Thursday, April 27, 2017



  1. Blogger deleted one of my notes on yesterday's thread; this is a better place for it anyway, and here it is.--Alan

    I found myself prompted today to refresh my memory about Hildegard of Bingen.[Click] Quite a remarkable person.

    1. Ah, if you really want to experience Hildegard, read Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen
      by Mary Sherratt

      I couldn't put it down! I read it on the elliptical and went 6 miles instead of 5~!

    2. It seems that the author is a very productive writer of historical fiction. Put me down for a old fogey, but I think it inappropriate and unnecessary to fictionalize HIldegard. Here are a pair of books about her that strike me as particularly interesting (the links are to, but has more reviews):

      Voice of the Living LIght; Hildegard of Bingen and Her World [Click]

      Scivias: The Visions of Hildegard of Bingen [Click]


    3. Visions can be very powerful learning tools; there have been monastic traditions that purposely cultivated them. Although there are "wild" visionaries (Hildegard and Joan of Arc to mention two), there are also taught or cultivated ones. It is best to have guidance and supervision--imagine the case where someone's vision becomes so strong that "objective reality" disappears and they physically endanger or even kill themselves for lack of supervision. Safely going is one thing, and safely coming back is another. A powerful vision came to me once, a long time ago now, and not knowing how to return safely, I jerked myself back into "this" world while I still could; it was scary. Not long ago I found instructions on how to return, but I have no need to visit that country again this side of the veil--it is never far away. The experience was educational--many old writings that I only understood intellectually and as allegories have ever since made perfect sense.


  2. Indeed she was.

    Accidentally left the below on the last thread.
    Robert Reich - Posts
    255-324 minutes

    One way dictators take over democracies is by threatening the independence of a nation’s courts.

    Connect the following dots:

    1. In January, Trump blasted a federal judge for staying his travel ban. “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” he tweeted.

    2. Then, after the judge made the stay permanent, Trump made it a personal vendetta: "Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”

    3. Last week, after another federal judge issued a nationwide injunction blocking Trump’s travel ban, Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, said “I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power.”

    4. On Tuesday, after another federal judge blocked the Trump administration from enforcing a threat to take away funds from sanctuary cities as an unconstitutional abridgement of Congress’s power to determine how dollars will be spent, the White House issued a statement condemning the judge as “unelected,” and charged that “this San Francisco judge's erroneous ruling is a gift to the criminal gang and cartel element in our country, empowering the worst kind of human trafficking and sex trafficking, and putting thousands of innocent lives at risk. This case is yet one more example of egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge.”

    5. On Wednesday, Trump said he was considering breaking up the court of appeals for the 9th Circuit, in which these three federal judges hear and decide cases. "There are many people who want to break up the 9th Circuit," he said. "It's outrageous." The 9th Circuit Court covers Arizona, California, Alaska, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington and Hawaii, as well as Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Eighteen of the court's 25 judges were appointed by Democratic presidents.

    It is the job of the Justice Department to provide a reasoned case for overruling a federal judge’s decision. In condemning federal judges and threatening to break up the 9th circuit court of appeals instead, Trump is attacking the foundations of the separation of powers in the Constitution.

    This assault on the federal judiciary is an abuse of Trump’s constitutional authority – yet another ground for impeachment.

    What do you think?

    1. I think that Trump is full of bluster. Beyond his power to appoint judges (which he shows little interest in doing) he has no way to seriously weaken the judiciary. This is another example of Trump posturing rather than seriously attempting to deal with the country's problems.

    2. Yes, as I understand it, only Congress can change Federal court districts. Give Trump a day and he will be distracted by yet another shiny bauble.


  3. Republicans exempt their own insurance from their latest health care proposal
    Republicans exempt their own insurance from their latest health care proposal

    Complain to your Congress people!!