Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Boy Scouts: Secret Sex Abuse Files As Far Back As the 1920's

The sexual abuse of a 13-year-old boy scout by an adult volunteer was part of a "sordid history of child sexual abuse" within the Boy Scouts that has been documented internally by the organization for nearly a century.  This was just one of several stunning revelations made at the outset of an Oregon lawsuit this week.

The scout, now 20 years old, has sued the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for punitive damages after being molested by a volunteer leader in 2007. He claims that the Scouts failed to educate, train and warn parents and adult volunteers about the dangers of sex abuse.

His attorney, Tim Hale, won the right to draw from more than 30 years of "perversion" files kept by the BSA-- but it turns out that the BSA actually kept hidden  almost 10,000 such files, detailing sexual abuse cases as far back as 1920.  "The Boy Scouts of America has a long and sordid history of child sexual abuse committed by Scout leaders . . . What has not been going on is [notification] to the public and [affected] parents," Tim Hale said in his opening statement.

Boy Scouts of America officials have tried to claim that the "perversion" files were created to keep children safe by maintaining a master list of people ineligible to volunteer with the Scouts.  But the organization will not admit any wrongdoing in keeping its investigations and case files a secret-- acknowledging only that it had made some mistakes in the way sex abuse allegations were handled in the past.

In 2012, the Oregon Supreme Court ordered the Scouts to make public a trove of files from 1965 to 1985. The records showed that more than one-third of abuse allegations never were reported to police and that even when authorities were told, little was done.  The 1965-85 documents came to light after a jury in 2010 imposed a nearly $20 million penalty against the Scouts in a molestation case in Portland, Oregon, that dated to the early 1980s.

Since then, plaintiffs' attorneys in several states, including Texas and Minnesota, have sought to publicize the more recent records through similar lawsuits.  But the BSA settled all those cases before they went to trial-- thus preventing public dissemination of the incriminating records.

The judge in the current Oregon case has already ruled that after the trial, the plaintiff's counsel and other interested parties can petition the court for the release of all the files.  Cross your fingers . . .

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Chinese Officials Feast On Endangered Species

Chinese officials feasted on a critically endangered giant salamander and turned violent when journalists photographed the luxury banquet, which appeared to flout Beijing's austerity campaign.  The 28 diners included senior police officials from the southern city of Shenzhen. "In my territory, it is my treat," it quoted a man in the room as saying.

The giant salamander is believed by some Chinese to have anti-ageing properties, but there is no orthodox evidence to back the claim. The species is classed as "critically endangered" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List of threatened species, which says the population has "declined catastrophically over the last 30 years".

The Global Times cited the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily, which said its journalists were beaten up when their identities were discovered by the diners.  One was kicked and slapped, another had his mobile phone forcibly taken, while the photographer was choked, beaten up and had his camera smashed.

A total of 14 police have been suspended and an investigation launched into the incident, according to reports.  One of the Shenzhen diners provided the salamander and said it had been captive-bred, according to reports.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has launched a much-publicized austerity drive for the ruling classes, including a campaign for simple meals with the catchphrase “four dishes and one soup”.  The ruling Communist Party also says it is cracking down on the consumption of endangered species, including shark's fin.  China's legislature last April approved a law including prison sentences for people caught eating rare wild animals.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Making The Case For A Brain Transplant

Sarah Palin delivered a stunningly incoherent speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines this past weekend.   Here's an excerpt:
"Things must change for our government. Look at it. It isn’t too big to fail. It’s too big to succeed! It's too big to succeed, so we can afford no retreads or nothing will change with the same people and same policies that got us into the status quo. Another Latin word, status quo, and it stands for, ‘Man, the middle-class everyday Americans are really gettin’ taken for a ride.’ That's status quo, and GOP leaders, by the way, y'know the man can only ride ya when your back is bent. So strengthen it. Then the man can't ride ya, America won't be taken for a ride, because so much is at stake and we can't afford politicians playing games like nothing more is at stake than, oh, maybe just the next standing of theirs in the next election."

Palin went on, referring to Obama as an "overgrown little boy" and saying that the political left "are the ones who really discriminate and divide on color and class and sex."   The New York Daily News tried to cut the ex-governor a break, reporting that Palin's teleprompter froze, forcing her to ad-lib some of her remarks.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Russia: Let's Keep Gays From Driving Cars!

Russia now plans to ban transgender people, as well as those who suffer from "disorders of sexual preference," from obtaining driver's licenses.  In a shocking development, the Russian government has now issued a legislative document which outlines the new requirements for anyone who operates a motor vehicle-- supposedly in an effort to cut down on the number of car accidents.

Most of the provisions refer to physical impairments (such as blindness, understandably).  But also included on the list of those banned from driving are those who "suffer from"  gender identity disorders,  "transsexualism”, and “dual-role transvestism”-- as well as “sadomasochism" and “exhibitionism."  There is no doubt among those outside Russia that one of the goals of the new legislation is to further restrict the rights of homosexuals within Russia.

Among those to decry the new regulations was Shawn Gaylord of Human Rights First, who noted that "banning people from driving based on their gender identity or expression is ridiculous and just another example of the Russian regime’s methodical rollback of basic human rights for its citizens.”  Even Russian psychiatric expert Mikhail Strakhov and Valery Evtushenko of the Russian Psychiatric Association were among those to also condemn the regulations. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

NYC Cops Hold New Yorkers Hostage In Beef With Mayor

It has been confirmed that New York City police are making regular NYC folk innocent bystanders in their illogical and immature beef with Mayor de Blasio. 

The New York Post reported, and city officials confirmed, that officers are essentially abandoning enforcement of low-level offenses. According to data for the week starting Dec. 22 (two days after two officers were shot and killed on a Brooklyn street) traffic citations had fallen by 94 percent over the same period last year.  Citations for public drinking and urination were down 94 percent, parking violations were down 92 percent, and drug arrests by the Organized Crime Control Bureau were down 84 percent.

The New York Times has thrown down the gauntlet, calling the NYC police force on the carpet for its despicable tactics.  If the NYC cops don't back down soon, this standoff could stretch out for weeks, if not months . . .

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