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Archive for November, 2009

What is going on that I consider important?

Have you seen the Manhattan Declaration as yet??

I have blogged about it HERE and HERE. Great stuff!!

Also, the proposed GOP 10-point “Purity Test” is an interesting news item.

The recent Mindanao Massacre is crowding the news. They are estimating 50 people slain at this point.

Last week, a Russian Orthodox Priest was murdered in his Church and the choir director was seriously injured. The current thought is that this was a revent killing by a Muslim for the priest’s anti-Islam stance and his attempts to convert Muslims. So the US and the Middle East are not the only places in which this kind of atrocity is occurring.

Then, this AM, we hear that Dubai is heading toward bankruptcy! Time for a world-wide depression? Possibly. Certainly, the economic problems of an oil-producing nation are something to take note of. If it is in trouble, how, then can the rest of the world not be in trouble?

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A recent article in the Business Section of the St. Petersburg, Florida Times asked readers for ideas on: “How Would You Fix the Economy?”

I think this guy nailed it.

_____

Dear Mr. President:

Please find below my suggestion for fixing America’s economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan. You can call it the “Patriotic Retirement Plan”:

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. Pay them a million dollars apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings = Unemployment fixed.

2) They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered = Auto Industry fixed.

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage = Housing Crisis fixed.

It can’t get any easier than that.

P.S. If more money is needed, have all members of Congress pay their taxes and, Mr. President, while you’re at it, make Congress retire on Social Security and Medicare. Then I’ll bet both programs would be fixed in a trice.

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Religious Leaders Call for Civil Disobedience if Laws Don’t Respect Faith

Saturday, November 21, 2009 2:52 PM

A formidable coalition of 150 Catholic, Orthodox and evangelical leaders are calling on Christians in a new manifesto to reject secular authority – and even engage in civil disobedience – if laws force them to accept abortion, same-sex marriage and other ideas that betray their religious beliefs.

On Friday (Nov 20, 2009), these leaders released a 4,700-word document – called the “The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience.”

Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family.

We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are (1) the sanctity of human life, (2) the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife, and (3) the rights of conscience and religious liberty. Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Human Life

The lives of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly are ever more threatened. While public opinion has moved in a pro-life direction, powerful and determined forces are working to expand abortion, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide, and euthanasia. Although the protection of the weak and vulnerable is the first obligation of government, the power of government is today often enlisted in the cause of promoting what Pope John Paul II called “the culture of death.” We pledge to work unceasingly for the equal protection of every innocent human being at every stage of development and in every condition. We will refuse to permit ourselves or our institutions to be implicated in the taking of human life and we will support in every possible way those who, in conscience, take the same stand.

Marriage

The institution of marriage, already wounded by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is at risk of being redefined and thus subverted. Marriage is the original and most important institution for sustaining the health, education, and welfare of all. Where marriage erodes, social pathologies rise. The impulse to redefine marriage is a symptom, rather than the cause, of the erosion of the marriage culture. It reflects a loss of understanding of the meaning of marriage as embodied in our civil law as well as our religious traditions. Yet it is critical that the impulse be resisted, for yielding to it would mean abandoning the possibility of restoring a sound understanding of marriage and, with it, the hope of rebuilding a healthy marriage culture. It would lock into place the false and destructive belief that marriage is all about romance and other adult satisfactions, and not, in any intrinsic way, about the unique character and value of acts and relationships whose meaning is shaped by their aptness for the generation, promotion and protection of life. Marriage is not a “social construction,” but is rather an objective reality – the covenantal union of husband and wife – that it is the duty of the law to recognize, honor, and protect.

Religious Liberty

Freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are gravely jeopardized. The threat to these fundamental principles of justice is evident in efforts to weaken or eliminate conscience protections for healthcare institutions and professionals, and in anti-discrimination statutes that are used as weapons to force religious institutions, charities, businesses, and service providers either to accept (and even facilitate) activities and relationships they judge to be immoral, or go out of business. Attacks on religious liberty are dire threats not only to individuals, but also to the institutions of civil society including families, charities, and religious communities. The health and well-being of such institutions provide an indispensable buffer against the overweening power of government and is essential to the flourishing of every other institution – including government itself – on which society depends.

Unjust Laws

As Christians, we believe in law and we respect the authority of earthly rulers. We count it as a special privilege to live in a democratic society where the moral claims of the law on us are even stronger in virtue of the rights of all citizens to participate in the political process. Yet even in a democratic regime, laws can be unjust. And from the beginning, our faith has taught that civil disobedience is required in the face of gravely unjust laws or laws that purport to require us to do what is unjust or otherwise immoral. Such laws lack the power to bind in conscience because they can claim no authority beyond that of sheer human will.

Therefore, let it be known that we will not comply with any edict that compels us or the institutions we lead to participate in or facilitate abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide, euthanasia, or any other act that violates the principle of the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every member of the human family.

Further, let it be known that we will not bend to any rule forcing us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality, marriage, and the family.

Further, let it be known that we will not be intimidated into silence or acquiescence or the violation of our consciences by any power on earth, be it cultural or political, regardless of the consequences to ourselves.

We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.

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[Recipe] My Rouladen

There are lots of recipes for Rouladen “out there,” but this one is mind – and I like it very much!

1 large flank steak, pounded gently to about 1/4″ thick – or, you can ask the guy at the meat counter to run it through the tenderizer a couple of times – once crosswise and once lengthwise.
1 8 oz pkg of Pepperidge Farm Cornbread stuffing
1 8 oz pkg of Pepperidge Farm Herb Breadcrumb stuffing
1/4 c sweet pickle cubes, drained
1/4 c dill or bread and butter pickles (your choice), cubed and drained
1 hardboiled egg, chopped coarsely
1/4 c coarsely chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans are best)
1/2c coarsely chopped Red Delicious apple
4 c beef broth (or more) (NOTE: NOT bouillon!!)
butter
Canola oil

Use beef broth and butter to make the stuffing, following directions on the packages. (Don’t forget you are basically doubling the recipe.) Add pickles, egg, nuts and apple. Mix lightly and set aside.

Take the flank steak and lay it out on the counter with the shorter, narrower end toward you.

Lightly mound the stuffing mix to about 1/2 inch thick on the flank steak, leaving about 1 inch clear around the edges.

Roll away from you, sweeping any extruded stuffing back into the roll.

Use kitchen twine to securely tie up into a roll. Seal off the ends using toothpicks or twine to keep them closed.

Heat Canola oil in the bottom of a cast iron Dutch oven until a few drops of water “pop” when dripped into the oil. Sear all sides and ends of the meat roll. Reduce heat to low. Add a couple of cups of beef broth and cook about 1 hour, or until the meat is done.

Set meat aside on a plate, covered with foil to keep warm. Make a flour slurry (2 Tbs flour to 1/2 c water – I shake it up in a mixing shaker), and whisk into the cooking liquid. Heat slowly with constant stirring to make a nice gravy. You can make it thicker if you wish by adding a little more flour to the water. Taste and add salt and pepper as your taste dictates.

Serve with a mixed salad and a nice glass of wine. Even though it’s considered a “white” wine, I really like Liebfraumilch with German food. There is just something about it that makes German food taste really nice.

I got this recipe from the wife of a Major in the Air Force when the XH and I were in Utah. I really liked that gal! She’s the one who first told me that “3 moves – 1 fire.” Wish I could remember names. I’d love to look her up.

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