The American Right Has So Twisted Itself With Blind Hate These Days That it Acts Like it’s Lost It’s Mind
Man, the wingnut loonies and some of the Tea Party crazies are clearly losing their tiny little minds these days.
During the W. Bush years, the American Left made no secret of their dislike of George W. Bush’s policies. As a matter of fact, they were very vocal about this fact. But in the mainstream of the American Left, there was still respect for Laura Bush and her attempts to combat illiteracy both here and abroad. Yeah, you could find fringe bloggers on the internet who were total shitheads about the matter, but on the whole the mainstream of the American Left, both the public and the professional, at least saw fighting illiteracy as a good thing and saw the idea of a prominent figure, such as a First Lady, promoting that cause to be a good thing. After all, one would think that, despite the political positions held by the husbands of the American First Wives, most Americans can get past petty partisan posturing long enough to support a good cause or ideal.
Unfortunately for most intelligent Americans, it seems that many on the American Right suffer from Obama Derangement Syndrome to a far greater degree than even the Right accused the American Left of suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome during his eight years in office. Michelle Obama took up her cause as First Lady bringing attention to better eating habits for children and better exercise habits for children. You would think from the reaction of much of the American Right, including much of the mainstream American Right, that she suggested that kids start smoking crack and doing porn.
Early in Barack Obama’s first term in office, Michelle started talking about battling childhood obesity, what had been being reported over the years as an epidemic on the rise with very serious health implications for kids, and about kids eating healthier diets. The Right lost its mind. This was somehow fascism on the march coming straight out of the White House. Who in the hell was she, it was asked, to tell us what we should be feeding our kids? She was attacked viciously and personally over the matter on the fringe Right blogs and even attacked by the mainstream of the conservative media on talk radio and Fox News.
It was an interesting contrast to witness. The majority of the American Left hated W. Bush by his second term, but they could get behind the idea of educating children and teaching children to read even if the face of that initiative was the President’s wife. But vast swaths of the American Right was so apparently eaten up with unreasoning hatred and blind loathing that they would reject the idea of kids eating less junk foods and more healthy foods because Michelle Obama said it was a good idea.
Not long ago, Michelle Obama invited Magnús Scheving to the White House to discuss kids eating better foods and exercising. If the name doesn’t automatically ring a bell with you, Magnús Scheving is the creator of LazyTown as well as the actor who plays Sportacus in the program itself. Beyond that insofar as credentials for talking about eating right and exercising? I give you the career bio blurb from Wiki on the man.
“In 1992 he became the Icelandic Men’s Individual Champion in aerobic gymnastics. In 1993, he became the Scandinavian champion, and was the European champion twice in 1994 and 1995. He was voted Athlete of the Year in Iceland in 1994. He is the CEO, creator, and co-founder of LazyTown Entertainment. This company produces books, videos, games, and sporting goods to help promote fitness and a healthy lifestyle to children. He is also creator of the show LazyTown (Latibær in Iceland), where he plays Sportacus (known as Íþróttaálfurinn in Icelandic).
In 2006, Scheving received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Icelandic Edda Award ceremonies for his work as founder and creator of the LazyTown franchise. The President of Iceland presented the award to him”
He’s been promoting healthy eating and exercise for children all over the world for years now and LazyTown has been a hit with kids all over the world, including in the US, for years now. It made sense to have him come in and talk about it.
When pictures of Sportacus in the White House with the First Lady hit the news, I knew Tea Party parents who forbid their kids to watch LazyTown anymore because it was now a tool of the “communist” or “fascist” Obama agenda to force their will on the rest of us. It came across as batcrap crazy X100, but apparently the mindset of many on the American Right is to kneejerk hate anything with the Obama name attached to it and to immediately take the opposing side against it.
And that brings us up to this week.
Michelle Obama and Subway, the company that has used Jared Fogle to promote their “Fresh Fit” menu to adults for years now, have joined up to promote healthy eating choices (or at least somewhat healthier eating choices) for children. So, of course, the American Right has had a complete and total meltdown.
Michelle Malkin has already written up her cutesy little attack column on the matter. Tea Party social media sites have lit up like mad. (Oh, just a hint for the Tea Party people- When you claim that you’re not racist, that claim isn’t helped by posting pictures to your pages of chimps and monkeys eating food and claiming that these are pictures of Michelle Obama eating a meal.) One site I saw earlier tonight actually had an irate poster asking what right “that fascist bitch” had to “force us” to feed our children what she thinks is best for them. And his wasn’t the only post along those lines.
Because “True Americans” apparently want their kids suffering from diabetes.
The First Lady suggesting a healthier lifestyle for kids is “fascist’ and somehow “forcing” us to change how we’re raising our children? Really? Wow…
There’s already at least one social media page on Facebook gathering followers for the cause of boycotting Subway for the unpardonable (fascist/communist/socialist) crime of being part of a promotion that offers healthier menu choices for kids. Subway’s Facebook page is being flooded by idiots declaring that they’ll never eat at Subway again for teaming with the First Lady to promote healthy eating habits for children. Let that sink in for a moment. The idea of offering healthier meal choices as options, such as apple slices as a side or low-fat milk as a beverage, for parents on the go to grab when out with their kids is a boycottable offense in Tea Party/Wingnut land and a sign to them of the attempted fascist takeover of America simply because Michelle Obama is a part of the campaign.
Seriously, what the hell is wrong with these people?
I mean, I thought that mental retardation was running rampant in the American Right in the late 1990s and the early 2000s as they would call in to radio talk shows and brag about the decision to buy a brand new, low gas mileage vehicle despite the “liberal push” for better gas mileage standards or greeting Rush with “giant, gas guzzling, SUV dittos” on the air while then proceeding to start whining and crying about the high cost of gas, but this makes that look like the heights of sanity.
Childhood obesity is a huge problem in this country. The fact is that the high proliferation of junk food chains often makes junk food the easiest thing to grab when busy and on the go, and, made worse in areas with poor economic bases, junk food, low value nutrition food, is usually the cheapest, most affordable thing to find. Throw in the fact that the more and more sedentary lifestyle of American culture only compounds the overall problem and we’re seeing things like signs of diabetes in younger and younger children every year. But the American Right is making it their cause to repeatedly be “outraged” and “offended” that the First Lady dares to suggest that eating better and getting more exercise might be a good thing for kids.
Apparently there’s a new definition of ‘Disgrace’ that I was unaware of.
They’re not sending troops into homes and forcing parents at gunpoint to serve their children specific foods and only those specific foods in specific portions. They’re not sending police out to stand in restaurants and fast food joints to arrest parents who get their kids an order of fries at McDonalds rather than apple slices off of the healthy choice menu. (Although, if you read some of the conservative social media sites right now, you’d think that this is the set in stone Phase 2 plan.) But we’re apparently knee deep in a totalitarian takeover of our lifestyles and eating habits at the hands of our evil Obama Overlords.
All that’s being done here by the First Lady is suggesting that a healthier lifestyle might be a good thing for kids. All that’s being done here by the First Lady is the promotion of the concepts of eating healthier and exercising more. Yet just suggesting and promoting this, if done by the present First Lady, is now the conservative/Tea Party definition of “fascism” and a “totalitarian” invasion into our lives. All that’s being done by Subway is the offering of healthier menu items for kids and an assist in promoting the idea of kids eating more fruits and vegetables and eating less pure junk food. Yet somehow this is an unforgivable and boycottable offense.
If anything, again, this creates an interesting example of the contrasting mindsets displayed by the most recent generations of the American Right and the American Left. The American Right was fond of throwing the term “Bush Derangement Syndrome” at the Left whenever the Left criticized the Bush Administration over such matters as unnecessarily going to war in Iraq, policies like rendition, or acts of torture by our government being relabeled as “enhanced interrogation.” But when Laura Bush suggested that reading was good and illiteracy was bad, especially among children, the American Left agreed with her. The American Left, by and large and not counting the most fringe members in it, found no reason to attack her and hate her for suggesting that reading was good just because the American Left wasn’t a fan of George W. Bush. But for the last five years, we have watched as even the mainstream in the American Right has attacked Michelle Obama, sometimes in the ugliest of ways, for promoting the idea that kids eating better and exercising more might just be a good thing for America’s kids because they’re incapable of suppressing their hatred of the President or their kneejerk reactions of opposing and attacking anything and everything that has the name Obama attached to it. Because Michelle Obama says that healthy eating and exercise is good for kids, large chunks of the American Right has declared that this is in some way wrong and cannot be tolerated and that any business that subscribes to this idea with her must be boycotted.
Again, seriously, what the hell is wrong with these people?
I had a Drunk in Public in court the other week; older guy in his 50s. I originally got him for that and for an assault charge last month. When I arrested him, he wouldn’t give us any information and he had no ID on him. I was able to find out his name during the pat down. That was also the moment that I knew I was going to end up hating this by the end of it.
Balled up in his pants pocket was one of those plastic picture ID bracelets that you get slapped on you in many hospitals these days. In this case, it was an ID bracelet from the VA hospital. The guy was a vet.
I learned a little bit about his backstory that night. I learned more about his backstory the morning of the court case just before court started. He’d served in combat years ago, long before the most recent conflicts in the Middle East and long before the combat medical innovations that were being highlighted and discussed in the news back around 2006 and 2007.
The short version? There are pieces of his body that are still in the ground in foreign countries, and the injuries he sustained ended his military career. They also apparently had a large impact on his ability to function properly in society.
On top of the painful physical injuries, including losing a chunk of leg bone that made one leg shorter than the other, he had suffered mild head trauma and was apparently never quite right again. The longtime result is that he’s almost always in some level of discomfort, he has issues, he’s on various medications, and he self-medicates at the bar or with cheap convenience store liquor.
I came upon him drunk and threatening someone. I did what I was supposed to do and made an arrest. But there’s still a part of me that hates that right now. This is a man that needs help, and he’s not getting it in our system; especially after the many cuts that have been made in various needed services over the years. Worse still, this is a man who has problems that are the result of doing his duty and serving his country.
On my end of the process, there are no multiple choice options. He did what he did and he had to be properly dealt with. I can’t walk up on a drunk yelling at a citizen and swinging punches in his direction and walk away or just cut him loose with a warning. And, given his record, a lot of other officers across multiple years and several states have been put into the same situation or like situations with him that I found myself in.
He can’t function in society. He can’t be out and about among the “regular people” without being some level of threat to them. He’s got to be taken off of the streets. But then you realize as well, both during and then more so after the fact, that not all of his actions are actions of rational choice. His ability to function was in large part taken away from him while in the service of his country. He’s a vet who did his duty, and, depending on how you were raised, you want to honor that. But you can’t fix his problems and you can’t let him roam free.
It’s one thing to deal with someone who has all of their mental abilities and still chooses to do all the wrong things. It’s another thing all together to deal with someone who is a victim of their own inability to be a “normal” and functioning member of society. And then it’s something else all together again when you have to deal with someone who had that ability taken from them and did so while in service to their community or their country.
You have to take them off of the streets. You have to protect the people that they may threaten or harm. You have to hope that the system will do whatever it can to help them. But in the end, and more and more with every passing year and every budget cut, you know that the system is doing less and less for them.
And, in the end, with situations like this, you find yourself hating aspects of this job more than most people will ever likely know.
*This was intended to see post Tuesday. However, a conversation with a friend Monday night made me think on the subject and about my initial reactions and words. Ultimately, I’ve decided to post what I wrote Monday, but with corrected references to the day with regards to tense and an additional piece at the end explaining the take my friend had. While my gut doesn’t fully subscribe to her take on the matter, it does have merit and it unfortunately comes from a perspective that I was not looking at the matter from. Most of you reading this likely know my feelings about the outcome from reading some of my shorter comments here and there in the last few days. If you want to skip the long version and go straight to the newer bit, scroll down and start reading when the font color changes.
So, Monday morning had a bit of a surprise to it; more than one actually.
I logged into Facebook and one of the first things I saw in my news feed was the news out of Georgia that Ed Kramer had pled guilty to the charges of molestation. I have to admit, I honestly didn’t believe it at first. For one thing, I didn’t think that they were even going to get him into court for his December 2nd court date at all. Kramer has spent the last 13 years proving that he could manipulate the Gwinnett courts with ease and often came off looking as though he was easily able to outsmart their entire system. This was something done in large part because of what appeared to be a totally inept system that made one wonder at times how they managed to get anyone tried and convicted. I was sure that the day’s news would be about yet another delay in the long series of delays and a new court date for some time in 2014.
My surprise grew even greater when I clicked the link and read that Kramer had pled guilty before the jury had even been assembled. Now, you, if you’ve not followed this case, have to understand that this just comes across as totally unKramer-like. In the last 13 years, Kramer has gummed up, twisted up, and dragged out the system with every trick he could pull out of his hat. And his ability and desire to engage in annoying shenanigans to infuriate the system hadn’t come across as diminished in any way in the last year as report after report came out of the jails about his filing hundreds upon hundreds of complaints and grievances with the jails, complaints and grievances that they were required to spend time, money, and man hours responding to, and lining up yet more “medical problems” to stall the December trial. I fully expected the man to continue gumming up the works and to continue avoiding justice until the day he stood face to face with the devil himself. And even then I fully expected him to have Old Scratch ripping his hair out for a while. To see a news report that indicated that he pled guilty essentially before the trial had even started, they were docketed for jury selection after all, just seemed unreal. Then I saw two things that made me want to throw my laptop out the window.
1) Kramer’s attorney had worked out a plea deal. And, the most galling aspect of that, Kramer pled guilty without even admitting to wrongdoing. As a matter of fact, he denied any wrongdoing to the very end. See, he entered something known as an Alford plea. For those of you who don’t know the term, I give you the Cornell University Law School definition of an Alford plea.
“Also known as a “best-interests plea,” an Alford plea registers a formal claim neither of guilt nor innocence toward charges brought against a defendant in criminal court. Like anolo contendere plea, an Alford plea arrests the full process of criminal trial because the defendant — typically, only with the court’s permission — accepts all the ramifications of a guilty verdict (i.e. punishment) without first attesting to having committed the crime. The name, Alford plea, is taken from North Carolina v. Alford 400 U.S. 25.”
The most common usage of this plea is claiming innocence while stating that the prosecution has enough evidence to “wrongly” convict. In Kramer’s case, his attorney said that due to breathing problems, a broken neck, and the lingering effects of having undergone numerous surgeries, Kramer “just wasn’t physically able to stand trial.”
The idea with this kind of thing is sometimes to offer to save the court time and money and to then bargain for reduced or dropped charges and sentences in return. In most cases that I know of, the plea also means that you surrender your right to appeal. Both sides hammer out the deal and everything is essentially done. The Fat Lady sings her song and everyone goes home. But at least the punishment, after all of these years of manipulation, games, breaking the terms of his house arrest multiple times, embarrassing the D.A.’s office, and leaving the state to prey on others ON TOP OF the original offenses should be pretty damned stiff, right? Nope. That’s number two.
2) From what I’ve read, Kramer is getting a slap on the wrists. Some charges were either dropped or reduced. What Kramer was finally hit with was this. He will be registered as a sex offender. He was sentenced to five years for each of the three charges, one for each victim, which will be served concurrently with his last two-plus years in jail awaiting trial counted in against the sentence. Basically, he’s set to serve 34 months of time. And it gets better.
Some time back I quoted Danny Porter, the D.A., stating that the elephant in the room that no one wanted to talk about was that, even if they ever convicted Kramer, they would never be able to keep him in jail. His complaints and his “medical issues” would make him too expensive to keep and almost impossible to deal with. Apparently, he still felt that way this week. Ed Kramer is getting 34 months on monitored house arrest.
You read that right. After molesting three children, breaking the terms of his bonds over and over again, roaming the country unmonitored while the Gwinnett authorities thought they knew where he was, and seemingly attempting to prey on yet another child, the man gets to spend the next 34 months in his home with a monitor bracelet on.
He also has to pay each of the three victims $100,000 and will, after house arrest be on a “strictly monitored” probation for another 15 years. During this time, he cannot leave the county. One only hopes that the “strictly monitored” probation is handled better and more attentively than his prior times out and about when he went where he pleased and where the embarrassed D.A.’s office actually admitted to not even realizing that Kramer was in some of the places that he was in fact in.
And he never admitted to the crimes. He never admitted wrongdoing. He never even stood trial.
I can’t help but to read the news stories and think that, ultimately, Kramer won. He has played the system like a game for thirteen years, making the rules, pulling their strings, and making them dance to his tune, and he just wore the system down. Three lives permanently damaged, embarrassing the system on a repeated basis, and essentially thumbing his nose at the courts, the jails, and the D.A. for all of this time, and the punishment is less than I’ve seen people get for over getting busted with pot.
I’ve been following this with some level of interest mixed with professional curiosity since late 2005. By that point there was already a huge amount of news stories available in the five year ordeal and reading through it became an exercise in infuriation. While many of the earliest news stories and blog threads didn’t have enough concrete information, just rumor and speculation, to feel strongly enough about guilt or innocence one way or another, there was plenty there to make you want to smack your head with your hand at how poorly the case was being handled. Stories closer to 2005 gave a much greater indication of a guilty man working the system and creating delay after delay, but it also painted that much more of a picture of an ineptly handled legal case by that local system. Reading about someone twisting the legal system in knots like that was, professionally, annoying as hell.
I don’t think there was another major development in the situation until around mid-2008 when they lifted his house arrest. Even that seemed strange when I heard about it in the latter half of the year. If you were at all familiar with the case by that time, you knew how badly he played the system and how many times he had violated the terms of his bond. Hearing the news that they had decided to basically just let the man start roaming free in the area just seemed asinine to me. In 2009 they were back to talking about a court date in the first half of the year. By the time 2010 was upon us, there had been yet another delay. After that, the only real Kramer related news items for a while were the lawsuits he was launching against others.
Then 2011 happened. Kramer was nailed in a Connecticut hotel room with a young boy. He was in violation of the terms of his bond, serious violations as well, and he had publicly embarrassed the D.A.’s office who had to admit that they had no idea that, despite being responsible for keeping up with his whereabouts and activities, Kramer had been traveling so much or even that he was in Connecticut. And there was anger at this point. There was anger not only by the embarrassed D.A.’s office, but by the people in two states who were now reading about this ineptly handled, eleven year old case that had somehow never made it to trial. I actually thought we were going to see something happen at last. Turns out, at least then, I was wrong. 2011 turned into 2012 and that turned into 2013, and still we saw no trial. We saw lots of talk about fast tracking the case to trial and having everything ready to go at last, but we didn’t see a trial. And, of course, we saw Kramer playing games again.
Then the boycott happened. As I outlined in my first post on the matter, my major problem with the boycott was (outside of the inaccuracies, exaggerations, lies, attacks on people’s family members for disagreeing with them, attempts to attack people’s employment for disagreeing with them, declarations of wishing people would die painful deaths for disagreeing with them, gleefully calling women who disagreed with them cunts, etc.) that I felt that the target, the convention that Kramer had had nothing to do with for more than a decade, was the wrong focus of for the energy. Here was a group of people claiming that they wanted justice, yet their target was an organization with zero ability to control, contain, or imprison Kramer or to in any way get the man to trial. The focus, as I stated back then, should have been on the legal system and in letting them know that they were being watched and scrutinized. It should have been about using the army of people that could have been raised to raise awareness rather than spitefully alienating an army to raise a troop.
But despite that, there was a positive aspect of the boycott with regards to the legal system. There was increased media coverage and media coverage in places that hadn’t followed the matter in years if at all. But then the boycott went away and the media spotlight dimmed just a bit. And that’s when, with regards to this matter specifically, I actually worried a little bit that we were going to start seeing a repeat of the prior 13 years of the case starting up all over again. And, truth be told, it was starting to look that way.
And now this happens. After 13 years of running them in circles and wearing the system down, Kramer bargains his way out of even ever standing trial and into what feels like an insignificant slap on the wrists.
It’s an insult to anyone who wanted to see justice done and it should be an embarrassment to the system down there that a man who did so much wrong for so long is getting off with less punishment than the millions of other people in prisons who have done far, far less.
Oh… One word of advice to the other people out there who are as angry about this as I am and have been trying to rationalize this into something positive-
I understand the need to do so. It’s probably better for you in the long run and less expensive than putting your fist through your monitor. But, please, think before you type. I’ve already seen some people trying to find a positive in this with a scenario that looks like you’re hoping for something really bad. Some of you have said that the good thing is that the deal allows him no appeal and no recourse should he violate the terms by reverting to form in the upcoming years. It’s been described by some of you as basically a trap. He’ll revert to form, do it again, and then go to jail for the rest of his life.
Uhm… No. I sympathize with wanting to make silk out of this sows ear, but think about what you’re writing and how that looks. Yes, we would love to see him face justice and go away for a very, very long time, but we do not want that at the expense of another life destroyed. I know what you mean and I know what you’re really saying, but, please, think it through a bit more before your type it.
And with that, I am once and for all truly and finally done writing about Ed Kramer.
Okay, welcome to part two and a few days later. It’s been an interesting few days of thinking not only because of a perspective that I didn’t have before, but because of learning something I didn’t know about someone I know.
I have a friend who is a few years older than I am and a fellow raving geek. She’s become familiar with this case over the last roughly three years and found my link page to be rather useful reading to catch up on the back story with. As such, she’s gotten a fairly good handle on things at this point. I figured that she, also in a job that has her at least affiliated with law enforcement and legal matters, would be kind of pissed about the slap on the wrists. Instead, she said something that hadn’t crossed my mind or even gotten into my thick head by Monday night.
“But is that what the victims wanted?”
I’ll freely admit that I think I looked at her for a moment as if she was speaking a foreign language and I was an idiot trying to decipher it. I asked her to explain. She did, and, oh boy, was it a doozy of an explanation.
Years ago, long before moving here, she was the victim of a nasty assault. A man came at her from out of a dark, bush covered area, grabbed her, threw her down into the bushes and beat her to within an inch of her life. He then prepared to rape her. Fortunately, despite the cliché, someone heard what sounded like a struggle and someone in need of help and actually called the police rather than turning away. The responding units must have been pretty close, because they arrived before he was able to actually rape her.
And then her experience with the courts began. Her case went on for a little over a year. She said one of the worst things was wanting justice, but feeling this giant ball of fear and anxiety in her stomach growing every time a court date was approaching. And what was even worse than even that was when a last minute delay would happen and that anxiety would just explode and she would have it start all over again when the next date was coming up. It was a year she doesn’t like to remember or think about and she was more thankful than she thought she would be when it was over.
And then she said that she has absolutely no idea how hellish it must have been for his three victims. For one thing, they were children when it happened to them. For another, it was a deeper violation than what she experienced. And, lastly, their experience with seeking a trial and closure has lasted over a decade.
When it first started, the set dates turning into delays were fairly close together. Then they spaced out onto months. Then they spaced out into years. I think the longest stretch between discussed dates in court was roughly seven years. As she put it, they were never being given closure, but they were likely being given time to start healing. And then, years later, he would come along and rip the wounds open again. In thirteen years, there has been no closure for these young men and no ability to put it behind them and start trying to heal the scars without fear of him coming back into their lives and ripping it all apart again. Her point of view is that these young men very much wanted justice, but that, at this point, they likely needed closure just as much if not more.
And she may well have been right. In talking about it with her, it jogged something along those lines in my memory. Back in 2006, Kramer had attempted to immigrate to Israel. The deal worked out with Porter was that he would leave the country and never return and that this would essentially pass as a sentence for the crime. I was kind of glad that this immigration attempt failed at the time. Setting a predator lose among new potential prey just because he was a pain to deal with seemed irresponsible. But it was Porter’s comments explaining it that became important in the here and now.
Porter stated that he spoke to the victims about the deal before agreeing to it and they were on-board with it. The reason they agreed to it? They just wanted to finally get it behind them.
And that was seven years ago. It had only been six years at that point. We’re up to year thirteen now.
I don’t think that anyone that ever reads this can know what was in the heads of the victims as this was being settled upon. No one can know what they all felt they wanted or, more importantly, needed at this point. And I mean no one can as there has never been a case involving crimes like this with the games, the delays, the incompetence, and the infuriating longevity of this one anywhere else that I know of. They’ve had thirteen years with no closure for them and no ability to start healing without the fear of it all crashing down around them again.
Maybe this isn’t the level of justice that some of us wanted to see done here and maybe the punishment seems to us to be insignificant when compared to the crimes, but then, maybe, as my friend pointed out, some justice with ultimate closure was what was needed now rather than the risk of another half decade to full decade of this continuing on as it has so far.
Yeah, you and I can point to how ineptly this was handled, point to what look like gross failures by the local legal system, and say that it should never have dragged out this long, but the fact of the matter is that is has dragged out this long and it could have kept on going even longer. And, yeah, in my gut and likely yours that still doesn’t sit well, but it is something to think about and maybe consider when commenting on the matter elsewhere right now.
And now, with that, I am actually once and for all truly and finally done writing about Ed Kramer.
Steve Niles could use some help right now.
According to a report in Bleeding Cool, Steve’s Austin, Texas home was flooded out whenstorms rampaged through the area over the weekend. The good news out of it is that reports so far indicate that everyone in the house, people and animals alike, managed to get to safety through the waste-deep waters. The bad news is that Steve has lost a good deal of what he had, including unique items that likely cannot be replaced, and the worse news is that he didn’t have flood insurance.
Personal issues with comments made about Dragon Con and Dragon Con attendees (and then, as a fallout from that, about me) earlier this year be damned right now. Niles has been a good friend to and supporter of people I know and been a supporter of some things and events that I also support. And more important than that right now, he’s a human being and as a human being Steve Niles could use some help right now.
According to a report in Bleeding Cool, Steve’s Austin, Texas home was flooded out when storms rampaged through the area over the weekend. The good news out of it is that reports so far indicate that everyone in the house, people and animals alike, managed to get to safety through the waste-deep waters. The bad news is that Steve has lost a good deal of what he had, including unique items that likely cannot be replaced, and the worse news is that he didn’t have flood insurance.
Steve Niles commented on the matter with this statement:
Woke up at 6am to water rushing into the house. Already ankle deep by the time we saw it. We got as much as we could off the ground and tried to block but there wasn’t much we could do. The worst was trying to get to Gil. It was waist deep almost and strong enough to throw around logs. I reached him and he was submerged and freaking out. Don’t remember much more then lifting him and carrying him all the way back to the house. Looking back I can see how scary it was.
We are securing the house as much as we can and going through the damage. A scrapbook full of original art I’ve kept for 30 years is gone. A lot more.
Our friends Belinda and Steve are setting up a fund to help. I feel terrible about this but once things settle I’ll have to face up that we need help. I just wish I could catch my breath for 5 minutes and I can make my own money. Austin has had other ideas I guess.
We’ll keep you posted. We’re sort of trapped here for right now. Going to pack and move as much as we can before the next storm hits.
Thank you guys so much.
The fund set up for Steve that he references in the above statement can be donated to through Paypal to: HelpSteveNiles@gmail.com
Bottom line: This is a horrendously bad turn of events for anyone to face without some help. Steve’s given a lot to the horror community over the years. A little bit given back right now might not be such a bad thing.