Election items

posted by Mike on November 5th, 2008

Catholic Anarchy: Why I decided to vote

Voting in the united states is indeed participation in a corrupt system. Critics of voting are indeed right that casting a vote is, in some sense, to be complicit in that system. There is a real danger, though, in believing that abstaining from voting will make us less complicit with this death-dealing system. While I believe Christians must witness to “the wider culture,” to imagine that we are completely separate from that culture, and that we play no role in making it and perpetuating its good aspects as well as its bad aspects, is an illusion.

Worcester voted….
Against eliminating the income tax 71.7%
For Obama 67.7%
For marijuana decriminalization 66.9%
For the dog racing ban 57.5%

I know that Adam voted against the proposed farm animal care reforms in California, but I’m happy it had enough support from others out there that it passed.

Catholics and the vote
Rocco Palmo lays out the scene:

In record numbers described as “breathtaking,” the nation — and, by the looks of it, the church — have spoken… and they’ve made Joe Biden the First Catholic of the United States.

This post has the details:

Bishops and apparatchiks, you might just want to avert your eyes… not much “good news” here.

I’m looking forward to working hard to oppose or change many of the new administration’s policies, especially the first part of next year. More on this in a few days.
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posted by Mike in General, Worcester | on November 5th, 2008 | Permanent Link to “Election items” | 1 Comment »

Technical difficulties

posted by Mike on October 22nd, 2008

The site was down awhile yesterday afternoon, and was down again this morning. Routine upgrades.

Thanks to all who complained! It’s great to know that so many people read the site and care about it.

One reader contributed this Word Cloud of recent P&C posts while waiting for the site to return:

Man, too much podcasting, not enough Catholic Worker stuff of late. I’m working to fix that.

posted by Mike in General | on October 22nd, 2008 | Permanent Link to “Technical difficulties” | 4 Comments »

Bob Waldrop blogs the collapse

posted by Mike on October 19th, 2008

“Shoe” panel via The Daily Panel

Oklahoma City Catholic Worker and occasional Pie and Coffee contributor Bob Waldrop is blogging about the impending financial collapse and ways to deal with it.

At times like these, I’m very interested in what the counterculture has to say. It’s like Kaihsu wrote about the people likely to survive tough times: they included “(what we now call) ‘the poor’ and . . . the hippies. These are resourceful people who are self-sufficient and resilient, who have not been absorbed into the globalized monetary economy.”

Dorothy Day:

The only way to live in any true security is to live so close to the bottom that when you fall you do not have far to drop, you do not have much to lose.

(Another writer who’s been blogging about the survival value of local economies and Community Supported Agriculture, but who comes from a totally different angle, is John Robb.)

Celebrate St. Francis Day at Agape this Saturday

posted by Mike on September 29th, 2008

The Agape Community, in the woods about 35 miles from Worcester, has been more-or-less closed for the past year, while core members and residents Suzanne Belote Shanley and Brayton Shanley have been on sabbatical (their first in decades).

That sabbatical officially ends this Saturday with the annual St. Francis Day celebration.

The Raging Grannies at St. Francis Day in 2006

“Breaking the Silence: Unheard Voices in an Election Year”

Saturday Oct. 4, 2008
Promptly at 10 A.M. – 4 P.M. rain or shine

Multicultural Voices: Youth Panel on Hope and Faith

Community Dialogue: Women of Faith and Election Year Politics

Demonstrations–solar energy, vegetable oil fueled car, straw-bale house, compost toilet, and organic garden.

Bring your lunch and a dish for the Pot Luck dinner.

Tribute to Tom Lewis – artist and member of Catonsville 9

Agape Community 2062 Greenwich Rd, Ware
413-967-9369 www.agapecommunity.org

Highly recommended. These folks let me take a retreat there this summer, for which I am very grateful.

River Sims moves his blog and other items

posted by Mike on September 27th, 2008

River Sims moves his blog
River Sims, of San Francisco’s Temenos Catholic Worker, writes the best Catholic Worker blog out there; it’s moved. This is great news, because the new blog has proper RSS feeds, etc.

River Sims
River Sims in his apartment, with the infamous “Points for Jesus” t-shirt. Photo: Mike Benedetti.

Unreported story of the week
New Worcester Green Jobs Coalition forms.


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Humane Society rescues 1000 dogs from Parkersburg puppy mill

posted by Mike on August 26th, 2008

This past weekend, the Humane Society of the United States was involved in the rescue of “nearly 1,000 neglected and abused dogs” from the Whispering Oaks Kennel in Parkersburg, WV.

I mention this because Parkersburg is where I went to high school. My folks still live in the area.

(via Erik Marcus)

Vaguely related: this weekend I was tabling for 4 organizations (!) at the King Street block party. Among other things I was handing out the VegWorcester restaurant guide. Several people had no idea such a thing existed and were excited to take one. So if you know a Worcester vegan or vegetarian, be sure to forward them the link.

Update: I wasn’t able to Google the location of this place (which HSUS said was “rural”). Now I am told it is at “Whispering Oak Lane off Winding Road off of route 50 east of town. That is one of the first exits off of route 50 as you start toward Clarksburg.” So there you go.


posted by Mike on August 6th, 2008

Fresno CW says hello to George Washington 2.3 million times
City of Fresno to Pay $2.3 Million to Settle Homeless Case:

On June 6, 2008 the city of Fresno agreed to a $2.3 million settlement in Kincaid vs. Fresno to compensate for its policy of destroying the property of the homeless in unconstitutional raids.


Liza Apper of the St. Benedict Catholic Worker, who was an expert witness for the plaintiffs, was named by the court as the “Settlement Administrator” in today’s settlement.

BTW, it was great to see Liza again at the CW gathering.

We’ve occasionally written about what a great time the Sea Shepherd anti-whaling folks seem to have. Now here’s proof:

We played cat and mouse wargames with that ship for a while, in order to get at those whalers before they could harpoon any more baby whales (they kill baby whales!). Then, later that day, our cat and mouse games paid off, as I spotted a harpoon boat on my radar (I call it my radar now because I put so much time and effort into fixing it, and it keeps beeping and making noise and everyone wants to shut it off all the time, and I was the only one who had the faith to keep using it, and the clunky little bugger was the one that picked up the harpoon boat!).

If you read the whole series, you’ll note that one person gets shot, but not injured.
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posted by Mike in General | on August 6th, 2008 | Permanent Link to “Items” | No Comments »

Bob Fitch photos of gathering are up

posted by Mike on July 27th, 2008

Bob Fitch’s photos of the 2008 Catholic Worker gathering are up.

This is the best direct link I’ve found so far. If somebody can find a better direct URL to the imagequix page, please e-mail me at pieandcoffee@gmail.com.

Thanks, Bob!

Catholic Workers on 75th anniversary: “We call on our church and nation to join us in repenting our affronts to God”

posted by Mike on July 14th, 2008

Editor’s note: The following statement was “affirmed in assembly” by some of those attending the recent Catholic Worker national gathering. Though it wasn’t created by any formal process, I think most of those at the gathering would agree with it.

We are Catholic Workers from communities throughout the U.S. and Europe who have come to Worcester, Massachusetts to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Catholic Worker. At this critical point in history, as we face unending war, including U.S. plans to attack Iran, ecological destruction and economic collapse, we call on our church and nation to join us in repenting our affronts to God.
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We are “extra-respectable”

posted by Mike on July 4th, 2008

It seems that a chapter in Iain Dale’s Guide to Political Blogging in the UK states:

The green blogosphere can go from the extra-respectable Christian Greens of the Evangelical Ecologist or Pie and Coffee to the anarchist horror box that is The Void whose irresponsible and vituperative rants are often a joy to behold.