Rampant Child Sex Abuse In The United States: We Have A Problem

When a mother can't take her 2 year old child to the playground without somebody grabbing her off a swing and trying to sodomize her, we have a problem.

When these 2 cases are only a microscopic drop in the bucket, part of a seemingly nonstop flood of child sex assault and pornography, we have a problem!

As Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Chair, House Judiciary Committee, stated this week:
"Much progress has been made over the past few decades in preventing, investigating, and prosecuting child exploitation crimes. But there is still work to be done. The Bureau of Justice Statistics once reported that 67 percent of all victims of sexual assault reported to law enforcement agencies were juveniles (under the age of 18); 34 percent of all victims were under age 12. These statistics are unacceptable and are especially frightening in light of the fact that most child sexual abuse goes unreported. It is for this reason we must remain vigilant in protecting the most vulnerable and innocent victims of crime, our children. As a father and grandfather, I can think of no more important role for law enforcement."
Child sexual abuse is a horrific crime. As U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy said at a House Judiciary Hearing this week:
 "We are united by the inability to get the images out of our heads." 
His voice broke as he said it. And if you watch an earlier clip of Ashton Kutcher testifying before Congress about his efforts to fight child sex trafficking, you will see the same thing.

Why do grown adults cry when they discuss this subject?

Perhaps it is because knowing what we know, seeing what we've seen, we have lost some irrevocable part of our innocence.

And if we, who are adults, break down in tears, what must be happening to the children who daily get victimized?

Please join us in asking law enforcement to act. We need investigations into this immediate, urgent and nonpartisan public safety threat.  And where there is evidence, arrests must occur.

We pray that today's march to the White House is peaceful. Next week (3/25) we gather in Lafayette Park, 11 am.


All opinions my own.

Use a RACI Chart to Normalize Communication Management

They say that every organization has to deal with people, processes and technology in order to get its work done.

I find that getting people to agree on a single course of action is frequently very hard.

It is easier to make changes when you're "forced to" by the introduction of a new technology.

The problem with that is, it's a drastic solution and people adopt systems at widely varying rates of both interest and proficiency.

If they can't or won't understand the system, they will work around it, or find another one altogether.

Process changes are a potential middle ground. People may tend to disagree ideologically, but they generally have a rational attitude when it comes to being more efficient.

For that reason a proven and useful project management tool called the RACI chart is helpful when it comes to managing communication.

Here's how it works:

1. Develop a list of major activities associated with communication. Typically these include, at a minimum, planning, writing/designing, and distributing to specific audiences.

2. Develop a list of people or groups (functions) that touch communication in some way. Again typically these will include senior leadership, subject matter experts, and a dedicated communication staff.

3. Come to a consensus about who should do what, as follows:

- Responsible: The group or groups that actually do the work.

- Accountable: The single person or group that can get in trouble if it's done wrong.

- Consulted: The people or groups whose input you need before acting.

- Informed: The people or groups who need to know what's going on.

Then you make a spreadsheet.

- Column A has the activities.

- Columns B through, let's say F, have the functions as headers.

- The cell under each column gets filled in with the role (remember you can only use "A" once per activity, and a function can be both responsible and accountable).

You can find plenty of examples by searching for "RACI Chart" images online.

From real world experience, I can report that RACI charts are great. They are simple but powerful ways of making sure that everybody has a seat at the table, without having the entire room sink under their weight.

Unlike complicated, heavy-handed technologies, process tools are a very human-oriented focus for change, risk mitigation, and continuous quality improvement.

Adopted by guided consensus, the RACI chart circumvents impossible dysfunction, and in doing so helps you to get stuff done.

All opinions my own.

"Hacksaw Ridge" and What Does God Want From Me?

"Please, Lord, help me get one more!" 
- Seventh-day Adventist conscientious objector Desmond T. Doss, U.S. army medic during World War II, as portrayed in the film "Hacksaw Ridge"
I intensely dislike war movies and hate the sight of blood. The movie Hacksaw Ridge has both, it's pretty disgusting from a things-you-don't-want-to-see point of view, but I hope that you will take the time to get it from video on demand.

The trailer tells the story, and since it was broadcast frequently at the time of the movie's release, you probably have seen it. A World War II conscientious objector is ridiculed, beat, tried and all-around tormented because he refuses to pick up a gun and kill. 

They call him a coward.

But over the course of the movie, Desmond Doss shows that he is braver than anybody out there.

In a world of men taking lives, Doss chooses to save lives.

There is a moment in the movie when he looks up at God. "What is it that You want from me? What do you want?"

We watch him searching for the answer in his mind. 

And we see his face register understanding, too. Something "clicks."

Against completely impossible odds, Doss spends the rest of his life doing the equivalent of lifting a car by one hand.

By the end of it, his commander tells him, "I know your Sabbath is tomorrow, but the men need you to go up there (and fight the last battle) with them."

Doss looks at his boss as if to say, I don't understand.

The boss says, "They understand God differently from you, but they want a piece of your faith."

And when it seems that Doss is about to breathe his dying breath, all he can say is "My Bible." The men run to get it for him.

What does God want from me? From you? From all of us?

Why should God want, or need, anything? He is God!

The answer is beyond our limited human comprehension.

But in my soul I believe, we are all in the end just a tiny piece of the light.

It torments God, so to speak, to see that the world He created has suffering.

He wants nothing more than to redeem us, and to turn it all for the good.

The way we get there is like the theme of the Wizard of Oz: Home was always there, but you told yourself you were lost. If you would have clicked your heels three times and said, I want to go home, the whole ordeal would have been over.

As a friend of mine said in synagogue, "The angels are singing 24/7. But you don't listen!"

God is asking us to listen to him, and then He, in turn, will take us the rest of the way.

An interesting movie note: Hacksaw Ridge was directed by Mel Gibson, who also directed Braveheart. Both tell the story of a single man who made a difference in the course of history; one by saving lives in war, the other by taking them.

One thing is absolutely certain. God manifested each of us for a different purpose.

That's why it's not good to promote conformity.

Teach me the right way, O Lord, that I may follow you in both conscience and wisdom.

Save me from false thinking and false paths.


All opinions my own. Photo: Screenshot from the movie "Hacksaw Ridge."

Can Federal Communication Be Saved?

As a writer for the Federal government for more than a dozen years, I observe that we used to be very well-respected. Our authority derived from three things:
  • Dedication to public service
  • Command of the English language
  • Collaboration with technical experts, for accuracy
The past decade saw the gradual erosion of government writers' credibility, due to the rise of, among other things:
  • Pervasive social media
  • Increasingly sophisticated but easy to use digital communication tools
  • Global awareness of and commitment to human rights
  • The rise of independent journalism
  • Existence of and retaliation against whistleblowers
Today, what remains of that credibility has arguably been shattered by:
  • Wikileaks
  • Awareness of "fake news"
  • Revelations about the Deep State and its infiltration of the media
  • Paid trolls
  • Paid citizen "uprisings" and demonstrations
Essentially, we have entered a world where suspicion is the rule and not an exception. Government content is part of that. It doesn't matter how many times the press release was checked for accuracy, or how many experts vetted it.

The people simply do not believe the government anymore.

In the old days, the worst thing you could do as a government writer was be inaccurate, or perhaps even to use bad grammar.

The biggest fights you'd have would center on plain language (which is now the law), as technical experts would accuse you of "oversimplifying" the facts, or even of "misrepresenting" them.

And if it took a long time get words out the door, it was because all the parties involved were haggling over the specifications and implications of language.

Today, anyone engaged in such a conversation is missing the forest for the trees.

The major problem confronting us is restoring the credibility of government itself.

How are we going to do that?

Not by punishing the writers.

But by starting a conversation about what it is the writers ought to be doing.


All opinions my own.

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