Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat

 

To translate the above Latin blog title into colloquial English…

The burden of proof is on the one who declares, not on one who denies.

Indeed, a fair, free society presumes everyone innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The U.S. Constitution’s 6th amendment is even more explicit:

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence [sic].”

All of the above language becomes key, especially when we consider how, as of late, our daily news reportage has been featuring underlings accusing superiors of sexually harassing, abusing and/or assaulting them.

SIDEBAR: Just to be clear, here, no one should ever malign investigative journalists… discredit their factual reportage as “fake news” simply to escape an inconvenient truth / uncomfortable reality. Right is right and wrong is wrong no matter how much the facts of any story may negatively impact an accused person’s life and/or livelihood. After all, a reporter’s job #1 is to not only alert us to the fact that there are purportedly dangerous people in our midst but to also encourage other victims to come forth to proclaim, “Me too”. Moreover, whenever such stories involve elected / appointed officials and political wannabes, these reporters are also performing their patriotic duty to alert our society… our electorate… to the presence of potentially corrupt leadership… e.g. lawbreaker lawmakers, lawless law enforcers, judicial hacks, etc.

Returning now to the specifics… while our Fourth Estate’s journalists have been doing a fine job in exposing ALLEGED sexual predators and while it’s true that, statistically speaking, their victims are seldom liars, we cannot and must not ignore that in caps and italics “A” word. In other words…

The broadcast airwaves and front pages of our online and in print newspapers are not the proper venues for trying and convicting the accused.

In other words, have we not been putting the cart before the horse?

With our goal being to make our entire society a much safer, saner, pleasant place to live and work in, the accusers would be doing us a tremendous favor if they’d first report sexual harassment, abuse and assaults to the appropriate legal authorities. From there, the legal authorities would present the evidence to the prosecutors… prosecutors would go to trial whenever the evidence proved sufficiently strong… juries would weigh all the evidence to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused… and judges would punish the convicted appropriately (be that fines, community service, mental institutionalization or imprisonment).

Last but not least… that’s where the Fourth Estate’s journalists would enter the picture… act as the relentless watchdogs of the entire judicial process… sniff out any and all irregularities… verify whether or not prosecutors and defense attorneys are acting ethically… whether or not assigned judges are conducting honest and impartial trials.

Of course… all fair-minded journalists would also be serving our society well were they to grant any legitimately acquitted person an interview… to publish their story to set the record straight and restore their good name…. to give such an article the exact same positioning and prominence that trial had been given.

This all makes sense to me… how about you?

 

Lawbreaker Lawmakers (One Quick Limerick #035)

 

Black Hole of Congress! There is no escape!
Ethics get ripped apart! Warped out of shape!
Sex offender lawbreakers,
Masquerade as lawmakers,
Will they next wrongfully legalize rape?

 

 

They Haven’t Got A Prayer (One Quick Limerick #034)

 

Too many Jekyll and Hyde types today,
Put their “God fearing” facades on display,
But they’re vile rapists / abusers,
Who violate their accusers,
Sexual predators don’t pray, they prey!

 

November BlogCast ~ Feast Your Ears on 5 Fab-4 Covers!

Welcome to my Thanksgiving Day BlogCast. My thanks to The Northmen for their too brief rendition / arrangement of Over the River and Through the Woods. Now, admittedly, while I am musically knowledgeable, finding other tunes tailor-made for this American holiday did prove to be a bit of a challenge. I realized that I was rapidly getting lost… deep in “those woods” as it were… and would need to come up with a new BlogCast theme.

So, free associating my thoughts wound up going along these lines…

Hmmm… Thanksgiving… what am I thankful for? Well I am thankful to my late, loving parents for having gone into debt to purchase a piano and pay for my music lessons and… hmmm… I am thankful that I had been born at just the right time to have eye and ear witnessed the birth of the Beatles and… hmmm… that band did provide the soundtrack to nearly my entire life and… hmmm… I do include dozens of Beatles songs in my keyboard repertoire and… well… that’s when everything suddenly fell into place!

Why not devote my entire monthly show to the Fab Four? However…

I then realized that this, too, could prove problematic. You see, mainly due to copyright issues, Beatles videos are too frequently yanked from YouTube. Yet, not being one to give up easily, I did find a cool way to circumvent this issue… namely… feature both big name and not so famous musicians’ superb covers of Beatles tracks.

About the only other comment I can add, here, is that the songwriting genius of John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, as presented below, is not only timeless, it also leaves their compositions wide open to interpretation by a diverse community of musicians… all of which you will notice immediately as you click onto each of those play buttons.

So… the time has arrived to feast your ears and eyes on these music videos and have a Happy Turkey Day!

 

Stevie Wonder ~ We Can Work It Out

(Oh, BTW… Paul McCartney is in the audience)

Annarin ~ Revolution

Amy Winehouse ~ All My Lovin’

Santana ~ While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Phil Collins / George Martin ~ Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End

 

If you LIKE what you heard here this day, click back here for my next BlogCast on Sunday, December 24, 2017.

Past programs are archived in my BlogCast and Music categories.

 

 

My Childhood Innocence Was Shot To Hell!

 

The following is an excerpt from my very first WordPress blog*… my memories of 54 November 22nds ago… when… as a (then) 9-year-young boy… a horrific, blood splattered, national tragedy forced me to eyewitness too much age inappropriate content… to grow up way too soon.

 

I voted for John F. Kennedy when I was ONLY six-years-old!

Well… uh… sort of. Here’s what had actually happened…

After Mom had closed the voting booth curtains, hoisted me up to adult eye level and demonstrated how everything worked, she actually let me shift JFK’s lever down! My having done something so grown-up on Election Day 1960 had been a feel good, defining moment in my young life.

As I grew physically, so did my understanding of (and respect for) the immense leverage, which each of those tiny levers can exert in shaping our nation and world. Tragically, not everyone opts in to such a civilized, orderly process. Such was the case on November 22, 1963…

It had been a gray, overcast, rainy Friday. There had been no school for Sis and me (due to parent / teacher conferences). I was just finishing lunch when my sibling came rushing into the dining room. Still clutching her pocket-sized transistor radio, she blurted out…

“Somebody Shot President Kennedy!”

Mom, Sis and I quickly adjourned to the living room. Even before our Zenith TV’s B&W picture tube had fully warmed up, we could already hear one of CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite’s earliest bulletins.

As time came grinding down to a dead halt we felt ourselves rapidly descending into the depths of our nation’s communal shock. There was little else we could do… save for waiting and hoping that our worst fears would not be confirmed. But…

The bad news just kept on spilling forth from our nation’s TV screens while Kennedy’s dream for the betterment of our national / global society, was hemorrhaging forth from his head wounds… dying along with this great man.

Eventually, Cronkite had to choke back his own overwhelming sorrow as he reported…

“From Dallas, Texas… the flash apparently official… President Kennedy died at 1 p.m., Central Standard Time… 2 o’clock Eastern Standard Time… some thirty-eight minutes ago.”

And that’s the way it was… the feel rotten, defining moment in my young life. The President I had “voted” for three short Novembers earlier had been blown away. Bullets… not ballots… had removed John Fitzgerald Kennedy from office and shot to hell my childhood innocence.

 

 

Assassin’s (perhaps assassins’) bullets had also irreparably devastated our entire global society. We can only speculate what the alternate timeline would’ve been… what our present day world would now look like had JFK opted to stay in DC 54 years ago, today… had kept a low profile for the remainder of his time in the Oval Office (he likely would’ve won a second term).

I do think it fair to conclude that had the voters witnessed what a real president’s policy and demeanor should be… had JFK been able to usher into reality his visions for a better world and better day… our electorate would’ve NEVER, EVER settled for any of his deplorable, dishonorable, stick-figure successors… namely…

The psychotic, “used car dealer”, war-hawk Tricky Dicky Nixon… the labor union busters, devastators of the middle class Ronny Reagan and George H.W. (daddy) Bush… the war criminal / torture chamber manager George W. Bush who on 9/11, first, got caught with his CIC pants down  and, next, went on a rampage to fear monger Americans into granting him carte blanche… to recklessly trash U.S. Constitutional freedoms and needlessly, pointlessly war monger his way into no-win invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq… to stupidly allow himself to be morphed into the ventriloquist dummy / puppet of his own VP; the evil, greedy, sociopathic, war criminal Dick Cheney.

And saving the worst of the very worst for the very last, real Americans would’ve booed and hissed the xenophobic, homophobic, narcissistic, misogynistic, jingoistic, materialistic, infantile, senile, bullying #45 right off the stump.

Well… long sad sigh… to borrow and update Walter Cronkite’s sign-off catchphrase…

 

And that’s the way it is November 22, 2017.

 

 

If you’re a fan of sci-fi twinged, episodic TV… writer J. Neil Schulman’s “what if JFK had survived Dallas” themed alternate reality gets brought to life by the cast and crew of the classic TV series, Twilight Zone… this particular installment titled: Profile In Silver

 

 

*My debut blog, A Tale of Two Timelines Part I, is filed away in my Archive. For those who’d like to access it, click onto March 2016 and scroll down… way down.

 

The Roy Moore MO?

 

WARNING: Today’s content may be upsetting to some readers.

Of all the brainwashed Evangelicals and other fools who still support U.S. Senate candidate, Alabama Republican Roy Moore, it’s pretty safe to speculate that some of them are parents of female minors. What’s been so astounding is that, in spite of five women now accusing Moore of sexually assaulting and/or harassing them in the distant past (when they were in their early and mid teens) the support from Moore’s voter base remains unwavering… in some cases has even been intensifying!

The insanely defiant and inappropriately indignant Moore has been trying his damnedest to bogusly portray his accusers as liars… misrepresent himself as the victim of some unfounded, political, ideological and theological, media driven witch hunt. He’s been hemming and hawing during media interviews and ranting and raving from the campaign trail stump… as if what? High decibel leveled rampaging and roaring could ever transform anyone’s lies into truths?

Of course, it’d not be going out on a limb to call out Moore as a liar. Even U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan no longer believe him.

Much worse than Moore’s ruthless, political ambition is his intimation that he has always been sweet and considerate prior to sexually assaulting his underage victims. Check out this creepy, far from reassuring example of that pig’s hogwash…

 

“I don’t remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother.”

 

Good gawd almighty! Are we to believe that Moore has actually ding-donged the doorbell, tipped his cowboy hat and in his thick southern accent, interlaced with his lecherous laughing, drawled out to countless moms…

 

Roy: G’day, li’l lady! Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Roy Moore and I’m running to be the next U.S. Senator to represent the great state of Alabama. I can already tell by your purdy li’l smile that you’ve heard of me! Well, to get right down to it… I could not help but admire your underage daughter when I ogled and whistled at her… tailed her ever so closely last Saturday night at the Gadsden Mall. However, since I am so gentlemanly, I’m approaching you first to let you in on all the salacious plans I have for her. You see, I plan to molest your little girl… deny her all the carefree days of her youth… traumatize and flat out ruin her entire life. And then, as soon as I tire of her, I’ll promptly dump her. Now, I do hope you’ve raised your little missy to be submissive to whatever demands I will make of her… as in… no questions asked. Indeed, I do fully expect your young’un to worship me… OR ELSE!

Mom: Uh… I dunno… maybe you had better talk to her Pa, too… he’s the man of the house and always makes the major decisions.

Roy: I thought you might hesitate. You cannot possibly view giving me permission to uh… date… your minor daughter to be a major decision. Ma’am, you’ve offended me! And I do find myself growing a bit peeved, too. So, let’s just cut to the chase! I could make life very difficult for your entire family. That’s because a high and mighty man, such as I, has many deeply rooted connections. Yes indeed, I do own dozens of good ol’ boy lawmen and… uh… well… let’s just say that since they’d be all too happy to take the law into their own hands to do my bidding, you’d be a damn fool not to fully cooperate with me here and now. To that end, I fully expect you to sign this legal waiver, which not only makes your daughter mine… all mine… but also absolves me of all legal and financial responsibility should she ever wind up… uh… well uh… let’s just say… in a family way. After all, any baby making would be all her fault… not mine. So, li’l lady, what’ll it be?”

Mom: Oh Mr. Moore, I don’t know how or why I could’ve ever doubted such a fine, upstanding big man such as you. Speaking on behalf of my husband, I know we both would be honored to have someone as famous and saintly as you violate our little girl. We’d even love to make a sizable contribution to help with your campaign. Now, where do I sign?

Roy: Right by that little ol’ X. Now you be sure to press hard so it appears clearly on all five copies. And do fetch your checkbook, too!

Mom: I know you two will have lots of fun! (turning to shout up the staircase to her daughter). Honey, a nice man named Roy… who’ll soon be our U.S. Senator… is on his way up to pay you a li’l visit! Now you be sure to do whatever this great man tells you to do… no matter what… ya hear?

 

 

I sure as hell do hope that that above conversation is nothing more than a work of fiction. For, if it is not, any mom or pop who’d ever let any sexual predator take indecent liberties with their own daughter should be reported to Child Protective Services… ASAP! Prison sentences for all the guilty parties would be in order, too!

 

Check out related articles HERE and HERE.

Lighting the 18th Candle (One Quick Limerick #033)

 

 

Perv cradle-robbers, YOU’RE innocence vandals,
YOU are to blame, NOT your victims, for scandals,
Most statutes document,
There can be NO consent,
If birthday cakes aren’t topped with 18 candles!¹

 

 

¹Some states in America subtract a few of those candles which, regrettably, only further emboldens sexual predators.

Read the story particulars, which inspired this limerick HERE.

 

 

A Low Ladder Rung, Lowlife Sexual Predator

 

My exposé emphasizes how workplace sexual predators are not always superiors of their victims and how entire, totally blameless, hardworking staffs can get caught in the crossfire and find their jobs/careers jeopardized.

On this day in 1978, I punched a major, international retail clothier’s time clock for the very first time… began slaving away in what I have oft referred to as Retail Hell. Such a moniker is well earned considering how my remaining employed oft necessitated my tiptoeing through the psychological minefield found within many of my superiors’ contorted minds.

Case in point, the very first regime I had encountered presented a weird variety of sexual harassment for all underlings to see… an upside-down hierarchy, which any in print and online investigative reporter would have had a field day exposing. I could write volumes about how a sexual predator nearly ruined our store’s profitability / success… but will CliffsNotes it instead.

Right from the get-go, a male underling began dominating / harassing our married female boss… let’s assign some fake names… oh… say… Monty and Dolly. It’s still unclear whether or not she had been a willing partner. That control freak had been so effing cocksure he hadn’t even bothered hiding this adulterous fling.

How bad was this? Well, I once had to prioritize my customer’s shopping list just to steer us away from literally stumbling over Monty and Dolly rolling around and wrestling on the carpet. Fortunately they hadn’t yet earned an R-Rating.

With no time to find a bucket of cold water, I intentionally increased the volume of my voice to subtly remind this “couple” that we were now open for business. Had they not picked up on my subtle “Hey, get a room!” cue, there’s no telling how far they would’ve gone. Clean up in Aisle 2?

Day in, day out… in plain view of all employees… they’d spend entire, eight hour long shifts seated across from one another at her “managerial” desk… Dolly all starry eyed… neither of them getting any real work done… all the while collecting their paychecks… all the while dumping heavier workloads upon their underlings to compensate for their figuratively and literally effing up everything.

Dolly wound up promoting her F-buddy into management… not based on his skills… that is… unless his adeptness at playing grabass and his cocksmanship were considered assets. I cannot begin to describe how disgruntled our staff had become… how low our collective morale had sunk.

To get a better grasp on the depth of Dolly’s calloused attitude and twisted mind, I now present a brief subplot to this story. Following the post Christmas seasonal cut in sales associates’ hours, one morning a co-worker (let’s call her Karly) came back out onto the selling floor in tears. In a hushed, horrified tone of voice she confided in me.

It turns out that due to Karly’s drastically smaller paycheck, she had recently moved in with Dolly… and now our boss was trying to shake down her roomie for half of their apartment’s rent.

After Karly had complained, “But you’ve just cut my hours. The only way I can pay you is if I either rob a bank or sell my body,” Dolly snapped back, “Fine with me… you choose!”

So, why did I stay? Well, it was my corporate loyalty. True, at that point, my job was akin to standing on the deck of a sinking ship, but since Dolly’s neglect and delegation… no strike that… abdication of power had in essence, made me the surrogate “Captain”, I felt it was my place to either go down with my ship or, if lucky, find a way to save it.

Eventually, Monty and Dolly’s superiors caught a whiff of their stench. They “moved in” and Monty moved on… little doubt… ISO another female to sexually dominate, harass and assault. Dolly got reassigned to another store in our district and eventually moved out-of-state. But, not before her husband (let’s call him Todd) had divorced her. It was unclear whether Todd had discovered his wife was cheating on him all on his own or if that bastard Monty had deviously found a way to clue him in… i.e. just to sadistically devastate her husband.

My new boss (let’s call her Mindy) had a tough job to do… had to find creative “solutions” to force out anyone who she suspected of still being “in bed with” the old regime. Her trust no old employees / guilt by association approach to corporate housecleaning, included me. Of course, her theory had been flawed because I had totally despised all the sloth and un-professionalism, which Monty and Dolly had stood for.

Hard to believe, but, a sexual predator, indirectly, had forced me to prove my loyalty to Mindy. To do so, I did what I’ve always done… showcased what I’ve always brought to every workplace I’ve ever entered… my superior efficiency and strong work ethic.

And, folks, that description is not self-aggrandizement. Mindy, herself (during my annual employee review) not only used those words to assess my work performance but to also justify my pay-raise.

I wound up staying on well beyond Mindy’s all too brief era as our store manager… to the tune of 20 1/2 years. Regrettably, after her departure, more negatively themed events made for more sad stories to tell and maybe, someday, I’ll blog about them, too.

America’s avarice and male hormone driven Republicans, many of them sexual predator suck-ups… some of them predators themselves… must drain the sexually toxic, workplace swamps. True, they won’t likely shive a git about the lost human dignity but were we to effectively present this problem as a corporate profit draining / lost worker productivity issue, might they zip up and listen?

 

 

 

bad, Bad, BAD “Grooming”

 

With all of the recent, front page reportage exposing sexual predators who infest our entertainment industry and political arenas… with many of their victims now speaking openly of how they were abused… I suppose it’s only natural that an old memory of mine has resurfaced.

This incident had to have occurred when I was a 10 or 11-year-old… a public school fifth grader. This was at a stage in my life just prior to entering puberty… a time when I was still totally naive about sexual matters… or more to the point… unaware of the existence of sexual deviants.

You see, the common parental wisdom of that 1960s era, small-town America was childhood ignorance is bliss. Little did they know that kids living in cocoons is every sexual predator’s dream come true.

That certainly set the stage for something awful. In my case, it involved an affable, well respected, “happily married”, veteran schoolteacher, Mr. K… who (no big shocker) also attended the same Catholic church I did. True, I wasn’t officially one of his students. But, since he was also a playground monitor, we soon became pals.

His grooming routine consisted of his ear to ear, grinned greetings and never ending repertoire of silly jokes. His “What’s the good word” catchphrase certainly was a conversation starter, too. His pockets bulging with a never ending supply of chewing gum and candy all but ensured he’d always have tons of kiddies constantly swarming around him.

One day, Mr. K entered the boys lavatory and stood at a urinal near the one I was using. It was just the two of us. At first I didn’t think this was any big deal… but…

Within mere minutes, he turned left… aimed his sticking straight out penis right at me and spewed forth what I believed to be pee. Looking back at it now through my adult eyes, there was no way in hell that that had been urine. Even if it had been, why the need for his messy, abrupt, 90 degree pivot? Huh?

My reaction that day, fortunately, was to totally skip the hand washing routine and bolt for the door. While what Mr. K had done did seem rather odd to me, I simply could not connect the dots… realize that this pervert had just gotten off while, perhaps, even fantasizing about me?

And what if I hadn’t successfully escaped? What would he have done next? Would he have targeted me further in the future?

Well, I did act less friendly towards him afterwards. The very fact that I had run away also must’ve worried him… forced him to believe that I was totally on to him… rattled his cage to the point where he never bothered me again. Back in the here and now, I cannot help but wonder if he ever did the same thing… or worse… to any of my classmates?

Because this had been an isolated incident and sans any physical contact, I’d rank my level of psychological damage to be low. Yet, since I did remember this all so vividly… more than a half century later… I cannot help but wonder if, perhaps, I’m actually underrating it?

 

Read a related article HERE.

 

 

Et Tu Sulu?

 

As most of us have heard by now, George Takei… portrayer of Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek TV series and in a half dozen big screen films… is now being accused of sexual assault by his alleged victim… male model Scott R. Brunton.

Even though there’s been no legal establishment of guilt or innocence, we now find Takei’s portrait hung in the daily expanding rogues gallery of alleged, Hollywood and Washington DC, sexual predators.

As an avid Sci-Fi fan, I’ve been “onboard” Takei’s starship Enterprise ever since it set forth on its “five year” mission on Earth Date 09/08/1966. Up till this allegation surfaced… his character has frequently been stellar… be his screenplay lines delivered in the Star Trek universe or eloquently orated during his own down-to-earth, real world, social activism (championing liberal causes). Hell, he’s even spoken out against the very type of sexual predatory behavior he’s now being accused of.

We can only hope that Takei’s tweeted sentiments are genuine…

“Those that know me understand that non-consensual acts are so antithetical to my values and my practices, the very idea that someone would accuse me of this is quite personally painful.”

As for who I believe in this specific “he said / he said” matter?

Well, seeing how the percentage of false accusations is typically low… seeing how I’ve been giving credence to others who’ve been exposing performers, producers and politicians (inclusive of a sitting, so-called prez)… seeing how Takei, himself, fessed up to his having forced sex on others when he appeared on shock jock, Howard Stern’s radio program… things are not looking good.

Beyond that… I cannot give a free pass to Takei merely because he’s a liberal. Worse yet, to do so would be tantamount to re-victimizing a victim… something antithetical to my own values.

Obviously, if falsely accused, Takei must deny the charges but… what if his doing so is only self-serving… i.e., just to try to make everything go away ASAP? More to the point, would not a truly innocent man respond thusly…

We can never expect to settle this matter on any social media platform. The more proper venue will be the courtroom where I’m confident, once the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth gets established, a jury of my peers will find me innocent of all wrongdoing.

To the best of my knowledge, there’s neither any arrest warrant nor judicial proceedings pending… but…

Would not a falsely accused person demand his day in court to restore his good name?