Friday, October 29, 2010

Rape Culture 101 -- Is this what they fought for?

by Connie Chastain*

In the run-up to the elections, America's wars have fallen off the radar screen. But when it's politically fashionable to talk about them, you're apt to hear Presidents and other government officials refer to "our men and women in uniform." This in spite of the fact that the Armed Forces are overwhelmingly male and men do the bulk of the fighting and dying.

Still, women do make up about 20% of today's military. You have to wonder why they would fight for a patriarchal culture -- indeed, what they deem to be a rape culture that preys on women and keeps them in fear. Of course, we know that what feminists complain about and reality are different things. First, there is no rape culture and, second, government, education, business and industry promote, or at least accomodate, institutional female supremacy, so... so much for patriarchy.

Despite the lip service to the feminised military, war is men's business. It always has been, and there was a time when everyone acknowledged that. Sometimes things happen to remind us of this particular reality.

In October of 1943, a Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bomber went missing near New Guinea. It was assumed that the plane ran out of fuel on the way back to base and crashed in the Pacific Ocean. Searches yielded no trace of the aircraft, and a year later, the eleven crewmen and the photographer who joined them on a reconnaissance mission were officially declared dead, their families notified.

They were among the over 300,000 U.S. casualties of that terrible war which, for the United States, lasted from from December 7, 1941 until August 14, 1945. Eventually, the surviving soldiers returned home. They built the suburbs and created a wheeled culture where they, as breadwinners, drove the freeways into town to office and factory, while their wives stayed home to raise children. Based largely on knowledge gained in the war, they invented goods and services and made advances in medicine, transportation, housing that made their society the envy of the world.

But not everyone was amazed by these advances, or thankful to the men who made them possible. Twenty-five years later, too many daughters of these warriors, these protectors and advancers of our society, were calling them patriarachal oppressors. These women raised such a ruckus that men who had seen and experienced the horrors of brutal, global war bent over backward to accomodate their whiny complaints.

Fast forward another thirty years, and find a America not at all friendly to the grandsons and great-grandsons of the global warriors of WWII. It is a society in which men bear the brunt of military and workplace deaths, but feminists complain because not enough women occupy desks in corporate offices; a culture where boys and young men are given short shrift in education; where the government creates jobs for women during a recession in which men disproportionately find themselves without a job.

It is a society that feminists label a rape culture and wherein they describe men as possessors of "flawed" masculinity -- predators who keep all women in a state of fear. It is a society where, increasingly, women can and do make false rape accusations and face little or no consequence for destroying, or almost destroying, some innocent man's life.

Not long ago, the families of the crew of the bomber lost near New Guinea were notified that the plane had not gone down in the Pacific, after all. Wreckage of the plane had been located in rugged, jungle-covered mountains on the northern end of the island. Human remains were found. Using DNA testing, all members of the crew were identified and their families in the United States notifed that their soldiers would be coming home at last.

Among the crewmen was a gunner from Georgia by the name of Berthold Chastain, my uncle. I only recently learned of the true story of his sacrifice. Our family is still trying to grasp the new information that he was not lost at sea sixty-seven years ago, as we have believed for so long.

As I contemplate this new chapter in our family history, I can't help but wonder. Is the United States today really what he, and 600,000 others fought for, and so many died for? I cannot help but believe it is not, and for that I am profoundly sorry. As a society, we have not done right by these men.

Welcome home at last, Uncle Bert. Please forgive us.

The story of the last mission of the B-24 bomber, the "Shack Rat" -- http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/b-24/42-40918.html

*Connie is a member of the FRS team whose column appears here every Friday. Her blog is http://conniechastain.blogspot.com

Rape Culture 101 -- Is this what they fought for?

by Connie Chastain*

In the run-up to the elections, America's wars have fallen off the radar screen. But when it's politically fashionable to talk about them, you're apt to hear Presidents and other government officials refer to "our men and women in uniform." This in spite of the fact that the Armed Forces are overwhelmingly male and men do the bulk of the fighting and dying.

Still, women do make up about 20% of today's military. You have to wonder why they would fight for a patriarchal culture -- indeed, what they deem to be a rape culture that preys on women and keeps them in fear. Of course, we know that what feminists complain about and reality are different things. First, there is no rape culture and, second, government, education, business and industry promote, or at least accomodate, institutional female supremacy, so... so much for patriarchy.

Despite the lip service to the feminised military, war is men's business. It always has been, and there was a time when everyone acknowledged that. Sometimes things happen to remind us of this particular reality.

In October of 1943, a Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bomber went missing near New Guinea. It was assumed that the plane ran out of fuel on the way back to base and crashed in the Pacific Ocean. Searches yielded no trace of the aircraft, and a year later, the eleven crewmen and the photographer who joined them on a reconnaissance mission were officially declared dead, their families notified.

They were among the over 300,000 U.S. casualties of that terrible war which, for the United States, lasted from from December 7, 1941 until August 14, 1945. Eventually, the surviving soldiers returned home. They built the suburbs and created a wheeled culture where they, as breadwinners, drove the freeways into town to office and factory, while their wives stayed home to raise children. Based largely on knowledge gained in the war, they invented goods and services and made advances in medicine, transportation, housing that made their society the envy of the world.

But not everyone was amazed by these advances, or thankful to the men who made them possible. Twenty-five years later, too many daughters of these warriors, these protectors and advancers of our society, were calling them patriarachal oppressors. These women raised such a ruckus that men who had seen and experienced the horrors of brutal, global war bent over backward to accomodate their whiny complaints.

Fast forward another thirty years, and find a America not at all friendly to the grandsons and great-grandsons of the global warriors of WWII. It is a society in which men bear the brunt of military and workplace deaths, but feminists complain because not enough women occupy desks in corporate offices; a culture where boys and young men are given short shrift in education; where the government creates jobs for women during a recession in which men disproportionately find themselves without a job.

It is a society that feminists label a rape culture and wherein they describe men as possessors of "flawed" masculinity -- predators who keep all women in a state of fear. It is a society where, increasingly, women can and do make false rape accusations and face little or no consequence for destroying, or almost destroying, some innocent man's life.

Not long ago, the families of the crew of the bomber lost near New Guinea were notified that the plane had not gone down in the Pacific, after all. Wreckage of the plane had been located in rugged, jungle-covered mountains on the northern end of the island. Human remains were found. Using DNA testing, all members of the crew were identified and their families in the United States notifed that their soldiers would be coming home at last.

Among the crewmen was a gunner from Georgia by the name of Berthold Chastain, my uncle. I only recently learned of the true story of his sacrifice. Our family is still trying to grasp the new information that he was not lost at sea sixty-seven years ago, as we have believed for so long.

As I contemplate this new chapter in our family history, I can't help but wonder. Is the United States today really what he, and 600,000 others fought for, and so many died for? I cannot help but believe it is not, and for that I am profoundly sorry. As a society, we have not done right by these men.

Welcome home at last, Uncle Bert. Please forgive us.

The story of the last mission of the B-24 bomber, the "Shack Rat" -- http://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/b-24/42-40918.html

*Connie is a member of the FRS team whose column appears here every Friday. Her blog is http://conniechastain.blogspot.com

Sentenced for false rape report in Abbotsford

A woman who falsely reported to police that she had been sexually assaulted by a stranger in July 2009 said she did it because she didn't think anyone would believe the real story – that she had been date raped.

Tammi Zall, 24, who previously pleaded guilty to public mischief, was sentenced today (Tuesday) in Abbotsford provincial court to a four-month conditional sentence. Judge Richard Romano said her actions tied up an "enormous" amount of police manpower and left the public fearful that a rapist was on the loose.

"You said it best: This was a huge mistake," Romano said in addressing Zall, who apologized in court for her behaviour.

The court heard that Zall phoned 911 on July 29, 2009 at about 4 a.m., reporting that she had been raped by a man who forced his way into her first-floor apartment on Robertson Avenue through her balcony door.

Ten police units were called to the scene. Zall told investigators that the intruder, whom she did not know, pushed her down on the bed and raped her for about 15 minutes before leaving through the balcony door.

She provided a detailed description of the assailant, and was taken to Abbotsford Regional Hospital for a sex assault examination.

Abbotsford Police issued a press release, warning the public that a sexual offender – referred to in media reports as the "balcony rapist" – had struck.

Police then received numerous tips and phone calls from a concerned public. They detained two suspects who matched the description, but were able to rule them out as suspects.

Meanwhile, Zall told a different story to a family member, who then contacted police on Aug. 2 about the discrepancies in her story. Zall repeated the adapted story to police on Aug. 5.

This time, she said the sexual assault involved a man she knew and had reported to the police on July 22, 2009 for harassment. She said the man came to her home on July 29 and she allowed him in because she had been drinking earlier in the evening and her judgment was impaired.

A while later the two became intimate, but Zall said she changed her mind during the act and asked for him to stop. Instead, he continued for several minutes. He then left her apartment.

She told police that she had felt violated and used, but because she had put herself in the situation, didn't think she would be taken seriously. She said she wanted to be treated like a rape victim and not be overlooked.

The false story "just came out" and picked up momentum, she said.

Police charged her that day with public mischief. They also interviewed the man Zall had named as her assailant, but he said he had never had sexual relations with her and offered to take a polygraph test.

During Tuesday's sentencing, Crown counsel Elizabeth Rennie said there were some obvious concerns about pursuing a case based on Zall's second story.

"Sadly, because of the history of the actions of Miss Zall, her credibility is a signficiant issue."

Zall apologized to the court for her actions.

"I'm just very sorry. It was a very big mistake and I regret it to the end," she said, breaking down in tears.

The judge said Zall's remorse was "sincere and genuine" and he agreed with both the Crown and the defence that a jail sentence would not be necessary. He ruled that she be electronically monitored during her four-month sentence.

Zall is confined to her residence for the first 45 days, unless she has authorization for family, personal or employment reasons. For the remainder of her sentence, she must abide by a curfew of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.


Link:
http://www.bclocalnews.com/fraser_valley/abbynews/news/103967354.html

Sentenced for false rape report in Abbotsford

A woman who falsely reported to police that she had been sexually assaulted by a stranger in July 2009 said she did it because she didn't think anyone would believe the real story – that she had been date raped.

Tammi Zall, 24, who previously pleaded guilty to public mischief, was sentenced today (Tuesday) in Abbotsford provincial court to a four-month conditional sentence. Judge Richard Romano said her actions tied up an "enormous" amount of police manpower and left the public fearful that a rapist was on the loose.

"You said it best: This was a huge mistake," Romano said in addressing Zall, who apologized in court for her behaviour.

The court heard that Zall phoned 911 on July 29, 2009 at about 4 a.m., reporting that she had been raped by a man who forced his way into her first-floor apartment on Robertson Avenue through her balcony door.

Ten police units were called to the scene. Zall told investigators that the intruder, whom she did not know, pushed her down on the bed and raped her for about 15 minutes before leaving through the balcony door.

She provided a detailed description of the assailant, and was taken to Abbotsford Regional Hospital for a sex assault examination.

Abbotsford Police issued a press release, warning the public that a sexual offender – referred to in media reports as the "balcony rapist" – had struck.

Police then received numerous tips and phone calls from a concerned public. They detained two suspects who matched the description, but were able to rule them out as suspects.

Meanwhile, Zall told a different story to a family member, who then contacted police on Aug. 2 about the discrepancies in her story. Zall repeated the adapted story to police on Aug. 5.

This time, she said the sexual assault involved a man she knew and had reported to the police on July 22, 2009 for harassment. She said the man came to her home on July 29 and she allowed him in because she had been drinking earlier in the evening and her judgment was impaired.

A while later the two became intimate, but Zall said she changed her mind during the act and asked for him to stop. Instead, he continued for several minutes. He then left her apartment.

She told police that she had felt violated and used, but because she had put herself in the situation, didn't think she would be taken seriously. She said she wanted to be treated like a rape victim and not be overlooked.

The false story "just came out" and picked up momentum, she said.

Police charged her that day with public mischief. They also interviewed the man Zall had named as her assailant, but he said he had never had sexual relations with her and offered to take a polygraph test.

During Tuesday's sentencing, Crown counsel Elizabeth Rennie said there were some obvious concerns about pursuing a case based on Zall's second story.

"Sadly, because of the history of the actions of Miss Zall, her credibility is a signficiant issue."

Zall apologized to the court for her actions.

"I'm just very sorry. It was a very big mistake and I regret it to the end," she said, breaking down in tears.

The judge said Zall's remorse was "sincere and genuine" and he agreed with both the Crown and the defence that a jail sentence would not be necessary. He ruled that she be electronically monitored during her four-month sentence.

Zall is confined to her residence for the first 45 days, unless she has authorization for family, personal or employment reasons. For the remainder of her sentence, she must abide by a curfew of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.


Link:
http://www.bclocalnews.com/fraser_valley/abbynews/news/103967354.html

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Police seek author of e-mail about three sexual assaults

GAUTIER — Police on Wednesday were warning residents of an e-mail circulating about three alleged sexual assaults in the city that police do not believe occurred.

The e-mail was widely distributed at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, warning residents to be cautious, police said. Police are asking residents to stop sending the e-mail.

Police, however, are asking for tips to find who might have authored the false report. The e-mail indicated that there had been three sexual assaults in the city in the last week.


Link:

http://www.sunherald.com/2010/09/29/2513356/around-south-mississippi.html

Police seek author of e-mail about three sexual assaults

GAUTIER — Police on Wednesday were warning residents of an e-mail circulating about three alleged sexual assaults in the city that police do not believe occurred.

The e-mail was widely distributed at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, warning residents to be cautious, police said. Police are asking residents to stop sending the e-mail.

Police, however, are asking for tips to find who might have authored the false report. The e-mail indicated that there had been three sexual assaults in the city in the last week.


Link:

http://www.sunherald.com/2010/09/29/2513356/around-south-mississippi.html

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

College student's rape lie jailed classmate for no apparent reason

A young man was arrested in class on the basis of a classmate's rape lie.  He was jailed with bond set sufficiently high to insure he wouldn't get out before trial.  He was there for almost one month before police figured out it didn't happen. The woman admitted that she didn't even know her victim.  This appears to have been a random, and senseless attempt to destroy a young man's life.  The most puzzling aspect of the case is the insistence of law enforcement that police had probable cause to deprive a young man of his liberty while the investigation was still ongoing.  We are not told what this purported probable cause was, but if it was the word of the accuser, that is more than just problematic.

Do you suppose the victim of this crime will ever be the same?  This is among the more dispicable false rape claims we've reported lately.

Alleged MSU rape victim admits to lying

Lake Charles, La. — On Thursday, September 23, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office arrested Tyler J. Leger, 19, of Lake Charles, for the alleged rape of a McNeese State University student. Last week his accuser was arrested after admitting to fabricating her story.

 "I can tell you without reservation we absolutely had probable cause to arrest this man based on the information we had and that's unfortunate for him," said Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso in a press conference Tuesday.

With information given to deputies by the alleged victim, Kolbie M. Wade, 18, of Lake Charles, Leger was arrested without incident at McNeese while he was attending class. He was booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center and charged with forcible rape. He remained in jail on a $750,000 bond set by Judge Michael Canaday.

After the arrest of Leger, and while the investigation was continuing forward, more information regarding the case became available to detectives. With this information, detectives interviewed several new witnesses which led to another interview with Wade. She continued to allege she was raped by Leger.

After the witnesses' information was verified to be true, detectives met with the District Attorney's Office on Tuesday, October 19, to discuss the case. After reviewing the facts of the case, it was decided the rape charge against Leger should be dismissed. Leger was immediately released from jail.

On October 20, the day after Leger was released from jail, Wade admitted to detectives she had fabricated the story of the rape. She confirmed that she did not know Leger and did not give a reason why she made up the story. Wade was arrested and booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center and charged with criminal mischief. She bonded out later that day. She has no prior criminal history.

The Sheriff's Office is still in discussion with the District Attorney's office on other possible charges against Wade. One charge concerns the altercation of a public document. The other is the false swearing for purposes of violating public health and safety.

"These are more serious charges than the filing of a false police report," said Mancuso.

"I think it's important for the public to know that we have a safe campus. I think the McNeese police department does a great job and McNeese does a great job with ensuring the safety of our kids that go to school there," he added.

"I think our detectives did a great job, not just in the beginning of this case but following through with the case and subsequently figuring out that this crime did not occur."

"We need to make sure that women in our community understand that they need to report when an allegation of rape occurs and let us investigate it. Women need to be protected and our society needs to be protected from predators," said Mancuso. "What can't happen, obviously, is people fabricating stories and making up things."

"Incidents of false reporting are taken seriously because someone's freedom is ultimately taken away here for a period of time," according to MSU Chief of Police Cinnamon Salvador.

CPSO Detective Michael Primeaux is the lead investigator on this case.

College student's rape lie jailed classmate for no apparent reason

A young man was arrested in class on the basis of a classmate's rape lie.  He was jailed with bond set sufficiently high to insure he wouldn't get out before trial.  He was there for almost one month before police figured out it didn't happen. The woman admitted that she didn't even know her victim.  This appears to have been a random, and senseless attempt to destroy a young man's life.  The most puzzling aspect of the case is the insistence of law enforcement that police had probable cause to deprive a young man of his liberty while the investigation was still ongoing.  We are not told what this purported probable cause was, but if it was the word of the accuser, that is more than just problematic.

Do you suppose the victim of this crime will ever be the same?  This is among the more dispicable false rape claims we've reported lately.

Alleged MSU rape victim admits to lying

Lake Charles, La. — On Thursday, September 23, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office arrested Tyler J. Leger, 19, of Lake Charles, for the alleged rape of a McNeese State University student. Last week his accuser was arrested after admitting to fabricating her story.

 "I can tell you without reservation we absolutely had probable cause to arrest this man based on the information we had and that's unfortunate for him," said Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso in a press conference Tuesday.

With information given to deputies by the alleged victim, Kolbie M. Wade, 18, of Lake Charles, Leger was arrested without incident at McNeese while he was attending class. He was booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center and charged with forcible rape. He remained in jail on a $750,000 bond set by Judge Michael Canaday.

After the arrest of Leger, and while the investigation was continuing forward, more information regarding the case became available to detectives. With this information, detectives interviewed several new witnesses which led to another interview with Wade. She continued to allege she was raped by Leger.

After the witnesses' information was verified to be true, detectives met with the District Attorney's Office on Tuesday, October 19, to discuss the case. After reviewing the facts of the case, it was decided the rape charge against Leger should be dismissed. Leger was immediately released from jail.

On October 20, the day after Leger was released from jail, Wade admitted to detectives she had fabricated the story of the rape. She confirmed that she did not know Leger and did not give a reason why she made up the story. Wade was arrested and booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center and charged with criminal mischief. She bonded out later that day. She has no prior criminal history.

The Sheriff's Office is still in discussion with the District Attorney's office on other possible charges against Wade. One charge concerns the altercation of a public document. The other is the false swearing for purposes of violating public health and safety.

"These are more serious charges than the filing of a false police report," said Mancuso.

"I think it's important for the public to know that we have a safe campus. I think the McNeese police department does a great job and McNeese does a great job with ensuring the safety of our kids that go to school there," he added.

"I think our detectives did a great job, not just in the beginning of this case but following through with the case and subsequently figuring out that this crime did not occur."

"We need to make sure that women in our community understand that they need to report when an allegation of rape occurs and let us investigate it. Women need to be protected and our society needs to be protected from predators," said Mancuso. "What can't happen, obviously, is people fabricating stories and making up things."

"Incidents of false reporting are taken seriously because someone's freedom is ultimately taken away here for a period of time," according to MSU Chief of Police Cinnamon Salvador.

CPSO Detective Michael Primeaux is the lead investigator on this case.

How to smear a conservative running for Governor? Talk about her presumptively innocent son as if he's a rapist, of course

Meg Whitman, the GOP candidate for Governor of California, has been hit by another storm of nasty rumors, just in time for the election next week. Whitman’s son, Griffith Harsh, a former student at Princeton University, was accused of brutally attacking and raping a former classmate at that venerable institution back in 2006.  The "report" of this incident is found here.

The implication of the report is that Griffith got away with rape because his mother was a major donor at the school.

Let's briefly, and quickly, dissect the story to demonstrate the ways the progressive electronic media is even less responsible than the progressive print media when it comes to discussing the presumptively innocent accused of rape.  (If that's possible.)  From the story:

"On a spring night in 2006, Griff—then a sophomore—went partying on the Street, a boozy row of private undergraduate dining clubs. As he would later tell a panel of university disciplinarians, he ran into a classmate and went home with her. They had sex. She awoke the next morning with a black eye, bruised face and, she told friends, no memories from the previous night. According to multiple sources—one of whom was a dormitory adviser at the time—the girl told her friends Griff Harsh had raped her.

Let's stop right there.  They were partying. They went home. They had sex. The anonymous girl had no memory of what happened.  But then, we are led to believe that she legitimately thought she had been raped?  From what?  There is no evidence whatsoever that she was in a near comatose state at the time they had sex.  None. 

Should we assume she was raped because of the bruises?  Because, you know, comatose women who are raped always incur bruising, right?  Even a friend of the unnamed woman said this: "She had clearly hurt herself badly. Or been hurt badly."  Gee, it's one or the other, so let's just assume it had to be that she had "been hurt badly," and that she had been badly hurt during a rape. Right?

The story goes on: "A friend who spent time with her the following morning spoke to us under the condition of anonymity: 'She woke up with him on top of her, and he was like, "You need the morning-after pill." And she was like, "Why, what happened?" She didn't remember having sex, she didn't remember consenting, she didn't remember any of it."

See?  Of course he's a rapist.  Because they were drinking, because they went home, and because they had sex, and because she can't remember what happened.  Of course this awful predator must have taken advantage of the poor, innocent-as-a-lamb young woman.

Here's Griff's side of the story: "[H]e thought she had been sober enough to consent." He and the unnamed girl had had "two sexual encounters prior" to this incident. As for her injuries? "He attributed her injuries to an accidental fall."

She didn't go to the police. She didn't have a rape kit prepared.  Why?  Because, supposedly, she didn't want to go through the mess of accusing the son of a powerful person. (And, you see, that might have allowed police to, you know, hold her claim up to the scrutiny of an investigation.)  She didn't want to put herself through that, but she was OK with putting herself through a university disciplinary hearing -- at the very university where the alleged rapist's mother was a powerful donor. Get it? 

Or did she choose that route because, with a disciplinary proceeding at a university, she figured she could destroy Griff in a more accuser-friendly atmosphere? 

At that disciplinary hearing, it was presumably her word (which was that she couldn't remember what happened) against his (which was that he believed she consented). 

The disciplinary panel, which treats its matters as confidential, apparently concluded that it did not have enough evidence to discipline Griff Harsh.

But, of course, that Web site hasn't done enough damage to a young man's reputation.  The article goes on to describe other brushes with the law Griff has had. The fact that these don't relate to the sexual assault of any woman, much less this woman, is beside the point. See, when you gotta smear someone, any mud will do.

Here's loopy Salon's take on it: "The actions of adult children shouldn't be used to cast aspersions on the character of their parents, but the sight of a wealthy young man who keeps getting away with everything puts the lie to a gubernatorial campaign predicated on the idea that wealth and business acumen go hand in hand with American virtues like responsibility and hard work."

See?  Griff got away with "everything," including, presumably, rape. All because he found himself on the losing "he" side of a "he said/she said" rape accusation.  (For "he said/she said" rape accusations, the "he" side is akin to the Washington Generals playing the Harlem Globetrotters.)

"If I'm to be branded a rapist, for the rest of my life then there should be some evidence of it," Harsh said in a 2006 statement.  See here.

Why on earth would you think that, Griff?  You obviously are not a regular reader of this blog, are you?  Maybe you should be.

How to smear a conservative running for Governor? Talk about her presumptively innocent son as if he's a rapist, of course

Meg Whitman, the GOP candidate for Governor of California, has been hit by another storm of nasty rumors, just in time for the election next week. Whitman’s son, Griffith Harsh, a former student at Princeton University, was accused of brutally attacking and raping a former classmate at that venerable institution back in 2006.  The "report" of this incident is found here.

The implication of the report is that Griffith got away with rape because his mother was a major donor at the school.

Let's briefly, and quickly, dissect the story to demonstrate the ways the progressive electronic media is even less responsible than the progressive print media when it comes to discussing the presumptively innocent accused of rape.  (If that's possible.)  From the story:

"On a spring night in 2006, Griff—then a sophomore—went partying on the Street, a boozy row of private undergraduate dining clubs. As he would later tell a panel of university disciplinarians, he ran into a classmate and went home with her. They had sex. She awoke the next morning with a black eye, bruised face and, she told friends, no memories from the previous night. According to multiple sources—one of whom was a dormitory adviser at the time—the girl told her friends Griff Harsh had raped her.

Let's stop right there.  They were partying. They went home. They had sex. The anonymous girl had no memory of what happened.  But then, we are led to believe that she legitimately thought she had been raped?  From what?  There is no evidence whatsoever that she was in a near comatose state at the time they had sex.  None. 

Should we assume she was raped because of the bruises?  Because, you know, comatose women who are raped always incur bruising, right?  Even a friend of the unnamed woman said this: "She had clearly hurt herself badly. Or been hurt badly."  Gee, it's one or the other, so let's just assume it had to be that she had "been hurt badly," and that she had been badly hurt during a rape. Right?

The story goes on: "A friend who spent time with her the following morning spoke to us under the condition of anonymity: 'She woke up with him on top of her, and he was like, "You need the morning-after pill." And she was like, "Why, what happened?" She didn't remember having sex, she didn't remember consenting, she didn't remember any of it."

See?  Of course he's a rapist.  Because they were drinking, because they went home, and because they had sex, and because she can't remember what happened.  Of course this awful predator must have taken advantage of the poor, innocent-as-a-lamb young woman.

Here's Griff's side of the story: "[H]e thought she had been sober enough to consent." He and the unnamed girl had had "two sexual encounters prior" to this incident. As for her injuries? "He attributed her injuries to an accidental fall."

She didn't go to the police. She didn't have a rape kit prepared.  Why?  Because, supposedly, she didn't want to go through the mess of accusing the son of a powerful person. (And, you see, that might have allowed police to, you know, hold her claim up to the scrutiny of an investigation.)  She didn't want to put herself through that, but she was OK with putting herself through a university disciplinary hearing -- at the very university where the alleged rapist's mother was a powerful donor. Get it? 

Or did she choose that route because, with a disciplinary proceeding at a university, she figured she could destroy Griff in a more accuser-friendly atmosphere? 

At that disciplinary hearing, it was presumably her word (which was that she couldn't remember what happened) against his (which was that he believed she consented). 

The disciplinary panel, which treats its matters as confidential, apparently concluded that it did not have enough evidence to discipline Griff Harsh.

But, of course, that Web site hasn't done enough damage to a young man's reputation.  The article goes on to describe other brushes with the law Griff has had. The fact that these don't relate to the sexual assault of any woman, much less this woman, is beside the point. See, when you gotta smear someone, any mud will do.

Here's loopy Salon's take on it: "The actions of adult children shouldn't be used to cast aspersions on the character of their parents, but the sight of a wealthy young man who keeps getting away with everything puts the lie to a gubernatorial campaign predicated on the idea that wealth and business acumen go hand in hand with American virtues like responsibility and hard work."

See?  Griff got away with "everything," including, presumably, rape. All because he found himself on the losing "he" side of a "he said/she said" rape accusation.  (For "he said/she said" rape accusations, the "he" side is akin to the Washington Generals playing the Harlem Globetrotters.)

"If I'm to be branded a rapist, for the rest of my life then there should be some evidence of it," Harsh said in a 2006 statement.  See here.

Why on earth would you think that, Griff?  You obviously are not a regular reader of this blog, are you?  Maybe you should be.

Man arraigned for sex with minor following false rape report

A Vista man was arraigned Thursday on one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl he met online who initially told authorities she had been raped by three strangers.

Jose A. Cano, 20, pleaded not guilty to charges he lured a 15-year-old Encinitas girl he met online to meet him and have consensual sex last Friday. He was ordered held without bail while authorities decide if he is in the country illegally.

Shortly after her parents reported her missing last Friday, the girl turned up and claimed she had been abducted by three men and raped, prompting sheriff's deputies to launch a multi-prong effort to find the attackers the girl had described. She eventually admitted making up the story.

Deputy District Attorney Katherine Flaherty said the girl is "doing as well as can be expected."

A laptop believed to belong to Cano has been seized and authorities are researching its hard drive to determine if Cano tried to lure other underage girls into sexual trysts, Flaherty said after Cano's brief court appearance before Judge Joan Weber at the Vista Courthouse.

A decision on whether the girl will be charged with filing a false report has not yet been made, Flaherty said.

"The investigation is ongoing and she is a necessary witness in this case," Flaherty said. "The reality is that at times children do fabricate stories if they think they are going to get into trouble."

The girl told authorities she made up the story of being abducted to avoid having to tell her family what really happened.

Flaherty, who often is assigned to sex crime cases, said the girl's fabrication is uncommon.

"The vast majority of sexual assault victims come to this courthouse and testify truthfully about what happened to them," she said.

Another lesson from the case is that parents need to exercise constant oversight of their children's use of the Internet, Flaherty said.

"Parents can't be too vigilant," she said.

Authorities are continuing to study whether Cano will face additional charges, which could include contacting a minor online with the intent to commit a sex crime.

The crime he is charged with can be prosecuted either as a misdemeanor or a felony, Flaherty said. A decision on which way to go hasn't been made, she said.

If the case is treated as a misdemeanor and he is convicted, Cano would face a maximum of 12 months in the county jail. If it's handled as a felony and he's convicted, he could face up to three years in state prison.

Authorities say Cano met the teen through mocospace.com, which touts itself as "the world's largest mobile social network."

Cano has been in trouble before. He was arrested in December on misdemeanor methamphetamine charges. On Jan. 5, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct and was sentenced to time served.

After he was released, agents from the federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement returned him to Mexico.

He is under an immigration hold again, but if that is released, the judge set his bail at $20,000.

Cano's parents and other family members attended Thursday's arraignment. There was no sign of the girl or her family in the courtroom.


[FRS Comment] - One has to wonder, just how old, this young woman told Mr. Cano she was?

Link:

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/sdcounty/article_c4983ac8-c91e-5e13-a2d2-5c2e1ca12ec6.html

Man arraigned for sex with minor following false rape report

A Vista man was arraigned Thursday on one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl he met online who initially told authorities she had been raped by three strangers.

Jose A. Cano, 20, pleaded not guilty to charges he lured a 15-year-old Encinitas girl he met online to meet him and have consensual sex last Friday. He was ordered held without bail while authorities decide if he is in the country illegally.

Shortly after her parents reported her missing last Friday, the girl turned up and claimed she had been abducted by three men and raped, prompting sheriff's deputies to launch a multi-prong effort to find the attackers the girl had described. She eventually admitted making up the story.

Deputy District Attorney Katherine Flaherty said the girl is "doing as well as can be expected."

A laptop believed to belong to Cano has been seized and authorities are researching its hard drive to determine if Cano tried to lure other underage girls into sexual trysts, Flaherty said after Cano's brief court appearance before Judge Joan Weber at the Vista Courthouse.

A decision on whether the girl will be charged with filing a false report has not yet been made, Flaherty said.

"The investigation is ongoing and she is a necessary witness in this case," Flaherty said. "The reality is that at times children do fabricate stories if they think they are going to get into trouble."

The girl told authorities she made up the story of being abducted to avoid having to tell her family what really happened.

Flaherty, who often is assigned to sex crime cases, said the girl's fabrication is uncommon.

"The vast majority of sexual assault victims come to this courthouse and testify truthfully about what happened to them," she said.

Another lesson from the case is that parents need to exercise constant oversight of their children's use of the Internet, Flaherty said.

"Parents can't be too vigilant," she said.

Authorities are continuing to study whether Cano will face additional charges, which could include contacting a minor online with the intent to commit a sex crime.

The crime he is charged with can be prosecuted either as a misdemeanor or a felony, Flaherty said. A decision on which way to go hasn't been made, she said.

If the case is treated as a misdemeanor and he is convicted, Cano would face a maximum of 12 months in the county jail. If it's handled as a felony and he's convicted, he could face up to three years in state prison.

Authorities say Cano met the teen through mocospace.com, which touts itself as "the world's largest mobile social network."

Cano has been in trouble before. He was arrested in December on misdemeanor methamphetamine charges. On Jan. 5, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct and was sentenced to time served.

After he was released, agents from the federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement returned him to Mexico.

He is under an immigration hold again, but if that is released, the judge set his bail at $20,000.

Cano's parents and other family members attended Thursday's arraignment. There was no sign of the girl or her family in the courtroom.


[FRS Comment] - One has to wonder, just how old, this young woman told Mr. Cano she was?

Link:

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/sdcounty/article_c4983ac8-c91e-5e13-a2d2-5c2e1ca12ec6.html

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Constant 'law enforcement' debate is derailing our message

For several months we have witnessed a spike in the number and intensity of the comments about the role of "law enforcement" in fomenting a false rape culture. We have stood by and watched as the comments derailed one post after another with this debate, which is often unrelated to the post where the debate erupts.  Some of the comments have been reasonable and intelligent; however, too often they degenerate into sweeping, blanket criticisms of law enforcement, posited without nuance, and intended to provoke a debate with one particular commentator.

I would love to continue doing this blog, and doing what I consider to be important work in exploring the false rape phenomenon, like this.  But based on what I am seeing, the most interested segment of our audience seems to be focused on a single issue that I think misses the big picture. I have no interest in focusing on the issue that this group seems intent on constantly debating.

Trust me: I can post a story about an innocent guy being murdered by vigilantes because of a false rape claim, and the comments would end up being about law enforcement.

Maybe this blog has done all it can do in spreading the message, and maybe our audience has become desensitized to the horrors of false rape claims. I understand. And this is not a threat. I don't have a compulsive need to continue doing this blog, and I am incredibly busy with other things.  I always found the time to do this, even when I was traveling, when I thought it was helping to spread the word.  But right now, I have to be honest: I feel like I'm wasting my time here.

Constant 'law enforcement' debate is derailing our message

For several months we have witnessed a spike in the number and intensity of the comments about the role of "law enforcement" in fomenting a false rape culture. We have stood by and watched as the comments derailed one post after another with this debate, which is often unrelated to the post where the debate erupts.  Some of the comments have been reasonable and intelligent; however, too often they degenerate into sweeping, blanket criticisms of law enforcement, posited without nuance, and intended to provoke a debate with one particular commentator.

I would love to continue doing this blog, and doing what I consider to be important work in exploring the false rape phenomenon, like this.  But based on what I am seeing, the most interested segment of our audience seems to be focused on a single issue that I think misses the big picture. I have no interest in focusing on the issue that this group seems intent on constantly debating.

Trust me: I can post a story about an innocent guy being murdered by vigilantes because of a false rape claim, and the comments would end up being about law enforcement.

Maybe this blog has done all it can do in spreading the message, and maybe our audience has become desensitized to the horrors of false rape claims. I understand. And this is not a threat. I don't have a compulsive need to continue doing this blog, and I am incredibly busy with other things.  I always found the time to do this, even when I was traveling, when I thought it was helping to spread the word.  But right now, I have to be honest: I feel like I'm wasting my time here.

The false rape culture explained

"WHEN did we start to dislike men so much that we're happy for them not to be part of our children's lives?"

"The distrust of males has been creeping up on us, fanned by the sick minds of a few who have stolen the innocence of children, and left heartache in their wake." 

A must-read: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/pedophile-panic-is-marking-our-men-as-bad/story-e6frerhf-1225943189592

The false rape culture explained

"WHEN did we start to dislike men so much that we're happy for them not to be part of our children's lives?"

"The distrust of males has been creeping up on us, fanned by the sick minds of a few who have stolen the innocence of children, and left heartache in their wake." 

A must-read: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/pedophile-panic-is-marking-our-men-as-bad/story-e6frerhf-1225943189592

Woman accused of making false rape report against three men

A 30-year-old Gaffney, S.C., woman told Gastonia Police on Sunday three men raped her, but the story was false, according to an arrest warrant.

The woman was served with an arrest warrant on Tuesday for making a false report to a police station. She was released from custody without having to post bond.

Police determined her story did not add up and she later confessed that it was untrue, according to a Gastonia Police report.

No one else was questioned in the case.


Link:

http://www.gastongazette.com/news/woman-51179-false-police.html

Woman accused of making false rape report against three men

A 30-year-old Gaffney, S.C., woman told Gastonia Police on Sunday three men raped her, but the story was false, according to an arrest warrant.

The woman was served with an arrest warrant on Tuesday for making a false report to a police station. She was released from custody without having to post bond.

Police determined her story did not add up and she later confessed that it was untrue, according to a Gastonia Police report.

No one else was questioned in the case.


Link:

http://www.gastongazette.com/news/woman-51179-false-police.html

Monday, October 25, 2010

About Law Enforcement: A Letter To Our Readers

Recently on this blog, there has been an ongoing argument about whether Law Enforcement properly handles false rape accusations, and criminal investigations in general.

While the anger that those who have been falsely accused is certainly understandable, the constant blaming of Law Enforcement, is, to put it bluntly, misplaced. The blame for a false accusation belongs in one place and one place only: on the person who makes the complaint.

Read that again, and let it sink in.

The person responsible for a false accusation is the person who files the complaint. Until such time as a person either goes to the police and files a claim, or goes to the hospital and says they were raped, it is more than likely that the police will never become involved. It takes a specific action by one party (with a report of rape), to elicit a reaction from Law Enforcement (an investigation of an alleged rape).

Does Law Enforcement get it wrong sometimes? Of course it does. Police are human, and, therefore, fallible. And this site is more than willing to call them out on it when they do. But this does not mean that police constantly go out of their way  to persecute innocent men.**

The thing that we must keep in mind is that this site is not about bashing Law Enforcement. The simple fact is that without them, this site would not exist. It is the police who uncover that allegations of rape are false in almost every we post here (some are discovered during a trial, or after conviction, but those are much less frequent). Either they uncover evidence that proves the complaint false, or while investigating, they uncover something that doesn’t add up/make sense, and that is usually enough for the accuser to admit she or he lied.

Therefore, overall, they are getting it right. To state otherwise devalues what this site stands for: support and recognition of those who have been falsely accused of rape, or sexual assault, be they man or woman. We have fought too hard to make this a credible site, and the constant attack on Law Enforcement, is damaging that effort.

If you wish to comment on the specific case, and the way it was handled, feel free. If you wish to discuss arrest policies, and what needs to be changed, feel free. If Law Enforcement did something wrong in a specific article, then go ahead and bring it up.

But keep in mind that almost always, they did get it right, sooner or later, or the story wouldn’t be posted.

** It is understood that the vast majority of false rape accusations are made against men.

P.S. – As an aside, I hate to go to comment moderation, but if this constant back and forth continues to derail comment threads, it may be necessary. While I am all for open discussion, the vision of where this site is going is too great to risk over people who hate LE. There are sites better suited to express that attitude, and it only makes our job more difficult.

About Law Enforcement: A Letter To Our Readers

Recently on this blog, there has been an ongoing argument about whether Law Enforcement properly handles false rape accusations, and criminal investigations in general.

While the anger that those who have been falsely accused is certainly understandable, the constant blaming of Law Enforcement, is, to put it bluntly, misplaced. The blame for a false accusation belongs in one place and one place only: on the person who makes the complaint.

Read that again, and let it sink in.

The person responsible for a false accusation is the person who files the complaint. Until such time as a person either goes to the police and files a claim, or goes to the hospital and says they were raped, it is more than likely that the police will never become involved. It takes a specific action by one party (with a report of rape), to elicit a reaction from Law Enforcement (an investigation of an alleged rape).

Does Law Enforcement get it wrong sometimes? Of course it does. Police are human, and, therefore, fallible. And this site is more than willing to call them out on it when they do. But this does not mean that police constantly go out of their way  to persecute innocent men.**

The thing that we must keep in mind is that this site is not about bashing Law Enforcement. The simple fact is that without them, this site would not exist. It is the police who uncover that allegations of rape are false in almost every we post here (some are discovered during a trial, or after conviction, but those are much less frequent). Either they uncover evidence that proves the complaint false, or while investigating, they uncover something that doesn’t add up/make sense, and that is usually enough for the accuser to admit she or he lied.

Therefore, overall, they are getting it right. To state otherwise devalues what this site stands for: support and recognition of those who have been falsely accused of rape, or sexual assault, be they man or woman. We have fought too hard to make this a credible site, and the constant attack on Law Enforcement, is damaging that effort.

If you wish to comment on the specific case, and the way it was handled, feel free. If you wish to discuss arrest policies, and what needs to be changed, feel free. If Law Enforcement did something wrong in a specific article, then go ahead and bring it up.

But keep in mind that almost always, they did get it right, sooner or later, or the story wouldn’t be posted.

** It is understood that the vast majority of false rape accusations are made against men.

P.S. – As an aside, I hate to go to comment moderation, but if this constant back and forth continues to derail comment threads, it may be necessary. While I am all for open discussion, the vision of where this site is going is too great to risk over people who hate LE. There are sites better suited to express that attitude, and it only makes our job more difficult.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rape Culture 101 -- Internecine conflict as entertainment

by Connie Chastain*

I subscribe to Google Alerts for about five different subjects. One of them is feminism and I'm notifed weekly of the items found by Google's search programs relating to this subject.

As an ardent anti-feminist, I'm intrigued by the rumbling going on of late in the feminist quarter of western hegemony. Judging by the alerts in my in-box, there appears to be a multi-sided battle brewing. It's the aging second wavers vs. the smart-aleck third wavers, certainly. But it's also between liberal feminists on the left and conservative ones on the right.

As interesting as it is to watch the old gals and the young twits square off, for the next few weeks -- the run-up to the U.S. elections -- I'll have to give more attention to the political cat fight.

In the words of Howard Dietz, That's Entertainment! I won't say it's as entertaining as SEC football of a Saturday afternoon. It might run even with old MGM musicals, and it has spectator golf beat hands down. Hey, when you live in a dark and oppressive rape culture, you have to get your entertainment however you can so I have popped up some Jiffy-Pop, poured cola on ice, propped my feet up, and settled back to watch the Feminist Wars.

Conservative feminists? Who knew there could even be such an animal? Feminism has been the purview of the left for generations. Everybody knew conservative women, whose brains were damaged by housework, stayed home, raised kids and volunteered down at the church. Voting was the extent of their political involvement.

But we're seeing some strange things happening now. Women who don't spout the orthodox feminist line are emerging as political candidates, raising money (tons of it, jaw-dropping mountains of it) and making their voices heard with the electorate. And quite a few stand a good chance of getting elected to everything from the U.S. Senate to governors' offices to county commissions to local soil and water boards....

As I've stated before, I believe that the core of feminism is the hatred of men as a group, or hatred of masculinity itself. That is why abortion is the number one cause of feminism -- not equality for women, not opportunity for women, not giving women greater choice, but abortion: the removal from the uterus material put there by a male. Everything else on the feminist agenda, including the claims of rape culture, serves this cause.

But conservative women seeking office, and their numberless supporters, don't talk much about abortion, or rape culture, or the glass ceiling, or any of issues old-time feminists constantly moan about. They talk about reducing the size of government, lowering taxes, enacting sane health care legislation, putting power back into the hands of states, counties, municipalities -- in short, not only ignoring the orthodox feminist agenda, but supporting policies that would undermine feminist power by knocking government support (i.e., funding) out from under it.

Would these Mama Grizzlies make good elected officials? I dunno. I haven't paid close attention to politics since 1998, when I was a Congressional staffer and saw enough of federal politics to last me the rest of my life. And frankly, I prefer male leaders. But if I had to choose between a male liberal and a female conservative, I'd probably vote for the latter.

Fortunately, I don't have to delve that deeply into it. I've turned cynic enough to view the whole of western politics as a joke. I'm much more interested in the culture wars, and politics is important to me only to the extent it affects the culture.

I've seen speculation that the rise of conservative feminists means the old feminism is on the way out; that it has achieved what it set out to achieve, and is no longer needed -- that it has basically outlived its usefulness and will be elbowed aside by more relevant movements.

I don't know about that but I do know we have a lot of damage to undo, not the least of which is the damage done to men by feminist get-evenism supported by the power of government. Maybe electing conservative women to office is part of the solution, maybe not. But I'm for anything that undermines the power that institutional feminism has wrenched for itself over the decades.

If you've got some Jiffy-Pop and cola, and you'd like to join me in watching what's turning out to be a highly entertaining interlude, follow the links below (and you can Google to find lots more).

Feminism's Mother-Daughter Divide -- Susan Faludi
http://www.doublex.com/blog/xxfactor/susan-faludi-feminisms-mother-daughter-divide
High heels and high hopes -- Suzanne Fields
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/oct/20/high-heels-and-high-hopes/
Feminist Groups Call Conservative Women ‘Nutty’ and ‘Whores,’ Media Ignores -- Alana Goodman
http://www.cultureandmediainstitute.org/articles/2010/20101020120418.aspx
Sarah Palin vs. Emily's List: a Twitter 'feminist' feud
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/The-Vote/2010/0818/Sarah-Palin-vs.-Emily-s-List-a-Twitter-feminist-feud
Oxymoron of 2010: feminist conservative -- Beverly McPhail
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/7217962.html
Real Mama Grizzlies -- Karoli (the video's a real hoot! Enjoy! ~Connie)
http://crooksandliars.com/karoli/real-mama-grizzlies


*
Connie is a member of the FRS team whose column appears here every Friday. Her blog is
http://conniechastain.blogspot.com

Rape Culture 101 -- Internecine conflict as entertainment

by Connie Chastain*

I subscribe to Google Alerts for about five different subjects. One of them is feminism and I'm notifed weekly of the items found by Google's search programs relating to this subject.

As an ardent anti-feminist, I'm intrigued by the rumbling going on of late in the feminist quarter of western hegemony. Judging by the alerts in my in-box, there appears to be a multi-sided battle brewing. It's the aging second wavers vs. the smart-aleck third wavers, certainly. But it's also between liberal feminists on the left and conservative ones on the right.

As interesting as it is to watch the old gals and the young twits square off, for the next few weeks -- the run-up to the U.S. elections -- I'll have to give more attention to the political cat fight.

In the words of Howard Dietz, That's Entertainment! I won't say it's as entertaining as SEC football of a Saturday afternoon. It might run even with old MGM musicals, and it has spectator golf beat hands down. Hey, when you live in a dark and oppressive rape culture, you have to get your entertainment however you can so I have popped up some Jiffy-Pop, poured cola on ice, propped my feet up, and settled back to watch the Feminist Wars.

Conservative feminists? Who knew there could even be such an animal? Feminism has been the purview of the left for generations. Everybody knew conservative women, whose brains were damaged by housework, stayed home, raised kids and volunteered down at the church. Voting was the extent of their political involvement.

But we're seeing some strange things happening now. Women who don't spout the orthodox feminist line are emerging as political candidates, raising money (tons of it, jaw-dropping mountains of it) and making their voices heard with the electorate. And quite a few stand a good chance of getting elected to everything from the U.S. Senate to governors' offices to county commissions to local soil and water boards....

As I've stated before, I believe that the core of feminism is the hatred of men as a group, or hatred of masculinity itself. That is why abortion is the number one cause of feminism -- not equality for women, not opportunity for women, not giving women greater choice, but abortion: the removal from the uterus material put there by a male. Everything else on the feminist agenda, including the claims of rape culture, serves this cause.

But conservative women seeking office, and their numberless supporters, don't talk much about abortion, or rape culture, or the glass ceiling, or any of issues old-time feminists constantly moan about. They talk about reducing the size of government, lowering taxes, enacting sane health care legislation, putting power back into the hands of states, counties, municipalities -- in short, not only ignoring the orthodox feminist agenda, but supporting policies that would undermine feminist power by knocking government support (i.e., funding) out from under it.

Would these Mama Grizzlies make good elected officials? I dunno. I haven't paid close attention to politics since 1998, when I was a Congressional staffer and saw enough of federal politics to last me the rest of my life. And frankly, I prefer male leaders. But if I had to choose between a male liberal and a female conservative, I'd probably vote for the latter.

Fortunately, I don't have to delve that deeply into it. I've turned cynic enough to view the whole of western politics as a joke. I'm much more interested in the culture wars, and politics is important to me only to the extent it affects the culture.

I've seen speculation that the rise of conservative feminists means the old feminism is on the way out; that it has achieved what it set out to achieve, and is no longer needed -- that it has basically outlived its usefulness and will be elbowed aside by more relevant movements.

I don't know about that but I do know we have a lot of damage to undo, not the least of which is the damage done to men by feminist get-evenism supported by the power of government. Maybe electing conservative women to office is part of the solution, maybe not. But I'm for anything that undermines the power that institutional feminism has wrenched for itself over the decades.

If you've got some Jiffy-Pop and cola, and you'd like to join me in watching what's turning out to be a highly entertaining interlude, follow the links below (and you can Google to find lots more).

Feminism's Mother-Daughter Divide -- Susan Faludi
http://www.doublex.com/blog/xxfactor/susan-faludi-feminisms-mother-daughter-divide
High heels and high hopes -- Suzanne Fields
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/oct/20/high-heels-and-high-hopes/
Feminist Groups Call Conservative Women ‘Nutty’ and ‘Whores,’ Media Ignores -- Alana Goodman
http://www.cultureandmediainstitute.org/articles/2010/20101020120418.aspx
Sarah Palin vs. Emily's List: a Twitter 'feminist' feud
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/The-Vote/2010/0818/Sarah-Palin-vs.-Emily-s-List-a-Twitter-feminist-feud
Oxymoron of 2010: feminist conservative -- Beverly McPhail
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/7217962.html
Real Mama Grizzlies -- Karoli (the video's a real hoot! Enjoy! ~Connie)
http://crooksandliars.com/karoli/real-mama-grizzlies


*
Connie is a member of the FRS team whose column appears here every Friday. Her blog is
http://conniechastain.blogspot.com

Dallas district attorney's office says man was wrongly convicted in '90 case

The Dallas County district attorney's office says it will ask a judge on Monday to release a 39-year-old deaf man who prosecutors believe was wrongly convicted of sexually assaulting a child.

Stephen Matthew Brodie pleaded guilty in 1993 to abducting a 5-year-old girl from her Richardson home and making her perform a sex act in September 1990.

His attorney, Dallas County public defender Michelle Moore, said that Brodie was interrogated for 18 hours over eight days and only half of the time was there a sign language interpreter present.

"We believe this is not a true confession," Moore said. "Stephen speaks an entirely differently language."

Moore said Thursday that evidence now points to Brodie's innocence. She said the district attorney's office told her a fingerprint found at the scene matches that of 41-year-old Robert Warterfield, a convicted child rapist who in the mid-1990s was also named as a suspect in the "North Dallas rapist" attacks on nearly a dozen other children.

Warterfield could not be reached for comment. He pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child in 1994 for abducting a teenage girl from her home and molesting her. He was given 10 years' probation in that case and never charged in the other attacks.

Moore said Brodie falsely confessed to the abduction and sexual assault in exchange for a five-year sentence. She said his original defense attorney wasn't told about the fingerprint match before Brodie accepted the plea.

Brodie has already served the five-year sentence. But he is currently serving time for failing to register as a sex offender in Lamar County. It is his third conviction, Moore said, for "stubbornly refusing to register for a crime he didn't commit."

Moore says Brodie's confession was made at time when he was being questioned about other cases, too, and when there was no sign language interpreter present.

She said tests performed before the original trial showed that a hair from a blanket the girl was forced to take with her when abducted did not belong to Brodie or anyone in the girl's family – and Brodie's defense attorney at the time was never told that, either.

If State District Judge Lena Levario and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agree that Brodie was wrongly convicted, he could become the third man exonerated in Dallas County without the benefit of DNA testing to clear his name. The county also has 20 DNA exonerations – more than any other county in the nation since 2001 when Texas began allowing post-conviction DNA testing.

It is unclear whether prosecutors knew about the information withheld from Brodie's attorney, or whether police failed to turn over the information to the district attorney's office. Information that could benefit a defendant is legally required to be handed over following a 1963 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Brady vs. Maryland.

Mike Ware, who oversees the conviction integrity unit at the district attorney's office, declined to discuss the investigation in detail. But he said there was "no reason" for Brodie to become a suspect in the first place.

"I anticipate part of the proof will be that the person we believe to be the actual perpetrator has been identified," Ware said.

Richardson police Sgt. Kevin Perlich, spokesman for the department that arrested Brodie, declined to comment other than to say that the department has been working with the district attorney's office.

Moore said there was a previous hearing on the case in the mid-'90s after Brodie's attorneys learned about the fingerprint. But Moore said that then Levario ruled that because Brodie confessed, the confession outweighed the other information.

According to a Dallas Morning News story at the time, Levario ruled that Brodie knew about the existence of the then-unidentified fingerprint before he pleaded guilty and he knew that prosecutors had shared their information about his false statements with his defense attorney.

Moore said Thursday that the fingerprint match was made before the guilty plea, but added that Brodie and his attorneys only knew that a fingerprint other than Brodie's own existed.

Levario said at the time that other evidence linked Brodie to the crime, including statements from the victim that indicated her attacker had an unusual voice and a drawing that resembled a giraffe on his arm. Brodie's attorney at the time conceded that he drew animals on his arms.

Levario could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

Moore said that since the first ruling, more weight has been given to the possibility of false confessions. She said that since 2001, police manuals have routinely included information warning them about suspects falsely admitting to a crime.

Moore became Brodie's attorney in February after the district attorney's office received a letter from Brodie's father asking prosecutors to look again at the case.

For Brodie to be released, Lamar County would have to agree. That seems likely, Moore said.

Lamar County and District Attorney Gary Young could not be reached for comment Thursday.

After the sexual assault, the girl immediately told her parents about the molestation, and they called 911. Moore said the girl did not get a good look at the man but said "he had a low voice, he was fat, had a big stomach and he was white."

Brodie became a suspect when he was arrested for breaking into a soft drink machine at a public swimming pool in Richardson not far from where the child was abducted.

If Brodie is released Monday, Moore said, he will have the support of his father and friends. She also said the county's other exonerees will help him adjust.

"The guys are very eager to meet him, and he's got some friends," she said.

Moore said that Brodie, who could shoe horses for a living, is eager to get a job.

"I think he's a little bit scared," she said. "But very anxious to get out."


Link:

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/092410dnmetexonerate.262e70b.html

Dallas district attorney's office says man was wrongly convicted in '90 case

The Dallas County district attorney's office says it will ask a judge on Monday to release a 39-year-old deaf man who prosecutors believe was wrongly convicted of sexually assaulting a child.

Stephen Matthew Brodie pleaded guilty in 1993 to abducting a 5-year-old girl from her Richardson home and making her perform a sex act in September 1990.

His attorney, Dallas County public defender Michelle Moore, said that Brodie was interrogated for 18 hours over eight days and only half of the time was there a sign language interpreter present.

"We believe this is not a true confession," Moore said. "Stephen speaks an entirely differently language."

Moore said Thursday that evidence now points to Brodie's innocence. She said the district attorney's office told her a fingerprint found at the scene matches that of 41-year-old Robert Warterfield, a convicted child rapist who in the mid-1990s was also named as a suspect in the "North Dallas rapist" attacks on nearly a dozen other children.

Warterfield could not be reached for comment. He pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child in 1994 for abducting a teenage girl from her home and molesting her. He was given 10 years' probation in that case and never charged in the other attacks.

Moore said Brodie falsely confessed to the abduction and sexual assault in exchange for a five-year sentence. She said his original defense attorney wasn't told about the fingerprint match before Brodie accepted the plea.

Brodie has already served the five-year sentence. But he is currently serving time for failing to register as a sex offender in Lamar County. It is his third conviction, Moore said, for "stubbornly refusing to register for a crime he didn't commit."

Moore says Brodie's confession was made at time when he was being questioned about other cases, too, and when there was no sign language interpreter present.

She said tests performed before the original trial showed that a hair from a blanket the girl was forced to take with her when abducted did not belong to Brodie or anyone in the girl's family – and Brodie's defense attorney at the time was never told that, either.

If State District Judge Lena Levario and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agree that Brodie was wrongly convicted, he could become the third man exonerated in Dallas County without the benefit of DNA testing to clear his name. The county also has 20 DNA exonerations – more than any other county in the nation since 2001 when Texas began allowing post-conviction DNA testing.

It is unclear whether prosecutors knew about the information withheld from Brodie's attorney, or whether police failed to turn over the information to the district attorney's office. Information that could benefit a defendant is legally required to be handed over following a 1963 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Brady vs. Maryland.

Mike Ware, who oversees the conviction integrity unit at the district attorney's office, declined to discuss the investigation in detail. But he said there was "no reason" for Brodie to become a suspect in the first place.

"I anticipate part of the proof will be that the person we believe to be the actual perpetrator has been identified," Ware said.

Richardson police Sgt. Kevin Perlich, spokesman for the department that arrested Brodie, declined to comment other than to say that the department has been working with the district attorney's office.

Moore said there was a previous hearing on the case in the mid-'90s after Brodie's attorneys learned about the fingerprint. But Moore said that then Levario ruled that because Brodie confessed, the confession outweighed the other information.

According to a Dallas Morning News story at the time, Levario ruled that Brodie knew about the existence of the then-unidentified fingerprint before he pleaded guilty and he knew that prosecutors had shared their information about his false statements with his defense attorney.

Moore said Thursday that the fingerprint match was made before the guilty plea, but added that Brodie and his attorneys only knew that a fingerprint other than Brodie's own existed.

Levario said at the time that other evidence linked Brodie to the crime, including statements from the victim that indicated her attacker had an unusual voice and a drawing that resembled a giraffe on his arm. Brodie's attorney at the time conceded that he drew animals on his arms.

Levario could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

Moore said that since the first ruling, more weight has been given to the possibility of false confessions. She said that since 2001, police manuals have routinely included information warning them about suspects falsely admitting to a crime.

Moore became Brodie's attorney in February after the district attorney's office received a letter from Brodie's father asking prosecutors to look again at the case.

For Brodie to be released, Lamar County would have to agree. That seems likely, Moore said.

Lamar County and District Attorney Gary Young could not be reached for comment Thursday.

After the sexual assault, the girl immediately told her parents about the molestation, and they called 911. Moore said the girl did not get a good look at the man but said "he had a low voice, he was fat, had a big stomach and he was white."

Brodie became a suspect when he was arrested for breaking into a soft drink machine at a public swimming pool in Richardson not far from where the child was abducted.

If Brodie is released Monday, Moore said, he will have the support of his father and friends. She also said the county's other exonerees will help him adjust.

"The guys are very eager to meet him, and he's got some friends," she said.

Moore said that Brodie, who could shoe horses for a living, is eager to get a job.

"I think he's a little bit scared," she said. "But very anxious to get out."


Link:

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/092410dnmetexonerate.262e70b.html

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Great Ashby sexual assault claims turn out to be false

A POLICE investigation into a report of sexual assault off Great Ashby Way in Stevenage on Tuesday has confirmed that no crime has taken place.

Police were informed on Wednesday of the allegation, after which specialist detectives from the Sexual Offences Investigation team looked into the claims.

These proved to be negative, and no such assault has occurred.


Link:

http://www.thecomet.net/news/great_ashby_sexual_assault_claims_turn_out_to_be_false_1_656187

Great Ashby sexual assault claims turn out to be false

A POLICE investigation into a report of sexual assault off Great Ashby Way in Stevenage on Tuesday has confirmed that no crime has taken place.

Police were informed on Wednesday of the allegation, after which specialist detectives from the Sexual Offences Investigation team looked into the claims.

These proved to be negative, and no such assault has occurred.


Link:

http://www.thecomet.net/news/great_ashby_sexual_assault_claims_turn_out_to_be_false_1_656187

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Charges for false rape report

A 21-year-old Melbourne woman who claimed she was raped on a beachside track in broad daylight will be charged with making a false report to police.

The woman told police she was jogging on a dirt track beside The Esplanade in Mount Martha, south of Melbourne, when she was attacked just after 5.30pm (AEST) on September 13.

Police on Tuesday said detectives had completed their investigation and were now satisfied no such event happened.

"Police wish to allay community fears and reinforce the fact that this incident did not occur and there is no one sought in relation to the matter," a police spokeswoman said.

"The 21-year-old woman is expected to be charged on summons with making a false report to police."

The woman had told police she was startled by a man standing on the dirt track exposing himself.

She said the man tackled her to the ground, removed her pants and then sexually assaulted her on the track.

She told police the attack only stopped when she bit him on the neck. She then fled to a nearby house to raise the alarm.


Link:

http://news.brisbanetimes.com.au/breaking-news-national/charges-for-false-rape-report-20100921-15kkz.html

Charges for false rape report

A 21-year-old Melbourne woman who claimed she was raped on a beachside track in broad daylight will be charged with making a false report to police.

The woman told police she was jogging on a dirt track beside The Esplanade in Mount Martha, south of Melbourne, when she was attacked just after 5.30pm (AEST) on September 13.

Police on Tuesday said detectives had completed their investigation and were now satisfied no such event happened.

"Police wish to allay community fears and reinforce the fact that this incident did not occur and there is no one sought in relation to the matter," a police spokeswoman said.

"The 21-year-old woman is expected to be charged on summons with making a false report to police."

The woman had told police she was startled by a man standing on the dirt track exposing himself.

She said the man tackled her to the ground, removed her pants and then sexually assaulted her on the track.

She told police the attack only stopped when she bit him on the neck. She then fled to a nearby house to raise the alarm.


Link:

http://news.brisbanetimes.com.au/breaking-news-national/charges-for-false-rape-report-20100921-15kkz.html

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Everything you need to know about Anita Hill

WASHINGTON – The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called Anita Hill to ask her to apologize for accusing the justice of sexually harassing her, 19 years after Thomas' confirmation hearing spawned a national debate about harassment in the workplace.

Virginia Thomas said in a statement Tuesday that she was "extending an olive branch" to Hill, now a Brandeis University professor, in a voicemail message left over the weekend.

In a transcript of the message provided by ABC News, which said it listened to the recording, Thomas identified herself and then said, "I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day," Thomas said.

When Hill heard the voicemail, she contacted Brandeis' public safety office, which in turn informed the FBI.

"I certainly thought the call was inappropriate," Hill, who worked for Clarence Thomas in two federal government jobs, said in a statement released Tuesday night.

Read the rest here.

She contacted public safety? Seriously?  And they contacted the FBI?

Talk about an overreaction.  But it tells us a lot about a person.