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Archive for the ‘Commentaries’ Category

Before the Verdict…

Posted by 4love2love on July 7, 2011

Before the verdict, during the trial and while all the hubalub was going on, I had a poll on the articles pertaining to the Casey Anthony trial.

Now, before we get all excited, let’s review what you were reading. I posted articles about the evidence presented, the issues with the lawyers, comments and trial testimony, commentaries by people who were experts in these types of cases, criminal psychologists and a wide range of articles from all over the news.

So are you curious now? Do you want to see what you, the viewers decided about the case? Well, here you go! The poll results are :

Do You Think Casey Anthony Is Guilty?

Answer Votes Percent
Yes 95 89%
Unsure 8 7%
No 4 4%

 

 

Almost 90 percent out of well over 100 voters thought Casey Anthony was guilty. Perhaps the question should have been.. do you think Casey will be convicted.

 

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N.Y. Daily News – From Casey Anthony to Alice Crimmins moms on trial mesmerize

Posted by 4love2love on July 1, 2011

PATRICE O’SHAUGHNESSY

Thursday, June 30th 2011, 4:00 AM

Alice Crimmins (l.) captivated the public's attention during her trial for murder in the 1960s in the same way that the Casey Anthony trial fascinates the country.

News Archive and Red Huber/AP

Alice Crimmins (l.) captivated the public’s attention during her trial for murder in the 1960s in the same way that the Casey Anthony trial fascinates the country.

An attractive twenty-something mother, accused of killing her daughter so she would be free to party. She showed no emotion when her child’s body was found. Her case is a media sensation. A parade of lovers testify about her wild lifestyle. Court pundits say she’s guilty of being a bad mother, but it doesn’t prove she’s a murderer.

Forty-six years ago next month, there was Alice Crimmins, who was to the New York tabloids what Casey Anthony is to cable TV and the Internet this summer.

I remember buying the Daily News each morning for my parents and seeing Crimmins in the paper, in fashionable outfits, boufant hair, flawless makeup – and demonized.

She kept the city riveted all through the summer, after her two kids vanished and turned up murdered.

Her daughter’s funeral was held at St. Raymond’s Church on E. Tremont Ave. Our family priest, the Rev. Michael Gannon, said the Mass, and shooed photographers and cameramen away from the grave at St. Raymond’s Cemetery, where Edmund Jr. was also buried later.

Crimmins, 26, was called strawberry-blonde, titian-haired, flame-haired, shapely, a sexpot, a swinger. The sexual revolution and the women’s liberation movement were just starting, so she was villified for her numerous boyfriends and time in nightclubs.

Crimmins was born and raised in the Bronx, attended Catholic schools and met and married her husband here.

She had two children with Eddie Crimmins, and they were in a custody battle when Alice Marie, 4, and Edmund, 5, disappeared from their ground-floor Queens apartment on July 14, 1965.

Alice Marie was found within hours in a weeded lot a half-mile away; Edmund a mile away, five days later.

Cops said she was unusually calm, even cold. When shown Alice Marie’s body, Crimmins did not cry. But there was no solid evidence against her.

Anthony, whose daughter, Caylee Marie, 2, was reported missing on July 15, 2008 – a month after she was last seen – and her body was found in December in woods about a mile from their Orlando home.

Anthony, quickly dubbed “tot mom” by Nancy Grace, was revealed to have competed in hot-body contests, working as a shot girl at a bar, dressed in miniskirts and pushup bras while Caylee was missing.

Prosecutors are trying to get a first-degree murder conviction against Anthony, 25. But an autopsy could not pinpoint how Caylee died.

Cops said Anthony did not “show any obvious emotion as to the loss of her child.”

But she lied and changed her story so many times, while Crimmins never wavered.

Significant ink was used on Crimmins – Daily News files have 25 folders of newspaper clippings on her, with several others for her husband and kids.

A half-century after she was in a Queens courthouse, the trial of a murderous mother still fascinates.

Would-be spectators form long lines daily at the courthouse in Florida for Anthony’s trial, and millions are watching all-day coverage on Court TV, reading about it in newspapers and magazines, getting news flashes on Twitter.

Maybe it’s the stream of home videos of Caylee – so alive – that have fixated people on the case. Alice Marie and Edmund Jr. smiled, frozen in black-and-white photos.

In 1968, a jury of 12 married men found Crimmins guilty of manslaughter in her daughter’s death. It was overturned. Then in 1971, she was convicted in both kids’ deaths. It was reversed, but in 1975, the manslaughter conviction was reinstated, and she was in prison until 1977.

The big question now is if Anthony will take the stand, as Crimmins did.

But there is no question that, unlike Crimmins, Anthony will never be able to fade into obscurity.

poshaughnessy@nydailynews.com

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/bronx/2011/06/30/2011-06-30_mothers_on_trial_mesmerize.html#ixzz1QttnEev7

© Copyright 2011 NYDailyNews.com

 

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ABC News – Casey Anthony Trial: Psychiatric Clues of an Accused Child Killer

Posted by 4love2love on June 30, 2011

 ANALYSIS By Dr. MICHAEL WELNER

June 20, 2011

ABC News Consultant Michael Welner, M.D., one of America’s top forensic psychiatrists, looks at the evidence raised in the trial of Casey Anthony, the Florida woman accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. As the defense presents its case, what has been truly revealing of the person we think we see?

What evidence presented so far is most significant to you, based upon your experience with mothers who kill children, and why?

The history of Casey Anthony’s inactions and actions is even more significant than her words. Stunning enough that this fully socialized woman from a competently-policed area would not report her child missing for a full month. Compounding the evidence of her detachment are her activities during that time. She was lounging aimlessly with her boyfriend, entering a hot body contest, carousing, and engaged in other remarkably unremarkable activities. That Casey was so unaffected, and relegated Caylee’s absence to such a low priority, speaks to how detached she was from her missing child.

Mothers kill children for a number of reasons. Some are very depressed and kill their children amidst their own suicide attempts, thinking they are looking after the children’s best interest. Some are psychotic and have irrational motivations. Others may or may not have a mental illness or drug dependency, and kill because they are overwhelmed and are angry with the burden of their incompetent child care. Some may kill the children in part to spite the children’s father, who leaves them feeling powerless. Others see their children as an inconvenience; because of perceived family pressures, they would not place them up for adoption but would make them disappear. Each of the above motivations is very different. In my professional experience, all are premeditated at least in fantasy.

The common pathway for mothers who kill is an anger and resentment that increasingly alienates them from their children. They may have been very warm and loving at an earlier point, but by the time the homicide takes place in the above scenarios, the mother is conspicuously more alienated. The detached, indifferent mother in the wake of a child’s disappearance arrived at a point of alienation well before such a killing took place — or it never would have happened.

The spontaneity of child killing seen in conflicts that get out of hand reflects in the level of guilt and undoing immediately after the crime. This is not to be confused with mothers who become more emotional when they reflect on the predicament that they face justice for exercising their control over a helpless child’s life. That may explain the rising emotions in Casey well after her arrest. Or it may be just another shallow display of drama.

Is Casey Anthony a psychopath?

The brazenness and frequency of Casey Anthony’s lying brings psychopathy to mind as a diagnostic possibility. But narcissistic and borderline personalities lie, as do as some histrionics. So, too, do politicians, who only sometimes are personality disordered. Key to assessing the demonstrated liar is gaining an understanding of whether this behavior limits itself to responding to trouble with the law, or whether lying is a lifestyle choice.

Forensic psychiatrists and psychologists sometimes assess for psychopathy even without an interview — for example, when an examination is not possible and records are plentiful. Pivotal to that kind of assessment, however, is a life history that informs understanding of how Casey related to others at different stages and settings in her life. The psychopath has been parasitic, manipulative, dramatic, irresponsible, and/or has displayed many other relevant qualities in a variety of settings. One cannot diagnose psychopathy, no matter how outlandish the liar, without first studying all of this data as well.

What significance do you place in Casey Anthony’s diary entries?

I think they are very informative. Forensic psychiatrists have to evaluate all forms of what a person has communicated, and how. The dilemma in assessing conversations over recorded prison telephone lines, in her interactions with police, and even with acquaintances and her boyfriend is that one is seeing an impression, a face, a self that she is projecting to others around her. That information is certainly informative, but the psychiatrist professional always has to be conscious about what may lie beneath outward appearances.

Diaries, on the other hand are exactly what lies beneath the surface. In most cases, we would never have access to that kind of evidence. Diaries are a window to the soul.

That a diary from the period of Caylee’s disappearance is available is very useful. Personal and intimate evidence available, coinciding with the disappearance, includes the computer searches done from Casey Anthony’s computer. Like the diaries, these communications — to a computer, are driven from what was really brewing inside Casey Anthony.

So when you study the more private, personal evidence, what does it demonstrate?

It demonstrates that Casey Anthony really was as detached from her missing daughter as a delayed reporting would suggest. It goes even further — for Casey Anthony noted that she was as happy as she has ever been, and wrote that the end justifies the means. Whatever her connection to Caylee at the time, her daughter’s disappearance was a significant life event. These private communications from that time underscore the distinctive attitudes of satisfaction in the wake of death, and lack of remorse or indifference.

Casey’s public appearance of indifference and shallow concern is underscored in these personal communications. The defendant’s expressions of distress over her missing child, whatever their form, are contradicted by these intimate revelations of her contentment and happiness. Were death to have been accidental, these would have been the last qualities reflected in private writings.

Computer searches of chloroform and various modes of death have no other context to Casey Anthony’s life. She is not a forensic pathologist or a pharmacologist or a trauma specialist — why would she need to study neck-breaking?

Since the defense really has not provided alternative explanations for the above, they represent more than circumstantial findings, given their timing and the approximation to the facts. In that regard, the investigation yield is less muddy than it might appear.

When you consider the Depravity Standard research you have pioneered on the severity of a crime, what is the significance of these findings?

Research from higher court decisions, and from sampling of attitudes of the general public, has revealed strong support for 1) satisfaction in the wake of the crime and 2) indifference as attitudes that distinguish the depravity of a crime.

So does the victimization of a trusting victim (one’s own child), as well as a physically vulnerable (2-year-old) victim. So does the blaming of an innocent person, exposing that person to a wrongful prosecution (as Casey did to a reported babysitter).

The Depravity Scale research is ongoing, and we welcome public participation at www.depravityscale.org, in order to refine the significance courts should give to different qualities of a crime at the time of sentencing. If Casey Anthony is found guilty, findings from the Depravity Scale research will one day educate courts about what intent, actions and attitudes distinguish a crime — or do not. This promotes fair, evidence-based sentencing that is color, gender, and socio-economic blind, and driven by public input.

Michael Welner, M.D. has examined a number of parents who have killed their children, including Andrea Yates. He is Chairman of The Forensic Panel, and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, and contributes to ABC News.com based upon his ongoing experience in some of America’s most sensitive cases. In addition to Dr. Welner’s landmark research on the Depravity Standard, he has adapted an Inventory of the Everyday Extreme (WIEEO) to the clinical prevention of everyday evil.

© 2011 ABC News

 

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Time – Does Housework Make Women Less Productive?

Posted by 4love2love on June 25, 2011

Posted by  Friday, June 24, 2011 at 3:01 pm
Anna Peisl / Getty

These days, it’s hard to get through a week that doesn’t include headlines about a guy getting slammed for saying, doing, or tweeting something dumb about women. The slip-up du jour comes from a New Zealand businessman who claimed women get paid less because they take time off for babies and period pain. Oh yes he did.

Alasdair Thompson, chief executive of New Zealand’s Employers & Manufacturers’ Association, was on a radio show talking about the 12% pay gap between men and women, which he said was due to the fact that women take more sick leave:

“Why? Because once a month they have sick problems,” he said.

“Not all of them, but some do.

“They have children that they have to take time off to go home and take leave of. Therefore, it’s their productivity. It’s not their fault.”

Not to get on the female soap box, but I think there are a few data points missing from this equation.

First, it’s true that women work less than men (41 minutes fewer per day in the U.S., according to Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Time Use survey for 2010). However, women also report spending five fewer hours per week on leisure than men. Why? Because they do more housework than men: 49% of women from the Time Use survey report doing housework on the average day, versus only 20% for men.

(LIST: Five Questions for Top Women Executives)

While women may get pulled away from bean-counting in the office more than their male counterparts, they’re less likely to be headed home to watch the boob tube. Rather, they’re tending to chores and family. And that’s not something standard measures of productivity — measured as economic output per hour worked — take into account. The hours women spend outside the office may not contribute to their companies’ bottom line, but research suggests those hours indirectly contribute to economic output in society, because women who tend to the home rear more productive children bound for the workforce. A quote from Tipper and Al Gore in a paper by political economist Nancy Folbre makes this point nicely:

“At any given moment when the decision between work and family must be made, the workplace has a much stronger ability to quantify and express the immediate cost of neglecting work.”

Women also tend to take more sick days than men because they have to care for sick children. Research by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 4 in 5 mothers are primarily responsible for selecting their children’s doctors and accompanying them to appointments.

(LIST: Top 10 Things We Miss about the Mad Men Era)

The question is whether their high productivity at home deserves higher compensation in the office. Should companies have to pay women who tend to their home as much as the men who stay at work? A paper by Stanford economist Kathryn Shaw offers some suggestions:

One possibility is to reduce the monetary rewards for market work or to increase the monetary rewards for work at home. For example, policies such as income subsidies and maternity leave lower the cost of taking time out of the labor force and increase the amount of time that parents have to spend with their children. However, these policies are clearly expensive for taxpayers and firms, so that the benefits must be weighed
against the costs. Moreover, the costs are also borne by women; for example, firms in European countries are thought to avoid hiring young women due to the high costs of maternity leave.

Ultimately, says Shaw, women may actually be more productive in the office that companies acknowledge. In that sense, the solution to women’s wage woes may have to come from technology, which offers better ways to measure productivity. Instead of measuring by hours worked, for instance, some firms haven taken on more sophisticated systems that pinpoint talent. Those can target the more obscure, and arguably more important, worker contributions like team-building, an area in which women tend to do particularly well.

Read more: http://curiouscapitalist.blogs.time.com/2011/06/24/does-housework-make-women-less-productive/#ixzz1QGhNAJlJ

 

© 2011 Time Inc.

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Kaiser News – Health insurance claim denied? Appeal, appeal, appeal

Posted by 4love2love on June 25, 2011

By Michelle Andrews, Kaiser News Service7:47 p.m. EDT, June 23, 2011

Nobody wants to get into a fight with a health insurer, but it may be worth your while. A recent Government Accountability Office report found that more claims problems stemmed from annoying but often straightforward billing and eligibility issues than from disagreements over whether care was medically appropriate. What’s more, the odds are about 50/50 that if you appeal an insurer’s decision, you’ll win.

When Natasha Friedus’s son, Nofi, was born almost two years ago, her insurer refused to pay $1,500 of Friedus’s $7,500 hospital bill because she hadn’t gotten prior authorization for the hospital stay near her home in Seattle. The plan also sent a $600 bill to Nofi, because he’d neglected to inform the insurer that he’d be in the hospital for a few days. “Apparently he was supposed to call before being born,” Friedus says.

The new mother spent hours on the phone trying to sort out the problem, but she got nowhere. Finally, someone suggested appealing the decision to the insurer and asking for retroactive approval for her hospital stay. That did the trick, says Friedus, even though the insurer had never informed her that she could appeal the bills.

Under the 2010 health law, the situation should improve. Health plans will be required to inform members that they can appeal disputed claims internally within the health plan as well as to an independent review organization not affiliated with the health plan.

Coding is everything

As anyone who has tried to decipher a health plan’s “Explanation of Benefits” knows, coding is everything. That’s where many errors occur, experts agree. If the CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) code that describes the medical service or test you received doesn’t correspond to the ICD (International Statistical Classifications of Diseases) code that describes your diagnosis, your claim may well be denied, a decision that will probably be communicated via a “reason code” on your EOB.

Medical services aren’t the only thing that must be in sync with the diagnosis: “The CPT code needs to correlate with age and sex and place of service as well,” says Candice Butcher, head of Medical Billing Advocates of America, which helps consumers resolve medical billing problems. In other words, if the CPT code is for a routine physical for an adult, but the patient is a 10-year-old child, the claim will be denied, says Butcher.

Sometimes claims that appear to be denied because the treatment isn’t appropriate — a particular service isn’t considered “medically necessary,” for example, or is deemed “experimental or investigational” — are actually coding errors, say experts, because the diagnosis code is wrong, for example.

You can’t prevent providers from miscoding your care or insurers from misinterpreting your plan or eligibility, but you can ask your doctor or insurer to cross-reference the treatment with the diagnosis and make sure the two are in sync, says Nancy Davenport-Ennis, chief executive of the Patient Advocate Foundation, which works to resolve these and other problems with health insurance claims.

Phone calls didn’t work

Sometimes even seemingly straightforward billing problems take months to resolve. When Janet Wolfe was hospitalized in central Georgia following a diagnosis of lymphoma a few years ago, she received a $1,600 bill from the insurer because she had stayed in a private room, which their insurer would pay for only if there were no other options. The hospital had only private rooms, but despite numerous phone calls by her husband, Andrew, to try to sort out the problem, the insurer eventually sent the bill to a collection agency.

When the letter from the collection agency arrived, Andrew took it and drove to the hospital. He demanded to see someone who could address the issue. Eventually, with the help of the hospital’s chief financial officer, the insurer removed the charges. “No one was taking responsibility for fixing the problem,” he says.

Getting assistance

Such experiences illustrate the difficulty that people with serious illnesses may face when trying to manage their medical bills, says Stephen Finan, senior director of policy at the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network. Having a family member or someone else to backstop the process is essential. “If [patients] get lost or overwhelmed, there’s someone else who can help them with this critical process,” he says.

Organizations such as the Patient Advocate Foundation are not the only sources of assistance: The new health law provided $30 million for state-based consumer assistance programs to help people appeal health plan decisions.

Claim denial rates vary significantly by insurer, according to the GAO report. In California, for example, the denial rate for six managed care insurers ranged from 6 percent to 40 percent in 2009. Whether you’re insured by a plan that kicks out many claims or only a few, it may pay to appeal. The study found that consumers were successful in appeals filed with insurers in 39 percent to 59 percent of cases. When they appealed to an independent reviewer, consumers prevailed roughly 40 percent of the time.

Before you file an appeal, talk with your insurer to understand why your claim was denied, says Cheryl Fish-Parcham, deputy director of health policy at Families USA, a patient advocacy organization. “The biggest mistake people make is that they write an appeal that doesn’t really address the reason for the denial,” she says.

Have questions for Michelle Andrews? Write to her at khnquestions@kff.org.

Andrews writes for Kaiser Health News an editorially independent news service and a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan healthcare policy research organization. Neither Kaiser Health News nor the foundation is affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times

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Channel 13 CF News – Legal analyst explains jury instructions and murder charges

Posted by 4love2love on June 24, 2011

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MSNBC – Casey Anthony trial: Who’s ‘Lawyer Gaga’?

Posted by 4love2love on June 24, 2011

By Kerry Sanders
NBC News
updated 6/22/2011 2:02:00 PM ET

ORLANDO, Fla. — If the captivating developments unfolding in the Casey Anthony courtroom are indeed our nation’s first “social media murder trial,” then here’s a peek behind the curtain.

Of course there is #CaseyAnthony, who’s accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter #Caylee.

But did you know there’s a “Lawyer Gaga”?  “The Velvet Hammer”? The “Sharpie Lady”? “The Jesus Juror”?

It’s the story within the story that social media does not chronicle like the MSM (mainstream media), but indeed here, social media creates.

Some of this has developed on Facebook, but most of this alternate world lives on the quip-filled, unfiltered planet called Twitter.

At times the hashtag #CaseyAnthony trends into the top 10.

If you don’t understand, a quick explanation: Those who write on Twitter often put a keyword in their 140-character-or-less burst to be posted. That keyword is preceded by a #. The more people who use that # in front of the same word, the more likely it is your comments about the same subject will rise to the coveted top 10 spot.

As I sit on the 23rd floor of the Orlando courtroom, my seat squished between a blogger and a rotating parade of spectators, I alternate on my iPad between taking notes as I have for 30 years as a journalist, and toggling over to Twitter to post comments about the trial.

(A quick aside: Just about every reporter has an iPad because the judge said he would not allow the sound of clicks on a computer keyboard. If you’re watching old-school, on TV, you may notice at times the soft glow shining on a journalist’s face. Those are our iPads.)

Back to Twitter. In this instantaneous online world, often I am asked questions. Some are simple: Where is Caylee’s father?  Answer: He was never in Caylee’s life, and Casey says he died in a car accident shortly after Caylee’s birth.

And there are questions I won’t answer: Do you think she’s guilty?  I leave that answer to the jury. I’m a journalist, not a talking head on cable TV.

I also threw a question out to those who follow me on Twitter: Where are you watching? City, state, country?

Story: Anthony trial: Chemist counters prosecution expertsI was surprised, perhaps because I’m new to this Twitter world, but folks told me they are watching and following the murder trial at work in Philadelphia, in Enid, Okla., in suburban Atlanta.

But I was also told people are tuned in and online in the United Kingdom, in Germany, in Japan and even in Nigeria.

Which brings me back to “Lawyer Gaga,” and others.

These are not the made-up names people use on Twitter (Twitter handles — mine is @KerryNBC).

No, these are the names people on Twitter have given to the incidental players.

Much of this world is created by the “Twitterati” seated in the courtroom, the folks who perhaps are bored by the endless scientific testimony.

“Lawyer Gaga” is a blonde who is often seated just in camera view. Her real name is Whitney Boan and occasionally, we’re told, she works with the defense. “Lawyer Gaga” has yet to speak in the courtroom. She isn’t even seated at the defense table.

“The Velvet Hammer”?  That’s Judge Belvin Perry, whose smooth style while harshly scolding the lawyers has given birth to @JudgePerrySays on Twitter.

“The Jesus Juror”? He’s an alternate juror whose beard and good looks earned him the nickname. Folks, since there are no pictures allowed of jurors you have to trust the eyeballs of those in the courtroom on this one.

And “The Sharpie Lady”?  She’s the self-appointed monitor in the line for tickets. Her role was greater when there was more chaos. The rules recently changed for public seats in the courtroom.  She was writing — with a Sharpie pen — the numbers of each person in line so no one would cut and steal position.

“The Sharpie Lady” is not simply an Internet phenomenon, she’s also a real person, and if you were here you would know her. Why?  She had a shirt printed up so everyone knows who she is. Emblazoned on the front it says: “The Sharpie Lady!”

Then there’s “neck-brace-guy,” but I suggest if you really need to know more, join the conversation. If I’m not taking notes, I’ll be right there with you @KerryNBC.

© 2010 msnbc.com

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Israel Vision TV – Peace Corps Cover Up~Rape & Murder

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

On 17 January 2011 we posted about the rape and abuse of women volunteers for the Peace Corps. ABC was investigating and revealed that over one thousand Peace Corps volunteers had been raped in the countries they served in. When some of the victims finally spoke out, ABC  aired their stories, including the investigation of the recent murder of Kate Puzey.
The family of 24-year old Peace Corps volunteer from Atlanta (Kate Puzey) says agency personnel set her up to be murdered by revealing her role in the dismissal of an employee  that she accused of sexually abusing children at a school in the African country of Benin. The young woman was found at her cabin with her throat slit.
There is so much more. Please go to the ABC site, watch the videos and read the stories. If you are American, please don’t send your daughters to the Peace Corps! Places like Africa, Bangladesh, Haiti and the Middle-East are a clear danger for females. Even women  who came to protest with the “Palestinians” became victims but when they tried to speak out, just like the Peace Corps, they were told to keep quiet or it would hurt the cause. Any country that is predominantly Muslim is a terrible risk for ALL Women–No Matter Who They Support!
Any organization that silences the victims and covers for these barbaric behaviours, encourages more of the same. Isn’t is time that the people of the free world stops pouring money into countries where those who come to help them are raped, abused and murdered?
Why Would Anyone Kill Kate?~Part 1
Why Would Anyone Kill Kate?~Part 2
The cover up of rapes has been going on for years. In this report some of the women were brave enough to speak up.
Peace Corps Volunteers Tell Their Story of Rape
Listen to the stories, they tell of cover-up and a concentrated effort to put the blame on the girls.Why would anyone tell a girl who had been raped to make a list of what she had done wrong? This next clip is the story of a woman, now a Harvard Professor who was raped  over twenty years ago and “blamed” by the Peace Corps. No sympathy–no help.

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Ms. Magazine – The FBI’s Definition of Rape: Older Than a Lot of Things

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

April 25, 2011 by Annie Shields · 1 Comment

 

The FBI has been using this definition of rape for its Uniform Crime Report since 1929:

The carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will.

That definition excludes victims of forced anal or oral sex, rape with an object, statutory rape and male rape. And that definition hasn’t been changed in 82 years.

Let’s put this in perspective. The last time that federal law enforcement addressed the way we define and track rapes:

What’s more, the definition of rape that the FBI still uses today is older than:

Just imagine how much has changed about Warren Buffet since he was an infant. Now just think how little has changed about the way our federal government defines rape.

The pictures above shows what the world looked like back when the FBI started using the “forcible” rape definition. It’s high time for a change. Tell FBI Director Robert Mueller that rape is rape.

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Huffington Post Commentary – Cindy Anthony’s Heartbreak: Recognizing Your Adult Child’s Weakness

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

Author, ‘Regret Free Parenting: Raise Good Kids and Know You’re Doing It Right’

 

Casey Anthony represents the epitome of heartbreak that parenting adult children can bring. It is a season of life when you have no control, power, or authority. It can also be a nightmare when grandchildren are involved. Just ask Cindy Anthony.

For over three years, we have been inundated with a dysfunctional family who, at their very core, had a little one who held them together. Caylee, the child who was missing for 31 days before her mother reported it, has become the poster child for a family gone broke. It would be a better legacy if she became a symbol for a call to action for families everywhere.

I appreciate hope and I am a major proponent of it. It is a necessary ingredient in most of life’s difficult situations. I am also a believer in seeing things for what they are versus what we want them to be. Herein lies one of the biggest problems I see for parents of adult children: They refuse to see the truth about their children.

Being honest about an adult child’s weaknesses does not mean parents have the license to be critical or that one is giving up on them. It simply allows parents to see them truthfully so that expectations can be adjusted and relationship issues can be handled with greater awareness. By being a student of one’s adult child, one will need to remove the weight of guilt and responsibility felt, even though the adult child may have picked up some of their bad habits from their parents.

Clarity about an adult child’s dysfunction, personality disorders, addictions, and other various shortcomings will make parenting them more effective. Parents need to seek out professional assistance if their adult child is making irresponsible choices. It is important to refrain from criticism, judgment, name calling, and character assassination when dealing with adult children. Their children can walk away from them at any point in time, never to be heard from again, if they fail to be respectful. Speaking with honor to someone does not mean you agree with them or support their choices; it is simply saying they will be treated with human dignity. This says volumes about the integrity of the parents, which when all is said and done, is all you have control over anyway.

Cindy Anthony has not only lost a granddaughter, but she has lost a daughter as well. Regardless of how the trial turns out, her family will never be the same. Let us allow her pain to be a reminder to all of us that family relationships cannot be taken for granted and we must work on them our entire lives. May we see what really is, be the best of who we are as often as possible, and learn from others who walk before us.

Follow Catherine Hickem, L.C.S.W on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CatherineHickem

 

 

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Orlando Sentinel – Casey Anthony trial questions? We have answers

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

By Amy Pavuk, Anthony Colarossi and Bianca Prieto Sentinel Staff WritersJune 11, 2011

With weeks of testimony under way in Casey Anthony‘s first-degree-murder trial, followers of the case have questions about what has unfolded in trial.

Q. Will Casey Anthony testify?

A. We don’t know. No defendant can be forced to testify, and until her attorneys begin their defense, we don’t know whether they will put her on the witness stand. If she does, she will have to answer prosecutors’ questions. Many experts watching the case think she will have to testify, though, considering the allegations and alternative theory voiced by her attorney in his opening statements. Court observers do not know which witness will be called to testify on any given day because there is no published lineup.

Q. How did Casey Anthony find José Baez?

A. Casey Anthony told her family an inmate at the Orange County Jail recommended Baez, a Kissimmee attorney relatively unknown until this trial.
Q. Why can’t cameras show the jury?

A. Juror identities are not public until after the trial.

Q. What do jurors do on nights and weekends? Can they watch television? Are they guarded by deputies? Can they visit with family?

A. Jurors are always monitored by deputies and cannot venture out alone. When jurors do have free time — nights and weekends — they have to stay at their hotel. When they do activities, they travel as a group.

Court spokeswoman Karen Levey said activities are planned for them, though they can choose not to participate. The jurors may watch movies played in a group room, and they also have individual DVD players they can use. All movies are preapproved.

Their families can visit during a specific period on Sundays — and some have visited already.

Before the trial started, the estimated cost of sequestering the jurors was about $361,000, but Levey said expenses are under budget now because there are three fewer jurors and alternates than the 20 originally expected.

Q. Why are Casey Anthony’s parents, George andCindy Anthony, and her brother, Lee Anthony, allowed in the courtroom if they are witnesses in the case?

Casey Anthony’s relatives filed requests with the court asking that they be able to attend the proceedings because they are also related to Caylee Marie Anthony. Their attorney, Mark Lippman, successfully argued that next-of-kin of homicide victims have the right to be present at trial, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the constitutional rights of the accused.

Q. Who is paying for Casey Anthony’s defense?

A. Anthony received $200,000 from ABC News for her family videos and photos, $5,000 from a private donor and $70,000 from a California attorney once part of the defense team.

Baez said Anthony paid him nearly $90,000 with that money. The rest was used for other defense expenses such as travel, equipment, investigation and for a media consultant.

In March 2010, Anthony said she was broke and requested that a judge declare her indigent so the state could pick up the rest of her defense tab.

Circuit Judge Stan Strickland, the initial judge assigned to the case, found Anthony indigent and ruled taxpayers must pay Anthony’s defense costs except for lawyer fees.

Some attorneys who have been involved in the case have said they were working for free.

As of the start of last week, the defense team had billed the state Justice Administrative Commission a total $127,280.74 for expenses. Of that total, $79,685.68 has been paid, $35,337.80 remains unpaid and $12,257.26 will not be paid. Costs associated with investigative work and mitigation represent the highest total defense billings and payments by the JAC.

Q. Can the state file molestation charges against George or Lee Anthony?

A. Sheaffer says the quick answer to this is no. That’s because the allegations described in Baez’s opening statement do not constitute capital sexual battery, so even if prosecutors thought there was some credibility to the claims, the statute of limitations on the alleged crimes would have run out.

Q. Can Baez be sued by George or Lee Anthony after the trial for the allegations of sexual abuse Baez made against them? 

A. No. Inside the courtroom, the attorneys are immune from civil action. “Once he steps on the other side of that bar, [the attorney] can pretty much say just about anything with impunity,” Sheaffer said. “In the courtroom, you’re just about as free as you can believe.”

Q. Can the jury convict Casey Anthony of lesser charges? 

A. Absolutely. “The jury can return a verdict of some lesser included offense,” Sheaffer said. For example, the jury could decide not to convict her of first-degree murder as charged but come back with a second-degree-murder guilty verdict. A conviction on that charge would carry a sentence of up to life in prison, and Sheaffer surmised Chief Judge Belvin Perry would likely give that sentence based on the evidence the prosecution has presented so far.

apavuk@tribune.com or 407-420-5735. acolarossi@tribune.com or 407-420- 5447. bprieto@tribune.com or 407-420-5620.

Copyright © 2011, Orlando Sentinel

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Safety Around Semis or Other Large Trucks

Posted by 4love2love on June 12, 2011

When I was a little girl I heard the most horrible story. My uncle had killed someone. An older lady, in fact. But apparently, this wasn’t as uncommon as I initially thought, as my father explained to me later. My uncle never talks about it, but it is something that happened and it could happen to you as well if you aren’t careful.

An elderly woman had taken the off ramp to get onto the highway. She was not speeding up sufficiently to meet the rate of speed of other people travelling on the highway. My uncle was driving his semi, towing cars and driving down the highway. As the woman pulled onto the highway, she pulled right in front of my uncle who never saw her in his mirrors because she had been in one of the many blind spots a semi driver has. He drove the semi onward, not realizing she was there and ran right over the top of her car and killed her.

I bring this up because my boyfriend drives a semi and usually has a 53′ trailer attached to the back. Often he has nearly hit someone because they crossed a lane, pulling in front of him and slowed down, or tried to drive in his blind spot as he attempted to switch lanes, even though he had been signalling for a fair bit of time to give people plenty of opportunity to get out of his way. He had a near collision the other day because someone driving their car while talking on their cell phone almost pulled right into the side of him, which would have killed them.

What many don’t realize is that these trucks are very heavy. They are often carrying heavy loads, making the truck weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 80,000 lbs, and sometimes even heavier. They can’t just stop. Their mirrors are designed to give them a better view of what’s around them but the longer the trailer, the bigger the blind spots they have. Even a flatbed has a wide variety of blind spots and the truckers just simply cannot see everything around them. It is YOUR job to be careful around semis. Do not drive in their blind areas, and pay attention to their signals. If you see they are trying to get over, move out of their way. Do not talk on the cell phone while driving on a highway unless you are using a hands-free set, do no text, and do NOT pull in front of a semi and slow down. That is a quick way to get yourself and anyone in your car killed.

Make sure you have sped up properly when exiting off ramps to make sure you are matching the speed of traffic on the highway to avoid possible collisions, especially if you see a semi anywhere behind you.

This is not only for your safety, but for the safety of your loved ones, friends, and for the trucker who has to live with the terrifying aftermath of what accident you caused with your carelessness. Remember, they can’t always see you, and I know several people who have nearly been smashed into a bridge or run off the road because they were driving in the trucker’s blind spots.

Thank you for your attention in this matter, for everyone out there, yourself included and people like my boyfriend and uncle who are out in the traffic every day driving long hauls so that we can have the products we need in our stores.

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