Radio, Radio

Okay, so I've used this title before, and neither this post nor the last has anything to do with Elvis Costello (whom I've been listening to on YouTube lately).
I may have mentioned that the CD player in my car died about a year ago, just as I was starting my hour-plus commute twice a week; thus, I've been listening to the radio a lot here in CNY. What have I found? A lot of stations that are surprisingly like the one I listened to as a teenager (KGON - note that they're advertising Def Leppard) and the station I listened to in Roanoke when I was painting houses (WROV). Classic rock, and today's best rock! Well, not so much.
But it's not just one station here: I've been driving all over CNY, so I listen to stations from Kingston, Ontario and Watertown (NY), through Syracuse, the Finger Lakes, and into Rochester
(and I'm not going to list the stations, there's seven I listen to regularly and I really don't remember all their call letters). Collectively, they play more Neil Young, Rush, Guess Who, BTO, Red Rider, Neil Young (yes, they play a lot of Neil Young) - that is, Canadian bands - than I'm used to, but that's okay. However, it's somewhat dismaying to hear so much Lynyrd Skynyrd and Allman Brothers: I thought I left the south!

The cartoon is related to this post - credit to Julie for the link.


Plum blossoms, again

This time with a better picture - varnished and in the frame correctly.


Boris Badenov for President!

Sad having missed vote-buying in Ames, IA, Boris now wants to enter the race for president.

He will slash your taxes - and your tires!
He will slash government spending - and the government's tires!


Painting for Wednesday

Sometimes I like the ambiguity of the title, "painter"... and other times, not so much. In any case, this is all the painting I've done this week.
From Ogata Korin (1658-1716)'s Red and White Plum Blossoms. It's not varnished, and therefore not in the frame correctly, but this gives a good sense of the mostly-finished product.
Soon to be hanging in a conference room near you (if you happen to live in Syracuse, NY)!



This actually isn't the post I promised a while back, but related: what do we mean when we talk about "liberty"?
Michele Bachmann: "Whether it’s economic liberty, religious liberty, liberty in our finances, liberty in being able to choose the profession we have." (Link) Religion, yes; but please note that the other three things are all about money. (And what is love of money the root of?)

In the Bill of Rights, the best you can do to support this view is the Ninth Amendment; since I am relatively sure that most of my readers have no idea what it says, here's the complete text: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

So what else is contained in the Bill of Rights? Free speech, freedom of the press; freedom to assemble peaceably, the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances, in the first amendment alone. Note that these are positive freedoms, things we can do, rather than negative freedoms. Negative freedoms include not having to quarter soldiers, not being subjected to unreasonable search and seizure, not being compelled to serve as witness against oneself, deprived of due process, or have private property take for public use without just compensation. Positively, we should be allowed a speedy and public trial, by jury if we so choose. Negatively, we shouldn't be subject to cruel or unusual punishment. I have left off the second and tenth amendment - I'll come back to those shortly. It's important to notice that all of these have to do with overreach by government, the sorts of overreach that the colonists were subject to and wanted to prevent in this new country. It doesn't say anything about economics, a field that was just barely getting started at the time this was written; that cuts both ways, in that the founders weren't thinking about it one way or another, at least in concrete ways they were willing to enshrine in the bill of rights. I can also certainly point to instances where these seem to have been violated; the city in which I live still bears the scars of private property taken for public use - the interstate freeway - that wasn't compensated justly, to name one example off the top of my head.

I'm surprised that Michele Bachmann didn't mention the second amendment, but of course it wouldn't have fit with the narrative of either economic freedom or why her ancestors came to this country. Also, the tenth amendment has been getting more press recently, in terms of states' rights. Just one quick note, since I don't think this can be said often enough these days: the secession of the Confederacy wasn't about "rights" in the plural, only about one "right": the "right" of a person to own another as property.

What do we not see in the bill of rights? "Economic liberty... liberty in our finances, liberty in being able to choose the profession we have." Not that I want the government telling me what job I can do (although the government telling me what job I can't do - for instance, I don't think you would want me to do tattoo removal - is a good thing!) But there is there is a lot more to "liberty" than being able to buy cheap stuff at WalMart and pollute the earth with your SUV.


Trudy in a paper bag

I don't normally work with chalk - that is, draw with chalk... at least outside of class. Anyway, I should have put this up last night, because this morning it appears that one of the kitties (I'm guessing Trudy) walked all over it last night, and little kitty pawprints do not improve the overall effect.

Tomorrow: cartooons!


Just pictures today

No real commentary today, except to note that for those of us who are looking for jobs, everything happening in Washington lately is very depressing. What was that Kent Conrad was saying about improving confidence?