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

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kansas Abortion Provider Killed In Church

From Yahoo News
QUOTE WICHITA, Kan. – Dr. George Tiller, one of the nation's few providers of late-term abortions despite decades of protests and attacks, was shot and killed Sunday in a church where he was serving as an usher. UNQUOTE

Now, I am no friend of the "abortion for any reason, any time" mentality. I consider myself to be the most pro-choice of pro-lifers, and the most pro-life of the pro-choicers. I can get into a verbal sparring match with both sides with equal enthusiasm. It isn't a black-and-white issue, it is an issue with many many shades of grey in between, with nuance and condition and situation all weighing in.

But it really isn't anyone's business but mine and my spiritual director's, now is it? It has always been patently evident to me, intuitively obvious to the most casual observer, as Father Paul Brown used to say "back in the day", that a person of ethics and morals, whether Christian or something else, is basically to be anti-war, anti-death penalty, pro-life and basically oriented towards an approach which values kindness and respect of others above all.

I simply cannot imagine a mindset which can justify murder. I also cannot fathom a mindset which would pronounce, as has Randall Terry, that he is more concerned with Obama's reaction than with Tiller's murder. In his comments, Terry does not grieve for Tiller or denounce the murder but seems more concerned about President Obama's reaction and what it bodes for the pro-life movement.

A dark day for America, and a very black day for the pro-life movement.

As far as use of force goes, say I was a psycho criminal, as I see it you'd have to wait until I was about to commit the act, and you have to believe there is no other recourse. Just because you believe someone is going to kill doesn't mean you can use lethal force. Plus the force used at the very moment of intercession to prevent whatever crime, should be as minmal as possible. Legal injunctions, lawsuits, even a sit-in or a occupation of the offices. Nonviolent civil protest.

Further, this will not go to any greater good. Another doctor will graduate from medical school and take his place. Twenty will take his place. The way to end abortion is through love, prayers, conversion of hearts, and gently changing people's worldview.

saint francis Pictures, Images and Photos
"In a Catholic worldview, every person is a child of God, and has an inherent value before Christ, and that includes ourselves. We should strive to see that - as well as Christ - in everyone. And animal and plant life, while we have dominion over it, are to be treated with respect and not used and thrown away. If people had this worldview, at least partially even if they were not Catholic, they would value life as sacred and abortion as evil would necessarily follow. St. Francis of Assisi is a great example of what type of worldview will change all of this."
- Quis Ut Deus, May 31,2009

Whoever murdered Dr. Tiller, and whatever the reason they had for murdering him might be, they are NOT pro-life. His killer is pro-death. They took into their own hands who would live and who would die. Catholics are not to do this.

I offer my heartfelt condolences to Dr. Tiller's family and friends, and I pray for his immortal soul as well as the soul of his slayer. May God have mercy on us all.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

What Is So Rare?

This day in May is as nearly perfect as weather can be, here in the sunkissed heartland of Turtle Island. Ahh.

Bask like an emerald lizard amongst the ivy on a granite wall.

The Vision of Sir Launfal is an impressively lengthy poem that tells the story of an Arthurian knight’s search for the Holy Grail. This is but an excerpt. By James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

Earth gets its price for what Earth gives us;

The beggar is taxed for a corner to die in,

The priest hath his fee who comes and shrives us,

We bargain for the graves we lie in;

At the Devil’s booth are all things sold

Each ounce of dross costs its ounce of gold;

For a cap and bells our lives we pay,

Bubbles we earn with a whole soul’s tasking:

‘T is heaven alone that is given away,

‘T is only God may be had for the asking;

There is no price set on the lavish summer,

And June may be had by the poorest comer.

And what is so rare as a day in June?

Then, if ever, come perfect days;

Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,

And over it softly her warm ear lays:

Whether we look, or whether we listen,

We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;

Every clod feels a stir of might,

An instinct within it that reaches and towers,

And, grasping blindly above it for light,

Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;

The flush of life may well be seen

Thrilling back over hills and valleys;

The cowslip startles in meadows green,

The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,

And there ’s never a leaf or a blade too mean

To be some happy creature’s palace;

The little bird sits at his door in the sun,

Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,

And lets his illumined being o’errun

With the deluge of summer it receives;

His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,

And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;

He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ron Paul on Holding the Torturers Accountable

Just because some of his fans are wing nut fruit-loops doesn't mean the good doctor is one. And remember, in a neurotic culture the people who have the presence of mind to protest always look "crazy" - that is, until one sees their point. Then they look like prophets.

From AntiWar.com by Dr. Ron Paul
Hold the Torturers Accountable
Or else we'll all be held accountable

QUOTE The government’s own actions and operations in torturing people, and in acting on illegally obtained and unreliable information to kill and capture, are the most radicalizing forces at work today, not any religion, nor the fact that we are rich and free. The fact that our government engages in evil behavior under the auspices of the American people is what poses the greatest threat to the American people, and it must not be allowed to stand. UNQUOTE

Ron Paul Pictures, Images and Photos

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Flowers Of the Forest...

Willie McBride (also known as No Man's Land and The Green Fields of France)
Performed by The Dropkick Murphys
[Originally by Eric Bogle]

Oh how do you do, young Willy McBride
Do you mind if I sit here down by your graveside
And rest for a while in the warm summer sun
I've been walking all day, and I'm nearly done
And I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen
When you joined the great falling in 1916
Well I hope you died quick
And I hope you died clean
Or Willy McBride, was is it slow and obscene

Did they beat the drums slowly
Did they play the fife lowly
Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down
Did the band play the last post and chorus
Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest

And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind
In some loyal heart is your memory enshrined
And though you died back in 1916
To that loyal heart you're forever nineteen
Or are you a stranger without even a name
Forever enshrined behind some old glass pane
In an old photograph torn, tattered, and stained
And faded to yellow in a brown leather frame

Did they beat the drums slowly
Did they play the fife lowly
Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down
Did the band play the last post and chorus
Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest

The sun shining down on these green fields of France
The warm wind blows gently and the red poppies dance
The trenches have vanished long under the plow
No gas, no barbed wire, no guns firing now
But here in this graveyard that's still no mans land
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man
And a whole generation were butchered and damned

Did they beat the drums slowly
Did they play the fife lowly
Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down
Did the band play the last post and chorus
Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest

And I can't help but wonder oh Willy McBride
Do all those who lie here know why they died
Did you really believe them when they told you the cause
Did you really believe that this war would end wars
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame
The killing and dying it was all done in vain
Oh Willy McBride it all happened again
And again, and again, and again, and again

Did they beat the drums slowly
Did they play the fife lowly
Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down
Did the band play the last post and chorus
Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I Love the Governator!

A day after talking about waterboarding on ABC’s The View, Jesse Ventura took his case for prosecuting torture to Fox News. “You are worried about [the terrorists’] welfare,” accused Fox’s Brian Kilmeade.
“No. I’m not worried about their welfare. I’m worried about what our country stands for,” Ventura responded.
This video is from Fox’s Fox & Friends, broadcast May 19, 2009

You preach it, brother!!! Yay Jesse!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Perfect Day

Believe me when I say that the weather here is utterly perfect this morning. The birds are singing and industriously feeding their highly vocal youngsters, the sun is shining through clear, fragrant air. The neighbor's old dog is smiling nonstop, as though she knows a deep secret to the attainment of bliss, although she is somewhat shamefully chained up in her owner's yard. (They have a fence which was taken down a year ago for some construction work, which is inexplicably still piled up next to the house.)

I am making a chicken oregano pasta for lunch and thinking about the Havelock Farmer's Market tomorrow afternoon, and about how much more satifying it is to shop face-to-face with the people who grow/make one's foods. Viva farmer's markets! Viva "Buy Fresh, Buy Local"! Viva Slow Food!

Lincoln, Nebraska Farmer's Markets

Italy, Farmer's Market

Monday, May 18, 2009

Taki's Take on Things

Bernie Madoff Pictures, Images and Photos
Taki on Madoff, Dubya and more...I love the gregarious golden Greek mainly because he comes up with sentences like the following...
"There is more greed in Wall Street than there are Holocaust deniers in Riyadh, but Daphne sort of forgot to mention her burly slob of a brother. Almost, that is. In one sentence which I shall always treasure she wrote, “A sibling of mine had business dealings with Madoff.” Which, a reader replied, was the equivalent of Milton Eisenhower saying he had a brother who participated in the Second World War."
Go read it all.
Throw the Bums Out by Taki Theodoracopulos

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Music Revealed ~ Take Two ~ Lights, Camera, Action!

Many thanks to Stanford "Gabe" Espedal for his fascinating post on the NPR story on the music of the Bible revealed. I have received some complaints that the viewer was too big and the right side was cut off: Here is a view which should be accessible to all. Let me know if you can't see all of this one either, and I'll try and fix it.

Bush/Cheney Should Be Held Accountable

"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them. "
- George Orwell

"If patriotism is "the last refuge of a scoundrel," it is not merely because evil deeds may be performed in the name of patriotism, but because patriotic fervor can obliterate moral distinctions altogether."
- Ralph B. Perry

From CNN's Paul Begala via the Huffington Post, the best on the subject yet.

Mr. Cheney, You Did Not Keep Us Safe

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Music of the Bible Revealed

In my first year of Hebrew studies (1976 - 77) I learned that there are markings in the text which have nothing to do with the ancient consonantal text, or the more recent vowel marks. We were told that these "accent marks" were thought to be musical notations, but no one really knew how they would have sounded.

Yet it was in 1976 that musicologist Suzanne Haik-Vantoura broke the code and deciphered these notations after many years of research.

For those who have never heard how ancient biblical music was sung, this will be, well, a revelation!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Reluctant Pope

I wish Il Papa all the luck in the world in erasing the cruel indignity of the hootenanny Mass. How this was ever seen as an acceptable replacement for classic music and hymnography I will never understand if I live to be 110.

From The Telegraph (UK)

QUOTE At the heart of Benedict’s papacy is the belief that Catholics must worship God properly. He wants to heal the wounds caused by the liberals’ cruel repudiation of beautiful Latin services. In 2007 he dramatically removed all the restrictions on the celebration of the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass. Old and new worship should live side by side, enriching each other, he believes. UNQUOTE

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 13 Saint Of the Day

Dame Julian of Norwich, one of my long-time favorites. With a spiritual view both which is Catholic and Orthodox, while remaining uniquely female, her theology of love is one of the true classics of the Western Church. Lady Julian, pray for us.

QUOTE As part of her differing view of God as compassionate and loving, she wrote of the Trinity in domestic terms and compares Jesus to a mother who is wise, loving, and merciful. (See Jesus as Mother by Carolyn Walker Bynum.) Similarly, she connects God with motherhood in terms of 1) "the foundation of our nature's creation, 2) "the taking of our nature, where the motherhood of grace begins" and 3) "the motherhood at work" and speaks metaphorically of Jesus in connection with conception, nursing, labor, and upbringing. She, like many other great mystics, used female language for God as well as the more traditional male pronouns.
Her great saying, "...All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well", reflects this theology. It is also one of the most individually famous lines in all of Catholic theological writing, and certainly one of the most well-known phrases of the literature of her era. It was quoted in
T. S. Eliot's Little Gidding, the fourth of his Four Quartets, and served in its entirety as the title of Tod Wodicka's first novel. UNQUOTE

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Whales Migration Patterns Normalizing

Great news for those who (like me) love the highly intelligent, beautiful and emotionally sophisticated water mammals: the planet’s largest animal may be returning to pre-whaling feeding grounds. Scientists have documented the first known migration of blue whales from the coast of California to areas off British Columbia and the Gulf of Alaska since the end of commercial whaling in 1965.

It is fascinating to watch them dance so gracefully and finally surface to breathe. They truly are our brothers. From Science Daily.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pope Urges Respect for Women

The Church is definately playing catch-up here. But the statement by the Pontiff is welcome, nonetheless.

From CNN

QUOTE "Sadly, this God-given role of the dignity of women has not always been understood and esteemed," the pontiff said on his first visit to Jordan as pope.
"By its public witness of respect for women ... the Church in the Holy Land can make an important contribution to the advancement of a culture of true humanity and the building of the civilization of love," the pontiff said

Andrew Bacevich Warns Against Escalation of War in Afghanistan

From Democracy Now, May 11, 2009.

Conservative Historian Andrew Bacevich Warns Against Obama’s Escalation of War in Afghanistan and Intensifying Use of Air Power in Region

Less than a week after US air strikes killed over a hundred Afghan civilians, President Obama’s top security adviser, General James Jones, said Sunday that the US will continue its strikes in Afghanistan, despite sharp criticism about rising civilian casualties from Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Democracy Now's Amy Goodman speaks to Boston University professor and retired military colonel Andrew Bacevich about why Obama’s plans in Afghanistan and Pakistan are counterproductive.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Legalize de Ganga, Mon

If you put the scientific evidence for and against marijuana, alcohol and tobacco
out on the table, and had to pick one to keep legal, which one would be safest and most useful? The answer may surprise you...

Schwarzenegger welcomes debate over legalizing pot
marijuana ciggsss! Pictures, Images and Photos

Job-Hunting Is Not A Job

ratrace Pictures, Images and Photos

Between the two of us over the past few months Charlie (my dear husband of nearly 30 years, also known as my "DH") and myself have managed to be downsized (him) and finalize the sale of my book of business (me- I was a Series 6, 63 and 65/life-annuities-variable contracts registered representative) - to the tune of $5,000 owed in taxes last month, at a time when nearly zero income has been a-coming in.

We are viewing this turn of events philosphically and I have found contentment in doing both respite care for the disabled child of a friend, taking on new volunteer responsibilities, and canvassing for progressive non-profits. He and our youngest daughter are spending every dollar that we have (her college money, our scant savings) to launch a jewelry store/art gallery.

We both looked for jobs for a while and decided that the ratrace has seen quite enough of us.

From the LA Times, by Barbara Ehrenreich (the author of "Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream" and "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America.")

Trying to find a job is not a job

QUOTE Picture it: People across America rising at the usual time, suiting up in full corporate regalia and setting themselves down at their laptops to fiddle with resumes, peruse Monster.com and pester everyone on their address lists for leads. Some people have no doubt found jobs in this manner, but there have been no scientific comparisons of the technique with, say, printing a resume on a sandwich board and parading around Times Square. UNQUOTE

Monday, May 4, 2009

Say It Isn't So, Ben

If you go to bed with Big Insurance, who knows what social diseases you will catch? Money talks and Nebraska's Bennie Nelson, like a good little yes man, listens to the siren song of de almighty dollah. Sad, sad, sad.

From The Seminal. QUOTE Sen. Ben Nelson said Thursday that he will oppose the creation of a government-run health insurance plan as part of a health care overhaul, contrary to the position held by many of his fellow Democrats.
Nelson, D-Neb., said he may try to assemble a coalition of like-minded centrists opposed to the creation of a public plan, as a counterweight to Democrats pushing for it. He said he does not believe a majority of the Senate supports the idea.

Monday Dance Party

Been surfin' the Net too long? Stand up and hit "play"...we like to move it, move it...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Factory Farms Under Examination

On Wednesday April 29th, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised its pandemic alert level to five on its six-level threat scale which means they've determined that the virus is capable of human-to-human transmission. The initial outbreaks across North America reveal an infection already traveling at higher velocity than did the last pandemic strain, the 1968 Hong Kong flu.

Manna Storehouse Raid

Legal action is being taken against the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Lorain County Health Department for violating the constitutional rights of John and Jacqueline Stowers of LaGrange, Ohio.
The Stowers operate an organic food cooperative called Manna Storehouse. ODA and Lorain County Health Department agents raided their home and seized co-op inventory, the family's personal food supply, cell phones and personal computers. No complaint was ever filed against Manna Storehouse about the quality of the food distributed through the co-op.

You can help the Stowers and others like them here.

Watch this video ~ see the "dangerous radical foodies" up close and personal. Law enforcement officials have nothing better to do than terrorize organic foodies?