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I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest Service in San Francisco as a Clerk-Typist, GS-4. I was active in the USFS's union for several years, including a brief stint as editor of The Forest Service Monitor, the nationwide voice of the Forest Service in the National Federation of Federal Employees. Howsoever, I now believe my most important contribution while editor of the F.S.M. was bringing to the attention of F.S. employees the fact that the Black-Footed Ferret was not extinct; one had been found in 1980 on a national forest in the Colorado. In 2001 I retired from the USFS after attaining the age of 60 with 23 years of service. Stanford University was evidently unimpressed with my efforts to make USFS investigative reports of tort claim incidents available to tort claimants (ie, "the public"), alleging the negligence of a F.S. employee acting in the scope of his/her duties caused their damages, under the Freedom of Information Act. Oh well. What'cha gonna do?
Four Artworks by the Amazing Mark Tansey (1 comments)
I first saw Mark Tansey's art five years ago, when Sothebys and Christie's websites carried artworks being auctioned at their attended auctions worldwide, and the artworks did not download in a streaming format from their websites, so you could collect their pictures in your own files and create slide shows and backgrounds with them.
My Mare Island, Vallejo, CA, 94592: Is It a Toxic Waste Hazard? (8 comments)
I worked for the U.S. Forest Service from 1978 to 2001. My duty station for all 23 years was in the Regional Office of the Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5), for 20 years in San Francisco's financial district, and for the last 3 years on Mare Island in Vallejo, CA, where the Regional Office moved in 1998 to reduce rental costs.
Friday, March 30, 2012
From Wylie, an Old Law School Pal Who Played an Acoustic Guitar... (2 comments)
Back in the dark ages when I attended Stanford Law School (from 1963 to 1966), several members of my class played guitars, most of us not professionally, and some of us - like Wylie and me - not very well. But we kept playing (or in my case "trying"). My fave performer after the Beatles and the Stones and Dylan and Baez was Rambling Jack Elliot and the only song I remember finger-picking was his "Railroad Bill.
A Time Trip Back to '55, by David McDermott and Peter McGough (5 comments)
I recently visited "Artists Monographs" at Artnet online and came across an unlikely looking pair, McDermott and McGough by name; then when I visited their biographical page, I was immediately hooked by something McDermott says there: "I've seen the future, and I'm not going."
The Golden Age of Late-20th Century Photography (3 comments)
Millions participated, thousands succeeded, hundreds became rich and famous, but in retrospect, Annie Leibovitz was (and still is) the greatest American photographic artist of our time.
Monday, January 9, 2012
An Appreciation of T. Jefferson Parker's California Girl, Baja California, and KT. (2 comments)
In 1975, I was living with a lady I'll call KT, from Florida, while we were working in the Student Financial Aid Office at U.C. Berkeley; and, after our collaboration on writing a book of advice for California applicants for student financial aid had failed (due to my hard-headedness), we decided to take a trip from the Bay Area to Baja California in a very used 1967 VW bus I was driving at the time.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
An Appreciation of Woman Love in the Movies "Bound" and "High Art" (4 comments)
Woman love, or love between women, is so abhorrent to men with access to Flickr, there are hardly any images of it at Flickr Commons. However, seeing it in movies or in person is a turn-on, and consequently Hollywood has depicted love between women very commendably in two color films I've seen recently: Bound, starring lovers Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon, and High Art, starring lovers Ally Sheedy and Radha Mitchell.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Remembering the NYT's Live Chats
In the summer of 2003, I was separated from my wife and the love-of-my-life and contemplating divorce after almost continuous intense and usually drunken arguments.
"Join, Or Die" (2 comments)
"Join, or Die" is a well-known political cartoon, created by Benjamin Franklin and published in his Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754. The original publication by the Gazette is the earliest known pictorial representation of colonial union produced by a British colonist in America.
This is my kind of article. (4 comments)
A new study involving bat skulls, bite force measurements and scat samples collected by an international team of evolutionary biologists is helping to solve a nagging question of evolution: Why some groups of animals develop scores of different species over time while others evolve only a few. Their findings appear in the current issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Tony Stewart Wins ! ! ! (4 comments)
Tony Stewart wins the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto racing championship ! (Or...so you think art is dangerous to your health and only collected by rich idiots?)
An appreciation of the movie The Killer Inside Me (2 comments)
The DVD of this movie warns that it's rated "R" for "disturbing brutal violence, aberrant sexual content and some graphic nudity." But that's not why I immediately checked it out of the library. Nor was it the sultry noir pictures of the movie's most 2011-stars on the DVD case -- Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, and Kate Hudson - that knocked my socks off.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
An Appreciation of Joaquin Phoenix, Nicole Kidman, and Matt Dillon in the movie To Die For
To Die For was released in 1995, which was during a comeback, or slow period, in the careers of three of its stars: (1) Joaquin Phoenix, who had starred in Ron Howard's Parenthood (in 1989, as Leaf Phoenix), which was his 4th Hollywood movie; and, (2) Nicole Kidman, who hadn't yet gone down with the ship in Stanley Kubrick's last and least notable film, Eyes Wide Shut (1999); and, (3) Matt Dillon, whose career still was blahh.
Linh Dinh's Streets of San Francisco (1 comments)
Linh Dinh is a remarkably gifted writer and photographer who publishes regularly at OpEdNews; he tracks our deteriorating social landscape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union; and he is the author of two books of stories, five books of poems, and a just released novel, Love Like Hate.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Happy Birthday Alan Turing ! (8 comments)
Yes, Alan Turing was born on June 23 (1912). So celebrate your gender today - hard core male or hard core female or any of the myriad variations and permutations in between.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
More Joan Mitchell -- From a Lifetime of Great Abstract Expressionist Works (6 comments)
Joan Mitchell was born in 1925 and died in 1992. In my opinion her Abstract Expressionist works are the best anyone ever painted, better than Jackson Pollock's, who founded abstract expressionism in New York City in the 1950's; and better than Willem De Kooning's, whose wonderful purely abstract works are considered by many to be better than even Pollock's at his best.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
An Appreciation of Rescue Dawn, Starring Christian Bale and Steve Zahn (3 comments)
This 2006 movie about America's extension of the Vietnam War into Laos in 1965 gets a lot of things right. In 1965, America's war against Asians was about leadership and brotherhood under fire, and high-school high-jinks afterwards, and the American military thought the CIA was a bunch of clowns.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Damaged Animals (2 comments)
I have previously published this article at OEN. But lately there has been a new awakening at OEN about the serious political consequences of brutality toward the very young.
Eight Steel Sculptures by Isaac Witkin (7 comments)
I used to always say "I don't appreciate sculpture," and I didn't. Then last week Artnet's Artist Works Catalogs had a new face at the top, and I discovered Isaac Witkin. I still don't appreciate sculpture, but Witkin's steel works knocked my socks off.
Premonitions: Eight Paintings by Alberto Sughi. (5 comments)
Alberto Sughi was born in Cesena, Italy, in 1928. A self-taught painter, by the end of his formative years he had become one of the greatest Italian artists of his generation. He started painting in the early 1950s, choosing realism in the debate between abstract and figurative art in the immediate post-war period.
Family Values in 1972, in Concord, California (3 comments)
The Caldecott Tunnel bores through the hills separating Oakland from Concord, Walnut Creek, and Pleasant Hill, three little boom-towns in 1971 on their way to being the San Francisco Bay Area's fastest-sprouting white-flight suburbs. I worked as a computer programmer in Martinez, another town close by but far less booming, and I shared a rented house with a young family in Concord for several months in 1971 and 1972.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
More Jenny Holzer Art: Nine Miscellaneous Works (4 comments)
OEN's John Reed liked my previous article showing works by Jenny Holzer, and he sent me an internal OEN mail identifying three of her works at Artnet's Artist Works Catalogs and requesting they be included in a second Jenny Holzer article.
The crime against the Democratic Congresswoman, by Fidel Ruz Castro (2 comments)
As is known, the state of Arizona, a territory that was snatched from Mexico by the United States together with many other expanses of land, has been the scene of painful events for the hundreds of Latin Americans who die trying to immigrate to the United States in search of work or to join parents, spouses or other close family members who are there.
Friday, January 7, 2011
In Time For Christmas: Another HRB Arrives in Port-Au-Prince from Cuba (10 comments)
(Just before December 23, 2010)... "a new group of 60 Cuban health workers belonging to the Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors Specializing in Situations of Disaster and Serious Epidemics arrived in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, in order to join the Cuban Medical Brigade battling against the cholera epidemic in this Caribbean nation...."
A Review of the Book "A Separate Creation" by Chandler Burr (4 comments)
The full title of the book reviewed is " A Separate Creation: The Search for the Biological Origins of Sexual Orientation." In both the prefatory materials and in my book review, the words "sexual orientation" are equivalent to the more frequently found words "gender orientation" today.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Bill Clinton's Lies (5 comments)
It truly pains me having to deny it. Today he is nothing more than a simple fellow consigned to history, as if the empire's history, and even more importantly, the history of the human race, were guaranteed beyond a few dozen years, without a nuclear war breaking out in Korea, Iran or some other area of conflict. As is known, the United Nations has sent Clinton as a special envoy to Haiti.
An Excerpt from The Politics of War, a Book by Gabriel Kolko (4 comments)
This excerpt is from Gabriel Kolko's monumental study of American foreign policy -- The Politics of War: The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1943-1945. It's from the beginning of Chapter 14 of the book, and sketches the weightiest issues involved in the Yalta Conference of February 1945 when Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin met in the Crimean city on the shores of the Black Sea.
Seven More Modern Cubist Paintings by the Incomparable Ben Schonzeit (5 comments)
My first OEN article featuring Schonzeit's cubistic paintings garnered eight comments. That was a lot of comments for an arty article but less than fitting considering the artist is living and has such unusual and unparalleled talents. Enjoy ! (Especially you two: John Sanchez Jr, and Dave McCauley !)
7 Watercolors by John Singer Sargent (7 comments)
This is the second OEN article I've published with the art of John Singer Sargent. He was born 25 years before Pablo Picasso, and was as unique and accomplished in his own way as The Most Recent Spanish Master.
Friday, October 15, 2010
5 Cubist Watercolors by Ben Schonzeit (8 comments)
Ben Schonzeist is one of the most recent artists added to the collection at Artnet's Artist Works Catalogs. I'm a great fan of the Fauvists, I love humorous and pop art, and I never quite "got" what Picasso and the Cubists were up to; so these whimsical "cubist watercolors" totally knocked my sox off.