Lavinia Masters is one incredible woman.

I have so much praise for this woman and her fortitude. Keep going! Read about her story here.

It’s the sad truth that the statute of limitations has run out on her case, ergo, they cannot prosecute her now positively identified attacker. Perhaps we should strengthen THOSE laws if we are finally going to get to the millions of DNA samples that have been languishing. If we get to them quicker, we’ll be able to prosecute more cases, imprison more perpetrators and free those wrongfully accused. If we have a combined effort of testing the samples faster and lengthening the SOL’s, we could have some measure of success in the middle. Alas, we’ve got a long way to go.

We have the technology! Press on, Lavinia!

Nujood Ali, the child bride heroine of Yemen, has died in childbirth.

I am thoroughly disgusted with the outcome of this story. I had blogged about it a while back and the outcome is tragic. Twelve-year-old Nujood, raped by her husband, was impregnated and died in childbirth. Her child also died.

I call upon any human rights group to fix this. Amnesty International? Save the Children? Someone?

Rest in peace, baby girl.

A brave woman in Colorado deserves our praise.

Today, a friend sent me an article about a cold case in Colorado in which the victim is pressing on, nine years later. Bravo to her. Read the article and decide for yourself. The most troubling part of the article, though, is the comments section. It’s amazing that people blame her for her own rape because she was intoxicated.

Because, naturally, she wanted to end up covered in blood and mud having “had sex” with two men. That’s normal, right? I love her for her courage in coming forward. It is really hard to be public about this because a) you are then known primarily for the fact that you are a rape victim and not a daughter, wife, mom, hard worker, etc. and b) you need to endure the crazies on blog boards.

I honestly believe that one should have to register a credit card with their real name in order to comment on a blog. So many anonymous cowards, holding forth about something they have no experience with. Bravo, Julie Stene! Bravo!

Happy Birthday Curtis Sliwa!

Those of you old enough to remember the Guardian Angels, know my hero and sort of pal Curtis Sliwa, who is their founder. He was known for his ubiquitous red beret, his glamorous ex-wife Lisa and his grass roots movement to end violence in NYC, especially on the subways. He was nearly murdered by John Gotti, son of THE John Gotti – Gotti and his cohorts kidnapped him, threw him in a taxi and shot him.

Of late, he is known for the “Curtis and Kuby” show and his Guardian Angels has grown from 13 members to thousands in chapters all over the world.

Growing up in New York City during the heyday of crime, Son of Sam, the mob, riots, Bernie Goetz, looting during brownouts, I have only the greatest admiration for the man.

Happy Birthday, Curtis. You make the world a better place. Eat a pickle, man.

Forgiveness is overrated. Thank you, Elie Wiesel.

Elie Wiesel is one of the great humanitarians and heroes of our time. If you’ve not read “Night”, please run out and do so. Mr. Wiesel lost his fortune to Bernie Madoff.

He says he cannot and will not forgive Madoff.

This is not about me, but this is my answer to those calling for my head as they perceive my unwillingness to forgive my rapist. I’d much rather have lost all of my money. I can get that back. My virginity and dignity cannot be bought back or restored. Forgiveness is a word bandied about like so many these days and I refuse to be vilified for appropriate anger in response to a crime against my person and humanity. If Elie Wiesel (practically a saint, in my book) cannot do so, then I support him.

Enough said.

The Boss – maybe you can stop mocking my love of the old man now.

Many people giggle and tell me I’m ridiculous that I adore the Boss. Let me tell you, like most silly white folks, I also love Lil Wayne, Jay Z and Coldplay. If I dig deeper, I am a music addict with some pretty impressive chops – I love everything from Keane to John Mayer to Nada Surf to Diana Ross to Earth, Wind & Fire. That said, I am ridiculed all the time for my love of The Boss. I think it’s a generational thing, a geographical thing, a first concert I ever went to thing. Leo – he was born while “A Promised Land” was playing. Yep, true story.

Of COURSE, I got my tickets today for the new shows in the spring this morning. Sleeping baby in my arms, I got frustrated with Ticketmaster’s site crashing, but gosh knows I probably got the last 2 seats in the nosebleed section. Did you watch the Superbowl? Dude looked hot. Clarence looked like Andre Leon Talley. Seriously!

He’s riding a lovely wave of renewed popularity these days – stumping for Obama, playing the Inaugural, releasing a new album, winning a Golden Globe for “The Wrestler”, being nominated for an Oscar for the same song, etc. What’s not to love? Here’s a pic of him that my friend took at Inaugural when Bruce was backstage at the concert at the Lincoln Memorial. Lucky guy.

Texan Christian University gang rape civil suit against the U. I want to gouge my eyes out after reading the comments.

This girl, the victim of an (I have to use the word) alleged gang rape by three football players, was told by University brass it “would be easier” for her to drop the charges. Okay, I’ve heard those same three words over and over again. In 1984.

Seems one of these guys owed her money so she went to get it and was brutally attacked. How much you wanna bet one of these fools taped it? Maybe then his grandmother will stop telling the press what a nice boy he is. The D.A.’s office dropped the criminal case -and you know what? That happens a lot! D.A.s won’t prosecute unless they can win. That DOES NOT mean a rape did not occur. The defense of “consensual” is 99.99% of the time the defense. Do people not know this? It’s always the defense.

Most of the foolios on this board think because she’s suing civilly, K.S. (the alleged victim) is a) out for money, b) a drunk ho. What they don’t understand is that Universities will do ANYTHING to protect their endowments, especially athletic ones. If you’re the victim in a case with athletes (and I have no doubt what happened to this poor girl), your case won’t go to trial, the charges will get dropped and you’ll be silenced faster than a speeding bullet.

K.S., you press on with your suit. I hope you win. You’re my hero. So what if she sues? Why is she NOT entitled to damages? It’s called that because it is that – damages. Are coeds just “acceptable losses” in the University money game?

Sound off!

Wrongs of Passage – Utah State University

This sad story will at least have some sort of adjudication. Sigma Nu and Chi Omega, a fraternity and sorority, respectively, are charged with the hazing death of student Michael Starks, who died of alchohol poisoning. It’s not clear what the individual punishment will be for those students involved, but I will bet the charters of each house will be pulled.

I am so sorry for the pain endured by the Starks family. What I am about to hear is the collective roar of people saying no one forced the victim to drink the vodka. I disagree. Acceptance and belonging and fear of being an outsider is what causes Greek tragedies.

Amen to his father for the brilliant quote.

Rest in Peace, Adam Walsh.

One of my dearest friends’ sisters is a producer at “America’s Most Wanted”. Sometimes we forget that John Walsh’s television program began with his very private pain. Today, Hollywood, Florida Police officially closed the case of murdered son Adam Walsh, who was abducted and decapitated by drifter and convicted pedo Ottis Toole, who was never prosecuted for Adam’s murder, although he confessed to the crime multiple times. Six year old Adam’s head was found in a river. His body was never recovered. I suspect he was violated in so many horrible ways. I’m glad we’ll never know and hope his death was swift. I cannot even type this.

The Police also admitted that they bungled the investigation. Watching Mr. Walsh speak today, I am glad he still has his grief and his anger. No one asks him to forgive. A monster took his child in the most horrific way.

John and Reve’s marriage didn’t survive (how could it?) but they remain friends and the staunchest advocates for missing children and capturing criminals.

My heart just breaks for this family. I will not soon forget Adam, either. He is one of God’s angels and I hope he is happy.

We have lost one of the greats. R.I.P.

What most people don’t know, in addition to the wry sense of humor, the legendary talent and the true, loving and devoted marriage is that Paul Newman, in our most beautiful corner of the world, was a kind and decent human.

His work with childrens’ camps, his multimillion dollar all for charity food business, his dedication to preserving the environment and his support of local talent (sustainable food pioneers, restauranteurs, actors and directors at the Playhouse) are what made him our hero.

I have fond memories, when I worked in sales and marketing at the Hay-Adams Hotel in DC, that Mr. Newman used to stay with us. At 5 in the morning, guests would complain of a “pounding” noise. After much consternation and searching, we found it was Mr. Newman, who would rise early, put on shorts and sneakers and run up and down the stairs of the hotel, creating quite the ruckus. He also famously plunged that gorgeous face in ice water each morning, claiming that it kept him young. He even wore a snorkel while doing so! I’ve borrowed that trick.

Rumors persisted in recent months of his ill health; rumors brushed off by the man himself and his team. He went quietly, with grace and dignity, at his farmhouse in Westport, surrounded by family, friends and his beloved Joanne. We will miss you and the example of fine living you set.