Mr. Matrullo reflects on Reinhold Niebuhr. To see the mote in another's eye, but not the beam in your own is an ethical failing. For that matter so is being blind to the murders traditionally committed by those in your station in life. What is going on? Best not to see or say, lest you be the one to whom bad things happen in secret with nothing said and no appeal. How well Americans will adapt themselves to these blindnesses and insights remains to be seen. So far we are doing very well, I think, at least in the not seeing what is going on area of our social obligations. Philanthropy helps too in that regard being so polite and inoffensive. Leadership in selective attention is provided by our media. Who can blame us for not seeing what is really going on?
Last week I posted about how Washington DC lobbyists create an indirect quid-pro-quo to hide how legislation is influenced.
This week we read in the NY Times -- Behind Military Analysts, the Pentagon’s Hidden Hand -- how the Pentagon also uses this 5 step dance to influence public opinion for the Iraq War.
Perhaps Valdis will someday trace the links connecting philanthropy, nonprofit and forprofit boards seats, positions on regulatory bodies, membership in private clubs, and other ways a crust forms at the top. It might be instructive to frame it as "Advice to Self-Serving Public Servants," in the spirit of Swift's "Directions to Servants."
A theologian reflects on the death, whether by her own hand or a hidden hand, of DC Madame, Deborah Jeane Palfrey. A candelight vigil? If so where? Wear ropes around our necks? Could we call for a Truth and Reconciliation Council, and let all who have done ill in secret to step forward and, no matter how heinous the act, be forgiven and reconciled with their fellow citizens?
A federal jury convicted Palfrey on April 15 of running a prostitution service that catered to members of Washington's political elite, including Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican. She was convicted of money laundering, using the mail for illegal purposes and racketeering.
<Palfrey>wrote in August 1991 following an attempt to bring her to trial,"If taken into custody, my physical safety and most probably my very life would be jeopardized, rape, beating, maiming, disfigurement and more than likely murder disguised in the form of just another jailhouse accident or suicide would await me," said Palfrey in a handwritten letter to the judge accusing the San Diego police vice squad of having a vendetta against her.
"No I'm not planning to commit suicide," Palfrey told The Alex Jones Show on her last appearance. She also said "that she was at risk of being killed and that authorities would make it look like suicide" and that "if she was found dead it would be murder." "I'm planning on going into court and defending myself vigorously and exposing the government," she said.
On May 1, 2008 Palfrey died in Tarpon Springs, Florida, from what authorities have called as suicide. She was staying with her mother at the time. Palfrey's body was found in a small storage shed attached to her mother's mobile home. Tarpon Springs police reported finding handwritten suicide notes near the body.
During several recent appearances on The Alex Jones Show, Palfrey also said that she was at risk of being killed and that authorities would make it look like suicide. She made it clear that she was not suicidal and if she was found dead it would be murder.
Palfrey had threatened to release the names of well-known clients of her upscale call girl ring in the nation's capitol, and had indicated that Dick Cheney may be one of them.
Sexual transgressions are pretty serious in a country as moral as ours. Abuse of power, financial fraud, betrayal of the public trust, all that is bad too. If I had the power to whack people who could document all the things I do wrong, and if I could operate in secret, using skilled operatives loyal to me, I might leave a trail of suicides up and down Main Street. Let it be a lesson to all who might out me. Of course that is just me. And, I have no such power. I am just daydreaming about the world I might want, if I could be King for a Day. Philanthropy is ok, in creating realms of power and influence, but I would rather be a Tyrant. Why build the world we want bit by bit when we could seize it by fraud and force? However she died, may Deborah Jeane Palfrey rest in peace. We cannot cure what we don't understand and a lot of stuff we probably would not want to understand. Better, really, to keep it positive.
I run a legitimate giving blog here, as a front for a legitimate Wealth Bondage Bordello, serving the Wealthy in every aspect of their lives, but from time to time I like to give a little advice to those who run the big underground economy, the black market in drugs, weapons, off budget government slush funds, financial fraud, and the like, since that is what 30% of the economy, or something, and a big part of philanthropy, presumably? Anyway, Holy Cards may be the money laundering tool of choice, a global Maytag. They are hard to trace, easily portable, change hands on a black market, and can easily be carried about as an alternative currency, when deals on the street, in the Board Room, in a foundation, or at the highest level of government go down. What cop, DEA agent, CIA agent, or Homeland Security agent is going to bust you for dealing Holy Cards? See AKMA for the latest prices. Who would suspect a gentle theologian like that of being the kingpin of an international money laundering cartel? Legitimizing wealth is a big business. Who better than an Episcopalian theologian dealing Holy Cards out of the Princeton University Library?