Category News

Police Brutality

People are often far too eager to claim police brutality. I’ve seen false claims happen right in front of me. What happened yesterday in Pittsburgh appears to be one of those instances – a young woman claiming police brutality to save face.

It helps her cause that she’s a lesbian who was taking part in Pridefest. Because homophobia.

During the gay pride celebration in Pittsburgh yesterday, several Christian groups were protesting within legal parameters. Ariel Lawther was engaged in a heated argument with 36-year-old protester Eric Moure. Lawther’s age has been reported at somewhere between 19 and 22 years of age. According to Moure, Lawther became physical, shoving him – that’s when rookie officer Souroth Chatterji intervened. Both Moure and Officer Chatterji told the same story: upon the officer’s intervention, Lawther turned on him, hitting him with her fists and kicking him in the groin.

That was when things got hairy. Only ten seconds of video was recorded by a bystander. That was of Officer Chatterji pulling Lawther out of the crowd by her hair and punching her in the abdomen.

The video really doesn’t tell us much. It was captured at the end of the altercation and shows nothing of what was going on between Lawther and Moure. Officer Chatterji says he had already admonished Lawther and her friends not to engage in an argument with the protesters as it would lead to a fight. Officer Chatterji also says he clearly heard her tell Moure, “I will f—ing kill you!”

First things first. The protesters.

I do not give a damn how angry you may be at any protesters. I don’t give a damn what they are saying. Christians are going to protest outside of gay pride parades and festivals. It’s going to happen. We all know what those protesters are going to say. It is nothing new to anybody. You need to let them do what they’ll do and say what they’ll say. The instant you talk smack, issue threats, or get violent, YOU are the one in the wrong – it matters none what they have said or done. You deserve to go to jail. You are wrong and should be ashamed of yourself. I grew up in Evangelical Christianity and I know perfectly well how unpleasant those protesters can be; know now that nothing they do or say can ever excuse your boorish behavior if you refuse to control yourself.

You need to walk away and leave them alone. If they put their hands on you, attract all the attention you can before you fight back. Unless they do intend to do physical harm, you have no business at all engaging in any argument with them. WALK AWAY. That is what adults in the real world do.

Second…the arrest.

She clearly assaulted a protester and needed to be arrested. According to her own statements to officers after her arrest, she knew she was being violent and that it was wrong. She apologized to the officer and told him, “I didn’t know you were a cop.” She admits to assaulting him in that phrase. If an officer is being assaulted, he has every right to use force to subdue his attacker. Period. The teenager (yes, she was 16 years old) who took the video with a cell phone (who can be heard screaming “what are you doing?!?”) claims that she didn’t see Lawther get violent with the officer; she’s probably telling the truth. She also probably didn’t see what precipitated the moment she filmed. There was a pretty good-sized crowd there and the video shows that crowd getting in the way just before the officer throws punches.

Incidents like these do not help the cause of gay rights. They only serve to thoroughly embarrass us. Young gay people are essentially being taught that self-restraint is a thing of the past – you should express yourself regardless of how negative your emotions are.

Learn now a very important lesson, kids. Self-restraint is very important in the real world. You are going to hear people say things that offend you or otherwise hurt your feelings. No amount of offense will ever excuse losing your temper, starting an argument, or becoming physically violent in any way, shape, or form. I have had members of the Phelps clan say things far worse than anything those protesters were saying to you in Pittsburgh. I never yelled, never spit, never shoved, and never hit. You need to learn to tolerate people you don’t like…just like you’re demanding of the extremist religious types you can’t stand.

Don’t get into those kinds of altercations and you won’t have to deal with the police.

Oppression in the System

Last night, Bill O’Reilly had Oklahoma volunteer militia leader Scott Shaw on his program to talk about the Bundy Ranch fiasco. O’Reilly asked, “what is the difference between what you’re doing and what the Occupy movement was doing?” He said both were dissenting against a system that they believe was oppressive.

There’s a huge difference, Bill. I’d like to think that you’re just trying to figure out if Shaw does, but I don’t know.

Let’s talk first about the Occupy Wall Street movement. First of all, they were protesting not the system, but a set of ideas – mainly perceived social and economic inequality. “I am the 99%” memes popped up all over the place, with uber-liberal fanatics posting pictures of themselves holding up signs bemoaning their minimum-wage jobs, lack of benefits, crappy apartments, and college degrees that cost too much money and gave little in return. More dramatic protesters set up tents and camped out in public parks and in front of high-powered businesses. Even more defacated on police cars and vandalized the parks and businesses they were protesting. Some went so far as to riot, smashing bank windows and even looting on a couple of occasions. It was not a peaceful protest by any means. When rampant crime was reported in Occupy camps, protest leaders warned their people not to go to the police about it. They added that they were angry about corporate influence on the political process somewhere in the mix. The so-called 99% began as a rabble and rapidly devolved into a modern-day attempt at a French Revolution. The bonus? It wasn’t started by Americans. It was started by a Canadian socialist group called Adbusters who said, “America needs its own Tahrir” (referencing the 1977 bread riots in Egypt).

The Occupy movement demanded a change in the very fabric of American society, not just its corporate structure. They demanded all student loans be forgiven, home foreclosures cease, a raise in minimum wage, better jobs, government income distribution – basically they were insisting that nobody should be wealthier than anyone else and they were going to terrorize the public until they got what they wanted. They referred to themselves as slaves to the system (oh, please). They were out to push the idea that the government should take care of its citizens.

Cliven Bundy is the antithesis to the OWS movement. His family arrived in the area sometime in the 1870’s and has been raising cattle there ever since. The government has argued that they have owned that land since the 1848 purchase from Mexico; unfortunately, the federal government can’t really stand on that alone. They may have owned it, but it was open for cattle driving and grazing for a very long time. In 1933 the Grazing Bureau was started; in 1934 the Taylor Grazing Act was passed, meant to regulate cattle grazing on public lands. The Act provided a system of permits for grazing on public lands, but that system was given the ability to revoke any permit at any time for any or no reason and gave no rights or claim to lands by ranchers. In 1954, Cliven and his father began actively grazing their cattle in Bunkerville. In 1973, suddenly the Bureau of Land Management (which is what the Grazing Bureau became in 1946) decided to start requiring Cliven’s father to start paying for the right to graze cattle there. In 1993, the rules changed due to the status of the desert tortoise; the animal was placed on the endangered species list. That meant that large swaths of Bunkerville were no longer usable for grazing.

Cliven refused to stop grazing, claiming that the cattle were no threat to the desert tortoise. The BLM began fining him for grazing his cattle there and he refused to pay the fines because there was no evidence that the tortoise was threatened by his cattle. He also provided some evidence (although the courts dismissed it) that his family had been grazing cattle on the land since 1877. Then the government began telling Cliven that he had to reduce his 908-head herd drastically. While it is true that Cliven was technically breaking the law, that law was unjust. After 20 years of legal wrangling the BLM decided to stop arguing and get serious. They sent a small army to the Bundy ranch to begin rounding up cattle. Some cattle were shot and buried in mass graves. The Bundys called for help, and several militias showed up to stand up to federal agents who were killing animals in the name of…saving animals.

To be fair, some of the militiamen were complete morons. I’d love to slap Richard Mack silly for admitting to having strategized putting women at the front of the protest so the shock factor would be high if the feds got violent (dude, you don’t even think of that kind of thing – and if you do, you don’t friggin’ say it out loud!). Scott Shaw wasn’t able to articulate the differences between OWS and the Bundy Standoff very well at all. Either way, the differences are both simple and complex at the same time. OWS was a bunch of slackers who wanted to take from innocent, hardworking people to make their own lives more comfortable when they weren’t willing to work for it. Cliven Bundy has centered his entire life around hard work and earning every single thing he has.

(Of course, none of this is to mention the fact that Nevada Senator Harry Reid has his grubby fingers all over this. His son, Rory, has been trying to secure the Bunkerville land at an unbelievably low price in order to secure a deal with a Chinese company to build a solar plant there. Reid pushed to have a former aide installed as the head of the BLM to rush the process of getting Bundy kicked off of the Bunkerville property to make sure the deal moves forward. But, you know, it’s really the Republicans who are infringing on people’s rights.)

By the way…it’s worth mentioning that the BLM agents destroyed at least one desert tortoise den (that we know of) while enforcing the protection of the animal. The BLM’s Desert Tortoise Conservation Center is also about to close, and in the process will euthanize half of the over 1,400 animals currently in its care. Yeah, I can see how important the conservation effort is that it required a heavily armed response.

Don’t Go There

During what seems to be the umpteen jillionth hearing on Capitol Hill about the failures of the now-infamous “Fast and Furious” gun running program yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder showed breathtaking disrespect to members of Congress while being grilled by Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX).

Multiple requests by the House Judiciary Committee for the Department of Justice to turn over nearly ten thousand pages of documents related to F&F have gone unheeded. During yesterday’s hearing, Rep. Gohmert pointed out the fact that this documentation has been readily turned over to lawyers representing those accused of supporting terrorism, yet all the DOJ has been willing to provide the Judiciary Committee is a link to the parts of that evidence that has been made publicly available (roughly half of what has been requested). The frustration of the committee at being continually snubbed had already come out in the form of a charge of contempt against Holder, and it came out again when Rep. Gohmert rehashed all of the events leading up to yesterday’s hearing.

Not without reason, Rep. Gohmert said, “I realize that contempt is not a big deal to our Attorney General…”

Holder’s response was incredible. Leaning back in his chair, he sniped, “you don’t wanna go there, buddy. You don’t wanna go there, okay?” He then proceeded to go on a tirade about how important this investigation has been. This after a similar grilling from Rep. Steve King (R-IA) during which Holder became visibly upset, saying, “I’ll put my record up against any other Attorney General, any other Justice Department, and any hint we have engaged in anything that’s partisan or inappropriate in nature I totally one thousand percent reject.”

Well, let’s take a look at that record, shall we?

During the Presidential election in November 2008, two members of the New Black Panther Party were captured on cell phone video standing outside a Pennsylvania polling place in paramilitary garb, carrying nightsticks. Several people complained that they felt intimidated; some even left without voting. The Bush administration DOJ handily won the case against the NBPP when the members of the group failed to show up (and, you know – video evidence and all) to defend themselves against charges of voter intimidation. In his first act as the new Attorney General in early 2009, Holder tossed the win and dropped all charges against the NBPP and the specific members who were there, claiming there wasn’t enough evidence. He excused himself by saying, “When you compare what people endured in the South in the ’60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, to compare what people subjected to that with what happened in Philadelphia… I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line for my people.” In other words, what your people did back in the day was worse, so you can stop crying about what my people are doing now.

In 2009, Holder gave a speech on race relations in America in which he called us a “nation of cowards.” He went on to say, “Certain subjects are off-limits and that to explore them risks at best embarrassment, and at worst, the questioning of one’s character.” I’m sure we can agree with that last statement, although the subject that we would like to explore are very different.

In 2010, Holder attempted to take what was clearly a military matter and make it a civilian one. Several foreign nationals who had engaged US forces in acts of terrorism were set to go on trial and Holder swore that he would give them civilian trials in New York City. After the uproarious outcry over the move, President Obama had to force Holder to back off.

Last year, George Zimmerman was found not guilty by a jury during a trial to determine whether he murdered Trayvon Martin. In a flagrant violation of Zimmerman’s Constitutional rights, Holder announced an investigation into whether Martin’s civil rights were violated almost immediately after the jury’s verdict was announced. In contrast, two incidents of racial hatred – one in Chicago, the other near Detroit – have been completely ignored by Holder’s DOJ. Both involved black children in poor neighborhoods being hit by cars after darting into traffic. In both cases, relatives and friends of the children involved mobbed the white drivers. Neither has seen one iota of attention from the DOJ’s civil rights division.

It’s been over a year since the news first broke of the IRS targeting conservative groups. Early on, an Inspector General reported that there was more than enough evidence of a conspiracy against conservative groups – the IRS was using its power to try to intimidate those who didn’t support Obama. Eight months into the DOJ’s so-called “investigation”, it came to light that the lead investigator, Barbara Kay Bosserman, was a major contributor to the Obama campaign. Holder had absolutely no answer for the questions that Ted Cruz had for him in January. Now, suddenly, in light of Holder’s thinly-veiled threat during the hearing yesterday, we’re hearing that the DOJ is actually going to prosecute Lois Lerner for her role in the targeting scandal.

Convenient, isn’t it, that we’re calling him out for his record after he kicks back and flippantly all but threatens Rep. Gohmert and out of nowhere Lerner is being prosecuted? Quite the CYA moment.

It is astonishing to me that this administration hasn’t been held accountable for the multiple egregious scandals it has been embroiled in. If Holder doesn’t want us to go there, then maybe he should do his job rather than applying the law only to people he doesn’t personally like. And, really…the threats, sir? We all know that’s exactly what that was.

Don’t go there.

MYOB

As a direct descendent of one of our founding fathers, a Tea Party original, and a “conservatarian” (my dad’s description of me), I believe strongly in limited government. While they disagreed on quite a few things, nearly all of the founders agreed that any central government had to be limited in size, scope, and power. A system of checks and balances was put into place. After the Declaration of Independence, both the Constitution and the Articles of Amendment were written. These documents were written in such a way that if you take out one, the rest will fall.

I believe in everyone minding their own business. You have a right to your religious beliefs. If you believe that I’m living in sin for acknowledging and embracing the fact that I am a lesbian, that is your right. If you want to say so publicly, that is your right. I would fight to the death for your rights because I would expect my rights to be protected just as fiercely.

You do NOT have the right to enact laws that single out one group that you don’t happen to like based on your religious beliefs.

I’ve said that before, but it seems nobody is really getting the message. Let me say it again: you do not have the right to enact laws that single out one group that you don’t happen to like based on your religious beliefs.

Nearly every challenge to state gay marriage bans has won, ending with such laws being stricken down in Kentucky, Utah, and today, Virginia. In response Ted Cruz (who I normally like) introduced a bill co-sponsored by Mike Lee that would essentially bring back DOMA, albeit in a slightly different form. DOMA barred the federal government from recognizing gay marriages even in states that had decided that gay marriage was legal. The so-called State Marriage Defense Act would do an end-run around the Constitution and “protect” states from intrusion by federal courts if the voters in those states agree to make gay marriage illegal.

Here’s the big problem: the Tenth Amendment already addresses that sort of thing. The language literally says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” In other words, if the Constitution doesn’t give the feds the right to have power over something, that power belongs to the States. Reading all of the recent judicial commentary on rulings that strike down gay marriage bans all pretty much points to the same thing…the Fourteenth Amendment. The end of Section One reads, “…nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

So we’ve established that the First Amendment gives everyone the right to agree or disagree (peacefully) with gay marriage and to speak about said disagreement openly, but that it does not give anyone the right to write laws based on one religious belief. Now we’ve also established that the federal government is not allowed to take any power that the Constitution doesn’t give it. Add to that the fact that the government, whether local, state, or federal, cannot discriminate against one group or another for ANY reason in how it applies laws and rights. I think it’s pretty clear that gay marriage is a fight that social conservatives should give up now.

I don’t agree with liberalism because I see what it is doing to my country. I am talking to people every day who actually believed that Obamacare was supposed to make their healthcare free and eliminate the wait to see a doctor – and they don’t understand why the opposite is happening. I am called a racist because I don’t like President Obama and think he’s worse than Jimmy Carter. I am called heartless because I believe that there should be limits to the amount of money the government spends, particularly on welfare, and I believe that welfare should be something that one has to prove they genuinely need (and are trying to get off of). I am called a traitor because I’m a lesbian who isn’t liberal and told that I should just kill myself so I can’t do any more damage to the cause of gay rights.

I’m watching the press, who is ardently protected, take advantage of their protections and make a concerted effort to defend an indefensible man holding the highest office in America. I’m watching my friends and family come home from foreign countries drastically changed because their country asked them to go to war and then refused to back them up when they needed it. I feel like I’m watching my beloved country disintegrate because the people refuse to educate themselves and want nothing more than to know how to get their free stuff.

We wanted the government out of our bedrooms. We got that. Now we want the government out of everything else in our lives, but we are somehow willing to give them complete control? How does this work? I just want you all, from Ted Cruz to Barack Obama, to mind your own business. Get out of my life. Get out of my healthcare, my gun safe, my workplace, my bedroom, my TV, my computer, my cell phone – get the hell out. You don’t have the right to tell me that I can’t defend myself and my family if someone decides to try to harm us. You don’t have the right to tell me that I have to turn over all of my personal information to make sure I’m a terrorist. You damn sure don’t have the right to tell me that because you believe a certain way, I cannot love another woman and commit myself to her for the rest of my life. When you social conservatives do something about the astronomical divorce rates and clean up your own act, then and only then will you be allowed to wag a finger at me and accuse me of trying to destroy that supposedly sacred institution.

You cannot claim to want limited government while you’re championing the fight to give the government more power. It doesn’t work that way. I believe in remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy. That does not mean that I believe I should have a law written that forces all businesses to close on Saturdays to accommodate my belief.

Victimhood

I’ve run across quite a few people who like to claim that they are victims of something. I didn’t commit a crime; I was framed by a system that hates certain kinds of people, and my childhood was horrible and left me with no other options. I didn’t cheat on my spouse; I looked elsewhere because I was unhappy and it was their fault because I didn’t feel loved enough. I’m a minority; everyone hates me because of my race, and I’m going to prove it!

The one that gets under my skin the most (for obvious reasons): I’m gay and people hate me for being gay, so I’m going to call everyone who disagrees with me hateful and bigoted.

Such was the attitude when lesbian ex-Marine Dayna Morales posted a scan of a receipt she had gotten as a waitress at the Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, NJ. It was posted to Facebook on the “Have a Gay Day” fan page along with a remarkably unprofessional message that ended with, “keep your damn mouth shut and pray we never cross paths again.” People from all over the world commented about how horrible this was and began sending her “tip money” – to the tune of about $3,000.

(And, really? “Pray we never cross paths again?” What were you gonna do, honey? The real badasses I know would not assault anyone, regardless of anything they said or wrote. If you’re that willing to physically attack a peaceful person who did nothing more than say something that you disliked, then you have issues. You’re also likely blowing hot air to sound tougher than you are.)

It didn’t take long for the truth to come out. The couple who supposedly refused to tip and left the note saw a news broadcast about the incident and recognized the dollar amount and time stamp on the receipt. They even recognized the father’s name despite it being blurred out. They gave an interview showing that, in fact, they HAD tipped her $18 on a $93 check, and their credit card had been charged $111 (that’s nearly a 20% tip, by the way). Apparently there had been a misunderstanding about her name. They thought they had been told their server would be someone named Dan, and they told her so – and she was offended to the point that she reported it to her manager. A couple of days later, the controversy began.

As this is happening, people from Dayna’s past start coming out of the woodwork. While working at a Cheesecake Factory, she told coworkers that she had brain cancer and had shaved her head so she wouldn’t have to actually lose her hair. She told friends that her father had raped her and gotten her pregnant, but that cervical cancer had caused a miscarriage. She claimed that Hurricane Sandy had sent a boat barreling into her living room and destroying her home, but friends who stopped by to help found her home with very little damage – and no boat to be seen. She also claimed that while serving in Afghanistan with the Marines her entire platoon was wiped out by a land mine – save for her. It has since come out that she was a Marine reservist, but she was dishonorably discharged this past May when she stopped showing up for drills. She also never deployed, not once.

This is not the first gay hate crime to be fabricated. I have posted about it before. Other conservative pundits have also posted about fake hate crimes. What’s worst about this brand of compulsive lying is that she’s doing damage not only to herself, but to the entire gay community as well. Just as using accusations of racism and Nazism inappropriately blinds people to the real thing, this, too, leaves people wondering if there’s really as much hate in the world as they’ve been led to believe.

If a conservative had been caught telling even one of Dayna’s stories from the past (I have brain cancer, I was raped, a hurricane destroyed my house), liberals would have them tarred and feathered. We’d never hear the end of it. When it’s one of their own, however, they simply say, “oh, this person needs help, so we’re not going to hound them.” Never once have I seen an incident like this really enrage the gay community, and they should be furious. So many of these have happened in the last decade or so that nobody believes that there are people out there who hate us.

In closing I would say this: even if this hadn’t been an act, that note is not hateful. It’s not homophobic. It’s ignorant, that’s for sure, but this isn’t hate. The word hate has a power that most of you have forgotten. It is meant to be an extreme term, and I don’t think you realize what kind of extreme it is. If you continue to use extreme words where they are not warranted, then when something truly extreme happens, you’ll have no way to describe it. The fact that Dayna would write it and pass it off as hate – and everyone else would agree – only proves that you don’t know what hate really is.

And please, stop with the victimhood. It’s very unbecoming.

World Police

Syria is the hot topic today – Bashar Assad has used Sarin on rebel areas, killing more than 1400 people. Over 400 were children.

The images coming out of Syria are heartbreaking. Previously, President Obama had warned that use of chemical weapons were the “red line” that, if crossed, would result in possible military action against the country. Now that we have footage showing the indelible evidence of chemical weapons being used, we’re talking about going to war with Syria.

They’re embroiled in a civil war. They haven’t invaded another country. Yet we’re talking about military strikes.

Iraq was a completely different story. Saddam had invaded two other countries. Neighboring countries had begged us to stop him. He agreed to certain terms when he surrendered in 1991, terms that he decided to stop living by when Bill Clinton was in office. For eight years, Saddam rattled his saber, deliberately letting out intel that he had chemical weapons (which he was barred from having) and was trying to gain nuclear capabilities. Whether he was trying to scare Iran or trying to stir up crap with us, we may never know; either way, we had every reason to believe that he was a danger to us and everyone around him.

Why are we talking about striking Syria? Well, if you listen to John Kerry, it’s because he’s using chemical weapons and killing thousands. Okay…why do we need to get involved? Both sides of Syria’s civil war are hostile to America. Assad had been spotted having very swanky dinners with Kerry in the past, but he was never really a friend of the US (and it’s an absolute embarrassment to see the photos of those expensive powwows). Assad openly hates one of our closest allies, Israel. On the other side of this conflict are the rebels – who are backed, funded, and trained by Al Qaeda. We all know what they think of us. They made that clear on 9/11.

What do we hope to get out of this? What is the plan? What is our exit strategy? These are all questions that have hardly been entertained, much less answered.

What do we hope to get out of this? Ostensibly, the goal is to stop Assad from continuing to use chemical weapons. The problem with this is that we don’t know where all of them are. It would be impossible to destroy all of his WMD’s. There is no way we’d be able to make sure he can’t use them anymore.

What is the plan? We don’t have one. Obama claims he doesn’t want to put boots on the ground, that it’ll only be airstrikes. The problem with that is that we know that even though we can’t locate all of the weapons, most of them have been moved to civilian areas. We’d never be able to carry out an airstrike without killing at least as many civilians as Assad already has, if not more. The only way to destroy all of the weapons without killing thousands of civilians is to put boots on the ground, something that nobody in our military wants to do.

Seriously. The idea of going in to protect the same terrorist group that struck not only us but Spain and England is detestable to our military.

What is our exit strategy? We haven’t even considered it yet. During today’s hearings, Secretary of State John Kerry has been putting the onus on Congress to call for a military strike, reminding them that they voted to join the international chemical weapons forum against proliferation. Okay…if we agreed to stop the proliferation of chemical weapons, what good would it do to destroy Assad’s current arsenal without making the tyrant account for his crimes? They say we don’t want to depose Assad, but simply destroying his cache isn’t going to stop him from making more and using them in the future (that’s assuming we could destroy his entire arsenal). If we leave him in power, the agreement to stop proliferation has no teeth.

The media is no help right now. Chris Matthews has said that Democrats should support war to save face for Obama. Why do we need to help him save face? He deserves a little humiliation here. If he really was drawing a red line in the sand, then the instant he found out that chemical weapons had been deployed he should have ordered a strike and then announced it to us. This protracted, dramatic act he’s putting on – putting it on hold for a month and passing the buck to Congress so he won’t have to take responsibility for his own words – is humiliating to all of us.

We are not the world’s police. When we went into Iraq, many liberals got very upset, saying that we had no business telling everyone else how to live. If that is what you believe then you need to stick up for that belief. We have no business getting involved in Syria.

Prayers for Boston

I was at work today on a call when someone mentioned that the news said a bomb had gone off in Boston. As soon as I could, I turned on the news. TWO bombs were detonated within seconds of each other near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Here at gayconservative we are not joining the speculation and we ask that our readers and friends respect that. Nothing is set in stone; there are a lot of rumors swirling about, but we do not really know yet what happened. When something concrete is released, we will comment on it.

Until then we offer prayers, support and love to the families of the three who have died and the 140+ who have been injured. Let our focus remain on them for now.

Hating Rick Warren

On Saturday, April 6, Pastor Rick Warren – famous for writing The Purpose-Driven Life and pastoring SoCal megachurch Saddleback – announced that his 27-year-old son Matthew had committed suicide. Today it was revealed that Matthew shot himself.

I don’t necessarily agree with Pastor Warren on a number of things, but I do have respect for him. He doesn’t pull a huge salary from his church. He doesn’t live an opulent lifestyle, at least not that I know of. My heart broke when I heard that his son had taken his own life after struggling with severe depression since childhood.

What has come out of some members of the gay community, however, is beyond the pale.

Twitchy and The Blaze both reported social media movements directing breathtaking hatred at Pastor Warren and his family after Matthew’s death. They suggested that Matthew was gay and killed himself because his father was a supposed hatemonger. They brought up his support for Prop 8 and literally said that Pastor Warren “hanged his own son”. They said that “with all the gay kids dead, this was a small price to pay.”

Shut up. For once in your over-privileged, self-indulgent lives, shut the hell up. I’ve lost four of my friends to suicide. As an EMT, I’ve run countless suicide calls and I always leave with the feeling that I have done absolutely nothing to help the family. It is nearly impossible for me these days to run those calls without breaking down myself. It has gotten to the point that child drownings are less difficult for me, and that’s a significant statement for me to make. I know how dark those days are after you find someone you loved in that position.

At the same time, I also know suicidal depression. My entire life, I’ve been hated and made fun of. I’ve always been the butt of someone’s joke. I believe it is only by the grace of G-d that I am a stronger person now, because I have been down that black hole where it felt as though there was no escape. Maybe G-d has used those calls to open my eyes to the reality that suicide leaves behind; if so, I am thankful for that, even though I’m not sure my presence was much help to those left to pick up the pieces. Each and every one of you aiming your vitriol at Pastor Warren, accusing him of “killing his gay son”, have directed the same vile stupidity at me at one time or another and you do not know or care how much that hurts. Who the hell are you to preach about caring for the hurting? You can’t even do it yourselves!

I am beyond appalled. I am furious. Pastor Warren is a much more gracious and forgiving soul than I am in praying for these people. I cannot understand celebrating someone’s death, not for any reason. I have never in my life felt happiness upon hearing that a human being has died, no matter how much I may have disliked them. Yet as angry as I am with the gay community right now for their intense hatred, intolerance, and hypocrisy, I still cannot wish this kind of pain upon them.

What astounds me, though, is Dan Savage. Usually the first to make an inappropriate comment or attack a conservative, when asked for his opinion he said, “My only comment is this: As a parent, my heart aches for Rick Warren and his wife. They have my sympathy.”

Thank you, Dan, for not hating Rick Warren as so many others have.

Poor Jodi

I tend not to comment on a case while it’s still in the trial phase. Often I believe we don’t know enough about the case from what the media has said because the media will report on every little twitch, giggle and fart – truth be damned. They will report on rumors as though they are fact. This time, however, I don’t need a trial to tell me what I can tell from professional intuition. I tend to be very protective of women who have been abused. I deal with them professionally and have, more times than I can remember, watched them go back to their abusers because they don’t feel they have a way out. I know when I’m talking to a victim. I also know when I’m being strung along; not all women who claim to be victims are, and they frustrate me the most because they are the reason the true victims have such a difficult time getting help. The drama currently playing out in Phoenix is easy to figure out.

Jodi Arias is a complete sociopath.

We know what the facts are, and when you put them together they’re chilling on a level that most people don’t want to believe is possible. Jodi Arias met Travis Alexander during a conference for the company he worked for, Prepaid Legal Services, in Las Vegas in November 2006. Arias moved to Mesa (a suburb on the East edge of Phoenix proper, just East of Tempe) to maintain a relationship with Alexander. She lived with a roommate because Alexander was Mormon and living together before marriage is forbidden. By June of 2007, Arias began telling friends that she and Alexander had broken up. By April 2008, Arias moved back to Yreka, California, where she lived with her grandparents. At this point Alexander had already told his friends that Arias had been stalking him – hacking his Facebook page and slashing his tires. On June 9, after he’d missed several important appointments, co-workers and friends went to his home to check up on him. His two roommates, thinking he’d gone to Cancun, said he was out of town. Among those who had showed up to find him was one of the women he was supposed to have gone with, so they forced their way into his bedroom. Pools and trails of blood led to the master bathroom, where he was found dead (and practically mutilated) in his shower. His throat had been slashed, he had been stabbed 29 times, and he’d been shot in the face with a .25 caliber gun. He had been dead for five days. A bloody handprint was discovered on a wall and his brand-new digital camera was found in the washing machine with heavy damage.

Suspicion was immediately turned on Arias. All of Alexander’s friends agreed to give DNA samples – Arias complied as well, though she strangely began calling the lead detective on the case repeatedly to ask how the investigation was going and promising to help in any way she could. That detective discovered that Arias had also been accessing Alexander’s voicemail over the past several days and calling repeatedly, leaving multiple messages, beginning on June 4 (shortly after he would have been killed). She told the lead detective that she didn’t know anything about the crime, even said that she had last seen Alexander as she was leaving town back in April. The investigation turned up quite a trail of curious incidents.

On May 28, Arias’ grandparents called police to report a burglary. It was peculiar because the bandit took exactly one item from each room in the house, including a single .25 caliber handgun in a safe containing four guns, and cash and jewelry were left untouched. Somewhere around May 30-31, Arias asked a friend, Darryl Brewer, if she could borrow two five-gallon gas cans for a trip; on June 2, she rented a white Ford Focus from Budget Rent-A-Car and claimed the rental would be for local use only. Her credit card was used to buy several items at a Wal-Mart in Salinas, CA (including a third five-gallon gas can) and just over 20 gallons of gasoline (a Ford Focus typical to rentals only has a 12-gallon tank) on June 3. Salinas is just less than halfway between Yreka and Phoenix, a trip that would total 1013 miles according to Google Maps.

After the stop in Salinas (still 675 miles from Phoenix), her credit card wasn’t used again until June 6 – she used it in Sparks, NV, fully 737 miles from Phoenix. By then, however, she had gone to Utah to visit her new love interest – a man named Ryan Burns. He said that she was a day later than they had planned to meet and that, despite the heat, she wore long sleeves and had a bandage on one hand. She excused it by claiming she’d injured herself at work. After meeting with Burns, she drove back to Yreka. The Ford Focus was returned with more than 2800 miles on it (how’s THAT for local use?), the floor mats were missing, and the return report stated there were “kool-aid stains” on both the front and back seats.

Here’s where it gets really creepy. Mesa police were able to recover deleted images from the digital camera found in the washing machine. Whoever had run it through a wash cycle had first deleted several pictures; they wanted to be doubly certain that the images would be forever lost. Those pictures were of a sexual romp between Alexander and Arias on June 4. Both of them looked like they were having fun. Arias was even wearing pigtails during the encounter. The very last image, taken at 5:30 p.m., was of Alexander lying on the floor, bleeding profusely.

A DNA match was also made – it was Arias’ blood mixed with Alexander’s in the bloody handprint on the wall. By the time this evidence was discovered, Arias had lied to police multiple times, lied to Alexander’s family (even going so far as to send his grandmother flowers), and had gone to great lengths to throw off any evidence that she could have possibly committed the crime.

Is anyone else shivering yet?

Not even 24 hours after murdering Travis Alexander, Jodi Arias was cuddling and making out with another man in Utah. She gave no hint that anything had gone wrong. After her arrest for the murder, Arias appeared on 48 Hours to make her case to the public. Again, she lied. She admitted to being there, but that two intruders broke in and killed him – yet she had no explanation as to how she knew this and didn’t report the incident to police. Once cornered on that story, she changed the story yet again: she arrived at the new excuse she’s been using in court, that Alexander was abusive and forced her to engage in “uncomfortable” sex acts.

In my experience, a woman who has been abused to the point that she kills her abuser in a fit of blind terror isn’t arriving at that moment without there first being some kind of evidence. There are usually police reports of neighbors calling to report violence (and Alexander had two roommates), friends and relatives noticing bruises or other injuries (such as broken bones or burns), even hospital records. There was nothing on Jodi Arias. I’ve also never seen an abuse victim who didn’t live with their abuser continue to engage in a relationship with them over a period of over a year – or come back two months after moving away to have sex with them and brutally murder them.

Victims who kill their abusers don’t usually realize they’ve done it until the act is done, and it doesn’t include the extreme method that Jodi Arias used. It’s usually a single stab wound, one or two gunshot wounds, something simple and quick. It doesn’t involve heavy planning, renting a car, finding methods for purchasing gas and food well out of the way to make sure your credit card isn’t being used within hundreds of miles of the city where the crime was committed and going to play tonsil hockey with a man you’ve never met…all while claiming that you deeply loved the man you’ve killed.

Jodi Arias is a classic sociopath. She has no conscience. She feels no real emotion; emotion is a second language to her, one she has likely learned over her three decades of life to mimic. She’s proven that she is very good at turning it on and off at will to get what she wants. She is capable of telling a multitude of lies, and every time she’s caught in one lie she concocts anther set of them to cover her tracks. Now that she’s cornered yet again, she is putting on a grand show of weeping in court. I was there the day prosecutor Juan Martinez began his intense questions, yelling at her to look at the picture of Alexander’s dead body. It was an act that deserved an Oscar. It’s an act I’ve seen before and was just as unsettling in court as it is to witness in real life.

I only hope the jury is able to see through poor little Jodi’s stage act. Travis Alexander deserves justice, and victims everywhere deserve better.

Best Served Cold

How did conservatives react when Bush was re-elected in 2004 over uber-liberal John Kerry?

Thank God, Kerry won’t pull a Winter Soldier on our troops overseas!

How are the liberals reacting now that Obama has been re-elected?

Take that, Mitches!

No kidding. Pop superstar Beyoncé took to Tumblr to throw it in our collective face, setting the tone for everyone else who would have something to say the day after the election. I visited the homepage of one friend who voted for Obama to find several of her friends had tagged her in a theme photo of Beyoncé’s quote. That friend was willing to agree to disagree with me but none of those I know who voted for Obama have called out those who are behaving like juvenile delinquents. They’re celebrating with them. Relatives who are liberal weren’t willing to admit that the behavior from Democrats on election day was unacceptable; I was literally told to “quit whining” and be more graceful, as Romney was in his concession speech.

Sorry. I fail to see how I’m wrong for pointing out just how callow some people are being about this.

Not one of my relatives or friends who are liberal ever once tried to stand up for me or anyone else when accusations of racism began being tossed about carelessly. Not one of them, who all know many people like me who are conservative and know what kind of people we are, ever raised a single question when we were attacked as hatemongers and homophobes. None of the people who knew me as a child, watched me grow up, and know my heart have ever once stopped to tell others who didn’t know me as well that their outrageous comments were unfair. NEVER. Not a single time.

Where were they when Bill Maher made multiple unutterable remarks about Governor Palin? Where were they when David Letterman made tasteless jokes about her children? Where was such sentiment about being civil when the shooting in Tucson was politicized, and conservatives were branded as being at fault for the tragedy? None of them, not a single one, stopped to think that their side was being hysterical – not even when it was discovered that Jared Lee Loughner wasn’t political at all, but was genuinely koo-koo for Coco Puffs. They certainly didn’t speak up for us. They either let it go or, in some cases, joined in. None of us on the right side of the political spectrum lives in a vacuum. We all have liberals in our lives. How many of them bothered to stick up for us? We called Ann Coulter out for calling the President a “retard” because she was wrong – how many of the liberals in our lives would stand up to Keith Olbermann calling us the worst people in the world?

I love all of my family. I think the ones who are liberal are wrong, but I don’t think it’s up to me to change their minds (and I couldn’t even if I wanted to). Some of my liberal relatives, however, have no respect at all for me. They’ll put on a nice face when the family comes together, but they think I am out of my mind for supporting the one political ideal that they have decided is anathema to everything I am as a lesbian in America. They’ve never asked me to explain my beliefs, but they have no problem spitting out incredibly insulting things (such as remarks about how the troops are all rapists and murderers) in front of me, then looking at me for a response.

I’m sick of it. I’m tired of doing this back-and-forth with liberals, listening to them talk about how evil I am and wondering why the liberals who really know me never had my back. I’m tired of being called a traitor, a collaborator, a quisling, and a self-loathing closet case because liberalism makes no sense to me. I understand mathematics and basic economics, the rules of which say quite plainly that if you keep taxing the people responsible for the jobs in this country to give to people who won’t work for a living, eventually you’ll run out of rich people to tax and everybody is miserably poor.

I believe in charity – I just happen to see the basic truth that charity cannot be forced upon people. If my neighbor, who frequently gushes about how nice my truck is, decides one day to steal it, he’ll go to prison if he’s caught. If he breaks into my house and steals my computer or my guitars, same deal – he goes to prison. It doesn’t matter if he tells the judge that he needed transportation or if he needed to hock my things to eat. The judge will still ask him, “did you know that it was wrong to steal?” If it’s illegal for my neighbor to steal my physical possessions, how is it acceptable for the government to tax me half to death in the name of altruism?

The phrase “revenge is a dish best served cold” has been in use since the first half of the 17th century. Nobody knows exactly where it came from, but the phrase is often misunderstood. What it means is that revenge works best when it is exacted through calculated planning and emotional detachment. When the one seeking revenge plans every step, carries it out, and then walks away without another word, it bears far more profoundly than the oaf who takes a wild swing at your nose and guffaws when you hit the floor.

Most liberals today don’t understand that. They can’t just get their revenge – they have to gloat afterwards, making certain to twist the knife after burying it in our backs. They’ve spent the last five years calling us all racists, homophobes and hatemongers while those who know we’re none of those things sit and let it happen. The propaganda is slowly killing us.

Who are the Nazis, again?

Don’t retreat, reload – and keep your powder dry.

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