From Denny: If it isn't one group it's another. First it comes from the halls of the Vatican hiding decades of wrong-doing and still promoting scumbag abusers in positions of power in churches without sharing that knowledge with parents that their children are at risk.
Another once well-respected and loved group in America, the Boy Scouts, is now found to be doing the same kind of odious cover-up. The group knew exactly how many abusers they had in the organization - the knew their names and kept detailed files. They knew the children who were abused. They did nothing to help the victims. Instead, they claimed to have put the abusers into some equivalent of a reform/wellness program, declared them cured and then placed them back into position as head Scout leaders. How perverted can you be to do such a thing? Again, parents were never notified of all the bizarre creepy things going on in the Boy Scouts.
There are several short editorials from around the world on a variety of subjects you will find interesting: passing of the health care reform bill, giving representation to terror suspects, uncensored Google search engine in the country of China, VP Biden's recent foot in mouth gaffe and the U.S.-Israeli diplomacy as seen from the eyes of an Arab country. Take a look:
Secret Sex Abuse Files: Boy Scouts of America Could Have Stopped Molestation, Expert Says: (CBS/AP) The Boy Scouts of America had the information, had the knowledge, and had the ability to make a difference about sexual abuse by Scout leaders, but instead, a psychologist testified Wednesday, the organization showed reckless indifference to protecting young boys when it kept secret two decades worth of confidential files on suspected child molesters. The testimony is part of a $14 million lawsuit against the organization.
Despite creating remarkably in-depth "perversion files" about sexual abusers, the BSA failed to warn parents or tell authorities about suspected or confessed pedophiles, said Gary Schoener, a national expert and consultant on sexual misconduct in the clergy, health care and other segments of society.
The lawsuit was brought by a 37-year-old Oregon man who was abused by an assistant Scoutmaster, Timur Dykes, in the early 1980s. Dykes was convicted three times between 1983 and 1994 of sexually abusing boys, most of them Scouts. He acknowledged abusing the plaintiff in a video deposition played for jurors last week.
The Boy Scouts began keeping secret files on suspected molesters among its adult volunteers decades ago.
The files were as detailed as listing the color of a certain volunteer's hair and eyes. They also noted that confessed abusers who completed probation with the Scouts often were allowed to return to Scout activities. The files didn't explain what the Scouts' probation entailed, Schoener said.
Schoener, who studied hundreds of the formerly confidential files, said the detailed documents showed patterns, including how molesters would groom potential victims, how most pedophiles had many victims and how most re-offended. He said it was the most complete picture of sexual abusers and victims in the country at the time.
The trial, which began March 17, will take a break and resume Monday. It is expected to last two more weeks.
Boy Scout Molested By Scout Leader Timur Dykes Testifies, Says Dykes was "The Coolest": (CBS/AP) The 37-year-old man who's suing the Boy Scouts of America for allegedly knowing of pedophiles in its ranks says he once thought Scout leader Timur Dykes, who molested him, was "the coolest."
The man testified in court in Portland, Ore., that at first he worshipped Timur Dykes because he knew everything about the woods, was an expert mountain climber, and goofed around just like a kid.
Dykes has already admitted that he abused the plaintiff in the 1980s. Dykes was convicted three times of sexually abusing boys between 1983 and 1994, most of them Scouts.
The suit alleges the Boy Scouts knew it had child molesters among its troop leaders, but didn't tell parents or authorities. The Scouts say they kept confidential files on suspected molesters to protect children.
Charles Smith, attorney for the national Boy Scouts, earlier told jurors the documents helped national scouting leaders weed out sex offenders, especially repeat offenders who may have changed names or moved in an attempt to join another local scouting group.
Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against the Boy Scouts over sex abuse allegations, but judges for the most part have either denied requests for the documents - dubbed the "perversion files" by the Boy Scouts of America - or the cases have been settled out of court. The only other time the documents are believed to have been presented at a trial was in the 1980s in Virginia.
Boy Scouts of America spokesman Deron Smith has said the organization cannot comment on details of the case, but has worked hard on awareness and prevention efforts, including background checks.
Editorial Roundup: Excerpts From Recent Editorials
March 17/Loveland (Colo.) Daily Reporter-Herald on Justice Department providing defense attorneys for terror suspects:
In 1770, British troops who were called in to keep the peace in Boston were attacked by crowds who protested the increasing erosion of their rights and freedoms.
In a melee later called the Boston Massacre, the troops opened fire on the civilians, killing five of them.
They were charged criminally for their actions, and they had trouble finding anyone to defend them; after all, they had no friends in the colonies, and the acts were seen as atrocities by the local population.
In stepped John Adams, a prominent Massachusetts attorney, who defended them (quite ably, as murder charges were reduced to manslaughter) and set the tone of the nation as one defined by law and where all defendants deserve defense.
Against this history, it is shocking that a group called Keep America Safe, which includes Elizabeth Cheney on its board of directors, would call into question the fact that the Department of Justice employs people who have defended terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
In a video posted to the group's Web site, they portray the Department of Justice as the "Department of Jihad," as if those who had worked to defend detainees were not worthy of employment.
In fact, the defense of suspects in heinous crimes is a necessary component of our judicial system, as it requires the government to prosecute cases to the fullest extent of the law and beyond a reasonable doubt.
Attorneys often have to present cases with which they may not agree, but in doing so, affirm the values on which this nation was founded.
Those who suggest otherwise have lost sight of the bigger picture.
March 23/The Gainesville (Fla.) Sun on the passage of health care reform:
The Democrats put their party's majority status in Congress on the line with passage of the health care reform bill in the House of Representatives. That the vote occurred strictly along party lines is unfortunate. But the American people deserved a resolution of this long and hotly debated bill.
It isn't perfect, no legislation is. But it will provide coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans. And for every critic who contends that the nation can't afford the bill's cost, $940 billion over 10 years, another points out that the existing health care system, with its constantly rising costs, is fiscally unsustainable.
Opponents say the voters will deliver the final verdict on this bill in November by throwing Democrats out of Congress en masse. And they may be right. If so, we are all the more impressed that Democrats were willing to put their jobs on the line for a larger cause; affordable health care for more Americans.
It would have been easy, and perhaps expedient, for Democrats to back away from health care reform after they lost their super majority in the U.S. Senate.
Instead, President Barack Obama rose to the occasion and showed true leadership. The Democrats who passed the bill demonstrated uncommon courage. The Republicans who have doggedly opposed health care reform demonstrated neither trait.
March 23/Toronto Star on the passage of U.S. health care reform:
Barack Obama has done more than salvage his presidency by winning the vote for his hard-fought health care reform. He has also reminded Americans - and, by extension, Canadians - that leaders are "capable of doing big things" when they dare to advocate progressive change.
True, Obama's political triumph is not yet complete, despite the historic 219-212 House vote. The Republicans, some of whom called the Obama's health care reform package "socialist," are threatening to contest it in court. The Democrats also have a sales job to do before November's midterm elections. But the Republicans have discredited themselves with their obstructionism, wild talk of "freedom dying" and fear-mongering about "death panels."
Obama has not only buoyed Democrats but also raised the bar by putting his presidency on the line for a principle. He prevailed by staking out a bold, activist agenda for the people, when others urged caution and retreat. "I will not accept the status quo," he told Congress last summer when his reform was in trouble. He proved that the Big Idea still has traction, that there can be reward in reaching high. ...
Of course, Obama has delivered nothing like Canadian-style medicare with its universal coverage. Rather, he is reforming a $2.5 trillion, hodge-podge system that relies on private insurance. Still, his is a historic achievement, ranking with such popular programs as Social Security in 1935 and public health insurance for the elderly in 1965. ...
Obama richly deserves this triumph. He roused himself to fight the good fight, forcefully reminded Americans of what was at stake, and rallied his weak-kneed party. He dared, and the nation stands to gain.
March 24/The Hartford (Ct.) Courant on Vice president Biden's profanity:
Joe Biden's latest gaffe has to irritate the White House, although it tried to make light of the F-bomb he dropped at a historic moment.
The vice president whispered "This is a big f---- deal" as President Barack Obama took the podium at the signing ceremony for landmark health care legislation that has been extolled as the most significant in 40 years. A supersensitive mike picked up Biden's profane take on the magnitude of the event.
Oh, Joe. Way to mark the occasion. That quote may forever be linked with the Obama administration's finest moment.
It was a mystery to many people why Obama chose as his running mate the man who called him "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." Biden himself said that Hillary Clinton "might have been a better pick than me."
Biden does provide political writers with lots of comic relief, though that's not the vice president's job. He also makes Obama look like a model of rectitude by comparison. But he did deflate a significant moment for the president.
The Obama administration must be wondering if there is any hope for Biden's apparently incurable foot-in-mouth disease.
March 23/The New York Times on an uncensored Google in China:
Google's decision to stop censoring its search service in China was a principled and brave move, a belated acknowledgment that Internet companies cannot enable a government's censorship without becoming a de facto accomplice to repression.
We hope that other American companies with operations in China, notably Microsoft and Yahoo, will consider emulating Google's decision.
Yahoo said it supported Google. But soon after Google announced its plan to stop censoring its searches in China in January, Bill Gates of Microsoft told ABC News: "You've got to decide: Do you want to obey the laws of the countries you are in, or not? If not, you may not end up doing business there." Microsoft's Bing search engine is still censoring results in China.
We have no illusions that the Chinese Communist Party will suddenly decide to allow its citizens unfettered access to the Internet through Google's Hong Kong service, where it was redirecting China-based searchers. Beijing is already reportedly disabling searches and blocking search results on Google's site.
But that is much better than self-censorship, which put Google in the troubling business of stripping out results from searches about politically touchy subjects like China's occupation of Tibet and the massacre on Tiananmen Square by the Chinese Army.
When Google took its search engine into China four years ago, it came under attack from human rights groups. Google countered that it was better for the Chinese to have a censored Google than no Google at all.
It took four years for Google to acknowledge the flaws in that reasoning, and it did so only after it discovered an attack on its servers by hackers in China that stole proprietary computer code as well as data about Gmail accounts of human rights activists. ...
Google's departure may have more resonance outside China than within. We don't know how many of China's many millions of Internet users will be able to read about this public indictment of China's use of censorship. But that is preferable to helping maintain the fiction that the Internet in China is the same sort of vehicle for open communication that it is most everywhere else.
March 21/The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch on full-body scanners:
Full-body scanners at airports will take some getting used to, but they are worthwhile. Those who oppose them are unreasonable. The ruthlessness of terrorists has made such measures necessary.
But the Transportation Security Administration has been moving at a snail's pace in installing them. More than a year has passed since federal stimulus money was authorized to pay for the machines, and they're just now going in. On Monday, one scanner debuted at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. This month, 10 other airports will receive the equipment, including Kansas City International Airport and three others in California.
Port Columbus is among the next group of 11 airports scheduled for scanners, but the TSA hasn't revealed how many.
The agency plans to install 950 scanners around the country over the next two years. Scanners' advantage over metal detectors is that the low-dose X-rays can spot dangerous objects that have no metal content. ...
The terrorist threat against civil aviation keeps evolving, and the security agencies need the full complement of tools to provide the protection that travelers expect and deserve.
March 24/The Jordan Times, Amman, Jordan, on U.S.-Israeli diplomacy:
The tone and content of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington was defiant and arrogant. Netanyahu made it clear that his government was not willing to discuss peace with the Palestinians when he told his sympathetic audience that the Israeli settlement program in East Jerusalem will continue unabated.
Jerusalem, in its entirety, he also said, was and will stay Israel's capital, come what may.
So much for trying to placate the host, a steady ally that is snubbed arrogantly every time it timidly tries to slap Israel on the wrist and whose patience is constantly tried by a purported friend bent on colonizing the last remains of Arab land in Palestine.
By ignoring the millennia-old Arab Christian and Islamic links to Jerusalem, the Israeli prime minister is certain to sow the seeds of conflict, not only with the Palestinians but also with the Muslim and Christian worlds.
It could be that Netanyahu wanted to set the tone for his impending talks with U.S. President Barack Obama, who appears serious about delivering on his pledge to find a way out of the deadlock on peace in the Middle East and a just solution to Jerusalem.
It is now up to the Obama administration to set the parameters for the settlement of the Palestinian file, including, of course, Jerusalem.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who delivered her speech to AIPAC, made the administration's displeasure with Israel's settlement project clear.
"It undermines America's unique ability to play a role - an essential role, I might add - in the peace process. Our credibility in this process depends in part on our willingness to praise both sides when they are courageous, and when we don't agree, to say so, and say so unequivocally."
Delicately put, but a point made nonetheless. ...
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