Archive for February, 2012

 

Here’s a link [ht: db] to Andrew Revkin’s story of the history of the song he wrote, along with the lyrics and links (by him and those contributing comments) to other coal-related songs.

 

Excerpts from the letter sent by the 4 to 5 Movement to Rev. John Jenkins, C.S.C., the president of the University of Notre Dame, can be found here.

“American Land”

Posted: 29 February 2012 in Uncategorized
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Then there’s this 2009 live version.

And the lyrics:

Whoa!

What is this land America, so many travel there
I’m going now while I’m still young, my darling meet me there
Wish me luck my lovely, I’ll send for you when I can
And we’ll make our home in the American land

Over there the women wear silk and satin to their knees
And children, dear, the sweets, I hear, are growing on the trees
Gold comes rushing out the river straight into your hands
When you make your home in the American land

There’s diamonds in the sidewalk, the gutters lined in song
Dear, I hear that beer flows through the faucets all night long
There’s treasure for the taking, for any hard working man
Who’ll make his home in the American land

Whoa!

Whoa!

I docked at Ellis Island in the city of light and spire
I wandered to the valley of red-hot steel and fire
We made the steel that built the cities with the sweat of our two hands
We made our home in the American land

Go!
There’s diamonds in the sidewalk, the gutters lined in song
Dear, I hear that beer flows through the faucets all night long
There’s treasure for the taking, for any hard working man
Who’ll make his home in the American land

Whoa!
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!
???!
Come on!

The McNicholas, the Posalskis, the Smiths, Zerillis too
The Blacks, the Irish, Italians, the Germans and the Jews
They come across the water a thousand miles from home
With nothing in their bellies but the fire down below

They died building the railroads, they worked to bones and skin
They died in the fields and factories, names scattered in the wind
They died to get here a hundred years ago, they’re still dying now
Their hands that built the country we’re always trying to keep out

There’s diamonds in the sidewalk, the gutters lined in song
Dear, I hear that beer flows through the faucets all night long
There’s treasure for the taking, for any hard working man
Who’ll make his home in the American land
Who’ll make his home in the American land
Who’ll make his home in the American land
Whoa!

Public art of the day

Posted: 29 February 2012 in Uncategorized
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Above

The house of mirth

Posted: 29 February 2012 in Uncategorized
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You just can’t make this stuff up:

The smaller bonus checks that hit accounts across the financial-services industry this month are making it difficult to maintain the lifestyles that Wall Street workers expect, according to interviews with bankers and their accountants, therapists, advisers and headhunters.

“People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress,” said Alan Dlugash, a partner at accounting firm Marks Paneth & Shron LLP in New York who specializes in financial planning for the wealthy. “Could you imagine what it’s like to say I got three kids in private school, I have to think about pulling them out? How do you do that?”

Protest of the day

Posted: 29 February 2012 in Uncategorized
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Millions of workers, including members of the nation’s eleven largest trade unions, took to the streets across India yesterday in a nationwide strike.

Special mention

We’ve suspected it all along but now we know: the rich really are different from the rest of us.

People driving expensive cars were more likely than other motorists to cut off drivers and pedestrians at a four-way-stop intersection in the San Francisco Bay Area, UC Berkeley researchers observed. Those findings led to a series of experiments that revealed that people of higher socioeconomic status were also more likely to cheat to win a prize, take candy from children and say they would pocket extra change handed to them in error rather than give it back.

Because rich people have more financial resources, they’re less dependent on social bonds for survival, the Berkeley researchers reported Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. As a result, their self-interest reigns and they have fewer qualms about breaking the rules.

Even more: they’re not rich because they’re different. Their wealth makes them different.

But before those in the so-called 99% start feeling ethically superior, consider this: Piff and his colleagues also discovered that anyone’s ethical standards could be prone to slip if they suddenly won the lottery and joined the top 1%.

“There is a strong notion that when people don’t have much, they’re really looking out for themselves and they might act unethically,” said Scott Wiltermuth, who researches social status at USC’s Marshall School of Business and wasn’t involved in the study. “But actually, it’s the upper-class people that are less likely to see that people around them need help — and therefore act unethically.”

Of course, even more interesting than the findings about how the rich are different from the rest of us are the fact that (a) people set out to investigate the difference and (b) the mainstream media are reporting the results.

In Search of Lost Time

Posted: 28 February 2012 in Uncategorized
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Clearly, things have gotten so bad we need to invoke classic literature to make sense of the current crises.

It all started with the Great Gatsby Curve. Now, it’s the Proust Index. Next up: the Dictionary of Received (Economic) Ideas and the Economic Comedy.