Boy Scouts of America files for bankruptcy protection over sex abuse lawsuits

Facing "mounting legal costs" over lawsuits filed by victims of sexual abuse, the Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy protection. NBC News reports that the move pushes the lawsuits to federal bankruptcy court, and that the organization intends to establish a trust to compensate victims.

Michael Pfau, whose Seattle-based law firm, Pfau, Cochran, Veretis and Amala, represents close to 300 people who say they were abused as Scouts in 30-plus states, called the filing historic.

"It will be far larger in terms of the numbers of victims and far more complicated than any of the bankruptcies we've seen so far involving the Catholic Church," Pfau said. Those bankruptcies involved individual dioceses or archdioceses, Pfau said, while "this involves victims from all 50 states and several U.S. territories ... You're looking at thousands of abuse survivors making claims ...This is much bigger than the bankruptcy filings involving the Catholic Church."

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Bill Cosby's new prison digs are known for racism, violence and systematic abuse

Bill Cosby has justly been whisked away to prison for the next three to ten years. Cosby--let's just go ahead and assume his prison name will be Puddin'--is being shipped off to the Phoenix State Correctional Institution (SCI Phoenix) to serve his time. It's not a nice place: according to The Root, the clink where Puddin' will be spending his twilight years is rife with racism. Racial slurs, religious discrimination and other demeaning personal attacks are purportedly inflicted upon the prison's population by the facility's staff on a routine basis. Mind you, the staff aren't one hell of a lot safer. It's a high caliber shitshow.

From The Inquirer:

In letters and phone calls to family and reporters, and in official grievances, they've reported a raft of complaints about the conditions in the new prison and, especially, about loss, vandalism, or destruction of their personal property during the move. Several described racial slurs and graphic imagery drawn on photographs of their loved ones — acts the inmates describe as "hate crimes."

One man, Malik Gilmore, provided copies of photographs he said were defaced by the DOC's specially trained Corrections Emergency Response Team, which managed the move: one with a swastika inked on his brother's forehead, another with a penis drawn over his son's mouth. Another, Eugene Myrick, found "squeeze cheese" poured into a box containing the legal documents for his case, which is active in Philadelphia courts. And Carmen Calvanese said that during the move, he had inconsistent access to the insulin needed to regulate his Type 1 diabetes, and that he ended up in a hospital intensive-care unit as a result.

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Amazon not releasing new Woody Allen movie as planned

“Oh no! For the first time since 1981 there will be no Woody Allen this year,” lulzed Joe Berkowitz, speaking for me also, and everyone who's grossed out by Woody Allen.

“NOW how will we get our required annual dosage of shrewish women complicating a nervous man's life?” Read the rest

Penn State trustee "running out of sympathy" for "so-called" victims raped by the college's coach

Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of multiple counts of raping the children in his care. He's spending the rest of his life in jail. It was covered up for decades by his disgraced boss Joe Paterno, who croaked before he could get nailed in court. The college's president, Graham Spanier, was himself convicted last week for child endangerment. But now all that's dealt with, a Penn State trustee has harsh words for their victims.

Penn State trustee Albert L. Lord said he is “running out of sympathy” for the “so-called” victims of former Nittany Lions assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, according to an email sent to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

"Running out of sympathy for 35 yr old, so-called victims with 7 digit net worth," Lord said in the email sent Saturday. "Do not understand why they were so prominent in trial. As you learned, Graham Spanier never knew Sandusky abused anyone."

Last September, the college "honored" Paterno at a game.

The fuck-you attitude Penn State brass has towards the victims is breathtaking. They've had to pay out $93m, but I guess that's pocket change to a college with a $4bn endowment.

Penn State trustee says he is 'running out of sympathy' for 'so-called' victims Read the rest

An "extremely rare anti-masturbation device"

I'm sure this didn't cause any psychological issues in the Catholic boys forced to wear this.

The rare 19th century item is made of copper and was designed to be worn by boys so they could not commit the 'sin'. Attached to a belt it would have encased the genitalia. The bizarre antique dates back to around 1880 and was used in Catholic France. It is being offered for sale on auction website eBay with a starting price of £750.

Seller David Burns, of Curious Science, says that during a quarter of a century dealing in medical curiosities he has never had one for sale... "This is the first example we have offered for sale in 24 years. The condition is excellent. Three and half inches top to base."

An "extremely rare anti-masturbation device"

Previously: Antique anti-masturbation device Read the rest

Project Unbreakable

Grace Brown created "Project Unbreakable" in October, 2011, and the tumblog appears to really be gathering momentum. The idea: "Use photography to help heal those who were sexually abused by asking them to write a quote from their attacker on a poster and photographing them holding the poster."

So many stories from so many different people. Men, too, not only women. I was so moved by this post, which includes both a photograph and an audio narrative by an elderly woman who was sexually abused as a 12-year-old girl during World War II in Germany. Do listen to her story.

"You can never forget it. It is in your brain, marked like a stamp," she says. "I still suffer from it."

(via Jay Rosen) Read the rest

Joe Paterno, not getting it.

"The kids that were victims or whatever they want to say, I think we all ought to say a prayer for them."—Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, on the child sex abuse scandal in which he is looking more and more like a knowing enabler for a child rapist. His former colleague Jerry Sandusky is charged with 40 sex crimes against boys, from 1994 to 2005. Paterno has not been charged with any crime. But he's out. (via Joel Johnson) Read the rest