• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    HerstoryRepeating on Bring on the Conspiracy T…
    Catscatscats on Bring on the Conspiracy T…
    Earlynerd on Bring on the Conspiracy T…
    William on Bring on the Conspiracy T…
    HerStoryRepeating on Bring on the Conspiracy T…
    Catscatscats on Bring on the Conspiracy T…
    William on Bring on the Conspiracy T…
    Ga6thDem on Bring on the Conspiracy T…
    William on Bring on the Conspiracy T…
    Ga6thDem on Bring on the Conspiracy T…
    Ga6thDem on Bring on the Conspiracy T…
    Ga6thDem on Bring on the Conspiracy T…
    Ga6thDem on Bring on the Conspiracy T…
    Ga6thDem on Bring on the Conspiracy T…
    William on Bring on the Conspiracy T…
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    August 2019
    S M T W T F S
    « Jul    
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    25262728293031
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – August 18, 2019
      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – August 18, 2019 by Tony Wikrent Economics Action Group, North Carolina Democratic Party Progressive Caucus Strategic Political Economy Rebecca Gordon, How the U.S. Created the Central American Immigration Crisis [TomDispatch, via Naked Capitalism 8-16-19] How the Supreme Court Is Rebranding Corruption — Ciara Torres-Spelli […]
  • Top Posts

  • Advertisements

My Favorite Things

My favorite obsession: ballet

My favorite city: Pittsburgh

My favorite composer- DeBussey

 

Ok, you have to admit that was nice.

Now, what’s going on in politics? Got any thots?

Advertisements

End of Summer Bliss: Ballet on the Beach

Have I got a ballet treat for you, even if you don’t think you like ballet.  Joy Womack, formerly of the Bolshoi and now a principal dancer at the Kremlin Ballet, was filmed (what a quaint word) dancing on the beach this summer.  I’m guessing the beach was somewhere in California where Joy’s family lives.

This video captures the athleticism and strength of modern ballet.  Pointe shoes not required.

Enjoy!

Bluebirds, Flowers and Lamb

It’s been awhile since I posted ballet videos but you know how much I love ballet.  In honor of spring, here’s one from the Royal Ballet.  It’s one of the variations from the bluebird pas de deux in Sleeping Beauty.  I’m not a fan of story ballets, especially the kind that consists of a casts of thousands and silly variations (the finger fairy, for example.  Really, Petipa?  Having a bad day or what exactly??)  There are some good solos, don’t get me wrong.  The Rose Adagio is sublime.  But most of the choreography for the other cast members looks like stagey posing with movement thrown in between.  I just want them to dance already and get on with it.

And then there is Sarah Lamb.  She is so light and ethereal.  The movement in her arms never stops like each limb and finger is gently rustled by a soft wind.  This variation video was from her soloist days.  I’ve seen other Royal Ballet soloists perform Princess Florine but none as delicately as Lamb.  She’s a principal now and performances like this one demonstrate why the finishing touches count.

Happy Spring!

See Alys Dance

What a difference three years makes.  Here is 14 year old Canadian Alys Shee at an international ballet competition in Moscow doing a variation from Le Corsaire:

Lovely.  She floats.  Her pirouettes couldn’t be more perfect.  She received the silver at this competition and it’s easy to see why.  Her technique is beautiful.

Now, fast forward to 2012.  Here is Alys dancing the same variation:

She dances this variation.  She knows the dotted quarter notes in the music so well that she can pause on pointe and tease the audience.  It’s a little less “perfect” but more exciting.

Here’s more of Alys and her partner , Gabriel Davidsson, dancing Le Corsaire.  Her fouttes are to die for.

Alys is now dancing professionally for the Royal Birmingham Ballet in England.  I’m starting a personal savings fund for the day when she gets promoted to principal ballerina somewhere so I can see her dance.

OK, enough stalling.  I have a cubic yard of mulch to move.

Thursday: Jim DeMint makes my ears bleed

Last night, Jon Stewart took apart Jim Demint’s worldview piece by piece.  It’s a thing of beauty.  Unfortunately, you have to listen to Jim Demint’s irritatingly folksy South Carolina drawl speaking nonsense right wing talking points during the segment.  By the way, why is it that Stephen Colbert, a South Carolina native, does not speak in the same drawl?  I lived in SC as a kid, in Charleston, and EVERYONE down there had a southern accent.  So, what gives, Stephen?  And is it possible that Fox type viewers respond to the drawl in a hypnotic sense? My natural speech pattern is more like Stewart’s.  It’s rapid, a bit throaty, punctuated.  Demint’s is slower, more musical, even a bit soothing and against it, Stewart sounds harsh, like a splash of uncomfortably cold water on the upper arms.  When you listen to these two go at it, you can’t help but pick a side.  I’m on Stewart’s side but I imagine that Demint’s southern siren call is hard to resist.

***********************************

I love Craig Crawford.  He’s one of the more honest pundits on TV (that I don’t watch anymore).  Check out his blog Craig Crawford’s Trail Mix for interesting observations on the campaign.

However, I did find his recent post on the effect Ron Paul will have on the Republican primary and nomination to be a little weird.  It’s a short post, here’s a lengthy excerpt:

GOP bosses talking about winnowing the field so that Mitt Romney doesn’t face a lengthy nomination battle against multiple foes ought to consider the alternative: Ron Paul goes to the convention with 40 percent of the delegates. That could happen if he’s the last rival standing sooner, rather than later.

With fewer winner-take-all primaries and caucuses, and Paul already proving an ability to garner up to 25 percent of the votes in a crowded field, it’s not a tough mathematical challenge to conclude that he would capture even more of the anti-Romney vote and roll into Tampa next summer as a trouble maker.

It’s not that Paul could threaten Romney’s nomination, but he could steal the coverage, much as Jesse Jackson did to Michael Dukakis, and Pat Buchanan to George H.W. Bush. (Reminder: Both nominees lost the election).

At the very least Paul would want a prime-time speech, and probably a whole lot more. Chairman of the Federal Reserve, perhaps? Just kidding, but …

Ok, here’s the weird part.  Obama and Hillary Clinton went to the convention in Denver in 2008 in a dead heat.  Actually, if the DNC hadn’t busted Florida and Michigan to half votes and reapportioned Michigan votes by giving 4 delegates from Hillary and all uncommitted delegates to Obama, Hillary would have been ahead.  According to Crawford, Ron Paul would deserve a lot more than a prime time speech if he only had 40% of the vote, not even a dead heat.  So, why is it that Hillary only got a prime time speech, no floor debate, and not even a legitimate roll call?  How come Jesse Jackson and every other candidate from the Democratic primary system prior to 2008 got treated as legitimate politicians and their delegates accorded a voice but not Hillary’s?  How do we explain a discrepancy like this?  We should all be asking ourselves this question until we get an answer that makes sense. Oh, sure, the superdelegates all moved like osmosis to Obama’s column, pulled no doubt by a hypertonic money solution.  But the elected delegates should have counted for something.  And they didn’t.

So, either the Republicans are going to be a lot more honest about their convention than the Democrats or they will adopt the Democrats’ model from 2008 and negate the primaries altogether so that they don’t have to accommodate Ron Paul’s constituency.  And if that’s the way the parties are going to go, why go through this expensive and painful process every 4 years?  If the money guys are going to pick the male party nominee anyway, why bother with the façade of electoral legitimacy?  We all know what our preisdential campaigns have boiled down to in the past 12 years.  The preferred candidates get the nod.  It will either be a money wing candidate with social conservative tendencies or a money wing candidate with socially moderate tendencies.  Them’s the choices.  Pick one.

If you don’t like your choices, and that’s all you’re going to get, you HAVE to go outside the parties and pick a different flavor of politician.  Yes, it takes effort to find them on a ballot.  No, there’s no guarantee your candidate is going to win, although it will be easier if as many people as possible show up to vote for the same person.  That’s usually how it’s done.  But at some point in time, enough of us have to decide that we have no other alternative and decide to pick someone else.  It can be done.  Just say no to both parties this year unless they give you a choice you can live with.

******************

For a different take on the 2-party system, check out Virtually Speaking Susie’s interview with Mike Patterson from Occupy DC.  Mike spells it out for the occupy doubters: the Occupy movement is not interested in becoming an arm of the Obama campaign.  It doesn’t like Democrats any more than it likes Republicans right now.  Both parties have let the American people down.  What Occupy will turn into is a different question but it’s not there to support Obama, that’s for damn sure.

By the way, tune your bat channels for Virtually Speaking tonight when one of my favorite bloggers, Lenore Skenazy of FreeRangeKids is on to talk about what happened to American childhood.  I’m convinced that there is a connection between fearmongering and strict behavioral controls of both parents and children and the goals of the right wing.  I hope Jay Ackroyd and Lenore explore this connection.  The one thing you can count on is that Lenore will bring her horror stories from modern day parenting.  The fact that she is not exaggerating makes it all the more frightening.  That’s tonight at 8:00pm EST.  Virtually Speaking A-Z with Stuart Zechman and Virtually Speaking with Lenore Skenazy.

Here’s a little taste of Lenore:

**************************************

This headline says it all: “SOPA Sponsor Rep. Lamar Smith to SOPA opponents: You don’t matter.

Ok, good to know.  I hope he’s not doing anything important when the internet giants decide to pull the plug temporarily for system maintenance.

*************************************

For those of you who have made a resolution to be less of a slob this year (moi!), check out ApartmentTherapy’s homekeeping tips.  Think of it as housecleaning for people who have better things to do with their time and less “impeccably fresh” Martha Stewart-esque attention to obsessive detail.  Like, is it ok to clean your jeans in the freezer.  Or, if your house is really messy, where do you start?  It’s so overwhelming.  Start with the bedroom.  Here’s the list for deep cleaning your bedroom, step-by-step.  You can do this.  Er, *I* can do this.

Just do it.

*************************************

Another one bites the dust: Sanofi closes its Bridgewater, NJ site.  This happened faster than my former colleagues anticipated.  I’m very sorry to hear this and hope that they’ve all been preparing for their Plan B’s.  I’ve been getting a recent flood of LinkedIn invitations in the last week.  It’s nervewracking, guys.  All I can say is get out of NJ if you can.  The money has dried up.  You need to decide to not to live a precarious existence.  Pack up the family and head west or at least mid-west.  Scale down, regroup, renew and reclaim your dignity.  To those of you who didn’t get an invitation to Cambridge, don’t beat yourselves up.  I know how good you are.  It’s nothing personal.  It’s mostly politics and, unfortunately for Cambridge, it will *not* be getting all of the “best of the best”.  One final thing, you will feel so much better once the shoe drops.  I sleep a lot better these days.  Good luck to all.

***********************************

And now, a thing of beauty to relieve you of combat fatigue.  This is a ballet of the seasons from a new version of Cinderella.  The company is Belle Etudes in Arizona and the dancers are pretty young.  The choreography is exquisite:

Afternoon entertainment

I lived in upstate New York when I was a young teen and spent my hard earned babysitting money primarily on my little brother and the New York City Ballet Summer Season at the Saratoga Performing Arts Festival.  Matinees were about $2 bucks a pop.  Sometimes, I was forced to bring my little sister with me but I’m the only one in my family that turned out to be a ballet nut.  I saw every Ballanchine ballet Stravinsky ever scored and thought the Jerome Robbins’ ballets were quirky and fun.  (Afternoon of a Faun?  The Cage? Too good.)

I saw a ballet *like* this one back then.  My memory says it was called The Rehearsal and featured a corps dancer who had had a bit too much to drink.  This opening dance is from The Concert (or The Perils of Everybody).  You know, when the group has an off night?  Anyone who’s had to interact seemlessly with other people in a group has had this happen at some time or another.

Enjoy!  This is an open thread.

Tuesday: Born to Run

Run, Hillary, Run!

As you may recall, I have been trying to get this Run for the Employable off the ground since May but suffered some setbacks, like pulling my back and then breaking my toe. The Toe is almost 100% so I’m going to give it a try again this morning.

The purpose of the Run for the Employable is to remind the public that we’re still out there, we’re in great physical condition and we want the country and politicians to know that JOBS are THE MOST IMPORTANT THING that they should be focusing on, not which apocalyptic Tea Party nutcase can hold his breath the longest.

If you’re interested in the Run for the Employable. here’s all you have to do: get out there and run.  Yes, we should probably have identifying T-Shirts.  Today, I’m going to wear my “Hillary for President” T-Shirt that I snagged in 2008 when I was volunteering.  (Cleverly, her campaign left the year off of the T-shirt so these are totally recyclable for 2012. hmmmm….)  Other ideas for a T-shirt are ones that say “Employable” on the front and “<your profession goes here>” on the back.  I’d just use a Sharpie for the back of the T-Shirt but it’s probably a good idea to consult VastLeft to find out where he got his 2L4O T-shirts made because I think his are union.

General guidelines:

1.) Consult your physician before starting any exercise program.  Do only what you’re capable of doing.  If you can run, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, roll.  If you want to do Zumba with a bunch of unemployed friends, that’s ok too just as long as you get attention.

2.) Keep your eyes on your own shoes.  I wear Nike’s to correct a pronation problem when I run.  I have a closet full of old running shoes that did not work out for me.  Nike makes the only shoe that doesn’t give me painful shin splints.  The only alternative to Nike’s for me is not to run at all.  But I’m not going to let anyone guilt me into not running so Nike it is.  If you don’t like it, I suggest you avert your eyes.  If you’re worried more about being pure than being unemployed, you’re missing the point and this is not the run for you.  Otherwise, wear comfortable clothing that is neither too loose or too constricting and warm up thoroughly before you start.

3.) Choose the level of run that is right for you.  I am a lousy runner.  There, I said it.  So, to help me get up to 5K, I’m using the app Get Running on my iphone.  Get Running will gradually train you to run 5K’s using the Couch to 5K program.  The running coach has a encouraging British accent and will gently guide you through a 30 minute running program that gets more challenging over 9 weeks.  By the end of the 9 weeks, you can run 5Ks.  You can also sync Get Running with your run Playlist.  I can’t run without music but your mileage may vary.  If you like to exercise to music I recommend songs that have a good “rolling” rhythm to coordinate your heel strike.  Lady Gaga is out (too slow, believe it or not) but Katy Perry is in (Firework is the best running song I’ve used). Include a couple of slower songs for warm up and cool down.  Here is my current play list:

1.) Amazing Grace- Laura Love (warm up)
2.) Paul Young – Love of the Common Peopple
3.) There is Power in a Union- Billy Bragg and The Pattersons
3.5) O…Saya- A.H. Rahman (slumdog millionaire)
4.) The Heartbreak Rides- AC Newman
5.) Firework – Katy Perry (one of the best running songs.  What a surprise)
6.) Fireflies – Owl City
7.) Real Wild Child- Iggy Popp
8.) Jessica- Allman Brothers
9.) Raise Your Glass- The Warblers (Glee)
10.) Welcome to the Future – Brad Paisley
11.) Iko Iko – The Belle Stars
12.) My Big 10 Inch Record – Aerosmith
13.) Love Today- Mika
14.) All These Things That I’ve Done- The Killers
15.)Let the River Run- Carly Simon
16.) River of Dreams- Billy Joel
17.) Run – George Strait (cool down)
18.) Volcano- Jimmy Buffet (post run stretch)

In the future, I’d like to start coordinating runs with other people and run when and where we’re most likely to get seen.  Let’s go viral if we can.  Yeah, I know it’s hot in the summer so run in the morning.  My plan is to run every other day according to the Get Running program and to do toning with free weights on the days in between in the nice, cool basement.

Can we do this?  Can we afford NOT to do this?

Just do it.

And here’s a funny video I found of a ballet audition featuring two contestants.  The video is entitled, Not All Ballerinas are Created Equal.  Stick with it.  :-^

If the DNC were making the call in 2008, dancer number 2 would have gotten the job after the first dancer was bludgeoned on the knee.  (otherwise the competition wouldn’t have been fair)