Monday, December 11, 2017

What If God Was One of Us


If God had a name what would it be?
And would you call it to his face?
If you were faced with Him in all His glory
What would you ask if you had just one question?
What if God was one of us?
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Tryin' to make his way home?
-Eric Bazilian



I had a sweet grandmother who favored me a lot, and I would have followed her anywhere. One Sunday she decided to visit the church which was a block from our house and I went with her. I kept on going back, in spite of the weird stain glass windows and hideous ceiling rafters. I went back  because of my attachment for my grandmother. I had an idea about who God was and I've accepted his existence. Maybe I saw his existence in good people like my grandmother and later on in a good guy named Chuck Todd (No relation to the newscaster). Chuck was almost another father who helped me through those hard teenage years.
My friend Catherine doesn't see a reason for God's existence. Her mom asked Catherine to give church a try in her younger years. She even sang in choir at a Protestant church, but it was not a go. She grew up in a scientific family, both grandparents were doctors and couldn’t associate scientific data with the belief in an unknown higher being. Catherine had a great attachment and admiration for her grandfather.
"Yes. My grandpa wanted to invent the pill to help all the poor women who in those days had multiple children. I thought it wasn’t very godly to force these poor women to have children they couldn’t support. I felt religion was built on people’s fears and it was their way to explain the unknown, like what happens to you when you die. Some of the basic tenants I agreed with, helping the poor and treating others well, but trying to control people’s thinking and lives was unappealing." - Catherine O'Brien 
Catherine and I don't talk about science versus God. We have common ground on human rights and respect for civil liberties. When it comes to sexual assault and sexual misconduct, a person's character should matter and not his reputation. A person's reputation is only what people think of him.

This last month has been "flavor of the week" for guys getting called out on past misdeeds. And some real chickens coming home to roost on social media. A few like Al Franken and Charlie Rose have fallen on their swords about their dark deeds. And we watched members of NBC's Today show choke back the grief and utter the words that Matt Lauer, their fellow member, had been dismissed for his bad behavior. It can't be easy for those ladies to look at their audience and admit that one of their own had victimized women in the workplace. But on the flip side of this issue, those who claim to know Judge Roy Moore continue to dig in their heals about the person who they claim is God's choice to go the the Senate in December.

Roy Moore with Wife and supporter Kayla
Moore, who stands accused of sexual assault and pedophile behavior by 8 women, (many who were teenagers at the time when these incidents happened), has declared himself innocent of these charges. Moore's base, as well his campaign spokespersons, have all but claimed that the man can walk on water.  The most telling part of why some are defending him comes out when you hear people like Alan Keyes shout at reporters with fury and spit,"--- it is not up to Judge Moore to provide the truth. It is up to those who accuse in this country. We will not let you strip him of his personal rights--- of his person-hood the way you have stripped out unborn children!"
 His defenders are more concerned about the judge upholding the stone laws of the Bible and bringing a "Thy Kingdom Come" agenda to Washington DC and America.

Janet Porter a conservative activist and president of conservative group Faith2Action and
Janet Porter
Moore's campaign spokesperson, sees Roy Moore's candidacy as a religious mandate.
"This is ground zero for religious liberty; this is ground zero for life, and the winner of this Senate race is winner-
take-all; it will be the deciding vote on the United States Supreme Court who will sit on the court for the next 30 or 40 years." -Janet Porter CNN
In an interview with Anderson Cooper, Porter refused to answer directly about the allegations about her candidate.  Doing some fancy line dance moves on the issues of Roy Moore's character, her answers fit Coopers questions like a banana skin over a melon. Porter also invoked the names of James Dobson, Ben Carson, and Sarah Palin as endorsers.
As a kid growing up in the 60's, my home, my school, and my church were all on the same page about what was right and wrong in life, and especially about abuse and assaulting people. The standards used to be unshakable. Only the most harden or desperate person would continue to stand behind flimsy excuses, or tissues of lies.

Flip Berman, an Evangelical Christian minister and the national leader of Concord, North Carolina-based Operation Save America, a group that evolved from Operation Rescue, defended Moore's attraction for female minors. "He (Moore) did that because there is something about a purity of a young woman, there is something that is good, that's true, that's straight and he looked for that."NY Daily News November 22  
(L) Flip Berman (R) Jim Ziegler 
Do I have to point out to anyone how pervy that sounds? I've got more--- Jim Ziegler, Alabama State Auditor, told the Washington Examiner.
“Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist,” Ziegler said choosing his words carefully before invoking Christ. “Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”“There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here,” Ziegler concluded. “Maybe just a little bit unusual.” Washington Examiner November 9, 2017

These are desperate people who need to win the big one for God even if it means they will lie and defend a man who allegedly sexually assaulted, several teenage girls. While Moore does a great Billy Graham impression, Dean Young, a personal friend of Moore's and a chief political strategist for his campaign, gave a "mansplaining" defense of Moore's attractiveness to young girls: 
Dean Young doesn't believe the victims

"What I'm okay with is--- Judge Moore made it perfectly clear if he did date a teenager he didn't know about it so--- I can't tell you how many times I've been on a date and then asked a girl how old she was--- especially after I asked her mama if I could date them."- Dean Young CNN News

It's a real head-scratcher that an assistant DA whose should know the laws of his state, and should be smart enough to make sure a girl he's about to become involved with could be jail bait. Either that's another pathetic falsehood, or Young and Moore were living by their own personal code of don't ask, don't tell. 

Other remarks from potential voters have rationed that this all happened so long ago, that God has forgiven the Judge, and so it really makes everything alright.  I've never seen so many people dip their religious chocolate in the political peanut butter. This is what is know as relativistic situational
ethics. Some of these religious types are trying to reshape something wrong by explaining it with Bible scriptures, or excuse someone's behavior by saying we're all sinners and God forgives everyone.
Being desperate to get what they want, they've disregarded some of the concepts of their faith while engaging in verbal spats with journalists. Abandoning the "turn the cheek" philosophy of dealing with people, some of them reciting from the book of Trumpism, called reporters "the fake lying media from the swamp." Their talk wasn't adult-like or Christian for that matter.

I haven't seen Judge Roy Moore offer any credible defense against his accusers as of right now. I heard a lot of interesting remarks from people who speak for him. As a person who knows something about church culture, I can say that I've met some awesome people in my life. They were awesome because they were good people deep down inside. Also I've known some hurtful types of religious people too and I wouldn't trust them to take care of a child or a dog. Religion doesn't make you good. Religion just makes you religious. The same can be said for the humanist or the atheist. Being good is a choice that you work at, either in or outside of church. And maybe it starts with good people like my grandmother, or Catherine's grandpa.

CNN Graphic of Women who Moore Allegedly abused or pursued
Personally, I believe the victims. They've been living in the dark with this secret for too long. They've taken some risks to come out right now against a national figure like Roy Moore. They haven't been paid by the media to tell their stories. And as to why they waited so long to talk? In light of how survivor victims are treated regardless of when they choose to speak out, who can blame them?
My gut tells me, that if God was one of us, he'd tell some religious types to quit dropping his name because frankly, they've never met.

Special thanks to @Deja1422 on Twitter for sharing a little of herself to help. Her grandpa would be proud of her today.

Previous Issue:

Accusers Abusers and Losers



Rutgers Expands Support for Sexual Assault Victims


Monday, November 20, 2017

Accusers, Abusers, and And Losers

Road less Traveled
I've got nothing on my mind, 
Nothing to remember,
Nothing to forget.
And I've got nothing to regret. 
But I'm all tied up on the inside, 
No one knows quite what I've got, 
And I know that on the outside 
What I used to be 
I'm not anymore.
-Don McClean




I hope you will bear with my thoughts and opinions, because some of them are a little heady.
A week ago, by the time I hit the published button, it seemed like a dam had broken. Four more Roy Moore accusers stepped up to add their voices to the original ones. Now, with a few likable personalities such as Al Franken thrown into the mix, followed by President Trump's mocking, it has been a mental pile up of opinions, reactions, and Twitter drama.

For some of us, it's obvious to the most casual person, that someone who has a history of questionable behavior, followed by being banned from their own town's mall, is not suited for public office and needs to be called out on it. I continue to watch the behavior of Roy Moore. He not only says all of his accusers are liars, but he continues to invoke God, Jesus, and his pristine background as a husband, father, and grandfather.

Moore Staff and Supporters with religious zeal yell at media
It's a real moment in politics only found in Brady Bunch re-runs. Moore's wife and sweetheart (a real Carol Brady of the south,) Kayla, proudly stands by her man, along with Moore's political base. We saw a "Night of the Religious Dead" screaming at reporters recently. They barred them access to the Judge, calling the reporters "fake news from the swamp." (How original.)
   
On the flipside of this Sweet Home Alabama political scenario, news broke out about funny man turned, State Senator, Al Franken. Back in 2006 on a USO tour, Franken did some real dumb and inappropriate things with Leeann Tweeden, a radio host and former model. The photo was jaw dropping to some of his friends, fans, and followers. And the reactions were different. By the time the full effect was felt, it was like a 20-car pile-up. Opinions outside of the "gotcha" crowd, called for Franken's resignation, some felt the comparison to Donald Trump and Moore was unfair, others chimed in, "They all should go!"  While others suspect that the Franken attack was a hit job with a fake photo. Some of that back and forth discourse didn't end well. I even suspect some of this could have opened up old personal wounds of sexual abuse or harassment.

What I Use To Be, I'm Not Anymore

The reality for me has been that although there are unrepentant types in politics, in the entertainment arena, or even in my personal life, people are not perfect. They will disappoint and disillusion us and it hurts sometimes.

I've said very little on the subject of Bill Cosby, because the initial revelations and fallout almost
Bill Cosby and Cast of very famous 80's sitcom
wrecked me. I grew up in the sixties admiring him as an example of what a black man could become. He went from stand up comic to the voice of Fat Albert (giving moral lessons to kids),
iconic TV Dad in the 80's, and spokesman on many issues. So when the news of Cosby's serial sexual assaults came, it hit me like a wrecking ball. For awhile I was stunned into silence, and maybe secretly praying that this was some cruel prank or conspiracy. But as it became more evident that my idol was a rapist, I had to work through my five stages of grief and admit to myself, "Yes, he did those things."  I couldn't excuse him, or crawl into some imaginary Cliff Huxtable world. One of the lesson's I've learned is that, the truth may set you free, but it can sometimes hurt like hell.

To Al Franken's personal credit, he responded to the allegations almost immediately.
"The first thing I want to do is apologize: to Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women. There's more I want to say, but the first and most important thing—and if it's the only thing you care to hear, that's fine—is: I'm sorry.
"I respect women. I don't respect men who don't. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that, makes me feel ashamed.
"But I want to say something else, too. Over the last few months, all of us—including and especially men who respect women—have been forced to take a good, hard look at our own actions and think (perhaps, shamefully, for the first time) about how those actions have affected women. See full statement at CNN.com. 
SNL Comic turned Senator Al Franken 
An apology doesn't make everything rosy for the Senator. But maybe it highlights the difference in someone whose not running away from himself or what he did. His actions towards Miss Tweeden were wrong, the picture (according to one of my friends,) triggered her PTSD. This is why I've always said that rape is not, and cannot, be judged politically. This is a personal issue. And even when it's not personal for you, it can be for someone you know.
Simply illustrated: if the most likable person you know who also likes you as well, takes you to dinner and treats a waitress badly, maybe even pinches her ass, do you dismiss it? If she complains about it, do you say to her, "he really is a nice guy" or "he was just kidding..."  or "That's just the way he is. But he doesn't mean any harm." Then you've just co-signed with someone against that waitress who brought your food, kept your water glass filled, and served you with a smile.

All Tied Up On The Inside

It's okay to admit you're struggling with a nice guy's behavior. In fact to admit that to others, like Sarah Silverman did, is very human.
Stand-up Comic Sarah Silverman
"One of my best friends of over 25 years, Louie C.K, masturbated in front of women---He wielded his power with women and in f**ked up ways sometimes to the point where they left Comedy entirely. I could couch this with heartwarming stories of our friendship and what a great dad he is but that's totally irrelevant isn't it? Yes it is. It's a real mindf**k--- you know because,  I love Louie--- but Louie did these things. Both of those statements are true. So I just keep asking myself-- can you love someone who did bad things? Can you still love them? I can mull that over later certainly because the only people that matter right now are the victims. They are victims, and they're victims because of something he did--- so I hope it's okay if I am at once very angry for the women he wronged, and the culture that enabled it. And also sad, because he's my friend. But I believe with all my heart that this moment in time is essential it's vital that people are held accountable for their actions no matter who they are we need to be better--- we will be better.- Sarah Silverman Comments on Sexual Harassment
For me Sarah Silverman is a hero. That may repulse some of you because she's been associated with Louie CK. But I see her as someone who seems to be vulnerable and scared enough to admit this whole issue is a big fat freaking mess. The person she admired did this, and she's pissed and confused, and really doesn't want to talk about it. But she's laying it out there in an un-cute and unfunny way. That takes courage. She's not saying things to make the tribe or her fans feel better. It's just a messed up situation and it is what it is.

All Roads Lead To Where We Stand

Before I finish this next sentence, there will be more sexual harassment and sex assault revelations coming out. We have to also remember that there are also un-famous abusers still committing these crimes to not-so-famous people like ourselves. So maybe we have to ask ourselves-- "Does this get our attention because I care about the issue, and the people it hurts?" Or am I getting swept along because it's what's trending right now? It's not wrong to give input about the famous people who are in powerful positions in Hollywood, Government, or even in religion, but also if you truly want to see rape culture stopped, and bad behavior not normalized, we need to remember where be personally started with this issue. For me it was because a family member had been sexually assaulted. I became more aware about this issue because with every person who privately shared their story outside of the spotlight, something in me changed. I also remember feeling like a single voice trying to get others attention about rape, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other issues. When you care about something like this, you speak up for the people whose lives it's affecting. That's something that I try to remember for the sake of one more person who wonders if their life really matters.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends who strive to survive in this Invisible War.




Previous Issue

Her At Fourteen

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Her At Fourteen



Janis Ian wrote the words to a song about teenage awkwardness. Besides the struggle of figuring out where and how to fit in, many girls and boys deal with quiet secrets.

On Twitter the conversations have moved from #Metoo to #MeAt14. Some of the Tweets with shared
pics, reflect a time when we were too old for some things, and not grown-up enough for other things. Some of us had never used the word consent in a complete sentence, much less knew what it meant.

Left- @GottaLaff  Right- @Ynubet reflect on being 14
My friend, @GottaLaff Remembers: #MeAt14 "Nobody was more innocent, trusting. I had braces, I was shy, and couldn't talk to boys." When adults let us into their lives, we felt a little more grown-up too. We trusted them with our innocence, and in some cases aspired to be more like the ones closest to us. Some of the Tweets seem to open up deep wounds that should have never been inflicted as in the case of someone called @Ynubet: This is #MeAt14. I'd already endured several years of sexual assault and physical abuse by adults. This was me, finally happy, in my 2nd adoption. A short time after this was taken, I was assaulted twice by my peers. She was betrayed by adults who appeared to be trust-worthy. Some remember what it meant to be 14 or 17, in the worse way.


In 1979, Leigh Corfman, a 14 year old young girl sat outside a courtroom in Etowah County, Alabama with her mother. Her life was changing significantly because of a child custody hearing. She no doubt had many feelings going around in her head and what all of that would mean to her future. As she and her Mom sat on that wooden bench outside the courthouse, a friendly and charming 32 year old assistant district attorney, approached them and struck up a conversation with Leigh and her mother. Perhaps he was the most friendly face they has seen in the courthouse that day. The man's name was Roy Moore and his demeanor must have seemed disarming to the pair as he offered to sit and watch the young teen while mother bearded the lion in the judicial den. “He said, ‘Oh, you don’t want her to go in there and hear all that. I’ll stay out here with her.’ ” The mom, Nancy Wells, seemed impressed at the time, as she would later recall, “how nice for him to want to take care of my little girl.” Nancy then walked off and apparently never gave it a second thought. By the time her business in the courtroom was over, Roy Moore had charmed and flattered Leigh Corfman, asking about her school, personal interests, and concluding their talk with an exchange of phone numbers.

Leigh Corfman and Mom, Nancy Wells (1997)
Perhaps it was a strange and wonderful feeling that the teenager felt that day. She had a new friend in her life who was older, and an important one at that. In 1979 a fourteen year old girl living in a Bible belt state like Alabama would assuredly be naive compared to one living in this present day. No internet, no cell phones, and cable TV was less than a decade old. I mention these facts to say Leigh Corfman was a child who was about to keep company with an man twice her age.

Moore would convince this impressionable teenager to meet him around the corner from her house, and then drive her to his home where he engaged in criminal and lewd behavior.

Days later, she says, he picked her up around the corner from her house in Gadsden, drove her about 30 minutes to his home in the woods, told her how pretty she was and kissed her. On a second visit, she says, he took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.
“I wanted it over with — I wanted out,” she remembers thinking. “Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over.” Corfman says she asked Moore to take her home, and he did.- Washington Post November 9, 2017
In a scathing tell-all article from the Washington Post Judge Roy Moore's sexual life has been opened up for everyone to see. When you run for elected office, this is fair and realistic. Every rock will get turned over, every nook and cranny will be flushed through. It's the gauntlet you walk, or you drop out. Thirty witnesses, including Corfman's Mom, gave statements which back up what took place. The article also recounts other teenage girls stories, who knew him and he personally pursued these girls as well. Although nothing as sexually graphic happened with the other teenage girls at the time, the 32 year old Moore's pattern of behavior was unnerving for someone who was suppose to know and enforced the law. Roy Moore, now a judge with ambitions to grab the brass ring of the Senate, is calling this a hit job. Now 70, Moore laid out his political and personal track record to the media including a wonderful wife of 32 years, 4 children, highlighting the fact that one is a daughter. On the outside looking into Moore's life, he's a family man with so-called religious and moral convictions, plus a stellar career. Last weekend he seemed shocked and dismayed that someone would attack his life, especially now.
Roy Moore gives defense against allegations of sexual misconduct
"I've been investigated more than any other person in this country. To think that grown women would wait 40 years to come before--- right before an election to bring charges is absolutely unbelievable. Why now?"- Roy Moore  Veteran's Day campaign event. Birmingham, Alabama. November 11, 2017
If Moore had been on the outside looking in at Leigh Corfman's life, then (according to the WaPo article) he'd realize his encounter with her set off a chain of bad circumstances for the girl as she became a woman. What blamers and shamers of sexual assault don't see are the invisible scars of self-abuse survivors struggle with. Self-blame is the biggest struggle, which can turn into other problems.
“I felt responsible,” she says. “I felt like I had done something bad. And it kind of set the course for me doing other things that were bad.” She says that her teenage life became increasingly reckless with drinking, drugs, boyfriends, and a suicide attempt when she was 16." -Washington Post November 9, 2017
The young woman pushed her dirty secret down deeper. Leigh's attempt with marriage failed 3 times. Plus an unsuccessful try at business, got her in hot water with the IRS. She knew something was going haywire inside of her. Perhaps this dark secret about an assistant DA, now a judge, was pushing hard on her life. Roy Moore also didn't see that Leigh Corfman had struggled to confront him at least 3 times. According to the same article, Corfman had driven to the office of the career climbing judge. She sat outside his office rehearsing a speech in her mind that she didn't have the nerve to give him. Fear can hold back some survivors for days, while some survivors feel tethered for years.
Many things keep them from speaking out about the Harvey Weinsteins, the Bill Cosbys or any powerful person. Not all survivors speak out at the same time, (if they speak out at all.) Why now Mr. Moore? Perhaps because as you continued to rise to prominence in political circles it became harder and harder for Miss Corfman to escape seeing your face on television, wearing a Stetson and waving a toy gun. Or reading about you in the newspapers, or seeing you larger than life on a billboard.  Survivors always carry around a ton of guilt about their assault, But sooner or later they may have an "I don't give a damn" moment, and finally speak out. When you don't know how life works for a victim of pedophilia, rape, sexual assault, or sexual harassment, then you don't understand that speaking out won't come at a time that will make some people happy. And we don't get to tell a survivor when that will be.

One person is fighting for a political career. The other is fighting to break free and live as a whole person. Some people who see Judge Moore as a true religious pillar, shockingly have already said, "I would rather vote for a child molester, than some guy whose not from my party!" Does winning in politics, mean that you would violate your own moral standards? Maybe the rhetorical question for the sake of victims of sexual assault and the least of these in our country has to be: "What does it profit someone to gain everything, and lose their soul? And what would you give in exchange for your soul?" Roy Moore, and the voters of Alabama will have to answer those questions, sooner or later.

Special thanks to: 

@GottaLaff and @Ynubet reflect on Twitter
And all of those who have shared in the #MeAt14 trend. I've learned a lot.

Previous Issue:

Sexual assault behind the shield.Law And Disorder




Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Law and Disorder


"The abuse of women and girls is the most pervasive and unaddressed human rights violation on this Earth."                  
-Jimmy Carter


Warning: The following article contains graphic descriptions of sexual violence.

I would give this article a musical theme, but the issue is so vile it doesn't deserve one. we're in the #MeToo era in our society. Hollywood powerful types are being called out for predatory behavior. And that is good. We need to have that conversation. It can make a difference. 
I have a certain list for bad cops too: for either killing unarmed civilians, or rape. The first one has been heavily debated on social media with comments like,
Ayanna Cruver tells her story tearfully.
"you should always obey a police officer... he must have done something to get shot... Or the video doesn't tell the whole story." Good police deserve our respect and support.  But the shocking reality is, like the weeds among the wheat, there are bad cops among the good ones who do the one thing which they should be protecting people from. It can feel like a game of Russian roulette for a person to get pulled over in today's climate. You never know what could happen or if you will meet a good cop or bad cop. Ayanna Cruver was pulled over by a policeman. Her story had a good conclusion. But she felt the fear and horror that some feel when the police pulls a woman, or a person of color over these days. (Watch her video on YouTube) If her words or story causes feelings of empathy then you understand this issue better than most.

The latest scenario plays out like the Daniel Hotzclaw case. Some of you may remember the Oklahoma City cop who was brought to justice after sexually assaulting 13 African American women in 2015. I was hoping we would having seen the last of that sort of betrayal by some of our men in blue, but not so.
Two detectives, Edward Martins and Richard Hall, assigned to patrol the Coney Island neighborhood as part of an anti-drug unit, Brooklyn South Narcotics, broke off from the rest of their team and stopped 18-year-old Anna Chambers and two of her friends, both men, driving an Infinity coupe in Calvert Vaux Park.  As one of the detectives shined his flashlight through the window and saw the young woman adjusting her bra the other one asked if she was hiding something, Anna told him she was simply adjusting her nipple piercing.  The detectives asked her to prove it, and the young woman complied by lifting up her top, exposing her breasts.
Trolling Cops handcuff suspect with false motives
Like Daniel Hotzclaw, these 2 cops were trolling for vulnerable women who may have run afoul of the law before.  So when they came across a small amount of grass and other pills, they didn't call for back up, or even arrest the male passengers. They simply removed the Chambers, put cuffs on her and drove away. Martins called the woman’s friends who were left behind telling them not to follow them. The number was blocked keeping them from being located. According to the prosecutor for this case, Frank DeGaetano:
It was then that Detective Martins sat down next to the woman and said that he and his partner were “freaks,” asking her what she wanted to do to avoid being arrested, Mr. DeGaetano said. After tightening the handcuffs, Detective Martins pulled out his penis and forced the woman to perform oral sex on him, Mr. DeGaetano said. Then he turned her around, pulled her pants down and raped her, Mr. DeGaetano added, as Detective Hall watched through the rearview mirror and the young woman cried and pleaded with Detective Martins to stop. -NY Times October 30, 2017
Anna Chambers
This was followed by the men driving to a quiet location, switching places, Hall then sexually assaulted Miss Chambers. Apparently the detectives drove her a few blocks away from the precinct where she called her friends. The victim told her male friends of the attack, and they took her to a hospital, where a rape kit was done, and the DNA evidence proved positive for sexual activity.
However admitting to the crime must have been beneath both Martin and Hall's pay grade. They both said the sex was consensual. The idea that two of New York's Finest' best defense for this heinous act was to call it "consensual" was not only unprofessional, but seriously pathetic.
New York City Councilman Mark Treyger is determine to close an arguable loophole in the law. He says whatever happened in the van should be illegal and that a person in police custody cannot give consent.
"There is no such thing as consensual sex when someone else is in police custody. That is rape," NYC Councilman Mark Treyger.- NBC4 New York
Currently both men's lawyers are trying to defend them on the grounds that Miss Chambers trapped them both into sex, and then she was attempting to get some sort of possible payout. The defense is attempting to paint this young woman as being a questionable witness who was apprehended with drugs on her. However no formal charges were filed against Chambers.
Like any horrific act, the victim is still trying to deal with the aftermath of it all. According to  another article, in People:
Her attorney, Michael David, tells PEOPLE “She feels helpless and depressed, and she stays in a room all day,” David tells PEOPLE. “She was planning to go to college next semester, but she won’t be doing that anymore. Two monsters with badges and guns drove off with her in a small minivan and raped her while on duty.”- People/Crime People.com October 30, 2017
Miller and Hall arraigned with no blue wall support for them- NY Times
Okay, I get it. We no longer live in the day and age of Joe Friday, or Reed and McCoy the polite TV cops who tipped their hats, and said,"Just the facts ma'am." Some seem to like their detectives, a little more sexy, with a few vices, and edgier these days. But policemen are still thought of as exceptional men and women in the public's eye. What they should represent is honesty, respect for those they serve, and doing the right thing even when no one is looking. The question in many people's minds no doubt is: how do you trust the people who carry a badge, and are suppose to represent the finest ideas in a society when they give in to the darkest perversions and deepest of human betrayals, just because they have power over us? To some that may sound like hyperbole, but we've seen far too many acts of police misconduct to write this off as just another isolated incident.
Anna Chambers was brave enough to undergo an embarrassing Rape kit probe, and report her rape to the police, thus coming back with a 50-count indictment from the DA.
Typically, when officers are charged with crimes, their colleagues come to court in a sea of blue uniforms to support them. But on Monday, October 30, not one officer appeared in court with Detectives Martins and Hall. Hopefully that will be an omen in the victim's favor.

Special Thanks to:

Anna Chambers @annaaachambers for allowing me to share her story. Give her a word of encourament on Twitter.

Previous Issue

Truth and Justice, ...the Deplorable Way
It's Fox News versus  Superman! No really. Fox editorializes the dangers  of children reading comics where a super hero prevents immigrants from being slaughtered by an American patriot.

On My Vlog Channel 

Check out the first YouTube video on Audrie And Daisy. The only thing as bad as sexual assault, is when others side with the perpetrators.

Thank you all for your support.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Truth and Justice... The Deplorable Way

Fox News writer Todd Starnes, recently wrote an opinion piece where he claims Superman has now become a propaganda tool for the defenders of so-called illegal aliens.
"In the most recent issue of Action Comics, Superman comes to the rescue of a group of illegal aliens -- under attack from a white guy wearing an American flag bandanna and waving around a machine gun."- Fox News Opinion September 13, 2017
Superman protects immigrants from a
hail of gunfire in Action Comics 987
 He then points out that Superman seems to shirk his duty by not rounding up the undocumented immigrants, but harasses the white man (Or as he calls him, the American). Now if you are an avid  Superman comic fan, then I would encourage you to buy this edition, (Action Comics # 987) and judge for yourself. But for those engaged in the human rights narrative, please bear with me, I'll try not to nerd you out too much. Mr. Starnes POV will either make you roll your eyes, or wonder if Fox is having a slow news day. Todd seems to think that the Man of Steel no longer represents Truth, Justice, and the American way. Now Superman has a new agenda; which is to protect the other kind; alien invaders.

It's funny how some people like him forget that the character was created by two Jewish kids who were sons of immigrants. Jerry Siegel, and Joe Shuster, created a personal wish fulfillment of a character who would defend those who were defenseless. Shuster admitted that he was a victim of school and neighbor bullies because of his size, while Siegel was klutzy and awkward. Both boys wore glasses, and were shy around the girls (See where the Clark Kent idea came in?). Beyond that, they heard reports of a man who was threatening the very existence relatives and friends who couldn't escape injustice and tyranny in Europe.
"There is an assumption that there is an absolute standard of justice in the world. It's also
Creator and cartoonist Joe Shuster at 17 trying to become a Superman
true to the immigrant experience in that point in their hope for justice. 'We have come here-- we have come to this land. It will be okay here-- it will be okay and just here.' These are families that have come over from Europe, and they're watching whoever they left behind disappear in a very scary fashion."
- Paul Levitz, President and Publisher of DC Comics (2002-2009) From the documentary, Secret Origin
Fox News takes exception that the DC's lead character would take a global stance against cold blooded murder of a group of people by this righteous America with an patriotic flag around his forehead. But ever since I remember, Superman has always had this thing about social justice. The Radio version feature a story called  "The Clan of The Fiery Cross" Yep you heard it right. Superman took on the KKK in a story of crime and white supremacy.  Some of the members of the group were business men, and all of them consider themselves good patriotic Americans who shouted "America for real Americans" while they terrorized a Hispanic boy and his family. Wow! Maybe bigotry never dies, it just hibernates...


The Man of Steel portrayed by George Reeves and assisted by Lois Lane, (Phyllis Coates)
 guards the entry to a hospital where a wounded alien is.
In the 1950's when TV sets were coming in every home, Superman intervened between a small town full of scared people who tried to burn and lynch some inner Earth dwellers. This was as close as Television dared to get to the issue of racism in "Superman and The Mole Men." It's 2nd rate Sci-Fi by today's standards, but fans of early television remember how George Reeves looked as he remarked, to the town bully boss, "Now I'm going to give you one last chance to stop acting like Nazi storm troopers!" The town tough shouts at him in outrage. "Who are you to tell us what to do?" His words counters Luke Benson's bluster, "All I'm telling you is that little creature has as much right to live as you do!" The reincarnation of Superman with the Lois and Clark Series in 1993 sees Superman and the Daily
"Vigilance is the Price of Liberty,"
warns Perry White
Planet staff clashing with the emergence of the Fourth Reich. At the end, a distraught Perry White (Lane Smith) discovers one of his own college friends was a Nazi, as he laments the Thomas Jefferson quote; "Vigilance is the price of Liberty," warning his staff that there are more out there of that kind. Seems an eerie foretelling in the face of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Could it be that some media outlets and opinion writers are finding themselves on the wrong side of certain issues? While some political types want to re-define what the American way is, they're afraid that Truth and Justice has evolved in to some sort of political correctness, which could brainwash kids. To further shame the comic industry, Starnes scoffs that maybe DC will issue a story where we will see The Flash bringing Mexicans across the border, or Wonder Woman rounding up white Texas Ranchers with her lasso, who are just trying to defend their land. (No doubt referring to the Cliven Bundy stand-off in Nevada)  The inference of course is comic heroes have evolved into agents of liberal America.

The psychology here is (IMO) that if you've always got your political switch on, you're going to see things through the eyes of your politics. I'm reminded of watching Brene Brown on CBS This Morning as she recounts her Hurricane Harvey experience. She calls it "Holding Hands With Strangers." 
Hurricane Harvey victims assisting each other during crisis
"As a Hustonian, we were just massively reminded-- my husband was in a kayak pulling neighbors out of their houses. I was in a shelter-- there was no time did I see people say, 'I will help you. What is your political belief?-- who did you vote for?' We need to hold hands with strangers. We need reminders-- collective joy and pain-- reminders that we are inextricably connected to each other by something greater than us-- and we need that on a daily basis." - Brene Brown interview, CBS This Morning 
 Maybe the whole idea of a Super-man is the idea of helping those who need help no matter what their status in life is. Maybe a lot of people who helped out in Texas and Florida read a comic book or two when they were kids, or maybe not. It could be the only super power needed is just to give a damn.

Acknowledgements:
 The Superman Trademark and images related, are the property of  Warner Bros., DC Entertainment Inc, Warner Communications 2017.

Special Thanks to:
 Reverb Press on Twitter who broke the story first.
also to my social justice warrior friend on Twitter, Sherry Lucich. @Comixgrrl 

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Rape Insurance???


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Rape Insurance???


I've learned that people will forget what you said, 
People will forget what you did, 
But they will never forget,
 How you made them feel
-Maya Angelou


I had originally written this story for publishing last month, but out of respect to the flood victims of Houston, Texas, I put a pin in it.

Apparently some women of Texas are being made to feel as though they were born the wrong gender, and their body parts are a pre-existing condition. Or do their male lawmakers need a "Freaky Friday" experience before they write laws regulating a woman's body? State Rep. John Smithee (R-Texas) authored a bill that would require women in the state of Texas to have Insurance covering all non-threatening medical procedures. "Now This News" on Twitter  posted the ironic fact that Smithee himself admits he doesn't understand why a woman has a hysterectomy, a breast exam, or any medical procedure.

Smithee defends his bill on the floor, but can't
 answer questions about women's reproductive issues.
It begs the question, what makes some of the Texas lawmakers feel qualified to past laws about women's reproductive needs while being incompetent on the subject, or why companies from covering abortion care in their standard plans, requiring women to pay extra premiums for coverage if they think they may need abortions at some point. In a nutshell for women, if she's raped and becomes pregnant but did not predict she might need to have an abortion when making her insurance coverage selections for the year, then she would have to pay out up-front for an abortion. This bill, believe it or not, is call "Rape Insurance." It's an open secret that Greg Abbott has been attempting to kill women's reproductive rights in Texas since he took office. Abbott's main target has been Planned Parenthood. It's amazing how he sits at his desk and in a Trump style manner, flashes the signed bill before the cameras in triumph of Texas rights over a woman's rights.

Whatever injustices female rape victims endure, including rape kit backlogs, the failure of law enforcement and the courts to catch and convict rapists, to add the burden that a victim, no matter what her economic status is, cannot get a legal abortion under this new law, unless she has already paid for it in advance is criminal. 
Gregg Abbott, Governor Tx proudly puts his signature to bill.
Texas has callously, in the name of economic freedom, written a bill that (they say) no longer obligates taxpayers to subsidize medical procedures that they may find morally objectionable.  This is of course a dog-whistle for the anti-abortion crowd and another attempt to strike a political win for their side.
Their idea of economic freedom for taxpayers, leaves incest and rape victims at the mercy of their circumstances. A victim who gets pregnant through a crime has no recourse, and no other options unless they can pay additional out-of-market premiums just to protect themselves. The sad part is this was passed by mostly male lawmakers. State Rep. John Smithee who authored this cruel bill couldn't tell you how a woman's reproductive system works.
Dr. Eugene Gu, a resident physician at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and president of the Ganogen Research Institute remarked in an article: 
"Rape victims by definition lose control over their own bodies during rape. Texas lawmakers essentially just took away that last drop of control women have afterwards. This law would have been much less controversial had they included these very basic exceptions and it is beyond puzzling why they did not do so. It is also ironic that they speak of economic freedom for the taxpayer while subjecting women to the most cruel form of economic control."-  
Texas 'rape insurance' bill is about economic violence against women. The Hill
 But according to Texas, women must plan to be raped. And parents shouldn't take their children around relatives or plan for their children to be victims of incest,” Texas Rep. Chris Turner (D) said before the bill passed. “Asking a woman or a parent to foresee something like that and buy supplemental insurance to cover that horrific possibility is not only ridiculous, it is cruel.”- Texas Tribune August 9, 2017

I think winning the abortion war at all costs has become the main goal with the politically righteous. People like these, don't look at a person's individual circumstances, or for that matter anyone's situation. That is what's called being out of touch with the people. They focus on making things appear to look better with new political paint over corrosive circumstances. But then again, looking like a winner is all that matters. I think the Houston Chronicle summed it up best.
"Our state lawmakers can't figure out how to cut our property taxes or fix our broken method of financing public schools. But when it comes to devising new ways of harassing women who want to end pregnancies, they're as inventive as Thomas Edison. "-Health insurance restriction is just the latest scheme to deny women access to abortion- Houston Chronicle, August 17, 2017

Special thanks to: 
Daughter of a SgtMaj‏ @bodyfit67 on Twitter who reminded me to un-pin the story.

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Where is The Love?



"But if you only have love for your own race,
Iesha Evans confronting Baton Rouge police 2016
Then you only leave space to discriminate.
And to discriminate only generates hate,
And when you hate then you're bound to get irate, yeah.
Madness is what you demonstrate.
And that's exactly how anger works and operates.
Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight.
Take control of your mind and meditate.
Let your soul gravitate to the love

-Black Eye Peas

"I'm human. I'm a woman. I'm a mom. I'm a nurse. I could be your nurse. I could be taking care of you. You know?" Evans said. "I'm here. We all matter. We don't have to beg to matter. We do matter."
Iesha Evans in a CBS interview last year, explained the reason for her face-to-face confrontation with the police in this now famous picture. She had watched the killing of young men like Philando Castile by the police, even when they had the upper-hand. Moments like these need to be remembered because we see Iesha trying to give an answer of non-violence to (what appears to be) an epidemic of rising police brutality, and yes, sexual assault.

Sexual misconduct among police officers is the second most common complaint. However, sexual abuse by officers may be underreported because of flawed or absent reporting procedures or the victims’ unwillingness to come forward. Hence, officer sexual misconduct is sometimes referred to as a “hidden crime.”

Esmerelda Rossi 
In Chandler Arizona, Officer Doug Rose enters the home of Esmerelda Rossi on the pretense of investigating a domestic dispute complaint by Rossi's ex-husband. When her daughter interrupted her mom's shower to announce the police were there, the woman wrapped a towel around herself and asked the office to please wait at the door. He refused to do so. Rose then tells Rossi that she was under arrest. The cop grabs her arms causing the towel to drop while you can hear hysteria from both the mom and daughter. After giving the traumatize woman a lecture, both Rose and his partner leave. It was quite evident Rose had entered the home illegally, and conducted a perverted act. Also note Rose's body cam was not turned on. It would have been a true "He said, she said" situation if Esmerelda's daughter had not turned on her cell phone.

According to the Atlantic Black Star: Black women have a high risk of being victims of this abuse. During a frisk, officers may pat down any areas where they think a gun might be concealed, including intimate areas. Many women report feeling extremely humiliated during these experiences, particularly if the officer is male. Because Black women are more likely to be stopped by the police, and also more likely to be frisked during these stops, they are at higher risk for being sexually assaulted during a stop.
Some rogue cops may use racist tactics to conduct a search on women of color such as looking for drugs. When Charnesia Corley was a 20 year old college student in Texas, she was pulled over for allegedly running a stop sign and failing to use turn signals. Corley was made to stand, handcuffed,
Charnesia Corley
outside her car while two officers look inside. She underwent an illegal body cavity search on the premise that the police detected the smell of marijuana. Corley was then put on the ground, naked below the waist, and examined for about 11 minutes by a female officer using a flashlight. The incident happened in the parking lot of a Texaco garage in Houston late on a June evening in 2015. At first Corley wouldn't comply with the officer's demands for the cavity search, until the police officer threaten to break her legs. This was a similar tactic Daniel Holtzclaw used in Oklahoma City to conduct a reign of Terror on 13 black women. He would pull black women over, run the suspects driver's license. Some of the women had outstanding warrant's or priors such as possession small ounce of Marijuana. Holtzclaw would threaten his victims with being locked up, or performing a sex act on him. A big factor seemed to play in Holtzclaw's favor is that many people question the credibility of a black woman against a police officer.

These Houston officer's who pulled Charnesia Corley over for a traffic violation escalated the situation into a sexual assault. You can argue all you want to about the police doing their job, but this was a humiliating experience for the victim. “When you stick your fingers in somebody without their effective consent, that’s rape in any state that I know of,” said Sam Cammack, an attorney for Charnesia Corley. -The Guardian August 15, 2017
I've been amazed by some on social media who can look at a video of a act of abuse, or murder, and dismiss it. Please note no charges against Charnesia Corley were pressed. 

I pause to say, it's not fair to paint all cops with the same brush, but the bad cops reputations are proceeding them. Most of you saw the video of a frighten female motorist who was stopped by Lt. Greg Abbott in Atlanta GA. She was afraid to move or use her cell phone because she had seen way too many videos of cops. Abbott then retorted the dumbest comment since Jim Crow.
“But, you’re not black. Remember, we only shoot black people. We only kill black people, right? All the videos you’ve seen, have you seen the black people get killed?”
There is no excuse for sexual assault or sexual misconduct by the police. Both Rose and Abbott were given retirement pay and quietly slipped out of sight. No criminal charges were ever filed. Because sexual assault has gone unreported for a long time, that has been my focus. I usually leave mainstream civil rights to others. But I continue to see evidence of racism and sexual assault joining forces, and it's mind- numbing to me this we live in a society, where there are predators among the protectors, and we can't tell one from another.

"The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept." 
-David Morrison Former Lt. General, Australian Army 


Special thanks to: 
Barbara Jackson @Nyota_nuru on Twitter for passing on the story of :Looking at How Black Women Are Policed in America
Related Article:
The Times They Are A Changin 

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