Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How I Say the Rosary

When I was young, I quickly came to realize that the Rosary, as we Catholics say it, is "the world's most boring prayer."

Many of our Protestant brothers condemn the Rosary as Bible-damned "vain repetitions" (Matthew 6:7), verifying our damned state.

But this judgment by our brothers-in-Christ is based on a misinterpretation. What Christ was condemning in Matthew 6:7 is thinking that one can make headway with God through repeated prayer -- in other words, He was condemning prayer uttered without trust in God.

If repetitious prayer, as repetitious prayer, were being condemned, then the divinely inspired Psalms, themselves, are dens of iniquity: Compare Psalm 136:1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and 6 and 7 and 8 and 9 and 10 and 11 and 12 and 13 and 14 and 15 and 16 and 17 and 18 and 19 and 20 and 21 and 22 and 23 and 24 and 25 and 26.

A prayer which requires repetition is not, per se, prayer uttered without trust.

So, go ahead and say your Rosary. It's not proof that you are damned. But, I, personally, still find doing so to be extremely tedious, and I think that the Rosary ought to be substantially restructured.

This is how I have restructured it, for myself...

The Sign of the Cross.

The Apostles Creed.

One Our Father.

One Hail Mary.

One Glory Be.

One Oh My Jesus ("Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins," etc.)

Then, the announcement, "First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation."

Then, one Our Father.

Then, I actually really do "contemplate the Mystery."

The secret is how.

There are structures in Scripture, called "types" and "word pictures" by Bible commentators.

"Hand" or "arm" in the Bible, for example, are expressions of the "Hand/Arm Type" symbolizing "Christ," even in the Old Testament, not just the New Testament.

"Boat" and "ark" are expressions of the "Boat Type" symbolizing "the Church," wherever you see boats in the Old and New Testaments.

Now, go to Genesis 8:8-9...

8 Then he sent out a dove, to see if the waters had lessened on the earth.
9 But the dove could find no place to alight and perch, and it returned to him in the ark, for there was water all over the earth. Putting out his hand, he caught the dove and drew it back to him inside the ark.

Do you see how the inspired Bible text dwells "in nauseating detail" on how Noah returned the dove to the ark?

That's actually a God-inspired word-picture of the key moment in the Annunciation -- the Incarnation.

The dove "carrying" the hand into the boat is a word-picture of the Holy Spirit carrying Christ to the Church.

By realizing this and studying this, I am actually "comtemplating" the Mystery of the Annunciation, aren't I?

After my "contemplation," I return to the structure of the Rosary, saying a Hail Mary, then a Glory Be, then an Oh My Jesus.

And so on.

In the coming days, I will outline all of the verses in the Bible comprising "word-pictures" of the Mysteries to contemplate.

In effect, you will be saying the Rosary after the fashion it was originally conceived, centuries ago: Narrators would divide the basic gospel story into 150 portions, and then have listeners say one of each of the 150 Psalms during a pause in the narration.

That gradually deteriorated into 3 sets of Mysteries x 5 Mysteries per set x 10 Hail Mary's per Mystery, recited with almost no contemplation of the original core consideration of the Rosary, the basic Gospel story.

By doing what I describe, here, we return the Rosary to its original noble purpose -- careful consideration of the Gospel story!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How Jewish the Dawson / Eitelman's Are!!!

Believed to Be Jacob Woelfle

Believed to Be Mrs. Jacob Woelfle

Believed to Be Elizabeth Christine Wolfle

Years ago, after I commenced the genealogy, my generation of the Dawson/Eitelman clan would call and asked, "Pete, is it true that Jacob Woelfle was Jewish?"

Jacob Woelfle, recollect, is our ancestor by Bobo...

GF Edward Decatur Eitelman was the son of

G1 GF Michael George Eitelman, who was the son of

G2 GM Elizabeth Christine Wolfle, who was the daughter of

G3 GF Jacob Woelfle, our known Jewish ancestor.

Well, it turns out that we have more Jewish ancestors through Bobo, the Baehr's...

GF Edward Decatur Eitelman was the son of

G1 GF Michael George Eitelman, who was the son of

G2 GF Michael Andrew Eitelman, Jr., the blacksmith in Fort Worth married to Elizabeth Christine Wolfle, who was the son of

G3 GF Michael Andrew Eitelmann, Sr., who came from Germany, who was the son of

G4 GM Elisabetha Bahr.

G4 GM Elisabetha Bahr was clearly the descendant of a Jewish line...

G4 GM Elisabetha Bahr was the daughter of

G5 GF Abraham Baehr, who was the son of

G6 GF Mosche ("Moses") Baehr, who was the son of

G7 GF David "Dov" Baehr, who was the son of

G8 GF Mosche ("Moses") Baehr.

That's a very, very Jewish line of names, and almost certainly Jewish. So, when Michael Andrew Eitelman, Jr. married Elizabeth Christine Wolfle, he was functionally following in the steps of his grandfather Johann Georg Eitelmann, who also "married Jewish."

To me, this was very significant. When I married my wonderful wife Rise Deborah Sobel, I was "marrying Jewish" like G2 GF Michael Andrew Eitelman, Jr., and I have always been so proud of my boys' Jewish/ Catholic heritage.

Now I see that Johann Georg Eitelmann, in Germany, was doing the same.

The Wolfle's, the Baehr's. Who else?

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Dawson's in America

Perhaps in response to letters from friends or family who previously emigrated to Philadelphia, 20 year old WILLIAM travelled south to Philadelphia, and in short order met and married ANNA FULLER [17].

As suggested in Footnote [17], oral tradition in the family is that the marriage was extremely fruitful, that g1 gm ANNA FULLER DAWSON bore to g1 gf WILLIAM SAMUEL CHARLES DAWSON 12 children before the latter's death in 1869. Perhaps 2 or more of the children were twins. More than half of the children died before completing their teen years. The 1870 Census names only 5 in the year following g1 gf WILLIAM's death: Great uncle CHARLES DAWSON, 13; great uncle EDWARD DAWSON, 8; great aunt EMMA DAWSON, 7; great uncle THEO C. DAWSON, 6; and gf HENRY AVERY DAWSON, mysteriously referred to as JOHN R. H. DAWSON in the Census record.

G1 gm ANNA FULLER DAWSON and g1 gf WILLIAM SAMUEL CHARLES DAWSON raised their children Roman Catholic. It is unknown if WILLIAM SAMUEL CHARLES DAWSON ever actually converted to Roman Catholicism. Their address before 1860 is unknown. Perhaps they moved into ANNA's apartment at #3 Goldsmith Court. Perhaps they moved into WILLIAM's apartment, wherever that was. Perhaps they moved to the vicinity of Old St. Mary's Church at 4th and Locust, where some of the children were later baptized. Who knows?

In any event, something happened between their marriage around 1852 and the birth of their son, great uncle CHARLES DAWSON, in 1857 -- for great uncle CHARLES DAWSON was born in Maryland, according to the 1870 Census!

Once again, history may supply the answer. As millions of Irish Catholics escaped the consequences of the Potato Famine by emigration to the great cities on America's Eastern Seaboard, the economies of those cities became greatly disrupted. Millions of Irish men and women, having previously endured enormous deprivation, were willing to work for extremely low wages in the America workplace, since even that was a substantial improvement over what they had had in Ireland. This tendency had the impact of drastically driving down available wages in the cities, much to the dismay of native Protestant workers. As wages plummetted and unemployment rose in Protestant families, young men in those families banded together in groups nicknamed "the Know-Nothings." They terrorized immigrant families, especially Irish Catholics, and organized a powerful political group, the American Party, which sponsored legislation barring them from the country. They acquired their nickname from their members' tendency to tell the police, "I don't know nothin'," every time police would investigate another Irish Catholic hanging.

G1 gm ANNA FULLER DAWSON would have had a lot to say to these thugs. She would have told them how their Protestant counterparts in the British Isles stole the lands of her forefathers and outlawed her native language, her religion, and most forms of employment for her forefathers. She would have described how her Protestant neighbors in Londonderry County watched as ANNA and her husband back in Ireland starved, so that he died, and her baby was born blind. Perhaps, as she walked to Mass at St. Mary's one day, she spat at a member of a local Know-Nothing group. And then perhaps they chalked a death threat onto the sidewalk in front of the Dawson house. Again, who knows? That the DAWSON family should move to Maryland from Philadelphia in 1856 or 1857 corresponds very well with the historical background -- 1856 was the year in which the Know-Nothings were strongest in Philadelphia, for their formal organization, the American Party, had its national convention in Philadelphia that year.

In any event, if you were escaping anti-Catholic thugs, Maryland, even then known as "the Catholic state," was the place to go in those days. The Know-Nothing movement was very strong in Maryland, too; however, there were many more Catholics there.

And so that is where great uncle CHARLES DAWSON was born, according to the 1870 Census.

If g1 gm ANNA FULLER DAWSON had 12 children in 17 years, then children were born to her before and after CHARLES whose names do not appear in the 1870 Census, and who therefore presumably passed away before that year.

The fact that the DAWSON's do not make an appearance in the 1860 Census records for Philadelphia suggests that they stayed in Maryland till after that year. Again, this fits the historical background -- the Know-Nothing movement had largely run its course and died by 1861.

By 1862, however, the DAWSON family was back in Philadelphia. They began living in 510 Prune Street, on what is now the south side of the 500 block of Locust Street<[>18]. Although all of the homes on the 500 block of Locust have since been demolished in favor of one enormous building, the colonial-era homes still standing on the 400 block of Locust suggest that 510 Prune was a narrow 3 story row home. If great uncle CHARLES DAWSON, who would have been about 5 years of age in 1862, was the only surviving DAWSON child at that time, it would have been an "easy fit" for the family. The probability is that g1 gf WILLIAM SAMUEL CHARLES DAWSON and g1 gm ANNA FULLER DAWSON were renting 510 Prune [19].

Great uncle EDWARD SAMUEL DAWSON was born at 510 Prune Street in 1862 [20]. Family oral tradition is that he was baptized Roman Catholic. However, I was unable to locate the baptismal record for Edward Samuel Dawson in the records of the Roman Catholic parish in which 510 Prune Street was located, Old St. Mary's.

It appears certain that g1 gf WILLIAM SAMUEL CHARLES DAWSON did not fight in the Civil War, but instead worked, lived at home, and continued having babies with ANNA [21].

The next child, great aunt MARY EMMA DAWSON, known to us as "Aunt Emma" who married Edward Joseph Doyle, from whom Dad probably got his first and middle names, was probably born in the same house, on October 4, 1863. For whatever reason, MARY EMMA DAWSON was not baptized until years later, in 1877, apparently just before her first communion at Old St. Mary's [22].

The very next child was probably born substantially premature, otherwise it is a little hard to believe. Great uncle THEODORE C. DAWSON was born 9 calendar months and 6 days after MARY EMMA DAWSON, on July 10, 1864. The baptismal record for THEODORE shows that he, too, was baptized at Old St. Mary's, on May 25, 1865, by Fr. G. Strobel, with Maria Antoinette Preault as her godparent.

Though the baptismal record for THEODORE confirms that the "C" initial in g1 gf WILLIAM SAMUEL C. DAWSON's name stands for "Charles," there is a tiny bit of evidence that the "C" in THEODORE's name does not [23].

Aunt Marie insists that the photo circulating through the family of the young man who everyone believed to be a picture of gf HENRY AVERY DAWSON is actually a photo of great uncle THEODORE C. DAWSON. My notes show that years ago Dad told me that his only memory of his Uncle THEODORE is a photo of him lying in his casket.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Was Hiroshima "Without Warning"?

An article recently published in a Catholic periodical alleges that America dropped The Bomb on Hiroshima "without any prior warning whatsoever, so as to ensure the highest possible number of casualties." See


This is not quite true.

The Potsdam Ultimatum to the Japanese, as to which the Japanese formally responded with one word -- "Mokusatsu," or "Ignored" -- warned only of "prompt and utter destruction" -- not "prompt and utter destruction by a newly-developed weapon of immense power."

The main reason for this was fear of a dud, and of having to face the consequences of it being a dud.

Contrary to popular opinion, the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was a crude but completely untested Uranium device. The Trinity Test in the American Southwest in the months before the Hiroshima blast involved an absurdly-complex failure-prone Plutonium bomb. The Nagasaki bomb was of that variety. The failure-prone "fat man" design for Plutonium bombs was regarded as less reliable than the simple-but-fabulously-expensive "little boy" gun trigger design originally employed in Uranium 235 bombs -- the Hiroshima bomb. So, though untested, we used the "little boy" gun trigger design Uranium 235 bomb design first.

Though it as regarded as much more reliable, because it was untested the fear among Los Alamos scientists, the military, the President's cabinet and President Truman himself was that if the dropping of the bomb were announced in advance, it would draw major fighter resistance; and even if the bomber got through, if all it did is fall to the ground and splatter some mud the Japanese would be encouraged to fight, fight, fight, fight, fight on, endlessly, hoping for more duds.

In other words, there was a feeling that more American AND Japanese lives would be saved if an initial unannounced succesful bombing shocked the Japanese terribly, than if an initial announced successful bombing or an especially an announced unsuccessful bombing occurred.

Proof that the American government had limiting losses of Japanese civilians in mind, too, is the giant leaflet drops made by American bombers before and after the Hiroshima bombing.

Before the bombing of Hiroshima, on August 1, 1945 American bombers dropped leaflets asking the Japanese to please leave Hiroshima and other cities because they faced imminent destruction from bombing, which the picture inferred would be utterly massive...


No one is reported to have left the cities.

The government reviewed the warnings, and pooh-poohed them.

After the destruction of Hiroshima, we warned the Japanese people in another mass leaflet drop that we were in a position to destroy more cities in the same fashion, and begged them to please demand that the war end.


Read that leaflet. Determine for yourself if that is an effort to "to ensure the highest possible number of casualties."

It's not.

The article writer who accused the United States of that was irresponsible.

Even despite the successful Hiroshima blast, and even despite careful consideration of the leaflets, the Japanese government was so intent on conquest and on continuing mass murder in Asia that they decided to gamble that we had no more atomic bombs remaining.

They were wrong.

Nagasaki was destroyed next.

Finally, the Japanese murder machine, which produced results like this...


...and like this...



We did it right, in a way God would have approved of.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Look at the above, and at this...


...and then ask, "How unanimous are Islamic condemnations of the acts?"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Time Magazine "Cover Girl"

My hat is off to Time Magazine and the Afghan girl who posed for the portrait of her face after Taliban elders permitted her husband and brother-in-law to cut off her nose (and ears) for running from a beating. The photo filled me with a special form of rage, because of the extent to which my life has brought me into contact with this issue.

For years I and my wife babysat the little Vietnamese girl, Nhu, who lived next to us with both of her parents, Thanh and Trang. We loved all of them, but especially the little girl. That little one was a "southpaw," like me. In fact, she was the most left left-handed kid I ever met. She was left-eyed and left-footed, not just left-handed. I bonded so well with that little one that she could almost read my mind. She was the daughter I never had.

One day, I spied a yellow fiberglass rod in the corner of their living room. To the wife I said, "Trang, what is that for?" The wife answered, "Peter, Thanh and I will be using that to punish Nhu." I said, "What??? For what, Trang??? Nhu is the gentlest, most obedient little kid I ever met!!! You are planning to whip her???" Trang answered, "We only have to do it once. She will never forget!" I skeptically thought, "Sur-r-r-r-r-re they'll only do it 'once'!"

That night, I was called over to help little Nhu with her math homework. Her parents' marriage had been 'rocky,' and they wife had gone south to Florida with Nhu for a few weeks' separation. During that time, Nhu had missed a lot of schooling. Now that her parents were together again, trying to repair things, Nhu was in "catch-up" mode in school, and needed help.

When I entered their house, I saw Thanh, the husband, in a flowered apron doing dishes -- a startling sight, in a Vietnamese household. Trang, the wife, was cleaning house. The mood was somber. I glanced over to the corner of the living room. The rod was still there.

I set to work on the 25 math problems with Nhu, who was 8 years of age. She was a quick study. She banged through the problems lickety-split. But, 25 problems are 25 problems. They take time.

We got to Problem #25 at 9:55 p.m. It was the hardest problem with the most novel components. Just as I said, "Okay, now let's do what will look to you like the hardest problem of all," Thanh in the kitchen held out the dish towel, and said, "Nhu!," and then he gave her an order in Vietnamese. Clearly, he was telling her to finish drying the dishes.

Nhu answered in a mix of English and Vietnamese. The English portion made it clear that she said something like, "Dad, we're about to do the last math problem. I need Mr. Peter's help to do it. We are almost done. It is 5 minutes before 10. If I do the dishes first, it will be that much later that Mr. Peter will get home to Rise`. Please let me finish." She said it calmly and rationally, without begging.

Thanh exploded, and began to run toward the fiberglass rod. Trang was quiet. I jumped up and I whispered, "Thanh, she's trying to be a good person! Don't punish her for that!" Thanh growled, "This is none of your business, Peter!"

I ran to Trang and whispered, "Trang, you can't punish her for balancing things to try to be a good person!" Trang sternly said, "Go home, Peter."

After the door closed behind me, out on the front porch I heard Nhu scream.

Two days later was babysitting day. Little Nhu knew that I tried to save her. In her innocent kid way she said, "Mr. Peter, look!" She pulled the waist of her pants down and her shirt up (consistent with decency) just enough to let me see part of the deep red gash running up from her buttocks to her back. I thought, "Those bastards! They whipped a little girl with a fiberglass rod on her bare skin for being good!"

About a year and a half later, when we were still allowed to babysit Nhu, she said to me, "Mr. Peter, can I ask you a question?" I said, "Sure, kid!" She said, "Mr. Peter, do you remember the day my dad whipped me with the yellow stick?" I said, "Yes." Nhu asked, "Why was I whipped?" I answered, "You were whipped because, instead of simply obeying dad immediately, you asked to finish your homework first, before doing dishes, so that I could go home to Rise` sooner." Nhu looked at me with astonishment. "WHAT???!!! BUT THAT MEANS THAT DAD WHIPPED ME FOR TRYING TO BE GOOD!"

I quietly said, "I know, Nhu."

She added, "What did mom whisper to you? Was she in favor of me being whipped?"

I lied. I said that she wasn't.

Afterwards, I felt so dirty for telling that lie.

Nhu added, "Mr. Peter, did you know that my dad whipped me several times after that, with the stick, hangers and a belt?"

I thought, "I wonder if Trang puts up with that for the support money? Is Nhu helping to buy Trang's condo with the skin on her back?"

Soon after that, we were never allowed to see little Nhu again.

I want to take the cover of Time Magazine, and rub Thanh and Trang's faces in it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Boob Cases

Years ago, before "sexual predator" became Political Correctness Bad Guy Number One, I bumped into a series of cases connected with young men emigrating to America from the Punjab region northwest of Delhi, India.

In the first case, an unmarried young man who had recently emigrated from the Punjab to southern New Jersey was pumping gas on the midnight shift when a very pretty 18 year old girl in a snug-fitting tube top drove into the station around 2:00 a.m. for a tank of gas.

The young man was very lonely, and much impressed with her comely appearance.

The girl thought to herself, "What a pleasant guy!" and looked at him and smiled at him in an ordinary American way as she told him that she wanted "regular."

Instead, she got something a little more "high octane" -- the young man reached into her car window and began fondling her breasts through her tube top!

The girl freaked-out, screamed, and drove with wheels screeching out of the gas station, to the local police station, and filed charges for sexual assault.

Bail was set at $5,000. The gas station owner was a cousin, and so he posted bail. I was retained as the young man's attorney. When I sat down with him with my translator, a woman from the Indian embassy in Washington, I asked him, "What happened? Why did you do it?" He answered, "She looked at me."

I asked, "Okay, then what happened?"

He responded, "She looked at me," with a tone suggesting, "What's the matter. Don't you get it?"
I persisted, "No, no, what I mean is, What happened so that you felt entitled to reach into the window and grab this girl on the breasts?"

Suddenly the translator, who was a Punjabi emigrant who came to America with her parents as a child, said, "Oh! I think I understand! Let me speak to him in our language!"

They went back and forth for a few minutes in the Punjabi dialect. Occasionally the translator inserted American colloquialisms like, "You idiot!" which he understood, and he looked very sheepish in response as she continued with a scold in Punjabi.

The translator then explained, "I only know of this. I never experienced it, because I grew up here in America. Do Punjabi girls stare at you, when you see them in stores?"

I said, "Yes. It looks like they are flirting with me."

The translator explained, "What is happening is that where he comes from, the girls must always look down when speaking to a man, because looking him the eyes is a signal which says, 'I am interested in you, sexually.' The Punjabi girls stare like that at you, because for them being able to stare at the men without inviting sex is a novel thing. American girls look at men when they talk to them, because here just looking at a man in the eyes does not mean, 'I want to have sex with you.' These lonely young men from northwest India forget where they are. When a girl drives in and looks him in the eye and asks for gas, he thinks, "Va-va-voom! She's looking at me! She is interested in sex!"

I burst out laughing. When the matter came to court, I asked the judge for an opportunity to conference the matter in the judge's chambers with the prosecutor, the victim and her family, the translator, my client and myself, and the judge present.

My client, the young man, looked terrified, and his hands shook very badly during the conference. This reaction only reinforced the impression that he lacked criminal intent.

When I gently explained what had happened on the night in question, and the translator very eloquently substantiated my explanation, the judge and the prosecutor were swayed, and discussed the matter with the family outside our presence.

The family consented to a "Dismissal Without Prejudice." What that means is that the case remained open, and that charges from this case would be added to charges from any new case if he got in trouble again, and he would be prosecuted in both cases -- a reasonable response to the circumstances.

To drive the point home, the judge screamed at him -- and I mean screamed -- in open court in a crowded courtroom, while the Defendant, shaking, cried.

But, he survived.

The next case occurred in a town only a short distance "up the Pike." Similar circumstances. Gas jockey, pretty girl, midnight shift. But this guy held out for weeks before he concluded, "She is looking at me! She loves me!" and then "turned amorous." One night the girl, very pretty but mechanically adept, opened the hood of her car and bent over and used a heavy pair of channel locks to remove a part from her engine to show him how the engine worked better without it. He walked up behind her and leaned his front against her behind, and reached around and grabbed her chest. She freaked out and pushed him away and slammed him in the face with the steel channel locks, and a policeman who had seen him lean against her that way and her reaction arrested the injured young man for sexual assault.

When the same Punjabi translator came up from Washington, D.C. for the case, she was puzzled at a second case so very much like the first. Because the girl had left the young man with a deep permanent scar from his forehead across his eye to his cheek, when we explained that the girl had been accidentally giving him Punjabi "go signs" for weeks she forgave him and asked that the charges be dismissed.

The third case was the worst. The girl was very pretty, very personable, and -- thank God -- very understanding. But she was married to a policeman! And, she was eight months pregnant at the time of the incident!

The girl and her police officer husband lived next to the gas station. She regularly went into the gas station mini-mart, and purchased household needs -- bread and milk and such -- and engaged the young man, whose wife was still back in the Punjab, in pleasant conversation. She said, "I was much taken with that guy's innocence! He seemed like such a good man!" She was well-endowed and otherwise very beautiful before becoming pregnant. After she became pregnant, she was even more "well-endowed."

She flew home to her mother's house in the Midwest for her baby shower. On her return, her husband picked her up at the airport after he finished working the second shift in his town as a patrolman. When they arrived back at the house next to the gas station and mini-mart, the eight-months-pregnant wife walked over to the mini-mart for some OJ. As she smiled pleasantly at her Punjabi gas jockey friend behind the cash register, he was feeling particularly lonely that night. His libido finally gave way. He thought, "SHE LOOKS AT ME SO MUCH! SHE MUST LOVE ME!" As she turned to go home, he reached over the counter, grabbed her boobs from behind, pulled the shocked girl over the counter and began kissing her madly on the lips as she flailed wildly.

From the driveway her husband saw his pregnant wife's flailing legs, thought, "Wha-a-a-at!" and ran over to the store with his gun drawn. He exploded through the door, screaming, "YOU BASTARD! GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY WIFE!"

He pulled his wife away from the shocked Punjabi, punched him very hard in the face, threw him to the floor, sat on him, and shoved the barrel of his his .45 into his mouth while he called on his cell phone for back-up.

I invited the wife and her police officer husband to the arraignment hearing -- the hearing where the indictment is read to the accused. When the translator came up from the embassy in Washington, and she realized that it was another "boob case," despite the seriousness of the charge she burst out laughing. She said, "We are going to have to do something about this, Mr. Dawson!"

The prosecutor knew me well, understood why I invited the victim and her husband to the arraignment, and agreed to let me and the translator speak to them alone in an empty courtroom. When I went over the facts with the translator, she said, "You are right. This is another one of those cases." The husband "wanted blood," but he listened carefully, with his wife, as the translator explained how cultural differences led to the man being enticed by the woman. "When they come over here to this county," she said, "They work 16 hours a day and send money back home to their families. That's it. That's all there is to their lives. They have no time to learn about this country and its culture and the language. They stay 100% Punjabi. When you were kind enough to talk to him, you innocently looked him in the eyes as you talked to him, the way we all do in America, and by that means you accidentally behaved in a way that in his part of India means, 'I may be pregnant, but I may be interested in having sex with you!'" I added, "Listen, it really was just circumstances, and your husband's response, based on what he saw, was 100% appropriate! But it was all really just a cultural misunderstanding. It really was. When cultures mix, it's 'oil and water.' The mix doesn't work out, and generates bizarre results."

The wife, to her credit, understood and relented. Over her husband's objections, she agreed to a plea to a greatly reduced charge, 5 years probation, and a $5,000 fine.

After that, the embassy caused the Indian government to require émigrés from the suspect sections of India to sit through lectures on American culture and American sexuality, to control the problem -- in effect, "IF AMERICAN GIRLS LOOK AT YOU AND SMILE, IT DOESN'T MEAN, 'I WANT SEX.'"

I haven't heard of any more cases of this sort in our area.