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Entries in sexual abuse (3)


Military Women Are 'Putting Up With Too Much Crap' Says Sen. Lindsey Graham

1. The Army faces yet another potentially embarrassing scandal with the investigation of Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Miley, the commander of the Alaska Army National Guard’s 49th Missile Defense Battalion in Alaska.

The new complaints come on top of an earlier investigation for Miley promoting a WWII-style pin-up calendar with photos of his wife and female soldiers in pinup model. (See #2)

Miley advised subordinates in a Jan. 4 meeting that adultery isn’t punishable under military law, ignoring Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which states that adultery is a criminal offense if the affair is prejudicial to maintaining good order and discipline.

“The modern military is an environment where sexual misconduct is commonplace,” Miley said at the meeting, according to comments cited in the e-mail and confirmed by one of the people who was in the audience. Bloomberg News obtained a copy of the e-mail, which was unsigned, and the account was confirmed by three people who worked on the base and are familiar with the events.

2. In September 2012 the Army Times newspaper reported that pinup calendars like the one connected to the first investigation of Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Miley are not unique. Other military units have sold calendars of military spouses and soldiers to raise money for charities including the American Cancer Society’s ‘Relay For Life’ and veterans’ programs.

It was determined by the military chain of command that while the photo of Mrs. Tracy Miley is risqué, it’s not pornographic. The photo was taken for charity and considered a private matter.

“Somebody needs to get a life,” said Patsy Ewing, co-owner of a local bar in Fort Greely, Alaska. “I have seen the whole thing, and I thought it was nice, tasteful retro pin-up girls.”

Model Gina Elise, of the Pin-ups For Vets nonprofit, which raises money for many veterans-related causes said that many military wives give pin-up photos to their husbands.

Army wives at Fort Benning, Ga., created a nostalgia-themed 2010 calendar for the Wounded Warrior Project, and wives at Fort Bliss, Texas, sent a sexy calendar to their husbands in 2011.

Ashley Wise, founder of Battling Bare, based at Fort Campbell, Ky, raises awareness about PTSD using photos of Army wives writing messages to their husbands on their bodies.

3. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke at West Point Military Academy graduation on Saturday, calling the increasing reports of sexual assault a “scourge” on the military. Urging the Army’s newest officers to help build “a culture of respect and dignity” in the armed forces, Hagel said that sexual harassment and sexual assault in the military are “a profound betrayal of sacred oaths and sacred trusts.”

Acknowledging budget cuts that are forcing the “Army — along with all our other services — to curtail training and cancel exercises”, the secretary continued “Meanwhile, other threats to the health and quality of the all-volunteer force are increasing — alcohol and drug abuse, suicide and mental illness, sexual harassment and sexual assault.

It was revealed recently that a sergeant responsible for advising cadets had been charged with secretly videotaping 12 West Point women naked in the bathroom or in the showers. See #4

On Friday President Obama delivered a commencement speech at the US Military Academy urging graduates to follow their “inner compass” and understand that the rising numbers of sexual assaults in the military threatened to erode America’s faith in the armed forces.

Sgt. 1st Class Michael McClendon faces numerous charges for allegedly gathering inappropriate photos and videos of women at the US Military Academy at West Point — charges which were discovered by the New York Times but not officially announced by the US Army. The paper says it “learned of the inquiry from several current and former members of the West Point community who said they were alarmed by the allegations and wanted to learn of the academy’s plans to investigate and prevent future violations.”

The Army has contacted the female cadets and offered them counseling. The sergeant first class has served int he Army since 1990 and was deployed to Iraq from 2004 to 2005 and 2007 to 2009.

Concerns have arisen that although McClendon was assigned alternate military duties, largely unspecified, in May 2012, the Army delayed charging him. According to Army officials, the delay is associated with the effort of recovering forensic evidence and complexities associated with the case.

Critics say the delay demonstrates the military’s ongoing lack of action in addressing the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment among its ranks.

5. Brig. Gen Bryan Roberts, the Army’s top general at Fort Jackson, has been suspended over allegations of assault and adultery. A 29-year veteran who previously served as head of a unit training Iraqi soldiers, Roberts has been replaced at the South Carolina base with Brig. Gen. Peggy Combs, Commandant of the US Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, will take over as interim commander while the investigation is ongoing.

NBC News reported that the altercation involved Roberts and the woman he allegedly cheated on his wife with, and that the two were involved in a violent argument. After making up, Roberts allegedly bit the woman’s lip, which caused her to seek medical help, a US military official told the news agency.

Fort Jackson conducts basic training for 60% of the Army’s incoming women recruits.

Sen. Lindsey Graham told Fox News Sunday today: “I want to salute the women who serve and are putting up with too much crap,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.” “This needs to end. When a victim comes forward, they should have an advocate to walk them through the military justice system. And commanders who allow this to continue to flourish, quite frankly, should be fired.”


Google's New VC University | The Evolving Human Brain | Culture Wars Updates on Komen, Contraception & Bishops

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

Quanitta Underwood boxes in the lightweight division, one of the three weight classes to be contested in the London Olympics this summer. Justin Edmonds for The New York TimesQuanitta Underwood is regarded as America’s best hope for a medal in boxing at the London Olympics this summer. Today Underwood is at the US Olympic trials for women in Spokane, Wash. The 27-year-old five-time national champion, “a lickety-split puncher ranked fourth in the world in the lightweight division (123 to 132 pounds)”, writes the New York Times Magazine, wants to win big for another reason.

Underwood wants to be a symbol of healing and hope to anyone who has ever been sexually abused. Asked to speak in detail about sexual abuse at the hands of her deeply religious, Pentacostal father, she has agreed. I’ve read the entire article, and it is a very well written, fair and honestly told American story.

Google’s VC University

Google Ventures, which calls itself “the most operational venture capital firm in Silicon Valley” is expanding its Start-Up University program, moving into a 12,000-square-foot building, writes the Wall Street Journal.

“We’re not trying to enable the next generation of online casinos,” Google Ventures Managing Partner Bill Maris said. “We’re looking for stuff that’s transformational. … We’re looking to make a dent.”

The hands-on support stem for start-ups is stunning. For every investor at Google Ventures, there are six industry veterans and experts serving as high-level staff members “whose sole purpose is to help portfolio companies get over hurdles.”

Brain Enhancements

Recently a team of ethicists from Oxford released a paper on the implications of using Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (TDCS) to improve cognition in human beings. In his most recent book Better Than Human,  Allen Buchanan, a professot of philosophy at Duke University and a consultant to the President’s Council on Bioethics argues “that its critics often proceed from a deeply flawed understanding of human nature. ” The Atlantic Monthly spoke with Buchanan about the ethics of deep brain stimulation, the history of cognitive enhancement, and what a world of cognitively enhanced human beings might look like.

More DFR

Energizer makes batteries, writes NPR, but in the midst of the Komen/Planned Parenthood battle, the company found itself dragged into the abortion wars by social conservatives. “Energizer — like many other companies that have been big donors to Komen — found itself fending off thousands of negative emails and comments on its Facebook page.”

“No company ever wants to do something which polarizes its supporters and stakeholders,” says Jim Ziminski, chief marketing officer for Energizer Global. The company has donated $1.2 million to Komen since 2007.

Related: Komen Found Nancy Brinker’s Mysterious Expense Report The Daily Beast

The Culture Wars Update

Gay Marriage:

Washington state Gov. Chris Gregoire’s signature to legislation legalizing same-sex marriage expanded a list that also includes Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Iowa, New York and the District of Columbia. In New Jersey, the state Senate passed a gay marriage bill which is slated for an Assembly vote on Thursday.

Obama Contraception Plan:  

Maine Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe are satisfied with changes announced last Friday and will break with Republicans seeking to derail the plan. The Catholic Health Association, representing more than 1200 Catholic health care sponsors, systems, facilities, and related organizations and servics is also supporting the compromise. Sister Carol Keehan, president and CEO of the Catholic Hospital Association, announced her support Friday evening. Catholic Charities has accepted the compromise.

Catholic bishops remain totally opposed to the compromise. Media groups weighing in on the bishops specifically are TIME, who writes that Catholic Bishops have lost their grip on US politics and their flock.

While Catholic bishops in the US were taking the moral hgh ground in America, a papally endorsed symposium is now underway in Rome. The focus is on how the Church has to change if it wants to prevent sexual abuse crises in the future.  The TIME article criticizes media that fails to distinguish that Catholicism is not a monolithic American institution.


News: 85 Arrests in Sexual Abuse Probe of Brooklyn's Orthodox Jews | Saying 'No' to Fashion Images | Editorials 12/10

DFR Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

The faithful of Borough Park have a saying: “We are all of one face,”  wrote New York Magazine last week in advance of Levi Aron, the outcast awaiting trial for the murder of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky.

This afternoon New York Magazine posted a blockbuster story that the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office has revealed the results of a three-year investigation into sexual abuse into Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community: 85 sexual predators arrested and 117 victims identified, citing the NY Post. This is a staggering number of arrests in a comparatively small community theoretically comprised of the most devout and God-loving Jews in the city.

Climate Breakthrough in Durban

A two-decades old battle on how to curtail global warming may have ended in a good place in Durban, South Africa by bringing developing countries including China and India into a new agreement with the “legal force” to limit their fossil fuel emissions. In this new approach, it’s not only the industrial nations that are obligated to reduce pollution and their greenhouse gases. Read on at Bloomberg News

Also: Americans: Undecided About God? New York Times

More DFR

Self Love Is Saying ‘No’ To Fashion Body Images You Hate

Yesterday Vogue Italia posted Ten Rules for Learning to Love your body. It’s a good list and my favs include:

3. Loving your body, fulfilling your dreams and following your passions is not a question of weight: there’s no need to wait to lose weight before being the person you want to me. It’s better to start pursuing your dreams immediately.

5. Ad campaign images and the ones in the magazines are absurdly over-retouched in Photoshop. This is why the women seem so perfect: but you can’t be like models who don’t exist in the real world.

9. Lean to understand and interpret the bad habits that damage your positive perception of your own body. Try to analyse and avoid them.

It’s time for us to get involved in the Karlie Kloss as ‘The Body’ discussion, resulting from her Vogue editorial push back. I picked up the topic on AOC Shop this morning (our not ready for prime time shopping site) writing: