Federal authorities have charged an Army major and his wife with abusing their adopted and foster children through beatings, breaking their bones, failing to get them medical help, depriving them of drinking water and training their biological kids to take part in the mistreatment.
According to a 17-count indictment that includes charges of endangering the welfare of a child and assault, John E. Jackson, the Army major, and his wife, Carolyn Jackson, also force-fed the abused children hot sauce and red pepper flakes.
According to the indictment, the Jacksons had three children of their own and fostered three other children they eventually adopted. One of the foster children, referred to by the initials "J.J. (hash)2," died in 2008. The Jacksons weren't charged directly with the child's death but are charged with assaulting the child and failing to seek prompt medical care.
The Jacksons, who home schooled their children, appear to have become right-wing martyrs after their children were taken away from them by the State of New Jersey in 2010. This website paints the couple as "victims" of "anti-Christian bias." And they were similarly lauded in a Tea Party website.
According to another website called Tea Party Daily News.com, John Jackson served in active duty in both Kuwait and Iraq, and is a “decorated” veteran. Calling Jackson a “family man” and a “devout Christian and a patriotic American,” an article on the website state the Jacksons’ children took part in a cooperative homeschool program at a local church.
At the Jacksons' home in Mount Holly today, a sticker was seen out front with a decal for “Timothy Christian Academy;” and that sticker indicated the academy is in Eastampton, N.J..
It will be interesting to see if this abuse is somehow related to the Jacksons' faith. Corporal punishment is not uncommon in right-wing, authoritarian Christian households that practice "spare the rod, spoil the child," though this kind of abuse is clearly beyond ordinary spankings.
But one thing is certain: if the Jacksons were devout Muslims, this story would be blowing up all over the wingnutosphere today. But since they're Christian home-schoolers and he's a US Army Major: crickets.
Many seem to think that Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” remarks placed him on the fringe of the Republican Party. In reality, he’s spent most of his career there.
It’s now widely known that Akin teamed up with Paul Ryan in 2011 to try to narrow the definition of rape – i.e. “forcible rape.” This is no anomaly. Early in his career as a state legislator, Akin even tried to narrow the definition of child abuse.
Back in May of 1991, the Missouri House debated a bill to “outlaw rape and sexual abuse in marriage.” “Rape is rape,” said Rep. Jo Ann Karll shortly before the bill was overwhelmingly passed. “Missouri is finally moving into the 20th century,” said Colleen Coble, executive director of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
But not everyone was celebrating. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on 5/1/91 that Akin voted for the bill but “questioned whether a marital rape law might be misused ‘in a real messy divorce as a tool and a legal weapon to beat up on the husband.’”
Just about any law can be abused, and lawmakers must always be cognizant of this. But Akin seems to be preoccupied with the potential for abuse of the law whenever it relates to the government preventing abuse in the household.
Akin and his supporters believe that the husband is head of the household, and they’re loathe to regulate what he can and cannot do to his wife and children. In fact, prominent Akin supporter Phyllis Schlafly denies the very possibility of marital rape: “By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape.”
And so in March of 1992, Akin fought for a narrower definition of child abuse. The Missouri House was considering a bill to create a “statewide child abuse review board” and tighten the standard for proving child abuse from “reason to suspect” to “credible evidence.”
This is a video of a press conference Jerry Sandusky's attorney Joseph Amendola held after an abbreviated court appearance Tuesday where Sandusky waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Waving the preliminary hearing was a media savvy move on the part of Sandusky and his lawyer, because it means the prosecution's case will not be heard ahead of the actual trial, nor will witnesses have to testify ahead of trial.
However, Amendola went one step too far in his press conference afterwards. When questioned about Mike McQueary's testimony and how they planned to attack his credibility, Amendola went through about a two minute description of what one would have to believe in order to believe McQueary. Right at the end, he says this:
If anyone is naive enough to think for one minute that Tim Curley, Joe Paterno, Gary Schultz and for that matter Graham Spanier, University President, were told by Mike McQueary, that he observed Jerry Sandusky having anal sex with a 10-year old looking kid in a shower room at Penn State or Penn State property and their response was simply to tell Jerry Sandusky that "don't go in the shower any more with kids," I suggest you dial 1-800-REALITY.
Well, someone at Deadspin.com did just that, and discovered that it's a real 800 number for a gay phone sex line. Deadspin has the audio of the intro to prove it. Yes, for 99 cents per minute, you too can "join the fun."
You seriously cannot make this stuff up. I'm sure Amendola thought he was being snarky, but next time he might want to leave off the 800 number reference.
Amendola made it clear during his press conference after the abbreviated court appearance that Sandusky will go after the credibility of each and every victim along with McQueary. They fully intend to challenge the veracity of Mike McQueary's testimony, which the Grand Jury said they found very credible, as well as the eight victims' credibility. I'm sure this is why the attorney for Victim #1 spoke out after the hearing and said he hoped for an acceptable plea bargain. Even with eight victims whose stories touch one another's in different ways, there will be a concerted effort in public and behind closed doors to intimidate, challenge and otherwise discourage each of them from testifying.
In a massive shakeup, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and school president Graham Spanier were fired Wednesday night by the board of trustees amid the growing furor over how the school handled child sex abuse allegations against an assistant coach. The longtime coach, the winningest in major college football, was ousted at the end of day that began with his announcement to retire at end of the season, his 46th. It was not to be. "The university is much larger than its athletic teams," board vice chair John Surma said during a packed press conference.
I've been following this horrifying story for some time now, but was so sickened by it that I couldn't put any words down about it until now. Penn State University, the community and the country has been rocked to their core as more facts come out about the Jerry Sandusky child rape case.Here is a timeline of events if you're not familiar with the case yet. Heads are rolling and although university officials are doing their best to shield Joe Paterno, he's certainly next. After Penn State canceled his press conference, it was pretty clear he won't be coaching their next game against Nebraska. In fact, as this post was being written, Paterno announced that he was retiring, a sad final note to his legendary career. However, it gives the Penn State officials an easy out, instead of firing Paterno, Sandusky and all the other program officials who did nothing once they found out that children were being raped.
"I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief," Paterno said in a statement released just after initial reports of his pending retirement.
I'm sure the kids who were abused and raped by his friend and heir apparent are the ones who are really devastated and all of Joe's prayers will not comfort them. The time was years ago to give them justice and to stop any more innocent children from having their lives ripped apart by a vicious predator he knew all too well. How could anyone turn a blind eye to Sandusky's behavior?
As miserable as these attempts to minimize Paterno’s disgraceful conduct are, what can one say about McQueary’s? In 2002, McQueary was a powerful young athlete, just a couple of years removed from NFL training camps. It’s possible, I suppose, to make some sort of excuse, based on the effects of shock and disgust, for his behavior in that locker room, where instead of coming to the aid of a ten-year-old boy being raped by a 58-year-old man, he fled and called his father.
The point of lingering over McQueary’s decision to value his potential for career advancement over stopping a serial child rapist from continuing to find and parade his victims in front of McQueary’s face isn’t that McQueary (along with the rest of the actors in this saga) is some sort of inexplicable moral monster. It would be nice to think so, but consider that his despicable behavior merely mirrors that of his head coach, his athletic director, and his university’s president, who all made, and continued for years to make, essentially the same decision to value their careers over stopping little boys from being raped by a man they had worked with for years, and who they allowed to continue to walk among them every day. The point of calling out McQueary’s physical and especially moral cowardice is to remind us how we are all capable of sinking so low, if we do not remind ourselves constantly, in whatever way is most useful for each of us, of the truth of Samuel Johnson’s remark that, “courage is reckoned the greatest of all virtues; because, unless a man has that virtue, he has no security for preserving any other.”
It's easy to come up with excuses and rationalizations after the fact. But when it comes to young children not only dealing with the sexual abuse but the authorities of the school ignoring such horrific events, the actions by all parties involved is just unconscionable.
After hearing news of the firing, Paterno released a statement, saying: "I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees' decision, but I have to accept it. A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed. I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, its property and all that we value."
A source close to former Penn State Football Coach Joe Paterno tells CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian that the Paterno family is shocked and outraged over the university's handling of the firing....read on
The family is upset at the way the university handled it, but they should be upset at the man that withheld valuable information about a pedophile.
Video below the fold of the press conference announcing Paterno's termination. I'm surprised it took them this long.
By now, more than two and a half million people around the world have watched the video posted on YouTube of a sixteen-year-old disabled girl, Hillary Adams, being beaten by her father for nearly eight harrowing minutes. William Adams has admitted that he was indeed the person in the video who took a leather belt and savagely whipped his daughter for illegally downloading music off the internet, threatening to hit her in the face as well, screaming obscenities while beating her "into submission," incensed by her "disobedience," the sort of terminology rarely heard in everyday conversation. After several minutes of whipping the girl, the father leaves, but is heard to say, "I never got my licks in," and returns to beat her with an even bigger leather belt while his daughter screams and begs him to stop. Sickeningly, William Adams is the Aransas County Court-at-law Judge, presiding over Family Court, and has made 349 legal decisions regarding family cases in the last year alone, many of them child abuse cases.
Judge Adams, during an on-camera interview with KZTV Corpus Christi television station a few days ago, tried to downplay his behavior, saying the footage is years old, he’d already apologized for "losing his temper," but remains completely unrepentant, saying the beating "looks worse than it is" and he still could see nothing wrong in disciplining his daughter. He has apparently disciplined her over and over and over again, it seems, as Hillary Adams told an interviewer on NBC’s Today that father regularly beat her over a long period of time. She made the tape, she said, knowing the beating was coming – hiding a camera under a scarf on her dresser to make a record of the abuse. At one point, the girl’s mother chimes in, saying rather tellingly, "turn over like a sixteen-year-old and take it! Like a grown woman!" Like a grown woman? What grown woman thinks it’s normal to have the living snot beaten out of her by a violent, abusive man? It seems his daughter might not have been the only woman in his house on the receiving end of a leather strap.
So deeply ingrained was this family’s fear of this man that Hillary Adams waited seven years before releasing it. "Back then I was still a minor and living under his roof and releasing it then… I don’t know what would have happened to me or my mother or little sister… If this had blown up when I was a minor who knows where I would be. I wouldn’t be able to escape." Nor did the good judge’s abuse stop with his divorce, his wife leaving him four years ago. "I am praying for my daughters and me and my family to heal in all ways from emotional and physical abuse," Hallie Adams wrote on Facebook, "for the current and continuing abuse of my children and me that has been ongoing to end." Adams shares joint custody of his now 14-year-old younger daughter with his ex-wife.
So many people were shocked by the video of that Texas judge hitting his child, but I wasn't. I've been reading for a long time about the abusive child-rearing practices of extreme Christian fundamentalists, and I wouldn't be surprised if that girl's father thought he was merely doing his duty and "raising a godly child."
The books of Michael and Debi Pearl are frequently implicated in that kind of abuse. Here's a heart-wrenching post from a reader over at the No Longer Quivering blog, started by a woman who left the fundamentalist Quiverfull movement:
When the Pearls’ methods failed, I got stuck on method a. Blame yourself. I re-read To Train Up a Child. When I knew I had it right, I hit harder. Prayed harder. Did the whole disciplinary routine smiling from ear to ear and cooing like a dove. My babies acted freaked out by my grin (it was a lot like Debi Pearl’s vacuous, huge grin in the Tuchman interview) and were enraged by my efforts to “lovingly reconcile” with them after spankings. They kept up the fight. At this point, I think I would have admitted to myself that something was wrong with this whole child-training method and stopped torturing the toddlers all day to no avail. If you have to be cruel to get the Pearl method to work on some kids, it’s wrong. I had a husband, however, who was firmly convinced that Pearl was right. He went right for the b. and c. options: hit harder and blame the kid.
Options b. and c. are hard to do without getting angry. They are hard to do without leaving bruises, especially since Pearl discipline is cumulative: faced with entrenched rebellion, you are supposed to hit repeatedly and in the same areas. My ex-husband got angry with the kids for thwarting the Pearl method, but he remained coldly self-controlled. He also left bruises. A lot of bruises.
Why didn’t I stop him? I finally did, but early in my marriage I was paralyzed by fear and brainwashed by bad teaching. We both feared raising ungodly kids. We were looking for confirmation that some part of this system worked, and my ex-husband began to get results. The children flinched when he even moved. Cowered when he reached for a spanking implement. Had semi-seizures on the carpet following “biblical correction.” We got compliance with our wishes. Eventually, there wasimmediate and unquestioning compliance. My ex-husband had quelled the rebellion in three kids. He had created unfocused, freaked-out little robots who obeyed. The joy and the peace that was supposed to suffuse our home according to Pearl, we thought we could dispense with. Maybe it would come later; the Pearls are a little vague on where the peace and love should come into the process, just as they are a little vague on how you can keep “chastising” repeatedly with progressively increased force in the same places without leaving bruises.
A senior Vatican priest, speaking before Pope Benedict XVI at a Good Friday service, compared the world’s outrage at sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church to the persecution of the Jews, prompting angry responses from victims’ advocates and consternation from Jewish groups.
The Vatican spokesman quickly distanced the Vatican from the remarks, which came on the day Christians mark the Crucifixion. They underscored how much the Catholic Church has felt under attack from recent news reports and from criticism over how it has handled charges of child molesting against priests in the past.
The pope and his bishops have denounced abuses in the church, but many prelates and Vatican officials have lashed back at news reports that Benedict failed to act strongly enough against pedophile priests, once as archbishop of Munich and Freising in 1980 and once as a leader of the Vatican’s powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The Vatican has denied that he was at fault, and Vatican officials have variously described the reports as “deceitful,” an effort to undermine the church and a “defamatory campaign.”
Speaking in St. Peter’s Basilica, the priest, the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, took note that Easter and Passover fell during the same week this year, and said he was led to think of the Jews. “They know from experience what it means to be victims of collective violence, and also because of this they are quick to recognize the recurring symptoms,” said Father Cantalamessa, who serves under the title of preacher of the papal household.
Let me see if I've got this straight: A Vatican priest tried to equate the uproar the world is articulating over the horrors their own child-molesting priests have inflicted through the years (and which was covered up by the church hierarchy) with the systemic genocide practiced against the Jews. It leaves me numb.
This is something Bill Donohue would say on cable TV--although he has a reputation for attacking Jews himself. Every day that goes by, these men of the cloth disgrace the religion they represent. How dare they? I guess Father Cantalamessa couldn't utter a word of remorse at his Mass for the hundreds and hundreds of children that have been irrevocably damaged by the sexual violence priests have brought upon their lives. He did offer up a tepid mention of them, though.
Father Cantalamessa’s comments about the Jews came toward the end of a long talk about Scripture, the nature of violence and the sacrifice of Jesus. He also spoke at length about violence against women, but gave only slight mention of the children and adolescents who had been molested by priests. “I am not speaking here of violence against children, of which unfortunately also elements of the clergy are stained; of that there is sufficient talk outside of here,” he said.
Here's just a little reminder of the history that makes this comparison particularly distasteful:
Pope Urban II, anxious to assert Rome's authority in the east, sent a military expedition in 1095 to reconquer the holy land. The crusaders ravaged the countries they passed through and massacred the Muslim, Jewish and even Christian population of Jerusalem after capturing it in 1099. After 200 years of conflict Muslim armies drove them out for good, but the crusaders' symbol of the red cross remains provocative.
The attempt to combat suspected apostates, Jews and Muslims at the time of the Reformation spawned tribunals in Europe and the new world that tortured and executed thousands. Ecclesiastical queasiness about flowing blood led to the use of racks, thumbscrews and red-hot metal instead of blades; 2,000 people were burned at the stake during the tenure of Spain's first grand inquisitor, Tomas de Torquemada.
Pope Pius XII never publicly condemned the Nazis' persecution of Jews, even when they were being rounded up and deported from Rome. His silence is partly blamed for the failure of Germany's Catholics to resist Hitler. Anti-Jewish Catholic doctrines such as the claim that the Jews murdered Christ were said to have ideologically underpinned nazism. Vatican officials allegedly helped Nazis escape Europe after the war.
Boy, this just keeps keeping worse, doesn't it? I would like to add this perspective: In the first half of the last century, it was extremely common for Catholic parents to pledge their first-born son to the priesthood and the first-born daughter to the sisterhood. That must have made for some very angry, repressed people who then took their rage out on children:
The child abuse scandal rocking the Catholic Church widened yesterday as a leading German bishop personally appointed by Pope Benedict was accused of ritually beating and punching children at a church-run home during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Five former residents of the St Josef's home in Bavaria submitted written statements to Germany's Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper claiming the Bishop of Augsburg, Walter Mixa, a controversial conservative churchman appointed by the Pope in 2005, used to hit and degrade them during punishment sessions at the home.
Bishop Mixa's diocese yesterday rejected the allegations as "absurd, untrue and obviously invented in order to defame the bishop".
The allegations emerged as the Vatican prepares a legal defence it hopes will shield the Pope from a lawsuit in the US seeking to have him answer questions under oath related to an abuse scandal. Court documents obtained by the Associated Press show that Vatican lawyers plan to argue that the Pope has immunity as head of state and that American bishops who oversaw abusive priests were not employees of the Vatican. The Vatican is trying to fend off the first US case to reach the stage of determining whether victims have a claim against the Vatican for allegedly failing to alert police or the public about Roman Catholic priests who molested children.
In Germany, Hildegard Sedlmayr, 48, a former resident of the home in the Bavarian town of Schrobenhausen, where Bishop Mixa was a priest, told Süddeutsche Zeitung that at age 15, the bishop dragged her from her bed and punched her repeatedly on the arm.
"He grabbed me by the nightshirt, pulled me up out of my bed and punched me repeatedly on the upper arm. Afterwards it was covered in bruises," she said. "The two years at St Josef's were the worst in my life."
Another former St Josef's resident, named as Thomas Huber, said he was in pain for "several days" after Bishop Mixa flogged him. "I was made to bend over a bench, then Mixa hit me 35 times with a carpet beater," he said.
Three other former residents said Bishop Mixa habitually punished children with slaps to the face, punches to the arms, and beatings. The former residents claimed that Catholic nuns who ran the home also hit children with brooms and wooden shoes.
A hotline set up by the Catholic Church in Germany to counsel victims of sexual abuse was overrun on its first day, with almost 4,500 calls. Further allegations have continued to emerge even as Chancellor Angela Merkel says the church is taking "necessary measures."
It was a much criticized idea. Earlier this month, Germany's Catholic Church announced that it was planning a hotline for sexual abuse victims to call should they be in need of counselling or advice. Given the ever-increasing wave of abuse allegations being levelled at clerics in Germany this spring, however, many critics doubted whether victims would phone up the organization that was responsible for their suffering in the first place.
The critics were wrong. On Wednesday, the first full day of the hotline's operation, fully 4,459 people phoned up -- far more than the therapists hired to man the phones could handle. Indeed, they were only able to conduct 162 counselling sessions, ranging from five minutes to an hour in length. Andreas Zimmer, head of the project in the Bishopric of Trier, admitted that he wasn't prepared for "that kind of an onslaught." Zimmer insisted, however, that those who leave a message will be called back.
But yesterday, Sanford flew to Washington to demand $300 million in stimulus money for education, the State newspaper reports:
Sanford, who spent much of last year fighting parts of the Obama administration’s stimulus plan, now wants S.C. to have a piece of $4 billion in “Race to the Top” education money. [...]
Sanford met with [Secretary of Education Arne] Duncan to learn more about a charter school program Duncan started in Chicago, said Ben Fox, the governor’s spokesman. Sanford also took the trip to urge Duncan to support more charter school grants, Fox said. [...]
This is typical conservative behavior. Attack a Democratic initiative relentlessly -- and then after you get your fifteen minutes of fame, change your mind because you know the media will never hold you accountable. Sanford actually had an extra 15 minutes of fame, thanks to his love of long hikes in the Appalachians Brazil.
A Yelm man was arrested Sunday for allegedly beating and torturing his daughter. Police said they found the child covered with bruises.
Officers were dispatched around 2 a.m. to Umptanum Road behind Safeway for a report of a disturbance.
Joshua R. Tabor, 27, was allegedly walking up and down the street with a helmet, saying he was going to bust windows, said Yelm Police Chief Todd Stancil. He appeared to be intoxicated.
When police arrived they discovered Tabor’s 4-year-old daughter had locked herself in a bathroom. Tabor’s girlfriend allegedly told police that Tabor has an anger problem and beats his daughter, Stancil said.
The child was interviewed and photographs were taken of the bruises that covered her body.
During the investigation it was also discovered Tabor may have held the girl’s head, backward, in a sink of water because she wouldn’t say her ABCs, Stancil said.
Tabor allegedly admitted to police that he did it because he knew she was terrified of water.
Stancil said Tabor admitted to using this means of punishment three to four times.