The Catholic Dilemma


The Catholic Dilemma of the Political Election Process

 

Peering back through the mists of time I focus on the election of 1960. That was the election of JohnTrump v Hillary Fitzgerald Kennedy to be the 35th President of the USA. In St. Anthony School in the Bronx those innocent but naive goodly sisters would constantly urge us students to push our parents to vote Democratically to help elect the first Catholic President to the White House; little did they, or anyone else for that matter, realize that on a personal level JFK was by no means an exemplary Catholic or even by secular standards a just and moral man. Literally, a myriad of books and articles have been written describing his numerous immoral exploits so there is no need to rehash it here. As to those poor deluded nuns, they must now be rolling in their graves to know the depth of not only the sins of the first “Catholic” president but also just how far the morality of our nation, and, yes, even the Catholic Church has fallen.

This brings us to the current election cycle of Trump vs. Clinton and the dilemma it poses for true Catholic citizens of the United States. In past, times such as the election of Kennedy, the actions of the Catholic voter, though misplaced, were clear. Elect a “Catholic” President and reestablish a Catholic moral basis within the greater political and social framework of the nation. Obviously, this hope was dashed when candidate JFK assured the nation that he would not impose his Catholic beliefs and values on the rest of the country. While this should have been a dead giveaway of his political intention, it was largely overlooked by the media of the day, so many would be Catholic voters were clearly under a delusion.

With the onset of the Vietnam Police Action, (intentionally and technically not defined as a war), people, most especially the young, began to become politically aware and became better informed, though such awareness was largely through the liberal mainstream media. At any rate, most voter age folks became politically and socially active, though once again misinformed. As a result, liberal political action and even revolution brought about the Decade of Revolution culminating in Revolutionary years of 1968 – 1969, when all manner of evil was foisted on society. At the time, it was still clear, though getting murky, of the “right” thing for a Catholic to do as far as the voting booth was concerned; namely vote the traditional moral and justice beliefs of the Catholic Faith.

As the Supreme Court decision of 1972, Roe v. Wade, was mandated by judicial fiat into the law of the land it was still clear of what should be the behavior of the true Catholic, both at the polling place and within the society. Many good willed Catholics took to the protest lines and exhibited civil disobedience, even to the point of arrest, to protest the murder of the unborn. Indeed, many of these brave, pioneering, and aging Catholic protesters still, and for the most part exclusively, man the protest lines in front of abortion mills to this very day: their civil protests largely going unnoticed and unheeded even by contemporary Catholics. Many of whom sad to say, even so-called traditional Catholics, see the protest efforts as largely futile and, in fact, among under-40 Y.O. NewChurch Catholics view abortion as a women’s right.

As can be seen by the above, the zenith of Catholic action was the 1972 and years immediately following. Today with the advance of the generations, and lTrump or Hillaryargely with the looming and complicit silence of the Catholic hierarchy, most NewChurch Catholics are confused, at best, or completely against the traditional Catholic moral teachings of the Catholic Church, that is, the Sacred Magisterium. As the issue of this year, that is, the institutionalization of Sodomy into the law of the land further eroded traditional Catholic values we now have before us the impending dilemma of what an orthodox Catholic should do. It has even been proposed by Catholics in our traditional Catholic chapels to abstain from voting at all because we are morally obliged to vote only for Catholic candidates. However, while we have nominally Catholic candidates many of them are often to the left of the most rabid atheist and therefore begs the question… Who do we vote for?

Without doubt we are in the most tumultuous, chaotic, and unprecedented times of the Church since our days in the catacombs, so admittedly, we have a uniquely Catholic dilemma regarding our civil and religious duties.

While I cannot speak for all traditional Catholics, nor do I offer any political of social advice on the matter, my prospective on the issue is to imagine myself on that terrible and inevitable day, standing before the Judgement Seat of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and when he asks what I did to prevent institutionalized Sodomite Marriage within our nation, can I say, well, there was no true Catholic candidate so I did not vote, thus enabling the perversity of the left to hold sway in our country. Clearly, for me at least, this will not be an acceptable answer for that Terrible Judge, and could even mean the difference between salvation and damnation. Yikes and gadzooks, this thought alone cuts through the mists and fog and dictates what must be done to at least slow down, if not, derail the Communist juggernaut bearing down on us.

SO I would urge the readership of CRS to pray, meditate, study the situation, plea to God for discernment, and finally hold your nose and vote, because we will someday be called to account for all our temporal actions no matter how big or small, and receive commensurate eternal reward or punishment.

I.C. Clearly (guest poster)

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Ah! Nothing Like That First Cup’o Java in the AM


Hey! Folks, Please join me in that morning ritual we all enjoy while you watch this tongue in cheek video Cracked.

Ah! Smell the aroma… and the taste.

Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.

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Smarter than the Average Bear


Guess I’m Smarter than the Average Bear!

yogiThe minor bear invasion set back things a lick here at Hunny-Bunny Farm. Yogi’s nocturnal raids in the apiary cost me one hive completely with another badly crippled having no queen any longer. I still have the Top-Bar experimental hive up near the patio. Whether he just didn’t notice this hive as it was about thirty feet distant from my regular Langstroth hives or it was just too close to the house for the bears comfort I will never know. He only raided on two consecutive nights taking a hive each night. I like to think it was my aggressive defense with tomato stake in hand in the last night’s face-off that put the fear in him, but I’m sure some will argue this.

Be that as it may, the last two and one half weeks have been spent in researching adequateIMG_0624 electric fence deterrents. It seems that nearly all E-fence manufacturers will not guarantee against bears. This is largely because the bears in addition to large amounts of subcutaneous layers of fat have a thick coat and hide. The only spots that are vulnerable are the feet pads, the nose and the inside of the mouth. Additionally, the Connecticut Bear Project manager in a phone conversation assured me that this was correct. So, the question remains how do I protect my apiary? The Bear Project manager told me some little tips and hacks that might be beneficial. First, get a powerful charger that would be rated for dear, coyote, and other larger critters.

It seems most manufacturers rate their units based on joules. A joule, (symbol J) is a derived unit of energy in the International System of Units. It is equal to the energy transferred (or work done) to an object when a force of one newton acts on that object in the direction of its motion through a distance of one meter (1 newton meter or N·m). It is also the energy dissipated as heat when an electric current of one ampere passes through a resistance of one ohm for one second.

Wha’d he say?!?!

What happened to volts, kilovolts, watts, etc. I guess I’m more traditional than I thought, but give me the right nomenclature and I could follow most things quite easily.

On AC, that is, plug-in electric fence chargers, joules of 2.5 or 3.0 and even higher are easily achieved; on solar charges you are hard-pressed to find more than 1.5 joules at reasonable prices. I purchased the Zareba 10 Mile charger though I only have about 250 feet of wire surrounding my 16’x8’ apiary. It was the only “inexpensive” (at $179) unit that had a rating of 1.5 joules. After purchase the instructions suggested 2 6’ foot grounds separated by at least 8’. This would give me a stopping jolt of 4.5 to 5 kilovolts, that’s 4,500 to 5,000 volts. Mr. Rigo, the BP manager, told me that grounding is significant as this will determine the stopping jolts. Also my further research indicated that bear stopping power begins at 1.7 joules. So at this point I wondered if I was only going to tickle Yogi while he slurped up more hives.

The second suggestion from the BP manager was to use ordinary barbed wire but I was reluctant to do so from both the bears POV, as well as, the grandkids roaming about on a regular basis. A third suggestion from Mr. Rigo, since bears are sensitive in the mouth, tongue, and teeth, is to hang a piece of bacon… Mmmm! Bacon… from the hot wire at nose height; this will be a learning process for Yogi and he will soon learn to steer clear of the E-fence.

The final suggestion was to make sure whatever was used, be it braided, high tensile, or even barbed that it be as taut as possible. Loose wires easily short out by touching surrounding objects.

So based on this and the already purchased solar charger I started to design an E-fence system. This was necessary as a ready-made system of posts, insulators, wires, etc. varies according to need, so there is no pre-package system. Most post manufacturers don’t make their T-Posts or U-Post expressly with E-Fences in mind so finding the correct posts to fit the correct insulators was a chore in itself. I settled on a 5’foot U-Post but then by trial and error had to find the nearest matching insulators and even then had to innovate the mounting so that the lines remained taut. I chose high tensile wire to get the best conductivity possible. So finally after 2 & ½ weeks I was ready to install the system… just as the weather exceeded 91° F. Combined with bright sunny days this allowed only a short time to work before sunup and also after sundown. That said, however, the system is up and running. I tested the operating system with a voltmeter and got a reading of 14.7 to 15.3kv! Yikes and gadzooks that’s 14,700 to 15,300volts. I immediately called the manufacturer of the charger, Zareba, and advised them that I wasn’t bucking to be the State Executioner should Connecticut bring back Capital Punishment. He laughed and assured me that while this should be enough to discourage any bear, it was safe because the unit contains little to no amperage. Based on this I moved the crippled hive from the fenced in pool area, which is scheduled to be opened this week back into the now protected apiary. On thinking further on the high voltage of 15.3kv, this is likely due to the two 6’ ground rods for such a small area combined with our moisture laden and highly conductive soil. So at sundown the system will be energized until morning. Should ol’ bruin decide to make a call, I will light up his life and he will venture off with his tail between his legs never to return to Hunny-Bunny Farm without a good think first. So with this writing, I now change my name from Dances with Bears to The Scourge of Bears.

IMG_0625For all of you Disneyesque types out there, I’m not aiming to kill this bear, but only to deter it. He will learn with just a couple or three jolts to respect the apiary perimeter and fence. Remember, bears are opportunistic feeders and seek the easy pickin’s like the neighbors bird feeder or garbage cans. Then he and I will coexist just fine, indeed, we may come to look forward to seeing each other from time to time.

It looks like my bear problems are behind me, sans a hive or two. This however, is only part of the adventures here at Hunny-Bunny over the past 2 or 3 weeks. We also had success and failure in the aviary with the Coturnix quail, but this is for a subsequent post.

Meantime, remain resolute and convicted in your daily Rosary… Things are heating up religiously, politically, and socially all around the world.

Richard of Danbury, Scourge of Bears,

D.S.G.

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Another Un-Bearable Night


Another Un-Bearable Night

Who’s been eating My Honey…?

Well, as predicted in my post of yesterday Papa Bear returned for another swipe at my apiary. This time it was confirmed, it is definitely a bear… a big bear, likely an older male rather than the juvenile I anticipated. This time he struck earlier at about 9:00pm last night while I was still awake. The crashing of the hive to the ground alerted me to his presence, but, of course, it was already too late, rainy, and dark to save the honeybees. The early hour did give me time to confirm it was in fact a bear that had struck the night before. In deed, this time I saw him at the edge of the woods happily licking up a gooey candy of bees and honey. As I approached he challenged me with a loud snort, to which I responded with a snort of my own. This managed to stop any aggression toward me as he was now unsure of what to expect. So there we stood, about 30 feet separated Ursus americanus from me, with a chorus of snorting to and fro filling the damp night air. …and so the standoff continued.

I got a lager more powerful light as with the small headband all I could make out was vague movement and occasional glowing silver-white eyes. This powerful lamp gave details which I hadn’t expected and made me glad for not following my initial reaction to pursue Papa Bear off my property and into the woods. The new light on the subject revealed a massive bear, of 250 – 300 pounds and standing 30-32 inches at the shoulder. He was happily and nonchalantly devouring three frames of my honeycomb with only an occasional glance in my direction to be sure I wasn’t advancing further. When a couple of times I did make a motion to advance it was met with a loud snort and his standing on back paws to expose his full threatening height of what I reckoned from the separation between us of approximately my height. Clearly this was a sight to see… God’s creation raw and uncensored, so to speak!

I took up the dog’s Frisbee which was lying at my bear feet, pardon the pun, and hurled it at the bear. He responded with a louder snort, a rising on his hind legs, and a tentative advance. Needless to say, this ended any further provocation on my part. So there we stood, eyeball to eyeball for a good half-hour. By this time, the commotion had roused the household and my wife and houseguest were safely ensconced on the deck urging me to come back or at least not go further. Sound advice, clearly. When Papa Bear finished the three frames in hand, or more correctly, in paw, he made a tentative move to amble on back to the hive advancing about three feet but keeping a wary eye on me. He thought better of the idea and decided to wait me out, but I also wanted to demonstrate who was in control and tossed a tomato stake I carried in his direction. This caused him to turn back along the perimeter of the wood-line and eventually back into the deep wood, but not before rearing once again on hind legs and letting out his loudest snort. I guess it was his way of saving face. I checked several times during the night but he did not return preferring to bide his time for a return visit this evening for my final beehive which is closer to the house, off the patio.

For those who don’t know the details of Black Bears here is a brief description from Texas Parks and Wildlife:

The Black Bear is a stocky, large animal, one of the largest mammals in North America. Adults reach a length of 5 to 6 feet, height at the shoulder of 2 to 3 feet, and weigh 200-300 pounds. Although called a “black” bear, colors can range from black to the occasional cinnamon brown. Front claws are generally longer than hind claws. The fur is long and coarse. Although appealing and generally harmless, Black Bears can injure humans when provoked and should be treated with caution.

This morning I will contact the Connecticut EPA and or the Wildlife Authority, to report the incident; not that they will do anything about it, but just for their sightings reports, and also to warn me about shooting the bear, …just in case I had any notions.

Below is the best photo I was able to capture during the standoff; considering the distance, darkness, foliage, and rain.

IMG_0619

Through the mist you have a side view of the upper portion of the bear. You can make out his tan muzzle; his mouth, nose, eye, and ear, (his ear is the top); his left forearm is encircling all the above as he tears open another frame of honey.

The question now still remains… Do I continue to be a beekeeper or not?

Meantime, true to my American Indian roots, (after all there is a tribe called the Micmac’s of Maine, to which I now formally attach my clan ☺), I will here after use my new Indian name:

Richard, (Dances With Bears) of Danbury, D.S.G.

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♫… If You Go Out in the Woods Today…♫


♫… If You Go Out in the Woods Today…♫

♫… You’ll Never Believe Your Eyes…♫

 

While visitors and guests are always welcome here at Hunny-Bunny Farm, and we do have many, the midnight visit paid last night was most, most unwelcome. It seems that a bear must have dropped in for a midnight snack on some honey. He managed to get one hive and efficiently dismantled the entire hive from the rail supports to the outer cover. Inner cover, queen excluder, frames, sugar feeder, and the super, (that is the box itself), were strewn about the backyard like Christmas morning at an orphanage.

I discovered the hive at about six o’clock this morning on letting out the dogs. Unfortunately, if we had had fair weather overnight I might have been able to save what remained of the honeybees, but it rained in torrents here so though some bees were alive, most lay in scattered and drenched clusters of living and dead bees on the lawn. I saved the remaining clusters but they are so small in number that they will struggle to stay alive until the warm weather arrives.

Though I was not able to see the telltale signs of bear, that is, foot prints and claw marks on the frames, it is most likely a juvenile bear had paid us a visit because there simply are not critters about in the woods that would be strong enough to wrench the hives off their moorings most especially since it was strapped to the same moorings. In fact, you will see the base mooring sitting in front of the hive debris in the first picture below.

The worse part of all this is that now that Yogi has discovered a relatively easy meal he will likely be backGranny Clampett not only to finish off the this hive but also attack the two remaining hives. That said my wife and I are such kindred spirits that she will likely volunteer to set out on the back deck all night with her shotgun like Granny Clampett… what a sport! Anyway here are the graphic photos:

IMG_0610IMG_0611IMG_0612IMG_0613IMG_0614

 

The last two pictures are to give an idea of the deep woods that surround our house which is home to many, many woodland critters.

So… There you have it, these bees have been a trial since I started keeping them back in 2000! Yet I keep coming back to them year after year. I’m wondering if God is trying to tell me something… Well, I dun’no, but clearly I may be forced by this bruin to reconsider the future of beekeeping here at Hunny-Bunny Farm… yet somehow it doesn’t sound right to just call it       Bunny Farm

On a more sober note prayers are requested for the daughter of one of our parish family. She had a severe accident about ten days ago and is in hospital in very serious condition.

Richard of Danbury, D. S. G.

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Ol’ Man Winter is not Releasing His Icey Grip


Update on Hunny-Bunny Farm March 2016

It seems Ol’ Man Winter must have misread his calendar this year because we didn’t get Ol man wintermuch of a winter season until the second half of March. While I was able, as is my habit, to get in the snow peas by St. Patrick’s Day, the snows, winds, and below season temperatures since then have not only retarded sprouting but also stopped me from further planting of cool season crops, like Kale, Spinach, lettuce, cabbage, etc.

The late onset of snow and low temps did allow me to get much of my spring chores done, in fact, except for planting both outside and inside the greenhouse; I’ve caught up with most everything needed to get finished, including much of last year’s jobs, which had to wait because of my surgery in March 2015. I was able to prep for the quail as described in my previous post; I was able to clean and disinfect the rabbitry in preparation for my new bunny breed, that is, California rabbits. I bought these last fall and early winter and the stock is young and will ensure a long breeding life. I also ordered new strawberry plants as the old bed was pretty well worn out and now unproductive …strawberries are that way by nature and need to be replanted every 6 – 7 years. ‘Tators were also planted as the ground is warm enough and the weather will be more seasonable when the first shoots break ground.

In addition to the above I purchased and pickedup three new packages of honeybees. Though the cold, wind, snow and rain of this week hindered me in getting them hived, I was able to accomplish this on Wednesday last. As the temps have been below 57° F, a critical temperature at which honeybees fly, I believe that the package installation was a success. This season I’m trying a new hive set up in that I set up one Top Bar Hive, in addition to the usual Langstroth Hives. I also want to take another shot at queen rearing in order to increase the bee yard at no additional cost.

BTW, I’m an exception in my ancient Scot’s blood in being a beekeeper and here is why my people traditionally don’t keep bees…

HopScot

 

As this week seems be the Swan Song of Winter 2015 /6, I would hope to get plantings accomplished this week and the garden season will be underway.

Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.

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Essential Protein for the Backyard Homestead


Essential Protein for the Backyard Homestead

Most of the past articles regarding self-sufficiency on the backyard homestead have focused mainly on fruit and vegetable gardening, harvesting, processing, and canning. This however, is but one half of the overall nutrition of living things. Vegetables account for the carbohydrates needed for life but are incomplete on their own. The other part of the equation is protein and for most people the perception is that this is difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish at home, most especially outside a real farm setting. In actuality it is not only possible but fairly easy even for a smallholding …even an urban or suburban lot. There are many options for small-scale livestock raising that are simple, easy, and most of all, concealed from prying eyes of neighbors.

More and more urban and suburban townships are acceding to citizen demands for backyard livestock operations used solely for the householder. It is important to stress that this is not for a home-based business, but for the household on which the livestock is grown and consumed. There are many reasons for this, but among the most widely claimed is health. Raising your own, whether vegetable or animal gives greater assurance of what basic resources and nutrition go into the garden or animal. There have been numerous accounts of alleged organic and natural plants and animals actually being less than organic and natural; so my contention is that unless you grow it yourself you can never be totally assured of the organic claims. Add to this is that there is no legal definition of organic and natural that has jurisdiction over such production. Also many items can be fudged, and legally so, for instance, so-called “fresh” chicken eggs are considered fresh up to 60 days from being put in the carton …not even from laying, but actually from packaging. Bet you didn’t know that!

Anyhow, herBible Quaile at Hunny-Bunny in addition to rabbits, chicken primarily for eggs and secondarily for meat, we will be adding Coturnix Quail (pron. co-TURN-ix). This is a venture started here at Hunny-Bunny long ago, before we had hens. It was marginally successful but I decided at the time to concentrate on hens / eggs for fast and easy protein and I was presented with a flock of chickens from a family moving out of the area.

Meantime, I had all the necessary quail equipment already bought, paid for, owned, and in storage. These included an incubator with egg turner, a brooder, breeder pens, and a rack for more pens of hens and meat grow-out pens for the cocks. Coturnix coturnix japonica (Latin), is also known as Bible Quail as it was this species God provided to the wandering Israelites in their 40 year sojourn in the desert.

I restarted my quail production by ordering Coturnix quail eggs, a variety called Coturnix Blonde, which is slightly larger than the standard Coturnix coturnix japonica. A grouping of 48+ eggs is on order and shipping will occur in the next two weeks. In the interim, I cleaned and prepared all the aforementioned equipment and re-calibrated the heat, humidity, and light settings. Additionally, I cleaned and disinfected the feeders and waterers and now all is in readiness for the eggs.

I’ve added quail to the protein production here at Hunny-Bunny Farm for many reasons. It is an easily produced protein; meat can be produced in as little as six weeks. Egg production starts as early as 4 to 6 weeks; they can be produced clandestinely; I had all the equipment needed; and as an added benefit quail eggs have a unique and efficacious effect on asthma asthma quailand other pulmonary disorders (see http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/natural-therapeutic-coturnix-egg-zbcz1311.aspx).

So all is in readiness and if all works according to plan I may have beneficial quail eggs to sell after Mass on Sundays at our chapel in addition to chicken eggs.

With all the ominous events accelerating throughout the world today and the impending centennial of the Fatima Apparitions on the horizon, it is most essential that we be prepared to provide as much for ourselves and loved ones. Gardens are merely part of the answer to health and well-being in the foreseeable future, but ongoing protein production is also vital. No matter how much we may have set back in stores, no matter how much freeze dried and dehydrated foods we have in storage, sooner or later it will run out … it is inevitable. It is crucial to look to the maintainable and enduring nature of raising our own foodstuffs including small-scale livestock.

Continue to pray the Rosary for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is the only comprehensive solution to the precarious times we live in.

Richard of Danbury, D. S. G.

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