Friday, March 22, 2013

If I Was Perry White

If I was the editor of a major metropolitan newspaper – yes, if I was Perry White – I would send my crack investigative reporter to answer one question: Who built the Halliburton world headquarters building in Dubai?

Corporations moving off shore and not paying U.S. taxes are far too common. A corporation that spent more than a decade getting bloated, no-bid contracts from a government where the Vice-President held that corporation’s stocks in a blind (wink-wink) trust moves off shore it is appalling. But, that is not the worst. The curious question is, why Dubai? Of all the tax havens in all the world, why did Halliburton choose Dubai as their world headquarters?

When you read Dubai you should think bin Laden. The bin Laden family construction company built Dubai. Dubai is the showcase for bin Laden construction and it was built with American tax payer money. One son attacks the world’s tallest building – twice – just in time for his family to build the world’s tallest building in Dubai.

The graft, the corruption, the payoffs and the bribes of ten years of two wars concentrated in Dubai. When Michele Bachmann attributed all those construction cranes in Dubai to oil money, she was wrong, that was American tax payer money. That was construction dollars that she will never see in her Minnesota congressional district.

So, who built the Halliburton world headquarters? We cannot speak the name. I hope that they have gold plated urinal fixtures. I am sure that no one using their showers will be electrocuted. It is probably as buggy as the American embassy in Moscow. Yet, no matter how much tax money is lost, Halliburton belongs there; it may be the most honest thing Halliburton has done.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

If I Were Pope – Conclave Edition

If, during the current conclave, I was tapped for Pope, the first thing I would do would be to write an encyclical insisting on the tabernacle being placed back in the center of the altar. How many times have you gone to Mass and could not locate the tabernacle? You get to your pew, genuflect, then realize that you are not genuflecting to the living presence of Christ, but an empty altar. The tabernacle, the holiest place in the church, is over in the corner, used as a side table to hold a vase of flowers and extra copies of this week’s bulletin.

As the American Catholic Church lurches closer into Protestantism (Vacation Bible School? Really, Catholics?), and as the sacristy lamps flicker out, modern church architecture does not distinguish the unique features of a Catholic church. How are we to keep Christ at the center of our lives if we can’t even bother to keep Him at the center of our Church?