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Archive for the ‘UN’ Category

Pope Announces U.S. Visit After Saudi King’s Vatican Visit

Posted by infinitygoods on November 12, 2007

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Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate his third anniversary as pontiff of the Catholic Church by traveling to the United States, where he will visit the White House and New York’s ground zero site of the 9/11 Muslim terrorist attacks, and will speak at the United Nations during a five-day trip April 15-20.

Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Vatican ambassador to the United States, told the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops today that “the pope will not travel much, but he will address himself to the people of the United States and the whole Catholic Church.”

A welcome reception will be held at the White House on April 16.

Sambi says the pope wants to show “solidarity with those who have died, with their families and with all those who wish an end of violence and in the search of peace.”

This official announcement comes six days after King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia gave a jeweled sword to the pope, and on the Monday of the Veterans Day federal holiday.

Pope receives jeweled sword from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

A sword is a traditional Muslim gift given to heads of state. Is it meant as a symbol of trust or as a warning? That is the double-edged question.

The meeting between the king and the pope will surely be the hottest topic between the pope and President George Bush.

Saudi Arabia does not even grant diplomatic relations with the Holy See. As Victor L. Simpson of the Associated Press so aptly said in his article about the visit on Nov. 6, “Islam is the official religion of Saudi Arabia and the kingdom requires all Saudi citizens to be Muslims. Only Muslims can visit the cities of Mecca and Medina.

“Under the authoritarian rule of the royal family, the kingdom enforces strict sharia, or Islamic law. It follows a severe interpretation of Islam known as Wahhabism which rejects the possibility of diplomatic relations with a Christian entity. This interpretation would prohibit a Vatican embassy in Saudi Arabia on the grounds it would be equivalent to raising the cross inside the site of Islam’s holiest places.

“It is forbidden to practice Christianity publicly inside Saudi Arabia, and it is illegal to bring symbols from religions other than Islam into the country. Bibles and crosses, for instance, are confiscated at the border.

“Some Christian worship services are held secretly, but the government has been known to crack down on them, or deport workers from the Philippines if they are known to hold even private services.”

The pope was also given a small statue of a camel by a palm tree and in return gave King Abdullah a 16th-century engraving of the Vatican and a gold medal of his pontificate.

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Posted in 9/11, America, art, blog, blogging, Christianity, culture, Faith, George Bush, God, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Iraq, Islam, Italy, Judaism, life, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, News, novel, novel in 30 days, politics, religion, royal family, royals, royalty, spirituality, terrorism, U.S., UN, Uncategorized, USA, Vatican, war on terror, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Blog Action Day — Environment and Organic Foods

Posted by infinitygoods on October 16, 2007

The environment is at the forefront of the news these days, but today the issue was right in front of me at my local grocery store, and the opportunity for an instant consumer poll arose.

As I was looking at my choices in the meat and fish cases, I noticed a woman reaching into the new organic meat section. Having wondered about it myself, I asked her if she had tried it already.

Well, her face lit up and a giant smile emerged. “Yes, it is soooo good,” she said closing her eyes to savor the memory. She told me she was surprised at how much of a difference “organic” made. She had bought organic meat originally as more of a whim than anything else. She now uses it for all her special dishes and said even just a spaghetti dinner is brought to a whole new level. It is well worth the extra money, she advised, especially when considering the health benefits.

Double the money to be exact. The beef had a much more intense color, much darker. I thought it was just like the difference between farmed salmon that is pale despite the artificially added coloring, and wild salmon that is a dark reddish orange.

The label stated, “raised without antibiotics or added growth hormones, in pastures free of chemical fertilizers and fed only certified organic feed.”

And as I thought, “Shouldn’t it always be like that?” I recalled the cattle we see for miles as we go up the state on Highway 5. Those poor beasts do not have a pasture. They are sitting — sardine style — in mud, and the stench is sickeningly powerful even when the cattle have long gone out of sight.

We can’t tell what they are fed when we drive by at highway speeds, but if these cattlemen “care” enough to make their cattle sit in mud and breathe in highway pollution, I can imagine they also care enough to feed them all sorts of hormones, chemicals and perhaps even the best recipe for mad cows.

I’ll be cooking the organic beef tonight for a special birthday dinner and I’ll let you know what we all thought tomorrow.

In the meantime, please let me know what you think of organic meats and foods in general and if you’ve tried organic, how do you think it compared.

Personally, I can’t wait for the prices to get lower as more people start using organic meat and it stops being some exotic product. Good, natural, organic foods should be the norm, not the exception. Where has the pride of our cowboys and cowgirls gone? Isn’t that what America was made of? Our cowboys and our farmers made our country what it is. So why the negative, greedy trend of late?

We need to be conscious of the total disregard for healthy foods by growers and manufacturers across the board unless they think they can “make a buck.” We need to stand up and demand that we not be fed hormones, chemicals, pesticides, cloned meats, engineered flavorings, engineered trouts to turn them into salmons, etc., etc., etc.; the list of Frankenstein science experiments that turn up on our table without our direct approval is too long and much too frightening.

For my related posts, please click on the following:

Salmon + salmon = trout

Popcorn lung

You can’t trust anybody

Farmer’s Market

Blog Action Day is October 15, when bloggers around the web unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind – the environment. All bloggers post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topics. The aim is to get everyone talking toward a better future.

For more information about Blog Action Day or to participate next year, please go to their website at blogactionday.com. And beside their acronim, B.A.D., it is a good thing.

Posted in American Cookery, blog, blogging, Blogroll, butter flavoring, Caring, consumers, Cooking, culture, diacetyl, EPA, farmer's markets, FDA, Fish, Food, Food and Drug Administration, food flavoring, food products, Goro Yoshizaki, government agencies, greed, Health, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Kosher, life, manufacturers, natural foods, nature, News, nutrition, organic food, organic foods, OSHA, politics, popcorn, popcorn lung, profit, Salmon, science, Science Experiments, Scientists, Stem Cell Research, Trout, UN, Uncategorized, USA, workers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Climate Change Tug-of-War Involves World’s Government, Church Leaders, Activists

Posted by infinitygoods on September 5, 2007

If you’ve been reading the news this week you probably noticed all the commotion about global warming, which more and more politicians have been more accurately renaming climate change. This week the world leaders were playing tug-of-war with each other’s views.

China has refused to accept mandatory limits on its carbon emissions. Instead it has portrayed its Communist policy of only allowing one child per couple as helpful in the struggle against climate change by eliminating 300 million births — which, according to Su Wei, Foreign Ministry official heading the delegation at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Viena, “means we averted 1.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2005.”

The United States’ Harlan Watson, chief U.S. negotiator, was blaming its inability to curb emissions on population growth — not due to births, but rather due to immigrant influx.

Chris Rapley, head of the Science Museum in London, promotes family planning to avoid unwanted births and slow population growth. “Population has not been taken seriously enough in the climate debate,” he says.

News reports claim birth control, including abortion, is not likely to be favored at UN discussions because of opposition by the Catholic Church.

Even Pope Benedict XVI spoke on green issues this weekend to youths in Loreto, Italy, advising “before it’s too late, we need to make courageous choices that will re-create a strong alliance between man and earth. We need a decisive ‘yes’ to care for Creation and a strong commitment to reverse those trends that risk making the situation of decay irreversible.”

The Pope’s ecological message was put into action by distributing biodegradable plates, recycling bags, and even a hand-cranked cell phone recharger to the festival’s youths on “Save Creation Day,” and trees were planted to make up for the carbon dioxide emissions generated by the festival especially after forest fires in Italy and Greece.

At a Greenpeace festival in England this weekend, a Benedictine monk, Anthony Sutch, went so far as to hear the confessions of “eco-sinners” in green vestments made from recycled curtains and a confessional with recycled doors. He told the Times, “the Church is aware of green issues and of how aware we have to be of how we treat the environment.”

Besides the Catholic Church, “climate change, biotechnology, trade justice and pollution are all now being debated at a far higher level by the world’s major religions,” according to Secretary General of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, Martin Palmer.

The environment and religion “is a no-brainer” according to Claire Foster, environmental policy adviser to the Church of England, “but we are all only now realising it.”

Meanwhile, a weeklong protest at England’s Heathrow Airport blamed climate change on the carbon emissions of airplanes. About 500 protesters brandished signs reading, “You Fly. They die,” while riot police brandished their batons.

Better not tell them that the Vatican is starting its own charter airline with Mistral Air to promote worldwide pilgrimages.

Posted in climate, culture, Earth, life, politics, religion, science, UN, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »