Wednesday, March 30, 2016

You Can Do This

In 2012, Matt Damon helped pay tribute to the late historian and author Howard Zinn. This rendition of a speech Zinn gave in 1970 on civil disobedience is one of his most powerful performances to date. It is still true... The Problem is Still Civil Obedience. - See more at:

Global Localism
Work to make your city / metro region united and strong. Then work with other regions to resolve common challenges.

National Goals - USA
Make the wheels of government turn for US, the 99.9%, by:

  1. Reversing Citizen's United vs. Federal Election Commission.
  2. Repealing three, Bill of Rights busting laws: (a) the USA PATRIOT Act (Yes, Congress “repealed” the Patriot Act. But it was in name only. Now we must work to revise the Freedom Act.) (b) the Military Commission Act and (c) section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.
  3. Establish a “Constitution Protection Zone” in your city or town.
  4. Re-establishing the Glass-Steagall Act
  5. Abolishing the CIA
  6. Establishing a national public works program to maintain our infrastructure.
  7. Adopting a Robin Hood tax
  8. Creating local, sustainable, distributed energy systems throughout the nation.
  9. Retrieving the trillions of dollars now being expended through the "Deep Black Ops Budget" and put it to use serving the needs of the people by creating decent paying, infrastructure-building employment and returning the billions of dollars stolen from the 99.9% during Depression.2. 
  10. Creating a state bank in every state, e.g. North Dakota State Bank, and using “crowdfunding” resources rather than international banks.
  11. Adopting local Anti-Corruption Act Laws
  12. Making mainstream media do its job as "Guardian of our Democratic Republic" by reinstituting the Fairness Doctrine and repealing Title 3 of the Telecommunications Act (1996.)
Yes, beginning today, we can accomplish these things. Talk with your friends and family. Start your local The Movement today. We are the local, world non-movement of all living things... Really.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Déjà vu All Over Again

"Vice President Joe Biden argued on Thursday that Republicans were hurting the country by refusing to hold a hearing to consider Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court, and challenged law students to name one way in which Congress was functioning."
Joe Biden Is Genuinely Curious: WTF Is Congress Doing?, Sam Levine, Huffington Post, 24 Mar 2016.

I remember hearing something like that…

"We all joke about Congress but we can't improve on them. Have you noticed that no matter who we elect, he is just as bad as the one he replaces?"

"The Senate just sits and waits till they find out what the president wants, so they know how to vote against him."

"The difference between a Republican and a Democrat is the Democrat is a cannibal. They have to live off each other, while the Republicans, why, they live off the Democrats." (1.)

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”(2.) Please consider not sitting much longer.

(1.) & (2.) Will Rogers (1879-1935) was a popular columnist, humorist, actor and cowboy philosopher. He died along with Wiley Post in an airplane crash while touring Alaska. Rogers was 56 yrs old. Of the statues in the Capitol, the Rogers sculpture is the only one facing the Chamber entrance. It’s reported, erroneously of course, that upon discussing the placement his likeness in the Capitol building, Rogers said, “Put me where I can keep an eye on them”. According to guides at the Capitol, each President rubs the left shoe of the Rogers statue for good luck before entering the House Chamber to give the State of the Union address.

*Déjà vu All Over Again - Apology to Yogi Berra. For more "Yogisms" go here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Change of Leadership

World says she needs "Fresh Eyes"... so she's changing the leadership unless you step up.
World is calling... she needs your help again!

Go here for more information.

In the meantime...

Friday, March 18, 2016

Praying for an Epiphany... Not a "Deal"

Donald on the Road. Will it be the real thing... an Epiphany... or will he cut a deal?
Hope springs eternal. I'm hoping that Mr. Trump has an Epiphany akin to Saul's. But, Donald being Donald, we can bet he'll be overflowing with confidence that he will cut a favorable deal with the Big Boss. I guess we’ll see. - RB

Apology to Mr. Rubens
Please go here to view the Master's work
Paul and the Road to Damascus
Peter Paul Rubens, The Conversion of St. Paul

The Roman Jew Saul was one of the most zealous persecutors of the Christians. On the road to Damascus he was blinded and subsequently converted to Christianity, taking the name of Paul. In his version of The Conversion of St Paul, Rubens closely follows the biblical account given in the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 9, verses 1 to 22.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

No, Sen McConnell, Joe Biden Didn’t Say That

What Joe Biden actually said about confirming Supreme Court Justices during election years:

Perhaps Sen. McConnell has presented so many "untruths" to the U.S. public that his brain has actually closed down and he no longer knows a "truth" if he should happen to stumble upon one. Further, he may also be unaware that there is a truthful video history available for the rest of us to review. - RB

No, Joe Biden Didn’t Say That The Senate Should Block Supreme Court Nominees During An Election Year, Igor Volsky, Think Progress, 22 Feb 2016.

Note: 22 Feb 2016
"Biden's office has released the following statement: "Nearly a quarter century ago, in June 1992, I gave a lengthy speech on the Senate floor about a hypothetical vacancy on the Supreme Court. Some critics say that one excerpt of my speech is evidence that I oppose filling a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year. This is not an accurate description of my views on the subject. Indeed, as I conclude in the same statement critics are pointing to today, urged the Senate and White House to work together to overcome partisan differences to ensure the Court functions as the Founding Fathers intended. That remains my position today."

Please go here for more.

Dad & Mom's U.S.A.

Up out of the electioneering muck, here's our America, too...

Aaron Copland - Fanfare For The Common Man
Leonard Bernstein, then the conductor of the NY Philharmonic, gives a small presentation about what he feels defines American music before introducing Mr. Copland.

Published on Jul 5, 2013
From the New York Philharmonic's "Young People's Concerts" television series.
Ep. 2 "What is American Music?"
Original broadcast February 1st, 1958
Aaron Copland conducting

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

About Those Decisions

Angry Times

Go here for more Klavan.

Happy Times
I'm tired of all this "President" stuff. I'm looking for happier, fun times. So, I favor Wallace and Gromit for President. How about you?

We can deal with that "birthplace" thing some other time.- RB

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Paul Revere Today

Just asking... What would Paul Revere's warning be today?

Best Buds Now

O.K. W. If you tell your people to work with me on Trump and Bernie, when I'm President I won't let them put you and Cheney and the rest of them on trial for war crimes & crimes against humanity.
Please go here for photo credit and story.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Hard Knock Life

Mr. Trump's TV becomes real for Lady Liberty.
Mr. Trump ensures that it's a "hard knock life" for Lady Liberty.

Trump's Canadian Wall

A few history books still have the story right... dreams of freedom are powerful... walls have never separated people from them. This time, Americans may soon be fleeing over Mr. Trump's walls in search of their dreams of liberty.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Blame It On Bernie

YES!! Blame it on BERNIE!!
Donald Trump Digs In After Weekend Violence, Threatens Bernie Sanders Rallies
"Be careful Bernie, or my supporters will go to yours!"
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - "Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Sunday threatened to send his supporters to the campaign rallies of Democrat Bernie Sanders, showing no sign of toning down his rhetoric after clashes erupted at his own events over the weekend." Please go here for the article:
Donald Trump Digs In After Weekend Violence, Threatens Bernie Sanders Rallies, Reuters, 13 Mar 2016. Huffington Post.

Friday, March 11, 2016


It’s Friday! Time for Random Acts of Kindness.13

Yes, I subscribe to this law of the universe - All "things" are connected.
Sometimes humans realize and accept this fact. Sometimes our other, equal inhabitants of Mother Earth do, too.

Please go here for more:
Penguin Swims 5,000 Miles Each Year To See Rescuer, Wears Tux For Affair, Byse Wanshel, 10 Mar 2016, Huffington Post.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Wet & Smelly

Mitch has been peeing on us for so long he's forgotten where the bathroom is...
NOTE - 11 Mar 2016 - I discovered this article today and thought it might give my enraged friends some comforting rationale for my "outrageous art" of Sen. McConnell:
Shun a President’s Supreme Court Nominee? Alexander Hamilton Would Not Be Pleased,
Dorothy Samuels and Alicia Bannon, 9 Mar 2016, Moyers & Co.

"Alexander Hamilton, that visionary Founding Father and hip-hop phenomenon, thanks to Hamilton, the musical, has been celebrated of late on Broadway and at the Grammys. His face adorns the $10 bill. If only his thoughts about choosing Supreme Court justices were getting remotely as much respect from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley and most other GOP senators."

"We can discern from Hamilton’s owns words what he probably would have thought of Senate Republicans’ vow not to consider any Supreme Court nomination President Obama puts forward for Justice Antonin Scalia’s successor. The best guess, based on the historical evidence, is that Hamilton and other of the Constitution’s Framers would have been appalled by the confirmation antics of McConnell & Co."

"To be sure, much has changed since the Founding era. But the Founders’ basic belief in an American government carefully designed to actually work remains a bulwark of the nation’s democracy. In Alexander Hamilton’s words, “the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration.” Keeping a Supreme Court seat vacant for a needlessly extended period, as Republican leaders favor, would do the exact opposite, provoking 4-4 ties and damaging legal uncertainty while badly undermining the Constitution."

"Our constitutional system only works if the institutional players adhere in good faith to the Constitution’s basic rules. Our strong hunch is Hamilton and other Framers, were they alive today, would not hesitate to call out Republican leaders for their pre-announced departure."

Please go here for the complete article.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Our Life is like... a Fire Plug

A Mr. Banksy Creation.*
If you can remember 9/11 then you know what it's like to be a "fire plug". 
In fact, we've been a "fire plug" for many psychopaths employed by our government for a very long time. So long that we all feel comfortable with that "wet with urine", "you complete me..." feeling, just like a fire plug has for his dog.

Mr. Banksy has brought the idea to life... at least in my mind.

* Graffiti by the secretive British artist Banksy, featuring a dog and a fire plug, draws attention on 24th Street, near Sixth Avenue in New York, on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. Banksy graffiti is turning up on the streets of the city and all over social media. Banksy announced on his website that he is undertaking "an artist's residency on the streets of New York." 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Here’s a simple formula for changing our world: repurpose a few hundred billion dollars by:

  1. Putting a lid on U.S. military spending currently projected to be $598.5 billion. Today we spend more on our military than all other nations combined. It’s time to put the brakes on the corporate warfare welfare.
  2. Moving “Black Budget” spending, into the light and limiting it. That's $59 billion - what is "known" of the "unknown" budget. No elected official knows how much we spend on Black Budget Operations. Nor, do they know where the money is going. It’s time that leak is plugged and several elected officials are made responsible to the public for the estimated trillions of dollars which unknown mystery people in the state department and multiple national security agencies are spending off-budget. Trillions? Yes, Trillions includes booty, gold, etc. taken by the U.S. from the Nazis and Japanese after WWII and "repurposed" for Black Ops.

What would we do the found revenue?
I can think of many. For starters, here’s one:
Launch a modern WPA* program to replace lead water pipes and ancient sewers throughout the nation. Replace them with modern alternatives - underground next to our roads, not under our roads. While we are at it, we should lay fiber optic cable and all other "utilities", to protect them from electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, too.

“The Works Progress Administration (renamed in 1939 as the Work Projects Administration; WPA) was the largest and most ambitious American New Deal agency, employing millions of unemployed people (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. In a much smaller but more famous project, Federal Project Number One, the WPA employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects.”

Monday, March 7, 2016

Making a Difference this Time Around

Ron Baker and the '64 Chevy Impala, Sept, 1969, AkronOH.  (Please see below.)
In the beginning, most of my Baby Boomer generation colleagues started their careers following their hearts and making a difference. Many of us did things like protesting the draft; protesting the war in Vietnam; working for equal rights for women; and civil rights for Black Americans.

I fulfilled my first career dream by working the early morning shift as a newsman for a Cleveland radio station. I was a newsman and that was important to me then.

Families happened next. My friends had to find employment in the work-a-day world and create a stable home for their children. It was the same for me, too. I married and we began to think about having a family. So I gave up my low paying newsman dream job and headed back to Goodyear for a couple of more dollars per month and more “job security”.

The ”family thing” took us in every direction, from working for the “man” to starting our own businesses. Some of us continued on the “making a better world” path, while others gave in, ending up just like most of our parents, making a dollar doing a job so we could put bread on the table, buying a home, a car, and sending the kids to college.

Don't get me wrong. Taking good care of your family, your children, is making a difference — the most important difference. Still, we are also called to an additional duty beyond our immediate families.

For me, it’s never been about money. However, I did spend 40 years of my life running my own business - helping others reach their dreams. For most of them, that translated into making some bucks – for few a lot of money. I actually helped five become multimillionaires and whole slew of others, in various industries, make millions more for their corporations.

Fast forward to today…you might even share my story.

The work was not fulfilling; the companies went “global”; and the jobs evaporated. Basically, the "powers that be" changed the game on us when we weren’t paying attention. We trusted those in power to be honest and look out for the best interests of the nation. They didn't and we were naïve.

For that naivety we have already paid a heavy price.

So, what now?

How about retirement and a favorable climate somewhere else than Michigan?

That may be a good choice for some perhaps; but not for me. I hate doing nothing, sitting around watching TV, trying to play cards, or looking for fish. Additionally, I don't see myself becoming an appetizer for Captain Hook's nemesis in some Floridian swamp. Florida and similar places our therefore out of the question.

No. For me, it’s back to “making a difference”.

This time around I’m going to try to do things differently by avoiding reliving my teens and starting one more time in a dead end job working nights at the local hospital, laying up asbestos cement in the boilers at the rubber company, or trying to be a clone of Walter Cronkite.

No, this time I am seeking to make a difference in my own way. I want to use my 66 years of job and life experience to advantage while putting a few bucks back into my new account at the local credit union. (No more big banks for me!)

I’ve decided to save the world.

After you stop laughing, you might ask: Just how do you propose to do that?

Well, “how” is the subject of a future story. In the meantime take a look here:

By the way, history shows that only the most impractical dreams change the world:

“Social change is seldom either as incremental or predictable as many insiders suggest. Every once in a while, an outburst of resistance seems to break open a world of possibility, creating unforeseen opportunities for transformation. Indeed, according to that leading theorist of disruptive power, Frances Fox Piven, the “great moments of equalizing reform in American political history” -- securing labor rights, expanding the vote, or creating a social safety net -- have been directly related to surges of widespread defiance.”

“Unlike elected officials who preoccupy themselves with policies considered practical and attainable within the political climate of the moment, social movements change the political weather. They turn issues and demands considered both unrealistic and politically inconvenient into matters that can no longer be ignored; they succeed, that is, by championing the impractical.”

*Ron Baker and the '64 Chevy Impala, Sept, 1969, Akron, OH. I worked nights, weekends, overtime and holidays for that car at Akron City Hospital and Goodyear. Later, it was stolen twice from the University of Akron student parking lot while I worked for free at the University radio station, WAUP. The good news? Well, Akron PD (many officers were my high school friends) got it back each time — minus my brand new Goodyear tires. How do you manage to lose eight new tires in a few months? I did!

Change the World... It's Up to YOU now

8 Mar is Primary Day in Michigan. I plan to Vote. 
Please vote... don't sleep through your Revolution.... Make YOUR World work for YOU.

Friday, March 4, 2016

While Republican B.S. was Flying - Detroit & Michigan State Police & U.S. Border Patrol Saved a Life

It’s Friday! Time for Random Acts of Kindness.12

Last night, the night the Republican candidates appeared in Detroit to “debate”, real life was going on as usual outside the Fox Theatre. I’m not talking about the hundreds of protesters, although they are for real, too. (I wish them Godspeed.)

I’m talking about the heroes who are out there attempting to protect, defend and in this case save a life.

Officers of the Detroit Police Department, the Michigan State Police and the U.S. Border Patrol, teamed to pull a distraught man from the Detroit River. Together they saved this man’s life.

Hopefully, he will now get the support he needs to overcome whatever his problems are.

Because of these officers, this man has another shot at life.

Thank you officers - you represent the very best of law enforcement.

Go here for the story:

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Making the American Renaissance Real

Let us compare two men by their accomplishments and let the chips fall....
Which one do you believe is a true leader? With "leader" defined as: One who takes care of his people first and himself second. - RB

"What can become of an old Pennsylvania steel town?"
"The MAYOR of Braddock, Pennsylvania, John Fetterman, M.P.P. ’99, trudges around this decimated steel-mill town—with its vacant buildings and grimy air—in size 13 high-tops and gas-station-style work shirts, carrying the weight of a restless but resolute energy. He frowns a lot. Never does he crack that politician’s 'meet and greet' smile. Nor does he particularly go out of his way to solicit attention, although with a shaved head and six-foot-eight linebacker frame, he is hard to miss. 'My looks worked against me at first,' he says, 'because people thought I was a skinhead.'”

"Fetterman is an outlier in an outlying town. He is a white man with an Ivy League degree and some family money who spent his twenties in existential wanderings—following interests in social work, business, and public policy. But about seven years ago he chose to put down adult roots in this bombed-out historic town on the Monongahela River, eight miles from Pittsburgh. Home to Andrew Carnegie’s first steel mill, in 1875, and first free library, Braddock has lost 90 percent of its population since World War II—and many of its grand old buildings to lack of maintenance and landlord absenteeism."
Wrought from Ruins, Harvard Magazine, Nell Porter Brown, Sept-Oct 2010

"Mayor of Rust"
"With appearances this past year or so on 'The Colbert Report,' CBS News Sunday Morning, PBS and CNN, John Fetterman has become the face of Rust Belt renewal. He was dubbed America’s 'coolest mayor' by The Guardian and the Mayor of Hell by Rolling Stone. The Atlantic put him in its 'Brave New Thinkers' issue of 2009. In contrast to urban planners caught up in political wrangling, budget constraints and bureaucratic shambling, Fetterman embraces a do-it-yourself aesthetic and a tendency to put up his own money to move things along. He has turned a 13-block town into a sampling of urban renewal trends: land-banking (replacing vacant buildings with green space, as in Cleveland); urban agriculture (Detroit); championing the creative class to bring new energy to old places (an approach popularized by Richard Florida); “greening” the economy as a path out of poverty (as Majora Carter has worked to do in the South Bronx); embracing depopulation (like nearby Pittsburgh). Thrust into the national spotlight, Fetterman has become something of a folk hero, a Paul Bunyan of hipster urban revival, with his own Shepard Fairey block print — the Fetterman mien with the word “mayor” underneath. This, the poster suggests, is what a mayor should be."
Mayor of Rust, New York Times Magazine, Sue Halpernfeb, 11 Feb 2011.