Sunday, April 29, 2012

Jury Will Soon Begin Mulling Corruption Charges Against Espada(NY1)

 Pedro Espada Jr. Leaving the Brooklyn Federal Court

On this video Pedro Espada Jr. said: “I own the company for 30 years (Soundview Management Enterprises) before my son was born.” He forgot that his co-defendant son Pedro Gautier Espada is over 30-years old, and he is the CEO of the Soundview Health Care Network (funded by the Federal Government). Also at the beginning the video the image of  he other son Alejandro Espada is leaving the court. (Alejandro physically attacks this writer and broke his video camera when his father was questions about the corruption at the Soundview Health Care Network and using staff of Soundview Health Care Network on a campaign rally.

video by Rafael Martínez Alequín

Son of a gun blames Daddy

Pedro’s boy distances self from loot

Last Updated: 5:02 AM, April 28, 2012
Posted: 1:07 AM, April 28, 2012

Pedro Espada Jr.’s son threw his dad right under the bus yesterday — with his lawyer telling a jury it was his father who ran the family’s scandal-scarred Bronx health care clinic.
“It was always his father’s company,” defense attorney Russell Gioiella said during his closing arguments in Brooklyn federal court. “There really is no evidence to connect Pedro [Gautier] Espada to anything.”
The two Espadas are charged with jointly stealing more than half a million dollars from the government-financed Bronx health facility and spending it on lavish dinners and other personal expenses.
FAMILY FIGHT: Pedro Gautier Espada (above) and dad Pedro Espada Jr. at court yesterday for their trial.
Riyad Hasan
FAMILY FIGHT: Pedro Gautier Espada (above) and dad Pedro Espada Jr. at court yesterday for their trial.
Pedro Espada Jr.
Riyad Hasan
Pedro Espada Jr.

But the way Gioiella told it, the money only went to the account of the elder Espada, a disgraced former Bronx state senator.
“The Banco Popular account is his. It always was. All the checks were signed by Pedro Espada Jr. That has nothing to do with Pedro G. Espada. He doesn’t have anything to do with that account,” Gioiella argued.
Espada Jr., who had spent his time in court this week reading — or pretending to read — a book, watched intently during Gioiella’s presentation and appeared to frown at one point.
Gioiella’s summation for Pedro Gautier Espada, 38, was in sharp contrast to the defense for his father. Espada Jr.’s lawyer, Susan Necheles, argued earlier this week that there was no crime at all — because her client ran Soundview Health Care Network and any money spent by it was his to spend as he pleased.
“You cannot steal if you’re permitted to get it,” she said. “So what if he wanted to live the good life? If you can do it on Wall Street . . . you can do it if you live in The Bronx, too.”
Maria Cruz, who had been Espada’s executive assistant, testified the senator put seven members of his family on Soundview’s board. Prosecutors pointed out that violates federal regulations.
But Gioiella said the son was in the clear. “He’s not at the board meetings. He’s not even on the board,” he told jurors.
Prosecutors claimed that Soundview was looted from January 2005 to February 2010. Gioiella argued that the younger Espada, who served as director of environmental care, was out of the picture for much of that time.
“If you look at all the case, all the evidence, every stitch of it, the first time that Gautier was even involved is in 2008,” he said.
Prosecutors had said the son was deeply involved in a scheme to loot $200,000 by renting Soundview Healthcare conference rooms and other facilities to medical professionals and religious groups and keeping the money in a for-profit company run by Gautier.
But Gioiella cited testimony by one prospective renter. “What did he have to say about Pedro G. Espada? Nothing!” he said.
Both Espadas face up to 10 years in prison for each of five counts of stealing from Soundview, plus additional years if convicted of wire fraud, conspiracy and cheating on taxes.

Read more:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

New York Times


Senator Marco Rubio, left, with Mitt Romney at a gathering in Aston, Pa., on Monday.

Florida's Crucial Hispanic Voters Remain Wary of Romney

Mitt Romney is trying to shift the debate away from the harsh immigration rhetoric of the primaries to focus on jobs and the economy.

Prostitution Inquiry Is Latest Scandal for State Police

The prostitution investigation is the most recent blow to the State Police, which has dealt with scandals surrounding the leadership and its involvement with the governor’s office.

The council’s terrorist

Last Updated: 6:43 AM, April 28, 2012
Posted: April 28, 2012

You’re fired!
Those were the words of City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan) yesterday — just hours after The Post disclosed that his spokesman was a convicted terrorist who tried to burn down a military facility in The Bronx.
The firing is certainly welcome news. But how did David Segal land his job in the first place, and hold it for more than a year — until The Post’s story appeared?
Segal served six months in federal prison and four months’ house arrest, followed by three years’ probation, after he torched an Army recruitment center in The Bronx in 2005 to protest the war in Iraq.

Chad Rachman/New York Post

City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan)
He threw a burning rag into the facility, jammed the door locks shut with glue and was carrying a note warning of a “wave of violence” across the Northeast.
In an online rant before starting his sentence, he described his arresting officers as “pigs.”
What was someone like that doing on the City Council payroll?
Rodriguez initially claimed he “didn’t know about any crime that [Segal] did or that he spent time in jail.”
But that clearly wasn’t true: Segal’s job application admitted he’d been convicted of a crime and added an explanation.
And whose signature is on that form? Why, Ydanis Rodriguez’s, of course.
Rodriguez now insists Segal wasn’t fully forthcoming about his arrest, saying the form only stated that “he had a prior arrest for an anti-war protest — that’s all it said.”
Who knows if that’s accurate? The information is redacted for legal reasons.
No matter. Fact is, even if he did try to hide the specifics, folks at Speaker Christine Quinn’s office should have made it their business to find them out once they spotted the conviction on the application.
And Quinn is wiggling further, insisting “there was no legal basis” to reject Segal based on his conviction without “a direct relationship” between the crime and his prospective job.
Hmm. Hiring someone for a government job who’s tried to burn down a government building sure sounds like a “direct relationship” to us.
As it does to at least one veteran labor lawyer, who tells The Post the council’s explanation “sounds defensive and as though they were trying to cover their tracks.”
Either way, there seems to have been a curious — and troubling — lack of concern over Segal’s criminal history by the council.
(Unless, of course, its hard-left wing viewed someone with a record like his as the perfect employee.)
Frankly, both Rodriguez and Quinn messed up on this one — big time.
Thank goodness Segal is gone.
But how shameful that it took The Post’s reporting to make that happen.

Read more:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Former Sen. Kruger sentenced to 7 years for taking $500k in bribes

Last Updated: 7:41 PM, April 26, 2012
Posted: 5:23 PM,
Carl Kruger arrives at court today

Steven Hirsch
Carl Kruger arrives at court today

Calling himself “broken, destroyed and disgraced” a Brooklyn politician who admitted taking $500,000 in bribes with the aid of his live-in boyfriend slumped in a courtroom chair as he was sentenced to seven years in federal prison.
“I have no one to blame but myself,” ex-state Sen. Carl Kruger, 62, said in Manhattan federal court — where his lover, Dr. Michael Turano, received a two-year sentence for the same “pay-to-play” scheme that a judge called “daggers to the heart of government.”
“I will be haunted with that reality for the rest of my life,” said a somber Kruger, who shared a long, lingering embrace with Turano, 50, after they each were ordered to surrender June 26 to begin their prison terms.
“I am sorry,” said Kruger. “I am sorry for bringing discredit to the New York State Legislature. I am sorry for abandoning my constituents who elected me to service them.
“Worst of all, I have destroyed the brilliant medical career of Michael Turano. I have destroyed a career I help build, and the people I love.
“I am broken destroyed and disgraced,” Kruger told Judge Jed Rakoff — who showed mercy in giving him less than the federal sentencing guideline of between nine and 11 1/2 years.
Kruger — who also lives with Turano’s doctor brother Gerard and their mother Dorothy “Dottie” Turano in a gaudy, $1.8 million Mill Basin mansion — admitted overseeing a bribery scheme that benefited the entire extended family.
The 18-year state Legislature veteran directed illicit payments from representatives of the real-estate, hospital, supermarket and beverage industries to shell companies set up by Turano, his long-secret lover.
In return, the former state Senate Finance Committee chairman sponsored legislation beneficial to the bribe-payers and tried to steer millions of dollars in government funds to them.
Assistant US Attorney Michael Boswoth, said that “year after year after year” Kruger took “check after check after check” for hundreds of thousands of bribes.
“And for what?” Bosworth asked. “To help the Turano family? They weren’t paupers.”
“The facts and circumstance of these offenses are quite venal,” Bosworth said. “This was a sophisticated crime with a sophisticated design.”
Kruger’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman argued to Rakoff, “Whatever sentence you impose, that’s a consecutive sentence: He’s never going to be able to work in public service, the one thing he knows how to do.
“A convicted felon in his 60s is not at the top of anyone’s list,” Brafman said. “At the end of the day he resigns in disgrace — but he did a world of good, and that should count for something.”

Read more:

‘Hope’ful Espada awaits fate with Obama book

Last Updated: 6:39 AM, April 26, 2012
Posted: 12:36 AM, April 26, 2012

Maybe he’s hoping jurors will see him as a bookworm instead of as a cook-the-books worm.
With the jury in his Brooklyn federal-court corruption trial about to start weighing his fate, disgraced Bronx pol Pedro Espada Jr. brought yet another piece of reading material to court.
Yesterday, after he blew through the Bible and “Black Robes, White Justice,” a book by the late Judge Bruce “Turn ’Em Loose” Wright, the accused nonprofit-health-care-network fraudster turned his attention to “Substance of Hope,” by William Jelani Cobb, a book about President Obama’s election.
“I’m a deep guy,” the former state Senate majority leader said when asked about his latest reading material.
And the new book’s message apparently sunk in, as Espada optimistically predicted the jury would find him not guilty.
“Even though people don’t see the acquittal, it’s coming,” he predicted as prosecutors and his defense lawyer made closing statements yesterday.
“If you get between Mr. Espada and his money, watch out,” prosecutor Todd Kaminsky told the jury.
Later, Espada’s lawyer, Susan Necheles, called Espada “a kid who grew up homeless and in the projects and has worked hard his entire life and done good things.”

Read more:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Espada’s Lawyer Calls Embezzlement Charges ‘Rotten to the Core’

The former State Senator is accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the nonprofit organization that he founded and ran, Soundview Health Center in the Bronx

Pedro hits the books

Last Updated: 2:11 AM, April 25, 2012
Posted: 1:52 AM, April 25, 2012
He’s quite the bookworm.
Disgraced ex-state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. yesterday whipped out a tome that says minority suspects get shafted by the system, propping it up in front of jurors at his embezzlement trial in Brooklyn.
“It’s to busy my mind with something valuable,’’ the slick politician said when asked whether he was trying to send a message to the jury members.
The former Bronx power broker — accused with his son of bilking taxpayers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars — glanced intently at “Black Robes, White Justice’’ during prosecutors’ scathing closing arguments.
The controversial book — penned by the infamous late State Supreme Court Justice “Turn ’Em Loose Bruce’’ Wright — argues that the legal system is badly skewed against minority defendants. Espada is Hispanic.
Later, Espada, 57, asked his wife for her Bible — and spent the last half-hour of summations with his glasses on appearing to study it.
Asked by a reporter later what section he was reading, he replied, “Asking the Lord to protect me from my enemies — it’s a psalm.’’
His antics came as federal prosecutor Todd Kaminsky told the jury that Espada and son Pedro, 38, bled dry both the charity Pedro Sr. controlled, Soundview Healthcare Network, and a related cleaning company.
“The defendants used Soundview as their personal ATM — from the coffee they got in the morning to the cars they drove home,’’ Kaminsky said.
The prosecution will continue its closing arguments today.

Read more:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Espada to clam up in court

Last Updated: 3:04 AM, April 24, 2012
Posted: 1:43 AM, April 24, 2012
He’s got nothing to say.
Ex-Bronx-state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. is “highly unlikely” to testify at his embezzlement trial before summations today in Brooklyn federal court, where he is accused of looting hundreds of thousands of dollars from a health-care charity he controlled, his lawyer said.
“My side has been provided adequately and completely by my attorney,” Espada said when a reporter asked why he wasn’t taking the witness stand.
“The truth has been crystal clear, and the acquittal is in the hands of the people who have heard all the facts, and I’m confident they will act accordingly.”
PEDRO ESPADA JR. - “Unlikely” to testify.
“Unlikely” to testify.

Read more:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Police in Georgia arrested a 6-year-old girl for a temper tantrum. Ask the school to stop using police on elementary students.

Police in Georgia arrested a 6-yera-old Girl
Salecia Johnson is six years old. On April 13, her teachers say she had a temper tantrum in class -- but instead of putting her in time-out, the school called the police
Salecia was handcuffed, charged with battery, and kept in police custody for an hour before her parents found out what was going on. Though all charges have been dropped, Salecia -- a 6-year-old --  now has an arrest record.
Salecia's mom, Constance, says that "Salecia has been traumatized by this experience. She's afraid to return to school and recently woke up in the middle of the night saying 'they are coming to get me.'" Constance wants to make sure that this incident won't affect Salecia's future, and she wants answers about why police officers were involved in the first place.
Constance believes that what happened to Salecia is part of a larger problem. Schools across America are adopting "zero-tolerance" policies that are making police involvement in school disciplinary matters more and more common, according to the Advancement Project, a group working with Constance's family.
If thousands of people sign Constance's petition, the police and the officials at Creekside Elementary will see that they can't arrest and handcuff a six-year-old girl without facing public consequences. Schools around the country will take notice -- and Constance hopes there won't be another child that faces what Salecia did.
Thanks for being a change-maker,
Espada  Embezzled Trial: Used AMEX Corporate Card at His Own ATM

A major trial in a courtroom shows that the State or the Federal governments, share some of the theatrical characteristic of a stage play. Most stage plays take place in three acts. This brings me to the drama being played at the Federal Court House in Brooklyn, in the case against former New York State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr., and his son Pedro Gautier Espada, for embezzlement of the Soundview Health Care Facility in one of the poorest areas of the Bronx.

Act One: The government unleashed to the jury a mountain of documents, that the FBI obtained when they raided the Soundview Health Care Center.

Act2: The Defense presents its case.

Act3: The judge reads the charges to the jury. When the defense rest their case, the judge will tell the jury the particulars of the charges, and the jury will began their deliberation until they reach an unanimous verdict.

Following is some of the key evidence the prosecutors put on the records presented jurors.

1-"Greedy".  Former State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. and his son looted their Bronx medical charity of “more than $500,000” to spend “$60,000 on sushi and lobster” dinners, and “thousands and thousands of dollars” on spa treatments, luxury cars, flowers and political campaigns, a federal prosecutor charged.

2-“They stole it to spend on themselves and their family, and they lied to cover it up,” prosecutor Carolyn Porkorny said about Espada Jr. and son Pedro Gautier’s use of the Soundview Health Care Network non-profit charity as a personal piggy bank. 

3-Pedro Espada Jr. always kept it “All in the Family” at his Bronx medical charity, a damning witness testified at his embezzlement trial. The ex-State Senate Majority leader crammed more than a dozen relatives, cronies, willing enablers -- even his sons’ baby mamas -- onto the payroll of his Soundview Healthcare Network, former Soundview personnel boss Maria Cruz told jurors in Brooklyn Federal Court.

Among them were receipts showing that the ex-State Senator and his wife, Connie, used the company credit card of the Soundview Healthcare Network nonprofit.  Espada ran to buy thousands of dollars worth of window shades, fencing, garage doors and stones that all were shipped to the couple’s Westchester County home from 2006 to 2008.

5-Pedro Espada Jr. used $15,000 of his Bronx nonprofit’s money so he and his family could live it up at a luxurious beach-side Puerto Rico resort, prosecutors revealed.
That cash covered the Espada clan’s stay in a San Juan hotel suite, two other rooms, meals at resort restaurants, minibar charges, room service and “resort fees,” a witness testified in Brooklyn federal court.

The Espadas’ two-bedroom suite alone cost about $9,000 for five nights — and a single meal at The Palm restaurant during the trip cost $478.38, a witness testified.
Espada also rang up seven minibar charges, including one dip in the fridge for $109.24.

At the same time that the taxpayer-funded Soundview Healthcare Network was paying his and his relatives’ expenses, he collected $1,500 worth of “per diem” payments from Soundview for the November 2008 Puerto Rico stay at El San Juan Hotel and Casino.

6-“Happy birthday, my sweetheart”
Former State Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. got all teary-eyed yesterday as his former girl-Friday told jurors how he looted a nonprofit charity’s coffers to pay for a big birthday bash and presents for his wife in 2008.
Asked about how she felt about Espada, former-secretary Norma Ortiz said, “Like he was my brother.”
At that, Espada’s eyes welled and he put his face in his hands in Brooklyn federal court.
Despite her still-warm feelings, Ortiz, 67, provided damning testimony against her former boss, including revelations that on April 17, 2008, Espada’s wife, Connie, received a $522.95 spa-treatment gift card paid with the American Express card of Soundview Health Care Network, the Espada-controlled and taxpayer-funded nonprofit.
The prosecutors, Todd Kaminsky, Carolyn Porkony, and Roger Burlingame, presented to the court and jurors evidence showing how the Espada family used the Soundview Health Care Network, American Express card at their own ATM.
While the community residents struggle to put food in their table, the Espada family were feasting in luxury restaurants in New York City, Westchester and Puerto Rico.

On Friday, April 20, the prosecutors wrapped their case.

video by Rafael Martínez Alequín

Act 2: The defense introduced their first witness
Their first witness was Cynthia Prorok, a management consultant who audits community health-care centers for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.
But she testified that Soundview officials were highly reluctant to answer her questions about the center’s operation.

“It was a very tense environment. You could cut the tension in the air with a knife,” she said. “It was very controlled. It was like being in an episode of ‘The Sopranos.’ ”
Act 2 to be continued on Monday.

The Election to Nowhere
The Lew Fidler David Storobin election continues Monday as a fraud trial begins in Brooklyn Supreme Court.  This effort to fill the Kruger seat now more resembles an old Twilight Zone episode called Odyssey Flight 33, in which an commercial airliner breaks the time barrier and are stuck in the prehistoric age.  

Fidler and Storobin also have nowhere to go once this election which is only to fill out the remainder of Kruger's term which ends eight months from now.  Since the special election began in January redistricting eliminated the Kruger seat, the poor showing of Fidler against a political nobody (esp. in the Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods), the Weprin massacre and the entering of Dear and Felder in the race for the newly created Boro Park Orthodox seat has left Fidler with nowhere to run.

Filder Emergency Play to Save the Badly Weakened Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club
With Carl Kruger about the enter federal prison for 9 years and the real possibility of Fidler losing in Court to Storobin the council how told several club members that he will resign in January giving District Leader Frank Seddio a chance to run in a special election for his council seat.  There are two reasons why Fidler must must leave his council seat.  The First Reason Fidler will Go: His district and surrounding neighborhoods have become minority.  If Seddio was not an elected incumbent Councilman he would not have the power to  draw a district in 2013 he can win in.
Homeless Boss Seddio
Fidler understands that those fighting for more minority seats on the council would win if he did not leave and let Seddio take over.  The Second Reason Fidler Will Go: is to make sure that the Thomas Jefferson Club for the first time in a generation is not left without an elected official representing it. It is unbelievable that Frank Seddio who is often mentioned as the only real replacement for Brooklyn Boss Vito Lopez if left without an office and club in 2013. Update: Someone close to Filder said he would never leave the council until he get another job, even if it means weakening or closing the TJ Club and the non profit groups that helps the club gain support and workers in the neighborhood. The non profit groups were funded by Millennium Development who up until this year was funded by Kruger, Weiner and Filder  Pork Pig Fidler's Media Friends Put Lipstick On Him

A Good Friday procession along the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem's old city this year. (photo: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)
A Good Friday procession along the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem's old city this year. (photo: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

Was Jesus Gay? Probably

By Paul Oestreicher, Guardian UK
22 April 12

I preached on Good Friday that Jesus's intimacy with John suggested he was gay as I felt deeply it had to be addressed.

reaching on Good Friday on the last words of Jesus as he was being executed makes great spiritual demands on the preacher. The Jesuits began this tradition. Many Anglican churches adopted it. Faced with this privilege in New Zealand's capital city, Wellington, my second home, I was painfully aware of the context, a church deeply divided worldwide over issues of gender and sexuality. Suffering was my theme. I felt I could not escape the suffering of gay and lesbian people at the hands of the church, over many centuries.
Was that divisive issue a subject for Good Friday? For the first time in my ministry I felt it had to be. Those last words of Jesus would not let me escape. "When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, 'Woman behold your son!' Then he said to the disciple. 'Behold your mother!' And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home."
That disciple was John whom Jesus, the gospels affirm, loved in a special way. All the other disciples had fled in fear. Three women but only one man had the courage to go with Jesus to his execution. That man clearly had a unique place in the affection of Jesus. In all classic depictions of the Last Supper, a favourite subject of Christian art, John is next to Jesus, very often his head resting on Jesus's breast. Dying, Jesus asks John to look after his mother and asks his mother to accept John as her son. John takes Mary home. John becomes unmistakably part of Jesus's family.
Jesus was a Hebrew rabbi. Unusually, he was unmarried. The idea that he had a romantic relationship with Mary Magdalene is the stuff of fiction, based on no biblical evidence. The evidence, on the other hand, that he may have been what we today call gay is very strong. But even gay rights campaigners in the church have been reluctant to suggest it. A significant exception was Hugh Montefiore, bishop of Birmingham and a convert from a prominent Jewish family. He dared to suggest that possibility and was met with disdain, as though he were simply out to shock.
After much reflection and with certainly no wish to shock, I felt I was left with no option but to suggest, for the first time in half a century of my Anglican priesthood, that Jesus may well have been homosexual. Had he been devoid of sexuality, he would not have been truly human. To believe that would be heretical.
Heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual: Jesus could have been any of these. There can be no certainty which. The homosexual option simply seems the most likely. The intimate relationship with the beloved disciple points in that direction. It would be so interpreted in any person today. Although there is no rabbinic tradition of celibacy, Jesus could well have chosen to refrain from sexual activity, whether he was gay or not. Many Christians will wish to assume it, but I see no theological need to. The physical expression of faithful love is godly. To suggest otherwise is to buy into a kind of puritanism that has long tainted the churches.
All that, I felt deeply, had to be addressed on Good Friday. I saw it as an act of penitence for the suffering and persecution of homosexual people that still persists in many parts of the church. Few readers of this column are likely to be outraged any more than the liberal congregation to whom I was preaching, yet I am only too aware how hurtful these reflections will be to most theologically conservative or simply traditional Christians. The essential question for me is: what does love demand? For my critics it is more often: what does scripture say? In this case, both point in the same direction.
Whether Jesus was gay or straight in no way affects who he was and what he means for the world today. Spiritually it is immaterial. What matters in this context is that there are many gay and lesbian followers of Jesus - ordained and lay - who, despite the church, remarkably and humbly remain its faithful members. Would the Christian churches in their many guises more openly accept, embrace and love them, there would be many more disciples.


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+18 # ancrum 2012-04-22 07:19
I thought Jesus ran off with Mary Magdalen to Provence to
found the Merovingian Dynasty. Failing that, I thought Jesus was the mythical stand-in for Osiris. Guys, make up your mind!
Stop projecting. As Christian Soldiers are still going onward with guns and guided missiles, what happened to Jesus as the universal energy of compassion and unconditional love for all mankind and in that aspect becomes perforce the revelation of God?
+7 # jack406 2012-04-22 07:21
Wonder if that is why priests aren't allowed to marry?
But it doesn't explain why the Catholic Church treats women as second class citizens. They can't be Priest. They can't hold higher offices.
Why would any woman be a nun in the Catholic church when they can become priests in more modern churches>
+4 # Maverick 2012-04-22 08:32
Wonder if that is why priests aren't allowed to marry?>

As I understand it, early priests -- even the Pope -- WERE allowed to marry. In later years, it was "revealed" to be more in the best interests of the church for them to NOT marry, so that when their life is through, all their assets revert back to the church.
+15 # baldyc76 2012-04-22 07:24
Very interesting and eye-opening. It makes logical and theological sense. If true, it would shake the "male/heterosexual" Roman Church. The Church that preaches against homosexuality and all non marriage sexuality.
-4 # Milarepa 2012-04-22 07:25
Well, Mr. Oestreicher, I'm not sure this is new thinking. However, using Jesus' alleged homosexuality as an act of penitence for the suffering and persecution that still persists in many parts of the church is certainly a novel twist. I suggest you take a little time to think about this. Maybe you can come up with something even more outrageous!
+7 # RICHARDKANEpa 2012-04-22 07:34
Jesus, and I wonder but not totally believe also Christ, avoided arguments. I think the Mennonites actually follow him or is it him. However Rev. Richard Warner actually caught Jesus's or Christ's spirit.

If Jesus came again, the conversation, might be as follows:

Jesus, I would like you to meet my wife Paul and our adopted son Jimmy, to which Jesus might answer: Jimmy I am glad to meet your warm relatives your father and your Uncle Paul.

Don't expect Jesus or Christ to choose sides in our arguments of today.
+23 # MJnevetS 2012-04-22 07:37
Certainly not to mock Rev. Oestreicher, but assuming his hypothesis is correct, it would be the ultimate in irony if all these ultra-conservative, gay bashing born-agains were heretically blaspheming their gay savior. Amen to that brother!
-3 # barbaratodish 2012-04-22 07:38
What if Jesus had been beheaded after he was crucified? How much harder would it have been to "brand" Jesus holding his bloody head?
+25 # artful 2012-04-22 07:38
Nice article. Simple, thoughtful. Not outrageous at all. Seems plausible.
+11 # Skeeziks 2012-04-22 07:41
Whether Jesus was the Son of God, I really do not know, but he certainly has brought forth to mankind the reasons for all of us living our lives fully and with love for our human counterparts on this Earth. Too bad we don't practice them fully or help fully to pass them on to our descendents.
-1 # pernsey 2012-04-22 07:41
This is really stretching it to me, and doesnt line up with the Holy scripture if you dig deeper then what the author has posted.

Im not going to start a big debate about it, I have relatives that are homosexual and I love them dearly as people and family. This just is telling one persons point of view...I could get into other scriptures that would counter this completely, but I dont have the time to post them, and I doubt they would change anyones mind anyway.

Im just saying I dont think so.
+5 # Anglican 2012-04-22 07:49
Many thanks for this thoughtful article.

As I understand it, there are people today who claim to be asexual, whether actually such or not.
-1 # Politicalprincess 2012-04-22 07:54
After many years of research and reflection on the matter I have come to the conclusion that Jesus, the brilliant pacifist, had asperger's syndrome. Fortunately he has the support of his family and disciples to help him as he developed his groundbreaking theory and presented it to the world. He also felt his theory was so important he was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice like other great leaders and thinkers.
+1 # 2wmcg2 2012-04-22 08:08
This is a thoughtful and courageous article with some Biblical support. Having said that, I doubt if Jesus would have associated himself with the moralistic gay rights movement of today.
-18 # yisraelyahuda 2012-04-22 08:10
You should try reading the scripture and stop spreading your satanic gospel. Levitucus 18:22, but i agree that the false "jesus" that is plasterd on the walls of religious, christian churches of ceasre borgia is a homosexual, but the true messiah that is written in the scripture of the old and new testament is a man that you would not even recognize if you saw him right before your wicked face, because of the false destorted images that was painted of him during the euro renaissance period.what you have written here of the "true" messiah is an abomination to satisfy your wicked backwards nature.The natural use of sexuality is to procreate, not to satify some twisted, lustful desire of two men or two women.One could easily prove that this act is not of God by simply asking the scienfific hypythosis, what would happen if all of manking suddenly turned gay? could someone answere that question, because the God i know said be fruitful and multiply.
+1 # sokolowmus 2012-04-22 08:44
In reality, in all societies, a certain proportion of people are gay, somewhere around 15%, maybe less. Get over it! It's a fact of life, like it or not. Long as they aren't hurting you...or hurting others...what's the problem? (If you think "they're an abomination" that's just your opinion.)
-6 # robjh1 2012-04-22 08:14
Articles and assertions like this sets the gay movement back centuries.
+3 # gregpace 2012-04-22 08:21
Here is some food for thought. For most who believe that we reincarnate, an important aspect of why is that we seek balance through many lifetimes. When someone seems to be averse to women or womens' rights and other issues, they very well may incarnate as a woman again, to help balance this averseness and to learn to serve more deeply. Or, they may have been a woman who was deeply persecuted or suffered greatly and need to balance out these issues. This reasoning follows through to the sexuality issues especially. When I see someone who is homophobic, I think that possibly they will spend a lifetime as a homosexual, to become empathetically respondent to the class of people who chose to incarnate as a reflection of non-heterosexuality . It doesn't matter what our sexuality or sex is; what matters is that we love ourselves and each other. That was the message of The Christ. Who cares if Jesus had sex or not. Maybe he refrained from having those kinds of relationships. If I had an agenda in my lifetime this time around such as someone like Jesus (or Guatama,or Mohammad) had, I probably would be a bit detached from complicating things with personal baggage, to do what I came here to do.
+1 # KurtLaw 2012-04-22 08:22
Well he forgot the Essenes were often celibate. Much of what we know about 1st century Judea comes from a Jewish traitor named Josephus, who recounts a Jewish sect called the Essenes (who wore white robes). The Essenes wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, anticipating the gospel story. The upper classes of that day were often gay under the influence of hellenism, even in Judea. Jesus Christ was neither gay nor straight. Mystics don't need physical sex, having other ways to achieve ecstasy.
-2 # Writ 2012-04-22 08:27
How outrageous. Jesus shows brotherly love to his youngest disciple and suddenly this writer, who is probably gay himself, wants to make Jesus gay with no evidence of this whatsoever. Yet, he can say that there is no evidence of Mary Magdaline and Jesus while suggesting there was something between John and Jesus, because Divinci chose to show Jesus's love of John by painting John's head on Jesus shoulder as proof. How so? Its merely the artist's interpretation. Mary is also in the painting so where does it show homosexuality? In terms of Mary his mother, and John, it shows a concerned son assuring his mother was not left alone. This is a ridiculous assertion. What next, God the father, gay too. Then the angels and all the saints and the entire world after that...please.
+1 # lcarrier 2012-04-22 08:32
Whether or not he was gay himself, he was compassionate towards everyone except the money-changers whom he drove from the Temple. So you could say that he was the first to distinguish between "Church and State," the former being the province of religion and the latter being the province of Caesar (to whom things of monetary value were to be rendered).
+1 # Writ 2012-04-22 08:33
What next Paul Oestreicher? Will you write an article making Jesus a woman, Arab, and a shape shifting alien because the apostle Thomas and other apostles did not recognize him when he returned to them after his crucifixion.
+4 # revtravel 2012-04-22 08:35
Hello? Naked boy in the Garden of Gethsemane? Mark 14:50-52 or so. Curious, no? But what I find most silly is the speculation by all parties in this. There is soooo little factual data about Jesus. Perhaps none in fact. Gospels were written down long after he was gone and perhaps the closest thing to his words was Gospel of Thomas which only recorded words not events. The rest we create out of some strange need for legends. We aren't even honest about recent historical figures half the time even with such access to reliable written records, films and photos, recordings. What folly to think we can even begin to guess details of Jesus.
0 # bobby t. 2012-04-22 08:42
I have been waiting for a man of god to step out of his shul, mosque, or church and declare that the bible is wrong. gays are not abominations. This man does that. If rabbis came out and said this, that the bible is wrong, that women should not be stoned, etc. then I may reconsider my
anti-theist stance, that is my belief that all major religious institutions are committing the sins that they talk about. To make men and women and children suffer for the last five thousand years, is the greatest sin of all. Shame is cast on all places of "god" that preach these horrible thoughts. They are the ones that need repentence. Thank you Paul.
-2 # Michael_K 2012-04-22 08:46
Gee, Jesus was gay, Mohammed was a pedophile, Buddhe was grotesquely, morbidly obese... any thing else you need to add? Did we miss offending anyone?
+1 # Zagreus 2012-04-22 08:47
The author of this piece is clearly just looking for their fifteen minutes of fame.
First Person: Bernat Pellisa
‘I’m leasing land to marijuana clubs to pay our town’s debt’
Bernat Pellisa©Anna Huix
Spanish mayor Bernat Pellisa says cannabis plantations will help beat the recession
As the mayor of a small town in the north-east of Spain, I’ve seen first hand the effects of the economic crisis. Our town, Rasquera, has debts and unemployment but it never crossed my mind that marijuana could save us from the recession.
That is, until we received a call from a cannabis association in Barcelona, asking to lease some of our land to use for marijuana plantations. In Spain, cultivating cannabis for individual consumption is not illegal and dozens of clubs in Catalonia are doing it. The only difference in our case is that for the first time a town hall is trying to regulate the plantations.
In February, we signed an agreement with the Barcelona Personal Use Cannabis Association, which has 5,000 members. In exchange for the right to grow their supply on seven hectares of our land they will pay us €650,000 a year, as well as land rental to the owner. In turn, we will provide security and forest management, creating about 40 jobs.
The deal will help us to pay off a debt of €1.3m quite quickly. Several scientists want to work on the project, too. The association will also be hiring people to grow, collect and package their cannabis, and we will make sure that they will be paid decent salaries.


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Some people are worried, and one priest has even said that Rasquera will become Catalonia’s Medellín, Colombia. But we’re not encouraging drug use. What we are doing will help to put an end to the black market and thus drug trafficking. We want to bring this underground economy to light so it can benefit society and the 900 people in our town. And no, I won’t tell you if I’ve smoked marijuana or not because it is nobody’s business.
I’m not worried about being arrested. I’m confident that our plan abides with the law and the authorities will agree with us. Anyway, it’s not all about the cannabis. We hope to use the income from the project to promote our little town’s traditional products such as meat from our native white goat herds, our olive oil, our pumpkin jam-filled pastissets – sweet pastries – and our woven palm baskets.
For centuries, Rasquera was a town of herdsmen and farmers. In recent decades, neighbouring towns have grown richer thanks to the nuclear power plants of Ascó and Valldellós, but we believe there is another way to prosperity. We want to promote a sustainable economy with respect for our nature and our traditions. We have rejected offers from a marble mining company and five wind farms to come here. I don’t blame other mayors for their choices though. Everybody is trying to survive this crisis the best way they can.
But it’s been a struggle. It’s hard to make a living selling our products. The price of goat meat is the same as it was 20 years ago. We’re part of a European Union network of protected natural areas but we can’t protect our forests because of cuts in spending from the regional government. I have two small daughters and I want to do everything in my power so they can also live in Rasquera. It’s sad when people have to leave the place where they were born because they have no other choice. My own father had to move to Barcelona to work and we didn’t come back here until I was 12. He came back to cultivate olive and cherry trees and I’ve carried that on, but it’s not enough to live on.
My father died when I was 14 and I never went to college. I’m 39 now and I’ve done many jobs in my life: I’ve driven taxis and ambulances, I’ve cleaned windows, I’ve been a postman. Even though I don’t get paid for being mayor, this is the job that I like the most because I can serve my people.
I’m not the most educated of men, but I have strong principles.
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