Friday, September 10, 2004

NO TAX EXEMPTIONS FOR PEDOPHILES!!



August 5th, 2004

Senator Dianne Feinstein
United States Senate
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Senator Barbara Boxer
United States Senate
112 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Representative Nancy Pelosi
United States House of Representatives
450 Golden Gate Avenue, # 145378
San Francisco, California 94102

Honorable Senators Feinstein & Boxer, and Honorable Representative Pelosi: (California's Angels)

Last February 23, my friend Patrick McSorley died alone in his Boston apartment, at the young age of just 29. Patrick had spent the last three years of his life battling a heroin addiction that he just could not kick, which eventually killed him!

"The memories of what had happened to Patrick as a child, he had to battle with every day," a childhood friend of Paul's mentioned to me on the phone right before his funeral. "He would do almost anything to escape the pain that those memories brought him."

As a 12 year-old boy, Patrick McSorley had agreed to go out for an ice cream with Father John J. Geoghan, who had offered his comfort and trust ... as Patrick struggled to understand why his father had just committed suicide. Instead of comfort, Father John Geoghan molested my friend in backseat of his car.

Patrick McSorley was just one (1) of more than 130 victims of this serial predator named Father Geoghan. This Roman Catholic priest had been moved eight (8) separate times... from one parish to next parish... for more than two decades, all while the Church's leaders tried to silenced the accusers. Geoghan was eventually defrocked, but only after his arrest in 1998 for molesting a 10 year old boy. He was eventually sent to prison, where true justice was finally administered.

Patrick McSorley was one of the first sexual abuse victims to go public with his story; he appeared at several news conferences and he became a very vocal critic of how the Boston Archdiocese handled its sexually abusive priests. Although the church knew Father John Geoghan was a pedophile, Catholic authorities shuffled him from parish to parish whenever sexual allegations were reported. Almost all of Geoghan's victims were grammar school boys; one was only 4 years old.

Ironically, the same day that Patrick McSorley's young body was laid to rest in a small Massachusetts cemetery -- American Catholic Church officials had convened a press conference in an effort to bury the whole abuse scandal.

However, this scandal would not be as easy to bury....as so many of the other Church scandals have been. The John Jay College of Law study, which was commissioned by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, estimated that sexual abuse had been committed by 4,392 priests against 0,667 children, between 1950 and 2002:

SOME CHURCH SEX SCANDAL FACTS:

* Catholic priests in 95% of all UP.S. dioceses, have been accused of abuse, that is 1 in every 10 priests ordained in 1970.

* Most allegations of abuse were never reported to police by Church bishops--and 95% of the priests were and will never be charged with a crime.

* Nearly 30% of the victims were abused for two to four years, while an additional 10% were abused for up to nine years.

* 149 priests--were brutal serial pedophiles--abusing 2,960, or (27%) of all the known Church sexual abuse victims.

Californians must now bear witness to a whole new phase of these Church sex abuse proceedings, as more than 800 victims from Los Angeles Archdiocese and 140 victims from the San Deigo diocese begin to finally have their own day in court.

Many California Catholics are now struggling with many of their own questions, concerning what involvement (or knowledge) Cardinal Roger Mahony (Los Angeles Archdiocese) and Archbishop William Levada(San Francisco Archdiocese) had about the current sexual abuse scandal. Additionally, what did Archbishop William Levada know about the scandals that just forced his former Portland diocese into bankruptcy.

So the question I guess we all now forced to ask ourselves is, "Does the Catholic Church attract child sexual predator, or does it mold them?" Somehow, after with the California Archioceses now looking at paying out $1.5 to $2.25 billion in legal settlements here, I find myself perplexed by the fact that some people still find this to be an unanswerable riddle.

I find myself now being reminded of a quote from the great British scholar Lord Acton, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts.....ABSOLUTELY."

The unaccountable power that the US Catholic Church now enjoys, may not be exactly absolute... but it is pretty darn close. It appears that the US Church's hierarchy is in fact not accountable to anybody at all, as Cardinal Law is still today a free man.

Catholics don't get to elect their bishops, the Pope in Rome appoints them himself. Catholics also don't get to elect their Popes. A Pope serves for his life, and when he dies his successor is elected by the "College of Cardinals," a relatively small group of elite bishops. The term princes of the Church" still has much real meaning here.

If the members of the United States Congress and the Bush Administration are truly concerned about "Family Values," and protecting the "Family," then why hasn't Congress already stripped the US Catholic Church of their tax free status? More importantly, why has law enforcement not convicted all of the members of the Church, who were involved with these disgusting acts and send them to jail!

Instead, today the United States Congress has chosen to spend millions of taxpayer dollars, and a considerable amount of time, trying to stripe the civil rights of tax paying and consenting American adults.

So there you have it, a non taxpaying organization calling itself a religion of God (God would not turn his back on any His children), has knowingly been robbing the innocence of thousands of American children. Children just like my friend Patrick McSorley and the United States Congress has done NOTHING to end it! Instead it has chosen to once again allow the Church to seek out the homosexuals, and to allowed them to place the weight of the world's problems on shoulders of the LGBT community.

Homosexual or Heterosexual... what does it really matter? United States laws are very clear on this matter, if you committed sex crime against a child(ren) or you were an accessory (before or after the fact) to a sexual crime against a child(ren), and you failed to report it...then you go to jail!

Can there be ANY greater crime in this world, than a sexual crime against a child? I personally do not believe that there is any greater crime, and therefore I say just locked them ALL up, (homosexual, heterosexual or pedophile) and then just simply throw away the keys!

I thank you for time on this very important issue, and I also wanted to thank each of you, for your of your support in the defeat of the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Sincerely,

Aaron E, Baldwin
San Francisco, CA 94114-2218

THE EFFECTS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

Shortly after I attended our company monthly sales meeting on October 3rd 2001, I decided to venture downtown and so I could purchase some much needed memory for my laptop. I had been struggling to restore my laptop, since it had been hit by the “Nimba” worm virus the previous week.

So I stopped by a downtown computer shop, that just a bit smaller than the average American's living room. As I entered the front door of the store, I saw an obviously Middle Eastern man sitting behind the counter and talking on the phone. He spoke with a very heavy accent; however, I could not quite place its origins. I noticed that he somehow seemed unusually nervous and attentive. Then I heard him say, "Excuse me please, Sir. I will be with you in just one more minute."

As I was in no big hurry, so just continued to browse through the stores’ very neatly organized shelves. Then a minute or two later, he again apologized and said that he was almost finished.

Then I began to wonder, "why is he so obviously concerned about me...do I looked like I am pissed off or mad?"

Suddenly I heard the tone of his voice change, as then I heard him say, "Yes, I love you. I love you very much. It is OK. Everything will be just fine. I love you too. Please take care of yourself. Good night my love. Remember, I do love you." Then he set the phone down and apologized...yet again. "I am so sorry to keep you waiting, Sir. That was a very important long distance call that I had to take."

I said to him, "I should imagine so, as you just said good night and it is not yet even Noon here in San Francisco.”Really, Sir it was no trouble at all." I said.

Once we had determined the type of memory that my laptop required, he produced a small Mylar envelope with a 128 MB RAM module inside. He then asked me for $68 -- for an upgrade that I remembered paying several hundred dollars for… not long ago. So I thanked him for his low price, and then complimented him on how nice and clean his store was.

"We offer low prices to our customers, so they can still get what they need right away," he said, explaining that people are always in a hurry, but don't want to spend much money downtown." He was so polite, it was kind of embarrassing me. Then, I suddenly understood why this man was being so polite. I smiled and said to him, is has been a very difficult couple of weeks to be a Middle Easterner in America, hasn't it?"let out a sigh of relief and he said, "Yes, Yes it has...so very much so."

I asked him where he was originally from, and suddenly the fear came back into his eyes. Then, all in one quick breath he blurted out, "Jordan. I came here from Jordan, but I am a Catholic and I have now been in American for 22 years now and I am also an American citizen."

Suddenly, my heart sank as I remembered his telephone call. I knew the answer, before I even asked him if his earlier telephone call had been from Jordan.

"Yes," he replied, "That was my new wife and she is in Jordan right now, she is very much afraid. As I am a US citizen and we are now married, she was able to get her papers from the American Embassy last week. However, now she can not leave Jordan, because there are currently no flights to America. They have also now closed the American Embassy, and maybe indefinitely. She is afraid she will now be stuck there and that something bad will happen to me. I am worried about this too."

He then went on to explain how afraid she was about returning to America. She worries about the growing hatred in the hearts of many Americans, which she hears about on the television. She has read in the newspapers about the wave of hate crimes being committed against Middle Eastern Americans, over these last two week. Then, in a kind of quiet desperation, he said to me "I’m an American citizen and I am a Catholic. I believe in Jesus Christ and I go to church every Sunday."

He went on to say, Most Jordanians are deeply saddened by what happened in here in America. Many of my Muslim friends in America are also outraged, as well as afraid." Then he added, “The people who these horrible things are a very extreme and angry sect of people and they have very little support in Jordan. Most people there do not support any kind of terrorism. People here do not believe this, but most Catholics and Muslims that I know are very peaceful."

We continued on sharing our mutual concerns about current state of the World and wondering what might happen next. Then I finally shook this troubled American's hand and as I was about to leave the store, I turned and said, "I will pray that your wife has a safe journey home. Good luck to you both and I hope you both have a wonderful life together, here in America." He thanked me and walked to the front of the store and then shook my hand once again, as I opened the door.

As I began walking down Market Street, I felt my eyes suddenly filling up with tears. I was staring across the street, at a little boy who was selling hand-sized American flags on the sidewalk. Then tears really started to run down my face. In my mind, I was suddenly young boy again. I was standing beside my school desk and with my right hand placed upon my heart, as I said "One nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all."

Then I remembered how when I as a young child, how I became troubled whenever I read or heard about World War II. I would be horrified as I read or saw photos of what had happened to so millions of innocent people. Many of those innocent murdered Jewish people, still haunted me in my dreams. Then I thought how they had also been proud citizens and shopkeepers. Much like that Jordanian man had been.

Then I thought about a conversation, from the previous weekend, where one of my friends had said to me, "we should no longer trust any Middle Easterner people, because they might be sleeper terrorist. After September 11th, we can no longer take that chance. Even if means we have to arrest them all and put them in jail."

As I continued to look down Market Street, I suddenly felt 225 years of American history reached out and shake me. As I then thought to myself, "is the land of the free and the home of the brave now being forced into watching everything that it has stood for… erode away in just two (2) short weeks?”

"We hold these truths to be self-evident," I thought to myself, as I quietly mouthed the words to myself. "That all men are created equal” and by holding these truths in our hearts, we become who we are... as human beings and as Americans.

What about you? Are you an American citizen? If you are, then be sure that you are living as American.

In fact, I now have challenge for you. Please see if you can follow through with it. Go and find the nearest American flag, then put your hand on your heart and renew your vow to America.

”I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL."

That is what I did that day, as I walking past the San Francisco Courthouse, on my way home.

Copyright 2001

Guiding Them Home
Posted by Hello

FOREVER CHANGED BY SEPTEMBER 11TH!

I left New York City on Sunday, September 9th, 2001… on a United Airlines Boeing 757 bound for San Francisco. Several days later, four identical planes were hijacked and killed 43 of my friends, destroyed two icons of the city that was my home for the most powerful years of my life to date and forced me more powerfully than ever before to understand the extraordinarily beautiful life that I have created for myself. I have no means of accurately assessing the full impact that these events will have on my life at this time. By sharing what I have written here, I hope to forever transform the possibilities that exist in your life and mine.

Consider September 11th as a challenge to become the hijackers of your own life. Seize the controls and demand that your journey take you to extraordinarily beautiful places, that are filled with uniquely human joy and great personal triumph. Because I declare that those terrorists, who hijacked four airplanes and used them for the sole purpose of kill thousands of unprepared and innocent human civilians; dedicated their lives to nothing more than the possibility of massive death and destruction without any meaning! By not openly declaring the purpose for their actions, to the entire world, they have taught us only one thing....how tragic a life is when it stands for nothing at all!

I further declare that they were not martyrs, but fools! Fools who wasted the most precious gift of all, and for nothing more than little attention. I have chosen to fill the emptiness that this cowardly deeds left in my life, with my dreams and hopes of a gentle and more humane world for our future. A world where person that I come into contact with feels empowered to lead extraordinary life, and that we all learn to empower others to do so as well.

CAN WE BE TAUGHT?

When will humans ever learn, that we will never be able to prevent acts of prejudice and violence? Prejudice and violence are as much a part of being humans as compassion and love. Every time a tragedy of the magnitude of those attacks occurs, we all stop and lament that the world will never be the same again. However, much of humanity exists with a fundamental denial... of the inescapable truth that; nothing, in all of existence, has ever remained the same… across even the smallest fractional increment of time.

We create constant pain for ourselves, because we choose to live in this denial. An essential part of mourning the loss of what we once had is that we must to embrace what we still have. We must look forward with hope to what has been made possible for our future, because of what we have learned and lost in our past.

Some we believe that someday we can put an end to war, that someday there will be no more pain and suffering to endure. Yet, these now appear to be inextricable parts of the very cycle of life itself. Life seems to require the occasional appearance of these random events, in order for life to exist at all. The very stability of the thing that we call life, is now dependent on the existence of many random instabilities. Yet every time there is significant and simultaneous change, particularly when the loss of many lives occurs in a single instant, (like natural disasters or the bombing of Pearl Harbor) we chose to mourn the change and we sometimes forget to embrace it as well. It is often an essential part of life itself and often a source of future growth.

In times like these, we struggle with the nature of these truths. We cannot easily accept things that come into existence without an easily assignable meaning. We fear that which is violent and ugly, yet much of what is beautiful about being humans, often arises out of that which is not beautiful in any way. This yin-yan cycle is the way all things work. It has always been so and it probably always will be.

Why did those human beings hijack four airplanes and then crash them? Why were these people such savages? Why must there be such violence in our world? Why did all of these people, who I loved so much, have to die on that day? Why was it happening to me? Why did it have to happen then? Why them? Why us? Why else? Why not?

We will never understand, comprehend, explain, prevent or alter the existence of such tragedies, like the one that took thousands of innocent lives that day. It is simply because it did.

It is said that every child falls from a state of grace and innocence, the moment when it first discovers that their emotions are linked to events in the world that surrounds them. Life is forever altered the very first time that a child asks its mother the question, Why? Why is it that each and every one of us refuses to listen and just accept what our mothers tell us? When they find their own way of telling us... in their own special ways, that sometimes “The answer is simply "Because.”

To my Mother I can finally say thank you, because I finally understand what you meant that first you said, “It is simply because it is"

It is said that “two wrongs do not make a right,” and I would say that is 100% correct. Because I believe that for every two (2) wrongs that come into existence, they are often viewed to two rights by others. For each thing that exists in this world as a wrong for one, normally exists as right for another and visa versa. Once again the ancient Chinese yin - yan emerges as the icon for life. However, can it ever be said, that taking something as precious as a human life…. could ever be right for another?

In their own minds, those men who America is today calling "terrorists” were in their minds very much right and justified in their actions… as they each believed that Americans where evil. They sacrificed their own lives, in the name of their own truths and the meanings they had created for themselves.

Many Americans appear to believe that American Government is right and justified in what its now doing, as a means of retaliation. As we now seeks out and these "terrorists" and their "weapons of mass destruction"....killing some innocent civilians in the process. Some now also call the individuals among us, who have given their lives in this pursuit.... a "war hero". Why, because they have given their lives to protect that which the American Government believes to be good and just. However, can a hero arise out of such death and destruction?

I urge you to take a stand for whoever you are, and.to live your life as if each minute were your last, because we are reminded in times like these that it may very well be. So live your life with no regrets, and die leaving behind a world that will be forever better....simply because you were here. This, is how I have chosen to manage the tragedies that were and still are September the 11th, 2001.