Thursday, January 31, 2013

Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese Releases Priest Abuse Files

From "The New York times"  --  please follow link to original

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After years of legal battles, the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles on Thursday released the files of priests accused of molesting children and removed a senior clergyman who had been linked to efforts to conceal the abuse.
The archdiocese also said the clergyman's former top aide had stepped down.
"The 2013 public release of the files of clergy who were subject of the 2007 global settlement concludes a sad and shameful chapter in the history of our local church," the archdiocese said in a statement.
The files containing thousands of pages were made public more than a week after church records relating to 14 priests were unsealed as part of a separate civil suit, showing that church officials plotted to conceal the molestations from law enforcement as late as 1987.
Archbishop Jose Gomez said in a statement that he had informed his predecessor, Cardinal Roger Mahony, that he was barred from any future administrative or public duties in the church.
Additionally, Gomez said Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry had stepped down as regional bishop of Santa Barbara.
Mahony and Curry, his top adviser, both worked to send priests accused of abuse out of state to shield known molesters in the clergy from law enforcement scrutiny in the 1980s, the files released previously showed.
"To every victim of child sexual abuse by a member of our Church: I want to help you in your healing. I am profoundly sorry for these sins against you," Gomez said.

LA archbishop relieves retired cardinal of duties

From "The Sacramento Bee"  --  please follow link to original

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez announced Thursday night that he has relieved retired Cardinal Roger Mahony of his remaining duties and a former top aide to Mahony has stepped down from his current post, on the same night the church released thousands of pages of personnel files of priests accused of sexual abuse.
"I find these files to be brutal and painful reading," Gomez said in a statement, referring to the newly released files made public by the church Thursday night just hours after a judge's order. "The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children."
Gomez announced that he has "informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties."
Mahony, who retired in 2011 after more than a quarter-century at the helm of the archdiocese, has publicly apologized for mistakes he made in dealing with priests who molested children.
Gomez also said Thomas Curry, former vicar of the clergy under Mahony who was the cardinal's point person in dealing with priests accused of molestation, has stepped down from his current job as auxiliary bishop for the archdiocese's Santa Barbara region. Curry also issued an apology earlier this month.
Earlier Thursday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Emilie Elias ordered the diocese to turn over some 30,000 pages from the confidential files of priests accused of child molestation without blacking out the names of top church officials who were responsible for handling priests accused of abuse.
The judge gave the archdiocese until Feb. 22 to turn over the files to attorneys for the alleged victims, but they were released almost immediately.
The archdiocese, the nation's largest, had planned to black out the names of members of the church hierarchy who were responsible for the priests, and instead provide a cover sheet for each priest's file, listing the names of top officials who handled that case. The church reversed course Wednesday after The Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times and plaintiff attorneys objected in court.
A record-breaking $660 million settlement in 2007 with more than 500 alleged victims paved the way for the ultimate disclosure of the tens of thousands of pages, but the archdiocese and individual priests fought to keep them secret for more than five years.
A first round of 14 priest files made public in Los Angeles nearly two weeks ago showed that Mahony and other top officials maneuvered behind the scenes to shield molester priests, provide damage control for the church and keep parishioners in the dark about sexual abuse in their parishes. Those documents, released as part of an unrelated civil lawsuit, were not redacted and provided a glimpse of what could be contained in the larger release.
The files, some of them dating back decades, contain letters among top church officials, accused priests and archdiocese attorneys, complaints from parents, medical and psychological records and - in some cases - correspondence with the Vatican.
Similar document releases in other dioceses, including Boston, have shown top church officials shuffled molesting priests from parish to parish, failed to call police and kept parishioners in the dark.

Read more here:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dexter Gordon and Sonny Stitt: 1962 Rare Session

Anythin' - Sonny Stitt, Dizzy Gillespie

Caught Attacking Rape Victims, Rep. Cathrynn Brown Claims She Only Meant to Punish Those Who Help Rape Victims

This from "Pandagon"  --  more proof Republicans are insane, heartless, autocratic, evil, almost-people.

Please follow link to original

I reported two days ago on a New Mexico state legislator named Cathrynn Brown who introduced a bill banning abortion for rape victims that required jail time for rape victims who dare refuse to continue a pregnancy forced upon them. She got a lot of attention for this, and so she’s now doing what Republicans do when caught being too openly hostile towards victims of gender-based violence, and backtracking. Now she claims she didn’t mean for women seeking to end rape-induced pregnancies to see jail time for “destroying evidence” (yeah right), and she’s rewriting the bill to clarify that you’ll only do time if you help a rape victim end a pregnancy. Which means that providers will be threatened with jail.
But just to be clear: She’s specifically trying to ban abortion for rape victims. She wants New Mexico to be a state where any man can decide at any point in time to forcibly impregnate a woman, and that woman is barred legally from doing anything about it.
What’s becoming clear is that as the Republican Party moves to the right, the official bipartisan stance against violence against women is being abandoned. There’s always been an interesting tension between the right wing base and the Republican Party on this. The base is, not to put too fine a point on it, more sympathetic to perpetuators of much violence against women than victims of it. For instance, right wing media has basically always opposed the Violence Against Women Act. The objections have centered around the bullshit claim that victims are liars, though in many cases, the argument has been that the government’s approach to domestic violence is to try encourage victims of batterers to stay with their abusers. This is a fine line for conservatives to walk, because almost never do they want to say that all victims of rape or domestic violence are to blame.
But still, recent events make clear that the hardline sexist view of rape and domestic violence is gaining credence on the right. You see it with “legitimate rape” and all the various attempts by House Republicans to define rape only as “forcible” rape. That would have the effect of defining statutory rape, rape of an incapacitated person, and possibly even rape that was achieved through threats as non-rape.
The ugly reality is, as anyone who discusses gender online can tell you, that the hardline conservative base is blatantly misogynist and happy to do things like blame women for men hitting them, or claim that men are entitled to rape women who agree to unchaperoned dates with them. Nowadays the conservative base is tired of pretending to be more moderate than they are in order to help Republicans get elected. They’re expanding the battle of reproductive rights to attack contraception. They’re heckling people who’ve lost loved ones to gun violence. Feigned “compassionate conservatism” has instead turned into ugly attacks on the “47%” and claiming that anyone who votes for a Democrat is lazy and refuses to work. It’s not surprising, therefore, that deeply ugly attitudes about rape and domestic violence are no longer contained in spittle-flecked blog comments or uttered only behind closed doors, but are now coming out of the mouths of politicians and being turned into policy. Make no mistake; looking to pass laws banning rape victims specifically from aborting is part of this bigger picture.

Economic Slump

Earlier I saw a headline that said:  "Economy in U.S. Shrinks as Defense Spending Slumps".

Interesting, but nothing strange   ---   right?  Well, no.  It should be seen as "strange" because defense spending is GOVERNMENT SPENDING  ---  and we "all" know that government spending does NOT, in any way, manner, shape, or form stimulate the economy  --  right?

In fact, according to the VSP's the RIGHT way to prosperity is budget cuts, "entitlement" cuts, LOWER taxes on the RICH, and a higher tax burden on what's left of the middle class and the poor  --  thus lowering the deficit, and making the already rich even richer  --  because insanity, and greed know no bounds.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch the last time government spending was going to be cut, along with higher taxes  --  something that would have actually cut the deficit - for now - was called a "fiscal cliff" by these same VSP's.  Something to be avoided at all costs.

Why does ANYONE still listen to these fools?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

'Don't Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie' by Long John Baldry

Long John Baldry (12-string guitar); Sam Mitchell (guitar, slide guitar, dobro); Caleb Quaye (guitar); Alan Skidmore (tenor saxophone); Elton John (piano, organ); Ian Armitt (piano); Roger Pope (drums); Doris Troy, Lesley Duncan, Liza Strike, Tony Burrows, Tony Hazzard, Kay Garner (background vocals).

Bill Evans Trio - Autumn Leaves

Bill Evans: Piano
Scott LaFaro: Bass
Paul Motian: Drums

Thelonious Monk's Bootleg Series1972a :I can't get started

Dizzy Gillespie, tp
Kai Winding, tb
Sonny Stitt, as, ts
Thelonious Monk, p
Al McKibbon, b
Roy Haynes, dr


TRUE equality will only be realized when we have gay guys with four ex-husbands, "blended families" of lesbians, etc.  Only when we have "quickie marriages" performed in some place like Las Vegas, by (let us say) Harvey Fierstein, Rock Hudson, or Judy Garland impersonators, will "gay marriage" (AKA: EQUAL RIGHTS) actually be equal to the insanity of the rest of society.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Non Zero-Sum Society

This by Robert Reich sums up the major problem facing the USA.  Our supposed "masters of the universe", our 1%, our "makers, not takers" are IDIOTS, who do not understand what benefits them in the long run.

Please follow link to original.

As President Obama said in his inaugural address last week, America “cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it.”
Yet that continues to be the direction we’re heading in.
 A newly-released analysis by the Economic Policy Institute shows that the super-rich have done well in the economic recovery while almost everyone else has done badly. The top 1 percent of earners’ real wages grew 8.2 percent from 2009 to 2011, yet the real annual wages of Americans in the bottom 90 percent have continued to decline in the recovery, eroding by 1.2 percent between 2009 and 2011.
In other words, we’re back to the widening inequality we had before the debt bubble burst in 2008 and the economy crashed.
But the President is exactly right. Not even the very wealthy can continue to succeed without a broader-based prosperity. That’s because 70 percent of economic activity in America is consumer spending. If the bottom 90 percent of Americans are becoming poorer, they’re less able to spend. Without their spending, the economy can’t get out of first gear. 
That’s a big reason why the recovery continues to be anemic, and why the International Monetary Fund just lowered its estimate for U.S. growth in 2013 to just 2 percent. 
Almost a quarter of all jobs in America now pay wages below the poverty line for a family of four. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 7 out of 10 growth occupations over the next decade will be low-wage — like serving customers at big-box retailers and fast-food chains.
At this rate, who’s going to buy all the goods and services America is capable of producing? We can’t return to the kind of debt-financed consumption that caused the bubble in the first place.
Get it? It’s not a zero-sum game. Wealthy Americans would do better with smaller shares of a rapidly-growing economy than with the large shares they now possess of an economy that’s barely moving.
If they were rational, the wealthy would support public investments in education and job-training, a world-class infrastructure (transportation, water and sewage, energy, internet), and basic research – all of which would make the American workforce more productive.
If they were rational they’d even support labor unions – which have proven the best means of giving working people a fair share in the nation’s prosperity.
But labor unions are almost extinct.
The decline of labor unions in America tracks exactly the decline in the bottom 90 percent’s share of total earnings, and shrinkage of the middle class.
In the 1950s, when the U.S. economy was growing faster than 3 percent a year, more than a third of all working people belonged to a union. That gave them enough bargaining clout to get wages that allowed them to buy what the economy was capable of producing.
Since the late 1970s, unions have eroded – as has the purchasing power of most Americans, and not coincidentally, the average annual growth of the economy.
Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics  reported that as of 2012 only 6.6 percent of workers in the private sector were unionized. (That’s down from 6.9 percent in 2011.) That’s the lowest rate of unionization in almost a century.
What’s to blame? Partly globalization and technological change. Globalization sent many unionized manufacturing plants abroad.
Manufacturing is starting to return to America but it’s returning without many jobs. The old assembly line has been replaced by robotics and numerically-controlled machine tools.
Technologies have also replaced many formerly unionized workers in telecommunications (remember telephone operators?) and clerical jobs.
But wait. Other nations subject to the same forces have far higher levels of unionization than America. 28 percent of Canada’s workforce is unionized, as is more than 25 percent of Britain’s, almost 20 percent of Germany’s.  
Unions are almost extinct in America because we’ve chosen to make them extinct.
Unlike other rich nations, our labor laws allow employers to replace striking workers. We’ve also made it exceedingly difficult for workers to organize, and we barely penalized companies that violate labor laws. (A worker who’s illegally fired for trying to organize a union may, if lucky, get the job back along with back pay – after years of legal haggling.)
Republicans, in particular, have set out to kill off unions. Union membership dropped 13 percent last year in Wisconsin, which in 2011 curbed the collective bargaining rights of many public employees. And it fell 18 percent last year in Indiana, which last February enacted a right-to-work law (allowing employees at unionized workplaces to get all the benefits of unionization without paying for them). Last month Michigan enacted a similar law.
Don’t blame globalization and technological change for why employees at Walmart , America’s largest employer, still don’t have a union. They’re not in global competition and their jobs aren’t directly threatened by technology.
The average pay of a Walmart worker is $8.81 an hour. A third of Walmart’s employees work less than 28 hours per week and don’t qualify for benefits.

Walmart is a microcosm of the American economy. It has brazenly fought off unions. But it could easily afford to pay its workers more. It earned $16 billion last year. Much of that sum went to Walmart’s shareholders, including the family of its founder, Sam Walton.
The wealth of the Walton family now exceeds the wealth of the bottom 40 percent of American families combined, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.

But how can Walmart expect to continue to show fat profits when most of its customers are on a downward economic escalator?
Walmart should be unionized. So should McDonalds. So should every major big-box retailer and fast-food outlet in the nation. So should every hospital in America.
That way, more Americans would have enough money in their pockets to get the economy moving. And everyone – even the very rich – would benefit.
As Obama said, America cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it.

Makers, Takers, Fakers By PAUL KRUGMAN

Here is Prof. Krugman's latest column from The New York Times.  Please follow link to original.

Republicans have a problem. For years they could shout down any attempt to point out the extent to which their policies favored the elite over the poor and the middle class; all they had to do was yell “Class warfare!” and Democrats scurried away. In the 2012 election, however, that didn’t work: the picture of the G.O.P. as the party of sneering plutocrats stuck, even as Democrats became more openly populist than they have been in decades.
As a result, prominent Republicans have begun acknowledging that their party needs to improve its image. But here’s the thing: Their proposals for a makeover all involve changing the sales pitch rather than the product. When it comes to substance, the G.O.P. is more committed than ever to policies that take from most Americans and give to a wealthy handful.
Consider, as a case in point, how a widely reported recent speech by Bobby Jindal the governor of Louisiana, compares with his actual policies.
Mr. Jindal posed the problem in a way that would, I believe, have been unthinkable for a leading Republican even a year ago. “We must not,” he declared, “be the party that simply protects the well off so they can keep their toys. We have to be the party that shows all Americans how they can thrive.” After a campaign in which Mitt Romney denounced any attempt to talk about class divisions as an “attack on success,” this represents a major rhetorical shift.
But Mr. Jindal didn’t offer any suggestions about how Republicans might demonstrate that they aren’t just about letting the rich keep their toys, other than claiming even more loudly that their policies are good for everyone.
Meanwhile, back in Louisiana Mr. Jindal is pushing a plan to eliminate the state’s income tax, which falls most heavily on the affluent, and make up for the lost revenue by raising sales taxes, which fall much more heavily on the poor and the middle class. The result would be big gains for the top 1 percent, substantial losses for the bottom 60 percent. Similar plans are being pushed by a number of other Republican governors as well.
Like the new acknowledgment that the perception of being the party of the rich is a problem, this represents a departure for the G.O.P. — but in the opposite direction. In the past, Republicans would justify tax cuts for the rich either by claiming that they would pay for themselves or by claiming that they could make up for lost revenue by cutting wasteful spending. But what we’re seeing now is open, explicit reverse Robin Hoodism: taking from ordinary families and giving to the rich. That is, even as Republicans look for a way to sound more sympathetic and less extreme, their actual policies are taking another sharp right turn.
Why is this happening? In particular, why is it happening now, just after an election in which the G.O.P. paid a price for its anti-populist stand?
Well, I don’t have a full answer, but I think it’s important to understand the extent to which leading Republicans live in an intellectual bubble. They get their news from Fox and other captive media, they get their policy analysis from billionaire-financed right-wing think tanks, and they’re often blissfully unaware both of contrary evidence and of how their positions sound to outsiders.
So when Mr. Romney made his infamous “47 percent” remarks, he wasn’t, in his own mind, saying anything outrageous or even controversial. He was just repeating a view that has become increasingly dominant inside the right-wing bubble, namely that a large and ever-growing proportion of Americans won’t take responsibility for their own lives and are mooching off the hard-working wealthy. Rising unemployment claims demonstrate laziness, not lack of jobs; rising disability claims represent malingering, not the real health problems of an aging work force.
And given that worldview, Republicans see it as entirely appropriate to cut taxes on the rich while making everyone else pay more.
Now, national politicians learned last year that this kind of talk plays badly with the public, so they’re trying to obscure their positions. Paul Ryan, for example, has lately made a transparently dishonest attempt to claim that when he spoke about “takers” living off the efforts of the “makers” — at one point he assigned 60 percent of Americans to the taker category — he wasn’t talking about people receiving Social Security and Medicare. (He was.)
But in deep red states like Louisiana or Kansas, Republicans are much freer to act on their beliefs — which means moving strongly to comfort the comfortable while afflicting the afflicted.
Which brings me back to Mr. Jindal, who declared in his speech that “we are a populist party.” No, you aren’t. You’re a party that holds a large proportion of Americans in contempt. And the public may have figured that out.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra - Take the 'A' Train

Charlie Parker - Now's The Time

Laura - Charlie Parker with Strings

NEW YORK: Married Episcopal Priest Converts To Catholicism Over Gay Acceptance, Stops Fucking Wife

Here we have another case of INSANITY!!  An Episcopal PRIEST who stops fucking his WIFE after converting to Catholicism because of what OTHER PEOPLE, who have no effect on him, are doing.

This from Joe.My.God.  --  please follow link to original

A former Episcopal priest who is pissed off about his sect's acceptance of homosexuality has become New York state's first married Catholic priest.  As part of the deal, he's agreed to stop fucking his wife.

John Cornelius will be ordained a Roman Catholic priest this weekend — and with the blessing of his wife they're giving up their sex life. Cornelius, a father of three, will become the first married Roman Catholic priest in New York — and Sharyl, his wife of 33-years, has agreed to the whole celibacy thing. “We have decided to do that voluntarily,” Cornelius told WGRZ-TV. “I have always had friends that are Roman Catholic priests and I appreciate what they've given up to serve God and the priesthood.” Cornelius, 64, is a former Episcopalian priest who converted three years ago to Catholicism. He said his old church had gotten too liberal for him. “There was the ordination of the homosexual priest in New England,” he said. “Then it came time for women's ordination. ... It may have been okay for other people, but it was just too much for me. “I needed someplace where there was order,” he added.
Mrs. Cornelius is reportedly thrilled with the new arrangement.
 I suspect this man doth protest too much.

Plain Talk: Don’t buy lies about Social Security

Interesting read .  Truth hurts all the "Very Serious People" who seem to want to impoverish all seniors  --  except for themselves (they are rich already).

Most of our "leaders", and ALL Republicans are SOB's who have totally lost touch with the USA.  They act as if THEY hate America.  SHAME on them all.

Let’s be brutally frank today: The claim by some of those Wall Street money changers and politicians like Wisconsin’s own Paul Ryan and many of his Republican colleagues that Social Security is contributing to the national debt and therefore needs to be “fixed” is nothing more than an outright lie.
Because the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted to make sure that the Social Security Trust Fund was protected from the ever-changing political winds, it was set up as a separate self-financed system that gets its revenues from three sources — roughly 80 percent from the payroll tax of 6.2 percent for both the employee and employer (the 6.2 was reduced to 4.2 for employees to help provide relief during the recession and went back to 6.2 percent on Jan. 1), another 15 percent from interest earned by the trust fund, and the other 5 percent from taxes that Social Security recipients wind up paying at income tax time. In Social Security’s 75-year history, it has collected $15.5 trillion and currently has $2.6 trillion in the bank, enough money to pay full benefits until about 2037.
It cannot borrow, but the government itself can borrow from it and always does. The Social Security Trust Fund currently holds roughly 18 percent of the federal government’s debt, twice as much as China, the country Republicans like to claim is holding our debt. Former Michigan Sen. Donald Riegle, who believes the government ought to repay Social Security, has pointed out that President George W. Bush borrowed heavily from the trust fund to mask the budget costs of his two wars and the tax reductions he engineered in his first term.
And now it’s the congressional Republicans and Wall Street financiers who are spreading the lie that we can’t tackle the national debt problem without changing Social Security.
In a recent op-ed, Riegle named Wall Street insider Pete Peterson as a leading advocate of this lie. He has dedicated a billion dollars of his fortune to destroy the system as we know it.
“Peterson is joined in his efforts by other wealthy special interests that have much to gain if Social Security is cut or eliminated,” the retired senator said. “The same Wall Street firms that needed the taxpayers to bail them out — and individuals like Peterson who took advantage of a tax loophole that enabled him to pay taxes on his Wall Street profits at the same rate as a janitor cleaning his office — are conducting a massive lobbying campaign to reduce Social Security protections” by claiming it’s a way to lower the deficit.
In fact, Riegle points out, Wall Street ought to be reimbursing the system for the money it lost when workers lost their jobs and interest rates plummeted thanks to the reckless behavior of Wall Street banks and other financiers.
“Social Security did not create the economic problem or the budget deficit,” he adds. “Wall Street and other government spending did. But the opponents of Social Security don’t want to pay back all the money that was borrowed from Social Security. Instead they want to cut Social Security benefits.”
That, of course, would be a hard hit for millions of older Americans, many of whom rely on Social Security to keep them out of poverty. And all for the benefit of those who least need it, but are willing to lie to get it.

When the law won’t call it rape If there's confusion among the public (and politicians) about rape, baffling, conflicting state laws make it worse By Stephanie Hughes

This by Stephanie Hughes  --  published by "Salon".  Please follow link to original

The night of August 18, 2011, 25-year-old Lydia Cuomo could barely sleep. The next day was her first day of work teaching second grade at an elementary school in the South Bronx. She’d just landed the job a few days before, and she was pumped. In the morning, she planned to get a ride with her new principal, who also lived in upper Manhattan’s Inwood neighborhood. While waiting outside of the principal’s home, off-duty police officer Michael Pena approached her. He asked for directions to the subway, then showed her his gun, and pushed her into an alleyway, where he forcibly penetrated her with his penis — orally, anally and vaginally. (It’s usual practice to conceal the name of a rape victim in news reports, but in this case, Cuomo preferred to be identified. “I want to take the most negative thing that ever happened to me in my life and turn it into something positive,” she said. “At the end of the day this is my story and attaching my name to it allows me to own it and take back what happened to me.”)
It seems fair to call all three of those acts “rape.” But the legal definition is more complicated than that. Under New York state law, rape is defined as forcible vaginal penetration. Forced oral and anal contact both go under the term “criminal sexual act.” If the same crimes had occurred elsewhere, they might not legally be considered rape at all. Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia have stopped using the word “rape” in their criminal codes entirely and instead use terms such as “sexual abuse,” “sexual assault” and “criminal sexual conduct.” This variety of language exists in a country in which the word “rape” is becoming increasingly politicized and where politicians qualify rape as “forcible” or “legitimate,” intimating that other times it’s not. Because the laws — and many lawmakers — differ so wildly on the meaning of rape, it can be hard for us as a society to develop a shared understanding of what it actually is.
In New York, Michael Pena’s case went to trial in March. The charges included rape, criminal sexual act and — because he threatened Cuomo with a gun during the attack — predatory sexual assault. Cuomo testified that she knew she had been penetrated because it hurt. Accounts of the trial say an eyewitness reported seeing Pena push into a woman in the alleyway. Another witness testified to seeing “joyless sex.” Physical evidence is not required for proof of rape, though reports of the trial say Pena’s DNA was found on Cuomo’s underwear. Pena’s attorney, Ephraim Savitt, maintained that while Pena had attacked Cuomo, he hadn’t vaginally penetrated her.
Pena was found guilty of the criminal sexual act and predatory sexual assault charges. But the jury deadlocked on the rape charge. In other words, the jury believed that Pena’s penis had made oral and anal contact with Cuomo, but the jurors couldn’t agree on whether he’d vaginally penetrated her. It’s not clear why. One juror told the New York Times that one of the three holdout jurors questioned Cuomo’s memory because she hadn’t remembered a car in the driveway near where she’d been attacked.
When the verdict was announced, Cuomo said she just lost it. “It was like, oh my god. I’ve sat through this. I’ve waited for this. And this jury just told me ‘you were sexually assaulted, but you weren’t raped because you couldn’t remember the color of a car.’ Apparently there was a car in the alleyway. I honestly don’t remember a car at all. I was in shock. There was a gun pressed to the side of my head. I don’t need to justify it. It’s just insulting. It was offensive. And it was just devastating to think ‘I might have to relive this again.’”
Others also found the verdict preposterous. Jennifer Long, the director of AEquitas, an organization that studies laws dealing with violence against women, said the case showcases how bias can be present among members of a jury. “One can speculate the reasons why they chose to convict of maybe the perception of the lesser crime,” said Long. “Whatever the reasons were for the outcome, it really belies the evidence.”
In New York, the sentencing requirements for criminal sexual act and predatory sexual assault are just as heavy as what’s required for rape. Pena was sentenced to at least 75 years in prison, and he later pleaded guilty to rape. But the fact that the different forms of penetration went under different names angered some policymakers — specifically, Queens Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas. She’s in the process of introducing a bill to the state legislature that would place all forced sexual penetration under the term “rape.”
“Rape is a very emotionally charged word,” said Simotas. “It means a lot to victims and it means a lot, I think, just to society. People whom I’ve spoken to — victims and their families — they all, if they’re violated in this way, if they’re forced to engage in a sexual act against their will, the word they use is ‘rape.’ They don’t use ‘sexually criminal act.’ People don’t even know what that means.”
Simotas said the bill has bipartisan support, and she hopes to get it passed this session. But even if a wider legal definition of rape is adopted in New York, there’s no guarantee the public will understand rape better. “What the legislature does is a factor, but it’s not the only factor in how society conceives of the crime,” said Michelle Anderson, dean of the law school at the City University of New York and a scholar on rape law. “It’s an amalgam of popular media, consciousness being raised by non-governmental organizations and public interest organizations, sexual education — there are a lot of factors that influence how a society conceives of rape.”
Meanwhile, other states have purged the word “rape” from their codes entirely. The first to do so was Michigan in 1975 — it’s now one of 25 states, along with the District of Columbia and the federal government, that don’t use the word in their codes at all. The idea of the movement was to have the public think of these crimes not as being about sex, but about violent assault.
The differences between states’ laws go beyond the linguistic. For example, laws vary in terms of whether penetration is required to prove rape or if contact is sufficient. They also differ in how they define consent, and whether the victim’s silence indicates a lack of consent — or whether a person has to explicitly say “no.” Jennifer Long of AEquitas said codes can differ by level of complexity, as well. “Some jurisdictions have neater, simpler laws, and some are much more complicated — but they may all cover the same conduct.”
These variations in the law — and, consequently, how the crimes are reported in the media — can add confusion to a subject that’s already difficult to discuss. “I think people are uncomfortable talking about it. And they’re uncomfortable using the right language around it,” said Lydia Cuomo. “It’s weird — you don’t think ‘anal’ is a word you’re going to say in front of your dad a lot. But it happens. There’s nothing I can do to change what happened, and I’m not going to beat around the bush or not talk about it.”
Cuomo says her attack may be somewhat easier to talk about because, under New York law, she was raped. If she’d been penetrated only orally, not vaginally, she’s not sure how she would have handled it. “The problem with that is it would have been harder for me to talk about … because it’s not called rape and because it’s sort of hidden in the closet … I wouldn’t have felt as open, which is weird, because that was definitely the hardest piece for me.”
Part of the problem is that in the earliest doctrine surrounding rape, the law didn’t account for oral penetration at all. If you go back to biblical injunctions, rape was considered a theft of property, rather than the invasion of an individual. The theft was that of a woman’s virginity, which belonged first to her father and then to her husband. “It’s a very different way of conceptualizing what the harm is,” said CUNY professor Michelle Anderson. “Through time, the question of what the harm of rape really is … has evolved.”
That evolution has been slow. In January 2012, the FBI updated its definition of rape for the first time in over 80 years. The former definition was “carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will.” The new definition has been changed to include oral and anal penetration, and it allows for the victim or perpetrator to be of either gender. It also has no requirement of force. That affects how the FBI collects data and measures trends in crime — but doesn’t change the federal or state criminal codes.
A new federal definition helps. The adoption of a more standardized definition by state legislatures would help more. Lawmakers may look to new revisions in the sexual assault portion of the Model Penal Code. That’s the document created by the American Law Institute in 1962 in an attempt to standardize criminal codes across jurisdictions. Its definition of sexual assault is now woefully out of date. However, a group of scholars, prosecutors and judges from around the country are examining it, with revisions expected in 2014.
While policymakers think about the best words to use, survivors like Lydia Cuomo are figuring out their own ways to talk about what happened. “I think that speaking out in some way gives me a lot of power over my case,” said Cuomo. “The more I talk about it, the more control it gives me. And at the end of the day, rape is about control. It’s this loss of control that happened. So it feels really good to be able to talk about it.”
And she thinks that other people need to be able to talk about it, too — and to not be afraid of using precise language. “I think a lot can come from calling something what it is and talking more openly about it,” said Cuomo. “Some people say, ‘Oh, it’s just semantics.’ And I do think it is semantics at the end of the day, right? But I think the semantics are important.”

Shocking: Reporting Factory Farm Abuses to be Considered "Act of Terrorism" If New Laws Pass Three states are the latest states to introduce Ag-Gag laws and lawmakers in 10 other states introduced similar bills in 2011-2012.

This from "Alternet"  --  it's laws like these that just do not make sense.  --  please follow link to original

How do you keep consumers in the dark about the horrors of factory farms? By making it an “act of terrorism” for anyone to investigate animal cruelty, food safety or environmental violations on the corporate-controlled farms that produce the bulk of our meat, eggs and dairy products.
And who better to write the Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act, designed to protect Big Ag and Big Energy, than the lawyers on the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force at the corporate-funded and infamous American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
New Hampshire, Wyoming and Nebraska are the latest states to introduce Ag-Gag laws aimed at preventing employees, journalists or activists from exposing illegal or unethical practices on factory farms. Lawmakers in 10 other states introduced similar bills in 2011-2012.  The laws passed in three of those states: Missouri, Iowa and Utah.  But consumer and animal-welfare activists prevented the laws from passing in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York and Tennessee.
In all, six states now have Ag-Gag laws, including North Dakota, Montana and Kansas, all of which passed the laws in 1990-1991, before the term “Ag-Gag” was coined.
Ag-Gag laws passed 20 years ago were focused more on deterring people from destroying property, or from either stealing animals or setting them free. Today’s ALEC-inspired bills take direct aim at anyone who tries to expose horrific acts of animal cruelty, dangerous animal-handling practices that might lead to food safety issues, or blatant disregard for environmental laws designed to protect waterways from animal waste runoff. In the past, most of those exposes have resulted from undercover investigations of exactly the type Big Ag wants to make illegal.
Wyoming’s HB 0126 is the perfect example of a direct link between an undercover investigation of a factory farm and the introduction of an Ag-Gag law. The bill was introduced mere weeks after nine factory workers at Wheatland, WY-based Wyoming Premium Farms, a supplier to Tyson Foods, were charged with animal cruelty following an undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). HSUS activists videotaped workers kicking live piglets, swinging them by their hind legs and beating and kicking mother pigs. Charges were filed in late December. In January, State Rep. Sue Wallis and Senator Ogden Driskill introduced Wyoming’s Ag-Gag bill which would make it a criminal act to carry out investigations such as the one that exposed the cruelty at Wyoming Premium Farms.
Wallis and Driskill both have ties to Big Ag. Wallis was the subject of a conflict-of-interest complaint filed in 2010 by animal welfare groups. The groups accused her of improper and fraudulent abuse of her position as a legislator after she introduced a bill allowing the Wyoming Livestock Board to send stray horses to slaughter. At the time she introduced the bill, Wallis also was planning to develop a family-owned horse slaughter plant in the state. Both Wallis and Driskill are members of the Wyoming Stockgrowers Association. Driskill has accepted political contributions from the livestock industry and Exxon Mobil, a member of ALEC.
Most of the Ag-Gag laws introduced since 2011 borrow the premise, if not the exact language, from model legislation designed by ALEC. ALEC’s sole purpose is to write model legislation that protects corporate profits. Industry then pushes state legislators to adapt the bills for their states and push them through. The idea behind the Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act is to make it illegal to “enter an animal or research facility to take pictures by photograph, video camera, or other or other means with the intent to commit criminal activities or defame the facility or its owner.”
In other words, these laws turn journalists and the investigators of crimes into criminals.
Many of the legislators involved in ramming through state Ag-Gag bills have ties to ALEC, including Missouri’s Rep. Casey Guernsey. Guernsey’s top donor in 2010 was Smithfield Foods, itself a target of undercover investigations that exposed widespread abuse of pigs. Of the 60 Iowa lawmakers who voted for Iowa's Ag-Gag laws, at least 14 of them, or 23%, are members of ALEC
ALEC’s interest in large-scale factory farm operations, or in industry-speak, Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), can be traced to one of its staunchest members, Koch Industries.  Koch Industries once owned the Koch Beef Company, one of the largest cattle feeders in the U.S. When neighbors of one of the company’s huge cattle-feeding operations opposed a planned expansion, claiming it would pose health concerns, Koch persuaded local legislators to rule in its favor. ALEC subsequently wrote the  “Right to Farm Act,” a bill to bar lawsuits by citizens claiming that neighboring farms, including industrial farms, are fouling their air and water.
Ag-Gag bills a threat to animals, public health and the environment
Under U.S. laws, farm animals don’t get the same protection as other animals, such as dogs and cats. Anti-free speech Ag-Gag bills only serve to leave farm animals even more vulnerable to the routine pain and suffering on factory farms. The three federal statutes that address animal welfare, including the U.S. Animal Welfare Act, do not apply to animals raised for food.  The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act regulates animals raised for food, but applies exclusively to slaughterhouses, where animals may spend only a short time before they are killed. That leaves the states to regulate the often-barbarous treatment of animals raised for food.
But as we’ve seen with the Ag-Gag bills, state laws often are written by big corporations. Nowhere is that more obvious than in states where cruel methods of treating animals are exempted from state laws on the basis of their being classified as “customary.” Who decides if a certain practice is “customary” even if most thinking people would consider that practice cruel? Corporations that own and operate CAFOs in that state.
Apart from the obvious ethical concerns, Ag-Gag laws also threaten public health and the environment, and undermine workers’ rights and free speech laws. Undercover investigations at factory farms have exposed the mishandling of meat, eggs and milk in ways that could potentially lead to health risks including mad cow disease, salmonella, e-coli and others. One investigation in Chino, Calif., revealed widespread mistreatment of “downed” cows – cows that are too sick or injured to walk. The facility is the second-largest supplier of beef to USDA's Commodity Procurement Branch, which distributes the beef to the National School Lunch Program.
Ag-Gag bills also keep employees and others from blowing the whistle on environmental violations. Huge amounts of waste are generated by the billions of cows, pigs and chickens on factory farms. Much of that waste, full of antibiotics, growth promoters and synthetic hormones, finds its way into our waterways and municipal water supplies. State and federal laws require CAFOs to minimize their environmental damage, but the laws are often not enforced. One of the ways to expose violations is through undercover investigations.
And then there’s the matter of free speech. The American Civil Liberties Union has been an outspoken opponent of Ag-Gag bills. In a letter opposing the proposed Ag-Gag law in New Hampshire, the executive director of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union wrote that the proposed law “has serious implications for two fundamental rights protected by the U.S. and New Hampshire constitutions: the right to freedom of expression and the right against self-incrimination.”
There’s still time to stop Ag-Gag laws in New Hampshire, Wyoming and Nebraska
The majority of Americans see Ag-Gag laws for what they are: just another attack on consumers’ right to know. According to a poll conducted last year by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 71% of Americans oppose the laws. When consumers learn that 99% of the animals raised for food are raised in factory farms, they generally agree that lawmakers should focus on strengthening animal cruelty laws, not prosecuting the whistleblowers.
It was public outrage that killed proposed bills in seven states last year. Here are the three latest bills to be introduced, and links to petitions telling lawmakers in New Hampshire, Wyoming and Nebraska to reject the proposed laws:
New Hampshire: HB110 
Primary sponsor: Bob Haefner (R) ; Co-sponsors: Majority Leader Steve Shurtleff (D), Rep. Tara Sad (D), Senator Sharon Carson (R), and Bob Odell (R)
This is a 7-line bill written to look as if its main concern is the protection of animals. However the bill would require whistleblowers to report animal abuse and turn over videotapes, photographs and documents within 24 hours or face prosecution – a clear attempt to intimidate and deter people from conducting undercover investigations. Lawmakers know that in order for anyone to prove a pattern of abuse in factory farms, they must document repeated instances of cruelty. A video or photograph of only one instance will be dismissed as a one-time anomaly, which will get the agribusiness company off the hook.
Sign the petition to stop New Hampshire's Ag-Gag bill.
Wyoming: HB0126 
Co-sponsors: Rep. Sue Wallis (R), Sen. Ogden Driskill (R)
Introduced within weeks after nine workers at a Wyoming factory farm were charged with abuse. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Sue Wallis, is planning to build horse slaughterhouses in Wyoming and other states. If this bill had been law in 2012, it would have prevented activists from exposing horrific acts of cruelty at Wheatland, WY-based Wyoming Premium Farms, a supplier to Tyson Foods.
Sign the petition to stop Wyoming's Ag-Gag bill.
Nebraska: LB 204
Introduced by Sen. Tyson Larson (R), Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh (R), and Sen. Ken Schilz (R)
The bill would make it a Class IV felony for any person to obtain employment at an animal facility with the broadly defined "intent to disrupt the normal operations," It would require animal abuse reports to be filed within 12 hours. Co-sponsor Sen. Launtenbaugh has advocated in the past for horse slaughtering.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Kat Edmonson -- What a Difference a Day Made

Kat Edmonson, Angel Eyes

Hate Crimes: A Rape Every Minute, a Thousand Corpses Every Year There' a pattern of violence against women that’s broad and deep and incessantly overlooked.

This from "Alternet".  It's a long article.  this is merely an excerpt.  Please follow the link for the rest of it.

It really is a must read.  Our rape culture has become a crisis and the current restrictions women face make our lives so much less free than in the 1970's (as an example).  So, even though there are laws on the books that say women are free, our macho culture says differently.  There is something VERY WRONG with this.
Here in the United States, where there is a reported rape every 6.2 minutes, and one in five women will be raped in her lifetime, the rape and gruesome murder of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi on December 16th was treated as an exceptional incident. The story of the alleged rape of an unconscious teenager by members of the Steubenville High School football team was still unfolding, and gang rapes aren’t that unusual here either. Take your pick: some of the 20 men who gang-raped an 11-year-old in Cleveland, Texas, were sentenced in November, while the instigator of the gang rape of a 16-year-old in Richmond, California, was sentenced in October, and four men who gang-raped a 15-year-old near New Orleans were sentenced in April, though the six men who gang-raped a 14-year-old in Chicago last fall are still at large.  Not that I actually went out looking for incidents: they’re everywhere in the news, though no one adds them up and indicates that there might actually be a pattern.
There is, however, a pattern of violence against women that’s broad and deep and horrific and incessantly overlooked. Occasionally, a case involving a celebrity or lurid details in a particular case get a lot of attention in the media, but such cases are treated as anomalies, while the abundance of incidental news items about violence against women in this country, in other countries, on every continent including Antarctica, constitute a kind of background wallpaper for the news.
If you’d rather talk about bus rapes than gang rapes, there’s the rape of a developmentally disabled woman on a Los Angeles bus in November and the kidnapping of an autistic 16-year-old on the regional transit train system in Oakland, California -- she was raped repeatedly by her abductor over two days this winter -- and there was a gang rape of multiple women on a bus in Mexico City recently, too.  While I was writing this, I read that another female bus-rider was kidnapped in India and gang-raped all night by the bus driver and five of his friends who must have thought what happened in New Delhi was awesome.
We have an abundance of rape and violence against women in this country and on this Earth, though it’s almost never treated as a civil rights or human rights issue, or a crisis, or even a pattern. Violence doesn’t have a race, a class, a religion, or a nationality, but it does have a gender.
Here I want to say one thing: though virtually all the perpetrators of such crimes are men, that doesn’t mean all men are violent. Most are not. In addition, men obviously also suffer violence, largely at the hands of other men, and every violent death, every assault is terrible.  But the subject here is the pandemic of violence by men against women, both intimate violence and stranger violence.
What We Don’t Talk About When We Don’t Talk About Gender
There’s so much of it. We could talk about the assault and rape of a 73-year-old in Manhattan’s Central Park last September, or the recent rape of a four-year-old and an 83-year-old in Louisiana, or the New York City policeman who was arrested in October for what appeared to be serious plans to kidnap, rape, cook, and eat a woman, any woman, because the hate wasn’t personal (though maybe it was for the San Diego man who actually killed and cooked his wife in November and the man from New Orleans who killed, dismembered, and cooked his girlfriend in 2005).
Those are all exceptional crimes, but we could also talk about quotidian assaults, because though a rape is reported only every 6.2 minutes in this country, the estimated total is perhaps five times as high. Which means that there may be very nearly a rape a minute in the U.S.  It all adds up to tens of millions of rape victims.
We could talk about high-school- and college-athlete rapes, or campus rapes, to which university authorities have been appallingly uninterested in responding in many cases, including that high school in Steubenville, Notre Dame UniversityAmherst College, and many others. We could talk about the escalating pandemic of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment in the U.S. military, where Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta estimated that there were 19,000 sexual assaults on fellow soldiers in 2010 alone and that the great majority of assailants got away with it, though four-star general Jeffrey Sinclair was indicted in September for “a slew of sex crimes against women.”  ...........................
Please follow link to read the rest.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

How To Avoid Raising Taxes on the Middle Class or Cutting Programs the Middle and Poor Depend On

This from Robert Reich - please follow link to original

Brace yourself. In coming weeks you’ll hear there’s no serious alternative to cutting Social Security and Medicare, raising taxes on middle class, and decimating what’s left of the federal government’s discretionary spending on everything from education and job training to highways and basic research.
“We” must make these sacrifices, it will be said, in order to deal with our mushrooming budget deficit and cumulative debt.
But most of the people who are making this argument are very wealthy or are sponsored by the very wealthy: Wall Street moguls like Pete Peterson and his “End the Debt” brigade, the Business Roundtable, well-appointed think tanks and policy centers along the Potomac, members of the Simpson-Bowles commission.  These regressive sentiments are packaged in a mythology that Americans have been living beyond our means: We’ve been unwilling to pay for what we want government to do for us, and we are now reaching the day of reckoning. 
The truth is most Americans have not been living beyond their means. The problem is their means haven’t been keeping up with the growth of the economy — which is why most of us need better education, infrastructure, and healthcare, and stronger safety nets.
The real median wage is only slightly higher now than it was 30 years ago, even though the economy is twice as large.
The only people whose means have soared are at the very top, because they’ve received almost all the gains from growth. Over the last three decades, the top 1 percent’s share of the nation’s income has doubled; the top one-tenth of 1 percent’s share, tripled. The richest one-tenth of 1 percent is now earning as much as the bottom 120 million Americans put together.
Wealth has grown even more concentrated than income (income is a stream of money, wealth is the pool into which it flows).  
The richest 1 percent now own more than 35 percent of all of the nation’s household wealth, and 38 percent of the nation’s financial assets – including stocks and pension-fund.
Think about this: The richest 400 Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million of us put together. The 6 Walmart heirs have more wealth than bottom 33 million American families combined.
So why are we even contemplating cutting programs the middle class and poor depend on, and raising their taxes?
We should tax the vast accumulations of wealth now in the hands of a relative few.
To the extent they have any wealth at all, most Americans have it in their homes – whose prices have stopped falling in most of the country but are still down almost 30 percent from their 2006 peak.
Yet homes are subject to the only major tax on wealth — property taxes.
Yale Professor Bruce Ackerman and Anne Alstott have proposed a 2 percent surtax on the wealth of the richest one-half of 1 percent of Americans owning more than $7.2 million of assets.
They figure it would generate $70 billion a year, or $750 billion over the decade. That’s more than the fiscal cliff deal raises from high-income Americans.
Together, the two sets of taxes on the wealthy — tax increases contained in the fiscal cliff agreement, and a wealth tax such as Ackerman and Alstott have proposed — would just about equal the spending cuts the White House has already agreed to, totaling $1.5 trillion (or $1.7 trillion including interest savings).
That seems about right.

kush Dizzy Gillespie Sonny Stitt

Dizzy Gillespie-Sonny Rollins-Sonny Stitt "I know that you know"

Sumphin' - Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, and Dizzy Gillespie

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Obama Urged to Resign Over Beyoncé Scandal Posted by Andy Borowitz

This IMPORTANT "News" from The Borowitz Report  -- 

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – A rising chorus of congressional Republicans are calling on President Obama to acknowledge that the pop singer Beyoncé lip-synched during his inaugural festivities on Monday and resign from office, effective immediately.
“By lip-synching the national anthem, Beyoncé has cast a dark cloud over the President’s second term,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky).  “The only way President Obama can remove that cloud is by resigning from office at once.”
While many in the media have blamed Beyoncé for the lip-synching controversy, Mr. Paul said, “We must remember that this happened on President Obama’s watch.”
Mr. Paul said that the White House’s refusal to comment on the Beyoncé crisis “only serves the argument that this President has something to hide.”
“If Beyoncé lip-synched the national anthem, how do we know President Obama didn’t lip-sync his oath of office?” he said. “If that’s the case, he’s not legally President. But just to be on the safe side, he should resign anyway.”
Mr. Paul also blasted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her testimony on Benghazi before the Senate today: “Her tactic of answering each and every question we asked her didn’t fool anyone.”

Read more:

New Documents Released - Catholic Church - Child Sexual Abuse - Coverup

This from "Daily Kos"  --  please follow link to original.

This by Roxine for "Treeclimbers"

Doesn't ANYONE else wonder why any member of "The Most Holy Roman Catholic Church" is still considered a "moral leader" on ANY issue?  These folks run one of the most corrupt, evil, anti-child, anti-woman,vicious, homophobic, organizations on earth.

If there ever were a "second coming", The Church would be among the very first organizations singled out for destruction by Christ (even if that's not what he said he would do)

Documents released today reveal the extent to which catholic church leaders went to protect pedophile priests:
 -  fought for years to keep the files secret
 - desired to keep authorities from discovering children were being abused
 - proposed strategies to prevent police from investigating (at least) three priests who
    had admitted to church officials that they abused young boys
 - prevented priests from seeing therapists for fear they might alert authorities
 - reassigned priests to avoid criminal investigations
"[Bishop] Mahony and other top [Catholic] aides maneuvered behind the scenes to shield molester priests and provide damage control for the [Catholic] church. Some of the documents provide the strongest evidence to date that Mahony and another key official worked to protect a priest who revealed in therapy sessions that he had raped an 11-year-old boy and abused up to 17 boys.

Monsignor Peter Garcia

Monsignor Peter Garcia told ther­ap­ists that he had mo­les­ted boys “on and off” since his or­din­a­tion in 1966. He sexu­ally ab­used up to 20 boys, in­clud­ing one he al­legedly tied up and raped, ac­cord­ing to church re­cords. Many of his vic­tims were un­doc­u­mented im­mig­rants from Mex­ico, and Gar­cia as­sured church of­fi­cials they would not go to the au­thor­it­ies. Gar­cia left the priest­hood in 1989. He died in 2009 without be­ing pro­sec­uted.
Let's read that again.  A priest admitted to raping an 11-year-old-boy and abused up to 17 boys and they wanted to protect...............the Priest????
...the memos written in 1986 and 1987 by Mahony and Msgr. Thomas J. Curry, then the archdiocese's chief advisor on sex abuse cases, offer the strongest evidence yet of a concerted effort by officials in the nation's largest Catholic diocese to shield abusers from police. The newly released records, which the archdiocese fought for years to keep secret, reveal in church leaders' own words a desire to keep authorities from discovering that children were being molested.
But now, they're really, really sorry... First from Monsignor Thomas J. Curry (previously a top-aid to Bishop Mahoney, now Auxiliary Bishop for the archdiocese's Santa Barbara region)
"I wish to acknowledge and apologize for those instances when I made decisions regarding the treatment and disposition of clergy accused of sexual abuse that in retrospect appear inadequate or mistaken...Like many others, I have come to a clearer understanding over the years of the causes and treatment of sexual abuse and I have fully implemented in my pastoral region the archdiocese's policies and procedures for reporting abuse, screening those who supervise children and abuse prevention training for adults and children."
And from Bishop Mahoney (who also apologized back in 2007)
But now, I guess, he's "really" sorry?
Let's decipher a portion of his statement below the jump:

Sorry for getting caught

[excerpt from Monsignor Mahony's apology]
"With the upcoming release of priests’ personnel files in the Archdiocese’s long struggle with the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy, my thoughts and prayers turn toward the victims of this sinful abuse."
Translation:  We fought for years to keep this a secret but since we can't protect our own any longer, um who got hurt?  Oh yeah, that's right, the children.   But, when no one was looking, this is what he really believed:
I am very grateful to ·you and to your staff for the care and concern which you are giving Monsignor Garcia, and I feel strongly that it would not be possible for Monsignor Garcia to return to California and to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for the foreseeable future. The two young men who were involved with him and their parents have switched·attorneys on several occasions, and I believe that if Monsignor Garcia were to reappear here within the Archdiocese we might very well have some type of legal action filed in both the criminal and civil sectors.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Roger Mahony
Archbishop of Los Angeles
cc: Most Reverend Juan Arzube
Most Reverend Robert F. Sanchez
Monsignor Thomas Curry

And, according to a letter from Monsignor Garcia himself, "Mahony instructed him to be 'very low key' and assured him 'no one was looking at him for any criminal action.'

Nowhere to hide

While the evidence being released currently is damning, once again we are faced with the issue of statute of limitations.
The time window for prosecuting obstruction of justice is 10 years and for conspiracy, it's three years after the last overt criminal act, said Lawrence Rosenthal, a criminal law professor at Chapman University School of Law.
However, while they may not be judged in a court of law, these documents as well as the ones soon to be released, will no longer protect either the perpetrators OR those who conspired to conceal their crimes.
The files of dozens more accused priests are expected to be released in the coming weeks as part of a 2007 settlement agreement with more than 500 alleged victims. A judge recently ruled that the church must turn the files over to attorneys for those people without the names and titles of members of the church hierarchy blacked out after The Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times intervened.
I, for one, welcome this bright light shining on not only those who sexually abuse, but those who allow it to continue.  As I've said from the very beginning of this, at the end of my initial interview on Dr. Laura:
Children cannot protect themselves. It is our duty to keep them safe. Speak up.  I would rather say something and be uncomfortable, than say nothing and risk losing another child.  No matter what, always protect the child.  If any of those involved had said something, they would be hailed a hero.  Instead, they turned a blind eye.  In my opinion, they are no better than the perpetrator himself.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ted Nugent claims his ‘buddies’ are willing to start an armed revolt

This from "Raw Story".  Ah yes, Ted Nugent  --  child abuser.  He should be in jail for one form or another of rape.  --  please follow link to original

Detroit-born southern rockabilly Ted Nugent isn’t known for moderation, but from the sound of his latest comments, the re-election of President Barack Obama (D) has made him ever more extreme.
Speaking to fans during an NBC-sponsored gun show, Nugent said that Obama “is attempting to re-implement the tyranny of King George that we escaped from in 1776,” adding: “If you want another Concord bridge, I’ve got some buddies.”
The comment was a reference to the Battle of Concord, in which a British soldier broke a standoff and fired upon assembled American militiamen, in what later became known as “the shot heard around the world” that helped launch the Revolutionary War.
He added that Obama “hires, appoints and associates with communists,” and that he’s “an evil, dangerous man who hates America and hates freedom. And we need to fix this as soon as possible.”
Speaking to conspiracy website World Net Daily earlier in January, the National Rifle Association board member said he believes a new era of civil rights is dawning — one in which gun lovers must become “the Rosa Parks.”
His comments to WND came roughly one month after his show “Ted Nugent’s Gun Country” was forever scrapped by The Discovery Channel, in response to the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Nugent previously told fans that it was a planned series, but a Discovery spokesperson confirmed to Raw Story that no such plans were ever laid.
Nugent also found himself face to face with Secret Service agents last April after he urged fans to “chop [Democrats'] heads off in November,” during the presidential election. He also warned, “if Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”

$240 billion amassed by 100 richest people enough to end extreme poverty four times over: Oxfam

This from "Raw Story"  --  no matter how much they propagandize, the TRUTH will not go away.

Please follow link to original

The vast fortunes made by the world’s richest 100 billionaires is driving up inequality and hindering the world’s ability to tackle poverty, according to Oxfam.
The charity said the accumulation of wealth and income on an unprecedented scale, often at the expense of secure jobs and decent wages for the poorest, undermined the ability of people who survive on aid or low wages to improve their situation and escape poverty.
Oxfam said the world’s poorest could be lifted out of poverty several times over should the richest 100 billionaires give away the money they made last year.
Without pointing a finger at individuals, the charity argued that the $240bn (£150bn) net income amassed in 2012 by the richest 100 billionaires would be enough to make extreme poverty history four times over.
It is rare for charities to attack the wealthy, who are usually regarded as a source of funding. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are among a group of 40 US billionaires who have pledged much of their wealth to aid projects, but there is little detail about the level of their annual donations. Their actions have also not been matched by Russian, Middle Eastern or Chinese billionaires.
In the report, The Cost of Inequality: How Wealth and Income Extremes Hurt Us All, published before the World Economic Forum in Davos next week, the charity calls on world leaders to curb income extremes and commit to reducing inequality to at least 1990 levels.
The report found that the richest 1% had increased their incomes by 60% in the past 20 years, with the financial crisis accelerating rather than slowing the process.
Barbara Stocking, Oxfam’s chief executive, said extreme wealth was “economically inefficient, politically corrosive, socially divisive and environmentally destructive”.
She pointed to studies that show countries have suffered low levels of investment and growth as workers are forced to survive on a smaller share of total incomes.
She said: “We can no longer pretend that the creation of wealth for a few will inevitably benefit the many – too often the reverse is true.”
The report said the issue affected all parts of the world. “In the UK inequality is rapidly returning to levels not seen since the time of Charles Dickens. In China the top 10% now take home nearly 60% of the income. Chinese inequality levels are now similar to those in South Africa, which is now the most unequal country on Earth and significantly more unequal than at the end of apartheid.”
In the US, the share of national income going to the top 1% has doubled since 1980 from 10 to 20%, the report says. For the top 0.01% the share of national income is above levels last seen in the 1920s.
The World Bank and International Monetary Fund have argued that extreme income inequality undermines growth and both organisations have attempted to tie their loans to programmes that limit the growth of inequality.
Members of the richest 1% are estimated to use as much as 10,000 times more carbon than the average US citizen.
Oxfam said world leaders should learn from countries such as Brazil that had grown rapidly while reducing inequality.
Stocking said: “We need a global new deal to reverse decades of increasing inequality. As a first step world leaders should formally commit themselves to reducing inequality to the levels seen in 1990.”
She said closing tax havens, which the Tax Justice Network says hold as much as $31 trillion, or as much as a third of all global wealth, could yield an additional $189bn (£118bn) in additional tax revenues.

Anti-gay ‘Christian’ Ashley Furniture fires lesbian staffer because ‘God told them to’; tosses ‘n-word’ around office

This from "Pam's House Blend"  --  proof that stupidity, racism, and homophobia are alive and well  --  all over the country.  People are still as crazy as ever  --  and it's not just in "The South".  Please note that "God told her".  Also note this was Secaucus New Jersey  --  formerly the home of pig farms.  Some stuff stays the same.  Please follow link to original.

Well, if the President is serious about his commitment to equality, as he mentioned in his inaugural address (“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law“), he may want to take a look at that non-discrimination executive order again. After all, Ashley Furniture is a federal contractor and would have to stop this behavior right quick if he signed it. Back2Stonewall:
Isabel Perez is suing the Ashley Furniture HomeStore of Secaucus, N.J.,  Ashley CEO Eugene Chrinian and Ashley’s director of people services and development Kathy Martin, in Federal Court because she she was fired for being a lesbian.
On October 5, 2012, Martin and and Isabella were walking in the parking lot and approached  Isabella’s car when Martin asked her about an HRC decal that she had on her car. Isabella explained to Martin that the decal was an ‘equality symbol.‘  Martin then asked Isabella if  it was for ‘the gays’ and then told her that she was not sure that she made the right decision about hiring her because she did not fit the ‘culture’ at the company. Martin then explained that she was going to ‘speak to God’ about it and wheather Isabella should continue her employment with Ashley Furniture.
The next day Isabella was called into a meeting with Martin and Alfred Nunez (sales manager) where Martin told Isabella that she had prayed about it and that God had spoken to her and told her that she needed to let Isabella go.  Martin told her: You just don’t fit our culture. … I need someone in your position that can embody our mission statementYour beliefs just don’t fit them‘ although Martin stressed that Isabella was very competent at her job and stated that  ‘We all know you are very capable and can easily manage the entire department.’”
And Ashley Furniture receives bonus points for employing someone who cultivates a racist environment by its purported “Christian” Martin (Courthouse News):
“During this meeting, Martin made a number of derogatory remarks about homosexuals, stating that ‘lesbos and gays would be judged’ and that she follows the ‘word of Leviticus’ – which purportedly condemns homosexuality – and that ‘there are many who call themselves true Christians, but they don’t know what that means.” (Brackets in complaint.)
On her first day of work, Perez claims in the complaint, she heard Martin refer to an employee as “nigga.”
When she asked Martin not to use that language in the workplace, Martin told her, “‘Girl, please. They’re different. It was nigga, not [the n-word].’ Martin then advised plaintiff that she needed to be more understanding of the company’s ‘culture,’” according to the complaint. (Brackets in complaint.)
Two other human resources employees told Perez “that Martin often directed derogatory and discriminatory comments to them, including referring to them as ‘nigga’ (as well as the n-word), ‘bitch,’ ‘heifer,’ ‘ghetto,’ ‘lesbo’ and ‘fag,’ among others,” the complaint states.

Seneca, Selma, and Stonewall

This from Dr. Krugman

In his speech, Obama invoked the history of struggles for equality with a remarkable triptych: Seneca (women’s rights), Selma (black rights), and Stonewall (gay rights). And there has been remarkably little blowback — a sign of how much the country has changed.
What many people may not realize is how recent those changes are. Gay rights may be relatively obvious — it’s just 8 years since opposition to gay marriage arguably played a significant role in Bush’s victory. But the big changes on the racial front are also more recent than widely imagined (obligatory disclaimer — yes, there’s a lot of racism remaining, and it can be truly ugly; we’re just talking about relative changes). Here’s a poll trend that seems meaningful to me:
Republicans pine for the glory days of Ronald Reagan — but that was a different country, a county with a lot more raw racism, a country in which only a minority of Americans found interracial marriage acceptable. And yes, that had a lot to do with GOP political strength.
And I don’t think the right has a clue how to operate in the better nation we’ve become.