Saturday, February 28, 2009

Vatican: Bishop's apology on Holocaust not enough

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer Nicole Winfield, Associated Press Writer Fri Feb 27, 6:02 pm ET

VATICAN CITY – An apology from a bishop who denied the Holocaust wasn't good enough, the Vatican said Friday, adding that he must repudiate his views if he wants to be a Roman Catholic clergyman.

The statement by Bishop Richard Williamson "doesn't appear to respect the conditions" the Vatican set out for him, said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, a spokesman for the pope.

In an interview broadcast last month on Swedish state TV and in previous letters and speeches, Williamson denied 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, saying about 200,000 or 300,000 were murdered. He said none was gassed.

Williamson apologized for his remarks on Thursday upon his arrival in his native Britain after being ordered to leave Argentina. He said he would never have made them if he had known "the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise."

But he didn't say he had been wrong or that he no longer believed what he had said.(The rest of the story can be found here)

How many of us had to explain all of this to friends or coworkers in the past week? Isn't it interesting how the press left out the fact that what the Pope did was simply lift the excommunication so they can attend mass and nothing-NOTHING- more? It was a gesture of forgiveness that was supposed to be reciprocated by these four bishops, not an absolution of their sins, nor an act of alliance with Williamsons twisted views.

As far as I'm concerned, they did more damage to the church than Williamson's delusional and ignorant beliefs did. Shame on him for being being the braying jack-ass he is, and shame on the media for feeding him.

Friday, February 27, 2009

So were going to start working on "Leave No Trace" this week in our Tiger Cub den, and I thought maybe I'd post about LNT here, in case noone has heard of it.

As more people use parks and recreation facilities, LEAVE NO TRACE® guidelines become even more important for outdoor visitors.

Leave No Trace is a plan that helps people to be more concerned about their environment and to help them protect it for future generations. Leave No Trace applies in a backyard or local park (frontcountry) as much as it does in the wilderness (backcountry).

We should practice Leave No Trace in our attitude and actions--wherever we go. Understanding nature strengthens our respect toward the environment. One person with thoughtless behavior or one shortcut on a trail can spoil the outdoor experience for others.

Help protect the environment by remembering that while you are there, you are a visitor. When you visit the outdoors, take special care of the area. Leave everything just as you find it.

Hiking and camping without a trace are signs of a considerate outdoorsman who cares for the environment. Travel lightly on the land.

Six Leave No Trace Guidelines for Cub Scouts

Plan Ahead

Watch for hazards and follow all the rules of the park or outdoor facility. Remember proper clothing, sunscreen, hats, first aid kits, and plenty of drinking water. Use the buddy system. Make sure you carry your family's name, phone number, and address.

Stick to Trails

Stay on marked trails whenever possible. Short-cutting trails causes the soil to wear away or to be packed, which eventually kills trees and other vegetation. Trampled wildflowers and vegetation take years to recover. Stick to trails!

Manage your pet

Managing your pet will keep people, dogs, livestock, and wildlife from feeling threatened. Make sure your pet is on a leash or controlled at all times. Do not let your pet approach or chase wildlife. When animals are chased or disturbed, they change eating patterns and use more energy that may result in poor health or death.

Take care of your pet's waste. Take a small shovel or scoop and a pick-up bag to pick up your pet's waste— wherever it's left. Place the waste bags in a trash can for disposal.

Leave what you find

When visiting any outdoor area, try to leave it the same as you find it. The less impact we each make, the longer we will enjoy what we have. Even picking flowers denies others the opportunity to see them and reduces seeds, which means fewer plants next year.

Use established restrooms. Graffiti and vandalism have no place anywhere, and they spoil the experience for others. Leave your mark by doing an approved conservation project.

Respect other visitors

Expect to meet other visitors. Be courteous and make room for others. Control your speed when biking or running. Pass with care and let others know before you pass. Avoid disturbing others by making noise or playing loud music.

Respect "No Trespassing" signs. If property boundaries are unclear, do not enter the area.

Trash Your Trash

Make sure all trash is put in a bag or trash receptacle. Trash is unsightly and ruins everyone's outdoor experience. Your trash can kill wildlife. Even materials, such as orange peels, apple cores and food scraps, take years to break down and may attract unwanted pests that could become a problem.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I was looking through old photographs yesterday, and I found this photo. It kind of struck me, because I think this is who I got my sense of adventure in the outdoors from. This is a picture of me, my sister and our Grandfather on a hike in the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey. He and my Grandmother moved there after he retired from ARCO in Philadelphia. He loved the ocean; had a sailboat, and a big Chris craft with a flying deck.

He used to take us out almost daily on the big boat; We'd go out and explore all the little hidden coves in Barnegat Bay, sliding effortlessly past hunting cabins and duck blinds closed for the season, past sand bars and jetties. We'd spend the best part of our summers fishing ,clamming, and finding seahorses and horshoe crabs in the shallows arounf Barnegat Lighthouse.

My Grandfather loved the outdoors, and I think that part of the reason I love it so. Moreover, i think the joy he had in showing me and my sister new and wonderous things in his backyard is why I want my boys to know it as well. He died 12 years ago, and he left a really big hole in my heart when he went, but I think seeing the wonder of new discoveries in my sons eyes is shoring up that hole, filling it in, making the pain and sorrow fade away like the sun going down on Barnegat Light and the beautiful New Jersey Pine Barrens.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I have a winner!!!

Remember these pictures from a few months ago? Well I finally found out what the little flower in the pictures was! It's not actually a flower at all, it's a Partridge Berry!

"In the wild, partridgeberry is a common component of the forest understory throughout eastern North America. It ranges from Newfoundland south to central Florida and from southern Ontario and Minnesota south to eastern Texas. The diminutive shrub inhabits the shady nooks of rich mixed-deciduous woods, preferring acidic soils. As an evergreen, it compensates for its low-light environment through its ability to photosynthesize during the entire winter season. From late spring to fall, the forest floor is cloaked in semidarkness, and mats of Mitchella repens lie prostrate, soaking up whatever sunlight penetrates the canopy above.

The creeping shrub hugs the ground, growing to only two inches in height. As the stems spread out, the branch and leaf nodes develop roots and anchor themselves into the soil. Eventually the slow-growing plant forms a dense carpet that may be several meters across. This scrambling cover spills down slopes and skirts the base of trees. By favoring such inclines, partridgeberry shrugs off fallen leaves that could otherwise smother it."

So there we have it! Mystery solved.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sorry for the absence, but I've been under the weather pretty harshly since around this time last month. I found myself over new years day with a sharp pain in my right calf that soon intensified . Long story short, I had streptococcal cellulitis in my leg that required IV's and a boat load of anti-biotics to get rid of. I have a really nasty scar on my leg now, but aside from that I'm doing pretty good.
Suffice it to say, I have not had much time for the outdoors in the past 31 days, but I'm hoping to remedy that really soon. In the interim I have found something really cool via the CU Underground!
Apparently the Holy Father has his own You Tube page! that was cool enough, but then i found this ad that NBC apparently refused to run during the Superbowl....