Museum of Modern Art Photography

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) began collecting modern photography in 1930 and established the department in 1940. The Museum’s holdings of more than 25,000 works constitute one of the most important collections of modern and contemporary photography in the world. As diverse as photography itself, the collection includes work not only by artists, but also by journalists, scientists, entrepreneurs, and amateurs.
The Erna and Victor Hasselblad Photography Study Center
Online Exhibitions and Projects
New Photography 2010: Roe Ethridge, Elad Lassry, Alex Prager, Amanda Ross-Ho
The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today
Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century
New Photography 2008: Josephine Meckseper and Mikhael Subotzky
Jan De Cock
Denkmal 11, Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, New York, 2008
Comic Abstraction: Image-Breaking, Image-Making
Jeff Wall
A Walk through Astoria and Other Places in Queens: Photographs by Rudy Burckhardt
New Photography 14: Jeanne Dunning, Olafur Eliasson, Rachel Harrison, Sam Taylor-Wood
Aleksandr Rodchenko
New Photography 13
Cindy Sherman: The Complete Untitled Film Stills
Manuel Alvarez Bravo
New Photography 12

Good News: Election Results in Libya Break an Islamist Wave

Election Results in Libya Break an Islamist Wave

Tomas Munita for The New York Times

Published: July 8, 2012

TRIPOLI, Libya — A coalition led by a Western-educated political scientist appeared on Sunday to be beating its Islamist rivals in Libya’s first election of the post-Qaddafi era, breaking an Islamist wave that swept across neighboring Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco in the aftermath of the Arab Spring uprisings.

Tomas Munita for The New York Times

The preliminary results, characterized by independent monitors and party representatives who witnessed the vote count for a new national assembly, reflect in part the well-known name and tribal connections of the coalition’s founder, Mahmoud Jibril. He is the former interim prime minister who helped lead the de facto rebel government in Benghazi, and he is also a member of Libya’s most populous tribe, the Warfalla.

The apparent success of Mr. Jibril’s party over the Muslim Brotherhood’s bloc now makes Mr. Jibril perhaps the most important voice in the next stage of Libya’s political transition, though he is barred for now from elected office.

While U.S. Solar Sours, Reno’s Hamilton Solar Posts Successful Year of Growth

While U.S. Solar Sours, Reno’s Hamilton Solar Posts Successful Year of Growth
Release Date: December 28, 2011

Contact: Reid Hamilton (775) 747-6000

The U.S. solar energy industry achieved a new record for installations in the third quarter of 2011 thanks to utility-scale projects, a rising residential market, and low manufacturing prices, according to a report released by the Solar Energy Industries Association. Grid-connected photovoltaic installations grew 140 percent over last year. The growth of the industry reflects locally with Reno based Hamilton Solar, Inc.

Hamilton Solar posts their most successful year since it’s founding in 2008, having more than doubled its workforce and production. Over the course of 2011, the company grew from 35 employees to over 60.

“In a time when America has been suffering to put people back to work, the solar industry has grown to employ over a 100,000 people, that’s 20,000 more than the coal industry. Rising energy costs coupled with decreasing solar prices, positions Hamilton Solar to have a fantastic 2012,” remarked Reid Hamilton, partner of Hamilton Solar.

The company’s job creation rise was a direct result of Hamilton Solar’s increase in commissioned projects. The company completed 42 projects in 2011, installing approximately 6.6 megawatts of commercial and residential solar power systems. Expanding statewide, Hamilton Solar installed several projects for Nevada counties, cities, school districts, and churches. Some of the most notable projects included: City of Sparks, Carson City School District, Washoe County School District, Humboldt County School district, Lander County School District, Churchill County, Esmeralda County, Eureka County, Lander County, Reno Sparks Indian Colony, Lion County Fire Department, Reno-Tahoe International Airport, and the Nevada Humane Society.

About Hamilton Solar, INC.
Hamilton Solar, a Reno-based company, is Nevada’s solar electric leader. They specialize in design and installation of solar electric systems for residential, commercial and governmental properties. For more information, please visit, call (775) 747-6000 or email

U.S. National Debt Clock

The Outstanding Public Debt as of 08 Jul 2012 at 04:54:22 PM GMT is: $15.8 trillion.

The estimated population of the United States is 313,095,245
so each citizen’s share of this debt is $50,743.81.

The National Debt has continued to increase an average of
$3.94 billion per day since September 28, 2007!
Concerned? Then tell Congress and the White House!

Israel’s Prime Minister Backs “Conscription for All” Plan

Israel’s PM backs ‘conscription for all’ plan
(AFP) – 5 hours ago
JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday he will back a controversial plan to compel ultra-Orthodox Jews and Arab Israelis to complete compulsory military or community service.
The decision was an about-turn for Netanyahu, who just last week had dissolved the panel whose recommendations he then endorsed, after a key coalition partner threatened to withdraw from the government if the proposals were not accepted.
“We are citizens of one state, and must all share the burden of its service,” he said at the opening of his weekly cabinet meeting, after the Likud party voted to endorse the findings of the so-called Plesner committee.
Netanyahu cautioned that moves to expand the national service of Arab Israelis and ultra-Orthodox Jews “must be executed gradually and in a way that will not cause a rift in the national unity.”
“The new law to be proposed will be applied to everyone: secular, ultra-Orthodox Jews, Jews, Arabs — everyone,” he added.
Before the cabinet meeting, the Likud party voted unanimously to adopt the proposals that the committee head, Yohanan Plesner, made public last week despite Netanyahu’s dissolution of the panel.
Netanyahu’s government will now move towards drafting a law requiring all sectors of Israeli society to complete either military or community service, with penalties to be levied on those who fail to comply.
The Plesner panel also called for increased incentives and benefits for those who serve, as well as efforts to combat draft-dodging.
The new law will replace the so-called Tal Law, which contained national service exemptions for ultra-0rthodox Jews and Arab Israelis, but was overturned by Israel’s High Court earlier this year.
Netanyahu’s decision to endorse the Plesner committee’s findings appeared to head off the possibility of a coalition crisis.
The Kadima party headed by Shaul Mofaz, which joined the government in May, giving Netanyahu a massive parliamentary majority, had threatened to quit the coalition over the issue of military service for all.
But after the Likud party decision, Netanyahu’s office said the prime minister and Mofaz had agreed on the formation of a panel to draft the new law.
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and vice prime minister Shaul Mofaz are in agreement on the formation of a commission charged with drawing up a law on the equality of service to be presented at the next government meeting,” it said.
Mofaz and deputy premier Moshe Yaalon will be part of the commission, as well as Plesner, a Kadima member of parliament.
The issue of expanding national service to all sectors of Israeli society has proved thorny for Netanyahu, whose coalition groups secular parties like Kadima and the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu as well as ultra-Orthodox parties opposed to compulsory service.
The issue has also resonated throughout Israeli society, with thousands of Israelis taking to the streets in Tel Aviv on Saturday night to call on the government to require all sectors of society to participate in national service.
Military service is compulsory for most Israelis over the age of 18, with men serving three years and women two.
Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.

Chief Justice Roberts: Trojan Horse

Chief Justice John Roberts: Trojan Horse?

By Rachel Alexander
web posted July 2, 2012

Conservatives are scratching their heads trying to figure out why Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts voted with the four liberal Justices on the Court 5-4 to uphold the constitutionality of the most controversial part of Obamacare. Even swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy voted against it. The Obamacare individual mandate requires all Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 or face jail time or huge monetary penalties.

The majority decision, written by Roberts, characterizes the mandate as a tax permissible under the constitution’s Tax Clause. But what if someone chooses not to buy health insurance, resulting in a penalty of a fine or jail time? How can that be characterized as a tax if you’re not buying anything? The Obamacare law does not even refer to its mandate as a tax. Obama declared in 2009 that his health care law was not a tax. By Roberts characterizing it as such, the reach of Congress’s taxing power has been greatly expanded.

Using the majority’s reasoning, Congress could put in place all kinds of draconian requirements. The possibilities are endless as to what kinds of things could be forced on people by threatening them with an onerous “tax.” This decision essentially authorizes Congress to do almost anything as long as it is labeled a “tax.” Greg Sargent at the Washington Post cites “Broccoli Tyranny,” a phrase coined by New York University law professor Barry Friedman who wrote a brief supporting Obamacare. “They can’t make you eat broccoli, but they can tax you for not eating it,” Friedman says. Obamacare can be distinguished from local and state mandates to attend public schools and pay for public schools, since the Tenth Amendment grants the states powers not specifically granted to the federal government.

The dissent, written by conservative Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito, argued that the individual mandate is a regulatory penalty, not a tax. They observed that in a few prior cases, the Supreme Court has held that a “tax” imposed upon private activity was so onerous as to constitute a penalty. Americans who do not purchase health insurance will be fined up to $1900 per year. If that is not an onerous “tax,” I don’t know what is. The penalty for noncompliance is up to a year in jail or a $25,000 fine.

Daniel Fisher at Forbes Magazine argues that Roberts was not actually ceding power to Congress, but amassing more power for the Court, reminiscent of the power play by Chief Justice John Marshall in Marbury v. Madison. By siding with the liberals on the court on the narrow question of whether the mandate was a tax, Roberts was able to assign writing the majority opinion to himself. He then made two two far reaching decisions restricting Congress. He ruled that the individual mandate was not authorized by the Commerce Clause – a setback to liberals, who have vastly expanded the scope of the Commerce Clause to authorize all kinds of government regulations. Roberts reasoned that because it compelled individuals to become active in commerce by purchasing a product, not simply regulating existing commerce, it fell outside of the scope of the Commerce Clause. Roberts also limited a massive expansion of Medicare. While not quite striking it down, he held that it would be unconstitutional for the federal government to withhold Medicaid funds for states that failed to comply with the expansion provisions.

Not all legal scholars think this is a triumph for the judiciary over Congress. Professor Friedman believes using the Tax Clause instead of the Commerce Clause is bad news. He said, “This is far more devastating to federalism and the balance of power between states and the national government,” he says. “You can now tax pretty much anything.” Nick Dranias, a constitutional lawyer, lamented, “It is a turning point in history when the federal government can use the taxing power (the power to destroy) to accomplish regulatory ends denied to it under its enumerated powers.”

There is speculation that Roberts ruled this way in order to help conservatives strategically, to leave Obamacare hanging around Obama’s neck for the upcoming election. By asserting that Obamacare is funded by taxes, it now becomes just another tax increase that the Democrats will have to defend. If it is a tax, it may be the biggest tax increase in history. It is so unpopular it will drive more people out to vote, especially doctors. A Rasmussen poll this month found that 52% of likely voters want Obamacare repealed. Obama is trying to avoid speaking about it in his reelection efforts; this victory puts him in an awkward position. Mitt Romney has said the first thing he will do when he becomes president is sign an Executive Order exempting all 50 states from Obamacare.

Did Roberts rule this way for tactical reasons, or did he sell out to the left? One connected D.C. insider is skeptical of Roberts’ motives and believes he ruled that way because he is just another Washington politician. The Volokh Conspiracy legal blog wondered in May whether Roberts was pressured to uphold the individual mandate.

The problem with “free” health insurance for everyone is that it does not exist. Instead, as has happened in Canada and European countries which have socialized medicine, people are put on waiting lists or lotteries in order to receive treatment. It is not free if you die before receiving it.

NFIB v. Sebelius will go down as one of the most significant rulings coming from the Supreme Court. Instead of continuing 200 years of lumping government expansion of power under the Commerce Clause, the Supreme Court has now turned to the Taxing Clause to authorize massive new regulations.

Rachel Alexander and her brother Andrew are co-Editors of Intellectual Conservative. Rachel practices law and social media political consulting in Phoenix, Arizona. She has been published in the American Spectator,, Fox News, NewsMax, Accuracy in Media, The Americano, ParcBench, and other publications.

Stockton: Overspending Leads to Bankruptcy

Stockton Bankruptcy The Result Of 15-Year Spending Binge
Reuters | Posted: 07/04/2012 6:59 am Updated: 07/04/2012 10:18 am


By Jim Christie

SAN FRANCISCO, July 4 (Reuters) – The man in charge of the biggest U.S. city ever to file for bankruptcy is clear about the root of the crisis.

It was a decision that gave firefighters full healthcare in retirement starting on Jan. 1, 1996, s aid Bob Deis, the city manager of Stockton, California.

At the time, the move seemed cheaper than giving pay raises s ought by unions, officials involved in the decision said. When other Stockton employees demanded the same healthcare deal in following years, the city agreed.

Deis, who signed Stockton’s bankruptcy filing last Thursday, s lammed the decision to provide free healthcare to retirees as a “Ponzi scheme” that eventually left the city with a whopping $417 million liability.

Before the turn of the millennium, things looked very different in California.

The U.S. stock market was booming, bolstering Stockton’s p ension funds. Real estate values were about to soar, too, bringing a flood of new tax revenue to the once quiet farming town of about 300,000 people – abo ut 85 miles east of San Fran c isco – in California’s Central Valley.

To counter demands for wage hikes from city workers in the 1990s, Stockton offered to extend their health insurance in retirement past age 65 – a benefit they embraced and assumed to be rock solid until the insolvent city’s officials put it on the chopping block in a bankruptcy plan last week.

“It was a balancing act,” said Dwane Milnes, Stockton’s city manager at the time. “The unions wanted retiree medical … We said if you want to continue your medical for current employees and retirees, you’ll have to do it through wage containment.”

Milnes, who represented Stockton’s retirees in recent talks with City Hall, said the strategy was sound at the time.

“We were satisfied that based on a conservative view of the economy and based on the medical inflation rate we were experiencing in the 1990s, the city could adequately fund retiree medical.”

Detective Mark McLaughlin said Stockton’s labor unions embraced the trade-off, which in the police department’s case helped with recruiting and retention.

“It was an easy sell,” he said, adding that city workers believed the money they gave up in pay increases would be able to pay for the health benefit.

Other U.S. cities have also experienced boom and bust like Stockton.

But analysts and investors generally see Stockton as an extreme case of fiscal mismanagement over the past two decades.

Daniel Berger, a senior market analyst at Municipal Market Data, a unit of Thomson Reuters, said last week, before the bankruptcy filing, that the municipal bond market had viewed Stockton’s fiscal problems as “a slow-moving train wreck.” The possible bankruptcy filing, he said at the time, was seen as an “isolated occurrence.”

As the 2000s advanced, Stockton continued to spend freely with the support of voters, politicians from both parties, employees and bondholders. Rating agencies were quiet about any risks and only started to downgrade the city’s creditworthiness two years ago.

Generous pension deals were offered in the early 2000s.

City officials, looking to transform their sleepy downtown, approved spending on large projects to raise Stockton’s profile and turn it into a bedroom community for San Francisco and the Bay Area.

Homebuilding went into overdrive. Home prices skyrocketed to a median of nearly $400,000 in 2006 from a median of $110,000 in 2000.

Stockton’s revenues jumped, too. Its general fund, which pays the city’s operating costs, swelled to $186.4 million in 2007 from $139.1 million in the 2001 fiscal year.

Like other cities in California, Stockton chose to offer many public safety workers the same benefits as those mandated by a state law for highway patrol officers. The change allowed police officers to retire at 50 with pensions based on 3 percent of final pay for each year in service, up from 2 percent before.

City employees in other unions also received more generous pensions with eligibility to retire at age 55 – with 2 percent of final pay multiplied by the number of years of service.

This is in contrast to the vast majority of private-sector workers who cannot receive Social Security p ayments b efore they are at least 62.

By the 2000s, Stockton’s full-time employees were also entitled t o free healthcare for life.

Still, there seemed little cause for concern.

With huge stock market gains from the 1990s, city officials were confident about meeting pension costs. After all, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index index quadrupled between early January 1990 and late March 2000.

Police and firefighters continued to win further concessions. Generous allowances were offered to police officers to buy their uniforms, bonuses were introduced based on years of ser vice, and retiring officers cla imed cash payments for unused vacation days – accumulated over years in some cases.

Warning signs grew that retiree healthcare costs were rising fast. The city miscalculated the rate of inflation for medical costs during the 2000s.

But Stockton’s leaders burned through their reserves and began planning new construction projects to make the city more appealing to new residents.

A $47 million bond issue in 2004 was meant to finance construction of a sports and concert arena to revitalize t he city’s do wntown. The arena was built, but it ended up losing money.

A downtown high-rise building was acquired for a new City Hall. A revamp of Stockton’s downtown riverfront was financed, along with other projects, by more than $100 million in debt between 2004 and 2006 by the city’s redevelopment agency.

Stockton ended up absorbing that debt after California’s governor eliminated local redevelopment agencies last year.

It seems unlikely that Stockton will be able to sell those real estate assets at a gain.

“Most of the assets that look nice are under water,” said Deis, the city manager.

A $125 million pension obligation bond sold by Stockton in 2007 also backfired. Stockton passed the proceeds to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or Calpers, to pay down unfunded liabilities at the pension fund. Then the fund suffered steep losses when financial markets plunged in 2008 and early 2009 and left Stockton with a 23 percent loss on its invested proceeds and in debt to investors who bought the bonds.

The worst damage was done by the housing crash. Median home prices in Stockton slumped to $110,000 in 2009, erasing nearly a decade’s gains. General fund revenues in the current fiscal year are projected at $155 million, just above their level in 2001.

The real estate bust made Stockton one of the foreclosure capitals of the United States. Property-tax revenues tumbled. The city began its new fiscal year on July 1 with its 1,420-strong workforce down by a quarter from three years earlier.

Debt service has ballooned to $17.2 million a year from $3 million just six years ago.

Stockton has already defaulted on about $2 million in bond payments since February.

Recriminations about Stockton’s budget need to be set aside to avoid the kind of lengthy bankruptcy suffered by Vallejo, an other California casualty of the boom-to-bust cycle. It emerged from bankruptcy last year after three years in Chapter 9 that cost it $10 million in legal fees.

Stockton has earmarked $3.5 million for bankruptcy court expenses b ecause it h opes for a quick e xit from Chapter 9.
Bondholders, employees and retirees will be hurt in the process. Axing retiree medical benefits is now central to efforts to restructure Stockton’s finances, Deis said.

Many retirees are in a state of shock about that.

“I believed the city would honor its commitments,” said Geri Ridge, 56.

The former clerk retired last year after 26 years with Stockton’s police following a second heart attack.

Ridge lives off a monthly pension of $1,895. She learned on Friday that she now faces a $576 monthly premium for her health co verage – or $1,277 a month if sh e keeps her daughter on her plan.

She has no idea of how to pay for the coverage, which the city will fully eliminate in a year. And she has harsh words for Deis.

“I want him gone. I’m hoping whoever gets elected into office fires him, bankruptcy or not,” Ridge said.