Baron Dave Romm
Heartland Perverts 1
By Baron Dave Romm
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A double standard
Might as well end the secular year with some juicy sex scandals.
Lots of people screw up their marriages, or are confused about their sexuality. Some of these people deserve help, some pity, some scorn. But the worst judgment must fall on those who, themselves, heaped righteous scorn on others while they were behaving worse. Sometimes much worse.
I'm not going to let the John Edwards or the Eliot Spitzers off the hook. What they did was foolish and hurt their loved ones. Selling yourself as worthy of elected office implies a certain amount of trust with the electorate.
Still, for all the mess they made of their personal lives, some fallen men and women really were no worse than foolish and dumb. They didn't point fingers at other people behaving as they did. If their wives and/or husbands can forgive them, so can we.
In retrospect, Bill Clinton's transgressions were tame. Certainly, too many of his accusers were far, far worse. That the sphincter conservatives went after him and not, say, Newt Gingrich shows just how disgusting and cowardly they are. Too many on the right aren't righteously indignant, they're just bullies.
For many years, I've been keeping links to some of the major transgressors. I'm not the only one, and such lists abound. Herein are a few comparatively recent examples of moral relativism, coming down the hardest on the people who should really have looked in a mirror before they spit right-wing bile.
Too bad the conservative news media isn't all over these stories like a used condom, sticking to balloon boy nonsense and inflating the numbers at whack job Tea Bagger rallies. If they had any marketing sense, they'd realize that sex sells. Even if it is the people the right admires...
Former S. Dakota state Rep. Ted Alvin Klaudt, convicted of raping his daughters
I've got to give this perv his own section. Not only is he disgusting, someone who should never be around children, but he's an idiot. A dangerous combination. Naturally, the red state of South Dakota elected him to the House, and he ran for the state Senate as a Republican. What did he accomplish in office? According to his Wikipedia entry:
Klaudt was a Republican member of the South Dakota House of Representatives from 1999 to 2006 when he was termed out of his seat and decided to run for state Senate, but was defeated by Democratic challenger Ryan Maher. His House seat was filled by Betty Olson. While in office, he co-sponsored several bills that took aim at sex offenders, including "community safety zones", prohibiting sex offenders from residing, working, or entering within 500 feet of schools, public parks and swimming pools. He also co-sponsored the bill that required South Dakota to be included in the National Sex Offender Registry, a bill that requires the Department of Social Services to inform parents about abuse or neglect involving their children in state custody, and a (defeated) bill that would have prohibited the distribution of birth control to high school students.References: Klaudt's Legislative Record (with a picture of him); Politician charged with raping teens (the initial 5/12/07 story doesn't mention that the teens were his foster children, living in his house); and Klaudt Indicted 6/15/07:
A grand jury in Hughes County has indicted former Representative Ted Klaudt on four counts of second degree rape.
Prosecutors say the victims are two of Klaudt's foster daughters.The alleged crimes happened in Pierre during Klaudt's time as a lawmaker.
The two foster daughters testified before the grand jury.Klaudt's Hughes County arraignment is set for July 6. He is currently free on bond.
He faces ten other charges in Corson County.
Just to recap: Ted Alvin Klaudt was indicted on many charges and plea bargained down to four convictions of rape and two of jury tampering for crimes committed while he was in office.
You may be wondering why I've typed the name Ted Alvin Klaudt so many times. It's because of his most recent bit of perversion.
Heartland Pervert squared: Ex-Lawmaker Convicted of Rape: Name Is Copyrighted NYTimes (sub req'd) 12/16/09: Since the NYTimes article requires a subscription, let me quote a fair amount of it here:
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) -- A former South Dakota lawmaker convicted of raping his two foster daughters has sent news organizations what he claims is a copyright notice that seeks to prevent the use of his name without his consent.
A letter and an accompanying document labeled ''Common Law Copyright Notice'' said former state Rep. Ted Alvin Klaudt is reserving a common-law copyright of a trade name or trademark for his name. It said no one can use his name without his consent, and anyone who does would owe him $500,000.
Klaudt was convicted in 2007 on four counts of second-degree rape for touching his teenage foster daughters' breasts and genitals in phony examinations he said could help them sell their eggs to infertile couples. He was sentenced to 44 years in prison for rape and 10 more years after pleading guilty to two counts of witness tampering.
The notice, received by The Associated Press and several other news organizations Monday, carried a return address that matched that of the state prison in Springfield, where Klaudt is being held.
Klaudt's daughter, Roxy, reached by telephone at the family ranch near Walker, confirmed that her father had sent the copyright notice but would not explain why.
The former lawmaker could not immediately be reached for comment because inmates must be contacted initially by letter and asked to write or call, said Michael Winder, a spokesman for the state Corrections Department.
To further recap: Ted Alvin Klaudt is a disgusting pervert who tried to subvert the legal system. The law doesn't apply to him, he thought. He's so incredibly stupid that he tries to copyright his own name to prevent it from being printed (an old dodge that doesn't work, as a politician should know), thereby guaranteeing that his name will become famous. Yes, he's that dumb. I predict he'll be on Fox "News" when he gets out of prison... in 54 years.
Protecting Marriage... from whom?
Things you can't make up Dept.
Sens. Larry Craig and David Vitter co-sponsor Marriage Protection Amendment pageoneq.com 6/08:
Two United States Senators implicated in extramarital sexual activity have named themselves as co-sponsors of S. J. RES. 43, dubbed the Marriage Protection Amendment. If ratified, the bill would amend the United States Constitution to state that marriage "shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman."
Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID), who was arrested June 11, 2007 on charges of lewd conduct in a Minneapolis airport terminal, is co-sponsoring the amendment along with Sen. David Vitter (R-LA).
Craig, who entered a guilty plea to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct, was detained and charged for attempting to engage in sexual activity with a male undercover police officer. His arrest and plea became public two months later. At that time, Craig attempted to withdraw his plea and enter a new plea of not guilty. To date, his efforts have been denied by the courts.
In July of 2007, Vitter was identified as a client of a prostitution firm owned by the late Deborah Jeane Palfrey, commonly known as The DC Madam.
With a Democratic controlled Congress it is unlikely the bill will be brought up for a vote in either the Senate or House of Representatives
Two "Christian" legislators, one who trolls for anonymous gay sex in public bathrooms and another who frequents prostitutes, want to protect marriage... from everyone but themselves.
What goes around comes around
I'm going to start with kicker. Delays in Renzi Case Raise More Gonzales Questions Wall Street Journal 4/26/07:
WASHINGTON -- As midterm elections approached last November, federal investigators in Arizona faced unexpected obstacles in getting needed Justice Department approvals to advance a corruption investigation of Republican Rep. Rick Renzi, people close to the case said.
The delays, which postponed key approvals in the case until after the election, raise new questions about whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales or other officials may have weighed political issues in some investigations. The Arizona U.S. attorney then overseeing the case, Paul Charlton, was told he was being fired in December, one of eight federal prosecutors dismissed in the past year. The dismissals have triggered a wave of criticism and calls from Congress for Mr. Gonzales to resign.
Recap: A corrupt Republican Congressman got a US Attorney fired because he dared to go after Republicans instead of being politically correct. This firing was part of a wave of unprecedented firings that have yet to be investigated fully.
Ready? Okay now.
Rick Renzi Indicted Talking Points Memo 2/22/08 which starts off quoting the AP:
Republican Rep. Rick Renzi has been indicted for extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other charges related to a land deal in Arizona.
A 26-page federal indictment unsealed in Arizona accuses Renzi and two former business partners of conspiring to promote the sale of land that buyers could swap for property owned by the federal government. The sale netted one of Renzi's former partners $4.5 million.
But the story keeps getting better and better:
Update: The charges boil down to this, basically. Renzi (who's already said he won't seek re-election) is charged with doing everything he can as a congressman to strong-arm others into buying land from his buddy James Sandlin -- Sandlin then allegedly kicked back sizable chunks of cash back to Renzi in a series of complicated financial transactions (thus the money laundering charge). The main details of these charges were reported by the Arizona papers and The Wall Street Journal last year.
Update: Yikes. In a completely separate matter, the indictment charges Renzi with a conspiracy to "embezzle and misappropriate client premiums [from his insurance company] to fund his congressional campaign."
Update: It's worth recalling that the Renzi case played a small role in the U.S.Update: attorneys' firings scandal. One of the fired U.S. attorneys was Arizona's Paul Charlton. The investigation dates way back to June of 2005, but it did not surface publicly under shortly before the 2006 midterm elections. Renzi's people, obviously, weren't happy, and an aide to Renzi put in a call to Charlton (who in turn reported the contact to the Justice Department leadership).
And the Wall Street Journal later reported that investigators and prosecutors in Arizona had been frustrated with senior Justice Department officials' general reluctance to pursue the investigation. The thrust of the piece was that the investigation had been slow-rolled in the run-up to the election.
Update: Renzi is, at least for the time being, a co-chair of John McCain's Arizona Leadership Team (he's one of 24 co-chairs). One imagines he won't be such a public advocate for McCain this election.
TPM uncurls the story of Renzi and Carlton, as much as it could be at the time.
Hmmm... doesn't have anything to do with sex (that we know about), but certainly a juicy story about a violation of public trust. He played politics with the justice system, which came back to bite him in the ass. The guy's a Heartland Pervert even if he doesn't troll for anonymous gay sex in airport bathrooms and then tries to prevent others from having the same fun he does.
A 92 percent rating from the Christian Coalition; that and $20 might let you blow a cop
Okay, back to Republicans misbehaving. Hey, let's have another conservative offering to have oral sex with a male... and picking the wrong target.
Fla. State Representative Accused Of Soliciting Sex In Men's Room Police: Allen Offered To Perform Act For $20 WKKMG-TV, Orlando FL 7/11/07:
TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- Florida state Rep. Robert "Bob" Allen, R-Merritt Island, was arrested Wednesday and charged with soliciting an undercover male officer for sex at a park in Central Florida, according to police.
Investigators said Allen was acting suspicious and went in and out of the men's restroom at Veteran's Memorial Park, located on East Broad Street.
Minutes later, authorities said, Allen solicited the male officer inside the restroom, offering to perform oral sex for $20. Allen was then arrested.
Wednesday night, an attorney for Allen urged the public to remember the lawmaker's years of public service.
"The only comment we have to make is everyone is innocent until proven guilty,"the attorney, who did not identify himself, said as he and Allen exited the Brevard County jail in Sharpes....
Allen insists he's innocent, will not quit Orlando Sentinel 7/`3/07:
TITUSVILLE -- State Rep. Bob Allen emphatically declared his innocence Thursday of charges that he offered to perform a sex act on an undercover police officer. "I am vigorously going to fight this," said Allen, R-Merritt Island. "I am not resigning my office."
In a sometimes-emotional statement delivered at a news conference, Allen added, "This is an ugly and unpleasant situation that has been thrust upon me and my family."
The seven-year legislator, a Florida co-chairman of U.S. Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, urged his constituents not to jump to conclusions about the Wednesday afternoon arrest. However, he did not directly address what happened.
Allen was arrested outside the men's restroom at a Titusville park after offering to perform a sex act on a plainclothes police officer, authorities said. He was later released after posting $500 bail.
Titusville Officer Danny Kavanaugh, who was staking out a nearby condo hoping to catch a burglar, said Allen approached him in the men's bathroom at Veterans Memorial Park about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
In an arrest affidavit, Kavanaugh said he had washed his hands and, finding the sink's paper-towel dispenser empty, had walked into a stall for the disabled to dry his hands. Allen first peeked over the door and then stepped inside, he said.
Allen proposed the two go across a nearby bridge because "it's quiet over there" and he would perform a sex act on the officer for $20, the affidavit said. They walked to Allen's car, where the officer identified himself and arrested Allen. ..
He also sponsored legislation that toughened penalties for lewd or lascivious conduct and created a new provision that allows some sexual predators to receive life prison sentences for their offenses. Allen had dubbed the bill the "Sexual Predator Elimination Act." [emphasis mine]
Before his 2006 re-election, Allen had received a 92 percent rating from the Christian Coalition of Florida.
The story made News of the Weird 8/26/07 under an "Ironies" subhead, but the mainstream media was onto other things.
Vikings vs. Chicago
A Monday game. Will Favre do something else dumb and lose, or will he do something else dumb and win anyway so we'll all just pat him on the back? Or will Childress assert himself and pull Brett for a much needed rest and reality check?
Baron Dave Romm is a conceptual artist and a noble of Ladonia who produces Shockwave Radio Theater, writes in a Live Journal demi-blog maintains a Facebook Page, plays with a very weird CD collection and an ever growing list of political links. Dave Romm reviews things at random for obscure web sites. You can read all his music recommendations from Bartcop-E. Podcasts of Shockwave Radio Theater. Permanent archive. More radio programs, interviews and science fiction humor plays can be accessed on the Shockwave Radio audio page.
Thanks to everyone who has sent me music to play on the air.
Karen Armstrong: The season has meaning for all, celebrators and skeptics alike (latimes.com)
If we study the Christmas story carefully, we are left with the disturbing sense that the world's future lies with the very people cast to its margins.
Judy Lightfoot: A sense of sin: a gift at Christmas? (crosscut.com)
"Comparative virtue" can get in the way of holiday generosity, or even true self-reflection. The answer to "which one of you did it?" may be staring you right in the face.
Rob Jenkins: 'A Great Man, Dumbledore' (chronicle.com)
Anticipating the release of the sixth Harry Potter movie this summer, I spent much of the spring rereading all seven volumes of the popular series. (Mixed in with the usual Proust and Kierkegaard, of course.)
PAUL CONSTANT: Moving On Up (thestranger.com)
Elliott Bay Is Hauling 56 Tons of Books up a Hill and into the Future.
"The Venus Fixers: The Remarkable Story of the Allied Soldiers Who Saved Italy's Art During World War II" by Ilaria Dagnini Brey: A review by Benjamin Moser
I've developed some strategies for making my way through the paper forest that grows more lush with each visit to the post office, a profusion of books, galleys, and manuscripts that I instinctually divide into those that, for reasons of personal or professional piety, I feel I must look at; and those that I immediately, unhesitatingly want to look at, usually because they speak to one or another of pet interests.
Benjamin Ivry: No Panthéon for Camus (newstatesman.com)
French president Sarkozy's attempt to honour Albert Camus has backfired.
Roger Ebert: CRAZY HEART (R; 4 stars)
Some actors are blessed. Jeff Bridges is one of them.
Roger Ebert: "Jeff Bridges: 'I know myself pretty well'"
After a career as a leading actor that began with "The Last Picture Show" in 1971 and has included four Academy Award nominations, Jeff Bridges seems poised to be nominated again for his pitch-perfect performance as Bad Blake, a broken-down country singer in "Crazy Heart." His performance has been singled out in the best actor category of many film critics' year-end awards.
ROSS DOUTHAT: Heaven and Nature (nytimes.com)
The film "Avatar" is the director's long apologia for pantheism, Hollywood's religion of choice for a generation now.
Nosheen Iqbal: Comedian Dylan Moran: 'What am I looking forward to? Incontinence and memory loss' (guardian.co.uk)
Britain's favourite miserabilist comedian sounds off about getting old, religious unbelief and explains how he became a curmudgeonly grump.
Mark Hyman, MD: "The Diabesity Epidemic Part III: Treating The REAL Causes Instead Of The Symptoms" (huffingtonpost.com)
What's Your Reaction:
There is one driving factor that contributes, above all else, to the epidemic of diabesity and other chronic illnesses we see today. By addressing this one problem you may reverse many of your health problems, even if you don't do anything else.
GRETCHEN REYNOLDS: Phys Ed: Can Touching Your Toes Test Your Arteries? (nytimes.com)
For years, cardiologists were aware that heart attacks are more common during the winter months than in any other season.
Hubert's Poetry Corner
The Texan and The Great Quedlinburg Art Theft
Karma comes to a small Texas town?
The Weekly Poll
The 'Reform or Expansion' Edition...
I'm soooooo confused!
President Obama says, "We are on the cusp of making health care reform a reality,"
Others say it is merely an expansion of health care insurance opportunities with little reform of the present system. Meanwhile, insurance stocks rocket skyward on the NYSE... Help me out here, would ya? What do you think?
Here, by the way, is a totally negative opinion of the whole shebang by a progressive, not a Rethug.
10 Reasons to Kill the Senate Bill | CommonDreams.org
Send your response to
From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'
from that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
There wasn't a Christmas miracle, but I am very grateful to the readers who have helped out.
Christmas Eve the motherboard fried, so I'm even more screwed than initially thought.
The back-up computer pooped out last month, and because of shaky finances, I let it slide. Luckily, the tech was able to get it running yesterday, so we're kinda, sorta back in business, but missing a lot of elements.
Please help save the e-page - time is running out!!
Buy Back Land
Native American tribes tired of waiting for the U.S. government to honor centuries-old treaties are buying back land where their ancestors lived and putting it in federal trust.
Tribes put more than 840,000 acres - or roughly the equivalent of the state of Rhode Island - into trust from 1998 to 2007, according to information The Associated Press obtained from the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs under the Freedom of Information Act.
Those buying back land include the Winnebago, who have put more than 700 acres in eastern Nebraska in federal trust in the past five years, and the Pawnee, who have 1,600 acres of trust land in Oklahoma. Land held in federal trust is exempt from local and state laws and taxes, but subject to most federal laws.
Three tribes have bought land around Bear Butte in South Dakota's Black Hills to keep it from developers eager to cater to the bikers who roar into Sturgis every year for a raucous road rally. About 17 tribes from the Dakotas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana and Oklahoma still use the mountain for religious ceremonies.
Weekend Box Office
It was a memorable and merry Christmas in Hollywood as moviegoers shattered box-office records, responding in droves to a diverse array of high-profile releases over the holiday weekend.
The estimated $278 million in weekend box-office revenue broke the previous record of roughly $253 million set in July 2008, the weekend "The Dark Knight" was released.
A diverse group of films drew throngs to the multiplexes: James Cameron's "Avatar" pushed strongly into its second week while "Sherlock Holmes," "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" and "It's Complicated" all opened.
"Avatar," the 3-D epic, topped them all, earning $75 million for 20th Century Fox, according to studio estimates Sunday. Remarkably, that was only a 3 percent drop from its opening weekend total of $77.4 million. (Blockbusters typically drop 30-50 percent in the second weekend.) In its 10 days of release, "Avatar" has made $212 million domestically - and could be on its way to a worldwide gross of over $1 billion.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Final figures will be released Monday.
1. "Avatar," $75 million.
2. "Sherlock Holmes," $65.4 million.
3. "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," $50.2 million.
4. "It's Complicated," $22.1 million.
5. "Up in the Air," $11.8 million.
6. "The Blind Side," $11.7 million.
7. "The Princess and the Frog," $8.7 million.
8. "Nine," $5.5 million.
9. "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" $5 million.
10. "Invictus," $4.4 million.
Vic Chesnutt, the folk-rocker whose sometimes dark reflections on life were influenced in part by a car wreck that left him paralyzed, has died. He was 45.
Family friend Christina Stuckey, who answered the phone at Chesnutt's home, confirmed the death to The Associated Press. Chesnutt's record label, Constellation Records, said in a statement on its Web site that Chesnutt died on Christmas Day, Friday.
Chesnutt worked with such notable artists as R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe and guitarist Guy Picciotto of the punk band Fugazi.
He recently had toured with his Vic Chesnutt band, a "supergroup" of sorts featuring members of Canadian bands Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra, as well as Picciotto.
However, Chesnutt had recently struggled with a lawsuit filed by a Georgia hospital after he racked up surgery bills totaling some $70,000, the Athens newspaper reported. He said he couldn't afford more than hospitalization insurance and couldn't keep up with the payments.
The problems baffled his Canadian bandmates, Chesnutt said.
"There's nowhere else in the world that I'd be facing the situation I'm in right now. They cannot understand what kind of society would inflict that on their population," he said. "It's terrifying."