February 25th, 2010

exhale slowly

Pedophile Pediatricians Remain in Shadows

Parents Fight Abuse in Delaware, but Many Other Cases Never Make it Past State Medical Boards
By Jan Crawford
(CBS) The case of Dr. Earl Bradley follows a pattern: whispers in the community, sporadic complaints to authority, and no action.

"She just came out and said, 'Why did Dr. Bradley kiss my tongue?'" said one mother, who called the police that day.

That day was five years ago when her daughter was 3 years old. She is one of half a dozen parents CBS News interviewed who know their children were molested and asked their identities be concealed.

"The state prosecutors felt that there wasn't enough evidence to charge him or to go in with a search warrant," said a mother. "It was devastating."

The shock and anger that has cast a dark cloud over this town is not confined to Lewes, Del., reports CBS News chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford. In doctor's offices in other towns in other cities across America there are predators that parents trust to heal their children, not to hurt them.

Over the last decade alone, in states across the country, nearly 20 pediatricians have been charged with abusing children. Those are the criminal cases, but most complaints never get past state medical boards.

Pediatrician Eli Newberger is a professor at Harvard Medical School. He compares pediatric child abuse to the priest scandal that rocked the Catholic Church.

"We're dealing, I think, with a systemic problem, in which there is a reluctance to act on the part of colleagues for the various business and collegial reasons, and an organized cover-up," Newberger said.

Just last October, Michael Roy Sharpe was charged with raping a patient - a teenage girl. He had been fired from two hospitals in Tennessee after accusations of sexual misconduct, but he was never disciplined by medical authorities and set up practice in Alabama.

Colleagues of Dr. Robert Marion in South Carolina allegedly had heard complaints about him abusing children, but they simply asked him to leave the practice. He moved into another office in the same building and kept many of his same patients. They never knew about his predatory behavior until he was charged with abusing four children.

"If the perpetrator is one of their colleagues and the reporting would ruin that man's life and career, they would much sooner not report even if it endangered children," Newberger said.

"There is a code of silence," said attorney Craig Karsnitz. "And I think that code was upheld to the nth degree in this case."

Karsnitz, Bruce Hudson and Ben Castle represent parents whose children were molested Bradley. They say doctors and nurses at Baybees Pediatrics and at the local medical center knew or suspected for years that Bradley was abusing patients.

"If just one could've stepped forward, then all of the girls that were victims after that could have been spared," Hudson said.

Bradley's crimes range from oral sex to rape. His victims were as young as two years old. His office building had an elaborate videotaping system. Police have shown parents still photos pulled from the videos to identify the 103 victims. Child advocates hope the Delaware case will raise awareness about a problem hidden for far too long.

dr. earl bradley
exhale slowly

NJ Woman Sentenced To Prison For NYC Gang-rape Lie

NJ Woman Gets Prison For NYC Gang-rape Lie That Put Man Behind Bars For Crime He Didn't Commit
(AP) NEW YORK (AP) - A woman who fabricated a gang rape accusation was sentenced Tuesday to up to three years behind bars herself, saying she was riven with remorse for sending an innocent man to prison.

Biurny Peguero, 27, pleaded guilty in December to perjury, admitting she made up the September 2005 incident that unjustly put construction worker William McCaffrey in jail and prison for nearly four years. A judge overturned his rape conviction in December, with new DNA evidence also playing a role.

"I question myself every day as to how I could have done this," Peguero told a Manhattan state court judge.

Peguero originally said McCaffrey was the ringleader among three men who raped her at knifepoint after luring her into their car. She met them after a night out at a Manhattan nightclub with female friends.

McCaffrey, now 32, said she had agreed to go with them to a party. He said they dropped her off unharmed after she changed her mind.

But jurors spurned his account after hearing from Peguero, among other witnesses. She went on to speak at his sentencing hearing, saying, "Justice has finally been served." He was sentenced to 20 years in prison; no one else was convicted.

Peguero came to believe her lie because she had been too drunk to remember much of the night in question, according to a report from a psychiatrist who examined Peguero at her lawyer's request.

Prosecutors have said she told them she claimed she was raped to make her friends feel sorry for her. Assistant District Attorney Evan Krutoy suggested Tuesday that she may have lied out of anger at a man who had upset - but not attacked - her.

"I don't know the reason why, but she wanted to do this," he said, urging a two- to six-year sentence.

Defense lawyer Paul F. Callan noted that Peguero came forward to clear McCaffrey, approaching a priest and then authorities this year to recant. Meanwhile, new DNA tests had shown that a wound on Peguero's arm came from at least two women - apparently friends she was fighting with - and not McCaffrey.

Peguero, who has an infant and a 7-year-old, admitted her lie knowing it could mean prison time for her, he said. He pushed for her to get probation instead.

Peguero, of Union City, N.J., got a sentence of one to three years in prison.

Still, after she handcuffed to await transportation to jail, "she told me that she was at peace with herself," Callan said later Tuesday. "She knew that she was going to be punished, but she knew that she had done the right thing."

For his part, McCaffrey's lawyer sent Peguero's judge a letter noting she had made a bold move to right the wrong she had committed.

"Although we are upset about her lies that caused, in part, his conviction, we do applaud her courage in coming forward," the lawyer, Glenn A. Garber, said in an interview.

As a member of the Exoneration Initiative, a New York-based group that provides free legal help challenging convictions, Garber depicted the case as a reminder that lies can end up carrying legal weight, even in an era of DNA and other forensic evidence.

"This case gives you a window into false testimony and makes clear that people can give detailed of accounts of events that are untrue," he said.


Gordon Brown apologises to child migrants sent abroad

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8531664.stm

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has apologised for the UK's role in sending more than 130,000 children to former colonies where many suffered abuse.

He expressed regret for the "misguided" Child Migrant Programme, telling the Commons he was "truly sorry".

He also announced a £6m fund to reunite families that were torn apart.

The scheme sent poor children for a "better life" to countries like Canada and Australia from the 1920s to 1960s, but many were abused and lied to.

'Deportation of innocents'

Mr Brown said: "To all those former child migrants and their families... we are truly sorry. They were let down.

"We are sorry they were allowed to be sent away at the time when they were most vulnerable. We are sorry that instead of caring for them, this country turned its back.

"And we are sorry that the voices of these children were not always heard, their cries for help not always heeded. And we are sorry that it has taken so long for this important day to come and for the full and unconditional apology that is justly deserved."

He also said they were cruelly lied to and their childhoods "robbed", and described the scheme as "shameful" and "a deportation of the innocents".

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Janeway - Side

Most Scientists Unsure How People Can Be So F***ing Stupid. Social Scientists to the Rescue!

Belief In Climate Change Hinges On Worldview
by Christopher Joyce

Over the past few months, polls show that fewer Americans say they believe humans are making the planet dangerously warmer, despite a raft of scientific reports that say otherwise.

This puzzles many climate scientists — but not some social scientists, whose research suggests that facts may not be as important as one's beliefs.

Take, for example, a recent debate about climate change on West Virginia public radio.
Coal company CEO Don Blankenship and environmentalist Robert Kennedy, Jr. debate
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

"It's a hoax," said coal company CEO Don Blankenship, "because clearly anyone that says that they know what the temperature of the Earth is going to be in 2020 or 2030 needs to be put in an asylum because they don't."

On the other side of the debate was environmentalist Robert Kennedy, Jr.

"Ninety-eight percent of the research climatologists in the world say that global warming is real, that its impacts are going to be catastrophic," he argued. "There are 2 percent who disagree with that. I have a choice of believing the 98 percent or the 2 percent."

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Warm Sauce

Not surprising, but puts some interesting data on the topic.

What the (bleep)? Calif. Tackles Cussing

California lawmakers have a history of trying to keep the state's air and waters clean. Now they're tackling language.

The state Assembly is scheduled to vote on a resolution Thursday calling for a statewide "Cuss Free Week," to occur annually during the first week of March. If approved, it would go to the state Senate for a final vote on Monday.

The rest of next week will be officially swear-word free if both houses approve the resolution.
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Oh for fucks sake! Are they for real?

I Can Haz Jesus Back Nao?

Progressive Bible Study

posted by Melissa Harris-Lacewell on 02/24/2010 @ 5:23pm

History is replete with examples of how religion has been used to divide, abuse, and justify horror. Christian theologies have been distorted to fit ideologies of white supremacy, patriarchy, imperialism and oppression. Today many Conservative spokespersons continue to selectively quote scripture, employ religious imagery and deploy twisted religious rhetoric to support policies of unprovoked international aggression and domestic oppression.

Many who resist marriage equality base their opposition in a biblical assertion that homosexuality is inherently evil and deserving of punishment. They often point to Leviticus 20:13, which reads "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

When Haiti was ravaged by a devastating earthquake, Pat Robertson argued that the nation was cursed. Robertson's insisted the island was reaping a harvest of death and destruction because they had entered into a pact with the devil during their 19th century liberation struggle.

Just last week, Virginia state delegate Bob Marshall said that children born with disabilities are divine punishment for those who terminate earlier pregnancies. To support his position Marshall cited Exodus 13:2, which reads "Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine."

With this history, it is easy to understand the progressive desire to eliminate God talk from political life. Let's banish faith claims from public life and get on with addressing the empirical realities of inequality. I am sympathetic to this solution. Policymaking should be firmly rooted in secular decision making based in evidence, science, and non-religious assessments of the common good.

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Sufjan Smile

Israel's new war on Islamic sites

By Daud Abdullah

Palestinian protesters clashed with Israel forces over Tel Aviv's decision to declare the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron a national heritage site for Jews [EPA]

In a move that appears to be a celebration of the 16th anniversary of the massacre of 29 worshippers by the terrorist Baruch Goldstein, the Israeli government has proclaimed that the Ibrahimi Mosque in Khalil (Hebron) and Masjid Bilal ibn Rabah (mosque) in Bethlehem are "Jewish Heritage sites".

Goldstein, an American-born Israeli settler who served as a medic in the military, opened fire on worshippers at a mosque in Hebron on February 25, 1994, killing 29 and wounding more than 150, before being subdued and beaten to death.

The announcement by the government of Binyamin Netanyahu, though not surprising, is the latest in a series of Israeli attacks on Islamic historical and religious sites in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

It is consistent with the Israelis' long-standing ambition to dispose of all non-Jewish religious symbols and presence in Palestine.

While the Israeli government was announcing the annexation of the Islamic sites, dozens of settlers attempted to storm into Jericho on the pretext that they were visiting an ancient synagogue.

Under the Gaza-Jericho Agreement of May 1994, Israel agreed to dissolve its civil administration and "transferred its powers and responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority".
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Source: Al-Jazeera

I posted the (much much shorter) news article on this yesterday, but here's some analysis and depth into the issues. Two great details: 1) I had completely failed to notice today was the anniversary of the Goldstein Massacre, what timing, Israel. 2) The fact that it might be doing this (a pretty run of the mill human rights infraction for the Israeli government, the mosque was already partially annexed) to distract from the assasination of an opposition leader on foreign soil, using passports stolen from foreign nationals visiting Israel.

Free Market Solution To The Crazies: Kill Someone, You Get Government Free Health Care!


Bruco Strong Eagle Eastwood Could Not Afford Treatment For Mental Illness

KDVR in Denver reports that Bruco Strong Eagle Eastwood, the suspect in Monday's shooting spree at Deer Creek elementary school in Littleton, had sought help for his mental problems, but was turned away because he couldn't pay for treatment. KDVR interviewed Eastwood's father, a Native American rancher with whom the 32-year-old suspect has lived for the last 5 years. "He tried to get help," Bruco's father told reporters. "He says 'I've been to places and asked if they could help me.' He says 'they won't help me... if I go there, they tell me I need money and I can't pay them.'"

According to reports, Eastwood, had been hearing voices, and was acting irritable in the weeks leading up to the shooting.

Stephen Kopranos of the Denver office of Mental Health America told KDVR that Denver ranks 50th in the number of in-patient beds per capita for the mentally ill.

Economic conditions have made the situation even worse for Coloradans with mental disorders. In September, Governor Bill Ritter announced that he would cut funding for mental health in order to close Colorado's significant budget gap. As a result, in-patient psychiatric facilities in Denver were forced to close their doors to patients.



Charlie Crist Helps Marco Rubio to Get An Intervention. Admits He has a Spending Problem

For The Price of a Can of Caviar, You Too Can Help These Republicans To Alleviate Their Spending Addiction

Marco Rubio Made Personal Charges On GOP Credit Card

Senate candidate and former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio released a torrid letter Wednesday accusing Gov. Charlie Crist's campaign of leaking Rubio's state Republican Party American Express statements showing nearly $110,000 in charges over 25 months.

Rubio also justifies the charges as legitimate travel to promote the Republican Party of Florida, help Republican candidates and participate in county party fundraisers around the state.

"It is clear these internal documents were taken from the RPOF by former Chairman Jim Greer, or someone working for him, and were leaked to the media by the Crist Campaign," Rubio wrote to newly elected Chairman John Thrasher.

Greer resigned from the party under pressure after reports of lavish spending on jet planes and extravagant meals and entertaining. Greer's executive director, Delmar Johnson, was given a secret contract that pumped his compensation up to $408,000.

"As a point of reference, during this time period, the charges on my card amounted to approximately 3 percent of the Party's total American Express expenditures. In fact, I had fewer expenses in two years than my opponent's hand-picked RPOF Executive Director spent in just one month," Rubio wrote.

The Miami Herald and the St. Petersburg Times, which obtained the records, listed several personal items found on the statements, including grocery bills and wine bought from a store near his Miami home. Rubio said he personally paid American Express $16,052.50 for nonparty expenses.

"To the greatest extent possible, I made sure the Party never paid for any personal charges," Rubio told Thrasher.
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Sharon Day, the state party's national committeewoman, defended Rubio and said she was angry someone would try to use the credit card statements against him.

"I'm not upset with Marco Rubio at all," she said. "If you can raise $12 million on $110,000, we all should be that good."

Day said Greer told her and other party leaders in a private meeting that if he went down, he would take others down with him. Greer didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

"It's very convenient that the only one that gets released (is Rubio's)," she said. "This is silly. They want to talk about $110,000 in 25 months when Delmar spent $130,000 in one month."

Reached at home, Thrasher, who replaced Greer last Saturday, said he had no idea who had access to the statements.

"It's unfortunate they were leaked. They're internal documents of the party," Thrasher said. "We're taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Rubio pointed out only top party officials had access to the statements and noted Greer was picked by Crist to run the party. Crist, who says he never carried a party charge card, has previously said the statements should be released.

"These actions are an appalling act of political desperation. The idea that the former chairman of the RPOF, or those working for the Governor, would selectively leak internal RPOF documents is disturbing. But sadly it is not surprising because these are the very men who put the party in the mess it is in today," Rubio said. "The Florida GOP under Jeb Bush was never run with this sort of arrogance, mismanagement, lack of integrity and lack of leadership."

The Crist campaign didn't immediately return a phone call and e-mails seeking comment.

Rubio said 89 percent of his expenses were for travel, lodging, and meals related to official party work.

"During this time I crisscrossed the state countless times for Lincoln/Reagan dinners, GOP fundraisers, and other party business. In all, more than half of my expenses were transportation costs: 40 percent for commercial airline travel and 14 percent for car rentals, tolls, parking and fuel," Rubio said.

Failed Justice Leaves Rape Victim Nowhere To Turn


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Findings of the Center for Public Integrity and NPR News Investigation:

— Colleges almost never expel men who are found responsible for sexual assault. Reporters at CPI discovered a database of about 130 colleges and universities given federal grants because they wanted to do a better job dealing with sexual assault. But the database shows that even when men at those schools were found responsible for sexual assault, only 10 to 25 percent of them were expelled.

— The U.S. Department of Education has failed to aggressively monitor and regulate campus response to sexual assault. The department has the authority to fine schools that fail to report crime on campus. In 20 years, the department has used that power just six times. And the department can also find that a school has violated a law that prevents discrimination against women. But between 1998 and 2008, the department ruled against just five universities out of 24 resolved complaints.

— Colleges are ill-equipped to handle cases of sexual assault. Most of the time, alcohol is involved. Local prosecutors are reluctant to take these cases, so they often fall to campus judicial systems to sort through clashing claims of whether the sex was consensual or forced.

This is part of a series NPR is doing on seeking justice in campus rapes, the links to the other segments are at the source.


Slumlord "Relocates" Welfare Queen Who Refused To Pay Bigger Rent Fees: Free Market Haz Spoken!

Holocaust Survivor Evicted From Brooklyn Home

Eta Eckstein's furniture sits haphazardly outside the apartment where she has lived for 40 years. The red notice on the door claims that the 92-year-old Holocaust survivor does not live there anymore, but her family is fighting to prove that her eviction was unlawful.

Eckstein was forced to leave her rent-stabilized apartment 18 months ago for the Shore View Rehabilitation Center in Brighton Beach, where she is a patient. Her son, Zvi Eckstein, went to check on the apartment Sun., Feb. 14. The landlord of her Bensonhurst apartment, Moshe Piller, served the eviction notice on Jan. 27, and the apartment was gutted for renovations.

He claims Eckstein hasn't lived in the apartment for almost two years. The family, however, says she has been unable to move back in, in part, because the apartment is in disrepair.

"Your client is flirting with danger," said Judge Candy Gonzales in Kings County Housing Court. "I'm astounded at the audacity. Your client stood here and told me the tenant was no longer in possession of the apartment, and accepted checks and continued to accept them."

Piller's original attorney was removed from the case this week, and has been replaced by the law firm of Wenig Saltiel. The judge adjourned the case until March 2 to give the new attorney time to prepare.

Piller's attorneys did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
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Women still being stripped of their rights during childbirth

The Still-Cruel Maternity Wards
by Henci Goer

In 1959, the Ladies' Home Journal published an article called “Cruelty in the Maternity Wards,” in which women told stories of their inhumane treatment during childbirth. Despite the uproar it provoked, 50 years later, nothing substantial has changed. Really. Recently, a pregnant Florida woman was confined by the court to bedrest and ordered to submit to any treatment her doctor deemed necessary, including cesarean surgery.

This is one of a string of similar stories appearing over the past months: A New Jersey woman with PTSD and depression in her past was deprived of custody of her child at birth because she refused to sign a blanket consent at hospital admission for cesarean surgery, an act cited as proof she was too mentally ill to be a fit mother. An Arizona woman with a prior Cesarean was told if she showed up in labor and refused automatic surgery, the hospital would get a court order and perform it anyway. And an Illinois woman was literally tortured throughout labor by her doctor to punish her for not calling before coming to the hospital while medical staff stood by and did nothing.

These stories aren’t aberrations. We have a culture of impunity in maternity wards. Once pregnant, a woman effectively cedes her right to autonomy and bodily integrity to obstetric staff who sometimes—on grounds of fetal welfare, self-protection from malpractice suits, or mere conveniencemanipulate women into compliance in ways that would be considered fraud in any other venue. Without fear of being called to account for it, they can bully, coerce, humiliate, and threaten. And, yes, they can physically mistreat or even sexually assault them—imagine if the Illinois woman’s story occurred outside of an L&D unit.


Neb. lawmakers discuss fetal pain abortion bill

LINCOLN, Neb. – A group of lawmakers is pushing to make Nebraska the first state to outlaw most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the argument that the fetus might feel pain during the procedure.

Emboldened by the Supreme Court's 2007 decision upholding a ban on what abortion rights opponents call partial-birth abortions, in which a fetus is partially removed from the woman's womb and then destroyed, the Nebraska legislators are seeking to ban all late-term abortions except when the mother's life is threatened.

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talkin' that blah blah blah

Bunning Objects, Over and Over

Senator Jim Bunning, the conservative Kentucky Republican, was single-handedly blocking a short extension of unemployment benefits and other federal programs in an increasingly hostile floor showdown with Democrats Thursday night.

Insisting that the jobless pay due to run out Sunday night should be paid for rather than added to the deficit as an emergency, Mr. Bunning stood rigidly at his desk in the back row of the Senate and objected to repeated Democrat attempts for agreement to extend unemployment coverage through April 5.

“I believe we should pay for it,” declared Mr. Bunning, who said he was determined to remain to thwart the Democrats. “I’ll be here as long as you are here.”

Democrats, in unusually personal terms, challenged Mr. Bunning, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, for denying aid to tens of thousands of Americans struggling in a bad economy, even reading letters from Kentucky residents about their own problems.

“I just don’t think one senator ought to be able to heap this kind of suffering and misfortune on people who are already struggling in this economy,” Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat, said, chastising his Republican colleague. “This is a wild pitch you are throwing tonight because it is pitch that is hitting somebody in the stands.”

Senator Claire McCaskill said the decision to block the unemployment pay as well as the opportunity to buy health insurance showed how far removed some lawmakers were from the plight of out-of-work Americans.

“It is easy to get out of touch around this place,’’ Mrs. McCaskill said. “People open doors for you and bow and scrape. It’s really easy to forget what people are going through, what families are feeling right now. And really, 30 days of unemployment insurance – have we gotten to the point that that’s going to be a political football?’’

With Mr. Bunning refusing to relent, Democrats will have to move to override his objections but a vote probably cannot occur until early next week.

“I’m trying to make a point to the people of the United States,” said Mr. Bunning, who is not seeking re-election in November.

The extension of jobless benefits was included in a bill that the House passed earlier Thursday by a voice vote. The bill would also extend federal subsidies to help pay health premiums for people who have lost health insurance along with their jobs.

In addition, the bill would extend current Medicare payment rates for doctors through March 31, sparing them from a 21 percent cut. The cut is scheduled to take effect on Monday.

The bill also extends programs providing flood insurance, small business loans and the copyright license used by satellite television providers – - all through March 28.


they're still debating this on the floor right now. dick durbin is kicking ass, as usual.

live feed via c-span2
Kyo sad

Koua Fong Lee: 'Toyota Defense' May Free Jailed Minnesota Man

STEVE KARNOWSKI | 02/25/10 06:43 AM

LINO LAKES, Minn. — Ever since his 1996 Toyota Camry shot up an interstate ramp, plowing into the back of an Oldsmobile in a horrific crash that killed three people, Koua Fong Lee insisted he had done everything he could to stop the car.

A jury didn't believe him, and a judge sentenced him to eight years in prison. But now, new revelations of safety problems with Toyotas have Lee pressing to get his case reopened and his freedom restored. Relatives of the victims – who condemned Lee at his sentencing three years ago – now believe he is innocent and are planning to sue Toyota. The prosecutor who sent Lee to prison said he thinks the case merits another look.

"I know 100 percent in my heart that I took my foot off the gas and that I was stepping on the brakes as hard as possible," Lee said in an interview Wednesday at the state prison in Lino Lakes. "When the brakes were looked at and we were told that nothing was wrong with the brakes, I was shocked."

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It's all so tragic. ;_;

Also, oops, I forgot the source before. D= Here it is.

Edit: Put behind a cut. Sorry for all the mistakes, this is my first time making a news post on here.