Saturday, August 19, 2017

Local Democrats gear up for the talent show, except "you can’t fight Herrenvolk populism with weak-tea liberalism."


Earlier this week, Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi asked that Steve Bannon be fired, and a day later Bannon was gone. I was struck by this single passage in Taibbi's article.

... Prospect writer Robert Kuttner noted with surprise in his piece that Bannon seemed upbeat. He essentially told Kuttner he believed the Charlottesville mess and stories like it were a long-term political windfall for people like himself.

"The longer they talk about identity politics, I got 'em," he said. "I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats."

Speaking for myself, perhaps this lifelong atheist's revulsion at public displays of piety, when otherwise unaccompanied by private acts aimed at gaining the stated objective, explains why the past week's gestures have left me not so much cold as completely disinterested.

It isn't that I disagree with many of them, having been proudly "anti-fascist" since around 1978, so much as lament the left's ongoing inability to place the focus on the genuine economic evil perpetuating our divisions: capital accumulation, big money, robber barons, the One Percent-- call it what you wish.

Inequality results from more than one contributing factor, but really, don't we need to follow the wealth?

To me, Bannon's phrase "economic nationalism" reads as code for those who'll perpetuate divisions to keep the money where it rightfully belongs, and in this usage, Bannon might be detestable but at least he's honest. He knows his bosses' names, and makes sure their birthday cards always arrive on time.

Democrats imagining themselves as leftists or progressives in a Clintonesque mold are in thrall to an illusion. You can serve the interests of capital accumulation, or not. There isn't much of a middle ground, if any, and yet local "Democrats" avoid this introspection as though you were asking them to ban same sex marriage or reinstitute Jim Crow.

I cannot recall a local Democratic Party candidate speaking about anything of a genuine balls-out economic nature apart from Dan Canon, who hasn't yet even contested an election. But we're treated to a never-ending series of resolutions and gestures -- and faux Democrat Jeff Gahan's dog-whistling putsch against public housing, which by now should have been publicly condemned by every Democrat in the city.

But instead, everyone merrily plans events, concerts, talent shows and diversions, and while they're engaged in these wild goose chases, functionaries like 1Si's Wendy Dant Chesser ensure the worsening of the fundamental economic imbalance by serving our regional oligarchs first -- and maybe some of it will trickle down, eventually.

Presumed left-wingers, note that your omelette remains uncooked because almost no one among you is willing to break a few eggs. A member of Jacobin's editorial board explains why, and if you fancy yourself a progressive ...

Steve Bannon’s Autobahn, by Connor Kilpatrick (Jacobin)

You can’t fight Herrenvolk populism with weak-tea liberalism.

 ... So “far-right racist” doesn’t make Bannon particularly unique or worrying. It’s how devastatingly well he understands liberalism’s failures and how willing he is to craft a fraudulent and reactionary program for those who’ve only experienced decline during the Clinton and Obama years.

Like a mutant weed growing out of a shit-covered pile of compost, Bannon has cultivated his particular brand of reaction entirely within the decomposing corpse of American liberalism. In no other soil could it ever have blossomed.

And:

Bannon’s ambitions make gruesomely clear that liberalism and the Democratic Party in no way represents the left-wing obverse of conservatism and the GOP. And liberals, deep down in their hearts, understand this. They have no true ideological counterpoint — no real program and certainly no vision for changing society for the better. Michael Wolff correctly diagnosed Bannon as “embodying more than anyone the liberals’ awful existential pain and fury.” This doesn’t just refer to his disgusting comments — it includes his fiery ambition, something the Democratic Party has altogether lost. And even at its absolute best, liberalism’s aspirations were only a watered-down, cheap knockoff of the utopian dreams of communist and socialist activists.

Then:

But you can’t fight Herrenvolk populism with weak-tea liberalism. A paltry means-tested welfare state just flips white-supremacist programs and policies “for the deserving us not the undeserving them.” Both fit comfortably in the ruling-class politics of divide and conquer as opposed to the broad solidarity they fear. How can we expect the public to rally around something like Medicaid when huge portions of the working and lower-middle classes don’t qualify for it? Universal social democracy — a more transformative program than the one Sanders campaigned on — is called for. We’re in the midst of a reckoning with the neoliberal consensus. The Right has made their play, and now we have to make ours.

In closing, a suggestion to my councilman: if Team Gahan won't show you the results of its rental housing registration program, perhaps a new council resolution would do the trick. Just make sure to craft it in a manner emphasizing human rights rather than economic imperatives, or Adam will overrule you.

Black Lives Matter: "You can agree or disagree with (it), but nothing in it promotes hatred of any race or group."


Even if Develop New Albany seems determined to sweep its own teachable moment under the soiled but convenient rug of Dear Leader's scandal-plagued wing, other such opportunities have been in abundance since last weekend's display of Neanderthal Americana in Charlottesville.

Like this one. Does the local branch of the Democratic Party ever find itself waxing democratic about "matters" like this?

You're right; unlikely, isn't it? Jeff Gahan's largest bloc of supporters doesn't want to be troubled by thoughts of this nature, and so the dog whistles will continue.

The Economist explains: The misplaced arguments against Black Lives Matter

Some on the right have called for the movement to be classified as a hate group

 ... Some seem to object to the name, hearing in the phrase “Black lives matter” the implication that other lives do not.

That argument is easily dismissed. Affirming one thing does not negate all else. Donating money to support, say, cancer research does not make one a cheerleader for tuberculosis. Someone who says that black lives matter does not imply that other lives do not—they are simply reminding people that for most of American history black lives have been valued less than white ones. The days of slavery and de jure segregation have mercifully passed, but black Americans remain poorer, less healthy and more likely to be killed by police than whites. You can agree or disagree with BLM’s platform, but nothing in it promotes hatred of any race or group.

Friday, August 18, 2017

THE BEER BEAT: Scofflaw Brewing flies the bird as AB InBev shareholders watch with preda-masturbatory glee.

Photo credit: Paste.

The ensuing scenario can be easily imagined.

Somewhere deep inside the bowels of AB InBev, one among a legion of highly paid thievery consultants peruses the Paste article with ill-contained and growing enthusiasm.

"It's just what we need," he says to himself while frantically calculating shelf space algorithms.

"An edgy vibe, perfect for capturing the 'screw you' market segment."

Within weeks, a new photo appears.


Now, Scofflaw's friends and foes alike at last find common cause to unite, rejecting the newborn mockrobrew to find the next greatest Northeastern IPA, and lofting those middle fingers in the precise direction this most honest of all personal salutes always should have been pointed.

To AB InBev ... over and over ...rinse, repeat ... and bartender, can I have a Bell's Two Hearted Ale, please?

Breweries vs. Fans: Craft Beer on Social Media, by Jim Vorel (Paste)

Take a look at the photo above. The crowd of assembled, bearded brewers (and a few ladies) belongs to Atlanta-area brewers Scofflaw Brewing Co. You may have noticed that they all have their middle fingers raised in salute—I assure you that this will become relevant soon enough. But first, a little bit of background.

Scofflaw is one of the young stars of Atlanta’s beer scene, having gathered a huge amount of hype for a company that hasn’t yet celebrated its one-year anniversary ...

 ... But there’s always a flip side to such stories, and according to many Scofflaw drinkers, the pressing issue is consistency and replicability of the company’s flagship beers such as Basement IPA ...

 ... What is uncommon is a brewery reacting to those types of concerns with combative words and upturned middle fingers. That’s what Scofflaw did via Facebook yesterday, firing off a post that has lit up the Atlanta craft beer scene and ignited debate on both sides.

LIVE TO EAT: Read my profile of August Moon's Mimi Dabbagh in the The Fall 2017 issue of Food & Dining Magazine.

The Fall 2017 issue of Food & Dining Magazine is out. You can read the new issue at issuu.

While not billed as such, the magazine's theme this time around centers on local women in the food and drink business.

Speaking for myself, I richly enjoyed my time with Mimi Dabbagh, chatting about her life and career.

I hope readers enjoy the profile.

Mimi Dabbagh is someone you should know. Since 1987, Dabbagh has been Chef Peng Looi’s co-owner and business partner at August Moon Chinese Bistro, and yet 30 years after the eatery’s inception, she’s almost unGoogleable, having consistently avoided the limelight in favor of tending to the less glamorous aspects of restaurant ownership.

“Chef Looi is like the front man; I’m behind the scenes,” says Dabbagh. “It’s all right, because most people aren’t so interested in the owner. They’re interested in the chef and the food.”

Grid Control, Vol. 22: City engineer Larry Summers answers our questions about intersection striping errors and the "No Trucks" sign removal.


In Vol. 21, we asked questions about the soon-to-be-repaved intersection at Spring and 10th Street, and the disappearing "No Trucks" sign at the intersection of Spring and Vincennes.

Afterward, city engineer Larry Summers swooped into a discussion at the New Albany Indiana page at Facebook and gave these answers.

First up: Spring and 10th.

On the western leg of the intersection, the center line stripe was put in 6 feet too far to the south which created the exaggerated jog. Brian is correct in noted the street was milled because relocating the stripes without milling would have left grind marks along side the correct striping. The potential for confusion necessitated the milling of the asphalt.

All together now: Six feet!

This wasn't a small error. Unfortunately, removing the mistaken dogleg and straightening the lanes likely will have the effect of speeding traffic through an intersection that SHOULD BE GIVEN A FOUR-WAY STOP, though the city seems determined not to discuss this topic.

As for the "here today, gone tomorrow" sign:

The original sign was removed prior to the project but the plans were put together when the sign was there. The intent still remained for the sign to no longer be present so the contractor was instructed to remove it.

Another contractor error, though once again, questions are left unanswered -- in fact, they've been raised oft times before at the Board of Works, and never once given definitive replies:

Does a "truck route" through New Albany still exist, and if so, where is it? And if it exists, does the city plan on enforcing it?

Thanks to Larry for answering these questions. He probably willingly engages the public more than the remainder of Team Gahan combined, and as such, deserves credit.



---

Previously:

Grid Control, Vol. 21: Murderous intersection at Spring & 10th to be repaved and restriped -- and, the hocus-pocus with a disappearing "No Trucks" sign at Spring & Vincennes.



Grid Control, Vol. 20: As Team Gahan dawdles, another bicyclist is crushed into mincemeat at 10th & Spring's dangerous dogleg.



Grid Control, Vol. 19: In a positive move, HWC begins righting the wrong cross hatching on Spring Street.


Grid Control, Vol. 18: Finally a few BoW street grid project answers, almost all of them citing "contractor error."

Grid Control, Vol. 17: Judging by the misdirection of this "CROSS TRAFFIC DOES NOT STOP" sign, we now reside in the British Empire.



Grid Control, Vol. 16: What about HWC's cross hatching correction? Will this be finished before or after Team Gahan declares victory?


Grid Control, Vol. 15: Dooring enhancement perfectly epitomizes Deaf Gahan's "biking last" approach to grid modernization.

Grid Control, Vol. 14: Yes, you can still park on the south side of Spring Street during the stalled two-way grid project.

Grid Control, Vol. 13: "Dear Deaf Gahan and minions: FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, STOP TRYING TO BE COOL AND DESIGNER-ISH. YOU'RE NOT, AND IT'S EMBARRASSING ALL OF US."




Grid Control, Vol. 12: Meet the artistic crosswalk design equivalent of dogs playing poker.

Grid Control, Vol. 11: HWC Engineering meets with St. Marks, city officials nowhere to be found.

Grid Control, Vol. 10: City officials predictably AWOL as HWC Engineering falls on its sword over striping errors.

Grid Control, Vol. 9: "This was supposed to be discussed with us," but Dear Leader doesn't ever discuss, does he?


Grid Control, Vol. 8: City Hall characteristically mum as HWC Engineering at least tries to answer the cross-hatching question.


Grid Control, Vol. 7: What will the Board of Works do to rectify HWC's striping errors on the north side of Spring Street, apart from microwaving another round of sausage biscuits?


Grid Control, Vol. 6: Jeff Speck tweets about NA's grid changes, and those missed bicycling opportunities.


Grid Control, Vol. 5: Egg on HWC Engineering's well-compensated face as it botches Spring Street's westbound bike buffer cross hatching.


Grid Control, Vol. 4: But this actually isn't a bus lane, is it?


Grid Control, Vol. 3: TARC's taking your curbside church parking, says City Hall.


Grid Control, Vol. 2: Southsiders get six more parking inches, but you gotta love those 10-foot traffic lanes on Spring.




Grid Control, Vol. 1: You people drive so freaking horribly that someone's going to die at Spring and 10th.


Suddeath: "You can love the South without loving its biggest mistake."

Daniel Suddeath and I jousted often during his tenure as News and Tribune reporter, and while our exchanges occasionally got testy, I viewed it as healthy in the main.

We barked and snarled, and kept talking. Both of us are prone to streaks of self-righteousness, which isn't always helpful when writing an essay such as the one linked here.

Speaking merely as an observer, one who toils at writing and feels like he never gets it quite right -- and who doesn't always feel obliged to practice what he preaches -- the objective is to maintain poise while in the throes of passion, making the necessary points with cool precision with just enough emotion to engage readers and keep their attention.

I believe the writer's ability to communicate in this fashion is a sign of maturity, skill and command, even when he or she occasionally decides to chuck it and go straight for the polemical jugular.

What I'm meandering around to saying is that Daniel does a damned fine job here, quite apart from the fact that I agree with his point of view.

Suddeath: Fake history, by Daniel Suddeath (Glasgow Daily Times)

There is a difference between remembering history and holding on to beliefs that were never right.

While I generally don't support removing articles of history, be they reminders of good or bad, it's hard to distinguish between those who want to keep Confederate statues in place for historical reasons versus those who would like to see our country revert to a time when it was OK to be racist, and frankly brutal and primitive to our fellow man or woman.

This paragraph is the anchor.

What's the point? What was so great about the Confederacy that it should be cherished? You can love the South without loving its biggest mistake.

Continued best wishes to Daniel in Glasgow.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Council approves solidarity resolution as Coffey's therapist advises him to skip yet another meeting.

Need help with voting? Just ask.

Dan Coffey didn't make it to tonight's city council meeting, although a few minutes before seven, he was busy like a beaver on social media.


Coffey pitching craft beer? New Albany never ceases to amaze.

In the Wizard's convenient and surely coincidental absence -- he also skipped a March non-binding resolution condemning white supremacy -- his colleagues inadvertently raised an interesting procedural point by unanimously approving Greg Phipp's request to insert the previously unannounced solidarity resolution into the agenda.

In short, the events in Charlottesville occurred over the weekend, past the deadline for agenda items. Because public speaking time at council meetings requires signing one of two sheets (either agenda or non-agenda items), and since there was no way of knowing the resolution would be inserted, there also was no way of knowing to sign up to speak about it.

It didn't matter this evening, but machinations like this need to be watched carefully in the future.

Of course, the motion to insert Phipps' resolution might also have garnered a "no" vote and failed the test of unanimity. Coffey would have cherished pulling this particular plug, and Scott Blair, who after a brief dalliance with pragmatism has newly rediscovered his uneasiness with non-binding resolutions, might have but didn't.

Consequently, and oddly, the newspaper's Elizabeth Beilman devotes the bulk of her coverage to two items that did NOT appear on the announced agenda: Phipps' resolution, and Tony Nava's non-agenda public speaking clinic on neighborhood issues.

Three quick questions for CM Phipps:

Exactly which Human Rights Commission?

The one you only recently (and publicly) conceded was moribund?

It's too bad Jeff Gahan built the HRC to fail, isn't it?

That sort of thing could come in handy during times like these, but there it rests, up on blocks, in the bunker's down-low garage.

New Albany City Council approves resolution condemning white supremacy displayed in Charlottesville

Councilman Blair abstains, says resolutions not council's role

NEW ALBANY — Though it bears no legal weight, a proclamation approved by the New Albany City Council on Thursday is meant to take a stand against acts of white supremacy in Charlottesville, Va. last weekend.

Entertainingly, Beilman was paying extra close attention to Blair.

While (Blair) said he agrees with its content, a non-binding resolution that makes a statement of this nature isn't the council's role, he said. Blair read from Indiana code during the meeting, which states the council passes legislation concerning "the government of the city, the control of the city's property and finances, and the appropriation of money."

Blair argued the council's role is to work on local issues and that government functions better when its sticks to its pertinent role.

"I think it's just a waste of time," he said. "For instance, I probably had more budget items I wanted to talk about but it became more of a distraction."

In fact, Blair stepped into a buzz saw.

This isn't the first time Blair said he hasn't voted in favor of non-binding resolutions of a similar nature. In the past, he said they often overwhelm council discussion.

But he did vote in favor of a resolution condemning the promotion of intolerance this March, after white supremacists and anti-Semitic fliers were posted around New Albany and on the door of a local restaurant owned by Muslim immigrants.

I'll return to Nava's thoughts tomorrow. Right now, I'm turning in.

Grid Control, Vol. 21: Murderous intersection at Spring & 10th to be repaved and restriped -- and, the hocus-pocus with a disappearing "No Trucks" sign at Spring & Vincennes.




On Thursday morning, the dull roar of invasive roadway dentistry signaled an exciting new phase in the ongoing grid modernization monetization project.

The whole intersection at Spring & 10th has been milled, to be repaved and restriped. Seeing as I missed Tuesday's Bored of Public Works and Safety meeting, we turn now to Chris at Hanson's Folly for coverage.

• The intersection at 10th and Spring streets will be milled, repaved and restriped in preparation for the two-way street conversion. The curve at Spring and 10th was considered too sharp for the marked speed limit, forcing drivers over into the bike lane. The area had already been striped, but will now have to be redone.

They'll do anything to avoid a four-way stop, won't they?

Ah, but here's something useful.

• Many of the center lines on the streets that are part of the downtown grid modernization plan will not be marked until right before the streets are converted to two-way to avoid confusion. These streets include Elm, Market, Bank and Pearl.

Here's how the intersection looked on Wednesday morning.



This Ragle employee seemingly was doing the impossible, because every single car coming around the curve meekly slowed and successfully stayed between the lines.

Had we just permanently stationed rotating city council reps, deploying them to work traffic slowing shifts at this corner, equipped with folding chairs and whips, the repaving wouldn't even be needed.


Let's move to the intersection of Spring and Vincennes, where it's time to play Street Grid Hocus Pocus.

Now you see the "No Trucks" sign ...


... and now you don't.


Damn -- the trucking lobby works fast, a task made easier by virtue of a thoroughly spineless and milquetoast City Hall.

---

Previously:

Grid Control, Vol. 20: As Team Gahan dawdles, another bicyclist is crushed into mincemeat at 10th & Spring's dangerous dogleg.



Grid Control, Vol. 19: In a positive move, HWC begins righting the wrong cross hatching on Spring Street.


Grid Control, Vol. 18: Finally a few BoW street grid project answers, almost all of them citing "contractor error."

Grid Control, Vol. 17: Judging by the misdirection of this "CROSS TRAFFIC DOES NOT STOP" sign, we now reside in the British Empire.



Grid Control, Vol. 16: What about HWC's cross hatching correction? Will this be finished before or after Team Gahan declares victory?


Grid Control, Vol. 15: Dooring enhancement perfectly epitomizes Deaf Gahan's "biking last" approach to grid modernization.

Grid Control, Vol. 14: Yes, you can still park on the south side of Spring Street during the stalled two-way grid project.

Grid Control, Vol. 13: "Dear Deaf Gahan and minions: FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, STOP TRYING TO BE COOL AND DESIGNER-ISH. YOU'RE NOT, AND IT'S EMBARRASSING ALL OF US."




Grid Control, Vol. 12: Meet the artistic crosswalk design equivalent of dogs playing poker.

Grid Control, Vol. 11: HWC Engineering meets with St. Marks, city officials nowhere to be found.

Grid Control, Vol. 10: City officials predictably AWOL as HWC Engineering falls on its sword over striping errors.

Grid Control, Vol. 9: "This was supposed to be discussed with us," but Dear Leader doesn't ever discuss, does he?


Grid Control, Vol. 8: City Hall characteristically mum as HWC Engineering at least tries to answer the cross-hatching question.


Grid Control, Vol. 7: What will the Board of Works do to rectify HWC's striping errors on the north side of Spring Street, apart from microwaving another round of sausage biscuits?


Grid Control, Vol. 6: Jeff Speck tweets about NA's grid changes, and those missed bicycling opportunities.


Grid Control, Vol. 5: Egg on HWC Engineering's well-compensated face as it botches Spring Street's westbound bike buffer cross hatching.


Grid Control, Vol. 4: But this actually isn't a bus lane, is it?


Grid Control, Vol. 3: TARC's taking your curbside church parking, says City Hall.


Grid Control, Vol. 2: Southsiders get six more parking inches, but you gotta love those 10-foot traffic lanes on Spring.




Grid Control, Vol. 1: You people drive so freaking horribly that someone's going to die at Spring and 10th.


ON THE AVENUES: Love in the time of choleric Coffey, though it's nice of Deaf Gahan to support the K of C's political agenda.

ON THE AVENUES: Love in the time of choleric Coffey, though it's nice of Deaf Gahan to support the K of C's political agenda.

A weekly column by Roger A. Baylor.

Tonight there'll be a city council meeting, and I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Never mind the bobble-heads, it's Non-Binding Resolutional Culture Wars Night, and the potential for legislative grandstanding approaches solar eclipse levels of suggested pre-meeting martini consumption, toward which I pledge my last full measure of devotion.

New Albany city council, this Thursday: "Resolution Expressing Solidarity with the People of Charlottesville, Virginia, and a Public Condemnation of Racism, White Supremacy, and Neo-Nazi Ideology in Our Community, the Nation and the World."

As we've seen, autonomous councilman-for-hire Dan "Total Eclipse of the Heart" Coffey -- who on occasions as widely scattered as Monday's coming solar event actually stoops to represent the 1st District -- is organizing his own celebration of ragpicker's diversity.

Dan Coffey plans his own unity rally, because why should those smarty pants Democrats have all the fun?


Bring your own hoods, folks. There'll be barbecued bologna and toadstool crepes ... but alas, I digress. Let's begin with this excerpt from last week's column:

ON THE AVENUES: Super Tuesday shrapnel – or, tiptoeing through the tulips with Dan Coffey, now THE face of historic preservation in New Albany.

Glorious Stated Aim #2: Give the Knights of Columbus (Main Street) a new façade.

Translation: … since Coffey is a tremendous backer of the K of C, he’s neutralized and back on the mayor's payroll, at least for the moment.

Meanwhile: Deaf Gahan is Catholic … and the Democratic Party has been holding gatherings in Catholic-affiliated venues since the long ago days when bona fide Democrats like FDR walked the earth ... and that pesky priest at St. Mary’s keeps breathing down Team Gahan’s tight collars about the original sin of the two-way streets conversion … so POOF; all dissonance disappears, just like that, and to such a pervasive extent that we now see Coffey taking pride of place in the mayor’s MTV video touting Super Cash Stuffed Envelope Tuesday.

That’s right, folks. By means of just a teensy tiny bit of façade cash awarded to an organization that maintains an anti-abortion monument out front, welcome to a gay-baiting, venom-spewing, ward-heeling councilman forever in service to the highest bidder becoming the poster child of historic preservation in New Albany … but Gahan isn’t finished yet.

Absolutely no one doubts that as an entity, the Knights of Columbus does charitable works. Last week on Super Tuesday, when Coffey shuffled humbly to the anchor-bedecked podium to accept his cash-stuffed envelope (psst -- the one intended to pay for the K of C's facade work comes much later), he made it a point to emphasize this fact.

With the Knights of Columbus, it'll give a better appearance in the neighborhood, but the Knights of Columbus also does an enormous amount of charity work.

More accurately stated, it'll give a better appearance to Dan Coffey, because if there is any one cardinal rule to fathoming the Byzantine intrigues, gleeful backstabbings and gold bullion transfers inherent in the bottomless cesspool of New Albany politics as usual, it is this:

Never, ever accept a Coffeyism at face value. It will contort your face, and annoy the Wizard.

With still more money hoisted from the Redevelopment Commission, and alongside valued institutional cover from Indiana Landmarks, Jeff Gahan has struck another of his trademark political stink-bomb deals, enabling Coffey's ongoing jihad against modernity by blithely ignoring the separation of church and state -- a concept Coffey openly derides, of course, but the sort of appeasement legerdemain that democratic Democrats (where?) condone at their own peril.

However, Gahan's never met a ward-heeler he wouldn't fluff, and that old bromide about non-profits refraining from involvement in the political process? Think again.

Knights of Columbus head says Catholics cannot vote for abortion advocates (National Catholic Reporter, August 2, 2016)

Carl Anderson, leader of the Knights of Columbus fraternal order and one of the most influential lay Catholics in the church, has said that abortion outweighs all other issues in the presidential campaign and Catholics cannot vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights.

Much more detail is to be found here.

How One Religious Organization Bankrolls America’s Social Conservative Movement, by Josh Israel (Think Progress)

... But while much of the Knights’ charitable efforts in recent years have supported purely altruistic causes such as the Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity, millions of their charitable dollars have funded a very socially conservative ideological agenda: opposing abortion, LGBT rights, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and pornography, while supporting public funding for religious organizations.

(While legally independent from the Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus entities call themselves the church’s “strong right arm.”)

The Knights also operate a legally-separate but affiliated charitable arm called the Knights of Columbus Charities Inc. That tax-exempt non-profit organization made about 57 percent of its annual grants in 2013 to efforts to “promote matters affective life family, marriage and similar priorities in building a culture of life.” More than $1 million of that went to support “Crisis Pregnancy Centers,” a network of facilities that dissuade women from choosing to terminate their pregnancies, often by sharing misinformation.

Tonight's council meeting should be a fascinating test of New Gahanian dysfunction.

Under normal circumstances, forced to endure another effete expression of council support for people and ideas he loathes, Coffey would be spewing, fulminating and dropping an occasional sotto voce hint of imminent violent revenge against the gays, libtards and drunkists.

But Coffey's also enjoying the sweet tea-laced post-coital glow of yet again maneuvering Gahan into merrily compromising everything the Democratic Party should stand for by indulging the councilman's Generalissimo Francisco Franco fetish.

Gahan should have had the good sense to accompany his ill-considered largess with a temporary gag order, but of course, it was chronologically impossible to anticipate Charlottesville, which led to the solidarity resolution, and which gives Coffey a convenient "get out of handshake free" card to play this evening.

Perhaps Coffey will choose to avoid the meeting entirely, as he did on March 6, the last time such a threatening resolution occurred, after white supremacist handbills were duct-taped to local alley walls.

Seize the gesture and read the city council's non-binding "Resolution Condemning the Promotion of Intolerance."

Will the serial bigot Coffey support a resolution in support of human rights? Contractually, he'll have to vote yes if Gahan demands it. But does the mayor even care? Will Scott Blair abstain, citing his oft-stated principle of eschewing non-binding resolutions?

To paraphrase Chico Marx: "Coffey -- he-a no show up."

THE COMMON COUNCIL OF THE CIVIL CITY OF NEW ALBANY, INDIANA, HELD A REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING IN THE THIRD FLOOR ASSEMBLY ROOM OF THE CITY/COUNTY BUILDING ON MONDAY, MARCH 6, 2017 AT 7:00 P.M.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Council Members Mr. Caesar, Mr. Phipps, Mr. Nash, Mr. Blair, Mr. Aebersold, Mr. Barksdale, Dr. Knable and President McLaughlin. Mr. Coffey was not present.

In spite of it all, there remains a valid reason to commend Coffey for a certain consistency of action. The second cardinal rule of New Albanian political geography is that Coffey's always in it for himself; consequently, he might be the only politician in town who is consistent with his gestures.

He may be repugnant, and quite possibly horrendous, but he's not hypocritical.

There's something to be learned from this, but is it too early to start drinking?

Events got all topical on us, but next week I hope to return to "Mr. Duggins Goes to Bob Lane's Old Office and Mistakes the Bidet for the Toilet." 

Yesterday:

SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: I'll match your customary gesture politics and raise you a spate of virtue signaling.

FLASHBACK: You say you want a resolution? Ya gotta take yer growth industries where ya find 'em.

---

Recent columns:

August 10: ON THE AVENUES: Super Tuesday shrapnel – or, tiptoeing through the tulips with Dan Coffey, now THE face of historic preservation in New Albany.

August 3: ON THE AVENUES: On the importance of being ancient.

July 27: ON THE AVENUES: Irish history with a musical chaser.

July 20: ON THE AVENUES DOUBLEHEADER (2): A book about Bunny Berigan, his life and times.

Dan Coffey plans his own unity rally, because why should those smarty pants Democrats have all the fun?


Maybe David Duggins can loan Dan Coffey the NAHA community center. There'd be no need to fumigate something you're not planning on using, anyway.


Given Deaf Gahan's eagerness to appease Wizard of Westside, the only unanswered question is which gathering the mayor will attend.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

BIG LEAK! The Green Mouse has obtained an advance copy of Deaf Gahan's "Long Term Urban Canopy Inventory and Management."




Well, just these three pages. The Green Mouse wasn't feeling very well, and he decided to move to Jeffersonville.

THE BEER BEAT: Read about my "Beer Night" at Mesa next Wednesday (August 23) with Chef Ruben Freibert's appetizers.


And they say it's just a stage in life
But I know by now the problem is a stage
And they say just take your time and it'll go away
But I know by now I'm never gonna change
-- Daily Records, by The Who

As most readers know, I stepped away from NABC in 2015 after 25 years of full frontal immersion in beer.

(Know that the deal hasn't yet closed, and as of this precise moment, I retain 1/3 ownership of both entities. However, we seem to be drawing closer to a settlement.)

While awaiting the outcome, I've been hovering around the periphery of the beer world, looking for loopholes and sniffing both hops and opportunities. The thing that impresses me most are the opportunities right here in New Albany, within easy walking distance of my house.

Consider Mesa: A Collaborative Kitchen, which opened earlier this year in a former retail space called -- well, it doesn't matter what it was called before, because you wouldn't recognize it now.

MESA is a state-of-the-art collaborative kitchen-classroom, featuring demonstrations by Southern Indiana’s and Louisville established and aspiring chefs. The collaborative space offers cooking classes and demonstration and also houses a bookstore, to-go cooking dinners, and kitchen essential boutique. With the emerging and dynamic restaurant scene, MESA will become the culinary hub for Kentuckiana’s highly talented chef population to come and share their love for food with the public and each other.

I've mentioned Mesa two times previously in this space (soft opening media night and Chef Peng Looi), both of which were a kick. From the start, Mesa's owners Bobby and Ysha Bass have been eager to offer a broad range of events, and in this vein, Mesa is offering ...

Beer Night with Roger Baylor (that's me) and Appetizers with Chef Ruben Freibert

 ... on Wednesday, August 23.

First, meet Ruben. He's from the "Seeds and Greens" Freiberts and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. Currently Ruben is employed at River House Restaurant and Raw Bar in Louisville, and had I known he was a sushi instructor ... maybe next time. If you've ever accompanied a spicy roll with IPA, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Ruben's appetizers will be paired with the middle two beers from this list. Big thanks go to Dauntless Distributing and Starlight Distribution for making these beers happen.

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Aperitif/Welcome
De la Senne Taras Boulba … 4.5% abv
“Taras Boulba” refers to a story by the 19th-century Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, but the brewery is located in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, and named for the Senne (or Zenne) River. The alcohol content is session-strength, and the hopping firm, not unlike a Saison (farmhouse ale). The drier palate aptly functions as an aperitif, stimulating the appetite.

First course (with Ruben's appetizer)
Mönchshof Kellerbier … 5.4% abv
Kellerbier (“cellar” beer) typically is an unfiltered lager, as with this textbook example from the Bavarian city of Kulmbach. It is amber in hue and malt-forward, with just enough noble hop character for balance without yielding an overly bitter palate. Kellerbier is among the quintessential beer styles consumed as accompaniment to German cuisine.

Second course (with Ruben's appetizer)
Evil Twin Falco IPA … 7% abv
India Pale Ale (IPA) originated in England 150 years ago as a strong, well-hopped tipple, and since has been adapted and enhanced by craft brewers the world over. For most of its existence, Evil Twin has been a “gypsy,” brewing small batches at existing breweries, but the company’s Danish owner now is building a permanent brewery in New York City. The Falco refers to Falconer’s Flight, a blend of hops from the Pacific Northwest that contribute tropical, citrus, floral, lemon and grapefruit notes.

Dessert/Parting Glass:
Big Bunny … 9% abv
Two American breweries (Stillwater Artisanal and Arizona Wilderness) collaborated on this “Imperial Chocolate Milk Stout.” It is an amalgam of tasty styles, with “imperial” indicating heightened alcoholic heft; brownish-black and creamy, using dark and roasted malts that convey flavors of chocolate and espresso.

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Most of you know the drill. There'll be 2-3 ounce samples, accompanied by my comments and polemics, and your questions. Chef Ruben will tell us about his appetizers, his work and himself.

The time frame is 6:30 - 7:45, a compact one hour and 15 minutes, which means that I have some editing and remixing to do, but the idea remains that this is a tasting, leaving participants free to have a meal afterward if desired at one of downtown New Albany's eateries.

Tickets are $30 in advance, available here.

For me, this tasting feels like my first solo gig after leaving the band, and as such, it's potentially liberating. NABC tastings eventually became necessarily restricted to our own beers, rather than the world's, and while NABC's house beers were good, it's nice to contemplate events ranging a bit farther afield. If this one goes well, hopefully there'll be more.

Them there's the pub project in development; more on that in a separate posting.

SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: I'll match your customary gesture politics and raise you a spate of virtue signaling.


As noted last evening ...

New Albany city council, this Thursday: "Resolution Expressing Solidarity with the People of Charlottesville, Virginia, and a Public Condemnation of Racism, White Supremacy, and Neo-Nazi Ideology in Our Community, the Nation and the World."

Déjà vu is not the topic of today's column, but a song by the great Dionne Warwick never hurt a soul on a featureless Wednesday morning in New Gahania.



However, we've all been here before -- and only recently, on March 6.

Seize the gesture and read the city council's non-binding "Resolution Condemning the Promotion of Intolerance."

Will Scott Blair abstain, citing his oft-stated principle of eschewing non-binding resolutions?

At the time, I spoke about this resolution, and my feelings on the matter haven't changed, although it's timely, ironic and depressing that with a human rights complaint of my own ready to file, the once ballyhooed Human Rights Commission remains MIA, its father (Councilman Phipps) having already washed his hands of an entity constituted to fail even as he rushes to support Deaf Gahan's dismantling of public housing.

Mr. Roger Baylor stated that in the past he has been in favor of resolutions like the intolerance resolution on the agenda tonight. He said he has no reason to oppose it but feels there is some thinking in the community that what we end up doing might be classified as gesture politics. He pointed out that we have a human rights commission that by everybody’s admission seems to be kind of foundering at the moment and is a bit of a laughing stock because there is nothing to it. He said that you now have a resolution about intolerance and he is afraid that sometimes it just looks like symbolic gestures and are somewhat empty until there is some sort of force behind it.

Predictably, Blair's resolutional resolve failed him on this particular example of a council resolution.

R-17-03 Resolution Condemning the Promotion of Intolerance (Phipps)

Mr. Phipps introduced R-17-03 and moved to approve, Mr. Barksdale second, all voted in favor with the exception of Mr. Coffey who was not present.

Imagine that; Coffey not present for a resolution designed to tickle his nose?

He must have been affixing swastickers* to his peddler's cart, or perhaps protesting birth control on behalf of the Knights of Columbus. After all, the organization can use the money Deaf's about to give to it.

So, we belatedly arrive at the point: gesture politics, as used in this paragraph.

The good news is that it’s almost certainly too late for (Donald) Trump and (Australian PM Malcolm) Turnbull to derail the progress that’s being made towards a decarbonised and sustainable global economy. They are engaged in gesture politics designed to appeal to culture warriors on the right, not a serious strategy to revive coal and nuclear power.

Merriam-Webster provides the basics.

Definition of gesture politics: political actions or statements that are done or made chiefly as symbolic gestures and have little or no practical effect. First Known Use: 1971.

Oddly, a 1971 source is not revealed, and many on-line definitions of "gesture politics" quote the phrase's use in Social Issues and Party Politicsa collection of essays from 1998 -- specifically, by Frances Heidensohn.


Reading about gesture politics brought me to a similar and more recent concept. Honestly, until now I was completely unaware of "virtue signaling" as a phrase. In 2015, James Bartholomew took credit for it:

To my astonishment and delight, the phrase ‘virtue signalling’ has become part of the English language. I coined the phrase in an article here in The Spectator (18 April) in which I described the way in which many people say or write things to indicate that they are virtuous. Sometimes it is quite subtle. By saying that they hate the Daily Mail or Ukip, they are really telling you that they are admirably non-racist, left-wing or open-minded. One of the crucial aspects of virtue signalling is that it does not require actually doing anything virtuous. It does not involve delivering lunches to elderly neighbours or staying together with a spouse for the sake of the children. It takes no effort or sacrifice at all.

A year later in The Guardian, David Shariatmadari found the use of "virtue signaling" itself to be a form of ... well, virtue signaling.

As the Boston Globe columnist Mark Peters has pointed out, “virtue-signalling” has existed in isolated pockets since at least 2004, but was popularised (not, as he claims, invented) by James Bartholomew in the Spectator in April 2015.

Shariatmadari continues.

That’s not to say that there’s nothing in Bartholomew’s idea. Sometimes people do take positions to curry favour, or to burnish their reputations. But that’s hardly new. “You’re only saying that to make yourself look good” sums it up pretty well, it’s less pretentious, and still leaves 90 characters for the rest of your tweet.

His summary:

What started off as a clever way to win arguments has become a lazy put down. It’s too often used to cast aspersions on opponents as an alternative to rebutting their arguments. In fact, it’s becoming indistinguishable from the thing it was designed to call out: smug posturing from a position of self-appointed authority.

We're left with two phrases, both of recent vintage, each addressing human tendencies that aren't necessarily new. Symbolic gestures have always been with us, as have those who only say things to make themselves look good.

But speaking of gestures, politics, virtues and signalling ... addressing all the motives, linkages, posturing, actions, nobility, bootlicking and dumpster fires, I actually do remain proud of an idea that came to me roughly 15 years ago, amid the excesses of W's first term.

It still states my point of view with brevity and elegance.


Doing the modeling are two beer lovers at this year's Great Taste of the Midwest in Madison, Wisconsin; I don't know either of them, but thanks to my friend Ted for the photos.

I may no longer be active in the deployment of these particular machines, but I believe they still work in just the way I've always described.

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* thanks R&A.

FLASHBACK: You say you want a resolution? Ya gotta take yer growth industries where ya find 'em.


It's only been a year since this column was published, but living in New Gahania means experiencing an infinite repetition of the terminally inane forever, and ever, and ever ...

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ON THE AVENUES: You say you want a resolution?

A weekly column by Roger A. Baylor.

Last night in Cincinnati, drummer Steven Adler reunited with Guns N’ Roses during the band’s Not in This Lifetime Tour. While this is wonderful news for GNR fans, allow me to strike a discordant note and ask the most obvious question: Where the hell is Izzy Stradlin? Surely you realize that “Patience” is his song – not Axl’s, not Slash’s, but Izzy’s.

We need a resolution, don’t we?

Speaking of reunions, there goes Dwyane Wade, weary of global warming’s Heat, back to Chicago from whence he came to the NBA via Marquette – that’s a Catholic school, but let’s put our secularism front and center by casting a surreptitious glance to Sodom & Gomorrah by the Bay, otherwise known as San Francisco, right across the bridge from Oakland, where the Golden State Warriors just stole Kevin Durant from those poor cowpunchers in Oklahoma City.

There ought to be a law, except a resolution would be even more delightful.

If we really want to talk about vast sums better spent, there’s the pathetic Noah’s Ark fiasco in Kentucky. How the shameless Aussie charlatan Ken Ham ever got through the border I’ll never understand, so maybe Donald Trump’s right, and we need a wall to keep theocratic fascists from infiltrating the Commonwealth’s already enfeebled treasury.

Might we resolve to keep the dinosaurs in pre-history, where they belong?

Of course, had America built Drumpf’s immigration wall 150 years ago, when it really mattered, neither his family nor the Buschs would have come here from Germany, and we’d be spared the spectacle of international corporate threesome copulation between Americans, Brazilians and Belgians, because it’s not Zika we fear, but multinational brewing monopolies like AB-InBev.

A resolution would put a stop to it, right? No more Bud Light at municipal events … viva localismus.

But seriously, international news – do we really want to go there? Alas, we must, so let’s begin with a moment of silence for our kinfolk of the special relationship, the Brits. First, the collapse of Oasis, then sporting humiliation at the feet of Iceland. There was also a news item about something called Brexit, which appears to be a brand of salt and vinegar crisps.

So it is resolved: Liam and Noel are urged to come together over a pint of lager, some cigarettes and alcohol, and sort it out.

Let me tell you, Tony Blair could use a few pints of Scotch right about now, because according to the Chilcot report, the former British prime minister was as much George W. Bush’s fawning poodle during the catastrophic war in Iraq as we knew all along, even before the report’s 2.3 million words examined every last sinew and corpuscle in the lapdog’s vigorously wagging tail.

We don’t want to change the world, though a resolution would be all right.

Thirteen years ago, the U.S.-led coalition saw to it that Saddam Hussein was toppled and executed, for which the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Trump is newly annoyed, given that his old drinking buddy Saddam enjoyed great success in forestalling foreign terrorism by waging domestic terrorism against his own people. Sounds like a post-it note waiting to happen.

As well as a resolution, this one honoring Saddam’s anti-terrorism prowess, but stopping short of whiskey. Saddam didn’t drink whiskey. It made him mean.

While we’re on the topic of one-way, no-choice politics, can someone explain to me exactly why it matters that Hillary Rodham Clinton used a private e-mail server while working as Secretary of State? After all, Mayor Jeff Gahan does it, too, and he didn’t post an address for his city e-mail account until he’d been in office for four years – precisely the same period of time Clinton spent as SOS.

Seeing as we Americans are SOL when it comes to choosing between Clinton and Trump, a resolution asserting this conundrum absolutely must be drafted.

Come to think of it, Bush and Blair helped destabilize considerable tracts of the planet, and Clinton oversaw keeping them chaotic, which tells us that unrest must be profitable for the global economic order.

A resolution supporting the planet’s neoliberal elites, anyone?

However, the biggest problem with this ongoing upheaval is that terrorism seems to thrive amid the fissures. Consequently, in the brief period of time elapsing since the Pulse massacre, several hundred persons have been killed in places like Iraq, Nigeria, Turkey and Saudi Arabia – but hell, they’re only Muslims, and they brought it on themselves when they refused to sit at the back of the Ark.

Can we spare a resolution for them, even though they’re infidels?

Here in America, there were 990 deaths by police shooting in 2015, with another 500 or so this year. Surely the majority of these were justified, and I’m not here to argue cops, robbers and meth heads, only to observe that once again during the past week, there have been unarmed African-Americans shot by police, most recently in Minneapolis, and all the usual dog whistles and code words are being sprayed like projectile vomit across the wasteland of social media.

A resolution of solidarity … with … nah, never mind. It wouldn’t play here. We’re immune from that shit, aren’t we? It simply doesn’t happen in New Gahania.

It’s also been two months since an elderly woman was struck and killed by a driver at the intersection of Spring and Vincennes, and still no word from officialdom as to what actually happened.

I won’t even bother asking for a resolution about streets, because the closer we get to home – nearer the grassroots, which might seem to be the most fertile ground for genuine action, as opposed to non-binding resolutions, but doesn't ever work this way unless some team wins a championship, or on those rare occasions when propriety supports the politicization of tragedy – the more we seem eager to focus on far-off horizons, forever in search of symbolic gestures.

When the traffic’s still too fast, and all we really want to do is cross the street safely, we deserve those symbolic gestures – good and hard.

So resolved by this Common Council of the city of New Albany, Indiana?

I’ve resolved not to hold my breath.

30 years ago today: May Day in Vienna, 1987.


Previously: 30 years ago today: (April 30) A return to Vienna.

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Day 16 ... Friday, May 1
Vienna. May Day parade, Schönbrunn w/John Bridie Murphy

Prior to arriving in Vienna, it genuinely had not occurred to me that the city's annual May Day parade would be worth watching. After all, for various reasons my proposed itinerary kept changing. I might have been visiting any number of locales on May 1, not necessarily Vienna.

But I got lucky. Outside of the Soviet bloc, there couldn't have been a finer place to experience the international workers' holiday than the Austrian capital. I've written about the May Day concept oft times before, and repeat the boilerplate here.

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By the summer of 1987, when I first visited the geopolitical conglomeration formerly known as the Soviet Union, the country’s annual May Day parade in Moscow had long since ceased to be a showcase of international socialism.

Rather, it had reverted to the overt, and was staged as an ideological pageant of nationalistic fervor – a genuine, old-fashioned, patriotic flag-waver for Mother Russia.

For the bedrock Soviet worker, who according to prevailing mythology was the chief beneficiary of international socialism, May Day’s single biggest selling point was being able to avoid the drudgery of the factory for a few precious hours. He’d have rather been on the beach at a posh Black Sea resort in Bulgaria, but what could be done?

At least for a while he could forget about the dystopian Five Year Plan by hopping the subway from his cookie-cutter, high-rise suburb to the historic center of the city, queuing with fellow vodka-bearers, plodding behind the massive missiles through cobblestoned Red Square, and then finally passing the reviewing stand arranged atop Lenin’s Mausoleum for a fleeting glimpse of the jowly old men in furry caps, grimacing arthritically as they waved vacantly into space.

The parade was a choreographed set piece, of course, one fraught with symbolic properties, both for natives seeking clues to the direction of their country apart from the stultifying daily propaganda, and for observers elsewhere, like professional Kremlinologists in the employ of Western intelligence agencies.

These consulting spooks subsequently would examine film of the May Day parade, reshuffle their tea leaves, and strain them through a few hoary apocryphal algorithms. Passwords would be repeated, reports submitted, meetings held, and murmured decisions reached. 

In appropriately clandestine fashion, money would be exchanged, and a hush briefly might descend, until suddenly, somewhere in the world, a legally elected government was overthrown – first one of the Capitalist paymasters’ choosing, then another selected by the Communists, each in its own turn, serving the dual purpose of preserving the status quo, and stimulating both full erections and full employment among participating secret agents.

Long before the decade of the 1980’s, the workers of the world – be they in Akron, Cape Town or Tashkent – already understood that they neither had united, nor shed their chains in any fashion sufficient to exercise control over the means of production.

The stewards of the world’s two great economic “-isms” had divided the planet into manageable spheres of influence, with the non-aligned throngs always ripe for recruitment and exploitation. At the end of a day’s toil, the best way for just plain folks to endure the enforced pieties of a May Day parade -- or a 4th of July picnic -- was to remain under the influence.

As Ernest Hemingway reminds us, the bottle is a blessed means of sovereign action. You first drink from it, and then throw it in the direction of the oppressor. In cases of rotgut, you can drink some of it, and then set the remainder aflame just prior to tossing (see “cocktails, Molotov”).

During the Cold War, Russians and Poles chose vodka. Cubans opted for rum. I always imagined the Czechs and Hungarians to be more fortunate than most, seeing as they possessed beer (Pilsner Urquell) and wine (Egri Bikaver) of a higher uniform quality than produced by Warsaw Pact neighbors.

For Americans, there’d be gallons of insipid ice cold light lager and a few pints of Jack Daniels. Choices from our NATO allies might have ranged from English cask bitter to ouzo in Greece, and from schnapps (Germany) to cider (Spain).

It goes to show that as opiates go, booze is vastly preferable to religion.

To recap, May Day takes place on May 1, and generally refers to springtime public holidays in the northern hemisphere, where the cultural tradition began long before Marx, Engels and Gus Hall.

For more than 125 years, May Day also has been considered International Workers' Day, which we Americans eventually chucked to another time on the calendar (Labor Day, at summer’s end) so as to avoid confusion with the Commies. Why? Labor and left-wing political movements first established May 1 as International Workers’ Day in memory of those who were killed and wounded during the Haymarket Massacre in 1886, which took place in Chicago.

In all my trips to Europe, only once did I find myself in position to physically attend a May Day parade. It was in Vienna, in 1987. I got up early and walked into the city center from my hostel across from Westbahnhof, finding a comfortable place to stand along the Ringstrasse near City Hall.

The various unions, workplaces and numbered districts each were represented, and at the end, after the sanctioned social elements had marched past, there were series of menacing, piggybacking trailers: Anarchists, Maoists, random radicals and even a mob of hooded Muslim extremists.

Ah yes, I remember it well. Afterwards, I splurged on schnitzel and local draft beer, reflecting on the way that America’s customarily oblivious exceptionalism has detached its labor holiday from the rest of the world’s.

It’s too bad.

For us.

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In closing, this link from 2013 is encyclopedic and highly recommended.

How Vienna Does Labor Day (And We Should Too), by Lisa (My Blue Danube)

Eventually — so very eventually — we arrive at the Rathaus simultaneous with the districts coming in the opposite direction (the Ring is a circle, after all). We alternate turning into the Rathausplatz, where a giant crowd cheers from behind barricades, and the mayor awaits on a viewing stand ...

... After you leave the Rathausplatz, directly across the Ring is the “Red Market,” that is, a pop-up outdoor cafe for drinking giant quantities of beer and wine — and liberally populated by firefighters, who are a prominent presence at May Day festivities

My 1987 photos follow in chronological order.















On Sunday, May 3, there was an epic hike across the city and an afternoon at the Prater amusement park. A night train brought me to Firenze (Florence), Italy on Monday morning.