Weekend Update 9/12/15: It’s about ethics…
Florida: So, twitter and other places lit up with the news that a notorious GamerGate person has been arrested by the FBI for terrorism. The Florida Man twitter account had the best take: Florida Man Plots Fake Terrorist Attack Because, I Don’t Know, Ethics in Games Journalism…Or Something? Other sites have a few details to add: GamerGate supporter arrested by FBI over terror threats. I understand, and even share a teeny bit of, all the schadenfreude that’s happening on the internet over this. But I’m having trouble actually applauding.
The thing is, people have been calling for investigations into the swatting and doxing and death threats that shut down events for a long time. There have been rumors that the feds were looking into those things at least since last year: #Gamergate Is Reportedly Being Investigated by the FBI.
But this isn’t about any of that. An FBI informant contacted this 20-year-old douche, claimed he wanted to set off a bomb at a 9/11 memorial, and convinced the douche to send him bomb-making instructions. In other words, like every other domestic terrorism arrest in the last decade and a half in America, it’s a case of entrapment. No actual terrorist plot existed. No actual people were in danger. That’s why I’m having trouble applauding. There are actual terrorists active in America right now. But they’re not plotting to bomb 9/11 memorials. They’re burning down Planned Parenthood clinics, burning down mosques and churches, shooting people in temples and churches, murdering doctors who have performed abortions, or threaten to burn down an entire town in upstate New York because muslims live there… and they are never investigated as terrorists. Their support groups and organizations are never investigated as terrorist groups because they all share two convenient traits: their membership is predominantly white, and they claim to be Christian.
So, while I am happy that at least one douche who has threatened and harassed people is getting some legal punishment, I wish it wasn’t on these sort of trumped-up/entrapped terrorist charges instead of things he and others like him are actually doing on their own.
Michigan: I posted in Friday links a few weeks ago about the virulently anti-gay and emphatically “Christian” legislator in Michigan who attempted to frame himself for having a drug problem and having hired male prostitutes as part of a really ill-thought-out plan to cover up the fact that he and another anti-gay legislator had been having an old-fashioned opposite-sex affair (while they were both traditionally holy matrimonied to other people). This week an ethics committee voted to recommend that the two of them should be removed from office. One resigned, and the other refused, so a 14-hour series of votes ensued before she was officially removed from office: 1 Michigan legislator expelled; 1 resigns. It took so long and so many votes, by the way, because liberal democratic legislators kept voting no on the principal that conservative hypocrisy and adultery shouldn’t be reasons to remove someone from office (the only democrats on the ethics committee abstained on the vote to recommend removal).
The two of them had co-sponsored several anti-gay bills, so again there is a bit of schadenfreude going around. I have absolutely no problem applauding this outcome, because they are being expelled for things that they actually did, and I disagree with the liberal lawmakers precisely because these are public officials who used their office to attempt to pry into, criminalize, marginalize, and deny the basic civil rights of their fellow citizens based on sexual orientation—in the name of their religion—while they themselves engaged in sexual conduct that is at least just as wrong according to said religion. When people in authority use their official power to condemn and attempt to police other people’s sexual activities, their own sexual activities become germane to any discussion. Also, there is more going on than just the affair. As this story notes: Disgraced lawmakers, out of office, now face criminal probe, investigation is also underway as to violations of campaign finance laws, official misconduct, and a misuse of public resources.
I didn’t save the link to the most infuriating article I read, and now I can’t find it. But Cindy Gamrat, the one who wouldn’t resign, was trying to paint herself as a victim. She told the interviewer how humiliating it was to have people in public talk about her private shame, passing judgment on her private conduct, and voting on her future because of it. Right. And her bill to make it legal only for “minister of the Gospel, cleric, or religious practitioner” to issue marriage licenses and to revoke all the privileges of marriage from people who hadn’t been married by such a clergyman wasn’t at all invasive of citizen’s private lives. And none of the rest of her actions opposing civil rights protections for queer people had anything to do with passing judgment on citizen’s private conduct.
Kentucky: And you may have thought the Kim Davis issue was over, since she promised the judge she wouldn’t interfere in the issuing of marriage licenses to gay couples, but no: the Associate Press reports Kentucky clerk again asks for delay on gay-marriage licenses. Her attorneys argue that the only couples she denied licenses to before she was sent to jail all got licenses while she was in jail, and now she should be free to refuse any others who come along because those people got thiers. In other words, she’ll refuse licenses until the next couple sues and judges order her to give that couple the license.
Except she doesn’t think that will happen, not because she doesn’t think there aren’t any more queer people in her county, but because Oath Keepers offers Kentucky’s Kim Davis a ‘security detail’ and Oath Keepers Send Armed Guards To Protect Kim Davis From US Marshals – See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/oath-keepers-send-armed-guards-protect-kim-davis-us-marshals#sthash.p5Exjxbp.dpufThese gun-totin’ good ol’ boys have vowed to protect Davis from any federal marshals or judges who attempt to arrest her or otherwise punish her for denying queer people their legal rights.
It has been reported that Davis has declined the offer, and that the Oath Keepers leader has told his men to stand down… but apparently they aren’t leaving Rowan County. And given that Davis has clearly stated in her new filing to the appeals court that she has no intention of keeping the promise she made to the judge to get released from jail, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to contemplate that she may un-decline the offer from the Oath Keepers when things don’t go her way with the appeals court.