Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Very tired of yelling and seething

Dear brothers and sisters. (And a special hello to my Muslim friends. I've not been able to address many of my blog postings your way recently, but you are not far from my thoughts and best wishes).

I am so tired of the decades of wasted opportunity. I am so tired of the spiritual combat, and the day to day degradation of the human experience. If people had asked me the simplest of questions at any time during the past forty plus years, so much misery could have been avoided by so very many people. I am here "with portfolio" and so far what I have to offer has been totally wasted and ignored.

Here is what I should have been doing:

o Sitting in a house with a garden, instead of living on credit in garages and apartments.
o Speaking to family and friends in normal truth talk, instead of being isolated and having to tolerate the cult script and symbolic agenda driven talk that anyone who does speak to me uses.
o Teaching people how to be good parents, and how to raise their children with God in their hearts.
o Refuting heresy by reconnecting people with their true origins and understanding of God's greater plan for their joy and dignity.
o Being able to enjoy the company of many people from all walks of life.
o Showing people how to design a real plan for recovery of the health of the earth's environment.
o Showing people how to design a real plan for recovery of the economy.
o Showing people how to design a real plan for the remediation of poverty worldwide.
o Showing people how to design real plans for urban and rural communities.
o Restoring people's understanding, trust and love for God.
o The sacramental life in the Catholic Church, where I can actually attend services without being stalked.
o Having pets and interaction with wildlife and the outdoors again.
o Showing the way to a fullness of understanding between Catholics and Muslims.
o Promoting the unity of the Christian community, which has been tragically fractured.
o Working on my arts and crafts without having to dodge spiritual paint balls.
o Restoring the spirits of those who are on the front lines in so many battles, such as against child abuse, abortion, rescue workers, the military, police and fire fighters.
o Reminding doctors to become life savers again, instead of deadly tools.
o Showing people how to restore traditional capabilities and sources of joy.
o Being around babies and children.
o Being able to enjoy music, sports and good entertainment again.
o Traveling and meeting new people, dining out, dining in, having real friends.
o Having more and more days go by that I don't have to read the news and say, "Didn't I warn you of this? Will you ever listen to me?"
o Flower arranging and Christmas shopping year around.
o Having friends and family who I can shop for, make gifts for, tuck away birthday gifts for. The "symbolism" of the few people I do have in my life, family, who refuse to acknowledge the cards and gifts I do send them has been a stupid and arrogant waste of years of my time, not only of my time, but disrespectful toward God.
o Helping those who are severely traumatized and lost to reclaim their lives in authentic ways full of goodness.
o Being able to think of more and more people and how normal they are, instead of my thinking, "Wow, they are on the path to hell, and they don't even realize it." Hell is packed already, but there sure is a long line of people wasting their chances to get out of that queue.

That, and more, has been my portfolio, and all I've received to date is spiritual and financial attack, punctuated by loneliness and physical abuse.

And people wonder why I can cuss like a truck driver.

You should hear what the Lord God thinks of this waste of my time.

Avoid fiction books by depressives

I'm sorry to sound unkind, and I'm not uncaring, as you know. But I've been boycotting depressive works of fiction (and music) for decades now because they are viral. Read this article and you'll see what I mean. I'm so tired of people with issues who become best selling authors in order to "vent" and "heal." The trouble is that instead of helping others, they reinforce the same depressive tendencies in their audience. Somehow people, especially women, have become hooked on books that virally spread the bleak experiences, real or imaginary, of people who use authorship to a wide audience as their own private Idaho of venting therapy. People used to love to read good solid literature that was "escapist," even if unvarnished views of humanity are presented, rather than "reinforcing" real or imaginary dark pits of mindset. Somehow people, especially women, think they "get better" by "knowing they are not alone," and hence read books that travel the depressive view of life over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

Another douche bag celebrity drug arrest

He portrays a CSI police investigator.

Health condition of Austria monster's children

This is a good article about the unbelievable horror of the daughter who was raped and caged by the monster "father," forced to bear his children underground for over twenty years.

With all the depravity in the world, I wish people would come to their senses and start to root these types of shit-who-claim-to-be-humans out instead of making up religions, obsessing about imaginary aliens and past lives, and wanking to kiddie porn. Worried about "the Antichrist?" Well, I suggest humans regain their humanity in a hurry.

USA acts to stem overfishing of sharks


NOAA Fisheries has outlined new measures to prevent overfishing and rebuild the number of sandbar and other shark species. The number of sandbar sharks are between 20 and 38 percent of the population in the early 20th century before fishing began on sharks. Recent stock assessments indicate that sandbar, porbeagle, and dusky sharks are severely overfished and therefore drastic measures need to be taken to begin rebuilding. It has been illegal to catch dusky sharks since 2000, but these sharks are taken incidentally when fishermen seek other species.

Sandbar sharks are one of the most valuable shark species caught commercially in the Atlantic Ocean. They make up the majority of the current commercial shark landings and are prized for their fins, which are the main ingredient in dishes such as shark fin soup.

Mexicans slaughter 100 million or more sharks?!!!

Read this article. It's mindblogging. Apparently 100 million or more sharks are killed by Mexican "fishermen" each year, just to cut their fins off for Chinese soup, and they toss the rest of the body to rot. At this rate they are wiping out their own oceanic treasure and ruining it for everyone else. Sharks are essential in the ocean ecosystem.

Unbelievable. Surely someone can come up with jobs that don't involve wiping out entire species for their fin so that Chinese can eat $300 a bowl shark fin soup, or peddling drugs. I'm exaggerating a bit but not so much?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Book recommendation

This book by Cardinal Bertone will be released on May 6th. I can recommend it before even reading it, *wink*.

Pondering: message to the youth (5)

This will close my series of posts for tonight! I hope you have found them helpful and even if you have some barriers to agreeing with what I've presented that you at least share my concerns and have a more discerning view of what is really going on.

Another way that I need to explain how the past several "generations" have been ripped off and cheated has to do with God.

Suppose that you were raised as a child in an orphanage, one where all your material needs were met but you were told your parents had died and that you were alone in the world. And then suppose one day you grow up and go to college, and then discover that your mother is alive and had been kept separated from you, through no fault of her own. You are reunited and you love your mom, and perhaps instead of living in a dorm you live with her while you go to college. You talk and do things together, and maybe the local newspaper even does an article about you both as their "feel good" story.

However, while this is a "happy ending story," you did not step into a time machine and remake your years of being alone. You find your mother and you are happy, but you did not have her when you were a baby, an infant, pre-school, Kindergarten, 1st-6th grade, 7th-12th grade, and she was not there when you graduated, got your first part time job, applied to college, got accepted, and had your first dates. You totally missed the experience of having a mom, and finding her at say the age of 21 does not change the past. It only makes the present and the future much better.

It is the same for children who are raised by their families without knowledge of and love for God. While you can always be raised "in the faith" and then decide to "fall or drift away from the faith" as an adult, you can't go back in time and rewrite history so that God was in your life for all the years you were raised without knowledge and love for God. You can find God, of course, even if God was denied to you by your parents as a child, but you cannot relive those years as a child the way you would have if you had known and loved God from the start. Time machines exist just in fantasy movies.

This is what I call "the lost opportunity" cost. Children are meant to know and love God from the first moments they can comprehend. It is not for God's ego trip; it is for the benefit of fullness and completeness of the human being. Just like having a mom and a dad are essential to a fullness of the human experience and a child's development, so is the knowledge of God. You would not have had to explain this to any generation of people before these past several generations. Knowing and loving God is an essential component to a child's mental, emotional, and spiritual health. In this blog posting I'm not speaking of a specific religion except that it be one that believes in the one true monotheistic God. It is inexcusable to raise a child without him or her knowing that God exists and has a relationship with the child that will last through their life.

Regular readers know that I was married to an agnostic Jew, and how because I was stalked by cults, I had privately resolved never to have a child who could be abused by them as I was. I never shared my reason for not having a child and took extensive precautions to not become physically pregnant. So this meant that it was a topic of general conversation with my husband and with other people in the normal "what if" way that anyone talks about having a child. One of the things that my husband and I totally agreed on was that "if" I had ever had a child, the child would be raised to be a full and devout Christian. My agnostic Jewish husband was the first to say, "You must raise a child to have the faith. He or she can always make their own decisions when they are grown up, but if you never give them the faith you are robbing them of it completely."

Throughout the 1960's and 1970's that was the predominant opinion until the "social revolutionaries" became parents. They then decided to rip off their own children by estranging them from God. They did this to cover up their own bad decisions, because who can teach about God when you deny him in your every action? Further, the temptations of occult beliefs (with again, their "free pass" on behavior and wink toward even horrors like abortion) took over families, and rather than being born into a family that taught love of God, children were raised either "God-less" (though God never abandoned them, even if the children did not know) or worse, directly as fodder for cults. I despise $cientologists and others like them for that reason. Cultists who raise their children without God are instead stuffing pollution into what should have been the clear springs of faith and reason in their children's minds. It is very hard to bring people "back" to God if that "USB port" had garbage flowing into them from the start. There is a "missing piece" in young adults who have been raised in cults and who, while they know the truth and have run from the abuse, feel estranged from God.

I have such pity, sadness and love for people who were robbed of God in their childhood and filled with the trash of cults. Some of them are brash, but many of them cover up skittishness that is like the pony that has been only beaten and spurred by human owners. They feel they cannot then let themselves believe the hand of human kindness when they do encounter it. That is what happens when children are robbed of their knowledge and love of God.

God is patient and if anything good can come from the horrors of these chaotic times, perhaps it is that even the most scarred can find their way back to believing that God wants to know them, and wants to love and guide them. But I appeal to you new parents, even if you think you are suave and cynical, please do not rob your children of love for and knowledge of God, even if you personally cannot provide it, have a godly person mentor them, or send them to Bible or Qur'an schooling. You cannot pop God back into them like a pill later in their life as if your neglect of them regarding God never happened, or is 'all fixed.' Follow the example that those of us who had to suffer through those times since the 1960's and raise the child in the true faith of God, and let them live their lives with both options in front of them, not lobotomizing them of God when they are in the cradle. It is one of the greatest tragedies of our time and many ills will still result from this before it gets better.

I hope this helps, and I hope that I can "help the unbelief" closer to belief for those of you who have been scarred by occults or estrangement from knowledge of God's love and his will and greater plan for all humanity.

Pondering: message to the youth (4)

How is it that the World War II generation became the last real generation? And why is it that I am explaining to you that none of the generations since then have been real generations, but instead fractured parallel partial artificial "generations?" Here is why.

In the 1960's people deviated from generational aspirations in order to "specialize." People felt individual callings that were based on what they felt were high priority issues or behaviors that they wished to pursue. Instead of maintaining a baseline, a foundation of aspirations and priorities, and from there taking on one or more of the new issues, they "branched out" to specialize in that issue (or "Lifestyle Choice"). In other words, suppose each generation is a single giant tree. Instead of taking close looks at branches that need attention, while still understanding that the branch is part of the tree, and relies on the tree for its long term survival, people started to believe that they are on a branch and that branch is independent from the tree. Let's look again at the World War II generation. They had a huge branch, the war, that they had to focus on and attend to. But they never lost their identity as a generation with that entire tree. I don't mean patriotism, I mean their aspirations for peace, home and prosperity. So they could focus on the fighting of the war, but they all still felt the over arching identity of what they hoped to achieve in life. Like I said in my previous post just before this one, even if the aspirations were blocked due to poverty or discrimination, people all still shared the hope and aspirations to achieve those good things. The fighting of World War II did not totally distract that generation from their overall life view.

But as people addressed both the vital and serious (discrimination and civil rights, subsequent conflicts, the global economy, socialism and communism, education, crime, the environment) and the temptations (addictions, free sex, abortions, "anything goes" and alternative lifestyles, consumerism, artistic impulses, the entertainment industry, self empowerment, the occult) they broke apart from their generation and regrouped around specific issues. I'll use some short hand here, and I mean no offense, I'm just trying to explain the dynamics. Instead of "baby boomer generation" you had generation socialist/communist, generation struggle for civil rights, generation make a lot of money, generation hedonism, generation "free spirit," generation entrepreneur, generation against the war, generation earth day, etc etc etc. Individuals broke out of the trunk of the tree of their generation and gathered together in clusters of people who focused only one one or two issues or lifestyle choices.

For example, many who fought for Civil Rights set their target to be, "whatever white people have, we should have too." That's fine if you are talking about wanting to be in a color blind and totally equal society that is not discriminating on racial lines. But the social cohesion of what white society had was dissolving, and while collecting the correct rights such as voting, equal pay, abhorrence of race baiting and violence, education, promotions, housing, equal access of services. those who focused on the Civil Rights struggle inadvertently "followed" branches of the white generational splintering into terrible loses of prior strengths. The black family, which had held together even during the horrors of slavery itself, followed the cadre of the white anti-family generation. The blacks who were once victims of police violence and bullwhips followed the white cadre that formed the "generation drugs and guns." So "baby boomers" of the Civil Rights struggle inadvertently followed the trail of "rights" that led down individual branches of generations that were forged by splinter white groups. Blacks won the right to vote, but they inadvertently demanded, and got, the right to destroy families, have abortions, beat on each other, just like the whites do.

Generation environmental went off into la-la land where animals are "better," "more spiritual," and "more soulful" than human babies. While fighting the good fight for the environment, and I tried to be a leader (but was shut out) in that, I noticed from my position on the tree trunk that many environmentalists had climbed out on a branch and declared that free food and birth control/abortions were the ecological way to end poverty! Many environmentalists lost their love for their neighbor and for the human race. They left the generational tree trunk.

The War in Vietnam and governmental corruption sucked the life of a generation right out of them, for those who could not separate dealing with those issues from still maintaining a balanced world and life view. Instead of being wiser discerners about who to trust, they decided not to trust anyone "in power," and many of them went on to be the untrustworthy power brokers themselves.

I don't need to say anything about generation shake your money maker.

So you see, since World War II there was no generation. People specialized themselves right out of their own generation. They lost common agreement on what it even means to be alive.

No tragedy is a good excuse for abandoning generational human aspirations. Even HIV/AIDS, with all that trauma and loss, was not a good excuse for abandoning a collective humanitarian view based on the goodness of family and community. During World War I there was the terrible Influenza Epidemic that killed something like 17-18 million people (have to check the numbers). Villages were wiped out in the USA and millions dropped and died. Yet people did not stop being members of their generation, of their goodness and cohesiveness in time of need, even as they experienced an inexplicable tsunami of disease. (And remember, antibiotics had not been invented; there was literally nothing that could be medically done for those who came down with this strain of Influenza). Yet after that plague, did any of them run around and say that the Influenza was invented by the Kaiser of Germany, or by Woodrow Wilson, in order to "insert whatever conspiracy theory they might want to believe here." Of course not. Doctors and nurses, police, government workers died in their tracks by the thousands trying to help people with a disease that had no cure or even palliative remedy at all, but the disease did not divide the human family. Who can say this about this "generation?" Don't even get me started about one sub-generation demanding a pill to cure everything, while their neighboring splinter sub-generation wants to sue over every pill and vaccine? No one is pulling together for a quality and reasonable approach to health care, and I don't mean the insurance, I mean the humanitarian aspirations that motivated and inspired all the generations before these sub-generations

So, dear youth, you've really been ripped off. All of you have grown up in a country and time where your parents handed you branches and told you those were the true trees. And for those of you who did grow up in well centered and aspirational generational identities, the consumer and secular society views you as just dummies, but dummies with charge cards and Paypal. You have to constantly resist in order to maintain an aspirational generation cohesiveness at all. A true generation works for individual good within the framework of the greater good - ALL of it, not within fake "specialities" such as "climate change" and "pro choice." You don't recommend cutting off branches under others and even yourselves as the way to "make a better world." A wise generation "follows the money" in order to discern its value and its applications, not to be led by the nose.

I see some positive signals and I pray for more. I hope that this youthful age group cadre can regain a generational identity that is aspirational toward the culture of life. Perhaps this age group cadre can pull together back into a cohesive unit that does not have to agree with each other about specifics, but is constantly working on restoring a positive love of children and of the goodness of life, instead of either "living large and fat on the hog" OR "let's force people into a tiny 'carbon footprint.'"

Ponder: youth outreach (3)

Hi again, circa 40 year olds and younger, "youth outreach." Age is an odd thing or, at least, our perceptions of age. I tend to think less of age in term of years, and more in term of generations. So in one respect I'm like the marketeers, but I'm different from them in every other respect. Marketeers differentiate by age and generation to market both their products, but also to manipulate taste and consumer demand. That's social engineering and that's a really bad thing when it is context free social engineering. In other words, people do not care about the overall well being of the individual or age cohort, but only the ability to make a sale. I'm not naive or totally idealistic. The trick is that marketeers have taken over what I call "each generation's priorities."

Generations tend to have a set of priorities that large numbers of individuals have in common. They are both good things and hopes that they have, and also issues and situations that they must face. Examples of priorities that previous generations have had include owning one's own home, and fighting a war as a nation. The World War II generation (the ones who were adult and fought the war) are the classic example. The entire generation, whether in active service or not, was totally committed to fighting the war and getting it done. This same generation then became committed to bringing the soldiers home and ensuring that every young family could find and afford a first home.

So the priorities of a generation "glue and bind them together" to have a mostly common world view. The priorities bind rather than the individual ages. For example, many who served in World War II were the usual ages of late teens and twenties... but very many of them were also in their thirties and forties! Think about it. They were a social cohort, a single generation, even though individual members of that "generation" ranged in age from 17 to almost 50. My dad, for example, was forty years old when he enlisted during World War II. The younger members of his company called him "Pop," because of his gray hair and age. But still, they were social contemporaries. They had different ages with spans of twenty years between them or even more, yet they returned to America after the war as a single generation. Teens and grown men returned to go to college, return to their original home places, or to buy their first home for a new family. Millions of men and women at this wide span of individual ages were forged into what Tom Brokaw calls "the greatest generation." Young men in their late teens had the same set of values as older men in their twenties, thirties and forties. It was a remarkable time in history, one that I don't think people understand in the way that I've explained it here.

The bonds that this widely aged generation felt also overcame educational, class or regional differences. World War II, both in combat and at home, truly united the country in its priorities across age and background. I'm not talking here about some idealistic perfect country, where racism and so forth didn't exist. I'm talking about aspirations. Everyone had the same aspirations. They wanted to win the war, have peace, raise their families, and have their first home. The black American may have suffered dire discrimination and hardship, but their aspirations and hopes, their priorities and values were the same as even the most privileged white. Their aspirations were the same and that bound them together, but it was the unequal or blocked access to achieving those aspirations that brought about the much needed changes. But my point is that from all parts of the country, that generation was united as no other generation was, or has been since, because they shared the same aspirations.

I hope this helps you to actually look at some verbiage and assumptions with different eyes. For example, everyone talks about "baby boomer generation." But that was not a generation. That was a fractured collection of three generations. So even though the term "generation" referred to a tighter age grouping, the aspirations were not shared by any means across that generation. And it was not even a two way split. I would argue that the so called "baby boomer generation" is actually an artificial term based on the grouping of age cohorts, and that there really was not the widely vaunted generational traits and self identity at all. If I were writing an essay or a thesis I could easily demonstrate that the baby boomer "generation" was, instead, three or more parallel generations that occupied the same space at the same time, yet did not share priorities or issues at all.

So you, dear young people, are the children of parents who themselves "thought" they were part of a single generation, but were instead foot soldiers in one of many parallel and often competing "generations." The whole thing about "values" of the "baby boomer generation," "Generation X, Y, Z?" and the "Millennium babies" is really a myth, and a political and marketing artificial social construct.

Furthermore, and of even greater concern, the term "generation" has become less about priorities, hopes and aspirations, and more about the troubles and tribulations of that age cadre, plus their marketing potential as consumers. You really are not part of a "generation," and have not been since World War II. A true generation has a shared set of aspirations and priorities. But the rise of consumerism, and the hostility between "generations" from the social revolution of the 1960's, plus the influence of socialism, has fractured the definitional term of generation. Now a generation really is a simple date of birth grouping. It is not the shared aspirations that previous generations had, even before the incredibly unified World War II generation. You, dear friends, are defined as a generation according to your age, what you are willing to buy and be sold, and the woes that you face.

Being aware of it and not just accepting labels is an important first step. Too many people have accepted speaking and thinking in "marketing short hand." It's like acronyms or text abbreviations. You have been raised referring to yourself and thinking of yourself as a generational grouping, when all that you really are is an age pool of people with charge cards and a pack of problems. I don't think of you that way, but I'm sitting here in my (virtual) rocking chair explaining to you another way that I think you have been cheated. You don't know the incredible comfort and strength that comes from being part of a generation that has un-manipulated aspirations.

Ponder: youth outreach (2)

In my previous post I mentioned I think about how this younger (under 40) generation has been incredibly cheated and shortchanged, and how I often think of it when I drive my car. Here's the story behind the connection to cars and some perspective you might draw from it.

When I was growing up in the 1950's and 1960's, the overwhelming favorite color of both men and women was blue. Americans loved blue. It had nothing to do with politics or, as you will see, marketing. It was the natural expression of people's favorite color. Study after study showed that blue was favored by both men and women, both for its beauty (evoking sky and water) and also that it was soothing. So when the automobile industry matured and came out of it's Model A black car phase, and utilitarian black, to offer color selections, the overwhelming majority of cars on the road were blue. Not the metallic or bright blue that you see sometimes today, when you see a blue car at all, but a "steady Eddie" kind of blue. Here is a link to a color paint chip sheet for 1960 Chevrolet cars:

So you have to kind of use your imagination, but think of what it looked like when a good half or more of the cars on the road were colored blue or green shades, such as in the first column. Even when a white car was selected, it was viewed as being very individualistic to that person, and a cream tone. Reds were also rare, not because they were unavailable, as you can see on the sheet, but people just did not select red, white or gray cars. They loved blue.

You have to take my word for it, but driving was more serene in those days. It's not just the courtesy and careful driving that was predominant back then, but it also simply looked more serene with all of that blue! To this day it hurts my eyes to look at the color of cars today, because I remember when it was better. I can testify that it is different today, looking at cars that are either neutral, soul-less, or jangling in color than when people drove cars colored in their favorite colors, serene blues and greens.

So what happened? How did it change so radically? Well, it was a joining together of two forces. One was the "revolution" against the "establishment" by hipsters and discontent generation of your parents who wanted to do something "different from their parents." So called "women's liberationists," don't laugh, I wish it wasn't true, declared war against blue as being "discrimination" because baby boys wore blue and baby girls wore pink. I'm not kidding. I remember well women slavering like maniacs that "blue is the color of oppression." Girls and women who LOVED blue gave it up, because they were brainwashed by the libbers that liking blue was "giving in to the man" and "allowing yourself to be oppressed." So women cut off their own noses to spite their own faces, giving up their own love of blue so that they could shove it in the face of their parents and "the male establishment." Denim became the only acceptable blue, except for the period of blue eyeshadow in make up. Girls and women rejected the very color that they loved in order to "stick it to the man." Yes, young people, your parents were that stupid.

The second force drew its energy from the "social revolution," which was to deliberately change people's tastes so that they would spend more money. It was the shift from painting cars in the colors that most people loved to painting cars in different colors, and then convincing people that new colors were their "new image." So the marketers started peddling colors that convinced people that they were "luxury," or "racers," and "the new neutral metallics" (silver). As people increasingly bought off the lot, rather than ordered the car with the paint you wanted, you had to choose what the marketers supplied. This is why I'm driving a maroon car and hate the color, and why all you see is white, silver and red. It's not like it used to be where people would order their car and wait for it in more leisurely times. Since the 1970's you basically have gone to the lot and selected among what is there. And every car ad is pushing an image, rather than selling cars that are painted in the predominant favorite colors, as it used to be.

So it's not like people changed their minds about blue. It was social and marketing brainwashing.

I mention this story because I think when I share something like this, it opens your eyes a bit and you can relate. Unless you have someone like me who can break the story down and tell you what really went on, you'd have no way of having this social, cultural and historical fact based history to understand what is going on. Young people today are brainwashed by their parents generation to think that "you are in charge" and "the individual rules." Well, think about it. If I can witness the entire country's taste in car color deliberately manipulated to flip flop in a total change, you can imagine what I've seen about other important social and cultural factors that have been totally manipulated. So this is an example where you can learn that you are not so much in charge as you think you are, and it's your own parents who, for the most part, sold the American spirit down the river.

Something to ponder: reaching out to the young(1)

I have always found myself reaching out to the younger people. This is because so many of the past two generations have been born into what I think of as a "context lacking" family and society. They are the future hope, yet they lack such basic information that often the young people are the most challenged in finding hope. I'm not just referring to spiritual matters here, but also the "brass tacks" of the way things work. ("Brass tacks" is an expression that refers to thumbnails or tacks made of brass that are used to hold materials together, such as fabric onto the seat of a chair. "Getting down to brass tacks" is a classic expression that means you get down to the fundamentals of how something is put together and it's bottom line reality).

This expression can give you an insight into how the generation that you have been born into is so different than the ones that came before. "Getting down to the brass tacks" was a popular expression because virtually everyone did work with their hands, either labor on the job or on the farm or at home. So to reduce something to its basic truths was to "get down to the brass tacks." This expression has been replaced by three substitutes that reflect the shift from labor orientation (and mechanical based reality) to financial and entertainment as "the new reality." The expressions that replace "getting down to the brass tacks" are: "what is the bottom line" (total financial profit orientation, rather than how one gets there), "what is the punch line" (the entertainment of fooling someone or being fooled), and "cut to the chase" (the best part of the "movie" is the suspenseful and violent part).

Young people (and I really mean anyone under forty or so), you have been raised by a very rash generation that do not care about "getting down to the brass tacks." This is one of the ways that you have been very seriously cheated. Your parent's parents were, for the large part, very interested in "getting down to the brass tacks." They were a quiet and thoughtful generation that did not take short cuts in anything that they did, whether it was work, family, or recreation. For example, just about every family had guys who would spend their spare time stripping down the carburetor themselves in the family car. Or doing repairs around the house. At work, even if they were white collar, they never cared only about the "bottom line." They cared about every line, every decision, and every penny that was under their responsibility. They learned jobs from the bottom up, and cared about each step. This was why that generation, both men and women, could come together after Pearl Harbor, arm the country, and win the war. These were no wusses; they had their fun and were wild people in their way. But their wildness was a choice that was made once in a while against a background of much diligent and careful thought, and understanding "how the world worked." That generation and the ones before were much more "realistic" than these cynical generations who think they are "realistic," but who instead live in unbelievable fantasy, lacking even basic understanding and perspective about life. By "cutting to the chase," caring only about "the punch line," or the "bottom line," your parents' generation neglected to pass along to you their parents' knowledge of slow and careful contemplation of detail, and caring about each step in a process. Thus, you have been cheated of savoring much of the normalcy of life, including facts and truths that are well understood. Most important, those generations were not puppets to being manipulated. These past two generations seem to live only to be manipulated in order to be objects of consumerism.

Now I am not against consumerism or even luxury. {I'll write more about that in another post.} But you see, your grandparents were the drivers of what they bought. They bought what appealed to them. They were not manipulated to "want" or "need" things. I'll give you an example that I think about often whenever I'm out in my car in the next post. So let's not be distracted by thoughts that I'm talking about the culture of consumerism here.

Instead, I hope you learned something from this about how the mindset of people have changed, dramatically and remarkably, almost beyond comprehension by people like me who remember "before" and "after." With my little lesson about how I've observed a part of language has changed, I hope you understand what I mean about how it's not the language, but the change in the brain and mindset that underlies it that is a concern. Even wild guys who drank and raced cars and did crazy things back in the days of "getting down to brass tacks," were more like the characters you see in the Jimmy Stewart movies (thoughtful, silent, step by step, understanding how things really worked) than just about anyone I know today. They did not live in a world that is ruled by bottom lines, punch lines and chase scenes. They lived in the real world, and then when events would naturally occur that required laughing at a joke, or doing something crazy, or balancing the check book, they did so. But those were punctuation marks in a very understandable and in many ways more serene life than the artificial life you are all forced to live in now, where we are all someone else's punch line, bottom line, or bystanders in some power broker's chase scenes. Today, you are not taught what your grandparents were taught about the ways of the world, and the serenity that comes with even the difficult times. Instead, you are taught that "you are in charge of your life" but instead, the truth is that you are being taught to be either the small change in the bottom line, the punch line, or the stooge in the chase scene, or to be the one who calls the shots with the bottom line, the big joke, or egging on increasing addiction to the stimulation of getting pawns involved in the chase.

I hope this gives you something to think about. I think this generation has been unbelievably cheated, and it's getting worse as far as I can see.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Something to ponder

Maybe I should save this thought for tomorrow, so I can have another "daily quote" ready har har. Here it is anyway: "Stupidity brings out masculine behavior."

Now, what do I mean by this? Even the most feminine woman has to become more masculine, in direct proportion to the amount of idiotic and stupid people that she is surrounded by. Think about it.

Femininity is no longer an option to most people; it is a luxury that only money and power can afford. The more stupid idiots who surround a woman, the more she must take control and exhibit "masculine traits" for her own survival. I've seen this happen to me and to most other women with my own eyes over the past fifty years.

When my dad was alive (up until I was eight) and I had a secure home, I could be very feminine. I loved dolls and loved pretend tea parties. I loved pink fluffy dresses and tried to be pretty. But when dad died all hell broke loose. I had to manage the idiocy around me, even at a tender young age. I was still feminine and had big time crushes on male teachers and so forth, but I found that even if I didn't say it on the outside, I had to swear like a storm trooper on the inside in order to cut through the crap.

I had a brief chance to be my natural feminine self about five years ago, and it was thrown in my face like you would not believe. I resisted for quite a while, but when you are surrounded by crack pot idiots who are destroying the world, it does not give me warm fuzzies. In fact, the more I am my natural feminine self, the more people demand that I "be a man, really" (because of those "past lives" you know). One of the most obscene beliefs of the New Age butt crack idiots is that people are "reincarnated" AND "gender switch." I curse people who promote that belief and treat people like they have known them in a past life. I CURSE THEM.

It would be nice to be feminine again. But feminine is something that only the rich can afford, or those who have an actual family of sane people surrounding them.

More about my "unpublished" fantasy trilogy book

Here's another "author's insight" into my reasoning when I wrote that fantasy trilogy all those years ago.

I decided to have humans be evolved from dragons, even though they look like real humans in our real evolutionary tree. Why? Because already in the 1990's I was so freaking sick of monkey business. While I am all for preserving all endangered species and so forth, and I love all life, I must admit that monkey business and chimp behavior had outworn their welcome with me quite a long time ago. It is from the mutual chimp ancestor that humans have developed much of their less desirable anti-social traits that led to the fall of Adam and Eve. I don't feel this way about all monkeys and primates. I love spider monkeys, for example. But chimps and humans have a shared genetic predisposition to a set of flaws that I'm more disgusted with than you can imagine, and already in the 1990's it had worked my last nerve. Now I'm not saying to run out and be cruel to a chimp, far from it. I'm just saying that for my PRIVATE literary outlet, the last thing that I wanted was to have to accurately portray chimp/human derived behavior. So that is why I decided to "skip the mammal evolution path" and have humans "descend directly from dragons," even though a pretty smart 8th grader could have seen that this was a scientific non sequitur.

Pictures of MJ with "Bubbles" irritated me to no end. Going to the zoo? I skip the chimp exhibit (though I like the gorillas). Figure it out, Einsteins. It had nothing to do with the "dragon" of the Bible, morons. (No offense to real people with genuine mental handicaps).

Enough with the "antichrist" moronic thinking

Here's my quote for the day.

"If you have to wonder if someone is the Antichrist, then obviously he isn't. Duh."

When the Antichrist arises in the far distant future, there will be no mistaking who he is. For one, he certainly will not profess any faith whatsoever. So you who believe in Jesus Christ can stop accusing people who believe in Allah or the one God under any other name of being the Antichrist. I cannot believe that anyone is so stupid as to not have understood that. The Antichrist would not be able to profess on his lips belief in God. Geez, I really despair of the intelligence of people in this supposedly educated society.

Second, there will be many false prophets throughout all modern times. These are the evil idiots who create their own religion or claim to be reincarnated holy figures. You just have to put up with them and denounce them. They are not "mini-Antichrists." In fact, many of them that I know are darn eager to see the Antichrist (they should think again about that). I really don't know why so many pseudo Christians are wanking with enthusiasm hoping for the Antichrist and the End of Time. Oh, that's right, you think you'll be raptured out of the ugliness while everyone else has to suffer. That is, as the Catholic Church has repeatedly taught, an incorrect interpretation of Biblical scripture.

The Apostles thought with joy about the coming of the Kingdom of God during the End of Times with pure motivation. They looked forward to the triumph of Christ, they looked forward to the resurrection of the body, and they yearned for a new Kingdom that is no longer stained by the sin and fall of Adam and Eve and their heirs. The Apostles did NOT yearn for the Kingdom of God so that "there would be really cool battle scenes," so that "their enemies would get their asses kicked," and that "bad unbelievers would roast in hell." The Apostles were the Apostles precisely because they would never have such a thought. The Apostles died trying to convert every last person and save every last soul, including those of the people who were actually torturing and killing them.

I cannot believe the bloody mindedness of certain pseudo-Christians who slaver at the mouth at the thought of fellow humans enduring the tribulations, being condemned, and damned. No Christian saint ever thought like that. It's one of the most shocking things I've learned about humans that are "into Armageddon et al."

Congrats to Forty Days for Life volunteers


I share your joy at the clinics that have closed, for whatever reasons were their motivations, and agree your prayers are of vital importance. I also share with you the joy of knowing of individual women who changed their minds and decided to say "yes to life." Bless you, them and their babies.

Anti abortion news; a good start in Italy


Growing number of Italian doctors refusing to perform abortions

Rome, Apr 23, 2008 / 11:05 pm (CNA).- Nearly 70 percent of Italian gynecologists are now refusing to perform abortions on moral grounds, Agence France Presse reports.
A report by Italy’s ministry of health on Tuesday reported that between 2003 and 2007 the number of gynecologists invoking a conscientious objection clause in their refusal to perform an abortion rose from 58.7 percent to 69.2 percent. The percentage of anesthesiologists who refused to help in an abortion rose from 45.7 percent to 50.4 percent.


The number of abortions in Italy has dropped slightly, from 131,018 in 2006 to 127,038 in 2007, a decrease of three percent. According to the health ministry report, illegal abortions are also declining, presently numbering about 15,000 per year.

Friends, this is a great start at turning the dark tide of abortion back to pro life and loving babies and all human life.

Notice that the illegal abortions are also declining, so this is genuine attitude change in addition to the conversion of heart that many doctors are experiencing.

Do not forget that agencies and individuals must work to help everyone who has a baby. It is not enough to "stop the abortion," but the mother (and hopefully father) must be given help, assistance and both spiritual and monetary support to do what is right for the baby.

Doctors who have a conversion of heart are to be praised. For too long they let themselves think of medicine as "just their job." It is not, and they need to remember their role to "do no harm" and to protect life. They are, like it or not, often on the front lines of the culture wars and they need morality and to set an example. I congratulate all who are working so hard on this cause that is vital for human survivability, for the families, for the babies, and for saving souls from condemnation in the final judgment.

Huge illegal immigrant pick up truck accident


Four dead, 27 hurt in suspected illegal immigrant rollover carrying up to 50

ARIZONA CITY - As many as 50 suspected illegal immigrants were crammed aboard a standard-sized Ford pick-up truck involved in a serious rollover wreck.
It all happened at around 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning at the intersection of Sagittarius Street and Aries Drive


Four people are confirmed dead and 18 others were airlifted to hospitals in the Phoenix, Tucson and Casa Grande area with serious injuries. Deputies report another nine passengers were taken to hospital by ambulance.
Authorities report the driver of the pick-up truck fled the scene on foot and remains outstanding.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Advice for those rusty about praying

Most of the faithful, hopefully, know the "Our Father" and probably also the "Hail Mary" and the "Glory Be." You've probably also read that many people spend time at prayer, and perhaps wonder "what to pray" if you are just beginning to or seek to enrich your dialogue with God. Some of you buy prayer books, either Catholic or Protestant, for new sources of prayers. That is fine, since most of them are hopefully based on Biblical sources and are theologically sound.

Try to avoid prayer books that have "contemporary language" placed around prayer, where sometimes the authors actually rewrite prayers to be "modern." I've flipped the pages of some of them and find that they can be fronts for slippery and inaccurate dogma.

I have some suggestions for engaging in or restoring a more substantial prayer life with God. The first suggestion is to read part of one of the Psalms in the Bible as a prayer. After all, the 23rd Psalm is the prayer so many know as "The Lord Is My Shepherd (I Shall Not Want)." Those who wrote prayers often took their lines and inspiration directly from these Psalms (which are indeed prayers, ones that were meant to be sung). So if you are saying your nightly prayers, for example, and you want to do more than what many of us do, which is one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be, open the Bible and read part of one of the Psalms as a prayer.

The second suggestion is to read prayers that were written and said by others that have gone before. There is a wealth of Internet sources of original writings, homilies and prayers by saints, holy people, pious laymen and even the earliest Church fathers. For example, you can research a favorite saint and use one of their quotations as a prayer source for you. Better yet, click on a saint that you know nothing about, through a site such as, and read several of them until you find an inspiring prayer source.

But be careful and read only prayers that are derived from their original sources. I've noticed that whenever certain saints are googled, in addition to reliable Catholic references you are also likely to get a few responses that are "this saint spoke to me on my trip to ...." and those should assuredly be avoided. Find sources for the saint's actual words and read them for prayer ideas, not modern machinations.

For example, here is a wonderful source. This web site has a list of prayers written by Popes.

For example this prayer was written by Pope Innocent III.

(By Pope Innocent III.)

Gracious Lord almighty, Jesus Christ,
let Thy sufferings aid us,
and defend us from all pain and grief,
all peril and misery,
all uncleanness of heart,
all sin,
all scandal and infamy,
from evil diseases

Or soul and body,
from sudden and unforeseen death,
and from all persecution of our foes visible and invisible.
For we know that in what day or hour we call to mind Thy Passion,
we shall be safe.
Therefore, relying on Thine infinite tenderness,
we beseech Thee,
O loving Saviour,
by Thy most benignant and sacred sufferings
to protect us with gracious aid,
and in continual tenderness to preserve us from all evil.

Another excerpt about St. Leopold Mandic

Father Leopold's love for Mary supported him in all the troubles of life and endowed him with light for his mind, strength for his heart, kindness and generosity for his soul. The biographer of this saint, who was also his postulator during the beatification and canonization process, Father Pietro Bernardi, O.F.M. Cap., explained: "It is almost impossible to say how much Father Leopold loved the Madonna. The tone of his voice when he spoke of her, the light in his eyes when he looked at a picture of her, cannot be put into words at all. You would have to have seen him in order to comprehend something of the ardent love for Mary in the heart of this Capuchin." Father Leopold's mother before him had been filled with a great love for Mary. (Page 223).

Throughout his life, Father Leopold Mandic had a desire to write a book about Mary as the helpmate of the Redeemer who obtains grace for the faithful. He wanted in this way to help adorn the Blessed Mother with a new diadem: Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces. The constant work in the confessional prevented him from realizing his plan. Out of love for Mary, Father Leopold wanted to render her every conceivable honor. In his confession room he honored an image of Mary and decorated it each day with fresh flowers as an expression of his enduring love for the Most Blessed Virgin. He liked to celebrate Mass in church at the altar dedicated to Mary, and on Saturdays, whenever the rubrics permitted it, he would celebrate the votive Mass of the Immaculate Conception. Every day he prayed, in addition to his breviary, the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin and several Rosaries. (Page 225).

[My comments: Notice that it is ardent love for and trust in the Blessed Virgin Mary that characterized St. Leopold's devotion. He cannot be accused of worshipping her, as some who misunderstand the Catholic faith sometimes have as a knee jerk reaction to such love and devotion. St. Leopold, like all the saints and those who serve the Lord, always made their worship of God, through the Lord Jesus Christ, their foundation. Remember that the confessor is there sacramentally as Jesus Christ. St. Leopold is a pure and beautiful example of how the human soul can worship only God, and still have room for ardent devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the communion of saints. This is also one reason, as I have blogged about previously, that Catholics and Muslims often agree regarding love for Mary the Mother of Jesus as the model for all love and virtue. Catholics and Muslims agree that they can differentiate between the worship of God alone, and great love for the purity, humility and faithfulness of Mary.]

St. Leopold excerpt from book cited previously

Page 222.

Father Leopold went to the Capuchin friary in Padua in 1909. Here he remained almost uninterruptedly until his death on July 30, 1942, and for more than thirty years he had his "headquarters"-as he himself put it-in a tiny room annexed between the church and the cloister, a cell without ventilation or sunlight, which was ice-cold in the winter and hot and humid in the summer. Father Leopold sat there for many hours each day in a worn-out armchair so as to bring peace of soul to thousands upon thousands. Hearing confessions for hours on end was practically his only priestly duty for more than thirty years. He had a unique charism for it: in the course of those years thousands of laypeople and numerous priests and bishops-among them one who would later become Pope John Paul I-were instructed and converted, strengthened, consoled, and directed by this wise, enlightened, and kindly confessor. Often they would wait for hours outside Father Leopold's confessional in order to kneel down with confidence at the feet of this little Capuchin priest, to hear his word of forgiveness and to receive his sound advice and his spiritual direction for the future.

God rewarded the apostolic efforts of Father Leopold Mandic in the confessional with quite a few miracles, which he worked even during his lifetime.

One of my favorites: St. Leopold Mandic

You can read about him in the Ferdinand Holbock book "New Saints and Blesseds of the Catholic Church" Ignatius Press 2000, which I highly recommend and enjoy very much. The chapter on him is so very moving and gives great detail.

I found this website also gives a wonderful account of this incredible holy man.

While he suffered from great physical deformity he never lost his faith, he had an ardent love for Mary, and he sat in a tiny unheated hut for forty years, hearing confessions from anyone and all.

If you tire, as I do, reading all that is phony, fake and manipulated day after day, refresh your eyes with reading about this dear saint who was the "real thing" throughout his mortal life.

Article that matches one of my prayer intentions

In the Catholic faith a "prayer intention" is the cause to which your prayer for intercession is dedicated. So when someone prays for the "Pope's intentions," you are adding your prayer support to whatever the Pope has as his list of causes and concerns for that which he regularly prays. It is very powerful to pray to God and "offer up your prayer" to be joined to the intentions of the Holy Father. This is because without even knowing what his specific intentions are, you are trusting him and trusting in God to deliver what is the best and most good for all.

I too have regular prayer intentions. One of them is that the police who have to deal with terrible cases of child abuse and murder are strengthened by St. Michael the Archangel. St. Michael the Archangel is the role model for how one can deal with great tragedy and evil in the world, seeing terrible things done by terrible people, and still be able to retain purity and peace of mind. I am reminded of this when I read this article about detectives who are able to solve a case that is most cruel and tragic, and of how they feel when they must attend to such cases of child murder and abuse. Join in my intentions.

Muslim employers/officials please read this article

This is about the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire of 1911 where many women seamstresses were burned to death or had to jump because they could not escape during the fire. This incident was taught in school when I was young (probably not so much anymore) because it was the turning point for understanding the need for safety standards and escape routes, especially where so many women work. By the way, shirt waist referred to a style of shirt that this company manufactured. And the building still stands; I even worked a few blocks from it some years ago in NYC.

I hope you review all of your manufacturing and other office facilities, especially if you have a segregated area for women, with this in mind. Many thanks for your attention to my respectful suggestion.

Safety caution after church concert floor collapse

Thank God no deaths thus far. I was worried about just such an event a few days ago. When structures are built to hold a capacity of say 1400 people, like this church, the code inspectors are not assuming that the people are jumping up and down. Vibrations are notorious for bringing down balconies, lofts, and floors (think of stadium tragedies too) when the supports are weakened by the oscillation of the occupants jumping, stomping or dancing.

Casablanca fire tragedy

Many are burned to death in a mattress factory fire. It sounds as though most of the deaths were on the 3rd floor, where the women sew, and that escape routes for them were blocked.

I'm just guessing here, but if this was an example of where there is Muslim male/female work force segregation by floor, while locking the doors keeps women safe from male harassers, it leaves them most vulnerable to tragic workplace disasters when they cannot escape. If this is the case, please bear this in mind in the future.

Another tragic foot bullet

A "foot bullet" by the way is American slang for "shooting one's self (with a gun) in one's own foot." It refers to doing something that ends up harming one's self.

In this article we read about a beloved father of four who is shot to death for no reason. But, he is shot to death at 4 a.m. while drinking in an all night bar.

Life imitates cults

While trying to kill a snake a man kills his wife by shooting her in the back instead.

A mother of four was shot dead by her husband as they tried to flush a snake out of a shed at their home insouth-east Queensland, police said yesterday.

Paramedics pronounced the woman, 33, dead on arrival at the property at Kingsthorpe.

Police believe a man, 37, accidentally fired his weapon when the snake slid over his feet about 10pm on Friday. His wife was shot in the back.

My quote for today

My thought upon reading the news. "There seems to be too many 'emergency services' and not enough 'church services.'"

Friday, April 25, 2008

Fondness for Morihei Ueshiba

He was a truly enlightened man. I've long admired him. April 26 is the anniversary of his passing. He founded Aikido, the martial art, based on his intense and authentic enlightenments from God.

Village Voice continues A+ coverage Scientology

The "Village Voice" newspaper continues its great coverage, keeping after the unfolding of the story of the dangerous and corrupt Scientology cult. Here is their latest article with a lot of thoughtful and informational comments by their readers.

Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral for hardhats died


A Mass honoring the 13 construction workers killed on the job since last April is set for Monday, when a roll call of the departed will echo through the Fifth Ave. landmark.

The tribute to the hands that continue to build New York comes just 10 days after the Pope's historic stop in St.Patrick's.

Nearly half the victims died in the March 15 crane collapse; the most recent, Kevin Kelly, was killed on April 14 when he plunged from an East Side high-rise.

"We needed to do something with all the accidents in the city, with all the affected families, to show we keep them in our hearts and in our prayers," said Terry Moore of the Metallic Lathers and Reinforcing Ironworkers union, Local 46.

Relatives of the dead were expected to fill the front rows of the church, with an estimated 3,000 construction workers - in their hardhats - entering the church in a pre-Mass procession of solidarity.

Some work sites will likely close for the day to accommodate those attending the memorial.

The Rev. Brian Jordan, the Franciscan priest who will celebrate the Mass, said the hardhats are doing their version of the Lord's work: "As a priest's hands are sacred, so are the hands of these construction workers," he said.

The Mass was organized by the city's trade unions and construction management, an indication that both realize the inherent dangers of the work.

What a splendid and good idea! My prayers and thoughts are with the families and the colleagues of those who were lost.

"Untouchable" mom and baby die in India,23599,23596380-401,00.html

AN "untouchable" woman who gave birth outside an Indian hospital because doctors would not treat her has died, a day after her baby, officials say.

The newborn boy of Maya Devi, 28, died yesterday due to lack of medical help minutes after being born outside the maternity wing of Kanpur Medical College in northern Uttar Pradesh state.

Devi was only put in intensive care after giving birth but she died of a heart attack early this morning.

Several doctors, including the hospital's chief medical superintendent, had refused to touch her or provide medical care as she delivered her baby, the Press Trust of India reported. Devi was a Dalit, or "untouchable", a group at the bottom of the caste social ladder who have long been ostracised and forced into menial professions despite laws banning discrimination. Many high-class Hindus fear coming into contact with them.

Dr Kiran Pandey, head of gynaecology at the hospital, said she was an hour's drive away in the state capital Lucknow at the time and rushed back. "We provided her the best medicines and treatment but she succumbed to two cardiac arrests," Dr Pandey said. College principal Anand Swaroop has ordered an inquiry, as has a district magistrate.

The state's chief minister, Mayawati, who won elections last year, has ordered the doctors to be suspended and demanded an investigation.

What scumbags. Well, the doctors don't have to worry about God touching them.

Corrections about body image, fasting, spirit

I'm reading a book, "Wisdom from the Monastery," edited by Peter Sewald (who is known as the interviewer of Pope Benedict XVI when he was still a Cardinal). I'm enjoying the book and think it's quite good. But I'm commenting early, even though I'm just part way through the first third, because I see a repeat of a great error that has crept into the whole concept of humankind's body image and the benefits of fasting.

First of all, remember that the human body is made in God's image and that it is the temple for each person's soul as it sojourns in life until returning to God, either in eternal reward or outside of God's salvation and into hell. So the body is fine the way it is; there is no reason to have all of the self loathing that has taken over the sanity of much modern day society. I do not need to go into detail, you are all aware of how many ways Western humans hate their own body images and functions.

I have been boggled by the extremes of this self loathing, with colonic and "toxic cleansers" being one of the most startling modern addictions and distortions that I've observed. This is why I am distressed by what I read in the book; much discussion about the fantasy that fasting and toxic "cleansers" are performing some sort of good or necessary "cleaning" of the body. That's crazy talk!

Um, read the Bible. Who was it who lived for hundreds of years, even as Methuselah? The early fathers and Bible people who were close to God, just as they were, and not using toxic cleansers. The body is fine the way it is, assuming that you are eating a normal unpolluted diet. This stuff about "toxins" "clinging to the intestines" and so forth is crazy talk that is more about human self loathing than biology, nutrition or science. In fact, one of the problems in the 1950's was that people discovered that as food became increasingly refined (white bread instead of whole wheat, for example), that people did not consume enough roughage, which is all that intestines need for good health. So those of you too young to remember, this is why in the 1960's there was a big return to less processed and more natural food, for "roughage." People ate only highly processed white bread, mashed potatoes, pureed vegetables and so forth. They then noticed not only irregularity problems in bowel movements, but also the beginning of so many polyps being discovered. "Rough" food "scours" intestines, and that is the only "cleansing" the body needs.

This is not to say that fasting is not a great and spiritual thing. It is, but it is a spiritual thing, not a health thing. Even modern monks have grown up to lose their perspective. For example, this idea of toxic waste relieved by fasting is pushed very much in this book by the religious practitioners. Just because you are a monk does not mean you are correct! Here is the specific deviation. The monk who is quoted in the book explains that because in medieval times food was unreliable according to harvest, some gorged on food, including supposedly holy people, becoming real gluttons. This is true and shows some sense of history and understanding of culture and life pressures. But by only thinking of fasting in terms of a "too much" or "not enough" quantity and cleansing aid, these same monks are not as well formed in understanding the true roots of the fasting's spirituality. They got tantalizingly close to explaining it a few times, but then veered off into the self loathing/dirty body brainwashing that so much in the past thirty years have absorbed from poor formation and pop culture.

Much of the Old Testament is about how God instructs humans to perform burnt sacrifices to him of animals and food. I've written about this most recently as I educate people about how the Catholic Mass is a continuation of God's requirement for sacrifice. Why did God require food sacrifice to him? Notice he did not say, take one fourth of what you would have eaten today and sacrifice it to me. He's not giving people dietary implications, only spiritual. God required animal and plant sacrifices to him for two reasons. One is that food was the single most important quantity in a human's life, and it is God given. The only way humans can truly remember and appreciate God is to take a percentage of what they rely on for life, and give the finest part of it back to God in acknowledgement and worship. God is not taking food out of someones' mouth, nor is he hinting that fasting or dieting is a good thing. To the contrary, the poor are able to sacrifice just a few grains of wheat, or a bit of oil that they can afford. God does not cause hunger (or dieting) by anything he mandated for the sacrifice. By offering sacrifice humans remained mindful of the proper priorities and order of their life on earth.

The second reason God stipulated sacrifice is that he wanted humans to cultivate the habit of trying for the very best in animals and plants. Remember, God is a gardener in addition to being a carpenter! By stipulating the purity of the hair color, or of the age or bodily health of the animal that would be sacrificed to him, God is subtly also teaching humans to DEVELOP THE BEST out of the best that God has given to humans. By offering the best to God humans pull themselves up in developing the gifts of animals and plants that God has graced humans with. It is a discipline that lifts people up to be good stewards of plants and animals. Everyone benefited from the knowledge and cleanliness that went into breeding or providing the best for sacrifice to God, because this knowledge applied to giving humans the best nutrition too.

So, think about it. Food is the greatest gift to humans from God because it is the day to day source of life. (Air is really something that is taken for granted, and you can't control having air or not. The same with water, which is either drinkable and available or not). But food is something that is extraordinary in grace. It has to be sought out, yet it is given by God freely.

God points out that because of original sin, humans are cast out of the Garden and have to "toil" for their food. But at the same time, Jesus reminds people that the lilies of the field do not spin flax, and the birds on the wing do not toil for their food. Food is the great gift and mystery of God, because it is freely given, but also must be toiled for and sought by humans.

Therefore fasting was understood by the earliest practitioners to be the willful giving up of God's greatest gift. It was viewed as "one step beyond offering food sacrifice to God," in a manner of speaking. Fasting was viewed by the earliest practitioners as the ultimate act of faith in God, because they are forgoing in total, for the fasting period of time, the very thing that they must, through human's own disobedience, toil to obtain, but also, through God's grace, have available in abundance through the natural order of life. It was this that drove the first who fasted to do so as a spiritual statement. It was later that practitioners noticed general health benefits from fasting along with the spiritual. They discovered real benefits (for example, soothing the system by having, for example, easy to digest bread or water fasts... I like rice fast days myself). But they also developed "theories" as they speculated, through their lack of understanding of the biology of the body, about purities and impurities.

When the body suffers during a fast it is not because of the "toxins." It is because the body is saying, "Hey, stupid, you haven't eaten."

The body has what scientists today well understand as an kind of "emergency plan" that it puts into effect when people stop eating. First it sends all the signals that you should eat (stomach growls, cravings, pain, etc.) The body fully expects you to respond by eating. When you don't eat the body goes into a mini crisis mode. That's when your failure to consume the calories that you need starts to affect your ability to move, think, and be at ease. You've cut off your calorie supply. So once the body "realizes" that you are "seriously" not getting enough food calories, it goes into what it thinks of as "starvation mode." To the regret of dieters scientists have in the past few years measured how rather than dieting have immediate effects, the body falls back on the ancient primitive ability that all animals share, which is to go into a "starvation" plan, meant to keep them alive on what little they are consuming. It varies from person to person and animal to animal, but some people can stick in "starvation mode" for quite a while and actually not lose weight if they are not exercising. Eventually the body must keep you alive by going into your fat reserves. So this is when the body starts to burn fat, even if you are not exercising, to keep you alive. If you still do not eat, then the body goes into it's last ditch plan, which is to burn your actual muscles when it has run out of fat to use. This is when people, and animals, reach the point of no return and starve. So the unpleasantness that you feel through a fast is nothing to do with "eliminating toxins," duh. It is the pain of the body increasing the severity of its survival mode response over time.

Repeat fasters do not experience ease because they've "gotten rid of the toxins." They experience subsequent ease because the body has adjusted to the types of fast you do and "knows what to expect." The only way "toxins" come into the picture is that if you have eliminated your varied sources of food in order to fast on one food, you can give your body a break from more complicated processing of varied foods (which is not a bad thing unless you have been ingesting a food with pollution). But remember that bodies evolved over millions of years to DO "hard work" of "digesting" a wide variety of food. This is why humans are called "omnivores." Humans eat both plants and animals. "Herbivores" are animals that eat only plants. (No, "herb" does not mean weed, for all you dope heads). "Carnivores" are animals that eat other animals. Being an omnivore is considered a great survival and evolutionary gift because it means that a wide variety of foods will sustain you. It's not an example of poor poor little old tum tum and poo poo being strained by the awful hard work of digesting all those big mean old complicated yum yums. *Sigh* In fact, to get serious for a moment again, one of the things that the nutritionists who discovered the starvation mode that frustrates dieters also determined was that eating "hard to digest" food like celery is a good thing to do, because it actually is a form of beneficial calorie burning exercise, just this act of digesting. That was pretty common knowledge in my college days, but I guess it took until recently for people to find some way to measure its effect and therefore consider it to be real.

Who would have thought that "modern" society would demonize the body, its functions, its self image and also apply "magical thinking" to the eating of food? God got people off to such a good start and they just don't seem to want to keep things simple and good.

I hope this helps.

Using discernment in the Rev. Wright controversy

I think what Rev. Wright says is abominable, regarding the use of Jesus and his name to preach that he was an "oppressed black man," to "damn the USA" and so forth.

However, he has a right to have his beliefs, and people who agree with him have a right to listen to them.

Back on the other hand, though, I totally agree with people who repeatedly play audio tapes about his public preaching. I understand his church sells them, making them part of the public sphere, so that is no problem to respond with great criticism. I agree that the brightness of light should be shed on all cults and faiths that preach hate. Those beliefs should be exposed and condemned.

I agree that this is obviously part of the total package that Barrack Obama supporters, and all the potential voters, must look at in assessing their support of him. One's general and public faith profile is a legitimate factor in the assessment of a candidate's stances and character.

But I detect a heavy whiff of hypocrisy. A big fat stinking whiff of hypocrisy. This is why I agree with John McCain that profiling a religious figure should not be the only point of a political attack ad. Here's why.

How many times do we have to watch certain "evangelical" and "fundamental" Protestants and non-denominationals "explain" what "countries God is mad at and how the Bible says they will be punished?" They make tons of money off this crap, say nothing about the distracting of people from their piety to assigning "good" and "bad" to entire people, stating that they will be damned. The "Left Behind" series of books with a sweep of the hand says that Catholics and Muslims are not going to be "saved" in their imaginary "rapture." These "Christians" don't mind "damning" a whole group of people just based on their faith and culture, and not only doing this as "preachers," but as shaking their big fat moneymakers.

So why should I be more annoyed at a black man who has rage, based on his perception of society, who then twists the words of Jesus than I am with the white men who view Jews as conversion fodder for the End of Days? Who claim to "know" when God is "mad" at America or anyone else? Have we not listened to decades of that shit? And it is regularly covered in mainstream media as "news" (true, with a little giggle when it is Pat Robertson). But people on talk shows host hour after hour of uneducated "end of times" "experts" who preach just as bad if not worse than Rev. Wright.

John McCain is right to try to prevent Republican partisan ads from focusing only on the religious figure and not the candidate's own spoken record.

Meanwhile, you might want to change the channel on your TV or live stream when you hear a white "expert" "explain" to you which countries "God is mad at and going to punish" and "how the Bible tells them where and when and who." Your brains are being filled with crap.

Quick answer about Pelosi comment?

I heard that she incorrectly quoted from the Bible? I don't care enough to look up the quote, but as I heard it on the talk shows it is something about humans having to "minister" to animals. That is incorrect and not at all an accurate quote or intention, if this is what she indeed said. God tells humans to be "good stewards" to the earth. A steward is someone who tends to and maintains the natural resource, but still uses it. A "minister" is someone who preaches, worships and attends to the spiritual well being of humans. You can't and should not "minister" to animals. I hope this is just a grammar and English problem for her, but somehow I don't think so. There is plenty in the Bible about being shepherds, not cruel to animals, and being the good steward, without having to make up plain wrong theology.

As an aside, St. Francis preached to animals only because there were not enough people listening, if you know what I mean. The Bible is full of reference to the glory of God being seen in the landscape and creatures, but they are not to be worshiped. St. Francis preached to the birds, bringing them the word of God; he did not adore the animals, which would be idolatry, pagan and polytheistic. The good shepherd does not worship the sheep. Gosh, I hope she is just confused about her lingo.