Get Ready For a Heapin’ Helpin’ Of Anti-Objectivity: The Washington Times Dives Into The Nikki Araguz Case

Oh, let us see where Moonie Mouthpiece ‘News’ goes with the story, shall we?

The case, which transgender advocates hope will result in the overturning of a Texas law that says a person’s sex is defined at birth, immediately concerns about $600,000 in survivor benefits, with Nikki Araguz on one side and Simona Longoria, the mother of Capt. Araguz, on the other.

Depending on whether the union is recognized as legal, Nikki Araguz could be denied any benefits or could receive up to $300,000, said Chad Ellis, the attorney for Mrs. Longoria. The rest would go to the 6- and 9-year-old children whom Capt. Araguz had with his first wife, Heather Delgado.

The case has prompted charges and countercharges about deception and about whether Capt. Araguz knew that his wife was born a boy, and has the potential to break new legal ground in the definitions of “marriage” and “sex/gender.”

But Mr. Ellis is not interested in that.

Of course not.  Because the ‘new’ ground that has already been broken – you know, by the Texas Legislature in 2009 – pretty much negates his case. 

“I’m not blazing new legal ground,” Mr. Ellis said. “This issue has already been decided. This is not a new concept. … They’re trying to push an agenda that’s bigger than the death benefits of Tommy Araguz and whether or not his children get this money.”

Yep.  Those conservative judicial activism-mongers are at it again – trying to get judges to make up law which erases the will of the people as expressed through the Legislature.  The 2009 law which recognizes change of sex in the context of marriage should just be wadded up and tossed out because, well, because Chad Ellis sez so!

A hearing Aug. 16 will determine whether Mrs. Longoria will win her bid to be declared the executor of her son’s estate. The common-law rule is that, in the absence of a will, a married man’s widow oversees it. This dispute centers on whether Nikki Araguz is a widow.

The current precedent in Texas is a 1991 state court case, Littleton v. Prange, which says three factors determine a person’s gender at birth: gonads, genitalia and chromosomes. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines transgender as a person “who identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one which corresponds to the person’s sex at birth.”

I guess I shouldn’t fault Moonie Mouthpiece ‘News’ on the year given that, if I heard it accurately, Phyllis Frye actually attributed the wrong year to Littleton v. Prange in one of the Araguz press conferences.  Of course, I thought I heard her say 1990.  In reality, that 2-1 split panel decision from one of Texas’ fourteen intermediate courts of appeal – which, unlike what christianists would have you believe, is not and never was the law of Texas (and, as such, is only “current precedent” in that single appellate district) – occurred in 1999.

More problematic is the quick move to a dictionaty definition – typically the last bastion of ‘reasoning’ from courts that disregard current scientific concepts of sex in favor of moldy old definitions of “sex” from dictionaries produced by corporations which ultimately have a vested interest in maintaining societal ‘control’ through corporate control of said courts.

 Nicole Haagenson, a spokeswoman for Nikki Araguz, said the union between the two was clearly a valid marriage.

“They had a marriage license,” she said. “They have pictures and documents.”

Well, to be fair, if that was all that Nikki had, she kinda sorts would be SOL.  Remember, though: she kinda sorta actually has the law on her side.

At the time of Capt. Araguz’s death, however, the couple had been separated for months, and Nikki Araguz was interested in obtaining a divorce.

Here, I’ll reiterate what I said in response to Lisa Falkenberg of the one-step-away-from-Washington-Times-credibility Houston Chronk:

Which, even if true, would cause a marriage involving a woman with no sex-status question and a now-deceased man to be invalidated post-morterm….how?

Now, back to Moonie Mouthpiece ‘News’:

Nikki Araguz’s legal representative did not return requests for comment to The Washington Times. But Phyllis Randolph Frye, a transgendered lawyer who is representing Nikki Araguz, told the Houston Chronicle that she hopes this dispute will overturn Texas’ definition of gender as fixed at birth.

Now, if nothing else, this should tell you just how little credibility the Washington Times has.  Phyllis has never passed up – and never will pass up – an opportunity to talk about her view of trans law – doubly so when she has a case like this.  (I make no comment as to whether that’s always a good thing; I’m just saying that I know Phyllis.)  So, if she didn’t break her neck in making sure that she got her say in for a piece like this, then she’s probably made the same determination that millions of others who possess at least one brain cell have made: The Washington Times is on the outside of journalism and making no attempt even to look in.

Mr. Ellis, however, contends that Capt. Araguz didn’t know about Nikki Araguz’s former identity as a male until an April 28 deposition set up by Mrs. Delgado, the mother of their children.

Hmmmm…

Are we going to see anything from Moonie Mouthpiece ‘News’ about how the alleged violation of attorney-client privilege by Frank Mann, III, might have factored into this?

Nikki Araguz’s past was brought to light during an unsuccessful run for mayor of Wharton, Texas, and Mrs. Delgado then brought it to the court’s attention in a dispute with her ex-husband over custody of their children. Nikki Araguz was on probation at the time for drug possession, a fact also mentioned in the custody dispute.

In court, Capt. Araguz clearly stated multiple times that he had no knowledge of his wife’s previous identity as a male. At that time, Nikki Araguz’s birth certificate also became public.

Nothing about Mann yet…

Nikki Araguz has “a rap sheet about half a mile long,” Mr. Ellis said. “We’re dealing with someone who has conned people all of her life.”

Still nothing about Mann, though I do think its time for me to repeat my Falkenberg mantra:

Which, even if true, would cause a marriage involving a woman with no sex-status question and a now-deceased man to be invalidated post-morterm….how?

Now, back to Moonie Mouthpiece ‘News’:

Ms. Haagenson said court testimony was unreliable.

“They both lied in the deposition, and they felt like that was the thing to do to protect his having custody of the children,” she said, adding that the e-mails clearly demonstrate that Mr. Araguz not only knew about his wife’s gender identification, but went to doctor consultations with her.

I wonder if, while gathering info for that passage, the author of this Moonie Mouthpiece ‘News’ piece, Kathryn Watson, “an intern on the Continuous News Desk” and a – wait for it – “senior journalism major at Biola University just outside of Los Angeles, where she serves as the editor-in-chief of her school’s student newspaper, The Chimes,” bothered to look into those allegations against Frank Mann, III, and how that may have factored into what happened during that deposition? 

Journalism?

Investigative?

Anyone home?

Oh…

Never heard of Biola University

Biola?

Named after a realative of Johnny Ola, Dominic Chianese‘s character from The Godfather, Part II

Probably not. 

In fact, here’s a bit of info on BS, er…, BU:

Biola University is a private Christian university located in Southern California. For over 100 years, Biola — a community where all faculty, staff and students are professing Christians — has been committed to biblically centered education, intentional spiritual development and vocational preparation.With more than 145 academic programs through its seven schools, Biola offers degrees ranging from B.A. to Ph.D.

Oh yeh…

No chance whatsoever of a “senior journalism major” from a place like that slanting a story about a transsexual, eh?

According to court documents, Nikki Araguz was born Justin Graham Purdue and changed names to Nikki Purdue in February 1996.

In the documentation presented in 1996 when Justin Graham Purdue became Nikki Purdue, she said, “I, Justin Purdue, am a woman with male anatomy, working toward a sex change. I have been living and working as a woman for over one year and seek to make my new name legal and permanent.”

Wow…

Two whole paragraphs – in succession – that appear to be accurate.

Masen Davis, executive director of the Transgender Law Center, expressed sympathy for Nikki Araguz.

“It is our hope that Nikki’s relationship is recognized, and our heart goes out to her for the loss of her husband,” he said.

Shannon Price Minter, legal director for the National Center for Transgender Equality, said the national push for gay marriage has unintentionally hurt transgendered people and resulted in cases like this.

“I think it’s very unfortunate that, perhaps because of the visibility of lesbian and gay couples seeking marriage, that transgendered people have been caught up in that frame and have been hurt by that and have actually, in some respects, are more vulnerable now than they have been in the past,” he said. “I think it’s really only in the past few years that we see pretty ugly cases like this coming up because people are, I think, exploiting homophobia.”

Wow…

Here, we have a couple of paragraphs that I presume to be accurate (I can’t be certain, but they seem like reasonable quotes) but which are also highly relevant – particularly the one from Shannon.

And, of course, faux ‘balance’ must ensue:

But Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis at the American Family Association, called the whole dispute ridiculous, but unsurprising, given the culture’s confusion about sex, as also shown in debates over gay marriage and homosexuality.

You remember the AFA, don’t you?

American Family Association (AFA) a non-profit 501(c3) organization was founded in 1977 by Donald E. Wildmon, who was pastoring First United Methodist Church in Southaven, Mississippi, at the time. Click here for an article entitled “Special AFA Anniversary Extra”.  For 32 years, Wildmon has been on the frontlines of America’s culture war.  See article “Courageous crusader, single-minded servant, humble hero”.  The original name of the ministry was National Federation for Decency but was changed to American Family Association (AFA) in 1988.

Today, AFA is one of the largest and most effective pro-family organizations in the country with over two million online supporters and approximately 180,000 paid subscribers to the AFA Journal, the ministry’s monthly magazine. In addition, AFA owns and operates nearly 200 radio stations across the country under the American Family Radio (AFR) banner.

Other divisions of AFA include OneNewsNow.com, an online news provider that is syndicated around the world.

 and referred to by the reality-based world as ‘OneNewsNot’.

The American Family Association represents and stands for traditional family values and exists to motivate and equip citizens to reform our culture to reflect Biblical truth on which it was founded.

In other words, they are christianist, anti-America theocrats.

But, of course, there must always be faux ‘balance.’ 

And also, of course, there must be fact-free christianist anti-science which goes unchallenged by the faux ‘journalist’, er…, “senior journalism major.”

 “We think that our public policy ought to be guided by science and biology, and not by political correctness,” he said, noting that gender is a biological reality and not a choice or a role one plays, as contemporary gender theorists maintain.”This case just certainly indicates how complicated and bizarre things get when you simply ignore the biological reality that this individual is a man,” he said. “He’s a male in every cell of his body. His DNA has been male from the moment he was conceived and will be until the day he dies.”

So…

Lets put aside the gut-laugh worthy notion that a cadre of anti-government thugs who believe a book of fairy tales literally actually also believes in science….

And lets put aside the (so far as I am aware) fact that Nikki Araguz’s chromosome pattern has not been ascetained (you know, the same little factoid that that 2-1 judicial legislature panel in San Antonio back in 1999 didn’t think needed to be ascertained regarding Christie Lee Littleon, against whom they had legislated ‘chromosomes = sex’ on the fly?)

James Madison and Thomas Jefferson had electron microscopes? 

And that 1789 dictionary that Antonin Scalia masturbates into while figuring out ways to re-establish substantive nobility (albeit sans titles) has a definition of “DNA”?

So the AFA wants courts to write certain things into the constitution – namely the things that they want written into the constitution from the bench (after being spun into pure golden evangelist shit by the Wildmon Wackadoos)?

Mr. Ellis said his client is distressed that the case’s focus has veered away from her grandchildren and her son’s heroic death. He died fighting a massive fire at an egg farm near Boling that took 150 firefighters to extinguish.

“Simona Longoria is not asking for a dime,” Mr. Ellis said. “She’s only doing this for the children.”

Oh yeh…

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

“She had to make a very difficult decision. … She knew if she did this what would happen; that instead of Tommy being a hero in newspapers throughout Texas, it would be Tommy that was married to Nikki Araguz.”

Biola University ‘journalism’ at your service, folks!

Now, go talk amongst yourselves.

10 Responses to Get Ready For a Heapin’ Helpin’ Of Anti-Objectivity: The Washington Times Dives Into The Nikki Araguz Case

  1. Eva says:

    So are you stating that simply because the journalist is a Christian, she cannot be objective? Wouldn’t that mean that you as well, if a journalist, would not be objective either? Therefore, your view of this article and blog is skewed as is. Her article is fair. And she is an objective journalist, as much as you are or anyone can be.

    • Katrina Rose says:

      So are you stating that simply because the journalist is a Christian, she cannot be objective?

      In a word, yes. Religion is a mental illness, a form of delusion which its adherents use to recruit new generations of adherents into their lifestyle which mandates absolute belief that the tenets of the delusion are unquestionable. Consequently, there can be no such thing as objectivity in their world and anyone who asserts that there can be is either also deluded or attempting to con the person(s) to whom such a proposition is being put forth.

      From the Biola webpage from which I quote:

      Biola’s rich history has been shaped by an unwavering commitment to Jesus Christ and a firm foundation on the Word of God.

      That is the antithesis of objectivity.

      Nice try, but you lose.

  2. BlackSwan says:

    Sounds as if its Christo Fascist politics at work again.

  3. Monica says:

    Here are some of the inaccuracies and misrepresentations in the Washington Times yellow journalistic article:

    First, Simona Longoria lacks legal standing to sue Nikki Araguz. Attorneys for Nikki Araguz have filed a motion to have her removed as a party. The actual parties at interest are Tom Araguz’s sons, who can only be represented as a party by their biological mother Heather Delgado.

    Second, Nikki Araguz was born with a genetic condition called Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (2), which medically classifies her as intersex/hermaphroditic, although she has undergone genital reconstruction surgery performed by Marci Bowers, MD in Trinidad, Colorado.

    Third, attorneys for Nikki Araguz have filed a motion to exclude certain parts of Thomas Araguz’s financial estate from the lawsuit because he specifically designated Nikki Araguz the beneficiary, such as his pension fund money and his term life insurance policy.

    Fourth, the wash times article failed to mention that the defense case for Nikki Araguz is based upon a September 1, 2009 change to the Texas Marriage statutes, and related facts.

    Fifth, the wash times Kathryn Watson article mentions Heather Delgado once, who is the plaintiff, in representation of her sons.

    Sixth, Kathryn Watson fails to mention defense evidence: that the defense has filed an affidavit by Thomas Araguz with the court, in which he stated that he had been fully aware of Nikki’s medical condition and surgery since before their 2008 marriage (despite his perjury in an April 2010 deposition), that the defense has proffered emails between Thomas and Nikki with full transmission headers that also document his knowledge of her medical condition and her surgery, and that the defense will present witnesses who saw Thomas Araguz present with Nikki at doctors and counseling visits with Nikki Araguz regarding her medical condition and surgery.

    Seventh, the Kathryn Watson wash times article didn’t even have the correct date for the Littleton v. Prange appeals court ruling which was 2000, not 1991, of a case that began in 1999, or the fact that it was a lower appeals court that does not have Texas wide applicability (lack of fact checking that could have been confirmed with a quick google search). (3) – Littleton v. Prange, No. 99-1214 (Tex. 18 May 2000)

    Eighth, the August 16, 2010 hearing is NOT a final determinant. It is only a hearing on several defense motions including: a defense motion to dismiss based on a claim that the plaintiff has made claims upon which relief cannot be granted (Texas has its own rules numbering be see federal style rules 12(b)(6) for general information); a motion to have Simona Longoria removed as a party because she lacks standing; and a motion to remove Thomas Araguz’s pension fund and life insurance from the lawsuit. Good reporting would have stated that this case is likely to take at least some most for the trial court to consider fully, and that both parties have stated they intend to appeal if they don’t get the verdict they want. Nikki Araguz is also represented by attorneys, including Darrell Steidley and Phyllis Frye, who intend to appeal the case as far as they can, no matter what the cost or how many years are required. It will likely be months before the court would entertain a Summary Judgment motion from Heather Delgado’s attorneys.

    Ninth, the lawsuit itself is financially misguided because Heather Delgado won’t net any more money than without the lawsuit because her contingency representation attorneys, Chad Ellis and Frank Mann, are likely to take nearly half in attorney’s fees and expenses. Consequently Delgado will not gain any financially for her sons even if she wins the lawsuit, which implies that the lawsuit was filed out of spite.

    Tenth, the attorneys for Heather Delgado and Simona Longoria, Chad Ellis and Frank Mann, have significant histories of trouble with the Texas State Bar for unlawful acts that have resulted in suspensions of their licenses. Your article fails to mention that it was Frank Mann who outed Nikki Araguz to Heather Delgado, in violation of attorney/client privilege, and it was his disclosure that started the subsequent legal firestorm.

    Eleventh, the Kathryn Watson wash times article also fails to mention the fact that by the logic used in Texas, Texas has actually legalized same-sex marriage in Texas between post-surgical-transsexual-females and genetic females, both having vaginas. This fiat has actually delighted numerous such couples have used the result of Littleton v. Prange as a basis to obtain marriage licenses there.

    All the above is documented in detail in the blog at the first link below, all with citations to information sources.

    (0) http://thenikkiaraguztrial.blogspot.com/

    (1) http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/aug/10/born-boy-but-fighting-for-death-benefits-as-widow/

    (2) http://thenikkiaraguztrial.blogspot.com/2010/08/sexgender-determination-not-just-xx-or.html

    (3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christie_Lee_Littleton

    • Katrina Rose says:

      A very nice set of points. 10 out of 11 ain’t bad. However, you did misfire on one:

      Seventh, the Kathryn Watson wash times article didn’t even have the correct date for the Littleton v. Prange appeals court ruling which was 2000, not 1991, of a case that began in 1999, or the fact that it was a lower appeals court that does not have Texas wide applicability (lack of fact checking that could have been confirmed with a quick google search). (3) – Littleton v. Prange, No. 99-1214 (Tex. 18 May 2000)

      The only published opinions in the Littleton v. Prange case were the majority, concurrence and dissenting opinions of a three-judge panel of the Fourth Court of Appeals, all issued on Oct. 27, 1999. The date you reference, I believe, is that of the summary denial by the Texas Supreme Court of Christie Lee Littleton’s petition for review of the Fourth Court’s decision. Later in 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court did similarly. Neither of those, however, is what is being spoken of when people refer to ‘the Littleon opinion’; that reference will always be to what happened on Oct. 27, 1999.

      • Monica says:

        Yep, you are right, nice catch on that. I copied the wrong reference.

      • Monica says:

        I would like to believe I got 11 out of 11, since Watson wrote 1991 for Littlton, which was wrong, and my point is that Watson didn’t do her fact checking. I should have done mine better on that one too, since yes the published opinions were in 1999!

      • Katrina Rose says:

        Indeed.

  4. Monica says:

    Someone I am in contact with online has an extensive blog about the Araguz case.

    She has just published two new articles. One is a critique of a trash article like the one written about above, by Lisa Falkenberg. The other is about the Houston PBS interview Nikki gave the other day. The article includes transcript sections from the interview that seem worth reading.

    In the Houson PBS interview Nikki Araguz denies being transsexual. She portrays herself as being intersex in it, and distances herself from transsexuality.

    Check it out:

    http://thenikkiaraguztrial.blogspot.com/

    • Katrina Rose says:

      I have no idea where Nikki falls on the IS/TS spectrum, though I presume it will come out at some point during the court case.

      Sadly, given the current state of the law – and the Texas judiciary – I have trouble generating any animosity against anyone in Texas who tries to get out from under the TS categorization.c

      That blog is rather extensive. I’ve been wondering who is doing it.

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