Saturday, March 31, 2012

There was a man named John who wrote



and THE WORD was with GOD

and the WORD WAS GOD

He was in the beginning with God
All things came to be through Him
and without Him nothing came to be.

What came to be through Him was LIFE.
and this LIFE was the
 LIGHT of the human race.
The LIGHT shines in the darkness
and the darkness



Bonne Nouvelle Selon Jean

Au Commencement LA PAROLE existait deja. LA PAROLE etait avec DIEU et LA PAROLE
etait DIEU

Au commencement LA PAROLE etait avec DIEU

Par Elle, DIEU a Fait Toutes Choses, et il n'ya rien fait sans Elle. En Elle,

 Il y a LA VIE, et la VIE est LA LUMIERE des etres humains

 LA LUMIERE brille dans la nuit,

la nuit ne l'a pas recue.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Station of the Cross

To Start Palm Sunday week-end. The below video is moving, and John Lennon's Vietnam War inspired song appropos and not. The 'Imagine there's no religion' feature would mean that this kid would not be discovered by 'the nuns' in the shoebox as an infant (watch below and you will see what I mean.) But the Peace message always welcome. Nuns are the people tending to orphanages- because of their Faith which translates as their 'religion.' This Friday, as in every Friday of Lent at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew there is a 5:30 Mass followed by Stations of the Cross whereafter a 'simple Lenten meal' is served (bread and soup) benefitting a worthy charity. This Friday it is an orphanage in Peru that helps babies and kids like that below. All are welcome to learn more about it.

Emmanuel Means

God With Us.

And here is a kid named Emmanuel.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Regulation of Interstate Commerce

Barge Travel down the Susquehanna River.

      In the late 18th century the mode of transporting goods was River Barge and horse drawn vehicles and later trains in the 19th century. As horse drawn vehicles got more expensive the larger they were because the larger the vehicle demanded more horses, River Barge travel was the main method of transporting long distance goods at the time of the Constitutional Convention.
Goods travelled by steam boats and barges up and down all the major rivers and canals in the US. In DC we see the remnants of this in the C&O Canal before the railways were all built in the 19th century.
Google yourself when the rail lines were laid- it wasn't until after the Constitutional Convention.
The Constitutional convention attenders, aka "the founding fathers" wanted to give Congress the power to 'regulate interstate commerce.'  What they had in mind was that someone selling tobacco in Virginia who wished to ship it up the Potomac to Pennsylvania should not be so heavily taxed at the Maryland line  or impeded with a barge locke until they paid such an exhorbitant tax that they went out of business before they got to Pennsylvania. This video describes what barge lockes looked like-its in France but this is what we had here also and you can see remnants of it everywhere:

     Interstate Commerce regulation had to do with GOODS moving through state lines- not people. It was never intended to speak to regulation of people just because they pass through state borders. It had rather to do with  someone selling apples in New Hampshire trying to take them to farmers market in Faneill Hall, Boston who should not be taxed so heavily at the Massachusetts border that they have to dump them in the pond.  The Yale Law Prof. who makes the argument repeatedly that people lived within a 50 mile radius then so what the founders thought the Commerce Clause meant then has to be updated to mean regulation of people any way congress wants to regulate purchasing is totally absurd. It was not an authorizing statute for the regulation of people, or CONSUMERS but for the benefit of commercial enterprises and on any state, state actor or private enterprise that would impede interstate commerce. 

   To be sure the commerce clause has historically enjoyed expansion in precedential twists and turns but it should not be construed to mean a blanket congressional authorization on all consumer activity. Just not what was intended by the authorizing constitutional principle. There is no such constitutional authorization for congress to regulate individual consumption any way it wishes under whatever common good health and welfare principle it deems worthy.

  Philadelphia was at the time de facto headquarters of the Revolution, George Washington had his encampment on "Misery Mountain" now known as Valley Forge just outside the city. It was a major commercial center because it sat on the Schuykill River which flowed through Delaware south and was a major Port city. It was for a time the Capital of the country prior to Washington, DC for that reason. The founding fathers had in mind River travel and not impeding it because rivers flowed naturally through several states. The commerce clause originally had NOTHING to do with regulation of consumers and the impingements of liberty on such a notion would have shocked them silly.

If Justice Breyer is Right

Centrally Planned Economies work better than a free market.

And here are other things that can be deemed necessary to health and well being of Americans that the government can force you to buy.

  Now think of what you would tell every American they need to support interstate commerce if you were President.  On my list would include:

Greek Yogurt- proven to assist longeivity.
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream-craved by a good percentage of pregnant women.
Pizza  -with vegetables to get kids to eat their vegetables and
Escargot-which done right contain lots of garlic which is a natural antibiotic.

   In fact, I could probably exist on a desert island with just those four food groups (dessert island that is) so this is essential to my health and well being and also aids interstate commerce. So everyone must buy them now. End of Commerce Clause.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What God Will Do

For Your Soul. You just have to let him find you.

Thanks for sharing Ariana and crew.

The Holy Spirit

told them so.

There are men
Who by reason of dreams, intuition, or faith informed by knowledge of scripture I can not say- who know with as firm a certainty as the fact that the sun will rise in the morning whether you see it or not,  that God sent a unique and only Son of his into our world to raise your soul to new life that will last a time longer than you have capacity to grasp, a time we call eternity or forever, in a place of utter purest indescribable Joy, which Son named Jesus created your soul for this utter purest indescribably Joy- and this is the greatest news you, and all mankind could learn. These men are called Priests. They have given up everything in the world as a witness to you so that you would understand that God loved you so much that he wants you to know of this, because this place of utter purest Joy is with Him.   It is with him, through Him and in Him in the Unity of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit told them so.

   So please pray for these men- they are messengers appointed for your soul's safe passage.

If you do not know a Priest they can be found at any Catholic Church in America and they want to meet you this Easter.

Insurance Company Executive

Everyone Above Vice President Gets a Second Beach House Act. Is there any S.Ct. briefing on how much profit health insurance companies actually make, their executives pull in, and what their stock dividend profiles look like? Totally obscene. The premise that the insurance companies cannot cover for pre-existing injuries and treat women non discriminatorily unless they make people who will never need the service pay for something they don't use seems unsubstantiated by the record. The whole thing hinges on that premise. Look at actual insurance company profits.

It's not that they can't- it's that they won't. Because they want to make more money. Obamacare costs more not less. It solves or serves no compelling state interest when Congress could have just as easily said that the insurance companies be non discriminatory as a matter of law, and that they must cover for pre existing injuries (and provide portability and other touted benefits.)


My Dead Man Walking Complex

Thank you Justice Alito. I now have a Dead Man Walking Complex wherein I feel guilty that I do not own Burial Insurance and someone in the country is going to die without it. This must be my fault. My not owning burial insurance, when indeed one day I too will inevitably die, must put a cost burden on someone else who didn't have the foresight to buy burial insurance. In fact I must buy it every year because every year someone dies. Just not me necessarily. Or anyone I know. Perhaps the real dead guy didn't have the foresight to purchase it because their relatives were wealthy enough to cover it out of pocket with the yaght and all for the out to sea burial. Perhaps because they too were too young to contemplate death. This must be my fault- or at least I read that the government thinks it so- so I must be made to pay for burial insurance for me, if Justice Breyer gets his way and Congress has the right to make me buy it. Does Congress have the right to make me buy top of the line insurance to cover burial in the most exclusive resort area and cover the marching band that will serenade me into the ground or just the yaght burial at sea package? Or can I just get the quick pine box dump me in the ground version? If I get the pine box version does that guarantee then the shifting of the risk to the unanticipated unloved dead or those whose relatives are stiffing them (forgive the pun.) Please tell me quick because I feel guiltier by the minute for existing in this state of health and well being when there are people dying every day and I assume a good percentage of them didn't make proper preparations because Congress said so.

Free Market Economies, Collateral Damage

And Bartering. The town has 500 people in it. There is a lawyer and a doctor who golf together and have been buddies since college. Once in a while the lawyer goes in for a friendly neighborhood check up with the doctor and in return the friendly neighborhood lawyer gives the doctor free legal advice on general legal and the occassional malpractice claim threats. They worked out a deal and its been working out great for years. Now the Federal Government says that the lawyer must buy insurance with which to pay the doctor for his services or pay the IRS. So now the lawyer doesn't give the doctor free malpracitce advice- and the doctor gets sued- Doctor decides its too expensive now to practice in the small town and retires. Everyone within 50 miles is without their friendly neighborhood doctor. In this town of 500 every third house is owned by someone who runs a small business. It's a real butcher, baker, candlestick maker town. The federal government requires that they all pay out the nose for their health care or pay the IRS. They all decide to move and go work for Wallmart that covers all health benefits. The real estate market tanks in the town which becomes a ghost town putting out of business the local pharmacist, movie theatre, dog groomer, shoe store and real estate company. The Starbucks boards up and moves to Wallmart town. All because of Federal mandated health care at no cost capping under threat of criminal IRS prosecution. Crazy kids.

The RAW DEAL- Insurance Regulation Market

Isn't the Health Care Market. This isn't the New Deal, its the Raw Deal. That was a main point of those arguing against the Health Care mandate. While everyone may need health care, they may not all need insurance. Further the catastrophic policies are not what is being mandated- a minimum coverage package is. Also, if you are hit by a bus in a car your car state mandated insurance might already cover that. So the government is telling you to get something you may never need- forcing you to do it. The guy from West Virginia who runs a sole proprietorship flooring company in a town of 300 people says this will bankrupt him personally. It's like Social Security argued Ginsburg. Except it isn't. Because social security is something paid for over time in a means tested way in percentage proportion to your income from your income/paycheck and gives back to people in a manner proportionate to their giving into the pool after they hit a certain age including the person who paid into it. Chief Justice Roberts made the point that in fact some of what the mandate requires is something that some people will never ever use, like pregnancy or pediatric care. Health insurance buyers may never need the breadth of the insurance or the insurance at all. Some people do die peacefully in their old age- and have little doctors bills up until their death or none that are not already covered under their medicare or medicaid. Further, the health care statute is not saying that the health care mandate costs must be some minor percentage of income. They are imposing an affirmative purchase obligation without a cost cap or definition, and if you don't buy a package of what they say you must minimally have, you are going to be fined and subject to criminal IRS prosecution. Crazy. Justice Breyer sounded like there was no restriction on anything the government wanted to regulate ever given the right circumstances in something that sounded too 'big brotherish' even for the usually liberal allies. The government, he argued, could tell you that you had to buy a cell phone for emergency purposes, or tell you that you had to get a vaccine, or tell you that you had to buy anything if they said it regulated interstate commerce. Buying anything always has a tangential affect on commerce, even interstate, but that is not what the innumerated powers sought to define. I love Justice Breyer usually but here he seems way over the top. The fact that the government was allowed to create a government bank didn't mandate that people had to put so much of their own money into it. There is a huge difference between regulation of contractual relations of people already in a market and making people get into a market. The government can decide that it can regulate for public health the pasturization of milk but can it force everyone to buy a gallon a week to support interstate commerce? That notion, I venture to guess shocks people. That would indeed, as Justice Kennedy suggested at the outset fundamentally alter the relationship between Americans and their federal government in a way that does not bode well for what people call 'liberty', 'freedom' or things Americans love about being Americans. Rationing has been in past justified in war time, to limit purchases of people in a market of things they already purchase. But the government cannot tell people who like Pepsi that they must now all buy gallons of Kefir instead. The question of the limiting principle was asked over and over again. No one has a problem with creating a national health care system where people are taxed for revenues to support a public health system it seems. But forcing people to purchase private products that they don't want or need (and cannot afford) to underwrite a service others do use strikes people as basically really unfair. The argument that we all need health care of some kind at some point is irrelevant to the forced buying of private insurance argument and is a false premise anyway. The argument that everyone who doesn't buy insurance is a deadbeat is wrong. Some people use services that they can afford to pay for as they go along and are covered for catestrophic in part by car insurance. What the statute didn't ever do was challenge the excess and in some cases obscene costs of health care to coddle the providers and drug manufacturers. It is ridiculous that it costs for example $1,000 to get a basic set of chest x-rays- and a huge profit is built into it by way of just one example. Huge profits are built into most health care that the government does not challenge- it just wants to make more people pay for underwriting the exhorbitant services without regulation of any cost structures or even minimal investigation into the excessive nature of these costs. Small business people are going to be put unfairly out of business by this if it is passed. It strikes one as just violative of a basic right to order ones finances and assess ones risks as free agents in a free society. It's not Social Security at all.

Health Care-- kind of

And the Beggar Nation If you cannot afford health care insurance the new health care law, obamacare, has within it a provision where you can go petition HHS for an exemption due to 'hardship.' So some government beurocrat at HHS is going to tell you according to some government regulation whether you can or can not afford to buy health insurance. If you could afford it you would have it now. Can you imagine the nightmare scenarios of people having to go before some agency, taking time out of their day, battling the government over whether they deserve this exemption to be declared by the government a hardship case. Where is the dignity in that? Can you imagine some housewife standing in a government office for lines longer than she has time to wait with a crying baby to explain that the boiler just blew, she needs new tires, she is two months behind on the mortgage and her husband just left her? Seriously. And if she can't convince that guy that she shouldn't refinance her house to pay for insurance (or prove that she already did twice and that still has her in hot water because the house is worth much less than the mortgage debt now and she carries two notes with interest) she gets hit with yet another cost burden that she has to pay to the IRS or the tax man is going after her for CRIMINAL tax evasion. The bill has the potential to turn the working poor into criminals. Although I can see this being the solution to what we do with unemployed attorneys looking for pro bono work as armies of lawyers will be needed just like in the SSI context to help that category of people who are the one tenth percent now in mortgage foreclosure proceedings because they can't afford their mortgages, this law is a bad law. Also in the SSI case there will not be enough pro bono lawyers to address all the crying shame wrong decisions of the government beurocrat. The law doesn't address the most major issue- cost of health care. That was the problem. This is not the solution. If the government is forcing you to buy something unaffordable or get hit with some other cost burden, the government is not helping. The 45 or so million without insurance who motivated the rational behind the act likely overlap with the ten percent whose houses are in foreclosure proceedings. If they cannot afford it, making them buy it is like saying "just buy a house stupid" to the homeless. There are other things that don't add up in this 'too unintelligible to be enforceable as arbitrary' act. It should in whole or part be sent back to the Congressional drawing board. Whether the Constitutional challenge or an election will do that is up in the air- but the act is bad enough that it is motivating a huge segment of the population to 'pray for relief.' Nice effort though.

Honor, another word for Respect? Women sitting in dungeons

Monday, March 26, 2012

Romney Says Mormonism Is A Fraud

Park Romney that is- Mitt's Second Cousin. Former Mormon High Priest who saw the light and defected. Not polite to talk about it in polite company but it is a cult and one that persecutes apostates. We really don't want that in a President.

What's Wrong When

Forty-One (41) percent of all pregnancies in New York City end up Aborted?

Best Quote of the Day

"I find it hard to think that this is clear" said Scalia as the Supremes puzzled whether the Anti-Injunction Act precluding litigation over tax assessments on jurisdictional grounds until the tax is paid and protested applies to Obamacare. If it does apply Congress can basically attach a penalty that the IRS collects to any ruling for compliance purposes and thus insulate themselves from any challenge until the damage was done and people had to pay for something that might be unconstitutional- So the Parades of Horribles on that line of thinking are unending- Theoretically imagine- Congress passes a law that everyone over the age of 25 has to buy a house at an unstated price and if they don't to support the construction and real estate industry then they must be fined by the IRS, and subject to civil AND CRIMINAL penalties by the IRS for collection purposes. A Penalty or Fine is not a Tax. Clearly.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Counterfeit Religion, Counterfeit Candidate .....In Case You Were Still Wondering

No, Mormonism is not Christianity. That isn't to say some Mormons don't see through their own garbage and are actual Christians. I don't judge. But Mormonism is not Christianity. To be a Mormon missionary, and a Bishop who gives piles of money to the church, one assumes absent a disclaimer that you believe in the tenets of the faith you profess. Mitt doesn't want to distance himself at all from his Faith. He is a big Mormom. A Jewish friend was confused. 'But aren't they called the church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints?' Yes, but I can call myself a Surgeon and it doesn't make me one. Even satanists call themselves the Church of Satan. You have to look at what they believe and what their belief structure is founded on- and if you do that, I guarantee that you will discover that the Jesus they claim is Jesus, isn't the authentic historic one that Christians believe in. Christians believe in the consubstantiation of Jesus and God in a Trinity as not defeating monotheism- Mormons do not. They made up a lot of zooey nonsense about where Jesus appeared after the resurection and a lot of crazy totally fictitious populations in central america that are really Jews (don't laugh) that sound like old testament people but aren't. A kid with a fertile imagination who would be a game boy addict if he were born in modern times in the 19th century named Joseph Smith invented the book of Mormon, and invented names like Lamenites because it sounded like people like Ammonites, Hittites and Jebusites that do exist in the old testament. You can do this too- think of names that end with 'ites' - schruberites, flubites, loserites, scamaramarites. Now imagine they are all fighting each other in battles that you describe like an airport novel. There, you have started the fictional story line of your new religion. Now add a few angels, wierd references to ancient languages that do not exist like 'reformed egyptian' that you can pretend to translate and you have yourself a new religion to con the gullible. Joe Smith was expert at conning the gullible- just look at the Bank he started which invented schemes of securities fraud that would impress MIchael Milken. Joe Smith is a false prophet who would have been stoned if he lived in old testament times. In America he enjoys the status of founder of a billion dollar empire. There are lots of gullible Americans. Counterfeit religions produce counterfeit politicians. Con men. Etch a Sketch moralists. Guys who pretend to be for you when they are not really. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Con Law 101

Least Restrive Means for a Compelling State Interest ... The Obamacare statute is under review by the Supreme Court this week. They have to identify some compelling state interest for the statute and whether it is the LEAST restrictive means of impinging on any constitutional competing rights- no question assisting in the best possible public health is a state interest but is that what it is doing and what are the means applied? Religious Freedom has been identified as one competing right. There may be others. Like the liberty interest generally in forcing anyone to buy something for nothing if they don't need the service. If they were just looking at the HHS authorization for imposing mandates on religious institutions (you would think this is the only thing they are looking at given the hullabaloo) then they would have to find a compelling state interest in providing birth control to all women and whether forcing religious schools to provide advertising to access for it is the least restrictive means. What is the state's interest in controlling births? For everyone?? The state does have an interest in preventing AIDS transmission but the rule doesn't speak to just condoms and oral contraceptions don't prevent AIDS. Does the state have some population control interest? Sure looks like they think they do but they weren't elected for that. Who else thinks that? What are other least restrictive means they could use to stop AIDS transmission? Enter John Stewart. They could provide condoms for free in dispensers in men's rooms paid for by the government. Some government AIDS service delivers boxes of condoms for government dispensers that are required to be placed in men's wash rooms on campus. The school can put a warning on the dispenser stating "The government and the Pope have determined that this prevents the transmission of AIDS but we don't think you should be needing it. If you drive recklessly buckle up for safety-it's the law. Cameras are monitoring who uses this and we will tell your Bishop" or something like that. Or, the machines could be installed next to a confessional with a sign "Before pressing the button please visit the booth to the left." or "Nice Girls don't let men drive drunk, but if you found a nasty mean one, wear a raincoat at your peril." Or- "if you think you are HIV positive get tested to be sure and if you insist on jeopardizing anyone pull the lever and call the school nurse." Obviously if someone knows that they are HIV positive they shouldn't be risking infection of any other student. It seems like with the insurance notification paid for by insurance accommodation they are searching for something least restrictive, however, it doesn't help the self-insurers. There seems to be in the HHS context zero attention paid to the non optional verses optional issue- as in sterilization. Is there a medical necessity clause?? Sterilization is necessary to avoid uterine cancer and death in the form of hysterectomies sometimes. That would be non optional. Having your tubes tied because you don't want more children is optional, not health mandated or necessary. There is obviously no compelling state interest in pushing things that are not medically necessary. Moreover there is no much less a compelling state interest in pushing things that can actually harm your health like oral contraceptions which are high risk drugs that have been identified as carcinogens. Should public health cover or does Obamacare make other people cover for other people's cosmetic surgeries? Nose jobs? Tummy tucks for too many trips to Taco Bell? How will/should the Supremes handle that? What is the compelling state interest in making sure all kids on any campus have the right to morning after pills when they should not have been fooling around in the first place and now know better? Isn't the compelling interest rather on the side of making sure kids know that they shouldn't be fooling around if they don't want to get pregnant? What about mandates in general. You want to cover everyone so everyone has to buy insurance from somewhere whether you can afford to or not or get fined?. It's like car insurance- exept it isn't. Because you cannot option not to drive your body. If car insurance is too expensive and you don't want to pay for it you can option not to drive or own a car. You don't have that option with your body. Non analogous. In a down market you are imposing another onerous cost on people whether they need the service or not. How does the Commerce Clause allow you to do that? If you were allowed to do that why didn't you just demand everyone buy a car instead of the 'cash for clunkers' program to spur on the auto industry? Is making everyone buy insurance the least restrictive means to people's freedom given that public health care likely is a compelling state interest? No, setting up government run clinics would be lesser restrictive-or just providing individual state funded insurance visa or debit cards and state funded insurance (federally funded), where instead of billions to the defense industry the government decided to fund health instead of war. That would be less restrictive than making everyone pony up on top of their tax bills. Some of the features publicized and touted as laudable about Obamacare are admirable indeed- portability, no preexisting conditions or discrimination against women (not sure if I ever had to pay more for any service because I was a woman and not sure what they are talking about) but the affordability isn't addressed when the costs aren't contained. So it didn't solve the major problem there. The question on everyone's mind is if the foundational mandate fails does the whole thing go down? Is it all premised on these mandates to underwrite the actually sick part of the population who need the medical treatment covered? Isnt that just the game to keep the private insurance companies profitable? And then there is that old buggaboo on the Commerce Clause problem- what is the limiting principle. If the government can do that, why can't the government tell you to buy CDs at the local bank to support the banking industry so they don't have to bail it out whether you can afford to or not? If the government can give billions and billions to bail out AIG and GM, why can't it fund medical clinics or just give everyone visas for medical costs, and if you dont need it you won't use it? I believe in public health. This particular method? Too many problems-It might be a good idea to send parts of it back to Congress for better consideration. For the veterans health bills, why don't we make the defense contractors underwrite it because they profited off the wars that disabled and sickened the veterans. While they profited, others lost their health. Just a thought-don't expect it to go anywhere. Can you see Boeing or Lockheed Martin setting up a Veterans' Disability Fund for medical treatments? Fundamentally I think our problem is a values problem where we have no problem paying for war but we have to gimmick the system to make it profitable for someone to pay for health. We don't just want a government dipping into its own coffers for health- but we pay an obscene fortune to defense contractors to fight wars. Public health should be that- not private insurance boondoggles by government rigging. The American people don't always win then. Only a select few do.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

So Whose God

Says All Women and Girls in America Must have drugs to have childles sex? Whose God says that?

Women's Rights or Not in India

Not Just in China.

Love this woman

Religious Freedom and Healthcare Reform from The Berkley Center on Vimeo.
The moderator guy on the left has a dog in the fight and wants his free contraception for his wife. He isn't apparently familiar with the National Cancer Institute reports, the FDA reports, those of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the vast literature on cancer effects of contraceptions. It isn't just about religion. It is about the government telling people to eat things that could kill them. Really. Not an understatement. The science is controversial. The jury is out on the Guttmacher agenda. Just by calling itself an "institute" doesn't negate their partisan mission which is stated on their webpage as follows: Guiding Principles A vision for the future. The Institute envisions a world in which all women and men have the ability to exercise their rights and responsibilities regarding sexual behavior, reproduction and family formation, freely and with dignity. Essential to this vision are societal respect for and protection of personal decision making with regard to the number and timing of pregnancies and births, as well as public- and private-sector policies that support individuals and couples in their efforts to become responsible and supportive parents, maintain stable family structures and balance parenting with other roles. Equally vital to the Institute’s vision are the eradication of gender inequality worldwide and the attainment of equal status, rights and responsibilities for women. A comprehensive view of sexual and reproductive health. The Institute regards sexual and reproductive health as encompassing a wide range of people’s needs from adolescence onward. The Institute works to protect, expand and equalize universal access to information, services and rights.....: (very pro choice, pro abortion partisan statement)

Basing HHS regs on a Guttmacher conclusion is begging the circularly reasoned question.

Religion Schmeligon? Think Again.

Religious Freedom: Why Now? Defending an Embattled Human Right (Panel One) from The Berkley Center on Vimeo.

Hot Diggedy Free Hot Totties and Guiness

At Bringham Young U.

--    The government is forcing Bringham Young University to provide in school cafeterias free Jack Daniels to make hot totties from whisky, a little lemon and honey to counter the flu strain that hit the Utah slopes and is spreading to nearby Universities. It works, declared the secretary of Health of Human Services in fighting throat and lung ailments- even bronchial pneumonia, she insisted. This age old gramma recipe has also been shown anecdotally to quiet babies who cry too much at night. The majority of the country has no objection to drinking hot totties and Jack Daniels also goes in Egg Nog. All the Cabinet secretaries have at one time or another snuck a sip.  Moreover the majority of the country find that Mormons are nuts anyway. A random Mormon running for   President who knows the moral code outlaws all alcohol consumption is raising lots of money off the prospect.

     Bringham Young U. will be given one year to stock Jack Daniels or Jameson whisky. We will figure out how they are going to do that. What's that you say? You refuse? OK, well then the government will make you insert into the entrance tuition bills the notice from Larry's Liquor Store where kids and employees can go get free Jack Daniels and Jameson. We're the government, we are here to help.

    They also need free Guiness which has been proven by the Irish to be a useful fertility drug, and underwrites the Irish immigration resettlement program that HUD is running. Any objection?


The Government has issued a ruling that every home in America must have an actual Monstrance in their home displaying a consecraed Eucharist along with a photo of Our Lady of Guadeloupe regardless of their actual religion. They will give an exemption only to a Jewish synagogue, Muslim Mosque and actual Protestant church building. It has been determined by Catholics in the Administration that these two combined have historic miraculous abilities to heal spiritually and physically merely contemplating them and meditating on their significance. Muslims, Jewish and Protestants object that the 'adoration' aspect of monstrance gazing looks like an idolotry and what's a Monstrance anyway? Jewish and Muslims particularly object because they have the belief that these items are not necessary at all for good health and are strongly idolotrous such that their religious principles are outrageously violated by forcing this availability issue. They don't want it available to their families and children. Keep it to yourself if you think it works miracles. The Government countered that it can order what it wants and statistics and anecdotal evidence both have demonstrated that in fact it is true, devotion to these two items can create miracles and strengthen belief in God, cohesion of families necessary for sound society and generally keep people happy. All good things and well within the government's power to regulate health and welfare. Plus the Government has a deal with the Monstrance manufacturers such that if they get enough people to buy this they will get great discounts on the other metal work that the monstrance manufactuers make like free grocery carts, a particular version of a mini minivan and military tanks. In fact, no one could afford to make the grocery carts, free minivans and tanks available at all unless people were also made to buy these Monstrances. People would break their backs and their eggs if they couldn't get free grocery carts. Some of the religious groups also have strong objection to the military tanks part also but lets leave that aside for now. Get with the program- said the government-you don't get to object to what you object to shouted the government, who was strongly incentivized by the free mini minivan and military tank program subsidized by the Monstrance buying effort. They need the tanks to make war and can't get them unless the Monstrance dealers can also underwrite the tanks by the Monstrance program and no one doubts making war is a legitimate exercise of government authority. Suck it up, Rabbis. But, why? wondered the Jewish and Muslim leaders who did not want to tell people they had to put these things in their homes because it violated their anti-idolotry principles. Doesn't anyone in there know modern math? Surely there must be some other way to buy tanks, assuming tanks are laudable in the first place. Because we think mini minivan availability for people who want to drive them is much more important than your objection-and we need tanks for the common defense, so get with the program you zealots. But the Jewish and Muslim congregations and their leaders did not relent. The Protestants were just confused and trying to play both sides. They persisted so the Government somewhat caved and said- OK, well, you don't have to actually provide the monstrances and the Icons of Our Lady of Guadeloupe-just kidding. We will arrange for the local Catholic Cathedral shop to provide them, you just have to give us the mailing list of all your students who purchase any of your religious books and we will add an insert flier telling them where they can get these things free with a church Mass bulletin ad so they can go right to the Cathedral or Basillica local shop and get them free for their homes. You won't even have to see them. We promise. We worked a deal where the Knights of Malta and Columbus will pay for them all because they believe so strongly in the miraculous healing power of these items. The government was totally shocked that this still didn't fly. What could possibly be the objection now if they don't have to pay for it- they just have to help us advertise it to their captive audience. They aren't being good citizen team players. Lets put them all on our bad citizen list. They are making War on Monstrances and War on Catholics everywhere. They are bigots and zealots and extremists who are killing our war effort and depriving everyone of mini minivans they need to get their kids to their dentist appointments. How unAmerican. Surely there are some Monstrance loving Muslims and Jews out there, aren't there? How can you deprive them of the miracles? ---------------

The Administration is not getting how basic and central it is to the Catholic Faith that their people not worship at the altar of sexual liberation. Becoming what God made them in their view never involves an abortion, morning after pill abortofascients or contracepting life. It runs totally counter to their teaching and faith structure. It runs totally counter to how they are forming the morality of their youth. They are in the business of moral 'formation' in schools and it runs 180 degrees counter to their teaching. Abortions are banned in Catholic hospitals. Anyone committing one there is excommunicated often. They are as serious about this as the air they breathe, and it would not matter if the government were Republican or Democratic- they would have the same moral outrage and objection. --------------------------------------------------------

If the government can make them do this, then the government is infringing on the Free Exercise of Religion. And the country is a very different place than the founders imagined. (disclaimer: the account above is analogy, fiction, if you didn't realize. But it looks to the Bishops close to what the HHS mandate is doing)

Friday, March 23, 2012

War on Yourself; Self-War

There are fewer sadder ironies when the head of the DNC and it's campaign decrying the alleged War on Women against those who oppose religiously funded/promoted/or provided contraception and abortofascients because of their risks of, inter alia, breast cancer, is a contraception/abortion advocate- who had breast cancer. The war you wage is against yourself. I would rather work for peace.

Breast Cancer and The Pill

Contraception and Breast Cancer have been linked in Federal Studies and by National Cancer Institute research.
   It stands to reason and makes common sense that years of chemically altering one's cycle and hormonal balance disrupting the natural delicate order of things causes profound problems- the breast tissue accommodes pregnancy because it readies for nursing an infant so when you hormonally fake out the tissue in perpetual false pregnancy hormonal states which the Pill does to stop menstruation and ovulation, then you are doing serious damage to the cellular structure of the breast tissue-

   And you want to make Catholic schools make this accessible and advertise where they can get it on group plans? Are you kidding? Seriously. Are you kidding?

The World Health organization, the National Cancer Institute, and the FDA all have cautioned about cancerous hazards of oral contraception. No, the government should not be mandating its availability in catholic or religious schools or hospitals. Crazy.

Church and State and Mormon Enterprises with Tax Exemptions

Should the Mormon Church that is like a holding corportion for vast profit-making enterprises be given full tax exempt status? Look at the latest billion dollar Mormon church owned Mall in Salt Lake City, complete with fire spouting fountain, its own internal creek and waterfalls.

Mormons can outstpend democrats with their arms tied behind their backs in elections because they launder profitmaking through their church tax free. Go figure.

Tyranny of Ideology

Blinded by the Light ---

I find it shockingly ignorant that any legitimate criticism of any aspect of the HHS rule is deemed a 'War on Women.' There is a component of the radical left that refuses to address facts-real scientific facts that don't fit their preformulated ideological blueprints. How is it a 'War on women' to want to be careful not to give drugs to college kids that are known carcinogens? How is it a War on Women to suggest that if you cannot get totally paid for the damaging chemically alteration of your cycle and system we must hate you? The leap says to me that we should investigate whether contraception also does brain damage. Because it is ridiculous nonsense. Constitutionally equal protection does not mandate the government give a statutory benefit for free health care under what should be called the Pfizer Executive Bonus Bill. For centuries and millenia women have figued out how to have families and get educations and even work at the same time without ingesting carcinogens-- before Pfizer or any contraception manufacturer was listed on the NYSE. I seriously find the aspersions that the radical left are casting on anyone who can read an FDA report troublingly defamatory- almost as much so as Rush's intemperate ranting. I am not even a 'conservative' and I find it off its rocker. Looking at a Billion dollar industry called Planned Parenthood, which might be evaluated under RICO statutes as a 'war on women' is absurd. You have the government subsidizing a billion dollar abortion mill that engages in consumer frauds and deceptions that could keep the FTC busy full time for generations. You have a country in which roughly a third of the population of the last generation has been wiped out. It is a genocide. You want to talk about War? Look at the slaughter of fifty million in utero children not given even a mass grave. War on Women? You have to be kidding me. What God do you think wants women to aspire to that? Whose God are you actually listening to?

We are the government and we are here to help

Sort Of --The arguments against imposing a contraception mandate on religious institutions have taken understandably a religious tone- like its about religious freedom, or establishment clause principles, or over-reach into religious governance, etc. All true. It hasn't focused on the science so much as the spiritual objections having to do with overpromiscuity, risky behavior promoted by technological bail outs, and general moral decline. So lets look at science. The FDA webpage lists dangers of contraceptions:

These are drugs. Stuff you don't find in nature. Chemicals you aren't born with. Drugs. And not infrequently the manufacturers have recalls for things like- whooooops we put the pill sequences in the wrong order  (so you could get a stroke). This particular FDA page talks about blood clot dangers. This is the subject of some serious litigation- of a wrongful death variety. Now go to the National Cancer Institute webpages on liver cancer caused by contraception.

  There is a reason people don't take this stuff.
So if you are a school and you have to provide it at some cost shifting to somewhere, what sense does that make? Why is the government turning itself into a pusher?

You've Come A Long Way Baby- Sort Of

Thursday, March 22, 2012

They Really Didn't Do It

Really. The Mississippi Innocent Project is a movie about two guys who spent half a century combined on death row. For nothing. They never committed the crime for which the State of Mississippi locked them up and threw away the key. Until the Mississippi Innocence Project along with their New York counterpart started putting a few pieces together after getting a hand written jailhouse letter. This movie is a must see for anyone in law enforcement, all judges, and all law students. It raises very serious questions about how the criminal justice system works and doesn't in some cases in this country.

     DNA exhonerated these gentlemen. How could they get convicted in the first place? The rush to judgment included what was depicted as shady forensic autopsies coupled with an alleged expert witness Dentist type who tried to match up what he mistakenly thought were 'bite marks' on bodies
that were thrown in bodies of water with the dental molds of suspects. Problem is those were not bite marks and it looks like the dental molds themselves made the marks. The evidence looked in hindsight totally fabricated and the experts looked like professional charletans.

  This raises some serious procedural questions.
Some that could be federally addressed.
First, where there is newly discovered evidence or newly available testing methodologies to evaluate evidence (DNA technology didn't exist when they were convicted but old samples could be used twenty years later) this should extend federal Habeus statutes of limitations nationally. Secondly,
whenever there has been an overturned conviction based on post conviction evidence analysis it should be a requirement that ALL the cases on which that particular expert gave his 'beyond a doubt' or 'medical certainty' testimony should be evaluated for reliability of his testimony. Did this dentist character for example (who testified in some 50 cases in that county) pull the Dental bite mark theory on anyone else? Seems if anyone else was convicted on that charade they should be retried with full opportunity to cross examine the dentist character.

  Which leads me to the next - imagine if.
Imagine if there were a national database wherein the experts used for every Capital case or every case where someone got a sentence of over say 50 years in which there was a post conviction reversal were identified and all the cases on which they testified were also identified.
Does such a database exist anywhere? There have been almost 300 death row inmates released as wrongfully convicted since they started DNA testing. Almost 300 people were locked up and almost killed by the state until we discovered they did NOTHING to deserve being locked up. Makes you wonder how many actually went to their death when we didn't have DNA to test.  Frightening.

This leads me to the last conclusion- No, the State should not be putting people to death. Ever.

MISSISSIPPI INNOCENCE - Trailer from UM Media Documentary Projects on Vimeo.

Dear Sugar Daddy

Here's what else I would like my government to give me for free. Tampax. Are you blushing? Now we are even because I was blushing when someone from law school was demanding on national TV the government or the catholic school or the Archdiocese or anyone but her or her parents or her boyfriend pay for the contraception they think they need. (because you can't live without ingesting carcinogens that alter your cycle when you want to be having sex and not get pregnant) Women on average bleed for a week once a month. That's a lot of ruined underwear. If yours comes from Victoria Secret not that ten pack from pennys or Filenes basement (sad to see them go) you pay on average $10. a pair, so for a week that's $70 of ruined underwear unless you buy a box of Tampax and preferably also a box of panty liners totallying around $12.00 It's a cost/benefit bargain if you are looking at ruining $70 worth of good designer underwear. Honey, Did you see that designer floral lace bra/undie set for $40. at Coup de Foudre? If the government doesn't pay this, or the school or the Archdiocese think of all the women who are going to spot, stain and ruin their undergarments, plus chairs and all the anxiety that this is going to give them all, not to mention the deep humiliation. The country has a public health interest in not wanting people anxious because then insurance companies will have to pay for more Zanax and Valium, which will have to be underwritten by someone like the Archdiocese or the catholic school, especially if they are self-insured. So you see how much sense it makes to just give me my Tampax and panty liners, dear uncle Sam, in fact a lot more sense than giving me my free contraception because if I choose not to have sex I don't need it at all. I don't have a choice about getting a period for a week every month for about forty years. I do nothing and it hits me like a freight train. Please uncle Sam, can you just buy me that designer floral Coup de Foudre bra-undie set if you won't pay for my Tampax?

Free Wine

For all students and faculty of the "dry" Methodist college. Dry means no alcohol. If you want a party school go to the state college down the street. The government mandates however that because of the well known benefits of a glass of red nightly on cholesterol and overall health and disposition, everyone is entitled to it and free red wine must be advertised by letting in any liquor store onto campus to post fliers and posters about where they all can get free wine. The liquor stores figure once they are in they will buy whatever good things they also sell like peanuts, orange juice and things necessary to maintain good health so they are happy to underwrite it and double the price of orange juice to compensate. The dry methodists think drinking alcohol is bad for your health, leads to drunkennes which is a debauchery and increases the litigation risks of slips and falls on campus. Plus cleaning up the puke in the washrooms isn't something they want their maintenance folks having to deal with. Who sees a Constitutional problem with this advertising mandate? That's what the free contraception for catholic colleges looks like to me. Why it isn't striking everyone as ridiculous is beyond me. Wine is optional just like birth control. Some people like Guiness instead of wine. Some people prefer not to be sleeping with people they don't want kids with. Some married people prefer the rhythym method or giving it a break once in a while. Some like diaphrams which are a one shot purchase that last a long time, others prefer a patch others prefer 'the pill.' Why this is a college's job to provide it strikes most everyone I talked to as absurd. The school never told Ms. Fluke she has to have sex. Where is the mandatory having of sex in the constitution?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

must see tv

Rather be in France

Cracking God Up

God has a brilliant sense of humor. Where do you think you got yours from? The below interchange between God and Isaiah is one example where if you listen closely you can see God first possibly amused, then setting the record straight. Isaiah is basically telling God- hey Lookie Me, down here- can't you see us starving ourselves fasting skinny sitting in the ashpile? Isaiah is spiritually waving his hands in the air as if to flag down a medicopter come to save him. God must be laughing. Kids, kids, kids. Look. Of course I am here. You think I didn't notice you all melting the pounds away like anorexics? That's not what I want- let me tell you what I want. Get off and over yourselves- there is a world to feed, people to free, people who need shelter, people who are left for dead by the side of the road. Stop your damned fighting and get busy cleaning up now. I don't want to see any more silly debates. I want to see all the Presidential guys stop debating theology and out feeding people, finding housing and creating dignified work that doesn't make slaves. Instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars to snipe at each other on paid advertising and news build some lasting enterprise that hires people at basic living wages, create opportunity not strife and contention. That's for starters. Then you will be half on the right road to anywhere meaningful.

Good Intentions Gone Awry

When Off the Mark is off the Rocker The scripture we heard yesterday had to do with a conversation God and Isaiah had. The conversation went something like this: You think you are fasting so well? Let me tell you something- here is the fasting I desire: Isaiah 58: 3-7 (Is this the fast I desire?) 3 Why, when we fasted, did You not see? When we starved our bodies, did You pay no heed? Because on your fast day you see to your business and oppress all your laborers! 4 Because you fast in strife and contention, and you strike with a wicked fist! Your fasting today is not such as to make your voice heard on high. 5 Is such the fast I desire, a day for men to starve their bodies? Is it bowing the head like a bulrush and lying in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call that a fast, a day when Adonai is favorable? 6 No, this is the fast I desire: To unlock the fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of the yoke to let the oppressed go free; to break off every yoke. 7 It is to share your bread with the hungry, and to take the wretched poor into your home; when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to ignore your own kin." ------------------ So God is saying, you are violent so I am not listening to you. You are full of fighting- strife and contention. (Hard to categorize the political american election climate as anything other than this) You are oppressive to people, you enslave them. I want you to share your bread with the hungry- feed people. I want you to house the homeless- even in your own home. And do not ignore your relatives-especially those needy ones. That is the kind of action God wants rather than looking all morbidly head bowed. You call that a fast?? --------------- And there are other times when God's people got it wrong- and he kept having to tell them. Look people. I desire MERCY not sacrifice or the burning of sacrifices. MERCY. What is that? Other translations say it is something like Pity, or Forgiveness. Others construe it to mean charity or love. I desire Love not Sacrifice. God says also essentially - all your burnt offerings make me wretch. Why is he saying this? Because piety for its own sake can be self-laudatory and self-righteous and self-congratulatory. It is worse than naval gazing. It is a presumptous sin of self-satisfied self justification which negates Jesus. I did this thus I made myself holy. No, you are required to Love your neighbor as yourself as an outpouring of God's love for you. You are required to do unto others as you want them done to you. That means you are required to get off your laurels and help someone. Just like the Good Samaritan who was not like the Priest who looked the other way and did nothing to help the guy left for dead, abandoned, injured and helpless. You are required to help. No excuse you are a Priest or holy person. The holiness comes from helping someone else not contemplating your holiness and all your burnt sacrifices. There's nothing God hates as much as pride- and self-righteousness is full of pride. Can't you hear God saying 'get over yourself and go help someone!' Jesus washed feet- even of Peter, his chosen to be the Rock upon which the church is founded. Jesus got his hands dirty. He did the wash- your wash. Jesus would tell you that you have to get your hands dirty even if it means you have to stoop low to the ground to reach the filth to clean it up. We have a footwashing God. Not one perched upon some remote celestial treetop gazing down. He says help me do the laundry. And for God's sake clean up all this violence and strife-mongering.

When Love

Is More Than Campaign Rhetoric It looks like what happened last night at Holy Trinity's Mass and dinner for their El Salvador twin sister parish, Maria Madre de Los Pobres. Father Evelio Menjivar, the Parochial Vicar of the Cathedral of Saint Matthews was the guest priest homilist who gave a talk on what kind of fasting the Lord really requires- it has something to do with justice, freeing oppressed people, and serving the poor. That's what Love looks like. He spoke about having to flee his village which turned into a ghost town where only one elderly couple was left after the civil war in the early 1980s and how he was raised then in a parish that now has a sister parish with one in Bangor, Maine. He came to this country in 1990 and subsequently entered Seminary. In his talk he stressed that Solidarity means something other than hand-outs. It is not charity dropped condescendingly from above, but a sense of compassion and empathy that says we are all one, we are one family in Christ through the sacrifice of Christ. Indeed, when people come back from experiences where they 'helped the poor' they often come back more blessed for having received more than they could monetarily give in the way of profound joy that comes from a taste of the simple living with gratitude. The dinner was a feast wherein everyone potluck style brought in dishes which included not only standard rice and black beans but papoosas, quesidillas and fresh corn salads in tribute to latin cuisine. At the dinner a short film on the great peace and development style work being done with the children was shown after which most everyone wanted to visit. Loving Mercy and doing Justice done right creates Love of an other worldly kind- and it's only a plane ride away. Special thanks to the Holy Trinity Social Justice Ministry for hosting such a wonderful event and of course to the E-Padre, Father Evelio.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Wrong Fight

And the Massive Political Fallout Likely to Ensue

     Contrary to popular belief, some women love their catholic leaders- not all of them, but  lots of them. Even some Jesuit leaders don't love all of them but they are working on it.

    The issue with forcing catholic hospitals and schools to provide contraception is still something that irks people even if the consortium of jesuit colleges thinks it is OK.

    Recently there was a lively discussion regarding whether the health care plan Georgetown Law Center offers its students should, as Sandra Fluke wants, cover contraception in the health plan.

   First, let me state that 'contraception' is not 'health care' and it misframes deceptively the argument to call it that. Even the National Cancer Institute has noted the link between oral contraceptions and liver cancer. As the liver regulates a lot of other health functions, like removal of fat lipids from the body, prolongued use of the Pill can also increase risks of Type II diabetis (adult onset) and other health complications. It's use statistically increases risks of blood clots, heart disease, strokes and related malfunctioning. So no, ingesting chemicals that so dramatically alter one's cycle have hormonal implications that are profoundly negative to ones overall health.

     Any simple google search of 'wrongful death' and contraception will demonstrate that there has been and continues to be litigation on the point.

    Forcing a school to offer such an intrinsically dangerous product is nonsense of an orwellian absurdity magnitude. Just not wise.
Additionally, a Catholic school that has as its founding mission statement a decidedly Catholic identity which promotes catholic values for what it views as spiritually healthy development of students as part of its educational mission should not be forced to act against its mission whether the government agrees or not with the mission. The mission is legitimate. Georgetown is incorporated properly as a non profit educational institution in the District of Columbia under a religious and educational mission. The law school is not incorporated separately from the main University in that regard.

   The law school is often hailed as not having much of a catholic identity. I beg to differ. There is a Chapel in the middle of the lower level of the main building where daily Mass is offered. This is at the Center of the main building of the school where prayers are offered every day. There is a statue of a prophet outside the Chapel.  There are aspects of the curriculum also that can be found to be catholic inspired. There is a full time Priest on staff in campus ministry. There is a graduation Mass celebrated for graduating persons who wish to attend (or at least was when I graduated.) When I went there the most famous Jesuit in the country Father Drinan was on faculty. The entire school is profoundly Jesuit, and is the oldest Catholic college in the country founded by a Bishop named John Carroll whose statue sits front and center in the main campus to greet everyone coming in the main gate. The Jesuit residence which houses Jesuit faculty is just off main campus. It has priests teaching and priests in the administration. There is an office of ministry and mission headed by a Jesuit priest. It is a very Catholic school. There are several chapels on campus.

    The Hospital is on the campus and not separate from the school. There is a chapel in the hospital.
There are statues of the Blessed Mother all around the place and crosses in examining rooms. This is unmistakably a catholic hospital.

     Forcing catholic hospitals and schools to provide something that they have a well thought out deliberate objection to on moral grounds is not something that the government should be doing. It should be doing it less when the 'health care' they are talking about isn't really. I survived 50 years without being on 'the pill' and it didn't hurt my health any. I can honestly say that not being on the Pill has never landed me one day in a doctor's office with any issue caused by my not taking the pill.
In fact I have statistically less liklihood of developing heart disease, stroke, blood clots, liver cancer, type II diabetis and other health problems than women who took the pill for prolonged periods of time. 

     This has been a ridiculously bad political miscalculation which is not based on clear science.
It is not based on anything other than an agenda that disguises itself as a women's reproductive freedom 'health' issue when it is not really.

     If the Commerce Clause can be extended to force these sorts of mandates what's next? What is the limiting principle here? The government can force everyone who sees a doctor anywhere to get a chip implanted under their skin with their medical records into which signals may be electronically transmitted for mind control? Forcing anyone to pay for or provide or promote contraception is just Orwellianly absurd.


Too sick for words

If you think that there is no market for fetal body parts and tissue fueling this abortion industry take another look:

I prefer

The French

  The movie below, Jesus Camp, should be watched by every politico who is railing against Secularism in America. I prefer the French version of Secularism. It should be obvious after watching why.

   It it still wierdly very popular in America to rail against the French. I heard it again from someplace you would not expect it from someone you wouldn't expect it. But the republican meme (fueled in part by people who wrongly think the French to be antisemetic) is that the laws the French have to neutralize the public space of religious expression violate our freedom of worship or free exercise of religion.

    The French experienced in WWII an occupation by Germany at a time when their Reicht claimed a National Church as it coopted the religion, theology and coffers of the Lutheran church making one State church Lutheran Synod, and misusing the theology militaristically to suppress to death one religion where Jews were put on trains and sent cross border to concentration camps. No wonder they want to neutralize government of religious expression.

  The misuse of religion for militaristic purposes is not alien to our soil. Look at the movie below, Jesus Camp. Neither is the extreme wingnutty misappropriation of religion for political agendas.

   In the Jesus Camp movie at the end there is an interesting sequence in which Ted Haggart is condemning homosexuality. Interesting sidenote for those who don't recall- this is the disgraced pastor who subsequently confessed to gay affairs, and a long term one with a gay prostitute while married.

    Anyone who thinks that separation of church and state is a bad idea needs to watch this. It's free to watch, the entire thing is posted below. Every Bishop needs to watch it. Really. Mandatory. Especially for Cardinals.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Holy Smokes


  What is going on in Sudan. Is there another genocide about to happen. Is there a blockade of humanitarian aid. Are ethnic groups getting 'cleansed?' e.g. wiped out? Is there a planned starvation
systematically about to take place and a blood bath the likes of which we have not seen since Rwanda.

OK George et al. You got my attention.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


And the Herods

    When Jesus was born there was a homocidal genocidal infanticidal maniac named King Herod who ruled the region in which he was born, who killed all the males under the age of 2 trying to kill off Jesus. Jesus was born with enemies. What other child do you know comes into the earth with the ruler out to kill him off before he could lift a finger against him?

Another Herod for the pleasure of a dirty dance from the daughter of woman with whom he had an adulterous liason, beheaded Jesus' cousin. He had imprisoned him for speaking against the adultery and for Jesus. Herod killed John the Baptist- the person who heralded Jesus' coming, the person who baptized him.
   There was murder all around Jesus. He was born into it, it oppressively surrounded him, it touched him personally in his family. Did Jesus kill either Herod? Did he plot to assassinate either one or any Roman?
    Sometimes I think we have a view of Jesus as a happy boy scout troop leader surrounded by hugging children and little lambs as if he popped out of a Hallmark card, complete with highlighted hair and blue eyes. We forget the grittiness of his life, and the struggle for existence of his people under Roman rule. It was brutal. It was ugly. It was painful. It was daily terror.
    The first conversion story written in the New Testament is that of a Roman soldier Cornelius. A Roman Soldier whose job it was to keep the order however necessary, even if it meant killing Jews. A Roman oppressor- a soldier, a man of violence trained in war. Jesus converted him. His way is conversion, not killing off the killers. He never killed one soldier while he could have brought mountains of bolders on their heads. He could have spewed volcanos on Herod's palaces.
    Who is Jesus?
Who do you say he is?
Why is he so radically insistent about Peace?

Think about it.


Non Violence

And the Nature of Christ

    Who did Jesus kill? There were Romans in his day who were indiscriminately murdering and raping women of his nationality in an oppressive occupation of his homeland. Who did he kill?  He told Peter to put away his sword when he himself was being captured in the Garden of Gethsemene that we are going to hear a lot about this Easter season. The radical call to non violence challenges us even today, as it runs counter-intuitively against the grain of human impulse.
    A talk was given by the author of the book Bonhoffer about Dietrich Bonhoffer, whom he calls a Martyr and Saint essentially for his opposition to Naziism. He spoke at this year's National Prayer breakfast and brags he gave a copy of his book to Obama "no pressure" he says, to read it (as if Obama isn't familiar with the story.)
     Bonhoffer lost his life in a Concentration camp arrested for either his involvement in a conspiracy to assassinate Hitler or his writings against the Nazi regime as a Christian pastor and theologian who opposed the political philosophy and its murderous manifestations. He felt he had to act to stop the madman.
    Does it undermine a Christian witness to plot assassinations of evil people? He argued, no, we applaud people like David who slew the Philistine Goliath.
   Did Jesus kill anyone who was evil? Let me ask it again. Did Jesus kill anyone who was evil?
"I came that you would have life and have it abundantly." He wishes that no man should die but that all have eternal life.
   The book author noted that Bonhoffer said abortion was murder.
So if it is right to assassinate an archevil guy like Hitler for murdering innocent people, is it right to murder abortion doctors who are murdering innocent people? He found the question either non analogous or simpleminded and rather than answer it, he insulted the questioner as not grasping the depth of evil of Hitler, as head of state. Well then, what about Cheney and Bush mass murdering over 100,000 innocent collaterally damaged Iraqis who didn't ask for bombs and foreign troops to stormtroop them from half across the world. Should we say that it is morally justified to assassinate Bush-Cheney while this attrocity was going on in the misnomer of national security? No, he argued, you can't just say its OK to kill leaders of countries because you disagree with them. How about if they kill off without the slightest hint of repentence hundreds of thousands of innocent people in foreign countries without provocation or justification? No, of course not, but why? He didn't have any answer to that- if it was OK to do it to Hitler, it's not OK to do it to anyone else. Because Hitler is just lightyears worse a demon?
    I am not advocating assassination of leaders- and in fact official policy is that we don't do it to foreign leaders. Unofficially, I don't want to know. Nor am I saying Hitler shouldn't have been stopped- of course he should have been. But the point is that what is the 'limiting principle' or dividing line between when it is OK to violate the basic Jesus Non Violence principle and when  is it not. The guys waging misnamed national security protection (fueled by the vicious paranoia of neocons like Feif whose father is a Holocaust survivor) who rigged intelligence with Cheney to such a degree he was investigated by a Spanish Judge's tribunal for possible War Crimes Indictment (and yet freely walks the streets of think tanks in Washington like killing over a hundred thousand people on a lark is no big deal)should be wondering- why am I allowed to get off so easily?  .There have been saner psychopaths than the people who ran the last Administration into mass murdering wars that were justified only by oil profits and fuled by ancient Holocaust paranoia, whose strategies actually harmed Israeli security interests. 

     The non-thinking republican right that want to argue for the right to commit violence under the banner of holier than thou Jesus flag carriers are not thinking through clearly who Jesus actually was and is and ever shall be. They may sell a bunch of books but get us no closer to the Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Conversion not murder was what Jesus was about. Conversion doesn't allow just nuking people off the planet, especially when they didn't do anything to suggest they are about to attack you.
  You convert by love. Fierce, strong, love.  This is the Jesus strategy. Do you or do you not believe him? If you don't you can't really call yourself a Christian.

Must See Movie

THERE BE DRAGONS Last night I watched a movie that should be a lot better viewed and known about the founder of an organization within the Catholic Church called "God's Work" better known by it's Latin 'OPUS DEI'. It is based on the true story of the life of the priest who survived the Spanish Civil War, and traces his friendship with a boyhood friend and fellow Seminarian for a time. It is told through the eyes in part of his friend's son. It is a story that teaches forgiveness- very appropriate this Lent- even in the midst of murder, war and vengence. All thumbs up. Great film- even if you aren't particularly religious.

Really Beautiful

Teal is your color. I am thinking Lime Green for St. Patrick's day also would be fantastic on you. Happy St. Patrick's Day to Michelle and her part Irish Husband:-)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

for george

Thank you.

Santorum's Appeal

Puzzles People

   If you google "Santorum's Appeal" you will see there are a number of articles of commentators who can't figure it out. How is this guy winning after all the nuttified things he says? He sounds actually like something out of a fifties sit com sometimes. Some of it sounds downright bigotted- the anti-gay marriage stuff just sounds flatly unacceptable. His views on working women frightening. After he explained his working grandmother I was a bit more relieved, but still wondering. Then there was the whole college kids are snobs thing-or maybe just Harvard kids. Really silly. So why is he winning? Well the states with low college attendance might explain it. And the places where 'traditional values' means no working women might explain it also.

   I can however see the appeal to a few other people- Those who think a massive mind-F was done on the country on this pro-abortion business find him appealing. How convenient that guys with no sexual morals can now just tell the people they want to sleep with without commitment to 'get rid of it.'  Turning fetuses with human DNA into 'its' is not something that sits comfortably with even people who call themselves Democrats. How does this turn bad boys into monsters? Some women wish that wasn't an option for them so easily. This is probably Santorum's greatest strength- he is a good and kind decent man. A guy who took care of his wife and seven kids and stayed married. Nice. Even liberal democrats have to applaud that. A good and kind decent man.

  And his wife looks like she doesn't spend three hours with a blow dryer fixing her hair. She looks like she may even have picked up a bottle of Clairol root touch up highlights at the CVS for fun. She looks just like a person you would want to grab a Starbucks with or someone you could see jogging with a toddler in a stroller on a tree lined street. She just looks nice- and normal. As they say in the land of Wobeggon, a little better than average, but not so much better to be a 'snob' perhaps. Someone who didn't go to Harvard, but got a pretty good law degree anyway. It's a big country and most of it didn't go to Harvard.

They are relatable, this couple. They still love each other and you can see them ushering in grandchildren into the White House.

     The Santorum's appeal comes from the dignity they give the ordinary. Kind of like Saint Therese's way of making the ordinary a place with capacity of great Love to manifest. Perhaps she could be the patron saint of their campaign- so  they show people that ordinary people from Pennsylvania can Love their Neighbors in ordinary ways to make collectively an extraordinary country. 

   The rising tide will raise all boats if we all aspire to help each other be a little better than average.
Even the poorest of the poor that Mitt wants to ignore.


Calling CATO

Privacy Anyone?

  If they have your DNA they can clone you.
Just sayin.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Is the place for her.
107 year old Irishwoman born on Saint Patrick's day. Emigrated to America through Ellis Island in the 20s.

Still has her sense of humor and walks around- goes dancing on St. Paddy's day.
 God Love the Irish.

Don't push your Luck

Is Fluke a Fluke? Or mainstream? She supposes and proposes she speaks for the majority of women, at least at Georgetown and catholic schools like it. But really, who does she speak for?

Her argument applies to those who (a) have a medical condition for which contraception was prescribed- who ALREADY have it covered if for a legitimate need like a hyperplasic endometrial condition- and (b) those who want to avoid unwanted pregnancy while having sex at the same time. She is not married. All those who are not having sex (either they don't want to for reasons of prudence, principle or availability) , all those who don't have a prescribed medical uterine or female reproductive related condition, all those who are married and actually want children, please raise your hand. How many of you are those? Because I am guessing that this number at school is greater than the Fluke alleged majority. Like anyone who actually listened to your mother or anyone who decided law school was hard enough without sleeping with someone who didn't want kids- I am guessing Georgetown admits pretty smart women. And I am guessing that a lot of them fall in the hand raised category. So be careful there- you may be misanalyzing the demographics detrimentally. Some of us are actually insulted by the argument. (I am Georgetown Law class of 87)

Credit Where Credit is Due

And How Not to Look Like You Did The Right Thing. Reports are varied concerning what happened to the Priest in the Archdiocese of Washington, DC who rudely denied communion to the person he found too sinful because she is a lesbian openly living with her partner (which is legal now in the state where she lives-Maryland.) The shocking thing about this encounter was that it was at her mother's funeral. As I know a woman or two who has a gay son (and one that had one before he died of AIDS)I have a strong reaction of disgust at such an act- as if the Archdiocese is not happy to collect checks from gay Knights of Columbus or ones working at the World Bank or lay ones serving on the Altar. This woman was attending her mother's funeral and giving an eulogy and the priest was just a jerk. Sorry- no other way to express it- jerk. Such a jerk it undermines the good perceptions generally clergy should enjoy. Just not a nice guy. Random A-hole priest. The Archdiocese made an apology, through a junior bishop which at first looked politically too saavy. Like, well, the pastoral thing to do is talk to the person first before deliberate humiliation in front of all her friends and her mother's family friends -at her mother's funeral. And now, it looks like it finally put the priest on 'administrative leave' pending investigation. You would have thought this would be the end of the controversy. But oh no, because the wingnuts want to downplay this -which was actually a good move for that and apparently other reasons having to do with his ticking off more than the lesbian- there is sort of a denial of the administrative action with the American Papist punk shouting My Daddy the Canon Lawyer says it wasn't really a suspension. No, it was reported as an Administrative Leave and so what's the difference kiddies. The point is that the Priest Jerk (no, I don't care how much clerical education he has or who laid hands on him) needs to understand that Jesus is not a weapon of political destruction. Jesus is a healer who came to everyone who wanted a piece of him. And if we are counting sins, lets start with slander and bile that oozes from wingnut commentary and just basic delusional quasi- truth bending gymnastics that don't want to call an Administrative leave a 'Suspension.' Only in some canon law wingnut world does- do not report to work today - get a positive bill of health. The Archdiocese looks like it actually did the right thing by Administratively bootkicking him to the sidebench. American papist punks should quit while they are ahead.

Monday, March 12, 2012

CONCORDIA D.C. CONCERTS AND LECTURES 1920 G Street NW Washington, D.C. 20006 Concerts and Lectures at The United Church / Die Vereinigte Kirche in cooperation with the Cultural Department of the German Embassy in Washington Dr. David Montgomery, Director ______ SECOND SEASON 2011-2012 All events are free to the public. Unless otherwise marked, each event starts at 7:30 PM and is followed by a reception. * Events marked with an asterisk are sponsored by the German Embassy. SPRING 2012 Friday, March 23 / Prince William Symphony Players : Histoire du soldat [Extra event] Friday, March 30 / Amalia Laborde, soprano; Magdalena Duhagon, guitar Friday, April 20 / Kim Cook, cello; Marylène Dosse, piano