Before there were blogs, there was the rant.

Yes, you've found the rant o'rama ... also known as the rant archives. here, you'll venture into past thought processes that i just didn't want to erase, for whatever reason. yes, that's rather self-indulgent, isn't it? well, that's why this is MY page and not yours!

Scan the rants:

2004 -- Darrell Scott's Testimony

2002 -- Kenny Richey Case

1999 -- Rudy's Courtesy Campaign & Amadou Diallo

1999 -- Patricia Urbanski's murderer proves there is no justice

1999 -- Corporate America to little children: "You can't have it, it's mine!"

1999 -- "Tinky Winky is GAY," says Rev. Falwell!
 



2004 -- DARRELL SCOTT'S TESTIMONY

The following (partial) transcript was sent to me by a friend, and is the testimony of Darrell Scott, parent of Columbine High School shooting victim Rachel Scott, before the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee during a special session of Congress.  I am told his words were unexpected and not particularly well received, which is perhaps even sadder than the fact that the statement needed made in the first place.  Unless and until I verify otherwise, I would consider the entire transcript to be the copyrighted property of Darrell Scott.

I'd sure like to know why the media hasn't picked up on it and spread the word.  Or, perhaps, we already know.

"Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women.  We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence.  The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain.  Their blood cries out for answers.

"The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field.  The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association.  The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.

"In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA.  I am not a member of the NRA.  I am not a hunter.  I do not even own a gun.  I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended.  If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent.

"I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy -- it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies!  Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. 

"I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.  This was written way before I knew I would be speaking here today:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You've stripped away our heritage,
You've outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question "Why?"
You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit.  When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and reek havoc.  Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history.  Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries.  This is a historical fact.  What has happened to us as a nation?  We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence.  And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs -- politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA.  They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties.  We do not need more restrictive laws.  Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre!

"The real villain lies within our own hearts.  Political posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers.  The young people of our nation hold the key.  There is a spiritual awakening taking place that will not be squelched!  We do not need more religion.  We do not need more gaudy television evangelists spewing out verbal religious garbage.  We do not need more million dollar church buildings built while people with basic needs are being ignored. 

"We do need a change of heart and a humble acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God!

"As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school.  I defy any law or politician to deny him that right!  I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools.  Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain.  Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him.

"To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA - I give to you a sincere challenge.  Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! 

"My daughter's death will not be in vain!  The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"

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2002 -- Kenny Richey

Midway thru my dissertation, I suddenly decided that I'm not going to rant or ponder this. I'm not going to debate the merits or try to sway you to my viewpoint. I'm going to present the link, urge you to click on it and then I'm going to say:

"The state of Ohio is poised to execute an innocent man; for a crime that wasn't actually ever committed. Worse, they know it. And they don't care. They won't even give him a new trial to let him try to prove his case."

Lofty claims, yes?

Too lofty for me to try to explain to you all of the problems, or even to attempt to summarize it in a neat, compact little package. ("Just the facts, ma'am!") I don't want to risk not doing it the justice that it needs, that it deserves. This is a man's life at stake here, and in the words of Prosecutor Daniel Gershutz himself (who, incidentally, was agreed with by Judge Corrigan, who denied the appeal) --

"Even though this new evidence may establish Mr. Richey's innocence, the Ohio and United States constitution nonetheless allow him to be executed because the prosecution did not know that the scientific testimony offered at the trial was false and unreliable."

(There are so many things so wrong with that statement on so many levels!)

Last year that same prosecutor, Dan Gershultz, offered Mr. Richey a deal: he would have Mr. Richey transferred to a Scottish prison immediately, and if the Scottish authorities chose to release him the very same day he arrived there, the State of Ohio would agree to it. Had Mr. Richey accepted this offer, he would very probably be free today. He didn't accept it, however, because simply being free is not enough. Mr. Richey knows he is innocent and that's why he seeks the complete exoneration and justice which has been denied him for 16 years.

And mind you, that isn't the first deal he's been offered. In December 1987, Richey rejected a plea bargain that the prosecution offered approximately two weeks before trial. Under the terms of the prosecution's offer, Richey would have pleaded guilty to Count 2 (aggravated arson), Count 3 (breaking and entering), Count 4 (involuntary manslaughter), and Count 5 (child endangerment). In exchange for Richey's guilty pleas, the prosecution would have dismissed Count 1 (aggravated murder) and recommended a sentence of 11 years 4 months. Had he accepted the prosecution's offer, he would now be a free man, rather than awaiting execution. He didn't accept that one, either, for the same fundamental reason: he knew he was innocent and at the time, he believed in the American system of justice and still believed he would receive a fair trial.

But don't take my word for any of it. Please read the information at this site.

I ask only that you go with an open mind, and be prepared to spend several hours. Then feel free to spend several more hours (days!) cross-referencing and validating the information and the claims made. Be prepared for a staggering library of resources. Use a ream of paper and print out the various documents available on the site.

And then, when you're as angry as I am, please do something. Anything. Send an email to the governor of Ohio and anyone you think will listen. Call a reporter. Speak up, join in, find a way to help. Sign the petition and let people know. Perhaps your voice, or your effort will be the one that finally makes someone sit up and take notice before it's too late.

RE: KENNY RICHEY CASE
"I am sure that most of the world's leading forensic scientists in this field would be horrified if they saw the chromatograms used to convict Kenny Richey. If Kenny Richey were executed on the basis of this scientific evidence, then these chromatograms will become historical documents, examined by scientists all over the world to show just how wrong forensic evidence can be. it would be a great tragedy for the future of forensic science." Tony Cafe, Arson Expert.

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1999 -- Rudy's Courtesy Campaign

Amidst cries of increasing police brutality, The Big Apple's Mayor Rudy Giuliani takes the strong-arm approach to restoring the balance in his city ...

The place -- New York City.

The players -- New York City's finest and the citizens of New York City -- particularly minority citizens.

The final catalyst -- February 4, 1999 ... 4 police officers approached a West African immigrant, Amadou Diallo, a street vendor, who had no criminal record, was newly arrived to the country and who spoke English slowly and with some measure of difficulty. Reaching for his house keys, Mr. Diallo was surprised by the officers and made what the officers interpreted as a threatening gesture. So, they opened fire. Four officers fired 41 times, striking Mr. Diallo 19 times and killing him. (We won't even touch on how four theoretically well-trained officers, standing within 6 feet of a man in the vestibule of his apartment can fire 41 rounds and only manage to hit their target 19 times. Apparently marksmanship is not necessary to hold a badge, and just as apparently, firing a warning shot or shooting to wound aren't necessary considerations.) Incidentally, Mr. Diallo was later found to be unarmed.

In the weeks that followed, the citizens of New York were outraged. This latest incident seemed to them the final straw and they took to the steps of police headquarters in protest, mounting daily rallies until the four cops were indicted on charges. More than 1,000 were arrested over the course of the demonstrations, including luminaries such as former Mayor Dinkins, Jesse Jackson, and a host of others.

The solution to the problem -- Unveiled April 6, 1999.

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said that hereafter, officers should use "Hello,'' "Thank You'' and similar polite terms during arrests and official duties.

Residents, meanwhile, should treat police with more respect, such as addressing them by their department rank, the mayor said in announcing the policy at a news conference at police headquarters.

Explaining the program, the mayor said: "To say even to the worst criminal you're arresting, 'You're now under arrest, Sir,' will channel some of the natural human emotion of anger.''

"I know there will be people who are cynical about this,'' he added. "I've been mayor of New York City for too long not to realize that people will be cynical about any good step that's made in the direction of decency.''

Flashback to Mr. Diallo's murder ...

Four officers approach Mr. Diallo and tell him to freeze, etc. Mr. Diallo turns to them, and begins haltingly to explain to them he does not understand what they're saying, gesturing with his hands as his family members say he was prone to doing during conversation.

Under Rudy's new plan, instead of just opening fire and shooting at him 41 times, the newly courteous officers would say:

'Sorry, Sir, but we're going to shoot at you now. Please stand still so we have a better chance at hitting you, we're not real good at this.'

Is this not, at very best, a piece of clear tape over the wound? You can't even call it a Band-Aid™, without seriously stretching the imagination.

Keep in mind, this is the same mayor who convened a task force in 1997 to improve community and police relations and then later disputed and ultimately dismissed its findings and recommendations!

As a side note, this is not the first time Rudy has attempted government by good manners.

As part of the mayor's effort to improve the quality of life in New York, city employees have been directed to be more cordial, subway riders to be better behaved and taxi cab drivers have been ordered to be civil or face the consequences.

The politeness campaign is the second time police have been told to behave themselves. Three years ago, the Giuliani administration launched a Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect program known as CPR.

This time, however, the policy will be enforced with training, rewards and discipline, the mayor said.

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One for the official Oh, PLEASE!! file ...

On the 21st of December 1992, a 20-year old guy broke into an apartment and found 15-year old Patricia Urbanski babysitting her 2-year old sister. In front of the toddler, he tied up, beat, raped, and then fatally stabbed Patricia with a knife, a screwdriver and a 2-pronged nail popper. Though seriously maimed and battered, she was clinging to life, and semi-conscious when they found her. She died a few hours later. Merry Christmas, Patricia and family.

Flash forward. The now 23-year old murderer has been convicted, and is awaiting sentencing. He's a bit apprehensive about this, because the prosecutor is seeking the death penalty, so he decides he's going to escape, rather than stick around for the final act in this little drama he's created. (In fact, the sentence winds up being life with no possibility of parole.)

So, he grabs a female guard, hauls her into his cell, attacks her with a homemade knife, threatens to kill her, strips her of her uniform (which he dons), ties her up with lengths of his bedsheets, and attempts to escape. Two other guards catch him, and they're not overly friendly about bringing him back -- according to him, they beat him up. They say they didn't, they say he injured himself in the escape attempt.

Flash Forward again. Following a later trial regarding the purported prisoner brutality suffered by this poor misunderstood lad, the jury finds the mean old guards were unnecessarily harsh in their retrieval of the escapee, and so they award him a cool TWO MILLION DOLLARS.

The Attorney General vows he's not going to let the guy collect. If the award isn't reversed on appeal, he says, he'll invoke a little used 1995 state statute which allows the state to charge an inmate for their incarceration and related expenses. Plus, he'll seek to have the workman's compensation claim expenses (for the guard the guy injured during his failed escape) repaid. On top of that, Patricia's family has decided they'll ask the Court to extend the Statute of Limitations for filing a civil claim against him, and they'll try to get some of the money as compensation for the brutal murder of their daughter.

The criminal and his attorney are livid. The attorney, in fact, says that the Attorney General doesn't deserve his title, because the Constitution was violated and the Attorney General is trying to circumvent the jury's award. And, he adds, he doesn't know what all the fuss is about anyhow, because his client is CONSIDERING giving some of the money to the guard he attacked and some of it to Patricia's family. Gee, what a swell guy.

Now, come on! Sure, we all have rights, and yes, even a murderer deserves to be treated with basic human decency. But when you're in the process of hurting people and trying to escape, you kind of forfeit some of those rights, don't you?

What about the Gacy Law, which says a criminal can't financially profit from his crime? Isn't escaping a crime? Ergo, if he was committing a crime (escaping) and he got injured (whether it was a result of the guards hitting him or not), paying him for those injuries would be equal to his benefiting from the crime, would it not?

And what was that jury thinking anyhow? Good grief, were the guards supposed to walk up to him and politely ask him to peacefully return? And when he refused, just shrug it off and let him go?

It's not like we're talking about a jaywalker here, or someone who saw an opportunity and just quietly crept out of prison -- the man is a convicted violent offender, and he seriously injured a guard in his attempt to escape!

Stay tuned, kids, this looks like one to keep an eye on ...

Go here for the final resolution to this case.

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Corporate America to little children: "You can't have it, it's MINE!"

Several months ago, I was out surfing and happened upon a site that belonged to a 10 or 11 year old kid who was involved in a legal battle with the makers of Gumby™ -- see, the kid's nickname was Pokey. And his parents had registered the domain www.pokey.org for him. Well, the fine folks at Prema Toys decided that *they* owned the name Pokey, and told the kid to take the site down and surrender the domain. The kid and his parents (justifiably) told 'em where to go and how to get there and pointed out that there wasn't anything relating to the character Pokey on the site in the first place. Eventually, the matter was settled, Prema apparently decided the negative publicity surrounding a big bad toy corporation picking on a little kid wasn't worth it. Score one for the good guys.

Well, in yet another example of corporate idiocy, let's venture over to Archie Comic Publications. Back in 1997, there was this couple who had a little baby girl, whom they named Veronica. In tribute to their new baby, they registered the domain veronica.org for her. Mom and Dad, of course, use the site, for posting pics of their now 2 year old little girl, and such. Nothing even remotely connected to the Veronica of Archie Comics fame, and any moron in the country who goes to the site is going to instantly figure that one out. Did that deter the folks at Archie? ::snort:: Of course not. They want the domain and they want it now. Mom and Dad are fighting it, of course, and have pointed out that this is the kid's NAME. Archie Comics Publications is not to be detered, though -- as far as they're concerned, they own the name and they want the domain. I might point out that, as of this writing in February 1999, they haven't bothered to register archie.org, betty.org, jughead.org, etc. Here's hoping someone will go out and register those domains forthwith, just to piss off Archie Comics.

I took a surf thru Archie Comics Online -- go have a look at their terms of use information if you want a good laugh. Be forewarned though, you'll have to scrap your plans for that XXX Archie site you had in mind. The kids from Archie Comics aren't allowed to do anything unwholesome (geesh, guys, even the Brady Kids were allowed to cut loose once in a while) -- for instance, if they're depicted in a car, they must ALWAYS wear their safety restraints ... and they must always promote good dental and personal hygiene. I won't spoil it for you, you'll enjoy it much more if you read it for yourself. :)

Update -- My husband sent email to Archie Comics and asked for an explanation of why they were tormenting these people. He received a response (amazingly -- I didn't expect they'd bother) that rambled for several paragraphs about how they had to protect their interests because several years ago, someone put up an X-rated Archie Site. What that has to do with baby Veronica and her domain is, at best, highly obscure, but that's what they said.

Resolution -- The Archie Comics Folks backed down and have let baby Veronica keep her domain. I guess, once again, the publicity surrounding a purported "family" enterprise going to battle against a little child was just a bit too much to endure. Whatever the reason, it's nice to see the good guys win another round. The real shame, of course, is that the battle had to be fought in the first place.

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1999 -- Scandal! Tinky Winky is *GAY* Declares Reverend Falwell!

  A scandal of Biblical proportions is rocking the nation with the Revelation that the beloved TeleTubby, Tinky Winky, is a homosexual.

Reverend Jerry Fallwell courageously exposed Tinky Winky in a shocking "parent alert" in the February issue of the National Liberty Journal.

"Parent Alert: Tinky Winky comes out of the closet!" reveals the twisted, subversive secret that the Itsy Bitsy Entertainment Co. has been trying to hide from Christians the world over -- Tinky Winky is GAY and he's subtly influencing our children!

Noting that Tinky Winky has the voice of a boy, yet brazenly carries a scarlet purse, Reverend Falwell conclusively proves the depth and magnitude of this horrifying plot to shamelessly model the gay lifestyle to our innocent children by pointing out that Tinky Winky is PURPLE (the gay pride color) and boldly flaunts a TRIANGLE (the gay pride symbol) atop his heathen head.

Unconvincingly protesting that Tinky Winky's purse is actually a "Magic Bag", Itsy Bitsy spokesman, Steve Rice, claims that "the fact that he carries a magic bag doesn't make him gay. It's a children's show, folks. To think we would be putting sexual innuendo in a children's show is kind of outlandish."

Outlandish, indeed! How dare they?!

Rice went on to claim that the good Reverend was attacking "something sweet and innocent" to further his conservative political agenda. "To out a TeleTubby in a preschool show is kind of sad on his part. I really find it absurd and kind of offensive,'' he said.

Reverend Falwell contends the ''subtle depictions'' are intentional and in a statement issued Tuesday said, ''As a Christian I feel that role modeling the gay lifestyle is damaging to the moral lives of children.''

In addition to Tinky Winky, the troupe of TeleTubbies features Dipsy in green, Laa-Laa in yellow and Po in red. The TeleTubbies dance, sing and share ''bi-i-ig hugs'' beneath a radiant sun emblazoned with the face of a laughing infant.

The sordid symbolism is abundantly clear to anyone who chooses to view the vile toddlers' show thru moral eyes with a pure heart!

Protect your children from this evil menace lest they fall prey to the encouragement and wend their way down the path of sinful "tolerance" for the gay lifestyle ...

Remember that "tolerance" is just one step away from "acceptance" ... and that's just one very short footstep away from total corruption and immersion into the abhorrence of homosexuality.

And it was written that 'the truth shall set ye free' ... THANK YOU, Reverend Falwell, for opening our eyes to the truth and daring to save our children!

Note for the dense: The foregoing represents my satirical (some might say "sarcastic" which also works) response to the New Liberty Journal article and Jerry Falwell's statements regarding Tinky Winky and Itsy Bitsy Entertainment Co. However, it should also be noted that the quotes cited above are sadly real, and the views attributed to Falwell and NLJ are a distressingly accurate representation of the allegations made.

Additional note: Far be it from me to suggest that the Righteous Reverend would "borrow" someone else's observations, but it should be noted that the January 1st edition of the Washington Post originally made the tongue in cheek suggestion that Tinky Winky was gay, citing the same "evidence." At that time, Steve Rice (Itsy Bitsy Entertainment Co.) responded in kind with a statement of protest to the effect of "the Teletubbies haven't even reached puberty yet."

02-11-99 Update: On a morning news show, Reverend Falwell cites the Washington Post article, and uses it as proof that he is not the only person alarmed by this. He justifies his position by stating that the mainstream media obviously believes it too. ::sigh:: 'Tis a sad, sad day, indeed. Lighten up, shed some of that self-righteous moral indignation and grow a sense of humor, Reverend!

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