Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I feature two amazing ones here:
NANINE HARTZENBUSH, celebrated award winning Photographer (and photojournalist)
(I clipped the orchid shot above from her Facebook for this shameless promotion-)She does the most beautiful family shots capturing children's precious faces and looks. (she's my freshman college roomate)
ELIZABETH GRUSHKIN (aka "Missy")
She started FUZZYMAMA VINTAGE (sold primarily through ETSY and found on facebook http://www.etsy.com/people/fuzzymama
where the cutest retro vintage kiddies outfits at great prices are found. (she's my cousin)- she comes from a strong retail family as her father was an Exec. at Sears and mother founded/owned and ran a successful mail order lingere business for years.
These women entrepreneurs ROCK. Support them. STRONG WOMEN MEANS STRONG FAMILIES. (am I quoting Obama or is he quoting me?)
Monday, May 30, 2011
She is the woman dancing/kissing her boyfriend who was arrested for it in the below video. She rose to fame as an outspoken opponent of the Iraq War as co-founder of Code Pink, . Lots of people were outspoken opponents of the immoral Iraq war, including Pope John Paul II and the late Cardinal Laghi, but she took to the streets and was very effective at organizing. She is marked and persecuted like this.
It's disgusting. It's America. It's going to get worse.
"One third of all Democrats believe Bush had some foreknowledge of 9-11, which is impossible because it has the words Bush and knowledge in the same sentence."- Steven Colbert.
Code Pink has organized in response to the police brutality below- and yes, its over the top police brutality- a DANCE IN- at the Lincoln Memorial. Next Saturday, June 4 at Noon.
I fully support the Right of any American to get their groove on at the Lincoln Memorial or anywhere else the spirit so moves them.
Come out June 4 if you are in Washington, DC or get to Washington, DC for a massive DANCE IN.
If anyone is arrested I will represent you.
WHAT's THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS WITHOUT DANCING??
Happy Feet Rule. (It would be a joke were it not so sad!!)
Note to Park Police- you forgot your SS badges. You are poster boys for how to radicalize normally sedentary American couch potatos into political human rights activists.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
In Washington you get arrested for hugging in a monument.Medea Benjamin of Code Pink is a marked woman. So any time she hugs now, she gets arrested??
Dancing is illegal now in public??
Let them go immediately or you are looking at a major lawsuit. Trust me. I promise.
This is truly a special place. The KIROV ACADEMY OF BALLET located behind Catholic University on Taylor Street (with a 4301 Harewood Rd. address peculiarly) is classical ballet at
its finest for children up to college age. What a beautiful sight.
Last night a spectacular Swan Lake and Midsummer's Night dream was performed by a
truly professional world class quality ballet. So beautiful. Swans moved with grace and flutter in beautiful white tutus and toe shoes gliding, pirouetting, jumping and swishing around the stage. Such a delightful evening. It is a full school where the kids get their academics from junior high through high school and are trained in classical ballet. They put on a performance for the public at the end of the school year that deserves to be at the Kennedy Center.
The Kirov used to be funded by the Moonies, but now no longer. It has retred itself hiring a bright Development Director and Executive Director from New York (Friedman) and vamped up classes to include offerings for kids aged 2-11 this summer as well as adult classes.
They also hired a world class Russian Ballerina fresh off the stage to direct and teach ballet classes. This is the real deal and you won't find better anywhere in the world. People in fact do come from all over the world sending their kids here now.
For more information: http://www.kirovacademydc.org/
Robert E. Lucas is the Development Director recently hired. They would be most apprecitive for any private or grant funding. I encourage people to learn more about this inspirational academy in Washington. firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Find it on
Friday, May 27, 2011
This was said in a context of a discussion of the potential harm that an Egyptian-Iranian alliance could do in the context of Palestinian declared State hood. The extremists who strap bombs to themselves to make themselves weapons of mass destruction don't critically question anything- their blind obedience lead to death, of themselves and others who get in their way. Any extreme ideology breeds death and destruction because it insists on death. The Planned Parenthood lobby are just as guilty of this extremism.
"Critical legal studies" was in vogue when I went to Law School and this was a movement in which we were taught to think aggressively critically and question even basic premises. This culturally took hold I suppose after all the conventions of the 50s crashed in the disillusionment of the wild 60s.
But further back it is obvious that when a ruler like Hitler took power, he did so mandating that all alliegance be blind and total. It was unthinkable, "insupportable" to defy the regime. Autocrats function like this. Power mongers and tyrants function like that. This is the mentality that allowed the torturers in this country to Torture. They didn't critically question how wrong and evil their supervisors were.
Not so the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit never compelled a blind alliegance to anything because he put the power of Love in each of us and the power of conscience in each of us to determine for ourselves and discern for ourselves where LIFE is found. Those who find it in the Lord should be living lives of much more profound Love on a much deeper level than people engaged to and in blind obedience.
That's why the autocratic tyranical model of the Catholic church caused a split into many factions of Protestants who just don't buy it. They don't buy it because for many example after example the tyrant was wrong. Plainly corruptly wrong.
When he is wrong, it requires reform, or he is no less an instrument of death than any blind dictator.
Which takes me back to my common refrain- and no, I refuse to be silenced on it. The misinterpretation of Christ's death as imposing a death on the humanity of the priesthood to deny any of them marriage insisting that only celibates can consecrate the eucharist is so profoundly biblically wrong it is an evil. The Evil breeds untold deviancies, perversions, insulting unholy attractions that demean and dishonor women and create a spiritual death to other women for no other purpose or reason than to serve an institutional hierarcy that lives in a culture of oppression.
If it is not critically studied seriously, with better rationale offered than -its because it has always been done that way- I can't see the Church in its current form existing past two more generations. And its no small wonder churches are vacant in huge numbers through Europe and turned into stone museums.
It is as the French say "insupportable' as it is rooted in dishonor, discrimination, and demeaning of women in the name of an idolotrous view of Mary. She would be spinning in heaven. And don't get me started on how ridiculously vain some Cardinals look draped in red. So vain I could throw up.Like Jesus ran around posing for portraits with enormous jewelry on.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
First Lady is Elegant and Stunning- admit it. This is really inspirational and a wonderful example to every single little girl who thought that were born with any disadvantage or defect to demonstrate what faith, hard work, intelligence and poise can do. Not to mention marrying well.
If I was born on the questionable side of the tracks in the South Side of Chicago surrounded by
drugs and delinquency, I don't know if I would have had the faith and vision to see a life for myself that Michele O is living. It is almost a fairy tale- but its real. If I grew up as a black young adult at a prestigious Ivy League school I would feel the brunt of prejudice and being looked down upon by the monied daughters and sons of Alumns. I would want to be twice as good, work twice as hard, be twice as smart and pray twice as hard. Michele O apparently did.
She is smart, creative, poised, and now we know she has great legs too.
I hope her trip to Europe gives her the added confidence to feel deep in her gut that she is also deeply loved by people she might not suspect care at all. If I grew up where she did I know I would be surrounded by hatred and suspicion, some quite deserved, and it would be challenging not to transpose that onto a wider group of similar people. It was popular to demonize all white people in some circles and some white people deserved it well enough.
But there are other white people- the kind with big ears in Ireland who look distantly like your husband's cousins. Or other white mothers, like my niece who have black children. Or others who devoted their lives professionally or personally to fighting against discrimination and for civil liberties. And we love you, Michele Obama.
Newt comes out swinging in New Hampshire- defending his 'right' to buy what he wants-- on credit. And this is the champion of the middle american recovery? My father, incredibly hard working, incredibly frugal, army veteran, Pennsylvanian born just like Newt who is not a southerner by the way, instructed me never to by anything on credit except my first car with a car note (after I crashed the one he gave me free) to learn the value of the buck. He itemized for me- never buy clothing, jewelry or furniture on credit. You will pay in interest much more than its worth.
Not Newt. Half a Million on credit.
Here is why his defense of his right to spend what he wants whether he has the money then or not looks moronic for a Presidential candidate. We have a TRILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT PEOPLE. And he is running around the country trying to raise votes by saying he will cut taxes everywhere to make Obama look spendthrift. He follows the "If I want it I get it Now cost accounting method." Screw you poor people.
He's a joke. I know he's Catholic and to some, twinkle eyed charming and he likes JPII- but seriously. Not Presidential. By a longshot. And really, if my niece ever gets a job on the Hill I will ground her for a decade if she sleeps with the boss. We can't reward that kind of crap. What kind of example does it send?
Palin's only asset is her womanhood, and it insults womenhood when you run someone just because they are a woman regardless of their skill, intelligence or wisdom. She is dumber than mud.
Barack could beat her bippy with one arm shooting a basketball. Her "fire in the belly" might be indigestion-it's giving me indigestion and I may throw up.
Then there's Newt "What's wrong with half a million dollars in Tiffany jewelry- on credit!"
The fact that he can't see anything wrong with that is frightening. If you have half a million dollars to blow on Jewelry you should have given it to about a thousand ministries that are despirate for it.
There are starving children in this country. Just looks too ridiculous for words. Social climbing midwestern adulterous mistress turned wifey in McLean dripping in half a million dollars of Tiffanies. I think I will be sick.
Wh0 else? Romney with that Mormon problem?
Or Pawlenty. He actually sounds solid now.
McDonald is a light weight marine. Nice fellow but not an intellectual heavy weight.
You got nuthin.
My money is on O'Bama (if I had any)
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Let me ask you-- how can the "Palestinians" ask for recognition as a State when the coalition of their combined Hamas-Fattah leadership is committed to denying Israel's right to exist- in other words sees it's existence as a zero sum in conjunction with the elimination of the State of Israel?
How can any country "recognize" a "state" prior to the existence of a cohesive governmental structure that "controls all the guns" or has a cogent internal independent rule of law or judiciary or other democratic institutions or ability to keep its own peace? None of the usual hallmarks of state recognition currently exist vis-a-vis "Palestine." So its more or less a joke for them unilaterally go to the UN to get "recognition." Recognition for what? Bloody Murderous Chaos?
We can recognize a generic right to self-determination without recognizing that the Palestinians are there yet, because they aren't. Self-determination entails responsibility to self-determine in a manner consistent with international norms and protocols. You cannot blindly support self-determination to be derranged whacko self destructive suicide bombing or intifada blowing up buses. If the Self in Self -determination is corrupt to its core we cannot just adopt for the sake of utopian self-determination.
What can happen is a commitment to establish those hallmarks of statehood, which include a firm vowed recognition of Israel's right to exist in Peace without threat from neighbors and complying with international norms and protocols. Like you don't get to fight legitimate security measures by suicide bombing- and by the way, you don't get to heaven by destroying any part of God's creation, most especially human life.
Until that happens why should Israel give anything to Palestine? You have neighbors that want to kill you off. You are going to say "I recognize your right to do that?" "Knock yourself out" Try to kill us all off while we pray for peace.
There should be negotiations and dialogue and frameworks for discussion established first and they must not be derailed. There needs to be discussion of groundrules.
Two states is not an automatic solution for Peace when one state is determined to annihilate the other. It's a ridiculous proposition.
Two States is only a viable solution if something fundamental changes in the mindset of the Palestinian and the Arab world that backs it- notably, that economic synergies make any destruction counterproductive to one's own self interest. You don't nuke what you rely on to feed you. This entails more generous economic counter incentivization of Israel in mutualy synergistic liason with Palestinians and Palestinian Christian businessmen and women are ideal middle men AND WOMEN to make this happen.
Then the money spent on Arms could be directed toward projects that feed all, nourish all, and sustain all in common community. Walls don't help here. They just breed more contempt than the proximity does.
THE HOLY SPIRIT.
It doesn't say he just breathed on Peter did it? When Jesus is in the Upper Room after his Resurrection (we are still before Pentacost in the Easter Season), Jesus breathed on "THEM" (Plural) the Holy Spirit- and this was the power of holiness that enabled them to travel to the far corners of the then known globe to bring the good news.
The temptation in any one church is to say that they have a monopoly on God. God is not confined to any one institution any more than a river is confined to a square foot of land or a volcano can be confined to its mountain. God cannot be confined by a set of man made rules any more than the wind is confined to a set of trees. God is All Powerful. He isn't afraid of a few cannon laws.
One doctrine maintains that the "bride of Christ" is their one exclusive Church.
"Church" as the bride of Christ means those with the Holy Spirit calling on the name of the Lord. That is the foundation of true ecumenicism.
God hates the proud. Really hates them. Some of them are pretenders in his Church. Some of them think they are running for Commander in Grief, or President Pope. Humility is totally lacking in some. Arrogance and brute ignorance go together.
Every church at some point has been wrong. Obviously that includes the Catholic Church. It's depressing to detail in litany how. But Jesus Christ should not be judged by the human failing of his followers.
The whackadoodle nutjob who falsely profesied the end of the world and made about 75 Mil off the scam should be investigated by the Justice Department and the FTC.
That doesn't mean the Bible is untrue. It means some arrogant ignorant idiot misinterpreted to his advantage to suit his ideology.
The same thing happens in some catholic doctrines and circles.
Because of the continuity of scholarship excellence they tend not to go off the nutty rails as badly as that and you won't find one catholic believing in such nonsense. But they are just as wrong on other things- and it does not serve humanity to stick ones fingers in ones ears and shout "La La La La La, I can't hear you!!!" when the rest of the world thinks that there is institutionally something profoundly off its rocker.
Take the jack-A who tries to police harass women he finds too tempting. "La la la la la la, I can't hear you."
Take the shuffle board game of pedofiles. "La la la la la la, I can't hear you."
Take the fact that gay sex is considered forgiveable whereas heterosexual sex is expulsion material. "La la la la ,I can't hear you!!"
Take the fact that priests have no families is elevated to a 'virtue' when it is
really a disability and dysfunctionality, "La la la la la, I can't hear you!!"- Like other professions are not as time consuming and don't know how to manage their time better.
There are some off their rocker "protestant" doctrines and beliefs- like the end times prophesy nonsense. And some protestant doctrines and beliefs that are much more biblically correct than Catholic practices. Which is why the Humility that Jesus
demands requires a vigorous eceumenical dialogue to see where the Holy Spirit, breathed on all, is speaking more clearly.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
I made up that title- sounded good. Eve being the mother of all human life (my catholic name being Eva).
Yesterday at the USIP-US Institute For Peace, an imposing building on the National Mall, a panel of all women (for a change) discussed the role entrepreneurial women have in building peace in conflict regions. Fascinating.
"Women cannot be about fifty percent of the population and a special interest group at the same time" noted one panelist (sort of sarcastically). Yes, we are fifty percent of the population and called a "special interest group."
When the Republicans challenge abortion on demand it is called "republican war on women" and when the Feminists for Life disagree, they are called -what-? Dumb?? Religious nuts?? Seriously.
What we need is a better discourse that leads to more proactive better economic empowerment that embraces motherhood in strong ways. Economically empowered and mothers. The perfect ideal person to Chair the new Project (with Michele O on the Board obviously) is Maria Shriver.
She needs something to do now, and understands that the ideal model of relying emotionally on a man isn't always available to all women. African American women deal in hugely disproportionate numbers with a male unavailable emotionally and financially because they are incarcerated in this country disproportionately by the millions. This affects millions of households. Males die younger than women and there are huge numbers of young widows.
In conflict regions the males leave, join forces or are killed in huge numbers. And the women still have to take care of their families. There are ridiculous numbers of Military widows in this country, more war just means more death.
I propose Project Eve- a look at women's entrepreneurship with a White House Task Force and Maria Shriver as Czar.
O'Bama you can steal my idea and run with it.
Monday, May 23, 2011
The recent Supreme Court ruling requiring release of prisoners due to overcrowding
is great news for people who think that it is inhumane treatment to warehouse in this manner, the sentencing was probably too much in the first place and likely unjust and some of them actually are innocent.
It is also good news for my uncle Bob the DNA expert criminal defense attorney in California because some of them will commit crimes again (statistically speaking)
The criminal defense attorney DNA specialist in California. http://www.blasier.com/
Deauville is a charming sea-side resort on "La Manch" the English Channel (the French would never call it English) which is connected by a lovely little bridge to Trouville. They are
twin beach resort towns. My advice to the advance folks and handlers- try not to take shots
with a beautiful beach back-drop without suggesting first all the women on the beach put a shirt on.
In fact, carry with you lots of fun T-shirts to pass out so as to cover the bare breasts of the bathing beauties. Don't expect to get too enamored with this (I almost said 'excited')- because
just as commonly seen are the sagging aged variety of matronly skin drooping tumblers that would long have seen a plastic surgeon by now if they lived in California. "Au Naturale" is just that-and sometimes it aint pretty.
Other than that, it is an exquisitely elegant town where Proust had a summer place, and the climate this time of year is perfect. Charming old streets and restaurants with world class french cuisine- you will want to come back for a second honeymoon.
Next Trip. O'bama gets a warm welcome in the Emerald Isle.
Ranking him among the greatest of unlikely Irish -American politicians- yes, great-great-great- counts, this country isn't 300 years old- Irish is Irish and now everyone wishes they were a bit.
Next someone will find a link that makes him a distant cousin twelve times removed from Ron Reagan, Jr. Now, that would cancel the 2012 election- just let him stay so he can make it back to tour Knock, Kilkenny and the Ring of Kerry.
The Irish, being at the back end of the British boot for centuries understand a bit of
oppression, racism, murder even, that gives them a natural strong empathy with any oppressed discriminated group of peoople, and natural champions of human and civil rights (OK not always, Ketchup is not a vegetable Mr. Reagan).
This is why we love him- post-racial love of all humanity and being a bit of all of it is why O'Bama could still be the Great Reconciler.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Most of it is all that spacious sky stuff, ever waving grain, and purple mountain magesty (like Cezanne didn't paint a few purple mountains in Aix-En-Provence)- I digress.
Why call it a sewer--seems rather harsh doesn't it?
Well look at the Moscow Underground. Here I give Google another plug. Google it. (My cousin by marriage Mark Duvall works there so I promote googling every chance I have.)
The Moscow Underground makes the DC subway system look like a sewer. And we do have our fair share of rats. When you thought that the machine ate your money and didn't credit your metro card? Guess what- the rat in the machine did. Make them open the machine.
Why can't we have real art in the Metro? Seems a fantastic place with lots of space to make REAL GALLERIES in it? Local Artists or Artists from any and everywhere. Put art in plexiglass locked boxes to keep the thieves from walking off with it. Real Art. Just imagine it.
It is the nation's capital people. Why not? You rather see Verizon ads everywhere you look?
or that lame promotion for the Bethesda shopping street (they have like one.)
Dear Mayor Gray and the DC Council on Arts and Humanities. Please Put Real Art in the Metro. Like they have in Moscow.
If you are reading this you were not raptured. Sorry. Probably too sinful. Or -
Jesus just didn't come in the cloud of glory yet. He could be that guy in the Down Under, but doubtful (google it if you haven't heard of the King of Kings, divorced, with two kids from a prior trying to raise child support by being the reincarnation of Jesus who is now, haven't you heard, an Aussi. Mary Magdalene is a blonde knock off of Joanie Mitchell from the 60s.) Yes, Judge x, this is satire.
What it does do is make one wonder- do I have my house in order. Do I even have a house? Do I know where my children are? Do I even have children?
There isn't a sadder state than for one person to justify stopping his life because of a prior judgment about the state of another's sin. Get over yourself.
Like your egoism hasn't wrecked havoc pretty much everywhere.
Stop accusing someone of being homeless unless you are paying the rent.
Stop accusing someone of being broke unless you are chipping in.
Stop accusing someone of being mean unless you are too nice to be mean to.
Stop accusing someone of being lazy unless you give them a job.
How can you point out the spec in a neighbor's eye when you have not taken the log
out of yours.
Moral Accounting is not cost accounting. The bible doesn't follow the National Fair Accounting Standards.
If you can't or won't help. Shut the bleep up.
There is a different kind of moral inventory coming than you think. Get Ready. Jesus is coming back.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Roland Celette is the genius behind the incredibly popular french cultural attachment of the French Embassy in Washington-
'La Maison' which means simply - The House.
Last night he treated fans to the Transylvanian Mountain Boys who are a musical group headed by a native born Algerian Frenchman Gilles Apap who grew up for the most part in Nice and picked up some jazz musicians in California to combine classical Bach with every genre of jazz and bluegrass fiddling. It was a brilliant performance. Roland then invited guests for a glass of wine in the Foyer to meet the musicians and mingle.
If you have not already, you should sign up for their Facebook page which lists events and get on their email listserv. This is the hottest ticket in town.
Tonight a poetry festival for Peace features artists from around the world. There is something going on every week there. Because Roland is a genius.
About Gilles Apap
A classical violinist in great demand as soloist with orchestras around the world, Gilles Apap has become widely known for his technical prowess and extraordinary ability to blend several musical genres together. Mr. Apap not only crosses boundaries, he unites music with his distinct talent for incorporating different styles of music as diverse as American oldtime, Irish, and Gypsy fiddling, with the standards of the classical repertoire.
Gilles Apap and the Transylvanian Mountain Boys produce a mix of classical music written in a gypsy style and gypsy music written for classical instruments, all performed with a zest and wildness that defies most listeners' expectations of "chamber music." The group consists of Gilles Apap (violin), his brother Marc (viola), and Americans Chris Judge (acoustic guitar) and Brendan Statom (double bass).
Artist link: http://www.gillesapap.com/
YouTube link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmjGDBWZZFw
Thursday, May 19, 2011
If you ask any black person whether they think being 'gay' is like being black I bet they would get offended. Just my guess, not being either. Let's get that out there first. I am outing myself as a rabid caucasian unabashed hetero. OK, now this Gay Marriage thing. Yesterday, an odd assortment which I dare not call 'strange bedfellows' given the topic, of Cato libertarians and neo-progressives and class action attorneys looking for a good fight (election stealing only happening Presidentially once every four years) John Podesta, Ted Olsen and David Boies and the head of Cato sat on a panel to say why 'of course' everyone should be on board with Gay Marriage- for the love of all our gays and their families.
I have gay clients, gay friends and a distant second cousin somewhere in Florida.
I love them all.
But there is a serious constitutional problem with the gay marriage argument under constitutional Equal Protection principles. Because Being Black is not being gay. Sorry.
Gay is not 'immutable' regardless of who wants to testify to that because the 'cause' is not the same in all people and some people have in fact come out of gayness in to full heterosexual lives. Some people believe if entire genders can be reoriented, hormonal and environmental and emotional treatments can also reorient gays. No one has isolated a gay gene. That is just nonsense.
Further, behavior- setting up a household to have gay sex is not a phenotypical characteristic. It is behavior. So when you say that you want to give equal protection to a class of persons because of their behavior it is not the same thing as equal protection to what we consider a 'protected' class. If you want to 'protect' the behavior you are intrinsically imputing a moral value judgment that it is worthy of protection. In other words it is something that persons who wish to engage in should have the protection to do so as 'protected' class persons because the state deems the behavior worthy of protection - this unavoidably imputes a value judgment regarding its worthiness.
David Boies kept reiterating that one religion should not dominate over another in the debate- some religions condemn homosexuality and those that do should not get to say what those that don't want with regard to public approval or higher state preferences in granting privileges and benefits. But that automatically gives preference and priority to the other 'religions' or 'ethics' or 'ethos' that claims that homosexuality is as worthy as heterosexuality and thus should be given protected class status-to level the playing field and equal the status. The humanism or universalism or reformed presbyterianism or whatever you wish to call the religion or ethos that says that homosexuality is not evil, not a sin, not a deviancy, thus gets higher state sanctioned preference over the traditional view.
So while, in the words of Rodney King, can't we all just get along, and I add, play nice- there are real serious constitutional, and common sense issues with regard to legalizing 'marriage' for homosexuals.
The notion that "of course" we will all come around and agree came off patronizing on the panel- and a bit ignorant actually.
Not the way to win hearts and minds of people who actually try to read case law for a living.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The best hidden secret in friendship heights (not so secret now) is a gem of a chapel in a large home which is the Parish House for the Saint Louis de France parish. They have mass there daily for the neighborhood and eucharistic adoration on wednesdays. This parish also meets and has services at St. Jane de Chantal in Bethesda and Epiphany in DC (which makes the priest work three times as hard you can imagine). Every year they run a fair a la Parisian Flea Market style with french food and games for the kiddies out on the lawn under the direction of the great Father Jean-Marie Vincent, the "cure" or Parish Priest. They serve up the best crepes and sandwiches such as you find everywhere in Paris with brie and French bread.
They are now collecting items for the Kermesse- Fair which is held this year on October 2.
So if you know anyone moving, or having estate sales, or doing spring cleaning and they have anything someone might sell, including kids games, collectibles, household items and the like (no clothes ) please drop it off at the Parish House and place it on the porch on Garrison Street (right behind Fox Studios). The address is on their webpage: www.saintlouisdefrance.us
A bientot a tous!
Monday, May 16, 2011
It seemed an eclectic even motley crew, a collection of admittedly older folk, who are 'mature', 'seasoned' 'experienced' 'ripe' even- out together on a saturday night in a church basement having coctail hour of sushi and shrimp followed by a japanese themed dinner, with mashed potato imbued with crushed ginger, salmon with a terriyaki glaze and a salad with light noodles.
Eve Marie, the organizer as a diplomat with the State Department when married to another Diplomat was stationed in Paris and took a few Cordon Bleu courses. Imagine if Julia Childs was an urban missionary, you get Eve Marie. Now, she says, she is looking to build women's shelters and send homeless people on retreat to the Jesuit Loyola Retreat House. You can tell she is Jesuit inspired. She is the lay leader of a ministry called "The Dechantal Group"- named after the famous saint Jane de Chantal at Holy Trinity Catholic church in Georgetown which hosts the group. They put on monthly dinners themed after countries and usually invite speakers in to discuss their country-in past they have had guests from embassies. She touted Japan's 'resilience' and thanks them for the great cuisine holding a cook book of Japanese cooking. One of the cooking volunteers made the spectacular centerpieces after a japanese arrangement style.
The crowd got jovial and started singing mid-meal. Could have been the Sake.
Bob sat at the front door on the way in collecting money and passing out name tags. It's best to reserve in advance so they can calculate how much food they need. He is a retired metro executive who loves promoting these dinners as the "communications director" of the group. Sitting next to him was Larry, a retired executive at a major defense contractor in the area. He
regailed a few political stories. Madeleine is a French woman who was widowed about fifteen years ago and living in Northern Virginia. She found the food exceptional which was high praise coming from a Frenchwoman. But it was topped by the Marriott Executive who recently joined the Holy Trinity Parish living in Bethesda with discriminating taste. An elegant woman in a black suit made a late entrance after finishing up her duties as the director of the Kennedy Center concessions and gift shop for the evening. Washington, is a fun place-and people are doing the funnest things imaginable here.
Bob recounts how it all started - Eve Marie got divorced and decided that no one should ever be alone on a Saturday night. So she got a few friends together which turned into fifty or more at one point during the height of their popularity. The dinners are every Second Saturday of the month preceeded by a coctail hour with hors d'oevre platters typical to a region. Next month in June is 'Taste of Spain" and there will be tapas to die for. I am reminded that evangelizing isn't necessarily welcome- as all faiths are invited and the only qualification is that one be fairly single and fairly 'mature.' The price prix-fixe for unlimited wine, unlimited buffet style food, and a few choice deserts (take two) is $35. which goes toward various ministry objectives.
For more information stay tuned for more details on the Taste of Spain and tune into the Holy Trinity bulletin or email EveMarie301@gmail.com
Cynthia L. Butler of Washington, DC, Carroll Carter and Susan Butler
International Trade attorney, Michael F. Butler and Rosemary Carter
In Georgetown- Il Canale
Proving once again that Fine Italian Cuisine is a great way to bond families, il Canale restaurant on the Georgetown old canalfront has spectacular authentic cuisine from southern italy. The owner Giuseppe "Joe" Farrruggio, originally from Sicilly, brought in a team of guys from Naples to construct their genuine napolitain pizza oven which cranks out the best pizza and foccaccio bread in DC and pretty much anywhere. I had the linguini with white clam sauce which was spectacular. Joe treated us to a selection of antipastas which featured wonderful grilled eggplant, proscuitto with sliced melon foccaccio, and desert was a tray of mixed delights like tiramisu, cheese cakes, chocolate cakes and gelatos. Upstairs is a roof deck with a view of the canal dottted this time of the year with pink flowers. His collection of modern art brightens up the walls. In official rankings it has in the Zagat guide or some similar review four stars -which Philomena has and they are the only four stars in Georgetown. For a date night, or a fun family gathering, they will make an evening memorable. Ask Joe to show you his best Sicilian wine. We had a great time-Molto Grazie! thanks Joe! http://www.ilcanaledc.com/
que c'est bien necesaire
de savoir faire
vivre en amour
pour l'enseign et
Cela est juste et bon
dites la dame au pretre
quand il a dit
suivez-moi en sacrifice
est oubliez tous les reves
de l'enfance. Tue ton ame
est esprit pour me suivre
et elle a tomber par terre
a cette espace ridicule
qui masque la coeur battu.
Ca doit etre une blague
deguiser de virtue.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Men's fascination with the Marilyn Monroe blondes have more fun model of feminine mystique has always amused me. I was born a strawberry sort of blondish red-head which went darker with age and climate and then a white gray with age. For years I fought it ferociously with bad hair dye which sometimes turns an auburn head downright purple. I gave the blue-haired ladies a good name by becoming the violet-head. Then I just decided to go with it- hey, I'm 50- I earned all my gray hair! But it made me look too old and all my friends kept telling me so. So in order to shut them up I started experiamenting with blonde dyes that toned down the shocking white grays. So while I lampooned the air headed blondes in my youth it seems now I have accidentally become one. But I still have all the old feelings of superiority and disdain for ditzy air headed blondes which throws me into inner turmoil when I see someone like Calista Gingrich whose hair looks spray painted on at $300. a pop at a stylist salon for the overprocessed carefully blended mix of Camille and Vanilla colorings. I want to take a blow dryer to her head and shake it up and toss in a few brown highlights so she doesn't look like Papal Barbie. So that's my campaign advice- a few shots on a wind blown boat wouldn't hurt.
And if Michele streaks a blonde highlight in her coif I will be downright fit to be dyed.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Colbert Nation sounds like Cold Beer Nation, Biden sounds like he is abiding something or
can't abide on it, Trump is just Trumped Up and Cheney should just be chained. Chain Me, please.
What's in a name? Quick quick, no one google the name "Santorum."
Being a fan of SNL and Tina Fey I find her Palinisms hilarious. Being also a language fan I can imagine some upcoming spoofs and wonder if a last name can seal one's Presidential fate. For example Gingrich is easily Ginned Grinch who stole Christmas, Santorum easily Sanitorum, and Obama, O-drama.
Easily spoofable names sometimes get a free pass- shall we talk Schwartzenegger.
And sometimes they spell the future- Nixon, well, Nix-one.
Clinton, no that's too easy (replace the "n" with a "t") and Gore just doesn't need a name change.
Palin rhymes with Pained Limb and just plain Pain.
To Mike Pense I want to say a Penny for your thoughts (pence being the British penny) and to
Ryan I want to say Rye On What or what on Rye.
To Bachman I want to say where the Bachwoman or Batman, and doesn't Condoleeza reak of Sleeaza or cheeza.
Bush-no that's too easy, and don't get me started about Rumpelstilzfeld.
I could have fun all day with this- until I am remined that my name is Butler.
Monday, May 09, 2011
Rumor has it that the child was shot in the head in some military action that lost both her parents and is in a US military hospital and this guy is the only person who calms her down. So he sleeps like this in a chair every night with her.
Who is this guy? He needs a Gold engraved Purple Heart.
I recently heard a Catholic Bishop describe how when he asked a group of people to describe what "son of man" meant they were totally stumped and could not. But this is how Jesus is also termed scripturally.
Jesus as the Divine "Son of God" gives people less trouble conceptually. He is the etherial one, at the right hand of the father some place we call 'heaven', coming to judge the living and the dead. So what does "Son of Man" mean and how do these intersect?
Well, even the devil can quote scripture we learned (from Jesus who had the devil throw scripture at him during his greatest temptation in the desert) so we have to be careful we understand and interpret it rightly. Wrong application can be downright diabolic.
The same bishop in a homily indicated that Jesus' death and resurrection means for us something like in dying to his humanity Jesus brought us the Holy Spirit, so inferentially in dying to one's humanity the Spirit comes in its holiest form. Lets all now imitate Christ in this fashion.
The danger to a misinterpretation here is obvious. So why shouldn't we all just wish to die as humans? Or- why shouldn't the most human parts of us die? The church has used this sort of justification to compel for example mortification of all sexuality in clergy- with disasterous consequences in an unholy fashion. It serves a corporate model- not Christ. This is also the same sort of perverse reasoning that has people drinking the kool-aid in cults.
God is most powerful Creator at his core. Creator of heaven and earth. He has put in his image that power into man in his sexuality. To mortify all sexuality is to pervert and subvert that part of God that God put into man to express and manifest his Creative power to bring his nature to earth in cooperation with him. The church in thusly redefining Son of Man or not understanding it's significance has subverted the Will of God for the Enterprise.
Jesus is and was both Human and God. That is who he is. Spirit and Flesh merged. And ascended in bodily form.
That is why procreation is Holy. Sexuality is God's vehicle for Creation obviously. Desire in this realm is thus desire to see God's nature and face more clearly and nearly -so what is called "temptation" is not in every desire. Flesh wars with the Spirit only when it is not subjugated to the Love that the Spirit gives to compel and direct and order sexuality rightly. Sexuality is how Love acts in commitment. This is all "juste et bon" as the French say. Because God is a "Holy Family" not just a solo act.
Saturday, May 07, 2011
What do you do if you are a Palestinian Christian Catholic businessman minding your own business married to an Ecuadorian American living in America and your Palestinian Christian blood brother is killed in the conflict. That is what Rateb Rabi had to figure out. He did the Christian Catholic thing; learned how to forgive.
He quit his business life and under the mentoring of a Jesuit priest named Drew Christiansen who is now editor in Chief of America magazine in New York founded the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF.org) inspiring a whole congregation of Presbyterians in Washington, DC at National Presbyterian Church under the leadership of their beloved Pastor Craig Barnes (now at Shady Side Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh) in an ecumenical vision to save and support the mother church in the Holy Land. Soon programs and projects like a Senior Center and housing rehab development project and child sponsoring sprouted.
Today at an HCEF conference attended by a former State Department diplomat, and head of the DeChantal Ministry at Holy Trinity, a former World Vision middle east worker whose extended Jewish family perished in part in the Warsaw uprising, a Franciscan Friar and professor at a prominent Washington, DC seminary, the leader of the Bethesda Communion and Liberation lay movement who recently was featured on a panel at the JPII Center at the Beatification, the ubiquitous charming Hugh Dempsey whose face warms a crowd wherever he shows it, the Social Justice chair for the DC Archdiocese, and numerous other prominent Catholics, both religious and lay from various ministries and parishes gathered to hear about the condition of the Christians in the Holy Land. These are the 'living stones' who are preventing the Holy Sites and shrines from turning into dead museums, as was noted by a Washington, DC Bishop who spent a few days in Israel with Achb. Hickey, noting that "they" turned off all the water the day they got there to underscore how much out of control much of life for the people living in Palestinian territories is.
The Holy Land Ecumenical Foundation is forging new bridges to Peace, in service of the Prince of Peace, in that they are promoting positive views and visions of the peace minded Christians there who can broker various conflict situations and assist in the economic development. Of course, they condemn violence all the time -it is an anathema to the Christian faith. The Christians in the Holy Land can thus offer a safe place for dialogue in this regard and brokering solutions.
Recently Pastor Mark Horak of Holy Trinity in Georgetown went on one of the pilgrimmages offered by the HCEF to Israel and saw first hand what life was like. In one of his pastoral letter addresses he noted that it could easily generate a bit of resentment when armed Israeli paratroopers enter a tourist bus of religious pilgrims and hastle them over papers.
No question it is a police state of sorts.
Much has been written about the restrictions on travel, the walls, the conflict. But much more needs to be written about organizations like HCEF and what they are doing to make a positive difference- especially so places like Bethlehem don't turn into a city of ruins and sacred places revered by Christians around the world are not turned into museums or worse. The western world that values these holy shrines and places where heaven meets earth thus needs to give the Christians of the Holy Land intentional support so they can live the faith in peace as examples for the region.
You can become involved. You can go on pilgrimmage- you can attend conferences, you can support Christians there by buying products of olive wood hand crafted by Palestinian Christians and exclusive virgin olive oils right from their website-at competitive prices.
Currently the hastles of life to make it uncomfortable or unbearable for Palestinians is legend. Any Palestinian living there can tell you about it. Catholic Priests are being denied visas. Christians who lived there to learn Hebrew have been sent back to where they came from. Land is confiscated, and Drew Christiansen noted that even a few holy sites have been nationalized; Mount Tabor, the holy site of the transfiguration where a Shrine exists on top of a mountain is now a national park for example, among others. Taxation of religious lands is under discussion and being legally fought.
Clearly, much has to be done to safeguard and strengthen the Christian presence in the Holy Land, and respect the Christian traditions there. Jerusalem should be made a sacred city with International protections that secure the right of worship of all three major faiths without state harassment or interference. This should be something that the international community stands solidly behind for the sake of peace in the region. There should be a safe way for Palestinian Christians living in places like Bethlehem to be able to worship in Jerusalem without hastle with safe passage at times like Easter. Shockingly, people whose families have been Christian for two thousand years could not travel from Palestinian territories to Jerusalem for Easter services at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
For more information on the Israel pilgrimmages and works of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation whose main US offices are in Bethesda contact the program coordinator, Chiara Cardone a member of Saint Louis de France Parish in Washington, DC at
ccardone [at] hcef.org (replace [at] with@)
Who distances himself from the Bush regime and says "I cannot imagine the penance for killing off 40,000-100,000 people in a foreign country that didn't ask our opinion and didn't invite us in under rigged intelligence and photoshopped UN reports that conned the world-even if the oil industry benefitted outrageously" gets the nomination. Because Honesty and Transparency in Government is Golden
Saddam was a secularist Baathist who opposed the Islamicists and/or the Muslim Brotherhood and was a check against Iranian imperialism. He was less a threat to Israel than Iran now is.
Bin Laden and 9-11 had absolutely zero to do with Saddam Hussein. The two could not stomach each other. The whole run up to the war was a master con to vindicate oil rights.
Cheney worked with Doug Feif to rig the intelligence. And he should be made to give back every Halliburton penny for the fraud on the country.
The First Republican to tell his party where to stuff it gets my vote.
Friday, May 06, 2011
The delusional professor (how on earth did Stanford let her in?) still touts the value of invading and occupying Iraq- when the WORLD knows this was the biggest foreign policy disaster since Viet Nam. It was based on pure lies and fabrication and photoshopped UN evidence that even Colin Powell is ashamed of. Fraudulent intelligence. Fraudulent evidence - and in the service of the billion dollar oil boondoggles that Cheney directly profited from. Disgusting. Is she on Drugs -or is she really that stupid?
Look at this scary preface to O'Donnel's interview where Bush says he isn't concerned really where Bin Laden is---because he knows what about who really did 9-11 and with whose knowledge??
Thursday, May 05, 2011
The church is a hospital for sinners you have heard it said. Not a bad metaphor. Brokenhearted emergency recovery rooms. Lives nearly destroyed by human conditions of self-absorption, crippling fears, narcissism, egos and pride off the rails, and power impulses that surge and short circuit internal spiritual workings. Church is the repair shop for your hardware, hard wiring and hardened heartedness. It's the place where you can feel secure enough to relearn tenderness.
So it is no shock or surprise that God calls people who are broken, despised and rejected just like he was, men and women of sorrows. Zechias, the short guy who evokes that funny song "short people got no reason to live" (you-tube it) and the
almost extortionate Matthew tax collector, or the fire breathing murderous zealot Saul the Persecutor turned Paul, or the woman bound by seven demons who no doubt caused her not to behave very aristocratically.
This is Jesus' despised motley crew. They all had to do one thing. They all had to give up the game and become like children. They all had to give up their self-loathing and condemnations of themselves or others, they all had to learn the
incredible mystery tour of Jesus' unconditional love for them personally. Yes, he didn't care where they came from or what they did. He cared simply that they loved him back. He just wanted to be well received.
I confess that whenever I hear the word "citizens united" I think of either a misnamed soccer/football team and imagine chants to the tune of "Manchester united" or I think of the dreadful Supreme Court case involving a film company lampooning Hillary which is considered so sacrilegious in liberal circles for its campaign finance precedent it would be a sin to see it-
But then they put out another film. And someone equally despised and rejected by the liberal establishment, because he did some scurrilous hypocritical and highly nasty vindictive things to the liberal leaders, coproduced a film with Citizens' United. I believed and republished all the worse rumors of this man's past- you know who I am talking about- and that was wrong because they are possibly not all true and none of my business anyway. But here is the deal- whatever stoning we wish to do of Gingrich's admitted adultery in the past, I have to now say it's not my job to judge him.
I was beyond shocked, and into the faintly impressed realm listening to him give his conversion Catholic testimony before the Catholic Prayer breakfast audience recently after showing clips of The Nine Days That Changed The World. Perfectly ready to categorize him as someone using religious connections for political gains (like no one else does that) I no longer doubt his sincerity in his faith walk.
This does not excuse his adultery.
This makes no less scandalous the hypocrisy of the past or the fact that the Washington Post wrote of the Shrine that it is the "church of the Nine commandments" because his wife, then his mistress, sings in the choir.
But what it does is show that Jesus loves deeply the dregs. You cannot go low enough, you cannot fall far enough, you cannot be in too much trouble, for Jesus not to love you and want to pull you back. And these are precisely the sort of people Jesus is after. He didn't come to heal the well but to heal the sick. The sickest of the sin sick souls find in Jesus a love that overcomes their self loathing.
The people Jesus can't work with are the prideful- the arrogant, those who smugly, confidently know or believe in their own righteousness. The self anointed self righteous- he can't work with that. Because those people don't know how badly they need Him. Those are the people who refuse to kneel.
I don't know whether Gingrich has any ideas that make him remotely Presidential, but one thing I do know- his past is forgiven by God so who am I or you to bind him to it?
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
KATE's NEW DAD's BOOK
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Sunday millions of people converged on Saint Peter's Square in Rome- aptly so named because it is constructed on top of the bones of Saint Peter, the first Pope and Apostle of Jesus whom Jesus appointed head prefect of his synagogue or religious school of thought- another sort of madrassas if you will -by another name of course.
What brought millions of orderly people together? A 'beatification' of a very beloved deceased Pope- one who said things like "Do Not Be Afraid." One who reminded us that Jesus said "Peace Be With You" -which was the reading for the day where Jesus shows up in the middle of a room mysteriously though the doors were locked to be with people he desired intensely to be with. Peace Be With You.
This Pope was shot in the head by a Muslim. He nearly died. It could have precipitated his parkinsons- who knows, that lingered long and caused serious suffering.
Astoundingly, He forgave him. He visited him in jail and heard his confession. The two reconciled and the Turk who shot him became an avid life long fan of this Pope. The Pope forgave the person who shot him in the head. Who do you have trouble forgiving?
The same day our military shot someone in the head. We deemed him evil and responsible for thousands of deaths. "Hate what is evil, love what is good" our bible teaches us. But does it tell us to kill off what we deem evil? Well, perhaps the discussion of 'just war' is evokable but perhaps not.
The Pope, John Paul II got mad twice we were told by a
Cardinal at the Papal Mass (I watched on a big screen at the JPII Cultural Center in DC). He got mad at the Maffia and he got mad at the Iraq war. He even sent Cardinal Laghi to dissuade Bush from launching it. Because War is against Christian teaching. The Iraq war didn't meet the requirements for "just war" as surely there was another way, according to the Pope as relayed by former Ambassador to the Holy See, under Bush I, Melady.
So while the world watched in multitudes that dwarfed the Royal Wedding from every corner of the globe the 'beatification' of a Holy Man who prayed and lobbied so that "peace" would be with you, we shot a bad guy in the Head.
Bully Bully Bravo for us- I guess.
I just find this part of Easter amazing. Here is where Jesus, who as a Jew is forbidden to engage in any humiliation of any kind, is given the most humiliating public punishment- public flogging to death and hung on a cross (all who hang on a tree are acursed) in front of everyone next to a few real criminals. Like he is a criminal. With his utterly despondent mother watching.
Can you imagine.
Then he is dead and buried. Everyone flees- scared for their life if they had anything to do with him because they are after you too. Three days later, the day after Sabbath, he is alive, walking the planet with his wounds. He is the walking wounded. No he is the walking dead and dead no more. Not just wounded, Dead, Buried, annointed with burial oils, then Hello! Walking around in the garden alive as you or I are alive.
Then he perchance finds his friends who are running scared for their lives hiding out. Behind locked doors. He finds them- he seeks them out. What- you think a locked door is going to stop him from being with his friends? No, he is just there- doesn't need to pound the door down-hey guys it's me, let me in! He just is there.
And they can hardly believe it.
Plus he cooks up some breakfast by the lake while the guys are out catching fish. What do you do if the guy you followed is dead? Back to business, because what else are you going to do. So much for that revolution.
Who wants some fish fellas? Huh? Who is that?
Can you imagine?
How much do you think Jesus loves his friends.
God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that whosoever believes in him will have eternal life.
How? You need to ask a priest how- I could explain it but probably wrong. Eternal life- because earth isn't the end game. How much does Jesus love his friends? Be a Friend and find out. You are only here about a hundred years or so. Where are you going after that?
You could say to a mountain- be thrown into the sea, and it would be thrown into the sea. Easter is tied into Resurrection Miracles. Things thought dead come to life.