Tuesday, July 27, 2010

...and without commercial interruption...

This is the sixth year for the Traverse City Film Festival.  Its founder is Michael Moore, the award winning documentarian.

This festival is truly an incredible event.  The beginnings of this started with 'an idea' and it has grown into a sustaining aspect of the American Landscape.

"Just Great Films," is the motto of the festival and it lives up to it every year.

Michael Moore has shown if America wants to revitalize their Main Street and get folks out of the malls and back to being a community, a thriving community, open up the movie theater.  With the interest of many local business people and community organizations, The State Theater has breathed back to life.  Along with its renewed purpose, the theater acted as a venue to revitalize Front Street (Which is the Main Street of Traverse City). 

I have witnessed this miracle first hand for the past six years.  Front Street of Traverse City was no different than many Main Streets across the USA, it was primarily abandoned.  The reality that a movie theater can offer a service to citizens to bring them to their Main Street and allow for the revitalization of not only businesses and a vibrant local economy, but, the return of 'community' and 'window shopping.'

It wasn't enough for Traverse City to be revitalized, but, the entire area has come back to life.  There are even casinos near the city that always are busy with tourists that not only like to play the 'game of chance,' but, also like live entertainment.

I am sure having Michael Moore as a resident and business man in Traverse City hasn't hurt the return of Front Street, but, Michael will tell anyone that wants to listen it all didn't happen by his voice alone.  There were many people over the past six years that have contributed to the enthusiasm and focus of the community and its 'Main Street Economy.'

Traverse City found its 'Americana' again.  It shunned conventional and corporate lifestyles and took the high ground of 'moral interest.'  The city enjoys the craft stores of many merchants, there is a wonderful grocery of nothing but organic and wholesome foods, some made on the premises. 

Festivals and the fact this is Lake Michigan where summer and winter sports can be enjoyed by tourists and residents alike has contributed to the city's 'brand new look.' 

I congratulate all those involved with the Sixth Traverse City Film Festival and to the leadership of its small business owners and merchants that found a way to bring "Middle Class America" back to life and fashion in Traverse City, Michigan.

It might be great movies, but, it wouldn't have happened without great people and a vision.

The weather at Glacier Bay National Park (Crystal Wind Chime) is approaching tropical temperatures.

Local Time :: 4:00 PM AKDT on July 27, 2010 (GMT -08)

Lat/Lon :: 58.8° N 137.0° W

Elevation :: 33 feet

Temperature :: 63 Fahrenheit

Conditions :: Overcast

Humidity :: 72%

Dew Point :: 54 Fahrenheit
Wind :: 4 MPH from West

Pressure :: 30.02 inches (Rising)

Visibility :: 10.0 miles

UV :: 2 out of 16

Clouds :: Overcast 3000 feet above ground level

The USA is disputing Canada's claim to a shared border at 141st meridian.  I believe Canada is correct.  The northern 'end' of Earth comes to a single point geographically.  It is impossible to claim a border other than meridians leading to that 'single point' as a border.

...The U.S. says the sea border (click title to entry - thank you) should go out at a 90-degree angle from the land at the Canada-U.S. border, but Canada's opinion is that it should continue to follow the 141st meridian, which is what the land border follows.

The work, to be done from Aug. 2 to Sept. 14, will help define the outer edge of the North American continental shelf, data that will be used by Canada and the U.S. in submissions to the United Nations that will stake new claims to the Arctic seabed.

Both countries are preparing claims under the United National Law of the Sea, though the U.S. has not yet signed the treaty. The treaty allows countries to claim sea floor to the edge of their extended continental shelves, beyond the 380 kilometres from the coastline they currently control.
 The claims must be filed by 2013....

MItch McConnell states the "DISCLOSE Act" needs more study. That is a switch. A Republican stating anything needs study PERIOD.

The Senate Minority Leader stated the "Disclose Act" hadn't been in committee or anything.

In other words the 'well written' bill that is to LEVEL the Political Playing Field in the USA, due to a poor decision in regard to Election Reform by the Robert's Court, didn't take years to write and banter around before it was submitted for a vote.

...The Senate Republicans see things differently.  (click title to entry - thank you)"The mere suggestion that a bill designed to save politicians' jobs should take precedent over helping millions of Americans find work is an embarrassing indictment of Democrats' priorities," said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, in a release.
"The DISCLOSE Act seeks to protect unpopular Democrat politicians by silencing their critics and exempting their campaign supporters from an all out attack on the First Amendment," he said.
No Republican Senators voted with the Democrats. The majority party still has several opportunities before the August recess to woo some Republicans to cross the aisle and pass the legislation.

The Senate Republicans AGAIN have turned to obstruction to postpone the passage of the Disclose Act because they are afraid to level the political playing field.  The Republicans want their cronies to give to campaigns and to run political ads to benefit the Republicans running for office.

McConnell's Senate Republicans would be believable in their 'belly aching' IF they had submitted a bill that illustrated clearly to balance the finances of any one candidate regardless of party. 

McConnell's Senate Republicans would be believable if their 'belly aching' wasn't whining so much as taking action to stop the corruption in elections by demanding the spending of candidates on both side of the aisle were equal by MUTUAL CONSENT.

In other words, passing the Disclose Act is irrelevant to a 2010 election ballot in any State IF the candidates were voluntarily seeking to limit their spending as a willingness to their electorate showing they want Election Reform, EQUITABLE FAIRNESS in elections.

See, McConnell's Senate Republicans are saying the Disclose Act makes the 'elections of 2010' LEAN in favor of the Democrats.  They never really stated in what manner that was so, but, the TRUTH is if Republicans recognize the 'UNFAIR' advantage that crony spending brings to elections for a candidate with a well endowed large campaign treasury and/or many 'special interests' spending large amounts to promote a candidate; they would not hesitate to be the 'valient' and bring 'equity' voluntarily.

Then there is the BEST solution which would remove big contributors with limited financing that provies 'matching' funds.  See, this bill would work without the use of 'public monies.'  If this bill would allow 'matching funds' from commercial interests to the extent the public electorate contributed, it would work.

But, hey, who in the world would believe the Republicans actually wants 'fair elections.'  After all where would the Plutocarcy be?

The Fair Elections Now Act (S. 752 and H.R. 1826) was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and in the House of Representatives by Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Walter Jones, Jr. (R-N.C.). The bill would allow federal candidates to choose to run for office without relying on large contributions, big money bundlers, or donations from lobbyists, and would be freed from the constant fundraising in order to focus on what people in their communities want.
Participating candidates seek support from their communities, not Washington, D.C.
Candidates would raise a large number of small contributions from their communities in order to qualify for Fair Elections funding. Contributions are limited to $100.
To qualify, a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives would have to collect 1,500 contributions from people in their state and raise a total of $50,000....