Caught In A Landslide

The Republican National Convention opened today in chaos and cacophony. I tried to pay attention for about a minute, but slapping your forehead has limited appeal.

I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a new candidate today.

Lights on, somebody home.

You'll take your candidate and like it, people!

No. No one is home.

I’m thinking of locking my door and baking a new nominating process for both parties.

Valued Destiny Comes To Nothing

This right here is the stuff:

Nazi-Naming Dad Fights for Right to See His Son

Bring it, New Jersey.

Dressed in a Nazi uniform, Heath Campbell marched into a New Jersey courthouse to petition a family court judge to allow him to see his youngest son.

“I’m going to tell the judge, I love my children. I wanna be a father, let me be it,” Campbell told NBC10 Monday before court proceedings. “Let me prove to the world that I am a good father.”

The closed-door hearing at Hunterdon County Family Court in Flemington, N.J., was being held to determine whether the 40-year-old father of four, who gave his children Nazi-inspired names, could visit with his 2-year-old son Heinrich Hons Campbell.

My sister Daria lives out there. I must know if she’s scanning PTA meetings for men wearing epaulets.

The boy was 16 hours old in November 2011 when he was taken from Heath Campbell and his now estranged wife Deborah Campbell at the Hunterdon Medical Center, according to the father.

Do I feel sorry for the homegrown Nazis? I might, because they are completely deluded and the kids are kind of cute. But named for prominent Nazis.

NJ DYFS officials had already placed Heinrich Hons Campbell’s older siblings – Adolf Hitler Campbell, 7, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, 6, and 5-year-old Honzlynn Jeannie Campbell – in foster care because of the alleged violence in the family’s Holland Township, N.J. home.

The Campbells gained national attention in December 2008 after a Greenwich Township, N.J. ShopRite supermarket refused to write Adolf Hitler Campbell’s name on a cake for his third birthday. The couple complained the refusal constituted discrimination.

A second store eventually honored their request, but the flap led NJ DYFS to start an investigation into the family.

The agency’s investigation prompted a judge to remove the kids from the couple’s care.

Seldom does one see cause and effect in the same story. Unless it’s a story about a guy who names his children for Nazis.

“I’ve never abused my children, I only name my children and I don’t think it’s right anymore,” Heath Campbell said. He said he hasn’t seen any of his children in two years and that the three oldest children have been adopted by another family.

“Basically, what they’re saying is because of my beliefs and I’m a Nazi, that us people don’t have any constitutional rights to fight for our children,” he said.

Asked whether he felt wearing the Nazi uniform, complete with a swastika patch on the arm and leather boots, into court would help or hurt his case, the father said it depended on the judge.

“If they’re good judges and they’re good people, they’ll look within, not what’s on the outside,” he said.

…hilarious because good people are not Nazis. As a rule, Nazis are bad guys – inside and out.

Heath Campbell started wearing the uniform in June 2012 after forming “Hitler’s Order,” a pro-Nazi organization. He was accompanied to the hearing by a member of that organization, Bethanie White.

White also wore Third Reich garb – with swastika patches – to the proceedings.

The father, who has Nazi symbols tattooed on his arm and neck and had Nazi memorabilia in his home, had previously said he was not a fan of Hitler’s atrocities.

Dr. Phil would pitch his clipboard and throw around the word crazy here.

Heath Campbell says he and his wife have separated and that she has given up her rights to the children.

In June 2012, a New Jersey Superior Court denied the couple’s appeal to return the children home.

Despite my icy heart, I have sympathy for crazy people who do not realize they’re crazy. But wait. Back at the beginning, we saw a link to a TV news video. Watch the reporter’s face in this video.

Nothing but extensive therapy will help this guy.

To Go Around the Long Way

The co-worker I refer to as My Cellmate and I go for walks every day around lunchtime. She sits right on the other side of the cubicle wall, so close I can tell by her Mmm Hmm whether or not her daughter made the doctor appointment. My Cellmate is from a hamlet across the river but local enough that it’s strange she doesn’t know her way around town.

Yesterday, we walked out of the library and across the street, then on to one of the city’s main drags, where we turn and headed toward the park. She pointed across the street.

MC: Is that St. Peter’s Hospital?
Tata: It is.
MC: I was born there! It didn’t look like this then. You can hardly see the old buildings.
Tata: There were three houses in pastel colors they tore down to make room for the new wings. We lived in one of them. My mother walked next door to have my sister Daria.
MC: Do they do abortions here?

I sit next to this woman five days a week and I thought That question could go either way.

Tata: It’s a Catholic hospital. For an abortion, you would go to the other hospital up the street.

I did not say Or that office three blocks up, where I got mine. My Cellmate is not churched-up by any means anymore, but she went to Catholic schools, asks questions about the Catholic high school Dad attended and knows well the church on Somerset Street. Her question could mean a number of things and I gently closed the door on all of them. Unless someone comes at me directly, I’m not going to fight this out in my office. This, however, should be dragged right to the front door of St. Peter’s Basilica.

After months of requests from the BBC, the Spanish government finally put forward Angel Nunez from the justice ministry to talk to me about Spain’s stolen children.

Asked if babies were stolen, Mr Nunez replied: “Without a doubt”.

“How many?” I asked.

“I don’t dare to come up with figures,” he answered carefully. “But from the volume of official investigations I dare to say there were many.”

Lawyers believe that up to 300,000 babies were taken.

The practice of removing children from parents deemed “undesirable” and placing them with “approved” families, began in the 1930s under the dictator General Francisco Franco.

At that time, the motivation may have been ideological. But years later, it seemed to change – babies began to be taken from parents considered morally – or economically – deficient. It became a money-spinner, too.

The scandal is closely linked to the Catholic Church, which under Franco assumed a prominent role in Spain’s social services including hospitals, schools and children’s homes.

Nuns and priests compiled waiting lists of would-be adoptive parents, while doctors were said to have lied to mothers about the fate of their children.

Yes. You read that right. Imagine living this nightmare:

In 1971 Manoli, who was 23 at the time and not long married, gave birth to what she was told was a healthy baby boy, but he was immediately taken away for what were called routine tests.

Nine interminable hours passed. “Then, a nun, who was also a nurse, coldly informed me that my baby had died,” she says.

They would not let her have her son’s body, nor would they tell her when the funeral would be.

Did she not think to question the hospital staff?

“Doctors, nuns?” she says, almost in horror. “I couldn’t accuse them of lying. This was Franco’s Spain. A dictatorship. Even now we Spaniards tend not to question authority.”

The scale of the baby trafficking was unknown until this year, when two men – Antonio Barroso and Juan Luis Moreno, childhood friends from a seaside town near Barcelona – discovered that they had been bought from a nun. Their parents weren’t their real parents, and their life had been built on a lie.

Juan Luis Moreno discovered the truth when the man he had been brought to call “father” was on his deathbed.
Antonio Barroso and Juan Luis Moreno Antonio Barroso and Juan Luis Moreno took their story to the papers – and opened the floodgates

“He said, ‘I bought you from a priest in Zaragoza’. He said that Antonio had been bought as well.”

The pair were hurt and angry. They say they felt like two dogs that had been bought at a pet shop. An adoption lawyer they turned to for advice said he came across cases like theirs all the time.

How can justice include the church in Spain going on in peace – again?

Alive And Well And They’re Living

This morning, I woke up knowing what one significant word had fallen out of the public discourse.


Progress meant charging into the future, with technology and science that would benefit us all, from greatest to least, young and old, rich and poor alike. Sure, a few of us might trampled underfoot, but we would all benefit. The interstate highways. Household appliances. The space race. New materials. New ways to fight disease. New ways to spread messages and tell stories. New frontiers in education and health. Progress meant we would live longer, happier, more productive and prosperous lives. And now we have crazy coots standing up at townhall meetings across the country refusing to contribute another dime to our mutual prosperity because people who are not old, straight, white and Republican can’t be shipped back to Gay Brownislavia. No one is asking these crazy people important questions like:

1. Hey crazy, if you have a plan, what does the goal look like? Like where you live, circa 1950 or like Santiago, Chile in 1970? Because neither was good for a whooooole lot of people and both very bad for a lot of people.

2. Hey crazy, there is every possibility your plan will ruin the country, destroy your life and take the world economy with it. Did you take that into account? Because when peace, happiness and prosperity are the other option, it would be a giant sign of CRAZY not to take that second thing.

Note to users of the word ruin the way teens spit it at strict parents: ruin is a permanent state. Ruin means the Colosseum in the center of Rome won’t be hosting track races because it’s a ruin, a thing broken literally forever. Cannot be fixed or restored to hunky-doryosity. That is what the Tea Party is poised to do to our economy and as a result our country, and we wouldn’t just pop up from economic ruin in 2013 after – say – fifteen years and say, “Shit, those selfish fuckers can party. It was a joke for hundreds of years, but we actually ate some babies.”

If our public discourse is not about Progress it is necessarily about Ruin.

I want someone to stand up and talk about our better future and the Progress that will get us there.

You Tell Me What’s Going

When I saw the commercial for this, I growled, “Grrrr. Ruh roh.” I don’t have to see this movie to know it’s bad news. For crying out loud, it’s called The Help, which, if you know anything about using or have ever used words yourself, should tell you this movie is the latest in a long series in which White folks tell you all about Black folks.

It will not startle you to discover I am not alone in feeling that way. Further, that Oprah loves it in 2011 caused me to frown until I developed a headache, which helped me forget where I read about Oprah. About that, I have mixed feelings.