Thursday, April 30, 2009

Connie Schultz may have a point: Purge Ohio law of a needlessly hurtful word

Connie may be right. I probably shouldn’t have referred to Frank Jackson, Jane Campbell, and Mike White as ‘tards a few posts ago. It was a thoughtless slur denigrating an entire class of retarded people, people who happen to be a certain way and have no control over that circumstance, and I apologize for it. Jackson et al. play country-bumpkin dumb and act stupid, but we suspect they can also act alternatively. We hope.

As Connie points out, our language is losing a lot of its color, strength, and power to the well-intentioned bowdlerizations of public servants who would aspire to be custodians of political correctness, and emasculators of public discourse:

"There was a time when the word 'retarded' was considered acceptable," Stewart [Republican State Sen. Jimmy Stewart, of Athens] said. "I think we all recognize that language changes over time. Words that didn't used to be seen as offensive now are. It was only recently that 'imbecile,' 'drunkard' and 'lunatic' were taken out of language in the Ohio code. . . . It's time to eliminate 'retardation,' too. It won't change everybody's mind, and it won't stop everyone from using the word in a derogatory way, but it's a start."

It's a good start, and way overdue. And what took us so long? I'd be quicker to lunge at the legislature if I weren't so embarrassed that it took me longer than it should have to recognize the injustice. As my 21-year-old daughter pointed out to me this week, calling someone a "reeee-tard" is still common among her peers, and always intended to deride.

In addition to the problem of the neutering of the language by proscription, we have coming at it from the other side the problem of word-hijacking—“gay” for instance as a reference to things homosexual, and “urban” as a near-synonym for the racial “black” (which used to be the polite and respectful “Negro”), adding nuances where they didn’t exist before, eclipsing original meanings. They’ve even hijacked the rainbow and made it so a man can’t wear a pink shirt without drawing some sort of commentary.

You just have to wonder what’s going to be left to language, colors, and symbols after a while, with all the expurgation and confiscation. Perhaps we can go an underground loaded-word-retention movement, or begin to speak in code, or in Latin: Semper ubi sub ubi. Ah, there’s a start!

What words would you like to keep? What words would you like to take back? What associations would you like to put to sleep?

Is there a basic imbalance in a culture where strong, loaded words get put away, yet common words are assigned loads, codes, and nuances they never had before?

Purge Ohio law of a needlessly hurtful word -- Connie Schultz - Connie Schultz, Plain Dealer Columnist -

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

ideas whose time has come: “Secession Is in Our Future” - Clifford F. Thies - Mises Institute

A few weeks ago, I was talking about separating Brooklyn Centre from the City of Cleveland, and having Ohio City and a few other viable entities do the same. Now, here’s a guy entertaining a similar idea, but relative to the states and the federal government.

Can states secede? There are three levels on which this question can be answered:

  1. the inalienable right of secession,
  2. the international law of secession, and
  3. the US law of secession.

    All three say yes.

Things are heating up, at least in the world of ideas.

Secession Is in Our Future - Clifford F. Thies - Mises Institute

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dan Gilbert of the Cavs and other Ohio casino backers hire troubled California firm Arno Political Consultants

We’ve said “no!” to these clowns on numerous occasions, yet here they come again, using the same dishonest signature-collection firm as before. Anybody who has listened to the signature-gatherers misrepresentations with regard to gambling issues knows that there should be a law requiring them to tell the truth, but in this political climate, there are few standards.

It’s time to view Dan Gilbert in a different light, entirely. This is not a good-neighbor gesture, to attempt to inflict this fraudulent campaign on the community once again. We really don’t need bread and circuses, we really don’t need the underground economies that casinos bring with them, and we really don’t need any more low-paying no-skills-required part-time jobs. We also don’t need any more loans. Think about it.

The Ohio casino plan is being backed by Cleveland Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert and Penn National Gaming, a casino operating company based in Pennsylvania.

The plan would require a rewrite of Ohio's constitution to allow casinos in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo, if approved by voters. But to get on the ballot, the casino committee first must collect 402,275 signatures of valid Ohio voters by the end of June.

Ohio casino backers hire troubled California firm Arno Political Consultants - Metro -

Monday, April 27, 2009

Conde Bust: Why Portfolio folded. - By Daniel Gross - Slate Magazine

Bummer. Read all about it at the link below. Portfolio was probably my favorite monthly magazine, followed closely by WORTH, which also seems to have fallen strangely silent lately.

I wonder how they plan to fulfill the remainder of the subscription?

Why Portfolio folded. - By Daniel Gross - Slate Magazine

Sunday, April 26, 2009

my first craigslist posting: Art Deco Baroque Rococo 3-piece Bedroom Set - $300 (Cleveland, Ohio, in Brooklyn Centre)

What more can I say than, tadaaaaa! I had trouble with the size of the photo files until I got hold of a freeware utility from Fookes Software called EZ Thumbnails, and then everything just seemed to fall into place.

Date: 2009-04-26, 4:46PM EDT

This is sort of the FlubADub of bedroom furniture; there's some design element here for everybody, so long as you're into exuberance. We think it's from the 1920s or 1930s. It's definitely old; it was originally designed for those metal springs. It's very well built. It is massive. It is huge. It is heavy. It casts its own unique spell. It holds a lot. Our daughter the artist was entranced by it a few years ago on a trip to a furniture shop in Wooster. She has since moved to Savannah, but had not sent for the furniture to accompany her, and now tells us it won't. It's not our style. We're in downsize mode; we'd like rush mats, perhaps on a tasteful, minimalist platform.

Cash, please. Take it away. All three pieces must move out of here together. We're near the zoo, and all the major freeways, I-71, I-90, I-480, and so forth. Live long and prosper. Sleep well, surrounded by quality construction. Wake up in another era.

If these thumbnail photos don't do the three pieces justice, I can send you larger files with better resolution by email.

  • Location: Cleveland, Ohio, in Brooklyn Centre
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

image 1141281045-0
image 1141281045-1

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PostingID: 1141281045; posting can be seen at


Saturday, April 25, 2009

here’s an idea whose time has come

This is the 12th ethics complaint filed against Sarah Palin, and I think it should have wide application, cutting across all party lines and governmental entities. These political types are servants to the public and must be held to basic standards relative to our employment of them; if we feel discomfort or unease, they should feel more, sooner. They are not leaders, they are not celebrities, they are not players, they are not developers; they are help, and should be paid and treated accordingly. We need them less and less. They are becoming impediments to progress and wasters of our common, pooled assets.

The complaint will be filed this afternoon asserting that Palin's involvement with SarahPAC constitutes "outside employment" and "misuse of official position."

Anchorage resident Sondra Tompkins, child disability advocate and mother of a special needs child, is filing the complaint after observing Governor Palin repeatedly display "a pattern of unethical behavior." Sondra believes that the tipping point for her was Sarah Palin's most recent abdication of her role as Governor and apparent conflict-of-interest when she spoke at two outside events in Indiana rather than work with the Alaska Legislature during the most critical time, the end of the session.

The complaint alleges:

a) Governor Palin has entered into a contract outside of her official duties with the donors, employees, partners and any or all other participants involved in SarahPAC.

b) The recent partisan trip to Indiana by the Governor was purely to benefit personal interests, had no benefit for the State of Alaska and was in direct conflict with her official duties.

c) The Governor left the State to participate in these events during the most critical end-of-session Legislative activities, at a time where the legislators themselves are not permitted to leave

AKMuckraker: Palin's Dirty Dozen -- New Ethics Complaint Filed

Marc Canter: How to build the Open Mesh | Book Preview of a treatise on what it's gonna take for us all to make a living off the crumbs left behind by the behemoths

Gloria and I spent some time with Marc Canter last night over at Paul’s place on Edgecliff, and he has  many, many ideas that augment and add tons of value to the dialogues we’ve been having around here these past 5 years. You can buy this book here in softcover or in hardcover with dust jacket or imagewrap, or, as George Nemeth has pointed out, you can download components.

Explore. Expand. Exhale. It’s all gonna be all right. Marc works in right fine with all the rest of what’s happening around here, in a context of infinite abundance.

How to build the Open Mesh | Book Preview

Friday, April 24, 2009

swashbuckling venture capitalists—veritable corsairs--or welfare queens?

You be the judge. 

JumpStart receives 52 percent of its funding from federal and state government, including a significant portion from Third Frontier, a statewide program aimed at creating industries and jobs in high-tech areas.

See related article, Average pay in Cleveland area in 2007 was 3.3 percent below U.S. average,  and its telling *.pdf,.

From the *.pdf,  note that 16.4% above in 1969 and 3.3% below in 2007 is a spread, a fall, of 19.7%; do you think things have improved, relatively, since 2007? And look at the state overall…

JumpStart Inc. invested 29 percent more in early-stage companies last year -

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

new Cleveland blog: Helen Miller's Weight Loss Diary, or, “Here's How I Lost 47 lbs of Body Fat in Just 2 Months With These 2 FREE* Diet Products I Saw on T.V.”

I really can’t tell you how I stumbled across this new offering from Cleveland, but here it is, for your delectation, a new blog on the NEO scene as of April 8th:

Dear fellow weight-struggler,

   Hi, I am Helen, and I'm from Cleveland, Ohio. I know there are many diet ads around that tell you their product really works. I just thought I would share my story with you in the hopes of inspiring you with a real example, and not just the lies that companies use. This is the true story of how I went from depressed and overweight to having an amazing body with the help of a few free weight loss products*.

read more at Helen Miller's Weight Loss Diary

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Judge Peter Corrigan tackles the task of riding herd on the ‘tards

It seems Judge Corrigan finds the current administration as big an embarrassment as the rest of us do, and he can do something about it before election time rolls around. The $900,750 fine should be borne by those who incurred it, our elected and hired help, and not the general fund. We have to start recovering money from them on a personal basis, and not funding their failed attempts at gangsterism out of dollars that should be benefiting all of us.

Penalties and fines need to be specifically and particularly attached to the miscreants, the mayors and their staffs. We must strip away the protections that hitherto have enabled their violating the law with impunity. There must be a personally assessed price for the practices of “cronyism and corruption.”

Judge, City Hall clash over civil service ruling - Metro -

Monday, April 13, 2009

breaking chains: Kill Your Cable TV Bill Dead -- InformationWeek

Years ago, cable television was a godsend. In the mid-70s in Atlanta, I think I paid around $6 a month for no-commercial television and movies with great reception and no rabbit ears.

Today, cable has become what it replaced, commercial-ridden television, and it costs a hefty subscription rate, to boot.

In the INFORMATION WEEK article here are some workarounds you can start using now. Personally, we have a Netflix subscription, cable internet from Time Warner, and over-the-air HDTV. We haven’t had cable for nearly 20 years, since we discovered our then-4-year-old had become exceedingly fond of MTV and also had already memorized a good number of Beavis and Butthead riffs.

Kill Your Cable TV Bill Dead -- Video -- InformationWeek

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Steven D. Knope, M.D.: concierge medicine, retainer medicine, direct medicine and boutique medicine

Here’s an interesting fee-based advisory business model that makes a lot of sense to me. It allows the doctor to function as a true professional and to act as an advocate for his clients in a market that has become hopelessly compromised and complicated. Also, Dr. Knope uses blogs and podcasts to get the message out.

I was referred here by a NYTimes article about how doctors are opting out of Medicare.

Concierge medicine, retainer medicine, direct medicine and boutique medicine are all terms used to describe a new form of medical service in which patients contract directly with their doctor for medical services. By removing the third-party payer, your physician acts as your advocate, with no interference or conflict of interest from outside parties.

Internist Steven D. Knope, M.D., a pioneer in creating patient-centered care for optimal health and wellness, is the first physician to offer this comprehensive, personal approach in Tucson.

For one annual fee, Dr. Knope provides:

Exercise and fitness consultation, including a lactate stress test, nutritional analysis and an exercise prescription tailored to your specific health and fitness goals.

24/7 telephone access via cell phone or beeper wherever you are.

Same-day service for any medical problem that requires evaluation by Dr. Knope.

Office visits that are anything but routine. You are scheduled for 20- to 30-minute sessions for routine visits, depending on your needs.

Dr. Knope personally oversees hospital admissions and care. There will be no “hospitalist” or unfamiliar physician directing your care in a crisis.

Dr. Knope supervises and monitors all ER visits.

All blood work is done in our office. You won't be referred to busy labs for blood work.

Prompt telephone feedback with lab and radiology test results.

Prompt referrals to a select group of Tucson's best specialists. When time is important, Dr. Knope will intervene on your behalf so you can see a specialist as soon as possible.

An annual physical exam, including a stress test and a disease prevention assessment, along with a comprehensive cancer screening.

Supervision by a personal trainer at your gym or in your home. Two sessions with a certified exercise physiologist to ensure you are following Dr. Knope’s exercise prescription properly.

Steven D. Knope, M.D.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

good article on Jill Miller Zimon also mentions MeetTheBloggers

From Women’s eNews, here’s an article featuring our friend Jill Miller Zimon in “Journalist of the Month” and announcing her entry into local Pepper Pike politics. Gloria just told me Jill is filing her petitions at the Board of Elections right now, which is just before lunch time. In the article, Jill gleans many good comments, among them the following:

On Feb. 23, the day before Limbaugh's women's summit, a Public Polling Study showed Limbaugh--known in some circles for saying "feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream"--has a major gender gap on his hands. In the poll 56 percent of men surveyed expressed a favorable opinion of Limbaugh, while 37 percent of women.

On the day of the summit, Miller Zimon ran excerpts of the Limbaugh program along with her comments, which were sent around the Internet by e-mail and picked up by several other blogs, including, The Moderate Voice, and The Huffington Post.

Miller Zimon's citizen journalism earns the respect of Jay Rosen, a New York University journalism professor, and author of the influential media blog PressThink. "She has her feminist group base, and a local political base, and some new media people and Cleveland bloggers," says Rosen. "I like the way she knits together the local and the national, the political and the personal, without getting sentimental."

In writing for this diverse community, Miller Zimon is succeeding at blogging in the deepest sense, says Rosen. "The greatest characteristic of blogging is that personal expression can have the publishing might of big companies. That's the big promise of it and that's why she's successful."

There’s also mention of the influence of the MeetTheBloggers experience:

Since 2005, Miller Zimon's concern about transparency of local politics, and the power of blogging, led her to attend and blog about almost 40 local "Meet the Blogger" forums in which notable Ohio politicians and other civic leaders faced bloggers and their questions in person.

That helped spur her decision to run for public office.

"Meet the Bloggers helped expose me to just how normal people pursue politics, and why," says Miller Zimon. "Complaining and writing about it can only get you so far . . . "

Citizen Blogging Boosts Zimon into Local Politics