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How Ghislaine Maxwell's Lawyers Are Attempting to Discredit Her Accusers: Very aggressively.

By Seth Stevenson
Dec 01, 20219:58 PM

Witness “Jane” cries as she testifies on day three of the Maxwell trial. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Day three of the Ghislaine Maxwell trial began with the defense resuming its cross-examination of “Jane”—an accuser who’s been granted a pseudonym. Again and again, defense attorney Laura Menninger tried to trip up Jane by highlighting inconsistencies in statements she’s made at various times. Menninger noted things Jane has said in FBI interviews or in meetings with government prosecutors over the past couple of years, and then contrasted them with the testimony that Jane gave in the courtroom yesterday.

Jane, who says she was a victim of sexual abuse perpetrated by Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein, kept her composure amid the onslaught. The defense’s aim was to poke holes in her credibility by suggesting her memory is faulty, but few of Menninger’s gotchas landed. Does it really matter whether Jeffrey Epstein took Jane to see the Lion King on Broadway in prime mezzanine seats when she was 14 (as Jane claimed in one statement) or a few years later, while she was still a teenager (as she later amended)? Seems like the sort of mistake a jury is unlikely to hold against a witness. Menninger also tried to ensnare Jane in a confusing and ultimately fruitless back and forth over when she’d first seen Maxwell “without her clothes” (during an alleged incident of abuse) versus when she first saw Maxwell topless (while lounging by Epstein’s pool), which mostly just served as a reminder that Jane remembers seeing Maxwell in states of undress on multiple occasions.

Menninger did, however, create one powerful moment, when she introduced the fact that, in a document prepared by Jane’s personal lawyer prior to the trial, Jane named only Epstein as her abuser, while making no mention of Maxwell. This could undercut Jane’s testimony yesterday that Maxwell was present and intimately involved in some of the abuse Jane alleges. I wouldn’t call it a home run for the defense, as the document didn’t specifically rule out the possibility that Maxwell played a role. But establishing evidence like this is crucial to the defense’s grand strategy, which involves convincing the jury that Maxwell has been ret-conned into the case—that Ghislaine was never a part of the government’s narrative until Epstein died and the story suddenly required a new antagonist.


( The fight for justice here will not go without more pain and suffering for the victims. This is not to suggest Maxwell has no right to a defense, but it is important to note the agony victims must go through when they come forward. )

( 2014 ) They'll tell you it was abortion. Sorry, the historical record's clear: It was segregation.

The Real Origins of the Religious Right

They’ll tell you it was abortion. Sorry, the historical record’s clear: It was segregation.


May 27, 2014

( Authors bio: Randall Balmer is the Mandel family professor in the arts and sciences at Dartmouth College. His most recent book is Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter. )

One of the most durable myths in recent history is that the religious right, the coalition of conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists, emerged as a political movement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion. The tale goes something like this: Evangelicals, who had been politically quiescent for decades, were so morally outraged by Roe that they resolved to organize in order to overturn it.

This myth of origins is oft repeated by the movement’s leaders. In his 2005 book, Jerry Falwell, the firebrand fundamentalist preacher, recounts his distress upon reading about the ruling in the Jan. 23, 1973, edition of the Lynchburg News: “I sat there staring at the Roe v. Wade story,” Falwell writes, “growing more and more fearful of the consequences of the Supreme Court’s act and wondering why so few voices had been raised against it.” Evangelicals, he decided, needed to organize.

Some of these anti- Roe crusaders even went so far as to call themselves “new abolitionists,” invoking their antebellum predecessors who had fought to eradicate slavery.

But the abortion myth quickly collapses under historical scrutiny. In fact, it wasn’t until 1979—a full six years after Roe—that evangelical leaders, at the behest of conservative activist Paul Weyrich, seized on abortion not for moral reasons, but as a rallying-cry to deny President Jimmy Carter a second term. Why? Because the anti-abortion crusade was more palatable than the religious right’s real motive: protecting segregated schools. So much for the new abolitionism.


( ***** 5 stars. ) Throughout history and in the context of today's continued ill-treatment of black people, this remains accurate, imo.

Global Pandemic Will Rage Until WTO Approves Vaccine Patent Waiver (Stiglitz- Wallach)

The WTO must not postpone this decision. It needs to call an online meeting of its General Council and adopt the waiver this week.

Joseph Stiglitz, Lori Wallach
December 1, 2021 by CNN

If international organizations are subject to karma, last week's abrupt postponement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference, the body's first major decision-making gathering in four years, was fated to be. News of the emergence of Omicron, the latest coronavirus variant, not only caused the meeting to be delayed but it also shined a light on how the international community has failed to get the virus under control.

Over the past two years, the global scientific community has figured out the pathogen that causes Covid-19 and developed vaccines and antivirals to fight the virus. Rapid production has meant that everyone in wealthy countries who wanted a vaccine has gotten one. But the market, on its own, has failed to provide enough for the rest of the world.

Since October 2020, a large number of WTO member countries have sought a temporary waiver of the organization's expansive intellectual property restrictions, which limit the production of vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests to certain pharmaceutical companies. But a few WTO members have blocked this initiative, which is needed to ensure sufficient supply of Covid-19 medicines to inoculate the world and end the variant cycle that otherwise will indefinitely prolong the pandemic.


( There is no rational argument against what they present here....none. )
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