Wednesday, December 28, 2011

--->See main blog Time Out of Joint: more than a thousand posts, click here

Such a Thing as Beauty

"After one extravagant gesture of creation in the first place, the universe has continued to deal exclusively in extravagances, flinging intricacies and collosi down aeons of emptiness, heaping profusions on profligacies with ever fresh vigor.

"The whole show has been on fire from the word go. I come down to the water to cool my eyes. But everwhere I look I see fire; that which isn't flint is tinder, and the whole world sparks and flames..."

"If these tremendous events are random combinations of matter run amok, the yield of millions of monkeys at millions of typewriters, then what is it in us, hammered out of those typewriters, that they ignite?..."

"...if we describe a world to compass these things, a world that is a long brute game, then we bump against another mystery: the inrush of power and light, the canary on the skull.

"Unless all ages and races of men have been deluded by the same mass hypnotist (who?), there seems to be such a thing as beauty, a grace wholly gratuitous"---Annie Dillard, A Pilgrim At Tinker Creek (Va.)

--->Wholesome TV: I recently discovered that the INSP cable channel, a Protestant outlet, from 12 noon on, carries the most wholesome television programs, programs that teach extremely positive moral values and respect for religion, programs like The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie, Big Valley, Wind at my Back (each several episodes a day) and others; all completely safe and marvelous so far as I can see, for the whole family. And they are being sponsored by many corporate advertisers. And unlike the Hallmark station this channel doesn't mix in series about witches!

How I wish the Catholic media would learn from this and include such programs. Catechesis surely has its place on television, but 24 x 7? That has always seemed to me too narrow. Of course I don't know the ins and outs of how this can be done, but surely in a time when more families watch television than read together, this kind of competition for the decadent servings of most other media is a thing to be praised.

In a recent program, The Waltons showed great respect for Catholic nuns and in an episode of Little House Charles and Laura were reading from the Gospel of John. When's the last time we saw anything like that on television? Like any worthy story, there is not old or new TV, there is only good and bad.

---> I have been and remain critical of many Israeli policies in the region, but Israel accomodates Christian shrines and protects the Christian holy places. Would Islam afford us the same respect for religious freedom?

Benedict XVI Warns Usury Leads to Despair

In Caritas in Veritate (2009), in the midst of the most severe global crisis since the Great Depression, Pope Benedict XVI, wrote, "...In these days when financial difficulties can become severe for many of the more vulnerable sectors of the population, [they] should be protected from the risk of usury and from despair" (No. 65)

--->50+ million babies aborted since Roe v. Wade not enough depopulation? Detroit columnist says put contraceptives in the water supply

--->When I looked at my half-baked and stumbling life over the past decades I sometimes think it is absurd to call myself a Christian at all. Yet, despite being a sinner and ever a penitent, I know an even more absurd reality which I could never overlook or deny, namely the obvious lies told to us by the increasingly nihilist media and academia which not only wallow in sin, and constantly urges it on others, especially the young, but which even denies the existence of sin at all.

This is the greatest absurdity, to justify one's crimes by denying the existence of them. 51,000,000 babies butchered since 1973 in this country and the powerful are raising glasses and congratulating themselves? This is all the fruit of madness, the madness of rejecting our Maker and Redeemer who has revealed Himself and the 'why' of creation, in history, in His Word, and in every human conscience. What a shock poor smirking rebels have coming if they do not turn around.

Malcolm Muggeridge was right when he said ours is not an "enlightened" time but rather a new Dark Ages wherein Christ will ever be the only true Light. And how He shines when it is darkest without.

Pssst...Advent 2012 Update: The URL-redirect problem which (unbenownst to me) sunk this blog for a time has been fixed. The main blog, 'Time Out of Joint' can now be accessed again also (click link). Thank you. ---SH

Monday, December 26, 2011

Business Insider: Time To Admit It: The Church Has Always Been Right On Birth Control

Michael Brendan Dougherty and Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

Painting the Catholic Church as "out of touch" is like shooting fish in a barrel, what with the funny hats and gilded churches. And nothing makes it easier than the Church's stance against contraception.

Many people, (including our editor) are wondering why the Catholic Church doesn't just ditch this requirement. They note that most Catholics ignore it, and that most everyone else finds it divisive, or "out-dated." C'mon! It's the 21st century, they say! Don't they SEE that it's STUPID, they scream.

Here's the thing, though: the Catholic Church is the world's biggest and oldest organization. It has buried all of the greatest empires known to man, from the Romans to the Soviets. It has establishments literally all over the world, touching every area of human endeavor. It's given us some of the world's greatest thinkers, from Saint Augustine on down to René Girard. When it does things, it usually has a good reason. Everyone has a right to disagree, but it's not that they're a bunch of crazy old white dudes who are stuck in the Middle Ages.

So, what's going on? ...Read on

--->Superbowl half-time mega-cryptograms? Did Madonna "show" a Satan fetish?

---> Sex change British 'man' 'gives birth' to son. Poor schizoid body, poor schizoid values, the woman can't make up her poor divided mind.
Gospel Without Compromise

I must share a few substantive morsels from my wee-hours-of-the-morning spiritual reading. Catherine de Hueck Doherty was the foundress of the Madonna House apostolate in Canada. She passed in 1985.

"Some men are burying Christ, and some are studying Him. Men are both bothered by Him and cannot leave Him alone..."

"Whatever label we want to put on these times, we of the West who have heard the gospel have certainly not incarnated the teaching of Christ in whom we profess to believe."

"Technologically we have reached supreme heights. We have almost conquered space and time. But in the process, we are destroying nature and ourselves. Earth, planets, water and air are being polluted.

"As we conquer space and time we are destroying our planet. By travelling faster, and by having invented a million gadgets that save us time, we must now turn to psychiatrists to find out what to do with it.

Our technological miracles have brought in their wake fears that we never knew about before. We have nightmares of becoming robots and mere extensions of machines. We feel dehumanized. We are not sure who we are, and we seek our identity again in the soundproof offices of psychologists and psychiatrists."

"It is an era of the deification of the self."---The Gospel without Compromise.

Note: The book is a gem of spiritual relevance. I cannot recommend it too highly.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Card

Know someone confused about Christmas? It's no wonder in our media-and-money driven messed up culture. This film above brings Christmas back to it's roots. The real Christmas. Where the manger sings, the Baby cries and where a star really shone. This is the Christmas that is for everyone, everywhere. ---St. Helens, London

"The Twelve Days of Christmas are the festive days beginning Christmas Day (25 December). This period is also known as Christmastide and Twelvetide. The Twelfth Night of Christmas is always on the evening of 5 January, but the Twelfth Day can either precede or follow the Twelfth Night according to which Christian tradition is followed. Twelfth Night is followed by the Feast of the Epiphany on 6 January."---Wikipedia

--->Full of Grace and Truth

--->Silent Night: God Comes to the Margins of a Brutal Empire to a Poor, Unwed Jewish Woman...

--->The Miracles of Israel's Messiah: "He was not born into a wealthy or powerful family. He was not a noted warrior, scholar, merchant, or a man of any great achievement when He first burst on the public scene. He did not attract attention by mobilizing His countrymen against the Romans or even against their puppet-king Herod.

"He had nothing whatsoever with which to draw an audience to listen to His parables, instructions, and prophecies, and nothing whatsoever to draw to Himself disciples, except the miracles He performed---and these were sufficient because they clearly demonstrated that the divine favor rested upon Him ...More

--->The Truth of Christmas Beyond the Myths...[and]...The God of the Cave

--->For Unto Us a Child Is Born, A Son is Given...

---The Trumpet shall sound...!

--->A civilization without the influence of Jesus Christ?

--->Pope Benedict delivers Urbi et Orbi Christmas message. At Christmas Mass on Saturday, Benedict XVI attacked the commercialization of the Christian holy day and feast. The Pope urged worshipers to "see through the superficial glitter" ...More

Note: Computer troubles. Will possibly update from elsewhere from time to time.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Handel's Messiah - Entire -
Palau de la Música BCN

High art in the fullest sense is inconceivable apart from Christianity, without which so much today that passes for 'art' collapses into the sad vortex of mediocrity or outright decadence and nihil...The Christian Faith unites all heaven and earth, all transcendence and immanence, in the divine plan. The most sublime art likewise seeks to integrate it all according to its own norms.

--->Pope to canonize Hildegard of Bingen (1098 - 1179) composer, philosopher, physicist and ecologist as Doctor of the Church...

--->Why bother to go to college? Rev. James V. Schall, S.J.

--->Frank Kelly -- Christmas Countdown! (hilarious)

---> Scandals, Critics, Rod Dreherism and the Gospel...

--->Rome dumps trash near historic landmark. People outraged...

--->How the feds are tracking your children..."Would it bother you to know that the federal Centers for Disease Control had been shown your daughter’s health records to see how she responded to an STD/teen-pregnancy-prevention program? How about if the federal Department of Education and Department of Labor scrutinized your son’s academic performance to see if he should be “encouraged” to leave high school early to learn a trade? Would you think the government was intruding on your territory as a parent"?

--->A Western Blueprint - An atheist defends 'the Judeo-Christian ethic' by Michael Novak

--->12.29.11: Orthodox Priests Fighting In Church of the Nativity – A Personal Reflection by Msgr. Charles Pope. "One of the more surprising, and personally saddest things I have encountered in my trips to the Holy Land, is the encounter with Orthodox clergy..."

--->Chavez Suggests US May Be Behind Leaders' Cancers...

"Work is love made visible...for if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man's hunger."---Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Scrooge and Us

Of course we all know that Charles Dickens' character in A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge, was a miser and an oppressor of mankind; Scrooge is a character we like to dislike.

But as Dickens knew, God did not dislike him, even if He certainly disliked Scrooge's life of ill-deeds. No, "God so loved the world that whoseoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life..." (Jn 3:16, 17) The story of Scrooge is that God is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should return to penance" (2 Pet 3:9).

We may not be misers or oppressors of those who work for us, or maybe we have been. Maybe our problem is the exploitation of others through lust, mockery, pride, inattention and uncaring for others. One could go on and on.

But Dickens knew the greatest Story ever told: God does not give up on us, but sends grace after grace, appeal after appeal, warning after warning. He tells us we can change as long as we have breath, as long as we have not perished in our willful sins.

What an Event Christmas is, to say the very least one can say! And if the Lord shows us our mistakes and sins as He did to old Scrooge through poor Jacob Marley it is to return us to our spiritual senses before we become forever in eternity what we may have done to ourselves or others in this life.

--->The death penalty is banned in all 27 EU states and the bloc has been calling for its abolition worldwide--bbc

--->Mad Pagan Dutch broadcasters at BNN, which targets a youth audience, has previously aired programs such as "Shooting and Swallowing" in which presenters used illegal drugs and performed sex acts---now it will be cannibalism

--->Drunken Santas Terrorized Lower Manhattan During SantaCon, Locals Say...

--->Pope's Christmas address to Roman curia...addresses Europe's crisis of faith and the economic crisis...

The Coming Latino Catholic Majority

Hispanics account for more than 70 percent of the growth in the US Catholic population since 1960

...The number of Hispanics in the United States grew from 1.9 million in 1940, to 14.6 million in 1990, to 50.5 million in 2010, according to US Census Bureau data. Of these, 31.8 million are Mexican-American, 4.6 million are Puerto Rican, 1.8 million are Cuban-American, and 1.6 million are Salvadoran-American. Hispanics today do not uniformly assent to “popery”: 68 percent of US Hispanics are Catholic, according to a 2007 report by the Pew Research Center, while 15 percent are Evangelical Protestants and 8 percent profess no religion....Read on... (God writes straight with crooked lines?)

--->Iraq: At least 63 killed in co-ordinated apparently sectarian Baghdad attacks. There is a strong possibility ... that insurgents on the Sunni side were just waiting for the most tense moment to unleash attacks they had been planning...More

--->Christian community finds itself ‘devastated’ in Iraq... Pope John Paul II opposed the invasion. "Sadly, La Civita told CNA on Dec. 16, the Pope’s predictions about the war’s effects on the country proved accurate."

Christmas New York

--->Catholic purchase of Robert Schuller's crystal cathedral pleases Schuller... "The 85-year-old minister, who became the pivotal unifying force in the bankruptcy sale, said he has always respected the Roman Catholic faith and considers it the "mother church." Schuller also said he drew inspiration for his "Hour of Power" from Catholic Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, whose own popular TV show in the 1950s paved the way..."

--->Dennis Kucinich on the NDAA and ‘War Without End’ ... "This bill authorizes permanent warfare anywhere in the world. It gives the president unchecked power to pursue war. It diminishes the role of this Congress."

--->Behold a beauty that no Lady Gaga media package debauch can ever reach. The beauty of the feminine in song (lead singer, Liz Elkins)...

--->Prolife group shows Bohemian Rhapsody like you've never heard it before...

--->Critics furious at Brooklyn DA for refusing to name Orthodox [Jewish] child-sex suspects...

--->China's one-child policy becomes Presidential campaign issue...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Report: Child Homelessness Up 33% in 3 years

We need to hear the message of Dickens again. Luke Fildes's Applicants For Admission To A Casual Ward (1857)"...1.6 million children — were living on the street, in homeless shelters or motels, or doubled up with other families last year, according to the National Center on Family Homelessness.

What we have new is the effects of a man-made disaster caused by the economic recession. … We are seeing extreme budget cuts, foreclosures and a lack of affordable housing" ... More

Memory Awakens Hope

from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, "Seek That Which Is Above," Ignatius Press (San Francisco, 1986)

In one of his Christmas stories Charles Dickens tells of a man who lost his emotional memory; that is, he lost the whole chain of feelings and thoughts he had acquired in the encounter with human suffering. This extinction of the memory of love is presented to him as liberation from the burden of the past, but it becomes clear immediately that the whole person has been changed: now, when he meets with suffering, no memories of kindness are stirred within him. Since his memory has dried up, the source of kindness within him has also disappeared. He has become cold and spreads coldness around him.

Goethe deals with the same ideas as Dickens in his account of the first celebration of the feast of St. Roch in Bingen after the long interruption caused by the Napoleonic wars. He observes the people as they press, tightly packed, through the church past the image of the saint, and he watches their faces: the faces of the children and the adults are shining, mirroring the joy of the festal day. But with the young people, Goethe reports, it was otherwise. They went past unmoved, indifferent, bored. And he gives an illuminating explanation: they were born in evil times, had nothing good to remember and consequently had nothing to hope for. In other words, it is only the person who has memories who can hope. The person who has never experienced goodness and kindness simply does not know what such things are.

Recently a counselor who spends much of his time talking with people on the verge of despair was speaking in similar terms about his own work: if his client succeeds in recalling a memory of some good experience, he may once again be able to believe in goodness and thus relearn hope; then there is a way out of despair. Memory and hope are inseparable. To poison the past does not give hope: it destroys its emotional foundations.

Sometimes Charles Dickens' story strikes me as a vision of contemporary experience. This man who let himself be robbed of the heart's memory by the delusion of a false liberation--do we not find him with us today, in a generation whose past has been poisoned by a particular program of liberation that has stifled hope? When we read of the pessimism with which our young people look toward the future, we ask ourselves, Why? Is it that, in the midst of material affluence, they have no memory of human goodness that would allow them to hope? By outlawing the emotions, by satirizing joy, have we not trampled on the root of hope?

Charles DickensThese reflections bring us straight to the significance of the Christian season of Advent. For Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent's intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church's year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart's memory so that it can discern the star of hope. All the feasts in the Church's calendar are events of remembrance and hence events of hope. These events, of such great significance for mankind, which are preserved and opened up by faith's calendar, are intended to become personal memories of our own life history through the celebration of holy seasons by means of liturgy and custom. Our personal memories are nourished by mankind's great memories; in turn, it is only by translating them into personal terms that these great memories are kept alive. Man's ability to believe always depends in part on faith having become dear on the path of life, on the humanity of God having manifested itself through the humanity of men. No doubt each of us could tell his own story here as to what the various memories of Christmas, Easter or other festivals mean in his life."

It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope."

--->Census Shows 1 in 2 People in US Are Poor or Low-Income...

The "Sexual Revolution" has with the help of modern media seeped into practically the whole world, certainly the entire West and way beyond, for many decades now. But the media only selectively reports the extent of the problem. It's not just "pedophilia," it's an entire moral collapse, a culture of transgression turning our daughters and sons into objects to be exploited for the monied elites. Nihilism devours itself, which is why we had better turn around.

--->Batman star Christian Bale roughed up while trying to visit China pro-life activist

--->Patrick Buchanan: David Cameron's Finest Hour...

--->Santorum vs. US Bishops and immigration...

--->Gaddafi death 'may be a war crime', says chief prosecutor at The Hague

--->Iran Hijacked US drone, says Iranian Engineer; claims it can alter the paths of GPS guided missles. It appears to be getting more and more like science fiction out there.

Not to support traditional nuclear families is to support existential and spiritual loneliness, especially for the very young and the aged.
Homeless Take to the Woods

"Render true judgment, and show kindness and compassion toward each other. Do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the alien or the poor; do not plot evil against one another in your hearts" --- Zechariah 7:8-10

Robert Waldrop writes, "To be poor in America is to be held responsible for a tremendous host of social evils: illegitimacy, the decline of cities, the mushrooming federal budget and its deficit, declining quality of life, drug use, promiscuity, urban violence, and high insurance rates, among others. Trendy commentators describe the poor as socially pathological, criminal, sexually promiscuous, and engaged in lives of transgenerational dependency upon the public purse (Klein Callousness, C. Murray Losing Ground, Libertarian, Bauman 4-6, McGeady 7, Vogel 30, Smith Utne 66, Newman 16).

"This author finds it amazing that a group of people who are politically, economically, and socially powerless can be considered to be responsible for so much that is wrong in our society.

"This rhetoric's willful historical ignorance and blindness to actual data and circumstances suggests that other factors are operating. Psychologists talk about projection, whereby personal responsibility for a situation is projected onto others, thus allowing people to feel better (e.g.) about their selfish greed that is demanding tax cuts, deficit spending, and abandonment of social obligations (Hunt 311-312), if they can somehow demonize the poor as undeserving of help..."

--->Child homelessness up 33% over past three years...

--->Mischievous guys ride into stores...

--->Author Says Facebook Is
Making Us Miserable

--->Fears about multicultural experiment in Britain and elsewhere...

Profitable Thought I Read. The Dilemma of the Dictators: The dictator lords it over the masses of people (or Plebs) and makes them do what the elites do not want to do, and for very low wages and very high interest. But in time the Plebs learn how to do everything. Then the dictator begins to fear the Plebs. Only a strong and growing Middle Class prevents many woes for society.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


From Handel's Messiah: Worthy is the lamb that was slain & Amen

--->Pope says focus on Jesus, not pre-Christmas distractions. Pope Benedict XVI reminded Christians not to be dazzled by the shopping lights of the Advent season but to keep focused on the coming on Jesus Christ, the “true light of the world.”

--->Poland Joins Ranks of Grassroots Anti-Monsanto Activism...

--->The new Credit Card trap...

--->U.S. Military Hit With Bestiality, Sodomy Controversy After 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal...

--->Fairness v. Ethnic Hatreds: It is ideas which are of consequence. For many months now when I've had the time I've visited Internet sites and radio on the Far Left and the Far Right and it seems clear to me that too many (not the majority yet, thank God) are seeking ideological and, yes, racial / ethnic purity at the expense of seeking fairness, equity, together. Of course I mean especially economic fairness but there are obviously other kinds too. Let the most urgent common aim be uniform laws and regulations which keep monopoly, usury and taxation in check, then we can work together wherever and however we live and figure out the rest without falling into the errors of laissez faire or socialism. The present and future have much to learn from the past without becoming backwards in the way we apply enduring principles which always adapt in new ways. Skin color and tribe identification tell little, ideas tell a lot.

--->Report: US drones being used by local police agencies

--->Immigrant Detention Centers In Illinois Cited In New Report For Human Rights Violations

--->We think we've got troubles? How about cancer so young? "The neuropathy is aggravated by being tired and by the end of two hours of class, my feet were on fire, with pain spreading up my legs. The pain of neuropathy is multifaceted, and a big part of it is the feeling that one's toes and fingers are swelling up and getting ready to explode. When it's bad, touching anything hard, like turning a key in a lock or winding a clock, feels like your fingers have a "funny bone" in them, all the nerves cringe together as though getting an electric shock. Some days holding the pencil is a bit of work by itself"...Prayer..

--->The birthday of
Alexander Solzhenitsyn...

--->Talkshow host Michael Savage offers Gingrich 1M to drop out of race...

--->Correction: Liege Grenade Attack: Woman Found Dead At Home Of Gunman, Nordine Amrani

--->Girl gets a year in jail and 100 lashes for being gang raped all night long in Saudi Arabia. Yes, that's right...

--->Saudi Arabia executes woman convicted
of 'sorcery'

--->Pakistan says U.S. drones in its air space will be shot down

"There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus."---Galatians 3:28

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I Was Not Prepared to Like It. But Obama Hit All the Right Notes

...given the failure, the crash, of trickle-down economics. Speech harkens back to the New Deal.

Except for the immoral and undeclared wars we have prosecuted for over 10 years now. See part 2 at youtube. I'm an economic Distributist so not every point of the New Deal appeals to me; but fairness is no small gift in this time of 1% looters, and rules of fairness is not socialism. The speech needs to be listened to. Pro-lifers would do well to take the meat.

--->Mark and Louise Zwick: Justice in Economics is Not Socialism

--->Bill Quigley, Loyola University: Twenty Examples of the Obama Administration Assault on Domestic Civil Liberties...

--->Ron Paul Educates Newt Gingrich on The Patriot Act – CNN Debate 11/22/11

--->San Bernardino bishop reflects on Occupy Movement...“No surprise that people are taking to the streets

Drone--->Thirty-one drone protesters found guilty in DeWitt Town Court; four jailed

--->Obama on Abortion Ruling 38th Anniversary: Government 'Should Not Intrude'

---> China navy told: Prepare for warfare

--->The Orwellian 'Non-Lethal' War Waged . Against Peaceful Citizens

--->Israel ex-President Katsav begins jail term for rape

--->Monsanto Declared Worst Company of 2011

--->Fed. Judge: Bloggers not journalists and therefore cannot claim the protections afforded to mainstream reporters and news outlets [e.g. against lawsuits, blogs deleted, etc]

--->David Cameron dramatically vetoes a European Union Treaty change aimed at tackling the eurozone crisis saying he was protecting Britain's interests

Suicide Bombers: Other troubling moral questions aside, how does one side "win" when the other side fights to die? We spend billions on science fiction-like high tech weaponry, jets and drones; but at the end of the day is it really any match for desperate suicide bombers who choose to die and take many with them, who one after another come weaving unnoticed through the crowds there or here?

WWII was won in less than four years. This new undeclared "war" however against comparatively "primitive" peoples has so far taken over ten. Isn't it time to try justice and negotiation? Justice and negotiation with respect to mutual grievances are not unmanly options. Wisdom calculates the benefits of statecraft over warcraft, carrot as much as stick, give as much as take, especially when the "enemy" fights to die while our soldiers hope to live.

--->‘Gay rights’ now US foreign policy. President orders federal agencies to back homosexual-rights agenda abroad... (Note: It's ideological intrusions like this and his callousness regarding prolife issues which is in part why I think Mr. Obama will likely be a one term President. Will the Democrats learn?)

--->Peggy Noonan on the earnest, wild and multiplex Newt

How is it that those who claim to care about the poor and disenfranchised are often the most hard-hearted about abortion, killing innocent babies in the womb? And how is it that those who claim to care about babies in the womb are often the most jingoistic, justifying all bloody wars and foreign entanglements and seem more inclined to cater to the top 1% over the suffering masses?

Note: At the very bottom of each page click "Older Posts" in order to view previous recent posts.

The Task of Art

A little homage to the Argentinian poet Jorge Luis Borges. This video was shot in the winter of 2010 in Buenos Aires and Capilla del Señor, Argentina.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Recent Charges of Sexual Abuse of Children in Hollywood Just Tip of Iceberg, Experts Say

By Meaghan Murphy; Published December 05, 2011 |

Martin Weiss, a 47-year-old Hollywood manager who represented child actors, was charged in Los Angeles on Dec. 1 with sexually abusing a former client. His accuser, who was under 12 years old during the time of the alleged abuse, reported to authorities that Weiss told him "what they were doing was common practice in the entertainment industry." Weiss has pleaded not guilty.

On Nov. 21, Fernando Rivas, 59, an award-winning composer for “Sesame Street,” was arraigned on charges of coercing a child “to engage in sexually explicit conduct” in South Carolina. The Juilliard-trained composer was also charged with production and distribution of child pornography.

Registered sex offender Jason James Murphy, 35, worked as a casting agent in Hollywood for years before his past kidnapping and sexual abuse of a boy was revealed by the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 17. Murphy’s credits include placing young actors in kid-friendly fare like "Bad News Bears," "The School of Rock," "Cheaper by the Dozen 2” and the forthcoming "Three Stooges.”

...In fact it is the very nature of a TV or movie set that invites predators, experts tell Fox News.

“A set in Hollywood with children can become a place that attracts pedophiles because the children there may be vulnerable and less tended to,” explains Beverly Hills-based psychotherapist Dr. Jenn Berman.

“One thing we know about actors, psychologically speaking, is that they’re people who like a lot of attention. Kids naturally like a lot of attention, and when you put a kid on a set who is unsupervised and getting attention from someone who is powerful, it creates a vulnerability for a very dangerous situation...

"I can tell you that the No. 1 problem in Hollywood was and is and always will be pedophilia,” (40 year old Corey) Feldman told ABC’s Nightline. “That's the biggest problem for children in this industry... It's the big secret.”

...Read it all

--->Has the War with Iran Already Begun?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why Dads Are Afraid to Say No to Their Kids

There is nothing suspiciously right-wing or reactionary about parental authority, and it is OK, indeed essential, to impose it.

by Robert Crampton
The Times of London
January 28 2011

Boys need fathers who are prepared to use their paternal authority. So why are so many men with teenage sons afraid to?

Not long ago a friend introduced my wife and me to her new partner by bringing him along on a weekend away. This new partner brought his two sons from a previous relationship. The boys were aged about 12 and 10, and they came with a warning attached: if not exactly out of control, they were said to be ill-disciplined, not entirely socialized. In a word, trouble.

We met them and they seemed fine. Boisterous, physical, occasionally argumentative; no more so, however, than my own son, who is 13, or the dozens of other boys of a similar age with whom I come into contact. Then on the second day, the older one swore, quite vociferously, while their dad was elsewhere, so it fell to me to tell him that he couldn't do that.

"What?" he said, not truculently, more in a spirit of genuine inquiry, "Can't I swear here?"

"No," I said, "you can't." "Why not?" "Because I say so," I said. The boy looked shocked"...Read it all

Advent: False self shattered

"Advent is blessed with God’s promises, which constitute the hidden happiness of this time. These promises kindle the inner light in our hearts. Being shattered, being awakened -- only with these is life made capable of Advent. In the bitterness of awakening, in the helplessnes of “coming to,” in the wretchedness of realizing our limitations, the golden threads that pass between heaven and earth in these times reach us. These golden threads give the world a taste of the abundance it can have.

We must not shy away from Advent thoughts of this kind. We must let our inner eye see and let our hearts range far. We will encounter the earnestness of Advent and the blessing of Advent in a different way. We will see characters, completed and whole personalities, that belong to these days and to all days -- characters in whom the Advent message and the Advent blessing simply exist and live, calling out to us and touching us to cheer and shake us, to console and to uplift us.-- Alfred Delp, S.J. in “Alfred Delp, SJ: Prison Writings”, Orbis Books (Thanks to Jim Forest for this)

--->Opinion - 'My tram experience' is shocking – but should it be cause for arrest?

--->Senate Votes To Let Military Detain Americans Indefinitely Without Trial, White House Threatens Veto...Paul's top complaint is that a terrorism suspect would get just one hearing where the military could assert that the person is a suspected terrorist -- and then they could be locked up for life, without ever formally being charged. The only safety valve is a waiver from the secretary of defense.

--->China: A Window Into the Dark World of Tyranny

--->What Happens when a Leftist Philosopher Discovers God?

"Juergen Habermas has been a public intellectual (a more polite term for celebrity) for a very long time. I have never been terribly interested in Habermas, but the coincidence made me think about him. Portier’s article does tell an intriguing story. It might be called a man-bites-dog story....Following in the footsteps of Ernst Bloch and other neo-Marxist philo-Godders, Habermas also credits Biblical religion, Judaism and Christianity, for having driven out magical thinking (here there is an echo of Max Weber’s idea of “ the disenchantment of the world”), and for having laid the foundations of individual autonomy and rights.

"Habermas developed these ideas in a number of publications and media interviews. The most interesting source (not discussed by Portier in the article) is a 2007 publication by a Catholic press, The Dialectics of Secularization. It is a conversation between Habermas and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (at the time of this exchange head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, subsequently Pope Benedict XVI). Habermas here gives credit to Christianity for being the purveyor of a universal egalitarianism and for an openness to reason, thus continuing to provide moral substance for democracy. Not surprisingly, Ratzinger agreed...More

--->Did Stonehenge start out as royal cemetery?

--->Researcher Trevor Eckhart Outs Creepy, Hidden App Installed
On Smartphones...

Errant Knight: The Scandal of Prochoice Knights by James G. Bruen, Jr. details the efforts of a group of individual Knights to sanction a brother Knight who was a publicly prochoice politician. It describes the personalities, pleadings, and internal K of C practices and procedures that led to a sentence of indefinite suspension of the Knight after a trial committee found him guilty of giving scandal, as well as the aftermath of his conviction. Must reading for Knights and for all interested in the K of C. Give a copy of this short book to every Knight you know. Former #3 Amazon Best Seller in Books on Abortion and Birth Control and #1 Amazon Hot New Release in that category. e-book for Kindle, $1.49. Read More/Buy

--->Speaking of books, "[Author Ron] Suskind describes how Obama made the conscious choice to staff his economic team with former Clinton appointees whose sympathies were with Wall Street -- and that those men were unable to see how drastically out of whack the country's financial system had gotten both because they helped create it and because it had served them so well..."

--->Former FBI agents furious over new J. Edgar Hoover film...

---> The Brooklyn DA arrested an astounding 89 Orthodox [Jewish] men on charges of child sex abuse — forcing open a community that sometimes covers up such crimes

--->Hate All Non-Jews, Skvere Rabbis Say...A recently published book written by a Skvere hasidic rabbi and endorsed by the Skvere Rebbe himself tells Skvere hasidim and other Jews to hate all gentiles. Gentiles are wholly evil, the book says. They spiritually pollute the world, and even looking at their faces is harmful.

"Having driven some 7,000 miles and visited 23 cities (and counting) in reporting on the Occupy movement, it's become apparent that the US is essentially an oil-based economy in which we shuttle goods we no longer make around a continental land mass, creating poverty-level dead-end jobs in the service sector."---Arun Gupta, Interview with Arundhati Roy
--->Putin has one overriding objective: the creation of a third, post-tsarist, post-Soviet Russian empire

--->I don't like Kindle ---and lo, they've Kindled the novella... (Click icons ---right margin--- for the real book purchase, reviews, etc)

--->Why the Washington Post won’t fire Jennifer Rubin... & wooh what a mouth on Mrs. Eliot Abrams...

"--->"The estimated $3 billion in [US Postal] reductions are part of a wide-ranging effort by the cash-strapped Postal Service to quickly trim costs, seeing no immediate help from Congress.

The changes would provide short-term relief, but ultimately could prove counterproductive, pushing more of America's business onto the Internet.

They could slow everything from check payments to Netflix's DVDs-by-mail, add costs to mail-order prescription drugs, and threaten the existence of newspapers and time-sensitive magazines delivered by postal carrier to far-flung suburban and rural communities.

--->Alert! Better sign this now...

--->Contaminated water found leaking at Japanese nuclear plant. It's unclear whether the contaminated water reached the Pacific Ocean...

--->Just say No to nuclear power...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Serious Actor, Seriously Growing Christian

The actor Mark Walhberg starts every day with Mass (source). But it wasn't always that way growing up on the streets of Dorchester (Boston) MA. He got in a lot of trouble before finding a way, then the Way, out.

"Being a Catholic is the most important aspect of my life,” the A-list actor tells me firmly when we meet for tea in a posh hotel near his home in Beverly Hills. “The first thing I do when I start my day is, I get down on my hands and knees and give thanks to God. Whenever I go outside of my house, the first thing I do is stop at the church. The kids will be mad with me. ‘Daddy! It takes too long!’ I’m saying: ‘It’s only 10 minutes and this is something I really need to do.’ Because I do. If I can start my day out by saying my prayers and getting myself focused, then I know I’m doing the right thing. That 10 minutes helps me in every way throughout the day" ...Gabrielle Donnelly has the rest here...

--->Prepare for riots, euro collapse, Foreign Office warns. Diplomats have ... been told to prepare to help tens of thousands of British citizens in eurozone countries with the consequences of a financial collapse that would leave them unable to access bank accounts or even withdraw cash.

--->Pope sued for not wearing seat belt

---> Jewish-American Sen. Joe Lieberman: Google’s Blogger needs ‘terrorist’ button



--->10 alien encounters debunked...

--->Are we alone in the universe? New analysis says maybe we are after-all...

I've reflected and linked more extensively on the UFO meme at the old blog, see the label Extraterrestrials and follow / scroll it throughout; click "older posts" at the bottom of each page for earlier ones.

--->Benedict XVI: Advent, waiting for Christ in a postmodern world, where God seems absent

--->Revisited: There are no vegan societies for a simple reason: a vegan diet is not adequate in the long run.

--->Entire (video) Mike Wallace interview with Aldous Huxley (See also population control links here and at previous blog). Wallace and Huxley (in Cold War year 1958) absurdly blamed the Church for allegedly pushing us into the hands of Communists by its rejection of population control. Prophesy fell flat, Communist systems collapsed.

--->Sun sees British oddball David Icke make mint on sell-out U.S. tour

--->Gingrich, Toffler, and Gore
: A Peculiar Trio

--->Stratford Caldecott's new journal: Humanum
. "It is all about “the human”: what makes us human, what keeps us human, and how to rescue our humanity when this is endangered"...More

--->Alert! Better sign this now...
Even the stones cry out

Thank you to Near Jacoba's Well (in comment box) for this. I don't know the preacher or even what denomination he's part of, but he sure has a mouthful of Truths here, flying embers from the Fire...

"He to whom the Eternal Word speaks is free from a multitude of opinions. For from this Word are all things and of Him all things speak -- the Beginning Who also speaks to us"---Brother Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, written over 500 years ago

"Without this Word no man understands or judges aright. He to whom this Word becomes everything, who traces all things to it and who sees all things in it, may ease his heart and remain at peace with God...---Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Blind Girl and her Boyfriend

There was a blind girl who hated herself just because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She said that if she could only see the world, she would marry her boyfriend.

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her and then she could see everything, including her boyfriend. Her boyfriend asked her, “now that you can see the world, will you marry me?”

The girl was shocked when she saw that her boyfriend was blind too, and refused to marry him. Her boyfriend walked away in tears, and later wrote a letter to her saying:

“Just take care of my eyes dear.”


--->Fools gold: Jean Paul Lemieux Painting Sells For Record $2M (At least persons appear as persons, albeit cartoonish)

--->Arab Spring? Leaked UN Libya Report Warns Of Illegal Detentions

--->More Children Are Killed by NATO Airstrike in Afghanistan (How do our representatives sleep at night?)

--->Summary of some of the seedy practices of the Washington Post and Kaplan University. Many stories published elsewhere have been notably absent from the Washington Post, which appears to censor most stories about Kaplan.

--->Attention 'Black Friday' Shoppers: You Will Be Electronically Tracked. Shop at your own risk.

--->Steve Jobs: ‘I’m glad I didn’t end up as an abortion

--->Television and the Internet ‘poisoning’ the family, say Angolan bishops... Note: I think it is surely true. As for the Internet, I think it should be a research tool in libraries and universities ...not an entertainment medium for children and even adults to be corrupted. TV is presently held captive by nihilist media moguls who are seeking to 'program' all into the uniform 'hive mind' and who do not give a dam for families, human beings or the common good. People who care about the moral health of all must take television back from the ghouls.


--->A Person at Huffington Post in response to a piece indicating a reported crime boss was found dead in Canada, wrote, "It used to be the mafia that killed and ran the rackets, now it is the present leaders of the free world. At least the mafia had rules."

To which another replied,

"Good point, Guliani took over the carting "WSI" and fish market business, Cuomo took over the numbers with kino and all the "legal" gambling. Muller now runs the labor and protection rackets from his post at the FBI. They trump up charges against a union then install a connected government under-boss to milk the membership for a few hundred grand in annual "salary" basically installin­g a government sanctioned crook to watch the alleged crooks. Som­eone tell me how these rackets differ from when the mob ran them. As mentioned, the Mob had rules. Lets not forget the second biggest crime family behind the elected one. That would be the Goldman Sachs crime family. Their members run the treasury crime family, state of New Jersey crime family along with various other crime families."

And let's not forget Rahm and the Chicago Neocon / Neoliberal crime family...

The Other Side of Art Critic Sister Wendy Beckett is very edifying, even if some of her fawning interpretations of modern art (unlike her take on classical art) left me, to put it charitably, non-plussed and skeptical. In any case, of her daily life she told the Telegraph in 2010, "My daily routine is simple, but unvarying. I spend as little time as possible thinking about what to eat, wear or what to do next. This sets me free to pray: my raison d’être. I go to bed at 6pm. I used to get up at 3am, but now rise just after midnight. I stay silently praying in my home until I go to the monastery for Mass at 8am. I have two short breaks for coffee and breakfast bran, but, like my hours of work, these are just another form of prayer...More

Ginger Root Tea. You buy the root at the local market. It sort of looks like a wildly deformed potato; no mistaking the lovely ginger smell however. Boil water and then cut a couple of slices anywhere off the root and simply drop these in the water. Add honey (or sugar as you like) and you have the most delicious cup of ginger tea. Good for simple refreshment and, many say, for lots of things that ail you (I take it for digestion after all the surgery and trouble). In any case, the root produces many cups. Yum.

--->Sunday Mass is Thanksgiving meal with Christ, says Cardinal O’Malley...

--->Hilary White, Catholic journalist with cancer, on death, dying and living...

--->"Awesome, poetic, reverent". As new Roman Missal takes effect first Sunday in Advent, bishops predict great results from updated translations
The Greatest Poverty and Other Kinds

"We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty."---Mother Teresa

Did Jesus the Lord Solicit a Permit?

The Orlando mayor allowed an alternative site, "The Mayor's alternative location is a feeding cage topped with barbed wire under the 408 bridge..." See the Food Not Bombs website for more...


Food Not Bombs writes, "This denies food to the hungry and prevents those whose conscience leads them to meet with and feed the hungry. We have the constitutional right to meet publicly and to speak freely. Despite this, there have been a dozen arrests in the park at Lake Eola. When we continued the food sharing despite the police invasions, Mayor Buddy Dyer told the media we could share our meals outside City Hall. Food Not Bombs intends to share food at City Hall on July 1st. We hope he brings the peppers he promised. The Mayor's alternative location is a feeding cage topped with barbed wire under the 408 bridge. They offered to let us use the feeding cage from 9 to 4:30 each day." And did you know that at the recent Occupy Wall Street protests even reasonable amplification for speakers was banned to limit their effectiveness, even as police put on para-military gear?

"There would not be any way that Food Not Bombs could reach the community with our message that we can end poverty if we divert some of the federal tax dollars spent on war towards the real national security of healthcare, education and employment. You can see that this wire enclosure does not welcome human beings -it is a cage to feed animals. We refuse this alternative."

"Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."----Luke 14:12-14 (If not this year, why not next years---or much sooner? There are many lonely people, even in our own families.)

Human need not corporate greed

9-5 or 24x7?

"In America today, we do not have a 9 to 5 economy. We have a 24/7 economy. As a bohemian intellectual, I can’t complain about this. I find it very convenient to be able to go out at 4:00 am to buy a carton of milk from a meth-zombie. Americans living in Germany are shocked that most stores are closed by 6:00 pm and are not open at all on weekends.

"It forces them to actually plan ahead, one of the many faculties that American life has allowed to grow slack. The reason why Germany and other countries regulate the hours of businesses is not because they are "socialists" or "liberals." It is because they are 5 to 9 conservatives. They realize that shop clerks have friends and families and communities. Work days are regulated so that more people can spend the 5 to 9 hours, and weekends, with their families and friends. Yes, such laws inconvenience us insofar as we are consumers. But we are more than consumers. We have families, friends, communities. Or we should have them----Greg Johnson

--->How small ideas can become big...

Alms "He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none and he who has food must do likewise. (Luke 3:11) "But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, everything is clean for you. (Luke 11:41) "If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?" (James 2:15-16; cf. 1 John 3:17) "Charity [God's love] covers a multitude of sins" (1 Pet. 4:8)

-->Deacon Keith Fournier: Learning to Love: We will be a people of Thanksgiving...

--->Does the tryptophan in turkey make you drowsy? "A Thanksgiving myth debunked..."

--->Hysteria trumps common sense?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Just Man

It cannot be the color of your skin, or mine.
which makes a man just or worthy of respect;
nor your tribal peoples, nor mine,
which in themselves makes one good or bad

But the "content of one's character"
as shown in mercy, compassion, the
deep human empathy which distinguishes us
from the animal kingdom and is ours
for the seeking.

It is not a reflexive collective judgment
based on the accidents of our births
which makes us human, but a weighing
of universally known right and wrong
as shown not just in words
but in deeds and behavior.

Nor the burden of history where we
have all made mistakes that we can repair.

Nor is it indifference to human misery
that would cause any wounding
or pass by any wounded based
on such accidents which shows
a man or woman loyal.

Nor indifference to moral degradation
which would make human beings instruments
of selfish lust, or labor, or money, or any yoke
of servitude.

"I tell you what it really means to worship the Lord. Remove the chains of prisoners who are chained unjustly. Free those who are abused! Share your food with everyone who is hungry; share your home with the poor and homeless. Give clothes to those in need; don't turn away your relatives...Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it." (Isa. 58 v 6-7; Heb. 13:2).

--->Martin Luther King tells "Face the Nation" why he could never be a Communist...

--->A mili-second break from my break - since the National Geographic channel on Nov 19 will be airing Max Holland's new theory with respect to the Kennedy assassination. That being the case it is only fair to link to preliminary reviews made several years ago when Holland first announced his theory...See also here... Doubtless after the program Sunday there will be many more reviews.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ex CIA Agent: America Making
Its Own Enemies

"Americans are in the crosshairs of terrorists worldwide purely due to Washington's policy in the Muslim world, not because there is an Islamic enemy whose only aim is to kill Americans for their freedoms and lifestyle, insists a former CIA officer. Historian Michael Scheuer, an author of "Through our enemies' eyes", who worked for the agency for over 20 years till 2004 and at one time was the chief of the CIA's 'Bin Laden unit', says America's greatest enemy -- radical Islam -- never existed: neither when Bin Laden was alive, nor now.+---RT

How many more will die on all sides before moral considerations impel us to reconsider present US policies in the interests of peace?

--->American economy deliberately allowed to fail? Who stole the American Dream?(Video) Note: Most Americans I think are simply asking for Big Business to be reasonably regulated against avarice, i.e., irresponsibly gambling with other peoples (Middle Class) moneys, and the end of monopolies which viciously eats up local economies, the just wage, home ownership, and other affordable housing.

--->Tough Guy Republican Debate: Candidates Call For Military Strikes On Iran, Return Of Waterboarding. What, have we become permanent thugs? When is enough enough? God bless Ron Paul for taking a principled stand against all of this...

--->Jon Huntsman On Afghanistan Says 'It's Time To Come Home'

--->Bernanke Mulls Military Protection for Embattled Fed?

--->Global Dominance Group? "While most progressive media activists do not believe in some omnipotent conspiracy, an overwhelming portion of NCMR (National Conference for Media Reform) participants do believe the leadership class in the US is dominated by a neo-conservative group of some several hundred people who share a goal of asserting US military power worldwide. This Global Dominance Group (GDM) continues under both Republican and Democratic rule. In cooperation with major military contractors, the corporate media, and conservative foundations, the GDM has become a powerful long-term force in military unilateralism and US political processes...Read it all

Health Update: I had the stent removed from my innards Friday. It had been placed there in a second hospital in an emergency procedure after an injury which occured while having my gallbladder out. I would say that I feel 50-75% better since having the stent put in, despite persistent intermittent pain and nausea and a couple other problems. But the great thing about torture as they say is that it feels so good when it is reduced or stopped.

--->More troops died by suicide in 2010 than died in combat... and in Nov. 2011, "Military suicides are such a serious and growing problem that they threaten the future of the voluntary military, a new report warns"

--->Revisited: A Call for a Reporting Policy on Sexual Abuse in the Orthodox Church...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Crooked Tree John

By Alecia Stuchlik, LA Catholic Worker Nov. 2011

“I can only lift 10 pounds,” John said. He grabbed the hem of his thin t-shirt and jerked up. Black skin stretched taut over bones, revealing a scaffolding of ribs that rose above a stapled 6-inch incision, which snaked across his abdomen. "Colon cancer," he explained. His lips folded into his mouth and covered gums where his teeth used to be. He had a wide smile and laughing eyes.

I caught him later. He sat beneath a lone crooked tree in the parking lot of the convenience store and lavanderia around the corner on State Street. Silver-rimmed glasses perched on his nose as he squinted into a 5th grade-level library book. He stood up as I greeted him.

“I need your help,” he stated matter of factly. He probably wanted money.

I cringed and pushed the thought away, ashamed it was the first thought to enter my mind despite more than a year living as a Catholic Worker. I realized long ago that the homeless are not merely drug addicts and alcoholics trying to get their next
fix. Indeed, a picture hangs in our dining room quoting Peter Maurin,

Modern society calls the beggars
bums and panhandlers and gives
them the bum’s rush. But the Greeks
used to say that people in need are,
in fact, the ambassadors of the gods.

“Sure,” I said and scraped to get [some], agreeing without asking for what. He dug around in his little black backpack and produced a folder with crumpled yellow pages. “The hospital says I should apply for SSI,” he told me. “I have to get chemo. I don’t write too good or spell.”

We sat down in the hot afternoon sun and leaned against the wall of the lavanderia. I meticulously began going through the questions. I grilled him on his work history, while his mind dashed about like a squirrel scrambling from tree to tree. Turns out,

John had worked in construction for twenty-plus years, mostly laying cement.
“Roughly how many hours a week did you work?” I asked. “How much would you say you lifted…50 Pounds, 100 pounds?” “I would lift 300 pounds,” he said proudly.

“300 pounds?” I asked, skeptical. His brittle frame looked like it would float away if the wind blew too hard. We continued to wade through each question, going back to as far as 1973. Judging by the dates, he would have been on the streets for about 15 years.

That was months ago. Lost in the chaos of internships, activities, and visitors, I stopped taking my walks past the lavanderia. Now, I walk past just to see if he is there, but each time the space beneath that lone crooked tree remains empty. I called
the hospital. They had no one on record with his name. I asked a man who spends time in the park across from the lavanderia if he knows John.

“Yeah, I know him,” he said. “He used to live under the freeway. I helped him out once. He’s so territorial,” he scowled and I got the feeling he and John did not get along. While his opinion seemed a flight of fancy, I could not claim it false without proof. He continued, “I seen him, though, just last week.”

But I didn’t see John. I looked and I could not find him. It is no strange thing, though, for the folks who break bread with us at the Hippie Kitchen, to come regularly for years and then disappear, leaving us wondering months later what happened to them. Sometimes they show up randomly in our garden or we pass them on the street to find out that they moved to Long Beach or they have been in jail or prison, many times for jaywalking or missing an appointment with a parole officer.

Regardless, it is the way of our work serving the poor, living in community. People pass though like water whether we realize it or not. So every once in a while, I wander down State Street, but crooked tree stands alone. I hope to one day see him again.

Note: Harassing Charity: The LA Catholic Worker has been providing breakfast (oatmeal, hard-boiled eggs, sweets, orange juice and coffee) to often over a hundred poor people in LA each morning for many years. But now they are under seige. The health department is demanding that they provide bathroom facilities and running water - which is impossible. The police have threatened to confiscate their pots and pans and van if they do not comply. What are we coming to as a nation? Big Brother appears poised to brook no 'rivals' and pose as the only final Benefactor of human beings, as the love of many grows cold.

--->Jim and Nancy Forest: Today is the birthday of CW co-founder, Dorothy Day

The Works of Mercy Versus the Works of War

Each of the sentences that Christ uses in Matthew 25 to describe ways in which the saved, knowingly or unknowingly, responded mercifully to him, describes actions which are the polar opposite of what combatants are required to do in war.

The text then becomes: I was hungry and you destroyed my fields, I was thirsty and you bombed the water works, I was naked and you burned the flesh from my body, I was homeless and you bombed my city, etc. But in the end we still have: What you did to the least person, you did to me.

In various ways, this was a point Dorothy Day -- whose life centered on "the works of mercy" -- made countless times.---Jim Forest

--->What God is like and what He asks of us: The parable of the Good Samaritan... Every such act of self-giving, we are taught, anticipates the Ultimate Self-Giving in the Cross of Golgotha. The Lord did not pass out theological exams, but he did examine hearts at every turn.

--->Servitude doesn't require chains and irons...

---->Report: Sarkozy calls Netanyahu 'liar'. Microphones accidently left on after G20 meeting pick up private conversation between US, French presidents. Sarkozy admits he 'can't stand' Israeli premier. Obama: You're fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day!...Read more

--->Benedict XVI: modern-day nihilism stems from despair over death

--->Ohio Issue 2: Controversial Anti-Union Law Defeated By Voters...

--->Electrical Grid 'SmartMeters" send almost 10,000 signals a day. "Earlier this year, the utilities commission ordered PG&E to offer its customers an alternative to receiving a wireless SmartMeter. In response, the company proposed giving people who request it a SmartMeter with the transmitter turned off. The commission is still studying that proposal, and the new details about the meters’ signals come from a document the company filed as part of that process..." Too, Smart Meters reportedly reveal TV viewing habits...

--->Electrical Sensitivity as an Emerging Illness?

--->Militant ‘atheocracy’ the worst threat to pro-life movement: Denver bishop

--->Mississippi fails to pass Personhood amendment...

--->Ehud Barak, Israeli Defense Minister, Will Not Rule Out Iran Strike

--->Sasha Grey, Porn 'Star,' Reads To Elementary School, Parents Outraged...

Received: Dear Stephen if all the Mexicans who are here illegally would go back one way or the other we would not have problems such as seen in the "Crooked Tree John" story. Signed_______

Response: The immigration reform debate is an urgent one, especially as so very many immigrants are practically brought in on enticing virtual commercial slave-ships (thinking Wealth as seen on misleading TV!), disguised by cynical corporate moguls, precisely to serve as a permanent underclass replacing the traditional Middle Class which appears to be targeted for destruction here (at least as Americans knew it after WWII). But as long as there is a needy person in front of a Christian, that person will not be allowed to languish in pain, hunger, or die.

--->How I hope and pray this man is wrong and that better minds and souls will prevail...

--->Good Samaritan Gets Favor Repaid Minutes Later

--->Hilary White: "I approve of guerrilla gardening..."

--->Justice Breyer warns of Orwellian government..."A Supreme Court justice on Tuesday expressed major concerns that the government would engage in round-the-clock surveillance reminiscent of the totalitarian world of the George Orwell novel 1984 if the court ruled in the government's favor..."

--->Apocalypto, Slavery, And Us All: "Slavery, alas, was as old as the world in almost all cultures...

--->Collapsing into the Void. Sad resurgence of Satanism sometimes is explicit and vicious... oftentimes presented as wall-to-wall softer "entertainment addictions", or academic....

--->10 Reasons to shop at a local, independent drug store...

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."---JFK