Socialists and billionaires in presidential politics. Open Source, Christopher Lydon

The New Red Scare
“The winter round of the presidential race goes to Bernie Sanders, not so much for winning the most votes from Democrats as for coining the key word, the big theme for 2020, which is: billionaires! Not just the billionaires on the ballot and billionaires backstage, it’s billionaire-ism coming to be the argument of this election in a country at odds more and more about money. We’re used to anger, right and left, but suddenly there’s alarm in the air – at MSNBC, the Democrats’ TV network, the bold march of Bernie’s anti-billionaire army reminded Hardball‘s Chris Matthews of the Fall of France to Hitler in 1940. It’s scary, and there’s a pick of scarecrows in this race: the Plutocrat; the Democratic Socialist, and the President.

This was wake-up week among the Democrats nominating a presidential candidate. Some woke up cheering that Bernie Sanders looks like the choice of the people. Some woke up screaming in horror that the rebellion against the Clinton era is real, that their party has been dying for four years, that the end is near. The sound of battle has gone raw, with survival at stake, not just egos.”

Radio Open Source

Parker House Hotel, Boston – Locus of Revolution

“Actor John Wilkes Booth stayed at the hotel April 5–6, 1865, eight days before assassinating Abraham Lincoln. He was apparently in Boston to see his brother, actor Edwin Booth, who was performing there. While in Boston, Booth was seen practicing at a firing range near the Parker House.”

Famous workers:
“Ho Chi Minh claimed to have worked as a baker at the hotel from 1912 to 1913.
Malcolm X, then going by the name Malcolm Little, worked as a busboy at the hotel in the 1940s.
Long before he was a culinary superstar, Emeril Lagasse served as Sous Chef in the Parker kitchens from 1979 to 1981.”
Wikipedia 

If you want to book a room – OMNI PARKER HOUSE

Ben Mendelsohn On Fresh Air

GROSS: You know, you’re about the facts. You’re about using logic to try to solve this murder, and you’re unwilling to accept any supernatural explanation. Do you relate to that as a person? And ever – have you ever had an experience that couldn’t be explained by rational thinking?

MENDELSOHN: Yeah, I do relate to it as a person. I’m a son of a scientist. And I think in a lot of ways, I’ve had many things that are hard to explain in a mathematical or – in a way that I’m aware of, that are mystical to me. In fact, I think that we – you know, what happened in the scientific revolution, if you like, is that we actually locked off a lot of our mystical faculties and that we, as a being, probably do a lot better with some more of our mystical faculty doors open. So yes, I’ve had many things – you know, like that thing where you’re just thinking about someone and they call you. You know, that one? I mean, I’m sure you’ve had that, right?

GROSS: Yeah, I’ve kind of had that.

MENDELSOHN: I’ve had that so many times, and I get it with certain people. I’ve had situations in my life where, inexplicably, you know, someone’s just there when you just need them. And I don’t know whether we do that as a way of reverse engineering, you know, like, miracle or whether there’s something else operating out there. We can’t explain it all yet by science. That’s my – that would be my point.

‘Outsider’ Actor Ben Mendelsohn On Australian Machismo And Mastering Accents
Fresh Air

Note – in the interview Mendelsohn says Scorsese is in Taxi Driver in two places. I know the famous one: “What a 44 magnum would do to a woman’s”… He left the other one for the listeners. Stumped me.

Sonny Rollins Interview – NY Times Magazine

Do you think music has an ethical component?
I can hear music that elevates me, but on the other hand there’s martial music that’s made to make people go to war. So music is neutral. It has nothing to do with ethics. Music is not on the same level as trying to understand life. We’re here for 80-something years. One lifetime is not enough to get it right. I’ll be back in another body. I’m not interested in trying to get that technical about that because I don’t need to know. What I need to know is that being a person who understands that giving is better than getting is the proper way to live. Live your life now in a positive way. Help people if you can. Don’t hurt people. That works perfectly for me, man.

The jazz icon Sonny Rollins knows life is a solo trip. By David Marchese. Feb. 21, 2020, NYTIMES 

Rollins doing the saxophone with the Stones:

‘We can’t afford healthcare’: US hospital workers fight for higher wages

Hospital and healthcare workers across the US are launching union drives and organizing protests in order to win higher wages and better working conditions, saying their industry exploits them and leaves them often unable to afford healthcare, despite working in the sector.

According to the SEIU, there are about 50,000 low-wage hospital workers throughout the Chicago metro area and about 10,000 are currently represented by the union.

LeChrisha Pearson, a single mother and certified nursing assistant for eight years at Chicago’s Mount Sinai hospital, was one of about 400 workers at the hospital who organized a union in June 2019, and threatened to strike in November 2019 before winning a contract that would raise wages for all workers to $15 an hour.

She works two to three jobs, including as a delivery driver for Uber Eats, to make ends meet while working full-time at the hospital.

Michael Sainato, February 17 2020, Guardian

In the News – Shouldn’t workers be doing better in this booming economy?

Despite unemployment at a near 50-year low, a soaring stock market and the longest expansion in US history, the recovery hasn’t yet reached these millions in economic hard times, say these analysts.

Even as wages overall are rising, about 50 percent of US workers received no pay raises last year, according to Bankrate. And in real terms, some say average salaries are stagnant.

“Today’s average inflation-adjusted wage in America has the same purchasing power that it did in 1978,” Liam Hunt, a market analyst at SophisticatedInvestor.com, told The Post. “That’s despite macroeconomic growth in terms of GDP, salary increases for the highest bracket of income earners and rapidly rising home costs,” he added. “In a growing economy, we should see real wage growth, though we haven’t.”

John Aidan Byrne, February 22, 2020, NY POST

Jeb Bush: People Need to Work Longer Hours – Comment from long ago primary

During an interview that was live-streamed on the app Periscope, Bush made the comments to New Hampshire’s The Union Leader answering a question about his plans for tax reform.

“My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it, is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this rut that we’re in.”

Candace Smith, July 8, 2015, ABC NEWS

The Traitor / Il traditore – Marco Bellochio film

“The real life of Tommaso Buscetta, the so-called “boss of the two worlds,” the first mafia informant in Sicily in the 1980s.” – IMDB

“In December 1984, he was extradited to the United States where he received a new identity from the government, American citizenship and placed in the Witness Protection Program in exchange for new revelations against the American Mafia. He testified in the Pizza Connection Trial, which took place in 1985 in New York and saw defendants Gaetano Badalamenti and other Sicilian-American mafiosi accused of drug trafficking. He also testified in 1986 at the largest anti-Mafia trial in history, the Maxi Trial in Palermo, arising from the statements made to Falcone, Buscetta helped judges Falcone and Paolo Borsellino achieve significant success in the fight against organized crime that led to 475 Mafia members indicted, and 338 convicted, sentences upheld in 1992.” Tommaso Buscetta, Wikipedia

The look and feel and acting of this movie is different from anything I’ve seen in a while. The beats were different. Hard to describe. Highly recommended.

Fun fact – According to the movie, in 1992 Buscetta was in witness protection in Fort Collins, Colorado. I would have been living there too at the time. Small world.

‘Glass House’ Chronicles The Sharp Decline Of An All-American Factory Town

Lancaster, Ohio, the home of the Fortune 500 company Anchor Hocking, was once a bustling center of industry and employment. At its peak following World War II, Lancaster’s hometown company was the world’s largest maker of glassware and employed more than 5,000 town residents.

Though Anchor Hocking remains in Lancaster today, it is a shell of its former self, and the once thriving town is beset by underemployment and drug abuse. Lancaster native Brian Alexander chronicles the rise and fall of his hometown in his new book, Glass House.

“People are genuinely struggling,” he tells Fresh Air’s Dave Davies. “The economy of the town is struggling, not because there’s high unemployment, [but] because the employment that there is all minimum wage, or even lower than minimum wage.”

Fresh Air, February 6, 2017. NPR

Chuck D – What’s in My Bag?

Public Enemy’s Chuck D goes shopping at Amoeba Music in Hollywood.

Check out his picks:
100 Best Selling Albums Of The 90s (BOOK)
Angie Errigo – The Illustrated History of Rock Album Art (BOOK)
Public Enemy – Rebels Without A Pause: The Induction Celebration Of Public Enemy (DVD)
Various Artists – Midnight Special (DVD)
George Hickenlooper – Mayor Of The Sunset Strip (DVD) http://bit.ly/2iAocX0
Laura Archibald – Greenwich Village: Music That Defined a Generation (DVD) http://bit.ly/2jS2xuk
Peter Conners – JAMerica: The History of the Jam Band and Festival Scene (BOOK)
Greg Kot – I’ll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers, and the March up Freedom’s Highway (BOOK)

Buy Public Enemy albums: http://bit.ly/1oy9GAl

How To Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens – Book Review

But recently I picked up How To Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens. Ahrens is a Lecturer in Philosophy of Education at the University of Duisburg-Essen and also coaches students, academics, and professionals with a focus on time management, decision-making, and personal growth….

Principle #1: Writing is not the outcome of thinking; it is the medium in which thinking takes place
Writing doesn’t begin when we sit down to put one paragraph after another on the screen or page. It begins much, much earlier, as we take notes on the articles or books we read, the podcasts or audiobooks we listen to, and the interesting conversations and life experiences we have.

Tiago Forte, 10 smart note-taking tips that can boost your productivity

 

Disney’s abuse of H1B system

ORLANDO, Fla. — The employees who kept the data systems humming in the vast Walt Disney fantasy fief did not suspect trouble when they were suddenly summoned to meetings with their boss.

While families rode the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and searched for Nemo on clamobiles in the theme parks, these workers monitored computers in industrial buildings nearby, making sure millions of Walt Disney World ticket sales, store purchases and hotel reservations went through without a hitch. Some were performing so well that they thought they had been called in for bonuses.

Instead, about 250 Disney employees were told in late October that they would be laid off. Many of their jobs were transferred to immigrants on temporary visas for highly skilled technical workers, who were brought in by an outsourcing firm based in India. Over the next three months, some Disney employees were required to train their replacements to do the jobs they had lost.

“I just couldn’t believe they could fly people in to sit at our desks and take over our jobs exactly


Pink Slips at Disney. But First, Training Foreign Replacements
. NYTIMES
Julia Preston, June 3, 2015

Anthrax – What’s in My Bag

Legendary thrash metal band Anthrax goes shopping at Amoeba Music in San Francisco.

Check out their picks:
Sam Liu & Lauren Montgomery – Batman Year One (DVD) http://bit.ly/2jOHVEE
Dean Martin – The Best Of The Dean Martin Variety Show (DVD) http://bit.ly/2kqc7oN
Patton Oswalt – Finest Hour (CD) http://bit.ly/2kqggJk
Queen – Jazz (CD) http://bit.ly/2jupxjr
Queen – The Game (CD) http://bit.ly/2jurjRE
Queen – News of the World (LP) http://bit.ly/2j2b3va
Nirvana – Nevermind (LP) http://bit.ly/2jWvgl2
Mary Tyler Moore – The Mary Tyler Moore Show: The Complete Seventh Season (DVD)
Dean Martin – The Best Of The Dean Martin Variety Show (DVD) http://bit.ly/2kqc7oN
U2 – 360 At The Rose Bowl (BLU-RAY) http://bit.ly/2kfLJyH
Joe Bonamassa – Had To Cry Today (CD) http://bit.ly/2jOSzez
Eric Johnson – Ah Via Musicom (CD) http://bit.ly/2juAlxQ
Eric Johnson – Tones (CD) http://bit.ly/2k0sj3D
Whitesnake – Live at Donington 1990 (DVD)
Joe Bonamassa – The Ballad Of John Henry (CD) http://bit.ly/2kfLbca
Pink Floyd – The Wall Live 1980-81 (CD) http://bit.ly/2kqcwHF
John McLaughlin – My Goal’s Beyond (CD) http://bit.ly/2jOOOpA
Peter Gabriel – New Blood (CD) http://bit.ly/2kfJ5ZO
Rob Crow – He Thinks He’s People (CD) http://bit.ly/2jWEyxC

The Miseducation of Lisa Simpson, Slashdot on

On Sunday, The Simpsons aired The Miseducation Of Lisa Simpson, an episode in which Marge — with the help of a song from John Legend (“STEM, it’s not just for dorks, dweebs and nerds / It’ll turn all your dumb kids to Zuckerbergs”) — convinces Springfield to use a windfall the town reaped by seizing shipwreck treasure to build the Springfield STEM Academy to ‘prepare kids for the jobs of tomorrow.’ All goes well initially — both Lisa and Bart love their new school — until Lisa realizes there’s a two-tiered curriculum. While children classified as “divergent pathway assimilators” (i.e., gifted) like Lisa study neural networks and C+++ upstairs, kids like Bart are relegated to the basement where they’re prepared via VR and gamified learning for a life of menial, gig economy side-hustles — charging e-scooters, shopping for rich people’s produce, driving ride-share. Hey, it’s not so different from the two-tier caste systems at Google and Facebook, Lisa!

Slashdot

Google Ngram Viewer – Demo

“When you enter phrases into the Google Books Ngram Viewer, it displays a graph showing how those phrases have occurred in a corpus of books (e.g., “British English”, “English Fiction”, “French”) over the selected years.”

Here we typed in the word ‘neurasthenic’, and see its usage in the English 2012 corpus over the period 1800 – 2008.

Neuasthenic 2

Try it out here: https://books.google.com/ngrams

Margaret Cho – What’s In My Bag?

Margaret Cho visits Amoeba to pick up some music DVDs.

Check out her picks:
The Beach Boys – The Beach Boys and the Satan (DVD) http://bit.ly/2jMRFxt
The Beach Boys – In London 1966 (DVD)
David Bowie – The Plastic Soul Review (DVD) http://bit.ly/2k5DCE8
White Stripes – Under Great White Northern Lights (DVD)
Aimee Mann – Live at St. Ann’s Warehouse (DVD)
Steve Binder – The T.A.M.I. Show (DVD) http://bit.ly/2kCeLv2
Various Artists – Urgh! A Music War (DVD) http://bit.ly/2kCfRXD