Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cultural Gardens

Icicles of late March on an arch of a sidewalk entrance on the St. Clair Bridge on Liberty (now MLK) Blvd., Cleveland, O.

"Sadly, there is really nothing famously significant on the road."— from a local (north-east Ohio) college student's essay on the renamed road
A while back, Ebony magazine did a story on the US streets named, or renamed, after Martin Luther King, Junior. There is about eight hundred. The story was on Chicago, Boston and Tulsa. The article rightly began that King's message was non-violence. It also mentions that town councils have voted against naming streets after King.
The local student, quoted supra, is grandly incorrect and ignorant. In Cleveland, Liberty Boulevard was the street renamed in 1981. There was [and is] much of importance about it. The sad thing is much is forgotten, and not enough people care.
Liberty Boulevard contained Cleveland Cultural Gardens. These were the first such in the world. They were dedicated just before WWII began, and were started in the spirit of peace and against the catastrophe of WWI and its usurpation of nationalism for war. Much of the work done was by Roosevelt's WPA. After WWII it celebrated the hopes of the United Nations.
In the 1960s and 70s the area was vandalized, stripped for scrap money by thieves, and allowed to decay, and become an area of street crime, some violent. It was abandoned by many. Recently, it has rebounded. New gardens are opening.
It was aggregated in accumulation and creation. First it began with civic spirit, then cultural spirit, then ethnic spirit. Beauty and peace were the ideals. On the other side: the black community did not care, also the propaganda of the Republican party (of to-day, at least) is against the entire essence, concept and totality of the project.
What was then the outskirts of the east side of Cleveland belonged to the richest man in the world, John D Rockefeller. In 1896 he gave the city 254 acres to be used as a park. Rockefeller Park began in 1897. Charles Schweinfurth was the architect for four different stone bridges that crossed the park. He was the chief society architect in Cleveland. He designed Samuel Mather's (the iron mining magnate) mansions and those of many other millionaires on Millionaire's Row (Euclid Ave.). He also designed, or remodeled their churches, The Old Stone Church (Presb) on Public Square, Trinity (Meth) Cathedral, Harkness Chapel and others.
To-day, Rockefeller Park begins at an exit of Interstate 90, which runs from Boston to Seattle. The city has its greenhouse. Which is open to the public, and has a Garden For the Blind, solar photo-voltaic concentrators for electricity (under construction), outside and inside gardens.
Fifty acres are of the some two dozen cultural gardens. The road that runs through it was functionally named Lower Boulevard. Then came the War to End All Wars, it didn't; and it was renamed World War One [oh shit! it became a series]. Before America was involved, the first cultural garden came in 1916, the Shakespeare Garden. It was dedicated in the 300th year after his death. For some time an outdoor theatre was there, it is long gone [the new and relocated Syrian garden will be there].
After the war, came Liberty Row, from Gordon Park, through Rockefeller, into Cleveland and Shaker Heights 850 white oaks were planted. At the base of each one had a bronze plaque in cement with the name of a fallen American soldier, a doughboy from the European War. The American Legion planted trees all over the country. Cleveland planned this before the war ended. Lower Boulevard became Liberty Boulevard.
The idea of several cultural gardens came from a jewish newspaperman, Leo Weidenthal. The second garden was the Hebrew Garden in 1926. Glenville, then a separate town, bordered Cleveland at the park. That garden was a zionist park, Jewish Palestine was a british mandate territory at the time.
In 1927, City Council authorised a Cleveland Parks Poets Corner. The third park was the German Poets Park in 1929. Already by this time national and international cultural and governmental visitors stopped in Cleveland for dedications, and plantings. This would continue. Columbus Day 1930 was combined with Vergil's birthday and the opening of the Italian Garden.

Other parks were planned. With Roosevelt's Work Progress Administration (1935-43) after the beginning of the Great Depression the gardens greatly expanded, as did so many lasting civil projects in the United States. These gardens were in the support and spirit of the League of Nations (which the US did not join), and then the United Nations. The Cultural Gardens (starting in 1926) were formally dedicated,
30 July 1939, during a World Peace Rally celebrated in Cleveland. The Second World War came, none-the-less. Beginning in 1945, a Sunday in late July marked the UN's One World Day. It too was celebrated, for a time.

Few gardens were added until recently. A conspicuous failure is the African American Gardens. Most of to-day's neighboring residents are of the community. In 1977 the garden began. It was planned to have several monuments. To-day, it has as a sign and a flag.

In 1985 a Chinese Garden came, it was a gift of the capital city of Taiwan, Taipei. It is the furthest east, and nearest University Circle.

In 1991, the Jugoslav Garden split up as did Jugoslavija. The Serbian monuments went to Saint Sava, Parma. The garden reverted to the Slovenes. The Serbs have a new garden
(2008), with new monuments. The Croat Garden is planned for the old Syrian spot. Several new gardens have been dedicated, planned, expanded or rehabilitated.Until very recently, most of the gardens were on the east side of the road. The new Serbian Garden is on the west.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

the new bishop

When Cleveland [or anywhere else] gets a new bishop, what should be part of his character? What should he do?

We have been told to be quiet so as not to 'cause scandal'. What is the greater scandal?: The act(s) of ill and evil doing? or the public discussion of them? This begs the question: What is the greater sin?: Being sinful by doing sin? or publicly confessing?

The new bishop should clean up the local Church! FIAT·JUSTITIA·RUAT·CÆLUM

Covering things by darkness is the opposite of the way of light.
For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light. For the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and justice, and truth; Proving what is well pleasing to God: And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For the things that are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of. But all things that are reproved, are made manifest by the light; for all that is made manifest is light. Wherefore it saith: Rise, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead; and Christ shall enlighten you. Ephesians v. 8-14.*
Here Paul is referring to carnal depravity. Much of the present scandals, in the Church, has consisted of such; but further, the principle is true of other behaviours. The message is not hard to understand.

One should remember, that, in the past it was not unusual for the prince (the ruling government) to pick the bishop. An older election still was by the local clergy, or the local faithful. Councils of bishops would sometimes pick a local priest for the mitre. It also was not acceptable for a bishop from elsewhere to become a bishop in a new see. These things have changed. Sometimes a terna (list of three candidates) is offered by the local clergy or papal nuncio (ambassador).

The point is that bishops were not uniformly selected. We have had a world wide failure in the bishopry. In the United States, and elsewhere, the wretched filth of sexual depravity amongst the clergy, and the episcopal hiding of it, has done great damage to the faithful. It has personally injured individuals for their lifetimes. It behooves to demand better scrutiny of new bishops and their integrity.

Beyond the puke worthy, there has been financial scandals. Call it theft, improprieties, embezzlement or whatever. It has happened. It certainly has happened in Cleveland, and Smith and Zgoznik were accountants. It did not stop there. The professed religious were not prosecuted, or barely investigated. People do not donate money to the church so it can be pilfered.

The money crimes, some of us can let go. The filth and the damage it has done, especially to the formerly innocent and naïve, we can not.

Beyond those scandals, we have suffered under some tyrants. Tyrants who should never been promoted, some who should have never left the lay state.

Some of these tyrants (throughout the land) have destroyed parishes. With that, they have wrecked communities, and have gone against the Will of Christ.

I suppose, and would propose — personal integrity, pastoral concern and a measure of humility.
*Second Reading. 4th Sunday of Lent. Year A.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hillary was right, and they are crazed

"This is — the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president." — Hillary Clinton. January 27, 1998.
She was talking in part of the activities of billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife at the time the Lewinsky scandal broke. He was not a singularity. The Republicans in the House ended up impeaching Bill Clinton. In Wisconsin the governor, Scott Walker, is working for the billionaire Koch Brothers and their interests. So much so, he breaks laws to install their desires. That on top of hard legal tactics that give no quarter.

There is an organised, interlocking, movement of money, and ambitious politicians to create an american fascist state. Remember, fascism is the corporate state, where business and government are one. Of course, we have seen that this melds with militarism, nationalism and racism quite easily. In Germany the form created (in the 1930s) was diabolic in intensity and catastrophic for civilisation.

Media Matters has found audio of the Washington boss of Fox News [sic], telling people he created "mischievous speculation" in tying candidate Barack Obama to socialism in the 2008 campaign. Idiot after idiot Republican voter lapped this up and continued to regurgitate it to all of his acquaintances.

Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Steve King (Iowa) and any number of Texas congressman regularly make insane comments that are picked up and repeated. The so called 'base' that gwbjr's brain (Rove) kept appealing to, endorses this bizarre nonsense instantly.

And we have "Newtie". Somehow this pompous, deluded, narcissistic reprobate was a professor of history. If he taught the same things he has publicly said, then there are some strange undergraduate notebooks in Georgia. It is not unusual to have oddballs in a faculty, but they are generally quickly recognised and consigned to be ignored in regards to anything serious.

Gingrich came to the House speakership by forcing James Wright (D) out over book royalties (Gingrich had a similar book relationship). The adulterer Gingrich pushed impeachment on President Clinton over the Lewinsky affair. Well Gingrich, a recent Catholic (his current wife, that he was sleeping with when he was married to his second wife, is Catholic) showed up to the extreme anti-Catholic bigot John Hagee's church, last Sunday. The pursuit of the presidency is far more consistent in him, than any religiosity.

Recently he has had several, successive, contradictory positions on Libya. He has complained about what anti-christian values professors have. And in Texas, he just said:
"I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they're my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cornice Chimera

The vault of the nave of St. Jerome's, Collinwood has six wooden arches. Each terminates with a grotesque, twelve cornice chimeras. What are they? Not all architectural decoration is easily decipherable. Without the original description, a later onlooker conjectures, or surrenders.

They are inside, and not stone. Outside, if they spat out water they would be functioning gargoyles. Now, since Jerome is sometimes depicted with a lion, lion characteristics might they be. No, manes do not flow out of one's mouth. The eyes are anthropoid. Chimeras are mythological monsters pastiched together.

The profile has stylized ten petaled flowers. Many flowers follow a Fibonacci number [... 5, 8, 13, 21 ...]. The genus of passiflora [passionflower] has ten petals, and often are vines. Spanish (and others) religious folklore associates the flowers with Christ's Passion.

The flower looks more like an anemone. There are also more than an hundred species. There are poppy anemone, a group of Saint Brigid's. Which have ten petals? Many anemones have five to eight. The anemone [Greek mythology] came up from Adonis' blood. Are these carved blossoms chimera too?

Saint Jerome's was consecrated on the 9th of October 1994. The, then, associate pastor Fr. Anthony Cassese joyfully told people at Mass, the candles of consecration guaranteed that the church would be open, and could not be closed. He told that not all churches were consecrated, but now Saint Jerome's was.

The diocesan document quotes the words of God to Solomon:
"And the Lord said...'I have consecrated this temple which you have built; I confer my name upon it forever, and my eyes and heart shall be there always." I Kings 9:3
But then again, that is old language, under an old régime. Collinwood was spared a proposed, and expected, parish elimination. The only group which was ordered to reduce, and did not. Parishioners had feared that Jerome's had gotten the short straw. They were extremely displeased with the 'clustering process' at the time. Many are still upset.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Triangle Fire,100 yrs. on

It was a quarter or so to 5, Saturday afternoon. The work week was near finish. The 8th, 9th and 10th storeys of a 10 storey building in New York City contained the Triangle Shirtwaist [woman's blouse] Factory. A fire broke out on the eighth. Someone phoned the 10th. Word did not reach the 9th, the fire did.

The building had a fire escape in poor condition, 2 freight elevators, and two stairwells. The fire escape collapsed and people fell to their death. The elevator operators made trips with survivors until the elevators failed. One stairwell was on fire. The other stairwell, was locked and the foreman with the key gone.

129 women and girls died, and 17 men. Some burned to death, some died from the fall or jump. In a few minutes the fire department had the fire contained. Fire truck ladders could only reach to the 6th floor. The building had no fire sprinklers

Most of the dead were young immigrants, italians and jews. Mother died with daughter, sister with sister, cousin with cousin.

Two years had passed since a major strike. Amongst the outrageous items the women wanted, through collective bargaining, was a work week of just 52 hours and an increase from 13¢ an hour. They got some of that, but not the right to join the union.

The owners, Isaac Harris and Max Blanck, came off the boat too; but now they were as good as any american born capitalist and owner. Their hatred of unionisation was great. They had contrived with cops, goons, street whores and judges to defeat the workers.

Frances Perkins was at a tea party (tea parties came about with the victorian age when women of the higher social classes had much idle time, they are somewhat different than those held by little girls and their imaginary friends, and different still than those of some political fanatics of to-day) in downtown Manhattan, and she and many other people came to watch the fire. She saw bodies splat. Some fell like torches.

Perkins would later call that Saturday "the day the New Deal began". A Factory Investigating Commission was set up by the State of New York. Frances Perkins was part of it. They held hearings about the state. Laws (governmental regulations) were eventually made, intrusive things such as fire drills, occupancy limits and exit signs. New York State became the most regulated state in the country concerning worker safety.

Harris and Blanck went on trial for manslaughter. They hired an expensive lawyer. They skated. The insurance company paid them more than their supposed losses. Two years later Blanck was caught for another locked door. He was fined $20.

The Triangle may be only a paragraph, or less, in school books now; but with fine 'patriotic' citizens, who cherish 'balance', on textbook committees such un-american paragraphs, or sentences, in high school textbooks can be removed. Recently HBO and PBS ran documentaries on the fire. This is the sort of 'liberal' programming that angers 'conservatives'. These sort of programmes in 'public' funded broadcasting which are broadcast on PBS and NPR are 'dangerously' biased. People writing about such programmes and their subject matter are suspect.

By coincidence, i was working on a project in which i was sewing one piece of cloth on another while watching the PBS 'propaganda'. I listened to the part where the girls had their pay taken (docked) for mistakes, and the part where the needles would go through their fingers, and they kept working, while i bumbled with green thread.

Now we are living with freshly elected Republican governors in northern states, whom wish to make business more friendly to entrepreneurs such as Isaac Harris and Max Blanck. Such unions such as The International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (now part of UNITE HERE), and those of government workers attack the liberty and property of owners, and the flexibility of governors to balance budgets.

None of those recent governors (Walker, Kasich, Snyder, LePage [who is creating an orwellian memory hole], Christie) (some winning with a minority of voters) may serve a second term, but they will be taken care of by the people they are taking care of. Of course some of those governors are of the same class as those whom they benefit. It is hard to determine which is the most obnoxious and contemptible.

detail of panel 8 with Frances Perkins, part of an 11 panel mural by Judy Taylor in Maine's Department of Labor building, all of which were ordered to be removed by the new governor, Paul LePage as being 'anti-business' and 'one-sided'

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Last sermon of San Óscar Romero de las Americas

“...Brothers, you came from our own people. You are killing your own brothers. Any human order to kill must be subordinate to the law of God, which says, ‘Thou shalt not kill’. No soldier is obliged to obey an order contrary to the law of God. No one has to obey an immoral law. It is high time you obeyed your consciences rather than sinful orders. The church cannot remain silent before such an abomination. We want the government to face the fact that reforms are valueless if they are to be carried out at the cost of so much blood. In the name of God, in the name of this suffering people whose cries rise to heaven more loudly each day, I implore you, I beg you, I order you in the name of God: stop the repression.
The church preaches your liberation just as we have studied it in the holy Bible today. It is a liberation that has, above all else, respect for the dignity of the person, hope for humanity’s common good, and the transcendence that looks before all to God and only from God derives its hope and its strength. In the name of God, in the name of this suffering people whose cry rises to heaven more loudly each day, I implore you, I beg you, I order you: stop the repression.”
— Óscar Arnulfo Romero Y Galdámez. 23 March 1980.
The next day, in a hospital chapel, "La Divina Providencia" in San Salvador, Archbishop Romero elevated the Eucharistic Chalice and was shot in the heart by an assassin [trained by the US military] following the orders of a graduate of the School of the Americas, Roberto D'Aubuisson. The blood on the altar was Jesus' and Óscar's. During his funeral Mass 'death squads' fired into the crowd killing some dozens of people.

To-morrow, the President of the United States, Barack Obama will go to the tomb of Romero in the cathedral. It will make for an handsome photographic shoot. Has the US of A done much to stop such political repression and assassinations in the Western Hemishere? The School of the Americas still functions at Fort Benning, Georgia under the name of Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. D'Aubuisson's political party, the Nationalist Republican Alliance (Alianza Republicana Nacionalista, ARENA) is not pleased with Obama's visit.

Romero is recognised as a saint by the Anglican Church. Rome has delayed itself in the official announcement. In 1997 he was declared a Servant of God. Jerzy Popiełuszko was martyred four and an half years later, and is recognised as Blessed. Popiełuszko was to Poland, what Romero was to El Salvador; although the political oppressor of the church and people, in the two lands, was different. Canonisation is politics too.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Collection Baskets

The last parish closed in Cleveland was Saint Emeric. It was closed on the last day of the 2010 fiscal year.

In conversation and correspondence, Richard Lennon states that the diocese has a priest shortage, and a financial shortage. The parish closings were motivated by those perceptions.

From the chart provided by the diocese (and placed in remaining church bulletins this weekend past, 19-20 March 2011), one sees that the basket kitty rose in most fiscal years* from 2001 to 2008. With the implementation of the 'Reconfiguration', the basket declined in 2009, and then again in 2010.

The interpretation given attempts to present the figures in a 'positive' light. Inflation continues, though many people have less, the aggregate does not. Encouragement (or pressure) to give has not abated, to the contrary, it has increased. Perhaps, the vox populi (voice of the people) has begun to speak a language discernible to the bishop.
*fiscal 2003 was also a decrease, which coincided with the revelations of the national clerical sex scandal, which first broke in Boston

Monday, March 21, 2011

We can read, and there are laws:

Code of Canon Law
1983 Codex Iuris Canonici
1214 By the term church is understood a sacred building designated for divine worship to which the faithful have the right of entry for the exercise, especially the public exercise, of divine worship.

Ecclesiae nomine intellegitur aedes sacra divino cultui destinata, ad quam fidelibus ius est adeundi ad divinum cultum praesertim publice exercendum.

1218 Each church is to have its own title which cannot be changed after the church has been dedicated.

1218 Unaquaeque ecclesia suum habeat titulum qui, peracta ecclesiae dedicatione, mutari nequit.


§1. If a church cannot be used in any way for divine worship and there is no possibility of repairing it, the diocesan bishop can relegate it to profane but not sordid use.

§2. Where other grave causes suggest that a church no longer be used for divine worship, the diocesan bishop, after having heard the presbyteral council, can relegate it to profane but not sordid use, with the consent of those who legitimately claim rights for themselves in the church and provided that the good of souls suffers no detriment thereby.

1. Si qua ecclesia nullo modo ad cultum divinum adhiberi queat et possibilitas non detur eam reficiendi, in usum profanum non sordidum ab Episcopo dioecesano redigi potest.
2. Ubi aliae graves causae suadeant ut aliqua ecclesia ad divinum cultum amplius non adhibeatur, eam Episcopus dioecesanus, audito consilio presbyterali, in usum profanum non sordidum redigere potest, de consensu eorum qui iura in eadem sibi legitime vindicent, et dummodo animarum bonum nullum inde detrimentum capiat.
The Latin Church's last Code was promulgated (established) in 1983. It abrogated the Code of 1917. The current code has 1752 canons. Now, the average layman or prelate is not a student of the Code. So, we are not apt to quote canons; but we are not illiterate, nor devoid of discernment. One can understand canon law. Relatively few sit down, and read the whole thing; or had cause to. Yet, the words mean what they mean.

Locally, here in Lennongrad (formerly the Diocese of Cleveland), the Code has been ignored. People have been removed from churches by the police on order of the bishop. This activity is contrary to the spirit and letter of the law.

Now, we have many parishes and churches of the Latin Church suppressed or merged, and sold. All Catholics have the right to appeal to the Bishop of Rome (the pope). Rome has its bureaucracy. These cases first come to the Congregation for the Clergy.

I suppose, most of the people argued on and for their parish necessity. Appeal after appeal from different decisions failed. Now they are succeeding on the necessity of the church building.

Now, it seems a local bishop, John Barres, is appealing to Rome to overturn the successful appeals of the parishes closed by his predecessor, Edward Cullen. Many Catholics expect 100% total and uncritical support of the bishop as a sign of faithfulness. They confuse, or conflate, obedience with faith. They have accepted an one way hierarchical flow. Does not the Pope for Catholics (outside of the Eastern Orthodox Churches) hold a higher position of authority than any local bishop? This direction of obedience, apparently, only moves one way for certain local Catholics. If this be the case, as it is in Allentown, then people should be free to say, "My bishop does not listen to the Roman bishop". Now, some of these episcopal supporters will demand obedience of the laity and local clergy to the ordinary. Are they now making the claim that Rome can not (or should not) correct offending, and recalcitrant bishops?

People in the pews have little to gauge on how Rome will rule. The tide may be turning in favor of the parishioners. In the recent decisions the Curia is allowing the bishops to close parishes. Bureaucrats have a prejudice in favor of similar bureaucrats, and Rome is reluctant to correct too much episcopal misrule. There are many canons that can apply, and be successfully argued against the bishops in parish and church cases. But now they are giving judgments which give a mixed message. Yes, a bishop can [at whim] close a parish, but he cannot close the church. This ultimately would make parish closings less likely.

In particular, the rationale in Canon 1222 says two things: the church building has to be a ruin; and there is a social contract, even amongst Christians. The bishop needs the consent of his flock. Now this is a great condemnation of episcopal tyranny. Bishops are not absolute sovereigns akin to the calvinist Leviathan of Hobbes' creation. And that was the bedrock of their support, and only apt rationale for their programme.

All the reasons that were used, in Cleveland, in support of Richard Lennon's 'Reconfiguration' were faulty. They did not pertain canonically as 'grave reasons' or proper reasons, nor were many applicable to the particular closures chosen. The only rationalisation was the unrestrained will of Lennon must be done — bishop as pharoa. As in oriental despotism, there is only to be one voice. For all those who say, "the Church is not a Democracy", they must now add, "nor is it a Despotism; the laity has unalienable rights".

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Saint Patrick's Parade—Cleveland O.

Before the parade starts, people chat and animals rest. A little girl gathers her courage to pat a recumbent wolfhound. Many dogs were in attendance: police and fireman brought the breeds you'd expect; the irish breeds were very well represented by many lean wolfhounds, a beastie that children could saddle and ride, an irish setter group were there too, airedales were scarce, and scarcer were kerry terriers; and for some reason, pugs were organised.
Parades really need horses. Draft horses were a plenty, pulling various wagons. Not is it often that a city, or suburban, child gets to make the equine acquaintance.
A few organisations made floats. One remembered that many of the peoples that had entered America, had entered through inspection at Ellis Island.
And groups had their causes. The sign, supra, was pointed towards the separated counties in Ireland, but the message of Paul the Sixth, "If you want peace — work for justice" applies universally; and many will not appreciate the full implications of that papal statement.
St. Patrick sought out and stood with the Casimiri. He had discerned in his panoramic survey polish colors, and had to pay respects, and exchange greetings.
Now, not everyone was thinking, they were to see a polish parish parading for Patrick. The exiled of St. Casimir came, and the crowds were pleased to see them. They, the Casimiri, carried the banner for all the displaced Catholics under lennonism. They made a point to stop, and turn 90 degrees, so to be seen squarely from the cathedral on E. 9th.
Now, the parade went west along Superior Avenue, until they made upon Public Square a right turn, and then another. In front of the Terminal Tower, there was a dense throng sprawled across, and between the monuments. There also was a large flag touring the fifty states, in connection, with the 9/11 remembrance. The flag was attached to a fire truck's extension ladder.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"From the eastern lands the Ass is come..."

For centuries Boy-Bishops were elected on St. Nicholas [Patron of Children] Day (6 Dec). He would reign til the Slaughter of the Innocents (28 Dec). This was most respected in England, until Henry VIII Tudor. Queen Mary brought it back. Elizabeth got rid of it for good.

About the time of the Circumcision (1 January) there was celebrated the Feast of Fools. Another day of merry making, that, the overly priggish and pious disapproved. It is centuries since it has been broadly celebrated, and the possible abuses have been exaggerated for polemical or prohibitory effect; the former to beat on catholicism by opponents of catholicism, and the latter to beat on catholics by establishment (lay or clerical) figures, whom, are jealous for their dignity.

Festum Asinorum, Feast of Asses, began with the dramatisation of a 6th century sermon, wherein the Prophets proclaim the Divinity of Jesus. Then Mass was celebrated. The part most beloved of the audience was Balaam and his Ass (before the Victorians, this referred to the animal without embarrassment). It became a separate play, the animal was a wooden prop. Extant western scripts go back to 1100. The Process of the Prophets became a celebration of the Ass.

Theophylact Lekapenos was Patriarch in Constantinople (933-56). He is credited with its introduction as a festival by the the monk George Cedranus who chronicled a history of the world (to 1057). The greek east and the latin west were not separated then. The celebration came to France. Liturgical drama was enjoyed. The hobby horse ass could become a parade. Liturgical drama were to include the Miracle and the Mystery Plays, and they in their last twilight in England were caught by Shakespeare. Now we have only the Children's Mass on Christmas Eve. Germans still have a Palm Esel (Palm Sunday Ass) they roll into church.

On the 14th of January, in the carnival season before Lent, and after the celebrations of Christmas, the flight from Herod to Egypt was celebrated with a nod to the noble Ass. Merry making has been frowned upon by the modern world. The protestant 'reformers' disliked such amusements, aggrandising monarchs and modern catholic churchmen likewise.

We were more free in ages past. Authority was tempered by a social contract to prevent tyrannical behavior by the mighty. Jesters had their duties. The power of the king, and the bishop were tempered by the people. A social revolution was constrained festively. Oppressive and contemptible jerks in high office were kept in check.

Now, April Fools is a prankish day of minor mischief, that also some how, is associated with beginning in France. There are times when this can fall on Easter Monday. Easter Monday is a day of great joy. Jesus has defeated death. The Devil hates to be mocked, he is quite defeated on Easter, and Easter Monday. Laughing at the proud Devil who fancies himself as the master of the world is something we need to do. Electing a boy bishop is a practice we can resurrect.

Orientis partibus adventavit asinus ...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Japanese Tragedies

The news from Japan is horror. Earthquakes, fires, tidal wave, nuclear catastrophe and now a volcano. Thousands are dead, and many not ever to be found. Japan is suffering.

Humor is all black tragedy now. One of the few cultural icons the West has of Japan is the movie monster, Godzilla [Gozira or Gojira, if transliteration was more accurate]. This is the scene where he was conceived. A giant monster that emerges from the sea after a nuclear disaster to destroy major cities [generally Tokyo, this time Sendai].

Since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this is the archetypal fear of the nation. A friend, at the prayer vigil to-day, waxed apocalyptic. God, please have Mercy on Japan.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

International Women's Day

Well, today was both, International Women's Day and Mardi Gras. Sometimes, two commemorations by chance fall together. I wanted to post a wee essay, and i missed the day's deadline. It was the 100th anniversary of the first Women's Day. Sometimes i find time and energy to write a little stuff; failed for to-day. [so i wrote the rest on 2 April 2011].Actually, this is one of the socialist themed items born in the United States. It was quickly picked up elsewhere, and therefore, officially ignored in the United States. May Day as Labor Day was an American idea. Women's Day, was Working Women's Day. There is a song for it, Bread and Roses. It came from a poem. In the winter of 1912, there was a textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The two have been connected ever since.

The multi-national strikers, invited the 'Wobblies', IWW, to come. This was to make national and international news. The strikers opened up a soup kitchen. The moving picket line was invented to prevent arrests for loitering. They sang often. They marched. Some suffragettes saw they could use these tactics to benefit their cause of gaining the vote.
Half of the workers were girls under eighteen. Some Polish women saw their pay was reduced on 11 January. Strike began on "short pay". State police and state militia came in. Beating and clubbing women and children was done quite easily. One woman was shot to death. The strike ended 12 March. Eventually the strike was won, but most of the gains were steadily taken away.

On 4 March 2007 women marched in Tehran, Iran. Police acted similarly. Some people are sill imprisoned.

As we go marching, marching, in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing: Bread and Roses! Bread and Roses!

As we go marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women's children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses.

As we go marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient call for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for, but we fight for roses too.

As we go marching, marching, we bring the greater days,
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life's glories: Bread and roses, bread and roses.

—James Oppenheim. The American Magazine. December 1911.
All these are [probably] better known abroad. When the short lived white [and democratic, as opposed to the later red and bolshevik] revolution began in Russia in 1917, it began on the day of a women's march for peace and food. The soviets adopted the holiday. In most of eastern Europe it became more of a combination Mother's and Valentine's Day. Russian graphic arts gives it the traditional, national [as opposed to soviet realism] sweetness.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Casimiri exiles continue to assemble

supra: setting up for another service in exile
infra: holy cards of Bl. Jerzy Popiełuszko, Mother of GodKatyn

The churches have been taken away from many people in the counties of Cuyahoga, Lorain and Summit in the diocese of Lennongrad, Ohio. Parishioners of St. James, St. Emeric, St. Patrick (West Park), and St. Casimir continue to band together, no matter what the weather. The Patricios call the Casimiri shortly after 11.30 a.m. to greet each other and commence their vigils of prayer and constancy.

The Magyars(Hungarians) to-day also gathered for Mass at St. Colman's. Father Robert Begin has tutored himself to be able to voice the words of the Divine Liturgy in Magyarul. This is act of Christian charity and ministry. People usually love their native tongue. Some languages are easier to pick up than others. Hungarian is not an indo-european language, and few non-nationals have become students of it.

At St. Casimir the exiles began immediately upon their eviction in early November of '09 to pray and sing the streets. Those at the first session were Poles from post-war Poland. They have accumulated other individuals since then, some with no slavonic kinship. They are continuing a community.

At the start of prayer the wind blew from the cold lake, Wojciech then maneuvered his vehicle to provide a windbreak, and they began then. They prayed and sang. Friday past, was the patronal feast. They were remembered in Masses at Immaculate Heart and Colman's (at least). They spoke of the upcoming Patrick's parade.

One of their number, Elizabieta, passed out the holy cards. Richard Lennon, who mercilessly shuttered their church and kicked them to the street cannot fathom their devotion. Solidarity of feeling crosses oceans and decades. Fr.
Popiełuszko, as the card says, is a martyr[witness] to freedom. He, with Oscar Romero of the Americas, will join Thomas Becket and Stanislaus of Krakow as saints for social and political justice.

The other card has Mary, the Mother of God, embracing one of the thousands of Poles massacred in the forests near Katyn, in Belorussia, by the soviet secret police of Lavrentij Beria and his fellow Georgian, Stalin in the spring of 1940. Prior to fall of communism in 1989, it was not to be mentioned in public. Those of the Solidarity movement did.

In the Body of the Christ, the community of Christians, is of the past and present, of the dead and the living. We are in it together. Distance and time does not break the ties.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Republican speak: taxpayers = corporations

He who gets to define terms has won half the battle. The Republicans have been extremely successful in defining terms. They have learned, or just naturally act, in orwellian terms. Now, if one were to consult academicians or dictionaries, one would not find these usages and definitions. This is part of the rationale of Republican antipathy towards professors, teachers, libraries and the 'liberal' press.

'Taxpayers', hmmm, interesting use of a word in a doublespeak way. Republicans love using this word. You know it is a false usage. They want this as a synonym for citizen. It is not. The laws refer to people, residents. Citizens have certain rights above non-citizen residents.

Taxpayers are sometimes: non-citizens, non-residents and [for Republicans the most important] businesses and corporations. These last are not people. They do not vote, yet they influence [even control] many voters and politicians.

The Repugnant governors, Walker (Wisc) , Kasich (O), et alia, are depicting a battle between 'taxpayers' and union members. Now union members are people, often voting citizens. Union members pay taxes. Union members are taxpayers. Now if we make this an algebraic mathematical equation, since union members are taxpayers, and then if we equate union members with taxpayers, there can be no conflict with union members versus union members, nor with taxpayers versus taxpayers. But this is not whom they promote and champion. They are advocating for non human taxpayers, which are the businesses and corporations, which cannot vote. So if they were honest, which is impossible because they are Republicans, the equation becomes logical, truthful and makes logical sense when 'taxpayers' are corporations, for the equation becomes: corporations versus unionists.

Now of course they can not campaign to the public using the honest terms. So, when hear a Republican say taxpayer, he means corporations. Have you heard one reporter ask them about this distinction? No, Republicans get a pass when lying. They lie, and are not contradicted, and the gullible are gulled.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

from the Statehouse lawn

Senate Bill 5

John Kasich and the Republicans of the Statehouse of Ohio want to cram a bill into law that would take away collective bargaining with government employees. This follows Wisconsin's lead. Other states with new Republican governments would follow. This is the first step in the curtailment of unions. In Wisconsin, and Ohio, people have come out of their slumber, and have engaged Democracy in trying to stop these dictates.

The themes of the participants are in accord with the lesson of history. Their signs and actions recall the past. They remember Hitler destroying unions. They remember Pastor Martin Niemöller's lament for not speaking out for others. They remember the Polish free trade union (Solidarność, Solidarity) and its leader Lech Wałęsa that brought down communism.

They also note current events. Ohio is only hours behind Wisconsin's battle. People remember the recent Egyptian example. Someone alluded to a television programme and cast Kasich as a money loving Ferengi.

Here follows images of to-day. Note, unlike the teabaggers, the signs tend to keep grammar and spelling as one was taught.

The one cardboard sign below reads: We must close union offices !!! Confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison! We must reduce workers' salaries and take away their right to strike.—Adolph Hitler, May 2nd 1933.
[Many Republicans, teabaggers and other American fascists deny Hitler said this, but this is exactly what was done on that day in accordance to his orders. They know that Hitler and Nazism still has 'bad press', so they must disassociate their actions with his name.] On the 1st of May 1933 Hitler celebrated May (Labor) Day at Templehof (near Berlin) airfield. In his speech, he spoke the great spring festival would be celebrated, and all class conflict had ended for the one people (Volk) of Germany. The crowd cheered and sang, he had union leaders cheering too. The next day free unions disappeared.

Goebbels wrote in his diary for 17April: On 2 May the trade union offices will be occupied. ... Once the trade unions are in our hands the other parties and organisations will not be able to hold out for much longer. And on that day what was planned in secret, and written down became real. The SA (brownshirts, stormtroopers), the SS, and the police came. People were beaten, arrested, a few killed. Union papers were closed and funds taken. What was once, perhaps, the strongest labor movement in the world was reduced to nothing in minutes. Goebbels wrote his diary, We are the masters of Germany.

It is to be remembered that at the same time Franklin Delano Roosevelt came to the presidency in the United States and promoted unions. He said, "
If I went to work in a factory the first thing I'd do is join a union." Ever since Franklin Roosevelt the Republicans wanted things back to pre-1933. Where their power was unchecked, and they could squash unionism by physical force. Their economic panacea brought the Great Depression, this Great Recession happened because of the anti-Roosevelt gains they had made. They forget the disasters they created, and certainly will not confess to them, yet they can not forget when they had all the power to create the disasters. Such a combination of arrogance, stupidity, avarice and mean-spirit is onerous.

The Niemöller quote has been translated in several versions, here is one version:
"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."

In Columbus to stop Kasich

On the first day of March people came to the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. It was announced 20,000 were there exercising Democracy. They were on the steps, on the lawn, around the entire complex, on the sidewalks and inside. It began hours before noon, and ended hours after noon. A river of people flowed in, and out.

John Kasich used to be a tool of the fascist oligarchy whilst in Congress. He then left for Wall Street to secure millions in bonuses. He was no longer a tool, but a part of the brotherhood. His outfit, Lehman Brothers, went bankrupt, and he took a fill in job at Fox to launch into the governorship of Ohio.

In the cabal of the Republican Party, Rupert Murdoch (News Corp/Fox and Roger Ailes/Wall Street Journal), the Koch brothers, and fellow travellers a great bamboozle of the American people took place in November, and in January they set to take the country over. The first state to be a battleground was Wisconsin. Their agenda was to reduce the unions. The unions are the only substantial counterweight to their control. Various academicians and a few clerics make statements against these moneyed powers, but they have been effectively neutralised and ignored. So the attack is on the unions.

Scott Walker, the new governor of Wisconsin is happy to oblige his masters. Ian Murphy of the Buffalo Beast pretended to be David Koch. He spoke to Walker for twenty minutes on the phone. Walker the dutiful servant of the (pretend) oligarch joyfully divulged everything, including to being in daily conversation with the new Ohio governor. Walker, apparently believes in the righteousness cause, although taking unlawful and unethical means to achieve them are not given a thought.
Now Fox has covered Wisconsin, as it does everything, in a thoroughly mendacious manner. Recently, evidence has come to the fore to show a reporter lied about being assaulted by an union demonstrator. In FAUX News it is procedure and policy to lie from the very top. Its chairman, Roger Ailes, may be indicted for a single instance (of many).
In Columbus the throngs came. It was a light carnival atmosphere. People sang the Star Spangled Banner, Amazing Grace, We Shall Not Be Moved. The president, James Hoffa Jr, of the Teamsters spoke, as well as a kid working at Kroger's. A local Methodist bishop introduced the speakers. A Dominican sister from Cincinnati spoke. It was a well mannered rally on a chilly St. David's Day, on a flagpole flew the Welsh standard for David and his Wales, one of the many fine details to be seen that most did not notice.

There were no counter protesters. There were at least two dozen state patrolmen inside the Statehouse, and several at the entrances. Always watching. There were four horsemen, and two police dogs. There were motorcycle, and cruiser cops on the streets. It was languid duty. Many of the attendees were police force themselves. Cleveland sent two buses of safety forces alone.