific Interest
The vast majorities of remedies are quite feasible politically. We have suggested, implicitly or explicitly, some obvious ones above. Some of the above accounts of inflationary problems, correlated with disparate treatment based on wealth, indicate the needed solutions while we now suggest other partial systematic solutions.
When, and if, there is a new Administration, all the regulations removed can be listed, examined, and restored. (Also too withdrawal from Treaties, foreign non-military engagement, subsidies (e.g. high speed rail – See California) and “sanctions” against selected countries which deprive the people of real needs but do not succeed in “regime change.” (Consider invasions which failed from MacArthur’s foray into North Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and disastrous effects in Libya.). Privatization and contracting out can be eliminated or greatly reduced for governmental justifiable actions. Obviously adding profits to cost does not increase efficiency but only expense. (Compare The Tennessee Valley project with military subcontracts, public housing maintenance by contract and subcontract, street repairs with safety installations, etc.).
The tax code cries for revision and return to its formerly progressive nature (with simplification and elimination of loopholes for corporations and the wealthy) – same for Medicare if continued.
Putting a cap on what heirs could inherit and a low limit on taxes starting over a million or so.
Decreasing the military industrial complex (e.g. no one can calculate great cost of Destroyers – we have six, no other country more than one; the budget is great than the next four-six countries combined, not to mention the nuclear armaments, etc.) the industrial prison complex, and, I have suggested, abolishing the “War and Drugs” and changing the CIA can add to disposable funds (At some later date, scrutiny of the FBI will be desirable).
A combination of FDR’s New Deal (although lacking the rights he later proposed) in all aspects (most now eroded badly), the Great Society, supported by the accompanying Civil Rights legislation inching toward Reconstruction (with community based practical education including help with housing, nutrition, real provision of free unfettered Legal Services, Vista, Peace Corps job training, particularly for new opportunities in a changing employment world, etc.,
Bracero programs properly administered for seasonal foreign migrant workers, etc.) now mainly abolished would answer close to all the support required for the oppressed, poor, working and middle class (with the additions of adequate food stamps -SNAP, etc. if still needed)
Anti-trust law enforced with full vigor will help destroy monopolies which adversely affect costs, environment, working people, and consumers.
Restoring the bankruptcy provisions for credit cards and student loans would help countless individuals struggling under debt…and other improvements (cancelling all student debt is another possibility for student indebtedness.)
A universal free health care system, including but not limited to drugs, equipment, and living facilities for the sufficiently disabled have been achieved in Europe and Scandinavia with varying degrees of success. Some social agencies such as Family Court, institutional care, home health assistance, community mental health, universal injections to prevent diseases such as polio, chicken pox, typhoid, diphtheria, tetanus. measles etc., may still need special attention and adequate funding (particularly if “free”). Urged therefore is the justice in the universality of adequate, efficient, prompt, and advanced medical care – not dependent on expensive insurance.(life expectancy will still be greatly effected by water, air, nutrition and other necessities – some studies show the life expectancy of the “rich” is about 15 years more than the “poor.”)
Given the current context, repealing the Taft Hartley law and supporting unions would help.
Community banks (not monopolistic “too big to fail”), coops of all sorts, and even DeLeonist worker run production industries, support for family farms. may be flavored with utopianism but would augment the great improvements by achieved by restoring old politically approved programs and the proper allocation of resources. The aspirations announced in the Green New Deal include some of these proposals while emphasizing the frightening global challenge of destruction of resources, live and inanimate, extreme weather, (suggesting we consider over population.)
Maybe inflation may be expected, but specific greater inflation creates a greater distance in the deplorable, unnecessary, disgusting income and financial gap with the infamous 1% -often based on preferential treatment and financial structures (often themselves insecure.) The rapidly rising costs for necessities (and what may give some surcease in pleasure) for the poor and unprivileged produces a special, unique, and a disgrace in a world of great wealth disparity especially in our rich country).
AMERICA’S VOTING FRAUD
THE LONG HISTORY OF TAMPERING WITH THE VOTE
RIGGING THE ELECTION IN AMERICA
YOU ONLY NEED TO HACK ONE SWING STATE TO PULL IT OFF
Election Voter Education for Americans Election Education and Fraud