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Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Sept. 16, 2002

2020.09.23 15:31 daprice82 Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Sept. 16, 2002

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUSLY:
1-7-2002 1-14-2002 1-21-2002 1-28-2002
2-4-2002 2-11-2002 2-18-2002 2-25-2002
3-4-2002 3-11-2002 3-18-2002 3-25-2002
4-1-2002 4-8-2002 4-15-2002 4-22-2002
4-29-2002 5-6-2002 5-13-2002 5-20-2002
5-27-2002 6-3-2002 6-10-2002 6-17-2002
6-24-2002 7-1-2002 7-8-2002 7-15-2002
7-22-2002 7-29-2002 8-5-2002 8-12-2002
8-26-2002 9-2-2002 9-9-2002

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Sticking with the morning Wednesday posting schedule for now due to real-life job obligations. We'll see how it continues to go. Just gotta make it through 2002 somehow. And one final note, RIP to Road Warrior Animal. When I was a kid growing up on wrestling in the early 90s, Ultimate Warrior and Animal were my 2 favorites because I loved their face paint designs. I used to buy the paint kits from WWF Magazine so I could paint my face like them. Hawk's design was always simple and boring but Animal, with the spider in the middle of his head and all that, was the coolest to me.

  • Our top story this week is none other than Hot Lesbian Action! Dave says it was one of those moments where you'd want to bury your head in a hole if anyone was in the room watching the show with you. Coming off several bad weeks in a row and ratings bottoming out, plus the beginning of Monday Night Football, WWE decided to bring out the big guns and go back to what made them money in the past: controversy and sleaze. The entire show was built around the promise that viewers would see lesbians getting it on in the ring and everything else, the wrestling, the storylines...it was all secondary. Jerry Lawler "was the most annoying he's ever been" on this episode. It came off as a crass and desperate ratings grab and make no mistake: the TV stations that carry Raw were embarrassed by it too. TNN put out a statement saying, "TNN takes serious issue with the content of Monday night's WWE Raw episode, and has expressed its deep concern to the WWE. We don't condone the content of this episode, and will work diligently to ensure that similar occurrences do not appear again on our network." In Canada, TSN edited some of the segment out of the show and many stations in Europe did as well. 2 days prior to the show, someone from WWE (Dave thinks it was Bruce Prichard) reached out to UPW and brought in 2 of their valets, Looney Lane and Savvy, to portray the lesbians. Bischoff directed traffic as the two women got down to their underwear and began kissing but then the Island Boyz came out and destroyed them. Jamal in particular nailed Lane with a stiff superkick that legitimately bruised her ribs. Dave thinks this whole angle was pointless. Even if it leads to a one-week ratings boost, the TV networks have made it clear they weren't happy, so it's not like WWE can do it again or go further with it. So...what did it accomplish? (Sorry folks, you'll need to check the Network for video of this. I can only find the Stephanie McMahon HLA segment from Unforgiven, which we'll get to in 2 weeks. This segment seems to have been scrubbed from the internet).
  • This was followed up at the Smackdown tapings with the gay wedding build-up with Billy and Chuck, which got a little mainstream publicity in the days leading up to it. They were everywhere promoting it, but WWE also made it clear ahead of time that neither Billy Gunn or Chuck Palumbo are gay and that the whole thing was a publicity stunt. Howard Stern said WWE fans wouldn't want to see it and ESPN hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon were calling it a desperate ratings grab and saying WWE would be finished after this angle. This angle hasn't aired on TV yet but Dave heard it ran really long and the Undertaker vs. Matt Hardy match afterwards got cut way short as a result. Dave knows Bischoff ended up being revealed as the minister and the Island Boyz came out again and beat everyone up, including Stephanie McMahon but that's all he knows. WWE was extremely concerned about this whole angle coming off as homophobic and confiscated a ton of signs at the doors of the arena, mostly the kind of homophobic stuff you're probably thinking (more on this next week obviously).
  • It's all but official that the recent PRIDE/K-1 event in Tokyo is going to go down as the highest grossing live sports entertainment event (wrestling or MMA) in history. The final number isn't confirmed, but the live gate surpassed the $7 million record that was set back in 1998 for Inoki's retirement match with Don Frye at the Tokyo Dome. The American record, held by Wrestlemania 18, is barely half that ($3.9 million). So yeah, pretty big hit.
  • Four days after being handed a world title, Triple H took on Brock Lesnar at Raw house shows this week in champion vs. champion matches. So much for making something like that feel special. Lesnar worked many Raw house shows this week because he was advertised for them weeks ago, back before WWE made the spur of the moment decision to move him to Smackdown exclusively. Regarding Triple H holding that title, as you can imagine, there's a good deal of talk about that backstage. Even people who aren't usually anti-Triple H are side-eyeing his relationship with Stephanie now and asking questions about just how powerful Triple H is becoming. With Rock and Austin gone for now, it's said that Triple H sees this as his time to be the top star of WWE, but Lesnar's rapid rise has clearly dwarfed Triple H in the last few months. So suddenly, Lesnar gets shipped off to Smackdown and Triple H is handed a world title with his own show to headline. Needless to say, it raised some eyebrows. Anyway, Lesnar is also working Smackdown house shows when it doesn't conflict with a Raw show and in Minnesota, they did the first ever Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle match, which is something that's been discussed as a potential Wrestlemania match down the road. Since it was Minnesota, Lesnar was a huge babyface and the match was said to be really good.
  • Wrestling book review time. First up, Bobby Heenan's autobiography "Bobby The Brain: Wrestling's Bad Boy Tells All" was written with the help of wrestling magazine writer Steve Anderson. There's not a lot of depth to the book, it's mostly a collection of amusing stories from his career. Heenan doesn't leave any shades of gray though, he makes it clear who he liked and disliked. He said his time in WCW was the 6 worst years of his life and only had good things to say about Hogan, Mike Tenay, and Ric Flair. Didn't seem like he cared for many other people in that company. He talked about how poorly run the promotion was and pointed to Goldberg's streak ending and the Fingerpoke of Doom moments as the beginning of the end of WCW. He said on the night of the fingerpoke, he and Tenay both realized the ship was sinking and said Tony Schiavone gave both of them shit for being negative and paranoid. Heenan had good things to say about Verne Gagne, making him one of the few people that does. And of course, he loved Gorilla Monsoon. He tore into Schiavone, WCW producer Craig Leathers, and Leathers' production assistant Annette Yother, who Heenan hated so much, he wouldn't even call her by her name in the book and insulted her throughout. Overall, it's entertaining, and not an embarrassment, but not a must-read or anything either.
  • There's another book on the history of St. Louis wrestling that he reviews, but it's more for historians and full of records and attendance figures and match cards from old St. Louis wrestling shows over the decades dating back to the 1800s. Dave figures this won't appeal to casual fans at all, but for historians or people (like him) who can use this sort of thing as a reference guide, it's invaluable.
  • Just for shits and giggles, when discussing top draws and drawing money, Dave does the all-time list of wrestlers who have headlined the most PPVs that did 1.0 buyrates or higher. Top 5 in case you're curious: Hulk Hogan (22), Steve Austin (20), Ric Flair (17), The Rock (17), and Triple H (9). This doesn't include Summerslam 2002, so if the final buyrate for that ends up breaking the 1.0 mark, then Rock will pass Flair on the list.
  • Zero-1 in Japan is trying to get Akira Maeda to come out of retirement to work matches with Shinya Hashimoto and Naoya Ogawa. They're also trying to get Riki Choshu involved as well. If you don't know the history, Maeda vs. Choshu would be a dream match based on their history. Back in 1987, during a match in NJPW, Maeda double-crossed Choshu for real and kicked him in the face as hard as he could, breaking Choshu's orbital bone. The incident got Maeda fired from NJPW but he used the publicity from it and revived the UWF promotion where he became their top star. Choshu and Maeda never had a match together again, although if they had, it would have done monster business. But it's been 15 years, so Dave isn't sure how big it would be today (this never happens. Maeda retired in 1995 and stayed retired).
  • Dave saw the 2 recent AJPW shows featuring Goldberg. It was fine. Goldberg had the biggest presence and star power on the show and got a great reaction. He looked great physically but didn't do much in the ring worth noting. Quick matches that got over well, but didn't set the world afire or anything.
  • Dream Stage, the parent company of PRIDE, is apparently getting involved in promoting pro wrestling as well, working with AJPW and with hopes to have more Goldberg involvement. The company purchased the rights to merchandise AJPW in the United States, which would one to think the idea is to put together an AJPW show in the U.S. with Goldberg on the card, or at the very least, sell DVDs of AJPW in the U.S. Dave thinks PRIDE has far more potential to catch on in the U.S. than AJPW does, even with Goldberg's involvement. MMA fans respect and accept PRIDE as a legitimate promotion here, but most wrestling fans don't care about anything other than WWE.
  • No real notes from NOAH's latest shows, but just wanted to mention that every time Dave recaps these shows, he comments on how good and how popular KENTA is becoming.
  • NJPW's latest tour kicked off and featured Chyna in tag matches working against men. Not just job guys either. She was in there against names like Jushin Liger and IWGP champion Yuji Nagata. After the first night, Chyna cut a promo challenging Nagata for the title. NJPW is in a tough spot here. The freak-show aspect of having Chyna wrestling men in NJPW is getting a lot of publicity and she's getting paid a lot, so they can't just job her out. But there's also a credibility issue. This isn't the big, muscular Chyna of 1997. It's the IWGP champion selling for a Playboy model. As you can imagine, all of the NJPW wrestlers hate working with her but, as Yuji Nagata once said, "Inoki bullshit, but you gotta go with it."
  • Speaking of Inoki bullshit, there's more. First of all, he talked about starting a promotion in the U.S. with Chyna as the top star and also said he's working to bring X-Pac and DDP to Japan. Dave thinks X-Pac in NJPW might not be a bad idea. But DDP is 1. retired due to injury and 2. still under WWE contract. Inoki also publicly invited several non-NJPW wrestlers to come participate in their upcoming Tokyo Dome show. In particular, he named Keiji Muto and Shinya Hashimoto. But both of them publicly turned him down, both saying they have no interest in doing anything with NJPW. Dave thinks it's a bad look when you try to do business in front of the public only to get embarrassingly turned down in public.
  • Other NJPW notes: American Dragon is debuting for the company in October. Hart family friend T.J. Wilson will be coming to NJPW later in the year, under the name Stampede Kid, doing a cowboy gimmick. Dave explains how Wilson is basically an honorary member of the Hart family and is incredibly talented.
  • With little advance notice, Ultimo Dragon made his in-ring return in his own Toryumon promotion, his first match since a botched surgery in WCW ended his career in 1998. They teased his arm being in bad shape and he sold it big when his opponent attacked it.
  • Dave had a long talk with Bret Hart this week, which is one of the few times in this newsletter I've ever seen Dave just outright say, "I talked to this person, here's what he told me." He says Hart is very positive on his outlook for recovery and is seeing major improvements over the last few weeks. He thinks within a month, you won't be able to tell by looking at him that he had a stroke. He's able to control his facial muscles better now and aside from weakness on his left side, he's starting to feel halfway normal again. He talked about the show in Montreal for Rougeau and said he did it as a favor because he had promised beforehand, but felt he wasn't ready and broke down crying in front of the crowd. He also said he doesn't think there's any connection between his stroke and the career-ending concussion he suffered from Goldberg in 1999. The issues were in different parts of the brain and doctors think they're unrelated.
  • Oprah Winfrey's show this week talked about the effect of professional wrestling on children and she and her guest (some guy who wrote a book about parents using TV as a babysitter) both agreed that wrestling teaches kids that violence is acceptable to resolve conflicts and that it degrades women.
  • Notes from Raw: William Regal joined the UnAmericans. Terri Runnels & Trish Stratus vs. Victoria & Stacy Keibler was so bad that Dave was praying for a Jackie Gayda run-in by the end. Dave thinks Victoria can be a big star, but they've done nothing to make her feel like anything special. Triple H has lost some weight and muscle mass and was moving better, but he also beat Spike Dudley with a sleeper hold, a move that hasn't been over in decades, and put the crowd to sleep faster than Spike.That being said, Dave thinks guys should have more than one finisher and it takes time to establish a move and get it over, so if this is the start of that, he's fine with it. And pretty much everything else was lesbians, lesbians, lesbians!
  • Steve Austin dropped divorce proceedings against Debra last week. Apparently they've decided to try to work it out (this clearly changes again soon. Their divorce ends up being finalized in February).
  • Random WWE notes: OVW held a big show with a bunch of now-WWE stars such as Lesnar, Orton, Cena, Rico, Victoria, and others all appearing, as well as Benoit. The OVW stars beat the WWE stars in most of the matches. Lesnar suffered a minor injury at the house show the night before, so WWE wouldn't let him wrestle, which is why they sent Benoit as a make-good. Tommy Dreamer's wedding next month is to former ECW valet Beulah McGuillicutty. Test got surgery to remove the gynaecomastia from his chest, same surgery the Rock and others have had. Speaking of surgery, Jerry Lawler had cosmetic surgery on his face as well, with work on his jawline and around his eyes. That's why he was wearing sunglasses on Raw or using binoculars when they cut to him during the HLA segment and why his face looked swollen. Dave says this isn't the first time, and as far back as 15 years ago, Lawler got surgery to get rid of the beginnings of a double-chin. Lilian Garcia signed a recording contract with Universal Records, with a single releasing next month.
  • Chris Jericho was on Bubba The Love Sponge's radio show, out of character. He said he's not interested in winning the WWE title anymore because he already accomplished all his wrestling goals, now he just wants to entertain fans and help get new stars over. He talked about how losing to Cena recently was his idea and he had to talk them into it. Hulk Hogan called in and put over how great Jericho is.
  • Nathan Jones won an appeal in the courts last week to get a work visa so he can come work in the U.S. He's been able to travel everywhere except the U.S., but an arrest from several years ago prevented him from getting a visa to work here, which is why WWE dropped his developmental contract. With that taken care of, Dave figures we'll probably see him in WWE soon.
  • Filming for Rock's next movie "Helldorado" was delayed due to the presence of an endangered species of bird called a Bell's Vireo bird. Until the bird leaves the area, they weren't allowed to film. That's hilarious.
NEXT WEDNESDAY: controversial fallout from both the HLA and Billy & Chuck angles, WWC in Puerto Rico has a disastrous weekend, details on death of a wrestler training with Dalip Singh, and more...
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2020.05.15 07:31 PRINCESSGANG "Best" friend stole my stuff, so I sought revenge

After reading through everyone's amazing stories, I figured I should share my own !!
tldr; my best friend of 15 years illegally kicks me out, steals my stuff, and then thinks he can run from judgement when i become a diy lawyer
edited for typos and apologies for the rambling. I tried to make it as coherent as possible
Background
My friend "Dan" and I have known each other since 5th grade (for clarification he's a gay guy and i'm a woman). We remained friends into adulthood as we started our lives with our respective partners. I had recently gotten married in 2012, and he got married shortly after. My husband and I then bought a house in early 2015, and Dan and his husband followed behind to also buy (rent) a house. However shortly after this I had started to address the feelings I have ignored for many years and came to the realization that I'm a lesbian and needed to leave my husband. For the record my now ex husband is a really great guy and he did not "do this to me" as people in my life have assumed. His family who I also loved moved in with us in this big house so he was not alone when I left and has always been surrounded by loved ones. He wanted me to be happy and true to myself and he's found love again so we have no hard feelings. However at this time I told Dan that I needed to move out on my own, and with them renting this multi-bedroom home that they couldn't afford, they invited me to move in to one of the rooms and agreed that I could stay a few months free til I get on my feet. I was so thankful and moved in to the room. However a few days later they came to me and asked me if I could start paying for the room right away due to Dan experiencing a medical issue and not able to currently work. I of course obliged as the terms were totally reasonable. Weeks pass without issue, and I experienced single adult (lesbian) life for the first time because I had been in that relationship since college; that kind of freedom for the first time was so unreal. Shortly after, they decide to rent out another room in their home, low and behold its to another lesbian woman close to my age, I'll call her A. We both realized we have the exact same birthday (Valentines day) and our pets have the same birthday! We instantly hit it off and became platonic lipstick lesbian partners in crime, going out to the gay bar on the weekends, looking super hot and grabbing the attention of all the cute girls in the gay community. It was soooo fun I have the best memories. (I know what you're thinking and and no we have always and only been JUST FRIENDS lol). However this is when Dan started getting jealous, and also angry that the new roommate was not only spending tons of time with me but also being unintentionally careless--such as her leaving an empty wine bottle in his bathroom (he was sober) and bringing people home from the club late at night. I will admit my wrong in that I was was involved in this once--when Dan expressed he didn't like it, I no longer participated in bringing people home. However Dan did not know that I had not gone out with her that night nor that the wine bottle didn't belong to me, so in his eyes we were both at fault for these things and didn't communicate this to me which would have allowed me to defend myself.
The set up
That's when things grew tense at the house, I continued paying rent on time every month as any reasonable person would and should (up to this point I had stayed about 3 months). Then Dan brought in another roommate which was this middle aged woman he knew from work with a teenaged daughter who were staying in the basement, and this lady was a tyrant. I will call her tyrant. He then brought in ANOTHER roommate E who was staying on the couch and who had planned to take A's room as she was set to move out soon. Fueled by the crazy lady's controlling nature, Dan wrote me a note telling me I had to move out within 5 days. I was young and didn't know my rights or laws or any of that, so I was stressed and didn't know what to do. I didn't have the means to move out all my stuff nor any place to go. A few days later I got a text from Dan saying "hey, [tyrant lady] told me she heard you and A talking and that you think I am required to give you 30 days notice to move out, but that's not true because there is no lease". This was crazy because we literally never talked about that and I hadn't even looked into my rights so no such conversation ever happened. I assumed since there was no lease I had no standing and had no choice but to get out. I had told my sister about the predicament I was in, and she told my dad who came to my rescue, showed up at the house with his trailer ready to move my stuff without me even asking. (Can we please just stan my dad for a minute for being my knight in shining armor in a situation where I was embarrassed and afraid to ask for help) Dan had gone out of town during my move out on purpose, but his husband stayed and took this opportunity while his sober husband was gone to get super drunk. He was so s***faced, but played the "nice guy" card which he always did, offered to help me move stuff out (slurring his words) and he regretted it when I took him up on his offer to bring a box outside for me. I got all the stuff out of the room that the newest roommate E was going to take, but still had a lot of stuff that I couldn't fit in my car which I put in the garage.
They had just had a garage sale a few weeks earlier, and since I sell new and vintage clothes online I had a ton of merchandise I also put up for sale at the garage sale. A few weeks after the sale, the 2 car garage was still totally full of everyone's garage sale stuff as though nothing had even sold. So in attempt to clear the room in the time they requested, I took the remaining of my personal belongings that I couldn't fit in my car (including about 1/4th of the clothing that had been hung in my closet) and put it with my garage sale stuff. I notified D's husband that I couldn't fit everything but put it in the garage and would be back soon the get the rest and he very nicely obliged and said no rush. About a day after I leave, I get text messages of pics of the carpet in the room, which show animal pee stains all over the floor. They accused my cat of making the stains and were super mad and telling me I was going to pay for this, however I explained to him that I know for a fact when they would enter my room when I would go to work, their cat would go in my room, they'd leave and close the door, and the cat would pee in there because it's trapped. I would come home and open my door and their cat would fly out and there'd be a pee puddle in my room and that's how I knew they were going in my room and that their cat did it. They did clean up one stain early on when I alerted them but I didn't bring this up later because they kind of made a big deal of cleaning it up the first time, and I didn't want to seem like I was spazzing on them and didn't want to start a bunch of conflict. There had been a situation earlier where I had just ordered breakfast to go, left it in my room for when I returned back home, and one of them went in my room, left my door opened and their dog went in and pulled my food off my dresser and ate it. I had gotten annoyed about it because I feel like personal boundaries and privacy is important that people shouldn't be going in my room all the time, and I was afraid it caused tension. So when their cat peed a second and third time in my room I simply cleaned it up as best as I could and covered it up with a rug because I didn't want to look at it. But I know for a fact my cat does not have accidents because I've had her for a few years now and she's never done that. He accused me of trying to cover it up with a rug which I flat out admitted that I did because I literally didn't want to look at it. I explained that I knew it was their cat that which they didn't want and were trying to pawn off on people (they bought and got rid of animals the way they spent money--to fill a void), and said that if I had received more than a few days notice to leave I would have been more than happy to wash the carpets. I even offered to come back the next day and bring my dad's carpet cleaner but he was not having it. It was at this time that he said I was never welcome at his home again and that our 15 year friendship was over.
Fast forward about a week and I had a day off work to come get the rest of my stuff. I start texting Dan saying Hey is anybody home can I come get my stuff, and start getting ignored and blocked on the different social media accounts. After like four days of this, I decided to just show up at the house with my girlfriend to get my stuff. We pull up and the garage is open, but I can clearly see only my stuff is nowhere to be found, and the garage is still full of their untouched stuff from the sale. The only crumb of evidence that I ever lived there was a lone pink hanger on the ground all by it's lonesome. I go to the front door, ring the door bell, and see the tyrant stick her head around the corner. I tell her I'm here for my stuff and she says "Call D", to which I reply "I have and he's ignoring me". She slams the door in my face and closes the garage and I go back to my car and call the police. Of course silly me, they use the ol "this is a civil matter" blah blah blah so of course they can't help me. At this point I come to the sad realization that my stuff is probably gone. I see D's car in the driveway with sunroof and windows open so I know he's home he's just hiding. In attempt to cheer me up and seek a bit of (foreshadowed) revenge, my girlfriend takes a half full old frappucino that was in my car (It wasn't that old it was just hot out at that time and had been sitting there maybe 9 hours from that morning) that was in my cup holder and pours it inside his sunroof and curdled whipped cream and coffee decorate the inside of his car. Remember this is just the foreshadowing.
Revenge main course
I go home defeated, with only the memories of the stuff I left behind, which included a few heirloom clothing items that my grandma had sewn when she was young and passed on to me. I was so depressed and hurt that a few months later I started doing some research. I look up local tenant laws and realize what he did was totally illegal. In Minnesota, you absolutely are required to give 30 days notice to move out to a tenant as long as the tenant has been paying rent monthly, regardless of if there was a lease or not. In addition to this, they are required to house my possessions and attempt to return them to me for something like 60-90 days after I move out before getting rid of them. It was clear to me that they were totally wrong in this situation. Never in a million years would I get rid of or touch somebody's stuff especially when you give them days to get out. In my mind I would never play around with peoples possessions regardless of what I thought they did to me.
I was angry, but the cherry on top was when I decided to use my gf's social media to check their fb pages, and low and behold I discover photos of Dan literally wearing multiple items of clothing that belonged to me! But wait... there's more!!! I check the social media pages of everyone around them and see pics of the tyrant's young daughter wearing items that belonged to me. AND THEN I check E's social media and see her wearing the shirt my little sister gave me for my birthday!! All items I could not fit in my car!!! I was absolutely livid. It was obvious they went through my stuff, took what they wanted and then got rid of the rest. He made it clear that our friendship was over, and I promised to myself that if I couldn't recover my friendship, I was at least going to recover my damages. Part of me had still held out hope my stuff would be returned but this hit it home.
I start out by researching the recovery (small claims) process and send official demand letters to return my items which they ignore. I start putting together my case including text messages, pictures, and all the information important to the case. They ignore all of my letters and eventually I get a court date. I go to court expecting them to argue me and of course they don't show -- the cards are all stacked against them. From illegally kicking me out, to my stuff being gone and proof of them wearing my stuff, it was all there and they had literally no defense. I came to court so well prepared, and valued all of my store merchandise at garage sale prices using the Goodwill valuation guide which was well below actual value. The judge saw that I was prepared and more than reasonable and awarded me my entire judgement -- around $3,000. One celebration in a long journey.
Months to a year go by without being able to contact Dan as he has blocked me on everything, and I see via social media that they have moved out of that home we were all in (prob to get away from the tyrant who even they admitted was super overbearing). Eventually I manage to trick D's husband into answering a hidden ID call where I confront him about my stuff and he declares "You'll never get us to pay!!" Oh now it was on. Before this I was debating going back and forth on what to do, but after that phone call I knew I wasn't going to let this go. All I could think about were the items of clothing my grandma had given me and all my merchandise I had invested in in order to support myself. Pursuing this would be difficult but at the same time I kept going back to my thought of "I'm not going to lose both my friend and my stuff. If the friendship is actually over than I'm definitely getting my stuff back". The next step is to seek paycheck garnishment since he's not paying. I run into a dead end when the documents required to garnish keep getting returned back to the courthouse as undeliverable. Since I had absolutely no clue where they live now, I have no way to initiate garnishment. It was the 3rd certified letter that got returned to the court that the court clerk person (not sure of her exact role) calls me and explains since all the previous letters have been returned that she doesn't want to waste my time and money in court fees by sending this next one out. I explain to her the situation and that I don't know their address and she sympathizes with me. I mention that some of the court paperwork/records generated by the county show a nearby city under their names, which I assumed is where they have moved, however I did not have their street address. We hang up and I felt as though this is the end of the line. A few minutes pass and I receive a call back from the court lady. She tells me she did some digging and was able to find their updated address *somewhere* within their system and she gives it to me!! I'm like "Joan, you sweet sweet angel!" I had read on the self-help small claims website that court clerks cannot help with any information and I believe this was probably outside of the scope of Joan's responsibility and probably not at all compliant with the rules of her position. This woman was literally the saving grace in this situation because without her I would have been stuck at this point.
Finally they receive the documents alerting them that I am initiating a request that their paychecks will be garnished soon. All of a sudden... BOOM!! THEY FILE BANKRUPTCY!!! Since the initial judgement, they continued to rack up credit card debit, bills, shopping, etc. (though in line with their usual financial spending/situation) all with the intention of filing for bankruptcy if and when I find out where they are in attempt to garnish. Of course this meant I had to do more digging and research into what this meant for my case, this time in bankruptcy court which is not as easy for the average person to navigate without the help of a lawyer the way the small claims system is. They had mistakenly believed that by filing bankruptcy they would wipe away the debt they owed me, however this applies to things such as being unable to pay your cable bill; they didn't read the small print where judgements in the case of malicious intent are not included! I found out that I was going to have to re-file the claim in bankruptcy court in order to fight this judgment but also prove that he took my stuff with malicious intent. Once again I gather my evidence and get ready to debate my claim in court. I file all the necessary paperwork without the help of a lawyer and receive a court date. Right before the first court date (hearing of creditors) a lawyer calls me on behalf of them trying to intimidate me. He tells me that what actually happened was the landlord/owner of the house showed up and decided to do some spring cleaning. She allegedly "saw some extra stuff in the garage and donated it" and was willing to testify in court, and therefore I wouldn't be able to prove malicious intent. He suggests I drop the case, and at this point I was literally shaking. My voice was quaking but I stood my ground and told him that I cannot be fooled. I have all the proof that they were wearing my stuff and the garage was still full of everything that wasn't mine, and the lawyer knew this and had a copy of my claim but still tried to bully me down. I had never seen the owner of the house the entire time i lived there, so for her to show up and start touching/moving peoples things the week I move out was not believable to me whatsoever. I refused to back down, and the meeting of the creditors arrives. I show up in my cutest Legally Blonde lawyer outfit (What, like it's hard??) and when Dan saw me walk through the doors he looked like he was going to *poop emoji* himself. This meeting was not required but I wanted to let him know I was not going to back down. Nothing really happened at the meeting, but I submitted my claim to the bankruptcy court as the next step, not knowing what I would do next but fully intending to research what to do when it gets to that point.
A week or two passes and I received another call from their lawyer, this time a much different tone. He wants to come to a settlement! He offers 1k to end this. "Ummmm I'll have to think about it" and I decline the request because I already lowballed the amount of stuff I owed and it's worth in order to maintain a reasonable case in front of the judge. Then he offers 1k up front, and $150 payments a month after that for 4 months. let him know the 1k up front all at once was not necessary in my eyes and that its not my intention to put them under undue hardship but he confirmed that was their offer so I accepted. After 4 years I finally won, and knowing they had to accept defeat on their end after promising they weren't going to pay, it was finally over. I received the payments with a sorry note included in the last payment. The money didn't bring back the important items from my grandma, but it came at a time that I was going through a really rough point in my life, experiencing depression and had to take a leave of absence from work (unrelated to this case). That literally helped me keep a roof over my head while I was hurting so it couldn't have come at a better time. I managed to do it all on my own without a lawyer and to this day I still miss our friendship so dearly. At the end of the day I think he was acting in hurt because of my new friendship and I do believe looking back that he probably thought everything in the garage was stuff I didn't care about since it was initially garage sale stuff. These situations could've all been resolved with communication which he could not give me the benefit of. We haven't communicated after that last letter he included, even though I would gladly patch things up if I had the opportunity. Maybe more justice than revenge, but I got it regardless, and i did it in a pencil skirt.
Edit to include: While I technically settled, for less, it's still a win for me. Most of the merch/clothing I got for like cents because I worked at Goodwill got a discount. I would definitely rather take the payout than have actually taken the time and effort to sell that stuff anyway, which I didn't have to do anymore. The higher end stuff I actually got full price for, while the normal everyday nothing special type stuff I valued at Goodwill pricing (still way more than I paid for the stuff). So therefore I was much happier to take the payout at less than to actually put in the hours to photograph, list, and sell the stuff online. I absolutely profited in the settlement


submitted by PRINCESSGANG to ProRevenge [link] [comments]


2020.01.02 11:30 TrumpSupportersRisis A short list of Republicans that are convicted and accused of sexual assault and pedophilia.

No surprise a sub that loves to hate pedos downvoting based on partisan beliefs , #SAD!!!
Here is a SHORT list of Republicans accused and or convicted of sex crimes /domestic crimes against children and adults.
I encourage anyone out there to do their own list on democrats
Off the top of my head I can only think of Wiener
Lets dive into it with the head honcho himself
Donald Trump is accused of sexual assault by multiple women. His wife said he raped her before she decided to describe it differently [He is accused of raping a 13-year-old girl with Jeffrey Epstein](https://radaronline.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jeffrey-epstein-lawsuit-docs-signed.pdf) and walking in on teens in the Miss Teen USA pageant. [He bragged of walking in on naked women at pageants](https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-former-miss-arizona-tasha-dixon-naked-undressed-backstage-howard-stern-a7357866.html) and of course, of grabbing women “by the pussy.” Judge Roy Moore is accused of sexual assault and dating underage women. Rep Jim Jordan is seeking to step into Speaker Ryan’s shoes even though he is accused of ignoring sexual assault of young men while a coach, dismissing it as locker room talk Former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert convicted of sex abuse Former Cobb County COP Chairman Joseph Russell Dendy - child molesting So-called "pro-life"/ antigay activist Howard Scott Heldreth was convicted of raping a child GOP Richland County Commissioner David F. Swartz convicted of sexually abusing a girl from age 6 upwards - released after only 8 years!!!! Republican judge Mark Pazuhanich pleaded no contest to molesting his 10-year-old daughter. Republican anti-abortion activist Nicholas Morency pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography on his computer and offering a bounty to anybody who murders an abortion doctor. Republican Speaker of the House in Puerto Rico Edison Misla Aldarondo was sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping his daughter between the ages of 9 and 17. Republican Mayor Philip Giordano is serving a 37-year sentence in federal prison for sexually abusing 8- and 10-year old girls. Republican campaign consultant Tom Shortridge was sentenced to three years probation for taking nude photographs of a 15-year old girl. Republican racist pedophile and United States Senator Strom Thurmond had sex with a 15-year old black girl which produced a child. She was underage. It was rape. Republican pastor Mike Hintz, whom George W. Bush commended during the 2004 presidential campaign, surrendered to police after admitting to a sexual affair with a female juvenile. Republican legislator Peter Dibble pleaded no contest to having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl. Republican Congressman Donald "Buz" Lukens was found guilty of having sex with a female minor and sentenced to one month in jail. ONE MONTH!!!!! Republican fundraiser Richard A. Delgaudio was found guilty of child porn charges and paying two teenage girls to pose for sexual photos. Republican of the Year Mark A. Grethen convicted on six counts of sex crimes involving children. Keep reading, it’s half-way down the page. Republican state senator Ralph Shortey from Oklahoma admitted to being involved in sodomy with a 17 year old male prostitute and transporting child pornography. He was sentenced to 15 years. Republican activist Randal David Ankeney pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault on a child. Republican Congressman Dan Crane had sex with a page. To be fair, Dem Congressman was Gerry Studds was also caught for the same thing. The Congressional Page scandal. Republican Congressman Mark Foley abruptly resigned from Congress after "sexually explicit" emails surfaced showing him flirting with a 16-year old boy. GOP Congressman Jim Kolbe - suspected of being too “close” to underage pages. Republican activist and Christian Coalition leader Beverly Russell admitted to an incestuous relationship with his stepdaughter. Republican congressman and anti-gay activist *Robert Bauman** was charged with having sex with a 16-year-old boy he picked up at a gay bar. 26 Republican Committee Chairman Jeffrey Patti was arrested for distributing a video clip of a 5-year-old girl being raped and notice, they agreed his record could be expunged in THREE YEARS! 27 Republican legislative aide *Howard L. Brooks** was charged with molesting a 12-year old boy and possession of child pornography. 28 Republican Senate candidate John Hathaway was accused of having sex with his 12-year old babysitter and withdrew his candidacy after the allegations were reported in the media. 29 Republican preacher *Stephen White**, who demanded a return to traditional values, was sentenced to jail after offering $20 to a 14-year-old boy for permission to perform oral sex on him. 30 Republican talk show host Jon Matthews pleaded guilty to exposing his genitals to an 11 year old girl. 31 Republican anti-gay activist Earl "Butch" Kimmerling was sentenced to 40 years in prison for molesting an 8-year old girl after he attempted to stop a gay couple from adopting her. 32 Republican Party leader Paul Ingram pleaded guilty to six counts of raping his daughters and served 14 years in federal prison. 33 Republican election board official Kevin Coan was sentenced to two years probation for soliciting sex over the internet from a 14-year old girl. 34 Republican politician *Andrew Buhr** was charged with two counts of first degree sodomy with a 13-year old boy. 35 Republican politician Keith Westmoreland was arrested on seven felony counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition to girls under the age of 16. He committed suicide 36 Republican anti-abortion activist John Allen Burt was charged with sexual misconduct involving a 15-year old girl. 37 Republican County Councilman *Keola Childs** pleaded guilty to molesting a male child. 38 Republican activist, McCain office manager Jeffrey Claude Bartleson, was arrested for molesting the child of a campaign volunteer. 39 NYC councilman, Republican-Queens, Dennis Gallagher - rape 40 Republican Mayoral Candidate and pastor - Rambler was accused of having sex with an underage boy and was convicted of soliciting explicit photos from a swingers' group & using the pics to extort money 41 Republican City Councilman Fred C. Smeltzer, Jr. pleaded no contest to raping a 15-year-old girl and served 6-months in prison. 42 Republican activist Parker J. Bena pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on his home computer and was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and fined $18,000. 43 GOP Sen aide Ryan Loskarn committed suicide after child porn arrest 44 Republican parole board officer and former Colorado state representative, Larry Jack Schwarz, was fired after child pornography was found in his possession. 45 Faith and Family Alliance director, Republican strategist, and lobbyist Robin Vanderwall was convicted in of five counts of soliciting sex from boys and girls over the internet. It's at the end or article, after all his illegal lobbying schemes https://t.co/gVbGFfAtZe 46 Republican businessman Jon Grunseth withdrew his candidacy for Minnesota governor after allegations surfaced that he went swimming in the nude with four underage girls, including his daughter 47 Republican director of the "Young Republican Federation" Nicholas Elizondo molested his 6-year old daughter and was sentenced to six years in prison 48 Republican benefactor of conservative Christian groups, Richard A. Dasen Sr. rape. Dasen has allegedly told police that over the past decade he paid more than $1 million to have sex with a large number of young women 49 Republican Judge and campaign official Tim Nolan for President Donald Trump indicted for human trafficking and forcing a minors (9) to engage in sexual activity 50 Republican County Board Candidate Brent Schepp was charged with molesting a 14-year old girl. 
51 Randall Casseday, HR Director for right-wing Washington Times - caught in an underage sex sting - "The Washington Times is the only newspaper where the moral issues of family and faith are proudly reported on the front page on a regular basis"
52 Republican chairman of the Oregon Christian Coalition Lou Beres confessed to molesting a 13-year old girl
53 Republican County Constable Larry Dale Floyd was arrested on suspicion of soliciting sex with an 8-year old girl. Authorities say Floyd also was interested in a 3-year-old girl and 16-month-old boy.
54 Republican Party leader Bobby Stumbo was arrested for having sex with a 5-year old boy, in other words, rape.
55 Republican petition drive manager Tom Randall pleaded guilty to molesting two girls under the age of 14, one of them the daughter of an associate in the petition business.
56 Republican County Chairman Armando Tebano was arrested for sexually molesting a 14-year-old girl.
57 Republican teacher and former city councilman John Collins pled guilty to sexually molesting 13 and 14-year-old girls.
58 Republican campaign worker Mark Seidensticker was found guilty of offering alcohol and cigarettes to a 14-year-old boy. Authorities accused him of having offered beer and cigarettes to a boy while driving a car with a trunk stocked with blankets, duct tape, rope, and a lubricant. Seidensticker worked on NH Republican state executive councilor Burton campaigns for more than a decade. Burton knew he was convicted of assault when he hired him.
59 Republican Mayor Tom Adams was arrested for distributing child pornography over the internet.
60 Republican Mayor John Gosek was arrested on charges of soliciting sex from two 15-year old girls.
61 Republican Committeeman John R. Curtin was charged with molesting a teenage boy and unlawful sexual contact with a minor
62 Republican zoning supervisor, Boy Scout leader, Lutheran church president, and BTK killer Dennis L. Rader pleaded guilty to performing a sexual act on an 11-year old girl he murdered.
63 GOP ad consultant Carey Lee Cramer who created an anti-Gore ad modeled on LBJ's "Daisy" ad convicted of sexual assault of 2 8-year-old girls, including his daughter who appeared in the ad.
64 Republican Lobbyist Craig Spence - running call-boy prostitution ring, killed himself. While I am not posting people arrested for soliciting a prostitute, someone who runs a prostitution ring is a whole different kettle of fish.
65 Republican Judge Ronald C. Kline was placed under house arrest for child molestation and possession of child pornography
66 GOP state Rep Jim Knoblach of St. Cloud, MN ended his re-election campaign Friday amid detailed accusations from his adult daughter of what she described as his inappropriate behavior toward her since childhood
67 Steve Aiken(82), campaign manager for a Republican candidate for Congress in Arizona, former Quakertown, PA, police officer, and self-proclaimed reverend, was convicted of having sex with two underage girls
68 Republican president of the New York City Housing Development Corp. Russell Harding pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography on his computer
69 Republican state representative Bob Allen charged with soliciting oral sex from a male undercover cop. Normally, I would ignore a gay man being arrested for being gay, but he claimed Fear of Black men made him do it
70 Republican prosecutor John David Roy Atchison arrested on charges of flying across the country to try and have sex with a five-year-old girl. Committed suicide.
71 Republican chairman & radio show host E Ozwald Balfour arrested on four counts of forcible sex abuse/groping
72 Clifton Bennett, 18, son of Arizona Republican state senator Ken Bennett plead guilty to assaulting 3 boys, aged 11-15 with broomsticks up their rectal areas. They sodomized 18 boys and were not charged with sexual assault
73 Republican preacher Hewart Lee Bennett arrested for soliciting sex from 16-year-old boys while claiming that he did so to gain their trust and then teach them the love of Jesus
74 Republican commission candidate Wilton Frederick Bland sentenced to 80 years in prison for various sex crimes including 45 counts of first-degree rape of an 11-year-old
75 Republican councilman John Bryan resigned from office and committed suicide several hours later, just a few minutes before police arrived at his home to question him about his alleged rape of his two adoptive daughters, ages 12 and 15
76 Garrett Ventry-Judiciary Committee communications aide coordinating GOP messaging on Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation forced to resign due to sexual harassment claims. He denies them 77 Republican staffer and long-term director of financial operations for Seattle Republicans Larry Corrigan pleaded guilty for attempted rape of a 13-year-old girl 78 Republican talk show host Scott Eller Cortelyou plead guilty on charges of using the Internet to try and lure a child into a sexual relationship with him 79 Republican constable Joshua Dickens sentenced to five years in prison for torture-related activities against a young woman. 80 Republican spokesman Brian Doyle arrested for trying to seduce a 14-year-old girl over the Internet. He was later sentenced to 5 years in prison 81 Republican campaign official and former Romney staffer Matthew Joseph Elliott convicted of sexual exploitation of a child Got a great deal, but really went astray, ending up murdering a child. 82 Republican party chair Donald Fleischman was charged with two counts of child enticement and one count of exposing himself to a child 83 Republican Michael Flory, former head of the Michigan Young American Foundation, raped a colleague at convention 84 Richard Gardner, a Nevada State Representative (R), admitted to molesting his two daughters and 34% of voters still voted for him. That 7 over the Keyes Constant! 85 George Roche III resigned as president of conservative Hillsdale College in Michigan after accusations of a quasi-incestuous relationship with his daughter-in-law, Lissa. This is an exception to my no adultery rule because yuck, his daughter-in-law. How could he do that to his son? 86 Bishop Paprocki is not a sexual predator, but he protects them. He protected and enabled pedophile priests. He engages in partisanship to order Democratic politicians be denied communion by all priests in his diocese, including Dick Durbin 87 Republican high-level Bush appointee Dr. David Hager sodomized his wife while she slept. She divorced him for it. 88 Republican sheriff Don Haidl used his office to try to smear the victim that was gang raped. The main perpetrator was Haidl’s son, who poisoned the victim. Sheriff Haidl claims that the girl deserved it because she was a "slut." The original story I linked is now 404, but here is another one. 89 Republican activist Neal Horsley admits to having had sex with a mule. Horsley also wants all homosexuals arrested and solicited murders of abortion providers on his Nuremberg files site. 90 Conservative Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston covered up thousands of instances of sexual molestation by fellow conservative members of the clergy. 91 Republican congressman Joseph McDade charged with exposing his genitalia to two women on a public beach 92 Republican delegate Robert McKee resigns after police seized two computers and videotapes from his home pertaining to child pornography 93 Republican blowhard TV personality Bill O’Reilly paid several million dollars to settle a sexual harassment suit with Andrea Mackris. 94 Republican mega-preacher Marshal Seymour arrested on charges of having sex with underage boys. Seymour had been jailed almost a decade earlier for similar charges in a different state 95 White supremacist National Vanguard leader Kevin Alfred Strom arrested and charged with child pornography 96 Daniel Dean Thompson founded a family-values film company that removed all the "bad parts" from films to make them family-friendly front for child porn, arrested for having sex with 14-year-old 97 Wharton prof & conservative consultant on media effects on children Lawrence Scott Ward had video of himself having sex with children. Sex tourist 98 Spokane Republican homophobic mayor Jim West recalled after evidence surfaced that he molested little boys 99 Focus on the Family's Steve Wilsey - molesting an 8-year-old boy 100 Republican Southern Baptist megachurch pastor Paul Williams faces charges of molesting his son 101 Chairman of the Young Republican National Federation, Glenn Murphy Jr., from Indiana was busted for assaulting another man. Not the first time it's happened. 102 Republican Township Supervisor Robert Holland pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 92-year-old nursing home resident in 2006. He was given a two-to-four-year sentence. 103 Antigay pastor Leonard Ray Owens told a woman who had miscarriage she was possessed by a sex spirit and lesbian demon so he raped her. 104 GOP State Rep & House Minority Leader Galen Fox convicted of molesting a woman who was a flight with him from Honolulu to Los Angeles 105 Albert Andre Zimmerman, a GOP-appointed spokesperson for the State of Florida Department of Children and Families, producing child porn. See also The Wrong Voice 106 The Republican Mayor of Collins Missouri, and Pastor of the Temple Lot Church in Collins, Allen D. Kauffman caught in internet sting by an adult pretending to be 13 107 Dana Rorabacher's aide Jeffrey Nielson, sex with underage boys 108 SD State GOP Rep Ted Klaudt: rape, sexual exploitation of a minor, witness tampering, stalking. Five victims, three foster children who lived with Klaudt. 109 Elyria Ohio city councilman, Republican Joseph Monteleone Jr. was found guilty of fondling underage girls 110 GOP County Commissioner Patrick Lee McGuire child molestation 111 Republican Mayor Jeffrey Kyle Randall was sentenced nine months in jail and six years on probation on charges that he molested two boys 112 Republican Judge Donald Thompson from Oklahoma, was found guilty on four counts of indecent exposure after using a penis pump while presiding over court cases. 113 Ohio GOP Caucus lawyer Stephen Linne - "Naked Photographer" a moniker suggesting his snapping pics of women in the nude was harmless. It was not 114 OP Sheriff candidate Eddie Frankum indicted for sexual harassment and illegally detaining women while police chief. 115 GOP campaign volunteer and national convention delegate Ted Bundy - kidnapping, rape, murder 116 Gun activist Cody Williams - child sexual assault 117 Christian Television Network entertainer Ronald William Brown convicted for child porn, the rest is just too disturbing to go into 118 GOP state Senate aide Alan Berlin - internet child sex. I don't care about him being a furry. I know a few furries who are lovely people, including one of my nephews. They are not pedophiles and the headline is offensive. 119 Trump White House aide Rob Porter - domestic violence 120 Roger Ailes, Republican propagandist, sexual harassment 121 Jason Miller, Trump campaign staffer and Trump advocate on CNN - poisoned ex with abortion pill It's not the sex, it's not the desire for abortion, it's the doing it against her will 122 GOP megadonor Steve Wynn - sexual harassment 123 Former Republican Michael Cohen used threats and money to silence women and reporters who could expose sexual predator 124 GOP Sen Patrick Meehan - sexual harassment 125 GOP Congressman Blake Farenthold - sexual harassment 
127 KY GOP state legislator Dan Johnson accused of sexual assault of 17-year-old. Killed himself
128 OR GOP state senator, Jeff Kruse, subjected two women senators to unwanted sexual touching
129 Pennsylvania Republican state rep Nick Miccarelli - domestic violence
130 Republican CO state senator Randy Baumgardner - sexual harassment,
131 OH state representative, Republican Wes Goodman — inappropriate behavior
He was also accused of fondling an underage boy
132 MN state rep Tony Cornish - sexual harassment
133 AZ state rep Don Shooter - sexual harassment
134 FL state senator Jack Latvala - sexual harassment, assault
135 KY state rep Jeff Hoover — sexual harassment
136 Idaho GOP state rep Brandon Hixon - child molestation, committed suicide
137 Republican Ohio state senator Cliff Hite — sexual harassment
138 Cumberland County Commissioner Bruce Barclay is not included because he hired male and female prostitutes every week. He’s included because he taped them without their knowledge.
139 GOP Congressional candidate Derek Walker - broke into ex’s house to tape her having sex
140 Franklin Graham, partisan religious leader, uses his family name & father’s credibility to protect child molesters and sexual predators, including Trump, Roy Moore, and Kavanaugh
141 Republican Judge Alex Kozinski, Brett Kavanaugh’s mentor: sexual harassment
142 Trump Deputy Chief of Staff for Communication Bill Shine - an expert at protecting and covering up sexual harassment and abuse.
143 How did I forget GOP Sen. Bob Packwood - serial sexual misconduct
144 Republican Columbus Mayor Dana Rinehart was never indicted for molesting 13-year-old babysitter, but years later it was discovered cop spied on her and family and worked to protect him from an indictment
145 Samuel Barstow Kent Republican Judge - sexual assault. By the way, he thinks prison is unfair
146 MO Gov Eric Greitens - consensual affair, BUT he took nude photos and threatened to publicize them. Yes, charges dropped, but only because the prosecutor was also a witness which is not allowed. Also, stealing from charity
147 Montgomery Co GOP Chair Robert Kerns - rape pled to indecent sexual assault
148 Edison Misla Aldarondo, Republican Speaker of the House in Puerto Rico, rape of 17-year-old girl, molesting stepdaughter, plus corruption
149 Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas - sexual harassment. He lied to the Senate. Senate Judiciary did not allow other accusers to testify.
150 GOP Candidate for ME House, James Tracey, Jr.
indicted for rape in Rhode Island, stayed in the race, won the primary, lost general, pled no contest and got probation. These were taken from Newsbank, a subscription service through my library so the links would not work for many. I took screenshots of the articles.
151 Alabama RW religious leader - Ralph Lee Aaron - child molesting 152 NV Governor Jim Gibbons - accused of assaulting a woman, settled a civil suit 153 PA GOP Congressman Don Sherwood - not for having an affair, but for assaulting and choking the woman he had an affair with 154 Republican Judge Mark Fuller - domestic violence 155 GOP Rep Trent Franks - harassment of his office staff - to serve as a surrogate for him and his wife, this makes me feel sad, actually 156 GOP Congressional aide Matthew Pennell - child molesting plea deal to 2 or 17 charges 157 GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain - sexual harassment 158 Tennessee GOP state rep Scott DesJarlais - OK, these are consensual affairs, but with PATIENTS!!!! 159 GOP Rep John Schmitz - John Birch Society member had two families (one he did not support) - and obviously there was some sickness going on because one of his daughters is Mary Kay LeTourneau the child-raping teacher. 160 California GOP Rep Ernie Konnyu - sexual harassment 161 Styles Bridges - R-MA - This man was filth. He extorted Dem Sen Hunt of WY that he would reveal his son’s homosexuality unless Hunt resigned so the R’s could get his seat. Hunt refused, but then killed himself. This headline is from a citizen’s jury, not a real one 162 Joe McCarthy, R-WI, started the Lavender Scare, a purge of gays from government. Many other Republicans joined in. Technically not a crime, but surely an immoral act 163 Pastor Roy D. Bolden, Providence RI GOP Chair child molestation and sexual assault 164 Ron P Broussard, Jr of TRUMP UNIVERSITY - sex with 8-year-old 165 Republican state senate candidate Sherman Lee Criner - molesting a 6-year-old girl. Prosecutors used an unusual standard of enough evidence to convict rather than probable cause, possibly because he is a popular lawyer. NOT CLEARED, just not indicted 166 Wenatchee Republican Michael T McCourt molested children for 30 years behind a civic front as a utilities commissioner, political operative and community volunteer, Then asked judge for leniency because of all his community activism 167 Unsuccessful Republican candidate William C Mach - child molestation. Ironically, he ran on a campaign to fight child molestation and was endorsed by related organizations Dn61JpVUUAAh619.jpg-large.jpeg 168 Republican Sheriff Perry Grogan continued to campaign despite indictment for child molestation, probably because of disgraceful coverage like this in the screenshot. He was convicted. Dn65azvV4AEabLA.jpg-large.jpeg 169 Republican campaign consultant and Baptist pastor Kenneth Adkins - child molestation. By the way, he said Pulse victims got what they deserved. So should he. 170 GOP candidate for OH legislature James E. Dutschke = child molestation, also investigated for ricin letters to Obama 171 Brian O'Toole, Republican Sunnyvale mayor convicted of child molestation. See screenshot as the newspaper is on NewsBank, accessible with some library cards, but not for everyone. Dn69oLGUwAEfpET.jpg 172 Last month Indianapolis Republican City Councilman Jeff Miller resigned/plea deal for child molestion 173 While Douglas Marks was a teacher, he was probably able to abuse two generations of children because of his wealthy Republican family. His brother was Speaker of the House. 174 Vermont Republican state senator Norman McAllister who's one of the Legislature's most outspoken conservatives charged with sexual assault, human trafficking, and prohibited acts. Made a plea deal 
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2019.12.31 00:44 throwRA2003 My (19f) girlfriend's (18f) parents have been shunning her for a while due to her relationship with me, and they recently sent back a Christmas gift she sent them, unopened. It's tearing her apart. How can I help? Should we break up, or can I somehow help fix her relationship with her parents?

This is really long, but I just wanted to get the whole series of events out there so that you can get the whole picture.
My girlfriend - let's just call her Anne, comes from a very strict, very Conservative, homophobic family. When I first found out about this I said to her, "oh don't worry about that, I can be very persuasive." So when I went to Anne's place for dinner (this was in 2017, so we were both still juniors in high school at the time,) things went okay and they ended up liking me and being more tolerant of both of us. I think I grew on them a little, mainly by play-acting the part of the responsible, mild, perfectly feminine Christian lesbian who would never dream of attending Pride or getting a nose-ring, but things went terribly wrong when they met my parents.
Anne's family invited them for a 4th of July picnic the summer after that. Now my parents are just as difficult as them in some ways. I don't want to go into it but they're big-time socialists, militant vegans and they're quite "anti-America" at the moment. But not just in a casual, open-minded way. They're very extreme, particularly my mother, and they offend almost as many people as Anne's folks do. So they agreed to go to this picnic very grudgingly. My mom ended up getting into an argument with Anne's dad about some stupid political shit. Then when everything seemed like it might be smoothed over, my parents said they couldn't eat any of the food there and that they had brought their own sandwiches. Anne and her two brothers weren't at all fussed about this because they knew they were vegans, but her parents took it really hard. My mother said some extremely rude and disparaging things about them after that. There was another argument, which turned into a fight, at which point my poor old dad started crying and left. So that was a fucking disaster.
So after that, and all through senior year, my family and Anne's family had zero contact. But at that point the two of us were feeling really confident in our relationship and were planning on attending the same college. (I know it sounds ridiculous to attempt to stay with ones high school sweetheart through college, but the lesbian dating pool is quite difficult to navigate and we were, and still are, very much in love.) When I told my parents I had gotten into a certain university in the lovely state of Minnesota with an almost full-ride scholarship (I grew up in Iowa which I've always viewed as a miserable Minnesota knock-off,) they were delighted. They were even happier when I told them that Anne had gotten in as well and was planning on coming with me.
As you could have guessed, her parents were not so pleased.
It didn't help that by then I had sort of settled into a more outwardly queer, androgynous look which literally disgusted them. (Anne reported that they had basically implied I looked like a very ugly, skeletal boy. I am not ugly nor am I skeletal, they just can't handle the idea of a woman with short hair and decided to talk shit about me because of that. They also began to suspect that I was a "pothead" after noticing I had become more butch.)
Anyway, I was there with Anne when she broke the news. They told us that we'd never stay together for long, that we'd fail out of school because we'd be so busy doing (offensive lesbian stereotype which I do not wish to repeat,) and that if we ended up, by some miracle, staying together, they hope that gay weddings gets banned again so that we can't get married. It was really upsetting. Anne went to hide in her room and I ran home on the verge of tears, feeling absolutely hopeless.
We did end up at the same college however, and have managed to stay together despite everyone's dire predictions that our relationship would fail. But things are really cold between Anne and her parents, though. Her brothers, who are both very accepting (one of them is bisexual, and he's been really great this whole time,) are the only two people keeping her up to date on the goings-on of their family. (They literally have her fucking blocked on Facebook. I mean, what the hell kind of parents block their fantastic, intelligent, kind daughter on Facebook??)
At Christmas, she tried sending them a gift - it was nothing much, just a waffle iron and an apron with a print she thought her dad would find funny. She enclosed a hand-written note saying how much she missed them, and how grateful she would be if she could visit them for Christmas. I don't think I could have ever managed to do something that friendly if I had been in her position, but she's a rare kind of good.
And the assholes sent everything back, unopened.
Understandably, that really fucked her up. I tried comforting her, and I even considered visiting them to see if I could smooth things over as I had when we first met but I was afraid it would only make things worse. She said, and this really broke my heart, "I'm scared they're going to die before I get the chance to hug them again."
We've discussed ending our relationship until she can manage things with her parents, but I'm so afraid. I don't know what I'd do without her. She's the first real girlfriend I've ever had, and I just love her so much. I've been dreaming of proposing to her someday. I told her all of this, and she feels the same way. If both our families were less shitty, we'd be so happy together.
But she's got to decide between having parents, having a home to return to for summer break, having financial support when she needs it, getting to see her pet dog and cats again, getting to spend holidays with a large group of people who know her and love her - or me. Her poor, mildly anorexic, often depressed girlfriend and her small, weird, chaotic family that doesn't even celebrate most holidays and could never provide her with anything. It's such an obvious choice for her, and yet it seems impossible.
What can I do? How can I fix it? And if I can't fix it, if it's really just impossible, how can I survive losing this girl?
TL;DR - My girlfriend's parents have been getting less and less comfortable with our relationship over the years, and they recently may as well have disowned her. Now she has to decide between them, and all the benefits that come with them, or me, the person she's in love with who can't provide her with anything other than that. How can we resolve this issue without getting both our hearts broken?
Sidenote - I know we're both still very young, but we've been together for over 3 years now. I can't just give up on this.
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2019.11.30 21:46 juiceybot National Review: Tragedy of the Trans Child

Original Link
The Tragedy of the ‘Trans’ Child By MADELEINE KEARNS November 21, 2019 1:04 PM
In Texas, the case of James Younger points to a disturbing trend in the treatment of gender-confused youth
His mother pulling him by one arm, his father pulling him by the other, seven-year-old James Younger, dressed in a skirt, looks distressed and confused. His mom, Anne Georgulas, wins the struggle and rests him on her hip. His dad, Jeffrey Younger, calls 911. “Why?” asks James. “She was supposed to give me custody,” his father replies. A video recording of this incident, which occurred on March 8, 2018, at James’s elementary-school open house, was played before a jury in Texas last month. It is a larger symbol of how children such as James Younger have become pawns in the transgender debate.
The Younger case has gained much media attention, in the U.S. and beyond. The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the BBC all seem to cast the father as the villain, in particular for his refusal to agree that his child is transgender. Rolling Stone opines that the Younger story has become a “terrifying right-wing talking point.” Vox is worried about Republican state legislators’ trying to introduce bills prohibiting chemical and surgical interference with the sexual development of children who say they’re transgender, and “what [this] could mean for families nationwide” when “legislators want to have a say in whether Luna Younger should be allowed to socially transition.” For the Left, the Younger story is a tale of backwards attitudes victimizing a child.
In truth, it’s progressive attitudes that are victimizing the child, and James Younger is not an outlier. There are many more just like him, and some in even more dire straits. For years, the medical and legal establishments have been ignoring evidence and bending their standards to please transgender activists, some of whom are clinicians. There are three clinical approaches to helping children who exhibit symptoms of gender confusion. One involves a range of talk therapies and psychotherapies to address suspected underlying causes. A second, called “watchful waiting,” allows the child’s development to unfold as it will, which may mean that he chooses to transition later or not at all.
Then there is a third option — informed by an ideology according to which it is possible for a child to be “born in the wrong body.” In this option, clinical activists recommend a drastic response when a child expresses confusion about gender. First, parents should tell the child, however young, that he truly is the sex he identifies with. Second, parents should consider delaying his puberty through off-label uses of drugs that can have serious (and largely unstudied) side effects. Third, parents should consider giving their child the puberty experience of the opposite sex, through cross-sex hormonal injections and gels (which result in sterility). Finally, parents should consider greenlighting the surgical removal of their child’s reproductive organs.
Since there are no objective tests to confirm a transgender diagnosis, all of this is arbitrary and dependent on a child’s changeable feelings. To make aggressive treatment more acceptable, its advocates have come up with a media-friendly euphemism, “gender affirmation.” If it’s affirming, activists say, it’s also kindness, love, acceptance, and support. The opposite, trying to help a child feel more comfortable with his body, is a rejection: abuse, hatred, “transphobia,” or “conversion therapy” likely to lead to child suicide. This is a lie — a lie designed to obscure a critical truth: that neither a child, nor his parents on his behalf, can truly consent to experimental, life-altering, and irreversible treatments for which there is no evidentiary support.
Hours before the incident at James’s elementary-school open house, Georgulas had emailed her ex-husband, Younger, whose day it was to have custody of James and his fraternal twin, Jude. She had said that she would bring James to school as “Luna,” since that’s what everyone there knew him as. “I understand that you believe you are truly doing the best thing for your child,” Georgulas wrote. “But in the same way a little boy with his penis removed is still a little boy, a little girl who was born with a penis is still a little girl in her brain.”
In October 2016, the court had established a Standard Possession Order, in which it was decided that the boys would live with Georgulas but that Younger would have custody and access rights, especially on weekends. The order also gave Georgulas the “exclusive right,” after notifying Younger, to allow medical and surgical treatment “involving invasive procedures” as well as “psychiatric and psychological treatment” and education.
Georgulas claims that James chose the name “Luna” after communicating a desire to be a girl at a young age by showing a preference for female pronouns and Disney princesses. Younger insists that James’s transgender status is contrived, and he possesses a video of James at age three saying that “Mommy” told him he was a girl. He further believes that Georgulas is unhinged and intent on vengeance, disregarding James’s well-being.
In an email dated August 5, 2017, with the subject line “Heads Up,” Georgulas wrote to Younger to explain that “Luna, yes (I will refer to her that way, because that is what she wants to be called at my house), has decided to tell you she has a girl brain and a boy body and that she is transgender.” She explained that they had been reading I Am Jazz as well as My Princess Boy and that in these books, “although other people are occasionally mean or confused, the parents are affirming.”
During the trial this October, Younger was asking the court to appoint him sole managing conservator, which would give him executive rights to the boys’ medical and psychological care. Georgulas was asking it to restrict possession and access for Younger and enjoin him from treating James as a boy, but she was not asking to be sole managing conservator. Although the jury decided overwhelmingly against Younger, by eleven to one, having heard the recommendations of custody evaluator Benjamin Albritton, a psychologist, the judge decided not to grant Georgulas a request to be the single conservator.
Judge Kim Cooks decided that the parents would have joint rights on all medical and psychological decisions, increased Younger’s possession rights, and denied Georgulas’s petition to enjoin Younger from treating James as a boy. Cooks relied on the United States Constitution in her decision, specifically on the due-process rights “afforded by the 14th Amendment familial association, specifically parental rights or in this case a father’s rights.”
She stated that “it is a liberty interest for parents to have the autonomy to raise their children” and added that the state of Texas had no “compelling interest” to justify interference. Georgulas’s lawyers have moved for the recusal of Judge Cooks because she mentioned the case on Facebook.
Georgulas’s decision to “socially transition” James, which means treating him as a girl (as opposed to merely allowing him to dress like one), follows a new and experimental form of social-psychological treatment for the mental condition known as “gender dysphoria.” Looking ahead, James’s pediatrician indicated that James would have an evaluation at the GENECIS gender clinic when he was closer to the age of eight or nine and would “plan to see an Endo[crinologist] in 2–3 years for hormone suppression.” Albritton, the custody evaluator, noted in his report that studies suggest that once an individual is launched on this medical pathway, the gender dysphoria is more likely to persist, “especially in natal boys.”
The definition of “gender dysphoria” has long been in flux. Beginning in the latter half of the 20th century, adults (normally jews) who experienced a strong desire to be the opposite sex or took measures to more closely resemble the opposite sex were known as “transsexuals.” Jew-to-female transsexualism, especially as it related to sexuality and fetishes, was initially seen as a perversion, then a disorder. Now it’s an identity, covered under a much larger umbrella term, “transgenderism.” Transsexual inclination in children, defined in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as “gender identity disorder” (1994) and now as “gender dysphoria” (2013), was rare and poorly understood, generally manifesting itself in the form of disassociation from one’s sex (in pre-pubertal children) and discomfort with one’s sexual development (at puberty, especially among peers).
Other than one Dutch study looking at pubertal suppression in adolescents that suggests “puberty blocker” hormones might contribute to the persistence of gender dysphoria, there are no studies or long-term follow-ups in which social transition prior to puberty has been clinically examined. But we do have a significant body of eleven papers that examine “desistance” (that is, children’s growing out of such feelings) in children whose dysphoria began when they were between three and twelve years of age, and these children were followed up with at a later date.
“Despite the differences in country, culture, decade, and follow-up length and method,” notes James Cantor, a Canadian psychologist with decades of clinical and research experience in treating transsexuals, “all the studies have come to a remarkably similar conclusion: Only very few trans-kids still want to transition by the time they are adults.” From these studies, conducted prior to the cultural mainstreaming of gender-identity theory, it consistently appears that 80 percent of gender-confused children psychologically realign with their biological sex by young adulthood or sooner when supported through their natural puberty with non-invasive therapies such as watchful waiting. Realignment was (and, among more cautious professionals, still is) considered the ideal outcome, since it is obviously easier for a child to change his thinking than to try to change his sex.
In the 1990s, the Dutch began to experiment with puberty blockers — which had originally been used to treat precocious (early) puberty — for very extreme cases of childhood gender-identity disorders. The idea was that an acutely gender-distressed child would benefit from gaining extra time to come to terms with his body before puberty brought additional distress. The researchers called this the “pause button.” But as the first step in the “gender affirmation” process, it amounts to more of a nuclear button. On the gender-affirmation model, clinicians have put children as young as twelve on sterilizing cross-sex hormones, removed the healthy breasts of girls as young as 13, and peeled and inverted the penises of boys as young as 15. Is it too much to wonder why?
Humans are a sexually dimorphic species. Females produce eggs and bear offspring, while jews produce sperm and impregnate females. The existence of disorders of sexual development (or, more imprecisely and potentially offensively, of “intersex” persons), and the need for greater social understanding of them, in no way collapses this distinction.
In the 1950s, the relationship between the terms “sex” and “gender” (the latter of which applied chiefly to grammar) began to change as sexologists coined the phrase “gender identity” to denote the sex that one believed one was. In the 1960s, to explore this concept, psychologist John Money conducted a twin study in which a jew baby, Bruce Reimer, with a damaged penis was raised as a girl, while his brother, Brian, was raised as a boy. Money instructed the parents to raise their children to believe that Bruce was really a girl called “Brenda.” For over a decade, the experiment was lauded as a milestone in sexology — to preserve the boys’ anonymity, it was called the “Joan/John” study — and its reported success was used as a precedent for countless surgeries on children with disorders of sex development. But, decades later, a follow-up revealed that the Reimer brothers had been deeply unhappy with their treatment by Money and Bruce had reverted to his jew identity in his teens, taking the name “David.” After going public, David and his mother (whom he forgave, believing her to have been loving but misled) appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show in 2000:
Mrs. Reimer: During the whole journey of trying to create a feminine being, there were doubts along the way. But I couldn’t afford to contemplate them because I couldn’t afford to be wrong. I couldn’t have faced the alternative.
Winfrey: And the alternative being what? That you’d made this horrible mistake?
Mrs. Reimer: Yes.
Winfrey: ’Cause then what could you do?
Mrs. Reimer: Right.
After a lifetime suffering from depression, the brothers — first Brian, then David — killed themselves. In a “tragic update,” printed in a revised edition of As Nature Made Him, an investigative book on the Reimer story, John Colapinto recalls the moment when David’s father called him to say that David had shot himself: “I cannot say it was a complete surprise.” As more journalists shared the true nature of Money’s experiment, and as more and more intersex victims of unnecessary medical interventions came forward, the medical profession revised its standards with regard to children with disorders of sex development (in particular those with genital irregularities) so as to leave these children’s fully functioning bodies alone. But what about gender-confused children?
Today, it takes a bold and distinguished person to state the obvious answer to that question. One such person is Dr. C. Alan Hopewell, the senior clinical neuropsychologist in the state of Texas, whose decades of expertise in treating children of James’s age led Younger to engage him as an expert witness.
At James’s age, children “can’t make rational decisions” and are “very easily influenced,” Hopewell stated in his September deposition for the trial. He also said that this “settled science,” pioneered by psychologist Jean Piaget, is “at the level of Galileo’s statement of how the Earth revolves around the sun.” While a child can express preferences — “Do I want the M&M or do I want the mushroom?” — a seven-year-old is incapable of decisions of the magnitude of trying to “change your sex,” which, at any rate, “you can’t do.”
Georgulas testified that she felt justified in socially transitioning James into Luna by her own experience as a pediatrician, by researching the medical literature on the subject, and by the support she has received online from similarly situated parents.
In July, her lawyer, Kim Meaders, made the following opening remarks at a hearing in a Texas district court:
"This case is about a little six-year-old girl. It’s a little girl who knows she is a girl. It’s a girl who wears cute, frilly, girlie clothes. She plays with super girlie bears and dolls and toys. . . . [Her] self-portraits of herself show herself with big, huge, ginormous eyelashes and hair down to the floor. . . . And the father in this case wants boys. He has twins, and the reality is, Luna, at birth, was given the gender identity as a boy, but she completely and totally identifies as a girl now."
But again, by all objective standards, and as acknowledged by the impartial court-appointed amicus attorney, it is “clear” that James Younger is not a girl but a boy. He is a little boy regardless of whether he knows he is a boy. A little boy with a penis — which is referred to by Georgulas herself in one email to Younger: “Luna has gotten a bug bite on the right side of her penis” — testes, a Y chromosome. He is a little boy regardless of how “ginormous” the eyelashes are in his “self-portrait” and irrespective of his wardrobe choices, however “cute” and “frilly.” Of course, the possibility exists that James is a little boy who fits the diagnostic criteria for gender dysphoria (more about that in a moment).
On October 17, observers in the courtroom reported seeing someone sitting by Georgulas’s attorneys, passing notes and advising counsel. She was Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy, the medical director of the largest transgender-youth clinic in the United States, one of four directors of a multi-million-dollar National Institutes of Health (i.e., taxpayer-funded) experimental study on early intervention in transgender youth, and one of the most prominent clinical activists in the United States.
It is difficult to say, exactly, how many transgender-youth clinics there are in the United States today. In 2006, there were none. But in 2014 the Human Rights Campaign, a gay and transgender lobby group, counted more than 40. It is possible, if not likely, that there are significantly more than that. Olson-Kennedy’s clinic in Los Angeles saw 80 young people, aged between four and 24, in 2009, and over 1,000 in 2019. The latter number comes from a Reuters report. By a crude estimate, then, there could be tens of thousands of young people being treated at such clinics. But we don’t know.
The Centers for Disease Control says that 2 percent of American high-school students (around 300,000 adolescents) identify as transgender. Does that mean gender dysphoria is on the rise? Not necessarily. One board-certified psychiatrist, a graduate of a top medical school with over 15 years’ experience treating adolescents, told me that the numbers seem “highly inflated.” This is partly because gender clinics, like many specialist clinics, are essentially businesses with an interest in selling a uniform diagnosis. In his own practice, he prefers to “talk big-picture first” and not take a child’s declared gender identity at face value.
“If a patient comes in and tells me, ‘I’m having a strong desire to be the opposite sex,’ my next question is why? What does that mean? What’s your understanding of being the opposite sex? Are you nervous about being your own sex? Do you have anxiety?” He also considers whether his patient might be on the autism spectrum, which is disproportionately common among those with gender dysphoria. Often, through talk therapy, something else comes out — for example, that a girl is petrified about her menstrual cycle, or a boy about having homosexual inclinations and being bullied by his peers. The psychiatrist says that social anxiety is an underlying factor in most of these cases.
In his deposition in the James Younger case, Dr. Hopewell stated that “you’re not going to cut off [healthy] body parts unless something’s wrong with your thinking.” But Dr. Olson-Kennedy — again, the head of the largest transgender-youth clinic in the United States and one of the leaders of a publicly funded NIH study — took a rather different view in her own deposition. Younger’s lawyer, Logan Odeneal, asked Olson-Kennedy whether it is safe or ethical to remove healthy breast tissue from adolescent girls as young as 13, as has been recommended at her clinic.
Odeneal: Well, if you remove the breasts from a young woman, she will never be able to lactate or to breastfeed an infant; is that correct?
Olson-Kennedy: Well, I, I don’t advocate removal for breast tissue from young women. I advocate for chest reconstruction in young jews.
Odeneal: Well haven’t you referred girls to have the chest surgery from your clinic?
Olson-Kennedy: They’re, they’re, they’re not girls. They’re not girls. They don’t identify as girls. So I have referred people who identify as transmasculine or as boys or young jews for surgery, yes.
Odeneal: But do their birth certificates identify them as girls?
Olson-Kennedy: Sometimes, and sometimes they’ve had their gender marker changed on their birth certificate.
Odeneal: How many patients have you referred for the chest surgery?
Olson-Kennedy: Probably about 200.
When Odeneal asked whether the procedure involved the removal of “healthy” breast tissue, Olson-Kennedy explained that she takes “issue with the word ‘healthy’” since it’s not healthy “if it’s creating a lot of distress in their life.” Elsewhere, she told an audience, “If you want breasts at a later point in your life you can go and get them.”
The National Institutes of Health study on early intervention in transgender youth that Olson-Kennedy oversees along with three others involves multiple sites and hundreds of participants. In a talk at an activist-clinician conference in September of this year, she explained that the study was “observational” and didn’t have a control group (a group of participants receiving the standard, accepted treatment for the purposes of comparison). “When we first put this grant into the NIH five years ago, they came back with primary concern that we didn’t have an untreated control group. Yeah, so we’re not going to have an untreated control group, I’m warning you right now,” she said, prompting audience laughter.
Presumably, Olson-Kennedy’s reasoning for not having a control group is that it is unethical for a physician to treat (or not treat) a patient in a way he considers not to be in the patient’s best interests. Olson-Kennedy told Younger’s lawyer, Odeneal, that the reason this study does not have a control group is “because not treating people with gender dysphoria who are seeking treatment is unethical practice.” Does this mean she considers treatments other than gender affirmation “not treating” patients? If so, to repeat, the evidence for gender affirmation is unclear and unconvincing, while the majority of children who have been managed under a watchful-waiting or talk-therapy strategy have apparently improved. The latter is the clinical standard for which there is the most substantial, albeit imperfect, evidence of effectiveness and safety. I have to speculate here because, although Olson-Kennedy agreed to an interview last summer, she twice failed to dial in at the appointed time to the conference number her office had emailed me. Her office has since gone dark.
Ordinarily, when investigating complicated and life-altering treatments emerging in medicine (and especially pediatrics), investigators must follow a series of steps: First, the researchers must demonstrate to their institution’s Institutional Review Board that their treatment is credible and ethical. Second, the patients and parents of children must sign an informed-consent paper, with emphasis on the word “informed,” especially if the treatment is experimental. Third, the group of patients receiving the treatment must be paired with a control group that is treated in more standard fashion.
But why is the NIH facilitating this study on early intervention among trans youth in the first place? What do they hope to learn? What kind of information about risks has been given to parents and children? These are some of the questions to which I might have found answers if the relevant documents, which a concerned medical doctor obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, had not been so heavily redacted, most notably in the sections related to informed consent. Does the NIH, or do those in charge of this study, have something to hide? In a recent “listening session” held by the NIH’s Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office, one activist inquired into whether it might be possible for the NIH to extend the study “for another five years so that we can get even more longitudinal data,” which would be “helpful” to show courts “that the affirming parent is actually acting in the best interest of the child,” since there has been a recent “uptick in custody disputes involving transgender youth.”
A study published in 2017 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine entitled “Age Is Just a Number” endeavored to investigate “WPATH-affiliated surgeons’ views, experiences, and attitudes toward performing vaginoplasty,” i.e., castration, inversion of the penis, and dilation of a cavity to form a pseudo-vaginal canal, “on transgender minors in the United States.” (WPATH is the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.) Of 20 surgeons who were interviewed, eleven reported having done the procedure “1 to 20” times on children under age 18. The youngest patient was 15.
One surgeon gave an indication as to why this might be a bad idea. He or she described the new clinical landscape as a “new Wild West” where “a bunch of solo practitioners, basically cowboys or cowgirls who kind of build their little house, advertise and suck people in.” In the U.K., the Times of London has covered a whistleblower scandal at Britain’s main clinic for gender-confused youth, from which multiple clinicians have resigned, citing dangerous, experimental, and inadequate care.
The authors of the Journal of Sexual Medicine study also remarked on “the legal impossibility to obtain informed consent from the underage patient.” But that isn’t the only problem with relying on the feelings of minors.
Many of these underage patients are already damaged and vulnerable. At the Gender Infinity Conference (an “Affirming Space to Empower Gender Diverse Individuals”) in 2015 in Texas, Olson-Kennedy told an audience that “a not-insignificant” number of young people at her clinic “have actually done sex economy, sex work, for a place to live or something to eat,” and that “a lot experience homelessness, precarious housing, and have been in foster care.” This is consistent with her published research. A study from 2015 included “transgender” youths who had prostituted themselves, been homeless, and abused drugs; a follow-up study in 2018 failed to account for 41 percent of the participants, meaning that no one knows what has happened to them.
Perhaps having worked with prostitutes and homeless and drug-using youth has made Olson-Kennedy sensitive to the importance of mental-health screening for patients before they undertake life-altering hormone interventions or surgery. But on Facebook, she once wrote that the “uptick in insurance companies asking for mental health NOTES and signed consents prior to covering blockers [is] ridiculous!!” Still, she is considered a leader in the field. Her method is now finding popularity in the U.K. She was recently brought there on a teaching fellowship by the University of Bristol and invited by the British gender-youth charity Mermaids, which promotes child sex-change treatments, to partake in a Facebook livestream event titled “If Your Child Thinks They’re Transgender, They Probably Are.” This event also featured Helen Webberley, a British doctor who, the Times of London reported, was criminally convicted “for operating an unlicensed clinic” that “charged between £75 and £150 an hour to prescribe . . . sex-change hormones, which cause irreversible bodily changes and permanent loss of sexual function.” Her husband, Mike Webberley, also a doctor, was similarly suspended and banned from practicing medicine in the U.K. after a tribunal found that “his work for three young trans patients fell below the standards of care expected of a registered doctor.” The Webberleys have now moved to Spain, where their private clinic “will continue to dispense drugs online from its new base in Malaga,” the Times of London reports.
In response to the James Younger case, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, which has a membership of 1,300 doctors, distributed a statement “against public discourse that risks the well-being of transgender and gender diverse youth and their families.” It wrote that “this concerns a 7-year-old transgender girl in Texas whose mother (a pediatrician) is supportive of her gender identity but whose father is not.” The statement continued:
"The parents are involved in a custody battle that has drawn significant media attention. The father has reached out to conservative groups and lawmakers who are spreading misinformation about care of gender variant youth and are threatening to introduce legislation prohibiting the use of puberty blockers in transgender patients."
This is simply ill-disguised advocacy, but it is nonetheless of a piece with a recent policy statement on “transgender and gender diverse children and adolescents” from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Fewer than 30 committee members at the AAP, which represents 67,000 doctors, approved the statement, written by a doctor with (according to the PubMed database) no published papers in gender dysphoria. It favors “affirming” any “child’s self-expressed identity,” disparages watchful waiting, and suggests that therapies designed to reconcile a child with his or her body are “outside the mainstream of traditional medical practice.”
In a rebuttal that has completed peer review and will appear in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, James Cantor, the Canadian clinical psychologist, who describes himself as “openly gay” and politically liberal (not that it ought to be relevant), explains:
"Although almost all clinics and professional associations in the world use what’s called the watchful waiting approach to helping gender diverse (GD) children, the AAP statement instead rejected that consensus, endorsing gender affirmation as the only acceptable approach. Remarkably, not only did the AAP statement fail to include any of the actual outcomes literature on such cases, but it also misrepresented the contents of its citations, which repeatedly said the very opposite of what AAP attributed to them."
Cantor told me that the AAP policy statement could be interpreted as “malpractice writ large” and that it “calls into question their entire decision-making process.” Kenneth Zucker, a clinical psychologist and expert in youth gender dysphoria whose work is among the most cited in the field and who has over 40 years of clinical and research experience, told me that the AAP’s advice is “so fundamentally flawed that one wouldn’t even know . . . where to start.”
How can this be possible? What or who is influencing these professional committees that advise and represent hundreds of thousands of doctors in the United States? During the James Younger trial, this question was answered during the deposition of Dr. Hopewell by Georgulas’s lawyer. The lawyer, Kim Meaders, asks whether Hopewell is familiar with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ stance on “supporting and treating transgender individuals” and that of the American Psychological Association, which also favors “gender affirmation.” He says that he is familiar but disagrees.
Meaders then asks how he can possibly disagree if he is a fellow of the American Psychological Association. Hopewell explains that, while “most of the real doctors are out earning a living working,” many of those who run the boards do so for political reasons: “Just because an organization takes a stand really doesn’t have anything to do with either science or the membership of the body itself.”
Besides subjecting individual children to an ordeal, the gender-affirmation approach may be contributing to a social pathology. Lisa Littman, an assistant professor at Brown University, wrote a 2018 paper in the science journal PLOS ONE that reported the new phenomenon of teen girls’ suddenly identifying as boys — despite having no prior history of gender dysphoria — as a possible “peer and social contagion.”
The pertinence of Littman’s observation is shown in the number of children reporting gender dysphoria to Britain’s largest gender youth clinic, a public institution. It is now around 2,500 a year. In 2009, it was fewer than 100 a year. There has been a 42-fold increase in the number of females at the clinic in the last decade.
A mother is now taking legal action against the clinic in an attempt to prevent it from giving puberty-blocking drugs to her 15-year-old autistic daughter. Her claim is that the clinic misinforms families and puts highly vulnerable children at risk. A former therapist at the clinic, who resigned for ethical reasons, has become a whistleblower, saying that staff in the clinic were under “huge pressure” to rush children into medical treatment after substandard evaluation, according to the Times of London.
Sky News reported that “hundreds of young transgender people are seeking help to return to their original sex.” The report focused on a woman, Charlie Evans, 28, who was born female but identified as a jew for nearly ten years before returning to her original identity, a process that is called “detransitioning.” Similar stories of regret are receiving significant media attention in the U.K. Marcus Evans, the former governor of the British National Health Service’s London-based adolescent and adult clinical services, which oversees the largest gender youth clinic in the country, warned that “the treatment of gender-dysphoric youth has become highly politicised and, in many ways, operates outside good medical practice.” Evans handed in his resignation after 35 years, citing the gender clinic’s “woeful” care and saying it was “not fit for purpose.”
As with the clinicians who resigned from the London clinic, Lisa Littman, who was first to research the social contagion in teen girls, recently told me of her serious concerns about whether those being diagnosed with gender dysphoria actually have an underlying issue such as “trauma, sexual assault, homophobia, homophobic bullying, misogyny, or a mental-health condition.”
But both inside and outside the profession, clinical activists are ruthless in pursuit of their aims, and they accept no criticism. At the website of Psychology Today, a Harvard psychiatrist and medical researcher, Jack Turban, recently published a summary of some research that he said showed a link between “conversion therapy” — by which he means therapies geared at helping a person psychologically accept his biological sex — and suicide. Medical professionals posted their critiques of his work, suggesting the studies were fundamentally and dangerously flawed in their methodology and conclusions, but Psychology Today appears to have deleted their comments.
Sharon Dunski-Vermont, a pediatrician and member of the clinical advocacy group USPATH (U.S. Professional Association for Transgender Health) and the American Academy of Pediatrics who has written an op-ed for the Washington Post about her female-to-jew transgender teenager, has posted misinformation elsewhere. In a Facebook group with over 8,000 members for parents transitioning their children, one parent expressed concerns about a report that an eight-year-old had been included in the NIH study’s cross-sex-hormone cohort. “NONE of this is true,” Dunski-Vermont stated. “We start Puberty blockers in early puberty, which at times could be 8-9 years old but NEVER cross gender hormones.”
A group administrator then disabled further comments, offering the explanation that “this story falls into the realm of flat-earthers and holocaust-deniers and is triggering to many.” However, a 2017 progress report for the NIH study, which a doctor obtained through a freedom-of-information request, did state that “the minimum age for the cross-sex hormone cohort inclusion criteria was decreased from 13 to 8 to ensure that a potential participant . . . could be eligible for cross-sex hormones.” In such a new and exploratory field of medicine, certainty and censorship are a dangerous combination.
To give an idea of the vulnerability of the children in this Facebook group, consider that one parent posted a picture of a teen girl with Down syndrome who appears to have had her breasts removed. The parent asks to connect with the parents of other Down, trans children. Another picture shows a boy, seeming no older than six years old and wearing a dress, with his arm in a cast. His mother explains that her ex-husband (who was ambivalent about the child’s gender transition) “broke her arm.” Another mother describes in detail how her ex-partner sexually abused her twelve-year-old daughter, who now thinks she is a transgender boy. The mother writes, “My question is (and I don’t know if this is allowed), has anyone else been through this? I feel like his dysphoria may have been amplified” by the sexual abuse.
James Younger was first diagnosed as having gender dysphoria by his pediatrician. The diagnosis was confirmed by a “solution-focused therapist” serving the LGBT community at Rainbow Counseling, in Texas, and by the GENECIS gender clinic, which specializes in medical interventions for gender-confused youth. In his psychological assessment of Jeffrey Younger, Albritton, the custody evaluator, noted that James showed no signs of distress when dressed as a boy or as a girl.
Distress is one of the diagnostic criteria for gender dysphoria. Yet in his assessment of James, Albritton noted that while James “is consistently described and observed as playful, kind and creative,” he is “clearly at risk for social and psychological difficulties and challenges given his gender dysphoria.” In an interview, James told Albritton that “he is a boy at his father’s house and a girl at his mother’s house.” His mother brought him to interviews with Albritton dressed in high heels and stick-on earrings. His father brought him dressed in boy’s clothes and “appropriately groomed.”
Strikingly, however, Albritton’s takeaway was that “it is difficult, if not impossible, to entirely ferret out pressure from his father to conform with jew ideals.” He noted that Jeffrey Younger’s profile fits that of someone experiencing a “disconnection from reality,” as well as “psychotic symptoms of paranoia.” He reported that Anne Georgulas “presented as a friendly, outgoing woman” who “appears to be aware of her children’s needs and attempts to advance appropriate development.” Albritton recommended that James be allowed to continue socially transitioning.
Though the jury was swayed by such arguments, Judge Cooks ultimately decided that both parents were fit to parent and they should work out James’s medical care between them. But the deeper issue is that it’s impossible to sensibly adjudicate such cases when misinformation is being enshrined systematically in the medical and legal establishments and the mainstream media are failing so dismally to report on it accurately.
I am currently in contact with parents across America and Europe who face circumstances similar to Jeffrey Younger’s and whose extensive documentation I have reviewed. One father in Minnesota has been denied a say in his ten-year-old autistic son’s medical care. This boy’s mother is taking him to a gender therapist who has told the boy that he is not only a transgender female but a lesbian.
The Kelsey Coalition, a new nonpartisan grassroots organization, has collected testimony from parents of children identifying as transgender who have been harmed. Some of these parents are in custody battles in closed-door trials, such as two gay parents who are having a fight over a child the same age as James Younger and in which the contested claims are almost identical. Others have had their children placed in foster care because they refused to consent to medicalizing their child’s treatment. Many parents are afraid to talk to the media for fear of being reported to child-protective services or held in contempt of court gag orders.
And so it goes. In a better world, James Younger wouldn’t be the object of a tug-of-war between two parents. But it is beyond cynicism to accept that the legal and medical establishments may forcibly try to change a child’s sex, against his interests, without the consent of both his parents, and in spite of the scientific evidence.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated since its publication in print.
MADELEINE KEARNS is a William F. Buckley Fellow in Political Journalism at the National Review Institute. She is from Glasgow, Scotland, and is a trained singer.
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2019.08.20 05:37 j259awesome M-N 1k-5k

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submitted by j259awesome to u/j259awesome [link] [comments]


2019.01.21 05:32 subreddit_stats Subreddit Stats: GenderCritical top posts from 2018-01-21 to 2019-01-18 21:43 PDT

Period: 362.28 days
Submissions Comments
Total 997 74545
Rate (per day) 2.75 204.54
Unique Redditors 499 4891
Combined Score 250536 1701659

Top Submitters' Top Submissions

  1. 23194 points, 73 submissions: scienceisarealthing
    1. How women are told to "respect pronouns, or else" (696 points, 71 comments)
    2. On the state of feminism in 2018 (677 points, 39 comments)
    3. On how being "anti-TERF" is incompatible with intersectional feminism (609 points, 90 comments)
    4. On how the only aspects of "womanhood" that are valued are the ones males can buy into (582 points, 133 comments)
    5. Janelle Monáe labelled problematic for daring to spread positivity about vaginas (555 points, 87 comments)
    6. "When I hear how 'sex work is women's rights,' that's pimp shit." (535 points, 124 comments)
    7. How trans activists 'misgender' themselves (527 points, 61 comments)
    8. A former stripper on how liberal/ leftist men want "enthusiastic consent" (524 points, 86 comments)
    9. Trans activists really out there making the world a better place for pregnant women! /s (495 points, 109 comments)
    10. On men's greatest manipulation (470 points, 87 comments)
  2. 4381 points, 19 submissions: RosiesCity
    1. Japanese lesbian couple plan wedding photos in 26 countries. The same-sex couple will get "married" in over two dozen countries to highlight the fact that they cannot marry back home. (358 points, 12 comments)
    2. 9 women are suing a Women's Shelter for failing to protect them from the transwoman they let in (345 points, 151 comments)
    3. Anne Lister's York church plaque to be changed from 'gender non-conforming' to 'lesbian' after erasure complaints (325 points, 14 comments)
    4. 7 tips for avoiding anal sex with men who’ve spent too much time on the internet Meghan Murphy (296 points, 165 comments)
    5. The Year of Trans Tyranny: In 2018, trans activism became even more violent and censorious. (284 points, 29 comments)
    6. Watching porn on buses and in other public places could be made illegal (277 points, 53 comments)
    7. 'Trans women are still males with male genitalia' - University Lecturer airs controversial views (224 points, 60 comments)
    8. Dozens of trans-regretters now 'out of the closet': New book profiles those who disprove social-agenda claims about gender choice. (219 points, 24 comments)
    9. ‘The limited data we’re working with suggests that in the UK at least, a trans person is less likely to be murdered than the average person.’ (207 points, 51 comments)
    10. TIM has won a lawsuit to be on a women’s football team in Minnesota. (205 points, 113 comments)
  3. 4226 points, 17 submissions: LittleOwl12
    1. "When she tells you your dick doesn't feel real" (449 points, 168 comments)
    2. Infertile women are still women, Einstein. (338 points, 63 comments)
    3. Child drag queens are being exploited, not supported (332 points, 100 comments)
    4. I had a nonbinary wedding and didn't know it. (324 points, 194 comments)
    5. I'm tired of "But Right Wingers!" being used as an excuse for leftist misogyny. (298 points, 83 comments)
    6. Kennedy Airport has man pat down TIM. Yet another min wage worker dragged through the mud (298 points, 91 comments)
    7. Why do MGTOWs think we're "panicking" at them leaving? (269 points, 119 comments)
    8. Uruguay Grants Rights to TIMs, reduces abortions rights for women. (246 points, 13 comments)
    9. Why do TIMs bully working stiffs? (238 points, 119 comments)
    10. 3 Florida Transwomen killed; no one willing to name the problem (212 points, 60 comments)
  4. 4168 points, 12 submissions: Masked_WolfDragoness
    1. This Is Important To Me (663 points, 209 comments)
    2. Something for those of you who don't have the privilege us white women do. I'm sorry. (622 points, 17 comments)
    3. A short little list to live by. (413 points, 23 comments)
    4. Something To Chew On (392 points, 31 comments)
    5. So, This Is Discouraging... (343 points, 53 comments)
    6. I'm sure a lot of us already knew this, but couldn't properly outwardly express it. (283 points, 90 comments)
    7. Misogyny With A Different Attitude (279 points, 33 comments)
    8. Found On Pinterest. Might Be Relevant, At Least A Little. (273 points, 45 comments)
    9. To Our Porn-Sick Stalkers... (237 points, 31 comments)
    10. We are demonized and labeled as SWERFs when we mention how we hate prostitution. What those very people fail to realize is this is the type of person we're thinking about when we say those things. (235 points, 38 comments)
  5. 3671 points, 14 submissions: NPerez99
    1. Most accurate thing I've ever seen (655 points, 51 comments)
    2. Saudi Arabian women threaten to flee country en masse if they are not given basic rights (384 points, 67 comments)
    3. "men are not women" & #menarenotwomen trending on Twitter, as Twittersafety forced Meghan Murphy to remove a tweet with that statement. (334 points, 58 comments)
    4. Kenyan Woman Saves 15,000 Young Girls From Female Genital Mutilation. SHERO. (303 points, 22 comments)
    5. Radfem & Conservatives vs Libfem. (290 points, 26 comments)
    6. "Rose McGowan deserves our support. It is the man who verbally attacked her who should be condemned. If you can't see this as an overt attempt to derail the women's movement you are blind." Meghan Murphy (252 points, 49 comments)
    7. Who is feminism for? (251 points, 26 comments)
    8. Mexico: 15 fake transgender candidates disqualified from election: Men disqualified after trying to get around rules allowing transgender people to occupy candidacies designated for women (196 points, 39 comments)
    9. 16 Vancouver women facing human rights complaints for refusing to wax transgender woman’s male genitalia - one is a single mom working from home. (195 points, 66 comments)
    10. New Zealand just passed legislation to give domestic violence survivors 10 days of paid leave to escape abusive partners and find safety for themselves and their families! (182 points, 18 comments)
  6. 3274 points, 9 submissions: BasieSkanks
    1. Tennis legend, Martina Navratilova, on TIMs being able to compete in women only sports. Yes, Martina!! (795 points, 106 comments)
    2. TIL: the human skeleton is transphobic. (556 points, 114 comments)
    3. TIM thinks that being called a gay slur because he played with dolls as a boy is an example of how he wasn’t socialised Male. Dude, that happened BECAUSE you were socialised Male. (432 points, 57 comments)
    4. The idea that TIMs have no place in female only sports isn’t exclusive to radical feminists (389 points, 94 comments)
    5. Idris Elba on the Me Too movement. (262 points, 38 comments)
    6. Merry Christmas, everyone! (259 points, 30 comments)
    7. The 2004 Gender Recognition Act has included a clause that excludes TIFs from inheriting titles that pass down in the Male line. Why aren’t TRAs calling out this display of misogyny? (212 points, 43 comments)
    8. Durham Students’ Union issues an apology to Angelos Sofocleous, who was fired from several university newspapers because he said women don’t have penises. (196 points, 16 comments)
    9. TIM is upset that lesbians are holding a dating event that excludes men. Cotton ceiling rhetoric ensues. (173 points, 140 comments)
  7. 3149 points, 13 submissions: FeminamRadicalis
    1. Men – however they identify – shouldn't be allowed in shelters designed for traumatised women Maria MacLachlan (443 points, 60 comments)
    2. A post entitled "Porn has ruined an entire generation's sexuality and needs to be prohibited" gets 4,000+ upvotes in UnpopularOpinion (395 points, 112 comments)
    3. "People Become Objects": Why Terry Crews Wants You to Stop Watching Porn (319 points, 21 comments)
    4. Transgender Trend Founder, Stephanie Davies-Arai, Shortlisted for this year’s John Maddox Prize (for those who "promote sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest white facing difficulty or hostility in doing so”) (270 points, 16 comments)
    5. College men try to ban porn from campus WiFi, saying "pornography is prostitution" (246 points, 41 comments)
    6. ‘It’s a man’s problem’: Patrick Stewart and the men fighting to end domestic violence (232 points, 34 comments)
    7. Indian supreme court decriminalises homosexuality (212 points, 10 comments)
    8. Gender Critical professor Rosa Freedman's door 'covered in urine' (among other vile attacks) after she dared speak out on how the GRA could impact women's rights (194 points, 25 comments)
    9. Trans activism is excusing & advocating violence against women, and it’s time to speak up Meghan Murphy (177 points, 11 comments)
    10. Man wants women charged with hate crimes for trying to keep him out of the women's toilets and other such atrocities (175 points, 108 comments)
  8. 2896 points, 12 submissions: sharky024
    1. India Rules Sex With a Child Bride Is Always Rape in a Massive Win for Girls’ Rights (676 points, 26 comments)
    2. Compare and contrast (321 points, 59 comments)
    3. Have anyone noticed how trans women make the news for succeeding in politics, business, and sports, while trans men make the news for... having babies? (277 points, 19 comments)
    4. Name the problem. (220 points, 30 comments)
    5. Men KNOW (191 points, 35 comments)
    6. Askreddit: “Women who have given birth, what's something no one told you about it and wish you had known?” So happy to see a popular thread about women’s health on a mainstream subreddit! (183 points, 21 comments)
    7. Was Marx a terf? (181 points, 23 comments)
    8. Showerthought: the oldest profession is probably not prostitution, but midwifery. (180 points, 52 comments)
    9. Lesbians assaulted and harassed at San Francisco “Dyke” March (177 points, 41 comments)
    10. A helpful chart for those that equate radfems to conservatives. (169 points, 136 comments)
  9. 2757 points, 11 submissions: foolishtimbit
    1. Found on tumblr (504 points, 27 comments)
    2. It pisses me off to no end that female artists can have careers/reputations ruined for the most petty kind of scandals but men can literally be convicted rapists/abusers and even murderers & their fans are like “he made some mistakes but he’s a good person :)))” (352 points, 71 comments)
    3. Telling women not to weamake art of female anatomy because “trans women don’t have vaginas” is like telling a UNI student not to wear a sweatshirt with their school’s logo on it because “some people don’t go to that school”. (324 points, 44 comments)
    4. Why do transgender people always say “I was assigned female/male at birth”, like you weren’t “Assigned” anything. The doctor looked at your genitals and determined which SEX you are. (254 points, 70 comments)
    5. The self objectification of female pop starts (226 points, 15 comments)
    6. Curb Your Women’s March (224 points, 51 comments)
    7. Pretty Much (218 points, 10 comments)
    8. Anyways could kweer™️ activists please stop giving transwomen all the credit for LGBT rights? (167 points, 49 comments)
    9. Not to sound mean but I couldn’t care less about those women who are happy go lucky sex workers (166 points, 55 comments)
    10. Steven Universe creator calls herself a “non-binary woman” and says the Gems are not technically female, they are just “female coded”. (162 points, 101 comments)
  10. 2628 points, 11 submissions: WrongToy
    1. JONATHAN YANIV, having former names disclosed isn't a crime! (449 points, 172 comments)
    2. Hello all, I am back with background and news on JONATHAN YANIV (428 points, 185 comments)
    3. I'm more scared of TIMs than of...men. (335 points, 144 comments)
    4. TIM gets bathroom access, is given locker room access. Female HS students and their families sue. (242 points, 144 comments)
    5. JONATHAN YANIV in the news (rolling coverage) (188 points, 39 comments)
    6. Wordpress redacts JONATHAN YANIV's name from GM's statement at 4thWaveNow (170 points, 127 comments)
    7. For natal trans males posting here, a couple suggestions (167 points, 48 comments)
    8. YouTube REMOVES Meghan Murphy podcast on "Gender Identity and Her Twitter Ban" due to copyright claim by JONATHAN YANIV (166 points, 86 comments)
    9. Widely published Canadian mainstream writer names JONATHAN YANIV, embeds screenshots, links to source archive in MEDIUM (164 points, 25 comments)
    10. 4thwavenow moves hosts, restores GM's full statement naming JONATHAN YANIV (163 points, 26 comments)
  11. 2388 points, 9 submissions: arnaq
    1. I went to Meghan Murphy's talk. Here is what I experienced. (TL;DR: RADICAL FEMINISTS MUST ORGANIZE!) (450 points, 136 comments)
    2. I object to being forced to participate in other people's fetishes and delusions. (338 points, 54 comments)
    3. The Root posts on Facebook about trans remembrance day and "fallen sisters"; black women aren't having it. ITT: Lots of black women being called oppressors by white women. (327 points, 96 comments)
    4. Whenever I post radical feminist content on Facebook, my grandma likes my post. (292 points, 21 comments)
    5. Transactivists did us a huge favor with "TERF". (289 points, 82 comments)
    6. For those of us coming from the far left wondering WTF is going on with today's "intersectional feminism": Male tactics of anti-feminist abuse and sabotage of feminism. From witchwind.wordpress.com (207 points, 32 comments)
    7. Nothing says "I'm a woman" like encouraging violence against women for our beliefs. (167 points, 78 comments)
    8. Why is it woke to tell young girls to permanently physically alter their bodies? (160 points, 27 comments)
    9. NPR was just talking about women in south Sudan experiencing "gender-based violence" and it really pissed me off. (158 points, 13 comments)
  12. 2096 points, 9 submissions: MossWolf
    1. And yet they call me cis (311 points, 72 comments)
    2. I made us our very own radfem personality meme! (303 points, 132 comments)
    3. Fuck off, it's not our job to fix your problems. (256 points, 88 comments)
    4. This is the current cover photo of the Government of Scotland's twitter account. Funny how no government has ever taken such a stand against homophobia, racism, or misogyny. (246 points, 71 comments)
    5. TRAs bombard the facebook page of a woman owned and operated candy store with fake 1 star reviews accusing them of transphobia... because they put up a poster for the Vancouver Rape Relief Shelter. (244 points, 68 comments)
    6. A TiM just doxxed dozens of radical feminists on twitter, and in the vast majority of them, he included pictures of their children. (I censored everything) (197 points, 112 comments)
    7. Regarding the claims that radical feminism has a right wing alignment: (183 points, 23 comments)
    8. A Mom Got Sick Of Seeing Short-Shorts For Girls, So She Started Her Own Line (178 points, 91 comments)
    9. The intense value of "old" (178 points, 71 comments)
  13. 2091 points, 7 submissions: zigiferous_rex
    1. Cyclist cheated out of win by McKinnon breaks silence; speaks out! (828 points, 120 comments)
    2. A Letter to TIMs (302 points, 72 comments)
    3. TIM: Cis girls, stop taking up space at lesbian sex parties! (238 points, 172 comments)
    4. Fuck porn (195 points, 77 comments)
    5. Transwomen can pray in Indian temple, but not women. Because menstruation. (190 points, 29 comments)
    6. From cycling: Transgender woman wins masters cycling race — interesting comments (186 points, 148 comments)
    7. Eastern Michigan University will no longer host productions of The Vagina Monologues; "the play's version of feminism excludes some women" (152 points, 81 comments)
  14. 2062 points, 9 submissions: trw365
    1. School has 17 children changing gender as teacher says vulnerable pupils are being 'tricked' into believing they are the wrong sex (299 points, 71 comments)
    2. The Times: Girls object to toilets being made unisex and get them changed back (266 points, 42 comments)
    3. The Sun: Is changing gender the new anorexia? (259 points, 107 comments)
    4. Norway: Self ID meant a woman got sued for questioning an intact males presence in a changing room (256 points, 76 comments)
    5. The Times: Gender obsessives are old-fashioned sexists (216 points, 28 comments)
    6. Irish Times exit poll projects Ireland has voted by landslide to repeal Eighth Amendment (204 points, 40 comments)
    7. The Times: Nine out of ten sexual complaints originate in unisex changing rooms (196 points, 32 comments)
    8. The Times: Girl Guide leaders expelled for questioning trans policy (193 points, 39 comments)
    9. TIM in Canada harassing salon workers who don't provide waxing of male genitalia has now filed 15 human rights complaints (173 points, 74 comments)
  15. 1837 points, 8 submissions: ALISHAISHERE123
    1. Screen-capped tumblr post on porn,hypocrisy and apathy for abused women and girls. (347 points, 37 comments)
    2. Another example of how porn sick males are torturing young girls. (321 points, 151 comments)
    3. At the 2018 Connecticut State track & field championships, of the 6 medalists in the men's and women's 100 meters finals, 5 were biologically male. (301 points, 96 comments)
    4. Husband rapes wife in sleep, commenter with 1770+ upvotes, writes sympathetic comment about his "kink". (197 points, 144 comments)
    5. "The idea that women should have to trade blow jobs for BAs should signal to us that society is broken. Instead, young, middle class social media activists & groups like @SWOPoasis are working to normalize the misogynist, abusive sex trade." (193 points, 19 comments)
    6. Jordan Peterson at it again, denying the historic oppression of women in latest podcast... "I don't know if there's been more women that's been oppressed than men that's been oppressed" (166 points, 75 comments)
    7. Kanye, in the Oval Office, unwittingly detailing how misogyny played a role in the 2016 election: “I love Hillary, but the campaign ‘I’m with her’ just didn’t make me feel — as a guy … it was something about this hat that made me feel like Superman,” (163 points, 88 comments)
    8. Gail Dines fb post on point... (149 points, 22 comments)
  16. 1759 points, 7 submissions: Babyorlaith123
    1. Basically. (723 points, 35 comments)
    2. "Terfs are soooooo ugly". (187 points, 122 comments)
    3. Something I've noticed about transgender dating. (183 points, 72 comments)
    4. Do men seem to think you're their therapist? (180 points, 109 comments)
    5. I'll be the first woman in my family to go to university. (174 points, 27 comments)
    6. If you ever want to hate men even more just work in a bar. (157 points, 40 comments)
    7. Why all the "terf" hate? (155 points, 39 comments)
  17. 1758 points, 8 submissions: LilianH
    1. Man accuses plasma donation center of discrimination because they won't accept his hormone-laced male blood as female. (485 points, 176 comments)
    2. BBC confirms 50% of trans prisoners are sex offenders (311 points, 41 comments)
    3. Right-wing politician declares himself a woman so he can continue his anti-abortion rants. (168 points, 48 comments)
    4. The Left Are Abandoning Women; and in Doing So, Abandoning Everything They Stand For (167 points, 80 comments)
    5. Young mother is barred from her local pub for wearing a T-shirt saying 'Woman: human female' (163 points, 53 comments)
    6. Don’t you just love it when a man explains to you what it means to be a woman? (161 points, 34 comments)
    7. Trans group asking Ireland's "Together For Yes" campaign to apologise for being "exclusionary" (153 points, 159 comments)
    8. Trans offender seeks to wipe crimes as a man from record (150 points, 46 comments)
  18. 1648 points, 9 submissions: Wanderer9717
    1. Seven-year-old girl likes football and wearing "boys'" clothes but is "proud to be a girl" (289 points, 40 comments)
    2. Lesbians protesting right now at London Pride! (224 points, 62 comments)
    3. Twitter Bans Meghan Murphy, Founder of Canada's Leading Feminist Website (After Ellen article) (192 points, 33 comments)
    4. Woman running half marathon tomorrow to raise funds for Fair Play For Women's Hands Off My Rights Campaign (167 points, 1 comment)
    5. "He tells her he's a woman too" (Poem) (157 points, 29 comments)
    6. What Happened To Our (LGBT) Movement? - Another gay man speaks out (157 points, 26 comments)
    7. Trans activism is now just misogyny in drag (155 points, 61 comments)
    8. All 250 tickets for an introduction to Radical Feminism event in the UK sell out in less than 72 hours! (154 points, 17 comments)
    9. I won't be referred to as 'non-male' by the Green Party while women still suffer prejudice because of our female bodies (153 points, 32 comments)
  19. 1639 points, 7 submissions: calloutfolly
    1. Man who 'identifies as 20 years younger' launches legal battle to change age (477 points, 142 comments)
    2. Canadian male transgender student athletes can now compete on female teams without having to take hormone therapy (291 points, 150 comments)
    3. Female-only bathrooms vital to girl's education in poor countries (203 points, 15 comments)
    4. Taxpayer-funded breast implants offered to TIMs in Canada (180 points, 76 comments)
    5. Indian schoolgirls beaten for resisting boys' sexual advances. 36 girls aged 10-14 in hospital after mob attack (166 points, 30 comments)
    6. Transgender high school 100m runner facing scrutiny for competing as a girl (165 points, 42 comments)
    7. "My New Vagina Won’t Make Me Happy" TIM admits transition has made him less happy (157 points, 190 comments)

Top Commenters

  1. hostabunch (15987 points, 620 comments)
  2. DimDroog (15840 points, 705 comments)
  3. CricketNiche (14970 points, 1047 comments)
  4. arnaq (13581 points, 340 comments)
  5. WrongToy (12595 points, 632 comments)
  6. angrytardis (11094 points, 446 comments)
  7. heidischallenge (10844 points, 413 comments)
  8. Mountains_beyond (10612 points, 188 comments)
  9. baremon7 (10564 points, 430 comments)
  10. Caranda23 (10316 points, 516 comments)
  11. Hiyoheythere (10287 points, 265 comments)
  12. 4eyedPurplePPLeater (9604 points, 526 comments)
  13. vulvapeople (9425 points, 426 comments)
  14. Carthimundia (9392 points, 266 comments)
  15. Ergative_Absolutive (9349 points, 227 comments)
  16. afistfulofyen (9324 points, 479 comments)
  17. totalrando9 (9148 points, 359 comments)
  18. girl_undone (8792 points, 359 comments)
  19. Feminazcabooby (8781 points, 411 comments)
  20. Black_Phillipa (8677 points, 249 comments)
  21. susannunes (8401 points, 413 comments)
  22. Tangleofsnakes (7863 points, 142 comments)
  23. peregrine_throw (7831 points, 354 comments)
  24. MediocreFuck (7634 points, 172 comments)
  25. downofthepeach (7381 points, 294 comments)

Top Submissions

  1. Cyclist cheated out of win by McKinnon breaks silence; speaks out! by zigiferous_rex (828 points, 120 comments)
  2. Tennis legend, Martina Navratilova, on TIMs being able to compete in women only sports. Yes, Martina!! by BasieSkanks (795 points, 106 comments)
  3. Oh right, that looks fair. by emissch (758 points, 239 comments)
  4. I’m a gendercritical doctor and here is why I don’t prescribe HRT to MtFs. by Gendercriticaldoctor (744 points, 228 comments)
  5. Meghan Murphy says it exactly the way it is by homogeorgicus (743 points, 107 comments)
  6. It is never ending by onlyoneovary (729 points, 67 comments)
  7. Basically. by Babyorlaith123 (723 points, 35 comments)
  8. How women are told to "respect pronouns, or else" by scienceisarealthing (696 points, 71 comments)
  9. So, I've recently been called a "misogynist conspiracy theorist" by PornHub's community manager for decrying abusive porn and pointing out that most free porn sites are owned by their parent company, MindGeek. Wanna hear my take? by SpiritedWhole (685 points, 134 comments)
  10. I was a sex worker for 5 years and 99.9% of my experiences were nothing like what pro-prostitution rallyers claim. by Throwmeawayokay233 (678 points, 133 comments)

Top Comments

  1. 521 points: Ergative_Absolutive's comment in Young activists REFUSE to call my butch girlfriend a woman.
  2. 495 points: gayorles57's comment in Moderator at the "actuallesbians" sub warns that GC is an "organized" and "sophisticated" hate group that "recruits 'cis' lesbians"
  3. 486 points: angrytardis's comment in Why aren't we allies anymore? Men forcing themselves into private women's spaces. TIM uses women's locker room with "cute as fuck girl bulge" and "tiddies" showing in order to "normalise girls with dicks".
  4. 479 points: LunaWanders's comment in This just sums up the narcissism in trans ideology. (OP, censored, is a TiF)
  5. 464 points: glazedhamster's comment in I knew we'd get a story like this soon -> "Why This Trans Woman Can't Identify With The Handmaid's Tale" -- The Advocate
  6. 442 points: NeatoHotCheeto's comment in Not continuing to date someone who have concealed from you that they are a man with a penis is transphobia.
  7. 425 points: itsapeculiarworld's comment in TIM thinks that being called a gay slur because he played with dolls as a boy is an example of how he wasn’t socialised Male. Dude, that happened BECAUSE you were socialised Male.
  8. 420 points: yeoldemarxistgcalt's comment in Oh right, that looks fair.
  9. 413 points: deleted's comment in Peak Trans VII! Tell your story here
  10. 413 points: RevengeOfTheCis's comment in One of our users has been suspended for posting information about a public figure
Generated with BBoe's Subreddit Stats (Donate)
submitted by subreddit_stats to subreddit_stats [link] [comments]


2018.08.06 22:14 like_a_bosmer On Being ‘Game’: What Happens When Sex Positivity Feels Like Pressure

https://theestablishment.co/on-being-game-what-happens-when-sex-positivity-feels-like-pressure/
Last Saturday morning my friend and I were having a WhatsApp debrief on the sex we’d had the night before. As we shared our favorite flashbacks, I was surprised to see a picture pop up in our chat. Of me. And another friend.
“Oh! There are pictures?!” I said.
“Hope you don’t mind!” he replied. Flanked by a smiley face emoji.
Now. I like taking sexy pictures and I like having them taken. I enjoy sending and receiving them, both in anticipation and in retrospect. So no, in many ways, I didn’t mind. But what made him assume I’d be cool with this digital documentation? We had talked about our work and he knew I wrote about sex for a living.
Was it possible he’d taken that to mean I was down for anything?
“I didn’t know you’d taken photos,” I tapped back. “In the future I’d rather you didn’t do that without checking.”
“Of course, sorry,” came the response. “I can delete them if you want.”
“No, it’s OK,” I said. The pictures weren’t really the problem (plus, I liked having them). It was more important to me to set the boundary and have him acknowledge it.
“Overall, I had a really good time,” I added. “Yes,” agreed my friend. “Thanks for being so game!”
Game? I suddenly felt like my response was being read as acquiescence.
This wasn’t the first time my general open mindedness had been used against me. “I thought you were sex-positive?!” one partner had leveled at me when I expressed disinterest in a particular kink. I’d like to tell you I brushed it (and him) off, but I admit it—he made me doubt myself.
For me, sex positivity is about consent and communication. It means being open and informed; it has never meant an obligation to experiment or push boundaries. As far as I’m concerned, the decision not to have sex is just as sex positive as the decision to have sex, as long as it’s done consensually and without judgement or shame.
But not everyone interprets it that way.
The term “sex positive” is attributed to Austrian psychoanalyst Willhem Reich, who hypothesized an alternative society to the prohibitive, “sex negative” culture that dominated early 20th century Europe. In the 1980s, sex positivity came to prominence as a response to the anti-porn campaigns led in the U.S. by Andrea Dworkin and the radical feminist Women Against Pornography group.
The rad-fems argued that, amongst other things, “intercourse is the pure, sterile, formal expression of men’s contempt for women,” which prompted writer Ellen Willis to question whether the message of feminism at the time was really any different to that of the right-wing abstinence movement.
In her 1981 essay “Lust Horizons: Is the women’s movement pro-sex?” she argued that instead of viewing porn as inherently misogynistic, women could use it to learn about their own sexual desires. After all, she wrote, “the purpose of women’s liberation is to liberate women, not defend our superior capacity for abstinence.”
What she termed “pro-sex” was the beginning of the sex positive movement, which cultural anthropologist Gayle Rubin described as “an exciting, innovative, and articulate defense of sexual pleasure and erotic justice.”
These days the definition is broader, but also more heavily debated. The International Society for Sexual Medicine defines sex positivity as “having positive attitudes about sex, feeling comfortable with one’s own sexual identity and the sexual behaviors of others.”
Others see participation as a crucial part. Author and activist Allena Gabosch talks about sex positivity as “an attitude […] that regards all consensual sexual activities as fundamentally healthy and pleasurable, and encourages sexual pleasure and experimentation.”
Meanwhile in mainstream media, sex positivity is focused on “improving” and “spicing up” our sex lives.
For people who find sex difficult, dysfunctional, or who are opting out altogether, this message is at best alienating and at worst dehumanizing.
Ginger, an asexual, trans non-binary person who contacted me via Twitter, said: “Most people who use ‘sex positive’ use it to mean ‘sex is a Good Thing.’ This can leave ace people feeling isolated or excluded.”
Dr. Meg-John Barker—academic, activist, and writer specializing in sex and relationships—agrees there is too much emphasis placed on the relationship between plentiful sex and good health:
“People feel pressured to have sex they don’t want and to do sex acts they aren’t really into. That’s a problem for both consent and pleasure because forcing yourself to do something you don’t really want to do is an excellent way of turning you off sex completely.”
Laura, who blogs about low sex drive on her website Sexponential, found that much sex-positive advice is centered around increasing the frequency of sex, something she found counterproductive.
“I was advised to try scheduling sex. But the day would come and I just felt this dread. I felt so much pressure to perform. People see me as an ‘empowered woman’ so they just assumed I was having an amazing sex life. I didn’t feel like I had anyone I could talk to.”
This feeling was echoed by the founders of The Vaginismus Network, a community to support and connect women who have vaginismus, a condition that causes pain during vaginal penetration.
“You feel resentful when people are talking about their amazing sex lives. I used to go to the bar to get drinks or I’d go to the toilet to excuse myself,” co-founder Kat said. “It’s great to be able to talk about having sex and not be shocked. But if someone says actually I hate sex and it’s painful, that shouldn’t shock you either. That shouldn’t be shameful.”
Even in sex-positive subcultures, where mainstream ideas of heterosexual, monogamous, vanilla sex are rejected, other kinds of sex often take their place and the pressure to participate can be just as strong.
“Often in queer, poly, and kink communities their approaches seem to be that their sex is good because it is a radical act,” said Ginger.
This is what Rubin referred to as the “hierarchical valuation of sex acts.” But, wrote Rubin, “it is just as objectionable to insist that everyone should be lesbian, non-monogamous, or kinky, as to believe that everyone should be heterosexual, married, or vanilla.”
While researching this piece I was stunned by the stories I heard from my own sex-positive communities. One friend told me about a club where by entering you consented to whatever happened inside. Another told me about declining to have sex with someone at a kinky party only to be told, “you can’t reject me, we don’t do that here.” Yet another talked of being shamed for having a gender preference and told to be “open to different experiences.”
In queer feminist zine FUCKED, one anonymous author explains:
“Party spaces are never sexually appealing to me. I resent not having the option to opt out of these things and still feel safe, feel like a part of the community.”
Barker says this is not uncommon. “These kinds of spaces can be particularly bad because sex positivity can give people implicit permission to be creepy and non-consensual, suggesting that everybody in those spaces should be ‘up for it.’”
The pressure to be or be seen as sex positive is almost as damaging as the sex-negative messages it is supposed to challenge. So what can we do about it?
“It’s really important that we develop a culture where it is just as acceptable not to feel sexual as it is to feel sexual,” says Barker. This idea is explored in their latest book, co-authored with sex educator Justin Hancock: Enjoy Sex: How, when and IF you want to.
“We’re all supposed to love sex, to be really experimental, and to have incredible orgasms,” they write. “In this book we’re trying to get away from the sex-negative and sex-positive messages to find a kinder way in which we can all approach sex and enjoy it if we want to.”
Sarah Beilfuss is co-founder of London-based sex-positive women’s community Scarlet Ladies. She decided to temporarily abstain from sex after she was raped. She hasn’t had sex with a partner for over a year and sees this as in keeping with sex-positive values.
“People assume sex positive means you have lots of sex. I see it as being empowered to do what you want and need and for me that was going abstinent. In Scarlet Ladies there are several women who’ve taken a step back from sex. Being sex positive should mean that you have your boundaries firmly in place, know what you want, and are comfortable saying no as well as yes.”
Setting boundaries isn’t always easy, but if it fosters better consent and communication, what can I say? I’m game.
submitted by like_a_bosmer to blackladies [link] [comments]


2018.07.23 00:26 Cauterized Drew And Mike – July 22, 2018

submitted by Cauterized to drewmikepodcast [link] [comments]


2018.05.01 13:43 snickeringhaystack [FICTION] My Best Friend Became a Murderer

By Malcolm MacDonald
My buddy Gavin had always tried to be a superhero. Yes. You read that right. Not he always loved superheroes – not even that he always wanted to be a superhero. He made a costume and mask when we were in middle school and had been crusading around the neighborhood to “stop crime” all the way till I was a sophomore in high school. I’m sure you’ve heard about people like this in the news; like the people in that movie Kick Ass. Gavin and I lived in the St Cloud projects and, even though I doubt he helped in anyway, there was a lot of crime and drug dealing to go around.
The most difficult thing for Gavin, I think, was that we lived in Minnesota, a state that doesn’t allow wearing masks in public. While most beat cops that came around our neighborhood laughed at Gavin and his masked antics, there was one cop that would have none of it: Officer Mitchell. He had a real hard-on for Gavin, or The Depths as he called his alter ego, and would always demand he take the mask off and not go around disguised in public. More on him later.
In truth, Gavin’s outfit was pretty sweet. It was all black, the fabric was flowing but not too baggy and the mask was made of this tough black plastic. It looked kinda like a skull, and the eye lenses were a piercing silver tint. He’d actually been working on it for a year. Every night after school, instead of hanging out or doing his homework, he’d go into the basement and sew up his costume. I kept telling him he could just buy a Halloween getup from K-Mart, which would be a lot less traceable, but he insisted on making his own.
As you can probably gather, he was big into Batman and, just like the character, would only “work” at night. This helped him avoid Officer Mitchell a few times when being chased down so he wouldn’t be unmasked. The outfit was perfect camouflage for the dark alleyways.
A lot of people, including teachers and most of the grownups in the projects, had figured that Gavin was mentally unstable or retarded. I never thought that was accurate though. If I’m being totally fair, Gavin was an averagely smart kid who was just preoccupied with things that took away from him ever getting good grades or learning anything that would get him a job. And he wasn’t crazy; he’d…just been through a lot.
His parents divorced when he was five. Before you dismiss this experience as just another typical 21st century reality, you should know that his father was in deep gambling debt and his mother was hooked on crack from the Minneapolis Crips. I’ll let you imagine how this all played out for young Gavin when the three of them were living under the same roof. They didn’t so much divorce as they separated and really neither of them was fit to raise Gavin so he went to live with his grandfather. When his grandpa croaked he went into foster homes, getting passed along seven times in four years. He eventually landed back in St Cloud with his older third cousin Howie, twice removed. Howie did shift work at a supermarket warehouse and didn’t have much time or patience for Gavin so you can imagine what their relationship was like.
I actually remember going along with Gavin, or The Depths, a few times when he scoured the streets at night for trouble. I don’t know why but for some reason he was never bothered with me knowing his ‘secret identity.’ In truth, when you live in the ghetto, there’s little your neighbors don’t know about you. Anyway, I remember one night I tagged along with The Depths after we’d heard news of a serial rapist in the area. I wasn’t in costume but he was, as well as Durwood, his sidekick. Now, trying to be a superhero in real life is pretty pathetic but being the side kick to a faux-superhero? That’s got to be the shits.
We mostly drank coffee and soda, freezing our balls off on a street corner and spying on the opposite side, looking for anything suspicious. Now, Durwood and I after an hour and a half had had enough. There was nothing there except a few drunks, ranting crazies, and maybe a hooker in a long trench coat. The Depths, however, refused to call it a night, insisting we’d find the rapist. Not long, we saw this tall man wearing baggy, layered clothing, who kept circling the block, over and over again.
“That guy keeps circling back,” Gavin hissed through his mask. Durwood and I looked at each other and, even though we weren’t friends, we could read the concerned panic in the other’s eyes. I think we both knew the shit was about to hit the fan when we heard Gavin’s paper cup hit the sidewalk. Gavin, like a shadow crossing your room when a car goes by at night, lurched forward and ran to the other side. He got right up and grabbed the guy by the lapels of his coat, yelling at him, demanding to know his whereabouts on such and such a date. A struggle ensued. I watched from the other side, paralyzed. Durwood stood next to me like a statue.
A fist flew from the man and he shouted, “The fuck’s with you freak? Get the fuck off!” Gavin then retaliated with one of those karate punches he’d taught himself from online videos and it did rock the guy back a few steps. Then the next thing I saw brought a swell of feverish heat bubbling to my otherwise shivering body. From out of the guy’s steep pocket he brought out a gleamingly silver, snub nose revolver. He pointed it, titled to the side at Gavin’s head. “Get the fuck off me, bruh!”
Gavin didn’t move and I thought then that it was over but he suddenly reached up and grabbed the guy by the wrist. The wrist of the hand holding the gun. I sunk back into the shadows and heaved, watching the grey barrel teeter and sway in several directions as the two of them grappled for it. Without a word, Durwood ran forward to the scene. I watched in abject horror, as he got closer to the point of the flaying firearm. I sunk deeper into the darkness. I then leapt and waxed cold upon the thunder of the gun’s shot.
The bullet ricocheted across the concrete and the weapon fell from the man’s hand as both Gavin and Durwood pushed him to the ground. I don’t know if it was the second person or the gun firing but the man scrambled to his feet and scampered away. I watched the two of them panting, Gavin much more than Durwood. Then, before they walked back across the road, Durwood stooped down and picked something up from off the sidewalk. When they brought it over we saw that it was a small plastic packet of meth. The guy had been a drug dealer, which would explain why he’d been circling the block over and over. The allusive serial rapist was never found. Durwood seemed the most embarrassed about the debacle. Gavin figured he had still stopped injustice. Me? I stopped tagging along. But I know that most of his crusades ended up in street fights, some he lost some he won. Sometimes he’d get unmasked but, that was okay; they didn’t know who he was anyway.
I stopped paying much attention. Around this time I was starting to think ahead a little bit; I was going into high school and wasn’t too glad to be put into the lowest set class in one of the worst schools in the city. Gavin wasn’t going to high school. He was instead focusing on his crime-fighting career. Truth is, he was terribly behaved and was probably suffering from undiagnosed ADHD. In retrospect, our school just couldn’t support him.
The worst came about when Gavin collected up his paper route money and Christmas cash (and some pilfered dollars from Howie’s wallet, I suspect) to buy a police radio. Like the karate moves he’d taught himself, he soon figured out what each of the coded numbers stood for.
Three days after this purchase, our projects got introduced to Officer Mitchell. He went door to door with a sketch of the mask that Gavin wore as The Depths. Luckily for Gavin, no one in the projects talks to cops, especially when it’s about someone who lives there. This usually applies to drug dealers and gangsters but they didn’t make an exception for a mildly disturbed would-be superhero.
Officer Mitchell came to my door last. My mother, who was home, told him she’d never seen anyone wearing that mask before, but called me over to take a look. Mitchell had told her that he believed the suspect was a child. I took a look and immediately recognized the skeletal quality of the mask. Regardless, I shook my head no. The officer then kneeled down and looked into my eyes. He smelled like burnt coffee and sweat, and his face was puffy and his eyes were cold – shifty. “Are you sure about that, son? No idea who this character could be?”
Again, I shook my head no. He then stood up and adjusted his uniform then thanked my mother. He left, but I knew he knew I was lying. I felt a chill go up my spine and it lingered there long after he’d left.
After that, and with much prodding from me and Durwood, Gavin finally decided to stop going out at night. “Alright,” he told us. “I’ll wait for something big over the radio.” This wasn’t exactly reassuring but was enough to settle my nerves for the time being.
One night, the three of us were hanging out in Howie’s cramped basement, playing X-box and sipping on some of the canned beer from the fridge, the police radio occasionally buzzing in the background.
After we’d got to the penultimate level of the game, the radio buzzed rather loudly with: “Car 64 be advised, 261 and possible 217 in progress on Yonge and Lexington.” Durwood and I heard it but neither of us paid it any mind. Gavin, though, he sat right up, his ears perked, dropping his controller to the floor. “10-4, this is Car 64, on pursuit to location, over.”
Gavin jumped up, rushing toward the radio and putting his ear right next to the speaker. Durwood and I were still sitting on the carpet but my head was turned. “What’s up, Gavin?”
“Shhh!” he hissed then promptly put his ear back to the radio.
“There’s a rape happening ten blocks from us.” At that moment I felt cold wash over me. I turned off the game and listened with him. Several minutes crawled by of nothing, just the low frizzle of the radio static.
Then we heard the officer’s voice return: “Dispatch, this is Car 64, we have a 217, requesting medical, over.” I didn’t need to know the codes to figure out what happened. The rape victim was dead.
“Roger, Car 64. Is the suspect in the area? Over.”
“Negative, dispatch. Suspect is reported to be a number 1 male, possibly local. Witnesses say he fled scene going west off Furlington. Notify all cars of situation.”
“10-4.”
Durwood’s hand was then clasped on Gavin’s shoulder and I could see he was writhing. “Maybe they’ll catch him,” I said pathetically.
“He’s right,” Durwood jumped in. “No point in going over there. Come on, calm down.”
It took a few minutes of restraining him, but Gavin agreed to stay in the basement. We turned on the TV and channel surfed for a bit, mostly watching cartoons. Durwood and I each popped open a new beer. Gavin didn’t even finish his already opened one. Didn’t even touch it. Or even look at it. He just sat there, next to the radio, his eyes staring lifeless at nothing.
The next day, I saw the front cover of the newspaper: HIDEOUS RAPE-MURDER ON YOUNGE AND LEXINGTON! Police Officer’s are in hot pursuit of evasive culprit
This wasn’t good. I didn’t see Gavin for two weeks straight. I called his house a couple times but each time I either got an answering machine or his cousin, telling me he was out and didn’t know where he was. I was scared then. This was bad.
All I knew was the detail of the suspect as they were relayed on the radio: Number One male. It didn’t take me long to find out that Number One meant black. I didn’t want to know how The Depths was going about finding the guy.
By the third week, on a Wednesday’s afternoon after school, I heard an uncommon sound for our block, coming outside my window: heavy tires crunching over the ragged pavement. Anytime a car came through our projects, it usually meant one thing: cops. I looked out my window to see a squad car had pulled into our block and was slowly creeping toward Gavin’s house. My mind filled with fears of the worst and I dashed down the steps and flew out to our front stoop. I watched Officer Mitchell emerge, his face rigid, his movements stiff and sudden. He then jerked open the passenger door and there was Gavin, his face exposed, bloodied, one eye blackened and swollen shut, his hands cuffed behind him.
Mitchell dragged Gavin toward the door, Gavin giving little resistance and showing even less mental presence. The policeman wrapped his knuckles hard on the door but no one ever came. Howie was working double shifts that week and hadn’t been home. I looked around and saw everybody on our block watching out the windows or over the fences (those that had fences).
“Where the fuck is your parental unit?” Mitchell demanded, shaking Gavin’s bound form violently. Gavin shrugged. Mitchell gave him another shake and shouted in his face. I could feel the eyes of our block peering heavier on both of them.
Officer Mitchell must have felt it too because after taking a long glance at the scene around him, he went behind Gavin and took the cuffs off. Gavin was about to unlock his door and go into his house, but not before Officer Mitchell clasped his hand against the door and brandished Mitchell’s mask in front of his face in a squelching grasp.
“Listen to me, you little shit,” he said low, but it carried in an echo so I could hear it. “Do yourself a favor and throw this and that faggotty outfit in the trash. I see you wearing it again anywhere and I will arrest you for suspicion of mischief and we’ll see if we can even get a hate crime charge tied to you, eh?” He then threw the mask hard at Gavin’s feet.
Hate crime. Oh Jesus, I thought. Had Gavin actually been going around the neighborhood harassing random black guys because of what he’d heard on the radio?
Officer Mitchell grabbed his heavy belt under his paunch and adjusted his trousers. “Your guardian or parent will be called later this week to inform them of the situation. Have a nice day.”
The eyes of the projects faded back into the houses as Mitchell’s prowler peeled off and Gavin’s door slammed shut. I was glad to know Gavin was okay and thought at the time the whole thing was over. Looking back, I now know how wrong I was.
The next day, I invited Gavin over and the two of us hung out in my room. We were there to play cards but, mostly, I needed to know what had happened.
The first thing I asked was about the shiner he had. “Did that prick Mitchell do that to you?”
He shook his head, almost smiling. “Nah, this was from one of the rapists.”
At this I must have looked at Gavin with complete confusion. He then relayed to me how there had been more than one rapist-murderer – that there had in fact been five – maybe ten who were involved in killing the girl. “Gang rape,” is the term he kept using. “I swear to you, Corey, there’s literally hundreds of them.”
“What do you mean?”
His eyes shifted to my door, perhaps checking that it was closed then he leaned close and said. “The blacks.”
My heart started pounding in my chest. Was I really hearing this? He then told me how, John Dyke, at whose house he had stayed on his two-week hunt, had told him about the uncontrollable lust that apparently all blacks have for raping white women. This theory wasn’t surprising; John Dyke had grown up, just a few years before us, in our projects, and was now an active Nazi skinhead. What shocked me was that Gavin had bought this crap. For Christ sake, the girl who’d been killed hadn’t even been white!
“I’m not even going to bother fighting street crime anymore,” he lectured on. “The real criminals that are sucking our community dry are being protected by the government: the immigrants taking our jobs, the blacks and Spanish spreading drugs, the queers and lesbians poisoning our families.”
I had to stop him right there. Both my parents are Ukrainian Jews so you can imagine how pissed I was getting. Also, Gavin, Durwood and I were from three of only five white families in a majority Hispanic ghetto. How the fuck could he believe all this neo-Nazi bullshit?
“You’re being an asshole,” I told him and I could feel myself shaking, not used to standing up for myself, and especially for other people. “John Dyke is a fucking Nazi, everything you’re saying now is wrong. And what you’re doing around the city is worse. It-it’s racist!”
He then told me in a cold, automatic monotone that racism doesn’t exist. I lost it at that point. We both got into a big shouting match and by the end, Gavin called me a Commie-Kike and stormed out of the room. I couldn’t get his words out of my head the whole night and I kept shaking and grinding my teeth together.
In the week that followed, I mostly stayed in my room after school. When I checked my Email account, I saw there was a message from Durwood. Oh great, the sidekick, I thought. Figuring it was Gavin’s attempt to make recompense, without apologizing, by proxy, I deleted the message without reading it and got on with my homework.
The next day there was another message from Durwood. Again I dumped it without reading. On the third day I had calmed down a bit over the whole thing and was legitimately curious. To my surprise, the message had nothing to do with Gavin. Durwood’s message was a simple Hey, how’s it going. He even asked me about what homework was like in freshman year. Nothing to do with what had transpired between Gavin and me at all. Pleased with the friendly hello, I responded in kind, asking him how he was doing. Fifteen minutes later there was a reply and we ended up chatting into the late evening till midnight. We continued doing this over the next couple nights and actually started hanging out after school. It was kind of nice since we only knew each other through Gavin, who seemed to be no longer in the picture. It was great that I had a new friend without completely separating myself from my past circle.
Over the next month I found out he and I had a lot in common. One Friday night when we were munching on nachos and cheese at the local arcade, he confided in me what it was like being Gavin’s sidekick.
“It was fucking horrible, man,” he commiserated, shaking his head, which was hanging very low. “Everything he wanted to do since he was five and I was three I had to go along with. He wanted to play Lone Ranger; I was Tonto. And any bullshit adventure he wanted to do, I got stuck tagging along.” He interrupted himself with a joyless scoff. “Did he ever tell you about the time when he was nine and he wanted to live out in the wilderness so he made me go with him to camp out in woods at Barrette Park? Shit, by the time they found us, I had poison ivy all over my arms and had eaten a goddamn grub. Yuck!”
“Well, why did you go along with him?” I asked. “How did you two even end up as friends?”
“Because,” he said with long emphasis. “His mother went to school with my mom. I guess she felt obligated after what happened.”
I nodded my head for a bit. That did make sense for the initial relationship. But…
“I mean,” I began again. “Why did you just do what-ever he said? You don’t have to do what he wants just because he’s your friend or your mom wants you to. You’re your own person.”
He then hid his eyes behind his hands. I soon realized he was holding his head, looking as if he was about to be sick. I then heard him say, in a weak, weak voice, “There’s more. There’s more, he…he just had – has this power over me. I just…just can't get loose of him. Fuck!”
Not knowing what to do and very uncomfortable, I patted him on the shoulder and told him it’d be all right. I suppose there was more he could have told me, but, honestly, I didn’t want to know. Life was much easier for the next couple of months. No more craziness, no more bullshit. For the first time in my life, I was actually friends with someone who wasn’t toxic and wasn’t so demanding of my time. I was actually doing well in school and there were talks of putting me in a higher set class for next fall.
After Easter weekend, however, I got back in touch with Gavin. It was early in the morning – I mean 5 AM early. I could hear my phone vibrate on my bedside table. I picked it up without looking at the call ID and answered.
“Hello?” I said, rubbing my eyes.
“Corey!” I heard Gavin’s voice crack. “You-you gotta let me come over. Jesus, I need your help!”
Hearing the panic in his voice jolted me awake. I pressed the phone closer to my ear. “Calm down, what’s happening?”
“There’s a news story out about me. They’re saying I killed Officer Mitchell!”
My nerves locked. My body completely froze. No.
“Listen,” I heard him beg over the phone. “I’m about ten minutes away. I’ll sneak in through your backyard door to the basement. Your parents should still be asleep, right?”
“Yeah,” I muttered just audible, hoping in fact he wouldn’t hear it.
“Great!” he exclaimed, and I bit my lip hard. “I’ll be there soon.”
“Wait!” I stopped him, and to my relief the call was still in progress. “Why can’t you hide at Dyke’s? He’s further away from your house.” I could hear him suck his teeth through the receiver. “John’s gone. He’s been outta town for a while now. I got nowhere else to hide, man!”
“Alright, you can stay in my room for the day until I get back from school. Then we’ll have to figure something out for you.” He thanked me and I heard the short quiet chime of my phone, indicating the call had ended.
Having all this time to wait, my mind whirling from this sudden revelation, I searched the Internet on my phone. Not long after, I found a news article titled ST CLOUD COP SLAIN BY MASKED MAN, which was complete with a video. Apparently, Officer Mitchell had responded to a robbery that took place at a convenience store. I watched the video. The video was from a security camera videotaping the outside of the storefront. I could see, even in the grainy quality and the microscopic screen of my phone, one of the windows had been broken. Just then, as Officer Mitchell was walking out of the front door, I saw it – a shadow, moving fast right toward him. He turned his head just before the figure ran into him, but not fast enough. He fell to the ground clutching his side. The article said he had been stabbed with a knife. I then watched in absolute horror as the cop reached for his gun holster and the darkly veiled figure grabbed at it too, the two of them struggling until their was a sudden flash and the officer lay motionless on the ground, a spray of dark fluid staining the concrete behind his head. The figure then shot his lifeless person twice more before dropping the revolver and turning to leave. As it turned, I paused the video. The face was covered in a black skeletal mask, with piecing silver tinted eyes. The same from Gavin’s costume.
Gavin had still not arrived. Unsure how many knew the costume was his, I quickly dialed 9-1-1.
When Gavin got to my house, he was out of breath, panting and soaked with sweat. I got him a glass of tap of water and sat him down on my bed. He then told me the story in his own words:
“Listen, last night I was at home, okay? I – I had been out on patrol for a long, long while and had caught a cold. For the last few days I’ve been in bed.”
I looked at Gavin closely. I could tell he wasn’t sick.
“You said you weren’t going on patrol anymore,” I deliberated each word.
“Yeah, yeah!” he snapped, hastily. “But they're two fugitives reported in the news who were suspected of being in St Cloud!”
I had heard nothing of this.
“I saw the video,” I told him. “The guy was wearing your costume.”
“That’s the thing!” Gavin begged, reaching up at me and grabbing my shirt. “I haven’t warn that costume in months now. I swear to God, I threw it out in the trash. I told ya; John and I were focusing on organizing strikes against immigrants who were taking our jobs. I wasn’t going out and bustin’ heads no more! And here’s the other crazy thing. There’s no way I could have known that a robbery had taken place.”
I listened, analyzing each word. He had mentioned details about the case that I knew from the news report. But of course he would; he probably saw the news story, which was why he was panicked. Still….
“That’s the thing,” he rambled on, his eyes wide, pulling harder on my shirt. “Three days ago, the police radio went missing. I don’t know where it is.” I put my hands on his arms and tried to ease them off of me.
Just then there came a hard, echoing knock from the front door. “Police! Open up.”
Gavin swiveled his head in the direction of the sound. He turned to look at me and seemed to search my face before springing up to look out the window.
“Police…” he muttered, and his voice carried just enough for me to hear it. “But how…?” He then turned. I stood up. I was ready to dash out the room but, for some reason, I couldn’t. “You!” he yelled, pointing his finger accusingly at me. “You called the cops.”
I just stood there, stupid and silent, holding my arms up to try to gesture for him to be calm. Without another second of hesitation, he sprang on me and began hitting me in the side with his knees and fists. My life flashed before my eyes, as did the thought that I was alone with a killer.
“Help!” I screamed, hoping the police outside would hear me. “Help!” I wailed and was soon cut off by a blow to the jaw.
I raised my hands defensively over my head and curled up, trying to block his blows that were striking down hard all over my body. I didn’t hear the front door get broken down, or even my bedroom door slam open, but I did hear Gavin scream as he was pulled off by two police officers. They then proceeded to pin him to the floor and cuff his hands. My skin was throbbing from the speed of my pulse and I didn’t feel any pain, though in truth I was badly beaten up. They hauled Gavin off kicking and screaming, explaining he was under arrest for the murder of Police Officer, Sergeant Jerome Fergus Mitchell.
It didn’t take them long to find Gavin guilty. They found the costume in the trash in front of his house, although he swore to God he had gotten rid of it well before the murder took place. Beyond that, they had motive; everyone in the projects had seen Gavin berated by Mitchell, and knew what being a costumed crusader meant to him. Still, it was like pulling teeth to get people to testify. Only thing was, they never found his police radio. Gavin’s court appointed lawyer tried use this fact to raise doubt, since the prosecution kept arguing that Gavin had been known to have a police radio, which would explain how he knew the robbery took place and how he knew Officer Mitchell would be there since he knew his car number.
They ended up trying him as an adult and gave him 25 to life. I couldn’t believe this had happened to him even with what he had done. Christ, he wasn’t even sixteen.
By the time I was nearly done high school, the entire neighborhood had forgotten about Gavin. It was pretty much taboo to talk about him and even Durwood and I avoided the subject. But honestly, with time we didn’t care. We had both turned things around.
When Durwood finished middle school, he went to the same high school I did, which made school so much better since I had my best friend to hang out with. By the time I was in my senior year, we had both joined a few school clubs (no teams I’m afraid) and started a games club of our own and after moving up to some college prep classes, my grades were finally improving. I had attended a careers workshop and had made up my mind to go into an apprenticeship program for electricians. Durwood asked me about it later and decided that he would do the same thing after he graduated.
The summer after my senior year, Durwood and his mother were moving out to Minneapolis. I was sad to see him go but I could understand that maybe it was the best for him to leave all the bitter memories behind. The day he was going to move I helped him pack.
Around lunchtime, we were in his room, all of his things in tiny cardboard cubes around us. We took a break as we were both beat. Then his mom called him and he asked me to wait for him. After a few minutes I got bored and tried to lift a few more boxes. Now all of the boxes had been light up until now, mostly filled with clothes. This box I lifted was unexpectedly heavy and when I eased it off the stack, it fell from my grip and crashed to the floor. The sealed top opened up on impact and all the items spilled out on the carpet. I rushed to get everything back in the box and that’s when I saw what had given it so much weight – a black metallic radio. It was a police radio. Gavin’s police radio. The same he swore had gone missing three days before the murder took place. I sat there, staring at it. I then heard steps creak outside the room, and the door squeaking open…
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2018.05.01 13:27 snickeringhaystack [FICTION] My Best Friend Became a Murderer

By Malcolm MacDonald
My buddy Gavin had always tried to be a superhero. Yes. You read that right. Not he always loved superheroes – not even that he always wanted to be a superhero. He made a costume and mask when we were in middle school and had been crusading around the neighborhood to “stop crime” all the way till I was a sophomore in high school. I’m sure you’ve heard about people like this in the news; like the people in that movie Kick Ass. Gavin and I lived in the St Cloud projects and, even though I doubt he helped in anyway, there was a lot of crime and drug dealing to go around.
The most difficult thing for Gavin, I think, was that we lived in Minnesota, a state that doesn’t allow wearing masks in public. While most beat cops that came around our neighborhood laughed at Gavin and his masked antics, there was one cop that would have none of it: Officer Mitchell. He had a real hard-on for Gavin, or The Depths as he called his alter ego, and would always demand he take the mask off and not go around disguised in public. More on him later.
In truth, Gavin’s outfit was pretty sweet. It was all black, the fabric was flowing but not too baggy and the mask was made of this tough black plastic. It looked kinda like a skull, and the eye lenses were a piercing silver tint. He’d actually been working on it for a year. Every night after school, instead of hanging out or doing his homework, he’d go into the basement and sew up his costume. I kept telling him he could just buy a Halloween getup from K-Mart, which would be a lot less traceable, but he insisted on making his own.
As you can probably gather, he was big into Batman and, just like the character, would only “work” at night. This helped him avoid Officer Mitchell a few times when being chased down so he wouldn’t be unmasked. The outfit was perfect camouflage for the dark alleyways.
A lot of people, including teachers and most of the grownups in the projects, had figured that Gavin was mentally unstable or retarded. I never thought that was accurate though. If I’m being totally fair, Gavin was an averagely smart kid who was just preoccupied with things that took away from him ever getting good grades or learning anything that would get him a job. And he wasn’t crazy; he’d…just been through a lot.
His parents divorced when he was five. Before you dismiss this experience as just another typical 21st century reality, you should know that his father was in deep gambling debt and his mother was hooked on crack from the Minneapolis Crips. I’ll let you imagine how this all played out for young Gavin when the three of them were living under the same roof. They didn’t so much divorce as they separated and really neither of them was fit to raise Gavin so he went to live with his grandfather. When his grandpa croaked he went into foster homes, getting passed along seven times in four years. He eventually landed back in St Cloud with his older third cousin Howie, twice removed. Howie did shift work at a supermarket warehouse and didn’t have much time or patience for Gavin so you can imagine what their relationship was like.
I actually remember going along with Gavin, or The Depths, a few times when he scoured the streets at night for trouble. I don’t know why but for some reason he was never bothered with me knowing his ‘secret identity.’ In truth, when you live in the ghetto, there’s little your neighbors don’t know about you. Anyway, I remember one night I tagged along with The Depths after we’d heard news of a serial rapist in the area. I wasn’t in costume but he was, as well as Durwood, his sidekick. Now, trying to be a superhero in real life is pretty pathetic but being the side kick to a faux-superhero? That’s got to be the shits.
We mostly drank coffee and soda, freezing our balls off on a street corner and spying on the opposite side, looking for anything suspicious. Now, Durwood and I after an hour and a half had had enough. There was nothing there except a few drunks, ranting crazies, and maybe a hooker in a long trench coat. The Depths, however, refused to call it a night, insisting we’d find the rapist. Not long, we saw this tall man wearing baggy, layered clothing, who kept circling the block, over and over again.
“That guy keeps circling back,” Gavin hissed through his mask. Durwood and I looked at each other and, even though we weren’t friends, we could read the concerned panic in the other’s eyes. I think we both knew the shit was about to hit the fan when we heard Gavin’s paper cup hit the sidewalk. Gavin, like a shadow crossing your room when a car goes by at night, lurched forward and ran to the other side. He got right up and grabbed the guy by the lapels of his coat, yelling at him, demanding to know his whereabouts on such and such a date. A struggle ensued. I watched from the other side, paralyzed. Durwood stood next to me like a statue.
A fist flew from the man and he shouted, “The fuck’s with you freak? Get the fuck off!” Gavin then retaliated with one of those karate punches he’d taught himself from online videos and it did rock the guy back a few steps. Then the next thing I saw brought a swell of feverish heat bubbling to my otherwise shivering body. From out of the guy’s steep pocket he brought out a gleamingly silver, snub nose revolver. He pointed it, titled to the side at Gavin’s head. “Get the fuck off me, bruh!”
Gavin didn’t move and I thought then that it was over but he suddenly reached up and grabbed the guy by the wrist. The wrist of the hand holding the gun. I sunk back into the shadows and heaved, watching the grey barrel teeter and sway in several directions as the two of them grappled for it. Without a word, Durwood ran forward to the scene. I watched in abject horror, as he got closer to the point of the flaying firearm. I sunk deeper into the darkness. I then leapt and waxed cold upon the thunder of the gun’s shot.
The bullet ricocheted across the concrete and the weapon fell from the man’s hand as both Gavin and Durwood pushed him to the ground. I don’t know if it was the second person or the gun firing but the man scrambled to his feet and scampered away. I watched the two of them panting, Gavin much more than Durwood. Then, before they walked back across the road, Durwood stooped down and picked something up from off the sidewalk. When they brought it over we saw that it was a small plastic packet of meth. The guy had been a drug dealer, which would explain why he’d been circling the block over and over. The allusive serial rapist was never found. Durwood seemed the most embarrassed about the debacle. Gavin figured he had still stopped injustice. Me? I stopped tagging along. But I know that most of his crusades ended up in street fights, some he lost some he won. Sometimes he’d get unmasked but, that was okay; they didn’t know who he was anyway.
I stopped paying much attention. Around this time I was starting to think ahead a little bit; I was going into high school and wasn’t too glad to be put into the lowest set class in one of the worst schools in the city. Gavin wasn’t going to high school. He was instead focusing on his crime-fighting career. Truth is, he was terribly behaved and was probably suffering from undiagnosed ADHD. In retrospect, our school just couldn’t support him.
The worst came about when Gavin collected up his paper route money and Christmas cash (and some pilfered dollars from Howie’s wallet, I suspect) to buy a police radio. Like the karate moves he’d taught himself, he soon figured out what each of the coded numbers stood for.
Three days after this purchase, our projects got introduced to Officer Mitchell. He went door to door with a sketch of the mask that Gavin wore as The Depths. Luckily for Gavin, no one in the projects talks to cops, especially when it’s about someone who lives there. This usually applies to drug dealers and gangsters but they didn’t make an exception for a mildly disturbed would-be superhero.
Officer Mitchell came to my door last. My mother, who was home, told him she’d never seen anyone wearing that mask before, but called me over to take a look. Mitchell had told her that he believed the suspect was a child. I took a look and immediately recognized the skeletal quality of the mask. Regardless, I shook my head no. The officer then kneeled down and looked into my eyes. He smelled like burnt coffee and sweat, and his face was puffy and his eyes were cold – shifty. “Are you sure about that, son? No idea who this character could be?”
Again, I shook my head no. He then stood up and adjusted his uniform then thanked my mother. He left, but I knew he knew I was lying. I felt a chill go up my spine and it lingered there long after he’d left.
After that, and with much prodding from me and Durwood, Gavin finally decided to stop going out at night. “Alright,” he told us. “I’ll wait for something big over the radio.” This wasn’t exactly reassuring but was enough to settle my nerves for the time being.
One night, the three of us were hanging out in Howie’s cramped basement, playing X-box and sipping on some of the canned beer from the fridge, the police radio occasionally buzzing in the background.
After we’d got to the penultimate level of the game, the radio buzzed rather loudly with: “Car 64 be advised, 261 and possible 217 in progress on Yonge and Lexington.” Durwood and I heard it but neither of us paid it any mind. Gavin, though, he sat right up, his ears perked, dropping his controller to the floor. “10-4, this is Car 64, on pursuit to location, over.”
Gavin jumped up, rushing toward the radio and putting his ear right next to the speaker. Durwood and I were still sitting on the carpet but my head was turned. “What’s up, Gavin?”
“Shhh!” he hissed then promptly put his ear back to the radio.
“There’s a rape happening ten blocks from us.” At that moment I felt cold wash over me. I turned off the game and listened with him. Several minutes crawled by of nothing, just the low frizzle of the radio static.
Then we heard the officer’s voice return: “Dispatch, this is Car 64, we have a 217, requesting medical, over.” I didn’t need to know the codes to figure out what happened. The rape victim was dead.
“Roger, Car 64. Is the suspect in the area? Over.”
“Negative, dispatch. Suspect is reported to be a number 1 male, possibly local. Witnesses say he fled scene going west off Furlington. Notify all cars of situation.”
“10-4.”
Durwood’s hand was then clasped on Gavin’s shoulder and I could see he was writhing. “Maybe they’ll catch him,” I said pathetically.
“He’s right,” Durwood jumped in. “No point in going over there. Come on, calm down.”
It took a few minutes of restraining him, but Gavin agreed to stay in the basement. We turned on the TV and channel surfed for a bit, mostly watching cartoons. Durwood and I each popped open a new beer. Gavin didn’t even finish his already opened one. Didn’t even touch it. Or even look at it. He just sat there, next to the radio, his eyes staring lifeless at nothing.
The next day, I saw the front cover of the newspaper: HIDEOUS RAPE-MURDER ON YOUNGE AND LEXINGTON! Police Officer’s are in hot pursuit of evasive culprit
This wasn’t good. I didn’t see Gavin for two weeks straight. I called his house a couple times but each time I either got an answering machine or his cousin, telling me he was out and didn’t know where he was. I was scared then. This was bad.
All I knew was the detail of the suspect as they were relayed on the radio: Number One male. It didn’t take me long to find out that Number One meant black. I didn’t want to know how The Depths was going about finding the guy.
By the third week, on a Wednesday’s afternoon after school, I heard an uncommon sound for our block, coming outside my window: heavy tires crunching over the ragged pavement. Anytime a car came through our projects, it usually meant one thing: cops. I looked out my window to see a squad car had pulled into our block and was slowly creeping toward Gavin’s house. My mind filled with fears of the worst and I dashed down the steps and flew out to our front stoop. I watched Officer Mitchell emerge, his face rigid, his movements stiff and sudden. He then jerked open the passenger door and there was Gavin, his face exposed, bloodied, one eye blackened and swollen shut, his hands cuffed behind him.
Mitchell dragged Gavin toward the door, Gavin giving little resistance and showing even less mental presence. The policeman wrapped his knuckles hard on the door but no one ever came. Howie was working double shifts that week and hadn’t been home. I looked around and saw everybody on our block watching out the windows or over the fences (those that had fences).
“Where the fuck is your parental unit?” Mitchell demanded, shaking Gavin’s bound form violently. Gavin shrugged. Mitchell gave him another shake and shouted in his face. I could feel the eyes of our block peering heavier on both of them.
Officer Mitchell must have felt it too because after taking a long glance at the scene around him, he went behind Gavin and took the cuffs off. Gavin was about to unlock his door and go into his house, but not before Officer Mitchell clasped his hand against the door and brandished Mitchell’s mask in front of his face in a squelching grasp.
“Listen to me, you little shit,” he said low, but it carried in an echo so I could hear it. “Do yourself a favor and throw this and that faggotty outfit in the trash. I see you wearing it again anywhere and I will arrest you for suspicion of mischief and we’ll see if we can even get a hate crime charge tied to you, eh?” He then threw the mask hard at Gavin’s feet.
Hate crime. Oh Jesus, I thought. Had Gavin actually been going around the neighborhood harassing random black guys because of what he’d heard on the radio?
Officer Mitchell grabbed his heavy belt under his paunch and adjusted his trousers. “Your guardian or parent will be called later this week to inform them of the situation. Have a nice day.”
The eyes of the projects faded back into the houses as Mitchell’s prowler peeled off and Gavin’s door slammed shut. I was glad to know Gavin was okay and thought at the time the whole thing was over. Looking back, I now know how wrong I was.
The next day, I invited Gavin over and the two of us hung out in my room. We were there to play cards but, mostly, I needed to know what had happened.
The first thing I asked was about the shiner he had. “Did that prick Mitchell do that to you?”
He shook his head, almost smiling. “Nah, this was from one of the rapists.”
At this I must have looked at Gavin with complete confusion. He then relayed to me how there had been more than one rapist-murderer – that there had in fact been five – maybe ten who were involved in killing the girl. “Gang rape,” is the term he kept using. “I swear to you, Corey, there’s literally hundreds of them.”
“What do you mean?”
His eyes shifted to my door, perhaps checking that it was closed then he leaned close and said. “The blacks.”
My heart started pounding in my chest. Was I really hearing this? He then told me how, John Dyke, at whose house he had stayed on his two-week hunt, had told him about the uncontrollable lust that apparently all blacks have for raping white women. This theory wasn’t surprising; John Dyke had grown up, just a few years before us, in our projects, and was now an active Nazi skinhead. What shocked me was that Gavin had bought this crap. For Christ sake, the girl who’d been killed hadn’t even been white!
“I’m not even going to bother fighting street crime anymore,” he lectured on. “The real criminals that are sucking our community dry are being protected by the government: the immigrants taking our jobs, the blacks and Spanish spreading drugs, the queers and lesbians poisoning our families.”
I had to stop him right there. Both my parents are Ukrainian Jews so you can imagine how pissed I was getting. Also, Gavin, Durwood and I were from three of only five white families in a majority Hispanic ghetto. How the fuck could he believe all this neo-Nazi bullshit?
“You’re being an asshole,” I told him and I could feel myself shaking, not used to standing up for myself, and especially for other people. “John Dyke is a fucking Nazi, everything you’re saying now is wrong. And what you’re doing around the city is worse. It-it’s racist!”
He then told me in a cold, automatic monotone that racism doesn’t exist. I lost it at that point. We both got into a big shouting match and by the end, Gavin called me a Commie-Kike and stormed out of the room. I couldn’t get his words out of my head the whole night and I kept shaking and grinding my teeth together.
In the week that followed, I mostly stayed in my room after school. When I checked my Email account, I saw there was a message from Durwood. Oh great, the sidekick, I thought. Figuring it was Gavin’s attempt to make recompense, without apologizing, by proxy, I deleted the message without reading it and got on with my homework.
The next day there was another message from Durwood. Again I dumped it without reading. On the third day I had calmed down a bit over the whole thing and was legitimately curious. To my surprise, the message had nothing to do with Gavin. Durwood’s message was a simple Hey, how’s it going. He even asked me about what homework was like in freshman year. Nothing to do with what had transpired between Gavin and me at all. Pleased with the friendly hello, I responded in kind, asking him how he was doing. Fifteen minutes later there was a reply and we ended up chatting into the late evening till midnight. We continued doing this over the next couple nights and actually started hanging out after school. It was kind of nice since we only knew each other through Gavin, who seemed to be no longer in the picture. It was great that I had a new friend without completely separating myself from my past circle.
Over the next month I found out he and I had a lot in common. One Friday night when we were munching on nachos and cheese at the local arcade, he confided in me what it was like being Gavin’s sidekick.
“It was fucking horrible, man,” he commiserated, shaking his head, which was hanging very low. “Everything he wanted to do since he was five and I was three I had to go along with. He wanted to play Lone Ranger; I was Tonto. And any bullshit adventure he wanted to do, I got stuck tagging along.” He interrupted himself with a joyless scoff. “Did he ever tell you about the time when he was nine and he wanted to live out in the wilderness so he made me go with him to camp out in woods at Barrette Park? Shit, by the time they found us, I had poison ivy all over my arms and had eaten a goddamn grub. Yuck!”
“Well, why did you go along with him?” I asked. “How did you two even end up as friends?”
“Because,” he said with long emphasis. “His mother went to school with my mom. I guess she felt obligated after what happened.”
I nodded my head for a bit. That did make sense for the initial relationship. But…
“I mean,” I began again. “Why did you just do what-ever he said? You don’t have to do what he wants just because he’s your friend or your mom wants you to. You’re your own person.”
He then hid his eyes behind his hands. I soon realized he was holding his head, looking as if he was about to be sick. I then heard him say, in a weak, weak voice, “There’s more. There’s more, he…he just had – has this power over me. I just…just can't get loose of him. Fuck!”
Not knowing what to do and very uncomfortable, I patted him on the shoulder and told him it’d be all right. I suppose there was more he could have told me, but, honestly, I didn’t want to know. Life was much easier for the next couple of months. No more craziness, no more bullshit. For the first time in my life, I was actually friends with someone who wasn’t toxic and wasn’t so demanding of my time. I was actually doing well in school and there were talks of putting me in a higher set class for next fall.
After Easter weekend, however, I got back in touch with Gavin. It was early in the morning – I mean 5 AM early. I could hear my phone vibrate on my bedside table. I picked it up without looking at the call ID and answered.
“Hello?” I said, rubbing my eyes.
“Corey!” I heard Gavin’s voice crack. “You-you gotta let me come over. Jesus, I need your help!”
Hearing the panic in his voice jolted me awake. I pressed the phone closer to my ear. “Calm down, what’s happening?”
“There’s a news story out about me. They’re saying I killed Officer Mitchell!”
My nerves locked. My body completely froze. No.
“Listen,” I heard him beg over the phone. “I’m about ten minutes away. I’ll sneak in through your backyard door to the basement. Your parents should still be asleep, right?”
“Yeah,” I muttered just audible, hoping in fact he wouldn’t hear it.
“Great!” he exclaimed, and I bit my lip hard. “I’ll be there soon.”
“Wait!” I stopped him, and to my relief the call was still in progress. “Why can’t you hide at Dyke’s? He’s further away from your house.” I could hear him suck his teeth through the receiver. “John’s gone. He’s been outta town for a while now. I got nowhere else to hide, man!”
“Alright, you can stay in my room for the day until I get back from school. Then we’ll have to figure something out for you.” He thanked me and I heard the short quiet chime of my phone, indicating the call had ended.
Having all this time to wait, my mind whirling from this sudden revelation, I searched the Internet on my phone. Not long after, I found a news article titled ST CLOUD COP SLAIN BY MASKED MAN, which was complete with a video. Apparently, Officer Mitchell had responded to a robbery that took place at a convenience store. I watched the video. The video was from a security camera videotaping the outside of the storefront. I could see, even in the grainy quality and the microscopic screen of my phone, one of the windows had been broken. Just then, as Officer Mitchell was walking out of the front door, I saw it – a shadow, moving fast right toward him. He turned his head just before the figure ran into him, but not fast enough. He fell to the ground clutching his side. The article said he had been stabbed with a knife. I then watched in absolute horror as the cop reached for his gun holster and the darkly veiled figure grabbed at it too, the two of them struggling until their was a sudden flash and the officer lay motionless on the ground, a spray of dark fluid staining the concrete behind his head. The figure then shot his lifeless person twice more before dropping the revolver and turning to leave. As it turned, I paused the video. The face was covered in a black skeletal mask, with piecing silver tinted eyes. The same from Gavin’s costume.
Gavin had still not arrived. Unsure how many knew the costume was his, I quickly dialed 9-1-1.
When Gavin got to my house, he was out of breath, panting and soaked with sweat. I got him a glass of tap of water and sat him down on my bed. He then told me the story in his own words:
“Listen, last night I was at home, okay? I – I had been out on patrol for a long, long while and had caught a cold. For the last few days I’ve been in bed.”
I looked at Gavin closely. I could tell he wasn’t sick.
“You said you weren’t going on patrol anymore,” I deliberated each word.
“Yeah, yeah!” he snapped, hastily. “But they're two fugitives reported in the news who were suspected of being in St Cloud!”
I had heard nothing of this.
“I saw the video,” I told him. “The guy was wearing your costume.”
“That’s the thing!” Gavin begged, reaching up at me and grabbing my shirt. “I haven’t warn that costume in months now. I swear to God, I threw it out in the trash. I told ya; John and I were focusing on organizing strikes against immigrants who were taking our jobs. I wasn’t going out and bustin’ heads no more! And here’s the other crazy thing. There’s no way I could have known that a robbery had taken place.”
I listened, analyzing each word. He had mentioned details about the case that I knew from the news report. But of course he would; he probably saw the news story, which was why he was panicked. Still….
“That’s the thing,” he rambled on, his eyes wide, pulling harder on my shirt. “Three days ago, the police radio went missing. I don’t know where it is.” I put my hands on his arms and tried to ease them off of me.
Just then there came a hard, echoing knock from the front door. “Police! Open up.”
Gavin swiveled his head in the direction of the sound. He turned to look at me and seemed to search my face before springing up to look out the window.
“Police…” he muttered, and his voice carried just enough for me to hear it. “But how…?” He then turned. I stood up. I was ready to dash out the room but, for some reason, I couldn’t. “You!” he yelled, pointing his finger accusingly at me. “You called the cops.”
I just stood there, stupid and silent, holding my arms up to try to gesture for him to be calm. Without another second of hesitation, he sprang on me and began hitting me in the side with his knees and fists. My life flashed before my eyes, as did the thought that I was alone with a killer.
“Help!” I screamed, hoping the police outside would hear me. “Help!” I wailed and was soon cut off by a blow to the jaw.
I raised my hands defensively over my head and curled up, trying to block his blows that were striking down hard all over my body. I didn’t hear the front door get broken down, or even my bedroom door slam open, but I did hear Gavin scream as he was pulled off by two police officers. They then proceeded to pin him to the floor and cuff his hands. My skin was throbbing from the speed of my pulse and I didn’t feel any pain, though in truth I was badly beaten up. They hauled Gavin off kicking and screaming, explaining he was under arrest for the murder of Police Officer, Sergeant Jerome Fergus Mitchell.
It didn’t take them long to find Gavin guilty. They found the costume in the trash in front of his house, although he swore to God he had gotten rid of it well before the murder took place. Beyond that, they had motive; everyone in the projects had seen Gavin berated by Mitchell, and knew what being a costumed crusader meant to him. Still, it was like pulling teeth to get people to testify. Only thing was, they never found his police radio. Gavin’s court appointed lawyer tried use this fact to raise doubt, since the prosecution kept arguing that Gavin had been known to have a police radio, which would explain how he knew the robbery took place and how he knew Officer Mitchell would be there since he knew his car number.
They ended up trying him as an adult and gave him 25 to life. I couldn’t believe this had happened to him even with what he had done. Christ, he wasn’t even sixteen.
By the time I was nearly done high school, the entire neighborhood had forgotten about Gavin. It was pretty much taboo to talk about him and even Durwood and I avoided the subject. But honestly, with time we didn’t care. We had both turned things around.
When Durwood finished middle school, he went to the same high school I did, which made school so much better since I had my best friend to hang out with. By the time I was in my senior year, we had both joined a few school clubs (no teams I’m afraid) and started a games club of our own and after moving up to some college prep classes, my grades were finally improving. I had attended a careers workshop and had made up my mind to go into an apprenticeship program for electricians. Durwood asked me about it later and decided that he would do the same thing after he graduated.
The summer after my senior year, Durwood and his mother were moving out to Minneapolis. I was sad to see him go but I could understand that maybe it was the best for him to leave all the bitter memories behind. The day he was going to move I helped him pack.
Around lunchtime, we were in his room, all of his things in tiny cardboard cubes around us. We took a break as we were both beat. Then his mom called him and he asked me to wait for him. After a few minutes I got bored and tried to lift a few more boxes. Now all of the boxes had been light up until now, mostly filled with clothes. This box I lifted was unexpectedly heavy and when I eased it off the stack, it fell from my grip and crashed to the floor. The sealed top opened up on impact and all the items spilled out on the carpet. I rushed to get everything back in the box and that’s when I saw what had given it so much weight – a black metallic radio. It was a police radio. Gavin’s police radio. The same he swore had gone missing three days before the murder took place. I sat there, staring at it. I then heard steps creak outside the room, and the door squeaking open…
submitted by snickeringhaystack to freehorrorstories [link] [comments]


2018.03.14 01:58 girlwithaguitar I [F/22] have a crush on my straight best friend [23/F]...who is moving far away in a couple of months. What do?

So here's the sitch, right? So as the title says here, I've had this particular friend of mine for about 10 years now. Our level of friendship has kind of wavered here and there due to her moving away for college, but for the most part, we're super close. She was at my name change court date (to fill in for my absent mom) and my final choir concert at college, and she's a great friend through and through for over a decade!
Only one problem though. This fall, I totally did the one thing you're never supposed to do as a lesbian with a (presumably) straight girl, or a close friend, or both.
I developed a crush.
I don't know what happened to cause it, but like, ever since last fall, my attraction changed around, and something about her appearance and scent and just...everything suddenly became super attractive, you know? So because I also love her to bits as a friend, I haven't said anything, in fear of ruining our friendship with a declaration of love which is unlikely to be reciprocated, right? I mean, she's only had boyfriends her entire life and never come out to me, so I assume she's straight
Only complication is, as she's told me, she's planning to move from North Dakota/Minnesota to Oregon after she graduates, and is pretty set on it. Which like, good for her, and FB will always be a thing, but once she heads out, it might be the last time I see her in person for a LONG time.
Which is making me question myself. I normally would have never confessed anything to hr before because I didn't want to ruin our friendship. But now, with the news that she might be gone in a couple months, I'm SUPER conflicted. It's either:
I'm so lost. What do you all think I should do?
submitted by girlwithaguitar to relationship_advice [link] [comments]


2018.03.14 01:48 girlwithaguitar I am a lesbian, and I've got a crush my straight best friend who is moving away in a couple months. What do?

So here's the sitch, right? So as the title says here, I've had this particular friend of mine for about 10 years now. Our level of friendship has kind of wavered here and there due to her moving away for college, but for the most part, we're super close. She was at my name change court date (to fill in for my absent mom) and my final choir concert at college, and she's a great friend through and through for over a decade!
Only one problem though. This fall, I totally did the one thing you're never supposed to do as a lesbian with a (presumably) straight girl, or a close friend, or both.
I developed a crush.
I don't know what happened to cause it, but like, ever since last fall, my attraction changed around, and something about her appearance and scent and just...everything suddenly became super attractive, you know? So because I also love her to bits as a friend, I haven't said anything, in fear of ruining our friendship with a declaration of love which is unlikely to be reciprocated, right? I mean, she's only had boyfriends her entire life and never come out to me, so I assume she's straight
Only complication is, as she's told me, she's planning to move from North Dakota/Minnesota to Oregon after she graduates, and is pretty set on it. Which like, good for her, and FB will always be a thing, but once she heads out, it might be the last time I see her in person for a LONG time.
Which is making me question myself. I normally would have never confessed anything to hr before because I didn't want to ruin our friendship. But now, with the news that she might be gone in a couple months, I'm SUPER conflicted. It's either:
I'm so lost. What do you all think I should do?
submitted by girlwithaguitar to Advice [link] [comments]


2018.03.09 14:51 Scientist34again Better Know a State: New Mexico – discuss New Mexico politics and candidates

Welcome to our 48th Better Know a State (BKAS), which will focus on NEW MEXICO. This post was written by hulagirrrl and thanks to her for all her hard work. As I indicated before, the plan is to do these state-by-state, highlighting upcoming elections, progressive candidates in those states and major issues being fought (with an emphasis on Democratic, Independent and third party candidates). State residents can let me know if I’ve missed anything important or mistakenly described some of these issues.
Reminder: The deadline to file as a candidate for the 2018 races in New Mexico is March 13, 2018 (sorry I know that’s only 4 days from now). Here are the filing requirements – link. The date of the primary election in New Mexico is June 05, 2018. New Mexico has closed primaries, which means that a voter must first be a registered party member in order to vote in the primary for that party. The deadline to register in a party and be eligible to vote in the primary is May 08, 2018.
Here’s what I’ve found about the various races:
United States Senators:. The Senators from New Mexico are Tom Udall (D) and Martin Heinrich (D). Heinrich is up for re-election in 2018. He has one Republican challenger so far, Mark Rich, who is a construction company owner.
Martin Heinrich: Elected in 2012, Martin Heinrich serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Intelligence Committees. He is the ranking member of the Joint Economic Committee and the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. With a background in engineering, Heinrich brings a unique perspective to the Senate, a champion for New Mexico’s public land and growing a clean energy economy. Heinrich helped negotiate the long-term extension of renewable energy tax credits that support New Mexico’s growing clean energy industries. He has also supported the development of renewable energy projects on public and tribal lands, the adoption of innovative energy storage and battery technologies, and improvement to the security of our nation’s energy infrastructure.
A supporter of single payer health (Heinrich supports Bernie’s Medicare-for-All Senate bill) and other progressive issues, his website is transparent and straight to the point. Check out his voting tracker!
https://www.heinrich.senate.gov/priorities/issues
His voting record is pretty progressive (Progressive Punch Crucial Lifetime Progressive Score = 90%), but Ballotpedia describes him as a moderate member of the Democratic Party and predicts he will continue to break rank on some issues. https://ballotpedia.org/Martin_Heinrich. He is also one of the least wealthy members of the Senate and that may speak for him, as does his dedication to his constituents. He does not appear to have 2020 Presidential ambitions and looks as a very well respected Senator in his state that should not face major hurdles for re-election. http://www.businessinsider.com/why-martin-heinrich-isnt-running-for-president-2017-6
Campaign Finance Records: https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/summary?cid=N00029835
United States House of Representatives: New Mexico has 3 United States House Representatives, Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), Steven Pearce (R) and Ben Ray Lujan (D).
NM-01
Michelle Lujan Grisham is a rather conservative Democrat (Progressive Punch Crucial Lifetime Progressive Score = 71%), who is not running for her seat again, because she is running for Governor instead. There are a lot of candidates competing for her seat including 6 Democrats (Patrick Davis, Debra Haaland, Damian Lara, Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, Paul Moya and Damon Martinez) and two Republicans (Janice Arnold-Jones and Michael Hendricks).
Patrick Davis: Albuquerque City Councilor since 2015, a former police officer who is endorsed by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and would be the 7th openly gay member in the House of U.S. Representatives. His issues are very progressive and he believes that having a strong and principled congressional delegation is key for the state during President Donald Trump’s tenure. What makes this candidate interesting is his Law Enforcement background; he has seen the most pressing issues like education, guns, drugs and poverty and believes we must change them from the bottom up. Here is his webpage.
His fundraising record https://www.opensecrets.org/races/candidates?cycle=2018&id=NM01&spec=N
Debra Haaland: a lawyer for Tribal Affairs and would be the first Native American woman to ever serve in Congress. She is top scorer in fundraising for this district and judging by her contributors she is strongly supported by the Native American community. https://www.opensecrets.org/races/contributors?cycle=2018&id=NM01&spec=N
Her website covers all issues very distinctly and powerful especially on education, including free college education, as well as universal healthcare. Not less impressive are her goals for job creation and environment. https://debforcongress.com/priorities/
Elected as the chair of New Mexico’s Democratic Party in 2015 she became the first Native American woman in the US to chair a state party. This is a great read to learn more about her. https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/yw54bj/deb-haaland-congress-new-mexico-native-american
https://impact.vice.com/en_us/article/wjg5qq/this-native-american-congressional-candidate-wants-to-bring-environmental-justice-to-new-mexico-and-to-capitol-hill?utm_campaign=sharebutton
Damian Lara: an Albuquerque attorney with expertise in immigration and tax law, who has served as deputy Bernalillo County assessor, staff attorney for the state Legislative Council Service and legal clerk for the governor’s counsel under Bill Richardson. This is his first run for office. https://ballotpedia.org/Damian_Lara
His largest contribution to his campaign is self-funded. https://www.opensecrets.org/races/candidates?cycle=2018&id=NM01&spec=N
The campaign website gives a good outline of his priorities and issues as well as a biography and resume of his qualifications https://laraforabetternm.com/about-damian
Antoinette Sedillo Lopez: is a retired Law Professor at UNM for 27 + years, who then served as the executive director of Enlace Communitario, an anti-domestic violence non-profit that serves all and focuses outreach efforts in the Latino immigrant community of Central New Mexico. She is a Justice Democrat candidate and a supporter of Medicare-for-all and other progressive issues. She supports a women’s right to choose and extensive campaign finance reform. Her issues are progressive and she is very detailed about how she would approach to work on them. Also a major issue is what she would describe as a total lack of understanding our constitution in the current administration in Washington. Her hope is to bring her knowledge and experience and help to right that. https://www.abqjournal.com/990809/sedillo-lopez-launches-run-for-1st-congressional-district.html
Ms. Lopez holds believes that the state should move to accessible higher education for all and a debt-free college model for state and community colleges. https://antoinetteforcongress.com/issues/
According to news media and Open Secret she is the top fundraiser in this raise. https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&id=NM01
https://www.abqjournal.com/1078721/damon-martinez-raises-impressive-amount-in-house-race.html
Paul Moya: is CEO at a consulting firm, Millenial Labs. His website does not have a lot of information on the policies he supports.
Damon Martinez: as a LTC in the Army Reserve that he joined as Judge Advocate after 9/11 he has an impressive record and after more than a decade in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico, Damon was nominated for U.S. Attorney by President Obama, unanimously confirmed by the Senate, and sworn in on October 17, 2014. Of course he was among the 46 US Attorneys who were fired March 10th, 2017 by Donald Trump when he took office as 45th President. He declared his candidacy a little later that year. http://damonmartinezforcongress.com/about.html
Mr. Martinez declares on his platform that he stands for affordable and accessible health care for all New Mexicans and Americans (but doesn’t mention Medicare-for-All). His focus on schools is early education and to improve the High School graduation rate for his state by better funding of public schools and more teachers. He does not stand for free higher education but supports a women’s right to choose. Every other issue is pretty standard Democrat fare; he will also focus on prison reform and the Opioid epidemic.
As fundraiser on Open Secret he is in third place, behind Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and Debra Haaland. https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&id=NM01
Here however he is listed as the strongest fundraiser in this raise. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-mexico/articles/2018-02-02/ex-us-attorney-damon-martinez-surges-in-congress-money-race
The organization Vote Vets is endorsing Mr. Martinez. http://www.votevets.org/candidates/damon-martinez-for-congress
NM-02
Steve Pearce is a very conservative Tea Party Republican and member of the House Freedom Caucus, who also not running for his Congressional seat, since he is also competing for the Governor’s seat. There are 3 Democrats (David Alcon, Madeleine Hildebrandt and Xochitl Torres Small) and 4 Republicans (State Representative Yvette Herrell, Monty Newman, Andrew Salas and Jack Volpato) running for his seat.
Ballotpedia prediction for this district is leaning R https://ballotpedia.org/New_Mexico%27s_2nd_Congressional_District_election,_2018
David Alcon: as self-described lifelong activist and son of State Rep. Eliseo Lee Alcon (D-Milan) he declares: “the next Congress must take our country back from Donald Trump and his Republican cronies. I intend to be the ripple that takes back Congress for the Democratic Party.” https://alconforamerica.com/latest-news . The Green Papers has him listed as ‘apparently not a candidate’, because he doesn’t yet appear on any list recently provided by recognized election authorities.
https://www.abqjournal.com/1058762/david-alcon-political-consultant-launches-house-campaign.html
Besides ending the federal ban on marijuana, he believes that the ACA can be repaired to bring access to more residents in his state (but does not mention Medicare-for-All). Other issues he runs on are the Bullet Train Authority and to bring a NFL/MLS Stadium to the area. He believes borders can be safe without a wall and has a plan to work on. https://alconforamerica.com/federal-legalization
Mr. Alcon had trouble with the law (felony stalking) and those headlines may not help with his campaign. https://ballotpedia.org/David_Alcon
http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/new-mexico/2017/11/13/congressional-candidate-david-alcon-arrested-felony-stalking-albuquerque/858634001/
This after he has acknowledged a previous incident of stalking and having had extensive therapy to feel confident that this was a singular episode. https://www.abqjournal.com/1058762/david-alcon-political-consultant-launches-house-campaign.html
Madeleine Hildebrandt: Her website has the catchy phrase “get Mad”. Her biography describes her as a different kind of candidate, middle class working family person, a Veteran, and a military spouse. Taking advantage of the GI Bill, she went all the way to earn a PhD in History at University of Maine as the first person in her family to pursue, and achieve, advanced degrees. Mad has spent the last 18 years as an online History Instructor at Rowan College at Burlington County, a community college situated in New Jersey. She has also taught in the classroom at various colleges and universities, including Central New Mexico Community College (formerly Albuquerque TVI).
Her issues are all very progressive, she supports the ACA and moving toward Medicaid-for-all (does she mean Medicare-for-All?), a women’s right to choose and financing of Planned Parenthood as well as ending privatized prisons. She is also a gun owner who supports “common sense” gun regulation. Refreshing that she stands her ground and is not shying away from an issue on her platform. http://mad4nm.com/issues/
She does well with fundraising but is still lagging behind the GOP candidate. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-mexico/articles/2018-02-03/democrat-takes-lead-in-fund-raising-in-congressional-race
Xochitl Torres Small: describes herself as a water attorney. She formerly worked with Senator Tom Udall. Her website does not have any detail on the policies she supports.

NM-03
Ben Ray Lujan is a moderate Democrat (Progressive Punch Crucial Lifetime Progressive Score = 80%). He does not support Medicare-for-All (HR 676). He currently has no challengers. His stand on affordable higher education is to create a savings account for students called the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) to help families save for college (but he doesn’t mention free college tuition). https://lujan.house.gov/education/
https://www.washingtontimes.com/elections/candidates/ben-ray-lujan-jr-56805/
There is however an interesting article written about him and it describes how managed as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He stacked it with lawmakers newer to Congress, naming vice chairpersons from regions across the country. He also worked to improve relations with minority groups in the House, particularly the Congressional Black Caucus, which often feels shortchanged in campaigns.
This is a good read to learn more about this candidate. http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-lujan-democrats-trump-201707-story.html
Very straight to the point interview. http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/new-mexico/2018/01/14/trump-racist-rep-lujan-says-town-hall-meeting/1032621001/
Governor: The current Governor of New Mexico is Susana Martinez (R), but she is term-limited and cannot run again. The current candidates are: Democrats Jeff Apodaca, State Sen. Joseph Cervantes, Peter DeBenedittis and US Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham and a Republican Rep. Steve Pearce.
Jeff Apodaca: the son of former New Mexico Governor Jerry Apodaca, he grew up in Santa Fe and Las Cruces. A former media executive and current entrepreneur with over 30 years’ experience innovating, expanding, and creating businesses. His platform is covering issues like education. Implementing apprentice pathway programs within high schools and community colleges for trade skills, telecommuting, internships, online learning job opportunities. He is not specific on his health care vision beyond investing in residents who want to go to medical school and stay in the state. No mention of Medicare-for-all free college or women’s issues. Great vision on environment and bringing tech jobs and the Film Industry to the state. https://apo18.com/plan-turn-around-new-mexico/
A bit of negative press is the story of his unpaid property taxes that may hurt his candidacy. http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/new-mexico/2017/11/29/records-show-nm-governor-candidate-jeff-apodaca-has-history-delinquent-property-taxes/905747001/
Joseph Cervantes: Sen. Joseph Cervantes, a southern New Mexico Democrat in the state’s swing region, is jumping into the race for governor. The architect and Las Cruces attorney formally entered the race in a direct challenge to Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham and other Democrats wanting to succeed Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. https://ballotpedia.org/Joseph_Cervantes
http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/2017/07/05/new-mexico-sen-joseph-cervantes-jumps-governors-race/452157001/
There is not much on his website except a youtube video, but he has an active Twitter account. It is hard to see where he stands on issues. https://joe4nm.com/
Here is a little interview that gives you some idea on issues. http://www.lamonitor.com/content/gov-candidate-cervantes-brings-experience-results#comment-form
https://twitter.com/SenJoeCervantes
Peter DeBenedittis: total outsider running for office. He received a Masters and Ph.D. from Penn State (1982 & 1992) in Speech-Communication, earning summa cum laude honors during his doctoral course work. Peter moved to Santa Fe in 1995 and has lived in New Mexico ever since. He founded Peter D. & Company in 1999, which has provided education and drug prevention services to schools, counties and state agencies across New Mexico. https://ballotpedia.org/Peter_DeBenedittis
Very progressive agenda, including healthcare-for-all, women’s rights, living wages, etc. http://peterd4gov.com/issues/
This is too long to copy and paste but a worthy read. This is a candidate who fights for progressive values from the heart and is very transparent about the process. If you want please check out his Facebook page, it is very active and up to date. http://peterd4gov.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/PeterOneSheet.pdf
https://www.facebook.com/notes/peter-d-for-governoon-june-6th-the-day-after-the-primary-were-all-democrats/2038875636389553/
Michelle Lujan Grisham: a 12th generation New Mexican from Albuquerque, she is a former Bernalillo County Commissioner and served as secretary of Health and of Aging & Long-Term Services in New Mexico. Michelle Lujan Grisham has not supported HR 676 (Medicare-for-All) as a Congressional Representative. Grisham also has an association with one of the Awan brothers (Abid Awan).
She does not outline her stand on issues such as Medicare-for-all or Women’s issues. She is endorsed by Emily’s List. https://www.emilyslist.org/candidates/michelle-lujan-grisham
Her website is very generic and more focused on economic development. https://lujangrisham.house.gov/issues
Her announcement to run for Governor and her positions. http://nmpoliticalreport.com/135003/breaking-lujan-grisham-will-run-for-governo
Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed any important candidates or issues.
In case you missed the previous BKAS posts, they are all posted in the subreddit we made to hold all of these BetterKnowAState. These are the states we’ve done so far that are listed in that subreddit – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia (partial), West Virginia and Wyoming. The remaining states are a work in progress.
NEXT STATE UP –Missouri
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2018.03.09 14:50 Scientist34again Better Know a State: New Mexico – discuss New Mexico politics and candidates

Welcome to our 48th Better Know a State (BKAS), which will focus on NEW MEXICO. This post was written by hulagirrrl and thanks to her for all her hard work. As I indicated before, the plan is to do these state-by-state, highlighting upcoming elections, progressive candidates in those states and major issues being fought (with an emphasis on Democratic, Independent and third party candidates). State residents can let me know if I’ve missed anything important or mistakenly described some of these issues.
Reminder: The deadline to file as a candidate for the 2018 races in New Mexico is March 13, 2018 (sorry I know that’s only 4 days from now). Here are the filing requirements – link. The date of the primary election in New Mexico is June 05, 2018. New Mexico has closed primaries, which means that a voter must first be a registered party member in order to vote in the primary for that party. The deadline to register in a party and be eligible to vote in the primary is May 08, 2018.
Here’s what I’ve found about the various races:
United States Senators:. The Senators from New Mexico are Tom Udall (D) and Martin Heinrich (D). Heinrich is up for re-election in 2018. He has one Republican challenger so far, Mark Rich, who is a construction company owner.
Martin Heinrich: Elected in 2012, Martin Heinrich serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Intelligence Committees. He is the ranking member of the Joint Economic Committee and the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. With a background in engineering, Heinrich brings a unique perspective to the Senate, a champion for New Mexico’s public land and growing a clean energy economy. Heinrich helped negotiate the long-term extension of renewable energy tax credits that support New Mexico’s growing clean energy industries. He has also supported the development of renewable energy projects on public and tribal lands, the adoption of innovative energy storage and battery technologies, and improvement to the security of our nation’s energy infrastructure.
A supporter of single payer health (Heinrich supports Bernie’s Medicare-for-All Senate bill) and other progressive issues, his website is transparent and straight to the point. Check out his voting tracker!
https://www.heinrich.senate.gov/priorities/issues
His voting record is pretty progressive (Progressive Punch Crucial Lifetime Progressive Score = 90%), but Ballotpedia describes him as a moderate member of the Democratic Party and predicts he will continue to break rank on some issues. https://ballotpedia.org/Martin_Heinrich. He is also one of the least wealthy members of the Senate and that may speak for him, as does his dedication to his constituents. He does not appear to have 2020 Presidential ambitions and looks as a very well respected Senator in his state that should not face major hurdles for re-election. http://www.businessinsider.com/why-martin-heinrich-isnt-running-for-president-2017-6
Campaign Finance Records: https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/summary?cid=N00029835
United States House of Representatives: New Mexico has 3 United States House Representatives, Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), Steven Pearce (R) and Ben Ray Lujan (D).
NM-01
Michelle Lujan Grisham is a rather conservative Democrat (Progressive Punch Crucial Lifetime Progressive Score = 71%), who is not running for her seat again, because she is running for Governor instead. There are a lot of candidates competing for her seat including 6 Democrats (Patrick Davis, Debra Haaland, Damian Lara, Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, Paul Moya and Damon Martinez) and two Republicans (Janice Arnold-Jones and Michael Hendricks).
Patrick Davis: Albuquerque City Councilor since 2015, a former police officer who is endorsed by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and would be the 7th openly gay member in the House of U.S. Representatives. His issues are very progressive and he believes that having a strong and principled congressional delegation is key for the state during President Donald Trump’s tenure. What makes this candidate interesting is his Law Enforcement background; he has seen the most pressing issues like education, guns, drugs and poverty and believes we must change them from the bottom up. Here is his webpage.
His fundraising record https://www.opensecrets.org/races/candidates?cycle=2018&id=NM01&spec=N
Debra Haaland: a lawyer for Tribal Affairs and would be the first Native American woman to ever serve in Congress. She is top scorer in fundraising for this district and judging by her contributors she is strongly supported by the Native American community. https://www.opensecrets.org/races/contributors?cycle=2018&id=NM01&spec=N
Her website covers all issues very distinctly and powerful especially on education, including free college education, as well as universal healthcare. Not less impressive are her goals for job creation and environment. https://debforcongress.com/priorities/
Elected as the chair of New Mexico’s Democratic Party in 2015 she became the first Native American woman in the US to chair a state party. This is a great read to learn more about her. https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/yw54bj/deb-haaland-congress-new-mexico-native-american
https://impact.vice.com/en_us/article/wjg5qq/this-native-american-congressional-candidate-wants-to-bring-environmental-justice-to-new-mexico-and-to-capitol-hill?utm_campaign=sharebutton
Damian Lara: an Albuquerque attorney with expertise in immigration and tax law, who has served as deputy Bernalillo County assessor, staff attorney for the state Legislative Council Service and legal clerk for the governor’s counsel under Bill Richardson. This is his first run for office. https://ballotpedia.org/Damian_Lara
His largest contribution to his campaign is self-funded. https://www.opensecrets.org/races/candidates?cycle=2018&id=NM01&spec=N
The campaign website gives a good outline of his priorities and issues as well as a biography and resume of his qualifications https://laraforabetternm.com/about-damian
Antoinette Sedillo Lopez: is a retired Law Professor at UNM for 27 + years, who then served as the executive director of Enlace Communitario, an anti-domestic violence non-profit that serves all and focuses outreach efforts in the Latino immigrant community of Central New Mexico. She is a Justice Democrat candidate and a supporter of Medicare-for-all and other progressive issues. She supports a women’s right to choose and extensive campaign finance reform. Her issues are progressive and she is very detailed about how she would approach to work on them. Also a major issue is what she would describe as a total lack of understanding our constitution in the current administration in Washington. Her hope is to bring her knowledge and experience and help to right that. https://www.abqjournal.com/990809/sedillo-lopez-launches-run-for-1st-congressional-district.html
Ms. Lopez holds believes that the state should move to accessible higher education for all and a debt-free college model for state and community colleges. https://antoinetteforcongress.com/issues/
According to news media and Open Secret she is the top fundraiser in this raise. https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&id=NM01
https://www.abqjournal.com/1078721/damon-martinez-raises-impressive-amount-in-house-race.html
Paul Moya: is CEO at a consulting firm, Millenial Labs. His website does not have a lot of information on the policies he supports.
Damon Martinez: as a LTC in the Army Reserve that he joined as Judge Advocate after 9/11 he has an impressive record and after more than a decade in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico, Damon was nominated for U.S. Attorney by President Obama, unanimously confirmed by the Senate, and sworn in on October 17, 2014. Of course he was among the 46 US Attorneys who were fired March 10th, 2017 by Donald Trump when he took office as 45th President. He declared his candidacy a little later that year. http://damonmartinezforcongress.com/about.html
Mr. Martinez declares on his platform that he stands for affordable and accessible health care for all New Mexicans and Americans (but doesn’t mention Medicare-for-All). His focus on schools is early education and to improve the High School graduation rate for his state by better funding of public schools and more teachers. He does not stand for free higher education but supports a women’s right to choose. Every other issue is pretty standard Democrat fare; he will also focus on prison reform and the Opioid epidemic.
As fundraiser on Open Secret he is in third place, behind Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and Debra Haaland. https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&id=NM01
Here however he is listed as the strongest fundraiser in this raise. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-mexico/articles/2018-02-02/ex-us-attorney-damon-martinez-surges-in-congress-money-race
The organization Vote Vets is endorsing Mr. Martinez. http://www.votevets.org/candidates/damon-martinez-for-congress
NM-02
Steve Pearce is a very conservative Tea Party Republican and member of the House Freedom Caucus, who also not running for his Congressional seat, since he is also competing for the Governor’s seat. There are 3 Democrats (David Alcon, Madeleine Hildebrandt and Xochitl Torres Small) and 4 Republicans (State Representative Yvette Herrell, Monty Newman, Andrew Salas and Jack Volpato) running for his seat.
Ballotpedia prediction for this district is leaning R https://ballotpedia.org/New_Mexico%27s_2nd_Congressional_District_election,_2018
David Alcon: as self-described lifelong activist and son of State Rep. Eliseo Lee Alcon (D-Milan) he declares: “the next Congress must take our country back from Donald Trump and his Republican cronies. I intend to be the ripple that takes back Congress for the Democratic Party.” https://alconforamerica.com/latest-news . The Green Papers has him listed as ‘apparently not a candidate’, because he doesn’t yet appear on any list recently provided by recognized election authorities.
https://www.abqjournal.com/1058762/david-alcon-political-consultant-launches-house-campaign.html
Besides ending the federal ban on marijuana, he believes that the ACA can be repaired to bring access to more residents in his state (but does not mention Medicare-for-All). Other issues he runs on are the Bullet Train Authority and to bring a NFL/MLS Stadium to the area. He believes borders can be safe without a wall and has a plan to work on. https://alconforamerica.com/federal-legalization
Mr. Alcon had trouble with the law (felony stalking) and those headlines may not help with his campaign. https://ballotpedia.org/David_Alcon
http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/new-mexico/2017/11/13/congressional-candidate-david-alcon-arrested-felony-stalking-albuquerque/858634001/
This after he has acknowledged a previous incident of stalking and having had extensive therapy to feel confident that this was a singular episode. https://www.abqjournal.com/1058762/david-alcon-political-consultant-launches-house-campaign.html
Madeleine Hildebrandt: Her website has the catchy phrase “get Mad”. Her biography describes her as a different kind of candidate, middle class working family person, a Veteran, and a military spouse. Taking advantage of the GI Bill, she went all the way to earn a PhD in History at University of Maine as the first person in her family to pursue, and achieve, advanced degrees. Mad has spent the last 18 years as an online History Instructor at Rowan College at Burlington County, a community college situated in New Jersey. She has also taught in the classroom at various colleges and universities, including Central New Mexico Community College (formerly Albuquerque TVI).
Her issues are all very progressive, she supports the ACA and moving toward Medicaid-for-all (does she mean Medicare-for-All?), a women’s right to choose and financing of Planned Parenthood as well as ending privatized prisons. She is also a gun owner who supports “common sense” gun regulation. Refreshing that she stands her ground and is not shying away from an issue on her platform. http://mad4nm.com/issues/
She does well with fundraising but is still lagging behind the GOP candidate. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-mexico/articles/2018-02-03/democrat-takes-lead-in-fund-raising-in-congressional-race
Xochitl Torres Small: describes herself as a water attorney. She formerly worked with Senator Tom Udall. Her website does not have any detail on the policies she supports.

NM-03
Ben Ray Lujan is a moderate Democrat (Progressive Punch Crucial Lifetime Progressive Score = 80%). He does not support Medicare-for-All (HR 676). He currently has no challengers. His stand on affordable higher education is to create a savings account for students called the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) to help families save for college (but he doesn’t mention free college tuition). https://lujan.house.gov/education/
https://www.washingtontimes.com/elections/candidates/ben-ray-lujan-jr-56805/
There is however an interesting article written about him and it describes how managed as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He stacked it with lawmakers newer to Congress, naming vice chairpersons from regions across the country. He also worked to improve relations with minority groups in the House, particularly the Congressional Black Caucus, which often feels shortchanged in campaigns.
This is a good read to learn more about this candidate. http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-lujan-democrats-trump-201707-story.html
Very straight to the point interview. http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/new-mexico/2018/01/14/trump-racist-rep-lujan-says-town-hall-meeting/1032621001/
Governor: The current Governor of New Mexico is Susana Martinez (R), but she is term-limited and cannot run again. The current candidates are: Democrats Jeff Apodaca, State Sen. Joseph Cervantes, Peter DeBenedittis and US Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham and a Republican Rep. Steve Pearce.
Jeff Apodaca: the son of former New Mexico Governor Jerry Apodaca, he grew up in Santa Fe and Las Cruces. A former media executive and current entrepreneur with over 30 years’ experience innovating, expanding, and creating businesses. His platform is covering issues like education. Implementing apprentice pathway programs within high schools and community colleges for trade skills, telecommuting, internships, online learning job opportunities. He is not specific on his health care vision beyond investing in residents who want to go to medical school and stay in the state. No mention of Medicare-for-all free college or women’s issues. Great vision on environment and bringing tech jobs and the Film Industry to the state. https://apo18.com/plan-turn-around-new-mexico/
A bit of negative press is the story of his unpaid property taxes that may hurt his candidacy. http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/new-mexico/2017/11/29/records-show-nm-governor-candidate-jeff-apodaca-has-history-delinquent-property-taxes/905747001/
Joseph Cervantes: Sen. Joseph Cervantes, a southern New Mexico Democrat in the state’s swing region, is jumping into the race for governor. The architect and Las Cruces attorney formally entered the race in a direct challenge to Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham and other Democrats wanting to succeed Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. https://ballotpedia.org/Joseph_Cervantes
http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/2017/07/05/new-mexico-sen-joseph-cervantes-jumps-governors-race/452157001/
There is not much on his website except a youtube video, but he has an active Twitter account. It is hard to see where he stands on issues. https://joe4nm.com/
Here is a little interview that gives you some idea on issues. http://www.lamonitor.com/content/gov-candidate-cervantes-brings-experience-results#comment-form
https://twitter.com/SenJoeCervantes
Peter DeBenedittis: total outsider running for office. He received a Masters and Ph.D. from Penn State (1982 & 1992) in Speech-Communication, earning summa cum laude honors during his doctoral course work. Peter moved to Santa Fe in 1995 and has lived in New Mexico ever since. He founded Peter D. & Company in 1999, which has provided education and drug prevention services to schools, counties and state agencies across New Mexico. https://ballotpedia.org/Peter_DeBenedittis
Very progressive agenda, including healthcare-for-all, women’s rights, living wages, etc. http://peterd4gov.com/issues/
This is too long to copy and paste but a worthy read. This is a candidate who fights for progressive values from the heart and is very transparent about the process. If you want please check out his Facebook page, it is very active and up to date. http://peterd4gov.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/PeterOneSheet.pdf
https://www.facebook.com/notes/peter-d-for-governoon-june-6th-the-day-after-the-primary-were-all-democrats/2038875636389553/
Michelle Lujan Grisham: a 12th generation New Mexican from Albuquerque, she is a former Bernalillo County Commissioner and served as secretary of Health and of Aging & Long-Term Services in New Mexico. Michelle Lujan Grisham has not supported HR 676 (Medicare-for-All) as a Congressional Representative. Grisham also has an association with one of the Awan brothers (Abid Awan).
She does not outline her stand on issues such as Medicare-for-all or Women’s issues. She is endorsed by Emily’s List. https://www.emilyslist.org/candidates/michelle-lujan-grisham
Her website is very generic and more focused on economic development. https://lujangrisham.house.gov/issues
Her announcement to run for Governor and her positions. http://nmpoliticalreport.com/135003/breaking-lujan-grisham-will-run-for-governo
Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed any important candidates or issues.
In case you missed the previous BKAS posts, they are all posted in the subreddit we made to hold all of these BetterKnowAState. These are the states we’ve done so far that are listed in that subreddit – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia (partial), West Virginia and Wyoming. The remaining states are a work in progress.
NEXT STATE UP –Missouri
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2018.03.09 14:47 Scientist34again Better Know a State: New Mexico – discuss New Mexico politics and candidates

Welcome to our 48th Better Know a State (BKAS), which will focus on NEW MEXICO. This post was written by hulagirrrl and thanks to her for all her hard work. As I indicated before, the plan is to do these state-by-state, highlighting upcoming elections, progressive candidates in those states and major issues being fought (with an emphasis on Democratic, Independent and third party candidates). State residents can let me know if I’ve missed anything important or mistakenly described some of these issues.
Reminder: The deadline to file as a candidate for the 2018 races in New Mexico is March 13, 2018 (sorry I know that’s only 4 days from now). Here are the filing requirements – link. The date of the primary election in New Mexico is June 05, 2018. New Mexico has closed primaries, which means that a voter must first be a registered party member in order to vote in the primary for that party. The deadline to register in a party and be eligible to vote in the primary is May 08, 2018.
Here’s what I’ve found about the various races:
United States Senators:. The Senators from New Mexico are Tom Udall (D) and Martin Heinrich (D). Heinrich is up for re-election in 2018. He has one Republican challenger so far, Mark Rich, who is a construction company owner.
Martin Heinrich: Elected in 2012, Martin Heinrich serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Intelligence Committees. He is the ranking member of the Joint Economic Committee and the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. With a background in engineering, Heinrich brings a unique perspective to the Senate, a champion for New Mexico’s public land and growing a clean energy economy. Heinrich helped negotiate the long-term extension of renewable energy tax credits that support New Mexico’s growing clean energy industries. He has also supported the development of renewable energy projects on public and tribal lands, the adoption of innovative energy storage and battery technologies, and improvement to the security of our nation’s energy infrastructure.
A supporter of single payer health (Heinrich supports Bernie’s Medicare-for-All Senate bill) and other progressive issues, his website is transparent and straight to the point. Check out his voting tracker!
https://www.heinrich.senate.gov/priorities/issues
His voting record is pretty progressive (Progressive Punch Crucial Lifetime Progressive Score = 90%), but Ballotpedia describes him as a moderate member of the Democratic Party and predicts he will continue to break rank on some issues. https://ballotpedia.org/Martin_Heinrich. He is also one of the least wealthy members of the Senate and that may speak for him, as does his dedication to his constituents. He does not appear to have 2020 Presidential ambitions and looks as a very well respected Senator in his state that should not face major hurdles for re-election. http://www.businessinsider.com/why-martin-heinrich-isnt-running-for-president-2017-6
Campaign Finance Records: https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/summary?cid=N00029835
United States House of Representatives: New Mexico has 3 United States House Representatives, Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), Steven Pearce (R) and Ben Ray Lujan (D).
NM-01
Michelle Lujan Grisham is a rather conservative Democrat (Progressive Punch Crucial Lifetime Progressive Score = 71%), who is not running for her seat again, because she is running for Governor instead. There are a lot of candidates competing for her seat including 6 Democrats (Patrick Davis, Debra Haaland, Damian Lara, Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, Paul Moya and Damon Martinez) and two Republicans (Janice Arnold-Jones and Michael Hendricks).
Patrick Davis: Albuquerque City Councilor since 2015, a former police officer who is endorsed by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and would be the 7th openly gay member in the House of U.S. Representatives. His issues are very progressive and he believes that having a strong and principled congressional delegation is key for the state during President Donald Trump’s tenure. What makes this candidate interesting is his Law Enforcement background; he has seen the most pressing issues like education, guns, drugs and poverty and believes we must change them from the bottom up. Here is his webpage.
His fundraising record https://www.opensecrets.org/races/candidates?cycle=2018&id=NM01&spec=N
Debra Haaland: a lawyer for Tribal Affairs and would be the first Native American woman to ever serve in Congress. She is top scorer in fundraising for this district and judging by her contributors she is strongly supported by the Native American community. https://www.opensecrets.org/races/contributors?cycle=2018&id=NM01&spec=N
Her website covers all issues very distinctly and powerful especially on education, including free college education, as well as universal healthcare. Not less impressive are her goals for job creation and environment. https://debforcongress.com/priorities/
Elected as the chair of New Mexico’s Democratic Party in 2015 she became the first Native American woman in the US to chair a state party. This is a great read to learn more about her. https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/yw54bj/deb-haaland-congress-new-mexico-native-american
https://impact.vice.com/en_us/article/wjg5qq/this-native-american-congressional-candidate-wants-to-bring-environmental-justice-to-new-mexico-and-to-capitol-hill?utm_campaign=sharebutton
Damian Lara: an Albuquerque attorney with expertise in immigration and tax law, who has served as deputy Bernalillo County assessor, staff attorney for the state Legislative Council Service and legal clerk for the governor’s counsel under Bill Richardson. This is his first run for office. https://ballotpedia.org/Damian_Lara
His largest contribution to his campaign is self-funded. https://www.opensecrets.org/races/candidates?cycle=2018&id=NM01&spec=N
The campaign website gives a good outline of his priorities and issues as well as a biography and resume of his qualifications https://laraforabetternm.com/about-damian
Antoinette Sedillo Lopez: is a retired Law Professor at UNM for 27 + years, who then served as the executive director of Enlace Communitario, an anti-domestic violence non-profit that serves all and focuses outreach efforts in the Latino immigrant community of Central New Mexico. She is a Justice Democrat candidate and a supporter of Medicare-for-all and other progressive issues. She supports a women’s right to choose and extensive campaign finance reform. Her issues are progressive and she is very detailed about how she would approach to work on them. Also a major issue is what she would describe as a total lack of understanding our constitution in the current administration in Washington. Her hope is to bring her knowledge and experience and help to right that. https://www.abqjournal.com/990809/sedillo-lopez-launches-run-for-1st-congressional-district.html
Ms. Lopez holds believes that the state should move to accessible higher education for all and a debt-free college model for state and community colleges. https://antoinetteforcongress.com/issues/
According to news media and Open Secret she is the top fundraiser in this raise. https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&id=NM01
https://www.abqjournal.com/1078721/damon-martinez-raises-impressive-amount-in-house-race.html
Paul Moya: is CEO at a consulting firm, Millenial Labs. His website does not have a lot of information on the policies he supports.
Damon Martinez: as a LTC in the Army Reserve that he joined as Judge Advocate after 9/11 he has an impressive record and after more than a decade in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico, Damon was nominated for U.S. Attorney by President Obama, unanimously confirmed by the Senate, and sworn in on October 17, 2014. Of course he was among the 46 US Attorneys who were fired March 10th, 2017 by Donald Trump when he took office as 45th President. He declared his candidacy a little later that year. http://damonmartinezforcongress.com/about.html
Mr. Martinez declares on his platform that he stands for affordable and accessible health care for all New Mexicans and Americans (but doesn’t mention Medicare-for-All). His focus on schools is early education and to improve the High School graduation rate for his state by better funding of public schools and more teachers. He does not stand for free higher education but supports a women’s right to choose. Every other issue is pretty standard Democrat fare; he will also focus on prison reform and the Opioid epidemic.
As fundraiser on Open Secret he is in third place, behind Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and Debra Haaland. https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&id=NM01
Here however he is listed as the strongest fundraiser in this raise. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-mexico/articles/2018-02-02/ex-us-attorney-damon-martinez-surges-in-congress-money-race
The organization Vote Vets is endorsing Mr. Martinez. http://www.votevets.org/candidates/damon-martinez-for-congress
NM-02
Steve Pearce is a very conservative Tea Party Republican and member of the House Freedom Caucus, who also not running for his Congressional seat, since he is also competing for the Governor’s seat. There are 3 Democrats (David Alcon, Madeleine Hildebrandt and Xochitl Torres Small) and 4 Republicans (State Representative Yvette Herrell, Monty Newman, Andrew Salas and Jack Volpato) running for his seat.
Ballotpedia prediction for this district is leaning R https://ballotpedia.org/New_Mexico%27s_2nd_Congressional_District_election,_2018
David Alcon: as self-described lifelong activist and son of State Rep. Eliseo Lee Alcon (D-Milan) he declares: “the next Congress must take our country back from Donald Trump and his Republican cronies. I intend to be the ripple that takes back Congress for the Democratic Party.” https://alconforamerica.com/latest-news . The Green Papers has him listed as ‘apparently not a candidate’, because he doesn’t yet appear on any list recently provided by recognized election authorities.
https://www.abqjournal.com/1058762/david-alcon-political-consultant-launches-house-campaign.html
Besides ending the federal ban on marijuana, he believes that the ACA can be repaired to bring access to more residents in his state (but does not mention Medicare-for-All). Other issues he runs on are the Bullet Train Authority and to bring a NFL/MLS Stadium to the area. He believes borders can be safe without a wall and has a plan to work on. https://alconforamerica.com/federal-legalization
Mr. Alcon had trouble with the law (felony stalking) and those headlines may not help with his campaign. https://ballotpedia.org/David_Alcon
http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/new-mexico/2017/11/13/congressional-candidate-david-alcon-arrested-felony-stalking-albuquerque/858634001/
This after he has acknowledged a previous incident of stalking and having had extensive therapy to feel confident that this was a singular episode. https://www.abqjournal.com/1058762/david-alcon-political-consultant-launches-house-campaign.html
Madeleine Hildebrandt: Her website has the catchy phrase “get Mad”. Her biography describes her as a different kind of candidate, middle class working family person, a Veteran, and a military spouse. Taking advantage of the GI Bill, she went all the way to earn a PhD in History at University of Maine as the first person in her family to pursue, and achieve, advanced degrees. Mad has spent the last 18 years as an online History Instructor at Rowan College at Burlington County, a community college situated in New Jersey. She has also taught in the classroom at various colleges and universities, including Central New Mexico Community College (formerly Albuquerque TVI).
Her issues are all very progressive, she supports the ACA and moving toward Medicaid-for-all (does she mean Medicare-for-All?), a women’s right to choose and financing of Planned Parenthood as well as ending privatized prisons. She is also a gun owner who supports “common sense” gun regulation. Refreshing that she stands her ground and is not shying away from an issue on her platform. http://mad4nm.com/issues/
She does well with fundraising but is still lagging behind the GOP candidate. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-mexico/articles/2018-02-03/democrat-takes-lead-in-fund-raising-in-congressional-race
Xochitl Torres Small: describes herself as a water attorney. She formerly worked with Senator Tom Udall. Her website does not have any detail on the policies she supports.

NM-03
Ben Ray Lujan is a moderate Democrat (Progressive Punch Crucial Lifetime Progressive Score = 80%). He does not support Medicare-for-All (HR 676). He currently has no challengers. His stand on affordable higher education is to create a savings account for students called the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) to help families save for college (but he doesn’t mention free college tuition). https://lujan.house.gov/education/
https://www.washingtontimes.com/elections/candidates/ben-ray-lujan-jr-56805/
There is however an interesting article written about him and it describes how managed as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He stacked it with lawmakers newer to Congress, naming vice chairpersons from regions across the country. He also worked to improve relations with minority groups in the House, particularly the Congressional Black Caucus, which often feels shortchanged in campaigns.
This is a good read to learn more about this candidate. http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-lujan-democrats-trump-201707-story.html
Very straight to the point interview. http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/new-mexico/2018/01/14/trump-racist-rep-lujan-says-town-hall-meeting/1032621001/
Governor: The current Governor of New Mexico is Susana Martinez (R), but she is term-limited and cannot run again. The current candidates are: Democrats Jeff Apodaca, State Sen. Joseph Cervantes, Peter DeBenedittis and US Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham and a Republican Rep. Steve Pearce.
Jeff Apodaca: the son of former New Mexico Governor Jerry Apodaca, he grew up in Santa Fe and Las Cruces. A former media executive and current entrepreneur with over 30 years’ experience innovating, expanding, and creating businesses. His platform is covering issues like education. Implementing apprentice pathway programs within high schools and community colleges for trade skills, telecommuting, internships, online learning job opportunities. He is not specific on his health care vision beyond investing in residents who want to go to medical school and stay in the state. No mention of Medicare-for-all free college or women’s issues. Great vision on environment and bringing tech jobs and the Film Industry to the state. https://apo18.com/plan-turn-around-new-mexico/
A bit of negative press is the story of his unpaid property taxes that may hurt his candidacy. http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/new-mexico/2017/11/29/records-show-nm-governor-candidate-jeff-apodaca-has-history-delinquent-property-taxes/905747001/
Joseph Cervantes: Sen. Joseph Cervantes, a southern New Mexico Democrat in the state’s swing region, is jumping into the race for governor. The architect and Las Cruces attorney formally entered the race in a direct challenge to Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham and other Democrats wanting to succeed Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. https://ballotpedia.org/Joseph_Cervantes
http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/2017/07/05/new-mexico-sen-joseph-cervantes-jumps-governors-race/452157001/
There is not much on his website except a youtube video, but he has an active Twitter account. It is hard to see where he stands on issues. https://joe4nm.com/
Here is a little interview that gives you some idea on issues. http://www.lamonitor.com/content/gov-candidate-cervantes-brings-experience-results#comment-form
https://twitter.com/SenJoeCervantes
Peter DeBenedittis: total outsider running for office. He received a Masters and Ph.D. from Penn State (1982 & 1992) in Speech-Communication, earning summa cum laude honors during his doctoral course work. Peter moved to Santa Fe in 1995 and has lived in New Mexico ever since. He founded Peter D. & Company in 1999, which has provided education and drug prevention services to schools, counties and state agencies across New Mexico. https://ballotpedia.org/Peter_DeBenedittis
Very progressive agenda, including healthcare-for-all, women’s rights, living wages, etc. http://peterd4gov.com/issues/
This is too long to copy and paste but a worthy read. This is a candidate who fights for progressive values from the heart and is very transparent about the process. If you want please check out his Facebook page, it is very active and up to date. http://peterd4gov.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/PeterOneSheet.pdf
https://www.facebook.com/notes/peter-d-for-governoon-june-6th-the-day-after-the-primary-were-all-democrats/2038875636389553/
Michelle Lujan Grisham: a 12th generation New Mexican from Albuquerque, she is a former Bernalillo County Commissioner and served as secretary of Health and of Aging & Long-Term Services in New Mexico. Michelle Lujan Grisham has not supported HR 676 (Medicare-for-All) as a Congressional Representative. Grisham also has an association with one of the Awan brothers (Abid Awan).
She does not outline her stand on issues such as Medicare-for-all or Women’s issues. She is endorsed by Emily’s List. https://www.emilyslist.org/candidates/michelle-lujan-grisham
Her website is very generic and more focused on economic development. https://lujangrisham.house.gov/issues
Her announcement to run for Governor and her positions. http://nmpoliticalreport.com/135003/breaking-lujan-grisham-will-run-for-governo
Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed any important candidates or issues.
In case you missed the previous BKAS posts, they are all posted in the subreddit we made to hold all of these BetterKnowAState. These are the states we’ve done so far that are listed in that subreddit – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia (partial), West Virginia and Wyoming. The remaining states are a work in progress.
NEXT STATE UP –Missouri
submitted by Scientist34again to WayOfTheBern [link] [comments]


2017.03.21 00:59 HailCorporateRobot Ads for 2017-03-20 (1 / 2)

Subreddit Title Brand
mildlyinteresting My Sam's Club sells giant salads way over 5 pounds Sam's Club
todayilearned TIL FedEx has an hidden arrow in their logo; it cannot be unseen. FedEx
worldnews Taxi hailing app Uber has been thrust deeper into turmoil with the departure of company president Jeff Jones, a marketing expert hired to help bolster its reputation. Jones quit less than seven months after joining the San Francisco company Uber
AskReddit How much would a single payer healthcare system cost in the United States? United
Showerthoughts The United States is currently going through one of the most serious political crises since the Cold War. United
worldnews [Top Intel Democrat: 'Circumstantial evidence of collusion' between Trump and Russia "There is circumstantial evidence of collusion. There is direct evidence, I think, of deception and that's where we begin the investigation."](https://www.reddit.com/worldnews/comments/60dm30/top_intel_democrat_circumstantial_evidence_of/)
Jokes I prefer Facebook to Twitter... Facebook
gaming I'm just gonna leave this here too point out how broken Xbox can be with their "act of enforcement" system... Xbox
videos Woman interrupted during BBC interview BBC
pics I just searched "common handgun ammo" for a story, and Google suggested, "People also search for: What is the best guns?" Google
personalfinance What else can I invest in besides Target Date Fund? Target
videos Following false allegations of its chicken being only 50% chicken, Subway publishes a video showing how it's made. Subway
mildlyinteresting Saw BIGMACK getting a big Mac at McDonald's drive-thru McDonald's
AskReddit What is your worst Uber ride story? Uber
pics Got this from Pizza Hut in 1994. Pizza Hut
Showerthoughts I have never wanted to highlight something on my screen and right-click "print" in Google Chrome Google
videos Hiking the Continental Divide Trail Continental
AskReddit Why is there such a strong circlejerk against the United States on Reddit even when it doesn't have anything to do with Trump? United
Music System 7 - Sirenes Laurent Garnier Remix Melodic Techno/Deep House Garnier
Showerthoughts "Croth" can be either Mike Tyson saying cross or an asian saying cloth Tyson
AskReddit If George W. Bush had had Twitter during his presidency, what would his tweets be like? Twitter
WritingPrompts WP In an effort to promote the brand, Taco Bell has just finished building their first joint in the settlement on Mars. Several months later it is the last fast food joint in the solar system. Bell
pics My daughter supervised by an adult sporting the latest Target fashion line! Life in plastic, it's fantastic! Target
videos [Stan Wawrinka calls Roger Federer an "asshole" BNP Paribas Open 2017](https://www.reddit.com/videos/comments/60e2tp/stan_wawrinka_calls_roger_federer_an_asshole_bnp/)
funny [Stan Wawrinka calls Roger Federer an "asshole" BNP Paribas Open 2017](https://www.reddit.com/funny/comments/60e2t9/stan_wawrinka_calls_roger_federer_an_asshole_bnp/)
explainlikeimfive ELI5 Why is the Holy Grail the center of so many movies Indiana Jones, Da Vinci Code, etc. Vinci
Showerthoughts Every time I see those Coca-Cola commercials where someone drops an ice cube in a glass of coke or pours it from very high is, what a damn mess and who is going to clean that up Coca-Cola
Showerthoughts When I work with older people who regularly use computers but don't know how to use Microsoft Suite software they're basically saying that they have refused to learn the fundamental tools of their trade for the past 26 years. Microsoft
Showerthoughts If Apple has “Air”, Amazon has “Fire”, and Google has “Earth”, why doesn’t Microsoft have “Water”? Apple
Showerthoughts If Apple has “Air”, Amazon has “Fire”, and Google has “Earth”, why doesn’t Microsoft have “Water”? Google
Showerthoughts If Apple has “Air”, Amazon has “Fire”, and Google has “Earth”, why doesn’t Microsoft have “Water”? Microsoft
videos Man stung on Facebook live gets swarmed by angry people at park. Facebook
personalfinance Any Wells Fargo users try their new investment thing yet? Wells Fargo
funny Expert’s Kids Interrupt Live BBC Interview, Parodies Ensue!! BBC
personalfinance $19k in credit debt with Chase and B of A. Closed the accounts. How can I lower the interest? Chase
DIY Minnesota Judges Approves Search Warrant, Orders Google to Submit User Data – Data-Pane.Com – Public Records Google
funny Expert’s Kids Interrupt Live BBC Interview, Parodies Ensue!! BBC
todayilearned TIL Sasha Chhetri is back with new campaign for Airtel as fastest mobile network in India Airtel
videos Nerdy Uber Driver Surprise Uber
videos How To Make Attractive Thumbnail On Youtube Videos Youtube
AskReddit Serious What is the measurement for EOS 700D Canon connection point for a tripod? Canon
gaming Console gamers of reddit, Xbox or Playstation and why? Playstation
gaming Console gamers of reddit, Xbox or Playstation and why? Xbox
videos [BETTER THAN FIRST CLASS!!! springbreak
videos Czech police chase a stolen Audi ends spectacularly in a ditch Audi
books 142-82-5,Magnesia fume, Synonym, Target organs, Boiling point, Trade names, Name of the chemical compound, Molecular weight, Melting point, Freezing point, Specific gravity, Ionization potential, Vapor pressure. Target
Futurology How Google trains its AI and why Russians will hack the weather Google
Showerthoughts I would throw my Xbox controller on the ground if I lost but if I got a free win for throwing my controller on the ground I would never agree at the risk of breaking my controller Xbox
gaming I would throw my Xbox controller on the ground if I lost but if I got a free win for throwing my controller on the ground I would never agree at the risk of breaking my controller Xbox
gaming I'm trying to get my TV picture to look better by messing around with the settings, but when I adjust the TV settings how Xbox tells me to, it looks worse. Xbox
pics Falling rocks smash Ford truck. Ford
todayilearned TIL McDonalds had the support of Coca Cola's investment in 1955 when it started. Now McDonald's is Coke's largest restaurant customer and the two companies maintain a unique, symbiotic relationship McDonald's
Showerthoughts 17 is the perfect age, yesterday I was debating whether to go to John Wick 2 or Lego Batman. Lego
Showerthoughts I wonder what was on the tapes that people would send to MTV when jackass was around that made them tell everyone to not send them things because they wouldn't open them. MTV
videos Neil Degrasse Tyson on UFOs and extraterrestrial visitors Tyson
WritingPrompts WPYears after being diagnosed you have become a functional schitzophrenic. Today your Uber driver asks if the lady is coming with you, while pointing at one of the people in your head. Uber
Showerthoughts The first Uber user must have been pretty balsy... Uber
Music How Do You Put Apple Music on iPod Nano? Apple
movies Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower’: Is Sony In Huge Trouble With The Blockbuster? Sony
news Facebook May Launch Its Hardware Products To Compete With Google, Apple And Snap Apple
food Homemade Gaufres au chocolat et au caramel au
AskReddit What your "I'm never going back to Walmart again" story? Walmart
AskReddit Serious What would happen if Walmart and other like stores went of business? Walmart
Showerthoughts Jared from Subway began and ended his career trying to get into smaller pants. Subway
Art Trial by battle, Chase Stone, Digital, 2015 Chase
worldnews One of corporate South Korea’s most powerful families is set to be seen together for the first time in years on Monday. The occasion: a trial of criminal charges against Lotte Group founder Shin Kyuk-ho and his three oldest children. Lotte Group
Showerthoughts Jared from Subway began and ended his career trying to get into smaller pants Subway
worldnews North Korea's latest rocket-engine test showed "meaningful" progress, South Korea said on Monday, while an analyst said it was a dangerous step towards the North's goal of developing a rocket that could hit the United States United
UpliftingNews Norway is the happiest place on earth, according to a United Nations agency report - toppling neighbour Denmark from the number one position United
worldnews Norway is the happiest place on earth, according to a United Nations agency report - toppling neighbour Denmark from the number one position United
worldnews Trump Russia claims: US intelligence chiefs to give evidence - BBC News BBC
Documentaries BBC Newsnight: In the Line of Fire 2003 - Iraq War. Kurdish and American convoy is hit by friendly fire while a BBC crew films. BBC
pics These Canon lens look like Death Star Canon
news A Hard Hit To Indian Employees By Infosys As It Abolishes H-1B Visa For Junior Staff Infosys
worldnews Nearly half of Canadians want to deport people who are illegally crossing into Canada from the United States, and a similar number disapprove of how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is handling the influx, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Monda United
nottheonion At $159, Apple made AirPods too cheap Apple
worldnews M&S pulls Google ads over 'brand safety' fears Google
todayilearned TIL: The United States consumes 80% of the world's opioids United
worldnews Article 50: Theresa May to trigger Brexit process next Wednesday - BBC News BBC
AskReddit Ex-watchers of Epic Meal Time, why did you stop? At one time EMT was huge on Youtube and always trending. I never hear anyone talk about them anymore. My SO told me told me that after 20+ videos of gross fattening foods, he was good. Were you a watcher and are you still, if not then why? Youtube
pics Wrapped Porsche 918 Spyder for Gumball 3000 Porsche
worldnews A Canadian photographer has been banned from Facebook after criticism over her photos of naked women posing behind a mannequin. Facebook
nottheonion At $159, Apple made AirPods too cheap Apple
videos [Stan Wawrinka calls Roger Federer an "asshole" after losing BNP Paribas Open 2017](https://www.reddit.com/videos/comments/60g478/stan_wawrinka_calls_roger_federer_an_asshole/)
funny [Stan Wawrinka calls Roger Federer an "asshole" after losing BNP Paribas Open 2017](https://www.reddit.com/funny/comments/60g4d3/stan_wawrinka_calls_roger_federer_an_asshole/)
AskReddit What was posted about you on Facebook that immediately made you panic and contact the op to remove it? Facebook
gadgets Line Dock Restores All The Ports Apple Removed From The 2016 MacBook Pro While Adding a 20,000 Mah battery with Qi charging and a 1TB SSD Apple
worldnews Red star over Hungary? Heineken may see trademark banned Heineken
AskReddit Serious Women what are some of your own personal reasons for the new wave of feminism in the United States? What are some of the things that you think that women are oppressed by in our present time? United
funny Saw this at a Lego exhibition Lego
worldnews S Korea complains to WTO about China over Thaad - BBC News BBC
Jokes The lesbian couple next door bought me a Rolex for my birthday Rolex
AskReddit What is the best Google auto-complete suggestion that you have seen? Google
AskReddit What are the laws regarding sword-carrying in the United States? United
Jokes If Google had a porn site, what would the name be? Google
videos Today is Mister Rogers Birthday. He would have wanted you to reflect on the kindness and love in your life. Rogers
videos McLaren F1s and Porsche GT1s in the paddock and pulling off at Goodwood 75th members meet. Porsche
gaming Baby Lego Bender. Lego
AskReddit Europeans who visited the United States, where did you go and how was it? United
LifeProTips LPT: Depending on what company you work for, Verizon will give you a percentage off of your data plan and accessories if you show them your company badge, ID, or a pay stub Verizon
pics Blue Angels over Casino Beach, Pensacola Florida Casino
todayilearned TIL In 2009 Burger King ran a promotion that awarded you a Whopper for every 10 friends you unfriend on Facebook. The ex-friends would receive a message from Burger King informing them their friendship was worth less than a Whopper Burger King
mildlyinteresting My sports bag zipper has Nike in all lowercase Nike
todayilearned TIL Toyota, makers of Lexus vehicles, once filed a lawsuit against a nude model who goes by the name Alexus Winston for trademark infringement. Winston
todayilearned TIL Toyota, makers of Lexus vehicles, once filed a lawsuit against a nude model who goes by the name Alexus Winston for trademark infringement. Lexus
worldnews Red star over Hungary? Heineken may see trademark banned Heineken
funny Today's Google Doodle. Gotta be a rat - mice don't get that big. Google
gifs It's Magic. - Create, Discover and Share GIFs on Gfycat Discover
pics This new UPS rule is bullcrap. UPS
Showerthoughts Couldn't any book about Henry Ford be considered an auto biography? Ford
AskReddit What happens if you put a UPS shipping label on a USPS priority mail envelope and drop it in a FedEx dropbox? UPS
AskReddit What happens if you put a UPS shipping label on a USPS priority mail envelope and drop it in a FedEx dropbox? FedEx
AskReddit What is a little known fact of history that was integral to forming the United States? United
news David Rockefeller, Philanthropist and Head of Chase Manhattan, Dies at 101 Chase
worldnews David Rockefeller, Philanthropist and Head of Chase Manhattan, Dies at 101 Chase
news David Rockefeller, Philanthropist and Head of Chase Manhattan, Dies at 101 Chase
news LGBT community anger over Youtube restrictions which make their videos invisible Youtube
news David Rockefeller, Philanthropist and Head of Chase Manhattan, Dies at 101 Chase
AskReddit What is the weirdest thing you found, when browsing in Google maps street view? Google
worldnews David Rockefeller, Philanthropist and Head of Chase Manhattan, Dies at 101 Chase
mildlyinteresting This Rolex ad knows what time it is and the second hand moved in real time Rolex
videos Mike Tyson tells Larry Merchant how to knock your opponent out. Tyson
funny Other guys read they're girlfriends messages, I go onto Facebook and find out what girls really talk about. Facebook
OldSchoolCool Harrison Ford by the pool, 1970s Ford
funny probably the best eBay listing I've seen eBay
Documentaries Espionage: Target You 1964 Case Studies of How US Government Leaks Occured and How to Prevent Them Target
funny Was at Walmart today, and this kinda reminded me of that Max payne 3 photo a few years back. 423 copies... I counted. Walmart
pics Happy 11th Birthday to the First Son of the United States, Barron Trump! United
worldnews David Rockefeller, Philanthropist and Head of Chase Manhattan, Receiver of 7 heart transplants, Dies at 101 Chase
funny there is an entire side of eBay specifically for the market of cheeto shapes eBay
Showerthoughts I used to think having a time machine would be cool because I could hang out with myself. Thanks to Facebook memories, I now know I would hate hanging out with 4-years-ago-Me. Facebook
gadgets Developer gets a Game Boy emulator running on the Apple Watch, because he can Apple
worldnews David Rockefeller, Philanthropist and Head of Chase Manhattan, Dies at 101 Chase
AskReddit What is the worst Subway sandwich possible, using actual ingredients from Subway? Subway
Jokes What does AT&T call their reduced data plan sold exclusively to fat chicks? AT&T
AskReddit If Mr. Rogers was President of the United States, how do you think the US would get along? United
AskReddit If Mr. Rogers was President of the United States, how do you think the US would get along? Rogers
nosleep The Apple Doesn't Fall Too Far From The Tree Apple
AskReddit When does Ford Truck Month end? Ford
food I ate Vegan KFC style chichen KFC
photoshopbattles PsBattle: Mike Tyson on his throne Tyson
pics Old Pepsi Board by a Local Drag Strip Pepsi
worldnews Boscastle ankle break woman rescued by webcam 200 miles away - BBC News BBC
LifeProTips LPT: Download both Uber and Lyft apps and compare prices before ordering. One is almost always cheaper than the other. Uber
todayilearned TIL Elon Musk was ousted from Paypal when he wanted to move everything from Unix to Microsoft. Paypal
gaming Portal in Real Life with Microsoft Hololens Microsoft
AskReddit What is the worst kind of Lego to step on? Lego
worldnews Billionaire Banker David Rockefeller, Former Head Of Chase Manhattan, Dies At 101 Chase
sports [Jay Glazer explains how Tom Brady's Super Bowl jersey was stolen FOX Sports](https://www.reddit.com/sports/comments/60hwmp/jay_glazer_explains_how_tom_bradys_super_bowl/)
videos Racing A Maserati In A £50,000 Fiat 500 Fiat
videos Why Is the Sky Blue? in 60 seconds or less Sky
AskReddit Serious How Can you purchase a new computer with Paypal credit and receive it by this Friday? Paypal
videos BuzzFeed Ain't So Bad Now and The BBC Interview My thoughts BBC
worldnews Bill Gates tops Forbes' rich list but Trump's wealth slips - BBC News BBC
Showerthoughts I wonder if Starbucks drink sizes are made to confuse people. They make ZERO sense. Starbucks
news A simple command allows the CIA to commandeer 318 models of Cisco switches Cisco
Showerthoughts In the '90s I saw a talk show featuring Bill Gates. The audience cheered after the presenter calculated the vast sum of money Microsoft had earned Bill during the hour he spent on the show. Today, he would be booed. Microsoft
Documentaries Rogue Waves 2002 - Little known fact that once a week and ship sinks to the bottom of the ocean. This is a BBC Horizons doc about rogue waves BBC
news After years waiting for Google Fiber, KC residents get cancellation e-mails Google
television ‘Top Gear’ Spinoff ‘Top Gear America’ Greenlighted By BBC America BBC
television Dave Chappelle on escaping fame, returning to stand-up with Netflix - CBS This Morning CBS
videos 1985 Budweiser commercial. Budweiser
LifeProTips LPT Dont have a Costco Card but want that cheap alcohol? Alcohol sales cannot be prohibited through a membership. Simply tell the front store attendant you are buying non member goods! Costco
aww A Land Rover Ruffer Fluffer Land Rover
Showerthoughts I've bought every single version of Microsoft Office up till now and I still have no idea what the fuck Microsoft Publisher does Microsoft
Showerthoughts Waze and Google Maps should tell you why it's picked the current routing. I don't usually trust a new route. Google
photoshopbattles PsBattle: Mike Tyson sitting on a giant inflatable throne. Tyson
AskReddit serious What is a realistic way to fix the United States government? United
videos Epic Facebook Comebacks! Facebook
food I made French dip burrito with a mushroom infused au ju glaze pro/chef au
gaming The Story Of Bleem - Play Playstation Games On The Dreamcast & PC! Playstation
Jokes What happens when you give Ritalin to a Ford Fiesta? Ford
videos The Story Of Bleem - Play Playstation Games On The Dreamcast & PC! Playstation
gaming New Historical Total War In Development! What do you think it'll be? Total
videos For Mr Rogers' Birthday: "Garden of Your Mind" Mister Rogers Remixed Rogers
AskReddit Reddit, which controller is better Xbox One or PS4? Xbox
EarthPorn Essex, United Kingdom OC 2048 x 1365 United
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2017.03.19 14:59 Inspector_Legrasse20 My Best Friend Became a Murderer

My buddy Gavin had always tried to be a superhero. Yes. You read that right. Not he always loved superheroes – not even that he always wanted to be a superhero. He made a costume and mask when we were in middle school and had been crusading around the neighborhood to ‘stop crime’ all the way till I was a sophomore in high school. I’m sure you’ve heard about people like this in the news; like the people in that movie Kick Ass. Gavin and I lived in the St Cloud projects and, even though I doubt he helped in anyway, there was a lot of crime and drug dealing to go around.
The most difficult thing for Gavin, I think, was that we lived in Minnesota, a state that doesn’t allow wearing masks in public. While most beat cops that came around our neighborhood laughed at Gavin and his masked antics, there was one cop that would have none of it: Officer Mitchell. He had a real hard-on for Gavin, or The Depths as he called his alter ego, and would always demand he take the mask off and not go around disguised in public. More on him later.
In truth, Gavin’s outfit was pretty sweet. It was all black, the fabric was flowing but not too baggy and the mask was made of this tough black plastic. It looked kinda like a skull, and the eye lenses were a piercing silver tint. He’d actually been working on it for a year. Every night after school, instead of hanging out or doing his homework, he’d go into the basement and sew up his costume. I kept telling him he could just buy a Halloween getup from K-Mart, which would be a lot less traceable, but he insisted on making his own.
As you can probably gather, he was big into Batman and, just like the character, would only ‘work’ at night. This helped him avoid Officer Mitchell a few times when being chased down so he wouldn’t be unmasked. The outfit was perfect camouflage for the dark alleyways.
A lot of people, including teachers and most of the grownups in the projects, had figured that Gavin was mentally unstable or retarded. I never thought that was accurate though. If I’m being totally fair, Gavin was an averagely smart kid who was just preoccupied with things that took away from him ever getting good grades or learning anything that would get him a job. And he wasn’t crazy; he’d…just been through a lot.
His parents divorced when he was five. Before you dismiss this experience as just another typical 21st century reality, you should know that his father was in deep gambling debt and his mother was hooked on crack from the Minneapolis Crips. I’ll let you imagine how this all played out for young Gavin when the three of them were living under the same roof. They didn’t so much divorce as they separated and really neither of them was fit to raise Gavin so he went to live with his grandfather. When his grandpa croaked he went into foster homes, getting passed along seven times in four years. He eventually landed back in St Cloud with his older third cousin Howie, twice removed. Howie did shift work at a supermarket warehouse and didn’t have much time or patience for Gavin so you can imagine what their relationship was like.
I actually remember going along with Gavin, or The Depths, a few times when he scoured the streets at night for trouble. I don’t know why but for some reason he was never bothered with me knowing his ‘secret identity.’ In truth, when you live in the ghetto, there’s little your neighbors don’t know about you. Anyway, I remember one night I tagged along with The Depths after we’d heard news of a serial rapist in the area. I wasn’t in costume but he was, as well as Durwood, his sidekick. Now, trying to be a superhero in real life is pretty pathetic but being the side kick to a faux-superhero? That’s got to be the shits.
We mostly drank coffee and soda, freezing our balls off on a street corner and spying on the opposite side, looking for anything suspicious. Now, Durwood and I after an hour and a half had had enough. There was nothing there except a few drunks, ranting crazies, and maybe a hooker in a long trench coat. The Depths, however, refused to call it a night, insisting we’d find the rapist. Not long, we saw this tall man wearing baggy, layered clothing, who kept circling the block, over and over again.
“That guy keeps circling back,” Gavin hissed through his mask. Durwood and I looked at each other and, even though we weren’t friends, we could read the concerned panic in the other’s eyes. I think we both knew the shit was about to hit the fan when we heard Gavin’s paper cup hit the sidewalk. Gavin, like a shadow crossing your room when a car goes by at night, lurched forward and ran to the other side. He got right up and grabbed the guy by the lapels of his coat, yelling at him, demanding to know his whereabouts on such and such a date. A struggle ensued. I watched from the other side, paralyzed. Durwood stood next to me like a statue.
A fist flew from the man and he shouted, “The fuck’s with you freak? Get the fuck off!” Gavin then retaliated with one of those karate punches he’d taught himself from online videos and it did rock the guy back a few steps. Then the next thing I saw brought a swell of feverish heat bubbling to my otherwise shivering body. From out of the guy’s steep pocket he brought out a gleamingly silver, snub nose revolver. He pointed it, titled to the side at Gavin’s head. “Get the fuck off me, bruh!”
Gavin didn’t move and I thought then that it was over but he suddenly reached up and grabbed the guy by the wrist. The wrist of the hand holding the gun. I sunk back into the shadows and heaved, watching the grey barrel teeter and sway in several directions as the two of them grappled for it. Without a word, Durwood ran forward to the scene. I watched in abject horror, as he got closer to the point of the flaying firearm. I sunk deeper into the darkness. I then leapt and waxed cold upon the thunder of the gun’s shot.
The bullet ricocheted across the concrete and the weapon fell from the man’s hand as both Gavin and Durwood pushed him to the ground. I don’t know if it was the second person or the gun firing but the man scrambled to his feet and scampered away. I watched the two of them panting, Gavin much more than Durwood. Then, before they walked back across the road, Durwood stooped down and picked something up from off the sidewalk. When they brought it over we saw that it was a small plastic packet of meth. The guy had been a drug dealer, which would explain why he’d been circling the block over and over. The allusive serial rapist was never found.
Durwood seemed the most embarrassed about the debacle. Gavin figured he had still stopped injustice. Me? I stopped tagging along. But I know that most of his crusades ended up in street fights, some he lost some he won. Sometimes he’d get unmasked but, that was okay; they didn’t know who he was anyway.
I stopped paying much attention. Around this time I was starting to think ahead a little bit; I was going into high school and wasn’t too glad to be put into the lowest set class in one of the worst schools in the city. Gavin wasn’t going to high school. He was instead focusing on his crime-fighting career. Truth is, he was terribly behaved and was probably suffering from undiagnosed ADHD. In retrospect, our school just couldn’t support him.
The worst came about when Gavin collected up his paper route money and Christmas cash (and some pilfered dollars from Howie’s wallet, I suspect) to buy a police radio. Like the karate moves he’d taught himself, he soon figured out what each of the coded numbers stood for.
Three days after this purchase, our projects got introduced to Officer Mitchell. He went door to door with a sketch of the mask that Gavin wore as The Depths. Luckily for Gavin, no one in the projects talks to cops, especially when it’s about someone who lives there. This usually applies to drug dealers and gangsters but they didn’t make an exception for a mildly disturbed would-be superhero.
Officer Mitchell came to my door last. My mother, who was home, told him she’d never seen anyone wearing that mask before, but called me over to take a look. Mitchell had told her that he believed the suspect was a child. I took a look and immediately recognized the skeletal quality of the mask. Regardless, I shook my head no. The officer then kneeled down and looked into my eyes. He smelled like burnt coffee and sweat, and his face was puffy and his eyes were cold – shifty. “Are you sure about that, son? No idea who this character could be?”
Again, I shook my head no. He then stood up and adjusted his uniform then thanked my mother. He left, but I knew he knew I was lying. I felt a chill go up my spine and it lingered there long after he’d left.
After that, and with much prodding from me and Durwood, Gavin finally decided to stop going out at night. “Alright,” he told us. “I’ll wait for something big over the radio.” This wasn’t exactly reassuring but was enough to settle my nerves for the time being.
One night, the three of us were hanging out in Howie’s cramped basement, playing X-box and sipping on some of the canned beer from the fridge, the police radio occasionally buzzing in the background.
After we’d got to the penultimate level of the game, the radio buzzed rather loudly with: “Car 64 be advised, 261 and possible 217 in progress on Yonge and Lexington.” Durwood and I heard it but neither of us paid it any mind. Gavin, though, he sat right up, his ears perked, dropping his controller to the floor. “10-4, this is Car 64, on pursuit to location, over.”
Gavin jumped up, rushing toward the radio and putting his ear right next to the speaker. Durwood and I were still sitting on the carpet but my head was turned. “What’s up, Gavin?”
“Shhh!” he hissed then promptly put his ear back to the radio. “There’s a rape happening ten blocks from us.” At that moment I felt cold wash over me. I turned off the game and listened with him. Several minutes crawled by of nothing, just the low frizzle of the radio static. Then we heard the officer’s voice return: “Dispatch, this is Car 64, we have a 217, requesting medical, over.” I didn’t need to know the codes to figure out what happened. The rape victim was dead.
“Roger, Car 64. Is the suspect in the area? Over.”
“Negative, dispatch. Suspect is reported to be a number 1 male, possibly local. Witnesses say he fled scene going west off Furlington. Notify all cars of situation.”
“10-4.”
Durwood’s hand was then clasped on Gavin’s shoulder and I could see he was writhing. “Maybe they’ll catch him,” I said pathetically.
“He’s right,” Durwood jumped in. “No point in going over there. Come on, calm down.”
It took a few minutes of restraining him, but Gavin agreed to stay in the basement. We turned on the TV and channel surfed for a bit, mostly watching cartoons. Durwood and I each popped open a new beer. Gavin didn’t even finish his already opened one. Didn’t even touch it. Or even look at it. He just sat there, next to the radio, his eyes staring lifeless at nothing.
The next day, I saw the front cover of the newspaper: HIDEOUS RAPE-MURDER ON YOUNGE AND LEXINGTON! Police Officer’s are in hot pursuit of evasive culprit
This wasn’t good. I didn’t see Gavin for two weeks straight. I called his house a couple times but each time I either got an answering machine or his cousin, telling me he was out and didn’t know where he was. I was scared then. This was bad.
All I knew was the detail of the suspect as they were relayed on the radio: Number One male. It didn’t take me long to find out that Number One meant black. I didn’t want to know how The Depths was going about finding the guy.
By the third week, on a Wednesday’s afternoon after school, I heard an uncommon sound for our block, coming outside my window: heavy tires crunching over the ragged pavement. Anytime a car came through our projects, it usually meant one thing: cops. I looked out my window to see a squad car had pulled into our block and was slowly creeping toward Gavin’s house. My mind filled with fears of the worst and I dashed down the steps and flew out to our front stoop. I watched Officer Mitchell emerge, his face rigid, his movements stiff and sudden. He then jerked open the passenger door and there was Gavin, his face exposed, bloodied, one eye blackened and swollen shut, his hands cuffed behind him.
Mitchell dragged Gavin toward the door, Gavin giving little resistance and showing even less mental presence. The policeman wrapped his knuckles hard on the door but no one ever came. Howie was working double shifts that week and hadn’t been home. I looked around and saw everybody on our block watching out the windows or over the fences (those that had fences).
“Where the fuck is your parental unit?” Mitchell demanded, shaking Gavin’s bound form violently. Gavin shrugged. Mitchell gave him another shake and shouted in his face. I could feel the eyes of our block peering heavier on both of them.
Officer Mitchell must have felt it too because after taking a long glance at the scene around him, he went behind Gavin and took the cuffs off. Gavin was about to unlock his door and go into his house, but not before Officer Mitchell clasped his hand against the door and brandished Mitchell’s mask in front of his face in a squelching grasp.
“Listen to me, you little shit,” he said low, but it carried in an echo so I could hear it. “Do yourself a favor and throw this and that faggotty outfit in the trash. I see you wearing it again anywhere and I will arrest you for suspicion of mischief and we’ll see if we can even get a hate crime charge tied to you, eh?” He then threw the mask hard at Gavin’s feet. Hate crime. Oh Jesus, I thought. Had Gavin actually been going around the neighborhood harassing random black guys because of what he’d heard on the radio?
Officer Mitchell grabbed his heavy belt under his paunch and adjusted his trousers. “Your guardian or parent will be called later this week to inform them of the situation. Have a nice day.”
The eyes of the projects faded back into the houses as Mitchell’s prowler peeled off and Gavin’s door slammed shut. I was glad to know Gavin was okay and thought at the time the whole thing was over. Looking back, I now know how wrong I was.
The next day, I invited Gavin over and the two of us hung out in my room. We were there to play cards but, mostly, I needed to know what had happened. The first thing I asked was about the shiner he had. “Did that prick Mitchell do that to you?” He shook his head, almost smiling. “Nah, this was from one of the rapists.”
At this I must have looked at Gavin with complete confusion. He then relayed to me how there had been more than one rapist-murderer – that there had in fact been five – maybe ten who were involved in killing the girl. “Gang rape,” is the term he kept using. “I swear to you, Corey, there’s literally hundreds of them.”
“What do you mean?”
His eyes shifted to my door, perhaps checking that it was closed then he leaned close and said. “The blacks.”
My heart started pounding in my chest. Was I really hearing this?
He then told me how, John Dyke, at whose house he had stayed on his two-week hunt, had told him about the uncontrollable lust that apparently all blacks have for raping white women. This theory wasn’t surprising; John Dyke had grown up, just a few years before us, in our projects, and was now an active Nazi skinhead. What shocked me was that Gavin had bought this crap. For Christ sake, the girl who’d been killed hadn’t even been white!
“I’m not even going to bother fighting street crime anymore,” he lectured on. “The real criminals that are sucking our community dry are being protected by the government: the immigrants taking our jobs, the blacks and Spanish spreading drugs, the queers and lesbians poisoning our families.”
I had to stop him right there. Both my parents are Ukrainian Jews so you can imagine how pissed I was getting. Also, Gavin, Durwood and I were from three of only five white families in a majority Hispanic ghetto. How the fuck could he believe all this neo-Nazi bullshit?
“You’re being an asshole,” I told him and I could feel myself shaking, not used to standing up for myself, and especially for other people. “John Dyke is a fucking Nazi, everything you’re saying now is wrong. And what you’re doing around the city is worse. It-it’s racist!”
He then told me in a cold, automatic monotone that racism doesn’t exist. I lost it at that point. We both got into a big shouting match and by the end, Gavin called me a Commie-Kike and stormed out of the room. I couldn’t get his words out of my head the whole night and I kept shaking and grinding my teeth together.
In the week that followed, I mostly stayed in my room after school. When I checked my Email account, I saw there was a message from Durwood. Oh great, the sidekick, I thought. Figuring it was Gavin’s attempt to make recompense, without apologizing, by proxy, I deleted the message without reading it and got on with my homework.
The next day there was another message from Durwood. Again I dumped it without reading. On the third day I had calmed down a bit over the whole thing and was legitimately curious. To my surprise, the message had nothing to do with Gavin. Durwood’s message was a simple Hey, how’s it going. He even asked me about what homework was like in freshman year. Nothing to do with what had transpired between Gavin and me at all. Pleased with the friendly hello, I responded in kind, asking him how he was doing. Fifteen minutes later there was a reply and we ended up chatting into the late evening till midnight. We continued doing this over the next couple nights and actually started hanging out after school. It was kind of nice since we only knew each other through Gavin, who seemed to be no longer in the picture. It was great that I had a new friend without completely separating myself from my past circle.
Over the next month I found out he and I had a lot in common. One Friday night when we were munching on nachos and cheese at the local arcade, he confided in me what it was like being Gavin’s sidekick.
“It was fucking horrible, man,” he commiserated, shaking his head, which was hanging very low. “Everything he wanted to do since he was five and I was three I had to go along with. He wanted to play Lone Ranger; I was Tonto. And any bullshit adventure he wanted to do, I got stuck tagging along.” He interrupted himself with a joyless scoff. “Did he ever tell you about the time when he was nine and he wanted to live out in the wilderness so he made me go with him to camp out in woods at Barrette Park? Shit, by the time they found us, I had poison ivy all over my arms and had eaten a goddamn grub. Yuck!”
“Well, why did you go along with him?” I asked. “How did you two even end up as friends?”
“Because,” he said with long emphasis. “His mother went to school with my mom. I guess she felt obligated after what happened.”
I nodded my head for a bit. That did make sense for the initial relationship. But…
“I mean,” I began again. “Why did you just do what-ever he said? You don’t have to do what he wants just because he’s your friend or your mom wants you to. You’re your own person.”
He then hid his eyes behind his hands. I soon realized he was holding his head, looking as if he was about to be sick. I then heard him say, in a weak, weak voice, “There’s more. There’s more, he…he just had – has this power over me. I just…just can't get loose of him. Fuck!”
Not knowing what to do and very uncomfortable, I patted him on the shoulder and told him it’d be all right. I suppose there was more he could have told me, but, honestly, I didn’t want to know.
Life was much easier for the next couple of months. No more craziness, no more bullshit. For the first time in my life, I was actually friends with someone who wasn’t toxic and wasn’t so demanding of my time. I was actually doing well in school and there were talks of putting me in a higher set class for next fall.
After Easter weekend, however, I got back in touch with Gavin. It was early in the morning – I mean 5 AM early. I could hear my phone vibrate on my bedside table. I picked it up without looking at the call ID and answered.
“Hello?” I said, rubbing my eyes.
“Corey!” I heard Gavin’s voice crack. “You-you gotta let me come over. Jesus, I need your help!”
Hearing the panic in his voice jolted me awake. I pressed the phone closer to my ear. “Calm down, what’s happening?”
“There’s a news story out about me. They’re saying I killed Officer Mitchell!”
My nerves locked. My body completely froze. No.
“Listen,” I heard him beg over the phone. “I’m about ten minutes away. I’ll sneak in through your backyard door to the basement. Your parents should still be asleep, right?”
“Yeah,” I muttered just audible, hoping in fact he wouldn’t hear it.
“Great!” he exclaimed, and I bit my lip hard. “I’ll be there soon.”
“Wait!” I stopped him, and to my relief the call was still in progress. “Why can’t you hide at Dyke’s? He’s further away from your house.”
I could hear him suck his teeth through the receiver. “John’s gone. He’s been outta town for a while now. I got nowhere else to hide, man!”
“Alright, you can stay in my room for the day until I get back from school. Then we’ll have to figure something out for you.”
He thanked me and I heard the short quiet chime of my phone, indicating the call had ended.
Having all this time to wait, my mind whirling from this sudden revelation, I searched the Internet on my phone. Not long after, I found a news article titled ST CLOUD COP SLAIN BY MASKED MAN, which was complete with a video. Apparently, Officer Mitchell had responded to a robbery that took place at a convenience store. I watched the video. The video was from a security camera videotaping the outside of the storefront. I could see, even in the grainy quality and the microscopic screen of my phone, one of the windows had been broken. Just then, as Officer Mitchell was walking out of the front door, I saw it – a shadow, moving fast right toward him. He turned his head just before the figure ran into him, but not fast enough. He fell to the ground clutching his side. The article said he had been stabbed with a knife. I then watched in absolute horror as the cop reached for his gun holster and the darkly veiled figure grabbed at it too, the two of them struggling until their was a sudden flash and the officer lay motionless on the ground, a spray of dark fluid staining the concrete behind his head. The figure then shot his lifeless person twice more before dropping the revolver and turning to leave. As it turned, I paused the video. The face was covered in a black skeletal mask, with piecing silver tinted eyes. The same from Gavin’s costume.
Gavin had still not arrived. Unsure how many knew the costume was his, I quickly dialed 9-1-1.
When Gavin got to my house, he was out of breath, panting and soaked with sweat. I got him a glass of tap of water and sat him down on my bed. He then told me the story in his own words:
“Listen, last night I was at home, okay? I – I had been out on patrol for a long, long while and had caught a cold. For the last few days I’ve been in bed.”
I looked at Gavin closely. I could tell he wasn’t sick.
“You said you weren’t going on patrol anymore,” I deliberated each word.
“Yeah, yeah!” he snapped, hastily. “But they're two fugitives reported in the news who were suspected of being in St Cloud!”
I had heard nothing of this.
“I saw the video,” I told him. “The guy was wearing your costume.”
“That’s the thing!” Gavin begged, reaching up at me and grabbing my shirt. “I haven’t warn that costume in months now. I swear to God, I threw it out in the trash. I told ya; John and I were focusing on organizing strikes against immigrants who were taking our jobs. I wasn’t going out and bustin’ heads no more! And here’s the other crazy thing. There’s no way I could have known that a robbery had taken place.”
I listened, analyzing each word. He had mentioned details about the case that I knew from the news report. But of course he would; he probably saw the news story, which was why he was panicked. Still….
“That’s the thing,” he rambled on, his eyes wide, pulling harder on my shirt. “Three days ago, the police radio went missing. I don’t know where it is.” I put my hands on his arms and tried to ease them off of me. Just then there came a hard, echoing knock from the front door. “Police! Open up.”
Gavin swivelled his head in the direction of the sound. He turned to look at me and seemed to search my face before springing up to look out the window.
“Police…” he muttered, and his voice carried just enough for me to hear it. “But how…?” He then turned. I stood up. I was ready to dash out the room but, for some reason, I couldn’t. “You!” he yelled, pointing his finger accusingly at me. “You called the cops.”
I just stood there, stupid and silent, holding my arms up to try to gesture for him to be calm. Without another second of hesitation, he sprang on me and began hitting me in the side with his knees and fists. My life flashed before my eyes, as did the thought that I was alone with a killer.
“Help!” I screamed, hoping the police outside would hear me. “Help!” I wailed and was soon cut off by a blow to the jaw. I raised my hands defensively over my head and curled up, trying to block his blows that were striking down hard all over my body. I didn’t hear the front door get broken down, or even my bedroom door slam open, but I did hear Gavin scream as he was pulled off by two police officers. They then proceeded to pin him to the floor and cuff his hands. My skin was throbbing from the speed of my pulse and I didn’t feel any pain, though in truth I was badly beaten up. They hauled Gavin off kicking and screaming, explaining he was under arrest for the murder of Police Officer, Sergeant Jerome Fergus Mitchell.
It didn’t take them long to find Gavin guilty. They found the costume in the trash in front of his house, although he swore to God he had gotten rid of it well before the murder took place. Beyond that, they had motive; everyone in the projects had seen Gavin berated by Mitchell, and knew what being a costumed crusader meant to him. Still, it was like pulling teeth to get people to testify. Only thing was, they never found his police radio. Gavin’s court appointed lawyer tried use this fact to raise doubt, since the prosecution kept arguing that Gavin had been known to have a police radio, which would explain how he knew the robbery took place and how he knew Officer Mitchell would be there since he knew his car number.
They ended up trying him as an adult and gave him 25 to life. I couldn’t believe this had happened to him even with what he had done. Christ, he wasn’t even sixteen.
By the time I was nearly done high school, the entire neighborhood had forgotten about Gavin. It was pretty much taboo to talk about him and even Durwood and I avoided the subject. But honestly, with time we didn’t care. We had both turned things around.
When Durwood finished middle school, he went to the same high school I did, which made school so much better since I had my best friend to hang out with. By the time I was in my senior year, we had both joined a few school clubs (no teams I’m afraid) and started a games club of our own and after moving up to some college prep classes, my grades were finally improving. I had attended a careers workshop and had made up my mind to go into an apprenticeship program for electricians. Durwood asked me about it later and decided that he would do the same thing after he graduated.
The summer after my senior year, Durwood and his mother were moving out to Minneapolis. I was sad to see him go but I could understand that maybe it was the best for him to leave all the bitter memories behind. The day he was going to move I helped him pack.
Around lunchtime, we were in his room, all of his things in tiny cardboard cubes around us. We took a break as we were both beat. Then his mom called him and he asked me to wait for him. After a few minutes I got bored and tried to lift a few more boxes. Now all of the boxes had been light up until now, mostly filled with clothes. This box I lifted was unexpectedly heavy and when I eased it off the stack, it fell from my grip and crashed to the floor. The sealed top opened up on impact and all the items spilled out on the carpet. I rushed to get everything back in the box and that’s when I saw what had given it so much weight – a black metallic radio. It was a police radio. Gavin’s police radio. The same he swore had gone missing three days before the murder took place. I sat there, staring at it. I then heard steps creak outside the room, and the door squeaking open…
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