Wednesday, May 27, 2009

my current Sales Practices Manual tells me I am not to be engaged in blogging activity

I have never used this or any other blog for professional purposes.

That being said,  I am aware, as of today, that, for considerations relating to my registrations with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA),  I am not to be engaged in blogging activity. Therefore, this is my last blog post; here’s the proximate rule, the one that most closely affects me:

Prohibited Activities
The below list is not intended to be inclusive of all of the instances in which the Firm will prohibit a communication with the public; rather it is intended to demonstrate some of the most common types of communications that are not approved. . . .
. . . Blogs: Interactive electronic forums such as blogs subject a member firm to various supervision and record keeping requirements. As such, no employee or affiliated person with the Firm may participate in blogs or other similar interactive electronic communications such as chat rooms.
WSP Online: Current Manual

And another, less proximate:

Electronic Chat Rooms, Blogs and Bulletin Boards
The fact that an individual is registered subjects him/her to a higher standard than members of the general public. Given the fast-paced environment of chat rooms, blogs and bulletin boards, casual or off-handed statements have the potential of crossing the line between being a reasonable opinion and an exaggerated or unwarranted claim. Because of the difficulties of supervision and the potential liabilities from participating in these forums, many firms limit or prohibit participation altogether.
Chat room participation by RRs is considered a public appearance. Therefore, RRs must follow the same requirements for participating in a chat room that they would if they were speaking in person before a group of investors. There are no filing requirements, but RRs are accountable under FINRA Conduct Rules and the federal securities laws for what they say regarding securities or services. Also, member firms are responsible for supervising the business-related activities of RRs including chat room participation. Remember, these rules apply regardless of whether an RR is in the office at home or a public computer.
In general, blogs and bulletin boards are considered advertisements and as such, all the content standards apply. Depending on the subject matter, firms may need to file these postings with FINRA.
RRs who are considering hosting a bulletin board, blog or chat room should contact their compliance department to determine whether such activities are permitted and what procedures may apply. Member firms must supervise the operation of any securities-related blog, bulletin board or chat room hosted by an RR or by the firm itself to ensure compliance with FINRA Conduct Rules and the federal securities laws. For example, a member firm may limit when commenters can post new messages to times when such messages can be monitored. A member firm may also require commenters to register and agree to abide by the terms of the Web site, including limitations on content.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tomorrow at 11:00 AM: Denison Cemetery Memorial Day Service

We’re planning on being there tomorrow for the Memorial Day service’ this is a place of memories and history. One of the best speeches I ever heard was delivered here impromptu by Ruth Ketteringham at the Memorial Day service in 2006, a few months before her death at age 99 at the end of July. She was in a very special place at the time and spoke in metaphors that transcended our particular service, yet applied beautifully. I remember she spoke of God, water, gifts, stewardship, conservation, and creation.

Gloria put this notice on a couple of our other blogs earlier this evening:

Who:  A group of friends and neighbors are called together by another neighbor Rick Nicholson each year to remember those who served our country—living and dead.  We give thanks for those who protected the freedoms of our country so that we can live without fear. 

When:  Monday May 25, 2009

               11:00 am

Where:  Denison Cemetery, 2300 Ellen Alley, Cleveland, Ohio 44109

               Turn left Off  Pearl Road onto Garden Avenue  (north of Denison Avenue)

Posted by Gloria Ferris at 5/24/2009 07:16:00 PM

More background on the former Brooklyn Centre Burying Ground is at pp. 119-120 in Reflections from Brooklyn Centre: Presentations and Oral Histories from The Brooklyn Centre Historical Society. Links to information on the cemetery appear at--

Denison Avenue: Denison Cemetery Memorial Day Service

Thursday, May 21, 2009

great ideas from mid-state: The Lazarus Building creates a distinction for Columbus

Here are a few great ideas about sustainability and preservation coming out of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce.  The ideas are both specific to the Lazarus project and also applicable to “green buildings” in general. I’ve provided the entire text here in case the site page goes away after a while.

The Lazarus Building

Once a thriving department store and Columbus landmark, Lazarus has been renovated into a premier "green" office space. Located in the heart of downtown, the Lazarus Building is once again a prominent destination due to its innovative method of redevelopment. The method included recycling more than 75 percent of the materials removed from the facility and the inclusion of a rooftop living garden which keeps the building cool. The Lazarus Building is the most significant "green" building in the country and is certified Gold through the LEED Program. The Lazarus Building provides space for 2,600 jobs in Downtown Columbus.

History/Value of Renovating the Lazarus Building:
  • Important not to demolish the building – it's a community and historic landmark.
  • The Lazarus Building is actually seven buildings, the first building – the East Building – opened in 1909. The other additions were added over the following 60 years. Reconstruction involved dealing with diverse structural systems, differing elevations, unseen and unknown conditions. Significant aspects of this project resembled an exercise in urban archaeology as much as executing 21st century construction.
  • The renovation was a tipping point and a showcase for Mayor Michael Coleman's "Get Green" program.
  • The renovation of Lazarus could be viewed as an "anchor" for the redevelopment of downtown.
  • Lazarus could be a "sample box" – an example for all of Columbus and Ohio to better understand what it means to develop a landmark building with environmental sustainability as its central focus.
  • A larger objective was to enable residents of Columbus and surrounding areas to utilize the Lazarus Building as a "teaching tool" and learning experience for students, real estate professionals such as contractors, architects and developers, and residents working or living downtown. Through displays, exhibits and tours, they can understand the lessons of Lazarus and utilize these lessons in their daily, personal and professional lives.
Six major hallmarks of "Green Buildings"
  • Sustainable Development
    • The recycling of existing buildings, such as Lazarus, rather than building new buildings both conserves resources and helps revitalize urban centers.
  • Energy Conservation
    • Buildings use 65 percent of all electricity within the United States.
    • Efficient building systems and “daylight harvesting” for Lazarus’ oversized windows and center atrium enable the building's energy systems to operate 30 percent more efficiently and at a reduced cost.
  • Clean Air and Global Warming
    • Buildings consume more than 40 percent of the energy produced in the country, adding to the emission of CO2 and other Greenhouse Gases.
    • Efficient mechanical systems, conservation and support for renewable energy sources such as wind power improve air quality and minimize the adverse impact of CO2 and other emissions.
  • Water Conservation
    • Water usage in U.S. buildings accounts for 42 billion gallons per day, which equals 88 percent of our nation’s potable water supply.
    • Lazarus' "grey water system" and highly efficient plumbing fixtures reduce water consumption by up to 80 percent.
  • Indoor Air Quality
    • Non-toxic adhesives, sealants and paints were used throughout the building, and adhering during construction to stringent air quality plan created a superior interior environment - conducive to increased worker productivity.
  • Resource Conservation
    • Buildings use 50 percent of all woods and materials nationally, while construction waste is estimated to account for 150 million tons each year.
    • Lazarus' recycling programs, during demolition, reconstruction and occupancy were all geared to conserve resources and reduce energy consumption.
Green Characteristics of Lazarus:
  • "Art Deco" lobby consisting of architecture similar to the 1920's, while utilizing 21st century materials.
  • 7-Story light well, efficient building systems and "daylight harvesting" for Lazarus' oversized windows and center atrium enables the building's energy systems to operate 30 percent more efficiently and at a reduced cost.
  • The lobby and all other finished spaces in Lazarus were constructed using recycled products or are considered sustainable.
  • The floor in the lobby is terrazzo from recycled glass.
  • The elevator and trim is recycled metal.
  • The wall trim is made from wheat board instead of customary drywall.
  • Bamboo was used as a flooring material because it’s a sustainable material. Bamboo is not a tree—it's a grass, and it grows like one. Many species of bamboo can grow two feet or more a day. When it's harvested, it need not be replanted, because it will grow a new shoot from its extensive root system. So bamboo renews itself readily, unlike hardwood trees, which, once cut, are gone forever. Bamboo is an endlessly renewable resource.
  • Green planted roof – 1/3 of an acre in size – with living plants reduces summer heat buildup.
  • Rainwater is harvested for cooling.
  • 75 percent of the construction and demolition debris was recycled.
  • Low-flow plumbing.
  • Energy efficient windows that reduce utility cost by 25 percent.
  • Recycled materials were used wherever possible.

The Lazarus Building recycled more than 50 percent of the materials removed from the project.

For more information on green buildings, visit

Lazarus Building

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jamie Janos appears in Artists and the Recession - The New York Times > Arts > Slide Show > Slide 4 of 10

Our friend photographer James O. Janos, raised on Mapledale in our Archwood-Denison neighborhood, was in the New York TIMES yesterday, along with a great, great backdrop of Cleveland.

Artists and the Recession - The New York Times > Arts > Slide Show > Slide 4 of 10

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cleveland, Ohio, medical mart may have to fend off another competitor based in Nashville, Tennessee: Central Planning tries to outrun the Capitalists

This whole medmart drill is getting to be delicious. I added the “Ohio” to the headline to make sure we didn’t get confused with Cleveland, Tennessee, or any of the other US cities called “Cleveland” which, as we shrink and they grow, we rapidly approach in size and mission-criticality. The drill thus far: First, our local lightweights introduce their friends as the major players and beneficiaries, and tell us we should be grateful that they’d even deign to look in our direction; then, they confiscate public dollars for their friends and for the local medical community by imposing a tax increase without putting it to a vote; then, they bog down as everybody sees the dollars in motion and tries to pile onto the FREE STUFF wagon.

That 1991 Oldenburg FREE Stamp down by the city hall takes on new levels of meaning for me every day. It is indeed a work of art, and I am beginning to become aware.

Entrepreneurs with capitalist leanings in New York and Nashville eventually notice the feeding frenzy around the central planning pork barrel and decide to fund what’s basically a good idea quickly and privately, thus doing an end-around on a particularly vulgar fray and display of greed. The Nashville people decide to use CNL for financing; Kennedy’s partner Vornado still has not stepped up and offered financing, being content to extort the local tax base until the game ends, one way or the other. Why hasn’t Kennedy offered to execute in a capitalistic way? Perhaps because he knows he’s frolicking on the North Coast of the Welfare-Queen State, with the lightweights?

I’d say it’s time to give the unvoted tax increase to the RTA for free public transit to match our free public education, add the kicker of beginning the MedicalMarijuanaMerchandiseMart (4M?) right now, on a street corner, out of a suitcase, and get private financing for the mart to hold the rest of the medical merchandising displays, just like the big boys.

If you want to be the first on your block, you gotta hustle.

And let’s get over these self-esteem issues. We are intrinsically wealthy in Cleveland, Ohio. We have a built heritage that is beyond compare, despite efforts of the Jackson administration and the banksters to demolish it. Our basic infrastructure is pretty darned good, too. We have a natural heritage that includes fresh water, a temperate climate, varied terrain, lots of wind, and the vestiges of forests of trees. Let’s not buy into the idea that we’re pathetic or needy, because we’re not; we’ve got everything we need right here, right now.

This city is not so ugly it has to tie a porkchop around its neck to get the dogs to play with it. Welcome to Cleveland, Chris. Now either put up some capital, or go home.

Cleveland medical mart may have to fend off another competitor based in Nashville, Tennessee - Metro -

Monday, May 18, 2009

a privately owned convention center, of all things

I’ve just returned from a 4-day stay in Dayton, Ohio, at the Hamvention. As a side note and disclaimer, I am not a ham, but found the trip an interesting excursion in the field of American Studies.

Besides the crowd itself, another very interesting thing was that the huge convention center complex used by the Hamvention is privately held, owned by a family. They are making a go of it without the help of the imposition of an earmarked county sales tax or the self-proclaimed expertise of the Kennedy family. It makes me wonder why nobody in these parts has proposed that the medical community here take care of their own business and their own MedicalMart, with their own money.

Hara Arena Information
Home to the Dayton Hamvention since 1964, The Hara Complex is as unique as its history. In 1956, Wampler Ballarena (a dance hall) was built as the cornerstone of what is now a 6-building exhibition center. Originally, the location was a thriving, family-owned fruit orchard. Today it is a thriving, family-owned entertainment, conference and exhibition facility. Very few such complexes are privately owned, even fewer are family owned. Hara has survived and prospered by combining the professionalism of one of the areas largest exhibition centers with the care and personal concern of a family business. It is a unique combination that serves our clients and patrons well.

A MedicalMarijuanaMart concept ought to have them tripping all over themselves to be the first Pfizer of natural and organic products, Mother Nature’s little helpers, swashbuckling capitalist ganja buccaneers. / Media

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

central planning fails again, as advertising kiosks fail to deliver

Finally, Henry Gomez got the figures we’ve been asking to see for years now, and the verdict is in: We the people of Cleveland did in fact finance these “street furniture” atrocities, allowing the recovery of startup costs by Omni Media before there was any money at all paid to the city. Once again, our elected help, following the direction of the hired help at central planning, show themselves to be the chumps of private enterprise. The central planner, Bob Brown, here seems to be siding with Omni; it seems he’s quite often not aligned with the public interest.

It took Omni two years to build and install the first kiosks. The company's first full year of sales was not until 2002, said Sandra Gallucci, Omni's sales manager and head of development.

For the next three years, Gallucci said, Cleveland's cut of the proceeds was canceled out for three reasons: Uncollected debt; money deducted to design and produce maps; and revenues lost because of kiosks being displaced by construction.

In addition, Omni and the city amended the contract to allow for fewer kiosks.

Brown said the up-front costs of maps and signs alone accounted for about $175,000 -- more than the city was entitled to under terms of the royalty agreement.

Omni determines royalties based on the previous year's numbers. The city caught up in 2006, when the storefront program received $37,136. The amount jumped to $72,841 in 2007.

But the six-figure paydays once considered a starting point have yet to be achieved.

When we were collecting signatures for the Put It On the Ballot initiative, people coming up East Ninth Street kept asking us for directions to a good restaurant, even though they’d passed two or three of these behemoth kiosks before talking to us. These aluminum hulks are not only superfluous, but they’re also in disrepair and out of plumb. They add to the visual clutter and mar the streetscape.

These obstructions need to be removed and scrapped so they do no further harm. The Omni Media parasites have already recovered their costs. They’re not performing according to projections; they misrepresented in a major way. So, amend the contract again. Clean the streetscape. Take back the sidewalks. Recover from Omni when you backcharge them for sign removal and new concrete slabs.

Omni, you came in here under false pretenses, so now take your boxes, fold your little Cleveland office, and go home. You were carpetbaggers anyway. Who brought you all in here in the first place?

It’s time for major change, yet this little freshening would be salutary and good for morale.

Advertising kiosks fail to deliver projected revenue for city's coffers - Metro -

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ferris’ New Website – for Apartments!

My cousin Rick sent this to me in a batch this afternoon, and I wanted to post it here for posterity, for when he's richer and more famous.

Indeed, it IS a jungle out there, and now you can rent through a local NEO broker.

Sent: Sunday, May 10, 2009 3:50 PM
Subject: Ferris' New Website – for Apartments!

Dear Friend,

I need your help! I have been working on a new internet startup with my business partner, Jon Pastor. The site is an apartment search engine (like Google) that scours the internet for every apartment listing in the U.S. (unlike Google, we specialize in apartment search only). We organize the results in a simple, powerful map/results page. We have ~1 million listings, which is 5x our closest competitor, and we just launched this week.

Please check it out at I would really appreciate your feedback and comments. In fact, if you're on Facebook, please become a fan of our Facebook page at and post a comment.

The map interface is particularly useful, try:

So if you, your kids, parents, friends or relatives are in the market for an apartment, please give it a try:

Thanks, I appreciate it, and please share your thoughts with me,

Rick Ferris

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Harlan Ellison -- Pay the Writer -- putting moochers on notice

As followup to Harlan's being Marcelled earlier in the matter of The Cleveland Arts Prize, here's Harlan's take on moochers, doing things for nothing, and getting things for nothing. I tend to agree--these secular nonprofit directors "wouldn't go for 5 seconds without being paid."

multiplying talents: Cleveland Heights pastor at Forest Hill Church takes cue from parable, gives congregants $50 each

Great story from our friend Mike O’Malley. Instructive, too.

It occurs to me now that we Roman Catholics are uniquely positioned to do the same, but on a larger scale. Instead of demolishing churches or shutting them down and having them reappear on the tax rolls, what if the diocese gave away a church to the congregation, to see what would come back? That strikes me as being the proper role of a conservator of the parishes’ aggregated assets, a trustee of the efforts of prior generations.

In the final analysis, it’s not about the money at all. The tail has been wagging the dog. It’s about people, and what our forbears put together for the support of a strong community then and now. The money was spent and the energy expended long ago to provide what we have now, and we must honor that, and conserve.

Again, we’re back to the old “Waste not, want not,” but it holds true.

Cleveland Heights pastor at Forest Hill Church takes cue from parable, gives congregants $50 each - Metro -

rude, crude, and nasty: secular nonprofit executive director struts her stuff

There’s a certain tacky, money-grubbing desperation pervasive in the secular nonprofit arena in Ohio, and Marcie Bergman’s conduct representing us as executive director of The Cleveland Arts Prize (CAP) points that up. The Prize has too distinguished a history and is too good a concept to have to endure this sort of hired representation; it’s time for a more gracious face for the organization.

It appears from a cursory examination of the CAP’s forms 990 over at Guidestar (register and sign in for yourself, membership is free) that they certainly could have afforded to provide native son and enfant terrible Harlan Ellison a plane ticket and lodging. It also appears that Marcelle Bergman’s compensation was equal to 1/10th of the endowment amount in 2007; hereafter to be known as Madame Shekelgruber, she had a part-time job of 20 hours a week and received $44,997 for that in 2007. In 2006 and 2005, the compensation for executive-director leadership was significantly less, but that actually misses the point: Paying anything at all for this type of representation is just too, too expensive.

Let’s see if Harlan showcases a new character based on his recent experience with Madame Shekelgruber. Go, Harlan; if anybody can do it, it’s you. And as I’ve been fond of saying lately, “Welcome to Cleveland; now go home.”

Harlan Ellison turns down Cleveland Arts Prize -

Thursday, May 07, 2009

sage accounting advice from Janis Joplin - GET IT WHILE YOU CAN

Based on advice from accounting professionals, and backed up by our old friend Janis, I applied today for Social Security retirement benefits. My 62nd birthday is three months from today, and that's the earliest they allow application for the benefit.

I am not retiring, though. I plan on continuing to work in my chosen profession for another 25 years. As the Tofflers have suggested in REVOLUTIONARY WEALTH, we are entering a new age in which all things monetary get re-valued.

book review: MEAN Little deaf Queer, A memoir by Terry Galloway

I saw this title just now over on LibraryThing as one of the review items available for May and was fascinated by the words as juxtaposed.

“You don´t have to be mean, little, deaf, or queer to take heart from this miraculously unsentimental, deliriously funny, refreshingly spite-free, joyously weirdo-embracing memoir. All you have to be is human. Like Augusten Burroughs, Frank McCourt, and Mary Karr, Terry Galloway has written a memoir that transcends its hilarious particularities to achieve the universality of true art.”

Sarah Bird, author of How Perfect is That and The Mommy Club

More praise

Running with Scissors meets The Liar's Club in this edgy and wickedly hilarious memoir about one irrepressible, mean, little, deaf queer

When Terry Galloway was born on Halloween, no one knew that an experimental antibiotic given to her mother had wreaked havoc on her fetal nervous system. After her family moved from Berlin Germany, to Austin, Texas, hers became a deafening, hallucinatory childhood where everything, including her own body, changed for the worse. But those unwelcome changes awoke in this particular child a dark, defiant humor that fueled her lifelong obsessions with language, duplicity, and performance.

As a ten-year-old self-proclaimed “child freak,” she acted out her fury at her boxy hearing aids and Coke-bottle glasses by faking her own drowning at a camp for crippled children. Ever since that first real-life performance, Galloway has used theater and performance, whether onstage or off, to defy and transcend her reality. With disarming candor, Terry writes about her mental breakdown, her queer identity, and living in a silent, quirky world populated by unforgettable characters. What could have been a bitter litany of complaint is instead an unexpectedly hilarious and affecting take on life.


Prologue: Nine

Part I: Drowning

Them and Me


Presto Change-o


The Performance of Drowning
Listen to it; MP3, 67 MB)

Lost Boy

Part II: Passing

Little-d Deaf

On Being Told No

Passing Strange

Drag Acts


Jobs for the Deaf

The Shallow End

Part III: Emerging


Who Died and What Killed Them

Why I Should Matter

Epilogue: A Happy Life . . .


MEAN Little deaf Queer: A memoir by Terry Galloway

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Shift Happens Narrated

My friend and classmate John Francis Moriarty III, an expatriate and educator in Thailand since college, still seems to care about basic disparities and the new, laggard culture of his birth country. The film clip mentions sending laptops to children in disadvantaged countries overseas, and I think, What about our own third-world country, our emerging nation/city-state, our sleepy little banana republic here in the center of Cuyahoga County?

FW: Budget Update from our friend Joe Calabrese over at RTA

We just got this email from Joe Calabrese. I didn’t know he knew where to reach me; will wonders never cease?

Anyway, Joe informs us there is a shortfall in sales tax receipts, just at the same time we’re looking to finance a MedMart on the back of the sales tax. I wonder if this will give any of the MedMart cheerleaders pause?

Here’s an idea: Since the Medical MarijuanaMart will be self-sustaining and a low-cost startup—heck, you can deal out of a suitcase just about anywhere—we can reallocate the sales-tax increase originally earmarked for the old, tired idea of the MedMart to public transit. Given this sudden influx of funds, RTA can be free for all, just like public education, and the economy will flourish, except for the autoworkers and the banks that lend money to buy overpriced gas hogs.

From: e-news []
Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 3:22 PM
Subject: Budget Update

A message from Joe Calabrese, RTA CEO & General Manager

I want to update you on the current status of RTA's budget due to the current recession.

In light of a
projected $12-15 million shortfall in sales tax receipts, we are aggressively taking steps to help balance our budget to preserve needed transportation services.

The Ohio House of Representatives recently passed House Bill 1, which includes a badly needed increase for public transit.

We urge you to contact your State Senators and the Governor's Office, and urge them to retain this increase and provide whatever other assistance possible in order to minimize any service reductions.

We will keep you informed as the process continues. Thank you for your assistance.

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Monday, May 04, 2009

Arlo Guthrie - Coming Into Los Angeles - Woodstock 1969

I was thinking of the uses of BKL (Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport) in the conduct of the new commerce at the new Cleveland MedicalMarijuanaMart, and it brought to mind the way trafficking used to be, when Arlo was a kid, flying into LAX.

unions tied to the unthinkable, and I do not lithp: N.Y. Times to File Notice It Will Close Boston Globe

Unthinkable, it is, and the unions are caught right in the middle. What’s valuable here? What’s the price to maintain the value?

The notion that Boston, home to some of the country's top universities, could lose its major daily would have been unthinkable before the recent nationwide plunge in advertising revenue. That dive has triggered a wave of newspaper bankruptcies and the closing of the Rocky Mountain News and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

A Globe shutdown would leave the city with only one daily newspaper, the tabloid Boston Herald, which has just 10 news reporters and is battling its own financial difficulties.

"From the moment the Times Co. purchased The Globe in 1993, it has treated New England's largest newspaper like a cheap whore," former Globe columnist Eileen McNamara wrote last month in the Herald. "It pimped her out for profit during the booming 1990s and then pillaged her when times got tough. It closed her foreign bureaus and cheapened her coverage of everything from the fine arts to the hard sciences."

McNamara, who now teaches journalism at Brandeis University, ridiculed Sulzberger as "the boy genius whose crack management skills have helped drive the parent company of two of journalism's most respected newspapers to the brink of bankruptcy."

The Globe says the parent company is seeking $10 million in savings from the Newspaper Guild -- the paper's largest union -- as well as $5 million from the mailers, $2.5 million from the drivers and $2.2 million from the pressmen.

N.Y. Times to File Notice It Will Close Boston Globe -

Sunday, May 03, 2009

$7 billion annual revenue enhancement: MedicalMarijuanaMart

I was telling my friend Jim before church today about the idea of the MedicalMarijuanaMart, and he told me that Vancouver, British Columbia, had realized $7.8 billion from those sorts of sales last year. Checking quickly on line, I found this:

Until recently, I believed tales of drug busts and the legalization debate were news stories, and didn't belong in a business magazine. Then a few experts attached numbers to the illegal business. Forestry added $10 billion to B.C.'s GDP in 2005, the construction industry another $7.9 billion and according to police sources, the marijuana trade claims third spot, boasting annual sales of $7.5 billion. Big business indeed

BC Bud Marijuana from western Canada

And this:

Medical marijuana could ease economic pains

Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver Sun columnist
Published: Friday, November 14, 2008

DUNCAN - Eric Nash can barely contain his excitement waiting to hear from Health Canada whether he can start growing marijuana for 250 patients.

That would be just the start. There are tens of thousands more who are ailing across the country clamouring for his organic B.C. bud.

"There is a great opportunity here for the government to collect significant tax revenue currently being lost to the street market," Nash, one of the best-known legal cannabis producers, enthused.

"With the current global financial crisis, this court ruling is certainly a bright light in dark economic times. We're just waiting for clarification. I figure our production would increase significantly from several pounds to 150 pounds or more immediately."

Now that the Federal Court of Appeal has struck down the government's monopoly on supplying medical marijuana, Nash believes commercial agricultural production of pot is around the corner and the sky's the limit.

His local company, Island Harvest, has cleared the industrial security regulatory hurdles so the company meets the standards set by Ottawa to grow the much-demonized plant.

"Our vision is to have a sustainable commercial agriculture operation," he said. "There's no reason we can't achieve that. Look at the number of compassion clubs, look at the number of people using marijuana to relieve a headache or pre-menstrual cramps!"

More and more research is supporting previous anecdotal evidence that cannabis may have a wide range of therapeutic uses from the treatment of Alzheimer's, depression, glaucoma, epilepsy and cancer to HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and ADD/ADHD. Its most ardent promoters say cannabis may be an addition to the modern pharmacopeia that rivals Aspirin in the breadth of its applications.

It doesn't take a genius to realize the potential profits are staggering….

…Regardless, Nash said, based on the four-per-cent model, that puts sales at more than $400 million annually.

More optimistic projections say the medical market, including ancillary products such as vaporizers and paraphernalia, could be as high as $20 billion.

Add it up: The government sells maybe $1 million a year worth of the pot produced in a Manitoba mine, and compassion clubs across the country sell about $10 million worth of cannabis products.


I guess somebody already has thought up the idea of the MedicalMarijuanaMart, but Clevelanders should not give up so soon—they’re always looking for those copycat things, and this is way less tired an idea than casinos.

Since Cleveland has that thing called “home rule,” it would seem a logical next step to set up as a sovereign city-state and begin to deal. They could also work it so they wouldn’t have to share with those greedy devils Lee and Ted at the state, erstwhile brokers of all money flowing back from the Federal level. With home rule, we’d probably be something like an emerging third-world country or a banana republic, but, what the heck, we’ve been practicing being that way for years.

I guess the WeedWalk/PotParade on PublicSquare may have been one of those inflection points.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

weed, weed, weed on Public Square in Cleveland, Ohio

Today, around mid-day, I made a quick bus run to public square and happened to see this sad little parade following three police bikes. The people had three banners with all sorts of green colors on them and seemed to be chanting “Weed!”

I went in to the Terminal Tower to get some coffee at the Caribou and when I emerged, the parade had vaporized, almost as though they were swallowed up by the Cleveland Convention & Visitors Bureau at 100 Public Square.

Was there any coverage of this event anywhere? I’ve googled “Weed Walk” and “Pot Parade” and “On the Move with Marijuana” along with “Cleveland OH” and come up empty. Maybe they were here promoting the commissioners’ latest regional revitalization scheme, a MedicalMarijuanaMart. Far out. Outta state. Right arm.

Beats casinos. Probably easier to legalize and tax than prostitution. Go for it. Try something new for a change. Innovate.

the worm has turned: “The Democrats have no more excuses” | Salon

I enjoyed this take on the current state of affairs by David Sirota. Now, do you think they’ll have the moral courage to begin talking about restitution to individuals and restoration of communities before they talk about bailouts of huge entities, and being “too big to fail”?

May 1, 2009 | As counsel for the Warren Commission investigating the Kennedy assassination, Arlen Specter described a "magic bullet" that changed America. Four decades later as a U.S. senator, Specter is providing another history-altering magic bullet -- one Democrats will either fire off in a starting gun, or use in their suicide.

By leaving the Republican Party this week, the five-term Pennsylvania lawmaker eliminated the last Democratic rationale for inaction: the Senate filibuster. With Minnesota Democrat Al Franken expected to be seated soon, and now with Specter, Democrats will have the 60 Senate votes needed to overcome all parliamentary obstructions.

This legislative magic bullet will force Democrats to fulfill their policy promises and potentially commence an era of dominance, or they will fail and be annihilated at the polls.

No longer can they blame Republicans for stopping bills to reform healthcare, tax, defense and trade policy. In command of the White House, the autocratic House of Representatives, and soon a filibuster-proof Senate majority, Democrats will have total authority to do whatever they want, and no scapegoat to fault. That means, as ABC News' Rick Klein said, "This is Democrats' turn to govern, no excuses" -- and it means we're about to find out whether their pledges were genuine.

Ever since the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress, Democrats have guaranteed "real change" if we give them back control of government. They've made this pledge despite helping Republicans to deregulate the financial system and to plunge the country into the Iraq war. And at every turn, they've blamed the GOP, rather than themselves, for gridlock.

The Democrats have no more excuses | Salon

In another Salon piece, Glenn Greenwald recounts Dick Durbin’s candor a few days ago, about the bankers owning the US Congress. We haven’t heard about it or seen it anywhere else. Wonder why. Great piece, read it all.

Sen. Dick Durbin, on a local Chicago radio station this week, blurted out an obvious truth about Congress that, despite being blindingly obvious, is rarely spoken:  "And the banks -- hard to believe in a time when we're facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created -- are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place."  The blunt acknowledgment that the same banks that caused the financial crisis "own" the U.S. Congress -- according to one of that institution's most powerful members -- demonstrates just how extreme this institutional corruption is.

The ownership of the federal government by banks and other large corporations is effectuated in literally countless ways, none more effective than the endless and increasingly sleazy overlap between government and corporate officials.  Here is just one random item this week announcing a couple of standard personnel moves:

Former Barney Frank staffer now top Goldman Sachs lobbyist

food for thought: Bob Reid takes over from Frank Bova Wednesday

Do you think we’ll some day soon read a related story in which Bob Reid arrests Jimmy DiMora? What does the sheriff do, anyway?

Bob Reid is elected Cuyahoga County Sheriff - Metro -

good news: Bishop reverses St. Colman closing

Well, here’s some truly good news: Bishop Lennon has granted Saint Colman parish a 4-year reprieve. That means parishioners and other well-wishers have 4 years in which to learn and then to prove that tithing works wonders.

The problem with coming up Catholic in these parts is that we were all instructed, in the ‘50s and ‘60s, to give 1 hour’s wage, and that would be quite enough. These days, apparently that is no longer the case. For a normal workweek, a tithe would be 4 hours’ pay, before deductions.

In times when there were lots of practicing Catholics, households chock full of boomers thanks to the rhythm method, and a real need for Catholic schools, 1 hour’s wage worked wonders and the church networks grew huge. Smaller families, new spiritualities, competition from the government and secular nonprofits for the charitable dollar, spiking utility costs, church scandals, and fewer vocations have now worked to alter the scale of supporting the previous network of Roman Catholic churches and schools. More is now needed from fewer. It’s time to pick up and review the Bible; it’s time to emulate our Presbyterian relatives and begin to tithe. Cleveland, OH Bishop reverses St. Colman closing

Friday, May 01, 2009

H. L. Mencken forecast our land of heart’s desire

The quote below from H. L. Mencken, from Nelson Nash’s newsletter just out today,  may help explain the phenomenon of legislative bowdlerization of American English that Connie Schultz brought to the fore yesterday, with the start of the “retardation” dialogues.

If the legislative take-aways and prohibitions continue, then, when the emperor truly has no clothes, or is helplessly impaired, we won’t be able to describe the situation accurately without running the risk of being politically incorrect. I wonder if “moron” has been legislated away already?

As democracy is perfected, the office of president
represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of
the people. On some great and glorious day the plain
folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last
and the White House will be adorned by a downright
moron.” -H.L. Mencken (July 26, 1920)