Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Friday, 29 April 2016

New Web Browser? I Wanna See You Use "Brave"

Brendan Eich, martyr to free speech thought and victim of the PC Police of Vicimistan, is offering a wb with ad-blocking built-in, that blocks ads -- BY DEFAULT!!!!!!!

It will replace them with other ads, essentially, but as the brave Brendan says, "We need to clean the swimming pool."

Look, I don't expect something for nothing, I don't mind giving information out to enhance an advertiser's chances of showing me something that will capture my attention when I use free content, but he correctly says the internets a mess.
(Well, I guess if he's talking chlorine, to continue the metaphor, it's a cesspool.)

Looking forward to trying it out?

Crabby Appleton Letter Writer Would Probably Object to High-Fiving, Too....

 What a puritanical old meanie, huh?
There are a few ushers in our parish who shake hands with people in line to receive Communion. Often there is some laughter and small talk that accompany that greeting.
This has now evolved into a situation where some of these same parishioners, while walking up the aisle, tap friends on the shoulder who are kneeling and praying and greet them, too.
I have thought about speaking to our pastor in private about this...What do you think? Am I just being a grouch?
I guess his guy'd object to confetti guns for the Paschal Vigil, as well.

Image result for buddy Christ
(Just to let you know, yes, I've experienced the high fives, no, never saw confetti canons at Mass.)

'When the people read it, they were delighted with the exhortation.'

"It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage."
People have been complaining lately about the lectionary, whose fabricators seem, calculatedly, to have omitted "hard sayings."

Well, what about the Canon of the Bible itself having omitted the next couple verses in Acts, huh? What about that?
But that "abstain from unlawful marriage" thingy? Don't worry, Silas and Judas will look to the reality of the family today in all its complexity.
Some of our members, (those judgy ones who went out to you without any mandate,) find it hard to make room for the consciences of the faithful, who are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations. We are called to form consciences, not to replace them.
Marital problems often give rise to new relationships, new couples, new civil unions, and new marriages, creating family situations which are complex and problematic for the Christian life Therefore, while clearly stating the Church’s teaching, the prebyters are to avoid judgements that do not take into account the complexity of various situations. Some of the brethern lack the training needed to deal with the complex problems currently facing families, and issues involving  marriages with pagans require particular attention which contain numerous elements that could well be made good use of and developed, both for their intrinsic alue and for the contribution that they can make to the ecumenical movement.
For those in unlawful marraiges, consider - because of forms of conditioning and mitigating factors, it is possible that in an objective situation of sin – which may not be subjectively culpable, or fully such – such persons can be living in God’s grace, can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity, while receiving the Church’s help to this end. In certain cases, this can include the help of the sacraments. 
Someone leave out those words to the Antiocheans, (Antiochites? Antiochers?) deliberately?
Maybe St Luke decided Olden Days People didn't need them.
Our problems, of course, are very different from Olden Days People.
Because... complexity.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Way We Live Now

(No, not Trollope.)
This is not a criticism of this charming house, but nor is it a denial of my own predilections and atrocious tv addiction..
Cabin in the woods in Ireland

Can you imagine an American "great room" with the seating oriented to the hearth and the flat screen off-center, in an alcove?
Me neither.
(One question -when you open ceilings to the joists and rafters, is there any insulation? That's me all over, profligate with useless media, tight-fisted with the heating and cooling bills.)
Edit - should have read further.
“The building didn’t have any insulation at all, so when we took the ceilings back to the beams, we also took the roof tiles off and added a layer of insulation at the same time, which was a fairly large job!”

“They Treated Me in Such an Un-Christlike Way, Like I Was Some Sinner”

Like I was some sinner....
"Like," we are all sinners?
Like, there's such a thing as sin.
A very sad state of affairs at a Mormon school with a strict code of conduct. Women who are raped often find their transgressions come to light when they report their rapist's transgressions.
Before she could ... sign up for freshman classes, Brooke had to sign [BYU's] Honor Code.
Part moral compass and part contract, ...it points students, faculty and staff members toward “moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ,” prizing chastity, honesty and virtue. It requires modest dress on campus, discourages consensual sex outside marriage and, among other things, prohibits drinking, drug use, same-sex intimacy and indecency, as well as sexual misconduct.
But after Brooke, 20, told the university that a fellow student had raped her at his apartment in February 2014, she said the Honor Code became a tool to punish her. She had taken LSD that night, and also told the university about an earlier sexual encounter with the same student that she said had been coerced. Four months after reporting the assault, she received a letter from the associate dean of students.
“You are being suspended from Brigham Young University because of your violation of the Honor Code including continued illegal drug use and consensual sex, effective immediately,” the letter read.
In the past few weeks, Brooke and a handful of other female students have come forward... to say that after they made complaints of sexual abuse they had faced Honor Code investigations into whether they drank alcohol, took drugs or had consensual sex.
“They treated me in such an un-Christlike way, like I was some sinner,” said Brooke, who agreed to be identified by her first name. “There was no forgiveness and mercy.”
Their accounts have brought a national debate over colleges’ disparate treatment of women who have reported sexual assaults crashing onto this faith-driven campus
Is rape a worse sin than getting drunk or fornicating? Undoubtedly.
(In fact, as a non-Mormon, a Catholic, I am very open to the pleasures of alcohol. There is nothing innately sinful in enjoying the fruit of the vine or of the barley mash.)
And later examples in the Times article demonstrate a clumsy, invasive way of implementing and enforcing this honor code.
But at the heart of the article is, I think, an assumption that the reader will share the objection the paper and the students quoted have to the mere fact of the college daring to tell its charges that there is such a thing as sin and it is not to be countenanced.
A student who dropped LSD and, so, was impaired enough to go with a man who had already assaulted her once, was surprised to learn that her having willingly taken an illegal hallucinogen was a violation of a code she had signed and she might therefore be subject to the stated consequences of such a violation of the code?
But say that one does agree with their premise, drinking is not a sin, fornication is not a sin.


My only knowledge of this comes from police procedurals and movies like Winter's Bone, but it's a pretty common plot point the petty criminals are robbed or beaten by less petty criminals but are naturally afraid to go to the authorities, so there is no redress.
(There's a variation on this trope, in which the petty criminals are so wacked they report that someone stole their meth and are shocked when the LEOs arrest them, but that's usually a comic episode.)
Another problem in play here is the same one that calls warning young women off drinking too much is "victim blaming."
“All schools, including B.Y.U., know that alcohol and drugs are often involved in sexual violence,” said Adele P. Kimmel, a senior lawyer at Public Justice, a nonprofit that advocates social-justice issues. “If you’re a school that wants to send a message to students that you’re serious about preventing sexual violence, you should have an amnesty policy.”
Probably so.
But if a senior lawyer at a nonprofit that advocates social-justice issues also knows that alcohol and drugs are often involved in sexual violence, shouldn't she want to send a message that she's serious about curtailing illegal drug and irresponsible alcohol use? 

"Theology needs to 'catch up' with gestures"?

I do not pretend for a moment to have any special insight into the relationship between the Church and the Anglican communion, or what the schism caused by Henry VIII's desire for a male heir and a woman who was not his wife entailed, or how any of this confirms or confuses the Ordinariate.

But I am having great difficulty wrapping my mind around the idea of theology - that is, received and discerned truths about God, His wishes, and mankind's relationship to Him and to those wishes - conforming itself to the gestures made by churchmen, rather than the other way 'round.
Fr Tony recalls that the documents of the Second Vatican Council recognized those elements of the Church which exist beyond the boundaries of the Catholic Church, adding that recent ecumenical efforts have been looking at the implications of that statement in the search for reciprocal recognition of ministry.
While he notes that such recognition is still not fully possible, he cites many gestures to show a growing respect and recognition of the ministry exercised by Anglican bishops. In particular he recalls the gesture of Pope Paul VI, 50 years ago, of giving his own episcopal ring to the Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey. Theology, Fr Tony says, “needs to catch up” and find the “theological underpinnings to these gestures”.
He adds “I think it’s true to say we don’t use the language of ‘null and void’ any more” as that’s “clearly not what is spoken by the gestures, generosity, and warmth which we see time and time again”.
Just because one does not use certain language because it will not advance ones cause does not make that language inaccurate, does it?
I suppose "imaginary" and "non-existent" are equally injudicious.... 

"Leave Me the Hell Out of Your Out of Your Hellish Abomination"

I've been imagining conversation the Blessed Mother might be having lately.
It may be a touch irreverent, though not, i believe, as irreverent of invoking Mary in support of the killing of the preborn.
I can't believe she wouldn't have something to say about  this.
I know there are "seers' out there who profess to be delivering messages from the Virgin, have any of them weighed in?
when God chose Mary to become the mother of His Son, He did so not by force or compulsion but by invitation and request. Mary was free in deciding whether or not to conceive a child. Many women and girls do not enjoy such freedom.
"Leave me the Hell Out of Your Out of Your Hellish Abominations"

What Kind of Politician Should a Disabled Person Favor?

I'm very, very fortunate.
God has blessed me more than I deserve, but specifically, I'm thinking about the fact that I have no physical disabilities at all.
None. (Overweight and out of shape, but that's my own will.)

So I have no opinion on this, and I am entitled to no opinion on this.

I am curious, as various "rights" are being debated in other nations, and recognizing that there is no more a monolithic "disabled community" than there is a Catholic one, whether the physically handicapped are more inclined to support politicians who fight for their right to an access ramp to public buildings, or their right not to be killed in the womb?
Is securing public financing for the education of the disabled whose schools will require more than ordinary help the piority? or is securing public financing for the bringing to term of the disabled whose mothers will require more than ordinary help?

"Christians Do Not, Like Some, Proclaim Themselves the Advocates of Any Merely Human Doctrines"

Flailing in the morass that is US politics as we Americans find oursleves, in a year when questions such as, Can a Catholic really vote for....? and, Is by statute or civil legislation the best way to accomplish....? and, Doesn't Catholic social doctrine require the position that....? and of course, the ever-popular, Is your head up your....? the second reading from this mornings Office of Readings was a tonic.

From Mathetes' Epistle to Diognetus:
The Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe. For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity. The course of conduct which they follow has not been devised by any speculation or deliberation of inquisitive men; nor do they, like some, proclaim themselves the advocates of any merely human doctrines. ...
They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. 
Father, Thy will be done.

Oh, that silly St. John Fisher......

Image result for henry VIII

Bishop, you simply don't understand "the need to avoid judgments which do not take into account the complexity of various situations."

Good Morning, and Welcome to the Eucharistic Celebration Here In Our Parish Family Community of Saint...

 I was at a funeral once where a ne'er-do-well son showed up last minute and insinuated himself as chief mourner to a father whom he had abused and abandoned; and to the deceased's deeply bereaved sister, (who had wept, organized and out of her poverty paid for everything,) had unctuously purred, Oh, thanks so much for coming, Aunt Eleanor. 
I thought for a minute she was going to strike him as his presumption stirred her momentarily out of her sorrow into righteous anger.
I knew a bit of what she was feeling.
I have always disliked being "welcomed" to Mass, as it seems to me a claim of ownership by one group of people, and a labelling of others as... well, "other." (It strikes me as particularly goofy when a visiting priest on holiday says it to the nailed-down weekday Mass-goers. No matter.)
Further, I think it privileges the parochial over the universal, and we are Catholics, not congregationalists.

Hence, I find this an excellent blog:
I would like to think that I am a good house guest. I clean up after myself, I graciously thank my host, I offer to help, and I respect the life and lifestyle of my hosts. I used to think that is how I should show up to church. ...
But God is not calling us to simply be a house guest, a temporary visitor, or an old friend who stops by on occasion.
He has called us to truly dwell in His house...ask questions, have tough conversations, kick up your feet (figuratively) and get comfortable because this is not a three-day weekend, this is your life and soul—for eternity.
I'd quibble with the use of the word "comfortable," but I get it - she means the kind of "comfort" with which St. Paul reluctantly endured the thorn in his side - become accustomed, even resigned, create a worn spot in the pew varnish in the shape of your hind quarters.
And so like here, we should all proclaim,
I am rolling up my sleeves and taking up space.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

"Personally Opposed, but"... The Rise of Open Source Catholicism

Catching up on a television series in which the villains are the "Neolutionists," those into "creating themselves," promoting "individual evolutionary choice."
And if that sounds familiar to those who follow the culture wars in Catholicism, it should. Yes, wacky ideas pursued by religious sisters end up being the stuff cartoonish sci-fi villains' creeds are made of.
Take warning, nuns on buses. And please, no tails!

But that's not my point. When a police detective complains to a leader of these Neolutionists about creepy/criminal/crazy doings by his followers, he takes no responsibilities for these outliers, but notes that they are welcomed by the movement.
"Neolution is open source."

And all I could think was, isn't that a perfect description of how some people seem to think the Faith works?
After all, it is undeniable that "All are welcome" so it as just a hop skip and a jump to "All are welcome to make up their own beliefs and call it Catholicism."
And the Patron Saint of Open Source Catholicism? At least in America, a good case could be made for Mario Cuomo, a good man who may have been responsible for a great deal more evil than most, (damage done to our immortal souls being exponentially worse than to mortal bodies.)
He has certainly provided cover, a sort of intellectual resepectability, for the pro-choice Catholic in government ever since 1984..

Not that such thinking is limited to this side of the Atlantic (though our Catholish colleges are delighted to offer a platform to those from the other)- there is a little fracas right now because a "prominent" "Catholic" "theologian" is shocked, shocked, I tell you, to discover that there is gambling at Rick's some bloggers consider the rationalization she offers for the pro-abortion stance amounts to supporting abortion.
Why, one might as well have called Thomas Jefferson anti-freedom! I remember a statement he released about it... 
Image result for thomas jefferson 
I have been called pro-slavery in some recent blogs, and I find that deeply offensive.
I am the father of several persons born slaves, and I am personally pro-freedom. I do not believe that there is any justification for the followers of [some of the things] Christ [might have said, with which I can agree] ever to endorse slave ownership as a good or commendable act.
However, there are serious issues that must be addressed with regard to how far the Church should use the law to defend positions which may not be defensible from the perspective of those who do not share the Christian faith. I have argued robustly against importation of new slaves, and I have written in detail about the serious abuses and violations which currently take place in the south with regard to slaves. Many ‘pro-salvery’ arguments put forward by states'-righters are morally repugnant and alienate those with a genuine concern for the sanctity and dignity of human life. It should be the aim of every Christian to work towards a world in which neither slavery nor abortion is necessary, while avoiding a dangerous utopianism which denies the complex and often tragic realities of human life.

Because Religious Freedom Means Performing Whatever Rituals You Want, Just as Long As You Don't Actually BELIEVE Any of the Things You Profess, Much Less ACT As If You Did

And no, you can't just live and let live and help those whom you cannot in good conscience advise to continue on the path they have set themselves find someone who can advise them.

You must either allow us to rub your nose in it or be driven from any active role in society.
A student was
dismissed from a master’s program in counseling at the university after his advisor claimed that it was unethical for him to decline to counsel same-sex couples and refer them to another counselor instead....
was almost finished with his degree in the program...when he sought to fulfill the degree program’s internship requirements,... at the Springfield Marriage and Family Institute. The university had approved the Christian-based counseling agency as an internship site.
[The student] asked his internship supervisor at the institute to speak to his class about Christian counseling, with the approval his instructor. ...
During the presentation, the counselor answered questions about the institute’s treatment of homosexual clients. It counsels these clients on an individual basis, but prefers to refer same-sex couples for relationship counseling to counselors whose religious views would better fit that purpose.
[Another] student complained to [the student's] faculty advisor... 

the faculty advisor ordered him to stop attending the institute and told the institute it was no longer a proper place for an internship. The university later stripped the internship hours from [the masters student's] record....
When [he] sought another internship, his advisor required him to meet certain suitability standards. The advisor later wrote to department officials and claimed that it appeared the student had not renounced his religious views and his support for the institute.

Dogma Schmogma, Just As Long As You're a Nice Person?

Honestly, I don't know what to make of this.

I long, I positively YEARN for the Society of Saint Pius X to reconcile with the Church, but how if they reject the legitimacy of the Mass She celebrates?

Earth Day the Wrong Way, Earth Day the Right Way

First, we have a commendation of literal tree-hugging.
A Franciscan friar:
“The two of us made a kind of journey together where we would take three steps, bow to the earth, and then take another three steps. Whenever my friend saw a flower, he would stop for a while and bow deeply. When he encountered a tree, he would stop for a while and hug the tree. You could feel the mystery of small flowers and trees…they cannot speak in the same way we do, but they are more deeply related to the mystery of God, the mystery of life.”[Emphasis supplied]
Um... no.
Just no.
"Small flowers and trees"? NOT more deeply related to the mystery of God than are humans, (who are, ya know, made in the image and likeness of God,) not more deeply related to anything other than other trees and flowers, and maybe not even to them.

Contrast to the spur of the moment remarks of a Jesuit pope:
two images came to me: The desert, and the forest. I thought, these people, all of you, all, are taking up the desert in order to transform it into a forest. They go where there’s desert, where there isn’t hope, and they do things to make a forest of this desert. The forest is full of trees, it’s full of vegetation, but too disorganized … but, life is like that. Passing from the desert to the forest is the beautiful work you do! You transform deserts into forests!...There are many deserts in the cities, deserts in people’s lives who don’t have a future, because there’s always – and I’ll underline a word here – always there are prejudices, fears. These people live and die in the desert of the cities....The desert is ugly, both the desert in the heart of all of us, as well as the desert in the city, in the peripheries, which is also an ugly thing. There’s also a desert that’s in the gated neighborhoods … It’s ugly, but the desert is there too. We must not be afraid to go to the desert to transform it into a forest, where there’s exuberant life, and to go dry the many tears so that everyone can smile. [Emphasis supplied]
Why, why... it's almost as if he's trying to tell us other people should be more important to us than trees! That the salvation of the snail darter must take a back seat to the salvation of souls!

That, dare I say? the Church rather than the Earth is our Mother!
Well done, Holy Father!
(Extra points for the reminder that the poverty with which the People of God must most be concerned is not  want of coin.)

Friday, 22 April 2016

"Cause There's No Such Thing As a Slippery Slope, Chicken Little!"

Yeah, mixing metaphors, but here you are.
Norwegian bishop has said the country’s clergy will no longer officiate at civil weddings, after the predominant Lutheran Church’s governing synod voted to conduct gay marriages in Norway.
Bishop Bernt Eidsvig of Oslo told Catholic News Service that he would have to seek permission from the Vatican, saying: “It’s clear we must distinguish our own Church marriages from others.
“This is a matter of liturgy, so it doesn’t necessarily reflect broader change in our society’s moral values. But politicians may now get aggressive toward churches who resist these weddings, so the best option is for us to stop conducting marriages on the state’s behalf.”
No, no, nobody's trying to force you to do anything, we just want freedom to be who we want to be - nothing to do with you, really....

Our Mother, Who Art In....

Sometimes I imagine my two Mothers fondly watching, comparing notes on child-rearing, and the one from these latter days telling the one who is Queen of heaven, well, yes, but after all, you only had the one to worry about and He was well-behaved, whereas MY hellions....

And then I think of the two Josephs, exchanging glances and smiling.

Is that sacrilegious?

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

UK Pro-Aborts Sure Do Seem To Have Something Against Americans

Well, I understand, we are loud.
Or loud adjacent, I personally am just plain loud.
I did not know we Ugly Americans were suspected of funding the UK pro-life movement just the way we did the IRA.

One little miss seems to be actively scared of us anti-Aborts, as if she feared being asked to provide her bona fides when she "went undercover" by reciting the "Hail Mary" from memory.
One man asks me about good places to start finding out about the pro-life movement, as he's brought a woman with him and she's just starting to get involved. I'm convinced my cover has been blown and it's a test. I mumble something about Planned Parenthood selling babies, hoping my disgust is read as incomprehensible sadness about the "babies being killed." Luckily, I still pass.

The people talking to her provoke her disgust, but the thought of babies being dismembered for profit doesn't?

This was the bit of her clever thinking that had me picking my jaw up off the floor:
The next country, [to legalize abortion] he proclaims, was, of course, Nazi Germany—neglecting to add that this was part of a eugenics programme targeted at whoever the Nazis saw as genetically inferior.
Catch that?
The speaker dishonestly failed to note that Nazis killed unborn babies for bad reasons.
We're better, because we don't limit our killing to the disabled or different  -- we campaign for killing perfectly healthy people of our own class, color, religion, and ethnicity!
"But we're good, we're not like that.... we're good people!"

(Had no idea Cecil Taylor's brillinat play had been filmed... will have to find it.)

Pope Francis Is Not Always Talking To You!

Yet more proof, were it needed, that the Holy Father's experience, upbringing, perspective -- all are vastly different from mine, (and, I suspect, from that of most of the Enlgish-speaking 1st world,) so if he seems to harp on a problem of whihc I see no evidence, or fixate on an aspect of the human condition that is not even on my radar - GET OVER IT, Scelata!
Fortune tellers and seers cannot lead people to eternal life, and those who listen to such charlatans are not following Jesus, Pope Francis has said....
“He who follows Jesus is not mistaken!” the Pope said.
“Some people might say, ‘Yes, father, but things are difficult. So many times I don’t see clearly what to do. I was told that there was a seer and I went here or I went there; I went to a fortuneteller, who read the cards.’ If you do this, you do not follow Jesus! You follow another who gives you another path, a different (path),” Francis added.

"I see a tall, dark pope in your future...."

Thank God, the Pope is Changing the Church's Tone Toward the Divorced and Remarried!

"The difficulties and sufferings of those faithful in irregular marriage situations merit special attention. Pastors are called to help them experience the charity of Christ and the maternal closeness of the Church, receiving them with love, exhorting them to trust in God's mercy and suggesting, with prudence and respect, concrete ways of conversion and sharing in the life of the community of the Church."
Oh, wait....... what?
 Who said that?
That can't be right, can it?
Happy Anniversary, Papa! (Hey, did he steal Papa Francesco's schtick?)

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/multimedia/archive/00213/96173894_Benedict_213663c.jpgImage result for Benedict XVI in retirement  http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get2/I0000nFXdePgH3BA/fit=1000x750/Pope-Benedict-XVI-Popemobile-kissing-baby-IMG-2650.jpghttps://i.guim.co.uk/img/static/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2013/2/27/1361976508689/Pope-Benedict-XVI-Holds-H-017.jpg?w=700&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=a15eebaa1f2e231c3f37c8d65cb18713http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/f40f3606fa7f520417c0c9e02d7aa7a371d004ba/r=x513&c=680x510/local/-/media/USATODAY/USATODAY/2013/02/11/pope_00016-4_3.jpg

Monday, 18 April 2016

Food Fairy Tales and Menus Misspeakings

I'm not exactly a gourmand; I'm a careless cook, I have low tastes, and I don't eat out all that much, (both impecunious AND a tightwad.)

But none of this is a surprise to me - and not just because I'm in state.
I have a food allergy with which to deal, and for years I've been lied to both deliberately and accidentally, by commercial establishments, friends and family members, (and that's not even counting the enormous array of food ingredients that the average person should not be expected to know is made from or would contain corn, e.g. distilled vinegar, pre-shredded cheese, Irish whisky.)

But I fear a great deal of this is brought upon trend-following diners and food snobs by themselves, desperate to be on the cutting edge, and ignorant or unheeding of easily verifiable truths just as long as they laid out enough cash for whatever it is they are ingesting.
One relative assured me a prepared dish contained nothing to which I was allergic, she'd "read the label." What she meant, I discovered that evening when my face ballooned to comical proportions, was not that she had read the ingredient list, but that she had read it was clearly marked as a product of "W#0LE FOODS," and it was only cheap places that I shopped where one needed to worry about them "putting chemicals in their food", right?
(Never mind that the entire physical world is made of "chemicals", a point her Ivy League education had failed to teach her.)
Anyway, caveant emptores, et comestores...
The restaurant’s chalkboard makes claims as you enter from the valet parking lot. At the hostess stand, a cheery board reads, “Welcome to local, farm-fresh XXXX.”
Brown butcher paper tops tables and lettuces grow along a wooden wall. In a small market case, I see canned goods from here and produce from somewhere. Check the small print: blackberries from Mexico and blueberries from California.

With the tagline “Local, simple and honest,” XXXX was among the first wave of farm-to-table restaurants in [the area] to make the assertion “we use local products whenever possible.” I’ve reviewed the food. My own words are right there on their website: “local, thoughtful and, most importantly, delicious.”
But I’ve been had, from the snapper down to the beef...
This is a story we are all being fed. A story about overalls, rich soil and John Deere tractors scattering broods of busy chickens. A story about healthy animals living happy lives, heirloom tomatoes hanging heavy and earnest artisans rolling wheels of cheese into aging caves nearby.
More often than not, those things are fairy tales....
If you eat food, you are being lied to every day.
The food supply chain is so vast and so complicated. It has yielded extra-virgin olive oil that is actually colored sunflower oil, Parmesan cheese bulked up with wood pulp, and a horsemeat scandal that, for a while, rendered Ikea outings Swedish meatball-free.
Everywhere you look, you see the claims: “sustainable,” “naturally raised,” “organic,” “non-GMO,” “fair trade,” “responsibly grown.” Restaurants have reached new levels of hyperbole.

Soylent????? What Were They Thinking With That Name?

Odd thing pop up on my Facebook page - today there was an ad, or at least a press release, for a nutritional powder or drink, (not a supplement, this stuff is theoretically complete,) a "simple, healthy, affordable food...in convenient ready-to-drink 400 kcal. bottles."

I understand the appeal of your Instant Breakfasts, your Ensures... but really, its manufacturer calling it Soylent leaves me agog.

To whom is it intended to appeal?

Those who purchase brain-shaped Jello molds?

Image result for brain jello mold 
Those who only a few years ago comprised the market for gummy boogers?

Image result for boogers candy