mary_j_59: (mug)
Sorry! It's another political post. As I say below, I was inspired to write this by our readings at Mass these past two weeks. They were almost scarily relevant.

Before our current president (I suppose we must call him that) took the oath of office, I had a brief conversation with a friend. “Young women I know are in tears,” she said to me. “I can’t understand it. I think it has to get worse before it gets better.” At the time, I was rather shocked and startled, but I’m starting to agree with her.

It’s not that Trump isn’t awful. He is. He is even worse than I imagined he would be, and the appearance of Swastikas on public property is absolutely chilling. All the bullies, racists, and neo Nazis seem to have been greatly encouraged by recent events. And yet- Read more... )
mary_j_59: (mug)
I know nine women who marched on Saturday, and I ended up joining a small local march myself. It was a beautiful experience. Now we have to find a way to stay united and keep pushing for a humane and civilized world. Here's a short film I took.
mary_j_59: (flute)
If they do these things in the green wood, what will they do in the dry? (Our Lord Jesus Christ)

I went to a funeral a week ago exactly. It was for a good friend of one of my aunts, a woman who was also a friend of my parents'. A brilliant Indian summer day; a little wooden church by the sea. The woman whose life was being celebrated was a WWII vet, so she received military honors. Read more... )
mary_j_59: (mug)
Like millions of my fellow citizens, I am going to vote in a couple of days. A priest in a church I visited said a couple of very wise things about the election. He said:
1. There is no candidate who truly represents Catholic social teaching and/or the morality of the peoples of the book.
2. Our fellow citizens, whomever they support, are not the enemy. They are our countrymen and women, and our brothers and sisters. Read more... )
mary_j_59: (flute)
Fair warning, everyone - I am a Bernie fan. I think he's great! But not perfect. That said, I fail to understand why the man is being blamed for the (apparent) acts of a few of his supporters. He said, quite clearly, that he does not support violence and that nobody ought to be threatened. Could he have offered more sympathy to that poor woman in Nevada? Yes, I think he could. She by no means deserved this horrible treatment. No one does. Still, Bernie has never advocated violence against anyone, unlike the other two candidates. Which brings me to my main point.

The Donald, Heaven help us! How did we ever get to this point? Well. Here is one way. He's a bully. And-

We live in a country in which bullying is not only acceptable, but effective.Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Niki)
Warning - this is a bit of a rant. And I'm sure others have said similar things, and gone into greater depth than I do here. But it's been on my mind.

How to Silence Marginalized Voices-
a Brief Instruction Manual

1. Discount oral histories, because they are only memories of old people, not facts.
2. Dismiss memoirs, also. They are personal, not scholarly.
3. Insist that the marginalized people should produce scholarship that is up to your standards, despite being denied your sort of education. Feel free to change the standards if someone actually manages to be scholarly. For example:
4. Dismiss scholarship produced by expatriates, because they are expatriates.
5. Also, dismiss arguments you don’t like as opinions, not facts.Read more... )
mary_j_59: (portrait)
“Why listen lady,” he said with a grin of delight, “the monks of old slept in their coffins!”

“They wasn’t as advanced as we are,” the old woman said. (From “The Life You Save May Be Your Own”, in The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor, Hardcover, 17th edition, FS&G 1981, page 149.)

Recent events have gotten me thinking about progress, which may be more illusory than it sometimes seems. G.K. Chesterton once wrote a poem about evolution. Its refrain went something like this: “Evolution – up, up, up/Evolutes us on, on, on”.  Similarly, C.S. Lewis compared evolution to a sailor climbing the rigging of a sinking ship. My point isn’t that evolution is false. On the contrary, it is as solidly proven as a scientific theory can be. Evolution certainly happens. And so does progress. But evolution is full of turning back and cross breeding and dead ends, and progress is very far from linear. It’s a serious mistake to think that, just because people lived before us – say, a generation or so – we are more advanced than they are.
mother shoots villain
Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Drive of Dragons)
I am deeply upset by the news of the world, and thus I'm posting something rather controversial. One of the driving forces in U.S. politics is Christian Zionism. I have many problems with that philosophy, if philosophy it can be called.

First, as a Jewish friend noted, it is profoundly anti-Semitic. Christian Zionists believe that all Jews, everywhere, should go and live in Israel. That is not what I believe. I believe Jewish people should be able to live, as free and equal citizens, in any country they choose. Israel might be one of those countries; it might not. If a majority of Jews choose instead to live in the U.S., that is their absolute right! When Christian Zionism arose in late 19th-century England, one of its goals was to get all the English Jews to leave and go "back" to Palestine.Read more... )
mary_j_59: (flute)
I am trying to be very careful and exact in what I say here. I have no intention of offending anyone, but I do think this is important.

What would you think if a friend of yours said this:
"I hate Judaism! I really hate Judaism! I can't tell you how angry it makes me."

Think a bit. Now, substitute for "Judaism" the phrase "the Catholic Church." Do the above sentences suddenly become okay in your mind? If so, why?Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Varen)
Okay - this is about the election, so skip it if you are fed up with the whole thing. I have rather a lot to say! But I will try to keep it short. :) Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Michael)
When my grandfather was a boy, he was given a pair of ice skates by the man who employed him. This man told him, “Don’t skate on Sunday!” Sunday was the only day my grandfather had free, so the skates were useless to him.

I’m telling this story to offer a new way of looking at the health care debate, especially for those of us who are religious, and who are concerned about the separation of Church and state. Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Default)
Several of my friends have posted about Black March. The Internet bill has been defeated - for now - but, obviously, we still need to remain vigilant, because the corporations will keep trying to control information and the free flow of ideas. That's what corporations do. So, people are pledging that, in March, they will not go to the movies, will not download music, will not buy books, etc. And-

I just can't agree. I just can't. No, I don't want to give any more money to Disney, for example, who are just brutal about copyright. But, if a friend has a book coming out in March, why should I refuse to buy it? If a friend has written a song, why shouldn't I support them by buying that song?

Then, of course, there's my job. I'm a librarian, and a part of my job is collection development. That means I buy books and media for the teens in my town. Am I to just stop doing that part of my job in protest at the corporations and their grasping for power? I don't think so. It's my job to provide information, not to block it.

What I'm saying is that this situation isn't as simple as we may think. If you pledge not to buy books or music for an entire month, think about who you are really hurting. It's probably - alas - not the big corporations. Would that it were, but it's not.

My two cents.
mary_j_59: (Default)
and, those of my friends who are U.S. citizens, please sign the petition if you feel able! These people, like the people of Bilin and Nilin, are absolutely heroic. They are waging a nonviolent campaign for the continued existence of their village, and nonviolence and positive action should be supported.

Please follow this link if you're curious about this campaign:
mary_j_59: (Default)
I'd meant to post this yesterday - voting went very smoothly in our small towns, but this year my sister and I, down in NY, didn't get the "I voted today" sticker. I really wanted one! Voting was fun, though - a real holiday feeling, and two men ahead of me brought their young sons into the booths to share the experience. And the important thing-

Barack Hussein Obama is our president-elect. Yay!
(And my family's probably related to him!)

Of course, everyone is related to everyone else, if you go far enough back. But seriously - my dad's mother, my Grandma, was born in Banagher, Offaly, Ireland. It turns out that Barack Obama's great-great-grandfather also came from County Offaly. Different town, of course, but still, that's quite a coincidence. A local band has a song about it - here's the link:
mary_j_59: (Default)
This is an amazing video of an amazing event. Here's the link:

I promise I will not post anything else even slightly political for the next five days.
Really! Not here, at any rate. ;)
mary_j_59: (Default)
I know, I know - I have to stop posting about politics sometime soon. But I couldn't resist - here is a link to a great picture:

This was linked in a post on mudflats about AKA's beloved republican grandmother. She sounds like my democrat grandmothers; I want that republican party back! and that is one reason why I want Obama to win in a landslide. The haters, the neocons, and all their ilk will have been thoroughly repudiated. The good, old fashioned Republicans can then kick those losers out and rebuild their party. I hope.

Here's the link to aka's post:
mary_j_59: (Default)
I will stop posting about politics someday soon. Probably someday after Nov. 4. But I came across this story in my browsing and couldn't resist posting it here. It's NICE! Niceness sometimes seems in short supply in the U.S. these days.
mary_j_59: (Default)
Lately I have become addicted to the mudflats blog. It's fascinating - and occasionally horrifying - to read what Alaskans think about the presidential campaign. The author recently linked to another blog by a native Alaskan, who explains exactly why Governor Palin's stance on wildlife and science is wrong and cruel. This woman grew up hunting and trapping, and has no objection to those activities. Warning: she links to the video of aerial hunting of wolves, and it's very upsetting. I couldn't watch it. Here's the link:
mary_j_59: (Default)
Here's a link to a video I made last night - it's quite silly, but has a point of sorts. Enjoy!
mary_j_59: (Default)
I saw this on the mudflats blog, and then found the link on youtube. The blogger at mudflats attended both this rally and the welcome home rally for the governer, and estimates that this protest rally had almost half again as many people attending (about 1,400) than the party (about 1,000). The welcome home party was widely reported; this was not.


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