Wednesday, July 29, 2015

band practice

 Later in the day, the temperature reached 93°F.
 Saint Ignatius High Cleveland

Thursday, July 23, 2015

playing the trump card

I have always found the Donald a boorish buffoon, only now have i found him entertaining. It is great that he is the primadonna clown, now, on the demonic clown bus which the candidates of the Republican Party ride. He reminds me of a grumpy blonde howler monkey.

The party bosses are not happy with him. The difference in positions by all their candidates is trivial and minute. The Donald is merely louder, and less evasive. Reality and logical argument are illegal aliens to the Republican Party, so it is not the substance, but the Donald style that is the difference. The ignorant base Republican likes the Donald's brashness; they interpret it as frankness.

Where Trump is different is that he insults other Republicans, breaking Reagan's commandment, a commandment that Republicans actually believe in. Like other Republicans, he doesn't admit to facts or to error. Politic and strategic gaffes he does not recognise, they become points of honor that will be defended and advanced. What he says about other Republicans is true, and if they play tit for tat, well good. Donald will not back down.

The great stuff about the Donald is he grabs the microphone and camera, and the other clowns remain in the shadows, some trying to perform a silly antic that the audience would notice. In a few days, there is to be a Republican 'debate' on 'Fox' limited to the top ten in the polls. The press recognises sixteen candidates. The last to announce, Kasich from Ohio, received reduced attention from the press because of Trump's attempt to monopolise the spotlight. Yes, the 'debate' will be in Ohio, and the governor of Ohio may be excluded.

Even more betterer, Trump is threatening the party, that if he is not treated well by them, he will run as a third party candidate. O, please, please.

Georges Clemenceau *1841, 1929† would become premier of France twice. Long before, in 1886 under the Third Republic, he said for president, "I shall vote for the stupidest".

There is a Polish comment, "Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy (not my circus, not my monkeys)". Yeah, they are idiots, but not my problem.
postscriptum: the politician Trump resembles most is Silvio Berlusconi

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Elias' chariots

The Fiery Ascension of the Holy Prophet Elijah. Holy Trinity Orthodox (O.C.A. [Russian]). Parma.
And as they went on, walking and talking together, behold a fiery chariot, and fiery horses parted them both asunder: and Elias went up by a whirlwind into heaven. — IV Kings ii. 11.
 stained glass.  St. Ilie. St. Mary Romanian Orthodox. Cleveland.
20 July is St. Elias (various spellings). He is a prophet in the Old Testament, the second forerunner of Christ. He was taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot. Artistic license has some latitude in depicting this. The eastern churches have more enthusiasm for him, and the blessing of vehicles and their drivers done after his example. The 'Lazarus parish' of St. Casimir Cleveland has instituted a new parish tradition after its re-opening by Vatican decree. This is the second year they have done the blessing. One fellow was asked about his car, he also is part of St. Mary Byzantine Cleveland. He said that he is getting his car blessed to-morrow there. To-morrow is St. Elias proper, to-day is the day before, but St. Casimir's is not having Mass to-morrow. One can have a vehicle blessed more than once.
  St. Casimir Roman [Polish]. Cleveland. Vehicle blessing in honor of St. Elias.
 baby carriages are also vehicles
and for people who did not drive through

Merchant of Parma

 Cleveland Shakespeare Festival. Merchant of Venice. Tri-C West, Parma. 18 June 2015.
 Prince of Morocco, suitor to Portia
Portia, 'Tysonio', Nerissa

Antonio, Shylock

Monday, July 13, 2015

Lebanese Garden

Cleveland Cultural Gardens in Rockefeller Park are expanding. The lists of nations are several, some are on some lists, and not on others. The Lebanese is one such. They have started with a quick, simple, clever, and elegant element--a raised flower bed that imitates their national flag--Cedar of Lebanon. They have no sign, but it is not needed, they have a representation of their flag, and their flag on a plastic pipe.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

a day at the museum

Cleveland Art Museum

 chutes and ladders

Monday, July 6, 2015

parade disappointment

Garrison Keillor's imaginary Lake Wobegon parade was much better, and possible to imitate. Uncle Sam lead the parade, and there followed Miss Liberty, and Betsy Ross. Parma's was well attended with many participants, and was crummy. There are three public high schools in Parma, it would have been better if they had a concert or something. They were ok, not much else as a highlight. These schools have theatre departments. There are adults interested in theatre and 'cosplay'. We have police, fire department, military at nearly all parades; and they led Parma's. Then this one had the elected officeholders--too many politicians and their platoons with colored tee shirts with the politico's name. Really, they have that many relatives and patronage appointees? The Republican US senator had (what looked like College Republicans) work the crowds passing out stickers, and a truck load of these people in the parade.

Garrison knew that whimsy and humour are appreciated by people. Wobegon had an ocarina band from the Catholic parish, and a precision pitchfork team. And they had horses, a team pulling a circus wagon and a sixteen team double hitch of Percherons (drafthorses) pulling another wagon. Okay, that we could not do here, but as big as the parade was, and no horses at all. People like horses and dogs in parades. An attempt could have been made to invite such groups. What they had instead were businesses advertising their presence. The fun factor was low.

It is a community, we can all acknowledge civic and social organisations. Non-liturgical Protestant churches latch on to everything to evangelise. Some come from beyond the community. Some are overly enthusiastic in passing out literature. There are many religious institutions, people are free to go and not to go, but everyone does not want to be propagandised to go to one particular one that was unfamiliar to one before this immediate encounter. One group had waves working the crowd. The hard sell is an American institution.

There were a couple of unintentional episodes of humour. Many of the parade marchers threw little candies out to children like chicken feed. Safety town unit marched with a sign "Don't take candy from strangers", and the incongruity was noted by many of the watchers. The other funny thing was, i presume now but not then, the last two units jumbled together. One was a church, and the other a Halloween fright house. Yeah, i dunno. Their last character was a gravedigger with shovel, top hat, and union gravedigger shirt.

Friday, July 3, 2015

the president speaks to the nation

The President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, delivered the eulogy for State Senator Clementa Pinckney at the College of Charleston on June 26th. Pinckney was pastor at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, he was assassinated with eight other companions at a bible meeting, on June 17th 2015.

Dylann Roof a hateful, young, white man came to kill black people at the most historically significant black church in the state of South Carolina. The confederacy began in Charleston South Carolina. Roof was acting out the rhetoric and slogans in the environment about him.  As Republican after Republican has vowed since the day after Barack Obama won the popular vote for the presidency by ten million on November 4th 2008, "we will take our country back", Roof using similar words took action. But what country is Roof's? He has been photographed desecrating the flag of the United States of America, but celebrating the Confederate battle flag.

An old cry was 'the South will rise again'. What happened to 'the South'? The South lost a war over slavery, particularly over black chattel slavery. They knew they were beaten, and they loathed it. Immediately, they began a propaganda war that has been very successful. Edward A. Pollard wrote "The Lost Cause" 1866, and "The Lost Cause Regained" 1868. He was a journalist who supported slavery and white supremacy. In 1860, a new mostly liberal political party, the Republicans ran  Abraham Lincoln as a candidate. He was not on southern ballots. He received a plurality of the nation's popular vote, but a majority of the electoral vote. The Confederacy began before he was inaugurated. The rebellion was defeated, Lincoln was assassinated by people wanting a continuation. Pollard started the propaganda that the war was fought over states' rights and sovereignty, and that the brave, skilled soldiers of the South were overwhelmed by the resources and manpower of the larger, and richer North. There are no Lincoln dinners in the South.

'Reconstruction' came to the South, and lasted to 1876. It ended after a political agreement to grant the presidency to a Republican candidate. Slavery per se did not return to the South, but civil rights were taken away from blacks. When liberal Democratic presidents (Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson) began to support civil rights, blacks started leaving the Republican party, and southern whites became Republicans. When 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. Johnson won the presidential election of 1964 in a landslide, for the only other state he lost was the Republican candidate's home state. The solid Democratic South has become the solid Republican South over the years

Between the Charleston assassination and eulogy, there has been a removal of Confederate flags. Since the flags have receded, a number of black southern churches have been burnt to the ground (some by arson). This is a southern tradition, the original church building of Pastor Pinckney's congregation was burned down in 1822.

Mr. Obama is a dignified man. His judgment is not perfect, and he can not have circumstances controlled; but he has been a success as leader of the nation.  Mr. Obama and his family have suffered the most amount of unwarranted, and disrespectful abuse of any president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his family.  One of the vicious and absurd attacks have been on his 'supposed' religion. His eulogy were said in the words and spirit of the American black churches, to sing "Amazing Grace" perfectly ended an homily.

Mr. Obama gave a religious speech, and it was also a political speech. He spoke of the true loving Christianity of the dead. He spoke of the importance the church in the black community, "our beating heart, the place where our dignity as a people in inviolate".  Then, he told what he believed God has shown us at Charleston, "...Oh, but God works in mysterious ways. ...Blinded by hatred, the alleged killer would not see the grace surrounding Reverend Pinckney and that Bible study group, the light of love that shown as they opened the church doors and invited a stranger to join in their prayer circle. The alleged killer could have never anticipated the way the families of the fallen would respond when they saw him in court in the midst of unspeakable grief, with words of forgiveness. ...".  The black church has been a gift to America.

There has already begun political change from that act of violence. The Confederate flag has been seen to be the symbol it really is, "that flag was a reminder of systemic oppression…and racial subjugation. " And he went on further, and spoke on the "unique mayhem that gun violence inflicts upon this nation". That was somewhat bold words, but true. It was good that he uttered them, but they won't gain much traction. The economic interest of the arms and ammunition industry have created, through their propaganda and political activity, a rabidly loyal electorate. But here, they have not gotten the usual press coverage of their false statements of the ungainly untimeliness to comment after a tragedy they helped create.

Mr. Obama calls for God to grant grace to an undeserving nation.
* Thurmond became a Republican in 1964

Thursday, July 2, 2015

taking our country back

  • “I have to do it. You rape our women and you're taking over our country.  And you have to go.” — Dylann Roof. June 17, 2015.
  • “...It is far from being too late for America or Europe. I believe that even if we made up only 30 percent of the population we could take it back completely. But by no means should we wait any longer to take drastic action. ...” — Dylann Roof
  • “ is time to stand up, protect our freedom and take back this country.” — George Pataki, introductory campaign video. May 28, 2015.
  • “We’ve come to take our country back.” — Rand Paul.  April 7, 2015.
  • “There's a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that's directed at me [and] directed at the president. You know, people talking about taking their country back. … There's a certain racial component to this for some people.” — Eric Holder. July 13, 2014.
  • “... so we can take back this country...” — Mitt Romney. October 06, 2012.
  • “It's time to take our country back.” — Sarah Palin. Sept. 17, 2010. 
Popular vote     Barack Obama (D) 69,498,516     John McCain 59,948,323
Electoral vote                                       365                                       173 
 — November 4, 2008

Popular vote    George W. Bush  50,456,002    Al Gore 50,999,89 (D) (counting halted)
Electoral vote                                disputed                       disputed
—November 7, 2000

Roof was acting out the rhetoric and slogans in the environment about him. On June 17th 2015, on Calhoun Street in Charleston South Carolina (practically the epicenter of the Confederacy) a hateful, young, white man came to kill black people at a prayer meeting. It was an assassination of the pastor (Clementa Pinckney, who was an elected state legislator) and eight of his fellow Christians. The church, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal, was home to the oldest congregation [1791] of its denomination in the South. Its church had been burned down in 1822 [it has been common for black churches to be burned down by white supremacists, it is a heritage that continues], because a member [Denmark Vesey, hanged on July 2nd; thirty-four others were eventually hanged] was leader of a planned black uprising against slavery. South Carolina outlawed black churches in 1834, and the congregation met in secret until 1865. Roof was taking the country back.
[an essay to follow on Charleston]

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

2015 Miscellany #1

These are some of the recent fotos that did not fit into other posts. I like them, and most are happy snapshots. I have been holding back a serious post, and i expect to write it soon. It is not happy; but as these pictures are true, so is that post. These pictures, generally, will not upset people; but the next one will, and those offended are in denial of reality.