Wednesday, October 29, 2014

voting attempts

Amendment XXIV to the United States Constitution has been law of the land since January 23, 1964. It is a simple one. Its purpose is to guarantee people the right to vote in federal elections, and to be protected in that right from government interference. All of the former confederate states had them from 1902 to 1920. In 1964, five of those states still had them. Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections (1966) extended this to state elections through the Equal Protection Clause of Amendment XIV. The following states have never ratified the amendment: Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wyoming.
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The poll tax was one of several voter suppression tactics. Others were whites only primaries, grandfather clause, literacy tests, violence and threats of violence. These became necessary to counteract Amendment XV February 3, 1870.

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

These voting suppression measures were primarily used against the Negro, but some were adaptable to be used against other people who also were not proper people to be voting, such as other non-Negro poor, or foreign born, or of a race not considered 'white'. The southern white man resented the Yankee party, and resented equalisation of law benefiting the black man. These matters would allow conservative Democrats to rule the southern states with a disenfranchised underclass.

Now, when liberal Democrats finally passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 a newly cemented national party shift based on race occurred. Southern and conservative white Democrats were to become rare, as were black Republicans.

All these current supposed voter fraud procedures, and voter registration restrictions are new methods to disenfranchise people. The disenfranchising party is the Republican party. Although, it is directed at black voters, it also is directed at other groups that tend to vote Democratically, especially the economically disadvantaged. Beyond the use of legal and bureaucratic fiats, there is also a public campaign to shame and discourage such people. Some miscreant came up with the figure of “47%”, whom do not make enough to pay FEDERAL INCOME TAX. This is stressed to suggest pay no taxes. And demands are made that they should pay some federal income tax. Since they do not, their voting privilege is suspect. Of course, the “47%” do not all vote Democratically, but that screen would proportionally decrease the Democratic electorate.

Beyond that, the Republican party outright steals elections (2000, 2004 presidential) and go to extreme delay measures to prevent complete vote counts (US Senate Minnesota 2008). Recently Chris Christie* has publicly admitted that his party needs to win governorships to control the 2016 presidential election. Most states the chief election officer is the Secretary of State. When a Republican holds this office as is seen in Florida, Ohio, Kansas and elsewhere this is the most politically corrupt individual. They would all prove Josef Stalin correct, You know, comrades, that I think in regard to this: I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this — who will count the votes, and how.
* “Would you rather have Rick Scott in Florida overseeing the voting mechanism, or Charlie Crist? Would you rather have Scott Walker in Wisconsin overseeing the voting mechanism, or would you rather have Mary Burke? Who would you rather have in Ohio, John Kasich or Ed FitzGerald?” --  October 21, 2014.

postscriptum 11.48 a.m. October 30: or even easier, as in Georgia, do not process voter registration forms at all, and then get a Republican judge to rule there is no problem.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Is Francis politically acceptable in the US?

This is the the week before elections in the United States. Campaigns have propagandised their candidates in whatever ways they can, but they often play to, and re-inforce attitudes and beliefs that already exist in the populace. Our Pope, Francis, speaks words of Christian simplicity and elegance. These words are not welcome to certain people. I contend, one particular American political party, and many of its adherents, find these words troublesome, and contentious, if not revolting.

October 23: “all Christians and people of goodwill … to fight not only for the abolition of the death penalty be it legal or illegal, in all of its forms.”

“A life sentence is a death sentence which is concealed.”  Francis went on to denounce torture wherever it is used, something that was official American policy after the 2000 election, and before the 2008 election.  Not only in detention centers, and camps, “but also in prisons, in rehabilitation centers for minors, in psychiatric hospitals, in police stations and in other institutions for detention or punishment.”

Now, compare this also to the judges (and others) that are running commercials bragging on their toughness, and execution of “the letter of the law”.

October 27: “When we read in Genesis the account of Creation, we risk imagining God as a magician, with a wand able to make everything. But it is not so. He created beings and allowed them to develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one, so that they were able to develop and to arrive and their fullness of being. He gave autonomy to the beings of the universe at the same time at which he assured them of his continuous presence, giving being to every reality. And so creation continued for centuries and centuries, millennia and millennia, until it became which we know today, precisely because God is not a demiurge or a magician, but the creator who gives being to all things.”

“The Big Bang, which nowadays is posited as the origin of the world, does not contradict the divine act of creating, but rather requires it. The evolution of nature does not contrast with the notion of creation, as evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve.”

This pope, as did others, does not have a problem with science and its discoveries. How many Americans do? and how many run for school boards?

October 28:  “If I talk about this, some will think that the pope is communist. They don't understand that love for the poor is at the center of the Gospel. Demanding this isn't unusual, it's the social doctrine of the church.” That certainly would roil the worshipers of mammon. The United States worships mammon, and hates the poor.

Now, we have many Catholics (with collar and without) resisting the leadership of Francis. Some of the bourgeois commentariat are openly encouraging dissent, while others take his words as an exercise of verbal contortion and gymnastics.

Now, years ago, Albert Camus gave a speech to the Dominicans of the University of Paris. He acknowledged that the Catholic Church was against fascism during the Second World War, but he scolded and challenged the intensity and clarity of the opposition.
“What the world expects of Christians is that Christians should speak out, loud and clear, and that they should voice their condemnation in such a way that never a doubt, never the slightest doubt, could rise in the heart of the simplest man. That they should get away from the abstraction and confront the blood-stained face history has taken on today.” — Albert Camus *1913, 1960†
Francis would satisfy Albert. Francis preaches the Gospel.

a week from election

                                  Joel Pett, Lexington Herald-Leader. October 28, 2014.

I have gotten phone calls from pollsters, and often became upset with the drift of the questions. Often the questions were leading, pushing fictions. Sometimes the questions were not neutral, but were the so called 'issues' projected from a Republican perspective. This cartoon is honest and transparent.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

rainy day dog

This friendly creature saw me with a camera, and saw my attention was elsewhere, posed saw i had taken shot and gave me a friendly jump up. Lakewood had a costume dog (Spooky Pooch) parade, and rain fell. Last year the rain was far greater. The animals were easier to see in the park (a different one from last year) beforehand, and they were active. Few came to pose, they were more interested in sniffing other dogs.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pity the abused Republican

Vinny Minchillo makes money advertising. He made money on the successful Romney campaign. But he is thin skinned when people disapprove of Republicans. He has recently created an advertising campaign, “Republicans Are People Too”. He has a minute and an half commercial with pictures of people, who supposedly do things, and are people, whom, the world does not see as typical Republicans. Well of course, none of the people are really witnesses; they are all images of stock photos. Rarely are any people really what they are portrayed as in Republican commercials (truth in advertising is not their thing). The funniest one, has an ersatz Republican claiming to read the New York Times, the model is holding the Wall Street Journal.

Little Vinny had his feelings hurt when he read unkind comments about Republicans. “It’s become socially acceptable to talk about Republicans in the most evil terms possible and that doesn’t seem right. We wanted to do this to really remind people that Republicans are friends, neighbors and do things that maybe you wouldn’t expect them to do.” So, this is his version of a Shylock pity speech.

“I am a Republican. Hath not a Republican eyes? Hath not a Republican hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”

Vinny is working on the assumption, that, people do not see Republicans as regular people. Again, bringing in the Bard, “The lady protests too much, methinks.”

Our Little Dumpling, had a twitter campaign to go with this,  #IAmARepublican. Baby Dumpling doesn't seem to understand that by opening up access to the public at large, and not his own inventions, different results come to pass:

  • I am stupid, evil, and utterly devoid of humanity! 
  • I can't win an election unless I cheat
  • My last president went to war for no reason
  • Corporate welfare: Good. Human welfare: Bad.
  • so I think it should be much easier to buy a vote, and much more difficult to cast one
  • because science is just a money-making scam, but oil companies have no financial incentive to lie about climate change.
  • because minorities & liberals are only poor because of their own choices. White conservatives are poor because of immigrants
  • because I believe in personal responsibility. Which is why I blame Obama, liberals, blacks, and feminists for everything.
  • because I don't know that extreme patriotism, racism, corporatism & unwavering obedience to authority is basically fascism.
  • because no matter how much evidence disproves something Ill keep saying it.
  • because I'm not a doctor or a scientist, but I still think my opinion is better than your facts. 
  • because I believe in a Christian nation. Just,y'no,not the part about helping the poor & loving one another without judgment
  • because the currently low gas prices have nothing to do with Obama. He only controls gas prices when they go up. Duh.
  • b/c I'm too lazy to start thinking about why we blame people with three jobs for being so lazy that they're poor.
  • because I want to put the "white" back in White House. And if you think that makes me a racist, then you're the REAL racist.
  • because when white people form militias, it's patriotic, but black people who buy air rifles need to be killed immediately
  • Why, yes, my tattoos include swastikas

“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself.”
― Harry S. Truman

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ancient of Days

 Holy Trinity Orthodox Parma Ohio

This is an icon that surprises some people, and bothers others. 'IC XC' is a Greek abbreviation for Jesus Christ. 'C' is 'Σ', sigma. Jesus is portrayed as an old man. Three lines from Daniel vii, and a passage from Apocalypse i identifies the Ancient of Days with God, the Son of Man, and Judgment.  The description in Apocalypse is that of Daniel, and further in Apocalypse He is identified as 'the First and the Last'. As God is the Trinity, any title of one Person is true of all Three. Especially, the Russians identify the Ancient of Days with Jesus.

Now, this church is heavily muralled with iconography. A corridor that leads to the social hall is painted with the Book of Revelation, and the Ancient of Days is shown speaking to the Apostle John.

Here is some of the theology [click]. Also, Thomas Aquinas identifies the Ancient of Days with the Father; the Russian Church with the Son. 

The Ancient of Days is He Who is beyond time, Who existed before time, the Trinity (God).

Now, to the non-Orthodox the Ancient of Days is a William Blake watercolor etching that is quite different. Blake painted Urizen (the Demiurge, the Craftsman) creating with a geometer's compass. That is not an icon. It is not Christian art. This is Blake's mythology borrowing from Platonism, Pythagorean thought, and possibly Freemasonry. At one time, this was a common college poster decorating dormitories; and sometimes seen in math books.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Rust Belt Catholicism

Cleveland Mass Mob I

Well, we made the front page of Cleveland's Plain Dealer in March the day before Cleveland Mass Mob I — Saint Casimir, and the day after. For a time, that had been the best attended Mass Mob in the land. We made the Italian press on that too. Yesterday, we made the front page of the New York Times. The story was about the national Mass Mob movement, and the story was reported from Cleveland, Ohio. The story mentioned the Cleveland Browns, and the bars of Tremont. Then the focus was on Holy Ghost Greek [Byzantine] Catholic Church. The reporter, Michael Paulson, used the term 'Rust Belt Catholicism'. Yes, that captures the situation. Here we are in the battered industrial engine that helped create America; and here we still have great beauty, and the churches and parishes our immigrant forebears created are still here giving witness. The national press has now given notice to the country about this and us

 Cleveland Mass Mob VIII

Saturday, October 11, 2014

'C' for Community

This 'C' is for Cleveland Central Catholic. Saint Stanislaus' gym and social center.

Sunday last, the parish after the 11.30 Mass [which was Cleveland Mass Mob IX] continued with their parish festival. This was the end of the parish festival season around here. At this moment the four children are still, most of the time when they were at center court they were running a circle (a more interesting picture, but not with the camera used). On the bleachers sound equipment for a polka band is being set up. On the right a few folkloric dancers chat.

This just in — "Rust Belt Catholicism" is mentioned in the New York Times, and there are two photographs from Cleveland Mass Mob VIII—Holy Ghost. [click]

At Forlorn Urban Churches, Mass Gets Crowded in a Flash

OCT. 11, 2014 CLEVELAND — The glory days of Holy Ghost Church... [click]

Friday, October 10, 2014

Thursday, October 2, 2014

2014 miscellany #6

 water tower
 Claes Oldenburg, and Coosje van Bruggen's sculpture un-FREE  [click]
 cosmetic work on Saint Barbara

This is post #999 of this journal, not including temporary posts [which all were deleted, some of which were answers to a lone anonymous reader], but inclusive of guest posts. Again, i am thinking of a final post. If one were to ask for 'feedback', friendly evaluation, and examination...