What Is a Weekend?

I must say, watching Downton Abbey on Masterpiece Theatre has its moments of levity.

During a luncheon in which Matthew Crawley, the new heir of the estate is meeting some of his “family” he mentions something about coming down on the weekend.

The Dowager Countess, played by Maggie Smith, arches an eye and inquires in all sincerity, “what is a weekend?”

Now that is sure to set you up. I mean who doesn’t know what a weekend is? Think about it. The Dowager, safely ensconced in her country estate, probably only recognized one day and that was the Sabbath when she motored or carriaged her way to the services.

But it got me to wondering. I suspect there are plenty of people still on this planet who would have no idea what the word weekend means. We live in our enclaves of worlds within worlds don’t we?

***

The Contrarian is busy outside. He’s pulled two huge trunks over to the splitter, and is loading another cart of wood. We are headed for some really LOW temperatures next week, and he’s hoping to spend as little time as possible outside for the four or so days in the zero and below range. He has tomorrow and Monday to get it all chumped up and split, ready for the great fall coming Monday night.

On the bright side–winter is half done. It’s all down hill starting tomorrow!

***

There is a truly thought-provoking piece over at the Boston Review that warrants your attention. Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote a report on “The Negro Family.” Basically it posited that cultural behaviors were the causation of systemic poverty within the black community. The backlash to this was so enormous that for some forty years, it is claimed, research steered clear of anything that might suggest that the victim caused their own problems.

Now, we are told that research is reopening that issue. Are these so-called culturalists, still confusing cause and effect? Stephen Steinberg writes a compelling piece arguing that they have in fact failed to make their case.

***

I had to laugh Pat Buchanan this morning on MSNBC. The topic was Sarah. And Pat is making the case that everybody is piling on her because they are “terrified” of her. And worse, the more you make her feel defensive, the more you encourage her to attack.

I guess Pat fails to see the idiocy of his remarks. First, nobody is “terrified” of her, since her poll numbers are so abysmal as to be a joke. And they keep getting worse, the more she plays the victim and lashes out. So um, might it be a pretty smart thing to keep attacking?

I mean the woman is an idiot. Her next big gig is to be the keynote speaker at a gun show in Nevada. GUNS and more GUNS, Grifter Girl!

***

As you may or may not know, one Reince Priebus is the new head of the GOP. Taking out all those pesky vowels, we get RNC PR BS or Republican National Committee Pure Bullshit.  HA! a H/T to Bluegal at Crooks and Liars! Priebus was elected on the 7th ballot, saying something I guess about how much unity there exists within the Grand Old Poops.

***

It appears that all is in order and quite soon John Paul II will be beatified. I am quite conflicted about this. He was a good pope in many ways, but he did his best to unravel Vatican II and install a college of Cardinals that for decades will pursue conservative policies, leaving women and gays marginalized within the Church. I won’t even start on the pedophilia issue. All in all, I think it a bad move at this time I think. Although goodness knows, no saint is expected or often is totally blameless. Still, this is moving too fast, almost as if it must be done quickly, before too much more negative stuff comes out.

***

If you watched the Memorial at Tucson on Wednesday, you saw the Benediction by Carlos Gonzales, faculty member at the University of Arizona, and of Mexican and Yaqui lineage. Brit Hume, (who famously advised Tiger Woods he should dump that Buddhist stuff and become Christian in the throes of his marital woes), said that he found the benediction “peculiar.” I guess that was one of the nicer comments from the Extreme Right. Others called his prayer “pagan”.

Things only got worse at The Blaze, Glenn Beck’s site. After referencing Hume’s “peculiar” statement, they  liked to an unnamed blogger (post apparently now removed) who bemoaned that Gonzales kept using the term “Creator” and not God. Apparently he doesn’t see the Creator as God. He went on to surmise that the victims “likely would have appreciated a pray more closely aligned with their religious beliefs.” The post concluded that Gonzales was “reportedly” a doctor and professor at the university.

A perusal of the comments vomited up what you might expect. Invective, ad hominem attack, and vicious vicious assumptions. Words like, Chief Loony Toons, Nappy Hair, injuns, idiot president, part-time employee at an Arizona casino, peppered the comments, and it was hard to think that any of them could be over the age of 12. Not one could cite to any Arizona paper, news show, or statement by any family member of actual Arizonan to back up the charge that the service was an affront to real Christian Americans everywhere.

So much for toning down the rhetoric.

Go Packers!

Growing up to be a Saint

saintsThe trouble with saints, is that, well, they are just so darn saintly. Not exactly people that regular folks like myself can hope to emulate. I’m told actually, and I can confirm it based on some of my readings, that most if not all saints were actually not quite as saintly as we might think.

I don’t mean that they were not saintly as they are purported to be, but rather than being human, they too suffered from challenges and desires common to all of us. It is perhaps in the way they dealt with these difficulties that separates them from us.

And frankly, it shouldn’t. I recall, as a about to become Roman Catholic, being told that everyone should aspire to being a saint. This was not some egotistical adventure, but something that each and every one of us could accomplish.

The trouble is, that we tend to focus on the inspiring aspects of our saints, and that makes them a bit too untouchable, and us a bit too arrogant in wishing to be like them. Like I said, if we had a more balanced view of them, perhaps we wouldn’t find the task so daunting.

No doubt some folks dismiss the idea of working toward sainthood, simply because they don’t want to “work” that hard at being good. It’s far easier to knowingly sin and then ask forgiveness. It just seems like being a saint is, well, too prissy and too boring. All the spice of life is sacrificed in pursuit of the goal. Most of us don’t want to lead grey bland lives.

So seeing our saints as human and thus subject to sin as we are, is helpful. One of my favorites has always been Augustine, bishop of Hippo, father of the church, and frankly, he came up with a fair amount of dogma that we could have better done without.

St_Augustine_of_Hippo

The reason I love Augustine so much, is that frankly, at least  at the beginning, he was most human. Born of a Christian mother, and pagan father, Augustine, for some years lived the life of a rhetorician, keeping a mistress and fathering a son.

His mother, Monica, prayed for her son daily so we are told, and finally, as Augustine recounts in his “Confessions”  he saw the truth of the scriptures and converted. Yet, even in his initial euphoria of faith, he was practical.

He asked God to take from him the desire for sexual pleasure, but he added, “but not just yet.” And in that, Augustine was oh so very human. One has to move slowly into this new kind of life, best not to go cold turkey with everything!

Stories like that make saints approachable. They remind us that we are potential saints as well. We can have serious shortcomings, but in time, we can overcome them. We can fight one or more over a lifetime, and still be accounted as holy. Indeed, Wisdom 3:1-9 from today’s liturgy, says that those accounted lost by the world, are safely with God and at peace. There, they work with God to effect God’s good pleasure for the world.

Today we celebrate All Saint’s Day. We remember 0ur favorite saints, and we remember all who have died. We cannot of ourselves determine who is saintly and who is not. That is up to God. But we can and must hope that our friends and relatives, those that precede us in death, have indeed found the peace of God in eternal comfort. We feel their presence, and we can feel their urging.

No doubt they felt in their lifetime unworthy of any such appellation. We account them saintly by their behaviors and their words, yet we can never be sure. Certainly they had no such expectations.

How do we become saintly? I would argue that it is not by deliberate design in creating a lifestyle that is “saintly,” whatever that might mean to anyone. I think, in the end, it is simply having faith that God calls us to love and to serve. Having that faith, and believing that it is worthwhile and in keeping with his desire for us, we act in a manner that upholds that love and service.

Perhaps the cutting edge of that life is to maintain that faith, and thus the love and service during those times in our lives when we don’t want to exert ourselves, and most especially when we feel too weak to stand before the world as witness. If we can find meaning in our suffering, if we can find God sharing that suffering with us, then we may find the strength to do as Job did, and as so many of the patriarchs and well known saints did. We will let it be, and we will continue to love.

We will stand alone, if need be, quietly speaking our faith, calmly walking the path, because we truly can see no other way. To others, we may appear foolish, but we trust in God’s intimate presence to us and we wish to share that joy with the world.

Saints, for all the hoopla, were ordinary people, who often through extraordinary circumstances, did things they might never have dreamed possible. Each of us can prepare ourselves for that. Don’t sell yourself short, you may be a saint in the making. God surely hopes so.

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Who is it For?

This is the third and last reflection on issues that have come to mind during recent forum conversations. It would be, as I thought, by far the most controversial, yet, as I have worked through it in my mind, I find it gentle and not threatening in the least now. I suspect it will appear so at first glance, and may be why when I raised it a couple of times, no one came forward to debate the point. It requires a deeper thought I think to come to a proper conclusion, at least that is how I found it to be.

prayingThe issue of prayer invariably comes up in that stupid discussion about Mary and the saints. Some Protestants inevitably start the argument that Roman Catholics, and some others, pray to Mary and various saints. Of course it is easy to explain this, since we know this as intercessory prayer, prayer to those we believe in heaven, asking them to pray for us. We are doing no more than anyone who says, “please pray for my father who is having an operation today.”

I suspect that those persons who continually bring this up, know as much, but they perhaps are as bound by dogmatic pronouncements in their faith traditions as some of the rest of us. In any case, I began to really think about this and came up with a rather frightening realization.

First let us state what we believe about God. Most all of us would agree that God is omnipotent, fully capable of doing pretty much anything he wishes. We additionally believe that God is omnipresent, available everywhere to everyone, aware of all that transpires in his universe. Third we believe that God is omniscient. We don’t all agree what this means. Some believe that God knows everything that each of us will do, and knows the outcome of history and how exactly it will come about. Others of us believe that God knows all possible choices and in combination with all other choices made by all other people and creatures, knowing  every possible outcome.

This is what I believe, since I cannot reconcile the former definition with free will. God doesn’t know which of the choices I will make, but is aware of all the choices I have, and how all would play out in an infinite interplay with all other choices. That is a mind boggling conclusion, but one no doubt God is up to.

If you add in that God is not subject to time and space, then in a real sense, God knows what choices we have made before we make them, so the first definition is also true. Confused enough?

We all believe that God is ultimate goodness, and makes decisions based on what is for the best for us and for his ultimate plans. That is if you believe that God micro manages things. That is an entirely other post of course, does God actually grant or refuse our prayers? Most people would say yes, I tend to think not. But as I said, that is for another day.

The issue before us is what value is prayer and what does it say about what we think about God. If we pray, and ask others to pray for us, we must admit that we think that God is persuaded by prayer. That presupposes that God isn’t aware of all things and must be enlightened. If not that, then God must at least be influenced by numbers of requests for the same thing sometimes. Sometimes he clearly is unmoved by numbers as well, as when hundreds and perhaps thousands pray for rain. But then is he persuaded by the quality of the person praying? Such that the Blessed Mother and other saints are more helpful that say Joe the Plumber? (Joe of course may be a saint, I’ve just so far seen no evidence of this.)

Some would say, that prayers are denied when God finds them in conflict with greater plans of his. This but kicks the can down the road if you will. It is a convenient way out of the dilemma, but doesn’t answer the philosophical issue.

The simple point is  that the very concept of prayer of any kind suggests that God is manipulatable, or possessing of less than full information. And that goes against the very beliefs we hold about Him. If he is all good, all knowing, all powerful, and ever present, then he needs no cheering gallery of beggars to  persuade him  to answer any prayer. He simply does so upon standards that we cannot penetrate.

Does this mean that asking our loved ones for pray on our behave, or those of  saints, or even our own efforts are wasted? Are we engaged in a useless, illogical practice?

It might seem so, and that is depressing indeed. That would be the logical conclusion. But logic, I find is not always truth, or at least not the entire truth of the matter. Upon deeper thought, I think there is indeed efficacy for prayer.

In order to see it, we must flip the equation. We must stop thinking of prayer as our means of trying to convince God to do our bidding, or to alert him to our needs. God needs no convincing, and he knows our needs “before we do.”

No prayer is not for God, it is for us. Prayer is offered to us as a means for us to clearly understand that we are not in charge of things, we are subject to something ever so much greater than ourselves, and that is God. We, no matter our age, our wealth, our position, our intelligence, are called upon to bend the knee of our hearts, and in all humbleness ask God to help us.

Moreover, prayer serves to help us unite with the infinite metaphysical world in which God inhabits. It gives us the opportunity for brief moments in time to see ourselves as part of the wholeness of creation, a small piece of an infinitely large puzzle. We lose ourselves in God’s embrace, finding peace and solace and removal from the cares of this world. God offers us prayer as a means of connection.

That, I conclude is its real purpose, and it’s real value. Some will still be dismayed no doubt, but I find this frankly all the more sacred. It changes my prayer to one of thanksgiving and  the desire to uphold all of mankind, all of creation in the cosmic wonder of this God who is our Creator, friend, parent, comfortor, commiserator, upholder,  and so much else.

And while you’re at it, pray for me. I’m preparing a meditation for Good Friday on Christ’s next to last statement from the cross, “I am thirsty.” Oh and ask that I receive wisdom. That is what I desperately need today as I research and prepare to write.  :D.

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Moral Choices Win!

cute pictures of puppies with captions
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I’m just about as happy as a clam now that I’m back to blogging. I truly did miss it a lot, missed you, and missed reading the news from around the world. CNN, MSNBC and FOX get very tiresome after a couple of days. How predictable can they get. You can almost write the scripts yourself after a while.

Did anyone notice as I did  in rereading my post of yesterday how God awful shallow I am? I mean, it appears that I do nothing much of substance besides sitting here and pontificating on the world. Like my opinion is of much interest!

I promise, I do actually do things during the day. I clean house, cook some fairly nice meals, (or so the Contrarian claims), attend to my spiritual life, shop, and so forth. Why just this morning I spend a good hour and half making a bunch of meatballs and tomato sauce for spaghetti today. Plenty of meatballs for the freezer and enough sauce for a second meal of lasagna or chicken Parmesan or something. So, I’m not entirely a computer addicted witch.

Today, is St. Joseph’s Day. I was first associated with the Sisters of St. Joseph some years ago, and I recall them with great fondness. I received a prayer card from them one St. Joseph’s day, and I still have it. I thought the poem was delightful and thought I’d share it with you.

Perhaps the mark of greatness

is not the accomplishing of great moments,

great monuments, great works–

Facing life

as it comes, being content with the daily–

what we call ordinary.

Joseph

was that kind of man–

a Saint.  (Sister M. Madeleva CS)

On the moral front, a couple of things struck me today as I was reading through blogs. Both brought a smile, and a quiet “It’s about time!” response to me. I’m feeling wonderfully mellow for some reason today. Quiet, competent, free, happy.

Hullabal00 reports that Governor Bill Richardson, of New Mexico, has repealed that state’s death penalty. The only second state to do so since the Supreme Court of the US in its infinite lack of wisdom upheld the barbaric practice of state sponsored killing.  (New Jersey was the other, in case you were wondering.)

This is a courageous decision, especially in a border state where the mania of “immigration” looms large and plenty of folks just want to kill ‘em at the fence. I suspect Richardson was aware that the penalty would no doubt fall most heavily on the Hispanic population, legal or otherwise.

That brings the total of no killing states to fifteen. I’m proud that I live in one of them. Hopefully more will see the uselessness of such barbarisms and end theirs too. Even though with few exceptions, most States don’t execute, the law is still on the books. No doubt Texas will be the last to fall. They seem to do it with relish and pleasure down there. Not sure why, but it’s horrifying all the same.

We are also pleased to see that President Barack Obama has signed a UN statement decriminalizing homosexuality. The Washington Independent reports that in doing so, he joins 66 other countries.

George W. Bush, the bastion of constitutional law expertise, refused to do so claiming it was an infringement on states rights! Of course any rational human being knows that to be a farce, since the US government speaks on issues of race and gender and other such things rather often. Bush was just trying in this simplistic way to appease the far right wing homophobes at no real cost.

Nice, of course since it put him in league with China, Russia, much of Islam, and of course the Roman Catholic Church.

Finally we are beginning to walk the talk of freedom for everyone, upholding those sacred beliefs we claim to hold so dear. I think I hear the world beginning to listen to us once more.

You have to wonder why anyone would object to this. As Lynda at Essential Estrogen states:

It is simply a show of support by the nations who sign on of their belief that criminal penalties — especially execution — should not be imposed on people just because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

I mean don’t we all agree that people shouldn’t be executed or imprisoned for being gay? Yet, Lynda reports the following remarks:

“[This] is a significant step towards the worldwide outlawing of religious opposition to the homosexualist political agenda.” by journalist Hilary White.

[This is] “sad and outrageous” and a form of “modern savagery that will dismantle our society from the inside out.” by Archbishop Celestino Migliori

Read the full article for more.

Hard to fathom minds like this isn’t it?

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Still Trying to Imagine

johnlennonpicture1Oh how times move along, so fast. It was 28 years ago yesterday that John Lennon was murdered in New York City.

As I tried to digest that fact a number of  things I have been reading and thinking about seemed to join at a cross roads of sorts with this bit of news.

I was a child of my very earliest teens when the Beatles hit the stage. I was madly in love with Ringo for about three years, until I found boys in my nearer vicinity much more appealing than a rock star whom I would never in life meet.

It was years later that I began to understand the extraordinary talent of John Lennon, who in league with Paul McCartney began to write truly significant songs, songs that spoke to us in the manner of a Bob Dylan.

When I think of Lennon, I always think first of either “Give Peace a Chance” or “Imagine.” Both speak to an age of war protest, and protest in general against the powers that be. The white male, establishment, paternalism of our youth. That which we believed we would change by the very force of our devotion to the ideal of justice. Of course, it did not happen, and plenty over the years have argued that the peace movement of the 60’s was a sham, perpetrated by rich kids with too much time on their hands.

For it seems, that with dogged regularity, most of us succumbed to the world as it then existed, dutifully finished our degrees and entered the world of responsible adulthood. We carried no banners to the boardrooms or courthouses for the most part. We became the establishment we so desperately railed against.

Yet, the stirring words of either song mentioned above, takes us back rapidly to that idealism we show cherished and claimed we would never abandon. It seems most poignant today as we are into the second week of Advent, enmeshed in two foreign wars,  trying to make sense of tragedies around the world that leave the innocent dead and  the rest of us reeling in disbelief, and financial ruin for so many.

How have we lived 28 years since his death, and seemingly achieved almost nothing? Christ calls us to peace at every turn. Indeed, the angels when announcing the good news of his birth, told us:  “Peace on earth and good will to those whom God favors.” Isaiah reminds us that:

“He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their plows into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

Yet we hear not. It’s always one more war, one more excursion into other lands spreading our version of freedom at the point of a gun. We cannot imagine, it seems, what John Lennon did.  Or perhaps we await it’s happening but feel no responsibility to help it be ushered in?Are we to stand idly by and wait? Or are we to act?

bonhoefferDietrich Bonhoeffer taught us that we should act. Born in around 1906, he came of age during the build up of Nazi Germany. Although he was safely removed from the country, he returned and was a vocal voice against the Nazis. He recognized that Hitler’s plans were destructive of both the country he loved and the way of life he believed in. No passive denunciation from afar. No, he gave all, his very life in the cause of ending Hitler’s monstrous plans.

He carried the cross, as few of us are prepared to do. “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” Such was his belief. God was his master and no self-designated leader was going to prevail without his strong and fearless objection. He died at age 39, in a prison camp, murdered by the Gestapo mere days before the camp was liberated by allied forces.

A strange choice for reading material in this Advent season no doubt. But somehow fitting. Bonhoeffer did not just await the coming of Christ, he prepared, he acted. And indeed we are reminded by the bridesmaid parable, that action is required if we are to put on the mantle of Christ.

We have acted recently, hopefully in our vigorous electioneering for Barack Obama. But we are not through yet. We may not sit and comfortably coo at our laurel wreaths. We still have wars to end, and truth be told, Mr. Obama talks of murdering Osama bin Laden often. His may well be opposed to the war in Iraq for technical reasons, but he will not be accused of being a pacifist I suspect.

Murder, war, violence are still part of our national and international discourse. As Zimbabwe descends into utter chaos and death, we ponder and wring our hands. We do nothing though.

And indeed, this becomes the cross roads does it not? Where is violence good? Bonhoeffer felt that it was a necessary thing. He was in favor of active resistance to the Nazis, not just passive resistance. Those of us who oppose violence as a means to an end, are pulled up short. Just what should we do about these regimes who exist as parasites off the backs of their people?

When talking does no good what then? Will Osama bin Laden listen to reason? Plenty of others have not. But others have. Who is to know? So far, Robert Mugabe has not listened. Kim Il Sung appears to from time to time. Muammar al Gaddafi seems to have. But it is all fluid, and can change at any moment. But I do know that we must act as one. One voice, the voice of humanity.

We must say NO. We must say that such atrocities will not be allowed to be perpetrated by those whose only aim is to live the high life off the backs of their countrymen. If we say it and mean it, if we, as a world enter and stop these vile actions and make it clear that we will not allow them to occur anywhere, this will end. Sooner or later, all will agree that there is no future in tyranny. But we are not of course there.

Not yet anyhow. But each voice adds to the growing majority. Are there people who actively look at the world and decide that war is a good thing? I doubt it. Their ranks are stable. But the ranks of those who wish to “give peace a chance” are growing, and I believe that there will be a tipping point. When that point is reached, then we will act as a world. And we will end war. And we will be just, and we will treasure brotherhood. Until then, we must continue to speak out, and pray:

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

I can imagine, can you?


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Short Takes on the Day 11/13/08

It’s simply shockingly sad. Bush is doing his level best to help out his business friends at the tail end of his disastrous presidency by trashing the environment. All the plans, regulation loosenings and so far are designed to help industry make money, and reduce the protection of lands and animals now in place. It will take much time and effort by the Obama people to undo this. It was said that Clinton was only able to undo about 13% of what Daddy Bush did at the end of his presidency. True, Clinton did the same and Dubya could only undo 3% of the Clinton environmental protections. Why this evil man is intent on destroying the earth is beyond me. He has his, why can’t he let us at least exist? AlterNet has the story.

I recently read a book called “Deep Economy” about how we might revision our economic mantra of “growth is good.” It dealt largely with environmental issues, but did make the point that studies show that Americans are deeply unhappy overall as compared to much of Europe and many other countries as well. Money and buying stuff does not make us happy it turns out. A World Health Organization now places the US first in those countries whose citizenry is depressed and otherwise mentally ill. Read more, and discover that if you are stressed with not enough time, not enough leisure, you are very much not alone.

While much against the theology of Augustine can be argued with, there is something very right about a guy who asked God to cure him of his sexual needs, but “not quite yet.” He became a very human being for that statement in his Confessions. That being said, his birthday is today, and I think we should all pause and remember this great Father of the Church. If you would like to read more about this incomparable man, link to Gill’s Ancient History Blog.

You might enjoy this aside: Being a blogger, we all get used to our private and overused phrases. Much as John McCain drove us insane with “my friends” we all have our peccadilloes when it comes to language. Britannica Blog gives us “the 10 most overused and useless expressions in English.” Did you find one you use? Numbers 4 and 5 were ones I think I use a bit too frequently.

Uncovering women’s history is always fascinating. Every heard of a woman by the name of Cynisca? Probably not, but she was the first woman to compete and win an Olympic event, and we are talking about 396 and 392 BCE. Read this fascinating tale with tons of historical background at Rogueclassicism today. G,wan, get a little knowledge, your brain will thank you for it.

Speaking of birthdays, yesterday’s was Grace Kelly. That wonderful biographer Elizabeth Kerri Mahon at Scandalous Women does her usual top notch job and presents you with a lovely reflection on this American Princess.

If you are a history buff, you might find this new blog fun. It’s called Histatic! The history blog for all your inquisitive needs. Give it a look see and bookmark if it suits your fancy. I’ll be picking up the feed and checking it for good posts that you might enjoy.

I had a co-worker when I was a lawyer, who used to go to magazines like Bon Appetit and others of that type and make their entire holiday menu. I have never done such a thing, and frankly won’t because we have found the perfect Thanksgiving menu on earth, all from different sources. But if you want to do something different, Baking Delights has a full menu for you with all the recipes. You might not choose to make it all, but you might find a recipe that you do like. I think I should try to post the incredible stuffing recipe we used last year. First time we ate every drop of stuffing I tell you, and I will never do another turkey that isn’t brined either. Enjoy!

Simply Recipes gifts us with a great Tex-Mex dish. It’s similar to enchiladas, but she says without the trouble. It’s often used as a breakfast food. Give it a look if you love Mexican food. This looks like one I’ll add to my repertoire. Full directions are given for Chilaquiles.

And just to close out the recipes, here’s one you should not miss. Easy as anything to make, elegant for the holidays, and it is Chocolate! Now that combination is not to be missed. Called Chocolate Purses, you can wow your guests and also adapt easily to your own particular tastes. What could be better? Our thanks to Uncommon Artistic Endeavors.

This next story has been on the news in the mainstream media for a few days. Partly it makes me just laugh and partly it makes me sick to my stomach. The NRA has done an excellent job in making up a scare story that Obama is gonna take away guns, and gun sales have skyrocketed. That’s the funny part, the scary part, is the gun sales have skyrocketed. What kind of world are people living in that they have to run out and buy $1000+ assault rifles before they are banned? What kind of nut wants one? The winners are of course the NRA and its beloved gun manufacturing industry. Once again the idiot poor does the bidding of the rich. Crooks & Liars has the story.

Oh Goodie Goodie, DistributorCapDC has a quiz for couch potatoes and prizes too! Hurry on over and take it, win win win, I never win a thing. Maybe this time!

And to close out, just a personal observation. Sarah, our dear Sarah is being called the gift that keeps on giving for Democrats. She is making more of an ass of herself, now that she is out from restrictions and can do things her way. Although she claimed many of her woes were the result of the left wing media, she is courting that media for all it’s worth these days. She is granting “exclusive” interviews nearly every day. True to form, she says nothing, and says that nothing in such circular fashion that one can but weep with joy that the girl hasn’t lost her stupid touch. You might have thought she would bone up a bit, but word is that her latest foray on Larry King resulted in answers about the federal economic bailout that were “stunning” in their lack of any knowledge of what it entailed.

Miss Palin continues to adhere to the idea that politics is a piece of cake and requires no real knowledge of anything. Since she is apparently interested in virtually nothing, this works well for her so far. Her press conference at the Governor’s meeting consisted of 3 questions and then was closed down. The other governors felt a bit left out as you can guess. She was not wanted there in the first place so we are told. Sarah is that annoying fly that you cannot swat and cannot evade. It will soon be time to bring out the assault spray and overkill the land in order to make sure she gets her fatal dose.

I know this sounds weird, but a bunch of political bloggers and others have set up a food network site. You can find it here, called the “Internet Food Association.” Some of our favorites, such as Simply Recipes are on board. Who knows who might be next. Bookmark it and check it out if you love food and new recipes.

Have a greater day than ever before!

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Lil Bits of Rancor or Not 9/26/08

Last week, we reported on the gaffe of McCain in not recalling whom the prime minister of Spain was. Apparently the McCain caretakers are so frightened of these continuing problems with memory that McCain continues to exhibit, that they are willing to go to any expense to avoid making that admission. So, McCain, we are told, knew exactly what he was saying and knew exactly who Zapatero is. That claim makes matters ever so much worse to many. Is McCain willing to trash an ally to win an election? You betcha he is. Read this Huffinton Post report from AlterNet.

Recipe time. This one is Chocolate Chip Muffins. And according to Baking Delights  it’s the best recipe in the universe. That takes in substantial territory so I’m expecting a lot from this recipe. Hope you find it delicious as well.

Break the Terror  brings us this story. It’s not a new concept, but they flesh it out nicely. Remember that in the past few days McCain in his feeble way has attempted to tie Obama to Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac and an enabler of sorts? I just don’t get these folks, since Rick Davis, his main man was paid nearly 2 million in fees for lobbying for deregulation so they could do their thing unregulated as it were. McCain is either so totally unaware of what’s going on in his own campaign, or he is one of the more serial liars of all time.

By any chance did you feel older the other morning when you woke up? I know I did, and now I know why. It seems scientists are busy doing science things and think that life arose on earth some 80 million years earlier than previously thought. Creationists are scurrying to revise their assessments no doubt.

I don’t claim any expertise about the economy (gosh I hate being grouped with John McCain) but I’m told that if there is one article about this banking mess you should read it is this one. Sebastian Mallaby writes an op ed for the Washington Post. Ezra Klein  gave us the word on this.

History News Network has I think a worthwhile article on American politics and how we have come to this juncture. A distinct thread of anti-intellectualism runs through the heart of this country, and we are consistently drawn to the “guy just like us” who is never just like us of course. This is exactly when we most need someone who is extraordinary to help us through crisis after crisis. Will we again opt for ordinary? Why does the Republican Party continue to be able to co-op so many people with an message is that is false? Just some of the questions answered here.

Well, I bet you didn’t know this: Chimps prefer their food cooked. I don’t recall jane Goodall ever talking about watching her chimps around the campfire cooking on a spit. Wonder why she omitted that? Well, Live Science says it’s true. So it must be. Also Neanderthals seem to have eaten both seals and dolphins. I guess they were not politically correct. Such folks would be shunned today as rather grotesque wouldn’t you say?

McCain caught in another lie, and boy are they adding up. He said that Rick Davis, his campaign manager hadn’t worked for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae for “years.” Turns out Davis was paid by both until last MONTH. So it seems McCain will either be calling Davis a liar and firing him, or biting the bullet again with another lie. So says Steve Benen at The Political Animal.

Laila at Raising Yousuf and Noor  tells us exactly what it can be like to be Muslim in America. This is exactly the type of hatred engendered, I submit, but the hate filled campaign of a John McCain. I visited a web site earlier today (I won’t mention the vile place) in which Obama and Biden were referred to as Obama bin Biden. This is what John McCain brings to America. It is a shame.

If miracles are your thing, slip by rogueclassicism  and read about San Gennero’s Blood which liquifies at certain times of the year, well, miraculously it seems. Examinations have concluded that the phials indeed contain blood and there is no final explanation of why it liquefies on certain days of the year.

John McCain seems to have painted himself in a corner. In an obvious attempt to stop all the talk about how the polls are going against him, he came up with the grandstand play to capture attention. Problem is, nobody is buying it. Universally it’s being met as a political ploy, one that is not working as several in Congress say that his parachute jump into the middle of negotiations and the president’s “meeting” have wasted time and stalled negotiations. See what the American Prospect  has to say on the subject. Johnny can claim he is putting country above politics, but the obvious conclusion is that he put his political future first. Not exactly the first time he has done that.

Oh and in case you missed it, Sarah Palin has unilaterally declared “victory in Iraq.” In her illogical laden but cute squeaky voice, Sarah has said that iraq and the surge are the pattern we must use in Afghanistan now. It will be difficult she  says, because of that pesky “terrain, even” in Afghanistan. What a monumental joke this woman is. She offends me on more levels than I can count. She makes women, and small town people look like idiots, and I’m seriously pissed.

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