One Bold Step

Everyone talks a great game about changing the world, or even just their lives, but courage, while free, comes with one price: action. I want to share my bold step with you, and, if you write to me with your bold step, and it's timely, I'll post it on my site every couple of weeks, if not more often.

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Location: Phoenix, Arizona, United States

Director of Research for (aka: The Foundation Foundation). Formerly with Air America Radio Phoenix ("Froggy Went A Marchin..."). Sang the National Anthem at a rally in Phoenix with Cindy Sheehan. Loves: chocolate, flowers, perfume (my grandmother), great music, politics, and a whole-hearted appreciation of the truth (Are there really "conspiracy theories" or do we need more FOIAs?). Seeker of justice and agent for change.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Among The Scandals, The Real Disaster... The Real Tough Questions Worth Asking.

This morning, I must begin my post with a caveat: I have some personal experience in the matter that I am presenting to you. No, I have not been on television, and, no, I am not associated with any case that has gone public. However, the deeper issue in this post is one that I can speak on from my own life. With this, the following:

Debra Lafave is interviewed by Matt Lauer of NBC's "The Today Show" and tells viewers that the crime her fourteen-year-old victim suffered at her hands -- statuatory rape -- is not violent. Representative Mark Foley, a Florida Republican, may not end up in prison because it is reported on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" that something more serious than the phone calls and instant messages would have had to occur in order to press charges against him.

As Keith said last night, and previously on his show, this is not about: "Gay people thinking about sex all the time." The real problem, which even the staff of Countdown may or may not be aware of, is that many counselors and psychologists in America do not consider the crimes committed against these young people, or people of any age in these situations, for that matter, to be violent crimes. Yes, that's right, what Debra Lafave said to Matt Lauer is actually true.

While I cannot, and will not, divulge any specific personal information, here, I am able to give you a picture of the problem, courtesy some of our finest dictionaries. The crux of the problem is not that a crime was committed. This, everyone agrees on. The issue at hand is whether or not what happened to Debra Lafave's victim and the Capitol Hill pages was violent, or not. Before I list the dictionary definitions, I will give you one more startlingly sad fact: if police officers had quotas for domestic violence, sexual harrassment, and rape offenders rather than traffic violations, and were equipped with the information that I am, herein, about to present, we would see a significant change not only in how crimes committed against children are investigated and prosecuted, but also in the overall safety of our home and work lives. Our nation's "domestic tranquility" would be much more ensured. Behold now, several credible definitions of the word "violence" from on-line dictionaries, most of which have published hardcover book versions in print [NOTE: Steven Colbert, this "WORD" is on me.]:
4. criminal law illegal force: the illegal use of unjustified force, or the intimidating effect created by the threat of this
2 strength of emotion or an unpleasant or destructive natural force.
2 : injury by or as if by distortion, infringement, or profanation
b : vehement feeling or _expression
an instance of such action or feeling c : a clashing or jarring quality : DISCORDANCE 4 : undue alteration (as of wording or sense in editing a text)
1 actions or words which are intended to hurt people:
3 sudden and powerful:
3. the vehement, forceful _expression of feeling or use of language.
5. harm caused by misrepresentation of motive or meaning.
3. Intensity or severity, as in natural phenomena; untamed force: the violence of a tornado. 4. Abusive or unjust exercise of power. 5. Abuse or injury to meaning, content, or intent: do violence to a text. 6. Vehemence of feeling or _expression; fervor.

Given what we read above, is it any wonder that America has one of the highest violent crime rates of any developed nation in the world? Is it surprising that The Republican Party is really "The Cover-up Party"? Is it sad that Debra Lafave thinks she can dream about becoming a journalist -- someone who speaks the truth to people like herself? The task, now, is for people whose professions are all about helping other people to stop taking the easy way out when it comes to dealing with real victims and people who need their assistance, of all ages, with these concerns. When this happens, and only when this happens, will the true offenders -- of either sex -- be dealt with appropriately and put behind bars instead of dreaming about becoming journalists, members of Congress, or otherwise "upstanding" members of American society.

On this note, good morning, good luck, and I'll turn this over to the journalists. It's time for some deeper tough questions.


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