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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Free Market According to Colbert



A Big Thank You

Thank you to our Nebraska Congressional Representatives, Adrian Smith, Jeff Fortenberry and Lee Terry, all of whom voted NO on the nefarious "bailout" plan yesterday. It was good to see liberals and conservatives uniting for the good of the country.

Thanks to all the Reps who voted as the people wanted. Pols were running 300 to one against the "bailout". Steel yourselves, folks, I'm sure there are smooth-talkers coming to twist your arms while in recess for Rosh Hashanah.

Mellencamp's classic heartland rock Rain On the Scarecrow. Apropos.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Breaking News...House Has a Backbone, Markets Respond

House defeats $700B financial markets bailout (Breitbart)

QUOTE Stocks plummeted on Wall Street even before the 228-205 vote to reject the bill was announced on the House floor.
When the critical vote was tallied, too few members of the House were willing to support the unpopular measure with elections just five weeks away. Ample no votes came from both the Democratic and Republican sides of the aisle. UNQUOTE

A good outcome, here's why

Hmm, it turns out there have been protests on Wall Street. Lots of 'em. Why, my "news" channels haven'thad a hint of this. (Eyes rolling back...)

Michael the Archangel

The feast of the Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel -- Sept. 29


"AND THERE WAS a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with
the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels; and they prevailed not,
neither was their place found any more in heaven, and that great dragon was
cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth
the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown
down with him." -- Apocalypse 12:7-9

for Our Times

Lucifer has placed his stamp upon the present age. Open and secret
revolt against God and His Church, the spirit of criticism, unbelief and
immorality are spreading. The arrogant boast of Lucifer, "I will be like the
Most High!" re-echoes everywhere. Puffed up with their discoveries and the
progress in material science, men loudly proclaim their self-sufficiency and
deny the existence of a Supreme Being. Governments and secret societies,
plotting against God and striving to blot out from homes and schools, from
offices and factories, all traces of Christianity, show plainly whose
standard they follow. Never before in the world's history were God's rights
so blasphemously mocked and denied, or the rights of man so arrogantly
asserted, as they are today.

These frightful evils must convince us that we must turn to St. Michael,
the Archangel, that glorious prince of Heaven who rendered all glory to God,
conquering Lucifer and casting him into the abyss.

Already three centuries ago, St. Francis de Sales wrote: "Veneration of
St. Michael is the great remedy against despising the rights of God, against
insubordination, skepticism and infidelity"
- vices which are perhaps more
prevalent now than ever before.

Surely, it is time for Christians to "rise from sleep" and to offer
vigorous resistance to the enemies of salvation. The weapons in this
conflict are not the arms of civil warfare, but the spiritual weapons of
prayer and penance, increased fidelity to the Commandments of God, and
frequent reception of the Sacraments. And surely we can choose no better
leader in this conflict than the powerful captain who led the faithful
Angels to victory.

Let us, then, with confident trust invoke the aid and the protection of
this mighty Archangel whose shield bears the inscription: "MI-CHA-EL" -
"Quis ut Deus" - "Who is like unto God?"

The above is taken from "St. Michael the Archangel" published by Tan Books.

Congressional Martial Law Explained

The Voice of Reason

Jeff Fortenberry, Ron Paul and Mike Pence are providing voices of reason in this season of insanity.

If Pelosi has declared Congressional Martial Law, what does that mean? Can't be good.

Hat tip to Laura at RSE.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Prostitutes Will Enter the Kingdom of Heaven Before Us

I am spending the day contemplating tomorrow's Gospel. Off to work now but still contemplating ~ I'm turning it into a "walking meditation".


Prostitutes Will Enter the Kingdom Before You
Gospel Commentary for 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
By Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap

ROME, SEPT. 26, 2008 (Zenit.org).-QUOTE "Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people: ‘What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, "Son, go out and work in the vineyard today." He said in reply, "I will not," but afterward changed his mind and went. The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, "Yes, sir," but did not go. Which of the two did his father's will?' They answered, ‘The first.'"
The son who says "yes" and does "no" represents those who knew God and followed his law to a certain extent but did not accept Christ, who was "the fulfillment of the law." The son who says "no" and does "yes" represents those who once lived outside the law and will of God, but then, with Christ, thought again and welcomed the Gospel.
From this Jesus draws the following conclusion before the chief priests and elders: "Truly, I say to you, even the publicans and prostitutes will enter the Kingdom of God before you."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

De Tocqueville For Today

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."

"What is the most important for democracy is not that great fortunes should not exist, but that great fortunes should not remain in the same hands. In that way there are rich men, but they do not form a class."

"America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

- Alexis De Tocqueville

The World Is Too Much With Us

The world is too much with us;

late and soon,Getting and spending,

we lay waste our powers:

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

The Sucker Punch

Here's a brisk statement of common horse-sense. Be sure & click on over & read the whole thing.

Bailout: The Sucker Punch
By Alyce Lomax
September 25, 2008
Motley Fool MSN

QUOTE I know many people are convinced that something akin to a financial apocalypse will occur if the $700 billion bailout isn't rammed through quickly.
Some major questions and issues about our socioeconomic situation are getting lost in all the panic and noise.
The big sucker punch On one side: "Save the banks; ask questions later." On the other: "But what about the poor homeowners, losing their homes?"
Although attention is being paid to "the taxpayer," I can't understand why more emphasis isn't put on the biggest victims of all, those poor suckers who:
Save money, even with no incentive to do so since interest rates are ridiculously low, and possibly don't even utilize credit card debt.
Rent and refused to buy overpriced homes with some cockamamie mortgage scheme, and have been waiting for a major price correction so they can achieve the American Dream the proper way.
I'm sorry, but they're really getting the shaft, even if their fiscal conservatism and cheapness just look so darn un-American to many people these days. You know, "the paradox of thrift" and all that. Add in runaway inflation from printing out money, and the potential for major tax increases to pay for our profligate ways, and these people are really getting the business.
The geniuses -- Wall Street and individuals -- who got us into this mess probably looked down their noses at these "infernal" savers and "cheapskates" for not tinkering with their own personal capital structures in a more sophisticated manner. Now they're trying to cheat those people out of affordable homes by making an artificial floor in the prices. Thanks, guys.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Conscience II

"The rule and measure of duty is not utility, nor expedience, nor the happiness of the greatest number, nor State convenience, nor fitness, order, and the pulchrum. Conscience is not a long-sighted selfishness, nor a desire to be consistent with oneself; but it is a messenger from Him who both in nature and in grace, speaks to us behind a veil, and teaches and rules us."

-- John Henry Newman


Conscience. Live by it.

From The Ox Bow Incident
The lynched man's last letter...

"...A man just naturally can't take the law into his own hands and hang people without hurtin' everybody in the world, 'cause then he's just not breakin' one law, but all laws. Law is a lot more than words you put in a book, or judges or lawyers or sheriffs you hire to carry it out. It's everything people ever have found out about justice and what's right and wrong. It's the very conscience of humanity. There can't be any such thing as civilization unless people have a conscience, because if people touch God anywhere, where is it except through their conscience? And what is anybody's conscience except a little piece of the conscience of all men that ever lived? I guess that's all I've got to say except - kiss the babies for me and God bless you..."

Ron Paul on the Bailout

This showed up in my inbox from the Ron Paul for Congress campaign committee about 10 minutes after Bernanke was dismissed. Nothing new or groundbreaking, but it just smacks of a sense of urgency on his campaign's part to get us to do what we can to influence Congress...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dear Friends,

Whenever a Great Bipartisan Consensus is announced, and a compliant media assures everyone that the wondrous actions of our wise leaders are being taken for our own good, you can know with absolute certainty that disaster is about to strike.

The events of the past week are no exception.

The bailout package that is about to be rammed down Congress' throat is not just economically foolish. It is downright sinister. It makes a mockery of our Constitution, which our leaders should never again bother pretending is still in effect. It promises the American people a never-ending nightmare of ever-greater debt liabilities they will have to shoulder. Two weeks ago, financial analyst Jim Rogers said the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made America more communist than China! "This is welfare for the rich," he said. "This is socialism for the rich. It's bailing out the financiers, the banks, the Wall Streeters."

That describes the current bailout package to a T. And we're being told it's unavoidable.

The claim that the market caused all this is so staggeringly foolish that only politicians and the media could pretend to believe it. But that has become the conventional wisdom, with the desired result that those responsible for the credit bubble and its predictable consequences - predictable, that is, to those who understand sound, Austrian economics - are being let off the hook. The Federal Reserve System is actually positioning itself as the savior, rather than the culprit, in this mess!

• The Treasury Secretary is authorized to purchase up to $700 billion in mortgage-related assets at any one time. That means $700 billion is only the very beginning of what will hit us.

• Financial institutions are "designated as financial agents of the Government." This is the New Deal to end all New Deals.

• Then there's this: "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency." Translation: the Secretary can buy up whatever junk debt he wants to, burden the American people with it, and be subject to no one in the process.

There goes your country.

Even some so-called free-market economists are calling all this "sadly necessary." Sad, yes. Necessary? Don't make me laugh.

Our one-party system is complicit in yet another crime against the American people. The two major party candidates for president themselves initially indicated their strong support for bailouts of this kind - another example of the big choice we're supposedly presented with this November: yes or yes. Now, with a backlash brewing, they're not quite sure what their views are. A sad display, really.

Although the present bailout package is almost certainly not the end of the political atrocities we'll witness in connection with the crisis, time is short. Congress may vote as soon as tomorrow. With a Rasmussen poll finding support for the bailout at an anemic seven percent, some members of Congress are afraid to vote for it. Call them! Let them hear from you! Tell them you will never vote for anyone who supports this atrocity.

The issue boils down to this: do we care about freedom? Do we care about responsibility and accountability? Do we care that our government and media have been bought and paid for? Do we care that average Americans are about to be looted in order to subsidize the fattest of cats on Wall Street and in government? Do we care?

When the chips are down, will we stand up and fight, even if it means standing up against every stripe of fashionable opinion in politics and the media?

Times like these have a way of telling us what kind of a people we are, and what kind of country we shall be.

In liberty,

Ron Paul

Ron Paul Takes Helicopter Ben to School

Jim Kunstler's Monday Rant

Buffett is handing Goldman Sachs billions, Congress has awakened from its long torpor and is making noises as if they might even care that we are being ravished like Leda.

Like many pronosticators, Kustler is actually a bit more subdued when the manure is actually hitting the rotating ventilator. But always a good read. Here's his 9/22/08 column.

So many shoes are poised to drop this week that the American scene might be confused for the world's greatest-ever clog dancing festival, but a closer look will reveal a circle of cavorting skeletons.

Last week's ripe moment turned out to be the Thursday night Washington photo op when Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed Chief Bernanke emerged from a huddle with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and just about every other legislative eminentissimo in an attempt to reassure the nation that its financial system had not turned into something like unto a truckload of stinking dead carp.

I don't know about you, but I got two distinct vibes from the faces in that particular tableau: 1.) abject fear, and 2.) a total lack of conviction that they knew what they were doing. The product of that huddle was a cockamamie scheme for the US treasury to absorb all the losses from a twenty-year binge in which Wall Street created and retailed the most complex set of swindles ever seen on this planet Earth. The background music to the tableau was the whoosh of a several trillion dollars exiting the US financial system never to be seen again.

The next day (Friday) many particulars of that scheme began to emerge -- such as the complete lack of oversight and review mechanisms for Treasury's new power to monetize private business failures and frauds -- and the stock market soared in response. Other new features of the reformed capital landscape also resolved later that day, like a new experiment aimed at eliminating the short sale as a way of guaranteeing that henceforth market bets could only be placed on the upside of the table. It will be interesting to see how that reform works out in the days ahead.

Over the weekend, all these various playerz retreated into their gilded bunkers to negotiate the details, and by Sunday night, among other things, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley -- the two remaining investment giants left standing -- announced that they would metamorphose into regular banks in order to qualify for additional truckloads of government loans in exchange for any leftover fraudulant securities still lurking in their vaults. Another new provision had the Treasury rescuing swindled foreign companies, too -- in effect, saving the world, which seemed at least, how you say, pretty ambitious.

By this morning, many new arguments had been raised by a suddenly de-zombified congress as to whether the proposed grand bail-out might reward recent Wall Street turpitudes and incentivize future mis-deeds and it looks like enough objections may be lodged to gum-up the process before it even goes into effect -- which, of course, would tend to revert the whole reeking cargo of trouble to its original train-wreck trajectory. I guess we'll see what happens now.

Any way you paint this grotesque panorama, it looks like a very new chapter of history for life in the USA. Basically, we are a much poorer nation than we were even a couple of years ago, and we have a much-reduced ability to project our will around the world, or even among our own floundering sectors and regions. Most troubling to me is the question of legitimacy that now hangs over the proscenium like a guillotine blade. Factoring in the old saw that history doesn't repeat but it rhymes, I think the situation emerging is rather like the crisis of legitimacy that preceded the Civil War. Then, in the 1850s, the nation's two symbiotic political parties, Whig and Democrat, entered a zone of fatal discredit. The White House had been occupied by a sequence of empty cravats named Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan, and so much pent-up mistrust roiled the centers of power that the nation entered a convulsion.

At issue then was the great festering unresolved polity of slavery. The Whig party, in its oafish, craven fecklessness, disappeared so quickly from the scene that an embarrassed God Almighty seemed to have hooked it off-stage in a nanosecond. Into the vacuum stepped an awkward lawyer from Illinois -- widely mocked by the coarser elements of what was then called the press as a figure resembling an ape in a stovepipe hat. He accomplished one crucial thing in the process of his emergence: he deployed a potent rhetoric that captured the essence of the crisis and clarified it for all to understand what was at stake -- and then the convulsion commenced in earnest.

The Republican Party amounts to today's Whigs. Their candidate for president, John McCain, is trying to run away from his own party -- as one might shrink away from a colony of importuning lepers. I am actually not kidding when I label the Republicans "the party that wrecked America," because I believe that is truly how the popular strain of history will regard them when (maybe if) the wreckage of their ministrations ever clears. But history doesn't repeat exactly. The current figure from Illinois, Barrack Obama, has yet to offer a truly crisis-clarfying rhetoric, though he labors under the expectation of being able to do so. Like his long-ago predecessor, he is mocked by the coarser elements of what we call "the media" these days -- Fox News and the moron-rousers of talk radio. Some of the issues yet-to-be-clarified concern the behavior of the American public in the broad sense. We have obdurately resisted the reality of the energy crisis that hangs over everything we do (as slavery hung over the 1850s), from the way we inhabit the landscape to the way we do daily business in our 240-million-plus fleet of cars and trucks that ply the ribbons of asphalt and the lagoons of parking that now run from sea to shining sea where the fruited plain was replaced by the Wal Marts.

Mr. Obama isn't kidding either when he alludes to the change America faces, though history has not yet rhymed enough for his rhetoric to really set forth the terms of this change in its stark particulars. And even if he is able to articulate these things, he won't forestall the convulsion anymore than Lincoln held back a war between the states. That prior crisis was when America learned good and hard how tragic life could be, and it colored our national character for a century -- until we chucked it all to become a society of overfed clowns, with God Almighty replaced by Ronald McDonald. That pageant of happy idiocy is now ending. Like everyone else in this fraught and nervous land, I'm standing by to see what transpires in the days just ahead. UNQUOTE

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Best Call You Can Make

QUOTE And have no fear. God is your refuge. He will not fail you. Just do not fail Him. You can call Him any time you'd like.
The area code is "Jesus, I trust in You" -- and the number is "Mary, take over!" She has surprises in store for you. Fear not.
Jesus I trust in You. Mary take over.
It's the best "call" that you can make.

We Need to Cast "Precious" Into the Cracks of Doom

Will Congress have any power to stop this terrible juggernaut? Will they even really try? I'm afraid the more I hear about the bailout, the worse it gets. Details of the Act were released by the NY Times over the weekend, and section 8 includes the following statement:
" Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency." Essentially, the Act will give the Secretary of the Treasury dictatorial power over our economy, and his decisions will not be subject to review or approval by the president, the courts, or the Congress (who have a Constitutional right and obligation to oversee Federal spending). This is a frightening development to say the least.

Senators and Representatives: The One Ring of the Tolkien mythology is emblematic of the human tendency to covet wholeness and power from an outside object, wealth, trophies. It is especially the aggressive characters who become most vulnerable to becoming possessed by the Ring. Jonathan Zap points out in his fine essay Casting Precious Into The Cracks Of Doom http://www.zaporacle.com/textpattern/article/43/castingprecious


"Boromir who is described as '…taking no wife and delighting chiefly in arms; fearless and strong, but caring little for lore, save the tales of old battles.' ” Not surprisingly, he is the member of the ring fellowship who most easily falls under the spell of Ring lust. In violation of everything he has agreed to at the ring council, he presses Frodo to give him the Ring. Frodo responds,
Were you not at the Council? … Because we cannot use it, and what is done with it turns to evil.

Fast forward from the Lord of the Rings, Tolkien's most excellent and apropos parable, to today. We must cast our wealth of this world aside, and focus on the humane and human. We must save our country.

Mushroom Clouds Over Wall Street

"One bank to rule them all; One bank to bind them..."

These are dark times. While you were sleeping the cockroaches were busy about their work, rummaging through the US Constitution, and putting the finishing touches on a scheme to assert absolute power over the nation's financial markets and the country's economic future. Industry representative Henry Paulson has submitted legislation to Congress that will finally end the pretense that Bush controls anything more than reading the lines from a 4' by 6' teleprompter situated just inches from his lifeless pupils. Paulson is in charge now, and the coronation is set for sometime early next week. He rose to power in a stealthily-executed Banksters’ Coup in which he, and his coterie of dodgy friends, declared martial law on the US economy while elevating himself to supreme leader. UNQUOTE


Joe Sixpack's Letter To Congress

A forum I frequent, Life After the Oil Crash, has the following excellent letter by member Joe-Bob Henry-Bob, to his congressional representatives posted over there. It explains things better than I could by a long shot. For your information:

QUOTE Dear (congresscritter),
There is one main reason that America has been a prosperous nation. Transparency. Both citizens and foreigners have devoted capital investment to our country over many decades because, simply put, we have rule of law and companies that want to do business in our country must tell the truth.

Consider a banana republic, in which accounting books are cooked, property is seized, markets are manipulated, currency is printed, and entire portions of the economy may be nationalized at any moment. Crooks tend to win out and the average citizen's wealth is destroyed. This is because they are not able to rationally plan for the future. ...so no one invests in such a country, as at any moment, one's hard-won wealth could be erased. Having a chance to rationally weigh the facts and make a sound judgment call allows wealth to be created. It is transparency that allows for prosperity and everything else we might want to achieve as a nation must stem from that.

Our current economic crisis is due to lack of transparency and a consequent absence of trust. Where once a person could make choices with one's money with some degree of confidence, this is no longer possible. Oversight and regulation were removed from our financial institutions. Our country's financial institutions are hiding liabilities and refusing to mark worthless "assets" to their market value and our Fed and Treasury are ASSISTING in this instead of stopping it! The entire system is seizing up because no one can trust anyone else. Moreover, if someone is attempting deceive me, if for instance they are trying to convince that something that is worth only $0.10 is actually worth $100 so that I will buy it they actually ARE trying to steal from me.

A lack of trust would be warranted! It is not merely a matter of "spin" or public "perception"

Please take steps to restore trust, transparency, and the rule of law in our nation.The Fed and Treasury have cooked up this 700 Billion bailout which can easily balloon to several times greater size, which will burden the taxpayers and benefit those who started the problem.

Moreover, their proposal contains this clause: "Section 8, ReviewDecisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."

Think about what that means. Regardless of whether they manage to keep this in the approved version.... THIS IS THE SPIRIT IN WHICH THE PROPOSAL WAS MADE!
Please take some time to review the following materials, at least the short youtube presentation.

It offers, briefly, a far superior solution to the most recent bailout. ...it is an alternative to what we've been doing so far - fruitlessly spending hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, nationalizing companies, and changing the rules of investment every week. That is NOT the rule of law, and it is NOT transparency. It leads to chaos.

Please watch:



Monday, September 22, 2008

The View From RSE

Laura had this to say about the "bailout"over at Red State Eclectic:

QUOTE It appears that the federal government doesn't believe in austerity any more (if you don't have it, just print it and spend it, I guess), but perhaps a refusal by the government to bail out these banks would be a good way to force us all into a more austere mode. Maybe it will force us all to make better business decisions.
I wonder sometimes whether the presidential nomination process would have changed any had all of this been happening a year ago, before the primaries. Ron Paul is getting a lot of airtime lately, saying the same things he's been saying for the last 30 years--probably because he can actually speak with some authority and authenticity on the financial mess we're in. I suspect that things wouldn't have changed all that much in terms of political outcome--I'm not sure the American people really want to hear the hard answers. UNQUOTE

Hagel:Crisis Has Power to Eclipse the Great Depression

We're screwed.

OMAHA, Neb. - QUOTE U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel says urgent governmental action is needed to resolve the nation’s financial crisis, which he warns has the potential to eclipse the Great Depression.
The Nebraska Republican says the United States’ woes affect the rest of the world, so other countries need to shore up their finances. If not, Hagel says, there could be a global economic downturn.

Ron Paul 18 September

You don't have to endorse everything Ron Paul says to understand that the man knows his monetary and economic policies. I used to love seeing small and medium sized competitors bashing it out with the big kahunas. These days you have so much national and global consolidation that it's almost impossible to compete with such companies.

They don't consider it a monopoly because these companies are buying companies in different sectors. Either way the system needs to be overhauled like, yesterday.


Kucinich's Spin on The Sh*tstorm

Mr. Kucinich has an interesting idea. This is how the free market is suppose to work. This is what the neoconservatives wanted (in theory). When businesses do stupid and criminal things they are suppose to fail, and a company that does things right is left standing. That's a true free market. Of course the neocons don't even buy into their own economic theory - evidence that the uber-rich own this country.
From Op-Ed News.

QUOTE The Wall Street financial disaster is an opportunity to create a genuine ownership society. If Congress invests $700 billion in the market, then the American people must get something of real value for their investment.
"Simply purchasing bad debt, "cash for trash" and not receiving anything of value or giving $700 billion and not having a commensurate equity interest in Wall Street firms is unacceptable. No "cash for trash".

Mike Gravel: A Declaration of Independence for 2008

Powerful. I dig old Mike Gravel. Tell it, Michael. Listen up, y'all.

QUOTE When in the course of human events, unattended grievances make it necessary for citizens to reexamine the structure of their government and bring about change.

We were once a great nation, created by immigrants from foreign lands who populated a bountiful continent.

We now witness our nation’s prestige and our domestic liberties considerably diminished.

We, who suffer the consequences of a dysfunctional system of government, seek to reaffirm our founding principles and to improve upon the structure of representative government.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all human beings are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. To secure these rights, Government is instituted in society, deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed.

However, if a Government controlled by special interests becomes unconcerned with the public’s wellbeing and destructive of the people’s rights, it is the duty of the people to change that government to provide security and happiness for its citizens.

The malevolent corrupting power of money on the body politic has caused repeated injuries to the public interest.

To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a suffering nation and a disillusioned world:

The Presidency and the Congress are steeped in the cult of secrecy that denies a free people knowledge of what their government is doing to them and to others in their name. Secrecy is the foremost destructive force to democracy.

The Presidency and the Congress have failed, after the oil shock of 30 years ago, to provide leadership to end our dependency on oil. Continued reliance on oil distorts our foreign policy and causes Americans to disproportionately pollute the environment.

The Presidency and the Congress have been complicit in permitting a small, rapacious, greedy minority of money managers and corporate titans to manipulate the U.S. and global financial markets for their selfish gain.

The Presidency and the Congress have redefined the criminal act of terrorism as an act of war in order to maintain the nation in a constant state of war, which in the words of James Madison is the worst of all evils in that it facilitates the control of the many by the few.

The Presidency and the Congress have obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing the right of habeas corpus to fellow human beings, regardless of national origin, and by transporting them to secret prisons in foreign countries to be tortured and held without knowledge of their crimes or their accusers.

The Presidency and the Congress have plundered our treasury to fund unnecessary and illegal wars and foreign military adventures based on lies and misinformation.

The Presidency and the Congress wage psychological war on their own citizens to induce unfounded and unreasonable fear of non existent threats in order to militarize America’s culture and make acceptable ludicrous defense expenditures––greater than all the rest of the world combined––when in fact there is no nation capable or desirous of threatening our security.

The Presidency and the Congress, in pursuit of an illogical “war on drugs,” export military weapons that violently destabilize foreign democracies. Their “war on drugs” ravages America’s inner cities, destroys the families of our most disadvantaged citizens, and puts more of its own citizens in prison than any other country in the world.

The Presidency and the Congress encourage and fund our self-appointed role as “the world’s policeman,” becoming the basis for American Imperialism and for distorting our nation’s budget priorities with excessive funding for the military-industrial complex.

In every electoral contest, Americans vote for change. Yet real change is never realized. Despite creative advances in the private sector of human society, our public sector––government––is mired in partisan stalemate, unable to respond to the complex global demands of the 21st Century.

The political structures of our current representative democracy were designed in the 18th Century and are not susceptible to change.

Therefore, We Citizens of the United States of America, in our capacity as the sovereign creators of our government and its Constitution, solemnly declare that we seek a greater role in our own self-governance, beyond that of merely voting and giving away our power to politicians on Election Day.

We choose freedom––the right to participate in the central power of government––the right to initiate and vote on laws––in partnership with those we elect to our governing legislative bodies. As sovereign human beings we have the innate right to collectively make majoritarian decisions on the policies that affect our lives.

We, the people, recognize that elected officials at all levels of American government have no incentive to share legislative power with the people.

Therefore, we pledge our efforts, for as long as it takes, to circumvent government inertia by directly voting to enact, as the law of the land, the National Initiative for Democracy. This federal ballot initiative amends the Constitution in a manner similar to the precedent set in Article VII. It creates an Electoral Trust, separate form representative government, to implement, on behalf of the people, legislative procedures established in an accompanying federal statute.

The enactment of the National Initiative essentially creates a Legislature of the People in every government jurisdiction of the United States, operating in a legislative partnership with elected federal, state and local legislative bodies.

Enacting the National Initiative in the United States––or for that matter in any country––continues the major advances in direct democracy begun by the Swiss in 1848 and improved upon when copied by 24 American states and hundreds of American local governments over the last 100 years.

The global impact of empowering people to vote directly on public policy issues that affect their lives will change forever the paradigm of human governance––a goal worthy of pledging our lives, our property and our sacred honor.

Let The Markets Work, Stop the Bailout

Call Congress:- Demand immediate debt forgiveness for all households making less than $250K annually (for without debt relief, the system will fail no matter how many times Congress bails out Wall Street crooks). Promise to join a NATIONWIDE GENERAL STRIKE that will shut down the entire nation until the taxpayers and especially the Middle Class are protected!


Here is what I have sent:
Dear Senator___________________,
As a long time supporter, small business owner, and an individual I am asking you to vote no on the proposed bailout. I ask you to vote this way because 1)the bailout does not provide enough transparency nor does it allow the oversight that is required for such an enormous spending by OUR government, 2) the bailout does not provide punitive measures for those corporations whose bad debt holdings will be purchased, and 3) the bailout is a short term bandaid on our economic woes that will only exacerbate our situation primarily because it will cause the value of our dollar to plunge and cause commodities such as oil to spike. This bailout will buy time for those executives and titans of our financial markets to perfect their personal exit strategies while decimating the common main street america families who will end up paying the most for this. Thank you for your consideration.Sincerely,

Check out this article for more info to help stop this madness:http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2008/09/lies-from-paulson-keep-stacking-up-what.html
Contact Your Senator Today! It's time to contact your senator. Here is contact information for Senators of the 110th Congress.
Phone or Email your Senators today. Tell them in your own words
* Urge your senator to Filibuster any bailout legislation. * Emphatically state you do not want a bailout of any kind for anyone.
* No Dictatorial power for Paulson or Bernanke
* Taxpayers should not have to bail out banks making bad loans
* Tell them that "The Fed" and Paulson are systemic risk".
* No Dictatorial powers for Bush.

Email AND Phone Senators Shelby, Bunning, Kyle, Ensign, Hagel

Whether Senator Shelby is your Senator or not, flood him with calls and emails asking for a filibuster and to stop the insanity. Senators Shelby, Bunning, Ensign, and Kyle might be sympathetic to the cause, based on past statements. I am including Hagel, he's a very sensible man.

Ask For A Filibuster
Please email and phone the following. Specifically ask for a filibuster and tell them to vote no to any bailout. Tell them that anyone who votes for this bailout will never get your vote again. Shelby, Richard C.- (R - AL) 110 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510 (202) 224-5744 E-mail: senator@shelby.senate.gov
Bunning, Jim- (R - KY) 316 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510 (202) 224-4343 Web Form: http://bunning.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm
Kyl, Jon- (R - AZ) 730 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510 (202) 224-4521 Web Form: kyl.senate.gov/contact.cfm
Ensign, John- (R - NV) Washington D.C. Office 119 Russell Senate Building Washington, D.C. 20510 Phone: (202) 224-6244 Fax: (202) 228-2193 Web Form: ensign.senate.gov/forms/email_form.cfm
Hagel, Chuck (R - NE) 248 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510 (202) 224-4224 Web Form: hagel.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Home
Please email and phone both of your senators as well.
Once Is Not Enough
I want to emphasize that once is not enough.
Here is what to do. * Flood the senators with emails and phone calls.Tell them in no uncertain terms that if they vote for this bailout they will not get your vote, ever again. * Send an email or call every day, preferably both. * Put each message in your own words. * Make the phone message sort and sweet. * Use one of the following verbs: concerned, frightened, scared, afraid, mad rush to action * Use one of the following themes: US dollar, unconstitutional, national debt, how do we pay for this?, printing money, lies, etc * Vary each message so they do not all sound alike
Send this post to 5 or 10 of your friends and have them do the same or post it on your web site. Do it now, while you are thinking about it.
I must be honest and state that this action is highly unlikely to work. However. It is the only shot we have.
This is a worst case scenario, folks. The "bail-out" is nothing less than a coup IMHO. We've been had.

The administration is asking Congress to give it sweeping new powers to execute the plan. Paulson said it "needs to be big enough to make a real difference and get to the heart of the problem.""http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080919/financial_meltdown.html
How many times has this administration demanded "sweeping new powers"? I've lost count.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Brief Lull in the Bloggage...

Dear Readers,

Sorry, but I have been swamped and now I'm headed for a family wedding, to return late Sunday. Regular blogging will resume Monday 9/29/08.



Monday, September 15, 2008

Invocation to the Holy Spirit

O Heavenly king, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present, and fillest all things, Treasury of good things, and Giver of life: Come and dwell in us, and cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Thrice)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, blot out our sins. O Master, pardon our iniquities. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name's sake.

Lord, have mercy. (Thrice)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

From Spirit Daily
QUOTE What goes on here? Now a cyclone on Wall Street -- on the weekend when the Pope -- from France -- was pronouncing greed and materialism as every bit as pagan as what stood as idols in ancient Rome (or we might add Egypt).
In the frenzy, it is time to more directly invoke the Holy Spirit, Who will not only tell us the meaning or lack thereof in what occurs but also how to prepare for the time of disruption ahead. With Him, there is no fear -- rather, joy in purification.

The Rosemary Roundup

It is, dear reader, a big news day, and I have to go to work pretty soon. Here is a new feature for just such a day ~ "The Rosemary Roundup" ~ links to the news stories I have read so far today that seem the most germane to the wild and wooly Brahma bull ride we all are on with the economy,war, weather and energy.

LOL, now y 'all are gonna see how eclectic this blog really is. Fasten your seat belts...it's going to be a bumpy ride, to paraphrase Bette Davis.


+ Post Hurricane Ike's whamming of the Texas gulf, Gail details the issues involved and how they're related ~ Implications of A Ten Day Refinery Outage (from The Oil Drum).

+ Today, the financial markets are struggling with Lehman Brothers' Chapter 11 bankruptcy, AIG's problems, and the sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America. There is also the problem of the unwind of the credit-default swaps tied to hundreds of billions of dollars of Fannie and Freddie debt. Gail covers the Connection Between the Financial Markets and Energy (TOD)

QUOTE As we go forward, I expect that there will be more and more individuals, businesses and governments that will be unable to repay their debt, because of indirect impacts of higher oil prices flowing through the economy. Eventually, the US government will have to make a decision as to what to do about all these defaults. The most obvious options would seem to be:
(1) Prop up as many as possible (2) Let the chips fall where they may

+ THE USA Faces F16's It Supplied Pakistan in the first place. When are we ever going to just mind our own business? (Times of India)

+ Pakistani troops have fired shots into the air to stop US troops crossing into the South Waziristan region of Pakistan, local officials say. (BBC)

+ Meltdown Monday (BBC) QUOTE There has never been a weekend like it in my 25 years as a financial journalist. For Wall Street, it has probably been the most extraordinary 24 hours since the late 1920s. As I said would happen yesterday evening, Lehman has announced that it is filing for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11. To prevent contagion to the next most vulnerable investment bank, mighty Bank of America is buying Merrill Lynch for about $50bn.
That Merrill is steering itself into safe harbour, no longer confident of its future as an independent, is almost as shocking as Lehman's demise

+ QUOTE The world has had an unmistakable wake-up call from the global oil alarm clock; merely to press the snooze button would waste what may be our last opportunity to act before necessity makes us react in ways that are less than optimal. UNQUOTE (The Dress Rehearsal Is Over)

“The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences…”
—Winston Churchill, November 1936


Saturday, September 13, 2008

10 Day Refinery Outage?

From The Oil Drum

The Eastern US is about 6 days away from running out of gasoline. It could be less than that if panic buying really kicks in. Expect to hear lots of reassuring words from the government officials and the media about how there is no need to panic and that there is a flotilla of tankers coming our way from Europe. The trouble is that those tankers will take about 10 days to get here...the media is not focused on this story, but should be...be sure and go read the whole thing and then DIGG or REDDIT it or send it to your local media outlet.


Palin's Motherhood Under the Microscope

Washington Post blogger Michael Gerson did a piece last week Trig Palin, Sarah Palin's four-month-old son with Down syndrome, with Trig cast as an unlikely civil rights leader. Most of the reaction he has received has been from the parents of children with disabilities, who are grateful for Gov. Palin's example of compassion. But Los Angeles Times blogger Andrew Malcolm reported an entirely different reaction to Trig Palin's story. Gerson has a new article up, in which he reports and comments on this phenomena, Palin's Heroic Choice, Held Up as a Bad Example.

It seems that there are people out there ready to cast the Palins in a negative light due to their decision not to abort Trig upon learning that he had Down Syndrome. Some women who aren't "prepared to deal with the consequences" of a Down syndrome child, he reports.

What a bunch of weenies modern society has become. If people never do one hard thing in all their life they become sluglike and their souls atrophy. Adversity doesn't only build character, it forms souls, nurtures compassion and broadens outlooks. It speaks volumes about the pro-choice crowd that there are those among them willing to judge a woman because she does not kill her unborn child.

Busy Day Here

I was called in to work this morning and did both the morning bakery doula's job and also managed to slice & package quite a few trays of granola bars, my usual afternoon gig. The Co-op was a-buzz as is usual on a Saturday. But it put a monkeywrench in to the day I had planned so blogging is sparse. I know there's no lack of bloggables out there. Tomorrow is another day. I'll post a couple of items of interest and call it a day.

I do hope you all are having a wonderful day, in spite of inclement weathers.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Camille Paglia On Palin

The resolute and sparky Ms. Paglia explains her view of Sarah Palin as a feminist force of nature, takes the Democrats to task for their treatment of her and, most amazingly, admits abortion is murder and roundly chastises the Left for its refusal to admit that pro-lifers do indeed have a valid point. She even goes so far as to say that " there is plenty of room in modern thought for a pro-life feminism ." Well I'll be darned.

From Salon. You know the drill: be sure and read it all. Good stuff.

QUOTE But the pro-life position, whether or not it is based on religious orthodoxy, is more ethically highly evolved than my own tenet of unconstrained access to abortion on demand. My argument (as in my first book, "Sexual Personae,") has always been that nature has a master plan pushing every species toward procreation and that it is our right and even obligation as rational human beings to defy nature's fascism. Nature herself is a mass murderer, making casual, cruel experiments and condemning 10,000 to die so that one more fit will live and thrive.
Hence I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful. Liberals for the most part have shrunk from facing the ethical consequences of their embrace of abortion, which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue.


Lourdes, France, Benedict

Prayer to our LadyBlessed most pure Virgin,

You Chose to Manifest yourself shining with life,
sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes.

Obtain for me, O loving Mother this special request.......

Our Lady of Lourdes,

Mother of Christ, pray for me.

Obtain from your Divine Son

my special request, if it be God's will.

QUOTE Church bells rang out across Paris to greet the pope as he arrived at the Palace after his arrival from Rome for his first trip to France as pontiff.
"It is fundamental, on the one hand, to insist on the distinction between the political realm and that of religion," Benedict said in fluent French.
It was also necessary, he added, "to become more aware of the irreplaceable role of religion for the formation of consciences (and) the creation of a basic ethical consensus within society".

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The View From Here

As some of you know already, I am something of a tightrope walker politically and have good friends both staunch and true, who are nearly every political stripe there is. Many times these people would not even be comfortable in the same room together. The exception was early on in the Ron Paul presidential campaign when we bonded as antiwar, pro-Constitution, pro-civil liberty Paul-promoters. A unique and wonderful phenomenon it was, too.

Now that "the R3VOLUTION" is passing on and morphing into something else entirely our friend Laura at Red State Eclectic has issued a thoughtful analysis from a libertarian-GOP point of view. Take a look.

QUOTE My hope would be that people who are truly serious about liberty could form up as a coalition under the banner of the Campaign for Liberty--but that they could respect one another as they go about pursuing liberty in different ways. There is little (I speak from experience) that is more disheartening than to pour your time and efforts into changing things, only to be told by people who supposedly agree with you in principle that it's a waste of time because it's impossible to change that system, and that the system that you're working in--and you, by extension, I guess--are irreparably corrupt. Human institutions are all capable of changing. Political Parties are human institutions. Hence political parties are capable of changing.

Make a choice--work from within one of the two major parties, or from without. But how about we give our brothers and sisters fighting for liberty the benefit of the doubt? If they believe they can make change from wherever they are, let them have at it, without having to fight off criticism from other liberty lovers. Isn't following the path of your choosing sort of what liberty is about? Criticism from your own "family"--from the people whose respect and admiration you most want--will only reduce the resolve to make a difference; celebration of even small successes will encourage the continuation of the effort. UNQUOTE

September 11, 2008

September 11th is Patriot Day. Americans, make sure your flags are at half-staff. Never forget.

Esquire has a sober and poignant memorium posted titled The Falling Man. It is a longish read but likely one of the very best you will find on the subject.

QUOTE One of the most famous photographs in human history became an unmarked grave, and the man buried inside its frame -- the Falling Man -- became the Unknown Soldier in a war whose end we have not yet seen. Richard Drew's photograph is all we know of him, and yet all we know of him becomes a measure of what we know of ourselves. The picture is his cenotaph, and like the monuments dedicated to the memory of unknown soldiers everywhere, it asks that we look at it, and make one simple acknowledgment.
That we have known who the Falling Man is all along. UNQUOTE


Welcome To The Rosemary Tree

I am hopeful of providing a little respite from the junk-food of politics, finance, doom & gloom, peak oil/climate change and celebrity hoohah.Here we strive for a rest in the shade, some cool water and a little civility, if not chivalry. This blog is dedicated to Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mother Mary, Saint Joseph, Saint Patrick, Saint Deborah and the glorious Bridget of Kildare. I very much like the line about the ancient knight - "His helmet now shall make a hive for bees;"probably because my name Deborah means "the bee" in Hebrew, so I have always enjoyed references to them. It's also reminiscent of " beating swords into plough shares" a sentiment I also approve of.

Thank you for visiting the site, hope you return!

~ Pax Christi,


P.S. Please visit our new sponsors which we are very proud to be associated with, Mystic Monk Coffee (real Catholic monks, fair trade/organic coffee) Accents In The Garden and Nature Hills Nursery.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Third Party Candidates Points-Of-Agreement

Third party candidates Chuck Baldwin, Bob Barr, Cynthia McKinney, and Ralph Nader agree with Ron Paul on four key principles central to the health of our nation. These principles should be in the considerations of every voter this November and in every election.

We Agree:

Foreign Policy: The Iraq War must end as quickly as possible with removal of all our soldiers from the region. We must initiate the return of our soldiers from around the world, including Korea, Japan, Europe and the entire Middle East. We must cease the war propaganda, threats of a blockade and plans for attacks on Iran, nor should we re-ignite the cold war with Russia over Georgia. We must be willing to talk to all countries and offer friendship and trade and travel to all who are willing. We must take off the table the threat of a nuclear first strike against all nations.

Privacy: We must protect the privacy and civil liberties of all persons under US jurisdiction. We must repeal or radically change the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and the FISA legislation. We must reject the notion and practice of torture, eliminations of habeas corpus, secret tribunals, and secret prisons. We must deny immunity for corporations that spy willingly on the people for the benefit of the government. We must reject the unitary presidency, the illegal use of signing statements and excessive use of executive orders.

The National Debt: We believe that there should be no increase in the national debt. The burden of debt placed on the next generation is unjust and already threatening our economy and the value of our dollar. We must pay our bills as we go along and not unfairly place this burden on a future generation.

The Federal Reserve: We seek a thorough investigation, evaluation and audit of the Federal Reserve System and its cozy relationships with the banking, corporate, and other financial institutions. The arbitrary power to create money and credit out of thin air behind closed doors for the benefit of commercial interests must be ended. There should be no taxpayer bailouts of corporations and no corporate subsidies. Corporations should be aggressively prosecuted for their crimes and frauds.
Justin says: QUOTE The reason Ron Paul’s actions are not like the actions of the major parties (debates, endorsements, etc) is because he is changing the way we do politics in America.
He is trying to get more people involved. Shed the apathy! Shed the sheep mentality of needing a leader. Decide what you believe, and stand for it with integrity! If the silent majority, the mass of America, that so many of us talk about is really out there then they need to vote and vote against the two party system. If 30 million disgruntled americans vote third party it will be more than the 1-2% in the past. It will be revolutionary!
WAKE UP! Endorsements, debates, charade conventions these are the tools of propaganda of the establishment.
Liberty and Freedom are spread a different way. Welcome to the new America.
This is not about division into smaller factions it is about uniting into a large voting bloc against the establishment. Voting for candidate A should not mean you are enemies of the other candidates. We are in a battle of ideas, not against people.
Don’t be a Ron Paul slave. Stop looking for a celebrity. If this whole thing is about Ron Paul then our progeny doesn’t have a chance. It’s bigger than that. The next step is to get more people educated. To get more votes. Votes against the establishment! We are tearing down the biggest political enemy against preserving the Constitution - a two-party system which has been part of the corruption of politics for nearly 200 years!


Range Voting Explained

The crucial characteristic of any voting system should be that it accurately voices the will of the people. Current systems of voting in the USA and elsewhere do a suprisingly poor job at this. There's no conspiracy at work here - the flaws in our voting system are fundamental, and, as I will show, lead inevitably to more extreme and partisan officeholders than we the people would actually prefer.

Fortunately, there is a fix - it's called range voting. Range voting is a simple and fair voting system that doesn't suffer the problems of cynical/strategic voting and the "Arrow's Impossibility Theorem" paradoxes of other voting systems.

~ For a superb introduction to and explanation of range voting, click this link.

~ For a good article about our current 2 party system, different voting systems including range voting, and other refereshing topics, click here.

McCain Request For Endorsement

From The Raw Story

QUOTE Ron Paul held a press conference urging voters to select a third-party presidential candidate instead of Barack Obama or John McCain. The Texas congressman said that he fielded a phone call from the McCain campaign on Tuesday asking him for an endorsement. "They called and it was a bit of a surprise to me," Paul said, "because their request was that I endorse John McCain today. "But he "didn't like the idea of getting two to three million people angry at me," so he turned them down, Paul told the laughing crowd.
"The idea was that he would do less harm than the other candidate," Paul complained.

Paul was accompanied at the news conference with third-party presidential candidates, including Ralph Nader and former Georgia Democratic Rep. Cynthia McKinney. UNQUOTE
* * * *

Ron Paul At The National Press Club 10 September 2008

Ahh, Dr. Paul. What a guy. “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” - Mark Twain

I will post video as soon as I can find some (actually, the press conference may still be in session, and therefore no video is finished yet. Alas, it was not on live.) The entire text can be found at RP's Campaign For Liberty website. A strong argument in favor of third party activism. More on this later today.



The strongest message can be sent by rejecting the two-party system, which in reality is a one-party system with no possible chance for the changes to occur which are necessary to solve our economic and foreign policy problems. This can be accomplished by voting for one of the non-establishment principled candidates—Baldwin, Barr, McKinney, Nader, and possibly others. (listed alphabetically)
Yes, these individuals do have strong philosophic disagreements on various issues, but they all stand for challenging the status quo—those special interest who control our federal government. And because of this, on the big issues of war, civil liberties, deficits, and the Federal Reserve they have much in common. People will waste their vote in voting for the lesser of two evils. That can’t be stopped overnight, but for us to have an impact we must maximize the total votes of those rejecting the two major candidates.



Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ron, Cynthia, Bob, Chuck and Ralph

That is, Ron Paul (Republican), Cynthia McKinney(Green), Bob Barr(Libertarian), Chuck Baldwin (Constitution) & Ralph Nader(Independent).

All together for a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. ten A.M. tomorrow.

Dooooooooooooooo tell................

From George Dance at nolanchart.com

QUOTE Ron Paul will announce that the Campaign for Liberty is sponsoring a real all-candidates’ debate, to be televised, featuring every presidential candidate on enough state ballots to win: Baldwin, Barr, McKinney, and Nader (and of course McCain and Obama should be invited, too, though they’d decline.) A network, even if only C-Span, has agreed to run the debate. An all-star panel (say, Gary Johnson, Naomi Wolfe, and Walter Williams) will ask the questions. The moderator will, of course, be Dr. Paul himself.

The announcement goes over strongly enough to replace “Sarah Palin,” or whatever next week’s Top Story is. The momentum builds, and continues to build, until, on debate day, 25 million Americans watch the debate. It’s so successful that the network arranges for a full set of three, which end up being watched by over 100 million American voters. Suddenly, for the first time since television became central to it, the election process is a level playing field.
I would love to see that occur this fall. UNQUOTE

Chivalry Is Not Dead

"And peace, Eustace. Do not scold, like a kitchen-girl. No warrior scolds. Courteous words or else hard knocks are his only language."

King Tirian, Last King of Narnia

~ C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia

The virtues of chivalry are fidelity, honesty, courtesy, prowess and generosity. They are suited to either man or woman. They are sorely lacking in our time.

Astonish your friends ~ adopt the virtues of chivalry!


How Do Particles Get Mass?

Alas, the answer is not "at the corner Catholic Church". Stephen Hawking bets the CERN mega-machine won't find 'God's Particles.' It appears these intrepid voyagers into science are attempting to re-create the conditions of the Big Bang. That sounds safe, eh wot? Critics of CERN's new Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project have very serious concerns - basically, they are worried that the attempt to re-create energies near those of the big bang will create miniature black holes that will swallow the Earth, or trigger new expanding universes which will consume our own. Lovely, but not likely, or so CERN says. Anyhow, if a black hole does open up and consumes the earth there'll be no one around to say "oops!" to. Trust us, we're scientists. 'The Titanic is unsinkable, you silly thing you, and here's why...why don't you run along at play with some kittens, there's a nice girl.'

Extra confessional prayers at bedtime tonight, along with a splash of holy water, in case in happens that I need to do my own last rites.

From the BBC:
QUOTE On Wednesday, engineers will attempt to circulate a beam of particles around the 27km-long underground tunnel which houses the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
The £5bn machine is designed to smash particles together with cataclysmic force, revealing signs of new physics in the wreckage.
This will re-create conditions in the Universe moments after the Big Bang. UNQUOTE

The Large Hadron Rap (hat tip to Nicollete)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Thomas Jefferson

QUOTE If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, and give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses;

And the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they do now, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains around the necks of our fellow sufferers;

And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for a second, that second for a third, and so on 'til the bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering...

And the forehorse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression. UNQUOTE

~Thomas Jefferson

Denner's Take on Fannie & Freddie

I have followed Robert Denner's comments on and off for a couple of years. He is readable and well-informed, with a fresh viewpoint you won't find in your local paper. His slant is contrarian/bearish and he is very knowledgeable about Peak Oil ~ rare indeed. His writing is like cod liver oil ~ goes down nasty but is very good for you.

Be sure and click over and read his whole post.

From Daily Economic Update

QUOTE This doesn’t necessarily mean that the government will have to dole out 4 trillion dollars but it does mean that they will now backstop the rest of this collapse ON YOUR DIME and the first payment due is going to be about 200 billion dollars. How does our “free market” friends on Wall Street and all the other markets in the world react TO THIS SOCIALIST INTERVENTION IN THE MARKETS?? Why you guessed it, they are up on average about 3 to 5% this morning and the US markets which open in 45 minutes are up a stagering 260 points in premarket trading which will probably equate to a 300 to 500 point gain on the day.
You see watching charts can be a good thing for you .. The markets crossed over a very important mark on Thursday and that signalled to me that something had to give. As usual I BET ON THEM DOING THE RIGHT THING FOR ONCE and as usual I was proven wrong. Instead of just letting reality finally rule on the markets and to let the blood flow, they once again deferred the pain and they bailed out the Chinese and Japanese and all the other 60 some odd National Banks. NOW DO YOU SEE why the dollar went up and why I called it manipulation. This was a tit for tat move that has been in the works for weeks now evidently.
YOU MUST UNDERSTAND NOW THAT YOUR MONEY IS NOTHING TO THEM!!!!!!! The money sitting in the markets right now is nothing more than pure unadulterated GAMBLING and cannot be considered any thing close to an investment. Investments are good things that help to pave the way to the future. They are conservative uses of money and are meant to build a future that is bright and optimistic. If you have money in the markets(and that includes your 401k money) you must understand that it is nothing but a gamble at this point. If they, with the wave of a pen, can do what they have done this weekend, what do you think they can do to your “investments”.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Bailout

“Take a load off Fanny, take a load for free;
Take a load off Fanny, and - and - and.....You put the load right on me.”
– The Band, “The Weight,” 1968

Here once again is the usual solution of the fiat money bubble - as soon as one bursts, we blow another, bigger one to cover it up and keep the party going a little longer. We print print print!! those ol' greenback dollars and we toss 'em out of helicopters hovering over the latest smelly pile of financial caca in hopes that the fresh ink will cover up the smell of dyspeptic bullpucky.

Who owns securities in Freddie and Fannie which the US Treasury/US taxpayer is backing up---China! Can we connect the dots and make a picture here?

The whole mortgage mess reminds me of Matthew Arnold's verse

And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight
Where ignorant armies clash by night

The truth is, nobody knows exactly what is going on. We all have opinions, but it is like the mating rituals of sharks, where the real boffing, kicking and fighting takes place below the water, out of sight of those on land.

From The Oil Drum: Europe

QUOTE The bailout of Freddie and Fannie has just been announced by Hank Paulson, with supporting words from Bernanke. What's interesting in what's proposed, as usual, is what's unsaid. This would seem to be an incredibly ambitious gambit: a nationalisation, an attempted bailout of ALL the banks, and an open-ended commitment of taxpayer money to save the financial world..... As expected, as the government takes over, the normal shareholders are wiped out, something that will allow the Bush administration to claim that they are being tough and not bailing out investors, but we'll see that this claim is fundamentally false.
This whole side of the package will allow the government to claim that the bailout has a minimal cost: $1 billion only for now, a highly disingenuous claim (the warrants will most likely need to be exercised - but only next year, and there is the rest...)
The plan, outlined jointly by the Treasury Department and Federal Housing Finance Agency, also includes a plan for the Treasury to purchase mortgage-backed securities from the firms in the open market, and a lending facility through the Treasury from its general fund held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
This is huge. This is the federal government taking over the "toxic waste" in a way that will have an impact not just on Freddie and Fannie, but on the whole market. UNQUOTE


The Nativity of the Mother of God

"Your nativity, O Mother of God, heralded joy to the whole universe, for from you rose the Sun of Justice, Christ our God, taking away the curse, He imparted the blessings, and by abolishing death, He gave us everlasting life."
~ Melkite Catholic Troparion for Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary.


"Hail, O Lady, unique gateway through whom the Lord alone has passed!"

~ taken from The Akathist hymn to the Mother of God

"The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth" Proverbs 8:22-25
"It is essential for us to confess that the holy Ever-Virgin Mary is actually Theotokos (Birth-giver of God: literally, God-Bearer), so as not to fall into blasphemy. For those who deny that the Holy Virgin is actually Theotokos are no longer believers, but disciples of the Pharisees and Sadducees" (St. Ephraim the Syrian, in letter "To John the Monk").
Mary is the Seat of Wisdom
- Litany of Loreto, 11th century.

St. Augustine first to call Our Lady Seat of Wisdom
also Pope Pius IXSt.

Bernard called her Domus divinae Sapientiae (House of divine wisdom).
Odo (d.c.1200),

a Benedictine Abbot of Battle Abbey:
Philosophy is called the pursuit or love of wisdom. Mary is, therefore, the philosophy of Christians for whoever desires to find true Wisdom must direct his/her love and endeavor to Mary. (Theotokos, 368)
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou amongst women,and
blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
Holy Mary, Mother of God,pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death.
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui,
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc,et in hora mortis nostrae.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Poem For Americans

Here is a poem from the Irish Rising of 1916 for my countrymen and women who are tired of kissing up to money-grubbing bosses, tax collectors and overbearing government toadies; who are weary of a lockstep two-party system and its intolerance of any view but Point A or Point B, who are exhausted from working two or three jobs and having no time to rest, make music and art or play with their kids. A tonic to strengthen the spirit and dissolve some of the Matrix.

Happy Sunday.


The Rebel

by Padraig Pearse

I am come of the seed of the people, the people that sorrow,

That have no treasure but hope,

No riches laid up but a memory

Of an Ancient glory.

My mother bore me in bondage, in bondage my mother was born,

I am of the blood of serfs;

The children with whom I have played, the men and women with whom I have eaten,

Have had masters over them, have been under the lash of masters,

And, though gentle, have served churls;

The hands that have touched mine, the dear hands whose touch is familiar to me,

Have worn shameful manacles, have been bitten at the wrist by manacles,

Have grown hard with the manacles and the task-work of strangers,

I am flesh of the flesh of these lowly, I am bone of their bone,

I that have never submitted;

I that have a soul greater than the souls of my people's masters,

I that have vision and prophecy and the gift of fiery speech,

I that have spoken with God on the top of His holy hill.

And because I am of the people, I understand the people,

I am sorrowful with their sorrow, I am hungry with their desire:

My heart has been heavy with the grief of mothers,

My eyes have been wet with the tears of children,

I have yearned with old wistful men,

And laughed or cursed with young men;

Their shame is my shame, and I have reddened for it,

Reddened for that they have served, they who should be free,

Reddened for that they have gone in want, while others have been full,

Reddened for that they have walked in fear of lawyers and of their jailors

With their writs of summons and their handcuffs,

Men mean and cruel!

I could have borne stripes on my body rather than this shame of my people.

And now I speak, being full of vision;

I speak to my people, and I speak in my people's name to the masters of my people.

I say to my people that they are holy, that they are august, despite their chains,

That they are greater than those that hold them, and stronger and purer,

That they have but need of courage, and to call on the name of their God,

God the unforgetting, the dear God that loves the peoples

For whom He died naked, suffering shame.

And I say to my people's masters: Beware,

Beware of the thing that is coming, beware of the risen people,

Who shall take what ye would not give.

Did ye think to conquer the people,

Or that Law is stronger than life and than men's desire to be free?

We will try it out with you, ye that have harried and held,

Ye that have bullied and bribed, tyrants, hypocrites, liars!


RSE's Rally For the Republic Synopsis

At last, here is the long-awaited synopsis of the Ron Paul Rally For Liberty in St. Paul, attended by Red State Eclectic's editor, Laura Ebke. While I haven't as much in common with the Campaign For Liberty as I thought I might (their paleo-conservatism is a few tics to the right of my posture on many issues) I have nothing but affection and respect for Dr. Paul and for RSE, where I used to blog some.

QUOTE The highlight, of course, was when Barry Goldwater Jr. introduced Ron Paul, and the good Doctor appeared on stage, and had red-white-blue confetti fall around him. The crowd went crazy--and a good chunk of us stood throughout his speech--in part because there wouldn't have been much point in sitting down, since we were on our feet cheering so much. It was a special time, and for an hour or so, it didn't matter what was happening on the other side of the river; we were there with OUR nominee accepting our nomination, we were celebrating our achievements, and we were committing ourselves to a long fight for liberty. UNQUOTE