Book of the Month

Michael Maiello's picture

Freedom to Defend...

I had high hopes for this op-ed called "Freedom to Offend Everyone" but Nesrine Malik has completely confirmed my otherwise irrational belief that non-Americans don't understand how freedom of expression works at all, ever, in any context. Malik concludes, wrongly:

"Those who fancy themselves defenders of free speech must be consistent in their absolutism, and stand up for offensive speech no matter who is the target." [Read more]

Wattree's picture

Princeton Scientific Study: America is No Longer a Democracy; It’s Now an Oligarchy

A scientific study done at Princeton University indicates that the United States is no longer a Democracy. The country has now morphed into an Oligarchy. That means that the nation is no longer controlled by the people. It is now controlled by a handful of wealthy and powerful puppet masters. It also means that we are no longer in a race war; we are now in a class war. Thus, the poor and middle class, of EVERY race, are now the new niggas. So wake up, America, while you still have a chance of fighting back.
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Michael Maiello's picture

Your Charming Tax Receipt

If you'd like to see where your tax dollars are going, the White House will show you. When I entered the median income of $50,000 for a filer with one child, that the filer paid $1,776 in income tax, assuming non-itemized filing. What an auspicious number. [Read more]

Richard Day's picture

DIAPERS FOR 15TH AMENDMENT PURPOSES

DO NOT THROW ASPERSIONS ON MY ASPARAGUS! [Read more]

During the 2012 presidential election, voters reportedly waited on line for upwards of six hours. That wait alone is enough to deter would-be voters from going to the polls. But now residents in Florida’s most populous county will have another disincentive: they won’t be able to go to the bathroom.

Earlier this year, the Miami-Dade County Elections Department quietly implemented a policy to close the bathrooms at all polling facilities, according to disability rights lawyer Marc Dubin. Dubin said the policy change was in “direct response” to an inquiry to the Elections Department about whether they had assessed accessibility of polling place bathrooms to those with disabilities.
Michael Maiello's picture

How To Misread Flash Boys

Be David Brooks

One lesson of this tale is that capitalism doesn’t really work when it relies on the profit motive alone. If everybody is just chasing material self-interest, the invisible hand won’t lead to well-functioning markets. It will just lead to arrangements in which market insiders take advantage of everybody else. Capitalism requires the full range of motivation, including the intrinsic drive for knowledge and fairness.

This is the reasonable sounding "just getting started" paragraph, but you no doubt see the problem... [Read more]

Ramona's picture

Will the Real God Please Stand Up

I don't know God personally, of course, but it's a good bet He isn't looking kindly upon His follower, Tristan Emmanuel, who was out there defending His Good Name by calling for the flogging or hanging of a comedian (a comedian) because this "pugnacious degenerate" made some jokes about God and the proven nature of His wrath. (Proven, I should mention, because the Old Testament is full of stories about a God who is just scary angry. It's all in there.)
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Doctor Cleveland's picture

Copyright vs. Truth

The family of the poet Ted Hughes has just "withdrawn permission" for Hughes's biographer to quote from his papers and letters, including papers and letters that the family has already sold to the British Library. The biographer, who's been working on this book for years, has already read those papers. He knows what's in them. But he is no longer allowed to tell us what he knows. How can this be? Copyright law.
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Michael Maiello's picture

Conservatives Should Be Angry At Brendan Eich

Brendan Eich was appointed CEO of Mozilla, his donation in support of Prop 8, a proposed anti-same sex marriage in California came to light, many Mozilla employees and users loudly objected to the boss's politics and Eich stepped down. [Read more]

William K. Wolfrum's picture

Welcome to the Age of Narcissism

Humans have always been an extremely narcissistic bunch. Look at religion. A large swathe of humanity believes that there is a God - an actual God - who knows their name, address and Social Security number. And this God - with all the options of a God open - chooses to spend its time thinking about them.

 

Now that's having a high opinion of oneself.  [Read more]

Wattree's picture

About the Value and Excellence of Jazz

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

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Michael Maiello's picture

Everybody Knows The Dice Are Loaded...


At Gawker, Hamilton Nolan takes on some of the backlash against Michael Lewis which is coming from industry insiders and financial journalists yawning that the issues surrounding high frequency trading are old hat at this point and hardly cutting edge enough to make a bestselling book from. [Read more]

jollyroger's picture

Mother guilty of felony poverty-loses kids, goes to jail

Faced with the policy conundrum that is posed by the choice of directing public funds towards free childcare or prison for mom and institutionalization for kids, Arizona makes the predictable and catastrophic choice.

Most of you will have heard the devastatingly sad story of Shanesha Taylor, an unemployed and homeless single mother of two, who miraculously was granted an interview for that job that Bill Clinton decided was the answer to ending "welfare as we knew it."

She had no place to leave her toddler and infant for the 45 minute interview, so she took a desperate chance. [Read more]

Richard Day's picture

CONSENSUS

ANTHROPOLOGY

I recall in the late 1960's that Anthropology professors discussed the problem involved in 'aging' the primates in this NEW WORLD.

Well the 'consensus' was that 13,000 years ago, Homo Sapiens crept into our New World via the Siberian whatever....

The latest ice age gave a land cross from Siberia to the Americas (read Canada) and from that land cross, people from the East found a new home. [Read more]

Wattree's picture

WHY I LOVE BEING BLACK

I absolutely LOVE being Black - and I'm not just saying that because it's expected of me. While I have the ultimate respect for the unique character of every race and ethnicity, if I'm reincarnated a thousand times, I want to come back Black each and every one of them.
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Being Black in America gives one an education and perspective on life that you can't get anywhere else. That's not widely recognized, because public attention is often focused on the most dysfunctional in the Black community. But contrary to popular belief, that might not be an altogether bad thing, because it allows the excellence within the Black community time to incubate, untainted by the public eye. That's what allowed Barack Obama to explode upon the world stage as a fully developed powerhouse, and there are hordes of others just like him who are currently incubating in Black cocoons in suburbs and inner cities all over America. [Read more]

GOP Backs Casino Mogul's Nanny State

Republicans team up with casino mogul Sheldon Adelson to meet a major threat to America and Americans in the 21st century. A problem that can no longer be ignored, delayed or kicked down the road. Not outdated infrastructure, or collapsing bridges. Not climate change. Not immigration reform or health care reform. Not skyrocketing student debt loads. Not a myriad of other issues you might think deserve attention.
 
Internet gambling. And internet poker too, which the GOP believes is wreaking havoc from coast to coast!! Believe it!!
 [Read more]
Michael Maiello's picture

Crowdrobbing

Today, Mark Zuckerberg took some of the money raised in Facebook's IPO and used it to buy the immersive experience of Oculus, something of an iPad that you jam onto your face so that you can wander around in your own personal Holodeck.  That's right, I'm old and this technology scares me. What's next, laser swords? [Read more]

Ramona's picture

Ye Auld New America: Didn't We Go Down This Road Before?

 
Working for someone else, fingers to the bone with no expectation of decent wages or a foothold on the ladder, is back in vogue here in America.   Even your big deal congresspersons will tell you that.  There are no greater patriots than the country's laborers, and the very, very finest--the finest patriots of all--are those who have no use for unions. The best patriot/workers understand that in America it's All for One and None for All.
 [Read more]

Michael Maiello's picture

The Data Haunted World

The one somewhat decent idea I had during theatre history class many years ago was that Aristotle's Poetics had managed to identify nothing more than a Tragic Mean and that if a writer followed Aristotle's rules perfectly they were more likely to write something average than remarkable.  Around this time I was also taking a lot of writing classes and reading books by people who offered structural advice for writers -- it was all based on Aristotle, though updated.  Aristotle told us what all the memorable Greek tragedies had in common.  Syd Field told us what all of the Hollywood blockbusters had in common.  Art is about knowing when to follow the rules and when to break them. [Read more]

Michael Maiello's picture

Titus on Wall Street

A couple of years back I started writing a bunch of short sketches where old stories, with some of the old tropes, found themselves recast in modern times.  It all ended with Troy! Troy! Troy! a retelling of the Trojan War with the twist that faulty intelligence led the Greeks to invade Troy only to wind up in a quagmire after learning that Helen was never there.  As it turns out, Euripides beat me to this premise by a rather long margin. [Read more]

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