Visit a new blog

Sorry, I knew I would eventually abandon this thing. Maybe I will get serious with a new one at the end of the summer, but I doubt it. Until then, here is what I am currently involved with:

Backpack Journalism in the Dominican Republic

It is a course that is actually called Backpack Journalism in the Dominican Republic and we leave for the DR very early Monday morning. You can visit that blog to see what the students are doing and what my role is in the adventure.


Corporations vs. People

I’ve had several friends that seemed confused that I was so upset when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled as they did a week ago last Thursday. That day, I attended a department meeting and almost launched into a tirade before controlling myself and changing the subject. I’ve frequently had heated discussions since that ruling. I have a very elementary problem with the decision.

It has been pointed out numerous times over the past ten days that the Supreme Court overturned a century of precedents in one ruling, and they did so in a way that opens the floodgates that will most certainly further corrupt our already corrupt political system.

For years it seemed that corporations had two votes for every one vote for the public. Now they have something like three. Corporations achieved the unimaginable with the SCOTUS ruling.

Regarding the simple act of voting: People heading the corporations can naturally vote. So can the public.
+1 Corporations
+1 People

Corporate lobbyists already have far, far more access and influence with congress than the public.
+1 Corporations
+0 People

And now:

Money: By overturning a century of legal precedents, private corporations have now been given more power to outspend the public. $ = Time. $ = Visibility. $ = Power.
+1 Corporations
+0 People

Corporations = 3
People = 1

The fact is that corporations have one bottom line: Profits.
They only answer to one group: Their investors.

Politicians are supposed to answer to one group: Their constituents.
Of course, many would reasonably argue they answer to a different group: Lobbyists.

It used to be a cynical view that a politician’s job was to get re-elected even though his/her job is (once was), in reality, to represent the people.

Chalk up one more for the monied interests.

Now, move on and learn your new Pledge of Allegiance.



Can anyone identify the creator of this for me? Too awesome.

Edit: Apparently, this is the guy that made it. Check out his Corned Beef Hash. Thanks for the tip, Anonymous!


Supreme Court FAIL

From Mother Jones:

Justice John Paul Stevens, in a stinging dissent written for the minority, argues that the right wing of the court has engaged in a brazen act of activism--and has done so to award corporations more legal rights than they have previously been afforded.

A few excerpts:

* Even more misguided is the notion that the Court must rewrite the law relating to campaign expenditures by for-profit corporations and unions to decide this case.

* The conceit that corporations must be treated identically to natural persons in the political sphere is not only inaccurate but also inadequate to justify the Court’s disposition of this case.

* Although they make enormous contributions to our society, corporations are not actually members of it. They cannot vote or run for office. Because they may be managed and controlled by nonresidents, their interests may conflict in fundamental respects with the interests of eligible voters.

* The financial resources, legal structure,and instrumental orientation of corporations raise legitimate concerns about their role in the electoral process. Our lawmakers have a compelling constitutional basis, if not also a democratic duty, to take measures designed to guard against the potentially deleterious effects of corporate spending in local and national races.

* The majority’s approach to corporate electioneering marks a dramatic break from our past. Congress has placed special limitations on campaign spending by corporations ever since the passage of the Tillman Act in 1907....We have unanimously concluded [in 1982] that this “reflects a permissible assessment of the dangers posed by those entities to the electoral process"...and have accepted the “legislative judgment that the special characteristics of the corporate structure require particularly careful regulation...The Court today rejects a century of history when it treats the distinction between corporate and individual campaign spending as an invidious novelty born [in a 1990 opinion].

* The Court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution.



iTunes U

These are mostly old videos, but for those of you that would like some free lessons on Photoshop or Illustrator, you can check out my postings on iTunes U.

Photoshop lessons

Illustrator lessons


Johnny Carson memories

I don't know what reminded me of this. Every once in a while I see some bad rip off of the brilliant Abbott and Costello Who's on First routine. One of the only people to ever do it well was Johnny Carson.

Of course, there is nothing like the original. I remember laughing so hard the first time I heard it, but I also remember how hard my Dad laughed even though he was hearing it for the umpteenth time when he played it for me


Kurt Vonnegut

A friend who knows I love Vonnegut reminded me of a quote from him the other day.

"We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap."

I miss Kurt. He is someone I would have liked to have met.


Leedy Volkous installation, pt 3

There is also a looping video on one wall.

Here is a detail of one of the drawings.


Leedy Volkous installation, pt 2

Each frame has a surveillance camera attached to it. These video captures are sent back to a surveillance system placed in another room. All video is backed up on the local drive in the computer.


Leedy Volkous installation

This exhibit debuted at the Sierra Arts Foundation gallery in Reno, NV (huge props to Jill Berryman), but it continues to evolve. It is currently at the Leedy Volkous gallery in Kansas City, MO (huge props to Holly Swangtu). It will eventually end up in Omaha for the first full version of the installation...

These images are clickable details if you want to see them larger. I will post several images and a video over the next few days, including the surveillance system in action. The show has been up since the first week of November and continues on through the end of the month. If you live in KC, check it out.

These drawings are each 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide.


Rendition in Progress, pt 13

A detail from the same stage as below...