Thursday, June 30, 2011
At Holy Trinity in Georgetown last night, there was a middle eastern dinner and a movie "Promises" shown with a special after film discussion led by the Social Justice Lay Minister Eli McCarthy who spent time as a UN trained mediator of sorts in Israel.
The movie PROMISES shows a Jewish guy trying to broker friendships between Israeli kids and Palestinian kids, in Israel (many such efforts take place on US soil but its much harder to do in Israel) and makes connections through soccer and kids play in spite of check point barriers and nervous parents.
The event was a successful collaboration between the DeChantal group (led by Eve Marie who is a cordon bleu trained amateur cook and former diplomat with the US State Department) and the Holy Trinity Social Justice Ministry. Eve Marie instructed the volunteer kitchen help how to make Schwarmas (did you know plain yogurt mixed with olive oil make a perfect dressing for pita stuffed grilled chicken?) and served up grape leaves, fruit salad, grilled egg plant and other tasty treats which were gobbled and gone in a New York minute.
Many thanks to the DeChantal folks, Eli and the Social Justice Ministry, Holy Trinity and all Jesuits everywhere for a special evening that had everyone thinking and talking peacebuilding in this most volatile and ironically most holy place on earth.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
makes a rare appearance July 5 to say the noon Mass at the Catholic Information Center on K street and talk up his new book which is a collection of catholic standard editorials he penned while DC's reigning Cardinal -Archbishop for six years.
He is currently almost more busy retired than when he was DC's main red hat. He hangs his red cap at the Library of Congress these days writing and studying. He was recently featured in a Diplomat magazine article which favorably spoke of his diplomatic global missions over the years and penchant for languages. It is rumored he currently is studying arabic (on top of the greek, latin and hebrew they all have to learn along the way.)
It will be packed. Light lunch follows and everyone invited. Now it will be even more packed.
And in this week's episode of 'How does Wikipedia know so much!" fun facts about cardinal's hats here:
One of the greek boats was sabotagued. They were supposed to leave with a non violent mission of giving humanitarian aid in the face of the Israeli blockade to
GAZA- now it leaves Friday they think. This could provoke another international incident if Israel doesn't handle it properly.
\ And if the flotilla crews don't let the Israeli soldiers on board to inspect
it will be deemed a ruse and bloodshed will happen again. 38 Congressional signatures to
Turkey succeded in getting Turkey out from the middle of it. Still, serious injury could result. Please pray for everyone on board if the flotilla leaves- there are more than a few americans amongst the 300 going now waiting in Greece to leave and you know who some of them are.
Michele Bachman may be policy unwise or misguided on her view of government- but she certainly is no 'flake' and doesn't deserve the Stephanopolous grilling over alleged history mis-speaking on whether or not John Adams lived during the revolutionary war. You cannot pull a Palin on her like the Paul Revere nonsense- John Adams DID live during the revolutionary war. I went to Cornell and Georgetown and I agree with her- he is someone who later in his life did fight against slavery in his way and he could in a fair minded stretch be considered a 'founding father' if you loop in everyone who was alive during the revolutionary war. He was the Second President- OK , so maybe never signed the Declaration of Independence or went to the Constitutional Convention (or did he? I don't know I have to look it up but I am not running for anything and would before I did)- So picking hairs over this sort of stuff is going to backfire- it looks sexistly like persecution over nothing.
Here is who she is- William and Mary law grad with post grad work in tax, practicing tax attorney, business owner who probably made more money than Pelosi selling grapes in St. Helena, congresswoman for many years, and mother of more people than would come to your
This is a very solid person. She is also so attractive and telegenic she could have done none of that and tried to be in a few films and volunteered for Unicef and the trotting the globe as Ambassador to the high commission on refugees like Angelina if she felt like it-but she didn't because she has a brain and self dignity and went to law school. You can disagree on policy-you cannot try to make her look stupid- because she is smarter than you. Trust Me. and miles cuter. Plus she knows how to dress and has class- unlike some fashion faux pas that have come from la maison blanc on diplomatic occasions. Talk policy- the other stuff is going to tank you without warning.
The National Cathedral, a House of Prayer for All Nations, ten years after 9-11 has an interfaith service where a woman Rabbi, a Muslim and Christians all gather to pray together in unity to the God, the Creator of all Life and
Source of all Good who lives reigns and Moves Over All.
One of the best things happening in DC is the First Friday Gallery Night Open House where galleries all around Dupont Circle and elsewhere throw open their doors hosting receptions for new and old artists alike, from all over the world.
There is a new gallery opening on the R Street Art walk called YIGALLERY after it's owner, Israeli born Yigal Rappaport, who after emigrating to America, attending American University ran a real estate business and bred and raised horses for racing from his Frederick, Maryland farm. This Friday evening (5:00pm-9:00pm) and Saturday (11:00pm until everyone leaves in the evening) he is opening the doors to a charming R Street rowhouse choc-o-bloc full of amazing unique classic and modern art and sculptures, some of which belong in the Smithsonian.
His YIGALLERY is located at 2008 R Street across the street from Teaism and the Starbucks (make a left at the La Tomate corner if traveling North from downtown DC)
Yigal has an amazing collection of original numbered lithographs and photographs featuring artists like Miro, Dali, and Chagall, and many others. He scouts and supports new artists and has finds that he knows will become more valuable with age once the artists get better known.
With a charming gregarious personality he is eagerly awaiting meeting his new customers, whom he takes special kind interest in and loves showing off his amazing art finds.
It's a fun Friday night on R street, where with a glass of Cote Du Rhone you can peruse a vast collection of museum quality pieces and meet the upscale arty crowd in DC.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
No, its not a baby bump. Its the rise in the polls every time someone dogs her from the left underworld press- because why?
Here is a woman, a mother from the midwest, with a law degree and actual experience practicing law--unlike Obama who practiced 'organizing' and political schmoozery with a harvard law degree that lets you teach as a 'lecturer' (no he was never a constitutional law full professor anywhere.)
Here is a woman who is accomplished in her own right, degreed in her own name and effort, who ran congressional campaigns, and sat in Congress for a number of years.
And this is somehow 'a joke?' It is appauling sexism to cast her as not a credible person- she runs a business that provides jobs, she raised five of her own kids and put a roof over 23 other foster kids, she thinks the tax code needs a touch up-WHO DOESN'T?? And this all makes her 'a joke?'
Keep it up fellas. The backlash alone for the disrespect is likely to get her elected. Because this is the Bullshine we all have to deal with. Even women running corporations who are tough get labeled PMS monsters. Women who excel in professions are called biatches just because they are women, and women who dare to stand up for their right to practice their professions are castigated for NOT having five kids already or locking themselves in a convent. Here is a woman who DID have five kids already and she is a Congresswoman and this is somehow all 'a joke?'
What do you want from us??
Disgusting Moron Men. Maybe now I will have to vote for her just because she is a woman-you drove me to it.
Monday, June 27, 2011
When people, or countries are 'stuck' it can be a combined matter of pride wrapped around a sense of self-protection wrapped around a dignity issue wrapped around an enigma.
Turkey and Israel are now stuck. They have had a five hundred plus year friendship, and Turks and Jews had each other's backs vis-a-vis more aggressive Iranians and even Syrians. Now they can't look sideways at each other over an incident involving Turkey sponsoring a boat going to Gaza for allegedly humanitarian aid that Israel nearly blew up and killed the crew.
Turkey prides itself on being a Switzerlandish peaceful island in a troubled land. It protests, we just want to do business, and they are doing a yeoman's job at that. They need peace and stability to trade- they are about building up not destroying. They talk to everyone.
So will they ever get unstuck. An Israeli Ambassador says, no apology so long as the Israeli foreign minister is who he is as it was viewed as a provocative act of aggression to go there. Turkey says, hey- you killed our guys, please say you are sorry.
So how to move forward? Israel is between a Rock of Gibralter and a hard hearted Syrian monarch it seems with an unstable Egypt chomping at the bit and opening up avenues of travel to heretofore blocked off passages. Can't we all just get along?
Israel could be more diplomatic even if they view the Flotilla as a provocation by saying something like-we regret deeply the loss of any life and we regret deeply that our warnings were not heralded. That would still maintain their territorial integrity issues and maintain a security posture wouldn't it?
Israel can't keep everyone out of international waters but isn't there a few feet out that are territorial waters so that they could put buoys out or something that stopped anything transgressing the water baricade brigades? I'm just thinking like an amateur sailor in former years who nearly ran into a few buoy things stuck in the waters.
Turkey is right if all they were doing is getting humanitarian aid to Gaza. Gazains are people too who need to eat and Turkey loves to feed people. But Israel is right if they didn't get to do a customs inspection where the international waters line traversed territorial waters. And no one is ever right shooting first. No one should have to die in policing international waters for weaponry. If you know there is only rice and a few bloggers on the boat why shoot?
Everyone needs to say they are sorry. Israel, you are sorry you couldn't figure out how to board a boat for a customs inspection without killing the crew. Turkey you are sorry you didn't figure that out and were a bit tauntingly provacative.
Now kiss, make up and pass the baklava.
And Here's to New Friends. What does the Turkish Ambassador to the US and the French Foreign Minister have in common? They both think NATO is doing the right thing puttng their foot down on Khadaffi for engaging in threats of slaughter against his own protesting people among other of his strongman henchman tendancies. They are a Muslim majority country, so it isn't a religious crusade thing on our part- the civilized world thinks Khadaffi has to be stopped and Turkey has told him to step aside also.
Today the Turkish Ambassador to the US gave an address to an eclectic crew of foreign policy junkies, hill staffers and fans of the Rumi Forum (me) after a luncheon of homemade turkish treats.
Turkey is geopolitically poised to be the most major peacemaking influence in the region, and organizations inspired by the prophet of peace Gulen are helping.
Emre Celik, a turk via Australia complete with charming Aussie accent is brokering
kindness in his own magnanimous way by bridging religious and ecumenical divides far and wide. Big Thanks for the invite. In the new Turkic Alliance headquarters of a federation of sorts of Turkish organizations in DC photos line the walls of various congressional and senatorial dignitaries with the Tukish Alliance President/Director, including with Bob Casey who is the Senator from the State where Gulen now resides.
Turkey is a Muslim majority country, with a free market economy that is booming and the 16th largest in the world now, with a functional parliamentarian democracy. And Istanbul on the water is georgeous.
West meets East and it's all good. Turkishly delightful. "You will see more of Turkey's face and we are your friend" concluded the Ambassador. High Five for World Peace. Lets return the favor- you help me figure out how.
The current American model of law has within it certain defects, notably the system of hiring judicial clerks who are second or third year law students who are barely twenty years old and have the life experiences of someone barely twenty years old. Law clerks run the gamut in terms of intelligence and prior work experience, but some may be nothing more than people who were favored enough to get good grades for one or two years in law school after having no more life experience than lifeguarding or waitressing at the beach.
Serious life and death decisions rest in the judiciary. Even civil cases have serious life or death implications for people's ability to run businesses and earn a living. And some law clerks are people you would not hire to put gas in your car from fifth rate colleges and third rate law schools.
And these people are relied on by overworked judges who have too much docket on their plate often to even read a full file before ruling.
Law clerks should be hired only with five years of practice under their belt, or at least the ones who have any serious say doing anything other than shepardizing cases on line or pulling them and tabbing pages. To attract a better quality judicial clerk these people should be paid competitively with top firms of someone of their tracking seniority.
It is absurd and appaulingly ridiculous that someone from a third rate law school who is twenty years old barely is deciding anything or conferring with a judge to decide anything of import. They are not old enough to see how what looks like an incongruity is not or how somethings could be simultaneously true that look inconsistent. Some are so dumb you want to tell them to not forget that facebook is not a daily journal.
I here argue for a new rule- ABA, please require law clerks have five years at least of legal practice experience, and pay them enough to attract top quality clerks.
Jesuits are the best ecumenical bridge between conservative hard core catholicism and the Protestant world. Father Mark at Holy Trinity noted on the feast of Corpus Christie that Jesus in the Eucharist is in the communion, in the sharing of bread and wine, common elements at a communal table,
because Jesus said "whenever you eat this bread and drink this wine" in the context of a communal supper, he did not say, 'whenever you stare at a piece of bread." Adoration has its place, but should not take the place of communion, or communally sharing- because it is not merely the 'act of consecration' or the intent to manifest Jesus but in the sharing He is actually manifest. Sharing even with enemies.
God is Trinitarian- relational. Communal. There is a father and a son. And a Holy Spirit, and a woman named Mary who was the earthly instrumentality. Jesus didn't grow in
a pod or pond or hatch from an acorn. He came through a woman's womb. On purpose.
What the church has evolved into is a bit off the mark in that the focus is exclusively on the consecration with smells, bells and whistles and incense laded incantations- like a magic act. Presto-chango- body of Christ, just looks like a wafer.
This isn't the full meaning of what he meant. He meant, you manifest me when you Share my love, I am love, share it, participate in the sharing of what is needed to live, and you find me.
The Catholic church over the years adopted a model of "king" after European royalty appropriated to Jesus that he rejected. It puts priests in royal noble roman robes and puts them behind a table dictating to the congregation who are meant to idolize them as the exclusive mediators between God and Man (the model of Priest in the Jewish world Jesus came to transcend), in the place of Jesus. Jesus was the 'servant King', the one who washed feet. He probably changed a few diapers. He is the model of humility not self exaltation, not lookie lookie me all over the press in my bright red robes. He died so we could have fullness of life, and joy overwhelming. He didn't die to kill us all off- The greatest of all is the servant of All. The first now will be the last. Religious leaders who are all about 'looking good' are totally missing the mark- it's about how well they create an environment of love among the people where there is real giving from the heart going on- real love happening, because God is love. And love is much bigger than a breadbox. It is the creational principle behind the whole world.
Church can and has devolved into a trade association model, where evangelism is about collecting new paying members to finance projects- some of which don't serve large portions of the contingencies- like the focus on catholic schools which ignores people without kids tilting a budget to one segment of the world.
The church is enormously wealthy- if there are a billion people in the catholic church, and everyone just throws one dollar in the bucket every sunday they make one billion dollars every week. So why are they all screaming for money? Because they are not serving Love so much as they are serving their projects which serve various segments and have driven people out for not meeting basic human relational needs. It is an empire builder, it has a head of state and a country with castles and estates.
It is inexcusably greedy to not create a way that priests can have families. It is a profound perversion of the heart of Jesus.
Imagine if at your family dinner table all the money and preparation and time went into setting the table and lighting the candles and the color of the plates matching the napkins, etc. with next to no time paid attention to dinner conversation. In fact, keep silent, because the noise is distracting. Don't talk, people might start liking each other. That's church roman--- sort of (Jesuits excluded).
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
You Knew this was coming- and Washington loves a good spoofing of itself. So if you are in DC for the Fourth of July and stay a few more days- come to the DC Film
Festival's July feature: BELOW THE BELTWAY.
In this weeks version of John Hanshaw , CEO of the DC Film Institute, is a genius, I note that he packed the house with support from co-sponsoring L'Alliance Francais for yesterday evening's feature OF GODs AND MEN which won a Palme D'or or something equally prestigious at Cannes. Its the hottest ticket in town, these events which feature happy hour like only John can do them. It's where the beautiful people meet and greet and cut deals in little cut black dresses:-) Bisous Bisous John- next stop San Trope.
tickets purchase on line here:
Funnyman turned Senatorial cruisader of truth and justice Al Franken should love this one. He's
fastly becoming one of my fav. Senators.
The deChantal group at Holy Trinity is hosting a must see movie called PROMISES -here is Eve Marie's write up:
De Chantal Group invites everyone to see and taste what it's like to be a Palestinian or Israeli living in Jerusalem. Enjoy the cuisine (falafell, swarma, assorted salads and sweets or simply sip a traditional mint tea) as you watch the movie "Promises" on Wednesday June 29 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. (it's all good, it's all free)
Eve Marie has a wonderful philosophy- part of the deChantal ministry involves introducing people to food of the various states or regions featured in their monthly dinners. The Taste of Spain was particularly well attended with delighted folks eating home made flan for desert after fantastic paella with overflowing mussells and shrimp and chorizo. Kosher food is 'hallal' she explained noting that muslims and israelis eat more or less the same way. Eve Marie explains that she likes to connect people through food. "Like Jesus" I add. It's sure to be a memorable evening.
The Rumi Forum is a Turkish think tank that hosts weekly (more or less) luncheons which feature turkish foods on top of fantastic lectures by Ambassadors and foreign policy practitioners. http://www.rumiforum.org/
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Ever hear of the great 'conservative' push to 'reform' tort law to cap punitive damages, require unwittingly mandatory arbitration clauses to deprive people of jury trial seventh amendment rights and otherwise pervert the basic system of justice we have?
You need to see the new HBO special coming out called "Hot Coffee" about how tort reform and capped damages affects real people. Take that famous or infamous McDonalds coffee case where an elderly woman put a cup of hot McDonalds coffee between her legs to put creamer in and spilled it. You may think that nutty to sue and she became the poster woman for greed gone amuck but a jury first awarded her millions which was lowered by a judge later. What happened? Was it frivolous? Was the jury just all crazy? All nine or twelve of them????
First the case has to survive a motion to dismiss and a motion for summary judgment (and the lawyer can get sanctioned for filing a baseless claim) so there are built in guarantees against frivolous suits. Second, did you see the photos of this woman's skin grafts that had to be performed on her eighty some year old body after fourth degree burns that looked infected???
Now lets talk mandatory arbitration clauses in everything. And where is the media with that case in Texas with the woman who was nineteen years old who was gang raped by Halliburton and locked in a shipping crate who could not get to court because she signed a mandatory employment arbitration clause in an employment agreement. Where is the media on that case? The woman testified before the Senate Judiciary committee and Al Franken championed her cause to void the mandatory arbitration so she could take the batards to court. Al Franken is to be taken way more seriously than I imagined.
The smart woman's Palin and born in Iowa.
She's really Obama's triple threat. Pretty, Smart and midwestern to her core.
Bachman is impressive. Notwithstanding some tea partiesque remarks and clowning earlier that made her look goofy, she played it smart enough to create a national constituency that put over fifteen mil in her campaign coffers. She is a tax attorney, former state legislator like Obama and in Congress. Nuthin to sneeze at folks.
An American girl- and easy on the eyes.
Girl power will cross party lines on that one. Five children and 23 foster kids- brangelina got nothing on her. Pro Life and her money is where her mouth is. Plus ran a small family business that created real jobs.
No Joke. Weiner on the other hand (because the other hand is busy)
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
pour que je puisse voir
et debouchez ma coeur
pour que je puisse vivre
dans le repose estival comme la rose
qui est toujours rouge.
Debouchez ma courage
ma peur me rendre faible et faim
debouchez ma corps
qui est attrapper par la peur le dedans.
Je vais avec toi, jus q'au fin du monde
au pays loin d'ici
Je vais avec toi
across the blue blue sea.
with discriminated against oppressed women everywhere and particularly my strong sisters in Saudi who are boldly standing in dignity to have the same rights of citizenship as their husbands, brothers and sons in the simple privilege of driving a car. God bless and be with them in their struggle.
(what Hillary could have said. but i don't write her stuff)
Because so much of it isn't. Perusing the stories today we learn ninety percent of all Afghani Taliban picked up were civilianas not armed militants (what do you expect with a twentyfive thousand dollar bounty)oooops, and i am guessing ten at least are in guantanamo held without trial. Wal Mart gets to still systematically discriminate against women because the conservative male judges all think it isn't discimination (crazy but not unexpected), some professor in new york ran a prostitution ring out on line from a west side apartment that reached to arizona, and lady gaga wet herself on stage while schwartenegger is paying child support. thanks aol news.
My favorite-because we need more happy news is this:
woman lived to be just shy of 115 years old. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/21/maria-gomes-valentim-worl_0_n_881323.html#s295250&title=Worlds_Largest_Picnic
That beats the woman in the french pyranese by one year who lived on yogurt and haricot vert (green beans). My priest friend was right, fifty is the new thirty five. I want twins.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
(I almost titled this the miseducation of Monsignor Filander)
God is One. Man and Woman are united ONE when in perfect complimentarity. Today is the Feast of the Holy Spirit (and Father's Day, happy Father's Day the man whom I want to father my actual children)
God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. What if the Holy Spirit is female.
Does that change the 'formation' of priests to appreciate that there is 'no male nor female in Christ Jesus.' Why do you assume it is male?
So if by through the mediation of the Holy Spirit God comes to earth in a consecrated disguised bread, lamb of God, just as Jesus came to earth disguised as mere human through the medium of a woman's womb, if the Holy Spirit is also Female doesn't that mean that a female is the perfect helpmate to bring Jesus to earth, just as was told in genesis- the perfect 'help-mate' to man is wo-man.
Ponder that- because it could be the secret to elevation of the dignity of wo-manity to where it was always supposed to be. And no, the priesthood is not supposed to be navally gazing at it's male supremacy any more than God created Adam and Steve rather than Adam and Eve.
Think about it Genius.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
And Visions of Virtue. We may not need our public elected officials to be card carrying Sainthood candidates, but we can't have them outright creepazoid dirtbags without serious consequences. The Democrats have always had a problem on this abortion debate that they facilitate men behaving badly by the policy that allows abortion to function as birth control. Now there is a posterboy to prove the point. From the not so sublime to the beyond the pale, Weiner is now exposed as having used his office blackberry in the House Rayburn building members gym grabbing himself in private parts with a towel draped provocatively over him. The shots are reported to be autobiographic in a mirror as though he cannot escape his narcicism and gets excited merely looking at himself in the mirror. Please get help. If it is not a mirror shot he is looking at someone else who took the shot in which case we have to wonder if he is bisexual (it's in the men's lockerroom) There is no way that this solid pounding will go away with Weiner still in Congress. Perhaps the FCC can cite him for on line indecency. Will that cause him to lose his job---because he aint going away voluntarily it seems. He cannot take a hint apparently.
What is there in the Rules that would prevent a member from getting up in the middle of a speech before a vote and mooning everyone if people cannot lose their seat over things like this? If he streaked across the voting floor could he be expelled? What more does he have to do?
I don't want to be talking about Mr BallPark UnFrank next week at all. I want him off my radar.
There is too much really important stuff to focus on- JOB CREATION, the ECONOMY, the DEBT at a TRILLION and counting, the perpetual WARS, etc.
TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE.
Friday, June 10, 2011
You may be too young to remember this but there was a time when the leader of the Free World had trouble with English grammar- specifically what the "definition of IS" was. A perjury grand jury indictment hung in the balance of his hung balance.
Now a guy you couldn't script for the lewdness named "weiner" first lied and denied (because he really does know how gross and demented) tweeting his erection in his "briefs or jockey" underpants to someone, then says basically, OK I betrayed a lot of people but so what back to business. He uses as his justification for persisting in forcing himself on the public that 56 of those constituents polled say he should stay. Because he polled every jacking off wanker on his email list who he knows subscribes to Penthouse??? GET SERIOUS. You are pretending to be a National Figure.
I am sure there is a place for you somewhere in a Vegas Act under the skirt of
Sister Raoul or in a late night peep show on 42nd street. Power to the Perverts. Come on!!! (not really, no double entendre intended, I didn't really say that, delete, it was hacked.)
If Weiner shows his kermit-neck or any other body part in Washington on Monday he's done. He will be mawled by every international Sunlike tabloid faux-reporter on the planet. Perhaps he is going for that Paris Hilton sex tape kind of notoriety. Perhaps his next gig could be pool boy to Hefner. Perhaps his constituency is the cast off cast of FlavaFlave. Someone please give him a job in New York to keep him out of DC. How about a reality TV show for "The Real House-whores of New York" or
"Faaagetaboutit Forrest Hills." My mother was born in Forrest Hills Queens (her Dad, my grandfather worked for a prominent law firm downtown) and her sensibilities on this are beside themselves. Shocking doesn't describe it. He needs to get a real life job where people are morally accountable to someone- like, doesn't he know any Rabbis in New York?
Plastered all over the papers in DC is the mutiny of Gingrich's Central Command.
As my mother says if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all, I will refrain from the obvious. However, I don't however always listen to my mother so I offer the following:
Gingrich is to be commended for having a press corp who know how to arrange shots- they found all the people shorter than 5'2" in the state to stand in front of Calista and Newt to have Calista look like she is bending down to shake their hands. I am 5'7" and met her, and she comes up to my shoulders so I am guessing she is about 5'4". Newt similarly is no giant. He probably prefers the podium lecturing think tank style to mana-a-mana meet and greets because he is not an imposing figure. He is in fact rather a puffy faced roly poly figure.
Calista up front wears too much theatrical make up and has hair that she bought in a wallmart. Note to file: if you insist wearing popping bright yellow pimp suits make sure the hair matches. The thick dark line above her forehead in today's DC paper shots indicates she has been traveling too far and too long away from her hair colorist who should sell her a cheap bottle of 'Papal Barbie on the road touch up' color.
Anyone who gives a dollar to that mess should have their head examined. The church needs it more. In fact, they should have a Tiffanies bonfire of the vanities and give about half a mil to the church. Pick a church, any church.
HONOR. You know it when you see it. It is something that dignifies not demeans womanhood. It holds up a wife emotionally enough to create a family which is the bedrock foundation of healthy societies. Proverbs says, 'a good wife who can find' and says her husband praises her.
That is a good man. A man who knows how to Honor a Wife.
The men who dog around, flirt around and hit on multiple women around and behind their wives backs do not know the meaning of the word Honor. They are not good men.
This fact is apparently lost on religious leaders as well as Democratic leadership who completely excuse scummery because they know it hits too close to home and don't want the attention put on their own indiscretions.
That's why Baldwin calls the peeweehermanesque pornphoning Weiner 'a modern man' instead of the skum he really is.
Baldwin doesn't want anyone looking too hard at his twitter accounts. That's why people like Jesse Jackson are silent on the morality of adultery. That's why Bill Clinton is not telling Weiner to resign for the dignity of the institution. Clinton is a dog.
Mrs. Clinton who is best pals with Weiner's wife is also silent. Because she also is a cuckholded wife- and one trying to tell the polygamous Arab world how to respect women strangely. The two most powerful women in the State Department are running around preaching to the Arab world about women's rights and they can't even get their husbands straight. In the Muslim world adultery is still some places a stoneable offense. It really is just bad policy that American morality gone to the dogs is allowed to be front and center the PR fiasco that this is without the slightest sensitivity to how this is perceived internationally.
We have hit the bottom on the slide to Gommorah with this. It is undermining our credibility.
Thank you Leahy, Rendell, Schwartz and Kaine for requesting Weiner's resignation. The silence of other women on this is disgraceful.
Thursday, June 09, 2011
To Make Some Kids Dreams Come True
The Embassy of France in DC is helping kids at the inspiring Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts tour in France next month and you can help. This just in from the brilliant Cultural Attache:
The Embassy of France is helping to send the Show Choir of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts on a tour of France next month. These young and very talented students will perform in several very prestigious venues: the Church of Saint-Eustache in Paris, Blues Passions Festival in Cognac, Sylvanes Abbey, the Chorégies d'Orange, Beaune, etc. -- and the response from French cultural institutions has been tremendous.
The choir and its individual members have raised funds throughout the year -- and we are so proud of their dedication to fulfill their dream! Two outstanding companies, DAI-Careers and SAFRAN, have been extremely generous in supporting the tour.
While a great deal of the funding has already been raised, three final concerts before their departure will hopefully help to generate the remainder needed.
It is our honor to invite you to attend one of these exceptional performances at La Maison Française. You will fall under their spell just as we have -- and you will know that by purchasing a ticket, you will be sending them on the adventure of a lifetime.
WHAT: The Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir - program below
WHERE: La Maison Française, Embassy of France, 4101 Reservoir Rd, NW
ADMISSION: General: $25 / Benefactor: $50, $100
- Sunday, June 12 at 7 p.m. CLICK TO PURCHASE
- Thursday, June 16 at 7 p.m. CLICK TO PURCHASE
- Friday, June 17at 7 p.m. CLICK TO PURCHASE
Giving new meaning to the word "Member of Congress" now the entire world can with a few clicks see the male member of a sitting member of the US House of Representatives, from anywhere in the World. (http://www.gawker.com/) niiiiiice.
No, actually pathetically unbecoming, outrageous, disgusting and the A-hole should be expelled immediately no more questions asked.
Who does that??? Who sends pornographic photos of themself to people they do not know and never met except on line? Sexual predators maybe. Not sitting House of Representatives members. So sorry. I don't care if his wife forgives him. It's not all about her. He is a public figure and the public says Bye Bye. Too wierd and perverse for policymaking.
Weiner looks like he should be stand in sub. for Pee Wee Herman on his show, or be the guy flashing you under a dirty raincoat with a demented grin at 2:00am in Times Square--not a sitting Congressperson. The leadership needs to lead and expel his sorry Arse.
It's obscene. I know it when I see it. It's also bizarely more than immature- it's deviant to a degree you expect of someone with a mental imbalance of an illness nature. Just not acceptable on any level.
If the only cahoonas that the Democrats demonstrate here in not evicting him from the House is His Cahoonas on an i-phone, you are ALL done. Cut out the cancer before it invades and kills everything.
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
And the Men who run all over and around on them.
I have great respect for Maria Shriver for finally listening to her kids and kicking the bum out. Bum. That's called Integrity and Self Respect. I don't have for the same reason much respect for Hillary standing by her man but unlike Tammy Wynette not knowing how to bake to get herself politically postured. Bill Clinton is a dog and only a doormat would stay with him.
The hypocricy of women running around the world Championing human and women's rights around the world while enabling and giving a pass to this sort of emotional abuse toward women is boggling. And does not do the country any service.
I feel profoundly sorry for the new Mrs.Weiner who might actually believe her husband loves her in some way other than for political advantage even though we have yet to hear him say "I love my wife very much and am deeply sorry for the humiliation and pain I have caused her and beg her forgiveness." We hear instead a political calculation that the actions (from his account of her telling it) were "dumb."
What kind of people are these people??? Dumb?? from a political standpoint?? You all have been in Washington for far too long. How about devastating to family emotional security?
This really does go to the heart of what is wrong with the Democratic Party. They have such a lose concept of sexual ethical integrity at the highest levels where it is all "if no one tells it didn't happen" garbage that of course they have to be for abortion to cover up the lack of sexual ethics. It comes from the top down if you will excuse the bad metaphor.
The Democrats do not have a chance in 2012 with this. No one is making him or pressuring him to get off it and give it up except Kaine. You are all going down with that ship (another bad metaphor, delete this post, it was hacked.)
Hereye Hereye Hereye.
It being this 8th day of June in the year of our Lord 2011, the undistinguished member of the WHORE HOUSE,
Tony the Weiner, who did deny that he used office congressional taxpayer funded facilities for sick batard phone sex with six or more women, has lied and did in fact tweet photos from his office and make dirty phone sex calls from his office phone, line paid for by taxpayers, and did lie to his wife, his constituents and his country and thus is to be terminated from service from the Whore House forthwith.
Leave your underpants in the top drawer as Exhibit A.
How appropriate that Bill Clinton married him. Is his wife getting advice from Hillary now?
Stand by your man and you will get to be Secretary of State one day- it's great leverage to buy political patronage if you have the goods on your husband's goods. So sick my head is spinning. Bring back Kenneth Starr.
Weiner you are a Wanker. Step Down.
Once again the public debate is all about the reputation of a man. No one talks about how this is emotionally affecting HIS WIFE. What is your first thought when you see a politician engaging multiple women in sexual banter, phone sex and titillating tweets complete with photos- behind his wife's back?? Scandal on the House or WHAT ABOUT HIS WIFE??? - And what about the other women who maybe thought he was seriously interested by virtue of his aggressive attention? How disillusioned they must be.
Arnold Swartzenegger, John Edwards and now this. And these are supposed to be paragons of piety, leaders in American social-political life, role models.
The failure is not just personally in them, but in the larger social structure and male religious hierarchy that gives this sort of junk a free pass as though, oh well, boys will be boys. No, boys can be A-holes, unacceptably self-absorbed, driven moronically by their 'other head' who need to be clocked upside the head and driven far from public life.
Women are sick and tired of the crap. Grow the F up and get a real job Wanker Weiner.
HOW STUPID CAN YOU BE----TOO STUPID TO RULE.
Jesus famously rebuked PETER by calling him 'SATAN.' Or- he rebuked the SATAN that was in Peter at the time Peter was promoting HIS AGENDA over Jesus' because of his profound misunderstanding about the nature of Jesus' love and mission in the world. Peter was wrong. Jesus thought he was so wrong it was demonic. GET BEHIND ME SATAN.
Today, no less than in the time of Christ, those little Peters mistake their own political agenda for God's will. God's Will is not something according to a contract, not according to a mandate given by a clerical hierarchy, not something that fits an institutional mandate. It is FAR
FAR FAR higher and superior. It creates Life, it does not castrate it.
The church hierarchy in making the absurd demands on the priesthood that it does bastardizes God's love in the world to a point where it is flatly EVIL. It encourages the secrecy
that fosters deviancies and adulterous hearts. It destroys women. And women are considered inconsequential to the larger political interests at stake, in the service of men who make the most money, in catering to men who make the most money. It is so evil it is Satanic. It destroys life. It is Anti-Jesus.
GET BEHIND ME SATAN. Hell has captured you and "you make men twice the children of hell that you are."
You profoundly confuse "God's Will" for something Not Jesus at all. It comes from a place of profound corrupt bastardization of his Sacred Heart.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
I love the French Saint Jane deChantal's story. She was a widow who founded the Visitation order (which reminds me Holy Trinity picnic at Visitation this Sunday).
As it turns out, she married nobility, but he was broke. Not a shockingly unusual story for some nobility- all is not what it appears. Her cinderella story ended up in a pile of debt that she managed to dig her entire household out of with ingenuity as the story goes.
Her husband was also killed- and he forgave the murderer, as did eventually she.
This is a fitting patron saint for every widow or widower or anyone left spiritual widowed by the assassination of another, spiritual or otherwise.
It is also a fitting and appropriate Patron Saint of the Saint Jane deChantal Group at Holy Trinity who is hosting their "Taste of Spain" dinner this Saturday evening. This should be another amazing gastronomic treat because the lead moderator and master chef, with a few cordon bleu classes under her apron is an inspiring chef and use to hosting diplomatic groups as the former wife of a senior State Dept. diplomat stationed in Paris. The Taste of Spain will feature Paella and Tapas and everything Coasta del Solish featuring wonderful wines.
Contact Bob Sauer for more details.
The dinner follows the 5:30 Mass at Holy Trinity where people gather and then head over to coctail hour meet and greet. It is a fantastic crowd of mature single people (bring a date or not) with a richness and depth of lives well lived and experiences to regail and delight. Dress is casually chic. Price, prix fixe menu is $35.00 for family style unlimited all you can eat food and wine. Best deal in town with a very fun inspiring crowd.
The beauty of the American Constitution it is often said lies in the genius of creating a civil society in the secularist state which is apart from all sectarianism or any religion where people can live and love in peace without the punitive ugly mean influences of secular extremism or pressures of any religion. They ALL have extremist elements that seek punitive solutions. The non-establishment clause sought to save America from the sort of nonsense driving religious wars in Europe. The French Revolution threw out not only monarchy but was backlash against an overbearing catholic corrupt hierarchy which sought to punitively rule people by its connection to the state security apparatus. That is why the Bastille, the main french prison in Paris held more priests than royalists. This makes it ironic that a priest I know has a photo of the Bastille from the stop by that name on the Paris Metro on his facebook page. Priests in
France were so aweful that the population kicked them out, took church land imprisoned priests and created a strongly secular society in which there is now a 'ministry of cults' which will confiscate assets of religions off the rails. Some priests continue to have not learned the lesson and are disgusting. I would include the wildly self promoting vain cardinal of washington, dc, in that lot who would likely castrate any priest that made him look like he was losing control (my opinion but take it as fair warning) He is running for Pope.
"The Art of diplomacy is telling someone how to F off in such a way that they enjoy the ride. "
I would like to practice that art now, and you know who you are.
Monday, June 06, 2011
Just please no one say he got his 'comeuppance'
Allain Juppe, French Foreign Minister, appeared at The Brookings Institute under the title of the Arab Spring- and gave a comprehensive unbattle plan for peace. He noted that the uprisings are not controlled as far as he can tell by one threatening menacing Islamicist group but should be welcomed and embraced by all liberty loving human rights watching people as the youthful vigor throws off oppressive regimes that for far too long got a western pass.
Allain Juppe appears poised, intellegent, impecably scripted with a graceful French accented tilt, and would sound elegant if he stood behind a podium and recited "I do not like green eggs and Ham" but instead he gave a thoughtful serious presentation on why protecting joint American-French interests compel certain responses that have not been universally popular, even in America.
The audience questioning is always telling in terms of where the Court of Public Opinion will likely rule- and one agitated gentleman suggested that after the ICC indictment of Khadaffi that
a US Counsel on Foreign Relations person quoted thought that the Benghazi massacre was overstated and we are thus once again the Agressor. The hostile questioner said NATO stood for something like Naked Aggression Toward Others and wondered if the ICC would indict the French or us. Juppe noted that 10,000-15,000 people have already died at Khadaffi's instruction and we are nowhere nearing that mark and that Khadaffi's indictment at the ICC was a fait accompli.
It was a rather gracious response to a rather 'whackadoodle' American question. Juppe won.
He noted also that come September the UN will see a messy bit of business with Palestinians trying to engage a vote on the statehood issue, and if something is not done sooner over the summer American diplomacy will fail. He offered to have a Parisian Peace Process over the summer.
Can't hurt. Sign me up. Call me Allain Juppe. Serious. 202-241-3558 or have Roland Celette at the Embassy get in touch with me. Whether the official channels make a go of it I can help pull it off. -Or, friend me on http://www.bonjourdc.org/ the new french Facebook at La Maison:-)
Ask for Cynthia.
This complete heretical unholy garbage that says that priests have to all be celibate sends a lot of them to the drink and then to the "Saint Luke's Institute" which is for looney priests to drink their Kool-Aid in the comfort of a rural setting with all the intervenous coaching they need. They come out having 'learned their lesson' and chemically castrated.
The pathetic part about it is that the same people who drove them there have to foot the bill, hence the annual fundraiser at which the Nuncio typically gets an Award and the Cardinal gets to
hold the drool cup.
This is 'church' catholic style in Washington, DC.
Run as fast as you can.
Sunday, June 05, 2011
Ever hear those two platitudes? The first is from scripture, referencing Jesus, the later is a church camp song.
Neither is much true in large measure in certain contexts with priests when it comes to their often adolescent interactions with women. It is something heralded from the altar and in a rare parish is actually practiced I have found- most of the love happens in spite of them often It's too often a business. Priests deem the will of God, mandating the killing of their humanity something they can imagine without consulting women involved- so they feel free to 'break up' in homilies in the abstract. I know a priest who emotionally strung along a woman for years and dumped her in a homily and left her feeling like a divorcee without alimony. This is considered 'in God's will." This is of course crap. It totally creates broken hearts rather than binding them up. Anti-Jesus. Women are dispensible. Their feelings irrelevant. Not even worthy of a conversation.
Cardinal Wuerl wanted in the worst way to be a cardinal. Machiavelian- he would lock up anyone in his way and nearly did. He would probably sell his mother to prostitution if he thought it would make him a Cardinal. God's will? Give me a Break. As much as the priesthierachy would like to think themselves Christ on Earth they are human, and the church is a MAN MADE
INSTITUTION hoping to follow the holy spirit and the guidance of scripture, the Word of God, with men in it. If I asked Wuerl's cleaning lady, I bet she would tell me the crap she cleans out of the toilet does not smell like Gold Leaf. Human, I guarantee you.
It's a business.
I would not be a Catholic at all were it not for Jesuits- today I heard a Sermon in which it was lamented by the Jesuit that the clergy have a dangerous tendancy to OVERDIVINIZE themselves because of Christ's mandate given to them and the Holy Spirit given to them. Both of those can be and are routinely betrayed by clergy. It is not Holy to demean and disrespect women. It is not even nice. When they laid to rest Larry Madden, SJ, one tribute noted he loved being a priest but he hated 'clericalism." What is the difference? Clericalism is elevation or undo divinization of clergy such that they can do no wrong- by virtue of their clerical state which automatically should guarantee them certain privileges and honor. Just the opposite of what Jesus did in the world and who he was for the world. He despised the Pharisee whom he called "white washed tombs full of dead men's bones." When the institution of the church values protecting itself over its flock it is not functioning in the Holy Spirit, it has taken a detour to egoism.
Jesus left us the Paraclete, therefore we as the "body of Christ" must be Jesus on earth and now cannot sin. WRONG. That is the dangerous misinterpretation too widely prevalent. Clearly the church , including its hierarchy does sin. Big Time. And it is sin not to recognize it and deal with it appropriately.
The church cannot go around creating spritiual widows, or adulterous relationships because open marriage is forbidden. That is just hypocritical garbage. That has nothing to do with Christ's body. That's man following men called cardinals. Ridiculous. Not Jesus. At All.
I sometimes cannot stomach some of the egoism amongst priests. It almost gets worse the higher up responsibility they have. It should be the other way around. They should get humbler the higher up they are.
And yes, the church is a MAN MADE INSTITUTION that hopes to follow the guidance of the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit. We are the Body of Christ only so far as we Bind Up the Brokenhearted, after his Sacred Heart, not create worse heartbreak.
In the District of Columbia it is illegal by virtue of the DC Human Rights Act to discriminate against anyone on the basis of marital status. But they do in the church. It is considered in this country a constitutional right to marry heterosexually. (Homosexually not quite). There was a case Loving v. Virginia which overturned a Virginia law prohibiting interracial marriage (when I was born it was illegal in Virginia for a black person to marry a white person.) It is now considered a constitutional right to marry someone of a different race, or anyone heterosexually. But the church says no. So the church could be sued if they fired someone for marrying because the Constitution does not have a 'religious exemption' stating 'except priest.' The church would then have to pay damages for the future wage loss. So it should change its policy in America because it is violating the US Constitution. (and they should be sued by the first person with standing to change the policy because it is evil.)
Saturday, June 04, 2011
My mother used to call me saturday mornings and say "this is your Saturday morning wake up call." So I am calling all today's media frenzy over Edwards' issue the Saturday morning legal wake up call.
Is the Edwards indictment personal, political or neutrally legal? And what does it portend for future politicos. Is it a stretch beyond the pallatable or a slam dunk? He admits he did wrong, he might even admit he was a thoughtless selfish bast***. But does that make his skullduggery FELONIOUS?
I find him actually on the sexual ethics front much more sympathetic than Bill Clinton. Afterall, this was one woman he was involved with over a long period of time, clearly mutual, and he fathered a child- did not compel an abortion (not saying Clinton did) but took full responsibility for the child. He got himself caught between a Rielle and a hard place.
Whether or not he was running for office, if he was still a sitting Senator and this happened with no reelection campaign going, he likely would have tried to take care of the child in the same manner and paid for the mother's medical - and tried to do it in a way from benefactor third parties without his wife being able to discover it from their common household funds. So the campaign image rational seems feeble and insupportable. Having rich friends who want to help is not a crime. Taking 200k from his campaign director or a fund related to the campaign is a different ball of wax if there was truly some misappropriation going on.
And what of the larger precedent? What if a barber wants to give him a free haircut to help promote his salon-does he have to report that as a campaign contribution? What if someone wants to take him on an expensive yaught for two days to shoot photos of him for his image which would cost the ordinary schlub a thousand dollars for the trip, is that a campaign contribution he has to report? What if one of his kids got in trouble-say DUI arrested- and some lawyer offered for free because he loved the family to represent the kid-which is necessary for maintaining his political image- is that a campaign contribution? Paying to provide housing and medical for a mistress and for child care related expenses seems a stretch to call it a campaign expense. And if it can be viewed as both a campaign expense and a personal one- which percent are we looking at for each or is necessary to have it fall under the campaign finance laws?
He didn't rape or assault anyone. He fell in love. So sue him- don't lock him up.
I say that as someone almost bitterly disappointed that he didn't put his money where his mouth was in fighting the 2004 election fraud after devoting so much of my time to his issues on that campaign. I don't much like him anymore after watching how Mrs. Edwards had to cope with this betrayal of her heart after giving her life to this man. But a Felon, I don't think so. I think this will turn out to be more scandalizing of the Justice Department actually. They would rather prosecute a guy who chose not to coerce an abortion after an affair than go after any Bush-Cheney Torturer?? REALLY???
Friday, June 03, 2011
The difference in sexual ethics between France and America can easily be summed up in two words now "Edwards Indictment." John Edwards was a favorite political self made millionaire champion of the poor who ran as Vice President to John Kerry then boldly threw his hat in the ring to run for President briefly. On the campaign trail he pulled a Clinton -only instead of dissing his Monica, he impregnated her with a love child and 'took care of her' by arranging (allegedly) for wealthy friends to hide her, and had an aide lie about paternity and pretend it was his to aid his campaign. This makes the money campaign funds.
In France that might be considered (except for the lying part) pretty much (**Yawn**) standard operating procedure. Look at Sarkozy having an affair with Bruni while married or separated. They just don't care and think your private sexual business is your private business. And the joke goes: what are the three national sports of France? Le Fut, Le Greve and L'Adultere. (Soccer, Industrial Striking, and Adultery.)
In America, John Edwards is criminalized. The grand jury determined there is enough here to potentially label it Criminal behavior. Why? Not the adultery or running around on a woman with cancer waiting for her to die while getting jollies off the campaign trail. That is not what the indictment is about. But the money part. Its all about the money. He should have declared the Hush Money as campaign funds in public campaign fund disclosures.
So in America it seems it is not really the morality of adultery (see, e.g. the flagrantly unapologetically adulterous Newt), lest we all start feeling morally superior to the French, nor pathetically enscripting employees to lie about paternity-- but it's about Money- misuse of hidden undeclared funds. The rich friends should have given the money to the campaign staff instead of the skanky mistress. Indictment does not always lead to conviction. This one may not.
Whether he cops a plea or gets off or not, John Edwards is widely now perceived as skum. He didn't have political capital enough to ride this into oblivion. His ego got the better of him. He will be the "Let this be a lesson to you" for political meglamaniacle wagabouts. We liked your deceased wife better than you.
or perhaps the more apt conclusion to be drawn is: France values Love over Money--and all is fair in Love and Presidential Politics.
But as ludicrous as that suggestion might be (actually there are noise control ordinances considered quite time/place/manner appropriate) there are apparently now laws on the books regarding time/place/manner restrictions on dancing. Even really good dancing.
Dancing it seems should be protected "speech" if body language is actually really a language.
And it is.
But this type of 'speech" has been determined to be restrictable in certain venues.
I admit that the time I saw a woman uncontrollably happy-feeting it on the Metro was annoying, really awefully annoying. Not entertaining. She looked drugged or at least drunk on one Metro ride home. People diverted their eyes so as to not look in the direction as if not wanting to embarass this Metro ballerina with clogs for toeshoes. But I venture to say, no one called the police on her.
But you cannot dance in Monuments in DC apparently, because it takes away from the solemnity of their marbleness. Really? What about Swan Lake in front of the Tidal Basin? That is a pretty solemn dance, and incredibly beautiful also. More beautiful than the stone cold marbleness. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder isn't it? Isn't it beautiful if a few Iraqi war protesters want to celebrate withdrawl of troops by dancing in homage to one of our founders in a Memorial? Don't they dance on the Mall every African American family reunion day?
I confess (looking furtively all around me to see who is there) shhhhhhh, that once, with earplugs in with radio hidden in my pocket playing irresistibly, I jigged half a block around the Tidal Basin. That will be half a mil. to get you out on bail Missus!
I am sorry, all due respect for my judicial elders, but this all sounds too ridiculous for words. I nominate the Park Police for Anderson Cooper's Ridiculist!I am Cynthia L. Butler, attorney at Law, DC Bar member. This is not legal advice because I cannot tell anyone to violate the law, but can argue that the Supreme Court might look on it differently. I do.
Medea Benjamin agrees, and her posts on the PINKTANK below are found on www.CodePink/blog.
Come Dance With Me
Thu, Jun 2, 2011
by Medea Benjamin
Dancing can be dangerous. In Ceausescu’s Romania I was arrested for dancing without a partner. In newly independent Guinea Bissau, my dancing partner was thrown in jail for boogying before the President and his wife had the first dance. In Cuba I was awoken at 4am to bail out a friend who had been locked up for “lesbian dancing.” And in Afghanistan I narrowly escaped arrest for dancing on a “men-only” dance floor. On each occasion I was shocked by the misuse of government power and disrespect for personal freedom.
So I naturally felt the same sense of outrage when I heard about the case of Mary Brooke Oberwetter, who was arrested for dancing quietly (with a headset on) at the Jefferson Memorial back in 2008. She sued the Park Police, lost and then appealed. On May 17, 2011 the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against her, saying that that dancing at memorials is forbidden “because it stands out as a type of performance, creating its own center of attention and distracting from the atmosphere of solemn commemoration.” Never mind that Oberwetter was arrested at midnight, when there was nobody but her and her friends around. Never mind that tourists at these memorials are always talking loudly, posing for photos and making all kinds of “distractions.” Never mind that dance can be a way to express joy at the freedoms espoused by our founding fathers.
To protest this absurd ruling, some folks put out a call on Facebook to gather on Saturday, May 28, to dance at the Memorial. I heard about it from my friend Adam Kokesh, an Iraq war vet and producer of the show Adam vs. the Man on the network Russia Today. A committed libertarian, Adam decided to help spread the word and join the protest.
It was Memorial Day weekend. My partner Tighe Barry and I were on our way to New York, but we decided to make a quick trip to the Memorial to support the dancers. When we got there, two park policemen were talking to the group. We moved closer to hear what they were saying and overheard someone ask the police how they define dancing. Tighe put his arms around my waist and started swaying, illustrating how hard it is to define what, precisely, is dancing.
Suddenly, to our utter amazement, we were set upon by the police. They yanked us apart, handcuffed us and shoved us on the ground. That’s when three members of the group put on their headsets and started boogying. The police went wild, bodyslamming, chokeholding, and jumping on top of them. The police cleared out the entire Memorial as if they were protecting the tourists from some kind of terrorist threat, then threw us in a paddywagon and hauled us off to jail. Three hours later, after mug shots and fingerprinting, we were charged with “dancing in a restricted area” and cited to come back to court.
But then something even more remarkable happened. We looked online and discovered that a video taken of the event was already out, and had gone viral. In just a few hours, thousands had seen it and were reposting it all over cyberspace. Other video versions began popping up, and the media starting calling. We were on Fox News, CNN, the Washington Post. In a few days, over 1 million people had seen a version of the video, and over 10,000 people were engaging in an intense on-line debate about it. Sure, some thought we “got what we deserved,” but most were as outraged as we were–and they wanted to do something about it.
So we decided to invite people back again, the next Saturday, to dance. Adam put up a Facebook event page, and before the week’s end, over 2,500 people had signed up.
Of all the issues I have been part of in recent years—protesting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Wall Street banksters, the BP oil spill, attacks on immigrants, draconian drug laws—few have struck a chord like this. People around the nation, both progressive and conservative, are appalled that the police would so violently arrest people for dancing—silently—in a memorial built to a man who was this nation’s most passionate defender of the rights of the individual against the state. It was, after all, Jefferson who asked, ”What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?” It was also Jefferson who warned that “a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”
The interior walls of the Jefferson Memorial are engraved with passages from Jefferson’s writings and on the southwest wall are excerpts from the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
What could be more emblematic of the pursuit of happiness than dance? Surely Jefferson, an avid fiddler and jig lover, would agree.
If you are in the DC area, come join us Saturday, June 4th at noon at the Jefferson Memorial. You don’t have to risk arrest. You can dance on the steps (legal), you can observe (legal) or, you can bring your dancing shoes and your smoothest moves. If you can’t come, you can sign this petition to the DC Park Police urging them to Let the Dancers Dance.
So this Saturday, we’ll be dancing in reverence to Thomas Jefferson’s spirit of resistance. We’ll be dancing to reclaim our nation’s memorials for us, the people. We’ll be dancing because we are freedom-lovers and want to preserve our freedoms. Most important, we’ll be dancing for the pure joy of dancing.
Medea Benjamin is cofounder of CODEPINK: Women for Peace and the human rights group Global Exchange.
Thursday, June 02, 2011
The relatively new policy director and Undersecretary at the State Department is Jake Sullivan, a fresh faced kid by comparison to the old grey headed suits and military uniforms
listening to him with silent attention from the overflow room with tables I sat in today at the Risk and Reward Fifth annual conference of the Center for a New American Security.
He scored 100, hit the ball out of the Park. He graciously took all questions after delivering probably the most comprehensive foreign policy speech I have ever heard. It traversed continents and conflicts and noted that an ounce of prevention saves you billions over preemption, a theme echoed the day before at the USIP- US Institute for Peace.
I can't tell you how many times I have been in foreign countries watching TV from a hotel room when the US State Department spokesperson comes on- in past it was attrocious. The guy with the baldman hair plugs for example. You sit there and wonder- who the Heck thought that this or that person was so telegenic they should be the face of the State Department broadcasting to the world.
Jake Sullivan should be the Face of the State Department everywhere. He is the brightest light I have seen in this Administration. Fairly young, just a 2004 graduate of Yale Law (I am reminded and can hardly believe it that my twenty-fifth law school reunion is next year at Georgetown and I and everyone like me should get a prize for still practicing law that long)- he was a Rhodes Scholar which is a nice way to see England, and clerked for Justice Breyer. Whether or not you ideologically align with his policies (and he is open to suggestions-actually begging for some) one must admit that this is one smart young fellow- and deserves to go places. Actually apparently he already has as he noted referencing briefly his State Dept. travelogue. I am inclined to think he may be a bit on the Irish side with a name like Sullivan which makes me all the more want to high five him. I also love that the State Department actually thought of giving seeds to Afghanis to replace the poppy production. Wouldn't you rather eat than shoot up? The State Department is also taking a keen interest in domestic economic issues because a strong US economy is vital and essential to our being able to lead the world in bringing peace and prosperity. Who thought of the domestic economy being a piece of state department craftsmanship? One thinks typically of USAID and international Aid and Development as critical to stabilizing regions but rarely is it heard that the strength of the US economy is vital to world peace. They are putting the pieces together there.
If all the other pieces line up, Jake Sullivan looks Presidential- in a few years time.
And you have to love that he threw his hat in the ring working on Hillary's Presidential campaign, and works as Undersecretary to a Woman.
Many thanks to the Center for a New American Security-- what looks to be a post-partisan Blue-Red thinktank for the good of all the world.