October 31, 2011

A former Skin head Went thru Numerous Surgeries to Remove the Hate


By HELEN O'NEILL - AP Special Correspondent | AP  

"We had come so far," she says. "We had left the movement, had created a good family life. We had so much to live for. I just thought there has to be someone out there who will help us."
After getting married in 2006, the couple, former pillars of the white power movement (she as a member of the National Alliance, he a founder of the Vinlanders gang of skinheads) had worked hard to put their racist past behind them. They had settled down and had a baby; her younger children had embraced him as a father.
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EDITOR'S NOTE — A reformed skinhead, Bryon Widner was desperate to rid himself of the racist tattoos that covered his face — so desperate that he turned to former enemies for help, and was willing to endure months of pain. Second of two parts.
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And yet, the past was ever-present — tattooed in brutish symbols all over his body and face: a blood-soaked razor, swastikas, the letters "HATE" stamped across his knuckles.
Wherever he turned Widner was shunned — on job sites, in stores and restaurants. People saw a menacing thug, not a loving father. He felt like an utter failure.
The couple had scoured the Internet trying to learn how to safely remove the facial tattoos. But extensive facial tattoos are extremely rare, and few doctors have performed such complicated surgery. Besides, they couldn't afford it. They had little money and no health insurance.
So Widner began investigating homemade recipes, looking at dermal acids and other solutions. He reached the point, he said, where "I was totally prepared to douse my face in acid."
In desperation, Julie did something that once would have been unimaginable. She reached out to a black man whom white supremacists consider their sworn enemy.
Daryle Lamont Jenkins runs an anti-hate group called One People's Project based in Philadelphia. The 43-year-old activist is a huge thorn in the side of white supremacists, posting their names and addresses on his website, alerting people to their rallies and organizing counter protests.
In Julie he heard the voice of a woman in trouble.
"It didn't matter who she had once been or what she had once believed," he said. "Here was a wife and mother prepared to do anything for her family."
Jenkins suggested that Widner contact T.J. Leyden, a former neo-Nazi skinhead Marine who had famously left the movement in 1996, and has promoted tolerance ever since. More than anyone else, Leyden understood the revulsion and self-condemnation that Widner was going through. And the danger.
"Hide in plain sight," he advised. "Lean on those you trust."
Most importantly, Leyden told him to call the Southern Poverty Law Center.
"If anyone can help," he said, "it's those guys."

Uganda Incensed Over Britains’ Cameron Cutting $ Over Gay HumanRights


The UK is showing a "bullying mentality" by threatening to cut aid to countries where homosexuality is illegal, a Ugandan official says.
David Cameron
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said at the weekend that those receiving British aid should respect gay rights.
But Ugandan presidential adviser John Nagenda told the BBC Ugandans were "tired of these lectures" and should not be treated like "children".
Homosexual acts are illegal in Uganda and most other African countries.
Many people see it as violating religious and cultural beliefs.
In Nigeria, the government has unveiled a draft law which makes it an offence for anyone to support gay marriages.
Mr Cameron told the BBC he had raised the issue of gay rights at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, in Perth, Australia, last week.
'Natural death'
Mr Cameron said those receiving UK aid should "adhere to proper human rights".
Ending the bans on homosexuality was one of the recommendations of an internal report into the future relevance of the Commonwealth.
 Mr Nagenda accused Mr Cameron of showing an "ex-colonial mentality" and of treating Ugandans "like children". "Uganda is, if you remember, a sovereign state and we are tired of being given these lectures by people," he told the BBC's Newshour programme.
"If they must take their money, so be it."
Mr Cameron's threat applies only to one type of bilateral aid known as general budget support, and would not reduce the overall amount of aid to any one country.
Malawi has already had some of its budget support suspended over concerns about its attitude to gay rights.
Mr Nagenda said the UK's "bullying mentality" was "very wrong".
"Those who have more should give to those who have less. It's as simple as that," he said.
Mr Nagenda said he doubted that the Ugandan parliament would ever approve a bill which proposed the death penalty for some homosexual acts.
"I believe it will die a natural death. But this kind of ex-colonial mentality of saying: 'You do this or I withdraw my aid' will definitely make people extremely uncomfortable with being treated like children," Mr Nagenda said.
The bill - tabled by MP David Bahati - sparked widespread international condemnation earlier this year.
Meanwhile, a Senate committee in Nigeria is holding public hearings into a proposed new law on same sex marriages.
Homosexual acts and gay marriages are already illegal in Nigeria but the draft law would also punish those who aid or abet such marriages, reports say.
Mr Cameron said he had spoken with "a number of African countries" and that more pressure had been applied by Foreign Secretary William Hague, who deputised for him during parts of the Commonwealth summit.
Some 41 nations within the 54-member Commonwealth have laws banning homosexual acts. Many of these laws are a legacy of British rule.

Ex Gay Therapist Offers Apology Only To Attract More Gay Clients


Richard Cohen demonstrated some of his ex-gay therapy techniques for CNN.
By Zack Ford http://thinkprogress.org
Richard Cohen is one of the most public purveyors of reparative ex-gay therapy, promoting and lecturing about the scientifically-unsound belief that gays and lesbians can change their sexual orientation. The American Counseling Association permanently expelled Cohen in 2002, but his bizarre reparative techniques have attracted mainstream media attention from outlets like CNN and MSNBC.
On Friday, Cohen’s counseling organization, the International Healing Foundation (IHF), announced that it was offering a “sincere, heartfelt apology to everyone in the LGBTQ community,” and shifting its focus from “Change Is Possible” to “Coming Out Loved”:
Beginning today, IHF’s doors are wide open to everyone in the LGBTQ and straight communities. The new mission, “Coming Out Loved,” is the catalyst of true tolerance, real diversity, and equality for all. IHF staff will assist anyone who is conflicted about their sexuality and other challenging issues that arise for many in the gay community. [...]
Cohen asserts everyone should be loved and accepted for who they are. “By opening our doors to everyone in the LGBTQ and straight communities, we are expanding upon our mission and broadening the scope of our services,” he says.
Unfortunately, nothing at IHF seems to have actually changed. In fact, despite the sugar-coated rebranding, the organization is still promoting services geared toward people with “unwanted same-sex attractions,” citing NARTH guidelines and Cohen’s absurd mythology about the “causes” of same-sex attraction. NARTH is the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, a disavowed organization of mostly religious leaders that promotes the idea sexual orientation can be changed, in defiance of all reputable research.
If IHF is still promoting these harmful ideas to clients, then the organization is perhaps more dangerous than ever with its new duplicitous branding. The fact that Cohen’s apology did not specifically address the harm done by reparative therapy is telling. Ex-gay survivor Peterson Toscano has been recently wrestling with the “apology” of another ex-gay leader, John Smid. He suggests that if these individuals wish to recant the harm they’ve done to the gay community and make amends, “they need to speak to their own people and leave queer folks alone.”

According to Report NY Police Dept Steering Drunks to OWS

 Those found drinking in city parks are told by officers to "take it to Zuccotti," the Daily News reports
Mounted police officers near Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan. (Credit: AP)


There’s a bombshell allegation buried in this story from Sunday’s Daily News: The NYPD is reportedly telling drunks to hang out in Zuccotti Park, apparently as a way to undermine the credibility of Occupy Wall Street.
Harry Siegel reports:
But while officers may be in a no-win situation, at the mercy of orders carried on shifting political winds and locked into conflict with a so-far almost entirely non-violent protest movement eager to frame the force as a symbol of the oppressive system they’re fighting, the NYPD seems to have crossed a line in recent days, as the park has taken on a darker tone with unsteady and unstable types suddenly seeming to emerge from the woodwork. Two different drunks I spoke with last week told me they’d been encouraged to “take it to Zuccotti” by officers who’d found them drinking in other parks, and members of the community affairs working group related several similar stories they’d heard while talking with intoxicated or aggressive new arrivals.
“He’s got a right to express himself, you’ve got a right to express yourself,” I heard three cops repeat in recent days, using nearly identical language, when asked to intervene with troublemakers inside the park, including a clearly disturbed man screaming and singing wildly at 3 a.m. for the second straight night.

US Air Gay Flight Attendant Found Strangled in Mexico



A US Airways flight attendant, Nick Aaronson, who was also openly gay, was found murdered today in his hotel room in Mexico City, according to reports on behalf of the flight attendant union.
The death of Phoenix-based Aaronson is being investigated after initial reports have confirmed that he sustained strangulation, ABC News reports. A break-in on hotel grounds has not been entirely ruled out, but according to the AFA US Airways MEC website, there were no known safety breaches at the Hilton Hotel where Aaronson was accommodated.
Aaronson was found unconscious on the hotel bed, his hands bound behind him, a belt around his neck, ABC News reported.
The investigation of Aaronson’s death is currently being investigated. A spokesperson for US Airways said Aaronson was beloved and very popular among his coworkers.
ABC News:
A US Airways flight attendant was found strangled today in his hotel room in Mexico City, the airline’s flight attendant union said.
The death of Nick Aaronson of Phoenix was being investigated and it did not appear that there was a safety breach at the hotel, according to a statement on the AFA US Airways MEC website.
Aaronson was found lying unconscious, face down beside the bed at the Hilton Hotel, with his hands bound behind him and a belt around his neck, according to a report by NoticiasMexico.com.mx, ABC affiliate KNXV-TV in Phoenix reported.
US Airways spokeswoman Tina Swail told KNXV-TV that Aaronson’s family has been notified of his death.
Deborah Volpe, president of the Association of Flight Attendants Council 66,told The Arizona Republic that Aaronson was “very popular” and “very loved” by co-workers.

Cain’s Firm Denial Breaking No Longer Firm..More Like Dirty Water

 Herman Cain’s Firm Denial Breaking Down…Already
On Fox News this afternoon, Herman Cain dismissed the Politico story dogging his campaign this week in the strongest possible terms. There’s only one problem with his story of how the Politico piece came to be: his chief of staff blew a large hole in it already.
On Fox, Cain said that Politico came to him with two anonymous tales of sexual harassment settlements reached while he was the head of the National Restaurant Association. And that’s why he didn’t respond to Politico’s request for comment.
“I was aware of the false accusations that took place at the restaurant association, and then when we were asked for me to comment, they wanted for this to be from two anonymous sources,” Cain said. “We weren’t going to go and chase anonymous sources.”
That line of reasoning is fine, as far as it goes, except Cain neglected to mention one thing: one of the sources Politico came to the Cain campaign with wasn’t anonymous at all. This is fromthe original Politico story (emphasis ours):
Cain said he has “had thousands of people working for me” at different businesses over the years and could not comment “until I see some facts or some concrete evidence.” His campaign staff was given the name of one woman who complained last week, and it was repeated to Cain on Sunday. He responded, “I am not going to comment on that.”
Cain Chief of Staff and famous smoker Mark Block confirmed to TPM that Politico’s reporting of the events was accurate.
“I think Politico gave the campaign a name — I don’t know what that name is,” Block told TPM outside Cain’s event at the National Press Club Monday. “I think they did pass a name along, correct.”
So Cain’s strong words to Fox are already being found to be less-than-true. That’s not a good sign for a campaign trying to put a tough story behind it

Kardashians: Kris to Kim 'No One Will Care about you’ } Video


A just-released promo for the upcoming season of “Kourtney and Kim Take New York” seems to hint at the issues that led to today’s news thatKim Kardashian and Kris Humphrieswill divorce.
The clip, which shows Kim and sisterKourtney gallivanting around Manhattan with their men, Humphries and Scott Disick, ends with a harsh exchange between Kim and Humphries over their future.
“How am I going to have my career and live in Minnesota?” Kardashian asks her husband, who wants to relocate to his home state.
He replies, “Baby, by the time you have kids and they’re in school, no one will probably care about you.”
Yikes.
Check out the video below.
Should Kardashian have gotten married knowing this was going to be an issue.

WATCH:

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