Twist And Shout

There’s nothing like a little bit of media bias surrounding a tragedy. We’ve been dealing with it for so long at this point that I’m pretty sure I’d miss it if they weren’t doing it anymore. Such has been the case since August 12, when an off-duty Chicago cop was attacked and had to shoot one of his attackers in self-defense.

The officer has not been named publicly, but there have been vigils held for the 26-year-old father who was killed that night. The officer was riding his motorcycle when a small child darted out into the road; he intentionally laid the bike down (biker parlance for deliberately wrecking it to avoid hurting someone while moving at a high rate of speed) to avoid hitting her, but the bike clipped her anyway. Her father, Christopher Middleton, came tearing out of the restaurant they were visiting in a rage and, along with his cousin, 18-year-old John Passley, began viciously beating him.

If it were me, I would be more concerned about my daughter than angry at the person who hit her. As soon as I made sure that she wasn’t bleeding profusely and was still conscious, THEN I would want to find out what happened. I sure as hell wouldn’t run outside, right past my injured child and immediately start beating someone. It would only make a bigger mess of things.

It resulted in a bigger mess when the off-duty cop had to pull his handgun and shoot Middleton. According to the victim and witness testimony, the beating was very brutal. The victim felt himself beginning to lose consciousness and believed that his life was in imminent danger. He pulled his sidearm and fired a single round right into Middleton’s upper thigh/groin area, clipping his femoral artery. He died at the hospital.

What’s more incredible than the story itself is that Middleton’s family is claiming that he was a great father and didn’t deserve to die – that he was just “going crazy” over his child. A great parent will be more worried about their child after an accident than they are about getting back at the other person involved. Middleton had no idea what happened. He didn’t stop to ask whether his daughter had run out into the street. Hell, it sounds as though he didn’t even stop to look at her. He barged out and attacked someone without knowing what happened, and he had no intention of stopping his rampage until his target was either maimed or dead.

The family claims that the officer never identified himself as a police officer. Actually, multiple witnesses say he did tell Middleton that he was a cop – Middleton reportedly said, “I don’t give a f***” and smashed him in the face. Even if he hadn’t, why should it have mattered? Would he have done worse to someone he knew wasn’t a cop? Does it excuse the fact that he attacked a man who appeared to be unarmed without knowing what happened? Is it supposed to somehow absolve him of his role in the tragedy?

The family is also demanding justice. For what? A man sees a kid jump out into the street in front of him, pulls off a very dangerous maneuver to avoid hitting her and unfortunately ends up clipping her anyway. He did what he could. After that, two men he doesn’t know attack him, knock him to the ground and beat him until he starts to pass out. What was he supposed to do? Would it have been better if the cop had fought back and killed him with his bare hands? What would you have expected him to do in that situation? It’s clear that the family was not only not trying to stop him, they were actively helping him.

The whole situation could have been avoided. Rather than admitting that he was an idiot, they’re claiming he didn’t overreact and the cop he attacked should be the one going to jail. Middleton’s mother has even sworn to get a lawyer and do whatever she can to get back at her son’s victim.

The press hasn’t addressed this ridiculous story except to turn everything back around on the man who could have died trying to avoid hitting a child. British publication The Daily Mail worded their entire article in an accusatory fashion. Other articles linked here talk about the vigils for Middleton, but no mention is made of the mental state of the off-duty cop who had to kill another human being. I promise you, he’s not taking it lightly. I’ve known cops who had to kill and not one of them ever slept well afterwards.

It’s always sad when a child is hurt. I hate those calls; even when the child is crying and responsive (which tells me that the child is breathing and conscious, not in shock), it breaks my heart. I cannot, for any reason, excuse the actions of Christopher Middleton. If his family has an ounce of intelligence, they will stop blaming the victim and set a better example for the children in the family. Keep close track of small children. Teach them to NEVER enter the street without looking carefully.

More than anything, however, don’t ever attack someone blindly. You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. If you do attack someone in a blind rage, you deserve the negative outcome – no matter how tragic the public may think it is.

Fake It

About a month ago, an acquaintance emailed me about a hate crime in Lincoln, NE. His only commentary was, “when are you going to wise up?” That remark was followed by a link to a blog post about the attack, including photos that couldn’t be posted by major news outlets. According to the story, an unnamed 33-year-old woman was viciously attacked in her home as she slept by three masked men who stripped her naked, bound her hands and feet with zip-ties, carved homophobic slurs into her arm and her stomach, spray-painted similar slurs on the walls, poured gasoline on the floor and lit the house on fire.

As soon as I read the story, I smelled a stage act. I didn’t want to immediately post about it because there wasn’t much info in the news reports I was able to find. The spray-painted slurs were on the inside of the house, not the outside – in the basement, no less. The slurs cut into her skin were on her stomach and arm, places she can easily reach. I’ve studied the psychology of people who commit hate crimes, and none of that makes any sense.

A person who would go so far as to attack a person for their sexual orientation or their race or religion is doing so in an attempt to humiliate and intimidate that person AND all of the people in the vicinity who are associated with that person. When a hate crime involves defacing property, they’re trying to publicly identify that person as gay, lesbian, black, Hispanic, Jewish, whatever the bias may be against. They want everyone in the neighborhood to know what they see that person as being. When a hate crime involves arson, they’re usually trying to destroy evidence; whether it be DNA, footprints or blood spatter, there’s a purpose to trying to burn the home down and they make sure that the fire gets rolling (meaning they don’t just pour gasoline on the Formica in the kitchen and run away). Hate crimes rarely involve mutilation – that’s typically something that a jilted lover does when they’re killing the object of their affection, and it’s not usually superficial. It’s brutal.

If this were a genuine hate crime, any of these things could potentially have been done. All three together, and all very superficially? Extremely unlikely.

Today, it was announced that 33-year-old Charlie Rogers, formerly #33 for the Nebraska Cornhuskers women’s basketball team, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of false reporting to the police. Among the evidence police released were inconsistent statements from the victim, gloves (with Rogers’ own DNA inside them – she told investigators they were not hers and were left by the perps), zip ties and a utility knife, and no blood on the bedspread where Rogers was allegedly attacked.

At first, Rogers didn’t want her name or face publicized. Then, when a handful of people questioned whether the attack might have been staged – it was never questioned by the MSM, and the major players in the conservative blogosphere still haven’t picked up on it – she suddenly decided to talk to the press. In the entire interview, I didn’t hear her talk about herself once. She makes statements about “my world” and feeling like “a pawn”, but she largely only talks about everyone else.

According to Lincoln police chief Jim Peschong, Rogers had written the following online: “So maybe I’m too idealistic but I believe way deep inside me that we can make things better for everyone. I will be a catalyst. I will do what it takes. I will. Watch me.” Beth Rigatuso, the president of Heartland Pride, said, “If in fact she did do this to herself, it points to a much larger issue of self-hatred. It doesn’t diminish the fact that hate crimes happen all the time all across the U.S.”

Rigatuso is wrong on both counts. This had nothing to do with self-hatred, and to claim that kind of thing is an enormous cop-out. She’s making excuses for Rogers’ behavior in the hopes of not having to accept responsibility, and the gay community should take some. She’s not the first to stage a hate crime or falsely claim a hate crime took place, yet the gay community, rather than calling these people out, pretend the incidents didn’t happen.

Joseph Baken claimed that he was attacked in the street outside a gay bar, even posted photos of his facial injuries – except he got the injuries while trying to do a back flip off of a curb outside the bar. Aimee Whitchurch and Christel Conklin called police over the words “kill the gay” being spray painted on their garage door and a noose being hung on their front door, but it was determined they did it themselves. Quinn Matney claimed that a complete stranger walked up to him on his college campus, said “here is a taste of hell”, called him a derogatory name and then branded him, leaving third- and fourth-degree burns on his hand – but he did it to himself. Ryan Grant Watson claimed he was attacked by a black man who called him a homophobic slur, but it was invented, too. Alexandra Pennell claimed that someone was stuffing anti-gay threat letters under her dorm room door at Central Connecticut State University, but that was also determined to be a hoax.

Rigatuso is correct – hate crimes do happen. Only it seems that these days there are far more fakes out there. We all know the stories of Mathew Shepard, Brandon Teena and Gwen Araujo, but here in the United States those stories are few and far between. In the interim, we’ve just had a major upheaval over comments made by Chick-Fil-A CFO Dan Cathy – I think that has a lot to do with this recent spate of staged anti-gay hate crimes. The purpose of these incidents, I think, is twofold: first, these are people who want attention. Second, they want to find some way, any way, to prove that we need to put a stop to these right-wing hatemongers.

They think if they have to fake it, the ends justify the means. The problem with that belief is that none of the people involved in beating, raping and killing Mathew Shepard, Brandon Teena and Gwen Araujo ever claimed to be Christians or right-wingers.

I’m at a loss as to how we’ve determined that Christians and conservatives are responsible for crimes committed largely by non-religious rednecks. I’m at even more of a loss to excuse the intolerance of the gay left; of the Quinn Matney incident, Jeff DeLuca said, “He still needs our support. It’s a different kind of support than we originally anticipated having to offer. He’s still a valued member of our community and we want to make sure his health, safety and peace of mind are at the forefront of what we’re doing for him.”

When was the last time a gay leftist was so compassionate to any conservative, let alone a gay conservative?

Sexism Will Never Die

When I was in high school, a vicious drama played out between three of my classmates. A popular boy, the stereotypical football player with a lot of talent on the field who was in love with his own legend, cheated on his cheerleader squad captain of a girlfriend with a girl who was widely panned as the school skank. The plot has become ridiculously familiar in today’s high-school-themed movies: big man on campus has the perfect girlfriend and screws it up by sleeping with the town party favor. The movies aren’t nearly as ugly as real life. There was no happy ending when the jilted cheerleader picked a fight with the girl who stole Mr. Wrong. As is always the case, the cheater was far more street wise and had been in fights before, while the cheerleader was just really pissed off. Suffice to say, the cheerleader couldn’t shake her pom-poms anymore when the dust settled. In time, everyone forgot that the fight was over a boy. The girl who stole him for a one-night stand, however, was never forgiven. My former classmates remember what she did even now.

It was then that my dad told me a story about his Navy days when women first began serving on US ships. Two sailors, a man and a woman, both married, had an affair during a major deployment. They were eventually caught (impossible not to get caught on a Navy destroyer – if you’ve ever been in one of the berthing compartments, you know why). When they were, everyone castigated the woman as being a whore – the man, however, got high-fives and his name was eventually forgotten. It was the same thing that happened when I was in high school.

Fast forward to today. Kristen Stewart, the sweetheart of the Twilight films, has been in a relationship with on-screen partner Robert Pattinson for a few years. She didn’t actually admit their relationship until she was caught cheating on Rob. Naturally, all hell broke loose – Twilight fans posted YouTube videos reminiscent of Chris Crocker’s crying rant, screaming “how could you” at Kristen over the internet. People have gone absolutely insane over this whole thing. Interestingly enough, the same tired storyline is playing out: everyone is mad at Kristen, but not one person in my office could name the man she cheated with, nor could they say for certain if he had a family.

For the record, his name is Rupert Sanders. He is technically still married to actress Liberty Ross, who played Snow White’s mother in Snow White and the Huntsman. The pair has two children together.

I’m sure Rob is torn up and feels deeply betrayed. Anyone who’s been cheated on feels a hurt that is unique to that particular act. I have to wonder, though – why in the hell has Rupert not been publicly shamed? Why hasn’t his apology been entered into the current quotable vernacular? Why hasn’t he been screamed at? He was actually married. He has two children with a woman he vowed to remain faithful, ’til death do us part. He’s the one who’s gonna have to explain to his kids why Christmas has to be split between mom and dad’s house. Why isn’t he the one everyone is targeting?

For the same reason that my classmates all forgot the guy in that love triangle. The same reason all the men on my dad’s ship gave their two-timing buddy a slap on the back and congratulated him while the woman he screwed was branded an adulteress: sexism will never die.

Women have always been held to a different standard than men. You can see it in the way Hilary Clinton was treated as soon as Barack Obama entered the presidential race. You can see it in the way Sarah Palin was skewered in John McCain’s place. We have long since answered the question of whether America is ready for a black president, yet we’re still asking if our nation is ready for a woman in the White House. We’re not ready because we still haven’t moved past the centuries-old idea that a woman is always the seductress and the man is unable to withstand her wiles. You can see it in our subconscious in the way Jodie Foster has to stand up for Kristen Stewart because almost nobody else will.

(Jodie brings up one very good point – our society has grown into an animal that eats alive any celebrity who doesn’t live up to our unspoken expectations, and it’s unfair to subject a kid to that these days. I’m glad now that I didn’t get fame when I wanted it.)

As long as things like this are coupled with White House staff salaries proving that women still aren’t equal in the workplace, we’ll never move forward; but sexism will always remain that dirty little secret that nobody talks about. It will never change because the liberal feminists will only point at abortion rights and conservatives refuse to speak loudly enough to be heard.

Tragedy at the Sikh Temple

I have yet to offer my thoughts on the Aurora shooting, mostly because I know cops and firefighters who were there and I’d be walking a fine line when I do say something about it.

Today, though, I’m stunned at the news that a gunman walked into a Sikh temple near Milwaukee and opened fire with a single handgun, killing six and wounding three (including a police officer) before he was taken down by police. What we’ve heard so far that the attacker was a former military member in his 40’s and he had a 9/11 memorial tattoo on one arm. There are rumors the he mistook the Sikh temple for a Mosque.

I have never met a Sikh whom I did not deeply respect. Sikhism is the polar opposite of jihadist Islam; they believe in peace and genuine equality, that men and women of all races are completely equal in God’s eyes. Sikhs are supposed to be saint/soldiers who live to help others and defend those who have suffered injustice. Like the Shaolin monks who have taught me, Sikhs have good hearts and are very giving people.

My heart goes out to the victims, their families and their friends. Today is a very sad moment. I will not condemn the shooter just yet, as we don’t know what his actual motivations were. Like the Sikhs, however, I pray for peace and justice, and I hope the public can gain greater understanding of who the Sikhs are through this.

Chik-Fil-A: The Great Flap

If you’re listening to the hard left, you’d believe that the boycott of chicken chain Chick-Fil-A is working and the brand is being dealt an irreparable blow.

Unfortunately for them, this is pure fantasy. There’s a CFA restaurant right next to my loft, and these days the place is absolutely packed. The dining room is stuffed to the gills and the drive-thru line quickly wraps around the building. Every CFA in the country seems to be getting more business these days.

We all know what the kerfuffle is about. Dan Cathy, the company’s CEO and the son of founder S. Truett Cathy, recently said “guilty as charged” when asked by the Baptist Press if he supported traditional family values. He never specifically singled out gay marriage; he did single out divorce quite specifically, but the way things have gone you’d think Cathy held a forum in support of Fred Phelps and called for us all to be rounded up and herded into concentration camps.

Roseanne Barr said that everyone who eats at CFA deserves to get cancer. After then saying that people who feed their kids at CFA are guilty of child abuse, she went on another nazi-cursing tirade against the chain. Non-celebs went completely bats as well, commenting that CFA sandwiches are “deep fried in hate” and called traditional marriage “a sacred bond between two consenting bigots”.

The really frightening thing about all of this, however, is what elected government officials are doing now. It began with Boston mayor Thomas Menino declaring that CFA was banned from Boston and he would see to it that it was nearly impossible for the company to get proper permits to operate. As soon as he did that, actress Eliza Dushku promptly tweeted, “That’s right, B!” (Eliza, you’re breaking my heart here…I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer and SMG is still my celeb girl crush, but I once had a crush on you, too!) That was followed by Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno swearing to block CFA from opening a new restaurant in his district. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel backed him up, saying that “Chick-Fil-A values are not Chicago values” (strange, since gay marriage is illegal in Illinois and nobody in Chicago politics has moved a finger to change that). San Francisco mayor Edwin Lee then tweeted that the nearest CFA restaurant was 40 miles away and “I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer.” DC mayor Vincent Gray has now said that “I will not support #hatechicken”.

Calling them a bunch of lunatics is being too nice. They’re outright violating CFA’s First Amendment rights, and frighteningly so. Their reason is that they strongly disagree with Cathy’s beliefs, and they think that because they disagree and can claim that CFA discriminates because of Cathy’s beliefs they have the right to stop the chain from growing, opening new stores and creating more jobs. Our tax dollars hard at work.

First of all, let’s clear the air here: being against the legalization of gay marriage does NOT equal being anti-gay. It certainly does not deserve the title of “hatemonger.” I know a few gay people who don’t believe in legalizing gay marriage. That does not make them hatemongers, they simply want to live their lives in peace and not have to worry about who might be offended. Second, I routinely go to CFA. My item of habit is their grilled chicken sandwich deluxe. I have never, not once, EVER been discriminated against by any employee. In fact, most of them know me by name and chat with me while I’m waiting. They all know I’m gay and not a single one of them cares. CFA employees have frequently been the most gracious I’ve encountered.

Third, it is beyond comprehension that any government official would dare to infringe upon the rights of any person. What would these same people say if a conservative mayor forced a gay-owned-and-themed business out of their city because of religious objections to their beliefs and/or lifestyle? I can tell you now, they’d all be howling for the DOJ to investigate. It’s perfectly acceptable, though, when liberals want to do it.

Boycotting isn’t un-American, and none of us have claimed that it was (Fox News certainly hasn’t, and you’re lying through your teeth when you claim they have). If you want to personally boycott the place, that’s your right. You may not, however, tell them that they’re not allowed to open or expand in your city because of your disagreement with the owner. I will be the first to stand up for their rights, because if I sit back and let you violate their rights, then mine will be next.

Ghosts

What I’m about to write is difficult to the point of being agonizing, but I think it’s still important, even if only a few people read it. Maybe sharing my experiences as a kid will help me find some modicum of peace. It’ll be a hell of a lot easier to write than it will be to say it out loud, regardless of who I’m talking to. Believe me…I’m sitting here with a glass of single-malt scotch as I write.

The whole world saw a video this week that stunned them. The video was of four junior high school students brutally mocking their 68-year-old bus monitor, Karen Klein. They were so vicious in their taunts that they brought her to tears – then made fun of the fact that she was crying. The kid who shot the ten-minute video wanted to submit it to a Comedy Central show because he thought it was funny.

I got exactly a minute and a half into it and couldn’t watch anymore.

Less than one minute into that video, I was in tears. The things those kids were saying to Karen were almost identical to the things that my classmates used to say to me on the bus. When I was at CD Landolt Elementary in Houston, I walked to school every day. Bullies would target me and a couple of other kids on that route. Kids at school would make fun of the way I dressed, the way I talked, the way I sang (a small group of girls liked my singing but even some of them were absolutely cruel about everything else). They’d ask me why I pulled my socks up to my knees. They’d ask me why I acted like a boy. They’d joke that I was going to have a sex-change operation and gave me disgusting tips on how to do it. Those were the nicer things they did – I was frequently pushed around, beat up, even spit on. I was 12 when Jared Close announced to everyone that I was such a loser that I’d give free blow jobs just to have a friend, then pantomimed the act. I had to ask my teacher what a blow job was. When we all went on to Webster Intermediate (which has since been sold to a private alternative school), it only got worse.

PE was always a nightmare. I still remember the far corner between bays of lockers where a chunk of concrete was missing from the floor. I remember it because I was tossed into that corner on multiple occasions. I still don’t know why some of the kids at school hated me so much. I don’t understand why Theresa Baylott would call “big girl!” out to me from across the quad in a dragged-out falsetto voice and later scream just inches from my face that she was going to tear my effing head off.

I don’t understand why the kids on the bus, many of whom I didn’t really know, always targeted me. My parents would tell me to ignore them, but the more I ignored them the worse the abuse got. I once tried to put my head back and pretend to be asleep, but they all roared and started making fun of my nose – one kid even sneaked up to me and stuck a pen up my nose. And, just as the kids in New York did to Karen, they’d tell me I was fat. They’d “joke” that I took up the whole seat. I tried to sit in the only single-seat bench on the bus to avoid having to sit with the bullies (who loved to sit down next to me, then throw themselves into the aisle and yell at me for being too fat). The funny thing was that I really wasn’t very overweight back then. They convinced me that I was, though.

In high school, there was a running joke among most of my classmates that my nickname was “O.G.” I never knew what it stood for; they tried to tell me it stood for “original gangster” but I was never into rap and they always said it when I did or said something that appeared or sounded masculine. The more “manly” my actions, the more I’d hear, “1-2-3, this is O.G.!” Eventually someone told me that I was right – it was their inside way of making fun of me for being too butch. Someone started a rumor that I was a Satanist despite my heavy involvement in church.

Oh, church. I was bullied there, too. In Houston, my family went to Grace Community Church. The building they used to own now belongs to another congregation (most people on the East Side would immediately recognize the huge red-brick and white-pillar building with the ginormous steeple). One kid from our neighborhood also went to church with us, and he and his friends treated me like dirt. Nathan Scott Hutchison may never be forgiven in my mind for the things he did to me. His mother thought he did no wrong and no amount of challenging by other parents in the neighborhood ever convinced her that he really was a violent bully. He’d beat me to a pulp and then lie to my mother and tell her that I started it – when my mother would keep me home from church, he’d go and brag to everyone in our youth group that he’d beaten me up.

Church didn’t change until my family moved to Louisiana. Church in DeRidder didn’t change the fact that I was bullied at school, though. I just had actual friends for the first time in my life who I could stay close to so I didn’t get beaten up as often. Not that it stopped jocks in the hallway from picking me up and bodily throwing me into the lockers. Demopolis, Alabama was only marginally better, and I think only because everyone liked the fact that I could play guitar. There I had classmates calling me “church lady” after a character on Saturday Night Live. Pretty soon, though, they also started calling me “Pat”, also after a character on SNL. I wasn’t allowed to watch the show so I had no idea what it meant; someone told me it was a sketch about a character who never said if she was a man or a woman. Years later, when I finally did see a Pat sketch, I was horrified. I can’t watch anything on SNL now.

Seeing Karen Klein reduced to tears as the kids on that bus tormented her brought all of that rushing back as if it were yesterday. I’m one of those freaks who remembers every detail of everything; I can’t forget this crap no matter how hard I try. I can barely scratch the surface of the things that were said and done to me as a kid because most of it doesn’t bear repeating in polite company. There are a few facts that strike me, though, every time I go over this stuff in my head. First of all, not one of the kids who bullied me based their abuse on anything in the Bible. The kids who would walk up to me in the cafeteria and loudly ask, “are you a lesbian?” so everyone could hear didn’t go to church. They were just bullying me because I was different. When I was that age, even if you knew you were gay you did not admit it. Doing so invited disaster. The kids who bullied me at church weren’t Christians, they just had parents who either didn’t believe their kids were bullies or didn’t care. Not one of the punches, kicks, gobs of saliva or hurtful words I ever took was delivered by a person who believed it was their Christian duty to do it.

The bullying didn’t stop when I reached adulthood. I was working as a corrections officer for the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections when I finally came to the realization that I was gay (something I staunchly denied all my life up until about age 24). I was just hitting that depression when my unit got a new lieutenant – a former sergeant named Paul Rivas. This guy had serious anger management issues, to the point that he would yell and throw things at the drop of a hat when things didn’t go his way. I was his target. When something went wrong, I was always to blame. One night, I was the only officer on my unit and I had been tasked with entering incident reports into the computer (never mind the fact that I still had to do rounds and make sure all the delinquents were sleeping and not attempting rape or suicide). The system was down, so I was never able to get it done. When he arrived the next morning to find the reports still sitting in the bin on his desk, he pulled me into his office and ripped me a new one at the top of his lungs. He didn’t want to hear about the system issues. After screaming at me for ten minutes about how completely inept I was, he told me that he would get rid of me the next time I failed. Trying to tell his boss, Lorene Petta, about the situation changed nothing.

It was Rivas’ bullying that pushed me over the edge. I was already in my own private hell over the dichotomy of being a lifelong Christian who was a lesbian. Rivas had me convinced that I was useless as an officer and that I was going to lose my career. I couldn’t handle the fact that, from childhood to age 24, I had been a complete loser; now, as a grown woman, I still couldn’t do anything right. One day in November of that year, I put my gun to my head and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. The round never discharged. I immediately told a couple of fellow officers who helped me check into a hospital. I never did tell them just how close I had come to killing myself. Dr. Petta, Lt. Rivas and the assistant director used their knowledge of what I’d been through (limited as it was, since it was another officer who told them) to fire me. I later went back to corrections with a very different perspective on things.

While I refuse to be a victim – I refuse to play the specialty card to get what I want – those experiences still haunt me. I’m still hurt by all of that. I’ve never revealed the details until now, but they have always been with me. Unless I live long enough to develop Alzheimer’s, they’ll always be with me. I still feel like a loser, even now. I hate that I feel that way, but I don’t know how else to feel. I still feel like that kid who wanted to be part of the in-crowd and is being humiliated in the attempt. It has kept going that way. After my parents divorced, I stayed with my mom to try to help her out but I had to move on at some point; in 2005, I moved out on my own. I met another lesbian who had bought a home and needed a roommate because she and her girlfriend were about to break up. She was a very attractive girl and we became very fast friends, but it didn’t last. When she eventually told me she didn’t want me in her life anymore, several years after I’d moved out of her house, the only reasons she was able to give me were very superficial – the way I dressed, the music I liked, the fact that I was too butch.

I rarely, if ever, let anyone new in now. I feel as though I have been useless my entire life. I’m no angel…a long time ago, I was an honest-to-god pious little jackass. I would never try to blame my actions on my childhood because no matter what I went through, I still knew right from wrong. I don’t think I ever deserved to feel the way I do now, though. I don’t deserve to fear that everyone around me is secretly thinking about how much they can’t stand me. I don’t deserve to be afraid to go out and meet people because I don’t believe I’ll ever feel worthy of being loved. I sure as hell don’t deserve to hope that I’ll get the chance to die in some heroic act so my life will make sense to somebody.

The kind of people who say that bullying is no big deal have never had to wake up with those ghosts.

Obama The Liar

Eric Holder did a ridiculous tap dance yesterday in a 20-minute meeting to ward off continued advances by Rep. Darrell Issa to get to the bottom of Operation Fast & Furious. After apparently agreeing to hand over some of the documents requested by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Holder showed up at a meeting yesterday empty-handed. He “briefed” Issa on the documents and explained that he had written directly to President Obama to request that he exercise his executive privilege to stop the documents from being released.

Today, Obama did exactly that.

What’s really astonishing is that the Democrats on the committee defended Holder and Obama and had the unmitigated gall to admonish Issa for his push to vote Holder in contempt of Congress. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) defended Holder by claiming that he’d come in some kind of “good faith” gesture to work something out with Congress (if the man was innocent, he’d have nothing to “work out” with anybody) and saying that Issa had been holding the Attorney General to an “impossible standard” (I’m sorry, but I wasn’t aware that expecting the AG to hand over documents related to a severely botched gun running operation that resulted in the death of a US Border Patrol agent was an impossible feat). Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said she was quote “horrified” by Issa’s refusal to back down, characterized the move today as a political witch hunt and accused Republicans of “overruling” the President.

Yes, she really said that. The goofy Democrat from New York actually accused Republicans of overruling the President. What do Democrats call what they did to Bush in 2003 when he warned of a looming economic crisis? Remember that, Maloney? I’m curious, do you remember your “symbolic” vote in 2007 against Bush’s plan for the surge in Iraq? Moreover, I’d like to know what in the hell you call the immediate proceedings against Richard Nixon when Democrats merely smelled the possibility of his involvement of a coverup of the break-in at the Watergate Hotel? Democrats were brutal in pursuing him and his recordings, and rightly so – he deserved to be impeached. Where is the equal desire to hold your own to account for their crimes?

He’s the President, not the monarch. In our Republic, if the president does something that isn’t acceptable under the law Congress has every right to hold him accountable. In fact, they have an obligation to the people to hold a president accountable when he does something wrong. To claim that it is wrong for Congress to “overrule” the President is tantamount to declaring Barack Obama the emperor.

Now, the emperor is as naked as the day he was born.

F&F was a failed experiment under Bush. The program, initially called Project Gunrunner, had a few agents working on it and a small budget; Bush notified Mexican officials, and when it was obvious that it wouldn’t work he put it on ice. Then, a few years later, here comes Obama – the op was brought back from the dead, given three times the manpower and money, and let loose to fail on an even bigger scale. This time, it resulted in untold numbers of high-powered firearms being allowed to cross the border into Mexico, untold numbers of deaths attributed to those weapons, and a dead US BP agent, Brian Terry, a hero in both life and death who was ordered to use non-lethal rounds against a well-armed drug cartel.

Obama promised that he would lead the most transparent administration in history. Lately, there have been egregious security leaks and the President and his staff have shrugged the leaks off as though they’re nothing. Now, we have potentially explosive evidence of a crime that goes all the way to the top, and the President is flexing his executive muscle to protect himself and his lying cronies. What are Democrats doing? Helping to defend him.

It seems he is bound and damned determined to go down in history as Emperor Obama, the Liar. He’ll do worse than Nixon and be excused by liberals bent on being “tolerant”. Just call him the Teflon President.

Brett Kimberlin, Domestic Terrorist

In the extremely early hours of July 1, just last year, LA County assistant district attorney Patrick Frey – better known as blogger Patterico – was on the phone with a man he had never met in person before when Lomita County sheriff’s SWAT members pounded on the door and demanded that Frey come out. He was handcuffed, marched to a police cruiser, questioned on whether his wife and kids were still alive, and left there in full view of his neighbors – while police woke up his soundly sleeping wife and children. A helicopter woke anyone who might have missed the hubbub otherwise. A call had been placed by a person who read off Frey’s address and said that a woman had been shot – they claimed to be Frey, and said he’d shot his wife. It was a dangerous hoax that’s come to be known as “swatting” because it results in SWAT teams coming to your front door.

Astonishingly, authorities have never even attempted to file charges against the man responsible. Patterico hired a professional acquaintance who is an expert at audio forensics. The man who placed that call was Ron Brynaert, an extremist so far out there even the left wing won’t accept him anymore (he has reportedly been banned from further posting at Daily KOS, which if true should speak volumes). Brynaert isn’t working alone…along with Brad Friedman, he’s the “janitor” for Brett Kimberlin.

If you’re just a little older than me, you may recognize his name. In 1978 he became infamous as the “Speedway Bomber.” To understand what he’s up to now, you have to hear the beginning of his story. It’s a doozy.

On July 29, 1978, 65-year-old Julia Scyphers was shot and killed in her garage by a man who had claimed he was interested in buying items that she’d had on sale. Her husband only caught a glimpse of the killer as he ran to his car and sped away. Police ended up looking at her daughter, Sandra Barton. Barton was dating a man whom Scyphers had never liked and had begun to suspect was molesting her granddaughter. That man was Brett Kimberlin. He was never charged with child abuse or molestation, but police believed that he hired an associate in his drug-dealing background to kill Scyphers after she had the locks changed on her daughter’s apartment door.

Not long after, on September 1, 1978, the Speedway bombings began as a distraction from the murder. Bombs went off every night until September 6, when US Army Maj. Carl David DeLong (retired) came across one of the bombs in a duffel bag in the parking lot of Speedway High School. When the bomb went off, it nearly killed him – it took off his right leg, two fingers, and sprayed his entire body with shrapnel. His wife was also hit by shrapnel. DeLong, a Vietnam Vet who bravely served his country, endured nine surgeries and years of therapy.

Kimberlin, who police had always believed was using his vegetarian restaurant as a front for smuggling pot, was caught at a local copy shop wearing a Department of Defense uniform to excuse replicating military ID’s (pictures from the Indianapolis Star show him in that uniform after his initial arrest, with a full beard). His car was searched and police found the unique timers that had been used on the bombs along with traces of Tovex – a water gel explosive comprised of a sodium nitrate/ammonium nitrate/aluminum mix that is so much more efficient than dynamite that it is used by hot shot fire crews to create fire breaks while fighting wildfires – which was the explosive used in the bombs.

It would be 1980 before Kimberlin was tried for anything, and he was never tried for his involvement in Julia Scyphers’ murder; the only witness, her husband, died before charges could be brought and he was the only one who could identify the shooter (William Bowman, who immediately recanted upon the death of the only witness). Kimberlin had just received four years on a Texas drug conviction, and finally he was given 12 more years for impersonating a DoD official that year. One year later, he was finally found guilty on charges of possessing illegal explosives and other bombing charges. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison and his other sentence was rolled into a complete sentence of 51 years, six months and 19 days. During the trials, he intimidated witnesses. Some witnesses even ended up dead. While in prison, he made his victims’ lives a living hell, suing them along with police and prosecutors in true jailhouse lawyer fashion.

On February 23, 1983, after five years of trying to reclaim his life after the bombing, Carl DeLong committed suicide.

Incredibly, Kimberlin was paroled in 1994 after spending a mere 12 of 51 years behind bars. He refused to pay a dime of the $1.6M settlement that had been awarded to Sandra DeLong, so his parole was revoked – for a whopping four years. in 2001, he was released again.

Fast forward to 2010. Kimberlin has become a dedicated liberal activist, setting down roots with the Occupy movement and founding the “Justice Through Music” project. The nonprofit organization has drawn nearly $2M in donations from the likes of George Soros’ Tides Foundation, as well as Teresa Heinz Kerry and Barbara Streisand. Rock acts such as Third Eye Blind, Miley Cyrus, Bruce Springsteen, Joseph Arthur (lesbians would recognize his music from the first season of The L Word), Crosby and Nash, and the lead singer of Anti-Flag have thrown their weight behind the Occupy movement and JTMP (and I can promise you, I will not waste another penny on any music written by any of those artists – they may not realize who they’re partnered with, but they should). Interestingly enough, the site itself makes no mention of the new controversy.

In 1988, Kimberlin got a taste of fame by claiming he’d sold pot to then-VP candidate Dan Quayle. Most people outside of Indiana didn’t have a clue who he was until then. He had no proof and a press conference he’d set up was shut down by prison officials – unwittingly setting him up for the outing he faces now. He claimed to be a political prisoner and left-wing journalist Mark Singer wrote an article about him in The New Yorker. Publishers were so impressed that they offered Singer a book deal, and Singer split the advance with Kimberlin – only to discover that Kimberlin was actually no hero. The result was Citizen K, in which Singer revealed that Kimberlin was deliberately hiding the advance money from Sandra DeLong to avoid paying the settlement.

Then, in 2010, the other shoe dropped. Breitbart.com’s Mandy Nagy, aka Liberty Chick, wrote a major expose with the backing of Andrew himself. The piece was devastating, showing that Kimberlin – though not named as a founder on the website – was the braintrust behind JTMP and a related group, Velvet Revolution. He was sweeping in hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in donations to his “foundations”. He has the websites registered to his mother’s house in Bethesda and here’s a very interesting reveal – in 2006, JTMP recorded rent of around $10,000 on tax returns. Four years later, tax returns claimed $80,000 was paid in rent. Multiple court cases have revealed Kimberlin to be a paranoid narcissist, even clearly stating that his claims of conspiracies against him were complete fabrications. It’s also been revealed that he was convicted of perjury in a federal court before he even finished high school.

Kimberlin and his two cronies, Ron Brynaert and Brad Friedman, opened up a nasty attack campaign against Nagy after her post. By this time he was nearly famous for calling for the arrest and execution of Karl Rove and offering a substantial sum of money for information that would lead to the conviction of Dick Cheney. This is where Patterico comes in. One month after the Breitbart piece, Patterico started writing about the Kimberlin saga. He almost immediately found himself the target of an extreme harassment campaign. “Anonymous” complaint calls began coming in to his secretaries, claiming that Patterico was a racist, homophobic stalker. His boss started getting the complaints. Twitter and other social networking sites lit up with references to Patterico. Threats were dropped (including threats to do physical harm to both him and his wife). Then, in July, SWAT arrived at his home.

Patterico and Nagy are not the only victims, sadly. Ace of Spades, whose identity has yet to be revealed (thank God), has gotten threatening emails from the same source that originally threatened Patterico. Then, a lesser-known blogger in the DC area, Aaron Worthing, was outed as lawyer Aaron Walker. Phone calls were made to his employer and his wife’s employer. Both Aaron and his wife have lost their jobs due to the relentless campaign of hate and vitriol poured on them by Kimberlin, Brynaert and Friedman. Aaron also now has to fight a frivolous “peace order” that Kimberlin has filed; and a left-leaning blogger who refused to give Kimberlin Aaron’s true identity was threatened and harassed, too. Now, Robert Stacy McCain has had to go into hiding to protect his family because the same campaign has been waged against him – to the point that the threats made them leave their home suddenly.

I have always said that the First Amendment protects us from the government, not from people. In this case the First Amendment should be used to stop the government from allowing someone to misuse the legal process to bully people into shutting up. Not one blogger has lied when outing Brett Kimberlin as a domestic terrorist or as the founder of two major money-making nonprofit organizations, yet he has sued, filed harassment injunctions, and openly threatened every person who has dared to drag his misdeeds into the sunlight. The MSM has been asleep while all this goes on; not even Fox News will touch the story. It hasn’t even become a blip on anyone’s radar, yet the blogs (even the liberal ones) have made it the biggest story of the day. When people lose their livelihood, their home, and fear for their safety because of the actions of one man and his two friends, it’s time to stand up to the bully and tell him to piss off.

Here’s a list of the major bloggers who have brought this outrage to view:
Gay Patriot
Michelle Malkin
Sister Toldja
Patterico
Ace of Spades
The Blaze
Atlas Shrugs
Breitbart News
Lee Stranahan
American Thinker
Dan Riehl
Yid With Lid
SnoopyTheGoon

If you want to donate to help Aaron Worthing and Stacy McCain, click here and support the innocent victims of continued domestic terrorism.

Obama For Gay Marriage…NOT!

I have said before that I believed Obama’s announcement that he wouldn’t defend DOMA in court was little more than a ploy to placate hard-left gay rights activists who won’t stop until they push gay marriage rights on everyone. It was Obama’s way of keeping gay leftists on the plantation. I still believe that, particularly in light of his announcement yesterday.

He announced that his view on gay marriage has “evolved.” After saying during his 2008 campaign that he believed marriage to be a sacred pact between one man and one woman – something that a majority of Democrats also believe, particularly black Democrats in California who voted yes on Prop 8, guaranteeing its passage into law – he suddenly believes that same-sex couples should be allowed marriage rights.

Of course it has nothing to do with Biden’s diarrhea of the mouth the other day, saying that HE believed in gay marriage rights (which, when hard-left website ThinkProgress announced it, turned into a bald-faced lie when they claimed that Biden had “backed equal rights for the LGBT community throughout his career,” which is complete tripe because when DOMA and DADT were being debated Biden was a senator and he backed the legislation then, as did his good friend Robert Byrd). It couldn’t possibly have had anything to do with Biden beclowning himself yet again. At least this time he didn’t claim that George Washington tweeted news of his big win at Yorktown to all of his generals.

It should be interesting to note that Max Mutchnick, creator of Will & Grace, has recently been on CBS to say that Biden’s remarks seemed very “choreographed” when he first made the comments more than three weeks ago at a Hollywood fundraiser that White House staff were videotaping. I agree with Mutchnick that Biden was testing the waters to see what would happen, and the White House recorded it for posterity to make sure they could have something to point to and say, “lookit! This isn’t a gaffe, he really, really meant it!”

Then, this past Sunday, Biden finally said it publicly: he absolutely believes that two men and two women should be able to marry each other. The White House feigned shock, a kabuki theater act complete with Jay Carney pretending to have no idea what reporters were talking about when they asked about Biden’s flip-flop on gay marriage (sorry, but I don’t believe for one second that every White House staffer in creation didn’t know exactly what he said, and I am certain they knew BEFORE he said it). Gay rights activists went into a tizzy. Will Obama finally stand up for gay marriage? Will he do what no other president has done before?

The answer? Yes!

Not so fast, folks. It’s not what you think.

Obama naturally cited his daughters in interviews about gay marriage. He claimed that watching Malia and Sasha hang out with friends who had same-sex parents made him change his perspective. ABC broke in with a special report yesterday to announce Obama’s “evolution.” But the big problem here?

Obama still openly believes that gay marriage is a states-rights issue.

That fact alone makes his remarks supporting gay marriage outrageously disingenuous. Currently, 32 states have state laws barring recognition of same-sex unions. North Carolina became yet another one to pass such a law with a pretty serious margin, along with uber-liberal California. If Obama really, truly believed in gay marriage rights as strongly as he says he does, he wouldn’t believe it was a states-rights issue. A few gay rights activists have picked up on this, but most haven’t – they’re still naively celebrating his announcement as if it were a flat endorsement.

Obama doesn’t want you to know that. He doesn’t want you to question him. You should stop and think, however, before taking his supposed change of heart as a ringing endorsement. The man still believes that a state has the right to refuse to recognize your marriage, a stance that many took on interracial marriage back in the 70’s. If he’s not completely for it, he’s not for it at all. He’s still tap dancing to try and make one group happy – and that one group happens to make up a very small minority of voters. Unfortunately for him, it’s going to cost him quite a few votes. A very high number of black Democrats (as I mentioned before) are against gay marriage. They will stay home during this election simply because of his beliefs on gay marriage.

Obama’s announcement that he changed his mind on the matter was nothing more than duplicitous windbaggery. I will continue to caution gay rights activists against embracing this news.

Police State

I will never forget the first time I had to deal with a mentally ill homeless man. I was working part-time security during the Southern Baptist Convention’s major annual get-together at the Phoenix Civic Center when a homeless man well-known to be a mentally ill veteran started having one of his flashback episodes. All of the guards in the area converged on him at the same time I was ordered down to street level to try and handle the situation and call police if necessary. He was scaring people coming out of the civic center for lunch, and he either had to move someplace else or be arrested.

Other guards started yelling at him to move. Naturally, he started screaming at them. I stepped forward and talked to him like a human being. He suddenly calmed down and quit repeating “I ain’t goin’ back to the VA” like a mantra. I said, “there’s an awful lot of people walking by, they don’t understand what’s going on. They’re scared. We just need you to calm down a little bit and move off the main thoroughfare so you don’t get hurt, okay?” He didn’t smile at me, but he said, “these guys can all kiss my ass. For you, I’ll go. You’re alright.” Without another word, he moved along. From then on if he appeared while I was on duty I was always the one they called on (and believe me, the other guards were not happy about that).

I can’t remember how many mentally ill homeless people I’ve seen since then. At crime scenes, fire scenes and other major incidents, I’ve dealt with a lot of people who are either on drugs or mentally ill and being put up by the state. Most of them were not nearly as ready to talk as my first experience was. I’ve dealt with mentally ill people who believed they were werewolves (and tried to attack me), believed they had satellites tracking them and I was part of some government conspiracy to kill them, even had one who believed I was his long-lost sister and the guys on my crew were trying to keep us apart. I’ve seen cops I know try to take them down and handcuff them and get punched, kicked, slapped, and bitten. At no time, however, have I ever seen any of the cops I’ve worked with get overly aggressive or threaten these people. Not once.

I’ve just seen the footage of the beginning of a confrontation between a homeless man in Fullerton, CA named Kelly Thomas and Fullerton Police. According to police reports, someone in the area had been vandalizing cars. Fullerton police officer Manuel Ramos started talking to Kelly, and Kelly sat down. Ramos suddenly started getting aggressive, ordering Kelly to put his legs out straight and his hands on his knees. Kelly became a little passive-aggressive, telling Ramos he didn’t know how to do that; Ramos replied, “well, you’ll learn how to do it real quick!” Within seconds that turned into Ramos saying, “you see my fists? They’re getting ready to f–k you up!”

I didn’t see Kelly get angry at Ramos. Normally, I’d very carefully react to something like this because video of officers getting rough with a suspect almost always misses the lead-up to the incident, and most often we find later that the officers had no other choice because the suspect was fighting like hell. In this case, however, the start of the incident can be clearly seen as officer Ramos is, at first, talking calmly to Kelly. Between security cameras and the audio captured by an officer’s lapel mic, I can tell that this incident could have been avoided if officer Ramos hadn’t started getting sarcastic and wasn’t issuing threats. One friend who wears the badge (but does not work in Fullerton) says that he saw that, too, and he wondered the same thing – what was the purpose of threatening a guy who was sitting down, even if he was being a smartass?

It looks and sounds as if officer Ramos was simply convinced of his superiority and willing to use force no matter what. Even the cops I know will admit they know at least one guy like that – the guy who acts like a real-life Tackleberry and is always looking for a reason to use force. Those guys are few and far between, but they do exist. Ramos strikes me as that kind of cop.

I won’t post the photo of Kelly’s face that has begun to circulate. There is one picture of what he looked like after he received his initial medical treatment, and he is completely unrecognizable. I’ve seen some bad beatings but this one was worse than any I have ever seen, and it came from six police officers. The first two, Ramos and Cpl. Jay Cincinelli, started the whole thing. It appears to me that once the beating got into full swing – Cpl. Cincinelli Tased him five times and then started beating him with the handle of his Taser – Kelly simply didn’t know what to do. He appeared to be genuinely afraid that he was being beaten. I’ve seen people engaged in fights with cops screaming for help while still actively fighting with officers, but that’s not what I see in the video of Kelly Thomas.

I have noticed something, though: incidents like this almost always, nearly without fail, occur in liberal states where civilian ownership of guns is heavily restricted and the police are given free reign to do almost anything they want. Namely New York and California.

I hope that Ramos gets the book thrown at him. I didn’t see Cincinelli in the first portion of the video and don’t know if he realized how the whole thing started, but at no time is an officer trained to use the handle of his Taser to beat a suspect. The overwhelming majority of police officers are good people with big hearts and a desire to do something good in their community. Three good cops I know have been killed in the line of duty; one was a close friend long before he became a cop. All three died doing the right thing. I would strongly caution against blaming all cops for this horrific incident.

I hope more than anything that the Thomas family sees justice done and Manuel Ramos is never allowed to hold a position of authority ever again.