libera voce/libera mente

"free voice, free mind"

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

House Resolution 590 Sparks Outrage

Representative Ted Poe of Texas recently introduced a resolution on domestic violence. The resolution makes numerous claims that are one-sided, misleading, and even false.

This is probably the worst of the bunch:

“Whereas according to one study, during court ordered visitation, five percent of abusive fathers threaten to kill their spouses, 34 percent of abusive fathers threaten to kidnap their children, and 25 percent of abusive fathers threaten to physically hurt their children;”

That defamatory claim and many others in House Resolution 590 have triggered a surge of outrage across the country:

“Why does Resolution 590 include no mention female-on-female violence? Could it be that domestic violence has become more of a political than a human issue?” – Paul Clements, DADD-New Hampshire

“HRES 590 must be recalibrated to address the perpetrators of violence regardless of sex.” – David R. Usher, True Equality Network (MO)

“House Resolution 590 is ill-conceived to protect children from abuse, because it does not recognize the majority of perpetrators are mothers!” – Carl Steppling, Florida Coalition for Families and Children

If HRES 590 passes, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month will gloss over the problem of abuse committed by women against children. An abused spouse can leave a relationship; victimized children cannot.” – Don Mathis, The Fourteen Percenter newsletter (TX)

“I have heard countless horror stories from men who have been evicted from their homes on the strength of unsubstantiated claims. Lawmakers need to review the facts before drafting domestic violence laws.” – Don Hank, Lancaster-York Non-Custodial Parents (PA)

“When gender advocates use make-believe stats, families get hurt.” – Tom Smith, American Union of Men (CA)

“Current DV laws destroy American families and particularly fathers. Now is the time to step up to the plate and say ‘No’ to HRES 590!” – Ben Vonderheide, DaddyJustice.com (PA)

“We really need to fight Resolution 590. Let’s help RADAR, so we can turn back domestic violence laws that throw a man out of his own home with no evidence.” – James Semerad, Dads of Michigan PAC

You can see House Resolution 590 and RADAR’s analysis at . .

http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/RADARanalysis-HRES590.pdf

And stay tuned for RADAR’s upcoming September 4 alert, when we'll tell you who to contact to stop this outrage.

What It Feels Like

A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband. Suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen.

"Careful," he said, "CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh my GOD! You're cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW!

"We need more butter. Oh my GOD! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER? They're going to STICK!

"Careful. CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL! You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking! Never! Turn them! Hurry up!

"Are you CRAZY? Have you LOST your mind? Don't forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt. USE THE SALT! THE SALT!"

The wife stared at him. "What in the world is wrong with you? You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?"

The husband calmly replied, "I just wanted to show you what it feels
like when I'm driving."

Entrapped

High ratings for “Predator” have come at a high price for NBC. Some advertisers say they are wary of being associated with the show’s content, in which men lured to a house by the promise of a sexual encounter are instead surprised by Mr. Hansen and then arrested.

Critics have also raised ethics questions about the series because NBC coordinates the investigations with a private watchdog group and local police departments. And two lawsuits are pending against the network, one by a former producer and another by the sister of a man who committed suicide as police officers approached his house, accompanied by NBC camera crews.

Growing Problem

But the show’s success underlines a growing problem for television executives looking to push the envelope of good taste in search of hits: how to pursue high ratings without alienating advertisers or provoking negative public opinion.

The criticism and lawsuits directed at “To Catch a Predator” have led to negative news coverage of the show, online and in magazines like Esquire and Rolling Stone. ABC News recently confirmed that its prime-time newsmagazine program “20/20” is preparing a report about “To Catch a Predator.”

The most recent “Predator” episode, on July 25, included six national spot ads, significantly fewer than at other hours during NBC’s prime-time periods.

Return on Investment

“NBC’s probably thinking about what their return on investment is, and might be thinking it’s better to move on,” said Brad Adgate, senior vice president for research at the ad-buying agency Horizon Media.

Startlingly Successful

The first sting, filmed on Long Island in 2004, was startlingly successful, as 18 men came to the decoy house. NBC almost immediately began planning additional investigations, Mr. Hansen said. The third sting, in February 2006, was the first to involve a local police force. That year, “Dateline” produced a total of eight multiday stakeout shows in Ohio, Georgia, Texas, Florida and California.

But after the cameras stopped rolling, the men charged with felonies made their appearances in court — and those were often decidedly less dramatic.

As a result of three-day sting last September in Long Beach, Calif., for example, 38 men were arrested on camera — the most of any sting that year. Judge Bradford Andrews in Superior Court, who heard 30 of the cases, said most of the men entered a plea and were placed on probation. “Most of them had no prior criminal record whatsoever, not even traffic citations,” he said. Under California law, they are now registered as sex offenders.

Over all, 256 men have been arrested in the operations, NBC said. Slightly fewer than half have been convicted of a crime.

Death

Louis Conradt, a local prosecutor, Perverted Justice alleges, engaged in sexual conversations with minors online but did not show up to the decoy house, so the police obtained a warrant for his arrest. As officers and camera crews approached Mr. Conradt’s home in Terrell, Tex., he shot himself in the head. Last month, his sister, disputing the Perverted Justice transcripts, filed suit against NBC, seeking $105 million in damages. None of the men arrested in the investigation have been prosecuted.

Expensive to Produce

While remaining popular, the program is also expensive to produce. NBC spent tens of thousands of dollars on each sting, installing hidden cameras and microphones. It has also paid Perverted Justice a consulting fee of roughly $70,000 for each episode.

Unethical Production Practices

Questions about the network’s relationship with Perverted Justice are raised in a lawsuit filed in May by a former “Dateline” producer, Marsha Bartel, who contends that she was fired because she opposed what she called the program’s unethical production practices.

Her suit said that Perverted Justice did not keep accurate, verifiable transcripts of conversations with potential predators. Lawyers for some of the men arrested in the stings have focused on this point, claiming entrapment.

Ms. Bartel’s lead lawyer, Roger Simmons, said NBC had violated “one of the fundamental canons of journalism. “The line between what journalists do and what law enforcement officers do got fuzzy,” Mr. Simmons said. “The difference between what these reality shows do and what ‘To Catch a Predator’ does got fuzzy, too.”

Capitalizing on Success

Mr. Corvo said “Dateline” has an unofficial unit working with Mr. Hansen on other projects incorporating the “To Catch” concept. Half a dozen investigative pieces are in the pipeline, exploring adoption, insurance ploys and financial fraud. He said:
“We feel like we’ve raised awareness of this issue a lot. We want to make sure that, going forward, we complement what we’ve done in the past, not just repeat it.”

adapted from the article 'To Catch a Predator' by Brian Stelter appearing in the New York Times August 27, 2007

The Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692

Sunday, August 26, 2007

'What Is Liberal Education?' by Leo Strauss.

Women at War

Recently a female ex-Army officer complained that one of the reasons that the Defense Department was not meeting their recruitment goals was because women were not allowed to wear high heels.

'I'm your front line!'

The Defense Department has been castigated because women servicemen were becoming dehydrated in Iraq because they were afraid to get up in the evening and go pee by themselves. Women were supposedly uncomfortable having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night in a war zone, and therefore they were not drinking enough water, and consequently they were dying of dehydration (one woman died).

Apparently the solution was to go pee in pairs. It was supposedly the fault of the Defense Department for not allowing and or telling them to do so.

The fact that these women were also issued a full automatic service weapon (M-16) along with various grenades, and bullets--even armor piercing ones--was insufficient to make them feel comfortable peeing alone. They needed a 'girl friend' to give them courage.

When asked why they were concerned about peeing alone, they cited the possibility of being raped on the way to the bathroom. Of course using an automatic weapon would be insufficient to stop a 'super rapist.'

These are the front-line recruits whose mission it is to defend the USA against any and all evil forces.

these critical issues and more can reportedly be followed on alternet.org

The Art of War for Women: Sun Tzu's Ancient Strategies and Wisdom for Winning at Work

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Estrogen Express

Get off while you can.SOURCE: The NoNonsense Man

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Reclaiming a Life

Just the Same as the Rest of the Felons
At 25, Teressa Turner-Schaefer finds herself at the same juncture as some 2,000 felons released each day in America: reclaiming life from ruin.
Life Skills and High School
The court heard how Teressa had made good use of her 11 months in Prince William County jail. She had completed every life-skills class offered and aced her GED. She attended religious services and Bible study.
Overcoming Years of Abuse
She cooperated with counselors trying to help her overcome years of abuse, neglect and despair.
A Very Decent Person
"I have come to find out that you are apparently a very decent person," Circuit Court Judge Rossie D. Alston Jr. said at her sentencing that blustery November day last year. He accepted the plea bargain that suspended a 10-year prison sentence and placed Teressa on probation for five years. "I am giving you the benefit of the doubt," he admonished.
Forgiven
Officially, society has forgiven her for taking a life. Teressa is unsure if she can do the same: "I'm working on it."

Tough Living in Murder Scene
Bearing jail commissary gifts for her three small children -- cheap radios, little toothbrushes, plastic combs -- she forces herself to return to the Dale City split-level where she killed her husband, Erin, making the place where his life ended the one where hers is beginning again.

"It's all I have left of him," she rationalizes.
The Sofa Still Reeks
Erin's family cleared out his belongings, save for the huge sectional sofa reeking of stale smoke, and the wide-screen TV that drones in the background. Teressa sorts through the paperwork underscoring Erin's absence, the insurance forms she must fill out, the lease she cannot pay, applications for jobs she won't get. He was always the decision-maker. Methodically she lists what she must do to build a stable life: Find work, regain custody of the kids, seek counseling, join a church, enroll in college, learn to drive, buy a house.
Cute Outfits
Within a week of her release, she is flying over every hurdle.

She lands a seasonal job at the Ann Taylor store where her sister already works, and takes delight in folding sweaters just so. The employee discount seduces her into spending too much of her part-time paycheck on pretty outfits, she realizes, "but I need clothes for work." It's the first real job she's ever had. Her mother and two grown sisters have moved into the split-level to offer financial and emotional support. A neighbor is teaching Teressa to drive, and friends from her new church have promised to help her get a car from a good Samaritan who repairs beaters for donation. She peruses Christian universities online.
Her Biggest Challenge
But she worries about her biggest challenge, the only one, she says, that matters: Teressa's children are living with Erin's mother, who moved to Northern Virginia to care for them after her arrest, living in the house where her son died until Teressa's own mother and two sisters arrived to reclaim it for Teressa just before her release. Now Teressa must convince the court's guardian ad litem that her sons, now 9 and 6, and her daughter, 5, should be returned to her.
They Come to Celebrate
Her first weekend home from jail, they came over to celebrate an early Thanksgiving with the relatives and friends who had shown up in court to support her. Etta and Earl Hardy walked over from next door with a huge casserole of macaroni and cheese, while Teressa's mother, Maria, fussed over a turkey in the small kitchen that Teressa couldn't yet bear to enter.

'It's so tough not being in prison where I belong!'
It Was an Accident
Teressa says she has told her children "that I loved their daddy very much, that it was an accident, and that I'm very, extremely sorry." She says they slept through everything that drunken midnight when she whirled around during an argument with a kitchen knife in her hand.
Savage Murder
The six-inch blade sliced through Erin's lung, pericardium and pulmonary artery. Teressa at first told police she didn't know what had happened, that Erin was drunk and she came upstairs and found him clutching his chest. But she quickly confessed, and when told at the police station that Erin was dead, Teressa begged an officer to take his service revolver and shoot her, to please, please, just let her die, too. She was booked on charges of first-degree murder. It was Dec. 11, 2005. She was 24 years old and had rarely known love without violence.
Involuntary Manslaughter Causing Death
"I filled out over 30 job applications online," Teressa reports, "and on all of them, they ask if you've ever been convicted of a felony and ask you to explain. I put 'involuntary manslaughter causing death.' I tried Silver Diner, a stock job at Toys R Us, clothing stores, Valvoline. . . . I only got one response, from Chuck E. Cheez, saying sorry, you're disqualified." A friend from church thinks she may be able to get Teressa part-time administrative work in her Alexandria office, but it's a defense subcontractor, and when that contract's up, there's no guarantee they'd keep her on.
His Favorite Dress
It's January, but 13 months after Erin's death, Teressa herself hasn't visited his grave yet, though she spends hours arguing with the military to correct his erroneous marker to reflect Erin's promotion to corporal, and to find out what happened to the flag she was supposed to be presented with. She would have had to go to Arlington National Cemetery in shackles for his funeral, and pay three prison guards to accompany her. She promises herself she'll make the pilgrimage now when she's ready, when she can afford to have his favorite dress of hers dry-cleaned. How handsome he looked in his uniform. She used to write love poems to him in spiral notebooks, about how he smelled like the color yellow, soapy and fresh, full of sunlight.
Just a Spontaneous Act
The night she killed him, Teressa says, Erin was falsely accusing her of an affair with one of his friends. "He pushed my head against the wall and I pushed him away and went to the kitchen to get a bottle of medicine. I had a migraine," she says. "I was putting water in the glass when I heard him yell, 'I'm going to kill you, you [expletive].' It just scared me. He'd choked me before until I blacked out. It was just a spontaneous act. I grabbed a knife that was drying on a towel on the counter. I turned around just as he lunged."
Out of the Mouth of Babes
Her 6-year-old, bouncing on the sofa, flashes his mother a gaptoothed smile. "I thought you didn't love him," he says, still bouncing, the accusation tumbling out in a disarmingly chirpy rush. "You killed him. You killed him on purpose!"

The color drains from Teressa's face. She rearranges the roses again, but says nothing. The 9-year-old pounces on his little brother, tapping him on the mouth over and over, as if to push the words back inside. "Stop it, stop it, stop it!" the older boy cries.
Landscaping and Orange Convertible
Learning how to manage her own finances is proving to be a tough and sometimes humiliating lesson for Teressa. A drive-by landscaper scams her out of $750 for what amounts to a couple of sorry little impatiens and a sack of mulch, and Teressa berates herself for paying him upfront. Fixing her poor credit rating is proving to be an expensive chore, too. When a financial adviser suggests that opening new lines of credit and making faithful payments will boost her low scores so she might eventually qualify for a mortgage, Teressa buys a cellphone and signs a service contract that requires a $700 deposit. Thinking regular car payments will also enhance her rating, she buys an orange convertible. She isn't sure how long the car loan is for, "but it doesn't matter, because I'm going to pay more each month."
The Dating Scene
Sometimes she is electrified by the will to move on, by the possibilities that still might exist for a 25-year-old woman. She ventures into online dating sites, and goes out a couple of times with men who can't help but ask why she's a widow so young. At first, Teressa would merely say she didn't want to talk about it so early on. But a new fierceness has taken hold lately, and she throws the truth down like a dare.

"I tell them I'm trying to change my life. I'm going to church. I help the homeless. I have a big heart. I'm doing everything the best I know how, and if you're going to judge me, then you're not the kind of person I want to be with."
Paralyzed by the Past
After a three-week trip to North Carolina to visit family over the summer, Teressa's schoolwork falters and she withdraws from college. At work, there are hints of a promotion and full-time hours, but she has to pass a security clearance, and worries that she could just as easily end up unemployed again. She buys new furniture, cuts her long hair, invites friends over for dinner.

She finds herself standing every day on the spot where he fell. She knows she should move away, go far from this place, but somehow she can't bring herself, yet, to leave.

as the Washington Post put it in their subtitle to Tamara Jones' piece, from which the above is pulled: 'She Killed Her Husband, and Though Out of Jail, She's Still Not Free.'

Monday, August 20, 2007

'Women are More Often the Perpetrators'

'It was me all along!'When it comes to nonreciprocal violence between intimate partners, women are more often the perpetrators.

These findings on intimate partner violence come from a study conducted by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The lead investigator was Daniel Whitaker, Ph.D., a behavioral scientist and team leader at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (which is part of the CDC). Results were published in the May Journal of Public Health.

Out of 11,370 subjects, Whitaker discovered, of the 24 percent of relationships that had been violent, half had been reciprocal and half had not. Although more men than women (53 percent versus 49 percent) had experienced nonreciprocal violent relationships, more women than men (52 percent versus 47 percent) had taken part in ones involving reciprocal violence.

Regarding perpetration of violence, more women than men (25 percent versus 11 percent) were responsible. In fact, 71 percent of the instigators in nonreciprocal partner violence were women. This finding surprised Whitaker and his colleagues, they admitted in their study report.

While injury was more likely when violence was perpetrated by men, in relationships with reciprocal violence it was the men who were injured more often (25 percent of the time) than were women (20 percent of the time).
"This is important as violence perpetrated by women is often seen as not serious,"
Whitaker and his group stressed.

SOURCE: American Psychiatric Association, Psychiatric News, Volume 42, Number 15, page 31, 3 August 2007, 'Men Shouldn't Be Overlooked as Victims of Partner Violence', by Joan Arehart-Treichel.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

'Gloopity Glop'

Just 'gloopity glop'.Authorities found the remains of four dead infants and fetuses--all believed to be Christy Freeman's, mother of four teenagers and owner of a taxi company.

Two sets of remains were found in a chest in her living room, one in a motor home on her property and the last under a bathroom sink.

On July 26, paramedics arrived at Freeman's home after a 911 call, finding the woman bleeding heavily between her legs. Doctors found no fetus but discovered a 30-to 36-week-old placenta insider her womb 'with an irregular cut to the umbilical cord.'

Freeman later admitted she'd given birth in her apartment to what she said was 'gloopity glop,' a deformed and stillborn fetus.

Freeman said the remains found in the trunk were twins she gave birth to in 2004. She told police she gave birth to one twin while sitting on a toilet at hom: she waited for it to die in the water below.

As one stunned neighbor put it,
'Everyone's got skeletons in their closet, but not four in their backyard.'

adapted from an article appearing in Newsweek on August 13, 2007 by Suzanne Smalley

Friday, August 17, 2007

No More Snipping Down Under

'It's not even good for you.'
SNIP 'NOT WORTH COST'

Circumcision will be banned in Victorian public hospitals unless it is for medical reasons.

The State Government has ordered the ban, which starts next month, following medical advice that circumcision of baby boys was unnecessary.

Health Minister Daniel Andrews said circumcisions would be performed only when doctors were concerned about infection or disease.
"Nationally and overseas, doctors agree there is no medical benefit to routine circumcision, and studies show the complication rate is about five per cent,"
Mr. Andrews said.

The $2 million a year saved by the ban will be spent on urgent elective surgery.

"It is important to ensure hospital services are prioritized towards treating patients who have a clinical need for surgery to improve their health," Mr. Andrews said.

Ministerial Advisory Committee on Elective Surgery chairman Professor Michael Grigg said it was hard to justify spending taxpayers' money on routine circumcision.

adapted from an article appearing in the Herald Sun on August 12, 2007 by Suellen Hinde and Kelvin Healey.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Enlightenment

Quintessence by Mary Daly
"There are and will be those who think I have gone overboard. Let them rest assured that this assessment is correct, probably beyond their wildest imaginations, and that I will continue to do so."

". . I don't think about men. I really don't care about them."

"What I love is the way women think. And what's so precious about my space at Boston College is that it's women's space. When you get a teacher and students who really want to be with women, and we seize the space and read philosophical works and literature by women, they begin to think like themselves. They feel as if they've come home again. And that is the very groundwork of radical feminism."

"Comparisons with men are beside the point. I think women have a great capacity to realize that interconnectedness [of the entire universe]. I have not seen this in men. There may be exceptions, but I'm not interested in that."

"What I'm concerned with is the war between biophilia and necrophilia. It's love of life versus hatred of life. Necrophilia translates strictly into love of death, or loving the dead—actually f—ing corpses. And in general, patriarchal culture is necrophilic, fixated on hatred of life and love of death."

"'Human being' I got rid of a long time ago. No. Absolutely not. It's alien. I've been through that. I've been there. I've thought about that."

"I hate the 'human species'—look at it! I hate what it is doing to this earth: the invasion of everything. The last two frontiers are the genetic wilderness and the space wilderness; they've colonized everything else. It's a totally invasive mentality—rapist."

"I don't know what 'enlightened' means. It's not a word that's in my vocabulary. This is like a Christian woman being upset over something that Paul said, instead of seeing that of course he's an asshole. He's one more very macho asshole described as a saint and as enlightened, and once you get over that, you get over it."

Mary Daly in her interview with What is Entertainment magazine. She was professor at Boston College, not allowing male students in her class for twenty five years. When they forced her to, she resigned.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Official Man-Hating



man-hating martial arts

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Men Making Men

The Ancient Call
Since time began, in cultures around the world, when the time was right the men of the village came for the adolescent boys to guide them toward a solid and responsible manhood. This was man's sacred work. Today, too many men are not answering this man-making call. The result is an epidemic of lost, damaged, and under-male-nourished boys.

Man-Making: Men Helping Boys on Their Journey to Manhood is a practical and inspirational guidebook for men. It shows them how to awaken and apply their instinctive man-making skills. In this book, every man, regardless of his level of commitment to this work, will find something he can do to support a boy or boys on the journey to manhood.

As a man reading this book, you will:

  • Realize how adolescent boys desperately need men in their lives.
  • Recognize that you already possess all the knowledge and instinctual talents needed to move young males toward successful manhood.
  • Learn about five types of involvement and a broad range of man-making actions that make a positive difference in boys’ lives.
  • Discover the many ways your life and others’ will be transformed when you use your natural skills as a maker of men.
Your Call to Action
This book is the answer to the man-making call you hear. Right now, there are boys around you who need the benefit of your wisdom and support to grow into responsible and self-assured men. You ARE the right man for this work, NOW is the time, and the boys are waiting. Will you answer the call?

For more information, see: Man-Making.

tough kid

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Sugar and Spice and No Longer Nice

"Principals talk about not only the increased number of girl fights but also the savagery. One of them told me, 'We never had to call an ambulance here until girls started fighting.'"
Deborah Prothrow-Stith, co-author of Sugar and Spice and No Longer Nice: How We Can Stop Girls' Violence"and professor of public health at the Harvard School of Public Health, meets with teachers and administrators around the country and is taken aback by what she hears.

'And if you don't like it I'll kick your face in.'

Women Discriminated Against in India?

Not according to . .

IndianHusbands.blogspot.com.

'Sterilize people with hereditary diseases!'Pratibha Patil, 72, first female president of India

Biden Beaten by Sister (Now His Campaign Manager)

"In my house, being raised with a sister and three brothers, there was an absolute--it was a nuclear sanction, if under any circumstances, for any reason, no matter how justified, even self-defense–-if you ever touched your sister, not figuratively, literally. My sister, who is my best friend, my campaign manager, my confidante, grew up with absolute impunity in our household. And I have the bruises to prove it. I mean that sincerely. I am not exaggerating when I say that."
Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Democrat from Delaware, principal sponsor of Violence Against Women Act which he refuses to make gender neutral to protect the other half of the victims of abuse--meaning the males who make up half of the victim total.

'I have the bruises to prove it.'