Saturday, May 08, 2010

PASCHA: Sunday of the Blind Man

O Christ God,
Thou spiritual Sun of Righteousness,
Who by Thine immaculate touch
didst bestow a twofold
enlightenment upon him
who from his mother's womb
was deprived of sight,
illumine Thou the eyes
of our souls also,
and prove us to be
children of the day,
that we may cry
to Thee with faith:
Great and ineffable
is Thy compassion toward us,
O Friend of humanity;
glory be to Thee.

--Great Vespers, Sunday of the Blind Man, Pentecostarion

Blooming roses - a fine present

In the last two days several rose bushes have blossomed. Lots of yellow and white blossoms in the yard that were not there. Sometimes when I am standing still or watering I can smell roses in the air.


Too lovely.

I spotted a hummingbird this morning and a tiger swallowtail butterfly this afternoon. A bird sang to me from the peak of the roof today also. (OK, probably not singing to me and possibly telling me to leave so it can enjoy the yard by itself; I don't know.)

When I bought two Circus roses earlier they were blooming. Those blooms are long spent but today I saw this bud offering hope for tomorrow (when I am having guests for brunch).

This Iceberg bloom was trying to hide beneath the leaves.

The vegetables are all planted. I do not have photos of the squash and eggplant because by the time I finished planting this evening it was getting dark. Here is the pot with the Early Girl tomatoes and two kinds of chiles.

Husky Cherry tomatoes and three kinds of chiles.

One of three America climbing roses in the yard.

Double Knock Out roses.

The China Doll bush was covered with blooms when I bought it. Most are pretty much gone but this stem has some fresh buds.

The first blossom on the Golden Masterpiece bush that I planted last week. This was a bud last night, an opening blossom this morning, and in full bloom by the end of the day.

The Piñata has been my prolific bloomer the past two years. It has just begun this season in the past two days and is covered with buds.

In addition to the vegetables I planted a "trench" with the new Heirloom rose (that's # 29) and other flowers compatible with its lavender blooms. There is a wallflower, some lavender osteospermum, a Mexican heather, a couple of foxgloves, and lots of variegated petunias.

A second cluster of full-size marigolds (so I will have them for the Day of the Dead this fall) went in along with yellow dwarf marigolds. More sweet alyssum and some Cambridge blue lobelia got planted.

I am so fond of foxgloves that I put three in the north border, replacing some plants that did not make it and filling in gaps. They bring back fond memories of our cabin in the mountains when I was growing up. Mother planted foxgloves and they were among the extremely short list of plants the deer left alone. Although they are very stupid animals when browsing (they browse, not graze), they know better than to ingest the heart stimulant that is part of the chemistry of the Digitalis purpurea. Yes, the drug digitalis is made from the foxglove.

While buying more compost in which to plant the new plantings today I found some more yellow calibrachoa ("million bells"). I had planted some in the yellow group at the foot of the Lady Banks rose and they seem to thrive so I have been looking for more. I put three of them with a pony pack of the darker dwarf French marigolds around the base of the Golden Showers rose which still had a few violas but was looking lonely.

Brunch today was with my friend Kathy. It is so nice to see her without constant pain. Thank you all so much for prayers on her behalf.

All in all, a lovely natal festivity, though I can feel each one of the years right at the moment. (I am SO tired of schlepping bags of compost from the pallet at Home Depot into the cart, from the cart into the trunk of my car, from my car around the house to the back yard. I would bet I have lugged at least sixty of them this season (and as many again over the past three years).

That's the story of my day and I'm sticking to it.

--the BB

That would explain a few things, yes.

At 8:24 PM Pacific Time today I shall have lived 33,661,440 minutes.

In honor of which I got a very small stepladder I can sit on while gardening and use to help myself get up off my arthritic knees when I've been planting.

I give thanks for the end of WWII which, based on timing, has a lot to do with my being on this planet.

I give thanks for the gift of my life.

--the BB

Friday, May 07, 2010

Looking back

May 8, 2004
The Empire Strikes Out
LONDON — This week the world learned that the United States Army has been investigating more than 30 claims of prisoner abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan since December 2002. So far, officials have found a catalog of "sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses" at the hands of American captors. This horrible scandal represents the most serious crisis for the coalition since the war on terrorism began. Occupation inevitably creates resentment; but humiliation fosters outright rebellion, and winning back the moral high ground after this calamity is far more important than reasserting control in Falluja or in the Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan.

Yes, we were beginning to realize what had happened at Abu Ghraib and what that implied. Y'all DO remember Abu Ghraib, right?

"Beyond abuse of prisoners, there are other photos that depict incidents of physical violence toward prisoners, acts that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhuman."
Donald Rumsfeld

Testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee

May 7, 2004

"I'm not a lawyer. My impression is that what has been charged thus far is abuse, which I believe technically is different from torture … I don't know if it is correct to say what you just said, that torture has taken place, or that there's been a conviction for torture. And therefore I'm not going to address the torture word."
Donald Rumsfeld

Press Briefing

May 4, 2004

May 6, 2004

Inspector says he warned U.S. officials of Iraqi prisoner abuse

Media General News Service

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- David Kay, the man who led the U.S. search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, says he repeatedly told people about problems with the interrogation of prisoners, but the military ignored him.
"I was there and I kept saying the interrogation process is broken. The prison process is broken. And no one wanted to deal with it," Kay said. "It was too, too distasteful. This is a known problem, and the military refuses to deal with it."

From a diary by Plutonium Page at Daily Kos (Sunday, May 8, 2005):
If you are unfamiliar with the situation in DR Congo, this link will give you some background information.
And, here's the story, from the pages of Ms. Magazine, about what has happened to the women there:
It took Thérèse Mwandeko a year to save the money. She knew she could walk the first 40 kilometers of her journey, but would need to pay for a lift for the last 20.
So she traded bananas and peanuts until she'd saved $1.50 in Congolese francs, then set out for Bukavu. She walked with balled-up fabric clenched between her thighs, to soak up blood that had been oozing from her vagina for two years, since she had been gang-raped by Rwandan militia soldiers who plundered her village in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Finally, she arrived at Panzi Hospital.
Here, Thérèse takes her place in line, along with 80 women, waiting for surgery to rebuild her vagina. Dr. Denis Mukwege, Panzi's sole gynecologist and one of two doctors in the eastern Congo who can perform such reconstructive surgeries, can repair only five women a week. The air is thick with flies. It reeks from women with fistula: rips in the vaginal wall where rape tore out chunks of flesh separating the bladder and rectum from the vagina. Yet Thérèse, 47, is happier than she's been in years.
"Until I came here, I had no hope I could be helped," she says.
Across the DRC are tens of thousands of women like this: physically ravaged, emotionally terrorized, financially impoverished. Except for Thérèse and a few fortunate others, these women have no help of any kind: Eight years of war have left the country in ruins, and Congolese women have been victims of rape on a scale never seen before.

The article goes on to mention that rape is used as a weapon, a very powerful weapon. Men are raped as well as women.

Mr. President, I oppose this budget and will vote against it. All of my colleagues should. It sets the wrong priorities. It breaks promises to the American people. And it is the height of fiscal irresponsibility.
Let me begin with the priorities. The priorities of the American people are not the priorities of this budget.
It is quite clear what the priorities of this budget are: tax cuts for the wealthy. In just one year, this budget provides a tax cut for millionaires totaling $32 billion.
Meanwhile, education funding is cut almost $1 billion below the services we are providing now. A total of 48 education programs are eliminated. The promise that was made in the No Child Left Behind Act is broken by $12 billion. Mr. President, we should be increasing our commitment to our children, not cutting it.
Veterans programs – for those brave men and women who served our country and are currently serving our country in Iraq and Afghanistan – are cut $500 million. As more and more veterans return to this country, the demands on the VA system will only grow. This budget ignores them.

He was quoted on May 6, 2005, but this was Goldwater in 1981 - perhaps more relevant now than ever:
"I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in A, B, C, and D. Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of conservatism."

Barry Goldwater, September 16, 1981

Gannon comes out: Former escort, conservative reporter grilled on White House visits
Published: Friday May 5, 2006
Gannon backs outing of Virginia congressman
WASHINGTON – At a forum in Philadelphia Wednesday evening, the conservative White House correspondent who drew national attention for his past life as a gay escort declared himself gay publicly for the first time, and finally answered questions about discrepancies in the logs of his trips to the White House.

¡No me digas!
Mainstreaming hate
Saturday, May 06, 2006
The primary reason organizations like the Minutemen pose a threat to our national well-being is not that they pose an immediate prospect of vigilante violence.

It's that they represent the mainstreaming of far-right appeals to anti-immigrant sentiments, especially the demonization of Latinos as the problem. The more people like the Minutemen are beating this drum, the more it will be picked up as legitimate by people in the mainstream, including those in positions of authority and influence.

I was among those in Grace Cathedral electing Marc Andrus as the next Bishop of California. Headlines trumpeted relief that neither the gay nor the lesbian candidate was elected. For most of us in the Diocese of California sexuality was just not an issue in electing. *rolls eyes*

There's Something Truly You-Know-What About This Story

by tristero

Bush claims he caught a 7 1/2 pound perch* in his very own lake.

Yeah, right. Gotta picture? But just for the sake of argument, let's say it's true (but see below). He really did catch that large a fish and that was his happiest moment in five years. Does he realize what this says about him and his presidency?

With all the daily opportunities available to do such good for your fellow country-folk, and the world, the only thing Bush specifically mentioned that made him happy is catching a big fish. In his own lake. Which could very well be deliberately stocked with big fish.

There are, imo, only three ways to understand this comment, assuming it's true. Quite possibly it's the pathetic whine of a deeply, perhaps clinically. depressed man who believes himself a total failure. Or maybe this is a man so uninterested in his job, let alone in serving his country, that he has no business whatsoever being president. Or perhaps this is simply an arrogant bastard who holds in utter contempt anyone who dares to ask him a question, so he responds with the stupidest thing he can say. (Obviously, nothing precludes all three or some combination of two.)

To be all pre-emptive about it, someone's bound to comment that maybe this just shows how much of a down-to-earth regular guy Bush is. Yeah? All the down-to-earth regular guys I know don't have their own lake, fer chrissakes. Those people are filthy rich, even if they wear jeans on their estates. But there's a character thing here, too. The down-to-earth people I know who hold important jobs are mighty proud of of what they do and mighty happy with their achievements. And they can tick them off without thinking too hard about what they might be. And, even as a joke, they don't talk about catching a big perch when a newspaper asks them to name their best moment in more than five years. They name their accomplishments. Or, if they're trying to play up the down-to-earthiness, they name their children or something they did with their spouse.


Lord Browne, who resigned as head of British Petroleum last week, found himself at the center of an unraveling scandal after it was revealed that he had not been truthful under oath when discussing how he met his 25-year-old boyriend Jeff Chevalier. Browne had said he met Chevalier while exercising in Battersea Park when the escort site Suited and Booted might have been a more truthful answer.
Hmm. British Petroleum CEO and a rent boy in the headlines at the same time. My goodness, things don't change, do they? Just a shift in the partners.

Wolfowitz On the Way Down
by Devilstower
Tue May 08, 2007 at 05:40:21 AM PDT
For weeks now, Paul Wolfowitz has been following the patented Bush administration script for dealing with scandal: just ignore it, pretend you've done nothing wrong, and wait for people to lose interest. For a few days there, it looked like it might work. Wolfowitz announced that he was going to stay, Bush Xeroxed the standard memo of support, and the Mighty Wurlitzer whipped up a tune to explain away the peach job and plump raise given Wolfie's girlfriend.
But the World Bank is not the Justice Department, or the Defense Department, or any of the other branches of government where the administration could employ CIA-approved non-torture techniques to get employees to go along with embattled Bush appointees. There's a new report out to highlight Wolfowitz's ethical lapses, and it's turning out to be a lot harder to lean on the World Bank's international crew than it was on Rumsfeld's military. The Bush administration can tell the World Bank employees to sit down and shut up, but those employees -- and the governments who sent them -- don't have to listen. However, they are prepared to be generous.

THEY KNEW: Tenet's Book Reveals 9-11 Perjury
by leveymg
Mon May 07, 2007 at 04:14:05 PM PDT
George Tenet's new book, At the Center of the Storm, reveals something extremely important about events in the final weeks before 9/11. For the first time, the former CIA Director admits he flew to Crawford in late August, just weeks before the attack by al-Qaeda cells known to be in the U.S., and briefed President George W. Bush personally about the threat.
This briefing followed a CIA PDB read to the President on August 6 in a meeting with Harriet Miers, then the President's lawyer, and an emergency meeting between Tenet and Condi Rice on July 10 on the same subject.
It also reveals that in order to cover up the last meeting, Tenet committed perjury before the 9/11 Commission when he denied meeting with Bush in the month before the attack. According to the White House website, Bush met in Crawford with Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, National Security Advisor Condi Rice, and the present and former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Generals Meyers and Pace, on August 24, 2001.

Pharmaceutical Industry buys US Senate (again)
by Mark701
Tue May 08, 2007 at 07:35:13 AM PDT
Yesterday Democratic and Independent Senators attempted to pass legislation that would have allowed consumers to buy prescription drugs from other countries cheaper than here.
By a 49 to 40 vote the Senate required the Administration (the Department of Health and Human Services, HHS) to certify the safety and effectiveness of those drugs before they are imported. Well that makes sense, right? Wrong.
The 49 Senators who voted to ensure that overseas drugs would be safe know damn well that Michael Leavitt, Secretary of HHS is vehemently against the importation of drugs. Therefore, requiring HHS to guarantee the safety of these drugs is the equivalent of killing the amendment. Pretty clever really. By voting to ensure our "safety" they make themselves look great and simultaneously give the pharmaceutical industry everything they paid them for. Only in America.

Everybody was counting delegates to see who would be the party candidates in the 2008 election. I did not see enough catchy quotables, so am skipping that year.

Oh, and I was working 10-12 hours a day in New Orleans.

What "oversight" means in Washington
(updated below)
Since last September, the Federal Reserve has increased its balance sheet by more than $1 trillion, and has engaged in even much larger amounts of off-balance-sheet transactions. In January of this year, freshman Rep. Alan Grayson repeatedly asked Federal Reserve Vice chairman Donald Kohn the identity of the companies which had received those loans, only to be told that the Fed had no obligation and no desire to disclose that information to Congress. That obviously leads to the question of who exerts oversight over the Fed and the vast amounts of money it transfers.

And now we are hoping Congress will do something about oversight of the financial industry to guarantee transparency and thwart corruption. I would feel more optimistic if Congress were not a wholly-owned subsidiary of the corporatocracy. Well, not "wholly" as in 100% but close enough.

I am a proud supporter of Rep. Grayson and a handful of other progressives.

SLDN accuses Obama of caving to religious right on military ban
by John Aravosis (DC) on 5/10/2009 07:32:00 PM
Harsh words from a gay rights organization. It's a rare gay, or more generally liberal, organization that has the nerve to speak up when they think a Democrat is doing the wrong thing. The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network has been rather outspoken in its concerns about the way this administration is approaching the issue of the military's gay ban. This release, below, is one of the harshest I've ever seen from a progressive organization.
WASHINGTON, DC - When asked this morning on This Week with George Stephanopoulos if "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" will be overturned, the president's national security advisor, General Jones, responded, "I don't know."

Well, we're still waiting on this one.

Why Now, Dick?:

Now that it has realized that it can absorb sunlight without ulcerating too quickly, the acidic pollutant-made-flesh known as former Vice President Dick Cheney believes it can appear at will to forcibly spit forth fungal spores into the media atmosphere, parasitically attaching to those who it once spurned, feeding off them to hopefully infect them to make them rot. For, indeed, Dick Cheney is nothing if not an entity that wishes things to collapse from within, like a gutted corpse.

And he still has not shut up. Plus he has Baby Dick to shill for him (as if she had any serious credentials).

De-basing Torture

by digby

The argument against torture is slipping away from us. In fact, I'm getting the sinking feeling that it's over. What was once taboo is now publicly acknowledged as completely acceptable by many people. Indeed, disapproval of torture is now being characterized as a strictly partisan issue, like welfare reform or taxes.

Le sigh. Le grand sigh.

FRIDAY, MAY 7, 2010, was a beautiful day in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am going to be planting vegetables on Saturday and brunching with a friend for my natal festivity. Sunday another friend and my baby sister are coming to my home for brunch. (They have to admire my garden in order to be fed, of course. Unconditional love is one thing but unconditional feeding: not so much.)

May you all have a blessed weekend. May the intercessions of Dame Julian help you remember that "All shall be well."

I have worshiped many times in the space where this icon hangs, the chapel at CDSP. She invites us into the depths of God's love.

Lord God, in your compassion you granted to the Lady Julian many revelations of your nurturing and sustaining love: Move our hearts, like hers, to seek you above all things, for in giving us yourself you give us all; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

--the BB

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I do hate the spring winds of New Mexico

They are tiresome, they blow sand and fine adobe clay particles everywhere, and they last forever. They also batter plants.

One of the new climbing roses, so happy last week, is now looking very sad, dried out (it gets lots of water), beaten, and iffy. Even as it tries to put out new blooms. Sigh.

The lilac by the back door has had branches snapped. Between wind and frost it is very sad, having been lush and happy beyond belief just two weeks ago.

The two new yellow rose bushes all lean westward now. I think the winds funnel between the houses and come howling on a westward course. Naturally, the east side of the plants is the one facing my house, so they are all leaning away from me. Bowed.

That's the bad news.

On a happier note, several rose bushes from prior years are now budding. I saw the first white Iceberg rose on the southern of two standard bushes and several on the northern one. I saw one red bud emerging (and lots of tight green ones) on the western wall Blaze. A couple of small yellow buds have emerged on the Golden Showers. The first bit of color emerges on the Piñata. I can also see the first blossoms on the potato vines, some new growth on the jasmine, and the peaches continue to swell, though something is attacking my peach tree leaves.

I am hoping the warm sunshine we are having these days (in spite of the wind) will have blossoms this weekend when Debbie and I celebrate our birthdays.

For those of you pondering an intervention on my rose buying: Kathy said as long as I stay below thirty I am OK. On the way home tonight I was seduced by a lavender Heirloom rose. The number, once it is planted (and it was too windy tonight) will be twenty-nine.

No photos tonight, but this weekend for sure.

--the BB

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Tonight's question

My BFF took me out to dinner tonight in an advance celebration of my upcoming natal festivity. We discussed cabbages and kings. I was talking about the books (that I have not been writing for months now) and he asked me if I had come to terms with living in another world.

I believe I have.

Sweet dreams.

--the BB

Monday, May 03, 2010

A mellow evening

I did a spot of shopping on the way home. A rake for a future yard project and three small trellises for three of the smaller roses (and I see tonight that I might need a few more - winds here being what they are), plus some ties to guide plants in the way that they should go. Also a couple more large pots - for vegetables in the summer and tulips and pansies in early spring. Some edibles as well.

When I got home I took a single-serving four-cheese pizza and sliced grape tomatoes on top plus a little chiffonade of basil and popped it all into the toaster oven. Supper was not planned to be coherent, just to use what was about. I had a small avocado drizzled with lemon juice. And Brussels sprouts in a sauce of heavy cream, dill, chicken broth, and blue cheese, heavily reduced. I accompanied this with a rosé from Provence.

Not feeling energetic, I watched The Princess and the Frog. I love the New Orleans scenery and the Cajun accent of the firefly.

Had a chat with my sister and with nephew Jay, the birthday boy. A little catch up on family gossip.

That is my wild night: une soirée chez moi.

Saturday's work in the yard was very stressful on my arthritic knees. Last night one was swollen and aching but it was back to normal this morning. My hands seem to have stopped aching. Je ne suis plus jeune, hélas.

Sadness at what we do to creation. Prayers for those who need them tonight. Contentment in my little corner of the world.

Bonne nuit, mes amis.

--the BB

Heart thread - 05/03/2010 - corrected

Today is the birthday of my oldest nephew, Jay, who has not quite reached the big six-oh (next year, buddy).

Jay turned 58 today. He still has two years to go before 60. His feeble-minded uncle fouled up the math.

Here is an old photo of him chosen for his typical smile.

May you have joy and health in the year ahead, Jay.

Let us continue to remember our friend Mark (Марко Фризия) who wrestles with the black dog of depression as his heart grieves and his body mends. May the embrace of the Holy Trinity keep him safe, the light Christ shine within and around him, the healing balm of the Spirit anoint him, the holy Angels defend him, and the saints pray for him and be his companions in difficult days and dark nights.

For Rose-Marie, battling pneumonia on top of cancer, and for her family.

For safe delivery of a healthy child as Jane R cares for young Elijah, about to become a big brother. For A & A, the parents. Much joy to them all.

For sea turtles dying along the Gulf Coast. For the health of the Gulf Coast.

For Klady, healing from leg fractures and wrestling with crutches.

For John and Raven.

For Dan, for Rev. Ref, for Tenon, for Rachael (see OCICBW).

For Themethatisme.

For Margaret headed off to a diocesan clergy gathering for three days.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

--the BB

Sunday, May 02, 2010


Regular readers will know that, facing almost no insects in my yard when my fruit trees were in bloom, I went back and forth between trees with a swiffer duster, occasionally saying to myself, "Buzz, buzz, buzz." I was trying to do what my neighborhood does not have enough insects to do, namely cross-pollinate my fruit trees. The result: they are laden with fruit this year after two years with no peaches whatsoever.

I am grateful to the co-worker who suggested this. But this approach, while adequate in my small backyard with semi-dwarf fruit trees that are only a few years old, cannot solve the issue of pollinating the world's crops.

Tonight I read the following by FishOutofWater:
The honey bee population decline deepened this winter after over a third of all American colonies failed for a fourth winter in a row. Globally over 3 million honey bee colonies have been lost since colony collapse disorder was first observed in 1996. The collapse of honey bee populations threatens the production of crops dependent on pollinators.
This issue poses a greater threat to humanity than military skirmishes and potential terrorists. Ponder global crop failure, starvation, food riots, etc.

This is really big.

It does not garner headlines on the cable news networks. Although pollination is all about sex, this is not the kind that makes for lurid news. There are no celebrities or politicians involved.

There are multiple issues involved in colony collapse disorder but the likeliest major culprit is pesticides, coupled with parasites. Here - from FishOutofWater - is an example of hope. It would, however, take a total reordering of food production in major developed nations.
I recently spoke with the proprietor of "Bee Blessed" honey at the Raleigh, NC farmers market. He had a very good winter despite the long cold spell that began in January. He lost a few colonies to malnutrition due to the effects of the weather. What's his secret? He runs an organic farm. He keeps his bees well fed. He monitors his bees carefully. He makes sure his colonies have tight cells so that bees can keep mites out.

He explained to me last year, when I was investigating the causes of colony collapse that bees face an increasing number of parasites and threats compared to when he started his business after retiring from the Army. The modern beekeeper must work harder to keep bees well fed and healthy. His well kept organic farm in Tarboro has healthy bees.

God bless the bees and the children.

--the BB

Weekend echoes

I have already posted these tulips at Facebook. I had quite forgotten where the tulips were planted this year. Much earlier I had pale yellow double tulips along the north wall (in front of where the north wall border now is). I now have all of two - count them: two - double tulips in a darker yellow with hints of red.

I really got carried away with this particular climbing rose. There is this one, flourishing along the west wall, another in the middle of the yard, and one on the south wall. All three are blooming and quite stunning.

The Lemon Zest petunias at the base make for what I deem a nice color combination. The lighter green bushes in front are coral carpet roses. They do not get very tall but they will, later on, offer a seemingly endless profusion of small coral single roses that will complement the climber behind them.

Today was mostly dark and cloudy with bits of rain. I stayed inside.

--the BB

Gormless twit file

Why do people elect such wussy politicians for attorney general, I ask you? How can the Cooch enforce laws against badass mofos if he is afraid of a tit? Really?
Virginia's attorney general Ken Cuccinelli is hard at work on the important issues of the day -- like making sure the Roman goddess depicted on his state's official seal isn't exposing herself.

The current seal shows "Virtus, the goddess of virtue, dressed as a warrior," with her foot resting "on the chest of the figure of tyranny, who is lying on the ground." She is holding a spear and her left breast is exposed.

Or at least it was exposed. At a recent meeting, Cuccinelli provided pins to his staff with a new seal on which "Virtus' bosom is covered by an armored breastplate," the Virginian-Pilot reported. These new pins were not paid for by taxpayer dollars, Cuccinelli's office insisted.
--Nico Pitney at The Huffington Post

Is it time for the women of Virginia to strike a blow for freedom, disconcert a new tyrant, and gather at the statehouse en masse and sing (all together now), "Bounce Your Boobies"?

You can listen to Rusty Warren singing it here.

That should send the little twit running from office.

Pray for the people of Virginia. I am dead serious about this last paragraph.

--the BB

Sunday of the Samaritan Woman

Saint Photini (the Samaritan Woman)

Troparion (Tone 3)
Thou wast illumined by the Holy Spirit and refreshed by the streams of Christ the Saviour. Having drunk the Water of Salvation thou didst give copiously to the thirsty. O holy Great Martyr Photini, Equal-to-the Apostles, entreat Christ our God that our souls may be saved.

Let Heaven and earth
radiantly rejoice today,
for Christ hath appeared
as a man in the flesh,
that He might deliver
from the curse
the whole race of Adam;
and when he came
to Samaria,
He was made
wondrous by wonders.
He that is compassed
about by the waters
of the clouds
standeth nigh
unto a woman
and seeketh water.
Wherefore, let all us
the faithful
worship Him,
Who of His own will
became poor
for our sake
in His compassionate counsel.

--Great Vespers, Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, Pentecostarion

Ljudi likujte, narodi čujte:
Hristos voskrse, radost donese!
Zvezde igrajte, gore pevajte,
Hristos voskrese, radost donese!
Šume šumite, vetri brujite,
Hristos voskrse, radost donese!
Mora gudite, zveri ričite,
Hristos voskrse, radost donese!
Pčele se rojte, a ptice pojte
Hristos voskrse, radost donese!

Anđeli stojte, pesmu utrojte,
Hristos voskrse, radost donese!
Nebo se snizi, zemlju uzvisi,
Hristos voskrse, radost donese!
Zvona zvonite, svima javite,
Hristos voskrse, radost donese!
Slava ti Bože, sve ti se može,
Hristos voskrse, radost donese!
Anđeli stojte, pesmu utrojte,
Hristos voskrse, radost donese!
Nebo se snizi, zemlju uzvisi,
Hristos voskrse, radost donese!
Zvona zvonite, svima javite,
Hristos voskrse, radost donese!
Slava ti Bože, sve ti se može,
Hristos voskrse, radost donese!

Sv. Vladika Nikolaj

Eastern song performed by musical orchestra ''Stupovi'' and various Serbian singers and celebrities, dedicated to the resurrection of Christ, made as a part of an action of raising funds for reconstruction of medieval Serbian orthodox monastery ''Pillars of Saint George''

You may see and hear Ступови/Stupovi sing to the Theotokos here.

--the BB