Finally Friday Reads

Claude Monet – Flowering Pear Tree, 1885

Good Day Sky Dancers!

I’ve been appalled recently by the number of arrests of sexual predators of children down here and in surrounding states that are attached to churches as either Pastors or Youth Ministers.  There has also been appalling news about the social media behavior of the Lt. Governor of Tennessee and the resurrection of a child marriage bill in the West Virginia Senate. You get a pretty clear picture of who the child predators are in this country if you do any research in the area.

My trip down this nasty rabbit hole started with a local story in the parish just east of me, as reported by our local NBC affiliate WDSU here in New Orleans. “Louisiana State Police: St. Bernard Parish pastor arrested, accused of carnal knowledge and sexual battery. Louisiana State Police: St. Bernard Parish pastor arrested, accused of carnal knowledge and sexual battery.”

Quickly after that, a friend posted this arrest from Texas. “Former Leon County teacher, youth pastor indicted on child sex crimes. The Leon County Sheriff’s Department said Gary Buckaloo surrendered to authorities Monday after being indicted on two felonies.”  This is from the CBS affiliate in Bryan, Texas, KBTX. I’m not sure, but we could change an old adage to say it is spring, and a dirty old white man pastor thinks of assaulting the innocent lambs in his flock.  I’m not going to go into the details at the link.  They’re tiredly the same we see all the time.  In both instances, the police are looking for more victims.

Almond Tree in Blossom
Vincent van Gogh
Date: 1888; Arles, Bouches-du-Rhône, France

The third article was placed on my Facebook thread by another Hillary pal.  This news piece on the GLBT-hating LT Governor of Tennessee disabused me of thinking I’d seen it all.  Many studies have shown the highest levels of porn abuse are down south in the bible belt. This study was reported in 2015, and I’m pretty sure it still stands as valid.  According to data released by Pornhub, 5.6% of porn users in Mississippi seek out gay porn, compared to 2.8% in North Dakota.  You can see the distribution of porn abuse on a map at the link.

But, back to Tennessee, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R).  This is from The Daily Beast. “Anti-Drag Tennessee Lt. Guv Really Loves This LGBTQ Man’s Thirst Traps.” It’s reported by Bill Sommer.  The pictures and comments accompanying the article are explicit.

As one of the top politicians in deep-red Tennessee, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R) has joined the anti-LGBTQ+ wave sweeping the Republican Party. With McNally as the head of the state Senate, Tennessee passed bills earlier this year banning transgender children from receiving gender-affirming care and outlawing drag performances from many public spaces.

But on Instagram, McNally takes a more encouraging tone towards at least one LGBTQ youth—leaving heart emojis and other compliments on raunchy photos of an aspiring 20-year-old Tennessee performer, including one close-up shot of the man’s butt.

McNally’s Instagram comments, which were first reported by digital news site The Tennessee Holler, were left on the page of Knoxville native Franklyn McClur.

In November, for example, McClur posted an entirely nude picture that only narrowly avoided showing his penis.

“Great picture, Finn!” McNally commented, referencing McClur’s nickname. “Best wishes for continued health and happiness.

Today, Nashville’s News Channel 5 reports, “‘I’m really, really sorry.’ Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally apologizes after uproar over social media posts.” I am not a prude about any form of sexuality that involves consenting adults.  Like many women, I have conflicting thoughts on the porn industry, which I feel no need to explore here. I’m focused solely on the exploitation, the hypocrisy, and mostly the damage done to children.  This guy is a world-class hypocrit.

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, in an exclusive interview Thursday, apologized after the uproar over his interactions with provocative posts on social media, while insisting that his intentions have been misconstrued.

“I’m really, really sorry if I’ve embarrassed my family, embarrassed my friends, embarrassed any of the members of the legislature with the posts,” McNally told NewsChannel 5 Investigates. “It was not my intent to [embarrass them] and not my intent to hurt them.”

The 79-year-old East Tennessee Republican — who has presided over a legislative session defined by bills outlawing drag shows in public places and targeting gender care for the trans community — found himself facing accusations of hypocrisy after a progressive site, the Tennessee Holler, unearthed his social media interactions with a 20-year-old gay model.

Among them: provocative Instagram posts that were liked by McNally from his official account, including one where the young man doesn’t appear to be wearing clothes.

NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked McNally, “When people see these posts, what should they take away from them?”

“Well,” he answered, “I don’t know that they should take away a whole lot.”

In the interview, McNally described how he befriended the young man, first on Facebook, then on Instagram.

Among the posts: a close-up of the young man’s underwear-covered backside.

McNally responded with three red hearts and three “on-fire” emojis, along with the comment: “Finn, you can turn a rainy day into rainbows and sunshine.”

The lieutenant governor’s explanation?

“It’s that, you know, I, you know, try to encourage people with posts and try to, you know, help them if I can,” McNally said.

Flowering Peach Tree, Vincent Van Gogh, 1888

There’s more of the interview at the link.   Today, I also tripped across this news from the AP.  “Child marriage ban bill resurrected in West Virginia Senate by John Raby.

A bill to prohibit minors from getting married in West Virginia was resurrected in the state Senate on Thursday, a day after its defeat in a committee.

The about-face didn’t necessarily give the bill a clear path to passage. Several senators gave impassioned speeches after the bill was brought back, some of whom defended the right of teenagers in love to marry.

The House of Delegates passed the bill last week. The Senate Judiciary Committee narrowly rejected it Wednesday night without debate. Republican Sen. Charles Trump of Morgan County, a committee member, made a motion that was adopted by the full Senate Thursday to withdraw the bill from the committee and give it a second reading. It will be up for a final reading Friday, and the Senate will have the right to amend the bill.

Currently, children can marry as young as 16 in West Virginia with parental consent. Anyone younger than that also must get a judge’s waiver.

The bill’s main sponsor, Democratic Del. Kayla Young of Kanawha County, has said that since 2000 there have been more than 3,600 marriages in the state involving one or more children.

Cabell County Democratic Sen. Mike Woelfel, an attorney, said he represented a girl who got both married and divorced when she was in the eighth grade. Woelfel said he was concerned about older men who court young girls “and the next thing you know, some young girl has convinced her parents to let her get married.”

The Park 1910 by Gustav Klimt

They should change the law, which basically legalizes instances of statutory rape.  But then, women and children are chattel?  How about this one shared with me by JJ?  This is from the Washington Post. “Judge uses a slavery law to rule frozen embryos are property.” This was reported by Matthew Barakat  from the AP.

Frozen human embryos can legally be considered property, or “chattel,” a Virginia judge has ruled, basing his decision in part on a 19th century law governing the treatment of slaves.

The preliminary opinion by Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Richard Gardiner – delivered in a long-running dispute between a divorced husband and wife – is being criticized by some for wrongly and unnecessarily delving into a time in Virginia history when it was legally permissible to own human beings.

“It’s repulsive and it’s morally repugnant,” said Susan Crockin, a lawyer and scholar at Georgetown University’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics and an expert in reproductive technology law.

Solomon Ashby, president of the Old Dominion Bar Association, a professional organization made up primarily of African American lawyers, called Gardiner’s ruling troubling.

“I would like to think that the bench and the bar would be seeking more modern precedent,” he said.

Gardiner did not return a call to his chambers Wednesday. His decision, issued last month, is not final: He has not yet ruled on other arguments in the case involving Honeyhline and Jason Heidemann, a divorced couple fighting over two frozen embryos that remain in storage.

Honeyhline Heidemann, 45, wants to use the embryos. Jason Heidemann objects.

Initially, Gardiner sided with Jason Heidemann. The law at the heart of the case governs how to divide “goods and chattels.” The judge ruled that because embryos could not be bought or sold, they couldn’t be considered as such and therefore Honeyhline Heidemann had no recourse under that law to claim custody of them.

But after the ex-wife’s lawyer, Adam Kronfeld, asked the judge to reconsider, Gardiner conducted a deep dive into the history of the law. He found that before the Civil War, it also applied to slaves. The judge then researched old rulings that governed custody disputes involving slaves, and said he found parallels that forced him to reconsider whether the law should apply to embryos.

Country Garden with Crucifix, 1911 by Gustav Klimt

Many cases involving Trump are moving through the courts.  Yesterday, we read about the hush money paid to Stormy Daniels for her silence. The New York Times continues to report that “Prosecutors Signal Criminal Charges for Trump Are Likely. The former president was told that he could appear before a Manhattan grand jury next week if he wishes to testify, a strong indication that an indictment could soon follow.”  Interesting comments from lawyers in the know have inkled that Trump should beware the Ides of March to press members.

We now have another finding in the Trump Sexual Assault Case.  This analysis is from Law and Crime. “Jury can see ‘Access Hollywood’ tape in E. Jean Carroll’s rape case against Trump, federal judge rules.”  It’s written by Adam Klasfeld. 

Former President Donald Trump cannot keep E. Jean Carroll from showing a jury the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape that nearly derailed his 2016 campaign in a lawsuit accusing him of rape, a federal judge ruled.

“In this case, a jury reasonably could find, even from the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape alone, that Mr. Trump admitted in the Access Hollywood tape that he in fact has had contact with women’s genitalia in the past without their consent, or that he has attempted to do so,” Senior U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote in a 23-page memorandum opinion.

Carroll has filed two lawsuits against the former president: one accusing him of defaming her in responding to her sexual assault allegations by telling reporters “she’s not my type,” and another confronting the sexual battery allegations directly under New York’s recently passed Adult Survivors Act.

In the mid-1990s, Carroll claims, Trump sexually assaulted her in a dressing room of a Bergdorf Goodman. Trial on the allegations is slated for April.

As the parties prepare their cases for a jury, Kaplan issued a ruling hashing out what evidence they can see and hear. Trump has argued that the “Access Hollywood” tape, in which he can be heard boasting to Billy Bush about grabbing women “by the p—-,” is inadmissible propensity evidence.

We should be far enough along in civilization to stop thinking boys will be boys and to stop projecting our bad behavior on others.   These things are clearly issues because the patriarchy wants them.  The louder a group of white christianist men scream about bad behavior, the more likely they are perpetrators.

Sorry for the Triggering Topic today, but sometimes a dark rabbit hole needs some light.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


42 Comments on “Finally Friday Reads”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Have a nice spring day and a great weekend! I just watered the garden, so now it will rain. I actually see some promising clouds that I didn’t see earlier. Oh, well. I hope this doesn’t trigger anyone too much, but there was so much out there I thought we needed to look at this. It seems we will never “Take back the Night.”

  2. dakinikat says:

    More Republican Shenanigans

  3. bostonboomer says:

    How do you judge whether women in pornography are “consenting adults?” It’s just as likely they are women who have been trafficked or otherwise forced to participate by a male partner or because of poverty or drug addiction. It’s all exploitation of women, IMO.

    • dakinikat says:

      It’s a difficult thing to think about. If you’ve been trafficked and forced, then it’s not consenting. There are women in the adult entertainment world that don’t consider themselves unwilling participants. But I do think they are likely fewer in number than the others. The best way to find out is to ask women.

      • dakinikat says:

        Stormy lived down here for a few years. She just moved out recently. I had many occasions to meet and talk to her. We’re also Twitter buddies. I especially enjoyed her friendship during Hurricane Ida as she ensured we all had pet food for our animals during the weeks without electricity.

        New Orleans also has a sizeable burlesque community that is highly aligned with the drag queen community. And I know biological women that do Drag, including one that loves doing Marilyn Monroe and more than a few that do anime cartoon characters. They don’t consider their acts exploitative of them but empowering. I listen to them. I’ve had to adjust many of my attitudes when I’ve had contact and communication with these communities. The best thing to do is listen to the women involved in these businesses.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Women who are trafficked are unlikely to be free to talk honestly about their situations.

          I’m not sure what that has to do with successful, independent entrepreneurs like Stormy Daniel’s or drag performers.

        • Listen to the women is the best thing ever…thank you Dak.

          For me that goes for everyone…inclusively.


          • bostonboomer says:

            What about women who can’t speak for themselves? They don’t count? How about listening to women who have escaped imprisonment?

            BTW, the UN and the State Department see this as a problem. It’s not just me.

          • Come on BB, that is not fair…as someone who was tied up and gagged while I was rapped at 15…I could not speak for myself. Obviously, I think that people who are in horrifying situations count.

          • bostonboomer says:

            My sister was trafficked to Japan and locked in a room and sexually assaulted for months until she somehow managed to escape. This issue is personal for me.

            Consumers of porn have no way to tell if the women they are looking at are consenting or not.

            I’ll shut up now.

          • I’m sorry about your sister BB. I don’t know what else to say.

          • I just want to say again, my strong feelings about being an ally to the LGBTQ+ community is because I have family and friends, people I love, who a gay, lesbian, trans, drag queens etc.

            When they are discriminated against or threatened, I get pissed off. Especially when it violates their fundamental rights.

            That is why I am so vocal about this on my post…

            It does not make me less of a supporter of women or women’s rights.

          • quixote says:

            I think bb is mainly saying you have to listen to *all* the women. The ones who are free to speak and still in the life (Stormy comes to mind as a great example) and the ones who are out of it.

            It’s not either / or.

            Given how complicated the whole topic is, it is important to get the viewpoint of women who have “retired,” as it were, and no longer depend on some of the people in that world for their next meal.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Thank you, Quixote. That is what I meant. I didn’t express it well.

    • dakinikat says:

      So lesbians doing lesbian porn and women producing porn for women are all exploiting women? Is that your feeling?

    • dakinikat says:

      I wasn’t really referring to women in this reference at all. I was talking about sites like Grinder, where this 20-year-old young gay man showed up to express his sexuality and discuss his proclivities and activities. It’s now a national conversation because some hypocritical old white guy in a high office showed up and brought attention to him. I didn’t want to judge the activities of that young man in that situation. I’m sorry for any confusion this caused.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    • dakinikat says:

      I don’t recall reading it …

      right Mr Thirsty

      • bostonboomer says:

        Isn’t it in your post?

        • dakinikat says:

          In the link but didn’t excerpt all of the interview

          • bostonboomer says:

            Do you want me to delete it?

          • dakinikat says:

            Nope. I think seeing him is helpful.

          • quixote says:

            Jumping Jesus. Is my mind doing some kind of partisan edit, or are they really all God-Motherhood-and-Country Rethugs on the surface?

            I know Dem men have had their share of sex scandals, but they seem to just be actual sex. Consenting adults and the whole nine yards.

            This garbage is so far down the sewer it’s not the same thing at all. Not sure why them being Christofascists makes it worse, but it does.

    • Ronstill4Hills says:

      Being named Rand McNally is being named “Rhode Atlas.”

      • dakinikat says:

        Lol. He’s put this young man in the national spotlight now. As if growing up gay and dealing with your sexuality isn’t a big enough challenge as it is. I’m sure the feedback on his pictures and comments will find its way into Republican Potty Mouths.

  5. dakinikat says:

    The girl was 15 when she was impregnated. WTF? Bragging about her son the stud muffin or statutory rapist?

  6. dakinikat says:

    Cult or Stalinist Gulag?

  7. dakinikat says:

    Well, this is not good.

    • dakinikat says:

      On Wednesday, Silicon Valley Bank
      was a well-capitalized institution seeking to raise some capital.

      Within 48 hours, a panic induced by the very venture capital community that SVB had served and nurtured ended the bank’s 40-year-run.

      Venture Capitalists tanked it … really not good. Hedge funds seriously need more regulation.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Apparently, a lot of depositors had much more in their accounts than would be covered by the insurance.

        • dakinikat says:

          I’ve seen all kinds of bank failures since 1980, and to this day, I do not understand keeping your money in one bank. I suppose some people just don’t consider it possible. This will definitely shake up a lot of tech start-ups and cost jobs in the area. I called Emily, an thankfully, her company didn’t use this bank. There are probably payroll checks outstanding by now.

  8. dakinikat says:

    Put your pantsuits away, Women! Coz Play fetishist is here to take them!

  9. roofingbird says:

    Wing nut thought..If Embryos are chattel, then the preborn aren’t human, and can therefore can be disposed. So, it would seem to follow that the location of the embryo doesn’t matter and can be disposed of at the owners choice.