Sunday, March 17, 2013

This is where I get to comment.

It isn't easy being a kid. You have to get school stuff right and play some sports if you can and seek to make it to the best schools. Nope, it ain't easy at all, especially when it is complicated by governments that pass symbolic laws and ignore the importance of safety for children.

Most would say a healthier society is in order and that might be true, but, there is nothing unhealthy about the parents of these children. Even if they had problems in their lives, that doesn't mean their children's safety should be one of them.

The USA keeps opting for negligence of our children to satisfy Wall Street. Children are important to them so long as they are money makers OR if there are laws to follow to protect them exploitation.

The movement to put children in a better place started in 1981 with Adam Walsh. Nearly thirty-two years later we still don't have a comprehensive set of laws that protect them.

Child protection laws are not State's Rights. They belong in the federal system. The federal government has to set the standards the states and local governments have to live up to.

The graph above can be viewed in context from this January 13. 2013 article by Juan, click here. 

The article states nearly three times more children and teens have been killed in the USA than soldiers in Vietnam since 1979. It states more than seventeen times more children and teens have been killed in the USA than military deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.

That is since 1979. Now "Slate Magazine" counts them from the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

What are we doing? When war is pushed to the forefront of the nation we protest and demand other measures and withdrawal, but, we let children drop like flies at home?

Most of the notoriety of child deaths occurs with Caucasian children. I am not sure all children are effected by the notoriety, though. 

Is there such a thing as compassion for Black children in the Inner City? Are there laws that focus on the violence in the cities of the USA and the child deaths that take place? As a nation, do we only focus on child safety in the suburbs?

I don't want to diminish the work that has been done up to now. It is all important work. Every Caucasian child lost is as important as their Black or Hispanic brothers and sisters, but, to some extent the country is dropping the ball.

Overall, 23% of sexual assault offenders were under the 18 (click here) and 77% were adults. Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement,

7/00, NCJ 182990, U.S. Department of Justice

The American media is split in their coverage of children. One side focuses on political agendas of child rape, while the other focuses on gun violence, video games and protecting children in a way that might need funding.

I wish, as a nation, we would come together over children and make it count. Children don't care about Wall Street and it is proven unless the government legislates Wall Street doesn't care about children.

This country has a problem and it is a huge problem. Kids are at risk. They are Latchkey Kids in households where parents are not available while working multiple jobs. A child's education is chronically under fire for budget cuts while teachers purchase all the supplies they need to teach. Teachers are believed to be unqualified to teach if they belong to a union. It is just incredible the number of fiscal assaults our children sustain daily as well.

But, I would think child safety that matters in a real way for all children would be obvious.

Why is it children are set on the back burner for decades?

Oh, one other thing. Can we make sure they are feed three squares a day, too?

By Alexandria Fisher
Sunday, Mar 17, 2013  Updated 6:42 PM CDT


The family of slain teen Hadiya Pendleton (click here) has reportedly been invited to another White House function by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton and her 10-year-old son Nathaniel Pendleton were invited to the annual White House Easter Egg Roll held on April 1, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Pendleton family has been present at various political events such as the President’s State of the Union speech. The first lady also attended the funeral of the slain teen.

The death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was gunned down just weeks after performing at the President’s inauguration festivities, continues to be the pinnacle of Chicago violence.

Senator Dick Durbin named his most recent gun bill after Pendleton and is confident it will pass.

The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013, a section of which is named after Pendleton, would call for sentences of 15 to 25 years for straw purchases. It also would create the first federal statute that specifically criminalizes firearm trafficking....

The Megan's Law website of Pennsylvania says it all really.

History of the Law and Federal Facts (click here)
Sexually based crimes strike at the very core of the human spirit. In the wake of sexual violence are scarred victims, shattered lives, disrupted families and frightened communities. Media accounts of previously convicted sexual offenders committing new violent sexual assaults have become commonplace. A new approach to dealing with the offender and protecting citizens was in order.

FEDERAL FACTS


The genesis for this new approach was guided by four Federal acts. They are named after the victims of violent/sexual assaults. These are the victims' stories:

In July 1981, Adam Walsh, age 6, was watching other children play videogames in a Florida department store while his mother shopped in another area of the store less than 75 feet away. 

In October 1989, Jacob Wetterling, age 11, bicycled home from a store with his brother and a friend in St. Joseph, Minnesota. 

In September 1990, Houston real estate agent, Pam Lychner prepared to show a vacant residence to a prospective buyer. 

In July 1994, Megan Kanka, age 7, accepted an invitation from a neighbor in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, to see his puppy. 

As they went about their daily routines, Walsh, Wetterling, Lychner, and Kanka could not have known they were fated to become crime victims, or that their names would become synonymous with Federal laws mandating more stringent control of sexual offenders....
The search for Polly was conducted through the internet which was never done before. The foundation that now carries her name seeks to find missing children.

Twelve year old Polly Hannah Klass (click here) was having a slumber party when a strange man holding a knife entered her bedroom, tied up all the girls and put pillow cases over their heads. The intruder then took a sobbing Polly off into the night.

Her friends stood back-to-back trying to untie themselves. When that didn't work, one girl was able to bring her hands under her feet to free herself. The girls then awakened Polly's mother, who immediately called the police.

It was October 1, 1993.

A stranger had invaded a private home in Petaluma, CA and snatched an innocent child from her very own bedroom. There were witnesses to tell the story. People in her home town and throughout the world helped search for her.

By the time Polly's body was found on December 3, 1993, over 2 billion images of Polly Klaas had been distributed worldwide.

Everyone knows and REMEMBERS Adam Walsh.


 


Maybe second only to the Lindbergh baby kidnapping in the early party of last century, the abduction and murder of Adam Walsh in South Florida in 1981 was the most infamous case of child kidnapping in US history. It was every parents' nightmare--one second their child is playing video games in a department store, the next, he's gone forever. It changed the way we look after our children, and how cops look for children when they are taken....

Mr. Walsh was not going to let the country rest after the death of his son. He continued, even through today, to make the country so aware of the dangers to children he is now an advocate to clean the streets of the USA of dangerous criminals.

Jul 27, 1981:

Adam Walsh is abducted (click here)

Adam John Walsh, age six, is abducted from a mall in Hollywood, Florida, and later found murdered. In the aftermath of the crime, Adam's father, John Walsh, became a leading victims' rights activist and host of the long-running television show America's Most Wanted....

Why does it take a monumental effort to focus on children when parents so deeply love their own and understand what the worst nightmare is that can occur. I could understand how children might be in the background of our society if parents didn't have a nightmare to losing their child(ren). But, they do.

So, what happens between the marketing to and of children and their untimely death due to social ills? What happens there? They aren't worth anything anymore?

In Florida after the death of Jessica Lunsford there was a statue requiring background checks of contractors.

The Jessica Lunsford Act (click here) was enacted on September 1, 2005 in response to the tragic abduction and death of Jessica Lunsford. This law affects a vendors’ business operations and employees if they are under contract with Orange County Public Schools.

It was a jester to protect child from people that may see them while working at a construction site with Orange County Public Schools.

Okay. It is understandable, but, only Orange County? Right.

Her abductor was found out and lived in very close proximity of her home. The Jessica Lunsford Act does not reflect the reality of kidnapping. The perpetrator was not a construction worker nor was she kidnapped at a school. So while this is a good idea, a great idea actually, it never made federal legislation happen. Why not?

This is what followed federally and what the Former US House Representative Ron Paul objected to.

Child Protection and Sexual Predator Punishment Act of 1998: report together with dissenting view (to accompany H.R. 3494) (click here)

Of course we know Representative Paul is a Libertarian and has his own reasons for opposing what would seem necessary to many of us, but, I think that is the point. Whenever we step into the void of elevating children to importance it is some kind of violation of LIBERTY. 

I don't think that is it at all. I think it effects business as with the NRA and costs governments spending to dedicate resources to these crimes.

Washington States conducted a study in 1997 about child abduction, but, the Amber Alert wouldn't occur until much later.


  • In 74 percent of the missing children homicide cases studied, the child murder victim was female and the average age was 11 years old.
  • In 44 percent of the cases studied, the victims and killers were strangers, but in 42 percent of the cases, the victims and killers were friends or acquaintances.
  • Only about 14 percent of the cases studied involved parents or intimates killing the child.
  • Almost two-thirds of the killers in these cases have prior arrests for violent crimes, with slightly more than half of those prior crimes committed against children.
  • The primary motive for the child abduction killer in the cases studied was sexual assault.
  • In nearly 60 percent of the cases studied, more than two hours passed between the time someone realized the child was missing and the time police were notified.
  • In 76 percent of the missing children homicide cases studied, the child was dead within three hours of the abduction–and in  88.5 percent of the cases the child was dead within 24 hours.

Key recommendations to protect children:
  • Be aware that children are not immune from abduction because they are close to home.   More than half of the study’s abductions took place within three city blocks of the victim’s home.
  • Be certain that your children are supervised – even if they are in their own front yard or neighborhood street.   Approximately one-third of the abductions studied took occurred within one-half block of the victim’s home.
  • Teach your children not to ever approach a car– whether the occupant is a stranger or not– no matter what the occupant the tells them or asks them.
  • Be aware of strangers and unusual behavior in your neighborhoods.   Many child abductions are witnessed by people who do not realize that a crime is being committed.
  • If your child is ever missing, CALL POLICE IMMEDIATELY.   An immediate response to a missing or abducted child may be the difference between life and death.

About the middle of the 2000's. 2003, 04 and 05 there was a child abduction on a regular basis.

There were measures instituted to act in a way that would rescue the child as soon as it was determined the child was kidnapped. Didn't matter if it was a familiar person or a stranger.

The AMBER Alert™ Program (click here) is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies, and the wireless industry, to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. The goal of an AMBER Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and the safe recovery of the child.

Why is it voluntary? Money? States can't afford it? In actuality, can they afford to do without it? 

This is administered by The Department of Justice. It is a good program, but, I think it is time to review all the needs of children in all states to determine if this has to be made into a mandatory law in the USA.

Active Amber Alerts (click here)

The Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs has asked the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to serve in a clearinghouse capacity for the AMBER Alert program and to aid in the dissemination of AMBER Alert information. Information on active AMBER Alerts is available on NCMEC's web site.

There are non-profit agencies in the USA that have a permanent place in society because of the lack of action of our governments.


California Child Kidnapping and Murder Statistics: By the Numbers (click here)


...Caveat: The 2008 child abduction summary report quite candidly outlines that there exists a shadow figure of murders, rapes and sadly also suicides that began as child kidnappings but, for a wide variety of reasons, did not get reported as such. In addition, police departments throughout the state fail to uniformly report child abductions; instead, the cases may be put on the books as missing children.

I am not complaining that agencies exist to handle the statistics and seek intervention, but, when is this mess going to get straightened out? Never? Will the USA never understand "Crimes Against Children?" Will they never have a higher status than adult crimes? 

Ya know, a couple of years ago the United Nations did a review on the condition of children around the globe. The USA and the UK did not come out as shining examples. There were children without a book in the house. At least the United Kingdom took it seriously.


Other states take a very dim view on sentencing child rape.

Virginia for instance includes carnal knowledge, which is subjective, not evidence. But, if a perpetrator is not an adult there is a chance they will receive a fine.


Sexual intercourse with a child under the age of thirteen - Five years to life in prison

Carnal knowledge of a child between ages 13 and 15 - Two to 10 years in prison

Carnal knowledge of a child between ages 13 and 15 when the actor is a minor and the victim is three or more years younger - One to five years in prison

Carnal knowledge of a child between ages 13 and 15 when the actor is a minor and the victim is less than three years younger - Maximum fine of $ 250

Texas gets right down to it, penetration. Does that mean a woman could not rape a child? Just curious. But, Texas says it's okay for a youngster to be married and having sex by the age of 14. Wow. And at no time can the wife call it rape even though she didn't know until after the wedding vows what she was in for. Right.

Sexual assault for anyone to intentionally or knowingly penetrate a person under age 17, other than his spouse. The actor has an affirmative defense if he is not more than three years older than the victim, who is at least age 14 - Two to 20 years in prison

Hawaii has an interesting way of putting it. Basically, it is left up to the judge to sentence a perpetrator for up to 20 years. 

First-degree sexual assault to knowingly engage in sexual penetration (1) with someone under age 14 or (2) with someone between age 14 and 16 when the offender is more than five years older. - An indeterminate term of 20 years in prison

Colorado breaks it down into young and old perpetrators. But, in addition to the sentences they also have a life sentence for adults when they are released from prison. For the rest of an adult's life they are on probation and have to report regularly of their activities.

Sexual assault to knowingly inflicts sexual intrusion or sexual penetration on a victim (1) under age 15 if the actor is at least four years older - The former is punishable by two to six years' in prison

or 

(2) at least 15 years old but less than 17 years old and the actor is at least 10 years older. - and the latter by one to two years in prison

SUMMARY (click here)

Most states do not refer specifically to statutory rape; instead they use designations such as sexual assault and sexual abuse to identify prohibited activity. Regardless of the designation, these crimes are based on the premise that until a person reaches a certain age, he is legally incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse. Thus, instead of including force as a criminal element, theses crimes make it illegal for anyone to engage in sexual intercourse with anyone below a certain age, other than his spouse. The age of consent varies by state, with most states, including Connecticut, setting it at age 16. The age of consent in other states ranges from ages 14 to 18.
Some states base the penalty for violations on the age of the offender, with older offenders receiving harsher penalties. For example, California, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, and New York reserve their harshest statutory rape penalty for offenders who are age 21 or older.

States range in their sentencing of child rape perpetrators. Alabama has some of the most wide ranging statues in the country.

First-degree rape for someone age 16 or older to have sexual intercourse with someone under age 12. - Life in prison or between 10 and 99 years

Second-degree rape for someone age 16 or older to have sexual intercourse with someone between age 12 and 16, when the actor is at least two years older. - Two to 20 years in prison

Idaho, anything goes but only if you are a female rape victim.

Rape of a female under age 18. - One year to life in prison

Louisiana demands carnal knowledge of a juvenile. Now, I don't know if any perpetrator of child rape is going to admit to carnal knowledge of anything, so I think the wording is a bit bizarre. Carnal knowledge is not up to the courts to decide, it has to measure the intent based on evidence. Subjective information is not a reasonable standard for trial of anyone.

Felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile is sexual intercourse with consent between (1) someone age 19 or older and someone between age 12 and 17 or (2) someone age 17 or older and someone between age 12 and 15. - Up to 10 years in prison (with or without hard labor)

Misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a juvenile is sexual intercourse with consent between someone age 17 to 19 and someone age 15 to 17 when the difference in their ages is greater than two years. - Up to six months in prison

Kansas gets strange and delineates a crime as 'aggravated.' Like what child is going to aggravate anyone for sex.


Aggravated indecent liberties with a child is sexual intercourse with a child between age 14 and 16.

Unlawful voluntary sexual relations is sexual intercourse with a child age 14 to 16 when the offender is under age 19 and less than four year older.

These crimes are felonies subject to sentencing guidelines.

There is a really lousy phenomena in the USA. It is called insubordinating children.

When a stranger tries to abduct a child, it can have a devastating impact on the victim.Yet in Cook County, few such cases result in arrests or convictions. (click here).

This is an article by the Chicago Tribune. It is a series they published on the subject of child abduction.

For as much as children are a focus of so much of family life, the government finds them impertinent to legislation that protects them. It is often relegated to the states and then it is very inconsistent as to the point of view of the legislators.

Children are not an issue of States Rights. A child is a child is a child. What they need for nutrition, health, education is mostly the same no matter where in the USA a child lives. So, why is it at the federal level there is so much lack of interest in protecting them?
Mr. Chairman, I rise today in opposition to the Child Protection and Sexual Predator Punishment Act of 1998. This bill, if passed, will further expand the authority of this country’s national police force and further `justify’ the federal Justice Department’s intrusion into mail, telephone and Internet communications.... - US House Representative Ron Paul (click here)
It is Sunday Night

"Cry Me A River" by Justin Timberlake (click title to entry - thank you)


video

You were my sun
You were my earth
But you didn't know all the ways I loved you, no
So you took a chance
And made other plans
But I bet you didn't think that they would come crashing down, no

You don't have to say, what you did,
I already know, I found out from him
Now there's just no chance, for you and me, there'll never be
And don't it make you sad about it

You told me you loved me
Why did you leave me, all alone
Now you tell me you need me
When you call me, on the phone
Girl I refuse, you must have me confused
With some other guy
Your bridges were burned, and now it's your turn
To cry, cry me a river
Cry me a river-er
Cry me a river
Cry me a river-er, yea yea

I know that they say
That somethings are better left unsaid
It wasn't like you only talked to him and you know it
(Don't act like you don't know it)
All of these things people told me
Keep messing with my head
(Messing with my head)
You should've picked honesty
Then you may not have blown it
(Yea..)

You don't have to say, what you did,
(Don't have to say, what you did)
I already know, I found out from him
(I already know, uh)
Now there's just no chance, for you and me, there'll never be
(No chance, you and me)
And don't it make you sad about it

You told me you loved me
Why did you leave me, all alone
(All alone)
Now you tell me you need me
When you call me, on the phone
(When you call me on the phone)
Girl I refuse, you must have me confused
With some other guy
(I'm not like them baby)
Your bridges were burned, and now it's your turn
(It's your turn)
To cry, cry me a river
(Go on and just)
Cry me a river-er
(Go on and just)
Cry me a river
(Baby go on and just)
Cry me a river-er, yea yea

Oh
(Oh)
The damage is done
So I guess I be leaving
Oh
(Oh)
The damage is done
So I guess I be leaving
Oh
(Oh)
The damage is done
So I guess I be leaving
Oh
(Oh)
The damage is done
So I guess I be... leaving

You don't have to say, what you did,
(Don't have to say, what you did)
I already know, I found out from him
(I already know, uh)
Now there's just no chance, for you and me, there'll never be
(No chance, you and me)
And don't it make you sad about it

Cry me a river
(Go on and just)
Cry me a river-er
(Baby go on and just)
Cry me a river
(You can go on and just)
Cry me a river-er, yea yea

Cry me a river
(Baby go on and just)
Cry me a river-er
(Go on and just)
Cry me a river
(Cause I've already cried)
Cry me a river-er, yea yea
(Ain't gonna cry no more, yea-yea)

Cry me a river
Cry me a river, oh
Cry me a river, oh
Cry me a river, oh

Cry me a river, oh
(Cry me, cry me)
Cry me a river, oh
(Cry me, cry me)
Cry me a river, oh
(Cry me, cry me)
Cry me a river, oh
(Cry me, cry me)

Cry me a river, oh
(Cry me, cry me)
Cry me a river, oh
(Cry me, cry me)
Cry me a river
(Cry me, cry me)

Soon

Gobbledygook

Wordy and generally unintelligible jargon.

I was not impressed with the speeches. They were word soups with all kinds of conflicting priorities.

It is impossible to say Middle Class while saying no more taxes on the wealthy.

I suppose Ted Cruz was trying to transfigure himself into the shoes of Sarah Palin by his introduction.

There are all kinds of inaccuracy such as "The Main Stream media cannot say women can be conservatives." That is wrong. There are many women, my daughter-in-law for one, that identifies as a conservative, but, if absolutely involved with women's issues from the Left. She is a career girl and she loves the life she has. She is a power house. She attended Peace University in North Carolina. 

Hello? 

She, by the way, has no plans for children. So, don't tell me women, very fancy female women, are identifying with motherhood at every turn. That is not the case. She and my son are more in love than any couple I know. They are keepers. They will be married forever. But, no family on the horizon and it is just the way it is. She doesn't want to hear how a government is oppressing women and their opportunities. So, while she is a fiscal conservative, she does not believe women should be burdened by society.

Sarah is using new verbiage such as "Rebuilding the Middle Class." I admired some of what she said, but, she can't be demonstrating unhealthy practices of drinking a 'Big Gulp,' which is a commercial statement about the right leanings of the party. That is a statement all by itself that throws any national health priority out the window. Citizen's health is not important, but, Wall Street's profits are. It denies what medical researchers know and gives credence to myth. She is undermining her own potential to be a wind of change in the party when she pulls these stunts.

I liked it when she stated the politics don't serve the country anymore. My words, not hers. She stated several times and I quote, "We don't have leadership coming out of Washington...it is reality TV and the American people tuned out a long time ago..."

True, but, they haven't tuned out to the President. She is talking to that through her entire speech, but, seeks to bolster the egos in the audience in their Right Wing Ideology to prevent her from appearing to be changing direction. The fact of the matter is the leadership of the GOP is lacking in a huge way. The President has the nation's attention while he speaks truth and advocates an economy that is attainable and sustainable. The President has a good message.

Sarah hit the nail on the head when she stated, "...every event seems calculated...very speech feels like a con...both parties have a bad habit of focusing on the process of politics instead of the purpose of politics which is to lead and to serve. Even our guys in the GOP...:" Why not say, especially our guys in the GOP?

All through her speech she alluded to the correct agenda of the Democrats while creating an alternative image of them. She wants change in the Republicans. She denied the audience had the courage to actually believe in that change. She was disappointing to me. She may have been disappointing to her audience as well, but, for different reasons. 

Palin's speech was one of 'get your act together,' but, she denied her audience the credit of being able to rise to the occasion. She was still relying on dogma and image, rather than ENGAGEMENT. She was scared to have someone boo her. She could have addressed the boos and come out as a shining example of real change in the party rather than ? maybe ? change in the party.

The problem with the RNC is they are still too far to the right. They are still too extreme. They won't recognize the problems the nation has and while they like the phrases "Rebuilding the Middle Class," their answers are not sustainable and will create bubbles and bust economies. The USA cannot do that anymore. We need a strong baseline to our economy and the GOP is willing to destroy that. 

She and the Republicans have to move further to the center. They have to address the changes in demographics in a real way. They have to be GOVERNING and not simply focus on the image of governing to appease a group of money oligarchs that are more interested in their own outcomes than that of the country. 


video

Where the Republicans are losing elections is their lack of sincerity. They continue to lace their politics with extremism and it makes them look like cartoons. I actually believe at her core Sarah Palin wants to be a sincere leader in the USA and even run for office again. But, until she stops the silliness that won't happen. I wish her the best of luck on her journey.

Even the White House is wearing green today.