John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

If you have faith as small as a mustard seed..............

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. Marcel Proust


Paranoid men driving high with 20lb of marijuana call police on themselves

A 911 call was released of two self-proclaimed ‘dumbasses’ who were arrested in Idaho for drug trafficking last year after believing they were being followed

Sam Levin in San Francisco

Two self-proclaimed “dumbasses” driving high in Idaho with 20 pounds of marijuana called the police on themselves after they got “spooked” about cops following them.
East Idaho News released audio of a 911 call from last year that led to the drug trafficking arrests of Leland Ayala-Doliente, 22, and Holland Sward, 23, who were apparently so high and paranoid they were certain undercover cops were tailing them.
 East Idaho News released audio of a 911 call of Leland Ayala-Doliente, who said he was convinced police were following him.
The two young men were traveling from Las Vegas to Montana on 23 January when they became increasingly concerned that they were going to be arrested after crossing the Idaho border, according to police in Rexburg, a city in eastern Idaho.
Eventually, the men decided to speed up the process of their arrest and called cops – politely requesting that they “just end it”.
While pulled over near a gas station and an Applebee’s restaurant, Ayala-Doliente told a confused Madison County dispatcher: “Hi, uh, we’re the two dumbasses that got caught trying to bring some stuff through your border and all your cops are just driving around us like a bunch of jack wagons, and I’d just really would like for you guys to end it. If you could help me out with that, we would like to just get on with it.”
“You got caught doing what?” the dispatcher replied.
“Ahh, God, OK,” Ayala-Doliente continued. “We kind of got spooked here trying to bring some stuff across your Idaho border. … A bunch of your cops are driving around in a bunch of civilian cars not wanting to pick us up. I don’t know what’s the deal.”
He added: “It’s getting cold out here, man. I just want to get warm.”
When police showed up, the men had their hands behind their heads, and Sward told an officer: “We’re surrendering,” according to court records obtained by East Idaho News.
The two were each charged with a felony count of marijuana trafficking.

A Rexburg police captain told the news website that no police officers were following them at the time.

Greetings NYCPlaywrights


Thanks to Kevin Curley for letting us quote his kind words: “Your blog is invaluable for all playwrights” - and also for helping us find resources as he did recently with an email letting us know about the upcoming Gulfport Summer One-Acts. You've helped make this blog valuable for playwrights Kevin, thanks!


Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
directed by Casey Biggs
Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 8:00 pm more dates through February 20, 2016
The Theater at the School of Drama
151 Bank Street, New York, NY 10014
Performances run February 18-20, 2016
Thursday-Saturday at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday matinee at 3:00 p.m.
Free general admission. Seating is limited; reservations are recommended. To make reservations, call Ticket Central at 212.279.4200 or click the Register button.


Write THE FIRST DRAFT of your next play this spring at Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA).  Edwin Sanchez (Writer, Barefoot Boy with Shoes On at Primary Stages) and Lisa Ramirez (Writer, To the Bone at Cherry Lane Theatre) each lead a section of this 10-week class focused the development of your first draft. You’ll receive concrete deadlines, constructive feedback, and a collaborative environment that will encourage you to get your ideas on the page. Open to writers at all stages of their careers. Classes begin in March, payment plans available!


The Brick is overjoyed to announce a trans theater festival to celebrate the stories, art, histories, and experiences of trans artists. Recognizing trans artists as an invaluable part of our arts community, both currently and historically, this festival is part of an ongoing commitment to elevating their work. For this and many other reasons, The Brick is proud to present a theater and arts festival curated by and featuring the work of Trans Artists.
June 5th, 2016 to July 2, 2016
Sought: primarily plays, but also dance pieces, films and other performance works that are festival-friendly and ready to present in a repertory format created in part or in whole by trans artists.


1. The Marilyn Hall Awards consist of two (2) monetary prizes for plays suitable for grades 6-8 (middle school) or for plays suitable for grades 9-12 (high school). The two prizes will be awarded on the merits of the play scripts, which includes its suitability for the intended audience. The plays should be approximately 45 to 75 minutes in length. There is no production connected to any of the prizes, though a staged reading is optional at the discretion of the BHTG.
2. Authors must be U.S. Citizens or legal residents. Co-Authorships are permissible.
3. The plays must be written in Standard American English. Slang, jargon, and regional dialects, etc., may be used only to establish necessary characterization.
4. Authors may enter up to two (2) scripts in the Play Competition for Youth Theatre.

The Arundel Festival Theatre Trail, conceived and presented by Drip Action Theatre Company, is now in its sixteenth year.
It performs at the end of August, on each of the Arundel Festival’s eight days, eight short plays at eight different venues all over Arundel – this year, for example, in a community hall, a restaurant, a football club and Arundel Jailhouse. An audience of over 2,000 came to see the eight 2015 Theatre Trail plays. The Trail is firmly established as one of the major components in the Festival and is a great showcase for both new and established writers, both from the UK and beyond.

*** FOR MORE INFORMATION on these and other opportunities see the web site at http://www.nycplaywrights.org ***


A stage reading is a form of theatre without sets or full costumes.[1] The actors, who read from scripts, may be seated, stand in fixed positions, or incorporate minimal stage movement.

A stage reading of a new play in development is an intermediate phase between a cold reading, with the cast usually sitting around a table, and a full production. A narrator may read stage directions aloud. The purpose is to gauge the effectiveness of the dialogue, pacing and flow, and other dramatic elements that the playwright or director may wish to adjust. Audience feedback contributes to the process.[2] In play-development workshopping, the stage reading is one of the forms of workshop, along with the rehearsed reading, the exploratory workshop, and the full workshop production.[3] It is an inexpensive way to get a new play in front of an audience.[4]



Staged Reading Do’s and Don’ts
by Sam Graber

Wouldn’t it have been nice if the all-mighty Lord, right after handing down the five Books of Moses, issued a short addendum listing all the protocols for staged reading do’s and don’ts?

Like you, I’ve been to a ton of script readings. Many have been superb. Some have made me question humanity. Of those in the latter category I’ve come to notice how the dreadful readings rarely deal with quality of script. Instead, reading disasters all share one thing in common – they abandon the standard conventions.

After attending the most recent disaster, I figured I would I ask around and see if anyone knew of a one-stop resource detailing how best to run script readings. No answer. I took to online and searched around but still failed to find a go-to list of do’s and don’ts. There’s probably a thousand blog postings on the subject and I couldn’t find one. Given the absence of an easily accessible list, I decided to create my own.



by Jeff Sweet

The literary manager of the Dilson Valley Repertory Theatre calls you with good news. She likes your play. The company would like to put up the money to fly you out and provide you a berth in a comfy bed-and-breakfast while you and the director they've assigned you work together. This is part of a series, she tells you. One Monday night each month, the company's members, subscribers, and friends gather to watch a group of actors with scripts in-hand do a rehearsed reading of a new play. After the reading, she (the literary manager) leads an audience discussion, with the writer participating - a talk-back.



Actors’ Equity Staged Reading Guidelines



Staged Readings: A Primer
By Michael Kostroff

So you've decided to do a staged reading. Congratulations! Several quite successful projects began in just such a manner. Depending on your particular goals, there's often more to these events than simply running off scripts and inviting actors to read aloud, and the details can make all the difference.

What follows is a list of tips -- including common pitfalls to avoid -- that will help you put together a successful evening.

Choosing a Venue

Whether your piece is performed in a theatre, private home, rehearsal studio, community room, or parking lot, there are several important considerations:

- Accessibility. If the place is too far away or hard to find, people will be less likely to come. Try for a relatively central, easily accessible venue.

- Parking. You don't want guests circling the block as the presentation starts. Find a venue with adequate parking, or provide a valet service at no cost to your audience.

- Seating. People will be sitting for a while. Are the seats plush or plastic?



Staged Readings: What Is the Point of Them?

I was a hair’s-breadth from using all of my (completely imaginary, entirely assumed) authority from flat-out issuing a moratorium on staged readings.  They are a pain in the ass, mostly, a lot of times they just feel like a scam, and, in my own, personal experience, they rarely provide any kind of useful feedback.

But, in defiance of the life lessons I learned from Niccolo Machiavelli, rather than simply declaring an enemy and waging war on it, I think an investigation into the subject is in order.

There’s a lot of readings that happen around the Philadelphia area, and there are a number of reasons for that, which I’ll get to in a minute.  First, let’s be clear about what I’m talking about; technically, a “staged reading” is practically identical to a “script in hand reading” — the actors, after minimal rehearsals, read their lines from the script while attempting to act out some primitive blocking.  The difference between a “staged reading” and a “script in hand reading” is usually just presentation; “script in hands” are generally what you refer to when a company does the reading as part of its process of developing the play, and it’s understood to be halfway through that company’s work on it.  A “staged reading” is usually understood to be the outcome that the company is working towards:  i.e., they’ve picked up the play, worked out their staged reading, performed that reading, and are now done with it.  Good luck, playwright, finding someone else to produce!



The ‘Wilma Papers': Free speech vs. the creative process
by Dan Rottenberg

On January 5 the Wilma Theater performed a free reading of what its website advertised as a "surprise play" by an unidentified author, directed by Blanka Zizka, the Wilma's co-artistic director. His curiosity thus aroused, Jim Rutter attended the reading and discovered that the play in question was In the Next Room, by Sarah Ruhl. Rutter set down his impression of the work and submitted it to Broad Street Review, where it was posted the next day.

Three days later I received an anguished phone call from Blanka Zizka, asking me to withdraw Rutter's post from our site. The script that was read that night, she said, was merely a work-in-progress; the reading was solely designed to solicit input from a live audience. Our posting of Rutter's review, she said, had jeopardized Wilma's relationship with Ruhl's agent and consequently jeopardized Wilma's hope of staging the play.

The hairs on my neck generally rise when anyone tries to prevent me from speaking to or listening to whomever I damn please. Nevertheless, after some reflection I acceded to Zizka's request and withdrew Rutter's post. But I'm still not sure that I did the right thing. A larger issue seems to be at stake here: Does a theater's need to maximize its creative expression trump an audience's right to free expression?



Uncovering Staged Readings and Discovering the Art of Collaboration
by Teresa A. Fisher

After six years of producing a Theater for Young Audiences play development series, I still had an obsessive need to control details instead of embracing the unpredictable nature of development. Each season I focused on creating clearer guidelines for my artistic teams that would magically resolve any problems we faced, like onerous requests for technical elements. Instead of allowing the play development process to flourish, however, I inadvertently stifled it. New play development is a bit messy. This is especially true when a staged reading is part of the process.

Staged readings do not come without potential problems. If the goal is to showcase the script for further development or a full production, the pressure to create a polished product may outweigh the need to dig deeper into the play during the development time. If the goal is to promote the theater, organization, or a larger field, this may also put pressure on the artistic team to focus more on presentation than the actual script. If the development period is short, something of the process is likely to be shortchanged in order to meet the need for staging.

Another problem with staged readings is when they mask a problem within the script—or when the playwright inadvertently rewrites for the staged reading format. The script suffers. In the former scenario, the problem with the script is never resolved and it is left for each subsequent performance to figure out. In the latter scenario, the script gets stuck in a format that is close to, but not quite a fully realized production.


Native American scout “Bloody Knife” in service of George Custer. Armed with a Winchester “Yellowtail” repeating rifle. Wears a U.S. army coat with Corporal insignia. Warned Custer of the threat of Little Bighorn, and was subsequently killed in the battle.

Mrs. Ravioli comes to visit her son Anthony for dinner.
He lives with a female roommate, Maria.
During the course of the meal, his mother couldn't help but notice how pretty Anthony's roommate is.
Over the course of the evening, while watching the two interact, she started to wonder if there was more between Anthony and his roommate than met the eye.
Reading his mom's thoughts, Anthony volunteered, "I know what you must be thinking, but I assure you, Maria and I are just roommates.''
About a week later, Maria came to Anthony saying, "Ever since your mother came to dinner, I've been unable to find the silver sugar bowl.
You don't suppose she took it, do you?"
"Well, I doubt it, but I'll email her, just to be sure.
So he sat down and wrote an email:
Dear MaMa,
I'm not saying that you "did" take the sugar bowl from my house ; I'm not saying that you "did not" take it.
But the fact remains that it has been missing ever since you were here for dinner.
Your Loving Son
Several days later, Anthony received a response email from his MaMa which read:
Dear son,
I'm not saying that you "do" sleep with Maria, and I'm not saying that you "do not" sleep with her.
But the fact remains that if she was sleeping in her OWN bed, she would have found the sugar bowl by now.
Your Loving MaMa

Available on Amazon.Com and at all Barnes and Noble Stores

We Shouldn’t Be Forcing Anyone to Make the Hard Choice Elia Kazan Faced

by Ron Briley

Mr. Briley is faculty emeritus at Sandia Preparatory School.
The recent Hollywood release Trumbo, concentrating upon the film industry’s notorious post-World War II blacklist, concludes with Dalton Trumbo, a blacklisted screenwriter and member of the Hollywood Ten, receiving the 1970 Laurel Award from the Writers Guild of America. In his acceptance speech, Trumbo shocked many of his associates on the political left by asserting that both the blacklisted and informers were victims of the Hollywood inquisition conducted by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) amid the hysteria of the Cold War. Among those called before the committee was film director Elia Kazan, who initially refused to cooperate, but in April 1952 agreed to name names of associates, including his good friend playwright Clifford Odets, once involved with the Communist Party. What made Kazan’s testimony particularly offensive to many was that rather than being repentant, the director prepared a paid statement for the New York Times in which he expressed pride in his actions.

 In fact, Kazan never really made any formal apology, although there is a degree of ambiguity in his 1992 autobiography. In 1999, the director received a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award, which divided the film community, and his legacy continues to be controversial. The director described the Communist Party as a criminal conspiracy, yet HUAC and the anticommunist crusade was a greater threat to fundamental American freedoms than communists in Hollywood.. Kazan’s testimony hurt the livelihood and families of those whom he named, and his cooperation legitimized the actions of HUAC. On the other hand, Kazan’s post HUAC testimony films, including the Oscar-winning On the Waterfront, suggest that he did not abandon his progressive principles.

Kazan was an Anatolian Greek who immigrated to the United States when he was four years of age. His father was a rug merchant, who was extremely disappointed that his eldest son was more interested in pursuing a career in the theater than following his father into business. Kazan graduated from Williams College and attended Yale Drama School, where he remained an immigrant outsider—something that marriage into a prominent New England family would not change. He found a home in the New York City Group Theatre, and in response to the Great Depression, Kazan joined the Communist Party. However, Kazan left the party in 1936 due to what he described as an attempt to take over the Group Theatre. Kazan continued to maintain his friendship with party members and supported progressive causes. In the post-World War II period, he became one of the most celebrated figures in American theater; directing such notable plays as Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire. Hollywood sought his services, and he developed a reputation for directing films with a progressive political slant such as Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)—for which Kazan won his first Academy Award—dealing with anti-Semitism in America and Pinky (1949) focusing upon race relations. Thus, in 1952 many on the political left felt betrayed by Kazan’s testimony.
Around the time that Kazan testified before HUAC, 20th Century-Fox was releasing his film Viva Zapata! based on a screenplay by John Steinbeck. While Steinbeck and Kazan were both Cold War liberals and the real villain of the film is a communist organizer, there is certainly sympathy for Zapata’s struggle to bring about land reform in Mexico. While applauding his testimony, many Hollywood conservatives remained suspicious of Kazan for making a Mexican revolutionary the hero of his picture. To placate those who still harbored doubts about Kazan’s politics, Darryl F. Zanuck of 20th Century-Fox insisted that the director make an anticommunist film. The result was the lackluster Man on a Tightrope (1953) dealing with a circus performer fleeing communist Czechoslovakia for the freedom of Austria and the West.

Kazan’s next film was the acclaimed On the Waterfront (1954) for which Kazan won his second Academy Award as Best Director. The film is often interpreted as Kazan and his screenwriter Budd Schulberg, who also named names before HUAC, justifying their actions. Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) decides to testify before the Crime Commission about waterfront corruption orchestrated by Johnny Friendly for whom Terry once worked. His conscience has been awakened by his girlfriend Edie (Eva Maria Saint) and Father Barry (Karl Malden); as well as the murder of his brother Charlie (Rod Steiger), who was part of Friendly’s inner circle. Yet, the film’s conclusion offers a degree of ambivalence that challenges this conservative reading of the picture. Although initially upset with Terry breaking the code of silence and speaking with the authorities, the workers finally decide to overthrow Friendly and follow Terry into work. However, the man whom Friendly calls Mr. Upstairs remains in charge of the docks. When Terry denounces Friendly on television, we see Mr. Upstairs watching the proceedings, and he informs his butler that if Friendly calls he is unavailable. In the final scene, Mr. Upstairs seems to accept Terry as the new leader of the workers, but the corrupt capitalist is still in control of the waterfront. And in the final shot of the film, the workers enter into an enclosed warehouse whose door is closed on them; signifying that the workers are still enclosed within an exploitive system despite Terry’s actions.
Kazan’s other post HUAC films contain similar elements of ambivalence and progressivism. For example, films such as East of Eden (1955) and Splendor in the Grass (1961) deal with themes of young people rebelling against the patriarchy and values of an older more materialistic generation. A Face in the Crowd (1957) was a film ahead of its time in its examination of how media, advertising, big business, and demagogic politicians might bring fascism to America. In this film, Kazan anticipates the idea of selling a candidate as a product which was well documented in The Selling of the President 1968 by Joe McGinniss and is all too common today. The often overlooked Wild River(1960) is a complex look at the price sometimes paid for progress. In Wild River, a Tennessee Valley Authority agent must evict an elderly woman from her home so that dams and electricity may be brought to the region. The dam is built but at the cost of the woman losing her traditional home. In America America (I963), Kazan tried to address a troubling relationship with his father by examining his family history and immigration to the United States. The result was a film that raised serious questions about the American dream and the price paid by immigrants in pursuit of that dream.
Accordingly, the legacy of Kazan is also an ambivalent one. He directed some of America’s greatest films. His films are progressive in their treatment of white working-class Americans. The films include strong female characters, although in his personal life and attitudes Kazan was rather sexist. He is sympathetic to black Americans, and Kazan avoids the racial stereotypes presented by Hollywood in the 1940s and 1950s. Nevertheless, his films set in the South focus on whites with black characters only in the background. The director offers a better understanding of the immigrant experience. Kazan never moved away from his denunciation of the Communist Party; however, his films indicate strong support for the progressive ideology of his youth. Although certainly not an apology, in his autobiography, Kazan came close to echoing the sentiments of Dalton Trumbo, writing, “I did what I did because it was the more tolerable of two alternatives that were, either way, painful, even disastrous, and either way wrong for me. That’s what a difficult decision means. Either way you go, you lose.” Kazan named names and was able to continue working, while Trumbo and the Hollywood Ten were blacklisted and imprisoned. As the United States again struggles with issues of liberty and security, let us not repeat the mistakes of the past and force individuals to make such choices.       
- See more at: http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/161423#sthash.0sBbzuWw.dpuf


UNITED STATES: Big push as America’s first crowdfunded basic income project approaches first milestone

Will Wachtmeister 

The first initiative to crowdfund basic income in the United States is quickly approaching its first milestone. By Friday, January 15, the My Basic Income project aims to raise $15,000 so that its first lucky winner can receive a basic income of $1,250 a month for a full year.
“Once we make our goal, things really get fun,” Gregory Tippett – one of the four-strong team behind My Basic Income – told BI News. “If our first winner wants to go public, we’ll do that, but it’s their choice.”
The team formed at the first Basic Income Create-a-Thon in San Francisco in November 2015, where they were coached by Michael Bohmeyer’s Mein Grundeinkommen team. Bohmeyer has spearheaded a similar campaign in Germany, which has received over 200,000 signups and awarded 20 winners since 2014, and has brought considerable attention to the UBI movement.
Getting the message out there
Tippett said the long-term plan for the American initiative is to organize regular social events to spread the message and encourage sign-ups for the raffle that determines the basic income winner.
“By asking ‘What would you do if your income was guaranteed?’ we inspire people about the idea of Basic Income. Those responses get shared, and this regular content-building furthers the movement in a way that anyone can easily participate in,” Tippett stated.
The team – like most of its support base – is made up of people who work full-time. Tippett said that some important lessons so far were the need to take a long-term view, to keep things fun, and to stay in contact with the rest of the team through regular check-ins and working sessions. “Getting together is not just for making decisions, but sharing ideas and keeping alive the sense of excitement and possibility.”
Over 100 donors and 200 signups
The approach of My Basic Income is to ask those who sign up for the raffle how a guaranteed income would affect their life. At the launch of the project, the team was excited to find out what individuals would actually do with their earnings.
So far, on top of 100 donors, over 200 people have registered for the raffle, and their plans to use a guaranteed income are diverse. Nevertheless, some themes are starting to emerge:
“Many people said that it would help them make investments in their business, to further their education or to pay off debts. Some said that it would give them the ability to travel or spend time working on artistic projects,” said Tippett.
“Others said that they would finally have more time to spend with their family or just be less stressed. And a good number indicated that they could spend time as activists and volunteers… helping the homeless, protecting the environment. In fact, many said that they could spend time advocating for Universal Basic Income!”

Further information:
The My Basic Income project, Campaign video. youtube.com, accessed 11 January 2016
Will Wachtmeister, “UNITED STATES: Successful launch for America’s first crowdfunded basic income project.” Basic Income News, 23 November 2015
About Will Wachtmeister
Will Wachtmeister has written 30 articles.
Will is a journalist, writer and translator based in Malmö, Sweden.

 There is no human future without a basic income

Andre Coelho Opinion, Opinions & reviews

What does the future look like? No one knows and it is folly to argue one does. But we can think, we can even try to make predictions, depending on how much risk we are willing to take. To say, as Jeremy Rifkin suggests, that the future will look like a collaborative commons, based upon zero marginal cost, internet-linked nodal, laterally scalable shared green energized economy is all very well, and I definitely resonate with it, but is it inevitable? How zero cost is it? The price of generating an extra energy unit from a photovoltaic panel may be close to zero, but what about the panel itself? Who pays for it?
Proponents will say that photovoltaic panels are cheaper than they have ever been, huge economies of scale were possible in the last few years and any person these days can purchase photovoltaic panels. But is this true? Panels are cheaper than they were some years ago, no doubt, but a person first needs to eat, have a shelter, access some basic form of transportation and energy for cooking, lighting and such. Only after all that is guaranteed, can someone consider the photovoltaic panels, the electric car, or the 3D printer. The “future”, it seems, will not come until poverty is eliminated. Because poor people – 24.4 % of all European population was at risk of poverty in 2014, or 122 million people – cannot participate in this futuristic vision of the world unless their basic needs are met.
You doubt it? Then think about it. In most places, if you run out of money to pay for electricity, it is unlikely that your neighbors will help out by supplying you with some electricity, and even less likely that you will be given a photovoltaic system to produce your own energy. Where I live, at least, if I stop paying the electricity bill, they will cut me off, without a doubt. No matter how generous, how educated, how creative, how tolerant I might have been in life, the power company is completely indifferent: you do not pay, you will have to go without power. Period.
Things might be different in the future – and they certainly will. But at this moment the amount of money one has is less related to levels of education, generosity, creativity or tolerance, and more to status, power, social networks, dominance and violence. Attributing monetary value to people is a trap. The instant you say “this person is worth 1000 euros”, you automatically create an underclass of unworthy people. Those people might even be subject to discrimination and violence you object to, from deprivation and poverty to constant surveillance. So definitions or layers of worthiness cannot solve a core problem in present-day human species: our difficulty to share. To trust.
This is why I defend basic income. It represents a bold and clear statement: human dignity is not and must not be subject to discussions about worthiness or value. These attempts to quantify human beings are bound to fail, since our “value”, if we must speak of it, is incalculable. You cannot calculate it, so there is no use in trying. Basic income is also a crucial tool for participation. You cannot truly participate and contribute to a better society – let’s say by investing in a photovoltaic system – if you do not have the money to meet your basic needs.
This is why major societal challenges like climate change cannot be solved without addressing poverty. Because while there is poverty, people will simply not “do the right thing” when they cannot afford it. If the costs of living in a more sustainable way are higher than what they can afford, there is little choice but to eat whatever they can, buy the cheapest power appliances and drive the most affordable vehicles. And all these are still among the major polluters we are trying to eliminate.

About Andre Coelho
André Coelho has written 68 articles.
Activist. Engineer. Musician. For the more beautiful world our hearts know it's possible.

Guarantee your income before robots take your job: Joe Mathews

By Joe Mathews, LA Daily News

Do you want your ham and eggs, California?
It is one of the most enduring ideas in our state: Government should provide everyone with a minimum amount of money on a regular basis. It goes back to the 1930s, with the narrow rejection of the so-called “Ham and Eggs” proposals to give Californians a $30 check every Thursday.
Now, this notion is back, a subject of op-eds and speeches, and with some bipartisan political momentum. Thinkers on the left have embraced it as a bulwark against poverty, inequality and corporate power. Feminists and children’s advocates say it would pay people for the crucial work of homemaking and child-rearing. Some conservatives like the idea as a way to consolidate the sprawling number of government programs and replace them with a cash grant. And venture capitalists in Silicon Valley see it as vital insurance against the likelihood that artificial intelligence will eliminate millions of jobs.
The “Ham and Eggs” idea has different names and comes in different concepts. Some proponents talk about a universal basic income, or guaranteed minimum income, so that all citizens have sufficient income to live on. Conservatives often prefer to call it the “negative income tax,” since they would expand the tax system to provide supplemental pay to those who need to reach a minimum.
In the rest of America, the idea is usually dismissed as socialistic or irretrievably expensive. But in California, it has remained stubbornly strong. Why? It may persist because our volatile, boom-and-bust economic culture produces moments of real desperation for millions. Or maybe Californians have more appreciation for the technologically advanced future that will require less labor.
What is undeniable is California’s historic role in social insurance schemes. It was a Long Beach doctor, Francis Townsend, who suggested the program that became Social Security. The “End Poverty in California” movement of the 1930s included a push for pensions for all. And then there were those two high-profile statewide initiatives in 1938 and 1939 to give Californians age 50 and older $30 every Thursday.
Their defeats hardly discredited the idea. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a strong proponent. So was conservative economist Milton Friedman — an important California figure who advised President Reagan and backed Prop. 13.
Friedman designed and promoted a proposal for “the negative income tax,” which helped inspire the only president born in California, Richard Nixon, to offer his own proposal in 1969. It failed, but the concept didn’t die.
We’ve seen elements of guaranteed income in proposals to double the size of Social Security, and in movements for a $15 per hour minimum wage. Thinkers on the left, like the California-based academic Robert Reich, have come out for it. On the right, presidential candidate Marco Rubio and House Speaker Paul Ryan have sought to consolidate existing welfare programs into cash grants that would be run through states.
But in California, the most intriguing support is centered in Silicon Valley. There, the arguments are that a guaranteed income will protect the people who lose their jobs because of California’s technological innovations, and that more people would have more time to be entrepreneurial if they didn’t have to worry about paying their bills.
“Universal basic income might be the most meaningful way we could subsidize the earliest stages of innovation,” wrote venture capitalist Roy Bahat in the Washington Post.
California, with its powerful ballot initiative system, offers perhaps the most likely venue to try such an idea at the state level. For weeks, I’ve heard rumors about Bay Area venture capitalists planning such an initiative, but have been unable to confirm them.
Either way, this is one California idea that isn’t going away. Your check may soon be in the mail.
Joe Mathews wrote this column for Zocalo Public Square.
Editor’s note: This column has been changed since it was posted to reflect that Friedman’s “negative income tax” proposal inspired Nixon to offer his own proposal — but Friedman did not persuade Nixon to do so.

FRANCE: Government agency recommends testing basic income

Stanislas Jourdan  

A report written by a government agency dedicated to Digital Affairs for the French Ministry of Labor recommends experimenting with an unconditional basic income to cope with the fundamental transformations of work in the context of the growing digital economy.
How do automation and digitalization of activities impact working conditions? This was one of the key questions the National Digital Council  was tasked to address in a report sponsored by the French Ministry of Labor and Social Dialogue. The Digital Council is a public agency created in 2012 to advise the French government on matters related to the digital world.
The report was released earlier this week – see the full report here. It makes an important case for basic income, and calls for a thorough appraisal of “the various proposals and experiments around basic income”. Basic income is part of the twenty main recommendations contained in the report.
The Minister of Labor Myriam El Khomri was not so enthusiastic but did not close the door on the idea: “I do not want to dismiss it, but at first sight I am not sure about its cost,” she said.
According to the report, the existing social protection model has been pushed to its limits, and the labor market has failed to reward many different forms of activities, and thus provide an income to everyone.
These phenomena are not new, but technology is accelerating the trends. Automation is displacing jobs and killing aggregate demand in the economy. The development of invisible forms of production on the internet – what is commonly referred to as ‘digital labor’ – is leading to new forms of production that do not remunerate people for their work. As a consequence, there is a need for new kinds of redistribution systems, such as a basic income.
The report reviews many common arguments for introducing an unconditional and universal basic income, and quickly sketches different proposals on how to implement it. These include a reform of the tax-benefit system, various forms of money creation (such as quantitative easing for people), and raising corporate taxes to remunerate invisible and unpaid labor.
Although the report does not express a preference for a specific proposal, it calls for two concrete steps:
1.         A feasibility study on basic income to be conducted by a team of economists, statisticians, fiscal and legal experts. The aim would be to develop a simulation tool of the transition to a basic income, and carry out an impact assessment of each proposal in the public debate.
1.         Local basic income experiments that complement the feasibility study andconsider various scenarios.
“We cannot ignore this movement.”
“This is the first time a report of a public agency discusses a basic income linked to digital transformations” Benoit Thieulin, one of the report authors, said. “Governments need to seize the opportunity and help with the reform of our solidarity and redistribution models. Experiments are conducted in several countries, we cannot ignore this movement.”
Basic income was only the last of 20 recommendations, yet it made most of the headlines in French media.
“For a long time I have also been sceptical about basic income … I wasn’t too convinced,” Thieulin explained in an interview. “But today this idea puts everything into question. Especially now that the welfare system is cracking everywhere. Half of the people don’t claim their benefits! Administration costs are enormous! … At some point one has to ask if it would not be simpler, less expensive and more beneficial for all if we had a universal safety net.”
The French Movement for Basic Income, a BIEN affiliate, was among the organisations consulted during the writing process and welcomed the release of the report. “It is a timely report that opens the debate in the best possible terms,” International Coordinator Nicole Teke said to BIEN.
The French government has commissioned another report to review all social benefits, with special attention to be paid to the existing minimum income scheme. The French Movement for Basic Income announced that it will submit proposals to pave the way for the introduction of a basic income.

About Stanislas Jourdan
Stanislas Jourdan has written 26 articles.
Co-Founder of the French Movement for basic income. Also journalist in a previous life.
CANADA: Elizabeth May: Paying Everyone A Basic Income Will End Poverty And Save Money

Dejan Tachevski
Basic Income is an idea that has been gaining popularity amongst Canadians. The Green Party has made basic income one of the most important planks of their platform, tying it to their anti-poverty efforts and elder care strategy.
 Dubbing their “Guaranteed Livable Income” (GLI), the Greens would use “a single universal, unconditional cash benefit delivered through the tax system” to replace the current complex system of federal and provincial support.
In a recent article, Huffington Post Canada sat down with party leader Elizabeth May to discuss why providing a basic income to all Canadians would pay off for Canada. The interview provides valuable information about the reasons why she and other Greens believe that the “Guaranteed Livable Income” is the perfect anti-poverty measure.

If you were handed $1,100 a month, would you amount to anything?
Erik Kirschbaum

Would Germany be a better place if each citizen received a no-strings-attached government check for $1,100 a month?
Would people still get out of bed each day and go to work or do something else productive even with that unconditional basic income of 1,000 euros, less than half the average German monthly wage, but more than twice what those on welfare receive?
Those are among the questions being examined in a small real-life experiment called "Mein Grundeinkommen" (My Basic Income) taking place in Germany — where 26 people thus far are being given $1,100 a month to do whatever they want with.
The privately operated project, financed by crowdfunding donations, has injected new life into an old debate in Germany about utopian ideals. The idea of a "basic wage" is also touching a nerve in Germany and across Europe amid a rise in poverty and an increase in the number of working poor.
The notion of the state giving everyone an "emancipatory basic income," as it also is sometimes called, is cherished not only by leftists in Germany but has also been supported by some on the right side of the political spectrum. Detractors, however, express fears that it would take away the incentive for people to work, while costing the government a fortune.
So to be able to work creatively, people need some security, they need to feel free. And they can get that with a basic income.- Berlin entrepreneur Michael Bohmeyer
In Finland, a new conservative-led government announced plans this month to hand out a universal basic income of nearly $900 per month starting in 2017. The basic income payments would replace all other benefits, cutting administration and means-testing costs, and will be paid to everyone regardless of whether they have other sources of income. Opinion polls show 70% of Finns favor the idea, which will cost more than $50 billion a year. A referendum on the same question is due in Switzerland in February. There is growing support for a basic income in the Netherlands.
The universal basic income has long had many supporters in Germany. The state already pays a sort of "mini basic income" of about $200 per month for all children and young adults up to the age of 25 as long as they are in school or at college, which are also free of charge. But it was never tested in a real-life situation in Germany until Berlin entrepreneur Michael Bohmeyer, 31, decided to launch his "My Basic Income" project in 2014.
"A basic income paid out to everyone could unleash enormous amounts of creativity," said Bohmeyer, who left his Internet start-up business, and for a while was savoring a relatively carefree life, living off those proceeds, when he came up with the basic payment experiment.
"Machines are going to be taking care of just about everything for us over time," added Bohmeyer, who comes from formerly communist eastern Germany. "So to be able to work creatively, people need some security, they need to feel free. And they can get that with a basic income."
At this point, 26 people have been chosen at random to get a taste of basic income. Every few weeks, several more people are selected through drawings to receive 1,000 euros per month each for a year. They're free to do whatever they want with the money. The recipients are picked from a pool of more than 66,000 applicants and drawings are held whenever enough donations are collected. So far a total of 31,449 people have made donations.
"The most popular donation is 33 euros," Bohmeyer says. "That's equal to the daily amount needed to finance a basic income of 1,000 euros per month."
At the last lottery on Dec. 8, held in front of a small but spirited audience at the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin and streamed on the Internet (1,100 people watched), five winners were selected: a woman who said she wanted to use the income to "spend more time with her children and do volunteer work"; another woman who said she wanted "to be able to live my dreams and give something back"; a third woman who said she wanted "to develop a theater production"; a man who said he would use the money "to hire a new employee to help my ecological vegetable garden business grow"; and a fourth woman who wrote she "wants to wake up happy every day, to travel more and support other artists."
"It's really cool that we were able to raise enough donations within less than a month for five more people to get the basic income for a year," Bohmeyer said just before the drawing, which used a lottery wheel. "And that came mostly from small donations."
Most people who win haven't quit their jobs, he said. But there is nevertheless often a significant change in their outlook on life, he added.
"The one thing that everyone tells us is that they're able to sleep much better," Bohmeyer said. "But, ostensibly, not a lot changes: The students keep studying, the workers keep working and the pensioners are still pensioners. But there is a big change that takes place in their minds. People feel liberated and they feel healthier."
One winner opted to spend his first month's payment partying with his friends, Bohmeyer said. "He just felt an urge to do that," he said. "He needed to get that out of his system."
Bohmeyer said another winner, unable to work because of chronic ailments, wound up with less stress and fear than when he had to miss work.
"For the last nine months he hasn't had any more episodes," said Bohmeyer. "For a meager 1,000 euros per month, a human being has got his health back. Is that unreal, or what?"
One recipient did quit a job he that he said he hated: at a call center. But the young man from the western city of Muenster didn't just lounge around on the couch watching TV all day; instead he used the money to go back to school and is studying to become a kindergarten teacher. He has managed to make ends meet after the year was over with other odd jobs and is grateful for the help he got to change his life, Bohmeyer said.
The idea of a basic income has four core elements: it's universal, it's individual, it's unconditional, and it's at a level that is high enough for a decent standard of living.
The project has caught the eye of German politicians like Katja Kipping, the co-leader of the hard left party Die Linke. She has long advocated a universal basic income. The Left Party discussed the issue intensively at its last congress in Bielefeld, although many party members were skeptical.
"It's a good idea that is taking the discussion on basic income forward," Kipping said after a visit to Bohmeyer's offices.
She believes that a universal basic income in Germany could succeed because many people now work without remuneration and with too little recognition — caring for family members, housekeeping, volunteer work and coaching at clubs. "There is more work being done without pay than there is at the factories and office buildings and everywhere else."
Economists are, not surprisingly, divided on the issue, with some labeling it "nonsense." Political analysts don't expect it to be introduced in Germany any time soon.
"The idea hasn't even found a consensus in any of the parties," said Carsten Koschmieder, at Berlin's Free University. "There are just too many concerns in all the parties that people wouldn't have any incentive to go to work and too many unanswered questions about who would pay for it all."
Kirschbaum is a special correspondent.

New Universal Income Experiment In Germany Tests Productivity, Creativity


An experiment to give away money as "basic income" is underway in Germany. In 2014, Michael Bohmeyer, a 31-year-old German entrepreneur, launched "My Basic Income" ("Mein Grundeinkommen"), and this month, the project, made possible through crowdfunding, issued $1,100 checks to 26 people to use however they want.
Leftists in Germany tend to support the idea of basic income while others in the country say the idea might take away incentives for people to work.
If basic income were to be implemented, the government would ultimately abolish the bureaucratic welfare state and would instead divide the money equally across the total population without basing the payouts on status or qualifications of the applicant.
"A basic income paid out to everyone could unleash enormous amounts of creativity," said Bohmeyer, who left his internet startup business before forming his basic payment experiment, according to a Chicago Tribune report.
"Machines are going to be taking care of just about everything for us over time," said Bohmeyer. "So to be able to work creatively, people need some security; they need to feel free. And they can get that with a basic income."
Every few weeks, Bohmeyer picks more people through drawings to receive the monthly checks. The experiment team picks from a pool of more than 66,000 applicants. Drawings take place whenever enough donations are collected. So far, 31,449 people have made donations.
Germany is not the only country considering implementation ofuniversal basic income; several other European countries have floated the idea, too.
The Dutch city of Utrecht plans to carry out an experiment in which the population of the city is divided into groups that receive different levels of welfare, including one that will get unconditional basic income. Payments will range from $1,000 to $1,450 per month. Switzerland plans to hold a referendum on creating a universal income. In 2017, Finland will implement an experiment where everyone is paid $876 a month.
Carsten Koschmieder, an economist at Berlin's Free University, said in an interview with Business Insider universal basic income in Germany will most likely not be implemented for years.
"The idea hasn't even found a consensus in any of the parties," he said. "There are just too many concerns in all the parties that people wouldn't have any incentive to go to work and [there are] too many unanswered questions about who would pay for it."

The Excellent Dutch Experiment Into The Universal Basic Income

Tim Worstall 

Finland recently announced that it’s seriously considering introducing a universal basic income for the whole country. Won’t come in, even if it does, for a couple of years yet but it’s still hopeful as that’s the first time any entire country has even seriously flirted with the idea. And now we’ve a report from Holland about how a few cities are going to have a rather earlier, if smaller, experiment into the same idea. They’re also looking at it for what I consider to be absolutely the right reason. Nothing to do with the robots taking all our jobs, with the justice and fairness of everyone getting a basic income even, but looking at the horrible and vast taxation rates that hit people at the boundary between the welfare state and thetaxation system:
Nevertheless, the municipalities are, in the words of de Boer, taking a “small step” towards a basic income for all by allowing small groups of benefit claimants to be paid £660 a month – and keep any earnings they make from work on top of that. Their monthly pay will not be means-tested. They will instead have the security of that cash every month, and the option to decide whether they want to add to that by finding work. The outcomes will be analysed by eminent economist Loek Groot, a professor at the University of Utrecht.
A start date for the scheme has yet to be settled – and only benefit claimants involved in the pilots will receive the cash – but there is no doubting the radical intent. The motivation behind the experiment in Utrecht, according to Nienke Horst, a senior policy adviser to the municipality’s Liberal Democrat leadership, is for claimants to avoid the “poverty trap” – the fact that if they earn, they will lose benefits, and potentially be worse off.
It is that poverty trap that most concerns me. There is a subsidiary point which I consider useful: a basic income would raise the reservation wage. That is, if you can get €600 euro or whatever just for sitting at home then an employer isn’t going to be able to tempt you out to work for only the €500 you might accept in the absence of such basic income. You now have power in the marketplace, the power of not having to offer your labour for hire. And if everyone has this power then we can do away with the entire panoply of workplace power relations, the unions, the minimum wages and so on. Because the workers’ power is now built into the fact that they already have an income.
Do not be fooled into thinking that a basic income would be a subsidy to wages: something can only be such a subsidy if you get it only because you are working. If you get it come what may then it isn’t a subsidy to the employer at all: it’s an anti-subsidy, it raises the reservation wage and thus means that they must pay you more, not less.
So, we tilt the worker employer power imbalance a bit, which is mildly useful. But to me the real point is that poverty trap. I know the numbers for my native UK rather better than those for other places. But we’ve had a research paper from Diamond and Saez which says that the peak of the Laffer Curve is about 54% for taxes upon income (note, all taxes on income, not just income tax). And that’s true when there’s “allowances” in the system, something which is obviously true in Europe where you can move tax system just by moving 5 miles over the border for we have a residence based tax system, not a passport based one like the US.
Government gets the most tax revenue when income taxation is 54% then. And yet among the poor many of them often face very much higher rates than this. In the UK it’s some tens of thousands who face rates over 100%, and around three million who have marginal tax and benefit withdrawal rates over 60%. This means that rates are so high as to actually reduce government revenue. They’re also higher than the rates we apply to the rich.
Converting those welfare payments into an untaxed and non-withdrawn monthly amount eliminates that problem entirely. The working poor will again, as we think they should, face lower marginal tax rates than richer people and everyone’s marginal rates will be below the Laffer Curve peak. Which is great, we’ve just increased economic efficiency. And also, in my own opinion, come rather closer to a moral taxation and welfare system. So I think we should do it. Increase worker power, increase economic efficiency and in a more moral manner? Why wouldn’t we want to do this?
Although of course there is this one caveat. There’s an awful lot of economic ideas that sound great and don’t work out quite that way in practice. So let’s let the Dutch and the Finns do it first, wait a couple of years and then we’ll have a proper look see. Just to check that it really does work out like we think it should. I think it will, but let’s be careful out there.
I am currently running an IndieGoGo campaign to fund the "Recycle Your Electrons" smartphone app.

All language is but a poor translation.” Franz Kafka

Educate yourself. When a question about a certain topic pops up, google it. Watch movies and documentaries. When something sparks your interest, read about it. Read read read. Study, learn, stimulate your brain. Don’t just rely on the school system, educate that beautiful mind of yours. To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically. The success of great scholars and thinkers is commonly a courtier-like success, not kingly, not manly. They make shift to live merely by conformity, practically as their fathers did, and are in no sense the progenitors of a noble race of men. But why do men degenerate ever? What makes families run out? What is the nature of the luxury which enervates and destroys nations? Are we sure that there is none of it in our own lives? The philosopher is in advance of his age even in the outward form of his life. He is not fed, sheltered, clothed, warmed, like his contemporaries. How can a man be a philosopher and not maintain his vital heat by better methods than other men?

THE ART OF WAR............


Dexter Gordon
                      Dexter Gordon at Montmartre Jazz Club, 1964. Photo Playboy Magazine


Ellisworth Kelly

                             THE ART AND BEAUTY OF BALLET

Evgenia Obraztsova, David Hallberg and others in Bolshoi’s Onegin

Sculpture this and Sculpture that

Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) - Two Hands, modeled and cast at an unknown date

Théo Tobiasse (né en 1927) - Myriam

Heinz Leinfellner (1911-1974)

I enjoyed these photos, I thought you might like them too.

Stéphane Duroy, Penrhiwceibe, Famille Eyles, South Wales

Winter Coat by Heather King

Yosemite Stars by (Conner McCrea)

The Sakurajima volcano spits up a mess of lava, southern Japan, September 27, 2013. Photo by Tom Pfeiffe
Lava gushes from Mount Etna, Sicily, photographed by Carsten Peter.

David McNew, Fallen brush glows immediately after the Powerhouse fire passed south of Lake Hughes, California, June 1, 2013

Montana wildfire, forest fire by Chris Lombardi
Signal Mountain Fall by Virginia Bailey

Robert Capa, Women on the boardwalk, Deauville, France, August 1951

Sugar workers, Puerto Rico, 1941, Jack Delano

Photographer Ed Freeman

A tornado south of Parker, Colorado, 2009. Photo by Zachary Caron.

Backstage at the Girlie Show at the Vermont state fair, Rutland. Sept 1941. Delono

The Spring Festival in Doha's ancient market area which connects mainland Qatar to the sea.

Fred Herzog Mom’s shoes, 1969.
Isa Stoppi in Christian Dior _ Photo by Jean Louis Guégan, 1967.

Matt Sweeney, Hollywood and West Los Angeles, 1979-1983

Maudie James photographed by David Bailey for Vogue UK, 1973

Nest by William Wegman

Paper birds fill the sky above a street during the Santiago de Cuba carnaval, in Cuba.Marc Pokempner

Barred spiral galaxy NGC 1300, a mere 61 million light-years away in the constellation Eridanus. (Hubble)
a picture of Earth taken from a distance of 6 billion kilometers by Voyager 1, February 14, 1990.

I made Nachos!

Two friends of mine, Jackie and Ryan Melkis, wonderful people 

The Observation and Appreciation of Architecture

I'm a big big Fan of Bukowski 

My visit to the Hamden Children's Center in Connecticut. 

I lived here in 1962 just before I was placed into foster care. I recall it as a wonderful place and I was so happy to come back and see it again 

A Canadian protestor

At the Russian Festival last summer 

Mary and I


                                                                 Kid Twist Zwerbach

Zwerbach Max: AKA Kid Twist. AKA Zwerbaich. Born Date unknown. Died, May 14, 1908. Leader of the Eastman gang following the arrest of Monk Eastman in 1904. Zwerbach lived with his wife and two children at 255 Sackman Street in the Williamsburg section (Now a dead end section of Pitkin Avenue)
      Zwerbach met his end in the company of a hood named Lewis Vach (Born Sam Tietch) AKA Samuel Pietch, AKA Bat Lewis AKA Cyclone Lou. At the time of his death, police estimated that Lewis had accumulated $50, 000 from extortion. Vach was essentially a strong man, an enforcer noted for his brutality and willingness to inflict injury.
       A member of the Eastman gang who came out of the Bowery Boys Gang, Vach was reportedly a Coney Island strongman who wrapped iron bars around his neck as part of a sideshow on the boardwalk.  He backed Max “Kid Twist” Zwerbach for leadership of the Eastman gang and was instrumental in helping Zwerbach murder of his rival Richie (Dick) FitzPatrick, leader of the Five Points gang in 1904.
     The two are also said to have murdered an underworld character known only as Big Butch, a poolroom hustler. After that, Vach was promoted to Zwerbach’s bodyguard and general assistant.  
       Witness heard nine shots ring out and a woman scream. Then Zwerbach and Vach fell through the swinging class doors of the newly opened South Brooklyn Hotel and fell on the floor under a massive floral horseshoe that the owner had been presented for the opening event of the hotel 12 hours before.
     Zwerbach was shot once in the head behind his right ear. Vach was shot in the stomach, groin, left hand, right arm and another behind the ear. Carroll Terry, a singer and one of the two women with the gangsters, was also shot through the left arm and fell in the doorway of an Italian restaurant across the boardwalk from the hotel where the two hoods collapsed.  Mabel Leon another singer at the Imperial Music Hall accompanied Terry for a drink and dinner with the two gangsters and professed to not having any idea who they were.
     According to Terry, who said she had come from Canada to New York to study opera before falling on hard times, who named Louis “The Lump” Pioggi (Born 1882, lived at 19 City Hall Place. The address no longer exists) as the killer. She said she and Pioggi had lived together but that she had moved out and that he had been stalking her ever since. When Pioggi saw her with the two men, according to Terry, he lost control, punched her, knocking her to the ground and then pulled a pistol and starting shooting.
       Louie the Lump Pioggi was a member in good standing of the Five Points Gang, according to the New York Times, had been a leader in the gang since 1911.  Apparently, what had happened was that when Pioggi saw Zwerbach with girlfriend, he started a fight and caught the worst of it. He left and returned with gang leader Paul Kelly. Several hours later, Kelly, Pioggi and others ambushed Zwerbach, Vach and the two women.
     At the trial, Pioggi claimed that Zwerbach, Vach and other members of their gang had surrounded him and picked a fight and that it was his belief that they intended to kill him. He further claimed that when he ran away, they chased him out to the boardwalk with their guns at ready and that he had no choice but to shoot at them.
      He was sentenced to a year in Elmira State prison. After his release he was arrested for violating the Sullivan Act (carrying a weapon within the city of New York) he ran and was finally arrested three years later while walking through Times Square.

     He reappeared in 1923 as the owner of the Royal Café at 8 Baxter Street. (That end of Baxter Street no longer exists)  Pioggi said that when he reported for work in the morning he opened the bar room door and said he found the beer pump going “Full speed”, the automatic piano playing and the dead body of  Charles Cassazza sprawled across the floor. He had been shot through the head. Pioggi and Louis Repuzzi were arrested for playing a role in the murder.

MISH MOSH..........................................

Mish Mash: noun \ˈmish-ˌmash, -ˌmäsh\ A : hodgepodge, jumble The painting was just a mishmash of colors and abstract shapes as far as we could tell. Origin Middle English & Yiddish; Middle English mysse masche, perhaps reduplication of mash mash; Yiddish mish-mash, perhaps reduplication of mishn to mix. First Known Use: 15th century

Lawrence of Arabia in person and in film
The Elephant Man in person and in film  

First successful photograph made from an aeroplane in U.S, January 15, 1911


Untitled, 1963, Chicago. Bruce Davidson




Le Pont du Château de Chenonceau

Longmen Caves in Luoyang, Henan, China

Lubomirski Castle, Poland

Magnolia Hall in Savannah Ga.

Photographs I’ve taken

St. Louis

AND HERE'S SOME ANIMALS FOR YOU................... 


L’etoile filante. The shooting star. Les étoiles. 1849.

lois dodd.

Lowell Birge Harrison - Fifth Avenue at Twilight


The art and joy of cinematography
Bridge of Spies (2015), dir. Steven Spielberg

Expatiate \ek-SPAY-shee-ayt\1:   to move about freely or at will : wander
2 : to speak or write at length or in detail.  The Latin antecedent of expatiate is exspatiari, which combines the prefix ex- ("out of") with spatiari ("to take a walk"), itself from spatium ("space" or "course"). Exspatiari means "to wander from a course" and, in a figurative sense, "to digress." But when English speakers began using expatiate in the mid-16th century, we took "wander" to mean simply "to move about freely." In a similar digression from the original Latin, we began using expatiate in a figurative sense of "to speak at length." That's the sense of the word most often used these days, usually in combination with on or upon.

John William Tuohy is a writer who lives in Washington DC. He holds an MFA in writing from Lindenwood University.
He is the author of No Time to Say Goodbye: Memoirs of a Life in Foster Care and Short Stories from a Small Town. He is also the author of numerous non-fiction on the history of organized crime including the ground break biography of bootlegger Roger Tuohy "When Capone's Mob Murdered Touhy" and "Guns and Glamour: A History of Organized Crime in Chicago."
His non-fiction crime short stories have appeared in The New Criminologist, American Mafia and other publications. John won the City of Chicago's Celtic Playfest for his work The Hannigan's of Beverly, and his short story fiction work, Karma Finds Franny Glass, appeared in AdmitTwo Magazine in October of 2008.
His play, Cyberdate.Com, was chosen for a public performance at the Actors Chapel in Manhattan in February of 2007 as part of the groups Reading Series for New York project. In June of 2008, the play won the Virginia Theater of The First Amendment Award for best new play.
Contact John:




Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
—         Dylan Thomas


 Fealty \FEE-ul-tee\ 1 a : the fidelity of a vassal or feudal tenant to his lord.        b : the obligation of such fidelity 2 :intense fidelity. Fealty comes from the Anglo-French word feelté, or fealté, which comes from the Latin fidelitas, meaning "fidelity." These words are ultimately derived from fides, the Latin word for "faith."