Sunday, February 23, 2003


Raven was in the doghouse yesterday because of his regression to the mean of belligerent behavior.

Today he did not put in an appearance while I was in the garden until 5 p.m., when he took a dead leaf from the ground and pecked at it on the wall. I guess this was his version of going out to the garden to eat worms?

Rave, martyrdom doesn't become you.

It looked to me as if he shrugged his shoulders before he flew off with the leaf dribbling out of his beak.

I felt a little strange reading the Sunday supplements without Raven editorializing over my shoulder.

Especially since Raven is an ardent chavista, I would have liked to hear his comments on last week's turn of events in Venezuela. The government of Hugo Chavez and the "opposition" (whatever that means) signed an agreement last Wednesday to put an end to violence (apparently physical and/or verbal?) Early Thursday morning Carlos Fernandez, one of the leaders of the coup conspirators was arrested coming out of a restaurant in the eastern sector of Caracas. He has been charged with Treason, Civil Rebellion and Instigating Delinquency, among other crimes. When Chavez heard the news shortly after the arrest, he celebrated with a big glass of papaya juice and went to bed with a big smile on his face....It was about time.

Also in the supplement Masiosare, an elegy for Philip Berrigan, who died in December after 40 years of resistance against violence and war. A few quotes from his autobiography, Fighting the Lamb's War, published in 1997:

On Capitalism...
"We were taught to believe in the capitalist system without ever questioning how a system that poisons the environment, jails and executes the poor people, and prospers in war can be compatible with the teachings of Christ."

On the Catholic Church and the Vietnam War...
"In November of 1966 the bishops of the US declared that the Vietnam War complied with the criteria for a just war, but those men were not going to die in a rice paddy full of leeches. Cardinal Spellman wasn't going to be walking as a sentinel in the dense jungle waiting for a sniper that would blow his brains out or for a mine that would send him home in a box of chocolates."

On the H bomb...
"Nobody asked the American people if they wanted to build another apocalyptic bomb."

On Christ and war...
"Jesus was an activist. Not a monk. He lived among the poor. He threw the merchants out of the temple, criticized the rich and powerful, ridiculed the government's functionaries. He would not have stayed in a monastery while his government was slaughtering the Vietnamese."

Rest in peace, Philip Berrigan. You deserve that which was so elusive during your lifetime.

Last month Hugo Chavez talked about Martin Luther King, Jr., calling him the "martyr of us blacks":
"Martin Luther King spoke of Jesus, the King of the people, the Lord of Venezuela, Jesus, my comandante...Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus of the cross, Jesus resurrected, Jesus the redeemer...Every day I understand Christ more--his passion, his love. Christ is my Commander in Chief."

I put down the paper and walked back out to my garden. Raven was striking a pose on the wall, holding something green in his mouth that looked suspiciously like an olive branch....


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