Thursday, October 9, 2008
Fear-Mongering Attack Ads
You see, when someone tries to be fair, and uphold the Constitution, which I am not suggesting Gregoire is, then their opponent attacks them, to make themselves look better, and get your vote. Politics as usual! You notice they never speak about upholding the Constitution, which they take an oath of office to do, and they do not uphold that oath!
Posted by Jim Brunner
A group of prosecutors and other law enforcement types gathered at Gov. Christine Gregoire's (Contact) Seattle campaign headquarters this afternoon to denounce a new round of attack ads from the Republican Governors Association, which portray Gregoire as soft on sex offenders.
You can watch the RGA ads at a Web site www.onherwatch.com.
Over a foreboding soundtrack, the ads claim that 1,300 sex offenders are on the loose thanks to the Gregoire administration. "We know they're out there, but thanks to Gregoire, we have no idea where," says a mom in one ad. Another shows a smoking, shady looking sex offender being let out of jail.
At today's press conference, Mark Roe, senior deputy prosecutor in Snohomish County, said he was "quivering" mad over the ads because they made Gregoire sound like she's soft on sex-offenders -- which he said is 180 degrees from the truth.
- Of course it's not the truth! What do you expect from someone running for office, the truth? Ha! Good luck on that! Why don't you all check out the real facts, then put that in an ad? Oh yeah, you need to lie, so you get the votes you need, I understand!
Roe has some credentials on the subject. He's spent most of his career prosecuting sex offenders, as has his wife and his sister.
- I do not think prosecuting sex offenders makes someone qualified on sex offenders. Why don't you talk to the real people who are qualified on sex offenders, the therapists? Again, I understand, you need to lie to get the votes, and pretend you are stating the facts, when in fact you are not. That is the definition of politics, IMO!
"In my family we know the truth about prosecuting sex offenders. The ads that have been recently run by Governor Gregoire's opponent are not the truth," Roe said. "Many of us ask questions: are you better off than you were four years ago? Sex offenders in Washington aren't, because of Chris Gregoire."
- Sex offenders aren't because of any politician! If the politicians were true to their oath of office, and upholding the constitution, then the laws would be fair, constitutional, and not being fought in court, thus wasting tons of money that could be spent elsewhere!
Roe and others at the press conference demanded that Rossi and his allies take the ads down.
Gregoire has signed into law new efforts to better track sex offenders, including DNA testing and electronic monitoring. Her campaign already has released an ad countering the latest RGA attacks. See it here.
House Republicans last year called for a special legislative session on sex offenders following the slaying of 12-year-old Tacoma girl by a sex offender who had failed to register his address with police.
- And last year, the sex offender registry and laws were in place as well, but did it prevent this tragedy? Nope! And no matter how tough they try to look, and no matter how many laws they pass, it will NEVER prevent something like this. If a person has the intent to commit a crime, nothing will stop them!
Democrats declined the special session. Instead, Gregoire appointed a task force, which recommended the strengthened sex-offender monitoring efforts she signed into law.
- And this waste tons of tax payer dollars, millions to be exact. And there has been news stories where criminals wearing GPS devices to "monitor" their activities, have just cut them off and vanished, but you never hear that on the evening news, do you? Like I said, nothing will prevent a person from committing a crime, if that is their intent. If someone is so dangerous that they need to be monitored 24/7, then why are they not given a longer sentence in the first place? But, you must evaluate them to determine if they are a risk though, you cannot just assume they are a dangerous person, you must give them due process of law, or it's illegal!
I spoke with Kitsap County Prosecutor Russell Hauge, who chaired that task force. (He was not at today's press conference.) Hauge said Gregoire also pushed to get $5 million in the state budget to give to local police and sheriff's departments so they can dedicate officers to track the whereabouts of sex offenders.
- Why do they need this much money to get in a car, drive to where the person said they live, and verify it? It should not take this much of tax payer dollars to do this. These very laws, make it almost impossible to live anywhere, or do anything, without violating the law. So when forced with these odds, people are going to vanish, that is common sense, IMO.
"That's the most practical solution to the problem I heard and that money is being spent," said Hauge, a Democrat.
UPDATE: I got a different perspective from Jim Hines, a Gig Harbor activist who has championed tougher sex offender laws. Hines, a Republican who unsuccessfully ran for state senate on the issue a few years back, gave Gregoire some credit for the recent changes to the law and for the added law-enforcement funding.
But Hines said Republicans had proposed similar plans before Gregoire. Hines said the governor didn't act until after the high-profile Tacoma murder dominated local headlines. "She hasn't led on it. She only did it when it was politically expedient."
- As all politicians do! Knee-jerk reactions to high profile cases, lumping sex offenders into one large diverse group, and treating them all the same... That is morally and ethically wrong! But we do not have much morals or ethics these days, do we?
When Gregoire appointed her task force, Hines said, she took care not to appoint the Republican lawmakers who had been pushing the issue.
By The False Rape Society
The news story below is must-reading. Perhaps more than any story in recent memory, it underscores what is wrong with the way our society turns a blind eye to false rape claims. For the readers of this site who were falsely accused, this may trigger some unwanted emotions. For others, it will get your blood boiling.
First, it proves that false rape accusers don't always fit a profile. This accuser seemed to be a good, religious person. Just as we are told rapists may seem like "nice guys," so, too, false rape accusers may seem like nice people.
Second, as is too common, the false accuser was given a very light sentence. Judge Lindsay Moore correctly noted that the false accuser's complaint could have resulted in someone being falsely charged. Damn right, Judge. Even false rape claims that do not name a specific male often end up making suspects of specific men or boys. Sometimes those men or boys are arrested and even convicted. Always, their lives are affected for the worse, and sometimes their lives are destroyed forever. Don't believe me? Spend several hours reviewing the news accounts posted in this very Web site.
But then the judge inexplicably said that the false accuser "would have faced a jail sentence if it had not been for her psychiatric and psychological problems." Excuse me? Would you give a rapist probation if he exhibited psychiatric problems, your honor? I think not, and the very suggestion would raise howls of protest in the feminist community. Some in the feminist community would like to see rapists castrated regardless of their fragile mental states. Why the double standard? When men or boys rape, there is little regard for the life experiences that led them to that point, why the double standard when it comes to false rape accusers? Their lies can be as harmful or even more harmful than a rape.
Third, Judge Moore "warned the true cost of her offending would be paid by genuine rape victims subjected to court scrutiny." Did you get that? Here we have another judge who seems more concerned about hypothetical, phantom, possible, could-be, even unborn rape victims who might be, possibly will be, may be dissuaded by such lies from coming forward, as opposed to the real victims of false rape claims -- the men and boys who might be arrested based on a lie. Innocent men and boys are too often considered to be nothing more than collateral damage in the war on rape, because false rape claims are typically viewed through a gynocentric lens that blinks at the harm they cause innocent men and boys. We've previously dealt with this peculiar and unfortunate phenomenon -- How women became the primary vicitms of a crime that only targest men
Fourth, and most disturbing, are the comments of sexual assault counselor, a Dr Kim McGregor, director of Auckland-based group Rape Prevention Education. She tosses around statistics that she should not toss around. For example, she notes that as few as 2 percent of rape claims are false -- which is grossly incorrect. Don't trust me, read this (PDF) scholarly article that thoroughly debunks the two percent figure. Then Dr. McGregor tosses out a number that she claims represents an estimate for unreported claims -- also not appropriate because no one has an accurate way of knowing the percentage of unreported claims. The numbers are a moving target -- but when did that stop a radical feminist from latching onto one to prove a political point?
But the greatest piece of misandry is yet to come. You may need to read the following sentence several times, and squint hard: "Dr McGregor said false rape allegations were often triggered by traumatic experiences and questioned the benefit of prosecution in such cases."
We are treated once again to the yipping yapping howl of a radical feminist rape counselor who has no regard for innocent men. None. This is among the most outrageous statements ever uttered in the context of false rape claims, and that is saying a lot because the field is littered with the idiocy of radical feminism that has lost all sense of fairness, all sense of reason. Such as Catherine Comins' Time Magazine quotation that false rape is "not a pain that I would necessarily have spared" men. Or Catharine Mackinnon's Yale commencement address: "Look to your left, look to your right, look in front of you, and look behind you. Statistics tell us you have just laid eyes on someone guilty of sexual assault." Or this quote by the same woman: "Perhaps the wrong of rape has proved so difficult to define because the unquestionable starting point has been that rape is defined as distinct from intercourse, while for women it is difficult to distinguish the two under conditions of male dominance." Or Wendy Murphy, referring to the Duke lacrosse defendants on CNN's Nancy Grace show: "These guys, like so many rapists -- and I'm going to say it because, at this point, she's entitled to the respect that she is a crime victim."
Dr. McGregor's statement is in that class -- it is misandry raised to an artform.
Where to begin to demonstrate the inanity of her thinking? Has Dr. McGregor no concept of the reasons for sentencing? Has she never heard of the concepts of individual and general deterrence? Does she not know that sentencing is an expression of society's denunciation for unlawful acts? And a means of protecting the public? And a means of providing rehabilitation? And a means of providing reparation to the victims and promoting a sense of responsibility in offenders? How are we to deter criminal behavior if we don't punish it? If people could commit crimes with impunity, what's to protect the innocent?
Oh, I'm sorry -- the innocent here are not worthy of Dr. McGregor's protection, because they are males who were victims of false rape claims. That's really the bottom line. The crime is not worthy of deterrence, is it? Or of denouncing? The offenders are not in need of rehabilitation, are they?
But then again, when have we ever met a rape counselor with the slightest regard for innocent men? Ever? When have we ever heard one even acknowledge that the innocent need protecting from lies even though they were born male? I never have. Not once.
I know nothing about Dr. McGregor aside from what I read in the news story below, but she is an incarnate insult to justice.
Moreover, Dr. McGregor's premise is so vacant, so utterly unsupportable that one wonders how she could have dreamed that up -- traumatic experiences? What?! Read Professor Kanin's landmark work on false rape claims (PDF) -- the most common reason for false rape lies is to hide a sudden, illicit but consensual sexual relationship. It's to save the liar's sweet ass. Trauma has nothing to do with it. But then again, why do I suspect that facts, that truth, mean nothing to persons like Dr. McGregor?
What would Dr. McGregor say of a rapist who raped because he was "traumatized"? Don't prosecute him?
Of course she would. Sure.
More likely she'd want to tie a wire around his testicles and rip them off. Let's be honest.
Dr. Kim McGregor is a clear danger to each and every penis-bearing human being.
We need to speak out about disgraceful comments such as Dr. McGregor's if we want to deter this sort of misandry from gaining even more respectability than it currently is afforded.
READ THE NEWS STORY CAREFULLY:
Rape-lie woman `model citizen'
A deaf Hamilton woman who falsely claimed she was raped and beaten during a home invasion has been described as a devout Christian and model citizen.
Kohine Dallas Pania Turanga appeared in the Hamilton District Court for sentencing on Monday after earlier pleading guilty to a charge of willfully attempting to pervert the cause of justice.
She was sentenced to four months' community detention and ordered to pay $5120 reparation.
Turanga made the false allegation last November, at a time when Hamilton police were investigating a series of alleged sex attacks.
She claimed a man forced his way into her Albert St, Hamilton East, home where he began a prolonged and vicious sexual attack. At the time police reported that she required medical attention.
The investigation into Turanga's rape complaint cost about $25,000.
Hamilton police yesterday welcomed Turanga's sentencing, saying it would serve as a deterrent to others.
Defence counsel Gina Jansen had told the court that Turanga suffered from depression and had sought professional help in an attempt to understand her actions. She said Turanga deeply regretted wasting police time and described the 41-year-old cleaner as a model citizen and committed Christian.
Judge Lindsay Moore said Turanga's complaint could have resulted in someone being falsely charged. She would have faced a jail sentence if it had not been for her psychiatric and psychological problems.
Judge Moore said Turanga's account to police had been graphic and detailed. "Fortunately it became apparent that the essential part of your story was untrue and no one was charged."
Judge Moore said it was unrealistic for Turanga to pay full reparation and warned the true cost of her offending would be paid by genuine rape victims subjected to court scrutiny.
But Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Nigel Keall, of Hamilton CIB, commenting later, said Turanga's prosecution should not deter genuine victims from coming forward.
The sentencing should be seen as reassurance to the community that such complaints were taken seriously and subject to robust investigation, Mr Keall said.
Last November, a Japanese woman, aged 21, said she was raped in Hamilton but later admitted making a false complaint. In March, a 17-year-old admitted falsely claiming she was raped in Hamilton.
Dr Kim McGregor, director of Auckland-based group Rape Prevention Education, said that about 2-10 per cent of rape claims were false, but an estimated 91 per cent of sex attacks were not reported. Dr McGregor said false rape allegations were often triggered by traumatic experiences and questioned the benefit of prosecution in such cases.
Another cruel and unusual punishment, without due process of law. Someone is sentenced to XX years, but they cannot get out after XX years, because the state did not evaluate him/her before their release, so now, they are held against their will in civil commitment, until the psychiatrist can do the job they should have already done. Now how is that fair and just treatment? It's not! Civil commitment is just prison outside of prison. If they are such a danger, why were they not given a longer sentence at the trial? Any imprisonment after prison, is just wrong, period!
By LEVI PULKKINEN - P-I REPORTER
A King County jury has ruled that convicted sex offender Richard Hosier should remain confined until state psychiatrists decide he's no longer a threat to the community.
- Why did they not do this while he was still in prison?
If not for the jury's verdict, Hosier, 61, was due to be released from prison after serving six years for leaving sexually explicit notes for children. He'd previously been convicted of raping a 16-year-old Bellevue girl and, while in prison, admitted to raping 30 other women and children.
- So was it proven he raped this many women and children? If so, he is apparently a danger, so why did he not get a longer sentence? Just admitting to something, doesn't make it truth! He could be lying, and trying to look tough or something, or mentally unstable!
Prosecutors filed suit asking that Hosier be sent to a state-run center on McNeil Island that houses persistent sexual predators, where he'll be confined until he's deemed suitable for release by treatment center staff. Of the 335 offenders who've entered the 18-year-old program, only two have been completely freed.
Attorneys for Hosier argued that he was able to control his impulses and did not, necessarily, pose a threat to the community. The jury disagreed, after three hours of deliberation, finding unanimously Wednesday evening against Hosier.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Rod Scarr said he believes the jury was swayed by Hosier's "chronic, enduring pattern of deviant behavior."
"I'm not surprised (by the decision) given his extensive, 50-plus-year history of this behavior," Scarr said Thursday.a
- 50 plus year history? Is this on his criminal history? Or is this just based on hearsay? I'd like to know the truth, and not just something someone thinks may be the truth!
Hosier was returned to the McNeil Island center following the decision.
P-I reporter Levi Pulkkinen can be reached at 206-448-8348 or email@example.com.
With the 2008 Presidential Elections less than a month away, I am getting more and more emails about our Right to Vote. Feeling compelled to clear up some misconceptions Americans have on our "Right to Vote", I find myself giving you yet another article in the series.
Our Right to Vote is a basic Constitutional right as set forth in the Fifteenth Amendment. What most people will miss is the second part. "The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."
Appropriate legislation has turned into a "who's allowed to vote and who's not allowed". Even tho the "United States nor any State" can take away that right. Even based on a persons "previous condition of servitude". Interesting how most people with any type of criminal background are excluded from voting.
But I digress.
Here is a basic understanding of the voting process.
The President is elected by Electoral College votes and not by Popular vote. Just like in 2004. Al Gore won the popular vote, but Bush won the electoral vote.
So, why does it do any good to vote anyways? The more votes, the more electoral college points allotted to a state.
Here is another problem most people aren't aware of. We used to have the right to "write in" a candidate. Now with invention of electronic voting, we no longer have the option (at times) to "write in" a candidate. Not to mention all of the voting machine fraud.
So the question at hand remains. If neither candidate in the Presidential Election is worthy of holding office, what is the public to do? With the voting fraud, votes are shuffled from one candidate to another. And if the vote is for a third person, it may not even be counted at all. And not voting just reduces the numbers and therefore raising the percentages that a candidate has...
Then we have Obama busing people to get registered to vote, and vote in the same day. The ACLU is sending out messages both on their blog and in emails trying to get people to vote (their agenda is for the Constitution itself).
And this seasons elections are highly important. We are voting on a man who has acknowledged that he wouldn't mind being a dictator, and another who has close friends that are known terrorists. Who do we vote for to hold the highest office in the land? Who is "best qualified" to lead our Nation? If we write-in a candidate that we feel would do the job right, would our votes even make it.
Is voting a guaranteed right? Or just a motion to be gone through by the people to placate them into believing that everything is ok? Is the outcome of the Vote predetermined by some other group we are unaware of as citizens?
And with the reduction in eligible voters (people with a criminal record), do we really have a correct representation of the public in the voting system?
This years vote will be the most important vote that some will ever make. I pray that those voting do their homework and know who they are voting for.
Now is not the time for mistakes.
By Arezow Doost
FORT WORTH (CBS 11 News) ― On Election Day, registered sex offenders – if eligible to vote – must find a polling place away from precincts at schools or playgrounds.
"It was a mistake I made that I have to pay for," said a 42-year-old man who did not want to be identified. "I'm trying to recreate a life for myself in the community."
The man is a registered sex offender charged with indecency with a child. His victim was a 12-year-old girl.
"It was something that I did wrong. She didn't do anything," said the man, who lives in Fort Worth. "This was all my fault."
He was put on deferred adjudication. That makes him eligible to vote this presidential election.
"If a person is on a deferred adjudication, they do not lose their right to vote, but there could be extenuating circumstances that would keep them from being able to vote," said Mike Coomer, Tarrant Co. Community Supervision & Corrections Department.
The department supervises more than 500 sex offenders. "Unfortunately when they go to vote, we would not be there to monitor where they are going," said Coomer. "We would simply relay on them doing the right thing."
Registered sex offenders are required to stay away from areas where children congregate. This election they can either vote early or make arrangements to vote at other polling locations.
"If their polling place is a school it can cause problems," said Steve Raborn, Tarrant County Elections Administrator.
"I'm probably going to look at voting early," said the unidentified man. He says he is just grateful he can cast his ballot.
"I may have made a mistake, but it wasn't something that should change my opinion as far as the way the country is run," he said.
Felons still serving time, whether in jail or on parole, can not vote.
View the article here
According to a new study by researchers at the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center, most of what the you think about Web-based sex predators is probably wrong.
The study, published in the February/March issue of the journal American Psychologist and titled, "Online 'Predators' and Their Victims: Myths, Realities and Implications for Prevention," was based on three surveys: two of teen Internet users, and one involving hundreds of interviews with law enforcement officials. The results reveal that "the stereotype of the Internet 'predator' who uses trickery and violence to assault children is largely inaccurate."
Much of the public's concern comes from fear-mongering journalism. While TV shows like NBC's "To Catch a Predator" and the "Today Show" gain high ratings frightening parents into thinking that threats to children lurk around every corner and abound on the Web, the reality is quite the opposite.
Among the study's findings:
Myth #1: The sexual abuse of children has jumped, largely because of the surge in Internet predators.
Despite popular belief (and a fact-challenged 2001 "Newsweek" magazine headline that claimed that the Internet has created a "shocking increase in childhood exploitation of children"), sex assaults on teens dropped significantly (more than 50 percent) between 1990 and 2005. Ironically, it is the alarmist news coverage of sex offenses that has jumped dramatically over the past decade -- not the attacks themselves.
Myth #2: Internet predators are a new threat to children.
In fact, the largest threat to children always has been, and remains, the child's parents and caregivers. Children are in far more danger of being abused, kidnapped, or killed by their parents than any stranger on the street or on the Web. While the Internet is a new way for some predators to find victims, if the Internet had not been invented they would have found victims in other ways -- at home, school, or church, for example.
Myth #3: Children should not interact with strangers online because of the potential for abuse.
If there is one thing that the Internet does better than anything else, it is connecting people who don't know each other. That's the magic of the World Wide Web; it's just as easy to communicate online with someone around the block as around the world. Of course everyone (including kids and teens) should be careful about divulging personal information, but in virtual life, just as in real life, the vast majority of strangers are not a threat.
Myth #4: Most Internet predators are pedophiles.
The public largely assumes that people looking for sex online are targeting young children, but that's not true. In fact, most predators seek relationships and sex from teens and adolescents, not from younger children.
Myth #5: Internet predators often use deception to abduct and forcibly rape their victims.
The reality is that Web predators rarely use deception; most victims are well aware that the person they are communicating with online is an adult interested in sex. The predators rarely trick or force their victims into sex; they don't need to because the victims often voluntarily meet with them, intending to have sex. Most Web predators are guilty of statutory -- not forcible -- rape because the victim is under the age of consent.
There is no doubt that Internet predators are real, and do pose a threat. But the real danger is the public's deeply flawed understanding of the problem.
"To prevent these crimes, we need accurate information about their true dynamics," said Janis Wolak, lead author of the study. "The things that we hear and fear and the things that actually occur may not be the same."
By RS Davis (Libertarian)
Why are we targeting the very people we are charged to protect?
Our world is going absolutely insane. We've lost all sense of scope or perspective, and we've abandoned common sense and reason, seemingly content to just stay the course and push forward, oblivious to the absolute stupidity of our actions.
No, I'm not talking about the Iraq War - I'm talking about our war against sex offenders. It's gone off the deep end - it's being taken to absurd ends - and no one seems to care. We're targeting the very innocence these laws are designed to protect.
Case in point - police in Newark, Ohio picked up a fifteen year old girl last week and held her over the weekend on felony charges of child pornography and possession of criminal tools. Her crime? She took nude pictures of herself with her cell phone and sent them to friends.
They're now debating on whether to charge the children to whom she sent the photos, as well.
Not surprising in Ohio, who went fully nuts in 2006, when they passed a bill that made it so you didn't have to be even charged with a sex crime to be put on their "civil" sex offender list.
Or there's Alex Phillips, the seventeen year-old boy who, after being dumped by his sixteen year-old girlfriend, uploaded to MySpace the nude photos she had sent him. Now he's facing charges of sexual exploitation of a child. I'm surprised she wasn't also arrested for producing child pornography.
There's also the case of "Amber" and "Jeremy," a couple of Florida teens who took photos and videos of themselves engaged in sexual acts at Amber's house and then emailed them to Jeremy's computer. They have been convicted of "producing, directing or promoting a photograph featuring the sexual conduct of a child." Because they were sent to his computer, Jeremy was also convicted of possession of child pornography.
The conviction was upheld on appeal, the majority opinion stating that the "Appellant was simply too young to make an intelligent decision about engaging in sexual conduct and memorializing it."
If they were too young to make an intelligent decision, how can they then be held legally responsible for it? It's a bizarre paradox where they are too innocent to choose sex, but mature enough to choose be sex offenders. I mean, the courts didn't even release their real names, to protect them!
The dissenting judge in the case rightly pointed out the obvious, that these laws were "designed to protect children from abuse by others, but it was used in this case to punish a child for her own mistake."
This is what I'm on about. These kids are all going to be put on the sex offender registries, and their lives are never going to be the same. They will be ostracized and villified. They run the risk of having their future homes vandalized by angry neighbors. In many states, they will not be able to be within 2,500 feet of children, including their friends and siblings, not to mention the problems if they marry and have children. They may even be targets for murderers.
The definition of sex offender has been expanded to the point of being so broad, its meaningless. When you look at your local registry, you don't know if your neighbor is a child-molesting pervert, or the eighteen year-old senior that got busted for consensual sex with his highschool sweetheart.
This does nothing to promote justice or make our children any safer, and in fact, has the opposite effect. With so much bad information out there on these lists, its near impossible to find the real threats to your children.
And in many cases, it is the State who is the real threat - branding our kids with their very own scarlet letters, sending innocent children out into the world with a metaphorical pervert tattoo on their foreheads.
In the case of Amber and Jeremy, the court said that "if these pictures are ultimately released, future damage may be done to these minors' careers or personal lives."
Yeah? And what's being on the sex offender registry going to do for their careers and personal lives?
This man, is a "good ole' boy" who got a way with the same thing many others have done, and they are in prison, while he walks! The saying goes: "And freedom and justice for all," and that should be changed to "And freedom and justice for some!"
By James Kirchick
The scandal surrounding former Florida Republican representative Mark Foley was critical in the Democrats’ 2006 takeover of Congress. Now that an investigation has determined he broke no law, was winning an election worth perpetuating gay stereotypes?
You could be pardoned for forgetting about mark foley. The erstwhile congressman’s life unraveled in September 2006 with the leaking of salacious e-mails and instant messages he had sent to a male former congressional page, a personally humiliating spectacle that dominated the news for more than a month leading into the November congressional election. Confronted with the most embarrassing of these unseemly valentines by ABC News, the Florida lawmaker promptly resigned, checked himself into rehab, and released a statement through his lawyer explaining that he was gay, an alcoholic, and the victim of sexual abuse perpetrated by a priest when he was a youth. Since then, the disgraced Foley has been so reclusive it’s as if he’d vanished off the face of the earth.
He was yanked from his self-imposed anonymity on September 19, however, with the news that he’s been vindicated ,-- at least legally. After a nearly two-year investigation in which 17 former pages were interviewed, officials with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced that they had found no evidence to suggest that Foley had broken any laws. There is nothing to suggest that he had had sexual encounters with minors or that he had e-mailed them explicit images. The U.S. Department of Justice has also said it doesn’t plan to bring charges against the former congressman.
Lest anyone accuse me of being soft on a sexual predator, let me be clear: What Mark Foley did was reprehensible. And the fact that he’s been legally exonerated doesn’t mean he should have stayed in office; he was clearly a threat to the young charges in the page program and needed help. But, as Florida officials discovered, nothing he did was illegal. His untoward messages, a few of which solicited sexual acts, were all sent to former pages, all of whom were 16 years old or older.
The close of the investigation against Foley once again raises questions about the motives of the people who pushed this scandal to such dizzying heights of notoriety. What drove them to attack Foley with such vindictiveness? Was it really a desire to “protect children,” as so many of them claimed, or was there something more cynical at work?
To this day, it remains unclear how exactly Foley’s messages made their way into the public eye. What is known, however, is that for months anonymous sources peddled them to Washington journalists in the hope of exposing Foley, but various news organizations declined to publicize them as there was no evidence that Foley had violated any law, just that he was a little creepy. One of the first journalists to receive the explicit messages was Ken Silverstein, Washington editor of Harper’s. His magazine refused to publish the e-mails, but after the story broke on ABC News, he revealed that he had received five of the salacious messages in May 2006 from a “Democratic operative.”
The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities I wish every human being had been graced with.
Her last project of the term was called, "Smile."
The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions.
I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake, literally.
Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning.
It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son.
We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away and then even my husband backed away.
I did not move an inch... an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.
As I turned around I smelled a horrible "dirty body" smell and there standing behind me were two poor homele ss men.
As I looked down at the short gentleman close to me, he was "smiling."
His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance.
He said, "Good morning" as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.
The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his guardian angel.
I held my tears as I stood there with them.
The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted.
He said, "Coffee is all Miss," because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up they had to buy something, he just wanted to be warm) .
Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action.
I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray.
I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand.
He looked up at me with tears in his eyes and said, "Thank you."
I leaned over to pat his hand and said, "I wanted to do this for you, God is here working through me to give you a little of what I have in the hope others watching will do the same for others.
I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, 'That is why God gave you to me honey, to teach me how to reach out to others when no one else is willing.
We held hands for a moment and realized, only because of the Grace we had been given we were able to give to another.
We are not church goers, we are absolute believers in God and His goodness.
That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love.
I returned to college on the last evening of class with this story in hand.
I turned in my project and the instructor read it.
My instructor looked up at me and asked, "Can I share this?"
I humbly gave my approval as she summoned the attention of the class.
She began to read, that is when I knew, we as human beings, being literal children of God, need to share with others and to help heal this world.
In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald's, my son, my instructor and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student and finally, I hope this has touched you!
I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn:
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE IS THE ACCEPTANCE AND UNDERSTANDING TO ACT TO HELP OTHERS IN NEED WHO APPEAR TO BE UNACCEPTABLE TO SOCIETY.
Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to LOVE PEOPLE AND USE THINGS - NOT LOVE THINGS AND USE PEOPLE.
There is an Angel sent to watch over you.
To better facilitate their work, please pass this on to the people you want watched over.
An Angel wrote:
Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
To handle yourself, use your head. To handle others, use your heart.
God gives every bird it's food, but He does not throw it into their nest.
It's not just the Republican party who use deception, it's almost all facets of government!
WARNING: Harsh language and truth ahead! Not for those who want the truth!
How the Republican Party utilizes scare tactics and deception to get elected and stay in office while they rob our Nation blind.
The real credit should go to those who made the original clips, including but not limited to:
Bill Maher, Lewis Black, Matt Damon, Katie Couric, The Daily Show & John Stewart, TPM, Bush, Palin, McCain, Obama, John Lennon etc.
Another City, Same Ban!
By Venita Jenkins - Staff writer
LUMBERTON — The Lumberton City Council Policy Committee on Wednesday supported an ordinance that would ban sex offenders from public parks.
The city’s Recreation Committee requested the ordinance, said City Attorney Robert Price.
The City Council will vote on the ordinance Monday night.
Under the law, registered sex offenders would not be allowed in the parks unless they are working on a Department of Correction crew or voting at a polling site at a park, he said.
- What sex offender would want to vote idiots into office just so they can pass more unconstitutional laws anyway?
Price told the committee there was a recent challenge to a similar ordinance passed by another municipality. A court, however, determined that the ordinance was a valid provision.
The town of Woodfin was sued and the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled in its favor in June.
“If it was up to me, I would like to ban them from the city all together,’’ Councilman Erich Von Hackney said. “I do think it is an excellent ordinance and one we intend to enforce.’’
- It's good you are not running the state! It's people like you who should not be working for the government at all. Everybody has rights, given to them by God, and the Constitution, period! And if all states thought like you do, where do you expect them to live? Not all sex offender are dangerous, and how many sexual assaults can you tell me of, which occurred in a park?
Hackney, who serves as the mayor pro tem, said the ordinance would be easy to enforce. Lawmen would respond to calls about suspicious activity. Individuals’ names would be checked through a state database to determine whether the person is a sex offender.
“I don’t see it as the police going to the park and checking everyone,’’ Hackney said.
Lumberton isn’t the first town in the Cape Fear region to pass an ordinance banning sex offenders.
- Cape Fear! That is a good name for it!
The Elizabethtown Town Council voted in April 2007 to ban sex offenders from the town’s parks and recreation areas. Sex offenders who violate the ordinance could face a $500 fine and 30 days in jail.
The town modeled its ordinance after those in Woodfin and Brevard, in western North Carolina. The American Civil Liberties Union lost a lawsuit against Woodfin in 2006, when the organization tried to overturn the ordinance.
- Of course they lost, because the constitution is not worth the paper it's written on, anymore!
The Woodfin Town Council adopted its ordinance in April 2005 after the arrest of a sex offender. The offender moved from Tennessee to a home near a town park. Three months later, he was arrested on nearly a dozen charges involving luring girls to his home for the purpose of having sex.
- Ok, so you passed a law, based on this case. I do not see where he sexually assaulted anybody at a park or recreation center either. It's just the typical knee-jerk reaction!
The Pembroke Town Council passed a similar ordinance in August.
In other business, the committee voted to ask the Robeson County Board of Commissioners to grant an ambulance franchise. The city decided last month to pursue a grant that would allow the Lumberton Fire Department to provide advanced life support transportation service. The service would reduce the response time for medical emergencies within the city limits.
The department would have to buy two ambulances at a cost of $200,000 and spend $20,000 for equipment. The program would call for 12 firefighters at a cost of $432,000 the first year. It would cost the city about $192,496 the first year of operation. The cost would jump to $665,803 when the grant money runs out. If the collection rate for transportation fees was 100 percent, the city would see revenue of more than $1 million. At a 65 percent rate, revenue would be $677,625.
Price, the city attorney, said the county is considering an agreement where it would collect the money for the first three years. The city would receive $150 per transport. After the third year, the city would receive $200 per transport, he said.
Commissioners could vote on the proposal at their Oct. 20 meeting.
Staff writer Venita Jenkins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (910) 738-9158.