S/U 2/9/13


Saturday Update February 9, 2013

Sts. Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop, Confessor, Doctor; and Appolonia, virgin and martyr

*CMA ORANGE 

If our age in its pride laughs at and rejects Our Lady’s Rosary, a countless legion of the most saintly men of every age and of every condition have not only held it most dear and have most piously recited it but have also used it at all times as a most powerful weapon to overcome the devil, to preserve the purity of their lives, to acquire virtue more zealously, in a word, to promote peace among men.  Pius XI, Encyclical, Ingravescentibus Malis, On the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary

On the Lighter Side…

God Made a Farmer

And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the field, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year,’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from an ash tree, shoe a horse with hunk of car tire, who can make a harness out hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. Who, during planting time and harvest season will finish his 40-hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, put in another 72 hours.” So God made the farmer.

God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to yean lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-comb pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the leg of a meadowlark.”

It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed, and brake, and disk, and plow, and plant, and tie the fleece and strain the milk, . Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh, and then sigh and then reply with smiling eyes when his son says that he wants to spend his life doing what Dad does. “So God made a farmer.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sillEgUHGC4

Edit. That says it all!

Economics…

Nearly Half Of American Families Live On The Edge Of Financial Ruin

A sobering new report by the  Corporation for Enterprise Development shows nearly half of U.S. households (132.1 million people) don’t have enough savings to weather emergencies, or finance long-term needs like college tuition, health care and housing.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/americans-live-on-the-edge-of-financial-ruin-cfed-report-2013-2#ixzz2K4SwofTS

Edit. Essentially, this has been true for at least the past three decades, even with two adults working. However, the percentages of Americans have increased over that time. Thinking back to my time raising children we never had much of a cushion of savings, but we could weather an approximate three month period of the doldrums …and often did. It seems across the spectrum blue collar or lower white collar management, is making due with less and less. As an example, back in our child rearing days, we had Major Medical paid for by the employers as an expected “custom of business”. Today, many companies no longer give medical benefits at all and force many young families onto State underwritten health plans, like COBRA, here in Connecticut. In essence the standard of living has gone down for the American worker since the 1970’s, which is part of the redistribution of wealth, jobs, and whole industries to Third World countries. It is part and parcel of the New World Order. Effectively, rather than lift other nations to a higher standard of living it leveled the field by lowering the American worker.

Farmers get 15.8 cents of the food dollar

Among the statistics in the January report, dairy farmers get $1.72 for a gallon of milk that retails for $4.19 and wheat farmers net just 19 cents from the $2.99 paid for a loaf of bread. The farmer’s take from a $4.69 box of cereal is a dime.

http://brownfieldagnews.com/2013/02/05/farmers-get-15-8-cents-of-the-food-dollar/

Edit.  Once again it is not at all new or surprising to hear that the farmer is making the least from his produce. This has nearly always been so. Once again however, the percentages have changed with the farmer making much less of a percentage.

Clearly, this is where buying local, through cooperative buying, and also farmer’s markets, and Community Supported Agriculture can help both the farmer and the consumer. My biggest gripe about these types of markets is that they are more expensive then the regular grocery. If the middle man is being effectively cut out of the equation the savings should accrue to both the farmer and the consumer, but this does not seem to be the case. Why?

Rumors of Wars

China’s reliance on oil imports fuels geopolitical tensions

Prolonged political instability in Iraq, the lingering tensions between Israel and Pakistan, as well as Western intervention in the Middle East have all placed safety and stability in the area into uncertainty.

The rise of developing countries has also squeezed the global energy supply. According to an International Energy Agency forecast, the Asia-Pacific region will emerge as the world’s largest consumer of oil by 2020.

Furthermore, as Chinese and Indian reliance on oil imports rises to the IEA’s projected 77% and 91.6%, respectively, by 2020, their increasing dependence could also fuel a geopolitical power struggle in the Middle East.

http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20130204000028&cid=1102&MainCatID=0

Faith and Morals…

N.J. Catholic School’s Civility Code: Only Girls Pledge Not to Curse

“I do solemnly promise not to use profanities of any kind within the walls and properties of Queen of Peace High School. In other words, I swear not to swear. So help me God,” they said.

Meanwhile, boys at the school were free to use whatever language they wanted.

The co-ed Catholic high school started a civility campaign in concurrence with National Catholic Schools Week to try “to go back to some old fashion values,” resource room teacher Lori Flynn said.

 Flynn told ABCNews.com that for the month of February, girls at the school were asked to try not to curse.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/nj-catholic-school-girls-swear-swearing-february/story?id=18386855

Edit.  Is it just me, or is something wrong with this picture? Back in the day “cussing”, while occasionally present, was nipped in the bud by those dedicated and holy nuns with unflinching and unabashed authority. The remedies usually involved a solid rap on the knuckles with a stout ruler; a taste of brown soap; a repetitive writing of a page of “I will not…”; a trip to the principal’s office; or for the most egregious a trip to the priest / pastor’s office. This was most often coupled with a time of reflection in front of the Blessed Sacrament, an Examine of Conscience in hand, to contemplate the offense, followed by Confession.

Generally speaking this was enough to not only correct the situation but also used as an example to others of the seriousness of the offense. Sometimes, however, there were incorrigibles who just wouldn’t cooperate for various reasons: from being too dense, to wanting to be expelled to join their friends in public school. Suspension was not in the arsenal of remedies because it put the student too far behind the rest of the class often for the semester. Repeat offenders were dealt with by meeting with teachers, principal, and / or the pastor. Expulsion was the ultimate punishment and was used liberally for repeat offenders. Remember, that a Catholic Education was just that… a Catholic Education, that is, to turn out model Catholics, for the sake of their salvation. Anything less was not to be tolerated. So a Catholic Education was not only a blessing it was a privilege to be granted only to those who valued the Faith.

From this article we can see the influence of Vatican Council II where we are asked to be Catholic in our superficial behavior, or what feels good, rather than demanded to exhibit our Faith through our sincere actions and beliefs. If in March, 2013, the girls are now back to their filthy-mouthed ways, and the boys are free to express themselves as they wish, what then is the value of a Catholic Education? Certainly, it is an illustration that post-VCII Catholics are of the world rather than merely in it. As a history teacher in our parish school, I had a sign above the whiteboard that said: See how they love one another. This was in reference to the early Catholic communities in the Apostolic Age when Catholics stood out by their rejection of the world and its values by not just studying the Faith but by living it, most especially through acts of Charity. Any unkind word from student to student, (let alone “cussing”) was met with, “What does the sign say?” Without doubt the offending student understood; and an expression of regret ensued. To be sure, “cussing” not only illustrates the intellect of the person using such foul language but also their total lack of self-respect or respect for their fellows.

Ah, how I long for the old days when actions had consequences and not just effeminate reasoning and inconsequential punishments.

Putin: Church should have greater role in Russian life

PutinEO“While preserving the secular nature of our state, and not allowing the over-involvement of the government in Church life, we need to get away from the vulgar, primitive understanding of secularism,” he said on February 1.

“The Russian Orthodox Church and other traditional religions should get every opportunity to fully serve in such important fields as the support of family and motherhood, the upbringing and education of children, youth, social development, and to strengthen the patriotic spirit of the armed forces.”

http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=16971

Edit.  To be sure, having witnessed and studied Communism and its tactics I’ve always been suspicious of the actions of the “new” Russia and its leadership since the fall of the Berlin wall. Putin’s well-polished image as a devout Orthodox Christian leaves me thoroughly unimpressed. Remember, Putin, was a member of the KGB, one of the most ruthless organizations within the Soviet machine, and it is not by luck or being a zealous religious devotee that one rises through the ranks to such lofty positions of power that he has achieved. Instead, position is rewarded by cold-blooded and pitiless operation and retaliation, clearly opposite any Christian virtue exhibited by a true and faithful devotee.

So now we are being asked to believe that a man of such background is indeed reformed. Not only that but that he promotes devotion to the Church. Remember, that many of the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church were actually KGB agents themselves put in place to undermine and monitor Church activities. So such outward demonstration of his attending St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, is nothing but collusion of Church and State for manipulation of the masses.

The above article in question also illustrates that now that all is in place for a New World Order, a new one world ecumenist religion will be established that will work hand in hand with the NWO. This perhaps is the ultimate error of Russia of which Our Lady of Fatima speaks.

Health and Wellness: formerly called Emerging Illnesses (Pestilence)…

Rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs an ‘apocalyptic threat’ to humanity, say experts

As reported by the U.K.’s Guardian, current antibiotic options could become completely obsolete in as few as 20 years, triggering a national emergency that can only be compared to something like a large-scale terrorist attack, or pandemic flu. As doctors continue to indiscriminately dole out antibiotics to their patients, and factory farmers inject their livestock with antibiotics to offset filthy conditions, antibiotic resistance is reaching a critical tipping point

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/038980_superbugs_antibiotic_resistance_apocalypse.html#ixzz2KAA7d58i

Edit. As I’ve often stated before in other issues of CRS for these past approximately one hundred years we’ve lived in an era that is unique in human history, a charmed life, if you will. With the discovery of antibiotics in the 1920’s the human condition of being subject to disease has largely been under human control. However, nature adapts and quickly changes to situations. This was especially true during the last half of the Twentieth Century when antibiotics were over prescribed, often used for prophylaxis purposes rather than to treat an existing condition. The results are the super-bugs we are currently seeing and by all accounts including this article will continue to increase.

The Times They Are a Changin’…

Why the Chinese Demand US Gun Control

And as we have pointed out recently, both China and the US are converging on a new kind of sociopolitical and economic system that may mimic Germany’s National Socialism more than any other political paradigm.

For this reason, we’re not surprised top Chinese officials are calling for more gun control in the US. This suits the Chinese system, which is intended, we have no doubt, to more closely merge with European and North American systems over time.

The availability of guns is an impediment to totalitarian, fascism or whatever else the power elite has in mind.

Read more at http://www.thedailybell.com/28470/Why-the-Chinese-Demand-US-Gun-Control

Edit. This goes along with the previous article on Putin, Russia, and Communism. A leopard doesn’t change its spots. While it may hide with camouflage and jungle it remains the same. It would appear, judging from recent American history it is we who are changing into another Socialist country within the New World Order. However, as long as there is Monday Night Football the complacent American will go along with whatever changes their handlers want.

Politics and more…

MSNBC’s “Selective” Editing of Hecklers – Journalism Fail

Whether you believe in gun control or not is not the point of this video. What is important is getting a “balanced perspective”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pac0BLKL608#!

Edit. This illustrates that if you are relying on mainstream media for your news and information you are being egregiously manipulated. The media these days does not present a factual view nor does it present dissenting viewpoints. Mainstream media today is the lapdog of the Socialist overlords in politics and culture and advances the liberal Socialist agenda in lock step with the liberal program.

Incredible Speech on Gun Violence

Henson Ong – Legal Immigrant’s speech on 2nd Amendment
Gun Violence Prevention Working Group Public Hearing – Hartford, CT – 1/28/2013

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hY2JR92Scmk

Edit.  Often I think that we, as native born Americans, cannot see the rare freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. It takes a naturalized citizen to bring us back to a fundamental understanding of the great pearl given us by the Founding Fathers. Now if we can only keep this gift intact to hand on to our children.

Let the men of wisdom speak…

The human condition of suffering will always be with us, that said, our sufferings are made worse by our distancing ourselves from God and His Divine Will. The farther we stray the worse the suffering. In the not too distant past we suffered the same sort of social, economic, and cultural malaise we are witnessing today. However, the means by which we run from God has increased exponentially. Therefore, we can be expected to suffer the more so. Keep in mind that while it may, indeed, be a chastisement from God for our abandoning him, it is more a logical result of action and consequence. Today, however, rather than admit the obvious we stubbornly strive all the more to escape from the sweet yoke of Christ and His Church.

The following, while given 80 years ago during the Great Depression of the 1930’s, remains quite pertinent today. This would be a good time to review this wise encyclical. For the full text go to: http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_pi11cc.htm

But to create this atmosphere of lasting peace, neither peace treaties, nor the most solemn pacts, nor international meetings or conferences, nor even the noblest and most disinterested efforts of any statesman, will be enough, unless in the first place are recognized the sacred rights of natural and divine law. No leader in public economy, no power of organization will ever be able to bring social conditions to a peaceful solution, unless first in the very field of economics there triumphs moral law based on God and conscience. This is the underlying value of every value in the political life as well as in the economic life of nations; this is the soundest “rate of exchange.” If it is kept steady, all the rest will be stable, being guaranteed by the immutable and eternal law of God.

Caritate Christi Compulsi

Encyclical on the Sacred Heart
His Holiness Pope Pius XI

Given at Rome, at St. Peter’s, on the feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross, the third day of May in the year 1932, the eleventh of Our Pontificate.

***************

Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.

Domestically Speaking…

So as the wind howls without, we sit here and enjoy the peacefulness of a classic New England Blizzard … Blizzard Nemo to be specific. When all is prepared and in readiness there is much comfort in sitting back and listening to the quiet rustling of a snowfall punctuated by a whistling wind as it blows the drifts off the roof and over the eaves. We take much satisfaction in knowing that we are prepared for this eventuality, even if it should mean a few days of being snowbound here at Hunny-Bunny Farm. With this storm, even though winds may reach upwards of 50 mph, I’m not too concerned about a power outage because the State and local governments as well as the power company have done much limb and tree trimming to eliminate possible deadfalls, as well as, the fact that any leaves are long gone except maybe for the beech trees. However, should that too befall us we are prepared with a glowing coal fire, dancing with blue flames; and plenty of pure beeswax candles new blessed on Candlemas.

So to capture the mood, I leave you with an brief excerpt of John Greenleaf Whittier’s Snowbound:

As night drew on, and, from the crest

Of wooded knolls that ridged the west,

The sun, a snow-blown traveller, sank

From sight beneath the smothering bank,

We piled, with care, our nightly stack

Of wood against the chimney-back,–

The oaken log, green, huge, and thick,

And on its top the stout back-stick;

The knotty forestick laid apart,

And filled between with curious art

The ragged brush; then, hovering near,

We watched the first red blaze appear,

Heard the sharp crackle, caught the gleam

On whitewashed wall and sagging beam,

Until the old, rude-furnished room

Burst, flower-like, into rosy bloom;

While radiant with a mimic flame

Outside the sparkling drift became,

And through the bare-boughed lilac-tree

Our own warm hearth seemed blazing free.

Putting It all In Perspective & Final commentary…

Once again the swirling winds of current events have provided as much grist for the CRS mill, as the Blizzard Nemo, raging outdoors, supplies snow in abundance. Much like Blizzard Nemo, this is time to seek the solace of our great Catholic Pope Pius XI appreciating his insights and wisdom in past times that were much like our own. If we have made all the temporal preparations we can, humanly speaking, we should now take the time to pause and reflect on the state of affairs and accept the will of God for each of us in this vale of tears.  We should call to mind the thoughts of St. Theresa of Avila:

Nada te turbe

Let nothing fret you

Nada te espante

Nothing upset you.

Todo se pasa

Everything falters

Dios no se muda.

God never alters.

La paciencia

Patience withal

Todo lo alcanza.

Will obtain all.

Quien a Dios tiene

Who to God will cling

Nada le falta.

Can lack for no thing.

Solo Dios basta.

God alone is enough.

These words I used to carry with me in my wallet for many years and review to the point that the paper eventually wore.

So pray fervently the Rosary for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that all will be well.

Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.

Caveat: I’m not in any way giving or advocating any medical or financial advice but merely informing you of the controversies involved in this topic and the dilemma they present to the thinking Catholic in our times.  I do not intend to give medical or financial advice or take any responsibility for anyone else’s health, medical  or financial positions and decisions and as always encourage everyone to be fully informed, through personal research and contact a professional advisor before making any medical or financial decisions.

Special Note: Catholic Rural Solutions WordPress Weblog is a private blog run by Richard of Danbury, which promotes small-scale practical Catholic Distributist solutions for traditional Catholic families, and is centered on the Tridentine Rite of Mass and the integral and unadulterated Sacraments pre-VCII. We also have available to the readership many valuable and interesting files, photos and other helpful information on Distributism, gardening, small-scale livestock, preserving and misc. recipes, as well as, a comprehensive book list at:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Catholic_Rural_Solutions/

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About Catholic Rural Solutions

This group is for the practical application of Catholic Distributist teachings as promoted by Pope St. Pius X, Belloc, Chesterton, Maurin and others in the 20th century. This group is also a respite for traditional Catholics who adhere to the Tridentine Rite of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and who share a concern for small independent Catholic communities throughout the world. These communities while primarily small holding farmers, craftsmen and tradesman all espouse an integrated life based on Catholic Social Justice and the Sacred Magisterium of the Church. Through this we intend to inject the Distributist economic principles into the greater society. Please fell free to share your experiences in this vein. Flaming, proselytizing and persecution WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
This entry was posted in Current Events, Economics, Homestead, The Faith. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to S/U 2/9/13

  1. John K says:

    I think that there are two reasons why meat and produce at farm stands, local farms, and farmer’s markets are often (but not always!) more expensive than the grocer. The first is simply the economies of scale. Tyson kills 6 million chickens per day, and buying feed for 6 million chickens is cheaper (per chicken) than buying feed for 40 chickens. Raising 20 pigs is more expensive, per pig, than raising a quarter million pigs. The second reason, and the reason I am willing to pay more, is that the meat and produce is of a higher quality. I don’t want to know what Tyson is feeding their cattle….everything from GMO corn to chicken by-products (from chickens that are being fed cattle by-products! Side of mad-cow with your burger, anyone?). The cattle up at Stewart Family Farm up in Bridgewater are grass fed and free roaming. The farmers are hard working, knowledgeable, and the farm is family owned and operated. I know what I’m eating and what my food is eating. I’m will to pay more for this. $6.50/pound for ground beef is, in my opinion, reasonable, even if I can buy it at Stop & Shop for $2/pound when it’s on sale. The real meat is more satiating than it’s hormone-pumped counterpart, so a pound will easily feed two people. I can’t imagine anyone claiming $3.25 for a half-pound, grass-fed burger at Chuck’s Steakhouse is overpriced. You get what you pay for.

    This past summer, my wife had a conversation with the pig farmer from Eaglewood farms at a local farmer’s market. I don’t remember whether they were discussing the chops, bacon, or what, but the farmer said that his takeaway is pennies on the dollar. It’s a shame, but these farmers will never be able to compete with the big guys on price, but the big guys will never be able to compete with these farmers on quality.

  2. John K says:

    I should also state, in case it isn’t obvious, that lower quality meat is a direct result of lower quality, and lower cost, animal feed. Tyson feeds their pigs the cheapest (and lowest quality) food that it possibly can. Eaglewood pigs are pasture raised and fed and only fed grains as necessary.

    I dug up a blog post I wrote about this topic here, if you care to read it:
    http://thehealthycatholic.blogspot.com/2012/08/pork-chops.html

  3. Yes, I agree with all you say about costs of scale and all, but the point of the matter is that at $6.50 / lb. this is way out of the range of the average family, let alone a large traditional Catholic family.

    Also you are putting a lot of faith in what the small farmer’s market producer and farms says by accepting that he is doing the right thing. I can recall back in the 80’s Chicago schools mandated natural, organic foods be served in their schools requiring a certificate of origin. As it turns out there was a scandal when it was discovered that the strawberries they had been serving and for which they had a Certificate of Origin, were in fact produced on Parquat (sp?) laden fields that used human feces as manure. Certainly, the manure was natural, but also a biological soup of potentially infectious diseases. My point to all this is that you can NEVER be sure of the origin or real quality unless you grow it yourself, otherwise its kinda like buying a pig in a poke.

    One final point I may make is that GMO grains and grasses are moving very rapidly into production on many farms. There is also a natural cross pollination occurring with these and the natural grasses.

    • superdiode says:

      Taken on a family-by-family basis, with an emphasis on large families, I admit that some cannot afford to spend extra on food such as grass-fed beef, but the numbers on averages do not support your claim. The average American family spends $1200/year on television and the average American’s cell phone bill is $852/year. When it comes to food, the average family throws away half of their spending on non-essentials. Here is how the average boils down:

      Half of this chart are things we do not need to eat: corn, corn syrup, sweeteners, milk, wheat, grains, and dairy. We don’t eat nearly enough fats, meats, fish, and eggs, all of which are extremely nourishing and satiating.

      Another article I found (http://money.msn.com/saving-money-tips/post.aspx?post=4622191d-fc39-4d8c-97fd-192b482053e8) indicates that the average person spends $977/year on soda. I’ll give the benefit of the doubt and consider it to be half of that – $488. If you take the difference between grass-fed beef and grain-fed to be $4/pound, the average person could afford to buy 122 pounds of grass fed beef (instead of grain-fed) every year. That’s 1/3 pound of beef every day…more than enough for a satiating burger with a side of sweet potatoes.

      Food is meant to be nourishing and satiating, so I have no sympathy for a person who might scoff at grass fed beef but will instead fill their pantry with Coke and (the soon to be proverbial) Twinkies. I would argue that the average American CAN afford to support local farmers at an additional expense, but they chose not to in favor of fast food, entertainment, and luxuries. Again, I am speaking of the “average” American, and I do realize that many (and perhaps a disproportionate amount in the Traditional Catholic community), simply cannot afford the additional cost of shopping at farmer’s markets and local farms.

      Regarding the farmers, I trust them because I have met them and their families, have talked with them, have been to their farms, and observed their produce and livestock. This is no guarantee, but in this case I prefer the devil I don’t know over the devil that I do know in the major food processing companies.

  4. Once again your points are well taken but you must consider the whole premise of Catholic Rural Solutions Blog. We are talking essentially, the simple life centered around Faith, family, and living a simple rural life where the father works, ideally from home, and the mother is the keeper of the home including home schooling of a larger traditional Catholic family. The stats you cited are largely irrelevant in such a situation.

    Thus, farmers markets are pretty much a luxury for the majority of the readership of CRS. It’s interesting to note that when pesticides, artificial fertilizers, and the like were introduced after WWII, the initial prices of such things were high because of the amazing yields they produced. Gradually, many farmers began to buy into the chemical markets in order to compete on better yields and thus increase profits. It was only in the 1960’s that some begin to see the damage these things did to the crops, the livestock, the people, and the soil and water. Since then natural and organic produce have commanded a higher price, certainly due to cost of scale, as you pointed out, but largely because they appeal to a more well healed clientele, generally, middle to upper middle class and above.

    BTW, it is no coincidence that many chemical pesticides, herbicides, and even fertilizers were introduce following WWII, because there were huge stockpiles of weapons grade chemicals with no markets. To be sure, marketing to farmers was an innovative marketing ploy to fill the gap when the weapons market was dried up.

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