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Hometown: El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles
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Current location: East of East L.A.
Member since: Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:15 PM
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Journal Archives

The name of the book is "A Forest on the Sea"

by an ecological historian named Karl Appuhn, who knocks over a couple of widely held views of medieval foresting practices. The first is that they were suicidally exploitative, reducing a one-time powerhouse like Venice to a backwater once it had stripped its domestic timber supplies and deforested itself into poverty. Nice parable, it seems, but not what the record shows.

A second idea he knocks down is that renaissance forest management, when it was practiced, was mechanistic and Baconian, shrewdly focused on maximizing profit and disregarding natural, ecological or spiritual ends. This, too, proves a myth once the Venice record is examined. Here are the Amazon description and link, and a couple of screen-shot excerpts from the first chapter:

A Forest on the Sea: Environmental Expertise in Renaissance Venice
Karl Appuhn - Publication Date: December 9, 2009

Wood was essential to the survival of the Venetian Republic. To build its great naval and merchant ships, maintain its extensive levee system, construct buildings, fuel industries, and heat homes, Venice needed access to large quantities of oak and beech timber. The island city itself was devoid of any forests, so the state turned to its mainland holdings for this vital resource.

Karl Appuhn explains how Venice went from an isolated city completely dependent on foreign suppliers for wood to a regional state with a sophisticated system of administering and preserving forests. Intent on conserving this invaluable resource, Venice employed specialized experts to manage its forests.

The state bureaucracy supervised this work, developing a philosophy about the environment—namely, a mutual dependence between humans and the natural world—that was far ahead of its time.
Its efforts kept many large forest preserves under state protection, some of which still stand today.


from page 9:

from pp. 23-24:

A couple of details from the NYT:

As the Mass began, Francis received two symbolic emblems of his office as leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics — the fisherman’s ring, which recalls how St. Peter fished for food and later for souls, and the pallium, a white woolen vestment that symbolizes the role of the pope as a good shepherd.


The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the Vatican does not issue invitations. “Those who wish to come, can,” he said. “No one is refused. No one is invited. We welcome those who want to come.”

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who is Catholic, will represent the United States at the Mass. The delegation also includes Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico; Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader in the House; and John J. DeGioia, the president of Georgetown University, a Jesuit institution.


. . . and from WaPo:

Francis directly addressed the leaders of the 132 nations arrayed around him, including Vice President Biden.

“Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be ‘protectors’ of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.

Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world!”


Pope Francis urges protection of creation, weak

Source: AP via Monterey County Herald

By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press - Posted: 03/19/2013 12:15:35 AM PDT

Pope Francis waves to crowds as he arrives to his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013.

VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis has urged princes, presidents, sheikhs and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass to protect God's creation, the weakest and the poorest of the world.

He is officially beginning his ministry as the 266th pope with a clear focus of his priorities.

Francis was interrupted by applause several times during his homily Tuesday, including when he spoke of the need to protect the environment and serve one another with love and tenderness and not allow "omens of destruction," hatred, envy and pride to "defile our lives."

Francis said the pope "must open his arms to protect all of God's people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important.

Read more: http://www.montereyherald.com/world/ci_22821363/st-peters-fills-pope-francis-installation

okay it's official, he's installed, now comes the hard part

It does seem agenda driven.

Verbitsky seems to be Bergoglio's calumniator-in-chief, and an energetic one, with no lack of custom for his rather dubious product. And from a first glance at his English wiki page, this oddly named character seems legitimate enough, with modest lists of real-sounding awards and publications and a picture of himself with current Argentine president Christina Fernández de Kirchner, wife of deceased former president Néstor Kirchner:

link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horacio_Verbitsky

The text tells us that Verbitsky is close to the Kirchners and has been accused of ignoring scandal on them that would otherwise be his cup of tea, which he admits to. Oh well, it's nice to have powerful friends, so why annoy them. The wiki page also lists his connection to a US-funded human rights NGO known as CELS, of which he is apparently president.

But several items in his story don't add up, starting with the odd timing of his Bergoglio tales, which surfaced with the 2005 publication of his El Silencio de Paulo VI a Bergoglio, a straightforward hit piece timed to knock Bergoglio out of the running to succeed John Paul 2, for which he's said to have come in second place after Joseph Ratzinger.

And an thing odd about this Daily Mail story, apart from his eagerness to get it published when the evidence it contains is so flimsy, is his story of having "discovered" this evidence of Bergoglio's perfidy while doing routine research in an archive, whereupon his feelings suddenly changed and voila, he became chief supplier of anti-Bergoglio dirt to US and British media eager to splash it around the world with no due diligence whatsoever.

Now what Verbitsky claims to have discovered, but in all likelihood was handed, is a carefully packaged document of three pages: first, Bergoglio's request for Jalic's passport extension sans return to Argentina, followed by a second page outlining objections to this request, imputed to Bergoglio but not written by him, shown below:

The third page is apparently the official stamped rejection. Only the second page, written by a government official, appears in the Daily Mail. This is a very flimsy reed to hang such a profound conversion as Verbitsky claims to have experienced, so profound that he makes himself the nemesis of a former friend, hounding him professionally and spreading damning rumors internationally. Other tales are also dubious, including his 1999 interview with Yorio (the other kidnapped priest) wherein Yorio allegedly claims Bergoglio collaborated with the junta to have himself and Jalic arrested, a claim vociferously denied by many, including Bergoglio, and confirmed by none. This crucial interview remained unpublished until six years later, when Yorio was long dead, and it was unverifiable.

So is Verbitsky just a crusading journalist? Well, maybe. But here's how his celebrated career began, via his wiki page:

During the 1970s he was a member of Montoneros, a peronist guerrilla organization that was engaged in terrorist activities in Argentina. According to him, he participated in shootings, during which "luckily" nobody died. . . . he was indicted for allegedly being involved in the planning and execution of the bombing of the Superintendence of Security of the Federal Police, on July 2, 1976 — a few months after the military coup — which caused 21 deaths among intelligence officers. The case was however closed in 2007 because of statute of limitations.

I'm not sure exactly what to make of this claim of having murdered 21 intel officers, but it seems that with that kind of accomplishment heading up his CV, there might be more going on here than we know.

p.s. an observation or two about Sam Ferguson's TNR article

that is the subject of Fisher's Washington Post piece:

1. Apparently the key testimony alleging that Bergoglio conspired with the Argentinian government in arranging for Yorio and Jalics' arrest comes from a personal interview with Yorio conducted by "journalist Horacio Verbitsky," the Democracy Now expert, but not published until six years later, in 2005, at which point (a) Yorio was six years dead, having died shorty after his interview with Verbitsky, and (b) Bergoglio's name was in play as a replacement to John Paul II. Needless to say, the job went instead to Joseph Ratzinger:

In a 1999 interview, conducted shortly before he died, Yorio said that he faulted Bergoglio for his kidnapping. Bergoglio denied complicity. After the interview was published in a book in 2005, a local human rights lawyer filed a criminal complaint against Bergoglio over the incident. The courts, however, have not taken any steps to indict Bergoglio, according to the lawyer, Marcelo Parrilli. But the interview appeared just as Bergoglio was being mentioned as a possible successor to Pope John Paul II.


Additionally, Yorio's recollections, confided only to Verbitsky, are of events that took place while he was in prison, and the other priest, who is still alive, has made no such statement against Bergogolio. There's more but it's late . . .

thanks Pinto. The Freudian-slip typo in that article's conclusion says it all,

doesn't it? In the first sentence of his concluding paragraph, Fisher's last word, "nothing," appears to be a typo for "noting":

Again, none of these divergences or contradictions are especially damning, but they are worth nothing. Perhaps it’s a sign that the now-pope may have left something out, or maybe it’s just what happens when you ask a then-74-year-old about a conflict that happened decades earlier and was difficult to understand even then.

Meaning literally that the "contradictions" noted in Sam Ferguson's New Republic article are worthless. And I have to say that at this point, although I've been waiting for the waters to cool before wading very deeply into this one, that is my conclusion too. Here's what I've gathered so far:

1 - The arrests of priests Yorio and Jalics occurred in 1976, when Bergoglio was an unusually young (37) prefect of the Jesuit order in Argentina, and that's really young;

2 - The hearing whose transcript Ferguson is evidently picking through was held in 2010, 34 years and half a lifetime later;

3 - Both priests were released alive after several weeks;

4 - Ferguson's suspicions in the TNR article mostly rest on (a) his feeling that Bergoglio didn't make it crystal clear exactly what he told the two priests in 1976, what he didn't tell them but hoped they'd infer, what official actions he took and what actions he implied he would take but didn't, and what permissions he unofficially reinstated after officially revoking them (mainly regarding their licenses to say mass)'; and

5 - (b) the fact that Bergoglio didn't subsequently go to law over the arrests, i.e. file charges to complain about them.

And though I haven't yet consulted Ferguson's TNR article, or much else besides the recent Democracy Now transcript and the 2011 Guardian article that have been banging around (links below), given the circumstances, including the reluctance of religious orders to insert themselves into secular matters -- and Jesuits were at one time famous (really infamous) for their habit of doing just that, to the point where the order was dissolved by the pope in 1773 and as a condition of reinstatement in 1814 explicitly forbidden to put priests into political office, meaning that a sensible Jesuit prefect is going to do everything possible to avoid the appearance of playing politics -- I strongly suspect that Bergoglio did what he had to do to protect the work of the order, unofficially did something else to protect the two priests, purposely did not create a paper trail, and wisely chose to let the matter drop once the priests reappeared alive.

Unfortunately this is a matter of sufficient complexity, ambiguity, and plain old antiquity to guarantee that it will never really go away.

p.s. many thanks to posters here and in GD valiantly trying to straighten all this out and say it in a few crisp sentences. Much easier I suspect to do what Amy Goodman (for example) does so well, i.e. dish dirt for a few minutes to an eager audience and then move on to the day's next juicy morsel. . . .

Added links:

1.) Jan. 4, 2011 Guardian article by Hugh O'Shaughnessy, which mostly rehashes dubious claims by "journalist" Verbitsky:

2.) Transcript of Horacio Verbitsky's Democracy Now interview of Thursday, March 14, 2013:

3.) Sam Ferguson's New Republic article, "When Pope Francis Testified About the Dirty War," of Thurs., March 14, 2013, the subject of Max Fisher's WaPo piece linked in Pinto's post above: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/112656/pope-francis-and-argentinas-dirty-war-what-he-knew#

4.) "Five facts about the Jesuits," January 8, 2008: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/five.facts.about.the.jesuits/16052.htm

2012 campaign edition:

2008 edition (they all have different lyrics):

Great find mikekohr. Happy St Pats to all!

Sen. Rand Paul Ends Filibuster On Brennan Nomination

Source: NPR

by The Associated Press
March 07, 201312:51 AM

Senator Rand Paul has ended his filibuster blocking Senate confirmation of the president's CIA nominee. The filibuster lasted 12 hours and 54 minutes.

Paul was trying to delay the nomination of John Brennan for CIA chief.

Brennan's nomination was approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee with a vote of 12 to 3 on Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.npr.org/2013/03/07/173677979/sen-rand-paul-ends-filibuster-on-brennan-nomination

Yay, fillibaggedon is finally over.

John Kerry's French connection:

'Monsieur' John Kerry and the French connection - By Jon FROSCH - Latest update: 27/02/2013

Secretary of state nominee John Kerry has strong ties to France, a fact that hindered his 2004 presidential bid. FRANCE 24 takes a closer look at how this “French connection” has been perceived on both sides of the Atlantic.

Reacting to President Barack Obama’s recent nomination of John Kerry as the next US secretary of state, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius praised his future counterpart’s “personal commitment to Franco-American friendship”.

The comment was a reference to a poorly-kept “secret” that dogged the former Democratic presidential candidate during his bid to unseat then-incumbent George W. Bush in 2004: Kerry has a French connection.

John Kerry was attacked for his French connections during 2004 presidential campaign

The Massachusetts senator attended a Swiss boarding school as a child, learning to speak fluent French –which reportedly worked wonders in courting his wife, Teresa Heinz, whose parents were Portuguese.

He spent summers at his maternal grandparents’ luxurious home in Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, a village in the north-western coastal region of Brittany. And he counts Brice Lalonde, a former French green party leader and an environment minister in the early 1990s, as one of his first cousins (Lalonde did not respond to an interview request for this article).

Kerry’s ties to France are indeed part of the reason that “reactions to his nomination have been extremely positive on both the right and left in France,” according to Nicole Bacharan, a specialist in French-American relations and national fellow at Stanford’s public policy think tank, the Hoover Institution.

“He’s obviously very competent and very knowledgeable about foreign policy,” Bacharan said. “But of course the French like him especially because he knows France well and speaks good French.”

Kerry’s strong relationship with France will likely be an advantage in his future as America's top diplomat, particularly in Europe. “When you’re secretary of state, it’s a good thing to be perceived as worldly and sophisticated,” Bacharan noted.

‘Jean Chéri’

But the politician’s “Frenchness” has not always been an advantage. While running for president in 2004, Kerry was ridiculed by Republicans for his closeness to the country seen as having spurned the US by refusing to participate in the Iraq war –though Kerry himself initially voted in favour of the war.

Donald Evans, a commerce secretary under Bush, quipped that Kerry was “of a different political stripe and looks French”, and then-House majority leader Tom DeLay kicked off several speeches to constituents by saying: “Hi. Or, as John Kerry might say, ‘Bonjour’”.

Meanwhile, right-wing pundits, radio and TV hosts at the time often mockingly referred to Kerry as “Monsieur Kerry”, “Jean Chéri”, or “Jean-François Kerry”.

Mindful that any perceived affection for a nation considered a fair-weather ally could be a major liability, Kerry, for the duration of his campaign, largely avoided any reference to his past in France or his attachment to the country, its language, or culture. It was reported that he stopped conversing with French correspondents in French, something he had done with much-noted pleasure for many months.

Though French-American relations have warmed considerably since 2004, Kerry is likely to keep a relatively low profile when it comes to his Gallic "roots". “I don’t think he’ll flash his French connection other than when he’s in France,” Bacharan predicted. “It’s generally not a good thing for a US politician to flaunt any sort of Frenchness.”


looks like ‘Jean Chéri’ gets ‘le dernier rire’ . . .
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