Category Archives: FEATURED

Time For An Age Of National Consent— Not So Fast— A Critique

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

It’s one of those things that looks good on paper but turns out disastrous in practice here’s why… Because unfortunately what Salon’s author fails to realize is, in addition to multitudes of the stories we are just hearing now about Moore, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and others being decades upon decades old, situations that would not take place in America today, probably not within the last 15 years, a national age of consent wouldn’t have stopped Roy Moore. Any more than it would have helped the journalist’s son assaulted by Kevin Spacey devastatingly traumatized by what was done to him or the despicable described scenario with Anthony Rapp. Not singularly highlighting stopping them had to involve the victims coming forward, making reports to authorities, alerting law enforcement to what was happening; the missing link to their downfall at the time not laws on the books or gaps in the legal code. Consent law, dealing primarily with legal age to sign documents, live independently absent being considered a runaway, juvenile delinquent, and yes have sex with another person discarding fear of being charged with rape or child molestation, wouldn’t have protected the majority of Bill Cosby’s victims realizing they were mostly of age, stopped the U.S. gymnastics doctor, a gymnastics doctor who played off what he was doing as medical massage, treatment. Why, of either set that weren’t of age by the guidelines across most of the country, they both had plausible reasons for their, even intimate looking, contact with minors. Bill Cosby was mentoring both of and underage aspiring actors, models, writers, could have easily told police parents had given verbal guardianship to him for the duration of an event, trip or job, which it appears for all intents and purposes they did; enough under the law through the 1960’s 70’s and early 80’s, especially to stave off curious questions of rarely inquiring police officers. Larry Nassar was USA gymnastics team doctor and massage is a legitimate medical treatment for athletes; parents of underage gymnasts not accompanying their children on such trips had signed release and guardianship forms congruent with state laws and years of tradition in the sport rendering the age of consent issue null and void related to what he did. Then to be exceedingly graphic, there’s the type of assault he used fondling and fingering these girls penetrating their anus or vagina via his fingers leaving no detectable evidence; further his victims were too ashamed, worried for their careers, sacrifices they and their parents had made to reach this far, to remotely consider speaking out, confused by his doctor status and was could and couldn’t be deemed medical treatment to ask questions outside their own heads. Consent that wouldn’t have hampered Jared Fogle in the slightest owing to his willingness to break the law from the outset, charged with possessing volumes of child porn tacked onto his egregious crossing state lines to have sex with a 17 year old prostitute; breaking the law herself by exchanging sex for money, fitting the pattern of focus on society’s undesirables to engage in sexual criminality. Consent ages not a preventive to both headline making high school student teacher ‘romantic’ relationships, never mind before they ran off with their students; teens invested in keeping them secret. Victim reluctance to come forward, to report lingering number 2 problem today in managing sexual abuse, assault, harassment and rape cases behind the sheer numbers of perpetrators, instances taking place; chronicling said abuse continues to be vastly underreported almost 20 years into the 21st century due to persistent social factors essentially both Moore and Spacey’s accusers, accusers of any prominent figure, local celebrity or known name come up against…. Though Amanda Marcotte makes clear what she thinks the age of consent should be (18) as well as the underage relationships we shouldn’t interfere with, sexual activity, exploration of similarly aged teenagers; she again naively misses the mark, that’s exactly what it has been used for in the past, continues to be used for at present and will be used for in the future by those crafting such laws, voting for local officials who support such measures under the misguided heading moral fiber. Conveniently forgetting too aid to dependent children being cut off at 17 throughout several states, which can result in teens thrown out of their homes at that time; how often America’s justice system rushes to charge teens as adults in violent crime, crimes particularly offensive to old fuddy-duddy politicians’ sensibilities. Namely ones entailing sex with each other, sex with someone they label their boyfriend, girlfriend that falls under fornication, AKA premarital sex; the shocking reality, to many of the same people, teens actually do willingly have sex comparatively age appropriately absent any abuse, predation or ‘older guy manipulation.’ Making a national age of consent markedly more complicated than first glance thoughts indicate, statements taking on exponential new meaning as you read her article comparing it to what is actually happening; she enfolded comments about writing consent laws to avoid punishing and prosecuting teens for ‘sending dirty pictures to each other’ because that’s precisely what district attorneys and state prosecutors were doing for years right up to present day penning of her missive. Cases this blog has reported on like Phillip Alpert who got angry at his girlfriend in the middle of the night and sent a naked photo she had given him to her entire e-mail list (by accident), not even remembering he had done so, but because he was 18 and his girlfriend was 16 he was charged with possession of child pornography. Convicted, despite both teens’ parents confirming their ongoing relationship and forced to register as a sex offender, attend classes with ‘fellow’ sex offenders, listening to topics like ‘why it’s bad to rape someone.’ Citizens willing to say that was 8 to 10 years ago things have changed, read the story of Zach Anderson (going viral in 2015) who used the dating app Hot or Not, known as a meeting space for hook-ups by persons seeking sex, sexual encounters with no strings attached to find a date, connected with a girl who stated she was 17; Anderson 19 having graduated high school the year before thinking little of the age difference. They chatted, swapped nude photos, agreed to meet; he picked her up at her house, went to a convenience store to buy condoms, went to a place to have sex, had sex, he hugged her and took her home. Only for police to show up at his work roughly 2 months later ultimately charging him with statutory rape and a slew of related charges, pleading guilty to 4th degree criminal sexual conduct; why, she was actually 14 not 17, lying about her age to register a profile on the adult portion of the site, lying to him to in order to meet up with him and have sex. Forcing him to serve 90 days in jail, go onto the sex offender registry, move out of his parent’s home because it’s 800 feet not 1,000 from a public boat access, forfeit his chosen career in IT because he was no longer allowed to use a computer or smartphone, barred from the local skate park due to it being a public place where children might be…. already starting 2018 brought with it a host of new laws taking effect, bringing us to Colorado whose legislature passed tougher penalties on what, teen sexting; a step backwards if there ever was one. Going an added step in the wrong direction ganging public reaction to a 2016 proposal that would reduce sexting to a misdemeanor offense, parents and teen advocates worried it would lead to more charges, precisely because it was no longer a devastating blotch on young criminal records…. Zach Anderson’s story hardly over seeing as he was rearrested for a probation violation after a lie detector and subsequent confession done to end his 2 year probation revealed he sat in a room with his brother’s 17 year old friend eating pizza and volunteered at a church function where a 17 year old girl also worked. Arrested by his Indiana probation officer under condition 20 stating incidental contact like being served at a McDonald’s by a server under age must reported within 24 hours, Zach did not; except his lawyer has found condition 20 is illegal, ruled unconstitutional siting precisely what the Reason blog author did, it turns mundane daily life into a legal minefield. That pitfall avoided in Indiana while his Michigan probation officer (he has 2 since his ‘crime’ crossed state lines between the 2 states and he resides in Indiana) was ready to release him slightly early him having been exceedingly compliant, going a step beyond in earning good grades; the judge said no, going as far as to give him another 6 months due back in court April of ‘18. Why, he violated the stipulation he only use the internet for school instead googling a filter for his fish tank and how to build a skateboard ramp, not to be confused with adult, legal porn, not horrifying child pornography, anything to do with children suggesting he has a budding pedophile problem, presents any danger whatsoever to society. Self-righteous adults who want to say well he can’t follow the rules, readers would doubtlessly heartily enjoy watching them try to live by his abbreviated yes, but still extensive list of restrictions, for 2 straight years having younger siblings who want friends over in what is their own house too, getting out of one’s own head and volunteering at church, looking up constructive things to do on the internet, opposite of getting into more trouble to have it bite them in the ass the way it has Zach Anderson… Pivoting back to adults bad, truthfully sexually predatory behavior exclusively, moreover it isn’t the age of consent that’s the largest problem with Moore and the #metoo celebrities exposed as sexual predators, sexual predators in general, throughout the broader public; instead the consent that was never given. Not only because the victim in question is a young child incapable of understanding what is happening, but older adolescents who maybe know just enough to know they don’t want it, grown men and women who know for sure they don’t want what their potential abuser has in mind and makes that abundantly clear… Applying additional needed perspective, his actions with Leigh Corfman amount to child molestation not singularly because of her age, but also because she gave no indication of consent to what he did, no sexually precocious ‘flirting’ often used as an excuse as to why teachers and other grown adults ‘couldn’t help themselves,’ claim they acted older than their age, a warning sign in and of itself if present there is much more going on with that child; thoroughly shocked by what was happening, telling him she was uncomfortable. Him still not getting the message of her disinterest, forget trauma, repeatedly trying to ask her out on subsequently desired ‘dates’ she never went to. That ‘forceful,’ unwanted kiss he suddenly planted on Gena Richardson constitutes sexual misconduct/assault, and provided descriptions of what he did to Beverly Young-Nelson is nothing short of attempted rape, pure and simple; behaviors every one against the law be you 6, 16 or 60, anywhere along said age line, or exceeding it. One social, societal game changer to come out of cases like Steubenville, the conviction of teens involved, backlash toward extraordinarily light sentences given for convictions related to rape/sexual assault where the perpetrators were in high school or college, think Brock Turner and the high school basketball player where the judge commented a harsh sentence would ruin his life, is a shift in how we talk about consent, in depth conversations on how we present consent to young people, productive discussions on adding it to comprehensive sexual education curriculum. Scrapping the overly simplistic no means no we grew up with to telling hormone filled youngsters they must secure an enthusiastic yes to sex before going ahead with intercourse; because, as this blog pointed out Steubenville convicted rapist Ma’Lik Richmond said he didn’t see a rape, had he seen one he would have stopped it, that Massachusetts basketball player point blank told the judge since she didn’t say no, when he started to finger her, he thought it was ok. Indicating a drastic gap in legal definitions of concepts like consent, rape and public general knowledge definitions; our kids are falling victim to poor information, poor definitions and no preparation for the scenarios they face navigating their world like the ‘everybody falling down drunk at parities, games, concerts’ Richmond told the ABC news interviewer about as well as what he thought rape was, jumping out of an ally somewhere and attacking a girl. Connecting that to Roy Moore and conversations around age of consent, the national age of consent Salon’s author insists we need, contrast the evolving approach to teaching consent, the idea of receiving an enthusiastic yes to sex before continuing with sexual advances to the enthusiastic NO he kept getting from local teens. Enthusiastic no’s he paid no heed to and neither did anyone else from store managers to local police who only put him on a ‘watch’ list, resolving to keep a better eye on him; never mind stalking and harassment are real crimes, offenses prosecutable under the law, actions for which you can be arrested/jailed and apply whether you are 8, 18 or 80 again anywhere along that age line or outliving it. Yet it doesn’t just boil down to a person’s age, questions on dubious consent to a sexual encounter, high school and college parties where nearly everyone has ingested alcohol, are varying degrees of drunk, where you’re clearly operating in a gray area, it’s the consent never sought out nor asked for. Surpassing the ruffies rewind used by Bill Cosby to get women to willingly down pills by telling them they were something benign, dropping them in women’s drinks or setting it up to make it appear an established addict had a relapse, abusing medical authority over patients in your care the way Dr. Nassar did in order to get Maroney alone in a hotel room to abuse her on a trip, taking away their ability to consent legally or otherwise by introducing multiple mind altering substances. Tina Johnson was never asked if she wanted to date Roy Moore, unaware until later he was married a huge no go zone for her, never asked if she liked/appreciated the flirty attention he was giving to her, in fact freaked out by it; if ever having tried a case in a courtroom, indications he should have been able to pick up on, sneakily grabbing her buttocks she states scarred her for life, a whole different level of brazenly not ok….Zero consent, permission sought in what happened to Terry Crews at a party where a Hollywood talent agent sort started out leering at him and sticking his tongue out at him in an overtly sexual way; confused, trying to understand if this was an icebreaker or what, Crews goes over to shake his hand. And while he puts his hand out to be shaken in the standard, especially male, professional business greeting, said agent reaches under his hand to grope him causing Crews to jump back vehemently objecting; body language/facial expression showing shock, his assaulter continuing with ‘the tongue move’ this time with added grunting noises. Coming back again to do the same thing prompting Crews to slap his hand away, shove him backwards with more force than the last time and outraged, ask what he was doing; whole scene happening in front of his wife who confirmed the account to ABC news. Crews left reeling from the absurdity of the situation, questioning still a year later as of interview footage, if it really happened; almost identical descriptions of what happened to Kevin Sorbo at the hands of now deceased Gianni Versace. Who graduated from verbal sexual harassment to running his hand up the actor’s leg; whose purported response to Sorbo’s assertion he was straight was to say “that’s why I like you, you’re not a girly man you’re a man’s man… adding an all too familiar element virtually dangling a modeling job in front of him if he would engage in a sexual encounter/relationship. Sounding all too much like the women describing assaults by now president Donald Trump his hands suddenly everywhere on a plain, at a bar he reaches up a woman’s skirt sitting in the next seat, making crude comments about a woman to a group he was out with one night walking in front of a building/on the sidewalk in front of it, woman waiting for her cab/car to be chatted up then have her beast groped. Sounding all too much exactly like what Mr. Trump said on the found Access Hollywood tape candidly depicting how he just starts kissing women, doesn’t wait for permission, simply does it and how being a star means he can get away with it, even to the point of grabbing her genitals. A county board member arrested after hallway building surveillance caught him in similar actions with a female colleague shortly after Trump’s election; sickeningly claiming said election meant he didn’t have to be worried about political correctness, which to him included the freedom to grab random women’s private parts. Louis CK was randomly masturbating in front of women while on the set of his many comedy productions without a thought they might be uncomfortable, uninterested in seeing his genitals, admitting the allegations against him were in fact true. Creating a 3 fold vice grip, vicious cycle of seemingly endless and next to unstoppable sexual misconduct, assault, emotionally scarring abuse, full on rape systematically unreported are those who use their power; paralleling what happened to Sorbo, Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey plus virtually every one of the #metoo exposed persons used their status as directors, movie makers, it actors, people with business currency to get aspiring talent jobs to gain sexual favors, elicit their silence about sexual propositions, harassment, forced sex acts. Even insidiously making it seem like part of the job; if you want the movie role, the connections I have access to, you must in return sleep with me… Moving away from celebrities and expanding out into the general public’s sexual abuse, predation problem carried out by ordinary citizens with no national recognition/status, there are those who use the social etiquette of tight, crowded spaces to perpetrate their abuse while putting themselves in places people either have to go or are commonly likely to be; hash tags like its not ok and tweet me your first assault unveiling creepy to abjectly terrifying encounters that have nothing to do with the age of consent so much as stopping pedophile predators, educating citizens on the legal parameters of consent correlating to real world, modern day scenarios. Making it clear to cat-callers what they’re doing is not complementary, polar opposite degrading, humiliating and profoundly unwanted; demonstrating the invariable fact that woman you may think looks hot and are giving her suggestive compliments accordingly may be an underage teen who’s highly developed for her age, a tween who is tall, again well developed for her age, reason 5,002 to knock it off. Social media experience recounts including the author who started the sharing movement telling her story “old man on city bus grabs my p**sy and smiles at me, I’m 12;” her far from the only one who couldn’t get on a bus or walk through a store being a kid without being used: 11 year old in a store, mother shopping the next aisle, man touches her a few times tries to take her. Women for years have told stories of not wearing makeup on the subway to avoid harassment, assault and rape on their way to work, shopping, business meetings, you name it. Exacerbating how young it starts, how young boys are when they get the idea they own a girl’s body not herself, “boy grabbed my chest in 4th grade when I yelled at him to stop, he punched me so hard in the stomach I doubled over,”14 year old grabbed from behind thought it was her fault she was wearing a dress, never told a soul; prime examples of the importance of teaching our kids what consent and respect are related to their own bodies and that of the opposite sex, speaking up when something uncomfortable, possibly criminal happens. Is how the utterly mundane basics of earning a living in a regular job can spell sexual danger for women, 19 year old first day in an office job, she said hello to male coworker, he kissed her full on the lips, a sneaky engineer who used to rub his arm into one woman’s breast reviewing projects with her; going through, getting higher education can also mean being raped: 18 assaulted in her college dorm by guy she went on 1 date with. Not having your own transportation, your own car can translate into attacks getting out of cabs, people of all ages being rubbed up against in a sexual manner on busses, trains, subways by all ages of men, boys, child sex abuse to full on rape; particularly alarming in the era of Uber and Lyft, popularity of the ride sharing apps and service among millennials uninterested in drivers licenses, getting their own vehicles or as yet unable to afford them just starting out in their careers, battling student loan debts and basic expenses. Actual Uber drivers using it for sexual assaults, usually of teens and college students, tired or drunk individuals; while fake Uber divers using similar looking cars and knock off logos proceed to kidnap, sexually assault women throughout every major city in the country. One woman writing a blog titled ‘my disposable body’ chronicling child sex abuse and later surviving rape, being in a crowd and finding someone’s hand inside your shirt, guy exposing himself to her on a kayaking trip with friends, being looked at like she was crazy by police when reporting anything short of full blown rape visited upon her via random guys who felt perfectly free to do these things with impunity. Then there are abusers who put themselves in their respective positions seemingly to find victims; teachers, coaches, youth program mentors all ones we know about. Jerry Sandusky seems to have built Second Mile exclusively for that purpose; Dennis Hastert before he came within miles of the U.S. congress was a high school wrestling coach who took boys on mentoring trips again using his title as wrestling coach and things he told students were to help their muscles exc. as a means to abuse boys. NBC news tracking down the woman whose Twitter recount assault story involved a camp counselor who reaches into her pocket and touches her vagina during a hug. Holders of career professions paralleling the gymnastics doctor, sometimes molesting girls with their parents’ right there in the room, spouting medical sounding jargon neither party could understand. From the tweet me your first assaults initiative: “Optician fitting me for my first contact lenses “drops” one down my blouse, grabs, strokes my breast as he “saves” it. I’m 14.” “My 3rd assault was by dermatologist made me undress in his office closet. Age14.” Currently there is a backlash against so called helicopter parenting supposedly bubble wrapping our children making them totally unprepared for adulthood which they appear to be reaching later and later according to college presidents and experts; well here is why we helicopter parent, no longer let our kids go into an exam room alone, push back against them having frank, open, solo conversations even with a trusted pediatrician about typical teen sexuality and sexual health. Because, we can’t so much as drop off our kids to be fitted for contacts, be a single dad and wait in the waiting room of a dermatologists office for our daughter to come out after an acne checkup appointment without finding stories like these; so, we will be in the room. Realizing in the room or not there is no guarantee of safety for kids so we will at least be present and available ask questions, report doctors that make us our kids uncomfortable. Prior to #metoo and #It’s not ok revelations came multi-media journalistic investigations revealing doctors abusing their patients fondling, forcing patients to fondle them as they were coming out of in office procedure anesthetic; complaints against doctors treated reminiscent to accusations in the priesthood about sexual abuse of children primarily, young boys, when not largely dismissed, explained away as a confused patient coming out of sedation, innocent removal of a contact or other dropped medical equipment, device, the dermatologist undressing contorted to legitimate viewing and touching of effected areas to devise treatment, doctors were shuttled to other practices out of town, state based on the premise it’s so expensive to train a doctor. Not sure what the excuse was for the pattern of doing like musical chairs with teachers known as passing the trash easily removing problem, sexual assaulting teachers only as far as a different school district, a different state via confidentiality agreements and glowing recommendations; this blog inclined to concur with the interviewed prosecutor calling it the easy way out, calling it the quickest, most efficient solution to get rid of a dangerous teacher… At the same time encompassing conversations illuminate it isn’t just ideas on a sane, universal age of consent, 18 being the obvious choice lining up with when you can vote, when you can legally sign documents, think apartment lease, open a bank account, it’s the glaring age difference between these predators and their victims when the younger is under 21, let alone 18, sending up giant red flags….this is about pedophilia and true sexual perversion of primarily men seeking young girls, men seeking young boys. Repeating scenario with the teacher pleading guilty to active pursuing a relationship with a teen in his school, having been employed at a different school where he made proposition promises of sex when she was at the age of consent to a prior student seeking algebra tutoring (another 16 state) while she was currently merely 11, the police officer arrested in a sting operation for soliciting who he thought was a 14 year old girl unveiled to be an undercover sting to catch persons precisely like himself. Anthony Weiner sits in a jail cell not for being a congressman and posting suggestive pictures of himself online, offering himself to women who were staffers but free to say no, he sits in a jail cell because he knew the girl he was sending lewd texts to was in high school while Mr. Weiner easily well into his 40’s and knowingly violating the law to boot; once out of prison he will probably never get past, at best supervised visitation with his now young son because he knew this girl was in high school, knew he was violating the law and still proceeded to stage a pic of him in his underwear laying next to the minor child then send it to her or post it online. Patrick Meehan’s staffer according to friends and associates was decades younger than he was and here he’s upset because she dares date someone age appropriate rather than respond to his love sick affections. Discussing exclusively the underage, jaw-droppingly low ages of legal marriage aspect, it isn’t limited to how young, usually the female side of the ‘partnership’ is when coming before a judge, but completing a pattern, the age disparity between the 2 persons being married; teens and tweens as young as 12 being married off to middle aged men by parents and/or judges signing off. 100% make the age for marriage 18, her preferred 21 if we are going to say you must be 21 to drink, vote or use legalized recreational marijuana; consent being nuancedly different than marriage as Marcotte illustrates. Close in age teens can consent to sex, sexual experimentation with each other, age appropriate relationships are natural and healthy even if the couple has yet to reach 18 and no one should be jailing, more importantly slapping a pedophile, child molester, sex offender label on a teen for continuing to date his high school girlfriend, sexting dirty words or pictures to his girlfriend, forwarding a willingly given picture to friends of his latest hookup, as much as we adults don’t like it. Marriage is markedly different usually binding the younger, more vulnerable half of the union, almost always the girl, to her partner financially, cutting off her means to higher education, career opportunities above medial employment, setting herself up to be trapped if the relationship is violent, turns violent at any time over the course of the marriage. What the Nepal and related investigations into American forced marriage, child marriage highlights is that only of age adults can file for divorce, even in the case of domestic violence, battered spouses; advocacy and rescue groups’ hands tied when they receive pleas from minors wanting out of said marriages apparently because the marriage makes this teen’s ‘husband’ her legal guardian and police are relegated to treating her as a runaway thus returning her to her toxic situation. Wait we’re confused, false imprisonment laws don’t apply because the person you don’t let go anywhere, constantly stalk while they leave the house is your wife; you claim this person as your spouse, petitioned a judge and/or her parents, if not both, to marry her at such a young age, then you beat and abuse her? Domestic violence, battered spouse laws don’t apply because the marriage was to a minor in a state, city, county that legally allows it with parent and/or judge permission, you can’t thus prosecute these abusers with physical evidence of beatings, abuse under simpler assault? Because they are a minor, or since guardianship seems to be why these ‘runaways’ are returned to their abusive ‘husbands,’ in a child marriage situation, why not slap them with child abuse charges? Effective legal maneuvering ways to combat such scenarios either while educating congressional members, facets of the legal community including ruling judges or without directly attacking the no minimum ‘age a girl can marry’ legal gap in some states, the low minimum ages in others; likewise avoiding sticky religious freedom and states rights’ arguments bound to come up local citizens will really behind if the federal government tries to step in. Step 2 then is to emancipate these ‘married’ minors, since a judge signed off on thinking they were adult enough to get married in the first place, making them legally adults and able to file for divorce; also, allowing advocacy and rescue agencies to intervene uninhibited and remove them from their abuser, a marriage they never truly wanted, setting the youngest sometimes (gag) 12 up in assisted living group/home type facilities meeting their financial needs until old enough to work. Legal adult status permitting them access to their official and identity documents birth certificate, social security card, obtain copies of same, file for lost/replacement card; documents allowing them to enroll, reenroll, maintain enrollment in K-12 public school, apply to colleges and access Pell grants, scholarships and other financial aid sources when the time comes, get a job. All a clarion call for shoring up domestic violence laws, spousal abuse statutes, strengthening parameters of basic assault charges; perhaps another angle to tackle the child marriage conundrum isn’t to mandate an age, isn’t to wade into the quagmire of religion, the fundamental basis for underage marriage of teens, tweens to much older men, choosing preemptive attack from the perspective of child abuse before her husband is beating her, as it pertains to contributing to the delinquency of a minor, possible sex abuse on the part of parents who want her married so young. It should be a sweeping red flag to a judge when he sees a teen wanting to marry anyone especially over the age of 20, never mind 30, 40 and above, it should be a bigger red flag when the parents too are eager for their daughter to be married to a middle aged person… Returning to child marriage solutions under child abuse statutes, laying out cases minus consent proving how marrying her off to a man at that young an age is harmful to her development, robs her of fundamental, legally mandated education, opens her up to marital violence, in the youngest cases the physically harmful effects of having sex, penitential pregnancy, her flagging ability to emotionally, developmentally care for a child; bullet points every one used to compel states to take custody of children born to teen mothers, petition the state teen mother’s rights be terminated, a child the product of a teen mother be placed for adoption, permit adoption proceedings of a long-term care foster family, so why not here? Side note there are often what used to be thought of as dowries exchanged, monies, goods exchanged for marriage agreements like the 2009 man who literally sold his 14 year old daughter to an 18 year old bridegroom for thousands in case 100 cases of beer, and 100 cases of meat calling police when the bridegroom failed to deliver on payment. Police promptly arresting the man on the grounds you can’t sell people period, per the state of California law he could not sell a minor into the situation the arranged marriage would put her in and their consent laws said she also could not be legally married. Link below that older story is a 2016 case chronicling a mother’s sentencing for among a litany of other charges encompassing forcing her 11 year old daughter to do drugs selling her for access to sex and heroine. Why can’t we apprehend, legally punish so called parents getting up to this negligent, dangerous crap on periphery charges if it is indeed that hard to convince judges, push politicians to change legislation, bring up wanted changes for a vote; none of it should be happening to children, let’s stop it all, not one aspect. Yes a long and arduous process yet far better than the defeatist tone taken by the child marriage awareness advocate essentially throwing up her hands saying there’s nothing we can do short of, while in the process of changing marriage laws across all 50 states, establishing minimum ages, raising existing minimum ages—not true or it shouldn’t be….So if a nationwide age of consent won’t work for anything except perhaps handling the creepy child marriage problem, what would have stopped Roy Moore and mirroring individuals; moving beyond Barbara Bowman being laughed out of a lawyer’s office, listening, acting on reports of harassment, misconduct, unwanted advances/pursuits, never mind assault or rape. Roy Moore should have been stopped when repeated complaints about unwanted pursuit, constant seeking of phone numbers prompted police to school him on harassment; while he likely would have had a plausible excuse for accumulating phone numbers, today his calling a high school and being able to bring a potential ‘date’ to the phone would not happen, they should have said to him he couldn’t continue to come to the mall to leer at teen girls, start random conversations that have nothing to do with products being sold, things he wants to buy making them exceedingly uncomfortable, he couldn’t continue causing girls to flee into bathrooms, hiding from him. If he was going to continue patronizing, using the YMCA, he was going to have to confine himself to the adult sections and refrain from speaking to teenagers, in eating establishments his leering at teen wait staff and pulling teen girls’ long hair was no longer going to be tolerated; if he was going to remain in attendance at local ballgames he was going to be required to steer clear of cheerleaders or be faced with trespassing charges, dido the dance recital where he first saw he wife. Along with helping the teens achieve restraining orders and protection orders against Mr. Moore barring him from coming within X feet of them so that they could work after school/weekend jobs in peace, absent fear of what he might do or what he wanted from them. When he kept doing it, he should have been charged and jailed, put on trial, before a bench to answer for his actions, facing potential disbarment from the American bar association for his conduct; not exactly an open and shut case, but close enough…Read More

What Actually Happened: Why Recounts Aren’t A Frivolous Waste Of Time, Simply The Left’s Inability To Accept Election Results

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Worth underscoring too is Jill Stein was the perfect person to demand recounts be undertaken in strategic areas chiefly because she wasn’t Hillary Clinton, wasn’t part of the Democratic Party machine, was the image of an individual without an agenda save electoral integrity for the American people. As mentioned recounts were only asked for in meaningful areas, not ridiculously say nationwide, pointing to someone who was being genuinely realistic about what they were asking to be done, what they could feasibly get done. Add in documented problems and irregularities surpassing detailed voter suppression, long lines, limited polling places, minorities unexpectedly dropped from voting rolls, voting roll name mix-ups, voting machine issues topped off with a good smattering of human error and Jill Stein had beyond a right to champion, see to a recount, but a mandate to do so… Irregularities continuing to grow exponentially as time goes on, we learn more and more about issues running the gambit from Russian hacking, voter suppression, in new and different ways, to basic counting errors… . Now there’s a dossier becoming the subject of high level presidential briefings alleging Russia stole gathered personally damaging, embarrassing evidence on Trump completed via a British spy originally commissioned by never Trump republicans, then democrats; that the crux of the information centers around sexual indiscretions engaged in by Trump while visiting Russia, not just Russian collusion in the Trump campaign, Russian interference should deem it less easy to dismiss noting the double digit number of American women accusing him of sexual assault, battery, harassment, most seriously rape. Foreign women from at least 2 countries, former Miss Universe pageant members also making twin allegations; one sexual assault accuser here countersuing Trump for defamation after he repeatedly called her a liar among other despicable things. Solidly substantiating Russian collusion claims minus the dossier, a timeline put together via the David Packman Show illustrating Trump’s U-turn language change on the soviet communist regime country, formal requests to the GOP to change language on Russia for which it appears Trump, his campaign received quid pro quo in the form of WikiLeaks releases damaging Hillary Clinton funneled to the rogue hacking organization through a currently discovered intermediary working on behalf of…Russia, the presence of Paul Manafort as campaign chair considering his pro-Russia work in Ukraine. Breaking, information Trump aides and Russian state liaisons were in constant contact while president Obama was expelling diplomats, response to hacking’s confirmation and its extent; national security advisor Michael Flynn texting them as they were being told to exit the country…. there were the shots fired at a California polling place, scene out of a 3rd world country or bad movie, 27 states where the interstate crosschecking system purged minority voters on grounds they registered with intent to vote in multiple states, no proof they actually were and no definitive answer on whether or not 7 million eligible Americans were blocked from voting, but the winners want to balk at Jill Stein’s insistence we carefully count solid votes we do have?… more votes than there are voters in the city of Detroit according to one tally indicating voting machine errors continuously showing up in such pockets of the country. Wisconsin’s vote margin in favor of Trump evaporated by 20% as the result of a discovered counting error, many places’ exit polling data doesn’t match electoral vote outcomes suggesting indeed the election was rigged, the opposite of what candidate, president elect, now full-fledged president Trump relentlessly insinuated, against Hillary Clinton not him. Discrepancies between voting machines and paper ballots, paper ballot utilizing areas overwhelmingly going to Clinton causing scientists to champion recounts; speaking of voting machines, the congressional organization created to certify voting equipment was, you guessed it, hacked, hacker trying to sell pilfered information to foreign countries, still think Jill Stein was out of her mind to ask votes be recounted?…. Stacked complications upon complications with the election process held up alongside his, our president elect’s, response to recount petitions, reaction to those attempting to verify election results—calling them a green party scam, touting they need to accept election results and move forward. Simultaneously alleging he won the popular vote if you deduct all the people who voted illegally, providing no proof that definitively happened, railing against 1.8 million dead people registered to vote, though no evidence they truly voted Election Day; then utterly illogically tweeting about ‘serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California,’ predictably states that went profoundly for Clinton. A judge soundly rejecting his claim polling stations in Nevada stayed open well past voting hours to admit illegitimate ballots; never mind as we learned from 2012’s long line mess if there is a line of persons waiting to vote, they must stay open until everyone has had an opportunity to cast a ballot, that is your right as a registered voter. Trump lawyers filing suit against the Michigan recount calling it a 1% temper tantrum that cannot go unchecked to the local elections board, once more defying logic countering Stein’s request with a lack of evidence signaling election fraud; begging the question if the vote was so legitimate, as to be beyond reproach or a request to confirm numbers, double check people’s math, you won so easily there is no need for a recount then what are you afraid of?…We aren’t supposed to stand up and say, the 3 million more of us who voted for someone else, this isn’t the democracy we want, that a liar, a con and a person possibly in cahoots with foreign powers is the textbook definition of unfit therefore we have a few processes by which to keep him from our highest office, recounts being one?…
Impending threats, silly, serious or no, Electoral College delegates had an obligation, a responsibility to, in light of what they knew then, fulfill the lesser known portion of their mandate— keeping the unqualified from the presidency, from forever hobbling democracy; and, they responded the exact opposite of the way they should have, the way citizens desperately needed them to. Not because of threats, some death threats, rather due to loyalty holding almost sacred votes their state cast, an, anywhere else it would be viewed as admirable, sense of duty to administer their task the way voters declared they wanted it done, maybe defiance thumbing their nose at aforementioned death threats and implied pending retaliation against delegate family members detailed in individual anti or pro-Trump hate mail they received, clearly crossing the line… A big enough gap in democracy, in protecting the integrity of our country form hidden, unusual dangers to be sure, but a much more troubling problem came instead from Electrical College members who didn’t seem to have a rudimentary grasp of why they were there, what their function was. You had electors, surpassing ignoring who their state voted for, going against their state’s documented choice interested in serving the greater good, ‘defecting’ from Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders and submitting names, putting forth votes for persons not on any ballot anywhere including Colin Powel and a Native American who thought the story was fake news when her name was called as a vote; John Kasich famously telling Ohio’s electors not to try and vote him to the presidency. Absolutely electors should be free to vote for whomever they choose, dissolving faithless elector laws precisely because of situations exposed by the 2016 election process; caveat, electors should know what they are doing, know ahead of time that selecting oddball, out there names of people who didn’t so much as run in the first place, have expressed no interest in the presidency, forget have made no preparation for stepping into it doesn’t get a candidate closer to 270, give us a firm answer on our next president, promote the peaceful transfer of power… Electoral College convening apparently going far deeper, it wasn’t just what The Young Turks’ interviewed faithless elector said, viewing link 19 below, about why he wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton, what he wanted from her before making his final decision that should be riveting our attention, his split vote lo and behold voting John Kasich for president and Time Kaine for vice president rendering it a virtually meaningless vote; however, the jaw dropping errors, maneuvering orchestrated to strong arm a singular, already probable outcome. Disputes over oaths electors must sign, a judge, deliberating, ruling right there the new oath chosen by the state official was unconstitutional, oaths signed under protest, duress, failure to separate ballots according to constitutional law for president and vice president; 23 out of 31 delegates for Trump guilty of this, out of that 31 only 8 abiding by constitutional 12th amendment law. Findings in the same report listing other laws actually broken top down throughout the process, beyond the unsavory appearance of Pam Bondi as an elector; returning to the duel office holding in states disallowing it, a whopping 34 tallied, not living in the districts they were called to represent a total of 16 tallied penitential for over 100 improperly selected delegates, improperly filed Certificates of Vote, 50 enough to change Electoral College final results…. but recounts are frivolous and the Electoral College shouldn’t have so much as been asked to vote their conscience, in the best interest of America, not panicked, deluded, alternate reality believing voters shystered by a shyster…. If we want to talk about something wholly undemocratic look no further than North Carolina and what currently seated powers tried to do when the opposing party won; things deteriorating to such a degree democracy watchers, the EIP (electoral integrity project) internationally have named the state no longer a democracy. Receiving a failing score on par with developing, pseudo democracies in Cuba, lesser notoriety African continent nations, Indonesia; speculations justifying that score included their voter ID law struck down by the Supreme Court as deliberately discriminatory to minorities, their bathroom bill rightly depicted as something a democratic government shouldn’t do and the shameless power grab attempted when sitting powers lost… Forcing state senate confirmations for all cabinet appointees, merging election and ethics panels, adapting a rules change stipulating the governor’s party cannot hold the majority it does under existing law. A proposed 80% slash in the number of employees reporting to the governor doubtlessly impacting staff available to assist him in expediently, efficiently executing his duties, overseeing things in his state, even snatching away his power to appoint University of North Carolina board of trustee members. Things no one batted an eye at the governor doing before the election just passed, in sweet, sweet irony they do this; where 4 years prior, truly exposing republican intentions then and now, under McCrory lawmakers increased10-fold the number of state government, adjacent entity positions subject to his jurisdiction….Battles nothing out of the ordinary for forward thinking tar heel state residents pushing back against GOP spearheaded legal maneuvering to curtail voter initiated hikes to their minimum wage, denial of Medicaid to half a million persons, gutting social programs, protesting hate in the form of HB2 the state’s bathroom bill… Remembering North Carolinians voted out McCrory in favor of Cooper because national entities symbolizing business, tourism and economic growth voted with their feet, their capital exc. saying if you insist on anti-LGBT practices I won’t conduct concerts in your state, I won’t continue my business plans in your state, pro/college basketball franchises will find a more accepting place to play playoff games, tournaments. Revisiting too that HB2 commonly known as North Carolina’s bathroom bill forcing people to use the restroom, locker room, department store fitting room corresponding with the gender on their birth certificate, not their gender identity, wasn’t about rehearsed rhetoric on keeping children safe in public toilets, rec center showers/locker rooms, aforementioned store fitting rooms, shock to young children seeing opposite gender anatomy, upholding student safety in k-12 or college universities. Bill having exactly the reverse effect making things more dangerous for LGBT citizens, especially kids; it was expressly about preventing select municipalities, cities, counties from enacting LGBT protections… Going back to states no longer deemed democracies, receiving low scores on their scale determining strength of that democracy 11 other states fared worse; Wisconsin where privatization and school funding schemes have gutted one bright spot in education. Michigan where the Flint water crisis was caused by a business man republican and whose response to their own failing schools is an attorney who doesn’t believe literacy is a right. Ohio where governor Kasich many hoped would be the next president, radiating calm sanity during chaotic primary debates quietly, another word for sneakily, deliberately trying to fly under constituency forget national radar, banned voters from raising Cleveland’s minimum wage. Arizona once home to papers please immigration legislation, brain freeze governor Jan Brewer who used non-existent Mexican drug cartel beheadings on U.S. soil to justify said legislation, controversial sheriff Joe Arpiao who cost the state millions refusing to comply with federal orders on civil, human rights violations in his prisons, illegal, illegal immigration arrests, legal fights against those orders; the copper state’s score the absolute lowest. Kentucky joining a flurry of states passing abortion bills banning pregnancy termination after 20 weeks adding to legislation mandating the burial of fetal tissue either in cases of abortion or miscarriage. Seemingly oblivious to the devastating toll visited upon North Carolina for its anti-LGBT choice an equally growing group of states are pushing to replicate their disaster Virginia, Alabama and Texas among them… North Carolina also glaringly shows who exactly needs to ‘get over it,’ who needs to accept election outcomes; reiterating for all the disappointed liberals, progressives and democrats are, all the vows to fight president elect Trump on his more audacious policies is about protecting America rather than partisan backbiting, personal revenge. Proposed polices that could devastate trade i.e. a trade war with China, avoiding a Muslim registry, a Muslim ban because it is A- discriminatory to innocent, non-radical Muslims and B- could spark another 9-11 like attack, pushing back against social media usage that could tweet us into a nuclear war. Confirmation battles, they are slowing down confirmation hearings to properly vet appointees the way they weren’t by Trump, standard procedural, disclosure paperwork yet to be submitted needing to be reviewed ideally before hearings take place, forced to question them thoroughly due to many nominees showing up to hearings vastly unprepared and unqualified for positions they’ve been asked to fill mandating in-depth scrutiny about fringe plans, ideas, past statements, financial holdings, issue stances… We don’t have a democracy we can trust less because of outside interference whether it’s Russia, 4chan, Anonymous, WikiLeaks and more because we keep shutting out bigger and bigger swaths of the citizenry, the ordinary people, average public, making it harder for them to vote, purposefully marginalizing voters who don’t agree with, usually conservative, ideologies and ideals, making voters feel their voices are insignificant, forcing them to choose between the lesser of immoral, tainted, who cares candidates; sentiments Trump played into and amplified to win. We don’t possess continued faith in our democracy because people stopped paying attention to core issues that matter nationwide not limited to your backyard, town, state, stopped taking voting as seriously as they should, for some bothering to vote at all… Parts of the electorate eligible to cast a ballot, registered to vote who don’t know, are so uninformed, ill-informed, misinformed they literally are in the dark that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Obamacare are the same thing who, when presented with facets of the ACA meant to benefit consumers, health insurance purchasers throughout the public, insure their families, their children they like them, support them, think them good polices to have; call it Obamacare and they instantly hate it. One man bragging on social media he got his healthcare from the ACA not Obamacare shocked he’s in public bashing his own insurance…. . Bigger than people who don’t possess the faintest idea about sources of their ‘news’, don’t vet it for satire, hyperbole or comedy, know if it’s conservative, liberal, progressive, independent, mainstream, geared toward young millennials, senior citizens, middle-aged persons, working class individuals, professionals exc., are those who don’t take time, think, putting it through their own internal logic filter asking does this make sense, is this real, is it plausible? No one seeing the ‘news story’ on Facebook about Pope Francis endorsing Donald Trump, allowing it to impact their voting decision the least little bit bothered to ask themselves why the pope would endorse a candidate for elections half a world away from him, utterly outside his political system; further seeing Pope Francis’ dedication to the poor, rectifying global income inequality, prescribing compassion and help for the most destitute and economically effected, even if he were inclined to endorse a candidate, make international public comment on America’s election, why would he choose Donald Trump, praise Donald Trump?… Pizza-gate, again total lack of stopping to think how would that even work running a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor, not in some foreign country, South Asia catering to American, western world tourist with sick proclivities, but in America? And even if every twisted, crazy thing ever said about Hillary Clinton was true, none of the 90’s BS files, purported scandals encompassed harming children, marketing pedophilia for cash, ‘her greedy motivation;’ continuing, why would her former campaign chair, already having lost the election, and the owner of the pizza place go along with it? Doesn’t the real story make much more sense, carrying much more probability that it was a possible campaign stop abandoned, e-mail correspondence supporting that conclusion? Or assuming there was allusion to a child sex trafficking ring, illegal activity, the thing to do would be call the police either in your home state, in D.C. where Comet Ping Pong operates, attempt to contact the FBI presenting them your evidence; not travel hundreds of miles with your AR15 rifle shooting in an open business potentially hurting bystanders for something that wasn’t remotely real, epic logic failure strike 3… Similarly not only allegations millions of illegal immigrants voted, but voted because president Obama said they could; woman who brought that up to a CNN reporter couldn’t pass a basic litmus test of correctly identifying the network she heard it on, claiming the interviewer’s network had provided coverage on the story when they plainly had not. That story came from Info Wars news channel run and hosted by Alex Jones; identical Alex Jones who believes Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama smell like sulfur therefore are demons, conveniently without ever having been close enough to smell either person confirming the suspicion, relying on second and third hand accounts from individuals who think B.O. is an indication of spiritual standing, health. Forgetting there are logical people on the planet who don’t believe in the very existence of demons, if they did smell by virtue of medical problem, poor hygiene wouldn’t it have become mainstream media information, enfolded into exclusive interviews by news outlet X, not relegated to something solely hear on the internet? Illegals voting rumors simultaneously undergirded by an unethically edited interview chopped up by, surprise, surprise Fox Business, to make it seem like that’s what president Obama said, implied: undocumented persons could cast ballots without anyone watching the whole interview in its entirety…. It’s time to change some laws in this country, few liked that independents were shut out of voting for Bernie Sanders in states with closed primaries, accused DNC officials of rigging things they actually didn’t, chaffed at voter roll mix-up’s in closed primary states putting people in the wrong party; even less liked, Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, his vague plans to detangle himself from his businesses if he achieved the presidency, that he got media circus weird on something as uncomplicated as releasing his medical records, a standard summary of major medical information about you. Populous failing to grasp you correct that using legal statutes, demanding the creation of new ones…; law changes explored above implemented so we can have a democracy we trust, everyone’s voice is heard, each person’s vote matters and it’s significance can be seen, people again fell empowered to affect their government in ways that benefit them, their families. Read More

The Problem With “Female Bodies and Alcohol”: Stop Framing Campus Sexual Assault As A Drinking Issue—Agree To Disagree A Critique

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

We will do anything but teach alcohol education, consent education, legal definitions of rape… Also addressing changing public attitudes on key social issues like criminal responsibility while under the influence of substances, ‘I was high’ uttered by defendants or victims in court meant to explain why the gas station clerk was heinously shot during the commission of a robbery you admit to participating in, doesn’t cut it anymore. ‘I was high’ is no longer an excuse to why you can’t account for your whereabouts on the night in question for a crime to which you have pled not guilty, no longer explains away the vicious beating of your girlfriend. Bad trips, laymen’s terms for bad illegal drug reactions, have ceased to be an acceptable reason eliciting leniency from judges, jurors for extreme vandalism or otherwise seen as random attacks of persons on the streets, stopped being a blanket understood concept of ‘how can you expect me to be responsible for what I did,’ years ago. ‘I was drunk,’ long abandoned as a believable defense when causing death or injury to people with your car, motorcycle or boat, any kind of motor vehicle. And following historical lines in the modern era is fast becoming less of an excuse why it is ok to be judgmentally impaired enough to think raping someone is ok, then actually doing it. But equally for victims, it is unacceptable they can’t remember significant events surrounding the incident due to, not the drugs in their system, not the thing someone slipped into their drink, rather their alcohol consumption, again not liquor they were plied with by a predator, even coerced into drinking via peer pressure, ever popular drinking games everywhere you turn in college, instead willing alcohol ingestion, type of liquor (usually hard liquor) they indulged in. Nor is it wrong, seeing what’s clearly going on, to put out pamphlets talking about alcohol, even one titled ‘Female Bodies and Alcohol’ bullet pointing facts that weighing less, having less muscle mass than men and a different hormonal makeup, more hormonal fluctuations than men you metabolize alcohol differently may, and probably will, feel it’s effects sooner and more acutely, therefore need to drink accordingly. Neither is it overly condescending to begin a guide “We like to think men and women are equal in all things, right,” because they’ve been brought up all their lives to believe this, which socially is true and a message very much needed; however, that doesn’t apply to science, physiology, the basis for their information. Men and women are not equal when their bodies process alcohol…Gaging then campus response, appropriateness of that response is to likewise remember, even post Todd ‘legitimate rape’ Akin, how many high profile sex assault allegations, on campus rapes have been proven false, utterly made up. Going all the way back to the Duke lacrosse case to present day stories like Jackie’s, subject of the since retracted Rolling Stone article…And when it comes to athletes, high school, college and beyond they are natural targets due to their social status, wealth; Duke’s accused played lacrosse, Brock Turner was what, a swimming star, Steubenville assailants later convicted played what, football, the Massachusetts case receiving similar sentencing and attention involved a high school basketball star mirroring Derrick Rose, following in the dubious footsteps of Kobe Bryant off the court and found not liable in is on sex scandal case plays what, basketball. Now this could just as much be about athletes who think, because they are brilliant with a ball, gifted in a sport they are god and have narrowed their perception to seeing women as objects, or it could be some women are looking to be with an athlete, mad about rejection, seeking money. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle differentiated on a case by case basis. Prime example, convoluted story of Brian Banks, charged, tired and convicted as a promising 16 year old up and coming football star, sounds an awful lot like Steubenville doesn’t it; eventually cleared after 10 years, 5 in prison, 5 on parole, contact with the Innocence Project and an accuser recant, finally getting his dream football chance. Welcome to what victims, authorities and the, trying to discern it all, public are up against…. There are a thousand and one things wrong with how universities in general, Stanford specifically, handle sexual assault, handle under age, binge drinking, any issues cropping up involving mass student safety, learning and enrichment; this guide wasn’t one of them. Discouraging fellow members of the swim team, counterpart members of the women’s swim team from writing their own victim impact statements to the judge describing their own strange, creepy, uncomfortable encounters with Brock Turner, possibly speaking to sexually predatory behavior, evidence society may need to watch him long after this incident, proof he perhaps belongs on the sex offender registry rockets to the top of the list… UVA’s ‘don’t go to frat parities’ mandate stands out as the most condescending and offensive to women. Or officials blaming the campus newspaper for their decreased reporting in sexual assaults post their publishing stories of an associate professor’s sexual harassment and assault of students; University of Kentucky staff at The Kernel (the publications name) put forth it’s the exact opposite, more people are coming to Kernel staff because they distrust the university, awareness and reassurance it’s not their fault, they can speak up and receive support, justice helps too… But backing up a step, where are the fundamentals of personal safety, party safety, bar safety, concert safety we’ve tried to drill into our citizenry, focused on this age group, people who regularly frequent above venues? Let’s too dismiss the notion general party, personal safety rules, regardless of the guide’s wording, what it covered, is sexist; watching your drink, monitoring it being poured, not leaving it alone, applies to anyone looking at the increasing numbers of homosexual, bisexual, transgender, non-traditional encounters, situations showing that as the increasing norm… . To that end what were you doing, in the case of Brock Turner’s victim, unconscious behind a dumpster; not because you had been hit over the head, physically assaulted, robbed, not because you had something dropped into your drink, suddenly had a medical episode, heart attack, seizure, asthma attack, succumbed to meningitis you thought was the flu, are homeless and want a place un-harassed by the mean public to sleep, but because you had had too much to drink, have/had no awareness of alcohol’s effect on your unique body?… Massachusetts high school basketball player convicted of raping 2 girls and receiving only probation depicted 2 girls having gone to a bedroom to lie down, reading in between the lines, to sleep it off, and being penetrated with his finger as they slept. He denied touching one girl at all, apologized to the other as well as telling the court when she didn’t protest, he thought it was ok; victim precipitating his light sentence via her impact statement saying he didn’t want to ruin his life, didn’t think jail time was necessary, hints the light sentence everyone is blaming everything from bad judges, to ‘rape culture’ to ‘white privilege’ for. Except, rewind what were you doing sleeping in some strange house, post a house party, crawling off to a room surrounded by people you barely know, don’t know at all, drunk people you barely know, don’t know at all, likely without telling a soul where you were going to sleep thinking you would be safe?…Bringing us to St. Paul’s prep school and Owen Labrie, less about alcohol and more about non-existent safety instincts…You met a boy you were chatting online with, who went to your school true, on the roof of your school; online to real life meet up’s 101 meet in a public place, then later go on a date alone once you are around person X, sense if he is a threat or not, if he is who he says he is unlike the BYU student who met with and was then raped by a guy who lied about everything—age, marital status. Agreeing with the Salon link below, it has to be about women trusting their gut, young women developing that gut, those sets of protective instincts… lone felony related to using a computer to lure a minor, divulging the path to his lighter sentence. Vanderbilt’s headline making rape case, unquestioning these young men were despicable, especially confronted by accusations an ex-boyfriend orchestrated the whole thing, the 2 photo takers didn’t step up and ask what are you doing, hey stop this, sentence more fitting for the last one to be convicted, seeing the singular reason we know about this is surveillance footage. Yet we come around again to the redundant question of what were you doing so drunk you passed out to the point they could carry you around, drag you back to his room and not once did you wake up; remembering there are accusations the former boyfriend orchestrated and manipulated things, part of that manipulation however wasn’t drugging her drink…. common denominator alcohol, way past too much of it combined beside terrible instincts; underscoring the crystal clear, none of these excuse rape, should never excuse rape, but going back to dissecting the base article, certainly explains why there is such a guide, why Stanford is trying to limit alcohol and focusing on alcohol at all. It bolsters it was written exactly as it should have been, sexist, condescending or not, judging by behavior exhibited here…. It’s blatantly obvious we will do anything but talk to our kids about culturally relevant developments regarding drinking, particularly binge drinking, dangers of alcohol poisoning, party culture, sex, consent, even what constitutes a healthy relationship then we want to come down with the fury of god’s own thunder on young people, young boys/men repeatedly for things they didn’t do or say proliferated by social media in addition to legal charges they face…. First seeing widespread evidence of just that when the Steubenville saga began; Michael Nodianos’ sickening ranting video about an incident he wasn’t part of was attributed to both him as well as Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays, though they never said any such things. Likewise every mean tweet calling her a wh*re, death threats for daring to charge her attackers that came from others landed on their shoulders….amplified when Ma’lik Richmond got out and his lawyer said patently offensive things upon his release from juvenile detention talking about how hard things had been for him…Forgotten, that’s his lawyer and part of his lawyer’s job in a high profile case like his is to present his client in the best light while he Ma’lik Richmond kept his head down and his mouth closed, no hint of criminal activity ever again years later. Identically Bock Turner’s father makes a comment about his son’s sentence, sex offender status, lifetime ban from swimming exc. being a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action and all the sudden we see the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, exactly where he got his views on women and sex, but he’s held accountable for his father’s words, he doesn’t control, the judge’s sentence he didn’t have anything to do with other than writing a statement, something every defendant in his position has the opportunity to do; no he’s not. He is solely responsible for what he did and the impact it had on his victim, society, more than enough to contend with… Because it’s not as if we’ve ever misconstrued a situation, more information through greater investigation trumped admittedly preliminary speculations on crime X committed by teen Y featured on the nightly news; wait that’s every modern case for 2 plus decades if it involves the latest heinous, depraved thing done by children/teens, drunk/high college students… On the other side a court just found Rolling Stone liable for the defamation of UVA’s college dean in reference to their story later retracted story “A Rape on Campus” and what happened to Jackie…. We will do anything but teach whether that’s sex education that includes conversations about healthy relationships, consent, too many conservatives afraid what students will actually learn about their own bodies… In direct opposition to alcohol education and how what you drink, what type/kind of liquor you consume affects your impairment level, we would prefer to stick to don’t drink your underage, don’t drink and drive you’ll die, because it’s simpler for us, doesn’t cover nuance or conflicting messages; never thinking to teach responsible drinking in preparation for when they are legally able to drink. In light of legalization in an increasing number of states marijuana education a-la what Colorado is doing, broadening it to a comprehensive explanation of the differences between all illicit drugs, their addictiveness, their danger to your body, impact of prescription drug abuse, instead of treating all illicit drugs equally, as the same kind of off the charts horrible, when teens find out that’s not true discarding every other thing you said. Oh no, absolutely not, on the contrary one California mother and police officer didn’t want her state to legalize pot because it will be more prevalent and challenging for kids to say no, though the legal age for recreational use will be identical to alcohol 21, most states have decriminalized 1-2 joint amounts, “there will be more people driving DUI, losing their lives”… Stanford bans alcohol in X quantity for select younger students, no one ever putting together k-12 education stops at 18, college students will turn 21 before graduating, maybe we ought to educate them on the differences in types of alcohol, gender differences and alcohol. Floating so much as the idea people getting sick, falling down, slurring their words is not responsible drinking; responsible drinking… returning again to the base article critique the author talks angrily and incredulously about, “What is frustrating in these ongoing campaigns, however, is the tone is almost always focused on what women can do to not get raped instead of how men can conduct themselves to not rape people.” As if it’s the simplest thing in the world, as if no decent person should ever have to be told this and it’s a sad commentary on society we do, when it’s so much more nuanced than that; here being where feminists and women’s rights activists earn parts on their bad name… 99% of the time we aren’t dealing with future sexual predators, budding serial, habitual rapists as much as drastically uninformed, misinformed young people; even Brock Turner whose behavior points to that possibility, it’s hard to know if he would never have done those things with a father who said more than his measly sentence was a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action. Ma’lik Richmond told the ABC interviewer what he thought rape was, jumping out of an alley and attacking a girl, forcing yourself on her in that context, saying he didn’t do that, elaborating later he didn’t rape anyone, see a rape going on and if he had seen one he would have stopped it. David Becker the Massachusetts high school student found guilty of rape sincerely told the judge he thought his victim’s lack of protest meant it was ok; if we want men, young men specifically to stop raping people, not to be rapists we have to give them an accurate definition, picture of what that is in all it’s facets, something we have yet to do, never mind effectively… We don’t have a rape culture in America we have a consent ambiguous culture whereby rape remains a crime on the books that is dutifully enforced, cases prosecuted and rapists put in jail every day; our problem is narrow social definitions of rape that haven’t caught up to real life scenarios, federal definitions and recent court cases…We operate on the ignorance is no excuse understanding to ensure ‘I didn’t know that’ doesn’t become a legal defense for any number of obviously illegal actions, stealing, killing, physical assault, rape where the person is fighting you, screaming, no, begging you to stop. But is it time to reexamine that in the shadow of Zach Anderson, what really happened in Steubenville, details surrounding David Becker producing that impact statement and persecutors went ahead with the rape, not a lesser degree charge, anyway, when adults are as unaware as their teens and teaching them wrongly, when education systems don’t, won’t teach these issues from a legal perspective believing it’s a family thing, the province and purview of parents to teach these values according to their moral compass, religion?… Surely we can and should do better by both women and men.Read More

Disease, Weight And Our Drastically Skewed Perceptions On Health, Wellness And Longevity

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Hate to break it to you but the 60 is not the new 40, less for the emotional/social reasons listed by the Wall Street Journal, changing social structures derived from years of better medicine, nutrition, knowledge, people living better, able to do more in later years, not just living longer, the sobering prediction our chronically obese kids may have shorter lifespans than we do/did because of it, and instead due to median, average life expectance ages not having moved that much. 40 is considered middle aged precisely because the average life expectancy hovers around 80, give or take 5 years; for 60 to have gradually become the new 40 the life expectancy numbers would have to top out in the 120-125 range…. people here, if you believe the latest retirement preparedness commercial, are living into their 90’s; which would put middle age at roughly 45, not 60. Secondly looking at the last years of so called super centenarians, those passing 110, most are toothless, constantly nodding off and can’t walk well, if at all, dependent on neighbors, friends, family members for the bulk of their existence; that is in counties where they aren’t placed in a care facility less due to younger family member selfishness but having no living family, the extent of care required for the person at their advanced age… It’s rarely the 107 year old dancing in the Whitehouse with President and first lady Obama…Wall Street Journal onto something more than the author knew when he talked about investing post retirement, golden year energy into the truly young people, the legacy and future coming after, surviving them not on being/looking younger than you are, the new fad proving you’re the picture of longevity, upping the ante living your entire life that way, utilizing the time you have rather than bargaining for more—Especially by eating ‘rabbit food’ never touching meat, eggs or milk, viewing bread as the enemy, occasional doughnut, movie popcorn, French fries or cheeseburger as edible death. As for relearning what’s good for us, taking pleasure in nourishing foods giving our bodies what they need, take a good look at the photo gracing the top of that article and tell me that baby is going to get a foodgasm from that broccoli instead of pure revulsion; foodgasms about gastronomy, the science of gourmet dining, blending aroma, texture, quality food, taste and presentation to produce an experience not merely gorging one’s self on high calorie dishes—what I intend to do and not do respectivelyRead More

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