December 30, 2009
You'll have to click on the image to get a legible version; but basically, the turquoise lines represent countries that have universal coverage provided by public and private insurers, and the orange lines – the U.S. and Mexico – represent the countries that do NOT have universal coverage.
The US line is super-high on the left because that's how much more we spend compared to the other nations. And the US line is much lower on the right because, even though we spend so much more, our life expectancies are actually below the mean average of that in the others.
U.S. insurers have already had decades to show they could deliver better results doing it their way, and it hasn't worked.
In contrast, in many other countries, universal coverage with a public option has been working well for decades; it's a proven solution.
UPDATE: Here's a calculator to help you figure out how you'd fare under the new law as of this writing. I'd check the results under the "Senate Leadership Bill," since it seems whatever passes will more closely resemble that version. In my own case, it says I wouldn't be eligible for any subsidy, I should expect to pay nearly 13% of my before-tax income for insurance – and that doesn't count whatever I'll have to pay in deductibles, co-pays, etc. – AND there would be no cap on premium increases.
December 28, 2009
The Chicago-based artists' collective, Temporary Services, has published a one-off newspaper issue on how depressed economies affect artistic process, compensation, and property, including artists' initiatives to organize in their own and others' behalf.
You can download a complete copy of the issue here or here (please share these links!) A limited number of hard copies are also being distributed at select locations across the U.S.
Contributors to the newspaper include artists, critics, writers, and educators "seeking to articulate the ways in which artists and culture-makers both respond to and deal with the economic depressions of the world," including Holland Cotter, New York Times art critic and 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner for criticism; writer/artist Gregory Shollette, contributor to Artforum and co-editor of The Interventionists: Users' Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life; Julia Bryan-Wilson, author of Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam Era (2009) and Work Ethic (2003); Christina Ulke, Marc Herbst, and Robby Herbst, editors for The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest; Harrell Fletcher, visual artist; Futurefarmers, a collective design studio that supports art projects, artists in residencies and research interests; Nicolas Lampert, interdisciplinary artist; Lize Mogel, interdisciplinary artist; Linda Frye Burnham, writer and founder of High Performance magazine; Scott Berzofsky and John Duda, organizers of City from Below; Cooley Windsor, author of Visit Me in California; and many more.
TS has been described as "working out of a Situationist tradition"; their projects or publications have been featured at Mass MoCA, The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, the Smart Museum of Art, the Creative Time Summit, and elsewhere.
UPDATE: Additional hard copies of the issue are available for the cost of shipping, through Half Letter Press; but due to the limited supply, orders of additional copies are being limited to 10 each; so get yours soon. Also, Temporary Services' Art Work website has the issue in the now-traditional interactive format, plus additional materials that could not be included in the hard copy because of monetary or time constraints.
December 25, 2009
You can now see artists' and art professionals' responses to Political Art Month so far here. They're interesting, inspiring, and funny.
Founder Gene Elder writes, "Our goal [among others] is to alert galleries across America to devote some thought and time to either political, social or religious subject matter for July." For more on P.A.M., see my previous post.
What are you planning for P.A.M.? Let Elder and the world know; send him the details at elder4tomato at yahoo dot com.
December 22, 2009
December 21, 2009
As I understand, the current Senate bill would force us to pay up to 8% of our incomes to insurance cos. while leaving us on the hook for up to $11,900 a year in out-of-pocket medical expenses, fail to end discrimination for most people based on preexisting conditions until 2014, and fail to limit increases in insurance premiums.
Most of the vaunted 30 million additional insureds will be those who need it least – young people likely to generate more profits than costs.
Let's repeat just part of that: 30 million new MANDATED payers of insurance premiums, and NO meaningful caps on what insurers can charge us.
We're being required to pay an awful lot for very little actual benefit to most of the people most in need.
It reminds me of when conservatives argued we had to keep funding the Iraq war or we wouldn't be able to afford to bring the troops home safely.
Our troops then were, and the few sick children who might actually be benefitted by this bill are now, being held for ransom by people who can't be trusted to fulfill any promises once we've paid up.
It also looks like another instance of the conservative strategy of causing us to spend way too much on the wrong things and later screaming to high heavens that we've got nothing left to spend on the right things.
December 18, 2009
Yesterday, at the request of the Southeast Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Town East Mall security seized a tenant's entire inventory of t-shirts reading "Welcome to Pleasant Grove" under an image of a body being thrown into a car trunk – a little reminder that enclosed malls are part of the "Constitution-Free Zone," to which, one surmises, the Southeast Dallas Chamber of Commerce would like Pleasant Grove to be added.
I want one of those shirts!
More at The Dallas Morning News.
UPDATE: I got one of those shirts (thanks, Danny!) At MoeWampum.
December 17, 2009
I esp. LOVED Eija-Liisa Ahtila's Talo (The House), 3-channel video installation, 14 min. loop (2002), and Yinka Shonibare's Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball), video, 32 min. (2004).
More on Talo at The Art Institute of Chicago.
Shonibare discusses Un Ballo and his next film, a production of Swan Lake created in collaboration with the Royal Opera House, in an interview at Bombsite.
December 16, 2009
December 15, 2009
If you're happy with non-healthcare reform, non-bankster regulation, non-withdrawal from perpetual wars, etc., don't watch this.
You might want to turn up the volume.
December 13, 2009
Electronic Frontier Foundation has a helpful article analyzing the changes, which FB is promoting as giving users more control over who has access to their data. While it's true that the new privacy settings interface is more convenient with respect to some kinds of information, FB is in fact eliminating many privacy options that used to be available. B.t.w., EFF recs that you NOT accept the privacy settings that FB recs.
(Pretty much all I post on FB is warnings about FB.)
UPDATE: Great NYT article here walks you through the settings to do what little you can to try to protect your privacy under the new FB regime.
Sheehan has announced that on March 13 (which I'm told is the anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq), she will found a new camp across the street from the White House, on the lawn of the Washington Monument. The camp will have two purposes: to protest the U.S. wars in Iraq and A-stan, and to serve as a community for those who have lost jobs and homes during what she terms "the Goldman Sachs Depression." More at PeaceoftheAction.
December 10, 2009
December 8, 2009
"broadcasting collaborative content, every hour on the hour", as I understand lets anyone upload anything in the following categories: art and design, decor, life sciences, photography, things, wear, words. At right, a sample of the current results under words (click on the image for a more legible version, or seek the original material here). (Thanks, Danny!)
December 6, 2009
I understand that, until recently, it's been at least theoretically possible to use Google yet prevent the company from tracking all your online activities by logging out of your Google account.
Don't forget to do that. Via Tech Radar (thanks, Ben!)
Not any more.
As of last Friday, even searchers who aren’t logged into Google in any way have their data tracked in the name of providing a ‘better service’.
* * * * *
The company explained: “What we’re doing today is expanding Personalized Search so that we can provide it to signed-out users as well. This addition enables us to customise search results for you based upon 180 days of search activity linked to an anonymous cookie in your browser.”
However, if you’ve previously been a fan of the log-out method to avoid being tracked, there’s still the option to disable the cookie by clicking a link at the top right of a search results page.
December 4, 2009
but there are still a few worthy threads. E.g.:
44. and if we could have had Medicare for all.....
Look at all the real jobs that could come from THAT trickle down effect.
32. any jobs caulking foreclosed houses?
33. Chains You Can Believe In
36. Funds don't seem limited for war or Wall Street bailouts. Do they?
"You said that we did it for a show."
39. Hilarious. DU is a riot.
Where's all that Obama love that was flowing before the election? People didn't really believe he was on the side of the working men/women, did they?
This is rich. I'll have to start visiting DU more often now.
42. I'll clue you in: Expect some posters to agree with Obama & that unemployment is a handout.
46. Wow.....that almost sounds like someone's channelling Reagan nt
48. When you have been mocked at DU for a peace sign avatar, anything can happen
55. Some people were so caught up in those pretty speechsermons he preached
that nothing on earth would convince them that he wasn't a progressive dream, not his appointment of the likes of Goolsbee to his economic team, not his duplicity on NAFTA, not the blatant catering to haters in the McClurkin Fiasco, nothing.
So here we are.
43. I love how he's the decider when it comes to shipping dollars overseas
but when it comes to jobs, we're supposed to host little meetings in our living rooms and solve those problems ourselves.
Of course the real solution is obvious, but we're not supposed to notice.
December 2, 2009
Cf. Dropping Furniture by Paul Horn and Harald Hund, screened at the last Dallas VideoFest.
"It turns out that, in April, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India (acronymically TAPI) signed a Gas Pipeline Framework Agreement to build a U.S.-backed $7.6 billion pipeline. It would, of course, bypass Iran and new energy giant Russia, carrying Turkmeni natural gas and oil to Pakistan and India. Construction would, theoretically, begin in 2010. Put the emphasis on 'theoretically,' because the pipeline is, once again, to run straight through Kandahar and so directly into the heartland of the Taliban insurgency. "
More at The Nation, HuffPo, Undernews, CTV, Asset Protection Index, The Nation again, U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski's The Grand Chessboard, the Project for a New American Century, Wikipedia, and Drillbits & Tailings.