Tag Archives: sexual abuse

You want due process, Mr. POTUS? Let’s try this

Kirsten Gillibrand has come up with an interesting idea that, sadly, won’t get out of the starting blocks.

The New York U.S. senator, a Democrat, has proposed holding hearings on the sexual abuse allegations that have been leveled against Donald John Trump. You see, Gillibrand wants to call the president out on his call for “due process” relating to allegations of spousal abuse by a former key White House aide.

According to The Hill: “If he wants due process for the over dozen sexual assault allegations against him, let’s have Congressional hearings tomorrow,” she continued. “I would support that and my colleagues should too.”

Rob Porter has quit as White staff secretary. Two former wives and a former girlfriend have accused him of spousal abuse. One of the wives produced a picture of herself with a shiner under right eye; she says Porter punched her in the face.

Trump has come to Porter’s defense. He called him a fine man and said he “did a good job” as staff secretary. The president made no mention of the alleged victims of his attacks.

And he’s called for “due process” to determine Porter’s guilt or innocence.

Sen. Gillibrand wants to give Trump himself all the due process he needs regarding the many accusations that have been tossed at him by women who have alleged a number of sexual abuse transgressions.

Will Congress ever convene hearings? Please. Don’t make me laugh.

Gillibrand, though, has handed us a good idea to at least consider.

‘Innocent’ men keep quitting their day jobs

I know in my head — and, yes, my heart — that usually we’re allowed the presumption of innocence when we stand accused of wrongdoing.

But why do all these “innocent” men keep quitting their day jobs when women accuse them of beating them up, sexually abusing them, sexually harassing them?

If they don’t quit, then why do their employers keep firing them?

Roger Ailes got canned as president of Fox News; Bill O’Reilly was shown the door, too, by the same network. They both denied ever doing what the women accused them of doing, even though they and their networks paid out millions of bucks to female accusers. Go figure.

Matt Lauer got canned by NBC after women accused him of improper sexual behavior. Lauer hasn’t yet acknowledged publicly doing anything wrong.

Most recently, we have watched the departure of Rob Porter as White House staff secretary after his two ex-wives and a former girlfriend accused him of beating them. Porter says the allegations are false, but he quit anyway. The president stands by his man, calling him a good guy who did “a good job” while working in the White House.

Al Franken quit the U.S. Senate after he was accused of misbehavior with a female TV journalist; Franken, though, said the allegations weren’t entirely accurate. Huh?

Holy mackerel, man! The list of these clowns quitting while not acknowledging any wrongdoing just baffles me.

The innocence presumption, as I understand it, is reserved for those accused of criminal activity. None of these individuals I’ve mentioned has faced a criminal accusation. They face political accusations, which is a different matter altogether.

Still, I cannot remember when I’ve seen so many “innocent” men pull the plugs on their careers.

Strange, yes? You bet it is!

Trump shows his dark side yet again

Donald Trump has declared that his former staff secretary has denied the accusations of two former wives and a former girlfriend that he beat them up.

The president stood behind a U.S. Senate candidate who was accused of sexual abuse by women, one of whom claimed the man abused her when she was a 14-year-old girl.

The president also has called the 16 or so women who have accused him of sexual abuse liars.

Is there a pattern here? If you’ve missed it, I’ll offer this: Women have accused men of sexual abuse and spousal battery but the president stands foursquare behind the men. What’s more, he has called the women liars.

Rob Porter’s resignation as staff secretary comes after one of his former wives provided a photograph showing here with a shiner under her right eye; she says Porter did that to her.

The many women who have accused former GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore have provided detailed allegations of what Moore supposedly did to them.

And the women who have accused Trump himself of sexual misbehavior? They tell the same story. Furthermore, Trump has actually boasted about how he has grabbed women by their genital area.

What in the name of all that is holy is it going to take for the president’s devoted Republican “base” to recognize who has been elected to the highest, most exalted office in the land?

Trump’s statement of good wishes for Rob Porter — with no mention of (a) the women who have accused him of battery or (b) the sin of spousal/domestic abuse — reveal an astonishing lack of compassion in the man entrusted to stand as the nation’s moral authority.

The president either doesn’t get it, or he gets it, but chooses to ignore it.

A big domino falls in Nassar sex scandal … more to come?

Lou Anna Simon has quit her day job. It wasn’t just any job, either.

She was president of Michigan State University, the school that employed a doctor who this week was sentenced to as many as 175 years in prison for sexually abusing young female athletes.

Larry Nassar is now heading for prison for the rest of his life. He heard from scores of his victims during the sentencing phase of his trial. He said he is sorry, but the judge, Rosemarie Aquilini, didn’t believe him, declaring it was her “honor and privilege” to hand out the maximum sentence.

Then there’s the responsibility for the long-standing scandal that has rocked the sporting world far beyond the East Lansing, Mich., university.

Simon quit because this despicable conduct happened on her watch.

The question now must be asked: Did others know of this conduct but failed to act?

This hideous scandal does bring to my mind another one at another school, involving individuals charged with caring for youngsters. Do the names of Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno ring a bell?

Sandusky served as an assistant football coach at Penn State University. Then he was convicted of sexually abusing boys. Meanwhile, the legendary head coach — aka “Jo Pa” — got caught up in the scandal by allegedly looking the other way while he knew of the abuse that was occurring.

Penn State fired Paterno, who later died of cancer. Sandusky is serving a lengthy prison sentence.

We are learning from the Nassar scandal — as well as from the Sandusky scandal — that these events don’t occur in a vacuum. The men who do these things so very often do so with the implied — if not the outright — endorsement of their employers.

The implication surfaces when those in charge do nothing to stop this kind of hideous behavior as it is occurring.

Therefore, I am betting that Larry Nassar’s downfall will bring others with him.

‘I have just signed your death warrant’

Americans from coast to coast have witnessed an amazing display of courage and grit. The demonstration came from dozens of young women who stood before a man who violated them and offered their views of the monster and his monstrous behavior.

Larry Nassar, the former team doctor for young American gymnasts, will quite likely now spend the rest of his life behind prison walls. A Michigan judge, Rosemarie Aquilina, handed down a sentence of 40 to 175 years that Nassar will serve.

She declared it her “honor and privilege” to assign the sentence. It was to Nassar’s eternal shame that he took it and now he heads for the next phase of a miserable life. The judge declared that she had “just signed your death warrant.”

And to think that Nassar complained to the judge that hearing the women’s testimony was too “hard” on him emotionally. To her great credit, Judge Aquilina would have none of it.

The rest of the nation is proud of the young athletes who were abused by Nassar while he was on the staff at Michigan State University. Some of those women were members of the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team. Moreover, those young athletes had become household names for their athletic, gold-medal-winning prowess.

Now they are made even more notable for their guts in facing down the man who preyed on them when they were children.

This case has drawn much-needed and most-appropriate attention to the broader issue of sexual abuse committed against women by men in powerful positions.

The women who stood on that courtroom floor to tell Nassar what he needed to hear — that he is a despicable monster who never should walk free again — emerged as the latest entrants to a symbolic hall of heroes.

We should hold them up as profound role models … and pray for their emotional recovery from the torment they endured.

Too bad, disgraced doc; victims need to be heard

Larry Nassar said what? It’s too hard for him to listen to the testimony of young women he abused sexually while he was a practicing physician?

Oh, cry me a river!

Nassar has pleaded guilty to sexual abuse involving young gymnasts he was treating. Several of the victims happen to be members of the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team.

Dozens of young women have been testifying at Nassar’s sentencing hearing. It apparently is too much for the disgraced doctor.

The judge who is presiding over this case, Rosemarie Aquilina, isn’t cutting him any slack.

The pedophile, who’s facing a potential life sentence in prison for what he did to those girls, needs to hear all the victims who want to speak.

If it’s too hard on him, well, the former doctor should not for a split second expect a scintilla of sympathy from the court — or anyone else.

As RealClearPolitics has reported:

“Now this is entertaining to me,” County Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina reportedly said as she read the letter. The news outlet said the judge scoffed in particular at this line: “Aquilina said if I pass out she’ll have the EMTs revive me and prop me up in the witness box.”

“I suspect you have watched too much television,” Aquilina said. “It’s delusional. You need to talk about these issues with a therapist and that’s not me.”

Get a clue, Ivanka

First, I will stipulate that I do not subscribe to the statement attributed to former White House strategist Stephen Bannon in the “Fire and Fury” book that Ivanka Trump is “dumb as a brick.”

The first daughter, though, seems to be tone deaf. Politically, that is.

Oprah Winfrey got the Golden Globes crowd all worked up Sunday night with that speech in which she declared to women around the nation that a “new day is on the horizon!”

Ivanka then weighed in with a tweet that endorsed Winfrey’s “empowering and inspiring” speech.

Uhh, oops!

The speech was seen by many as a first shot in the 2020 presidential campaign. Oprah might be considering a run for president against, um, Ivanka’s father, Donald Trump Sr., the president of the United States.

Here is where I’ll note that Ivanka stood by Dad when those women came forward to accuse him of sexual abuse, assault, harassment. She has said in public that the president is women’s most powerful ally; Ivanka has drawn scorn for saying that, too.

Now she endorses Oprah’s speech and the “Me Too” movement, while standing by her father?

Ivanka isn’t “dumb as a brick.” She does need re-calibrate her political antennae.

Just … go away, Roy Moore

Don’t you wish Roy Moore would simply just vanish? I do.

The combative, zealous and allegedly perverted Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama lost an election to Democratic nominee Doug Jones earlier this month.

Moore hasn’t yet conceded defeat to the man who beat him by 1.5 percentage points. Ohhh, no. Instead, this goofball former judge has alleged “massive voter fraud” in Alabama cost him the election to Sen.-elect Jones.

To his credit, Republican Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill dismissed Moore’s bogus claim of voter fraud. There was none found, Merrill said. A judge tossed Moore’s complaint into the crapper. Game over, judge.

Merrill certified Jones’s victory and the new senator will be sworn in next month by Vice President Mike Pence.

But Moore — the former two-time Alabama chief justice and a man accused by women of sexual misconduct — isn’t going quietly away. He’s continuing to raise holy hell with non-existent controversies.

Moore is making a spectacle of himself by seeking some sort of redress while in effect defaming local election officials by contending fraud where none exists.

You know, it’s interesting in one way that Donald J. Trump would have endorsed this guy for election to the Senate, albeit belatedly. Moore is showing the same lack of grace and class as his chief political benefactor, the president of the United States.

Peaceful transitions of power are supposed to be one of the many hallmarks of this great country. Alabama had an election. It produced a clear winner. It’s now time for the loser to bow out.

If only this guy would simply go away. Never to be heard from again.

Et tu, Boys Ranch?

One would be hard-pressed to find a Texas Panhandle institution with more renown and universal respect than Boys Ranch, the school founded in the late 1930s to care for boys in trouble.

The late Cal Farley served in World War I and came home to found the school that offered boys “… a shirt-tail to hang on to.” 

It has graduated young men and women who have gone on to do great things. They have served in elected office and have become pillars of communities across the nation and around the world.

But now comes word from some former students about allegations of abuse they suffered while living at the Ranch. This is heartbreaking in the extreme.

I have good friends with lengthy ties to the Ranch. I am not going to discuss in detail what has been alleged by these former students/residents who have come forward four decades after the incidents reportedly occurred.

Instead, I intend to stand up for the great work that has been done at Boys Ranch in the decades since Cal Farley founded the legendary organization.

What’s more, I want to applaud current president and chief executive officer Dan Adams for “manning up” with a public apology to those who have spoken out. They did so to The Guardian newspaper, which published an article today spelling out the allegations.

Adams issued a statement that said, in part: “Thousands of people have found hope and healing at Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch, both past and present. Tragically, not everyone who participated in our programs through the years was helped by them. No words by me or anyone else will change that.”

See the rest of Adams’s statement here.

The men who spoke to The Guardian say all they want is an apology. They have gotten it.

Is this the end of it? I don’t know. I pray that it is.

Here is the Guardian article.

Oh … my goodness.

Expecting more from our elected officials

I’m hearing the first hint of grumbling over the “Me Too” movement and fallout.

It comes from those who are wondering whether we’re expecting too much of our elected officials who’ve been caught abusing women sexually. Are we asking that only prudes can qualify for public service?

I’m as liberated a male as there is, but I remain fairly old-fashioned on some matters. I don’t believe in knowing the sex of unborn children; I hate the designated hitter rule in baseball … just for example.

Moreover, I expect my elected officials to represent the very best of the people they represent. They are our ambassadors. They are supposed to appeal to the very best of in all of us.

The accusations of sexual misbehavior and misconduct are troubling in the extreme to yours truly.

Yeah, yeah … I understand that no one is perfect. I don’t demand perfection, however. I merely want the individuals we elect to public office to know how to treat other human beings. Threatening them with the loss of job if they don’t “perform” is not part of the routine I want them to follow.

Let’s understand that they work for us. We are the bosses, not them. If they don’t behave the way we want or expect them to behave, they need to prepare to get the boot from those of us who expect more of them.