Wednesday, February 16, 2011

BE PREPARED! And BEWARE! Of Those Family Values Scout Masters!!

Turning a hallowed institution into a 

Gordian Knot!

It's time to get real: one of the most time-honored institutions in our country, (in the world, in fact) has had a history of child sexual abuse: the Good 'ole Boy Scouts of America. The extent of it has parents worried: do they need to prepare the kids with condoms? Or do they need to prepare the scout masters for some serious investigations?

The gigantic scumbag — and we do mean gigantic, at a reported six-foot-four and 400 pounds — is Kenneth D. Tomlinson II, former police chief of Fredericktown, Missouri, firefighter, and Boy Scout leader.Said scumbag, we are very happy and relieved to report, just received life in prison — actually, “three consecutive life terms plus plus 22 years” — for sexually abusing two boys, ages 11 and 13, who were members of Tomlinson’s Scout troop.

First, it was priests. Then it was youth pastors. Now it's boyscout leaders.

Well, sort of.

It's actually a kind of when-it-rains-it-pours situation: Our great friends at Conservative Babylon have been compiling/monitoring the antics of scout leaders (as well as former scout leaders) and the results during the last two weeks have really thrown us for a loop (or a knot, whatever).


There have been more than 2,000 US cases of abuse within the Boy Scouts of America prior to 1994 by Scout leaders, yet abuse is still occurring ...
That wiki entry is old and has not been updated since 2009. So to accentuate the problem, I've chosen seven of the most recent and salacious stories about scout leaders/oh-so-family-values men for the reader to ruminate about:

Feb. 3, 2011: Arrested: Steve Wise, Orange County, FLA
A former TV production teacher at the local high school, Wise was charged with 10 counts of possession of child porn. Thousands of pictures of young boys were discovered on his home computer.

UPDATE: Wise has just been hit with 1,557 counts of possession of child pornography - enough to send him away for a very long time!

Jan. 6, 2011: New charges: Michael J. “Mike” Cimmino, Braintree, MA.

Besides being a Cub Scout Leader, Cimmino was a religion teacher for the First Congregational Church. He was originally charged with kidnapping and assault with intent to rape a child and eight counts of indecent assault and battery, all of which he pleaded not guilty. However, new charges arose from an alleged second victim. The case is still ongoing.

Nov. 9, 2010: Arrested: Peter Stibal, Burnsville, MN
Stibal, a scout leader, was accused of molesting two boys during the span of years 2002 to 2008. Parents were concerned and shocked because he was also involved with children in the church and a school bus driver!

February, 2010: Charged: Scott Thomas Hartman, Dallas, TX

Hartman was a Boy Scout and Cub Scout leader when he was charge with aggravated sexual assault on both a 10-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl. When the boy told his mother about the assault, his mother refused to believe him, hence when his school reported his bruises, child protective services removed him from his home and placed him an his siblings in foster care! The boy finally was able to set the record straight with the principal of the school.

Jan. 27, 2001: sentenced: William Arther Hoefling, Plymouth, MI.
Hoefling was a scout master at the Catholic church, Our Lady of Good Counsel when he was convicted 50. Hoefling is now serving his 3 to 20 for repeatedly molesting two 16-year-old boys in his troop

January, 2009: arrested: Jeffrey Claude Bartleson
NOTE: As of this writing, nothing has been written about this case since January of 2009. This may be explained because of the position of Bartleson and his relation to Sen. John McCain.

Conservative Babylon:

Claims to fame: Republican political consultant; Pueblo, Colorado, presidential campaign manager for fellow Conservative Babylonian Sen. John McCain (2008); youth counselor, King of Kings Lutheran Church; Boy Scout leader; sponsor, Parkview Medical Center Chemical Dependency Unit; multiple-child molestation suspect
Since his arrest in January, 2009, more accusers have come forth, the most interesting being that he molested a 5-year-old boy while babysitting him so that his mother could attend a Palin rally!*

Another example of bad (or lack of) vetting in the McCain campaign: Bartleson had been investigated 5 times since 1982 for similar charges (although not convicted).

And last but not least: Dennis L. Radar - also known as the BTK Killer - was a cub scout leader.

And lest you think otherwise, all of the above identified as heterosexual. 

The Boy Scouts. Who knew?

*Being a good scout leader, however, he warned one boy to be prepared: if the boy talked about the incident, he would kill him.

Christian Right Compassion: "Fund Your Own Damned Disease!"

The REAL The Battle for Life Begins

Florida Independent

President Barack Obama’s budget proposal calls for an additional $80 million in funding for AIDS Drug Assistance Programs —enough to “support access to life saving HIV-related medications for approximately 13,000 additional people living with HIV/AIDS,” according to the administration.
Most people who identify as "pro-life" are, as a theologian put it, actually "pro-birth:" in other words, "we want your baby to be born, but after that, you and the kid are on your own ... and don't come to us for any handouts!"

So the "pro-birthers" have been given a war to wage: Obama's proposed budget. It just doesn't cut enough "life" out!

The anticipated fight over AIDS funding (specifically research and prevention) can really be looked upon as a grudge match of sorts: the ruling elite of the Christian Right wants to get back at advances in gay rights and the repeal of DADT.

And to them, any show of support for AIDS funding is, well, an abomination:
In a blog post published on World AIDS Day, Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis at the AFA, wrote that “we know what causes AIDS: homosexual sex and injection drug use,” and goes on to suggest that taxpayers should stop funding AIDS research.
“Homosexual activist groups likewise are pushing a lifestyle that kills. If anybody should be obligated to pony up funds to mitigate a health crisis, it ought to be the organizations that are responsible for advocating the very behavior that created and perpetuates the epidemic.”
So now let's look at the arrows of outrageous fortune that are going to wound the Christian Right:

1. Fund Cross-Cutting Innovative Efforts for Care and Prevention. 
The reaction: To groups like the American Family Association, this aspect of AIDS funding intending to look like an effort at being as efficient as as possible. Trust them to say that this one's a ruse just to get more money.

2. Increase HIV/AIDS Research.  The reaction: shades of Jesse Helms. Enough said.

3. Support the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) and Expand Investments in Prevention, Care, and Research. The reaction: Since the Strategy emphasizes concentrating prevention efforts in "high-burden areas" (inner cities), there will be a "welfare/on-the-dole" judgment against such funding. Unfortunately, the increased funding also includes Veteran's HIV/AIDS benefit funding, so they'll be hard-pressed to squawk too loudly.

4. Expand the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. The Budget includes an increase of $88 million for care and treatment through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program.

The reaction: "You got yourself into this mess. Get over it." Since much of Ryan White funds go to people already living with HIV/AIDS, this may be the one point that will undoubtedly become the mantra of Bryan Fischer who, as we have seen, thinks only certain communities should pay for funding. This is, of course, Fischer's brand of "compassion."

5. Increase Funding for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Service Integration. The reaction: "Big government telling us all what to do." This part of the budget will concentrate on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) which the Right,  in all its wisdom, thinks is way too powerful. After all, prayers are cheaper.

6. Support Housing Assistance for People Living with HIV/AIDS.The reaction: "ABSOLUTELY NO WAY!" "Citizens of the United States should not be helping to house Biblical 'Obama-nations!'" (thinking themselves very, very witty). 

7. Fight the Stigma of HIV/AIDS. The reactions: "special rights, again!" "stigma, what stigma?" and "they stigmatized themselves!"

8. Increase Support for Global AIDS Programs. (e.g. PEPFAR). The reaction: "Abstinence only! No Condoms or No Funding!"

Revenge: it hurts both parties in the long run. 

Alright. I realize that I've come across as a bit pre-judgmental. After all, nobody's callous enough or righteously arrogant enough to react to funding a health initiative or an epidemic such as AIDS, are they?