Hitch was the catalyst that freed my mind. This video is from the 2011 Texas Free Thought Convention and is one of Hitch’s last public orations.
As Dawkins notes, the debate style that made Christopher such a grand orator has become known as the “Hitchslap”:
Hitchslap: The process of utterly obliterating an opponent’s entire (usually religious or political) argument, usually in one or more succinct or terse statements, orally or in writing.
The Houston Press just came out with their much more PC version of this blog post title, “Turkey of the Year.” Unfortunately, I didn’t think that Turkey of the Year properly conveyed the disgusting behavior of this Houston Independent School District Board member, Manuel Rodriguez Jr. So, instead of calling him a turkey, I’m going to refer to what he really is: an absolute douche.
So, here’s what the Houston Press has to say about this guy:
And then there was HISD’s Manuel Rodriguez Jr. Never one of the most inspiring members of the school board, Rodriguez apparently sensed his re-election bid was in trouble.
Highlighted in that list about Fonseca: “Program manager of minority male initiative at HCC. His records show he spent years advocating for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender rights…not kids.”
Thinking that might be too subtle for his constituents, Rodriguez added that Fonseca was endorsed by the Houston GLBT Caucus.
Still afraid the message had not gotten through, the list ended with these two bullet points:
• 54 years old man with no children
• Male partner
We can only surmise there wasn’t room to include
• LIKES STEPHEN SONDHEIM MUSICALS
• PROBABLY WATCHES PROJECT RUNWAY
• HAS SEX WITH DUDES
• IS GAY, GAY, GAY, GAY, GAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After (very barely) winning re-election, Rodriguez apologized. And he apparently had read Larry Taylor’s Apologizing for Dummies in the interim.
He said, “I am aware that some people have said they were offended by one of my ads, and I apologize to all of those people.”
Oh, Manuel: Some? You couldn’t even bring yourself up to a Larry Taylor “many”?
Thus far, Manuel Rodriguez has gotten away scott-free. Yup. He won his re-election by 25 votes and basically doesn’t give a crap that his disgusting behavior has inspired protests…
and public outcry…
And still he still doesn’t give a crap. Well, the time has come to stand up to this bully and I’m not the only one who thinks that:
Screencap of hisdbully.org
Thus far, 2,579 agree: The bully needs to go!
Please join with these folks and sign the petition demanding that Manuel Rodriguez Jr. be REMOVED from the HISD School Board!
A radio interview with arch right-wing anti-trans Republican financial backer Steven Hotze’s brother, Dr. Heir Stephan Hotze:
Steven Hotze is a hatemonger.
For nearly twenty five years he has stoked the flames of bigotry in this community like no other local politico. In the mid-1980’s he masterminded the repeal of the City of Houston non-discrimination ordinance which had been enacted by Mayor Kathy Whitmire and the Houston City Council. The following year, he fielded a group of right wing zealots to run for City Council on the “Straight Slate.” Their platform consisted of unadulterated gay-baiting epitomized by the reply of their mayoral candidate to a question of what could be done about the AIDS epidemic: “Shoot the queers.” Hotze would not repudiate that response, nor the mayoral candidate who uttered it. Fortunately, they all lost.
Hotze continues vehemently to espouse his brand of extreme intolerance. For example, he regularly insists that the death penalty is fitting for homosexual conduct. And in 2008, he insisted, without one iota of evidence, that gays and lesbians were devoted to “recruiting sexually confused adolescents into their lifestyle.”
Hotze’s bigotry and extremism are not confined to homophobia. His anti-women beliefs are evidenced by his strident insistence that “a wife may work outside the home only with her husband’s consent.” And in 2008, he was reportedly behind the financing of a blatantly racist piece of campaign literature which depicted Barack Obama, Harold Dutton, Congressmember Sheila Jackson-Lee, and the Anglo Democratic candidate state legislature in House District 144, and an ominous line of black crows on a dead tree, with the caption “birds of a feather flock together.
Chair, Harris County Democratic Party
November 17, 2009
I find the response that I’ve had to this is really interesting.
After folks like pop-psychologist (trained in criminal psychology and practices a Chris Angel-like therapy called “Street Therapy”) Dr. Keith Ablow was given an extraordinary platform via Fox News and tell parents that their children could catch transsexualism from watching Chaz Bono on dancing with the stars, I did a quick search to see what other organizations were saying about trans folk. So, I thought it would be fun to stay up late one night and put this together.
In some ways I thought that folks would view this as being something like Firesign Theater. While some did get what this was about – even though it took some time listening for folks to get it – there were many who didn’t see this for what it is.
So yes, this is satire. I’m not ex-trans and I’m not a right-winger who thinks that the trans community is actually linked to Red China. Yes, there are real radio chips in Chinese-made underwear; yes, the sperm count of American men is dropping; yes, countries closest to China are overrun by trans folk (Thailand); yes, electromagnetic waves interfere with brain function; yes, Chaz Bono will be on Dancing With The Stars and the KJB notes that one of the devil’s names is the Morning Star; and yes, there is a real Korean trans girl band called Lady. In case you’re wondering, most of the radio ads are real (I’ll let you guess which ones are fake) and with the exception of the show my friend and I did, the rest is actual right-wing drivel.
Thirty-one years ago today, Judge Phyllis Frye – the first openly trans judge in Texas – was able to get the Houston crossdressing ordinance overturned:
– Click to for detail –
Thank you Phyllis for everything you’ve done… from pioneering the field of transgender law through ICLEPT to making it safer for trans folk to leave their homes!
While Perry and his 3 ring circus of anti-queer hate is gearing up to congratulate each other for passing the buck to Yahweh Elohim in what he’s calling “The Response”, the GLBT community in Houston came together to remember those we have lost to hate and to dedicate a small garden as a lasting place of reflection. This effort was sparked to life as a reaction to a recent murder that took place in Houston. A young gay man named Aaron Scheerhoorn had been stabbed as was running from his attacker. Upon seeing a nightclub, he ran to the club’s entrance seeking help. The doorman turned him away… whereupon Aaron’s attacker pushed him down and in front of dozens of onlookers, commenced to stabbing Aaron over and over again… the onlookers did absolutely nothing to stop the attack and allowed the murderer to escape without hindrance.
This place of remembrance is significant to me because 1/3 of those remembered that night were transgender. I’ve known more than one trans person who fell victim to hated. It helps me knowing that others will at least remember their names. I hope is place of remembrance might inspire others to consider the price the innocent pays for our culture’s need to cling to hate.
I will be forever grateful to the organizers of this event. I knew some of these victims… It was so incredibly moving to hear folks explicitly acknowledge their suffering. While Garnet Coleman was speaking, I was moved to tears.
On top of Myra, I also knew Kendrick “Cinnamon” Perry. She had come to our organization seeking shelter because no emergency homeless shelter would take a transwoman. Unfortunately, our economy had taken a hit after 9/11 and the program we had to house these folks had to close due to lack of funding. The night the Board was meeting at the GLBT Center to officially end this housing program, grabbed my hand and Cinnamon asked me for shelter… and I had to tell her that we were unable to take her because the program had closed it’s doors. It was just 2 weeks later that, while walking down Lovett Blvd, someone drove by and shot her in the head.
She would have lived had she been able to have access to shelter. Had a foundation been willing to fund a transgender shelter program at the time or if their had been more support, the shelter would have been open for her. I remember that during the days, we would be down at the shelter and on the weekends, we were in the bars collecting change to keep the program going. For years I blamed myself. Her murder affected me in a way that felt just like a punch to the solar plexus. I felt utterly defeated when her life was cut short.
While I certainly know that hate – from the murder itself to the bigotry that wouldn’t allow her access to a shelter – was to blame for her death, it certainly haunts me to this day still.
This was the first ceremony I’ve attended in which she was publicly remembered. It was profoundly moving to me. Thank you… to each and every one of the organizers of this event… Thank you.
The Christian right-wing has sunk to a new low. I’ve noted before that these groups aren’t above lying or pimping child rape victims in their never-ending quest to line their pockets. At one time, I thought that Ruth Jacobs was the lowest in a cesspool of nutty BS, but Eugene Delgaudio has surpassed Jacobs in the race to the moral bottom.
Meet Eugene Delgaudio. One can get a taste for the precise nature of Delgaudio’s hubris by merely noting the pretentious name he gave his organization: Public Advocate of the United States. Yes, Delgaudio is actually pompous enough to crown himself the public advocate of the entire United States of America and, with a straight face, ask you for money.
Delgaudio regularly sends me emails begging for cash. One of his most resent e-begs caught my eye:
Delgaudio used the above video in an effort to support the lame notion that homosexuals are invading and taking over public schools. His e-beg focuses the fear his propaganda generates right into his slimy pocketbook. While this alone is repugnant, I’ve not yet exposed just how low this guy is willing to go to get you to put your hard-earned cash into his hand.
The video Delgaudio used seemed a little fishy to me:
Since I wasn’t aware that the federal government had begun endorsing faith-based curriculum in public schools, it seemed a bit dubious to me that the above “Quaker Friends School” was, as Delgaudio insinuated, a public school. So, I did a little fact-checking:
After calling the school’s administration I discovered that the Friends School is not, in fact, a public school. It is, in fact, a private faith-based school. Can you imagine my shock when I discovered the pious Delgaudio had apparently misrepresented the truth in an effort to get you to put your cash into his pocket?
I then I emailed the school to let them know that an apparent snake-oil salesman was using their faith community to line his own pocketbook. Here’s their response:
Now the plot thickens. Not only did Delgaudio misrepresent the truth when he used the copyrighted content in an effort to line his own pockets, it appears that the video was being used in violation of US copyright laws. So… I contact the copyright holder and this was their response:
My ears perked up when I read the statement that the right wing had unlawfully used their film in propaganda before. I thought to myself, “Self, could it be that the right wing commonly uses this GroundSpark documentary to scare people out of their cash?” and found myself answering, “Does the Pope wear Pradas under his mystical muumuu?”
A quick look at the video stats revealed that hate groups do, in fact, seem to like using this video. After taking some aspirin to deal with the headache I gave myself from repeated facepalms, I decided to turn my attention to the YouTube channel that’s enabling hate groups to line their pockets through fearmongering:
After taking another aspirin, I decided to dig a bit deeper. Meet the owner of this YouTube Chanel, one Mr. Wenceslao Gonzalez:
If Delgaudio is the dealer, Mr. Gonzalez is the pusher. It is Mr. Gonzalez who pushed the propaganda which Delgaudio eagerly used in his crusade to scare you out of your cash.
Now comes the ironic twist to this story of greed, lies and law breaking… It turns out that Mr. Gonzalez was investigated by child services for child abuse:
Apparently Mr. Gonzalez attempted to obtain a lawyer to defend him from CPS, but the lawyer declined:
I called Delgaudio to inform him of his connection to an alleged child abuser, but sadly, Delgaudio didn’t return my call. I guess he’s too busy raking in the bucks. Meanwhile, it seems that GroundSpark DMCA’d Mr. Gonzalez and the video in question has been forcibly taken down by YouTube: