It was a RAPE, not a screenplay- do ya hear me Hollywood?

geraldine_ferraro_50Geraldine A. Ferraro, a lawyer and a former member of Congress, was the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 1984.

“A male is guilty of rape in the second degree when, being eighteen years old or more, he engages in sexual intercourse with a female less than fifteen years old. Rape in the second degree is a class D felony.”

 That is the current law in New York. When I was prosecuting these cases in Queens in the 70’s the law required that the child be less than 14. The legislature tightened it. But there is no doubt that California had the same protections for children when Polanski was prosecuted in California for having intercourse with a 13-year-old girl. It still does.

Why has no one from the movie business, no one who supposedly stands up for the rights of women and girls, spoken up in support of finally bringing this man to justice?

This is the definition of statutory rape. Notice, it doesn’t talk about force and it doesn’t talk about consent. Neither are needed. The statute is meant to protect children. A 13-year-old can’t consent to intercourse with a man over 18, and certainly not with a man in his 30’s.

Polanski was convicted of a serious crime in the 70’s. He chose to abscond to France and because he had money and connections, has lived a charmed life, unhindered by his obligations to society. The message is, rich guys can get away with anything … or wait — is it only rich guys with friends in Hollywood? The statute of limitations for rape does not toll simply because 31 years has passed. And victims cannot “forgive” the rapist. The criminal justice system is meant to protect all of us.

 As for France getting all exercised about California moving forward (and the prosecutors there haven’t just let this go for 31 years), who are the French officials to criticize us as a nation and tell us how to deal with our criminals? Too bad for Bernie Madoff that he wasn’t as smart as Polanski. He would have taken his wife, brother, nephew, sons and their families and a billion or two and gone to France to help their economy. Then when the Ponzi scheme was exposed, the French would have, if consistent, refused extradition. He could have stayed for the rest of his life in luxury. Just imagine.

And what really defies explanation are the actions of the Directors Association and actors, like Harrison Ford. Did they remain buddies over the years with a convicted rapist who had fled the jurisdiction because they condoned his rape of the child or because they approved of his actions of absconding and beating the system? Did they do so because this was not such an unusual situation in Hollywood at the time and may still exist today?

 What was particularly outrageous was the woman speaking on behalf of the Directors Association who said: “It happened so long ago.” Really. Suppose it happened today. Would she feel differently? Suppose it had been murder and not rape that happened 31 years ago? Would she be saying “It happened so long ago”?

For me, one of the biggest disappointments of this episode is that no one from Hollywood, no one from that movie business, no one who supposedly stands up for the rights of women and girls has opened his or her mouth in support of the prosecutors who are doing their job and attempting to bring this man finally to justice. As for France, I would hope that President Sarkozy would call in his ministers and tell them to butt out of our business.


Cute Prostitute Shirts?

By: Lisa Thompson

Bad news: I’m afraid our victory over getting the Onion to stop selling the following T-shirt

 “My Friend Went to Thailand and All I Got Was This Lousy Kidnapped Prostitute” was short lived. The shirt was temporarily unavailable but is now once again featured as an item for sale on in their on-line store. See:

 So the battle continues.

I find it hard to understand why anyone would think this T-shirt is funny, a joke, or just another T-shirt. If it was a T-shirt mocking the Holocaust, apartheid, or people based on race there would soon be an international outcry.

Tragically, we live in a world were mocking the abuse an exploitation of women, especially women who are sexually trafficked or prostituted, is not only tolerated but packaged and marketed to the masses. 

Please write and call the Onion and let them know that their T-shirt stinks. Also please spread the word — ask your family, friends, and associates to get involved. Below is a list of Onion offices and contact information.


Senator Hatch and Chris Matthews Debate Health Care

This clip from the Chris Matthews Show is an interesting Rorschach test for ones political perspective. Posted by a liberal group, their perspective is that it shows that Republicans are unwilling to compromise, and just want to see the President fail. However, from the perspective of a fiscally conservative Independent, I see Senator Hatch making several excellent points. He states how the parties are moving well to the left and to the right respectively, leaving only a few moderate Democrats willing to compromise with Republicans on this bill. Senator Hatch himself has in the past worked on bipartisan health care legislation showing that his disapproval with this bill is not an unwillingness to work across the aisle, but a belief that this is a fundamentally bad bill. He gives an alternative health care solution then explains to Mathews that big government is a problem and not a solution, and that the country’s spending is at risk of bankrupting the country.

Guess it’s all in one’s perspective, but I’d give the points to Hatch not Matthews.

Hatch and Matthews on Health Care and Political Perspective

McCain Addresses Iran and Afghanistan


It appears the Democrats are going to use the nuclear option – before they do- be use that what they force on We the People is wjat the servants are forced to swallow too! ~ BettyJean

Contributed by: Ricki Lieberman


• Every member of Congress, the President and Vice President and every federal employee receives health care through a taxpayer funded “public option”.  Why are so many of them so intent on denying the same possibility to the rest of us?  And why are we so complacent about their hypocrisy

•  Each beneficiary of the publicly funded Federal Employees Health Program who opposes a public option should be called out and exposed for hypocrisy in denying to others what they have for themselves, and in some cases, rabble rousing to cynically confuse their constituents about the role in government in the health care system.  

• No-one in the Federal Employees Health Program is denied coverage because of prior conditions or health status.  Why deny this to anyone else?

• A large proportion of health care is already a public mandate for broad categories of Americans – Medicare, Medicaid, the VA…  While each system has its issues and could be improved, most could be dealt with by aggressive fraud control, decent reimbursements for providers, and sensible primary and preventive care.

• It is amazing that Medicare is as cost effective as it is; it covers the most health care needy cohort of the population.  Imagine how reasonably priced it would be if its risk was expanded to a less less needy younger population.

• These same hypocrites have exempted themselves from Social Security and have their own very attractive pension system unavailable to the rest of us taxpayers.


Health care reform is before Congress NOW.  Please

• For each of you with a Congressional representative or Senator who opposes a strong public option, demand that he/she leave their taxpayer public option health care before voting against it and denying it for all other Americans. 

 • Provide this information and insist that your local newspapers, TV and radio stations call out the hypocrisy of these public officials.

• Organize local labor, women’s organizations and civic groups to picket the offices and homes of the hypocrites.

Please send me other suggestions for bringing reason, consistency and honesty to the process of health care reform, and I will gladly pass them along.


Please send this on to others who can also take leadership and action.

Ricki Lieberman-Consultant to Non-Profit Organizations
 West End Avenue
New York, New York 10024

Bank of America Breaks with ACORN

Some day it would be helpful to figure out how an organization so obviously shady, whose branches are routinely under indictment (or worse), could become so entrenched in both the government and in the markets, particularly the housing market. Until then, it good to see another ACORN relationship severed. Bank of America has just cut its ties with ACORN due to ACORN’s most recent scandal.

Bank of America Pulls Back From ACORN Work

Already facing the loss of federal government funding, the community-organizing group ACORN also has run afoul of one of its big corporate partners, Bank of America Corp.

In response to questions from The Wall Street Journal, a spokesman for the banking company said it has “suspended current commitments” to ACORN Housing, an affiliated group, and “will not enter into any further agreements with ACORN or any of its affiliates,” pending assessments by the bank of the organization’s operations.

Bank of America Severs Ties With ACORN

Health Care Numbers Falling Fast

Rasmussen Reports polling shows, Health Care Reform – Support for Health Care Plan Hits New Low. The most likely health reform plan at this time is the Baucus plan, yet what health care reform means is still largely unknown as numerous amendments to this bill are under review including whether a public option will be part of the bill. Many basic factors regarding cost and effectiveness have not been fully addressed, and a new CBO report states that Medicare benefits will likely be cut even though supporters of the bill have stated the opposite. The Rasmussen poll and accompanying article is an interesting read as it shows how the American people are viewing health reform and its effects.

Just 41% of voters nationwide now favor the health care reform proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s down two points from a week ago and the lowest level of support yet measured.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% are opposed to the plan.

If the plan passes, 24% of voters say the quality of care will get better, and 55% say it will get worse. In August, the numbers were 23% better and 50% worse.

Fifty-four percent (54%) say passage of the plan will make the cost of health care go up while 23% say it will make costs go down. In August, 52% thought the plan would lead to higher costs, and just 17% thought it would achieve the stated goal of lowering costs.

While many credit or blame the town hall protests for building opposition to the plan, it appears they were simply a reflection of public opinion rather than a creator of it. This sense is confirmed by the fact that Obama’s approval ratings fell more in June and July before stabilizing in August.

One thing that did change during the month of August is that public perception of the protesters improved. Most voters came to believe that the purpose of the town hall meetings was for members of Congress to listen rather than speak. That’s partly because just 22% believe Congress has a good understanding of the legislation.

While some Democrats have charged that opposition to the president’s plan is based upon racism, just 12% of voters agree.

Voters overwhelmingly believe that every American should be able to buy the same health insurance plan that Congress has. Most favor limits on jury awards for medical malpractice claims and think that tort reform will significantly reduce the cost of health care. Forty-eight percent (48%) want a prohibition on abortion in any government subsidized program while 13% want a mandate requiring abortion coverage.

Support For Obama Health Care Reform Continues to Drop