´*.¸.• ❥❥L O V E .¸.
Stacey Abrams is the one politician I can listen to and feel like I can actually breathe. Put her on a ticket. Absolutely, #Senate.
If you want to get to the heart of the most fundamental question facing the Democratic Party right now – what is the future of the coalition – look no further than Stacey Abrams. Her historic 2018 campaign for Georgia Governor was built around her vision of how to turn out a progressive majority at the ballot box. And though she lost that election, suffice it to say her theory caught the attention of the country. Now, she sits down with Chris Hayes and WITHpod listeners to reflect on that hard-fought campaign against Brian Kemp, her vision for the party, and how she not only delivered but also embodies the Democratic response to DT. Will she run for Senate? For President? Would she go out on a date with Idris Elba? Listen to find out.
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“In a letter she sent to Skydance management, Emma Thompson acknowledged the complications caused by a star withdrawing from a project. But in the end, she wrote, the questions raised by the John Lasseter hire made it impossible for her to stay in the film.
Thompson declined to comment on her decision, but she made the letter available to The Times. (When contacted, Skydance representatives had no comment.) Here it is, in full.”
As you know, I have pulled out of the production of “Luck” — to be directed by the very wonderful Alessandro Carloni. It feels very odd to me that you and your company would consider hiring someone with Mr. Lasseter’s pattern of misconduct given the present climate in which people with the kind of power that you have can reasonably be expected to step up to the plate.
I realise that the situation — involving as it does many human beings — is complicated. However these are the questions I would like to ask:
- If a man has been touching women inappropriately for decades, why would a woman want to work for him if the only reason he’s not touching them inappropriately now is that it says in his contract that he must behave “professionally”?
- If a man has made women at his companies feel undervalued and disrespected for decades, why should the women at his new company think that any respect he shows them is anything other than an act that he’s required to perform by his coach, his therapist and his employment agreement? The message seems to be, “I am learning to feel respect for women so please be patient while I work on it. It’s not easy.”
- Much has been said about giving John Lasseter a “second chance.” But he is presumably being paid millions of dollars to receive that second chance. How much money are the employees at Skydance being paid to GIVE him that second chance?
- If John Lasseter started his own company, then every employee would have been given the opportunity to choose whether or not to give him a second chance. But any Skydance employees who don’t want to give him a second chance have to stay and be uncomfortable or lose their jobs. Shouldn’t it be John Lasseter who has to lose HIS job if the employees don’t want to give him a second chance?
- Skydance has revealed that no women received settlements from Pixar or Disney as a result of being harassed by John Lasseter. But given all the abuse that’s been heaped on women who have come forward to make accusations against powerful men, do we really think that no settlements means that there was no harassment or no hostile work environment? Are we supposed to feel comforted that women who feel that their careers were derailed by working for Lasseter DIDN’T receive money?
I hope these queries make the level of my discomfort understandable. I regret having to step away because I love Alessandro so much and think he is an incredibly creative director. But I can only do what feels right during these difficult times of transition and collective consciousness raising.
I am well aware that centuries of entitlement to women’s bodies whether they like it or not is not going to change overnight. Or in a year. But I am also aware that if people who have spoken out — like me — do not take this sort of a stand then things are very unlikely to change at anything like the pace required to protect my daughter’s generation.
Yours most sincerely,
These destructive entitled men in their silly pink hats.
“Power corrupts, and societal structures have so far granted men the most power.”
“The brain & the mind are useful tools, but the heart is where your real thinking comes. When I read about the political & environmental state of the world…it’s all going to hell…maybe hope in the world is some irrational thing we’ve got, but we’ve got it anyway.”
Lifeboat: “Dedicated to all those who perish in search of a better life.”
Jon Castle, 1950-2018
Lifeboat is nominated for the 2019 Oscar Short Feature Documentary
“The closer you get to a problem, it’s not just a mass of people…you separate into individual expression…dealing with them as people…then your heart starts operating more than your head and your tells the truth when you listen to it.”
We live in an age of bad dreams, in which the scientist and engineer posses the power to give external form to the phantasms of man’s unconscious. The bright weapons that sing in the atmosphere, ready to pulverize the cities of the world, are the
dreams of giants without a center.
Their mathematical evolutions are hieratic rites devised by
shamans without belief.
One is permitted to wish their dreams had been less sordid!
Thomas Merton, Emblems of a Season of Fury
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
-Naomi Shihab Nye
“What is socialism? Merely Christianity in action. It recognizes the equality in men.”
The New Yorker Eugene V. Debs and the Endurance of Socialism/Half man, half myth, Debs turned a radical creed into a deeply American one.
Every man who worked on the American railroad in the last decades of the nineteenth century became, of necessity, a scholar of the relations between the rich and the poor, the haves and the have-nots, the masters and the slaves, the riders and the ridden upon. No student of this subject is more important to American history than Debs, half man, half myth, who founded the American Railway Union, turned that into the Social Democratic Party, and ran for President of the United States five times, including once from prison.
Debs was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, in 1855, seven years after Marx and Engels published “The Communist Manifesto.”
In a new book, “Eugene V. Debs: A Graphic Biography” (Verso), drawn by Noah Van Sciver and written by Paul Buhle and Steve Max, Debs looks like an R. Crumb character, though not so bedraggled and neurotic.
People could listen to him talk for hours. “Debs! Debs! Debs!” they’d cry, when his train pulled into a station. Crowds massed to hear him by the tens of thousands. But even though Debs lived until 1926, well into the age of archival sound, no one has ever found a recording of his voice. When Nick Salvatore wrote, in his comprehensive biography, “Eugene V. Debs: Citizen and Socialist,” in 1982, “His voice ran a gamut of tones: mock whisper to normal conversation to full stentorian power,” you wonder how he knew. Debs could speak French and German and was raised in the Midwest, so maybe he talked like the Ohio-born Clarence Darrow, with a rasp and a drawl. Some of Debs’s early essays and speeches have just been published in the first of six volumes of “The Selected Works of Eugene V. Debs” (Haymarket), edited by Tim Davenport and David Walters. Really, he wasn’t much of a writer. The most delightful way to hear Debs is to listen to a recording made in 1979 by Bernie Sanders, in an audio documentary that he wrote and produced when he was thirty-seven years old and was the director of the American People’s Historical Society, in Burlington, Vermont, two years before he became that city’s mayor. In the documentary—available on YouTube and Spotify—Sanders, the Brooklyn-born son of a Polish Jew, performs parts of Debs’s most famous speeches, sounding, more or less, like Larry David. It is not to be missed.
“A new kind of left-wing doctrine is emerging,” The Economist writes in its lead article [AXIOS]:
- 28 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, “socialism is back in fashion.”
- “In America Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a newly elected congresswoman who calls herself a democratic socialist, has become a sensation even as the growing field of Democratic presidential candidates for 2020 veers left. In Britain Jeremy Corbyn, the hardline leader of the Labour Party, could yet win the keys to 10 Downing Street.”
- “Whereas politicians on the right have all too often given up the battle of ideas and retreated towards chauvinism and nostalgia, the left has focused on inequality, the environment, and how to vest power in citizens rather than elites.”
“Socialism is storming back because it has formed an incisive critique of what has gone wrong in Western societies.”
The 23 most unforgettable last sentences in fiction.
Ron Charles, for the Washington Post
Ursula K. Le Guin:
For old people beauty doesn’t come free with the hormones, the way it does for the young… It has to do with who the person is.
But all the same, there’s something about me that doesn’t change, hasn’t changed, through all the remarkable, exciting, alarming, and disappointing transformations my body has gone through. There is a person there who isn’t only what she looks like, and to find her and know her I have to look through, look in, look deep. Not only in space, but in time.
That must be what the great artists see and paint. That must be why the tired, aged faces in Rembrandt’s portraits give us such delight: they show us beauty not skin-deep but life-deep.
[Helen Keller surrounded by a group of young dancers at Martha Graham’s studio, including Graham herself. (1954)
Image: Perkins School for the Blind Archive]
“Nationalism’s largely unpredicted resurgence is sobering,” Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose writes in introducing his new cover.
The advocacy of … nationalism … drove some of the greatest crimes in history. And so the concept became taboo in polite society, in hopes that it might become taboo in practice, as well. Yet now it has come back with a vengeance.
Jill Lepore, Harvard history professor and New Yorker staff writer, concludes in
At the close of the Cold War, some commentators concluded that the American experiment had ended in triumph, that the United States had become all the world. But the American experiment had not in fact ended. A nation founded on revolution and universal rights will forever struggle against chaos and the forces of particularism. A nation born in contradiction will forever fight over the meaning of its history.
The endurance of nationalism proves that there’s never any shortage of blackguards willing to prop up people’s sense of themselves and their destiny with a tissue of myths and prophecies, prejudices and hatreds, or to empty out old rubbish bags full of festering resentments and calls to violence. When historians abandon the study of the nation, when scholars stop trying to write a common history for a people, nationalism doesn’t die. Instead, it eats liberalism.
Maybe it’s too late to restore a common history, too late for historians to make a difference. But is there any option other than to try to craft a new American history—one that could foster a new Americanism?
The Correspondent will launch as your platform for unbreaking news on September 30, 2019.
In order to launch on September 30, we’ll build a team of correspondents that help us understand the world around us. As we start to do that, we want to get a better sense of what you — our 47,000 members — deem the most important developments or topics for them to cover.
We want to know: what development in the world do you consider underreported in the news and worthy of more attention? What do you experience on a daily basis in your work or personal life that should be front page news, but never is?
Some of you already shared your brilliant ideas with us during our crowdfunding campaign. Thank you to everyone who got in touch when we asked this question back in November.
Since then, an additional 30,000 members have joined our movement, so we want to give everyone another opportunity to contribute!
We’ll carefully read all your suggestions, and they’ll shape the unbreaking news we create together!
‘From today forward we are living in Constitutional time. Which news organizations will rise to the moment?’
-Jay Rosen, NYU
[A basis of democracy that encourages citizens to actively participate in social processes.]
‘Democracies rarely collapse suddenly, with tanks rolling through the streets out of a blue sky. It’s a slow death of a thousand cuts to rights, norms, the rule of law.
The groundwork is to turn the people & leaders against institutions of democracy: the free press, political opposition, independent judiciary & law enforcement, the truth. The infallible leader is the substitute for all of it.’
Human Rights Foundation
The 25th Amendment, proposed by Congress and ratified by the states in the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, provides the procedures for replacing the president or vice president in the event of death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation. The Watergate scandal of the 1970s saw the application of these procedures, first when Gerald Ford replaced Spiro Agnew as vice president, then when he replaced Richard Nixon as president, and then when Nelson Rockefeller filled the resulting vacancy to become the vice president. Read more from the Congressional Research Service…
“The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds and makes of all political and social life a mass illness. Without this housecleaning we cannon begin to see. Unless we see, we cannot think. The purification must begin with the mass media. How?”
-Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander 
“The entire universe is about connection and relationship…from the smallest atom to the galaxies and everything in between. Sin (missing the mark) and evil (false awareness) emerge when we try to stand outside of that circle of connection.”
-Fr. Richard Rohr, Center for Action & Contemplation
St. Francis, while looking at the stars one night:
If these are the creatures, what must the creator be like?”
“Who are the Adams family, and why are they buying newspapers by the dozen? Barely three years old, Minneapolis-based Adams has assembled a group of more than 100 small dailies, weeklies and shoppers in at least 15 separate transactions. In contrast to other big consolidators, they often leave existing management in place, do not impose cookie-cutter content templates, and do not start by stripping down newsrooms of editors and reporters. The bare-bones Adams Publishing website lists no main office executives or a phone number. Press releases about the series of acquisitions do not list an Adams contact. Estimates put the family’s net worth north of a billion dollars. In 2005, Steve Adams and his wife donated $100 million to the Yale School of Music. Minneapolis Star Tribune publisher Mike Klingensmith told me he had never heard of any of them until Adams Publishing began buying suburban weeklies in a ring around the Minneapolis metro in 2016.
The attraction of newspapers? Adams mentions that they are out of favor and available at “low valuation multiples.” Local brands and exclusive local content have a bright future, Adams said. (His presentation makes no mention of digital, and the company’s website is illustrated with a stack of newspapers).
In talking to the Inland group, Mark let drop that his is a “third-generation media family.” His grandfather, Cedric Adams, was a big local celebrity when I was growing up in Minneapolis with a popular radio show, a column in the Minneapolis Star and a lucrative sideline voicing national TV and radio ads.”
“Adams Publishing Group is launching a new Idaho newspaper in Bingham County, 5-days-per-week, Tuesday-Friday & Sunday. The Bingham County Chronicle will serve Aberdeen, Shelley, Firth, Fort Hall, Blackfoot and other towns, focusing on ‘hyper-local’ news. The announcement comes as many newspapers across the country have folded. But the downward trend in the news media economy is affecting organizations in larger markets more than community newspapers, said Eric Johnston, Adams Publishing Group’s west division president.”
‘Adams has raised funds for Republican Party candidates. He reportedly contributed over $1 (m) dollars of billboard advertising (through his Adams Outdoor Advertising business) to support Georg W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign [wikipedia].’ https://adamspg.com
The study found, “The conventional wisdom is that news consumers want increasingly short, quickly digestible content. While this may be true in some contexts, our panel survey respondents offered a more complex picture of audience preferences on the spectrum of efficiency to depth. Indeed, asked to describe what their ideal local news program would look like, respondents fairly consistently chose depth over efficiency.”
The study included viewers with an average age of 34 from six TV markets.
WLS in Chicago (market No. 3)
KNXV in Phoenix (market No. 12)
WBTV in Charlotte, North Carolina (market No. 23)
WTVD in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina (market No. 25)
WJAR in Providence, Rhode Island (market No. 53)
WAFB in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (market No. 97)
In most cases, the most emotional parts of the stories were moved higher in the pieces and the remixed stories included more context than the originals.
The survey tested a story from WLS-Chicago about the Facebook data breach. The original story included soundbites with the state attorney general. The remix included some soundbites with two “Facebook users” who didn’t add any new information but did add some emotion to the story. The remix also added moving graphics and a sort of “splat” sound on maps that — while it would make a lot of newspeople’s skin crawl — didn’t turn off the viewers the researchers head from.
Remembering a night in 2016 when time became fixed and devastatingly immovable…2020 seemingly impossible. And now five women have declared candidacy for president, one hoping to “heal the heart of our democracy […] a sense of community fractured across our nation worn down by the petty and vicious nature of our politics.” I am hopeful. ❥
Sen. Amy Klobuchar announces presidential bid: ‘I am running for every American, I’m running for you’
Senator will test her hometown brand on the national stage
“As a nation, we have begun to float off into a moral void, and all the sermons of all the priests in the country (if they preach at all) are not going to help much. We have got to the point where the promulgation of any kind of moral standard automatically releases an anti-moral response in a whole lot of people. It is not with them, above all, that I am concerned, but with the ‘good’ people, the right-thinking people, who stick to principle, all right, except where it conflicts with the chance to make money. It seems to me that there are very dangerous ambiguities about our democracy it its actual present condition. I wonder to what extent our ideals are now a front for organized selfishness and systematic irresponsibility. If our affluence society every breaks down and the facade is taken away, what are we going to have left?”
Thomas Merton, Seeds of Destruction
“State and local government total expenditures amount to $2.9 trillion in the United States. While this is less than the federal government’s $4.3 trillion of expenditures, nearly two-thirds of federal total expenditures are transfers (either to individuals or state and local governments). This means that state and local governments have in some respects a more prominent role in decision-making than the federal government. Indeed, state and local governments make key investment decisions—about infrastructure, education, and many other areas—that help determine the long-run capacity of the entire economy.
Mobility across states has declined sharply in the United States, and one reason appears to be that land-use restrictions in economically successful regions make it difficult for many workers to move to these locations. Similarly, transportation resources are not always efficiently allocated, making it more difficult for workers to access high-quality jobs.
This document provides context for policy proposals in the form of nine economic facts about how state and local policies matter for growth. These facts highlight how rigorous cost-benefit analysis, optimal transportation policy, and land-use rules can affect access to opportunity.”