Elizabeth Grant

25 Apr 19
TheCarolinaCowboy

Bernie Sanders, et al., saying “What our constitution says is that everybody can vote. So people in jail can vote.” do not have a clue as to what the Constitution says about voting. The Constitution does not give the right for anyone to vote when it was written voters were required to be property owners. […]

25 Apr 19
MinnPost
This was not a conservation project on which Don Luce wanted to take any risks. “We weren’t testing anything unusual,” explained Luce, curator of exhibits at the University of Minnesota’s Bell Museum. “We weren’t pushing the envelope.” That may not sound too exciting, but consider the artifact at stake: a complete, original set of John James Audubon’s “Birds of America,” one of the most treasured, and expensive, books in existence. At more than 180 years old, the Bell Museum’s set had a few issues. There were tears or stains on some pages. Fingerprint grime could be seen up and down the large sheets. The vivid species illustrations, done mainly in watercolor, were susceptible to light damage. [cms_ad:x100]Luce wanted to ensure these rare works would be available to show for decades to come. So he spearheaded an effort to repair, clean up, and store the massive set. ‘It’s a shame that nobody can actually see this’ The Bell Museum’s “Birds of America” set wasn’t unique in its condition. “I think all of them have had issues,” said Andrée Miller, curator for the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove. “They’re old.” Printed from about 1827 to 1838, the groundbreaking collection features 435 watercolor illustrations depicting North America’s birds, done on the largest paper available at the time. Known as double-elephant paper, it comes in just under 40 inches by 27 inches and allowed Audubon to paint each species its actual size. [image_credit]Midwest Art Conservation Center, courtesy of the Bell Museum[/image_credit][image_caption]Ouzel print before restoration, left, and after.[/image_caption]Experts estimate 175-200 complete “Birds of America” sets were created, printed using hand-engraved plates then colored in by illustrators, Miller said. There are probably about 120 complete sets still in existence, she continued, with most in museums, libraries or public institutions. For many years, the bound “Birds of America” books were often flipped through like, well, books. That led to strain from opening the large volumes, Miller said, and made them susceptible to rips and stains, or oils from fingers sticking to the paper. The University of Minnesota received its copy as a gift in 1928. In 1955, the set was put in the university’s rare books vault. That’s where it stayed until the early 1980s, when a fresh-faced Luce learned of its existence. He went to the library where it was kept and pored over the four 50-pound volumes, finding many of the issues Miller described. The bindings were particularly rough, Luce said — the red-dyed leather was disintegrating, leaving flecks on the prints. They were in no shape to be easily exhibited without risking further damage. “I just said, you know, it’s a shame that nobody can actually see this,” Luce explained. [cms_ad:x101]He made the decision then to unbind them and treat “Birds of America” as a folio of prints rather than as books. It was controversial at the time, he said, but allowed the museum to periodically display some of them. But simply handling them was risky. One even suffered a minor tear while being brushed. As the years went by, Luce searched for a better, permanent solution. Tried and true Conservators are, unsurprisingly, conservative. “If there isn’t a good sense that this will work, then we don’t do anything,” said Elizabeth Buschor, now retired, who spent nearly three decades at the Midwest Art Conservation Center as a senior paper conservator. “You don’t want to make a mistake on anything because once you make a mistake, you can never take it back.” When Luce landed grant money from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in 2013 (with some private funds boosting the pot), it was Buschor that shouldered most of the conservation work. Her cautious approach was fine with Luce, who wanted to do “the least amount to preserve the work.” They decided not to use any bleach or chemicals to remove stains, for example. And some discoloration, which Luce believes was caused by the pages being pressed together for so long, was left untouched — he couldn’t find a safe method to clean it. [image_credit]MinnPost photo by Shaymus McLaughlin[/image_credit][image_caption]A close-up of a Purple Martin print with discoloration.[/image_caption]Buschor went to work in March of 2014. She would get the prints in batches of 50 and methodically go through them over several months. It was a “straightforward” treatment, she said, using tried and true materials that are reversible in the future. She snapped sample photographs of each set, then used a special eraser to remove fingerprints and other residue. The tears and paper loss were repaired with strong, lightweight Japanese papers, Buschor explained, which she adhered to the back like a Band-Aid with wheat starch paste. She humidified and flattened the prints as well, and a few got very minor color touch-ups in spots that had been scratched. [cms_ad:x102]“Very little bad had happened to the prints or subsequently been done to them, which was a really wonderful thing,” she said. What probably helped, according to Miller, is the high quality of the paper Audubon used, which was made with cotton and was not very acidic. Buschor described it as predictable and easier to work with. Buschor finished her work in the summer of 2018, and the museum announced the full completion of the project this spring. It included a full digitizing of each page, viewable here. But it wasn’t simply about making them look good, both Luce and Buschor said. Preservation solutions were key. The works are all hinged in rag, acid-free mat board, allowing them to now be handled without ever touching the actual paper, Luce said. They’re stored in four custom-built protective cabinets, located in a back room. When prints are on display, the glass used in the frames filters out UV light to minimize potential damage to the sensitive water colors. They’re also hung in a dimly lit area with LED bulbs. Four will be shown at the Bell Museum through May: the Louisiana Water Thrush, Red-Headed Woodpecker, Purple Martin and Pigeon Hawk (now called a Merlin). After that, Luce plans to display one at a time, rotating through the prints that haven’t been shown before. Barring a natural disaster, Luce believes they’re as future proof as they can get. “They should be set,” he said.
25 Apr 19
Mother Jones
Yet again, Joe Biden is running for president.  Biden, the six-term senator from Delaware and Barack Obama’s vice president, unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and 2008 and considered running again in 2016. But following his son Beau’s death from brain cancer in May 2015, he decided against it. He formally announced his latest presidential run in a video on Thursday morning. Then he is scheduled to hit a union hall in Pittsburgh on Monday before a tour of four early voting states. In the lead-up to his entry into the race, Biden’s schedule was packed with events that seem aimed at demonstrating he has modernized his brand on issues of race, gender, and other matters: participating in a Memphis, Tennessee, civil rights event, and delivering a Columbia Law School talk about the legacy of the Violence Against Women Act, which he authored. Much of this seems designed to address what many progressives see as Biden’s liability: His decades-long record of public service has been punctuated by his ties to the banking industry, his treatment of Anita Hill, his civil rights–era opposition to busing, and other actions out of sync with today’s Democratic Party. Biden offers his political foes a handful of easy targets, as he joins a crowded, mostly progressive Democratic field where candidates are vying for the support of a more left-leaning Democratic electorate. Here is some of the baggage from his 45 years in politics and government that may weigh him down in the 2020 contest:  Big Banks and Bankruptcy Reform Biden’s close ties with the banking industry—an important economic force in his home state of Delaware and a major donor to his Senate campaigns—has long been a sore point for his progressive critics. For instance, Delaware financial services company MBNA, now a Bank of America subsidiary, was for decades Biden’s top campaign contributor and also hired his son Hunter out of law school. In the late 1990s, the financial industry mounted a lobbying campaign to get legislation passed that would make it harder for average families to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy—the kind that allows consumers to wipe their slates clean of most debts. The legislation made its way to Congress in 2000, and Biden, one of three Democratic senators on the Senate committee working on the bill, voiced his support for it in a floor speech after President Bill Clinton threatened to veto the measure—reportedly at Hillary Clinton’s urging. In 2001, following the election of President George W. Bush, Biden co-sponsored similar legislation that passed the Senate but died in the House. The measure resurfaced four years later and with Biden’s support made it through the Senate to Bush’s desk for his signature. Biden’s championing of this bill has resurfaced every time he has sought higher office—especially given Democrats’ growing distaste for Wall Street after the 2008 financial crisis. As he faces off against 2020 candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who have both called for tougher banking oversight, Biden’s friendliness with banks will likely prove politically problematic, especially as dozens of new Democratic lawmakers and other presidential hopefuls have openly rejected corporate PAC money and influence. Anita Hill and the Clarence Thomas Confirmation Hearings In 1991, Biden, as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, presided over the confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas to become Supreme Court justice. After University of Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill alleged that Thomas sexually harassed her when she was an employee, her charges became a central focus of those hearings. Biden was widely criticized for his treatment of Hill during the sessions, especially his decision to allow aggressive questioning of Hill by a panel exclusively comprising white men—while he prevented three women from testifying about other instances of alleged inappropriate behavior by Thomas. In recent years, Biden has publicly apologized more than once, as he did at a New York event last month when he said, “To this day, I regret I couldn’t come up with a way to get her the kind of hearing she deserved, given the courage she showed by reaching out to us.” Hill’s defenders read these statements as weak attempts that obscure the power he had at the time to control the hearing.  Plagiarism Problems During the 1988 Democratic presidential primary, Biden admitted to lifting five pages of a law review article without attribution for a law school paper. At the time, Biden said it was not “malevolent” and he had just misunderstood the citation standards. During the same campaign, Biden also faced accusations of plagiarizing portions of his stump speeches from Robert Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, and British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock. Biden called the claims “much ado about nothing” and said his failure to attribute properly was inadvertent. Still, within weeks of the accusations, Biden left the presidential race. As Biden has sought higher office in recent years, pundits and critics have revisited this story, often in the context of plagiarism allegations against other political actors—for instance, when Melania Trump was accused of plagiarizing her Republican National Convention speech from Michelle Obama. Record on Race Biden has built a reputation as a warrior for the civil rights of women and the LGBTQ community. He famously helped push Barack Obama to embrace marriage equality when the first-term president was still “evolving” on the issue. But during his first several decades as a lawmaker, Biden made several moves that cut against the drive for racial equality. He opposed busing aimed at integrating school districts, eulogized a segregationist, and advanced tough-on-crime policies that have disproportionately incarcerated black Americans.   In his 1972 Senate campaign, Biden supported integrating schools and using busing to do so. Once elected, however, he voted for anti-busing Senate bills, claiming he still favored school integration but now opposed this approach as a way to do it. During one debate on the Senate floor, Biden said, “I have become convinced that busing is a bankrupt concept,” as he backed an anti-busing measure sponsored by avowed segregationist Sen. Jesse Helms. When a federally mandated integration program was set to begin in Biden’s home state in the late 1970s, the Delaware senator co-sponsored an amendment, tacked on to an education appropriations bill, which would have limited courts’ ability to order busing and imposed a halt on all pending busing orders around the country. The Washington Post at the time called it “the most far-reaching antibusing measure to receive serious consideration in the Senate.” (It failed by a slim margin.) In 2003, Biden traveled to South Carolina to give a eulogy for South Carolina Republican Sen. Strom Thurmond. A longtime segregationist, Thurmond was known for his ardent 1960s opposition to legislation aimed at expanding the rights of black Americans. In his eulogy, Biden noted that Thurmond was a product of his time and background and highlighted his apparent change on issues of race as he grew older, citing Thurmond’s support for the Voting Rights Act. Many see this speech as evidence of Biden’s ability to build connection and civility with his political opponents. But with racial inequality at the forefront of many voter’s minds—and with a Democratic primary field unprecedented in diversity of gender and race—Biden’s Thurmond tribute could become a political liability. Tough on Crime After taking the helm of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the late 1980s, Biden championed legislation that overhauled the American criminal justice system—first the 1988 Anti-Drug Abuse Act and later the 1994 crime bill. Taken together, these bills—which increased sentences for offenses involving drugs most prominent in low-income and nonwhite communities—funded new prisons and enacted a provision requiring mandatory life sentences for certain offenders. Advocates have criticized these measures for leading to a dramatic expansion in mass incarceration, disproportionately hurting black communities.  Support for the Iraq War In the 2020 field, Biden is one of two Democratic candidates who participated in the Iraq war debate in Congress after 9/11. (Sen. Bernie Sanders is the other.) When President George W. Bush first called on Congress to pass a measure that would grant him the authority to launch the war, Biden crafted an alternative resolution to slow down Bush’s rush to war. The measure gained bipartisan support but ultimately failed. During the October 2002 floor fight on the issue, Biden said he did not believe Iraq posed an immediate threat to the United States, but he still voted for the resolution pushed by the White House. And he expressed hope that Bush would not use this measure to justify racing off to war. “At each pivotal moment, [Bush] has chosen a course of moderation and deliberation, and I believe he will continue to do so,” Biden said at the time. “In each case in my view he has made the right, rational, calm, deliberate decision.” Biden has since said he regrets this vote. “It was a mistake to assume the president would use the authority we gave him properly,” Biden said in 2005. “We gave the president the authority to unite the world to isolate Saddam. And the fact of the matter is, we went too soon. We went without sufficient force, and we went without a plan.” Today, Biden’s support for the Iraq War could come back to hurt him in a political landscape in which the war is widely seen as a colossal foreign policy error. Sanders voted against authorizing the war—and that’s a point he might well raise as he and Biden face off against each other. Image credits: Matt Rourke/AP; Greg Gibson/AP; Dino Vournas/AP; Getty
25 Apr 19
Leondale News Article

Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) in partnership with Rand Merchant Bank are launching the second iteration of their successful Scale-Up programme. The objectives of the programme are to connect creative practitioners and cultural organisations to interrogate the state of the sector, and to create a dynamic networking space to share ideas and strategies to […]

25 Apr 19
Books for Greatness

There are ordinary books and there are extraordinary books. If you want to read the best books, then you came to the right place. Here are the best books that you should read in your lifetime.

25 Apr 19
Go News Viral

Sen. Ted Cruz speaks at a Senate hearing on April 10. Bipartisan pairs like Cruz and Sen. Elizabeth Warren have united over concerns about tech giants’ unchecked power. | Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images technology Issues that have already drawn cross-party buy-in run the gamut from antitrust enforcement to bolstering publishers’ power against tech platforms. By CRISTIANO […]

25 Apr 19
healing law

The Constitution of the State of North Carolina. Legal information for the state of North Carolina. Lawyers in North Carolina state and lawyers from around America.

25 Apr 19

The RI Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert includes Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich, May 3-4 The TACO Classical Series concert is on Saturday, May 4, at 8 p.m. The Open Rehearsal is on Friday, May 3, at 6:30 p.m. For the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra’s season finale, the Orchestra welcomes conductor Alexander Mickelthwate to The VETS for Tchaikovsky’s 1812 […]

25 Apr 19
My Good Opinion

In the recent days, I have found myself drawn to a handsome young lady by the name of Lydia. The two of us traveled to London with the intent of marriage. Alas, a man with as many debts as I had could not in good conscience take a wife and subject her to the same […]

24 Apr 19
Viral Topic Zone

Sen. Ted Cruz speaks at a Senate hearing on April 10. Bipartisan pairs like Cruz and Sen. Elizabeth Warren have united over concerns about tech giants’ unchecked power. | Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images technology Issues that have already drawn cross-party buy-in run the gamut from antitrust enforcement to bolstering publishers’ power against tech platforms. By CRISTIANO […]

24 Apr 19
Revolution

Issues that have already drawn cross-party buy-in run the gamut…

24 Apr 19
Michael Caporale's Blog

It would appear to anyone who watches the news that every action, every decision, every inaction and all political considerations are being determined with a view towards the 2020 presidential election.  Democrats have populated the primary slots with an overabundance of candidates all looking to put Trump out of office.  Their roles have swollen to […]

24 Apr 19
Rev. Douglas Taylor

 “A Samaritan Easter” Rev. Douglas Taylor A multi-generational Easter worship service rooted in the parable of the Good Samaritan. Also, it was Passover and nearly Earth Day, reflections upon those holidays are included. Welcome and Announcements Good morning. Welcome to the _____ Unitarian Universalist Congregation where we join together in the search for deeper meaning […]