Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Old Hickory

Old Hickory
Andrew Jackson was a populist president serving from 1829 to 1837. His election reflected the new phenomenon of universal white male suffrage. The common man could now vote and Jackson felt he spoke for ordinary people against special privilege. This perspective manifested itself with his administration’s policies - in some ways that proved tragic.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Planes, Amps & Transfer Values

I touch on three things in this post: The Super Vacuum Tube (SVT) bass amp, Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT) avionics and the Single Transferable Vote (STV). These acronyms represent sophisticated systems that hold meaning in my life. And what the heck, I needed a theme for this week!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Digital Age Nominations

Unafraid of Digital Democracy
The Illinois Green Party is currently conducting it's presidential primary. What's exciting, for me at least, is how voters can participate online if they like. I wrote a guest blog for the Ruck.us last week where I shared examples of groups holding nominations outside of state controlled open primaries. The IL Greens are another example of how our democracy is transforming into the digital age.

The Greens will also hold caucuses in conjunction with the online primary. I also find it compelling that IL Green rules allow folks 13 years and older to participate. This piqued my interest as the Grange, a group I'm a member of, allows full membership to 14 year olds. This is a feature of the Grange's mission to foster civic values.

Thumbs up to the Illinois Green Party for their leadership with inclusive democracy!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Bathers With Toy Boat

PABLO PICASSO 
Girls With A Toy Boat 
(1937)
In the late 1990’s I paid a visit to Venice, Italy and the Guggenheim Museum. It was there that I came upon Picasso’s Bathers With A Toy Boat. There was a lot of movement in the painting on both sides / shades of the beautiful blue horizon. Who and what was that strange creature peeking up from the edge of the world? The women, abstract impressions of the human body, were also fussing over a toy boat. Was that creature peeking a reflection of myself watching the action with the tiny vessel? All this amidst a clear blue sea and sky – a reflection, in my mind, of the tranquility I had experienced on the shores of the Adriatic Sea in Croatia. The work told me a story and much like a mirror, it seemed to be my own.