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Our frivolous squillionaires

From hagiography in the Times Sports section on concert promoter and Hollywood fixer Irving Azoff, who brought the Knicks owner James Dolan and coach Phil Jackson together, this little gem:

“[Dolan] would come to the concerts and say hello,” Azoff said. “In those days, he was much more focused on his guitar playing, and he was just starting to get serious with his music. Music is an amazing thing. I could give you the names of about 20 billionaire friends who care more about going to concerts than they do about their companies.”

Well, that explains a lot, if you think about it. Read below the fold...

Apologies for light posting

letsgetitdone's picture

Envy or Honest Outrage?


Catherine Rampell offered a theory the other day, in a piece entitled: “Income inequality isn’t about the rich — it’s about the rest of us.” She says:

People don’t hate you because you’re beautiful. People hate you because they are getting uglier. . . .

And then later, she says:

Yes, anti-inequality rhetoric has grown in recent years. But it’s not the growing wealth of the wealthy that Americans are angry about, at least not in isolation. It’s the growing wealth of the wealthy set against the stagnation or deterioration of living standards for everyone else. Polls show that Americans pretty much always want income to be distributed more equitably than it currently is, but they’re more willing to tolerate inequality if they are still plugging ahead. That is, they care less about Lloyd Blankfein's gigantic bonus if they got even a tiny raise this year.

She proceeds to review polling data to show that this is so, and then advises the 0.1% that if they want to be left alone then “they should probably support policies that “promote the upward mobility of other Americans. . . “ such as Pell Grants, higher minimum wages, and early chidhood education. Read below the fold...

Yes, it was just like this (for me) when I was a kid

From the Atlantic, "On the Overprotected Kid":

In 1972, the British-born geography student Roger Hart settled on an unusual project for his dissertation. He moved to a rural New England town and, for two years, tracked the movements of 86 children in the local elementary school, to create what he called a “geography of children,” including actual maps that would show where and how far the children typically roamed away from home.

Hart’s methodology was novel, but he didn’t think he was recording anything radical. Many of his observations must have seemed mundane at the time. For example: “I was struck by the large amount of time children spend modifying the landscape in order to make places for themselves and for their play.” But reading his dissertation today feels like coming upon a lost civilization, a child culture with its own ways of playing and thinking and feeling that seems utterly foreign now. The children spent immense amounts of time on their own, creating imaginary landscapes their parents sometimes knew nothing about. The parents played no role in their coming together—“it is through cycling around that the older boys chance to fall into games with each other,” Hart observed. The forts they built were not praised and cooed over by their parents, because their parents almost never saw them.

Through his maps, Hart discovered broad patterns: between second and third grade, for instance, the children’s “free range”—the distance they were allowed to travel away from home without checking in first—tended to expand significantly, because they were permitted to ride bikes alone to a friend’s house or to a ball field. By fifth grade, the boys especially gained a “dramatic new freedom” and could go pretty much wherever they wanted without checking in at all. (The girls were more restricted because they often helped their mothers with chores or errands, or stayed behind to look after younger siblings.) To the children, each little addition to their free range—being allowed to cross a paved road, or go to the center of town—was a sign of growing up. The kids took special pride, Hart noted, in “knowing how to get places,” and in finding shortcuts that adults wouldn’t normally use.

I remember especially pride in the shortcuts! Read below the fold...

Fast forward to "Anarchy in the UK"....

transcriber's picture

Who owns the future? Jaron Lanier on KCRW's This...Is Interesting

"You know, if it’s all a volunteer economy of people sharing files, you’ll have these giant spy services that become superpowerful from watching what people are doing and then being able to manipulate them. But the better idea is for people to be able to pay each other when they get good at designing these things because then you can still have a middle class even though the machines have gotten really good."

Inspired by ponderings on Lambert's fundraiser and my mystification at all things dismal science, I'm going back to a podcast I heard last year. Things aren't working, the middle class is dying, and internet pioneer and free thinker Jaron Lanier looks back forensically -- "we did screw something up" -- and forward with Captain Kirk optimism. This is interesting. Podcast at KCRW, and my transcript below the fold. Read below the fold...

Rainbow Girl's picture

Citibike NYC #FAIL

... but Alta (aka Corruption) wants the City to start paying for the "strictly privately funded" program. This is the program that former TinPot Dictator mayor "Mike" Bloomberg kept insisting was 100% funded by "private entities" (JP Morgan, VISA, and no doubt some "help" from his "philanthropy" (this last is rank speculation, of course)). This, while there was a $164Million set aside in his last budget's capital spending section for ... drumroll, Citibike program. Read below the fold...

Will Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper please pick up the white courtesy phone?


Iran says replica US aircraft carrier is really a movie prop
The New York Times, quoting US intelligence, said last week that the Iranians were building a mock-up of a US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, possibly so they could then blow it up for propaganda purposes.

Satellite photos showed what looked like one of the US Navy's Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, complete with planes, rising from Iran's Gachin shipyard, near the port of Bandar Abbas.

Iranian newspapers said it was "part of the decor" of a movie being made by the Iranian director Nader Talebzadeh on the 1988 shooting down of an Iran Air civilian plane by the USS Vincennes.

Why not blow up a model aircraft carrier? That's how they did it in the movies, before CGI. So a movie set, really? Read below the fold...

DCblogger's picture

NYC educator runs for union office

On Timeliness and Learning

I apologize to regular readers of this little blog for not posting as frequently as usual. I'm sure you know I'm a full-time teacher. In addition, I've been running for Executive VP of NYSUT these last few weeks

Readers, any of you NYSUT members? Could you keep us posted? Read below the fold...

danps's picture

Sunday Morning Music

letsgetitdone's picture

The Most Important Point of All Was Ignored

MSNBC's right wing representative on The Cycle, Abby Huntsman, got a lot of pushback from Social Security defenders after her rant last week. They made points similar to the following in countering Huntsman:

DCblogger's picture

Our ally

Israeli Amb. Dermer to Attend RJC Meeting Amid Diplomats’ Strike

In a break with diplomatic tradition Ron Dermer, an American-born former Republican activist, is scheduled to attend the Republican Jewish Coalition’s (RJC) Spring Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas next week and share the speaking platform with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former UN Ambassador John Bolton, Ohio Governor Jon Kasich and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Read below the fold...
danps's picture

Saturday morning music

danps's picture

March 20: Journalistic Day of Atonement

The anniversary of the Iraq invasion should be an occasion for news organizations to reflect on what they've gotten wrong.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Read below the fold...

Ta-Nehisi Coates eviscerates another career "progressive"

Read the whole thing. Here's the conclusion:

Obama-era progressives view white supremacy as something awful that happened in the past whose historical vestiges still afflict black people today. They believe we need policies--though not race-specific policies--which address the affliction. I view white supremacy as one of the central organizing forces in American life whose vestiges and practices afflicted black people in the past, continue to afflict black people today, and will likely afflict black people until this country passes into the dust.

There is no evidence that black people are less responsible, less moral, or less upstanding in their dealings with America nor with themselves. But there is overwhelming evidence that America is irresponsible, immoral, and unconscionable in its dealings with black people and with itself. Urging African-Americans to become superhuman is great advice if you are concerned with creating extraordinary individuals. It is terrible advice if you are concerned with creating an equitable society. The black freedom struggle is not about raising a race of hyper-moral super-humans. It is about all people garnering the right to live like the normal humans they are.

So, while trivial by the side of the American historical experience: Read below the fold...


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