Thursday, August 16, 2012
Another false rape claim from Britain
A mother-of-two has been jailed for making two false rape claims against men she was dating after one, who she had met online, failed to show up for a liaison. Emma Saxon, 23, from Sheffield, was jailed for eight months after telling police she had been raped in a BMW car in a supermarket car park.
The victim of her slur Martin Blood spent 14 hours in a police cell and suffered the indignity of an intimate medical examination while the police spent 90 hours investigating before finally concluding it was a hoax.
Sheffield Crown Court heard Saxon, 23, was given a community penalty in 2007 after a similar false allegation against a former boyfriend.
Jailing her Judge Michael Murphy said: 'Rape is such a terrible, diabolical offence that it is always treated very seriously in these courts. It is a dreadful thing for a person to be raped. It is a most serious allegation for one person to make against another. It is truly awful if it is untrue.'
Saxon, of Westfield, Sheffield admitted perverting the course of justice by making a false rape allegation.
Bev Tait, prosecuting, said a man rang the police saying Saxon had been raped in the car at a Sheffield supermarket ten minutes beforehand by a man called Martin.
An incident team swung into action and police traced the car driver within 20 minutes. Officers went to his address but found the car engine cold in the driveway and a dry patch where the car was standing although it had been raining heavily.
Despite their suspicions about the allegation police arrested Mr Blood and as well as being kept in a cell for 14 hours and being examined by a doctor his car was thoroughly searched.
Saxon was taken to the police station and also examined by a doctor but refused to take part in a video interview.
Ms Tait said it took a month for six police officers and a detective inspector to finally ascertain that the allegation was groundless.
Mr Blood told police he met Saxon on a dating site and for him it was a purely sexual relationship but she wanted something more and they would often exchange texts and arrange to meet up.
On July 16, 2010 they exchanged texts about 9pm. He walked his dog an hour later and swapped more texts with her. She wanted to meet him and he said he would but had no intention of doing so. He went to bed and the next thing he knew was when officers arrived at his home.
He said in a victim impact statement read in court that he was 'terrified' of the medical examination but went through with it because he was innocent. When he asked for a glass of water in his prison cell an officer gave him a look as of he was 'scum' which he said would haunt him for the rest of his life. He had been forced to take time off work as a school caretaker with stress and it was as if 'his entire life had fallen apart.'
Saxon was then arrested. She admitted she had an affair with Mr Blood but on the night in question she was pressurised by other people she was with to report him to the police.
In the previous allegation which was made in 2006 her ex-boyfriend was arrested and interviewed by police but Saxon then undertook a video interview before police concluded she was lying.
Rebecca Stevens, for Saxon, said she lived in supported council rented accommodation and had suffered with learning difficulties. 'The offence was unsophisticated and it was obvious to the police from the outset that there were suspicions about the allegation,' she said. She was a 'vulnerable young woman' in the company of 'less desirable' people who bullied her into making the allegation and it was not her who initially reported the complaint.
Given her lack of co-operation with the police it was hard for her to admit she had lied and her refusal to give a video interview was an acceptance that 'what she was doing was wrong and she no longer wished to pursue the matter.'
By June last year she freely admitted the matter. She had difficulty in managing her everyday life and her two sons aged one and three lived with her mother. There was a real likelihood she would lose her home and children if jailed.
But Judge Murphy said the false allegation, the 'shame and degradation' suffered by Mr Blood through his false arrest and her previous conviction for a similar offence made jail inevitable. 'It is important that people understand that a false allegation of rape is a wicked thing to do,' he told her.
Council refuses to name and shame traders who sell bootleg alcohol because it would 'breach their human rights'
Illegal traders caught selling dangerous bootleg alcohol and tobacco are avoiding being named and shamed because of council fears over breaching their human rights.
Half of all the businesses visited during a crackdown on counterfeit goods by Derby City Council were found to have illicit products - including alcohol containing dangerous levels of lead and chemicals - on their premises.
Councillors who wanted to publicise the shops found selling dodgy products say they were advised that doing so would breach human rights laws.
'It's frustrating that we cannot go ahead with this because we cannot fall foul of any laws,' said Councillor Hardyal Dhindsa. 'My approach was that we wanted to try and bring businesses on board with us to change their lifestyle and behaviour so we have a better city. 'It was a new approach and that was the main reason for doing it and not prosecuting.'
Of 22 businesses visited by the authority 11 were found to have illicit goods on the shelves.
Analysis revealed that some alcohol samples contained seven times the permitted levels of cadmium, which can cause kidney damage, and six times the permitted levels of lead, which can harm the nervous and reproductive systems.
The operation followed the discovery of fake Drop vodka being sold in the city last year. It was found to contain isopropryl alcohol - normally used as a cleaning fluid.
Councillor Dhindsa said: 'There are two major issues, the first being the significant health risks of these illicit goods, and the other is an estimated £2 billion being lost in legitimate tax revenue at a time when we can least afford it.
'The money is instead lining the pockets of organised criminal gangs rather than funding public services and the NHS. 'I want the public to realise how serious this situation is and why we are working hard to tackle it.
'This not a victimless crime and in most cases it’s likely that you’ll be buying counterfeit or illicit products that can serious damage your health. Ultimately, the public are left picking up the bill for the impact of that along with directly funding organised criminal gangs.'
Douglas Walkman, team leader for trading standards, said: 'We are not surprised by our findings on the week of action and will look to continue disrupting the trade in illicit alcohol and tobacco.
'In Derby alone we know that the sale of counterfeit alcohol and tobacco is widespread.'
A boring Leftist rant (about boys) that masquerades as social science
Comment on "The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It", by Philip G. Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan. Another installent of the usual Leftist kneejerk response that anything popular (e.g. computer games) is bad
The Demise of Guys is based on a talk that Stanford psychologist Philip Zimbardo gave at the 2011 TED (Technology, Education, Design) conference in Long Beach, California. The talk was tendentious and unpersuasive at four minutes, and it only suffers from being expanded into an ebook of 20,000 or so words, because you keep asking: Is this really all there is? A series of sweeping generalizations, backed up by little more than anecdotes and other people’s sweeping generalizations, capped by suggested solutions to an undocumented problem that range from banal to silly? Yes, that is all you will get for your $2.99 (for the Kindle edition), along with a rising sense of irritation that culminates in a resolution never to waste your time on a TED book again.
Zimbardo’s thesis is that “boys are struggling” in school and in love because they play video games too much and watch too much porn. But he and his co-author, a recent University of Colorado graduate named Nikita Duncan, never establish that boys are struggling any more nowadays than they were when porn was harder to find and video games were limited to variations on Pong. The data they cite mostly show that girls are doing better than boys, not that boys are doing worse than they did before xvideos.com and Grand Theft Auto. Such an association would by no means be conclusive, but it’s the least you’d expect from a respected social scientist like Zimbardo, who oversaw the famous Stanford “prison experiment” that we all read about in Psych 101.
The fact that boys are more likely than girls to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, more likely to drop out of high school, and less likely to obtain a bachelor’s degree does not mean their abilities are weaker than they used to be, let alone that that too much Tour Call of Duty has rendered them unfit for academics. The closest Zimbardo comes to a prima facie case linking rising dysfunction among boys to excessive electronic stimulation is his own research on shyness, which finds that 60 percent of Americans (not just men) describe themselves as shy today, compared to 40 percent in the 1980s. “That rise,” Zimbardo and Duncan write, “has been correlated with increased use of technology, which minimizes direct, face-to-face social interaction.”
That rise has been correlated with many things, of course, but this is the best the authors can do by way of identifying Internet-assisted masturbation and the killing of virtual zombies as the culprits. A closer look at Zimbardo’s data might have been helpful at this point. How do we know that an increase in self-reported shyness indicates an actual change in social aptitude, as opposed to a greater willingness to admit feelings that most humans experience? Did the increase in reported shyness occur disproportionately among men? Were heavy porn consumers and video game players especially likely to call themselves shy? If so, how do we know in which direction the causality runs?
Zimbardo and Duncan do not have time for such questions, because the shyness research is just a pretext for launching into a series of empirically untethered claims: “At least guys used to know how to dance. Now they don’t even know where to look for common ground, and they wander about the social landscape like tourists in a foreign land unable to ask for directions. They don’t know the language of face contact, the nonverbal and verbal set of rules that enable you to comfortably talk with and listen to somebody else and get them to respond back in kind. This lack of social interaction skills surfaces most especially with desirable girls and women. The absence of such critical social skills, essential to navigating intimate social situations, encourages a strategy of retreat, going fail-safe. Girls equal likely failure; safe equals the retreat into online and fantasy worlds that, with regular practice, become ever more familiar, predictable and, in the case of video gaming, more controllable.”
You might question the relevance of lost waltzing and fox trotting abilities, although “learn how to dance” appears on Zimbardo and Duncan’s list of suggested solutions. You might even wonder whether male awkwardness around pretty women is a newly discovered phenomenon. But as with most of the book’s debatable assertions, no citation is given for the claim that guys’ social skills have markedly deteriorated in the last couple of decades.
Perhaps that’s just as well. One source of evidence that Zimbardo and Duncan rely on heavily, an eight-question survey of people who watched Zimbardo’s TED talk online, is so dubious that anyone with a bachelor’s degree in psychology (such as Duncan), let alone a Ph.D. (such as Zimbardo), should be embarrassed to cite it without a litany of caveats. The most important one: It seems probable that people who are attracted to Zimbardo’s talk, watch it all the way through, and then take the time to fill out his online survey are especially likely to agree with his thesis and especially likely to report problems related to electronic diversions. This is not just a nonrepresentative sample; it’s a sample bound to confirm what Zimbardo thinks he already knows. “We wanted our personal views to be challenged or validated by others interested in the topic,” the authors claim. Mostly validated, to judge by their survey design.
I am more inclined to believe the results of another research project undertaken for the book, but only because its results are so unsurprising. Duncan, who turned her senior thesis into the 2009 book Orgasms: Art & Psyche, shifted her attention to less elevated portrayals of fornication by “immersing herself in Internet porn for three days and nights.” Among her findings: “In the most-viewed videos...it is an average of 33 percent of the way through the video before there is vaginal or anal penetration. In only a quarter of the videos is there a discernable [sic] female orgasm, whereas in 81 percent of the videos there is a discernable [sic] male orgasm—the male orgasm typically is the highlight of the final scene. Not once in any of the most-viewed videos is there a discussion of safer sex practices, or of physical or emotional expectations or boundaries.” This research apparently formed the basis for Zimbardo and Duncan’s recommendation that pornographers include an “education” category on their websites and incorporate safe-sex PSAs into their movies. (No, I’m not kidding.)
But at least surveying Zimbardo’s fans and counting cum shots produce data, albeit data of limited usefulness. Other sources of evidence cited by Zimbardo and Duncan are so weak that they have the paradoxical effect of undermining their argument rather than reinforcing it. How do Zimbardo and Duncan know about “the sense of total entitlement that some middle-aged guys feel within their relationships”? Because “a highly educated female colleague alerted us” to this “new phenomenon.” How do they know that “one consequence of teenage boys watching many hours of Internet pornography...is they are beginning to treat their girlfriends like sex objects”? Because of a theory propounded by Daily Mail columnist Penny Marshall. How do they know that “men are as good as their women require them to be”? Because that’s what “one 27-year-old guy we interviewed” said.
Even when more rigorous research is available, Zimbardo and Duncan do not necessarily bother to look it up. How do they know that teenagers “who spend their nights playing video games or texting their friends instead of sleeping are putting themselves at greater risk for gaining unhealthy amounts of weight and becoming obese”? Because an NPR correspondent said so. Likewise, the authors get their information about the drawbacks of the No Child Left Behind Act from a gloss of a RAND Corporation study in a San Francisco Chronicle editorial. This is the level of documentation you’d expect from a mediocre high school student, not a college graduate, let alone a tenured social scientist at a leading university.
To their credit, Zimbardo and Duncan do not bash porn or video games indiscriminately, acknowledging life-enhancing functions for both. And no doubt they are right that too much of either is bad, which is true by definition. But as for the rest—that addiction to cinematic sex and virtual violence is rampant, that it is leaving large and growing numbers of young men mentally and emotionally crippled, and that the answer lies in better male role models, porn with a stronger educational component, and the teaching of “critical thinking” (!) as well as “nonspecific principals” (sic)—the book left me less convinced than I was when I started it.
Pervasive anti-man attitudes
Comment from Australia
NEWS that Virgin Airlines asked Sydney fireman Johnny McGirr, 33, to change seats on a flight because it was company policy that men not be seated next to unaccompanied minors, prompted a public backlash that has forced Virgin to review their stance.
A number of child abuse experts have come forward and denounced the policy, claiming it's an over-reaction and potentially discriminatory.
That Jetstar, Qantas and Air New Zealand share these guidelines was something Virgin was quick to point out last week.
What is significant about this entire situation is not that it's a reflection on these companies so much as it is on a society that persists in demonising men.
We live in a world where "stranger danger" is a catch phrase, but it's become a gendered/sexed term that constructs men almost exclusively as potential predators or, as McGirr bluntly stated in relation to the Virgin fiasco, potential paedophile(s). In other words: guilty until proven innocent.
We've allowed fear to govern common sense and now inform policy - and at the expense of men.
Don't think for a moment this type of unfair reckoning is only happening in our skies. The notion that men can cause sexual and physical harm to children anywhere, anytime, is firmly grounded in our culture. You've only to talk to male schoolteachers (a vanishing breed) to discover how much aspects of their professionalism, for example, is curtailed on a daily basis purely because of their sex.
Men (and some women) of my acquaintance often express how uneasy they feel that they can no longer offer comfort to a child in distress, start conversations, coach, play with, be alone in a room or, God forbid, enjoy a light tussle, for fear of how their actions will be read.
The prevailing attitude that men are predators needing to be policed and leashed is affecting relationships everywhere - from the classroom to the family room.
The Virgin policy is simply a manifestation of this invidious creep in attitude towards men, one that has some women and mothers able to declare quite openly and without risk of being called to account, that they feel comfortable with Virgin's stance.
How can anyone be comfortable that an entire sex is basically maligned for the actions of a few depraved brutes? How can we accept that we're altering our behaviours and perceptions of others because of this?
Would these same women be comfortable if their intentions regarding their own and others children were called into question?
As McGirr stated, this kind of approach ignores the good that any male does regardless of his standing in society.
Sadly, no matter what measures we put in place, there will always be monsters who abuse children. I know, because I survived the sick attentions of one. Every day between the ages of nine and 11, my mother's then male partner sexually abused me.
In many ways, what happened to me reflects the statistics of abuse and that is, overwhelmingly, it's someone close to the child and the family (usually a man) who is the abuser - not a stranger.
Regardless of this awful statistic, abuse is not the norm. Yet, as a society, we allow the minority of sick and perverted people to govern our lives and, lately, the opportunity to form new connections as well.
Children need positive male role models. But if we keep construing men as potentially unsafe, how are children to discover them? How are good men to be given the chance to be these role models?
And let's face it, there are some evil women too - you can't let an entire sex off the hook here.
We make rules and laws to protect our children (and ourselves) from something that most likely will never happen. We regard men and strangers with suspicion, second-guess their intentions; look askance at their professional and personal conduct. Consequently, we develop a toxic and unhealthy relationship with each other.
We suffer the little children and turn them and those we silently accuse into victims of crimes that have never been committed, thus giving us all life sentences.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.