Sunday, December 3, 2017

DECEMBER 3, 2017


I wish that these sad dark days would just vanish. 

I wish that the whole truth was available to us all.

I wish that I felt as though reasonable people were making reasonable statements about the state of our society.  

I've used the term 'circling the drain' in the past and I hope that I am wrong. It's so discouraging to read about all  of the stuff that may simply annihilate us: 
The human race.. 
The United States? 
Me and people whom I care about.. that's personal. 

The following is a letter to our Glendale, California Assembly Member, Laura Friedman.  It is a response to something I saw on Channel Four News with Conan Nolan earlier today.   It's a follow up.. of sorts.. to what I posted yesterday.  There may be some repetition. 

Bottom line?  Adults need to be responsible. 

Dear Laura..

I watched the last part of your interview with Conan Nolan on NBC News just now.  It is very troubling that we are painting with a broad brush when it comes to the terms describing sexual 'misconduct' to 'harassment' to 'assault'...
I support your efforts to get this issue into the open and to clear up the definitions of what may be an attack and what may not be.
A catcall is not a rape.

I watched the news segment following your articulate interview with Conan Nolan. It was appalling to hear the story from Pamela Lopez, a lobbyist you may know.   What Mr. Nolan did not hear was more about the story of her being "forced into a bathroom and a legislator masturbating in front of her." Her words.

What failed to be mentioned was that Ms Lopez was not 'attacked or assaulted' in the capitol offices, but in a bar. She didn't mention if she and the legislator had been drinking, nor if they had been together socially at the time.  The whole truth of this alleged behavior is now tainted by information that seems to have been deliberately withheld. 

Credibility, to me, has to do with adults taking responsibility for our actions.  If we are in a bar.. when? At lunch? 1:00 AM? Waiting for dinner? Having a drink? Or two?  All of these circumstances inform the situation.  In the interview with Mr. Nolan, Ms Lopez said she was "forced into a bathroom." Her words.  The NY Times reported that the man followed her into the ladies' room.  She told Mr. Nolan that he began to masturbate!  The NYTimes reports that she said that he asked her to touch him.  She does not mention if she was at the 'elegant' Ella (which you may know) or the after hours dive bar, Simon's Bar and Cafe on 15th Street (which I am sure you have never heard of! ).. 

You are quoted in this article.

  "No! Means NO!!" Of course, but the circumstances color every situation.  Ms Lopez doesn't name the legislator whom she accuses of doing this. The demeanor of this woman was such that one google search to see for whom she is a lobbyist turned up published information that changes the story enough to make me question her credibility.  It's not black and white. Blaming the 'victim' is not the goal.  Getting more of the entire picture makes a difference, however. 

We must find a reasonable 'tone' of attitude and even of our voices, when moving forward to find out what is really happening.   I hope that your committee will consider my suggestion of using a graph to chart the nature of any 'inappropriate behavior'.. and that we use the term 'alleged' victim and 'alleged' perpetrator when discussing these matters.  The 'tone' of women ... and men?  coming forward with stories and Gloria Allred's tearfully coaxing an 'alleged victim' through a prepared speech being haltingly read are all part of a situation that must be addressed. However, adult responsibility must be taken into consideration ... and.. especially the circumstances that are factual to whole story.

I was impressed with this short segment on NPR's All Things Considered yesterday. 

It's short and may help to inform your business in calculating these damages and how to mitigate them.

I remain your strong supporter and will be happy to discuss this on or off the record with you.  Thank you for your kind words on my behalf in the past and being a responsive representative.
This letter will be published on my onehundred days site.

michael sheehan
December 3, 2017

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