HB2 cost NC a lot more than $3.76B

The AP says the “bathroom bill” cost North Carolina $3.76 billion. The real damage is likely much, much higher.

The AP yesterday released an analysis indicating that reaction to North Carolina’s discriminatory HB2 – the “bathroom bill” – cost the state a staggering $3.76 billion in lost business, projected over 12 years. That’s a remarkable hit to economy, but as I read the full details of how the AP arrived at that number, I can’t help wondering just how badly they underestimated the true damage that former governor “One Term” Pat McCrory and the rest of the jackals in the state GOP caused NC.

Have a look at the WaPo article linked above, then consider: Continue reading

Saturday Video Roundup – it’s the 3rd Millennium Sound

Friends, Romans, Countrymen – lend the 3rd Millennium Sound your ears.

I recently introduced 3rd Millennium Sound (3MS), a Facebook group devoted to sharing and discussing a particular strand of really interesting emerging music styles, including Electro-Pop, Darkwave, Industrial, contemporary Trip-Hop, Shoegaze/Dreampop, maybe a little EDM, perhaps some TrancePop, etc.

Group member contributions have been wonderfully illuminating – even I had no idea how many fantastic artists there were working this vein. So today, for Saturday Video Roundup, a sampling. Let’s start with some shimmering ElectroPop hookiness from Sweden’s Melody Club.

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Chuck Berry, RIP

Sad news on a Saturday evening – the legendary Chuck Berry is gone.

There are barely words to articulate Berry’s importance to Rock & Roll. A genius in his own right, his songwriting, his showmanship  and his innovation with the electric guitar influenced everyone who followed. In truth, there had never been anything like Berry and there hasn’t been anything quite like him since.

Happy travels, Chuck. We miss you already.

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Orbit: #ArtSunday

Dedicated to my girlfriend Julie, who had surgery this week and who loves marbles as much as I do.

I’ve been working on a little series. I have always loved glasswork of any sort, and marbles have fascinated me since I was a kid. My macro lens provides me with a chance to explore this interest in new ways. Here are a few selections from the set.

Apollo 18. I did five variations here. This one – the original – seems to have been the favorite of a majority of people expressing an opinion.

Apollo 18 - original process

Apollo 18 – original process

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delete-uber

Uber “Greyball” scandal: it’s time to consider the death penalty for corporations

delete-uberUber says they’ll stop using Greyball. But this is only the latest outrage from America’s most incorrigibly corrupt business. Time to#DeleteUBER. As in, delete the company. Permanently.

You may say I’m a dreamer / But I’m not the only one

The American corporation exists for one purpose: to “maximize shareholder value.” Thanks to a variety of factors, including a Supreme Court decision that codified this particularly sociopathic view, employees don’t matter, communities don’t matter, the environment doesn’t matter, and really the only commandment when it comes to bending the rules is “thou shalt not get caught.” Continue reading

Michelle hearts Dubya: the well-timed rehabilitation of George Bush

Bush Michelle ObamaPresident Donald is doing a great job of making America miss George W. Bush. And now Michelle Obama and the “liberal” media are chipping in. Barf.

First there was the hubbub back during the election that nobody in the Bush family could bring themselves to vote for Donald. Then more recently it was former President George W. standing up to Donald and defending the importance of a free press. Then we saw Dubya on Kimmel laughing at Trump jokes. Dubya says he doesn’t like the racism. Former first daughter Barb is on the podium defending Planned Parenthood. And any number of former Bush aides and staffers suddenly have the knives out, like here, where a former strategist marvels at how poor the Trump team’s collective memory is when it comes to remembering all those meetings with all those Russkis.

Now the coop de Gracie: my news feed can’t get enough of the tender love affair between Bush II and Michele Obama. Continue reading

Everything you need to know about the Sessions controversy in a few short paragraphs

The Attorney General should resign – whether he’s guilty or not. Here’s why.

Jeff SessionsBy now you have probably read a good bit about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and whether or not he unlawfully met with the Russian ambassador to discuss the 2016 Presidential election. There is a great deal of lawyering on the horizon, but for the moment here’s what we need to understand.

In his confirmation hearing Sessions was asked directly about contact with the Russians by himself or the Trump campaign. At that moment, there were a couple of ways to answer.

If his goal were transparency, he’d answer something like this: Continue reading

For your #ArtSunday listening pleasure: the 3rd Millennium Sound

This week I set up a new Facebook group with Rick Flierl (of Dotsun Moon) to replace one that had sort of taken a left turn on us. The goal: sharing and discussing a particular strand of emerging music styles. 3rd Millennium Sound revolves around specific genres like Electro-Pop, Darkwave, Industrial, contemporary Trip-Hop, Shoegaze/Dreampop, BritPop and more. This description isn’t intended to be overly limiting – 3MS is about discovery, not policing boundaries. (That said, thou shalt not post any Folk.)

3rd Millennium Sound

As a complement to the Facebook group I have built a Spotify playlist including the songs that members post. Continue reading

Dear John McCain: either DO something or shut the fuck up

Profiles in Courage: the Straight Talks a Lot of Shit Express is back in town.

angry-john-mccainTough-talking Mavericky McMaverickstain is at it again, standing on his lawn and shaking his cane at Der Orangeführer like he just got caught cheating at Mah-Jong over at the home.

Senator John McCain, defending the media against the latest attack by President Donald Trump, warned that suppressing the free press was “how dictators get started”.

The Arizona Republican, a frequent critic of Trump, was responding to a tweet in which Trump accused the media of being “the enemy of the American people”.

“If you want to preserve – I’m very serious now – if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press. And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started,” he continued.

“They get started by suppressing free press. In other words, a consolidation of power. When you look at history, the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press.

Ummm. Are you talking about anybody in particular, Senator? Continue reading

Trump’s Mainstream Media Accountability Survey will leave you speechless

fauxnewsThis methodological tour de force is a triumph in honesty, objectivity and good faith. Bigly. You should reply in kind.

I’ll keep this brief. Donald has a poll up asking for your honest opinion on a series of  completely fair, unbiased and objective questions about “the media.” The Mainstream Media Accountability Survey asks questions like:

10: Do you believe that the mainstream media does not do their due diligence fact-checking before publishing stories on the Trump administration?

And:

13: Do you believe that political correctness has created biased news coverage on both illegal immigration and radical Islamic terrorism?

Here’s the best one, though: Continue reading

Happy Valentines Day: Fossil

May everyone get lots of love and jewelry today.

My girlfriend loves jewelry. Especially watches, bracelets, and anything else you can wear on the wrist. Sometimes you find stylish clumps of metal and machinery lying about the apartment.

My girlfriend loves jewelry. Especially watches, bracelets, and anything else you can wear on the wrist. Sometimes you find stylish clumps of metal and machinery laying about the apartment.

Four charts that prove Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank has no idea what he’s talking about

Kevin Plank is a successful businessman with strong opinions. The data, though, suggests he places ideology above facts.

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank

If you’re a huge sports merchandise brand, you never want your marquee superstar endorser going after you in the press. But that’s what happened this week when Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank told CNBC that “[t]o have such a pro-business president is something that is a real asset for the country.”

The aforementioned marquee superstar, 2014-15 NBA champion and reigning MVP Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors, took a shot:

“I agree with that description, if you remove the ‘et.'”

The two have now apparently gotten on the same page after some top-speed backpedaling by Plank, who has taken great pains to clarify that he only meant his praise in a strictly business sense. It’s fun when CEOs get hauled out to the woodshed.

The problem is that even the business-specific comment illustrates what a fact-resistant barking fucktrumpet Plank is. Continue reading

Examining the Reddit guide to fake news

The crew on the CoolGuides subReddit are to be commended for a noteworthy effort, but there are a few things we’d like to see adjusted.

There’s an interesting project under way over at Reddit. Interesting in that it tackles the increasingly pressing question of journalistic credibility here in the golden age of fake news (and how can you possibly not respect an effort called “Fight Fake News, updated and larger guide to repubility”? (“Reputability”?) Also interesting in that, this being Reddit, your mileage may vary. Have a look at where they are right now:

Reddit journalistic credibility chart

There’s plenty to like here, starting with the Left/Right and High Quality/Low Quality axes. Continue reading

Introducing the American Civic Debate Union: first event addresses the Electoral College

American Civic Debate Union logoWe need a new American consensus driven by a commitment to knowledge, reason and good faith engagement with those whose views differ from our own.

For decades I have toyed with the idea that we could use a civic forum for popular debate, an organization that would make it possible for communities to discuss the issues of the day in ways that would spark thought and reflection, perhaps enabling better decision-making come Election Day. This idea has grown stronger over the past 20 years, as the combined corrosive mechanisms of partisan tribalism, cable media and, worst of all, the Internet and social media seemed to find new and better ways of tearing society apart, making us dumber and more hateful in the process.

I broached the idea recently with friends and colleagues and their response convinced me that now was the time to give it a try. So I have founded what I’m ambitiously calling the American Civic Debate Union. Our first event will be held next Sunday here in Denver, and it will feature me squaring off with my good friend Dr. Frank Venturo over the question of whether the US ought to do something, once and for all, about the Electoral College. If so, what? Continue reading