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Gender: Male
Current location: Cleveland Ohio
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 45,558

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One of the best and realistic looks at the goings on in the world of politics is a movie

called Advise and Consent.

It's a great show of how things are done and how things can become muddled and murky at the twist of the wind.

Some great folks are in it, Henry Fonda, Charles Laughton (my personal favorite), Walter Pidgeon, Lew Ayers, Burgess Meridith, Betty White, Will Geer and Peter Lawford. It was made in 1962 from a book published in the late 50's.

It brings in sex, the nomination process for Secretary of State, the give and take, the jockeying on and off the floor.

I've seen the process work out close at hand, al biet on the state and local level.

Catch it if you can. It doesn't have all the zing and bang of a modern movie, hell it's filmed in Black and White.

But I highly recommend one of the best political movies of all time, right up there with All the Presidents Men and the TV series The Boss

I forgot to mention that it has to be one of the first mainstream movie to show a homosexual club even if the players was being black mailed for an affair during the war over in Hawaii.


That's what the Republican Party is now.

The same rigid my way or the highway mind set is apparent in both.

We can never take the ranting of the minority self-righteous to bully their way to power.

This is one of those pivotal points, one of the game changers that shake up society every now and then.

I believe the people behind the Tea Party realized that there is a major demographic change in progress here in the US and so they are trying to pull the country as far to the right as they can to counter balance the pragmatism that is coming.

With each day, the Tealaban is shrinking in numbers due to death or intellectual reawakening. And the money propelling the Tealaban knows this. That is why there has been such a push to squeeze as much as they can from what is left of our democracy.

This spasm of right wing activity, this over reaching at every step of the way....

tells me one thing...

Emerging demographics are telling the people who are pulling the strings and controlling the money that it's now or never.

We can really be seeing the beginning of a political watershed here in the US as well as around the world.

People are feeling more and more empowered across the globe. And people around the world are starting to see how interconnected we all truly are.

I truly believe that is the motivating factor in this unprecedented ideological turn backward.

Is Marcy Kaptur a Threat to Women’s Reproductive Rights?

By Larry Durstin

In its recent front-page profile of the reconfigured 9th District’s Congressional candidate Marcy Kaptur, the Cleveland Plain Dealer gushed about the virtues of “Saint Marcy” so shamelessly that the story appeared to have been written by a public relations hack.

Of course it’s no secret to any political observer in Cleveland that the town’s only daily has done everything in its power to undermine her Democratic primary opponent, Dennis Kucinich, ever since he won his seat in 1996. (This is the same seat that was held for many years by Mary Rose Oakar, who ended up winning a significant libel settlement from the Plain Dealer for its printing of a series of false stories about her that led to her defeat in 1992.)

Based on the PD’s vendetta against Kucinich, it’s not surprising that Kaptur – who is a genuinely hard-working public servant – received the paper’s endorsement. However, the blatantly boosterish tone of the “profile” was downright embarrassing, treating her with a level of adulation generally reserved for the patron saint of a small Sicilian village. Sadly, the fawning nature of this puff piece also obscured the fact that Kaptur’s long history of voting against abortion rights poses a genuine threat to the protection of those critical issues surrounding reproductive rights that have once again come to the forefront of the 2012 campaign due to the high-octane war on women that is being ferociously waged by religious right-wingers all over the country.


My friend. Larry Durstin, stand up for Dennis in this piece pointing out correctly that Ms. Kaptur is not exactly a big champion of a woman's right to choose.

Now I know that Dennis was not pro choice until after he ran and won a seat in Congress back in 1996.

Still, Larry points out why Ms. Kaptur is getting a free pass from the Plain Dealer.

To be honest, I did not know that Ms. Kaptur has such a poor rating when it came to a woman's right to choose.

Nothing says damn good cooking better than radioactive particles sprinkled over a fresh plate of...

scrambled Egg Beaters….

Yum Yum, sounds real good don’t it, but more about that in a moment.

Now I know it’s been a long, especially in blog time on the blogosphere, stretch since I last posted. It is not that I haven’t had anything to say, because I am almost never at a loss for words, but rather because of continued frustration with how my health is starting to play out.

To put it bluntly, I was starting to drift, ever so slightly, to the dark side of my emotional state of mind. After living with this: the congestion, the shortness of breath, the endless series of breathing treatments and all the other stuff I do to stave off the inevitable lung transplant hanging over my head since 2004, I was just getting worn down emotionally, physically and, worse yet, intellectually.


The latest post to My Lung Transplant Blog

How about I cut my cable bill down by not being forced to carry all those relgious

stations now that these "religious" outfits, such as Pat Robertson's sham, require me to have their bigotry and hatred channeled into my home...

What if my child is exposed to these hate mongers while surfing through the channels. How am I going to explain that some people hide behind religion in order to support a political agenda that "we" don't agree with.

No parent should have to answer those awful questions such as why does that old man smile while he talks about hate and prejudice...

And what about me having to pay higher taxes to fund the government because all of these religious groups I don't agree with get tax write offs...

Never has a smilie been so appropriate

I just watched this PBS Special on line about the 1918 influenza outbreak....

As I was watching this particular American Experience, I started to think about my grand parents on both sides. My dad's parents were Polish, born here and lived in Cleveland. My mom's parents were split between Irish and German, both born here and lived in small towns in Coal Country, PA.

They were all teenagers or adults by the time the flu outbreak hit. My Grandfather on my mother's side was a Lt. in Perishing’s Army, as he called it.

Watching this episode of AE made me think about my Grandparents. They were all a little stand offish, not known for hugging once we were walking.

I wonder if that horrible experience of watching people around you dying every day, passing on quickly and in droves, pushed the hugs and kisses so deep inside that they couldn't bring them out even decades later.

I wonder if they were afraid of touching, hugging, being flu near to anyone ever again.

My grandfather was a dentist and he wore a mask whenever he was working on a patient long before the modern dentists’ donned

The question I have for my fellow boomers is did your grandparents act that way as well. I seem to remember all the people born around the turn of the century till 1910 or so were not at all demonstrative.

Just was thinking as I sit in a semi-isolated room in the hospital.

BTW, here is a link to the show. They have hundreds of on line episodes on PBS.org.


I've been watching Fiddler on the Roof for about the fifth or sixth time…

It’s a wonderful, terrifying movie about the world in flux, the world about to explode, tradition against modernity, heartache and sorrow and the possibility of tomorrow.

And the music is top notch as well.

As I watch this movie I hear my father’s voice in the background, not the father who I knew for a few short years, but the father that was drinking his way into hate and prejudice, telling me the Jews own everything, the control Hollywood.

His family is from that part of the world, the part of Central Europe where the boundaries of Ukraine and Poland flowed back and forth for centuries, where the Jewish folks were always treated as second or third class people.

Whenever he would get in those dark moods I would say that yes Dad, the Jewish people are in the entertainment business, but when they started in, show business was looked down upon and no respectable person would want to choose that as a way to make a living.

I have no proof of this; I just concocted the argument to shut him up.

He was also the same man that wouldn’t let us watch the 60’s sit com called Julia which featured African American actress Dyane Carroll as a widowed nurse with a small boy. It was a gentle nudge designed to start featuring minorities on the networks.

Anyway, I digress.

FOTR is such an interesting look at fast things can change, how outside pressures inserts it selves in even the most isolated communities.

That part of the movie where Tevye is warned by the local Russian Apparatchik that a Pogrom is coming. When it comes on the night of the Tevye’s daughter’s wedding; my heart breaks. When the Apparatchik shows up to stop the violence inside the wedding, he is so sad and says what all people who follow; it was my orders…

I think about all the barriers we construct to define ourselves only to find that we exclude far more than we include.

But now and then, a moment comes along and pulls us together.

What I take from the movie is to treasurer those moments that you have as best you can and to try to find how to accept all those things that happens to us that we cannot control.

Maybe we are in one of those times that we have to pull together. We have to look at ourselves and say is this really what we want for our future?

I know people always say that elections are important, some more than others. But this election is one of those life changing moments for our country.

Make no mistake about it, if Rick Santorum get’s himself elected, we will see more turmoil and I fear violence as one part of the country looks toward their traditions for protection and the other looks ahead to the future.

As Tevye turns to meet his future, there is an optimistic lilt in the air. He had someplace to go, he was heading off to the New World in New York.

The best place we have to go is the Voting Booth to make sure the people so intent on resurrecting the fifth century are defeated.

Apparently, president Obama realizes that he needs some GOP votes in order to even get some

form of unemployment extensions passed.

Remember, before the shit hit the fan in 2008, the usual amount of time you could collect unemployment was 28 weeks. Aslo remember, they extended Unemployment benefits to 99 weeks in hard hit areas after the job market collapsed in late 2008.

And don't Forget that it is the employers who pay into the unemployment funds to begin with. This is why congress has to act in order to replenish the funds that were depleted when the economy tanked. There is also the fact that business pays into the fund based on their unemplyment claims, the number of people they hire and also the line of work they are in. That is how the enemployment fund is normally funded.

So now they have extended the benefits by 45 weeks in states that have unemployment of 9% and above and extended by 35 weeks in all the other states. This is, again, over and above the normal 28 weeks of usual benefits.

I think what they are doing is reducing the amount of the long term benefits because of the first signs of recovery.

Unemployment was never looked at as more than giving people a bridge when they were separated from their jobs through no fault of their own.

I know it sounds cruel and it looks like president Obama and the Democrats in Congress are turning their backs on the unemployed but you have to realize that even if every Democrat in elected office in DC voted together they would still need some republican votes in order to pass these changes.

So you can blame the democrats if you want but I look at this as a victory of sorts because they were able to pry enough GOP support away from the republican’s leadership to help out a whole lot of people who would be shit out of luck otherwise.

Do I like the way this is playing out? Hell no, but the political realities dictates that you, meaning the democrats, should get what they can while the getting is good.

26 years ago, I was driving around Cleveland with a car full of Balloons...

I wanted to get into show business and I thought it might be fun to deliver singing telegrams.

I ended up delivering Balloon-a-grams, singing as well, for about six months before I decided that maybe I should try for a band instead.

Not to say that I didn't have a lot of fun because I did, but it was also a bit of a hassle as I took a job with a smaller local company than signing on to Eastern Onion Telegrams which was a national chain.

I think if I had taken the Onion instead of the Balloons to You, I would have probably be acting and singing in local musical theater.

I was so turned off by it that I went into the bar band thing.

I once made a promise to myself that I would make money doing the things I loved; performing, writing and politics.

Needless to say, the politics was the money maker. I still make some money doing work for various candidates but those days are gone. I also supported myself for a while writing and editing a local Independent newspaper. That was a lot of fun and I had the most leeway with that.

And as far as performing, well, I made a good bit of cash running around in a white tuxedo. But I also made a good chunk of change playing out in bar bands.

Anyway, that one and only VD that I delivered Balloon-a-grams was eventful. I think I did about fifteen deliveries over the course o the day. One to an inner high city school and the other to a suburban high school.

Guess which one treated me like I was from outer space.

I also delivered a balloon-a-gram to a construction site where the Forman's wife had ordered a "risqué" delivery.

They were pretty disappointed when I showed.

I ended up the night at a rundown strip joint. It was a young woman’s first "legal" day on stage and i got to go up and bump and grind a little before I tied the balloons around her...

I'll leave that to your imagination.

Now I am on disability and still write occasionally for publication. Like I said, I also still keep my finger in the political pool. But performing, Well those days are probably over. Although I may get out to an open mic now and then.

One thing I know, realizing those dreams have made me feel kind of special. I'm not rich; don't have much money when you come right down to it. It just means that dreams can be realized even if they don't happen to plan.

Happy Valentine ’s Day and if you ever get singing telegram, give them some slack. They are the grunts of the entertainment industry.
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