posted by Mike on March 8th, 2006

Today’s items include Catholic Worker Bob Waldrop’s run for the mayor of OKC, people supporting Coach Pat Williams, and, in a blast from the past, Mr. Hetero.

Bob Waldrop: got 8.2% of the vote in the Oklahoma City mayor’s race, with a no-budget campaign. He writes:

If I had known the watch party would be so much fun, I would have run for office years ago….

Members of South High basketball team support Coach Pat WilliamsCoach Pat Williams: About 100 people rallied to support South High basketball coach Pat Williams Wednesday night at Worcester City Hall. He’s been attacked from all sides for suggesting that refs are biased against his team, and that the bias might be racial.

The show of support was fantastic. Dozens of people came forward to speak, including four members of the South High basketball team, who said they support their coach 100%. All kinds of people spoke, including many South High students, teachers, alums, and coaches. There were also teachers from other schools and other folks from around Worcester.

Hermis Yanis taped a lot of it for an hour-long show on the mighty WCCA TV-13.

Update: Worcester Magazine supports call for investigation.

Others askpeople to show their support for an independent investigation of the bias charges. Key points:

  • This was not a post-game “eruption.” Coach Williams has repeatedly raised concerns within the school department about biased refereeing against South High.
  • Principal Maureen Ciccone was aware of the situation, and attempted to address it earlier and immediately prior to Sunday’s game.
  • Concerns about the referees have previously been brought to the attention of Athletic Director John Pepi who promised that the two referees in question would not be scheduled for the South/Holy Name game.
  • Other coaches in the WPS system have also had concerns about the referees.

Scott Schaeffer-Duffy arrested while dressed as Santa ClausHo, ho, ho: WoMag also remembers back to 1985 when Scott Schaeffer-Duffy and Dan Ethier raised concerns about conditions at the county jail.

Photo: Scott Schaeffer-Duffy arrested for protesting war toys while dressed as Santa Claus. Worcester Magazine.

Pope photo: Another wonderful one from Whispers.

Mr. Hetero mania: The links keep coming. Here is an inaccurate but detailed look at the event from someone concerned about the Gay Menace. In no way were the Mr Hetero demonstrations a gays-vs-Christians thing. None of the demonstrators were making anti-Christian statements to my knowledge, whereas Mr. Crouse himself has repeatedly insulted and derided both Catholics and most kinds of Protestants. All of the conservative Worcester Christians I’ve talked to thought that Mr. Hetero was a stupid idea. None of them supported it.

And here is an Indymedia comment purporting to give a brief history of Tom Crouse’s pastorship.

Update: Tom Crouse suing the city for the cost of the police detail he was forced to hire for his failed event. T&G:

Police Chief Gary J. Gemme had not seen the suit yesterday, but said it is without merit. He argued the event venue, Mechanics Hall, had asked for a bigger police presence given the expected protest, and sent an original invoice that accounted for more of a police detail than what was actually provided. He also said Rev. Crouse may have issues with the police presence now because the event raised far less in proceeds than had been expected.

Chief Gemme said he provided the security detail because it was requested. He called Rev. Crouse a bigot and said there was a low turnout because of the nature of the event.

“Obviously, he didn’t have enough money to pay for the venue and the detail,” the chief said.

The case was filed by the Alliance Defense Fund.

The chief said Rev. Crouse had raised concerns on his own that a protester could infiltrate the event and create a disturbance during the pageant.

This is a good point. At Mr. Hetero, Crouse repeatedly praised the police, and threatened the audience with police intervention if anyone caused any trouble. He clearly enjoyed their presence and essentially brandished them for his own purposes. He didn’t act like a man who was unhappy to be paying them.

It’s not at all clear to me how Mechanics Hall asking Crouse to pay for a police detail has anything to do with the City, or anything to do with free speech. Crouse was not holding this event on a street corner or in a park, and no government agency was asking him to pay anything. According to this story, Crouse was the first person to ask for cops, and then Mechanics Hall asked for more. There are far larger public demonstrations in Worcester (like the Coach Williams one last night at City Hall) that have no police presence. (Though uniformed police at public events are common around here.)

Sounds to me like Crouse got scared at the thought of protesters (it’s easier to show courage on a radio show than in real life), and only later realized that in Worcester we can have outspoken, public disagreements while remaining peaceful. (Maybe in Holland, Mass., they’re not so well-behaved.)

Crouse has talked about holding Mr. Hetero contests in other parts of the country. Will other people really want to co-sponsor a boring event that loses them lots of money and leads to lawsuits?

Jesuit podcast: The English Jesuits have a short, sweet podcast called pray-as-you-go. (Via Mark Mossa, S.J.)

Foie gras: They’re considering a ban on this gourmet item in Massachusetts–check out this Florida news story to see what the fuss is about. Warning: contains footage of rats eating ducks alive.

Zack Berger: is, among many other things, a Conservative Jew. And he’s been thinking through homosexuality:

1.1. The issue of homosexuality within (or without) halachah can be viewed in many ways….

2.1. Adult, loving, consensual homosexual relationships are to be morally valued, i.e. are the opposite of immoral.

See also: our interview with Zack.

Vern: In the tradition of Thomas Paine and Patrick Henry, Vern tell’s it like it is:

As you know I have personally flipped off Dick Cheney from less than ten feet away, so I’ve looked into the eyes of the abyss.


If you believe that it’s okay for the government to tap your phone line without a warrant, you don’t believe in America. It’s that simple. I mean what do you think is the BASIC PREMISE of this fuckin place anyway? If you don’t give a shit about the most basic American values then 1) please give all your flags to somebody who deserves them and 2) stop trying to change what America is about. It’s not like you didn’t know what you were getting into when you lived here. Ben Franklin has not been kept secret from you. The constitution is widely available, you could’ve checked what it said. I’m not gonna tell you to move to Russia, because that would be unamerican. But you don’t go into a vegan sandwich shop and ask for ribs, and you don’t go to America and ask to be spied on by the government.


You can’t choose to abandon everything America is about because you’re scared. I’m not saying that’s for pussies, although it is. But I’m saying that it just doesn’t make any god damn sense. If freedom puts us in danger, that sucks. Because we’re keepin the freedom. That’s just the way we do it around here.

I also liked his Oscar column:

People tried to turn it into a gay thing, like “oh, Hollywood is trying to prove they’re enlightened so they’ll vote for a gay movie.” But I don’t think that’s even it. It’s just a good movie. And I should point out, Larry McMurtry wrote this movie. The guy wore jeans and cowboy boots to the Oscars. He wrote LONESOME DOVE. He doesn’t have a computer and still writes on a typewriter. If this guy is okay with the gays then maybe it’s time to figure this type of tolerance is normal and not something you need to brag about in 2006. BROKEBACK deserved it not because we gotta prove a point about a shepherd’s right to love another shepherd, but because it’s a real good movie.

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