The U.S. Supreme Court Is A Tragic, Pathetic Joke

18 06 2019

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

The U.S. Supreme Court just issued its decision in Gamble v. United States, and “left the door open for state prosecutors to prosecute Trump campaign officials regardless of whether federal officials have already done so.”[2]  In his dissenting opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch—President Trump’s first appointment to the Court—wrote: 

A free society does not allow its government to try the same individual for the same crime until it’s happy with the result. Unfortunately, the Court today endorses a colossal exception to this ancient rule against double jeopardy.  My colleagues say that the federal government and each State are “separate sovereigns” entitled to try the same person for the same crime. So if all the might of one “sovereign” cannot succeed against the presumptively free individual, another may insist on the chance to try again. And if both manage to succeed, so much the better; they can add one punishment on top of the other. But this “separate sovereigns exception” to the bar against double jeopardy finds no meaningful support in the text of the Constitution, its original public meaning, structure, or history. Instead, the Constitution promises all Americans that they will never suffer double jeopardy. I would enforce that guarantee.[3]

Our Supreme Court has been a tragic, pathetic joke for years, certainly since it blessed infanticide in Roe v. Wade—and the killing of more than 55 million American babies.[4]  Also, Chief Justice John Roberts constitutes the second worst decision that former President George W. Bush made during his eight-year presidency—other than the senseless Iraq War in which more than 5,000 Americans died and many more were maimed, and trillions of dollars were wasted, for nothing.[5]

Perhaps an editorial of The New York Sun described the Gamble decision best:

How is it possible that, after all the tumult over the Supreme Court, the only two justices to grasp the plain language of the Constitution in respect of double jeopardy are — wait for it — Neil Gorsuch and Ruth Bader Ginsburg? It’s amazing enough that there are but two sages for the bedrock prohibition on double jeopardy. More amazing still that the question unites the right- and left-most justices.

The case, known as Gamble v. U.S., involves an ex-con named Terance Martez Gamble. He was pulled over in a traffic stop in 2015 at Alabama. A gun was found in his possession in violation of both Alabama and American law. Gamble pled to the state charges and drew a year. Then the federales turned around and charged him again for the same offense, drawing additional time for the same deed.

The justices rejected his appeal in an opinion — by Justice Alito — that reminds us of President Clinton’s hemming about how it depends on what the meaning of “is” is. In this case, it depends on the meaning of the word “offense.” The justices reckon there were two offenses, one carrying the blasted gun in Alabama and the other the same gun at the same time in the United States. Could the United Nations also charge him?

. . .

Justice Thomas, sage of what Myron Magnet, in his new book, calls the “lost Constitution,” manages to concur with the majority’s ruling against Gamble while attacking stare decisis. The ink wasn’t even dry on his concurrence when the press started warning that Justice Thomas was — yet again — prepping the ground for overturning Roe v. Wade. Others were more focused on the implications of Gamble for Paul Manafort.

New York, after all, is preparing to bring charges against President Trump’s former campaign manager even while Manafort sits in the Big House hoping for a pardon on federal charges. It’s not so clear, though, that New York will throw at Manafort the same charges Mr. Mueller levied. To discern differences between the federal and state cases against Gamble, though, one would need an electron microscope.

Our own interest in this case is neither stare decisis nor Paul Manafort nor Ms. Roe nor Mr. Wade. It is the plain language of the Fifth Amendment, where the prohibition against double jeopardy is laid down. Our national parchment was supposed to be a bar against such injustices as the state appealing acquittals or the law chasing someone from one court to another.

This is beautifully marked by both Justices Ginsburg and Gorsuch in two dissents. Justice Ginsburg, citing precedent about the separateness of federal and state laws, warned of “frittering away” Gamble’s liberty “upon a metaphysical subtlety, two sovereignties.” Thundered Justice Gorsuch: “A free society does not allow its government to try the same individual for the same crime until it’s happy with the result.”

It is not our intention to suggest that there can never be, say, a federal prosecution after a state acquittal. During the Jim Crow era, southern juries often ignored the facts. In those cases, though, the argument would be, and was, that the accused racists were never in genuine jeopardy in the first place. That is not what happened in the case of Terance Gamble.

All the more inspiring that the two dissenting judges from opposite ideological ends of the bench came together on this bedrock. It doesn’t suggest the confirmation battles are about nothing. It does remind all of us not to panic. The thinness of the vapors at the altitude where these justices breathe makes it hard to predict how they will behave. History teaches that great dissents have a way of getting vindicated over time.[6]

We can only hope that Justice Gorsuch’s dissenting opinion becomes the law of the land, which is not very promising given the 7-2 ruling—or for Paul Manafort and others who tried to help President Trump and may be caught in the insidious web of double jeopardy.  We have to thank our Supreme Court again for the perpetuation (or creation) of tragic injustices.[7] 

 

 

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume-19-4-29). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See https://www.thedailybeast.com/scotus-reaffirms-double-jeopardy-exception-allowing-trump-campaign-officials-to-be-tried-by-state-feds (“Supreme Court Reaffirms ‘Double Jeopardy’ Exception With Mueller Probe Implications”—”The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday reaffirmed a 170-year-old exception to the Constitution’s double-jeopardy clause, and left the door open for state prosecutors to prosecute Trump campaign officials regardless of whether federal officials have already done so. The case, Gamble v. United States, has drawn attention for its potential effect on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s federal prosecutions on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Had the ‘dual sovereignty doctrine’ been repealed, states would not be able to pursue investigations parallel to the federal government. . . . State prosecutors in New York have brought charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort Jr., who was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison, in the event that President Trump pardons him”).

[3]  See Gamble v. United States, p. 64 (emphasis added), by clicking on the following link: https://naegeleblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/gamble-ussc-decision.pdf (or by downloading the decision).

[4] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/abortions-and-autos-kill-more-in-america-than-guns/#comment-17243 (“Finally, More Abortion Bans Are Coming”—”Roe v. Wade unleashed a holocaust of epic proportions, which ranks with the greatest holocausts in human history—including the Nazi Holocaust, Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust and Mao’s Chinese Holocaust. Indeed, more human beings have been killed as a result of abortions—since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in 1973—than in each of the other three holocausts”).

[5] See, e.g., http://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-and-the-mexican-judge-1465167405 (“[President] Obama . . . contributed to the Democratic intimidation campaign against Chief Justice John Roberts ahead of the 2012 ObamaCare ruling. ‘I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,’ the President said at an April 2012 press conference. The Chief Justice ruled as the President recommended”); https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-01/hold-the-revolution-roberts-keeps-joining-high-court-liberals (“Roberts Keeps Joining High Court Liberals”)

[6] See https://www.nysun.com/editorials/ginsburg-gorsuch-and-gamble/90732/ (“Ginsburg, Gorsuch — and Gamble“) (emphasis added).

[7] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/ (“Justice And The Law Do Not Mix”—”The United States is a nation where rogue prosecutors reign, whose goals in life include the prosecution of even the innocent. Federal, State and local prosecutors ruthlessly and gleefully pursue countless numbers of innocent Americans for a multitude of crimes that were never committed; and the judiciary has allowed this to happen. Corruption is rampant among federal prosecutors and those who work with them, such as FBI agents. No amount of rational thinking or discourse can be applied to a system that is inherently and systemically corrupt”); see also https://www.foxnews.com/politics/supreme-court-ruling-deals-potential-blow-to-paul-manafort-as-he-battles-state-charges (“Supreme Court ruling deals potential blow to Paul Manafort as he battles state charges”) and https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/17/nyregion/manafort-rikers.html (“Paul Manafort Seemed Headed to Rikers. Then the Justice Department Intervened”).





A New Catholic Manifesto?

13 04 2019

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

A recent survey found that there are as many Americans who claim no religion, as there are evangelicals and Catholics:

For the first time “No Religion” has topped a survey of Americans’ religious identity. . . . The non-religious edged out Catholics and evangelicals. . . .[2]

Also, it has been noted that “a growing number of Americans reject organized religion,” and that “‘No Religion’ will be the largest group outright in four to six years.”[3]  These conclusions do not surprise many if not most “believers”—which is the path less traveled.

Some of us “experienced” God at one time or another in our lives[4]; and without that, it is likely that we too would not only reject organized religion, but any belief in a “Higher Power” altogether.  We might look at the cruelties, injustices and sadness in Life, and wonder how a loving God could allow this.  It seems to fly in the face of logic and rational belief systems.[5]

Indeed, to “push” our belief systems on others, or even to mention the life-changing moment we experienced, seems arrogant and pious.  Each and every human being, or animal, is a child of God . . . or so many of us believe.  We are not special because of what happened to us, but we were privileged—and yes, blessed—to have it happen.  With that comes a sense of responsibility, to help others.

Often, evangelicals proselytize, quite vigorously, which turns off others.  If the “targets” were willing to be open-minded, having religion “shoved down their throats” can be threatening and repulsive.  However well-intentioned such evangelicals may be, they can have the opposite effect, of turning away the “candidate” from any religion, which is human nature.  Each of us is on a unique path to God, or so I believe, which is not shared by anyone else.

We fall, and get up again and move on.  We are not heroes or saints or anything else except another human being.  We are no more or less than our fellow human beings.  Each day we seem to struggle with our beliefs and faith.  As I have written:

I had essentially a “near-death” experience some years ago, similar to what others have described, during which I experienced God . . . as an intense bright light at the end of a tunnel, and as Infinite Intelligence of which our own intelligence is merely a part. God was neither masculine nor feminine. My mother had died months before it happened, and I felt her presence and I knew she was with God.

From that moment forward, I have never doubted that God exists, or that God created everything—heaven and earth and everything in between. However, I continually seek to understand how God operates in my life, on a day-to-day basis. The closest I have come is my belief that God acts through us as faith, inspiration, prayer, miracles, and perhaps most of all, love. I believe that in expressing love, each of us is God in expression.[6]

Christianity is the largest religion in the world today[7]; and the Catholic Church, or the “Mother Church,” is the largest Christian denomination.[8]  In the case of some, our ancestors have been Catholics for centuries—and at least two hundred years.  We may not be “official Catholics” today, but we are drawn to the Church for a variety of reasons.  One of the most important is the Church’s stand on abortions, and its unwavering pro-life and anti-Infanticide policies.[9]

Jesus’ teachings were simple; and they are set forth in the New Testament, for anyone to read.  Was He the Messiah and Son of God?  I believe so.  In many ways, His messages were clear: to help the poorest of poor (e.g., homeless) and the downtrodden; and not to worship material things or “creature comforts.”  We come into this world with nothing, and we leave with nothing, just like the Pharaohs or monarchs of ancient Egypt.[10]

How and where has the Catholic Church gone astray, and diverged from the teachings of Jesus?[11]  How can it be brought back “on track,” so it is true to Jesus’ teachings?  For some non-believers, there is probably nothing that the Church could do that would “redeem its sins.”  Some are determined to destroy the Church, and organized religions altogether; and seemingly, nothing will change their minds or alter their paths.

Pedophilia has ripped the Church apart around the world, and in places like Ireland where the Church used to be so strong.  What can be done about this, at least with respect to those who are “open-minded” and not bent on destruction?  First, the Church needs to “clean house,” and rid its ranks of pedophiles who prey on others, and those who engage in human trafficking and slavery.  Second, there must not be more cover-ups.  Third, I believe there should be no more vows of celibacy or chastity, which are unnatural.  Fourth, the priesthood should be open and welcoming to women.

Lastly, why should I care?  Why should I or anyone else waste time writing an article like this or trying to make changes, which may be unlikely to move the Church or its adherents one single inch?  Indeed, few people may read this article, much less be moved by it.  And some may be repulsed and/or angry about what I have written.  Yet, I want to see Jesus’ wonderful teachings flourish, and for the Catholic Church to continue to promulgate such teachings far and wide—and yes, to serve God in the process.

The Church has helped millions of human beings worldwide, and it continues to do so.  This is its future.

 

 

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/13/us/no-religion-largest-group-first-time-usa-trnd/index.html (“There are now as many Americans who claim no religion as there are evangelicals and Catholics, a survey finds”)

[3]  Id.

[4]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/ (“What And Where Is God?”)

[5]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/#comment-426 (“For A Lovely Woman Named Cynthia Whose Faith In God Will Help Her”)

[6]  See infra n.4.

[7]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_religious_groups#Largest_religious_groups (“Largest religious groups”)

[8]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church (“Catholic Church”)

[9]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infanticide (“Infanticide”)

As I have written:

An abortion is a criminal act: infanticide. Each of the mothers and the doctors and others who have participated—or participate in the future—in the taking of human lives should be arrested, tried, convicted and . . .

Abortion is the taking of a life!

. . .

IF any exceptions are to be made, they should only occur in the case of rape, incest or where the life of the mother is at risk.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/abortions-and-autos-kill-more-in-america-than-guns/#comment-3298 (“55 Million American Babies Killed Since Roe v. Wade“)

[10]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharaoh (“Pharaoh”)

[11]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/the-catholic-church-at-a-crossroads/ (“The Catholic Church At A Crossroads”)

 





Adoption: A Scar That Never Heals?

29 04 2018

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

A child is a sacred being, and God’s precious gift to the world.[2]  Each is unique and blessed, with God’s imprimatur in his or her original fingerprints and DNA.  The flip side of an abortion is adoption—hopefully by one or more loving adoptive parents.  Rather than take a life, adoption provides a means by which that life continues and is nourished and often cherished by those persons who adopt.[3]

This has been true of a relative of mine and his wife, who desperately wanted to adopt because cancer treatments had prevented one from ever conceiving again.[4]  Another relative was forced by her father to give up her baby, which had been born out of wedlock.  A third relative—whom I love deeply—fell in love with someone who had been adopted at birth; and he seems never to have reconciled his quest for knowledge of his birth parents with the love provided by his adoptive parents . . . or by my relative.

The adoptee’s mother has sheltered the teenager from the hurt and chaos that his birth parents might bring to their family, which is understandable.  In the process, however, the young man seems less than “whole,” and this has influenced his relationship with my wonderful and very loving relative.  Al-Anon teaches loved ones and families of alcoholics and drug addicts that they cannot “fix” or change such behavior, and that they must take care of themselves first and foremost.  This is sound and timeless advice, yet there must be a way to heal the “hole” in the young man’s heart and help him, so that he is healthy and truly happy in the years to come and for the rest of his life.

One woman who was adopted at birth has written:

I’ve spent my life having dreams about meeting [my biological parents] only to wake up and feel farther away from that dream. They live in a cloud, somewhere in my imagination, somewhere over the rainbow, they carry a sense of home that I have never known.

At times, I am convinced that I am looking at my biological mother in the face of a stranger on a subway, or in a restaurant, and when a pleasant person who resembles me smiles at me for no reason, the fantasies begin to do their dance. It is common, and it comes from a child’s imagination. The child in me who wants answers, and the adult who has questions.

. . .

Not knowing who your parents are is a strange life, though you adapt of course. You have other parents, other people you consider family. Love is stronger than blood for sure, but still, still, you can’t help wondering.[5]

Obviously, undergirding these issues, are often unfathomable mental health dimensions.  As one mental health professional has written:

Children may feel grief over the loss of a relationship with their birthparents and the loss of the cultural and family connections that would have existed with those parents.

This feeling of loss may be especially intense in closed or semi-open adoptions where little or no information or contact is available with birthparents. Such grief feelings may be triggered at many different times throughout the child’s life including when they first learn of their adoption, during the turbulent teen years, upon the death of other family members, or even as when becoming a spouse or parent.

There can also be significant concerns about feeling abandoned and “abandonable,” and “not good enough,” coupled with specific hurt feelings over the birthmother’s choice to “reject[] the child” to “give me away” or “not wanting me enough.” Such hurtful and vulnerable feelings may be compounded should the child learn that the birthmother later had other children that she chose to raise herself.[6]

Perhaps the issues are summarized best by one adoptee who has written later in life that “we don’t belong anywhere in particular.”[7]  Another stated: “I realized . . . that I had never really felt connected to anyone.  Maybe because my heritage was missing.  I didn’t know where I came from.  No real sense of belonging to anyone.”[8]  Yet, this woman added:

Thanks to the internet, I found ALL of my birth family. I now have a wonderful relationship with them. I have five half-siblings; uncles, aunts, and many cousins; and lots of family reunions. My sons have a new set of grandparents who have taken over loving them where Mom and Dad had to leave off. And I know where I got my nose, blonde hair, and love of dancing.

It’s amazing what hugging your birth family can do—it gives you a sense of connection.[9]

Such happy endings do not happen to everyone who searches though.[10]

adoption

 

© 2018, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/documents/TimothyD.NaegeleResume.pdf). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/#comment-13158 (“The Judiciary And Doctors In The UK Killed Little Charlie Gard And Now Alfie Evans”)

[3]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/abortions-and-autos-kill-more-in-america-than-guns/ (“Abortions And Autos Kill More In America Than Guns”)

[4]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/problems-with-foreign-adoptions/ (“Problems With Foreign Adoptions”)

[5]  See https://www.quora.com/How-do-you-cope-with-not-knowing-who-your-biological-parents-are

Another woman who was adopted at birth, and is also an adoptive mother, has written:

People tend to be curious about their family of origin story, whether or not they are adopted.  Look at the tremendous interest in Ancestry.com.  That’s not all fueled by adoptees, I promise you.  It’s natural to wonder how much of who we are is from our biology (nature) and how much is from our upbringing (nurture). That wondering applies to all of us; adoptees just know there is an additional layer to consider.

I’ve always been annoyed by the Hallmark TV version of adoption: the idea that we cannot be our real selves until we connect with our biological families.  If that connection completes you, great.  But don’t count on it.  That said, there is no shame in wanting to know your origin story and wanting to access your birth family’s (and therefore your own) medical history.  Do so with care though, because you are digging into the emotional past too.

Adoptions today are more likely to be open, at least to the extent that information and names are shared, if not to the extent that a relationship is maintained.  That openness can help answer many questions that an adoptee might wonder about, heading off the [] need to attend to answering the unknowns.

Being different in any way can set us up for loneliness and self doubt.  We’re all a little different, right?  We can choose whether that difference gives us a launch pad or a stumbling block.

See https://www.quora.com/Are-adopted-kids-really-obsessed-with-their-birth-parents-even-well-into-adulthood

[6]  See Kathryn Patricelli, MA, “Long-Term Issues For The Adopted Child,” https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/long-term-issues-for-the-adopted-child/

[7]  See Stephen J Betchen D.S.W., “Why Adoptees Need To Find Their Biological Parents,” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/magnetic-partners/201104/why-adoptees-need-find-their-biological-parents

The author added:

Some of us who were adopted in “closed states” (or states that don’t allow for the free exchange of even the most vital information such as a health history) have a lingering fear that we might drop dead at any moment. I just love filling out the medical history questionnaire at a new doctor’s office; the one that asks what diseases your parents suffered from. How about the question: What age was your father when he died? How should I know? The great state of so and so…won’t tell me. Not knowing one’s medical history is especially annoying to those of us adoptees who have biological children. What am I passing on? Will I be around for the weddings?

. . .

Bio mom and I continued our telephone relationship for the next several years, but sadly enough, it just plain wore out. I got tired of playing in a fixed pursuer-distancer dance and so I did what a lot of adopted kids might do in a situation like this—I disappeared.  I took my medical history and a few more tidbits and I faded with a new appreciation for my adopted parents.  They weren’t perfect, but neither was I.  As for bio mom, I hope she lives forever.  She wasn’t a bad sort, and my kids could sure use the good genes.

[8]  See https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/08/the-sense-of-belonging-to-someone/497834/ (“The Sense of Belonging to Someone”) (“Whenever I thought about having birth parents, it was like putting my mind in a deep, dark, vast space—nothing existed.  My constant thought was, ‘I wonder if someone out there looks like me, and is similar to me’”—”Mom knew she couldn’t handle me finding my birth parents while she was alive.  She wanted me to, but after she was gone.  She did it in such a sweet way. I love her for this”)

[9]  See id. 

[10]  See, e.g., Lisa Lutz, “I Found My Biological Parents, and Wish I Hadn’t,” https://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/magazine/i-found-my-biological-parents-and-wish-i-hadnt.html (“If I’d been given the choice of meeting my biological parents or getting a nice dossier on them, I would have chosen the latter”—”When I finally had time to take it all in, I felt like the result of a mishandled science experiment.  I wondered what might have happened to me if I had been raised by my genetic parents.  It seems unlikely that I would have ended up with the degree of ambition that I did, one that surpasses my modest genetic gifts.  I was never that smart or talented, but I was scrappy and dogged, and I believed I was owed something.  That seems ridiculous now.  Family is the luck of the draw, and so is how you turn out”)





Global Chaos And Helter Skelter

1 07 2015

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

For many Americans, the world seems upside down or topsy-turvy, and headed for unbelievable—if not unprecedented—chaos, calamity and helter skelter.  This is true economically, militarily, socially, and in countless other ways.  Countries and regions are coming apart at the seams; accepted institutions are attacked; lives are uprooted, or ended in truly savage ways; and little seems sacred or even predictable anymore.  Many lives appear to move at light speed, while others barely move at all.[2]

An unfathomable global economic crash is predicted, unlike anything that we have witnessed in our lifetimes.[3]  The murderous Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has seized portions of Georgia and Ukraine (including Crimea), and may expand his aggression into Europe.[4]  China is flexing its muscles in the Pacific[5]; North Korea continues to be a loose cannon[6]; the Middle East is imploding, with much worse yet to come; and terrorists stalk the world, creating death and destruction.[7]  Human trafficking flourishes, while there are problems with adoptions and illegal immigration.[8]

Accepted views of marriage are being rewritten; and divorces occur too often.[9]  The inmates are running the asylum.  Organized religion is under attack.[10]  America’s history is challenged for being racist, with attempts being made to rewrite it.  Riots have been occurring in American cities, provoked by hoods, thugs and criminals.  So-called man-made “global warming” and “climate change” are being pushed worldwide, even though it is clear that our planet has gone through warming and cooling periods for millions of years.  Also, other natural disasters are occurring.[11]

Americans’ trust in business[12], Congress and our elected officials[13], the law and judiciary[14], the police, government in general—and in the future—are shaken each and every day.  The old “norms” seem to be gone.  Replacing them appears to be anarchy, certainly in the Middle East and Africa, where countries and regions are fragmenting, and order and the value of human lives are in short supply.  Those who stay abreast of the news see barbarism in action, which is all too reminiscent of what is portrayed in Hollywood films.

Yet, whether one is a Republican or a Democrat or an Independent or something else—and regardless of one’s skin color, ethnicity or religious beliefs—there is hope and plenty of it.[15]  We are Americans!

© 2015, Timothy D. Naegele

Bald Eagle and American Flag --- Image by © Ocean/Corbis


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g.,www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com; see also Google search:Timothy D. Naegele

[2] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/is-google-becoming-microsoft-or-worse/ (“Is Google Becoming Microsoft Or Worse?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/are-colleges-dinosaurs/ (“Are Colleges Dinosaurs?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/poverty-in-america/ (“Poverty In America”).  But see https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/ (“What And Where Is God?”)

[3] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/ (“The Economic Tsunami Continues Its Relentless And Unforgiving Advance Globally”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/will-the-eus-collapse-push-the-world-deeper-into-the-great-depression-ii/ (“Will The EU’s Collapse Push The World Deeper Into The Great Depression II?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/the-great-depression-ii/ (“The Great Depression II?”) and http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html (“Euphoria or the Obama Depression?”) and http://marketshadows.com/2012/05/21/greenspans-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/ (“Greenspan’s legacy: more suffering to come”) and http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/173_212/-365185-1.html (“Greenspan’s Fingerprints All Over Enduring Mess”)

[4] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ (“Russia’s Putin Is A Killer”)

[5] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ (“China Is America’s Enemy: Make No Mistake About That”)

[6] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/the-next-major-war-korea-again/ (“The Next Major War: Korea Again?”)

[7] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/the-madness-of-benjamin-netanyahu/ (“The Madness Of Benjamin Netanyahu”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/ (“Israel’s Senseless Killings And War With Iran”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin’s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao’s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive”)

[8] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/human-trafficking/ (“Human Trafficking”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/problems-with-foreign-adoptions/ (“Problems With Foreign Adoptions”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/ (“Illegal Immigration: The Solution Is Simple”)

[9] Even the great Alexander is rumored to have been bisexual, inter alia, because those were the mores of the day.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/alexander-the-great/ (“Alexander the Great”)

See also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/divorces/ (“Divorces”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/abortions-and-autos-kill-more-in-america-than-guns/ (“Abortions And Autos Kill More In America Than Guns”)

[10] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/the-duggar-family-v-anti-christians/ (“The Duggar Family v. Anti-Christians”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/the-catholic-church-at-a-crossroads/ (“The Catholic Church At A Crossroads”)

[11] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/earthquakes-the-big-one-is-coming-to-at-least-los-angeles/ (“Earthquakes: The Big One Is Coming To At Least Los Angeles”)

[12] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/toyota-and-lexus-vehicles-are-unsafe/ (“Toyota And Lexus Vehicles Are Unsafe”)

[13] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/are-all-tea-partiers-wackos-misfits-and-extremists/ (“Are All Tea Partiers Wackos, Misfits And Extremists?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/sarah-and-todd-palin-the-big-winners/ (“Sarah And Todd Palin: The Big Winners?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/john-f-kennedy-the-most-despicable-president-in-american-history/ (“John F. Kennedy: The Most Despicable President In American History”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/ (“Washington Is Sick And The American People Know It”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/is-financial-reform-simply-washingtons-latest-boondoggle/ (“Is Financial Reform Simply Washington’s Latest Boondoggle?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/ (“The Rise Of Independents”); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/is-redemption-possible-for-tiger-woods/ (“Is Redemption Possible For Tiger Woods?”); and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/is-obama-the-new-nixon/ (“Is Obama The New Nixon?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ (“Barack Obama Is A Lame-Duck President Who Will Not Be Reelected”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/are-afghanistan-iraq-and-pakistan-hopeless-and-is-the-spread-of-radical-islam-inevitable-and-is-barack-obama-finished-as-americas-president/ (“Are Afghanistan, Iraq And Pakistan Hopeless, And Is The Spread Of Radical Islam Inevitable, And Is Barack Obama Finished As America’s President?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/the-speech—is-barack-obama-smoking-pot-again/ (“The Speech—Is Barack Obama Smoking Pot Again?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/ (“The End Of Barack Obama”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/barack-obama-america’s-second-emperor/ (“Barack Obama: America’s Second Emperor?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/ (“Obama In Afghanistan: Doomed From The Start?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?”); but see https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/edward-w-brooke-is-dead/ (“Edward W. Brooke Is Dead”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/ (“Ariel Sharon Is Missed”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/jefferson-lincoln-and-america/ (“Jefferson, Lincoln And America”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/ulysses-s-grant-an-american-hero/ (“Ulysses S. Grant: An American Hero”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/ansel-adams-has-an-heir/ (“Ansel Adams Has An Heir”)

[14] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/the-state-bar-of-california-is-lawless-and-a-travesty-and-should-be-abolished/ (“The State Bar Of California Is Lawless And A Travesty, And Should Be Abolished”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/ (“Justice And The Law Do Not Mix”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/the-united-states-department-of-injustice/ (“The United States Department of Injustice”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/the-american-legal-system-is-broken-can-it-be-fixed/ (“The American Legal System Is Broken: Can It Be Fixed?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/31/lawyers-and-internet-scams/ (“Lawyers And Internet Scams”)

[15] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/ (“What And Where Is God?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/ronald-reagan-and-john-f-kennedy-a-question-of-character/ (“Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy: A Question of Character”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/ (“America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life”)





Abortions And Autos Kill More In America Than Guns

20 12 2012

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Tragedies have struck again and again, with women and young students being killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut; at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado; and elsewhere.  The loss of these lives was senseless and unfathomable; and enormous pain and shock waves have been visited upon our great nation.  Advocates of gun control believe it is the solution.  However, the killer at Sandy Hook used his mother’s weapons; and she apparently knew that his mental health issues were a potential powder keg, but she could not stop him and he killed her too.  Also, at essentially the same time as the Sandy Hook killings, 22 children and one adult were injured by a knife-wielding man outside a primary school in central China as students were arriving for classes.[2]

Guns do not kill; people do. Criminals and wackos can get their hands on guns and other weapons and commit violence, and there is nothing that can be done to prevent them—except to stop the crimes before they are committed, owing to mental health treatment, better intelligence and law enforcement.  These are violent times, which will only get much worse between now and the end of this decade; and lots of innocent people will suffer globally.[3]  However, such killings must be placed in perspective: abortions and auto accidents kill far more in America than guns do.  Indeed, there is no comparison.  Also, the FBI has reported that all homicides committed using firearms have been declining.[4]

The Second Amendment to our Constitution states in pertinent part:

[T]he right of the people to keep and bear arms [] shall not be infringed.[5]

It is part of the American culture, which is protected; and the Constitution will not be changed in this regard.  Indeed, gun sales have been rising because Americans want the ability to defend themselves as crime increases in our country, which will only get worse as the budgets of law enforcement decline during the balance of this decade.

Also, violence is glorified on TV and in films worldwide.  If Americans truly want to reduce or eliminate violence (e.g., “copycat” murders), the depiction of violence should be banned. It instills the wrong values in the kids of this world. And there is no question that Hollywood promotes and glorifies violence.

America’s resident, angry Narcissistic Brit, Piers Morgan, has been trying to change our culture—which he does not understand—by crusading for gun control, despite the low ratings of his CNN talk show, which replaced the legendary, unflappable Larry King.  Hopefully Morgan returns permanently to the UK as soon as possible, and stops “preaching” in our country.[6]

As American lawyer, conservative social and political commentator Ann Coulter has noted:

Only one public policy has ever been shown to reduce the death rate from [multiple-victim shootings]: concealed-carry laws.

The effect of concealed-carry laws in deterring mass public shootings was even greater than the impact of such laws on the murder rate generally.

Someone planning to commit a single murder in a concealed-carry state only has to weigh the odds of one person being armed. But a criminal planning to commit murder in a public place has to worry that anyone in the entire area might have a gun.[7]

On a personal note, I was a U.S. Army Infantry Officer during the Vietnam War, and I was trained with guns and know how to use them.  However, I gave away my father’s duck-hunting weapons, and do not like the idea of any weapons being around.  Accidents can and do happen.  However, I understand why so many Americans want them for hunting, and for their own protection.

Lastly, it bears repeating: abortions and auto accidents kill far more than guns do in the United States.  Abortions should be banned, and auto accidents should be curbed, if Americans and others truly want to deal with deaths instead of merely spouting rhetoric as Piers Morgan does.

© 2012, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, which specializes in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g.,www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com; see also Google search:Timothy D. Naegele

[2] See http://www.enniscorthyguardian.ie/breaking-news/world-news/22-children-hurt-in-knife-attack-3325857.html

[3] Whether it is (1) Elizabeth Smart who was abducted from her Salt Lake City, Utah, bedroom, or (2) Jaycee Lee Dugard who was kidnapped in Northern California at the age of 11 and was found alive 18 years later after having given birth to two children fathered by the man who kidnapped her, or (3) sweet Madeleine McCann who disappeared in May of 2007 when she was on holiday with her British parents and twin siblings in the Algarve region of Portugal, or (4) the attack that took place at the shopping center in Southern California where I bought an Apple laptop that I am using to type this—which is across the road from where my son and his family used to live—this is a violent world in which innocent people (especially women) are preyed on by wackos.

See, e.g.http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/12/shots-fired-at-fashion-island-mall-lockdown-in-place.html; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/poverty-in-america/ (“Poverty In America”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/ (“The Economic Tsunami Continues Its Relentless And Unforgiving Advance Globally”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/ (“Illegal Immigration: The Solution Is Simple”)

[4]  As of the date that this article was published, more than 1.2 million abortions had taken place in the United States this year alone.

See http://www.numberofabortions.com/; see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_States

Last year, motor vehicle deaths in U.S. totaled 32,367.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year

By comparison, it has been reported:

[T]he most recent data suggests gun violence is declining in the United States.

The number of homicides committed using firearms dropped from 2006 to 2010, according the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.

In 2010, 8,775 homicides using firearms were reported to the FBI. In 2006, 10,225 homicides using firearms were reported to the FBI.

See http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/investigations/fbi-crime-reports-show-homicides-using-firearms-dropped-in-usbetween-2006-and-2010

[5] See http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/second_amendment

[6] See http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2012/12/19/piers-morgan-calls-pro-gun-advocate-unbelievably-stupid-dangerous-you

[7] See http://www.humanevents.com/2012/12/19/ann-coulter-we-know-how-to-stop-school-shootings/

As a lawyer-friend of mine commented, after reading and recommending Coulter’s article:

I think one of the jurisdictions that is pretty satisfied with concealed carry laws is [the District of Columbia, or Washington, D.C.], where a lot of the minority women carry weapons when they live in unsafe areas.

. . .

The bad guys aren’t as likely to bother them as they were before many of them started carrying.





Problems With Foreign Adoptions

15 04 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

International media organizations have reported recently about an American woman from Tennessee who adopted a young boy from Russia, and then sent him back after trying to deal with his mental health issues.[2] This episode is sad and tragic—for the child, for the mother, and for lots of innocent people—everyone knows that.  However, the deeper issues surrounding this adoption involve the inability of so many Americans to adopt children who are born in this country, and the willingness of Russia, China and other countries to foist “sick” children on U.S. adoptive parents.

Adoptions are critical to so many people.  They save lives that might otherwise be aborted; and they offer precious loving options to those people who cannot conceive children of their own.  For the adoptees, ideally they provide new parents and bright futures where there were none, and a chance to escape from the poverty and hopelessness of their countries.

A relative of mine and his wife are perfect examples of Americans who wanted to adopt, because cancer treatments had prevented one from ever conceiving again.  They desperately wanted to adopt more than one child, and they tried to adopt in the U.S. but found it was near to impossible[3], so they turned their attention abroad.  First, they adopted a baby from an orphanage in China, and all went well.  Then, they sought to adopt a second baby from another Chinese orphanage, and it was an unmitigated disaster.

The child had serious physical problems, which were not disclosed to the couple.  For a child to have “psychological problems” or to be “mentally unstable,” “violent and angry” or have “severe psychopathic issues”—in the case of the Russian boy—is tragic but not surprising.  China wants to get rid of such children, and presumably Russia and other countries do too; and it is arguable that the United States has become a “dumping ground” for these children.

It is easy to be holier-than-thou, and to tar or condemn the adoptive mother or parents as unfit and criminals, yet first those who do so should walk a mile in the person’s (or persons’) mocassins.  How would we feel, and how would we react?  I have searched my own soul with respect to that question, trying to put myself in the shoes of my relative and his wife, who are wonderful and loving people.

For the U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Beyrle, to say that he was “deeply shocked by the news” and “very angry that any family would act so callously toward a child that they had legally adopted,” constitutes pure theatrics, grandstanding and callousness by a political hack.  With the advent of ObamaCare’s healthcare “rationing,” the cost and human toll of dealing with sick children from other countries might overwhelm adoptive families and our medical system.

There should be an international agreement on the conditions for adoptions, the obligations of host families, and the obligations of those countries that seek to have Americans adopt their children.  It is a two-way street, and there is plenty of blame to share.  I do not have much patience with the Russians; and I have enormous contempt for the thoroughly evil Putin regime.[4] Hence, it is not surprising that they would seek to exploit sensitive adoption issues, at a time when they are allowing sick children to be adopted by American families.

Perhaps, the easiest way to deal with any Russian concerns is to cut off all adoptions from that country immediately.  This will stem the tide of sick children being foisted on Americans; and the same thing might be done with China and other countries, which are enormously brazen and uncaring.

A Chicago Tribune article states:

Rather than condemn the Tennessee woman, [other parents of adopted children who exhibit severely challenging behavior] are blasting adoption agencies that are not always reliable reporters about a child’s troubled past, leaving families adrift to manage extreme problems without training or options.

It includes the comment of a mother:

“I want to ask these people passing judgment: What would you do if your child threatened to kill you every day?”

. . .

Since 1991, more than 50,000 Russian children have been adopted by U.S. citizens, according to the State Department.  Add the former Soviet bloc countries, and the region is second only to China as a source of international adoptions for Americans, who are often drawn overseas by the difficulty of adopting domestically.

But prospective parents can be unprepared for the behavioral and emotional challenges that await them, explained Judy Stigger, an adoption therapist at The Cradle in Evanston, Ill.

. . .

Because children can be superficially charming and their disabilities are invisible, their problems often get blamed on “bad parenting.”  Also, adding to the uphill battle: The right kind of interventions—often not covered by insurance—can be scarce and prohibitively expensive.[5]

When Russia, China and other countries foist sick children on U.S. adoptive parents, they are engaging in brutal and callous human trafficking, which must be stopped.[6] On the bright side, my relative and his wife ended up adopting one child from China and another from Vietnam.  Both children are enormous blessings, and there is love abounding.

© 2010, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass), the first black senator since Reconstruction after the U.S. Civil War.  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates (www.naegele.com).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years.  See, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles

[2] See, e.g.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304222504575173741062876452.html?KEYWORDS=Russian+adoptions#articleTabs%3Darticle

[3] In at least one instance, a birth mother “interviewed” them, and then she backed out.  I remember their frustrations with the American adoption process, so they went abroad.

[4] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/

[5] See http://dailyme.com/story/2010041500002200/overseas-adoptions-blessing.html

[6] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/human-trafficking/





The Catholic Church At A Crossroads

5 04 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

When my father’s ancestors first came to America from Rottweil, Germany in 1849, they consisted of a husband and wife who had sixteen children, and were Catholics.  Sometime early in the 20th Century, the family moved away from the Church because of tithing—or so I was told—and became Lutherans.

On my mother’s side were Scots, Irish and English, many of whom were Catholics too.  My mother was an Episcopalian and my father sang in a Lutheran choir in Minneapolis where they met in grade school, but I grew up with kind feelings toward the Catholic Church.  My first two girlfriends were Catholics, which has been true of others since.

Fast forward to April of 1983, and I met a lovely Irish woman in Dublin, and we spent many years together.  She had attended Catholic schools, but would not set foot in a Catholic church in Ireland because of what she had witnessed as a young girl, and because of what she described as the “hypocrisy” of the Church (e.g., a high ranking Church official had a “wife” and child).  Later, I met another Irish woman whose closest friend had been impregnated by the local parish priest, and she had given birth to his child.

When the reports of pedophilia and other child abuses began to surface dramatically in the US and Ireland, I was not surprised.  Obviously the victims had suffered more than any of us can fathom.  I discussed the issue with someone who was much more knowledgeable than I was; and the person emphasized that being a Gay priest was different than being a pedophile.  Also, nuns committed child abuses in large numbers, certainly in Ireland.

One of my close Catholic friends pointed out some years ago that the Church had taken steps to remove pedophiles from its ranks, which was long overdue.  Also, I believe the Church-made rule of celibacy has outlived its usefulness and should be jettisoned.  The earliest Christian leaders were largely married men; and the Church’s hierarchy today should include the married and unmarried, both men and women.

Some people argue that the latest crises might bring down a Pope.  Surely, the Church has withstood other assaults throughout history, and it will withstand this one too.  The Church’s supporters will continue, while its detractors and haters will be present too.  The larger issue is whether true reform is possible, after the latest “blood-letting” about pedophilia has passed.

In many ways, the Church is like a giant oil tanker or aircraft carrier that cannot be turned on a dime.  In a sense, this is good because it is not blown off course by the societal trends or scandals of the moment.[2] As the enormous worldwide force that it is, the Church makes changes incrementally, not dramatically or overnight.  Pedophilia and child abuses of any kind must be condemned and never happen again.  The task today is to rectify the wrongdoing and bring the wrongdoers to justice, and to institutionalize lasting reforms.

The hard-earned monies of parishioners should not be used to pay the Church’s legal fees or legal settlements with the victims.  Instead, the monies should come from the Church’s vast coffers and resources worldwide, which are invested in office buildings, other real estate and the like.  When I attend Catholic churches regularly—which I do, even though I am not a member of the Church—I see Hispanics and other devout worshippers contribute what little money they have.  To use such monies to address the Church’s wrongdoing seems morally wrong and repugnant.

Next, there are vast numbers of child prostitutes in the US and throughout the world[3], who are victims of human trafficking[4].  Just as pedophilia must be stopped in its tracks, so too must human trafficking of all types, and child prostitution and pornography[5].  The Catholic Church can take a leadership role worldwide with respect to all of these issues—which is long overdue.  Its moral obligation to do so is clear.[6]

Lastly, one’s religion is very personal, and mine certainly is.  I do not want anyone telling me how to worship or what is important; and most people feel exactly the same way.  Any thoughts I have about the Church represent an effort to move beyond the scandals of today, and to seek a brighter future.

© 2010, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass), the first black senator since Reconstruction after the U.S. Civil War.  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates (www.naegele.com).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years.  See, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles

[2] I have been drawn to the Church more and more over the years because among the American churches, at least it stands for issues in which I believe, such as the sanctity of life and family values.  We live in a society today that is guided too much by secular values, with which I do not agree.  If it feels good, do it—or so many people believe.  God has been driven out of our children’s classrooms and elsewhere in society. and I do not agree with that.

Until Ronald Reagan focused public attention of the right to life as opposed to abortions that were often a matter of convenience, I had never given much attention to the issue.  If anything, I just went along with the idea that abortions were OK, as well as a woman’s right.  Then, I saw a film about the birth of a human being, from almost the moment of conception to when it emerged from the womb.  How it was filmed, I do not know, but I will never forget it.  At about the same time, I read an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times (as I recall), written by a doctor who had performed lots of abortions, many of them late-term.  He gave up his medical practice because he was having nightmares and other reactions, and I was stunned by his words.

I defy anyone to define with precision when a human life begins, and when an abortion constitutes something other than the taking of a human being.  For me, life begins with conception; and thereafter, I believe this life is taken if an abortion occurs.  Should that act be criminalized, or does a woman have the right to have it done?  These are heady issues, with respect to which people disagree, sometimes violently.  I side with the Catholic Church, and feel that adoptions are preferable to abortions.  A cousin of mine and his wife found it almost impossible to adopt in the U.S., and were forced to adopt two children from Asia, whom they love unconditionally.  Clearly, there are many loving American couples who would welcome the chance to adopt someone else’s child.

[3] See, e.g., http://www.justice.gov/criminal/ceos/prostitution.html

[4] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/human-trafficking/

[5] See, e.g., http://www.justice.gov/criminal/ceos/childporn.html

[6] Former President George W. Bush took a leadership role in dealing with the issue of human trafficking; and the Catholic Church must do the same.  See, e.g., http://www.justice.gov/criminal/ceos/trafficking.html








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