In Ireland, this holy day is called Imbolc and begins at sunset on February 1 continuing through sunset February 2nd. There are several different derivations offered for the name Imbolc: from Ol-melc (ewe’s milk) because the ewes are lactating at this time, from Im-bolg (around the belly) in honor of the swelling belly of the earth goddess, and from folcaim (I wash) because of the rites of purification which took place at this time. All of these explanations capture the themes of this festival.
February 1st is the feast day of St. Brigid, who began her life as a pagan goddess and ended up a Christian saint. She was a fire and fertility goddess. In her temple at Kildare, vestal virgins tended an eternal fire. On her feast day, her statue was washed in the sea (purification) and then carried in a cart through the fields surrounded by candles.
The legends about the goddess, Brigid, gradually became associated with (the somewhat spurious) Saint Brigid who founded the first convent in Ireland (where else?) at Kildare.
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For once, it looks like the worst weather’s going to pass us by here in the little town of Philadelphia. A little bit of icing tonight, more in the morning but then it all turns to rain tomorrow afternoon.
On the other hand, Australia is screwed. A horrific cyclone is headed right at them, and the ground is already saturated from last month’s floods. Say a prayer for them
Just plain barking crazy. Now he’s scaring the hell out of the people who are dumb enough to believe a word he says.
They say the healing begins with finding common ground! Tbogg:
Forgoing professional courtesy, Al Qaeda is now threatening the banksters:
Security officials are warning the leaders of major Wall Street banks that al Qaeda terrorists in Yemen may be trying to plan attacks against those financial institutions or their leading executives.
Intelligence officials stress the threats are general in nature and there is “no indication of a targeted assassination plot” against any Wall Street executive. But NBCNewYork.com has learned officials fear the names of some top banking executives have been discussed by terror operatives overseas.
Part of me is trying to avoid being cynical about this, but then another part of me knows that these same banking executives will now be demanding hazardous duty pay on top of their already bloated ill-gotten gains.
The FCIC report misses the point in a major way, as Yves Smith points out.
The market was actively seeking bad mortgage loans, because they made much more money shorting the bad loans than they did on originating good ones. Michael Lewis describes this in his book, “The Big Short.” Matt Taibbi’s been screaming it from the rooftops.
But somehow, the FCIC missed it. Or missed it on purpose. Because no regulation with real teeth was put into place that will prevent it from happening again, so Wall St. got their money’s worth.
Someone recently asked me about getting into the HAMP program. I said, “If things are really bad, save the money to file for bankruptcy instead. I’ve heard nothing but bad things about HAMP, and most people end up losing their homes, anyway.”
I don’t know how administration officials can really believe that unemployment is structural — that is, some industries have reached new levels of productivity and simply don’t need as many workers — because if that were true, we’d see a healthy recovery in other sectors, and we don’t. No, the real problem is that corporations have used this recession as an excuse for massive layoffs, and holding that threat over remaining workers to keep wages low and work loads high:
There are two problems with the jobs recovery: Employers haven’t added enough jobs. And those they have added aren’t particularly good ones.
The former problem has gotten a lot of attention, with many economists and politicians talking about job growth averaging less than 100,000 a month last year, not enough to keep up with population growth or make a significant dent in unemployment.
But experts say the low-wage jobs that have been added are also a serious problem — putting downward pressure on wages and keeping consumer spending in check.
“Growth has been concentrated in mid-wage and lower-wage industries. By contrast, higher-wage industries showed weak growth and even net losses,” said Annette Bernhardt, policy co-director for the National Employment Project. She said that growth has been far more unbalanced than during previous job recoveries.
Bernhardt’s analysis of the first seven months of job growth in 2010 found that 76 percent of jobs created were in low- to mid-wage industries — those earning between $8.92 to $15 an hour, on average, well below the national average hourly wage of $22.60 in 2010.
She said a preliminary analysis of full-year results suggests the same trend is still holding true, although she cautioned that final employment figures are needed.
But the biggest problem is continued job losses in higher-wage industries severely hit by the bursting of the housing bubble — construction and financial services. Recoveries in those sectors helped lead the economy out of earlier downturns, but they’re still suffering more than a year and a half after the official end of the Great Recession.