Friday, October 31, 2008

Why so much early voting?

Several states have encouraged early voting, some in person and some by post. I will be on the road, working out of town and staying in a motel, on election day. I have voted absentee, for the first time. The television has shown long lines at boards of elections, some with only black people in lines.

I know why. The black electorate is enthusiastic about the candidacy of Barack Obama, but, that is not the main rationale. They, as I, do not trust the polling places on Tuesday. The fascists have tried to rig and steal elections. Remember, Florida in 2000, and Ohio in 2004 and other places, by computer fraud, disenfranchisement and discouraging voters, by any means necessary. The special targets are negro citizens, though, not exclusively. I cannot be confident, that, my Democratic vote will be counted as a Democratic vote. Ohio is the home of Diebold, the company, that, makes automated teller machines that photographs users and dispenses receipts, yet makes unverifiable voting machines; they currently use another name for that division.

The early voting is an attempt to pre-empt Republican chicanery. The false charge of voting fraud is there to muddy the waters and cause doubt of real votes. One may be wrongly and falsely registered, even multiply so, but that is not voter fraud; that is registration fraud, at most. Most, virtually all, of the bad registrations will never vote. A person, out of ignorance, may be multiply registered; he will vote once, if at all.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What to do with a troublesome priest?

The trial of Jesus goes on forever. It continues through his brothers. Only their names, their faces, their dates, and their birth places change. — Jerzy Popiełuszko

The worst has happened. Someone wanted to kill and he killed not only a man, not a Pole, not only a priest. Someone wanted to kill the hope that it is possible to avoid violence in Polish political life. — Lech Walesa

Jerzy Popiełuszko was found 30 October 1984, he had been tortured and murdered, eleven days before, by secret police. He was a labor priest of great spirituality and courage enough to criticise the regime. Poland was under martial law. The free labor movement was crippled and forbidden, and only the church was allowed to have public gatherings. Popiełuszko was the spark in this crucible. He was chaplain to the steelworkers.

He said masses for the polish nation. They included poetry and national song. He believed the church could not be neutral, and must speak for the people. ‘Patriotic struggle to reinstate human dignity’ was solidarity. He frequently spoke of truth and freedom, dangerous words of sedition to most governments. Non-violent resistance is equated, by authorities, as criminal violence.

Radio Free Europe broadcasted his sermons. The government was determined to silence him, one way or another. Now, his words from Warsawa’s St. Stanisław Kostka, encouraged the nation to protest. Anti-communists, outside the country, enjoyed this disruption to the regime. The people approved of his words. A quarter of a million people came to his funeral. All Poland knew this priest. His murderers were convicted, the government held on a few years longer. This was filmed in a fictionalised biography as To Kill a Priest. A non-fiction book, of the same name, was written by Kevin Ruane.

He believed in Jesus and His people. The church is slow to act on the status of such civically troublesome priests. This year, Jerzy Popieluszko was recognised as a Servant of God.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

God commands compassion

Consider the Sunday mass readings for the 30th week of ordinary time. A positive of the new mass is the additional reading. In most of the old masses, there was an epistle and a Gospel; in the new mass, the first reading is, usually, from the Old Testament. To-day, it is a wonderful one:
"You shall not molest or oppress an alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt. You shall not wrong any widow or orphan. If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry. My wrath will flare up, and I will kill you with the sword; then your own wives will be widows, and your children orphans. "If you lend money to one of your poor neighbors among my people, you shall not act like an extortioner toward him by demanding interest from him. If you take your neighbor's cloak as a pledge, you shall return it to him before sunset; for this cloak of his is the only covering he has for his body. What else has he to sleep in? If he cries out to me, I will hear him; for I am compassionate. — Exodus xxii. 20-26. NAB

Advenam non contristabis, neque affliges eum: advenæ enim et ipsi fuistis in terra Ægypti. Viduæ et pupillo non nocebitis. Si læseritis eos, vociferabuntur ad me, et ego audiam clamorem eorum: et indignabitur furor meus, percutiamque vos gladio, et erunt uxores vestræ viduæ, et filii vestri pupilli. Si pecuniam mutuam dederis populo meo pauperi qui habitat tecum, non urgebis eum quasi exactor, nec usuris opprimes. Si pignus a proximo tuo acceperis vestimentum, ante solis occasum reddes ei. Ipsum enim est solum, quo operitur, indumentum carnis ejus, nec habet aliud in quo dormiat: si clamaverit ad me, exaudiam eum, quia misericors sum. — Exodus xxii. 21-27.

Thou shalt not molest a stranger*, nor afflict him: for yourselves also were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not hurt a widow or an orphan. If you hurt them, they will cry out to me, and I will hear their cry: And my rage shall be enkindled, and I will strike you with the sword, and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor, that dwelleth with thee, thou shalt not be hard upon them as an extortioner, nor oppress them with usuries.† If thou take of thy neighbour a garment in pledge, thou shalt give it him again before sunset. For that same is the only thing wherewith he is covered, the clothing of his body, neither hath he any other to sleep in: if he cry to me, I will hear him, because I am compassionate. — Exodus xxii. 21-27. DRC
What would a darwinistic, capitalist of the american, so called, Republican party, or a xenophobe, or a calvinist make of this? Would his ears be shut? How many candidates for office consider these words of God as religious values to campaign on?

God considers the alien, the widow, the orphan, the poor and hates their oppressors, and the usurer also. He promises to hear the plea of the stranger, the pauper, the homeless and abandoned. God commands us to be like Himself; compassionate.

The Scriptures mention four such victims of sin, whose condition cries to heaven, for justice. The first was Abel’s murder, fratricidal killing. The second was the sin of Sodom. Here is the third instance. The fourth is the laborer robbed of wages by his employer. The second pair, are social and economic issues, where the transgressors prey on the weak.

All these acts share a similarity of evil. Those who sin, in these manners, do not love their neighbor. And this leads to the day’s Gospel:
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a scholar of the law tested him by asking, "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He said to him, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments." — Matthew xx. 34-40. NAB
God command us to exercise charity!
*The exegist Dom Antoine Augustin Calmet points out, that, the ancient celts put to death the murderer of a stranger, while a murderer of a non-stranger was removed from the community.
† Cato the Censor equated usury with murder. Aquinas saw usury as charging twice, for the item and the use of the item. It is charging for time, time is not for sale. Dante places the usurer, in the inner ring of the seventh circle of hell, with sodomites and blasphemers. Shakespeare has Shylock say about Antonio, Merchant of Venice, in act I, scene iii:
I hate him for he is a Christian,
But more for that in low simplicity
He lends out money gratis and brings down
The rate of usance here with us in Venice.
If I can catch him once upon the hip,
I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.
He hates our sacred nation, and he rails,
Even there where merchants most do congregate,
On me, my bargains and my well-won thrift,
Which he calls interest.
This election there is an Issue 5, in Ohio, which will retain recent legislation, which among other points, limits usury to 28%. A well financed campaign, by the strip mall loan sharks, wants this repealed. Some of their false arguments, are that this is against freedom, and individual choice and would put people out of work. If it is defeated, the rate can be 14 times greater. Some of their allies are: Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Christian Alliance, National Taxpayers Union.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

scurrilous, scabrous, scandalous slander

The Republicans are desperate and losing badly in this presidential race. They are resorting to their bag of slime: scurrilous, scabrous, scandalous slander and the pejorative aspersion has always been their weapon of choice.

# 1 John McCain
At the Hofstra event, he falsely used the term ‘class warfare’, and accused Barack Obama to be desirous of wealth distribution. After Wall Street is slated to receive hundreds of billions from americans, after they scammed, skimmed and stole as much as they possibly could, McCain did not worry about wealth distribution. No, when Republicans, plutocrats, their aspirants and lackeys speak of class warfare, they fear the possibility of economic and social justice. There was the signal, that, the Republicans would red bait and declare all those against them, against the country.

# 2 Sarah Palin
“Senator Obama said that he wants to spread the wealth and he wants government to take your money and decide how to best to redistribute it according to his priorities. Joe [the Plumber ?, Biden ?, Lieberman ?, Blow?, Mama?] suggested that sounded a little bit like socialism.”

# 3 George (the pudding) Voinovich
“With all due respect, the man[Obama] is a socialist.”

# 4 Michele Bachmann
“What I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out if they are pro-America or anti-America.”

Now, the term ‘socialist’ can mean many different people and ideas. There are christian socialists, a term, for a political party, that has not made inroads into public discourse, in this country. After the hate filled, murderous disaster of hitlerism in Germany, there arose the Christian Democrats under Konrad Adenauer to lead that country, and there are such parties in other lands. Adenauer of Germany, and Charles de Gaulle and Robert Schuman of France led Europe out of the ashes. These Christian Democrats were sometimes socialists, sometimes not. Generally when a country has two strong parties, of socialists, the christians are conservative and the “social democrats” are not, yet both can be democrat[ic]. There are social democrats, now, that term is foggy. Some are democrats and some are communists or damn close, especially in those countries that have been freed of communism in the great movement of 1989 and quickly thereafter.

In the US, the latter type, the marxist, leninist, cæsarian, militarist, stalinist kinds are the only ones referred to. This is what these current, vituperative attacks allude to. Remember, the Republicans used to call Roosevelt and Truman, Kennedy and Johnson ‘communists’. Franklin Delano Roosevelt saved democracy and capitalism in this country, and defeated fascism, and hitlerism in Europe — all this to the displeasure of the Republican party. Also, remember, that, the supporters of gwbushjr love comparing chimpy to Truman, and Truman distrusted, and disliked Republicans immensely.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saint Luke the Limner

Viktor Mikhajlovič Vasnetsov. Fresco sketch of Jesus and the Gospels for Kiev’s Cathedral of St. Vladimir. 1884-89. Moscow.

Saint Luke was a greek physician from Antioch, who lived in Troas. He served Paul in the same capacity as Mark served Peter. Luke wrote a Gospel and a history of the early church, Acts of the Apostles. He followed Paul to the end of Paul’s life. Luke died in Thebes of Boetia. Many modern biblical scholars, and scholars in related studies, have marvelled in the historical and geographical exactness Luke wrote. Luke was a man with several talents.
Luigi Gregori went from Rome to Notre Dame Indiana, in 1874. He painted murals on the basilica’s walls and ceilings for seventeen years. Over the sanctuary, Gregori painted a quartet of Prophets and the evangelists. Now, not only did he limn the life of the early church, he limned portraits in paint. In this painting of Luke, there is contained two aspects of Luke. He is shown with his iconic ox and as a painter, a double identification. Many mediæval painter guilds named Luke as their patron. To-day many hospitals have also been named after him.

In Vasnetsov’s work, a youthful Jesus is shown with the four heavenly icons, of the four evangelists and the Gospel. Vasnetsov did not paint in the iconic tradition, a tradition he knew well. His grandfather painted, or more correctly wrote, icons. His father, Mikhajl Vasilijevič Vasnetsov, was a priest. The murals were painted for the new church, which celebrated nine hundres years of christian Russia.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Saint Ignatius of Antioch

part of frieze at St. Ignatius of Antioch. c.1930. Cleveland, O. A church that survived, on appeal, in 2009, a suppression by the diocesan ordinary.
The icon supra, is of the manner of martyrdom of Saint Ignatius of Antioch. Now, the first bishop of Antioch, was Saint Peter the Apostle. Antioch was the papal see, til the time Peter went to Rome in 42. Saint Evodius was bishop next, and Saint Ignatius thereafter, both men appointed by Peter, and disciples of Peter and John. Ignatius was also known as Theophorus. He was an early apostolic father, and he introduced antiphonal singing at mass.

When Ignatius, was bishop (and patriarch) of Antioch for about forty years, he was taken as a prisoner, from Syria, to be executed in the Flavian amphitheatre in Rome, for the blood lust of Trajan, whom he had presented himself to, when Trajan was in Antioch. Trajan began the interview with Ignatius, “Who are you, (unlucky) wicked wretch, who set yourself to transgress our commands, and persuade others to do the same, so that they should miserably perish?” Ignatius gave a defense of the faith, and Trajan pronounced, “We command that Ignatius, who affirms that he carries about within him, Him that was crucified, be bound by soldiers, and carried to the great Rome, there to be devoured by the beasts, for the gratification of the Romans ”. Along the way, he wrote several letters. In one, he willingly welcomes his martyrdom. In Smyrna, recommendations, and influence, could have freed him. He did not want the interference. He died in this manner 17 November 107.

I am the wheat of God, and I am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts ... May I have joy of the wild beasts that are prepared for me; and I pray they will exercise all their ferocity on me. I will entice them to devour me promptly ... If they will not do it willingly, I will force them to it.
Ignatius, has the oldest surviving written usage of the word ‘catholic’ to describe the true church, which was founded by Christ our Lord. Ignatius fervently believed in the Eucharist, the Incarnation and communion with Jesus, in this life and the next:
He who really possesses the word of Jesus can truly hear His silence, that he maybe perfect.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Saint Teresa of Avila

Gianlorenzo Bernini. Ecstasy of St Teresa.1645 -52. Santa Maria della Vittoria. Rome.

She, that we know as, Saint Teresa of Ávila, was known in religious life as, Saint Teresa of Jesus, was born, Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada, in 1515, immediately before the religious revolt, that did not touch Spain. Spain was the world power then. Spain was finally free of all foreign occupation. Spain sought to maintain one religion only. The centuries of moorish mohammedanism and their jewish intermediaries were not appreciated. Spain was christian, and christian meant catholic. Spain was first in Europe and first in the world.

Teresa’s father’s father, was a converso, and a wealthy man, that, married well. Her mother was very religious. In this atmosphere, it was not surprising, that as children, Teresa and a brother, Rodrigo, were caught running away from home, by their uncle. They were going to moorish Africa to become martyrs. Why? she was asked,“I want to see God, and I must die before I can see Him.”

She entered her heavenly reward on the 4th of October 1582. The next day was the 15th of October, hence to-day is Saint Teresa of Ávila’s day. Yes, the next day was the 15th, this was when the Julian calendar gave way to he Gregorian.

In between, she lived her life. She and Saint John of the Cross were founders of the Discalced Carmelites. She was a great mystic and an important spiritual writer on prayer ( The Life of St Teresa by Herself, The Way of Perfection, The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila, Letters). She was recognised as the first female Doctor of the Church. She was so recognised, in Spain, centuries before, although she did suffer opposition, and periods of illness. During the illnesses she lived this important prayer life.

She is remembered for experiencing deep spiritual ecstasies. After her death and burial, she was found to be bodily incorrupt and having the odor of sanctity. Her heart was transverberated. Transverberation, is the wound imparted by an angelic arrow.

She had a sense of humor and exasperation:
Dear Lord, if this is how You treat Your friends, it is no wonder You have so few!

To argue over who is the more noble is nothing more than to dispute whether dirt is better for making bricks or for making mortar.

From silly devotions and from sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us.

Some of her other thoughts:
Prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.

Granting that we are always in the presence of God, yet it seems to me that those who pray are in His presence in a very different sense; for they, as it were, see that He is looking upon them, while others may go for days on end without even once recollecting that God sees them.

Take care not to miss this wonderful opportunity. Say the 'Our Father' slowly without rushing. He is listening very close to you. This is the best way to praise and honor His name.

Let him never cease from prayer who has once begun it, be his life ever so wicked, for prayer is the way to amend it, and without prayer such amendment will be much more difficult.

With the help of our guardian angel we can try to see it reflected in God as in a mirror, for we will never come to know ourselves if we do not try to know God.

Whenever I read in the lives of Saints of how they converted souls, I seem to feel much more devout, more tender, and more envious of them than when I read of all the martyrdoms that they suffered. This is an inclination given me by Our Lord; and I think He prizes one soul, which by His mercy and through our diligence and prayer we have gained, for him, more than all the other services we can render Him.

We know only that we are living in these bodies and have a vague idea, because we have heard it, and because our faith tells us so, that we possess souls. As to what good qualities there may be in our souls, or who dwells within them, or how precious they are, those are things which seldom consider and so we trouble little about carefully preserving the soul's beauty.

Each of us has a soul, but we forget to value it. We don’t remember that we are creatures made in the image of God. We don’t understand the great secrets hidden inside of us.

Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die; that you have only one life, which is short and has to be lived by you alone; and there is only one glory, which is eternal. If you do this, there will be many things about which you care nothing.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Road trip about the Ohio

I, and a friend, took a 450 mile road trip in the tristate area about the Ohio River. We passed the Lordstown , the Stratton and Cardinal plants. We signed books, in order to seek work, in Steubenville, Wheeling and attempted Belle Vernon, in Fayette county, Pennsylvania. In Steubenville, the form included the line on racial identification, the old, and presumably out of favor, terms: Negro and Oriental.

We encountered much roadkill, especially deer and coon. The leaves of the trees on the appalachian hills were brilliant in the sun, on a very warm day, in mid-October. Approaching the river, towards Steubenville, a fog sat over the river and up the banks to make the river invisible. There was a chemical stench that would not lift. Martin's Ferry seemed small and stolid, and we passed Mingo Junction, hardly noticing. I sang some of the lyrics of The Banks of the Ohio.

The towns were proud to note their favorite sons: Lou Holtz, Dean Martin, Robert Ulrich, Bill Mazeroski, Stan Musial. A good deal of livestock was visible on farm hillsides. Wheeling looked past its prime and cramped. We also crossed the Monongahela, and pumpkins were available from farms. Dried cornstalks stood in fields.

Along route 7 and elsewhere there were signs for local candidates. One for prosecutor had a visage, very similar to Terry Bradshaw. Over all we saw more Obama signs than McCain. The union halls in Cleveland, Steubenville and Wheeling all had yard signs, available, from the Trumbull county Democratic party. Somewher on the Ohio side, there was, on a billboard, the Quaker dove, stating “War is not the answer”, the same side was in Wheeling. At St. Clairsville, we heard a radio advertisement, by bluegrass musician Ralph Stanley, advocating Barack Obama. At a gasoline station, in Ohio, there came out of the family truck, with Pennsylvania plates, a very tall, and slightly husky, pizza complexioned kid. He was wearing a black tee shirt, with the printing: No communists No socialists Nobama

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gospel for the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost

A positive of the annual reading cycle of the extraordinary rite, is that, a particular scripture reading will return next year to consider and cogitate upon. And the one for to-day, is very telling to one of our everyday, unending concerns ― what is our duty, or allegiance, to God vis-à-vis the state?
Then the Pharisees going, consulted among themselves how to insnare him in his speech. And they sent to him their disciples with the Herodians, saying: Master, we know that thou art a true speaker and teachest the way of God in truth. Neither carest thou for any man: for thou dost not regard the person of men. Tell us therefore what dost thou think? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? But Jesus knowing their wickedness, said: Why do you tempt me, ye hypocrites? Show me the coin of the tribute. And they offered him a penny. And Jesus saith to them: Whose image and inscription is this? They say to him: Caesar's. Then he saith to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God, the things that are God's. Matthew xxii. 15-21.
I wrote last year of the coin of the tribute. It is a very short passage, but a really significant incident in the mission of Jesus. The herodians and the pharisees teamed against Jesus. The herodians were romanised (secularised), and the pharisees were pious hypocrites. Now, this was near the big feast of Passover, Jerusalem was crowded, and Pilate would have troops in town. Amongst Herod’s men, there probably were soldiers or guards. Jesus was a threat, both, to the corrupt state, and the corrupt church. They, again, wished to trick, trip and trap Him. They attempted to beguile Jesus with praise, in order to loosen his tongue. If He suggested to refuse the state, He could be considered a rebel or traitor, an enemy of the state and subject to roman justice. If he advised to pay, then he was an impious collaborator and would lose popular support.

The combined alliance failed. Jesus did not carry the suspect coin; He shewed, that, they did. And what did the crowd understand His answer to be?

The next verse: And hearing this, they wondered and, leaving him, went their ways. They were stymied. Our Lord was cleverer than they, again. Did He say to pay or no?

Postscriptum: 19 October 2008. This is also the Gospel for the 29th Sunday in ordinary time, cycle A.

Friday, October 10, 2008

the republican mob

It disgusts, but does not surprise. In recent McCain and Palin events, the crowds have exhibited some ugly and hateful outbursts of hostility.

The Republican party is the american fascist party, and it shows. There is a basic meanness. They are nationalists, racists, xenophobes and imperialists. They fundamentally do not believe in democracy. The democrats have a surging wave building. The busheviks stole two, close elections; this election will not be close. This base core of lumpenfascists is not accepting this as an outcome. One of the basic tenets, and claims, of these volk is, that, they possess monopoly on patriotism and americanism. They wish to dictate, and decide, on to whom, the identity of american can apply.

Palin is a glib and banal character. She appeals to these rough and vapid masses, whom are becoming mobs. They are disdainful of any press, that is, not in the republican, true believer, wingnut or knuckle dragging camp. Eventually journalistic crews will be physically attacked. An outsider will be taking a gamble on his safety and well being. I hazard to extend the metaphor.

Republicans have been yelling, "socialist","treason","terrorist" and "traitor" at the mention of the next president's name. This could escalate to much worse. These people would certainly not accept these epithets for bush jr., but the double standard is the standard Republicans employ.
postscriptum: A couple hours after writing this, I saw on television, John McCain trying to neutralise some of the adamantly, stringently stupid. He was trying to defend Barack Obama, from blatant falsehoods, from his supposed supporters. He was booed. Booed by your own partisans, clearly, he is not rabidly, Republican enough. Rove, bush, Fox news [sic], et alia have created monsters. He may also be acknowledging to himself, that, the game is lost, and is saddened, by the part he has played. McCain may be a Republican, but some of the ilk of his co-travellers disgusts him, none-the-less. McCain, after bushjr, was the only chance his party had for victory. The other candidates, with the possible exception of Ron Paul, were wretched. His selection of Palin could not have come from the top of his depth chart. He has tried stunts to gain attention, but without substance, and they did not hold. He will have to work, after November, for self redemption.

Monday, October 6, 2008

regulation, responsibility and republicans

Al Capone advised not to invest in the stock market. “It’s a racket”, he maintained to all. He knew businessmen, he was one himself, and quite successful, until he had tax trouble. He along with Henry Ford, John Rockefeller, and others were the financial celebrities of the booming 20s.
This American system of ours, call it Americanism, call it capitalism, call it what you will, gives each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it. — Al Capone

Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class. —
Al Capone
The roaring 20s was a time of unregulated excess for those whom had access to wealth. Three Republican administrations allowed business interests to govern. Harding knew he was incompetent, and some of his cabinet was incredibly corrupt. Coolidge’s main occupation was sleeping. This culminated in Herbert Hoover, by far the most able of the three, and collapse. The greatest economic disaster, so far, in the history of this nation tumbled through his four years.

Franklin Roosevelt was then elected four times. The hatred that was given, to this man, by the Republicans and the moneyed interests was virtually boundless. He brought this country out of disaster and saved democracy. Those vengeful and vicious interests, even, at first attempted a putsch. It failed.

Mister Roosevelt was willing to experiment. He did not worship Mammon, under the avatar of “free market capitalism”. The man was not a socialist. He was a pragmatic politician, and acted as a shrewd statesman, and achieved success. This success was a boon to humanitarianism and the american nation. Franklin Roosevelt was a patriot. Some people believed, that, the party of Hoover and the bankers would never regain power, merely, because they should not; so as to avoid the inevitable disaster and failure that would return.

The stock market and the banks were greedy and corrupt in the 1920s. The rich and the Republicans were in high spirits. Their avarice and immoral practices brought ultimate ruin. At first Robert Taft emerged as the point man to overturn the entire New Deal, the reaganistas and the busheviks were successful in that endeavor, and by doing so, were the architects that laid the foundation, and executed the blueprints, for the current economic crisis.

The second Glass-Steagall Act*, the Banking Act of 1933 regulated the financial business. It included the Federal Deposit Insurance Company, but more importantly, it separated brokers from bankers, it created regulation and reform to prevent speculation. These measures reassured the country, and allowed for recovery from the policies of the Republicans, and the Wall Street clique. Now, this, as all elements of social and economic justice and financial regulation is, and has been, anathema to the moneyed interests, the economic royalists and the Republican party.

In the recent generation, the protections of Glass-Steagall have been cancelled and repealed. The last part of it was destroyed by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. That Gramm, was the Republican senator from Texas, and presidential candidate, and professor of economics at Texas A&M, and McCain’s economic advisor, Phil Gramm. We now have what the Republicans wanted: the reforms of Roosevelt repealed, a return to the orgy of the ’20s. We also have a bill to pay for it. History repeated, because the nation did not remember what it meant to live under the success of the Republican party and their masters.

We do not support government bailouts of private institutions. Government interference in the markets exacerbates problems in the marketplace and causes the free market to take longer to correct itself. — September 2008 Republican Party Platform

Prosperity is just around the corner. — 1932 Herbert Hoover

Corporation: n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility. Ambrose Bierce

The Congress shall have Power ... To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes ... — Article I. Section 8. Constitution
* Democratic Senator Carter Glass of Virginia, and Democratic Representative Henry B. Steagall of Alabama.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Blessing of the animals

We have many friends in heaven and earth. To-day is the 4th of October, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. The 1st of October was our beloved Thérèse of Lisieux, the patron of missions, she who promised to work for us while in Paradise. The 2nd was the feast of the Guardian Angels, our ever present companions, who wish us only well. We are in this together.

Francis, who bore Christ’s wounds, is often depicted with birds. It has reminded many, that, a bird in flight resembles the form of Jesus on the Cross. As a bird can fly, and soar, and take a place in heaven, so can we. Nearly eight centuries ago, while, traveling between Cannara and Bevagna, villages near Assisi, Francis encountered birds in the trees. He sermonised unto them, an application of a part of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount:
My little sisters, the birds, much bounden are ye unto God, your Creator, and always in every place ought ye to praise Him, for that He hath given you liberty to fly about everywhere, and hath also given you double and triple raiment; moreover He preserved your seed in the ark of Noe, that your race might not perish out of the world; still more are ye beholden to Him for the element of the air which He hath appointed for you; beyond all this, ye sow not, neither do you reap; and God feedeth you, and giveth you the streams and fountains for your drink; the mountains and valleys for your refuge and the high trees whereon to make your nests; and because ye know not how to spin or sow, God clotheth you, you and your children; wherefore your Creator loveth you much, seeing that He hath bestowed on you so many benefits; and therefore, my little sisters, beware of the sin of ingratitude, and study always to give praises unto God. — Francis

Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your b
ody, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment? Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they? And which of you by taking thought, can add to his stature by one cubit? And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin. — Matthew vi. 25-28.
To-day, there was a missa cantata at Immaculate Conception, Cleveland, O., and there followed a blessing of animals. It is not often, when, animals are invited to church, but to-day the hounds appeared, while a few waited outside along with kitties. Next to the church there were buckeye trees, where, a squirrel was dislodging nuts. Certainly he, and, any, arboreal companions would be included in the blessing. A collection was taken up for an animal aid charity, Lucky Paws Animal Rescue,

Traditionally, Franciscans are associated with this, but it is not restricted to them. There are church sanctions and rituals for such blessings in many lands.
According to the providence of the Creator, many animals have a certain role to play in human existence by helping with work or providing food and clothing. Thus when the occasion arises, for example, the feast of some saint, the custom of invoking God's blessing on animals may be continued. — United States
This recognition of our fellow creatures, and Saint Francis, has crossed some denominational bounds. There are some places in this land, where, it may be easier to find a protestant celebration than a catholic one. In the last few years, there has been a gradual recognition, and longing, for that which was lost, as after effects of the protestant rebellion. Francis is helping to bring us together and closer still.