Thursday, July 31, 2008

Saint Ignatius *1491, †1556

Iñigo López de Loyola was born, in the castle of Loyola, in the spanish Basque country. He was the thirteenth child, remember, this was not an age that discouraged fecundity. One should sit down and compile a list of the prominent, whom were among the youngest children of a large family. How the world advanced with so many people, who, had siblings the age of parents, and parents the age of grandparents.

Peter Paul Rubens. c.1621, Sibiu, Romania.

At the onset of adult life, he became a soldier. In 1521 his legs caught a cannonball française, this was followed by surgeries. In convalescence he began spiritual reading. His life was changed. He wrote the Spiritual Exercises, which have been a comfort to prisoners, drunkards (AA), and addicts. It has led many to a greater faith, and has been the manual for spiritual retreats.

He wanted to be an evangelising ascetic in Palestine, where Christ had trod, and then was under the Turk. He went to the University of Paris and became a scholar. The yet to be heresiarch, the Picard, Calvin was there at the time. There Ignatius found other men into a society. Seven men formed the Society of Jesus, in the Chapel of St. Denis, in Montmartre.

They wanted to go to Jerusalem, but became collegian teachers and begat a reputation of vigorous academics, often in trouble with the powers that be. As baroque art combatted protestant heresy, so were the Jesuits a bulwark of the catholic reformation. The accusations of subversion have never ceased. They come from anti-Catholic bigots, and from catholics. People who teach are dangerous. They have been expelled and suppressed from countries, made bogeymen, and have been martyred in the old world and the new: Japan, England, New York and Ontario*, Spain, Germany, China, El Salvador, earning particular enmity from nationalists, calvinists, jingoists and fascists; they have been accused to be communists, and have been imprisoned, and executed, by communists.

And for some reason, they have fielded some, outstandingly, successful, high school football programmes across this country. “Goodness gracious, we’re the boys from Saint Ignatius.” And write on top of your Homework, AMDG, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, for the greater glory of God.
*read the anti-Catholic, Francis Parkman, forced by Clio, to tell admirable truth, The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Saint Martha

Henryk Semiradskij. Christ in the House of Martha and Mary. 1886. St. Petersburg.
Martha is overlooked. She is often the bystander. Jesus raises her brother Lazarus, as she and Mary look on. Mary is more extravagant in her devotion to Jesus, and more attentive to his words. Martha works, and is diligent, and she knows that. She feels burdened and, that, she does more than her share.

Semiradskij has her, in the upper left and in shadow, she is not the focus. The focus is Jesus. There is an oriel or rondel of light with Jesus at the centre. Mary sits at His feet catching every word and gesture of the Master. Martha is off to the side. She is carrying, what seems to be, a jug. The picture is extravagantly gorgeous, the house of Martha and Mary is a villa with a gardened courtyard, with a grape vine porch bower, roses (what is more beautiful than roses in full bloom?) and twisting mature trees. Mary is in handsome profile, dear Martha’s face is obscured.

In this early Vermeer, of the same title and subject, which would be more familiar to english speaking catholics, and is nine generations older, Martha is in the centre. Jesus is still the focus, his nimbic aura is present. Martha is serving, peacefully; while Mary listens, and Jesus explains.

At the end of the tenth chapter of Luke, we have our portrait of Martha:
Now it came to pass as they went, that he entered into a certain town: and a certain woman named Martha, received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sitting also at the Lord's feet, heard his word. But Martha was busy about much serving. Who stood and said: Lord, hast thou no care that my sister hath left me alone to serve? speak to her therefore, that she help me.And the Lord answering, said to her: Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and art troubled about many things: But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Vermeer was a painter in the low countries between the french and the germans. Vermeer was a convert to the faith during the catholic reformation. This gospel episode, and representational art in general, naturally appealed to a catholic audience, moreso, than a protestant. Even recently, François Mitterand referred to the division in religious and cultural europe in these terms: the catholic, contemplative, sister Mary who chose wisely, and the busy (and rebuking) protestant sister.

In John, Martha makes a confession of faith:
Martha saith to him: I know that he shall rise again, in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said to her: I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live: And every one that liveth, and believeth in me, shall not die for ever. Believest thou this? She saith to him: Yea, Lord, I have believed that thou art Christ the Son of the living God, who art come into this world.

Jan Vermeer. Christ in the House of Martha and Mary. c.1654-1655. Edinburgh.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

abortivo, born out of due time & Crossroads

To-day’s Lesson, in the extra-ordinary form, contains the passage: 1Corinthians xv. 8.
novissime autem omnium tamquam abortivo* visus est et mihi — Saint Jerome’s Vulgate translation
And last of all, he was seen also by me, as by one born out of due time. — Gregory Martin
’s Douay Rheims translation
Après eux tous, il m’est aussi apparu à moi, comme à l’avorton. — Augustin Crampon translation
L’abbé Crampon’s footnote is very informative:
Avorton, fruit qui se détache avant d’être arrivé à maturité. Paul s’appelle ainsi, soit parce que sa conversion, sa régénération a eu lieu d’une manière violente et en dehors de la voie ordinaire, soit aussi parce qu’il a conscience de son indignité et de sa faiblesse.

Abortion, fruit which is detached before being become ripe. Paul is called thus, either because his conversion, his regeneration, took place in a violent way and apart from the ordinary way, or, also, because he is aware of his unworthiness, and his weakness.
The corresponding note in the Jerusalem Bible has:
“An allusion to the abnormal, sudden and surgical nature of Paul
s birth into the apostolic family.”

The french word ‘
l’avorton’, besides meaning the usual miscarriage or premature baby, also can be applied, to an adult individual, in an insulting and demeaning manner. It can be translated as: insignificant, paltry, runt, wretched ... Now, this is the only instance in Scripture, where, this word appears. [There is a neat, greek term for this, for words only said once in a text, hapax legomenon] Paul, here, uses l’avorton to apply to himself. Paul often self deprecates. Paul is making an account of the varied, separate witnesses, to the Resurrection, of Christ Jesus. The french is more intense, and descriptive, than the english or the latin; it would appear, that in the greek, it is more nebulous. At what point on the scale does the word most, truly weigh in? or that in different languages the shade of the hue, though practically equivalent, is more illuminative.

Gregory Martin employs the marvelous one born out of due time’. Paul’s conversion and catechumate was dramatically instantaneous, this is not the due course of the conversion process, generally, one comes to Jesus slowly, and by degrees. In this Martin’s phrase is more apt, though due time’ can be confusing, since due time’ suggests proper time, and that suggests that there is an improper time, but, if it is understood, as ‘other than usual time’, then it is well.

The french has much more texture in, this, simple word to word translation, while Martin has a poetry of pleasant expression. But, the french had many centuries to add, and to fill out the term, that the greek did not. Sometimes, multiple readings [and versions] give us more depth and flavor.

Also at this mass, we had pilgrims. A group came up from Vienna, near Youngstown, O., that included a couple of habited sisters and women wearing the black mantillas as head scarves. We also had three bright, sweet and pleasant, collegian co-eds, whom were, traversing the continent.

They were with Crossroads. At the Franciscan University of Steubenville, there has developed a programme (since 1994), that, during the summer, collegians walk across the continent for the cause of life. They begin at three different sites on the Pacific coast and meet up at the District of Columbia. Our visitors travelled the northern route, beginning in Seattle. They were nine
and visited three parishes in the diocese: St. Gregory the Great, St. Joan of Arc and St. Stephen (Cleveland). Each parish had three pilgrims, Bess Broussard from Sulphur, Louisiana; Nicole Hendershot from Billings, Montana; Justine Steenblok from Rochester, New York, visited Saint Stephen.They came to pray for the intentions of all, and as christians, we are also so required.
*the greek word is: ἐκτρώματι.
ἔσχατον δὲ πάντων ὡσπερεὶ τῷ ἐκτρώματι ὤφθη κἀμοί.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saints Joachim and Anne

Giotto di Bondone. Meeting at the Golden Gate. c.1305. Capella degli Scrovegni, Padua.

Now on the new calendar, to-day is enjoined for both parents of the Mother of God, Joachim and Anne, Mary’s parents. It comes as a surprise to the Orthodox, to the Catholic, that some others who believe in Jesus do not know, that, the people who interacted with Jesus had names; even to the point, that, these people even existed. Certainly they must have. Their only arrow in the quiver is they have never read their names in the New Testament. They have not read their own names in the Bible, either. Ancient non-canonical writings and traditions tell us their names.

In Giotto’s fresco, with a kiss and embrace, the aged couple share and celebrate, the news of their child's upcoming birth, at a gate to the city of Jerusalem. Their solid, and not very articulated bodies, nearly form a triangle; for there are three there. The two bodies, faces and nimbuses also merge. Foremost, the picture shows: warmth and tenderness.

There is an undeniable sweetness. The kiss is rare in sacred iconography. A more well known kiss painted by Giotto, is that of the treacher Judas. But how opposite they are, love and birth as opposed to betrayal and death.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The american president and the germans

To-day will be seen as a day of counterpoint comparison. Barack Obama spoke to 200 thousands in Berlin, Germany, or ‘old europe’ as Rumsfeld called it. John McCain groused at the Fudge Haus in German Village, Columbus, Ohio. Obama gives a speech on the world stage, while a cranky, geezer appears silly in Ohio.

McCain complained that his opponent did not see the theatres of combat, and lacked foreign policy experience. Obama has embarked on a successful mini world tour. McCain fumes at home. He wanted to go to a gulf oil platform by Louisiana, in order to have a photo shot, to bolster more offshore drilling. To-day 400,000 gallons of diesel fuel is spilt on The Mississippi about New Orleans.

John McCain is showing signs of desperation as he fulminates. He has a commercial that blames the price of gasoline on Obama. Who started the war for Iraq’s oilfields? Is he going to be ridiculous in his accusations? John McCain has made verbal errors of assertion, that were covered up by CBS. The corporate media is propping up McCain, partly because, they want to make the contest appear a horse race. There is a possibility of a grand wave, a landslide for the Democracy, across the country. A real one, not the george bush junior sort, where clever and determined cheating produces less than fifty percent.

Saint Christina & Saint Christina the Astonishing

As a young girl she became a catholic. Christina could not have been her given name. Her father, an officer of government, threw her in Lake Bolsena, she survived. She was tortured and executed during the Diocletian pogroms in 297.

There were many roman, virgin martyrs. It is a form of female certitude, assertiveness and independence, this ‘feminist’ age in America can not fathom. Juvenile girls, all women, had no legal standing in pagan Rome. They had biological and economic utility in family and marriage and outside of that as slaves and concubines, but totally dependent on fathers and husbands or masters and owners. Choosing virginity was opting out. This was not appreciated, and the empire crushed rebels.

In the 18th century her catacomb remains were found and disinterred. In 1925 her relics came to Cleveland, Ohio. She lay in a crypt chapel at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, until one day, in February 1992, she was stolen. A few days later she was found on the parking lot of Saint Sava’s (Broadview Heights, there are 2 Serbian churches in Cleveland, both Saint Sava) . To-day she is back in the cathedral. There is some more story there, but I have not been privy to it.
St Christine at St. Christines.1889. Moriz Schlachter. Ravensburg, Germany.
Christina The Astonishing Lyrics
by Nick Cave

Christina the astonishing
Lived a long time ago
She was stricken with a seizure
At the age of twenty-two
They took her body in a coffin
To a tiny church in Liege
Where she sprang up from the coffin
Just after the Agnus Dei
She soared up to the rafters
Perched on a beam up there
Cried "The stink of human sin
Is more that I can bear"
Christina the astonishing
Was the most astonishing of all
She prayed balanced on a hurdle
Or curled up into a ball
She fled to remote places
Climbed towers and trees and walls
To escape the stench of human corruption
Into an oven she did crawl
O Christina the astonishing
Behaved in a terrifying way
She would run wildly through the streets
Jump in the Meusse and swim away
O Christina the astonishing
Behaved in terrifying manner
Died at the age of seventy-four
In the convent of St Anna

Cave sings in a haunted chant. He is a most melancholy artist. He occasionally touches on specifically Catholic subjects, he has one song on Brompton Oratory, for example. This song, virtually, reads every word in a short encyclopedia article, that, would quickly limn every detail that has survived over many centuries

Christina Mirabilis *1150, †1224 was a Belgian woman who experienced, in medical terms, false death and a variety of epileptic seizures. She exhibited behaviors that startled
the populace then, and would now. Some of the actions would be seen as paranormal or supernatural manifestations and occurrences.

Her life can pose questions on the nature of madness and holiness, certainly she was touched by God in some ways, that, most of us are not. Was her life akin to a prophet
’s? Does what appears to be a seizure mask something greater?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fourth Amendment

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” — James Madison, principle author of the Constitution.
Republicans do not much care for the rights of people. They would have been the Tories of 1775, the Democrats would have been the Patriots. Now, most Republicans believe in the second amendment, at least they believe in getting the gun fans’ votes . They do not seem to understand, that the right to bear arms, is there to protect the citizen/resident against the power of the unleashed state. The second amendment guarantees* are guaranteed to ensure and support the rights recognised in the fourth amendment, so anyone who tries to destroy, impinge and detract from the fourth, likewise wishes to do the same to the second.

Well, the fourth amendment is a statement based on the maxim, “A man’s home is his castle.” The wretched, virtually impotent, and disrespected, anonymous, man of little note is still the lord of what is his. The world
’s greatest power does not have the absolute, unrestricted authority to violate the poor soul, and this includes the local police force.

The acts and trespasses of bush
junior’s regime have violated the Constitution. The vile provisions, of the orwellian monstrosity, “Patriot Act ”, and the immunity of the nefarious FISA, have attacked us. No patriot can be a willing party to them, and the like. They are totalitarian measures not compatible with free men.

The spirit of the rights guaranteed have been transgressed by other than government forces. Required blood, and drug tests are contrary to our freedoms. A personal aside, I am not now or have ever been a druggie. My union coerces, its members to undergo urine tests, for a drug screen, which I am told are, just for marijuana. I have to have a card, in order to take a job, or to stay employed. Some contractors push for this. One is always suspect. One reaches an age and has never, after ‘x’ number of tests failed; he is still suspect, and of course, the testing company makes profit. Sometimes the police, for all practical purposes, force breath analyzer tests. As a nation, we are far less free, than a generation ago, and the pace of the erosion has sped up. The majority of the populace does not mind, until, of course, they become the fly in the cobweb.
*Rights are not given by the state, they are recognised and sometimes guaranteed or supported. The only one who can grant these rights, is He, Whom us did create, whom the founders (most prominently, Thomas Jefferson, the founder of the Democracy) of the Republic referred to as “nature’s God. ”
†On the 9 July 2008 senate vote, 69-28-3, gave immunity to the phone companies, another victory for chimpy. Perhaps, the courts will rule it unconstitutional, but again, there are too many fascists on the Supreme Court. While many Democrats disgraced themselves, and voted with the criminal-in-chief, not one Republican said, “NO”. Obama voted yes, McCain did not vote.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Saint Mary Magdalen

Myrrhbearer and Equal of the Apostles

Mary Magdalen is very important in the story of the Resurrection. In John xx, she was the first to find the tomb empty. She was the herald to the apostles Peter and John, and then the other disciples. She saw the Risen Christ and took him for the gardener. Adam had also been the gardener, in the first age of man, and Jesus is the Gardener in Paradise. There has been much drama in the garden.
12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been laid.
13 They say to her: Woman, why weepest thou? She saith to them: Because they have taken away my Lord; and I know not where they have laid him.
14 When she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing; and she knew not that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus saith to her: Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, thinking it was the gardener, saith to him: Sir, if thou hast taken him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16 Jesus saith to her: Mary. She turning, saith to him: Rabboni (which is to say, Master).
17 Jesus saith to her: Do not touch me, for I am not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren, and say to them: I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God.
She had been one of the Marys, at the Cross, whom took up the Body with Joseph of Arimathea. She was there to dress and anoint, for burial, hence the title ‘Myrrhbearer’. Because, she announced the Resurrection, she has been given the title ‘Equal of the Apostles’. Now, this is right and meet. I have encountered writers who make this point, as if it was an unique honorific. It is not, other great saints that brought nations to Christ have been so recognised, such as Patrick,Cyril and Methodius.

She has been misidentified many times and made the protagonist of many fictions, pious and blasphemous. She has been misused by all sort of propagandists, some enemies of orthodox christianity and political partisans, atheists and feminists, and charlatans on the make. We have a grand saint badly abused.

Gregory the Great, mistakenly confounded her with Mary of Bethania whose “pound of ointment of right spikenard, of great price”*,and the penitent sinner, with the alabaster box of ointment that washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and hair†, and as the anonymous adultress, Jesus saved from stoning. He tied too many identities in one body.‡ The eastern church did not make this error. Later stories change her into a prostitute, a further muddying of identity. And this current generation has invented all sorts of fantasies, that, blend old gnostic threads with innovations, more to shock than to illuminate.
*John xii. 3.
Luke vii. 37. & Mark xiv. 3.
‡And certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities; Mary who is called Magdalen, out of whom seven devils were gone forth, — ‡ viii.2.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Respecting the beliefs of others you reject

The last president de jure, that we had, and his wife, Hillary received Communion in Africa, and I was in askance, that, the press did not question the propriety. Now, recently, the sometimes atheist, Sally Quinn* has discussed receiving Communion in a manner of droit de dilettante. She admitted, that, this was the first time she transgressed the Catholic Sacrament. Somewhere the supporting views of several ‘religious figures’ were provided . I recognised only the name, Deepak Chopra, the semi-hindoo charlatan; none appeared to be catholic or orthodox. They all seemed in agreement of an, inclusive, non-doctrinaire, new age Christ, Whom, they approve of, and who they allow to confirm their views.

Now, the catholic and orthodox world share the belief of the actuality of that Sacrament. We believe the words of Jesus in the Gospels, Matthew, and at length in John; not as some christians [read protestants] who disbelieve and transform their teachings into Scripture. The latin west uses the term ‘transubstantiation’ for the mystery, the orthodox east believes in the same mystery, but do not use the language.
“For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise we have been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.” — Justin Martyr †165, First Apology
The Sacrament, in both churches, is equally valid. The Orthodox do not find it licit for Catholics to receive. I had a priest, at the cathedral, answer my question, in this manner: you recognise the validity of another man’s marriage to his wife, you do not honor that Sacrament by partaking of his wife. It is a scandal, that, we are not in communion; may God, in His mercy, end this millennium of separation.
“They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes. But it were better for them to treat it with respect, that they also might rise again.”— Ignatius of Antioch, †110, Epistle to Smyrnaeans
Now, what the protestant, and non-christian world believe about their counterpart to Our Sacrament, or about Our Sacrament, is irrelevant for us. It is incumbent on their exercise of good will, to respect the beliefs of others, that, they reject. Yet, they seem not only ready to ridicule and denigrate, but to dictate and act out. It is wonderfully remarkable, that, in the US, that, all are free to criticise Catholicism. It is not publicly respected, that, catholics are to defend themselves, and their beliefs.

We are a voluntary association, we welcome new members, but people who are not members can not, reasonably, expect us to bend to their whims and dictates. Everyone is free to join, and accept, or not. You are free to believe what you will, we are free to believe what we believe. If you can not behave civilly towards us, it is to your discredit, and shame, not ours.

In the early generations of the protestant heresies, Mary was not attacked, and many, other, current, american, protestant, hang ups were not much mentioned. In France, most of the printed attacks were on the celebration of the Eucharist. What, turned the monarchy against the movement, of prétendus réformés, was the gall and audacity, of the wording, on the placarding of France. Luther, never posted on a door; but the proto-huguenots did. They posted on the king’s door, and throughout Paris, and four other cities, on the night of 17/18 October, 1534. They posted the most abusive language: blasphemous, and designed to cause outrage. This is the “Affair of the Placards” in the history of France.

The item that most perplexed me, concerning the Republican side show, of the persecution, of Bill Clinton, was his statement, “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” It dumbfounded me. This was the origin of that absurdity. Did Jesus mean, what he said? or not? Here is where the ‘sola scriptura’ crowd and ‘bible believing literalists’ obfuscate and prevaricate. Is means is; an identity redundancy; a tautology. Any clever game of invented semantics is false.
And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.— Matthew xxvi. 26-28.
*of the Washington Post and Newsweek, self styled master of theology, and friend of Jon Beacham, self conferred doctorate of theology and american history.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

10th Sunday after Pentecost - Republicans and Pharisees who browbeat Catholics

Lincoln Cathedral. Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. mid 19th C.
To-day in the extraordinary form of the liturgy, is the 10th Sunday after Pentecost. To-day
’s Gospel is from Luke xviii. 9-14:
And to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others, he spoke also this parable: Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess.And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner.I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather that the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.
A foundation of catholic ethics is, that, the means do not justify the ends. This is simple syllogism, false premises do not lead to a truthful conclusion.

The suspect Republican attacks the catholic, with the argument, that, a true catholic must vote for Republicans, because Democrats are for abortion. Whilst it is true, unfortunate but true, that the Democracy officially supports, virtually, unlimited access for the termination of pregnancies; it is not true, that, the Republicans will end or intend to end abortion.

When Republicans attack catholics and democrats, they never admit, that, their party is that of criminals, bandits and war criminals, who act in disregard of all laws. They sneer at the Geneva conventions and approve of torture. They have stolen the last, two, presidential elections and many other races, they suppress the vote, and use secret, criminal, organised, co-ordinated, tyrannical and anti-democratic tactics. They intend to install a one party government. Tom Delay and Karl Rove were their field marshals in the coup. Cheney and bush are the chief war criminals.

Under this regime, they had a span of unmitigated, undeterred power, when no one was allowed to effectively challenge them, in the slightest. They controlled all parts of the federal government. They wanted to do this in perpetuity. They wanted the government to be subjected to their party. In this part of their reign, they lied the US, and coerced other countries, into a war for oil. Their one unifying value is the worship of Mammon. They acted for economic royalists and war imperialists.

Did they direct a fraction of this concern and energy for the abolition of abortion? NO!, they did not!

Jesus taught us, that, no one can serve two masters. Either one worships God, or one worships Mammon. Show unto me, when the Republicans did not serve Mammon and Mars.

There are some who use the phrase ‘cafeteria Catholic’, and deride bleeding hearts. Catholic teaching has never approved of unjust wars, some Catholic teaching condemns all wars. These entrées are not chosen by too many Republicans now. Christ was scourged and crucified — horrible tortures. Jesus was the first bleeding heart; how can a Catholic deride the Sacred Heart? Apparently, when he joins the Republican party.

Now, there is a portion of the Democracy, that is rabidly, for abortion. A good percentage of them are anti-Catholic bigots. There are other Democrats that travel with them. These Democrats have repelled democrats away from the Democracy. Recently a few anti-abortion Democrats have won office, where, another sort of Democrat would not have. This could force the party away from the unreserved support for abortion. Pragmatism, that allows for a spectrum of belief, on abortion may lead to victories, and a reduction in abortions.

Giuliani is not the only Republican who supports abortion, they have latitude on that issue, they have none on others, he is full front and center with them. Catholic prelates don’t deny him Communion, or shame him on abortion. The Republicans have straight, party line votes far more often than Democrats. It may not be for the right reasons that the Democracy will move away from Bill Clinton’s alliance with NARAL, but they may for victories. The Republicans only use it to gain votes from the electorate. When Democrats free themselves from the abortionists, it will be hard for the Republicans to continue to browbeat Catholics. They will on ‘socialism’ and this should expose them as the mammon worshipers they are. The Republicans have shown hat they will oppose measures that reduce the attraction of abortion. Hypocrisy in the service of mammon.

Committed catholics, and other humanists, must push the Democracy to understand, that, the unborn are logically equal, in humanity, to all those who have attained the age of reason. No one who walks and talks has existed, that, hasn’t been in the womb, where he is utterly dependent. For those who are orthodox christians, we believe that Our God, in the person of Jesus, so entered the world.

Tertullian, before the end of the 2nd century, defending against false accusations of child sacrifice among christians:
For us, murder is once and for all forbidden; so even the child in the womb, while yet the mother’s blood is still being drawn on to form the human being, it is not lawful for us to destroy. To forbid birth is only to murder the sooner. It makes no difference whether one takes away the life once born or destroys it as it comes to birth. He is a man who is to be a man; the fruit is always present in the seed.
Even earlier, in the Didache, which was used in the first century as a catechism and a guide to behavior:
You shall not procure abortion. You shall not destroy a newborn child.
Now, those people who believe in other aspects of social justice and the Beatitudes, will never find them honored in the Republican party. The advertisement and false propaganda campaign of ‘compassionate conservatism’ was equivalent to nazi humanism. Arbeit macht frei.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Kucinich the Patriot

Dennis Kucinich is the congressman that represents the west side of Cleveland, Ohio.. All America can be proud of the old boy. He makes a point of carrying a copy of the Constitution on him. The man knows that it is more than a prop. It is reminiscent of people who wear religious medals around their neck, or of Earl Weaver, the Orioles manager, who would wave the baseball rule book at umpires. That Constitution has been in great danger, and has been disregarded by the public. This regime in power has shredded it unto confetti.

Mister Kucinich has been laughed at and ridiculed. But he clearly, and accurately, sees the existential situation of the Republic. He is pressing for impeachment, impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors far greater than Nixon’s. He is not going for the petty and tawdry circus of revenge as the Republicans did against Bill Clinton. He is not trying to squash a non-conformist to Republican rule, as was the case of Andrew Johnson in the mid-nineteenth century, when the Republicans first came to power. He is attempting to protect the country from an usurper, whom believes only in the exercise of his own will, and the nefarious cabal that has blackened the honor of the land.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Knowledge that isn’t

A reporter, for the South Bend Tribune, wrote a good article. She started with, what she thought was, common knowledge. It is common fiction — items that the public accepts without thinking, as they were set up to do so, by effective programming. For those who study common subjects with a degree of rigor and a desire for veracity and knowledge, it does not pass inspection.

The initial sentence that falls, and fails, under scrutiny:
“In 1517, Martin Luther split Christianity in two and sparked the Protestant Reformation when he posted his 95 Theses that challenged teachings of the Roman Catholic Church on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.”
The first error corrected — there was no posting on any door. This is a story, posed some time removed from the event, to drive in a point of view, that at best is a sentimental fiction, and at worst clever, black, propaganda. It is less historically accurate, than the fairy tale, that, all people before Columbus, believed the earth was flat.

The second error corrected — the term ‘Roman Catholic Church’ is misleading. There is only the Catholic Church. There are Latin rite Catholics. The word,‘roman’, used this way suggests that there are other catholics and other catholicisms. There are not. Catholicism is one and universal. Certain anglicans are fond to make this distinction vis-à-vis ‘Anglo-Catholics’, whom are protestants, whom in many ways, have an attachment for catholicism.

The third error corrected — christianity has always had divisions. The trunk line, the standard, was catholicism, and it was split in 1054 between a latin west and a greek east. These two divisions are both catholic and orthodox, but the west is usually termed ‘Catholic’ and the east ‘orthodox’.

I would hope, that, this does not seem arcane and pedantic and partisan. It is, as best as can be, historically accurate. So many other similarly believed statements, that are said without thinking, are likewise flawed. They are a priori creations, that were, meant to start an argument on a certain ground. In this battle of words, the one side, has won the definition of terms, before the contest has begun, and they will protest if these terms are not used in their manner.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Draža Mihailović

Dragoljub Draža (Čiča) Mihailović *April 27, 1893, †July 17, 1946.

When the Axis armies of the fascist countries descended upon Jugoslavija, on the 6th of April 1941, they crushed the Royal Jugoslav Army, but not as quickly as they intended. This caused a delay in the offset of the main theatre of the world war. This hiccough allowed the germans to experience a russian winter, that, they did not plan for. This low evaluation of the slavonic nations was typical of the germans.

On the 15th of April, Colonel Mihailović refused to surrender at Doboj, Bosna. He retreated to the hills of his boyhood. On the 4th of May, Herr Hitler gleefully told the world, that, Jugoslavija was no more. Four days later, Draža Mihailović reached Ravna Gora to meet other units of army, his group was alone. So was born the Četnik resistance. A četa is a band. It is to be understood, that, the četniki were, moreso, independent irregulars, than a centralised army.

Spontaneous uprisings occurred throughout the rest of the year. When it came to the knowledge of Hitler, that a thousand germans were dead, a new policy was to be carried out: 1 german dead, 100 srbs to be executed, one german wounded, 50 srbs executed. And it was.

Mihailović needed to re-evaluate the situation. Mihailović was very much of the same character, and in the same position as Charles de Gaulle: a patriotic nationalist, a soldier of greater intelligence and ability than his superiors, and determined to a degree of stubbornness. Both would not surrender and refused to be pawns of the allies, thereby, vexing them.

The situation in the Balkans was more complicated than in France. On 19 September ’41 Mihailović had his first meeting with a man, whom would only identify himself as “Tito” at Struganik. They had different motivations.

Mihailović was a Srb restorationist, “Tito” was a ruthless bolshevik. Mihailović had seen the Ustaš and German massacres of Srbs. Mihailović fought the initial German invasion. “Tito”, only, began after the Soviet Union was attacked. He cared not at all about civilian casualties, even better, for future communist consolidation purposes.

Mihailović decided that the most productive. and humane course would be a general uprising, Ustanak, at the opportune time, and sabotage, not so readily identifiable by the occupiers. Draža, correctly, saw that the internal wars as a higher priority than suicidal attacks against the germans. The communists and the ustaš were more pressing enemies of the moment.

At first, british propaganda, and therefore american soon thereafter, promoted the četniki. Then with the soviets they chose the partisans, a motley group, with communist leadership. In America, Louis Adamic agitated for the communists.

On 28 February 1943, Mihailović spoke at Donje Lipovo. Churchill was notified and was furious. He sent a statement to the Srb premier in exile:
In the course of the speech, General Mihailovich said that the Serbs were now completely friendless, that the English, to suit their own strategic ends, were urging them to undertake operations without the slightest intention of helping them now or in the future, and that the English were now fighting to the last Serb in Yugoslavia ... that he would never be a party to this “shameful commerce typical of English perfidy. ”
The Ustanak was achieved, but the partisans were credited and supported by the Big Three. OZNA (Odeljenje za Zaštitu Naroda — Department for Protection of People) caught Mihailović on March 13, 1946. Draža Mihailović was put on a show trial in 1946, the Belgrade Process, and executed, with others, 18 July 1946.

Many individual americans and british soldiers could have gave evidence on behalf of Mihailović, they were not called. Mihailović was innocent, and this mattered not at all. Diplomatically, Tito was to be supported, after 1948 especially, by the Anglo-Americans. Mihailović’s counterpart, and friend, de Gaulle would not be a party to the Anglo-American perfidy.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Details in religious art glass

Stained glass is an art form, and is primarily associated with churches; the grand, gallic, gothic cathedrals, foremostly: Rheims, Chartres, Paris. Some of this patrimony of brilliance was lost through the vandalism, of the protestant movement, that engulfed parts of northern and western Europe. The windows were both utilitarian and instructive. For people who could not read, they illustrated the faith, whereas, letters on a page could do nothing. Artisans were employed, and civilisation made progress, through this artistic facet.

There are studios that still create this art form. A certain, painterly style emerged in the 19th century in, Bavaria and Austria, a land of German Catholics. At this time, there was a romantic, neo-gothic revival in art and architecture. A toleration of catholicism came, to english speaking lands, at the same time. Many churches were being built in catholic and immigrant communities. There was work for stained glass artisans.

The Franz Mayer company created many windows, for Irish cathedrals and other churches, throughout the world. In Hali
fax, Nova Scotia on 6 December 1917 the largest man made explosion and mushroom cloud, to that time occurred, when a munitions explosion in the harbor killed 2,000, and caused a shock wave that broke windows ten miles away. The religious art of the stained glass was destroyed in several churches, one Saint Patrick’s included. Their windows were first ordered in 1898, 1899 and 1902, they were reordered in 1921 and 1926.

In a recent exchange of communiques, between Saint Patrick’s of Halifax and the Mayer company in Munich, a similar ironic exchange of details were shared. The canadian parish was looking for specifics about its windows. The german company explained, that most of their records were destroyed by bombs, and fires in 1944. They did find something on that canadian parish, and wondered why would they re-order the same windows. The Halifax explosion explained it.

There are many surviving Mayer windows. Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City has Mayer, locally Saint Stephen’s, in Cleveland O., has its windows. Here are portions of windows, whose details are telling and magnificent in description, and are telling in charact
er, and specific and dramatic in the peak of detail:

Here is the first recorded miracle, of the ministry, of Jesus. The clear water turns to red wine as it is poured.
But when it was evening, he sat down with his twelve disciples. And whilst they were eating, he said: Amen I say to you, that one of you is about to betray me.And they being very much troubled, began every one to say: Is it I, Lord?But he answering, said: He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, he shall betray me. The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed: it were better for him, if that man had not been born.And Judas that betrayed him, answering, said: Is it I, Rabbi? He saith to him: Thou hast said it. And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. This is my body. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.— Matthew xxvi. 20-28.

Here is the moment where Judas decides to betray, as Jesus is about to give the first Eucharist at the Cena (the Last Supper). Wine will turn into Blood. Eleven apostles will eventually spread this to the world, one will not.
Here are the soldiers on guard, at the Sepulcher, during Easter morning. One is affright, and the other asleep.
And he found in the temple them that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting. And when he had made, as it were, a scourge of little cords, he drove them all out of the temple, the sheep also and the oxen, and the money of the changers he poured out, and the tables he overthrew. And to them that sold doves he said: Take these things hence, and make not the house of my Father a house of traffic.John ii. 14-16.
Here Jesus cleanses the temple of commerce. The small whip (scourge) is held in the relaxed, right hand of Christ. You can see the look of resentment in the man, at the bottom right, as he gathers his treasure into a sack. The fellow in the centre, almost looks, as if he is stealing away with a television. At the bottom left, the heads, of two birds, poke out of a cage.

Here in a window, dedicated to Saint Lawrence, is Pope Sixtus II being arrested. Behind Saint Sixtus, is a man holding the fasces, a symbol of the power of the state.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Saint Swithun's Day

St Swithun’s day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithun’s day if thou be fair
For forty days twill rain na mair
We refer to the ecclesial calendar, and co-ördinate it with the natural world, so by accident some saints are associated with climatological events. The germans have the ice saints of middle may. The French have Médard for rain and so on.

Swithun was a ninth century west saxon bishop of Winchester, who requested to be buried outside, so that, the rain from heaven would fall on his grave. A century later, his remains were moved inside. The first translation was on 15 July 971. It, was said to have, rained for forty days. His shrine was well visited over the centuries. The last visitation in 1538 was for its destruction, as
the minions of Henry VIII Tudor, enjoyed pillage and vandalisation.

For some Swithun’s name sounds obscure, quaint, facetious, funny and forgettable. It is comically attributable as a proverbial, podunk parish among the anglicans.

Swithun (Svithin, Swithin), is remembered at Stavanger Cathedral, Norway (supra). The original bishop, Reinald, had come from Winchester.

Monday, July 14, 2008

France's National Day

Le Jour de la Bastille, the national day of the French, marked the beginning of the revolution. National days are sometimes independence days. Sometimes they are saints days. In the US, we marked our liberation from England and the british empire and celebrate the heroes, Jefferson, Paine, Henry, Washington and company, who lead the revolt. The french revolted from tyrannies of class, and before it settled, the entire social order went through ordeal. Civil war, defensive and imperial war followed, and terror was caused by the revolutionary government. The travail attempted to consume, and recast, the entirety of France and her people. Most of Europe became involved and political life was changed in the world. The cost in lives was horrendous and the arguments have not settled. Society is more egalitarian to-day, and more contentious.

There will be a military parade on the Champs-Elysées and plenty of the tricolor. Military jets will lay tricolored contrails over the Arc d
’ Triomphe. After this year there may be no survivors of the first world war. Bastille Day 1919 was a victory parade, led by a thousand les mutilés de guerre [disabled war veterans is our country’s euphemism for those mutilated by war]. It was sobering, and altogether proper to show and remind, what war does.

Really, the day is loaded in pride and pain.
The day is, also, a day of patriotic fervor for France. France, ultimately, breathes the very same air that intoxicated de Gaulle:
La France ne peut être la France sans la grandeur.
France for the french catholic, is the eldest daughter of the true church; and for all french patriots she is the guardian of right and protectoress of civilisation. The french believe, that, french citizenship is a great gift, and that spirit extends to the concept of ‘citizen of the world’.

The avatar of France is Marianne. Why that name? One response: Marie and Anne are very popular names; another is the queen was Marie Antoinette, and Marianne would balance and contrast; another is that Juan de Mariana S.J., the brilliant professor and historian, wrote De rege et regis institutione (1598), in which, he comes to the conclusion, that, it is right to overthrow a tyrant; and there are others, certainly.

Marianne is on everything: posters, currency, postage, paintings, busts. She personifies France, and she was born of the revolution. She is akin to a secular Sainte Jeanne d’Arc, another La Pucelle. First she was anonymous, bare breasted and wearing the liberty (phyrgian) cap of the emancipated slave. At the end of the last generation, an official human model has been designated as her representative, and her face is the one copied.

The first, was the actress who mesmerised the world in the late 50’s and the 60’s, Brigitte Bardot. She has since been convicted, and fined five times, for impolitic remarks, particularly concerning animal slaughtering issues, against mohammedans; most recently last month. She is an eccentric, but how can France censure Marianne?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

9th week after Pentecost — Cleansing the Temple

Domenicos Theotocopoulos, El Greco. Christ Driving the Traders from the Temple. c.1600. London.

To-day in the old rite,
is the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost. Jesus is angered and chases those who have defiled His Father’s house, out of it and subverts (overturns) their tables. This is in all the true and canonical gospels [Matthew xxi.12-13, Mark xi.15-18, Luke xix. 45-46, John ii.14-17]. The liturgy uses Luke, virtually every piece of the visual arts uses John (El Greco, Giotto, Rembrandt, Boulogne, Bloch, Bassano, Bernardi, van Hemessen, McKillop).
And he found in the temple them that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting. And when he had made, as it were, a scourge of little cords, he drove them all out of the temple, the sheep also and the oxen, and the money of the changers he poured out, and the tables he overthrew. — John
et invenit in templo vendentes boves et oves et columbas et nummularios sedentes et cum fecisset quasi flagellum de funiculis omnes ejecit de templo oves quoque et boves et nummulariorum effudit æs et mensas subvertit
Jesus is righteously angry. He fashions a small whip, no pla
ce is it known to be said, that, he whipped them or struck them, but “the tables he overthrew.” The latin word is ‘subvertit’. This sort of subversion of commerce drove his religious and political enemies to do, as the last two verses of Luke’s 19th have it:
And he was teaching daily in the temple. And the chief priests and the scribes and the rulers of the people sought to destroy him: And they found not what to do to him: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.

et erat docens cotidie in templo principes autem sacerdotum et scribæ et principes plebis quærebant illum perdere et non inveniebant quid facerent illi omnis enim populus suspensus erat audiens illum
A Franz Mayer window of a subdued Jesus. Saint Stephen, Cleveland, Ohio.
This is how Jesus dealt with the moneychange
rs and the sellers of animals of sacrifice. Last Sunday, cycle A was read, and the end of Matthew’s 11th chapter. Here, is what Our Lord and God said about labor. It is most sweet and warm.
Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.

venite ad me omnes qui laboratis et onerati estis et ego reficiam vos tollite jugum meum super vos et discite a me quia mitis sum et humilis corde et invenietis requiem animabus vestris jugum enim meum suave est et onus meum leve est
Our God loves the laboring man and is grandly displeased with the moneychangers. His message is clear.

There are four places in the Bible, describing four sins that cry to heaven for justice, one is cheating the workman. Here is beginning of the fifth chapter of James:
Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl in your miseries, which shall come upon you.Your riches are corrupted: and your garments are motheaten.Your gold and silver is cankered: and the rust of them shall be for a testimony against you, and shall eat your flesh like fire. You have stored up to yourselves wrath against the last days. Behold the hire of the labourers, who have reaped down your fields, which by fraud has been kept back by you, crieth: and the cry of them hath entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. You have feasted upon earth: and in riotousness you have nourished your hearts, in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and put to death the Just One, and he resisted you not.
In Luke, Jesus says, “for the labourer is worthy of his hire.” Jesus is with the working man, and he demands redress of their grievances, and just compensation for their labor. Jesus is an union activist and labor leader.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Veronica of the Veil

Domenico Fetti. The Veil of Veronica. 1618-20. District of Columbia.

The Veil of Veronica resides at the Capuchin monastery at Monoppello. The (blood)stained cloth’s image is visible or invisible dependent on the angle of light. The Face on it, is like the face on the Shroud of Turin. It had been in Rome some centuries*. It was stolen from Saint Peter’s Basilica, in 1608 and soon was in Monoppello.

In the Acts of Pilate, the woman of the 6th Station of the Cross is Berenike (latinised to Veronika). Eusebius identifies her with the incident in Matthew ix. 20 and Luke viii. 43-44:
And behold a woman who was troubled with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment.

And there was a certain woman having an issue of blood twelve years, who had bestowed all her substance on physicians, and could not be healed by any. She came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment; and immediately the issue of her blood stopped.
* In Dante
s Paradiso Canto XXXI (Longfellow tr.), he alludes to pilgrims:

Qual è colui che forse di Croazia
viene a veder la Veronica nostra
che per l'antica fame non sen sazia,

ma dice nel pensier, fin che si mostra:
'Segnor mio Iesù Cristo, Dio verace,
or fu sì fatta la sembianza vostra?';

As he who peradventure from Croatia
Cometh to gaze at our Veronica,
Who through its ancient fame is never sated,

But says in thought, the while it is displayed,
"My Lord, Christ Jesus, God of very God,
Now was your semblance made like unto this?"

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hawaiian Friday

I work in a trade, in which, if management sees you smiling, they are perturbed, angry, paranoid and vengeful. They do not want men to enjoy good morale. They want their workers dutiful, cowed, beaten to submission, and insecure. Dismissal is often by whim and caprice. They revel in the exercise of power. They act as petty potentates and absolute monarchs, in their little worlds.

When the joyless, protestant missionaries came to the Hawaiian islands, and elsewhere in Polynesia, they were appalled by the natives’ nakedness. They were not naked by poverty. Those missionaries were not interested in that sort of well being. In Hawaii, the weather does not compel clothing. Clothing was for fashion and status. The aboriginal aristocracy wore capes and headdresses of extravagantly colored feathers. The protestant divines compelled the natives to cover up their nakedness.

The people did not envy, the protestants, dull, somber and uncomfortable attire. If they had to wear clothes, it would be the opposite, hence mu'u mu'us, for women and hawaiian shirts, for men.

The aloha (tradename) shirt is about the happiest shirt one can wear, though some examples are hideous and far from the ideal. There are also the tapa and the palaka patterns, that are probably more authentic. The full standard hawaiian shirt is marvelous: orchids and hibiscus like flowers, palm trees, colorful birds and the like. People of normal disposition, smile.

There is a minor tradition, locally in the trade, for hawaiian friday, probably via California. On hawaiian friday workmen wear a hawaiian shirt, the men encourage their brothers to do the same. This is subversive. The management does not provide us with clothing. Where there is a dress code on jobs, it is limited on the subject of shirts, generally to them having sleeves. I have heard of cases, where, collars are required. We have worked at sites, where the customer demands conformity to their code. It rarely, goes beyond, the above, for shirts. The rabidly, politically, wingnut Swagelock, supposedly, forbids union logos and slogans on clothes, lunch boxes and tool boxes. The sweaty Lincoln Electric discourages similarly, outside contractors, on like grounds.

Management and ownership find hawaiian shirts subversive. They are, and it is within our true and legal right to sport them. Fridays are also, the usual day, for dismissals. By co-incidence, I wore one to-day. An older black brother, very near retirement, smilingly says to me, to-day after lunch, “You have the biggest b**** on the job.” I asked him why, he pointed and said, “that shirt.” How sad. One other man wore such a shirt to-day, he was 62 or 3. Also by co-incidence, I was fired.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Safety is not job one

To-day, once again, the essential meanness of management raised its stupid head. Now, car plants, thanks to the UAW and the Big Three's wanting to avoid liability, actually practice safety (to some quantifiable degree). Of course, they emphasize simple, visual compliance, but actually do encourage and demand compliance, on occasion, of weightier concerns. Now, it is said, in the public relation, piffle propaganda, that, safety is job one.

The situation: one man is working in a basket lift, between presses and other equipment. The lift is telescoped out and the basket is needled into position. Plant rules are very simple: one man in lift, one man on the ground, if caught disregarding rule, then both men removed from the facility and a one year ban.

General foreman and office representative for the employing electrical contractor notice ground man. General foreman approaches groundman, and tells him he can be bending pipe, while other man is in lift. Pipe bending machinery for rigid pipe and pipe threading machine are a distance away, not very far away, but totally out of eyesight from lift. Clear violation.

All involved know the rules, but the presumed judgment, that, the groundman is shirking work and is not being productive and profitable is foremost of concern. The groundman is a target of management for correction and ultimate dismissal. The presumption of guilt is automatic.

Job requirements and customer demands are reflected in the bid for the work, if it is not, it is completely the fault of the contractor and his representative(s). But, the workman is the victim, scapegoat, and the problem to be solved.

This is only one example, but it is entirely indicative of management's and ownership's modus operandi. Rule over the men, and squeeze every moment of time, and every imaginable cent out of them. This is why contracts need to be followed, and why business needs regulation. Unregulated, industrial production causes worker injury and death. The Republicans, fascists and libertarians do not want government regulation, or a strong and organised labor force.

To add to the hypocrisy, just recently, we were buffaloed about "the code of excellence" ( a recent post), same employer, same union, same customer, different location. Ford has its demands, but they are not secret. They may be inconsistent in their application, the contractors are, bloody damn well, consistent in their behavior.

All construction work is not the same. A steel mill is not wired like a cul-de-sac ticky-tacky home. But, the tendency for construction management to impose 'efficient', 'modern' and 'economical' methods is rampant. The scabs have the former market. Their owners are the bedrock of Republican party contributors and core. Their workers are reaganesque voters. Now, union contractors think like scab contractors. Union workers, minus the idiots and company men (shoppees), are of the Democracy.

Job one is to get it done, and done quick, and as profitable as possible. This is why since 1981, we have had a constant barrage against organised labor, OHSA, trial lawyers, environmentalists and anyone who is an impediment to business' desires and demands. Reagan, Bush the first, Clinton and business Democrats, bush the lesser, and all Republicans are to be pilloried. Any man, and his family, who works for a living and votes for economic royalists is an ass, and an idiot.
Postscriptum: The two men above, the man in the lift's basket and the groundman, were fired the next day in the last half hour of the shift, Friday the 11th of July. They were "ineligible for rehire" and discharged for "unproductive work". Both men reported to IBEW Local Union 38's hall to describe the firing. It remains to be seen, whether, the union will defend the men and uphold working agreements and contracts, or accommodate Herbst Electric. -- 5.30 p.m. EDST July 11.
The earlier post, referenced supra, is titled "Cohoosion", and was written in the previous month.

Monday, July 7, 2008

People of Pamplona! Long live San Fermín!

San Fermin is a patron of Pamplona and the Basque country, he was their first bishop. He was beheaded at Amiens on 25 September 303. Some of his relics came to Pamplona in 1196 and the celebrations began. There is a week of events to the exuberant fiesta. It begins at noon, the day before, with the fireworks chupinazo salute. It ends at midnight 14/15 July.

The Encierro or 'Running of the Bulls' was introduced to an english reading audience by Ernest Hemingway in The Sun Also Rises (1926). The annoyed bulls are let loose on the street chasing juvenile, drunken men. It is exciting and colorful and occasionally disastrous. It is an event, that when it comes to the notice of a boy, he wants to engage. There is a certain frivolous romance that appeals to the youthful. Every day at 8 a.m. the men and boys, dressed traditionally in white and wearing red neckerchiefs, line up for the slightly, less than a kilometer run. Doing the half mile run on cobblestones being chased by upset beef, can be an experience and anecdote one can share for a lifetime.

On successive days from the 7th to the14th the bulls run in the morning, and fight in the afternoon. Hemingway wrote Death in the Afternoon(1932), a non-fiction book, also partly based on his 1925 fiesta experience.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Thomas More and William Shakespeare

“a man of the most tender and delicate conscience that the world saw since Augustine ”— John Donne
“He was the person of the greatest virtue these islands ever produced.”—
Jonathan Swift
“Blessed Thomas More is more important at this moment than at any moment since his death, even perhaps the great moment of his dying; but he is not quite so important as he will be in about a hundred years
time.” — G. K. Chesterton
“the best friend the poor ever had” — Sir Thomas More, William Shakespeare et allia
More is a man of an angels wit and singular learning. I know not his fellow. For where is the man of that gentleness, lowliness and affability? And, as time requireth, a man of marvelous mirth and pastimes, and sometime of as sad gravity. A man for all seasons.” — Robert Whittington in 1520

The sixth of July: Your loving friend, Benedick.

Nay, mock not, mock not. The body of your
discourse is sometime guarded with fragments, and
the guards are but slightly basted on neither: ere
you flout old ends any further, examine your
conscience: and so I leave you.

— William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, I. i.
One joke is particularly puzzling. If Benedick ever does fall in love, laugh his friends, he will sign a letter on "the sixth of July." Benedick is stung. "Mock not, mock not," he reproves, "ere you flout old ends any further, examine your consciences." Like the language of the liturgy, July 6 meant nothing to Protestants at the time, and nothing either to modern textual commentators. But to Elizabethan Catholics it was a highly significant date. It was on July 6 that Henry VIII executed Sir Thomas More, his former chancellor, for refusing to acknowledge the monarch as the supreme head of the church in England. More had become the model for "recusant" English Catholics, ready to face destitution, imprisonment, exile, or death for their religion. The significance of the date was deepened for Catholics when the young Edward VI, Henry VIII's fervently Protestant son, also died on July 6--clearly a judgment on his heretic father. This is why Benedick puts a stop to the banter. His friends have gone too far. Mock not old ends he says--the deaths of Thomas More and Edward are not a laughing matter--and his parting shot "examine your consciences" is a reminder of the case of conscience which drove More to the scaffold. From this moment on, Benedick's behavior--and the hidden identity of Beatrice--would have been of consuming interest to dissident audiences. — Clare Asquith, Shadowplay
Shakespeare does not write nonsense. He always says something, you may not understand it, but he is imparting information, albeit, sometimes, in obscured references. The sixth of July must refer to something! Shakespeare had worked on a play about Thomas More. In his hand survives the lines, that, a censor warned him of consequences. Art was political, and not less so in the elisabethan police state. The poet saints Campion and Southwell were horribly executed, Marlowe was assassinated and others were also silenced. Shakespeare was adept at veiling and surviving. So what in english history, before 1600 would an audience note about that day? Shakespeare came from a family of recusants. The recusants were quite aware of the 6th of July.

A tragedy, Sir Thomas More, was written by a team of playwrights in 1592. One of the group, was our friend from Stratford. The play was not known to have been performed. The censor wrote on the manuscript, “Perform this scene at your peril.” Shakespeare is ‘Hand D’ in the autograph. His contribution includes More, as London sheriff, in quieting the anti-foreign mob*, in the riot of 1517. Thomas More was a dangerous topic in Elisabethan England.

For centuries, english catholics held the 6th of July for Thomas More. When Saint Thomas More was officially canonised by Rome in 1935, his day was shared with Saint John Fisher, whom was also martyred by Henry, on the 22nd of June, the day Fisher was executed. Either day commemorates.

Robert Bolt’s play and the subsequent movie, A Man for All Seasons, paints a marvelous and heroic portrait of More. A man of conscience, a living embodiment of its exemplar, a man whose opinion was necessary to legitimatise government policy. Other such individuals, Fisher, Reynolds, Webster, Hale, Houghton, Middlemore, Exmew, Newdigate, Forest met cruel torments and hideous executions. This is why More is a patron of conscience for the edification and benefit of all who would touch on the law, its advocates, legislators, counselors and statesmen. He would not consent, when refusal meant death. He was a man, whom “No” meant “No”. He would not assent to error mandated by the state.

An interesting note, the bolsheviks, after they seized Russia, had Thomas More’s name inscribed on a monument, in Aleksandrovskij Garden, Moskva. Was it in regard to his Utopia ? or his conscience?
*If one accepts Shakespeare
’s catholic code, the foreign merchants being attacked can be identified with Catholic missionaries, whom were ministering to the faithful.