Do Not Shut Up About Sexual Abuse
~ Special breed of predator uses influence and power to escape justice ~
One reader wrote to tell me to, “Shut up! (and) butt out” of the sex scandal involving comedian Bill Cosby.
Jason S. wrote to say I was “reprehensible” for trying, “someone in the court of public opinion,” even though nearly 30 women have come forward to accuse Cosby of various degrees of sexual assault. The last three surfaced earlier this week as I read my hate mail.
Madge DeFee and S. Freeman said I was just trying to embarrass Mrs. Cosby by writing an open letter to her last week. In it I suggested that when she declared her husband was the victim she was not facing the truth about Bill’s past bad extra-marital behavior. [click to continue…]
Take a Good Long Look Back, Camille Cosby
I have finally had enough of the smarmy sexual revelations swirling around Bill Cosby.
It’s more than the latest reports that Cosby’s pit bull private detectives are digging up dirt on women who have accused him of sexual assault. It’s what this whole sordid mess says about us. We, the fawning fans, who have ignored for years the growing number of females who claimed they were drugged and raped by the comedian.
It was easier to cling to the idea that Cosby was just like his charming Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable character than it was to accept that he might be a sexual predator. [click to continue…]
Sgt. Edward J. Burns as a Young NYPD Officer
Generally speaking law enforcement types are a quietly proud bunch. They are proud to put on the uniform every day, proud to catch the bad guys and proud to dedicate their lives to keeping the public safe.
There might be no prouder cop these days than Sgt. Edward J. Burns, the retired New York Police Department’s media liaison. Besides dedicating 27 years of his life to public service — much of it as the TV face representing the NYPD — Burns has much to brag about. A lovely wife named Molly and three beautiful children. His daughter, Mary, was celebrating her 28th wedding anniversary the day Burns and I last spoke. And, oh yeah, his two sons are famous.
The sons didn’t go into law enforcement but each has dedicated parts of their careers to cops in another way, telling captivating stories about the job to which their old man dedicated his life. [click to continue…]
Time to Remember the Victims
As the coroner’s van took away one of the bodies, I walked toward the bloodied sidewalk outside Nicole Brown Simpson’s condo. I’ll never forget what I saw that day. Law enforcement had come and gone and left behind only some strips of yellow police tape.
It might have been 20 years ago, but I can still see the rivulets of blood between the pavers at the condo’s entryway. Later I would learn that the paw prints and feathery marks punctuating the bloodbath were made by Nicole’s dog. In his confused state, the Akita had obviously circled the bloody scene, its leash traversing through the red and leaving a swoosh of stain all the way down to the corner stop sign.
With the evidence gathering clearly over, I remember thinking, “Why didn’t someone wash away all this blood?” [click to continue…]
What About the Little Boy Victims?
In our supposedly enlightened era about sex crimes against children there continues to be one glaring blind spot. Yes, there is more discussion now than ever before about the types of predators who target our children, the cyclical nature of these crimes and how to keep our children safe. And, yes, society does a pretty good job of gathering around to help the little girls who have fallen prey to pedophiles. Not so with little boys.
Discussion about the plight of sexually victimized boys and young male teens has been virtually absent from the national conversation. We all understand the horror and lifelong scars a rape can cause to, say, a 12-year-old female. But there remains this idea that if it happens to a 12-year-old boy they are somehow more able to handle it, less psychologically damaged by the victimization.
Some of the ill-informed even believe the boy is “lucky” to have been introduced to the joys of sex so early. Nothing could be further from the truth. [click to continue…]
Mr. and Mrs. Gavin Arvizo
I went to a wedding this past week-end and while you may not immediately recognize the name of the groom I’ll bet you know of him.
Despite a lifetime of obstacles, Gavin Arvizo — once at the center of a sensational child sex abuse scandal — has worked his way through to a triumphant life. At 13, Gavin accused Michael Jackson of molesting him and the superstar was arrested.
It seemed life was stacked against this kid from the very beginning.
As a youngster he lived in a one room apartment in East Los Angeles with two siblings and his parents. Poverty and domestic abuse was a way of life. [click to continue…]
The Calm Act – How Effective Is It Really?
Don’t look now but we have another new law on the books. This one has the soothing acronym “The Calm Act.” That’s short for The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act. In layman’s terms it requires TV stations, cable operators, purveyors of satellite TV and other providers to make sure TV commercials aren’t so darned loud! The Calm Act requires commercials be no louder than the surrounding program in which they are shown.
I always figured TV ads were extra loud so you could still hear them from other parts of the house – like the kitchen or bathroom – if you stepped away during the commercial break. My husband, the audiophile, maintains that commercials are really no higher in volume than the accompanying program and that it is just, “The dynamic mid-range of sound advertisers use to get our attention,” – things like swelling music and explosions along with the announcers. I nod my head as if I understand what he’s talking about but I really don’t. To me loud is loud. [click to continue…]
Let’s Take Away Congress’s Red Ink Pen
Sometimes a columnist touches a raw nerve. I did that last week with my call for a citizen’s “Revolution in Thinking” about how we allow our politicians to operate.
Using lyrics from Les Miserable, the movie about the French Revolution, I wrote about the anger of so many Americans who want better for this country. They want the rivers of red-ink to stop flowing. They want political leaders to lead and to stop throwing up partisan barricades in a political war that does no one any good.
No sooner was the column published than my e-mail box exploded! [click to continue…]
Some Schoolyard Bullies Never Change
Nobody likes a bully – especially me.
But what if it is the United States Government that is the bully? What if certain people in Washington decide to target a citizen and then use all the resources available to them to crush that person?
I must tell you about a story I researched recently because millions of your tax dollars were used to wage an eight year war against Robert Lorsch a successful California businessman and philanthropist who loves animals. I mean, this guy gets all weepy when he talks about helping animals and he and his wife, Kira, have donated astounding amounts of money to animal causes – like the 36 acre Wildlife WayStation refuge in Topanga Canyon, California. [click to continue…]