Great book, great name

 

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Somehow came across the name Hortense Powerdermaker and I knew I had to have her book. img_9109-1

Some good observations:

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Kiss Kiss Bang Bang:

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How about this?:

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Me, I’m trying to be like Mr. Well Adjusted:

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One last chance?

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stirred the pot the other day with this tweet.

 

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I mean, I like being lumped in with the #coolkids.

When I tweeted that, I meant what I said: it would be a cool movie.  The Electoral College members are mostly, as I understand it, a bunch of ordinary schmoes. 99 times out of a hundred their job is rubber stamping, a comical bit of leftover political inanity.

But what if, one day, it wasn’t so easy?  

What if, one day, these ordinary citizens were called upon to make a tough choice.  

A choice that would bring them right into the line of fire.

A choice that would change history.  

The idea of Trump in the White House makes me sick.  61,900,651 Americans disagree, obvs.  An Electoral College revolt is a crazy fantasy.  But I enjoy thinking about it!

What is right and wrong for the Electoral College to do?

Says the National Archives:

There is no Constitutional provision or Federal law that requires Electors to vote according to the results of the popular vote in their states. Some states, however, require Electors to cast their votes according to the popular vote. These pledges fall into two categories—Electors bound by state law and those bound by pledges to political parties.

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the Constitution does not require that Electors be completely free to act as they choose and therefore, political parties may extract pledges from electors to vote for the parties’ nominees. Some state laws provide that so-called “faithless Electors” may be subject to fines or may be disqualified for casting an invalid vote and be replaced by a substitute elector. The Supreme Court has not specifically ruled on the question of whether pledges and penalties for failure to vote as pledged may be enforced under the Constitution. No Elector has ever been prosecuted for failing to vote as pledged.

Today, it is rare for Electors to disregard the popular vote by casting their electoral vote for someone other than their party’s candidate. Electors generally hold a leadership position in their party or were chosen to recognize years of loyal service to the party. Throughout our history as a nation, more than 99 percent of Electors have voted as pledged.

The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) has compiled a brief summary of state laws about the various procedures, which vary from state to state, for selecting slates of potential electors and for conducting the meeting of the electors. The document, Summary: State Laws Regarding Presidential Electors, can be downloaded from the NASS website.

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From the NASS website, here’s how it goes down in my home state of California:

Whenever a political party submits to the Secretary of State its certified list of nominees for electors of President and Vice President of the United States, the Secretary of State shall notify each candidate for elector of his or her nomination by the party. The electors chosen shall assemble at the State Capitol at 2 o’clock in the afternoon on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December next following their election. In case of the death or absence of any elector chosen, or if the number of electors is deficient for any other reason, the electors then present shall elect, from the citizens of the state, as many persons as will supply the deficiency. The electors, when convened, if both candidates are alive, shall vote by ballot for that person for President and that person for Vice President of the United States, who are, respectively, the candidates of the political party which they represent, one of whom, at least, is not an inhabitant of this state.

That seems pretty standard.  In some states they meet in the governor’s office or the office of the secretary of state.  In Massachusetts they will meet in the Governor’s office:

Barry Chin for The Boston Globe, found here.

Barry Chin for The Boston Globe, found here.

Here’s what the good ol’ Constitution says about the EC.

 

Now, what is the point of all this?  If you’ve read at all about the EC, you will know that Hamilton made the case for it in Federalist 68, which you can read a summary of here or the real thing here.

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You’ve probably seen this quote:

Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States

But to me, the more interesting one is this one:

Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.

Wow!

Now, I hear the argument that the cool kids are always changing the rules.  I don’t think I agree with the logic of this petition, which is half “Hillary won the popular vote” (who cares, that’s not the rules we were playing by) and half “Trump is unfit to serve.”

The Trump being unfit to serve bit was up to the voters.  Seems very dangerous to me for the Electoral College to start making that call.  That is some wonked aristocratic bullshit that the Constitution maybe intended, but which the Constitution as practiced and understood has moved away from?

But if it were proven Trump colluded with a foreign power, then I think hell yeah!  If you believe, as I do, that the Constitution is a genius mechanism full of checks and failsafes, isn’t the Electoral College designed exactly to be one last chance for good old-fashioned citizens to stop a presidential candidate who allowed a foreign power to gain an improper ascendant in our councils?

I don’t think we have the proof that Trump did that.  But I think the Electors are totally within their rights to think about it and decide what to do.

In closing my feelings are well summarized by Ben White:

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A Visit To LACMA

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This bro is from Egypt in the late 3rd-4th century

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Very cool video installation by Brigitte Zieger called Shooting Wallpaper:

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Here is No-Tin:

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painted by Henry Inman around 1832.

Henry Inman

Henry Inman

I’ve always thought this one is kind of cool:

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Frans Post of the Netherlands painting Brazil in 1655.  The frame feels wrong.

Take a look at this one:

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Then learn the story:

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Sometimes, don’t you feel like this mammoth?

Learn more about California in:

Japan

Available at Amazon or your local indie bookstore.


good poem

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by:

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Westworld Criticism

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Emily Nussbaum is very smart and a good TV critic, chipple on all that, but this bugged me:

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First of all, are we sure we’re not watching the gayest male bachelor party of all time?

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Plus, this knock on the show seems to me to go against one of Updike’s rules of (book) fair reviewing:

Do not imagine yourself a caretaker of any tradition, an enforcer of any party standards, a warrior in an idealogical battle, a corrections officer of any kind.

Sometimes I wonder if all criticism should begin with a little creed or prayer like: creating something like Westworld is such an incredible miracle combination of talent, craft, imagination, vision, perseverance, and courage.  To think of the efforts of hundreds that go into creating a single frame of this show is humbling.  BUUUUT: 

Some strong feelings about critics are expressed by the fictional narrator of this book.

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Me, I appreciate critics, really enjoy Emily Nussbaum, and respect a take!


Huell

Caught a few minutes of the late great Huell Howser, up to Pismo to learn about clams.

found here

found here


Lady Xoc

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from wikicommons, photo by Michel Wai

The ruler, Shield Jaguar, holds a torch while his consort, Lady Xoc, pulls a rope studded with what are now believed to be obsidian shards through her tongue in order to conjure a vision serpent.

says Wiki about Lintel 24 from Yaxchilan, a site in far southern Mexico, along the Usumacinta River, the border to Guatemala.

photo by me, Helytimes

photo by me, Helytimes

Yaxchilan is not easy to get to.  You have to take a boat like this:

Photo © 2004 Jacob Russ from Wiki commons

Helytimes!

In the river there are crocodiles, in the towers of the ruins there are bats, everywhere there are spiders.

You won’t find Lintel 24 there though.  It’s at the British Museum in London.  It was cut out and sent there by Alfred Maudslay.

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Slay.

What the hell was up with Lady Xoc?  She appears on another lintel, Lintel 25:

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her obsidian tongue piercing rope worked, and now she’s seeing the Vision Serpent as she bleeds into a bowl.

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Michel wal again

Read more about Yaxchilan, Bonampak, how we figured out how to read Mayan inscriptions, and the mysteries of what the hell Lady Xoc and her friends were up to in my book:

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I believe you’ll enjoy it as much as this baby does.  Amazon or your local indie bookstore, perhaps, for instance, at Spellbinder Books, way up in Bishop, CA.

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this one from google maps

There’s a lot to like about Bishop.

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