The Urban-Rural Divide in the U.S.A.

UrbanRuralDivide1

The real divide in the U.S. is not Democrat-Republican or even liberal-conservative, but urban-rural: (via Nelson French): http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/11/red-state-blue-city-how-the-urban-rural-divide-is-splitting-america/265686/

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Poem of the Day: C.P. Cavafy, “In the Same Place”

“In the Same Place” by C.P. Cavafy (1863-1933):  my translation

Surroundings of home, cafes, a neighborhood,
that I have seen and walked through year after year.

I gave you form amid joy and amid sorrows:
with so many incidents, so many details.

And you have transmuted into a feeling for me.

—————————————–

Στον ίδιο χώρο

Οικίας περιβάλλον, κέντρων, συνοικίας
που βλέπω κι όπου περπατώ· χρόνια και χρόνια.

Σε δημιούργησα μες σε χαρά και μες σε λύπες:
με τόσα περιστατικά, με τόσα πράγματα.

Κ’ αισθηματοποιήθηκες ολόκληρο, για μένα.

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Wealth and the Middle Class

What’s happened to the middle class?  That’s the question we need to ask in light of the bailouts and the crushing of workers’ unions in Wisconsin.  Does work matter any more or only shuffling paper?  Those of us committed to spiritual exploration need to recognize that the exploration of meaning and purpose in life requires that people are not always in survival mode. Spiritual truth is also connected to justice.

David Koch and Rupert Murdoch battle the middle class through Fox and the Wall Street Journal
http://www.alternet.org/story/150047/rupert_murdoch_and_david_koch_collude_against_wisconsin_workers?page=entire

The Wisconsin battle is part of a 150-struggle to break unions, now with the Koch Brothers leading the charge: http://www.truthdig.com/report/print/gov_walker_does_something_big_20110304

Bob Herbert discusses the financial crises facing ordinary, working, middle-class Americans:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/26/opinion/26herbert.html

This essay argues that we need to increase upper income tax brackets in order to prevent the concentration that would destroy democracy in this country.  While I do not agree with the authors (and others) that decreasing government waste is not an important issue and that we need to figure out how to make medicare work more efficiently (social security is in fact basically sound), I cannot fathom why we keep lowering tax rights on the wealthy.
http://www.consortiumnews.com/2011/022411.html

Robert Reich makes a similar argument:  http://robertreich.org/post/3591689800

Ellen Brown argues that a state bank would solve many of Wisconsin’s and other states budget/pension issues–of course, that presumes that Walker and others are actually concerned about the budget rather than crushing labor http://www.webofdebt.com/articles/wisconsin.php

In the meantime, the percentage of underwater mortgage are on their way up:  http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_underwater_mortgages

Richard Trumka, the head of the AFL-CIO lauds the 14 Wisconsin Senators who stood up for workers’ rights:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-trumka/todays-heroes-the-wiscons_b_831749.html

More and more cities are broke:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/06/magazine/06Muni-t.html?_r=1 (via Dianne Bazell)

Jackob Hacker and Paul Pierson, in their book, “Winner Take-All Politics,” discuss the rising inequalities in the US economic system: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/03/inequality-and-political-power/?scp=8&sq=middle%20class&st=cse (via Dianne Bazell)

Robert Reich argues that the real issue is not jobs, but wages:  http://robertreich.org/post/3638565075

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Photographic Memory

An extraordinary man who can see a place one time, memorize it, and draw it with astonishing precision–here Stephen Wiltshire draws Rome:  http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2MBBxU

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How to Build Neighborhoods

What if we built our neighborhoods around curves rather than straight lines?

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Urban Symphony II

Bird songs, leaves rustling, chainsaws, lawnmowers, sirens.  Urban symphony.

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Urban Symphony I

Voices of birds. Hum of motorized vehicles. Urban symphony.

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