Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 miscellany #7

In December we have had no real snow. Your cars are pleased. But earlier in the year, last winter we had more than enough. Supra, 2 February Cleveland east side, Route 2.
Sometimes, the picture you came for was not the interesting one. They were moving the replacement Columbus Road Bridge on the river, by barge. It was fun to watch, but no great pictures. Standing on another bridge to view the river Cuyahoga, i snapped this color picture that can pass as black and white. There are a lot of photographers that love black and white.
Dia de Muertos Ohio takes place around Cleveland Public Theatre at the old Saint Mary Romanian campus. In the old parish hall, Mexican Folkloric dancers performed. The room is too small for the crowd, and the dancers need some room. Before the Aztecs dance, they bring out smoke. It is good performance, my camera did not take good pictures with the non-dissipating smoke. And again rude photographers were to be found where people are tight around a performance, well it does not have to be tight. It is odd that these individuals are intent on the subject, yet are oblivious to other people in their proximity, even those they have body contact with.

I put most of this year miscellanies up early, these were the last few fotos. Some other good ones were held back because of similar subjects already posted. Some other ones do not stand alone, and either i did not want to write a description, or there is not much of one. How many pictures of house sparrows are needed?  Others were held back on account of my self censoring of snark. I wanted to post one of these mine sweeper people, and give a psychological portrait; let them go home with bottle caps and military garb.

I thought, i had some really good fotos this year. There are events worth going to for their fun and visual interest. Many are scheduled regularly. I have posted some events previously, and do not really need to make a new post for them. Still some local events i have missed (Wellington Scots' Games, Dragon Boat races, 19th century base ball), and some i can not find the interest. Some events, i can not produce or get fotos i like, it is rather disappointing to go to something and then nothing worthwhile.

I am of the current opinion that taking pictures outside in the cold is not fun. Got nothing in the near calendar. Snowy owls are in town.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wagon Wheel

Fifty-six degrees on Christmas Eve singing "Wagon Wheel" on the corner of Ridge and Pearl, Parma Ohio.

“Thanks, Obama!”

some minutes ago on the corner of State and Snow, Parma O.

Selective memory, or blatant dishonesty? Some years ago, there was an oil crisis, some embargo on the US; gasoline was in shortage, and lines were long at the gasolineras. Now, i remember many Republicans trashing Jimmy Carter years after his presidency. I pointed out, that the same thing occurred earlier under Richard Nixon. These people were older than me, somehow they did not remember.

Some while back, i was in Medina Ohio, and i noticed the Republican bumperstickers on cars. One (i may be off a penny) was trashing Barack Obama on gasoline, it had the price of gas at $1.58 at his inauguration. Less than a year previous, it had been over $4.00, and then the bushjr great recession, and bankster national theft hit the nation, and the price of gas matched the downward flow of the economy. All of this is not remembered by Republicans. Yet, everything is Obama's fault. Yesterday, a stock index was above 18,000 for the first time, and gas is readily available at less than 2 dollars. Thanks, Obama!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Verschärfte Vernehmung

I remember reading a book by Condorcet, translated from the French. It was elegant and easy reading prose. Perhaps it was just an excellent translator, or even in translation there is a flow of French clarity. Now, German sounds klunky, and German word length appears longer, but each language makes sense in its own sphere. Now, much of the world has adopted the words 'television' and 'refrigerator'. Not too long ago these were new inventions. They were not items that existed in cultures for centuries. The Germans decided to use German words instead of adopting the new coinages. 'Fernseher' is a direct translation for 'television'. 'Kühlschrank' is a cold (or cooling) cupboard, not a direct translation, but an adequate local description. It is true, that, more languages and people recognise 'television' and 'refrigerator', than 'Fernseher' und 'Kühlschrank'; but they are accurate, straight forward, honest words.

'Verschärfte Vernehmung' is an orwellian term from the Third Reich. The first word's base is 'scharf' which is the exact same word as 'sharp', the prefix acts as an intensifier. 'Vernehmung' is an interrogation or verbal examination. After the war, those who conducted such things were prosecuted, and imprisoned. They were torturers, and the law did not permit this.

Now, Sunday, the New York Times [click] has called for prosecution of torturers who conducted Verschärfte Vernehmung, or as it is called in English, 'enhanced interrogation'. The list would include "Vice President Dick Cheney; Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington; the former C.I.A. director George Tenet; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the Office of Legal Counsel lawyers".

Until the aftermath of the 2006 elections, it was not possible to get a microphone to criticise the fascism of the régime. I wrote several times in the previous journal [click] touching on torture. After 2006 the power of the busheviks was dwindling. bushjr, himself, was known to be unhappy with his senior ruling partner. In the 2008 elections, the Republican Party was in a public panic about possible war crimes prosecution. Many Democrats within America (but not professional government officeholders) wanted investigation and prosecution. The new president, and his attorney general never acted, nor spoke on this. The Republicans were wanting to stall, or derail the confirmation of Holder, on the fear of such action. There has been this bipartisan pass on the criminality of Republican Party government criminality concerning international law.

The New York Times (even when it is less than perfect) is the standard of the press. We see repeatedly, when the 'conservative' or the 'reich wing' spout an issue, it is often echoed and continued through out the press, even when it is nonsense or mendacious. We wait to see if the press will call and cry for justice.
addendum: Why is torture done? Because it is effective? No, it is done because it is cruel.
Shakespeare told us it was ineffective:
PORTIA: Ay, but I fear you speak upon the rack,
Where men enforced do speak anything. — The Merchant of Venice III. ii. 33-4.
John McCain is a typical Republican, they goosestep the entire programme. But when some of these Republicans actually encounter something real, they can make an exception on that one thing they know. McCain was tortured. On this subject, he is knowledgeable. He is publicly always against it.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

the Rams 5

Hej, Peyton Manning is whoring himself all over teevee. No one is saying, "Hej don't he have enough football money?". In America, commercial speech is free speech. Campaign money, political contributions are free speech, so says the Supreme Court. The Bill of Rights allows freedom of speech free from government censure.

The National Football League is an extremely profitable, and protected monopoly. It shakes down cities to use their resources. They spent money on lawyers, and lying doctors to cover up and deny the damage the game does to players. Many teams have had unpaid cheerleaders for entertainment, and entertainment for big spenders. They have the government consider themselves as a "non-profit" enterprise. The public pays taxes, the NFL and its league of owners not so much...

The business manager of the St. Louis police, Jeff Roorda, became disturbed after a football game on 30 November began with the speech shown in the photograph above:

 "The St. Louis Police Officers Association is profoundly disappointed with the members of the St. Louis Rams football team who chose to ignore the mountains of evidence released from the St. Louis County Grand Jury this week and engage in a display that police officers around the nation found tasteless, offensive and inflammatory.   Five members of the Rams entered the field today exhibiting the "hands-up-don't-shoot" pose that has been adopted by protestors who accused Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson of murdering Michael Brown. The gesture has become synonymous with assertions that Michael Brown was innocent of any wrongdoing and attempting to surrender peacefully when Wilson, according to some now-discredited witnesses, gunned him down in cold blood. ...  The SLPOA is calling for the players involved to be disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a very public apology.... Roorda warned, "I know that there are those that will say that these players are simply exercising their First Amendment rights. Well I've got news for people who think that way, cops have first amendment rights too, and we plan to exercise ours. I'd remind the NFL and their players that it is not the violent thugs burning down buildings that buy their advertiser's products. It's cops and the good people of St. Louis and other NFL towns that do. Somebody needs to throw a flag on this play. If it's not the NFL and the Rams, then it'll be cops and their supporters."

Roorda is a whiny, hypocritical, bullying jerk. It goes with the territory. Darren Wilson is allowed to kill with impunity, i suppose, Roorda can demand the public punishment of men raising their hands.
postscriptum 14 December 2014: To-day's Cleveland Browns game, a similar incident. A wide receiver had a shirt with the words,  “Justice for Tamir Rice - John Crawford”. Immediate reaction from the outgoing Police Union President, Jeff Follmer, “It's pretty pathetic when athletes think they know the law. They should stick to what they know best on the field. The Cleveland Police protect and serve the Browns stadium and the Browns organization owes us an apology.” A few days ago the U.S. Attorney General made public an investigation on the Cleveland police. Follmer's comment was, “It's disappointing when people take a look back and criticize what we did.

Criticism is prohibited by the police of the police.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thomas Merton

There is a Trappist Abbey in Kentucky. In 1848 forty-three monks arrived in central Kentucky from the Abbey of Melleray, France. They arrived on 21 December 1848. They state themselves: the next day they prayed seven times, and every day they pray seven times, unto the end. Perhaps, the best known resident was the spiritual writer, Thomas Merton (†December 10th 1968), Father Louie. The success of his auto-biography, The Seven Storey Mountain (1948), was a Godsend to the monastery, in both financial support, and increase in numbers to more than 300. Merton was also a poet, and an artist. He wrote on inter-faith dialogue, social and racial justice, and peace issues. Not every one was happy with this, including the government. To-day, there are few monks there who wish to discuss Merton, “he’s just another monk”.
“Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.”

“We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God.”

“We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. As a result, men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have - for their usefulness.”

“We stumble and fall constantly even when we are most enlightened. But when we are in true spiritual darkness, we do not even know that we have fallen.”

“A life is either all spiritual or not spiritual at all. No man can serve two masters. Your life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire.”

“It is true that the materialistic society, the so-called culture that has evolved under the tender mercies of capitalism, has produced what seems to be the ultimate limit of this worldliness. And nowhere, except perhaps in the analogous society of pagan Rome, has there ever been such a flowering of cheap and petty and disgusting lusts and vanities as in the world of capitalism, where there is no evil that is not fostered and encouraged for the sake of making money. We live in a society whose whole policy is to excite every nerve in the human body and keep it at the highest pitch of artificial tension, to strain every human desire to the limit and to create as many new desires and synthetic passions as possible, in order to cater to them with the products of our factories and printing presses and movie studios and all the rest.”
Two hours before he died, he gave a speech in Thailand, here is an excerpt:
“The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.”
He touched a light coming out of a shower. He was under government surveillance. His body was flown back on a military plane from Viet Nam. When the brothers back in Kentucky were asked whether they thought it was not an accident, they said, No. Merton was accident prone.

 He is buried next to the abbey church. Many people have come to visit his grave.

Monday, December 8, 2014

narthex reflection

reflection of stained glass on narthex floor of Immaculate Conception Cleveland

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Saint Ambrose was elected by the 'mob'

To-day is St. Ambrose, (Aurelius Ambrosius) *339, 397†, one of the four Latin Doctors of the early church. Ambrose lived in a time when Arians (anti-Nicene) and Catholics (Nicene) were both active and adversarial in the Church. In those days, Milan was more important than Rome. Auxentius, an Arian, was bishop of Milan and died in 374. An assembly of Christians were to elect a new bishop. Ambrose was the governor of the region, and came to prevent a disturbance. Ambrose was spontaneously elected bishop by the assembly. At that time, Ambrose was not baptised. He went into hiding, but he was discovered. In a week, he was baptised, ordained, and installed as Bishop of Milan.

He is the only early Christian that we have an existing likeness of, see the mosaic in the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio Milan, the church that was first built when Ambrose was bishop as Basilica Martyrum (379-386), it has been expanded several times. In 1943 it suffered aerial bombing.

The saying, ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’ is popularised from his words, “When in Rome, live as the Romans do; when elsewhere, live as they live elsewhere”, and “When I am at Rome, I fast on a Saturday; when I am at Milan, I do not. Follow the custom of the church where you are”.

He said, and wrote, other stuff too:

“Wealth, which leads men the wrong way so often, [should be] seen less for its own qualities than for the human misery it stands for. The large rooms of which you are so proud are in fact your shame. They are big enough to hold crowds -- and also big enough to shut out the voice of the poor! The poor man cries before your house, and you pay no attention. There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there, confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

“There is nothing evil save that which perverts the mind and shackles the conscience.”

“It is not from your own goods that you give to the beggar; it is a portion of his own that you are restoring to him. The Earth belongs to all. So you are paying back a debt and think you are making a gift to which you are not bound.”

“God, who preferred the correction rather than the death of a sinner, did not desire that a homicide be punished by the exaction of another act of homicide.”

“Nothing graces the Christian soul so much as mercy; mercy as shown chiefly towards the poor, that thou mayest treat them as sharers in common with thee in the produce of nature, which brings forth the fruits of the earth for use to all.”

“Jesus came as a gentle, humble man. He excludes no one, nor does he send anyone away.”

“If you have two shirts in your closet, one belongs to you and the other to the man with no shirt.”

Saturday, November 29, 2014

contra Thanksgiving

If you like Thanksgiving, maybe you should bail here, bye-bye. Besides uncomfortable family interactions, and the fairy tale propaganda, Thanksgiving is a fraud, and a false holiday. It is a combination of forgotten calvinism, and ever present capitalism masquerading as a patriotic fairy tale. It is a part of the national civic religion where the figurative idealised nation is substituted for God, and God formerly remembered in the saying of grace before the meal, and now existing as an abstract guardian of approval.

Yet, it has a presence. People travel, sometimes long distances to gather for a group meal. This is rather new, families are quickly divided by geographical relocation, but they have means to travel for a day or longer and then return to their regular home. Of course a family reunion can take place anytime, but this has a co-ordinated national ethos.  We are told it is the busiest aeroport Wednesday and Sunday, with a light Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. For closer folk, there is a higher incidence of difficult relatives to endure.
I saw a state miserability index. Ohio charted easily number one overall using statistics from Centers for Disease Control, facebook, and elections.  Ohio #9 was in salmonella per capita from poultry, #12 binge drinking, #3 political disparity, #1 dietary restrictions, #14 enthusiasm for shopping, the thirteen notches above were all Republican (southern and cultural border southern) states. It is not the roasted golden bird, but the commercial golden calf that is celebrated. Yeah, vegans and Republicans will ruin your meal: imitation foods, plus questionable 'traditional' foods to disturb your palate, and insane political fantasies to thoroughly ruin digestion.

Its status as substitute religion allows those estranged from religion to participate in a 'religious' act. It allows those from not the standard religion of the US, to share in this civic religion. There are not many churches, now, that have a service on this day. This is not a Catholic holiday at all, but Catholics can have a Mass for many commemorations, and for some years they have acknowledged this civic day. For churches that have daily Mass, they just add the title for the civic holiday. And since 'thanksgiving' in Greek is 'Eucharist', it is easy to do. The 7 a.m. Mass will be shifted to 9.30 a.m., and it is co-opted.

But we have, as in all 'holidays', people not in the group. Sometimes they are drawn into this gathering of others, so they are not alone this day. So this is a formed community, and that is good if that is fulfilled, of course sometimes these folk have a choice of places to go; but sometimes not. The homeless rely on public charity for community.

The fraud is the Pilgrim-Indian legend of Plymouth. The English landed in December 1620 and were ill prepared to survive. With help of the Wampanoag, the English had a successful first harvest in 1621, which they celebrated. In 1637 Plymouth joined other English colonies in the Pequot War. The first 'Day of Thanksgiving' celebrated the Mystic River Massacre, and was called by John Winthrop governor of Massachusetts Bay. Thanksgiving was to be a sporadic, but repeated, rejoycing in Mars, a traditional American god. Taking glee in the destruction of those warred against.

Now, President Lincoln instituted the day in 1863, and as with the Emancipation Proclamation was ignored in the South, and took place only after the Yankees had gone:

“The observance of Thanksgiving Day--as a function--has become general of late years. The Thankfulness is not so general. This is natural. Two-thirds of the nation have always had hard luck and a hard time during the year, and this has a calming effect upon their enthusiasm.”
— Mark Twain. Following the Equator. 1897.

Gilbert Chesterton speaks of the miserableness of the calvinists, and of the accident of people’s imaginations that a holiday refers to them. Fanciful, fictionalised and sanitised retelling of history, into a shared folklore has benefited, their legacy. The calvinist attempt, in this celebration, was to replace Christmas and its inherent catholicism. Chesterton, in his essay, 'William Penn and the Puritans' of January 24, 1931, in the Illustrated London News begins:

“The Americans have established a Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the fact that the Pilgrim Fathers reached America. The English might very well establish another Thanksgiving Day, to celebrate the happy fact that the Pilgrim Fathers left England.”

Before the 1530s the English were an observant Catholic people. They followed a Catholic calendar, which meant many holidays with church attendance (Mass, celebration of the Eucharist, Thanksgiving), feasting, and days off of work. Henry VIII greatly reduced this calendar, this allowed for more work. Protestant extremists, Calvinists and similar, took this too extremes. Calvinism in its Presbyterian form took Scotland. The various strains battled eventually to war and revolution in England. Before and after, Henry's Church of England would have a traditional looking element, and an extremist wing insisting upon puritanising of all Catholic elements, or separating entirely. Calvinists looked at wealth as a confirmation of God's affirmation. Mammon is substituted. We see the remnant of this in to-day's secular society, the US is the country with the least holidays, and Scotland is second most. Thanksgiving is part of American culture, the blending of calvinism and capitalism; both frowned on holidays, those days when people feasted and didn't work.

A 'traditional' Thanksgiving began to form in the northeastern states in the years after Lincoln, and it came with college, and then high school football. It is to be remembered, Christmas was considered a working day in the US then. Catholic immigration to the US was continuing. For a time, some Protestants encouraged religiosity and celebration of Turkey Day as a contrast to the 'pagan' Catholicism of Christmas.

The Great Depression shook America, and a newer greater war was active in Europe. Franklin Roosevelt enumerated Four Freedoms in a 1941 speech. Norman Rockwell painted an image for each freedom. The 1943 painting, Freedom From Want, became iconic. Grandparents with an huge turkey. This painting entered its own existence. The painting has suggested to many a particular, traditional, waspish bounty (the glasses held no wine, for that matter no coffee).

Turkey Day is the 4ᵗʰ Thursday of November. Cold Turkey Day is the 3ʳᵈ Thursday of November. At least part of Turkey Day is consumption of food, festive food, and perhaps over abundance. The term 'cold turkey' applies to the immediate, and complete cessation of some indulgence or activity. Health organisations have sponsored, and promoted stop smoking campaigns with Cold Turkey Day. Buy Nothing Day, which has been the day after Thanksgiving since 1997 [it began September 1992 in Méjico], is an antidote to the consumerism, it is not often showcased in the media.

Thanksgiving parades were organised by department stores: Gimbles Philadelphia 1920, Macy's New York City 1924, Hudson's Detroit 1924. The day after Turkey Day (Thanksgiving) has been called by the retail, and advertising industry 'Black Friday' (and a slap to Catholics and many other Christians, 'Black Friday' is another name of the day Jesus was crucified), meaning profitable Friday. In recent years, certain retailers have opened up their stores earlier than normal on that day. Some were opening up at midnight, immediately when the day begins. Now they are open on Thanksgiving Thursday, the day of giving thanks for bounty has become another day of consumption of mercantile excess. Other dollar chases have added small store Saturday, and cyber shopping Monday to the celebration of the golden calves of Mammon. Television (and other) 'news' have story, after story, after story highlighting, intensely covering, encouraging shopping and spending. Millions of hours of free advertising posing as journalism: reporters acting as advertising shills, drummers, and whores, cheerleading unnecessary, and often conspicuous, consumption all to promote the commercialisation of american society. Some retail workers have protested this loss of the holiday. Usual US citizen responses are unsympathetic: “they are lucky to have a job”, and “they knew this when they took the job”. First having a job is not lucky. Slaves have jobs. Work is supposed to be paid and conditions are to be negotiated. Secondly, when conditions are changed unilaterally, the second statement is false.

You may have seen television in the last few days. What about Thanksgiving has the television covered? People waiting outside a store to rush the door to buy a television? For years here in Cleveland, the parish of Saint Augustine has fed the poor, the handicapped, and the homeless each day of the year. They have had satellite centers, and travelling volunteers for this fourth Thursday in November. Year after year, the local television news channels film a story about Saint Augustine. The new teevee reporter in town gets to find out. But this year, that story has been pushed back. Capitalism has won, all hail Mammon.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

mottled concoction of crazy

The Sysack sign of unbottled potion of blended crazy is on display. The envelope (lower left) contains Lyndon Larouche craziness. This is on the west side of Cleveland (at least two television stations identified the adjacent street, a couple of days ago, as being in Parma; a tree toppled on Spokane).
“Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog, Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting, Lizard's leg and owlet's wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble” — the Second Witch in Macbeth  IV, i, 14-15.

Impeachment, nuclear war, Moslem bandits, undocumented Meso-American immigration, British imperialism. It looks less loony in lower case.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

roses in the snow

 to-day St. Mary Cleveland

For those around here, the local television has had wall to wall SNOWMAGEDDON. We lost the huskies some time ago, what can one do? Wednesday night we heard Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Upper Michigan were lost. We had two days of ribands miles across dump snow created from the lake. Yet, life goes on.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

vote and upset republicans

And by the way, John Kasich is a fraud. He is an arrogant prick, who can now pretend on camera to be human. When he was in the House with Gingrich, he could not.

The Republican shit finders were thorough. They found every ticket and every unpaid bill a Democrat had, and then ran ominous commercials without end. Their great find was Fitzgerald's lack of a driver's license. So, the Democratic candidate was wounded, and thereby a drag on the entire ticket.

The double standard in elections is obvious to the interested neutrals. A Democrat has to win, practically, any and every point brought up as criterion. The Republicans can choose point(s) that are to be contested, and the press can make them important.

The ominous theme throughout the land has been the successful Republican processes to restrict the electorate. This is the thing for each state: Secretary of State is not a position to be trusted with Republicans, because they cheat. Attorney General is another, for powerful money interests will not be investigated often for their crimes.
Postscriptum 8 a.m. November 6: The Fascists rolled in and won damn near everything. Only the carpetbagger nude model lost in New Hampshire. Yes, it is good he lost. He is a lying piece of excrement, but the psychotics and the vicious feasted. Governors that were embarrassing and destroying their states won, only Pennsylvania ousted their disaster. The press does not suggest how wretched the results are. The next two years the barrels of crazy will leak out of the bunghole.

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 25, 2014

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...

Monday, September 29, 2014

Boxer's Lament

On Cleveland's west side, last Sunday, a memorial triple statue group was publicly inaugurated for John Patrick Kilbane *1889, 1957†. Only Joe Louis Barrow held a boxing class title longer. Now, as approaching a century after Kilbane became famous there began commemorations.

Kilbane was a  poor boy from St. Malachi's. His mother died when he was three; and after his father became blind, the boy left grade school for work. Hey, this was America in the gilded age. Child labor, and unemployable incomeless parents made the American dream.

I am just a poor boy...
Asking only workman’s wages
I come looking for a job
But I get no offers...
In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of every glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out...

But the fighter still remains...

In 1968, Paul Simon was reading the Bible and feeling beat up and he wrote a masterpiece, he and another guitarist layed out beautiful instrumentation for it in the studio. The Boxer, is a lament, a song of grief. Laments are beyond ancient, the soul cries for relief.

Kilbane wrote an article while he was still champion. He wrote, that at first he did not understand the crowd, but as time passed he realised. “The admiration goes for the struggler.”

Saturday, September 27, 2014

more chalk drawings

 trompe-l'œil is great, deceiving, vivid ultra-realism
 there are always lions
this takes place in late summer, and there are always funereal autumn scenes

Some annual events are so good, that, to miss them is a shame. Cleveland Art Museum has had for several years a chalk drawing weekend on the sidewalk. This year, it changed the date a week, because a wedding had been scheduled (i am told), and during the change of management, schedules were not synchronised. Well, this year the Cultural Gardens Fest was expanded, and placed concurrently. The road and other construction about University Circle make traffic and traveling on roads not so easy. I decided to come the Monday morning after to see the work. This allowed me to come at a time when all the art was done, only bicycle tracks damaged the sketches.

Friday, September 26, 2014

2014 miscellany #5

 chalk drawing Cleveland Art Museum
 Dr. Awesome

 still some can not follow logical directives
“I’m good right here”

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

...for yourselves also were strangers...

For those who use the common lectionary, the thirtieth week in common time this year will encounter a reading from the twenty second chapter of Exodus, "Thou shalt not molest a stranger, nor afflict him: for yourselves also were strangers in the land of Egypt.  You shall not hurt a widow or an orphan. If you hurt them they will cry out to me, and I will hear their cry: And my rage shall be enkindled, and I will strike you with the sword, and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless." [DRC translation]

Across from the Federal Building in Cleveland there is a park next to the City Hall. There ironically contained is a sculpture of a 'Free Stamp' (currently it is going through restoration, the letters 'FREE' are missing). This has often supplanted Public Square as a place of protest and demonstration. The thirty-two storey Federal Building has been going through a few years of remodeling, some for 'security', it contains offices for immigration, and formerly the FBI.

Here again, people came to try to save a family from forced separation. The father, Pedro Hernandez Ramirez, is listed for deportation. Of course, this would cause hardship. The government is a bureaucracy that places value in prosecution above mercy, even where mercy is permitted.