Posts Tagged ‘Roman Catholic’

Remember…

May 23, 2017

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A Manhattan Christmas Story

December 21, 2016

rockefeller-tree

NOTE: Not long ago we received this memory from an unnamed Hell’s Kitchen writer, who assures us that his neighbors all pass him on the street every day… without ever seeing him.

When my kids were little, long before I became what I am now, which is a booze-hound, Christmas time was always something special. It still is special for me ‘cause they haven’t yet closed down all the soup kitchens. The City Fathers missed a couple of soup kitchens in their drive to improve the quality of life in this town by killing off everybody who doesn’t work three jobs and make a hundred grand a year just to pay the rent. So I can still look forward to a meal of turkey with trimmings in some church basement somewhere. Along with the food, the do-gooders give us bums little Christmas presents. It’s nice. Don’t you like getting presents? I do. Last year I got some Old Spice and a soap on a rope. It was green and shaped like a seahorse. I liked the way it smelled. But I accidentally left my soap hanging in the rooming house bathroom down the hall one day and that was the last I saw of it. I don’t know why, but when I found the soap was gone I cried like a baby for two hours. And I never cry. A stupid piece of cheap soap. Archie the bartender who took the pledge was right. Booze does turn your brain to mush.

It was Christmas time and I ran out of money again. A card game this time. Looking for free things to do, I thought it might be fun to see the tree at Rockefeller Center. I usually enjoy the colored lights and all the happy kids giggling and acting like, well, like happy kids. So yesterday, even though I had no money to speak of, I left my room and headed over there. In the daylight you could see that this was one hell of a big tree. Why’d they go kill it? I stood in the part of the plaza they call the Channel Gardens cause on one side is a British building and on the other side is a French building. I was looking at the tree when I noticed this woman with her son. The kid was about six, I guess, no more than seven, and the woman had him bundled all up like he was Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon even though it wasn’t really so cold out. It couldn’t have been cold cause I was there and I don’t own a coat. That’s why I’m inside today, writing this. Today it’s freezing out. And I don’t own a coat. So this woman has her kid by the hand and says, “look, Lawrence, look at the nice tree. It’s beautiful isn’t it.” She wasn’t so much asking him as she was telling him. Surprisingly, the kid said “no.”

“But it is beautiful,” the mama said, giving the kid a little tap on the back of the head.

“It is not,” the boy insisted.

“Yes it is,” she said, giving him a harder tap.

“I don’t like it.”

“Yes you do!”

This time she gave the kid a clip on the head so hard that I could feel it. The boy wobbled a bit but held his ground.

“It isn’t beautiful! It stinks!”

“It is beautiful!” she says then CRACK! a tremendous shot across the back of the kid’s head. In my day, I seen prize fighters kiss the canvas on less.

“Isn’t mommy right? Isn’t the tree beautiful?”

When the boy didn’t answer, she lifted her hand again.

“It’s so beautiful, mommy,” he said like he really meant it.

“Don’t you just love it?”

“Yes mommy, I love it. I love it.”

“And do you love mommy?”

“Yes. I love mommy.”

She smiled and they went away, both of them happy. I’d hate to be around when this kid gets married. His wife cuddles up to him and coos, “do you love me?” and he says “I love you more than anything” then he proves it to her by belting her right in the sweetbreads. I only hope he finds somebody who’s into that kind of thing. There’s plenty of them out there.

I looked back at the tree, and so help me, now I didn’t think it was very beautiful. Then I cringed, almost feeling a swift hard smack on the back of my head. I turned around as fast as I could and went across the street and down the block to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I prayed for that kid.

The Last VP Who Took Gifts As Governor…

July 23, 2016

Washington, DC: Vice President Agnew, left, held a last-minute meeting with President Nixon at the White House, September 10, just before departing on a week-long, six-state swing to campaign on behalf of the Republican candidates. Agnew's trip is regarded as the first part of an intensive campaign, which should keep the vice president on the road frequently until election time, in a Republican effort to capture the Senate and House and retain control of the state capitols. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

He’s A Cornered Animal

February 19, 2016

150709211727-trump-on-obama-birthplace-sot-cooper-ac-00001004-large-169

All the cheap “combover” jokes, all the giggles about his wives, all the silly stuff distracts from the core fact: This man has NO MEANS OF SUPPORT other than this campaign.
He is running because of personal desperation – which is why he persists and persists.
He has no other job.
Like “W” before him, he has failed at everything he’s ever done.
This is the end of the road for him.
Others may want to run.
He HAS TO.
He’s likely mired in debt again and this is the only way out.
That makes him a cornered animal. Meaning: dangerous

Beware of any candidate who has no other options 

Why Is This Discussion STILL NEEDED?

October 23, 2015
Abortion. Freedom of choice. Telling women what they may or may not do concerning their own bodies.
This is still a concern for many of us.
And it should be, because many politicians oppose reproductive freedom.
Why does one noted politician think it is right to say things like this:
The decision to have an abortion is between “a young woman, her family, her physician and pastor.”
Her PASTOR? Really?
Or:
Abortion is “a sad, even tragic choice to many, many women. There is no reason why government cannot do more to educate and inform and provide assistance so that the choice guaranteed under our constitution either does not ever have to be exercised or only in very rare circumstances.”
What good is a right if it is NOT exercised?
Who says that about ANY OTHER right?
Freedom of Speech should “
not ever have to be exercised or only in very rare circumstances.”
Or:
Abortion should be “safe, legal and rare, and by rare I mean rare.”
Will there be an acceptable National Abortion Quota?
Would any other right be so easily and glibly dismissed?
Free speech should be safe, legal and rare, and by rare I mean rare.
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness should be safe, legal and rare, and by rare I mean
rare.
Here is another comment from a politician. Do you support this view?
“I for one respect those who believe with all their heart and conscience that there are no circumstances under which abortion should be available.”
One politician had THIS exchange with an anti-choicer:
“I know you’re pro-choice, but you have indicated that you would like to reduce the number of abortions. Could you see yourself, with millions of voters in a pro-life camp, creating a common ground, with the goal ultimately in mind of reducing the decisions for abortion to zero?”
The politician nodded, telling attendees of the nationally televised event: “Yes, yes.”
A politician also said THIS about wanting to END ABORTION if the republicans ALLOW her:
“I am where I have been, which is that if there’s a way to structure some kind of constitutional restriction that takes into account the life of the mother and her health, then I’m open to that. But I have yet to see the Republicans willing to actually do that, and that would be an area, where if they included health, you could see constitutional action.”
REMEMBER:
When they say rare – they mean NEVER.
And who said these things?
SHE did: the last time she ran for president. And lost.
6a00d834515c5469e201b7c77c51c5970b
So it’s 8 years later and time for her to whistle a different tune.
I will vote for someone who will protect the right of ALL women to control their bodies. Without interference from a government that will “provide assistance so that the choice guaranteed under our constitution either does not ever have to be exercised or only in very rare circumstances.”
Or involve her Pastor

True Humility

September 25, 2015

Since humility and humblosity are in the news this week,
I recall a Buddhist story worth repeating.
A rich, powerful warlord approaches the master and asks, “Master, what is humility?”

The master looks the warlord up and down then says, curtly, “And just who on earth are you to waste my precious time with your insignificant, foolish, and childish questions?”
The warlord trembles with rage and as he pulls out his sword, the master says, “What you are feeling now. That is NOT humility.”
And the master walks away.

buddha_1

SEPARATION OF CHURCH & STATE? IT’S IN THE BIBLE! (again)

September 6, 2015

I posted this back in 2012, but with the hypocritical ignoramuses in the republican party (formally called “candidates”) howling about “religious freedom” and how it trumps the Constitution, I thought it time to revive it. These bigoted loudmouths know nothing of their beloved bible.

     It is the religious right wing loud mouths who always can be counted upon to a) demand that we obey the Holy Bible and b) make the claim that there is no such thing as separation of Church & State in America because those words are not in the Constitution. Never mind that this separation was primary on the minds of those who wrote the Constitution. Forget that this separation is what made the United States of America absolutely unique in the history of Western “civilization.” And the hell with the facts that the United States Supreme Court has consistently held that such a separation exists. Throw all that away if you wish.  Let us see what the Bible itself has to say on the subject:

     As Moses is ready to die and the Israelites prepare to enter the Promised Land, Moses grows concerned that there the tribes have no leader to keep the people from anarchy. So, being Moses, he consults God. Here is what happens in the King James Version of the Holy Bible:

Numbers, 27:15-23

And Moses spake unto the LORD, saying,

Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation,

Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him;

And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight.

And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.

And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the LORD: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation.

And Moses did as the LORD commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation:

And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.

    Do you get what happened? Moses puts Joshua in charge of the people and has Aaron’s son Eleazar in charge of the priesthood. Moses and, more to the point, GOD ALMIGHTY have vested two separate people with the powers of Church & State. It is right there in the Good Book.  Joshua is in charge of the people and Eleazar is in charge of tending into God’s judgment. It’s all there in black and white.

    As long as the religious literalists insist that the Bible is a history book, and as long as they insist that it is God’s “divine plan” for humanity, silly claims but they make them nonetheless, then we see by example that God wants the power of the state separated from the power if the religious establishment. There is no getting around it.

    UPDATE: Further driving the point home is 1 Samuel, 13:8-14 where King Saul, tired of waiting for the arrival of Samuel the priest, makes his own burnt offering. When Samuel arrives all hell breaks loose. Why? Because Saul has usurped the power of the clergy and thus violated the biblical separation of Church & State.
Can it be any more clear?

Separation of Church and State… It’s In The Bible!

Mel Gibson For President!

September 4, 2015

(and no, he is not from Australia)

Gibson Quotes

Torture: Wrong AND Useless

December 28, 2014

Friends,
I write these words not as a priest, nor as an American. I write this as a Human Being.

When people torture people or animals, they have committed a crime. When Governments torture prisoners, they have committed a human rights crime. When governments torture prisoners of war, they have committed a war crime.

And yet right now people ardently support the torturing of POWs – one of the most heinous crimes on the books – and they have even suggested that doing so is good, right and proper. Media people, such as the simplistically stupid Joe Scarborough; the senile closest-case Chris (Look at W’s bulge!) Matthews, the entire platoon of peroxided harpies on FOX “news” all publicly have argued that “if” torture works, it is something we must do. In fact, say these twisted people, it is an obligation. “IF” it works.

And this is how they have deftly changed the debate from acknowledging that torture is one of the worst crime on the books, to a mere debate of its efficacy. All the while they scream that the Senate report on torture should – MUST! – remain secret. Torture is good but… we don’t want people to know we did it? Sounds like way down deep, they know the truth. They know. But they, like the sociopath Cheney and his puppet “W,” believe that the ends justify the means. They have said so over and over again. You know who espoused precisely that belief? A fellow named Leon Trotsky. Is he the model of the New America? If so, then Welcome to the New USA… It is now the USSR.

Well let us discuss this issue that these criminals and their ardent defenders raise. Does torture work? No. History clearly shows that torture is designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to get a false confession out of someone. In fact, the records now reveal that this is how the Cheney/Bush people got their highly coveted “information” about WMD. They got it by torturing people until somebody who could not take the agony said just what the torturers wanted to hear. And the world is still paying for it today.

Need more proof? Ask Senator John McCain, no “Dove” by any stretch of the imagination. We all know that McCain was tortured by those horrible North Vietnamese. And we know they are horrible because… they torture people. As “commies” they even went so far as believe that… the ends justify the means. Well, today Ho Chi Minh could host a show on FOX or any of the TV networks that have the gall to even hint that torture is a legitimate interrogation tool.

Yes, we all know that McCain was tortured. But what most people do not know is that under torture, McCain cracked. He broke. He gave in. John McCain signed false confessions, admitting to crimes and he even allowed himself to be filmed making false admissions. To end the agonizing torture, John McCain did what people invariably do: he lied through his teeth to stop the pain. McCain has freely admitted this. And there is no shame in what he did. Could you stand up to torture, day in and day out? McCain did exactly what thousands of people did when the Catholic Church – followers of the “Prince of Peace” – tortured them under the tutelage of the Spanish Inquisition. Under torture, people confessed to having made bargains with a totally fictitious entity called “Satan.”

How about Salem, Massachusetts? There too, under a delightful system called “crushing,” women falsely confessed that they were witches. False confessions came spewing forth just as they did from John McCain when he was tortured beyond all endurance.

This month, the United States Senate released its report on torture, and McCain’s conservative pals fought tooth and nail to cover up the illuminating document, which reveals the very things they claim America had every right to do. Have you ever heard of a politician, proud of his actions, hiding the light of his or her proud accomplishments under a basket? In this case they did. “What we did was right,” they say. “But we cannot let people KNOW about it or… they will think that America does these things.” Classic insane “logic.”

In response to this outbreak of wailing and gnashing of teeth, John McCain took to the senate floor and spoke in favor of releasing the torture report, and he also spoke about torture in general. I predict that McCain’s speech, his Stain On Our National Honor speech, will go down in history along side the Gettysburg Address and FDR’s Four Freedoms speech as one of the great orations in American History. If you have not heard this remarkable presentation, please take 12 minutes to do so now. McCain’s moving words, spoken from the heart and soul, will be remembered long after we are gone.

So we know that torture does not produce any workable results. In fact, we know that people died because of torture. Under the unimaginable pain and terrors of what the CIA calls “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques,” a craven and spineless euphemism if ever there was one, people popped out with any names they could think of to gain even momentary surcease from the agony inflicted upon them. Documentation shows that the CIA’s torture victims turned in innocent neighbors and acquaintances; just as people hundreds of years earlier claimed that they had seen neighbors with witches or the mythical “Satan.”

For some reason, in his festive season, all of this rang a very familiar bell with me. After a few moments of reflection, it hit me. This time of year, Christmas Time, millions of people enjoy a movie that actually shows the fallacy of torture as an effective tool. We all watch this film as a Holiday Ritual to celebrate the birth of a non-violent rabbi born two millennia ago. The movie is… “A Christmas Story,” and the torture victim who breaks and then names an innocent friend as the offender is none other than cute little Ralphie Parker.

Ralphie-Soap

We all remember the scene: At one point, innocently and out of sheer frustration, 9 year-old Ralphie says the word to end all words: he says “fuck” – only the filmmakers substitute the word “fudge,” just as the CIA says E.I.T. in place of “torture.” Hearing this attack on their values, Ralphie’s parents react with horror and shame and outrage! As the narration by grown Ralph relates it to the viewer, “I said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the “F-dash-dash-dash” word!” Ralphie immediately fears the repercussions, and even dreads a form of waterboarding! “It was all over,” grown Ralphie recalls in the narration. “I was dead. What would it be? The guillotine? Hanging? The chair? The rack? The Chinese water torture? Hmmph. Mere child’s play compared to what surely awaited me.”

In high dudgeon, Ralphie’s parents demand to know where he heard that vile word. Under interrogation, Ralphie finds himself in a bind. He has heard the word every day of his life from his father (who hypocritically claims one set of values while living another set). But Ralphie cannot tell his parents this without revealing their two-facedness. In this bind, Ralphie experiences pure separation anxiety, for without his parents a small child will die. But Ralphie cannot or will not say a bad word about his dad. This early childhood anxiety sometimes never leaves a person and it forms the root of all knee-jerk, unthinking, no exceptions patriotism.

And so, to get to the truth… Ralphie’s parents apply torture. Until he tells his parents what they want to hear, the little child is forced to sit in isolation with a bar of soap in his mouth. And not just any soap, mind you! The filmmakers go out of their way to impress upon the viewer that this is Lifebuoy Soap. We may not recall it now, but back in the 1940s, Lifebuoy was the very first deodorant soap on the market, and it was, at the time, made with Carbolic Acid. In order to force the truth out of him, Ralphie is poisoned by his parents. And they do it deliberately, for out of all the soaps available to them, they select this one – and Ralphie knows what awaits him for, reviewing the selection, he thinks, “Lifebuoy, on the other hand… YECCHH!” Clearly they had tried other soaps in the past and found this one works to their satisfaction.

The symptoms of Carbolic Acid poisoning are horrific. They include, but are not limited to: severe abdominal pain, bloody stools, diarrhea, nausea and bloody vomiting, low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, deep rapid breathing, wheezing.

Under this torture, Ralphie does as all torture victims do; as John McCain did and as the 17th-century nuns at Louden did: Ralphie lies. Under pressure, Ralphie names an innocent friend as the culprit just so the torture will stop. Ralphie’s “Father Grandier” turns out to be his friend Schwartz who promptly gets an undeserved beating so harsh and so revolting that even Ralphie’s mother cannot stand to hear it. As Schwartz’s screams mount in intensity, Mom simply hangs up the phone and turns away – as the conservatives of today are doing when they attempt to hide American torture.

And now, I cannot see Christmas Story without thinking of Schwartz and McCain and victims of torture through the ages. The victims and the sick, demented people who supported torture hover over this film.

History is unequivocal and explicit on these points: Torture is a crime. Torture is useless. Torture is Un-American. Torture is even cited by the bloodthirsty neocons as one of the crimes of the dreaded Sadaam Hussein, and they cited it often as a justification for their war of choice on the people of Iraq.

Out of fear and insane patriotism, America hypocritically did it exactly what we convicted WW2 soldiers for doing: waterboarding. We tried, convicted and hung enemy military for waterboarding Americans. The torturers died for what they did. Yet here, in the New America, now, today, people go on TV to say, as the feculent Dick Cheney did, “I’d do it again in a minute.” The words of an earlier CIA criminal, Howard Hunt, referring to Richard Nixon, genuinely apply to Cheney: “He’s the darkness… reaching out for the darkness.”

The whole world agrees that torture is a crime. The world agrees that torture provides no useful information. The world agrees that torturers should be put to an ignominious death. But Cheney would do it in a minute. Chris Mathews defends it. People who denounce it are treated like criminals. The only person in jail over this is the whistle-blower who revealed it all.

So thanks to Cheney and his criminal cohorts for turning the USA into the very people we were trained to hate: Sadaam Hussein and Leon Trotsky.

And thanks for ruining one of the sweetest and funniest movies to come down the pike in years.

——- 

Click Image To See This Book At AMAZON.COM

Click Image To See This Book At AMAZON.COM

All that was needed for the government to violate international law was… FEAR. Fear is the tyrant’s greatest tool. When people are scared they cede all power in their cowardice. And what is the media of today for if not to scare you? Just turn to the fake Ebola horror. Some Americans are STILL scared that they will die of this disease. Just as I hear from people who still fear the now gone USSR. Or they fear Cuba. Just this evening, I saw a middle-aged person saying on social media that America is moving “one step closer to communism.” Communism! It still scares many people. This is a demonstrably irrational fear that some people, warped by constant childhood brainwashing, now willingly submit themselves to.

In the early 20th Century, a book appeared which delved into the issue. That book is UNMASKING FEAR.
If anything, in the nearly 100 years since this book appeared, it has gotten worse. In the days before the invention of corporate controlled mass communications media, who could have envisioned people going into hysteria over a radio broadcast dramatizing a Martian invasion? When Orson Welles turned out the radio show The War of the Worlds in 1938, you can bet your bottom dollar that the power structure took notice. Here, at last, was the Shepherd’s Crook needed to keep people in line: Mass media!

That classic 1919 book is now reissued with new introductions (by me!) which put this important work in historical context. There is no reason to live your life in fear! Beware of those who would mislead you about this book! Fear is all they have and they will use fear to stop YOU from reading this liberating volume. The new introduction puts the book in its historical context and shows why it is still relevant today. CLICK HERE or on the image to see this book at Amazon.com

Catholics Have Agreed With Evolution For Decades

November 7, 2014

oddyssey

WIth all the media hype over this new pope uttering words of support for the Darwinian Evolution concept, one could be forgiven for popping the champagne corks to celebrate the end of the dark ages. One flaw: The ignorant mass of media “reporters” do not know that the Catholic church and its popes have spoken support for evolution since at least 1950. The media people, mostly actors who play journalists on TV shows designed to simulate a news broadcast, are confusing the protestant strain of fundamentalist with the Catholics, who have never taken the bible, which they stole from the Hebrews in order to invent their “backstory”, literally.
So why the movie poster?
Here is the citation awarded to the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey by the National Catholic Office For Motion Pictures back in 1968:

THE NATIONAL CATHOLIC OFFICE
FOR MOTION PICTURES
PRESENTS
ITS 1968 AWARD
BEST FILM OF EDUCATIONAL VALUE
TO
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
WHICH, BY THE SCOPE OF ITS IMAGINATIVE VISION OF MAN –
HIS ORIGINS,
HIS CREATIVE ENCOUNTER WITH THE UNIVERSE
AND HIS UNFATHOMED POTENTIAL FOR THE FUTURE –
IMMERSES THE EYE, THE EAR, AND THE INTUITIVE RESPONSES
OF THE VIEWER IN A UNIQUELY STIMULATING HUMAN EXPERIENCE

Did you catch that? They LAUDED the film’s vision of the origins of human beings. Fundamentalists would have burned down the theater for what Kubrick shows. But the Catholic film office CELEBRATES this depiction of not just natural evolution but… evolution stimulated by ETs!

And they are not alone in their understanding of science. As I noted several posts back, ancient Jewish Kabbalists set the age of the universe to just what the scientists of today say… only they did it CENTURIES AGO! See that post here AT THIS LINK.

So remember, just because someone is on television telling you things, do not take them at their word. Remember, they are merely performers who seek to get ahead, not in the news business, but in the entertainment business. And look into things for yourself.

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