Stop Child Abuse!

Saw this on a bus in Florida.


It’s an important message. 

Take Action. Stop Child Abuse.


Children are innocent! 


The adults who commit the abuse and trafficking are animals. 


If you see something, say something to the authorities.


You may just be saving a child’s life.  


Protect our children…they are our future. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What REALLY Happened to Jeffrey Epstein

It was incredible to find out today what really happened to that convicted sex offender, slime bucket, Jeffrey Epstein. 


He was murdered!


How do I know?


It was on the coffee cup at Starbucks, of course. 


Honestly, I don’t really care that much how he died, but am just grateful that sick louse is a goner.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal, and no, it’s not my coffee!)

SAR — A THIRD Round of Child Sexual Abuse Scandals

What a NON-surprise from SAR in Riverdale.


The Judaic Studies principal (grades 6-8), Rabbi Jonathan Skolnick has been arrested for “production of child pornography.”


This after numerous child sexual abuse scandals in the Jewish community in Riverdale, and at SAR in particular!

  • Now for a third time in 2019, SAR’s 2018-2019 newly appointed Middle School Principal of Judaic Studies is arrested for production of child pornography and SAR’s principal is stunned at how this could be happening: “It is shocking to know that someone who we have trusted with our children has been accused of harming them. Despite the practices in place to protect our children, we are not immune to breaches such as the one that seems to have taken place at SAR.”

Clearly there is a PATTERN OF BAD BEHAVIOR AND NEGLIGENCE here (i.e. like a repeat offender) and at a certain point, the patience and excuses completely runs out!


This latest sexual abuse debacle with Rabbi Skolnick (where was the vetting process on hiring him?) occurring AT THE VERY SAME TIME that SAR was conducting and publishing the results of it’s earlier sex scandal with convicted sexual offender Stanley Rosenfeld and SAR’s statement in their October 5, 2018 message releasing their report that:


Continuing our conversations with our students and faculty on preventing and addressing sexual abuse. In 2014, SAR implemented an Anti-Harassment Policy:www.saracademy.org/antiharassmentpolicy. Training is done annually for all staff as well as appropriate training for high school and middle school students as part of their advisory program. Emphasis of the training is on awareness and reporting of any potential abuse as well as setting appropriate parameters for student-staff interactions. We are fully committed to the safety of our students and to continuing to implement best practices in these areas.  

As anyone can see that the words by SAR are nothing but cheap and empty as demonstrated by the facts of their now THREE TIMES REPEATED sexual scandals as reported!


How SAR could be “shocked” after three times the same types of sexual abuse occurring under their watch should be a complete mystery to any reasonable, thinking human being with a soul.  


Where is the outrage by the Riverdale community and by the current board of directors of SAR?  And where is the REAL action by them to correct their now half century HISTORY of abuse against the children in their completely negligent care?


Of course, let us also not forget the other sexual scandal allegations in the same community at the Riverdale Jewish Center and the chorus of denials and lack of accountability that went on with their prior “Sauna Rabbi” of thirty years who finally stepped down in 2016. 


Would the Riverdale community and SAR in particular like to offer up any new denials today and provide any more cheap words about their Anti-Harassment policy and phony “commitment to the safety of our students”? 


Less than two-weeks before the Jewish New Year 5780, will SAR finally take RESPONSIBILITY for the abuse to their past students and REALLY do what it takes to protect its current and future children.

Part 5 – Riverdale Sex Abuse

Please click the photo to enlarge or you can go straight to the link at the SAR website.


The summary findings from the investigation on the child sex abuse at SAR Academy found the following regarding Stanley Rosenfeld and “Rabbi” Sheldon Schwartz:

T&M uncovered the following regarding Rosenfeld’s tenure and behavior while at SAR:

  • Rosenfeld was an administrator at SAR from 1974 to 1977 and he was also employed as a teacher by the school during the 1986-87 school year. The precise circumstances of his departure and rehire remain unknown.
  • Twelve former SAR students and one non-SAR student reported that Rosenfeld sexually abused them during his time as an SAR Academy faculty member.  
  • According to two victims, Rosenfeld’s misconduct was reported to at least one member of SAR’s administration at the time of these abuses.  
  • The investigation could not conclusively determine whether the administrators involved in the rehiring of Rosenfeld were aware of the nature of the allegations at the time of his rehire.  


T&M uncovered the following regarding Rabbi Schwartz’s behavior while at SAR:

  • According to multiple victims, details of Rosenfeld’s behavior were, at the time, raised directly to Rabbi Schwartz, who not only failed to act on the information appropriately, but was also alleged to have been present at and/or to have brought students to Rosenfeld’s home for Shabbat visits during which abuse took place.
  • Separately, through the course of this investigative effort, several students came forward alleging Rabbi Schwartz had acted inappropriately with them.  

Rabbi Schwartz served as a Judaic studies teacher until he was suspended in January 2018, once allegations concerning his knowledge of Rosenfeld’s behavior were brought to the attention of SAR. His employment has since been terminated.  Current members of the SAR administration were not aware of the allegations regarding Rabbi Schwartz until the commencement of the investigation.

 

T&M’s findings and the fact that Rosenfeld appears to have worked at and abused children at multiple schools and camps in the New York area gives all of us reason to pause and consider whether we are truly doing enough to protect our children. 

 

For those of you who sincerely listened and believed the cries of the many victims, thank you.


For those of you who were complicit and even continued in the denials, I will just say to you that G-d sees all!

Save Our Children

Missing and Exploited Children.jpeg

I was very taken by this ad yesterday for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children


NCMEC is primarily funded by the Justice Department for preventing and assisting with solving child abductions, child sexual abuse, and child pornography. 


It’s horrible when something bad happens to to an adult, but when it happens to a child–that is catastrophic. 


I remember my dad used to say when he went to the funeral for a child–“A child is supposed to bury his [/her] parents, and not the other way around!”


It is unthinkable the pain that a helpless child goes through when taken or abused.


And for the parents, who are responsible for and love that child, I don’t think they can ever rest or be at peace for a single moment, until the child is, please G-d, safe again. 


This reminds me of the tragedy this week, where a one-year old child was one of the victims in a terror car-ramming at a bus stop in Israel that wounded 11 people. 


Unfortunately, the baby’s leg that had been nearly severed by the terror attack, was unfortunately lost despite heroic attempts by the doctors to save his leg.


What did this kid do to deserve such a trauma and fate? 


As the NCMEC motto states, “Every child deserves a safe childhood.”


How can people be so cruel to others and especially to innocent children?  


Despite G-d’s love and caring in this world, evil still exists and every time a child goes missing, is exploited, or is hurt/killed is proof of this, and is a mandate for our need to fight for their good. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Respect NOT Rape

Joy Division
BBC reports that already by age 20, 1 in 10 girls have been raped or secually assaulted. 



That equates to 120 MILLION girls globally. 



Many are then brutally murdered and shamed as we have been reading about, now with all too much frequency, in India for example, with young women being raped, killed, and then hung from trees etc. 



What is wrong with this world???



Women are our mothers, wives, and daughters–they are often amongst the most compassionate and caring of us.



This is how we treat them?



Unfortunately, rape and abuse is also a crime against many young boys. 



It is time to take a serious ethical pause and stop the violence against our children and against other adults. 



The screams and scars of those abused hang in the air as an indictment against those committing the crime as well as those that do nothing to speak out. 



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Exposing Rape

Exposing Rape

On the Metro in Washington, D.C. there is a sign that warns people about sexual harassment.

In the crowded rush hour trains, people can take advantage and try something.

But the advertisement reminds people that if they do the wrong thing, they are the ones who will be exposed–and punished.

This is in contrast to a story today in the Wall Street Journal about a gang rape of a 16 year-old girl in Kenya.

She was attacked in June–while walking home from her grandfather’s funeral!

Six men ambushed her, took turns raping her, and then threw her unconscious body in a toilet pit–as if to say that she was just a thing for their sexual satisfaction and nothing but a proverbial piece of sh*t herself (excuse the directness here).

But to make matters worse, the horrific act was not punished, but mocked.

The rapists were “told to pay for some pain medicine for the girl and mow the grass at the police station”–I am feeling sick again!

I write this blog for this victim and for women everywhere to try to do my little part to expose the continued injustices against them–from inequality and unsafe conditions in the workplace to sexual harassment and rape in society.

Perhaps, if we all expose the injustices, we can finally make it unacceptable and rub it out of existence evermore.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Factory Floor Servitude

Factory Floor Servitude

As a kid, I was all too familiar with factory settings–my dad worked in one.

Dad is an incredibly persistent hard worker who went to the factory every day–tuna sandwich in tow–worked hard and was the voice of reason in advancing the business–and worked his way up to manage the place. My dad is a modern-day success story!

He worked in everything figuring out how to design products, make them, sell them, and ensure the business stayed afloat. A lot of people depended on him in the factory to keep production humming, put bread on their tables, and most importantly to be treated fairly and like human beings.

My dad never became arrogant as he advanced himself, he always believed that we only have what the Almighty above grants to us.

What a contrast between the way my dad managed a factory and the decrepit working conditions that led to the factory collapse two weeks ago in Bangladesh that has now left at least 1,038 dead.

The collapse has raised ethical questions again about the horrific working conditions in factories overseas–where low wages and hazardous conditions is the rule–low wages lead to growing outsourcing and hence, a $18 billion garment industry in Bangladesh that has tripled in size between 2005 and 2010 and is expected to triple again by 2020.

The average monthly pay in 2009–$47!

By 2010, Bangladesh had 5,000 garment factories–2nd only to China.

Now most of the factories are gone from the U.S. moving overseas to the cheapest providers, with jobs in manufacturing decreasing almost in half from nearly 20 million in the U.S. in 1979 to less than 12 million in 2010.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (9 May 2010) chronicles the ten years of stagnant wages and horrible working conditions there–verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical punishment and humiliations for not meeting quotas (like having to forcibly stand on tables for hours and undress in front of workers), rare bathroom breaks to filthy and overflowing toilets, and much more.

When the Savar building developed cracks on April 23, one man begged his wife not to go to work the next day, but when she called in and asked for the day off, she was told she would be docked a whole months salary if she didn’t show up–she went to work and the building collapsed on April 24–leaving her buried under the rubble. Eventually, when the rescuers could not free her, they chopped off her legs!

Cheap labor means cheap goods–that’s a draw for us getting more branded goods for less. In a large sense, our insatiable demand fuels the cruel, servile conditions overseas.

This is also a broken market, where people sell their labor just to provide subsistence living for their families, while big corporations increase profits, investors smile all the way to the bank, and we get our boatloads of stuff cheap, cheap, cheap.

There is nothing wrong with making money or saving money–it’s an incentive-based system, but the only measure of success is not money.

We need global standards of ethical conduct in the labor market, and this should be part of every organization’s financial reporting, disclosure, and audit requirements.

People and organizations should not just be penalized for cooking the books or insider-trading, but for how they treat their people.

Those organizations and leaders that balance making money with treating people decently have a leg up on those that don’t–not that they will necessarily do better in the marketplace (maybe they won’t), but that they make their money with their integrity intact and that’s something money cannot buy. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Ronn “Blue” Aldaman)

Rape-aXe Takes Hold

Rape-aXe Takes Hold

As a follow up to my blog on Tuesday about the Anti-rape Bra, a colleague gave me the lead to another prototype device called Rape-aXe.

Here is a YouTube video that explains how it works (explicit topic).

According to Nicci Talbot in Suite101, Rape-aXe is a female anti-rape condom that has small razor sharp barbs on the inside.

A rapist, who inserts into the female condom, gets trapped by the device, which needs to be surgically removed and leaves small scarring.

The device was invented by Sonnet Ehlers a South Africa women, and it went into production in 2007 going for $2 a piece.

According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) “1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.”

“It’s a medieval device for a medieval deed,” stated Ehlers, and no such evil deed should go unpunished.

Females and males should be protected from sexual abuse both legally as well as with anti-rape devices–and that’s the real point. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to haleybean91)

Human Trafficking Hurts Everyone

Cbp_report_human_trafficking

A few years ago, I saw the movie Taken (2008) about a 17-year old girl kidnapped in Paris and sold into prostitution. Fortunately, in this movie, the teenage girl’s father is a retired CIA agent, and he is able to get his daughter back and inflict some serious punishment on the traffickers. The scariest scene in the movie that’s been shown repeatedly in the trailer is where the girl is hiding under the bed pleading with her father to help her, when she is discovered and pulled roughly from underneath to disappear into this netherworld of child trafficking and sex abuse.

This week, I saw another movie called Trade (2007) with a similar theme, where a 13-year old girl is abducted outside her home on the streets of Mexico City while riding her new birthday bicycle. The scenes of sexual abuse, violence, forced drugging, and more were enough to send me for an emotional deep dive. In the movie, while other innocent women are trafficked, abused, and murdered, this little girl is saved by her brother and Texas cop who join forces to rescue her (and other children found behind a secret door in the same house) from being sold into sex slavery.

At the conclusion of the movie, the tagline comes up about 50,000 to 100,000 girls, boys, and women being trafficked annually to the U.S. to be pimped out or sold for forced sex–and more than 1 million are trafficked annually across international borders against their will.

According to The Department of Homeland Security U.S. Customs and Border Protection, “There are at least 12.3 million enslaved adults and children around the world at any given time.” I would guess that these numbers are quite understated given all the silent victims around the world that have been silenced by fear, coercion, and violence and so we don’t even know about them and their plights.

Further, The Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons has many good resources including information, tips, and training located at that site.

I’ve attached, at the top, the phone number of the Customs and Border Protection hotline to report human trafficking. There is also a non-profit hotline at the National Human Trafficking Resource Center.

While this is frequently portrayed as women’s issue and it is, it is also a family and societal issue that affects all of us. When a women or child is abused, the impact goes way beyond the individual.

I know that I can certainly not understand how anyone can inflict these cruelties on others. Money doesn’t explain it. Circumstances doesn’t explain it. To me, there must truly be such a thing as evil in this world, and unfortunately, we are all witnesses to it.

Look out for others, the way you would want them to look out after your own–maybe together, we can help tilt the scale in favor of the victims.