Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wonder Why

Michele O'Bama 
   is on the health kick?

  If you have never seen this movie, you need to now and can watch it for free
right on your computer.  If you care about kids, watch this. 
     (I think they found the one overweight french woman on the planet for this...french people eat much healthier than we do and are much slimmer generally as a rule-they balance their diet better and eat smaller portions.)

Arrested for What??? In the "I Hope She Sues" corner.....

The Gardening Mother Gardener Busted

   Next to police harassment for praying while female in conservative crackpot catholic churches this has to be the most insane story of police over-reaching I have read recently. A woman was arrested and fined, with threat of jail time for planting a vegetable garden in her own yard.

They used to give people awards for that sort of thing, and people loved things
called Garden Clubs. Now they are arresting people? I hope she sues.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Just For Fun

Lavender Fields Forever

    And you thought lavender only grew in the South of France. Well, the heat in DC might remind
you of it, minus the Mediterranean breeze.  Lavender it turns out grows quite nicely in abundance in Virginia and I have even spotted it in a few gardens in DC. A family farm in Virginia is capitalizing nicely on it and features everything Lavender at their booth at the DC Farmers Market every Sunday morning (8:30-3:00pm).  

There is no end to their creativity of what one can do with Lavender. Infuse it in chocolate chip cookies-no problem. Grind it with other 'herbs de provence'- sweet. How about on that hot day a cool lavender lemonade!  Yes, please.

   You can eat it, put it in soaps, make sachets, and bake it in a cake. 
You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to lavender. 
Stop by their booth tomorrow- see what i mean, and maybe you will get a few entrepreneurial ideas of your own.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fighting Entrenched


     In the beginning God created.....and it was all GOOD. So good, God couldn't help admiring his own work. Like an artist looking back over a painting- Nice Work if I don't say so myself.  Times a thousand is what he thinks when looking upon you- Man, created after his own image. Wow- brilliant. Looks a bit like me. 

   So one wonders why this appreciation is lost sometimes on the emphasis to focus exclusively on heaven to the oversight of things earthly. One often hears, and I did even this morning, shallow 
understandings of the brilliance and beauty of creation, by some priests who say things like, the eucharist is to help us detach from all earthly things to focus on heaven....
Well, detachment is a spiritual art but so is appreciation, and demonstrated appreciation for creation- so is taking care of creation, the earth and everything in it that is God's-that is called Stewardship.  This 'so heavenly minded you are no earthly good' maxim is reflected in a nihilism, as though the people and things God created are not worth celebrating and cherishing.
Because it is all better in heaven--in a utopian sort of vision.  The ends-justified means based theology easy flows from such a nihilism. And it can be used to justify cruelty if in the service of all that is deemed in service of heaven. 
  Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is within you- here. Another sage philosopher said 'heaven is a state of consciousness' (John Paul II) and yet others have surmised as if they know "heaven is more intensely the love you live on earth and you take it with you."  --sort of a 401k matching fund concept of heaven.  You bring a little and God magnifies it. 

     The church has had a strain of nihilism in its teachings that is not biblically accurate. It has also perverted the evangelical mission by demeaning creation. You know where I am going with this so I don't need to. 

     God is Love. Dieu est Amour. 
Si tu vie en moins d'amour tu vie en moins de Dieu.

Nietzche is Dead, Love God.



The Gift

Of Pietro Sambi

  The head Ambassador from the Vatican to the US Pietro Sambi has passed away. This is worth more than a passing reference because this really was a great and humble man. I had the honor of shaking his hand at the Vatican Embassy during a "Unity Walk" one year and saw him at a number of other Masses that he concelebrated here in DC.

  Prior to being the head US Vatican diplomat he was stationed in Israel as the Nuncio there and assisted Pope John Paul II in his life long mission to restore Jewish-Catholic relations by arranging JPIIs visit to Vad Yashem and places of holocaust significance. 

  Pietro Sambi will be famously remembered for making the declarative definitive statement that it should no longer be considered proper to convert Jews- (they are the original people of the covenant, Jesus is/was Jewish and God keeps all his promises.)

     At the US a guy stationed outside the Vatican embassy reminded him of the sexual abuse scandal daily with a hand made sign declaring his brokenness to all driving by on Massachusetts Avenue. When Pope Benedict visited the US Pietro Sambi made a point to schedule meetings in Boston and DC with abuse victims and policy changes resulted. 

     Pietro Sambi was a soft spoken man
 with an elegant italian accent.  When he shook your hand he smiled with a "I know who you are" deep look in the eye. 

Peace be upon his Soul.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What is in a Name


     Jesus is the aramaic for Joshua. Joshua was whom God annointed to take people to the promised land after
Moses led them there but had to die just on the edge of the promise. Jesus is the deliverer who takes us to the eternal 
promised land, e.g. heaven.  In the first book of Kings, (Kings 1) of the Hebrew scriptures there is an account of a 
prophet who heralds to much consternation a child deliverer named Josiah. Could this be another translation from the 
hebrew for Joshua and reference to Jesus? One of my favorite priests told us to read the whole first book of Kings 
and I bet he didn't think anyone would:-) 

1) The Hebrew name for Jesus is Yeshua, a name found 27 times in the Hebrew Bible, so we know exactly what his name was. (The name is accented on the second syllable: ye-SHU-a). Yeshua is short for Yehoshua (= Joshua), which means Yahweh is salvation. The first trace of the name is found in connection with Joshua, the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. Originally his name was Hoshea (Num. 13:8). The name Hoshea is derived from the hiphil stem of the Hebrew verb "yasha" [yod, shin, ayin] (BDB, 446; Gesenius, 435), which means "he saves, delivers." So the name Hoshea means "salvation" or "he saves, delivers." Moses changed his name to Hebrew "Yehoshua" [English: Joshua]:


Friday, July 22, 2011


Mary Magdalene Day

The First Apostle, lover of Jesus, platonic or not, is celebrated today.
AOL/Huff Post took the occasion to publish an article on stuff that isn't the bible that people believed closer to when when Jesus was around. The bit of his Ascetic A-sexuality may be myth or not.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Walking to Win- Win

Fighting Fire with Water--Peace, like a River.

"We have to get away from zero-sums and into win-wins" declared the head of J-Street, the Progressive Jewish organization based in DC with regard to the Palestinian-Israeli dispute.

By way of contrast, a Jewish friend in LA said "we don't negotiate with terrorists, we flatten them like a parking lot and start over." That is an understandable sentiment. We are after all in a war. However, is that the most productive strategy to eliminating the problem?
He noted that the Palestinians name streets after terrorists who sneak into people's houses and kill off babies.
Those people you can't negotiate with, he stressed. Fair enough.
But if you want to stop it you have to first understand why it is happening.

We are a generation removed from the time when the entire country was formed by moving into land owned and occupied by someone else. If that happened in this country no one would tolerate it for five seconds. Imagine if New York and New Jersey all of a sudden were told to all move to Maine or anywhere else who would have them because we have all decided that we need to move Florida and Georgia up to New York and New Jersey to accommodate all the Cubans who want to live here instead. What is New York and New Jersey going to do? Sit there or move and faaagetaboutit??

Eventually if everyone forces them to, they do move to Maine, and they try to make do, but some of them retain bitterness and resentment. They don't build up Maine, they spend a lifetime trying to get back into their homes in New York and New Jersey. They teach their children that this sort of indignity and injustice cannot go without some accountability and they teach their children that if its the last thing that they are going to do, they will make Florida and Georgia pay.

Now what. How to stop the genocide of New York and New Jersey and Kamokazzi fighting New Mainers?

The best revenge is living well. If Maine starts looking like the new paradise and its better in Maine then a lot of them will give up the ghost of the New York high life. It certainly won't be worth losing your life to die for the revenge if life in Maine is better.
So AID has to be looked at, as in USAID. Balancing development budgets has to be looked at.

And the psychology of revenge and retribution has to be examined and dealt with better.
What diffuses that?
Reparations? Expropriation remedies?
Then there is the fact that there is a particular part of New York that is sui generis and unlike any place in the world; Manhattan. Who gets Manhattan (Jerusalem.) Perhaps since the whole world trades with Manattan the whole world should get a say about who controls it. Perhaps Jerusalem should be controlled by an international body or collaboration of all the monotheistic faiths in the parts where the holy sites to all are found, with access to all for all.

Indignities, humiliations and insults breed contempt and even violence. None of that solves anything but compounds the likelihood of violence.

demystifying Hollywood

Jennifer Aniston's shoes-- hot, love them- but feature a really large vericose vein on her right foot and a horrendous toe bunion or buckling on the right index second toe. Just real people with really good promoters- and kick -A shoe collections.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Must See Movie

Amazon has used copies for under a buck

What? You still didn't see this movie yet???


Who Rock It Till They Drop

    Vogue annually has a spread celebrating women of all ages.  Kabbalists sometimes say you pick your parents before you are conceived from some heavenly realm. I think I might have picked my mom because she is an ageless beauty. As a widow she remarried at age 73 (the assisted living place she is eyeing has a 'morals clause' so you can't shack up in sin there)

I come from a line of women who look more elegant with age and they hit their primes later. My sister had a 
first son at age 43 --
The above vogue article also shows If your Dad is Ralph Lauren, you get a pretty 
neat wedding dress.
We are all supposed to live to be about a 100 or more. And all the demographic
studies demonstrate the aging of the fright about social
security running out before we do.
So THANK YOU VOGUE and all creative outlets that feature older women doing creative fun
things still looking hot and living large.
Now, Hillary, can we talk about that blue flowered number in India???

Pro Israel, Pro Peace

What's Your Story? News Too God Not To Share

Gwyneth Paltrow, the English looking beauty famous for playing Shakespearian queens and the like learns her late
father, LA Producer Paltrow hails from a long line of Jewish Rabbis and Kabbalists and is so moved in honor of her father
she decides to raise her two kids Jewish. Watch the whole thing.......and learn how the progeny of a NY British maid who immigrated from Barbados after being orphaned married the progeny of Eastern European Rabbis and had a child in LA
named Gwyneth Paltrow. It's a great American story.

Walk on Water

With Me

Witness to Hope

or Witness to Chastity 

     Chastity is a virtue-no argument there.  Chastity as replacement for Love is an idol.
That's where the church has it wrong on the married priesthood prohibition. 
The priesthood's witness to chastity is life saving in some cases. Women who would have done
themselves in or given into despair from their feelings of emotional abuse at abusive lovers or
or failed marriages or over-sexualization of themselves find solace, comfort and new life with the
care of priests whom they can feel securely are not after them to get into their undergarments  but offer a different vision of familial agape love.  
   But when chastity is idolized above familial love, it is wrongly elevated and insisted upon as the only way to lead people to salvation- and it demeans God's gift. It destroys potentiality for children born in the heart of love. 
      The church in running priests out on a rail who know this is off its rocker and totally against the heart of God are marginalized, or flatly driven out. The ones who drive them out get promoted, like Chaput now the Archbishop of Philadelphia who ran out an Australian priest who espoused a fair look at the married priesthood. 

    The insistence that the vocation of priesthood is for everyone for all time a celibate exercise is really evil. There is no biblical, scriptural justification for it and it perpetrates the most unjust harms and emotional abuse on women. It is sick. And it needs to change.  It creates an idol where Love should instead rein, and Love is by its essence pro-creative, creating Human Life. 


and Two Steps Backwards for Women's Empowerment

    What is the male fascination with the Marilyn Monroe iconesque blonde bimbotic big bazoomed long legged highness?  Chicago is reeling over the ode to sexual objectification as

In DC we have our own giant head of MM every time we cross the bridge from downtown
to Woodley Park staring us in the face in a building. Why? The person who adulterously 
seduced a President and likely also slept with his brother should get some monument in DC? 
I seriously don't get why she is so adored- OK, was in a few films where she played 
feeble ditzairheaded blondeness to the hilt, sort of
could sing maybe. She is the paragon of soul-robbing-sex- for- sport in LA. The girl killed herself after a few failed marriages and sleeping
around with more people than birthday parties she could sing at. For that you want
to peer into her gigantic underwear in broad daylight in Chicago?

Can you say "get a life fellas?"
How much do you think it actually costs to buy a bottle of bleach for your curls?

My Pilgrimmage

To Long Island

       Because some of the coolest people I know come from there (including a brother in law) I decided I needed a mini vacation in Long Island, coupled with a work exercise to assist a good friend.  I discovered why some of the coolest people come from there. 

      There is a church in Merrick, Southern part of the Island, called Cure of Ars. It is in a mini castle like building with several chapels that has an aura of sanctity when you enter immediately. It is palpable. 
I found myself gravitating toward a corner chapel where I discovered a photo of the incorrupt heart of Saint John Vianny, the Cure of Ars, a famous french priest known for his confessional brilliance at directing souls upward. Upon closer look I discovered an actual relic of a tiny piece of his incorrupt heart. I always wondered why, if God sought to save something incorrupt why men want to cut it up in pieces.
OMG! as they say. But still it evoked a minute or two of prayer.
     There is also a Saint Faustina relic in the chapel of Divine Mercy. 
And a more authentic picture of Jesus than the cartoonish one on posters that make him look almost like a teenage girl. In the more authentic one he looks as he should like a Jewish man around 30 years old- because that is what he was. 

     Merrick in Long Island is a largely or at least half Jewish town. It is appropriate that Jesus 
looks Jewish in the portrait in the Cure of Ars church. Jesus as Jew is something that needs to be better grasped by Catholics who sometimes I get the sense think he is a cross between Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus' Irish grandfather and a Renaissance cupidesque angel.  Jesus was a Jewish man. And on Long Island Jesus looks Jewish as he should be.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

ZENIT - Sant'Egidio Event Leads Up to Assisi

ZENIT - Sant'Egidio Event Leads Up to Assisi

For the Good

of All His Church.

   That is said in most every Catholic Mass. For our good and the good of all His Church. His Church originally was all Jews. He came first to save the Jew then the Gentile. Insofar as his own people rejected Him he brought salvation to all.  So Christians have not only a foundational faith family in the Jewish people but they owe their very salvation to the Jews. Salvation comes from the Jews. Jesus was the quintessential righteous Jew. Now All his Church means all Jews who are definitionally his family and all Christians who call on the name of Jesus as Lord who are saved by him.  Christians are baby Jews so to speak, if they are authentic Christians. 

    So Christians take a peculiar interest in the State of Israel which is the homeland of all Jews considered by Jews to be Jews. Most do not consider Christians Jews while many Christians consider themselves baby Jews. Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecies. The 'golden rule' Christians think Jesus invented of do unto others as you would have them do to you and love others as you would wish to be loved actually is a standard long held Jewish platitudinous proverb which existed in scripture long before Jesus lived. It is a classically Jewish ethical precept. 

     Now in Israel there are Jews and there are Christians who have Palestinian ethnic heritage. 
According to Christian teaching they are one faith family. 
    Today at the New America Foundation the head of J Street noted that Israel is driving itself off a cliff essentially and Americans who misunderstand what is going on are duplicitous. This is the fault in part of the rightest wing of Christian evangelical zionists a la Hagee and Beck. Beck is a dingdong and barely worth the print -he's even too rightwingnutty for Murdock and its dubious Mormons are even Christians even if they think they are. So I won't bother with the Beck Mess. Hagee is more dangerous because he purports to be about rapturous prophesy which is in fact of the sort of False Prophesy that got people stoned in ancient days. There is absolutely nothing in the bible that links the political creation of a state for Jews to the Revelationary rapture in the end times prophesies written by the Apostle John or anywhere. Most Christians with any sense, and all Catholics reject it as Texan tom -foolery which is easily co-opted for a political agenda.

     There is a bit of serious political persecution going on now for those who challenge what Israel is doing, and the implicit slander that to speak against any political posture means one is anti-Israel or worse anti-Semetic. In fact, those who argue for a two state solution with peace and security for Palestinians believe whole heartedly, and likely rightly that this is the key to Israel's political salvation and secure future. Organizations like J-Street fill a necessary vital void to give voice to the people who want open dialogue in keeping with Jewish values. Open dialogue, and not stripping of First Amendment sort of rights with anti-boycott law or otherwise curbing free speech and free press and open dialogue with possible dissent is anti-Jewish and anti-democratic, argued the J-Street leader who has written a book on the subject.

     Of course there should be open dialogue. Of course, there should be no law suppressing voicing  dissent or free speech or civilly punishing people for expressing their views. That does start to look unhelpfully fascist. 

     People may not want to talk to each other but that can not stop anyone who wants to talk to talk. Even if they disagree. Parts of the Progressive Jewish community are deeply chagrined at what they see going on and the trajectory they imagine to come. They must feel a little like Jeremiah shouting with everyone wanting him to please shut up. Or- like the John the Baptist, who called people to self reflection and repentance, engaging in water purification rituals to cleanse of the iniquities, and shouting in the wilderness with perpetual fasting on nothing but locusts and wild honey. 

   Love your neighbor as yourself. 
The parable from the Christian scriptures of the Good Samaritan is instructive here. Jesus told a parable in which a man was beaten and left for dead by the side of the road. It is inferred he is a Jewish man. A Levite saw him and walked on the other side of the road ignoring him. A Jewish Priest (such as do not exist in modern times) saw him and walked on the other side of the road ignoring him. A Samaritan (a half breed, loathed despised deemed lesser being) saw him and took compassion on him, lifted him on his donkey, walked him to the nearest Inn dressing his wounds and paid the Inn Keeper to let him stay as long as he needed saying- I will pay whatever the bill is, essentially. Who was the good neighbor to the beaten man? Jesus lesson is that the person with a higher holier soul is the one who exercised compassion and acted on it. The Higher Holier soul is the one who sees someone in distress and tries to heal and make whole meeting basic needs. The higher holier soul of Israel is achieved when Israel understands that God is calling it to a much greater compassionate place with regard to the 
Palestinians that they are passing by, whose basic needs are getting in some cases ignored. 
Proverbs says a kind word diffuses anger. 
Meeting people's basic needs diffuses war. 
     This is where The Good of All His Church is found- where Justice kisses Peace. Where all have compassion on each other and the soul of all humanity is raised to a place much holier. Holy Holy Holy. Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh.

Monday, July 18, 2011


For Libel and Slander- because it destroys people's careers.

    The Washington City Toilet Paper should be in for a good spanking. It has in past done yellowish journalistic hatchet jobs without full investigation-or even trying, under the editorial
mandate to sensationalize at the expense of the facts. It is being sued by a big wig- who I for one hope makes the point that if you call yourself a 'City Paper' you should be good for something other than lining bird cages and kitty litter boxes. Best of luck to you Mr. Snyder.
The Paper has an on line presence which allows anyone in the world to read their nonsense. It also has the filthiest element paying for what looks like on line prostitution in their personals under cover of masseuses and other strangelove looking-fors and I have often wondered why
the FBI hasn't done any CraigsList like stings on it.

       The city paper once ran, at the request of an attorney I had a run in with a trashing article
cleverly avoiding defamation charges which I filed by not directly naming me but insinuating by
innuendo something that didn't quite or hardly at all express all the pertinent facts to create
a misleading picture of exactly what happened. They didn't even bother to call to get the other side of the story. They said they couldn't reach me when I had a listed number at the Bar Association as a practicing attorney on their website anyone could access or just call the Bar, and the offending attorney certainly had it as well. They are reported by others in the know to
have a firm philosophy of sensationalization that sells papers even if it requires forgetting the
typical truth balancing act normal papers undergo-and something called Fact Checking. It is for that reason I cheer at the thought that they should be sued
six ways from sideways and DC law needs to expand it's "innuendo" classification to cover
shades of truth that completely block out the light. 
       The Washington City Toilet Paper needs to clean up its act.  If the Courts don't make them do it, who will?


Nelson Mandella Day

Agents of Non Violent Justice can all cheer on Nelson Mandella's birthday today, July 18th. In the tradition of Martin Luther King, Ghandi and inspired by Jesus himself who demanded Peter put back his sword and not slice the face of the oppressor, an entire country was born from the racist past of apartheid oppression.

Nelson Mandella languished in jail for years for standing against what he knew to be an institutional evil.
Institutional evils and injustices still exist in many places in the world, some even under the sanctimonious color of established religions that give no breathing room to dissent.

It could have turned out differently. Mandella could have started a violent revolution in the streets resulting in mass slaughter blood baths. But he didn't.

And after a 'Truth and Reconciliation' Commission, the real facts got aired in daylight and people came to terms with what had to change. It is a model for everywhere, and I mean everywhere.

Who Died

And Made You God?

My mother used to say that when I got a little too judgey or critical of someone or something. She also said "never talk
politics or religion in polite company" which had me wondering what else interesting there was to talk about.

Who Died and Made You God? Some catholics might say and do 'Who died and made you Pope' while I hope even
the Pope would agree they are clearly not the same thing.

Paul in scripture fought Peter's views taking him to task. Jesus himself took Peter to task more than once, noting his
betrayals before the cock crowed and even at one time saying 'Satan get behind me' when Peter expressed something other
than God's will regarding Jesus' mission and fate.

Who Died and Made you God? Clearly you are not. You are not qualified to Judge a person's character. You are not qualified
to put any moniker on them of 'weed' or 'good seed' because only God sees truly inside the heart. You can 'know' them by their fruits but you cannot judge their hearts.

This should take a load off. The first commandment is to not have any Gods before the true real God, which means you can
take your God hat off now, because it's not your job to judge. God is the Judge and there will be a Judgment day. That is partially why Jesus said not to tear up the weeds that grow intertwined with the good seedlings. Because you can't tell which is which and sometimes get it totally wrong. You label someone according to whether they suit your purposes, your institutional goals and objectives which may not be God's. You want to rip up and destroy sometimes what God willed be there for HIS purposes, and it was your blindness that did not see how His Plan was in it. Get Behind Me Satan was what Jesus said to Peter.
What if at that point everyone could reasonably call Peter a 'weed' and tear him up. What would become of Christendom at that point? We wouldn't even have a church. So because we can't see the forrest for the weeds, we don't judge- because only God judges the hearts of man. You, you can sit in traffic court.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ever Notice

How the People Shouting "You Sin!" the Most
are the People Who Love the Least?

In Normandy

There is a town called Lisieux. And the above girl lived in it. She was with the Carmelite order, and was named after
a famous carmelite Therese of Avila. Mother Theresa of Calcutta was named after her.
She is one of a handful of "doctors" of the church.

This Saturday was Our Lady of Carmel feast day.
This Saint died suffocating to death on her own blood with Tuberculosis in the 19th century. It is similar to how Jesus died, as
he also suffocated while crucified with collapsed lungs it is believed. It's a strange way of sharing in Christ's sufferings. She also suffered the petty mechant meanness of her peers and fellow religious.

She's the one who drops roses out of the clear blue -which is why they call her the Little Flower. I am going to pray she delivers you roses-and when she does you will know i am thinking of you- je pense a toi.

Tea Party Eat Your Heart Out


Totally Sexually Aberrant

What kind of person would like working at the TSA? Scanning bodies for bombs planted internally, or groping small
children or elderly women to see if they have implanted anything explosive. A 61 year old woman tried to get one back-
she got arrested for "groping" a TSA agent. She gave them a dose of what they dish; she grabbed a breast through
clothing of one of them and was arrested on felony charges- and if convicted (it's on tape, she likely will be) then she
will have to be listed as a sexual predator in states that list them. How absurd. The TSA who do pat down and grope
live women get away with it in the name of National Security, but don't you try it back or you will lose your life as you know it. I am not even a little bit gay and I think that is crazy. Perhaps she was just trying to make a point.

I am one of those women who is fairly categorized as somewhat 'endowed' which is not an asset some places. In conservative catholic church it can almost get you arrested for praying while female if a priest is "distracted." I deliberately dress in burlap sac sometimes to dress down the unwanted attention from undesirables. At the TSA they have to search for explosives under my underwire below my chest length dangling cross. Because they are idiots. I feel almost violated every time I get on a plane now.
Can't I show my Bar Card or something to avoid this? I start to hate the 'government' every time I get on a plane, and that is not good because I am a lawyer, and an 'officer of the court.' I just don't want strangers pressing up against touching my breast.
Please don't manhandle or womanhandle me. Is that too much to ask?

Where is Bill Gates when you need him? Please invent something better. I fear with the deficit ceiling talks TSA might
sell my chest x rays to Playboy to pay for social security.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Paraboles 101

And When the Weeds Mock the Wheat

We heard this evening at the Vigil the gospel reading regarding the parabole Jesus told of the field planted with good seed, and in the night the enemy comes and plants weeds. In time, it is obvious there is a bit of a weedy mess and the disciples ask if they are supposed to rip out the weeds and Jesus says no, it could also tear up the weaker wheat, so they are both left to grow interspersed until The Harvest (i.e. the Judgment Day.)
The homilist cleverly made analogy to a baseball field where there are umpires, basemen and even 'security' at the ballpark with the good home team and the bad team vying for prominence and a victory.
A fun but imperfect analogy- it would be more like basketball where the weeds can block and intercept a jump and pass elbow to elbow, or elbow in face. But lets stick with baseball for now.

What if the umpires are crooked? Where is that in the analogy. What if the umpires get a christmas bonus for advancing the weeds and administering the weedkill to the wheat? That's more like what happens.
What if the umpires basemen are in the same union as the umpires who get a bonus for administering the weedkill to the wheat? You get a field overridden with weeds, and so much so everyone starts to think that the weeds look like flowers and like they should be there. Ever see a yard so overridden with weeds you think it is some kind of exotic plant- a field full of it-and it is supposed to look like that? Ever notice that even weeds can sometimes have parts that look almost deceptively like flowering parts? If the crooked umpires call 'security' security becomes like The Mob- a garden variety hit job. Weedwhackers to the kneecaps.

That's what happens in a church when the umpires are in the same union as the basemen who are all paid to administer weedkiller to the good seed. The music dies with the good wheat. And no one can tell the weeds for the woods.

Sunday, July 10, 2011



    For the Greater Glory of God.
At a Jesuit parish in DC named Saint Aloysius a remarkable event packed the place;  not a standard catholic liturgy , but more like an amped up Christ in the City event, a 
charismatic Catholic prayer meeting that looked like the Toronto Blessing only very Catholic
with actual roman collared priests bringing up people who were healed to tell their testimonies. 
This was led by a community called Cor et Lumen Christie (body and light Christ) and their 
unbelievably gifted charismatic founder/leader Damien.   He is the real deal and if you have never heard him you need to invite him to lead a meeting at your Parish.  He is the Hope 
for the New Evangelism.

Just goes to show you that the Holy Spirit reaches all congregational divides-
because the same sort of services exist in protestant evangelical circles.
Protestantism is mostly protesting the abuses of the church when it was founded
in the 16th century or so, so Protestantism and Catholicism have lots of footpaths
and bridges leading each to each other- and Christ's vision and heart is unity in the Lord.
The Community is one such bridge because every charistmatic protestant would
feel welcome and at home there and even know all the songs.

There were legitimate unbelievable miracles happening that night.
People who walked in on crutches walked out unaided. An eight year old girl who had an
eye blind since birth could see by the end of the service. Another woman
nearly bent over and crippled from Fibromyalgia who said she couldn't stand
or sit for lengths of time on hard surfaces and joined Our Lady of Lourdes
because it had carpet (!!) was dancing up and down the aisle by the end of the
service nearly hugging the statue at the back. A woman with terminal cancer
who walked bent over with a crutch stood upright for the first time in two years,
and there were other unbelievable events witnessed by everyone.

The leader started the service by making everyone say "Jesus is Alive"
and then said- now say it like you mean it. People said it like their lives
depended on it, because they do (the eternal soul lives on by his gift
for those who believe on his name.)

The God of the Universe who created all life, walked the earth and his mere
presence at his word healed people whole, cast out demons, and restored
people to full sanity and health. He is Alive. He walks the earth and does it
today. For those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. And for those whose
eyes can not see and ears can not hear, if they have faith their faith in Him
can make them well.

Jesus of Nazareth- the name on earth that demons shutter to. The Righteous
Jew from a small town in northern Israel. Jesus of Nazareth. Every knee
one day will bow.

Casting Stones

While perched on the log in your eye.

   There is a scripture verse that says basically where do you get off pointing out or criticizing the spec in your neighbors eye when you have a log in your own. Take your log out of your eye and 
maybe you can see a little more clearly what is going on.

   It is in that spirit and vein that legislators in New York City now seek to ban the "Perp Walk"-
the all too frequent parading of charged, but not convicted, arrested persons before TV cameras in the most humiliating fashion one could invent, with their arms visibly cuffed or strapped behind their backs, heads bowed in humiliated disgrace.  Problem is- they didn't all do it. None of them at time of arrest are convicted of anything. The move came as the sad saga of prurient presshood gone amuck pilloried the French former IMF head DSK almost pornographically with alleged details of a rape that chances are never happened. The alleged victim who apparently lied on an asylum application and pled rape in Guinea to gain asylum status couldn't keep her story straight regarding what allegedly happened after the alleged rape. You were just raped, what did you do? Run Screaming anywhere? Hang out and clean the next bathroom? Wait in the hall for permission to go tell security?  wierd. too too wierd. 
   So as that case unraveled so did credibility in the criminal justice system because we all saw it played out in sloppy details that didn't get the facts straight and believed someone who now appears too skanky for words with dubious new additions to her bank accounts that look like someone paid her off to lie.    This is looking more airport novelish than Jean Le Carre.

     The New York times wasted no time noting how embarrassed New Yorkers now feel (the ones that bothered at all to think about it) and the French are furious at our adolescent fascination with humiliation as punishment before proof. It seems our "Just The Fact Ma'am"
motif was made in and stayed in Hollywood. 

   So I cheer the New York legislators who want to do away with the Perp Walk, because half of it might just be the Set Up Walking.



One of my fav. hobbies.
     Not just the idle blogging of an idle mind-I like to hook people up with other interesting folks for mutual benefit with similar interests. 
No, I am not starting a singles column.

  Along those lines, here's who should meet who next:
Prince William is slightly less cute than the Ubiquitous John Hanshaw (who among his other degree pedigree went to Cambridge in 
England for post graduate work) He is the adorable Director/CEO of the Washington Film Institute in DC and frequently cited as the most eligible bachelor in DC. Kate M. is about average looking compared to the bevy of brilliant beauties who float swanlike around John at any given event he hosts, the latest of which was a packed crowd watching the hilarious spoof on politics gone to the dogs 'Below the Beltway' at a lounge in Georgetown that features simulcasting the movie from several loungy venues inside a clublike atmosphere.  It was followed by a chat with the producers and writers, the main writer being a guy who knew intimately of what he spoke as
he is a twenty year veteran of DC politics and campaigns. He was as funny as the film. He said he was so intent to get the movie made he would have cast sock-puppets if that's what it took. 

    The Washington Film Institute, WFI, started in 2007 and evolved from the Guerilla Film Festival, also founded by John Hanshaw. It brings in amazing talent to conduct workshops, writers and professors of famous drama schools.  Wouldn't it be awesome to have a tie in with the British film industry if we could all figure out how. Washington, DC is the documentary capital of the states as well.....Hmmmmmm. Prince William, please meet via blog John Hanshaw. I will leave it to you all to work out the details of cross-pond collaborations soon.

Hugs and Kisses to all.


Saturday, July 09, 2011

Welcome to America

Katie and Billy:-) 

  America thinks you are georgeous daaaalings.

The International Human Right

To Eat.

    Hunger. It still exists. There is enough food in the world. Pope Benedict says 
there is a sharing deficit. And it's unacceptable when we are talking about kids. Eating is 
a basic human right he declared.

The good people at Common Good City Farm in DC might well agree.

In what used to be a shut down elementary school's baseball diamond a half acre of
property in the heart of Northwest Shaw-LeDroit Park area just behind Howard University
Hospital is an unbelievably thriving farm complete with fig, apple, and peach trees, and
every kind of vegetable you thought that you couldn't grow in a city. The roof collects
rainwater through a system of gutters that feeds into a cystern that is linked to the
ground drip irrigation system. Large watermelons, peppers, tomatos, beans, corn, kale,
spinach- and its all organic.
Nearly every variety of herb, including rare medicinal ones are found there.
This is a gem in the city. Their mission is to provide quality low cost fresh organic produce 
as part of the 'food justice' movement which seems exactly what the Pope is talking about.
They are for green sustainability and recycling compost back into the earth to replenish
anything taken away. There are many programs for
low income people to get cheap eats-such as the one where if you work for two hours during
the day you are rewarded with a bag of vegetables.
They are educational in mission inviting groups of kids from schools and after school
programs to visit and even pick and harvest as they walk them through the many varieties
of berries, and green leafies. Do you have a scout troop or boys and girls club that
might want to learn about what urban sustainable organic gardening looks like? Give
them a call. They are there to feed the world.

How Good

When Brothers Dwell Together in Unity

  " Insofar as it is up to you, live peaceably with your neighbor. "
These are two scripture quotes. 
   New testament scripture is rife with references and admonitions against strife-mongering. 
People who create slanders and gossip and stir up ugly false rumors to create dissension in a_
community are blasted in the New Testament. Later they are called sometimes "schismatics" and during the middle ages people could actually be put to death for it. Not advocating that, but just saying that in times former this was considered such a serious sin that it just required shutting down at the pass. Slanderers rank among those New Testament scripture tells us will never make it to heaven along with "whoremongers" and "idoloters" and other evildoers. 

     There is an inspiring new group that hopes to Live Peaceably with their neighbors all over the world. The organization "New Story Leadership" is one that started in Northern Ireland and South Africa with a model of bringing college aged and graduate students to Washington to provide internships with people on opposing sides of conflict living together in houses in the greater Washington, DC area. Recently at SAIS (Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies) in DC Palestinians and Israeli Jewish students /interns came together on the same podium to discuss their new narratives and stories of how they want to live peaceably with their neighbors. This was so moving
it was hard not to cry. One Israeli jewish young man recounted how while he was a solder guarding a check point in Nablus he was approached in the middle of  the night with a large vehicle driven by an Arab which was holding large quantities of watermelon. The soldier was tired and hungry. He recounted how the man somehow sensed that and insisted that he take one of the watermelon. The soldier insisted more strongly that he would not because the man makes a living off selling them. This interchange caused the soldier to realize that coexistence is possible because he felt genuinely cared for. When he opened his heart to the possibility of the other's good will intentions, he was filled with compassion. He determined counterculturally against his upbringing or teaching to not view the 'other' as a threat
and lump all arabs or palestinians into the same stereotypical enemy model.
     A young woman who was once also an Israeli solder who grew up on a Kibbutz recounted how at a party she was disturbingly shouted at by a childhood friend yelling that he killed a man the day before. She didn't know how to react and it made her obviously sad that there was such a flip reference to having to kill a man. A desensitization that scarred the soul somehow. She longed to escape the militarism that defined Israelis who all have mandatory draft military service after high school with few exceptions. 

     Another woman (who is living in the same house as the above woman for the summer) recounted how she as a Palestinian Israeli living in Israel proper, not the 'occupied' territory part, or what is supposed to be Palestinian according to the 67 borders, noted that in a 'black and white world" she is gray and there are shades of gray that don't get factored much into the policy debates that she wishes to highlight. She often feels like she doesn't belong anywhere and yet belongs everywhere. She is currently an intern at the World Bank. It was incredibly refreshing to hear her speak from her heart how she doesn't want to be trapped in the preconceptions of the conflict. She wants to be free to have friends of all stripes. 

     The Palestinian young man from Bethlehem spoke about how he had land title and deed from his family that dated back to the Ottoman Empire when it ruled over the land now Israel, endorsed later by the British Government when it was a Palestinian protectorate. He said it has been tied up for decades in the Israeli court system because they don't know what to do with land titles with deeds because most Palestinians owned their land with a handshake and only declared a small portion of their land officially for tax purposes. There is no Fifth Amendment Emminent Domain expropriation payment obligation of Israel to compensate anyone for State appropriated land. The entire country, if one looks at if from the perspective of the Partition is a UN authorized state appropriatation of land that at one time someone else owned or lived in. But the New Story Leadership program does not want to get too political. It does not issue statements on refugees, the border issues, or who should own or control East Jerusalem. The New Story Leadership program just wants to allow the grass roots to be seen and heard. 

   The conflict affects the psyche of the people on all sides in damaging ways. The political leadership should listen to its own people more. The New Story Leadership is raising up the next generation to tell a truer picture of what is going on, in furtherance of the Vision that one day Brothers and Sisters will dwell in Unity and Peace in that troubled land.

These brave inspiring young people will be on Capital Hill next week. see, 



Friday, July 08, 2011

So heavenly minded

You are No Earthly Good

  That's what my mother used to say about folks so cloud-headed in Kool-aidland that they didn't know how to make a decent living.  You know the type - armchair philosophers with lots of religious accolades and more useless stuff in their heads that they hope to edify the yawning masses with. Get over yourself, my mother would think.  Take out the trash now. Thank you. 

    People have all kinds of formulas for what they think makes them happy. The less creative just rely on other people's blueprints and formulas. Do x, y, z and you will succeed down a rigid path and make yourself happy.  The less kind think attacking others will make them happy and sometimes view the world in simplistic zero sums, of if you are happy I won't be so I have to make you miserable. These are idol illusions to convince oneself that one is in control of their heart.  This is of course dangerous stuff.

  The God of Love demands we love our neighbors as ourselves and even love our enemies or persons on the attack.   How easy is it to just love the people who love you back! No, you have to love the quite unlovely.  People want to blame their dashed expectations on someone else as a diversion from looking at their own faults, and they then think that this will make them happy. J'accuse! they shout inanely for they like not the color of the other man's shirt and they didn't get exactly what they wanted out of the deal. Love. This is a messy business. It isn't cloud gazing. It is taking out the trash when its your turn. Its picking up the bills and the leaves off the driveway. It's picking kids up from soccer and ballet and piano and violin lessons. It's waiting at the hospital.  It's being there and not running off with the first other thing that looks like it has a bigger bank account or sets you up in better style.  Becoming attached does not mean avoiding any sense or reality or real responsibility for another's emotional life, as if you could make decisions in a vacuum that had any significance. 
It means growing up finally.





Friday, July 01, 2011

OK Now

If i look that good at that age, I should run for something. You go with your bad scrunchy self.


For standing up for her own dignity. Maria Shriver.

Because the more they can't get away with it, the more they

won't try.

Love this woman.

Someone give her an honorary metal to something.

Wish I was a Dean to give her an honorary degree in dignity.

Pray for the whole family.

R U 12??

Leave Hillary's hair alone!

I wrote R U 12 like that on purpose because that is teen text-speak. They can't write because they tweet in abreviated character language.
Someone actually focused for more than three seconds today on the fact that Hillary in her fine blue suit self showed up with her hair pulled back in a scrunchy that I add nicely matched her flowing white blousey blouse. Fashion fine with me. Where can i get it in my size.
The funny thing is that the writer of this ridiculous piece does not even know how to spell faux pas. It's faux pas, as in pas de quoi. Not faux paux as in I am pretending I know how to speak french and it just sounds like it should be spelled that way.

You go Girl. Hair pulled back looks Europeanly regal.

Not a Laughing Matter

The Joke's On Us

Anti-Catholicism is not hardly rare in America. Anti-Irish,
Anti-Italians, who were mostly catholic, was a sentiment widespread and common
in the 19th and even earlier 20th Century. My father, a half-Irish catholic man
recounted seeing signs from the 1960s on store fronts in Boston that read
"Help Wanted, NINA" NINA means "No Irish Need Apply." It was such a common
discriminatory employment practice it had its own acronym.

But what we see now with all the 'scandals' is more than Anti-Catholicism- it's
a ferocious wave of Anti-Christism- a bad reflection on the Lord himself, because the object
of the joking is now the priesthood. And this, the church cannot ignore, and must address
because it slanders
Jesus himself.

These two jokes made their rounds in my inbox this week (the first was retold at a comedy night contest and won the prize for the most uproarious applause):

1/ A priest and a lawer and a troup of boyscouts were on a plane and the plane was going down.
Only two parachutes were on the plane. The priest said- Lets give them to some of the boyscouts.
The lawyer said "Screw all the boyscouts!"
The Priest said "Do we really have time?"


2/ In the Seminary the final test for graduation was a 'purity test' where the seminarians were all lined in a row naked with a little bell tied to their winkies. A georgeous buxom perfumed blonde then walked in front of all of them. Anyone whose bell rang would not get to graduate.
A big buzoomed blonde undressed and walked naked in front of all of them and only one seminarian had his bell jump up and ring so furiously it flew off his winkie. He bent down to pick it up and at the sight of his bending all the other seminarian bells rang so hard it played a bell choir of "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring."


Funny, funny, ha, ha, right?
No, seriously emblematic of why the church needs to have a healthy heterosexual family model in its priesthood. It would have twice the number of priests who could do twice the work and it would need half the funds for the Saint Luke's Institute to treat priests who think their humanity is evil. It is hurting itself, it is persecuting healthy heterosexual women and it is a perverse betrayal of who Jesus was and is and ever shall be.