Dec 28, 2008

Kids & Charitableness

I found this very poignant post today (above) whilst perusing the Connecticut blogosphere-And yes, there is a Connecticut- specific blogosphere believe it or not. First I found this blog entitled " This is Connecticut"

where I read about their "noteworthy blogs", some of which I was already familiar with and a few other worthy ones that I was not. From there, I linked to"Connecticut Weblogs" , a site whose sole purpose would seem to be the gathering of all blogs that are Connecticut-based and listing them by category and most recently updated- a style akin to the mainstream blog directories like Technorati, etc

However as I scanned the listings of blog titles at the Connecticut Weblogs site, I couldn't help but notice that somehow my blog had been shall we say... overlooked-?.An oversight that I hope to remedy shortly with a shout out to that Blog's webmaster. It could be that they will be hard pressed to fit Chasing Justice into any of the Blog categories that they presently use, as it easily vacillates from "Opinion" to "Politics" with occasional wanderings into Religion/ spiritual for good measure. Perhaps I can convince the owner to open up a new category or two just for me- like Activism or Crime/Justice or even Woman's issues. Who knows, perhaps the advent of new category will encourage other new blogs about you know...deeper stuff.

In any event... throughout this veritable labyrinthine of blogs, Posts and bloggers, I stumbled upon some very good sites, mostly by following interesting blog titles that I noticed within each blogs"blogroll", eventually landing on this so called "mommy blog" which pleasantly surprised me by containing a very relevant and very poignant story about the blog owners recent experience bringing her two young children to a Domestic violence center over the holiday, in order to hopefully foster the beginnings of social conscience and a lifetime involvement helping those that are in need. I'm sure most of you will be as moved as I was.
Kids & Charitableness BlogHer

Dec 23, 2008

Soaring Rates of Violence Against Women

A 42 percent increase in partner violence, and a 25 percent increase in sexual assault over a two year period is staggering -
And even if, as suggested in the article, the numbers are being affected somewhat by a change in the methodology of the survey taking, and presumably are thus more accurate now, this only means that our previous reports in 2005 and earlier, greatly underestimated the degree of intimate violence that was happening in our country.-Either way we have a much more widespread problem with violence against women than we were aware of.

Our incoming administration needs to address this issue straight away. In fact I was very disappointed that there was little to no mention of this country's problem with violent crime, and specifically crime against women, within the Obama' campaign or within any of his very memorable speeches about the change that our country so needs and desires.
This was especially puzzling to me as Vice president elect Joe biden has had a heavy hand for many years in the entire violence against women movement; He co-authored, lobbied heavily for, and pushed through congress, the first ever"violence against women act"(VAWA) in 1996.
This was a major accomplishment that has been a pet project of bidens since the late eighties.
VAWA was passed again in 2006 and signed by president Bush -but with several cutbacks in funding. (surprise surprise)

Truth be told, Joe Bidens devotion and hard work with Domestic violence, among other things, was one of the main reasons that I voted for the Obama/Biden ticket Although extremely intelligent and articulate, Obama had yet to really prove himself via amassed experience, as a devoted and capable leader. I did however have faith that he would not be an autocratic leader by any means, he had humility, he knew his strengths and his weaknesses and would thus collect the most capable minds in every area of political expertise, surround himself with these folks, deferring to them freely and often in the daily business of the running our country.

I certainly hope that this issue is treated by our new leaders as seriously as it deserves to be. The results of this survey suggest a spiraling epidemic, and it is our beloved women's bodies and souls that are at stake here.

Dec 21, 2008

Elderly Woman Attacked in Waterbury home

This is absolutely heartbreaking, more as developments occur.

How Much is a Petit Murder Suspect Costing You?

This latest soapbox of Mike Lawlor is rather puzzling to me, the general public has known about the obscene amount of money being spent on Joshua komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes,' (defendents in the Petit murders) for many months now indeed there have been a myriad of articles in mainstream publications citing the maddening details of those costs since mid-August. Yet, Lawlor, a well known assemblyman and vice chair of the Connecticut Judiciary Committee, chooses now to seize upon all of this and be publically outraged.

It certainly would seem like yet another politically motivated opportunity to inject himself, in a favorable fashion, into the fray of the state's hotly debated criminal justice issue.

An aside; To give you an example of just how far he is willing to go to mislead the public and ride the political wave de jour; In One of his recent election time mailers it stated that he was, among other things , "the author of a brand new three strikes legislation" for the state of
Connecticut. This after he has pontificated ad nauseum, for a solid year, that a three strikes law a)"wouldn't have prevented the Petit crimes anyway",
b) would not be used by prosecutors even If passed ..

And c) is in fact just a political gimmick of house republicans to appear tough on crime in the wake of the Petit Crimes hysteria and court scrutiny.

lawlor also voted against the bills passage a total of three times and even more importantly influenced a great many other legislators in voting against it.
He was also quoted within an interview as saying that all the attention that was being given Connecticut's criminal judicial system after the Petit crimes was ill placed and that "our judicial system works pretty well." The inference was that The Petit crimes and the other two murders that occurred within that same short time period in 07, eac one committed by paroled repeat offenders who were given lenient plea deals,were isolated incidents .

Now its one thing to be a politician in the worst sense of the word, when it comes to more innocuous issues like taxes and such, but this is far too important. How we decide to handle Violent criminals in this state will directly effect how many more innocent lives are snuffed out, and others maimed. Persistant violent offenders are people who repeatedly inflict terror and brutality upon vulnerable human beings, often leaving a veritable trail of broken bodies and broken lives in their wake. This is what the three strikes issue is about.

Its too easy for politicians and laypeople alike, to gloss over the awful reality of violent crime with words like "tragedy" "persistent offender' "home invasion" and even "three strikes law".
These words make more antiseptic and palatable, the terror and pain that is violent crime, They help people to distance themselves emotionally from the human suffering that is at the core of this entire discussion.

I propose that we ask and expect more from our public servants, our presumed leaders and lawmakers; They should not be allowed to squirm away from the cost of thier actions or inaction regarding this issue- this currency is human lives. I daresay, as lawmakers they will never have a more important task.

The worst part of this is that Mr Lawlor clearly has the intelligence, the leadership skills, and the political influence to do right by the people of Connecticut regarding this critical issue.- I can only hope that he is comprising a New years resolution list that includes less posturing and
photo-ops and more empathy and intelligent action on behalf of victims of violent crime in this state, past, present and future. Fixed and Consistent sentencing will serve as a deterrent for all violent crime as well as insurance that violent offenders are kept in prison where they may not continue to violate, maim and kill .

Dec 16, 2008

Women Self Defense info and Videos

While I wish that we lived in a world where it wasn't necessary to become adept at defending oneself from physical attack, the reality is that it is.
And due to our size, comparable strength and other factors, women are simply at greater risk than our male counterparts, as potential victims of such attacks.

Some of these attacks will be fatal. We"Fortunate" victims will live to tell about it, unwittingly becoming "survivors" in the process. That survival often comes with a heavy price; Post traumatic stress disorder is a common seleque of any life threatening happenstance, and it often carries with it significant life changing symptoms that include severe anxiety, depression, suicidal desires and more.

In P.T.S.D the severity of the lasting trauma, as well as the length of time that it takes to heal, is often much greater for victims of events that are inflicted purposefully by fellow human beings as opposed to natural and unnatural disasters; war, car accidents, plane crashes etc. Violent crime is one of the hardest to come back from. It only makes sense that the emotional insult is far worse when we are assailed not only physcially but physchologically-with the personal knowledge that our fellow man is capable of wreaking such brutality. Although we see such crimes on the news and in the papers, it is quite different to live through one. There is an emotional and spiritual crisis that often accompanies surviving violent crime and It is safe to say that however one deals with its aftermath, they are forever changed.The world will never seem a safe place again.

The self defense videos at the link above are available free of charge and I strongly suggest that all women- including teenage girls- familiarize themselves with the basic maneuvers shown, using an actual male partner acting as the "bad guy." These are relatively straightforward defense moves that most of us are physically capable of practicing until we know them instinctively.

For those who would like to go a step further, there are self defense classes specifically for women in every city and most townships across the country. These are not elaborate martial arts programs, but rather short term classes that will teach basic self-defense methods and how to "think" and carry yourself defensively This includes\how to deal with the typical adrenaline rush that accompanies any incident where we believe we are fighting for our life. Too often, this surge of adrenaline can hamper a victims reaction and may cost them their lives. Any quality class will address this issue and help the student to contend with this inevitable physical reaction.

For the sake of our children, let us be examples of strong, empowered women that for all appearances would make " bad victims"( read the linked information regarding what makes a "good" and "bad" prospective victim in the eyes of an assailant.)

Dec 11, 2008

Luminaries Light Town In Honor Of Petits

I think its beautiful that this has become an annual event in Cheshire-Not only does it raise good money for the MS foundation, it creates an atmosphere of faith and healing, and augments an entire communities sense of connectedness. God bless all of the volunteers who worked so hard to make this happen, and may the New Year bring much peace to the people of Cheshire.

Dec 3, 2008

Judge tosses Duncan appeal

Good news. Now Let's say our prayers for Shasta and the entire Groene/mckenzie family,
that this appeal shall stand, as friday is the deadline for re-applying for one.

This brave young girl deserves to heal and recover and re-claim her life. The never ending
auto-pilot appeals process for death penalty cases in this country is ludicrous and flies in
the face of decency,especially for the victims of these crimes.

Dec 2, 2008

Criminal Justice in Crisis

Here is an interesting study that was conducted across the country concerning our criminal justice system; What the public perceives the problems to be with it-and what criminal justice professionals within the system pinpoint the problems as.

As Studies go It is informative and fairly accurate, but in the end it is a study-neat and tidy, devoid of the human suffering that is at the very core of its findings. In the end we are left with the crucial question; Since we now know what the problems are, will we finally commit to fixing them? How many lives must be lost, and destroyed, how much unnecessary grief and collective suffering before the various arms of our governments see fit to take action?