Plastic Alto and Plato’s Republic: your source for policy news, to dance to

Plastic Alto is an arts blog — the name reference jazz legend Ornette Coleman — yet of the first 750 posts roughly one-quarter, or 188 posts and counting are about politics or policy. They are labeled by the category “Plato’s Republic.”

There is a subset of about 30 articles on “Save The Varsity”, which I continue to believe is a significant policy matter and litmus test to whether leadership is reflective of the wants and needs of the people. There is at least 28 articles about the debate over Lytton Plaza, and especially what I still consider an unconstitutional ordinance to ban amplifiers there.

As you might well imagine, some of what I think of as political others — especially squares — would call frivolous. And then there are quick takes: calling populist U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren “A Flinty Kind of Woman” and not explicating that assertion beyond linking to a Dar Williams song of that same name (which obviously inspired the phrasing).

There is also a second WordPress blog from fall 2012 called Svayambh-PA — the name references an Anish Kapoor sculpture — that comprises about 50 posts that I used as a journal for my campaign so to speak for Palo Alto City Council.

Meanwhile I am keeping score of the number of times I scoop the Palo Alto Weekly on policy matters. I count five in the last few weeks: Karen Holman “company-town”; Happy Donuts fake closing sale; Gunn graffiti artist prayer; Our Palo Alto net-zero greenwash; Save The Varsity 3.

I doubt local reporters consider this a must-read but it is a handy device for keeping track of ideas and in theory could impact policy.

I don’t love the name “Plato’s Republic” but will stick with it. I define it like so:

pertaining to government, the public sector, governance, democracy, politics, issues pertaining to such, like “freedom of speech” concepts

The “to dance to” in the head refers to the Emma Goldman line about dancing at a revolution, but also to “American Bandstand”.

I’ve written 75 political posts since the fall, 2012 election and plan another 40 or so between now and November 6, no matter what else I am up to this summer and fall. My day job, by the way, is still concert promoter and artist manager.

I should probably add to this with a more fitting reading list:


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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