Thursday, July 29, 2010

Why is it that fictional politicians are more eloquent than real ones?

What did liberals do that was so offensive to the Republican Party? I’ll tell you what they did. Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act.

What did Conservatives do? They opposed them on every one of those things...every one! So when you try to hurl that label at my feet, “Liberal,” as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won't work. Because I will pick up that label and I will wear it as a badge of honor.

- Matt Santos, The West Wing

Thursday, July 22, 2010

America's first biracial president falls for race baiting...

Once again, Keith Olbermann cuts through the diversionary chatter and tells it like it is. President Obama needs to stop pretending to be above it all and start fighting for the people who elected him. And the Democrats in power in the Congress and in the agencies need to collectively grow a pair.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Views from the Observation Deck

I headed downtown Saturday to take in the view from the Terminal Tower's 42nd floor Observation Deck. Freshly renovated, it reopened July 10 after being closed since 9/11. Officially, it is only scheduled to be opened for the remaining weekends in July. I hope, however, that with all the expense put into the renovations, it will remain open as a permanent attraction. At only $5 per person (kids are free), it's great deal for visitors. For the city, it's an effective way to generate traffic at Tower City, and people who visit here are likely to stop by attractions on East 4th Street and the Warehouse District.

Your intrepid blogger about to brave the lines at Terminal Tower.

A reminder of a bygone era, when downtown reigned supreme for shopping, before suburban malls (their own thunder now stolen by the Internet) took over.

An old train schedule.

How much does it cost to mail a letter these days? And our mailboxes can't hold a candle to this.

Looking east from the 42nd floor.
Euclid Avenue (left) and Prospect (right) recede into the distance.

Great Lakes Science Center and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The Old Stone Church.

The Cuyahoga County Courthouse.

The Warehouse District.

Tower City.

Westside Market.

For those planning to visit the Observation Deck, I advise to arrive early. Though it opens at Noon, lines were forming by 11:15. By the time we boarded the elevator, several hundred people were waiting.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Fragility of Life

My father had a heart attack last night. It was literally the last thing I was expecting. Over the last few years, my dad has lost about 30 pounds, and when I saw him last year, he looked spectacular for a man of 80. He was taking long walks and working on household projects with no signs of fatigue. The only sign of his aging was his increasing hearing loss.

Apparently, my father was driving my step-mother home from the airport when he began to feel very ill. Hiede immediately got my dad to the hospital where an angiogram was performed. The doctors found one artery was completely blocked, and my father was fitted with a coronary stent. As of late last night, he was recovering and tentatively scheduled to be released today.

It amazes me how, if it’s caught on time, a heart attack can be quickly and effectively treated. Just a few short decades ago, even a relatively mild cardiac event like my dad suffered would have meant a hospital stay of a week or more, followed by extensive drug treatments and a cumbersome recovery – and that was assuming that he survived at all.

But recent medical advances didn’t prevent me from being profoundly worried and I didn’t sleep much last night. There are events in life that force one to see things exactly as they are – not how we’d like them to be. I’ve spent much of the past twelve hours contemplating how fragile life is.

It's a matter of great importance that everyone know the symptoms of a heart attack:

*Chest pains (typically radiating to the left arm or left side of the neck);

* Shortness of breath;

*Nausea and/or vomiting;




If you feel these symptoms, act promptly. It may save your life.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A fat guy tries Yoga - soon to be a sitcom

Progressive has a gym at our campus. Although I already belong to Bally’s, I decided to join. At only $10/paycheck, it’s too good a bargain to pass up – especially considering that most group classes are included in the cost of membership.

So, I’ve begun taking two classes: Hi/Lo Impact Aerobics, and Introduction to Yoga. The first Hi/Lo class was very taxing – I actually thought for a moment I might die, and for two days I was profoundly sore.

Yoga has been a different experience. My friend Mark had recommended that I try it, but I demurred. My body type didn’t seem suited to it. But since this is an Intro class, I decided to give it a try. Well, I’m glad I did. I’ve emerged from each session feeling relaxed and centered. A warm, tingly sensation filled much of my body, and I could feel my circulation improving. After the first session, there was a very slight soreness around my joints, but it was minor compared to the sense of wellness I felt.

Studying up on Yoga, I was amused to learn that the Catholic Church has issued warnings about the dangers of Yoga. Not from the stretching, but that practicing it opens one’s soul to Satan. Give me a break, Mary.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Random Thoughts on Independence Day...

"I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."

- John Adams in a letter to his wife Abigail.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness...

Read the whole Declaration, it doesn't take long. Great words - that's where Ideas begin.

Sadly, many people today believe that Independence Day is a military inspired holiday like Memorial and Veterans days. While I will never denigrate our servicemembers who protect our liberty (and who swear an oath to defend the Constitution which places them under civilian control), part of the reason we broke with England was due to King George III's brutal occupation army. July 4th is set aside to commemorate the birth of our country and the IDEA of Liberty - an idea for which our founders pledged "our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

What would Adams think of today's Military-Industrial Complex? What would Jefferson think of our crumbling separation of Church & State?