I mentioned previously that I had recently started a new book about the conception and construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. As it turns out, the bridge was the brainchild of the Prussian immigrant architect/engineer/genius named John Roebling. The construction was overseen by himself and his son Washington Roebling, who evidently was equally gifted. John actually passed away pretty early on in the construction phase, after complications related to an injury he sustained at the construction site.
Apparently, at the time, the majority of Brooklyn belonged to the democratic party. The political control seemed to lie predominantly with the Irish immigrants. John Roebling, in addition to all of his other attributes was a very strongly opinionated fellow. In Roebling’s opinion, the Irish democrats did not share his same strong feelings about the bridge. When they would walk off the job demanding higher pay, Roebling would fire them, and hire Germans immigrants, to replace them. While referring to this matter, Roebling once stated:
No democrat can be trusted, they are all disloyal and treacherous, more or less.
Hahahaha. To me, the best part about Roebling’s statement, is that I can think of a few prominent right wing talking heads who are still trying to push that generalization as fact. I’m pretty sure you know who I’m talking about.
As of yesterday, with Hillary Clinton’s mishap, all four of the women above have suffered a broken bone, caused by a trip and fall, in the last two weeks. What’s going on here? It’s summer. There isn’t even any ice on the ground. See if you can name the other three individuals pictured above without looking them up.
Normally I like to leave posts about Politics and Economic woe, for allupinyour.biz, but I saw this graphic today on Animal New York, and it got me thinking.
The amount of money represented in the graphic above, is one billion dollars. One trillion dollars is one thousand times what you see in the picture. That’s a lot of cash. Ok, now that you have the mental image of one trillion dollars, try to put it into a practical example. I hate Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh as much as the next guy, but Rove has published a couple of articles recently that have really gotten under my skin (not because of the author). The reason they bothered me, is because the content of the articles, points to all of the discrepancies of the campaigning Obama, vs. Commander in Chief Obama. Today, a different Carl, sent me the link to an WSJ Op. Ed. piece authored by Rove. A lot of it was repeat content of an article published earlier this week, also authored by Rove, dealing with bait and switch. But the part of today’s article that blew my mind, was the following:
Not even Team Obama can forestall unpleasant reality. And among those America now faces is Mr. Obama adding $3.2 trillion to the national debt in his first 20 months and 11 days in office, eclipsing the $2.9 trillion added during the Bush presidency’s entire eight years.
Whoa! $2.9T is a lot any way you slice it. But to Bush’s credit, it was spread over 8 years, including all of the 911 and war crap. The Obama administration is a runaway train and the boiler fire is being stoked by pallets full of money. 20 months?!!! $3.2 trillion?!! Ok, so now take the money in the picture, multiply it by 1 thousand, then multiply that by 3.2. It may just be my limited imagination, but I’m having a hard time even picturing the image of 1 thousand times what is in the graphic. Was this really the kind of change that we were looking for?
Earlier this week, I came across this quote by John Adams, in the book I’m currenty reading. It was taken from one of his writings contemplating the post British rule, state of the Colonies. He wrote:
We may please ourselves with the prospect of free and popular governments. But there is a great danger that those governments will not make us happy. God grant they may. But I fear that in every assembly, members will obtain an influence by noise, not sense. By meanness, not greatness. By ignorance, not leaning. By contracted hears, not large souls.
I could not agree more. But I really appreciate the fact that he has the character to follow up the above statement with this observation:
There must be decency and respect, and veneration introduced for persons of authority of every rank, or we are undone. In a popular government, this is our only way.
The second part is a lot more difficult to practice, even if you agree with it. I will try to reflect on it, every time that I start to get annoyed about the guy in the governors mansion. The guy who nobody voted for, wearing jogging shorts, with his feet up on the desk.
I’m really seeing the fruits of that hard fought stimulus package, right about now. Or maybe this is just a reaction to Oscars, Hahahah. Wouldn’t it be awesome if bankers had a Wall Street equivalent of Hollywood’s Oscars? All of the Wall Street players could have a big televised party where they get together, blow smoke up each other’s arses and give each other awards on TV. Don’t forget to mix in some extremely biased political views during the award speeches. Why not? I feel like Bernie Madoff and John Thain are probably as notorious as Sean Penn, these days. Forgive my cynicism. Sometimes, I just can’t help but let it fly.
The iconic “Hope” image that was created and distributed by Fairey, during the Obama campaign, was tracked back to an Associated Press photo taken by Mannie Garcia, on assignment by AP. The AP is now suing Fairey, claiming copyright infringement. Can you image the can of worms that is liable to open? Anyone who has done a stencil, can now owe royalties to the photographer who produced the picture it was taken from? Is the guy who took the Andre the Giant photo that Fairey modeled his “Obey” campaign on, now going to come out of the woodwork demanding cash?
Fairey’s lawyers argue that there is no infringement, under the “fair use” doctrine. I feel kind of bad for the guy. I hope that he doesn’t lose this one. Can you imagine the kind of damages that he would have to pay? That “Hope” piece was EVERYWHERE. I hope that if he does lose, that the court at least takes into account the fact that the profit generated from the piece, was primarily used to print and distribute more copies.
Here is the AP photo and the Fairey piece, side by side. You be the judge.
Billy Bragg is one of those guys who you can tell is pretty cool, but you can’t tell exactly why. When I first heard his music, I thought it was hilarious. The biggest reason, was the heavy re-verb, mixed with the heavy cockney accent. He was a one man show. Just him and a electric guitar, sans effects (unless you count re-rerb). Eventually, I did get into his music. Mostly because people I respected, thought his stuff was so great. C. Burt was probably the person who introduced me to Bragg. In this picture, he is performing with Johnny Marr from The Smiths, who I was a huge fan of. Bragg is also referenced in Tim Armstrong (of Operation Ivy and Rancid) lyrics. In “The War’s End” by Rancid, Armstrong sings about the father of little Sammy the punkrocker, going into Sammy’s room and smashing his Billy Bragg record, because he didn’t want Sammy to hear that “communist lecture.” Even though Bragg’s lyrics are political, it wasn’t exactly Communism that he was preaching. Interestingly enough, Bragg was actually part of a group called the “Red Wedge,” which promoted the Labour Party. Anyway, I think that this song is so great. It’s called the “The Milkman of Human Kindness.” It is the first track from his “Back to Basics” album. Give it a listen, if you feel so inclined.