Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Report

Wouldn't you know ... just as I decide to quit regular or daily posting two things happen: 1) I get literally hundreds of hits at Bethune Catholic (due my post on the new bishop for Charleston) and 2) my blog header and all the Requiem Press book images disappear. (Fixed them last night.) Thus, with the opportunity for a host of new readers of BC and new book customers squandered, I return for an update of what's going on around here.

First, I can't resist passing on a snippet of a great article written by Reid Buckley from The American Conservative (hat tip to Pro Ecclesia) on conservatism. (He sounds a little like a kindred spirit from the clip I selected):

When last did you hear a conservative spokesman deplore yet another six-lane highway, yet another fast-food alley, yet another graceless subdivision, yet another Super Wal-Mart or Lowe’s that sucks the life out of small village businesses, yet one more onslaught against neighborhood and nature that is masked under the name of progress? Unless it is a bridge in Alaska from nowhere to nowhere, you will not hear the deepest red-dyed congressman denounce the progressive uglification of our natural inheritance, as though beauty is of no concern. Have you flown recently from Newport News to Boston at 25,000 feet on a clear day and gazed down upon the horror of American civilization? What man hath wrought! What we have done to this beautiful land? Dear God, forgive us! But when last did you hear a conservative oppose a new mall because it is ugly, an affront to the eye, accustoming thousands of human beings to dehumanizing blows against the aesthetic sense until it is benumbed? The good, the true, and the beautiful are inseparably joined. One cannot damage one without doing harm to the others. Those who fail to comprehend this are morally in error on the dialectical front, though they may be personally virtuous.

.... Where are our Friedrich Hayeks of The Road to Serfdom, our Eric Voegelins of The New Science of Politics, our Russell Kirks of The Conservative Mind? Where is our philosopher? Meantime, on the practical front, what can conservatives do? The very first thing is to dissociate from the Republican Party, which has become an albatross around the neck of integrity.

Wow! This man can write (and where indeed is our philosopher?)


So how about some pictures of the snow? You can see we got about an inch. My daughters built a snowman. The rest of the fun seemed to be in attacking me with snowballs. You should see the number of pictures Mrs. Curley got with snowballs ricocheting off some part of me.


I read an article in Scientific American (I think NPR did a bit on it last week too) about how meat consumption increases greenhouse gases. Now, I am the first to understand that Scientific American is not all about pure science-they are often science with an agenda. With that caveat understood, the article gives data that beef consumption is the worst offender, pork and chicken somewhat less.

Many factors go into their data: methane, feed production, transportation, etc.

Although the article states:

Eating locally produced food, for instance, can reduce the need for transport-though food inefficiently shipped in small batches on trucks from nearby farms can turn out to save surprisingly little in greenhouse emissions.

I guess this depends on how local and how small the farm is. A smaller farm would have much less mechanized equipment, would probably use the manure productively-recycling it instead of dumping it, etc.

Everything is pointing towards small is beautiful, but our leaders know only the promise of centralization and economies of scale. They can't think outside the box.


Until recently I never realized that pragmatism was the philosophy whereby one does what works regardless of the morality of the action. Knowing this, I would find being considered one morally repugnant-yet being a pragmatist seems to be an honorable title for most politicians bestowed by the media. Obama is now "a pragmatist".

I guess this could be good in specific instances (like his personal appeal to "Catholic" Nancy Pelosi to remove funding for Planned Parenthood from the Economic Stimulus Package), but in the long run, it is bad. Our country needs unadulterated virtue and moral integrity right now.

Speaking of moral integrity, we were all told by both the Obama people and the media that new Treasury Secretary (boss of the IRS) Timothy Geithner's tax flap was just "an honest mistake" . Read the evidence to the contrary provided by The Yeoman Farmer, here .


People who know me, know I don't spend too much time in the kitchen. If I have a beer, I can grill hamburgers or pork chops. I can boil hot dogs and make my favorite tuna salad (hard boiled eggs, mayo, canned tuna, and a dash of Bell's Seasoning), and oh yes, I can fry or scramble eggs. But my ventures in the kitchen are usually limited to these rare occasions. Times may be a changing....

We have a lot of pork belly. Some we have cured into bacon, but we still have a bunch. So I looked around the Internet and found a recipe for pork belly which sounded interesting. I changed it a little to my taste (namely I got rid of the onions and used less olive oil cause we were running out and a few other small twists.) Here it is in essence:

Cut up 4 apples into wedges. Place apples, 1/2 cup of honey, 1/3 cup of olive oil and some thyme (I used too much) in the bottom of a roasting pan. Place pork belly on top (fat side up). Cook for 1.5 hours at 33o F. Add cold water and cook for another 45 minutes - hour. Remove from oven. Once cool, place pork belly between two plates with heavy object on top (I used a brick). Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Take apples and any liquid left over and refrigerate. Cut pork belly into 1 inch squares. Puree the apple stuff. Fry pork belly (fat side down) in olive oil for about 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Then turn over and cook, pouring the puree on top of the pork belly. Serve.

It was delicious-but we could of used more of it. I have some more pork belly thawing now so we can do it again.


Finally, dare I hope? I think one of the gilts is pregnant. Here is number 3 son giving Baby a belly rub.

We've been praying for a new bishop for so long, dedicating our Angelus for this intention, now we don't know what to pray for-of course there are no shortage of worthy intentions.

Oremus pro invicem!


Rachel said...

More good bishops? And good support staff? And and and...the list is endless, isn't it?

We got about 3 inches of ice/snow mix over the last two days, here in OK. My girls weren't all *that* interested--too much ice for snowman making, or snowballs. But the dog enjoyed it. The pigs spent their time in their shed, snuggled into the hay....we needed the precip, so I am glad it arrived.

Hopefully, your gilt will be "expecting", and you will get yourself a good litter of wriggling healthy piglets. Keep us updated!

Bill White said...

Howdy Jim -

Thanks for the Reid Buckley article - it's a keeper. I'm thinking our philosopher of true conservatism is a little German guy who lives on Vatican Hill across the Tiber River from Rome. Every few days he gives a talk in which he analyzes some part of modern society from the standpoint of the truly permanent things. I'm thinking it's time I paid serious attention to his analyses.