Sunday, August 5, 2012

Courage: "I have a Choice"

27 year old Jenn Gibbons is a good and brave young lady. I don't know why her story hasn't gotten more media attention.

She set out to row the 1,500 mile perimeter of Lake Michigan to raise money for breast cancer and ended up being sexually assaulted by a sub-human piece of garbage.



The Battle Creek native is raising funds for breast cancer survivors on a rowing team she runs in Chicago, but her own story of survival and perseverance has inspired readers around the country.
Gibbons began her 1,500-mile trip last month, making good time as she reached Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where she was attacked in the early morning hours of July 22 while sleeping on her boat near Mueller Township.
The 27-year-old chose to identify herself in the days following the assault, hoping the public would help find her attacker, who remains at large, and vowing to continue her trip by bicycle until she felt safe enough to return to the water. (MLive)
She was updating the status of her journey on Facebook so fans and well-wishers could track her progress, and that is also how the creep saw his opportunity, waiting until she was in a remote area to strike.  She escaped the attack by locking herself in an outhouse and calling the police.  The would-be rapist remains at large.

It was noble of her to start her own charity, "Recovery on Water, a non-profit rowing team that trains recovering cancer patients to 'get fit and fight back," and she's given us all a lesson in bravery as well, continuing her quest only a few weeks after the attack:
"I could focus on those few terrible moments," Gibbons wrote yesterday. "I could let those few minutes take away more seconds, more minutes, more days and weeks and years of my life. But I won't. Why? Because I have a choice." (MLive)

90 comments:

conservativesonfire said...

Life is all about choices. We are the product of all the choices we make in our lives. We can't let events control our lives or we can choose live life in spite of the risks.

Thanks for this post, Kurt. This is the first I have heard of Ms. Gibbons tragedy and of her courage. She is a wise and valliant young women. God bless her. Let us hope that animal who attacked her is caught and that he receives the justice due him.

Always On Watch said...

I see another lesson here -- a caveat that I issue to my students:

Facebook needs to be used very carefully.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Kayla Harrison is another woman who was sexually abused [by her coach, no less]but overcame that horrendous ordeal and went on to become an Olympic gold medal champion.

Kudos to these women and the tremendous courage they've shown to all of us.

Mustang said...

I agree with Shaw. What courage! What a positive young woman! This is very much an uplifting story.

FreeThinke said...

AOW is really on to something:

Probably, the most important lesson we should learn from this story is AVOID USING FACEBOOK.

I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole, mself.

~ FreeThinke

Stanley Kowalski said...

I think that Jenn Gibbons needs to get a clue...

Next time you decide to paddle your way across the Great White North all alone and keep all the predators informed as to your current location, at LEAST bring along a Colt equalizer!

FreeThinke said...

I'm always delighted when anyone -- female, male, young, old, middle-aged -- whatever -- with talent, intelligence and courage overcomes adversity.

Young Kayla looks like a strapping young blond lad -- possibly a lesbian. Perhaps her coach was working out feelings of latent homosexuality? (:-o

Stranger things have happened.

Seriously, while I would never put a stamp on approval of sexual activity with a TWELVE YEAR OLD, we ought to develop a greater sense of perspective as to what is and is not TRULY "traumatic."

Having someone cut off your arms, smash in your skull and leave you with brain damage, having someone throw you off a cliff or out an upper storey window and turns you into a quadriplegic, having someone throw acid in your face and blind you, someone who throws gasoline all over you and set you on FIRE ... etc., etc., etc.

THAT is REAL trauma. This other things, which everybody just LOVES to get all het up about these days, is NOT in the same category with grievous bodily assault and battery.

Yes I am glad for Ms. Harrison, bless her heart, but what happened to her IS eminently survivable -- if there aren't too many Mrs. Grundys and out-of-control misanthropic bitches like Gloria Allred around to keep telling her she's been damaged for life.

Bad sex is eminently survivable.

Being maimed, blinded, brain-damaged or and deliberately crippled may not be so easy to overcome.

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

By the way, if you're interested in learning about a REAL hero who overcame REAL adversity, do look up

OSCAR PISTORIUS -- the world Champion sprinter with NO LEGS.

~ FreeThinke

Shaw Kenawe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shaw Kenawe said...

Delete Comment From: Western Hero




Shaw Kenawe said...
FT thinks there are worse things than having an adult male shove his penis into an innocent 12-year old girl's vagina, while he was perhaps working out his sexual confusions.

And heck, she "looks" like a "lad," so maybe she's a lesbo, so it wasn't all that bad and stuff. She should just be grateful that the criminal who raped her over a number of years didn't cut off her arms and legs while he was at it. Now that would be a real crime, unlike this little business of raping a child.

After all, what happened to Kayla when she was a girl isn't REAL trauma.



Sometimes I believe there is hope for the human race. But then I read merda from a mature adult man, who has lived long enough to have learned something, and I absolutely know there isn't.

Stanley Kowalski said...

Courage: "I have a Choice"

Sure you do. Do you want me to validate your parking ticket at the abortion center in 12 weeks, Hon, or NOT?

Silverfiddle said...

FT: What in the hell are you blathering about?

Why turn a positive blog post into a mudball fight? Bored?

Stanley: I couldn't understand what the lady in the video was saying. There was some weird-sounding background noise.

viburnum said...

@FT

Rape is not about sex. It's pure predatory aggression, and you must not know any victims of it if you don't believe it to be traumatic. I hope you don't have daughters.

FreeThinke said...

Shaw,

You have no idea what he actually DID to that girl. I'm surprised at you. It's reminiscent of the moronic assumption often asserted by rednecks, rubes, Yahoos and religious bigots that sex between male homosexuals always always involves anal penetration.

The dour, humorless, hair trigger hyper-judgmentalism a subject like this never fails to engender is so predictable and so stupid.

Human nature Alas! never fails to disappoint.

~ FT

Titan said...

I couldn't understand what the lady in the video was saying. There was some weird-sounding background noise.

That's okay, Cool Hand Luke couldn't understand the Cap'n, either.

FreeThinke said...

Hi, Viburnum,

Have you ever read or seen "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie?"

It was a wonderful movie starring Maggie Smith that came out in the early seventies to critical acclaim -- not some weird nouvelle vague semi-pornographic thing designed to appeal exclusively to "Art House" aficionados. It had quite a lot to say -- much of it startling -- about the bland, blind assumptions most adults love to entertain about the way young adolescents -- particularly females -- relate to sex.

Interesting that you -- of all people -- would interpret what I said as some sort of "endorsement" of child rape, which is nonsense.

All I said was that undesirable sexual experiences of this kind are survivable, unlike acts of mayhem and sadistic brutality that maim, blind and disfigure. Aberrant sexual activity is survivable IF those in charge of the child do not reinforce notions of guilt, encourage rage, and a permanent sense of victimhood.

And yes I have met several people who've had experiences of this kind, and I long ago formed the opinion that it was the hysteria, uncontrolled wrath and lust for revenge on the part of the parents and those in authority that did more long-lasting harm to the victim than the "act," itself.

We've been constantly moving the goal posts for decades now to put more and more odd and undesirable but-by-no-means-violent behaviors in the category of Heinous Atrocities. I see the trend primarily as a series of leftist initiatives designed to weaken the family, the power of the individual, and to aggrandize the increasingly tyrannical power of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent State.

Sorry this topic got so far afield.

I plead guilty to baiting liberals hoping they'll bare their fangs, run true-to-form and expose themselves for the rabid, agenda-driven. power-mad fanatics they really are.

I certainly did not intend to catch fellow Conservatives in that net.

Alas! The Law of Unintended Consequences is always at work.

Another movie I highly recommend that gives penetrating insight into the beastly, suffocating, frankly murderous effects smug, Bourgeois assumptions and orthodox codes of human behavior can have on people perceived as "unusual" would be Sundays and Cybele. It is in French, and it has been a favorite among Art House aficionados, but it's tremendously moving and has universal significance for those with eyes to see, ears to hear -- and brains capable of actual thought.

~ FreeThinke

PS: No I don't have daughters, but that proves nothing whatsoever. - FT

Silverfiddle said...

Little Stevie went and threw poop on the walls again, so I had to get out the disinfectant.

Nobody deleted your comments, little man, except for just now.

Now run along to Democrud Underground...

viburnum said...

Gee. Just as I was about to rebut another one of his delusional charges of persecution.

98ZJUSMC said...

the dour, humorless, hair trigger hyper-judgmentalism a subject like this never fails to engender is so predictable and so stupid.

Human nature Alas! never fails to disappoint.


Wow, never found sexual assault chock-full-'O-humor. I'm just being dour, I guess.

viburnum said...

98ZJUSMC: "Wow, never found sexual assault chock-full-'O-humor. I'm just being dour, I guess."

You're in good company.

Kid said...

If only she'd had a gun, we'd be down one more piece of vermin.

Silverfiddle said...

Ya know Kid, I was thinking the same thing, but I didn't want to detract from her courage or turn this into another opportunity for the anti-gun libs to go wilding.

But yes, you are right. a gut full of lead is just what a POS like her attacker deserves.

I know people in the UP, and if they get ahold of this perv, he'll wish he'd never been born.

Kid said...

SF, Just seems to me, the people defending themselves properly are Decreasing (exception for Texas) and the people acting like vermin are Increasing.

Given the cops don't stop crime, and certainly not this variety, I don't see any other solution than for people to stop being confused about guns.

Preaching to the choir I know, just clarifying for other readers.

Z said...

"I know people in the UP, and if they get ahold of this perv, he'll wish he'd never been born."
And I hope that happens.

Rape of ANY KIND is an assault...I've been told even BURGLARY to ones HOME feels like rape in that people have entered and taken when you were not giving.
We must NEVER underestimate the ramifications of any kind of assault, particularly sexual.

WHat a really brave girl Gibbons is and I hope her story makes an impression on young girls who don't understand how vulnerable then can be through Facebook.
Heck, I'm an adult woman and never even tell how many siblings I have, etc..at my blog. NOTHING that could identify me.
And, I've wanted to give information that worked with posts so many times. But, I don't.

I'm sorry Gibbons had to suffer to learn the lesson. God bless her.

Sam Huntington said...

@Kid ...

Call a cop, wait 20 minutes. Pull the trigger, problem solved in 2 seconds. The states that prohibit citizens from carrying weapons place their citizens into harms way, unnecessarily.

I believe in the sanctity of life; I do not agree that a POS warrants any protection whatsoever.

Kid said...

@Sam, Thanks for the support and the reason, Now if we could get another 140 million...

But yea, call a cop, wait 20 minutes, 19 of those minutes as a dead person.

Silverfiddle said...

Kid: we're in total agreement.

Kid said...

Free Thinke,
"Seriously, while I would never put a stamp on approval of sexual activity with a TWELVE YEAR OLD, we ought to develop a greater sense of perspective as to what is and is not TRULY "traumatic.""

I couldn't disagree more.

I believe being raped when your 12 WILL stay with you a lifetime.

On the other side of the issue, I consider such a crime against a child as much more serious than Any crime against an adult.

An adult should be prepared to defend themself. We don't expect this of 12 a year old, any 12 year old, especially a female.

I believe and would support the idea that crimes against children by adults should be amped up by a factor of 3 at least.

Just as a kid who tortures animals are quite likely to become serial killers and rapists later in life, Vermin such as would rape a 12 year old should be considered capable as committing ANY offense against anyone.

This POS is just getting started.

According to government data, Pedophiles routinely commit 450+ crimes before they are even discovered. Attitudes like yours don't make that statistic likely to change any time soon if it is shared by the legal system.

What's the lesbian comment? Are you going for shock value again?

As you can probably tell, crimes against children are the hottest button I have.

They're vulnerable during the crime and after the crime as is usually the case, the vermin perp can and does easily convince the child to stay quiet or he'll go and "kill the parents" or some other fill in the blank that the child will be too afraid to tempt fate with.

A 12 year old can't even carry a gun or any defensive weapon.

This is The Worst kind of crime.

Z said...

well said, Kid. It's hard to imagine how many people have been hurt by this kind of abuse and how their behavior as adults reflects that, which they may not even be aware of.
Like I said above, if the intrusion of a burglary is so psychologically damaging to many adults, imagine what the unwanted intrusion of a sexual predator must be like..
awful.

FreeThinke said...

I guess none of you have never been propositioned by a ten year old streetwalker on the sidewalks of New York, have you?

I have.

I guess none of you has ever had a pre-pubescent student throw themselves at you with lust on their little minds, have you?

I have.

Children are nowhere near as innocent and pure as most adults -- particularly parents -- like to imagine. Childhood anything but sainthood, believe me.

Children are not innocent and pure. Most of them are little savages in much need of taming.

Rape is a hideous crime, but "rape" has been redefined in recent years -- thanks to the efforts of Feminazis like Gloria Allred -- to mean something it never meant in earlier times.

Less than a hundred years ago girls were still being married off within moments after they reached puberty -- sometimes as early as twelve or thirteen years of age in some cultures.

The new style of witch hunting and the lust to persecute are just as bad as the old.

The dire conclusions people leap to on little or no evidence and the level of bloodthirstiness and belligerence here is appalling.

~ FreeThinke

Kid said...

FT, I see you're tripling down on stupid.

NO, we're talking about Civilized society here. What are you talking about?

"Children aren't innocent and pure, are savages and need taming?"

Good lord man. Go find a doctor.

And Fuck You very much. The only thing here that's appalling is you.

Jersey McJones said...

"If only she had a gun" one of you guys said, and then Silver kinda agreed.

A gun? Why the fuck would someone on a voyage like that even think to bring a gun?

It's a sad commentary on our culture all around.

Then there's common sense. Wasn't anyone watching this young woman, on this intense expedition, other than some sexual deviant?

Thanks for this story, Silver. This had better never happen again. At some point even ol' super-liberal, super-progressive Jersey McJones might buy a gun, and ne'er do wells beware.

On the other hand, I'll just stay in shape for now. I don't want to be a fucking lunatic.

JMJ

Z said...

FT...I'm no spring chicken, either, and have NEVER experienced or seen or heard of a young child trying to have it on with an adult unless there was something going on to provoke him or her.....especially not a girl, believe me.
Or they've been abused and are acting out, repeating that unpleasant situation during which there might have been some purely carnal pleasure despite the fear and loathing associated with it...

Childhood should be a blessing to a child; a time during which they start to mature and may even have early sexual feelings but know it's a little too early for that. This is why we need parents living in homes with children if at all possible....to show a good example of healthy growing up and discussing aspects of sexuality if it seems relevant...

jez said...

IF FreeThinke wishes to responsibly pursue his hobby of being provocative, he must be less clumsy with his language. The strong implication of phrases such as "THAT is REAL trauma" and "not TRULY "traumatic"" is that child rape does not qualify as legitimate trauma. It may not be what he means, but it is what he said. FT: Please try harder to say what you mean.

Also, please try to reward your reader who has endured your shocks and obscenities with some kind of insight, for god's sake. Preferably make it a point which isn't as spectacularly banal and worthless as the one you seem to be grinding towards here. "Children are not innocent", oh thank you, I have read Lord of the Flies you know. The Lesbian comment doesn't even have that dubious justification.

"propositioned by a ten year old streetwalker on the sidewalks of New York"

Most likely (s)he was a enslaved to some pimp.

"ever had a pre-pubescent student throw themselves at you with lust"

Most likely (s)he was on the receiving end of the same at home.

In both cases, you should have called the police or social workers, not rolled your eyes at "kids today".

Always On Watch said...

I've been reading this thread but staying silent.

I do have these observations:

1. I have NEVER known any raped individual to just pick up and move on with what appears to be little difficulty. I have known several women who were raped. One woman, quite the sexually active individual, did at first appear to have moved on quickly -- but down the line, things were terrible for quite a while.

2. I have known several children (girls) who were raped. They didn't tell it!

I'm not saying that Jenn Gibbons is lying. But I do find her reaction on the strange side. Yes, I admire her attitude of "I have a choice."

Rape is not a simple event for a female. It is a violation that men, no matter how understanding, will never fully comprehend.

Always On Watch said...

Clarification: By "rape," I mean sexual penetration. I am NOT referring to fondling.

Always On Watch said...

FT said:

Children are nowhere near as innocent and pure as most adults -- particularly parents -- like to imagine.

Truth contained in that sentence.

In my experience, however, I've had only one young student do such a thing. He was later diagnosed as a sociopath. I saw the papers, and I concurred with the evaluation.

Now, as a female who is perceived as a drill sergeant by my students, I'm not very approachable. The situation may be different for a man who is a teacher.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"FreeThinke said...
Shaw,

You have no idea what he actually DID to that girl. I'm surprised at you."

FT, let me tell you this much:

I have a damned good idea of what was done to that little girl. And leave it at that.

Always On Watch said...

Hold.

The.

Phone.

Jenn Gibbons isn't a little girl. She is 27 years old.

This comment is not to be in any way construed as excusing the scummy assaulter.

Analogy:

There is a world of difference between someone breaking into your home and looking around, and turning the house upside down searching for goods to steal. There is even more difference if your grandmother's heirloom necklace was stolen.

In other words, there are levels of personal violation. I know because, on more than one occasion, I have endured B&E's -- both here at home and at the business that my husband and I used to have (coin/jewelry shop).

Of course, the entire point of Silverfiddle's posting is not what we're discussing now. Jenn Gibbons didn't allow herself to become a person who regards herself as a victim. Victimology of any kind is a dead end, as all pity parties are.

Always On Watch said...

Kid,
I believe being raped when your 12 WILL stay with you a lifetime.

On the other side of the issue, I consider such a crime against a child as much more serious than Any crime against an adult.


I couldn't agree more.

I've known girls who were raped -- by my definition above. And they NEVER really got over it.

FreeThinke said...

Thanks, AOW, for a more polite, restrained, realistic and objective assessment than any given by others.

My contention is born out yet again that most people are far more eager to vent their spleen by glomming onto "a good excuse" to excoriate, condemn and punish than they are to examine what they see with curiosity and hope of finding greater understanding.


"... Assent and you are sane
Demur. you're straightway dangerous
And handled with a chain."



My lifelong friend Emily Dickinson made pithy poetic observations applicable to just about any facet of the human condition imaginable.

That she was able to do this as an "old maid" who became a recluse and spent the bulk of her life in the confines of her father's fine brick house in Amherst, Massachusetts is all the more remarkable. For a woman she was well-educated by the lights of her time, but unworldly and hardly what-we-would-consider "sophisticated," yet she proved that insights discovered in a contemplative life are more apt to lead to more directly to Truth than the monotonous routines of the workaday world and stilted "prescribed" rituals of "normal" social intercourse.

As I said above, the level of belligerence, bloodthirstiness and haughty judgmental attitudes exhibited on this thread from liberals and conservatives alike is frankly stunning -- though not at all surprising.

~ FreeThinke

Shaw Kenawe said...

AOW, I wasn't referring to Gibbons, I was referring to Kayla Harrison. FT began his crazy comments about rape after reading about Kayla's rape, which began when she was 12 years old.

All I said about Gibbons was that I admired her courage.

FreeThinke said...

I never said what I did on those occasions, Jez, so please come down off your high horse, stop playing the role of judge, and ask a few polite questions instead of jumping to the most unflattering, brazenly condemnatory conclusions imaginable, which is what everyone else has done, with the notable exception of AOW.

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

Ms. Shaw,

You do NOT know exactly what the nature of that girl's relationship was with her former coach. You really don't. You were NOT in the bedroom while the events occurred, and as far as I know none of it was ever put on videotape, so -- like everyone else -- you are just "assuming facts not in evidence."

I do not accept the modern, politically-motivated, feminazi-generated redefinition of the term "rape."

Unless "penetration," occurs with violence -- or the imminent threat of violence --, I do not believe it deserves to be categorized as "rape."

When used in the modern, politically redefined fashion "rape," always a highly-charged, inflammatory term, invariably conjures up images of the worst sort of violence. When the charge is made today, guilt is automatically assumed, and the resultant atmosphere is apt to create a lynch mob mentality among the onlookers -- as we see right here on this thread.

I wish I could say it was "incredible," but instead it is sadly typical.

~ FreeThinke

Shaw Kenawe said...

FT: "You do NOT know exactly what the nature of that girl's relationship was with her former coach. You really don't. You were NOT in the bedroom while the events occurred, and as far as I know none of it was ever put on videotape, so -- like everyone else -- you are just "assuming facts not in evidence."


I believe what Kayla Harrison attested to under oath in a courtroom. She testified that she was raped for years by her coach starting when she was 12. She was the victim of a horrendous crime, she identified her rapist, and he was sent to prison for 10 years. Neither you nor anyone else had to be "there." The law is satisfied that the rape of a little girl occurred. I don't suppose Kayla or any other girl or woman who's been raped actually gives a flying donut about what you "believe."



FT: "I do not accept the modern, politically-motivated, feminazi-generated redefinition of the term 'rape.' "

We understand that quite well. You've expressed your outrage over how these little Lolitas bring rape upon themselves, and that it isn't such a big deal, afterall, is it.

As jez said upthread, you, sir, get your jollies from being provocative and throwing large hissy-fits whenever your twisted ideas and reckless diatribes are challenged.


You've made yourself perfectly clear on what you "believe" the crime of rape is.

And frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

Silverfiddle said...

FT: Your attempts at being provocative have fallen flat and wrecked a thread on one woman's courage.

The story did not go into intimate details of the attack, and it's nobody's business, and beside the point.

Were it merely an unsuccessful attempt in a dark and remote area, that would still be a horrifying thing for anyone to endure.

That she got back on the horse so soon afterwards is indeed a testament to her courage and her dedication to the charity she founded.

Let's just leave it at that, and if you insist on engaging in pontifications on sexual practices and deviance, please do it at your blog, and not here.

jez said...

I didn't jump to any conclusions.

Your "kids today" tutting act is documented above, and since your stories of prepubescent lust and prostitution were provided as examples of the childhood savagery, it is clear that you consider their actions to be intrinsic to their character, not the result of adult abuse or manipulation.

I'm not on any moral high horse, please do continue being as contentious and daringly distasteful as you like; my only quarrel is with your inartful execution. Raise your game. Keep doing it, if you must, but do it better!

FreeThinke said...

In addition this thread was supposed to be about how one young woman, 27-year-old Jenna Gibbons, made a conscious decision NOT to allow a brief, but very frightening, unsettling incident to DOMINATE her consciousness and DETER her from her purpose.

Who in his right mind could disagree with that?

I did not. I should have registered praise for Ms. Gibbons, but instead got sidetracked by Ms. Shaw's ever-so-successful attempt to divert attention away from Ms. Gibbon's triumph to the rage-inspiring topic of child rape.

Ms. Shaw's motive in exposing us to this outrage is so transparently political I allowed it to bring out an impish streak, I admit.

I don't care how deadly serious the situation life without humor is no life at all -- only a dreary, embittering struggle for survival against insuperable odds.

I have no idea what REALLY happened to Kayla Harrison or WHY and neither do any of you, unless you are willing to accept what-is-surely a biased, agenda-driven news report at face value.

BUT, most of us love to express FURY and STERN DISAPPROVAL. I presented what-you-took-as "a good excuse" establish an Online Kangaroo Court, so suddenly FreeThinke is "The Witch on Trial" and the gathering crowd would just love to string him up and cut him to ribands.

Mob Psychology -- i.e. GroupThink -- is one of the deadliest of all pathogens.

I'm sorry to disappoint, but while this turn of events certainly saddens me, it doesn't surprise me, and frankly it doesn't faze me a bit.

The arrogant, unthinking assumption that those members of the crowd who have been so quick to condemn understand what I've tried to say, and know what they're talking about in response would be downright comical, if the issues involved weren't so serious.

I recommended a couple of perfectly respectable, non-pornographic, not sensationalistic movies that treat some of the issues we've touched upon seriously, and give valuable insight, -- The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Sundays and Cybele -- but those were totally ignored. I'll add Tiger Bay with John Mills, the young Hayley Mills and Horst Bucholtz to the list.

I'll also recommend a literary reference as well. Take a look at "SEX EDUCATION" a short story by Dorothy Canfield Fisher. It's available online. All you need to do is type in the title and author at Google, and Bob's your uncle. That story by the way appeared in my high school Freshman English Anthology Textbook, so there's no need for you to fear being exposed to something "dirty."

As Walt Whitman advised, "Be curious, not judgmental."

If only people would take that advice to heart, the world would be a much kinder, gentler, fairer, pleasanter place than it is!

No matter how much we may think we know of life, there's always a great deal more we need to learn.

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

PS: Revisit and give a thorough examination of the McMartin case for another signifiant body of knowledge about the dangers of politically-motivated attacks on innocent adults and mob hysteria.

~ FT

FreeThinke said...

And Kurt, if you are going to keep making featured references to sexually-charged issues, as you frequently do -- some of them quite haughty and provocative in the recent past, -- it's unreasonable for you -- as a professed champion of free speech -- to put restrictions on the sort of response you are apt to get.

Sorry about all this, but over and over again I find the one thing people cannot -- and will not -- tolerate are honest statements of thought and feeling that question or attempt to challenge their long-held prejudices and assumptions.

I've always been right up front about not being the least bit interested in winning any popularity contests, so please don't ever claim I have misrepresented myself.

You have nothing to fear. I promise you I will never run for office.

Take care.

~ FT

Shaw Kenawe said...

FT: "I should have registered praise for Ms. Gibbons, but instead got sidetracked by Ms. Shaw's ever-so-successful attempt to divert attention away from Ms. Gibbon's triumph to the rage-inspiring topic of child rape."

FT: "Ms. Shaw's motive in exposing us to this outrage is so transparently political I allowed it to bring out an impish streak, I admit."


Of course. Your outrageous and idiotic comments on child rape victims are MY fault.

You had a choice, FT, and you chose to be a verbal bull in the china shop.

I praised both women for their courage in overcoming a terrible crime agains them. It was YOU who couldn't leave that alone, and it was YOU who now imputes political motives to me, and insanely, blames ME for YOUR bad behavior.

Cowardice in a nutshell.

Silverfiddle said...

FT: Martyrdom doesn't become you. You flatter yourself thinking you're the victim of mob psychology, and you display a dismissive tone to your interlocutors by accusing us of group-think.

And I don't put restrictions on what people can say here. You took this topic and put it on a really twisted tangent, and I didn't delete any of your comments.

Always On Watch said...

Shaw,
I overlooked that information about Kayla Harrison. Fatigue on my part, I guess.

Thank you for the clarification.

FreeThinke said...

AHEM! I am not the one who indulged in name-calling and personal insults.

I don't feel martyred in the least, because I DON'T CARE what people think of me.

If I did, I would play the game of being "diplomatic" -- or is that really "hypocritical?" -- say what I know others are longing to hear, and accept what is said at face value, affirm what others have said in the usual prosaic, insipid parrot fashion, and sedulously avoid drawing inferences that might challenge or disturb anyone's assumptions.

Ms Shaw, whom I have enjoyed encountering frequently in the past, accuses me of "bad behavior" and then accuses me of blaming "her" for it -- another typical liberal trick.

One thing Ducky has said recently with which I wholeheartedly agree is "Never let your enemies define you."

AMEN, Ducky! AMEN! Only these are not my enemies, they are merely annoyed with me and turned off. Maybe that will change, and maybe it won't. Either way it's not my responsibility.

FOR THE RECORD: I most emphatically do NOT plead guilty to "bad behavior," nor do I hold Ms. Shaw responsible for my attitudes.

I took the trouble to read every word in the link she provided, and allowed myself to give an honest, of-the-cuff reaction to it. People didn't like what I said, so I am now deemed guilty of "bad behavior."

NUTS!

What most, apparently, can't stand about "FreeThinke" is his unwillingness to play games -- just to go along to get along.

I'm not interested in assigning or accepting BLAME for anything.

Now, what about:

A. PISTORIUS -- the legless word class sprinting champion?

B. The Prime of Miss Jean Brody?

C. Sundays and Cybele?

D. Tiger Bay?

E. Sex Education by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

And we might as well broaden the topic a bit, and add "The Oxbow Incident," "Inherit the Wind," and Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," or even "Twelve Angry Men."

What else could we add to the list?

~ FeeThinke

jez said...

I'm not convinced that prosthetic limbs have a place in mainstream athletics. I watched Pistorius race at the weekend and was duly impressed, but you'll never have a level playing field with prosthetics, which will soon (if they can't already) confer an advantage over biological limbs. We are not far off the day when able-bodied people will voluntarily replace or surgically augment their original limbs with prosthetics.

Pistorius' participation was a bit odd. As a gesture, we loved it. But had he been seriously challenging for medals, I think it would have been a different story.

I'm very much looking forward to the paralympics.

"stop ... jumping to the most unflattering, brazenly condemnatory conclusions imaginable"

Actually Freethinke, I gave you considerable benefit of the doubt when I allowed that you may not have meant what you'd said. You're seeing persecution (and enmity) where there isn't any.
My tolerance for shocking remarks is very high, just so long as there is a satisfying intellectual or comic payoff. My advice is: save the Tourette's for when you have a point worthy of this amount of attention.

Silverfiddle said...

FT: When you day provocative things, don't be surprised when people become provoked.

This post is about none of the crap you list. I posted this to congratulate a woman on her courage.

FreeThinke said...

I refuse to be put in the defensive, Kurt, because I have neither said nor done anything other than register an unpopular opinion, but nothing that I listed or tried to get others to examine and discuss rationally could properly be called "crap."

We have a disagreement -- a difference of opinion. It may be a serious disagreement, but that's all it is.

Is it possible that all you really wanted in the way of response when you posted this item was variations on, "That Miss Gibbons is one helluva swell gal. I admire the heck out of her, and hope her would-be attacker winds up having his balls cut off and stuffed down his throat by Gloria Allred, personally, before he gets torn limb from limb by a justifiably enraged posse of righteous vigilantes."

And yes in that last paragraph I am being sarcastic.

~ FT

KP said...

Jez - you nailed it on Pistorius!

This subject is right up my alley and part of what I do professionally. Let me explain.

The media has allowed itself to be used as a PR campaign in favor of Pistorius competing and once again the uniformed jump on the bandwagon. Sounds like politics – that’s because it is. And sure enough there is money involved. The science against Pistorius competing is compelling.

The scientific comparison in the research by Herr et al is one of the best examples of this sham. Pistorius, a 400m sprinter, was compared to elite and sub-elite long distance runners.

They did have data on sprinters – and the data made Pistorius look physiologically and metabolically different (improved with the prothetics), and would thus have confirmed the IAAF finding to have him banned. And so they presented instead a comparison between Pistorius and distance runners. Of course, those data points are different than sprinters.

Those scientists who went to CAS on Pistorius' behalf also failed to disclose the finding of a mechanical advantage so large that the world's leading authority on sprinting concluded that it would provide a 12 second benefit over 400m!

Even if we took the science and came to a more conservative estimate that gives Pistorius a 5 to 6 second advantage over an able bodied athlete it should have been disclosed when making a decision.

But, when their science has been commissioned with the sole purpose of clearing his name, why would Pistorius' scientists do this?

Especially when one of them has had his designs commercialized by the same company that make Pistorius' controversial blades.

The science on this issue is, I believe, very clear. The disadvantages, which certainly exist, primarily in the first 30 m of the race, cannot possibly overcome even a cautious adjustment of the mechanical advantage, which would provide a 5 to 6 second advantage. Emotion, massive commercial backing and PR make science look frivolous, however.

This is PC crap and reverse discrimination at it's best. Consider this, Pistorius is an average sprinter but with the blases competes with Olympians. What if he were world class with blades?! He would winby 5-10 seconds.

FreeThinke said...

Jez,

I'm glad you addressed the fascinating, inspiring subject of Pistorius, of whom I've been aware for several years, and whom I consider -- along with Lance Armstrong -- to be a stunning, shining example of the ability the human spirit at its best can have to cope with adversity.

That both these men have received much adverse criticism and repeated attempts to denigrate, discredit, and otherwise claim they have been able to achieve what they have because they have in some way taken “unfair advantage” is an example of the petty, spiteful, envious, captious, uncharitable aspects of human nature at its worst.

As for the rest of your remarks, you are certainly entitled to your feelings, but the negative evaluations you express are your own and have no universal significance or weight of authority behind them, even though you phrase them as if they did.

Perhaps you don’t feel we are at enmity. If that’s true I’m glad. I’m not here to make enemies any more than I am to become popular, but the tone of the thread in general, and the vulgar, uncouth, unrestrained invective that has been hurled my way bear no resemblance to any of the friendly, freewheeling bull sessions I’ve enjoyed in years past, albeit in "real life."

It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable but apparently not when imaginary taboos are broken, and orthodox views or favored beliefs are questioned, challenged or lampooned.

The only thing that saddens me is to be made increasingly aware of the tremendous reservoir of ill will in the blogosphere.

I would say we’re all on edge because it’s an election year, but I find exactly the same problems in discussions of classical music videos over at YouTube.

Let's face it people are just plain weird.

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

Sorry, KP, I posted before I saw your views on Pistorius.

If the authorities are going to allow him to compete after all, I guess there's nothing left to do for would-be world-class sprinters but to have their legs amputated so that they too an enjoy the spectacular advantages of walking on prosthetic limbs.

Heck! I'm a piano player who has suffered tendon and nerve damage from over-practicing -- trying too hard to develop world-class virtuosity. It's a fairly common occupational hazard among serious piano players and concert violinists.

I wonder if prosthetic hands have progressed to the point where it would pay me to have my hands amputated so I could get back in the swim and revive my failed career?

Maybe the officials who run the big international piano competitions would claim prosthetic hands gave competitors an unfair advantage too.

Interesting thought!

~ FreeThinke

Stanley Kowalski said...

Women today are stupid because of the media. They've forgotten the need to navigate the minefield of male caddishness...

Silverfiddle said...

FT: Do you feel compelled to spice up every banal situation?

I'd hate to greet you on the street.

Instead of saying hello, perhaps you would try to sword fight me with an umbrella, shout at me in pig-latin or throw a rock through a window... Anything to avoid spouting such a banality as "hello" or "how are you today?"

KP said...

FT, you might try to see Pistorius's participation from the vanatage point of other athletes rather than an admirer. I admire him as a person. However, as an athlete and a coach and doctor to professional athletes who compete, he skews the set of rules sport is operated under:

1) Pistorius is an average sprinter with legs. With the blades he becomes early round Olympic caliber.

2) If Pistorius (or anyone else who follows him) has/had more genetic potential or athletic talent and uses the blades he becomes faster than able bodied athletes. IOW, what the governing bodies have done is set up confrontations down the road that will have to be overturned. They did this for reasons connected to PR, money and PCness. It is transparent. As transparent as us kicking the can down the street with debt sovereign issues.

3) The entire premise of the Olympic Games is based on the idea of a fair playing field. Literally millions of dollars and countless hours are spent on blood and urine tests and well as scientific study to weed out cheaters and those who would try and cheat by creating and using designer drugs. In the very near future (I am talking a few years now) the tests will be looking for genetic alterations. As long as the enormous amounts of money are at stake for athletes and the business ties, cheating will exist, just as it does on Wall Street. But that doesn't mean we should look the other way. Because somebody had it rough doesn't mean he gets to cheat other people. And that brings me to number three.

3) everytime an athlete cheats he or she pushes another deserving athlete who didn't cheat out of his rightful place in the competition. Pistorius didn't just show up. He showed up instead of another athlete hwo had worked his ass off for a decade to get to the Olympics. It is patently unfair.

KP said...

And on Armstrong -- who has been one of my favorite athletes for over a decade -- the fact that he had cancer does not mean that he can cheat. If he took EPO to boost red blood cells after he was healthy to gain unfair advantage over other athletes, and that can be proven, he will lose his seven Tour de France titles.

I understand the issues with your hands. I have two feet that have been surgically repaired and prevent me from running and I have difficulty walking barefoot. I have two herniated discs in my lumbar spine and one in my cervical spine. I have spinal cord stenosis at C5C6. It's called getting old. Not everybody has a right to compete in the Olympics. If they did I would be there!

Stanley Kowalski said...

Women today simply refuse to know their limits...

FreeThinke said...

"I'd hate to greet you on the street."

Oh no you wouldn't, Kurt! You know darned well you'd love me to death, and we'd get along famously.

You're just having an off day today. I've always thought you the genial master of tolerance and and ardent champion of free speech.

What happened to your libertarianism? It seems a little frayed around the edges today. I've rarely seen you so petulant.

Take care. Maybe we all need a little vacation from blogging? It does eat up far too much time, and it AIN'T all THAT interesting, so I wonder why the drive to keep on posting remains so strong? OCD?

Be of good cheer! "Eleven o'clock's bound to come," as they say in the theater. In other words, "This too shall pass."

~ FT

FreeThinke said...

Well, thank you, KP.

A minor miracle has just occurred:

Your sober, knowledgeable, thoughtful, polite statements have caused me to rethink my position on Pistorius.

If is possible he has had some devious "agenda" in his efforts to be permitted to compete. On the surface you have to admit the idea of a legless sprinter having an "unfair advantage" really does seem outrageous and absurd -- as well as unkind -- but now I wonder.

Nevertheless, people of the caliber of Pistorius and Armstrong should be VENERATED as Beacons of Hope for the Disabled, not DENIGRATED and treated lie "CHEATS."

In the frankly brutal world of international piano competitions, "artistry" -- which is really the most significant aspect of piano performance -- often gets kicked out the window in favor who who can play the most difficult pieces fastest, clearest and most accurately under pressure. This unfortunate "ethos" turns the competition turns into a veritable "horse race" where speed and endurance become ALL that matter.

This does a great disservice to musical art, but it has become the established norm. As a result several generations now have lost touch with the beauty, charm and character of great music. It's no wonder interest in the field is waning precipitously.

Our capacity for distortion and corruption in the vain pursuit of wanting to be seen as Top Dog knows no bounds, and it's slowly-but-surely destroying us -- or perhaps just TRANSFORMING us into something I, as an Old Timer just don't ant to be associated with.

I'm so sorry you've had so much trouble with your body. From the look of you, one would think you were in much better shape than 90% of those half your age and even younger.

I'm sort of like Winston Churchill. I don't live right, and I don't look very prepossessing, but there's nothing really wrong with me, and I have a sneaking suspicion I may live well into my eighties and possibly beyond.

In the end I think genetics make the ultimate decision in these matters. Both of my grandpas lived to be ninety, yet neither of my parents reached age seventy. Go figger!

Someday, you must explain how you stay in such great looking shape with those factors militating against you.

Thanks again for the substantive analysis. I amy have actually learned something -- rare at my time of life, Alas! ;-s

~ FreeThinke

Leticia said...

If there is one thing most women and I am sure she is one of them, is to ALWAYS be alert in your surroundings.

What a courageous woman! I hope someone catches that piece of crap that tried to attack her.

Kid said...

@AOW.
--------------------------------------
Kid,
I believe being raped when your 12 WILL stay with you a lifetime.

On the other side of the issue, I consider such a crime against a child as much more serious than Any crime against an adult.


I couldn't agree more.

I've known girls who were raped -- by my definition above. And they NEVER really got over it.
-------------------------------------

Thanks AOW. Yes, consider:
- that children under 18 are not even Allowed to carry a weapon and defend themselves.
-young girls might just want to get married as a virgin someday, let alone have had a life like the Vast Majority of civilized young women.
-because they are not allowed to defend themselves and are ill-equipped to do so manually, it is up to society to put that much more focus on defending them.
-asshole opinions like FT's perpetuate child crime and it has been increasing exponentially over the last few decades. There are more factors than this, but people who are willing to say no big deal about child crime share the blame at least at 50%.
-Given the above, I consider any gross imposition crime against a child, especially a female as actually More of a crime than those currently calling for the death penalty.

Silverfiddle said...

FT: Thank you for the well-wishes, but rest assured I'm not frayed, nor feeling petulant.

You're the one who embarked on a weird, twisted tangent. Pardon our surprise.

As I said before, I understand you pathological need to court controversy, and as Jez pointed out, it can be entertaining if there is a payoff at the end, but stirring pots just for the hell of it becomes tiring, especially when it detracts from the topic.

FreeThinke said...

I'm sorry you think that, Silver. I've always thought you capable of much more. What you have just said about me borders on libel. It's not true, and I don't appreciate it.

I am publishing SEX EDUCATION by Dorothy Canfield Fisher. It will appear tomorrow at 5:00 AM at FreeThinke's Blog.


http://freethinkesblog.blogspot.com/?zx=da63e836789862c5


I you to take the time to read it. Dorothy Canfield Fisher was a fine writer who made for herself an impeccable reputation. She says in her story what I have been driving at with simplicity and great beauty. It's a very touching story -- and one that speaks to the diseased attitudes of our age with uncommon eloquence.

The only pathology here is the bloodthirstiness, dirty-mindedness and the apparent inability or unwillingness to draw inferences and make connections that enable us to expand on a basic theme and explore what it might imply with any degree of depth.

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...
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FreeThinke said...
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FreeThinke said...
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KP said...

FT: << If is possible he has had some devious "agenda" in his efforts to be permitted to compete. >>

No devious agenda from Pistorius. He just wants to compete in the Olympics. It is those around him who have the devious agenda or PC overkill.

<< In the frankly brutal world of international piano competitions, "artistry" -- which is really the most significant aspect of piano performance -- often gets kicked out the window in favor who who can play the most difficult pieces fastest, clearest and most accurately under pressure. This unfortunate "ethos" turns the competition turns into a veritable "horse race" where speed and endurance become ALL that matter. This does a great disservice to musical art, but it has become the established norm. >>

Yes, I completely agree.

<< I'm so sorry you've had so much trouble with your body. From the look of you, one would think you were in much better shape than 90% of those half your age and even younger.>>

Thanks. I am still probably more fit than 99.9% of people. It’s just hurts to maintain at inconvenient times.

Pain is a funny thing. If we have control over it and can stop it anytime we want we seem to be able to withstand large doses; more easily than if we do not have control and someone else is inflicting it. I think the fear in the second case accounts for that.

Osteoarthritis of the spine can be familial. Both my parents had/have spinal degenerative joint disease (wear and tear). As well, trauma will speed an otherwise healthy spine toward arthritis. I have a history of both.

<< Someday, you must explain how you stay in such great looking shape with those factors militating against you. >>

Sure, I eat like my life depends on it because it does. I source calories from colorful fruits and veggies, lean protein and good fats (seeds, nuts, avocados, etc).

I eat no processed foods. No boxes or wrappers. If it grows out of the ground or has a face I can eat it. As well, I ride my bike, swim and lift weights every day.

And, I chose my parents carefully! Genetics plays a role. We can narrow the gap on genetics with the steps listed above but they help.

Finally, it is well documented that we all have longevity genes in our bodies. We can stimulate them with Vit D3, sunshine, CoQ10, reversitol, diet and exercise.

<< Thanks again for the substantive analysis. I amy have actually learned something -- rare at my time of life >>

Happy to be of service!

You may find interesting this related article I had published last year:

http://www.endurancecorner.com/Kevin_Purcell/health_exercise

KP said...

My parent choices were not perfect. Dad died at age 49 of a heart attack and my mom had lumbar laminectomy, discectomy and fusion at L5L5 at age thirty. At 57 I am doing better than either of them.

FreeThinke said...

KP, are you by any chance related to the great seventeenth-century English composer Henry Purcell (1659-1695)?

It’s not that common a name, so naturally, I wonder.

I'll read your article with interest, although I'm afraid with my Winston Churchill Syndrome and advanced age I am so far gone as to be a hopeless case. Besides, I am still fit enough to do the things I really want to do at this stage of the game.

BUT, I congratulate you on doing such a great job with your own challenges.

IF you think you are "getting old" at 57, wait till you hit 70! But, you'll probably be one of those rare guys who still attracts groupies at age 80. ;-)

Thanks again for all the solid information.

~ FreeThinke

KP said...

@FT << are you by any chance related to the great seventeenth-century English composer Henry Purcell (1659-1695)? >>

I don't think so. My garndfather was from Waterford and my gramother from County Cork. They both came to America by boat in the early 1920s through Ellis Island and met once here. My grams left ten brothers and sisters at the age of about twenty and never saw any of them again. An amazing time in history.

jez said...

If athletes such as Pistorius create a market for better prosthetics, attracting research effort and investment, then brilliant! This would arguably be one of the greatest successes the Olympics could deliver.

I really hope the Paralympics are a success, where we can see more innovative prosthetics and wheelchairs helping incredible athletes do incredible things.

jez said...

"I find exactly the same problems in discussions of classical music videos over at YouTube."

Wooah there! It might get fraught here from time to time, but it's never descended to anywhere near the depths of a typical youtube thread. Youtube is special.

see http://xkcd.com/202/
and http://xkcd.com/481/

Always On Watch said...

KP,
Perhaps you have some advice for me....

I have "sacroiliac dysfunction." Sometimes the neurologist also calls my trouble "sciatica syndrome."

The above came from damage in a car accident. The peroneal nerve was affected as well as the sacroiliac ligament damaged, then shredded over time. I've had prolotherapy and got 80% relief from pain and leg numbness. I take 40 mg of Neurontin a day.

I've heard a lot about Udo's Oil. Do you know anything about that? I've taken all the dietary steps you've mentioned -- long ago, in fact.

If you'd rather converse via email, my email is toward the top of my sidebar at Always On Watch.

Silverfiddle said...

Jez: So true!

It's outrageous. The worst shitfest I got into was over an Israeli TV parody of Jesus Christ.

The neo-nazis were running rampant and I really got into it with them. None of them were very smart, so it got boring in a hurry.

A few threatened to throw me and my family in an over (or gas chamber, can't remember) so I invited them to come and try it, I need the live target practice.

FreeThinke said...

"If athletes such as Pistorius create a market for better prosthetics, attracting research effort and investment, then brilliant! This would arguably be one of the greatest successes the Olympics could deliver."

At last you have said something on which we may wholeheartedly agree. BRAVO!

Some might want take exception to the idea that there should be any "purpose" to the Olympics other than that of giving la creme de la creme in the world of athletics a showcase and an arena in which to disport their abilities, but I, personally, much prefer it if a noble purpose is served whenever possible as a by-product in all areas of human endeavor.

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

AOW, KP's email i readily available if you just click on his icon. He ain't hidin' from NO ONE no way, no how, no time.

KP seems to be that great rarity -- a man who operates entirely on principle.

I have a feeling he'd be glad to do what he could to help you.

~ FT

KP said...

AOW, I just saw your note above. I am stepping out but would be happy to share ideas later in the day br e-mail or phone or both.

jez, two years ago I was working with a 26 year old man who is a triple amputee and raced the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run). He had one arm to the elbow and his legs were missing below the knee similar to Pistorius.

My job, aster discussing strategy and fueling was to carry him from ther water up some stairs, through a shower to remove salt water and then get him to his prothetics. Each prosthitc blade was fixed with cleats so he could clip into a normal race/time trial bike just like the ones everyone else used.

His prothetics were revoluntionary. They were computer automated so that the pressure around the knee was constantly altered to keep them in place and as comfortable as possible. Remember, he biked with one arm in the wild winds of the Kona Gold Coast and over 4500 feet of elevation gain and those prothetics for 112 miles, got off and ran 26.2 miles over 13 hours. All done in heat over 90 degrees and humidity that has put me under tremendous strain in years past when I raced. Pistorius ran for about 45 seconds :-)

Raj was competing in the Challenged Athletes Division. The two years before that year the athletes I worked with were blind!

So there are lots of opportunities for paraolympics and challenged athlete divisions as well as aged group divisions for older masters athletes. Pistorius' story, while cool, is relatively 'normal' relative to some of these guys accomplishments. They each made me misty eyed as part of their team. Very humbling.

KP said...

If any of you know people who would be interested with help in getting cutting edge prothetics, chairs, cycles or anything else that would support their athletic pursuits, please direct them to the Challenged Athletes Foundation here is San Diego; or donate time or finacial support:

http://www.challengedathletes.org/site/c.4nJHJQPqEiKUE/b.6449023/k.BD6D/Home.htm

jez said...

KP: awesome. :)

All triathletes are nuts, but ironman entrants are off the chart!!

KP said...

After doing twenty of them I can say I resemble that remark :-)

Always On Watch said...

KP,
Acknowledged. Please check your email at your convenience.

Thank you.

KP said...

Thanks.