Crooks and Liars
Via Occupy Wall St.:
One of the points Occupy Wall Street made, by choosing to occupy space in Manhattan and not in DC, was that it's really Wall Street who runs things, not the government.
Today the Committee considered a slew of bills that tear down many of the Wall Street reforms passed in 2010. These reforms were already imperfect, as Wall Street sent the full force of its lobbying to the Hill in 2010 to compromise these reforms as much as possible.
Wall Street, having succeeded in 2010 in watering down the reforms meant to regulate them two years after they ruined the economy, did not rest. They have been lobbying nonstop since then to do everything they could to gut these reforms even more.
Today, nine deregulatory bills were considered, and nine were passed. The most egregious, HR 992, which we wrote about on Monday, passed 53-6. This bill is named "Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act", but it should be called, "If Banks Get Bailed Out, We'll Get Sold Out. Again." This is the bill that makes the cost of doing business for Wall Street lower by exploiting the implicit backing of the Federal Government. It allows banks to hold risky derivatives in the insured depository--that part of the bank that is insured by the FDIC. As we wrote yesterday, this is dangerous because derivatives are senior in bankruptcy--derivatives counterparties get paid out first.
Only six members of Congress, out of sixty-one total committee members, decided that this risk was too much. That Wall Street has won enough fights. Six out of sixty-one. The only six who dared to not roll over for Wall Street are: Rep. Maxine Waters (@MaxineWaters) (D-CA), Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) (D-MN), Rep. Steven Lynch (@RepStephenLynch) (D-MA), Rep. Velazquez (@NydiaVelazquez) (D-NY), Rep Mike Capuano (@mikecapuano) (D-MA), and Rep. Al Green (@RepAlGreen) (D-TX).
Those six were decidedly in the minority. Fifty-three members of Congress decided that, no, we really ought to make life even easier for the megabanks. The megabanks have it so hard, after all, right?
The banks have laundered money for drug cartels. They have deliberately lied to regulators. They have lied to Congress. They have illegally foreclosed on homes and then had their captured regulator give wronged parties a slap-in-the-face settlement of $300. They have manipulated global interest rates. They have sold predatory loans disproportionately to people of color. They have been bailed out. And they will not lay low.
Fifty-three members of the Financial Services Committee today decided that all this malfeasance, corruption and criminal activity is not only fine, but it should be rewarded. We should make life even easier for them. We should lower their cost of doing business on the backs of the US taxpayer. Only six decided that no, enough is enough.
It is the same old song in Congress. Wall Street owns them, and no amount of disgrace, shame, corruption and crime will deter the fifty-three members of this Committee from pledging allegiance to Wall Street.
Here is the complete list of the Financial Services Committee members. The official twitter for the Republicans on the Committee is @FinancialCmte, and the twitter for the Democrats is @FSCDems. Wall Street still runs things, but it is worth letting our captured Congressmembers know that we are fully aware that Wall Street also owns them.
Instagram photo posted by Mortgage Bankers Association lobbyist Len Wolfson during their fundraising ski trip with Rep Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) -- Memify this!
Via Occupy Wall St.:
One might think that with the wave of scandals that have rocked the banking industry in the last several months, from HSBC money laundering to drug cartels, to the lies perpetuated in the JP Morgan London Whale trades, that politicians might have some sense of shame about continuing to deregulate on behalf of the banks. One might think that even if they are captured completely by their true bosses--Wall Street--that politically, they would have enough sense to go easy, lay low, and not carry the water for the banks so soon after this deluge of scandals.
You'd be wrong.
This Tuesday, the House Financial Services Committee will be reviewing nine bills that gut many of the reforms passed to regulate derivatives on Wall St in 2010. These bills vary in the specifics of their aims, but all effectively make profits easier for Wall Street, often at the expense of the American public.
As Mike Konzcal wrote for the Washington Post, “One bill would weaken cross-border regulations, allowing U.S. firms that run their derivatives in other countries to avoid following the new derivative rules. Another would exempt inter-affiliate swaps, or derivatives between various corporate entities, from having to follow the new Dodd-Frank derivative rules.”
But by far the most egregious of these bills is HR 992. Currently, banks can hold three kinds of derivatives in the same accounts as depositor funds--those that enjoy FDIC insurance. HR 992 would expand this to allow banks to hold ANY kind of derivative, with one exception (a structured swap, which is defined in the bill), in the insured depository.
The reason this is a problem is because derivatives are senior in bankruptcy. In the event a big bank went under, hedge funds sitting on the other side of trades with the bank would get money paid back to them first. If the hedge funds and other companies the bank traded derivatives with (what is technically called a “counterparty”) exhausted the funds set aside to insure the regular depositors (those with checking and savings accounts), the FDIC would have to 1) sell assets from the failed bank to raise money, and 2) try and fight to get back some of this money from the derivatives counterparties. If that didn’t work, the Treasury would step in and give a loan to the failed bank for 5 years--which essentially is a bailout. Banks want to hold their derivatives in the insured account because it makes it cheaper for them. HR 992 at its heart is about making the cost of doing business cheaper for Wall Street at the expense of Main Street.
These bills will most likely pass the Republican-controlled House Financial Services Committee. They will likely garner support from every Republican on the committee. Republican Randy Hultgren will certainly vote for his bill, HR 992 mentioned above. The head of the committee, Jeb Hensarling (known for a lavish ski vacation with Wall Street lobbyists). Another Republican, Scott Garrett, is also stuffed full of Wall Street cash, and will be sure to show his support for the banking lobby on Tuesday.
But there are also many Democrats who will likely vote for these bills. Jim Himes of CT (@jahimes) is a co-sponsor of one of the dangerous HR 992. David Scott of GA (@repdavidscott) is another co-sponsor, and he will also show allegiance to Wall Street on Tuesday. Carolyn Maloney of New York (@RepMaloney), will also likely vote on behalf of the banks, as she has proven a long-time ally of Wall Street.
Despite the fact that the ongoing wave of banking scandals demonstrate that the megabanks willfully violate existing laws, politicians on both sides of the aisle remain ready and willing to march ahead on their behalf, tearing down even the meager protections put in place after the financial crisis.
The bipartisan support for these bills shows that Wall Street still runs the show. And it also shows that even in the wave of revelations of money laundering by banks to drug cartels, politicians are still willing to risk populist rage in order to demonstrate where their ultimate allegiance lies. The banks remain so powerful, that Democrats and Republicans alike are willing to risk their re-elections rather than stand up to the criminals on Wall Street who give them their marching orders.
A Michigan-based nuclear power plant has been shut down due to water leakage from the tank, which exceeded its capacity. Inspectors are now investigating the problem to ensure that the public and the plant are safe.
The Palisades Nuclear Power Plant, located in Covert Township, Michigan, was removed from service Sunday morning after the water tank exceeded its site threshold and leaked.
"This tank has leaked before. It leaked in 2012. The plant had to shut down to repair the leak to the tank," federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng said. "It's a repeat occurrence."
The leakage in 2012 caused water seepage into the plant's control room. Sunday's shutdown happened after the water tank exceeded a 38-gallon daily leak limit set after last year's shutdown.
"The NRC resident inspectors are closely following the plant's actions to identify the source of the leakage and repair the tank," Mitlyng said.
She also said inspectors "are evaluating these actions to make sure that the plant and the public continue to be safe."
The plant is owned by New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. and has been under extra NRC scrutiny after numerous safety issues. It's shut down nine times since September 2011, including in February for a different water leakage problem.
NRC officials estimate "79 gallons of 'slightly' radioactive water" flowed into Lake Michigan over the weekend, explained Michigan Radio. Officials reportedly don't know exactly how radioactive the leaked water was.
In 2012, the NRC downgraded the Palisades plant, classifying it as one of the four worst performing nuclear plants in the US. Although officials at the plant claim to have fixed the source of the previous leakage, its previous problems were not properly addressed.
Only "slightly" radioactive...that's a relief. Not!
Attorney Susan Burke and retired Air Force Staff Sgt. Colleen Bushnell join Current TV’s John Fugelsang to react to a Pentagon report that shows an increase in the number of reported sexual crimes in the military between 2012 and 2011.
Bushnell describes her experience navigating the military justice system after reporting that she had been the victim of sexual assault. “There were systems put in place that appeared to be as if they were support systems, but they’re not empowered to actually help the victim,” Bushnell says. “Currently the way the system works is very perpetrator centric, rather than victim-centric.”
UPDATE: Laura Clawson over at Daily Kos reports:
At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday, Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh:
... appeared to blame broader society, noting that 20% of women report they had been sexually assaulted "before they came into the military.""So they come in from a society where this occurs," he said. "Some of it is the hookup mentality of junior high even and high school students now, which my children can tell you about from watching their friends and being frustrated by it."
That's right, a hookup culture of consensual sexual encounters is to blame for high rates of sexual assault in the military coupled with low rates of reporting of said sexual assaults and low rates of conviction in the rare cases that are reported. Also, apparently the fact that sexual assault is too common outside the military is a decent excuse for high rates of sexual assault in the military. If you're Gen. Mark Welsh and you're looking to blame women for the appalling rates of sexual assault taking place under your command.
So we can safely say that the understanding of and concern about sexual assault at the highest levels of the Air Force is ... lacking. Pitifully, offensively lacking. It's not just Welsh and Krusinski, either. Two different three-star generals in the Air Force have overturned sexual assault convictions in recent cases. In one, Lt. Gen. Susan Helms, President Obama's nominee for vice commander of the Air Force's Space Command, overturned a verdict of aggravated sexual assault against a captain; "In a memo that recently came to light, she explained that in reading through the evidence, she found the captain’s defense credible." The jury didn't, but screw that, Lt. Gen. Helms did.
Similarly, Lt. Col. James Wilkerson was sentenced to a year in prison and dismissal by a jury of male Air Force officers. Only then Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin "declined to approve the conviction because he did not think that there was enough evidence to say that he was guilty," according to a spokesman.
All of which raises the question: Who's going to be the three-star general to overturn Krusinski's conviction, should he be convicted? The Air Force is already asserting jurisdiction over his case, so the stage is set.
By their works ye shall know them, I guess!
Grammy-nominated As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis was arrested in Oceanside on Tuesday on suspicion of hiring a hit man to murder his estranged wife, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. Lambesis, 32, was charged on three federal counts -- one count of solicitation to commit murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit crime.
The Times' L.A. Now reported that Lambesis "was arrested without incident while shopping. He is accused of attempting to find someone to kill his estranged wife, who lives in Encinitas." Authorities told L.A. Now that he had "attempted to hire an undercover sheriff's detective for the murder."
A representative for the band did not respond to requests for comment.
Lambesis, an openly Christian heavy metal artist, had recently raised more than $78,000 from fans to fund his side project, Austrian Death Machine, a band mocking the film work of Arnold Schwarzenegger. For $500, Lambesis promised to be "your personal trainer for a month." The top prize, for those who spent $5,000, was to have the winner's initials tattooed on Lambesis' buttocks.
Fans have taken to the act's Facebook page seeking more information on the incident.
"I can't even imagine him resorting to this after all of the inspiration from this band," wrote one. "They have never produced a single thing that would make me believe any of them were capable of this. This would be absolutely heart breaking to hear."
"I am praying for Tim's salvation with you God," wrote another. "Cover him and speak to his heart."
Over the weekend, Harvard professor Niall Ferguson gave a speech in which he tried to discredit the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes by basically calling him a fag. Ferguson, who subsequently apologized, has now written an "Open Letter" to Harvard, and like right-wingers always do when they say something offensive, can't quite help bathing himself in victimhood.
In the long run we are all indeed dead, at least as individuals. Perhaps Keynes was lucky to pre-decease the bloggers because, for all his brilliance, was also prone to moments of what we would now call political incorrectness.
Uh, first of all, what does something Keynes supposedly said have to do with gay-baiting Keynes? And second of all, gay-baiting Keynes isn't "political incorrectness" -- it's bigotry.
What the self-appointed speech police of the blogosphere forget is that to err occasionally is an integral part of the learning process. And one of the things I learnt from my stupidity last week is that those who seek to demonize error, rather than forgive it, are among the most insidious enemies of academic freedom.
Ay-yi-yi. Another wingnut who thinks "free speech" means "I get to say whatever I want and no one gets to say anything mean about me." So pathetic.
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The man who is being hailed as a hero for rescuing the lives of three women kidnapped for a decade says that he would like any reward money to be turned over to the victims.
Charles Ramsey became an instant Internet sensation on Monday when he helped free Amanda Berry, Georgina DeJesus and Michele Knight from the house next to his where they had been trapped for around 10 years.
"Bro, I knew something was wrong when a little, pretty white girl ran into a black man's arms," he told WEWS following the rescue. "Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway."
On Tuesday, CNN host Anderson Cooper asked Ramsey what it felt like to find out that he had been living next to kidnapping victims.
"See, that's why now I'm having trouble sleeping," he explained. "See, up until yesterday, the only thing that kept me from losing sleep was the lack of money. See what I'm saying? So now that that's going on, and I could have done this last year, not this hero stuff, just do the right thing."
"Because there's a lot of people, they're saying you're a hero," the CNN host noted.
"No, no, no. Bro, I'm a Christian, an American, and just like you," Ramsey insisted. "We bleed same blood, put our pants on the same way. It's just that you got to put that - being a coward, and I don't want to get in nobody's business. You got to put that away for a minute. You have to have cajones, bro."
Cooper noted that the FBI had offered a reward for at least two of the victims.
"I tell you what you do, give it to them," Ramsey said. "Because if folks been following this case since last night, you been following me since last night, you know I got a job anyway."
"Just went picked it up, paycheck," he added, producing an envelope from his pocket. "What that address say?"
"Where are them girls living? Right next door to this paycheck. So yes, take that reward and give it to -- that little girl came out the house and she was crying."
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During what was otherwise a week of really good news when it comes to the LGBT community gaining acceptance and equal rights in states across the country, Rachel Maddow took another shot at PolitiFact during the final segment of her show this Tuesday evening -- for once again ruining the term "fact-checking."
Tennis star Martina Navratilova appeared on Face the Nation this Sunday and discussed the fact that twenty nine states still allow someone to be fired just for being gay, or if their employer believes they are gay, which is true, but PolitiFact decided to rate her claim as only half-true due to other protections or some "exceptions to the rule" as they called them.
As Rachel pointed out in her rant, that doesn't make what Navratilova said "half-true."
MADDOW: And this is why the very important concept of fact-checking has become pointless at a time in our country when we really need it to mean something. Because PolitiFact exists and has branded themselves the generic arbiter of facts and the paragon of fact-checking, and they are terrible at it.
They are terrible. They fact-checked about state law, found it to be true and decided it didn't seem seem seemly or whatever to actually just call it true. Then they researched other unrelated information about how there are other kinds of things besides states, like some companies decide they don't want to discriminate... and doesn't that count for something? No. Because that is not the statement you were fact-checking.
The statement you were supposed to be fact-checking is true, and until somebody figures out how to sue you in order to retrieve the meaning of the word fact from the dark and airless hole you have stuffed it into, Politifact, then no, it is not okay to just make this stuff up. You are truly terrible. Fact-checking has to count for something, and Politifact, you are ruining it for everyone.
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While discussing the news of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's recent weight loss surgery and whether it's an indication that he's going to run for president in 2016, Hardball's Chris Matthews once again let his mouth overrun his brain and called Krispy Kreme doughnuts "Christie Kremes."
There are probably fewer pundits more consistent at their intellectual dishonesty than James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal. This week he topped himself -- no easy task.
The headline, responding to the recent reports of a woman in Wyoming who perpetrated a hoax pretending to have been threatened with rape by a right-wing hater, read:
'Hate Crime' Hoaxes
Why are they so common, especially on campus?
And indeed Taranto goes on to ask:
Why are phony "hate crimes" so common, especially on college campuses?
Oh really? Phony hate crimes are common? Taranto arrives at this conclusion from ... a single case? (He later cites two cases of phony hate crimes ... from thirty and twenty years ago, respectively. Neither were on a college campus.)
Where is the data to back up this claim? Can Taranto show us any more cases of phony hate-crime reports from college campuses? Yes, there have been some (we know of a few others), but just how many are there? Enough to claim that it's "common"?
Contrast this to what Taranto says about real hate crimes:
Oppression of minorities, and certainly of women, scarcely exists in America in the 21st century. Genuine hate crimes happen, but they are very rare.
Oh really now:
In 2011, U.S. law enforcement agencies reported 6,222 hate crime incidents involving 7,254 offenses, according to our just-released Hate Crime Statistics, 2011 report. These incidents included offenses like vandalism, intimidation, assault, rape, murder, etc.
So, in order for hate-crime hoaxes to be "common" they either have to number quite a few more than 6,222 a year (when in fact the number is probably closer to 6), or Taranto has to be claiming that the vast majority of hate crimes prosecuted in this country annually are "hoaxes." I'm sure the prosecutors and police who pursued those crimes and reported them to the FBI's database will be interested to know the latter, if that's the case.
Or more likely, Taranto is just indulging in his favorite right-wing pastime: Inverting reality on its head by trumpeting anomalistic incidents as representative.
In reality, those 6,222 hate crimes reported in 2011 by the FBI are seriously under-reported:
Federal law has required states to collect hate crime data since the early 1990s. Congress has defined a hate crime as a "criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation."
But states don't have to report their data to the FBI if they don't want to. Four states -- Indiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Ohio -- don't even have a Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program.
The result, critics say, is a federal data system that costs $1 million-plus but offers very little help to authorities who investigate, identify and track hate crimes.
"We can only report by the numbers we are given," said the FBI's Michelle Klimt, who says the lack of data could be because of a lack of state funding.
In states that do have UCR programs, the FBI offers training for state and local law enforcement on how to collect and report hate crime data.
On Capitol Hill, 26 senators have asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to expand UCR programs to include tracking of hate crimes against Hindus, Arabs and Sikhs. Last year's deadly attack on a Wisconsin Sikh temple raised awareness about crimes targeting Sikhs.
"Without accurate, nuanced reporting of these crimes, it is more difficult for federal, state, and local law enforcement to assess and respond to the particular threat that the Sikh community faces," the senators said last month in a letter to Holder.
If authorities don't know how many hate crimes are committed, it's difficult to get an accurate picture of whether hate crime laws are effective.
No, James Taranto, the real question is: Why are phony hate crimes such an object of fetishization by right-wing apologists, when in fact they are relatively rare?
Oh noes! The Homosexual Agenda has now captured Delaware, home base to the corporate charters of so many upstanding conservative corporations. I assume they will be giving up the associated benefits, now that Delaware has tainted itself? I'll just sit here and hold my breath:
Delaware on Tuesday became the 11th state to permit same-sex marriage, the latest in a string of victories for those working to extend marital rights to gay and lesbian couples.
The marriage bill passed the State Senate by a vote of 12 to 9 Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s a great day in Delaware,” said Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat, who signed it within minutes of passage before an overjoyed crowd of activists. “I am signing this bill now because I do not intend to make any of you wait one moment longer.”
Same-sex couples will be eligible for marriage licenses on July 1.
Delaware adopted same-sex marriage just five days after a similar decision in Rhode Island and after ballot-box victories last fall in Maine, Maryland and Washington.
During three hours of emotional debate before the vote Tuesday, State Senator Karen Peterson, a Democrat, said she had lived with a female partner for 24 years, and she challenged opponents of extending marriage to gay couples. “If my happiness somehow demeans or diminishes your marriage, then you need to work on your marriage,” she said, eliciting cheers and laughter.
The man clearly has a gift for understatement.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who has an ‘A’ rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA), said he’s "frustrated" with the group, accusing them of a misinformation campaign in regard to the bipartisan background checks bill he authored with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).
The West Virginia Democrat said the group was trying to scare gun owners and said the slippery slope argument the gun lobby pushed was disingenuous.
“I’m frustrated with any organization that basically is saying things – and what they’re doing is they’re rattling the cage, if you will, saying, well if [Congress does] this they’re going to do this. It’s a first step,” Manchin said on "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday.
In addition to flat-out lying about Manchin's bill, the new president of the NRA likes to refer to the Civil War as the "War of Northern Aggression," has referred to President Obama as a "fake president," and openly contemplates armed rebellion against the US government.
Hey Joe: the time to be "frustrated" with this nutbar organization is long over. The only reasonable thing to do at this point is resign.
Your move, Senator.
Happy Hump Day, Crooks and Liars! True Story: a former boss would not allow us to call Wednesday Hump Day because he was afraid it was sexual harassment, which I think said more about him than it did about us.
First Draft has some advice for the over-compensating, would-be Rambo.
Riverbend has not blogged in a while, but gives us a tour de force reflection on the 10th Anniversary of The Fall of Baghdad.
Marmel makes a modest proposal.
Bonus track:Juanita Jean's World's Most Dangerous Beauty Salon Inc has found a second career for Louie Gohmert and/or perhaps Rick Perry.
[May not be suitable for work.]
Artist Molly Crabapple talks about her new paintings, entitled "The Shell Game" and her documentary drawings of global turmoil in 2011, including the rise of Occupy Wall Street, Anonymous hackers, the health insurance crisis, the Tunisian Revolution, protests in Greece, and the Spanish M15 movement.
Crabapple's paintings portray a darkly humorous year in cartoonish figures, and just ended their first showing in New York City.
While "Shell Game" bursts with depictions of corruption and violence, for Crabapple, the past few years have been a mix of birth amid destruction. "Yes, it was awful, but it was also magic, she told Wired in an interview. "It was the magic of people speaking to each other, waking up, helping each other. For every person beaten up, everyone arrested, it was also a year of fierce aliveness."
In his posthumous book, Our Common Wealth: The Hidden Economy That Makes Everything Else Work, Jonathan Rowe writes:
To get to San Francisco from where I live, I usually drive through the hamlet of Nicasio. It’s just a scattering of wooden structures around a community baseball field. The hills beyond are mainly ranches, not much changed from a century ago.
Recently, a sign appeared by the road there. “SOON TO BE BUILT ON THIS SITE,” it said, and my insides went code red. I thought of bulldozers, asphalt, a mange of houses with glandular disorders.
Then I saw the [sign’s] smaller print: “Thanks to your help, absolutely nothing.”
That story makes me smile, because it is so Jon Rowe. A close friend and idea co-conspirator, Jon tirelessly challenged the American anthem, “more, faster, bigger, louder.” For years, in one article and column after another, he asked that we pause our relentlessly self-centered, materialistic spree long enough to consider where it might be leading us.
If one thing most defined Jon’s work, which appeared in The Atlantic, Christian Science Monitor, Washington Monthly and other publications, it was his ability to help us better see ourselves, our lives, and our culture—with clear, simple, oddly beautiful prose.
Life was once rich in occasions for spontaneous interaction. People shopped on Main Streets, visited on front porches, attended political events in public venues. Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas had their famous debates in county fairgrounds and town squares all over Illinois, and farmers and townspeople sat for hours in the heat and dust to hear.
Today most Americans live in suburbs conceived as staging areas for consumption. They move about in the enclosure of cars and shop in the anonymity of malls from which community activities are largely excluded. Politics consists mostly of negative ads shown on television screens. Then people wonder why they feel lonely and depressed, and why the sense of community has vanished.
Over the course of his life, Jon was and did many things—he worked in government, in journalism, he lived in several of the nation’s biggest East Coast cities and ended up as an activist and radio host in a tiny West Coast town. Along the way, he discovered that our definition of “progress” was seriously misleading, because our statistical indices, such as the Gross Domestic Product, count almost everything business does as progress: i.e., each tree cut down is counted as a plus, while the downside of all those trees lost is not taken into consideration.
He also saw that what we share in common is more important than the things that divide us or put us into constant competition. This wasn’t just some abstract notion. It was about real things you inhale, stand under, stroll upon.
I remember whenever Jon visited me in New York, he would register genuine joy at all the things that make this metropolis seem so human-scaled: the small businesses with the owner on the premises, the vest pocket parks, the walking, the corner interactions—how I could descend from my apartment onto a street teeming with opportunities to eat, read, and immerse myself in the passing parade.
Jon died unexpectedly before he had a chance to fully explain and implement his ideas concerning the little-understood concept of “the commons”—and certainly before enough people got to learn of them and of him. Indeed, when I looked up “The Commons” on Wikipedia, I found a number of commons advocates listed (including Peter Barnes, Jon’s close friend and collaborator), but Jon’s name was not even included. That’s why a group of his friends got together after his death in 2011 and pledged to help spread his ideas in his absence.
The result is Our Common Wealth, a collection of his writings from 1993 forward.