February 19th, 2017
shorina: (Letter)
Das dachte ich mir so einfach. Mal eben für einen Fanfiction-Exchange anmelden. Das "mal eben" hat fast drei Stunden gedauert. Das war aber auch eine endlose Liste Tags, aus denen ich auswählen konnte. 4-10 für jedes Fandom bei bis zu 10 Wünschen und Angeboten. Puh!

Aber: Ich habe schon ein oder zwei mögliche Empfänger. Jetzt schon. :-)) Und bis die Anmeldefrist abläuft, findet sich bestimmt auch noch ein Autor, der für mich schreibt. Sonst könnte ich sogar auch noch meine Wunschliste erweitern. Ich halte mal ein Auge auf die Zusammenfassung der Anmeldungen.
Mood:: 'horny' horny

Posted by The Voice

7 bestMany thanks to the  14,700 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

P-9: What Labour just don’t get about Stoke-on-Trent (19 comments) by Ed Fordham

Brexit – a view from the Continent (48 comments) by Robert Harrison

The campaign against Brexit continues (36 comments) by Nick Hopkinson

Breaking: Stoke on Trent Lib Dems challenge Labour to condemn “offensive and illegal texts” (20 comments) by The Voice

Donald Trump, Twitter and Distraction (11 comments) by Caron Lindsay

Labour leaflet: It’s a lie to say Labour opposes Brexit (22 comments) by Caron Lindsay

Tony Blair is on our side. Eek! (64 comments) by Caron Lindsay

Remember: LibDemVoice is our place to talk. So if you’ve got something you want to say, please join in the debate or start one yourself by writing for us.

the_rck: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] the_rck at 10:56am on 19/02/2017 under , ,
The local school district issues one large book that lists the classes at all the high schools rather than separate books for each school. My guess is that this is because students can take classes at other schools if they can figure out how to get there and back in the time they have. The instructions as to what is necessary to graduate aren’t nearly as clear as I’d like and don’t deal with the fact that the school Cordelia will likely attend, Skyline, does trimesters while all of the other schools do semesters. That’s got to change credit requirements for graduation and make taking classes at other schools really challenging.

We ended up leaving for the used book store about 3:00 and getting there about 3:40. We stayed about an hour which wasn’t nearly long enough for me to get through all of the sections I wanted to look at even though there really wasn’t all that much in any of those sections. I looked at children’s books, paperback mysteries, and general fiction paperbacks. Before I got through that last section, Cordelia was urging me to hurry up so that we could go home.

I had a ten page list of authors and titles I wanted to look for. I found four books from it. I wasn’t helped by the fact that I was mostly looking for fiction and the store skews very, very heavily to non-fiction. One of the other two stores specializes in paperback fiction, but it’s in the process of closing down, doing a clearance sale, so Scott thought going there might not be worthwhile. I think Cordelia might find that more interesting since it might actually have more than fifty books aimed at teens.

I poked around on BookMooch a bit last night. I haven’t sent anything out there in about eight years, but I had about ninety points left. Books from folks in the US cost one point. I went through my ten page list and found about fifteen things. I’m trying to decide whether or not I want to offer some of the books I want to get rid of that aren’t worth selling there. Mailing things is a serious PITA, though, and things I really want don’t tend to come up. But it would mean that, if the books went out, they’d go to someone who actually wanted them.

I couldn’t get Ingress to open at all during the time we were out of the house. Scott got in, but I never managed to. I could still get at everything else associated with that Gmail address, so I’m pretty sure it was an Ingress problem. The app kept telling me that that address couldn’t be used and that I should use a different address, but it would then kick me out without giving me the option to do anything at all.

Naturally, as soon as we got home, it opened just fine.

Posted by The Voice

One of the things we can be most proud of is that we ensured that this country was committed in law to providing 0.7% of GDP in foreign aid to provide things like food, humanitarian aid, water, schooling and protection for women and girls at risk of abuse to the poorest places on the planet.

Now it seems that the Brexiteers in government plan to divert some of that money to EU countries to advance our position in the Brexit negotiations. That doesn’t strike us as being what it’s for.

Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesperson Tom Brake has called the plans a disgrace:

It is a disgrace this government is considering taking money away from the world’s poorest countries in a desperate attempt to claw back support in Europe.

This is a sign of how weak their current negotiating position is.

The Liberal Democrats are proud to have enshrined the 0.7% aid target into law.

Britain’s commitment to helping the poor and vulnerable should not be sacrificed on the altar of a hard Brexit.

pensnest: knitted sweater close up, caption: it's all in the details (Knitting details)
lamentables: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] lamentables at 02:07pm on 19/02/2017 under
cryptic message

Friday was Mr L's regularly scheduled day off, so he accompanied Percy and me. And again we cut through the allotments and over the style, to avoid sheepdogs. It was my last day of dog walking duty for now, but Percy seemed untroubled by this.

percy
lamentables: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] lamentables at 02:03pm on 19/02/2017 under
stripes

Another day, but the same bad timing. My anxiety about a terrifying dog fight exceeded my concerns about navigating a style/stream combo with Percy, so we cut through the allotments. The style turned out to be quite easy for a small dog to circumnavigate and he couldn't care less about walking through the bogginess on the other side. Phew.
It was so mild on Thursday that I went out in just a short-sleeved t-shirt. (With trousers and boots, obvs.)
lamentables: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] lamentables at 01:53pm on 19/02/2017 under
trouble

Actually it was trouble with dogs on Wednesday. My timing was all wrong, so I was trying to walk Percy along the path between fields of sheep just when the shepherd was out with the dogs, feeding and moving the sheep. Percy is a sweetie, but he tends to go beserk around other dogs and whilst he might be all bark, I can't be sure of that and it scares me. The sheepdogs also tend to bark aggressively and I've been told only recently that one of the shepherd's dogs bit a neighbour. All in all, that was a walk of far too much anxiety.

Posted by Caron Lindsay

When Liberal Democrats have talked about offering a referendum on the Brexit deal, they have had tonnes of abuse shovelled at them from outraged Brexiteers. We’re undemocratic, they say. We’re not willing to accept the will of the people. How on earth giving the people a say on whether their government has interpreted their wishes correctly is undemocratic is beyond me, but to the Boris Johnsons, and Iain Duncan Smiths and Theresa Mays of this world, it makes sense. That would be the people with power who don’t want it challenged.

Tony Blair is the latest figure to come in for the disapproval of the Brexiteer zealots, which now appear to include the Labour leadership. I’ll just leave this tweet from Robert Hutton here, just as an aside:

What’s interesting is that Tony Blair didn’t say much different what Nick Clegg and Tim Farron have been saying since the referendum. It’s hardly surprising that both Liberal Democrats expressed approval.

We can be absolutely certain that had the vote on 23rd June been 52-48 in favour of Remain that the Leave campaign would have been arguing for a second referendum already.

But a referendum on the Brexit deal is an entirely different thing. So what did Vote Leave have to say about that? Well, in January 2016, before we even knew the date of the referendum, Vote Leave’s director Dominic Cummings, the guy who came up with the £350 million a week for the NHS pledge which was dumped within hours of the result being known, gave an interview to the Economist. Twitter is full today of how this is still being linked to from the Vote Leave website.

Vote Leave, he said, would not oppose a referendum on the terms of exit from the EU and in fact that there was a “strong democratic case” for it:

BAGEHOT: In the event of an Out vote do you think the government would seek to hold another referendum, on the terms of Brexit?

DOMINIC CUMMINGS: I think that is a distinct possibility, yes. It’s obviously not something that we can force. We’re a campaign group. But I think it is perfectly possible that leadership candidates to replace David Cameron will say that they think there are good grounds for a new government team to offer the public a voice on what the deal looks like. And we obviously wouldn’t oppose that, if that’s what senior politicians want to offer. I think there’s a strong democratic case for it. There’s also the issue of the profound loss of trust that the establishment has suffered over the past 20-30 years. All parties have told lies about this subject, whether it’s John Major and David Cameron or Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and Nick Clegg. People have repeatedly promised referendums then not held referendums. So given that, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if leadership candidates to replace Cameron said: we need a mechanism so people can have confidence in what we say.

It’s funny how things change. I hope that this quote from Cummings will feature heavily in the forthcoming Lords debate.

The British people need to assert themselves to secure their say on this most important decision in our lifetimes. Those of us who can see the disaster that Brexit will bring must bring out that Obamaesque “Yes we can” attitude as we do all we can to change hearts and minds in our workplaces, families, amongst our friends and in our communities.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

rfmcdonald: (photo)
Celebrating Montreal 375 at City Hall


These golden doors of the Hôtel de Ville were framed by these banners advertising Montreal 375, this year's celebration of the 375th anniversary of Montréal's foundation.
rfmcdonald: (photo)
posted by [personal profile] rfmcdonald at 07:56am on 19/02/2017 under , ,
CN Tower
posted by [syndicated profile] slacktivist_feed at 11:23am on 19/02/2017

Posted by Fred Clark

"Almighty, give attention to us who are suffering grievously from an impious and profane man, puffed up in his audacity and power. For you, the creator of all things and the governor of all, are a just ruler, and you judge those who have done anything in insolence and arrogance."
tanaqui: Illumiinated letter T (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tanaqui at 12:06pm on 19/02/2017 under , , , ,
Again, it's been a week with some good "wins" in among new awfulness. As this article about the collapse of Andrew Puzder's nomination as Labor Secretary points out (thanks to Snickfic for the link), the resistance is having an effect.

So what next?

Muslim Ban/Immigration

The White House seems to have realized it's not going to succeed in court with the original Executive Order and is talking about issuing a new, slightly more limited version of the order, though legal analysts think the courts will still maintain the restraining order preventing its implementation.

Meanwhile, ICE seem to be pushing at limits imposed by policies from the Obama administration, detaining a DACA recipient and stripping him of his DACA status, picking up immigrants outside churches and arresting a victim of domestic violence when she was attending a court hearing.

Check for protest marches and rallies
Sign the petition to respect "sensitive locations", including churches
Donate to these organisations
Check our Muslim Ban and Immigration tags for organisations that need donations or other kinds of support.

Confirmation Hearings

Scott Pruitt was approved as head of the EPA, despite protests from EPA insiders, but Andrew Puzder withdrew as nominee for Secretary of Labor after his many horrible and hypocritical actions were highlighted. Meanwhile, Trump seems to be struggling to find someone to take on the National Security Advisor role after Mike Flynn was pushed out over his Russian connections. Snickfic has linked to some good background reading about all of this in this link roundup

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is losing staff either because they failed background checks or because they were fired for past disloyalty to Trump.

No new confirmation hearings have been scheduled for next week so far, but we'll keep you posted on any developments.

Get involved

Add a report on Town Hall or other recess action to defend ACA to the Indivisible/OFA database
Figure out the local impact of legislation so you can include it when you protest to representatives (via Snickfic's link roundup)
Defend Voting Rights (two links in Snickfic's roundup)
Know your rights and don't let the police take them away from you
Track down your "invisible" representatives - members of Congress who haven't scheduled Town Halls

Get educated

As always, don't forget to check our What's Next? Resources Roundup (and the comments) for more links and [personal profile] snickfic's terrific link roundup posts. Remember that you can use the comments to add more links.

Housekeeping Note

We're a bit behind on tagging, so feel free to tag your own posts if there are a suitable tags available. (Put a request in the post or in the Suggestions Post, or shoot the mods a PM, if you'd like us to create a tag.)

Poll #18008 The Week
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 6


This Week, I...

View Answers

called my one senator
1 (33.3%)

called my other senator
0 (0.0%)

called my representative
0 (0.0%)

got on a resistance call
0 (0.0%)

signed up for daily or weekly action alerts
0 (0.0%)

called my state senator
0 (0.0%)

called my state representative
1 (33.3%)

called my governor
0 (0.0%)

went to a protest
0 (0.0%)

got involved with a local group
1 (33.3%)

View Answers

sent a postcard/email/letter
3 (60.0%)

donated money
2 (40.0%)

took care of myself
2 (40.0%)

committed to action in the coming week
2 (40.0%)

did something else
3 (60.0%)


legionseagle: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] legionseagle at 11:44am on 19/02/2017
Happy birthday, [personal profile] lilliburlero

Posted by NewsHound

Liberal Democrats have been talking a lot about health and social care this week. In the Yorkshire Post, Norman Lamb argues for an urgent change of direction to give the NHS a sustainable future which meets our needs.

First he seems out the crisis facing the NHS.

But it seems this Conservative Government has become increasingly ambivalent to the state of our health service. In Yorkshire, vital A&E wards in Dewsbury, Huddersfield and Scarborough are all at risk of being closed or downgraded – it’s the same over the border at Darlington. Communities are set to face even longer waits for emergency care, including those in rural areas who may soon have to travel hours to receive treatment. These changes are happening for a simple reason – this Conservative government is failing to give the NHS and care services the cash they need to cope with rising demand. To make matters worse, local people on the ground are not being given a say into these decisions which will have a huge impact on their lives. The stark reality is that we are seeing the gradual downgrading of our health service taking place behind closed doors.

He attacked the use of well-paid consultancy firms drawing up cuts in services with no consultation of the public.

So what is the solution? It’s two-fold. First of all a cross party commission:

To overcome these problems, we need to work across party divides and have a full and frank debate that fully involves local communities across the country. That is why I am calling for a cross-party NHS and Care Convention to engage the public with the aim of delivering a long-term settlement for the NHS and care. I have launched a petition which now has over 16,000 signatures, calling on Theresa May to urgently seek a cross-party solution to the health and care crisis.

And it isn’t going to come free:

The public are crying out for politicians to stop shouting at each other, and instead work together to make difficult decisions to ensure that patients get the right care and treatment. That should include being honest with the public about the scale of the funding gap that our health service faces. To secure the long-term future of the NHS and care, we may all have to pay a little more in tax. The Liberal Democrats are prepared to make that case. We hope that others will join us in making it too.

You can read the whole article here.

* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary published in print or online.

oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 11:31am on 19/02/2017
Happy birthday, [personal profile] lilliburlero!
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)

That e’en after dinner (sure Arabella shows exceedingly) we have a little dancing, with Miss MIllick playing the piano for us, 'tis extreme agreeable and I see quite delights Hester to watch us about it.

When 'tis done, Sandy and I are besought to undertake a little reading for the company. I have been about the library to find some plays that are not Shakspeare, to supply a little variety, and give 'em Mrs Malaprop, that is lik’d exceedingly. There is a proposal that mayhap on the morrow, we might read some play, or part of one, together? 'Tis a pleasing thought.

'Tis also desir’d that Lord O- tells us more of his adventures, that mightily impress the company. (Sure the morrow I must convoke with him about this matter of writing 'em down.)

I sleep most exceeding peacefull and wake only when Sophy comes bring my chocolate.

I ask her how she does in the household, and she says, o, Your Ladyship, most excellent well, Lorimer and Brownlee show exceeding hospitable and they sit together about their sewing and talk of their profession. And there is no saucyness from the menservants.

I am pleas’d to hear it, says I. And as 'tis still quite early of the morn, I will go take a little ride afore breakfast.

'Tis most exceeding pleasant, and I return with a fine appetite.

Sebastian K- is also at table. He says, sure 'tis shocking ton to raise such a matter during this very agreeable house-party, but he apprehends that I go visit my lead-mine, and indeed, they, that is, he and his father, would be most interest’d in establishing a business connexion in the matter, so would desire to be beforehand.

Why, says I, those matters are in the hands of the manager, an excellent fellow, one Mr M-, but do you say a little more to me concerning the business, I will open it to him during my visit there. Do you wait but a little while while I go change, and get my little memorandum book, and we may discourse a little on the matter.

So we do so, walking up and down and around the rose-garden, and proceed from a discussion of that very usefull mineral lead to how matters go with the polish factory, and about Euphemia and Seraphine’s preserves and pickles, and how exceeding prepossessing Herr P- comes on in the matter of business in Germany. 'Tis gratifying.

He then says, sure he would greatly enjoy further converse, but has been promis’d a lesson in archery that he should not wish to miss. Seems quite the crack at present.

Indeed, says I, was very popular at the Q- house-party, and Lady Emily is quite entire Maid Marian.

He goes off to where the butt has been set up.

I see that Hester has been wheel’d out in her chair to sit beside the fountain – 'tis clear she relishes this most extreme, and would sit out in the sunlight all day.

I walk over to her. She looks at my pretty muslin and sighs a little and says, you are always so well-dresst, dear C-, but sure must be exceeding dull for Brownlee to have to deal with my dull wardrobe.

Why, my dear Hester, there is no need at all for your wardrobe to be dull, just because you do not go about in Society. Sure does it not greatly elevate the spirits to be pleasingly dresst?

O, she cries, clasping her hands, do you think I might? Is’t possible?

I consider over this for a little. I daresay that one might contrive – a fine dressmaker might I confide come visit rather than you go to her – you are able stand a little, are you not? – she nods – so you might be measur’d and fitt’d at your convenience. Indeed I cannot see why should not answer. I will go about to desire Docket to advance your interest with Mamzelle Bridgette.

I perch upon the rim of the fountain and look at her. One may still see that at one time she must have been exceeding handsome. Sure, says I, perchance you might also have your hair dresst differently? And while I daresay you should not wish to paint, there are very fine washes and lotions for the complexion.

She sighs and says, for so many years has been her only aspiration to be clean and tidy, sure she never thought to primp. But, she says with determination, so be 'tis not vanity, she will be about it.

But, she goes on, now I am quite embarkt upon a course of self-indulgence, I will open to you another matter.

Why, says I, say on.

'Tis Milly, she says – Miss Millick, that has been governess here these many years, but that will be out of that place once Lou leaves the schoolroom. And 'tis not as tho’ we yet have a new generation ready to take up the horn-book &C. And, she continues a little sadly, I am like to suppose that Tony and Nan might desire a somewhat younger person that has more understanding of the modern ways. Now, my dear C-, I was in some notion to ask you was there any in your circles that might require a governess, but indeed, poor Milly’s age is against her and these days it seems more is expect’d. And indeed one hears that the lot of a governess may be very harsh -

Indeed, 'tis so, says I, thinking of that horrid D- family in which Ellie N- was employ’d.

- and already since Nan and Em have gone into Society, she has been acting somewhat as a companion to me, to fetch and carry, read to me am I too tir’d to read to myself, play a little musick, and such. Would it be exceeding selfish in me to desire her to remain in that capacity?

La, says I, did you desire a companion I am sure Lord U- would consider it entire proper, but might suppose you would desire some younger brisker woman –

O, she cries, I am us’d to Milly, and sure I should be distresst to cast her upon the world.

Why, says I, seems entire answerable.

Comes Arabella across the lawn with a tray, and Selina at her heels, saying she doubts not that Lady N- would like a little sustenance at about this time.

Oh, she says, that is so kind. And I hope that naughty puss has not been troubling you.

Indeed not, says Arabella, bending down to strike Selina’s head. What a fine cat she is to be sure. She and Lady N- smile at one another. She then turns to me and says, there is a collation laid in the drawing-room does Lady B- wish to partake.

Indeed, says I, this very fine air gives one a great appetite, so may I leave you to Selina’s company, my dear?

Hester smiles and says, she doubts not that Selina makes up to her for titbits and not for the pleasure of her company, the naughty creature, but indeed, do you, Lady B-, go partake.

I walk back towards the house with Arabella, that desires me to advance to Lord O- the desirability of certain improvements in the kitchens at D- Chase, for they are by no means as up to the mark as the ones at O- House.

Indeed I shall, says I, and upon going into the house make a little note in my memorandum book.

I find Lord O- in the drawing-room, that says, the archers have carry’d away a pique-nique to sit about and imitate the Merry Men in Sherwood Forest, but he is come to such an age and has spent so much time of necessity eating in such circumstance, that he prefers to sit in a chair, at a table.

I open to him Arabella’s thoughts upon kitchens - tho’ says I, I confide one might not be about improvements while you have company in the house.

Also, seeing that we are alone, I mention the Earl of I-, that was formerly Lord J-, and enquire whether he had any acquaintance with him. He shakes his head, but says he dares says there are some dubious dealings behind and there are fellows he might go sound out to discover more.

After a pause, he says, are you at leisure, Lady B-, perchance we might convoke over this matter of my writings?

Indeed, says I, 'tis an excellent time to do so.

So we go to the very agreeable room in the turret that he has set aside and furnisht as a study, that I exclaim upon considerable – has fine views and one may indeed see the archers. He hands me over some several pages and says, he can see himself that 'tis sad dry stuff, lacks that vigour that he has enjoy’d in the works of a certain Incognita Lady –

O, poo, says I, does one deal of curses and hauntings and horrid experiments the reader will read on very absorb’d.

But I con over his pages and indeed they lack that spark that animates the account when he tells it. I frown a little over the matter and sure I see points where I might present the thing more telling, just as I may when I scrutinize Josiah’s speeches for Parliament.

I then go ponder a little and say, sure I might come about to work this up, but I wonder, has he thought about who he goes address the narrative to? Did he perchance have some general reader in mind, and sit down to write as if conveying the matter in a letter, rather than as a scientifick report, just as when he tells his tales to the company he shapes 'em to their apprehension, might well answer.

Why, he says, indeed I think you hit it off, Lady B-. Sure there are already letters I writ to my poor brother, for altho’ was such a sickly fellow, greatly relisht the tales of my adventures. I had not thought of that, but indeed, do I go look 'em over – for he preserv’d 'em very carefull, the dear fellow. He sighs somewhat.

He then says, sure that is an excellent fine thought, and goes on, but indeed, should still be very gratefull might you look over my manuscript once 'tis more advanc’d, to see whether I have got the knack of the matter.

Gladly, says I.

He then makes a very generous offer of a donation to one or other of my good causes, that I am very pleas’d to accept.

tamaranth: me, in the sun (Default)
2016/75: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet -- David Mitchell

"Doctor, do you believe in the Soul’s existence?"
Marinus prepares, the clerk expects, an erudite and arcane reply.
"Yes."
"Then where . . ." Jacob indicates the pious, profane skeleton ". . . is it?"
"The soul is a verb," he impales a lit candle on a spike, "not a noun."[loc. 3042]

not significantly spoilery )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
The neofascists of 8chan loved the Trump speech, generally rating it as his second best, some his third. (4chan doesn't seem to have paid much attention and doesn't seem to care.) Fundamentally, it resonated well with his somewhat-dispirited white supremacist/authoritarian base.

Highlights for them included:
  • attacks on the press (they themselves dragged out "lugenpresse" - the Nazi-era term meaning "lying press" - again; Examples: "Pretty smart of Trump to bring out those quotes from old American Presidents about the Lügenpresse," "Is fake news the new luggenpresse?" others)
     
  • calls to restrict immigration (which they specifically interpret approvingly as ethnically based)
     
  • the Sweden reference (they consider Sweden the most "cucked" of European nations, but other than that, I don't know what this is about)
     
  • the "Syrian safe zone" reference (which in their lexicon means "White America" somehow? Something else to figure out)
     
A number have decided that when Trump says "drain the swamp" he's referring to "the International Jew," and that - as with them - "Global Elite" also means "International Jew." A few are showing relative restraint, such as this guy (yes, this is what passes for restraint):

I don't think it's a dogwhistle, but if he's educated on the terms; he may just end up being the saviour of the white race.

They're making a lot of comparisons to Trump and Hitler, but mean it as a good thing - while at the same time laughing at the press for making the same comparison. You're also seeing a bit of commentary akin to David Duke's line that comparing Trump to Hitler makes people more receptive to neofascism and neo-Nazi action.

Despite that, they don't see this as a Nuremburg Rally moment yet - just a promising lead-in - to wit, these examples:

get ready, he hasn't even come close to delivering his Nuremberg just yet. When he does, it will be glorious and we will witness it.

God damn, I don't think I could handle a real Trump Nuremburg rally. This was just Florida and I'm already preheating my oven.

tfw these rallies will get more and more authoritharian and will go full nuremberg once he declares martial law.

21st Century Nuremberg rallies? As if that were a bad thing…

Fundamentally, Mr. Trump has re-energised his neo-Nazi/anti-semetic/authoritarian base with this speech. I can't know whether that was his intent, but it was definitely the effect.
Mood:: 'blank' blank

Posted by Alisdair Calder McGregor

Federal Policy Committee met on Wednesday 15th February. The meeting was slightly in advance of our normal cycle (it having been obviously felt that having a long FPC meeting on the evening before the Stoke-On-Trent and Copeland by-elections was a bad idea).

Sadly the combined effect of a Parliamentary recess and half term in some areas of the country led to a lower turnout than at the previous meeting with neither Tim Farron MP nor the regular compiler of these reports Geoff Payne being able to attend. In Tim’s absence the meeting was chaired by the committee vice-chair Duncan Brack.

The meeting as a whole was driven much more by discussion over future process than the previous meeting’s focus on policy matters for Spring Conference. In some ways Federal Policy Committee regards our pre-conference work as “done with”; we are now awaiting the input from conference on the policy papers, motions and consultation papers to shape how FPC will proceed. As such, much of our work this time was on preparation for post-conference work.

The shape of some of our subcommittees and working groups due to report back for Autumn Conference was fleshed out. Belinda Brooks-Gordon was elected as the Chair of the Policy Equalities Impact Assessment Group (of which I am also a member) which will review Policy proposals with an intersectional view of the impact of policies upon all diversity strands.

The membership of the working groups for the Immigration & Identity and Power for People & Communities Policy Papers (both due for Spring Conference in 2018) were confirmed. A huge number of applications were received for the task, and FPC could easily have filled two working groups on each topic from people with equally relevant skills and experience. I would like to extend the FPC’s thanks to all those who applied, regardless of whether we accepted you or not.

We received and reviewed the Rural Communities Consultation Paper, which will be released along with the paperwork for Spring Conference, at which there will be a consultation session. If you aren’t attending conference, there will be a window for written consultation submissions after conference. The FPC will then be submitting the final policy paper on Rural Communities to the autumn conference this year.

FPC also finalised the division of work among members who will liaise between FPC and the (S)AOs, Parliamentary Party Groups and Regional Parties. There are more groups for us to liaise with than there are members of the committee, so a degree of doubling up has to happen for everything to be covered.

We then had a broad-ranging discussion about the work of the FPC over the next three years, bearing in mind the fact that the Agenda 2020 paper adopted at Autumn Conference 2016 sets out the policy paper timetable for the next few years. We are mindful of the fact that we may be called upon to produce a Manifesto at short notice should the government collapse and a General Election take place.

Europe, Brexit and the place of Britain in the World will of course be the overriding political issue for the foreseeable future, with a debate or topical discussion scheduled for Spring Conference in York and a detailed Policy Paper due this Autumn; one of the consequences of Europe having been a high-profile issue for so long is that Party Policy on it is expressed across a large number of diverse motions and papers, and it will help to draw all the threads together and update policy within the context of Brexit at that time.

A document presenting areas in which Party Policy is in need of attention was discussed. It was gratifying to realise that in several cases Policy needs to be updated because in Coalition we succeeded in implementing our policy into Law. In other cases a change in world circumstances requires an update to policy to meet those challenges.

FPC Plans to present Policy Papers over the next few conferences on a variety of topics as shown below:

Spring Conference 2017: Nuclear Weapons, Sex Work

Autumn Conference 2017: Britain in the World, 21st Century Economy, Rural Communities, Education

Spring Conference 2018: Power for People and Communities, Immigration and Identity

Yet to be allocated: Climate Policy, Health and Social Care, Crime, Policing and Justice, Taxation

The reforms to the Policy making process discussed at Bournemouth in 2015 were briefly spoken about, as this is a newly elected committee from the one which discussed the matter after previous consultation. In particular engagement with members old and new was felt to be critical to both the vitality of the policy making process, with fresh perspectives from new members being welcomed to ensure we never become an echo chamber, and to membership retention.

We received an update on the “Your Liberal Britain” exercise, which had obtained a huge number of submissions. Work going forward from this will create a Vision Statement for the party for the immediate future, and what the country would look like in the Liberal Democrat ideal future.

FPC will meet again for a joint session with the Federal Board before Conference, and then again (several times) at Conference itself.

* Alisdair Calder McGregor was Candidate for Calder Valley in 2015 and is a member of the party's Federal Policy Committee

posted by [syndicated profile] crooked_timber_feed at 08:00am on 19/02/2017

Posted by John Holbo

This post continues what has evolved into my critical series on Jonathan Haidt (see parts 1 and 2). The burden of the first two posts was: probably a good time to talk about justice, eh? So let’s. I’m going to split it into two, so I can kvetch about how Haidt is confused about Mill (this post), then try to do better myself (next post).

I got email about my last post (not just comments!) suggesting Haidt could do better than I give him credit for. I am 100% sure this is correct. I reconstructed Haidt’s argument with a conspicuously cloudy Premise 3: “something something plurality something pluralism something diversity?” I am sure Haidt could tighten that one up. Yet it does not seem to me he, in fact, has. In this post I am going to lay out textual evidence. Having done my best to expose the logical worst, I’m going to close this post by trying to say how he got into this hole. Honestly, I think I get it. He wants to have his Mill and eat his Durkheim, too. Best of both. I also get why he might feel his bridge from Durkheim to Mill might be load-bearing.

First, a basic point about the sense of ‘justice’ at issue in this post. (A sense we will have to broaden if and when I get around to the follow-up.)

Haidt is, we know, concerned about under-representation of conservatives in academe. There are two possible grounds for such concern.

1) It’s distributively unfair, hence unjust to conservatives, if there is viewpoint discrimination against them, as a result of which they fail to gain employment (or they lose employment).

2) It’s intellectually damaging to debate to have few conservatives present in conversations in which, predictably, liberals and conservatives will find themselves at odds.

I have no idea what Haidt thinks about 1. His arguments concern 2, so I’m going to focus on that. Justice as in: optimal intellectual balance. Epistemic justice. Justice as in justification. Not distributive justice.

On we go.

Haidt responded to my first, critical post with a somewhat exasperated post of his own, which pretty much came to: how hard is this, really? Can’t we agree a bit of Mill would be in order? Can’t we eyeball these justice-as-in-intellectual-balance scales and agree they are off?

Mill and I and the rest of Heterodox Academy think it would be better to expose students — and professors — to people who hold views across the political spectrum, especially if you can do it within an institution that fosters a sense of community and norms of civility. We don’t care about balance. We don’t need every view to be represented. We just want to break up orthodoxy. Is that illogical?

I said in my second post this does sound pretty good. But, on examination, it is illogical. Well, at least one form of it. I constructed a reductio ad absurdum. Based on Haidt’s writings, one of the big reasons why he wants to break up liberal/progressive hegemony in academe is he thinks this is a perilously narrow moral perch, foundations-wise. Getting some conservatives in would broaden that. But Haidt also wants to combat PC – the repressive orthodoxy of SJW’s. But PC is very morally broad-based, in Haidt’s own sense. So if the problem were moral narrowness, per se, repressive PC-culture should solve it, not exemplify it. Haidt is pushing for more conservatism, less SJW-style activism, on campus. But, through the lens of his own moral foundations-theory, it’s same-same. How not?

Recently Haidt has argued that the telos of the university is truth – not social justice. But this could as easily be an argument for keeping conservatives out as letting them in. The telos of conservatism is not truth; it’s … conserving. (Something-something.) Suppose on Earth-2 (where William F. Buckley’s God and Man At Yale is considered a Bible of curricular planning) Jonathan Haidt-2 gives a talk that is point-for-point analogous to our (Earth-1) Haidt talk, making the case that universities should take measures to restrict the influence of conservatives on campus. Instead of starting with a quote from Marx about how the point is change, Haidt-2 starts with one from Burke about how the point is not-change:

“Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field.”

Haidt-2 is impassioned about how the university is properly a place for those grasshoppers to be importunate, and if a load of thoughtless conservative cattle trample them, the university is not the place it should be.

Why should I accept Haidt’s argument, rather than Haidt-2’s argument?

Haidt will presumably reply: I’m both right! We are talking about corrective measures and it is perfectly imaginable that in one context there are too many conservatives, in another too few.

Yes, that is rather intuitive. Yet it’s actually not clear. How will we know when we have finally landed on Earth-Goldilocks, which is neither too conservative nor not-conservative-enough but just right? Is it supposed to be obvious by looking at the picture?

Here the response might be: look, we needn’t solve this thing to three significant moral digits. I use my common sense and admit I don’t know what the metaphysically perfect balance of liberals-conservatives in academe is, sub specie aeternitatus; but this balance we’ve got looks seriously skewed left – just look at the data! How could that be optimal? So let’s nudge it a bit. Mischief managed.

Yes, but if we are going to take this sort of ecological corrective view, what’s wrong with those on the other side expanding our sense of the scope of the ecology whose balance we should be rejiggering: the President is a Republican, Congress is Republican, the courts will soon be Republican, the state houses and governorships skew Republican, the Constitution skews rural when it comes to counting votes. All this, and you are worried a few besieged blue dots in a sea of red are too blue? Talk about lacking a sense of proportion!

What is being corrected? Which values are absolute, which ones are more instrumental? For example: does Haidt think we need more conservatives on campus because we have a duty to be agnostic as to whether, ideally, we should want campuses to be relatively (Durkheimian) conservative places, more so than (Millian) liberal enclaves? But if that’s so, how can he be sure they aren’t better off as (Durkheimian) SJW indoctrination camps? Or is the idea, rather, that we know Millian liberalism shall be our master value (because we know it’s true?) But, in order to keep the quality of the liberal kayfabe up, we need real conservatives on campus to act as convincing sparring partners? They need to lose with conviction.

I’m sure Haidt is not going to like either of those two options. But then what? Honestly, what are we valuing? And why?

Let me push past reductio -style puzzles to a direct confrontation with the intellectual root of the trouble.

I’m going to continue critiquing Haidt’s book The Righteous Mind, as I did in the previous post. This means my critique will have a somewhat indirect bearing on the stuff at Heterodox Academy. Not all that stuff is based on Haidt’s book, yet if these Righteous Mind arguments are active in their minds – Haidt is one of their active minds – and if the argument are bad, that’s a sign they may not have made their minds up right.

In what sense is Haidt a Millian? How and why?

As I mentioned, Haidt was evidently a bit exasperated by my refusal to go for common-sense Millianism in my first post. For my part, I experienced my own moment of exasperation while reading Haidt’s The Righteous Mind, seeing him try to stick the landing such that he lands on Mill. He starts his routine in a very different place. With Durkheim. I quoted him in my last post complaining (bemusedly) about how WEIRD his students all are [Western, Educated, Industrial, Rich, Democratic]. Buying Mill’s Harm Principle is weirdest-of-the-WEIRD. Kids these days are too quick to buy Mill. Haidt is determined to bust us out of our WEIRD little box.

And yet he is exasperated when others won’t buy his Millian arguments about the university. So what gives?

Let me just quote him, quoting himself (from an earlier article) about Mill vs. Durkheim:

First, imagine society as a social contract invented for our mutual benefit. All individuals are equal, and all should be left as free as possible to move, develop talents, and form relationships as they please. The patron saint of a contractual society is John Stuart Mill, who wrote (in On Liberty) that “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.” Mill’s vision appeals to many liberals and libertarians; a Millian society at its best would be a peaceful, open, and creative place where diverse individuals respect each other’s rights and band together voluntarily (as in Obama’s calls for “unity”) to help those in need or to change the laws for the common good.

On the other hand:

Now imagine society not as an agreement among individuals but as something that emerged organically over time as people found ways of living together, binding themselves to each other, suppressing each other’s selfishness, and punishing the deviants and free riders who eternally threaten to undermine cooperative groups. The basic social unit is not the individual, it is the hierarchically structured family, which serves as a model for other institutions. Individuals in such societies are born into strong and constraining relationships that profoundly limit their autonomy. The patron saint of this more binding moral system is the sociologist Emile Durkheim, who warned of the dangers of anomie (normlessness) and wrote, in 1897, that “man cannot become attached to higher aims and submit to a rule if he sees nothing above him to which he belongs. To free himself from all social pressure is to abandon himself and demoralize him.” A Durkheimian society at its best would be a stable network composed of many nested and overlapping groups that socialize, reshape, and care for individuals who, if left to their own devices, would pursue shallow, carnal, and selfish pleasures. A Durkheimian society would value self-control over self-expression, duty over rights, and loyalty to one’s groups over concerns for out-groups.

Obviously there is some tension here, to put it mildly. Obviously Haidt perfectly well sees that. Yet he’s going to skate from the latter back to the former by means of a slick rhetorical move I like to classify as your basic ‘Nixon Goes To China with a Chestertonian antinomy double-lutz’. I’ve watched other thinkers try to stick this challenging landing. I will explain the name. For now, here’s how it proceeds in Haidt’s case.

Haidt begins with a sweeping dismissal of some major moral theories, on grounds of unhealthy monism. (Haidt, per the previous post, per above, is concerned with healthy ecologies of value. He distrusts moral monoculture. It’s unstable, it’s blind.)

Morality is so rich and complex, so multifaceted and internally contradictory. Pluralists such as [Richard] Shweder rise to the challenge, offering theories that can explain moral diversity within and across cultures. Yet many authors reduce morality to a single principle, usually some variant of welfare maximization (basically, help people, don’t hurt them). Or sometimes it’s justice or related notions of fairness, rights, or respect for individuals and their autonomy. There’s The Utilitarian Grill, serving only sweeteners (welfare), and The Deontological Diner, serving only salts (rights). Those are your options. Neither Shweder nor I am saying that “anything goes,” or that all societies or all cuisines are equally good. But we believe that moral monism — the attempt to ground all of morality on a single principle — leads to societies that are unsatisfying to most people and at high risk of becoming inhumane because they ignore so many other moral principles.

Haidt proceeds to offer armchair clinical diagnoses of both Bentham and Kant as possible Asperger’s cases. Likely, in Bentham’s case; more doubtful in Kant’s (he was a very social dude, was Kant):

Bentham’s philosophy showed an extraordinary degree of systemizing, and as Baron-Cohen says, systemizing is a strength. Problems arise, however, when systemizing occurs in the absence of empathizing. In an article titled “Asperger’s Syndrome and the Eccentricity and Genius of Jeremy Bentham,” Philip Lucas and Anne Sheeran collect accounts of Bentham’s personal life and compare them to the diagnostic criteria for Asperger’s syndrome. They find a close match on the main diagnostic criteria, including those involving low empathy and poor social relationships. Bentham had few friends as a child, and he left a string of angry ex-friends as an adult. He never married, referred to himself as a hermit, and seemed to care little about other people. One contemporary said of him: “He regards the people about him no more than the flies of a summer.” A related criterion is an impaired imaginative capacity, particularly with respect to the inner lives of other people. In his philosophy as in his personal behavior, Bentham offended many of his contemporaries by his inability to perceive variety and subtlety in human motives. John Stuart Mill — a decidedly non-autistic utilitarian — came to despise Bentham. He wrote that Bentham’s personality disqualified him as a philosopher because of the “incompleteness” of his mind: “In many of the most natural and strongest feelings of human nature he had no sympathy; from many of its graver experiences he was altogether cut off; and the faculty by which one mind understands a mind different from itself, and throws itself into the feelings of that other mind, was denied him by his deficiency of Imagination.” Lucas and Sheeran conclude that had Bentham been alive today, “it is likely he would have received the diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome.”

Sidebar note: it isn’t right that Mill said Bentham’s extreme personality ‘disqualified him as a philosopher’. That’s too strong for Mill even at his most anti-Bentham. But, pushing on, Haidt hastens to add:

I do not want to suggest that utilitarianism and Kantian deontology are incorrect as moral theories just because they were founded by men who may have had Asperger’s syndrome. That would be an ad hominem argument, a logical error, and a mean thing to say … But in psychology our goal is descriptive. We want to discover how the moral mind actually works, not how it ought to work.

Nevertheless, since Haidt does not canvas any arguments whatsoever for utilitarianism or Kantianism, at any point, yet he clearly presumes to reject them on some basis, the basis for his normative rejection can only be these speculative diagnoses … plus, as aforementioned, the ecological concern that utilitarianism and deontology are hazardously monotonic.

So let’s give Haidt the benefit of the doubt and say it’s the latter. No monotonic theory could be true. These are monotonic theories. They can’t be true.

“So what is there beyond harm and fairness?” Haidt asks.

It turns out, per my previous Haidt posts, that there are four more things, hence six things – six fundamental values, in total.

But, in a more accurate sense, it turns out that what we find when we venture boldly forth beyond harm and fairness is … harm.

Near the end of the book Haidt provides, in one sentence, what he evidently regards as the correct theory: “I think Jeremy Bentham was right that laws and public policies should aim, as a first approximation, to produce the greatest total good.”

The whole argument is this: “I don’t know what the best normative ethical theory is for individuals in their private lives. But when we talk about making laws and implementing public policies in Western democracies that contain some degree of ethnic and moral diversity, then I think there is no compelling alternative to utilitarianism.”

That’s it. I have now given you the argument, alpha and omega, soup-to-nuts, that Haidt musters on behalf of his normative conclusion. Having argued earlier that we can’t afford to think just inside one WEIRD box – as rationalists tend to – Haidt now maintains the one weird trick turns out to be to focus, pluralistically, just on what we need inside our one WEIRD box. He regards this as sufficiently plausible that – just as he provided no arguments against utilitarianism earlier, when dismissing it as borderline autistic – he provides no arguments in favor of it now. He simply labels it manifestly sane, a humane basis for pluralism.

He proceeds to use the term ‘Durkheimian utilitarianism’. The idea is, obviously: best of both. Higher synthesis. But in what sense(s)? “I just want Bentham to read Durkheim and recognize that we are Homo duplex before he tells any of us, or our legislators, how to go about maximizing that total good.”

But why should this point us towards Mill’s On Liberty rather than towards, say, Plato’s Republic?

Plato wanted to maximize the Good. Plato thought it was vitally important to recognize that the soul is divided. Why shouldn’t we assemble an elite group of social justice warriors, kidnap a bunch of little kids, and found Plato’s Republic?

Haidt has a lot more to say in his book about ‘Durkheimian utilitarianism’, but not a lot – in fact nothing, so far as I can see – that addresses such rather basic concerns. Why Mill, not Plato? Why conservatives, not social justice warriors? If you don’t have any answer to such basic questions, you’ve got a lot of thinking left to do. The most I can do on Haidt’s behalf, without just leaving him behind, is to point out how the position he jumps to – never mind how he gets there – has a certain attraction. Let me now frame it as favorably as I can.

Haidt should read Lionel Trilling, The Liberal Imagination. I’ve never seen him reference it. I think he would like it. I think he would say: this is just what I have been saying! I’m not feeding it to him as some sneaky poison pill. I think Haidt is a Trilling liberal. I used to be one of those myself but I eventually decided it doesn’t really work. Trilling starts with Mill on Bentham and Coleridge, just as Haidt thinks we should. From the Preface to The Liberal Imagination:

Contemporary liberalism does not depreciate emotion in the abstract, and in the abstract it sets great store by variousness and possibility. Yet, as is true of any other human entity, the conscious and the unconscious life of liberalism are not always in accord. So far as liberalism is active and positive, so far, that is, as it moves toward organization, it tends to select the emotions and qualities that are most susceptible of organization. As it carries out its active and positive ends it unconsciously limits its view of the world to what it can deal with, and it unconsciously tends to develop theories and principles, particularly in relation to the nature of the human mind, that justify its limitation. Its characteristic paradox appears again, and in another form, for in the very interests of its great primal act of imagination by which it establishes its essence and existence — in the interests, that is, of its vision of a general enlargement and freedom and rational direction of human life — it drifts toward a denial of the emotions and the imagination. And in the very interest of affirming its confidence in the power of the mind, it inclines to constrict and make mechanical its conception of the nature of mind. Mill, to refer to him a last time, understood from his own experience that the imagination was properly the joint possession of the emotions and the intellect, that it was fed by the emotions, and that without it the intellect withers and dies, that without it the mind cannot work and cannot properly conceive itself. I do not know whether or not Mill had particularly in mind a sentence from the passage from Thomas Burnet’s Archaeologiae Philosophicae which Coleridge quotes as the epigraph to The Ancient Mariner, the sentence in which Burnet says that a judicious belief in the existence of demons has the effect of keeping the mind from becoming “narrow, and lapsed entirely into mean thoughts,” but he surely understood what Coleridge, who believed in demons as little as Mill did, intended by his citation of the passage. Coleridge wanted to enforce by that quaint sentence from Burnet what is the general import of The Ancient Mariner apart from any more particular doctrine that exegesis may discover — that the world is a complex and unexpected and terrible place which is not always to be understood by the mind as we use it in our everyday tasks.

It is one of the tendencies of liberalism to simplify, and this tendency is natural in view of the effort which liberalism makes to organize the elements of life in a rational way. And when we approach liberalism in a critical spirit, we shall fail in critical completeness if we do not take into account the value and necessity of its organizational impulse. But at the same time we must understand that organization means delegation, and agencies, and bureaus, and technicians, and that the ideas that can survive delegation, that can be passed on to agencies and bureaus and technicians, incline to be ideas of a certain kind and of a certain simplicity: they give up something of their largeness and modulation and complexity in order to survive. The lively sense of contingency and possibility, and of those exceptions to the rule which may be the beginning of the end of the rule — this sense does not suit well with the impulse to organization. So that when we come to look at liberalism in a critical spirit, we have to expect that there will be a discrepancy between what I have called the primal imagination of liberalism and its present particular manifestations.

I say: this is Haidt. This is what he is driving at. This is what he means when he says he wants ‘Durkheimian utilitarianism’.

Which brings me to: Nixon goes to China. “Only Nixon could go to China” is, of course, an old Vulcan proverb – and there is a touch of the Vulcan about Haidt, just as there was about Bentham (no doubt!)

Trilling and Haidt have an only-Nixon-can-go-to-China theory of liberalism. Liberalism is right, but, paradoxically, liberalism generates a temperament that is incapable of sustaining liberalism. Liberalism needs to infuse itself with – inoculate itself with – anti-liberalism, lest it itself become anti-liberal. Never trust a liberal to run liberalism. They’ll screw it up. This is why it makes intuitive sense to Haidt to trash Jeremy Bentham personally, and to regard this very act as establishing his bona fides as a competent Benthamite. Benthamism is obviously the only sane philosophy. But the only Benthamite you can trust is a Benthamite who would never trust Bentham. Because Bentham was a nut.

Utilitarianism should be instituted by those who are not tempted by it. Just as, if you really are going to try to institute Plato’s Republic, you should probably hire Edmund Burke as Philosopher King. That would help you to avoid certain extreme difficulties that will otherwise bring the project to practical grief.

I’m not going to critique this view. I’m going to note that it’s a bit much to claim it without argument. It’s even more to claim it without even claiming it, in so many words. It’s implicit in ‘Durkheimian utilitarianism’, I take it. If I have guessed Haidt’s riddle rightly.

In my follow-up post – if and when I get around to writing it! – I’m just going to set all this aside. I’m going to try to back up and re-approach, more considerately, the proposition that Haidt skates up to and right over (and Trilling did the same, and Mill before him): how and why, and to what degree, does it make sense to say that we need a balance of ‘liberalism’ and ‘conservatism’ – left and right: progressive and conservative, call it what you will – as an epistemic optimum?

Last and probably least, I hinted there’s a Chesterton connection. ‘Nixon Goes To China with a Chestertonian antinomy double-lutz’. What is Chestertonian antinomianism? I have actually written about it before.

‘Antinomian’ from an + tinom, proto-Germanic for ‘on tin’. The earliest occurrence is in Wodehouse: “The drowsy stillness of the afternoon was shattered by what sounded to his strained senses like G. K. Chesterton falling on a sheet of tin.” By metaphoric extension, ‘antinomianism’ was … applied, generally, to anyone who, like Chesterton, considers that, for some obscure reason, the law doesn’t apply to him.

Chesterton makes orthodoxy seem wonderfully plausible by the simple expedient of being so utterly heterodox about it. We can swallow all of Chesterton’s paradoxes because he assures us he hates paradoxes. So it’s probably alright. This feels like ironic wisdom, not simply logical contradiction. Honestly, I’m kind of a sucker for this stuff. I love Chesterton and I really like Trilling. I like Haidt, too. But honesty compels me to point out that this cleverness can also be a license to sheer laziness. It wants to be the wisdom of seeing both sides. But it might be just switching sides, as you like it. That’s the danger with Haidt, too.

posted by [syndicated profile] andreasdeja_feed at 11:37pm on 18/02/2017

Posted by Andreas Deja




Hans Bacher knows what he is talking about. He is an avid student and admirer of classic animation as well as modern art. Hans knows color like nobody's business. He is an expert at composition, staging and mood. His work on Mulan elevated that film into one of the two most beautiful Disney films from the modern era. (The other one being Aladdin. Richard Vander Wende was responsible for the look of that film.)
Here are a few pages from Hans' Mulan style guide. Extraordinary!









torachan: a cartoon kitten with a surprised/happy expression (chii)
posted by [personal profile] torachan at 11:52pm on 18/02/2017 under ,
1. We started watching this new show called Powerless and it's so good! It's set in the DC universe but it's about regular people, in particular, the regular people working at a company that makes products for people to use in case of supervillain/superhero incidents (like an umbrella to keep rubble from falling on you). I'm surprised I hadn't seen anyone talking about it, since superhero shows are very popular, and it has some fandom favorites (Alan Tudyk and Dany Pudi), but I might have just skimmed over it because I'm not that into superhero stuff myself. But it's a sitcom, not a drama, so it turns out it's actually right up my alley.

2. Look at this silly Jasper.

posted by [syndicated profile] dilbert_feed at 11:59pm on 19/02/2017
Dilbert readers - Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.
momijizukamori: Green icon with white text - 'I do believe in phosphorylation! I do!' with a string of DNA basepairs on the bottom (Default)
posted by [personal profile] momijizukamori at 06:14am on 19/02/2017
Had fun cosplaying this smol nerd tantou tonight~ #katsucon #cosplay #toukenranbu
rahirah: (Default)
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jewelfox at 09:45pm on 18/02/2017 under , , , , ,

So I'm on vacation in Calgary with [tumblr.com profile] alias-pseudonym for all of next week, and at one of the smaller games stores we found a set of Frostgrave treasure tokens! These represent the valuables which the players must try to recover.

We picked up some paints, brushes, and non-spray primer, and these are the results so far:

Picture! )

So that's the story of how I went to Canada, and my partner gave me Frostbite. \ ^^ /

sovay: (Psholtii: in a bad mood)
This afternoon my knee was in good enough shape that I actually got out of the house and walked up to the library and back, taking the cane for the ice and general late-winter street sludge. As of tonight, I am not using the cane around the house, which the cats seem to feel is an improvement on the past four days of weird noises and tail endangerment. My father talked to me about Mary Seacole and I have decided that this tweet may be our generation's "I am a lighthouse; your call." I ate some coconut-milk ice cream. Otherwise, today has been terrible. Tomorrow, being full of science fiction film, had better be more fun.
Music:: Carolina Chocolate Drops, "Kissin' and Cussin'"
thatyourefuse: The words "suspect ALL the fucking!" on a lilac background. ([misc] all the same letters as subtext)
posted by [personal profile] thatyourefuse at 10:55pm on 18/02/2017
(Quote arises from a conversation about Steven Knight's approach to subtext, but it is, I feel, pretty broadly applicable to my approach to fandom.)
rfmcdonald: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rfmcdonald at 10:27pm on 18/02/2017
Earlier this week, djw at Lawyers, Guns and Money wrote a blog post criticizing how inhabitants of Mercer Island, a very well-off lake island in the east of the Seattle metropolitan area, have been trying to stall or avert altogether light rail access to their island that might diminish their privileged position re: roads running across this island.

For those unfamiliar with the topography of the Puget Sound region: Seattle is a long, thin city; around 20 miles from its northern to southern border but about 3-6 miles East to West, bounded by water on either side: Puget Sound to the West, and Lake Washington (which extends slightly beyond Seattle both North and South) to the East. This lake sharply separates Seattle from its Eastern suburbs, which have for some time been the location of many (but not all) of the wealthier sections of the region, with the middle class and historically more downscale suburbs generally located to the North and South of the city. Lake Washington has but one island: Mercer. At approximately 13 square miles and a population of around 25,000, Mercer Island is the most populous island on a lake in the United States. Culturally and economically, Mercer Island belongs squarely on the Eastside, as it has become one of the wealthier towns of its size in the country, with an average household income well north of 130,000 and an average home value of 1.4 million. It enjoys excellent schools and parks, and is made up almost entirely of low-density single family homes.

Long ago, Mercer Island was primarily rural. One of the first major projects was a Gilded Age opulent resort, the Caulkins Hotel, for Seattle’s elite. In 1908, a “Japanese houseboy” (sic) in the employ of the Caulkins took offense at some unspecified act of verbal abuse from hotel management, and in retaliation stuffed a large number of oily rags in a chimney, causing the hotel to burn down. Left behind, however, was an extensive dock that spurred some development in the island’s Northwest corner, which eventually incorporated as “East Seattle.” The island remained accessible by private boat and by steamboats such as the Atlanta, which connected Mercer Island to Seattle well into the 1930’s. A bridge to Bellevue on the Eastside was completed in 1928, and, following pressure from prominent islanders, the construction of the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial bridge, named for WSDOT’s second director and journalist Edward Murrow’s older brother, in 1940, then the largest floating bridge in the world. (Today, it is second only to the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, a second Lake Washington crossing that doesn’t connect to Mercer Island, just a few miles to the North.) In 1976, the bridge became part of I-90. A much wider second bridge was added in 1989, dramatically increasing capacity. This was Followed almost immediately by the sinking of the original Murrow bridge in a storm over Thanksgiving weekend–a dramatic event I recall watching live on television as a teenager. The Murrow bridge was repaired/replaced, at great public expense, by 1993, giving I-90 its current capacity. The 1940 bridge was largely paid for by a bond paid off by tolls, which ended after about 10 years. The new bridges were not.

Presently, these bridges and the freeway segment they form give Mercer Island residents, on average, the shortest commute times of any city in the region, a particularly remarkable statistic for an island connected to the mainland via a high-traffic bridge, with virtually no residents who work on the island itself. How do they pull off this remarkable feat? Location is part of it; the island is very close to downtown Seattle to the West and Bellevue, the largest city and second-largest job center on the Eastside, to the East. While traffic on the bridge can be quite brutal during rush hour, Mercer Island residents have a unique arrangement that allows them to access the HOV lands Westbound to Seattle as SOVs. This arrangement, codified via a memorandum of understand during negotiations over the construction and future plans for I-90 in 1976, was always meant to be temporary: the center lanes of the new bridge, reversible for increasing peak direction capacity, were designed explicitly with eventual light rail in mind. (The temporary nature of the arrangement was, in particular, highlighted by the Federal Highway Administration, whose regulations don’t generally allow for this kind of arrangement). Several decades later, the time has come: construction is scheduled to begin on Eastlink, which will take these center lanes for rail from downtown Seattle various Eastside locations, with a stop on Mercer Island.

Construction of Eastlink necessitates taking the center lanes currently used for HOV, and last month WSDOT told the city formally that their SOV freeloading days are over: they will no longer have uniquely privileged access to HOV lanes, and will be forced to access the city the way the rest of plebes do: in normal, high volume SOV lanes. (Or by bus, but who are we kidding?)


Seattleites?
lovelyangel: (Tachikoma Excited)
posted by [personal profile] lovelyangel at 06:51pm on 18/02/2017 under , ,
Cinefex 151
Cinefex 151

Six weeks ago I pre-ordered Cinefex #151 for the article on Rogue One. The issue arrived in the mail today. Don’t know when I’ll get a chance to read it, though.
lotesse: (Default)
lovelyangel: (Kagamin Pleased)
posted by [personal profile] lovelyangel at 06:33pm on 18/02/2017 under
Kobayashi and Tohru
Kobayashi and Tohru
Kobayashi-san Chi no Maiddragon, Episode 6

Here are the quick takes on the episodes I watched last week…

Gabriel DropOut: Episode 6
Spotlight on Satania week – which is largely jokes at Satania’s expense. Satania is a weak foil, so her setbacks aren’t quite as funny as they could be. Gabriel doesn’t really have to do much of anything. (And I like it better when Raphi is the one who bests Satania.) Raphi was a great Shoji referee, calling penalties. This week the episode was half-funny.

ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka (ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.): Episode 6
A very low-key episode – on the verge of dull – yet not quite so. The important hints slipped into the story are about Jean and Lotta’s background. Jean and Lotta are more important than even they know, it seems. Anyway, the intrigue remains an attraction.

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maiddragon (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid): Episode 6
I hadn’t thought of Fafnir being a funny character – but he’s turning out to be one. The Fafnir-Makoto combo is surprisingly sweet. Riko-Kanna is sweet also. Lucoa-Shouta is off to a bumpy start, but maybe they too will end up with some nice bonding. Related link: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid – Production Notes 6 – at Sakuga Blog

ChäoS;Child: Episode 6
Not surprisingly, the story continues to weave between more muddled and less muddled. The characters aren’t showing us much actual character. This is about as exciting as a mystery in a video game. All I can do is keep going and see what unfolds.

KonoSuba 2 (Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o! 2): Episode 6
Episodes where Kazuma dies tend to be fairly decent… and this week was death #3. Eris was great. Darkness was great. Vanir was fine. A reasonable episode overall.

Ritsu
Ritsu
Koro-sensei Q! Episode 9

Koro-sensei Q! (Koro Sensei Quest!): Episode 9
The pudding joke was funny (to people who saw the original series). Likewise the Nagisa-Kaede kiss – a riff from the original series. I was pleased Ritsu got some screen time (and loved the dialup sound) – and also smiled when Chiba & Hayami got into the act, especially as they weren’t on the rescue mission team. Plenty of chuckles this week.

Yōjo Senki (a.k.a. Saga of Tanya the Evil): Episode 6.5
Eh. A recap episode. The studio must be having production problems. Nothing to report here.

Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen: Episode 7
I liked this episode quite a bit. Shiemi showed her strength. There were plenty of internal revelations by key characters. I’m pleased when there is team bonding. OK, gang! Go do it!

Descending Stories: Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū: Episode 7
Well, that was an unexpected retelling of a key event. Impressive episode. A lot of backstory in this one. I enjoyed the old film footage, also.

BanG Dream!: Episode 5
Continues to be the fluffy show of the season… looking more like Bakuon! than, say, K-On!!. The progression of the band and Kasumi’s skill is more fantasy than anything else. And while Kasumi remains unrealistic, clueless, and rather annoying, everyone seems to go be OK with going with the flow. The bonding of the band members is arbitrary and too rapid, but the upbeat atmosphere is harmless entertainment for a Saturday morning.

Sangatsu no Lion (a.k.a. March Comes in Like a Lion): Episode 18
Even though the Kawamoto sisters again did not get enough screen time, every moment with them is precious. In the meantime, watching Rei, Shimada, and the study group was worthwhile. Time with Hayashida-sensei was so-so. Overall, though, the episode sped by quickly.

Demi-chan wa Kataritai (a.k.a. Interviews with Monster Girls): Episode 7
Much focus on Satō-sensei this week. She’s definitely the demi with the toughest life. I wasn’t greatly impressed with Kurtz, but he’s OK. Ugaki was the surprising one – he, like Takahashi-sensei – brings heart and sensibility to the series – so I like him. This week the other demis were in the background. This week’s episode mainly introduced the new characters and added a small bit of food for thought. Not a memorable installment, but OK.

Rei Kiriyama and the Kawamoto sisters
We need more moments like this!
Rei Kiriyama and the Kawamoto sisters
Sangatsu no Lion, Episode 18 end card
meganbmoore: (gran hotel: sneaky alicia)
 107 x El Tiempo Entre Costuras/The Time In Between



here ) 

jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)

Introduction

This is the third chunk of data and analysis from the 2016 Novelist Income Survey.

A number of people have asked how the number of books published in 2016 correlates with income, particularly with indie writers. We saw in part two that authors who primarily self-publish can do quite well. Is volume one of the secrets to success, and is it a greater factor for indie writers than traditionally the published?

Overview

I used the same method as before for separating out authors who were primarily indie, primarily large press, and primarily small press.

Three survey questions asked how many books respondents had published in 2016 through a large press, a small press, and through self-publishing. This brings me to my first data quandary. When I’m looking at the indie authors, do I count just the number of books they self-published, or the total number of books? Because a lot of our authors are hybrid, those numbers won’t be the same. So I graphed the data both ways, and found that the results — particularly the trend line — looked pretty much identical.

Indie Author Total Books Published Indie Author Self-Pub Totals

I decided to go with the total number of books published in any category, and to see how that number affected income for authors who were primarily indie, small press, or large press.

I removed the highest outlier from each graph below, both because it appeared to be disproportionately influencing the results, and because it threw off the scale and made it harder to see the rest of the data points. Because this was using net income, I also removed the handful of authors who didn’t report any expenses, since I had no way of calculating those net incomes.

The Charts

Indie Authors:

Indie Authors Income - Outlier Removed

Small Press Authors:

Small Press Authors Income - Outlier Removed

Large Press Authors:

Large Press Authors Income - Outlier Removed

Everyone’s clear on the correlation =/= causation thing by now, right? That said, the trend lines on the three graphs are pretty striking. For authors who are primarily indie, the graph suggests a correlation between number of books published and overall income. The correlation for small press is significantly smaller.

But most fascinating to me is that for large press authors, the line is essentially flat. The authors with 8 or 10 large press novels in 2016 made roughly the same as the average author with 1 or 2 large press books. Excellent news for the one book/year folks with big publishers.

Median and Average Books/Year

As I was wrapping up, it occurred to me that I should compare how prolific the different types of author were. This turned out to be interesting as well, though not too surprising.

Books Published in 2016: Median (Average)

  • Large Press 1 (1.2)
  • Small Press 1 (1.3)
  • Indie Press 2 (3.1)

While the median large and small press author published one book last year, the median indie published two. The difference in the average numbers is even stronger.

There are exceptions to everything, of course. I know some ridiculously prolific and successful big-press authors. But overall, I think this supports to the idea that success in self-publishing depends more strongly on how many books you can put out. It also shows that indie authors are following that approach and getting more books out there.

Net Losses

One last note. (Or maybe just one last excuse to post a pie chart.) 63 authors reported a net loss in 2016. 36 of those were indie authors. 19 were small press. 8 were large press.

Authors Reporting Net Losses

Intuitively, this makes a kind of sense. Self-publishing requires the author to invest in the up-front production costs, as well as marketing. But I’d want to collect a lot more data than I have before coming to any firm conclusions.

In Our Next Episode

I’m very curious to look at the hours/week spent on promotion and marketing, and to see how much that correlates with income. In other words, does all that work we do trying to get our names out there really have an impact? (I’m guessing the answer may be very different depending on whether or not you’re large press, small press, or indie.)

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 09:09pm on 18/02/2017
Yes, voter identification laws suppress voting.

A Texas PBS station censored a commentary criticizing Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas. And this blew up, all the way to PBS national.

Photos from inside detention centers. The truth is not pretty.

Local police say they did not shut down a Town Hall meeting or tell Congressman McClintock to leaven no matter what he says.

3 ways Scott Pruitt could shut down the EPA. As someone with asthma, I want my air clean. I remember when it wasn't. I remember when the sky over industrial areas was gray, or pink, or the Kodachrome sunsets from the chemicals leaching into the environment from Eastman Kodak.
frith: White cartoon pony on a couch; record player (FIM Rarity music)
posted by [personal profile] frith at 09:10pm on 18/02/2017 under
sky_rarity_by_nadnerbd
Source: http://nadnerbd.deviantart.com/art/Sky-Rarity-641103882

The MLP Movie, which is coming to theatres in October (and I sure hope I'm not going to have to sit through six months of the same trailer week after week, like with Logan, Rogue One, Doctor Strange and every single other blockbuster in waiting out there), has an "all star supporting cast" of VA's. That would be Emily Blunt, Sia, Michael Peña, Liev Schreiber, Taye Diggs, Zoe Saldana, Uzo Aduba and Kristin Chenoweth. Who are these people? Can they act?
highlander_ii: Adam Ant as Ant Warrior in concert ([Ant] Ant Warrior - concert)
Music:: "Stand and Deliver"
Mood:: 'ugh (tho not abt Adam Ant)' ugh (tho not abt Adam Ant)
rfmcdonald: (Default)
The Globe and Mail's Alex Bozikovic looks at the import of the proposals for a revamped King Street, as a portent of the future of the city meant not only for cars.

Who is a street for? For people in cars, or for everyone?

That’s the question at the heart of the City of Toronto project to remake King Street. The three options for the bold pilot project, revealed at a packed public meeting this week, would each give priority to streetcars and pedestrians at the expense of private vehicles.

Each would save untold hours for the 65,000 people who crawl along on the King streetcar each weekday; each would shift some of the space along the street from its current arrangement, in which the 16 per cent of users in cars occupy 64 per cent of the space. Any of these schemes would make King Street safer. They make sense.

So get ready for an endless opera of complaint. Whether City Council can tough out the inevitable car-centric whining, and defend a more just and sensible approach to the streets, will be an important indicator for the future of the city.

In Toronto, it’s not traditional to think about road users as equals. The primacy of the car is still unquestioned in city politics. Just look at the recent decision, championed by Mayor John Tory, to spend nearly an extra $1-billion to rebuild the eastern Gardiner as an expressway, to save a few minutes a day for 3 per cent of downtown commuters. You could add a lot of transit service for that kind of money.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 07:20pm on 18/02/2017
White House wants a NY billionaire to review the intelligence agencies. They are not in favor of this. Does he even have a security clearance? For that matter, does anyone in the West Wing (or what's left of it) have a clearance? Beyond that, is this likely to lead to a purge of the agencies? Anyone not 'loyal' gets kicked?

For Mar-a-Lago residents, proximity is power.
momijizukamori: Green icon with white text - 'I do believe in phosphorylation! I do!' with a string of DNA basepairs on the bottom (Default)
posted by [personal profile] momijizukamori at 12:07am on 19/02/2017
Okitagumi 4 life #katsucon #toukenranbu #cosplay
February 18th, 2017
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 06:27pm on 18/02/2017
4chan and 45.

45 and the definition of insanity.

UK firm warns lawyers traveling to the US not to allow Homeland Security access to their phones. A bit more here.

Pence's speech leaves NATO officials troubled.

Chaos in the White House.

Dept. of (so-called) Justice steps up its force against water protectors.

***

I think the people who want to bring back woolly mammoths are not thinking it through. First, the climate is a lot warmer than when they were here. Second, they are communal, herd creatures like elephants, with their own culture -- raising individuals with no idea of how to behave around other mammoths (or humans) is a recipe for disaster.
newredshoes: (<3 | fancy)
I had just the day I needed: brunch with a good friend, followed by walking up to Park Slope in search of good books, stopping for pizza along the way, chatting nonstop for five and a half hours. Now, of course, I'm a bit pooped, but happy and more confident about certain things. (My last few posts, access-locked, have been cries for help &c; thank you, everyone, even if I may not respond or write back quickly. Many, many lessthanthrees — I appreciate your looking out for me from afar!) There is a term for the thing I want, which really is just "features editor" or "features writer," and there is a way I can rebrand my RealName.com stuff to accommodate that. For now, though, I am loafing on my couch. It is a good.

Apparently no bookstore or library in the five boroughs has Communion by bell hooks available, which I super want to read after chatting about it with [personal profile] hope, but my lady M today convinced me to give Future Sex by Emily Witt a try until I can find Communion. M also seriously encouraged me to think about this book I may have in me that's coming out of my memoir class — like, it may just be that my career kicks off with a book, if I can get it done in the next six months or whatever. (I'm sure in later years that will seem wildly optimistic! But hey, it's a project, and it's all something I really want to research and dig into.)

Ramen tomorrow with a guy who was my very best friend at age 3 (we've hung out since then! he is a cool dude as an adult too). I think I have the solution to my freelancing anxiety, which is to remember that the work isn't about me and that I'm here to honor my subjects (thanks, first episode of season 3 of Chef's Table!). I feel much more optimistic about having a plan for the future, which, you know, always seems worth sharing and commemorating. \o/
rfmcdonald: (Default)
David Rider in the Toronto Star describes how budget shenanigans may hurt a plan to make a large part of Yonge Street in North York, far north of the downtown, more usable for non-vehicular traffic.

City council’s sometimes chaotic 15-hour budget meeting included dozens of choices that won’t generate headlines but can shape Toronto neighbourhoods for years to come.

A 24-20 vote in favour of a Councillor David Shiner motion has thrown a wrench in a long-fostered community plan to remake a stretch of Yonge St. in North York, from Sheppard to Finch Aves., including the addition of bike lanes.

Councillor John Filion, whose Ward 23 encompasses almost all the proposed “Re-imagining Yonge Street” project, says it “might be dead.” He pins much of the blame on Mayor John Tory, whose note to council allies — recommending how they vote on various 20 7 budget items — backed Shiner’s motion.

“This project has been in the works for at least two years, enthusiastically supported by the community and city staff, including the chief planner, to change the bleakness of that strip of Yonge St. — to widen sidewalks, put in bike lanes and other features to try to turn a sea of high rises and storefronts into a real community,” Filion said in an interview Thursday.

“My extreme disappointment is in the mayor — (the Shiner motion) only passed because he was actively supporting it. The mayor’s office was pulling votes away from me.”
rfmcdonald: (Default)
The Toronto Star's Ben Spurr reports on the depths to which the Metrolinx-Bombardier relationship has descended. Is there anything at all salvageable from this ghastly mess?

Metrolinx executives ripped into rail manufacturer Bombardier at a meeting of the transit agency’s board on Friday, depicting the company as an organization in disarray and accusing it of spreading false information.

Reading from prepared remarks, board chair Rob Prichard criticized the company for taking Metrolinx to court in a dispute over a $770-million light rail vehicle order that has been bogged down by delays.

“Bombardier’s behaviour in going to court is not that of a trusted partner,” Prichard said. He slammed allegations the company made last week in a press release blaming Metrolinx for the delays as “false.”

Over the course of the contract Bombardier has cycled through at least two presidents, three vice presidents and five project managers, and Prichard said that had undermined the company’s ability to deliver vehicles on time.

“Bombardier needs to stabilize its business and the leadership of its business, focus on meeting its commitments and schedules, stop blaming others for its own shortcomings, and to start delivering its overdue vehicles,” Prichard said.
rfmcdonald: (cats)
Rebecca Tucker's review in The Globe and Mail of Kedi, a new film looking at the cats of Istanbul, has me hooked. Where is it playing locally, I wonder?

Read almost any piece of travel journalism about Istanbul, and there will be mention of the cats. The city is literally crawling with them: unquantifiable felines, prowling the streets at all hours, climbing through windows uninvited and stealing fish from street vendors. But unlike other major cities that might consider the enormous feline presence a plague or pestilence, in Istanbul, the cats are an integral part of daily life. “Being a cat in Istanbul,” a Turkish musician told The Wall Street Journal in 2015,” is like being a cow in India.”

Kedi, the Oscilloscope Laboratories-produced documentary getting a limited release this week, is a gentle meditation on the strange symbiosis that exists between humans and cats throughout the Turkish city. Over the course of 80 minutes, the film – through a combination of interviews with locals, quiet shots of city life and scenes of cats in action (climbing to the top of local churches, say, or protecting a brood of kittens) – comes close to painting a complete picture of a city in which animals known for their autonomy and independent spirit have basically persuaded an entire population of people to take care of them, to gradual mutual benefit. Cats, despite what any dog people reading may suggest, do make great friends, especially if you give them a whole city’s worth of space.

There are seven cats who get almost exactly 15 minutes of fame in Kedi, and each has a name, but if you blink, you’ll miss it. They’re not always front and centre – whenever the film pulls out for a great panorama of Istanbul, or focuses specifically on its human inhabitants’ daily activities, it becomes increasingly tempting to seek out the cat in the frame (and when there’s not one immediately visible, to wonder how many must be hidden from view). It’s part of Kedi’s charm that it pulls back from anthropomorphizing its feline leads too much; their individual personalities are observed, rather than prescribed, and any attempt on the part of humans to quantify and articulate their preferred cat’s charms falls sweetly short.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
In another article, the Toronto Star's Laura Beeston suggests that a Toronto museum of local neon signs is a viable idea. My attention is piqued, at least.

Mark Garner has a neon dream.

The executive director of the Downtown/Yonge BIA believes the time is now for Toronto to immortalize iconic businesses of days gone by. So he’s collecting, restoring and replicating signs from classic city storefronts for a potential open-air museum.

But he needs help to turn the dream into a reality.

“Where are all the signs?” Garner asks aloud. “Why isn’t the cultural contribution that this signage made on anybody’s radar?”

He has spent the last five years tracking them down and slowly generating interest in his project. Yonge St., Garner explains, was once “a rite of passage” and hot spot for neon lights.

Today, he thinks there’s a return of interest with the forthcoming Sam The Record Man reinstall at Ryerson University and the Honest Ed’s marquee finding a new home on Victoria St.

“Signage is en vogue right now.”
rfmcdonald: (Default)
The Toronto Star's Laura Beeston describes a fantastic-sounding farewell weekend of parties and celebrations at Honest Ed's. I must get in on this, somehow.

A group of volunteers had a mission when they got keys to the city’s most famous bargain department store in the first week of February.

Toronto For Everyone didn’t want to just throw the “first, last and only farewell” to Honest Ed’s as we knew it. The group wanted to imagine what inclusive city building could look like moving forward.

Honest Ed’s “was one of the first businesses in the city that thought about how to incorporate philanthropy,” said #TO4E co-producer Hima Batavia, 32.

“A big part of it is, yes, saying goodbye to a physical building, but how do we bring those values forward?”

It was more than a store but a place that welcomed everyone, said co-producer Negin Sairafi, 31.

“How can we extract that, bottle it, and use it throughout our city building in the future?”

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