Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Just imagine if they had a video game called 'PenisChop' or 'DivorceCourtYourFriend.' I am sure Christina Hoff Sommers or some hack from the 'Concerned' Women for America would be there denouncing the evil misandry of our man-hating culture.

'RapeLay' video game goes viral amid outrage
By Kyung Lah, CNN

Tokyo, Japan (CNN) -- The game begins with a teenage girl on a subway platform. She notices you are looking at her and asks, "Can I help you with something?"

That is when you, the player, can choose your method of assault.

With the click of your mouse, you can grope her and lift her skirt. Then you can follow her aboard the train, assaulting her sister and her mother.

As you continue to play, "friends" join in and in a series of graphic, interactive scenes, you can corner the women, rape them again and again.

The game allows you to even impregnate a girl and urge her to have an abortion. The reason behind your assault, explains the game, is that the teenage girl has accused you of molesting her on the train. The motive is revenge.

When does a video game go too far?

It is little wonder that the game, titled RapeLay, sparked international outrage from women's groups. Taina Bien-Aime helped yank the game off store shelves worldwide.

"This was a game that had absolutely no place on the market," said Taina Bien-Aime of women's rights organization Equality Now which has campaigned for the game to be taken off the shelves.

But the controversy that led to stopping sales of the game instead took it viral.

That was how Lucy Kibble and Jim Gardner in Britain heard about it.

"I think the idea that you can do it by wholesale banning is just never going to work anyway because we downloaded it for free off the Internet," Gardner said.

In the case of RapeLay, he was right. It is still readily available on dozens of Web sites, sometimes for free.

What happened to RapeLay is an example, said Bien-Aime, of why Japan needs to police game makers.

"It's obviously very difficult to curtail activity on the Internet. But the governments do have a role in trying to regulate this sort of extreme pornography of children, both in their countries, and through the Internet ," she said, adding that they were calling for the Japanese government "to ban all games that promote and simulate sexual violence, sexual torture, stalking and rape against women and girls. And there are plenty of games like that. "

Those games are known as "hentai games." Almost all feature girlish-looking characters. Some of the games are violent -- depicting rape, torture and bondage in detail.

Step into a game shop in Akihabara, Japan's electronics district, and hentai games are readily available. In minutes, we found a game similar to RapeLay. The object here is also revenge: Find and rape the woman who fired the player from his imaginary job. Along the way, the player can rape a number of other girls and women.

Hentai games are not new to Japan. This country has long produced products the rest of the world would call pornographic. But before the arrival of the Internet, such items stayed in Japan. Now, once a game goes on sale in Tokyo, it is digitized and shared everywhere.

Japan does have censorship laws for sexual content. In games and videos, genitalia are obscured, even if it is animated. But Japan's laws do not restrict the themes and ideas of the games.

A national law that would make possession of real and virtual images of child porn illegal is under discussion, but no serious legislation has moved forward in Japan's parliament.

CNN contacted the Gender Equality Promotion Division in the Gender Equality Bureau of Japan's Cabinet Office, which is charged with handling the hentai gaming issue.

Despite repeated calls over a period of weeks, no representative from the government office would comment to CNN on camera. The office refused to make a statement on paper. A spokeswoman would only say over the telephone that the Japanese government was aware that the games were a problem and it was checking to see if self-policing by the gaming industry was enough.

A member of the Institute of Contents Culture, who did not want to give CNN his name, said restricting game themes limits freedom of expression.

"In my opinion, RapeLay's storyline went too far. However, if a game creator wants to express something and create content out of it, a government or public entity shouldn't have the power to restrain it."

Lucy Kibble and Jim Gardner, the gamers in Britain, said trying to control games on the Internet was futile and that content control was up to parents.

"The idea of banning it, or telling people what they can and can't do just because on the off chance some kid might get involved with it is just ridiculous," said Gardner.

Here is a download of the game.

After looking at this video game, I am not sure how much worse this is than pornography. Seriously, can it be any worse than this?

And if it is OK for people to buy video games in which you can rip each other to pieces, like this.

Why is it that much worse for them than to be playing a video game in which they are feeling up strangers? I ask this not to state an opinion. It is an open and honest question. I feel conflicted myself, to be honest, although I write that as a second wave (in between third wave) feminist.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

20 Greatest Albums

In homage to my colleague and fellow blogger, who has come up with her top 20 albums, I will attempt to come up with my own. I listen to a wide variety of music, so it might be an eclectic list, or not (depending on your view). In no particular order of importance, other than the fact I loved listening to them:

1. Alan Hovhaness: Mysterious Mountain. Alan Hovhaness is probably one of the most underrated, unappreciated composers this country has ever produced. How unappreciated? I have been a passionate lover of classical music for most of my adult life, took a few courses in my undergrad years on music theory and the history of music in the West, have been a season ticket holder in more than one city's philharmonic/orchestras, and it was not until about eight years ago that I heard of Hovhaness--and even then it was only because I so happen to listen to his Symphony No. 2 ('Mysterious Mountain') on a local public radio station during classical music hour.

The first time I heard `Mysterious Mountain,' I almost mistook it for Dvorak or Smetana. Hovhaness might have lived in the 20th century, but his compositional approach and philosophy was very much in the mold of the 19th century romantics. It is grandiose in style, haunting and yet beautifully majestic in sound, and it never ceases to amaze me every time I listen to it.

2. Bruce Springsteen: Born to Run. Yes, we are all born to run. If you listen to the critics, this was his make-or-break album, but that is nonsense. It was an extension of his brilliance from The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle. If anything, the songs were similar, not a break. It just took until Born to Run for people and radio (back when radio mattered) to finally pay attention to this little understood rock-folk singer. And listen to She's the One after going back to The E Street Shuffle's Rosalita. They are doomed serenades but to different women.

3. Bruce Springsteen: The River. As you can tell, I am a big fan of the Boss. The River was the culmination of Springsteen's prior efforts in Born to Run and The Darkness on the Edge of Town. And forget The River. The best song of that album for me during my childhood years was Drive All Night. Listening to that album at night, in my old pillow-size earphones, singing those words to myself, and thinking about their meaning, it was my earliest realization that Springsteen was more than a musician and part folk-rock singer but a musical poet. Surely, this is how Poe would have tried to make it, if he had lived 120 years later.

4. Melody Gardot: My One and Only Thrill. Contemporary jazz singers have a way of trying too hard to be like their predecessors. More often than not, they sound like imitations. That is not to be overly harsh. It is because if you spend several years of your life listening to Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday, your standards become too high for a genre that already (like classical music) resides in the past tense. Enter Melody Gardot. A newer singer to the scene, her voice has a quality all its own (different and in my view much more enthralling and deeper than Norah Jones), be it the siren sound of Your Hearts Is As Black as Night, or the vulnerability of Baby I'm a Fool. The sound is such that you want to keep on listening and become ensnared with her words. It is all the more amazing that someone who never recorded an album before 2005 could write her own songs with such richness and sad meaning, like a perfect depressive introspection that you would expect from Ella in her 40s, not a 24 year old.

5. Pink Floyd: Dark Side of The Moon. I hear from reliable sources that when you listen to the Dark Side of The Moon lying back in a chair or couch, while toking on a choice herbal product, with the lights down, that you can gain a personal nirvana never realized by any other means. That is what I hear, of course.

6. Journey: Live in Houston 1981. Yeah, I know, it is a DVD, but it might as well be an album, since it is a live one (and the Houston concert from 1980 is even better, but the songs are bootleg and have not been released into an album, yet). As formulaic as they were in the '80s (deserting their blues sound from the '70s), this band had one thing going for it like no other, the operatic singing voice of Steve Perry. And to hear Steve Perry live is to understand why Journey in those days were so much better than Air Supply and REO. Mother, Father remains my favorite song from that tour.

7. Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 "Choral"; Fidelio Overture (from the Cleveland Orchestra). Ludwig van Beethoven was more than an artistic genius. He was the tie between the classical and romantic age, being the classical period's first true romantic. Hence, this is why I've always referred to him as classical music's Jean-Jacques Rousseau. If you listen to all of his symphonies in chronological order, you can hear the progression, from the formalism and traditional sound of the First, to the revolution of the Ninth.

The first two movements are a nice buildup for the remaining two, and they are (unlike other versions, as noted) not too slowly paced (a real source of annoyance when you listen to some of the other versions of this symphony). Even more remarkable, there is a balance of sound between the woodwins and strings, a minor achievement that has been missed in most other renditions of this symphony. The third movement is the romantic, natural progression from the first two to the last, the movement we've all come to know and love. It is that beautiful. The chorus itself is set to Friedrich von Schiller's poem (and title of the Choral) Ode to Joy (a rather non-denominational celebration of humanity), which explains the movement's religious feel, corresponding with Schiller's universalistic appeal to a common ethos and belief in a higher good and being ("Ihr stuerzt nieder, Millionen?/Ahnest du den Schoepfer, Welt?/Such' ihn ueber'm Sternenzelt!/Ueber Sternen muss er wohnen."---- "Do you bow down, millions?/Do you sense the Creator, world?/Seek him beyond the starry firmament!/He must dwell beyond the stars.").

8. Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting. I knew I was going to finally get over my early hatred of punk when I listened to the Dead Kennedys. Kill The Poor, California Ueber Alles, and everyone's favorite I Kill Children! Now here was a band with a sense of irony and satire. Needless to say, I had to hide the cassette from my family, who worshiped the ground JFK walked on and lacked my sense of irony and satire.

9. Led Zeppelin: IV. Zeppelin was required listening growing up for those of us who loved heavy metal, especially as a refuge from the hair metal bands that murdered the genre later on. It is impossible for me to pick a best album because I listened to them all growing up and loved them intensely. I suppose IV was consistently the best or more importantly for me it was the album with my favorite Led Zeppelin song, Rock n' Roll.

10. The Jonas Brothers (on a sinking ship, to the bottom of the ocean). Psyche. Just making sure that you are paying attention.

11. Nirvana: Nevermind. Grunge is almost completely ignored outside of its contemporary rock derivations, but for those of us who lived through that time what a world it was. The geeks and punks finally won, and in doing so killed the rock genre (from metal to mainstream rock, years after its degeneration into an endless array of stripper anthems). For that accomplishment we have Nirvana to thank. As an old rocker, I heartily thank them. After the hair metal bands of the late '80s, rock's death was truly deserved.

12. AC/DC: Back in Black. Next to Zeppelin, no historic lover of metal can go without AC/DC, particularly Back in Black. All Night Long, Have a Drink on Me, Shake A Leg, this album was for me my introduction to metal at its hardest before the arrival of speed metal and Dimebag Darrell.

13. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five: The Message. It is so hard for me to listen to rap music today. Not because I hate it but because at one time it was one of my favorite genres. I grew up on rap in school and the old school rap from the '80s was probably the closest thing to music with a social and political message that I listened to (not counting Marvin Gaye from my parent's generation). If you listen to the words of the album's song, The Message, and consider the perspective of the singer, you realize just how much this genre has descended to nothingness, like the hair metal bands that Nirvana so kindly euthanized. It was musical brilliance and I wish there were newer acts to replace Grandmaster Flash's style. Yes, I know there is Immortal Technique, but his homophobia and sexism is beyond the pale for someone who self-identifies as a revolutionary. For me, I always go back GFFF's The Message.

14. Marvin Gaye: What's Going On. Speaking of music with a conscience, amongst singers in the English language there can be no greater voice for justice (save for Paul Robeson) in this country on the popular music scene in the past century than Marvin Gaye. Just go down the list of the songs on this album: What's Going On, Mercy Mercy Me, Save The Children, God Is Love, and Inner City Blues, you are listening to a voice against neglect. It is tragic that the album was almost never released because it was considered too political. Today, how many artists do you see who are this political and simultaneously articulate and passionate? On those occasions when they venture into the realm, more often than not they make fools of themselves. Marvin Gaye was no fool and neither were his songs. What's Going On still remains one of the best of its era and one I never tire listening to.

15. Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach: Jazz at Massey Hall. How great of an album is Jazz at Massey Hall? It is the standard album for jazz musicians to this day and one of the earliest applications of a live album, which we are all beneficiaries of more than five decades after its recording. People do not pay as much attention to jazz as other genres in this country, which is unfortunate because jazz is the most distinctly American of all music genres. Here is Salt Peanuts, the quintet, performed by the great ones Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach. Judge for yourself.

16. Bob Dylan: The Freewheelin'. How could any list be complete without Bob Dylan? Everyone knows Blowin' in the Wind, but how many know Talkin' World War III Blues? It was much more appropriate for this country after 9/11 than anything else Dylan has ever written. Still a standard for folk music everywhere, except the next album.

17. Woody Guthrie: Dust Bowl Ballads. One of the nice aspects about coming from a union family, while growing up, was being acquainted with all of the union songs. Union Maid and Union Burial Ground were required singing in my household, thanks to my parents. I never listened to Guthrie's other songs until my early adult years and still marveled at my first listening to Dust Bowl Ballads. The struggles of folks from the Okies remained paramount, but Vigilante Man was the type of song that still rings true to this day, and Guthrie's best song in my view.

18. Sly and the Family Stone: There's A Riot Goin' On. The first time I heard Sly and the Family Stone, they sounded so '70s that I had a hard time getting to the lyrics. That was a shame because they had some wonderful songs and lyrics, which have taken me a longer time to get to in my old age. Family Affair still remains one of the group's most famous hits, but Luv n' Haight is my favorite. A great mix of funk, soul, and even reggae.

19. Ani Difranco and Utah Phillips: Fellow Workers. Yes, I like folk music (good folk music), and before his death Utah Phillips was one of the unheralded voices of folk. Ani Difranco and Utah both provide the voices for the weak (Bread and Roses), the dispossessed (Shoot or Stab Them), unjustly tried and killed (Joe Hill), to the outright funny, to which Pie in The Sky most undoubtedly remains.

20. Pretenders: The Pretenders. An amazing debut album from a great band. This was its first incarnation, before half of the group was wiped out by drug addiction. Tattooed Love Boys was almost never played on the radio (for obvious reasons), but was one of my favorite songs from that album, along with Brass in Pocket (I'm Special), of course.

Monday, March 22, 2010

2010 Whinefest

From the sight of the upper 1% income tax bracket and their fetus worshiping opiates today, you would think our republic had ended. It is depressing to cover some of the nonsense I have had the misfortune of reading on the message boards, especially Yahoo's (always a repository for some of the most toxic elements of our culture). "People who cannot afford healthcare deserve to die.....RIP United States of America, 1776-2010....I hate f*gs, socialists and welfare n*ggers," and those are just some of the more printable responses to the vote last night. My more conservative friends in social networking sites have responded in a tamer and educated manner, and yet are filled with the same spirit of hatred for the very society that fed and supported them (to which none complained when they were getting government healthcare as military personnel or when Uncle Sam began paying their way through college [nowhere specifically mentioned in our Constitution as a federal government responsibility]). When I asked one of them if they would be writing a check for all of the services they have been using at my expense over the years, including the roads, I received no response.

And where were these Republicans when their party and president pushed through a Wall Street bailout in the fall of 2008, allotting over $700 billion of our money as taxpayers to banks and companies who pauperized our economy? No one showed up at those hearings or speeches with guns, placards threatening political violence, and none of them said a word about the executives of these failed companies contractually receiving multi-billion dollar bonuses, but if a bill that amounts to a taxpayer subsidy for insurance companies gets passed all of the sudden this is the Soviet Union?

What I really want to know is how can a country filled with this many stupid people function? Is this what watching Fox 'news' does to someone's brain or were they always like this? I do not see any of the teabaggers and their colleagues refusing to go the Post Office. I never see Rick Perry or his more openly racist comrades in the Tenth Amendment crowd refusing to spend federal notes (printed and valuated at my expense), even though our Constitution only gives the federal government the right to "coin" currency (not print it). If these people are going to be such constitutional and political fundamentalists, in the same way they claim to be religious fundamentalists, when are they going to practice what they preach and refuse to be a part of the society they no longer believe in? Say what you will about tax resisters, but at least they are consistent.

For these "angry" right-wingers, I say, OK, let us give you the alternative of opting out. Forget states' rights. Let us tell them that you will pay no taxes, but in return receive no benefits of our society. That means no police, no fire protection, no road cleanup or construction in front of their residence, no allowance for them or their children to go to any public schools or universities, and absolutely no unemployment checks, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or healthcare that is directly or indirectly provided with taxpayer's money. After all, if it is their individual responsibility (and no one else), let us give them the right to withdraw from civilization, with the understanding that they will receive no protections from the state--meaning, no subsidies (no military benefits, no military at all), no enforcement protection from discrimination or any other law that protects them from capricious corporations or malefactors, and no public libraries. Most importantly, since there is no expressed allowance for federal notes in our Constitution (again, using the methodology of their beliefs), they are not allowed to spend paper or electronic money (they can only use coins, as our Constitution expressly states).

And if you are a corporation (since conservatives believe corporations should be treated as legal humans and have more rights than the average citizen), and opt of our tax code and healthcare, likewise, you lose the ability to legally incorporate, which means you will receive no liability protections from the state. For that matter, you will also lose the right to sue under the Uniform Commercial Code, since contracts enforcement (again, nowhere mentioned expressly in our Constitution) depends on the government to adjudicate. And those companies will not be allowed to deal in currency other than coins, as well (since the laissez faire philosophy dictates literal interpretation for the artificial humans, as well).

All of those remunerations of society will only be for those who choose to pay taxes. It has to be all or nothing because if a government subsidy for insurance companies (without universality and without a public option or single payer) is now deemed to be socialism, then Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, military benefits, and public education can only be regarded (by their standards) as Stalinistic. If it is all about freedom then they should have no problem living the principles they claim to swear by, so when this young Republican gets sick some day and needs care we can show him his own soulless sentiments below and give him directions to the nearest hospice room (such is his belief in saving on the cost of human life [for those already born, naturally, never the beloved fetuses]).

Of course, seeing how this is the same crowd who chimes that they want to "get the government out of Medicare," I somehow doubt that they will be signing on. Welfare only matters when it is someone who looks and votes like them and gives it to them, which is why not a single one of these people violently responded to the Medicare Reorganization Act of 2003 (expanding government in the healthcare industry by over $400 billion in the coming years).

And to any conservative who actually reads this and makes it this far, note, I am opponent of the legislation that was passed this weekend. The difference is I do not care about your freedom to let everyone else starve. And I do not live the chimera that a bill written for corporations is 'socialist,' when the very real suffering caused by our private system will not be adequately remedied--the kind of suffering you think is a waste of time to consider, least you had to pay the bills for the society whose benefits you bellyachingly accrue. Surely, if your dead carpenter were alive today, this is how he would treat people.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tea Partiers: Racialist Precursors to Treason and Terrorism

It is hard to have much respect for a political opposition that parades around like this.

There was much derision some months back aimed at ex-President Jimmy Carter's criticism of the teabaggers as being motivated in part by racism. Sad to say, Mr. Carter was right.


Tea party protesters use racial epithet against Georgia's John Lewis

WASHINGTON — Demonstrators outside the U.S. Capitol , angry over the proposed health care bill, shouted "nigger" Saturday at U.S. Rep. John Lewis , a Georgia congressman and civil rights icon who was nearly beaten to death during an Alabama march in the 1960s.

The protesters also shouted obscenities at other members of the Congressional Black Caucus , lawmakers said.

"They were shouting, sort of harassing," Lewis said. "But, it's okay, I've faced this before. It reminded me of the 60s. It was a lot of downright hate and anger and people being downright mean."

Lewis said he was leaving the Cannon office building across from the Capitol when protesters shouted "Kill the bill, kill the bill," Lewis said.

"I said 'I'm for the bill, I support the bill, I'm voting for the bill'," Lewis said.

A colleague who was accompanying Lewis said people in the crowd responded by saying "Kill the bill, then the n-word."

"It surprised me that people are so mean and we can't engage in a civil dialogue and debate," Lewis said.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver , D- Mo. , said he was a few yards behind Lewis and distinctly heard "nigger."

"It was a chorus," Cleaver said. "In a way, I feel sorry for those people who are doing this nasty stuff - they're being whipped up. I decided I wouldn't be angry with any of them."

Protestors also used a slur as they confronted Rep. Barney Frank , D- Mass. , an openly gay member of Congress . A writer for Huffington Post said the crowd called Frank a "faggot."

Frank told the Boston Globe that the incident happened as he was walking from the Longworth office building to the Rayburn office building, both a short distance from the Capitol. Frank said the crowd consisted of a couple of hundred of people and that they referred to him as 'homo.'

"I'm disappointed with the unwillingness to be civil," Frank told the Globe. "I was, I guess, surprised by the rancor. What it means is obviously the health care bill is proxy for a lot of other sentiments, some of which are perfectly reasonable, but some of which are not."

"People out there today, on the whole, were really hateful," Frank said. "The leaders of this movement have a responsibility to speak out more."

Thousands of demonstrators gathered outside the Capitol on Saturday as the House Democratic leadership worked to gather enough votes to enact a health care overhaul proposal that has become the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's domestic agenda. Most were affiliated with so-called tea party organizations that originally sprang up during last summer's protests of the health care proposals.

Heated debate has surrounded what role race plays in the motivations of the tea party demonstrators. During protests last summer, demonstrators displayed a poster depicting Obama as an African witch doctor complete with headdress, above the words "OBAMACARE coming to a clinic near you." Former President Jimmy Carter asserted in September that racism was a major factor behind the hostility that Obama's proposals had faced.

The claim brought angry rebuttals from Republicans.

On Saturday, Frank, however, said he was sorry Republican leaders didn't do more to disown the protesters.

Some Republicans "think they are benefiting from this rancor," he said.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D- S.C. , said Saturday's ugliness underscored for him that the health care overhaul isn't the only motivation for many protesters.

"I heard people saying things today I've not heard since March 15th, 1960 , when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus," Clyburn said. "This is incredible, shocking to me."

He added, "A lot of us have said for a long time that none of this is about healthcare at all. It's about extending a basic fundamental right to people who are less powerful."

( James Rosen contributed to this story.)

To assert these 'demonstrators' are motivated by anything less than a mistrust of black people would be an understatement. I live in the South and can attest to just how repulsively racist many whites in these parts still are, and they are much more open and honest in their attitudes than anywhere else in the US (it is to the point that I do not even talk politics to any white person in the Deep South over the age of 60, so lost and heinous they mostly remain in their views of non-whites). The fear of blacks unfortunately remains a bedrock of white Southern culture (driving the suburbs just as much as the violent uprising against Reconstruction), although it is not near the force that it once was in the days of slavery and Jim Crow.

Here are some more examples of what has become of the Republican Party.

The paradox is this grouping considers a corporatist health bill that summates to a subsidy for private insurance to Communism (and a "government takeover") and a half-black President equal to Islamic terrorism. This should give you an insight as to just how deluded and ignorant these people are. In many ways, this is just a replay of the '90s, when the white right responded to Clinton and the issue of gun control by forming militias and giving the world Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing. I have no doubt they are capable of this again, especially when they are showing up at Presidential speeches with firearms, threatening to commit political violence (and are filled with barely-hinged denizens who commit mass murder because of their opposition to gun control and wreck planes into IRS buildings).

The consequences of what would follow if these forces did what they really wanted to do would be beyond imagination and damage our already fragile state of the Bill of Rights (the dead letter parts of which were shredded by the teabaggers' preferred party when they were in control of the White House). Like with John Wilkes Booth and the Confederacy they are fighting a battle they
will ultimately lose. They lost when the framers wrote a Constitution that made it possible to amend their most oppressive practices, and eventually they will lose the demographic war, in which whites will become a numerical minority by the middle part of this century. I think with these demonstrations, we have their answer to those coming changes.

Just in case you think I am being overly harsh of these violent sociopaths, here are some more signs carried by teabaggers at two other 'tea party' events and demonstrations.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Importance of Ideas

Watching the health care 'debate', the cave ins, the buyouts, and the utter weakness of labor (as has been the case for unions in the Democratic Party since the 1970s), I think it instructive to give the transcript of a speech, in homage of Women's History Month, to one of the greatest union organizers of all-time, Mother Jones. This is a speech she delivered in support of striking miners in West Virginia in 1912. Think of this and imagine a labor or political leader today with the half the guts.

Mother Jones Speaks to Striking Coal Miners
August 15, 1912

This, my friends, marks, in my estimation, the most remarkable move ever made in the State of West Virginia. It is a day that will mark history in the long ages to come. What is it? It is an uprising of the oppressed against the master class.

From this day on, my friends, Virginia — West Virginia — shall march in the front of the Nation's States. To me, I think, the proper thing to do is to read the purpose of our meeting here today — why these men have laid down their tools, why these men have come to the statehouse.

[Jones reads from letter]

To His Excellency
Governor of the State of West Virginia:

It is respectfully represented unto your excellency that the owners of the various coal mines doing business along the valley of Cabin Creek, Kanawha County, W. Va., are maintaining and have at present in their employ a large force of armed guards, armed with Winchesters, a dangerous and deadly weapon; also having in their possession three Gatling guns, which they have stationed at commanding positions overlooking the Cabin Creek Valley, which said weapons said guards use for the purpose of browbeating, intimidating, and menacing the lives of all the citizens who live in said valley, who are not in accord with the management of the coal companies, which guards are cruel, and their conduct toward the citizens is such that it would be impossible to give a detailed account of.

Therefore, suffice it to say, however, that they beat, abuse, maim, and hold up citizens without process of law; deny freedom of speech, a provision guaranteed by the Constitution; deny the citizens the right to assemble in a peaceable manner for the purpose of discussing questions in which they are concerned. Said guards also hold up a vast body of laboring men who live at the mines, and so conduct themselves that a great number of men, women, and children live in a state of constant fear, unrest, and dread. We hold that the stationing of said guards along the public highways and public places is a menace to the general welfare of the State. That such action on the part of the companies in maintaining such guards is detrimental to the best interests of society and an outrage against the honor and dignity of the State of West Virginia.

[Interrupted by loud applause.]

As citizens interested in the public weal and general welfare, and believing that law and order and peace should ever abide, that the spirit of brotherly love and justice and freedom should everywhere exist, we must tender our petition that you would bring to bear all the powers of your office as chief executive of this State for purpose of disarming said guards and restoring to the citizens of said valley all the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and said State.

In duty bound, in behalf of the miners of the State of West Virginia.

[Jones puts down the letter.]

I want to say, with all due respect to the Governor — I want to say to you that the Governor will not, can not, do anything, for this reason: The governor was placed in this building by Scott and Elkins, and he don't dare oppose them. Therefore you are asking the governor of the State to do something that he can not do without betraying the class he belongs to.

I remember the Governor in a state, when Grover Cleveland was perched in the White House — Grover Cleveland said he would send the federal troops out [to protect the miners], and the Governor of that state said, "Will you? If you do, I will meet your federal troops with the state troops, and we will have it out." Old Grover never sent the troops; he took back water...

You see, my friends, how quickly the Governor sent his militia when the coal operators got scared to death...

They wouldn't keep their dog where they keep you fellows. You know that. They have a good place for their dogs and a slave to take care of them. The mine owners' wives will take the dogs up, and say, "I love you, dea-h" [imitating a mine owner's wife]. My friends the day for petting dogs is gone; the day for raising children to a nobler manhood and better womanhood is here! You have suffered; I know you have suffered. I was with you nearly three years in this State. I went to jail. I went to the Federal courts, but I never took any back water! I still unfurl the red flag of industrial freedom; no tyrant's face shall you know, and I call you today into that freedom — long perch on the bosom —

[Interrupted by applause.]

I am back again to find you, my friends, in a state of industrial peonage...

We will prepare for the job, just like Lincoln and Washington did. We took lessons from them, and we are here to prepare for the job.

Well, when I came out on the public road [to get to the rally] the superintendent — you know the poor salary slave — he came out and told me that there were notaries public there, and a squire — one had a peg leg — and the balance had pegs in their skulls!


They forbid me speaking on the highway, and said that if I didn't discontinue I would be arrested.

Well, I want to tell you one thing, I don't run into jail, but when the bloodhounds undertake to put me in jail I will go there. I have gone there. I would have had the little peg-leg squire arrest me, only I knew this meeting was going to be pulled off to-day, to let the world know what was going on in West Virginia. When I get through with them, by the Eternal God, they will be glad to let me alone.

I am not afraid of jails. We [will] build jails, and when we get ready, we will put them behind the bars!...

Now, brothers, not in all the history of the labor movement have I got such an inspiration as I have got from you here to-day. Your banners are history; they will go down to the future ages, to the children unborn, to tell them the slave has risen, children must be free.

The labor movement was not originated by man. The labor movement, my friends, was a command from God Almighty. He commanded the prophets thousands of years ago to go down and redeem the Israelites that were in bondage, and he organized the men into a union and went to work. And they said, "The masters have made us gather straw; they have been more cruel than they were before. What are we going to do?" The prophet said, "A voice from heaven has come down to get you together." They got together and the prophet led them out of the land of bondage and robbery and plunder into the land of freedom. And when the army of the pirates followed them the Dead Sea opened and swallowed them up, and for the first time the workers were free.

And so it is. That can well be applied to the State of West Virginia...

I hope, my friends, that you and the mine owners will put aside the breach and get together before I leave the State. But I want to say, make no settlement until they sign up that every bloody murderer of a guard has got to go. This is done, my friends, beneath the flag our fathers fought and bled for, and we don't intend to surrender our liberty.

I have a document issued 18 years ago telling how they must handle the labor movement — pat them on the back; make them believe that they were your devoted friends. I hold that document, taken from their statement in Washington. It plainly states, "We have got to crucify them, but we have got to do it cunningly." And they have been doing it cunningly...

Oh you men of wealth! Oh you preachers! You are going over to China and sending money over there for Jesus. For God's sake, keep it at home; we need it. Let me tell you, them fellows are owned body and soul by the ruling class, and they would rather take a year in hell with Elkins than ninety-nine in heaven. Do you find a minister preaching against the guards? He will preach about Jesus, but not about the guards.

When we were crossing the bridge at [the] Washington [coal mines] the bloodhounds were at the company store. The bloodhounds might have thrown me into the river and I wouldn't have known it. The [miners] were hollering "Police! Police!" I said, "What is the matter with you?" They said, "Oh God! Murder! Murder!" Another [miner] came out, and his feet never touched the sidewalk.

My boys came running to me and said, "Oh, Mother, they are killing the boys..." I said, "Call them boys here." Then [the guards left]; they thought I had an army with me. Then I picked up a boy streaming with blood where the hounds had beat him.

You are to blame. You have voted for the whole gang of commercial pirates every time you get a chance to free yourselves. It is time to clean them up...

If your sheriff had done his duty as a citizen of this State and according to his oath, he would have disarmed the guards and then there would have been no more trouble. Just make me governor for one month. I won't ask for a sheriff or policeman, and I will do business, and there won't be a guard [remaining] in the State of West Virginia. The mine owners won't take 69,000 pounds of coal in dockage off of you fellows. Sixty-nine thousand pounds of coal they docket you for, and a few pounds of slate, and then they give to Jesus on Sunday.

They give your missionary women a couple of hundred dollars and rob you under pretense of giving to Jesus. Jesus never sees a penny of it, and never heard of it. They use it for the women to get a jag on and then go and hollow for Jesus. I wish I was God Almighty! I would throw down some night from heaven and get rid of the whole blood-sucking bunch!

I want to show you here that the average wages you fellows get in this country is $500 a year. Before you get a thing to eat there is $20 taken out a month, which leaves about $24 a month. Then you go to the "pluck-me" stores and want to get something to eat for your wife, and you are off that day, and the child comes back and says, "Papa, I can't get anything."

"Why," he says, "there is $4 coming to me?"

The child says, "they said there was nothing coming to you." And the child goes back crying without a mouthful of anything to eat. The father goes to the "pluck-me" store and says to the manager, "there is $4 coming to me," and the manager says, "Oh, no, we have kept that for rent. You are charged $6 a month, and there are only three days gone, [and there] is a rule that two-thirds of the rent is to be kept if there is only one day."

That is honesty? Do you wonder these women starve? Do you wonder at this uprising? And you fellows have stood it entirely too long! It is time now to put a stop to it! We will give the Governor until to-morrow night to take them guards out of Cabin Creek.

Here on the steps of the Capitol of West Virginia...I want to tell you that the Governor will get until tomorrow night, Friday night, to get rid of his bloodhounds, and if they are not gone, we will get rid of them!

Aye men, aye men, inside of this building, aye women, come with me and see the horrible pictures, see the horrible condition the ruling class has put these women in. Aye, they destroy women. Look at those little children, the rising generation, yes, look at the little ones, yes, look at the women assaulted...I have worked, boys, I have worked with you for years. I have seen the suffering children, and, in order to be convinced, I went into the mines on the night shift and day shift and helped the poor wretches to load coal at times. We lay down at noon, and we took our lunches, and we talked our wrongs over. We gathered together at night and asked, "how will we remedy things?" We organized secretly and, after a while, held public meetings. We got our people together in those organized states...I don't care about your woman suffrage and the temperance brigade or any other of you class associations, I want women of the coming day to discuss and find out the cause of child crucifixion, that is what I want to find out.

I have worked in the factories of Georgia and Alabama, and these bloodhounds were tearing the hands off of children and working them 14 hours a day until I fought for them. They made them put up every Saturday money for missionary work in China. I know what I am talking about. I am not talking haphazard, I have the goods.

Go down, men of to-day, who rob and exploit, go down into hell and look at the ruins you have put there, look at the jails. We pay $6,000,000 a year to chain men like demons in a bastille — and we call ourselves civilized. Six million dollars a year we pay for jails, and nothing for education.

I have been to jail more than once, and I expect to go again. If you [addressing crowd] are too cowardly to fight, I will fight. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves, actually to the Lord you ought, just to see one old woman who is not afraid of all the bloodhounds. How scared those villains are when one woman 80 years old, with her head grey, can come in and scare hell out of the whole bunch! We didn't scare them? The mine owners run down the street like a mad dog today.

They ask who started this thing. I started it, I did it, and I am not afraid to tell you if you are here, and I will start more before I leave West Virginia. I started this mass today, I had these banners written, and don't accuse anybody else of this job.

It is freedom or death, and your children will be free. We are not going to leave a slave class to the coming generation, and I want to say to you that the next generation will not charge us for what we've done; they will charge and condemn us for what we have left undone.

...Yes; we have no fears of them at all. I was put out at 12 o'clock at night — and landed with 5 cents in my pocket — by seven bayonets in the State of Colorado. The Governor told me — he is a corporation rat, you know — he told me never to come back. A man is a fool, if he is a Governor, to tell a woman not to do a thing. I went back the next day, and I have been back since to fight, and he hasn't bothered me. He has learned it won't do to tamper with women of the right metal!...

Now, my boys, you are mine; we have fought together, we have hungered together, we have marched together, but I can see victory in the Heavens for you. I can see the hand above you guiding and inspiring you to move onward and upward. No white flag — we can not raise it; we must not raise it. We must redeem the world!

Go into our factories, see how the conditions are there, see how women are ground up for the merciless money pirates, see how many of the poor wretches go to work with crippled bodies.

I talked with a mother who had her small children working. She said to me, "Mother, they are not of age, but I had to say they were; I had to tell them they were of age so they could get a chance to help me to get something to eat." She said after they were there for a little while, "I have saved $40, the first I ever saw. I put that into a cow and we had some milk for the little ones." In all the years her husband had put in the earth digging out wealth, he never got a glimpse of $40 until he had to take his infant boys, that ought to go to school, and sacrifice them.

If there was no other reason that should stimulate every man and woman to fight this damnable system of commercial pirates. That alone should do it, my friends.

Is there a committee here? I want to take a committee of the well-fed fellows and well-dressed fellows; I want to present this to the Governor. Be very polite. Don't get on your knees. Get off your knees and stand up. None of these fellows are better than you, they are only flesh and blood — that is the truth...

I will give the press a copy of this resolution and this petition, that was given to the Governor.

Now, my boys...I am going up Cabin Creek. I am going to hold meetings there. I am going to claim the right of an American citizen.

I was on this earth before these operators were. I was in this country before these operators. I have been 74 years under this flag. I have got the right to talk. I have seen its onward march. I have seen the growth of oppression, and I want to say to you, my friends, I am going to claim my right as a citizen of this Nation, I won't violate the law; I will not kill anybody or starve anybody; but I will talk unsparingly of all the corporation bloodhounds we can bring to jail.

I have no apologies to offer. I have seen your children murdered; I have seen you blown to death in the mines, and there was no redress. A fellow in Colorado says, "Why don't you prop the mines?" The operator said, "Oh, hell; Dagoes are cheaper than props!" Every miner is a Dago with the blood-sucking pirates, and they are cheaper than props, because if they kill a hundred of you, well, it was your fault; there must be a mine inspector kept there.

The night before the little Johnson boys were killed the mine inspector — John Laing is the mine owner; he wouldn't inspect them — the mine inspector went there and said the mines are propped securely. The next morning the little Johnson children went to work, and when they were found, their hands were clasped in their dinner buckets with two biscuits.

You work for Laing day after day! He is a mine inspector, but he wouldn't be if I had anything to say about it. He would take a back seat!

Boys, I want to say to you, obey the law. Let me say to the Governor and let me say to the mine owners — let me say to all people — that I will guarantee there will be no destruction of property. In the first place, that is our property. It is inside where our jobs are. We have every reason to protect it. In the mines is where our jobs are. We are not out to destroy property; we are out to preserve and protect property, and I will tell you why. We are going to get more wages, and we are going to stop the docking system! Put that down [Jones points to a reporter in the crowd]. Your day for docking is done! ...If they don't stop it, we will!

We'll take care of the property; there will be no property destroyed. Not a bit; and if you want your property protected these miners will protect it for you, and they won't need a gun.

We will protect it at the risk of our lives. I know the miners; I have marched with 10,000 — 20,000 — and destroyed no property. We had 20,000 miners in Pennsylvania, but destroyed no property... I will tell you why we are not going to destroy your property, Mr. Governor: Because one of these days we are going to take over the mines. That is what we are going to do; we are going to take over those mines.

The Government has a mine in North Dakota. It works eight hours — not a minute more. There are no guards, no police, no militia. The men make $125 a month, and there is never any trouble at that mine. Uncle Sam is running the job, and he is a pretty good mine inspector...

I want you to listen a moment. I want the business men to listen. You business men are up against it. There is a great revolution going on in the industrial world. The Standard Oil Company owns 86 great department stores in this country. The small business man is beginning to be eliminated. He has got to get down, he can't get up. It is like Carnegie said before the Tariff Commission in Washington. "Gentlemen, I am not bothered about tariff on steel rails." He says, "what concerns me and my class is the right to organize." ...Carnegie said that in a few years, he went into the business with $5,000; he took $7,500. He said he knew the time was ripe for steel bridges, and he went into it. He closed out his interest for $300,000,000.

Do you wonder that the steel workers are robbed? When one thief alone can take $300,000,000 and give to a library — to educate our skulls because you didn't get a chance to educate them yourselves.

A fellow said, "I don't think we ought to take those libraries." Yes, take them, and let him build libraries in every town in the country. It is your money. Yet he comes and constructs those libraries as living monuments reddened with the blood of men, women, and children that he robbed.

How did he make $300,000,000? Come with me to Homestead, and I will show you the graves reddened with the blood of men, women, and children. That is where we fixed the Pinkertons, and they have never rose from that day to this. And we will fix the Baldwins in West Virginia. The Pinkertons were little poodle dogs for the operators. We will fix the Baldwins just the same...

Senator Dick said, when I met him, "I am delighted to see you, 'Mother' Jones." I said, "I am not delighted to see you." He said, "What is the matter?" I said, "You have passed the Dick military bill to shoot my class down, that is why I wouldn't shake hands with you." That is the way to do business with those fellows. All the papers in the country wrote it up, and he was knocked down off his perch. I will knock a few of these Senators down before I die!


...Be good; don't drink, only a glass of beer.

The parasite blood-suckers will tell you not to drink beer, because they want to drink it all, you know. They are afraid to tell you to drink for fear there will not be enough for their carcass.

[Someone from the crowd cries "the Governor drinks champagne!"]

He needs it. He gets it from you fellows. He ought to drink it. You pay for it, and as long as he can get it for nothing, any fellow would be a fool not to drink it...

I want you to keep the peace until I tell you to move, and when I want you every one will come. Now, be good. I don't tell you to go and work for Jesus. Work for yourselves; work for bread. That is the fight we have got. Work for bread. They own our bread.

This fight that you are in is the great industrial revolution that is permeating the heart of men over the world. They see behind the clouds the star that rose in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago, that is bringing the message of a better and nobler civilization. We are facing the hour. We are in it, men, the new day; we are here facing that star that will free men and give to the Nation a nobler, grander, higher, truer, purer, better manhood. We are standing on the eve of that mighty hour when the motherhood of the Nation will rise, and instead of clubs and picture shows or excursions, she will devote her life to the training of the human mind, giving to the Nation great men and great women.

I see that hour. I see the star breaking your chains...

I know of the wrongs of humanity; I know your aching backs; I know your swimming heads; I know your little children suffer; I know your wives. I have gone in and found her dead and found the babe nursing at the dead breast, and found the little girl 11 years old taking care of three children. She said, "Mother, will you wake up, baby is hungry and crying?" When I laid my hand on mamma she breathed her last. And the child of 11 had to become a mother to the children.

Oh, men [speaking of mine owners], have you any hearts? Oh, men, do you feel? Oh, men, do you see the judgment day on the throne above, when you will be asked, "where did you get your gold?"

You stole it from these wretches. You murdered, you assassinated, you starved, you burned them to death, that you and your wives might have palaces, and that your wives might go to the seashore. Oh God, men, when I see the horrible picture, when I see the children with their hands off, when I took an army of babies and walked a hundred and thirty miles with a petition to the President of the United States, to pass a bill in Congress to keep these children from being murdered for profit. He had a secret service then all the way to the palace. And now they want to [re-elect] that man! What is the American Nation coming to?

Manhood, womanhood, can you stand for it? They put reforms in their platforms, but [we] get no reform. [Roosevelt] promised everything to labor. When we had the strike in Colorado he sent 200 guns to blow our brains out. I don't forget. You do, but I don't. And our women were kicked out like dogs at the point of the bayonet. That is America. They don't do it in Russia. Some women get up with $5 worth of paint on their cheeks and have tooth brushes for their dogs and say, "oh, them horrible miners. Oh, that horrible old Mother Jones, that horrible old woman."

I am horrible! I admit, and I want to be to you blood-sucking pirates!

I want you, my boys, to buckle on your armor. This is a fighting age; this is not the age for cowards; put them out of the way. Take your medicine [Governor], because we are going to get after you, no doubt about it.

[Cries from the crowd "Give it to them!"]

Yes, I will.

[Cries again "Give it to them!"]

I want you to be good. Give the Governor time until to-morrow night, and, if he don't act then it is up to you. We have all-day Saturday, all-day Sunday, all-day Monday, and Tuesday, and Wednesday if we need it.

We are used to living on little; we can take a crust of bread in our hands and go.

Boys, stay quiet until tomorrow night. I think it would be a good thing to work tomorrow, because the mine owners will need it. The mine commissioner will get a pain in his skull to-night and his wife will give him some "dope." The mine owner's wife is away at the seashore. When she finds no more money coming she will say, "ss there any more money coming?" He will say, "most of the miners are not working." She will say, "take the guards and shoot them back into the mines, those horrible fellows."

The Governor says, if you don't go to work, said he, in the mines or on the railroads, I am going to call the militia, and I will shoot you...I said we can get ready too.

What militia can you get to fight us? Those boys on Paint Creek wouldn't fight us if all the governors in the country wanted you to. I was going yesterday to take dinner with them, but I had something else to do. I am going some day to take dinner with them, and I will convert the whole bunch to my philosophy. I will get them all my way.

Now, be good, boys.

[Jones reaches for a hat in the crowd.]

Pass the hat around, some of these poor devils want a glass of beer. Get the hat. The mine owner robs them. Get a hat you fellows of the band...

Another thing I want you to do: I want you to go in regular parade, three or four together. The moving-picture man wants to get your picture to send over the country.

[Someone in the crowd asks what the collection is being taken for.]

The hat is for miners who came up here broke, and they want to get a glass of beer. And to pay their way back — and to get a glass of beer. I will give you $5. Get a move on, and get something in it...

The National Government will get a record of this meeting. They will say, my friends, this was a peaceful, law-abiding meeting. They will see men of intelligence, that they are not out to destroy but to build. And instead of the horrible homes you have got we will build on their ruins homes for you and your children to live in, and we will build them on the ruins of the dog kennels which they wouldn't keep their mules in. That will bring forth better ideas than the world has had. The day of oppression will be gone. I will be with you whether true or false. I will be with you at midnight or when the battle rages, when the last bullet ceases, but I will be in my joy, as an old saint said:

O, God, of the mighty clan, God grant that the woman who suffered for you, Suffered not for a coward, but oh, for a man. God grant that the woman who suffered for you, Suffered not for a coward, but oh, for a fighting man.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Devil Made Them Do It

The most trusted excuse for all criminals and criminal enterprises, historically, has been the supernatural. Be it David Berkowitz's neighborhood dog "telling him" to shoot and kill six people, Dan White's Twinkies compelling him to assassinate Harvey Milk and George Moscone, Charlie Manson blaming his murderous rage on subliminal messages in Beattles songs, to all of those 'holy warriors' blowing up women's clinics, IRS buildings, and gay nightclubs for our Lord and savior, if you do the crime it is likely someone else made you do it. Enter the previously unknown 'official exorcist' of the Catholic Church, Don Gabriele Amorth. He has a message for all of us--Satan makes young boys irresistible to his employer's minions.

Vatican unleashes exorcist for campaign of crazy

Rome responds to sex abuse scandals by letting its official Satan fighter speak. Turns out it's Satan's fault

When you're one of the most powerful institutions in the world and you've got an escalating series of sex abuse scandals erupting in such far-flung locales as Ireland, Germany, Brazil and beyond on a near daily basis, how do you even begin to do damage control? If you're the Catholic Church, maybe you say you're going to investigate. You issue a few letters. And then just to cover all your bases, you do a little Satan blaming. In a bold and arguably wack move, the Vatican's normally press-shy exorcist Don Gabriele Amorth has been granting interviews left and right lately, and they are a treasure trove of WTF moments.

You say you hadn't been aware the Vatican even had an official exorcist? Thought that stuff was just for Linda Blair movies? That's likely because, prior to last week, the Vatican had permitted its exorcist to grant one interview in the entire last century. Now, suddenly he's doing the rounds like he's got a new rom-com with Gerard Butler opening Friday.

Speaking to La Republica last week, Amorth, who in fact does have a new book, "Memoirs of an Exorcist," to shill, said, "When one speaks of 'the smoke of Satan' in the holy rooms, it is all true – including these latest stories of violence and pedophilia." A few days later, he told the UK Times, "All evil is due to the intervention of the Devil, including pedophilia." He also added that contemporary culture has "given in to the Evil One. You see it in the lack of faith, the empty churches, the collapse of the family. Compare the world of today to when I was a boy in Modena: families and parish communities were strong, women did not go out to work."

I don't want to read too much into it here, but did the honorary president of the International Association of Exorcists actually just sort of suggest that if some priest in Rio is sodomizing his altar boys, it might be my fault because I have a job? Cripes, you eat one lousy piece of fruit from the tree of knowledge and you get blamed for everything.

But he didn't stop there. Amorth then took his world publicity tour to the big time – granting an on camera interview Tuesday on CNN, he helpfully explained that pedophiles are "not possessed by the devil, they're tempted by the devil. They don't need exorcism; they need to be converted to God. They need to confess, they need true penance, true repentance."

I'm someone who self-identifies as a Catholic, who believes we shouldn't judge Christianity by its most evil elements any more than we would do likewise for any political, social or educational system we hold dear. My Catholic upbringing taught me kindness, forgiveness and non-materialism. I believe I can be outraged by the crimes of individuals – and their perpetuation by an institution looking out for its own best interests – and still find worth in a spiritual philosophy that would never tolerate that BS for one minute. All of which is my way of saying – I'm no Church basher, and I'm quite confident Don Gabriele Amorth is NUTS.

At least Amorth didn't completely insult the planet by suggesting that pedophila can be waved away with a little holy water and some incantations, any more than it can by transferring the offender to another parish. You likewise won't find too many people who'd disagree that confession and repentance are long, long overdue here. But that's just for starters. Until the Vatican gets it through its thick skull that sexual abuse isn't a sin but a crime, isn't a moral weakness but a dangerous pathology, it's going to continue putting up with predators within its ranks, thinking they can say they're sorry and make it all go away. It will go on holding the devil responsible for its own worst acts. And it will continue condemning its youngest and most vulnerable members to hell on earth.


Let us assume for a second that Mr. Armoth (who conveniently withheld his existence to the general public until now) is not a BS artist and actually believes in this nonsense. If what he is saying is true (the devil makes the priests loco), then it can be said that my old church is cursed. Think about it. How can you be the one true church when you cannot even convince your supposedly celibate employees to resist Lucifer to possess them with the spirit of child rape? Either God is out to lunch or the organization is Satanic. I am sure Mr. Armoth would never bite the hand that feeds him, but he is implicitly telling the rest of us that the church is irrevocably lost and unable to sexually control itself around kids.

And all of this is allegedly because those kids' abusers live in a "decadent culture" filled with evil things like women's rights, which Mr. Armoth expressly and misogynistically denounced when opining for the good old days when the womenfolk 'stayed at home.' Yes, women in the workplace made them do it. The correlation is so obvious, you see. Women work, have rights, and the devil makes these priests who would not know what to do with the an interested female if she hit him over the head turn to pedophilia as a result of this scourge against the male-dominated household.

And remember, to my old church's members who stuck by this institution, these are the same people who tell you that you are going to hell if you so much as think of having an abortion. They will lecture about contraception and how you should conduct your marriage and family affairs, while being unable to have their own. They will tell you that it is your obligation to give them your money for the tithe, while they use those funds to subsidize the attorneys they need to defend their errant employees. This is what you are paying for.