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

Journal Archives

We are surely dangling dangerously close to banana republic territory here...

Parsing out what is left of our democracy waiting for a dictator.

Remember twas the Roman Senate that was dysfunctional and impotent that let loose the 400 years of tyrants and megalomaniac strongmen.

I remember going to this County Wide fundraiser that fell on St, Paddy's Day....

Since it was in Cleveland, all the Irish were out and about. The event would take place the day after St. Paddy's day.

This was back in about the middle of the 90's. Can't remember the correct dates because, after a while, these events seem to bunch all together. This was also when the River Dance was coming to Cleveland every year in March.

So there are about 30 people sitting at the front table. I was sitting next to Chairman Demora and that is when the four little kids came out and started to do the Irish Dance where the backs are straight, the arms carefully kept stiffly on the sides while the legs were to let loose, with the aid of some clog like shoes so there was a rytheme that blended together as one beat helped on by and accordian player and a young girl at the piano.

But this was about the 15th variation on a themes and so there efforts were blendng in with all the other Irish dancing I had scene over the last month or so.

Anyway as it was winding up I turned to the Chairman and said I guess this was the Creek Dance and for some reason she started to talk and gasped out a few Creek Dance to those around us and it became a running joke for the next four years...

A place at the Table...

CBS this morning had the two women who created a documentary updating of 1968 CBS documentary on today....


It really is shocking at how hard it is for those of us who can't find a proper range of needed foods. Food Deserts are popping up all over America as mostly the poor, working classes have no meaningful access to fresh fruits and vegetables, only processed foods filed with empty calories.

This film pretty much proves that unfettered Free Enterprise can't provide the needs of the people. There is no viable profit model to serve the needs of those forced to live in these huge pockets of nutritional wastelands. Markets were not designed to provide a just allocation of resources. It's as simple as that.

What "free market" conservatives like Rep. Paul Ryan preach when confronted by stuff like this is to fall back on hoary bromides such as pull "themselves up by their bootstraps and just get to work." Same old crap Reagan promoted back in the 70's and 80's. It didn't help back then and obviously it isn't working now.

What bothers me the most about all of this is the only people on "our" side of the aisle who bring issues such as this are shuffled off to the side out of the way by those DC insiders who don't want to make waves on stunningly ignored social problems such as these food deserts.

How long ago was it that Nickel and Dimed in America was published and yet everything pointed out by Ms. Ehrenrech is still there and getting worse.

Christian Nation my fucking ass...

So, what are your favorite musicals...

This seminal American Art Form binging all that we have dragged to this nation from every bit of the world that wanted something more out of life and splashed it all across the stage.

I can't pick out my favorite, but I would have to narrow it down to Across the Universe, West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof. All three of these are built on traditions smacking into the quickening fast change that was propelling everything and anything right here in the US of A.

But I have more, A Chorus Line, for one, that captures the love of art and what we do for love whether it be personal or with your craft.

And there are so many others that I love almost as much as I love these three that I watch whenever they come on the cable. Cabaret, the first M rated movie I saw. My babysitter took me to see it on a saturday afternoon when I was 12.

Then there is Showboat with it's defining the American Musical welding story to song completely,

Jesus Christ Superstar, the first rock and roll event that I saw way back in 1970 blew me away.

Two years ago I saw In the Heights and just loved it.

Camelot which capture the spirit of the Kennedy Administration and then Man of La Mancha came along.

Cleveland has refurbished a whole block of old theaters that were this close to be demoed. There are four large halls and a couple of small venues that bring six Broadway traveling shows each year and a whole lot of other stuff. It really is a gem.

I am lucky. I was able to see 20-25 Broadway plays as well as 20 of Shakespeare's plays, the last being MacBeth which, I believe, was the first I saw way back in 1968. Tom Hanks got his start in Show Business here in Cleveland when did a summer internship at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Fest and since 1965, the company has performed one tragedy and one of the more whimsical shows.

I grew up loving the theater which is probably why I was drawn to the greatest show of all, politics.

Say what you want about Cleveland but we have so much here that is top notched live entertainment that most other cities of the same side would love to have.

If you are looking for a vacation surrounding the arts, coming to Cleveland would be a great place to start looking. Live theater, World Class Restaurants, Professional Sports including Roller Derby, great museums, one of the best Orchestras in the world, the theater district, a great amusement park just a couple hours up the coast of Lake Erie, the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame and the Polka Hall of Fame.

Well, that's my rant for the day...

Back in the 70's, when I was still tethered to my mother, she made it clear that I was to attend

Catholic catechism.

There were many things that I questioned, being that I had already started to explore alternative faiths, stuff that was different from the rote religious experience that was offered by the churches in the Irish and Eastern European neighborhoods where I was raised. So I was skeptical at the onset.

She wanted me to be confirmed even though my parents had divorced and my mother thought that continuing a spiritual upbringing in spite of her being to suffer a de facto excommunication by the Vatican. She felt sure that I should not be tainted by her blasphemous action against god and church for kicking my alcoholic and abusive father to the curb.

Which, of course, of being sound mind, I thought the actions taken by the church against my mom was more than enough for me to walk away, thank you very much. But she wanted me to be confirmed so that I could be sanctioned into the Army of God in case there was a new Crusade against the heathens who control the Holy Land and I had been a problem child, I agreed.

But I never promised my mother that I would suffer the religious rhetoric gladly. So I girded my loins and attended in full ostentation and made it clear I was in attendance against my intellectual protest with the cock assurance only a 10th grader can have.

Now I had just finished studying Inherent the Wind in my 10th grade Honors English as well as reading the bible not as a spiritual exercise but as part of a literary exploration of where story telling developed which also included The Odyssey and The Iliad.

In the classroom, I challenged and compared in every single way I could. The poor woman trying to teach a class after doing what she did all day to earn her keep did not deserve my puffed up chest and posturing and questioning everything and anything.

Finally, she asked why I was bothering to attend the class if I was so dead against these matters of faith.

I told her about my mothers' situation after class and found out that she was in fact a nun who had left the order. She asked me to have my mother call her and she would talk to her about me.

Turns out the woman met with my mother and brought up annulments that were being given in other cities that had Cardinals that are more liberal. My mother had her first marriage annulled and was able to find peace with her faith.

Me, I never went back to those classes but maybe, just maybe, especially looking back from 40 years on, there was a divine spark that set the action leading up to my mother finding peace with her god

So if Corporation are people, my friend, shouldn't they be paying Medicare and SSI...

Just wondering, you know this corporation as people idea. If they are, well then all profits should be taxed after the fact 7.65% on the "Person" and then kick in the other 7.65% that the corporation, acting as a company, should pay the match.

Just wondering.

We can send them checks when they retire on the Cayman Islands and pay for all their medical costs. They can relax and hang out at the pool with the Limited Partnerships and S-Corporations. You know what they say about S-Corp, those little devils....

The numbers are tanking...

Ratings for most news shows have been tanking for decades. The only upticks have been when Fox adopted their bellicose stance against everything liberal.

But after this election, a funny thing happened on the way to the Sunday shows and that was the realization that maybe there was something about this recent election that might be worth looking at.

And sure enough, the ratings for Fox News started to drop while noted progressive talks show like Rachel Madow have found a base and have built a growing audience of people who want to hear more about what is really going on.

The truly epic election night meltdown of Karl Rove was proof that Fox News was nothing more than a partisan hack and the "moderates" had had enough.

The best part is the GOP has no idea how to fix the problem with the changing demographics. It seems they have adopted a double down posture and so we get overblown bullshit that turns the tragic deaths of Benghazi into a political talking point and the mindlessly grandstanding over Republican Hegel nomination for Defense Secretary.

In the end, have they no shame...

That whole era in US history is full of awful, disturbing behavior on the part of politicians,

pundits and publishers. These three powerful centers in DC and New York and London had to sate their ravaging desire for revenge.

A lot of people were out there protesting including me. These turned out fo be the last real political events I attended before I fell ill.

But the media wouldn't waiver one bit, they shut down coverage and if any media light was shone on the protest it was through a prism to make those protesting appear to the be the scarlet other.

Every time I went to a protest it was populated by people from all walks of life including many clerics and middle class people frightened into protesting this vanity war.

I was hopeful but was never truly optimistic about stopping the glee for revenge that ran rampant through the media.

The media was tighter back then, more in control of the delivery of news. Plus the right wing media machine was still ascending and ready to take the "Conservative" message beyond their normal audience.

It's a horrible time to look back on, it's a disgraceful chapter in our history and I firmly believe that this particular war will prove to be the tipping point for the fall of the American Empire.

Freedom Fries....

Why that wont happen is because multi-party systems are tailored for a parliamentary system

of coalition building and distribution of power were as a two party state is winner takes all.

The coalitions are built within the two party system. From time to time, one of the two party's will implode and reform pulling in more special interest groups to build a majority.

Shared democracy keeps those coalitions on the outside while a winner take all system incorporates them within the two party's.

on edit. When that happens in the US, it is called a realigning election which just means the players move from one party to another when the music stops. The best example in modern times was when busing to integrate schools came on line in the late 60's and early 70's that expedited the white flight from urban centers to the suburbs. The Republicans became the law and order party, meaning we will protect you from the colored people, and everything shifted. It's happening again as the racial divide is not as relevant as it was in the 70's thru the late 90's. 9/11 just prolonged the realignment.

When I was a kid back in the late 60's...

There was this three story used and new bookstore called Kay Book store. It was next to the best Army/Navy store on one side and a dirty book store on the other. I use to take Cleveland's version of the Subway, the Rapid Transit. For on dime I could get on about ten blocks from my house and get off at the Terminal Tower and walk up and out onto downtown Cleveland....

I remember it in black and white and I guess that was because the sandstone buildings had absorbed so much of the pollution from the Industrial Flats just west and south of downtown.

Still, there was the giant pretzels, the smell of roasting nuts that you could buy fresh by the ounce, and the half milkshake half ice cream cone that Higbees had just around from the corner of the terminal that abutted to the basement of the department store.

But the real treat was Kay Books. I always went to the top floor first to look over the huge pile of Comic Books that the deliver guys brought back from the drug stores and malt shops and five and dime stores that sold comic books.

There was always a few that I had missed and on a rare occasion, I would find a mint book from a year or two before that had been over looked.

The main floor was crammed with books of all kinds but it was the basement that all the old stuff was that I checked out only a few times. There were all these wonderful books from the late 1800's filled with obsolete text books that talked about science that was set aside.

When they shut the book store up in 1983, I went over one last time, this time I was in College. Downtown was on it's last legs, everything of worth was in the suburbs by now although there was nothing like Kays anywhere that I knew of. I bought a few books, looked around and left that part of my life behind.
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