Category Archives: Politics

Live Simply So People Can Simply Live?


The slash and burn spending cuts that have been used to balance the budget will affect the low-income communities at first, then will gradually creep into the middle class arena, what is left of the middle class.

According to Moody’s the top 20% of the earners in the US account for 60% of all spending. MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, a research service states that the luxury category has posted 10 consecutive months of sales increase compared to last year. July alone had an 11.6 percentage increase.

Much of this spending on luxury goods is attributed to the Dow Jones being up by about 80 percentage from its low in March 2009.

Even Marked Up, Luxury Goods Fly Off Shelves

By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD
Published: August 3, 2011

Nordstrom has a waiting list for a Chanel sequined tweed coat with a $9,010 price. Neiman Marcus has sold out in almost every size of Christian Louboutin “Bianca” platform pumps, at $775 a pair. Mercedes-Benz said it sold more cars last month in the United States than it had in any July in five years.

Even with the economy in a funk and many Americans pulling back on spending, the rich are again buying designer clothing, luxury cars and about anything that catches their fancy. Luxury goods stores, which fared much worse than other retailers in the recession, are more than recovering — they are zooming. Many high-end businesses are even able to mark up, rather than discount, items to attract customers who equate quality with price.

“If a designer shoe goes up from $800 to $860, who notices?” said Arnold Aronson, managing director of retail strategies at the consulting firm Kurt Salmon, and the former chairman and chief executive of Saks.

The rich do not spend quite as they did in the free-wheeling period before the recession, but they are closer to that level.

Read the full article at The New York Times in Business Day.

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Christian Louboutin Bianca Patent Platform Pump
Neiman Marcus – $775     currently sold out

The shiny patent leather sheen gleams on this quintessential platform pump.

  • Patent leather
  • Low-dipped vamp for leg-lengthening effect
  • Almond toe
  • Leather lining; padded leather insole
  • 5″ covered heel with 1″ platform
  • Signature red sole
  • “Bianca” is made in Italy

About Christian Louboutin:

French designer Christian Louboutin introduced his namesake collection in 1991, and his powerfully feminine shoes soon became must-haves for stylish women everywhere.

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The Poverty Tour: A Call to Conscience


GOD BLESS SMILEY & WEST

Smiley & West will be on the road August 6-12, 2011 to meet with the people who are suffering and struggling during this current economy. I don’t know how they will do it in six days. I wish that they made it a summer project.
“With all the talk about deficit reduction, somebody has to tell the truth about poverty in America and the impact the outcome of this debate will have on the nation’s poor,” said Smiley. They also plan to meet with organizers, activist and social entrepreneurs who are using creative solutions to address our biggest challenges: jobs, food, energy, housing, health care and education.
They will be broadcasting while on tour. To hear the daily podcasts visit Smiley & West.
The YouTube clip is from the movie Network by Sidney Lumet. A wonderful performance by Peter Finch as the news anchor Howard Beale. There are many great performances in this film, one not to miss.

“Little Adults”


Mesmerizing and haunting photos by Anna Skladmann. “Little Adults” is a series that explores what if feels like to grow up as a privileged child in Russia. I thought about the wonderful Up Series of documentaries by Michael Apted that explores the socio-economic background of British children. It will be curious to see where these “Little Adults” end up in seven years.

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Women2drive to get Wal-Mart


Women2drive protestThe recent protest on Friday by Saudi Arabia women in what the New York Times called “random acts of women driving” follows the May 22 arrest of Manal al-Sharif, a 32-year-old Saudi woman who posted a video of herself driving on YouTube. It is 2011 and woman still can’t drive a car nor get equal pay. The recent decision on Dukes v. Wal-Mart by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for Wall Street over Main Street at the expense of women.

Arcelia Hurtado, executive director of ERA, says after 10 years of taking on the world’s largest retailer, they’re not giving up. “The women [of Walmart] have been speaking for the rest of us for the last 10 years. Speak up for your rights. We won’t make progress unless people have the courage to stand up and speak out.”

Images that cause Emotional Distress


Once again Tennessee is in the news.
So, in theory anyone who sees the image is a potential victim. There is a new law in Tennessee and it is raising some eyebrows. Fines are $2,500 or nearly a year in jail. This law also allows the government to obtain personal communication on social networking sites.

Crime to Post Images That Cause “Emotional Distress” “Without Legitimate Purpose”Eugene Volokh • June 6, 2011 2:37 pm

Images that cause Emotional DistressFriday, a new Tennessee law was changed to provide (new material italicized):
(a) A person commits an offense who intentionally:
(4) Communicates with another person or transmits or displays an image in a manner in which there is a reasonable expectation that the image will be viewed by the victim by [by telephone, in writing or by electronic communication] without legitimate purpose:

(A) (i) With the malicious intent to frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress; or
(ii) In a manner the defendant knows, or reasonably should know, would frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress to a similarly situated person of reasonable sensibilities; and
(B) As the result of the communication, the person is frightened, intimidated or emotionally distressed.

Read more @ The Volokh Conspiracy 

How to Live Forever


Once again the topical subject of the life extension science is upon us. A new documentary film by Mark S. Wexler’s opens on 6/3/11 here in LA.

The baby boomers, which I am one of, are shitting in their pants with fear about dying.
They started with cosmetic surgery to hide the signs of their mortality, now years later with the pending doom pounding louder on their door, Kurzweil has entered the picture with 2045. Transcendent Man a documentary about Kurzweil by director Barry Ptolemy is still ranking #2 on iTunes.

Ram Dass states in the documentary Ram Dass Fierce Grace  that at this stage of his life he is here to help the baby boomers deal with aging, infirmity, and disability by pointing the way to a higher understanding of these mysteries. I hope that he talks louder.

It’s Ok To Be Takei!


Takei Mug

Takei Mug

In response to state Sen. Stacey Campfield of Tennessee getting the state Senate Education Committee to approve a bill prohibiting teachers from talking about homosexuality “Mr. Sulu” has offered his name.          
“Any time you need to say the word ‘gay,’ you can just say the word ‘Takei,’”.