"In my lifetime we've gone from Eisenhower to George W. Bush.
If this is evolution, I believe within twelve years we'll be voting for plants." - Lewis Black
If we detain people without hearings, wiretap our own citizens, and torture people on mere suspicions, the terrorists have won, because we have given up everything our country has stood for.
Um ... Looks like we have given up everything our country has stood for.
Of Monsters And Saints
As we all know by now ... Father Lawrence Murphy was accused of molesting at least 200 boys at a Wisconsin school for the deaf. This monster preyed upon children for 24 years. His horrendous crimes were covered up by school personnel and his immediate church superiors all the way up to Cardinal Joseph Alois Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.
For some reason the Catholic Church’s protocols in matters of child rape by priests do not include turning the predator over to the police. They are handled instead by a department at the Vatican called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
In 1996 Milwaukee's archbishop, Rembert G. Weakland, wrote to Cardinal Ratzinger, who at the time was the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, alerting the CDF that Murphy had been accused of molesting children in the confession booth. It took the Vatican office eight months to respond to his letter.
In January 1998 Murphy wrote to Cardinal Ratzinger, “I am seventy-two years of age, your Eminence, and am in poor health. I have just recently suffered another stroke which has left me in a weakened state. I have followed all the directives of both Archbishop Cousins and now Archbishop Weakland. I have repented of any of my past transgressions, and have been living peaceably in northern Wisconsin for twenty-four years. I simply want to live out the time that I have left in the dignity of my priesthood. I ask your kind assistance in this matter."
Murphy’s letter to Cardinal Ratzinger was not a plea to avoid being turned over to the police. He didn’t want to be kicked out of the priesthood. When Murphy died on August 21, 1998 Milwaukee Archbishop Weakland wrote to the Vatican to suggest closing the case.
Murphy was never indicted, tried, or convicted of any crime. Nor were any of his enablers.
Under Wisconsin law a person accused and convicted for having sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a person who has not attained the age of 13 years is guilty of first-degree sexual assault of a minor child, a Class B felony.
For a Class B Felony, the penalty is imprisonment up to 60 years; however, for a repeat offender the term of imprisonment may increase up to 2 years with prior misdemeanor convictions, and up to 6 years with a prior felony conviction.
A person accused and convicted for having sexual contact or sexual intercourse with a person who has attained the age of 13 years, but has not attained the age of 16 years is guilty of second-degree sexual assault of a minor child, a Class C felony.
For a Class C Felony, the penalty is a fine of up to $100,000, or imprisonment of up to 40 years, or both; however, for a repeat offender, the term of imprisonment may increase up to 2 years with prior misdemeanor convictions, and up to 6 years with a prior felony conviction.
Failure To Act To Prevent Child Sexual Assault
If a person who is responsible for the welfare of a minor child who is under the age of 16 years knows that another person intends to have, is having, or has had sexual intercourse or sexual contact with the minor child fails to act to prevent the intercourse or sexual contact from occurring or being repeated, then the caregiver may be charged with failure to act to prevent a sexual assault upon a child. Failure to act to prevent child sexual assault is a Class F felony.
For a Class F Felony, the penalty is a fine of up to $25,000, or imprisonment of up to 12-1/2 years, or both; however, for a repeat offender, the term of imprisonment may increase up to 2 years with prior misdemeanor convictions, and up to 6 years with a prior felony conviction.
The laws and the penalties for breaking the law are clear. Murphy, if tried and convicted, would have died in prison. Everyone who knew of his crimes and did nothing would have served serious time.
The Catholic Church is above the law when it comes to sex crimes. Their priests can brutalize children with impunity for decades … but the Church does not offer sanctuary to the priests who oppose the actions of our government when it runs amok and brutalizes whole nations.
Two Catholic priests, the Berrigan brothers, Daniel and Phillip, were for a time on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list for committing acts of vandalism including destroying government property. Along with Trappist monk Thomas Merton., they founded an interfaith coalition against the Vietnam War, and wrote letters to major newspapers arguing for an end to the war. In 1967, Phillip Berrigan was arrested for non-violent protest and sentenced to six years in prison.
Daniel and Phillip, with seven other Catholic protesters, destroyed 378 draft files with home made napalm in the parking lot of the Catonsville, Maryland draft board on May 17, 1968. The Catonsville Nine released this statement, “We confront the Roman Catholic Church, other Christian bodies, and the synagogues of America with their silence and cowardice in the face of our country's crimes. We are convinced that the religious bureaucracy in this country is racist, is an accomplice in this war, and is hostile to the poor.”
The Berrigans were arrested and sentenced to three years. Both brothers went into hiding but were eventually apprehended by the FBI and sent to prison.
Thus endeth today’s lesson regarding The Hypocrisy of The Catholic Church.
I went to Catholic schools for 12 years. The worst thing that happened to me was … I was taught religious gibberish. I stopped being a practicing Catholic when I was 13. I continued to go through the motions until I left home 3 years later. From then on … all Sundays were once again ... mine. In a sense I don’t understand the huge uproar about What Should Happen To The Church do regarding the unfolding world-wide sex scandals.
It should be easy.
Impanel Grand Juries. Subpoena, and if necessary, extradite all involved parties so they can give testimony. If there is enough evidence for indictments … prosecute. If convicted … the sentences handed down will be served. Church property should be seized, sold, and reparations made to the thousands upon thousands of victims. If done properly, by the end of the process … Catholic Church Inc. should no longer exist. But the Vatican has virtually an unlimited amount of money to spend on delaying accountability. The poor will continue to starve … the physical and psychological wounds inflicted by the pedophiles will go untreated … and the guilty shall be sheltered by The Church.
If nothing else Lawrence Murphy’s body should be dug up, the priestly collar ripped from his rotted throat, and the carcass boxed up and sent to the Pope with the message, “Enclosed you will find one of your ‘Men of God.’ You didn’t want to deal with him when he was alive so here are his bones. May his ghost and the anguished cries of the hundreds of children he preyed upon hound you to the grave.”
-- Looking For News? --
My Favorite(?) Excerpt
The discrepancy between the kind of society many Germans thought they were building and the reality of the horror of the Third Reich presents one of the most intriguing questions of our age. How could Fascism -- have happened in a modern, industrialized, educated nation?
Click here for the excerpt from They Thought They Were Free, The Germans, 1938-45 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955) by Milton Mayer
Books I Give To People I Know and Maybe They'll Still Talk To Me But Probably Won't
Deep Green Resistance - Strategy to Save the Planet
Aric McBay, Lierre Keith, and Derrick Jensen
For years, Derrick Jensen has asked his audiences, “Do you think this culture will undergo a voluntary transformation to a sane and sustainable way of life?” No one ever says yes.
Deep Green Resistance starts where the environmental movement leaves off: industrial civilization is incompatible with life. Technology can’t fix it, and shopping—no matter how green—won’t stop it. To save this planet, we need a serious resistance movement that can bring down the industrial economy. Deep Green Resistance evaluates strategic options for resistance, from nonviolence to guerrilla warfare, and the conditions required for those options to be successful.
Clicking on the book links to Deep Green Resistance website.
The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder
by Vincent Bugliosi
"I hope that at some time in the near future a courageous U.S. attorney general, U.S. attorney, state attorney general, or district attorney in America who is committed to the rule of law and who has dedicated his career to enforcing the law fairly against all who, big or small, violate it, will hear the cries for justice from the graves of the thousands upon thousands of men, women, and children who had their lives violently cut short because of the lies of a man who smiled through it all. And that, with a sense of uncompromising righteousness, he will take the ample case I have laid out in this book before an American jury to let them decide whether George W Bush is guilty or not guilty of murder, and if so, what his punishment should be.
Even if this doesn't happen and what I have said in this book receives all the attention of a new fly in the forest, I do know that someone had to say what is written on the pages of this book."
From The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder by Vincent Bugliosi, page 168.
Clicking on the book links to the book's website.
Vincent Bugliosi testifying before the House Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Congress.
Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America
by Russ Baker
How did Bush happen? How did George W. Bush, of all people, rise to the most powerful position in the world? This simple question sparked a five-year investigative odyssey by Russ Baker. What he found will force us to rethink virtually everything we thought we knew about the Bush family and its role in shaping recent American history.
In FAMILY OF SECRETS, Baker reveals that Bush, the people around him, and his policies are but an extreme, very public manifestation of what his family and its circle have always been about: an interlocking web of covert and overt machinations on behalf of a small cluster of elites-social, financial, industrial, military, intelligence-that enabled the Bush dynasty and propelled George W. Bush to the top.
Clicking on the book links to the Powell's Books online store.
Rules for Radicals
by Saul D Alinsky
"What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away."
In 1971, Saul Alinsky wrote an entertaining classic on grassroots organizing titled Rules for Radicals.
For Alinsky, organizing is the process of highlighting what is wrong and convincing people they can actually do something about it.
Clicking on the book links to the author's website.
The End of America: Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot
by Naomi Wolf
In a stunning indictment of the Bush administration and Congress, best-selling author Naomi Wolf lays out her case for saving American democracy. In authoritative research and documentation Wolf explains how events of the last six years parallel steps taken in the early years of the 20th century’s worst dictatorships such as Germany, Russia, China, and Chile.
Clicking on the book links to the publisher's website.
As Basil Fawlty keenly observed: but ... this is no joke.
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
by Naomi Klein
Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine advances a truly unnerving argument: historically, while people were reeling from natural disasters, wars and economic upheavals, savvy politicians and industry leaders nefariously implemented policies that would never have passed during less muddled times. As Klein demonstrates, this reprehensible game of bait-and-switch isn't just some relic from the bad old days. It's alive and well in contemporary society, and coming soon to a disaster area near you.
Clicking on the book links to the author's website.
If you like Sean, Rush, Bill-O, Savage, and dutifully watch Fox ... You'll hate listening to Mike. I listen every day.
"Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections" As the 2008 presidential elections draw near and disillusioned voters are still reeling from the election fraud scandals of 2004 and 2006, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker David Earnhardt takes a logical and factual look at just how easy it is to alter election results and undermine the integrity of the entire democratic process. By speaking with a series of renowned computer programmers, journalists, statisticians, and even seasoned election officials, chilling proof that the people may not be guiding the direction of our country after all. Click here to go to the "Uncounted" website.
"Iraq For Sale" An eye-opening exposé of the war profiteering companies raking in billions of dollars from the war, click here to go to the "Iraq For Sale" website.
"War Made Easy" exposes a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq. Click here to go to the "War Made Easy" website.