Sunday, July 29, 2012

Protection of the Unborn

And an Unlikely Candidate.

   Usually you don't hear King David's escapades with Bathsheeba discussed very favorably -its usually a sermon on repentance. Like, what a dirtbag to take the wife of Uriah and send him to his death in battle to cover for his sins. Thank God David repented, mourned in sack-cloth and ashes and asked God's forgiveness for his wild adultery.  I always wondered why God found such a guy someone he would want in the lineage of Jesus. What sort of ancestor is this to brag about? Why was King David so great that Jesus had to come from a Davidic line?  Was Bathsheeba that great looking he would risk losing the respect of his entire kingdom?

    But I got a clue to more of the story when an overlooked piece of translation was disclosed today - there is a phrase "wash your feet" which is embedded in the story. It is a euphemism for marital conjugal relations. (Now reread the story)

After the dirty deed, David learns Bathsheeba is pregnant so summons Uriah and tells him to go home and 'wash your feet.'  He protests- how can I do that when my men are dying on the front line and need me? He refuses to go tend to his wife, he cares more about work and honor at that point. He was a war hero- he was more into impressing the boss- even when his boss knew his wife was beside herself and needed a man around because she was pregnant and alone. David thinks to himself- 'This isn't going to work.' He isn't going home!

   David has a few choices here after Uriah doesn't obey him (which would have allowed him and everyone to think that his wife was pregnant with his-Uriah's child).  David has to think fast- what are his choices?  He can do nothing and the adultery of Bathsheeba will be discovered. Remember that at this time, as is currently the case in a few Muslim countries Adultery was such a serious crime that it warranted stoning. Remember how Jesus addressed the men who caught a woman in the act of adultery? They were about to stone her to death. We forget that this happened - for real. David would have had to know that if he did nothing sooner or later Bathsheeba, and his unborn child in her would have been dead soon enough.

  So he decided to set Uriah up to die instead. God didn't strike dead David for this. He didn't kill off Bathsheeba- they become forebearers of Jesus in fact.   God does punish David as the child conceived in adultery does not live.

    What is the moral? What does this say? David isn't as much a dirtbag as the lust-tale at first glance suggests? It suggests that God might understand a man with a heart that wanted to take care of a scandalize-able woman and her unborn child. Who does that remind you of?

  Mary, the mother of Jesus was pregnant without knowing a man- she was in a small town where it would have been noticed that she was pregnant and not exactly married - unless Joseph stepped up to the plate and saved her from what would have been viewed as stone-able scandal in the eyes of the culture at the time.

  God has a heart for women, he desires that they not be scandalized, not ridiculed or marginalized, not be abandoned or left alone especially when in need because they carry the potential of life within them.

Just look at how he told the men ready to stone someone to death to back off a woman who might be the same Mary Magdalene who became his loyal apostle.
King David went to extremes to save a woman- and save her literally from certain eventual death.

It might have angered David that Uriah didn't have enough regard for his wife to even check in on her to see that all was well when the King his boss was telling him to go home with haste.

While you may think that there is no excuse for David's behavior in bedding the object of his unbridled lust, God may be looking at his heart in a different way. David knew how to Honor a Woman. Save her from Scandal and Distress. And those are the very qualities he also found in Joseph the step-father of Jesus.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Last Judgment

Matthew 25.

      There is a picture of the "Last Judgment" on the Sistine Chapel wall frescoed with Jesus in the middle. It alone is worth the visit.

     There is only once account in the Christian scripture New Testament of what happens when we die-it is in the 25th chapter of the book of Matthew.

   I will paraphrase.  In the last days Jesus will separate the 'sheep' from the 'goats.'  The sheep will be with him eternally in paradise and the goats go to unending torment, weeping, gnashing of teeth, etc. A parade of horribles and soul torment too ghastly to even write about.

What is his criteria ?
If you see someone you consider the "least, last, lost" - the 'least of these my brethren' and you do these things, he credits it as if you did it to him. If you put clothes on the back of a naked person, if you feed the hungry, or give drink to the thirsty, if you visit or heal the sick, if you visit the person in prison, if you free the captive. If you do this to the least, the last, the lost, the downtrodden, the person who can't do it for themselves, its as if you did it to him. Not For him, To Him. It is as if he comes disguised as weakness -the weakness of an infant who needed everything- and needs to see how generous, how egoless we can be to assist those in want. That is at the heart of Love, not Pity, but Love of fellow mankind.

   It's a really simple formula, but one that only some people take seriously. Apparently Sarge Shriver did, as told by his son recently at a CIC book talk event. This motivated his public life, his setting up the Peace Corps out of nothing, his funding Head Start programs across the country and his War on Poverty.
The book "A Good Man" is really inspirational and I highly recommend it. When the young Shriver talks about his Dad choking back tears, you can tell that he still inspires his life "to be a better father, a better husband and a better friend" as he discussed his father's impact on him and those he touched. Sarge Shriver didn't get into political head games. He went to Mass every day. "Not every other day or when he felt like it, Every Day" said his son.  And he carried a Rosary everywhere.

     If you get a chance to see Mark Shriver talk about his Dad at a book signing anywhere you should go. He will autograph a book for you.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Thursday, July 26 at 6:00 PM for a book signing and reception with 

Mark Shriver

 When Sargent "Sarge" Shriver—founder of the Peace Corps and architect of President Johnson's War on Poverty—died in 2011 after a valiant fight with Alzheimer's, thousands of tributes poured in from friends and strangers worldwide. These tributes, which extolled the daily kindness and humanity of "a good man," moved his son Mark far more than those who lauded Sarge for his big-stage, headline-making accomplishments. After a lifetime searching for the path to his father's success in the public arena, Mark instead turns to a search for the secret of his father's joy, his devotion to others, and his sense of purpose. Mark discovers notes and letters from Sarge; hears personal stories from friends and family that zero in on the three guiding principles of Sarge's life—faith, hope, and love—and recounts moments with Sarge that now take on new value and poignancy. In the process, Mark discovers much about himself, as a father, as a husband, and as a social justice advocate. "A Good Man" is an inspirational and deeply personal story about a son discovering the true meaning of his father's legacy. Mark K. Shriver is the senior vice president of U.S. Programs at Save the Children in Washington, D.C., and a former Maryland state legislator. Shriver also started the Choice Program and served on the coalition to create the National Commission on Children and Disasters following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. He lives with his wife and three children in Maryland. Please Note: If you are unable to attend the event but would like books signed to you, please call to reserve copies or email ******************************

The Catholic Information Center is right on K Street, catecorner from McPherson Square.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Promises of God

Are True

    From Heaven and Back story by a Doctor who drowned in Chile. Must See.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Combatants for Peace Promotional Film by idanbarir

Learning War No More


     There are a lot of Peace groups and efforts who show up and give presentations of what they are doing in Washington, DC. Its practically a non profit industry here. There are fantastic groups of all religions trying to make peace- the J Street, Jewish group, the HCEF, Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, muslim organizations like the Rumi Forum who are committed to Non Violence, but there is only one comprised of people who have actually been in armed conflict and who then
spiritually elevated to such a place of blessing enemies that they formed a binational group together called the Combattants For Peace. These are people who once were warriors for their countries who now are proud to be called 'refusniks' or 'peace soldiers' or just friends of God.

     Both Israeli former soldiers, even officers in the Israeli army, and Palestinian freedom fighters in the 'occupied territories' have formed this organization called Combatants for Peace- and they want to meet with you, J Street, and you HCEF to see what we all can do together to stop the cycle of violence plaguing Israel and Palestinian territories.

  Today at Carnegie they showed a movie sponsored by an unassuming guy from "Billboards from BETHLEHEM" who organized in Israel palestinian and israeli kids 'painting for peace' painting a billboard showing people laying down arms in support of a lasting Peace.

   Then testimonies were shared- the palestinian freedom fighter whose family saw torture in prison, the Israeli who was raiding homes and confronted with a woman crying who looked too similar to his grandmother not to make an impression on his soul, all spoke movingly about conversion experiences of loving enemies and wishing peace to rule and reign in Israel.

     The event was sponsored jointly by the Middle East Institute, Churches for Middle East Peace and a host of other organizations. J Street, HCEF , Rumi Forum and anyone else interested should meet these brave souls who risk their lives every day to be advocates of non violence, in the tradition of Ghandi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.

   These gentlemen should be invited to the White House to tell of their stories.
The Two State Solution and a Palestinian State can be a reality, while at the same time preserving legitimate security interests with the assistance of this group. We can Change the World. Please pray for  the Combatants for Peace.

Monday, July 16, 2012

And if you missed the Best of Bastille Day

You Can Go To This on Thursday   (my apologies for tempting those all fasting for Ramadan on Thursday)

Dear Friends of La Maison Française,

This Thursday, July 19 at 7 p.m., we’re hosting our season finale wine tasting with a special evening dedicated to rosés and desserts – the perfect combination for this time of year!

Rosé wines are increasingly popular in the U.S. as well as in Europe and we would like to give you the keys to better understand them and be able to select them in the future with confidence.

For this session, wine expert Claire Morin-Gibourg has selected the very best of the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the south of France, located on the Mediterranean Sea, nestled between Toulouse and Marseille. With the instruction of wine teacher Vincent Morin, you will discover the extremely versatile rosé while savoring delectable desserts. 

List of wines for this session
- Vignerons de la Méditerranée Les Deux Rives Corbières Rosé 2011
- Gilles Louvet Elément Terre Rosé 2010
- Gérard Bertrand "Réserve Spéciale" Syrah Rosé 2010
- Château de Lancyre Rosé 2011
- Laurent Miquel Cinsault Syrah 2011

Join us and enjoy the best, most refreshing wines, while savoring desserts!

WHAT: Rosé wine tasting with desserts at the Embassy of France 
WHEN: Thursday, July 19 at 7 p.m.
WHERE: La Maison Française, Embassy of France, 4101 Reservoir Rd, NW

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Talking About The Whole World

How do you Cheat on Someone

When you aren't even physical?

    Emotional Adultery is a bigger problem than physical. If you lost his or her heart, the body may or may not follow- but you still lost the loved one. Do you understand really what the word "cherish" means? Or are you just a player?  The commandment is not to 'covet' meaning something short of actually a physical act- and Jesus said basically don't even THINK about it. So how do people get in trouble with emotional adultery?

This guy explains it well:

A Prophet

Is Not Without Honor

    Except in his own home among his own kin.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

End of An Era

Roland Is Leaving

       And I am crying.  The French Cultural Attaché, after a decade of a creative burst of musical artistic sunshine on the sometimes stultifying Washington landscape is leaving DC for his native France.
It is hard to describe how much better life in Washington has been with Roland. He brought us the best of French films before they hit the screens even in France. He brought art collections to the National Gallery and the Women's Museum of the Arts, productions to the Kennedy Center, conferences to SAIS, and the La Maison auditorium, and cheerfulness to everywhere he rode his bike. I heard on occasion that slightly french accent say "Ms. Butler" and looked over my shoulder to see the tall athletic figure straddling a bicycle in a suit
saying my name and stopping for one of those two cheeked french kisses. He introduced us to some of his colleagues and former classmates. He treated us to fetes and feasts, silent auctions, kids games and face painting on embassy grounds and the occasional kid jumping in the little fountain in front of the entrance.
     Roland has a passion for working with kids in children's arts programs and theatre. He once worked with and mentored kids in war torn Cambodia prior to coming to DC, some of whom became celebrated artists. He is a gentle giant among men and will be so badly missed I might have to chase him from here to Clermont.
     There is a nice write up in the Washingtonian about him HERE.

     He will be fundraising for his next venture and I hope all who are able help him- because he has a beautiful soul and touches many people with his great kindness and creativity. One cannot underestimate the impact he made on the DC arts scene and generally introducing french culture to Americans.
   I am not going to say goodbye because I must see him again and again. I will just silently kiss both cheeks again and say 'a bientot.'

      And for his Finale you can go to the Embassy this Friday for the Bastille Day celebrations. Just click on the Embassy or La Maison de France Facebook page and its all there.  It supports a philanthropic org. that supports French expats in America among other things called the Committee Tricolor.

   I hope he is feted and treated to non stop farewell feasts until he leaves, including a huge one at the State Department and White House. Cultural Diplomacy is every bit as important in building allies as
the other kind (whatever that is.)  He has been the Attaché through four French Ambassadors, which makes him the DeFacto Ambassador at large. And larger than life he is.

Bis Bis Roland.


funny-sort of

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Preach it Sister

click for a message on the woman at the well

The Highest Form of Patriotism is Dissent

This is what the initiative is calling for- signed by 300 priests and widely popularly supported by an overwhelming majority of practicing catholics in the Archdiocese where those 300 priests worship. Pfarrer-Initiative Appeal to Disobedience states----- The Roman refusal to take up long needed reforms and the inaction of the bishops, not only permits but demands that we follow our conscience and act independently: We priests want to set a mark for the future: 1. WE WILL include a petition for church reform in every liturgy. 2. WE WILL not deny Communion to faithful of good will, especially remarried people, members of other Christian churches, and in some cases those who have officially left the Catholic Church.* 3. WE WILL avoid as much as possible celebrating multiple times on Sundays and feast days, and avoid scheduling priests travelling around or priests unknown to the community. A locally- planned Liturgy of the Word is preferable to providing guest performances. 4. WE WILL use the term “Priestless Eucharistic Celebration” for a Liturgy of the Word with distribution of Communion. This is how the Sunday Mass obligation is fulfilled when priests are in short supply. 5. WE WILL ignore the prohibition of preaching by competently trained laity, including female religion teachers. In difficult times, the Word of God must be proclaimed. 6. WE WILL advocate that every parish has a presiding leader – man or woman, married or unmarried, full-time or part time. Rather than consolidating parishes, We call for a new image of the priest. 7. WE WILL take every opportunity to speak up publicly for the admission of women and married people to the priesthood. These would be welcome colleagues in ministry. We express solidarity with colleagues no longer permitted to exercise their ministry because we have married, and also with those in ministry who live in a permanent relationship. Both groups live in accordance with their conscience – as we do with our protest. We see in them as we do in our bishops and the pope our brothers. ** Trinity Sunday, 19Th June, 2011 * Here we refer to those who officially leave the Church; some to avoid Church Tax as a means of protest ** This is a reference to the German Word "Mitbruder" instead of "Bruder" (=brother) which is sometimes used by clerics and excludes the laity.

How to Spot a Mysogynist Sexist a Mile Away

Even 500 Feet Away

  There is some Classic terminology used by what used to be called Chauvinist Pigs that fit the modern day misogynist sexists who term women standing up for things like equal pay, and say over their reproductive decisions things like 'strident' 'bitter' 'shrill' 'feminazi' and the like.  Rather than responsibly address arguments they revert to ad hominem attacks that amount to little more than gender slurs- a sort of hate speech that these characters are famous for.

   When anyone uses terms like 'strident' 'bitter' 'shrill' in an office setting describing some female start taking notes and call the nearest EEO attorney. If you need to find one in your jurisdiction comment below or email Butlerlaw [at] and someone who knows what they are talking about will call you back and help you. Such words can create what is called a 'hostile work environment' making it much more stressful for people under verbal assault to work- under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 you can sue for hostile work environment- it is a sort of harassment, if based on gender. Those types of words support that sort of legal action. Don't put up with it. It's ignorant and you don't have to tolerate it.

Words of Knowledge, Words of Wisdom

And the Experience Filter

   There are levels of knowing something. One can have a book knowledge by reading about it. One can have some divinely inspired knowledge by insights from scripture study or prayer. One can have philosophic knowledge.  But that is a world away from experiential knowledge- or knowledge that comes from being something or doing something. I can describe what it is like to ride a roller coaster. The feeling of fierce wind that knocks you back in your seat as your hair goes flying and you grip the handles. You might get a sense of what I mean. But if you actually ride a roller coaster then you will say "oh, thats what you mean!" You have a totally different awareness of what it is like.
You might have a knowledge of a foreign language from books and tapes that methodically walk you through changes in tense structures. You may get so good at the book exercises you proclaim yourself knowledgeable in that language--even to a point where you think you can teach it. But if you actually go to the country where it is spoken and you converse in the language and people who speak it speak back at you and engage you in conversation you have a totally different experiential knowledge of what that language experience is like. It is a higher more advanced level.

    A Priest who opines on matters of marriage or relationship (heterosexual) who has never been in a long lasting one does not have the kind of nuanced knowledge that comes from being in one.  The man living a faithful married life with my sister has a higher more advanced knowledge of Love in the fullness of all its dimensions than a priest who has no relations with a woman almost definitionally. Of the five touted kinds of love, a priest only has book learning on the eros type. He doesn't understand passion the same way. He may have read about it but it isn't something he is expert at.

     On women's mental, spiritual, physical health celibate priest men are not experts. While some priests enjoy healing ministries and powers that are beyond their intellect as gifts of god, this isn't a gift of celibacy. This is a distinct gift given to some people, in and out of the priesthood.

     The notion that a conference of celibate all male Bishops are going to bully around the US President and Secretary of Health who is a Woman on legislation marshaled by another woman is to most women so offensive as to be easily dismissible if not disdained. When a priest starts menstruating or can carry a child I will listen to him on Obamacare. Get real people.

Pride Comes

Before A Fall

     Another 8 Million down the drain- from where- insurance? A recent settlement from a non-diocesene order is paying another abuse victim a few million for his torment this week.
These sorts of things prompt more of the inevitable article challenging the myth of higher holiness in celibacy:

   Imagine a country where there are no women making any real decisions, holding any superior positions of power in any way power is construed and women are used for cover of the practices men dictate to torment other women who disagree.  Then picture yourself in the Vatican where not one statue of the wife of the great Saint Peter, the first Pope can be found anywhere. She has been completely written out of history. Then imagine an institution where great buildings and cathedrals of architectural wonder have been built and no woman can live in them. Because they are run by an all boys club. Because Jesus, as the story goes, only had male disciples.

Mary Magdalene's significance has been written out of history like she was some hanger-on whore (a moniker given to any woman who gets too close to clergy-generally by old really jealous women who treat priests like their favorite pet).

   Catholicism is not democratic, it is not egalitarian. It doesn't pretend to be. The Pope recently admitted the priesthood isn't a perfect group- like anyone had to remind us given the recent conviction of a Monsignor in Philadelphia who took the fall for a Cardinal who mysteriously died after being deemed well enough and competent to testify at trial.

   I sometimes think the Catholic church is heaven on earth. Then I get a whiff of something so deceitful,  mean spirited and vicious I can't believe I keep coming back.

   The Catholic church is a bit like New York; it has the best and worst of all possible worlds in the same place. Some parish priests are angels. Others are smug arrogant mean spirited women hating pseudo intellectual idiots with SAT scores of 300 who went to Catholic U. because they couldn't get in anywhere else. Some are in jail. Some really good ones left because they found God in a conjugal lifestyle with a holy wife.  Those are the smart ones you want back. They know a thing or two of which they speak.

I keep meeting Catholics who are now Buddhists or Presbyterians. For every Catholic I meet I meet two x-catholics who can't stand it any more. Something has to give.

   The lack of regard for the health of women in the priesthood is staggering. It is a direct consequence of the fact that the power structure is all men, who know nothing about childbearing or rearing. Nothing . Not one of them gets a monthly period or worries about uterine or breast cancer. Not one of them worries about endometriosis or menstrual bleeding. Not one of them is supporting anyone who does or they get kicked out.

   This is not a group of people who should get five seconds of air time or anything to say about women's health. My mother has a saying- "don't go looking for flowers in a hardware store."




Friday, July 06, 2012

Listen to the Judge

Judge Posner on 'crackpots' and 'lunatics' in the Republican Party

    We tried to tell you. It does the country and the cause no service to be a right-wing nut rhetorical firebomb thrower sounding off about the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  Please get over yourselves.  Its nauseating.

Judge Posner it should be emphasized is a Reagan appointee and widely hailed as one of the smartest Judges on the Bench anywhere.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Is religious "Freedom" really under attack?


      What religious persecution against Christians really looks like: In France the institution of the church was under real assault because there was an active 'dechristianization' campaign against the clergy and catholicism in general after the French Revolution.  The revolutionaries saw the Catholic church as allied with the Monarchy in exploitative economically oppressive practices against the masses as they had taxing power to extract money from virtually everyone who was registered as baptized. In 1789 the State cancelled the Church's ability to tax people (a power given it by acquiescence previously of the Monarchy) .  A decree issued that ALL church property in France belonged to the nation, confiscations were ordered and church lands were sold at public auction. In July 1790 the new revolutionary government, the National Constituent Assembly published the Civil Constitution of the Clergy stripping all clergy of rights it previously enjoyed, they were made state employees, had to be elected by their parish and they had to swear an Oath of Fidelity to the new government or face dismissal, deportation or death. Those who did not so swear were called "Non-Juror" clergy and they could be literally hunted down and killed. It was during this time that a lot of Jesuits fled the country, some of whom founded Georgetown University.  On October 21, 1793 a law mandated that all Non-Juring priests and anyone who harbored them were to be killed on sight. It was a bloody revolution recall. On Nov. 10, 1793 at the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in the center of Paris a ceremony in honor of the 'Goddess REASON' was held as part of a national dechristianization campaign.  It was the 'Age of Reason.'

  By contrast Obamacare is exempting all churches or houses of worship from the Obamacare insurance reform, and stating that only if you engage in activities where you hire and serve people in non church or worship settings who believe that contraception prevents disease spread and unwanted pregnancy, you should not be there exempt from offering it. 

      Both sides have a point. Obama's folks think the religious folks are getting a bit carried away and too exercised with inflammatory hyperbolic language. If you look at what real persecution really looks like, they have a point.


Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Vanity Fair shows a Fair Bit of Vanity-

Did the Republicans just find the richest guy they could find, and think trickle down means they all get some of his wealth?  If you wonder how rich the Mormon church is, calculate a tenth of all this (tax-free) for starters  (go to vanity fair for pics).
“To give but one example, there is a Bermuda-based entity called Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd., which has been described in securities filings as ‘a Bermuda corporation wholly owned by W. Mitt Romney.’… Romney failed to list this entity on several financial disclosures, even though such a closely held entity would not qualify as an “excepted investment fund” that would not need to be on his disclosure forms. He finally included it on his 2010 tax return. Even after examining that return, we have no idea what is in this company, but it could be valuable, meaning that it is possible Romney’s wealth is even greater than previous estimates. While the Romneys’ spokespeople insist that the couple has paid all the taxes required by law, investments in tax havens such as Bermuda raise many questions, because they are in ‘jurisdictions where there is virtually no tax and virtually no compliance,’ as one Miami-based offshore lawyer put it.”
Cayman Islands:

Because of his retirement deal with Bain Capital, his finances are still deeply entangled with the private-equity firm that he founded and spun off from Bain and Co. in 1984. Though he left the firm in 1999, Romney has continued to receive large payments from it—in early June he revealed more than $2 million in new Bain income. The firm today has at least 138 funds organized in the Cayman Islands, and Romney himself has personal interests in at least 12, worth as much as $30 million, hidden behind controversial confidentiality disclaimers. Again, the Romney campaign insists he saves no tax by using them, but there is no way to check this.
These, plus the mandatory financial disclosures filed with the Office of Government Ethics and released last August, raise many questions. A full 55 pages in his 2010 return are devoted to reporting his transactions with foreign entities…The media soon noticed Romney’s familiarity with foreign tax havens. A $3 million Swiss bank account appeared in the 2010 returns, then winked out of existence in 2011 after the trustee closed it.
Canary Islands, El Salvador, Panama, Shadowy Rich Guys
Private equity is one channel for this secrecy-shrouded foreign money to enter the United States, and a filing for Mitt Romney’s first $37 million Bain Capital Fund, of 1984, provides a rare window into this. One foreign investor, of $2 million, was the newspaper tycoon, tax evader, and fraudster Robert Maxwell, who fell from his yacht, and drowned, off of the Canary Islands in 1991 in strange circumstances, after looting his company’s pension fund. The Bain filing also names Eduardo Poma, a member of one of the ‘14 families’ oligarchy that has controlled most of El Salvador’s wealth for decades; oddly, Poma is listed as sharing a Miami address with two anonymous companies that invested $1.5 million between them. The filings also show a Geneva-based trustee overseeing a trust that invested $2.5 million, a Bahamas corporation that put in $3 million, and three corporations in the tax haven of Panama, historically a favored destination for Latin-American dirty money—‘one of the filthiest money-laundering sinks in the world,’ as a U.S. Customs official once put it. Bain Capital has said it did everything required by the U.S. government to check that the investors were not associated with unsavory interests. U.S. law doesn’t require Bain to enforce the tax laws of its investors’ home countries, but the presence of Swiss trustees, Bahamas trusts, and Panama corporations would raise red flags with any tax authority.
Go read it and then ask yourself why he's not releasing more tax returns. I think you'll find the answer in that article.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Smartest Man in the Room

John Roberts

    Everyone has their fav. justice. I have a few but Roberts is one of them. I pride myself on being one of Madeleine Albright's "Moderate Militants" so am not a right wing-nut, neo-con or ever aspire to be published in the Human Events rag. I have volunteered on only Democratic Presidential campaigns in the past.
   John Roberts has proved himself to be on the bench lately exactly what he promised at his confirmation hearing- a stalwart follower of stare decisis and the rule of law. No, the commerce clause can't reach limitless bounds of all human conduct because someone wants someone to buy something. Clearly. Good Call.
    The taxation issue saving Obamacare did a few things- it construed the taxing and spending provision of the constitution broadly enough so that penalties are within the power of the government. What else could there be penalties for tax wise?  Maybe the penalties provision was a stretch when the penalty does not pertain to any underlying tax but a behavior that the government sought to modify in connection with commerce. Is that another new category for the taxation and spending power?

   What else it does is this: it gives all those religious exemption folks something else to hang their hat on in summary judgment if the religious liberty arguments fail. Because clearly there are some religious liberties which are not allowed because they are deemed detrimental to health. In a world where a prison inmate can sue for lots of damages because after a prison rape she was not provided a morning after abortofascient pill while in prison- the likelihood of a religious liberty trumping provision of insurance to make possible (not mandatory) contraceptions that prevent disease wasn't and isn't a slam dunk.

   But if the entire Obamacare statute's legitimacy hinges upon it being a TAX under the taxation and spending power then it is possible that all tax exempt orgs. shouldn't have to comply with it- Someone should be making that argument, which likely has more rational sway than the religious liberty one constitutionally.

    Congress can legislate for the 'general welfare' under the  constitution by imposing a Tax. If you don't have to pay taxes, you should be exempt from that general welfare requirement.  Maybe.

Whether that flies or not, or anyone gets it or not, I think Roberts is a genius. You figure it out. -or you'll have to pay me to explain it to you.

Chartres Cathedral- Holy Family

I was once at Chartres Cathedral in France when they were setting up TV Cameras for an Easter Mass - so there was amazing lighting on the wall sculptures that are normally hidden in the dark. I love this one of the Holy Family.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Donating Your Body to Science

Before you are born, can consent or wanted to be killed in the Womb.

   That's basically the tidy arrangement between abortion clinics and medical research labs around the world-  who just buy and take aborted fetuses and dissect them as needed.  Click here for the gruesome reality.

    Anyone who wants an abortion might be reminded 'it's not about you.' Its about another real person
who you just sent to New Zealand without realizing to be chopped for science.

So How Fair and Just is That? Can you see why the Republicans are fastly furious?

What does Ben Franklin and the modern Democratic Party have in common?

Cadavers in the Basement.

   A recent article noted that a home in which  Ben Franklin lived in London has newly found cadaver parts and skeletons in the basement dating to his stay there.  The article surmised that this harkens to the time when it was illegal to have cadavers for dissection for medical purposes so people secretly grave robbed to get parts for medical study. There was an underground black market in body parts.
   Body Parts trafficking still has legislative resistance in the US.
But that does not stop the trafficking of fetal body parts misnamed 'biowaste' for medical purposes in a multimillion dollar black market global trade.  When you hear about population control people trying to give 'choice' to women and make abortion legal in places like Latin America, you should wonder what protections exist or not for 'disposal' of any aborted fetus. There is no inspection regime in lots of unregulated abortion clinics, there is no body count when a fetus is extracted limb by limb, there is no funeral or mass for the dead.  There is just the cold packing in ice and shipping to labs all over the world.

   This human trafficking issue should not be a Wedge issue. It should not be something that Republicans use to bludgeon Democrats. It should be something that through a bipartisan effort we all agree should not go on. Democrats as human rights sensitive people who care about torture should care about the torture of dismembered fetuses in the womb being exploited for medical research. They feel pain as nervous systems are developed fairly early gestationally.

   We have to get beyond Republicans are the pro-life people and Democrats the baby killers. We are ALL not doing enough to stop human trafficking of Fetal Body Parts for medical research. It deserved the White House' attention.  It's modern day grave robbing without the graves.

    One third of all US abortions are disproportionately on African American women. So one third of all body parts being shipped around the world, it is fair to surmise are of black babies--- to places like labs in Aukland.  So don't tell me this isn't a race issue- and don't condemn the people who say so. Abortion clinics are positioned in the poorest of black neighborhoods, often right next to downtown inner city schools with large black student populations (the largest medical clinic in Detroit near Wayne State is a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic)- and poor blacks are targeted intentionally by the industry as its founder -a famous eugenicist planned it that way. This is a race issue- and its about time that African American leaders got a grip and realized it is a planned genocide right under their noses.

“We should not serve the poor like they were Jesus. We should serve the poor because they are Jesus.”
—Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

  (thanks to Ignatius Press on my Facebook)