Monday, July 30, 2012

Emeli Sande – Abide with me – London Olympics Tribute Victims of 7/7


Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tacony Iron and Metal Works – Philadelphia

The various metal statues on Philadelphia City Hall by Sculptor Alexander Milne Calder were cast at the now defunct Tacony Iron and Metal Works, 6500 State Road, Philadelphia.
Images of the 37 foot William Penn Statue presently on top of city hall, the head and arm etc., at Tacony Iron and Metal Works below.  Also, before assembly on the ground in city hall courtyard prior to mounting the pieces in place on top of the clock tower.
Urban legend has it that the William Penn statue faces northeast to Penn Treaty Park where Penn signed a treaty with the local Indians.
Oral history in my family with a great great uncle working both at Tacony Iron and Metal Works and as an onsite iron worker at city hall is that they ignored the architect’s plan to face the big statue south. 

They, the Iron Workers from Tacony, ignored the blueprints in favor of worker solidarity by intentionally facing the statue northeast towards its origin, birthplace of the statue, at Tacony Iron and Metal Works and their nearby homes.

City Hall Clock Section Assembled at Tacony Iron Works  circa 1892


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ross Douthat’s Poison Pen on Religion – New York Times - “All the news that’s fit” to be bought

If you can define the parameters of an argument, you will likely win the argument.
There is a poison in American Religion. It is politics.
It started in the eighties when one third of a modern day version of an Anti-Christ in the form of Ronald Reagan, an actor, was helped into his cushy CEO crony job with the aid of southern bigots aka as “born again” Christians in the form of Jerry Falwell Incorporated. 
The television evangelists labeled their Edsel version of religion televangelism.  There were no warning labels on the make it up as you go along programming and or snake oil product and the resulting wealth brought out the vote for a washed up black and white film “B” Hollywood Actor in 1980. Every marketing success spawns repeat and imitation.
There is a poison in American Religion.  It goes beyond the Bush “Black Purse” ongoing bribe given to churches to dole out soup but not condoms to the poor.
There used to be a fairly decent Religion section the British Newspaper The Guardian. It disappeared one night that coincided with the visit of King Benedict the German of the Vatican 108 acre based money laundering empire.
In fact, I don’t recall The New York Times ever being big on religion or where religion would be booked except in the leisure section is in fact it ever existed.
I guess no doubt the editorial staff heard about all the Religious Politics or is it Political Religion that has poisoned the modern and or virtual American Town Square. FOX NEWS moronity sells papers so to speak and attracts sponsors.
On to the scene of the past few years is the Harvard educated Conservative Ross Douthat to explain modern religion to a seemingly godless liberal New York Times readership. No truth to the rumor that the NYT needed an emergency midnight loan to survive one day back when and the Knights of Columbus, the Roman Catholic Church’s “Black Banker” came through in a pinch, and Ross now has a bought desk, boutique stall, at the grand old lady of news as a concession or condition of that emergency Vatican backed loan?
Anyway, I keep seeing wanna be memes popping up from time to time based on the NYT Vatican Desk in the form of "TC" theologically correct Ross Douthat articles on a truly global news site that has room even for a token puissant or is it pissant opinion pundit like Douthat.
Memes flow through the blogosphere. There are whole chucks of Catholic and or right wing “Born Agains” or the new flavor of the month title is “evangelicals” blogs that repeat, reverberate and praise the Douthat Vatican echo chamber.
There was quite a stir about the dangerous “Pantheism” theology threat of the Movie Avatar that Ross probably got nominated for a Pulitzer on.  Straight off the secret? GOP/RCC daily talking points sheet. Wink. Nod.
In a way, Douthat is the Ivy League version of the Beer and Sauerkraut Bill Donohue at the Catholic League directed toward the Church Militants, “igorant enlightment” for the lower classes on the right and wrong American Catholic PC political opinion and positions of the hour, day and month these days.  It is not like the Catholics ever read the NT.
Which brings me to the latest politically labeled religion piece by Ross trying to piss on Mainstream American Protestantism.
I have read many blogs in response of this piece of political trash masquerading as religion.
Give it a read and form your own individual opinion while you still have that option in a "free" America.
When did any Christianity become “Liberal” or “Conservative”?
Those are political terms!
And once this form of "Boutique Journalism" courtesy of the RNC and Ross Douthat interjects terms like liberal or conservative into the opinion page of the Beard NYT, then the parameters of the argument are already set. The argument is won by the controlling out of touch corrupt 1% elites trying to use one more ploy to prostitute religion into a political matrix of the 2012 election.
Christianity is neither liberal or conservative. It just is.
And for those of you that need a visitor’s guide to Christianity, take the Douthat tour and drink in his religion and in the end wake up in bed with dross of the soul.
Your soul.  


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Indian Weathervane - WPA

Poster from Works Progress Administration. (1938)

Possibly modeled on Tammany Flag/Liberty Pole and Weathervane in Philly, beginning of "Old (New) York" Road.  A lost to history artifact and urban landmark. The starting point of stagecoaches to New York before railroads.

Indian pointing to New York and or Setting Sun? Depending on the wind.

Weathervane in image, from some matching historical descriptions, likely modeled on the Lenni-Lenape Indian Chief Tamanend weathervane now lost to history.

Tamanend signed Treaty of Peace with Quaker Governor William Penn of Pennsylvania.



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Hall – Andrew Hamilton’s Pennsylvania State House - 1753

Hallway leading to Liberty Bell and Grand Staircase

I can remember when in the late fifties, our family Sunday rides on a rainy gloomy day would end up with a visit to some old dusty musty downtown Philly museums. And the urban renewal stuff around Independence Hall, tearing down all Victorian era buildings, was in its processes.  In any case, I can remember the family car parking across the street from Independence Hall and there still being some cast iron framed store fronts in place before they put a park across the street from that national monument.

I don’t know who owns Independence Hall, if it as the original Pennsylvania State House 1753, if it still is legally a state owned and not a nationally owned monument.

It was designed by the original “Philadelphia Lawyer” Andrew Hamilton who successfully defended Peter Zinger in the New York case that was a precursor of the concept of Freedom of the Press in America.

Hamilton was no doubt an idea man, a drawing on a napkin kind of thing, and it was a master carpenter Edmund Woolley, long before the term architect was in the lexicon, who finalized and built the structure.

Declaration Room - All White - Decor in Plebeian Chic.

In that gray period before the Federal Government took control, locked away open access to all the national monuments in Philly at the time of the Bicentennial 1976, Independence Hall went through many phases of ups and downs, interior redesigns, tear ups and many paint jobs.  My earliest memory of the interior of the old Pennsylvania State House was that everything was painted in white.  Then the Feds took over. The historians with their Ivy League  Ph.D.’s took over as well and out went the local Mom and Pop museum atmosphere. They, the PC historians, researched historic paint colors and the interior white gave ways to shades of silver gray and beige.  Oh well.

The building's ground level floor boards and underneath wooden support beams were replaced in the nineteenth century, termites, dry rot, and Georgian interior designs gave ways to various mixed Victorian motifs, lighting fixtures and now the standard perfect historic model inside the State House is a place where you need an appointment, or wait in a two hour line, to inspect. Whatever.

Doors were always open in the fifties, 9-5 seven days a week.  No appointments necessary for the natives doing the local Museum crawl.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court - Open to the Public off first floor Hallway opposite Declaration Room.