Bishops Behaving Badly, Joliet Edition

By: Saturday March 23, 2013 10:40 am

Another week, another court-ordered document dump of records that detail the abuses covered up by bishops of the Roman Catholic Church. This time, it’s Joliet, Illinois.

While the bishop that comes off worst in these files is retired, another former bishop of Joliet is not only still active, but has been promoted and currently serves in several powerful roles with the USCCB: J. Peter Sartain of Portland.

For victims, this isn’t about simply getting their own abuse to stop anymore. It’s not about money for counseling, treatment, and other things. It’s about making visible the behavior of not only the priests but the bishops who protected them.

 

Late Night: The Fire This Time

By: Thursday February 14, 2013 8:00 pm

The most disturbing aspect of this latest in a long line of military incursions against domestic targets, the incineration of a suspect who had really, really, pissed off the LAPD, is that such a thing is no longer considered remarkable. This wasn’t always the case; the Philadelphia Police action against MOVE predictably had its supporters on the right, but otherwise sparked national and global outrage. A similar action against David Koresh has the right still seething about it to this day, never mind that it was the culmination of a 52-day standoff in which negotiations had been repeatedly attempted.

But today one need look no further than the shockingly violent, coordinated, and militarized response to the Occupy movement to see that as a nation we now simply accept being policed as though by an occupying army, for the laughably ironic goal of “keeping us safe.”

Cardinal Mahony Confirms That Archbishop Gomez Knew of Mahony’s Actions

By: Saturday February 2, 2013 9:00 am

Cardinal Roger Mahony, the Roman Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of LA, seems to agree with at least part of what I said yesterday about the actions of current LA Archbishop José H. Gomez. Mahony certainly confirmed that Gomez didn’t suddenly learn of how Mahony handled things in the last few weeks, and that as the two of them collaborated closely on the transition from one to the other, “Not once over these past years did you ever raise any questions about our policies, practices, or procedures in dealing with the problem of clergy sexual misconduct involving minors.”

Reading Mahony’s letter today only reinforces my suspicions that Gomez’s recent actions against Mahony were not driven by any sense of outrage, but rather are aimed at deflecting criticism of the archdiocese onto his predecessor. But insofar as Gomez kept silence until the courts forced disclosure — as Mahony says that Gomez has done — Gomez is as complicit as Mahony, and the actions to restrict Mahony’s public ministry are more window dressing for the public and less the product of disgust at Mahony’s conduct.

I look forward to hearing Archbishop Gomez’s reply.

Better Late Than Never for Archbishop Gomez on Handling Cardinal Mahony

By: Friday February 1, 2013 7:48 am

Roman Catholic Archbishop José H. Gomez shook the Catholic world yesterday by imposing unheard-of sanctions against his predecessor, Cardinal Roger Mahony for Mahony’s actions to shield predatory priests from accountability during his years as the head of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. In most of the coverage, this was rightly hailed as a strong action to advance the cause of justice, and to provided at least a measure of accountability even though criminal liability is probably not possible because the statute of limitations has probably expired. The coverage misses one very negative aspect of Gomez’ actions, however.

Nobody Goes There Anymore; It’s Too Crowded

By: Thursday November 15, 2012 8:00 pm

Although it’s often difficult to select which current fever dream of the right is the most preposterous and/or destructive, since there are so many, the current obsession with the idea that, somehow, the UN (!) is going to force suburban Americans to crowd into dirty, icky cities with the Blah’s and the other whatchamacallits is more than usually cuckoo. As so often happens large “market” trends have reshaped how cities are developed since the suburban boom of the 50′s and 60′s, and these markets have noticed two things: cities have gotten a lot more desirable as places to live, and more crucially, suburbs have gotten a lot less desirable.

Keystone XL Contractor and SUNY Buffalo Shale Institute Conduct LA County’s Fracking Study

By: Monday October 15, 2012 4:15 pm

A huge report was published on Oct. 10 by Los Angeles County that’ll likely open the floodgates for hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for unconventional oil and gas in the Monterey Shale basin. The report, as it turns out, was done by LA County in name only.

As the Los Angeles Times explained, the study found “no harm from the method” of fracking as it pertains to extracting shale gas and oil from the Inglewood Oil Field, which the Times explains is “the largest urban oil field in the country.”

Free Health Care Clinics Focus on Moving Patients Into Continuing Coverage

By: Friday September 28, 2012 2:36 pm

Last year, I went to the Los Angeles Sports Arena to witness a massive free medical clinic for thousands of low-income residents. I was impressed by the focus on enrolling patients for continuing care, either through coverage programs within the city or community health centers.

The health clinic has returned to LA this week, and if anything, that focus on continuing care has ramped up. And they’re actually using the clinic as a gateway to the Medicaid expansion that hits in 2014.

LA County Jails Deputies Strike Inmates in Head Causing Injuries at ‘Alarming Regularity’

By: Wednesday September 26, 2012 6:00 pm

Correctional officers in Los Angeles County jails strike inmates in the head at an “alarming regularity,” according to a report released by the American Civil Liberties Union in Southern California.

More Unconstitutional Copwatching Arrests in Austin

By: Monday September 24, 2012 7:15 pm

What is it about being filmed that makes Austin Police so scared? Why is being filmed equated with physical interference or even threats of violence? Despite the risk that the arrests put on all local journalists, mainsteam media continues to repeat claims by Austin Police Association Wayne Vincent, Police Chief Acevedo and others that PSP presence incites violence rather than simply documents it. Peaceful Streets Project seems unmoved, however, holding emergency tactical meetings over the weekend and planning their expansion into other cities. They held their first rally in Houston, Texas today.

Los Angeles City Council Votes to Ban Dispensaries

By: Wednesday July 25, 2012 10:15 am

For a long time it has been clear that the Los Angeles city council opposed medical marijuana dispensaries, and yesterday it escalated its fight against them to a new level. In a unanimous 14-0 vote the council decided to ban all dispensaries within the city.

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