Saturday, January 30, 2016

George Orwell Explains in a Revealing 1944 Letter Why He’d Write 1984

from OpenCulture:

Most of the twentieth century’s notable men of letters — i.e., writers of books, of essays, of reportage — seem also to have, literally, written a great deal of letters. Sometimes their correspondence reflects and shapes their “real” written work; sometimes it appears collected in book form itself. Both hold true in the case of George Orwell, a volume of whose letters, edited by Peter Davison, came out last year. In it we find this missive, also published in full at The Daily Beast, sent in 1944 to one Noel Willmett, who had asked “whether totalitarianism, leader-worship etc. are really on the up-grade” given “that they are not apparently growing in [England] and the USA”:
I must say I believe, or fear, that taking the world as a whole these things are on the increase. Hitler, no doubt, will soon disappear, but only at the expense of strengthening (a) Stalin, (b) the Anglo-American millionaires and (c) all sorts of petty fuhrers of the type of de Gaulle. All the national movements everywhere, even those that originate in resistance to German domination, seem to take non-democratic forms, to group themselves round some superhuman fuhrer (Hitler, Stalin, Salazar, Franco, Gandhi, De Valera are all varying examples) and to adopt the theory that the end justifies the means. Everywhere the world movement seems to be in the direction of centralised economies which can be made to ‘work’ in an economic sense but which are not democratically organised and which tend to establish a caste system. With this go the horrors of emotional nationalism and a tendency to disbelieve in the existence of objective truth because all the facts have to fit in with the words and prophecies of some infallible fuhrer. Already history has in a sense ceased to exist, ie. there is no such thing as a history of our own times which could be universally accepted, and the exact sciences are endangered as soon as military necessity ceases to keep people up to the mark. Hitler can say that the Jews started the war, and if he survives that will become official history. He can’t say that two and two are five, because for the purposes of, say, ballistics they have to make four. But if the sort of world that I am afraid of arrives, a world of two or three great superstates which are unable to conquer one another, two and two could become five if the fuhrer wished it. That, so far as I can see, is the direction in which we are actually moving, though, of course, the process is reversible.

As to the comparative immunity of Britain and the USA. Whatever the pacifists etc. may say, we have not gone totalitarian yet and this is a very hopeful symptom. I believe very deeply, as I explained in my book The Lion and the Unicorn, in the English people and in their capacity to centralise their economy without destroying freedom in doing so. But one must remember that Britain and the USA haven’t been really tried, they haven’t known defeat or severe suffering, and there are some bad symptoms to balance the good ones. To begin with there is the general indifference to the decay of democracy. Do you realise, for instance, that no one in England under 26 now has a vote and that so far as one can see the great mass of people of that age don’t give a damn for this? Secondly there is the fact that the intellectuals are more totalitarian in outlook than the common people. On the whole the English intelligentsia have opposed Hitler, but only at the price of accepting Stalin. Most of them are perfectly ready for dictatorial methods, secret police, systematic falsification of history etc. so long as they feel that it is on ‘our’ side. Indeed the statement that we haven’t a Fascist movement in England largely means that the young, at this moment, look for their fuhrer elsewhere. One can’t be sure that that won’t change, nor can one be sure that the common people won’t think ten years hence as the intellectuals do now. I hope they won’t, I even trust they won’t, but if so it will be at the cost of a struggle. If one simply proclaims that all is for the best and doesn’t point to the sinister symptoms, one is merely helping to bring totalitarianism nearer.

You also ask, if I think the world tendency is towards Fascism, why do I support the war. It is a choice of evils—I fancy nearly every war is that. I know enough of British imperialism not to like it, but I would support it against Nazism or Japanese imperialism, as the lesser evil. Similarly I would support the USSR against Germany because I think the USSR cannot altogether escape its past and retains enough of the original ideas of the Revolution to make it a more hopeful phenomenon than Nazi Germany. I think, and have thought ever since the war began, in 1936 or thereabouts, that our cause is the better, but we have to keep on making it the better, which involves constant criticism.

Yours sincerely,
Geo. Orwell

Three years later, Orwell would write 1984. Two years after that, it would see publication and go on to generations of attention as perhaps the most eloquent fictional statement against a world reduced to superstates, saturated with “emotional nationalism,” acquiescent to “dictatorial methods, secret police,” and the systematic falsification of history,” and shot through by the willingness to “disbelieve in the existence of objective truth because all the facts have to fit in with the words and prophecies of some infallible fuhrer.” Now that you feel like reading the novel again, or even for the first time, do browse our collection of 1984-related resources, which includes the eBook, the audio book, reviews, and even radio drama and comic book adaptations of Orwell’s work.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

How to make a week’s worth of vegan meals for under $30 from Trader Joe’s

from the College USA Today:

Cooking under time constraints is hard. That’s why competitors get so sweaty and frazzled during cooking competition shows. In real life, when you’re a student or busy working adult, or just not feelin’ up to spending hours in the kitchen, assembling a healthy meal in a short amount of time can be a challenge.
Luckily, shortcuts exist. Like pre-cut, pre-bagged vegetables and squash, quick-cooking grains, and frozen pre-cooked grains (thanks, Trader Joe’s).
Here are 7 healthy, plant-based meals, all of which take less than 15 minutes start to finish, are budget-friendly (less than $30 total), and most importantly, delicious! You can customize these to your liking (such as by picking your favorite vegetables and beans).
Make one trip to the grocery store, and for the price of 2 cocktails in Manhattan, you can have an entire week’s worth of fast, nourishing meals at your fingertips (assuming you have cooking oil and salt and pepper at home already). But if you’re not vegan, you can make a week’s worth of dinners from Trader Joe’s for under $25 like this.
#SpoonTip: All of these meals are gluten free friendly if you use corn tortillas and swap quinoa for farro.


  • 1 package cut and cubed butternut squash or sweet potatoes, can substitute 3 large sweet potatoes ($2.29)
  • 1 package kale or romaine ($1.99; $2.29 for organic)
  • 1 package arugula or spinach ($1.99; $2.29 for organic)
  • 1 tomato ($0.29)
  • 1 apple ($0.69-$0.79; $0.99 for organic)
  • 1 avocado ($0.99)
  • 1 lemon ($0.49)
  • 1 lime, optional ($0.29)
  • 1 bag Vegetable Medley with broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, can substitute broccoli-cauliflower blend, Healthy 8 Chopped Veggie Mix, or Stir-Fry Vegetables ($2.29)
  • 1 large cucumber ($1.49)
  • 1 package firm tofu ($1.69)
  • 1 package Organic 3 Grain Tempeh ($1.99)
  • 1 box frozen Microwaveable Brown Rice, can substitute frozen quinoa, Rice Blend, jasmine rice, or frozen Organic Cauliflower Rice ($2.99; $3.49 organic)
  • 1 can black beans ($0.89; $0.99 for organic)
  • 1 can chickpeas ($0.89; $0.99 for organic)
  • 1 jar salsa of choice ($1.99-2.29)
  • 1 package 10-Minute Farro, barley, or quinoa ($1.79)
  • 1 package Taco Seasoning ($0.79)
  • 1 package seaweed snacks ($0.99)
  • 1 package corn tortillas can substitute whole wheat or white flour ($0.99)
  • 1 bag cilantro, optional ($1.79)
  • 1 bag frozen edamame, optional ($1.79)
Total: $30.00 (+ tax), Organic Total: $31.50 (+ tax)


(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
Beans and squash make for a filling, delicious twist on conventional tacos. Find out how to make these plant-based tacos here.


(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
Skip the lines at Chipotle, and make a sofrita bowl with tofu at home. Learn how here.


(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
Haven’t you heard? #Grainz are the new #gains. Find out how to make this here.


(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
Kale salad with a protein punch. Chickpeas and tempeh give this salad major staying power. Add whatever nuts and dried fruit you have in your pantry for extra yums. Find out how to make it here.


(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
Way tastier, faster, and healthier than take-out? Triple win. Recipe here.


(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
It’s like sushi you can justify eating with a fork. Directions here.


(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
(Photo by Katherine Baker, Spoon University)
As the week ends, use up all your leftover veggies, beans, and grains and make this delicious soup. Extra tortillas can make tortilla chips for dipping in 3 minutes flat. Make it like this.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Go-Go's July 1981
from my Instagram

The GO-GO's Beauty and The Beat record release (July 1981), and fan signing at Licorice Pizza on the Sunset Strip across the street from the Whiskey. (I really have no idea why i went and took this photo, but guessing it was probably for a SkateBoarder's ACTION NOW magazine feature or something like that)... Nah, most didn't consider them a punk band any longer by this point, but it was clearly where there roots were. Did you know Belinda was actually the GERMS first drummer? (I think thats the story)... I saw them at several Punk shows way back before they had a record out, even got in a fight at one and remember being thrown out into the alley behind the Whisky after getting in one good last punch, while the fucking GO-GOs were on stage, imagine that! #theGoGos #punk #girlsinpunk #womeninpunk #feminism #groundbreaking #girlband #hollywood #5piece #thefewtheproud #beautyandthebe Kathy Valentine on Facebook: #TBT July 1981 --This is taken at the very first in-store appearance The Go-Go's made, at Licorice Pizza on the corner of Sunset and San Vicente. Any old timers remember that record store? What's interesting about it is that this was one of the most exciting days of my life, and how I screwed it up so stupidly. Here's the story, read it and judge accordingly, ha : ) It was exciting, because, well, look at the background!! The very first album I'd ever recorded, and we were invited to do a record signing at a Sunset Strip record store. This was a long way from Texas, and exactly the sort of thing I'd dreamed of happening. The night before, we played a sold out show at the Palladium, with the Rockats opening. It was the biggest show we'd played, sold out, and I was so HIGH with the absolute thrill of everything that was going on. I took that high, and went to a party after the show in Laurel Canyon--it was actually where Charlotte was living with Peter Case, from the Plimsouls. Someone there asked if I wanted to take some LSD--something I hadn't done since junior high. Sure, why not? I thought, tipsy and on top of the world. MISTAKE. GIANT MISTAKE. (Go to her FB to read the rest)

A photo posted by glen E. friedman Ⓥ (@glenefriedman) on

Monday, January 25, 2016

"School of Life" Monday's Watch and Listen This Week:

The best way to do good in the world is not to be a philanthropist. It’s to be a good capitalist. The need to 'give back' is generally chiefly a sign that people took too much to begin with

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Watch: Truth and Power, Episode 101: #BlackLivesMatter

What happens when private institutions and governments break the public trust? Participant Media’s new investigative documentary series, Truth and Power, executive produced by award-winning filmmaker Brian Knappenberger (The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz) and narrated by Oscar-nominated actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, explores that question while separating fact from misinformation.

The 10-part series highlights the stories of ordinary people going to extraordinary lengths to expose large-scale injustice: from corporations receiving lucrative government contracts for dangerous private prisons, to governments using data-gathering technology to scoop up huge amounts of information about their citizens. Using probing interviews, original footage, and newly unearthed documents, the series unpacks the timely issues of security, surveillance, and profiteering in the digital age.

Truth and Power premiered Friday, Jan. 22, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Pivot, Participant Media's television network.

Inspired by the series, Pivot has also teamed up with the ACLU of Southern California on “Know Your Rights”, an initiative that empowers viewers to protect their civil liberties in a digital age.
Using documents previously uncovered by the US Freedom of Information Act; exclusive interviews with the movement’s co-creators, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors; frontline organizers Ashley Yates and Mica Grimm; and expert commentary from Jamilah Lemieux and Kimberle Crenshaw; “Truth and Power” provides a comprehensive and visually arresting account of this 21st century Civil rights movement.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


clip found at Presurfer, thanks!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Some Pretty Cool T-Shirts

from Dangerous Minds
We kinda totally love these Bernie Sanders punk rock t-shirts


That the music underground is so engaged with Bernie Sanders’ worker-friendly, anti-1% presidential campaign comes as no surprise—punk and left politics have always been extremely comfortable bedfellows (sorry not sorry Michale Graves), and it’s a big plus that Sanders’ oppositional candidacy is being run within one of the mainstream parties, and thus won’t serve as a potential election spoiler like the Nader insurgency that ultimately spelled disaster for both the Green Party and the USA. Last autumn, we at Dangerous Minds told you about Berned in DC, a Facebook group producing image macros of the candidate paired with invented quotations that mirrored hardcore scene purism, to utterly hilarious effect. Today, our task is to show you the work of L.A. artist Mark Mendez and Portland printer Rob Campbell, who’ve created a wonderful series of Sanders shirts based on well-known punk band logos. In an interview with Visual News, the pair offered:

It’s hard to think of Bernie as “punk rock” by his appearance alone. He’s a 74-year-old, white, veteran politician from Vermont. But his ideals are what make him the most punk rock candidate who ever ran for office. He’s been speaking about economic inequality, civil rights, and antiestablishment politics for over four decades. It is people like us who do what we can to support his campaign and raise awareness about who he is, what he stands for, and how we the people can make a difference.

They’ve named the t-shirt line “Bern the White House” (simply brilliant—how has nobody used that before now?), and the shirts can be bought from the pair’s Etsy shop or from The profits from the sales will of course benefit the Sanders campaign up to the amount legally permitted for individual contributions, after which proceeds will go to “Bernie-friendly charities and grassroots organizations.”




The Adicts




Circle Jerks


Suicidal Tendencies


The Dead Milkmen



Previously on Dangerous Minds:

‘Berned in D.C.’: Images of Bernie Sanders with hilarious fake punk rock quotes

Sen. Bernie Sanders, socialist senator and American hero

Awesome Ramones T-shirts, drawn by the author of ‘My Friend Dahmer’

Shania Is a Punk Rocker: Celebrities wearing Ramones t-shirts

Thursday, January 21, 2016

13 Logical Fallacies and How Conservatives Use Them to Distort the Facts

via Americans Against the Tea Party:
How do conservatives keep winning the public debate, when their agenda is so cruel, destructive and unworkable? By using 12 sneaky tricks that are logical fallacies, but devastatingly effective ones that work almost every time.

If you’re anything like me, you can’t resist commenting on links from sites like Mediaite or HuffPo, where you are likely to get replies from conservatives and/or Teabaggers. Every time this happens, I find myself rolling my eyes at their comments because 9.9 times out of 10 it will contain a logical fallacy (the other .1 are just name-calling). Face it, most righties just can’t make a sound argument. This is usually because they either don’t have the facts or don’t understand the premise. So they resort to logical fallacies.

Ground rules: what is an argument?

Despite what our ideological opponents believe, an argument is more than just naysaying (as Monty Python showed us). A real argument presents a conclusion and then, using empirical, and sometimes anecdotal, evidence goes on to prove it. There are two kinds of argument: a deductive argument is one in which all evidence completely supports the conclusion. For (a very simplistic) example:

Premise: If I am not a conservative, then I am a liberal
Premise: I am not a conservative
Conclusion: I am a liberal
The second kind of argument is inductive, in which the premises appear to lend some degree of support for the conclusion. Another rather simplistic example:
Premise: Most liberals are Democrats
Premise: I am a liberal
Conclusion: I am a Democrat
An incorrect conclusion can easily be supported via either kind of argument. If a basic premise is wrong — such as President Obama is a socialist — it will lead to a faulty conclusion: Obama wants to ruin America. One cannot support a conclusion with the wrong premises as a starting point.

13 techniques conservatives use to win arguments.
The following are logical fallacies we see a lot:

13. Ad Hominem. Latin for “against the man,” this logical fallacy is a favorite among the Teabagger crowd. The ad hominem attack will first go after the character of the person, then against the claim being made. For example, climate change deniers malign Al Gore then maintain that, since he is obviously unreliable (or greedy, or whatever), then his claims about climate change are invalid. Of course, a person’s character, actions or circumstances have no bearing on the facts of the argument being made. An extension of ad hominem is ad hominem tu quoque, or the “you too” fallacy. Rand Paul used this to discredit Rachel Maddow and her exposing him as a plagiarist.

12. Appeal to the consequences of dis/belief. This posits the conclusion is true/false because if it were not, there would be negative consequences. Or that the conclusion is true/false because I want the conclusion to be true/false. That last one is wishful thinking and we see it a lot. Birthers live by this fallacy: “I want Obama not to be President.” So they believe that he was not born in America because it supports their faulty conclusion. As we can see, the consequences of belief or disbelief have nothing whatever to do with whether a point is true or false.

11. Appeal to authority. This is a fallacy that uses perceived authority to support a claim. The Wall Street Journal‘s publication of an op-ed by Suzanne Somers in its “The Experts” section is a great example. They set her up as an authority on the American health care system and the ACA, when she is nothing of the kind. The talking heads on cable news are often referred to as “an authority” or “expert” on an issue when, in fact, they are a paid shill or someone with an axe to grind or agenda to promote. Any claim made by a self-identified expert must be in their area of expertise, which must be a generally recognized discipline. Being an expert in one area, doesn’t automatically make you an expert in everything.

10. Appeal to Fear. You might say that this one of the right’s go-to strategies. They present a claim that is intended to produce fear — say, that Obama will take away your guns. Then present another claim (that may be related to the first, but need not be): the Administration will be rounding up and imprisoning gun lovers. It’s easy to get fearful people to believe anything that validates their fear. Just ask Fox News.

9. Appeal to Ridicule. Here, mockery is the substitute for reasoning. For example, Rush Limbaugh makes fun of Sandra Fluke, calling her a slut and opening her to ridicule. Therefore, covering birth control is a bad thing. He expects his listeners to say, “That’s ridiculous!” And they do. This is a specious argument because making fun of someone who holds a position does not affect its validity. If it did, Limbaugh would be unemployed.

8. Appeal to popularity. This one always crops in in relation to Fox News. “Well more people watch Fox than watch MSNBC.” You can almost the added, “Nyah!” That’s fine and good for them. But that does not make the information they present factual. This is best summed up with a quote from Anatole France: “If 50 million people believe a stupid thing, it is still a stupid thing.”

7. Begging the Question or Circular Reasoning. The premise is put forward in which the truth of the conclusion is assumed, therefore the claim is true. The best known example of this is using the Bible to prove that the things in the Bible are true. For the right, many things are true because one conservative cites another conservative as proof. For example, Sean Hannity might “prove” his conclusion that President Obama is weak by citing Bill O’Reilly, who may cite Hannity at some later point. This is the basis of the right-wing echo chamber.

6. False choice. This presents only two choices when there are, in fact, many. The right often does this with instances of aggression. For example, when Putin took the Crimea, it was either go to war or be weak and this is how most of them presented the situation. As we know, diplomacy and sanctions were also, and sanely, in play. This fallacy is best demonstrated in the right’s tendency to see any issue in a bad/good paradigm, ignoring reality and eschewing nuance.

5. Straw Man. Oh, the many times this appears in comment threads… These sort of fallacies are similar to the “slippery slope” but are more subtle. With a straw man argument, the original position against which the argument is made is misrepresented (usually to make it sound weaker), or exaggerated. Then the misrepresentation is refuted. By refuting the weaker, made-up position, the original position is seen as having been refuted. For example, you argue that we ought to spend more money on infrastructure to which your opponent responds with questioning why you don’t want America defended properly. She then can argue why the defense budget shouldn’t be cut while you are still on infrastructure.

4. Generalization. You know how this one goes: “Obama wasn’t born here because his birth certificate is fake!” your Teabagger friend spouts. Let’s see… jumping to a huge conclusion? Check. Based on little or no evidence? Check. Or maybe it’s “All Muslims are terrorists!” A stereotype based on a few examples? Check. Sometimes known as painting with a big brush or a blanket statement. No matter what you call it, it’s lazy thinking.

3. Slippery Slope. Here’s Rick Santorum’s favorite. If we allow gays to marry, then the next thing you know people will be marrying their dogs. Or horses. Or their car. Whatever. There is no actual connection between the premise and the feared outcomes. Also known as leapfrog logic.

2. Shifting the burden of proof. Hugely popular on Fox News, this argument often begins, “Some say…” or “It’s commonly known…” Anytime someone begins with those or something similar prepare for the burden of proof to be shifted to you. Some say that climate change is a myth. Over to you to prove that it’s not. Don’t fall for it. Demand they prove their position with facts.

1. False Cause. In this fallacy, it is claimed that because event B happened after event A, it actually caused event B. To which the smart liberal replies, “Correlation does not indicate causation.” For example, Obama went golfing just before the Malaysian jet was shot down over Ukraine. The conservative will say that the jet was shot down because Obama went golfing, a patently ridiculous claim. This is often used in climate change debates so be on your toes.
These are just a handful of logical fallacies you are likely to see when debating with a conservative. Sometimes you’ll see many all at once, sometimes it will be the only method they use. It’s good to know about as many as possible. This website is a great resource for identifying logical fallacies. If you know which fallacy you’re dealing with, this website is useful. Knowing about logical fallacies is an important tool for liberals now, what with so much utter bull being lobbed our way daily. Be good at argument and you may win the day. Or at least the comment thread.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Greatness come to those who wait and pay their dues.

Monday, January 18, 2016

"School of Life" Monday's Watch and Listen This Week:
What Comes After Religion

The debate between believers and atheists usually goes nowhere. The real issue is: what should fill the gaps created by the end of widespread belief? What should fill the God-shaped hole?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Someone Hid a VW Beetle in This Museum’s Insect Collection!!

from: the Log of Pee-Wee Herman

Someone at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History has a great sense of humor!

On the museum’s wall display for “A World of Beetles,”
its curator has added a VW bug!


The museum reportedly added the toy car to the display as a way to engage its visitor, starting in 2002!

via bored panda , photos by RiotheLibrarian and hailtothkngbby

Friday, January 15, 2016

From now on lets just call him what he is: DUMP

Snatch and share, spread the word.

This shit is the worst of our country, not the best, a shiny, smelly, disgusting version, a horror ...

From now on donald trump is shortened to DUMP - #DUMP is the name for the piece of shit running for office #meme #permanentMeme he is a Dump lets make that clear and let the world know that's how the majority of americans feel about him (and really all the republicans for that matter, but we'll concentrate on this πŸ’© for now).

PEACE ✌πŸΎπŸ‘ŠπŸΎ πŸ‘πŸ½



Thursday, January 14, 2016

Mother Jones:
Griping Aside, America Is In Pretty Damn Good Shape

by Kevin Drum at Mother Jones:
Yesterday at lunch, I was mulling over all the familiar laments we've heard this year about voter anger and America decline. And I thought: really, what's so bad? I should write a post about this.

Today I woke up, and in a remarkable example of precog telepathy, Politico's Michael Grunwald had written almost exactly the piece I had in mind:
Start with the economy....Unemployment has dropped from 10 percent during the worst of the Great Recession to 5 percent today....The housing market has also rebounded from the crisis, and after-tax corporate profits are at an all-time high....The oft-predicted doomsday scenarios of the post-crisis era—double-dip recession, runaway inflation, runaway interest rates, out-of-control energy prices, a health insurance death spiral, a Greek-style debt crisis, a run on the dollar—are still stubbornly refusing to materialize. Growth is modest but steady. Inflation is low....About 17 million uninsured Americans have gotten coverage in the past few years. The federal deficit has plunged from $1.4 trillion in 2009 to under $500 billion, while the dollar has gained strength against foreign currencies.

....Meanwhile, other recent developments—cheaper gas, free birth control and preventive care, the elimination of annual and lifetime caps on health insurance, expanded tax credits for the working poor, increased efficiency measures that lower energy bills, and much more—have put more money in the pockets of American families, even though their incomes have grown slowly.

....Crime in big cities dropped about 5 percent in 2015, and has been cut in half since 1990. The teen birth rate is down more than 60 percent since 1990....Carbon emissions have dropped 10 percent from 2005 levels. High school graduation rates are at an all-time high....And despite all the rhetoric about border crises and wall-building, America’s population of undocumented immigrants has remained stable for the past five years.

....Legislative gridlock in Washington eased significantly in 2015. After four years of divided-government paralysis, President Obama signed a slew of major bipartisan laws last year, including a bizarrely responsible reform of a long-standing Medicare funding problem and a sensible overhaul of the unpopular No Child Left Behind education law.
There's no need to be too Pollyannish, of course. Wages continue to be pretty stagnant. The Middle East is in flames. Reproductive rights are under sustained attack. Way too many unarmed blacks are being shot by police. Heroin use has become an epidemic. Etc.

But generally speaking, Grunwald is right. America weathered the Great Recession better than Europe, better than China, better than Japan, better than Russia, better than just about anybody. Health care costs have been growing slowly and more people are covered than ever before. Taxes are low on the middle class. The tech revolution has delivered an insane—and surprisingly high quality—number of entertainment options available to almost anyone. Campaign rhetoric notwithstanding, American military strength is unmatched by anyone in the world, and it's not even close. Telepathy has apparently been developed by the editors at Politico.

That's not bad, is it?

POSTSCRIPT: Normal griping about all our problems will resume shortly. Don't worry: I have not been taken over by aliens.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Beastie HUMOR: So What’cha Want? Revisited

This works real well for serious Beastie Boys fans. - I first posted this around five years ago. But the interview posted below was just a few months ago.

Special Thanks to James Shearer

here's a recent interview I did with James for his Brouhaha
A podcast dedicated solely to the Beastie Boys. Think of it as somewhere between NPR and Licensed To Ill; with a side order of Oprah and Geraldo (minus the chair throwing).

If they can have entire talk-radio stations dedicated to discussing the minutia of the day, one Beastie podcast ain't gonna hurt anyone.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

"Bones Brigade" movie outtake clip of me talking about the importance of skateboarding as an art

We have no idea where this came from but found it while cleaning up recently, looks like some rough cut of a scene that never made it into the film, with comments afterword between GEF and Stacy Peralta and then D. David Morin talking to Stacy just after the end of GEF's interview in 2012.

Monday, January 11, 2016

"School of Life" Monday's Watch and Listen This Week:
Why Design Matters

Far from being some sort of luxury or add-on, good design is central to a good society. It changes how we feel and interact.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Groundbreaking Vegan Medical Center to Open in 2016

from VegNews
Barnard Medical Center will be one of the first of its kind to combat disease through a plant-based diet.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of all US adults suffer from one or more chronic health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity, or arthritis. These diseases and conditions are among the most expensive of all health problems; in 2010, 86 percent of the nation’s total health-care spending treated people with one or more chronic medical conditions. These conditions are also the most preventable through adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Opening this January, the Barnard Medical Center (BMC) in Washington, DC, will be one of the first clinics in the nation to address the country's chronic health issues through nutrition and preventive medicine. Neal Barnard, MD, founder and president of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and now founder and medical director of BMC, will work work with physicians, nurse practitioners, and dietitians to help thousands of patients every year with weight loss, heart health, diabetes, cancer prevention, and childhood nutrition.

VegNews spoke to Barnard, a long-time vegan, about why plant-based nutrition can save both lives and billions of dollars—and BMC’s plans to change medicine as we know it.

VegNews: What role does poor nutrition play in preventable illness?
Neal Barnard, MD: Enormous. When I was in medical school, we imagined that diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension were typically caused by genes or even by chance, and we thought we had very little control over these processes. That has all changed. A healthy diet—a plant-based diet—dramatically reduces the risk that these conditions will occur and can greatly improve them after they’ve struck.

VN: How are health care costs associated with poor nutrition?
NB: By comparing disease rates in vegetarians versus meat-eaters, it is clear that a meaty diet is responsible for hundreds of billions of dollars in medical costs annually. In other words, a vegetarian diet can potentially save a lot of money. We have less financial data for vegan diets because they have not been as extensively studied, but I would guess that the cost savings would be even greater.

When people with diabetes come into my office, I always ask them to bring their medications. But they don’t bring in a bottle—they bring in a sack full of medications for blood sugar, cholesterol control, and blood pressure. The average person is spending easily $5,000 a year on medications—often much more. A healthful diet can reduce that to a great degree.

VN: Do you expect to be able to reverse type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease with nutritional support?
NB: Yes, in many cases. The National Institutes of Health funded our research showing that a low-fat vegan diet can dramatically improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes, as well as facilitating weight loss and improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol. The same is true for cardiovascular disease, which can be reversed with a plant-based diet.

VN: What is the connection between chronic pain and nutrition?
NB: Some types of pain are caused by poor blood flow. Others are caused by food triggers. Migraines and rheumatoid arthritis are in this category. Other kinds of pain are linked to hormonal effects—menstrual pain and some kinds of cancer pain are in this category. Each of these is strongly linked to food choices. This is very surprising for patients to learn, but it makes sense when we look at how these diseases manifest.

VN: Will you help other medical centers employ nutrition programs like those at BMC?
NB: Yes. We have a full curriculum that we offer to other clinics at no cost. Also, we host annual continuing medical education conferences, allowing for cross-collaboration among physicians interested in integrating nutrition and medicine in their practice, and an updated version of our Nutrition Guide for Clinicians will come out early next year. We provide a free copy for all practicing physicians and medical students.

VN: Can you tell us more about your community programs and classes?
NB: We host weekly Food for Life nutrition education classes in Washington, DC, throughout the US, and many other countries. In weekly classes, our certified instructors explain the science behind a plant-based diet with hands-on cooking demos, taste tests, and grocery store tours. We offer a “no-cook” version for participants who want to skip the culinary side. We also have an online 21-Day Vegan Kickstart program, available in English, Mandarin, and Spanish, as well as a special program for people from the Indian subcontinent.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

'The NRA will be defeated'

from THE HILL:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is vowing to defeat the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the rest of the gun lobby in the escalating fight over gun control.

“The NRA can be defeated, and the NRA will be defeated,” Warren said in a press call Wednesday on the topic of gun violence.
“I am ready to have that fight for gun reform right here, right now,” she added.

She said President Obama’s executive order closing the gun-show loophole was justified because Congress had numerous opportunities to pass gun-control legislation, but failed to act.

“The Republicans who control Congress have had all the time in the world to do something about gun violence, but every time Democrats try to get even the smallest reforms passed, the Republicans have flatly refused,” she said.

“If the Republican Party would rather work for the NRA than for the American people, and if they won’t do their jobs to keep our children safe, then somebody else has to step up.”

The first-term senator said the executive order should serve as an example to the American people that change is possible, but added that Congress still has work to do.

“The president has shown that change is possible,” she said. “Now it’s our job in Congress to show that there are millions of us who are willing to fight. And that’s how you get sensible gun reforms. We will get it.”

Friday, January 8, 2016

Killer Mike Schools Stephen Colbert on Systemic Racism in America & How To End It

Rapper and activist Killer Mike of Run The Jewels stops by The Late Show to talk about racial justice, Bernie Sanders and formal sweats.

from: Ambrosia for Heads
On last night’s episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Killer Mike (born Michael Render) dropped some knowledge on the state of race relations in this country, something he’s been doing for years through his music but which has only recently become something that mainstream media have begun to acknowledge. His visibility has grown exponentially thanks to the tremendous success of Run the Jewels, and his recent stint as guest speaker at an Atlanta, Georgia rally for Bernie Sanders was one of the most memorable Hip-Hop moments of 2015. Although his segment on last night’s show was only a few brief minutes, he managed to inundate audience members and a clearly appreciative Colbert of some very crystallized messages, and he held nothing back when it came to placing blame and calling for action.

After the general pleasantries about wardrobe and family, Colbert asked Render to comment on how the tragedies in cities like Baltimore, Ferguson, and North Charleston have changed anything in terms of the movement for racial justice and a national discourse. Before answering, Render pled that “White people who are watching, google Jane Elliott. She has an experiment called the blue eye/brown eye experiment. I encourage you all to just simply watch that, ’cause it’ll actually grow you.” He’s referring to an experiment in racism first conducted by former third-grade teacher Elliott in 1968, on the day following Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. According to her website, the exercise “labels participants as inferior or superior based solely upon the color of their eyes and exposes them to the experience of being a minority.” Clearly, Render came into this interview armed with some serious heat, already schooling millions of Americans before even answering Colbert’s question.

However, Render quickly addresses the question at hand, saying “if White people are just now discovering that it’s bad for Black or working class people in America, they’re a lot more blind than I thought. And they’re a lot more choosing to be ignorant than I thought. The same problems that we’re discussing today we discussed in 1990, 1980, 1970, and 1960. And until we call a spade a spade and we say that this problem is coming from conditions that we’re creating or allowing to happen, as a White group of people who hold a certain amount of power…” Colbert then cuts in asking Render if he believes there is a systemic attempt in the United States to isolate poor and minority citizens and put them into communities that can be controlled. Render’s answer is immediate, as he briskly says “It’s not an attempt at all. It’s successful.” He goes on to support the statement with evidence, citing former Chicago mayor Richard Daley, who notoriously built highways in an effort to segregate his city. And the brain food does not stop there. Check out the rapid-fire education Render brought to the stage last night below.
Related: Killer Mike & Big Boi Are Helping Bring Hip-Hop’s First Amendment Rights to the Supreme Court (Audio)

Thanks Tristan!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Skateboarding on ABC's "Wide World of Sports" in 1977

This was the take of ABC's Wide World of Sports on skateboarding, I believe it was filmed in late 1976 and aired in early 1977 when they had a gap to fill.

This video is actually in three parts has commercials and all. When it goes black it's for the local station to air their commercials. Classic stuff

I put part 2 first since it has the most skateboarding in it, but part one has a great intro at the beginning and a preview at the end (each just a few minutes).

part 2

part 1

part 3 (no skateboarding)


And in case if you forgot, Let Ian remind you of something about Skateboarding:

ONWARD 2016!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

How Bernie Sanders Shaped the Northeast Punk Scene

From Vice By Paul Blest
In Burlington, Vermont, 242 Main Street was originally the location of the city's water department. A nondescript building situated near the campus of the University of Vermont and across from a jewelry store, it would look more like an old middle school if not for the graffiti covering the front door and the sign next to it that reads, "Celebrating 25 Years of Art & Music."

It isn't a household name like the now-defunct CBGB in New York City, and it doesn't get the same recognition in the punk rock history books as a spot like 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley. But 242 Main Street is special in its own way: Nearly 30 years after opening its doors, it is now one of the longest running all-ages music venue in the country, beginning as an offbeat government-funded effort to overturn a draconian city ban on live music that resulted in the transformation of an old administrative building into the municipal youth center that exists to this day.

The leader of that effort, and the person perhaps most responsible for the founding of 242 Main, was Jane O'Meara Sanders, the director of the Mayor's Youth Office who later became the president of Burlington College and now serves as a commissioner for the Vermont Economic Development Authority. As for the mayor who was partly responsible for this DIY, youth-run venue that played host to bands like Fugazi and opened the same month that Husker Du released Candy Apple Grey: It was her husband, Bernie Sanders, now a Vermont Senator and Democratic candidate for president in 2016.

Brendan of Fugazi at 242 Main Street, the city-sanctioned punk venue Bernie Sanders created as mayor of Burlington, Vermont. Photo courtesy of Fugazi Live Series

When Bernie Sanders was elected mayor of Burlington in 1981, after an upset win over a powerful six-term incumbent, he tasked O'Meara Sanders, his future wife—who at the time went by her maiden name Driscoll—and local youth organizers to find a way to improve communication between the city's politically active youth population and the municipal government.

"The first thing was that we wanted an office in City Hall," O'Meara Sanders said in an interview with VICE. "One that was empowered when decisions were being made. So we went before the City Council, a local principal and I, and we said we wanted a desk and a phone in City Hall. And they approved it."

Run by a mix of volunteers and public servants, the Mayor's Youth Office set about implementing new programs: launching a Burlington public access TV show run by kids; opening a sliding-fee scale daycare that's still running; helping the elderly with snow shoveling; and starting a newspaper run by teenagers that published stories on issues ranging from teen suicide to the school budget.

One of the main goals of the new office was to build a youth center in Burlington—and local teenagers made it clear that they wanted it to be an all-ages place where they could see and perform music. The problem was that a local ordinance passed during the previous administration prohibited live music performances on public property.

"We did a battle of the bands the first year and we got approval to do it that one time, and it was fantastic," O'Meara Sanders said. "We had hundreds and hundreds of kids coming out for six bands, and it's still going onto this day."

After the success of the first show, the Mayor's Youth Office started using a local auditorium for kids to play and watch music, but found that it wasn't an ideal spot. The solution was 242 Main Street, the vacated office of the Burlington Water Division.

Initially, O'Meara Sander said, there was some public opposition to the new center. "There were editorials saying, 'We don't need a center downtown, we should just participate with nonprofits and after-school centers,' but even in City Hall, when [the Mayor's Youth Office] grew we moved to the first floor of City Hall, and instead of walking up the steps, kids would walk in through the window... We had kids all the time in City Hall."

"When I went to City Hall for the first time as a community organizer, before Bernie was elected, it was gloomy and dark," she recalled. "But when we started, we did a performing arts program where we did Annie and Grease, and they'd practice for the plays every day in the City Hall auditorium where people worked, so finally the City Hall people were like, 'Yeah, we agree, they need their own place,'" she laughed.

242 Main started out as an all-encompassing youth center, but by the end of Sanders's tenure as mayor in 1989, it had become renowned for its punk scene—a transformation that is all the more remarkable given that local police forces and large rock clubs in other cities at the time were doing anything they could to stop punk from happening. Not to mention that, in the Reagan era, with the federal government rapidly pulling funding from local governments, paying for a teen center with city dollars was no small feat.

Under the management of Burlington resident Kathy Lawrence, the space played host to local punk acts like Hollywood Indians as well as legends like Fugazi and Operation Ivy. To this day, it hosts independent music of all types: while most shows at the space are made up mostly of local bands and smaller touring acts, the venerable Boston hardcore band Bane, a stalwart of the scene, played a 30th anniversary show at the venue last October.

"The impact 242 Main has had on Burlington music is incalculable," said Dan Bolles, a music editor for Vermont alt-weekly Seven Days, who wrote a retrospective of the venue back in January. "You would be hard pressed to find any rock musician who grew up in the area that hasn't logged time on that stage at some point... It's where most of us played our first shows and learned how to be in bands. Most of us eventually age out of 242 Main. But it's a cornerstone in the musical upbringing of local youth to this day."

After Sanders left office to run for Congress, 242 Main was bounced around between several city departments before falling under the jurisdiction of the Burlington Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront department. It remains an all-ages, substance-free venue, and for the most part, it still operates with the cooperation of the local government.

"I'm told that there have been times when the police and city officials have taken an interest in 242, probably because throngs of punky looking kids hanging around is apt to arouse suspicion," Bolles said. "But more often than not, the cops come to realize that 242 Main is pretty benign. Hell, half the kids who hang out there are straight edge."

When I asked why Burlington decided to start the youth center, in the face of what was considered common sense governing at the time, O'Meara Sanders was matter-of-fact. "It was something that the community of young people said that they wanted, needed, and were willing to take care of," she said. "They didn't ask us to give them anything—they asked us to provide the opportunity. Everyone was very well aware that they had to police it and make sure that there were no problems. For us, it was a belief that if kids feel that they're respected and needed and that they're a component of a greater good, then that's fantastic."

Now, as Bernie Sanders gears up for a 2016 presidential run, the formation of the Mayor's Youth Office and 242 Main provides interesting insight into the administrative style of Vermont's beloved Socialist senator—an offbeat yet tangible manifestation of Sanders' ideas about democracy, which almost radically encourage participation in government. With his work in Burlington, Sanders, whose anti-establishment politics have puzzled pundits and endeared him to liberals looking for an alternative to Hillary Clinton, staked his claim that government can be a positive force in people's lives. And for generations of kids in Burlington, 242 Main Street has been just that.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Blast Master KRS-1 Blasts American Politics, from CNN

This aired in November, perhaps before he "Felt the Bern"?

Still an interesting analysis...

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A couple of ill mix mash-ups from LOSS CONTROL RADIO
(incl. Beastie Boys, Misfits, Rakim +more)

Strictly Hardcore Metal,Punk,Funk & Authentic fucking Hip Hop. No corny-poser-soft-ass-bitch-shit.
Hosted and mixed by Peyote Cody for Loss Control Radio & RAPstation.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

My Live Discussion Moderated by Alec MacKaye
at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, Washington DC - For The DC PUNK ARCHIVE

from Vimeo

On October 25th 2015, Glen E. Friedman and Alec MacKaye sat down in front of a standing room only audience in the Grand Hall of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in Washington DC where the DC PUNK ARCHIVE is held. It was one of several events to celebrate the 1st anniversary of of the Punk Archive. They had a discussion about Glen's work and answered questions from the audience. This is a simple one camera lo-fi documentation of the event.

Special thanks to Vicente Gutierrez at Highway magazine for being instrumental in creating and promoting the event with Michelle Casto and Maggie Gilmore at the DC Punk Archive.