Friday, March 28, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

ramping up the dialogue: Adam Wasserman

Meet the Bloggers » Blog Archive » Twitter Updates for 2008-03-25--George is using Twitter now to "live blog" the MeetTheBloggers interviews. It's good to have this immediate input and posting of content, to be followed a bit later by the posts of people in attendance, like the Equanimous Philosopher, to be followed still later by the permanently posted podcast itself.

And, just as our methods for ramping up the dialogue continue to gain traction and speed, our new participants in the dialogue continue to show more promise and receptivity. The Adam Wasserman interview should be enlightening to many and give hope to all who value candor and truth in the public space. Adam has a refreshing perspective, and I expect George will have the podcast up soon; it was a good sit that needs sharing as quickly as possible.

Friday, March 21, 2008

market lore: unraveling the curse of Good Friday Exclusive--Bloomberg and Trader were carrying an interesting historical tidbit this morning, which I now share with you.

By Coincidence or Not, Good Friday Trading-Free Since '07 Panic

By Chris Dolmetsch

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- The New York Stock Exchange is closed today, as it has been every Good Friday for nearly a century and a half except for in 1898, 1906 and 1907.

That last one was in the same year as the infamous Panic of 1907, when the value of U.S. stocks plunged by more than a third. Hence, a legend that persists 101 years later: Traders get to stay home the Friday before Easter not just because it's a Christian holy day but because of its association with one of history's great bear markets.

"imminently capable"

ZDNet eMachines T5246 Review & Comparison -- Ah, we can apply that tag to so much around here these days --"imminently capable." Just about to be capable. Getting around to being capable. Capability is imminent. Capability, coming soon.

Do you think they meant "eminently capable"?

Here's the context, from Ziff-Davis, and the emphasis is mine:

The good: Full-fledged Windows Vista PC for less than $500; largest hard drive in its price category.
The bad: A few systems at retail have faster CPUs for less.

The bottom line: The eMachines T5246 is an imminently capable budget desktop, with pretty much every feature you'd want in a day-to-day PC. If you're inclined to bargain hunt you might find a better deal by a few dollars, but if you pick this one up you won't go wrong for the price.

Reviewed by:
Rich Brown
Review date: 3/6/08

The eMachines T5246 PC is the most expensive of the budget desktop brand's offerings this quarter. Of course, at $429, it's not exactly a luxury item. If you're thinking about a lower-end eMachines system and have a few extra dollars to spare, we'd certainly recommend this one over the $349
T3642. Neither Dell nor Hewlett-Packard compete well in the super-low-end price range, but if you go to Best Buy or Circuit City you might find better deals from Acer (who owns eMachines) and ZT Systems. This eMachines T5246 provides everything you might look for in a basic desktop PC so if that's all you need, we recommend it. But in this price range every dollar counts, and if you can find a similar configuration for less, go for it.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy: Joining the Blogosphere

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy: At Lincoln House - March 2008 -- Well, they MetTheBloggers over a year ago, and now here they come with their own blog. Apparently, it's contagious. Welcome to the blogosphere.

"Give me the pills Grandma"

Cleveland man charged with stabbing his grandmother - Cleveland Metro News – The Latest Breaking News, Photos and Stories from The Plain Dealer -- There's a lot of weirdness going around lately, and it's not confined to Parma (see prior post, Judge Sentences Moron).

Posted by Mark Puente March 19, 2008 16:55PM

Breaking News, Crime

The man accused of trying to kill his grandmother for her prescription medicine has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated robbery.

Richard Wells, 20, was arrested Monday after he stabbed his grandmother, Helen Colvin, 59, in the face with a knife while she laid on her couch, according to a police report.
As Wells stabbed Colvin, he screamed: "Give me the pills Grandma," the report said.

Colvin blocked the knife many times, but she decided to give Wells the pills, which were in a sock tied to her underwear underneath her pajamas. Wells apologized to his grandmother after he got the pills, the report said.

Wells then stabbed Colvin one more time in the hand as she got up from the couch. He then admitted to police hat he cut her phone line so she could not call the police, the report said.

Colvin needed surgery on her hands and stitches to her face, the report said.

Wells told police that he uses cocaine. He said he was wrong for stabbing his grandmother and wouldn't be surprised if he received the death penalty, the report said.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

something to look forward to

Meet.The.Bloggers will again Attend The Cleveland Weblogger Meetup at Fat Fish Blue (Wednesday, March 19, 2008) - Upcoming -- Tonight, we get to go over to Fat Fish Blue to see how the new space works for the Blogger Meetups:

CHANGE OF VENUE: Downtown Cleveland at Fat Fish Blue. As I said, you never know what might happen at our monthly blogger meetups. See you There! February turned in to a great blogger meetup. We had just heard that WKYC invited us to collaborate with them during the Presidential Debate. You want to attend if you can because you just never know what opportunity may have turned up.And the opportunity for great conversation and help with blogs and websites and gaining new perspectives to troubling questions is always available.


Judge Sentences Moron

We're going over to the Parma Justice Center today. This was linked to the Justice Center's website. Enjoy. It restores your faith in the system.

Monday, March 17, 2008

rethinking the chain gang concept

I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang (1932) -- At the link is a great film, recounting the old-style chain gangs that are now outlawed. I lived in Georgia during the late '60s and off and on during the '70s, and one thing I know is that, down there, the concept of the chain gang is not quite dead. They now have more humane work details out sprucing up the public areas, and just about anybody will freely admit that their roadsides look a lot better than ours. I'd like to propose a re-emergence of the chain gang concept in Ohio.

The streets and sidewalks in NEO were impassable last week; work details comprised of prisoners could have been out working round the clock to clear the streets, bus stops, and sidewalks, enabling commerce, making the city pedestrian-friendly, demonstrating to youth that crime doesn't pay. I'm sure the unions wouldn't mind, or at least wouldn't get in the way of progress. After all, the welfare of the public trumps union rights any day, right?

Now, our streets are littered with the detritus of winter. Chainless chain gangs (with leg bracelets, you know?) should be out there getting us squared away. Everybody would benefit, the prisoners wouldn't be idle, and they could then transition to other public maintenance and beautification works in the summer.

We need to employ every available asset to excel. Chainless chain gangs are a start.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

lest we forget: all foreign-policy experience is not positive

For Democrats, Increased Fears of a Long Fight - New York Times -- I see that Hillary Clinton is trying to lay claim to having foreign policy credentials superior to those of Obama--but let's just remember what Henry Kissinger said about her husband's traitorous sellout in Somalia, when the Rangers got mutilated and dragged through the streets, and he did nothing. As a former infantry officer (1969-1975), I couldn't believe Bill was so lacking in the ideals that at one time made this country great, the ideals that led most of us to serve during that other insane, senseless, hopelessly politicized conflict in Viet Nam.

This sort of unprincipled behavior may well have enabled all the aggressions against the US that followed.

Then, let's revisit his limp handling of the USS Cole incident in Yemen. Aw, what the heck, just go here and get a quick refresher on the triumph of personal political expedience over national integrity.

And, please, don't let Hillary get away with putting forth the impression that she has any good foreign-policy credentials that would benefit the country. Like her husband, she would see which way the wind blew and take care of her personal political aspirations first, her husband's and her business interests second, and perhaps get around to the national interests somewhere after that.

And, since we're talking about business interests, who are the Clintons' business partners, as evidenced on their tax returns, and otherwise? We don't know yet, do we?

Her campaign says they are prepared to go public April 15th, nearly a month away, but what's all the suspense? All they should have to do is to go to their files, and just be forthcoming.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Take Two Daffodil Tour

Dear Blogger

We are hoping that the April Showers that Bring May Flowers holds off on
April 20th because the yet to be named Ward 15 Garden Club will be
venturing east to Lakeview Cemetery to take a tour and to experience the
incredible sight of Daffodil Hill.

We would like to invite you to join us. Go to the Save our Land website to
see the details.

If the URL above does not work, go to
and scroll down to the post that is titled Brooklyn Centre Daffodil Tour.
The flyer has the details.

The last day for reservations is April 4th.

Gloria Ferris

Friday, March 14, 2008

live-blogging Friday afternoon

I guess it finally worked. We'll get this perfected and then, look out, world. This new idea comes to you out of Toronto.

Lakeview Cemetery Daffodil Tour, April 20th

Dear Blogger

We are hoping that the April Showers that Bring May Flowers holds off on
April 20th because the yet to be named Ward 15 Garden Club will be
venturing east to Lakeview Cemetery to take a tour and to experience the
incredible sight of Daffodil Hill.

We would like to invite you to join us. Go to the Save our Land website to
see the details.

The last day for reservations is April 4th.

Gloria Ferris

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

the debut of Peterman's Eye

Sweet Smell of Pig Peterman's Eye -- One of our older Hoya boys is J. Peterman, down in Lexington (Kentucky, that is). He's an entrepreneur whose progress, and ups and downs, I've followed for years. He's an arbiter of taste, a connoisseur, and an incredibly curious Renaissance man; the Jesuits built us all on the same basic frame, so now we have a worldwide mutual admiration society; we like us. We may not always be totally right, or politically acceptable, but we're all pretty much on the same page and share common mythologies. There's a camaraderie in having been raised by Jesuits. I'd imagine Romulus and Remus would tell you just about the same thing.

Check out Peterman's Eye. (John has built his business on his "eye" for what we all want, knowing intuitively, instinctively, and just somehow what merchandise looks like in the Platonic world of forms.) Peterman's Eye is a combo effort at interactive blog, news aggregation, and topical research. I think he's doing whatever he wants to do, which is pretty much what I do here, for the most part, as the spirit moves me. It's salutary.

Welcome, J., to the blogosphere. Do you think it's time for you to MeetTheBloggers?

While you're at it, check out the mission statement, or purpose:

About Us

My aim is to build a marketplace for ideas. A place where we can educate, entertain and discuss with each other topics we find interesting.

I'll lay out some thoughts, you join in, points of view will accumulate and alter, new topics of interest will emerge...

I don't know where it will all lead. But I'm confident there will be a certain feeling of creditability and openness. A wonderful chaos where actual facts and real opinions collide without apology.

(Frankly, the "media landscape," as they say, has gotten a bit loud. Most traditional outlets want us to believe they are unbiased. Some Internet voices want us to believe they alone hold the truth. And, sometimes search engines feel like mousetraps shuffling us endlessly here and there.)

I've traveled a lot over the years. Met lots of folks, from ranchers to maharajas. Made lots of mistakes. Laughed. Argued. Learned, a lot. Been lucky, but mostly curious. Pull up a chair; I'm sure we can find something interesting to discuss together.

"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples," G.B. Shaw said, "then you and I still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas."


[J. Peterman]

Peterman's Eye
1001 Primrose Court
Lexington, Kentucky 40511

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

prurient interest in the value proposition

Spitzer Linked To Prostitution Ring by Wiretap - -- It's part prurient interest on my part, part an inquiry into the value "proposition" of the service, but what makes it possible for this sort of traffic to demand $5,500 an hour? Is it exceptional skill? Being unique or exotic? The triumph of branding over substance? Saying the right words at the right time?

Are our politicians more flawed than the population at large? Do they have more opportunities to fall from grace? Does the nature of their business attract those inclined toward dishonesty and corruption? Have we funded studies on the social pathologies surrounding professions? I think it would be interesting, perhaps revealing.

Today, I can post this little something about Eliot Spitzer without fear of reprisal or retaliation or special surveillance or excess scrutiny. I hope.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Meet the Bloggers, and Welcome to the Pakistani Bloggers

Meet the Pakistani Bloggers: Welcome to the Pakistani Bloggers -- One of the 24 people in our MeetTheBloggers discussion group today started a blog right after we turned off the mikes. This, I think, is a first!

Most of the people there today were foreign nationals/IT specialists working for or about to work for American embassy interests; they came to us compliments of the State Department and Jeanne Romanoff of the Cleveland Council on World Affairs.

Local representation included Roger Bundy, Angela Shuckahosee, Len Steinbach, Jeff Buster, Rick Weiss, Gloria, and me. It was a good conversation which should be posted soon over at MTB.

I need to mention the facility: The Marriott Residence Inn over at the old Colonial Arcade, between Euclid and Prospect. The meeting rooms, the staff, and the amenities were a notch above what we usually see elsewhere. Put it high on the pick list for your next meeting.

another Dennis hits the bright lights

One of our MeetTheBloggers Salon edition alumni, Dennis Althar, has sent us this press release. His new invention (they look like twin cobras!) got included in an artwork at The Whitney Museum. Our local talent goes to New York to get discovered. Does anybody else think this is ironic, or just plain wrong?



March 6, 2008
CONTACT: Dennis Althar
Audiophile Speaker System Selected for Whitney Biennial Show
Cleveland, Ohio

All-tronics Technical Systems announced that its Copernicus II speaker system has been selected for use in the prestigious Whitney Biennial Show in New York, March 6-23, 2008. The Whitney Biennial showcases 81 of the most innovative contemporary artists from around the world and is expecting 40,000 people to attend.

Noted visual and sonic artist Marina Rosenfeld has chosen the Copernicus II for use in her installation “Teenage Lotano,” a realization of noted Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti’s modernist masterpiece “Lotano” (1967). Ms. Rosenfeld’s performance uses a choir of 20 teenagers, thereby juxtaposing a high modern composition with a teen-vocal sound reminiscent of pop music. The individually recorded tracks are then melded into a sonic mix, sometimes with moments of choral harmony, then dissipating into abstract isolated sounds. Fragments appear with cello, percussion, bass and electronics.The challenge for Ms. Rosenfeld is in transferring the specific placement of sounds which she has created to an open performance space. The imaging, or source of each sound, is critical to her artistic vision of the piece. In previous settings, a series of headphones (binaural sound systems) were set up for use by the audience. In this so-called “perfect environment” the producer can control the elements of the recording, especially the imaging. But at the Whitney installation, a large, cavernous assembly room, with heavy wooden walls and floor will be used, and an open speaker system was required. Most high-quality audiophile speakers seek to “fill” the room, resulting in levels, balance, and sound placement entirely dependent on the room’s acoustics. The detailed elements and imaging of Marina Rosenfeld’s “Teenage Lotano” would be lost. Ms. Rosenfeld selected the Copernicus II speaker system because of its focused imaging and accurate reproduction of sound. The system employs a novel, 16-speaker array in each of two slim, curving towers, each paired with a powerful subwoofer, to focus the sound in a “sweet spot,” placing the listener in a three-dimensional sound stage, with absolute imaging, depth and presence. Utilizing precise time-alignment technology, the speakers allow the listener to visualize the vocalists and instrumentalists at their exact positioning on the stage. Vocal quality is perfectly reproduced, with the soloist seeming to come forward into the room. Sounds emanate, not from the speaker drivers in front of the listener, but from the musicians, wherever they are located on the stage. In “Teenage Lotano,” the listener is beckoned by lighting to approach that location in the room where they will experience Marina’s sonic creation. They will be able to pinpoint the various spots in the room from which the sounds seem to emanate. Standing anywhere else in the room, listeners can experience the unique mix of sounds which she has assembled, but in the “sweet spot’ the sonic experience is unique – and as intended and designed by the artist.

"I have found working with All-tronics' Copernicus II speakers to be an extraordinary experience,” the artist noted. “The tremendous focus of the speakers allows the listener to encounter sound in a truly sculptural fashion, and is the reason I selected these speakers to present my vocal and electronic composition in the Whitney Biennial 2008 exhibition. I don't know of another system that is as realistic, elegant looking and sonically refined as these speakers. A truly wondrous sound system!"

The Copernicus II speaker system is designed and manufactured by All-tronics Technical Systems, located in the historic Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. The All-tronics staff and advisory panel have extensive experience in audio speaker development and sound reproduction; as well as knowledge and expertise in medical sonography, where time alignment is critical to accurate sound generation. “Techniques developed for Doppler phase array technology,” general manager Dennis Althar noted, “have, for the first time been applied to the field of music reproduction.” It is the precise placement and timing of the speaker output which produces such accurate imaging for the listener.

Additional information on the Copernicus II speaker system may be found at


Reclaiming Hope: new blog on the block

Reclaiming Hope -- Rosemary Palmer's new blog. We learned about it in an emailed note we got from Rosemary just now. We welcome her to the discussion as another voice in the choir, another former journalist, another former teacher, another former political candidate, who can probably do more for her community as a blogger, now that she's discovered the new dynamic for building a strong economy and a healthy society.

She's met the people out there, face to face, her neighbors. She knows that they know pretty much what they need; she knows their current representation is severely, systemically conflicted and isn't helping them get it. She senses a way to cure the ills and set things right again.

Welcome, Rosemary.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Dick Morris: it's the delegates, stupid! - It’s over--Lots of good zingers here from former Clinton goombah Dick Morris. We wonder what the Clintons did to him to turn him so vehemently against them. Anyway, Dick points out, in the parlance of that other Clinton advisor James Carville, that "It's the delegates, stupid." He also points out the possibility that the superdelegates might, by being arrogant, destroy the Democratic Party.

Here's my favorite:

Suggestion for Obama:

The next time Hillary uses the recycled red phone ad, counter with one of your own. When the phone rings in the middle of the night, have a woman’s voice, with a flat Midwestern accent, answer it and say, “Hold on” into the receiver. Then she should shout, “Bill! It’s for you!”

Because with Hillary’s complete lack of any meaningful experience in foreign affairs, and her lack of the “testing” that she boldly claims, she’ll be yelling for Bill.

Morris, a former adviser to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and President Bill Clinton, is the author of Outrage. To get all of Dick Morris’s and Eileen McGann’s columns for free by email, go to

being out of line: it's a good thing

Religion Dispatches - Is Michelle Obama Out of Line? -- I found this thought-provoking explication through links from our friend Tina Vance over at Distracted Mind. Whether it's attempts to gag the Obamas or to perform "high-tech lynchings" on the Clarence Thomases, we have a problem in this country when it comes to race-weighting contributions to the community conversations that come from our non-white neighbors. It can be insidious, and it's happening again, and we need to level the playing field quickly. As a society, we don't have time to fool around pitting one element against another; we need to get to doing truly productive work, and to do it together, as Americans, all of us.

I guess what I'm saying, odd as it sounds, is that we have to marginalize the divisive influences, and keep them from marginalizing the voices that are trying to speak the truth, without spin.

As a people, we cannot advance and prosper led by spinmeisters.

the Artful Dodger war wimps are at it again, now as Benedict Arnold CEOs

War profiteering by tax dodge - The Boston Globe -- I follow the GLOBE because of my ties to the New England community--we still have a lot of friends there, and my daily coaching partner is a wirehouse broker who works in the middle of Boston. The GLOBE has surfaced some evidence of the two-faced double-dealing (is that redundant or emphatic?) swirling around Dick Cheney and his assorted band of war wimps, those guys who never served themselves yet continue to promote the war and profit from it at the same time. I have a problem with his draft-dodging back in the '60s--remember his comment that he "had better things to do," and that's why he felt it was OK that the rest of us could go stand in for him. Now, taking a page from Prescott Bush's playbook, here comes Cheney with war profiteering, with emphasis on reaping the benefits of military contracts while fattening the bottom line by not paying back into the American social systems. This is just too clever for words. I guess, once again, he's decided he has better things to do, this time with the money that should be cycling back through our social systems.

Here's the big question: Should we all begin to follow his lead, or should we close the war-wimps' loopholes?

Ireland forever

A roundup of notable Irish films from Kevin Cullen - -- Kevin gives us 15 slides here of film picks for St. Patrick's Day. Renew your Irish in the comfort of your own home, quietly, safely. How do we reconcile having St. Patrick's Day during Lent anyway? Is there a dispensation, a free pass, a get-out-of-Lenten-jail card that creates a window of festive opportunity in the middle of the somber contemplations of Holy Week? Are Irish Catholics eternally conflicted just because of the calendar and doomed to a lifetime of substance abuse to cover over the wrenching angst and guilt?

There's another thing, too. Many of us have mixed allegiances when it comes to being Americans who also originally hail from Ireland. Take my grandfather, for instance. During the First World War, he applied for his US citizenship and had to appear before a judge, who asked him why a fine, strapping young man like himself wasn't in the Army. My grandfather's reply, "Because my country's not at war," put his US citizenship on hold for a good while.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I'm embarrassed for Ohio

A Defining Moment - New York Times -- This is a great piece by David Brooks contrasting the old political order embodied in the Clintons with the new one emerging with Obama. Brooks talks about the defining moment as being November 10, 2007. Last night, in Ohio, we slid back into the Old Politics.

Our input from people at the polls was that the Ohio vote should not be misconstrued as a vote for Clinton; it was a racially biased vote against Obama, aided to a small degree by the hot-shot-too-clever-for-words Republican crossover vote espoused by our buddy Rush Limbaugh.

The Ohio vote was not about an America where everybody lives together and strives for common goals, or at least has parallel purpose. It was about fear, and racial bias, and being divided, and being at the mercy of the Old Politics.

I am ashamed of all of us.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

2314 hours--slumber party winding down

c'est fini

2300 hours--another local boy appears

George Stephanopoulos is now a commentator on the elections--George is home-grown talent whose parents still live here, I believe.

And in dances Roger Bundy, at 2306, fresh from the precinct. Roger recounts how people came into the polls today mad with him because of Tim Hagan's robo calls in the wee hours. Some say they voted against the levies because of Tim. It's so hard to get good help these days...

2140 hours -- Kinky Friedman steals the show

hinky Kinky talks about the bi-polar Crips and the Bloods party system on Headline News. Carol Cohen reminds me he first gained fame and prominence as Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys.

tend to agree--now here comes Dick Russ with Ahmad, talking about the Whigs and the Know-Nothings

now we reminisce about Mena Airport and Vince Foster, from the earlier Clinton encounter--

Dennis Eckart breezes through, asking, "Is the war over yet?" Shades of drives with the kids: "Are we there yet?" We miss it.

2108 hours--Frank Macek, WKYC house blogger

we just got to meet our WKYC blogger counterpart/liaison, Frank Macek--Kelly O'Donnell from Cleveland is now on the TV--Dennis Eckart recounts how Chris Matthews started out with Tip O'Neil, I recall how Chris used to hold forth in the cafeteria all day at Holy Cross, practicing having opinions and points of view.

2038 hours--young voter turnout favoring Obama

this brings some favorable comment throughout the room--Obama is interesting--people wonder how Hilary could ever solidify the over-61 group--incredulity runs rampant.

tomorrow is Mary Rose Oakar's birthday...

Brian Layman is live at East 40th Street, live blogging at

2007 hours--blue chart shows Ohio favoring Hilary

a pie chart showing Obama trailing Hilary elicits a gasp from the crowd--and Sandusky County's going on until 2100--the weather's a player here, too.

Question: Where's Michael Whouley in this melee? Dennis Eckart hasn't much of a clue...Kerry came out today advocating HC step aside for the sake of the party.

Dick Russ comes in looking for pithiness; screenquotes later. George and Dennis E. reminisce about Dennis' days as an FFP (former famous person).

1948 hours--live-blogging from WKYC, primary night

Amy Sisak and Dan Ketterick from WKYC MeetTheBloggers--we just met Jim Donovan, standing in for the voiceless Tim White, and Romona Robinson, and Tom Beres had been through prior, too.

LeaderPlus is the software they use to aggregate results and spit them back out again. These guys are organized--there's a lot that goes into this.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

an innocent question I couldn't answer

Today, when I was out shoveling the walk, I talked with a neighbor about the Nance/DiMora search for a convention-center management firm, notice of which was tucked away somewhere in nether regions of the PD. She also asked me whether or not the new Goldberg lady editing the PD was related to the Ohio Savings Goldberg family, and I couldn't answer.

Does anybody know definitively how to answer our neighbor? Are the two spellings of the last name the same?