Sunday, August 31, 2014

Syrian Strategy: Yes - No - Yes - No ?

Is There a Middle East Strategy" from the files of Dan Youra Studios


Dan Youra is one of the outstanding conservative cartoonists in the trade today. He follows in the footsteps of the great political cartoon masters, whose quotes inspire a new generation of followers.

"Outside of basic intelligence, there is nothing more important to a good political cartoonist than ill will." ~ Jules Feiffer, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist

"Too many of today's artists regard editorial cartooning as a trade instead of a profession. They try not to be too offensive. The hell with that. We need more stirrer-uppers." ~ Bill Mauldin

He was one of the first recipients of a Fulbright Scholarship and worked in Latin America. He served as an editor of Current Thought on Peace and War at the United Nations in New York.

"As long as there are politicians who continue to try and fool the voters, there is no chance of ever running out of material to work with because they create it themselves and about themselves," says Dan Youra.

Dan is the small business owner and operator of the Youra Studious located in the State of Washington.

Visit the Youra Studios at Utoons.com.

World hears Obama say "we have no strategy"

The world heard Obama echo the words, "We Have No Strategy," from the Political Cartoon files of A.F. Branco

Catch the Branco Political Toons at Comically Incorrect.com

Check out some of the sights listed below that publish the A.F. (Tony) Branco Political Cartoon features.

Pelosi: 'Dumb as a Rock' says Peters

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters says that Nancy Pelosi is as 'dumb as a rock' from Political Truth Serum



While the dispute between Israel and Gaza has escalated, Peters took major objection to Pelosi’s statement that compared Hamas to a humanitarian organization.

Trey Gowdy referred to her as "mind-numbingly stupid."

As Peters said on the Hannity show, “Pelosi is ‘dumb as a rock,’ who ‘makes no effort to educate herself,’ and compared (her) the former speaker to the useful idiots who used to refer to Hitler as a ‘humanitarian.’” 

Peters' comment starts about the 5:20 mark.

Mary Landrieu and her house of cards

Mary Landrieu and Her House of Cards from the files of Jeff Crouere at Ringside Politics.com

Catch Jeff Crouere at Ringside Politics
This election has been most difficult for U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) with one mistake after another taking her off message. First it was discovered that she was charging taxpayers for at least four campaign flights.

Her embarrassing mistakes were not something Louisiana voters should expect from a Senator with so much experience. Mary Landrieu has been in political office since 1979 and has served in the U.S. Senate since 1997. It is inexcusable for Landrieu not to know that taxpayers should not be charged for campaign air travel.

Her latest stumble involves residency. When qualifying for re-election, Landrieu used her parents' house on South Prieur Street in New Orleans as her official address. This home is where her parents have lived for decades. It is a house that is jointly owned by Landrieu's mother and a family corporation, but it is not owned by the Senator.

The reality is that Mary Landrieu lives in Washington D.C. in a $2.5 million mansion. In a report with the Federal Election Commission, Landrieu listed her Capitol Hill home as her official address.

Not surprisingly, her GOP opponents have made her residency a major issue in recent days. It was first exposed by GOP challenger Col. Rob Maness who filed an official complaint with the Louisiana Secretary of State.

Today, Maness filed additional complaints with four District Attorney offices across Louisiana. It is doubtful that Louisiana District Attorneys, many of whom are Democrats and in the midst of re-election campaigns, will take action against Landrieu.

Nonetheless, her questionable residency will be damaging for Landrieu with voters. It shows that the Senator is much more connected to Washington D.C. than she is to her hometown.

While her Senate colleague David Vitter comes back to Louisiana every weekend and clearly lives in Metairie, outside of New Orleans, Landrieu is rarely seen at her “home.” According to one of her neighbors, Fontaine Wells, “I don’t think she lives there (the South Prieur home).

She might come visit, but come on now — she lives in D.C. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her.”

In this election, residency questions are another reason for Louisiana voters to oppose Landrieu. She has supported unpopular President Barack Obama 97% of the time. She also voted for Obama's liberal judicial nominees and has supported causes such as gun control, abortion, amnesty for illegal aliens, and higher taxes, all of which are unpopular with most Louisiana voters.

She cast the deciding vote on the horrendous Affordable Care Act, which is forcing thousands of Louisiana citizens to pay higher health insurance premiums. Finally, for the coup de grace, she is trying to mislead voters about her residency.

While the Senator is registered to vote in New Orleans, what address does she have on file with the IRS or on her driver's license? Does she even pay state income taxes in Louisiana? These issues need to be investigated. There is a good reason her neighbors have never seen her, Landrieu does not live there.

Landrieu, who is already very vulnerable, is now more vulnerable. According to the Senator, “I have lived at my home on Prieur Street most of my life, and I live there now, when not fulfilling my duties in Washington or serving constituents across the state.”

Her statement is ridiculous. Along with her husband, Landrieu does own real estate in Louisiana, but not a home. How often is Senator Landrieu at her parents' home? Does she sneak in late at night when no one sees her?

As Colonel Maness noted to the Washington Post, “A U.S. senator shouldn’t be living with their parents.” More importantly, a U.S. Senator should not be lying to her constituents.

_________________________________________________

Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 10:00 p.m. Sunday on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore.

For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com or e-mail him at jeff@ringsidepolitics.com.

U.S. Terrorism Attack Warning

Judicial Watch put out the following warning this afternoon from the files of Judson Phillips at the Tea Party Nation


Visit the Tea Party Nation
Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED).

High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued.

Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.
Specifically, Judicial Watch sources reveal that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is confirmed to now be operating in Juarez, a famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas.
Violent crimes are so rampant in Juarez that the U.S. State Department has issued a number of travel warnings for anyone planning to go there. The last one was issued just a few days ago.

Intelligence officials have picked up radio talk and chatter indicating that the terrorist groups are going to “carry out an attack on the border,” according to one JW source. “It’s coming very soon,” according to this high-level source, who clearly identified the groups planning the plots as “ISIS and Al Qaeda.”

An attack is so imminent that the commanding general at Ft. Bliss, the U.S. Army post in El Paso, is being briefed, another source confirms. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not respond to multiple inquiries from Judicial Watch, both telephonic and in writing, about this information.

The disturbing inside intelligence comes on the heels of news reports revealing that U.S. intelligence has picked up increased chatter among Islamist terror networks approaching the 13thanniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

While these terrorists reportedly plan their attack just outside the U.S., President Obama admits that . . .  “we don’t have a strategy yet”  . . . to combat ISIS.

“I don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” the commander-in-chief said this week during a White House press briefing. “I think what I’ve seen in some of the news reports suggest that folks are getting a little further ahead of what we’re at than what we currently are.”

The administration has also covered up, or at the very least downplayed, a serious epidemic of crime along the Mexican border even as heavily armed drug cartels have taken over portions of the region.

Judicial Watch has reported that the U.S. Border Patrol actually ordered officers to avoid the most crime-infested stretches because they’re “too dangerous” and patrolling them could result in an “international incident” of cross border shooting.

In the meantime, who could forget the famous words of Obama’s first Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano; the southern border is “as secure as it has ever been.”

These new revelations are bound to impact the current debate about the border crisis and immigration policy.

Accused? Guilty by Barbara C. Johnson - Part 10

Accused? Guilty - Part 10 of 41 part serial by Barbara C. Johnson


No Monotone, He

Available on Amazon
From the upper deck, Bea and Bill watched the boats slide across the water. It reminded Bill of an afternoon with Chloe.

“On Sunday, I’d put Chloe’s bike with the training wheels into the back of the car, her into the front, and head over to the East Maple Street playground,” he said, breaking the restful silence between them. “That was one of our weekend haunts. There were swings, a slide, and tennis and basketball courts there.”

Bea didn’t stir for fear of interrupting his mood.

“When Chloe was a toddler, she was afraid of going down the slide. I put her only halfway up and held her, so she’d go down slowly.” He paused, reminiscing. “Later I coaxed her to slide down from the top. I tried to be gentle about it. After a while, she raced up and whizzed down like every other kid.”

Bea just nodded.

“On the swings, she went back and forth between the “baby” and the “older kid” swings. “We became so excited when she rode all around the court without the training wheels.”
Bea noted his natural sense of timing and thought, He’s no monotone. She smiled ever so slightly.

“Then we picnicked there, near our favorite tree.”

Mother Dearest Stuff

After the break, Bill had a request. “Remember to ask Heather the basis for saying the games I played with Chloe were inappropriate. You know, there’s a limit as to what you can play in the same little room week after week. Chloe wasn’t interested in me reading books to her. She wanted to interact with me.”

Bea made a list of the things Heather found inappropriate, like uninhibited cat play and requests for clothing during the Saturday visits.

“And inappropriate, too, was your Ice Capades invitation. Apparently had Denise known your friend Debby’s name, she would’ve asked DSS to warn Debby about you.”

“More of her paranoia.”

“What was that about?”

“During a home visit, I gave Chloe a lipstick from Tasha. She’s Debby’s daughter. Around four years old.”

“Then what?”

“I told Chloe that Tasha wanted her to have it. Chloe loved it and said, ‘Oooh, thanks.’ Then I told her Tasha would like to have her and her mother come to the Ice Capades with us. Denise heard me. She was there. She looked at me with disgust.”

Bill frowned. “I thought it’d be nice for Chloe to see the ice show. So I invited Denise to come along too, because of this supervision thing. Anyway, she said, ‘It’s out of the question.’ Her voice was so harsh, it was close to sadistic.”

Bea shook her head to convey sympathy.

He said, “You know, when I saw Heather’s note about the Ice Capades, I was amazed. I couldn’t get over Denise saying she’d tell DSS to warn Debby of the possibility of my sexually abusing her child.”

Bill sighed. “I’m so frustrated by reading these notes. At one point, I approached Heather, and I thought we’d had a candid conversation. I told her I wanted to get a second opinion on whether sexual abuse occurred.

Granted Heather was opposed to the idea, but I still thought she was receptive to me, so I told her I was concerned that Chloe had no socialization because of Denise’s lifestyle. The Ice Capades invitation was simply me trying to provide Chloe with a chance to do something different and meet people. I also told her I wanted to take Chloe swimming on Saturdays. I’d sit in the gallery.

“Now I see that Heather salvaged those play letters I wrote to Chloe from the wastebasket, and put them in her file because she thought they were inappropriate.”

He shook his head. “How could I have read her so wrong? How can she have thought those letters were offensive?”

Bea assured Bill there was nothing offensive about the letters. She’d deal with them at trial. Bea lit another cigarette, took a puff, and hacked another pre-emphysemic cough. “I really should give these up, but I can’t.”

Nervous, Bill chuckled and inhaled air instead of nicotine. “What do those taste like? They look like little cigars. Are they?”

“No, they’re really fairly mild and slow-burning,” she managed to say as she began coughing again, and stubbed yet another cigarette out in an overflowing ashtray of half-smoked predecessors. “It’s a dirty habit, though,” she conceded when her hacking stopped. “I drop ashes on everything. My clothes smell of smoke. I smell of smoke.” Silence. “What the hell, I’m not entering a beauty contest.”

Tactfully, Bill said nothing.

“Back to work. My concerns are really about the statements attributed to Chloe. They change with each social worker. They’re going to yell, ‘She was in denial. It took her a while to feel comfortable talking about her abuse. That’s why her story became enhanced as time went on.’ But I think there’s something else going on here. It’s like a riddle unraveling: the social workers are looking at what the child is drawing, what colors she’s using, the type of play she chooses, what her animals do to each other, and so on.”

Then angrily, she said, “But no one is looking at what Chloe is not doing: the child has not expressed even one emotion that she felt during any of the alleged abusive acts. If she’s expressed emotions, you can’t tell it from these notes: none is recorded. Even the abusive acts themselves are described in the most superficial terms. The lack of emotion is the single-most convincing factor, I think, that the child is merely repeating what she’s heard in the child-victims groups or what she overheard Mommy saying or what she was led to say by Leavitt.”

“I must have picked up on their habit of looking at the superficial on some level,” Bill said with a growing grin, which surprised Bea. “Take a look at the next entry. ‘During visit father and Chloe played with markers and drew pictures. Father said he didn’t want the bad colors this time.’”

Both of them sat back and had a good laugh.

With some of the tension gone, Bea said, “We’ll be lucky if they don’t start helping Chloe develop new emotions to testify to.”

Bill agreed.

“Let’s see what we can ferret out of these Spring entries,” Bea said.

“The rules, Denise’s rules.” His exasperation was pronounced. “Everything leads to and from Denise’s rules. Don’t whisper. Don’t touch.”

“Denise’s used the no-touching rule to her advantage. It’s a big-C tool over Heather, you, Chloe, all of you. Control by progressive manipulation.”

“That’s what I can’t forgive her for. The way she’s intimidating Chloe with the no-touching business.”

“What do you know about the no-whispering rule?”

“Not much. I think she’s afraid I’ll try to whisper to Chloe not to testify against me.”

Bea nodded.

“This is all Mommie Dearest stuff,” he said.

“More than I think we know,” Bea said.  Bill, I think Denise has been jealous of Chloe for years. And she would’ve been jealous of any child you guys had. That may be why she didn’t want to get pregnant. Remember her depo: you didn’t pay her any attention. I won’t use her jealousy at trial because I’ll never be able to prove it. Just remember you heard it here first.”

Fai Lathee, Ela Vrathee

Bea escaped for an hour or so by burrowing into a bright orange chenille beanbag with a good book about a golem carved out of ground of clay. The peasant who created the golem came to love it as a son more and more deeply as the golem began to develop human emotion. Had a dybbuk, a wandering soul, entered and possessed the humanlike form? The question the novel raised was not whether a golem could experience feeling, but whether the clay golem’s feelings were purer than a gestated human’s.

What a luxury to think about things that had no impact on her everyday existence. Activity in the nearby slip had woken her to reality, but her brain lingered a bit where it had been. The golem was still trusting; it hadn’t learned betrayal. It was, in comparison to a sophisticated man, a wimp; it did what it was told; it did not question authority; it had no guile. In some ways it reminded her of Bill: na├»ve and vulnerable and physically strong, except Bill was totally powerless to change his life at this moment. The golem could, at least, walk away. Walking away from his daughter was the last thing Bill wanted to do.

She rolled out of her soft, comfortable nest onto her knees and then made it to her feet. She stretched. Just one deposition to go in the Abernathy case. Hallelujah! Time to celebrate. Well, almost time to celebrate. At least Hugh’s back. She needed him to relieve some of her accumulated stress, but she was angry at herself for having become so reliant on him for that relief.

Still, she was prepared to make the most of it. She made her way to the galley. There, she cleaned some potatoes and threw them in the microwave. She broke apart a garlic bulb, peeled the cloves, put them on a wooden board, and chopped away. Every once in a while, she scraped a few chopped cloves into a mortar and ground them with a pestle. When finished, she’d have scordalia (garlic, potatoes, brought to a whipped-like consistency with glugs of olive oil), topped with chopped onions, cheese-filled potato crusts, crusty fresh breads, spotlessly shined apples ready to be peeled and sliced, and retsina ready for Hugh.

Fai lathee, ela vrathee. Eat oil, the aphrodisiac of choice on Mount Olympus, night is coming. All lusty Greek women serve their men significant amounts of olive oil before a night of serious intentions and desire. Understanding the signal, their men would pour even more fresh virgin oil over the onion-covered scordalia and heartily partake of the appetizers. This calorically voluptuous fare was the Greek counterpart of the Franks’ Bread, Wine, and Thee.

At the very least, Hugh would be scared stiff by Bea’s aggression, but he would rise to the occasion. It was part of Bea’s ritual of welcoming him back from the briny. His brooding temperament muted by weeks of competition with energetic young males in the prime of their romantic beings, he would not only devotedly accede to her desire, but would also martyr himself, albeit not enthusiastically, to the consuming pyre of Bea.

Intemperance Justified

Another trip to court. Ruth Stanton, Denise’s therapist, was interviewed in chambers by still another family court judge, one who’d never heard argument on this case. He didn’t allow Bea in while he looked at Stanton’s file.

But the trip was almost worth it: Bea did get to see Stanton sitting on a courtroom pew. She was historical Salem: black dress, round white lace-edged collar, long fitting sleeves, white lace-edged cuffs. And she was “primarily” a treater of substance abuse. Remarkable!

“Your Honor, the alleged events out of which the criminal prosecution arose are the same alleged events which are at issue in the civil proceeding. I intend to call Bill Abernathy as a witness at his criminal trial, and I know of no information discoverable from him in this case that the Commonwealth might attempt to use by innuendo against him in the criminal case.

“What I fear, however, is the mischief that could be done from an innocent statement or document. It could affect the criminal case. It’s protection from that potential mischief Mr. Abernathy seeks. I need to protect him from having to answer any questions in the divorce case until the criminal action is decided.

“Your Honor, Bill Abernathy does not intend to invoke his right against self-incrimination in this civil case. Were he to invoke the Fifth, there’d be a presumption he committed the crime he’s accused of. Not wanting that presumption to be made, he seeks a protective order here only until the criminal case is resolved. Also, his right against self-incrimination would be put in serious jeopardy if an inadvertent line of questioning is begun by Mr. Aguilar and then later possibly if this court should deem he waived his right against self-incrimination.

“And a protective order will also not prejudice Mrs. Abernathy’s ability to litigate this action, for an adverse inference is not by itself sufficient to meet her burden of proof and she may obtain discovery from sources other than her husband. The order will merely protect the rights of Bill Abernathy to fair criminal process.”

The motions were taken under advisement. Judges do that when they don’t want counsel to slither down to possibly intemperate argument inspired by an unfavorable decision. The decision usually comes in the next day’s mail.

While riding out rough weather, Bea was intemperate. No one heard her.

Hazardous Waste

What is this case all about?” asked Paul McGill, the judge to whom Leslie Calhoun’s case was assigned when it was remanded to Concord District Court about a mile up the road from Walden Pond.

Bea explained. “This case is about an environmental consulting firm acting on the wrong side of the law. The company retaliated against a group of six women by alleging they wanted to take down the company. These women were geologists, staff scientists—all very intelligent women whose consciousness had been raised over the years.” Bea continued describing the case, emphasizing Leslie’s pariah-hood and her damages.

Judge McGill was the progeny of a white mother and a black father who divorced. Thanks to his mother’s boyfriend—according to rumor—Paul graduated from the Mount Hermon school and Harvard University, but having dark skin, he awoke some consternation by the lily white town of Concord when he was appointed First Justice of its district court. The apple did not fall from the tree when he became the husband of an Irish lass—also a lawyer—from South Boston.

Pitbull, being his usual self, argued to knock out Leslie’s case before it ever got a chance to go to trial. Leslie had not been wrongfully discharged, he argued. “She left her job at the company not because of a hostile working environment, but to cash in on an offer of a salary double that which she was receiving.”

Playing to her audience, Bea said, “Your Honor, it’s important to understand who Leslie Calhoun is. She is an absolutely beautiful, auburn-haired woman who has reached the big four-o. She’s articulate and brilliant, a geologist. Her husband was black, a baseball player. She wanted to have children, but he didn’t want biracial children so they got divorced. She had no time to wait. Nature’s clock was ticking. She still happens to be friendly with him, however. He’s in Texas at the moment.

“As time went along, she met Kurt Manheim, a brilliant young man in physics from Wellesley, and Leslie came East with him, from California to Massachusetts. Being a perennial student, he wasn’t ready to have children. But she was living with him and became enveloped by his parents, his sister, his family.

“Now defense counsel has argued Leslie Calhoun wanted to go back to California for the big money. That’s not true. The money her new job offered just shows how undervalued she was here. That’s all it shows, because it was less important to her than her relationship with Kurt Manheim.

“When she left for California, Manheim felt abandoned and didn’t forgive her for leaving. She had forever lost him as the potential father of her children. That is an unliquidated damage, to be decided by judge or jury.

“Now defense counsel wrote Kurt Manheim, and that letter you have is a copy of the letter Manheim wrote in response to defense counsel. He writes of the stress Leslie was under before she left for California. When she left, she didn’t know why she was being isolated; she didn’t know why people were avoiding her. She didn’t know any of the things the company had done until a year and a half later when an investigator from the Department of Labor, alerted by some other woman to the discrimination taking place at the company, called and told her.

“Nevertheless, before she left, she said, ‘I can’t last here.’ She had all kinds of stress and was quite ill. She’d been hazzed and there is a possible nexus between that and her hospital stay. Those are only some of the bases of her unliquidated damage claims.”

“What is hazzed?” the judge asked.

“Hazzed is when a person has been exposed to hazardous waste. It goes to the safety and health issues of which Leslie complained to her supervisor. In this case, the company was not providing the proper protective clothing for people who worked in the field. Leslie Calhoun was one of them.”
After Bea iterated defense counsel’s misconduct, working outside the rules of civil procedure, and misrepresentations to court, the judge turned his attention to the issue of discovery.

“The bottom line is, Your Honor, I want the court to allow me to conduct discovery on behalf of my client. I’ve been denied the opportunity to conduct discovery. It is absolutely remarkable. I am entitled—”

McGill asked her, “Specifically what documents are you saying that you need to address?”

“The list of documents I want is attached to the motion.”

“How do they relate to wrongful discharge?”

Bea told him.

He took both motions under advisement.

Bea hoped he’d not already made up his mind against her and was simply taking the motions under advisement so she wouldn’t erupt in his courtroom. After seeing judges assist the defendants in not producing the documents by giving them five protective orders, she’d insist to Hugh that she was not becoming paranoid.

Cat and Mouse

One hour into the deposition, it became clear that Heather, a visitation supervisor, had accepted as 100 percent true not only Carol Tracy’s original accusations, which had been haunting Bill for over a year, but also every other conclusion reached by all the social workers assigned to the case.

She’s myopic. Bea looked across the table at the slim, forty-ish woman dressed in a little white blouse with a pointed collar and flat mother-of-pearl buttons down the front. Heather learned that the intake worker at the Center had not requested a copy of Chloe’s medical evaluation. But then Heather hadn’t even bothered to find out whether a medical evaluation ever existed.

When Bea pressed her, Heather recalled reading the medical evaluation, but didn’t remember specifics of it. Bea thought the answer remarkable. If it existed, the medical evaluation would be the single-most important piece of evidence the government had against Bill.

The danger was what Heather put in her reports and whether a court would accept the reports as evidence and whether a court would allow her to testify. Bea needed to neutralize Heather.

“Realizing charges have been brought against the father for raping a child, didn’t it strike you odd there was no medical evaluation?”

“Objection,” MSPCC Attorney John McFadden said. No, that's wrong. Asking a question about a deponent’s state of mind is permissible.

Aguilar didn’t join in the objection. He was relying on McFadden to protect not only Heather but also Denise. They had probably discussed strategy before they came aboard the tug.

Rather than fight, Bea turned her attention to Hilda Crowley’s Victims of Sexual Addiction group. Denise wanted to file a complaint about the group so other women would not be referred there; she’d been humiliated by the questions she’d been asked. Chloe went to the group with her mother, but was in a room with the children. Mother was with the adults.

“Everything I learned about Chloe’s disclosures came from Tracy’s report—and from Denise, after Chloe had attended the group meeting at the rape-crisis center,” Heather said.

“Is it true that your notes reflect only what Mommy told you?”

“Yes.”

“So Mommy could have told you, ‘Chloe said Daddy hurt me so much I’m going to jump over the Brooklyn Bridge,’ and you still would have put it in the notes, isn’t that true?”

“I don’t know if I’d write that.”

“Because that would be hard to believe, wouldn’t it be?”

“It would be important to discuss that.”

“But you put in the report this accusation because Mommy said it, isn’t that true?”

“It was important I include it. I have no reason to believe Mother would make this up.”

“You’ve never requested a psychological study of Mom, have you?”

“No, I haven’t.”

“So you really don’t know whether this mom, who’s telling you this, is paranoid—and you wouldn’t have any way of knowing that, would you?”

“I have no reason to believe Mother would make this up.”

“You have no reason to believe that Mother would not make this up either, do you?”

“She’s always been believable and consistent.”

“That’s because you believe mothers who come in with accusations, isn’t that true?”

“That’s no reason for me not to believe her.”

“Later on the same day of the conversation you had with Denise Abernathy, you said Chloe had a meeting with Daddy, and was not fearful of him. In fact, she was glad to see him, is that true?”

“Yes.”

“And Chloe and Father took their shoes off and played several games together, isn’t that true?”

“Yes.”

“While bowling, the father was the pin-setter and Chloe was the bowler, isn’t that true?”

“Uh-huh.”

“And during that time, Father was very child-like?”

“Uh-huh.”

“What you mean by that is, he just participated in the play enthusiastically with Chloe?”

“He got on the floor to play with her.”

“So he got down on the floor and played with her, and that made him child-like?”

“It was the way he was playing— He was very involved in the play, and that made him child-like.”

“Would that make Mr. McFadden child-like, if he had a child who was about the same age as Chloe Abernathy and got down on the floor and played with the child, and was enthusiastic about the play, would that make Mr. McFadden child-like?” Bea was desperately trying to get Heather to demonstrate or admit her bias, her prejudgment.

“I don’t know.”

“If two men got down on the floor and played with their children in an enthusiastic way, why would one be child-like and not the other?”

“My answer to that— I observed him— I observed the sessions between Chloe and her father. I was there in the room.”

“Well, we know that. We know you were there and observed it, but you haven’t answered the question. Why would there be a difference if Mr. McFadden and Mr. Abernathy were doing the exact same thing on the floor, playing with a child of the same age, and both playing with a bowling ball?”

Heather didn’t answer.

“Why would you consider Mr. McFadden not child-like? Is it because he’s getting a little sparse up there? Why would you conclude that one is child-like and the other isn’t?”

“I really can’t give you an answer on that.” Does she not see her bias or does she not want to admit it? The Age of Hysterical Feminism has infected Heather.

“Chloe drew a picture for you of her house, and she called it a cat house because it had ears, and then she said it was a kingdom. And you wrote in some detail the description of this picture and put it in the casefile, isn’t that true?”

“That’s correct.”

“Did you come to some conclusion about the drawing?”

“No.” Good, at least now she won’t be able to fabricate a reason for saving it if she testifies at trial... or claim the drawing indicated sexual abuse occurred.

“So, there’s no hidden meaning there?”

“No, I simply observe the visits and describe what goes on.”

“So, they could almost replace you with a video tape recorder there and record the entire session, couldn’t they?”

“They could record it in the same way that I record it, but my job function is to observe interaction and to protect her from her father while she’s there.”

“Has there ever been occasion where you felt she needed protection from him?”

“The interaction has always been appropriate.” A simple No would have done it.

“At some point, Mother devised some rules, didn’t she?”

“Yes. No whispering during the visits. That rule came about after a visit when I took a telephone call, and while I was on the phone, Father whispered something inappropriate to Chloe.” Heather looked down and shuffled through her notes, which somehow had managed to stay put on her flat lap since shortly after the deposition began. She finally answered, “He whispered to Chloe that he cried at night.”

Unexpectedly, Bea’s impatience swelled to anger. Curious. Am I angry because she read the answer? Then, suddenly, as she snapped to, a grin appeared on her face. “Do you know what Chloe said to him that prompted that remark?”

“No.”

“Did you consider perhaps they whispered because they didn’t want to disturb you while you were on the phone?”

Heather looked down to her notes and found she hadn’t written that. “I can’t answer that. I don’t know why.”

“But it’s possible they could have simply been trying to be considerate of you?”

“I don’t know.”

Whore! Bea grinned again. The others were probably wondering why.

As Bea asked each question, Heather appeared determined to find the answer in her notes. She’d shuffle her papers. Occasionally McFadden would ask Bea for the date so Heather could get onto the same page as Bea was on.

Finally, Bea was provoked into saying, “If you remember, don’t go back to your notes.” Bea waited again.

When Bea moved on, Aguilar objected. “She hasn’t answered the other question. I insist she be allowed to answer the question.” Then, predictably, he went into sparring mode for several minutes.

“No. If she has to look up and read the answer to every question I ask her, we’ll have Ms. Bruce back here for an entire week. None of us wants to do that.” Bea could hear some action along the wharf and in the neighboring slips and she wanted to say bye to a few friends before they left to season elsewhere.

“I agree. Let’s go off the record for one minute,” McFadden suggested.

“Let’s continue,” Bea said. She was tired of McFadden’s oft-broken promises. Although polite and not a table-pounder like Aguilar, McFadden had no credit with her. Ironically, Aguilar had acquired some.

When Heather said Chloe displayed both aggressive and sexual themes with her father, Bea asked her how her play differed from any of the other children whom she observed. She didn’t answer.
Bea then asked who the children were with whom Chloe was being compared. They were not alleged to be sexually abused. In fact, Chloe and Bill’s visits were the first and only visits Heather had supervised between an alleged victim and an alleged perpetrator. Then what the hell is she comparing?

“Is aggression something that would indicate there’d been sexual abuse?”

Heather read that it could be. “A child who’s sexually abused might have low self-esteem, but I don’t know whether a child with low self-esteem would also be aggressive.”

“You said she displayed sexual themes. What were those sexual themes?”

“On different occasions Chloe would play with dolls in a dollhouse and take off the doll’s clothes, and she— I remember her saying she wanted to take the doll’s clothes off. I don’t recall anything specific about what she did at that particular time.” Removing a doll’s clothes is sexual?

“When you’re supervising a visit of other children, and they’re playing with a dollhouse, do they take the clothes off the doll?”

“I haven’t supervised any other children with the dollhouse.”

Bea paused to think. She looked up over her bifocals at Heather and saw the slim woman devoid of energy. Unhappy. Miserable, I’ll bet. Probably divorced. Probably a single mother. No hope. No way out. Trapped in loneliness. Sees darkness even where there should be light. “Do you have any children?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Male or female?” One of each, sixteen and fourteen years old. Her daughter, she emphasized, had had a dollhouse, but she didn’t remember whether her daughter took the clothes off her dolls.

“If she had, would you have said she was displaying a sexual theme?”

“I don’t know.”

“But you did here?”

“In this case I did.”

Heather was unable to name any emotions that Chloe displayed while supposedly disclosing sexual abuse. Her failure put into question MSPCC’s written goal to help “Chloe cope with her emotions of having been sexually abused.” It was like saying, “We’ll give you aspirin to take now because you’ve been walking outside in the rain and you might later get a cold.” Bea concluded this wasn’t like looking for the needle in the haystack. This was looking for a needle that wasn’t there.

Denise told Heather she didn’t like Bill asking her to get a shirt for him from upstairs. It made Denise feel uncomfortable.

“Do you think it was an unreasonable request where the man still had some clothes there in the house?”

“I can’t say. I can’t give an opinion on that. I wasn’t there. “

“Would you be inclined to tell Mrs. Abernathy that was reasonable or unreasonable?”

“I feel that whatever is in Chloe’s best interest is what would be reasonable.”

What interest would Chloe have in Bill’s shirt? None. Bea was getting worked up.

Whenever asked whether she thought something was reasonable or unreasonable, Heather didn’t have an opinion or didn’t remember. Nowhere did she question Denise’s judgment. Nowhere did she consider whether Denise’s elevator went all the way to the top. Heather simply believed Mom because she was Mom.

Aguilar joined in and objected and then the three lawyers began overtalking each other. Bea was not intimidated and let Aguilar and McFadden know it.

Aguilar muttered, “I’ll walk out.” His lips bled white.

Bea thought, Please do!

In contrast, forever calm and in control, McFadden said, “Let’s go off the record.”

Off the record, Bea vented... moving on from Heather’s evasiveness to negligent hiring and retention.

Not up to snuff for the responsible job she had. Eventually, McFadden instructed Heather to answer the question and to acknowledge the difference between remembering and knowing.

“Have you ever said to Bill Abernathy something like, ‘I’ve heard all about the visits from your wife.
Can you give me your version?’”

“No. I’ve asked ‘How are the visits going?’”

“Have you ever questioned whether the facts the mother told you might not be accurate?

“I have no reason to question them.”

“Have you had any reason to question Mr. Abernathy’s iteration of the facts as he’s described a visit to you?”

“No, I haven’t questioned what he’s said about the visits.”

“Has there ever come a time when they each told you a different version?”

“Yes, they may be describing the same visit but in a different way.”

“What did he say and what did she say?”

“I can’t recall the exact words.”

Heather did remember, however, hearing from Denise that Bill was wearing shorts and that his organ was peeping out every once in a while.

“Did you believe his organ stuck out from his shorts?”

“I have no reason to believe the story was fabricated. There would be no reason for that.” Of course, there was. Leavitt had sent a 51A complaint to DSS. And the DA was still stuck for a specific date of abuse. This incident would have given them a date.

“When he said, ‘My shorts were not improper, and I wasn’t hanging out from under my shorts,’ did you have reason to disbelieve him?”

“I was more inclined to believe Mrs. Abernathy.”

“Why?”

“Because she was there.”

“Well, so was he. He was wearing the shorts.”

“Because it had an effect on Chloe.”

“Well, you don’t know that, do you?”

“I have no reason to believe Chloe would lie about it.”

“But Chloe never spoke to you about the shorts did she?”

“No, she never did.”

“And Chloe never spoke to anybody else at MSPCC about the shorts did she?”

“No, she never did.”

“Didn’t the fact that the 51A was never substantiated help you to believe Mr. Abernathy?”

“I still have to go back to the statement, I have no reason to believe Chloe would lie.”

“Were you ever sexually abused?”

“No, Ma’am.”

“But you were more willing to believe Mrs. Abernathy rather than Mr. Abernathy?”

“I’m just saying I have no reason to believe Chloe would lie.”

“But Chloe never said to you or to the DSS investigator that she saw her father’s penis out of his shorts. It was only Denise’s word that Chloe ever said anything. I just asked you a yes or no question: ‘You were more willing to believe Mrs. Abernathy rather than Mr. Abernathy, isn’t that true?”

“Yes.”

“Can you say why?”

“Because she’s always been truthful in the past.”

“Well, you don’t know that, do you, really?”

“To me, she’s always been truthful.”

“You were never at an event that Mrs. Abernathy told you about, were you?”

“That’s correct.”

“So basically you’ve believed Mrs. Abernathy. Whether or not you knew it was true, you just believed her?”

“I’ve believed her because she has always been truthful in the past, and been consistent with everything she said.”

“Has Mr. Abernathy ever not been truthful to you?”

“I have not spoken with Mr. Abernathy as frequently as Mrs. Abernathy.”

“You spoke to Mr. Abernathy every week at the visits?”

“I see him, but we don’t have conversation.” And she’d spoken to him on another few limited occasions at her office.

“On the occasions he has spoken to you, have you ever had reason to believe he wasn’t honest with you?”

“No.”

“So why would you then believe Mrs. Abernathy was being more honest than Mr. Abernathy?”

“Because Mrs. Abernathy has always been consistent in the past.”

“When has Mr. Abernathy not been consistent?”

“There hasn’t been a specific time that I can recall him being inconsistent, but—”

“Why then, if both are consistent, and you have known both to be honest with you, why would you believe one over the other?”

“I don’t believe it’s a matter of believing one or the other.”

“You just said so yourself.”

“I don’t think I can answer the question.”

Heather began talking in circles again. Bea’s patience was running out along with the morning.

“Let’s take a quick break.” Bea was upset that Heather was not only trying to cover her bias, she was trying to cover her ignorance and her ass.

“Good idea,” McFadden said.

Aguilar got up without saying anything.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Democrats develop their own ice 'Challenge'

Check out the Branco Political Cartoon files at Legal Insurrection


Check out some of the sights listed below that publish the A.F. (Tony) Branco Political Cartoon features.

Is Obama's allegiance to ISIS?

Obama's use of ISIL reveals his true allegiance and animus towards Israel from the files of Colonel Allen B. West


I know I’ve mentioned this before but one of my favorite songs from the 80’s is “Words” by Missing Persons. The refrain goes:

What are words for when no one listens anymore . . .
What are words for when no one listens . . .
What are words for when no one listens it’s no use talkin’ at all . . .

This week I listened to two Obama administration spokesmen, Josh “Not So” Earnest from the White House, and Rear Admiral Kirby from the Pentagon in relation to the Islamic terrorist army freely operating in Iraq and Syria. These two individuals and many other voices out of the Obama administration refer to them as ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant). The group has professed the establishment of an Islamic caliphate and refers to itself as IS (Islamic State). The manner in which we should all be referring to this savage and barbaric group is ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria).
Why should that matter? What are words for?
First, if you choose to refer to this group as ISIL, you have basically rewritten the map of the Middle East and fallen into the trap of not recognizing the existence of Israel and also Lebanon. If you use ISIL you are then validating the Islamic totalitarian and jihadist claim that the modern day Jewish State of Israel is an occupation state and does not exist in the eyes of Muslims.
Need I remind you of the faux pas — or perhaps purposeful use — by then-Obama counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan who, at a Ramadan dinner celebration in the White House, referred to the capital of Israel as Al Quds, not as Jerusalem — what are words for indeed? They convey a certain meaning — just like calling the Ft Hood massacre “workplace violence” and not an Islamic jihadist attack.
Second, if you fall into the trap of referring to this group as IS, you have validated the existence of an Islamic caliphate and through your words lend it recognition and credibility. Some may say, so what? Well, here is the so what: remember when the Clinton administration recognized the Taliban as a legitimate government and even welcomed their Foreign Minister to the White House?
Yeah, well the Taliban welcomed someone into their arms as well. And look what happens when you send your Secretary of State to sit and negotiate a cease fire with Qatar and Turkey — two Islamist-supporting countries — on behalf of a terrorist organization, Hamas . And don’t forget, Barack Hussein Obama’s first phone call as president to an international leader was made to Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas, aka Abu Mazen — not exactly a nation-state or world leader. What are words for? They’re for realizing what is a declared and recognized state as opposed to a terrorist organization that doesn’t deserve validation.
Lastly, we need to address this group as ISIS because it is seeking to establish an Islamic state within the borders of two recognized nation-states; Iraq and Syria. ISIS can attempt to break down any borders and not recognize them, but we must. We cannot allow this group to reestablish some 7th century regional caliphate and therefore must fight to reestablish sovereignty.
Now, I would much rather use this crisis as a means to establish something long since needed — a separate country called Kurdistan — but my focus would be on destroying ISIS. There is an opportunity here to truly promote a country where there can be respect and coexistence of Muslims, Christians, and other religious minorities. A place that would thoroughly reject the idea of Islamic jihadism and would continue to be a reliable ally of the United States.
It was the dream of Kemal Ataturk to have a secular Muslim country, Turkey, but thanks to the Islamist Recip Tayyip Erdogan, that dream has turned into a nightmare.
So what are words for in this case? They are to properly define your enemy and not allow them to define their goal and objective, which we must reject. However, it does concern me that the Obama administration seems to be embracing the ISIL terminology, which reflects their dismissal of our best ally in the Middle East, Israel.
Am I thinking too deeply in this? Nope. Because America has only been around for 238 years and we fail to realize the nuances of history, language and terminology. During the Clinton administration we didn’t understand the nature of the Balkans and took sides against the Serbians. If we’d studied the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 it would have helped in understanding why the Serbs still harbor angst against Muslims.
In any event, I will continue to say ISIS — and I recommend we all do the same — especially the Obama administration.

Newspaper bias: Princeton-Dartmouth - 1951

A study of newspaper bias in the Princeton-Darthmouth game of 1951 by Ken LaRive with the Examiner
“The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

Read the LaRive Files at the Examiner
I remember my time writing for newspapers. What a rush of ego to see my thoughts in print. I carefully cut out each one, and over the years filled several scrapbooks. All went well when I talked about travel experiences, pot holes in the streets, or trying to motivate voter turnout. But when it got to an inconvenient truth, I saw an insurmountable wall.

I found that it is 18 times more likely that a black man will commit a violent act toward a white man, as given by a well-respected FBI extrapolation method (the Jena six comes to mind), but it could not, would not be published. Anything negative about Zionism (Israel comes to mind) or positive about the UN, or the breaking of international law, can not be published.

Or, Lord forbid, to say something positive about a specific candidate not in favor, and it just could not, or would not be published. It wasn't that my other work wasn't appreciated, it seemed, and I did get praise for them... but I felt a cold slap in the face when truth was not presented... and I wondered at my association with them, my many contributions over the years, and my overt participation in their bias and the many taboos of their own design...

Once, in 2007, I submitted an essay about what I heard coming from the Ron Paul camp to Baton Rouge, and my twenty paragraphs were cut to 14, with the last two paragraphs, a punch-line summary, deleted. It made the Liberty movement sound ridiculous, inconsequential, and that was just the intent.

They did not like Ron Paul, most likely because they feared he was not a part of their corporate power structure, and could not be bought....And that intent, more than likely, and in most cases, comes from the top down. It is the mindset of the owners who set the precedence for a newspaper. and it has little to do with truth. But there is something more to this story, and in all fairness, it must be said.

"Educate and inform the whole mass of people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our Liberty," ~ Thomas Jefferson

From the inception of Mass Communication throughout history, it was primarily designed to promote an idea to the literate, from the printed word to word of mouth. A mandate was posted on a church or government wall and was ingested and interpreted by just a small faction of people, and though today we have far more literates in our society, the question remains: Is truth viable in our society? Or perhaps a better question might be, "Can truth actually be understood?"

In an old textbook of mine, "The Process and Effects of Mass Communication," I searched to find an essay that would reflect this concern, that newspaper truth is not their primary reason for being. that it is profit...But as I studied and researched, I found something I had not anticipated, and far more apropos. . on page 302.

Written by Albert H. Hastorf and Hadley Cantrel, it was entitled They saw a Game: A Case Study. Dr. Cantrel, who died over thirty years ago, was chairman of the psychology department at Princeton, and Dr. Hastorf , the dean of humanities and sciences at Stanford University, came together for a common cause. By the use of scientific methods of observation they published this noteworthy work in The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 49 (1954);129-34.

My bias towards newspapers stopped me from seeing the total picture...

Their annotations of a football game, and the perceptions of that game as proposed by the school newspapers of Princeton and Dartmouth, indicated, so I thought, that each side's reality was manifested in their minds by the bias of their respective newspapers.

"It seems clear," the two psychologists wrote, that "there is no such thing as a 'game' existing 'out there' in its own right which people observe.' The 'game' exists for a person and is experienced by him only insofar as certain happenings have significance in terms of his purpose."

It wasn't what I expected. There was another element to this equation I had not considered...

It was an important game for both sides, and feelings escalated in what was then called a "considerable" amount of rough play, and several highly respected and loved players were hurt in the fray, and also, that some of the calls were in question.

And for months this game was the topic of conversation and argument on the campus of both schools... and even when the film of the game were shown long after, there were very conflicting perceptions of what the psychologists called "objective stimulus."

After compiling information from interviews from both Universities, interpretations of an extensive questionnaire, and gathering newspaper articles written soon after the game, an assessment of this phenomena was formulated.

The Daily Princetonian published this four days after the game:
"This observer has never seen quite such a disgusting exhibition of so-called "sport." Both teams were guilty but the blame must be laid primarily on Dartmouth's doorstep. Princeton, obviously the better team, had no reason to rough up Dartmouth. Looking at the situation rationally, we don't see why the Indians should make a deliberate attempt to cripple Dick Kazmaier or any other Princeton player. The Dartmouth psychology, however, is not rational itself."
A few days later the Princeton Alumni published this:
"But certain memories of what occurred will not be easily erased. Into the record books will go in indelible fashion the fact that the last game of Dick Kazmaier's career was cut short by more than half when he was forced out with a broken nose and mild concussion, sustained from a tackle that came well after he had thrown the pass.

The second-period development was followed by a third quarter outbreak of roughness that was climaxed when a Dartmouth player deliberately kicked Brad Glass in the ribs while the latter was on his back. Throughout the often unpleasant afternoon, there was undeniable evidence that the losers' tactics were the result of an actual style of play, and reports on other games they have played this season substantiate this."
But on the Dartmouth side, students saw the game in a very different light. The Dartmouth undergraduate newspaper, the Dartmouth, had this to say:
"However the Dartmouth-Princeton game set the stage for another type of dirty football. A type which may be termed as an unjustifiable accusation.

Dick Kazmaier was injured early in the game. Kazmaier was the star, an All-American. Other stars have been injured before, but Kasmaier had been built to represent a Princeton idol. When an idol is hurt there is only one recourse- the tag of dirty football. So what did the Tiger Coach Charley Caldwell do? He announced to the world that the Big Green had been out to extinguish the Princeton star. His purpose was achieved.

After this incident, Caldwell instilled the old see-what-they-did-to-get-them attitude into his players. His talk got results, Gene Howard and Jim Miller were both injured. Both had dropped back to pass, had passed, and were standing unprotected in the backfield. Result: one bad leg and one broken leg.

The game was rough and did get a bit out of hand in the third quarter. Yet most of the roughing penalties were called against Princeton while Dartmouth received more of the ille-gal-use-of-the hands variety."
And then, a day later, Dartmouth published this:
"Dick Kazmaier of Princeton admittedly is an unusually able football player. Many Dartmouth men traveled to Princeton not expecting a win- only hoping to see an All-American in action. Dick Kazmaier was hurt in the second period, and played only a token part in the remainder of the game. For this, spectators were sorry.
Medical authorities have confirmed that as a relatively unprotected passing and running star in a contact sport, he is quite liable to injury. Also, his particular injuries- a broken nose and slight concussion- were no more serious than is expected almost every day in any football practice, where there is no more serious stake than playing the following Saturday. Up to the Princeton Game, Dartmouth players suffered about ten known nose fractures and face injuries, not to mention several slight concussions.

Did Princeton players feel so badly about losing their star? They shouldn't have. During the past undefeated campaign they stopped several individuals stars by a concentrated effort, including such mainstays as Frank Hauff of Navy, Glenn Adams of Pennsylvania and Rocco Calvo of Cornell.

In other words, the same brand of football condemned by the Prince- that of stopping the big man- is practiced quite successfully by the Tigers."
To find out how and why there were two emphatically different takes on the perceptual reality of this game, two steps of data gathering were involved. Firstly, a questionnaire was submitted to both Universities, designed to not only formulate individual reactions, but to gleam a climate of opinion from each institution. This was administered one week after the game, and given to undergraduate students who were taking introductory and intermediate psychology courses.

Secondly, they were shown the same motion picture of the game to undergraduates from both schools, and to fill out a questionnaire that would indicate to them any noted infraction of the rules, both considered "mild" or "flagrant." All questionnaires were carefully coded and transferred to punch cards professionally.

The Results: A marked contrast between the two groups.

Nearly all Princeton students viewed the game to be "rough and dirty" and not one though it "clean and fair." Nine tenths of them thought that Dartmouth started the rough play.

The majority of Dartmouth students thought both sides were to blame, and that the reason for these charges against them was Princeton's concern for their star player. They saw too, only half of the infraction that the Princeton students had noted, with about two to one flagrant to mild, to about one to two for the Dartmouth students.

As a side note. A copy of the movie was sent to a member of a Dartmouth alumni group in the Midwest. He viewed the film, the same film that was sent to Princeton, where they noted nine severe infractions by the Dartmouth players, but he could find none. He wired back to Princeton:
" Preview of Princeton movies indicates considerable cutting of important part please wire explanation and possible air mail missing parts before showing scheduled for January 25 we have splicing equipment."
Page 308-309

"Like any other complex social occurrence, a "football game" consists of a whole host of happenings. Many different events are occurring simultaneously. Furthermore, each happening is a link in a chain of happenings, so that one follows another in sequence. The "football game,"as well as other complex social situations, consists of a whole matrix of events. In the game situation, this matrix of events consists of the actions of all the players, together with the behavior of the referees and linesmen, the action on the sidelines, in the grandstands, over the loudspeaker, etc."

Also . . .

"...a happening generally has significance only if it reactivates learned significances already registered in what we have called a person's assumptive form-world."


______________________________________________


Authors note: Perhaps it may be a bit too strong to suggest that newspaper bias is the primary fault. It seems that each individual carries with them a mix of preconceived notions, and this taints their ability to have objective observations. However flawed and biased are these observations, they are nevertheless considered truthful realities to each individual, and that is the rub. Of course these preconceived notions come from a wide variety of places both past and present in the form of cultural and societal norms, systems of education, to a wide fan of subconscious advertisement and propaganda accumulated over a lifetime, and these make up our reality, in spite of the ideal of truth.

Truth, is indeed truth, and universal, but our linear minds, at times, seem unable to grasp it. Emotions such as hope, love, and what is called blind faith are indeed powerful motivators for us human beings, but they are not the vehicles we can readily use to grasp a meaning of truth. If anything, they can taint truth, just as great ideals such as honor and allegiance can also have, and sometimes we will sacrifice our very lives, without the least bit of consideration for actual truth. We will even trust others to direct our immortal souls, giving our individual responsibility and God-given intellect to them in blind faith.

In the world we now face, one thing seems evident and very poignant... we are being played, and the method is scientifically sound. There is a veritable discipline involved in what can only be described as mind control, and we have been groomed, it seems from as far back from mother's knee, to view the world in a particular way, and to justify it by any means possible, or necessary. So much does the ego play a part of this convolution, that some may consider the complete destruction of a billion souls instead of trying, for just one moment, to contemplate if their idealism is based on an actual truth. What capabilities we hold inside, of amazing good and object evil, are as two sides of our human aspect, and what nature we propose for ourselves is as fragile as a lucid thought.

In spite of the many elements that will create a mindset to action, a newspaper should be held responsible. If a newspaper is found negligent, fraudulent, purposely incites violence and hatred by the promotion of half truths, omits relevant information created entirely for the personal gain of sensationalism, they should be held liable and responsible for the outcome. The best way, it seems, other than litigation, is to withdraw advertisement. Truth must be considered profitable, in a world without a moral compass.

And any person interviewed who knowingly lies, should also be held accountable. When a city is razed because of a lie, in spite of an already broken society, those responsible should be brought up on charges of obstruction of justice, mayhem, and murder. We should all be held by the same standard and responsibility for self. Burning and looting should never be tolerated, under any circumstances. They should be photographed in the act, and after the smoke clears, arrested under due process, for crimes against humanity.

A pandemic panacea

Pandemic Panacea from the files of Mary Jane Popp at KAHI Radio

Mary Jane Popp at KAHI Radio
Can you read the news or watch TV news or listen to the radio news and not be fearful of your health? The headlines scream with fears of a global pandemic as people in West Africa are dying in the 1200 to 1400 range and more from the Ebola virus.

Florida health officials are warning beachgoers about a seawater bacterium that can invade cuts and scrapes to cause flesh-eating disease.

It’s enough to want to hole up in a cave someplace away from everything, but then, there might be something worse in the cave…maybe rabid bats or something. We even worry about thousands of illegal kids coming through our borders from Central America with diseases we thought we had licked decades ago.

Meet Dr. Elaina George
So, how do we protect ourselves from all the possibilities? I’m sure there is nothing 100% guaranteed, but I did speak with Dr. Elaina George on POPPOFF recently, and she told me there are some things we can do to give us a shot at playing ‘keep away’ with some of these diseases.

Dr. George is a Board Certified Otolaryngologist which specializes in ear, nose, and throat afflictions, and she also hosts her own radio show “Medicine On Call.”

Since we hear so much about how touching our face can pass on so many nasty things, I figured Dr. George is the perfect person to give us some tips on how to stay healthy in the very unhealthy world we live in. So she shared her top tips with me.
  • GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP. An average 7-8 hours will promote the immune system to reset.
  • WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY. Soap and water is very effective.
  • STAY HYDRATED. She prefers filtered water.
  • CHOOSE ORGANIC FOODS WHEN POSSIBLE. Co-ops and Farmer’s Markets are cost effective.
  • ADD PROBIOTICS DAILY. 70% of the immune system is in the gut. Taking probiotics can replace the good bacteria to help the immune system work more efficiently to promote protection.
  • ADDING IMMUNE BOOSTING SUPPLEMENTS CAN HELP.  Some of the vitamins are Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin D3 (before starting Vitamin D, have a doctor check your Vitamin D levels to make sure you know your baseline. After you begin your supplementation, have your levels checked periodically so that levels will remain in the normal range.
  • LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF REFINED SUGAR IN YOUR DIET. The culprits can be soft drinks, candy, cake, etc. Sugar can depress the immune system.
  • LIMIT FRUCTOSE IN YOUR DIET AS IT AFFECTS THE FUNCTION OF THE LIVER. The liver is one of the most important organs that helps remove toxins from the body.
If you want more information about things you can do to help yourself, you can check out Dr. George’s website at www.drelainageorge.com.

From what I learned from Dr. George, your immune system is your key to staying healthy not only from future diseases, but everyday problems from colds to fatigue.

We’ve got to take the bull by the horns and aim those horns at every nasty condition facing us every single day.

Stay Well . . . Stay Happy!

Accused? Guilty by Barbara C. Johnson - Part 9

Accused? Guilty by Barbara C. Johnson - Part 9



Crazy Dames

Available on Amazon
The rape was the only event Denise wanted to talk about, but Bea needed more: She needed Stanton’s complete file on Denise, whose true feelings about herself and being a mother would be in it.

Possibly even proof of her revengeful motivation for convincing Chloe that her dad abused her.
With each deposition, Bea learned more: Rachel Gidseg’s, Heather Bruce’s, and Day Two of Leavitt’s were in the works, but Leavitt and Aguilar were resisting.

Late in the day, Bea received a phone call from Hilda Crowley from Victims of Sexual Addiction, the group where children shared their stories of sexual abuse. Crowley threatened to bury both Bill and Denise if she were called to testify.

Speaking to Crowley reminded Bea of a friend’s raving about “crazy dames,” which, in turn, reminded her she’d heard that amendments to the law on privileged communications between patient and psychologist were in the pipeline. If true, she wanted to know how far down the pipeline. Maybe she could get Stanton’s casefile more easily if she waited awhile, though she thought that might be wishful thinking. She phoned Mel Kanter to do a little snooping. As counsel to the state board of psychologists, Mel had helped write that law.

“You know, Mel, our friend Red might, unfortunately, be right when he raves about the ‘crazy dames.’”

“Don’t complain. We’re making money,” Mel said. His attitude warned her to expect little help from him: he did not give a damn for other lawyers since his bread was buttered by the therapists.

“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, Mel. Their license doesn’t guarantee competence so it shouldn’t protect them from their own negligence. It’s really a disgrace, Mel. They should be accountable. They shouldn’t be immune from suit.”

Damn, he really couldn’t care less. As long as he’s making money, he’s happy. All she learned was that nothing would happen in time for Bill Abernathy. She’d be facing an uphill battle. Alone.

“Gee, Mel, my other line. Gotta jump.”

She left a few instructions for Terry, a great secretary. In her head, she was swearing again, a sure sign that she was horny. Would I be notified if Hugh were to drown? “And be sure to put all that good stuff about it being more important to Chloe’s welfare to disclose what’s in Stanton’s records than to protect the relationship between Denise and Stanton. Attached is the statute providing an exception in child custody cases.” Alone. But for Terry, I’m fighting alone.

Leslie Meets the Pitbull

In another of Bea’s cases, Leslie Calhoun had just lived through almost three full days of a contentious deposition by the counsel for the defense in her case. Aside from the sneering, the table-slamming, and one quick round-trip to and from court to protect Leslie from a line of intrusive questioning by counsel, Leslie had to and did courageously withstand Pitbull’s attack.

It could not have been easy. He leered at her menacingly through slitted eyelids, held most frequently at one-eighth mast. Coupled with lips either down-turned in a grimace or curled upward at the corners, the eyes defined the sinister nature of the deposition and cast a pall over it.

Bea’s patience wore thin with the nasty and rambunctious Pitbull, so she asked to be excused. She went to the receptionist’s desk, picked up the house phone, and asked to be connected to the Managing Director of the firm.

She then went back to wait at the conference table. Within a few minutes, a staffer came and asked Pitbull to step outside.

Upon his return, and not yet back on the record, he was furious that Bea had sought out the Managing Director.

From that point onward, there were no more interruptions by the tamed Pitbull. The deposition was over when Bea said, “That’s it.”

“Let the record reflect it is 5:25 and that counsel have agreed to convene briefly without the witness and the court reporter, so if you will excuse us.”

He’d actually had the nerve to say that he and Bea were alike, and asked her to join him for dinner one evening.

What was in his reprehensible mind, Bea didn’t want to contemplate. She wasn’t snide or humorous.

Her retort was succinct. “I think not. Thank you.”

Shortly thereafter, Bea received the anticipated motion for summary judgment. Pitbull lost his motion, but—despite Bea having motions pending before the Superior Court—Leslie’s case was remanded to Concord District Court, where no jury would be available for trial.

Fauna and Fawning

While motoring along in her dark cucumber green ‘53 MG with the top down, Bea thought about the 45-day assessment MSPCC was supposed to do in order to determine whether Chloe was in need of the society’s services. The need for the 45 days is bogus! Once MSPCC got the case, it rubber-stamped the finding of abuse that came from the DSS. To do otherwise would be to turn away customers. Each allegation of sex abuse was a cash cow for these nonprofits.

Still a few weeks before the Fall leaves hit their peak, the chrysanthemums were in full splendor and the burning bushes were busy turning from green to reds as Bea meandered north on the back roads to Salem Woods District Court. Some dogwoods’ red berries were out. And the euonymus was, of course, ever gay.

By the time she arrived in court, Attorney McFadden had signed a handwritten stipulation that MSPCC would produce the documents. Bea attempted to disguise her disgust that Bill had incurred the expense of her going to court just to learn what garbage MSPCC had produced for others to use against him. None of this should have been necessary.

First, MSPCC didn’t need court protection.

Second, having signed authorizations for the social workers to share information freely, Denise had already sowed the information in the files of workers at DSS, MSPCC, the Center, and the DA’s office.

Third, Denise had enlarged upon her stories with her friends at the AA and sexual abuse group meetings.

Fourth, Bill was entitled to the information.

Fifth, assuming McFadden was correct about MSPCC needing a judge’s signature to release the documents, why did he make all those empty promises to Bea and not just say it from the outset?

His recalcitrance was just another way of ensuring himself and other bureaucrats their jobs.

Such a damn shame to make Bill’s defense, which had only just begun, needlessly expensive. He had to come up with money to meet not only his legal fees but also expert fees and other expenses.

Otherwise, he’d soon be in jail.

Each to His Own

Ensconced in the tug’s salon, Bill Abernathy was reading all the social workers’ reports and process notes, and Heather Bruce’s, which Bea had just received from McFadden.

Taking her copies, Bea went out to the deck, opened wide the sliders, and checked to make sure there was coffee in her mug. She needed the caffeine and, of course, her cigarettes. She removed the pack and lighter from their nesting place betwixt bosom and bra, put them to rest on a table beside the chair and looked around at the huge pots holding plump but stiff Autumn Joy sedum with florals of deepening rose. Soon they’d turn bronze. Perovskia atriplicofolia—Russian Sage—provided a backdrop of contrasting texture, masses of feathery, seemingly silver shoots with gentilles lavender tops.

Pleased, Bea plopped into her thickly cushioned chair and covered her lap with one of the many afghans some maiden aunts had crocheted for other members of her family. After all the recipients died, Bea ended up with about a half-dozen of the tootsie warmers. She was thankful for having them, but never got to say Thanks because no one had ever given one to her. They were merely belongings that had been left behind. Leftover love.

But Bea didn’t dwell on that. Today, she wanted to read the long-awaited materials. Eventually, Bill joined Bea out on the deck and handed her his notes. “This is it.”

So much for a typical monosyllabic man. Bea skimmed his notes. Other than terrible handwriting, there were only a few phrases that were copies of phrases in the notes. There was absolutely nothing of use to her.

“What now?” he asked when she looked up.

“How about a miracle?” She laughed nervously and fondled her cup for comfort.

“Would you like some coffee?”

Bill shook his head.

“Okay, then let’s get down to business.”

She sighed. “Remember the baseball-bat story? No injury, it never happened.”

There must have been an edge to Bea’s voice, because Bill piped up.

“We never even had a bat.”

“Will Denise admit that?”

“Probably, but I’m not sure of anything anymore.”

“Okay,” she said as smoke came out of her mouth at the same time.

“The story about you hitting Chloe with a bat in the head when she was still in a crib is so bizarre, we’ll be able to use it to show Gidseg’s incompetence. It certainly makes everything else she claims suspect.”

Bill smiled.

Bea was glad to see that he seemed reassured so quickly, but she would have earned every penny of her fee if she won Bill’s case.

“The bat story is infectious. Clearly the child is inventing, to give them anything she thought they might want to hear.”

Bill continued smiling.

“And the only way Chloe would have had a sense of what they wanted to hear is if she had been prepped by Denise earlier on. That’s my theory, and it’s the only one that’ll help you.”

Bill continued to listen.

“You realize, of course, that’s why Rachel Gidseg has been avoiding deposition all summer? She probably re-read her report when she got the subpoena. Or someone else did and told her how crazy it was.”

Bea paused long enough for another sip. “Next. You know, I never asked why you took Chloe to the karate classes. There’s nothing like teaching self-defense early.”

Bill laughed. “No, no, it’s nothing like that. It teaches concentration and self-control, not violence. It teaches you to focus. That’s one of the reasons I brought her.” He had her with him every week for two years at his karate sessions.

“Did Denise ever go to the karate class with you and Chloe?”

“Oh, no. She was sleeping it off.”

Then, surprising Bea, he continued talking. “No, I was worried that Chloe wasn’t getting any socialization. Denise never took her out. This was a great chance for her to be with other kids. She loved it. She made friends.” He paused and then added, “Her closest friend was Denzil’s son.”

“Who’s Denzil?”

“Denzil Fillmore, Jr. The instructor. He brought his son to the classes too,” Bill said with a happy energy. “We actually spent lots of time at the Y. She learned to swim there too,” he said, beaming.
He’s proud of the child. Would a child molester be proud? Would he do something to tear down her self-esteem, if he’s trying to build it up? Bea wished she knew the answers. She’d heard somewhere that some child molestors build up their prey, even have them do these types of things to help themselves feel normal. She didn’t share her curiosity with Bill just in case he wasn’t one of them.

“Did Denise ever go to the swimming class?”

“I think she did once... when there was some exhibition... you know, like races by the kids.”
Bea sipped at the nipple of her Dunkin’ Donuts traveling cup, one with a lid that closed. It was empty. One more question and then she’d fill it. “What about the word ‘privates’?”

A serious look once again came over his face. “Privates... I don’t remember that being Chloe’s word.

We taught her the real names for body parts.”

“Why was that?”

He looked at her. “Why not?”

“I Was Scared at First”

Bill helped Chloe into her bathing suit. He couldn’t go into the girls’ room, so he changed her in the little boys’ room. He’d placed himself between her and the boys—trying to block her view—but he could see her peeking around him. He laughed at his recollection.

He’d managed to get back on time from his short workout at the gym to see the tail end of her class.

“Chloe, your back stroke is excellent! You look like you were really enjoying yourself!”

She had run to him, panting the way kids do when they’re excited. “Daddy! Daddy, did you see me under the canoe?”

“Yeah, I did, Chloe.”

“Daddy, I was scared at first.”

“Well, they were trying to teach you how to get out from under a canoe in case a canoe ever tips over on you.”

“That’s what the counselor said, Daddy.”

He’d laughed, leaned over, kissed her and said, “I’m proud of you for being so brave.” He hoped he was building her confidence.

They went home for lunch.

That particular afternoon, he and Chloe went kite-flying. His father used to take him and his brother and sister kite-flying too. When they got home, Denise was still reading. He made dinner. That was his job. Denise went to bed and he bathed Chloe. She got into her jammies herself and jumped into her bed. He read her a few bedtime stories, tucked her in tight, kissed her goodnight, made sure the nightlight was on, and said, “Sweet dreams.”

In One Ear and Out the Other

Bill seemed startled as Bea walked back onto the deck after refilling her coffee cup.

“Let’s see... Kristin Uhler,” Bea said. “She was on the case a few days, just long enough to hear that after Denise learned of the chlamydia test, she said you were a ‘very good, affectionate father’ but that you were a ‘demon at night.’”

“Yeah, I saw that too. That was weird. What can I say?”

Bea didn’t answer; he was right. She skimmed through a few pages of Heather’s notes and then looked up.

“Did Heather believe Denise? Particularly when she was supposedly ‘reporting’ what Chloe said.

That’s what I’m curious about. It’s unclear. Sometimes Heather seemed to take what Denise said as gospel.”

Bea jiggled the cubes in her glass of iced coffee and took a sip. “Let me think a minute.”

“Okay.”

Suddenly she said, “You know, very early on, Heather appeared to have wondered about Denise’s mental health when Denise said she was very unhappy with Hilda Crowley’s Victims of Sexual Addiction group.” She grinned. “Do we dare send a plant in?”

Bill had worked in the psychiatric ward for years. “I’ll ask around first.”

“Wonderful. Let me know as soon as you learn something. Denise also scored high on an avoidance scale of a psychological profile done at Crowley’s. I don’t suppose you know which one test tests for avoidance?”

“Too many to tell without more.”

“If you get a chance, call the Board to find out whether Crowley’s registered. She’s got to be more than just a social worker to do testing.”

“Will do.”

“‘Mother reports that Hilda is confrontational and doesn’t allow questions.’ Damn. It’s the word ‘reports.’ The connotation is that something true is being reported, in contrast to “says,” which doesn’t necessarily lend any credence to what’s being said.”

Bill laughed.

“Okay, I’m being too picky.”

She continued reading. “‘Mother felt humiliated. She felt confidentiality was not kept. Mother wants to file a complaint so other women will not be referred there.’”

Bill laughed nervously. “It’s her new M.O.”

“Well, after her fiasco at Crowley’s, she had a hard time finding a group to go to. Heather must’ve recommended a good half-dozen other groups to her, and Denise wanted to report some of them too.”
Bill inhaled and uttered in a discomforted tone, “If they didn’t accept her version of the facts, she’d leave.”

Bea glanced at the yellow Post-Its peeking out at the side of her block of paper.

“And Heather wrote down each time Denise complained about something.”

She turned to the first tab.

“But Heather never seemed to see a pattern to the complaints. I made a list of them. Here.

One, Denise complained when she couldn’t find a parking place at the welfare department. ‘She left feeling very frustrated,’ Heather wrote. What amazes me is that MSPCC actually made arrangements so that she didn’t have to go down there and look for a parking space again.

Then two—Denise complained about another welfare worker who failed to tell her sooner that she needed an updated bank statement.

Three, Denise was upset with Heather for asking her to clarify her reluctance to go back into court to change the supervised home visits. Then she was ‘angry and frustrated with Heather’ for not doing anything to keep you from visiting at home on Saturdays.

That’s four. She was having difficulty coping with those visits. Heather actually wrote, ‘Denise put her head on the table for several minutes.’ A controlled little temper tantrum, perhaps?

And five, when Heather said she’d ask you to sign the service plan, Denise became very defensive and—”

Bill snorted. “The service plan—that didn’t set out any treatment plan for the next period. It wanted me practically to admit I abused Chloe and to promise I wouldn’t touch her during the visits.”

“Later, Bill. I feel we’re really close to being on to something now.

Six, Denise thought Heather wasn’t concerned with protecting Chloe. Now up to that point, Heather never connected the dots. Leavitt did, though. When Denise told Leavitt behind Heather’s back that Heather wasn’t concerned with protecting Chloe, Leavitt squealed.”

Bea took another sip and a puff.

“Leavitt squealed on Denise to Heather and then told Heather she’d speak to Denise’s therapist.” She let out the smoke.

“I’m going to assume the therapist is Ruth Stanton. Then Leavitt promised to let Heather know what Stanton said. At that point, Leavitt and Heather were saying, ‘Will the real Denise please stand up?’”

Bill again inhaled and swallowed. “I never could predict what would bother her.”

He snickered nervously. “I only knew that when she became upset or angry because something didn’t go exactly as she wanted, she wouldn’t let go of it. She’d yell and yell and yell.”

“What did you do?”

He shrugged. “I’d let it go in one ear and out the other.” He was thinking, so he slowed down, like the quiet before a storm. Then the steady emotional downpour finally began. “There was nothing else I could do. I didn’t want to make it worse, whatever it was that was bothering her. So I’d say anything just to stop the yelling. I didn’t bother arguing with her. Arguing never made a difference. Once she got something in her mind, you couldn’t change it. Arguing was a waste of time, so I’d tune out and go about my business.”

Bea had waited a long time for that show of emotion. But before his outburst, she was more interested in what Leavitt had learned from Ruth Stanton. Only another cigarette would give her sufficient time to switch gears and absorb what he’d said and give him time to allow the emotion to subside. At least he isn’t so silent after all.

Good Night, My Angel

When Bea went for more coffee, Bill kicked himself for never watching Chloe’s reaction to Denise’s ragging him. But never mind what I did. What did Chloe do?

He recalled hearing in the middle of the night, “Daddy, Daddy, there’s a monster in my closet,” and there Chloe would be, running into his bedroom. She would jump right up onto his bed.

He’d give her a hug and say, “Let’s go see.” He’d pick her up, carry her back to her room, and still holding her, sit down in the rocking chair.

Sometimes he’d tell her stories so she wouldn’t be scared of the monsters in the closet or outside the window. He’d check in the closet to assure her there were no monsters there, and rock her for awhile.

Occasionally, when he was too tired to read stories, he’d just sing to her. One of his favorite lullabies was a Billy Joel song: Good Night, My Angel.

Guilt by Dominoes

“How much of what Chloe says nowadays did she pick up from the other kids at the victims’ groups?” Bea asked.

“First, have we agreed there were three children’s groups?”

“Yes, we have. Denise brought Chloe to them in September, October or November, and January. And according to Leavitt, Chloe ‘first disclosed’ the sexual abuse in January.”

“That would’ve been right after she went to the last group,” Bill said.

“True enough.”

“Only one problem—”

“What’s that?”

“Leavitt had already written that Chloe disclosed in October when she first played with the anatomical dolls,” he said.

“I’ll bet Leavitt is distinguishing between Chloe having the dolls play sex abuse and Chloe actually saying ‘My daddy did this or that.’ Betcha that’s it. The DA doesn’t want to have to deal with the dolls. The DA wants her to be able to say ‘Daddy did it.’”

“Yeah,” he said. “Leavitt probably told the DA in October that Chloe had disclosed, but when Leavitt told the DA how, the DA said, ‘Not good enough.’”

“That’s got to be it. In January, after the last group, Chloe met the DA’s specs. So Leavitt identified that disclosure as being the first.” She paused. “If we only knew what stories Chloe brought home from the group.”

“Or what Chloe hears from Denise,” Bill added.

“Or what Chloe overhears Denise telling others.” Then, suddenly, she shifted gears ever so slightly.

“By the way, Bill, I didn’t find a court order for you to pay the Center for therapy by Roberta Leavitt.”

“That’s because there is no court order.”

“Then why are you doing it?”

“Denise asked me to.”

“But you’re paying for the DA to train the child to testify against you. Do you really want to do that?”

“Let me think about that.”

“Okay.” She, too, would think more about it.

“New subject,” Bea said. “Apparently Heather saved Chloe’s drawings, as did Leavitt.”

“For evidence later?” Bill asked.

“Probably. I’m sure Heather doesn’t know either, she’s saving them just in case. We can assume she’ll pass the file along to the DA’s office—if she hasn’t already done so—and maybe even to Joe Aguilar.”

Seeing the puzzled look on Bill’s face, Bea said, “Let me digress, Bill.”

His look turned into a wide grin and they both laughed. “I know my digressions are never short. You poor thing... you’re too polite to tell me. Okay, I want to explain the process to you, so you’re not surprised by anything that happens. Just bear with me.”

“I will Bea, I will.”

“Thanks. Okay, the Commonwealth often uses an expert on the sexual abuse of children. For the expert to testify, he or she has to either interview the child—which they don’t want to do again in this case—or review all the records in the case. Therefore, long before this case even began, Heather and Leavitt and any other caseworkers were probably instructed to put everything they observe—the good, the bad, and the ugly—into the record of each case. That way, the Commonwealth’s expert will be able to find whatever facts he or she needs later to form a factual basis for his or her opinion.

“For instance, there’s a series of questions that must be asked of an expert. It’s a ritual. For a medical case it’d go something like this:

“Question: Were you able to form an opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty?

Answer: Yes.

Question: What is the basis of your opinion?

Answer: The basis is blah-blah-blah.

The expert would give all the necessary facts that were put into evidence at trial. That evidence would have been put in—before this point—either through testimony or through exhibits.”

“Exhibits? Documents, things like that?”

Bea nodded. “The next question: What is your opinion?

Answer: My opinion is that the operation was negligently performed. Now some judges won’t let the expert answer the ultimate question. Some will. Some let the Commonwealth’s expert answer as close to the ultimate question as possible. I’ve grossly oversimplified, but it’s good enough for now.”

“What’s an ultimate question?” Bill asked.

“Well, let’s take the charge of rape of child. The ultimate question the jurors must answer is whether you raped the child. Before they make that determination, though, they have to decide whether the child was raped.

“Since that question—whether there was a rape—is not the ultimate question, the expert will probably be allowed to express his or her opinion as to whether the child was raped. Once the jurors find that a crime was committed, they can then wrestle with whether you’re the one who did it. That’s the ultimate question to which the jury provides the ultimate answer.

“So the record is top heavy at the caseworker level in case it’ll be needed in court by an expert. But it’s something the social workers don’t know yet. The DA’ll clue them in if and when he chooses an expert.

“Problems are caused when social workers don’t understand the legal process. Most assume the facts demonstrate sexual abuse has occurred. But the facts by themselves don’t do that. Nightmares or stomach aches, for instance, can be caused by lots of different things, not necessarily by sexual abuse.

“The danger lies in how an expert—or someone who is qualified as an expert but who really isn’t one—uses these facts.

“For instance, do you remember when Heather told you to give Chloe the choice to kiss you on the cheek or not?”

“Yep.”

“Did you see where she wrote, ‘He said he understood that would be healthier for Chloe and would give her a choice of what to do’?”

Bill nodded.

“Well, a so-called expert could say, for example, ‘He didn’t given the child a choice as to what she wanted to do. He intimidated the child and ordered her to kiss him on his cheek.’ Then, with some bravado, the expert could add, ‘With my education and training and in my experience, it is my opinion that gesturing to the child in a manner ordering the child to kiss him on the cheek was not healthy for the child. And Mr. Abernathy even admitted he knew what he was doing was not healthy for the child and that he should give her a choice as to whether she wanted to kiss him or not. It is my opinion he intimidated her in order to get her to kiss him.’

“That is the transmogrification of a perfectly innocent, perfectly unoffensive behavior into one indicative of sexual abuse. So putting innocent behaviors into the file early on can have far-reaching effect—like a domino effect—at the time of trial.”

“Scary.”

“Damn right it’s scary. And they’ll do it every time. But what is even worse, more horrifying, is that judges know it and they still allow it. It’s sheer malice of the prosecution with complicity by the bench.”

Silence. Only the seagulls spoke.

Finally, Bea asked, “Are you ready for some more coffee?”

“No thanks. I’m still okay.”

“The rest of the entry is pretty much the same as the other stuff: good and bad colors, aggressive drawings, anger at a boy. Chloe’s picture of a butterfly, stars, and rainbows. Your picture of Chloe holding a kite and asking her if she remembered the day you flew kites together. Do you see anything there I’m missing?”

“I understand how they interpret the aggression as anger at being abused, how giving me the bad colors is ‘her acting out’ that I did something bad, which gives her the right to be aggressive and order me around, so she can regain control and power. That’s straightforward. But how would they use the butterfly, stars, and rainbows?”

“She wanted to fly, as a butterfly—as far away as possible, to the stars—from the place of abuse to a place of safety, the rainbow.”

Looking overwhelmed, Bill just shook his head. He had seen it coming.

Check Daily to Catch the Next Part in This True-to-Life Serial - Coming Part 10