Saturday, March 22, 2014



by Wendell Berry

How much poison are you willing
to eat for the success of the free
market and global trade? Please
name your preferred poisons.

For the sake of goodness, how much
evil are you willing to do?
Fill in the following blanks
with the names of your favorite
evils and acts of hatred.

What sacrifices are you prepared
to make for culture and civilization?
Please list the monuments, shrines,
and works of art you would
most willingly destroy

In the name of patriotism and
the flag, how much of our beloved
land are you willing to desecrate?
List in the following spaces
the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
you could most readily do without.

State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
the energy sources, the kinds of security;
for which you would kill a child.
Name, please, the children whom
you would be willing to kill.

-- from Leavings (Counterpoint, 2010)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ruby Bridges


Extraordinary video and a truly holy little girl.
There is a new book out now by Gordon Oyer (I have mine ordered.) It covers the 3 days in November 1964 when Thomas Merton invited 14 of America's best known peacemakers to his abby to talk about the spiritual roots of protest. In the introduction by Jim Forest (who was in attendance), Forest recalls the persistent question that Merton kept bringing up: By what right do we protest?
He writes: “Merton and others at the retreat made me more aware that acts of protest are not ends in themselves but ultimately must be regarded as efforts to bring about a transformation of heart of one’s adversaries and even one’s self. . . Merton put great stress on protest that had contemplative roots, protest motivated not only by outrage but by compassion for those who, driven by fear or a warped patriotism, experience themselves as objects of protest” (from the Foreword).
That sounds very much like what Ruby Bridges was doing to me.

Here is a Normal Rockwell painting of Ruby:

Thursday, March 06, 2014

I hate my Kindle

I hate my Kindle.

This is the little thing I got to replace my original Kindle that was stolen at the University of Pittsburgh Mercy Hospital. That Kindle at least had a keyboard of sorts. And it worked. This new little Kindle has no Keyboard so that when you are expected to enter a word you have to use arrow keys to peck out words, letter by letter.

This Kindle makes the Speak & Spell toy that came out in the early 1980s look like advanced technology.

I've totally given up on trying to make notes or bookmarks. I can never find my way back to anything that I try to mark. Plus, it freezes up almost every time I try to mark text and I have to turn the whole thing off and then back on again. On my old Kindle I could at least email quotes to myself, so that I wouldn't have to re-type the whole damn thing in order to share it.

If Amazon wants people to buy their e-books, they should either give these things away, or throw them away. They are junk. It makes me mad when I see things like this selling for $69.

Kind of like a "Pebble" that some unknown person sent me around Xmas time. Total junk. There was no rhyme or reason for the device and when I looked it up I saw that it was selling for more than $100!

I have worked with technology for more than 20 years and the stuff that is coming out now is about as cheap as it gets.

I'm sticking with reading on my iPad or MacBook Air.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Fr. Foley - How one priest took on the KKK

Fr. Albert Foley SJ
I was a student at Spring Hill College from 1968-1970. Fr. Foley was very popular among the students during that Vietnam era. He and Fr. Heiter are a major part of the reasons I still call myself Catholic today.

Article in the US Catholic -  How one priest took on the KKK

Thursday, February 20, 2014

"We have to speak, and we're happy to die for that. To remain in prison for the rest of my life is the greatest honor that you could give to me. Please don't be lenient with me. It would be an honor for that to happen." - Sr. Megan Rice 

Distorting Russia

Same old story of us against them, pandering to the fear and insecurity of Americans.  Found this story in The Nation. Can't imagine seeing it in the NY Times.

Bitter Tears

Alas. An American gives voice to the Native American experience.

See Richard Beck's ongoing discussion on the theology of Johnny Cash HERE.

The Rich Guy

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Last Great American - Johnny Cash

I can't get enough of him now. Richard Beck just started writing about Johnny Cash a couple of days ago and I wonder how I missed him.

All God's People Ain't Free

I'd sing more about more of this land
But all God's children ain't free
I'd open up every door I can
'Cause all God's children ain't free

I met a beaten broken man
He shovels dirt but got no land
And he held out his hand to me
All God's children ain't free

I'd sing along to a silly song
But all God's children ain't free
I'm gonna sing a blues for the men they done wrong
'Cause all God's children ain't free

Mister, how about the man you condemn to die
By taking everything that he's livin' by?
And reject him from society
All God's children ain't free
No, reject him from society
All God's children ain't free

I'd be happy walking any street
But all God's children ain't free
I'd have a smile for all I meet
But all God's children ain't free

I'd whistle down the road but I wouldn't feel right
I'd hear somebody cryin' out at night
From a sharecropper's shack or penitentiary
All God's children ain't free

From a sharecropper's shack or penitentiary
All God's children ain't free

Now that's a freedom song.