Céad Míle Fáilte ~ A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!

Here we seek a rest in the shade, some cool water and a little kindness. This blog is dedicated to peace, truth, justice and a post- industrial, post-petroleum illumined world in spite of all odds against it. I very much like the line about the ancient knight (see poem below) "His helmet now shall make a hive for bees" It is reminiscent of "beating swords into ploughshares" a sentiment I heartily approve of. Thank you for visiting ~ I hope you return!

Waterfall Animation Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


My beloved adopted home, Nebraska. Video by Lisa Hannah.

New Nebraska Network

Today's Lincoln Journal Star had a front-page article about a thriving political website, the New Nebraska Network. NNN bills itself as the state's premiere source of progressive online political commentary and community-building. I just spent a while exploring and my hat is off to these guys. An excellent local politics blog! I just hope they include the Ron Paul folks in their big tent, since many of the Paulites are left-libertarians who are progressives in many ways. Heck, the Paulites are so anti-war and pro-civil rights they are progressives in their own right.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Nevada GOP Stops Their State Convention When Ron Paul Wins Big

I find it telling that the GOP is changing the rules to the game when the outcome doesn't suit them, and that CNN closed the comments after only three posts. Three! It can now be said that there were "only three" pro-Paul posts...

RENO, Nevada (AP) —

QUOTE Outmaneuvered by raucous Ron Paul supporters, Nevada Republican Party leaders abruptly shut down their state convention and now must resume the event to complete a list of 31 delegates to the GOP national convention.
Outnumbered supporters of expected Republican presidential nominee John McCain faced off Saturday against well-organized Paul supporters. A large share of the more than 1,300 state convention delegates enabled Paul supporters to get a rule change positioning them for more national convention delegate slots than expected.
"I've seen factions walk out. I've never seen a party walk out," said Jeff Greenspan, regional coordinator for the Paul campaign. UNQUOTE

Sunday, April 27, 2008

PASCHA ~ The Orthodox Easter

Lucky, lucky me: as a Byzantine Catholic (that's Orthodox in union with Rome) who is married to a Greek Orthodox convert who is enthusiastic about his religion, I get not one but TWO Easters every year. So Chronia Polla, and Christos Anesti, y'all !!

We are just back from a sweet little barbeque in which the elderly Greek couple, Mimi and Stamatia, hosted about 200 of their closest friends for lamb, souvlaki, hand-patted pita bread, skorthalia (garlic spread),pastitsio (Greek meat/pasta casserole), dolmades, (grape leaves stuffed with meat & spices), feta, olives, baklava, nutcakes which I forgot the Greek name for and a host of other things too varied and numerous to name. This is after staying up until three A.M. at Church for the midnight Easter Liturgy, followed by ~ you guessed it ~ lamb dinner with all the trimmings hosted in the Church basement.

I love shouting out with the congregation that hell was embittered ~ embittered!! ~ when it encountered God in its depths. I love singing Christos Anesti! (Christ is Risen) at the top of my lungs over and over again. And I love being a Byzantine Catholic, dwelling as we do on the narrow and precarious isthmus which unites the body of the Church East and West in harmony and peace.

So Christ Is Risen, ChristosAnesti, (Greek)Christos Voskrege, (Slavic) Alamassee Hoc Hum (Arabic) to everyone. And forgive me if I left your native tongue out, that's all the ways I know to say Christ Is Risen. Happy Greek Easter.

Christos Anesti - Irene Pappas and Vangeli


The Rabbit of Easter. He Bring of the Chocolate
And so in honour of resurrection, victory over hell, the grave and death, in honour of freedom, joy, waaay too much delicious food and a joyous spring, I give you David Sedaris. From his book, Me Talk Pretty One Day, which can be bought here.

"And what does one do on the fourteenth of July? Does one celebrate Bastille Day?"
It was my second month of French class, and the teacher was leading us in an exercise designed to promote the use of one, our latest personal pronoun.
"Might one sing on Bastille Day?" she asked. "Might one dance in the streets? Somebody give me an answer."
Printed in our textbooks was a list of major holidays accompanied by a scattered arrangement of photographs depicting French people in the act of celebration. The object of the lesson was to match the holiday with the corresponding picture. It was simple enough but seemed an exercise better suited to the use of the pronoun they. I didn't know about the rest of the class but when Bastille Day eventually rolled around, I planned to stay home and clean my oven.
Normally, when working from the book, it was my habit to tune out my fellow students and scout ahead, concentrating on the question I'd calculated might fall to me, but this afternoon we were veering from the usual format. Questions were answered on a volunteer basis, and I was able to sit back and relax, confident that the same few students would do most of the talking. Today's discussion was dominated by an Italian nanny, two chatty Poles, and a pouty, plump Moroccan woman who had grown up speaking French and had enrolled in the class hoping to improve her spelling. She'd covered these lessons back in the third grade and took every opportunity to demonstrate her superiority. A question would be asked, and she'd race to give the answer, behaving as though this were a game show and, if quick enough, she might go home with a tropical vacation or a side-by-side refrigerator/freezer. A transfer student, by the end of the first day she'd raised her hand so many times that her shoulder had given out. Now she just leaned back and shouted out the answers, her bronzed arms folded across her chest like some great grammar genie.
We'd finished discussing Bastille Day, and the teacher had moved on to Easter, which was represented in our textbooks by a black-and-white photograph of a chocolate bell lying upon a bed of palm fronds.
"And what does one do on Easter? Would anyone like to tell us?"
It was, for me, another of those holidays I'd just as soon avoid. As a rule, my family had always ignored the Easter celebration by our non-Orthodox friends and neighbors. While the others feasted on their cholocate figurines, my brother, sisters, and I had endured epic fasts, folding our bony fingers in prayer and begging for an end to the monotony that was the Holy Trinity Church. As Greeks, we had our own Easter, which was usually observed anywhere from two to four weeks after what was known in our circle as "the American version." The reason has to do with the moon or the Orthodox calendar -- something mysterious like that -- though our mother always suspected it was scheduled at a later date so that the Greeks could buy their marshmellow chicks and plastic grass at drastically reduced sale prices. "The cheap sons of bitches," she'd say. "If they had their way, we'd be celebrating Christmas in the middle of goddamn February."
Because our mother was raised a Protestant, our Easters were a hybrid of the Greek and the American traditions. We recieved baskets of candy until we grew older and the Easter Bunny branched out. Those who smoked would awaken to find a carton of cigarettes and an assortment of disposable lighters, while the others would receive an equivalent, each according to his or her vice. In the evening we had the traditional Greek meal followed by a game in which we would toast one another with blood-colored eggs. The symbolism escapes me, but the holder of the table's one uncracked egg was supposedly rewarded with a year of good luck. I won only once. It was the year my mother died, my apartment got broken into, and I was taken to th emergency room suffering from what the attending physician diagnosed as "house-wife's knee."
The Italian nanny was attempting to answer the teacher's latest question when the Moroccan student interrupted, shouting, "Excuse me, but what's an Easter?"
It would seem that despite having grown up in a Muslim country, she would have heard it mentioned once or twice, but no. "I mean it," she said. "I have no idea what you people are talking about."
The teacher called on the rest of us to explain.
The Poles led the charge to the best of their ability. "It is," said one, "a party for the little boy of God who call his self Jesus...oh shit." She faltered and her fellow country-man came to her aid.
"He call his self Jesus and then he be die one day on two...morsels of...lumber."
The rest of the class jumped in, offering bits of information that would have given the pope an aneurysm.
"He die one day and then he go above of my head to live with your father."
"He weared of himself the long hair and after he die, the first day he come back here for to say hello to the peoples."
"He nice, the Jesus."
"He make the good things, and on the Easter we be sad because somebody makes him dead today."
Part of the problem had to do with vocabulary. Simple nouns such as cross and resurrection were beyond our grasp, let alone such a complicated refexive phrases as "to give of yourself your only begotten son." Faced with the challenge of explaining the cornerstone of Christianity, we did what any self-respecting group of people might do. We talked about food instead.
"Easter is a party for to eat of the lamb," the Italian nanny explained. "One too may eat of the chocolate."
"And who brings the chocolate?" the teacher asked.
I knew the word, so I raised my hand, saying, "The rabbit of Easter. He bring of the chocolate."
"A rabbit?" The teacher, assuming I'd used the wrong word, positioned her index fingers on top of her head, wriggling them as though they were ears. "You mean one of these? A rabbit rabbit?"
"Well, sure," I said. "He come in the night when one sleep on bed. Which a hand he have a basket and foods."
The teacher sighed and shook her head. As far as she was concerned, I had just explained everything wrong with my country. "No, no," she said. "Here in France the chocolate is brought by a a big bell that flies in from Rome."
I called for a time-out. "But how do the bell know where you live?"
"Well," she said, "how does a rabbit?"
It was a decent point, but at least a rabbit has eyes. That's a start. Rabbits move from place to place, while most bells can only go back and forth -- and they can't even do that on their own power. On top of that, the Easter Bunny has character. He's someone you'd like to meet and shake hands with. A bell has all the personality of a cast-iron skillet. It's like saying that come Christmas, a magic dustpan flies in from the North Pole, led by eight flying cinder blocks. Who wants to stay up all night so they can see a bell? And why fly one in from Rome when they've got more bells than they know what do to with here in Paris? That's the most implausible aspect of the whole story, as there's no way the bells of France would allow a foreign worker to fly in and take their jobs. That Roman bell would be lucky to get work cleaning up after a French bell's dog -- and even then he'd need papers. It just didn't add up.
Nothing we said was of any help to the Moroccan student. A dead man with long hair supposedly living with her father, a leg of lamb served with palm fronds and chocolate; equally confused and disgusted, she shrugged her massive shoulders and turned her attention to the comic book she kept hidden beneath her binder.
I wondered then if, without the language barrier, my classmates and I could have done a better job making sense of Christianity, an idea that sounds pretty far-fetched to begin with.
In communicating any religious belief, the operative word is faith, a concept illustrated by our very presence in that classroom. Why bother struggling with the grammar lessons of a six-year-old if each of us didn't believe that, against all reason, we might eventually improve? If I could hope to one day carry on a fluent conversation, it was a relatively short leap to believing that a rabbit might visit my home in the middle of the night, leaving behind a handful of chocolate kisses and a carton of menthol cigarettes. So why stop there? If I could believe in myself, why not give other improbabilties the benefit of the doubt? I told myself that despite her past behavior, my teacher was a kind and loving person who had only my best interests at heart. I accepted the idea that an omniscient God had cast me in his own image and that he watched over me and guided me from one place to the next. The Virgin Birth, the Ressurrection, and countless miracles -- my heart expanded to encompass all the wonders and possibilities of the universe.
A bell, though -- that's f*cked up. UNQUOTE

Friday, April 25, 2008

Noonan On the View From Gate 14

Peggy Noonan, Reagan speechwriter and biographer, Wall Street Journal editorialist and and fine specimen of a conservative (I say this as a CCCLL ~ Catholic Crunchy Con who lists to the Left on environment and toward Libertarian on civil liberty & freedom) has an op-ed piece up today which pegs it exactly right. Her pulse taking is nuanced. Senator Obama would do well to hire her as speechwriter, if she would make the temporary short trip left it might take to write for him, because Peggy understands what it is to love America. And I think she is starting to understand that those who deeply love America are not only ready for change, but demanding it. This current sad caricature of the USA cannot stand.

QUOTE America is in line at the airport. America has its shoes off, is carrying a rubberized bin, is going through a magnetometer. America is worried there is fungus on the floor after a million stockinged feet have walked on it. But America knows not to ask. America is guilty until proved innocent, and no one wants to draw undue attention. America left its ticket and passport in the jacket in the bin in the X-ray machine, and is admonished. America is embarrassed to have put one one-ounce moisturizer too many in the see-through bag. America is irritated that the TSA agent removed its mascara, opened it, put it to her nose, and smelled it. Why don't you put it up your nose and see if it explodes? America thinks. UNQUOTE

"Forrest Gump Edition" - Happy Friday

This Happy Friday special "Forrest Gump" era edition brings you some good old midwestern heartland values arena rock, hairy and plain but with a solid, strong, clean sound. Dedicated to all the veterans out there, especially those of Vietnam, Iraq I, Afghanistan and Iraq (current).
Peace, my brothers and sisters.

"Carry on my wayward son
There'll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don't you cry (don't you cry no more)"
~ Kansas

Thursday, April 24, 2008

On This Rock

Last week the Pope visited the USA for the first time since he was elevated to the papacy. His pastoral warmth and his astringent and repeated addressing of one of the most grievous ills of the modern Church, the clergy abuse crisis, left many who had been dubious warming to the man who sits in the seat of Peter, and who walks in the "shoes of the Fisherman".


QUOTE An ancient Latin expression, first used by St. Ambrose in the fourth century, came to my mind last week during several moments of the historic papal visit to the United States: “Ubi Petrus ibi ecclesia,” which is translated, “Wherever Peter is, there is the Church.”

Peter was in America last week, on the South Lawn of the White House, and at the Catholic University of America. Peter’s great smile and obvious serenity ignited a nation, a Church and a continent with hope in the midst of cynicism and despair, and while many would like to hasten death for a Church that is alive and young. Peter’s words addressed to representatives of more than 190 member nations of the United Nations spoke of human rights, dignity, dialogue and peace to a world at war in so many places. Peter’s eloquent silence, prayer and gestures at ground zero brought healing and peace to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on a nation.The New Testament’s Acts of the Apostles tells us “that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed." UNQUOTE

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Spiritual Journey To Patience

I am a 54 year-old Mom, Wife and Grandmother
who has loved dreads from afar for many years I always thought they looked so cool, and somehow peaceful, and I eventually realized that most people with dreads shampoo them when ever they want, a few times a week on average. (They are not "dirty", at least not usually.)

I decided I didn't want to get to age 80 and regret not having dreads: I decided maybe I wanted to be age 80 with fabulous silver white dreads down to the small of my back! I took the plunge and went to Cliff's Fades and Braids yesterday (Earth Day, yes, I did that on purpose) to get all twisted up by their resident dreads specialist, Nancy Reagan (no baloney, that's this talented, tough-as-nails dreaded beautician's name) ~ here in Lincoln, NE where I have lived with my family since 1984. Nancy is about 57-58 years old & hails from the mean streets of Pontiac, Michigan and drives the hour commute to Omaha to work in a salon there, and does dreads here in Lincoln "in her spare time".

One of the religions most often associated with dreadlocks is Rastafari. The Rastafarians belive, among other things, that Jah (God) forms dreadlocks in your hair and that the shape of the dreads tells about your personality. Rastafarians are not required to have dreadlocks and certainly those who have dreadlocks are not required to be rasta. The ancient historians who first came across the Irish and Scot peoples wrote of them having "Hair like many snakes". Sounds like dreads to me. Ditto for the Vikings, they were dreaded up too. Ditto the early Christians, a description of our Lord's brother St. James has been handed down that describe shim as having what can only be named dreadlocks. If I had to guess I'd say the majority of the people who start dreadlocks do it as an outward symbol of something they feel inside. It may be part of a spiritual journey or it may be part of rebelling against consumerism (hair gels, mousses, shampoos, hair spray, pomades, 14 kinds of conditioners etc etc etc) or it may just be a stylish "do".

So anyhow, I am viewing this coming year of growing and tending my dreads as a spiritual journey towards patience and living in God's Will, as it takes about that amount of time to lock the new dreads up fully. It is a journey of the heart, mind and spirit towards patience and living in God's will, acquiescing to the direction of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Paglia Nails It Again

Camille Paglia has a way with words, and this is the second time in this election cycle I've heartily agreed with her
The popeyed, grinning Miz Clinton has
entirely too much baggage, and Paglia shows us where. From The Telegraph (U.K.)

QUOTE from the "Comments section" - Hillary IS a feminist - but of the worst kind. She embodies the schizo brand of feminism which declares itself liberated from the old Patriarchal paradigm of the covert, conniving, subservient female while continuing to employ it when it serves the purpose. For too many women Feminism simply means employing the old subterfuges and chicaneries with a clear conscience while denouncing anyone who dares call them on it as "sexist". in brief, they want to have their cake and eat it too. Sadly, we live in a time when certain feminists can, with an absolutely straight face, characterize pole-dancing as "an empowering act". God help us. UNQUOTE

Spring Has Sprung

What a fabbo day! The air is soft, 72 degrees farenheit or so, the sun is shining, and Earth Day is being celebrated early. I started the day with church, then visited a drum circle in honor of Earth Day which the enthusiastic and quirky local Unitarians held on their patio. Then home for a bite to eat and to meet up with my husband and daughter, and then off to the Antelope Park Earth Day festivities.

We roamed around the park, seeing SmartCars, backyard electricity generating windmills, solar panels, water sysytems, straw bale home builders, sustainable agriculture and enthuiastic jazz musicians. Then it was off to the East Campus of UNL for ice cream and flower viewing in their nearby botanical gardens.
Now our daughter is busy making an Earth Day cake, which is a sphere. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I hope that Lady Spring has touched you today too. Enjoy.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Shake, Rattle and Roll

Our daughter phoned us all atwitter early this morning from their home in southern Indiana ~ they'd been awakened by a 5.4 earthquake which was felt as far away as Chicago, Milwaukee, DesMonies and Tennessee. Everthing was fine, although she agreed with me that she never wished to feel a stronger one. Growing up in western Oregon, I'd felt a few of that magnitude before, an done in Dayton Ohio (New Madrid fault) in 1980 or 81 which was about the same magnitude. Anyhow, The Rosemary Tree sends this out to everyone who was awakened by dancing knicknacks today.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What're You Cooking, Sweetie? The Pollster is Asking...

How about this: figuring out people's politics by their menu choices

QUOTE For example, Dr Pepper is a Republican soda. Pepsi-Cola and Sprite are Democratic. So are most clear liquors, like gin and vodka, along with white wine and Evian water. Republicans skew toward brown liquors like bourbon or scotch, red wine and Fiji water.
When it comes to fried chicken, he said, Democrats prefer Popeyes and Republicans Chick-fil-A.
“Anything organic or more Whole Foods-y skews more Democratic,” Mr. Dowd said. UNQUOTE

Who knew the pollsters were rifling through our grocery store receipts, garbage and credit histories to find our preferences? And what about the Crunchy Cons and the Left Libertarians?
Do they just exist to confuse the pollsters?

A man I know works for Gallup, the bigtime polling group. He was so confused after the New Hampshire primary. "They lied to us" he kept saying. Disappointed.

Right. As if whatever some poor droning college kid wage slave in a call center asks you while you're busy helping with homework, making dinner, feeding the pets, geting ready for work etc etc is going to be answered with perfect truthful candor. Or maybe they all DID answer the pollsters truthfully, and the Diebolds were hacked.

I'm going for some free-range eggs and whole wheat toast. Can anybody tell me how I'll be voting?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Benedict's Revolution

When the baby went out with the bathwater after Vatican II, Catholics were so glad to be rid of some of the dead wood that they hardly noticed. But after 40 years, the loss of that which is precious and irreplaceable has been, finally, not only noticed, but has been marked as worthy of retrieval. The gorgeous ancient form of the Latin Mass, a true Western gem of culture, art, religion and faith, has been restored and is gradually coming to a church near you.

Even if you are Protestant, or for that matter an Atheist, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim or what have you, you owe it to yourself to visit a high Latin Mass and a Byzantine Rite Mass at least once.

That the Church thought it wise to replace these with the current Novis Ordo hootenanny music and rubrics leaves one incredulous and somewhat sad.

From Benedict's Revolution By Thomas E. Woods Jr.

QUOTE Countless figures of prominence recognized what the Church was losing in the old rite. When nearly four decades ago it seemed as if the traditional Latin Mass would never be heard from again, a group of British intellectuals, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, issued a protest to the pope urging him not to carry out such a terrible offense against Europe's cultural patrimony. Signatories included Agatha Christie, Graham Greene, and Malcolm Muggeridge. It read, in part:

If some senseless decree were to order the total or partial destruction of basilicas or cathedrals, then obviously it would be the educated -- whatever their personal beliefs -- who would rise up in horror to oppose such a possibility. Now the fact is that basilicas and cathedrals were built so as to celebrate a rite which, until a few months ago, constituted a living tradition. We are referring to the Roman Catholic Mass. Yet, according to the latest information in Rome, there is a plan to obliterate that Mass by the end of the current year . . . . The rite in question, in its magnificent Latin text, has also inspired a host of priceless achievements in the arts -- not only mystical works, but works by poets, philosophers, musicians, architects, painters and sculptors in all countries and epochs. Thus, it belongs to universal culture as well as to churchmen and formal Christians.

The petition concluded with a plea to the pope: "The signatories of this appeal, which is entirely ecumenical and non-political, have been drawn from every branch of modern culture in Europe and elsewhere. They wish to call to the attention of the Holy See, the appalling responsibility it would incur in the history of the human spirit were it to refuse to allow the traditional Mass to survive, even though this survival took place side by side with other liturgical forms." UNQUOTE

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dear Husband Is Craftsman Of the Year

My husband Charles has been named Craftsman of the Year by the Rogers Jewelers chain. A little shameless self promotion is in order. Congratulations to Charlie! Those of you in the SE Nebraska area please drop by Rogers Jewelers at Westfied Gateway mall and see him. He'll design and make you and/or your honey something sparkly.

QUOTE Charles Yost was recently named the "Craftsman of the Year" at the Rogers Jewelers annual awards banquet in Cincinnati, Ohio.The award was given for being the top producing bench jeweler in the Rogers Jewelers chain for 2007. Yost has a wide variety of bench jeweler experience over the past 36 years and is a certified Senior Bench Jeweler by the Jewelers of America. He has been with Rogers Jewelers at Westfield Gateway for two years.Rogers Jewelers is a full-service jewelery store offering on-site repairs and custom designs. The Rogers chain is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and has retail stores throughout the central United States. For more information visit www.rogers-jewelers.com. UNQUOTE

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ready Or Not, Here He Comes

The Pope likes America. He likes Americans. "God's Rottweiler" has a soft spot for the ideals cast in our Constitution. What does this fondness for things American mean, either about him or about how he sees America's place in the world? It does not translate into uncritical support for the Bush Administration's foreign policies or into willingness to overlook the U.S. Catholic Church's sexual-abuse scandal. Indeed, I anticipate a scathing, blistering sermon on that. But a close scrutiny of his lifetime of visiting and writing about the U.S. helps provide insight into what drives Benedict: his intellectual curiosity, his search for models that can accommodate Catholicism as the minority (a position that he may feel is its next world role) and his firm commitment to combine faith with practical reason. It is also a sweet & touching gesture and a testament to Benedict's surprising openness toward a very different culture that he sees us as a good example of how such things can be done.

QUOTE...John Paul II described faith and reason as the twin wings that lift the church. And yet a balanced takeoff has remained elusive. The U.S. is one of the few places where it seems to happen regularly. "America is simultaneously a completely modern and a profoundly religious place. In the world, it is unique in this," says a senior Vatican official. "And Ratzinger wants to understand how those two aspects can coexist." Almost all the things the Pope likes about us--our faith in the real value of plainspokenness, our pluralistic piety and even our wrangles around applying religiously grounded moral principles to increasingly abstruse science--can be understood in light of this quest. If he finds answers in the U.S., they could help define his papacy.

When he arrives on U.S. soil on April 15, we in the press will no doubt be parsing Benedict's every sentence for his opinions on U.S. policy or remonstrance of American morals. But the most important waves emanating from this contact may reverberate well beyond tomorrow's news cycle. John Paul II and the U.S. played as anticommunist co-leads on the 20th century stage. This Pope, more a student of global drama than an eager protagonist, knows that rising religious conflict may be the 21st century's great challenge. He also appears to sense that American power alone won't solve it--but that the power of American values still might. In rummaging through our founding precepts for a path for his own purposes, he might find something important for us to remember too. UNQUOTE

Saturday, April 12, 2008

One, Two, Three ~ Everybody Stop What They're Doing & Work on Integrating Their Shadow

OK, I have tipped over some sort of tipping point. I have crossed the rubicon, I have
had it up to here.

This little blog post on glob-a-log just sent me over the edge.

QUOTE Bin Laden and the other useless little psychopaths must be laughing their heads off. A few bombs, a few thousands of victims (less than die on the road each day in the West…) and they’ve already won. As our imbecilic and criminal leaders don’t tire of telling us, ‘If they make us change our way of life, the terrorists have won.’

Well, we let them do just that. Our governments have conspired with the terrorists to do so from day one and have been taking away our liberties and our rights one by one – from day one. UNQUOTE

Puhleeeeze, everyone just stop whatever you are doing right now and introduce yourself to your Shadow (read up on it by digging out those Psych 101 textbooks & finding something by Carl Jung if you need to.)I'm assuming that everyone who has passed the tenth grade or ever watched a serious & well made film drama has some idea that we all have a dark side, which, left unaddressed, will come to rule.

They talk about it at AA, they talk about it on Oprah, they talk about it in the coffeeroom at work. You know what I'm talking about here. Quit projecting all over the place and heal your own shadow. Do it. Do it for yourself, your spouse, your kids and grandkids, for the little robins nesting in your apple tree. Do it.

You'll be so glad you did.

Friday, April 11, 2008

One More to Take the Harsh from Your Friday

And if this one doesn't do it, I don't know what will.

Keali'i Reichel hawaiian music

Nou e Kawaipunahele
Ku`u lei aloha mae `ole
Pili hemo`ole,
Pili pa`a pono
E huli ho`i käua
E Kawaipunahele

Kü `oe me ke ki`eki`e
I ka nani a`o Wailuku
Ku`u ipo henoheno,
Ku`u wehi o ka pö
E huli ho`i käua
E Kawaipunhele

Eia ho`i `o Keali`i
Kali `ana i ka mehameha
Mehameha ho`i au,
`Eha`eha ho`i au
E huli ho`i käua
E Kawaipunahele

Puana `ia ke aloha
Ku`u lei aloha mae `ole
Pili hemo `ole,
Pili pa`a pono
Ke pono ho`i käua
E Kawaipunahele

For you Kawaipunahele
My never-fading lei
Never separated,
Firmly united.
Come, let's go back.
O Kawaipunahele.

You stand majestically
In the splendor of Wailuku.
My cherished sweetheart,
My adornment of the night
Come, let's go back.
O Kawaipunahele

Here is Keali`i
Waiting in loneliness
I am lonely,
I hurt
Come, let's go back,
O Kawaipunahele.

Tell of the love,
Of my never-fading lei.
Never separated,
Firmly united
When it's right, we'll go back,
O Kawaipunaheleery

(Many thank yous to Youtube-er 808Productionz for providing the lyrics in both languages.)

What A Wonderful World

Here's a classic to take the edges off your Friday.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Common Sense is Uncommon Today

Questions to General Petraeus from Ron Paul. On the money.

Our Branch on the Family Tree

This is way cool. A lovely little "family tree" of living things. Powers of life.

Click on the picture or here to see it up close, I couldn't enlarge it any bigger than this b/c of blogger.com pic size limits.
The lines are arbitrary in length, since it was drawn by hand. If something descends from a more recent shared fork, then it is more closely related.
Some interesting examples: Mice are more closely related to us than cats. Sea urchins are more closely related to us than insects. Mushrooms are more closely related to us than they are to plants.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Oh Boy, Beer!

How great is this? It's beer trivia, and the questions aren't all easy.

And, for the afficianado's of the "mother's milk of the auld sod" here you go -

Myth: Guinness is heavy in calories. False.Guinness weighs in with 125 calories per 12 ounce serving. But wait... where do you get a 12 ounce Guinness? You don't... it's 16 ounces (14.8 in a can). Do the math, and you get 170 calories per 16 ounce serving. Some sources say as much as 200 calories. That's not a big difference, unless you have more than one. But who does that? ;)

Myth: Guinness is supposed to be warm. False.Guinness reports it's draught is best served at 42.8 degrees. Your average fridge is about 38, just a tad too cool. Unforturnately, most beer coolers in bars are even colder. Regardless, 43 degrees is neither warm, nor room temperature. Order them ahead of time and let them warm up a minute while you finish your first pint. Problem solved!

Trivia: Guinness is popular in Africa! Aye, 'tis true!In fact, Nigeria is the third-leading market for the beer - behind only Great Britain and Ireland. Cameroon is No. 5. The sweeter, strong African version of Guinness is a huge hit on the continent, where it's said to enhance virility, according to a recent Reuters report.

Trivia: A Guinness executive created what became the Guinness Book of Records to help settle bar arguments. True again!In 1951, Sir Hugh Beaver, then the managing director of the Guinness Brewery, went on a shooting party and became involved in an argument. Which was the fastest game bird in Europe – the golden plover or the grouse? He realized then that a book supplying the answers to this sort of question might prove popular.

Fact: Guinness has been dispensed in hospitals. This is true!In England, post-operative patients used to be given Guinness, as were blood donors. Sadly, this is no longer the case in England. In Ireland, Guinness is still made available to blood donors and stomach and intestinal post-operative patients. Guinness is known to be high in iron content.

Fact: Why is Guinness Stout black ? Answer:It obtains its colour due to the process of roasting the barley, this is carried out to convert maltase into maltose, a natural sugar

The Language of the Soul

They say that music is the language of the soul. Here we have a sterling example of that, the music of Philip Glass being played on piano by Paul Barnes. Paul has transcribed the operas of Mr. Glass for piano.

Dr. Barnes' web site.

I often dislike modern music, especially of the sharp staccato honking variety,but when I first heard it a few years ago, I soon found myself caught up in the music of Philip Glass as played by Paul Barnes, and was enchanted. It was like a swift voyage on a troubled sea, with dolphins popping out alongside. I didn’t hear it again till recently, and I find that it’s as good as or better than I remembered. I love it, actually. I haven’t heard all of Glass’s music by any means, but surely this must be a good snippet to begin with. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Here Comes Benedict XVI

I've posted CNN's video of Pope Benedict's address to Americans and the text of his comments over at CalmEagle's Blog at Gaia (my other blog.) On April 19, 2005, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was elected as the 265th Pope. He chose the name of Benedict XVI, in honor of St. Benedict, the founder of Western monasticism, and of Benedict XV, who had presided from the Chair of Peter during World War I and was an ardent promoter of peace. In the choosing of his name the signals were already being sent by this extraordinary man.

Pope Benedict XVI stepped forward onto the balcony overlooking St. Peters Square calling himself " ...a simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord." The applause was uproarious. The joy filled not only that Square but the hearts of millions throughout the entire world who had prayed for this moment. He continued " ...that the Lord can work and act even with insufficient means consoles me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers. In the joy of the risen Lord, trusting in his permanent help, we go forward."
Then the questions began. All of them related to one singular question "Where will he lead us?"

Back to the future, back to Tradition and the 'baby that was thrown out with the bathwater ' in the overly zealous days following Vatican II. I believe that we are witnessing the beginnings of the coming full communion of the Church, East and West, as the "two lungs" on the One Body of Christ begin to breathe together again in order to animate this new missionary age. We are beginning to witness the recovery of the Catholic academy through the rebuilding of some institutions almost lost to the Church and the building of new ones. We are seeing the flourishing of good, solid theological and philosophical work along with a flourishing of the arts and human culture, led by the Church, as it has been in ages past. He, like his namesake, is helping as well to bring the Christian influence back to Europe and beyond. Why, it is even possible that the current hopeless state of Novus Ordo Catholic church music - a terminal case of kumbayah and third grade level saccharine singalongs - may be changing for the better.

Here comes the Pope!

Agreed: Cede to Feed on Weeds

One of the reasons I have grown to love my adopted state of Nebraska is Roger Welsch. Written when the author was running for local office (County Weed Control Commissioner) here in SE Nebraska on a pro-weed ticket, this is a unique little book. No more herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizer, no more sweaty lawn care... just put some oil and vinegar dressing on that pesky lawn and open it to the neighbors as an all-you-can-eat salad bar! WEED 'EM AND REAP is a light-hearted but informative introduction to the free bounty of wild foods in lawns and woods, prairies and pastures. Even if you have no intentions of brewing up a crock of dandelion wine or tossing a salad of sour dock and purslane, you will enjoy reading Roger Welsch's adventures in the wild world of weedery. We're betting it won't be long before you will be watching roadsides and byways for your own treasure trove of blackberries, morel mushrooms, wild asparagus, or elderberries

Follow Roger as he gathers and prepares wild fare, and soon you, too, will be able to amaze your friends & family by serving up a salad, stew, vegetable, drink, or dessert made from ingredients found within shouting distance of your camp or from the back alleys of your suburb. This fun yet practical guide teaches more about morels, cattails, and smut (the edible fungus kind) than you ever thought possible. There's also information on making wines, jams, and jellies, and even gathering and enjoying acorns the Native American way.

A Sign Of the Times

More undergrads are turning to a philosophy major. As the parent of a 23 year old philosphy major who currently works as a cook in a specialty takeout restaurant but knows how to think, all I can say is this is actually a very good sign. Undergraduates are trending away from the "Konsumer Kulture" and "McCareers" and towards actual thinking. Bravo to this!

from the New York Times

QUOTE Rutgers, which has long had a top-ranked philosophy department, is one of a number of universities where the number of undergraduate philosophy majors is ballooning; there are 100 in this year’s graduating class, up from 50 in 2002, even as overall enrollment on the main campus has declined by 4 percent.

At the City University of New York, where enrollment is up 18 percent over the past six years, there are 322 philosophy majors, a 51 percent increase since 2002.

“If I were to start again as an undergraduate, I would major in philosophy,” said Matthew Goldstein, the CUNY chancellor, who majored in mathematics and statistics. “I think that subject is really at the core of just about everything we do. If you study humanities or political systems or sciences in general, philosophy is really the mother ship from which all of these disciplines grow.” UNQUOTE

Monday, April 7, 2008

Chesterton Lives!

Although he gained renown for his Father Brown stories, G.K. Chesterton is also considered to be the father of modern popular spiritual writing. Orthodoxy is his spiritual autobiography. Since it was first published in 1908, it has not lost power as a timeless argument for orthodox Christianity. Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was an English journalist, poet, biographer, historian, debater, radio personality, and novelist. One of the literary giants of the twentieth century, Chesterton constantly participated in public life, debating George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells, and a contemporary of Tolkien, Eliot, Waugh, Sayers, Campbell and Sassoon - and maintaining on-going humorous arguments with leading journalists and critics of his time. He is the author of more than 100 books on a wide variety of subjects; he is best known for his much-loved (Father Brown mysteries) series of detective stories and this apologetics classic.

The Christian beliefs of men such as C.S. Lewis, Chesterton and J.R.R. Tolkien informed their views about everything: politics, social ills, literature, and family life. Deconstruction attempts to separate the lives and beliefs of these authors from their work. Tolkien couldn’t have written The Lord of the Flies, nor could William Golding have written Lord of the Rings. The spiritual dimension is a key part of their work. Whether readers realize it or not, books such as Lord of the Rings influence their view of God, and Reality.

Ahh, to time-travel back to that old English pub and sip a Guinness with Lewis, Tolkien, Sayers and Chesterton. Or even be a fly on the wall...

Let The Sun Shine In

People are starting to think that Solar Thermal Technology can supply over 90% of grid power, while greatly reducing carbon and toxic emissions. High-efficiency is achieved because solar thermal plants do not need to convert energy to another form in order to store it. The future looks sunnny and bright for solar thermal technology.

"One of the most common arguments against large-scale use of renewable energy is that it cannot produce a steady, reliable stream of energy, day and night. Ausra Inc. does not agree. They believe that solar thermal technology can supply over 90% of grid power, while reducing carbon emissions."

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Let Them Eat Grass

The following link shows Kevin Fulton of Lichfield, Nebraska rolling up a frying pan at a conference in New York. He gave one of the keynote presentations at this event and received a standing ovation. His presentation included the need for reform in the way we raise and label our food, and the need to improve conditions for livestock. The "sound science" of factory farming is nothing more than "convenient science" and inhumane conditions in the livestock industry are a disgrace. Change is needed and forthcoming.

New York chef Dan Barber is accurate in his description of the impact that organic, sustainable, and local food systems are having on this country and you can read his comments in this article. Kevin's message will continue as he has been invited to do more keynote presentations at conferences around the country.

I urge you to buy as much food as you can directly from local farmers in your area and stop purchasing your meat and dairy products from sources where animals are housed inhumanely and where the animals are injected with artificial hormones, E-coli enriched, and kept on a steady diet of feed additives and medications. You all can make a difference.

Welcome to The Rosemary Tree!

Welcome to The Rosemary Tree!
Also known as the herb of grace, and rue, it has deep associations with penance, resurrection, nativity and joy.
Rosemary: In Europe, rosemary is considered the Christmas herb. In its native land (the Mediterranean area) rosemary grows as a tall hedge. Legend has it that rosemary shrubs grow to 6 feet tall in 33 years (the height and age of Christ) but ceases it vertical growth once it is 6 feet so as never to stand taller than Jesus did. Another tale says that during the flight to Egypt, the Virgin Mary draped her blue cloak over a white flowering rosemary bush to dry. The blooms have been blue ever since to represent Mary’s blue cloak.
"Legend abounds around this lovely perennial known as the "herb of remembrance." It is said that rosemary will grow particularly well in gardens tended by strong-willed women. Young brides traditionally carried a sprig of rosemary in their wreaths or wedding bouquets. The young couple may even have been brought together with the magic of a touch of rosemary, as in the refrain of an old ballad: "Young men and maids do ready stand/With sweet rosemary in their hands." Greek scholars wore a bit of the pungent herb in their hair when engaged in study as an aid to increase concentration."
The Old Knight
His golden locks time to silver turned;
O time too swift,
O swiftness never ceasing;
His youth 'gainst time and age hath ever spurned,
But spurned in vain; youth waneth by increasing;
Beauty, strength, youth, are flowers but fading seen;
Duty, faith, love are roots, and ever green.
His helmet now shall make a hive for bees;
And, lovers' sonnets turned to holy psalms,
A man-at-arms must now serve on his knees,
And feed on prayers, which are age's alms;
But though from court to cottage he depart,
His saint is sure of his unspotted heart.
And when he saddest sits in homely cell,
He'll teach his swains this carol for a song;
"Blest be the hearts that wish my sovereign well,
Curst be the souls that think her any wrong."
Goddess, allow this aged man his right,
To be your beadsman now, that was your knight.
~ by George Peele
Welcome to my brand-new blog.
"She had long accepted the fact that happiness is like swallows in spring. It may come and nest under your eaves or it may not.You cannot command it. When you expect to be happy, you are not, and when you don't expect to be happy, there is suddenly Easter in your soul, though it be mid-winter." ~ Elizabeth Goudge
You can also find me here.