San Francisco is an open sewer
1 hour ago
By giving citizens a better voice in the administration of law, particularly egregious violations of privacy and questionable policing tactics could be scrutinized by those who are actually affected by these policies. Speed traps and other arguable misallocations of resources could be redirected to increase street patrols or furthering direct relationships with members of the community. In certain areas, victimless crimes might fall under salutary neglect. In other areas, the exact opposite approach might be taken. Ultimately, the choice would be the citizen's.
The causes of conflict are even increasing, including with the children of
Israel. Benedict XVI is multiplying his gestures of openness, but is receiving
nothing in exchange. The incident of the Holocaust denier bishop, with a
commentary by Anna Foa, herself Jewish
A troubled history with Judaism has long been part of the Catholic traditionalist movement associated with the late French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre — beginning with Lefebvre himself, who spoke approvingly of both the World War II-era Vichy Regime in France and the far-right National Front, and who identified the contemporary enemies of the faith as “Jews, Communists and Freemasons” in an Aug. 31, 1985, letter to Pope John Paul II.Is a blog really the place to do justice to the details and history of Catholic-Jewish controversies? Shall we start going after Chesterton, Belloc, and Fr. Fahey as well? Some may believe in a conspiracy among certain Jews for world domination and such. Is such speculation due only to the sin of hate? Or is it due to a sincere recognition of the profound religious differences and views about the identity of God's "chosen people"? Who is the Messiah for whom the Jews are waiting? As for the support of the Vichy Regime--the Vichy Regime was not the same as Nazi Germany, though it did cooperate with it. There are Catholics who believe Pétain was a patriot (and even representative of the old Catholic France?). I believe the Abbé Georges de Nantes holds this opinion. Is he an anti-Semite? Archbishop Lefebvre?
Energy Bulletin: Bill McKibben interviewed by Jason Bradford (audio and text), which links to Reality Report (mp3)
GALVESTON, Texas – Jurors wept Tuesday watching a woman describe how teaching her 2-year-old daughter proper manners turned into a daylong torture session in which the toddler was beaten with belts, dunked in cold water and flung across a room so violently that she died.
Kimberly Trenor, 20, detailed the abuse in a videotaped statement played for jurors during the first day of her capital murder trial.
Trenor, 20, told investigators in the statement that she hit her daughter with a thick leather belt to teach her to say "please" and "yes, sir."
Riley Ann Sawyers tried to stop her mother and stepfather from beating her to death by reaching out to her mother and saying, "I love you," assistant district attorney Kayla Allen told jurors earlier in the day during her opening statement.
Despite all the sound and fury, I don’t see too much of it. Most people date *long term* within their race. There are likely evolutionarily mediated reasons for this. Women are more racist than men in the realm of dating. They are less open to having relationships with men of different races, while men are bigger whores who will happily **** a cute chick from any race.(Edited for profanity.)
Many years ago I embraced the sensible and insightful gender perspective of the psychologist, Carl Jung, who argued that both genders contain qualities of the opposite gender, and that those qualities have both life-supporting and life-destroying aspects. Therefore, in Jungian fashion, collapse must be understood and explored from the perspectives of both genders. The typically male perspective would in the case of Peak Oil, emphasize things like facts, statistics, pipelines, percentage of supply, demand, and long-term consequences. It would instruct us, warn us, and suggest various courses of action.This reminds me of a post by A Thomist: Politics, the domination of nature, and prudence. UPDATED. Prudence is not the same as art, but very few treat peak oil simply as a problem of technology or of art. All of the numbers, graphs, charts I've seen are part of essays acknowledging that the solution to peak oil is a change in lifestyle.
From the female perspective, these concerns are in no way irrelevant or unimportant, but may motivate us to embrace an even larger perspective. By "larger" I do not mean more global but rather, a perspective that includes the body and emotions as well as the intellect. It isn't just about having a womb and the capacity to give birth. However, a woman's fundamental, bone-marrow connection to life and generativity is uniquely female. Perhaps this is the reason that in many indigenous societies, including the Iroquois Confederacy, the clan mothers' authority superseded that of the warriors who could not go to war without their permission.There are some Peak Oil survivalists who believe that nothing can be done, and therefore they can only look to protecting themselves and their families when things get bad. Others, however, see the solution in relocalization and the rebuilding of community. Very few of them do not see that the solution is a truly political one--as opposed to a solution implemented solely by the National Government.
What this is about is the pivotal aspect of the female psyche that is relational rather than combative or problem-solving. The feminine principle in both women and men asks: How can we connect with each other in a manner that supports survival and enhances our lives as we navigate the destructive aspects of collapse? How can we build alliances, join with neighbors and villages to sustain our families and communities? From the feminine perspective, the egos of certain "key players" matter much less than the collective lessons that the unprecedented phenomenon of collapse may be inviting us to learn.
The feminine principle always compels us to go deeper and rather than asking "if" the world as we have known it is really ending, asking instead: What is the essence of the project of civilization? What makes its continuance axiomatic? What compelling signals invite us to callit into question? Tom Petruno's January 24, Los Angeles Times article, "Economy In Shock: It's Failure Overload" opines that our problem is "failure", assuming that the success of civilization is the most desirable option, without of course, asking the more profound questions about the nature and consequences of civilization or whether or not its continuance is preferable to the alternative.
An empire constructed on conquest, hierarchy, and competition is inherently heroic and deems any opposite an abject failure. In its stultifying, constricted, superficial world view, there is no space or depth which might expand the conversation and eliminate the need for polarization. Characteristic of life-destroying male rigidity, civilization marginalizes those who question it without examining its own raison d'être, and of course, because it cannot include, only dominate, the feminine perspective is not part of the conversation. This is not to say that any particular reporter embodies "life-destroying male rigidity". Journalists in corporate media are parts of systems of empire whose interests lie in selling newspapers, magazines, and books which have never been about asking the deeper questions but rather perpetuating the fantasy that there is nothing more glorious and propitious than empire.Civilization marginalizes those who dissent? Does Ms. Baker share something with the anarcho-capitalists? I would hold that in a centralized, bureaucratic state, truth and originality are stifled when they threaten those in power and the status quo. In a degraded 'democracy,' do politicians not serve their masters and the desires, rather than acting for their benefit? We are not talking about virtuous (male) behavior, but vicious behavior. (Are feminists who deny their nature able to compete for long with the vicious males they seek to imitate? I wonder.)
What leaps out at me here is that word so supremely characteristic of the feminine principle, wholeness. While males preparing for collapse are certainly supportive of wholeness, the feminine experience is in itself, one of wholeness. The female psyche is wholeness, containing the capacity to include, embrace, and hold a variety of opposites in our bodies and souls. In a collapsing world, is it not crucial to understand how this outlook is embodied and expressed in contrast with how males might respond to the unraveling? Is not the notion of sustainability itself a concept engendered by the principle of wholeness?"Wholeness," though, is used equivocally with respect to community or harmony with the creation and with respect to a woman's perception of her own nature and vocation. The former is integral unity while the later is related to the woman's substantial unity. Sustainability is a concept that looks at the stewardship of mankind over the rest of the world.
Capone: Yeah, that’s true, that’s true. So, LINCOLN. Where are we with LINCOLN?
LN: It’s quote–unquote from Steven [Spielberg] last night [at the Golden Globe Awards]…Apparently, when he was asked, he said, “It’s in the works.”
Capone: In the works, okay. But, he still hasn’t even said whether it’s his next film, or not?
LN: No. I think it’s just in the works. He’ll do it sometime.
Capone: I remember reading maybe two years ago that you were doing an intense amount of research on Lincoln. Is that pretty common for you, once you find out you’re attached to something. You just sort of jump into it, whether it’s the next thing or not?
LN: Well, you can imagine with a figure like that, there’s any amount of research and reading to do, you know. I mean, at the moment, there are over 2,000 books written on Abraham Lincoln. And, this being the bicentennial [of his birth] year, one comes out every month, it seems, you know. So, that’s a continual process. And, it’s always on my bedside table, something about Abraham Lincoln.
The Presidency has continued to grow as the expansion of the modern project has also unfolded apace: the very success of that project especially in the economic, but also political and social realms has demanded ever greater "decision, activity, secrecy, and dispatch," and has necessarily grown impatient with, and moved beyond reliance upon, the slower and plodding pace of the legislative and deliberative branches. While the school-house version of the Founding often stresses the idea that it sought a balance of powers and divided government, in fact its aim was to replace the clunky and slow-working system under the Articles of Confederation, and in particular to accelerate the consolidation of the various States through legislative and economic integration. The very success of the Constitutional order in achieving that end necessarily required ever greater "decision, activity, secrecy, and dispatch" on the part of the Executive, to the point now at which we witness a hope and belief that a single individual can attain the salvation of the polity and perhaps heal the world.Was this the intent of all those involved in drafting the Constitution? Or was the Constitution and the Federal Government only subverted later by certain people holding political and economic power? Does the Constitution contain weaknesses which allow for the concentration of power and the triumph of the Executive over the Legislative branch? Or have Executive excesses (usurpation) occurred because it has been left unchecked by the Congress? (That is to say, the Constitution has not been observed, rather than bearing its 'natural fruit.')
"I Can Get Out of the Quicksand of Pride and Sin"
VATICAN CITY, JAN. 25, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered today before praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter's Square.
* * *
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
In this Sunday's Gospel resound the words of Jesus' first preaching in Galilee: "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel" (Mark 1:15).
Precisely today, Jan. 25, we remember the conversion of St. Paul. It is a happy coincidence -- especially in this Pauline year -- which allows us, as we contemplate the experience of the Apostle, to understand the true meaning of evangelical conversion -- "metanoia." In Paul's case some prefer not to use the term "conversion" because, they say, he was already a believer, indeed he was a fervent Jew, and so he did not go from non-belief to belief, from idols to God, nor did he have to abandon the Jewish faith to adhere to Christ. In reality, the Apostle's experience can be a model of every authentic Christian conversion.
Paul's conversion matured in the encounter with the Risen Christ; it was this encounter that radically changed his existence. That which Jesus asks in the Gospel today happened to him on the road to Damascus: Saul converted because, thanks to the divine light, "he believed in the Gospel." His conversion and ours consists in this: in believing in Jesus dead and risen and in opening up to the illumination of his divine grace. In that moment Saul understood that his salvation did not depend on good works done according to the law, but on the fact that Jesus died even for him -- the persecutor - and he was, and is, risen. This truth, which through baptism illuminates the existence of every Christian, turns our way of life completely upside down.
Converting means, for each one of us also, believing that Jesus "gave himself up for me," dying on the cross (cf. Galatians 2:20) and, risen, lives with me and in me. Entrusting myself to the power of his forgiveness, letting myself be led by the hand by him, I can get out of the quicksand of pride and sin, of lies and sadness, of selfishness and every false certainty, to know and live the richness of his love.
Dear friends, the invitation to conversion, confirmed by the witness of St. Paul, is particularly urgent today, at the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, even at the ecumenical level. The Apostle shows us the right spiritual attitude for progress toward communion. "It is not that I have already taken hold of it," he writes to the Philippians, "or have already attained perfect maturity, but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been conquered by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12).
Of course we Christians have not yet achieved the goal of full unity, but if we let ourselves be continually converted by the Lord Jesus, we will certainly arrive there. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the one, holy Church, obtain for us the gift of a true conversion, so that the desire of Christ, "ut unum sint," be realized. To her we entrust the prayer meeting at which I will preside this afternoon in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, in which, as every year, the representatives of the Churches and ecclesial Communities present in Rome will participate.
[After the Angelus the Pope greeted the pilgrims in various languages. In Italian he said:]
Today is World Leprosy Day, which was started 55 years ago by Raoul Follereau. The Church, following Jesus, has always had special concern for those persons stricken with this disease, as the message circulated by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry also testifies. I am happy that the United Nations, with a recent declaration of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, has asked countries to protect those suffering from leprosy and their families. For my part, I assure them of my prayers and I renew my encouragement of those who struggle with them for complete healing and good social integration.
The peoples of various East Asian countries are preparing to celebrate the lunar new year. I wish them joy in their celebrations. Joy is an expression of being in harmony with oneself: and that can only come from being in harmony with God and with his creation. May joy always live in the hearts of the citizens of those nations, which are so dear to me, and spread throughout the world!
[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]
[The Holy Father said in English:]
I am pleased to greet all the English-speaking pilgrims gathered for this Angelus. Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul. In this year dedicated to the Apostle of all Nations, and in this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, let us implore the Lord to help us achieve the full unity of his Body once more!
Today I also wish to mention this year's Message for World Communications Day which was released on the eve of the Feast of Saint Francis de Sales, Patron Saint of Journalists. The Message concerns the new technologies which have made the internet a resource of utmost importance, especially for the so-called "digital generation".
Undoubtedly, wise use of communications technology enables communities to be formed in ways that promote the search for the true, the good and the beautiful, transcending geographical boundaries and ethnic divisions. To this end, the Vatican has launched a new initiative which will make information and news from the Holy See more readily accessible on the world wide web. It is my hope that this initiative will enrich a wide range of people - including those who have yet to find a response to their spiritual yearning - through the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ whose message of Good News the Church bears to the ends of the earth (cf. Mt 28:20)!
© Copyright 2009 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Papal Homily at Conclusion of Unity Week
"Why Have You Wounded the Unity of My Body?"
VATICAN CITY, JAN. 25, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the homily Benedict XVI gave today at the celebration of vespers for the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. With this ceremony, held at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity concluded.
Representatives of Churches and ecclesial communities of Rome were present at the event.
* * *
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is a great joy every time we find ourselves gathered at the tomb of the Apostle Paul on the liturgical feast of his conversion to conclude the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. I greet all of you with affection. I greet in a special way Cardinal Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, the abbot and the community of monks who are hosting us. I also greet Cardinal Kasper, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. I greet along with him the lord cardinals who are present, the bishops and the pastors of the various Churches and ecclesial communities gathered here this evening.
A special word of recognition goes to those who worked together in preparing the prayer guides, experiencing firsthand the exercise of reflecting and meeting in listening to each other and, all together, to the Word of God.
St. Paul's conversion offers us a model that shows us the way to full unity. Unity in fact requires a conversion: from division to communion, from broken unity to healed and full unity. This conversion is the gift of the Risen Christ, as it was for St. Paul. We heard this from the Apostle himself in the reading proclaimed just a moment ago: "By the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Corinthians 15:10).
The same Lord, who called Saul on the road to Damascus, addresses himself to the members of the Church -- which is one and holy -- and calling each by name asks: Why have you divided me? Why have you wounded the unity of my body?
Conversion implies two dimensions. In the first step we recognize our faults in the light of Christ, and this recognition becomes sorrow and repentance, desire for a new beginning. In the second step we recognize that this new road cannot come from us. It consists in letting ourselves be conquered by Christ. As St. Paul says: "I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been conquered by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12).
Conversion demands our yes, my "pursuit"; it is not ultimately my activity, but a gift, a letting ourselves be formed by Christ; it is death and resurrection. This is why St. Paul does not say: "I converted" but rather "I died" (Galatians 2:19), I am a new creature. In reality, St. Paul's conversion was not a passage from immorality to morality, from a mistaken faith to a right faith, but it was a being conquered by Christ: the renunciation of his own perfection; it was the humility of one who puts himself without reserve in the service of Christ for the brethren. And only in this renunciation of ourselves, in this conforming to Christ are we also united among ourselves; we become "one" in Christ. It is communion with the risen Christ that gives us unity.
We can observe an interesting analogy with the dynamic of St. Paul's conversion also in meditating on the biblical text of the prophet Ezekiel (37:15-28), which was chosen as a basis for our prayer this year. In it, in fact, the symbolic gesture is presented of two sticks being joined into one in the prophet's hand, who represents God's future action with this gesture. It is the second part of Chapter 37, which in the first part contains the celebrated vision of the dry bones and the resurrection of Israel, worked by the Spirit of God.
How can we not see that the prophetic sign of the reunification of the people of Israel is placed after the great symbol of the dry bones brought to life by the Spirit? There follows from this a theological pattern analogous to that of St. Paul's conversion: God's power is first and he works the resurrection as a new creation by his Spirit. This God, who is the Creator and is able to resurrect the dead, is also able to bring a people divided in two back to unity.
Paul -- like Ezekiel but more than Ezekiel -- becomes the chosen instrument of the preaching of the unity won by Christ through his cross and resurrection: the unity between the Jews and the pagans, to form one new people. Christ's resurrection extends the boundary of unity: not only the unity of the tribes of Israel, but the unity of the Jews and the pagans (cf. Ephesians 2; John 10:16); the unification of humanity dispersed by sin and still more the unity of all who believe in Christ.
We owe this choice of the passage from the prophet Ezekiel to our Korean brothers, who felt the call of this biblical passage strongly, both as Koreans and Christians. In the division of the Jewish people into two kingdoms they saw themselves reflected, the children of one land who, on account of political events, have been divided, north from south. Their human experience helped them to better understand the drama of the division among Christians.
Now, from this Word of God, chosen by our Korean brothers and proposed to all, a truth full of hope emerges: God allows his people a new unity, which must be a sign and an instrument of reconciliation and peace, even at the historical level, for all nations. The unity that God gives his Church, and for which we pray, is naturally communion in the spiritual sense, in faith and in charity; but we know that this unity in Christ is also the ferment of fraternity in the social sphere, in relations between nations and for the whole human family. It is the leaven of the Kingdom of God that makes all the dough rise (cf. Matthew 13:33).
In this sense, the prayer that we offer up in these days, taking our cue from the prophecy of Ezekiel, has also become intercession for the different situations of conflict that afflict humanity at present. There where human words become powerless, because the tragic noise of violence and arms prevails, the prophetic power of the Word of God does not weaken and it repeats to us that peace is possible, and that we must be instruments of reconciliation and peace. For this reason our prayer for unity and peace always requires confirmation by courageous gestures of reconciliation among us Christians.
Once again I think of the Holy Land: how important it is that the faithful who live there, and the pilgrims who travel there, offer a witness to everyone that diversity of rites and traditions need not be an obstacle to mutual respect and to fraternal charity. In the legitimate diversity of different positions we must seek unity in faith, in our fundamental "yes" to Christ and to his one Church. And thus the differences will no longer be an obstacle that separates but richness in the multiplicity of the expressions of a common faith.
I would like to conclude this reflection of mine with a reference to an event that we older people here have certainly not forgotten. In this place on Jan. 25, 1959, exactly 50 years ago, Blessed Pope John XXIII announced for this first time his desire to convoke "an ecumenical Council for the universal Church" (AAS LI , p. 68). He made this announcement to the cardinals in the chapter room of the Monastery of St. Paul, after having celebrated solemn Mass in the Basilica.
From the providential decision, suggested to my venerable predecessor, according to his firm conviction, by the Holy Spirit, there also derived a fundamental contribution to ecumenism, condensed in the decree "Unitatis Redintegratio." In that document we read: "There can be no ecumenism worthy of the name without a change of heart. For it is from renewal of the inner life of our minds, from self-denial and an unstinted love that desires of unity take their rise and develop in a mature way" (7).
The attitude of interior conversion in Christ, of spiritual renewal, of increased charity toward other Christians, created a new situation in ecumenical relations. The fruits of theological dialogues, with their convergences and with the more precise identification of the differences that still remain, led to a courageous pursuit in two directions: in the reception of what was positively achieved and a renewed dedication to the future.
Opportunely, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, which I thank for the service it renders to all the disciples of the Lord, has recently reflected on the reception and future of ecumenical dialogue. Such a reflection, if on one hand rightly desires to emphasize what has already been achieved, on the other hand intends to find new ways to continue the relations between the Churches and the ecclesial Communities in the present context.
The horizon of full unity remains open before us. It is an arduous task, but it is exciting for those Christians who want to live in harmony with the prayer of the Lord: "that all be one so that the world believes" (John 17:21). The Second Vatican Council explained to us "that human powers and capacities cannot achieve this holy objective -- the reconciling of all Christians in the unity of the one and only Church of Christ" ("Unitatis redintegratio," 24).
Trusting in the prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ, and encouraged by the significant steps made by the ecumenical movement, with faith we invoke the Holy Spirit that he continue to illumine our path. May the Apostle Paul, who worked so hard and suffered for the unity of the mystical body of Christ, spur us on from heaven; and may the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the unity of the Church, accompany and sustain us.
[Translation by Joseph G. Trabbic]