Archive for the ‘homosexuality’ Category

To the radical right: Your racism is showing

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

I wrote yesterday about Mychal Bell, he of the Jena 6, and his plea bargain to a charge of simple battery, after his court case for attempted murder was tossed out. I thought about how the radical right has risen up lately to bitch and complain about the massive protests held in Jena LA regarding the racist rightwingers overt racism and inequality in the justice arena.

Seems I am not the only one that has sat up and taken notice. The TomPaine.com article really set me on edge as I read it, noting how horrible it actually has become since all hell broke loose in Jena LA.

The NYT has done a comprehensive writeup as well on how far the fuckwits of the lunatic fringe are willing to go to stifle the voices that are protesting the racism and the problems within our justice system with regards to people of color. Read this and weep for our country:

 

But since the huge Sept. 20 rally in Jena, La., where tens of thousands protested what they saw as racism in the prosecution of six black youths known as the “Jena 6,” this country has seen a rash of as many as 50 to 60 noose incidents. Last Tuesday, for example, a city employee in Slidell, La., was fired after being accused of hanging a noose at a job site a few days earlier.

 

If that fact doesn’t bother you, I don’t know what will my dear reader. Since the 1880’s until the 1960’s there were around 4700 men and women lynched in our country.

 

Read that again: 4700 men and women were lynched in these United States of America. 70% of the victims were of course black. Is it a wonder then why the noose strikes terror in the hearts of African Americans?

 

These ‘noose’ incidents are not just occurring in the South either. As the TomPaine writeup states: incidents are also being reported in places like Minneapolis; Cicero, Ill.; Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Newark; Baltimore; and New London, Conn.(emphasis mine)

 

The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks hate crimes and hate groups. The SPLC’s Intelligence Project director, Mark Potok has this for us, regarding hate crimes and their rise:

 

These incidents are worrying, but even more so is the social reality they reflect. The level of hate crimes in the United States is astoundingly high — more than 190,000 incidents per year, according to a 2005 Department of Justice study.

 

And the number of hate groups, according to the annual count by the Southern Poverty Law Center, has shot up 40 percent in recent years, from 602 groups in 2000 to 844 in 2006.

 

It seems that the September rally in Jena — much as it was seen by many civil rights activists as the beginning of a new social movement — signaled not a renewed march toward racial and social justice, but a surprisingly broad and deep white backlash against the gains of black America.

 

So, it seems we are going backwards when it comes to equality among the races doesn’t it? Thousands of individuals rose up to point out the heinous acts in Jena. They pointed out how the law is not meted out evenly in Jena and they did it loud and proud, so the whole world took notice during the September rallies held in Jena LA. I was proud of them all, it made me happy to see that little town inundated with thousands of people, of every color, that wanted to show solidarity with the black teenagers being railroaded through the court system in Jena by a bigoted DA, judge and jury.

 

As a ‘woman of color’, the color brown my dear reader, I have long considered the Republican attacks on illegal immigrants as a bigoted issue that paints brown people as the big brown menace to blame for all things that ail America. The rights attempt to paint this issue as part of the ‘war on terror’ has made me sick to my stomach. Seems I am not alone in that regard either. From the TomPaine writeup:

 

But it’s also becoming true on a broader scale as well, with a rising tide of openly espoused ethnic bigotry manifesting itself in myriad ways, particularly on the immigration front, where Latinos are increasingly targeted by rhetoric emanating from the very highest levels of Republican leadership that manifests itself in a tide of hate crimes; and in the “war on terror,” which has provided for an opening for a variety of right-wing figures to spew hateful anti-Muslim rhetoric, with similarly predictable consequences.

 

Isn’t that interesting? Oh, its very interesting to me. I am glad that people are finally putting two and two together as it were. Even CNN has an article that points out how the FBI has stated that ‘hate crimes’ have jumped Eight Percent in the last year with racial hatred accounting for more than half:

 

Police across the nation reported 7,722 criminal incidents in 2006 targeting victims or property as a result of bias against a particular race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic or national origin or physical or mental disability.

 

Disgusting no matter how you look at it, unless of course your a rightwing nutjob that still believes that people of color and gays are taking over the nation. It should also be noted that “Only 12,600 of the nation’s more than 17,000 local, county, state and federal police agencies participated in the hate crime reporting program in 2006”, which should also bother the hell out of progressives and people that despise bigotry and racism.

 

You want to know what really jacks my jaw? That people like Bill O’ Reilly feed the bigotry live and in living color nightly via our airwaves. They push the rightwing nutjobs into action with quotes like this one:

 

But do you understand what the New York Times wants, and the far-left want? They want to break down the white, Christian, male power structure, which you’re a part, and so am I, and they want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have. (emphasis mine)

 

Disgusting on every level wouldn’t you say? We are NOT a nation of just white, Christian, males. We are a melting pot of all colors, genders and sexuality. We are NOT a nation that should be governed by only the “all white boys club”. All of us should receive representation. Every Single Last One of Us. We All pay taxes, we all add to this nation in one way or another and we all deserve to have a voice. Our, the collective ‘our’, taxes are paying the salaries of those congressional representatives and that worthless man we call President. I will be damned if I will shut the fuck up so that the fearmongerer’s among us get to run this nation into the ground and take us back 200 years to when women and blacks were just considered “chattel” to be traded or used as the white, Christian males saw fit.

Crossposted at the UnCapitalist Journal

“[C]an’t be disproved” is the new standard in making salacious rumors into “news”

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

at the Idaho “Statesman”. Note the scare quotes. There’s nothing even remotely statesmanlike about this piece. Not a shred of varifiable evidence is on offer here.

I am thinking of writing a story about a rumor-mill promoting newspaper whose editors dressed up as Shirly Temple, as she appeared during her child-hood acting days, and payed me $200 each to stick a butt-plug in their asses and spank them with a wooden paddle as they sang “On the Good Ship Lolly-Pop”. The story won’t be even remotely disprovable but that doesn’t appear to be a bar to publication as news. I’ll let my readers decide whether my story is true or not. I haven’t time to fact-check what is unvarifiable and I haven’t the scruples to be even remotely concerned with such quaint notions as truth and facts and the reputations of others. The public, however, has a right to know that the editors of the Idaho “Statesman”, have been accused of engaging in such behavior. If the editors of the “Statesman” dare deny my allegations, I’ll dutifully acknowledge their denials.

Hell has frozen over and pigs fly

Monday, November 12th, 2007

and I agree with the Los Angeles Times’ editors.

Sexual Abuse on Children by a Priest… Again?

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007
Prominent Jesuit Is Target of New Federal Charges

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN and SUSAN SAULNY
Published: November 3, 2007

A prominent Jesuit priest accused of sexually victimizing teenage boys who were his valets as he traveled the world leading Roman Catholic spiritual retreats was taken into federal custody yesterday in Chicago.

The priest, the Rev. Donald J. McGuire, was charged by the federal authorities with traveling to Switzerland and Austria to engage in sexual conduct with a minor. Father McGuire was convicted last year of sexually abusing two high school students on trips to Wisconsin.

(Snip)

Victims’ lawyers released documents this week that showed that as far back as 1969 parents had contacted Jesuit officials to report that Father McGuire was behaving in sexually incorrect ways with their sons.

The order also received complaint letters from parents in 1993, 1994, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003.

In that time, Father McGuire traveled alone with teenagers as young as 13, usually sharing a room and often a bed, according to the affidavit unsealed yesterday.

The actions continued despite orders from his Jesuit superiors in the Chicago Province in 1991 instructing Father McGuire not to travel on overnight trips “with any boy or girl under the age of 18 and, preferably, even under the age of 21.”

(Snip) My words and not the Times… So the Catholic Church leaders knew the creep was a problem but still let him loose on the parish children? I’m guessing the Jesuit superiors are hoping to cover their sorry asses with a strongly worded letter rather than calling 911?

Sometimes after the abuse, he would perform the rite of absolution. One of the reported victims said the first time Father McGuire molested him was at confession, when he was 9. The parents had considered it an honor when the prominent priest mentored their sons.

The boy who reportedly traveled with Father McGuire to Switzerland and Austria roomed with him in a Jesuit residence in Evanston, Ill., in 1999, starting at age 13, and stayed until 2003.

That was one year after the Catholic bishops of the United States declared that all priests credibly accused of abuse should be removed from ministry service. - New York Times

The right of Absolution? For the child? Yet another sick minded SOB priest that raped young boys.

What the hell is the deal with my Catholic Church? Who in their right mind would allow a “Known” sex offender against children to still have contact with children? Direct report senior officials in the church should be tried right next to this SOB and given the same damn sentence. This is a crime against humanity in the most disgusting form and it angers me so much that it has rocked my faith in the church to the point of wanting to leave it.

Yes, I mean leave the church that has shown me the world of Jesus Christ and that we all are our brothers keeper. How can I go to my church and look any priest in the face without thinking if this man of God is also a pedophile in disguise? What is going through his mind as my children are taking the body of Christ? I can not rely on or trust the Bishop’s or the Cardinal’s to clean up their act and cast out the sex offenders any more than I could trust a known serial killer not to kill… again!

What I see as a serious problem with the brotherhood that is the priesthood of the Catholic Church is that they take care of their own no matter what wrongs they have committed. In their minds, it seems better to hide a known criminal amongst themselves than report the criminal to the authorities. After all they are all looking out for the greater good of the Catholic Church. With the criminal priest on the lamb for one or more sexual crimes against children they have knowingly farmed them out to other dioceses to start all over again for decades. Who the hell do these people think they are? Wearing that collar does not absolve you from being a sinner at any level of the church and if you knowingly hide someone that has sexually abused children then you are just as guilty.

If the United States government or for that matter states and local law enforcement looked at the Catholic Church as just another corporation then they would have seized all the records of the Bishop’s (Vice President’s) and Cardinal’s (CEO’s) within the church and shut this sexual predator pedophilia syndicate down years ago.

I’m disgusted as a practicing Catholic. If my church does not see this as a long running problem then I can not participate in this church in the same ways as I have in the past. If I can see it in the press then so can the Pope. If he looks the other way still, then somebody needs to call Saint Peter and tell him about the going out of business sale.

My suggestions to parents thinking that their child may have been sexually abused by anyone in any church. Call the police first and then call your District Attorney General’s office. Then call a lawyer. Insist on an arrest no matter who the accused is.

Calling the church or the abusers boss in circumstances of sexual abuse against your child is like swatting at the rain. The drops are still going to come down and get your feet wet.

Papamoka

Cross Posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

Should Freedom of Speech Serve As A Shield For Child Abuse?

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

westboro kids 

 (Westboro Baptist children “protesters.”)

So the “God Hates Fags” nimrods have finally been handed their hat by a jury of their peers. Okay, maybe not their peers, for if it were their true peers on the panel surely there’d have been no judgment at all, but at least by a jury of mostly rational citizens who decided to send a message to these hate-filled miscreants that there is a proper time and place for expressing ones warped reality, and a soldiers funeral just isn’t the time or the place. (Some could argue that there is no better place than a soldiers funeral, pointing out the irony that soldiers die protecting the freedoms of the U.S. Constitution, of which free speech is one. I’m not sure I agree, but is poses an interesting question.)

While the Westboro Baptist Church has for years succeeded in inflaming scores of grieving families with their antics, this case marks the first time someone actually decided to try and make them pay for their transgressions, and predictably, the case was portrayed by the defendants in terms of religious freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom to assemble- all bulwarks of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Much talk has in fact centered on these concerns following the $11 million jury award against the church and its founder, Fred Phelps. But is this really a case about constitutionally protected freedoms? Or is this just a case about harmful behavior that steps outside the bounds of protected action?

For the family of the dead soldier whose funeral was disrupted by the sign waving zealots of the Westboro congregations, the issue was one of intentionally inflicting emotional distress, i.e. causing purposeful harm to another person without cause or concern for their suffering. Clearly, under those terms, this isn’t a case about the First Amendment at all, but rather one about conduct.

So therein lies the rub- protected speech and assembly or intentional harrassment?

Despite the knee-jerk reaction most everyone has towards the despicable behavior of these modern-day Inquisitors, we must remember two things: there are restrictions to the first amendment protections regarding freedom of speech, religion, and assembly. Laws exist that prohibit speech that incites violence or rebellion or panic of the masses; laws exist that prohibit protection of libelous or slanderous speech against another person; laws exist restricting some religious practices that make use of naturally occurring hallucinagenics; and laws exist that permit local governments to restrict the right of assembly without permits, and said permits can further restrict location and time of assembly. Yet with all these restrictions on First Amendment protections, most everyone can still enjoy the wide latitude promised by the First Amendment. And this jury decision does nothing to change that fact. In truth, the jury award against the Westboro group does not prohibit those folks from continuing to do what they seem to live for, it just makes it hard for them to pay their bills. (Perhaps, taking a cue from the San Diego Catholic Diocese, they could ask their congregants to pony up a few more dollars tithing to settle the judgement.) Of course, in practice this award may well put an end to their public hate parades, but nothing about this verdict actually bars them from continuing on. And it shouldn’t. One would hope that some internal sense of morality would temper their choice of time and place a little more carefully perhaps. (In truth, I wish they’d just shut up and go away, but there is some small comfort when these kinds of nutjobs go public- at least it exposes them to the rest of the world and we know for a fact that they are nutjobs.)

So I’m not terribly concerned about this case having wide-spread implications for the protections guaranteed under the First Amendment. No one is saying these guys can’t wave their banners. But just as burning up a flag at a VFW meeting will likely get you a solid thrashing, so should the purposeful attempt to denigrate a military funeral cause the disrupters a little pain. And that is what the jury apparently felt too.

What bothers me more than the assinine actions of this group in public is the horrendous indoctrination of their children that must take place behind closed doors. Children are like little sponges, soaking up all they see and hear around them. They seek to emulate their immediate elders, and are rewarded when they do so. And when a group of miscreants like the Phelpses pass along their hate-filled mantras to their youth, they are setting these kids up for a lifetime of hate and bigotry that can’t help but be a disservice if they ever stray from the hate-trap they must now call a home. Surely such “education” borders on mental abuse, especially when directed at a child.

So I ask you, which is worse? Boorish and probably pain-inflicting behavior in public towards adults who already don’t like you and don’t care or believe your message or childhood brainwashing of the worst kind?

Adults can use their years of experience and personal maturity to move forward after a distasteful episode. Children carry the roots of hate and prejudice with them forever.

At the beginning of this post, there was a picture of some of the Westboro kids on parade. Forgetting about sheer numbers for a moment, how is that picture, and all it implies, any different than this one?

hitler youth


Fish.Travel