Wednesday, August 15, 2012


El Salvador. Two words that make it impossible for me to vote for Mitt Romney even if I wanted to. By 1983 several priests, an archbishop and four American churchwomen (three nuns and a lay missionary) had been murdered.The sister's crime? Trying to get refugees out of the killing zones. Running a school and an orphanage for children who had lost their parents in the fighting? Our ambassador to El Salvador, Robert White was fired by the Reagan Administration for not towing the party line.

 In December 1981 the Atlacatl battalion, American trained at the school of the Americas, entered the village of El Mozote. By the time they left about three days later, the people of El Mozote and several surrounding smaller hamlets were dead. The youngest was eight months old. There was more violence to come before the decade was over, but all of this was known before Romney accepted the investments of the El Salvadoran oligarchs.

That Romney and Bain were willing to business with families that either contributed or stood by while these murders took place is more than I can stomach. There's an old saying. All that is needed for evil to flourish is for good men and women to do nothing.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Five in the morning. Venus,  the last quarter moon and Jupiter all lined up. Venus and Jupiter have been my morning companions while I feed the cats the last couple of months. Sometimes I even remember to put my glasses on so they're less of a blur, but they're bright enough that even I can see them. 

Picture from Starry Night Backyard. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Just when you think it can't possibly get any worse this headline greets your unbelieving eyes. MITT ROMNEY STARTED BAIN CAPITAL WITH MONEY TIED TO DEATH SQUADS.  Included in the list were the supporters Roberto D'Aubisson's ARENA party. D'Aubisson, trained at the school of the Americas at Fort Benning was finally tied to the assassination of archbishop Oscar Romero. 

Goddess can it get any worse? Drove me to haul out my old Jackson Brown albums. This one is painfully appropriate. I want to take this sorry excuse for a human being, shake him until his teeth rattle and ask him what the hell he was thinking. 


God is great, God is good
He guards your neighborhood
Though it’s generally understood
Not quite the way you would
You try to take the slack
Stay awake and watch his back
But something happens every now and then
And someone breaks into the promised land
Ah boy boy
This world is not your toy
This world is long on hunger
This world is short on joy

You speak as if you know
What’s good for everyone
What’s good in what you’ve done?
What’s good about a world in which
War rages at a fever pitch
And people die for the little things
A little corn, a little beans

Ah boy boy
This world is not your toy
This world is, this world is
Long on hunger
Short on joy
How much longer
You gonna keep the world hungry boy?

You measure peace with guns
Progress in mega-tons
Who's left when the war is won?
Soldier of misfortune--
Soldier of an angry call
Soldier on foreign soil
I’m not here to fight your war
I know what you're fighting for

Ah boy boy
This world is not your toy
This world is, this world is
Long on hunger
Short on joy
How much longer
You gonna keep the world hungry boy?

I wonder if he can claim he retroactively returned their investments? 

Cross posted in Women On. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Hand fasting is an old way of marrying. It was a legal way of getting married in Scotland until the middle of the 1930's. It's a beautiful piece, I wish I could hear is used just once. 

Raven’s Blessing Song

May the earth welcome your footsteps,
May the wind sing your tale,
May fire dance from your fingertips,
May the ocean speed your sail.
May your courage never fail you,
May your words be blessed with grace;
May the spirit of inspiration light your way.

(Goddess that first verse! Can you imagine dancing this?)

May you be a friend to your destiny
May you always know your name.
May your learn to dance with lightning
When life brings storm and rain.
May you never be far from family
Whether kin by blood or heart
May you never feel completely set apart.

May you walk through life like a balance beam
And never stumble and fall.
May you walk through a hundred angry glares
And may it not matter at all.
May you never cease to teach
And never cease to learn’
May the spark of hope inside you always burn.

May you walk with light through your underworld
May you never fear your dark
May you learn to love the monsters that populate your heart.
May you be healed of your deepest wounds
And wear the scars with pride,
And may your soul never have to hide.

May the earth welcome your footsteps,
May the wind sing your tale,
May fire dance from your fingertips,
May the ocean speed your sail.
May your courage never fail you,
May your words be blessed with grace,
May the spirit of inspiration light your way. 

From Hand fasting and Wedding Rituals. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012


“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…”

There it is, the freedom of religion and speech part of the first amendment. That’s it, there it is. The only guaranty we have is that congress (and the lower legislatures) will make no law establishing a particular religion or practicing whatever religion you choose. The lawmakers are also forbidden to interfere with your freedom of speech.

It does not guaranty that your neighbors will accept the religion you follow. If you happen to know any pagans ask them how free they feel these days. Especially live in back of beyond rural America or in the Bible Belt.

The constitution does not guaranty that anyone will listen to you, agree with you, stay in the same room with you, disagree with you or demand that you back up your claims. Now here is where rubber is hitting the road. The claimant has to come up with something more that I believe such and such to be true. Or, the favorite when it comes to gays and marriage equality “the Bible says so.”

The fundagelicals have been getting a free ride for generations with that one phrase along with the quotation of one of a half dozen verses on the subject. That’s not good enough anymore. I want facts, not scripture. Legal examples not “I believe such and such to be true.” How about some examples of how folks used to get married, probably still get married and how that overlaps with their view of “traditional” marriage.

I suspect that what really bothers those denouncing the views of the owner of Chick-fil-a isn’t his support of “traditional marriage.” Whatever the heck that is. What bothers me is the implicit violence in his belief that gay marriage will call God’s judgment on the nation. If you believe that, then you may just believe that any action necessary to avoid that judgment is justified.

And that, heads us down a path most of us don’t want to follow. Imagine someone like the Aurora, Colorado shooter only he’s convinced that his mission is to save us from God’s wrath. And while we’re at it we’ll go after the families and friends of our targets just to make sure the danger is averted. 

Friday, August 3, 2012


Stop dismissing the Chick-fil-A fight by Guy Branum. When you read this remember all of the Pat Robertson style denunciations that fill the air whenever Mother Nature sneezes and substitute Wiccan, or Pagan, or tree hugger, or any other group that's born different or chooses to walk a path that's barely tolerated these days.

I'm straight but I'm about one fourth Quaker and about three fourths Celtic I'll get this figured out one day and I agree one hundred percent with what the author says. Just listen to the Pat Robertson's of the world whenever Mother Nature sneezes. It's the fault of the gays, the lesbians, the tree huggers, the wiccans, the neo pagans, WHOEVER. Whether you were born a little different or you've chosen a spiritual path that goes beyond what's "tolerated" we all need to stand together.

"I don't ask for tolerance: I demand respect." from a comment by another member of the HP community a couple of days ago.

And we can start by reminding these folks that all the constitution gurantees is that Congress won't make laws abridging freedom of speech, restricting religion or favoring one over the other. The constitution doesn't guranty that anyone will agree with you, listen to you, stay in the same room while you're talking or keep quiet if they believe you're wrong, disrespectful or hateful. One side has been hiding behind "freedom of" for far too long as attempts are made to take freedom from others. 

I got a kick out of a few comments claiming that the money the Dan Cathy donates isn't going to hate groups. After all it's just libs and leftists who claim that the likes of the Family Research Council and the American Family Association are hate groups. And anyway it's his money he can do what he wants. Before it was his money it was our money and some folks aren't too happy with where it's going. 

I'm almost happy that these dust ups are finally happening. We've wallpapered over the cracks in our society for far too long. The moderates in this country outnumber the ultra conservatives but we've allowed them to define the words and set the agenda for far too long. 

It's long past time for us to shout out "hell yes, I have an agenda. I demand to be respected as a human being not defined by orientation, gender, the spiritual path I follow or the belief that the earth is just a really, really big space ship and it's past time we treated her that way. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012


This comment was in reply to an article on fundamentalists and their view of religious liberty; a one way street in the author’s opinion. Chick-fil-A Dustup Shows Freedom for Fundamentalists Is a One-Way Street

“you know, this "tolerance" talking point is getting really weak.

I do not tolerate someone saying ugly things about me. Do you?

If Mr. Cathy wants to speak about himself, that's okay. He has every right to speak about someone else. Fortunately, the person he speaks about has the right to respond.

Mr. Cathy doesn't live in a bubble. Everyone has the same right to speak, including and especially those that have been spoken about.

It has absolutely nothing to do with tolerance.

Gay people don't want or need your tolerance. We demand equality. Tolerance presupposes that you are superior to me...that I must beg you for your approval of me somehow.

I don't have to do that.

I don’t ask for tolerance: I demand respect.”  Screen name CRandallB

Tolerance: Sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own beliefs; or the act of allowing something.  It can also mean the allowable deviation from a standard, especially the range of variation permitted in maintaining a specified dimension in machining a piece or part.

To be honest, like many folks, I’ve never looked at the idea o f tolerance from the “I’m sick and tired of being tolerated” side of the fence.  And frankly, as one quarter Quaker and three fourth Celtic I’m workin’ on it, I may find myself with more sympathy for that point of view than before.

And this gentleman has said it a lot better than I ever could.  Especially when the attitude of too many folks is ‘you just get back in the closet and I’ll tolerate you.” Thanks but no thanks.