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Community Comment

Posts tagged: child abuse

Man beats baby to death…

Good morning, Netizens…


I am utterly aghast at James R. Cooley’s murder of Santiago McCreight, a one year-old baby boy who was beaten to death by Cooley. Cooley has been arrested, which is perhaps “too little too late”, because according to various reports, he had already assaulted Santiago’s older brother, beating him and throwing him into the bathtub before killing the baby. This doesn’t include a previous instance of shaking a baby, on May 5 of this year that left his former girlfriend’s 6-month-old daughter blind and mentally disabled.


I suspect by now that many have seen the various television news interviews with the baby’s mother, Rebecca L. McCollough, and although I do not like watching public displays of private grief, in this instance it serves a function of holding Cooley’s life ending in the baby’s murder up to the light of public censure. I feel certain most people, including the police officers who investigated this case and made the arrest of Cooley, would agree with me that Cooley is sick, depraved and revolting beyond words. He beat a one year-old baby to death for crying.


As obtuse as it might seem, there are some lessons to be learned from this horrific murder.


I feel quite resolute in my belief that Rebecca McCollough had no warning of Cooley’s previous violence against children, nor of Cooley’s extensive criminal background which came to light just yesterday. There has to be a middle ground here, between protecting the privacy rights of citizens and allowing women, particularly with children, to learn about potential boyfriends previous violent crimes, particularly against children and infants.


A single woman with children who wants to know more information about potential boyfriends simply cannot get any information from authorities. In the case of James R. Cooley and Rebecca McCollough the system failed miserably at protecting her children. How can we make the system better? Cooley should have been arrested back in May of this year, yet he was able to convince investigators then of his innocence.


That plus we have a profound need in our sick society to understand and treat the mental illness of such men as James R. Cooley. We need to understand the long-term implications of drug abuse since it seems in addition to being a sick, perverted child abuser, Cooley also had a drug habit. How do drug habits and child abuse “fit” with one another? That seems like a damned good question.


All the recriminations and outpouring of public angst will do no good if we cannot learn from the errors of our ways, especially when an innocent one year-old baby is beaten to death by a man who had previous to this time, beaten a baby.


Rest in Peace, Santiago.


Dave

Confession is good for the soul…

Good afternoon, Netizens…


Sometimes cartoonist David Horsey outdoes himself in his eloquence and in today’s cartoon, I believe he stepped into a sensitive issue with eloquence and truth. If the absolute truth is ever known about sexual child abuse by Catholic priests the sheer numbers of its innocent victims casts a hideous pall upon the church. It is just about who knew. We have had our share of sexual abuse cases here in Spokane, and the malodorous stench of their combined stories casts an overwhelming and horribly sad commentary upon our times.


For too long it has been considered acceptable behavior to turn a blind eye to wayward priests, for Bishops to routinely shuffle them from parish to parish lest someone notice or object to such abysmal behavior. One would hope that such things no longer will take place.


Instead, as David Horsey suggests, from the parish priests to the highest-ranking members of the Vatican should fall on their knees, confess their transgressions, with the tacit understanding that as part of confession they go forth and sin no more, including the sins of silence and denial.


We should also remember the priests who live saintly lives, living in purity and in a state of grace, for I believe they outnumber those who have committed sins of the flesh.


Dave



Child molestation at Halloween…

Good morning, Netizens…


Here’s an idea from the Associated Press Wire we in Spokane might put to good use.


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Registered sex offenders in a northern Alabama city won’t have a hard time making Halloween plans.

They’re expected to attend a mandatory meeting hosted by state and federal probation officers next Saturday from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

That conveniently falls in the time most children in Huntsville will be out trick-or-treating.

The Huntsville Times reports that the educational program will review both state and federal sex offenders laws. It’s meant to encourage accountability and behavior changes in the offenders.


Accountability? Behavior change? What a novel concept for convicted sex offenders and predators in Spokane! Of course, my built-in distrust of the system makes me wonder if the ACLU might not step in and cry such an arrangement was a violation of the predator’s civil liberties. After all, they have completed their prison sentences and are no longer a threat to society’s children, right?


On the other hand, if we organized a mandatory meeting for all sexual predators in Spokane on Halloween, all under the aegis of an educational program, perhaps the sheer number of convicted predators that might show up might scare the bejesus out of parents throughout the Spokane region into sending predators a strong warning note.


WARNING! Spokane is a do-not-molest zone. The rights of our kids are more important to us than your civil liberties.


Dave

Quote of the Day — March 29, 2009

Good morning, Netizens…


This morning’s somewhat-acerbic quote should certainly get the blood pulsing through your veins.


Experts say you should never hit your children in anger. When is a good time? When you’re feeling festive?


Attributed to Roseanne Barr


Okay, so when it is acceptable to hit a child? I’m sorry, but you cannot quote me, as a victim of child abuse, when I should paddle the behind of a child, because I don’t have a good role model upon which to base a decision. Did you ever paddle a misbehaving child on his butt? Did you ever slap a child’s face? If you practiced alternatives to either, please share the wealth with everyone, because this child abuse is still a national disgrace. Are either forms of disciplinary action child abuse?


Some say either is child abuse, but in my opinion, the jury is still out. Please feel free to expound on this issue of national importance.


Dave



Jesuits file for bankruptcy protection

Good morning, Netizens…

[Portions from KREM-2, The Portland Oregonian and the AP wire]


PORTLAND, Ore. - The Catholic order that founded Gonzaga University and helps run the school has declared bankruptcy because of the potential for huge amounts of priest sex abuse settlements. The Jesuits of the Oregon Province filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Portland on Tuesday.


According to the official think-speak of the Jesuits, with approxmately 200 additional claims pending or threatening against their priests, bankruptcy was the only way that equitable financial settlements could be offered to victims.


Formally known as the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, the Roman Catholic order declared assets of $4.8 million and liabilities of nearly $62 million, according to the 123-page filing posted in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon.


“Our decision to file Chapter 11 was not an easy one, but with approximately 200 additional claims pending or threatened, it is the only way we believe that all claimants can be offered a fair financial settlement within the limited resources of the province,” said Oregon’s provincial, the Rev. Patrick J. Lee, in a written statement which appeared on the Portland Oregonian web site.

The Jesuits are also affiliated with Gonzaga Preparatory School, the large Catholic high school in Spokane and various other educational institutions.


Dave




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