Saturday, June 07, 2008

When False Rape Allegations Ruin a Reputation

A police officer loses his job due to false rape allegations (thanks to the reader who emailed this story):

A special prosecutor has dropped the rape case against a Parachute police officer who lost his job as a result of the allegations.

Tammy Eret, the chief Mesa County deputy district attorney who was brought in to handle the case, said she questions the credibility of the alleged victim. In a motion to dismiss the case, she outlined 22 concerns about the alleged victim’s credibility, and suggested the woman might have had consensual sex with the man, then regretted it.

Prosecutors decided to dismiss all charges against him. Magistrate Lain Leoniak said Wednesday that she signed an order and the case will be dismissed. The 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office had been specially appointed to review the rape case against Duncan, 25.....

The defendant, Kristopher Duncan, a former Marine and Iraq war veteran, said he hopes to return to law enforcement, but he hadn’t decided where. His lawyer, Greg Greer, of Glenwood Springs, said it remains “unanswered” whether or not his client can sue Parachute for being fired in the wake of the incident.

“I think the biggest thing was the embarrassment that I would even be accused of something like that,” Duncan said, “but I knew I didn’t do anything wrong....”

Greer praised Eret’s decision to drop the case. “Our challenge now is just to restore his good reputation,” Greer said.

His lawyer (Greer) makes a good point but how do you restore a man's reputation who has been charged (although what turns out to be falsely) for rape--even though he was cleared, hasn't damage been done? Why shouldn't the liar who gave the false report have to pay in some way? Why is it okay to ruin a man's reputation with false rape allegations without repercussions? Why is this acceptable?

This case reminded me of something that columnist Kathleen Parker wrote in her new book, Save the Males: Why Men Matter Why Women Should Care:

The assumption of guilt when it comes to males and rape is so entrenched in the American psyche that we ignore our better sense and embrace the righteousness of the mob. The same feminist spirit that successfully fought to eradicate the "she deserved it" attitude toward rape victims inexplicably found acceptable an equally unjust "of course he did it" attitude toward men.

The rest of society is finding it acceptable too. It is not. If a woman was raped and lost her job because of what happened, people would be outraged. If a man loses his job by having a false rape charge against him, there is often nary a whimper.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

Ask Dr. Helen: When Being Professional Means Being PC

My column is up at PJM:

Should doctors, lawyers, and other professionals feel obligated to send money to organizations that fund activities they don't believe in?

Go read the column and tell me what you think.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Time to Hit the Beach?

I was reading my recent copy of Forbes and came across some thoughts by Rich Karlgaard should Obama win the presidency:

What will happen to the U.S. economy if Barack Obama wins the presidency and he's backed by a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate?

Taxes will go up. Capital gains and dividends will bypass 20% on their way to 25% or 30%. Income taxes will go to 40% for higher earners and possibly more for the "super-rich." The ceiling on payroll taxes will rise to $150,000 or so.

Government tax receipts won't grow at all. The highest taxpayers, feeling assaulted, will flee. To where?

Some will take longer vacations. If your last earned dollar is pinched in the 60%-plus range by the feds, the state and your city, you'll envy the beach bum's life.

Some will move to smaller cities. If a $150,000 income in Des Moines, Iowa, or Spokane, Wash., buys you the same house and lifestyle as a $500,000 income in Greenwich, Conn., or Palo Alto, Calif., why not move? The tax monster will eat most of that $350,000 difference.

Some will move to entrepreneurship. If you can live with a lower income, you might as well build equity behind the tax curtain and harvest it in better times. That's what entrepreneurs did in the 1970s.

Some will switch careers, become tax lawyers and make the most money of all.

The Wall Street Journal points out that Obama is out of touch with his false notion that capital gains are mostly the province of the wealthy. "In 2005, according to IRS data, 47% of all tax returns reporting capital gains were from households with incomes below $50,000, and 79% came from households with incomes below $100,000."

Hardly wealthy, especially if these households live in New York or California or other expensive areas. With less money due to high taxes, my fear is that many people will move down to the South where it is cheaper (I like it less crowded here) but maybe many of us should flee to the beach and only work part of the year to avoid the high income taxes. Afterall, if you can't beat em, you might as well be happy. The problem with this plan, however, is that if everyone takes this attitude, where will the US be in terms of a superpower or in terms of production? Or maybe this is the plan afterall? For those in this country with anti-American sentiment, what could be better?

Monday, June 02, 2008

This is News?

Men prefer being solo over a bad marriage (hat tip: Eric):

Weisman, 49, conducted a survey of 1,533 heterosexual men to research a book aiming to give women an insight into why some smart, successful men opted to stay single -- and help lifelong bachelors understand why they are still the solo man at parties.

He concluded that most men were not afraid of marriage -- but they were afraid of a bad marriage.

"Men are 10 times more scared of marrying the wrong person than of never getting married at all," Weisman told Reuters in a telephone interview.....

This is the first generation of people who have grown up with bad divorces. People assume there is something wrong if you don't marry but these are men who have made a different choice and not given in to social pressures."

The release of his book "So Why Have You Never Been Married?: 10 Insights Into Why He Hasn't Wed"comes amid a growing trend for more people to stay single, with less social or religious pressures on men -- and women -- to tie the knot.

Weisman said U.S. figures showed that in 1980 about 6 percent of men aged in their early 40s had never married but this number had now risen to 17 percent.

So I wonder what a "Sex and Men in the City" movie would be like? But really, what's the news here? It should be obvious to anyone that most people--men and women-- would rather go solo than be involved in a bad marriage.

Sex and the City

Well, today I received a copy of the book Sex and the City from Harper Collins. They asked bloggers a while ago if we wanted one and I said "sure." The book is a companion to the movie and has lots of glossy pictures of the cast which are kind of pretty along with some behind-the-scenes stories from each of the actresses and crew.

I might make some enemies here, but I actually like "Sex and the City." I never watched it when it was out in the 1990's but saw it sporadically in re-runs on TBS. Then, last year while at the beach, my sister-in-law brought all six seasons on DVD and I watched every one of them. I must admit that I loved them. Why? They were totally whimsical and silly and required not one iota of thought or analysis from me. I watch movies or TV mostly for entertainment and "Sex and the City" is entertaining.

I haven't seen the movie yet, but other bloggers have. For example, Ann Althouse didn't seem to like it much (here are some highlights as to why):

So if I have nothing to say then I wasted 148 minutes. To try to salvage my lost time, I'll go with a numbered list:

1. Why is a comedy 148 minutes long? Especially a comedy based on a half-hour sitcom. It was like 5 TV episodes stuck together. Except 5 TV episodes would have been more fun because there would have been a lot more random, go-nowhere plots and not a true-romance story arc for each of 4 characters. They'd have thrown in some extra bad boyfriends. Instead, each aging diva has the love of her life to come to terms with....

6. I say "our Carrie," because it seems we're supposed to identify with her, but why on earth do we? Is she our fantasy? We might like to maintain our skinniness as we age, but we don't visualize it turning out that stringy. ...

9. And if Carrie is so horrified by fat, why is she so hung up on Mr. Big, who is fat? Hey, I'm just seeing that Chris Noth (who plays Big) was born in Madison, Wisconsin. That's nice! But still, the man is substantially overweight, and in profile, at least once, it was very obvious that he was wearing a powerful girdle.

So, Sarah Jessica Parker is too stringy looking and Chris Noth is too fat. You know what? I don't care. I love Chris Noth. I don't care that he's fat, he looks fine to me. I have a few questions (and coming from a psychologist, this might sound weird) but why does everyone have to analyze everything to death? What's wrong with a little escapism now and then--can't I just watch the show or movie and just have fun doing so? Is that so awful?

And I see in this article that no real man would be caught dead going to the "Sex and the City" movie. Yes, I want to see the movie. But if I take my husband with me, this is proof that he is a wuss? Why?