Thursday, August 14, 2008

Los Alamos "Trespassers" Taken to Court For Praying....

14 August 2008


As part of the April 15th vigil for peace, two members of Trinity Nuclear Abolitionists (TNA) were arrested across the street from Los Alamos National Laboratory. Mike Butler is awaiting a court hearing on his plea bargain, but Marcus Page goes to his jury trial on Monday the 18th of August. The two men were part of a group of six who held vigil during daylight hours on April 14th & 15th, praying in opposition to war taxes and international crimes committed there by the Lab. Charged with trespassing on Department of Energy land, both men believe they were praying openly along the public road in county territory, and they believe the Laboratory has no rights to conduct nuclear weapons work anywhere. TNA continues to conduct monthly vigils on Department of Energy land at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a facility of the Department of Energy (DoE). Marcus Page received word last week that the Honorable Magistrate Pat Casados would not recuse herself. Page believes the judge is in a partnership with an employee of LANL, and was surprised by the refusal to recuse. Page says, "The DoE has set itself up in opposition to free speech in this case. The DoE's interests are at stake here. That means the people of the DoE will benefit from a verdict of 'guilty'. Shouldn't the employees of the DoE and LANL, and their spouses be excused from trying to judge who wins this case? Will nuclear abolitionists get a fair trial in a court staffed by nuclear profiteers?"

More info can be seen at

Chelsea @ Trinity Nuclear Abolitionists: 505 242 0497

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Who Plants the Seed Beneath the Sod and Waits to See Believes in GOD

So, here's a topic we've never talked about here: Our Garden.

Today the mail arrived with the two tiny blueberry plants that Mary Alice had ordered last autumn and, since the sun was high and bright, and the wind was down we decided to start planting early.

We dragged all of the vegetable and flower seedlings, which have hitherto made their abode on the dining room table, and all over the kitchen, out into the shady part of the garden on the upper tier (there are three) and watched them wilt a bit whilst we cut up year-old Yukon Gold and russet potatoes and planted them on the second tier in mounds we tilled up by hand out of the mulch. So long as the strange fungus that has attacked half of our little town doesn't get a foothold on our plot, they should be fine.

Early last autumn we had collected a compost mound (that will later be part of our third tier) that ended up being twenty feet long, twelve feet deep and well over five feet high; now it is only about three feet high and it needs to be supplemented. So this weekend, I will borrow the neighbor's pickup and drive down the road fifteen miles to Erickson's Farm to collect my annual seven-to-twelve load "order" of composted manure and a winter's worth of chicken bedding and all the bedding from spring lambing (which all of the neighborhood dogs love to roll in....). Once I've got it all unloaded here, we'll spend a weekend turning it into last year's compost heap and then, just like every year before, we'll plant squashes, watermelon, zucchini and herbs right over the top of it just to keep the heat and moisture in and make the alley pretty whilst it does its thing.

Our tomatoes are going to be basket-planted this year and suspended from six-foot-tall garden hooks, instead of putting them in the ground and wasting precious space that we need for other things. And next week, if the weather stays, I'll be moving the blackberry and raspberry canes from the front of the house which faces north to the back alley beside the compost bin--so that they can trellis up the fencing.

Hollyhocks and iris have taken over the east side of the house all on their own--even volunteering in the cracks of the old concrete carport that will one day soon be a greenhouse--and somehow all of our strawberries mystically migrated from their little brick-walled patch into the lawn down below so that we spent an hour this afternoon putting them back in their rightful home. The roses have begun to send out new shoots and the hydrangeas are budding beneath the peeling paint on the house....the earth smells sweet and the ground is cool and soft....Now if we can just keep our neighbor from "helping" us and weed-whacking the whole lot, we'll be very happy, indeed!

So far, it's looking to be a good year.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

When the Red Tape Refuses to Cease and Desist

For the sake of levity....

Noah, 2008

In the early spring of 2008, the Lord came and spake unto Noah, who was now residing in a Chicago suburb in the United States.

The Lord said, "Once again the earth has been besieged with all manner of wickedness; it is over-populated by heathens and overrun with lawlessness. I see the need to end all flesh before me and begin anew."

"Noah," the Lord exclaimed, "Build another Ark and collect two of every living creature that roams the earth along with a few good humans, if you can find them. You have six months from this hour to build the Ark according to my command before I begin to bring another deluge over the face of the earth for forty days and forty nights."

So, the Lord gave Noah a set of blueprints and left him to his work.

Six months passed. The Lord looked down and saw Noah sitting cross-legged on his Scott's Turf-Builder lawn weeping in despair. No Ark could be seen.

"Noah!" the Lord roared like a terrible thunder, "The deluge is about to begin! Where is my Ark??? Where are the animals? Could you not find one good human?"

"I humbly beg your forgiveness, Lord," cried Noah, "But things aren't like they had been in ages past. I have tried my best, but I have failed to accomplish the task which You have given me. You see, I needed building permits and I've been arguing with the building inspector about whether I really need a sprinkler safety system in case of fire. And then there's the matter that my neighbors have filed an injunction against me claiming that I have violated neighborhood zoning laws by building an Ark that exceeds local height limitations; we are still waiting for a decision from the Development Appeals Board for a ruling on the issue.

"Worse yet, the Department of Transportation has demanded from me the payment of a very large bond for the future cost of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions that would impede moving the Ark out to sea. I told them that the sea is coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it.

"And getting the lumber I need has been another serious problem. There's a ban on harvesting local trees in order to save the Spotted Owl. I have tried to convince the environmentalist groups that the entire reason I need the wood is to save the owls, but they in turn have declared me insane and an eminent danger to wildlife safety.

"So, then I began to gather all the animals two by two....and the animal rights groups filed law suits against me insisting that I was hoarding the animals against their will. The activists have argued that my accommodations are too restrictive and that it would be cruel and inhumane to keep so many animals in such a confined space.

"And yesterday the EPA ruled that I cannot build so much as a dog house until they conduct an environmental impact study regarding Your proposed Flood.

"I'm still squabbling with the Human Rights Commission about how many minorities I must hire for my building crew which really wouldn't be a problem but for the fact that the Immigration and Naturalization Service is holding most of my very best workers and their families whilst they check the status on all their Green Cards. And the Trade Unions have filed an injunction stating that I cannot hire my own sons--they insist that all of my foremen be Union workers with previous Ark building experience.

"To make matters even more hellish, the IRS has seized all of my assets, claiming that I'm trying to defect from the country illegally with endangered indigenous species.

"So, please, Lord, I humbly beg Your pardon, but with all the red tape involved, it's going to take about ten years to finish building this Ark!"

Suddenly, the clouds parted, the sun shined brightly over the whole earth and a beautiful rainbow shimmered in the eastern sky.

Noah looked up in wonder and exclaimed, "Lord! Lord! You're not going to destroy the earth again after all?"

"No," the Lord sighed, "Looks like the government bureaucrats have beaten me to it."

Catholic Worker Jailed For Civil Disobedience

We'd like to ask for your prayers and financial mercy for our brother, Marcus Blaise Page, from the Trinity House Catholic Worker Community in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There's a $1000.00 price tag on his head whilst he sits in jail as a guest of Big Brother for a misdemeanor charge--an exorbitant cost which will hinder other local community works of mercy that all the members of Trinity House are involved in carrying out at a personal sacrifice ....

15 April 2008

Contact Trinity Nuclear Abolitionists: 505-242-0497 or Chelsea: 510-499-8917

Los Alamos Lab Security Arrests Two Peace Activists; Vigil Continues for Tax Day

Two representatives from the Albuquerque-based Trinity Nuclear Abolitionists were arrested last night (April 14) at 9:30 pm during a 24 hour prayer vigil at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Three other vigilers are continuing the action today at the Lab until noon at the corner of Diamond Drive and West Jemez Rd.

The event began at noon on April 14th. Trinity Nuclear Abolitionists (TNA) had verbal permission from head of security Donna Martinez for "daylight hours" only. Two TNA members were arrested while praying, after they stated to Los Alamos police officers that they were not on the property to cause violence but to protest the nuclear weapons design happening at Los Alamos Lab. The two pled Not Guilty this morning to the charge of criminal trespass, which carries a $1,000 fine and/or 364 days in prison. They will be bonded out from jail today and expect a jury trial within six months.

TNA has two purposes for being at LANL today, Tax Day. The primary purpose is to prayerfully encourage the nonviolent, safe, clean disarmament of weapons of mass destruction, along with the clean-up of LANL, under the guidance of LANS. The second is to visibly celebrate the war-tax boycott organized by the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee. "This maybe the first time people have held a 24-hour public prayer for abolition here on alleged Laboratory property. Such prayer-actions are necessary for spiritual health and public health. Our nuclear New Mexico urgently needs different uses of federal income tax allocations." said Marcus Page of TNA.

This is the 9th monthly vigil for peace conducted by TNA, and the longest one so far. TNA is committed to the cause of sanity, safety, decency, beauty, love and peace--all in opposition to LANL's work. TNA consistently calls for an end to all nuclear weapons research, development, testing, refurbishing, and production. Aware of the tax money allocated for nuclearism TNA is part of the worldwide nuclear abolition movement working for social justice and spiritual integrity.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Tamar Hennessy Dies at 82--Eternal Rest Grant Unto Her, O Lord+++

Tamar Teresa Batterham Hennessy, the only child of Catholic Worker co-foundress Dorothy Day, died subsequent to a stroke on Tuesday, 25 March 2008, in Lebanon, Hew Hampshire at the age of 82.

Born in Mahattan in 1926, she was baptized at Our Lady Help of Christians Roman Catholic Church in Tottenville later that same year. Tamar was witness to the inception of the Catholic Worker when she was eight years old and later conceded that this life can be difficult for any child"

"She [Dorothy Day] was traveling alot , and I was left to be taken care of by various people, and I got very ill. It was hard for both of us. She had her work, and yet at the same time she had me. She was very devoted. She was very torn," Hennessy told a reporter in 2003.

Still in the same interview, Ms. Hennessy expressed no regrets, "I loved the Catholic Worker. It was so exciting. I wouldn't have missed a moment of it," and her admiration for her mother was unwavering, "She loved her family so much, and in so many, many ways she kept me going. She missed understanding the material side of it. She expected alot of going without. At the same time she supported me alot, and I can't say enough good about that."

Ms. Hennessy graduated from the Acadamy of St. Dorothy in Grasmere, and studied at the Farmingdale Agricultural School on Long Island, as well as the workshop of artist Ade Bethune in Newport, Rhode Island. She married William David Hennessy, a farmer and bookseller, in Easton, Pennsylvania, in 1944. The couple settled in West Virginia, but eventually returned to Staten Island, where they lived near the Catholic Worker Farm on Bloomingdale Road in Rossville.

Ms. Hennessy's great delights were her children and grandchildren, welcoming visitors, caring for animals, discussing politics and listening to jazz and classical music.

Her husband, W. David Hennessy, died in 2005.

Surviving are her two sons, David and Hilaire Hennessy; her five daughters, Rebecca Houghton, and Mary, Margaret, Martha and Catherine Hennessy; eighteen grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.

Ms. Hennessy's daughter, Susanna McMurry, died in 1986, and her son, Nicholas Hennessy, died in 1987. Grandson Justin Houghton died in 1979, and grandson Joshua Hennessy died in 2004.

Tamar Hennessy's funeral Mass was celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, 29 March 2008 at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Springfield, Vermont followed by a private burial. Her daughter Kate remembered her at that Mass as follows:

Remembering Tamar Hennessy: "how to see and delight in beauty"
by Kate Hennessy

Much of my mother's life has been written about by her mother, Dorothy Day. Many stories have come down through Catholic Worker history, beginning with the story of Tamar's birth, a birth that led Dorothy to convert to Catholicism, which then led to the founding of the Catholic Worker movement. And throughout the following years, my grandmother continued to write about my mother--her childhood, her marriage, the birth of her children, her farm in Vermont. My mother was intensely uncomfortable with all of this. She was a private person, a shy person; she didn't like to be written about, and knowing this, I am not entirely comfortable with speaking about her here and now. I can only hope she will forgive me, but I feel I must do this, not only to help myself and my family, if I can, come to terms with this huge loss, but also because I believe her story needs to continue to be told. I'm sure my mother is wondering what she did to deserve this-to be written about not only by her mother but by her daughter too-but she will have to continue to put up with it. (...)

The basic details of my mother's life are known to many-married young, had nine children, and after a failed marriage led a difficult life as a single mother. These facts don't reveal what to me is the kernel of her story-her dreams, her desires, her motivations, and ultimately what her gifts have been not only to us, her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, but to the greater community, for I know there are many people who came to know and to love my mother. Every day we hear from people who say to us, "Your mother saved my life." "Tamar took me in when I had no place to go." "She listened to me when I had no one else to talk to." She often just quietly, without fuss, showed up -- for graduations, for marriages, for hospital visits, for court appearances.

Her generosity and hospitality had no limits. For someone who possessed little -- she never seemed to have had an attachment to material things -- she always had something to give. Even with a house filled with kids, there was always room for one more-one more stray teenager or one more stray dog. I think she had a special affinity with teenagers. She seemed to understand the troubles they were in and knew enough to simply open the door for them and give shelter without comment.

She accepted everyone for exactly who they were. This ability of hers to love unconditionally and to accept unconditionally lies at the heart of her lessons to me. We often speak of "tolerance" and a "willingness" to accept others when we are trying to be good. Tamar didn't need tolerance or willingness. She didn't need to decide to be kind; she was innately so. Her favorite phrase was "loving kindness." "All we need is loving kindness," she'd often say. "Sure, Mom," I'd say, not really having a clue of what she meant. I have a clue now, and all I can do is pray I can achieve a fraction of what she did -- no, not of what she did, but of what she was.

She was a person of gentle humor and loved to laugh. She had an abiding curiosity and thirst to learn; there was always something new to explore, to discuss, to research, even in the face of constant physical pain. She had an eye and a love for the details of life. As her children, we learned to spin and weave, to plant and harvest, to observe and love the natural world around us.

These are simple things -- gardener, spinner and weaver. But they are hugely symbolic. They are the stuff of mythologies, of a world and spiritual view that helps us to take everyday life and place it in a larger spiritual context, or maybe it is the other way around. I think that we often have difficulty in seeing a faith lived out that is not part of a larger tradition, and we may not even recognize our own faith when it seems to lie outside these norms. Tamar often spoke of having had a crisis of faith, but I don't believe it. I believe that her faith, that is, the foundation of who she was as a spiritual being, was solid and true, and that it was a living faith, an innate faith that manifested in the love she gave. She didn't see this, of course. She often saw only her failures; she felt sorrow and regret for those she wasn't able to help, whether within her own family or without.

Her mother, Dorothy, was the one who chose to go out into the world to make change. She was the speaker, the writer, the doer. My mother was in so many ways the exact opposite -- quiet, shy, loved to stay at home and refused to write anything. There are few people who are called to meet the challenge that Dorothy presented. The truth is we all cannot follow in her footsteps, which is what my mother was often asked in her youth. Instead, my mother carved out a life of her own-a life of family and of the land and of home.

It would be easy to say that yes, Tamar was a good woman, a good daughter, a good mother and leave it at that. This implies that her world was small, her influence narrow in scope, but I believe the lessons she has for us have no such boundaries. I say that if we, as a family, as a local community, as a culture and as part of the larger world, ignore what she teaches us, it is at our peril. Tamar's way is the quiet way, but it is a way that each of us can learn from and follow-no matter who we are or who we aren't, what we have or what we don't have, what we feel or what we don't feel. That whatever bit of earth we live on, we must and can care for it, encourage it and share it with those creatures and plants who also belong here. And in this moment, where we are now, with whomever walks through our front door whether adult or child, daughter or stranger, human or creature, that this is the divine moment, the moment in which we are given the opportunity to give, to help, to love and to create.

Spring is almost here. I think of spring as my mother's season. Last week she had already begun planting in the small way she could while being confined to her wheelchair. Soon her front garden will be blooming -- first the snowdrops and crocuses followed by the magnolia trees. And then the wisteria, violets and forget-me-nots will blanket the lawn in shades of blues and purples, and people will slow down as they drive by on Valley Street to gaze at this unexpected patch of beauty. Tamar knew how to do this -- how to invite beauty, how to see beauty, how to delight in beauty. What a gift.

Thank you, thank you so much.