Friday, March 16, 2018

So now the California legislature is outlawing hugging? (And no, it isn't about Grabby Garcia)

I'd rather get a hug from a politician than the shaft, which is what we generally get from them.

California lawmaker banned from hugging after investigation

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California state senator has been told to stop hugging people after an investigation concluded that his trademark embraces made multiple female colleagues uncomfortable.

However, the investigation released Thursday found Sen. Bob Hertzberg's frequent hugs are not intended to be sexual and more often than not are not unwelcome.

Hertzberg, a Democrat from the Los Angeles area, has earned nicknames such as "Hugsberg" and "Huggy Bear" for greeting men and women alike with giant hugs.

The Senate Rules Committee formally reprimanded him on Tuesday and told him not to hug people anymore, but he will not otherwise face discipline.

Hertzberg released a letter apologizing to anyone who felt his frequent embraces were unwelcome. The 63-year-old said he has greeted people with hugs all his life and they were intended as "a gesture of warmth and kindness and a reflection of my exuberance."

"I understand that I cannot control how a hug is received, and that not everyone has the ability to speak up about unwelcome behavior," Hertzberg wrote. "It is my responsibility to be mindful of this."

Three California lawmakers have resigned over allegations of sexually explicit misconduct, with one stepping down while facing the threat of expulsion.

The investigation into Hertzberg covered four complaints dating back to 2010, involving three female lawmakers and a male sergeant at arms. It found he hugged two current and one former lawmaker in ways that made them uncomfortable and made the sergeant uncomfortable by "dancing briefly with his backside" against him.

None of the accusers are named, but former Republican Assemblywoman Linda Halderman has previously spoken to reporters about her accusations against Hertzberg. She said Hertzberg repeatedly hugged her for prolonged periods of time during her term from 2010 to 2012 and at one point thrust into her after she told him to stop.

Halderman declined to speak with the investigators from an outside law firm hired by the state Senate. The investigators concluded Hertzberg made her uncomfortable but couldn't find any evidence supporting that he continued to hug her after she asked him to stop.

Investigators found Hertzberg stopped hugging the second accuser in 2015 after she told him to stop, and that he was unaware that his hugs of another assemblywoman were unwelcome.

Republican Sen. Joel Anderson of Alpine said it's concerning that none of the accusers are named because it shows the Legislature doesn't have enough protections for people filing claims.

"If they don't feel comfortable, then how does the rank and file employee feel comfortable? How does that person in the public feel comfortable?" Anderson said.

He also said it's difficult to be fair to everyone involved if names are withheld.

Hertzberg said the allegations against him were exploited by opponents as he proposed overhauling California's money bail system for offenders awaiting trial. Hertzberg also said the Legislature should do a better job of keeping harassment complaints confidential during investigations.

Investigators noted Hertzberg has been warned about uncomfortable hugs in the past, including of a 2015 complaint from a staff member who said he held her close and began dancing with her. They faulted Hertzberg for not taking past complaints more seriously, but also criticized the Senate for not giving him enough information about the complaints against him.

"He missed opportunities to understand that some people were genuinely troubled by his hugging," investigators wrote, later adding, "more information may have resulted in Hertzberg correcting his conduct with respect to unwanted hugs earlier."

Hertzberg was elected to the state Senate in 2014 after serving six years in the Assembly.

Democratic Sen. Ben Allen of Santa Monica said he couldn't say if the investigation or reprimand were appropriate because senators not sitting on the Rules Committee were only given a summary.

"It's a sensitive investigation and I've got a lot of sympathy for everybody involved," he said.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Frankly, I'm SHOCKED this case was overturned. Pun was intended.

Someone should make this judge wear a shock belt and light it up every time this douche violates the US Constituition.

‘Barbarism’: Texas judge ordered electric shocks to silence man on trial. Conviction thrown out.
By Meagan Flynn March 7

In Tarrant County, Tex., defendants are sometimes strapped with a stun belt around their legs. The devices are used to deliver a shock in the event the person gets violent or attempts to escape.

But in the case of Terry Lee Morris, the device was used as punishment for refusing to answer a judge’s questions properly during his 2016 trial on charges of soliciting sexual performance from a 15-year-old girl, according to an appeals court. In fact, the judge shocked Morris three times, sending thousands of volts coursing through his body. It scared him so much that Morris never returned for the remainder of his trial and almost all of his sentencing hearing.

The action stunned the Texas Eighth Court of Appeals in El Paso, too. It has now thrown out Morris’s conviction on the grounds that the shocks ordered by State District Judge George Gallagher, and Morris’s subsequent removal from the courtroom, violated his constitutional rights. Since he was too scared to come back to the courtroom, the court held that the shocks effectively barred him from attending his own trial, in violation of the Constitution’s Sixth Amendment, which guarantees a defendant’s right to be present and confront witnesses during a trial.

The ruling, handed down Feb. 28, was reported Tuesday in the Texas Lawyer.

Judges are not allowed to shock defendants in their courtrooms just because they won’t answer questions, the court said, or because they fail to follow the court’s rules of decorum.

“While the trial court’s frustration with an obstreperous defendant is understandable, the judge’s disproportionate response is not. We do not believe that trial judges can use stun belts to enforce decorum,” Justice Yvonne T. Rodriguez said of Gallagher’s actions in the court’s opinion. “A stun belt is a device meant to ensure physical safety; it is not an operant conditioning collar meant to punish a defendant until he obeys a judge’s whim. This Court cannot sit idly by and say nothing when a judge turns a court of law into a Skinner Box, electrocuting a defendant until he provides the judge with behavior he likes.”

The stun belt works in some ways like a shock collar used to train dogs. Activated by a button on a remote control, the stun belt delivers an eight-second, 50,000-volt shock to the person wearing it, which immobilizes him so that bailiffs can swiftly neutralize any security threats. When activated, the stun belt can cause the person to seize, suffer heart irregularities, urinate or defecate and suffer possibly crippling anxiety as a result of fear of the shocks.

The stun belt can also be very painful. When Montgomery County, Md., purchased three of the devices in 1998, a sheriff’s sergeant who was jolted as part of his training described the feeling to The Washington Post like this: “If you had nine-inch nails and you tried to rip my sides out and then you put a heat lamp on me.”

Most courts have found that the stun belts are constitutional as long as they are used on defendants posing legitimate security threats — but the Texas justices said there was no evidence of that here.

The discord between Morris and Gallagher arose after Gallagher asked Morris how he would plead: guilty or not guilty?

“Sir, before I say that, I have the right to make a defense,” Morris responded.

He had recently filed a federal lawsuit against his defense attorney and against Gallagher, whom he wanted recused from the case. As Morris continued talking, Gallagher warned him to stop making “outbursts.”

“Mr. Morris, I am giving you one warning,” Gallagher said outside the presence of the jury, according to the appeals court. “You will not make any additional outbursts like that, because two things will happen. No. 1, I will either remove you from the courtroom or I will use the shock belt on you.”

“All right, sir,” Morris said.

The judge continued: “Now, are you going to follow the rules?”

“Sir, I’ve asked you to recuse yourself,” said Morris.

Gallagher asked again: “Are you going to follow the rules?”

“I have a lawsuit pending against you,” responded Morris.

“Hit him,” Gallagher said to the bailiff.

The bailiff pressed the button that shocks Morris, and then Gallagher asked him again whether he is going to behave. Morris told Gallagher he had a history of mental illness.

“Hit him again,” the judge ordered.

Morris protested that he was being “tortured” just for seeking the recusal.

Gallagher asked the bailiff, “Would you hit him again?”

Morris’s trial defense attorney, Bill Ray, told Texas Lawyer he didn’t object to use of stun belt during trial because his client was acting “like a loaded cannon ready to go off.” He also claimed he did not believe Morris was really being shocked.

As the Texas justices note, case law on the use of stun belts on defendants in court is slim, if only because outrageous uses of stun belts in courts are rare.

In the several cases cited in the ruling, the stun belts’ damaging effects on a person as well as their controversial history are well recognized. The stun belts were introduced in the early 1990s as a way to “control” prisoners. According to testimony in a stun belt case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, the devices “acted more as a deterrent rather than a means of actual punishment because of the tremendous amount of anxiety that results from wearing a belt that packs a 50,000-volt to 70,000-volt punch.”

“Never before have we seen any behavior like this, nor do we hope to ever see such behavior again,” Rodriguez wrote of Gallagher’s actions. “As the circumstances of this case perfectly illustrate, the potential for abuse in the absence of an explicit prohibition on nonsecurity use of stun belts exists and must be deterred. We must speak out against it, lest we allow practices like these to affront the very dignity of the proceedings we seek to protect and lead our courts to drift from justice into barbarism.”

The judge, contacted by The Post, declined to comment, citing judicial ethics.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Add being an informant to criminal activity to the growing list of things you can't do as a registered person.

So if you are a registered person, you testimony cannot be trusted, but if you are a fucking dope boy, you are A-OK.

Not Guilty - Informant Was A Sex Offender: Defense
Fri, 03/02/2018 - 9:06am Vic MacDonald
COURT: Defense Questioned Use of Informant; Man Found Not Guilty

Friday, March 2, 2018 - WLBG on-line

A Clinton man was found “not guilty” of drug charges this week, after his defense questioned the use of a sex offender as a confidential informant in a drug transaction. 35-year-old Alexander Simmons of 111-A North Bell Street, Clinton was not convicted on charges of Possession of Crack Cocaine to Distribute in proximity of a school, park or playground.

The defense opened with the argument that the confidential informant, who set up the sale, was a convicted sex offender, and therefore, his testimony could not be trusted.

Clinton Public Safety Captain Tyrone Goggins explained how his department uses informants, saying that at the time of the alleged drug transaction, the informant had no pending charges. Detective Goggins also explained that it’s a common practice to use previously convicted offenders who volunteer for the job to sort of redeem themselves. He said police could only recommend that their service in the drug sale be considered in regard to their charges. He said that in this specific case, the informant used in the undercover drug sale just wanted to receive the customary $50 pay to set up a drug sale.

The prosecution submitted an audio recording as proof of a call to arrange the drug sale between the informant and defendant, and a video tape that was recorded by the informant at the time of the sale. Sargent Prather testified that he monitored the informant at the sale. Defense Attorney Scarlet Moore of Greenville asked Sgt. Prather if he knew the informant was a registered sex offender, and , if so, why he was sent to a park. Prather replied, “We monitored the entire sale and we were only seconds away if anything gets out of hand.” Sgt. Prather also said that to set up a bogus drug deal you have to use someone that is known to the dealer, you can’t just go into a local church and find someone to do that job.

Douglas Robinson, a chemist from SLED, testified that the substance turned over for evidence was in fact, crack cocaine.

In her closing argument, Defense Attorney Scarlet Moore of Greenville told the jury that the video was not definitive enough to show the actual drug being sold, and that in the audio recording you could not hear Simmons voice, and that the confidential informant could not be trusted to offer truthful testimony.

The jury returned a “not guilty” verdict.

Monday, March 5, 2018

#MoronToo: I guess you can say Elizabeth Dunn's list of alleged a wasn't very well "Dunn"

A few days ago, the college she attended "disciplined" her yet she was not suspended or expelled for falsely accusing a third of the male college students of being rapists or sexual harassers. She should have faced the same punishment as those she accused would have faced had they been disciplined.

#HerToo: Middlebury Student in Trouble Over List of Accused Sexual Transgressors 

The #MeToo movement had already named and shamed Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, comedian Louis C.K., U.S. senator Al Franken and celebrity chef Mario Batali when Elizabeth Dunn decided she had something to say about her classmates at Middlebury College.

On December 12, the senior went on Facebook to post a short list of "men to avoid" at Vermont's most prestigious college and solicited input from others. She added the crowdsourced names to her list until she had called out 36 male students and recent graduates for sexual misbehavior, ranging from serial rape to harassment.

Not all of the accusers were female. A few cases involved males or nonbinary students identifying men responsible for sexual misdeeds, according to Dunn.

Facebook removed the post within 48 hours, but screenshots of the list continue to circulate on campus. The incident gained national traction after it was covered on, the same online outlet that published the much-debated anonymous account of a woman's "worst night of my life" date with comedian Aziz Ansari. In its Middlebury story, the website that proudly claims to be "for girls who don't give a fuck" blacked out the names on Dunn's list.

Like Ansari's defenders, some say Dunn, 21, went too far: What began as overdue acknowledgment of a vast sexual harassment problem has devolved into unfair and unsupported charges against men. Middlebury may expel Dunn, and she is worried that sanctions by the college could derail her plans to graduate in May and attend law school in the fall.

But other observers see Dunn's list as an act of bravery and, perhaps, desperation.

"There is an epidemic of sexual assault and everything else you can think of — violence, belittlement, discrimination, stalking, coercion — which happens on college and university campuses every day," said Felicia Kornbluh, a feminist and associate professor of history at the University of Vermont.

Women have issued warnings about men for a long time, and Dunn's list is a modern way to frame the message, Kornbluh said. It's "like what we used to do with writing names on the bathroom wall," she said. "It's sort of the weapon of the weak."

The list is a reminder that many victims don't feel they can trust in police or campus judicial systems to seek redress, Kornbluh said: "It's a sign of our utter failure institutionally."

Numerous students have shared stories with her of being victimized, she added. "It's pretty ubiquitous, and I hear no stories in which people used the university or other judicial procedures and got relief. That basically never happens," Kornbluh said. "So here we are. If I was an undergraduate, I might be writing on Facebook, too."

Culture Shock

Dunn said yes to Middlebury four years ago without ever having seen the place. The Atlanta, Ga., resident picked the college in part because it is known for its foreign languages and offered Arabic, which she'd studied in the rigorous International Baccalaureate program at her public high school.

Middlebury also offered financial aid to cover most of the cost of her four-year education. The teen was too busy with exams at the time to take advantage of an invitation to fly up and visit. Dunn, whom her friends call Liz, turned down similar offers from Brandeis University, American University, and the College of William and Mary to come to Vermont.

Dunn was eager to get out of the South and experience a new culture, a new place. But the transition for the African American daughter of a single hotel housekeeper mom was "jarring," as Dunn described it on a couch inside Middlebury's on-campus radio station, WRMC 91.1 FM, on the second floor of Proctor Hall. (She hosts a weekly program, "Cannabis Feminist," that explores "the intersections of marijuana, feminism, race, class and the prison industrial complex.") The mostly white, mostly wealthy and very sports-oriented school culture at Middlebury was indeed unfamiliar.

And, like many new college students, Dunn found herself navigating social situations for which she was unprepared. One night during her first year, she attended a party, met a guy and went to his room. According to Dunn, the student, a senior, plied her with alcohol to the point where she was "very drunk." They had a sexual encounter even though Dunn now says she "didn't really know what was happening" and "didn't really consent to a lot of what was happening."

Dunn tearfully explained that, the next day, she knew something terrible had occurred but didn't want to fully admit it to herself. She never reported the incident to police or campus judicial officers because she did not want to face humiliating questions that "chip away at you" and blame the victim, she said.

But she came to view the encounter as a sexual assault. And late last year, inspired by the #MeToo movement — and the "Shitty Media Men" list circulating online with claims about professionals in that industry — Dunn accused the student in her December 12 Facebook post that quickly grew into a list of 36 men. She revealed only his first name and encouraged other students to direct message, aka "DM," her on Facebook with the names of their abusers. She promised to add them to her list.

"The messages just started pouring in," Dunn recalled, adding that she was surprised by how many students wanted to share their experiences of being victimized by harassment and sexual assault. "There's just a lot of collective pain and trauma that people have experienced here," Dunn said of Middlebury College.

Before Facebook took it down due to complaints, the post listed the offenders — almost all by both first and last names — along with various accusations after each one, from "serial rapist" to "emotionally abusive" to "treats women, especially black women, like shit."

Dunn's post ended with these words: "here's to not being complicit in 2018 and feel free to dm me more names to add to this status because I could really give a fuck about protecting the privacy of abusers."

All of this happened as students were preparing to leave campus for the holiday break. Before she headed home to Atlanta, Dunn got a call from a campus judicial officer asking to meet. Initially, the purpose seemed to be to offer her comfort and support as a victim of sexual assault, Dunn said. But then the officer, whom she won't name, asked her to identify and provide contact information for those students who gave her the names of the men on the list.

Dunn said she refused to cooperate because she had promised to protect the privacy of the victims; she has since deleted all of their messages. Then, last week, Dunn said she was summoned again to meet with Middlebury judicial officers. On January 17, they told her she was officially facing college discipline for violating the privacy of other students — that is, those individuals she outed on the list.

"I could be facing suspension or expulsion. Middlebury judicial affairs has refused to take anything off the table right now," said Dunn, who is majoring in gender, sexuality and feminism studies. The possibility that she might not be able to finish at Middlebury is sobering, she said, but she still feels she did the right thing.

"This harm is being done by, like, specific people and by specific individuals, and if we want to move toward a conversation about, like, healing and accountability and growth, there needs to be some acknowledgment that harm was done," Dunn said. "So I think that the list was collectively generated not only by me, but by a pretty large group of survivors. It was like taking a moment to say, 'This is our experience. This is what happened to us.'"

Students weren't eager to speak to this reporter about Dunn or her list on a snowy afternoon last Thursday. More than half a dozen males declined to comment on the record about the controversy, but each was aware of it. The roster continues to circulate, they said, because so many people took screenshots of the post before Facebook pulled it down.

"For someone to just post a name, post an allegation and not have anything to back it up, it's hard to respect that," said a male first-year student on campus who did not want his name used. Others said the post "freaked" students out but triggered necessary conversations.

Samantha Valone, a Middlebury sophomore from the Boston area, said it was a good thing to call attention to sexual violence. But, she added, "I just kind of feel bad for some of the people who were maybe accused and are innocent, because their lives are pretty rough right now."

The range of misdeeds, alleged or real, also varied widely, she noted, from emotional abuse to the much more serious "serial rape," and "they maybe shouldn't have been put on the same list," Valone said.

After Facebook took down the list, some students decried the decision online and even accused the social media giant of being complicit in sexual assault, observed Nathaniel Wiener, a Middlebury College senior and a reporter for the student newspaper, the Middlebury Campus, which published a December 23 story on Dunn.

But other students immediately felt the list was unfair and still do, Wiener said last week. The controversy comes on the heels of another Middlebury mess that went national last March, when student protesters shut down a talk by The Bell Curve coauthor Charles Murray and injured a professor in the process.

Dunn helped organize that public demonstration, too, calling Murray's race-based theories about intelligence deeply offensive. On November 13, she took part in a "performance activism" piece in front of Proctor called "Laurie's Big Apology." Students in cheerleading getups waved metallic pom-poms as they lampooned Middlebury president Laurie Patton's effort to respond to continuing protests around the Murray event during a town-hall-style meeting she had convened a few days earlier.

To see the college headed back into the headlines over a new scandal upset a number of alumni, according to Wiener. Some reached out to him to ask about Dunn's motivations with the list. "My answer was, 'I don't know,'" said Wiener.

It didn't help that immediately after the social media blast, the college issued emails to the student body that appeared to take one side, and then the other. The first urged victims to report harassment or assault to the college judicial office. The second urged people falsely accused to report that, too, to the same office. The messages just added to the confusion around the list, Wiener said.

"It was like you get into a fight in the schoolyard, and your parents say, 'Well, I don't really know what happened, but make sure you don't do it again,'" Wiener said.

The federal law known as Title IX prohibits Middlebury and other educational institutions from discriminating on the basis of gender. Although it is well known for improving women's access and participation in athletics, the statute also provides guidance on campus judicial reviews of sexual assaults.

College officials would not confirm that Dunn is facing possible sanctions, nor would they say if any of the individuals on the list might be. A request to interview Patton was denied. But college spokeswoman Sarah Ray offered this statement on her behalf: "Middlebury takes all allegations regarding sexual assault and discrimination extremely seriously. Our policies encourage reporting of assaults and ensure that allegations are investigated thoroughly, fairly and confidentially. The public posting of allegations raises many issues for our community and has no role in a fair and balanced process.

"An investigation into all aspects of this incident is under way," the statement continued, "and we will work to ensure that Middlebury carefully follows its policies regarding sexual assault, harassment and other Title IX allegations, as well as its policies regarding respect for persons."

Justice or Witch Hunt?
This is not the first time social media has been used in a campus sexual assault allegation. Alec Rose is a Santa Monica, Calif., attorney with a national practice that specializes in college assault cases. He's not representing anyone in connection with the Middlebury incident.

One of his clients was recently cleared in a campus judicial review process, and the alleged victim chose not to appeal but later tweeted the young man's name with the accusation that he was a "rapist loose on campus" and that the college was whitewashing that fact, Rose said. "It was very devastating for the young man," and he withdrew from the school, according to Rose, who declined to release more specific details.

Meanwhile, the accuser could have channeled her anger into an appeal, he added. Using social media as it was in that case, and in others, can be deeply unfair, Rose said: "I think it's a dangerous way for somebody to seek redress, both to them and the people they are accusing."

He had a similar reaction after reading the story about Dunn's list on Babe.

"Without knowing that she had substance to back up her accusations against these 30 young men, I don't know how this could be deemed responsible," Rose said, adding: "It's certainly very humiliating to the people she reported on ... It may be a situation where some of them may not be able to recover their reputation."

Dunn said she considered the risk that someone would sue her for defamation of character when she posted the list, but she doesn't believe it will happen — in part because legal action would generate unwanted publicity. She hasn't heard from lawyers for any of the accused young men.

Another factor is the veracity of the claim. "In a campus situation, or in any situation where someone has alleged defamation by [an allegation of] sexual assault, one defense to that would be truth, that it actually happened," said Burlington attorney Ben Luna, who has no direct connection to the Middlebury situation but has represented students facing various charges and tried many sexual assault cases in his former career as a prosecutor.

"There's a whole host of issues at play here, legal and otherwise," Luna said.

Meanwhile, some female public figures, including French actress Catherine Deneuve, are warning that the #MeToo movement is turning into a witch hunt.

Is Middlebury an example of overreach on campuses?

"My immediate reaction to that is no," Luna said. Historically speaking, sexual assault has "been a grossly underreported crime," and victims have not felt able to go to the courts for many reasons, Luna said.

"There's a whole laundry list of reasons why an individual will not report, will not disclose," Luna said. "Some of those examples are the fear that no one will believe them, embarrassment. A lot of sex assault victims blame themselves." Luna said one teenage victim he worked with wasn't fully aware she had been violated. "She didn't really know what rape was," he said.

Back at Middlebury, Dunn is waiting to see how the college disciplinary process treats her. Her friends are petitioning against punitive action, and Dunn is applying to law schools.

She said she isn't concerned that her activism could adversely affect her chances of getting in. Her plan B: landing a job in the Bronx public defender's office.

Dunn has heard nothing from the man she personally accused and has never directly told him how she felt about the evening. Does she think he would view the incident as sexual assault? "Probably not," she said. "And that's another thing that is really typical here."

Men are sometimes raised to ignore social cues and feel a sense of entitlement, while women may be socialized not to say no or to accept things so men feel more comfortable, suggested Dunn.

Reactions from men on the list haven't all been negative. Some of the accused have "glared" at Dunn in the dining hall or said "not very nice" things, she allowed. But others have approached her to discuss the allegations and even said they wanted to create a forum for broader conversation.

Tyler McDowell, a junior from Pennsylvania, was accused on the list of making "fetishistic, racist, sexual comments about black women." He doesn't remember making such comments and does not know who claims he made them, McDowell told Seven Days.

Still, he doesn't feel he was treated unfairly. "I do not feel wronged by this. I also would stipulate that other men probably shouldn't, either," said McDowell.

The list was a "wake-up call" that should trigger discussion about the need for an end to the behaviors that were described on the list, he added. It's "one way of broadcasting kind of a general call for culture change."

Correction, January 25, 2018: Felicia Kornbluh called posting names a "weapon of the weak." And earlier version of this story contained an error.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Coalinga CA incorporated civil commitment center, lost a tax bill because the patients can vote, now wants a bill to exclude them from voting

 “[I]f the constitutional conception of 'equal protection of the laws' means anything, it must at the very least mean that a bare . . . desire to harm a politically unpopular group cannot constitute a legitimate governmental interest.” Department of Agriculture v. Moreno, 413 U.S. 528, 534 (1973), cited in Romer v Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996)

It is obvious this bill is retaliation for the voting preferences of those at the indefinite detention center at Coalinga.


AB 2839, as introduced, Arambula. Voter qualifications: domicile: sexually violent predators.
Existing law requires the Legislature to define residence and provide for registration and free elections for the purposes of voting in the state. Existing law defines a “residence” for voting purposes to mean a person’s domicile, and provides that the domicile of a person is that place in which his or her habitation is fixed, wherein the person has the intention of remaining, and to which, whenever he or she is absent, the person has the intention of returning. Existing law provides that at a given time, a person may have only one domicile. Existing law provides that a person does not gain or lose a domicile solely by reason of his or her presence or absence from a place while kept in an asylum or prison.

Existing law defines sexually violent predator, for the purposes of, among other things, classifying persons for commitment to the custody of the State Department of State Hospitals for mental health treatment, as a person who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense against one or more victims and who has a diagnosed mental disorder that makes the person a danger to the health and safety of others in that it is likely that he or she will engage in sexually violent criminal behavior.
This bill would provide that the domicile of a person who has been adjudicated a sexually violent predator and who is committed for an indeterminate term to the custody of the department shall be the last known address of the person before his or her commitment.


SECTION 1. Section 2036 is added to the Elections Code, to read:
2036. The domicile of a person who has been adjudicated a sexually violent predator, as defined in Section 6600 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and who is committed for an indeterminate term to the custody of the State Department of State Hospitals, shall be the last known address of the person before his or her commitment.

After sexual predators swung an election, new law would change California voting rules


March 01, 2018 11:04 AM

Updated March 01, 2018 01:11 PM

Four months after the patients of Coalinga State Hospital doomed a 1-cent sales tax needed to maintain police and fire staffing in the city, the state Assembly is weighing a change to state voting law that would limit sexually violent predators’ voting rights.

Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula – the Fresno Democrat whose district encompasses much of Fresno County, including Coalinga – proposed the change on Feb. 16. In an interview this week, Arambula said he became aware of the issue after The Bee’s initial reporting on the failed ballot measure in November.

“I was shocked to find out that sexually violent predators were able to affect an outcome on something as important as public safety,” Arambula said. “This impacted the jobs of 23 police officers and firefighters who are desperately needed in Coalinga.”

Arambula’s one-page bill would set the residence status of any sexually violent predator committed to an indeterminate term in a California state hospital to his or her last known address.

Current law allows some patients at Coalinga State Hospital to vote in Coalinga, as the city annexed the hospital years ago to increase its population – a common tactic for small cities hoping to appear larger to attract potential businesses. A larger population count by the U.S. census also can bring more federal and tax revenues to a city for law enforcement, housing, transportation and other needs.

The proposed change must pass the Assembly and Senate before the governor can decide whether to sign it into law.

In November, a group of patients and former patients – organized as a group called Detainee-Americans for Civic Equality (DACE) – opted to oppose Coalinga’s Measure C, which would have raised the sales tax to pay for existing public services. Voting records show most of the hospital’s 304 registered voters voted against the tax, which failed by just 37 votes.

Robert Ferguson, a former patient and registered sex offender living in Fresno, is the community liaison for DACE. On Tuesday, he sent out a letter to activists and the news media blasting Arambula’s proposed legislation and threatening to do everything he can to keep the assemblyman from winning re-election this year.

In his letter, Ferguson said that patients at Coalinga are civil detainees, not prisoners. Many have been in custody for decades and will likely spend the rest of their lives in the hospital, he added.

Patients have no ties to their former addresses, Ferguson said, whereas measures in Coalinga do have a limited impact on them . The proposed sales tax hike would have increased prices at the hospital’s cafeteria, for example.

Arambula said he did not speak to any patients about voting in last November’s election this specific issue prior to proposing the law.

“The sexually violent predators don’t even use” community services in Coalinga, he said. “It’s much more appropriate for them to vote in the communities they will be returned to.”

The fallout from the defeated tax measure continues to reverberate through both Coalinga and the state hospital system.

In January, the hospital was locked down after patients began acting out due to a ban on certain personal electronic devices. The patients contend the hospital crackdown was in retaliation for the election, while the Department of State Hospitals says it was due to the spread of child pornography using the now-outlawed devices.

The patients have filed a lawsuit against the state.

The city of Coalinga has also filed an unrelated lawsuit against Fresno County, claiming the patients should never have been allowed to vote and demanding the election results be voided.

Coalinga proposed the sales tax after tough economic times led to a $557,000 deficit in its annual budget. The city’s Kmart, a major income producer, closed down, and income from its embrace of cannabis cultivation has been slow to materialize.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Trump Supporters Dating Site used Registered Citizen as Face of the Website

I have to admit I'm on the fence with this one. It is no secret I'm very anti-Trump, and anything that makes Trump look like Jenna Maroney from 30 Rock is great with me, but at the same time, I'm pro-second chances for registrants. Either way, the whole flap over this story is Shiitake-worthy.

Morons Are Governing America.

Trump Dating Site Pulls Photo of Convicted Child Sex Offender From Home Page
*****  filmed himself having sex with a teenager in the ’90s

Sean Burch | Last Updated: February 20, 2018 @ 8:02 AM — the new dating site courting “Make America Great Again” supporters — couldn’t have picked a worse model for its featured image.

On the site’s splash page, users are greeted by the smiling face of **** , who it turns out is a convicted sex offender, as several local news outlets reported. **** was convicted in 1995 for filming himself having sex with a 15-year-old girl while he was in his mid-2os. His conviction is listed on public records.

***'s picture, along with his wife Jodi’s, have since been removed from’s welcome page. The conservative-friendly site — which caused an uproar on Monday for only allowing straight men or women to sign up for the service– didn’t immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

FEBRUARY 20, 2018
11:18 AM
A Convicted Sex Criminal Was the Face of a Trump Dating Site
Madeleine Aggeler

As we’ve seen, dating can be hard for Trump voters. To even the playing field, some MAGA fans created, a safe space for those who hate safe spaces. The website has been off to a rough start, however, facing criticism for only making itself available to straight men and women, allowing people to sign up as “happily married” or “unhappily married,” and for featuring a picture of B** R***, a convicted sex offender, on its home page.

According to North Carolina’s WRAL news, in 1995, *** was convicted for taking indecent liberties with a minor after he taped himself having sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 25.

*** and his wife, Jodi, are active in North Carolina conservative politics, and for a time, the home page featured a picture of the couple smiling in matching Trump baseball caps. (The picture has since been changed.)

It is unclear who created the website, and what role the *** play, if any. Barrett Riddleberger would not agree to answer questions about the site, but did tell WRAL, “I’ve already paid my debt for something I did 25 years ago.”

On its (now ***-less) home page, says it is
“wrecking the dating game and giving like-minded Americans a chance to meet without the awkwardness that comes with the first conversation about politics.” It also includes helpful dating tips for users’s profiles like “Play a little hard to get but with a fun flare,” and “People who feel good about themselves make others feel good too.”

The Cut has reached out to for a comment on ***, and will update when we hear back.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Some people are actually stupid enough to think that giving high fives is "grooming"

I think most of my Shiitake Awards readers are Americans, but Predator Panic is just as bad across the pond.

I'm no Brit, so I had to look up the term "lollipop man" and it is the British term for a crossing guard, presumably due to the shape of their crossing signs on sticks resembling lollipops.

Lollipop man speaks out: 'I was told high-fiving kids was grooming'
Lollipop man Bryan Broom has spoken out about the complaints made against him to East Riding Council

ByAlex Grove
06:00, 10 FEB 2018
UPDATED 07:22, 10 FEB 2018

A respected lollipop man has admitted he resigned from his job after the council told him he could no longer high-five children because it could be interpreted as grooming.

Bryan Broom, 77, shocked parents and pupils alike after deciding to hang up his hi-viz earlier this week.

He left yesterday in an emotional afternoon and was showered with gifts and hugs from devastated children who urged him not to leave.

Bryan’s resignation came after complaints were made about him high-fiving youngsters as they left Kirk Ella St Andrew’s Community Primary School in west Hull.

And now, Bryan has revealed why he made the tough decision to quit doing the job he loved after almost two decades.

He said: “I used to high-five the kids until I was told it could be construed as grooming – that is what the council told me.

“It’s rather peculiar because two or three months ago there were pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge high-fiving at a school and I should have sent copies of those to the council.

“If it was good enough for the royal family why is it not good enough for me?

“If I carried on I would feel so frustrated that I would have to watch my Ps and Qs all the time.

“I wouldn’t know how to talk to people because I am a rather outgoing person.

“Maybe I do say some things wrong but generally I do, I think, a pretty good job.

“It makes me feel sad and I thought if this is what is happening to the world I don’t want to be a part of this.”

Since news of Bryan’s resignation broke among parents, mums have leaped to his defence and slammed those who have complained to the council about his behaviour as “pathetic” and “ridiculous.”

East Riding of Yorkshire Council has said that investigations were launched after complaints were made about Bryan’s conduct.

However, none of these were upheld.

In a statement, the council said: “The council had received a number of complaints from parents about the behaviour of Mr Broom.

"These complaints were investigated but not upheld. Mr Broom is choosing to leave of his own accord and we wish him well in the future."

Bryan condemned those who made complaints against him and slammed the perceived “political correctness” creeping into society, but was thankful for the support he received from many well-wishers.

“It means so much to me,” he said. “It proves that the majority of people are not into this political correctness and that they are the same as me.

“The ordinary people have come to my defence.

“This political correctness has been perpetuated by a small minority of people and in the last couple of days, the majority has proved to me that Mr and Mrs Ordinary are wonderful people and they don’t want this political correctness.”

After waving his lollipop stick for the last time on Friday, Bryan now plans to take a break by going on holiday for a week.

However, he expressed his pride and gratitude to those who showed up on his final day to give him the perfect send-off.

“It has been fantastic,” Bryan said. “I expected a bit of a fuss but it’s gone viral and I love it.

“I’ve had chocolate, gin, wine – you name it, and I’ve had some really nice messages from children saying ‘please don’t go.’

“It’s been wonderful and I feel so humbled that people think so fondly of me.”

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

If you are traveling alone with your teenage daughter & stay at Travelodge, you might be confused for a "pedophile"

This has actually happened TWICE now, both times involving Travelodge. I see a pattern here.

Dad branded 'paedo' by Travelodge for visiting sick mum with his daughter
A DAD staying in a hotel with his teenage daughter was stunned when staff told police he was a paedophile.

The doting father was branded a sex offender after Travelodge staff mistook his daughter for an underage girl they thought he had groomed.

Shocked Karl Pollard, 46, was taking Stephanie, 14, to visit his cancer-stricken mum.

The pair checked into the budget hotel near her home in Macclesfield, Cheshire, earlier this month.

But when Karl went up to the room to freshen up, he was confronted by police, who accused him of grooming the teenager.

Karl said: “I couldn’t believe it.

“It was an emotional trip already – but it was made so much worse.

“One minute I was brushing my teeth, the next I was being told I was a paedophile.”

Karl and Stephanie had made the four-hour train journey from their home in south Wales to visit his mother.

Karl said: “My mum has just been diagnosed with aggressive lung cancer.

“We’re not sure how long she has left."

“I wanted to take Stephanie down to visit her before she started treatment.”

Karl, a carer for his wife Kim, 45, who has multiple sclerosis, booked a double bedroom for him and Stephanie after being told it was the only room left.

He said: “When we arrived the receptionist gave me a weird look but I thought nothing of it.

“We went up to the room to get unpacked and ready to see my mum.

“It was only a 20-minute walk away – which is why I chose the hotel.

“About 10 minutes later there was a knock at the door. A policewoman was standing there. I thought something had happened to my mum or my wife.

“But she said, ‘We’ve had a call from Travelodge, they believe you are a paedophile grooming underage girls’.”

Karl and Stephanie were interviewed separately by the officer.

He said: “I explained to her that I was Stephanie’s dad.

“The officer had to ask her loads of questions to prove it.”

Karl said police dropped the matter almost immediately, but the episode left Stephanie “distraught”.

He said: “My daughter was in tears. She was so scared – and thought I was going to get taken away.

“This has never happened to me before.”

He said that Travelodge had not apologised to him and not offered a refund for his stay. The weekend cost Karl £150.

He added: “It was an already traumatic trip. I was treated disgustingly.

“The worst was my daughter, she was just so distraught.”

Travelodge said it takes its responsibilities towards protecting children and vulnerable young people extremely seriously.

A spokesman said they had said sorry to Karl and had now given him a full refund.

They added: “All our hotel teams are trained according to national guidelines supported by the NSPCC.

“In the past proactive action by our hotel teams has helped to safeguard young people at risk. In this instance we got it wrong.”

Cheshire Police said: “Police were called at 3pm on Thursday, February 8, to reports of suspicious activity at a hotel on Waters Green in Macclesfield.

“Staff at the Travelodge did the right thing by reporting what they believed to be suspicious activity to officers, although thankfully there was nothing untoward and it turned out to be a misunderstanding.”

Last year, a Travelodge in Surrey asked dad Craig Darwell to prove he was the father of 13-year-old daughter Millie after staff accused him of being a paedophile.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Could someone please tell Tom Holm of the Lewiston Tribune that the Constition is NOT a "loophole"?

I'm getting real tired of the media using the term "loophole" in an attempt to propagate fear and misinformation.

I am not going to publish the entire piece, just the relevant passage.

Chilling loophole
Two-time sex offender convicted one day prior to retroactive sex offender registry won't be added to list if he is released
By TOM HOLM of the Tribune Feb 25, 2018

The loophole

The sex offender registry doesn’t include many loopholes. But John Mebane could fit through this one.

The registry was adopted by the Idaho Legislature in 1998. It states that those convicted of some sex crimes will be added to a lifetime registry if convicted on or after July 1, 1993.

John Mebane was convicted of molesting the 4-year-old boy on June 30, 1993, just one day prior to the retroactive date of the registry.

Sen. Dan Johnson, R-Lewiston, said in an email he corresponded with colleagues in the state Senate and found that modifying the law to be infinitely retroactive would be unconstitutional.

Any attempt to retroactively include offenders prior to July 1993 would be deemed “ex post facto,” and such laws are unconstitutional. The rule is meant to prevent previously legislated criminal sanctions from being retroactive or increasing punishments. Idaho law conforms with federal code in this circumstance. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has found in two cases that publishing the registry online – in 2003 prior to its ubiquity on the web – was permitted since it was not considered an increased punishment.

Mike Mebane said he’s called each of Idaho’s congressmen trying to compel them to make the registry infinitely retroactive, but without movement on the federal level or a U.S. Supreme Court opinion it’s unlikely to change.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

FloriDUH House of Reps considers porn worse than assault rifles just days after a school shooting

This is pretty stupid, even by FloriDUH.

Florida House declares porn a public health risk shortly after denying assault rifle ban
BY AVERY ANAPOL - 02/21/18 09:25 AM EST

Florida lawmakers on Tuesday passed a resolution declaring pornography a public health risk, less than an hour after they rejected a motion to consider a bill that would ban assault rifles.

The Florida House of Representatives opened its Tuesday session with a motion to debate a bill banning assault rifles, which it rejected by a 36-71 vote within three minutes, according to The Washington Post.

In the same session, less than an hour later, according to the newspaper, the legislature considered a GOP-backed bill to declare porn a public health risk, which it passed by a voice vote.

During the debate, state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D) questioned state Rep. Ross Spano, the GOP lawmaker who presented the pornography bill, asking if pornography has killed anyone or caused first responders to seek counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Smith later criticized Spano and the bill to The Associated Press.

“[Spano] was saying porn as a health risk was more important to address here in the Florida Legislature than the epidemic of gun violence," Smith told the AP. "These are their priorities. I don't understand the politics, to be honest, if I'm being honest. I'm not aware there's a base of voters who are losing sleep every night over the epidemic of pornography as a public health crisis."

Survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were present in the gallery watching while the lawmakers voted not to consider the ban on assault rifles, and many have since intensified their calls to vote the lawmakers out of office.

Sheryl Acquaroli, a junior from Stoneman Douglas, told CNN that the lawmakers’ decision to not consider the assault rifle ban was “heartbreaking.” Police say the gunman used an AR-15 assault rifle, purchased legally, to kill 17 people and injure 14 others at the school last Wednesday.

“It was just so heartbreaking to see how many names were up there, especially after it was my school,” Acquaroli said. “It seemed almost heartless how they immediately pushed the button to say 'no.'”

Thursday, February 22, 2018

UK District Judge Tim Spruce is the worst Nottingham public official since that Sheriff from Robin Hood

It was fitting that the Disney rendition of Robin Hood depicted the Sheriff of Nottingham as a bloated wolf. I suppose the District Judge of Nottingham could be accurately depicted by a sewer rat.

I think the headline of the article succinctly explains why this judge from the UK is on the list.

Vigilante groups SHOULD be able to snare paedophiles online, judge rules
It had been argued the defendant had been entrapped by the group

08:42, 20 FEB 2018

A child groomer must remain in custody after a judge ruled that paedophile hunters were allowed to snare him at Nottingham Railway Station.

Defence solicitor Julian Griffiths suggested that sting operations should be left to the police - and that vigilantes could spark trouble by staging arrests.

But District Judge Tim Spruce said the group's evidence should be accepted at the trial of **** at the city's magistrates' court. He found him guilty of three charges.

The judge said: "There are competing interests, clearly a public interest to protect children from the type of behaviour alleged here, sexual exploitation and abuse.

"The counter argument is that if we allow people to set you up in this way, it will result in disorder, there will be more trouble and it will cause more crime.

"I think in balancing these factors, most people would think it is more important to prevent sexual exploitation rather than run the risk of vigilantes creating disorder." ...

He was sent to Nottingham Crown Court to appear there on March 12. Bismellah, formerly of Coventry, has been in custody since the paedophile hunters performed a citizens' arrest at the station on December 16.

At the trial, Mr Griffiths said the group set a trap and encouraged law-breaking. He questioned whether it was the right way to tackle internet grooming...

"But he was being entrapped, being tempted into this activity. This deception was a pack of lies and there is the sting at the railway station.

"These people are unregulated investigators, some would call them vigilantes. This should be a state prosecution but this is a misuse of the courts. Only if it is impracticable for the police to attend should they effect a citizens' arrest."

Monday, February 19, 2018

Dennis Dodd is putting the BS in CBS and the ANAL in Analyst

I see BS, a LOT of BS, in this article. Stick with plain old sports writing, Dennis.

Oregon State silent as Luke Heimlich is somehow allowed to return to the diamond
The Beavers' star pitcher pleaded guilty to felony child molestation at age 15

by Dennis Dodd
Feb 16, 2018 • 4 min read

At some point this weekend, Oregon State will begin its baseball season with an admitted child molester on the mound.

Luke Heimlich is in the Beavers' rotation the same way he was last June when The Oregonian broke the story that one of the nation's best pitchers had pleaded guilty to a count of felony child molestation.

At age 15, Heimlich molested a 6-year-old female relative, according to the report. While Heimlich reportedly denied the allegations, he still pleaded guilty, preferring to avoid a trial.

His probation is over. The case was sealed in August after a five-year period. Amazingly, he is still on the team.

A big reason we know any of this is the state of Washington, where the crime occurred, doesn't necessarily seal juvenile files. Thank goodness. It was only after digging last year by The Oregonian that these questions became relevant …

When did the school and coach Pat Casey know of Heimlich's crime?
Did Heimlich and his family conceal his situation from the school and Casey when pursuing a scholarship?
Upon revelation of his situation, why wasn't Heimlich suspended/kicked off the team?
And why, eight months later -- after ultimately removing himself from the lineup last postseason -- is he still on the team?
Everybody deserves a second chance, but in any rational society there is a line that can't be crossed. Heimlich's admitted actions are intolerable, heinous. His privileged presence on the mound mocks every victim of sexual violence.

I'm not saying he shouldn't be in school -- somewhere. It's the same argument that haunted Oklahoma when it enabled Joe Mixon. The tailback was suspended for a year but still allowed to complete his career after punching a woman.

Oklahoma should stand for something better than that. One would hope Oregon State does, too.

I'm agreeing with my friend Brenda Tracy, an activist and rape victim.

Brenda Tracy

I don’t think athletes with sexually violent histories and criminal/felony records should get to play sports. Period.

If you have a problem with that then you are the problem.

5:26 PM - Feb 14, 2018
38 people are talking about this

Some administrator somewhere has to take a stand. Athletes with sexually violent histories simply should not be allowed to play college sports. It's possible. Indiana and Utah have such bans at their schools. The SEC and Pac-12 ban transfers with "serious misconduct" in their backgrounds.

Playing sports is a privilege, not a right -- and certainly not a legal volleyball to be batted around.

When I asked one Power Five athletic director about kicking Heimlich off the team, he portrayed the situation to me this way.

"I'm sure [Oregon State's] looking at him saying, 'We're going to get sued because he'd done his penance.' I would rather get sued by him."

And as long as we're asking pointed questions, here are a couple of others …

If Heimlich were a low-level walk-on, would he still have a spot on the team?
If you were absolutely innocent -- as Heimlich contended, according to reports -- how many of you would plead guilty to felony child molestation simply to avoid trial?
Thought so.

Casey did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for Oregon State president Ed Ray said he "is not available for Luke Heimlich questions." The spokesman resent to CBS Sports a statement by Ray released last June.

In it, Ray supported Heimlich, "rejoining the baseball team next season." He also hinted "admission criteria" could be revisited beginning this fall. That's too late for the victim who must endure Heimlich's notoriety and success. Reports say she is 12 now.

Ray is hard to figure out. As chair of the NCAA Executive Committee, he admitted to not reading the Freeh Report, the basis for those crippling penalties at Penn State. In 2015, Ray advocated for that Pac-12 transfer ban. It seems beyond hypocritical, then, he has a sex offender on his baseball team.

I reached out to three FBS athletic directors to get their anonymous takes. I asked them: Would Luke Heimlich be on your team under these circumstances right now?

Athletic director A said, "[I] cannot imagine playing him."

Athletic director B said, "Hell no, but these days it doesn't seem that easy."

As the Power Five AD mentioned earlier, athletic director B brought up the possibility of a lawsuit by Heimlich. That would scare everyone in administration. But so should having an admitted sex offender in your midst.

Or should we be surprised at all? Oregon State doesn't ban felons from competing as athletes. Neither does the NCAA.

"Everybody, most of the time, deserves a second chance. I get that," athletic director B said. "[Heimlich] went through his counseling, but it was a 6-year-old child … You've got little girls coming to your games. You can't have that as an image with your program with Larry Nassar and all those things going on. Really?

"You just have to say, 'I'm sorry, young man, you can't play for us.'"

That last sentence is where all this has to change. Heimlich had his due process. His victim will have to live with his admitted actions for the rest of her life. It remains disgusting Heimlich had to remove himself from the NCAA Baseball Tournament last year not wanting to be a "distraction."

What's changed now that he is back?

Heimlich, the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year, went undrafted. He had been projected as a first-round pick. Major League Baseball spoke volumes without saying a word.

If somehow Heimlich thinks the whole thing will blow over by this June's draft, that's misguided, too. This will follow Heimlich wherever he goes for the rest of his life. As it should.

You think he won't be a distraction now over a full season, traveling across the country with one of the nation's best college programs?

Get ready for ugly chants from the stands. Get ready for more columns like this one wherever Oregon State plays. Get ready for one of the more distasteful College World Series in memory if Oregon State qualifies again with Heimlich pitching.

As for now … play ball?

Saturday, February 17, 2018

How many men would a #MeToo feminist grope if a #MeToo Feminist could grope men? Ask GRABBY Garcia

The hypocrisy of the #MeToo Movement has come to a head here. She has taken unpaid leave, at least. Garcia was featured in the cover story of this year's Time Magazine Person of the Year "The Silence Breakers" article and bashed the judge in the Brock Turner case. How the tables have turned!

A Leader of California's #MeToo Movement Has Been Accused of Sexual Misconduct

By KATHLEEN RONAYNE / AP February 9, 2018

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — California Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, the head of the Legislative Women’s Caucus and a leading figure in the state’s anti-sexual harassment movement, is accused of groping a male staffer from another lawmaker’s office, according to a report published Thursday.

The incident occurred in a dugout after a softball game in 2014 and now is being investigated by the Assembly, Politico reported. Daniel Fierro didn’t report it at the time but in January mentioned it to his former boss, Democratic Assemblyman Ian Calderon, who reported it to Assembly leaders.

Fierro, who was 25 at the time, said after the game Garcia stroked his back, squeezed his buttocks and attempted to touch his crotch. He said he was interviewed by an outside law firm hired by the Assembly Rules Committee last Friday. Politico also reported that a lobbyist who declined to be named claimed Garcia made crude sexual comments and tried to grab his crotch at a 2017 fundraiser.

Garcia, who has spoken out strongly against her male colleagues who have been accused of sexual harassment, said she was unaware of the claims until Thursday.

“Every complaint about sexual harassment should be taken seriously and I will participate fully in any investigation that takes place,” the Los Angeles-area lawmaker said in a statement. “I have zero recollection of engaging in inappropriate behavior and such behavior is inconsistent with my values.”

Fierro and the lobbyist said it appeared Garcia was inebriated at the time of the encounters.

In a November interview with The Associated Press about alcohol-fueled fundraisers and other after-work events that are a part of regular business in Sacramento, Garcia said blaming alcohol isn’t an acceptable excuse for sexually inappropriate behavior. It’s men who chose to misbehave, not the social events themselves, that create the problems, she said.

“I would say that most of the public realizes that our job is based on relationships, and so we are expected to go out there and socialize,” she said. “I think our public also expects us to hold ourselves to a higher standard.”

The Assembly committee said last week that eight allegations of sexual harassment are pending in the Assembly but did not divulge any names. Debra Gravert, the chief administrative officer, didn’t respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking confirmation that Garcia is under investigation and clarifying whether Fierro’s allegation is one of the eight pending.

Fierro, of Cerritos, now runs a communications firm. He previously worked for Calderon, who became the majority leader. Lerna Shirinian, Calderon’s communications director, said Fierro told her about the incident right after it happened.

“He was in shock, I was in shock — but the culture was very different back then,” Shirinian said.

Garcia was elected in 2012 and has carved out a name as a champion of women’s issues and environmental health for poor communities. She chairs the Women’s Caucus and her photo was featured in Time Magazine’s Person of the Year issue on being one of the “Silence Breakers” on sexual harassment.

“I refuse to work with (Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra) and anyone who takes part in harassment or assault,” she tweeted in October after it was reported Bocanegra had been disciplined in 2009 for groping a colleague. Bocanegra later resigned after more women made public accusations.

Garcia was a fierce advocate for legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday giving legislative staff members whistleblower protections for reporting sexual misconduct or other misbehavior, speaking at a rally on the Capitol steps after its passage. She’s tweeted repeatedly about the importance of sexual consent in recent days.

Democratic Sen. Connie Leyva, co-chair of the women’s caucus, said she was “shocked and disturbed” at the allegations and she will ask the group to meet soon to discuss Garcia’s fate as leader.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Arkansas College Classroom gets a lesson on Predator Panic from backwater, misinformed "Detective"

Presumably, Det. Ted Schaeffer is pointing to the stupid one in the picture
Wow, talk about an out of touch cop! This guy has no idea what he is saying.

1. You may not have "other registries" in Arkansas, but across the countries, we DO have registries for other types of crimes. Here in Ohio where I live, we have an arsonist registry.

2. Reoffense rates for people convicted of sexually based offenses are far lower than any other crime type. They are unique, alright-- uniquely low.

3. This cop is admitting to using the registry as an intimidation tool. That being said, the registry has been proven ineffective. That means it DOES. NOT. WORK!

4. This guy makes an erroneous assumption every registrant suffers from an illness and cannot be "cured." Very few offenders are of the "fixated" variety. I'd trust decades of research over a lone cop who only has "the beat" as a reference point.

This guy was at the college, so maybe he should have enrolled in school since he obviously needs an education!

A computer networking class at North Arkansas College recently got a little computer instruction they didn’t expect.

Harrison Police Detective Cpl. Ted Schaeffer spoke to the class about the use of social media and how sex offenders or predators can use it to mark potential victims.

Schaeffer told students that the sex offender registry is unique in that it’s the only criminal registry. For instance, there’s no registry for narcotics and burglary convicts.

He said the reason is that for most crimes people can be rehabilitated, but there is no way to rehabilitate a sex offender.

One student said she had taken a psychology class in which some psychiatrists argued that there is rehabilitation for sex offenders.

Schaeffer said that argument is made largely because offenders are taught suppression techniques. They may be able to avoid the situations that made them offend in the first place, but those sexual urges are always present from puberty to the grave.

The sex offender registry is based on the theory that presence is prevention. When people see a police car at the side of the road, they instinctively slow down.

With the registry, the community and police are aware of who are sex offenders, who also have a lingering fear of being arrested again.

But before an offender is arrested, they can easily use social media to stalk victims.

Schaeffer shared with students a 2014 story in the Harrison Daily Times in which a man who had been arrested for sexual assault of underage girls agreed to be interviewed, although he declined to allow the newspaper to use his real name and was identified as “Jack.”

Jack explained that he always used Facebook to meet young girls, although any internet site with private message capabilities would suffice. It also helps if the site allows users to upload photos.

He’d research their profiles, reading past posts and checking out pictures. He’d look for pictures they posted of themselves in skanky clothing or at parties with older guys.

“You know what kind of girl she is,” he told the Daily Times. “It’s easy to read people by how they represent themselves with their clothing and their attitude, previous posts on Facebook.

“If they’re talking about going out and partying in a previous post, even though she’s 12 to 15, if she’s got a bunch of pictures on there of her at a party, you know she loves to party. That opens up a new conversation.”

Jack had also said he would make contact with a number of girls before connecting with one, so it was a numbers game like most other internet scams.

So, Schaeffer urged students to check their social media feeds and profiles, making certain they — even though not under age — could prevent falling victim to a sexual predator.

Than can mean checking friend lists; a predator could easily be checking them as well.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Patty Pansing Brooks uses lame Youtube "Teacup" video to push for even lamer Affirmative consent bill in Nebraska

Nebraska is wanting to join California in passing a ridiculous and much maligned "affirmative consent law." I've already bashed the bill, but readers feel that NE State legislator Patty Pansing Brooks deserves a nomination because of how she is promoting the bill-- with a silly British video of a teacup. Makes me want to rewrite I'm a little teapot, so here goes: "Pansing's like a teapot, loud and stout, She lacks some brain cells but loves to spout, when this bill does not pass watch her pout, next  election let's vote her out!"

In Nebraska, state Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks, a Democrat, introduced a bill that would scrap the force requirements for both perpetrators and victims in the current law while imposing a new affirmative consent standard.

“The old law didn’t do enough,” she said. “I guess the theory was, How could a woman not want sex? She has to prove herself she didn’t want it. … If you require that there be force, then someone has to fight off someone to say no. That’s not a reasonable standard.”

One of the most popular videos for explaining affirmative consent is a British public service video comparing sex to offering someone a cup of tea. If someone isn’t sure if they want tea, changes their mind about wanting tea, or passes out, the person who brewed the tea shouldn’t force it down the other person’s throat.

Pansing Brooks said she plans to send the video to all the legislators in her state, adding that she has heard some confusion on talk radio there, with hosts arguing it’s not always clear whether someone wants to have sex.

“ ‘How are we supposed to know?’ Well, ask her,” Pansing Brooks said. “It’s yes or no if you want to have sex. … You better be darn sure, or you could be liable.”

Here is the video she is sending out:

Thursday, February 1, 2018 uses Repressed Memory (AKA False Memory Syndrome) to lobby for ending Statutes of Limitations

I never even heard of the organization PROTECT until someone sent this to me in an email. The full name of the organization is "The National Association to Protect Children" and proclaims to be a "national pro-child, anti-crime membership association. We are founded on the belief that our first and most sacred obligation as parents, citizens and members of the human species is the protection of children." This means yet another victim cult that promotes more named laws like "Alicia's Law" as well as ending statutes of limitations.

Now, they are using the debunked myth of "repressed memories" (better known as False Memory Syndrome) as a key talking point. In case you don't feel like researching, "repressed memories" is a phenomenon of the Satanic Ritual Abuse era panic where memories were "recovered" through hypnosis or mind-altering drugs where people "remembered" they suffered horrific abuse at the hands of underground pedophilic Illuminati satanists, mainly in daycare centers across the US. That myth started with Michelle Remembers, a book that was debunked as a complete fabrication.

Get this, the President of the group is the woman who played the annoying Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie. At least she's used to being an unlikable character.

Worst of all, these absurd beliefs are shaping public policy.

At PROTECT, sometimes we launch our own federal initiatives, but sometimes we are asked to review bills in Congress and to support members efforts to protect children.

Almost two years ago Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator John Cornyn asked PROTECT to review Extending Justice for Sex Crime Victims Act. Incorporated into this bill was a provision to open up the statute of limitations, which provides civil remedy for victims to sue their abusers. A year ago, this bill was added to S 534 Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act, a bill in response to the Larry Nasser case.

Longtime PROTECT supporters will remember our fight to open up the statute of limitations in Virginia back in 2011. (…/article_ace91d27-c9a3-5658-966d-5…)

We learned in that fight that simply extending the amount of time victims have to sue after turning 18 was not enough. Repressed memory is real and often times victims don’t remember the details of their abuse until a life event triggers the memories. Sometimes victims do not associate problems they have like addiction, suicidal ideation, PTSD, eating disorders, or depression until they receive counseling and the underlying abuse is identified as the cause. For those reasons PROTECT advocated strongly for an amendment which would allow victims to sue their abusers not just 10 years from the age of majority, but 10 years after discovery of the abuse or 10 years after discovery of the injury. PROTECTs amendment effectively abolishes the federal civil statute of limitations.

Yesterday that bill became law.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Donna Zink's Law: Washington State looks to allow all Level 1 registry info to be accessed by the public

We can just call this bill what it really is, the Donna Zink law. This bill MUST be opposed.

(a) For all registered offenders ((classified as risk level I)),
15 the agency shall share information with other appropriate law
16 enforcement agencies and, if the offender is a student, the public or
17 private school regulated under Title 28A RCW or chapter 72.40 RCW
18 which the offender is attending, or planning to attend. The agency
19 may disclose, upon request, relevant, necessary, and accurate
20 information to any victim or witness to the offense, any individual
21 community member who lives near the residence where the offender
22 resides, expects to reside, or is regularly found, and any individual
23 who requests information regarding a specific offender((; (b) for
24 offenders classified as risk level II,)). The agency may also
25 disclose relevant, necessary, and accurate information to public and
26 private schools, child day care centers, family day care providers,
27 public libraries, businesses and organizations that serve primarily
28 children, women, or vulnerable adults, and neighbors and community
29 groups near the residence where the offender resides, expects to
30 reside, or is regularly found;

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Pandering judge Rosemarie Aquilina just advocated prison rape from her bench to the cheers of millions of rabid Feminist MeToo supporters

I think we've seen the ugly hypocrisy of victim cult movements like #MeToo on full display here. This unethical judge not only bragged of signing the defendant's "death warrant," she suggested she would sentence the defendant to repeated rapes in prison if that pesky US Constitution wasn't in the way.

[The site Ethics Alarms has a very detailed breakdown of this judge's statements and why this is a very unethical thing for her to say.]

Where Nassar's Judge Went Wrong
By endorsing vengeance from the bench, the judge sentencing the disgraced Olympic doctor crossed an important line.

Brendan McDermid / Reuters

In 2001, I went to Xipamanine market, a huge open-air bazaar in Maputo, Mozambique, where you can buy everything from clothes to traditional medicine. A Mozambican friend told me how to keep safe from pickpockets. “If someone takes something from you, yell Ladrão! Ladrão!”—Thief!  Thief!—“and point to him.”

“What happens next?” I asked.

“People will grab him,” she said, “and possibly beat him to death.” She said the ultimate punishment was reserved for habitual thieves, and that the hardware section would be especially dangerous for them, because so many heavy objects were available.

I was learning Portuguese at the time. Ladrão is the only word in any language that I have ever wished I could unlearn. If a thief scampered away with my passport, my camera, and all my money, would I be able to resist yelling it out?  I couldn’t be sure, but I knew I would regret it immediately, and possibly for the rest of my life, if I did yell ladrão, and knew there was a possibility of brutal punishment being carried out in my name.

I thought of this incident Wednesday when Rosemarie Aquilina, the judge in the case of serial sexual assailant Larry Nassar, delivered the disgraced U.S. Olympic doctor what she called his “death warrant,” after a week of extraordinary testimony by his victims. Nassar begged the judge earlier this week to be spared having to hear all his victims speak. Judge Aquilina observed that a few days of emotional discomfort for Nassar would barely begin to even the score between him and the over-150 women he molested. She sentenced him to a prison term that will probably consume the rest of his life.

The dignity of the proceedings was diminished by a few words, though, that the judge offered by way of regret. If the U.S. Constitution didn’t forbid cruel and unusual punishment, she said, she “might allow what he did to all of these beautiful souls—these young women in their childhood—I would allow someone or many people to do to him what he did to others.”

Subjecting Nassar to a lifetime of rape is not my idea of justice, and fantasizing about it is not my idea of judicial temperament. On social media, civil libertarians have piped up to protest her, and many who followed the trial have expressed outrage at the sympathy for Nassar that this sentiment supposedly reveals. Their outrage is outrageous, and itself reveals twisted sympathies that are, for supposed advocates of victims, unfortunate.

Does Nassar deserve to be raped 150 times? Quite possibly: To be honest, when crimes approach the magnitude of his, I stop trusting my ability to keep tabs on just deserts, except to say that what he deserves is—whether it’s a lifetime in a dark hole, or years-long gang rape—beyond my ability to fathom. But to admit that he deserves inconceivable punishment is not to defend the judge’s remarks. Some crimes are bad enough that no remedy exists for them in civilized society. I am reminded of C.S. Lewis’s famous line that some men are indeed fit only to be slaves, but none is fit to be a master.

I don’t know what Nassar’s victims think about the judge’s comments. I have never been subjected to a crime as traumatic as theirs, but it isn’t at all obvious that they would smile on her thirst for violent revenge. Would it be comforting to know that a horrific act of abuse, one whose very mention would nauseate me in any other context, is being done to correct the wrong against me? Or that my testimony provoked people to fantasize about punitive rape? Would it comfort me to know that a judge had shared my pain enough to voice unjudge-like wrath on my behalf?

I watched only three of the witness testimonies against Nassar, and it sickened me to hear how he had affected these women’s lives. It pleased me to know that Nassar was sickened, too, and indeed it settled my stomach a little to read his feeble, tortured plea to be spared more. I like to think the denial of that mercy to Nassar was the most delicious vengeance for his victims, since it required nothing of them but honesty and dignity. It did not require that heinous acts—the same heinous acts committed on them—be committed on their behalf. Sadly, it may have required them to relive their own abuse. That so many had the fortitude to bear that ongoing trauma was one of the reasons the court’s proceedings inspired and awed so many. That the judge would undermine this dignity at the last minute is regrettable.

This is an old problem. In Rwanda and elsewhere, survivors who endured even worse than Nassar’s victims have had to accept that justice is sometimes inaccessible, and the next-best thing is honest dignity somewhat akin to what we saw in the last week. What does one do when the magnitude of crimes means that their only fitting punishment would be cruel beyond our norms of civil liberties and human rights? Does retributive justice fly out the window, or instead, civil liberties and human rights? It is natural to find this question a hard one, but I strongly suspect it has only one even remotely satisfying answer. In the aftermath of the Second World War, George Orwell watched a Jew abuse a Nazi:

It is absurd to blame any German or Austrian Jew for getting his own back on the Nazis. Heaven knows what scores this particular man may have had to wipe out; very likely his whole family had been murdered; and after all, even a wanton kick to a prisoner is a very tiny thing compared with the outrages committed by the Hitler regime. But what this scene, and much else that I saw in Germany, brought home to me was that the whole idea of revenge and punishment is a childish daydream. Properly speaking, there is no such thing as revenge. Revenge is an act which you want to commit when you are powerless and because you are powerless: as soon as the sense of impotence is removed, the desire evaporates also. … Who would not have jumped for joy, in 1940, at the thought of seeing S.S. officers kicked and humiliated? But when the thing becomes possible, it is merely pathetic and disgusting.

For most of these proceedings, there was only one pathetic and disgusting figure in that courtroom. One was more than enough.