Nice squirrel, but keep your acorns to yourself, pal

[Preliminary note: I struggled with the naming of this post, and the title is the winner by a hairsbreadth over "Gives 'hung like a chipmunk' a whole new dimension."]

Apparently, there's competition for Liverpool's "serial streaker," who is compelled to air his giblets in public fora (pubLic, I said!). T
his nutter (who was identified by a Yorkshire daily as Mark Roberts, but can't be Roberts unless he's gained about 40 lbs since the Super Bowl) chose St. Andrew's yesterday to display his shortcomings:

These people need to keep their freakin' wits (not to mention their TROUSERS) about them, ok?! Yes, for those of you unclear on what's depicted here, those are tearaway trews and a stuffed squirrel (STUFFED SQUIRREL -- baaaaaaaahahahahahahaha -- that's really funny if you know that the British say "Get stuffed" when we would say "Fuck you" -- see? "Stuffed" is like "fucked".... No? Ok, it's me; I laughed) tied around his wedding tackle. This spectacularly unlovely specimen (why isn't it ever the young hot guys who streak???) disrupted the British Open, but was, as you can see, subdued.


Greetings from Big Sky country

So it turns out it's a good thing B brought his laptop (you know, the media-fabulous HP his lovely wife bought him for his birthday last year!), because the CrackBerry quit working in Denver and probably won't rejoin us 'til tomorrow's stopover there again! This means I've been able to use the wireless connection (thanks to my work-at-home s-i-l Sue who had the foresight to get it here in Montana when they moved here from CA a year ago) to check my e-mail at work, decline some meetings, opine as to some records retention matters, and now catch up on my neglected blog. I won't go into chapter and verse (for a no-doubt welcome change), but I will say that I really feel blessed to have married into such a loving and wonderful family as the McBs'.

You know that my immediate in-laws are terrific, warm and kind people who opened their hearts to me even as far back as when I was
just the pagan tart living in sin with their eldest son in SF. But what you haven't heard, until right here, right now, is how smart and funny and generous and delightful the entire extended family, with whom we spent four days over this weekend up in Big Fork, are. And they are -- without exception, and even accounting for a liiiiiittle bit of strangeness on the part of just a couple of them (but hey, who am I to be casting the first stone there?!), all the aunts and uncles, all the cousins, and all the cousins' kids are just amazing. And this year, I was no longer the newest McB, because Judd (at 22!!!) is married and he and Jenna are expecting a baby in December -- wow!

Just by way of example of menschiness, Shannon, "the Baby" (of her generation of cousins), who is a favorite of the huz's, and who has a very proprietary attitude toward him, took me aside Sunday when we were all hanging out saying our very protracted goodbyes, and said "I just wanted to thank you for loving my cousin, because he is a great, great man and deserves a wonderful woman to love him. I'm so glad that he found you, because you are loving, and smart, and so funny, and it makes me happy to see that you love each other so much. I'm really glad you're part of our family."

So then we hugged and cried. *sniff* I just got teary thinkin' of it. How totally sweet was that?! Totally precious. Then the huz came up and said, "Hey! Did you make my wife cry?!" and it was funny. We had a group hug, which was particularly amusing b/c he's a solid foot taller than both of us, so it was kind of like seeking shelter under a juniper!

SUPER fun reunion, anyway, lots of time on the water, great family slideshow, really entertaining golf tournament (for which I set the foursomes up, earning kudos, which was cool -- for the first time, there were no siblings or parents together, b/c I decided to mix up all the cousins, aunts and uncles, so people could hang out with family they don't see as often!), each team of which was headed by a woman -- which turned out to keep the testosterone poisoning within acceptable limits!



Like most of you, I'm sure, I take rape allegations awfully seriously. Considering what an accuser has to go through, and the whole slow-rolling machinations of the judicial system, not to mention the damage done to reputation by false accusations, it's all a very big deal and should be taken as seriously as humanly possible, and pursued assiduously. However, this Duke thing has me really disturbed.

I sure hope someone is keeping a close eye on events in Durham, because Mike Nifong, the coincidentally-up-for-reelection-and-desperate- for-the-African-American-vote district attorney prosecuting the alleged rape at the Duke lacrosse players' party house in March is either on a crusade of a decidedly unholy type, or he's hoping that when it all blows up in his face, enough time will have passed for him to skate away Scot free.

Just a refresher by way of a little timeline with some pesky little facts that make the continued prosecution of this case a complete mystery to me:

March 13-14: two exotic dancers (oh, ok, let's call them strippers, because what the hell is the difference? I think it's asinine to assume that strippers are whores, and I do think these women were hired to dance nekkid and nothing more) perform at a Duke lacrosse party. One, whom we'll call "A" (for Accuser), gets picked up in a mall parking lot, too drunk to get out of her car, and carrying no i.d., and is taken to a local hospital's mental ward because she cannot tell the citing officer her name. She becomes lucid enough to tell hospital personnel that she was sexually assaulted and beaten, expanding her story to include the claims that she was raped vaginally, anally and orally, and kicked and beaten and threatened with death. She specifically recounts that none of her three attackers used condoms. A rape kit yields DNA and shows some vaginal swelling, but no tears or other trauma to anywhere in "the region". The other dancer, "B," makes a statement that her friend was drunk and belligerent and that when they'd left the party before the men thought they should, the "n" word was thrown after them in a fit of ugly fury. B called in the epithets to police, and then drove her friend to the mall where they were found by police (in a sidenote, B was briefly arrested and released on bond as a co-conspirator in the crime).

As reported in The News & Observer, on March 18 D.A. Nifong's office "asked a judge to order all 46 white players to sit for mug shots (for current hair styles and complexion), upper torso photographs (for evidence of scratches from the accuser) and mouth swabbings (for DNA testing). The request -- searching a pool of 46 people for 3 suspects -- was unusual. To obtain the DNA and photos, the law requires reasonable grounds to suspect that the person named had committed the crime. By definition [that is, because A said she had been raped by 3 people, whose names she gave as Adam, Matt and Brett], 43 of the named people had not." All 46 white members of the squad voluntarily gave DNA samples to the police department in March. The lone African-American player was exempted because A said her attackers were white.

Before the DNA results came back, Nifong indicted -- on who knows what trumped up nonsense he laid out before a grand jury. This is where his grandstanding and showboating reached their most fervid heights, and by his own admission he gave more than 50 interviews on the case. David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann were charged with rape and kidnapping and have been freed on bail. All have been suspended by the university pending the outcome of the case, which is another troubling aspect: whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty (please note the Michael Jackson exception to this rule, because despite the jury's verdict in that case, y'all know Michael's guilty, and a sick fuck, to boot)??

Nifong has since made assertions that contradicted his own investigators' and the police's files: he suggested the players used condoms (presumably to explain away his utter lack of physical evidence); he accused the players of erecting a wall of silence to thwart investigators (when in fact they had cooperated fully); and he said the woman had been hit, kicked and strangled (which she alleged but of which not an ounce or sign of physical evidence was ever found).

On May 12, Nifong released the second round of DNA test results to defense lawyers. Here's the kicker, and the thing that should keep this guy up at night, considering he has not only not backed away from his indictments, but shows every sign of continuing his prosecution, regardless of what the evidence shows: There was no DNA connected with any player found in or on the accuser. The tests showed that A had recently had sex with her boyfriend. None of A's DNA was found on the floor, rugs or towels in the bathroom where the rape allegedly occurred -- as surely would be the case if someone had been subjected to the traumatic sexual and physical abuse A reported. (Ickily, but perhaps not surprisingly, it later turned out that semen samples from two other residents of the house and Dave Evans were found on the bathroom floor and on towels on the hallway floor.)

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't think you can in good conscience pursue a case with no physical evidence and a dead-drunk declarant -- let's not forget that B said she didn't think A was raped, not least because she wasn't away from her for the half hour or more the assault was supposedly commited in.

(Mark Edwards, a Durham defense lawyer uninvolved in the case, said the DNA evidence does not appear to have any connection to the state's rape case. Amusingly, if ungrammatically, he said, "This has nothing to do with nothing. This has to do with 19- 20-year-old males full of testosterone looking for an outlet. What this evidence tells you is that when you're walking around these guys' house, make sure you have shoes on.")