Policing Change?

The Baltimore Police Department does a damn poor job with female and transgender victims.Suspects are ignored, rape kits left dormant, victims are treated as criminals and transgendered people are treated like trash.

Their Police Commissioner, Kevin Davis, has promised “a sea change,” beginning with a “trusted captain” heading a new Sex Offense Unit.

At least, that’s the official story. But maybe the feds and the Commissioner are being too hard on the department.

Capt. Steven Hohman, the commander of the department’s Special Investigations Section, which contains the Sex Offense Unit, declined to respond to individual examples in the report. “I believe that much of the work was being done,” Captain Hohman said. “We just weren’t very good at documenting.”

In other words, the United States Department of Justice’s review of Baltimore City Police Department wasn’t necessary. Their report? A waste of time and taxpayers’ money. The Baltimore Police Department wasn’t continuing to keep a higher percentage of rapists on the street than other cities do. They weren’t coercing prostitutes or ignoring crimes against transgender individuals. No, the cops were just a little lax in their paperwork.

Captain Hohman is the captain in command of that “new unit”. And according to him, all Baltimore needs to improve is their paperwork.

I feel safer already.

Westboro Baptist Now Hates Racing

Jael Phelps picketing Trinity Episcopal Church...

Jael Phelps picketing Trinity Episcopal Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Westboro Baptist Church has a new event to picketFormula 1 racing. This evidently has something to do with the military. (No, I don’t know what it is…I’m not a freak!) If you’re not familiar with Westboro Baptist, it’s a church that is so far to the right that not even Rick Santorum will agree with them in public. (He may not agree with them at all, but I’ve never seen Santorum denigrate Christian theocracy.)

Westboro Baptist Church has not come out against incorrect spelling or grammar. Fred Phelps, the lemming’s leader, probably thinks spell check is the devil’s work. Or maybe he had his 8 y.o. grandson write the website.

Misspelled words (even typos, because the WBC has a zero-tolerance policy) are bold red; incorrect words are bold blue.

Fred Phelps, the leader of the small and crazy Kansas-based church, is going to be in Austin for the Formula One race to protest it. According to the church’s diplomatically named website, godhatesfags.com, this is why they are protesting the race:

WBC will picket Formula 1 racing at The Circuit of The Americas in Austin, TX to remind this nation that God hates the vwicked people of this land of vain idolaters and that they shall be turned into Hell. These sporting events resemble the patriotic worship-the-flag pep rallies masquerading as sodlier’s funerals in that this Bible-ignorant fools worship these race car drivers like they are little gods! Shame on these people for worshipping these athletes instead of following the plain commandments of their God. They ought to obey today before it is too late. WBC knows they will not, never the less, we will kindly warn them to flee the wrath to come. These are the last days of all, Doomed america. Wake up before you find yourselves cast into the deep pit of endless fire!

Romney Against Gay Parents, Families

In 1994, Romney–running for Senate against Ted Kennedy–claimed he would be better for gays than Senator Kennedy. Ten years later, in 2004, to then-Massachusetts‘ Governor Romney’s dismay, his state became the first to legalize gay marriage..

Not only is Romney against gay rights, he is appalled by gay families. (Emphases mine.)

Romney hadn’t even previously fathomed that gay people had children. Boston Spirit magazine reported last month that when gay activists met with him in his office in 2004, as Romney was backing a failed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in the state, Romney remarked, “I didn’t know you had families.”

Julie Goodridge…asked what she should tell her 8-year-old daughter about why the governor would block the marriage of her parents. According to Goodridge, Romney responded,”I don’t really care what you tell your adopted daughter. Why don’t you just tell her the same thing you’ve been telling her the last eight years.”

The complete lack of empathy was the worst; Romney didn’t connect, just sat there blank-faced until asking “Are you done?” After that, he invited the press in and described the meeting as “pleasant”–as Goodridge sobbed in the hallway.

Romney also refused to issue birth certificates with “parent” and “second parent” on them, insisting the birth certificates not only be altered, but that each one be approved by his office. .

As a Department of Health attorney warned Romney, the children would be disadvantaged and would have trouble applying to school or getting drivers licenses as adults, particularly in a post-9/11 world where they might be considered security risks, having birth certificates that appeared altered. It was a “violation of existing statutes,” the attorney warned Romney. But Romney waved off the warnings, not caring about the legal, psychological or personal ramifications.

Romney not caring.

Romney as usual.

Racism Has Grown Since 2008

Disappointing, but not surprising. 

Racism is alive and well–and it’s gotten worse. Explicit and implicit surveys showed 51% to 56% of Americans showed prejudice against blacks. The jump in explicit racism was 3%; implicit racism was seven percentage points higher than in 2008–nearly 2% growth per year. (Hispanics fared even worse, with 57% of Americans biased against them, but there are no previous survey results for the group.)

Implicit Racism

The same respondents were also administered a survey designed to measure implicit racism, in which a photo of a black, Hispanic or white male flashed on the screen before a neutral image of a Chinese character. The respondents were then asked to rate their feelings toward the Chinese character. Previous research has shown that people transfer their feelings about the photo onto the character, allowing researchers to measure racist feelings even if a respondent does not acknowledge them.

Explicit Racism

The explicit racism measures asked respondents whether they agreed or disagreed with a series of statements about black and Hispanic people. In addition, the surveys asked how well respondents thought certain words, such as “friendly,” “hardworking,” “violent” and “lazy,” described blacks, whites and Hispanics.

The surveys used males for each race; no females were shown. I would like to see this test given to measure explicit and implicit sexism, although I dread the results, which I fear would be even higher. Sexism is not only alive and well, it’s a revered–even celebrated–conservative political stance.

Explain That to your Daughter: Democrat Mom to Republican Dad

Explain That to your Daughter.

The most compelling argument I’ve ever read about the Romney/Republican ticket. LGBTQ rights, abortions, birth control, rape, state regulation of vaginas, Social Security and Medicare, student loans, stock market crash, and basic human decency–the conservatives-against-compassion will extend government control to help the richest and destroy the rest.

As a Facebook post to a friend, this is also the kindest explanation I’ve ever read.

Share it with your daughter. I will.

The Way It Was | Mother Jones


The Way It Was | Mother Jones.

Everyone should read this article. Everyone. These pages are full of experience, history, and facts; this is the most illuminating article on illegal abortions I’ve ever read (and I’ve read several). It ends with this truth:

“The arguments [against] would … be irrelevant to the facts: From the moment I started looking for an abortion, not once did I even consider going through with the pregnancy. Not for one second. It simply was not going to happen. Nothing, and I mean nothing, was going to stop me, and it could have cost me my life. And this is what I had in common with millions and millions of women throughout time and history. When a woman does not want to be pregnant, the drive to become unpregnant can turn into a force equal to the nature that wants her to stay pregnant. And then she will look for an abortion, whether it’s legal or illegal, clean or filthy, safe or riddled with danger. This is simply a fact, whatever our opinion of it. And whether we like it or not, humans, married and unmarried, will continue to have sex…and there will be pregnancies: wanted, unwanted, partly wanted, partly unwanted.

A society that does not accept the facts is a childish society, and a society that makes abortion illegal…is a … society that makes being female a crime.”

Gerri Santoro was a victim of the law. A graphic police photo of her dead body drew more people to the pro-choice movement.

When Texas chose to defund every Planned Parenthood clinic because of their name, it knew who would suffer. Continue reading

Soraya Chemaly: 10 Reasons the Rest of the World Thinks the U.S. Is Nuts

Soraya Chemaly: 10 Reasons the Rest of the World Thinks the U.S. Is Nuts.

Every nation does not consider a woman equal to a man, but we’re the only one that I know of where politicians refer to us as livestock.

This is not about freedom of religion. If it were, we would, for example, allow Christian Scientists to refuse to pay for coverage of life-saving blood transfusions for employees.

And what would the Christian evangelists think of that?