Thursday, July 30, 2009

"...*Could* Face Decline" ... ya THINK?!?

Enh, higher education just makes people ask too many questions anyway. LA Times: 07/31/09 California's Higher Education System Could Face Decline.

Higher education should never be only for the wealthy. California had a beautiful promise of affordable higher education for all who wanted it, and it has been whittled away by apathy. Note to the lovely citizens of this state: better to build schools, saves money on prisons.

Sand Cinema from Ukraine

Creativity like this restores my faith in humanity.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How Taxes are Good

People have come to equate "taxes" with "evil". The fact is without taxes we would not have roads, schools, prisons, a legal system that, at least in theory, is unbiased; killer-catchers, fire- fighters, parks, public beaches, air quality control, health inspectors for restaurants, running water, sewer systems, flood channels that keep the city from flooding every storm season, or someone to rescue you when you have perpetrated the terrible sin of making a nearly fatal mistake of any kind.

And if you are so unfortunate as to die for any reason, it's tax money that carries your body to a nice cool place where it won't rot on the street and disturb the neighbors. Taxes are good if well spent. Life is expensive. Payment should be fair, and there is much debate about the definition of fairness, but next time someone dismisses taxes as simply wrong or bad, consider providing ballast.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

KMET Reincarnated

I'm still mad at "the wave" for killing KMET in the late 80's. But KMET's been reincarnated as its old self, which also means it's open to new stuff and variety: They stream live. (KSWD 100.3)

Back in the day, LA had two main rock stations. KLOS and KMET. KMET was way more groovy. KLOS was fine, but KMET had that extra welcoming vibe. It had that friendly feel that you get hanging out with your best friends at the cool after-party.

Then came the tsunami of mediocrity, "the wave": mellifluous meandering "new age" wind chimey faux jazz watered down ambient and simpy. Did I mention I'm still mad?

I suppose I can let it go now, turns out the good guys may have been down, but they were not out. Maybe they just swam along the shore long enough to get clear of the undertow to land on the shore a little further up the dial.

There is no Styrofoam here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wynton Ain't Hintin'

Listen to this for some motivation and validation for artistic and humanitarian impulses:

It's Wynton Marsalis' doing a commencement speech and this links to an mp3.

PS: It seems their server crashed tonight. If the above doesn't work, try this. Scroll down a little to where it says:

AUDIO: Listen to Wynton Marsalis's full commencement address as he intended to give on June 19, 2009.

The video is not as good - it was raining and he cut his presentation short.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

the plane dream

On a jet flight, the sound of engines is replaced by the poetry of dreams and the beauty of nature. Plus there's like, the key to almost everything in this thing.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Prop. 13: My Mother's Prediction is Now Upon Us

My mother is vindicated! 30 years ago, when CA Proposition 13 passed, as it was announced on the news, she stood, pointed at the TV and said, "This will be the undoing of the middle class and it's gonna kill the schools!"

She now profits from the law that kept her property taxes from skyrocketing as her home increased in value, but it gives a hollow satisfaction. So does the vindication.

Why won't conservatives see this kind of trouble coming? It's so obvious: if you don't pay taxes, you can't have stuff like schools, roads, police, firefighters, management of the city and its businesses... if you don't pay taxes, where does the money come from? Oh, wait: it doesn't.

Read this article in TIME online.