Monday, May 31, 2010

This Memorial Day

This Memorial Day

There is Nothing Left To Say

But End the Carnage and Decay

End it Today Without Delay

Killing Off Women

In The Name Of Ambition, Lust, Greed and Ego.

That is the story of the Stoning of Soroya M. I watched it on DVD last night hoping to get some insight into the culture in Iran where it takes place. It is a hideous movie that ends in a graphic depiction of an actual stoning. If you are wondering how they did that at the time of Christ you can see how they did that.

I now think I know what Jesus was doing when he was writing in the sand asking the men "Who among you is without sin cast the first stone." He was drawing a circle that makes the pit for the stoning- and asking the men if they would like to get in. Let me explain-

Adultery in those days and parts of the world now was punishable by capital punishment- you cheat, you die. By having stones thrown at you. I always wondered how that could happen --wouldn't people just run away fast? How did they stone Stephen? Why didn't he run? Answer: he couldn't. He was half buried and bound.

The first thing they do when they stone you is they dig a pit. A large hole in the ground. Someone draws a large circle and they start digging. They have to bury you alive from the waiste down first so a circle is drawn in the dirt or sand and a pit hole is made into which the victim must stand and dirt dumped around them until only the upper torso and head is showing- their hands are tied with rope so they can't move or deflect the stones. The person dies when enough stones penetrate the skull and they bleed to death from the wounds.

It would be a mistake to say as some have that this is a general commentary of the way all muslim cultures treat women. The Turkish Constitution for example outlaws all forms of Capital Punishment which they did wanting to join the EU as that is a feature of the EU Constitution.

It is a more apt commentary on how men generally can be filled with such hatred toward women everywhere- and in some muslim cultures this is still an acceptable manifestation of punishment.
In this story an elaborate plot is woven to indict a totally innocent person because she was in the way of the ambitions, greed, lust and ego of her husband who wanted to dump her for the younger model, a fancy car in his midlife melt-down, and she wasn't going to give him a free and easy divorce. So he killed her off. He enlisted the entire community so his "honor" would be preserved, by concocting false allegations about her infidelity. A man in town's wife died and this widower had hired her to cook, do wash and baby sit his son- and the husband used this as a pretext to call her an adulteress when that was the furthest thing from her mind. Not only that, he disgraced and slandered her even more deeply by saying that she was seducing the son. The community was outraged by this- so by his bearing false witness he succeeded in riling up an entire town who felt morally compelled then to kill her off in the name of Allah.

There are obviously other ways that this happens in every society out there- men trying to kill off women when they get in the path of their ambition, greed, lust for power or other women and ego. This is the most primative brutal way. There are other plots out there concocted to do in women who get int he way- and equally slanderous. The movie should cause all men to reflect on what type of men they really are and how do they treat their women?
What sort of social stonings have you participated in- based on pure slanderous lies and false witness that sought to kill off someone?

We may be more subtle in the manner in which we attempt to destroy women in this country, but it still happens on a psycho-social economic level here. Plots thicken, women die.
Check yourself. And go to Confession.

He who is without sin cast the first stone. Jesus has his finger in the sand and he is about to draw a circle.

The United Nations should BAN all stoning everywhere in the world as cruel and unusual and the Europeans should take the lead to do it (the US still shockingly has capital punishment of various barbaric kinds). Stonings of women believed to be adulterous happen in several countries in the Middle East still. ALL Stoning should be outlawed as a first step.
Thereafter all forms of Capital Punishment should be banned. The UN should make all member nations sign The International Convention Against Capital Punishment.
Actual live video footage of a stoning in Iran:
The UN Needs to Ban it. Everywhere.
And THIS still happens in the world today:
Now aren't you glad we have an 8th Amendment to our Constitution in the US against Cruel and Unusual Punishments? The most cruel and the most unusual obviously is the death penalty-
so we don't enforce the 8th Amendment everywhere- but at least the above sort of punishment we are morally revulsed by.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Father , Son and Holy Spirit

And the Lady Whose 'Yes' Made It all Happen.

Catholicism is really a feminist religion- if only all the dominicans would get it.
Mary mother most holy is the anchor and Holy
Spirit's spouse- were it not for her Jesus wouldn't have landed on earth.
She was picked for a reason. She had to be there, she had to say "yes." Let your will be done.
She didn't abort or throw herself off a bridge when she found out she was pregnant without official marriage- she heard the Angel- and most importantly didn't doubt she heard the Angel.

What child? You heard an Angel? Are you crazy? Did you forget to take your vitamins? Are you dreaming? too much wine perhaps? An angel? Daft child.

No. I heard an angel. i said Yes. Let it be done to me according to your will.

We celebrate the Holy Trinity Sunday this weekend. The Holy Trinity celebrates the Blessed Mother Most Holy who said Yes- and changed History by believing in the voice of an Angel.

Bet You Didn't Know

This Guy is Running For Mayor of Washington, DC.

Founder/Director of the Safe Streets Foundation and sister org. the Prisoners Art Gallery. see,
I've got to get away from here
Can't feel the meaning of my own tear
so much hatred fills the air
of people who call themselves friends
of God
I've got to get away from here
dogma eclipsed kindness and Love I fear
is something they only read about
and mimick doctrines to give them clout
in fundraising appeals
I've got to get away from here.

I've got to get away from here
The summer is getting near
and memories of carefree beaches
and dunes in breezes beckons softly
to leave the arguments behind
and find your old trappist friend's
Seven Story Mountain on a beach lounge
I'll find by the pool.

I've got to get away from here
There is no life in this tear
there is no one that will hear
It's too profitable to tear and tear
out the heart and call it piety
I'm so sick of all your notoriety

I've got to get away from here

I've got to get away from here
There is nothing for me to cheer
There is only the residue of your scared
timidity and cruelties
I have nothing left to give or hope
I can't keep up this joke
I've got to get away from here.

I need my mother like I was five
I need my father but he's not alive
I need you to step up to the plate
like you care at all
Instead your ego is trapped in gall
the stuff of stone and stoney hearts
that call evil holy and love is lost

I need to get out of here.
I'm just not impressed any more
and can't pretend
can't play that Game
that you won't let end
Can't see you breaking reason through
And can't wait till my face turns blue
I have to get out of here.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Celibacy Redux

How very sad for you
that you have such a small view
of the Power of God Almighty Elevated
that his coming to earth consecrated
in form of food for ingratious gestation
would depend on any constant continence
of human vessels so intrinsically blighted and fallen
that like swiss cheese with sin holes so devastatingly large
that mere sexual continence could keep Him Inside
a leavenless wafer mysteriously as though that could be
magically created by the condition of purity of human body.
No, I am sorry, your theology is wobbly and full
of contrariness to Scriptural truths
and the Papal decrees aptly titled in this matter "Bull."

Three Gay Men

Who Saved My Life- but don't tell.

I was taking language brusher up immersion in the south of france. I won't tell you where or you will get jealous. My favorite language teacher in the little program was a guy name Claude who were he about a foot taller would have been my forever boyfriend (I thought at the time), but as he was an adorable shrimpboat (don't tell him I said that) I found another romantic intrigue in the south of france, which, after all is the place for that sort of thing.
My georgeous man friend was tall, tan and handsome and we dated, almost every night for about two weeks and I was falling for him a bit. Then entered the Blonde Belgiun who spoke better french than I, and more masterfully worked the art of seduction. Hey, I'm American, and I don't play that (much)- So my fine friend about three weeks into the crush hooked up in the European sense with the Belgiun and I was emotionally deflated in the South of France. No place to be emotionally deflated. Fear Not- entered Claude who not only taught me some pretty awesome french phraseaology, but took me to lunch and even let me house sit for him for free when he went to Spain on vacation so I could stay an extra two weeks in France just hanging out at the beaches. Above and beyond Monsiour instructeur. He got me safely to the airport, blew two french air kisses at me and kept in touch for years via email. I love him to pieces.
Claude opened up a bit about the fact that his 'partner' in Paris died of Aids. His partner was at one point married and had a natural son named Michael. As a result when Michael was quite young Claude formally adopted him and became the child's father. (The mother was a disfunctional nightmare apparently) Claude, on top of being a linguist teaching french classes was getting an advanced degree in nursing because his ambition was to be able to go all over the world (Africa in particular) to help AIDS patients. Claude is a practicing Catholic. He helped save my life.

The next salvation story is about someone you may know because he lives in DC so I will use a pseudonym and call him Ron. Ron also lost a partner to AIDS. I was in between law jobs and going through very tough issues, financially, emotionally, spiritually- every which way but loose. I was listed with a translation service to tutor French in DC. Ron called me. He wants to learn French. He was planning some travel. He suggested we meet at the Methodist Church Hillary used to go to which had classrooms he could reserve-quieter than meeting at Starbucks. So we met there at first, then he started opening up about himself a bit. He suggested that we meet instead at his apartment in Dupont which he proudly just redecorated after his partner died to freshen it up and give himself a new start. He was deeply grieving still. He lost the love of his life. Pictures of the partner were still prominent in the apartment next to his parent's photo. Ron was from the South and prefered living in Washington, DC- he felt suffocated in his small home town.
He was HIV positive also and took a medicine cabinet full of pills that he had laid out neatly in little plastic boxes. He was trying to stay alive, and I was trying to keep him that way also. He worked at NIH in Bethesda on some cutting edge cancer research. Teaching him french gave him inspiration that one day he would have a little house by the water somewhere in Brittany, France and retire there. He gave me hope that I could be a great French teacher if I felt like devoting time to it and remembered that I had a thought in high school that this would be a great way to justify frequent trips to France.
He helped save my life.

The next person you will recognize in the everyman generic sense because you know him too- he is the Gay Priest. I will just call him Father. Before Benedict came in office five years ago there were a lot of gay priests- then he laid down the law and 'cleaned out' the seminaries.
Men would choose to live forever together with other men for a reason I reasoned- no interest in women might mean interest in men or it might mean just no interest or that actually calling and 'gift' of celibacy given to people like John the Baptist who didn't ask for or relish that 'gift' no doubt any more than he relished being locked up underneath Salome's dancing shoes.
The Priest gave me the Bread from Heaven. He helped save my life.

So if a French Linguist, a NIH Researcher, and a Priest can help save my life, don't you think that a US Soldier can help save yours too? I do. Why on earth wouldn't you let them?

THANK YOU to the House (and Nancy of course) for passing the repeal of 'don't ask don't tell.
Now lets not let the Senate Filibuster Buster Brown. Just let them serve our country and thank them for it.


Where's My Ring

Oh For The Love Of God

And Womankind.
Not again- yes, protests abound from high and low- because THERE IS NO MALE OR FEMALE IN CHRIST JESUS.

Now a bunch of italian women who admit they were in love with Priests (and visa vera in some cases) have written a letter to the Pope. LET OUR MEN GO. It's possible to be both holy, a priest and loving being a priest and deeply in love with a woman. It is not only not incompatible it is about as compatable as ice with tea or rum with raisin icecream or icing on cake. It is about as compatible as white on rice, bread with butter, caramel and apples and white satin with lace wedding dresses.

Love and marriage, love and marriage, they go together like horse and carriage.
Didn't your mother tell you?

cut and paste this to your browser:

My House

Is A House Of Prayer For All Peoples.

"Pray- it really really reallly really really really really really works." Fr. Panke, Priest in the Archdiocese of Washington, DC

Imagine if the next wave of blackberries went like this: you could transmit text without touching the keypad but just by shouting it and voice recognition technology would hear it and write the text on the blackberry. Now imaging an intelligence system so advanced that it could be received somehow right into your brain scan screen without going through a blackberry- now imagine a system so advanced that you don't even have to shout it into the first device to get text to register but if you just telepathically projected it by thinking it in a concentrated focused manner deliberately it registered and transmitted.

That is how we are wired for Prayer with the aid of that invisible blackberry called the Holy Spirit. God is much higher intelligent life. He wired us to be in communication with him. Pray- it really, really, really, really, really, really works.

Romans 8-26

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow

Organic Gardening

From your backyard or your patio or balcony garden to your table. At the forefront of the organic farming movement is this off the hook fabulous organic auberge near Arles in France. Arles is that beautiful place Van Gogh went to paint the famous sunflowers- which the chef in this restaurant uses it's petals for garnish- this restaurant is on my bucket list. Folks in Paris take a quick train for lunch.

Another Thing the French Can Teach Us

Imagine This On The Mall in DC

Those salt of the earth famer types are organized in France and there are thousands and thousands of them under the age of 35. The French are the largest natural farm grown produce providers of all of Europe.
So the Farmers decided to go to the Capital and turned the Champs Elysee into an Agri-Paradise with flowers, veg, and even farm animals. The President and his famous model wife are having a field day (literally)- Time Mag. has some fantastic photos.,29307,1991378_2142048,00.html

You can even buy a plot of dirt for yourself.

Here's my thought:
Why hasn't anyone thought of that here in the US turning the Mall into something springing flora and folliage abundantly? Too messy?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oh keith -someone tell him quick

Olberman Call Me Quick

You confused the "Ark of the Covenant " with Noah's. Here is what he said -paraphrased-:
"a republican on the floor has declared he found the Ark of the Covenant in Arizona. Hope all the animals have their papers with them."

You do know that the Ark of the Covenant is the one the Hebrew Israelis carried around their travels -not Noah's.

Countdown. to what?

Priestly Quip of the Day (from Saint Matthews 5:30 Mass):

In the first century they all said "look how those Christians love each other." Now they say "look how those Catholics love to make each other suffer!"

Best Quote of the Day

Barney Frank:

"Try to Avoid Telling People More Than You Know" [on C-span today on not relying on the rating agencies too much for regulatory valuation purposes.]

But feel free to use it wherever appropriate.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Did You See This Coming?

Bloody Brilliant I Am

Hire Fergie to Coach Kagan on elocution- like Liza Dolittle for the Senate hearings. Put her on the Coaching Staff. How to dress properly and get the best out of a pixie do. How to smile telegenically into the camera (Fergie has loads of on camera experience)- What colors suits best complement the complexion? Should she highlight or baillage? Dark hose or light hose? Belt high like Michele or low like Cher? No, beltless- more Brooks Brothers for Women.

Pay Fergie the exact sum of all her debts and let her start over.

This is a job for.....HILLLLLARY!!!

Funds For Fergie

I've Started A Collection.

Fergie needs a bucket of cash. She had a business go belly up which had her belly go up losing her Weight Watchers gig. And Jenny Craig is whipping their tail anyway.

I hereby call on everyone who loved Princess Di to help her former Sister in Law because that is what Di would do were she alive. She wouldn't let Fergie go down in disgrace in debt.
They have BILLIONS people.
So I propose that the Buck House Buck Up and Put Up a few matching funds to anyone who donates to Fergie care of the Queen who can surely be trusted to give the funds to her former Daughter in Law and the Mum of her two grandchildren at the following address:

Buckingham Palace Road / The Mall
London SW1A 1AA, United Kingdom 020 7766 7300

Please be generous.

Buy her a cottage in the cottswolds.

The Kagan Conundrum

Monkey Business and Monkey Wrenches

You will wish you went to the beach rather than glue yourself to the TV for these confirmation hearings. It they are comprised of two weeks of Mitch blasting her over blocking military recruiters over the gay discrimination issue expect a large collective yawn-NEXT!

What is there possibly to be troubled about here? She needs to lose 20 pounds? She swings a mean baseball bat? The latest hysteria is that softball is a "lesbian" sport apparently. The entire American School in London high school team played softball in Regents Park. That's what we have Title IX for-to label some sports "lesbian sports?" And shot put isn't? Or the Luge?
Do you realize that there is a softball league of some of the best lawfirms in a few major cities. I was in one in LA. The women were the cutest in the firm (not bragging)- because they got outside and exercised. There are church softball leagues for crying out loud.

And what-she looks too stocky? Perhaps she is peri-menapausal hormonally unbalanced? Perhaps she just has a bad hair stylist and refuses to pay $300 for a coif.
This is how you want Supreme Court justices judged?
She hasn't cross-examined anyone nor seen the inside of a courtroom? So you want to rule out all the real estate partners in all large firms, all the M&A transactional types who only get in a courtroom when they are co-conspirators in their client's financial fraud. How about all Mediation expert attorneys who know how to keep their clients out of trial by settling first because that is the overwhelmingly stated preference of most courts? All successful attorneys who kept their clients out of court shall never be considered for Supreme Court Justices. How about all attorneys in the US State Department? How about all attorneys who just file SEC reports?

This woman is not only singularly well qualified, she is extremely impressive. She is in fact light years smarter than the overwhelming number of Senators who will be questioning her- so mind your Ps and Qs and dot your "i"s and cross your "t"s. You aren't taking this good woman down without a fight.

Didn't Want To Touch This One

But Couldn't Resist

Princess "Grubbie" as they now dub poor Fergie tried to pull an Amscam on her poor X by promising access for a few bucks (about 3- quarter mil. us and half a mil. british pounds) if only the 'fake sheik' tabloid journalist posing as an international tycoon of sorts handed it over with about a 40k pound downpayment. Caught in sleezy motel pose chain smoking like she was a front woman for the Corliones, she flippantly pimps her x up for sale like he's got the keys to capitalism and she 's the venture start-up. Dateline wishes they thought of it.

This sad spectacle is sure to have the Queen lividly rosy cheeked. By all accounts the House of Windsor is looking chagrined.

My only thought was- Fergie should have gotten an LA street saavy divorce attorney who calculated the princely wealth future income stream in her settlement- because 20,000 pounds alimony while the two girls are growing up strikes me as a pittance given the networth of the House of Windsor. I don't care if they are divorced- she is the girl's MUM.

Someone needs to help her. The royal household should be ashamed she is only paid 20,000 pounds a year. Sell a castle for crying out loud- she's the mother of the grandchildren.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

More Thoughts on Normalcy

and Other Compulsions to Not Rock Boats or Walk on Water

How "normal" do you think it was for darting firey flames to appear above apostles heads? Have you seen that lately? I have seen a few fuzzy bad dried hair dye jobs, but nothing resembling darting flames. How "normal" was it for people to pass over a shadow of someone you know and be instantly healed from whatever ailed them? How "normal" was it for someone to spit into some dirt and make mud, smear it on someone's blind eyes and cure cataracts or whatever blinded them for life? How "normal" was it for demons to leap from bodies into pigs and plummet off hills at His command?
There was NOTHING 'Normal" about what Jesus did while he was here. It was beyond miraculous. It was paranormal and supranormal. Because Jesus is GOD. When you stuff him in your box, of your limited understanding of "religion" , your religion has co-opted and captured him in your image. God is not made in man's image. It's the other way around.

Jesus is God- and that my friends, is well beyond our full understanding. We see as in a mirror dimly now, then we shall see face to face. He is the God of infinate surprise- because he is the Hound of Heaven that will not be sent back to his Box.
The above photo is from a Dome in the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Basillica in Washington, DC that is worth a visit. Flames- dancing on people's heads- when have you seen that lately?


When the Catholic Church treats Jesus like a Bad Dog, It Misses The Message And Quashes the Spirit

We had a pet dog who was full of joie de vivre as a puppy and got into everything.
He was what they call "crate trained" meaning the official training method for outdoor potty
training and keeping him in line was to punish him by putting him in his crate, where he also
spent the night and was let out in the morning. He knew this was where he got to retire to his corner time out if he was caught chewing shoes or peeing on the oriental rug.

'Back in your box!' my mother would yell and sheepishly, tail between his legs he crawled into his crate. This was always a bit annoying because we couldn't play with the dog then-and felt his pain.

This became a joking metaphor for anything my mother didn't like about anything any kid did- you dated someone she found putrid "Back in Your Box!" or you didn't all the way mow the grass and missed a spot "Back in Your Box!" It became such a joke that the siblings started using on each other- you stayed out too late-back in your box! Your skirt is way too skimpy and your butt looks too big-back in your box! Sometimes this got ridiculous in the extreme but was so obviously ridiculous it was well understood as a joke.

Does the church do this a bit to Jesus? Does the church stand in Judgment of Jesus and the Holy spirit rather than the other way around? Does the church like tidy rules and restrictions outside the man-made boundries of which transgression cause everyone to shout- no! You cannot do it that way! Only green vestments this day, pink that day and only this posture or that pose for lifting up the eucharist. Against the rules! and they retreat to stuffing Jesus in the Box, at the Holy Tabernacle, like he is a Jack in the Box that can be stuffed back into behaving-and anything outside the lines evokes cries of "Back in Your Box!".

Jesus for example, could not ever speak powerfully through a woman at the pulpit in a Homily-Back in Your Box! Jesus, it is assumed could never want to be consecrated through a woman- Back in Your Box! Jesus couldn't use a one armed priest-how is he going to pose properly lifting the eucharist-back in your box Jesus!! Jesus could never want a priest to actually know what having his own children would be like rather than baptizing everyone else's alone (as if one precluded the other)-Back in Your Box Jesus! Now everyone on your knees chanting something in Latin some saint in the middle ages made up in Latin and give me twenty!!

When the dog wasn't in the box he was romping and playing, giving people licking kisses washing their feet, demonstrating affection to the neighbors (even the neighbors' cat). If he was Lassie he could have saved someone from a burning house if he wasn't in the Box.

When the Holy Spirit came down on the people at Pentacost, which was an already Jewish holiday where people were gathered, the first instinct of the people was- they are all drunk-they all started talking in languages not their own in a reverse sort of Babel- and were given understanding beyond the normal protocol. This is how the Holy Spirit looks- it looks drunk to the uninitiated, unbaptized by the Holy Spirit- it looks outside the lines, a bit unruly, and the orthodoxy always want to shout "BACK IN YOUR BOX!"

But in the end the Holy Spirit always prevails- because it is far holier, far higher than all the rules- and most definately, Bigger Than A Breadbox.

Get Ready For It


I love America Magazine, that Jesuit push the envelope to make everyone think rag.

If you missed church at Easter (how could you) get there this sunday. Pentacost Sunday
brackets the end of the Easter Season.
You too can make miracles happen for someone who needs you.

As often as you eat this bread and drink this this in memory of me.
How often do you eat bread and drink wine? If you were a first century israeli you did it every day. That is what you lived on- bread and a little wine (now they know it's even good for your heart). I am the vine you are the branches-wine metaphors everywhere. So the point was
as often as you do this, every single day, remember me, Jesus. I was and am with you, Every Day. Not just when you dress up nicely and drive to church to find me sitting in a box somewhere. I am with you, Jusq'au Fin Du Monde-until the end of time.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Ok, Ask me Anything-

I'll tell you whatever I feel like, or I tell you it's none of your business because it has nothing to do with how I lace and polish my boots- or translate Persian (can you do that?).

Isn't "Don't Ask" an infringement of the first amendment? OK Ask if you want.
Can we TAWK? How about establishing the Ministry of Asking or Psychiatric Office of Not Telling, with a few colonel stripes attached. What are you twelve?

Don't Ask if you don't want to know, don't tell if you don't want to be friends. Especially don't tell if you aren't into the Dude. Most importantly, don't look-like in the shower.

OK, so the policy should be Don't Look, Don't Peak, Don't Wink- Court Marshall!
How bout Don't drool, don't whistle, don't smack your lips and don't hit the urinals at the same time as the guy you think is cute.

Government Policies.
For War.

Why do I think I have landed in a script for a Monty Python pilot.
All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.
James ThurberUS author, cartoonist, humorist, & satirist (1894 - 1961)

[how cute is Olberman in a red leather armchair. Tune in to Olberman and get a private reading of James Thurber. I knew there was a reason I didn't pub crawl tonight]

S.E.W. What?


Go Sister, Soul Sister.....
Sister Anne Marie, a SSND (Sisters of Notre Dame) graced a group last night in a corner of Friendship Heights, Chevy Chase with a presentation on what a group of remarkable women from El Salvador are doing to keep their families alive. I walked past the Chevy Chase Tiffany's, Barneys, and took a left past the Brooks Brothers, walking through the Friendship Heights fountained park into high end condoland. There a humble sister with a cardboard stand up display with photos and hand-outs told us about another world south of our border.
El Salvador recall had a bloody civil war and many of the men emigrated to American to find work thereafter-those that were not killed in the war. It left a lot of women to fend for themselves off the skinny of the land. It was a two hour bus ride each day each way to get to factories in San Salvador for many of them. There had to be a better way and life than a long bus road to a small house by grueling factory labor.
Enter Sister Anne Marie (photo above), who use to visit her fellow Sister of Notre Dame there in San Salvador. She had a plan. Let's start organizing the women into co-operatives of mini-industry that would allow them to stay more local, give them time with their families/kids, give them ownership in their enterprises and pride in their craft.
The Salvadoral Enterprises for Women was born, and in spite of some political and cultural setbacks has not stopped growing since. The shy retiring woman who thought she could not do anything because she couldn't read or write started working in a mobil kitchen that serviced fairs and events and eventually she became part owner in this co-op concept, and is in literacy classes now, explained Sister Anne, whose vision for the women goes beyond just giving them a craft or trade, but is all about self-respect, dignity, awareness of their beauty as beloved children of God and empowerment. Some of the women now sit on city councils she explained.
Some of the little businesses that they run include a bio-natural organic plant based herbal medicine manufacturing and distribution with wisdom taken from the native south americans regarding healing herbs and plants, a bakery, a mobil kitchen, a sewing industry that makes embroidered shirts and georgeous jackets (Holy Trinity catholic church in DC sells them annually at their Christmas fair) Hen farms for eggs, candle-making, and a variety of other crafts and services.
Sister Anne spoke about some of the cultural barriers to introducing women to the self-sufficiency that their own labors can provide and building self -esteem. They have teams of experienced trainers who start with education on bodily integrity among other things who instruct, explained the good Sister "it is not all right for anyone to hit your body." Domestic violence is rampant in overly machoistic cultures and the El Salvadoral rural peasant population are no exceptions. Just not all right.
Sister Anne is looking for partners to team up with her effort with support and even brave souls who wish to visit. Click on their site for more information,
or give Sister Anne an email hollar at annemarie [at] (replace at with @ and say Cynthia sent you)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

more than adorable


Holy Smokes

And Other Vatican Fires To Put Out.

If you missed it here it is again-no excuse now, read it.

Who is this priest who says -gasp- priests should get to chose whether to live in families of actual women and their actual natural children or in 'families' of all male 'eunichs' for the kingdom and a bevy of sex starved watergate widows making pet poodles of them?

Hey, whatever works for you- but don't call it "holy" or I will call the fire department for all the
flaming BS.

When in Doubt

Just Blame The Brits.

Have you been to Texas lately? Did you hear rumor of a Texas Governor suggesting that Texas should cede from the Union (over Obamacare or other 'socialist' impulses of that elitist northeast?)

The BP-British Petroleum nemesis is a convenient one to lob blame on-after all, they are British and if they have to pay up, it takes less US jobs off the map than blaming what immediately came to my mind- a Halliburton sabotague.

Remember Halliburton? The Cheney company- does he still get deffered stock options of some kind into perpetuity ? If you ask the conspiracy theorists (my tin hat is gold bronzed in the closet) whether 9-11 had anything to do with rigging war profiteering of the king profiter, you may find that Halliburton was at the center of the current oil leak crisis in Louisiana.

How are they dead center? They allegedly installed the "plugs" in the shaft gap that was supposed to plug the well- allegedly three of them? I am not an enginner and all I know is what the news has been reporting. Not privy to any special reports, but I do find that the BP blame is too conveniently on not an American owned company.

Who would know if the Halliburton plugging devices were actually functional or placed properly to avoid leakage? Who would know if someone commanded them to just rig them a bit off center so they would blow? Who would ever know? Who would ever know if there was a defective missing piece in the plug apparatus that even the installer underwater could not detect? Who would know if it was all made of bubblegum? All the evidence would be destroyed in the blaze - like 9-11.

It has been long speculated that the only thing that would tank this Presidency (and what Republican operative doesn't want it tanked for 2012) would be backlash over oil permits granted to drill off the Eastern Shore coast and parts of California if the public became cognizant of the damage that could be done by a massive spill. That has been out there. I even blogged about it earlier (put oil in the search engine top left).

It's too easy this one- the hardest part is finding any of the evidence alive and talking.

Setting Standards of Sin-Sationalism

And the American Dream

We in America don't suffer fools much when it comes to marital infidelity - adultery is a cardinal no no. Hence, if you are a public figure, like that poor schmuck from Gingrich's congressional class of 1994 who had an affair with a 'part time staff member' (what was she
doing the other part time?) you are asked to resign by the leadership.
Contrast this with the French leadership where the leader is a known adulterer and in
fact adulterated in office and switched wives mid-term. The French themselves jokingly refer to their three national past-times as "Le Fut (football/soccer), Greve (striking, as in industrial striking not hitting anyone) and L'Adultere (you guessed it.)
I ask you- with half the country divorced isn't that more actually representative or at
least equally representative of the country ? Of the people who do not divorce a sizeable
portion of those experienced some infidelity in marriage anyway.
Then Rachel Maddow lambasts these politicians as hypocrites because-what gay people
don't also switch partners now and again and so she can talk?
Are we being too cruel to our politicians? Politician is after all, not supposed to be, PASTOR
or Theologian, or Priest- perhaps infidelity there juggling concubines is worthy of dismissal.
But Politician? What are they supposed to be representing us on here? Are we privy to the details of a nagging wretchedly unhappy verbally abusive wife, or a woman who prefers the company of other women (or her georgeous adult sons) to giving her husband any so he cheats? It takes two to Tango they say, and that means it takes two to be wallflowers. So why don't we run these spouses through public humiliations also? We fire the men politicians?

i have to say, with a bit of European sensibility about these sorts of matters having spent all of high school in Europe, that I find little to do with, for example the Euro melt-down or Greek currency crisis with someone cheating on their spouses. That is to say, what about the Financial Regulation Reform being currently debated has a hoot or hollar to do with a representative getting too affectionate with a staff person? Nada, Nunca, Not a Whit.
So if his job performance isn't compromised, if he is still the same analytic dolt with respect to his bills, why fire him? He didn't run for Pastor did he?

Lest you think I have jumped on the same slide toward Gommorrah the rest of the secular europe has regarding this, I should say that you might read the annals of King David-that famous forebearer of our very own Jesus. King David, perhaps the greatest King in Israeli history (or maybe Solomon was greatest, or was he just wisest?) not only was an adulterer, but he conspired to essentially hire a hit man to do in his lover Bathsheba's husband Uriah by sending him to the front lines of a battle then commanding his commanding officer to withdraw troop forces behind him so he was left dangling unprotected in the line of fire. This created a sharade of -oh poor Urian lost nobly in battle- now I get to keep the pregnant Bathsheba. Talk about a Sleazy Mess!

God apparently forgave King David. Totally and Completely. He not only forgave the two adulterous wanton lovers, he blessed them eventually with a son who was the wisest in the world King Solomon whose wisdom has not been surpassed since.

So shouldn't we cut politicans a break in America? Shouldn't the job qualifications have more to do with what they actually do in Congress rather than where they spend their evenings? It is a hard life I imagine with families now in home districts, and being requried to work long hours in Congress in DC where a fair amount of socializing is expected actually.

One confessor once told me that weaknesses of the flesh are the easiest to commit and therefore should be the easiest to forgive. If God forgives them, who are we to run people out of town for it? Aren't you being a little too Church Ladyist there Republican leadership?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Grass

Has Roots
in Pennsylvania.




In the up-start buck the machine move of the century Joe Sestak took out Arlen Spector in the Pennsylvania Primary. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU JESUS.

Proving that there is no such thing in this country as a Senator For Life, Sestak did something unbelievable: he believed in himself and he believed in the Good People of Pennsylvania. Now you try it.

The big party machinery in Washington cannot simply anoint their croonies and cut deals that no one knows about and sell to the rest of the country like we are all a bunch of idiots using the electorate in elaborate pawns in legislative wrangling. The people from Pennsylvania know better.

Spector lost in all but 3 counties in Pennsylvania who handily gave their majority votes to Sestak. The political hackery that said that Spector would be a better contender in a general election against a Republican after betraying his republican friends and after 30 years of dogging democrats (and a few republicans alike) was just CAAARAAAZZY people. Give back your political consultant commissions.

So Proud To Be An American Today. And to top it off Sestak gave his Victory Speech from a place I lived and sort of call a hometown- VALLEY FORGE. Rich.

We love you Senator Sestak. CONGRATULATIONS.

I am Cynthia Louise Butler, Esq. member of the Pennsylvania Bar and daughter of John Charles Butler (born Pittsburgh, PA, October 4, 1932 to February 8, 1996) and I endorsed this message.

Monday, May 17, 2010




Sestak for Pennsylvania

Then go party with Chris Matthews at the Loews in downtown Philly.
1200 Market St. 215-627-1200

Bye Bye Arlen

Roosters Coming Home

In Tuesday's (tomorrow's ) primary in Pennsylvania voters are met with an interesting choice- the incumbent was first in the Senate as a Republican and now wants the Democratic endorsement. Joe Sestak, his opposition and deemed far to the progressive left of Specter is a true Democrat, and a true patriot who served admirably in the military then went to Harvard.

Arlen Spector has served the Senate, one must admit, with a mixed bag of results. He was a Republican for most of the time....all of the time until about a year ago. Even among Republicans he was considered a mixed bag of results. Now he is just considered a mixed up old bag.

I recall that my father, a senior executive of one of Pennsylvania's more prominent corporations in the Philadelphia area went to Washington to try to talk him into support for a piece of legislation that would have really meant significantly a huge number of Pennsylvania jobs. This was years ago- I was just around college aged and concerned more with our crew results than anything going on in Washington at the time, but nonetheless, this recounting of my Father, the exquisitely well dressed well spoken business executive trying to meet with Mr. Senator stuck with me. My father's impression was that he was singularly rude, unhelpful, arrogant, dismissive, condescending and my father thought that outrageous-not because he had an oversized ego, he was a rather humble man, but because Spector did not understand the positive impact that his help could provide to the company and in turn to many many people in Pennsylvania. My father didn't contribute to politicos much- and so he didn't get much play there. His father in fact was a democratic lawyer from Pittsburgh who sat in previous years on a commission that was a political patronage position from the Pittsburgh democratic political establishment. My father was instead, however a huge church donor, a Deacon in the Presbyterian world- and gave to a number of charitable efforts on top of his significant extended family obligations. But he wasn't a big monied Republican donor, and so Spector had no time for him.
As a result the company took a hit or two and had to lay off huge numbers of people which broke my father's heart.

Joe Sestak understands what it is to be in the trenches-literally. He served in combat in the military. I heard him speak here in Washington and was singularly impressed with how thoughtful and soft spoken he was about matters of national security, from a wise understanding that only someone who has done military service can. He is not a pacifist, he will tell you- he believes we should fight for our country, our ideals, and our friends. Some wars are just and fighting back necessary to stop, for example the madman of WWII. But Sestak also spoke about why it is critical to avoid unnecessary conflict- and deeply understands what the loss of casualties does to a family and community. For that and a hundred other reasons, Joe Sestak would get my vote if I still lived in Pennsylvania and I urge you to support him if you do.

Without a doubt or second thought

Saturday, May 15, 2010

An Equally Great Choice for Supreme Court


If she wanted the job.
Ms. Nix Hines is a Princeton grad, Harvard Law School graduate who also was on law review. She clerked for Sandra Day O'Connor and Thurgood Marshall. Her father was a noted civil rights attorney who pioneered school desegregation.
She worked as under or deputy Secretary for Human Rights under Clinton's first term then went to private practice to work for former Secretary of State Warren Christopher's firm O'Melveney and Myers, then moved to Los Angeles where she is now Of Counsel to a large international firm.
Most distinguishing is her writing career-she was a journalist sort at Princeton and wrote for the New York Times prior to her law career which she re-enlivened later as a writer/producer for various TV shows with a legal/political bent such as The Practice, Alias and later Commander in Chief.
Crystal is married with a few adorable kiddies, to a man who studied once at Fuller Theological Seminary and comes from a long line of Pastors (his mother and father were/are both protestant pastors.)
Her uncle sat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

She is African American, married with kids, just a few years younger than Kagan, protestant evangelical, and brilliant.

She must not have wanted the job. Or doesn't want to move back with her family to DC.
Do they let you telecommute? Like from France?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Blind Dates From Hell

And Other Reasons "Middle Aged" Women Are Single.

I can't turn on the news or the blogosphere where this persistent meme about a US Supreme Court Justice nominee's sexual preferences aren't discussed and the "why on earth isn't she married yet" consternation. Annoying. Add to the chatter my over 70 very Republican uncle who says unnamed friends in Cambridge affirm she's gay, but so what. He doesn't care, so why should anyone else in the world.
The Washington Post recent article bemoans the fact that women over a certain age have less choices and she was just a bit too smarty pants threatening to men. Men don't like it when women excel in paycheck and position, the argument goes. How about this one: smart women don't like hanging with dumb men either.

I am going to do a little experiment in the name of advancing the cause of women pushing 50. I am roughly the same age as Kagan. The only remotely gay experience I ever had was when my seventh grade BFF sprouted enormous boobs and they looked so funny I asked to touch them-she declined- there went my first and only gay experience.
I don't look gay, while I too could stand to lose a few pounds. The same uncle declares "one can never be too rich or too thin." I am average height, about 5'6", a standard size 12 but will drop poundage if we move to warmer climbs (and I am hoping for California or Italy or both)
So I am going to see if I can get a serious blind date of someone interested in marriage. This is a blind date because my picture does not appear anywhere here so you are just going to have to take my word for it that I don't have buck teeth and an eye in the middle of my forehead. Here is also the kicker: I am not going to have sex with you. I have morals and if I decide I don't want to marry you, you aren't getting any because I am old fashioned that way.
I am still going to make you pay for dinner though, because I am testing how good a provider you could be, but you are not going to end up in the sac. Now who wants a date. Still wondering why anyone our age is still single?

But I am serious. I have long ago resigned to the fact that if a guy didn't like those rules I was going to end up a happy spinster. I had it the other way and learned to be a bit more discriminating in my approach (my uncle thinks the family is going to hell)

So if you are interested in paying for dinner, polite conversation with the erstwhile blogger who doubles as a lawyer, and don't care if all you get is fun conversation, good company, and a dinner bill, email me at HaveMercyOnUs [at] and put "blind date" in the subject line with a photo and I promise to respond (after a few questions that satisfy me that you are not a serial killer or mugger.) The last blind date I had was a car insurance salesman who phone stalked me to three different addresses in two states for years using DMV records to track me down. Scary.
Oh, and my uncle prefers someone who is (a) a doctor (b) intellectually cultured and well travelled and (c) not darker than my freckles. But no pressure and exceptions are considered.

Are you getting now why there are so many single ladies out there my age?

Fat is Beautiful

When You Are Pregnant (shocked you didn't I)

If you missed it-here is Claudia Schiffer in Germany's Vogue. If there were more pictures like this out there there would be less abortions.
Now all we have to do is get daycare and nursing rooms in all employment establishments and government buildings everywhere.
Speaking of which, if you are looking for a fun play date day with your 2-6 year old go to the Building Museum in DC (Judiciary Sq. Metro red line). They have age appropriate tool boxes and an enormous play room where your kids can play Bob the Builder with an assortment of funness. They won't want to leave.

Medicine and Faith Congress in Lourdes

Finding Faith and Healing in Lourdes, France.

(This one's for my brother in law the Yalie cardiologist
Medicine and Faith Congress in Lourdes

If you went home to your mother and you were sick what's the first thing she would do? Take your old dirty clothes and wash them, give you a brush for your messy hair, put on a pot of tea, and boil up a pot of chicken noddle or matza ball soup, and do whatever she could to make you well. Same thing happens when
you visit Lourdes where the healing waters and the strong spiritual presence there of the most famous Jewish mother creates a 'thin place' to
things connecting earth to the divine. Miracles happen whether you ask for them or are looking for them or not. Your mother can't help it.

Kagan is Not Gay

And Who Cares Anyway

We have had divorced Presidents- one hallowed and revered Reagan in some circles. We have had Philandering Presidents- don't get me started. But something about a possibly, and not really gay Supreme Court Justice has folks really really upset. It's amazing. All they know is she is 50 and single and they are really really upset.

(Jean D'Arc, or Joan of Arc, a movie depiction pictured above, and the famously beautiful Katherine Hepburn also never married- Ms. Hepburn lived to old age secretly in love with a married man who was also in love with her but would not leave his wife-the famous actor Spencer Tracey)
Here are the other alternatives as to why she never married:

1. She is a consecrated Born Again Virgin (not likely)
2. She chased unavailable men and kept falling in love with a married man.
3. She fell in love with a Priest who chose the adorable kiddies and all the free dinners of Parish life over her.
4. She didn't meet Mr. Right and wasn't dumb enough to try to make it work with Mr. Wrong.
5. She is infertile and the only man of her dreams wanted kids and left her for his hot secretary.
6. She has a weight problem and felt insecure around men.
7. She preferred spending time in the library to the kitchen, and prefers writing law review articles to cooking anything.
8. She failed the 'dancing with the Stars' audition and couldn't find a partner.
9. A series of deaths in her extended family left children parentless so she devoted her non-working hours to tending to their care

What do you want from a Supreme Court Justice? I am going to use No.3 if they come after me with the Gay Crappola, truth being a defense to libel.

At 50, by the way, some folks are STILL not menapausal (I'm not- TMI, Too much info), and can STILL have kids by the liter with a fertility specialist. I am looking up that Italian guy so I have an excuse to stay in Italy for nine months.


The Place to Be Last Night

For Culinary Afficcionados

Miriam's Kitchen, the basement home away from home for street folks to get in out of the cold every single morning to have a hot breakfast, fellowship, some crafts fun if they feel like it and all the toiletries they need, where they can connect with a Homeless Advocate from a Homeless legal clinic, or connect with a social worker, and always connect with the "Cereal Mom" lady who serves the hors d'oevres first course of a selection of breakfast cereals before the feast, has an annual fundraiser every year at the Building Museum. It is called "Bowls of Compassion" and what a brilliant fundraising idea that should be replicated.
What they do is get artists to happily donate exquisite pieces of all kinds of bowls, which liberally means everything from glass sushi platters to large salad bowls, to small designer oval wooden traditional kinds, to anything you could put soup in or just want to hang on the wall. The artists get the publicity and write-ups are featured. They auction the bowls off- typically some of these pieces would go for hundreds if not thousands.
They had a silent auction of a few select artistic pieces of jewelry and handicraft also.
This auction was done electronically with i-pod type devices. They raised a fortune last night-enough to keep it running for another year no doubt.
The regular staff and volunteers last night played cook, chef, bottle-washer, table-setter and chief waiters and waitresses as they paraded around platters of an unbelievably gourmet selection of appetizers, tapas and deserts. I don't need to eat for a week and shouldn't.
Homemade ginger gelatto, coconut-cashew lamb balls dipped in a cilantro sauce, tiny lemon tarts, curried chicken kabobs, and savory chic pea waffles with an out of this planet sauce hot off the griddle. Who thinks of this stuff?
Steve the Kitchen Guru was there, as he is every day in the kitchen at Miriams, rain, shine or blizzard. He is the master chef who literally keeps hundreds of people a day a live with his cooking.
Literally hundreds of people a day stop in each morning at the corner of Virginia Avenue catecorner across from the Kennedy Center to stop first thing in the morning in the basement of Western Presbyterian Church. They take a number and gladly stand in line for a full hot meal which typically includes (after the Cereal Mom treats them to a bowl as they wait) good protein, fruit helpings and a vegetable medley of some kind-the menu varies and is always diner quality food. Steve's motto is 'if you wouldn't eat it yourself we can't serve it.' If it looks too old it goes in the circular file.
I ran across another Favorite Food Afficionado there who as he stood by the pool inside the Building Museum, the fountain mysteriously shot forth a large burst of cascading water behind his head- and I attributed it to him- he is the famous Cook-book writing Jesuit Father Curry.
He has written a book on the Art of Jesuit Breadmaking and Jesuit Soupmaking with a new book on deserts coming out soon. Get the trilogy for Christmas- the first two are favorite smashing gifts that everyone in the family got for Christmas one year from me.

Next Year when BOWLS OF COMPASSION rolls around, you want to be there.
Trust Me- it's one of the best events in town.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Laboring in Vain

And Houses Built on Sand

The Founding Fathers clearly sought the will of God in founding the country- they clearly sought the guidance of a God who intervenes in human affairs and hoped He would intervene for them.
Otherwise, they knew, collectively that the effort would be ultimately doomed.
This is the thesis of the AU Professor who has widely published in the church-state arena. He gave a talk today at a place I had never been but was glad I went today. The Family Research Council. Usually I get thoroughly disgusted at experts on family research who never married and had no kids- but I didn't care the familial pedigree of this academic from McClean Presbyterian. Because he made sense- and he is correct. The biblical literacy level of the founders was not what it is today.
I somehow think the era of cell phones, I-pads and pod and portable dvd players has dumbed us down appreciably. No one reads anymore. Not so the founders.
This lecture is worth hearing in full- and the slide show was funner than Nintendo.

Fatima, Portugal

The Pope is today in Fatima.
It's a holy place where the Blessed Mother appeared to a couple kids to give a serious message.
The Pope gave an apostolic blessing on everyone, [even those watching on EWTN are covered according to vatican radio]. The place was packed with pilgrims.
Today is a twin Feast Day- the Assumption of the Lord and Our Lady of Fatima.
Today would be a good day to get to Mass. There is one at the Basillica (by Catholic U.) later today that the Embassy of Argentina is advertising- their whole Embassy may be there.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Different Kind of White Collar

How Often Do You See One Of Your Favorite Jesuits Featured on AOL's People Pages?

James Martin, famous for his civility and reason in the face of wing-nuttery over Obama giving a commencement address at Notre Dame last year was the favorite talking head commentator smiling atop a Roman Collar. Few knew he started his career with the blue chip giant GE in high finance.

Religion in the Public Square

And in the Supreme Court

One cannot take one's religious beliefs out of one's legal opinions, might be what any Judge might say. Ethics informed by religious beliefs informs legal reasoning one might hear anyone on a bench confess. John F. Kennedy's famous comments about his religion or it's institution not running his policy doesn't work so conveniently when one has to call upon and live within a framework of a body of ethics and moral principles in which to fashion moral principles and pronouncements pertaining to constitutional constructions. So I found it curious that with the resignation of Stevens from the Supreme Court the Court's last "Protestant" Christian is resigning, whose replacement now being proposed is Kagan, which would make the third Jewish Justice in a Court then of exclusively Catholic and Jewish Justices. I find this a remarkable event in a land overwhelmingly predominantly Protestant in numbers and origin. Not objecting, just find it remarkable and footnoteworthy in the historical evolution of the Court.
Juxtapose that with the fact that the European Constitutional convention drafters explicitly excluded any reference to the Christian roots of Europe in excising any such reference from the European Union Constitution- a secularization stripping of all religious constitutional references on purpose. So as not to offend the folks who hate Christians? Perhaps this intentional secularization is thought to make for better harmony, but contrast this with the US "We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal...endowed by their CREATOR...."

How could that religious composition of the Court affect tilts and turns of matters having to do with the hot button culture war issues of the day such as abortion, and legalized gay marriage. Kagan has a virtually faultless resume which includes stints at the prestigious solicitor general's office and the first woman Dean of Harvard Law School- a glass ceiling crasher in a man's world. She doesn't tolerate discrimination of any kind against gays- which will play big in the confirmation hearings with the right trying to appeal to their base by making hay of kicking off military recruiters out of Harvard with their 'don't ask don't tell" policies. That won't play too well and will be overrun by the respect due the first woman Dean at Harvard Law School.

She will have to (or has already) send surrogates to defend that she is not gay- probably just had a string of broken hearted episodes coupled with an intense professional ambitiousness that had men running for the hills and no time for frivolities. Hey- it happens. Why a single woman has to deflect these snide rumors when people like Souter did not is a comment on the latent sexism still prevalent against childless women (as if they could have children alone or by merely wishing they existed). Questions about abortion views will probe in confirmations deeply but no one should expect to get a straight answer. Jewish beliefs differ from Catholic ones along party lines regarding ethics of abortion at various stages and it is not a widely held Jewish belief that abortion at any stage for any reason is a moral wrong. The Senate hearings don't want to turn into a referendum on Jewish theology or the South will lose again.

Clearly Kagan is clearly qualified to sit on the Court as are hundreds if not thousands out there. Women are less likely to be large rainmaking partners in firms so it makes sense and is fair that she comes from academia and government work- Ginsburg also came from academia. It's a path that has been much more open to women because people don't have a problem with women teachers like they do with ball-busting high powered law partners. Sotomayer broke a few molds. So this is likely to be a fairly quick non-controversial Supreme Court hearing, and the votes are likely there already from all camps. The summer interns from places that track these things from the right will be cautioned not to flail ranting about her ideologies because they were burned on the Sotomayor hearing and came out looking more spicely wing-nuttish than a bowl of buffallo wings dipped in blue cheese. My sense is that Kagan is a done deal unless of course they discover something so depraved as borrowing a client's car and not disclosing it on her taxes. (Give me a break)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The News You Wished You Missed

Remember that Mojave Desert Cross Honoring WWI Vets?

Someone Stole It. Remember that Supreme Court case where the issue surrounded whether a cross could prominently be displayed on public lands under the First Amendment non-establishment clause restraints?

Someone might not have liked the ruling- they just stole the cross. Not pointing or crossing any fingers, but come on!? Scrap Metal!!?

So much for protecting free religious expression. They should have put the actual cross in the Smithsonian and replaced it with a large lucite replica encased in a larger lucite case with a small museum commemorating the Supreme Court decision and explaining what it was all about so all the school kiddies from Montana to the Rio Grande could visit and feel part of history. Wait- not too late- someone call the Lucite Manufacturer, and the Smithsonian to get a commission to build a mini-museum.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Signs and Wonders

Can Anything Good Come Out Of Norristown?

That skeptical query about Jesus- 'can anything good come out of Nazareth?' always had me substituting "can anything good come out of Norristown?" because that seemed to me to be the equivalent in modern american lay terms as a sort-of Philadelphian. I had been to Nazareth to fetch leather sourced for the shoe factory on the Kibbutz where I did a month one summer (during a blistering Intifada a little too close to the Lebanese border). It looked a rather dingy little blue collar industrial town with a great bus station. That reminded me of Norristown- the town near the more affluent Valley Forge where I lived on a house on the same Mountain that George Washington trekked that fateful winter. Our back yard was Valley Forge National Park, which is speckled with little stone houses that doubled as infirmaries during the Revolutionary War.
Can anything good come out of Norristown?

Something amazing has that you should know about- because there is a little bit of Norristown in all of us if we search hard enough.

A couple who had a young daughter with near fatal medical challenges wrote to a little known priest named Pio- Father Pio (Father Pious in English) - Padre Pio and asked him to pray for their daughter. He beckoned them to come visit him immediately. They went to Italy- all the way to a little town where Padre Pio who called himself just a "poor friar who prays" was at times doubled over with the stigmata. He is the only known priest to have what Saint Francis had- the marks of the cross on his body- physically bleeding. Freaky, I know for a half presbyterian to grasp. So this priest beckoned the entire family to his town in the hills of Italy somewhere I hope to visit one day, and their little girl was prayed over and healed. She lives to this day. She may be sainted one day-who knows. Padre Pio, Father Pious, already is.

So this family then went back to their small suburban Philadelphia little industrial town, and had a vision - we have to tell everyone about this Franciscan Friar in the hills of Italy. Everyone. So they eventually moved a little further north in the beautiful Pennsylvania countryside and built a Shrine to the Father Pious. In a place you likely never heard of- Barto. I had to look it up. It's somewhere near another town that sounds equally podunkish- Pottstown.

This family planned big- if you want absolutely everyone to know about healing miracles, you have to make room and place for absolutely everyone, so they expanded and bought enough land to make a whole town/village- they envision townhouses, a lake, a huge shrine, and places for retreater to retreat and retirees to retire.

Go. Visit. If you have ears to hear it will knock your socks off. You never knew Pennsylvania could be so amazingly beautiful. It took a family of italian immigrants who experienced the healing miracle of a poor franciscan friar who prays to turn it into a piece of paradise.

Just another reason to love italians. Like you needed one.

His first class relics are processing around the joint on the 16th. Might be a good time to visit.

Friday, May 07, 2010

This one is Dedicated on Mother's Day

To my Sister Katie who had everyone Hoola Hooping at Her Wedding and Elizabeth our Niece, a brand new Mommy

Happy Mother's Day Mom
And Especially to little Elizabeth who just delivered Ryan Elizabeth, 6 pounds and a few ounces on May 1. (May Day, Mary's Day, Month of Mary)

Welcome to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, Earth, little Ryan Elizabeth.

Weigel Wonders

And Fine Dining

I've been to the Metropolitan club, the Cosmos Club, the University Club and the City Club. None of them can rank to the patio garden at Holy Trinity ( during coctail hour before the DeChantal white tablecloth dinners that Eve Marie and her crew throw down in Georgetown. It's a quintessential Washington experience you have to do just to say you were there. The crowd is mature, intellectually refreshing and experienced in many fields- and you don't have to be catholic. Let me repeat that- it is a crowd as diverse as DC- most welcome are all religions, especially Jewish ones. The DeChantal group hosts annually an event at the Ratner Museum in Bethesda and has a number of Jewish fans.

This Saturday, George Weigel who wrote JPII's autobiography 'Witness to Hope' (which has been translated into bazillions of languages-and available for purchase in paperback at the CIC)
will come talk about his experiences living and working in Poland while he was researching the Pope's life. Fascinating- especially now as there is a vitally active cause for JPII's canonization.

At this point if you have not signed up yet officially you can show up at the door (and pay $40.)
The money goes toward really worthwhile things like a fund to help homeless in DC and a program to send them on bucolic retreats. Yours truly will be there as a Sous-Chef in training for her audition for the Food Channel (in her dreams.) If you need more information call Holy Trinity and ask Sister Ann for a recommendation- she loves coming- (she favors the wine receptions there to the water/coffee ones in dryer places.) Hope I don't have to go to confession for that one:-)
See you Saturday. I am the one with the apron on schlepping perroggis from the kitchen.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Ladies Recollections on an Opus Day

When you Betray
For Your Own Pay
It's hard not to Say
I spit on your grave.

When you then say
but I really loved you
I say you are lying
and I cannot trust you

They say nevertheless I must forgive you,
the depravity of your insecurity
combined with a repressed greedy absurdity
ambitiousness out of place. I say
Show me How its the fault of my
lack of generosity when you
just take from me and don't know how to give

I am stuck in the torment of my
unforgiveness and judgment of your failures
of provision and protection.
I am stuck trying to face all my love
when I think you are half demon.

I'm stuck not trusting your
slick deceptions of self-protections
in the misplaced name of holiness
when its nothing but business
I'm stuck in the hell of your silent BS
because you never learned how
to properly kiss.

I think I must half hate you
then I think I must think too much
better to silently spin poetry
than wonder why you are gone so much.
For how does one Annul a Heart
or silence a persistent song
How does one excise a memory
impressed upon one's soul so long
How does one deny the pull
that says I fooled you all, a con.
How do you forget the dream
that wrote itself in verse
How do you instead still
and wait for miracles to birth.

Singing with the Holy Father

Singing with the Holy Father

Tony Tony Turn Around

Something's Lost and Can't Be Found

(Like my heart)

Saint Anthony lies in state in Padua Italy in a glass case. His tongue is preserved- and didn't disintegrate over the centuries-because he was such an eloquent mouthpiece for Christ.

A relic of Saint Anthony is also- fun fact- found in Saint Matthews Cathedral here in Washington and it is venerated after the 5:30 pm Mass every Tuesday. Bet you didn't know that didja.

Here is another fun fact I bet you didn't know.

Saint Anthony is considered one of the great Saint Lobbyists (maybe actually the only one)- he tired of seeing women whose bread-winner husbands were in jail suffering trying to feed their children and selling their bodies and souls to feed their kids- so he organized the franciscan friars around Padua and put them all to work in the building trades to pay off the loan sharks to get them off the backs (literally and figuratively) of these women. Then he went further and lobbied to change the law in the local provincial legislature so that usery or loan sharking would be outlawed and no one could ever be put in jail for debts abolishing debtors prisons in Padua.
This was at the time for the day revolutionary and one of the (if not the) first known town to abolish debtors prisons in the middle ages.

So if you want the laws changed- pray to Saint Anthony- and visit his relics at Saint Matthews or in Padua.

When You Run God Out of Town on a Rail

Do Your Kids Jump On Them Under the Train?

This is an alarming post from Vatican Radio observing that the second largest cause of death in France for adolescents now is suicide-a taboo subject but one that nonetheless begs the question: Does the Pope have something with the rant against secularism?
The spiritual dimension of the sociology of suicide is worth a study- doesn't the devil win whenever someone despairs of life itself?

Just wanted to bring this to your attention -for prayer if nothing else. For all those adorable french kiddies.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Today, Everyone is French!

Street Artists painting Joy
Kids dancing and swimming in a fountain ahoy
Ladies braiding kiddies hair
and one small boy
sat on the pavement to listen to the drum
of the Saints go Marching In
Sung by the street band and clarinet
Your mommies let you kids get all wet!
Dancin in the fountain on a hot summer day in May
and watching the stiltwalkers in their bright array
Ballerina on a moving piano like a music box
and clowns on stilts do the fox trot
Jugglers dangled chairs from the tip of their nose
and a band of roosters played trombones
Joie de Vivre, Joie de Vivre
like all the poets said
is still alive and well if you are not yet dead
So grab a crepe and slide and shake to the
street band, roosters, clowns and jugglers contorted
you might get a glimpse of a mysterious guest from
the US Supreme Court!!
(photos taken at the French Festival for PassportDC -Embassy Open House season in May, appearing are Roland Celette, Cultural Attache of the French Embassy in Washington, Supreme Court Justice Breyer, and an assortment of acts and guests on the grounds of La Maison at the French Embassy.)

What does this remind you of? The Sisteen Chapel Michelangelo hand of God touching Adam maybe?