The States’ Inexcusable Incompetence In Rape Cases

rape kits

If anyone can think of a good explanation for this outrage, please enlighten me.

Massachusetts has a 15-year statute of limitations on prosecuting sexual assault crimes, but the state only requires that untested rape kits be stored for six months.  No state currently provides the victim of an alleged sexual assault the right to require a jurisdiction to retain a rape kit until the statute of limitations expires, and only six states and Washington, D.C., provide a right for the prompt processing of a rape kit.

How can this be? Why wouldn’t it be obvious that as long as it is possible that rape charges can be brought, the relevant rape kit must be preserved? Continue reading

Observations On Donald Trump Playing The Bill Card On Hillary Clinton.

dueling_bills_12-30-15-1

Veeery interesting.

After Hillary accused Donald Trump of being a sexist, which, of course, he indubitably is, Trump, who believes that when hit one should hit back twice as hard, immediately pointed out, in his typically clumsy, sloppy but somehow effective way, that for someone married to Bill Clinton to play “the woman’s card” was, shall we say, hypocritical. Then fate took a hand: Bill Cosby finally faced a few bars of music in court, and some journalists and pundits began musing about the differences and similarities between Bill C. and Bill C. (I flagged this problem for the Clintons over a year ago.)

Then elder pundits did some figuring, and realized that a large number of younger voters, the Democratic Party’s base, don’t know very much at all about Monica, Paula, Kathleen, Juanita, Gennifer and Dolly, Bill Clinton’s impeachment, or loss of his law license, in part because the news media has been an active Clinton family enabler for over a decade, and in part because our education system fails to educate. Thus a decisive component of the Hillary cheering section just think of Bill as a revered former President elder statesman, and did not gag, as I did, when this guy of all guys was made the centerpiece of the 2012 Democratic National Convention themed to decry the “war on women.”

But wait! There’s more! When Trump carried his new vendetta to the Today Show, lovely, light-weight, biased co-host Savannah Guthrie revealed herself to be both ignorant and a tool by calling the Monica affair “alleged.”  Mary Bruce on  Good Morning America also referred to Bill’s infamous womanizing as “alleged sexual misconduct and infidelity.” Ignorance or Clinton protecting? Bill’s infidelity is as “alleged” as O.J.’s skills with a knife.

Finally, a feminist, Democrat, usually reliable Clinton ally on the Washington Post editorial staff, Ruth Marcus, Trump is right: “Bill Clinton’s sordid sexual history is fair game.” for Hillary opponents.

Which, of course, it is.

Observations: Continue reading

The Bill Cosby Follies: Idiotic Blog Post, Atrocious Apology, Lame Justification…Thanks, “TheWrap,” For This Lesson In First Amendment Abuse

thewrap-logo

TheWrap is a web Hollywood news and gossip site. Picture TMZ crossed with Gawker.  It published an immediate candidate for the most unethical blog post of the year, always a closely contested category, a piece of cyber-offal by an industry writer named Rich Stellar that issued a combined attack on the women coming forward to prove Bill Cosby is a serial rapist, and the media’s coverage of it. I was happily unaware of Stellar, barely aware of The Wrap and definitely unaware of this utter crap until it was flagged in a Salon piece, which was in turn flagged by one of my indispensable scouts, Fred. What unfolded before me was a horrible spectacle of a despicably and dumber than a box of rocks opinion piece that no competent editor should allow to avoid the trash, a subsequent apology of sorts from the writer that shows such an ethics deficit that he should probably have a 24-hour keeper, and, finally, his editor’s defense of her wretched editorial judgment based on the theory of the First Amendment, which she appears to think means “You have to publish any garbage any fool writes no matter how poorly conceived or reasoned, or you are unAmerican.”  But I am getting ahead of myself.

The Blog Post.

Read it all if you dare. Here’s Stellar’s money quote, which distills most of the cretinism without forcing you into Hell: Continue reading

Comment of the Day: On Cosby, Clinton, And An Ethics Dunce Convention In Melbourne, Florida

Why can't a serial rapist be funny and cute?

Why can’t a serial rapist be funny and cute?

Frequent commenter aaronpaschal weighed in with this rich post on the Bill Cosby matter. I will hold my response to the end, because there is much to consider here, and much I disagree with. However, aaron has articulated well the thoughts many are having about the Cos, and I am grateful for the exposition. Here is his Comment of the Day regarding the post, On Cosby, Clinton, And An Ethics Dunce Convention In Melbourne, Florida.

I don’t know if I fully believe the allegations. I don’t know if the girls and women involved should bear some responsibility for choosing to become impaired. I don’t know if Cosby’s career will long survive this uproar – Netflix is dropping all of Cosby’s works in response, and that’ll cost someone a pretty penny.

But I do know that I don’t feel completely at ease with the notion that he faces ruin. That there is no evidence, no words, nothing he could present in his own defense. No courtroom, no trial, no lawyers. That the man who allegedly committed these acts did so a lifetime ago. I’ll admit that the women who have come out don’t have much tangibly to gain – but I also know all too well that revenge, hatred, defending existent lies, even merely time in the spotlight can be powerful motivators for some people (bearing in mind that pursuing justice, speaking the truth, and protecting the innocent are well – it could be any of them, all of them, or more.) There must, however, be SOME motive somewhere, or they would not be stepping forward – if there was truly nothing to gain.

But I do know that his works have always made me laugh, and I will appreciate them for years to come. I know I’ve heard wisdom from him, and these crimes don’t change the wisdom, either. I might not choose to leave my daughter alone with him. And I know that the court of public opinion makes very few wise choices, it is a terrible thing to be tried by it, guilty or innocent, and true justice is rarely found there.

Continue reading

On Cosby, Clinton, And An Ethics Dunce Convention In Melbourne, Florida

Cosby billboard

It is kind of funny, isn’t it, to hear and read the shocked reactions of pundits to the fact that probable serial rapist Bill Cosby got a standing ovation from his concert crowd of 2100 in Melbourne, Florida last night? “What could this mean?” they ask. Does this mean that Cosby’s popularity will survive the onslaught of women reporting that he drugged and raped them years ago? Well, no, it means that 2100 people who paid premium prices to see Bill Cosby and attended his concert even after hearing more than sufficient evidence that he is a sick hypocrite like Bill Cosby.

Wow.

What a surprise.

Nor should it be any surprise that that many people will adopt rationalizations and tortured logic to avoid confronting the cognitive dissonance resulting from a self-styled moral exemplar having a spectacularly immoral, indeed criminal, past. After all, the Democratic National Convention, with a lot more that 2,100 in attendance, cheered serial sexual harasser and sexual predator William Jefferson Clinton as he spoke to a throng protesting Republican attitudes toward women, as progressive journalists and pundits from MSNBC to the New York Times nodded in approval.

Unrelated, you say? Wrong. The phenomenon is exactly the same, and therein lies a serious problem for Hillary Clinton. The rationalizations used to rescue her husband from accountability for his decades long abuse of women are exactly the same as those being used now by Cosby’s desperate fans to try to keep laughing at the wise humor of the icon who includes in his storehouse of wisdom such nuggets as… Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Week: Attorney Lee J. Danforth

“If this trial prevents one little girl or one mother or father from reporting suspected abuse then this is profoundly sad for our society.”

 —-Lee J. Danforth, attorney,making a lightly veiled argument that his clients should suffer no penalties for ruining a teacher’s career and reputation with a false accusation of “inappropriate touching,” because such penalties would discourage future legitimate accusations.

"Oh, you all were lying when you got John Proctor hung as a witch? Well, that's okay---we wouldn't want to punish you, because it might discourage a real victim, in case there really IS a witch one of these days...

“Oh, you all were lying when you got John Proctor hung as a witch? Well, that’s okay—we wouldn’t want to punish you, because it might discourage a real victim, in case there really IS a witch one of these days…

Mr. Danforth was defending a San Jose, California family in a defamation suit by a former Catholic school physical education teacher, John Fischler,  who claimed that they methodically destroyed his reputation with a campaign of rumors and lies, led by his main accuser, an 11-year-old girl right out of “The  Children’s Hour” or “The Crucible.” Danforth is a lawyer (Danforth was also the name of the judge in the Salem witch trials, speaking of “The Crucible” and false accusations) , and it is sometimes necessary, and thus ethical, for lawyers to make otherwise unethical arguments in the zealous representation of their despicable clients. Remember, legal ethics does not allow Danforth to temper his advocacy out of concern for future, genuine victims, unlike his clients. They are not his concern, and even bad people have a right to vigorous legal representation. Nonetheless, his statement embodies an unethical rationalization for letting diabolical and vicious false accusers escape the just consequences for their actions. Continue reading

The Washington Post, Protecting a Young Villain

"Even if she is a "bad seed", we have a duty to make sure nobody knows little Rhoda did those horrible things..."

The Washington Post has revisited the epically tragic story of Fairfax, Virginia teacher Sean Lanigan, who in 2010 was falsely and maliciously accused of sexual molestation by a vengeful 12-year old girl, launching him into a Kafkaesque sequence of incompetent law enforcement and bureaucratic callousness. Though he was acquitted of all charges, his life, career, personal finances and reputation remain shattered. As for the female student at  Centre Ridge Elementary School who set out to destroy Lanigan because he had reprimanded her, the Post does not reveal her name “because she is a minor.”

This is warped ethics, warped journalism, and warped logic. Every day one can read news stories about named elementary, middle school and high school students who have been disciplined for various non-criminal offenses, minor or otherwise. In the case of criminal arrests involving minors, there is a legitimate legal reason for withholding the name of an accused juvenile, for youthful offenses are often expunged or sealed, provided there is a conviction and a sentence served. This story is different, however. No criminal charges have been made, though what the girl did to the teacher was certainly worthy of one. A jury ‘s verdict has shown, and the news media has confirmed, that a girl used the devastating social stigma of  child molestation to settle a personal vendetta. I don’t care if she is thirteen or twenty-two; there have to be consequences for such vicious conduct, and being identified by name is just a starting point for her accountability. Continue reading