Thursday, December 25, 2014
Monday, December 15, 2014
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
For a look at Dr. Asimov's recent article, visit MIT Technology Review here
|Isaac Asimov (illustration - MIT Technology Review)|
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Great jazz musician, who divides his time between NYC and South Africa, Mr. Ibrahim will be performing in NYC this month.
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Monday, September 8, 2014
In a lesser-known aphorism from Clausewitz, he says, “Courage, above all things, is the first quality of a warrior.” The executioner in the Sotloff video, as in the video that captured the beheading of the journalist James Foley, is wearing a mask. Is it the mark of a warrior? Or is it the mark of a murderer who knows, deep in his soul, that he should be ashamed?"
Full article here
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Monday, August 18, 2014
As Mr. Abdul-Jabbar indicates, Racism isn't dead, despite the milestone of the election of America's first African-American President. But the issue of racial discrimination and conflict is only heightened by the economics of racism. As Mr. Abdul-Jabbar points out, black on white racism does not substantially impact the economic well being of white Americans, but white on black racism certainly does.
The shooting of Michael Brown and other recent shootings of the other unarmed young black men by police should not be a viewed as an ugly news item to be shrugged off and forgotten til the next time. The chaos in Ferguson, Missouri is ugly, but represents the anger of one particular community forgotten, and generally represents the reminder that the USA in the 21st century has profound issues regarding racial and economic inequality that have yet to be addressed.
Full article here
Monday, July 28, 2014
Sigmar Polke at MoMA: Art, Anti-Art, Art Squared, Art for Dummies, and An Artists' Artist (Take your pick)
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
"When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers."
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Full article on the late Bob Marley and the impact of the LEGEND album here
Friday, July 4, 2014
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Monday, June 23, 2014
Sunday, June 22, 2014
Friday, June 20, 2014
The NY Times reports "We are not facing an increasing trend, we are really facing a quantum leap,” in the number of refugees worldwide, the head of the UN refugee agency told reporters in Geneva, noting that close to 11 million people were newly displaced in 2013. Half the world’s population of displaced people are children, he added, the highest level in a decade. NY Times reports that the number of people displaced by violent conflict hit the highest level since World War II at the end of 2013, the head of the United Nations refugee agency, António Guterres, said in a report released on Friday, warning that “peace is dangerously in deficit.”
"Pushed up dramatically by the war in Syria, the total number of people displaced by violence reached more than 51 million at the end of 2013, according to the agency’s “Global Trends” report for the year. This included 33.3 million people who fled violence but remained in their own country and 16.7 million refugees who fled to neighboring countries, it said.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
On Monday, more than 10,000 MoveOn members across the country gathered online to watch Senator Elizabeth Warren and acclaimed economist Thomas Piketty discuss income inequality.
If you missed it or want to watch it again, check out the replay here—along with Sen. Warren and Dr. Piketty's shout-out to MoveOn members and Sen. Warren's special message at the end to MoveOn members.
Dr Thomas Piketty and US Senator Elizabeth Warren
Monday, May 26, 2014
Friday, May 23, 2014
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
From Spirits in the Night, a forthcoming album by Bob Dylan, a performance of a Frank Sinatra tune.
A nice article on Dylan, his love for the voice, music and moods of Frank and other giants of American popular music, and a little detective work on what seems to be our own musical giant's next forthcoming album, appears in UNCUT UK here
-Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn
Friday, April 25, 2014
Whether he is "on the money" or not, a fresh view is needed and that may be what "Capital in the 21st Century" can provide. The book, and much of the writing surrounding the debate of his book and ideas, will no doubt become required reading in New York's City Hall, where Mayor Bill deBlasio has made the issue of inequality a central issue in his recent election campaign and, hopefully, his administration. It also needs to be discussed in the White House where President Obama has recently cited the issue as well.
--Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn
What follows is Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn's Piketty Primer:
Thomas Piketty's Book "Capital in the 21st Century" (Harvard University Press) - excerpt here
Excerpt of the excerpt: "In a way, we are in the same position at the beginning of the twenty-first century as our forebears were in the early nineteenth century: we are witnessing impressive changes in economies around the world, and it is very difficult to know how extensive they will turn out to be or what the global distribution of wealth, both within and between countries, will look like several decades from now. The economists of the nineteenth century deserve immense credit for placing the distributional question at the heart of economic analysis and for seeking to study long-term trends. Their answers were not always satisfactory, but at least they were asking the right questions. There is no fundamental reason why we should believe that growth is automatically balanced. It is long since past the time when we should have put the question of inequality back at the center of economic analysis and begun asking questions first raised in the nineteenth century. For far too long, economists have neglected the distribution of wealth, partly because of [economist] Kuznets’s optimistic conclusions [about the inevitable historical decline of inequality, but which was not based on empirical research] and partly because of the profession’s undue enthusiasm for simplistic mathematical models based on so-called representative agents. If the question of inequality is again to become central, we must begin by gathering as extensive as possible a set of historical data for the purpose of understanding past and present trends. For it is by patiently establishing facts and patterns and then comparing different countries that we can hope to identify the mechanisms at work and gain a clearer idea of the future."
Stephen Erlanger in the NY Times: Taking on Adam Smith (and Karl Marx) here
Excerpt: "The last part of the book presents Mr. Piketty’s policy ideas. He favors a progressive global tax on real wealth (minus debt), with the proceeds not handed to inefficient governments but redistributed to those with less capital. “We just want a way to share the tax burden that is fair and practical,” he said.
"Net wealth is a better indicator of ability to pay than income alone, he said. “All I’m proposing is to reduce the property tax on half or three-quarters of the population who have very little wealth,” he said."
John Cassidy in the The New Yorker Inequality by the Numbers: Thomas Piketty's Inequality Story in Six Charts here
John Cassidy in the New Yorker: Is Surging Inequality Endemic to Capitalism? here
Moyers and Company - Perspectives on Piketty here
National Review: Technology will save us. Dean Baker: Provides valuable insights. American Prospect: deTocqueville 2.0. More.
Pascal-Emanuel Gobry in Forbes: The Conservative Case for Thomas Piketty here
Excerpt: "But on his proposals on inequality, I think this quote aptly sums up his project–which happens to be one I share: ”my point is not at all to destroy wealth. My point is to increase wealth mobility and to increase access to wealth.”
Time Magazine on Why Thomas Piketty is Freaking Out the Super-Wealthy here
"Piketty’s 15 years of painstaking data collection—he poured over centuries worth of tax records in places like France, the U.S., Germany, Japan and the U.K—provides clear proof that in lieu of major events like World Wars or government interventions like the New Deal, the rich take a greater and greater share of the world’s economic pie. That’s because the gains on capital (meaning, investments) outpace those on GDP. Result: people with lots of investments take a bigger chunk of the world’s wealth, relative to everyone else, with every passing year. The only time that really changes is when the rich lose a bundle (as they often do in times of global conflict) or growth gets jump started via rebuilding (as it sometimes does after wars).
This is particularly true in times of slow growth like what we’ve seen over the last few years. I’ve written any number of columns and blogs about how quantitative easing has buoyed the stock market, but not really provided the kind of kick that we needed to boost wage growth in the real economy, because it mostly benefits people who hold stocks–that’s the wealthiest 25 % of us. Meanwhile, consumption and wage growth remain stagnant. And as Piketty’s book makes so uncomfortably clear, it’s likely to get worse before it gets better. No wonder I saw an advertisement for a storage company on the subway the other day that read, “The French aristocracy didn’t see it coming, either.”
"That’s one of Piketty’s biggest messages–inequality will slowly but surely undermine the population’s faith in the system. He doesn’t believe, as Marx did, that capitalism would simply burn itself out over time. In fact, he says that the more perfect and advanced markets become (at least, in economic terms), the better they work and the more fully they serve the rich. But he does believe that rising inequality leads to a less perfect union, and a likelihood of major social unrest that mirrors the sort that his native France went through in the late 1700s. Indeed, the subsequent detailed collection of wealth data in the form of elaborate income and tax records made France a particularly rich data collection ground for his book. (Bureaucracy is good for something!)
"My feeling about this book is similar to that of New York Times’ columnist Paul Krugman. It’s going to be remembered as the economic tome of our era. Basically, Piketty has finally put to death, with data, the fallacies of trickle down economics and the Laffer curve, as well as the increasingly fantastical notion that we can all just bootstrap our way to the Forbes 400 list. It’s telling and important that Piketty credits his work to the fact that he didn’t forge his economic career in the States, as so many top thinkers do, because he was put off by the profession’s obsession with unrealistic mathematical models, which blossomed in the 1980s to the exclusion of almost all other ideas and disciplines, and the false ideologies that they were used to justify. “The truth is that economics should ever have sought to divorce itself from the other social sciences and can only advance in conjunction with them,” he argues.
Indeed, had more top economists followed the lead of other social scientists and ditched their black box models in favor of spending time in the field—meaning on Main Street, where trickle down theory hasn’t ever really worked—they might have come to the same conclusions that Piketty has. We can only hope that the politicians crafting today’s economic programs will take this book to heart>"
Piketty: "Income Equality "Completely Useless" here
Excerpt: "If you'd like to live in Downton Abbey, the good news is that our economy has entered a second Gilded Age of opulence and elegance.
The bad news is that you'll likely end up among the vast majority stuck sweating in the kitchen.
In a new book, Thomas Piketty, the French economist who helped popularize the notion of a privileged 1 percent, sounds a grim warning: The U.S. economy has begun to decay into the aristocratic Europe of the 19th century. Hard work will matter less, inherited wealth more. The fortunes of the few will unsettle the foundations of democracy.
The research Piketty showcases in his book, "Capital in the 21st Century," has set the economics field ablaze. Supporters cite his work as proof that the wealth gap must be narrowed. Critics dismiss him as a left-wing ideologue."
Paul Krugman in the NY Times on "The Piketty Panic" -- unable to refute, the right resorts to name calling. Column here
Excerpt: "The really striking thing about the debate so far is that the right seems unable to mount any kind of substantive counterattack to Mr. Piketty’s thesis. Instead, the response has been all about name-calling — in particular, claims that Mr. Piketty is a Marxist, and so is anyone who considers inequality of income and wealth an important issue."
Friday, April 18, 2014
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
My high school alma mater, Bishop Ford, Brooklyn, NY is closing. A sigh and a deep breath and the news prompts memory and a plunge back into the music of the Jim Carroll Band. Carroll, in his music, poetry, and novel "The Basketball Diaries" explored the bohemia outside of his white ethnic Catholic upbringing, a constant struggle for alternative, literary and artistic Catholic youth. Carroll's fame was more fleeting but his cultural collisions still have resonance, and, fortunately for him, he managed to survive his rebellion and brushes with art and vision.
RIP Bishop Ford HS 2014. (Carroll died in 2009)
Saturday, April 12, 2014
UPDATE: Sheriff Announces Bureau of Land Management Will Cease Operation against rancher Clive Bundy over grazing land dispute.
Checkout the tone of this item from
Friday, April 4, 2014
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Thursday, March 6, 2014
|Under Heaven 20121020, Xu Zhen, 2012. FOCUS: China|
|Flowers, Andy Warhol, 1970. Sims Reed Gallery|
|Capri Batteries Joseph Beuys 1985 Galerie Thomas|
The Armory Show, New York’s leading fair for contemporary and modern art, hosting over 200 leading galleries from 29 countries, opens today. Despite the frigid March temperatures, the Armory Show, which for the first time this year the fair coincides with the opening of the Whitney Biennial, once again serves as an exciting visual and cultural "Spring" and further establishes March in New York as a must-see moment in its annual arts calendar and a cornerstone of the American art market. For the 2014 edition The Armory Show has devoted Armory Focus, the specially curated section of Pier 94 to the contemporary cultural landscape in China, presenting an exciting selection of galleries from the Mainland and Hong Kong. The fair will also launch the inaugural edition of Armory Presents, dedicated to dual and single artist presentations exhibited by galleries under ten years old. The Armory Show–Modern has established a formal Selection Committee of leading dealers and will present its first ever curated exhibition, featuring seminal drawings by female artists of the twentieth century.
Armory Focus: China, the fair’s specially curated section will explore artists working in Chinese contemporary art today. Curated by Philip Tinari, it showcases a selection of 17 established and emerging galleries, providing access to a wide array of contemporary practice in China. Xu Zhen, whose Under Heaven is pictured above, is one such artist worknig in a variety of media nd disciplines, from installation, photography, video to performance and painting. More here and here and here The Armory Focus: China is a fine example of The Armory Show's exploration of new areas, perspectives, sensibilities and forms of contemporary art today.
New York City is Art. Art is New York City. And The Armory Show is New York's annual home to visual feasts and international cultural landscapes of the contemporary art scene and the world of modern art collectors and exhibitors.
For information on tickets, visit The Armory Show website here
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Friday, February 21, 2014
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Monday, February 17, 2014
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Monday, February 3, 2014
Friday, January 31, 2014
Kevin Wilmott's brilliant "alternative history"and faux documentary film, produced by Spike Lee, C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Saturday, January 25, 2014
- Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War- Tony Horwitz
- A Sultan in Palermo - Tariq Ali
- Hitch-22: A Memoir - Christopher Hitchens
- Negropedia- Patrice Evans
- Dead Funny: Humor in Nazi Germany - Rudolph Herzog
- Exile on Main Street - Robert Greenfield
- Among the Truthers - A Journey Among America's Growing Conspiracist Underworld - Jonathan Kay
- Paradise Lost - John Milton
- What Is Your Dangerous Idea? Thinking the Unthinkable - John Brockman
- Notes from the Edge Times - Daniel Pinchbeck
- Fringe-ology: How I Can't Explain Away the Unexplainable- Steve Volk
- Un Juif pour l'exemple (translated as A Jew Must Die )- Jacques Cheesex
- The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
- Pale King - David Foster Wallce
- David Bowie: Starman bio - Paul Trynka
- Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat - Andrez Bergen
- The Future of Nostalgia -Svetlana Boym
- Living in the End Times - Slavoj ZIzek
- FIrst as Tragedy Next as Farce - Slavoj Zizek
- How to Survive a Robot Uprising - Daniel Wilson
- Where is My Jet Pack? -Daniel Wilson
- Day of the Oprichniks - Vladimir Sorokin
- Ice Trilogy - Vladimir Sorokin
- First Civilizations
- Oscar Wilde -Andre Maurois
- The Beats - Harvey Pekar, et al
- SDS - Harvey Pekar, et al
- The Unfinished Animal - Theodore Roszak
- Friends of Eddy Coyle
- Brooklands -Emily Barton
- Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahme-Smith - Entertaining and historical
- Dictionary of the Khazars - Pavic
- Sloth-Gilbert Hernandez
- War and Peace- Leo Tolstoy
- Charles Addams: An Evilution
- Life in Ancient Greece
- Time - Eva Hoffmann
- Violence - S. Zizek
- Luba - a graphic novel by Gilbert Hernandez
- Life in Ancient Egypt
- Great Apes - Will Self - riveting and disturbing
- Lost Honor of Katherina Blum - Heinrich Boll - could not put it down
- Yellow Back Radio Brokedown - Ishmael Reed (author deserving of new wide readership)
- Living in Ancient Mesopotomia
- Landscape in Concrete - Jakov Lind - surreal
- 'There Once Lived A Woman Who Tried To Kill Her Neighbor's Baby'-Ludmilla Petrushevskaya - creepy stories - translation feels literarily "thin"
- Mythologies - William Butler Yeats (re-read again & again)
- How German Is It ? - Walter Abish
- The Book of Genesis - illustrated by R. Crumb - visionary
- "Flags" - an illustrated encyclopedia - wish I could remember all of these. Flag culture
- Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut
- Ubik - Philip K. Dick
- Nobody's Fool - Richard Russo
- Hitler's Empire - Mark Mazower
- Nazi Culture - various authors
- Master Plan: Himmler 's Scholars and the Holocaust - Heather Pringle
- Eichmann in Jerusalem - Hannah Arendt
- Living in Ancient Rome
- Traveling with Herodotus -R. Kapuszynsky
- Oblivion - David Foster Wallace - Some of his greatest work
- Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace - still wrestling with this great book
- Netherland - Joseph O'Neill - staggeringly great read
- Renegade - The Obama Campaign - Richard Wolffe
- Mount Analogue - Rene Daumal
- John Brown
- Anathem - Neal Stephenson - love Stephenson but tough slogging first few chapters
- 7 Deadly Sins
- ALEX COX - Alex Cox
- FIASCO by Thomas Ricks
- I, Fellini - Charlotte Chandler & Federico Fellini
- Best of 20th century alternative history fiction
- Judah P. Benjamin - Eli Evans - Confederacy's Secretary of State & source of the W.C. Field's exclamation
- Moscow 2042 - Vladimir Voinovich - Pre-1989 curiosity & entertaining sci fi read; love his portrayal of Solzhenitsyn-like character
- Gomorrah - Roberto Saviano - Mafia without the It-Am sugar coating. Brutal & disturbing
- The Sack of Rome - Celebrity+Media+Money=Silvio Berlusconi - Alexander Stille
- Reporting - David Remnick - terrific journalism
- Indignation - Philip Roth
- Let's Go Italy! 2008
- Italian Phrases for Dummies
- How to Pack
- Violence - Slavoj Zizek
- Dali: Painting & Film
- The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight - Jimmy Breslin
- The Good Rat - Jimmy Breslin
- Spook Country - William Gibson
- A Blue Hand - The Beats in India - Deborah Baker
- The Metaphysical Club - Louis Menard
- Coast of Utopia - Tom Stoppard
- Physics of the Impossible - Dr. Michio Kaku
- Managing the Unexpected - Weick & Sutcliffe
- Wait Til The Midnight Hour - Writings on Black Power
- Yellow Back Radio Brokedown - Ishmael Reed
- Burning Down the Masters' House - Jayson Blair
- Howl - Allen Ginsberg
- Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
- The Palace Thief - Ethan Canin
- John Adams - David McCullough
- The Wooden Sea - Jonathan Carroll
- American Gangster - Mark Jacobson
- Return of the King - J.R.R. Tolkien
- Gawker Guide to Becoming King of All Media
- Jews and Power - Ruth Wisse
- Youth Without Youth - Mircea Eliade
- A Team of Rivals - Doris Goodwin
- Ghost Hunters -William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death - Deborah Blum
- Dream -Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy - Stephen Duncombe
- Love & Theft - Eric Lott
- Exit Ghost - Philip Roth
- Studio A - The Bob Dylan Reader
- Alexi Murdoch Wait
- Wilco Summer Teeth
- Wilco The Album
- Carmina Burana - Ray Manzarek (& Michael Riesmann)
- Polyrock - Polyrock
- 96 Tears - Garland Jeffries
- Ghost of a Chance Garland Jeffries
- Yellow Magic Orchestra
- Mustang Sally Buddy Guy
- John Lee Hooker
- Black and White Years
- Together Through Life - B. Dylan
- 100 Days 100 Nites - Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
- DYLAN: 3 disc Greatest...
- Glassworks - Philip Glass
- Wild Palms - Soundtrack -Ryuichi Sakamoto
- Dinah Washington - Best of..
- Commander Cody& His Lost Planet Airmen Live at Armadillo