"Now, I'm appended to the Democratic party pretty much the way shipwreck survivors are appended to flotsam." - James Briggs Stratton, aka Dog House Riley, on his blog, Bats Left, Throws Right. Read the entire piece in which he unceramoniously dumps all over David Brooks. It is classic Dog House.
Was Matthew Shepherd the victim of a hate-crime? Was he selected to be beaten and robbed because he was Gay, or because he was small? Does it matter?
The two murderers of Matthew Shepherd are singing from prison, and apparently everyone in Laramie, Wyoming wants to be in on the chorus. Aaron McKinney was a meth addict and Russell Henderson was just a spineless suck-up who got used to hanging out with McKinney from the days he had some money.
Assuming that the two murderers of young Matthew are now telling the truth, and what an incredible assumption that is, does it matter? McKinney and Henderson may have been tried in the press for their supposed hatred of Gays, but Wyoming did not have a hate crime law on its books. Still doesn't, as far as I can tell, but it certainly didn't when those two were tried and found guilty of the murder of Matthew Shepherd.
So, for the fun of it, was Matthew Shepherd's murder a hate crime, or was it merely a horrendous murder of a small young man by a couple of brutal thugs?
Enough people in the article linked above say there is a strong likelihood that McKinney had at least a passing acquaintance with Matthew. Apparently, Matthew did meth like 90% of other young Gay men across the U.S. McKinney sold meth occasionally, and was known to have a serious meth problem. In fact, McKinney blames the accidental killing of Matthew (the several dozen blows to the head with a huge pistol) on meth rage, and not on animosity towards homosexuals. Does it matter?
Not really. Since Matthew Shepherd's death nine years ago, there is a lot more awareness of violence against Gays and Lesbians. Much of that awareness comes from good citizens who were appalled by Matthew's brutal murder, from mothers who could see their own children brutally murdered, from fathers who could see their sons and daughters being harassed because some bully "perceived" them to be Gay.
Matthew's murder may or may not have been a hate crime. I can't see that it matters. He's still very much dead, brutally murdered by two drug-crazed meth addicts who knew he was Gay, knew he was small, and thought he had money because all Gays always have money. What's the difference between selecting a victim because he's Gay and selecting a victim because you hate Gays? I'm not sure there's a difference.
We still need hate crime legislation in much of the country. Republicans oppose it because and claim that it makes a mockery of justice to enhance penalties just because some petty crook says something innocuous like "Take that, faggot!" as he strikes a victim over the head with a pistol or a baseball bat. They miss the point. Hate crime legislation tells the wolves out there that it's not okay to think of any group as an easy target, you know, sort of the way Gays and Lesbians have been thought of for most of American history.
We've come a long way since 1998, but there's a long way to go.
Matthew Shepherd was killed on October 12, 1998. Rest in peace, Matt. We still love you, even if we didn't know you.
What the fuck? The guy's a shill for the administration. He's not off limits. Maybe he was before he started shilling for the Administration, but not afterwards. Anyone blind to that is blind on purpose, because you can smell the shit even if you don't see it. I realize that a lot of people have a different view. Most of them are the same ones who bought all of Bush's bullshit about starting the war in Iraq. Like I said in my earlier post, we are so fucked.
For the record: I despise the fact that Diane Feinstein voted to condemn the ad. That old dinosaur should retire already. I didn't like her when she was the mayor of San Francisco, and I don't like her now. She is one of those people who has become incredibly wealthy while in service to her many constituencies. It didn't hurt when she married Richard Blum, either. Just as I'm sure that being married to Feinstein didn't hurt his opportunities to get the contract for the luggage carts at San Francisco's Airport. I'm just saying, that's all.
Canada looks better every year. God bless the Queen.
“I want for them the same thing that we all want for our loved ones. For each of them to find a mate, whom they love deeply, and who loves them back. Someone with whom they can grow old together and share life’s experiences. And I want their relationships to be protected equally under the law.”
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders announcing his intent to sign the City Council's Resolution in support of the same-sex marriage case now being decided by the California Supreme Court.
Listening to Bush last night was depressing as hell. He doesn't care what it costs in human lives or money. Iraq will remain occupied until his successor brings the trips home. The question being asked around the world today is "Is he delusional or deceptive?" Does he believe the crap he's spouting, or that's just the cover story and he knows that the Democrats aren't going to call him on it. What can they do besides cut off funds to the troops? How about impeaching the entire administration? Does that sound too radical? Yeah, for the Democrats in the Senate, it's way too radical. Their preferred response is to huff up like a rooster. That really works.
Bluegal at Crooks and Liars put up this old Walter Cronkite commentary from the days immediately following the Tet Offensive in 1968. It's deja vu all over again.