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

Monday, June 30, 2008

Profiles In Courage


From now until July 4th I'll be linking to a true patriot or war hero's story every day. Be sure and click on over & read the whole story.




Hugh C. Thompson, Jr. (April 15, 1943January 6, 2006) was a U.S. Army helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. He is chiefly known for his role in curtailing the My Lai Massacre, in which several hundred unarmed civilians were killed by soldiers of the U.S. Army.
Taps



Day is done, gone the sun, From the hills, from the lake, From the sky. All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.
Go to sleep, peaceful sleep, May the soldier or sailor, God keep. On the land or the deep, Safe in sleep.
Love, good night, Must thou go, When the day, And the night Need thee so? All is well. Speedeth all To their rest.
Fades the light; And afar Goeth day, And the stars Shineth bright, Fare thee well; Day has gone, Night is on.
Thanks and praise, For our days,'Neath the sun, Neath the stars,'Neath the sky, As we go, This we know, God is nigh.

Did I Mention I Love the Irish?

Reason # 87 ~

Irish scarecrows. Heh!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tiny Wee Houses




Like old fashioned gypsy wagons!

From Yahoo News.


The Holy Father On Saint Paul



QUOTE In the letter to the Galatians, [Saint Paul] provided for us a very personal profession of faith, in which he opens his heart to the reader of all times, and reveals the deep driving force of his life. ‘I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me’ (Gal. 2:20).
Everything that Paul does begins from this center. His faith is the experience of being loved by Jesus Christ in a completely personal way; it is the awareness of the fact that Christ has faced death not for some anonymous person, but out of love for him - for Paul - and that, as the Risen One, he still loves him. Christ gave himself up for him. His faith comes from being transfixed by the love of Jesus Christ, a love that shakes him to his core and transforms him. His faith is not a theory, an opinion about God and the world. His faith is the impact of the love of God on his heart. And thus his faith is itself love for Jesus Christ.
This love is now the law of his life, and in this very way it is the freedom of his life. He speaks and acts on the basis of the responsibility of love. Freedom and responsibility are here united in an inseparable way. Because he stands in the responsibility of love, he is free; because he is someone who loves, he lives completely in the responsibility of this love and does not take freedom as a pretext for willfulness and selfishness. UNQUOTE

Pope Benedict XVI - Vespers - Saint Paul Outside the Walls - June 28, 2008

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Speaking Truth in The US Congress


Congressman and former Presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul speaking in Congress on Thursday June 26, 2008 on energy and Iran policy. He is a brave, brilliant and kind man who would have made a superb president.

Rock on, Ron Paul.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Matt Simmons Peak Oil Primer




Matthew R. Simmons presented "School's Out: Let The Summer Begin" at the 2008 Energy Investor Conference in Austin, Texas on June 12, 2008. Condensing literally thousands of pages of reading into a succinct and excellent presentation, this will bring those curious about the bigger picture of energy and the economy up to speed in short order. Google the concepts that you find and in a few days you will have a grasp exceeding many of our leaders in finance, governemt and business.

I loved the phrase, "Hedge Fund Naughtiness"! Hah!

And, here is wisdom: "If we bury heads in the Arabian Sands, we will probably blow ourselves up –WWIII will be a short, swift resource war. We will all lose!"
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Sensible But Uncommon


The dearth of plain old common sense is more marked each day. Sometimes I think the entire world has gone utterly mad. The macabre and bizarre are found in the daily news and the unthinkable is trotted out for examination ~ and instead of rising up to comdemn it, folks who should know better just duck their heads and look the other way.

This uncommonly sensible article by Patrick J. Buchanan found on AntiWar.com raises the question: who is planning our next war? I used to think Pat was a taco shy of a combo platter, but its amazing how much sense he makes today.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

From The Carmina Gadelica


A Scottish collection of traditional prayers and invocations, here are a few...even in English they are lovely, and carry a strong highlands flavor and evoke cottage icon corners in the heathery hills and grey rolling seas.




THE GUIDING LIGHT OF ETERNITY
O God, who broughtst me from the rest of last night
Unto the joyous light of this day,
Be Thou bringing me from the new light of this day
Unto the guiding light of eternity.
Oh! from the new light of this day
Unto the guiding light of eternity.



THE SOUL PLAINT
O Jesu ! to-night
Thou Shepherd of the poor,
Thou sinless person
Who didst suffer full sore,
By ban of the wicked,
And wast crucified.
Save me from evil,
Save me from harm,
Save Thou my body,
Sanctify me to-night,
O Jesu ! to-night,
Nor leave me.
Endow me with strength,
Thou Herdsman of might,
Guide me aright,
Guide me in Thy strength,
O Jesu! in Thy strength
Preserve me.



THE FEAST DAY OF MARY
On the feast day of Mary the fragrant
Mother of the Shepherd of the flocks,
I cut me a handful of the new corn,
I dried it gently in the sun,
I rubbed it sharply from the husk
With mine own palms.
I ground it in a quern on Friday,
I baked it on a fan of sheep-skin,
I toasted it to a fire of rowan,
And I shared it round my people.
I went sunways round my dwelling,
In name of the Mary Mother,
Who promised to preserve me,
Who did preserve me,
And who will preserve me,
In peace, in flocks,
In righteousness of heart,
In labour, in love,
In wisdom, in mercy,
For the sake of Thy Passion.
Thou Christ of grace
Who till the day of my death
Wilt never forsake me!
Oh, till the day of my death
Wilt never forsake me!




Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Stigma Of Mental Health

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 5, 2008) - QUOTE When filling out security-clearance questionnaires, Soldiers have been told to just answer "no" to receiving mental-health consultation if it was counseling strictly to deal with stress from combat or related to marital, family or grief issues.A message sent to Army activities worldwide Thursday night directs personnel to answer no under certain circumstances to question 21 on Standard Form 86, the Questionnaire for National Security Positions. The question asks: "In the last seven years, have you consulted with a mental-health professional or consulted with another health-care provider about a mental health condition?"If the treatment was not court-ordered and was not the result of violence, then Soldiers or Army Civilian employees should simply answer no to receiving care to help them adjust after returning from service in a combat zone, according to the message to "all Army activities." UNQUOTE

This points out the continuing stigma attached to receiving needed mental health services for grief, combat, family, career and marital or family issues. The inability to distinguish a veteran with early PTSD from a veteran with untreated, longterm PTSD, or a career person with stress related issues from somebody about to go postal, or a man sick with grief from a man hallucinating little pink toasters, ad infinatum, is a major flaw in our culture. The stigma prevents people from getting help at a stage when it might very likely do them some good.
That attitude is itself deeply flawed, to the point of being a form of denial.

Motherboards Into Plowshares


Hmm, apparently new graduates in the high-tech industries are going to work for Microsoft and Google, not military contractors. The armed forces want to spend heavily in the next decade for exotic new weapons, but the geek graduates are looking elsewhere.

Back in the day we used to ask "what if they gave a war, and nobody came?" It also strikes a blow against those who insist that capitalism needs wars to survive.


QUOTE

Kaminski's generation of engineers, which was responsible for many of the most successful military projects of the 1970s and '80s, is aging. But declining numbers of top young engineers, software developers and mathematicians are replacing them. Instead, they are joining high-tech companies and other civilian organizations that provide not just better pay than the military or its contractors, but also greater cachet - what one former defense industry engineer called "geek credit." UNQUOTE


My Favorite Ancient

Since I was a youngster my favorite ancient was Marcus Tullius Cicero. His advocacy of freedom helped lay the foundation for what is best about the us today, and what is now most vulnerable.


"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within.
An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.
For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men.
He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear."
- Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.) Roman Statesman, philosopher, and Orator

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why All Catholic and Orthodox Churches Should Immediately Begin A Green Initiative

The rest of Creation cries out against the evil and perversity of the human species. Other creatures fulfil the commandments of God; they honour his laws. And other creatures do not grumble and complain at those laws. But human beings rebel against those laws, defying them in word and action. And in doing so they inflict terrible cruelty on the rest of God's creation.
-- Blessed Hildegard von Bingen

I have wondered often why many seemingly devout and pious Catholics and Orthodox seem oblivious to the need to change our lives in order to be good stewards of God's Creation. I visit parishes both Traditional, Eastern Rite and modern (Novus Ordo rite) and I have yet to see a program of recycling, green energy usage or support of sustainable agriculture in any of them, much less a series of lectures, homilies or classes on the subject.

Here, gleaned from sources both East and West (since I am an Eastern Rite Catholic who is married to a Greek Orthodox, I have a place in both worlds) are the top ten reasons why a Catholic community should take climate change, earth stewardship and green issues seriously enough to modify our lives,

1.) In 1997, Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of the world's 250 million Orthodox Christians, declared that the wanton destruction of nature was a sin.

2.) Recently, Bartholomew's chief theologian, Metropolitan John of Pergamon, took things a step further, declaring that humans must not simply act as stewards of the environment, but as "priests of creation," embracing nature rather than simply managing it "The human being is almost by its very constitution the link between creation and God," he explained. "We are part of nature."

3.) Pope Benedict XVI has stated: "Preservation of the environment, promotion of sustainable development and particular attention to climate change are matters of grave concern for the entire human family. No nation or business sector can ignore the ethical implications present in all economic and social development. With increasing clarity scientific research demonstrates that the impact of human actions in any one place or region can have worldwide effects. The consequences of disregard for the environment cannot be limited to an immediate area or populus because they always harm human coexistence, and thus betray human dignity and violate the rights of citizens who desire to live in a safe environment ." - LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI TO THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE ON THE OCCASION OF THE SEVENTH SYMPOSIUMOF THE RELIGION, SCIENCE AND THE ENVIRONMENT MOVEMENT

4.) The Vatican is installing 1,000 solar panels which will adorn the football-sized roof of the Paul VI audience hall, one of the top energy guzzlers in the sovereign city state. The solar system will be able to provide all the heating, cooling, and lighting needs of the entire building year-round, and any extra electricity generated will be fed back into the Vatican’s grid. If it's good enough for Il Papa, it's good enough for me.

5.) At a Youth Rally last year, Pope Benedict said: "New generations will be entrusted with the future of the planet, which bears clear signs of a type of development that has not always protected nature's delicate equilibriums.” He continued: "Courageous choices that can re-create a strong alliance between man and earth must be made before it is too late."

6.) Who's going to be the first carbon-neutral country in the world? Some hippie Scandinavian nation, right? Or Brazil?
Nope. It's the Vatican, and it's teaming up with a Hungarian carbon offset company to plant the Vatican Climate Forest.


7.) John Paul II: "The law written by God in nature and capable of being read by reason leads to respect for the Creator's plan, a plan which is meant for the benefit of mankind. This law establishes a certain inner order which man discovers and which he must preserve. Any activity in conflict with this order inevitably does damage to man himself." - Liturgy of the Word celebrated in Zamosc, Poland on June 12, 1999

8.) "If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who deal likewise with their fellow men."
-St. Francis of Assisi

9.) "JESUS DEIGNED TO teach me this mystery. He set before me the book of nature; I understood how all the flowers He has created are beautiful, how the splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the Lily do not take away the perfume of the little violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy." - St. Therese of Lisieux

10.) St. Augustine: "SOME PEOPLE, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Note it. Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead He set before your eyes the things He had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?
QUESTION THE BEAUTY of the earth, question the beauty of the sea, question the beauty of the air distending and diffusing itself, question the beauty of the sky ... question all these realities. All respond: "See, we are beautiful." Their beauty is a profession. These beauties are subject to change. Who made them if not the Beautiful One who is not subject to change?
THE EXPLANATION, then, of the goodness of creation is the goodness of God. It puts an end to all controversies concerning the origin of the world.... The heretics mention, for example, fire, cold, wild beasts and things like that, without considering how wonderful such things are in themselves and in their proper place, and how beautifully they fit into the total pattern of the universe, making their particular contributions to the commonweal of cosmic beauty."
--The City of God 11.22

Some final thoughts ~

from The Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431)
FOR ALTHOUGH VISIBLE and a child in swaddling clothes, and even in the bosom of His Virgin Mother, He filled all creation as God.

And one more list, courtesy of Catholic Conservation Center.

Top 10 Reasons to Care for Creation!
God is the Creator of the Universe and maintains its existence through an ongoing creative will.
God has blessed and called "very good" all that is created.
God's plan for Creation is one of harmony and order. Creation forms a whole, a cosmos.
God loves the community of life.
God's creatures share a common home.
God's presence is discernible in all Creation.
God intends the Earth's goods to be equitably shared.
Within Creation, the human person enjoys a consummate dignity. Inherent to this dignity is that of exercising a wise and just stewardship over the rest of Creation.
Sin brought division into the entire world, but not only within and between human persons. The consequences of sin also affect the Earth.
In a mysterious way, Christ's redemptive mission extends to all of Creation.

To read more, visit The Catholic Conservation Center

Pope Paul VI - A Hospitable Earth for Future Generations
Message to the Stockholm Conference on Human Environment
June 1, 1972

The Catechism on environmental issues (click here).

The Four Cardinal Virtues

Green In The Bible


Matthew 6:10:
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven.




Monday, June 23, 2008

Rome Offers SPPX An Ultimatum

Alrighty, then. The reign of Pope Benedict -- the length of which cannot be known --is a "now or never" moment for the SSPX and for the Traditional Latin Mass. Of course, the Holy Spirit is always there to protect and guide the See of Peter, but the SSPX would be wise to not tempt God and gamble on the possibility of a more friendly pontificate in the future. Let them take the lesson from the Orthodox Churches on how far being "correct" and "right" gets one when not sailing under the banner of The Fisherman.

All it gets is a bad case of hyper-correctness.

Ubi Petrus, Ecclesia est.

From The New Liturgical Movement.

QUOTE Conditions this favourable for a reentering into full communion will in all likelihood not repeat themselves. Many faithful, now that they have obtained the Mass according to the ancient rite, do not understand why the Fraternity does not definitively make peace with Rome. The Lefebvrians have come to realize what is happening, even if Fellay has some problems of internal resistance. The choice is whether to make an agreement and reenter into full communion with the Holy See, or rather to remain a small separate body with the risk of turning into a little sectarian and uninfluential group. UNQUOTE

In Time For St. John's Day ~ A RANT From Kunstler


Just in time for Saint John the Baptist Day tomorrow ~ One of my favorite Peak Oil "Cassandra's" is Jim Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency and of a usually good and insightful, albeit afflicted with a profane title (eff bomb warning) weekly political/environmental/social rant Clusterf*ck Nation. (Note to readers: once you get past the title you are mostly safe from having gratuitous profanity inflicted upon you.)


Now if we could just get Kunstler converted so we could benefit from his wisdom in light of a Catholic worldview, that would really be something. His rants are so good. St. John the Baptist, pray for us ~ we need rangy men with wild hair, dressed in skins, munching on wild honey dipped grasshoppers, dunking us in the Jordan river and bellowing REPENT in our faces.


QUOTE The telling moment last week was Robert Hirsch's appearance on the CNBC morning "Squawkbox" financial show in which he proposed the probability of $500-a-barrel oil within "a three-to-five-year time-frame." Squawkhead Becky Quick was clearly nonplussed by the stolid Mr. Hirsch, author of a (then)-startling 2005 US Dept of Energy report (since referred to as the Hirsch Report and buried by the Secretary of Energy) that warned of dire effects on the American way of life as the Peak Oil predicament gained traction. Perhaps more reality-challenged was the uber-idiot Larry Kudlow on CNBC's night-time money show, who kept repeating the mantra "drill, drill drill" when presented with signs that something other than "oil speculators" was driving up the price and creating global scarcity. These idiots always return to the shibboleth that "there's plenty of oil out there." What they don't get is that even while the world is enjoying the all time peak of production (somewhere around 85-million barrels-a-day), that same world is demanding at least 86-million barrels -- so even though there's more oil than ever, there's not enough. And the gap is only bound to get bigger. The difference between what's available and what's demanded is being felt by poor countries and poor people in richer countries. Third world nations lacking their own oil are simply dropping out of the bidding, and the lower classes in the US are having to choose between buying gasoline and velveeta. The floods in the corn belt will surely aggravate the problem here in the USA. Lunch breaks may soon be a thing of the past for WalMart Associates. Maybe they'll just play video games on their cell phones in the parking lot to allay their hunger. UNQUOTE

Aligning The Will With God ~ Prayer


We all have known people who always want to pray for us, but in reality, they always want to foist their personal idea of what we should be or do upon us and have the authority of the Almighty as a blanket sanction for bossing and bullying others. This is quite common and gives prayer, indeed it given religion itself a bad name. This sort of "prayer" is nothing short of a kind of black magic or voodoo in which the personal will of the practitioner is spiritually sent out to capture or enforce a certain reality upon others irregardless of what the Holy Ghost has to say about the matter. The recent movie and book fad of The Secret is 100% cut from the cloth of this sort of misapprehension of the power of prayer. I read the darn thing and watched the movie, and then put it away, shaking my head and musing on the eternal gullibility of the human species to ideas promising wealth, utopia, love and happiness upon demand, all through "positive thinking" or "mind control" of whatever black magic nostrum du jour is popular. Ick.


From Vultus Christi, by Father Mark. Be sure to click on over & read it all. Here's a sample:


QUOTE If I pray to have some power over persons, things, or the course of events, my prayer is futile; it is, in some way, an anti-prayer. Prayer is the struggle to let go of every desire to have power over others, over things, and over the course of events. Prayer is adoration of the Divine Will in all its manifestations. UNQUOTE


Sunday, June 22, 2008

One by Chesterton


The Christ Child
by G.K. Chesterton


The Christ-child lay on Mary’s lap,

His hair was like a light.

(O weary, weary were the world,

But here is all aright.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s breast,

His hair was like a star.

(O stern and cunning are the kings,

But here the true hearts are.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s heart,

His hair was like a fire.

(O weary, weary is the world,

But here the world’s desire.)

The Christ-child stood at Mary’s knee,

His hair was like a crown.

And all the flowers looked up at Him,

And all the stars looked down.

Top Signs Your Empire Is Collapsing

Everybody likes lists ~ here's an interesting and sobering one. All the things listed are intuitively obvious to the most casual observer, yet the mass mind trance ~ the "Matrix" of this world ~ marches on oblivious to the signs and omens. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet and live like a Catholic, help your family and neighbors. As people wake up, we can make a better life.
From the Vermont Commons.

QUOTE Just like Nineveh, just like Tyre. In fact, it’s classic– just like all the empires that have preceded it, from Akkad toHapsburg, from Babylonian to Dutch, from Persian to Ottoman, from Romanto Soviet, the American empire is collapsing, collapsing around us, andthe consequences will not be pleasant.
Youknow your empire is collapsing when the UN, comparing a number ofmeasures of child well-being in the industrial world, ranks youtwentieth out of 21, behind Poland, Portugal, and Hungary, ahead onlyof Britain. UNQUOTE

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Must-See Flood Photos


From The Boston Globe, amazing pictures of the Iowa floods.


If I had taken this picture I would've had to go change my skivvies afterwards.


Oh. My. God.
Kyrie Eleison...



Calling All Hawkeyes & Huskers


Because Midwesterners pitch in and help each other, that's what we do, after the most recent tornado or the blizzard or flood or drought~ without too much fanfare or fuss because after all, next week the neighbor you help will turn around and be there for you ~
because Huskers and Hawkeyes all over the world may see this ~ please read & then pitch in and help a little.

To the "levees"...


From President Sally Mason
To University of Iowa Alumni, Friends, Contributors, and Hawkeye Fans across the world:
Your University is facing what may be the greatest challenge in its 160-year history. Many people have contacted us asking us how they can help, and in response we’re offering a way to do so from wherever you may be.



Unprecedented flooding throughout Eastern Iowa has already impacted our entire arts campus and much more—including beloved landmarks such as the Iowa Memorial Union, the UI Museum of Art, our music and theatre buildings, and Hancher Auditorium. Although it appears the flooding on campus has crested, the high water will still inflict significant damage to the more than 16 UI buildings that took on water. The Iowa River is slowly receding, but it will take months and years for the campus to fully recover.



You can help by making a gift online today to the UI Flood Relief Fund. Please go online to http://www.givetoiowa.org/floodfund to lend your support. Gifts of all sizes are needed and appreciated, and our first priority is to assist UI students and employees who have been displaced from their homes by the flooding. After addressing these most immediate human concerns, we will use contributions to the fund (as available) at my discretion to address other areas of flood-related need throughout the campus.



I encourage the UI community and Iowans generally to help –- whether through volunteering or other sharing of resources –- as they can with the relief efforts for those parts of the state most affected by the flooding. A good place to start in assisting our friends in Johnson and Linn Counties is by visiting http://www.corridorrecovery.org/.



The University of Iowa community has always been far larger than our physical campus, and the Hawkeye spirit has overcome many challenges in the past. I am confident this University will emerge stronger than ever before. UI students, faculty, staff, and community members showed tremendous teamwork and resolve in last week’s massive sandbagging efforts. If you’d like to join them in helping us rise above this crisis, please visit http://www.givetoiowa.org/floodfund.
Our heartfelt thanks for all of your encouragement, and for your ongoing generosity.



ON IOWA!
Sally Mason President The University of Iowa
P.S. For the most up-to-date information on the UI and the Flood of 2008, and for a large gallery of photos, visit the University’s flood information web site at
http://uiflood.blogspot.com/.

The Irish Rover Nails It


From The Irish Rover: Be sure and click on over and read the whole thing. Good stuff. I love the photo of Therese as a child. What a face!! What a wise woman, a saint who became a Doctor of The Church ~
"I choose all."


As a woman, I can make new people, heal and console, plus identify fully with Our Lady. What're your superpowers?



QUOTE Better yet, as St. Therese demanded, can we too state, "I choose all!"? Is it possible, now, to retain value for the true rights of the human person, like those at the top?
I've read philosophers' and theologians' discussions on the distortion, the root of the decline of Western Civilization and the family unit. Of three bold and obvious culprits, contraception, the disrespect of the feminine genius and the rise of the
Age of Enlightenment, which is the lynch-pin, and then how do we right our attitude?
Did disdain for women's particular gift, nurturing life, lead to acceptance of contraception, or was the latter instrumental in fanning flames of feminism?
UNQUOTE

Friday, June 20, 2008

Going The Distance ~ Athlete Gives Life For Her Child




She fought the good fight, and ran the race which was set before her to run. She went the distance, took the punches, and hit the wall for her child. Pray for us, dear Agata of Poland.

TANROW, June 13, 2008 (CWNews.com/LifeSiteNews.com) -
QUOTE A Polish volleyball star who was buried on June 9 is being compared by local Catholics to Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla because of her heroic sacrifice for her unborn child.Agata Mroz, who was originally known for her athletic prowess, was buried in her hometown of Tarnow. Mroz was pregnant with her first child when doctors discovered she had a fatal case of leukemia. After consulting with her husband, Mroz delayed a bone-marrow transplant until after she gave birth to her daughter Liliana on April 4, 2008.Polish fans dubbed the national team which Mróz led the "Golden Girls," due to their looks and their successes in international competitions. The national team won the European women's volleyball championship in 2003 and 2005.Auxiliary Bishop Marian Florczyk of Kielce, Poland has said that Mroz's testimony is an example of "love of life, motherhood, the desire to give life, the heroic love of an unborn child." On June 4, a few hours after Mroz's death, Polish President Lech Kaczynski announced that she will be posthumously awarded the Polonia Restituta, one of Poland's highest awards for extraordinary and distinguished service. UNQUOTE



Friday Bits and Pieces

Greetings from Nebraska! We are having such fantastic weather here I wish I could send a day of it to anyone who isn't having amazingly lucious 84 F degree days and 61 F degree nights. Also a daily thunderstorm with rain so everything here is green green, green. We had some flooding but not nearly as much as our suffering neighbor, Iowa. They are basically under water over there ~ the midwestern Katrina.
Heather from California writes me "I wish you would blog more about your daily life ~ you seem like an interesting person." Thanks, Heather!
So here's a bit about my day today. Also I would like to heartily encourage readers to make comments as able ~ I know people are viewing the blog from all over the place, thanks to my cool little widget on the right side a bit down the page ~ so feel free. Let me know what you like ~ the autobiographical stuff, the political stuff, the Catholic stuff, the science stuff, the music or whatnot. I'll try and put a poll up, if I can figure out how. :D Maybe we can eventually get a dialogue going on living the balanced Catholic life in this unbalanced world. I also hope to have some fun along the way! BTW that's my youngest daughter Toni, myself (to my Irish friends ~ Tis Herself ~ hah!)and granddaughter Taryn, taken about 8 months ago.
Today started with 6:30 AM Mass at Saint Patrick's, my neighborhood church. It is a working class church in an older neighborhood, very substandard appearance showing the ravages of post-Vatican II on the art and architechture of Mother Church. But the pastors and people are great, and there is a vibrant spirituality there. I actually went with a very bad attitude the first time or two until I got to know people. Now Monsignor there is my spiritual director and I love to visit (well, except on Sundays when the hootenanny choir is singing the moon calf bad guitar songs from the 70's along with old Protestant hymns I grew up on as a Methodist. Bletch.
Then it was on the the YMCA for my lap swimming ~ I like to swim laps 3 times a week to counter the ravages of aging (I'll be 55 soon) and generally limber up my bones. I swear by it, its as good as yoga which is very expensive here, and will keep me going as long as the good Lord wishes me to. Next I came home and made a lovely green smoothie for brekkie, I like to use them for the Friday fast. This one had a ripe banana, some greens (lambs quarter, mint)and a slice each of watermelon and cantaloupe, and a squirt of local Honey.
Now its blog time, and then I will be off to read a while, meditate, garden, go to a meeting and study some more. Today's my day off so no work today. Tonight Charlie, my next door neighbor Ann and myself are going to see my friend Mike's Grateful Dead cover band, The Jerry Pranksters. Any local folks can find us at Bob's Tavern from 9 to midnight, grooving on the mellow sounds.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

House of Saud Calling All World Leaders

Verrry interesting. Will they discuss Peak Oil? What in the world will come of this meeting? Does anyone know who the US, Britain and Germany are sending?

QUOTE
Consumers aren't the only ones being hit by high oil prices. Now that the oil shock has reached producing countries, Saudi Arabia has called a crisis summit this weekend in an effort to find concerted solutions that could push barrel prices down.
UNQUOTE


From Spiegel Online.

Jackie and Dunlap On Internet Rumors

Hah!

**Profanity and slightly off-color alert ~ But FUNNY! A couple of red state Bubba's take off on internet rumors. Enjoy.

The Royal Bank of Scotland Doom & Gloom Siren

Real money

The Royal Bank of Scotland has sounded a loud and shrill alarm this week, saying that they advise:

QUOTE ...clients to brace for a full-fledged crash in global stock and credit markets over the next three months as inflation paralyses the major central banks. "A very nasty period is soon to be upon us - be prepared," said Bob Janjuah, the bank's credit strategist. A report by the bank's research team warns that the S&P 500 index of Wall Street equities is likely to fall by more than 300 points to around 1050 by September as "all the chickens come home to roost" from the excesses of the global boom, with contagion spreading across Europe and emerging markets. UNQUOTE


As a working-class American nearing retirement, I watch in dismay as the Fed pumps hundreds of billions of dollars of "liquidity" into the banking system, accepting as collateral mortgage-backed securities of absolutely NO value. The American economy is rigged with bogus statistics and unemployment and inflation are about twice as high as the official figures. Every Fiat Monetary System fails. Fiat Systems have zero sustainability due to the fact that every single "dollar" or fiat monetary unit must be "borrowed" into existence. Since the entire circulation of the currency is totally dependent upon debt for its creation and expansion there comes a time when the economy can no longer sustain the debt-servicing requirements that burdens the productivity of the economy. That's where we are now. It has happened in a similar manner time and time again yet, these facts are all but ignored by the blind Central Bankers, Media and Government Economic Wonks of the world.


Just look at how Ron Paul, Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich were treated by media during his compaign. Often when it was their turn to speak, TV shows would interrupt for comments, go to commercial etc. In the end we'll see gold and silver, platinum and sustainable agriculture regain their status as having permanent value.



Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Some Have Hats











"Hearing a nun's confession is like being stoned to death with popcorn."


-Archbishop Fulton Sheen





Wake Up To The Spankers

And now for something completely different ~ found this YouTube video of Austin rockabilly force of nature The Asylum Street Spankers performing an old Robert Johnson tune over at The Crossed Pond. Sounded so good I thought I had better post it over here too.

Check it out. Sweet. I wonder if they ever come to The Zoo Bar here in Lincoln? I'd be there with bells on if they do.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

In ALL Parishes





QUOTE Asked whether the Latin Mass would be celebrated in many ordinary parishes in future, Cardinal Castrillon said: “Not many parishes – all parishes. The Holy Father is offering this not only for the few groups who demand it, but so that everybody knows this way of celebrating the Eucharist.”

The Cardinal, who heads the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, made his comments as he was preparing to celebrate a traditional Latin Mass at Westminster Cathedral yesterday, the first time a cardinal has done so there for 40 years.

In the traditional rite, the priest faces in the same direction as the people and reads the main prayer of the Mass in Latin, in a voice so low as to be virtually silent. By contrast, in the new rite the priest faces the people and speaks audibly in the local language.

Cardinal Castrillon said that the reverent silence of the traditional rite was one of the “treasures” that Catholics would rediscover, and young worshippers would encounter for the first time.

Pope Benedict will reintroduce the old rite – which will be known as the “Gregorian Rite” - even where the congregation has not asked for it. “People don’t know about it, and therefore they don’t ask for it,” the Cardinal explained.

The revised Mass, adopted in 1970 after the Second Vatican Council, had given rise to “many, many, many abuses”, the Cardinal said. He added: “The experience of the last 40 years has not always been so good. Many people have lost their sense of adoration for God, and these abuses mean that many children do not know how to be in the presence of God.”

However, the new rite will not disappear; the Pope wishes to see the two forms of Mass existing side by side. UNQUOTE


Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God for He is good, and His mercy endureth forever. I can't wait until I can attend a traditional Latin Mass at my neighborhood church, Saint Patrick's.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Onion Reports: Feedbags!

I love The Onion...Hah!
After viewing the film documentary Supersize Me a few months ago I began breakfasting on green smoothies a few times a weeks, avoiding most "fast food" and curtailing my consumption of second helpings, refined white flour and white sugar. It is astounding to wake up and snap out of the trance and perceive the subtle indoctrination to consume, consume, consume that advertisers with humongous budgets place before us daily, on TV, radio, the Internet, billboards ~ basically everywhere. Fighting overconsumption and its evangelizers, mega corporations, is good for you, the earth and as an added benefit, it is sound ethical policy as well! Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins, after all and so is Greed, and Envy also, all of which the mass pop culture ferments, brews and stews in people every day.


New Wearable Feedbags Let Americans Eat More, Move Less

Come, Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created.R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray. O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord.Amen.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium: et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.

V. Emitte Spiritum tuum, et creabuntur.R. Et renovabis faciem terrae.

Oremus. Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere; et de eius semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.Amen.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Two Roads Diverged: Ron Paul & The Libertarians


In a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveller, long I stood

and looked down one as far as I could

to where it bent in the undergrowth

From Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken


Just kidding, I only warm up to one of the possible branches in this road. The "True Conservative anti-war pro-life" fork.

This is bit of a long read, but a worthwhile one. Justin Raimondo at TakiMag explores in depth what the Ron Paul Revolution means to the libertarian movement. I was, previous to the RP phenomenon, adverse to the libertarians since I only knew the "free-for-all/confusion of liberty with license" mindset found in a certain elite wing of the Liberts ~ but now I find myself actually very sympathetic to the Ron Paul "revolution".

DJY

QUOTE That war breeds tyranny and subverts republican forms of government; that we were fighting national socialism overseas only to witness its triumph on the home front; and, central to it all, an acute consciousness of America’s tragic destiny as an (anti-)imperial power, doomed, like all the others, to degenerate into a parody of itself. UNQUOTE

O'Reilly and Kucinich

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Soul Food for Saturday


"I love You, O my God, and my only desire is to love You until the last breath of my life. I love You, O my infinitely lovable God, and I would rather die loving You, than live without loving You. I love You, Lord and the only grace I ask is to love You eternally....My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love You, I want my heart to repeat it to You as often as I draw breath."

- Saint John Vianney

Father's Day ~ They Were Working


Tomorrow is Father's Day here in the US. Millions of clueless children, both juvenile and adult, will make a plate of scrambled eggs and give Dad a touching present of some sort: a papier mache' paperweight, a new necktie or a box of his favorite cigars. Fatherhood itself, the trials and rewards of manfully providing for and guiding one's offspring through the landmines of early life, will be mentioned in homilies and sermons across the land, burgers will be grilled and then that shall be that for another year.


Ben Stein has this goodie up at NYT Business ~ here's a sample, but be sure and read the whole thing. And have a happy Father's Day!


QUOTE

“Get it in your heads that if you throw away your moral duties to your parents, you are thieves. You were born on third base and your parents put you there, and you think you hit a triple. It’s not true. It’s time to give back.

“ `Attention must be paid,’ as Arthur Miller said. So start now, and make it a habit to be grateful to your parents. Say you’re grateful and mean it. Do it now, however young or old you are. Do it on Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, every day.”
How I wish I had done more of it. Now it’s too late — but it’s never too early. UNQUOTE

Friday, June 13, 2008

One For Sanity

President Bush on Thursday strongly disagreed with a Supreme Court ruling that clears foreign terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts. Bush suggested new legislation may now be needed to keep the American people safe.

“We’ll abide by the court’s decision,” Bush said during a news conference in Rome.

Well, how civil of you. How very, very civil. Ummm, I don't think you have a choice in the matter...

Salon.com puts it this way: Supreme Court to Bush - You are NOT above the law.

Whack fol la de dah!




...hooray me soul, says I,

let the shillaillagh fly

some Galway boys were nigh, saw I was a-hobblin'

with a loud array, they joined

me in the fray

and soon we cleared the way

on the rocky road to Dublin

Whack fol la de dah!


Irish Vote NO On Lisbon Treay

Despite heavy pressure to toe the EU party line, the Irish voted no on the restrictive Lisbon Treaty. Trust a Connemara fisherman to look staight into the eyes of a Brussels fat cat and tell him no thanks. Here are the figures. Here's The Irish Times reporting of this historic event.

Now if the British would only give back the North...

A little respect, if you please:


The Irish Anthem


Down By The Glenside
__________________________________
The Foggy Dew
As down the glen one Easter morn To a city fair rode I,
Their armed lines of marching men
In squadrons passed me by. No pipe did hum, no battle drum
Did sound its loud tattoo
But the Angelus' bells o'er the Liffey swells Rang out in the foggy dew.
Right proudly high in Dublin town Hung they out a flag of war.
'Twas better to die 'neath an Irish sky
Than at Suvla or Sud el Bar.
And from the plains of Royal Meath Strong men came hurrying through;
While Brittania's Huns with their long-range guns
Sailed in through the foggy dew. The bravest fell, and the requiem bell
Rang mournfully and clear For those who died that Easter-tide
In the springing of the year.
While the world did gaze with deep amaze
At those fearless men but few
Who bore the fight that freedom's light
Might shine through the foggy dew.
And back through the glen I rode again
And my heart with grief was sore
For I parted then with valiant men Whom I never shall see more
But to and fro In my dreams I go
And I kneel and pray for you
For slavery fled
Oh, glorious dead
When you fell in the foggy dew

Thursday, June 12, 2008

In the Arms of the Angel


Condolences and prayers and solemn remembrance to all those who sustained injury and loss of life and loved ones in the recent bad storms and natural disasters all over the Earth, especially last night in Iowa near here.







In the Arms of the Angel by Sarah McLachlan


Spend all your time waiting for that second chance


For the break that will make it ok


There's always some reason to feel


Not good enough


And it's hard at the end of the day


I need some distraction, oh beautiful release


Memories seep from my veins


They may be empty and weightless, and maybe I'll find some peace tonight


In the arms of an Angel, fly away from here


From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear


You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie


You're in the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here


So tired of the straight line, and everywhere you turn


There's vultures and thieves at your back


The storm keeps on twisting, you keep on building the lies


That you make up for all that you lack


It don't make no difference, escaping one last time


It's easier to believe


In this sweet madness, oh this glorious sadness


That brings me to my knees


In the arms of an Angel, far away from here


From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear


You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie


In the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Weird Wild Weather ~ Toto Too!!!


Image from the Lincoln Journal Star coverage of tonight's storms.
I just spent 2 out of the past 3 hours cowering in the basement watching TV coverage of this huge storm system. As wicked as this looks, it was much worse. Lincoln and Omaha (NE) were under constant tornado warnings for nearly 2 hours.
My dear husband was in the basement of the mall where he works at a jewelry store, with several hundred frightened people, shoppers and store managers and employees,trying to find out what was happening via their cell phones. Mall security didn't provide even a radio.


Many streets in Lincoln and Omaha are flooded, some up to car bumpers. Another storm system is headed our way.


Lovely.


You just haven't lived until you've had the air raid sounding tornado sirens blaring DOOM for hours. * sigh*....




Soul Food For Wednesday


Act of Spiritual Communion


My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.

I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,

come at least spiritually into my heart.

I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You.
Amen.

Cappuccino Superconductors

I just can't resist a good geek story. (This is an eclectic blog, after all!) From Science Daily.
How cool is this?

Also, I think someone should name their Italian rock band "Cappuccino Superconductors".
;D

QUOTE ScienceDaily (Jun. 11, 2008) — To see the latest science of type-I superconductors, look no further than the froth on a morning cup of cappuccino. A team of U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory physicists and collaborating students have found that the bubble-like arrangement of magnetic domains in superconducting lead exhibits patterns that are very similar to everyday froths like soap foam or frothed milk on a fancy coffee.
See also:
Matter & Energy






Reference
Electrical conduction
Soap bubble
Security engineering
Optics
The similarities between the polygonal-shaped patterns in conventional foams and "suprafroths," the patterns created by a magnetic field in a superconductor, establish suprafroths as a model system for the study of froths.
"There are certain statistical laws that govern the behavior of froths, and we found that suprafroths satisfy these laws," said Ruslan Prozorov, Ames Laboratory physicist and primary investigator. "We can now apply what we know of suprafroths to all other froths and complex froth-like systems." UNQUOTE

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kucinich Files Articles Of Impeachment

Here are the 35 articles of impeachment presented by Rep. Dennis Kucinich to the House of Representatives yesterday. The complete bill is found here.

Whatever one thinks of Mr. Kucinich for caving on abortion a few years ago (he is a Catholic: pray for his soul) his leadership in other crucial areas is faultless. He is an honorable man and I for one honor his brave move.


QUOTE
Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio
In the United States House of Representatives
Monday, June 9th, 2008
A Resolution

INDEX

Article I
Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq.

Article II
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With
Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of
Aggression.

Article III
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of
Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War.

Article IV
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat
to the United States.

Article V
Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression.

Article VI
Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes114.

Article VII
Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.

Article VIII
Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter.

Article IX
Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor

Article X
Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes

Article XI
Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq

Article XII
Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation's Natural Resources

Article XIIII
Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other
Countries

Article XIV
Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in
the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency

Article XV
Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq

Article XVI
Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors

Article XVII
Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign
Captives

Article XVIII
Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan,
Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy

Article XIX
Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to "Black Sites" Located in Other
Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture

Article XX
Imprisoning Children

Article XXI
Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist
Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government

Article XXII
Creating Secret Laws

Article XXIII
Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act

Article XXIV
Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the
Fourth Amendment

Article XXV
Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the
Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens

Article XXVI
Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements

Article XXVII
Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply

Article XXVIII
Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice

Article XXIX
Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Article XXX
Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare

Article XXXI
Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil
Emergency

Article XXXII
Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global
Climate Change

Article XXXIII
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist
Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.

Article XXXIV
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001

Article XXXV
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders UNQUOTE


3 From Padre Pio

About Padre Pio: Francesco Forgione, later known as Padre Pio, (May 25, 1887September 23, 1968), canonized as Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, was an Italian Roman Catholic Capuchin priest who is now venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. He was given the name Pio when he joined the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, and was popularly known as Padre Pio after his ordination to the priesthood. He suffered the stigmata.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. "Pray, hope, and don't worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer."


2. "Often place your confidence in Divine Providence and be assured that sooner Heaven and earth shall pass away than that the Lord neglect to protect you. "


3. "Do not fear, Jesus is more powerful than all Hell. At the invocation of His Name every knee in Heaven, on earth and in hell must bend before Jesus; this is the consolation of the good and terror of the evil ones."


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dedicated to the little congregation at Christ The King Chapel (Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters) this morning, whose needs are known to the Father.

Soul Food For Today


Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will.

Whatever you may do, I thank you: I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only your will be done in me and in all your creatures -

I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into your hands I commend my soul:

I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, for I love you, Lord

And so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,

and with boundless confidence,

For you are my Father.

- Charles de Foucauld


Monday, June 9, 2008

Lisbon Treaty Video

Trust the Irish to find the humor in resisting the overweening encroachment of Big Brother on local jurisdiction of one's own country. (First video.)

The second video is serious and heart wrenching. It strikes me that the Irish have put up with quite enough through the years to govern their own land; why toss such hard-won freedoms away?

Americans, take note: this could be YOU in a few years if the NAU - North American Union - goes through. Ron Paul supporters and other lovers of the real America, take notes.

Congratulations to those who made these videos, thy're brilliant! More information at this excellent web site.



EU Leaders Await Irish Vote on Lisbon Treaty

If any Irish readers wish to chime in, we'd welcome your feedback. How does your city, and your neighborhood feel about the Lisbon Treaty and the EU in general? Many Americans know little about this important issue.

QUOTE BRUSSELS (AFP) — European leaders are anxiously awaiting Thursday's Irish referendum on the bloc's reforming Lisbon Treaty, with the latest opinion polls showing the "no" camp in the ascendant.
"There is no plan B," if the Irish vote down the treaty, EU Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso has stressed.
That was a sentiment touted in 2005 when French voters, soon followed by their Dutch counterparts, voted down the EU's original constitution, which led to the treaty being drawn up as a more acceptable replacement.
Another EU official put the situation bluntly: "If there is a 'no' vote on Thursday then it's back to the drawing-board."
The European Commission on Friday urged Irish voters to turn out on June 12 for the country's referendum on the bloc's Lisbon Treaty, as an opinion poll in the Irish Times showed the "no" camp ahead for the first time. UNQUOTE


See also
The Irish Times

The French Paradox

Anything that keeps your heart healthy while eating French cuisine, with its heavy sauces, butter-rich croissants and decadent desserts is worth investigating.

From Science Daily
QUOTE The answer to the so-called "French paradox" may be found in red wine. More specifically, it may reside in small doses of resveratrol, a natural constituent of grapes, pomegranates, red wine and other foods, according to a new study by an international team of researchers.
Writing June 3 in the online, open-access journal Public Library of Science One, the researchers report that low doses of resveratrol in the diet of middle-aged mice has a widespread influence on the genetic levers of aging and may confer special protection on the heart. UNQUOTE


Sunday, June 8, 2008

New! The Rosemary Tree Virtual Pub


Scroll down to visit the pub, complete with a game of darts. Bring your own stout.


Vatican Exorcist: Satan Snares Those In Power

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is calling a spade a spade if ever I saw it.

QUOTE “Evil exists in politics, quite often in fact,” Father Amorth said. “The devil loves to take over business leaders and those who hold political office. Hitler and Stalin were possessed. How do I know? Because they killed millions of people. The Gospel says: ‘By their fruits you will know them.’ UNQUOTE

From Catholic News Agency
Entire Article here.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Energy Limbo Dance

In the dance called The Limbo, the pole is lowered repeatedly until the dancers can't pass under it any more ~ then they are out and others keep at it until the guy who can go the lowest is the winner. How low can you go? In the case of current petroleum prices, it's how deaf can you be? - the entire energy superstructure and the failure of government, politicians, bankers and investment gurus to listen to the geologists over the past 40 years, the Cassandra's were hated and ignored because their warnings were unpleasant and threatened the beloved "happy motoring" lifestyle which everyone the world over was so enamored of. The words Peak oil ~ most people are just hearing it now.

I have to chuckle when I hear politicians clamoring for "more drilling" to solve the problem. More drilling will help but more drilling isn't gonna solve this problem. Yes, oil is a precious commodity. But, the world is nearly out of extractable oil, and we haven't heeded the warnings and have no replacement in place.

Ah, human nature. 48 hours without the gas-powered supply line and they're up a creek without a paddle.

The linked articles are from Bloomberg.com

Put On a Happy Face...

It seems our soldiers, rightly anxious, sad and depressed by the sights of war and the things they see and do, are being medicated and sent back to the front.

Words fail me.

I harken back to 2001, right after the 9/11 attacks, when I first realized that there was waaaay too much Prozac being eaten like M & M candy: a woman with a constant smile and a "have a nice day" demeanor was boozily saying she didn't see what the big deal was - it was "only a few planes into a couple of buildings." The attitude that nothing is a big deal is like a chemical armour the pills impart. It is eerily android-like.

If people are depressed there is usually a reason, barring any diagnosed chemical imbalances. But a panacea for suffering is only found in the Source of life, and in living a life which adheres to peace, justice, beauty and truth.

Article from Time Magazine

QUOTE So LeJeune visited a military doctor in Iraq, who, after a quick session, diagnosed depression. The doctor sent him back to war armed with the antidepressant Zoloft and the antianxiety drug clonazepam. "It's not easy for soldiers to admit the problems that they're having over there for a variety of reasons," LeJeune says. "If they do admit it, then the only solution given is pills." UNQUOTE

Related book Artificial Happiness: The Dark Side of the New Happy Class by Ronald W. Dworkin

First Ever Bank-financed Offshore Wind Farm


From The Oil Drum Europe comes great news: a new wind farm is up and running, and will be generating clean energy for the next 20-25 years - at a price guaranteed not to increase for the whole period.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Happy Friday

I'm headed for Church and the pub, in that order. It's Friday, which as of today is Pub Rock Day here at The Rosemary Tree. Slàinte Mhath !



Election 2008 ~ Odds and Ends From the Peanut Gallery

I attended my county's Republican Convention last evening, along with about 25 or 30 other Ron Paul supporters and about 500 mainstream Republicans, many of which looked and sounded to be of the neo-con persuasion, perhaps as many as 50%. Those who know me well know I am a political oddity, a Catholic Crunchy Con of sorts who is as staunchly pro-life as I am pro-environment, both Peak Oil -aware and anti-war, pro-Constitution and Bill of Rights and anti-nanny state/Big Brother. I've officially been registered as everything from yellow-dog Democrat which how I was raised, complete with a shrine to JFK in my parent's home, even though we were white-bread WASP's (that stands for White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, for our foreign readers) to Independent to Green Party member who was a worker for Ralph Nader back in 2000. I even took a gander at the Libertarian Party when old Ross Perot was doing his pie charts way back when ~ or more accurately, his "PAH" charts as he pronounced through his Texas twang. (man, how I loved Ross doing his pah charts. What fun.)

I really don't quite know what to say about the whole thing, except this: Nebraskans are too polite to chuck us out on our ears, but let's just say that the Iraq war vets, college kids, Crunchy Cons and middle-aged long time Libertarians who have rallied to Dr. Paul's clarion call for Freedom, Peace and Sound Foreign Policy (meaning Jeffersonian no entangling alliances, commerce and friendship with all, free travel and trade with all) stood out like sore thumbs in the sea of well-fed, expensively suited, poofy-haired mainstream Repubs. To be fair, some of them were genuinely nice and seemed glad that new blood was arriving to help save the comatose elephant dying a self-inflicted death of a thousand cuts. One young lady and her husband, two twenty-somethings with a family, got Grandmama to watch the kids and both show up to be elected delegates to the State Convention. The young lady was worried about her tattoos showing. The young men who sport longer hair had, for the most part, pulled it into a tight, neat ponytail. Places on faces when silver studs and rings usually shine were bare for the occasion.

I was nicely attired in a white Indian tunic, red-white-and-blue prairie skirt, gold bangle bracelets and big gold hoops, subdued make-up (blush and a tiny bit of eyeliner)and my new sandals, very conservative flat ones. I might as well have been parading in a grass skirt and coconut shell brassiere, judging from the looks some of the shellacked-hair folks. I was asked if I was a Republican. I was asked if I was pro-life. I was condescended to and once rudely yelled at by males who looked old enough to be my father. Rudeness? I thought this was the hoi polloi.

Memo the the general public: most Ron Paul supporters are not whack jobs. They are an eclectic band of some of the sweetest people you ever met. I know RP supporters. RP supporters are honest, straight talkers who don't play politics as usual : they really want their Mr. Smith to go to Washington, via the big Casa Blanca. The few who are a bit strident do not raise an inner red flag often, for upon examination, they often have a very good reason for feeling strongly about it. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Over on the Democratic side, just listen to what Peggy Noonan has to say about Hillary:

But this I believe is the truth: America dodged a bullet. That was the other meaning of the culminating events of this week.
Mrs. Clinton would have been a disaster as president. Mr. Obama may prove a disaster, and John McCain may, but she would be. Mr. Obama may lie, and Mr. McCain may lie, but she would lie. And she would have brought the whole rattling caravan of Clintonism with her—the scandal-making that is compulsive, the drama that is unending, the sheer, daily madness that is her, and him.
We have been spared this. Those who did it deserve to be thanked. May I rise in a toast to the Democratic Party.
They had a great and roaring fight, a state-by-state struggle unprecedented in the history of presidential primaries. They created the truly national primary. They brought 36 million people to the polls, including the young, minorities and first-time voters. They brought a kind of dogged brio to the year.
All of this is impressive, but more than that, they threw off Clintonism. They threw off the idea that corruption is part of the game, an acceptable fact. They threw off the idea that dynasticism was an unstoppable dynamic in modern politics, that Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton could, would, go on forever. They said: "No, that is not the way we do it."


Be sure to read the whole thing, it's great.
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People have gone on and on about Ms. Clinton's "grit" and "true grit" ad nauseum. Her campaign has tried to forge a mental link between Hillary and the heroine of the last great John Wayne western True Grit, Mattie Ross. But that spunky kid was on her own, and came asking Rooster Cogburn for help by herself, and never whined, and never cowered, and never, never never played the "girlie" card. (You know, the one I mean. Waaaaah, I'm so frail waaaah, the boys are picking on me). Mrs. C has played the girlie card often. So bah! Good riddance to her and her ilk.
Some day we shall have our first woman president. And she will be wise, honest, compassionate, brilliant and reasonable. And she will have risen to the top on her own, not on the coattails of any man.