Ryan Sorba could totally take you on

Openly gay blogger columnist Alex Knepper versus Ryan Sorba, the jackass who got himself booed off the stage at CPAC for a weirdly axiomatic anti-gay triad.

If the report is accurate, Sorba contained himself all of two minutes before resorting to physical threats.

Also in CPAC News: Does Michelle Bachmann actually read World Net Daily? Or did she just pick a random right-wing publication name she’d heard thrown around a couple of times and wish liberals would read it? I’m not sure which is the scarier prospect: 

Prospect A: A United States Congresswoman reads and approves of a site that offers a $15,000 reward to anyone who can prove Obama’s place of birth, that employs a columnist who argues in favor of Uganda’s murderous Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and that publishes claims that the Girl Scouts recruits for lesbianism.

Prospect B: A United States Congresswoman is so ill-informed about American discourse she doesn’t realize she just recommended a site that offers a $15,000 reward to anyone who can prove Obama’s place of birth, that employs a columnist who argues in favor of Uganda’s murderous Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and that publishes claims that the Girl Scouts recruits for lesbianism.


Heterosexism and the No True Scotsman Fallacy at CPAC


Via TPM.

At least they booed him down

Via TPM:

During a CPAC segment to recognize student conservative activists from across the country, one particular conservative, Ryan Sorba of the California Young Americans for Freedom, denounced CPAC for allowing the gay conservative group GOProud to co-sponsor the event and host a booth. After finishing his short speech against homosexuality as being contrary to the concept of natural rights — amidst booing from the crowd — he walked off the stage.

“Just to change the subject for just a second, I’d like to condemn CPAC for bringing GOPride (sic) to this event,” said Sorba. The young activist crowd erupted into booing, but Sorbs continued. “Bring it. Bring it. I love it. I love it. I love it.

“Guess what? Guess what? All right, guess what? Civil rights are grounded in natural rights,” said Sorba. “Natural rights are grounded in human nature. Human nature is a rational substance in relationship. The intelligible end of the reproductive act is reproduction. Do you understand that? Civil rights, when they conflict with natural rights, are contrary — hey, you sit down. The lesbians at Smith College protest better than you do. The lesbians at Smith College protest than you do. All right? Bring it.”

Fundamentally flawed a priori reasoning and self-righteous machismo FTL!

That man probably believes he is Socrates and Jesus rolled into one, and twice as persecuted. I can see him going back to his hotel room and muttering about how right and how unappreciated he is into a dog-eared copy of The Fountainhead.

Also: CPAC is allowing the John Fucking Birch Society to co-sponsor. (Photographic evidence.) You know, the one that formed in the ’60’s to purge the Republican party of blacks, Mormons, evolutionists and Jews?  The one that accused Eisenhower of being a Communist agent? The one who was last in the spotlight in the 1970’s for slandering police officers? The one now devoted to initiatives to dissolve The Fed and withdraw the US from the UN? Goddamn. William F. Buckley was William F. Buckley, but you have to give him credit for purging these kooks from mainstream politics forty years ago. Now, barely two years after his death, they’re welcomed back in.

I guess Buckely’s wasn’t a legacy modern conservatives see worthy of conserving. It’s more important to them to rally one more pyramid of teabagging cheerleaders than to honor one of their movement’s intellecutal consciences.

Oy Vey…

Via nymag.com

A featured speaker in CPAC’s “Saving Freedom for Future Generations” panel this morning (we are subjecting ourselves to all of this for you, readers) was Jason Mattera, the spokesman for Young America’s Foundation, a conservative group whose mission is to inspire America’s youth with the principles of conservatism. How did he go about doing that today? By obnoxiously deriding college courses on feminism. Did you know, for example, that the University of Michigan offers a class on Native American feminism? HA HA HA. You would have to be downright intellectually curious to give a shit about that. Mattera ended this segment of his speech with a joke that used Barney Frank’s gayness as punchline. Great job, Republicans — if it were 1950, you’d have made a lot of new converts today.

Read more: GOP Tries to Win Over Young Voters by Mocking Feminism, Gays — Daily Intel http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/02/gop_tries_to_win_over_young_vo.html#ixzz0g0PuhZcy

The sickness of American political discourse

Within a few hours of his death, suicide bomber Joe Stack has 442 fans on Facebook.

(As of 12:32 AM 2/19/2010.)

Update: As of 7:35 AM 2/19/2010, Stack has 580 fans.

Update: As of 9:46 AM 2/19/2010, Stack has 656 fans.

Update: As of 2:17 PM 2/19/2010, Stack has 871 fans.

Update: As of 7:18 PM 2/19/2010, Stack has 1,175 fans.

Most of the people in the group claim to disavow Stack’s terrorist actions. This is incoherent. The “philosophy of Joseph Stack” that they have become fans of terminates at the logical conclusion “[V]iolence not only is the answer, it is the only answer.” Many people believe there are dysfunctions in our political system. Many people resent paying taxes. Many people believe our collected tax dollars don’t help those who most need it. None of these ideas originate with Stack. His only unique contribution is the prescription “Violence is the only answer” to improving the system.

Private plane crashes into Austin, TX IRS building; two unaccounted for

Via the NY Times:

A software engineer furious with the Internal Revenue Service plowed his small plane into an office building housing nearly 200 federal tax employees on Thursday, officials said, setting off a raging fire that sent workers fleeing as thick plumes of black smoke poured into the air.

A U.S. law official identified the pilot as Joseph Stack — whose home was set on fire just before the crash — and said investigators were looking at an anti-government message on the Web linked to him. The Web site outlines problems with the IRS and says violence ”is the only answer.”

Federal law enforcement officials have said they were investigating whether the pilot, who is presumed to have died in the crash, slammed into the Austin building on purpose in an effort to blow up IRS offices. All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

”Violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer,” the long note on Stack’s Web site reads, citing past problems with the tax-collecting agency.

”I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well,” the note, dated Thursday, reads.

At least one person who worked in the building was unaccounted for and two people were hospitalized, said Austin Fire Department Division Chief Dawn Clopton. She did not have any information about the pilot. About 190 IRS employees work in the building, and IRS spokesman Richard C. Sanford the agency was trying to account for all of its workers. After the plane crashed into the building, flames shot out, windows exploded and workers scrambled to safety. Thick smoke billowed out of the second and third stories hours later as fire crews battled the blaze.

Stack is dead. Some reports say he had a passenger, also killed.

Because of his choice of targets and the strong anti-tax sentiment, some will probably try to tie Stack to the Tea Party movement.  This seems unlikely. Stack’s political convictions seem only to align with the populists’ on a blanket opposition to taxation. The terrorist’s rambling suicide note makes no reference to Pres. Obama, but does condemn George W. Bush. Unlike the libertarian and self-styled Constitutional originalist Tea Partiers, Stack’s antimosity is aimed equally at The State and capitalism, describing the “ideology” of American society “a total and complete lie,” and ending the screed thusly:

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

GM specifically and “corporate greed” more broadly are also condemned.

Stack was disgruntled with the American healthcare system, and was apparently for the Obama’s reform program; he hated the government, but wasn’t afraid of death panels.

  [T]he joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies.  Yet the political “representatives” (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the “terrible health care problem”.  It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.

Also, contra the populist movement’s theocratic conviction in a divine mandate for the American state, Stack rails against the Catholic Church and “the monsters of organized religion to make such a mockery of people who earn an honest living.”

MKE’s Archbishop Listecki defends his handling of sex abuse

 Via the Marquette Tribune:

Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki appeared before a standing-room-only crowd at Sensenbrenner Hall Tuesday, addressing the church’s handling of sexual abuse among priests during an “On the Issues” interview with Mike Gousha, distinguished fellow in law and public policy.

Recently, Listecki has come under fire after the arrest of Father Edmund Donkor-Baine, a priest from Guyana who visited LaCrosse when Listecki was bishop there. Donkor-Baine is charged with fourth-degree sexual assault for allegedly trying to indecently touch a woman he was counseling through a divorce. The priest is also accused of trying to force her to touch him.

Reportedly, the woman informed the Diocese of LaCrosse, which took no action. She then turned to the police. Listecki told reporters after Gousha’s interview that he had to side with Donkor-Baine because of a lack of evidence, and that his decision was justified. Listecki told Gousha the LaCrosse diocese was “extremely proactive” and ethical in the way it operated on the issue of sexual abuse. He said any allegations were a first priority and that he relied on the expertise of diocese board members to make decisions regarding sexual abuse.

Listecki testified before the state Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 12 in opposition to legislation that proposed a temporary removal of the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases.

I regret I can’t think of a less apoplectic way to phrase this: How can Listecki possibly justify opposing removing the stature of limitations on child rape?

A Jan. 22 letter from Eau Claire Police Chief Jerry Matysik to state Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Waunakee) accused Listecki of being intentionally misleading at the hearing. Listecki refuted the accusation, saying the diocese immediately reported cases of sexual abuse to authorities in every case. Listecki also responded to claims made by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests that he has the “nation’s worst record” on dealing with child sex abuse.

A November 2009 SNAP press release stated the LaCrosse Diocese has left 64 percent of priests accused of sexual abuse in ministry, as opposed to the national average of under 10 percent. Listecki said those numbers don’t only reflect the time when he was bishop of LaCrosse, but include the prior time period. Listecki became bishop in March 2005, succeeding Raymond Burke, who left to become archbishop of St. Louis.

 Listecki also said he has no intention of talking with SNAP members, who have repeatedly requested a meeting.

“I don’t believe in politicizing the issue,” Listecki said. “Groups sometimes have other agendas in mind. I am always openly willing to meet with a victim, but SNAP, no.”

The reporter might not have had a chance to address Listecki directly, but the obvious follow-up question to this statement would be, “How, exactly, does SNAP politicize the issue?”

Readers will recall one of Listecki’s recent predecessors Rembert Weakland regularly shredded internal reports on sex abuse in the diocese.