B12 Solipsism

Spreading confusion over the internet since 1994

All Politicians Should Be Required to Release Their Taxes

 I Am A Lonely Visitor

Kevin Kruse wrote about the history of presidents releasing their taxes:

On November 17, 1973, the president sought to reestablish his credibility in the fantasy-friendly confines of Disney World. In a televised Q&A session with 400 newspaper editors, he hoped to convince the nation of his honesty and integrity. He only made things worse.

Nixon grew increasingly angry and agitated at the podium when the Orlando press conference turned to questions about his finances. Reporters had been hounding him for weeks, asking how he could afford two separate private homes on his relatively meager presidential salary and whether he’d benefitted personally from administration dealings. There had even been rumors that the President of the United States was being bankrolled in some way by the eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes.

To prove that he wasn’t a crook – or at least not the particular kind of crook detailed in those allegations – Nixon reluctantly released his tax returns a week later.

The paperwork dispelled most of the larger suspicions about him, but also showed that Nixon had taken advantage of every possible deduction he could have used. (In 1970, for instance, he and his wife paid only $792.81 in taxes on more than $200,000 in income.) More damning, the president had claimed a deduction he shouldn’t have used, backdating the donation of his vice presidential papers. As a result, Nixon owed a considerable sum in back taxes. He paid up and the press moved on to the other “White House horrors.” Nine months later, Nixon was gone.

In the wake of Watergate, the United States embraced a wide array of reforms to make sure that nothing like that would rock the nation again. As part of this trend, it became standard practice for presidential candidates to release details of their tax returns. For a while, anyway.

(click here to continue reading All the Presidents’ Taxes.)

Look At All These People Who Care About Your Taxes

I believe that every politician seeking national office1 should be required to release multiple years of full tax returns. If that means that people like Howard Schultz, Michael Bloomberg and Donald Trump decide not to be politicians because they don’t want people to know how much the wealthy can avoid paying taxes, well, so be it. We as a country will recover from the loss.

Mitt Romney released a partial year return for 2010 and 2011, but in my estimation, that wasn’t detailed enough. Three years, full returns, no exceptions. If you are a thin-skinned plutocrat with political ambitions, take a few years off of your normal tax avoidance schemes and have a cleaner return that you can release. 

Footnotes:
  1. or even local office []

Written by Seth Anderson

February 13th, 2019 at 11:12 am

Posted in government

Tagged with , , ,

Chicago Freezes, Australia Burns: This Is the Age of Weather Extremes

super Snow Day

The New York Times reports:

In Chicago, officials warned about the risk of almost instant frostbite on what could be the city’s coldest day ever. Warming centers opened around the Midwest. And schools and universities closed throughout the region as rare polar winds streamed down from the Arctic.

At the same time, on the other side of the planet, wildfires raged in Australia’s record-breaking heat. Soaring air-conditioner use overloaded electrical grids and caused widespread power failures. The authorities slowed and canceled trams to save power. Labor leaders called for laws that would require businesses to close when temperatures reached hazardous levels: nearly 116 degrees Fahrenheit, as was the case last week in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia.

This is weather in the age of extremes. It comes on top of multiple extremes, all kinds, in all kinds of places.

(click here to continue reading U.S. Midwest Freezes, Australia Burns: This Is the Age of Weather Extremes – The New York Times.)

Icy River - Washington Bridge

And of course President Dumb-Ass tweets about the cold weather, as if the very fact that it is cold in the Midwest is irrefutable proof that climate change is a Chinese hoax…

Chicago Tribune:

As Chicago and much of the Midwest braced for a dangerous blast of arctic air — the worst in recent memory — President Donald Trump leaped at the chance to take a questionable swipe at one of his favorite targets, global warming.

“In the beautiful Midwest, windchill temperatures are reaching minus 60 degrees, the coldest ever recorded,” Trump tweeted. “In coming days, expected to get even colder. People can’t last outside even for minutes. What the hell is going on with Global Waming (sic)? Please come back fast, we need you!”

 

(click here to continue reading As Chicago braced for dangerous cold, Trump joked about global warming – Chicago Tribune.)

 Blackroof Country

Not to mention real life Bond villains like Peter Thiel are pushing propaganda about climate change. Mother Jones reports on a science journal called Inference: International Review of Science:

Several articles on the site argued against the theory of evolution, for example, and at least one dismissed the overwhelming scientific consensus on global warming. Later, through tax documents and interviews, I would learn that all of Inference‘s funding came from a surprising source: Peter Thiel. Since Inference’s start, Thiel, a prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist, has donated at least $1.7 million to the outlet.

Those tax returns reveal that Inference’s entire operating budget came from $1.7 million in donations during its first three years (through August 2017, the latest reports available). These donations came from a single donor: Auzen LLC. Looking at corporate tax reports and other registration documents, it’s unclear whether Auzen LLC and another entity, Auzen Corporation, are involved in activities other than funding Inference. But those documents make it clear that Auzen LLC and Auzen Corporation are run by the same people — and they also state that the sole director of Auzen Corporation is Peter Thiel.

Thiel, whose net worth is estimated at $2.5 billion, is among the best-known venture capitalists in the world. In addition to co-founding Paypal, he was an early investor in big tech companies including Lyft, AirBnB, LinkedIn, and Facebook, where he is also a board member. Thiel is also the chairman and co-founder of Palantir, a CIA-backed data science company that analyzes surveillance from many U.S. government intelligence services.

(click here to continue reading A Science Journal Funded by Peter Thiel Is Running Articles Dismissing Climate Change and Evolution – Mother Jones.)

Written by Seth Anderson

January 29th, 2019 at 9:25 pm

Acxiom supports Tim Cook’s call for strict U.S. data laws

Apple Store in Soho

So Tim Cook called for better privacy regulation in the US. Maybe he reads this humble blog.1

Tim Cook:

In 2019, it’s time to stand up for the right to privacy—yours, mine, all of ours. Consumers shouldn’t have to tolerate another year of companies irresponsibly amassing huge user profiles, data breaches that seem out of control and the vanishing ability to control our own digital lives.
This problem is solvable—it isn’t too big, too challenging or too late. Innovation, breakthrough ideas and great features can go hand in hand with user privacy—and they must. Realizing technology’s potential depends on it.

That’s why I and others are calling on the U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation—a landmark package of reforms that protect and empower the consumer. Last year, before a global body of privacy regulators, I laid out four principles that I believe should guide legislation:

(click here to continue reading Apple CEO Tim Cook: It’s Time for Action on Data Privacy | Time.com.)

 Eye see u Willis

Fast Company adds:

Acxiom, like Mr. Cook, also supports a national privacy law for the U.S., such as GDPR provides for the European Union. Acxiom is actively participating in discussions with U.S. lawmakers as well as industry trade groups to help ensure U.S. consumers receive the kind of transparency, access, and control Acxiom has been providing voluntarily for years,” the company said. “We believe it would be universally beneficial if we were able to work with Apple and other industry leaders to define the best set of laws that maintain the benefits of data in our economy while giving the necessary protections and rights to all people.”

In its statement, Acxiom said it is working with lawmakers to build a “singular, united set of policies across the U.S.” What it does not want, according to the statement, are “multiple and independent state laws” making it onerous to comply.

Of course, it behooves Acxiom to seem amenable to such legislative moves. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the tide is shifting in the U.S., and more people want better safeguards over their data. Cook called for not just stricter data regulations, but a federally controlled data broker database that would make it possible for citizens to know exactly what information the companies have on them and which companies transacted with these data firms. While Acxiom is saying it’s open to new regulation, it’s unclear what exactly the firm will agree to.

(click here to continue reading Acxiom supports Tim Cook’s call for strict U.S. data laws.)

America does need to reign in the multitude of personal data brokers, and the GDPR is a decent model to work off of. 

Footnotes:
  1. kidding, of course []

Written by Seth Anderson

January 18th, 2019 at 11:18 am

Posted in Apple,Business

Tagged with , ,

Trump Shutdown Priorities

Between Thought And Expression

 

As the Trump shutdown lumbers on, The Washington Post reports:

On Friday, the Bureau of Land Management changed its plan to allow for 19 percent of its 9,260-person workforce to continue on the job during the shutdown.

According to BLM officials, employees who are back on the job are working on activities including law enforcement, grazing activities and preparing for March lease sales that will take place in several Western states.

Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, for its part, has also brought back employees to avert any delays in its March auction for offshore oil and gas drilling.

(click here to continue reading State Dept. employees ordered back to work as Trump nixes Pelosi trip and Davos delegation, citing shutdown – The Washington Post.)

Priorities. The most important thing to accomplish for the GOP is selling off the public’s land and drill, baby, drill. Jerks.

But some Democrats and environmental groups attacked the decision as political and dangerous.

On Wednesday, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) led a group of House Democrats in calling the assistance to the oil and gas industry “an outrageous step,” with a “farcical” justification in a letter to acting Interior secretary David Bernhardt.

“One of the most striking features” of the shutdown, the lawmakers wrote, “is the way the administration has bent over backwards to ensure that the pain of the shutdown falls only on ordinary Americans and the environment, and not on the oil and gas industry.”

Written by Seth Anderson

January 18th, 2019 at 10:33 am

Farm Country Stood by Trump. But the Shutdown Is Pushing It to Breaking Point

 Bucolic

The New York Times reports:

Farm country has stood by President Trump, even as farmers have strained under two years of slumping incomes and billions in losses from his trade wars. But as the government shutdown now drags into a third week, some farmers say the loss of crucial loans, payments and other services has pushed them — and their support — to a breaking point.

While many rural conservatives may loathe the idea of Big Government, farmers and the federal government are welded together by dozens of programs and billions of dollars in spending.

Now, farmers and farm groups say that federal crop payments have stopped flowing. Farmers cannot get federally backed operating loans to buy seed for their spring planting, or feed for their livestock. They cannot look up new government data about beef prices or soybean yields to make decisions about planting and selling their goods in an ever-changing global market.

(click here to continue reading Farm Country Stood by Trump. But the Shutdown Is Pushing It to Breaking Point. – The New York Times.)

Welfare is what the other guys get. 

How did the rural vote go to Trump in the first place? Having lived a portion of my life in farmlands, I know those people are not stupid, but they sure got suckered by Fox News and the GOP.

Will they vote for him again in 2020? That’s the real question, now that there is evidence of how Trump “governs” instead of just his talking points.

Written by Seth Anderson

January 11th, 2019 at 11:37 am

Posted in government

Tagged with ,

As Big Retailers Seek to Cut Their Tax Bills, Towns Bear the Brunt

There Is More Than One Way To Stop 

The New York Times:

WAUWATOSA, Wis. — With astonishing range and rapidity, big-box retailers and corporate giants are using an aggressive legal tactic to shrink their property tax bills, a strategy that is costing local governments and school districts around the country hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue.

These businesses — many of them brick-and-mortar stores like Walmart, Home Depot, Target, Kohl’s, Menards and Walgreens that have faced fierce online competition — maintain that no matter how valuable a thriving store is to its current owner, these warehouse-type structures are not worth much to anyone else.

(click here to continue reading As Big Retailers Seek to Cut Their Tax Bills, Towns Bear the Brunt – The New York Times.)

Corporate welfare, alive and well, decimating American communities one by one…

Written by Seth Anderson

January 6th, 2019 at 2:04 pm

Posted in Business

Tagged with ,

Paul Vallas Lost My Vote was uploaded to Flickr

In honesty, I don’t know much about Paul Vallas’ campaign for Mayor, but any idiot who spam texts me at 12:33 AM should not be allowed near public office. There is now zero chance I will vote for this jerk.

embiggen by clicking
https://flic.kr/p/2dCipCd

I took Paul Vallas Lost My Vote on December 20, 2018 at 11:50PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on December 21, 2018 at 07:56AM

update: IFTTT posted this image 5 times, so far. Sigh.

Written by eggplant

December 21st, 2018 at 9:34 am

Low End estimates for Trump’s border wall – 18 Billion Dollars

Talking About My Generation

One of the funniest stories of the month has been some MAGA rubes deciding they can self-fund Trump’s Stupid Fucking Wall™. As of this writing, the MAGAbots have pledged $7,146,127 of their self-stated goal of $5,000,000,000. This translates to slightly over 0.14% of the $5 billion number. In other words, not even one third of 1 percent of $5 billion. At this rate, the wall funds will be raised in time for Trump, Jr. to get out of prison. I think GoFundMe takes 2% of the total too, that’ll have to be factored in.

By the way, the figure of $5 billion is not enough to build the entire SFW™, but only a small portion of it. It also doesn’t include eminent domain litigation, construction overruns, graft, and terrain challenges. Nor does it include subsequent maintenance costs – if the SFW™ only lasts 3 years before collapsing, that won’t make the MAGAbots happy.

The USA Today reported earlier this year:

The cost of President Donald Trump’s promised U.S.-Mexico border wall could be much higher than previously thought because the administration has not fully accounted for factors that can add to the price, a new report from a congressional watchdog agency says.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office report, published Monday, found the agency overseeing the planning and construction of border barriers, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, has identified 17 priority areas for wall construction without doing a cost analysis for each area. The cost to construct 722 miles of barriers in those priority locations was estimated at $18 billion.

But costs vary widely depending on topography — increasing with the steepness of the terrain — and the price of land, especially in Texas, where most parcels along the border are privately held, the report states.

“Without assessing costs as part of the prioritization process, CBP does not have complete information to know whether it is prioritizing locations that will use its limited resources in the most cost-effective manner,” the report said.

A USA TODAY Network analysis found some 5,000 parcels of private land are within 500 feet of the border in Texas, and legal action to acquire them could add years to the project. During the last round of construction, stemming from the 2006 Secure Fence Act, the government initiated 300 condemnation cases against Texas landowners. About 85 of those cases remain in litigation.

(click here to continue reading Cost estimates for Trump’s border wall too optimistic, report says.)

If we use the government’s low-ball number of $18,000,000,000 to build only 722 miles out of the 1,900 total US/Mexico border, that’s roughly a cost of $25,000,000 per mile. Keep giving away your money, MAGAbots…

I'm With Stupid

Also, unless we adopt a new Constitutional Amendment changing how Congress works, private citizens cannot dictate what Congress does with funds. The Congress could take the money and spend it on something crazy like homeless veterans, or hand it out in suitcases stuffed with $100 bills to the children being kept in cages on the border. Or hold a big, big party inviting everyone born on a Monday. Whatever Congress chooses. 

Huge

Power of the Purse:

“All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.” — U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 7, clause 1

“No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.” — U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 9, clause 7

 

(click here to continue reading Power of the Purse | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives.)

Written by Seth Anderson

December 20th, 2018 at 4:08 pm

Posted in government

Tagged with , ,

Trump forced to sell portraits of himself at a loss of over $40,000

Dump Googly Eyes Trump

This made me giggle.

Oliver Willis reports:

 

The agreement with the attorney general’s office says that Trump must sell two large portraits of himself that he spent $30,000 of foundation money on. The paintings are now valued at thousands of dollars less than what he paid for them.

One painting was a six-foot-tall portrait of Trump, a “speed painting” by artist Michael Israel painted in under six minutes during an event at Mar-a-Lago. The other painting is a four-foot-tall portrait of Trump’s face that the Washington Post described as a “a younger-looking, mid-’90s Trump, painted in acrylic on top of an old architectural drawing.”

Trump also spent $12,000 of money ostensibly donated for charity on a Denver Broncos helmet signed by former quarterback Tim Tebow.

Take together, all three items have been valued at $975 on a recent IRS filing, a drop in value of $41,025.

Trump is being forced to shut down the Trump Foundation, which New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood described as being part of “a shocking pattern of illegality.” Underwood said Trump and his foundation engaged in “unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more.”

The foundation, she said, was “little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests.”

(click here to continue reading Trump forced to sell portraits of himself at a loss of over $40,000.)

Continuing on yesterday’s theme1 Trump is also horrible at collecting art…Footnotes:

  1. and to be honest, the theme of the last three or four years []

Written by Seth Anderson

December 19th, 2018 at 10:14 am

Trump backs off demand for $5 billion for border wall, but shutdown still possible after Democrats reject new GOP offer

Declaration of Immigration

The Washington Post reports:

President Trump on Tuesday retreated from his demand for $5 billion to build a border wall, as congressional Republicans maneuvered to avoid a partial government shutdown before funding expires at the end of Friday.

But Democrats immediately rejected Republicans’ follow-up offer, leaving the two sides still at impasse as hundreds of thousands of federal workers await word on whether they will be sent home without pay just before Christmas.

Sen. Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) told McConnell Tuesday that Democrats would not accept the deal, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) criticized the plan to reprogram the funds.

“Leader Schumer and I have said that we cannot support the offer they made of a billion-dollar slush fund for the president to implement his very wrong immigration policies,” Pelosi said. “So that won’t happen.”

(click here to continue reading Trump backs off demand for $5 billion for border wall, but shutdown still possible after Democrats reject new GOP offer – The Washington Post.)

World’s worst negotiator. Like much (all?) of Trump’s bluster, the truth is the exact opposite of his claim. “The best people” translates into the worst people, “so much winning” equals consistently losing, “Best negotiator” means “nobody has ever encountered such a poor negotiator”…

Written by Seth Anderson

December 18th, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Posted in government

Tagged with , ,

Artist Shepard Fairey said he will insist on removal of his Robert F. Kennedy mural if LAUSD paints over controversial artwork at school

La 1544934976 ke96omgc4c snap image
Photo by Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Korean activists called for removing this mural from the RFK Community Schools complex, saying the sun rays remind them of the Japanese imperial battle flag. Artist Beau Stanton denies any connection. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times reports:

If the Los Angeles school district moves forward with plans to paint over a controversial mural at a Koreatown campus, artist Shepard Fairey said he will insist on the removal of his large outdoor portrait of Robert F. Kennedy at the school named after him.
In support of artist Beau Stanton, Fairey told The Times that he would call for the removal of his mural of Kennedy at the RFK Schools campus on Wilshire Boulevard. Kennedy was murdered at the site of the then-Ambassador Hotel in 1968.

What disturbs the Korean activists, however, are the sun rays emanating from Gardner’s face. The Japanese battle flag has 32 bands of uniform proportions, in alternating red and white around a centered red disk representing the sun. Stanton’s mural has 44 varying bands of blue and reddish-orange, surrounding a much larger and different central image. Sun rays are a common art and design motif.

“Yeah, these things happened and they’re part of a terrible history, but this mural has nothing to do with that,” Fairey said Saturday. “What he has in his mural is nothing close to the battle flag. It’s not the same color scheme. It’s not the same focal element. It’s stupid to me. I thought that cooler heads would prevail because this is absurd.”

(click here to continue reading Artist Shepard Fairey said he will insist on removal of his Robert F. Kennedy mural if LAUSD paints over controversial artwork at school – Los Angeles Times.)

Kudos to Shepard Fairey for his insistence that just because something is similar to something offensive, it isn’t enough to be destroyed. The mural doesn’t have swastikas, it has a motif that somewhat resembles an oppressive fascist government’s flag.

 War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army

By the way, the Stars and Stripes are in a lot of paintings, and America exists due in no small part to genocide of humans who already lived in the New World. 

Note, click the LA Times article to see the photo. I couldn’t walk over and take my own, unfortunately. 

Written by Seth Anderson

December 17th, 2018 at 6:47 pm

Posted in Arts

Tagged with , , ,

A Shutdown Looms. Can the G.O.P. Get Lawmakers to Show Up to Work

 Asleep at the Post

The New York Times reports:

Just days before a deadline to avert a partial government shutdown, President Trump, Democratic leaders and the Republican-controlled Congress are at a stalemate over the president’s treasured border wall. But House Republican leaders are also confronting a more mundane and awkward problem: Their vanquished and retiring members are sick and tired of Washington and don’t want to show up anymore to vote.

Call it the revenge of the lame ducks. Many lawmakers, relegated to cubicles as incoming members take their offices, have been skipping votes in the weeks since House Republicans were swept from power in the midterm elections, and Republican leaders are unsure whether they will ever return.

It is perhaps a fitting end to a Congress that has showcased the untidy politics of the Trump era: Even if the president ultimately embraces a solution that avoids a shutdown, House Republican leaders do not know whether they will have the votes to pass it.

The uncertainty does not end there. With funding for parts of the government like the Department of Homeland Security set to lapse at midnight on Friday, Mr. Trump and top Republicans appear to have no definite plan to keep the doors open. It is clear that as Democrats uniformly oppose the president’s demand for $5 billion for his border wall, any bill that includes that funding cannot pass the Senate, and might face defeat in the House, too.

But the odd lull with a shutdown looming was disturbing to some senators. “I don’t understand why people don’t come to work and work all the way through December when the taxpayers are paying them,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Republican of West Virginia, who is a former House member. “I mean, finish your job.”

(click here to continue reading A Shutdown Looms. Can the G.O.P. Get Lawmakers to Show Up to Vote? – The New York Times.)

Wow, way to spend taxpayer money wisely – don’t even bother showing up to work. They should not be paid if they don’t work, right? Like the work requirements the GOP insist upon including in eligibility for social service programs like SNAP…

Trump: Eventually We Will Get Something Done

But then the lazy mofo in the White House sets such a strong example:

Mr. Trump himself is scheduled to leave on Friday for a 16-day vacation at his Florida estate.

Written by Seth Anderson

December 17th, 2018 at 1:44 pm

Posted in government

Tagged with , , ,

Legal experts rip judge’s rationale for declaring Obamacare law invalid

 Department of Health And Human Services

The Washington Post reports:

The 2,000-page law, however, covers a vast array of other health-care issues, touching almost every part of the health-care industry in the United States.

For that reason, if the ruling were to take effect, it could create major disruptions across the U.S. health-care system — affecting which drugs patients can buy, preventive services for older Americans, the expansion of Medicaid in most states and the structure of the Indian Health Service.

“There’s really no American that’s not affected by this law,” said Yale law professor Abbe Gluck, who filed an amicus brief with other lawyers in the Texas case.

The judge’s ruling, she said, flouts settled legal doctrine and places key acts of Congress in reverse order.

By ignoring that Congress specifically declined to strike down the ACA in 2017 when it chose to alter only one portion of the bill, she said, the judge decreed that the 2010 Congress, which first passed the law, has more authority than the same legislative body in 2017.

(click here to continue reading Legal experts rip judge’s rationale for declaring Obamacare law invalid – The Washington Post.)

But because of this activist Republican judge, the country will be unsettled until his ruling gets studied by the next level of judicial review. Crazy. And who is supporting the ACA in court? Certainly not Trump’s Justice Department, they want the bill to be overturned as well.

The Justice Department, which had been defending the law in court for years, announced in June that it would no longer argue for the mandate, and, as a result, the Trump administration said, a separate requirement that insurance companies cannot reject people who have preexisting conditions was also invalid.

But we won’t know for a while. Lovely.

Medicare For All, anyone?

Written by Seth Anderson

December 16th, 2018 at 11:04 am

Posted in government,health

Tagged with , ,

3 DuPage County Board members want to end prayer at start of meetings

Never Seems To Smile
 

Wow, someone send these Board members a bouquet of flowers or something, because too frequently the non-Christian citizens are treated as second class by politicians.

Naperville Sun reports:

The DuPage County Board may evaluate its tradition of starting meetings with a religious invocation after several Democrats questioned the need and reason for the prayer.

DeSart, who has been an active member Alleluia Lutheran Church in Naperville for the last two decades, said she respects other religions, and she asked for guidance from other board members on how to go about stopping invocations. “This is the right thing to do on behalf of our Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, agnostic, etc., constituents,” she said.

Her opinion was shared by District 6 board member Sheila Rutledge, of Warrenville, and District 4’s Mary FitzGerald Ozog, of Glen Ellyn, both Democrats.

Rutledge raised concerns about the separation of church and state.

“By doing the invocations, there is no one to speak for the agnostic, atheist, some of the maybe more fringe religions,” Rutledge said.

In her request to get rid of prayers, Ozog spoke of her mother who came to the United States from Ireland, an island that experienced 500 years of religious warfare because of the lack of separation of church and state, she said. “I think this is an idea worth considering,” she said.

(click here to continue reading 3 DuPage County Board members want to end prayer at start of meetings – Naperville Sun.)

Seriously, this is all too rare, and it shouldn’t be. Our constitution is clear on the subject, but the Christians have bullied the rest of us for so long it has been taken for granted that Christians are the only group worth listening to.

And for the record, you are quite welcome to perform your religious rites in your own way in your own houses of the holy, just not in government buildings.

Chicago Missionary Society

  • Do You Feel It Closing In?
  • Saint Boniface Cemetery 1863
  • Keep Your Confidence
  • Never Seems To Smile
  • And The Hundreds and Hundress More Who Lost Their Lives That Day NY-DE-PA
  • In Memory Of Those Who Served America In Peace And War
  • Cross of Gold - Golden Ale - Revolution
  • Sprang from Shame and Pride
  • Just Do What You Think You Should Do
  • Everyone Is Looking For Someone To Blame

Written by Seth Anderson

December 15th, 2018 at 9:35 am

Poetry and Photography Titles

Speaking in stranger's mouths

When I was a lot younger, I had the thought that I would scribble my poetry on top of my paintings, giving both a bit more depth. I never was satisfied with any results, mostly because I’ve never learned how to draw. My painting skills are basically that of a six year old. My poems are pretty obscure, which works well for being painted, but only if the painting is interesting, and I never felt any were interesting enough to share.

I stopped working in oil/acrylic about 20 years ago, and switched to photography.

I still haven’t found a good medium for my poems, but recently had the thought that if I changed how I worked in my digital darkroom a bit, I could use photo titles as a form of free verse.

Normally, as I’ve written previously, when I start working in my digital darkroom on a new photograph, I keep it on my screen until I come up with an appropriate title, and then start tweaking the photo until I finish.

But what if, instead I kept a running diary of verse1 and used those, in sequence, for photo titles?

Only I would know why certain photos would necessarily be hung together, with titles that cohere into a larger thought.

Hmmm. We’ll see if this works out.

Footnotes:
  1. or used already completed verses []

Written by Seth Anderson

December 13th, 2018 at 8:40 pm

Posted in Personal,Photography

Tagged with