WASHINGTON, April 26 (UPI) -- A U.S. Christian group has grown tired of escalating gasoline prices and is set to stage a national prayer rally to lower the numbers at the pumps.
Various Christian clergy from around the country will convene around a Washington, D.C., gas station Thursday at noon to pray. For those who can't attend, a live Internet site and toll-free prayer line have been established.
In a release, the Pray Live group said many people are "overlooking the power of prayer when it comes to resolving this energy crisis."
Apart from sending a message to God, the rally had a message for humanity, said Wenda Royster, the group's founder.
"It is our hope that seeing and hearing some of the nation's most powerful preachers gathered around a gas station and the United States capital as a backdrop, will remind everyone who is really in charge of our world -- God," Royster said.
The Web site is at praylive.com. The toll-free phone number is 888-PRAYLIVE."
I'm thinking a lot this year about thriving. How do we thrive in a world in the grip of madmen? How do we thrive on a planet undergoing dramatic climate change? How do we thrive in the waning days of the carbon-based economy? I'm also thinking a lot about fear. How do our fears keep us from thriving? Do they help us to thrive? What can we learn about ourselves by examining our fears?
Both of these issues -- thriving and fear -- are wound up in the issue of money and, more specifically, in the issue of debt. My brilliant friend Katrina Messenger, who cooks THE best greens that anyone has ever eaten, has posted an article on debt, part of a series she's been doing on the psychology of money in the Western world; Katrina kindly allowed me to collaborate with her on this article. Check it out and let me know what you think!
What are your fears about debt? How much of your debt is related to your fears? In what specific ways would you thrive if you were debt-free?
Meal Plans 3 Meals and Feast; Fri Dinner - Sunday Brunch $30.50 PreReg Only
FRIDAY Supper with the Starvin' Artist 7:00 PM - Community Setup of Drum Circle where "we the tribe" come together to clean and prepare the space for ceremony; rake the sand, set the candles, bring small offerings for the Drum Altar or the Ancestor Chair, and help decorate! 8:00 PM - First Fire Ceremony in the Drum Circle - Join us in lighting the first fire of the year. Carry a charged ember from this Fire back to your own campsite to share the community's blessings for the season.
SATURDAY 9-10:30 Brunch with the Starvin' Artist 10:30 Kids meet at Fox Altar to begin Ceremonial Procession through camp 11-12:30 Seeding the Stones Ceremony led by Holly Florczyk; Orren Whiddon will aid the Kids' Tribe in Raising a Seed Stone in the Stone Circle. Spiral Scouts in Uniform, please. 12:30-2 Wreathmaking for the Maypole, Main Stage with Echaria; bedecking the symbols of Beltaine for Raising the Maypole 12:30-2 Making Fairy Houses, Day Stage with Coriander Woodruff; crafting small dwellings for the Little Folk. For all ages.
Also beginning around 12:30 in the Stone Circle, Handfasting of Chris Trembly (who is currently serving in Iraq) and her fiancee Ardith Micheaux.
2-4pm Raising and Dancing the Maypole in the Merchants' Green; Learn the steps and follow the dance! Led by Dan Velleman.
4:00 The Handfasting of the Lord and Lady of Spring Eric Young and Kari Thorssen. Stand with us and witness the wedding of Eric and Kari as they step forward into their life together.
5-7 Feast/Reception by the Starvin' Artist 6:30-9 Members Meeting in the Stone Circle; Questions, comments, and dessert!! 9pm Childrens' Story Time at Bardic Circle 9pm Drum Circle to the Stars!
SUNDAY 10-11:30 Brunch with the Starvin' Artist 11-1:00 Spiral Scouts Business Meeting on the Main Stage. New/interested families are welcome to attend to gather paperwork and information, or to drop off applications and fees. Registered Scouts should wear uniforms! 1:00 Closing Ceremony in the Stone Circle
More about Beltaine at Four Quarters - http://www.4qf.org/_Beltaine/index.htm
Come to DC and enjoy the height of the springtime with the DC Radical Faeries!
DC Radical Faeries Present Beltane 2006
4/29: Walpurgisnacht Bonfire
Come to Potpourri Sashay's glorious bamboo gardens and share in the feast, light the fire, adorn the maypole with new ribbon, dance the dance of sacred embodiment and partake of the rite of lubation.
Where: 306 Carroll St NW (Takoma Park Metro, Red Line) When: Potluck Dinner 7:00 p.m.; Ritual at Sundown Bring: Potluck Food and Suggested donation of $5.00 (no one turned away for lack of funds) NOTE: Recommended 18 and older
4/30: Maypole Procession and Picnic
Join us at noon at Baba Niko's house for the Maypole Procession, the blessing of those we happen to run into, share in the picnicy goodness, share in bawdy song and poetry, and dance the maypole at Dupont Circle.
Where: 1809 Belmont Rd NW apt. 2 (Adams Morgan, Red Line) to Dupont Circle When: Gathering for procession noon; step off (about) 12:30; picnic time (about) 1:30 in Dupont Circle Bring: Picnic type finger food to share (nothing too sloppy); Sexy Springtime Poetry and Songs and Musical instruments to share the muse with others. NOTE: As this is an event in a public park it is open to all ages.
Additional Notes: * All events are rain or shine. There is a potential you might get muddy so wear appropriate shoes or go barefoot when necessary. * The Maypole Dance is during the day, and sunblock is helpful! * Come as yourself, whatever that means to you.
For further information contact Fritter at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-265-0112.
The DC Radical Faeries is a community-based organization of men and women who explore queer spirituality. We welcome all queer spirits, straight, gay, bi, trans, two-spirited or searching. We welcome people from all walks of life who want to share and nurture their essential fabulosity. DC Radical Faeries is a 501(c)3 tax exempt religious organization.
"What makes one step a giant leap is all the steps before." -- Leslie Fish
"Dereg States See Rates Rising Faster Than in Regulated States Electric power rates in states that have moved to deregulation are "rising faster than those in regulated states," the Christian Science Monitor reported today. "That trend could expand as caps on retail electric rates, which have held prices down, are lifted in at least six deregulated states this year."
The Monitor pointed out that there have not been too many examples to point to how significantly prices are likely to rise "because rate caps are only just being removed. But in New England, where many caps came off last year, retail electric rates surged about 15 percent - except for Vermont, where regulated rates are roughly flat. In the Mid-Atlantic region, rates in deregulated New York have risen 16 percent since 2002, while rates in still-regulated West Virginia were about flat."
John Shelk, president of the Electric Power Supply Association, was quoted as saying: "Competition has been incredibly robust. People believe if prices rise something is wrong ... But the reason is the cost of [fuel] increased." The Electricity Consumers Resource Council, in a FERC filing, said: "There has been and is today no true competition in wholesale and retail electricity markets."
Christie Rewey, an energy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver, said some states are considering re-regulation but getting the "genie back in a regulated bottle" may be difficult or impossible. Wrote the Monitor: "Many states sold their generating stations for a song in the 1990s, she says. Now these same states find that those old plants are a gold mine for their owners and would be very costly to buy back. Today, 16 of 23 states that initially passed electricity deregulation offer a fully deregulated power system, studies show." Christian Science Monitor , April 25."
"U.S. April consumer confidence rises to 109.6, a 4-yr high
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- U.S. consumer confidence continued higher in April, reaching its highest level in almost four years, the Conference Board said Tuesday. The consumer confidence index rose to 109.6 in April from a revised 107.5 in March. The increase was unexpected. Economists expected the index to slip to 106.3 on higher gasoline prices. The present situation index rose to 136.2 from 133.3, while the expectations index rose to 91.9 from 90.3. The outlook for the next six months improved moderately."
Anne Johnson suggested in comments that Aleister Crowley should have had his own blog. It certainly would have made for interesting reading. She also suggested that H.L. Mencken would have translated well to the blogsphere. It got me to thinking: who else would have made a good blogger, were it not for the vagaries of time and technology? And besides, I'd rather list good bloggers than play the latest game going round of listing my odd habits. I'm a witch; almost all my habits would seem odd! So, here, forthwith, is my list of people I wish had had a blog:
1. Oscar Wilde (just imagine the snark!)
2. Dorothy Parker (ditto)
3. Sappho (she could be catty when she wanted to!)
4. George Sand (she loved to write letters)
5. Jack Kerouac (imagine reading his daily posts while On the Road)
6. Carlos Castaneda (it would be fun to guess which posts were drug-induced)
7. Samuel Pepys (shrewd observations)
8. Walt Whitman (even though he'd talk about himself a lot)
9. Thomas Jefferson (he could have used the $$ from the google ads!)
10. Saul Alinsky (wish you were still here today, Saul, helping us figure out what to do about Fox)
If I've done this correctly, you should be able to go here and listen to NTodd's latest podcast. And you should, not only because it mentions THIS blog (!!!), but also because NTodd does great podcasts, as I pointed out some time ago. He gets this unhip, old lady to listen to some great new music that I wouldn't normally listen to and he's always honest and self-revelatory in a way few guys manage.
Note to any female readers in Vermont: NTodd is a major hottie who loves animals, takes great photographs, has a job, likes music and poetry, and isn't gay. Why are you not beating a track to his door right now??
(Oh, and go vote for NTodd at podcast alley or he'll kick my ass.)
From Yahoo, via my brilliant friend Elizabeth, swing dancer, marathon runner, and motorcycle mamma, comes an article demonstrating the need for safe, effective, and free birth control -- including abortion -- for any society that claims to care about children. Culture of Life, Baybeeeeeeeeeee!
Turns out that spacing out pregnancies cuts down on infant mortality.
Luckily, when I get swamped with work and too busy to blog, my brilliant friend, Elizabeth, cocktail mixer and tarot reader extraordinaire, usually finds me some fascinating articles. Thanks, E!
THE FOX NEWS EFFECT: MEDIA BIAS AND VOTING
[SOURCE: Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan]
Does media bias affect voting? The authors address this question by looking at the entry of Fox News in cable markets and its impact on voting. Between October 1996 and November 2000, the conservative Fox News Channel was introduced in the cable programming of 20 percent of US towns. Fox News availability in 2000 appears to be largely idiosyncratic. Using a data set of voting data for 9,256 towns, the authors investigate if Republicans gained vote share in towns where Fox News entered the cable market by the year 2000. They find a significant effect of the introduction of Fox News on the vote share in Presidential elections between 1996 and 2000.
Republicans gain 0.4 to 0.7 percentage points in the towns which broadcast Fox News. They also find a significant effect of Fox News on Senate vote share and on voter turnout. The estimates imply that Fox News convinced 3 to 8 percent of its viewers to vote Republican.
If valid, this study, printed in Benton's Communications Daily (www.benton.org), makes a very strong case for the need to reinstitute the fairness doctrine and extend it to cable tv. It also highlights the importance of the study that Media Matters for America recently completed, showing that shows such as Meet the Press tend to book far more conservative than liberal "guests." The Dems better wrap their brains around this NOW, as the results show an impact on Senate races as well. How many elections are won or lost on a 3% to 8% margin???
Of course, I suppose there could be another explanation; maybe Fox tends to go into markets that are moving in a conservative direction. However, when the authors say that, "Fox News availability in 2000 appears to be largely idiosyncratic," I think that means that they don't believe this is a factor.
I've been in a poetry mood all weekend. Here's one that I really love by Barbara Starrett, from Drawing Down the Moon. I've read it hundreds of times, but it still makes me teary-eyed and gives me goosebumps every time I read it.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."