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, March 30, 2009

Melkite Divine Liturgy This Weekend

Dear Friends of the Melkite Mission of Lincoln NE,

The next Divine Liturgy for our community will be Palm Sunday at St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church, 3330 North 13th Street, Lincoln. It is customary to wave palm branches in procession around the outside of the Church before the Divine Liturgy, so remember to come early. There will also be a small gift 'shop' at the coffee social where you can purchase Eastern Christian books, CDs, artwork, and religous jewelry (at the present time it is cash only). And don't forget to visit our new site on the internet with a lot of new information intended to answer common questions about the Divine Liturgy.

The schedule for Palm Sunday is as follows:

4/5 Sunday

9:30 AM Morning Prayer

9:50 AM Outdoor procession with Palm Branches

10:00 AM Divine Liturgy followed by a potluck meal: In accordance with the Great Fast, please avoid bringing foods with eggs, dairy, meat, and fish (shellfish is ok).

Fr. Daniel will be available for Holy Confession during Morning Prayer. Please pass this message on to whomever you think might be interested.For more information call: (402) 797-3703 or visit http://melkitenebraska.blogspot.com/

Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord!

He is the King of Israel ~ He is the King of Kings!

Stepping Back From Impulse

Good advice. Step back from the irritable impulse.

From Spirit Daily.

QUOTE  Step back, for example, from first thoughts of feeling puffed up. Step back from first thoughts of superiority. Step back from first thoughts of aggravation. Step back from jealousy or it will bite you back.

How many times during a typical day are you inclined to be aggravated or at least mildly disturbed with something or somebody? Isn't that a constant temptation? There are many reasons for disliking people and it is a test of life because it's a test of love.

Yet, life is too short for even a moment of agitation.

Often you have heard us discuss the power of forgiveness -- and the detriment of holding a grudge.

To love we must first forgive. When you don't forgive -- when you give into the inclination to dislike (and even hate) a person -- you step into that person's darkness. UNQUOTE

nature Pictures, Images and Photos
art credit: wolfsongo

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hillary Visits Guadalupe...

*Sigh* Story from Catholic News Agency

The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was miraculously imprinted by Mary on the tilma, or cloak, of St. Juan Diego in 1531. The image has numerous unexplainable phenomena, such as the appearance on Mary’s eyes of those present in the room when the tilma was opened and the image’s lack of decay.
Mrs. Clinton was received on Thursday at 8:15 a.m. by the rector of the Basilica, Msgr. Diego Monroy.

Msgr. Monroy took Mrs. Clinton to the famous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which had been previously lowered from its usual altar for the occasion.
After observing it for a while, Mrs. Clinton asked “who painted it?” to which Msgr. Monroy responded “God!” Mrs. Clinton left a bouguet of white flowers
“on behalf of the American people” and for that I pray that Our Lady sends the grace of conversion to our Secretary of State.

(Don't look at me like that - Hey, if Tony Blair can become Catholic, so can Hillary!)
A very busy day, see you tomorrow.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Very Happy Birthday To Sally Gordon

photo credit-Omaha World Herald

Most of us who attain what active Nebraska State Legislature Sergeant-at-arms Sally Gordon attains today, a three-digit birthday, are settled into armchairs, nursing home beds, well into our dotage. For most humans with three-digit birthdays, the numinous veil to the great beyond is sheer and the body is uncooperative. For Sally Gordon, after her giant birthday party at the State Capitol, she'll go on and work all day, and then walk home the seven blocks to her urban apartment.

From the Lincoln Journal Star QUOTE At 100, Gordon, who was secretary to three governors, still works, still walks the seven blocks from her home to the Capitol in good weather, still wears the bountiful hats that are her hallmark, still looks forward to life’s next adventure.Twenty-six years ago she became the first female sergeant at arms, a member of the red-coated crew of six who keep order in the legislative chamber and public hearing rooms.Gordon has worked all her adult life because she thrives on work. When she was expecting her first baby, “they brought my desk and typewriter to my house.”“I’m a desperate housewife, but allergic to housework,” she’s fond of saying.Gordon, a widow since 1969, had four children (a daughter died in 2006). She has seven granddaughters and six great-grandchildren. UNQUOTE

From the Omaha World-Herald QUOTE Gordon was hired as the Legislature's first female sergeant-at-arms in 1983, after friends suggested she would be good at it. Her son, Jim Gordon, a Lincoln attorney, said his mother has the "Energizer Bunny factor.""She keeps going because she can. She has the attitude that because you're alive, you need to be doing something," he said.Sally Gordon, who also had three daughters, acknowledges that she has slowed down a bit. She no longer makes the crosstown walk to the Gateway Shopping Center, for one.

Senators are expected to pass a resolution in her honor Monday. A cake and coffee reception is scheduled Thursday morning for her birthday, followed by a gathering of family members next weekend. With a sunny smile that never seems to set, Gordon said she doesn't know when she might retire.

"I'll work as long as I do a good job," she said. UNQUOTE

Spiritual visionary Jonathan Zap calls aging "The diminishment of hotness" -

QUOTE Let’s say, for example, a man is lamenting, “Oh, I wish I was young again,” when a genie happens to be walking by. The genie immediately grants his wish and puts him into the body of a random fifteen-year-old. The problem is that around 87% of the fifteen-year-olds in our society are morbidly obese, and only when the wisher finds that they are locked into the body of an obese and pimply fifteen-year-old does he realize the deeper truth: what he really wanted was not merely youth; what he really wanted was to look hot. UNQUOTE Case in point, Galadriel, the elf queen of Lothlorien in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Those of us who have read the books, particularly the Simarillion, know that Galadriel is thousands of years old. But you don’t catch Galadriel having to say defensive things like, “I’m six thousand years young.” The reason should be obvious: Her attractivenes, her "hotness" if you will, is not in question, therefore her age doesn’t matter.

So, a very happy 100th birthday to the Galadriel of Nebraska, Sally Gordon! Many, happy returns of the day!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Legion of Mary Acies ~ 50 Years in Lincoln, Nebraska

The Legion of Mary was established in Ireland in 1921 and took root in the Lincoln Diocese in 1957, officially beginning in 1959. This lay apostolic group assists pastors in performing spiritual works in their parishes. Last night at St. Mary's Catholic Church in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska we celebrated the Extraordinary Form of Mass (Latin Rite) with the assistance of the priests and seminarians of the FSSP and laity from St. Francis Catholic Church (a FSSP Oratory) and took vows of total consecration to Our Lord Jesus Christ, through consecration to the Most Holy Mother of God. Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz presided and a reception followed. I believe I was the only Melkite member of the LOM present, and for my dear husband, who is Greek Orthodox, it was his first Latin Mass. A memorable evening!

In 2001, the Legion of Mary had 146 active members in twenty praesidia across the Diocese and 2,458 auxiliary members. Legion active members visit shut-ins, new-comers, lapsed Catholics, and Catholics in health care institutions, colleges, and correctional centers; assist with RCIA and CCD; maintain literature racks in church; and promote the rosary, Sacred Heart enthronement, Perpetual Adoration, and the Miraculous Medal. They seek union with Mary and imitate her humility and faithfulness in serving Christ.

Legion auxiliary members practice a disciple of a committed prayer life, praying for the Church and for the Legion of Mary.

Closing prayer from the Catena Leginois:

Confer, O Lord, on us, who serve beneath the standard of Mary, that fullness of faith in You and trust in her, to which it is given to conquer the world. Grant us a lively faith, animated by charity, which will enable us to perform all our actions from the motive of pure love of You, and ever to see You and serve You in our neighbor; a faith, firm and immovable as a rock, through which we shall rest tranquil and steadfast amid the crosses, toils and disappointments of life; a courageous faith which will inspire us to undertake and carry out without hesitation great things for your glory and for the salvation of souls; a faith which will be our Legion's Pillar of Fire - to lead us forth united - to kindle everywhere the fires of divine love - to enlighten those who are in darkness and in the shadow of death - to inflame those who are lukewarm - to bring back life to those who are dead in sin; and which will guide our own feet in the way of peace; so that - the battle of life over - our Legion may reassemble, without the loss of any one, in the kingdom of Your love and glory. Amen.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Tale of Two Libraries

library Pictures, Images and Photos
The Lincoln Library Board has voted to close Bethany Library (and South Branch Library, which has its own Facebook group). QUOTE...the Library Board action regarding Bethany and South Branch Library was in response to needing to craft a budget with a significant cut. UNQUOTE- Pat Leach, Director, Lincoln City Libraries, in an email to Deborah Yost dated 03/10/2009

Bethany and South Branch are the only libraries left in Lincoln that serve older neighborhoods and lower income families. We are questioning the "need" to trim the budget in this particular fashion. It's time for us to take action to save Bethany and South Branch Libraries! Organized we can put together a campaign to address this discrimination. Millions of our taxpayer dollars were funneled into the new libraries which are out of reach by bicycle and walking of most of Lincoln, while the neighborhood and accessible ones are up for closing. The neighbors helped build Bethany with bake sale money, for heaven's sake: NE Lincoln bake sales funded nearly 1/3 of the building costs. SAVE BETHANY LIBRARY! SAVE SOUTH BRANCH!

From The Lincoln Journal Star:HILARY KINDSCHUH / Lincoln Journal StarFriday, Feb 20, 2009 - 12:04:37 am CST
QUOTE Last year, Lincoln cut library hours to help balance its budget.
This year, the Library Board of Trustees again is discussing the possibility of closing the Bethany and South branch libraries. The library budget could be decreasing by around $675,000 this year, said Pat Leach, director of Lincoln City Libraries.Cuts made in previous years — including shorter hours — “make us have to look at more drastic measures,” she said.

The Bethany and South branches have fewer books and computers than larger branches, and the possibility of closing Bethany has come up before in budget discussions, Leach said.“Those two are smaller locations,” she said. “They’re valued and they are used, but they’re not able to offer the fuller range of service that the quadrant libraries do.”At a meeting this week, the board identified closing the two branches as a cost-cutting move. The board will meet Tuesday to finalize its budget proposal before submitting it to Mayor Chris Beutler’s office.

The mayor’s chief of staff, Rick Hoppe, stressed that the budgeting process is just beginning and officials are making “educated guesses” about what they may need to cut when the budget is adopted in August.Although the city’s financial situation is dire, “we’re nowhere near closing those (branches) at this point,” Hoppe said.

At least one member of the City Council will oppose closing any libraries.“I’ve fought for years to keep the neighborhood libraries open,” said Councilman Jonathan Cook.“There have been budget cuts in the past and there was a lot of community feedback saying these libraries were very important to neighborhoods, and in the past we chose not to make cuts.” UNQUOTE

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A White House Organic Veggie Garden!

John Adams is smiling broadly from the great beyond, as is Jefferson. How sweet is this? The First Family is planting a veggie garden! Cilantro, tomatillos and hot peppers. Lettuces will include red romaine, green oak leaf, butterhead, red leaf and galactic. Spinach, chard, collards and black kale. A patch of berries. And herbs for seasoning. A White House carpenter, who is also a beekeeper, will tend two hives for honey. What fun!

QUOTE Twenty-three fifth graders from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington will help her dig up the soil for the 1,100-square-foot plot, in a spot visible to passers-by on E Street. (It is just below the Obama girls’ swing set.)
Students from the school, which has had a garden since 2001, will also help plant, harvest and cook the vegetables, berries and herbs. Virtually the entire Obama family, including the president, will pull weeds, “whether they like it or not,” Mrs. Obama said with a laugh. “Now Grandma, my mom, I don’t know.” Her mother, she said, will probably sit back and say: “Isn’t that lovely. You missed a spot.”

Whether there would be a White House garden had become more than a matter of landscaping. The question had taken on political and environmental symbolism, with the Obamas lobbied for months by advocates who believe that growing more food locally, and organically, can lead to more healthful eating and reduce reliance on huge industrial farms that use more oil for transportation and chemicals for fertilizer.

Then, too, promoting healthful eating has become an important part of Mrs. Obama’s own agenda. UNQUOTE


Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the full light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - the light that guides your way. ~ Heraclitus

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy 1st Day of Spring ~ Find a CSA Near You!

The best organic food is what's grown closest to you. Use Local Harvest's website to find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies. (USA)

People worldwide are rediscovering the benefits of buying local food. It is fresher than anything in the supermarket and that means it is tastier and more nutritious. It is also good for your local economy--buying directly from family farmers helps them stay in business.

A Delicious Dish of Fishy Fish

fish Pictures, Images and Photos
A sparkling oasis of Catholic wisdom, doctrine, culture and traditions (both big T and little t), Fish Eaters is the web site where I first and best was catechized, and I am totally serious. My RCIA class and counselling with various priests as I came into union with Rome a couple of years ago pales in comparison with the deep font of doctrine and devotion which resides at "the fish pond". Check it out.

Not Catholic? No worries, there's an entire section over there just for you! Let me know how you like it.

Catholic Doomer Blog!

Dust off your tinfoil hats, lad and lassies, there's a fine new Catholic doomer blog in town. Laramie Hirsch over at his brand new Hirsch Files blog takes an unflinching look at postmodern culture's flight to atheism, nihilism and other beliefs as an alternative to the bracing truths of a Catholic worldview.

His blog is a yang to the yin of this one, and I am linking up so readers may easily pursue their consideration of preps for the coming peak oil and postmodern culture shifts along with other like-minded individuals.

QUOTE I'm alluding to how a survivor of this secular storm should have no fears of relocating. No fears of dropping everything they have to run. No fear of leaving your comfort zone. So long as your family and values remain intact, you will win. The key is to remain liquid. No bedding down and planning on having a multi-generational vegetable garden for you and your grandchildren. No more loyalties to region or a city. No more thinking--I got my property and my circle, and I'll be fine. Remember, the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph even had to flee Nazareth for a while when Herod was plotting to kill Christ. That action is a great example of a family's survival. UNQUOTE

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Feast Day Of St. Joseph

CNA The Holy Father points to St. Joseph as an example of fatherly sacrifice

QUOTE Calling the consecrated life "a radical imitation of Christ," Benedict XVI expressed his gratitude to the consecrated persons and those "in ecclesial movements" by describing their lives as "significant and indispensable for the life of the Church." He further encouraged them to also look to Saint Joseph who teaches "it is possible to love without possessing" and reminded them to continue to be attentive and "reveal the loving face of God to the poor" and through all the works that they perform. UNQUOTE

IL Papa Asks Clergy To "Smarten Up"

Everybody's crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed man...

ANSA - Vatican City, March 17 - QUOTE Priests are under pressure to smarten up their wardrobes after Pope Benedict XVI made an apparent dig at members of the clergy who have been dressing rather too casually.

Declaring a 'year of the priest' that will begin on June 19 in a bid to encourage ''spiritual perfection'' among clerics, the pope stressed that priests should be ''present, identifiable and recognisable for their faith, their personal virtues and their attire''.

According to Naples-based ecclesiastical outfitters Mastranzo, the pontiff has a point.

''Around 30% of priests dress in a (casual) scruffy manner and don't even pay attention to the colour of their clothes,'' a spokesman told Italian daily La Repubblica.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day 2009

Over a half million throng the streets of Dublin for the annual Saint Patrick's Day parade...

A wee bit o' the old blarney concerning our Irish American President, Barack O'Bama (aye, and surely ye've heard of the black Irish?) - from the LA Times...

Gerry Adams: Defend the peace. There is no going back...
QUOTE The political institutions, the Peace Process and Sinn Féin are as much a target of the perpetrators of Saturday night’s attack as those they killed or injured. That is why they have to be resisted – politically; democratically; peacefully. UNQUOTE
Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein party of Eire, March 12, 2009

For the great Gaels of Ireland
Are the race that God made mad.
For all their wars are merry
And all their songs are sad
- G.K. Chesterton

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Everybody!

: Pictures, Images and Photos

St. Patricks Day Parade Pictures, Images and Photos

Saint Padraig, Apostle & Enlightener of Ireland

St. Pádraig (Patrick), one of the earliest Christian missionary saints, was born into a noble Roman family from Gaul (France) or Britain in 387 AD. When Pádraig was 16, he was carried off by Irish marauders and sold into slavery. He was made a shepherd, and toiled for six years for an Irish chieftain. Prompted by an angel, Pádraig fled to Gaul and put himself under the spiritual direction of St. Germanus of Auxerre. He prayed and studied and struggled, and after almost 20 years was given a vision of Irish children calling to him: "O holy youth, come back to Erin, and walk once more among us."

The Bishop of Rome, Celestine I, directed St. Pádraig to teach the people of Ireland the way of Christ and bring them into the Church. St. Pádraig and his companions arrived in Ireland in 433 AD, during the summer, and were immediately persecuted by the Druids (Celtic priests).

St. Pádraig did spiritual battle with the Arch-Druid Lochru for the souls of the Irish people. Using a great display of sorcery, Lochru raised himself high in the air to awe the people. St. Patrick fell to his knees in prayer at this sight, and Lochru fell to his death - stripped of his demonic power by God.

Through his God-given gift to powerfully preach the Gospel and his wonder-working, St. Pádraig brought thousands into the fold of the True Faith, starting the demise of paganism on the Emerald Isle.

St. Pádraig returned to the Lord on March 17, 493 AD, after receiving Holy Unction. He laid in state for several days before burial, with a heavenly light surrounding his body.

And what about the Shamrock?

The leaf of the yellow-flowered clover so common in Ireland was used by St. Pádraig to teach the catholic orthodox doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity: one stem (God) with three leaves (Persons). He is often depicted holding up a shamrock between his thumb and first finger in icons.

"St. Pádraig, Apostle and Enlightener of Ireland" was adapted from 'The Real Saint Patrick, Bishop of Ireland', http://www.geocities.com/Athens/3374
Beannachtai na Feile Padraig / Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patricks Day! Pictures, Images and Photos

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Best Little Country in the World

Hill of Tara Makes Smithsonian's Endangered List

If one needed any proof of the chaotic overwhelming, blindly malign power of modern frenzied petroleum-powered society, one need go no further than the insane plans of the normally sensible Irish to turn Tara, the ancient hall of Irish kings, into a highway, the M3 motorway.

"The harp that once through Tara's halls

The soul of music shed

Now hangs as mute on Tara's walls

As if that soul were fled."

- 19th-century Irish poet Thomas Moore

From the Irish Times

QUOTE One of the most respected educational and research institutes in the United States, Smithsonian, has listed the Hill of Tara among the 15 must-see endangered cultural treasures in the world.

The Co Meath site, which was the ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland, has been the subject of controversy with the nearby construction of the M3 road. Campaigners say the road will cut through one of Ireland’s most important historical sites, but the National Roads Authority says the new motorway will be further away from the hill than the existing route.

The motorway is scheduled to be finished in the middle of next year, but may be completed before that.

In its March edition of its magazine, Smithsonian says “the only music you're likely to hear around Tara nowadays is the clang of construction equipment”. The magazine is dominated by “14 other precious historic and artistic sites” around the world which it says “can be visited today, but might be gone tomorrow”.
“Each testifies to our urge to build and create; each reminds us of how much we stand to lose,” the magazine says.

Other sites include the reputed birthplace of Jesus Christ, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Chan Chan in Peru which was the largest city in the Americas about 600 years ago, and the crumbling iconic Route 66 which starts in Chicago and passes through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona before ending in Los Angeles.
Vincent Salafia, campaigner with the TaraWatch group, urged the Government to take the Smithsonian’s advice.


Colcannon For St. Pat's

We make it (due to Lent) without bacon, we use the soy-based "schmeat" fakin' bacon stuff, which works just fine.

Beef and Guinness Stew

The countdown to Saint Patrick's day continues!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Countdown to Saint Pat's ~ Enter the Haggis

We caught the lads at the KC Irish Fest a couple of years ago and became instant fans. When they come to a theater near you, drop everything and go!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Countdown to St. Pat's ~

shamrock Pictures, Images and Photos
What happens when rock meets Celtic? You are about to find out. Tempest.

On a Personal Note...

While I usually avoid personal diary-style blogging ("today I went to the seed store, today I took the dog to the vet" ad nauseum) I'm making an exception so my readers know that the times they are indeed a changin'.

Charles lost his job last week, Rogers Jewelry Co. (owned by Gitanjali Gems)decided it would be a great idea if their jewelry stores had NO actual jewellers, just salespeople. So they fired ALL the jewellers, except a very few in the big cities. *sigh*

Feckin' brilliant, say wot?? NO original design can be executed, nor repairs made on site, just factory schlock and mail-away repairs that take weeks or months to get back from the big city sweatshops... That ought to bring the quality customers flocking in! Indeed.

Yes, I'm bitter.....the bloody idiots. There is a certain perverse satisfaction in knowing that they have eliminated the position which guarantees their steady supply of well-to-do clientele. Since the company did this in a true top-drawer fashion, classy to the end, they gave the goldsmiths NO notice. None. I mean, my husband was Goldsmith of the Year in 2007 for the entire Rogers Jewelers company nationwide. He's been an active member of NESD Jewelers Association for 20+ years and has served on their board several times. He is a JA certified Senior Bench Jeweler/Goldsmith (CSBJ).

I'm not calling for a boycott or anything, but if anybody out there feels inspired to avoid all Rogers and Samuel's Jewellers because of their abusive management protocols, that is just fine with me.

Rant over.

The Lincoln Journal Star Business section April 2008
QUOTE Charles Yost was recently named the "Craftsman of the Year" at the Rogers Jewelers annual awards banquet in Cincinnati, Ohio.The award was given for being the top producing bench jeweler in the Rogers Jewelers chain for 2007. Yost has a wide variety of bench jeweler experience over the past 36 years and is a certified Senior Bench Jeweler by the Jewelers of America. He has been with Rogers Jewelers at Westfield Gateway for two years.Rogers Jewelers is a full-service jewelery store offering on-site repairs and custom designs. The Rogers chain is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and has retail stores throughout the central United States. UNQUOTE

Monday, March 9, 2009

Frank Schaeffer Hits the Bullseye on CNN

March 9, 2009 on CNN's D.L. Hughley Breaks the News. I've always said that the Christians would eventually pay for their stupidity of letting themselves get linked up with the neo-cons. What a great show. Slam dunk. I am a middle aged white woman
who registered "Repug-lican" to vote for Ron Paul in the Presidential primary last year: memo to self, get back in the Independent column! The stigma of being a Republican is very real. Excellent stuff here.

Excerpt ~ QUOTE
You Republicans are the arsonists who burned down our national home. You combined the failed ideologies of the Religious Right, so-called free market deregulation and the Neoconservative love of war to light a fire that has consumed America. Now you have the nerve to criticize the "architect" America just hired -- President Obama -- to rebuild from the ashes. You do nothing constructive, just try to hinder the one person willing and able to fix the mess you created.

I used to be one of you. As recently as 2000 I worked to get Senator McCain elected in that year's primary. (McCain and Gen. Tommy Franks wrote glowing endorsements regarding my book about military service, AWOL.). I have a file of handwritten thank you notes from Presidents Ford, Reagan, Bush I and II. In the 1970s and early 80s I hung out with Jack Kemp and bought into his "supply side" myth and even wrote a book he endorsed pushing his ideas.) There's more, but take it from me; my parents (evangelical leaders Francis and Edith Schaeffer) and I were about as tight with -- and useful to -- the Republican Party as anyone. We played a big part creating the Religious Right.

In the mid 1980s I left the Religious Right, after I realized just how very anti-American they are, (the theme I explore in my book Crazy For God). They wanted America to fail in order to prove they were right about America's "moral decline." Soon after McCain lost in 2000 I re-registered as an independent in disgust with W. Bush. But I still respected many Republicans. Not today.

How can anyone who loves our country support the Republicans now? Barry Goldwater, William F. Buckley and Ronald Reagan defined the modern conservatism that used to be what the Republican Party I belonged to was about. Today no actual conservative can be a Republican. Reagan would despise today's wholly negative Republican Party. And can you picture the gentlemanly and always polite Ronald Reagan, endorsing a radio hate-jock slob who crudely mocked a man with Parkinson's and who now says he wants an American president to fail?!

With people like Limbaugh as the loudmouth image of the Republican Party -- you need no enemies. But something far more serious has happened than an image problem: the Republican Party has become the party of obstruction at just the time when all Americans should be pulling together for the good of our country. Instead, Republicans are today's fifth column sabotaging American renewal.

President Obama has been in office barely 45 days and the Republican Party has the nerve to blame him for the economic and military cataclysm he inherited. I say economic and military cataclysm because without the needless war in Iraq you all backed we would not be in the economic mess we're in today. If that money had been spent here at home on renovating our infrastructure, taking us toward a green economy, putting our health-care system in order we'd be a very different situation.

As the father of a Marine who served in George W. Bush's misbegotten wars let me say this: if President Obama's strategy to repair our economy, infrastructure and healthcare fails that will put our troops at far greater risk because the world will become a far more dangerous place. So for all you flag-waving Republicans who are trying to undermine the President at home -- if you succeed more of our troops will be killed abroad.

When your new leader Rush Limbaugh calls for President Obama to fail he's calling for more flag-draped coffins. Limbaugh is the new "Hanoi Jane."

For the party that created our crisis's of misbegotten war, mismanaged economy, the lack of regulation of our banking industry, handing our country to rich crooks... to obstruct the one person who is trying to repair the damage is obscene.

Just imagine where America would be today if the 14 to 20 million voters -- "the rube base" who slavishly follow the likes of Limbaugh -- had not voted as a block year after year thus empowering the Republican fiasco. We would have a regulated banking industry and would have avoided our current financial crisis; some 4000 of our killed military men and women would be alive; over to 35,000 wounded Americans would be whole; we would have been leaders in the environmental movement; we would be in the middle of a green technology boom fueling a huge expansion of our economy and stopping our dependence on foreign oil, and our health-care system would be reformed.

After Obama was elected, you Republican leaders had a unique last chance to send a patriotic message of unity to the world -- and to all Americans. You could have backed our president's economic recovery plan. Since we all know that half of our problem is one of lost confidence and perception, nothing would have done more to calm the markets and project resolve and confidence than if you had been big enough to take Obama's offered hand and had work with him -- even if you disagreed ideologically. You had the chance to put our country first. You utterly failed to rise to the occasion.

The worsening economic situation is your fault and your fault alone. The Republicans created this mess through 8 years of backing the worst president in our history and now, because you put partisan ideology ahead of the good of our country, you have blown your last chance to redeem yourselves. You deserve the banishment to the political wilderness that awaits all traitors.

Countdown to Saint Pat's ~ A Denver Pub

My heart's in the highlands....enjoy!

Intuitively Obvious To the Most Casual Observer

Is what I think of this. About time somebody articulated it so well.
From antiwar.com comes
You Can't Be a Christian and Tolerate Torture
by Thomas R. Eddlem

Excerpt: QUOTE Our Founding Fathers and laws state otherwise. Moreover, the principles of Christianity the faithful claim to uphold also say the opposite. Do they really think it's okay to occasionally torture an innocent detainee in order to save thousands? Occasionally, I do get a virtual "yes" to that question; it goes something like this: "I think it's unfortunate if an innocent person is detained, but that's the price we have to pay in the modern world for our safety.

Yes, torturing one to save thousands is the tough choice we have to make."
Ironically, Pontius Pilate might also have reasoned that he would save thousands who would have otherwise died in a violent rebellion by crucifying one innocent. Whenever I mention this, I always hear the following response:

"You are really stretching things if you are comparing these scum-bag terrorists to Jesus Christ."
And finally we've cut to the quick of why a Christian can't possibly support torture. A Christian is required to believe that Christ is in our fellow man, especially including the prisoner. Recall the words of Matthew 25:34-46:
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'
"And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'
"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.'
"Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?'
"He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.'
"And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

If they really believe Christ is not in the prisoner, then they don't believe the words of Christ himself. If self-professed Christians really believe it's "suicide" to honor the Christ in the prisoner, can they really be believers? If they think that the Christian worldview is impractical, isn't that a clear example of lack of faith? UNQUOTE

Save the Libraries

Regular readers might wonder where I've been over the weekend. Inquiring minds want to know... :D
All my computer time has gone into a new Facebook group to try and help save two inner city libraries which are slated to fall under the ax with upcoming City of Lincoln, NE budget cuts. Nooooooo! Read up on it here and here.

Save Bethany Library! Save South Branch Library!

books Pictures, Images and Photos

Friday, March 6, 2009

Watch With Me One Hour

The Son of God was left alone in his suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane. He wanted his closest friends to simply be with him, to help him pray and make it through the darkest hour. They let him down, giving in to their sleepiness rather than staying alert to suffer with Jesus.

"Could you not watch one hour with me?" (Matthew 26:40)

The only remedy for spiritual torpor is prayer, fasting and almsgiving. This is not just vocal prayer, although vocal prayer is important. This is not just physical fasting, although that also is important. It is not just tossing an extra tenner in the collection plate, although that never hurt anybody.

But the prayer , fasting and almsgiving which can heal our soul must involve a communion of hearts,just as a good marriage must involve more than just words.
Olive Tree Pictures, Images and Photos

From the Catholic Exchange.

QUOTE Sharing another’s suffering is one of the most intimate things we can do. It is easy to be with another in their joy. It is a much harder task to be with someone as they cry out in pain or misery or suffer in silence as their spirit is ripped to shreds and they feel that the light will never come out again. So often, when we see someone else in pain, we want to fix things. We want to make the pain go away. Sometimes, we can. Other times, we have nothing to offer but our presence. It is important to realize how much a gift that can be.

Christ suffers in solidarity with every soul, and we can suffer in solidarity with Him. We are never alone, though we may feel forsaken. Christ shows us that He is one with us in our sorrow and pain, no matter how alone we feel. We are all wounded, broken, suffering in some way, and even the pain we bring upon ourselves, He shares. He MUST share, because love is revealed fully when we share another’s suffering.

We cannot eliminate suffering in this life; there are times when we can partially alleviate another’s suffering, but our proper response to suffering is to simply be with, be for, the suffering person. The answer to suffering is always an experience of grace and unconditional acceptance. The answer to suffering is love - - Kathryn Mulderink, His Suffering and Ours. UNQUOTE

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Countdown to St. Pat's ~ The Irish Rover

More glorious tipsy pub songs. Hooley down,lads.

Friendly Americans No More

Oh for heaven's sake, this is absolutely ridiculous. These nominally American border guards who pepper-sprayed a Canadian who asked them to "say please" before complying with their request to turn his car off during a search should have murmured "Please" and gone about their business. The eagerness of the U.S. "Homeland Security" border guards, TSA and police to emulate jackbooted brownshirts of the world's most unfortunate recent history is revolting to see.

It puzzles me as to why the borderistas would seem to prefer being like stalwarts of the Soviet gulag or Nazi Germany than friendly Americans. It stymies me, boggles the mind and is otherwise utterly inexplicable. What on earth, one wonders, is wrong with being a friendly American?

It oftens appears that the divide is not so much between right and left, East and West or Arab and American, but rather between the mannered and the unmannered, the civil and the churlish, the chivalrous and the impudent bully.

How very sad that the American character would stoop to this.

QUOTE He said he was questioned by a border officer who demanded he turn off his car and, when asked to make the request more politely, threatened to spray him with his pepper gun if he did not comply.
"I just felt I should stand my ground about it. I should not be treated like that. No matter what kind of position you are in, if you want respect you have to show respect," he said yesterday. "I asked him three times and when I didn't turn the car off, because he didn't say please, he pepper sprayed me.... It was terrible. For half an hour or so I couldn't see anything."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New Papal Message On Unity With the Orthodox

A topic near and dear to my heart.

"This Beautiful Church Awakens in Us the Nostalgia for Full Unity"VATICAN CITY, MARCH 2, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the message Benedict XVI sent to a ceremony Sunday in which the president of Italy turned over the keys to a Russian Orthodox church in southern Italy to the president of Russia.
The Holy Father was represented at the ceremony by Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, retired archbishop of Palermo, Italy, who read the message on the Pope's behalf.

The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, who has asked me to represent him in this significant ceremony, sends his cordial greetings to the religious and civil authorities and to all those present, in particular to the president of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, to the president of the Russian Federation, Dmitriy Medvedev, to the ministers, to His Excellency Mark, "ad interim" president of the Department of External Church Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate, and to the most excellent Monsignor Francesco Cacucci, pastor of this particular Church. He wants to renew, above all, his fervent best wishes to the patriarch of Moscow and of All Russia, His Holiness Kirill I, asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten his demanding ministry.
The Pope is pleased at the fact that this building responds, here in Bari, to the devotion of the Russian Orthodox to St. Nicholas. The Russian people has never faltered in its love for this great saint, who has always supported it in moments of joy and in difficulties. This is witnessed also by this Russian Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas, built at the beginnings of the past century, to welcome the pilgrims who, in particular in their trips to the Holy Land, made a stop in Bari, a point of encounter between East and West, to venerate the relics of the saint. How could we not recognize that this beautiful church awakens in us the nostalgia for full unity and maintains alive in us the commitment to work for union among all the disciples of Christ?
In truth, the history of Bari and of this region is marked in a profound way by the presence of the Eastern world, and ecumenical sensitivity is one of the characteristic traits of the populations of Apulia. Precisely because of this, the Holy Father Benedict XVI hopes that this ceremony too will contribute so that Bari continues being, as Pope John Paul II of happy memory said, a "natural bridge to the East," offering its precious contribution to the path toward full communion among Christians.
With these sentiments, invoking the intercession of the Mother of God and of St. Nicholas, the Pope renews his greetings to those present and sends them his blessing through my own. UNQUOTE
[Translation by ZENIT]

Countdown to St. Pat's ~ Come Out You Black & Tans

One of my favorite songs of the Irish war for independence, and a great crowd pleaser at pubs.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Countdown to St. Pat's ~ The Cliffs Of Dooneen

In most Irish pubs the only bit that is clear is "the cliffs of Dooneen", so the next time you hear it, whether in Boston or Kansas City or Dublin or Shannon, it will likely sound more like "Na nan na da na le la cliffs of Dooneeen"

AIG's Lawless Spree Continues

It's apparent to me more everyday that the reason the government doesn't do anything to these criminals in the banking/finance/insurance industry is because they are inherently part of it. Prosecuting anyone would be prosecuting themselves. They are as much of the problem as AIG are. Holy mackinolee, the more I read about this the more astounded I get.

Feck off, AIG, you're nothing but a fecking fecker.

The Market Ticker Unbelieveable. QUOTE "AIG will also give the U.S. Federal Reserve a preferred interest in its American Life Insurance Co (Alico), which generates more than half of its revenue from Japan, and Hong Kong-based life insurance group American International Assurance Co (AIA) in return for reducing its debt, they said."

The Federal Reserve does not have the legal authority to take ownership stakes in anything.

This is what we get for not raising unholy hell when Bear Stearns' "Maiden Lane" was put in place, or when AIG's CDOs and CDS were taken by The Fed.

Now we're rising to open and flagrant flouting of the law.

The Fed, for those who are uninformed, is empowered to loan (under unusual and exigent circumstances) anyone money against collateral.

However, they are not empowered to own anything except debt instruments backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Federal Government.

That they would take an equity stake in a firm based in Hong Kong is beyond outrageous.
Listen lots, speak little except to ask questions, work hard, slow your clock down, see every day as a meditation. Remember how little you know. Be humble, not just in the eyes of your mentors, but before the land.--The Black Hunter, on LATOC, February 9, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Countdown to St. Patrick's Day ~ I'll Tell Me Ma

As you lustily sing along with this song, the first in TRT's big song run-up to St. Pat's, it may occur to you to ask "How the heck can anybody wear bells on their toes?" Must be the Prot influence up in Belfast, eh wot?

Forgiveness Sunday

QUOTE In the Orthodox Church, the last Sunday before Great Lent – the day on which, at Vespers, Lent is liturgically announced and inaugurated – is called Forgiveness Sunday. On the morning of that Sunday, at the Divine Liturgy, we hear the words of Christ:

"If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses..." (Mark 6:14-15)

Then after Vespers – after hearing the announcement of Lent in the Great Prokeimenon: "Turn not away Thy face from Thy child for I am afflicted! Hear me speedily! Draw near unto my soul and deliver it!", after making our entrance into Lenten worship, with its special memories, with the prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian, with its prostrations – we ask forgiveness from each other, we perform the rite of forgiveness and reconciliation. And as we approach each other with words of reconciliation, the choir intones the Paschal hymns, filling the church with the anticipation of Paschal joy. UNQUOTE
- Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann

In vain do you rejoice in no eating, O soul!
For you abstain from food,
But from passions you are not purified.
If you persevere in sin, you will perform a useless fast.
- Lenten Hymn