Thursday, May 31, 2012

note on current situation

For those few who come here for academic interest, or art interest, this is not about that. For the three or four of you that come interested in local religious matters, there follows a 'link' from a local priest whom opines on the 'Situation' we got here. I am not the only one who sees a serious problem; and Houston is unconcerned.
Last night at Saint Colman Cleveland there was a 'Pentecost Prayer Service for Women and the Church'*. The pews have room for a thousand people (i had thought even more; St. Colman's is the Irish Cathedral in town), there were few empty spots.

Also, the local ordinary, Richard Lennon, often complains about the priest shortage. He decided to add to it by formally relieving a priest from his ministry
†. Lennon contradicts himself often, and he is rarely challenged. Unchallenged rubbish and lies are accepted as not being rubbish and lies. There is an historical adage in regarding the pig headed, uncomprehending, reactionary, Bourbon kings. Talleyrand (the laicised Bishop of Autun) supposedly said, «Ils n'ont rien appris, ni rien oubliĆ©» ("they had learned nothing and forgotten nothing"). He never learns and never forgets. Such is our Sovereign, Lord Lennon.

To quote Fr. Andrew Greeley, writing in 1993:
‡"Catholicism is not an exclusivist sect with rigid boundaries. It is a rich, complex, diversified, pluralistic heritage. Anyone who has read Catholic history is well aware that its tradition has always been pluralistic and that it has defined its boundaries out as far as possible, to include everyone it can. In the words of one of the great Catholic theologians of the present century, James Joyce, Catholicism means HCE -- Here Comes Everyone.
Canon law recognizes this. You stop being a Catholic not when you break a rule, not when you disagree with the pope, but only when you formally and explicitly renounce your faith or join another religious denomination. Even then, the imagery and stories of Catholicism are so powerful that they continue to lurk in the imagination. Once a Catholic, always a Catholic.
The idea that ''cafeteria Catholicism'' (as the media people are pleased to call it) is unique to our time and indeed to our country is historically absurd. The pope and the bishops may tell Catholics what rules they are supposed to keep, but even church leaders know better than to threaten to toss you out if you don't keep the rules." — Fr. Andrew Greeley. 22 August 1993. Los Angeles Times.
*postscriptum: 8 June 2012. A parish priest wrote this essay, What the Nuns’ Story is Really About, in his parish bulletin, and it was copied on to this national site. The readers' comments have a high positive response.
†After this was printed in Cleveland's daily, the next day this was.
somehow in the transcription, some text was missing [To quote Fr. Andrew Greeley, writing in 1993:] to clearly state, that, this section is a quoted passage from Greeley's essay.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

St. Barbara on Memorial Day

Decoration Day began after the War for the Union/War of Southern Secession. People decorated the graves of the war's dead. It sprang up naturally, and diffusely. In a few years it became an opportunity for politics. Generals became easy nominees for high office. The South would hold on to the Lost Cause.

Confederate Memorial Day is still celebrated by southern states on different days.
A national uniform date became 30 May. In 1971 by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, Memorial Day would be the final Monday in May.

Not until after WWII did the name 'Memorial Day' become popular. By that time it had become a part of the national civic religion.
The current extreme form has recently been called 'American exceptionalism'*.
To-day is 30 May. Saint Barbara's Parish, Cleveland, Ohio has preserved the older date. For 57 years, Saint Barbara has maintained a continuous observance.
WWII memorial of the Parish's Military dead. The monument has remained intact on parish grounds, immediately before the church building. It was neither removed by the diocese, nor damaged [or destroyed] through neglect. The bluish line behind the monument is plastic down spout, the metal part was stolen, as was the flagpole by scrappers, after the eviction of the parishioners. The parish never officially closed, and is acknowledged to be officially opened. The parish has two parking lots, they remained chained and locked. Outside the church there is an ongoing road and bridge construction project; the 2nd District Police Commander came out to reroute traffic for the fifteen minute ceremony.
parishioners and 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, 4th Division
the old guard at the church's portal
*the term is so new, that many spell check computer programmes will question the word

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Attention birders

Fledgling robin (a thrush), his first day away from the honey bee amongst the shamrocks

juvenile Brown headed Cowbird
Someone identify this bird. I am positing we are in thrushville. I will change this script when i get confirmation. This birdie was in Brooklyn (South of Cleveland) Ohio. I am guessing that he looks similar to a clay colored thrush from Costa Rica, and to a hermit thrush, or European blackbird. He had vertical striped white speckles on his chest.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Annunciation Greek Orthodox, Cleve., O.

The clever Greeks choose, perhaps, the best time to have a parish festival. On West 14th and Fairfield, kissing the innerbelt freeway bridge, is their parish church. They have a rainbow balloon masted to their social hall again. While driving by, one sees three gold domes and a balloon. The summer is just starting, we are having one of the few holidays America has. They start early on Friday, and continue to Monday. All the local television mention it repeatedly. The Greeks have some native dancing, and a reputation of enjoying dancing. The prime draw is food. How much do the Greeks like to cook? and selling food? And for a church festival, there is real variety at the bar. We can gather, the Greeks are neither Calvinists nor prohibitionists. OPA!
This supports the parish. The church is beautifully maintained. Earlier this year they were cheated by a fellow who was restoring some vessels and other items. Sometimes, churches are remodeled. Some fifteen years back, they removed carpet; beneath it was a mosaic of the imperial Byzantine double eagle. This double eagle travelled north through the Balkan Slavs and onto the Germans and Russians. The emperor claimed both religious and temporal power.
Above this is the central dome, with a mural of Jesus as Pantocrator (ruler of the universe). There is a great chandelier. The four evangelists, other saints, and cherubim are also on the apse.
The transept above the front doors is stained glass of the ship of faith sailing the world.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Descent of the Holy Ghost

Sometime ago, the Byzantine Eparchy of Parma closed the Parish of the Holy Ghost across from Lincoln Park. It was open for more than a century. The congregation shrank, people had left for the suburbs. It was the mother church of Holy Spirit in Parma. It began at about the same time as St. Theodosius, which is a few blocks away, of the same national stock. That parish, was also Greek Catholic Rusyns (Ruthenians), became Russian Orthodox. Their cornerstone lists both denominations, in two different scripts and languages too. They left communion with Rome, because of neglect and American episcopal hostility.
The iconostasis is magnificent in both. At Holy Ghost, it is even more involved. The photograph does not do full justice. It was made in Europe and pieced together here.
part of the icon screen with a western depiction of Pentecost (Descent of the Holy Ghost)
The Eparchy of Parma did not keep the church closed long. It was too beautiful, too historically important. Sentiment won out, and the church was re-opened. It is now a Byzantine Cultural Center. They try to integrate the church community with the neighborhood of Tremont. It is involved with the ‘farmers' market’ and the ‘art walk’. They hope for an evangelisation. The Liturgy is sung a capella throughout in English.
To-day was the parish’s patronal feast. A procession was held outside, stopping four times to sing and proclaim the four Gospels at points where the Patron was discussed.

Pentecost 2012

Alexander Calder is credited with being the creator of mobiles. I thought they were toys for infants that hung over their cribs. In the orient, wind chimes are pre-historic. Calder also designed toys. I had not thought him the inventor of non pictorial kinetic art, but so he is credited. Banners, and flags flowing in the wind are kinetic.
The pictures do not do justice, in situ it is more impressive.
Mobiles in modern art are failures. Felt banners often quite so. Here, Saint Stanislaus Cleveland, they work. Earlier in May, they release rose petals for the May crowning. For Advent, they suspend a giant wreath with candles. For Pentecost, seven tongues of fire represent the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

views of downtown Cleveland

viewed from the west, middle February 2012
On the left, the tall curved building is the new Federal Court House. The front center building is Cleveland Terminal Tower, when opened in 1930, it was the second tallest building in the world.
viewed from the southwest early August 2011
On the extreme left is the new football stadium. On the right is the courthouse.
viewed from the east
viewed from the northeast
viewed from the south, September 2010

Friday, May 25, 2012

Priests beg Rome to rid them of onerous bishop

It is Friday evening as i type. We have few public observed holidays. Memorial/Decoration is one of them. It is a three day weekend, for some it is stretched for the entire week. Now, often news happens [it always happens], or announced because people are on vacation and not paying attention. I think in Cleveland, it is the first of the rib fests. No holiday, but treated as such by the local television news. They love 'feel good' stories that have people come and spend money. Here is 30 seconds about veterans' graves, oorah, hooyah, hooah. Now, watch me eat some burned pork flesh.

Rumours are beginning to swirl that Richard Lennon may be on his way out of Cleveland. A national Catholic paper has written a longish story describing priests writing Rome for this bishop's removal.

“Cardinal Piacenza, there is no joy in Cleveland. Ministry has become a burden for so many of us. We live in fear of retaliation if we are vocal. Desperation has pushed me to a point beyond fear. Please help,”

Now, we will see if other newspapers pick up the story. Now, we will see if other Cleveland Catholics become less timid.

"classroom taught by a non-radical teacher"

In Wisconsin, Jan Jansen (pronounced Yon Yonson) works in a lumber yard, can freely vote in the recall election pitting the beyond controversial incumbent, Scott Walker (a,b,c,d) against a Democrat and a couple others. Jan Jansen, is fortunate, that, he isn't a teacher in Janesville (home to the Randian, Paul Ryan). Teachers that had signed the recall petitions have been pointed out.

To quote from the Janesville Gazette:
Citizens for Responsible Government, also known as CRG Network, filed a freedom of information request with the School District of Janesville on March 29...Those figures were used to create the flier, said CRG Executive Administrator Chris Kliesmet. ... At the bottom of the flier is a "Parents' Rights Protection Form" urging parents to send it to Superintendent Karen Schulte and request that "my child be assigned to a classroom taught by a non-radical teacher during the 2012-2013 school year."... The flier does not say what its authors mean by "radical," but it does include information directing people to a website listing state residents who signed the petition to recall Gov. Scott Walker.
Walker has made it clear, he wants to destroy unions, amongst other things. He wants to steamroll all opposition. His campaigns are extra-ordinarily well funded. He has tried almost every trick, short of brutal violence, to get his way, and prevent the recall election. He has allies, the Koch Brothers, and like minded billionaires, Republican operatives across the nation, millionaires, and teabaggers. Much is heavy handed, including the use of fascist tactics to intimidate regular citizens.

Once gaining power, it is not to be surrendered. Everything can be used to maintain, and gain power. Disregard of laws--fine, voter suppression--fine, voter intimidation--fine, voter retaliation--fine. Criticise a Republican, be prepared to be publicly attacked, be prepared to lose your livelihood.

Luckily, the Superintendent Karen Schulte is not a fascist, or intimidated by them. Any forms that reach her are "going in the trash".

See, this is what Mussolini's fascists, and Hitler's nazis did. They went after all those whom could have challenged them. Free, open, democratic elections without suppression, coercion, intimidation are now inimical to the Republican party. For several years now, there has been an organised effort to fix elections. Some reduce the number of 'qualified' voters, which also depresses the numbers of others to attempt to register, and vote. Some involve gaming voting machines. Some is fraud by officials. Some is having a 'friendly' judiciary. Some is having much unidentified money. Some is having a propaganda network to shape the news [Fox and Newscorp]. Any means to the end. The end is to gain power for the moneyed interests, and their preferred party.

Ken Bennett, Proud Republican

Ken Bennett is Arizona's Secretary of State. He is a Mormon, and co-chair of the Romney campaign in Arizona. He is another reason why Republicans should never be a state's Secretary of State. Remember Ohio in 2004, and Florida in 2000.

Bennett was appointed to the office by the woman who later finger wagged the president when he disembarked a plane. Jan Brewer won the governor's election after performing even more clueless in debate than Rick Perry. But then again, Arizona is one of those states that shoots Democrats, and 2010 was a Republican wave at a peak it may never see again, and idiocy bars no Republican from running, and often winning office (one way or another).

Well, Bennett threatened to keep Obama off the ballot, unless Hawaii sent him evidence of birth. Hawaii has been sick of this nonsense, because idiots, wingnuts and political provocateurs will not stop asking even after receiving the document. Bennett says he has to investigate because he has had 1200 requests. Well, he has also recently received requests (17,900+ and growing) to find evidence, by the same logic, to prove that Romney is not an unicorn. He has not investigated either Romney's birth, or possibility of being an unicorn. People want to know. Why isn't a government official answering citizen requests?

from a facebook page:
Birthers have long pushed the conspiracy theory that President Obama was not born in America, in spite of it being proven again and again.

But what about Mitt Romney? There has never been a conclusive DNA test proving that Mitt Romney is not a unicorn.

We have never seen him without his hair -- hair that could be covering up a horn. No, we cannot prove it. But we cannot prove that it is not the case.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

advertising Cleveland's very near west side

At one time, symbolic signs of objects advertised establishments: three gold balls were a pawn shop; a big tooth was a dentist's; a red and white pole a surgeon, eh barber's. This rebar and mesh with three scoops is easy to recognise.
Day of the Dead burrito
This combination of color in foliage and painted wall is beautiful signage. To the left of the 'T' are two penguins, a little whimsy without a ® , ℠, ℗, ™ .
John Gilroy was a painter who in the 1930s began a generation long series of advertising posters for a stout. One poster of a thirsty toucan was painted large over the full wall of a saloon, the original Toucan on a Weathervane was painted in 1955.

There is a cross over the side door. A church is across the street.
the quote of a poet burned through steel in front of a bookstore

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cleveland's very near east side

Cleveland is a dingy city in many respects. That does not stop shilling, and boosterism. That babbitry goes toward the gaudy, and that which makes quick money for the rich, and corporate, moneyed interests. But, there are many interesting things to see that are not so billowed on the breath of businesses' bombast. A short drive of a few blocks, or a circle of a mile and there are things to appreciate.
On East 40th, near St. Clair (the general, and governor) Avenue, there is the Croat parish church of Saint Paul. A parishioner, Josip Turkalj, was a sculptor. His statue of St. Paul holds the traditional iconography of sword and book. This is one of the few ethnic churches, Richard Lennon did not close and sell off.
This graffito remains on the corner of East 40th and Payne, Cleveland, O.
On Chester and E. 24th, at the on ramp to the innerbelt freeway going west, a miniature power plant operates disguised as a water tower. It generates power at low wind speed. The cylindrical tower is not part of the generation. It serves other purposes: public art, signage and advertising, and modeling as an existing object that can be the frame of the turbines (here, the spoked wheels). It has been there about three years. Majid Rashidi, a professor of mechanical engineering, designed the wind amplification turbine system.

Daniel Bernoulli, a physicist and mathematician in a family of mathematicians, studied fluid dynamics including aerodynamics. In 1738 he published Hydrodynamica, where, amongst other things, he found wind increases over a curved object. A newer corkscrew design turbine system has been recently installed on the base ball park a few blocks away. It is expected to be there a year.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

demented propagandists in the electronic ether

“President Obama on Monday unveiled his re-election slogan, "Forward." Which is strange because it seems like every forward I get is anti-Obama.”
— Seth Myers. Weekend Update, Saturday Night Live. 5 May 2012

Yes, he is right. This is a mixed form. It inherits the chain mail function, and it often "dares" you to send it to others; similarly, with television commercials that orders you to call the office of a Democratic office holder and shill the demanded lie. which debunks this, and similar stuff, calls these 'urban legends' and hoaxes. These things are political virals in this technical age. They also combine some poisoned pen characteristics in their ugliness. They are black propaganda, deliberate misinformation, but more insidiously they are sent to people that are supposedly liked by the sender.

But who are the anonymous, demented, sadists who pen this electronic dreck? Are there many, or any, similarly bogus, but non-Republican/wingnut/fascist/conservative examples? It is cost effective aggravation.

Back to the insidiousness, when one actually knows the sender, and they are aware that the recipient does not welcome this political spam, and they still send it. They are true believers in the big lie. Fellow fascist pod people who want to convert you into a mindless zombie.

You cannot reason with them. They are invincibly ignorant. Louie Armstrong supposedly said, "Some people if they don't know, you can't tell them". That statement is true.

Further, there are similar Republican watchers on the internet. They monitor sites and fling their ape turds onto chatboards, and comments. Doonesbury has been written for a lifetime by Garry Trudeau. The daily comic is available on the internet, and the one provider allows a discussion board. If one likes the strip, ok fine; but if one does not, why do they haunt the site and attack Trudeau? The term for these malicious typists is 'trolls'. I say to them, "Troll -- go back beneath yonder bridge from wherest thee emerged, and never shall thee departest from it".

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Solid South


In 1864 the confederate states were not involved in the Union elections. Elections from 1868 through 1876 were under Reconstruction, and not by the southern states themselves. The presidential elections from 1880 to 1916 not one confederate state voted Republican. In 1920 only Tennessee did not vote Democratic. Then in 1928, the Democratic party ran, Al Smith, a Catholic New Yorker and the 'Solid South' cracked. Smith won six southern states of the Deep South [withstanding the bigots Cotton Tom Heflin, and Bob Jones, race beat religion], beyond that he won the two heavily Catholic New England states alone. Franklin Roosevelt then regained the entire southland in the next four elections.

Harry Truman signed executive orders to desegregate the federal civil, and military workforces in 1948. Strom Thurmond walked away from the Democratic Party, and ran as a Dixiecrat States Rights candidate and won four of the deep south states. In 1964 Lyndon Johnson signed a Civil Rights Act, and lost five deep south states. The Republicans ran Barry Goldwater of Arizona. He was considered an extreme conservative. The only states he won were those deep south states, and his home state. To-day, it is not possible to find a more liberal Republican than he.

Race hatred (fear) in US politics

The area of heaviest black population roughly coincides with the confederate states and especially with the first confederate states, the ones who seceded from the union immediately after the election, and months before the first shot was fired.
  • South Carolina (December 20, 1860)
  • Mississippi (January 9, 1861)
  • Florida (January 10, 1861)
  • Alabama (January 11, 1861)
  • Georgia (January 19, 1861)
  • Louisiana (January 26, 1861)
The map supra is of 2000 census, in the 2010 census, the national percentage of black population was 13.6%. The highest black populated states are:
  • Mississippi (38%)
  • Louisiana (33%)
  • Georgia (32%)
  • Maryland (31%) [was not in the Confederacy]
  • South Carolina (29%)
  • Alabama (27%)
Now, the Democrat, Barack Obama received well over 95% of the black vote in 2008. Obama received the following percent vote totals in these states.
  • Mississippi (43%)
  • Louisiana (40%)
  • Georgia (47%)
  • Maryland (55%)
  • South Carolina (45%)
  • Alabama (39%)

Black population in Montana is less than 1/2 of 1%, Obama received 44% of the vote. Maine has about 1% and voted 58% for Obama. Both states have elected a lot of Republicans. At one time, Maine was the most Republican of the states. The confederate states* the Democrats lost in 2008 would have been difficult for any Democrat to win. White Democrats in those states are rare. And the chief and overwhelming reason is hatred for the Negro. The Confederate South was as solid Democrat as could be from the end of Reconstruction (1877) until Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

Rand Paul is the lunatic, libertarian, teabag senator from Kentucky. Supra is the letterhead on a petition. Since Obama exists, the gun industry and their extremist supporters have announced a fantasy danger of gun control. Not only has there been no gun control from Obama, the gun nuts have proclaimed a gun elimination threat. It has been hard to obtain ammunition, at times, since 2008; not because of prohibition, but for the inability to produce quantities to satisfy increased demand.
Above is one of the gun targets printed to remind the shooter of Trayvon Martin. The boy was shot to death while wearing a hooded sweatshirt, and carrying a bag of candy, and a can of tea. Martin was shot in the chest. George Zimmerman, a self-appointed vigilante murdered him in Sanford Florida on 26 February. Now, if one is familiar with maps and geography, Florida's outline resembles a pistol. Sanford is where the lower part of the thumb cradles the handle.

Zimmerman wanted to be a cop, but he was too much of a nut case to be accepted. His father is a judge who kept him out of jail, and had charges dropped, a few times. The police were going to let this murder pass too, until the audio of Zimmerman to an emergency dispatcher was released weeks thereafter. Zimmerman was a frequent caller. He reported a suspicious person, and was told to wait until the police came, instead he told the '911' operator [against her expressed warning] that he was going after the person, and he did.

Many people have sent him money for his defense. White people were quickly sick of hearing about the case, when it broke. When a sensational case of a white girl in trouble hits the national wire, and half a newscast, or an entertainment show, is about that sort of case, there is no such complaint from that quarter. No, people knew Zimmerman was guilty and did not want to admit, or dwell upon it; and the virulent racists saw an hero to protect.

I wanted to write about this earlier, but did not. No contrary reason or evidence has appeared to convince me that Zimmerman is anything but guilty. The only questions are: is it manslaughter? or murder?; and will he serve a commiserate sentence?

I conjecture, those who support Zimmerman also hate Obama. And the intersection with extreme gun rights advocates is significant.

The President had said, on 23 March,
“My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin, you know, if I had a son he’d look like Trayvon, and, you know, I think they are right to expect that all of us, as Americans, are going to take this with the seriousness that it deserves and that we're going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.” Obama is right, and that is why the boy was shot [not because of Obama's position, but of his appearance], and only by the threat of federal investigation [interference with states rights, you can refer to the 1861 conflict, and to Strom Thurmond] after the local authorities had thoroughly buried the case, until the press [liberal mainstream] made the events public.
It is true that Obama won North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida; but those states have many residents born in other states; and the wreckage of the gwbjr/cheney was not publicly forgotten, because it was still current.
nota bene 23 May 2012: I have amended 'hatred', here to include 'fear', because the obvious display of hatred is caused by something. Sometimes it is unpleasant personal encounters (including horrible ones), but those tend to be individualistic, this is broader. Some of the hatred is to disguise guilt, but irrational fear describes much more.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

People enjoy dancing lions

This is not my ken. I took several photos yesterday, and was not going to post. Rarity of rarity, someone saw the dragon post and recommended the 3rd Cleveland Asian Festival in the former Chinatown, now expanded to Asiantown; so i am putting up an essay to accompany them. What i saw of organisation was extensive. My first comment, to myself, was said out loud (it often happens), and concerned the number of police. This is not that sort of event that would need much security.

As last year, i stayed a few hours on Saturday. Again, i missed a few events that i wanted to see. I enjoy taiko (Japanese drums), i have seen the Oberlin troupe before; i have to find the others too. Meander back to the last point, there are many instruments, and their musicians. Now, some musicians and music enthusiasts find humour, and poke fun (abuse) at particular targets. Beside banjoists, drummers often get razzed. And they really deserve it, but as i just wrote, i like taiko [here spelt daiko].

They had opening speakers. From San Diego, there flew in marines. Next month there is to be Marine Week [this is new too, #4] in Cleveland, and in Brook Park there is a National Guard Unit 325. A, Korean American, Brigadier General gave a long, sincere, but thinly disguised recruitment speech. Even worse, a trio of suits from the new casino followed. The aura and aspect they gave was one of corporate gangsters. One big blonde one in the middle, and his two Hong Kong wings. A local television news reader, Lynna Lai, gave some introductions and acquitted herself very pleasantly.

Then there followed a local headliner, the Kwan Family Lion Dance Troupe. They mesmerised the crowd. I think this was the fourth time i have seen them. I don't know if this kind of performance translates well to television, but live in a smallish crowd where they can freely mix with the entire audience, they are great. And more police, two of them are on the force.
a fantastic, circus looking lion with shiny, spangly stuff
The lion does a lot of dancing, and then goes to sleep. He gets gently awaken by gonging and drumming. He then prepares to eat oranges, and lettuce, and money. He hurls the oranges, lettuce, and candy to the crowd. A friendly, tame lion without ferocity does not scare children.
I still have not made it to a dragon dance. Throughout the festival there are performances of local, ethnic, dance schools. Of course, their families come; but beyond that, many are quite good. And on top of that, it continues the culture, and allows other folk to enjoy, and value it.
a tambourine dance from the western province, Sinkiang
There are also performances of martial arts, and some of them have a great deal of choreography too. With festivals come booths to sell trinkets [some having no connection with the festival], to represent organisations, and food courts. The libraries came, non-festive businesses, and the FBI. I would gauge the festival as successful, if they plan on more stuff, they will need more space. The panda gets around as an ambassador, he has been in the Patricio, and the Polish parades, at least.
a corner of the food court, a lot of barbecue, and noodles in several languages