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Photos and text, unless otherwise noted, Copyright 2003,2004,2005,2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"

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Tuesday, 7 June 2005

Topic: In these times...

Dispatches from Cincinnati –

Remind me to ask my brother in Cincinnati to come visit me out here. I’m not going there, considering this -
On May 10, the Sheriff of Hamilton County, Ohio - which includes Cincinnati - delivered a fascistic tirade against “the forces of moral corruption,” at a public rally in the heart of the city’s downtown district. According to Sheriff Simon Leis, Jr., Cincinnati and police departments across the US are engaged in a battle against Satan and his minions - i.e., “liberal judges,” “atheists,” homosexuals, “feminists” and “liberals.”

Delivering the keynote address at the annual Police Memorial Day ceremony and parade at Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati, Sheriff Leis denounced “proselytizing parasitic groups” like “gay and lesbian coalitions, rabid feminist groups, and the American Civil Liberties Union.” Leis’s backward, Christian fundamentalist-laced speech called on the return of “God and the Ten Commandments back [into] our schools and the workplace” to address America’s social problems.

Casting Christians as a beleaguered and persecuted minority, Sheriff Leis preached, “Our country is in great peril, not from an approaching army, but from a satanic pestilence that has already invaded our nation.” In fundamentalist Sheriff Leis’s xenophobic and patriarchal worldview, “our nation” consists primarily of “god fearing people...paying taxes and trusting public officials to run the daily business of their government in their best interest.” Excluded from “our nation” are the “deviates” and “depraved” that he feels it is his duty to protect “true Americans” from—i.e., homosexuals, “liberals,” non-Christians and atheists, etc….
A careful reading of the whole item at the link will let you know he actually cribbed the speech from another fundamentalist sheriff. But his heart is in the same place.

Details? As for the youth, the working class, African-Americans and the poor? These are “the criminal element.” It seems we have “a drug-infested culture [that is] littering our country and neighborhoods with untold corpses.”

Why are things so bad? The Supreme Court. All those rulings! Those led to an epidemic of teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, juvenile crime, teen suicide and depression among children. “We stood by silently and watched atheists abolish school prayer and replace it with the all-too-familiar yellow crime scene tape, metal detectors and drug-sniffing dogs.”

Other contentions? “Depression among children is up 1,000 percent.” Supreme Court decisions “made in the 60s” are the reason for spread of AIDS.

And this - “Daily we learn of the mass killing of students in our schools, shootings taking place in day-care centers and places of worship. Is there any wonder why so many young people are committing such horrible crimes against innocent victims, when we protect the rights of atheists, and abolish the recognition of Almighty God in our classrooms?”

I hadn’t heard of these mass killings. As Rick Blaine would say, “I was misinformed.” (One of Bogart’s best lines.)

The item mentioned Leis gained national attention for his prosecution of Hustler magazine founder Larry Flynt on obscenity charges. And this - appointed as Sheriff of Hamilton County in 1987, Leis gained national notoriety in 1990 when he brought obscenity charges against the Contemporary Arts Center museum in Cincinnati for its exhibition of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe’s artwork.

Ah, been there. See October 5, 2003 Photography - The Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art - for photographic evidence.

And this web log is published from the very center of evil – a few blocks from the Larry Flynt building. The evidence is here.

If I do visit Cincinnati I should interview this guy for Just Above Sunset.

Posted by Alan at 13:19 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 7 June 2005 14:07 PDT home

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