Saturday, October 27, 2007

five easy choices

Five Easy Ways to Go Organic - Well - Tara Parker-Pope - Health - New York Times Blog -- Here are five ways to quickly begin to experience the benefits of a cleaner diet. I really appreciate the one doctor's comments about our "buying into a whole chemical system of agriculture" if we're indiscriminate in our food-buying choices. I also remember how with the kids, ketchup was it's own food group, and the article acknowledges that, "For some families, ketchup accounts for a large part of the household vegetable intake." Absent from the discussion here is mention of fillers and stretchers, like high fructose corn syrup.

This is a good read; click through. They also link to another interesting organic-food-info source: "For a complete list of Dr. Greene’s strategic organic choices, visit Organic Rx on his website."

George. See George. See George play. Today.

George Foley at Cleveland Public Library Special Collections & Fine Arts Blog -- I've known George Foley for a good many years, but never knew about the albums. When he's not performing, he's quiet and unassuming, at least when I've been around him. His dad, Joe, talked with the MeetTheBloggers crew in May of 2006. We'll be be making a special point of going to see George this afternoon at 2. Here's the info from the site.

George Foley at Cleveland Public Library

Cleveland Public Library Fine Arts & Special Collections Department presents George Foley, pianist and singer, performing ragtime and popular songs by Charles L. Johnson, Scott Joplin, Zez Confrey, Fats Waller, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Frank Loesser, and others on Saturday, October 27, 2007 at 2 p.m. Foley is a dexterous pianist and entertaining singer. His singing might remind you of Fats Waller, Jack Teagarden or Mildred Bailey.

Foley has recorded four albums including Cleveland Rag (1977), I Love It (1984), Smiles and Kisses (1989), and ‘S Wonderful (2003). He has played on the Mississippi Queen steamboat and at many ragtime festivals. He performs regularly at many clubs around Cleveland including NightTown, The Barking Spider, and The Tavern Co. He also works with the Mercuries and the Night Owls.

This musical program will be on Saturday, October 27, 2007 at 2 p.m. in the 3rd floor lobby of the Fine Arts & Special Collections Department at the Main Library, 325 Superior Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114. For information call (216) 623-2848.

This program is presented in conjunction with Sentimental Journey: Selections from the Cleveland Public Library Sheet Music Collection, a display located on the third floor of the Main Library. The display features highlights from the library's sheet music collection of over 20,000 titles.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

promoting financial literacy

Callahan’s Cleveland Diary » Blog Archive » New “Foreclosing Cleveland” blog -- Bill's finally acknowledged that the topic was taking over his Cleveland Diary, and now it has a life of its own. This is important work he's doing, and the Foreclosing Cleveland blog goes into my sidebar soon. Bill is compassionate, articulate, literate, and "numerate," which I guess is the obverse of "innumerate," the sibling of "illiterate."

for the record: Holy Cross president clarifies stance, squelches rumors of decertification as a Catholic college

TO: Alumni and friends of Holy Cross
FR: Michael C. McFarland, S.J., President
RE: Upcoming conference

A great deal of misinformation and misrepresentation is circulating about the upcoming meeting of the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy in rented facilities in the Hogan Campus Center at the College of the Holy Cross.

Many alumni have received e-mail or other correspondence from Raymond B. Ruddy '65, which is an unauthorized use of the College's alumni online community. It is disheartening that the College is being portrayed in this way; we are doing our best to make it clear what our position is and where we stand.

I'm writing to provide you with assurances and facts.

Holy Cross regrets any confusion that in renting space, the College is supporting Planned Parenthood, NARAL or other agencies that promote practices contrary to Church teaching. Our rental contract is with the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy, an umbrella organization of about 50 groups, some of them Catholic. Our contract and dealings are do not involve Planned Parenthood or NARAL.

Holy Cross fully affirms and promotes Catholic teaching on abortion and the sanctity of all human life. The College is adamantly and clearly opposed to abortion, and has not wavered in this regard since issuing a statement in 1991 when students petitioned the College to organize a pro-choice student organization. See

Last week, Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester, asked the College to disassociate itself from the conference and the groups involved; and to revoke our contract with the Alliance. To cancel at this point would break a legal contract and would make it impossible for the Alliance to hold a conference that we believe deals with a worthwhile subject. Teenage parents and teenagers at risk of becoming pregnant are among the most vulnerable people in our country today.

As president of a Catholic college in the Diocese of Worcester, I wholly respect the duty of Bishop McManus to uphold the teachings of the Church—most especially the sanctity of life and opposition to abortion. However, it is the College's position that providing rented meeting space to a conference of professionals from a variety of Massachusetts organizations discussing the safety and care of at-risk teenagers does not represent a disregard of Catholic teaching.

Please also be aware that no Holy Cross administrators, faculty members or students are involved in developing conference content, nor will they attend the conference. This is a meeting of adult professionals who work for the health and well-being of Massachusetts teenagers and children.

I invite you to visit the section of our Web site where there is more detailed information, including the statement I issued last week.

With gratitude for your prayers and support,

Michael C. McFarland, S.J.
College of the Holy Cross
October 18, 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

U2's Bono tells bankers they can make a difference -- but they already have...

U2's Bono tells bankers they can make a difference - The Boston Globe -- Somehow, this article strikes me as bizarre, or surreal. It goes beyond ironic. Here we have Bono, the self-anointed advocate of the besieged masses, private-jetting in to Boston to be talking to a convention of mortgage bankers bemoaning their own cursed fate, not that of the economy they've undermined or the people whose equity they've systematically stolen, under the cover of the law. U2? Me, too, as well.

With panels such as Subprime Market Portfolio Solutions for the Practitioners on the agenda yesterday, Bono's appearance created the buzz among attendees. So much so that those who didn't hear him regretted it right away.

"We were bummed we missed it," said Mary Pirello, who heard a rumor that Bono - said to be just 5 feet 6 inches tall - wore platform shoes on the podium. His outsized image was projected on two giant video screens flanking the stage in the hall.

With thousands of subprime loans falling into foreclosure across the country, the mortgage industry is struggling because investors are refusing to put more capital into a troubled sector. And with thousands of borrowers losing their homes to foreclosure, some in the industry are engaged in some serious soul-searching.

But for an hour or so yesterday, Bono, the bankers said, transported them out of their day-to-day worries. Though he has urged wealthy nations to forgive the debts of poor countries in Africa, forgiveness of domestic mortgages was not on Bono's agenda yesterday.

He instead charmed the bankers and lenders with stories about his "bad boy" days as a rocker. He also appealed to the audience's collective conscience when he urged them to do humanitarian work or give to charities, even during tough times.

"It's star power," said Brian Thomas, a Wells Fargo amp; Co. employee attending the conference from Minneapolis.

And all this talk about Bono's "really important" humanitarian work is great, said Ken Kummerer, who works for Southwest Securities in Chicago. But most who were there "love him because he's Bono," he said.

Said Valerie Harden, who works for JPMorgan Chase in Florida, "The reason people liked him was we're so wrapped up in ourselves - what's the interest rate and are we going to hit our quotas. He found the really important thing in life is to help people."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

still time to drive on over...

New RTA rapid station opens this morning - Cleveland Metro News – The Latest Breaking News, Photos and Stories from The Plain Dealer. This is good news, to have the public-transportation infrastructure upgraded and improved. At the dedication, I just wonder how many will arrive by train, how many by car, how many on foot, how many by bike, and so forth.

If anybody makes it on over there, let us know the breakout. I didn't put it into the schedule, and, besides, the Urban Combat Vehicle (UCV) is parked in the garage with expired tags. It did not make it through the last battery of license-renewal tests. They've now added the requirement for operational windows, and the UCV is either all or nothing, with no in between.

Like any other government program, the emissions testing has proved to be the camel's nose.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

deeply unstructured, and everybody's everything

LibraryThing: Common Knowledge: Social cataloging arrives -- Click the link to the left here to see the evolving philosophy behind this fascinating LibraryThing, and its "nearly infinite cross-linking of data". My own modest compilation is in the sidebar, to the right.

We're back from our annual Southern Tour and will be working back into the Cleveland community soon.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Newt, Freddie, and the kid with the boots in that big tent in the middle

Gloria and I have been on the road for a while, which is why we haven't posted much. Yesterday found us in Atlanta at a conference at which we had privilege and the pleasure of hearing Fred Barnes, whom most of you probably know from the McLaughlin Report on PBS, moderate a talk with Newt Gingrich the Republican and Harold Ford, Jr., the Democrat. Without the screening, slanting, and censorship you normally get from the mainstream media (MSM), we realized that these guys have a lot in common, working for the common good, and probably should all squeeze into that big tent in the middle.

These days, if you are working in the best interest of the people of The United States and of the world, can you afford to be strongly partisan? The dialogue yesterday suggested that you couldn't, and that we all needed to set certain things aside if we are to prosper. Leaders don't niggle, quibble, and bicker.

Newt brought up the interesting point that, if people figured out that Ms. Clinton intends to dump their healthcare into a system that is already busted and bankrupt, it would foreclose her from the presidency. However, he also said that none of her challengers had as yet figured out how to articulate this, and unless one of them did, we were sliding towards another iteration of the Clintonesque.

telling the story as it should be told, about foreclosures

I wanted to make sure we got the link up to last Sunday's piece by Jim Rokakis in The Washington Post. What's happening right now in Cleveland and in Cuyahoga County is an exceptional and aggravated example of a national plague of parasitism, as lenders, servicers, attorneys, brokers, and investment bankers descend on cities to capture decades of equity to which they are not entitled. Our friend Jim is a strong, clear voice, and he's also a good storyteller. We're going to have lots of similar stories to tell as this foreclosure farce unwinds. Stay tuned.

Jim was talking about this problem a good few months ago when we talked to him in a MeetTheBloggers session. Check it out.