Paul Krugman: This Snookered Isle (NY Times)
A misleading fixation on budget deficits has become entrenched despite, not because of, what serious economists had to say.
Benjamin Lee: "Hunger games: when movie stars work for peanuts" (Guardian)
Miles Teller was only paid $8,000 for starring in the Oscar-nominated Whiplash. But what's the motivation for big names like Jennifer Lawrence and Cameron Diaz to work for low salaries (by Hollywood standards)?
Ben Kingsley: 'Do you mind if I finish what I was saying?' (Guardian)
Along with talking about his new film, Robot Overlords, the veteran actor is full of stories. The problem is, Zoe Williams has heard them all before ...
Michael Almereyda: "Ride the Pink Horse: Bad Luck All Around" (Criterion)
Dorothy B. Hughes's 1946 novel provides the atmosphere, the setting, the setup: an implacable thug, wading through rising levels of desperation and fear, is stupid enough to think he can glide into a dingy New Mexican resort town to blackmail the rich and powerful man responsible for his friend's death. Robert Montgomery's 1947 film version of Ride the Pink Horse stretches this premise to accommodate a heightened admission of postwar anxiety and despair, ingredients fundamental to all film noir …
James Campbell: Visiting Gore Vidal (Times Literary Supplement)
In the summer of 1980, at the Edinburgh Writers' Conference, precursor of the present festival, I was introduced to Gore Vidal as the editor of the New Edinburgh Review.
Cezary Jan Strusiewicz: "The 5 Greatest Movie Scenes (Are Only a Few Seconds Long)" (Cracked)
The greatest things in life sometimes only last a few seconds, and since Cracked has begged me to never talk about my sex life in these columns, let's look at movies as an example.
David Bruce: Wise Up! Charity (Athens News)
In 1948, Jean Carroll did a benefit for the United Jewish Appeal. Her greatest applause came when she said, "I've always been proud of the Jews, but never so proud as tonight because tonight I wish I had my old nose back."
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
"Doug's Most Shared Facebook Post" Today
Michelle in AZ
David E Suggests
From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'
I can't escape the image
Every time I see or hear Ted Cruz. I see a big, fat, whining, effeminate baby who has pooped in his diaper. For the life of me I cannot understand how anyone can take him seriously. I can't understand how anyone can stand to listen to him speak.
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
from Marc Perkel
Hello Bartcop fans,
As you all know the untimely passing of Terry was unexpected, even by him. We all knew he had cancer but we all thought he had some years left. So some of us who have worked closely with him over the years are scrambling around trying to figure out what to do. My job, among other things, is to establish communications with the Bartcop community and provide email lists and groups for those who might put something together. Those who want to play an active roll in something coming from this, or if you are one of Bart's pillars, should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bart's final wish was to pay off the house mortgage for Mrs. Bart who is overwhelmed and so very grateful for the support she has received. Anyone wanting to make a donation can click on this the yellow donate button on bartcop.com
But - I need you all to help keep this going. This note isn't going to directly reach all of Bart's fans. So if you can repost it on blogs and discussion boards so people can sign up then when we figure out what's next we can let more people know. This list is just over 600 but like to get it up to at least 10,000 pretty quick. So here's the signup link for this email list.
( mailman.bartcop.com/listinfo/bartnews )
from that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
Sunny and warm.
Mel Brooks has been awarded the British Film Institute's highest honor, the BFI Fellowship, at a private dinner hosted by Greg Dyke, BFI chair.
John Hurt, BFI Fellow and star of Brooks' films including "A History of the World Part 1? and "Spaceballs," gave a citation at the event. Alan Yentob, also a BFI Fellow, interviewed Brooks in front of guests that included Terry Gilliam, Mike Leigh, Simon Pegg and Salman Rushdie.
The Fellowship is awarded by the BFI board of governors, and it is presented for outstanding achievement in film and television. Previous recipients include Ralph Fiennes, David Cronenberg, Judi Dench, Tim Burton, Martin Scorsese and Orson Welles.
Brooks said: "I am deeply honored to be the recipient of the BFI Fellowship and to be inducted into such distinguished company. When I was informed that I had been chosen, I was surprised and delighted. Not many Americans have been offered this prestigious award… and for good reason."
$325,000 Indecency Fine
The FCC plans to issue what it says will be the highest fine ever against a TV station for a single incident of airing indecent content, slapping a $325,000 penalty against a Roanoke, Va., TV station for airing a sexually explicit video clip of an adult film website during a news broadcast.
The planned fine against WDBJ-TV comes in response to complaints over the station's July 12, 2012, newscast that featured a report on a former adult film star who had joined a local volunteer rescue squad.
Travis LeBlanc, chief of the FCC's enforcement bureau, said that the agency's action "sends a clear signal that there are severe consequences for TV stations that air sexually explicit images when children are likely to be watching."
Jeffrey Marks, president and general manager of the station, said that they plan to contest the ruling. He noted that the explicit image was not even visible on many TV sets and ran less than three seconds.
He said in a statement, "The enormous fine proposed by the FCC is also an extraordinary burden on protected speech. The FCC's largest base fine for other types of violations by broadcasters is $10,000. That is the fine for a misrepresentation to the FCC. A transfer of a license without authorization has a fine of only $8,000; use of a station to commit fraud results in a fine of $5,000; broadcast of an illegal lottery costs a station $4,000. As the FCC admits, its base forfeiture for a violation of the indecency rules is $7,000. This unprecedented proposed fine is more than 46 times higher than the FCC's own determination of the punishment for indecent speech."
U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Appeal
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to revive a lawsuit by singer-songwriter Todd Rundgren and his wife Michele accusing JPMorgan Chase of wrongfully attempting to foreclose on the couple's Kilauea, Hawaii home.
The court's rejection of the couple's appeal lets stand a lower court's dismissal of their claims for damages and an order to stop a foreclosure sale.
The Rundgrens' lawyer, Gary Dubin, said the couple are still in their home and have other defenses to fight the foreclosure.
The Rundgrens' dispute stems from a $3 million refinancing loan the couple arranged with Washington Mutual Bank several months before the bank failed in 2008. Chase bought that bank's assets, including the Rundgrens' loan, out of receivership in 2008.
BP Drops Out
Oil company BP said on Monday it has stopped supporting conservative political group ALEC, becoming the latest corporation to end its membership in a group critics say works to deny the existence of climate change.
"We have determined that we can effectively pursue policy matters of current interest to BP without renewing our membership in ALEC," a spokesman said. BP was the second large oil company to drop support of the group after Occidental Petroleum cut ties last year.
With the sharp drop in oil prices since last year, energy companies have also come under pressure to cut capital costs, personnel, and other expenses.
Common Cause and other civic groups have said ALEC promotes measures to deny the existence of climate change, defund public services and limit workers' protections.
A Moscow court on Monday fined the prominent Sakharov Centre, a human rights group seeking to preserve the legacy of a Nobel Prize-winning Soviet-era dissident, for failing to declare itself a "foreign agent".
The organisation was slapped with a 300,000-ruble ($5,100) fine for not registering under a controversial law signed by President Vladimir Putin in 2012 as part of a broader crackdown on rights activism.
The law forces non-governmental groups who receive funding from abroad and carry out political activities to use the "foreign agent" tag on all their paperwork and to undergo more intrusive checks.
Opened a year after rights campaigner and nuclear physicist Andrei Sakharov died in 1989, the centre includes a museum which gives information about Soviet-era repressions, hosts a research library and stages lectures and exhibitions.
Earlier this month the centre provided the venue for the lying-in-state of murdered Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, with mourners including former British prime minister John Major.
In a dispute over a proposed Confederate battle flag license plate, the Supreme Court struggled Monday to balance worries about government censorship and concerns that offensive messages could, at worst, incite violence.
Nearly 150 years after the end of the Civil War, the justices heard arguments in a case over Texas' refusal to issue a license plate bearing the battle flag. Nine other states allow drivers to display plates with the flag, which remains both a potent image of heritage and a racially charged symbol of repression.
Specialty license plates are big business in Texas. They brought in $17.6 million last year and state officials said there are now nearly 450 messages to choose from, from "Choose Life" to the Boy Scouts and hamburger chains.
The state rarely rejects a specialty plate, but it did turn down a request by the Texas division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans for a license plate with its logo bearing the battle flag. The group's lawsuit led to Monday's hearing.
The justices seemed uncomfortable with arguments advanced by both sides - the state in defense of its actions, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans in their appeal for the symbol.
Hundreds of medical marijuana users in British Columbia have been told the pot they thought could help them might harm them because it's contaminated with bacteria.
Health Canada says Tilray, a Nanaimo supplier, is telling clients to stop using its Sativa House Blend, Hybrid House Blend and Indica House Blend.
The pot was contaminated with enterobacter, which is not associated with an acute health risk, said Joshua Eades, Tilray's chief science officer.
This is the third recall of medical marijuana in the past year.
Huge Unexploded WWII Bomb Found
Builders uncovered a huge unexploded German World War II bomb in London on Monday, prompting the evacuation of two schools and hundreds of homes.
The bomb, measuring five feet long (1.5 metres) and weighing 1000 pounds (455 kilogrammes) lay undisturbed below a pensioners' centre for seven decades in a densely populated southeastern part of the British capital.
"Seems our OAPs (old age pensioners) are hard as nails, drinking tea on top of a 1000lb bomb for 70 years," Lucas Green, a councillor in the riverside London borough of Southwark, wrote on Twitter.
He added that the bomb was buried two to three metres underground and still had its tail fin intact, and advised residents to open their windows and keep their curtains closed in case of a blast.
An Argentine archaeologist who discovered what he thinks was a hideout built for German Nazis to flee to after World War II said more dark secrets may be buried there.
Daniel Schavelzon grabbed headlines and revived uncomfortable memories for Argentina, a notorious refuge for Nazi war criminals, when he went public at the weekend with his discovery of mysterious ruins deep in the jungle that he suspects were planned as a Nazi hideout.
Excavating at the three stone buildings, his team found a swastika etched in the ruins, German coins stamped with the Nazi symbol and a fragment of porcelain plate bearing the inscription "Made in Germany."
But research at the site has only just begun, said Schavelzon, head of the urban archaeology center at the University of Buenos Aires.
Schavelzon spent two weeks excavating at the site, which is located in the Teyu Cuare provincial park in northern Argentina, near the border with Paraguay.
Gregory Walcott, a prolific character actor whose career was often overshadowed by a starring role in Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space, has died. He was 87.
Born Bernard Mattox in North Carolina in 1928, he began his acting career with an appearance as a drill instructor in the 1955 World War II drama Battle Cry, made while he was still serving in the US Army. This led to several other roles as military characters, including the Henry Fonda drama Mister Roberts, The Outsider, and Midway (in which he played Captain Elliott Buckmaster).
Appearing on both television and film, a recurring role on Rawhide led to a long working relationship with Clint Eastwood. Walcott appeared with Eastwood in Joe Kidd, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, The Eiger Sanction, and Every Which Way But Loose. In addition to Rawhide, Walcott found frequent work in the 1950s and 60s on tv westerns, including Bonanza, Maverick, and The Rifleman. Among his later roles, he had notable appearances on The Six Million Dollar Man, Land of the Lost, and recurring roles on Dallas, and Murder, She Wrote.
But it was for Plan 9 From Outer Space that he would be most widely remembered. As he related in a 1998 interview, he took the role as a favor to a friend despite severe misgivings. Walcott considered the film to be "trash," and was uncomfortable with the way footage of Bela Lugosi was used; subsequently, he would spend decades distancing himself from it.
However, Walcott eventually came to terms with, and even tentatively embraced his place in popular culture. His final film role was a cameo as a film producer in Tim Burton's Ed Wood. 6 years later, in an interview with the LA Times, he remarked that "[i]t's better to be remembered for something than for nothing, don't you think?"