Showing posts with label Catholic Church. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Catholic Church. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Maus Censorship, JAHA, My Book and Me


Maus by Art Spiegelman was the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer prize.  It tells the story of the Holocaust with the Jews depicted as mice and the Nazis depicted as cats.  The news that a school board in Tennessee has banned the book  (summarized by David Corn in MotherJones) has made me think of my own book, Wuthering Depths in Johnstown: By the Numbers, being excluded from being sold in the bookstores of the Johnstown Area Heritage Association (JAHA) for similar reasons.

The reasons that the school board gave for banning Maus was that there is nudity and that there are the swear words "bitch" and "god damn" in the book.  They said that that was inappropriate for kids.  I was told that because I wrote in my book about the numbers surrounding the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal and the crime statistics (including rape) was inappropriate for them because they had a children's museum.  

Ironically, JAHA had an exhibit on the holocaust three years ago with a survivor of these terrible events as a speaker.  Apparently, they thought that that was appropriate for children as well as a book about the mafia in Johnstown.  JAHA director Richard Burkert can be seen discussing the holocaust exhibit below.

Of course, JAHA is not a government entity whereas the school board in Tennessee is.  They are not accountable to voters but are to their stake holders.  According to Guidestar, JAHA has $7,603,010 in assets and $636,908 in gross receipts.  My book could have increased their gross receipts.

Sales of Maus have increased since the ban.  My book has sold around 118 copies without my raising a stink about JAHA's rejection.  There is no nudity in my book.  I did say in the book about how the area voting overwhelmingly for Trump, after it was reliably Democratic, was the equivalent of the area giving the rest of the world the middle finger.  

Censorship can work in many ways.  A business may have the right to sell or not sell anything that they want.  JAHA claims to represent the history of the area.  The Catholic Church sex abuse scandal and crime in the area are just as real as the holocaust.

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Saturday, February 1, 2020

Local Elections are Heating Up

Shaun Dougherty
It was a successful meeting to organize for Bernie Sanders last Sunday.  We had 27 volunteers and are now working to get him and his delegates to the national convention on the ballot for the April 28th primary.  Other races are also heating up in the area.

My former classmate Shaun Dougherty has announced that he is a candidate for the State Senate 35th district in Pennsylvania.  He is running against first term incumbent Republican Wayne Langerholc.  The district includes all of Cambria and Bedford Counties and most of Clearfield County.  He has been an outspoken advocate for compensation for those who were abused by priests in the Catholic Church.

This comes as the Greater Johnstown School District was listed as one of the 50 most economically segregated school districts in the U.S.  This could be a pivotal election for the area and the U.S.

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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Top Ten Posts of 2019

As 2019 comes to a close I thought I would imitate other media news outlets and look at the top 10 posts on this site in terms of the number of page views.  The majority of the posts came in the early part of this year and in the later part.  Posts made before 2019 are included in this list.


This post was on changes in enrollment and in those needing special education services in the Greater Johnstown, Westmont, and Richland School Districts.  It was posted in November.  Enrollment has decreased in all three districts while African-American enrollment has increased in Johnstown.


This post was made in November 2018 to introduce the poll for the greatest nonfiction book of all time.  So far the Origin of Species is leading.


This post from May of this year presents a documentary on the migratin of African Americans to Johnstown.


This post from October looks at the propaganda campaign against the local candidate for Cambria County Commissioner, Jerry Carnicella.  He lost.


This post is from May 2011 the oldest post on this list.  It talks about how the conflict in the US is reflected in similar conflicts in Italy, Germany and Japan.


I took a look at the numbers of abuser priests identified by Pennsylvania grand juries and adjusting them for the size of the populations that they serve in each of their respective Dioceses.  Cambria County had by far the most adjusting for population.


This post from a few weeks ago showed how endemic the problem of poverty has become in the Greater Johnstown School District (GJSD) compared to the neighboring districts of Westmont, Richland, and Ferndale.  Nationally it ranks 84th out of 13,207 school districts.


This post is a follow up to the second ranked post on this list.  It is from November and gives the results up to Nov 24 of this year.


This is the first post of 2019.  It compared elite coaches in the NFL who played in the NFL (ie. Chuck Noll, Don Shula, and Tom Landry) to ones who did not (Vince Lombardi, Bill Belichick, and Jimmy Johnson).  It found that they were equal in the regular season but the one who did not play had better records in the playoffs and won more championships.


This is the next to last post of the year.  It was a follow up post to the seventh most popular post on this list.  It looked at trends in the city, county, state, and US in poverty and median income.  The gap between the county and the city and the state and the US is growing.

For this list, two of the posts were made before 2019 and six of them were on the City of Johnstown and the surrounding area.  Of the eight posts made this year, three were made in the first half of the year.  This blog almost completely covers the 2010s.  In September I will have the tenth anniversary post looking at it's all time most popular posts.

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CSI senza cadaveri

Sunday, April 21, 2019

A look at the Number of PA Abuser Priests Identified by the Grand Jury

# of Abuser Clergy
Catholic population
Per capita Abusers
Grand Jury Year

Last summer Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the results of the grand jury investigation into sexual abuse by priests and other clergy in the Catholic Church in six of the eight dioceses in Pennsylvania.  The other two, Philadelphia and Altoona-Johnstown were investigated by grand juries in 2003 and 2016 respectively.  The number of abuser clergy along with the catholic population and population adjusted numbers in abusers per 100,000 population in each diocese are summarized in the above table.  
Profile of victims in the six county 2018 grand jury report

Adjusting the number of abusive clergy for the population that they serve allows for comparing one diocese to another and one investigation to another.  Of the six counties in the 2018 investigation, Harrisburg and Erie had the most abusers identified.  Greensburg and Allentown had the fewest.  The report provided the size of the population each of the six dioceses they served except the Harrisburg Diocese.  I found the 230,000 number on the Harrisburg Diocese website.  

Philadelphia had the smallest number in the state at 5.3 per 100,000 in the 2003 investigationAltoona-Johnstown had by far the highest number in the state at 50.87/100,000 and easily the smallest Catholic population at 98,284 in 2016.  This low population number for this diocese is surprising since it covers eight counties

The Philadelphia investigation was conducted by the Philadelphia County DA Lynne Abraham which may not have had the same resources as the state AG.  The Altoona-Johnstown was focused solely on that Diocese with the smallest population in the state and was conducted by the state AG, possibly as a trial run.  

My classmate from St. Clements School, Shaun Dougherty has been crusading for victims of Catholic Clergy abuse.  Below is a video of him and a friend confronting the priest that abused him a few months ago.  Buona Pasqua a' tutti.

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