Archives for posts with tag: Sheriff

Fire Island Kitchen

 

Arrived on Fire Island.  I’m here for the next few weeks… until I decamp (via Martha’s Vineyard) to Provincetown for a month or so… then it’s LA for the rest of the summer.   Nobody wants to be on the East Coast for August.  Not when one has Malibu… everyone agrees that Southern California is gorgeous in August.

I finally found an affordable and rather beautiful house near Whitstable to buy.  Just far enough to be close to those I love… yet out of harms way.   There’s so much on the market.  Everything in my old home town seems for sale.  Everything.

I’m staying, as usual, in The Pines… a guest in the most gorgeous house.  I stayed here last year.  So many pretty things to look at, art to admire and crisp white linen to drown in at night.  A fancy cooks kitchen, every utensil one could possibly wish for.

As I was winding down last night I noticed that the house is loaded with alcohol, bottles and bottles… and I am all alone.  It’s odd isn’t it?  What keeps me, and those who want it badly enough, away from the booze.  Sober.  Nobody would ever know if I took a huge gulp of something before I went to bed.  Only me.

What’s stopping me from taking a drink from the well stocked bar?  Even if it’s just me?  I suppose… I would know and God would know.  The power of ones conscience.  I’d lose the only thing I’ve ever worked really hard to keep.

I realize that many people don’t get sobriety.  The disease, the god part, the endless AA meetings.  During the past 17 years it’s been a struggle to remain interested or focused.  There’s so much to put you off.  Sober people can be a big pain in the butt.  The endless revolving door of people you meet who commit to sobriety then drink again, the deaths, the drama, the fucking rules…  but I tell you, if this is a cult (and many say it is) I’m a happy member.

I’m cooking a very old-fashioned coq au vin.  A hearty treat for a chilly May evening on Fire island.

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Daisy

I promised that I wouldn’t write about where and who I was staying with… it just feels like boasting.

But… here I am.   Staying with my very old friend Daisy Cockburn on The Lost Coast.   We met thirty years ago at Phil H’s house on Langton Street, Worlds End, Chelsea.

Her house/compound is too perfect.  Filled with unusual and beautiful things.  It was left to her by her father.  Her father, Alexander Cockburn was a famous and magnificent political writer.  Alexander died last July.

He collected the most extraordinary ceramics, eclectic paintings and built a tower on the hill that I have not yet visited.  The ceramics are mostly by LA based ceramist Jim Danisch.   Daisy’s mother is the writer Emma Tennant.  Her cousin is Olivia Wilde.

I drove from LA.  Through San Francisco.  The last 60 miles along perilous roads in the dark.  Tarmac Roads that suddenly give out to treacherous gravel.  Past the magnificent redwoods that even in the dark… are extraordinary.

I slept in a huge bed built on a wooden platform.  I slept like a giant redwood log.  At night, I can hear the Mattole river moving quickly over tiny gray pebbles.  This morning we all… dogs too… swam in the cold clear water.

More pics tomorrow.

So, yesterday.

I’m sure you want to know.

Firstly, I want to thank the ACLU for co-counseling my suit against the Sheriff.

They have worked for months on this case and they have every reason to believe in a positive outcome.

My personal suit separated from the class action.

I am suing the Sheriff’s Department for a considerable amount of money.

I arrived early at the ACLU office down town.  I met with my lawyers.  I watched the 30 or so cameras being set up from TV stations all over the USA.

Jennie Pasquarella spoke first.  A more eloquent speaker one could not hope to listen to.  A more brilliant lawyer one could not hope to meet.

Like all of the lawyers who work for the ACLU she is motivated by fairness for all.

She said:

The principle of bail is something so fundamental, that you shouldn’t be held until you’re found guilty.

I waited my turn.

I listened again to this startling fact:  The Immigration Department is mandated  to deport 400, 000 people a year from the USA.

This fact alone never ceases to shock and amaze me.  The implications, I’m sure, are not lost on any of you.

The last time I faced a barrage of press like that I was at the Sundance Film Festival.  It was all about me.

Yesterday I was representing thousands of the disenfranchised, the oppressed and the wrongly imprisoned.

In light of Jerry Brown’s veto of the Trust Act and set against the back drop of a recent, damning report documenting violence and abuse in The Men’s County Jail, this case could not be more relevant.

Sheriff Lee Baca has been effectively told that he is incapable of running a jail by the board of supervisors.

Humiliatingly the Supervisors, not the Sheriff, will find someone more competent to run the jail.

Within minutes of the end of our press conference the Sheriff’s representative disputed the charge that the Sheriff’s Department has denied bail to anyone because of ICE holds.

“If you are able to post bail — say it’s $10,000 — and you’re an immigrant from wherever. With or without an ICE hold, we accept that,” said the spokeswoman, Nicole Nishida.

An outright LIE.

A report by prison expert James Austin cites data from Baca’s office indicating that at least 20,000 Los Angeles County inmates, nearly all of them Latino males, were subjected to ICE holds in 2011.

Latino males arrested, held in the MCJ, forced to accept spurious guilty pleas and deported equals: ethnic cleansing.

Nobody cares about them.  Nobody gives a damn about undocumented workers.  They are treated like animals.  Even by my most (so-called) progressive friends.

Latinos spending their lives doing jobs white people don’t want to do, refuse to do in SoCal.  They are the real victims of the economic catastrophe.

During the good times, we turn a blind eye to these men and women working at our behest for minimal wages.

When things get bad they are thrown out like yesterdays trash, rounded up like cattle to satisfy immigration deportation quotas.

It’s the same everywhere, when things get tough:  blame the immigrants.

I heard my own mother blame Eastern Europeans for ‘taking our jobs’ back at home in Britain.

The Spanish-speaking press asked me: “Do you think Lee Baca is anti-immigrant?”

“You mean, do I think Lee Baca is a racist?”  I replied.  “Well, he is just part of the racist problem in the USA but he gets to be the executioner.”

In a country where most people are enslaved by debt, lack of education, obesity, religious/corporate ideology and hubris it is very easy to forget about ones own enslavement and think nothing of enslaving and demonizing others.

The primary reason I would never vote (if I could) for a second Obama term, regardless of his so-called pro gay marriage smokescreen (designed largely to melt liberal hearts) is his appalling deportation record.

The Obama administration’s deportation policies, which rely on cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities, have already been challenged in California.

Legislation that would have prohibited sheriffs and police departments from enforcing ICE holds in most cases was, as I have already written, vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown last month.

Barrack Obama has deported more people from the USA than any other President in this country’s history.

It goes without saying that the Gay media and my local Malibu newspaper will totally ignore this story.  I am neither pretty enough nor non-controversial for either to cover the story.

Even though it may be of interest to both communities.

Most gay men are unaware that if they fell in love with a non-American their state marriage certificate or their Foreign marriage certificate would mean absolutely nothing to the Federal Immigration Department.

Their husband/wife would risk deportation.

The gay men I know think that deportation happens to other people… you know… brown people.  Not people like us.

Those same gay men run the gay media.

Scott McPherson from The Advocate told me recently that he totally supported The President’s immigration policy and (after I explained to him what a drone was and who was being killed by them) he told me he had no interest in who drones were killing.

All Scott wants is marriage equality.  Apparently, only for Americans to marry other Americans.

You might think that Malibu is a liberal, open-minded place…. with all those rich über gays living down there on the beach… but I have endured more homophobia in Malibu than even my small home town village of Whitstable in Kent where one might expect the crushingly narrow-minded.

My Armenian neighbor was so vile about me and my young gay renter, her invective so shocking… it almost took my breath away.

So.  It has begun.

Where the runes fall… is none of my business.

Somehow the very act of laying ones self bare, open to all sorts of scrutiny, is a relief.

Regardless of the outcome, I am very happy to be of service to those who can least help themselves.

So, yesterday, I’m on HLN‘s Jane Velez Mitchell show courtesy of CNN ostensibly to put the boot into a 67-year-old Colorado Sheriff called Pat Sullivan who paid young boys for sex with meth.

I started the show by acknowledging Pat’s sex addiction but then, halfway through, listening to the comments of the other ‘outraged’ guests I suddenly felt an overwhelming pity for Pat Sullivan.

Before being caught in an undercover sting he had been described as a hero…as a crusader against drug use.

During his 18 years as elected Arapahoe County Sheriff he had inspired the local population to trust him with their safety.

They re-elected him time after time.

The local jail was named after him.

What became of this man and his reputation? Arrested by young deputies, in the most desperate of situations.

67 years old, a walking stick, taking meth, living a double life, having sex with degenerate addicts and homeless people. Described as a ‘dirty old man’.

The closet can be a terrible place. A terrible dark place.

As Jake found out. The people you meet, the lies you tell. A double life can take a toll on you and those around you.

Unlike Jake, who stayed in the closet because he was a coward, Pat…50 years ago in rural Colorado had no choice.

He didn’t want to move to the big city and follow his sexual condition, he didn’t want to go be a criminal in another city (homosexuality was outlawed 50 years ago) so, he married, had kids and became the town hero.

Having a career as a hero in rural Colorado for a gay man in the 1960’s was not an option.

Pat looked after the people of Arapahoe but didn’t look after himself.

Now, revealed for all to see. As sick as his secrets.

I’m sorry Pat didn’t, couldn’t get help.

Perhaps he will now.

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