Archive for August 29th, 2014

Straw for the Fire III


Here Comes the Night

It is still summer, but the signs of Fall are all around. The last time I heard a cardinal sing it was the Feast of the Assumption. The once bright green leaves of fresh life now look tired and faded. A few trees have limbs that are prematurely red or orange. Others, if you look carefully, have the slightest gold touching old green.Summer’s flowers lack the urgent green thrust of the spring. They look like they are going through the motions.

All except the sunflowers and hibiscus, who are glorious.

But things are winding down.

If you doubt me and you live near my latitude, do not look at the trees when you are walking. Look at the ground.

The life force is waning; you can feel it, even as the harvest peaks.

And you know, I am ready.

No, not for a Winter like that last one, even though there are dark rumors. But for the change, the color and melancholy beauty of the Autumn, the death rituals of Halloween, the pumpkins and the chill and the dark and all of it.

And then the white cold of Winter.

I am ready.


Sense from Mr Chapman

The Islamic State is easy to hate. I won’t call them brutes, as I do not want to insult carnivorous beasts, who kill because they are hungry. Only a human would kill so ruthlessly because he was doing something for ‘God’. They show no respect for any human law or decency. They are destroyers even of Islamic culture. And they are murderers of prisoners of war and of innocent reporters. And one of the lowest forms of human life, abusers of women.

They have declared a Caliphate, one that has succeeded in uniting Muslims worldwide…. against them.

Americans, led by the usual neocon criminals,  are hysterical. Alleged followers of Christ are calling for a Crusade and rattling swords. Moral idiots are suggesting nukes.

But finally I saw today an article by Steve Chapman, in the Akron Beacon Journal, a reprint from The Chicago Tribune, the only sensible thing I have seen in the mainstream media, ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’:


The NFP Thread Lives Again. Maybe

My recent inquiry into the absence of comment here recently generated a lot of talk, which is good. I like conversation here. It became apparent as that discussion evolved that there was a lot of interest in questions of sexuality, NFP, and the so-called Theology of the Body. As you can tell with my comments I have been thinking long and hard about such matters. I am not ready, though, to go public with much of what I have been thinking. I do think, though, that it may be worth reopening the old ‘Is Natural Family Planning Really Natural?’ thread. I had to close it because it became a spam magnet, but let us see if it is safe to open it again. It is now on the sidebar as ‘The Undead NFP Thread’, and here is the link:


Of course if the uninvited spam returns I will have to shut it down again, but it is worth a try.

First Principles

If anyone works forty hours a week and does not enjoy reasonable comfort and security he or she is the victim of a grave injustice. In fact Scripture says that such injustices are among the few sins that cry to heaven for vengeance.

We live and breathe and have our being in the midst of a world full of beauty and abundance and fertility

But we also are born into a  socio-economic system that is so built on evil principles, that is so unjust and corrupt, so slanted against the poor and the working poor – what we used to call the working class- that it has no moral standing and must be dismantled. Unjustly acquired wealth, which means most wealth, must be appropriated and redistributed to its creators, the workers, in the name of the common good.

I have been hearing so many firsthand stories of people being screwed by the system that it makes me dizzy. The neighbors, who only have cold water because they cannot afford their gas bill, in spite of the fact that the man works long hours in a hot factory for poverty wages, and his wife works two crappy jobs. The kids down the street who do not get birthday presents because their parents cannot afford them. Other children we know who last Christmas received no presents. Or my daughter’s friend’s parents, trying to raise four kids on two fast food jobs. Or another of her friends’ Grandma, in her seventies and trying to raise two grandchildren, while their dad is in jail, with serious health problems that are being ignored, and whose mom has lung cancer. The Grandma is an aging charismatic, struggling hard and in ill health.

Meanwhile, all the criminals in their coats and their ties are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise. (Dylan)

If you are not angry you are not alive.

Which Does Not Mean…

… that you are free to hate. Yes, one can hate the ruling class, which has raped the poor and working class for fun and profit for as long as capitalism has ruled.

But if you happen to meet someone from that tiny segment of humanity that lives it up while the rest of humanity suffers, you must look him or her in the eye, like you would anyone else, and see him or her as a brother or a sister, a fellow being of the human persuasion, another pilgrim, an exile.

They may let you down, or they may show real humanity. Personally, if I had been born to wealth or lucked out and made the Big Time?

I would probably be a real asshole.

But you have to try.

I have found that when dealing with people that are widely feared in middle class society, like felons and beggars and drug addicts, if you treat them like human beings they tend to respond like human beings.

Granted, the average outcast is probably a more fundamentally decent person than the average bourgeoisie.

But still.

Fear creates fear. Respect creates respect.

I am all for the revolution, but it must be a personalist revolution.

Revolution with love may be impossible, but without trying you are doomed.


Painting, ‘Late Summer Evening’ by Naomi Silver


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