The lack of Corporate and Governmental transparency has been a topic of much controversy in recent years, yet our only tool for encouraging greater openness is the slow, tedious process of policy reform.
After the release of The Jazz Singer in 1927, all bets were off for live musicians who played in movie theaters. Thanks to synchronized sound, the use of live musicians was unnecessary — and perhaps a larger sin, old-fashioned. In 1930 the American Federation of Musicians formed a new organization called the Music Defense League and launched a scathing ad campaign to fight the advance of this terrible menace known as recorded sound.
The existing data... suggest that states and indigenous pro-democracy groups should be cautious about using economic sanctions as a tool in their struggles against authoritarian regimes. The data not only show that dictatorships faced with sanctions tend to enhance their grip on power, but also that successful cases of democratization have overwhelmingly occurred in the absence of broad economic sanctions.Sanctions Don’t Promote Democratic Change. posted by latkes at 10:39 AM PST - 37 comments
From June 2, 1957, CBS Radio Workshop presents Epitaphs, [online listening link, higher quality mp3 link click to listen, right-click to download] a half-hour of readings from 1915's Spoon River Anthology, a collection of poems by Clarence Darrow's former law partner which depict the inhabitants of a graveyard in a fictional small town in Illinois. [more inside] posted by hippybear at 9:34 AM PST - 30 comments
THE OYO EMPIRE by Prof George AyitteyAs you read this keep these pertinent modern questions in mind: Whether or not military dictatorship existed in the empire, rule of law was absent, there were no accountability or checks and balances, and whether the rulers can be removed. posted by infini at 8:39 AM PST - 4 comments
Farksolia: The nephew of Barbara Follett, the child-prodigy novelist who mysteriously disappeared in 1939, has created a Web site for his aunt’s life and works. [Previously] [more inside] posted by Fizz at 8:34 AM PST - 13 comments
Longtime New Yorker Bob Egan's PopSpots tracks down the original New York City locations where famous images were shot, then superimposes the original picture over the present-day location. Did you know the iconic The Kids are Alright album-cover shot of The Who, asleep and wrapped by the Union Jack, was staged just east of Columbia University? Ever wonder where, exactly, the shot of the Central Park "pretzle" guy from Steely Dan's Pretzel Logic was taken? Or curious whether it would be possible to figure out the exact spot in Greenwich Village where the solarized cover photo of Neil Young's After the Gold Rush was snapped? The exact fire escape where Paul Simon was photographed for Still Crazy After All These Years? Egan reveals all, then shows you how he figured it out. [more inside] posted by Joey Bagels at 8:02 AM PST - 17 comments
DogTV, a cable network for dogs, launched in San Diego this past Monday aimed at stay-at-home canines and their workaday owners who want to feel better about time apart. [more inside] posted by ga4ry at 6:12 AM PST - 34 comments
In the summer of 2007 on the campaign trail Barack Obama took a clear stance on the controversial subject of medical marijuana. “I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It’s not a good use of our resources.” As President in 2009 he took action to follow through on this promise by instructing federal prosecutors to “not focus federal resources in [their] States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.” The memo cited the “efficient and rational use” of the U.S. Department of Justice’s “limited investigative and prosecutorial resources,” as a motivating factor in the decision."
In the winter of 2012 Rolling Stone magazine takes a look back on this subject and the record is surprising. "With more than 100 raids on pot dispensaries during his first three years, Obama is now on pace to exceed Bush's record for medical-marijuana busts. "There's no question that Obama's the worst president on medical marijuana," says Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. "He's gone from first to worst."[more inside] posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:07 AM PST - 131 comments