Larry Flynt

Archive for November, 2013

Order in the Court

Monday, November 25th, 2013

larry-flyntI know from personal experience that the most important thing a U.S. President can do is use his power to appoint judges to our country’s most powerful courts. Long after the chief executive has left office, the justices will still be there, making decisions that will affect every aspect of our lives.

That’s why obstructionist Republicans in Congress have been obsessed with blocking Obama’s appointees to the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, even going so far as to nonsensically claim the President is trying to pack the court. In reality, the most influential benches in the land still lean conservative, and Obama won’t be able to change that before his adminstration ends. In the case of the Supreme Court, that imbalance could well be remedied by Obama’s successor. Another reason to vote Democrat in 2016.

In a perfect world it wouldn’t matter who appoints whom, since judges are supposed to interpret the law impartially, free of personal bias and political pressure. But as we’ve seen in Supreme Court rulings, politics infects everything—especially in D.C.

Our civil liberties are constantly under attack. It is more vital than ever to make sure our courts are politically and culturally balanced. I call on the President to push back against the Republicans and put his imprint on our court system. And I call on constituents throughout the country to let your representatives know:

Obama’s appointees to our courts must be confirmed. The President’s place in history is secure. Let’s make sure his judicial legacy is equally lasting.

Larry Flynt


Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Bonne Terre, Missouri (CNN) — Joseph Paul Franklin is unblinking and empty as he talks about his victims.

Do you know how many people you murdered? “I’d rather not mention it,” he says flatly.

By my count, it’s 22 people. “That’s approximately it.”

And those two young boys, just 13, 14 years old. “Yeah, I regret the fact that I shot them now,” he replies.

Photos: Infamous serial killers
Photos: Infamous serial killers

Franklin has been away from the civilized world for more than 30 years, serving several life sentences behind bars.

We’re meeting at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri, where he is on death row.

States scramble for lethal injection drugs

A glass partition separates us, and we’re speaking via a closed line telephone. The prison guard has put a wireless microphone on Franklin, who is shackled at the ankles, his wrists cuffed to the chain around his waist. Franklin’s hair is wild and alive, unlike his expressionless answers when he speaks about his murder victims.

This is one of the last interviews this serial killer will give.

“I felt like I was at war. The survival of the white race was at stake,” he says. Franklin compares himself to a U.S. soldier in Vietnam, trained to be a sniper in the war. The enemy, he explains, were Jews, blacks and especially interracial couples. “I consider it my mission, my three-year mission. Same length of time Jesus was on his mission, from the time he was 30 to 33.”

What was your mission? “To get a race war started.”

Franklin spent 1977 to 1980 trying to accomplish that goal, committing more than a dozen bank robberies in addition to the murders. He stalked his victims, usually finding a sniper’s nest yards away, looking down the scope of a high-powered rifle to kill his targets at will.

Alaska serial killer may have killed missing woman

Finding comfort in ‘Mein Kampf’

He explains his hate was bred from his origins and upbringing.

Franklin shown following a murder conviction in Salt Lake City in 1981.
Franklin shown following a murder conviction in Salt Lake City in 1981.

Franklin’s birth name was James Clayton Vaughn and he was born in Mobile, Alabama. He grew up in poverty and lived a childhood of abuse, he says.

“My momma didn’t care about us,” he explains, saying it affected him emotionally and stunted his mental development. He says he was locked up and not allowed to play with other children. He claims he was fed such a poor diet that it affected his development. “I’ve always been least 10 years or more behind other people in their maturity,” he says.

Young man linked to 79 killings in Mexico

He found a family and comfort in the white supremacy groups of the American South in the 1960s. Hitler’s autobiographical manifesto, “Mein Kampf,” moved him from hate to action. “I had this real strange feeling in my mind,” he says. “I’ve never felt that way about any other book that I read. It was something weird about that book.”

At 26, he changed his name to Joseph Paul Franklin. Joseph Paul in honor of Paul Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister of propaganda, and Franklin after Benjamin Franklin.

He tattooed the grim reaper into his right forearm as a “symbol of my mission,” he explains. He shows it to me, the ink now faded green blue, the image blurry and difficult to see. “It used to be blood there, red dots falling from it,” he points out. Franklin explains he asked the tattoo artist to draw the words “Helter Skelter” on his other arm in red, with blood dripping down. Helter Skelter references ’60s serial killer Charles Manson and his desire to start a race war from California. The tattoo artist refused, Franklin said, worried about law enforcement reprisal.

Franklin says he was obsessed with killing by example. “I figured once I started doing it and showed them how, other white supremacists would do the same thing.”

Do you think you’re a hero to those hate groups?

“Well that’s what they tell me,” he says, finally laughing. “I’d rather people like me than not like me, like most people. I’d rather be loved than hated.”

Even if they are hate groups? “Yeah, and they’re not the only ones who love me, though. There a lot of Jews who love me, too.”

It’s a preposterous notion, but I can’t resist delving further.

Why do the Jews love you? “When you commit a crime against a certain group of people, a bonding takes place. It seems like you belong to them,” he says.

Opinion: Looking into the minds of killers

Scale of killer’s rampage still unclear

Hunt for possible serial killer in Japan

‘Night Stalker’ serial killer dies

The crime that put him on death row

Franklin is talking about the crime that put him on Missouri’s death row, the murder of Gerald Gordon. On October 8, 1977, Franklin was outside the Brith Sholom Kneseth Israel synagogue in St. Louis. Some 200 guests were leaving a bar mitzvah. Franklin had hammered 10-inch nails into a telephone pole to use as a makeshift gun rest for his hunting rifle. As the guests were leaving the synagogue, Franklin fired, killing Gordon in front of his wife and three children.

There would be other victims across the country.

Franklin was convicted of killing Alphonse Manning and Toni Schwean in Madison, Wisconsin, merely because they were an interracial couple.

Franklin confessed to police that college student Rebecca Bergstrom enraged him because she said on spring break, she once dated a Jamaican man. He shot her dead.

In Cincinnati, Franklin had been lying in wait for an interracial couple but 13-year-old Dante Evans and his cousin 14-year-old Darrell Lane came walking down the road. Franklin shot them both from his sniper’s nest, striking them twice to make sure the boys were dead.

Joseph Deters, who prosecuted the Cincinnati case said of Franklin, “He’s just a creep. There’s no other way to describe him. And what he did to those two kids because of the color of their skin is incomprehensible.”

Franklin also wanted to strike high-profile targets, stalking civil rights leader Vernon Jordan Jr. In Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1980, Franklin sat outside Jordan’s hotel and waited. As Jordan returned from an event, Franklin shot him. Jordan was seriously injured but was not killed.

Death row diary offers rare glimpse into a morbid world

Sickened by Hustler and out for Larry Flynt

Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt was paralyzed from the waist down by the 1978 assassination attempt.
Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt was paralyzed from the waist down by the 1978 assassination attempt.

But Franklin hoped one of his biggest trophy killings would be Larry Flynt, publisher and founder of Hustler magazine. Flynt’s crime according to Franklin?

“I saw that interracial couple he had, photographed there, having sex,” he says. Franklin is referring to the December 1975 issue of Hustler that featured several photos of a black man with a white woman. “It just made me sick. I think whites marry with whites, blacks with blacks, Indians with Indians. Orientals with orientals. I threw the magazine down and thought, I’m gonna kill that guy.”

On March 6, 1978, Franklin was almost successful. Flynt was in Lawrenceville, Georgia, facing charges of obscenity. As he returned to the courthouse, two shots struck Flynt. Flynt would barely survive, and he was paralyzed from the waist down.

(To read full article, go to

Steve King

Monday, November 18th, 2013

We can hammer away day and night at the Republican Party, but let’s be honest. Nobody can do as much damage as its own members. Like demented earthworms writhing in a Mid western manure pile, they seem obsessed with screwing themselves as often and as brainlessly as possible. For that reason, this month’s Asshole is also a bonafide hero!

Just when the GOP’s rebranding fantasies were starting to firm up like an impending dump moving into the bowel region, Representative Steve King from Iowa let this one rip: “For every [undocumented immigrant] who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds, and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re haul ing 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

Bravo, Steve-O. That’s serious Jackass shit! King’s crapola came during a discussion about DREAMers— immigrants brought to the U.S. as children who hope to gain citizenship through the proposed DREAM Act.

By his own account, King never says anything off the cuff. Like some sort of xenophobic Vulcan, he believes everything he says is logical, carefully considered and void of emotional contamination. As his devoted brother and chess opponent Jon has said about his sociopathic sibling, “There is no emotion in chess. If you start getting upset, you lose control.”

King himself has said he has a thing for “exact science” like math, with its “finite answers” free of “judgment calls.”

Logically, then, King’s now-famous “cantaloupe calves” comment was no slipup. Each of his quips outshines the last and is scientifically calculated to pluck at the cold heartstrings of his support base. He may not speak from actual emotion, preferring to rely on rockhard facts about cantaloupe calves, but King knows full well he is speaking directly to the roiled emotions of Tea Party voters. People who are unable to carry conflicting or even multiple thoughts in their brains at one time take to broad generalizations like fruit flies to a moldy muskmelon.

Take for instance another of Steve-O’s greatest shits, when he compared selecting visa recipients to choosing a mutt to retrieve dead birds. “You get the pick of the litter, and you got yourself a good bird dog,” he said at an Iowa town-hall event in 2012. No whiff of judgment there.

The congressman must have been thinking about how he settled on his wife, Marilyn. He probably rolled back her lips to check her teeth and ran the bitch around the back forty a few times to make sure she was good breeding stock. Judging by the fact the sons she squeezed out for him are lame lapdogs for Daddy who can’t seem to form their own views of the world, she’s a genetic failure. Ain’t so easy to get the “pick of the litter” after all, is it, Steve?

King grew up in a little buttfuck town in Iowa called Goodell, which still has a population under 150 and a Caucasian demographic of 95%. He likes to talk about his idyllic, “Norman Rockwellian” boyhood, when things were “as perfect as they are ever going to be,” and everything was “under control.” It was a whitewashed world of baseball, church and mom’s pot roast with gravy. There were no gays, no slackers and no cantaloupe-calved drug mules.

It’s always been a right-winger’s dream to turn the whole country into a self-governing, “under control” Mayberry where everyone is the same, and surprises are evil. As King spins it in his phony Vulcan-speak, “The argument that diversity is our strength has really never been backed up by logic.” Oh no, of course not. Our strength obviously lies in a depleted, non diverse gene pool of incestuous, small-town cretins! Fess up, Steve. The dream of a racially pure America is as empty as Strom Thurmond’s KKK sheet, and you know it.

Birddog-gate wasn’t the first time King fascistically likened immigrants to animals and probably won’t be the last, but there’s an even more sinister side to his choice of metaphors: The suffering of animals— whether the furry or border crossing kind—seems to get his rocks off.

Before his cantaloupe fetish kicked in, he enraged people who actually give a shit about our four-legged friends when he tried to block legislation against dogfighting. That’s right, dogfighting. And it wasn’t the first time! Check his voting record: No one has worked as tirelessly as King to make sure animals keep dying in horrific ways. Getting your kicks from that, by the way, is a well known trait of the basic psychopath.

It’s hard to keep up with King’s rapid-fire attempt to chop his own party off at the knees. He was the first doofus to defend Todd Akin’s senile delusions about “legitimate rape,” actually claiming he never heard of anyone getting pregnant from incest or statutory rape. (Maybe in Goodell, that’s just called love.) His antiabortion and anti-gay rants are so mind numbingly GOP-typical, his dead “hero” Joe McCarthy must be using Steve as a sock puppet. And he hates Obamacare so much, he skipped his own son’s wedding to lodge a knowingly futile vote against it.

Why stop now, Congressman King? We urge you to take inspiration from your love of dog fighting and finally introduce your DREAMer Deathmatch Bill. Can you imagine the kind of hootin’ fun we’re in for when those dope-totin’ cantaloupe calves take each other on? Yeehah! Embrace your true talent and show the country what going full Jackass really looks like. And whatever you do, Steve-O, keep talking. Proclaim your “facts” loud and proud, make sure there’s always a live microphone nearby and don’t listen to those illogical, know nothing strategists who tell you Iowa is a swing state, and your district is still winnable for the Democrats with a dumbass like you using your mouth as a rectum. You’re the logical one. They don’t know what they’re talking about.

From NPR: Porn Mogul Larry Flynt Wants Man Who Paralyzed Him Spared

Sunday, November 17th, 2013


Larry Flynt is not one to shy away from speaking his mind. As the publisher of the adult magazine Hustler, he’s long been a polarizing figure. He’s been in and out of court for decades, fighting for the right to publish freely.

During one of those legal battles 35 years ago, Flynt was shot and paralyzed by a gunman on the steps of a Georgia courthouse.

That gunman, Joseph Paul Franklin — a white supremacist who shot Flynt because he objected to a Hustler photo spread depicting an African-American man and a white woman — is scheduled to be executed in Missouri on Wednesday.

Flynt is trying to save Franklin’s life.

(For full article click here)

Teach Jazz!

Monday, November 11th, 2013


by Nat Hentoff

A well-intentioned George W. Bush mistakenly championed the No Child Left Behind Act. Teachers throughout the nation had to spend a lot of time preparing students for standardized tests in reading and math. These determined not only if students could be promoted but also which teachers could keep their jobs. Much to my dismay, classes in the arts, particularly music, were eliminated because of budget cuts and because so much time was being devoted to students practicing for the tests.

On that note, one of Valerie Strauss’s recent Washington Post columns (“The Answer Sheet”) was titled “Music education helps kids learn to read—study.” She quoted Professor Daniel Willing ham, a cognitive scientist at the University of Virginia. He pointed out that without training in music, “children are less likely to learn the association of certain written letter patterns and their corresponding rhythms in speech if they don’t perceive the rhythms of speech very well.”

Professor Willingham reminded me that I had seen how jazz rhythms can be beneficial to young children. About ten years ago a fourth-grade teacher at a New York City elementary school invited me to talk about a subject near and dear to my heart: the joyous, early history of jazz in New Orleans. This musical genre ultimately spread around the world as a distinctive bounty of American culture.

Rather than merely deliver a lecture, I brought one of my favorite recordings by clarinetist George Lewis and His New Orleans Stompers. I’d been told that none of the kids had ever heard of jazz, much less George Lewis, but that only made what happened even more electrifying. Soon after the swinging music started, some of the students began to move in their seats to the beat and then jumped up to dance. Their classmates eventually joined them, and so did their teacher.

Later she told me the school, as a result, had added music, including jazz, to its curriculum. The students’ test scores in other subjects, she proudly mentioned, went up.

As I was about to write this column, the July-August 2013 edition of Allegro (the lively publication of New York’s Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians) arrived. For its cover story, “The Art of Teaching Music,” several Local 802 members were asked how they learned to become effective teachers.

Jon Berger, a percussionist who has performed with Aretha Franklin and the Roy Merriwether Trio, gave a lesson to teachers of any subject: “My mentor in college inspired me to observe the individuality of each student rather than force techniques and methods. So my advice to others is to get to know your students. Find out what inspires them—and what shuts them down. … ‘Music is magic,’ I tell the little ones. ‘You make a sound, and people instantly respond. It is a universal language that brings people together.’”

One of the biggest kicks I’ve had as a writer on music is keeping up with Kids for Coltrane, the brainchild of New York City elementary school teacher Christine Termini Passarella. I was a friend of John Coltrane, whose deeply enliven – ing tenor saxophone and composing reached inside of me. But I never thought little kids would dig him until I started writing my book At the Jazz Band Ball: Sixty Years on the Jazz Scene.

I quoted Passarella in the chapter “These Little Kids Think Coltrane Is Cool”: “The children were drawn to the range of feelings in the songs (and playing) as I gave them the backgrounds of the compositions. ‘Alabama,’ for example, was about Martin Luther King and racial discrimination.”

Iconic jazz composer and teacher Quincy Jones has been working for years to get music back into our schools. And that’s why trumpeter Jon Faddis likes to tell how a bloodthirsty civil war in Africa was suddenly suspended. The leaders of the armies on both sides had heard that Louis Armstrong would be doing a concert in the Belgian Congo. Those adversaries just had to hear Satchmo’s soulful sounds and marvelously energizing rhythms.

That’s just one global contribution this country has made to the ages. This too ought to be taught in our schools.

Who’s the Traitor?

Monday, November 4th, 2013


by Robert Scheer

Thanks to the patriotic courage of Edward Snowden and the once-secret documents he leaked to the media, we now know in frightening detail the danger posed to our freedom by the new information-age technology combined with the hysteria of the post-9/11 surveillance state. If I communicate the rough draft of these thoughts that I am now typing in personal correspondence to a colleague through Skype or Gmail, I have been forewarned that Microsoft, which owns the former, and Google the latter, will turn the substance of my communication over to the NSA, the world’s most powerful top-secret spy agency.

The rough draft of my column, intended only for the eyes of my editor before I refine it—or your most intimate communication in a Skype call—is routinely shared with the CIA and FBI through the NSA’s massive Prism data gathering system. As an NSA analyst stated in a document released by Snowden, this interagency cooperation underscores “the point that Prism is a team sport.” Except you, the unsuspecting customer whose privacy has been promised in promotions for Microsoft and Google services, are the ball being kicked around in that clandestine bureaucratic sport.

It was alarming enough to first learn about the massive metadata sweeps that the NSA conducts on all Internet traffic signaling the origin and destination of communication. But the disclosures printed in the Guardian newspaper, based on the documents Snowden leaked, show that the surveillance included the actual video and audio texts of Skype messages. The traffic turned over to the NSA tripled in the nine months since Microsoft bought the previously independent company. The snooping is no less intensive with Google chats and emails.

Any thought is no longer private and beyond the purview of government spying. That is the powerful truth revealed by Snowden, which has occasioned the U.S. government’s international manhunt for a whistleblower accused of espionage. Snowden’s real crime is not that he endangered our national security, a hoary Espionage Act charge for which the government has yet to produce any substantial evidence. Rather, it’s that he exposed the government’s spying on its own people.

The government’s anger with Snowden—a fairly low-level employee of a private contractor to the NSA—is not over leaking classified information, which politicians do incessantly. Its grievance is that he embarrassed our political leaders by demonstrating the extent to which they have strayed from the promise of our founding documents.

Basic to that promise and underwriting the unfettered right of the people to freedom of speech, press and assembly was the inviolate notion of private space to collect one’s thoughts that was spelled out in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches. …”

But suddenly we have no right to be secure from any searches that the government deigns to initiate. In fact, the totalitarian vacuum cleaner approach enabled by modern technology guarantees that there will be no limits to the searches ordered by government agencies. Thus, the most sacred right the founders sought to preserve—the fundamental sovereignty of the individual—has been shredded. If thoughts cannot be germinated, reexamined and communicated in a zone of privacy, they cannot be developed freely, unrestrained by the coercive intrusion of the state.

What stark hypocrisy. Government hacks in high places not only have subverted the meaning of our Constitution but dare to call Snowden, the man who exposed this danger to our freedom, a traitor. As Ben Franklin, the most experienced of the wise men who founded this nation, warned: “Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.” Just the sort of subversive statement that could get Franklin, were he alive today in the nation he helped create, placed on the government’s watch list or worse.

Take Out the Trash

Monday, November 4th, 2013

larry-flyntI have a history of exposing politicians, particularly when it comes to their private lives. A juicy sex scandal used to result in a politician being disgraced out of office. His or her political career would be dead. It was a good way to clear out the trash every once in a while.

But times have changed. Now scandalized politicians either stick it out and stay in office (like David Vitter or Larry Craig) or they resign, wait a couple of news cycles and successfully run for office again (like Mark Sanford or Anthony Weiner). The question is, why do voters vote these scumbags back into office?

Let me make something clear: I personally don’t care who’s screwing whom. I don’t think people should be exposed for having affairs. Everybody does it. The problem arises when what politicians do in private is the opposite of what they support in public. That’s hypocrisy. It means they’ve lied to their wives, families and the voters—and will keep doing so as long as they can get away with it. That’s the kind of bad character that leads to corruption.

I can dredge up dirty secrets, but it won’t do any good if the public doesn’t care. Hypocrites should be exposed, and voters should take note and not put them back into office—no matter what party they belong to. Our country needs leaders who aren’t afraid to be honest about who they are and what they believe in. As for the rest, let’s leave them where they belong: on history’s trash heap.
Larry Flynt

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