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238th Birthday Message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps
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Blog, Commentary and Articles - Foreign Policy, Military and War
Written by James F. Amos   
Sunday, 10 November 2013

 238th Birthday Message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps

November 10, 2013


For 238 years, The United States Marine Corps has proudly served our great Nation with unfailing valor – bolstered by the enduring fortitude of our fellow Marines, our families, and our friends. This is why each year on November 10th, Marines from all generations gather together, in groups large and small, to celebrate the birthday of our Corps and to reflect on the proud legacy and warrior ethos we share. This is what unites us as Marines. From our first battle at New Providence to today in Afghanistan, Marines have always shown that they were made of tougher stuff – that when the enemy’s fire poured in from all angles, and the situation was grim, Marines unequivocally knew that their fellow Marines would stay behind their guns, fight courageously, and drive the enemy from the battlefield. We have always known hardship, fatigue, and pain…but we have never known what it is to lose a battle!


Marine of generations past built our reputation as the most disciplined and honorable warriors to ever set foot on a battlefield, and we have triumphed in every battle because our Corps has always focused on iron discipline and combat excellence. This is who we are…this is what we do! It matters not whether you carried an M-1, and M-14, or an M-16. It matters not whether you fought on a lonely island in the Pacific, assaulted a citadel in the jungle, or marched up to Baghdad. It matters not whether you are a grunt, a pilot or a loggie. What matters most is that, when the chips were down and things got tough, your fellow Marines could count on you to stand and fight…and fight we did!


This year, we celebrate the anniversary of several epic battles in our celebrated history: the 70th anniversary fo the 2nd Marine Division landing on Tarawa, the 45th anniversary of the Battle of Hue City, and the 10th anniversary of the “March Up” to Baghdad. Marines who fought in these legendary battles each made their mark upon the history of our Corps. They have passed a rich and illustrious legacy on to us – a much heralded reputation. It is ours to jealously guard, and it is up to us to make our own marks and thus proudly pass it on to the generations of Marines who will follow.

Sergeant Major Michael Barrett joins me in congratulating each of you. Because of you, your selfless service, and your many sacrifices, our Corps remains strong and ready to respond to any crisis. Throughout history, Marines have faced tough times and there will be tough times ahead, but there is no challenge we cannot overcome if we remain honorable and always faithful to our Nation, our Constitution and each other. Happy Birthday, Marines!


Semper Fidelis


James F. Amos

General, U.S. Marine Corps

Commandant of the Marine Corps

Donít Blame the Victim
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About Me/Website - Press and Government Mentions
Written by Amanda Nist   
Friday, 01 November 2013

Don't Blame the Victim

by Amanda Nist

Granite Bay Today

November 1, 2013


Opinion Piece

Sometimes, it’s just easier to blame the victim.

People can’t admit to themselves that a friend, a family member, or someone they admire could rape someone, so they take the easy route and say it’s the victim who caused it. People say they’re lying, or they were “asking” for it.  Ultimately, they’re putting the blame on the person who was traumatized, and telling them it was their fault for being attacked.

How can you hold someone accountable for something that was forced upon them?

Daisy Coleman was 14 and living in Marysville, Missouri. Audrie Pott was 15 and living in Saratoga, California. Rehtaeh Parsons was 15 and living in Dartmouth, Canada. Cherice Moralez was 14 and living in Billings, Montana. James Landrith was 19 and living in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Lizzie Seeburg was 19 and living in Notre Dame, Indiana.

What do these people have in common? They are all victims of rape who have been blamed for their actions.

In Pott, Parsons, Moralez, and Seeburg’s cases, they were bullied to the point where they felt they could no longer be in this world, and all four committed suicide. They were told they asked for their rape and they should be blaming themselves. Moralez’s attacker only suffered 30 days in jail, because the court ruled that she was over developed and looked over 14, so she had put herself into the situation.

So, because the judge thought that she looked older than 14, he ruled that it was okay for her teacher to rape her, and gave him the minimum sentence. How can this girl have been told it was her fault for getting raped because she went through puberty before the rest of her classmates?

This is the problem with people today. Victims of sexual assault are told that what they’re going through is not a big deal and they should consider their role in the attack that happened to them.

I once heard my brother tell his friend “I’m going to rape you,” while he was just implying he was going defeat him in a video game. I’ve also heard sports players at this school say “we’re going to get raped” while talking about being beat in an upcoming game.

So, if we associate being “raped” with being defeated or being destroyed, how can we blame the victim? That’s like telling someone who got hit by a car, while walking on the sidewalk, that it was their fault for getting hit because they were walking on the sidewalk. It doesn’t make any sense.

It’s not just individual people that need to take this more seriously either, groups and organizations need to as well. Recently, reports have come out stating that USC failed to report at least 11 sexual assault cases because they did not want to hurt their image, so they blew it off saying they’d tell the rapists to “knock it off.” And if this is just at USC, can you imagine all of the unreported cases throughout the whole country? That could be hundreds of people, male and female, not getting the attention and help they deserve because people don’t care enough to report it.

A recent study done by the CDC (Center of Disease Control) reports that only 5% of college rapes are reported and only 10% of those rapes result in the rapist going to prison. This means barely anyone who is raped gets justice for what’s been done to them.

Also, according to One in Four USA, a non profit organization dedicated to preventing rape, of just the rapes reported to the police, which is 1/3 or less to begin with, only 16% result in prison sentences. Therefore, approximately 5% of the time, a man who rapes ends up in prison, and 95% of the time he does not.

I want people to be able to report their assault and get justice for it. Boys and girls shouldn’t have to live in fear of being bullied or accused of lying if they want their attacker to be rightfully sentenced. And above all, rapists shouldn’t get the satisfaction of thinking they can do whatever they want and get away with it. They need to be told that they are at fault and it’s not okay to think they can force sex upon someone.

As a society, we need to know right from wrong, and we need to take the issue of rape more seriously. However, most importantly, we need to stop blaming the victim of rape. It is not their fault they got attacked, they did not want it to be brought upon them, and they most certainly did not ask for it.

Ultimately, stop taking the easy route in blaming the victim, and open your mind to the possibility that maybe a friend, a family member, or someone you look up to, did do something wrong.


For Listeners of The Tom Leykis Show
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Blog, Commentary and Articles - Rape, Sexual Assault and Abuse
Written by James Landrith   
Monday, 21 October 2013

As promised today on The Tom Leykis Show, links for anyone searching for help for a male survivor of sexual violence are listed below:


Men Recovering from Military Sexual Trauma - Men Recovering from Military Sexual Trauma seeks to empower male survivors and their allies and raise awareness of male survivors of sexual crimes in the military.


Male Survivor - Committed to preventing, healing, and eliminating all forms of sexual victimization of boys and men through support, treatment, research, education, advocacy, and activism.


1 in 6 - 1in6 helps men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives.


Survivors Manchester - A survivor-led/survivor-run voluntary organisation that aims to create and facilitate a safe space for male survivors of sexual abuse and rape to work through personal and sometimes painful issues.


ManKind Initiative - A national charity that provides help and support for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence.


Mankind UK - Since 2000, we have been delivering specialist support services to men (18+) who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and/or adult sexual assault at any time in their lives.


MatrixMen - Run By Survivors for Survivors, Raising awareness about the effects of sexual abuse and sexual assault on a man's life, and helping men heal.


South African Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse (SAMSOSA) - An organization has emerged to provide a support structure for non-offending male survivors of sexual abuse and rape.


After Silence - An online support group for survivors of sexual violence


Pandora's Aquarium - A message board and discussion forum for survivors of sexual violence, operated by Pandora's Project.


RAINN (Rape Abuse & Incest National Network) - Male sexual assault information.


Last Updated ( Monday, 21 October 2013 )
Donít Look for Grown-Ups in Government
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Blog, Commentary and Articles - Politics
Written by Sheldon Richman   
Wednesday, 16 October 2013
Don’t Look for Grown-Ups in Government
by Sheldon Richman
With the government partially closed for over two weeks now and the debt-ceiling deadline upon us, the pundits are demanding that the “grown-ups in the room” finally put a stop to the childish goings-on in Washington.
That would be nice — except there are no grown-ups in the room. If you seek evidence, just look around. Politicians, from President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Speaker John Boehner on down, operate at a level of irresponsibility that we don’t tolerate in children. It’s the nature of government.
Let’s start with the money politicians spend: Like children, they don’t have to earn it. It comes to them without effort. But unlike children, they have others take it by force through taxation. If you don’t believe me, tell the IRS “no thank you” the next time it calls for donations.
If they aren’t satisfied with the proceeds from taxation, politicians have unlimited power to borrow money, which makes government look less expensive than it is while sending the bill to future generations. Politicians make a show of imposing a limit on borrowing, but they can raise the limit at will, threatening dire consequences if they don’t.
Behold the gross irresponsibility. The money keeps flowing to the politicians no matter what they do or how big and costly their blunders. Even if people knew how badly the political class screwed up, they couldn’t cut them off without risking lives of misery and perhaps prison at the hands of the government’s armed henchmen.
But it’s even worse, because people untrained in the economic way of thinking will have difficulty tracing bad consequences to the politicians’ bad decisions. If you’re an unemployed unskilled worker, you may not realize that politicians who passed the minimum wage are responsible for pricing you out of a job. Similarly, if you’d like to escape wage employment and work for yourself, you might not realize that politicians have placed a dozen tollgates on the road to self-employment as a favor to special interests.
Tracing economic effects to their public-policy causes is no easy matter. It requires economic understanding, which most people lack. Politicians take advantage of this, such as when they blame rising consumer prices on greed rather than on their central bank’s inflationary policies. They have a thousand ways to cover their tracks.
Again, behold the irresponsibility this engenders. If you knew you had a guaranteed flow of income no matter what you did, you might conduct yourself very differently from how you conduct yourself now. As Lord Acton famously said, power tends to corrupt. It also attracts the corrupt.
Politicians also fail to operate at a responsible adult level to the extent they believe society can be molded according to their whims. Societies aren’t made of clay. They are complex networks of interaction among individuals using their particular knowledge in pursuit of their personal goals. Social engineering is people manipulation backed by force, which requires a level of hubris that no mature person would possess. Yet politicians engage in it every day, free of responsibility for the consequences that come from disrupting people’s lives.
Some readers will want to contest my claim that politicians are essentially unaccountable. Don’t they face the voters regularly, and doesn’t that keep them on the straight and narrow? To see the answer, we must get beyond naïve civics-book analysis.
We’ve already seen how the obscure path from political cause to economic effect helps to shield politicians from accountability. But that isn’t all. Even though politicians’ decisions can cost people their jobs, their freedom, and, in the aggregate, billions of dollars — think of the housing and financial debacle, which resulted from bad political decisions — what’s the worst that can happen to the officeholders responsible for a disaster? At most they might lose the next election. Oh the horror! On the other hand, incumbents have great advantages in elections and don’t often lose. Can you sue politicians for damages? Can you prosecute them for theft? Of course not. So where is the real accountability? There is none.
The upshot is that politicians are more irresponsible than children — children don't have credit cards. So if you’re looking for grown-ups, look anywhere but government.
Sheldon Richman  is vice president and editor at The Future of Freedom Foundation in Fairfax, Va. (
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 16 October 2013 )
Real men donít cry: Mixed messages and myths about male sexual assault
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About Me/Website - Press and Government Mentions
Written by Lakeidra Chavis   
Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Real men don’t cry: Mixed messages and myths about male sexual assault

Published in the University of Alaska-Fairbanks The Sun Star:

Lakeidra Chavis/Sun Star Editor-in-Chief

Oct. 15, 2013

When I was in seventh grade, we discussed sexual assault in class and my teacher gave statistics of sexual assault prevalence by gender. My male friend laughed and told me that they included the statistics about men to make women feel better.

His assertion clearly outlines a common held assumption that the majority of our culture accepts and sometimes blindly perpetuates: only women can be victims.

Ten percent of sexual assault victims are male, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

One in 71 men are victims of sexual assault in the United States, according to a 2010 Center for Disease Control’s Division of Violence national study on American adults.

Male victims are less likely to report the crime, especially when it is female-on-male rape, according to the CDC.

The U.S. Department of Justice defines sexual assault as “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.”

In 1990, 19-year-old James Landrith was raped by a pregnant woman after driving her home and getting a hotel room, according to a CNN article published last Thursday.

Landrith was intoxicated and never consent.

Since his assault almost two decades ago, Landrith has spoken about crimes committed by women against men.

“I want people to understand that it’s not about how physically strong you are,” Landrith told CNN. “We [men] are conditioned to believe that we cannot be victimized in such a way.”

Landrith is right. We currently live in a culture in which discussions about gender ethnic violence issues, are automatically assumed to be female, minority violence issue. This completely excludes men from the discussion. If our current cultural model only presents men as perpetrators and women as victims, who benefits?

It wasn’t until last year that the FBI changed the definition of rape to include all genders. The past definition, which hadn’t been updated since 1927, defined sexual assault as,”the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will.”

The psychological and physical effects sexual assault can have on victims is tremendous, and they can last for decades.

Victims who experience sexual trauma can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, depression and other serious disorders.

There are a lot of places in Fairbanks that help victims regardless of gender.

The Student Health and Counseling Center offers six free counseling sessions each academic year for students are taking at least six credits. The Women’s Center offers support to all victims by providing pamphlets and information about reporting the crime.

If a victim decides to report the crime to the police, the University Police Department, located right next to the counseling center, is available and trained to handle the crimes. The Interior Alaska Center for Non-Violent Living is also available, providing a safe space for victims.

Sexual assault isn’t a women’s issue or a men’s issue. It’s a cultural issue that can only be fixed if we take collective efforts to end it.

It doesn’t matter what the victim is wearing, who they were with, who they’ve been with, where they were or what they drank.

It is never the victim’s fault.


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 16 October 2013 )
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