Withdraw Your Own Money? 15 Months in Jail.

The government stopped printing bills larger than $100 in 1945 and hasn't issued any since 1969. This one was found in a safe deposit box. It features Lincoln's Treasury Secretary, Salmon P. Chase, and is kept in the New York corporate office of the bank that bears his name.

The government stopped printing bills larger than $100 in 1945 and hasn’t issued any since 1969. This one was found in a safe deposit box. It features Lincoln’s Treasury Secretary, Salmon P. Chase, and is kept in the New York corporate office of the bank that bears his name.

I could not agree more with this article from The American Thinker. It was brave and needed to be said.


The Troubling Prosecution of Dennis Hastert
April 29, 2016 By Michael Filozof

I don’t like Dennis Hastert. During his tenure as Speaker of the House, my attitude toward him was, more or less, “Meh.” Hastert is undoubtedly the pervert and sexual predator he is accused of being – he admitted so in court. In all probability, he got exactly what he deserved when he was sentenced to prison Wednesday.

That being said, I am troubled by the way Hastert was prosecuted. It seems to me that the government targeted Hastert because he was a prominent politician and, in so doing, threw the constitutional rights of criminal defendants out the window.

Hastert was accused of numerous incidents of homosexual contact with teenage boys over forty years ago, when he was a high school wrestling coach in Illinois. Hastert was never charged with those alleged crimes, because the statute of limitations for prosecuting him expired.

Hastert was instead indicted for violating federal banking law when he tried to pay one individual to keep quiet about the alleged abuse. The crime of “structuring” is utterly bizarre: if you take $10,000 cash out of your own bank account, the bank must report it to the federal government. If, however, you take $9,999 out, you will be accused of “structuring” the transaction to avoid the $10,000 reporting requirement.

In other words, the $10,000 number for reporting to the government that you took your own cash out of your own bank account isn’t really the true number at all; whenever the government thinks you are “structuring” by taking out less, they will nail you for that anyway. It’s like getting a ticket from a cop for driving below the speed limit because you were trying to avoid a speeding ticket. It’s one of the most questionable prosecutions I’ve ever heard of.

But at Hastert’s sentencing, both the federal prosecutor and the judge made clear that the case was really about the sexual allegations, not the banking issue. Hastert was sentenced to fifteen months – more than double the six months recommended by federal sentencing guidelines. U.S. district judge Thomas Durkin called Hastert “a ‘serial child molester,’ and ignor[ed] the defense’s request for no prison time. ‘Some conduct is unforgivable no matter how old it is,’ Durkin told Hastert in a lengthy statement at the sentencing.”

The judge’s statement constitutes a serious problem in my view. Child molestation is not a federal crime; it’s a state-level crime. Judge Durkin had no business sentencing Hastert in federal court for state-level crimes for which the Illinois statute of limitations had expired and for which Hastert never stood trial. But that’s essentially what he did.

The accuser whom Hastert was trying to pay off remained anonymous. Why? In court documents, he is known as “Individual A.” Individual A received over a million dollars from Hastert. Did he pay income taxes on the money? Did he report the cash payments he received in excess of $10,000 to the government? If not, shouldn’t he be charged with tax evasion and failure to report cash transactions? What about blackmail? (In yet another strange twist, the Associated Press reports that “on Monday, Individual A filed a lawsuit saying he’s been paid only about half of the money and is still owed $1.8 million.”)

Other accusers who had not been paid off stepped forward at the sentencing – including the sister of a man who died from AIDS 21 years ago in 1995. “Stephen Reinboldt was named by prosecutors, who cited his sister, Jolene Burdge[.] … She told prosecutors Reinboldt’s first homosexual experience was with Hastert[.]” Is Burdge accusing Hastert of “turning” her brother gay? (I thought the gay lobby tells us we’re “born that way.”)

Even if Burdge’s allegations are true – which cannot be proven – what do they have to do with a sentencing in a federal banking case? Shouldn’t the judge have thrown out such hearsay? And doesn’t the testimony of relatives of long-dead “accusers” violate the Sixth Amendment’s right of a defendant to “be confronted with the witnesses against him”?

This whole matter stinks to high heaven. It’s pretty clear that the prosecution targeted Hastert because of his political status as a high-ranking Republican. Hastert may well have deserved it – and indeed, he cooperated with the prosecution by pleading guilty.

But the fact remains that other politicians – liberals, gays, and Democrats – have avoided criminal prosecution, while the feds threw the book at Hastert for things they didn’t even really have jurisdiction over. Democratic rep. Gerry Studds had a homosexual relationship with a 17-year-old boy in 1983. He was censured by the House but subsequently re-elected and regarded as a gay icon for being the first openly gay congressman. Openly gay Democrat Barney Frank lived with a gay prostitute in the 1980s and was reprimanded by the House. He, too, was re-elected and regarded as a gay pioneer.

Why didn’t federal prosecutors pursue Studds and Frank on flimsy unrelated charges? Why hasn’t Hillary Clinton been charged with mishandling classified information, like Gen. David Petraeus – or sent to prison, like Bradley (ahem – “Chelsea”) Manning? Why did Sen. Ted Kennedy get no jail time for killing Mary Jo Kopechne while driving drunk at Chappaquiddick – while Hastert will do fifteen months for withdrawing his own money from his own bank account? And what about the rape allegations against Bill Clinton?

The answer is clear: the criminal justice system isn’t neutral; it’s politicized. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, when the left was the counterculture, leftists were quite concerned with the criminal defense of Communists, hippies, draft evaders, pornographers, gays, civil rights marchers, and the like. Today, the left is politically ascendant and all too happy to stand idly by or be complicit in the prosecution of its Republican and conservative political opponents – e.g., Scooter Libby, Tom Delay, Rick Perry, and Dinesh D’Souza. Legions of liberal lawyers are willing to defend minority drug dealers and murderers – was none of them willing to question the prosecution of Hastert? Why did the gay lobby not speak out on his behalf?

The Constitution requires that the government must prosecute people fairly and abide by the letter and the intent of the law. That means that sometimes, people who morally deserve punishment will legally get off without it (such as O.J. Simpson).

Hastert is unquestionably a bad guy to defend. But the object here isn’t to defend Hastert; it’s to criticize the government. In the Hastert case, the government seems to have railroaded a guilty man. But if they can railroad Hastert, they can railroad anybody – including you and me.


Bricks & Glass & Cloistered Corruption

Okay… Mike and I get married in my childhood parish, St. Frances, on September 11th (1993).  It was 8 years before the attacks but there you go.

Then, 3 years after the attacks, the church closes down (not due to the attacks but to the headlines that broke just after the millennium that dozens and dozens of priest had, for decades, been raping hundreds of little boys, helped by church who – helpfully – moved them from parish to parish for fresh ass, I mean, to hide the problem.  Parenthetically, my childhood priest was one of them. How do we know? The Boston Herald was kind enough to print his picture on their front page.).

Now St. Frances is on the home page of Fox News – one of the world’s most widely seen home pages – because life-long congregants have been keeping 24 hour vigil – for 10 straight years – trying to keep the Diocese from selling it off to pay for the sex crimes of their priests.

Blue-hairs sleeping on hard wooden pews for ten years to fight against a bunch of corrupt, cloistered politicians operating under the color of God. Ya gotta love ’em.

But I’m thinking a walk in the woods and contemplating the Glory of God might be the way to go… Fighting over a building with a bureaucracy which knowingly aided and abetted f*cking little boys for decades by simply shuffling them off to other parishes doesn’t seem to me to be worth it, but, whatever.  I get it.  I get the good part.  What these folks, so much like my lovely mother, see when the see “the church.”  And I do, too.  I see the millions they’ve helped with their good, charitable works.  I do.  But I just can’t be a part of a hierarchy that effectively endorses a grown man sticking his erect penis into the anus of a 10 year old boy.

Then, to pay for it, to pay for their decades of knowingly shuffling boy-diddling priests from parish to parish so they could diddle some more, telling little old ladies who sleep on a wooden church pew for 10 entire years to f*ck off.

I just can’t do it.

But here‘s the story.

For auld lang syne.

Fox St Frances Story

10-year fight over waterfront church pits Boston Archdiocese against parishioners

  • StFrances.jpg

    St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church, pictured above, was closed in October 2004 by the Boston Archdiocese, citing financial difficulties and a decline in Mass attendance.

For more than half a century, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Church has represented the heart and soul of Boston’s so-called “Irish Riviera,” according to parishioners who have spent the last decade defying the archdiocese’s bid to close the narthex doors for good.

To the Archdiocese of Boston, a dwindling congregation and a shortage of priests, among other factors, marked the church for closure in October 2004, which the Vatican supported. But congregants, who have maintained a constant presence in the church ever since and conducted ongoing services with laymen officiating, say it is the 30 acres of prime, ocean-view real estate the church sits on that has the hierarchy looking to sell.

And they believe the sweat equity they’ve poured into the church over the years makes it theirs, not the archdiocese’s.

“This is our church,” Jon Rogers, an occupation organizer and a founder of the nonprofit support group, “The Friends of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini,” told FoxNews.com. “We have self-supported it for decades. Every Sunday the pastor would say, ‘We need some repairs here. We need a new carpet. We need a new roof. It’s your church.'”

Archdiocese spokesman Terry Donilon said the decision to shut the doors in 2004 was part of a larger parish closure and he cited a decline in Mass attendance and a “dramatic” drop in the number of priests.

But the congregation tells a very different story — claiming St. Frances had 3,000 registered parishioners in 2004 who were providing enough money to not only support the church but also fund the building of a school and church in India.

“We are the highest percentage of Irish Catholics of any town in America,” said Rogers, who said the church was always thriving.

Donilon offered a much lower number, telling FoxNews.com that the average weekly Mass attendance in 2003 stood at 804. He said that year the church held 26 baptisms, 52 First Communions, 49 Confirmations, 8 weddings and 22 funerals.

Since the announcement was made to close the church in October 2004, congregants have held vigils in shifts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week — sleeping on the floor and in pews and holding Sunday service, during which the occupants recite prayers, listen to Bible readings and receive consecrated hosts secretly provided by area priests, according to Rogers. The gatherings are lay-led services, he explained, and the Eucharist is given to the congregation by Eucharistic ministers.

The congregants say that between 100 and 200 people attend weekly Sunday service and that hundreds more are present for special events, like those held during the major Catholic holidays — a claim that Donilon strongly refutes.

“The last Easter service had approximately 700 people,” Rogers said.

He also noted that parishioners have maintained the 55-year-old building over the years, spending thousands of dollars on repairs and renovations, like painting and new woodwork, as well as purchasing a new furnace.

“We were told for over 50 years that this was our church.”

– Jon Rogers, congregant of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini church

Parishioners voted unanimously on Sunday to request that Pope Francis investigate the Boston Archdiocese’s handling of funds, said Rogers, whose group believes the archdiocese is flush with cash and has no need to close the church. They charge church leaders want to sell the valuable property — worth as much as $1 million per acre by some estimates — to replenish the coffers that were greatly depleted through massive clergy sex abuse settlements.

The U.S. Catholic Church has paid close to $2.8 billion in legal costs related to clergy sex abuse cases, according to a 2013 report by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“We were told for over 50 years that this was our church,” Rogers said, “And it was our church until the very day when the archdiocese said, ‘It’s now ours and we need to liquify it to pay for the sins of our priests.'”

Although a Vatican court ruled in June that the Boston Archdiocese, which owns the property, is permitted to sell or re-use the building, Rogers and canon law consultant Peter Borres argue that a subsequent appeal is necessary because, they claim, the latest public financial report on the Boston Archdioceses’s website reveals a $41 million surplus.

Donilon vehemently denied the charge that the church was being closed so the property could be sold to pay off prior legal settlements.

“We are not selling churches to pay for the legal fees of the sex abuse cases,” said Donilon, who also denied the archdiocese is sitting on a surplus. He said the $41 million figure cited by Rogers is “misleading,” because it represents a cumulative total for 288 parishes, and is not money the archdiocese can divert to a struggling parish.

“With regards to the surplus question, money in the bank accounts of parishes are solely for those parishes,” Donilon said. “By Church law, these assets cannot be used at the discretion of the archdiocese.”

“No plans” have been discussed about what will be done with the property, which sits about a half mile from the Atlantic Ocean, Donilon added. He called the claim by congregants that the property is to be sold to a condominium developer false.

“We don’t know what we’re going to do with the property,” he said.

Donilon said church leaders will continue to “work for a peaceful resolution,” even if occupants refuse to physically leave the building, though he added, “This will not go on forever — it simply can’t.” He said there are other nearby parishes that would welcome the congregation “with open arms.”

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley has asked the congregation to ends it occupation of the church and respect the ruling of the Apostolic Signatura, the church’s highest court, which denied their appeal seeking to prevent the sale or repurposing of the building.

“Your participation in the appeals process presumed that you would accept the final decision, even if it were not favorable to your desired outcome,” O’Malley wrote in a July 29 letter. “Now we are simply asking for demonstration of your good faith.”

Rogers said the congregation has requested to buy the structure from the Boston Archdiocese, which turned down the offer.

“That’s not happening,” Donilon said. “What they want to create is not a parish.”