Monday, October 17, 2005

Is there intelligent life on Treasure Island or why won't the Sembers stop PumpGate?

An editorial. We just do not understand. We at theStraights dot com just do not understand the wisdom or logic of bringing on this PumpGate suit. Early on we had been made aware of the existence of the ad on the St. Petersburg Times after it was published. We visited the Times and saw the electronic ad but refused to link to it or to even mention that the ad existed. Later, and again after the fact, we were informed that another ad was on eBay. We visited eBay and saw the ad there but again refused to link to it, or to even write that there was such an ad. We read on Fornits a posting that linked to the eBay ad, and yet we still refused to write about it. We would not even link to the Fornits' post.

ABC Action News and The St. Petersburg Times both did articles on the civil suit brought against Ray Bradbury for placing the ads. Both publications gave the ambassador the benefit of the doubt by calling the pump a "medical device." After that this paper began calling it an "alleged medical device." And then, to our amazement, Lenny Englander (the Semblers' attorney) submitted a document to the court in which he admitted that the device had in fact belonged to Mr. Sembler. When a paparazzo found a pair of Depends adult diapers in the trash can of syndicated talk show host Larry King, Mr. King responded, "What Depends? I don't know anything about any Depends." That's what I'm going to say if you find Depends in my trash can. To make his clients' position even worse, Mr. Englander called the device a "penile pump." And then and only then did this paper begin calling it what it is--a penis pump. Within 6 hours of reading Mr. Englander's public pronouncement calling it a "penile pump" we published our first article calling it a "penis pump." Ginger Warbis at Fornits quickly dubbed the affair "PumpGate."

Apparently the Semblers worked to have the ad removed from eBay. And through all these years this newspaper has steadfastly refused to show a picture of the ad or of the penis pump (which is shown as part of the ad). Until now that is. Now Lenny Englander has submitted the ad to a court of law and has made it a public document! And now for the first time, and ONLY because the Semblers have taken action to make it a public document, we have decided to show the ad. It is here.

We question the wisdom of the Semblers for bringing action against Ray Bradbury. If they were embarrassed by the ad and just want everyone to forget it, it is because of their lawsuit that printed and electronic publications (including The Washington Post) from all over the world have carried the story about Straight and Ambassador Sembler and his penile pump. Judge Logan may yet be censored (if not at home then by The Reader's Digest) for showing favoritism in this matter and Judge Rondolino will have to live with his conscious for failing to follow the law and order the Semblers to be evaluated by Bradbury's independent medical examiner. The Semblers may have misrepresented themselves to the court as to being available for depositions. Their attorney has admitted the pump did belong to Mr. Sembler and has called it a "penile" pump. Ms. Sembler appears in deposition to be an almost paranoid old lady afraid of anyone who disagrees with her. She has publicly aligned herself with a man of very, very dubious distinction. And now, because the Sembler's own attorney has made it a public document, images of the ad and even the penis pump itself are on the Internet!

What are the Semblers trying to accomplish here? The Semblers have many detractors from the Uhurus, to St. Pete for Peace to the Straight survivors. Ray Bradbury was just their first detractor. He came from the Straight survivors. He was the first to realize that Mel and Betty Sembler were the forces behind Straight. He is the man who had Straight taken away from them and closed. As their attorney stated to Mr. Bradbury in a letter of July 10, 2003 they want to send Mr. Bradbury into bankruptcy and make him become "prey." OK they want to crush Mr. Bradburry completely. But I submit that they crushed Mr. Bradbury, along with tens of thousands of other young people at their Straight program, a long, long time ago. They've cost Mr. Bradbury a lot of money. They've wrung him through crushing depositions. He takes medication to get through each day.

And what does Mr. Bradbury want from all this misery? He wants Melvin and Betty Sembler held accountable in a court of law for their part in the Late Great Straight Holocaust. To that end his eBay stunt has resurrected the Straight story all over the world. And he has gotten Betty Sembler to speak in a court, for the first time ever, about Straight.

Accolades to Tom McGowan, Mr. Bradbury's attorney. For he is representing a man who is standing up to Tammany Hall South. To what may be the most corrupt political machine in America today.

So just what price are the Semblers willing to pay to crush Ray Bradbury completely? Mr. Bradbury is just one of their outspoken Straight victims? Is there anybody with any intelligence on Treasure Island who has thought this thing through. This case was never about Mel Sembler's penis pump. It is about his involvement and his wife's involvement in a program that harmed so many young lives.

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