Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ninth Circuit: Take Down That Cross

FRC Calls Mt. Soledad Cross Ruling an Affront to Religious Liberty, American Tradition
Urges Full Ninth Circuit to Consider War Memorial Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Family Research Council (FRC) today called on the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to take up the Mt. Soledad Cross case, Trunk v. San Diego. Yesterday, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Mt. Soledad war memorial is unconstitutional.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments:

"This decision by a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit displays hostility toward religious imagery in the public square that ignores these essential aspects of religious liberty and American tradition.

"In 2001, when militants set out to bomb two colossal Buddhist statues that had stood untouched in Afghanistan for more than a thousand years, the global community rightly condemned the actions as religious barbarism. Like the statues, the Mt. Soledad Cross is a monument to America 's cultural history, a symbol of our Christian heritage and a tribute to brave Americans who laid down their lives in our nation's cause. Their memories should not be besmirched.

"This is the latest sad chapter in a decades-long fight over the Mt. Soledad cross. A Ninth Circuit panel glossed over several important aspects of this complicated case, failing to fully consider their legal importance, and then went on to apply the wrong test to decide this case. With all due respect to the panel, the full Ninth Circuit should now take the case to clean up this mess. If they refuse to do so, then the U.S. Supreme Court must right this wrong. The Mt. Soledad cross is fully constitutional."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Crude, Profane Lesbian With Supportive Boss Harassed Employees With Impunity at Historically Black Alabama College

State Rep. John Knight, Alabama State University's second in command, says a lawsuit contending that three female university employees suffered repeated sexual and racial harassment that was condoned by ASU supervisors and officials is frivolous and possibly the handiwork of a disgruntled former university trustee.

The federal court suit contends that a female supervisor subjected one current and two former university employees to a wide variety of racial and sexual harassment, ranging from verbal harassment to inappropriate touching, and that ASU officials not only did little to correct the situation but retaliated against the employees who reported it.

But Knight, who is the executive vice president and chief operating officer at ASU, said it is political season and accused former university board member Joe Reed and the Alabama Education Association of using the lawsuit to fight progress at the university.

"There are people who served on the board in the past who do not like progress and are basically committed to fund any lawyers that want to have a lawsuit against Alabama State University," Knight said. "That is AEA and Joe Reed."

In the lawsuit, the three women contend that Lavonette Bartley, an associate executive director at the university, who at one time served as their supervisor, repeatedly harassed them -- even to the point of giving one of the women revealing clothing that she wanted her to wear to the office.

The women allege in the suit that they complained to at least three members of ASU's board of trustees, and Reed wasn't one of them. The complaints of harassment and discrimination go back to March 2008, and continue beyond the time Reed was forced to relinquish his seat on the board in September 2008.

Reed said none of the women ever made their complaints known to him while he was on the board.

Cynthia Williams, Jacqueline Weatherly and Lydia Burkhalter allege that Knight and other ASU supervisors not only condoned but also encouraged and sometimes participated in these abuses. Burkhalter alleges that Bartley made overt and Knight more subtle sexual advances toward her.


The women filed the lawsuit against the university on March 4 and are seeking compensation that includes back pay.

The suit contends that instead of trying to resolve complaints that were made in good faith concerning the problems, Knight and Bartley repeatedly retaliated against the plaintiffs. The suit also contends ASU's conduct was so "pervasive as to create a racially and sexually hostile working environment."

Candis McGowan, attorney for the three women, said they have a federally protected right to report discrimination and should not have been retaliated against for doing so.

Knight, who told the Montgomery Advertiser he was speaking on behalf of himself and not the university, said the lawsuit was frivolous and he was "shocked at some of the allegations that are in there."

Most of the allegations are aimed at Bartley, who is alleged to have regularly used the N-word when referring to the plaintiffs, other employees and even students. It also is alleged that Bartley routinely referred to female employees as "bitches," and often made sexually suggestive comments about their anatomy. She is even accused of inappropriately rubbing her breasts against Burkhalter.

According to the suit, Bartley allegedly once complained about employees' work performance, saying, "Y'all n******s gon' learn I ain't nothing to play with. When I need y'all bitches you better be there."

The Montgomery Advertiser, through Kenneth Mullinax Jr., director of public information and media relations, requested interviews with Knight, Bartley and President William Harris. Knight was the only official from ASU to respond.

Burkhalter alleges in court documents that on different occasions Knight made advances that she perceived as sexual in nature, and he once allegedly asked her to "dance for me" and promised that he could take her to parties she'd otherwise never get to attend.

In specifically addressing the allegations against him, Knight said they are "absolutely false. There is no validity to it at all."


"If anybody ever felt that was happening, then they were certainly dreaming," Knight said. He said he has tried his best during his professional career to treat employees with respect and dignity.

Knight said Williams and Burkhalter were terminated and are disgruntled employees. The lawsuit alleges that Williams and Burkhalter were both fired without cause as retaliation for reporting Bartley's alleged behavior.

When asked if he ever witnessed any improper behavior by Bartley, Knight said "absolutely not."

Knight said he became aware of the allegations when Weatherly filed her complaint with the university. He said the university encourages employees to report complaints about sexual harassment or a hostile work environment, as Weatherly did.

He said the university took the appropriate actions. The plaintiffs dispute Knight's recollection of events, alleging that attempts to transfer to other departments or to reach out to other officials were often thwarted by Knight. They also say it was nearly impossible for them to file additional complaints against Bartley and that they were told not to take their complaints further.

But Knight said the university followed procedures when Weatherly filed her complaint. He said after four days of testimony, the committee did not find any sexual harassment, but recommended sensitivity training for Bartley. He said he insisted she go to sensitivity training, that she has attended one session and that she is supposed to attend more training.

The lawsuit alleges that Bartley had not attended any training as of May 2009, which is the same month that Burkhalter was fired for allegedly abandoning her position.

In documents acquired by the Montgomery Advertiser about EEOC complaints against Bartley that were investigated by the university, the human resources director wrote in August 2008 that "Mrs. Bartley's intense involvement with various personnel was humiliating, condescending, intimidating and unwelcome behavior. This type behavior does and will interfere with one's work performance."

The EEOC committee at the university recommended, according to the August memo, giving Bartley a written reprimand "from her immediate supervisor."

Harris approved the recommendation in September 2008. The suit alleges that it took nearly eight months for Knight to act on the committee's recommendation, and when he did write the recommended reprimand, he allegedly wrote that it "does not result from my belief that you have created a hostile work environment within the context of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964."

Knight said Bartley, whom he said he's known "a long time," continues to work under his supervision, but in a different position. He said she no longer supervises employees.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pro-Abortion Scofflaws Fudge State Senate Votes on Bill to Outlaw Forced Abortions

This is the kind of monkey business that Liberals feel entitled to use to sabotage the legislative process. Obviously, they have no respect for democratic self-government. We are to accept without question the dictates of the Leftist savants from on high. Any attempt by ordinary Virginians to govern themselves without first getting the anointed cultural elites' approval is seen as effrontery, unworthy of deference just because we won a vote in the Legislature.

[Virginia] pro-life advocates experienced a significant victory earlier this month: SB504, a bill "patroned" by Sen. Ralph Smith (R-22, Roanoke) that would criminalize coerced or forced abortion was referred to the full (Senate) Courts committee with a positive recommendation on a vote of 4-2 out of the Criminal subcommittee.

Currently, if a boyfriend or other impregnator physically threatens his pregnant girlfriend and forces her to have an abortion against her will, this form of domestic violence cannot be criminally prosecuted. SB504 would fix that.

That success is the furthest pro-life advocates have been legislatively with this topic. Never before has the bill been given a positive report out of any committee or subcommittee because the bill was always improperly placed in Senate Education and Health committee, (known as “the committee of death” because of the committee's reputation for killing all pro-life measures). This year was the first time the legislation was treated akin to all other bills that address civil or criminal penalties and was placed in the appropriate committee, Courts of Justice.

Knowledge of the players and the process suggests that if the bill gets a favorable report in the Courts of Justice committee and moves to the floor, it would likely win in the Senate. Since the House of Delegates has already voted favorably on this legislation in years past, we believe the House would pass it, sending it to the Governor. We are within inches of a major win!

To ensure that the bill would not get "brought back" and the result changed after we left the subcommittee room, an ally of The Family Foundation stayed in the room and kept watch on the subcommittee until it ended. Nothing happened.

However, when one of our lobbyists checked the bill's status online at the close of business, something was not right. The bill was listed as being referred to the Senate Education and Health committee, not the Courts of Justice committee as was voted on earlier in subcommittee! We have a video of the subcommittee vote on our blog as proof!

If the bill was legitimately referred to Senate Education and Health, its status online should still list the bill's history in Courts committee, and the corresponding votes. However, the way the bill's status appears now, it appears as if the bill was never even heard in the Senate Courts subcommittee! Thankfully we have a dedicated intern who was able to catch this on film or else it would appear online as if it had never occurred!

What the Family Foundation wants to know is this: is this a clerical error or is this an attempt to tamper with a pro-life bill that has seen unexpected success in the Senate? Pro-family advocates have seen numerous victories already this session, so is this an attempt to derail the train?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Earth to Newsweek & CNN: Wanna Beam Down & Have a Look Around the Planet?

Jack Cashill is editor of a Kansas City business magazine, but also writes with considerable insight about politics. His book "What's the Matter with California" was incisive, and he may be onto something here, too: The reporting by our national media is so far off the mark that we can no longer attribute it to blind spots or inadvertent bias. It has crossed the threshold into fraud, sheer legerdemain. The national media appear to be corrupt.

But as a former small-market print newsman myself, let me suggest an alternative explanation in the case of Newsweek: I think it's possible the reporter just took the day off and made up quotes, defrauding not only her readers but her editors and her employer. She obviously didn't watch even 20 seconds of the march, and I don't think she talked to any police officer who would have said such a dumb thing, either. Seriously,
Newsweek, you've been had.

LifeSiteNews.com
Group Exposes Media "Fraud" at March for Life
By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, DC (LifeSiteNews.com) - Anyone who attended the March for Life in the nation's capital January 22 - or was anywhere near Capitol Hill that day or the day before - was well aware of the size of the group that came to make its voice heard. District residents could only stand aside as the annual Starbucks-equipped army of young pro-life men and women descended upon the streets surrounding the Capitol. Hordes of March for Life participants filled sidewalks, and clogged crosswalks; while the noise of countless group leaders struggling to keep their contingents together competed with the din of colorfully-dressed gaggles of teenagers.

Such has come to be the late-January tradition in Washington. But from the news reports from the major networks and newspapers, one would never know it. The rest of the country was only shown misleading footage or pictures depicting the endless column of pro-lifers receding into the distance behind the looming presence of, at most, a couple dozen pro-abortion demonstrators.

Fed up with what they call the "mind-boggling corruption" of media coverage of the march, a small production team has released a YouTube video revealing the truth about the enormous event and the skewed media reports that referenced it. The same group released a documentary last year entitled "Thine Eyes," which reveals the sheer size of the 2009 March for Life and the pro-life stories behind it.

"We had hoped to set the media straight, but we did not succeed," says narrator Jack Cashill. "Their performance in 2010 convinced us that the issue at hand is not ignorance or incompetence, not even bias, but outright fraud. "More than any other event, the march reveals the truly eye-popping, mind-boggling corruption of the mainstream media."

Cashill responds to two particularly egregious media misrepresentations: one by CNN anchorman Rick Sanchez, who strongly implied that the number of pro-life marchers and pro-abortion demonstrators at the event were comparable. "Well Rick, we counted at least 300,000 pro-life marchers to 5 pro-choice protestors. In the real world, that qualifies as most," says Cashill.

[Note: I marched toward the end of the procession, and I think I saw 3-4 pro-abortion demonstrators. They were preppy, normal-looking women, and one effeminate young man. They were subdued, not raucous, and they stood at a distance from the marchers. I suspect they were doing it for extra credit in a freshman Women's Studies class. One held a sign that said "keep your Rosaries off my ovaries." How profound.

Near the end of the route, in front of the Supreme Court, there were not more than 10 of them. I heard there had been perhaps 100 earlier. These were older, shabbier and appeared to be old-school traumatized feminist man-haters, plus one sexually ambiguous man in his 50s with a condescending manner and a slight lisp, who struck me as a suburban Unitarian, perhaps a grantwriter or a liaison officer of some kind. I think most of us will always remember Rick Sanchez for his feigned uncertainty whether there were more pro-abortion (105, tops) or more anti-abortion (300,000 minimum) marching. I don't know how we can ever look him in the eye again without stifling a chuckle. B.James Stinson]


The video also skewers a Newsweek article by Krista Gesaman, in which she claimed that young women were "missing" from the March for Life 2010. Gesaman's article quoted a Washington police officer who said, in the reporter's words, that "a majority of the participants are in their 60s and were the original pioneers either for or against the case."

The YouTube video responds with copious imagery documenting the large percentage of youth at the March, a great deal of whom were women. "Pro-lifers will not soon be too old to stage an actual march, do not worry. In truth, young women of every race, color and creed are the single largest demographic in any march. They number in the scores of thousands," Cashill notes.

"The media will have only themselves to blame if next year the marchers come back to Washington, not just in record numbers, but in righteous anger."

See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
CNN Gaffe: Anchor Wonders on Air Whether More Pro-Lifers or Pro-Aborts at March for Life
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/jan/10012806.html

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Teary Mayor Throws in Towel, Wants to Redefine California Marriage From Now On to Accommodate Lesbian Daughter

Is this man an absolute imbecile, or have his handlers contrived this sappy theatrical display for Hilltop consumption? Is this going to be his springboard to run for governor of California, or to get his own reality show? It appears that California public service doesn't exactly attract the cream of the crop these days.

LOS ANGELES TIMES

San Diego mayor testifies about his reversal on gay marriage
The Republican former police chief tells the court in the Proposition 8 trial that his former opposition was based on prejudice.
By Maura Dolan

Reporting from San Francisco - After days of anti-Proposition 8 witnesses being described as liberal and activist, challengers of California's gay marriage ban elicited testimony Tuesday from San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, a Republican and the city's former police chief, who said his previous opposition to same-sex marriage stemmed from prejudice.

At the federal trial over Proposition 8, Sanders told the court that when his elder daughter, Lisa, now 26, was in college, she told him she was a lesbian. He said he expressed his "overwhelming love" for her but also had concerns she would face discrimination.

When he ran for mayor in 2005, Sanders said, he opposed same-sex marriage in favor of civil unions. Lisa worked in his campaign, wanted him to win and did not try to talk him out of his position, he said.

In 2007, the San Diego City Council passed a resolution calling on San Diego to file a friend-of-the-court brief in favor of San Francisco's effort to overturn a ban on same-sex marriage. Sanders said he intended to veto the measure and called together gay friends and neighbors to explain why. "I was absolutely shocked at the depth of the hurt, the depth of the feeling," he testified.

Lawyers for the challengers of Proposition 8 played a video of Sanders crying as he told a news conference the next day that he had changed his mind about marriage for gays. Sanders testified that he was emotional because he had come so close to sending a message that gay relationships were inferior to those between heterosexuals. "What hit me was that I had been prejudiced," he said.

During cross-examination, an attorney defending Proposition 8 asked whether Sanders' previous opposition to same-sex marriage stemmed from an animus against or moral disapproval of gays. Sanders said it had not, but "it doesn't mean that I don't believe it was grounded in prejudice."

Copyright (c) 2010, The Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Church Militant in a Time of Compromise and Depravity

If you've given up on this generation of Catholic youth, if you think that the militant Church of Lech Walensa and Josef Mindzhenty is in the rear-view mirror, have a look at the TFP Student Action website and follow some of the links. I wrote a friend recently that this is robust Catholicism with some bass in its voice. http://www.tfpstudentaction.org/what-we-do/

The youngsters have vowed to confront depravity and apostasy in the street and on the Catholic campus alike, to restore the values of Christian civilization. "Youth was made not for pleasure, but for heroism," they exhort their boys at Chivalry Camp.

Their full name is the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property. The TFP was founded to "resist, in the realm of ideas, the liberal, socialist and communist trends of the times and proudly affirm the positive values of tradition, family and private property."

It has a full-time volunteer staff of 75, and claims 120,000 members. I'm not Catholic, but I'm profoundly encouraged by this movement during a dark time in our country. They look like a cavalry regiment cresting the ridge, in the nick of time.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Persons, Not Property: Hoye Writes That Personhood Triumphed Over Slavery, Must and Will Prevail Against Abortion

Pastor Walter Hoye blogged in November about the power of dehumanizing language as it was applied historically to Black slaves, and as it is currently applied to unborn people, many of whom also are Black. In both cases, the victim is stripped of personhood in order to accomodate oppression. And yet, he observed with Martin Luther King, Jr., “right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” Hoye writes that personhood will have the "final word."

Persons Not Property

By 1830 slavery was primarily located in the Southern United States of America and it existed in many different forms. African Americans were enslaved on small farms, large plantations, in cities and towns, inside homes, out in the fields, and in industry and transportation.

By 1860, on the eve of the Civil War, Historian James L. Huston emphasizes the role of slavery as an economic institution. Huston, a leading advocate of secession, placed the value of southern held slaves at $2.8 billion. At about $3 billion in 1860 currency, the economic value of slaves in the U.S. was more than the combined value of all the factories, railroads and banks in the country or about $12 trillion in U.S. dollars today.

Much of the North’s economic prosperity derived from what Abraham Lincoln, in his second inaugural address, called “the bondman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil.” President Lincoln was asking Americans to consider the obligations created by slavery. The first of those obligations is to acknowledge the full truth.

The Full Truth

The full truth is African American Slaves were considered property, and they were property because they were black. Their status as property was enforced by violence and by public policy. Slaves throughout the South had to live under a set of laws called the Slave Codes. The codes varied slightly from state to state, but the basic idea was the same: the slaves were considered property, not people, and were treated as such. The killing of a slave was almost never regarded as murder, and the rape of slave women was treated as a form of trespassing. So intolerable were the conditions under which African Americans slaves suffered from day to day that some went as far as committing suicide or mutilating themselves to ruin their property value.

As an African America, I have asked myself these questions:

1. How could this be justified?
2. Was it not obvious that African Americans were persons, living, breathing human beings?
3. Where was the outrage from the American public?

The Language of Oppression Past

Haig Bosmajian, UW professor of speech communication says. “While names, words, and language can be, and are, used to inspire us, to motivate us to humane acts, to liberate us, they can also be used to dehumanize human beings and to ‘justify’ their suppression and even their extermination.”

In order to justify the inhumane treatment of African American slaves and soothe the conscious of the Americans, dehumanizing terminology or the “language of oppression” was established and propagated by way of both “academic” and “legal” opinion at the very highest levels of our educational and legal communities.

From 1815 to 1830, the American Colonization Society: “Free black in our country are … a contagion.”

In 1857 the U.S. Supreme Court decided: “A negro of the African race was regarded … as an article of property … a subordinate and inferior class of being.”

In 1858, the Virginia Supreme Court decision declared: “In the eyes of the law … the slave is not a person.”

In 1867, Buckner Payne, Publisher: “The Negro is not a human being.”

In 1900, Professor Charles Carroll: “The negro is … one of the lower animals.”

In 1903 Dr. William English: “The negro race is … a heritage of organic and psychic debris.”

In 1909, Dr. E. T. Brady: “They [Negroes] are parasites.”

The Language of Oppression Present

Today, even while modern medical science clearly and overwhelmingly supports the humanity and personhood of the pre-born child, the same financial motives and oppressive language strategies that were used to oppress African American slaves are being used, right now, to justify killing pre-born children.

For example, in 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court decided: “The Fetus, at most, represent only the potentiality of life.” Again, in 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court declared: “The word ‘person,’ as used in the 14th Amendment does not include the unborn.”

In 1979 Professor Joseph Flectcher: “Pregnancy when not wanted is a disease … in fact, a venereal disease.” In 1980 Dr. Mariti Kekomaki: “An aborted baby is just garbage … just refuse.”

In 1984, Professor Rosalind Pollack Petchesky: “The Fetus is a parasite.” Again, in 1984, Rabbi Wolfe: “A fetus is not a human being.”

In 1985, Dr. Hart Peterson on fetal movement: “Like … a primitive animal that’s poked with a stick.”

In 1986, Attorney Lori Andrews: “People’s body parts [embryos] are their personal property.”

This year, in the Sunday, July 12th, 2009, edition of the New York Times Magazine, the power of the language of oppression to corrupt our conscious was revealed in the words of sitting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who said in an interview that she was surprised at a 1980 court ruling that prevented the restoration of Medicaid funding for abortions, because, in her opinion, when Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 “there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”

Entirely Indefensible

History teaches us, time and time again, that the use of oppressive language to demonize and dehumanize certain segments of the human race is incontestably evil.

In Germany, the persistent portrayal of the Jews as “vermin,” “bacilli,” “parasites,” and “disease” contributed to Adolf Hitler’s “Final Solution.”

In the antebellum South, the deliberate and systematic labeling of African Americans as “chattel,” “property,” “beasts,” “feebleminded,” and “useless eaters,” eased the conscious of many and paved the way for the subjugation and suppression of African Americans.

From the East coast to the West coast the defining of the American Indian as “non-persons,” “savages,” and “Satan’s partisans” led to the extermination of a significant portion of the American Indian population.

Yet, today, it appears we have not learned our lesson.

Just as the Jewish holocaust in Germany, the African American slavery in the antebellum south, and the death of countless American Indians were despicable events in our human history that were accompanied by the use of dehumanizing language, so today is the deliberate dismemberment and destruction of the bodies of those most vulnerable among us, among the human race, that is to say the pre-born child, entirely indefensible.

Persons Are Not Property

Human beings are persons and persons are not property. As a civil society we must move beyond the loathsome language of oppression of powerful elite and recognize the inherent, inalienable and self-evident humanity of all human beings. Regardless of the means by which we were procreated, method of reproduction, age, race, sex, gender, physical well-being, function, or condition of physical or mental dependency and/or disability, all human beings need to be and deserve to be protected by love and by law.

The Unarmed Truth

When Accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10th, 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said: “I believe that ‘unarmed truth’ and ‘unconditional love’ will have the final word in reality. This is why “right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil” triumphant.”

Today, the “unarmed truth” is that the pre-born child is a person not property.

I believe personhood is God-given and not government-granted. It is not offered to the elite and denied to the “least of these.”

I believe personhood, addresses the most important RIGHT of all - the RIGHT to LIVE, without which all other rights are meaningless.

I believe personhood is RIGHT.

The “unconditional love” for the pre-born child in my heart, is rooted in the love Christ has for all. While the current conditions may have “temporarily defeated” the personhood of the pre-born child.

I believe the “righteousness of personhood” is stronger than the “evil of pre-natal murder” and will ultimately prove triumphant.

I believe personhood is the final word in reality of the pro-life movement.