Thursday, January 30, 2020

Letting Go Like Galileo: "And Yet ... It Moves"

*Editing Note, 1/31: Sorry for the typos/incomplete sentences/thoughts -  not only was the original written hurriedly just before getting back to work, after "dark-rooming" for a few hours for a persistent migraine, but I was still foggy-brained.

Ya gotta love migraines - as IF the pain, nausea, vomiting, photosensitivity and phonosensitivity weren't enough, for extra fun, you can't get your fingers to work properly with your already foggy brain, nor get all of your thoughts expressed completely, the way you usually can (so work is half-speed).  Plus I drop, spill things, and trip a lot - it's super graceful lol.  

The good news is, I only get breakthroughs that bad (and that persistent) just once or twice a year, and that I'm back to about 85% today :)

However, if there are any more typos or incomplete sentences/thoughts, I'll have to catch them later, because as I said below, I'm taking a little mini-break anyway.  Hope you get the gist anyway ;)


Well, it's probably pretty obvious, by now, that I had my own situation this Kobe thing stirred up. And as you can see from the post below regarding Kobe, indisputable evidence doesn't make a difference either. 

Don't worry, I'm not going to tell my story now lol.  But I'm sure I'm not alone - which is why I'm writing this post. The thing is, it's not just one aspect or just one feeling that situations like this kick up.  

All I know is, that was the beginning of the worst time in my life, things just snowballed.  Suddenly, anyone that ever had an axe to grind with me chimed in, a couple of people whom I didn't even know they did, until then (maybe they didn't even know they did until then?).

I lost much, things and people as a result - I lost my life as I knew it - and I was never the same. 

You heal from most things, but the thing that takes the longest?

At least for me, other than the never feeling fully safe (though that does get better), the most long-lasting effect is the way people you thought you knew/could trust reacted and treated you. 

You finally work up the courage to tell a couple of people you think you can trust, after fearing you'll not be believed because of who it is/the circumstance - and then exactly what you feared happens -  you're not believed, blamed, shamed, and silenced.  

That part, you just never get over. 

Something snarky is said or done by somebody and so you jump the gun and get defensive, start quietly documenting interactions, just in case it turns into a "he said/she said," which usually never arrives, that kind of thing. 

Although I will say this - predatory and power-abusing people can sense the wounds, like sharks with blood in the water. Though other people may not see it, your vulnerability rings like a dinner bell to people like that, especially if you're new or don't have a huge social-support network (if you weren't isolated before, you may isolate now, it's common and understandable, but try not to). So it's smart to be more guarded than you used to be. 

For example, when I commented the other day at the Washington Post (see below copies of adding my name to the public outcry to reinstate Felicia), though I was soooo mild compared to what others were saying (some people were commenting angrily in all caps, lots of exclamation points) - one commenter, for whatever reason, said, "I want to rape you," literally out of nowhere.  

I wondered why he chose me, out of everyone, despite other people being a lot more upset, angry, and reactive than I was, typing in all caps, etc. 

The old me would've freaked out and made a copy, perhaps reported it, etc., but I didn't - I just didn't let it phase me because that's what he wanted, to freak me out and silence me.  Some people, especially online, just want to get a freaked-out reaction, like a junkie needing a fix, and say and do things they don't have the balls to do in real life.

So instead, I just shot back, "Sorry to burst your bubble, but you wouldn't be my first. 

He never said another word lol.

What they want is to feel power, to have control over your emotions and your choices, freak you out and silence you - don't let them.  Depending on the situation, sometimes ignoring them is best for your own safety - but if you do react, make sure it's not emotionally and don't forget your sense of humor, use humor :)

In fact, even one self-admitted Trumper, who had previously been arguing that the accuser of Kobe was lying, all women who accuse men are and just golddiggers, saying they were right to suspend Felicia  - he apparently saw it and replied to him as well, kind of backing me up "Right back at you, creeper!" 

That was kind of a cool moment, actually, now that I think about it. 

It probably helped that I had been super nice to him (the Trumper, not the creeper) earlier, because in addition to that other noise he was making, I validated the other point he made, about respect for the family's feelings. I said that was very true, sensitivity to the family is important and needed, but here's another perspective - we can be sensitive to the family AND sensitive to rape victims? It's not like it's either/or. 

However, it was still an interesting turn of events - opposite sides politically, but he saw first-hand that I literally said and did nothing to provoke that person.

It probably didn't really register and change his mind, but for that brief moment, at least, he saw it  - that there was nothing I did other than what hundreds of other people were doing, and I was a lot calmer and more respectful about it - and that sometimes, people do are going to do creepy shit out of their own issues, regardless of what you do, say, wear, or don't do.

My husband freaked out about it more than I did lol.

Regardless, my point is, you don't see the world the same way anymore, people the same way anymore, and the world can sense you're wounded, so be on your guard.  

And yet you hold out hope that a different world isn't far away, even possible in your lifetime.  You tell yourself that maybe you can use your experience to help others ...

"What was done to me was done for evil, but God, in turn, will use for good, for the saving of many lives." (Genesis 50:20)

However, I think I finally accepted today that's probably actually not going to happen, at least in my lifetime, and I'm probably not the person to do it lol.  

And most people aren't rational - like I said earlier, they're going to believe what they want to believe despite facts, despite evidence, whether it's Trump or Kobe. 

And like Mother Theresa said, "Love them anyway."

I will - I just don't feel like it today lol.

I mean, I guess I already knew that to a certain degree - I just skipped the "acceptance" part, the realizing the world was not likely to change during my lifetime part.

I used to liken the feeling previously to Galileo, sitting in the courtroom with the evidence in his hand that the earth moved around the sun, instead of vice versa -  but the church and court (before separation of church and state) refused to even look at it - forcing him to recant and testify instead that the sun went around the earth and the world was flat, to please church and state - or they'd not just kill him, but also his colleagues, his family, for heresy.

One by one, he watched them all recant out of fear until he was alone.  Some of them just publicly, some of them publicly and privately, pretended they never knew him and had nothing to do it, convinced themselves he was crazy rather than face truth. 

And though he held the evidence in his hand, no one was interested, so he signed the recant, as well as admitting to heresy. to spare his family and friends any more trouble.
Legend has it, as soon as he was finished signing it, he looked down at the ground, the earth, let out a sigh, and whispered, "And yet ... it moves."

It took another century or two before people would even look at the evidence - but that didn't change the fact that it was truth.

The difference, of course, is I'm sure Galileo wasn't plagued with self-doubt and all the "shouldda, couldda woulddas." 

Regardless, today, I accepted the world is just as irrational as it was in the 17th century, in some ways.  It scares people to know truth. 

Well, to be honest, what scares me is live in a world where most people don't want to know truth if it means the people they admire aren't who they think they are.  

See, the thing is, I learned how to deal with disillusionment a long, long time ago - looking at who the people I loved really were - so not it's very hard for me to become "illusioned" with anyone since lol. 

I see the positive and negatives nearly right away in everyone, and accept them like that, giving them the same benefit of the doubt I'd like them to be, focusing on the positives (unless it's negative in a scary way).

My problem is instead that I always held up hope that in the end, truth would prevail.  

I guess the last remaining "disillusionment" I had left was was that I still wanted to believe things like, oh, I dunno -  most people were interested in truth, and that we had the fairest justice system in the world and in history, where at least most people, even 75%, were blind to gender, race, faith, or even political party when it came to justice. Today, I finally accepted that that's just not going to happen in my lifetime, and world still doesn't exist - it's more like 15% of people at best.

I had a nap this afternoon, not feeling well this week (migraines take a bit to recuperate from, especially when I get one this bad, which is about twice a year).

In it, I was at my grandmother's, on a sunny day, just washing my car with family and neighbors.  Family members who are now gone :(

 Just washing my car on a sunny day, singing, spraying each other with the hose.  I just kept smiling and saying, "I'm so glad you're here, I'm SO glad you're here.  OMG, I had the worst dream.  It was a horrible dream.   I mean, you'd never believe it. Things just snowballed. But it was just a dream" - and I kept hugging those people who are no longer here.

Then I woke up with tears streaming down my face because I realized - THAT was actually the dream.

Don't get me wrong - it's not like my life is a nightmare now, I love my husband, my apartment, my life - but those years that came between  that life, and my life now with him, truly were a nightmare.

The good news is, I'll be fine - I just need a little time :)

Clearly, this thing has just touched off some grief of the life I used to know, as well as what I hoped I would become, as well as what the world would become. 

I just need a little time to finish feeling this and then let it go - let Go and let God - and readjust to the transition between "lives," if that makes sense, pre and post - and I will.  

Thank God, I have the world's best husband now to live it with me :)

Love and my best to whomever's reading.  

You can survive.  I'm not going to lie, it's not going to be easy, you have to adjust the whole trajectory of your life - but you can.  

And your life won't be rosy as your abuser's or rapist's life, either, I guarantee it.  And just as we've seen with Kobe, even after death, people still may not believe, you may not ever see justice - but just as with the person that victimized you, you cannot let that event define you.

But also, sometimes God sneezes a blessing your way still (see Stephen Colbert post below), and suffering does make you a better person.  

I'm just not sure I'm the best example of that today, at least lol. Just a little time, is all :)

Oh, and just one more thing? 

Whether it's sports stars and sexual assault or presidents being impeached, regardless of the outcome ...


"And yet it moves"

I'm Sorry, But ... This Evidence Against Kobe Was Overwhelming and Conclusive

... and although I agree that our criminal justice system is biased against black men, that doesn't include wealthy celebrities, and I don't care if the rapist is a fellow liberal or a conservative, , Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, or atheist, or whether he's black, white or purple. 

Rapists come in all colors, socioeconomic circumstances, all faiths, and political denominations. 

The things I'm seeing/hearing out of people's mouths - from the same press and people on the forefront of the #MeToo movement - despite being able to read the evidence for yourself???  

It should go without saying that especially after trauma, it takes a certain amount of bravery to go forward with prosecution that most people don't have - especially against someone like Kobe Bryant - knowing the threats that will come your way - but apparently we still have to because it keeps being used as "proof" the accuser is lying, when it's not.  But I guess we do need to keep saying it.

Look what's happened to Washington Post reporter, Felicia Sonmez, just for re-linking to the below evidence?  Suspended (now reinstated after coworkers and the public rallied to her defense), still living in a hotel after someone posted her home address online after receiving death threats

First, there was Trump, people believing his innocence despite evidence right in front of their faces.  Now, on the other side of politics, there's Kobe, people believing his innocence, despite the still-anonymous victim's DNA-proven blood on Kobe's shirt in front of their faces.  

Men with money and power win again - and we all know if this was a white man, it'd be even worse.  It's really disheartening - doesn't give a lot of hope, does it?

Power abuse is rampant - and people simply do not want to hear truth anymore because it doesn't fit what they want to believe - and it's a shame because it could happen to them - power abusers work by abusing the trust you've placed in them as public figures, bosses, teachers, etc . :(

The celebrity/hero worship - needs to stop.

The automatic assumption that all women are lying (with rape allegations or anything else) - needs to stop.

Below is the evidence - from  this link  - the same link  that Washington Post reporter, Felicia Sonmez, posted to Twitter, for which she was initially suspended. The link is a separate publication from the WaPo, and gives a detailed and accurate timeline of events, including statements to police, press, and medical examination reports. 

Felicia was suspended for "violating social media policy" and "undermining her coworkers"despite this letter, signed by all of her coworkers at the Washington Post Writer's Guild to WaPo management. 

The guild letter asks them to rescind the suspension, as well as immediately take action to keep Felicia safe after her home address was published online and she received death threats.  

After the guild's letter - with all of their signatures on that letter proving management was lying -  as well as public outcry, and many subscription cancellations, Felicia was reinstated, which we only discovered because Felicia began tweeting again from her WaPo Twitter account, as well as other news publications reported she had, stating that it was determined she didn't break social media policy - but WaPo themselves did not announce her reinstatement, nor explain, nor apologize.

For those of you arguing Kobe's case, you should at least read the evidence first - -  and if you haven't, let me make it easy for you - - here it is (below).

These are excerpts specifically regarding the medical evidence, as well as the initial statements given by the accuser and Kobe to the police (and press by Kobe)

*Please Note: The breaks in the copy/paste are due to pictures or ads within the article that I left out. This also appeared to occur when I bolded important statements or pieces of evidence.

Otherwise, the only information I did not copy/intentionally left out were attorney arguments on either side, as well as any statements I felt were speculative by the author of the article. 

Feel free to compare to the excerpts to original article in the above link for comparison.

The only questions or speculative statements you will see are made by me, clearly notated by the green background. 

Please keep your eyes wide open as you read this - as if you've never heard of Kobe Bryant and have no clue what sexual assault is. As if you have no prior negative history or preconceptions regarding men or women, or regarding sexual assault or allegations of sexual assault.  

Then, when you're finished reading it, I want you to ask yourself this question:

"What if this happened - at work - to my daughter? My niece? My aunt? My girlfriend? My wife? My mother?


During the preliminary hearing, Det. Winters testified that the accuser had been examined the day after the alleged assault by Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) at the Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
“[The nurse] stated that there were several lacerations to the victim’s posterior fourchette or vaginal area, and two of those lacerations were approximately one centimeter in length,” testified Det. Winters. “And there were many, I believe, 2 millimeter lacerations. Too many to count… [The nurse] stated that the injuries were consistent with penetrating genital trauma. That it’s not consistent with consensual sex.”
Det. Winters further stated that the nurse told him the vaginal injuries had most likely occurred within “24 hours,” and that the accuser had “a small bruise on her left jaw line.” Also, that examiners had found “blood excretions” on Bryant’s T-shirt “to about the waistline.” The blood, testified Det. Winters, had “the same DNA profile as the victim in this case.”

The victim admitting to having consensual sex with a partner earlier that day, as well as being on antidepressant for depression and had previously attempted suicide are irrelevant - they have nothing to do with the factual evidence in this case..

Yes, she admitted having consensual sex with someone else earlier in the day 
- but that makes the blood on Kobe's shirt look worse - so he initiated sex with someone who was bleeding from just being raped by someone else?

What the anonymous victim - who is still anonymous to this day - told police in the police report ... 

“Last night I was at work and I was sexually assaulted. So begins the accuser’s version of the events that took place the night of June 30, 2003, according to the police transcript of an interview taken with her the following day by Det. Winters and Deputy Rich of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office in Eagle, Colorado.
The accuser, who is white, said she arrived late to work at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera, a resort in Edwards, Colorado—between Eagle and Vail—at around 2 p.m. on June 30. At around 4 p.m., she said she received a call from a travel agent checking in on a reservation for “Javier Rodriguez,” and the agent “divulged the information to me that it was actually Mr. Bryant. And that it was very important that we got him and his two companions a room. So, there were three rooms all together.” The other rooms were being held under the names “Joe Carlson” and “Mike Ortiz,” who were in Bryant’s entourage. 
The accuser, who worked at the front desk, was scheduled to be off at 7 p.m., but told officers she stayed later because “I was excited to meet Kobe Bryant,” and that she “was trying to make up the extra hours” that she missed by not getting to work on time (her work day was supposed to begin at 11 a.m.).“They showed up around 9:45, 10:00. I met Mr. Ortiz um, met Mr. Bryant and they asked me to escort him to his room,” she told police. When they got to the room, she says, Bryant made a request: “Mr. Bryant asked me, kinda in private if I would come back in 15 minutes and give him a tour of the hotel. And I said that I would.”
The accuser says she returned to his room around 10:30 p.m., and then showed Bryant the resort’s on-site facilities, including the spa, exercise, room, outdoor pool, and outdoor jacuzzi. She claims the tour portion was witnessed by Bob Pietrack, the bellman and a high-school friend of the accuser. Then, the two allegedly returned to Bryant’s room, sat down, and talked.
“We were talking and [Bryant] asked me to open the jacuzzi for him,” she told police. “I told him that my shift was over and I was gonna go home. He proceeded to try and convince me to come back in 15 minutes, which I told him I would just so I could get out of there and then I was just gonna leave and not come back. Um, I stood up to leave, he stood up, asked me to give him a hug. I gave him a hug and he started kissing me and I let him kiss me. And the kissing continued then he took off his pants. And that’s when I tried to back up and leave. And that’s when he started to choke me.”
Asked by police what she was thinking at the time, she responded, “I was thinking that his actions were getting physical, and that I wanted to get out of the room.” She estimates the kissing lasted for five minutes, and that that part was consensual. What happened after, she says, was not. “He started, um, groping me, I guess I’d say,” she told officers. “Putting his hands on me, grabbing my butt, my chest. Trying to lift up my skirt. Proceeded to take off his own pants. Trying to grab my hand and make me touch him.”
“I told him once that I needed to leave, she added. “He didn’t say anything. If he did [hear me] he didn’t make any gestures or anything that would let me know that he did.”
At this point, the accuser told police that Bryant began to get rough with her: “When he took off his pants that’s when I started to kinda back up, and try to push his hands off me and that’s when he started to choke me. He wasn’t choking me enough that I couldn’t breathe, just choking me to the point that I was scared.”
Bryant then, she told police, began “grabbing and rubbing” her vagina over her panties. That lasted “two to three minutes, and during that time I was trying to uh, pull away.” Then, she says, he grabbed her neck with both arms. She claims that she didn’t say anything to him at this time, but he knew she was trying to leave “because I kept trying to back away and move towards the door.”
According to the accuser, Bryant put his body between her and the door. I try and walk to the side, and he would walk to the side with me. And that’s when he started to put his hands on my neck,” she said, adding, “He was groping me, I tried to leave, tried to break away, that’s when he grabbed my neck. And at that point I was just looking at him, didn’t know what to do, didn’t know what to say.”
“Then he held me by my neck and physically forced me over to the side of the couch,” she continued. “That’s when he continually had one hand around my neck and with his other hand pushed me over to the side of the two chairs um, turned me around and bent me over and lifted up my skirt.” She told police that “at that point I was just kinda scared and I said no a few times,” adding she said no “when he lifted up my skirt” and again “when he took off my underwear.”
When asked by police how she knew Bryant had heard her, she replied, “Because every time I said no he tightened his hold around me.”
The accuser said that, with one arm still around her neck, Bryant “would lean his face real close to me and ask me questions.” The question: “You’re not gonna tell anybody right.”
“I said no. And he didn’t hear me or asked me to say it louder. Wanted me to turn around and look at him while I said it,” she told police. She said that Bryant asked her the question “three or four” times, and her response every time was “no” because “I was scared that if I told him yes, I’m gonna tell somebody, I’m gonna get out of here now, that he would become more physical with me. Or try harder to keep me in there.”
“And then,” she said, “he lifted up my skirt, took off my underwear and, and came inside me.” She continued: “That’s when he kept coming inside me and then he leaned his face toward mine and asked me if I liked it when a guy came on my face, I said no. Then he was like what did you say. Grabbed and like tightened his hold on my neck, I said no. He said he was gonna do it anyway. And then at that point I got a little bit more aggressive with him and tried to release his hands from my neck. And he was still behind me and at that point he’s still choking me, I was not trying as hard as I could of to get away, but I was still trying.”
The penetration, she told police, lasted about “five minutes,” during which time she was crying, saying that the crying began “when he was coming inside, or started having sex with me.” During the sex, Bryant reportedly said, “I like Vail, Colorado.”
“When I started to get a little bit more aggressive, tried harder to get away, that’s when he stopped,” she said. “I stood up and turned around and he forced me to stay in the room until I had calmed down a little bit. Made me fix my hair and wash my face.”
Afterward, she told officers that Bryant issued her a warning. “[This] is just between the two, the two of us nobody is gonna know about this, you’re not going to tell anybody. Not asking me just telling me.”

What Kobe told police (before the full medical examination report was released) - note how his story changes a total of 4 times by the time the criminal charges were dropped. (Hers never did):

Bryant’s version of the events differed from the accuser’s. He was questioned by police at around 11:30 p.m. the day after the alleged sexual assault at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera.
“Um, she showed me around the pool, showing me around, um, we went to my room, she showed me the back view where the bears come up to the window, and that’s about fucking it, we shot the shit and that was it,” Bryant told police. He then denied three times that anything had happened with the woman to police, and when informed that the accuser had made an allegation of sexual assault against him, told the officers, “Is there any way I can settle this whatever it is, I mean…?” asked Bryant. “If my wife, if my wife found out that anybody made any type of allegations against me, she would be infuriated.”
When police informed him that the accuser had submitted to a physical exam and they’d taken semen and blood evidence from her person, Bryant admitted that the two had sex. “Uh, this is what I need to know because uh, I did have sexual intercourse with her,” said Bryant, adding, “It was totally consensual.”
Bryant told the officers that when he and the accuser got back to the room, she showed him her back tattoo and then kissed him, and they began to kiss. 
When the officers asked Bryant whether she said no or resisted, Bryant replied, “OK. I’m thinking, I’m thinking, I’m thinking. (Pause.) I’m trying to think of the conversation we had.”
He admitted that he “held [the accuser] from the back” and that the sex lasted “about five minutes.”
The officers then asked Bryant, “Did you ever ask her if you wanted, if you could cum in her face?”Yes,” Bryant replied, adding, “That’s when she said no. That’s when she said no. That’s when she said no.”
Bryant contended that the woman gave him oral sex for approximately “five seconds” prior to the sex, and that everything was “consensual.”
At one point, when police described the accuser as “attractive,” Bryant corrected them. “She wasn’t that attractive,” said Bryant. Then, when officers asked him about “finishing,” he replied, “I didn’t finish a fucking thing,” adding, “I jerked off when she left.” When asked by officers if he’d ever cheated on his wife before, Bryant replied, “Um, yes, with one other person. And she could actually testify I do that um, I do the same thing, I hold her from the back, I put my hands (inaudible).”
“Her name is Michelle,” continued Bryant, adding she’s a “frequent” partner of his.
Police then inform Bryant that the accuser “has a bruise on her neck,” to which he replied, “Yeah I mean that’s you know me and Michelle, that’s what we, we do the same thing,” said Bryant. When officers ask Bryant how often he has sex with “Michelle,” he replies, “A lot. She’ll tell you the same shit.”
In a supplemental police report, Det. Winters described a strange encounter with Bryant in which he hurled a T-shirt containing semen into the officer’s face. The accuser’s name is redacted.
“During our conversation with Bryant, we asked him since he didn’t ejaculate in [redacted] if he ejaculated later. Bryant stated he did,” read Det. Winters’ report. “We asked Bryant where did he ejaculate. He stated he ejaculated onto a white T-shirt after [redacted] left. We asked Bryant if we could have that T-shirt. He agreed. I remember Detective Loya following Bryant into Bryant’s room and I followed them. I did not see where Bryant got the T-shirt from. However, Bryant stated that the T-shirt he was holding was the T-shirt he ejaculated into. He then threw the T-shirt at me. I told Bryant not to throw it at me because I would come pick it up in a safe location. I caught the T-shirt around the neck region. Bryant told me he didn’t ‘shoot it’ that far up. Meaning he didn’t ejaculate that far up the T-shirt.”
And in another supplemental report in Bryant’s case file, he chose to invoke Shaquille O’Neal’s name during the investigation—for reasons unclear.
According to the police report, while he was being questioned by the officers about the alleged sexual assault, Bryant said, “I should have done what Shaq does,” adding, “Shaq gives them money or buys them cars, he has already spent one million dollars.” The report added, “Kobe stated that Shaq does this to keep the girls quiet.”

Kobe's responses to the press ...

On July 12, Bryant issued his first statement about the case to the Los Angeles Times, saying, When everything comes clean, it will all be fine, you’ll see. But you guys know me, I shouldn’t have to say anything. You know I would never do something like that.” 

Four days later, he made his first public appearance since the allegations emerged, walking the red carpet with his wife Vanessa at the ESPY Awards at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre. And on July 18, after he was formally charged with sexual assault and false imprisonment, Bryant held a news conference where, with his wife by his side, he contested the charges against him.
“I didn’t force her to do anything against her will. I’m innocent,” he said. “I sit here in front of you guys furious at myself, disgusted at myself for making a mistake of adultery.”
The medical examiner's rape-kit report concludes via DNA testing that the blood on Kobe's shirt is the victim's blood - and it is released to the press.

Despite this smoking-gun medical evidence being released to the press - the accuser suddenly and inexplicably refuses to testify in court and the charges are dropped.

On opening day for the trial, on September 1, 2003, Kobe's attorney reads this "half-confession" to the courtroom - his 4th change to the story.

First, I want to apologize directly to the young woman involved in this incident. I want to apologize to her for my behavior that night and for the consequences she has suffered in the past year. Although this year has been incredibly difficult for me personally, I can only imagine the pain she has had to endure. I also want to apologize to her parents and family members, and to my family and friends and supporters, and to the citizens of Eagle, ColoI also want to make it clear that I do not question the motives of this young woman. No money has been paid to this woman. She has agreed that this statement will not be used against me in the civil case. Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did. After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounterI issue this statement today fully aware that while one part of this case ends today, another remains. I understand that the civil case against me will go forward. That part of this case will be decided by and between the parties directly involved in the incident and will no longer be a financial or emotional drain on the citizens of the state of Colorado.

The accuser’s civil suit against Bryant was ultimately settled in March 2005, and terms of the settlement were undisclosed (the total amount civil juries in Colorado could award at the time was $2.5 million). And the accuser, it should be noted, came from a wealthy family.


PS I was told the Washington Post finally gave a small blurb about Felicia's return last night - but I don't know if that's true because I haven't been back - though I canceled my subscription yesterday morning, I have until next month, but I really don't want to go.

And I will not "uncancel" my subscription to the Washington Post until Marty Baron and Tracy Grant are fired, 
as clearly, they knew immediately how to find bogus reasons to silence her (as if they've done this before) ... 

... and Jeff Bezos himself admits what the Washington Post did and apologizes to Felicia and the public.

Fat chance that will ever happen, so sayonara, sweethearts.
This from the same newspaper on the forefront of #MeToo and protected Woodward and Bernstein (the reporters who broke the Watergate/Nixon/Pentagon break-in scandal) - can you believe it?

"Democracy does die in darkness," WaPo - don't just say it, live it.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Why We Love (But Don't 'Hero Worship') Stephen Colbert :)

Which means, if I learn something negative about him, I won't blind myself to it in denial which I tend not to do anyway. I've seen so much in life, nothing surprises me from anyone, especially these days lol. 

Plus, there was a time I hung out with famous people, they're not "larger than life," actually, they're pretty much like everyone else (all though some of them are pretty entitled).  

The truth is, we don't know any of these people, like we imagine we do. 

However, thus far, we got nuttin' but love and admiration for Stephen Colbert :)

So, all of the other late-night talk show hosts continue with their sports-hero-worship  "I got to hang out with Kobe Bryant" personal stories.

However, Stephen Colbert was lucky - he was actually off, Monday night, which gave him time to observe and reflect on all the reactions people had before he spoke. 

Considering we ladies love our Stephen Colbert, we were kind of holding our breath/biting our nails to see what he'd say, like, "Please, Stephen - at least don't say anything to make it worse or make us sit through more hero worship/hanging out with Kobe stories, without a true acknowledgement of that 'other side' to Kobe."  lol

Speaking of which - Sorry, Jimmy Kimmel - unlike the others, at least you tried - but that's still a fail. 

Points for effort, and not completely tone deaf - but still off key. 

Because your "imperfect person" mention minimizes the violent crime that is rape.

"Imperfect" is a word we use for behaviors that fall within the broad range of "normal" - not meaning that you or I would ever do them (or even think about ever doing them) -  but they unfortunately do fall within the "normal" range, based solely on the sheer percentage of a population who engage in them within a culture.

Normal human-temptation types of things that at least 50% of the population within a culture have done, such as cheating on taxes, cheating on a test, extramarital affairs, spanking children, lying, cursing, drugs, alcohol, low-level physicality during an argument with the same or opposite sex (grabbing, shoving, slapping - even punching, for men), something horrible said out of raw emotion or insensitivity/thoughtlessness   -  even petty crimes and financial crimes can fall within the "imperfect person" range.  

In fact, though it's a stretch, we even apply it when even bigger, more violent crimes have occurred, if a full confession and sincere remorse are expressed, if there were extenuating circumstances (i.e., the action was necessary for survival or they were from a traumatic background), and/or if the behavior truly was out of character for them or they've proven they're completely rehabilitated since the behavior (or are actively working on it).

We typically don't use the word "imperfect" to describe abnormal human behaviors -  meaning behaviors that do not occur, nor are even considered - in less than 50% of the population (or even 20% of the population) such as violent or otherwise abusive crime towards another human being - to include rape.

To use "imperfect" to describe a person who has committed such an act, just because you like them or hero worship them, is minimizing the fact that what they did was an abnormal, violent, criminal act, for which there was sufficient evidence to prosecute, but they evaded consequence, and never really confessed/showed remorse.

So, when Stephen returned, he took a different route altogether.

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First, he asked his band leader, Jon Batiste (from my favorite city of New Orleans, btw) for his reaction, because they hadn't had a chance to talk.

Batiste said essentially his reaction was primarily that no matter how "larger than life" and immortal a person may seem, or we may think we are, in the end, life is temporary, like a vapor - you're here one minute, then poof - gone the next.

He also said that at the same time we were reminded of his greatness, we were reminded of something unpleasant from his past, but that event is equally important to remember, as they were both a part of him.  

Well said, Go Jon!

Turning back to Stephen, instead of focusing on just Kobe, Stephen read the names of ALL of the victims of the crash- reaching out in sympathy to ALL their families, not just Kobe's.

Because for those who don't know, Stephen Colbert's father and two brothers were killed in a plane crash in 1974.

Instead of more "hanging out with Kobe" sports-hero-worship stories, Stephen Colbert responded with his personal reaction about the crash itself - knowing first-hand what the families of ALL the victims were going through, having gone through it himself - as well as raised public awareness about something that needs to change regarding flight safety.

Because he also mentioned that he later learned something he didn't know from a New Zealand (female) helicopter pilot named Louisa "Choppy" Patterson ...

... that helicopters do not have black boxes like airplanes do.

Thus, unlike jets and airplanes, we have no way of knowing what went wrong, other than what we can gather from the wreckage itself. 

Stephen said:
“One of the terrible things about that shock and the heartbreaking unreality nightmare quality of someone huge in your life who just disappears—the center of your love just disappearing in that moment—is just not knowing what happened”

Because investigators knew what happened in that cockpit
(in Colbert's family's case), new rules were created to save other people’s lives ... (In helicopters), it’s called a 'sterile cockpit rule.' So flight safety could be improved? I think it’s crazy that helicopters don’t have black box recorders. Because as Choppy explained to me, when a helicopter goes down, we don’t know how to improve the helicopter.”
“Why compound their misery with mystery about what happened to their loved ones? It’s better to know than not to know, because if we know, we can possibly stop this from happening to someone else in the future.”

Something most of us didn't know that he's bringing awareness to - and this is why we love Stephen Colbert :)

Not just liberal politics and his sense of humor and brilliant, brilliant mind - but his big heart, as well as his great faith, despite his own suffering.  

Stephen is proof that you can possess both great intellect and great faith - he's the poster child for finding a functional balance between science and faith:)

As a lifelong Catholic (who still teaches Sunday School), Stephen doesn't believe God causes tragedies, but the resulting grief and suffering is actually a gift from God, a blessing in disguise - not only because it makes you appreciate life and the good times more - but because suffering strengthens your empathy for others, builds your character, and brings you closer to God - if you allow it to :)

This is how Stephen is still able to smile and laugh despite so much suffering (but still compassionately handles tragedy).

Just as a bonus about Stephen himself, here's an "after-show" taping of an audience member asking him how he knew his wife, Evie, was "the one."   

They are, without a doubt, the cutest couple in the world :)

I especially love the end of the clip - he tears up at the end of that story, but then they show a quick clip of another show, when his guest (Leslie Mann), said she just met his wife backstage, and he didn't know she was back there.  

So he drags her out, plants a huge kiss on her, then gives her a playful little butt-grab on the way out, both of them laughing the entire time.  

Hey, they're married, it's okay - if he still wants to only grab his wife's bum, after 28 years, I'm okay with that; but more importantly, it looked like she was pretty more than okay with it:)

(BTW, they were both unemployed when they met, and Evie stood by him all those years while an unemployed, broke, struggling actor/comedian/writer - because she believed in him :)

He tells the story of their first meeting, above, adding that he was reminded of a passage in Homer's Odyssey, when Odysseus was wrecked up on the beach after 10 years at sea, and people disbelieved his stories, until someone sneezed.  

You see, there was an old Greek adage, at the time, that if someone sneezed during your story, it was God's blessing.

On the day he met Evie, at an afterparty for a play, they began talking about their favorite poet (Chuck Sullivan), who's work was out of print now and he was a recluse - when this guy turns around and says, "Are you talking about Chuck Sullivan the poet? Hi, I'm Chuck Sullivan's son." LOL. And lots of other little coincidences like that. 

So he says meeting Evie, and all the good things that seemed to appear when they were together -  was "like God sneezed a blessing on me." LOL.

I feel that :)  

Because I was in similar situation and condition when I met my husband, Mark, and though I'm not sure if God is otherwise interested in my insignificant life;, but at least at that moment, he either took mercy on me or accidentally "sneezed a blessing" on me, I'm not sure which lol :)

Regardless ...

Thank you, Stephen, for being the beacon of light that you are to so many, especially at this time.  Keep on doing what you do :)

Again, his running personal theme  of how suffering is a blessing - and watching him tell this story and the way his brilliant mind works, as well as tearing up in the end for his love for Evie - is more priceless than his political monologues (although they ARE the best/funniest out there).

"Pretending It Didn't Happen" - Buh Bye, Bezos/Washington Post. Hello, New York Times :)

I'm seeing nothing at the WaPo but more "Kobe Bryant, the Jump-Shot Hero" and "Kobe Bryant, Great Dad" articles and opinion posts, this morning.  

You know, I'm really glad Kobe ended up having girls himself -  if anything taught him a lesson, it was that.  

Because if someone had done what he did to that girl, to his girls? 

They'd not just go to jail - they'd no longer have any genitals to speak of. 

And I'm truly sorry he, his daughter, and many others tragically lost their lives.  

I'm also a basketball fan - I went to University of Kentucky, for goodness sakes, how can I not be?  lol

So, I get how talented on the court Kobe really was - and yet that's not his complete life story/history.  

Perhaps if he had come out later and said, "I did this and lied about it at first, until the medical examination evidence was released - then I, my team owners, and the NBA paid my way out of it so I could still play.  But I never go a day without thinking about what I did, I will carry the guilt of what I did for life. I realize how lucky I was and I am grateful.  Since then, I've had daughters and I realize what life is like for them, how unsafe the world is with men like I used to be.  So I vowed to do better, never did it again, and will stand up for/protect women any chance I get," rather than leaving it at that awkward semi-confession ... 

... BUT HE DIDN'T.  

He, and we, just moved on and pretended it didn't happen.  

In fact, I know for a fact that I'm not alone when I say this, from both men and women - after the initial shock and sorrow for the situation, for whatever reason, that shady-handled rape situation, despite the evidence,  was the very next thing that popped into my head upon learning of his death.

And let me tell you something -  after the evidence is comes back proving them responsible - every single rapist says "It was consensual, we just had rough sex" 

Every.  Single. Time. 

Escaping consequence for his prior actions in the first place, whitewashing his past, pretending the rape didn't happen,WaPo pretending they didn't suspend a reporter who mentioned it (and failing to properly protect/support that reporter when she received death threats after her home address was published) and quietly reinstating her?

It helps no one but the rapist and rapist wannabes.

The "pretend it didn't happen" method usually doesn't work as well for rape victims :(

This was a travesty of justice and shouldn't have happened - including what happened to the journalist that mentioned it - not to mention the the height of hypocrisy after WaPo was on the forefront of reporting #MeToo accusations. 

The celebrity hero worship thing MUST stop. 

It's okay to admire people, but when a negative truth is staring you right in the face - with factual evidence, not circumstantial speculation  - i.e., the victim's blood all over their T-shirt)?

Time to wake up and take them down off that pedestal a bit - it doesn't matter if it's Kobe or Trump or Hillary or even Oprah, for goodness sake - insert name here.   

You're enabling bad behavior to continue, which is harmful to others, to that person, and all those wannabes who admire that person - you are helping no one by suppressing truth.  

Now, of course, as a result, we're back to all the "She didn't testify which means she was lying" - despite her blood all over Kobe's shirt??? 


Once again - most women know that they will have go through what Christine Blasey-Ford did if they do - worse, because it was even greater beloved Kobe Bryant.

Most women are not willing to put themselves through that, especially immediately after trauma.  

It takes tremendous bravery to do so, especially against a popular celebrity - let's not forget the death threats that come.  

Look at what reporter Felicia Sonmez is going through, just for posting a link to the medical examiner's rape evidence?

For those who don't know, not only was she was suspended from work (now resinstated), but her home address was published, and she's currently living in a hotel after receiving death threats, as we speak!

And you wonder why most rape victims drop the case/don't testify, especially against high-profile people, right after their trauma?

In fact, I would question an accuser who rushed right out and immediately reported it, immediately wanted to testify, and immediately wanted do interviews with the media, before I'd question an accuser hiding in the corner, scared to testify.

Thus, Wannabe Kobe now says to himself, 

"Hey, Kobe got away with it, maybe I can too - all I have to do is be exceptionally charming, have money, a killer jump shot, support the coolest politics and hang out with their wealthiest donors." 

"Then, I'll hire the right PR people to advise me to do things like visit sick kids at the hospital and charm all the late night talk show hosts and the next thing ya know, I'm a saint - and boom, no ones believes her. A reporter's living in a hotel receiving death threats just for mentioning it."
"Conservatives have successfully reconvinced America that all women are lying and all rape allegations are false, based on exactly TWO high-profile false-rape allegations, as well as old statistics that admittedly did not include lack of full investigations or women who failed to testify due to threats/fear."

Therefore, I signed up for the full NYT yesterday, ready to cancel WaPo if they didn't reinstate her. 

They did reinstate Felicia, but said nothing themselves about it - I had to read about it at the Times - and we're still all about Kobe hero worship at the WaPo.

I'm not a huge Bezos fan anyway - he is the least charitable member of the wealthiest 1% there is and a jackass of a boss, by all accounts.

So, Bye Bye, Bezos and The Post - Democracy does die in darkness - learn to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk. Don't just write it, live it - like Felicia does. 

I called them, stating exactly why.  I wasn't angry or emotional, I was very matter of fact; in fact, super nice to the CSR (heck, it's not their fault lol) - but my reason didn't exactly fit in any of the little checkbox "bubble" reasons they give as reasons to cancel lol. 

I just said something like pretending none of this happened doesn't work for rape victims and it doesn't work for me.  And I think I said something about perhaps rethinking their tagline "Democracy Dies in Darkness"after this. 

I still have Amazon, though - dammit lol.  I have a love/hate relationship with Amazon  lol - but they make things so easy for busy people, I can't help myself! lol.

I hate to cancel WaPo, only because Felicia herself is still there, so though I left a comment for her yesterday and wrote her an email, let me say this publicly now ...

Thank you, Felicia Somnez - you're the bravest person of the year, perhaps the decade - thank you for not just talking the talk, but walking the walk - I'm sorry your employer couldn't do the same.  

I hope as time passes, people will begin to realize how brave you really were. 

If the NYT now offers you a job - take it! We'll welcome you there :)

All the best to you ...

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

WaPo Just Rescinded Sonmez's Suspension :)

I had to read about it at the New York Times, though.

Now, where can the official announcement of it be found at the WaPo, hm? ;)

And the public apology can be found where? ;)

(I won't hold my breath).

Ironic that their tagline at the top of the front page says, "Democracy Dies in Darkness" - isn't it? 

Yes, WaPo - it certainly does.

You didn't care about the number of "votes" coming in for silencing Felicia and deleting her link to Kobe's rape case from Twitter - including a formal letter signed by all the members of the Washington Post Writer's Guild - but you started caring when those subscriptions were canceled, didn't you? ;)

Speaking of which, I'm glad you reinstated her, but you're still on "probation" yourselves with me, until I see that official announcement/apology on your front page ;)  

However, while we're waiting on that ...

...  there was an excellent article by David Von Drahle that was posted just over an hour ago (after all the other articles were taken off the front page) called "Remembering Kobe Bryant Required the Hammer of Truth," in full support of Felicia Sonmez and the medical examiner's evidence in the rape case, while still remembering what was positive about Kobe. 

It was on the front page for about 5 minutes or so lol.

Some people really "can't handle the truth," regardless if it's served as a hammer or with sugar on top - it makes them too uncomfortable - however, we should never, ever silence truth out of our own discomfort.

Perhaps we shouldn't be as hard on Trumpers, then, for refusing to face facts about Trump - it makes us hypocrites.