Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Friday, August 19, 2005
This morning's news that the current pope has "asked President Bush to declare the pontiff immune from liability in a lawsuit that accuses him of conspiring to cover up the molestation of three boys by a seminarian in Texas" caused me to reflect upon the elements of an excellent summer novel I recently completed, The Third Secret by Steve Barry.
This suspense novel is highly enjoyable and concerns a message to humanity.
Many Catholics venerate Mary the mother of Jesus in a manner similar to the world’s ancient cultural veneration of an overarching mother-goddess.
Many ordinary people and theologians feel that Mary in her role as mother is a more approachable focus of everyday prayer and entreaty than our traditional western and Christian male images of godhead.
Also, unlike her male counterparts, Mary has reinforced her role as humanity’s spiritual mother, in a series of appearances beginning in 1347 and continuing to the near present day, by speaking directly to representatives of the human family.

Message revealed during the apparition at LaSalette, France, September 19, 1846:

The priests, ministers of my Son, the priests, by their wicked lives…have become cesspools of impurity…the righteous will be brought back to life…and be superior to people of the same identity. They will abolish civil rights…hate, jealousy, lies and dissension would be seen without love for country or family…All the civil governments will have one and the same plan…to make way for materialism, atheism, spiritualism and vice of all kinds…The seasons will be altered…the moon will only reflect a faint reddish glow. Water and fire will give the earth's globe convulsions and terrible earthquakes which will swallow up mountains, cities.

3rd Apparition at Lourdes, France, February 18, 1858:

I do not promise to make you happy in this world but in the other.

3rd Secret of Fatima, Portugal, July 13, 1917:

We saw in an immense light that is God…a Bishop dressed in White…going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks…before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins…having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions.

John Paul II released the text of the 3rd secret in June of 2000.
Some people believe the Church heavily redacted Sister Lucia’s January 2, 1944 memoralization of the Blessed Mother’s July 13, 1917 statement to three rural Portuguese children, 9 year-old Francisco and 7 year-old Jacinta Martos and their cousin 10 year-old Lucia dos Santos (Sister Lucia) and speculate that the redacted portions might be similar to LaSalette’s warning of a corrupt priesthood.
Sister Lucia’s sealed 1944 memoralization of the secret was intended to be opened in 1960.
Popes from John the XXIII to John Paul II read the secret.
John XXIII said the secret did not refer to his pontificate.
Paul VI was reportedly “visibly shaken” upon reading the secret.
I feel if nothing else, the messages from these three most important apparitions make interesting reading in light of current world events.
In 1980, when asked about the 3rd Fatima secret by a group of Catholics in Fulda, Germany Pope John Paul II possibly hinted at redacted portions by wondering if they would be better Christians "if I told you that the oceans will flood entire sections of the earth, that from one moment to the other, millions of people will perish”.
Also interesting is Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s supervision of the 3rd Fatima secret’s release through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and a statement the good Cardinal made in 1985:

To publish the third secret would mean exposing the church to the danger of sensationalism.

Thursday, August 18, 2005
As several sources are reporting this morning, an event unrelated to the loss of life in Iraq can motivate the President to hurl “balance” and “getting on with my life” into the vacation wind.
The event?
Terri Schiavo.

The President arriving in Washington after interrupting his vacation in March, 2005

According to a New York Times report from this past March 21st:

Mr. Bush made the rare decision to interrupt his Texas vacation and rush back to Washington…the White House said that the issue had become one of "defending life," and that time was of the essence…White House officials acknowledged that the final bill could have been flown to Mr. Bush in Texas.

A CNN report from the same date quotes Mr. Bush as saying:

Cases like this one…should have a presumption in favor of life.

Gosh, if only Cindy Sheehan’s current vacation-complicating issue involved “defending life”…er, wait a minute.

Elsewhere, WikiNews, this morning, reports Iraqis are currently paying $.05 per gallon of gasoline:

This contrasts to averages of $2.55 in America, $6.24 in Great Britian. Even neighboring Iran pays more at the pump that Iraq; 38 cents a gallon…Meanwhile, Iraqi oil output continues to recover. Prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq's daily output of crude was 2.5 million barrels a day. This week, oil production is 1.6 million barrels per day.

Images: Google, Reuters
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Biking Fool

The President with his training wheeled mountain bike

I’m sure President Bush, blissfully “getting on” with his Wayne’s World vacation, literally skipped down to his medium carb breakfast this morning with news that Lance Armstrong will join the presidential biking party Saturday.
I can just hear Laura say, “Bushie, stop gulping your Huevos Rancheros and calm down.
Remember, today’s only Wednesday.
You’ve got 8 naps, 2 bar-b-cues, fishing, golf and, at least, a good half-page of Salt to get through before Mr. Armstrong arrives.
You’ve got to pace yourself to maintain your balanced vacation.
We can’t have you falling from tripping over your feet in lancecitement.”

“Yes, ma’am”, a sullen President mutters into a bowl of soggy cereal before howling and running out the door holding a sand wedge like a billy club.
The First Lady, tapping out a cig, rolls her eyes to the ceiling, shakes her head and says to no one in particular, “God help us all”, before grabbing the phone to make sure Bartlett has insured that Armstrong will let the President outpace the seven-time Tour du France winner and, God forbid, not pass him.
With the “working” vacation and presidential denial in full swing, it is important to reflect, with the assistance of the Waco Tribune and the Polk County, Florida Ledger, upon the seriousness of the President’s most recent public utterances:

I exercise six times a week; if I'm not mountain biking, I'll be on the elliptical machine or lifting weights.

It's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive…it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life.

I think the people want the president to…stay healthy and part of my being is to be outside exercising.

I've got a life to live and will do so.

Don't pass the president.

Party on, Mr. President!
Party on!

Photo: AP
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
No matter the evidence that greets our eyes, all too frequently the White House keeps insisting that our quasi-literate, vocabulary-hampered Commander in Chief reads books.
Yes, I said books.
You know, those rectangular things that resemble videocassettes.
Fresh from his year-long slog through Tom Wolf’s trashy I Am Charlotte Simmons, the White House, according to the Los Angeles Times, wants the world to know the President has sandwiched book reading into vacation activities that already include, bike-riding, napping, Little League baseball, fund-raising, avoiding Cindy Sheehan, cat napping, fishing, brush-clearing and more fund-raising.
According to the LA Times story, “The president enjoys reading and learning about history," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.
Well, Ms. Perino, you could have fooled us.
Just what is the President reading?
Could it be the reading level appropriate Kingfisher History Encyclopedia for ages 9 through 12?
According to its review summaries, the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia seems highly Bush appropriate with “bite-sized paragraphs” and “its potential to spark interest in any number of subjects among browsers.”
But no, no kiddie books for dear leader during this epic vacation, our President has, we’re told, selected three big boy books including, Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar, The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History and, the book Mr. Bush stand a good chance of actually finishing, Salt: A World History.
I do not mean to disparage Salt: A World History.
It seems that Mr. Bush could be capable of actually finishing this particular book due to what reviewers describe as the author’s great skill and the book’s less intimidating “compilation of readable stories”.
Mr. Bush’s alleged selection seems an ironic turn of events for Salt’s author Mark Kurlansky, self-described to the LA Times as “virulent Bush opponent", who also said, "My first reaction was, 'Oh, he reads books?' …What I find fascinating…is they [the White House] don't seem to do any research about the writers when they pick the books.”
Indeed the White House is two for three with presidential reading list authors as the Times says Great Influenza writer John M. Barrie was “a Bush critic” and also “was not aware that the president planned to read the book.”
The author of Alexander II, Edvard Radzinsky, a Russian, did not express a base American political opinion but did tell the Times in a phone interview from Moscow that the most important lesson to be drawn from his book is that “blood destroys souls”, an adult lesson certainly not to be found in books appropriate for grades 5 and up.
I wonder if Mr. Bush will be able to draw that highly apt lesson.

Modified Image:, Google, Reuters
Monday, August 15, 2005
In mid August heat, it is always a good thing to discover a dish that requires no cooking.
I have one for you in a late day post free of politics except for this little old link to a terrific Murray Waas investigative piece on the Rove scandal from Saturday’s Village Voice.

Coring a Cabbage

Anyway, the subject of today’s post is a terrific, cool and crunchy Cole Slaw.

Late Summer Slaw

1 medium head organic Green Cabbage, cored and shredded
1 medium Yellow Onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ cup Rice vinegar
1/3 cup lite Mayonnaise
1 Tsp Sea Salt
½ Tsp Poppy Seed

Combine chopped Onion and Sugar in a medium bowl and let stand for a half hour.
In another bowl combine the Oil, Vinegar, Salt, Mayo and Poppy Seed and blend until smooth.
Shred Cabbage by chopping with a sharp cleaver or lightly pulsing batches of partially chopped cabbage in a food processor.
After the Sugar and Onion have completed their half hour combine the Onion mixture with the Oil, Mayo and Vinegar mixture.
Blend well.
If serving to a group combine the dressing mixture with the shredded Cabbage and serve.
If serving one or two people, mound shredded Cabbage in a salad bowl and dress with a Tablespoon or two (or three) of the Dressing mixture.
This slaw or salad is tangy and delicious; try it!


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