The Last Word (tm) SURPRISE!
A nonpartisan populist zine!
Vol. 13/No. 6 - 405th issue - April 27, 2004
Bathroom Bandit, editor-in-chief - serving Bellevue, KY, from New America
firstname.lastname@example.org - http://members.iglou.com/bandit
blog blogga blog at http://bandit73.pitas.com
RIGHT-WING JUDGE LEGALIZES YOUTH SLAVERY
How ridiculous is this, folks?
U.S. District Judge Charles Shaw ruled this month that a right-wing concentration camp near Patterson, MO, broke no laws when it falsely imprisoned a teenager and forced him to perform hard labor with no compensation.
How is it possible that false imprisonment and slavery in its purest form can be ruled legal?
Mountain Park Baptist Boarding Academy - which is more of a gulag than a ministry or school - was faced with a host of grievances in the civil suit. With the dismissal of the slavery issue, the only claim that hadn't yet been ruled on was one involving an employee allegedly shoving an inmate against a sink.
We say allegedly because that claim hadn't gone to trial yet, but we're inclined to believe the allegation is true, because the youth concentration camps that are sprouting up all over America (the country we once thought was the world's human rights giant) are almost always found to be torturing (sometimes killing) teenagers with hogtying, beatings, starvation, forced druggings, prolonged isolation, or other methods.
To add insult to injury, the judge threatened to jail the plaintiff's attorney just for presenting his case! Two other torture victims weren't even allowed to testify.
However, a concentration camp in Arizona was closed down recently because a teenager was injured in a beating there, so apparently there are still some jurisdictions in America that take youth abuse seriously.
The election-stealing Bush regime, not surprisingly, supports loosening rules that govern how institutions that bill themselves as ministries for troubled youth must operate. Bush's policies in Texas were supported by followers of the late Lester Roloff, a right-wing evangelist who founded a group of concentration camps that had battled Texas regulators for a dozen years, long before Bush seized power there. Roloff's hated "reformatories" administered beatings to inmates and forced them to listen to recordings of his sermons for weeks at a time. Roloff's dreaded Rebekah Home for Girls was shut down in 1985 for refusing to submit to state rules, but it reopened by 1999 when Bush permitted it to opt out of licensing requirements, only to go out of business again, following further scandal. (Roloff had once accused his neighbors of being communists because they complained about his loudspeakers disturbing the neighborhood.) Bush has attempted to repeat his actions in Texas on a national scale, and has claimed that he can use executive orders to do so (as in his illegal gutting of EMTALA).
Conservatives - especially those associated with the Religious Right - have made their so-called "right" to enslave and beat our young people a cause celebre. In many if not most countries, religious extremist groups are reined in by public officials, because the fanaticism of these factions gravely threatens democracy and political stability. Instead of letting America fall further behind by allowing the zealous mutiny known as the Religious Right to become even more dominant in the government, the United States must take similar steps to put such extremist groups in check.
Most people don't realize just how close America is to a takeover by religious extremists like that in Iran in 1979. Religious conservatives already have their man in the White House and their party in control of Congress. Other than control of a few more states, what more do they need before they REALLY sock it to you? America is on the brink of disaster.
Save me from tomorrow. I don't want to sail with this ship of fools.
RIGHTISTS BLAME HATE CRIME VICTIMS
Some conservatives aren't shy about hiding their support for militant racism, as shown by their high-pitched denial of racist violence and property damage.
In recent years, a common gimmick by the New Right has been to shrug off complaints of hate crimes by calling them frauds by the victims seeking to generate sympathy - even after the victims have been proven to be telling the truth.
The right-wing media seems always happy to help conservative commentators, corrupt police, and assorted nobodies to spread the false notion that hate crimes are elaborate hoaxes. After reporting the original crime, so-called news syndicates later drum up accusations that it's a hoax, leading much of the public (which doesn't dare to question the media) to falsely conclude that it really IS a hoax. Then the news media never reports on the event again - even when proof of the victim's claim surfaces.
There was a case like this in 1998 at Miami University of Ohio when anti-black propaganda flyers were distributed in the Center for Black Culture and Learning. Police later accused 2 black students of planting the flyers in an effort to frame racists, and each of the young men was charged with 2 offenses for the same incident. Of course we knew all along it wasn't a hoax like the cops claimed it was. The government - including law enforcement - is corrupt, and the attitude of campus authorities had already been made clear even before the accusation that it was a hoax surfaced, when students were arrested for daring to protest the fact that the university wasn't aggressively investigating the flyers.
Let's look at the sleuthing skills the police used to come up with their accusation: Yes, fingerprints from the students they accused were found on the flyers, although prints from several other people known to be in the office around that time were not found. BUT...haven't the cops ever heard of the possibility that the students' prints got there when they handled the flyers AFTER they discovered them? Haven't the police considered the strong likelihood that the real culprit was not authorized to be in the office and had to break in, so gloves were worn when the literature was placed there?
It sounds to me like the investigation consisted of astoundingly shitty police work.
After 5 years of trying to learn the outcome of the case, we've discovered that the 2 young men were acquitted by a jury in 1999. See, that's the part the media never told you.
This month, a series of right-wing columns that have appeared in many mainstream newspapers have fanned the flames of fascism perhaps more than the Miami episode ever did.
Although the commentaries are by different authors, they all vomit pretty much the same lies. Conservatives - using talk radio, print media, and Internet forums - repeating in unison a lie or a flawed idea has been common in the past 10 years, and the source of many of these misstatements is the Republican National Committee.
A column by Anne Hendershott demands that the world "stop venerating victims". Oh, I get it, Anne, we're supposed to attack victims when they're already down. Yeah, that'll really make the world a better place - NOT! In addition to mocking those victimized by hate crimes, Hendershott has the audacity to also ridicule rape victims.
Is this mind-boggling bullshit supposed to pass for educated commentary in modern America?
These columns lie. Hendershott claims the young men charged in the Miami case admitted faking the racist flyers as a means of addressing racism. Uh, no they didn't admit it, Anne. Not only were they acquitted, but they considered suing the university over the false charges.
There's also a piece by a columnist named Michelle Malkin. We're obligated to point out that this Michelle Malkin is not to be confused with another semifamous Michelle Malkin who has nothing to do with her. Columnist Michelle Malkin is an emerging schoolyard bully of the New Right, judging by the self-righteous, childish writing style she uses in her columns. Her recent column blasts what she calls "wannabe victims" who she says engage in "smearing America".
These articles scoff mightily at an incident at Claremont McKenna College in California, where a professor - who had criticized other racist events on campus - found racist and anti-Semitic slurs painted on her car. According to the right-wing propaganda machine, this event was a hoax, and how dare anyone argue. But looking into the matter more closely, the victim's version of the incident is completely believable.
The FBI called the hate crime a con job by the victim, but the FBI has problems with its own credibility - and it has an agenda, which is to back up the fascist Establishment.
A right-wing column by pseudoscientific hatchet man Steve Sailer - a piece that is clearly racist even minus its discussion of the Claremont McKenna episode - comes right out and says the Claremont McKenna victim committed "a hate crime against herself", despite the fact that, even if the act was phony, this has not been proven.
These lies are spread in mainstream publications that are supposed to be respectable - but we've lost respect for the so-called mainstream media because of its complete disregard for the truth. Sadly, however, Anne Hendershott, Michelle Malkin, or Steve Sailer could write that 2 plus 2 equals 74, and few people would dare to question them.
Next time you hear about a hate crime being referred to as a hoax in a mainstream newspaper or on the radio, look at the situation with a cautious eye. Odds are you're being pranked not by the victim of the vandalism or assault but by the right-wing media pushing its victim-blaming agenda.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
To The Editor Of The Last Word:
you need serious help. Seriously.
For 7 years our Daily Fuzz has been a popular feature in The Last Word.
In my day, a daily fuzz was the practice of eating one fuzz per day from a carpet or from the interior of a '78 Horizon. These days, our Daily Fuzz is our police blotter column, most of which is compiled from reports we hear on our trusty police radio scanner.
We still haven't topped the incident in which a guy claiming to be Jimi Hendrix peed all over the floor in the eating area of McDonald's - probably because the cops' increased emphasis on busting people for lighting a firecracker, smoking a joint, or violating curfew has siphoned resources from everything else. Now, we know the police are supposed to be an important line of defense between order and chaos, but it's unfortunate their time gets wasted on victimless "crimes" like porno and weed - and it's also unfortunate that calls like that crowd out more interesting cases.
· 9:58 PM: Group of youths made vulgar phone calls to police with pay phone at United Dairy Farmers on Warsaw Avenue in Cincinnati.
· 10:02 PM: Kids threw rocks at passing cars.
· 10:27 PM: "Disorderly customers refusing to leave" at another United Dairy Farmers.
· 10:32 PM: Report of "juveniles jumping on cars and being loud."
· 11:15 PM: Naked man on Spring Grove Avenue.
· 12:18 AM: A woman on West 8th called the cops because a guy talking loudly on a CB radio could be heard through her TV set.
· 6:10 PM: Police stopped a man just for walking through a park.
· 7:23 PM: Metro bus driver spotted driving recklessly.
· 7:49 PM: Report of a disorderly passenger on a Metro bus on Vine Street.
POO SMEARED ON WALLS OF SCHOOL RESTROOMS
Schrop Intermediate School in northeastern Ohio has enjoyed some Phantom Pooper moments lately.
The school installed motion sensors that looked like cameras in restrooms to try to discourage 5th and 6th grade students from committing acts of vandalism, but - although they weren't real cameras - the community complained mammothly until the school removed them.
At a meeting with parents, the principal shed tears that students had repeatedly smeared shit on the walls, mirrors, and door handles in the both the boys' and the girls' lavatories. Just as funny, pupils had thrown rags and t-shirts into the sinks and peed on them, and urinated down inside the heaters as well.
Like at Brossart, the school had tried to combat the hijinks by holding assemblies about it and lecturing small groups of students. The principal at Schrop said she was "dumbfounded" at the vandalism, declaring, "We have to stop it somehow."
Pundits observed that placing fake cameras in restrooms didn't work because everyone knew they weren't real, since there was no way the school could get away with spying on students as they used the tinkletorium.
(Incidentally, Peter Bronson's column full of his own right-wing bullshit in the Cincinnati Enquirer has been known to use the word "tinkletorium", so now you know it's not just some nonexistent word.)
Wouldn't you like to be a pooper too?
MORE SOPHISTICATED HUMOR
The Last Word is usually a very serious newsletter, but we do have a sense of humor.
Especially when it has to do with stinking. After all, stinking is funny.
As we've stated before, it's always a barrel of laughs when people opt to stink. When you weigh the hilarity of stinking against the unpleasantry of the odor, stinking is actually a plus.
Recently I was checking out the Kentucky Department of Corrections website because Google showed that the name of an old acquaintance of mine appeared on the site. The guy I'm talking about was somewhat of a jerk back in our teen years, and I couldn't help but checking to see what he's been up to lately.
I didn't find any information on him, but I did check the guestbook and discovered someone (not me) had entered this hilarious gag entry:
Name: stinky mcstinkstink
Time: 9:39:43 PM
Comments: i farted and it smells like rotten eggs. should i go see a doctor about that?
Name: stinky mcstinkstink
Yes, this was in the Kentucky Department of Corrections guestbook, of all places!
I bet Stinky McStinkstink's shit stinks from eating all those rotten eggs!
Come to think of it, who's Stinky McStinkstink? I think Stinky McStinkstink might be the person with the T-shaped head who's always wearing the Republican t-shirt and holding a newspaper upside-down or attempting to make a hat out of the original copy of the Constitution.
NO FREE SPEECH UNLESS YOU'RE A STALKER
The Bush regime - by executive fiat - bans news outlets from showing images of the flag-draped coffins that contain the bodies of American soldiers killed in the Iraq War which Bush started, because if the public sees these pictures, Bush's election prospects will be dashed to pieces. This is a clear violation of the First Amendment, but news organizations lack the courage to stand up for their own right to freedom of the press - and they figure Bush is right when he worries about the pictures hurting him politically, and heaven forbid the media let Bush lose the so-called election.
So much for the conservatives' fable about liberal media bias, huh?
With the government censoring the media, we have to ask what would possibly fall under the First Amendment's protection of free speech? I mean, the First Amendment's very clear when it talks about freedom of speech and the press. One of the abuses that inspired the First Amendment was Britain censoring newspapers published in the colonies, so if Bush's diktat doesn't violate the First Amendment, what does?
Lawyers in Colorado have gotten into their heads the false notion that laws that prohibit stalking are a violation of the First Amendment.
Thomas Jefferson and James Madison have got to be gyrating in their graves right about now.
Under the laws of Colorado, Kentucky, and many other states, stalking is the act of repeatedly following, contacting, or spying on the victim so that it causes serious alarm or distress to them. Nothing unconstitutional about the law.
Those who think it's unconstitutional must be reading law textbooks written by Pat Robertson or his followers who lobbied the state of Washington to legalize terrorist acts in schools (seriously).
In the Colorado case, attorneys for a man who has apparently spent the past 26 years stalking a woman - even trying to send her harassing mail from a jail cell and violating a restraining order by calling her on the phone - say the case should be tossed because they claim the law against stalking is unconstitutional and violates the perpetrator's True Free Speach Now. But that ain't gonna wash with us.
We wouldn't be in the least bit surprised, however, if it washed with some conservative judge somewhere. These days, the First Amendment seems to be interpreted to mean the exact opposite of what was intended.
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(Copywrong 2004. Online edition created with Internet Exploder 6.)
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