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Mon, 26 Sep 2016
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I wish I'd never reported my rape

© mevans via iStock
He pinned me down on the bed and pressed a pillow on my face. But when I went to the police, I was called a suspect

I sit in the windowless interrogation room, fingers brushing against the cool metal of handcuffs attached to the chair, and try to comprehend what the detective sitting across from me is asking.

"Were you a virgin?" he says, his lips curling slightly as he repeats the question. "Explain to me, how could you have been bleeding if you weren't on your period? Have you had sex before?"

I feel my face flush with embarrassment as I think about how to respond. Before I can say anything, there's a knock at the door and another officer walks in.

"The suspect's attorney is here."

Suspect? My stomach drops. Did he really just refer to me as a suspect?

The detective turns to his colleague.

"She agreed not to have the lawyer come in for this."

I open my mouth to object. Our "agreement" consisted of the detective asking me why I needed a lawyer if I was innocent. Before I can speak, the other officer leaves, the door closes and it's just me and the detective again, alone in the windowless room.

"Let me get this straight, you can't remember how your clothes came off? Well, what were you wearing?"

Though I am in an interrogation room, and have just been referred to as a suspect, I have not committed a crime. It is October 2013, I am 19 years old, and I am in the middle of reporting that I was raped on my college campus.


Let them shiver: Utah proposes wood burning ban

© AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac
Particulates from an inversion fill the Salt Lake valley Friday, Jan. 26, 2007, as seen from the mountains southeast of Salt Lake City.
In an effort to improve air quality across Utah during the winter season, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has proposed a seasonal wood burn ban, much to the chagrin of many locals.

The ban would eliminate solid fuel burning in fireplaces and wood/coal stoves from Nov. 1 to March 15, except for homeowners whose homes are heated solely by wood.

The proposal comes after Gov. Gary Herbert requested the the Air Quality Board explore options for improving wintertime air quality along Utah's Wasatch Front and Cache Valley.

The region suffers from winter temperature inversions, which occur when a dense layer of cold air becomes trapped under a layer of warm air.

Comment: See also:


War weary: Ukrainians voice resistance to new mobilization

Ukrainians are starting to realize that the war in the East is pointless. Their real enemies are in Kiev

Kiev authorities have announced that the next wave of mass mobilization will begin on January 28. But Ukrainians seem less than enthusiastic. From TASS:
Experts said it would not be easy for the authorities to carry out mobilization, as the Ukrainian population realizes that Kiev's military operation in the east has no sense.

A Ukrainian analyst and the founder of the Research and Branding Group company, Yevgeny Kopatko, said more and more statements were heard in the Ukrainian society about readiness to sit in prison, but not to go to fight. In the situation, the decision on mobilization will be another test for the Ukrainian authorities, he said.

Mobilization will be carried out in Ukraine in three stages and will last from January to August. During the year, the Ukrainian armed forces plan to mobilize 200,000 citizens and also draft 40,000 young people for military service.

Comment: It is somewhat heartening to see people waking up to the fact that this war, like most others, is being fought only for the benefit of the ruling class, at the behest of the US and NATO. If more people could see through their government's lies and refuse to fight, perhaps a window of opportunity for real change might open.


Woman, visiting family member in jail, held against her will, forced to strip for prison guards

© Reuters / Rick Wilking
A lawsuit filed on Thursday against Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private prison management company in the US, alleges that a visitor at a South Central Correctional Facility in Clifton, Tennessee, was forced to expose her genitalia to prison guards to prove that she was menstruating after she attempted to bring a sanitary napkin into a visit.

On April 20, 2014, the plaintiff was making her way through a second security screening point when guard spotted the feminine hygiene product partially exposed in her pocket. The woman was told she would have to get a "CCA-approved" pad instead. An annoying, but not terribly unreasonable requirement.

At this point, however, the male guard, along with another male guard standing beside him, told her, "But I'll have to make sure you are - I'll have to make sure you are actually - "

The male guards called over a female guard at the point, who upon arrival, asked what was going on. Jane Doe responded that she was on her period, to which the female guard sarcastically responded with "oh, great," before walking into a restroom.

According to the lawsuit, once inside the restroom, the plaintiff asked the guards what they wanted her to do, to which another female guard responded "show me."

The female guard stood infront of Jane Doe at this point, as the first female guard stood by the bathroom door and the two male guards waited outside the door.

The plaintiff then asked again, what the guard wanted to do, to which the guard responded with, "What do you think? Show me!"

Jane Doe then exposed her pelvic area and the guard squatted down so she was eye level with the woman's vaginal area. Once the guard was satisfied that the woman was in fact on her period she was finally permitted to exit the bathroom and go have her visit.

Bad Guys

Cops in the UK just as crazy as the US: System protects cop who assaulted mother of sick child

© Unknown
Sick and twisted cop, Warren Luke, was cleared of any wrong-doing after brutally assaulting a mother in a hospital.
A police officer who admitted to kicking and beating the mother of a sick child has just been cleared. The woman suffered over 40 injuries, but Officer Warren Luke, 38, has been cleared of causing her actual bodily harm.

Luke, a Metropolitan police officer in the United Kingdom, said that he had the right to attack the woman because hospital staff told him she would not leave the lobby when asked. Thursday, a jury in the Wood Green crown court cleared Officer Luke of committing any crime whatsoever.

Comment: So not leaving the hospital lobby is grounds for brutal assault by the police? In what kind of world does that make any sense?

The mother has not been named for legal reasons. What we do know was that she had been caring for her seven-year-old daughter. The young girl suffers from cerebral palsy, and was taken to the hospital for an incident related to this, back in December of 2013. The hospital had told the mother that she had to leave the hospital and an argument ensued. Officer Luke was one of four officers who came to "resolve" the incident, but he was the only one who chose to use violence to do so.

Comment: The system will protect its jack-booted thugs, whether it's in Eastern Ukraine, NYC, the UK or elsewhere.

Heart - Black

As Islamophobia Rises, Moral Values Decrease

© Carlos Latuff
"Islam is a religion that promotes death and violence!"
Sez who?
For years now in the U.S., and in European countries such as the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, and France, Muslims have experienced difficulty when it comes to finding a job, due to the ever-increasing Islamophobia. And that's not all, a 2006 report by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, entitled "Muslims in the European Union: Discrimination and Islamophobia", concludes:
  • Regardless of their ethnic background and/or approach to religion, many European Muslims are facing discrimination in employment, education and housing.
  • Discrimination against Muslims can be attributed to Islamophobic attitudes as well as to racist and xenophobic resentment, as these elements are often intertwined. Hostility against Muslims must therefore be seen in the more general context of xenophobia and racism towards migrants and minorities.
  • It is evident that Muslims are experiencing Islamophobic acts, ranging from verbal threats through to physical attacks, even though data on religiously aggravated incidents is collected on a limited scale.
  • The available data on victims of discrimination show that European Muslims are often disproportionately represented in areas with poorer housing conditions, while their educational achievement falls below average and their unemployment rates are higher than average. Muslims are often employed in jobs that require lower qualifications. As a group they are over-represented in low-paying sectors of the economy.
  • Many European Muslims, particularly young people, face barriers to their social advancement. This could give rise to a feeling of hopelessness and social exclusion.
  • Racism, discrimination and social marginalisation are serious threats to integration and community cohesion.
Now that anti-Islamic sentiments have risen by 110% in France, and 'anti-Islamization' demos have been held in several countries, chances are high that the disadvantageous position Muslims already were in prior to the Paris attack will only get worse. Needless to say, this is far from fair, considering that the Muslim majority had nothing to do with the recent attack in Paris, just as they didn't have anything to do with the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. Yet they've become the very target of hatred, and it affects their daily lives quite significantly.

Heart - Black

Accused Vanderbilt football player blames gang rape on university's culture of 'sexual freedom'

© Facebook
Cory Batey
A former Vanderbilt University football player is blaming peer pressure and the school's culture of "sexual freedom" for an incident in which he and several other men reportedly raped a woman's unconscious body, urinated on her and posted photos and video of the event on social media.

According to Gawker, Cory Batey does not deny that he took part in the dorm room assault on the unconscious woman, but his lawyers told Reuters that their client is not to blame, saying the assault was caused by "a campus culture of sexual freedom, promiscuity and excessive alcohol consumption."

The victim testified in court on Thursday that she did not know what had happened to her until she was shown video of the football players attacking her.

Comment: Here is a map of colleges that are under sexual assault investigations.


San Diego cop punished for objection to racist cartoon

Racist cartoon used by San Diego police during training exercise
A San Diego, California police officer is suing his supervisors for allegedly punishing him after he objected to the use of a racist cartoon in training sessions for supervisors, KGTV-TV reported.

Sgt. Arthur Scott said in his lawsuit against the city that he was transferred out of his division against his will after he complained to assistant police chief Todd Jarvis about the cartoon - a crude depiction of the department's first Black officer - being shown to sergeants and lieutenants during a mandatory week-long event he attended last August. The suit also said that Scott was threatened with disciplinary action and passed over for a promotion.

Comment: The San Diego PD needs to upgrade their lingo: it's "freedom of speech" and "satire"! "Je suis SDPD!"


Sick bag alert: Clint Eastwood claims 'American Sniper' is 'the biggest antiwar statement'

© cinemafestival / Shutterstock.com
In the wake of antiwar criticism from the left and pro-war praise from right about his film American Sniper, director Clint Eastwood told those gathered at Saturday's Producers Guild Award Nominees Breakfast that his film makes "the biggest antiwar statement any film can."

Eastwood insisted that the film was an "antiwar statement" because it depicted "what [war] does to the family and the people who have to go back to into civilian life like Chris Kyle did."

"One of my favorite war movies that I've been involved with is Letters from Iwo Jima," he continued. "And that was about family, about being taken away from life, being sent someplace. In World War II, everybody just sort of went home and got over it. Now there is some effort to help people through it. In Chris Kyle's case, no good deed went unpunished."

Comment: No mention of the dead and suffering victims of these wars. Disgusting.


'Wellfare not Warfare': Protest in London against £100bn nuke replacement plan

© Ruptly video
Thousands of CND campaigners wrapped the UK Ministry of Defence in a two-mile long 'peace scarf' to protest the imminent overhaul of the sea-based Trident nuclear defense system.

Protesters carried placards reading "Books Not Bombs" and "Climate Not Trident", as they loudly chanted: "Wrap up Trident, ban the bomb now!"