Wednesday, October 07, 2020


Human beings live not just in time, but in history. History is an account of the events of the past, but it amounts to much more than that, for it is also a theory of cause and effect, a source of identity and consolation, a narrative that includes some and excludes others. History may have taken place, but it is never finished: it remains a dynamic entity, capable (like memory) of generating new meanings. History not only influences the present, it is also influenced by it. We go to history in search of answers to questions that are of importance to us now, and so different histories ebb and fade in conjunction with the needs and preoccupations of the present. 

These and many more ideas about the nature of history pop up in Talking History, a freewheeling book-length conversation about the practice – as also the politics – of history with Romila Thapar.

The internet is not what you think it is. For one thing, its intellectual roots go back to 19th-century conjecture on snail copulation   internet  

Tax Travails of the Rich (Perhaps Famous) Enablers of the Rich (Perhaps Famous) 

USAO D NJ issues a press release, Former Luxury Car CEO and Luxury Watch Dealer Admit Tax Charges in Connection with Scheme to Misallocate L...

CRS via LC – The Federal Taxing Power: A Primer, September 28, 2020:The Taxing and Spending Clause of the U.S. Constitution provides Congress with the power to tax. The U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted Congress’s power to tax broadly, except for a few cases decided in the 1920s and 1930s, in which the Court invalidated taxes that were functionally regulatory penalties on the ground that they exceeded Congress’s legislative authority. But while the Taxing and Spending Clause grants Congress broad authority to lay and collect taxes, the Constitution also contains clauses that expressly circumscribe the taxing power…”


A Time to Act: Putting Awareness into ActionWendy L. Werner’s call to action is clear: “lawyers have a unique opportunity to intervene on behalf of those with fewer resources, and people who have been under served and under-represented. Many of us have been impacted by the growing knowledge of racial inequities, and recognition of disparities. This is a moment to intervene and no one group has more power to make a difference than lawyers. Now is the time”


Bolivia’s Socialist VP Candidate: “The Coup Against Evo Morales Was Driven by Multinationals and the Organization of American States” Jacobin

Ex-eBay employees to plead guilty in “bloody pig mask” cyberstalking case Ars Technica

Man Finds 9-Carat Diamond at Arkansas State ParkTreeHugger

Gavin Newsom and Big Oil: It’s ComplicatedCapital & Main

Sheets of Fire and Leaping Flames London Review of Books

Uber to get London licence as court rules it is ‘no longer a risk’ The Guardian

Concentrated power in Big Tech harms the USFT

Cheerleading, Monopolies and Sexual PredatorsBig Matt Stoller

Higher Ed Has a Silicon Valley ProblemChronicle of Higher Education

Amid COVID and Wildfires, Farmworkers Have Been Pushed to the Brink TruthOut

Pittsburgh NewsGuild Prez Resigns Following Payday Expose on Sexual Misconduct Payday Report

… The Catholic case for focusing on local issues - Our Sunday Visitor. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
You don’t bolster citizenship by casting votes for people whom you do not know, people whose existences seem almost incorporeal, accessible only as pixelated (not to mention pixilated) images on a screen. Nor is it an act of citizenship to type nasty anonymous messages into internet comment boxes or to virtue-signal on Facebook. No, real citizenship is exercised, and our communities are strengthened by our cheerful, committed and loving involvement in our towns, on our streets, in our parishes and with our neighbors.