Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Problem with Turkish / American Politics (NOT Trump's fault)

We are in the midst of a slow motion disaster with Turkey. It started with problems inherit in our relationship, which is critical to both our countries. Time and political progress has increased the pressures working against the relationship and removed some of the factors that kept us working together. These are now coming to a boil with two leaders who do not like to back down (Erdogan and Trump)

The short story (read below to understand it all, here is the incomplete but critical story):

After an attempted coup in Turkey, which their President blames at least in part on the United States, Turkey arrested over one hundred thousand possible conspirators. An American Pastor was swept up in these arrests. The Pastor and his family appear to be innocent - but we haven't cooperated in picking up a Turkish Religious figure in the United States that President Erdogan has loaded the blame upon. So Turkey is holding our Pastor, hoping to exchange him for an America based Turkish citizen he blames for the coup.

Side-bar, the Turkish citizen in America does not seem to be the instigator of the coup. However, if (I said IF) America had an interest in the new outcome or, worst, was tipped off the coup was coming, the Turkish guy here might be who we would have informed about it. IF any of that was true, we don't want to hand over an innocent man.

The Americans want the US Pastor released and the administration has worked hard to make it happen. The latest effort included a complex series of moves in which we provided some relief and Israel was going to release a Turkish woman. Everything seemed to happen, except that hte Pastor wasn't released.

The administration was furious and President Trump was furious, since his base is loudly saying the Pastor knew nothing. And Trump isn't furious quietly.

Erdogan said he wouldn't cave to America and there was no deal for the Pastor. Now he, like Trump, has painted himself into a corner with his political base.

Trump has loudly more than doubled the tariffs on Turkish Steel and Aluminum. This has pushed the already weak Turkish Lira lower and made it more wobbly. It is also illegal and should have been done quietly another way. (It is illegal because we said the tariffs were a security issue and therefore had to be consistent across nations - we are in of breach on the WTO which we set up.)

It matters because Turkey is an ally with a lot of information and an US Air Base and Russia is waiting to welcome them (and our info) into their waiting arms.

It's going to get ugly

The long story (necessary to understand this)...

Friday, August 10, 2018

Looking Back on Able Gance's Napoleon

I was recently looking at the Internet and memories were brought back by this piece of click bait.

I saw the first restoration of Napoleon, albeit only the 4 hour version not the 6 hour full restoration that occurred a few decades later. It was one of the few things that came out of Zeotrope Studios before One From The Heart bankrupted it. (And it is a beautiful piece of filmmaking, way before it's time - watch it again and see how in front of the times it was!)
Expand to Read about the Plitt Century City

Anyway, I saw this at the old Plitt Century City theaters back when they were still 2 huge ass theaters. (Side note, I was there once to see a movie and during previews the Secret Service came in and President Regan sat with Nancy to watch it with an audience. This was only a few years before the attack on him and the end of Presidents sneaking in anywhere.)

Zeotrope Studios was run by Francis Ford Coppola. He had restored much of the movie, including the tinting and tri-part screening, and his father had written a new score for the film. The time I saw it, there was no live orchestra (as there was in New York at the Restoration Premier a few days earlier). But it was cool. L O N G, but cool. The big ending with the three screen shots, tinting in France's tricolor was very memorable.

Apparently 30 years later, the British Film Institute restored the entire 6 hour version and had lots of copy write fights with Coppola, but that was after my time. However the preview below gives you an idea of the scope. Image seeing this on that massive Plitt screen.

The Nerd in Me Loves This... The Scooter in Me Hates It...

Here are the logos we get to vote on for the new Space Force Logo.

Now, here is what is annoying. These logos aren't anywhere near what the actuality will be should it ever come to pass. If it is a branch of the US Military, then it won't be a fun logo. See the bottom of page for our real military logos.

No this is a marketing ploy by the Trump Campaign - THE CAMPAIGN - to raise money and get names and email addresses. And by using Administration Officials to go out and sell merchandise based on US Government intentions that then drives profits for our VSG's reelection is both annoying and illegal.

But illegal means nothing to this administration and this is the least of it.

PS - Mars Awaits (my personal fav) is, per the Pentagon (really!!!) not applicable because this would be a defensive force, not an exploratory force.

PPS - They are all a little too Disney-Up With People for me. I want a death star.

PPPS - The Pentagon loves this idea, more money for them.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

THIS was right over us

A Friend took this from his place in Hudson Yards. It is looking towards the north. He is at 30th and we are at 59th.  I think this strike was right above us (we heard a ton of them)....

What is Normal and What is Not Normal

In many ways Donald Trump is a typical Republican by the way he governs. So let's look at some of what is new and what is old. What is working and what is not working.

The economy is his big achievement. Most Democrats will say that he has imply benefited from Obama's economic recovery, and it is true that all the indicators point to the fact he seems to have maintained the trajectory. But our current economic situation is a pretty big achievement. This recovery is one of the longest lasting there has ever been.  And while I disagree with much of what he has done, his business friendly positioning has undoubtedly helped that along.

Tax rates. Donald Trump and the Republican Congress have passed a big ass tax cut. Some of the items, like the new business tax rate, I applaud. Other items, like the gigantic tax break to the wealthiest individuals, I abhor. But here, he has acted as a normal Republican.

Regarding environmental law, I have massive problems with what he has done. However, the majority of the changes would have been followed by any Republican - sure a few exceptions stand out, the rolling back of car mileage, the attack on California's right to regulate emissions and the reduction in National Monuments, but otherwise it is a traditional Republican line.

Also at MOMA

In addition to the Architecture part of the show at MOMA, there were a few sections that talked about Yugoslavian design. They could export to Eastern Europe when much of the West was cut off from those consumer. So they had a variety of Exports.

Including kiosks that became ubiquitous through much of Europe, as elements could be added as necessary.

There was also a show of sculpture from Constantin Brancusi.  You know him probably. Look at the bronze sail/butter knife stuff in the background.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Wonderful Show at MOMA

So there was an architectural show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York that was very very cool. It was about Yugoslavia and it's love of concrete and brutalist architecture. 

After WWII much of Yugoslavia had been destroyed so they had to rebuild, the did the big building and housing in concrete with futurist designs. Don't get me wrong, these buildings don't age well and I wouldn't want to live there. But as statement buildings and futurist goal, I understand the aesthetic at the time.

One of the best things about the show was they showed the models, next to the actual buildings. In some cases (like the Transmission Tower at the top of the page) the idea flowed through, in other cases, not so much.

Many of the these are now gone, and those that are still there don't hold up well - aside from the memorials. But it was a cool show. The picture above is a memorial to those lost in the wars against fascism - it hasn't aged well. The picture below is of the memorial to Yugoslavian rebels win against the Nazis. This memorial was in the show, but I like the picture I took with myself and the memorial in May better.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Miss Very Special Genius, If you could have one wish granted...

"Miss Very Special Genius, If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?"

"World Peace."


Monday, August 06, 2018

The Good and the Bad of a Brand New Condo By Silverstein Properties

Well, there is good and bad.

The good, the grills started working and we love them.

The bad, the water leak, which we have complained about now for months, finally dropped into our condo through the roof light. We spent the week-end fighting with a smelly recycling bin to go the toilet. (Fought past a leak to take a leak.... get it?) It has not been pleasant.

The reason is not that important - a problem a few floors up. I get this happens in new buildings, I just wish they had listened earlier. I also wish we had a condo board.

A Lot To Unpack

Trump tweeted a big ass deal yesterday (Sunday).  Let us unpack, shall we...

I know that Republicans will find nothing unusual here, but for the reality based amoungst us:

Forget about the suck up to his son... Start on the 2nd sentence.

"totally legal..." Buzz - wrong answer. It is illegal to work with foreign nationals, accept intelligence from foreign nationals or foreign countries for purposes of a domestic election.

"done all the time in politics.." Buzz - wrong answer. Opposition Research is done all the time, but not when provided by foreign nationals.

"This was a meeting to get information on an opponent..." Buzz - perjury. John-Boy Trump testified under oath to Congress that this meeting was about Russian adoptions, that took a bad turn. Perjury - you remember that Republicans, you found perjury to be impeachment worthy when President Clinton lied about oral sex.

"I did not know about it." That is where the rubber meets the road on collusion here. If he knew about it, then it was collusion. (PS Rudy Giuliani is correct in that "collusion" is not a crime. The actual crime -if his last line is a true as the prior one - is "Conspiracy to defraud the United States" - as in trying to rig the election with a foreign national and foreign government.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Trump Spokespeople are Unanimous: Russia Interfered. Trump: Not so Much.

On August 2nd, President Trump's Team trotted out the current CIA director, National Security Advisor, FBI Director, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security all to tell us that Russia was meddling in our election, and this administration is taking it seriously.

On August 2nd, in Pennsylvania, President Trump said it was a made up witch hunt.

On August 1st, the Republicans in the Senate didn't think our democracy was worth spending money to protect.

Friday, August 03, 2018

This Adminisgtration is EVIL


The Trump Administration says it is not it's responsibility to find the parents of the children they have.

The children they separated from parents illegally.

Coming in to seek asylum is NOT FUCKING ILLEGAL. That is what most of those people came in for.

That is how Ivanka Trump's mother came (from an Eastern European country during the cold war).

This administration is full of people that are not good people.


DOJ said in a court filing that the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit over family separations, should instead take the lead in reunifying deported parents with their children.
“Plaintiffs’ counsel should use their considerable resources and their network of law firms, NGOs, volunteers, and others, together with the information that defendants have provided (or will soon provide), to establish contact with possible class members in foreign countries,” DOJ said.
The administration suggested that the ACLU find out whether the deported parents wish to be reconnected with their children, or whether they waive that option.
An administration official said Thursday evening that the filing “simply asks the court to require the ACLU to determine the wishes of and fulfill their obligations to their clients, as they have repeatedly represented in court that they would.“
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has stated repeatedly that no parents were deported without first being given the option to take their children with them. But a Trump administration official told POLITICO on July 25 that an estimated three-quarters of the parents who left the country alone left no record behind that they ever consented to leave their children in the U.S. "We don't see it in the documentation," the official said.

Is Trump Going to Shut Down the Mexican Government?

Trump is threatening to shut down the government over funding the border wall. But I thought Mexico was going to pay for the wall, right?

How can he shut down the Mexican government?
(mascot of the month from my happy place... ommmmm)

Mascot of the Month: Little Penguins

These are "Little Penguins" - so named for obvious reasons. They are the smallest of the penguin families, and the ones most seen in the wild.

These have been let free after being cleaned from an Oil Spill

This is because they come on land to sleep every few nights, and they come on to land across southern Australia and almost all of New Zealand.  They are cool.

Now when I first heard of them, they had a completely different name. For many many years, they were known as "Fairy Penguins", but I suppose that isn't butch enough for the Aussies any more. In New Zealand, they are often called "Blue Penguins" or "Little Blue Penguins", because of their color.

Eddie, Lynn and I saw them in Australia a long time ago. We sat in stands and watched them come in from the beach in a Eco-approved site. It was cool.

 Why these birds this month. Because when the world is shit, ignore it as much as possible.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

I Tell Ed That I Knew About Climate Change in College - and He Wonders...

Occasionally, I tell Ed we understood Climate Change in college at UCLA in 1980 / 81 when I graduated. And he used to wonder if I was making it up.

Well, here is a story about the country leaders and political leaders knew in 1979 - and we came super close to the G7 passing legislation to stop it.

So... fucking... close.

Worst Night of Sleep since 1972

I had the worst night of sleep since I was a child (in the Jewish sense). I had nightmare after nightmare in a slow motion death spiral.

First I was subject to having pins and nails pulled out of my hands, thighs and feet. Over and over, as they dug some out, there were more to dig out. And I would wake up and pee or get water or something, and fall right back into it.

After hours (it seemed) I moved on to a place where I lived in a bad neighborhood - with friends in the apartment upstairs and was forced to stop an what appeared to be an orgy on the horizon to start studying a 17th century text for a legal test, but all the pages were blank. And then an old friend kept breaking into the apartment to tell me (and the other pre-orgyites) that I had been a dick to him years ago.

Then, bathroom break and back to having pins and nails pulled out of me, and I had to help.

Don't get me wrong, I understand both of these (and shan't bore you with the details). But the end result is that I feel like a piece of crap right now.

Also, Ed had to put up with my grunting, yelling and hyperventilating. He did not have a good night of sleep either.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

My Body is Traitorous

I hurt my foot a while back (I don't know when, but it hurt in Scotland in May). It still hurts, but it is getting better.

Today I looked at it as I walked to avoid the pain and I realized my body is a traitor. 

You see I was once a bit pigeon-toed / leaned way over on my instep. My mom worked at a facility and when I was quite young, I wore orthopedics that corrected this. And I have always been very aware of how I walk.

Well today I realized that my foot hurts less when I walk a bit pigeon-toed. What The F*ck? Listen you, I did not wear those damn things to walk wrong at 59. My mother didn't work with a doctor to have me hooked up only to have me fall back now.

I have been working all day to be sure that, even if it hurts, I walk the way I want to. It isn't just optics, when I walk incorrectly, my knee hurts more. When did I become the enemy?

Idyllic in CT

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The New South

The part of me that went back to Los Angeles applauds the people that went back to the South to change it for the better.

The other part of me reads it and says “The New South: now with 30% less lynchings, y’all.”

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Head Over Heels is a Feast of Fun

A good recipe can make a fine dish, be it food or musical theater. Just the right amount of Act I intrigue with lyrical exposition and Act II redemption with swooning love songs, built on a recycled movie can brew up a sweet and charming (if expected) story. But, like a great cook, Head Over Heels throws out the recipe book and tosses all kinds of unexpected odds and ends into the pot. Sixteenth century pastoral story, check. Music by a 1980s new-wave girls band, check. Modern update to a sex comedy, done. And out of this eclectic grab bag, Heads Over Hells tears off the stage to grab your interest and rarely let it go.
Taylor Iman Jones and the Cast of Head Over Heels

The word exuberant seems designed for this evening of entertainment that will put a smile on your face; a smile that doesn’t leave until hours after the curtain comes down. It is headed by a trio of young women who discover their strength and their loves. The voice of these three will stun you as they grow to take over the stage.
The story, for those of us not up to date on 16th century pastoral romances, is thus. The King of Arcadia faces a prophecy from the Oracle of Delphi that he will lose his kingdom after 4 conditions come to pass. Two concerning his daughters and two concerning him. To avoid this fate, he takes the entire court on a fanciful march into the woods on a flimsy lie. The King and Queen (Broadway veterans Jeremy Kushner and Rachel York) set out bickering in word and tune.
They are joined by their daughters Pamela (Bonnie Mulligan) and Philoclea (Alexandra Socha), the subject of two of the prophecies.  Pamela has rejected all suitors to date and depends on her servant Mopsa (Taylor Iman Jones) for company. Philoclea, alternatively, has had her love, lowly shepherd Musidorus (Andrew Durand) rejected by her father. These three women, Bonnie Mulligan, Alexandra Socha and Taylor Iman Jones give Head Over Heels its fantastic voice. They can sing sweetly or belt out the songs of the Go-gos with heart, edge and flair. They can sound like the young lady rockers when they want to and yet can interpret songs in a way you never heard, so that words tell a fresh story. These three are what kicks Head Over Heels into overdrive.
Andrew Durand carries much of the comic weight (with an amazing assist from Bonnie Mulligan) as Musidorus who will go to any lengths for his beloved. The Oracle is played, well over the top, by Peppermint, an actor who honed their skill’s on Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
Bonnie Mulligan tearing it up.
It is pure old style hokum rendered new by the talented cast, including a chorus of sexual mischievous dancers and actors. Spencer Liff provides quite a modern twist for the choreography. Arcadia is rendering in cartoon glory by Julian Crouch’s scenic design and Kevin Adams’ lighting. Tom Kitt has rearraigned some of the Go-go’s tunes and kept others which sound as fresh as you remember. This mélange of ingredients has been masterfully directed by Michael Mayer, making the show glide along quickly.
Had I not seen the audience, I would wonder who this show appeals to. I know that fans from the 1980’s would embrace the music, and LGBT fans would embrace the heart of this show (and the dynamic turn of Peppermint). But everyone in the theatre loved this show and had a great time, from the young girls and out of towners who weren’t sure what to expect to the locals who might be a bit apprehensive of another jukebox show. Head Over Hells delighted us all.
Head Over Heels | Book:Adapted by James Magruder Original Book: Jeff Whitty | Director: Michael Mayer | Cast: Andrew Durand, Taylo

Friday, July 27, 2018


This is nuts! At 1:00 in the afternoon yesterday in Hartford, I checked the weather since I was going to head back from training  to New York.  My first screen on weather popped up.

Lot at that!  The hotest city is London.

London England!!! Hotter than LA (albeit at 10:00 in the morning), Portugal or Montenegro.  Wow.

Thank goodness this isn't an indication of crazy weather or global climate change.

PS - Nineties in London is fuck-all hot as they don't have air-conditioning over there (they never need it).

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Cloisters and the Met's Heavenly Bodies Collection

Every year the Met now juxtaposes fashion with the artistic inspirations. Sometimes it is amazing (the Chinese Art) and sometimes so-so (technology). This year the show is Heavenly Bodies and discusses how the Catholic Church has influences fashion.

Usually these show are at the main Metropolitan Museum, but this year - because of the theme - there were many pieces at the Cloisters, which was started from Rockafeller's collection of religious art and architecture. Ed and I took Ed's parents there while they were visiting.  It was cool.

I will say, I have never seen the Cloisters SO busy. Usually it is a quiet place, given over to reflection and solitude. This show really pumped up the attendance. I liked it since the more people that see this amazing place the better.

And, of course, there is the planters outside which make my heart warm and fuzzy.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

This IS What Happens

I told you my story of not recognizing my father after 9 months and I was 9 years old.  Imagine a toddler!  How this breaks your heart.  My story link - This story LINK

Friday, July 20, 2018

Trainspotting Live Splashes Down in New York

originally posted on

For those audience members that might not have visited the Roy Arias Stage before, the walk up to the second floor for Trainspotting Live NYC is a bit of a surreal experience. The staircase winds up through a tall, nondescript stairwell and drops you into a warehouse like interior, a bar behind you and the greeter the only indications you’re in the right place. Grab a drink, and line up to enter the (graffiti filled) black box theater to the flashes of neon, the beat of 1990s dance music and the exuberant cast and you know you’re in for something wildly different.
Trainspotting Live is an immersive experience not just of light, music, and the occasional liquids but of joy, despair and elation. It is based on the book, not the movie, so some scenes may seem out of sequence or lacking altogether - if your only experience with Trainspotting is the 1996 movie of the same name. But in the moment, alive with intensity, it doesn’t really matter.
Andrew Barrett as Renton in Trainspotting Live
Many of the set pieces are funny, gross and rude. The audience is treated occasionally as a coconspirator, sometimes as an enemy and sometimes simply as voyeurs. But the audience never feels forgotten or superfluous.
For those that have no connection to the book or movie, some of the surprising moments can be jarring.  Trainspotting Live is the story of Renton and his group of friends, surviving in the heroin scene in Edinburgh in the 90s. Andrew Barrett does an amazing job anchoring Renton inside this immersive funhouse of a show. Renton is ring master, bedrock and sounding board for his friends: Tommy and Sick Boy. Greg Esplin (Tommy) and Tariq Malik (Sick Boy) are, like Mr. Barrett, excellent in holding our attention in the course of the evening. Mr. Esplin is particularly effective as his good boy spirals off the rails after a bad love affair.
The other cast members, Lauren Downie, Pia Hagen, Tom Chandler and Oliver Sublet, pull duty as multiple characters, bringing the story to vibrant life. Each and everyone of them have standout moments that bewitch, enthrall or jar the audience into attention. To watch Lauren Downie seamlessly switch from an uptight mum into a frightening date who is demanding to lose her anal virginity is quite an impressive sight (if a bit scary).
Andrew Barrett, Lauren Downie, Pia Hagen and Olivier Sublet
Renton’s journey is documented from party boy to heroin enthusiast to detox, to the one sober member of his team, as his friends take paths that are sometimes parallel and sometimes skew far away from Renton’s own.
There are some scenes that are designed (in the book and the show) to gross us out. In particular, the embarrassing morning after a night of sex and the most disgusting toilet in Scotland scenes, will put some people off. But for the audience I was with, those scenes somehow morphed into bonding moments that brought us along with the storytellers.
Trainspotting Live is crazy fun entertainment. I love the immersiveness of a show like Sleep No More, but Trainspotting Live takes it up a few notches as the actors acknowledge and revel in the audience, blithely taking us on a youthful, embarrassing and exhilarating trip most of us have long since outgrown.
Trainspotting Live | Playwright: Irvine Welsh (novel) Harry Gibson (Adaptation) | Director: Adam Spreadbury-Maher, Greg Esplin | Cast: Andrew Barrett, Tom Chandler, Lauren Downie, Greg Esplin, Pia Hagen, Tariq Malik, Olivier Sublet | website

LA Frame of Mind

It's funny listening to songs about Los Angeles. They are usually about broken dreams or plastic people or losing yourself or fakers and con men. Everyone has heard a million of them.

At some point every mildly successful artist writes a song or makes a movie about how Los Angeles is plastic and insipid.

They funny thing is, I don't particular disagree with them, but I feel sorry for those people. They're bitter because they didn't obtain their dream (or they did but lost the girl back home).

And I say, politely, screw you.

If you can't make it in Los Angeles, it isn't her fault.

If you hate beaches, sun and people that are striving for a better life, pack it up and go back to the Quad Cities, of the Triplex, or the America's Hometown or where ever it is that you are a big fucking cheese.

Los Angeles is full of traffic, because people like living there. We have the ocean, mountains, a desert, two major (and dozens of semi-major) Universities. You hate it when people refer to "the industry" - then don't respond. You hate it when people are shallow - then find people that aren't. There are too many Mexicans, foreigners, minorities, young people, old people, rich people, fake people, gays, strivers and what ever else bugs you - then pack it up and move to Des Moines - it is a lovely city of very wonderful white people.

But you don't have to trash my town on your way out. Slink out in the middle of the night and then tell the folks back home how you left because you couldn't stand the people and you never wanted to make it anyway.

I could have grabbed a million pictures for this post - the beach, the Hollywood sign, the downtown skyline, the most gorgeous Observatory in the world, the space age house, the Getty Museum, UCLA, USC, Dodger Stadium, the busiest port in America, the Paramount Gate, Japanese Gardens, Koreatown, Armenia town, Santa Monica Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, Bel Air - the list goes on.  But I choose a crappy picture of a stupid busy street engulfed in smog so thick you can barely see the Hollywood Hills that are less than mile away. Because even a shitty day in Los Angeles is fucking fantastic.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Trump Ready to Dump Montenegro

So Trump gave an interview, AFTER the Putin meeting, in which he asked why we should support Montenegro, a NATO ally.

He also said that they are very pushy hostile people and might easily start World War III. Which is bullshit. There are less Montenegrins that there are people who live in Milwaukee.

This is a straight up Putin propoganda line.

Montenegro has broken free from Serbia and Russia's orbit. Before joining NATO in 2017, the Russians attempted to rig their (Democratic election). Instead of sitting on their asses (as we did), Montenegro called Russia out and kicked their people out of the country.

Why is Montenegro in NATO?
  • For the United States, we (NATO) didn't want Russia to have a deep sea port in the Adriatic. 
  • For Montenegro, they are on the path to democracy and European Union membership but are a tiny country. They have great relations with most everyone (the country has a number of permanent residents from Western Europe, Russia and Ukraine) - but they don't want Russia breathing down their neck.

Why is Trump bringing this up now, when he could have actually stopped their entry into NATO? Putin yelled at him.

(Could this be) Trump's New Blueprint for the USA (only Christians have the Right to Self-Determination)

Israel just passed a law saying that only Jewish people have the right to self-determination in Israel. That means that no one else in Israel has the "right" to be a member of the country - including the Arabs that have lived there for hundreds of years peacefully and stayed. Including the ones in their Congress. This also includes most US Jewish people, because Israel has already passed a law that the only Jewish people who are "really" Jewish are orthodox Jews - as defined by Orthodox Clergy.

I cannot be the only one who sees this as the Christian Right's blueprint for the United States, can I? The only people that have the right to National Self-Determination in this country will be Christians (although they still have to find a way to disenfranchise the Catholic Hispanic population.