I have to admit something to you. I cannot, in good conscience, get upset with Nancy Pelosi. She reminds me so much of a stripper that worked her magic in a honkeytonk in Cleveland called the Crazy Horse a number of years ago. Whenever I feel like I should unload on Pelosi, I think about this cute little dimple that she had on her butt. She could even... uh, never mind. We'll save that for another day.
Pelosi Defends Ex-Klansman's Assault on Condi
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi found herself on the defensive Thursday morning over the decision by Senate Democrats to put former Ku Klux Klansman Sen. Robert Byrd in charge of efforts to derail the confirmation of Secretary of State-nominee Condoleezza Rice."I don't think that whatever Senator Byrd is doing has anything to do with his sad past," Pelosi told WWRL radio hosts Steve Malzberg and Karen Hunter.
Instead, said the San Francisco Democrat, the one-time Grand Kleagel was acting out of concern that the advise-and-consent role of the Senate in presidential appointments was being overlooked.
In a move that was seen by many as an insult to the first black woman ever appointed secretary of state, Sen. Byrd announced his decision to hold up her confirmation late Wednesday, saying it needed more debate before the full Senate.
Rep. Pelosi insisted that Byrd's extraordinary move had nothing to do with his long history of public racism, but was instead a reflection of his opposition to the Iraq war.
"They're confirming a secretary of state in a time of war. [Byrd's] views on the war and his opposition to it are well known," she said.
Still, Byrd's "sad history," as Pelosi described it, makes him a particularly bad choice to lead the assault on Rice.
As recently as 2001, the West Virginia Democrat was forced to apologize after blurting out during a nationally televised interview:
"There are white n****rs, I've seen a lot of white n****rs in my time. I'm going to use that word."
In 1972, Byrd pushed to have the Senate's main office building named after Dixiecrat Sen. Richard Russell, a leading opponent of anti-lynching legislation who Byrd called "my mentor."
Byrd filibustered the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act for 14 straight hours.
Three years after he said he'd left his white-sheeted brethren behind, he wrote to Georgia's Grand Imperial Wizard urging: "The Klan is needed today as never before."
Sen. Byrd was also a fierce opponent of desegregating the military, complaining in one letter, "I should rather die a thousand times and see old glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again than see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen of the wilds." (link)
Thursday, January 20, 2005
There are certain concepts that are best left a mystery. The origin of chittlins is one of them. This is another (from Yahoo! News):
First chittlins. Now fish. What's next? Hamburgers?
Fish Off Asian Menu After Tsunami Fears
By JOCELYN GECKER
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Top hotels in several Asian capitals have stopped ordering sea bass and sole from waters off their tsunami-ravaged coastlines to ease diners' concerns about fish feasting on corpses.
Some have turned to suppliers in Australia, while others are buying fish from Indonesian islands off the Pacific Ocean that were untouched by disaster — dealing another blow to fishermen whose livelihoods were shattered by the giant waves.
Health officials say fears of fish are unwarranted and insist there is no evidence of a risk posed by eating fish from the Indian Ocean, where at least 157,000 people died in Asia and Africa. But, in a region that suffered through bird flu and other recent food scares, several top eateries and their suppliers are unwilling to take chances.
Markus Schneider, a manager at Jakarta's Mandarin Oriental, said the hotel's first reaction to the Dec. 26 disaster was to collect donations for victims. Then, the focus turned to seafood dishes at the hotel's three restaurants.
"We went straight to our suppliers to make sure their supplies didn't come from Sumatra," he said. Many did, including the shrimp for an Italian risotto, the antipasti's calamari and the sea bass filets served over sauteed greens.
Tens of thousands died on Sumatra island after the magnitude 9 temblor and tsunami that followed. (link)
*Chitterlings [chittlins where I grew up], or the small intestines of a freshly slaughtered pig, are generally cut into 2-inch segments, covered with water, brought to a boil, covered, and then reduced to a simmer for three to four hours. You can add a garlic clove, a little salt and pepper, spices, such as thyme, clove, mace and allspice, a bay leaf, a bit of onion, and a couple tablespoons of white wine vinegar to the liquid to round out the flavor. (link)
What happened there should never happen in our country. Or any free country. Not if we hope to hold on to our liberties.
The details of this story remind me so much of the Salem witch trials of 1692, it is frightening. People being accused of the most implausible charges (thousands of incidents of rape in some cases in Wenatchee) being threatened with (or being convicted and sentenced to) decades in prison, then being offered a plea bargain if one confessed and accepted less time. The removal of one's children - forever. In Salem, the accusation was proof enough of blasphemy. Those convicted and hanged included the elderly, the infirm, the retarded, and many innocent, formerly well-regarded, upstanding citizens of the community. Included among those hanged for being a witch was the town's former preacher. (link)
So too, in Wenatchee, was a Pentecostal minister charged with 56 counts of molestation and rape.
And the lives of dozens of innocent people were shattered. Here is one account, from the March 5, 1998 Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Here is a brief biography of those accused.
Wenatchee woman convicted in sex-abuse cases is freed
By Mike Barber Seattle Post-Intelligencer Reporter
Linda Miller walked out of Chelan County Jail a free woman yesterday.
Miller, a welfare mother of four, once was touted as a key witness whose 1995 conviction on eight counts of child molestation and 33-year prison sentence seemed to prove child sex-abuse rings existed in Wenatchee.
Her case carried great weight in the pursuit of other cases by Child Protective Services and Wenatchee Police Detective Bob Perez, turning the investigation against scores of others.
The confession included wild stories about orgies with children in two homes and a church -- and included the names of people who had questioned the validity of the investigations.
Officials now say no child sex rings were found in Wenatchee. Many of those accused of sex crimes have sued the city and state for civil rights violations.
Yesterday, the scales of justice tilted from one extreme to another. Miller, who has been in prison for nearly three years, took a plea bargain offered by Chelan County Prosecutor Gary Riesen. In exchange for her no-contest plea to three charges of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, her 33-year prison sentence would be wiped away.
Chelan County Superior Court Judge T.W. "Chip" Small, who presided over the 1995 trial that ended with the felony convictions that could have sent Miller to prison for most of her life, ordered her release yesterday.
From a relative's home in Oregon last night, Miller said she accepted the plea bargain because it contained a promise that she could see her children again, although she can have no contact with other minors.
"I wouldn't have accepted the plea bargain if it had prohibited me from seeing my children again," Miller said.
It was a threat from Perez that she would never see her children again unless she confessed that made her sign the one that put her in prison, she said.
Miller said the plea would make it difficult for her to file a civil suit against Perez and Wenatchee. But she may file suit against the state, claiming one of her daughters was abused while in a CPS-approved foster home.
"It's just amazing to be out after all this," Miller said last night.
Miller's earlier convictions were overturned by a higher court. The appellate judges noted there was evidence of sexual abuse of some children involved in the case, but it was unclear if Miller had done it.
The appellate judges ruled Small allowed too much hearsay evidence in her trial and denied Miller an expert witness who would have explained how she might have been pressured into making a false confession.
Miller had remained in prison, however, while prosecutors sought a state Supreme Court review. The high court last month declined to hear prosecutor's arguments, affirming the appellate judges' decision.
Riesen also could not be reached for comment. In court yesterday, Deputy Prosecutor Roy Fore said the prosecution wanted to spare children involved in the case from being put through a new trial.
Miller's lawyer, John Henry Browne of Seattle, said the no-contest plea to misdemeanors vindicates Miller because she does not admit guilt; will not have a felony record; and will not have to register as a sex offender.
"If they had evidence to convict her of eight counts of child molestation in a retrial, they wouldn't be offering us misdemeanors," Browne said.
Yesterday's plea bargain was a stark contrast to the 3,200 counts of rape on which Perez arrested Miller following a midnight-to-dawn interrogation March 25, 1995.
She was investigated after Perez and CPS caseworker Laurie Alexander interviewed Miller's 12-year-old daughter at school, saying they had heard she was being sexually abused.
Miller's daughter gave conflicting statements about her. Later, she told Douglas County authorities that Perez and Alexander gave her details from her mother's confession to sex abuse. However, that confession wasn't made until two days after the girl was interviewed by Perez and Alexander.
That unexplained inconsistency and other questions about the fairness of the sweeping investigations in Wenatchee continue to be raised by lawmakers, the media and attorneys representing the accused.
With Miller's release, 16 people remain in prison. During the two years of the investigations, 43 people were arrested on a total of 29,726 counts of rape or molestation involving 60 children.
"Homemaker." "Mother of Four." "Illiterate." "Mentally impaired." "Foster father." "Too developmentally retarded to aid in her defense." "Mentally handicapped." "Severely mentally retarded." "Bakery manager and Sunday school teacher." "Pastor of the East Wenatchee Pentecostal Church and House of God."
Over two years, 43 people were charged with 27,726 counts of child sex abuse. Seventeen were convicted and remained in prison when this series was originally published in February 1998. Four were acquitted.
1. April 4, 1994: Meredith Eugene Town. Charged with 14 counts of rape and molestation of seven children. Pleaded guilty to four counts of second-degree rape and molestation. Sentenced to 20 years in prison by Judge Carol Wardell.
2. April 5, 1994: Cherie Lee Town. Mentally retarded with an IQ of 73, arrested by Det. Bob Perez and charged with 110 counts of child rape involving six children. Pleaded guilty to two counts of rape. Sentenced to 10 years, one month in prison by Wardell.
3. May 19, 1994: Tracy Hockett. A foster child first considered a victim by CPS but later charged with child rape. Acquitted at trial.
4. May 26, 1994: Timothy Ray Durst. Charged with multiple counts of first-, second-and third-degree rape. Pleaded guilty to seven counts. Sentenced 23 years and four months in prison by Wardell.
5. May 26, 1994: Joyce Adele Durst. Worked in a nursing home. Charged with incest and complicity to child rape by Perez. Pleaded guilty to communication with a minor for immoral purposes. Sentenced to time served (69 days in jail) by Wardell.
6. June 10, 1994: Connie Jean Cunningham. A homemaker and mother of four, arrested by Perez on 66 counts of incest and child rape. Convicted on three counts of child rape, molestation and complicity based on her husband’s confession. Sentenced to 46 years in prison by Judge T.W. “Chip” Small. In May 1997 an appeals court overturned her conviction and she was released from prison after serving two years.
7. June 10, 1994: Henry Herman Cunningham. A state rehabilitation counselor, with a bipolar mental disorder controlled with medication. Arrested by Perez, he was charged with 900 counts of child rape and molestation. Pleaded guilty to 23 counts and is serving 47 years in prison after sentencing by Wardell.Update: Conviction overturned in March 1999; released after nearly five years in prison.
8. July 8, 1994: Laura Rebecca Holt. Worked as a baby sitter. Arrested by Perez on 1,528 counts of child rape against three children. Pleaded guilty to eight counts of first-degree rape and sentenced to 40 years in prison by Judge John Bridges. Her three children remain in the care of the state.
9. August 2, 1994: Robert Morris Devereaux. A former California investment company CEO and foster father for more than 300 children, accused of 335 counts child rape and 335 counts of child molestation against two children. Witnesses recanted and felony charges were dismissed. Pleaded guilty to one count of witness tampering for warning someone that police were looking for him and one count of spanking. Bailed out of jail with money collected by some of his former foster children. Sentence of 30 days in jail was suspended by Small.
10. Sept. 15, 1994: Randall Neil Reed. Charged with five counts of child rape and molestation. Pleaded guilty to two counts of child molestation. Sentenced to six years in prison by Bridges.Update: Released in October 1999.
11. Sept. 16, 1994: Doris Marie Green. Worked in orchards and as a fish processor in Alaska. Arrested by Perez on multiple counts of child rape and molestation against seven children. Convicted by a jury on three counts of rape and molestation. Sentenced to 23 years in prison by Wardell. Two of her children have been placed for adoption by CPS. Update: Green's conviction was overturned in November 1999 and she was granted a new trial. However, prosecutors later said they would not retry her.
12. Sept. 20, 1994: Michael Edward Rose. Worked as a handyman and in the orchards. Arrested by Perez on 336 counts of child rape. Convicted by a jury on two counts. Sentenced to 23 years in prison by Wardell.
13. Sept. 24, 1994: Harold Everett. Unable to work, can neither read nor write and is mentally disabled. His two daughters, ages 10 and 11, were sent to live with Perez and became the principle accusers of scores of adults. Everett was arrested by Perez on 6,422 counts of rape against eight children. Pleaded guilty to eight counts of rape and molestation. Sentenced to 23 years in prison by Small. In December, the state Court of Appeals ordered that his case be reviewed to determine whether the state improperly influenced the testimony and statements of the two children allegedly raped. Update: The appeals court reversed his conviction in September 1998 and prosecutors decided not to retry him. Everett is now free.
14. Sept. 25, 1994: Idella Everett. Unable to work, illiterate and mentally disabled. Mother of five. A court-appointed psychiatrist’s findings that she was far too developmentally retarded to aid in her defense was not introduced by her lawyer. Arrested by Perez on 1,586 counts of rape, 4,836 counts of aiding and abetting against 10 children. Pleaded guilty to two counts of child molestation. Sentenced to four years and eight months in prison by Small. In December, the Appeals Court ordered that her case be reviewed to determine whether the state improperly influenced the testimony and statements of the two children allegedly raped. Update: The appeals court reversed his conviction in September 1998 and prosecutors decided not to retry her. Everett is now free.
15. Oct. 4, 1994: Jeannie Lorraine Bendt. Worked with elderly in nursing homes, has a ninth-grade education. Arrested by Perez on 1,860 counts of rape and 840 counts of molestation. Pleaded guilty to six counts of child molestation. Sentenced to 16 years in prison by Small. Her son has been placed for adoption by DSHS.
16. Oct. 4, 1994: Norberto Castaneda Macias. A foreman in the orchards. Arrested by Perez on 516 counts of child rape. All charges dismissed prior to trial.
17. Oct. 27, 1994: Kathryn Marlene Lancaster. Provided day care services. Arrested by Perez on multiple charges of child rape and molestation. All charges dismissed before trial.
18. Nov. 8, 1994: Justino Melendez Cruz. Orchard worker. Arrested by Perez on 1,660 counts of child rape and molestation. Cruz pleaded guilty to one count of fourth-degree assault and received a suspended sentence by Wardell.
19. Dec. 28, 1994: Carol Marie Doggett. She and her husband, Mark, had asked Child Protective Services and Perez for help with one of their sons who had molested one of their daughters. Neither agreed to help, but a week later, Perez arrested the Doggetts on 1,000 counts each of child rape. She was convicted of one count each of child rape and molestation and sentenced to 10 years and 10 months in prison by Wardell. In December 1997 the Appeals Court overturned the Doggetts’ conviction. Carol and Mark remain in prison waiting a decision on whether they will be retried.
20. Dec. 28, 1994: Mark Glenn Doggett. Full-time college student. Arrested by Perez on 1,000 counts of child rape. Convicted by a jury of one count each of child rape and molestation. Sentenced to 10 years and 10 months in prison by Wardell. Conviction overturned in December 1997.
21. Feb. 13, 1995: Donna Carol Hidalgo. Home health aid and orchard worker. Arrested by Perez on 416 counts of child rape of four half-siblings. Pleaded guilty to one charge of incest. Hildalgo was sentenced to 14 months in prison by Wardell. She
served her time and was released.
22. Feb. 3, 1995: Jerome H. Buckley. Arrested by Perez on two counts of first-degree child rape. Jailed for 60 days then all charges dismissed before trial. Read followup story.
23. March 14, 1995: Donna Jean Rodriguez. Home health care provider. Arrested by Perez on 168 counts of rape against four children. All charges dismissed before trial.
24. March 24, 1995: Linda Miller. Arrested by Perez on 3,200 counts child rape involving eight children. She says her confession, which implicated several others, was coerced and fabricated by Perez. Convicted on eight counts of child molestation. Sentenced to 33 years in prison by Wardell. Conviction overturned June 1997, and a new trial ordered. She remains in prison, and her four children are still under state control.Update: Miller was released in March 1998.
25. March 28, 1995: Robert Harlan Roberson. Pastor of the East Wenatchee Pentecostal Church and House of God. Arrested by Douglas County Deputy Sheriff David Helvey after he criticized the arrests and prosecutions of several of his church parishioners. He was charged with 56 counts of rape and molestation of six children. He and his wife, Connie, were acquitted by a jury whose foreman called the trial “a witch hunt.”
26. March 28, 1995: Connie Lee Roberson. Operated the East Wenatchee Pentecostal Church and House of God food bank. She was arrested by Douglas County Detective Robin Wagg on 30 counts of rape and molestation of five children. Connie Lee Roberson was acquitted.
27. April 7, 1995: Lawrence Eugene Steinborn. Accountant and bookkeeper. Linda Miller’s former husband was arrested by Perez and charged with eight counts of rape of a child. Steinbom pleaded guilty to one count of child molestation. Sentenced to 68 months by Judge Carol Wardell.
28. April 12, 1995: William Garland Davis Jr.. Warehouse worker and church bus driver. Davis was arrested in Douglas County. Charged with two counts of rape of a child and two counts of molestation. The charges against Davis were dismissed before trial.
29. April 17, 1995: Johnny Dale Nichols. Arrested by Wenatchee Detective Mike Magnotti. Nichols was charged with one count of third-degree child molestation. His sentence was suspended by Judge John Bridges.
30. April 18, 1995: Manuel Hidalgo Rodriguez. Orchard worker. Arrested by Detectives Perez and Magnotti on five charges of first-degree child rape and five charges of child molestation. Convicted on one count of molestation. Sentenced to five years and six months in prison by Wardell. New charges filed against him one day before trial. The lawyer chosen to defend Hidalgo was hired as a county prosecutor the week after his trial. An attempt to appeal in March 1997 was unsuccessful. Hidalgo remains in prison. Full story.Update: Hidalgo's conviction was overturned in December 1999 by the state Court of Appeals, which granted him a new trial.
31. April 21, 1995: Edward Lyle Knowles, Jr.. Arrested by Wenatchee police and charged with rape and molestation. Charges dismissed before trial due to lack of evidence.
32. April 21, 1995: Kerri Ann Knowles. Mentally handicapped. Arrested by Perez on 2,437 counts of incest, molestation and the rape of 12 children. All charges dismissed before trial.
33. April 25, 1995: Pamela Lee Kimble. Bookkeeper. Arrested by Perez on 999 counts of first-degree child rape. Charges dismissed.
34. May 3, 1995: Gary Elbert Filbeck. Can neither read nor write and has an IQ of 71. Previously convicted for sexual assault. Perez arrested him on multiple counts of first-degree child rape against nine children. Filbeck confessed and cut a deal with prosecutors to testify against others, and he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault without prison time by Small.
35. May 3, 1995: Scharl Ann Filbeck. Arrested by Magnotti and charged with multiple counts of rape against eight children. In return for testifying against others, she got the same deal as her husband and was convicted of one count of child molestation and was sentenced to five years in prison, but Small suspended the prison time. She said that she was pressured into fabricating the accusations against others.
36. May 3, 1995: Sadie May Hughes. Severely mentally retarded. Arrested by Perez and charged with multiple counts of rape and molestation of 10 children. She pleaded guilty to one count of child molestation. Sentenced to five years and eight months in prison by Bridges. She was released with time served.
37. May 4, 1995: Edward Lyle Knowles, Sr.. He was arrested by Wenatchee police on multiple charges of child rape. Knowles was released the next day with all charges dismissed.
38. May 22, 1995: Honnah L. Sims. Bakery manager and Sunday school teacher. Arrested by Douglas County Detective David Helvey on 12 counts of child rape and molestation. He was acquitted.
39. June 16, 1995: Lawrence D. Catcheway. Worked as a carpenter. Arrested by Perez on 13 counts of child rape and four counts molestation. Catcheway pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree child rape. Sentenced to 16 years and two months by Wardell.
40. July 9, 1995: Barbara Ann Garass. Arrested by Perez on eight counts of child rape and molestation. Pleaded guilty to reduced charges of two counts of incest. Sentenced to 26 months in prison by Bridges. Her four children are still in foster homes. Served sentence and released.
41. July 9, 1995: Ralph Vernon Gausvik. Unemployed. Lived with Barbara Garass. Arrested by Perez on 30 counts of child rape and molestation. Convicted on three counts of child rape and three counts of molestation. Sentenced to 23 years in prison by Wardell.
42. Aug. 24, 1995: Susan Ann Everett. Niece of Harold Everett. Arrested by Perez on multiple charges of child rape and molestation. Pleaded guilty to charges of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. Sentenced to one year in jail by Bridges. Sentence suspended.
43. Aug. 24, 1995: Karen Reney Lopez. Arrested by Perez on five counts of child rape and molestation. All charges dismissed before trial. (link)
This didn't happen in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. This didn't involve a community of religious fanatics. This happened here. In the 1990's.
To us. By us.
I chuckled. The voters took away his tricycle in November and now he's pouting.
I heard some Amazon-looking woman named Barbara Boxer (D-California), who has this uncanny ability to fix her hair in such a way that she looks exactly like Albert Einstein, babble something about how shocked and disappointed she was about ... something. She couldn't remember. And the whole time she was wagging her finger at Rice in the latter's confirmation hearing, she had this look on her face like she needed to have her executive assistant run out and get some more Depends.
It was with regret yesterday afternoon that I heard the news on the radio that the senate foreign relations committee had voted to confirm Ms. Rice on a vote of 16-2. Every Democrat save Boxer and Kerry voted for her. My thought was, well it was fun while it lasted.
So I get up this morning and find out that it ain't over. The Democrats are still at it.
RICE PUT ON ICEThis is rich. Even correspondent Morris couldn't pass up the irony in the fact that Byrd (D-Moonbeamia), the drooling, word-slurring, doddering old fool whose mind left for home a couple of years ago - oh, did I mention the fact that he's a Ku freeking Klux - this is too good - Klan member - is standing in the way of a sweet, innocent, young-looking, virginal black woman trying to get ahead. Lest we forget, it was some of Byrd's fellow klansmen who killed four of Condoleezza's playmates in a church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. (link) We will not forget Bob - ever.
By VINCENT MORRIS New York Post Correspondent
WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats handed President Bush the first insult of his second term yesterday with a surprise delay in confirming Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state.
Bush had hoped that Rice's overwhelming approval by the full Senate would be celebrated on Inauguration Day today — and he would conduct her historic swearing-in as one of the first acts of his second administration.
But after members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved Rice by a 16-2 vote yesterday and the full Senate prepared for a vote today, some vehemently anti-Bush Democrats suddenly served notice they wanted more time.
Republican sources identified the key holdouts as 87-year-old Robert Byrd of West Virginia, along with Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, both of Massachusetts.
Byrd, a former Ku Klux Klan member, has been one of the most vocal critics of Bush. Rice would be the first black woman to serve as secretary of state. (link)
Then there's Ted Kennedy (D-Chappaquiddick), who never met a black woman he wasn't willing to have clean any one of his 17 bathrooms back in Hyannisport. He decides to haul (or attempt to haul) his fat, drunken ass up out of his recliner just long enough to voice his displeasure with this uppity black girl who never understood her place in life. In Kennedy's world - and that of his fellow Democrats, young, nubile black chicks are on this earth to be ho's. His ho's. $8.00 ho's. Maybe she's wanting a little of the medicine he gave Mary Jo Kopechne. Rumor has it that Mary Jo refused to give him a lap dance so he gave her a "time out" - 15 feet under water - for 18 hours. You Democrats out there must be very proud of your party leadership.
Which brings us to Kerry (D-Cambodia). It was recently reported that he's married to a woman. I think I will withhold my vote on that.
Here's the really scary part:
Byrd's spokesman, Tom Gavin, said the delay was "not intended as any slight to Dr. Rice" and said that before voting, the full Senate should "have a chance to read the transcripts" of her confirmation hearing.Good God, how long will it take to have someone sit and read those big words in the transcript to Byrd and Kennedy and poor old ("I swear I was in Cambodia in 1969, 1970, or 1971 on Christmas Eve, All Hallows Eve, or was it on Eve Arden") Kerry?
I will miss these Democrats when their constituents decide to finally bounce them back to that sewer from which they originally emerged.