The Widdershins

Archive for April 2013


Thank goodness for the swift and determined actions of our congress critters.  They saw a problem and acted quickly to alleviate said problem.  What problem was that?  Well, the pic above gives you an obvious hint.  Yes, our dear, courageous and fearless leaders saw a problem and they went right out and fixed it.  Right then and there.  They fixed it sooo fast that parts of the bill were handwritten and the finished product could not be signed by Obama because of a spelling error, a missing “s” and hence could not be signed by the Prez until Monday.

Congress can seldom be accused of moving too quickly, but that appears to be the case with the legislation that put air traffic controllers back to work after furloughs caused thousands of flights to be delayed.

The Senate and House passed the bill at a breakneck pace late last week. President Obama had planned to immediately sign it into law, but administration officials tell ABC News he’s not expected to sign it until Tuesday — after a spelling error in the legislation is fixed.

Pardon my language dear Widdershins but they couldn’t even get their shit uh stuff together this fast after Superstorm Sandy.  Sandy hit in Oct 2012 and Congress passed the first bill in Jan. 2013.  Please note that by passing the bill, signed or not by Obama, the FAA was able to cancel any scheduled furloughs immediately.  That was nice that they were able to do that and what a coinkydink that it was passed just in time for the Congress’ week long recess.  I’m sure that shortly after that, you could have had a quorum call at Reagan National and had enough congress folks there to convene a session. So there was that and maybe they were catching hell from the airlines who were catching hell from business travelers about all this delay stuff.  You know business travelers, they’re the ones who pay full fare for a ticket at a moment’s notice.  They were not thrilled at long holds on the tarmac, or cancelled flights or anything of that sort.  Darrell West, v.p. of governance studies at the Brookings Institute said: “When budget cuts hit high-profile business travelers, you can get Congress to act.  “I can imagine other areas producing enough pain to motivate members of Congress to take action — but there isn’t likely to be action across the board.”  This was not done for the benefit of your Aunt Tilly on her twice yearly flight to see the nephews and nieces in Cali.

Now if it was this easy to fix one aspect of the sequester that was affecting a portion of the public, it’s probably going to be easy to look at some of these others things or programs that were affected by it and fix those too right?  Uh…no.


While I’m thrilled that Congressional folk won’t have to worry about killing time at Reagan National, there are a few other, measly little things that are still being affected by the cuts triggered by sequestration.

Food safety is going to (or already has) suffered from  cuts in food inspections, losing $209 million for its budget.

“FDA will be less able to conduct domestic and foreign facility inspections of firms that manufacture food products to verify that domestic and imported foods meet safety standards,” FDA spokesperson Shelly Burgess said in an email to ABC News Monday. “These reductions may increase the risk of safety incidents, and the public may suffer more foodborne illness such as the recent salmonella in peanut butter outbreak and the E. coli illnesses linked to organic spinach.”

Do you know someone who has a child enrolled in Head Start?  That program is facing cuts too.  Some areas have had bus transportation stopped due to the cuts.  Some parents are trying to figure out what they will do with their young ones during the day while they are at work trying to eek out, uh earn a living as this hits lower-income families greater.

In some of these locations, families have already been informed that their child will lose access to Head Start. In Indiana, two Head Start programs held a random drawing to decide which students would no longer receive service. The mother of one child dropped from the program said she was “heartbroken.”

Head Start is one of those things that work.  From the HuffPo piece look at this as an example:

Deborah Paris is one of those parents going through the tumult. A hair-stylist from Columbus, Ga., she has already sent two children through the Head Start program with sterling results. Her oldest, Kennedy, now 7, is in second grade, being tested for advanced classes, and is a member of the chess club. Her second child, London, now 6, followed a similar track. Head Start, she insists, ensured that they both entered the public school system on a level playing field with their peers.

Paris’ youngest child, Joshua — “a little grumpy old man,” she calls him — is now in Head Start as well, benefiting from speech therapy and behavioral services. But the program is being downsized to meet the demands of sequestration. And it’s unclear if Joshua, now 5, will be a casualty of the cuts.

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130421144557-george-w-bush-story-topThere must still be a streak of “Puritanism” in my DNA because I find it galling that those who should be held accountable most often are not.

Coming from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts whose founders saw the “mark of the devil” in just about everything, watching and listening to the tributes paid to George W. Bush at the opening of his presidential library was particularly disturbing.

The event permitted the cockroaches of his miserable administration to come forward once again with the tired old mantra of “he kept us safe”.  The old and tired faces of his neo con advisors – those we had come to loathe during those horrific 8 years – were dusted off and made to appear the souls of wisdom in defining Bush and his follies while ignoring the lies that brought us the Iraqi invasion.

The dead and the maimed had no voice at this outing. But there stood the current and former presidents all prepared to give some sort of “lip service” to the mess this idiot left in his wake, all standing shoulder to shoulder before a multi million dollar monument built to enhance this moron’s legacy.

And what a “legacy” it was!  An unnecessary invasion into a country that had nothing to do with the events of 9/11.  They felt the repeated bombings of homes and infrastructure along with the deaths of loved ones caught in the crossfire.  We stripped them of power, water, and transportation.  We blasted our way in and found nothing to support the claims of WMD that was the premise to invade.  Oh well!

The deaths of over 3,000 of our military combined with the countless numbers of the seriously wounded was left unsaid.  The billions of dollars spent on putting that nation back together will be borne by the U.S. taxpayers for decades to come.

In his name we “condoned” the torture of others.  Waterboarding became a topic of “debate”. Opposition to these practices invited scorn and accusations as a lack of “patriotism” while we watched the Constitution being ripped to shreds to accommodate these ugly policies.

Yet for all that there stood Clinton, Bush the First, Carter, and Obama, all pleased to be part of this ceremony designed to pump up the “legacy” of this privileged and entitled “chucklehead” who left this nation facing a mountain of debt along with a diminished global standing.  It was difficult to swallow the absurdity of the event without recalling those 8 years of darkness.

This man and his minions are war criminals. Nothing can change that perspective.  Their “legacy” is that they got away with it: untouched, unchallenged, unaccountable for the damage they left behind.

Shame on them and those who stood with him on the platform that brought them together as Commanders in Chief.

My disgust at this “tribute” speaks for itself.

We’ve made it through another week of cr*p, Widdershins.

It’s time to treat ourselves and get lost in some tunes.  Today I have selected fusion music for your consideration – the blending of at least two genre to elicit a totally different sound.  For example, rock and roll came to us as a fusion of country, gospel, and blues, and is now a genre of its own.  The jazz musicians have been front and center in adapting to fusion, but there are at least twenty or thirty different kinds.  Other forms of fusion music includes the blending of traditional world music with another type, such as Dropkick Murphys, which is a Celtic punk rock band.  There are other forms of roots rock such as Southern Rock.  At any rate, there is a boatload of it, so there should be absoluely no shortage of tunes today.

Here are my five, in no particular order.  Otherwise, this is an open thread.

(1) The Approaching Storm – Chicago, 1971

(2 Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones, 1068

(3)  I’m Shipping Up to Boston  – Dropkick Murphys, 2005

(4) Sweet Home Alabama – Lynard Skynard, 1974

(5) Mumbai Funk – various, date unknown

(6) Ode to Joy – from “Sister Act 2”, 1993

Have a great Sunday, Widdershins.


Oh my, it’s Saturday which means we’ve survived another week of the shenanigans from our nation’s capital and the politicians who attempt to run the place, as well as the other serious events of the week.  So, let’s try to look at some things on the lighter side, which I skipped last Saturday due to those events.


There is a website (which I was unable to get loaded) called The Bookseller which is sort of like a trade publication in England for the publishing industry.  It seems that The Bookseller holds a contest each year for the Diagram Prize, which is given to the book with the oddest title.

This year’s winner was Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop which was written by Messrs. Reginald Bakeley and Clint Marsh which may or may not be available on Amazon.  I did not check.  Coming in at a close second was “How Tea Cosies Changed the World” and right behind the Cosies was a book by Tom Hickman titled “God’s Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis”.  As I and the comedian have said before, “I shit you not”.  Others that were, say, honorable mentions were: a study of Adolf Hitler’s health titled “Was Hitler Ill?”, “Lofts of North America: Pigeon Lofts”, and a guidebook titled “How to Sharpen Pencils”.  With so many of today’s children making more and more use of the keyboard or keypad instead of writing by hand, I can see the possible usefulness of a guidebook on how to not only sharpen but to actually use a pencil.

Philip Stone who coordinates the prize was totally serious when he said:

 the award might seem just fun but publishers and booksellers were well aware that a title can make all the difference to the sales of a book.

“It spotlights an undervalued art that can make or break a work of literature,” Stone said in a statement.

He cited books such as “A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian”, “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” as owing part of their success to odd titles.

“The kind of niche, off-beat publications that often appear on the Diagram Prize shortlist might not make their writers or publishers rich beyond their wildest dreams, but the fact writers still passionately write such works and publishers are still willing to invest in them is a marvelous thing that deserves to be celebrated,” Stone added.

The Diagram Prize was founded at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 1978, and past winners include “Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice” and last year’s “Cooking with Poo”, a Thai cookbook by Bangkok resident Saiyuud Diwong whose nickname is Poo.


It seems that some little visitors arrive on the coast of Washington State after having made the 5,000 mile trip from Japan to the coast.   The fish, called Striped beak fish  were caught up from the Tsunami that hit Japan in 2011.  The fish were found in the hold of a ship that washed out from the Tsunami and made the trip across the Pacific.

The batch of striped beak fish – five in all – were discovered submerged in the hold of the 20-foot-long fishing skiff, dubbed the Sai-shou-maru, on Long Beach in southwestern Washington.

The vessel, found beached right-side-up, was confirmed this week to have originated from the region of northern Japan devastated in the immense tidal surge generated by the March 2011 Fukushima earthquake.

Other boats carried away by the tsunami have previously washed up along the U.S. Pacific Northwest and Alaska, as have chunks of piers and large quantities of other debris. But the fish found aboard the Sai-shou-maru are the first vertebrates – animals with backbones – known to have made the voyage.

Marine biologists studying the phenomenon are puzzled over precisely how striped beak fish, natural denizens of warmer, shallow southern Japanese waters, ended up as live stowaways in the well of the boat, and how they endured a two-year journey across the ocean.


Clara Harris was up for parole in Texas this week, but alas it was denied.

Clara Harris caught David Harris philandering around with his dental receptionist employee person.  Clara said at the trial that after she discovered the affair she wanted to save her marriage so she quit her job, gave him some good lovin’ three times a night, cooked his favorite meals and hired a personal trainer.

She also testified she even went to a tanning salon and scheduled liposuction and breast enhancement surgery to make him happy, only to catch him in a tryst with Bridges at the same hotel where the Harrises were married on Valentine’s Day 1992. David Harris was killed in the hotel parking lot moments later.

Clara found out that all the exercising and cooking and loving wasn’t enough for David because she found he was still seeing the object of his affection Gail Bridges.  Well David said he was going to meet Gail to tell her they were through, except:

On July 24, David told Clara that he was going to meet his lover at a restaurant to tell her they were through.  Instead, the couple ended up in a room at the Nassau Bay Hilton, next door to the spot where Clara and David had exchanged marriage vows a decade earlier.


Bridges’ black Lincoln Navigator became the first target of Clara’s rage. She scratched it with her keys and bent the windshield wipers. She then ordered Lindsey to call her father’s cell phone, and lie to him, saying that one of his baby boys was sick.

A few moments later, David appeared in the lobby, holding his paramour’s hand. Clara fell upon Bridges in a hair-tearing, blouse-ripping fury .

Clara insisted she could not recall what happened next, but there were plenty of witnesses, including

Lindsey, who would testify against her stepmother at the trial that started on Jan. 22, 2003. There was also videotape taken by the private eye Clara had hired.

When Clara and Lindsey got into the Mercedes, the girl testified, “She just had this evil look on her face.”
Clara “stomped on the accelerator and went straight for him,” sending David flying 25 feet. Three more times, witnesses said, she hit the gas and rolled over him before hitting the brakes.

Clara insisted that it all was an accident, that she had been aiming for Bridges’ car and hit her husband instead. She had no recollection of rolling over him three times. “Everything was like a dream,” she told the court.

After eight hours of deliberation, the jury found her guilty of murder, which might have sent her to jail for life. But the jury also decided that she acted with “sudden passion,” cutting the sentence to a maximum of 20 years.

To get a good toss of 25 feet I’m guessing Clara was driving either an “E” or “S” class Mercedes.  I don’t think the “C” class has that much oomph to it.  😉

I leave you today dear Widdershins with your inspirational speech of the day.  This is not just one inspirational speech to get you going for the day.  Oh no…try a couple of minutes of inspiring line-reading, all compiled together.

So tell me below in the comments how your day is going or did go.

Good morning Widdershin friends. Here’s hoping the first smile you see today is your own.


Let me begin this morning by saying nothing in this post should be taken in any way to lessen the horrors we witnessed last week in Boston — from the deaths to the disfigurements to the months and years of rehabilitation for the victims. The events as they unfolded truly were acts of terror, but unless they are put in perspective they are stultifying if left in isolation without comparison. A little perspective is what I offer today.

Since 9/11 we’ve had twelve years where we have waged a War on Terror. Waging a war on a tactic is quite possibly an unending war of indeterminate duration — quite different than anything this country has ever faced. No one can tell us when or if we can ever declare victory and in the ensuing twelve years, every person who has carried out an act characterized as terror has either been an American or has had permanent residency status.

All told in 9/11 we suffered approximately 3,000 U.S. deaths. In waging wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, increasing Defense Department appropriations by $500 Billion a year (recurring), untold hundreds of billions on “black ops” through the CIA and NSA, increases in Homeland security, replacing equipment, caring for veterans, and paying interest on all the money borrowed to wage wars on credit cards, the cost of this “War on a Tactic” can’t be effectively calculated beyond Trillions of dollars.

Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmer authored a book called The Three Trillion Dollar War, but many say that’s not close. I’ve seen estimates as high as $6.0 Trillion, but few estimates are lower than the $3.0 Trillion figure. When you consider the future medical costs and disability payments for veterans  in the years ahead at $900 Billion, personally I tend to favor the higher end estimates of $6.0 Trillion.

The death of 3,000 souls is gut wrenching, but for a moment consider in the same twelve years there have been approximately 360,000 deaths from guns, 576,000 deaths from hospital acquired infections, between 480,000 and 960,000 deaths from misdiagnoses, 432,000 deaths from the flu, or 57,600 deaths from workplace accidents. All of these pass without so much as a whimper as an afterthought on the frailty of life. If anything, there isn’t a call to spend another nickel on addressing any of these and in most cases, the wrongheaded austerity crazed Congress wants to cut spending if not eliminate the spending altogether.

Boat LandPerspective is important — especially due to the fact that when you boil politics down to its essence, it is about setting priorities. Twelve years ago, as shell-shocked and traumatized as the nation was, we allowed ourselves to be blindly led into the Afghan War and lied into the Iraqi War under the guise of fighting a “War on a Tactic.” Terror is a tactic, not a combatant, not a country, and certainly not a set of recognized beliefs.

Over the last week, the conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones and Glenn Beck have worked overtime to conjure all manner of dark conspiracies (I will not link to either of these miscreants). And of course, the network for those with enlarged amygdalae, Fox News has all but declared war on Islam — beating the drums to indict the world‘s 1.6 Billion Muslims by the acts of an infinitesimally small number of jihadists. To analogize, it is the equivalent of painting the world’s Protestants by the acts of Westboro Baptist Church.

If not for the use of future oriented words like “could be, might be, likely to, speculated that, thought to have,” Fox News would have been nothing more than dead air this past week.

We fell prey to this scaremongering and mob mentality twelve years ago, let’s hope through twelve years of warring on a tactic we have at least gained a little perspective.

This is an open thread.

And so it begins.

Fallout from the recent Senate vote on background checks is escalating.  Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), of McCain/Graham/Ayotte fame, has suffered a 15 point drop in approval ratings.  She is now officially upside down.  Prior to the vote she enjoyed a positive of 48-35, but she now finds herself at 46-44 with the negative on top.  Senator Ayotte explained her vote with the usual NRA party line, yammering about undue burdens being placed on law-abiding citizens, and yada, yada, yada.

If the good people of the Granite State are unhappy, the editorial pages are howling.  The Concord Monitor featured an editorial entitled “Washington gun vote was a double abomination”, in which the Senator was taken to task by an angry newspaper.  The article referred to her reasoning as “utter nonsense”, and it went rapidly downhill thereafter.  To wit:

Ayotte’s vote, like the votes of most senators who thumbed their noses at the will of a populace sickened by violence, was political. Opponents wanted to avoid the wrath of a gun lobby willing to spend millions to demonize politicians who don’t toe their firing line.

If there ever was a time to even marginally strengthen this nation’s gun laws it was Wednesday, in the presence of the survivors and loved ones of one mass murder after another. The 2014 midterm elections could result in a Congress capable of passing gun control legislation and other measures stymied by filibusters, but we wouldn’t count on it. There is another way, a dangerous path to be sure if not tread carefully, but one the time has come to take.

The Portsmouth Herald was even more succinct.  Their editorial is entitled “If you want gun control, vote Ayotte out of office”.  Here is the heart of the article:

Political observers note that the gun control sentiment in the United States is broad but shallow. The intensity on this issue continues to be far greater on the NRA side of the argument.

If you believe, as we do, that unfettered access to high-powered weapons endangers American men, women and children, gird yourself for a long, drawn-out battle that will be won one small step at a time. Join Mark Barden, the father of 7-year-old Daniel Barden, killed at Sandy Hook, who said: “We return home now disappointed but not defeated. … We will keep moving forward and build public support for common-sense solutions in the areas of mental health, school safety and gun safety.”

New Hampshire voters who care passionately about sensible gun legislation can contribute to the effort by defeating U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the only senator in New England to vote against the Toomey-Manchin bill. Ayotte justified her vote by parroting the NRA, saying the measure would “place unnecessary burdens on law-abiding gun owners and allow for potential overreach by the federal government into private gun sales.”

In a January poll, New England College found 88 percent of Granite Staters support background checks, so it would seem Ayotte is far out of step with voters on this issue. She’s up for re-election in 2016, a presidential election year that draws large numbers of independent voters who tend to support gun control. And the state has leaned Democratic in the last two presidential elections, so it’s hard to see this as a political move.

Perhaps she believes that by 2016 people will have forgotten how she voted. Or perhaps she’s counting on the historic lack of intensity from voters who favor gun control. If we don’t like how she voted Wednesday it’s up to all of us who care about this issue to show Sen. Ayotte she was mistaken by voting her out of office.

Anything unclear about this?  They want her gone, and I don’t blame them one iota.  They, too, have noticed that the country is being run to meet the needs of 10% the population.  Even if everyone in the NRA was firmly against background checks (and they’re not – 80% are in favor), that would mean that the will of 4,000,000 trumps the other 330,000,000 or so of the rest of us.  As it stands, the will of the fringe – 800,000 or so – seems paramount. To top it all off, the PAC formed by Gabby Giffords capitalized on these sentiments by running ads against Senator Ayotte.  Perhaps we will see some results in 2016, if the rest of us are sufficiently annoyed to go to the polls and vote these folks out of office.

Now, for the other side of the coin  The same Republicans who are bitterly opposed to background checks are now shrieking about immigration.  They are just convinced that the path to citizenship being offered to (for the most part) Central Americans and maybe a smattering of Haitians and other ethnicities has been compromised by this act that was perpetrated by neither group.  Perhaps if a better background check had been performed on the brothers, Boston would be a less wounded place today.

The Republicans appear to be painting themselves into the corner with a wide brush.  The pasting they took in the 2012  election was due to their absolute inability to connect with college-educated women, African-Americans, and Hispanics.  The management of the GOP has got to be aware that the first two groups are completely out of reach (Rand Paul at Howard, anyone?) and their only hope lies with Hispanics.  This is fascinating, and hopefully bodes well for sanity in the future.

Interestingly enough, GE Capital  decided a number of years ago to end future  financing to gun shops, but allowed approximately 75 stores to be grandfathered.  Newtown changed that, so even those stores will no longer receive funds.  Further,  Cerberus decided to sell Freedom group, which manufactures the Bushmaster.  Wall Street firms have been loathe to provide funding for the deal.   Hit them where they live – in the wallet.   It’s about time.

This is an open thread.

Mad is buried in work after her Florida vacation, so you’ve got me again today.

Oh, Pope Francis.  I had such hopes for you.

First and foremost, you are a Jesuit,  one of our brightest and our best.   The Jesuits devote themselves to education and social justice, and are among the best educated of the Catholic priests. They even believe in science.  They are an evangelical order,  and are subject to service anywhere in the world. While he author of liberation theology was actually a Dominican, (although most of us now associate that with the [in]Famous Revered Wright, who took the theory just a little  bit further), the Jesuits have embraced the theory of social justice.  They operate some of our premier universities:  Georgetown, Gonzaga, Holy Cross, Marquette, Xavier, and innumerable Loyolas, all home to some phenomenal basketball teams.  The Jesuits dropped the Marymount colleges (for women), and integrated the students into the Loyola system many years ago.  The Jebbies, as they are fondly known, have a lot to recommend them.

The Jesuits will also engage in open discussions of theology, unlike many of the priestly orders who insist on a more didactic system.  When I grew up, I was taught that a lay person should not make literal inference from the Bible, as it was written in parables, but should permit my priest to make interpretations.  This remains one of the major differences in a fundamentalist Protestant (they insist upon a literal interpretation of the scriptures) and a fundamentalist Catholic,  The Jesuits, and Pope Francis I warn against fundamentalism in all parts of religion.  I found a wonderful article in Yahoo News that expresses his viewpoints, and I have drawn heavily from this post.

“”The teacher who is so arrogant as to make decisions for the disciple is not a good priest, he’s a good dictator, an eraser of the religious personalities of others … this kind of religiosity, so rigid, wraps itself in doctrines that pretend to provide justifications, but in reality they deny liberty and don’t allow people to grow.”

He is also pretty clear in his viewpoints  regarding clergy abuse.  In fact, some of the American cardinals who were brought to the Vatican one step ahead of accountability mat find themselves somewhat discomfited by the new regime, and I find that thought to be rather delightful:

“We must never turn a blind eye. … I do not believe in taking positions that uphold a certain corporate spirit to avoid damaging the image of the institution. That solution was proposed once in the United States: they proposed switching the priests to a different parish. It is a stupid idea; that way, the priest just takes the problem with him wherever he goes.”

He leaves the door open on matters of celibacy:

“For the moment I’m in favor of maintaining celibacy, with its pros and cons, because there have been 10 centuries of good experiences rather than failures. It’s a question of discipline, not of faith. It could change.”

I beg to differ, your eminence,   Not all have had positive experiences.  Please refer to your previous statement.

The Pope is actually for sex education, albeit with a stipulation or two:

“I think it should be done throughout the growth of children, adapted to each phase. … What happens now is many of those who raise the banner of sex education understand it as separate from the person’s humanity. So, instead of counting on a sexual education law for the entire person, for love, it’s reduced to a law for sex.”

He disapproves of the death penalty, al least making him consistently pro-life.  I have never understood how a person who describes themselves as rabidly pro-life can be so equally insistent that there must be a death penalty.

“Life is something so sacred that not even a terrible crime justifies the death penalty.”

He believes in comfort and dignity at the end of life:

“Medicine should not “focus so much on whether someone lives three days more or two months more, but on assuring that the organism suffers as little as possible. One is not obligated to preserve life through extraordinary measures. This can go against the dignity of the person. Active euthanasia is something else. that’s killing.”

Well, folks, that was the good part.  It’s all downhill from here.

On homosexuality, I disagree, but at least he has stated a case other than “bad, evil, wicked”.  He also actually inferred that gay tendencies were tolerable, even though marriage is not.  He also makes a huge assumption that all children of straight couples have a consistent role model of each gender, although there are some examples about.  My son-in-law was raised by his lesbian mother a nd her partner,  His father made the navy a career, and he has a wonderful uncle who treated him as a son.  He’s a great guy, a good husband, and an amazing father.

“Gay marriage is “an anthropological step backward. If there’s a private union, then third parties and society aren’t affected. But if they’re granted marriage rights and can adopt, there could be children affected. Every person needs a masculine father and a feminine mother to help them settle their identity.”

And now for the plethora of issues affecting women: divorce, birth control, abortion, feminism, and ordination:

Divorce brings a baby step.  Pope Francis agrees that divorcees should not take communion, but insists that they should come to church, which is a step forward from automatic excommunication.

“It’s a very strong value in Catholicism, marriage until separated by death. Still, today in Catholic doctrine the faithful who get divorced and remarry are reminded that they are not excommunicated. While they live in a situation on the margin of the sacrament of marriage, they are asked to integrate in the life of the parish.”

Birth control remains a problem with the Pope.  The article states that he believes that too many people are “obsessed” with it, and in a sense we are.  I spent many years obsessed with how to support my child, and how difficult it would be to care for more children,

“I see in certain illustrious elite Christians a degradation of what’s religious. … they prefer to talk of sexual morality, of everything that has anything to do with sex. That in this case you can do it, that in the other you can’t. … We’ve left aside an incredibly rich catechism, the mysteries of faith and belief, and end up centering on whether or not to march against a proposed condom law.”

Abortion is an anathema, but the Holy Father has an intriguing scientific basis for his belief:

“The pregnant woman doesn’t carry a toothbrush in her womb, nor a tumor. Science teaches that from the moment of conception, the new being has all the genetic code. It’s impressive. It’s not, therefore, a religious question but clearly a moral one, based on science.”

Feminism, it seems, is undignified.  Okay, I’ll admit that the Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy From Hell had a down side in the dignity department, and bra burning was a chuckle, but otherwise I find it quite dignified to wish for equality.

“A philosophy of constant feminism doesn’t give the woman the dignity she deserves. … It runs the risk of becoming machismo in skirts.”

Hmmm… so machismo is a bad thing?  Think you can sell that premise to the Italians or the Latin Americans?

Here’s the money quote that distills the whole damned problem.  How do we solve a problem like women?

“If they’re not part of it, a religious community doesn’t only transform itself into a macho society, but also an austere one, hard and poorly respected. The fact that a woman can’t be a priest doesn’t mean they are lesser than the male. It’s more  in our conception, the Virgin Mary is above the apostles.”

So there you have it.  We can flex in all sorts of things except those that actually matter to women.  Of course you need women in the church.  We are incubators for more little Catholics, and the  transportation that takes them to church, choir/altar boy practice, Catholic school or CCD (communication of Catholic doctrine) and we should comfort ourselves with the fact that Mary is venerated,  Fabulous!

Any questions on why I am a sad, lapsed Catholic?  If so, state them in this otherwise open thread.

Enjoy this classic which was written in the late Sixties, just after Vatican II.  Vatican II addressed such burning issues as eating meat on Friday, turning the altar around, and the Mass being celebrated in all languages – but not, of course, women’s issues.  Therefore, it seems fitting and just to hear it just one more time.

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24 months to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan


Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Rudy: oh shit the pee tape IS real!

Need Reminders?

Never too early to shop for Christmas

“Look this way”

Manafort’s Jail Photo

Indeed who?

Trump spam

IOW Dumb = Happy?

Simply Put


Awrite! Here’s your damned wall