Saturday, 3 May 2008

Tipsy hedgehogs

Hilde and Norbert Press are a lovely German couple who visit SRQ two or three times each year.

Norbert formerly worked for IBM, and Hilde for Pan Am Airways, and then Delta Airways. They are wonderfully fluent in English.

They can fly free (on stand-by) with Delta, and they often house sit whilst they are in SRQ.

Hilde is a superb cook. Ben and I were their guests for a delicious dinner last Tuesday.

H and B began to talk about the insidious Spanish invasion of Germany. (And you thought that it was the Germans who were colonising Majorca).

But this invasion is of slugs, huge “Spanish” slugs which have come into Germany via imported produce. They have no predators in Germany, so they are multiplying beyond measure.

Ben and I naturally told B and H of the well known killer of slugs - beer. Placed in a shallow dish in the garden it attracts slugs, who then get - well “sluggish”, and cannot escape.

The Press’s knew all about this, and told us that they had tried this remedy.

But as Norbert explained, the remedy itself caused two further problems.

First, if you put the beer out, it attracts not only “your” slugs, but also all the slugs in the neighbourhood. The word gets out “hey pals, there is a party” (in Spanish of course).

Second, the beer also attracts hedgehogs ( “Igels” in German). They suck up the beer; get wasted; then wander tipsily over highways where they get run over by passing cars.

Couldn’t possibly happen to English hedgehogs could it?!

Thursday, 1 May 2008

J.N.'s arrest at Res House yesterday - what a dreadful criminal she is!

If you click on

(or cut and paste it into your browser)

then scroll down to page 30 on May 1st, you will see the terrible crime for which J.N. was arrested at Res. House yesterday.

(If this does not work, do a Google search for Sarasota County, FL Sheriff then go to arrest record for May 1st. pdf reader required.)

Is your blood boiling yet?

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

I am so fu-king angry

I simply do not have enough orifices to release the steam which is been in my system today.

FIRST, there was this internet story, from The Episcopal Cafe

Williams won't allow Robinson to function as priest in England

Citing fears of creating a controversy, Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury has refused to grant Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, the right to preach or preside at the eucharist in England. Robinson received the news in an email yesterday morning.

Sources familiar with the email say Williams cites the Windsor Report and recent statements from the Primates Meeting in refusing to grant Robinson permission to exercise his priestly functions during his current trip to England, or during the trip he plans during the Lambeth Conference in July and August.

The Windsor Report does not discuss the ordination of a candidate in a gay relationship to the priesthood, and it is priestly, rather than episcopal functions that Robinson had sought permission to perform. The primates' statements, similarly, have objected to Robinson's episcopacy, not his priesthood.

Several provinces in the Communion ordain gay and lesbian candidates without requiring a vow of celibacy. It is unclear whether the Church of England forbids these priests from exercising their functions within its jurisdiction as a matter of policy, or whether Williams' ban extends only to Robinson. Many gay English priests live with their partners, but are expected to remain celibate.

The email, which came to Robinson through a Lambeth official, says Williams believes that giving Robinson permission to preach and preside at the Eucharist would be construed as an acceptance of the ministry of a controversial figure within the Communion.

Williams has not denied permission to preach and preside to Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, who gave his support to a failed legislative attempt to limit the rights of Nigerian gays and their supporters to speak, assemble and worship God collectively. Akinola has yet to respond to an Atlantic magazine article which suggests he may have had prior knowledge of plans for retributive violence against Muslims in his country that resulted in the massacre of more than 650 people in Yelwa, Nigeria.

Williams has not denied permission to preach and preside to Bishop Bernard Malango, the retired primate of Central Africa and one of the authors of the Windsor Report. Malango dismissed without reason the ecclesiastical court convened to try pro-Mugabe Bishop Nolbert Kunonga for incitement to murder and other charges.

Williams has not denied permission to preach and preside to Bishop Gregory Venables, primate of the Southern Cone, who has now claimed as his own, churches in three others provinces in the Anglican Communion (Brazil, Canada and the United States). Nor has he denined permission to preach and preside to Archbishops Henry Orombi of Uganda, Emanuel Kolini of Rwanda, or Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya, all of whom have ignored the Windsor Report's plea not to claim churches within other provinces of the Communion.

Sources who have read the email say Williams expresses sorrow for the way the ban on Robinson must appear to the bishop and his supporters, but says he is acting for the good of the Church and the Communion.

What a tragic read. What or who is +Rowan defending?

The Church? It will love and live long after +Rowan has been forgotten!

Jesus? This “man for others” is bigger and more generous than you, than me, than the lofty Archbishop of Canterbury, and the loving and gentle Bishop of New Hampshire. Jesus needs no defenders. He had none when on trial before Pontius Pilate.

The Anglican Communion? Does G-d give much more than a fig for this ecclesiastical fiction?

The realm/reign of God? Oh dear + Rowan. You are but a speck in that realm. Never forget that , “many who are first will be last”. That includes the Venerable and Legalistic Archbishop of Canterbury (whose theology and practice are so miserably bifurcated).

My good brother +Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire has the courage to live at that painful intersection of theology and practice.

Steam from my anger at the Archbishop of Canterbury’s miserable and petty leadership.

SECOND, because of what I saw at Resurrection House today.

Two (male) Deputy Sheriffs arrived. They were seeking J.N. They had a warrant against her for her failure to appear in Court to face charges.

J.N. was in a robe and underwear. Her only regular clothing was out of the washer, but not yet in the drier.

We pleaded for time to enable us to find suitable clothing for J.N. from our clothing store.

The Deputy Sheriffs would have none of this. They cuffed J.N. in her robe and underwear, and led her away, oblivious to our polite requests to allow her to be decently clothed.

They were both male.

I swore up a storm. I was simply so fucking, fucking, fucking angry.

At the way which those jerks treated J.N.

And at my powerlessness.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

More on Pastor Jeremiah Wright

The American ruling classes cannot abide uppity blacks.

Nor can they abide truth tellers.

Look at the histories of Frederick Douglas, W.E.B. Dubois Dr. Martin Luther King to illustrate what I mean.

I say next to nothing about the disgraceful and lying right wing print, internet, radio and T.V. pundits. They are transparent in their trickery and dishonesty.

But our so-called "liberal" media blowhards are much more deceitful and dangerous.

They are far too savvy to take on Senator Barack Obama.

So the uppity black who must be pilloried is conveniently Senator Obama’s (former) Pastor.

How very convenient.

Pastor Jeremiah Wright is a truth teller, and we cannot have that can we? We have become far too comfortable with the proven liar who has occupied the White House these past seven years.

Bob Hebert’s column in the allegedly liberal New York Times this morning (April 29th) was a despicable piece of yellow journalism. It is character assassination worth of Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Hebert never once tells us what Pastor Wright has said, nor what important questions the Pastor raises.

Instead he makes assertions based on the colour of Pastor Wright’s skin, AND the content of his character.

Here are two excerpts to show you what I mean.

“It’s a twofer. Feeling dissed by Senator Obama, Mr. Wright gets revenge on his former follower while bathed in a spotlight brighter than any he could ever have imagined. He’s living a narcissist’s dream. At long last, his 15 minutes have arrived“.

“All but swooning over the wonderfulness of himself, the reverend acts like he is the first person to come up with the idea that blacks too often get the short end of the stick in America, that the malignant influences of slavery and the long dark night of racial discrimination are still being felt today, that in many ways this is a profoundly inequitable society.”

Shame on Mr. Hebert and greater shame on the New York Times.

Commentators (I will not dignify them with the word “journalist”) and pontificators have simply not taken time to learn about Black preaching, (and if you are wondering, I took a one semester course on this at a Black Seminary in Atlanta).

We need to understand the half teasing, half provocative rhetoric of the Black Preacher. The sisters will be crying “Preach it Brother”, and the brothers will be adding their “Amens”. Then, just when the congregation is beginning to think “it doesn’t get any better than this”, the Preacher will come out with a “zinger” at his “gotcha” moment. The congregation will be shocked and rocked. Shocked into an initial silence; then rocked with laughter.

The measured and erudite politeness of Episcopal preachers is fine it its own way, but it often lacks a vital ingredient - passion.

If we would but take the trouble to learn about traditions which are not our own, then we might become much less likely to be smirking with Bob Hebert.

The American Governing Classes cannot abide uppity blacks.

Nor are they friends of uppity women. Watch out Hilary, they be after you next.

Monday, 28 April 2008

The Revd Jeremiah Wright - an American hero and truth teller

The Revd. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s Pastor is, of course, being demonised by the hypocritical right wing/christian fundamentalist cabal which dominates American media.

Not one of the fundamentalist/fascist preachers and pundits is able to be anything near “fair” or “balanced” - or even accurate.

Their hatred for the Gospel of Jesus is palpable. They prefer a “Gospel” of Americanism.

Fundamentalists are, at best, heretics.

Please see the Revd. Jeremiah Wright’s speech to the NAACP April 27th to get an idea of how this good man is committed to the biblical Jesus.

And if this link does not work, do a Google or You-Tube search for his masterful speech.

And please do not forget that Pastor Wright’s political and religious opponents posit a Jesus who is like a white skinned, blue eyed, crew cut, all American boy. He’s probably (in their minds) a Marine, dedicated to killing all the infidel Muslims.

This perverted image is an insult to our brothers and sisters who are Marines, Muslims, or African Americans.

And it is a blasphemy against G-d,

Pastor Wright is pilloried for saying “God damn America”. I think that I’d want to say the same were I poor, homeless, unemployed or black. I’d say the same were I a mentally ill person, “warehoused” in one of our ghastly prisons.

And I’d base my words on Holy Scripture (G-d’s infallible Word) according to the right wing fundamentalrepugs.

For how does our beloved Nation stack up against the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 25, Verses 31-46? In that passage it is the Nations who are judged.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Church and Cats

After my morning walk I took myself to the 10:00 Eucharist at All Angels by the Sea on Longboat Key. I like it there.

The Liturgy is crisp and to the point; the Rector, David Danner preaches well, and the Music led by Dale Hooey is excellent.

My fondness for All Angels is unexpected. I have served blue collar, or moderate income parishes, and All Angels is clearly upper middle class and wealthy.

It is the most genuinely friendly parish I’ve encountered in these parts. The worshippers are down to earth, and apparently uncomplicated. And they care for the poor.

After Eucharist I had a good chat with Bill and Carol Freeman, on holiday from Maine. We discovered that we have friends in common: Mary Lou LaVallee, Dan Kunhardt, and Ed Greene.

As we chatted, I remembered that we had met before. ‘Twas on the steps of the Cathedral in Boston on the day we elected Gayle Harris to be Bishop Suffragan.

Bill and Carol’s son, Bruce (I knew him when he was in Athol, MA) was a nominee, as was my good friend Paula Jackson (for whom I gave a nominating speech).

In the end, neither Bruce nor Paula were elected, and the Diocese of Mass. made a good choice in electing Gayle Harris.

My mind was on my new house-mates, the cats Adelaide and Adams. I stopped be to make sure they were O.K., before having a simple lunch with my friend Ben Morse.

Then it was back home to fuss over the cats. Adelaide is very friendly. She loves to have her head rubbed. She is more at home on the Lanai than in the house. Already she has killed, but not eaten, three of those tiny Lizards which creep into our Florida homes.

Adams is still quite nervous. He ventured out of the crate today, and explored the Lanai, but would not let me near him. At one time he ventured into the sitting room, and then hid himself in a dark corner.

There are days when I wish to do that!