Friday, November 28, 2014

And the winner is in….

Republicans or no one.

   predicted to win the White House if a Dem ran against Minnie Mouse. In 2016 they will have won the House the Senate the White House and the Farm.

Why? One word:  FERGUSON

  This name, of a place no one knows really or has been to except it appears to be a ghetto attached to Saint Louis,  sparked a national obsession over race relations, police brutality and presumed racist cops. We saw a town and the cars in it go up in flames for days.

   Twelve citizens called a grand jury in a different town, with no particular beef reviewed piles of forensic, and physical evidence for months, and heard witness testimony as to how a shooting of a black male by a cop went down.  They could ask questions. For months and months an apparently completely false narrative was peddled by professional race mongers, hustlers, racqueters, and profiteers in the media who generated memes like his hands were up in surrender, he was a little ten year old with headphones on (the picture NBC/MSNBC keeps showing when he was shot as a nearly 300 pound looking 18 year old), and he was just an innocent little kid shot dead for no reason by a bad white cop. He was the poster boy symbol of police brutality and the R word.

   This was deliberately dishonest. Apparently his hands were not up, he was shot as an angry fleeing felon of around nearly 300 pounds who assaulted a police officer after robbing a store who resisted arrest and refused to respect the officer's request to "Stop, or I'll Shoot." Criminals who assault, taunt and bully cops get shot. No one should be surprised at that. It happens to idiots of every race.

   Is there seething animosity toward police in minority communities. Yes. Is there injustice in the minority community regarding unfair sentencing ? Perhaps. Should this kid's death be the funnel for all historic black rage such that an entire town should get torched because we can know that the grand jury made a mistake? Absolutely Not- no excuse. Completely unjustified to torch a town. The fact that the media ginned this up to this degree guaranteeing that people would feel a misplaced sense of deep unfairness is scandalous. Criminal even.

    Everyone feels when anyone loses a child. Its painful, its aweful and its tragic. Every kid or adult sitting in a jail has or had a mother. Its sad or tragic when people turn 'bad.' But Mike Brown, from the looks of the video of the robbery (owned by the way by a dark skinned Central Asian person) went 'bad.' He bullied the guy and shoplifted with a 'what are you going to do to me' attitude. He apparently assaulted a cop and 'tussled' with him to get his gun to shoot him in his car. Then he bolted.

   The grand jury determined that this wasn't a 'he said/she said' apparently in reviewing the forensic and physical evidence which included blood on and/or in the car. A grand jury doesn't get paid from a wrongful death suit, doesn't get paid by media to peddle ratings grabbing results and doesn't get paid to cover for a cop. A grand jury is impartial and there are ways to kick people off if they are suspected of being partial.

    The level of dishonesty doesn't end there with hyped false memes and exaggerated false claims of racism.

   Lawrence O'Donnell, a reliable left sided MSNBC commentator was the straw that broke the donkey's back last night because he devoted a segment to accusing an Assistant District Attorney of intentionally misleading the jury by giving them an old 'Fleeing Felon' statute that he claims was overridden in 1985 because she didn't answer the question as to whether the US Supreme Ct. over-rides the 'Fleeing Felon' rule. In fact, the Fleeing Felon rule was not completely over-ridden but clarified by the Supreme Court to mean deadly force could only be used when the officer was in fear of the physical safety of himself or others due to the actions of the fleeing felon. That was what was evidenced, that was what was proved, and that is what justified the fact the officer was not indicted.

    The Supreme Court recognizes that an officer doesn't have to wait to be shot first to shoot a fleeing felon. After Brown assaulted the officer and ran he was a fleeing felon.

   Its one thing to gin up false claims of racism, its another for a non-criminal lawyer (O'Donnell) to falsely accuse an Assistant District Attorney on national television of a degree of prosecutorial misconduct -something that would get her disbarred-  by name-that jimmied a grand jury- and I am beyond offended. Its outrageous. She is owed an apology.

   Its way over the top. The lengths the media,  and the race arsonists and hustlers, have gone to justify their misplaced indignant outrage that a kid who shoplifted, a robbery suspect who assaulted a police officer, resisted arrest and fled was shot dead is beyond unpalatable -its dishonest.

  And every Republican Presidential candidate from here till the turn of the century will play that "Burn this Bitch Down" clip to show just how off the wall out of their minds the established race narrators
will go to excuse people from having to create their own enterprise to advance their own lives and instead blame white cops and all whites who think law and order is a good thing as 'racist.'

   America is not going to 'heal' so long as people continue to be dishonest about the real hinderances to advancement in these black communities where a good portion of the disposable income in excess of government benefits comes from illegal petty drug trades generating contempt for all law enforcement.  Lack of Education is only part of the problem. Lack of Opportunity isn't as bad as perceived lack of opportunity. The socio-economic problems are not all whities fault. And whitie is getting sick of being blamed.

    Are there any real pragmatic solutions? Here are a few basic no brainer  things that have been suggested to make people feel comfortable that the cops are not being racist but doing their jobs:

1. small cameras on all cops on the beat
2. create a police academy in Ferguson and recruit from the community raising the number of black officers. Provide full scholarships for kids from the community who wish to go to the Police Academy, recruit heavily from the local schools.
3. involve the kids in church-community-police activities to generate trust and admiration of police.
4. create more police mentoring programs of black youth in Ferguson and St. Louis at large.

   And even when that is all done there will still be people who, every single time a black kid is shot by a cop will insist the kid is the reincarnation of the Angel Gabriel and the cop was a racist bastard who just likes to go out for no reason popping off the heads of black kids.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Rare Day

When I Pen a partisan diatribe. I try to see all sides. Its supposed to make a better advocate.

   But its now necessary. The President is going to issue some kind of unilateral statement on immigration reform tomorrow. Horrah. Finally. Good for Him.

   Senator Barbara Boxer has given a pointed speech where she notes that over the last 60 years, Presidents of both parties have taken immigration action of some kind on 40 different occassions. No one saw it as unconstitutional, threatened to shut down the government, or sue the President.

  She noted that 17 months ago the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill. It was passed by the Senate and the House did not act on it. Ever hear the phrase 'Do Nothing' House or Congress? That is because their response to a bipartisan immigration reform bill was to do exactly nothing. No Action.

  The President waited and waited and waited to sign a bill. Nothing. None came. It should be called the 'Sit on Your Hands and Suck Your Thumb House' Really annoying. So the President is going to do what the President should do and take responsible action to fix a serious problem.

We have a serious problem at the border. We have a serious problem enforcing the laws that exist. We have a serious problem in the way we are currently treating people who are here, who came here
with legitimate asylum claims. We aren't processing them fairly because evidence can't be ascertained fairly. People fled a civil war in El Salvador in the 1980s. They cannot go back because there is nothing to go back to in some cases. They and their children are American for all practical purposes in all but passport.

   Stories of how families are torn apart with some family members sent back to Central America after being mistreated in immigration detention facilities are too numerous to let go unnoticed. People who have been here contributing to society, paying taxes, raising their kids to be responsible people, educating them in American schools should not be subjected to cruelty of banishment and return to a place they don't know as home any more. This is home.

   I can't listen to people like Laura Ingram or any of the right wingnutty talking heads blast Obama's constitutional theories. They just look too white and too blonde to get it. There are massive numbers, 11 million roughly that we know of, people who have made their life and home here and we should 'Welcome the Stranger'- because families of  EVERYONE except native americans came from somewhere else, and because its the only kind thing to do.

We are not a nation of bullies who rip children from their parents arms to lock them up. We don't need to create that kind of trauma and destruction of families. We can be a kinder gentler place. Did we forget that we are supposed to Love Our Neighbors?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A visionary

Who Was Assassinated 25 years ago

   with his friends, confreres and the horse he rode in on.

Because they couldn't stand it- he made them face themselves.

The 25th Anniversary of the assassinations of the Jesuit priest-philosophers is marked this week-end.
At least stop in silence and say a prayer. There are people in the world who won't be silenced in the
face of obscene injustice- even when the US government and the richest people in the world have a hit on them. Wrong is Wrong- even when the establishment insists upon it and feeds off it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Lisa Ling on Life

   Dishes on what it is really like to be a Priest.

Why Elections Matter

For Foreign Policy.

     This weekend celebrations from Coast to Coast are paying tribute to the Jesuit Martyrs of El Salvador. Because the Jesuits are on the front lines and cutting edge of bringing light to dark places they find themselves often between historical cross hairs of crucifiers and crucifixions.

    Around 25 years ago there was a blazing civil war in El Salvador which can be simplified as follows: 13 powerful families dating back to 16th century conquistadors who owned all the land were fighting off peasant workers who were awakening to the fact that they were being horrendously exploited and eat dirt poor.

  That would be none of the US' business you might think except for a few do gooding religious types who wanted to see that people didn't eat dirt.

   However, this was at the end of the long 'Cold War' and Reagan was terrified the communism that took over Cuba was going to spread to Central America so it was expressly part of US foreign policy to provide official aid to the military of the establishment to keep order so the masses wouldn't revolt in some socialist uprising. The military was supported by the US with arms and US AID, and  elections regularly rigged in latin and central america with the help of the CIA (directed by Bush, Sr. at one point Veep to Reagan). The military with our backing waged a brutal massacring slaughter of the peasant workers in El Salvador in a civil war that decimated huge portions of the population and wiped villages off the earth. Commonplace were torture, disappearances, mass graves, close to 100,000 dead and the worst human rights violations Amnesty International ever chronicled.

   The US funded a School of the Americas- to train people in allegedly ostensibly fighting communism in Latin and Central America. We trained military leaders to fight to keep the established inequity and impoverishment in place to support our puppets.

   It didn't end until 1992 after Clinton was elected and Democrats could not be relied upon for arms or USAID.

  Prior to Clinton being elected, the military officially put a hit on the Jesuit intellectual priests who ran the University in El Salvador who were seen as spreading such silly notions as - exploitation isn't nice,  fair treatment might be more Christian, and poor isn't something you have to really tolerate.

   Six Jesuit Priest Professor intellectuals and/or University Administrators, along with their cook/housekeeper and her daughter were killed in cold blood. The Archbishop Romero was also assassinated and there is a cause for his sainthood pending at the Vatican.

     The generals who put the hit out were trained by the School of the Americas faculty. Some of those guys are living in luxury in retirement in Florida. Not Kidding. Jeb Bush country. One of them has a deportation on appeal apparently.

    Elections in the US matter. They matter for the entire region in a direct way and the entire world obviously.

From Saint Isaac Joques to the El Salvadoran Martyrs, the soil of the Americas is infused with the blood of Jesuits who died to proclaim the Good News to the Poor, and set the Oppressed Free. So this weekend Hug a Jesuit and say Thank You.



Who Said

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,

The Ellacuría Tapes Introductory Video

Saturday, November 08, 2014

dare you to crank up the sound

Friday, November 07, 2014



    A Pilgrimmage.

That is the title of the newest book of Father James Martin, SJ, a Jesuit Priest, editor of America Magazine in New York, who spoke at Georgetown
this week discussing his trip to Israel described in the book. Every time I hear him speak (third time now)  I am more and more in awe. He packed the house, as he always does and had the crowd both in uproarious laughter as well as 'ahah' lightbulb moments. People left with a 'Thank God For Priests Like That' feeling.

This Priest, whom I particularly connect with because he grew up not far from where I partially grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs is one of the single best advertisements for "Catholic" I know of- he is extremely witty (wrote also "Heaven and Mirth"), down to earth, and profoundly spiritually insightful. Moreover, he's just extremely kind and sweet and disdains trolling meanness on the internet. "We have to recover and reuse the word 'Mean'", he said describing some of the vitriol he received merely by posting something controversial. He describes how going to Israel aided greatly his understanding of Jesus' talks, noting that he saw places along the Sea of Galilee that were 'rocky' ground, and good soil that had things growing-and noted when Jesus spoke parables of the Word falling on rocky ground and good soil that bore much fruit, he wasn't making up abstractions but pointing to -that good ground over there with good soil, or that rocky ground. The book chronicles in part his journey with his friend George (a prison priest chaplain at San Quentin) as they followed trails to purple rocks spotting the Bay of Parables where Jesus taught from a boat to a natural amphitheatre because the acoustics were great as sound travels over water so well.

     He noted that when Jesus was called to the Tomb of Lazarus by his frantic sisters they likely didn't have a singsongy tone but one of exasperation and anger. What would you think if your brother was having a heart attack and you called a relative who was a heart surgeon and he didn't come for days- he noted in expressing the Jesuit approach to putting yourself in scripture to better connect with the message.

We can understand Christ better by embracing the Jesus of history- a historical Jesus approach. He was fully human and fully divine at the same time all the time. Fully human when raising Lazarus, fully divine when doing 'carpentry.'  The implications of that are truly staggering if you realize the fullness of what that means.

There are some encounters which have been called holes in heaven where light travels fast to touch earth and Father Martin walks with one over his head. An encounter with him leaves one with the feeling that you touched heaven for a few minutes, or an hour long talk and you didn't want it to end. This is a real Priest, and a really good man.

I highly recommend getting his book- (which make excellent Christmas presents and some of my relatives are getting it:-)

click to order here:

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Let Them Eat Croissants, Lots of Them

DOG TAG BAKERY- Not Just For Dogs.

    One of the most exciting things coming to Georgetown is a cool Bakery which is the brainchild of a Priest which he located on GRACE street, naturally. Yes, there is a Grace Street in Georgetown.

  Father Rick Curry who masters the art of one armed bread kneading (because he only has one arm, not kidding, no joke-was born that way, don't remind him), wanted to see disabled vets returning from the war fiascos get a break. He developed an idea, pitched it, got it funded and set up a non profit to allow returning disabled vets to get credit at Georgetown by working in a bakery especially equipped for disabled people.

  He calls it Dog Tag Bakery and it is strongly rumored to open this week (actually he announced it at Mass so its more than a rumor).

   I dare you to google it. You can also get his Jesuit's guides to breakmaking and soupmaking- which found their way under a few of my extended family's Christmas trees in years past.

I dare you to google him- its the most exciting thing you learned today. Plus they have chocolate croissants according to their on line menu which is my fav. breakfast of champions:-)

God's Speed (even if its slow rise in a dark place:-)
Love, Love, Love It!!