Big Smoke

’cause it’s hard to see from where I’m standin’

How the World Turns

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The NYTimes reported that the numbers are in and NYC is now experiencing a 16-year high in unemployment at 10.3%.

A 16-year high, eh? What was 16 years ago?

Oh, right: Clinton’s first year in office, dealing with the recession the elder Bush left him.

Funny how that works.

Good news, though: The state bailed out the city of Philadelphia – the libraries stay open.*

Just minutes ago, the Pennsylvania State senate passed bill 1828 by a vote of 32 to 17. For all of you who have been following the saga over the city’s budget crisis, this is indeed the legislation that was needed for the City of Philadelphia to avoid the “Doomsday” Plan C budget scenario, which would have resulted in the layoff of 3,000 city employees and forced┬áthe closing of all libraries.

Posted yesterday at 4:26pm. Truly 11th hour saviors.

*And to hammer the point home of the importance of literacy, this is the first comment: “Good luck to you and your library’s..”

Ouch.

There Are No Words

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Literally.

The Philadelphia Library System is closing.

All of it.

I don’t know if I could live in a place where that is allowed to happen. It’s one of the most disturbing civic and cultural losses I’ve heard in my lifetime.

The thing about the city is this: You could have nothing but four walls and a mattress, yet you still have access to the intellectual and cultural vigor of your surroundings, free of charge, just for being there. It’s a cornerstone of the elevation of the common man. It’s one of the pillars of true democracy; arguably the pillar of democracy, for nothing else matters so much to the health of a free nation than education.

This is a travesty. An utter travesty. And for what? A budget crunch! I’ll bet the highways are still getting funds…

Oh, the Truth

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Carter says out loud what we were all thinking and get attacked for it. Film at 11.

Yeah, sure, the Town “Hells,” birthers, teabaggers, DC protest and Congressional outburst aren’t racially tinged. This has no racial undertone at all!

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Nor this!

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Images from Huffington Post

Teabaggers

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Slate reports on the recent oxymoronic conservative protest in DC:

Just as Obama’s inauguration was hailed as a historic moment, the tea partiers saw themselves in equally world-historical terms. “It’s great to be part of history,” said Nick Gingric of Freeberg, Pa. “I think this is the biggest crowd ever to march on Washington.”

Cue collective liberal smirk.

+1 for Social Consciousness

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-10 for misunderstanding music.

You know rap (or any other musical form) is dead when people start telling artists what they should rap about. The mere idea that music, like television, is merely a medium for sale to the highest bidder (or loftiest goal) independent or indeed in spite of its writers, composers and artists, is how we get the dumbing down – the consumerification – of art.

It’s how we get the remake of Fame, a whitewashed, watered down, safe version of a better movie. It’s as if the producers cynically believe people can’t deal with reality and thus try to put on the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia and moral righteousness as much as they can in order to make it palatable to people not in the mood to be challenged or… motherfucker. That’s what it is, isn’t it?

Also, this. Tennis player gets a bad call in the middle of a big match, loses shit. No story. What, she’s Black? STORY!

Obama’s Speech on Education Censored by Certain School Districts

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I weep now.

Speaking of education, Reading Rainbow’s going off the air after 26 years. Why? Because the policies set under the Bush administration emphasized how to read rather than why one should read.

Even now Bush is destroying my childhood. I weep now.

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