Monday, June 27, 2005

The Seven Cent Nickel Has Moved!

The Seven Cent Nickel can now be found at:

The new Nickel features more tools to help the Northeast Ohio Progressive community to grow including an even calendar and journals a-la dKos.

I hope to see you all there.


Friday, May 20, 2005

My Letter to Santorum

Dear Senator Santorum,

I am writing to to you to express my disgust at your comments on the floor of the Senate, comparing Senate Democrats to Hitler.

Your comments do nothing to bridge the gap on this issue and sows divisivness within the country during a time of war. You've done a grave diservice to the veterans of WWII, your party, our country and the world. You should be ashamed of yourself.

I hope you enjoy having to deal with this issue throughout your re-election campaign as I am sure it will not be forgotten.

You owe an apology to the America people.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Papal Fun Facts

In honor of the new pope, whatever your views on him, here are some Papal Facts. There's nothing earth shattering here, just some items I found interesting.

First Pope:
St. Peter, d. ca. 64. The first disciple called by Jesus; he is also credited with writing two Letters that appear in the New Testament. The first pope to be martyred and the first pope to be named a saint.

First African Pope:
St. Victor I, 189-198

First Pope to Abdicate:
St. Pontian, 230-235

First German Pope:
Gregory V, 972-999

First French Pope:
Sylvester II, 999-1003

First English Pope:
Adrian IV, 1154-1159 (Only English Pope)

First Spanish Pope:
Callistus III, 1455-1458

First to Resign:
St. Silverius, 536-537

First Pope to be a monk:
St. Gregory I (the Great), 590-604

First to be Assassinated:
John VIII. 872-882.

First to be Overthrown:
Leo V, 903. He was overthrown after less than two months in office.

First to Canonize a Saint:
John XV, 985-996. (St. Ulric in 993)

First Layman Elected Pope:
Benedict VIII, 1012-1024

First to Approve Torture:
Innocent IV, 1243-1254. He was first pope to approve the use of torture in the Inquisition to obtain evidence of heresy.

First Doctor to be elected Pope:
John XXI, 1276-1277. (only medical doctor to be pope)

First to Reside in the Vatican Palace:
Nicholas, 1277-1280

First Modern Era Pope:
Leo XIII, 1878-1903

First to Use Radio for Addresses:
Pius XI, 1922-1939

First to Travel Around the World by Airplane:
Paul VI, 1963-1978

First to take a double name:
John Paul I, 1978

Last Pope to be a Martyr
St. Martin I, 649-655

Last non-Cardinal to be elected Pope:
Urban VI, 1378-1389

Last Monk to be elected pope:
Gregory XVI, 1831-1846.

Longest Pontificate:
Pius IX, 1846-1878. His thirty-one year pontificate is the longest in history. He called the First Vatican Council, which defined papal infallibility and supremacy.
*The American Civil War and Darwin publishes Origin of the Species during this pope's reign.

Shortest Pontificate:
Urban VII, 1590. He died of malaria, one week after his election.

Other Notables:
Sixtus IV, 1471-1484. He built the Sistine Chapel.
Leo X, 1513-1521. The Protestant Reformation began during Leo's pontificate.
Clement VII, 1523-1534. Clement is the pope who refused to grant King Henry VIII a divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
Paul IV, 1555-1559. He is the pope who created the Index of Forbidden Books.
Gregory XIII, 1572-1585. He adopted the Gregorian calendar, which is still in use today.
Pius VI, 1775-1799. He denounced the French Revolution and was later imprisoned by Napoleon.

The Benedicts:
Benedict I, 575-579
St. Benedict II, 684-685
Benedict III, 855-858
Benedict IV, 900-903
Benedict V, 964-966. At one point, King Otto deported Benedict and reinstated the previous pope, Leo VIII.
*Poland is Christianized beginning in 966
Benedict VI, 973-974
Benedict VII, 974-983. He increased the frequency of "ad limina visits." That practice still continues today, each diocesan bishops meets personally with the pope to discuss the state of the diocese.
Benedict VIII, 1012-1024. He was the first of three laymen who were consecutively elected to the papacy.
Benedict IX, 1032-1044
* Benedict X
Blessed Benedict XI, 1303-1304
Benedict XII, 1335-1342
Benedict XIII, 1724-1730
Benedict XIV, 1740-1758. He is the author of the first papal encyclical, The Duties of Bishops.
Benedict XV, 1914-1922. He is remembered as a peacemaker both within the Church and among the countries who participated in World War I.
Benedict XVI, 2005-

*For whatever reason, my source does not list Benedict X.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

New Blog

A friend of mine has begun a new blog, Unbossed.

What we tell our employers, parents, spouses, lovers, and conservative friends about Unbossed:
Unbossed is a group of writers with a wide variety of perspectives and experience engaged in truth-telling. We examine political issues through news, culture, the arts, satire, and, when we have to, politics. We are dedicated to telling it like it is, wielding the fiery sword of truth, and kicking some ass with our sassy boots when necessary. We embrace the grassroots spirit that makes us each unbossed.
In other blogging news...The Seven Cent Nickel may be moving. I'm getting tired of the blogger screw-ups which make blogging a lot less fun. If anyone has software recommendations leave 'em here. I'm using WordPress for, but am open to suggestions and recommendations.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Ohio Restoration Project

I was first turned on to The Ohio Restoration Project when a friend sent me a NYTimes article on the group. (Hat tip, Marina)

Christian conservative leaders from scores of Ohio's fastest growing churches are mounting a campaign to win control of local government posts and Republican organizations, starting with the 2006 governor's race.

In a manifesto that is being circulated among church leaders and on the Internet, the group, which is called the Ohio Restoration Project, is planning to mobilize 2,000 evangelical, Baptist, Pentecostal and Roman Catholic leaders in a network of so-called Patriot Pastors to register half a million new voters, enlist activists, train candidates and endorse conservative causes in the next year.

The initial goal is to elect Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, a conservative Republican, governor in 2006. The group hopes to build grass-roots organizations in Ohio's 88 counties and take control of local Republican organizations.

"The establishment of the Ohio Republican Party is out of touch with its base," said Russell Johnson, the pastor of the Fairfield Christian Church and the principal organizer of the project. "It acts as if it lives in Boston, Mass."
“Acts as if it lives in Boston, Mass?” We should be so lucky. Mass’s unemployment rate is a full percentage point below Ohio’s, and the combined state and local tax burden has increased every year over the last ten years of Republican control. But enough of that...

According to the group’s
web site, their complaints are old hat to those on the radical right: Teaching evolution; defining marriage; universities as “arteries of spiritual toxic waste;” the right to choose; HIV and sexually transmitted diseases; and, secularists hijacking “our culture.” According to ORP, their priorities, and by extension God’s priorities I would guess, are as follows:
  1. Economic Restoration ”…overhauling our corporate tax structure”
  2. Medical Reform "Tort reform that limits noneconomic [sic] damages to $ 250,000.”
  3. Educational Choice “My child, My taxes…to the school of our choice.”
  4. Tax Reform "...are there tax breaks for corporations and companies that invest in the community available?
Then comes the sanctity of marriage and "life" issues. I'm no Biblical scholar by any means, but I sure don't remember God or Jesus ever talking about corporate tax rates. ORP's objectives over the next '05-'06 election cycle cannot be ignored by Democrats and progressives. ORP wants to:
  • ...see 2,000 Ohio Patriot Pastors who understand the sacred trust of this moment in history and who are mobilized to make a difference.

  • Provide 100,000 new e-mail supporters who serve as E-Prayer Intercessors.

  • Provide 200,000 new addresses of supporters to our Ohio pro-family forums

  • Register 300,000 new “Values Voters” through “Stewardship of our Citizenship” Sundays between March 2005 and October 2006
This group looks as if they will be leading the "values" vote in the next cycle. Dems and progressives need to keep a close eye on this organization as well as their member churches. They have already come out in favor of Ken Blackwell. And I have no doubts that they will reach their goal of registering another 300,000 so-called "values voters." To compete, Dems and progressives need to register at least as many people and more importantly, GET THEM TO THE POLLS.

UPDATE: Blogger has screwed up my links. The main one is From there you can find all of the ORP links referenced above.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Where's Sherrod?

The rumor mill just doesn't stop. Now it's looking as though Sherrod Brown will stay put and simply run for Congress again. That's too bad and somewhat disappointing if true. However, I can't begrudge the man for not wanting to throw himself and his wife into the teeth of Bill Bennett's noise machine.

There is still time for him to decide whether or not to look for another seat, but the clock is ticking.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Michigan's Slippery Slope

The Republican led Michigan State House has penned an incredibly misguided piece of divisive legislation that will allow medical personnel to refuse to treat you based on "moral, ethical or religious grounds."

Imagine getting a form letter from your doctor saying something like this:

It has come to my attention that you are a Baptist. I believe Baptists to be an immoral, unethical sect of Christianity and counter to my religious beliefs, which view Baptists as practicing a vulgar and bastardized version of Christianity. Under Michigan Law I am notifying you that I am declining to treat you for the reasons above.

Because political arguments are for the most part moral arguments, the reasons to exclude someone from care can go on and on.

Because you…
…are gay or lesbian.
...have voted for Political Party X or Y.
...engaged in sex before marriage.
...supported/did not support the war in Iraq.
...are part of/not a part of a particular church, temple or faith.
…received a DUI.
…believe in creationism/evolution.
…supported/did not support a local issue.

God help the person who receives that letter from a specialist in a rural area. The travel time to a new specialist could be 4 or more hours for some in northern Michigan and the U.P. Should this bill become law, it could quite literally be a death sentence for some.

The bill is being argumed and framed by the right as one that advances freedom.
Paul A. Long, vice president for public policy for the Michigan Catholic Conference, said the bills promote the constitutional right to religious freedom.

"Individual and institutional health care providers can and should maintain their mission and their services without compromising faith-based teaching," he said in a written statement.

However, Long and the Right are missing a big point. There are two kinds of freedoms in the Constitution: Freedom to, and Freedom from.

The religion clause of the first amendment contains both the freedom from (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion) and freedom to (…prohibiting the free exercise thereof). The problem here is that while Long claims the bill “promote[s]… religious freedom,” because it allows people or institutions to exercise their beliefs, it may in fact do the opposite by imposing one’s beliefs on another. By allowing medical professionals to choose whom they treat based on religious, ethical or moral grounds, rather than treating all people as a professional would, they may be imposing their beliefs on others backed by the weight of law.

In other words, by advancing the freedom to, the Michigan legislature may have run afoul of the freedom from.

This law is the slipperiest of slopes and echoes the same logic that’s been used to divide people for ages. Wake up, Michigan. You’ve got a problem on your hands.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Back in the Saddle

I'm back from other projects, back from vacation, and back from a funeral. Thanks to everyone who kept checking in while I was away. There's a lot to talk about and I'll be posting again very soon including the balance of the response to the Luntz Report.

Monday, March 07, 2005

James Baker & Global Warming

I wanted to start this post with a snappy little quip about hell freezing over. But it's hard to make that joke stick when you're talking about global warming.

Regardless, it looks like hell really is freezing over. BushCo Senior Partner James Baker III, is saying we need to do something about global warming. And he said it to a room full of oil company executives.

This calls to attention the pitiful job Democrats have done selling environmentalism to outdoorsmen. Rep. Kaptur (D-Toledo) has been making this same pitch for quite some time to link the environment to those who hunt and fish. Unfortunately, no one on the blue team seems to be getting the hint. Certainly, leadership hasn't made a move.

Baker says:

"It may surprise you a little bit, but maybe it's because I'm a hunter and a fisherman, but I think we need to a pay a little more attention to what we need to do to protect our environment," he told the Houston Forum Club.
But now that a heavy-hitter from the GOP has chimed in on the debate (and he's not the first), Dems need to move on this or lose another issue.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Senator Bartlett?

Szollosi Toledo is reporting that Martin Sheen may be considering a run for U.S. Senate from Ohio.

I need a little time to roll this around in my brain, but at first glance, I like the idea. It would create a legitimate threat to DeWine and free up Sherrod Brown for a run at the governor's mansion.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

MLBLOG is finally up!

For the baseball fans out there, here's another project I've been working on.

It's finally done:

Thursday, February 24, 2005

This Isn't Your Daddy's Train

The promo spot for the Ohio Hub project has been posted at OARP.

It's bit cheesy if you ask me, but it lays out the basic argument: Fast, travel, Ohio, business.

I'm a big fan of Ohio Hub for a number of reasons, but primary is this: It puts Cleveland at the middle of high-speed rail network between the East Coast and Midwest. This isn't a euphemistic "middle," it's geographical one. Cleveland will connect Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. in the east to Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis and Minneapolis in to the west.

X-Marks the Sopt:

Cleveland is hurting and needs a long-term solution. The Hub Plan can go a long way to helping Cleveland help itself out of the hole. Where Chicago's geography allowed it become the freight train capital, Cleveland's geography can make it the fast train capital - and that's a place for people. The more people that pass through Cleveland, the more money Cleveland makes.

Long term, the Hub Plan has the potential to add many jobs to the Cleveland economy from manufacturing and repairing railroad equipment to service jobs at burger joints. And that's just inter-state travel. Adding commuter rail in northeast Ohio will draw more people back to the city center as well.

The City should consider the Ohio Hub as nothing less than bringing a major new industry to Cleveland and should pursue it as much.