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Above: Lake Geneva, Switzerland. At Montreux.

Fodderize v.t. 1. To break down individual components; to make fungible; to disregard difference; to render one easily substituted for another 2. To impose sub-quality goods or services upon, with little recourse 3. To cap role choices, hinder access to resources regardless of merit, and so avoid competition 4. To manage perception by propaganda-spin techniques, while concealing dispositive facts 5. To manipulate, lure, exploit, deceive

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Monday, October 12, 2015

What the Dickens. Zell and the Ghost of News Future.



Update 2015. Sam Zell continues to hedge his bets, his heavy-handed only-my-money-counts approach earlier having lost him The Tribune Family.  See http://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome   During the curtain call to this old fave performance starring Mr. Zell where a Scrooge reevaluates his life, the Lefty Director of News Quality emerged with an unexpected entrance as the actors filed off.  The Lefty Director of News Quality intoned, to a rapt audience, that The Tribune Papers  a) had begun their slide into oblivion with Mr. Zell's paper-killing redefinition of "news" from creativity and coverage of all sides of events, intended to inform;  to  b)  coverage intended to persuade and make money.  In other words, the news itself could be bought, and was. See our once-beloved venerable Courant reduced to a nonsense red kiddie heart on the front.  Sadly shaking his head, the Director of News Quality reports that in another indication of the success of Mr. Zell in the demise of neutral news in order to profit thereby, a Flagship Building in the Tribune Family is going down the journalistic tubes.  See http://www.heraldcurrent.com/tribune-real-estate-taps-eastdil-secured-to-examine-alternatives-for-tribune-tower/18916/

The Ghost of News Future 
With No Papers

Sam Zell of the Tribune Newspapers Has Nightmares

Join us now, at ACT III, as we see Sam Zell , one who turns around failing businesses and newspaper media conglomerates, confronted with diminishing revenues.  He has just filed for bankruptcy for his Tribune newspapers It is three o'clock in the morning, Christmas Eve has blended into the earliest of Christmas Day:

Act I.  Ghost of News Past:  see battalions of newsboys hurling papers about to eagerly paying customers.
Act II.  Ghost of News Present:  see newsboys applying for other jobs, customers going online or to papers they Trust.
Act III.  Now:  Ghost of News Future!  Clang, clangety, clang.  And a visit to Celestial Bankruptcy Court

ACT I.  GHOST OF NEWS PAST

 Scene.  Sam Zell, the newspaper and business turnaround success, is sleeping. Uneasily. From the wings is heard noises, becoming louder.  Bong. Clink, rattle. Sam wakes, looks around.

SAM:   Oooh. Who's That!

GHOST (enters) News Past, Sam. (And the ghost conjured pictures while it intoned):  
News used to be on paper, or in your ear. Safe, slowski. Have your coffee and your muffin near a paper and no keyboard would be destroyed. Clip, save, point out something interesting and show it to somebody. Mark the margins. You loved that, didn't you?

SAM.  Yes, I did (rolls over, with visions of himself as a young sprout).

ACT II. GHOST OF NEWS PRESENT

Scene:  Sam is still sleeping, tossing more now. Bong, bong. Clink, rattle.

SAM:  Ooooh. Who's That!

GHOST (enters) News Present, Sam. (And the Ghost conjured pictures while it intoned):
Change came to the Times. Newspaper owners had to cut costs. Revenues were down. They directed their clerks (pronounced "clarks") and lackeys to cut hard news, fire people, add ads and insert puppies. The clerks stepped in instead of reportes and columnists, and misquoted, abbreviated, and focused on local police blotters.. FN 1.  The people get their news on the internet, opined the owners. So we will entertain the people instead. Or slant them to death.
But it was not so. The people could not get their news on the internet. It could not be so, because many people are not on computers, like much of North West Connecticut, unless they pay for their own wagon trains of internet tubes.

Was it part of a Plan do exploit the lack of computer coverage, that the unimportant people not get such access unless they already have it? 

Ah. Then they cannot get to FactCheck, to counter with information the canny fact-free parrots on radio and in the wings of newspapers when they are cut.
 VOICE FROM BACK ROW:  THE FCC.  Ho, ho. We know who we really work for.

SAM:  This is only business, Ghost, said Sam, wiping hands on sheets. Need a profit. People getting neutral, accurate information is not my business. (And Sam fired some more people).
 And Sam, in his dream, rolled over, sweating now.

ACT III. GHOST OF NEWS FUTURE

Scene I:  Sam is tossing fitfully, barely asleep now.  Repeat: Bong, bong, bong. Clink, rattle. Ooooh, Who's that! News future, Sam. And the ghost conjured up images, while it intoned.

.
Sam. Sam!  (Sam stirs).

You are like the car industry. You offered people a product, but you were driven by thoughts of hoard and income and profit. You side-railed analysis of a vision long term - how the product can also serve the goals of the country in a global setting.

The country doesn't want your product in your old form, Sam. And it doesn't want what you did to it when you took over - all that cutting of the very components that made your product, at least as it was, a "news" paper. Look: I see this coming at you - you listening to the terms coming from the Celestial Bankrupcty Court. You do not look happy! What can you do to preempt the need for these dire steps?

SAM:  Must I offer to take remedial steps on my own, even if the shareholders do not profit? Fie!  That's why we privatize papers. We don't want accountability to anybody else. (Sam threw off the covers, dashed to his desk. He picked up a script)  What is this?  Is this what I am to do.

This is not what I planned! he moaned. I had it all laid out! News makes money as Entertainment! Get the people to buy dross! It always worked before!


GHOST:  That was then, Sam.  Now see what is in store (Ghost and Sam flap off to Celestial Bankruptcy Court).

Scene II.  Celestial Bankruptcy Court

GHOST (continuing):  They demand Obligatory News Labeling. Oh, Zell of the many faces:  They demand truth in labeling. They want to know what is inside the tin can. You must tell us what you are doing.  Propaganda views; or objective news.  Transparency, Sam, Transparency! This idea counters stealth agendas. Adds transparency to the nature of a communication.

ZELL:  Oh, no!

GHOST:  Oh, yes!

And, where the paper the only daily home-delivery paper available, add a separation of opinion from information. This brings news papers to their roots - news information before slant. Or, at least a source as available as the news paper, for full news so that the reader can pick up the slant and distinguish it from news. News today has dropped the informational component in favor of slant in every column, without the full information provided. Enough.

In order to obtain the restructuring - reorganizing you want, Sam Zell, you must provide True Journalism Obligatories:
  • complete and neutral news
  • in a readily accessible form, and
  • in that regard as a fiduciary to the people, not as spokesman for shareholders or your own views, and
  • backup content ratings for that news.so that if you provide skewed news, the people will be Aware. See Joy of Equivocating, Fact Content for News Industry.
      
    ZELL:  What about my free speech rights!

    GHOST:  No, Sam, replies the ghost. There are always possible restrictions in time, place and manner placed upon speech. If yours is the only paper, you have special responsibilities to the public. (Zell groans).  You can even define the terms you use, fill in an educational component, given the poor quality of many public schools, drop-out rates.

    ZELL:  (Groans). But my pocketbook!

    GHOST:  You will be fine. I am sure you have sufficient, and have squirreled away Options. Now, you can follow Andrew Carnegie! The Richest Man!

    ZELL: I'm listening.

    GHOST:  Hear of your new role model: Andrew Carnegie set the example for Voluntary Divestment for the Public Good.  This was in Victorian Times, when he was named The Richest Man In The World. You shall follow suit and use your personal fortune during your lifetime to foster universal computer skills and literacy, because, as Andrew Carnegie points out, only losers hoard for heirs and dependents, beyond moderate needs, and winners know they can do big jobs better than the government, see Gospel of Andrew Carnegie, Victorian Everyman.

    (Groan. This, from Sam).

    Don't groan, Sam. You can get back to news. If paper is really history, at least you would have done your part to see that the current readership without computer or English skills can indeed get their news online. And then you make money again.

    (Zell exits, rubbing his calloused hands, and even smiling)  (CURTAIN)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Children are the Victims of Adult Vices. The Mihail Shemyakin Thirteen. Sculpture setting, Moscow. Chemyakin.

A refreshed look at vices: Vices that lure blindfolded children.

See the Chemiakin - Shemyakin sculpture grouping, Children are the Victims of Adult Vices. 
  
 I.  A walk through a sculpture setting,  now in a Moscow park.

Public art persuades. This Shemyakin - Chemiakin sculpture, is now in a Moscow park, a gift of Mihail Shemyakin  to the city of Moscow, where it now rests, even after he himself had been expelled from Russia for his nonconformist work years ago. Surname: various spellings, Mikhail, or Chemiakin, variations from the Cyrillic.  Examine it closely.  Its issues and presentation belong in addition in the Capitol Rotunda, Washington DC.  Why not replicate this installation, with remuneration and thanks to the artist, in the Rotunda at the Capitol, and then in each State legislative hall that agrees that the unheard voices of children are relevant to what we do and do not do.  *

Set up these thirteen, as starters, as pivotal measures for weighing how to vote for policy issues. How do legislative acts and omissions reduce or foster ongoing drug addiction, prostitution, theft, alcoholism, ignorance, false teaching, indifference, propaganda of violence, sadism, memory loss, child labor, poverty, war.

In particular, look at the installation for Propaganda for Violence.  Looks harmless. But see discussion of its details, under the radar, below.  A fast look will not suffice.  What is on the shield, who is under the stovepipe hat.



======================================================

II. Specific elements and commentary.  Individual Vices luring blindfolded, gilded children.. Many questions. Example: Who blindfolded them?

Sculpture, Children as Victims of Adult Vices, Mikhail Shemyakin. 2001, Moscow.  Gilded blindfolded children, while Indifference does not care to see or hear.

I.  Background.  This 2001 Moscow sculpture at Bolotnaya Square is by Mihail Shemyakin or Chemiakin. It is a medium walk away from Red Square and the Kremlin, and sets out a different standard for designating which human failings to be most opposed. Compare it to traditional religious or political system lists, old Seven Deadly Sins and the like, for example. Biography of Mr. Chemiakin: see his official site is in Russian, and note the Shemyakin spelling,  at http://www.kck.ru/shemyakin/shemyakin.nsf/index.html. See also http://mimiferzt.com/artist/mihal-chemiakin

The standard for these 13 vice-figures in the tableau is whether the activity harms children, not whether someone believes a deity said so, or the State has declared it a civil or criminal offense. There is an undercurrent of money-making:  Somebody is profiting from each activity. The benefit may be money made from promoting it, even as to conditions like Poverty and Addiction (why remediate and have to spend?), or the value of walling oneself off from seeing or hearing, as does Indifference at the center of the installation.


Shemyakin Sculpture. Children as Victims of Adult Vices. Moscow 2001. View from left. Figures: Drug Addiction (1) through Indifference (6) (centerpiece)


II.  The children
The children with their blindfolds cannot even see the vices around them, or that there is a ball to play with at their feet, or a book to read. Instead, they extend their hands out in the air to find each other, get oriented, find their way where? The book:  Apparently, it is Fairy Tales by Alexander Pushkin, see http://www.worldcat.org/title/pushkins-fairy-tales/oclc/9846262, poet and writer with a social conscience.  Thee Tales --  a work with political meanings, see Russia Beyond the Headlines, 2014 article by Ajay Kamalakaran at  http://rbth.com/literature/2014/09/05/rebel_with_a_cause_the_political_messages_in_pushkins_fairy_tales_39567.html


Chemiakin Sculpture, Children are Victims of Adult Vices. Moscow 2001.  Viewer right side, roughly. Figures: Ignorance (5) through War (13)


III.   The vices.  

A.  The Chemiakin Thirteen Vices are these, photos and discussion following: 

1.  Drug Addiction;
2.  Prostitution; 
3.  Theft; 
4. Alcoholism;
5. Ignorance; 
6.  Irresponsible Science, False Science, False Teaching (the figure looks like a monk); 
7.  Indifference, or the willful state of uncaring; 
8.  Propaganda of Violence, Promotion of Violence;  
9. Sadism;
10. Those without memory, who repeat themselves (is that just dementia, or does it include those who choose to repeat or ignore the past?); 
11. Child Labor; 
12. Poverty; 
13. War. 



These are not overtly theological, and perhaps totally secular, if there is really a difference. The word vice, however, is in the title, and does conjure ideas of morality, and value judgment, see http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=vice&searchmode=none.  Exclusions:  Rape or pornography, negligence in providing sustenance. Or are those side consequences of other vices?
These differ in interpretations.  Each figure is identified in both English and Russian in the sculpture, but the designation may be awkwardly done in English, leading to the variations in discussions (example: designation Propaganda of Violence is literally etched in stone, but may be easier understood in the context as Promotion of Violence, because propaganda is simply marketing, promotion anyway, unless a particular political motivation is intended, and who knows, etc).

B.  Individual vices

1.   Addiction

Drug Addiction (1) Chemiakin, Children are victims of adult vices, Moscow (1)

Details are easily missed. Do a closeup.

Drug Addiction vice, dainty moneybag, huge syringe. Shemyakin, Children are victims of adult vices, Moscow.

2. Prostitution


3.  Theft

Theft (3), Shemyakin, Children are victims of adult vices, Moscow

Commentary:
"Stealing in the form of sugary and cunning pigs, waving thin and delicate fingers stolen money bag. Behind her bag [her bag?? this is a she??] with the words "offshore" and bank details [I missed this]. In our everyday life - is not only bribery (and receiving and giving), but the passion for the accumulation of wealth, overvalued the significance of things. The child in his own way to understand our passion and because of this absorption distorted morality and false values."
 See http://aarticles.net/culture-art-history/12911-ot-kakix-porokov-vzroslyx-nuzhno-oberegat-detej-neobychnyj-pamyatnik-v-centre-moskvy.html/

Theft vice, dainty moneybag, Chemiakin, Children are victims of adult vices, Moscow

4.  Alcoholism


What is that on the back of the cask? These things are not arbitrary.  It also appears from this back view that the gentleman is clothed. How so?

Alcoholism, cask detail, Chemiakin, Children are victims of adult vices, Moscow

5.  Ignorance

Ignorance (5). Children are victims of adult vices, Shemyakin, Moscow.

A jester: one merry in dance and sceptre, waving marotte, with a head of another jester on it with branchings of little jingly bells.  There is a long history, see http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/640914.html.  Here, however, the figure is not in motley costume but elegant, and with the head of an ass.  Does Chemiakin go Shakespeare -- Bottom in Midsummer Night's Dream. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGgsJd4_r4k

The fool idea, however, persists. The jacket (click to enlarge) is covered with little lobsters all crawling up in measured array, like a preppy theme for summers at the shore gone amok.  Lobsters?  Alice in Wonderland!  Lobsters - The Lobster Quadrille!  Of course! Although the Gryphon or Griffin in the clip is none such.  A true Griffin has the body of a lion. Back to Bottom: see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W66miUV7Whk

6.  False knowledge, false science, false teachings, irresponsible science


False science; irresponsible science; false teachings (6), Chemiakin, Children are victims of adult vices, Moscow

What are all the intentions here: Some call it capital punishment, because of the hooded person, but that is just as likely to be false teaching. The medallion at the chest: a face on a daisy; or is it medusa with the snaky locks where you die if you look at her directly?  Mr. Chemiakin?  Comment?

False knowledge, false teaching, false science. With scroll, echoing dentrites or stomach or lab model, at bottom. Children are victims of adult vices. Shemyakin, Moscow.

Scroll. Instructions?  Edicts?  Apparatus at foot. A stomach on big rollerballs.

False science: irresponsible science. Meaning of science.  Is the "science" from scientia or knowledge, and not just a specific field and method of inquiry? Science as irresponsible could relate to the freaky two-headed lizard held as a marionette by the masked figure. The false teachings idea harks back to the scroll, perhaps the ideological ground applied. The figure is in monastic-type robes, see  http://aarticles.net/culture-art-history/12911-ot-kakix-porokov-vzroslyx-nuzhno-oberegat-detej-neobychnyj-pamyatnik-v-centre-moskvy.html/

Wait.  The hood on the monk-robed one has a long tail, and is like a stocking cap that is pulled down to cover his eyes.


So the irresponsible teaching person is blindfolded just like the children. What? Look up hoods. Medievel hoods not just monks or executioners, but also, northmen and ordinary people, see http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/cloth/herjol65.html  Vikings traded and settled all the way from their homelands to Novogorod to past the Black Sea, so this history look for fashion is not totally afield.

7.  Indifference. Purposeful not-caring.


This is the central figure, tall, angular, shaped like a cross with the figure having two sets of arms. One is piously crossed across the empty box of a chest; the other set -- wait.  It is anatomically impossible.  The forefingers that are jammed into the ears are at the bottom of the hand, and that would only be physically possible  a)  if somebody else were doing it  b) so that the third party's forearm is in the position as shown but then c) where is the third party, and whose upper arm is it?  Chemiakin!! Sigh.  Carry on. ... would be connected to a third party doing the job.  would have to be at the top of the hand in order to work, with the back of the hand to be showing as here facing the viewer. 


I get it.  Run around the back. 


The figure is not just facing the viewer from front; it is two-faced, with the anatomically impossible arms from the front now seen as belonging to the perfectly feasible figure seen from the back.  The front figure shuts the eyes and closes out the empty heart.  The back figure keeps the eyes closed still (I think) and jams fingers in ears.

It still looks like a cross. Is the idea this:  Christians who do not care.  That is a world class oxymoron, and eminently apt. The ethnicity of Mr. Chemiakin by some biography sites is Circassian (Karbadian) in the Caucasus.   Circassians were forcible ejected, forced out of their homeland, see, e.g., http://rutgerspress.rutgers.edu/product/Circassian-Genocide,362.aspx/ 
What was, is, the Christian or other western or other global response to that.  Was his adoption when his parents died, related to their death in that overall event, or independent. No idea.

The idea of sacrifice and then indifference of others crosses all bounds, is that so, 

8.  Propaganda of Violence, Promotion of Violence

Propaganda of  Violence, Promotion of Violence (8), Chemiakin, Children as victims of adult vices, Moscow

Promotion of violence has a nose like Pinocchio, suggesting, of course, fibbies; and he wears a Puritan hat (!) -- no, the brim is too narrow and I see no buckle, see http://costumesofnashua.com/CNWebSite105/Active905/Pages/Hat/ReligiousPilgrim/HatRel.htm or perhaps a fashionable stove-pipe hat, see http://digitalmuseum.lookingforwhitman.org/category/stove-pipe-hat/; and far higher than the 13" of that of Abraham Lincoln. It approaches witch height. Does it resemble, in basic black, Dr. Seuss' creation? Stove-pipe hats:  Abraham Lincoln used his to carry documents, personal items.

This dandy holds a marketing board in the shape of a marketing board, looking like a shield, covered with guns. Who can identify the automatics here? The American NRA, the National Rifle Association, makes a game of it.  See http://competitions.nra.org/how-to-get-started/silhouette-competition.aspx

8.a  Front detail, Propaganda of Violence

Promotion of Violence, the tell-tale tail; the tell-tale cloven foot.  We know hwo you are.  Chemiakin, Children as Victims of Adult Violence, Moscow

Do a search for gun silhouette and click on clip art, to identify what is being sold specifically here. These in Moscow have single grip models, I think, top and bottom; and three big double grips in the middle.

Who is this purveyor of things that do violence? From the back view, he also is entailed, and one leg ends in a hoof.

A hoof? Run!  Urban legends say so!  The Devil's cloven feet are the only part of him that do not transform when he takes human form, see http://www.snopes.com/horrors/ghosts/devil.asp/  This Moscow purveyor of violence, however, nearly made it.  Only one hoof betrays him, attached as it is to an animal hind leg, and those are noticeable only to the vigilant, and if you tiptoe behind on your two good ones so he does not see.   Next if time: a closeup of the tads on the lantern....

8b, Promotion of Violence detail, hoof, tail.


9.  Sadism

Rhinoceros horn:  weaponry, medicine, sign of manhood ye gods, religion, defense, medicine, water purification, cure demonic possession, but after all is tested, just go chew your fingernails and get the same benefit or so, see http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/rhinoceros-rhino-horn-use-fact-vs-fiction/1178/

So the horn:  reflective of ideas of enhanced sexuality?  

9a.  Sadism, front view.

Sadism (9), rhinoceros horn. Shemyakin, Children as victims of adult vices, Moscow.

Resemblance to Shrek? Which came first? Both movie Shrek, friendly green ogre, and this sculpture were features of 2001.

A rope and noose are around his waist. See http://aarticles.net/culture-art-history/12911-ot-kakix-porokov-vzroslyx-nuzhno-oberegat-detej-neobychnyj-pamyatnik-v-centre-moskvy.html./ Fair use quotation from the big aarticles.net site:
"Sadism the image is not sensitive to others' pain savage rhinoceros with open arms supports protruding belly with a rope with a noose. Metaphorically - it's the same passion for adults to bans and excessive domination over the will of children, conservative learning to live "just right", which lead to the suppression of creativity and replication of its own complex and error."
9b.  Sadism, Back side view. For fine photographs of this composition, do visit a more professional and consistent http://blog.selfarcheology.com/2014/01/an-analysis-of-children-are-victims-of.html


10.  Those without memories.

10a.  Those without memories, front view.  Empty stocks, worms or snakes slithering up the pole.

Those without memory (constant repetition). Forgetfulness. (10)

Forgetfulness. Empty. Presented as a punishment apparatus. But what did the person do to deserve that?  See commentary at http://aarticles.net/culture-art-history/12911-ot-kakix-porokov-vzroslyx-nuzhno-oberegat-detej-neobychnyj-pamyatnik-v-centre-moskvy.html/

10b.  Those without memory, seen from the back.

There is a little face in a bottom arched window area.  Look closely. Peering out. Is that what is left of the person? One who chooses to ignore the past, or is unable to retrieve it?  Back to a child level?

The snakes.  They resemble the serpent of the symbol of Aesclepius, Greek healer, but without the rod to support it.  It is not entwining around the large stock pole here, it is affixed precariously to it.  See Aesclepius' serpent, the single serpent form, not the Caduceus, the double serpent, at an opening level site, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_of_Asclepius


The concept and the sculptures are set to music at http://wn.com/children_are_the_victims_of_adults%27_vices

11,  Child Labor



Welcome to my factory, like a rat trap, says the predator bird with the hooked beak. 

11a.  Factory, side view

Child labor (11). Side view; handprints, a factory? is that an inscription?

That is not an inscription at the knees, but a wall of little identical blocks.  Figure:  bird of prey, judging from hooked beak.

Who is it? This is not a legendary griffin, or gryphon, because that requires the body of a lion. So look at the pattern on the coat:  Eagles.  Eagles have meaning for many cultures, see particularly the eagle on Bremen's Cathedral, that also does not turn out to be a gryphon because it has eagle claws, see http://germanyroadways.blogspot.com/2010/11/bremen-babies-and-gryphons-crypt-celts.html?q=Bremen

Look at the predator's coat design:  Eagles.



Eagles on the eagle's coat in Chemiakin's sculpture look to the left. Yes, it does. Eagles, of course, can look both ways. The formal Nazi German Parteiadler eagle party symbol, however, looks to the left; while the Nazi German eagle national symbol, for the country, looks to the right.  See http://germanyroadways.blogspot.com/2011/01/hannover-worker-printer-fountain.html?q=eagle.  An images search shows railroad nazi symbols looking right, for example.
would fit the national category rather than the party, but is that necessarily so?
The hands on the box: clearly children's, those inside, like the hands in the prehistoric caves, deep within. Hands have particular meaning for the sculptor.  Mikhail Shemyakin features hands in his exhibition, The Hand In The Art, 2014 in the city of Voronezh. See

Eagles on the eagle's coat in Chemiakin's sculpture look to their left. Eagles, of course, can look both ways as do various representations of the American and German Parteiadler and others. Do a search. 
  •  Benjamin Franklin bemoaned the choice of eagle for the Americans, see http://www.americanbaldeagle.org/?page_id=100. Good reasons.The American dollar eagle looks to its right. This looks to its left. At least, one brand of capitalism and self-seeking is not referenced to the exclusions of others. 
The hands on the box: clearly children's, those inside, like the hands in the prehistoric caves, deep within. Hands have particular meaning for the sculptor.  Mikhail Shemyakin features hands in his exhibition, The Hand In The Art, 2014 in the city of Voronezh. See


12.  Poverty


Take a guided tour of the composition at http://wn.com/children_are_the_victims_of_adults'_vices

13.  War

13a.  Full view.  An archaic knight below, a star-wars robotic head, or perhaps a gas mask on the head, above. And propped up with what look like angel wings, herald's wings, as also prop up Addiction on the far other side of the installation, like bookends.


13b.  Detail, offering in hands of knight with robotic head. War.

Is the offering a bomb? Looking like a baby? Donald Duck? What child could resist.


Click to enlarge, and the Donald Duck looks more like Mickey Mouse, with two large round ears, but a pointy thing in the mouth

IV.  Chemiakin's call to action.

Even Moscow the beneficiary of the gift, is Indifferent, the central figure in the sculpture setting.  The explanatory plaque is water damaged, legible but uncared-for.  No profit to be made in pushing this idea of centrality of children? As anywhere, in any city? Click to enlarge and read his purpose:  a call to action, to protect children. How long to wait, he asks.


Chemiakin call to action, Children are Victims of Adult Vices, sculptural composition, Moscow (click to enlarge).

*  Post originally at our http://www.russiaroadways.blogspot.com  site.  That link has broken, so we reproduce the post here, with a different thrust:  the importance of the issue of children's interests as policy makers play their games.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

How to restrain the heavy hand of the State. Conscience got tools. Defenses to noncompliance.

Behold the Heavy Hand of the State.
How shall it be restrained, so my conscience may wave unfettered as I want it?
How shall it be loosed, so there is room for many expressions of conscience also unfettered ?
Conscience: a wake-up for fairness and helping others. Not a ladder for self.


The heavy hand of the State can 1)  enact laws, 2)  implement, and  3) enforce.  It is best restrained in the enacting process itself:  see that the objective of the law is constitutional, that the means of implementing it are rationally related to the objective.  At the implementation phase, see that the force used against people disobeying the law and subject to it, is only minimally adequate to get the job done.  No more force than absolutely necessary, given the objective.  So the State can be restrained early on, and then when implemented to see that no more intrusion than absolutely necessary is applied to attain compliance, or get someone else to do the job. Where does that leave the dissenter? 

Two choices for the dissenter:  Bend, to the degree of allowing others the same choices that the dissenter has, or could have by exercise of it, or not to bend, with consequences but a personal conscience waving on.


Q, What brings up this old topic, the conflict of personal or group-fostered conscience, against civil secular-based law of government.  A. It never went away, and should not.
  • Current issues involve discrimination against persons seeking marriage where they are not part of the traditional marriage group in the culture. The Kentucky clerk, late-breaking view from UK.  
  • The law says they can marry.  
    • Some providers of services necessary administratively for a marriage, like issuing marriage licenses, and other supporters disagree with the law's objective on grounds of their own personal conscience and sincerely held religious belief that a) they and their view of their deity are the sole arbiters of morality, and b) they must be exempt from the law because they are acting under their Deity's direction, and so c) they may withhold even ministerial services that have the side effect of facilitating others in following the law the dissenters oppose. 
1.  Is the State on firm ground.  

Leave it to the dissenters' lawyers to argue that the law offering marriage to all persons who seek it and are of age and capacity to consent is irrational, particularly in a plural society where competing consciences -- if all are adamant -- will result in virtual or actual warfare activities.  Who's got guns.  Religious texts, and history, vary on the whens, whys, wherefores, of something all call marriage but define differently, see  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/here-is-all-you-need-to-prove-bigots-wrong-about-traditional-marriage_55e83d69e4b0c818f61ab9e6/

2.  Role of individual conscience in a multi-ethnic multi-religious society. 

Also leave it to their lawyers to argue that conscience in a plural society should provide an individual or group exemption against consequence for legal disobedience, where conscience tells someone to deprive others from enjoyment of what the depriver already enjoys, or could by simple choice.
  • Inquire into the effect of such exemption. 
  • Does it smacks of cultural or religious supremacism in seeking ways to control those who may compete with hierarchical interests taken for granted by the depriver.  
    • In gentler terms, the kind of certainty required for someone to think the deity (if) is directing one person or one group and none other, may need a second look. 
    •  Does certainty prevent further thinking or considering changes in information. Who benefits in status or finances from that. Follow the money, follow the control.
3.  When change happens. Some people by virtue of their own makeup can make room for others' rights and autonomy, can reconsider and can restructure thinking and culture.  Others have difficulty.
  • No pejoratives. Main point: People are not bigots for supporting their chosen tradition over any change, either way.  Their views may well result from the information that persuaded them at a vulnerable time, and once a position is taken, for some it is an unacceptable flip to dare to reconsider based on new information. That door closed upon the taking of the original position. 

Given a conscience disagreement with a law that is rational, minimal in impact on the autonomy of the person to give the service, what is a dissenter to do:  Law and individual conscience: the great ongoing Dr. Doolittle creation, the pushmi-pullyu.

4.  Defenses, responses. 

a.  Boycott something.

The boycott or threat of boycott is effective as against states.  See Indiana for consequences of its permission to discriminate against people for the religious reasons of the discriminator. See  http://www.dispatch.com/content/blogs/the-daily-briefing/2015/03/3-31-15-kasich-on-indiana.html,  (With effective state boycott looming, the governor no longer supports the earlier state position).
  • Boycott. The word with the male connotation is not such.  The word stems only from a pre-7th Century surname, achieving notoriety from 1880 or so, when one land-agent Captain Charles Boycott in Lough-Mask, County Mayo, Ireland, refused to lower rents for those souls who were low-caste tenant farmers.  The family name is English, and even the Japanese pirhouetted it into boycotto. Check its early roots at http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Boycott/.  Note a later cricketer named Boycott.  Venerable name. Find its evolution affirmed later at http://etymonline.com/index.php?term=boycott&allowed_in_frame=0/ 
  • Think Girlcott.  I now see that there is already a movement toward girlcott, with appropriate stances: See http://thegirlcott.com/  The meme is on the move.  At Thegirlcott, the emphasis is on safer products.
b.  Propaganda.  Persuasion techniques with agenda. Group damning, humiliation.  Not savory.  Personally I think that's cowardly. Address the issue, not cuss the target.
c.  Balance.  Live with a balance. I give this, you give that. Consider the merit of stability, peace for a time.  Press for time, place and manner adjustments so reasonable interests on both sides are reasonably protected, seek agreement, and enact a better law, one hopes.

d.  Patch or ignore. Pass the buck. Address nothing, wait to see who might just back down, leaving the issue for another day. Asking for a one-time exemption from a law's consequence just for this one person is such an approach. See Kentucky clerk lawyer.

e.  Accelerate.  Group civil disobedience (a usual route for conscience, or specific religious objection outside the military.  This is most effective in a group, and must be nonviolent, with the actors  accepting consequences (booking, even jail time until hearing, etc) but getting PR, position in the news, persuading legislators or gaining converts, perhaps.d
  • Or individual civil disobedience: a right of nonviolent protest against official action.  
  • This category would include someone with police on the street just suddenly sitting down, no weapon. Or an injured person unable to walk after a police stop and questioning, simply lapsing and slumping, so police have to force his body into the van. Are those not civil disobedience?  
    • Those people may end up dead, however, as the police may be unable to separate out a response to an event reduced to civil disobedience from the adrenaline of overpowering and punishing..
f.  Formal conscientious objection - customary conscience-route, religious objection, in the military. This requires a affirmative assertion.  See if it is accepted. Perhaps agree to alternate service, some proof of bona-fides as to conscience.  If enough follow suit, perhaps a law might change.  Do not hold breath.

g.  Disobedience and skip town. Just say no.  Legal consequences flow. See Kentucky clerk.

h.  Decline and hope the issue does not go public.  Results depend on the setting:

a. Client. If the seeker of service is a potential client in an individual private setting where close personal contact and disclosures and trust are involved, such as law and medicine and accounting, declining may be acceptable -- at least assist the person in finding service elsewhere.

b. Resident.  If the seeker of service is a resident a public service, the seeker just has to show he is a resident (or citizen, whatever).  The provider provides or finds other work for himself that does not require the service.  Is that so?  See d above.

c. Customer. If the seeker is a customer in a commercial transaction open to the public, similarly the seller provides or finds other work that does not require that service..
  • Proofs: difficult to prove motivation, but not impossible.

5.  Which defenses will all the lawyers choose. Stay tuned.
...............................................................................................................

* Poorly executed repair-work distorting a portrait of Christian August, 1673-172, First Bishop of Lubeck, at Sonderborg Castle, Denmark. A figure whose hand is bigger than his whole head. Also, is he smoking?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Political rock, scissors, paper. Legality trumps equity, equity trumps exploitation, exploitation trumps legality.Equity trumps legality; or used to; and should again.

 Legality, Equity and Exploitation go into a bar.

Consider the unforeseen consequences of the 1938 merger of law and equity in federal courts; later also in many states; with current people-polarization and narrow, punitive view of issues.  How to move again beyond a Dark Ages of legality and vengeance and supremacism of the watcher; to balancing equities of the total context before considering solutions. Nobody thinks we can do it easily, but at least focus on the issue.

Surname coincidences aside, play justice rock, scissors, paper. Legality trumps fairness. Fairness trumps exploitation.  Exploitation trumps legality.

Apply hypothetical. The stolen apple. Take an apple from a merchant without paying. 
  • Legality says, with eye fixed on statute, Off with the hand.  
  • Equity says, with eye fixed also on context, the taker took the apple to feed someone desperately hungry, it was known that I was doing this, and condoned by those who saw and who also had no problem with how I handled themand there was no reasonable alternative given resourcesity.  Off with the hand? Enhhh, not so fast.  
  • Exploitation says, regardless of law or context, you are powerless,  lowly loser, and at my self-serving command and I can command airwaves, time and brains with my words.  I say -- dot, dot, dot.  
Arbitrariness and self-seeking supplant legality and equity.

Apply real issue currently bandied.  Use a private server for convenience for emails in the conduct of official government business, houseclean servers after years of hearings where issue of disposition condoned. 
  • Legality says, with eye fixed on selected law, out with your candidacy, you untrustworthy lawbreaking scum.   
  • Equity says, with eye fixed on context, use of the server was no secret, was known even to those overseeing the work and condoned, never questioned in years of hearings on other matters involving emails, and after all that laches (delay in action to question to prejudice of the actor relying on the condoning,
  • Exploitation says, you are powerless as to this now, and at my self-serving command.  I say -- dot, dot, dot.  
Arbitrariness and self-seeking supplant legality and equity.
Who separated out legal actions from the more context-oriented equity actions, so that by now all we hear is legality, and nobody has even heard of equity, much less understands its vital role in justice.  we did.  In 1938, in federal courts, law and equity merged; and since then, also in most state courts.  heard others.  Why does that matter, when in each type of case, the first issue is, was there a bad act; and did this defendant do or cause it.  That is an issue of fact.  Trial away.  If found to be yes, the jury moves on to the consequence.  If criminal, to punish the perpetrator, one set of consequences may apply.  If civil, to compel the perpetrator to make good on the damage (money to the injured party), that can also be done. Or, where money will not make the injured party whole again, are there specific acts that the defendant can be compelled to do instead.

We have lost the equitable angle and gotten stuck in the punishment idea. 

If a bad act was done, we as a society have choices.  Punishment for anything, says one political party.  Deterrence may even mean death.  Another political party may say, Look to other ways to prevent it in the future and focus on making injured parties whole again. What is needed, 

Nobody thinks that will ever happen now, because the punishment mode and the polarization are too entrenched.  Punishment and humiliation are too much fun for bystanders, who jeer as the tumbrel rumbles by. 

That is what Nobody thinks.

Signed, Nobody.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

South Carolina, Tear Down This Flag.

The Confederate Flag.
Mother Emanuel remembered.

The old tree, like the flag, haunts and serves only as a looking post for birds, a source of bugs. And a danger when winds blow.


Consider it as part of the old Confederate landscape. Barren.  Is that so?


Still, hallowed in stubborn and wishful memory by those whose forbears exploited it freely, and made it so. Consider: Old 1800's ideas.  Old ideas are like contemporary footwear:  Once useful items that no longer fit, if they ever did, for more than the elite few intended to benefit.


So go ahead, Confederacy buffs. Hold on to the old ideas, over and over. Are your feet sore yet?  Wear them around, so long as you do not make others do it. Do the old ways really still fit?  Were there, really, any good old days? 



Waving old idea Confederate flags on government property is like force-feeding geese. The view can't be avoided.  Tasty result for some, physical, and political death to those so fed.

So, never send a child to West Point.  At West Point, subversive ideas of ethics for humanity, cultural and history appreciation -- and not just distorted repetition of spin and gripe -- hold sway.


Viewing the old Confederacy symbol set as honor on government ground?  South Carolina. Tear Down This Flag.  Honor our national values.  South Carolina, tear down this flag. To the world it means slavery. Honor your forbears for other reasons. Change the symbolism.  You might want something like this in place of that flagpole.