Alerted to Danger, New York City Failed to Curb Harm at Group Homes

In March 2013, New York City’s child welfare agency put a Staten Island group home for troubled youngsters on notice. The home for children who had been convicted of minor crimes had become the scene of repeated violence and vandalism. Often, children at the home would simply run off for days or longer.

The agency, that March, placed the home on “heightened monitoring status”— an arrangement where a home’s administrators must provide and execute a plan to improve staff training, tighten security, and engage in frequent face-to-face meetings with child welfare officials.

But records show that, despite the city’s clear concern, little seemed to change: A security guard missed key training sessions because two residents assaulted him, breaking his hand. That May, more than half the residents fled the home at one time or another, disappearing into the local community. A number of workers were fired, but no one was hired to replace them. Through it all, the city did not act to intervene further.

Finally, that June, three months after the city required improved performance by the home, a 17-year-old fled the Staten Island facility, and later killed another young man with a knife in Jamaica, Queens. The city agency, known as the Administration for Children’s Services, and New York Foundling, the Catholic charity that operated the group home, soon agreed to close it.

The events at New York Foundling’s home on Staten Island are made clear in records obtained by ProPublica from ACS and the city’s Department of Investigation. Those records show that what happened on Staten Island occurred at other facilities operated under the city’s “Close to Home” program, an effort to offer juvenile offenders an alternative to violent and failed detention facilities far from New York City.

Under Close to Home, again and again, at facilities where the city had ordered more aggressive oversight, there was little curbing of additional harm and violence. Indeed, three home operators placed under heightened monitoring ultimately continued to have serious enough problems that their contracts wound up terminated altogether.

ProPublica requested an array of records from ACS after a situation not unlike the one on Staten Island unfolded at a Brooklyn home operated by Boys Town, a national nonprofit organization. Three teenagers at that home ran away in June 2015. They wound up in the Chinatown section of Manhattan and brutally robbed and raped a 33-year-old woman. The records show that homes run by Boys Town had been on “heightened monitoring status” for a year, only to have it lifted with further damage to public safety following afterward.

It took nearly a year, some 50 emails and multiple phone calls to get ACS to supply its records. And they released them only after the city’s Department of Investigation issued a damning report detailing an array of shortcomings in ACS’s oversight of the Close to Home program. Investigators found that ACS inspections of the homes were infrequent and ineffective, and that it failed to give home administrators proper guidance on how to reliably comply with regulations.

According to the 24-page report, six of nine organizations providing care at the homes had been found wanting by the city– placed on either “corrective action” or “heightened monitoring” status at some point in the four years of the program’s existence.

Asked for comment, a New York Foundling spokeswoman referred ProPublica to a statement made by the organization’s president and chief executive, Bill Baccaglini, when its contract with ACS ended in 2013. “At this time, we have made a determination that the fit of the Close to Home program with our other community and evidence-based programs is not optimal, and so we have voluntarily decided to end our participation in the program,” Baccaglini said. “In no way should the recent tragic incident be interpreted as an indictment of the Close to Home program, a very smart and most welcome policy shift in the treatment of juvenile delinquents.”

The tragedy involving the boys who fled the Boys Town home in Brooklyn provides perhaps the most startling example of the failings of ACS’s heightened monitoring system.

In January 2014, more than a year before the woman was raped in Chinatown, ACS sent Boys Town a letter saying it had “serious concerns” regarding safety and security lapses at the four homes run by the organization. Workers at the homes were poorly trained, the letter said; violence between staff and residents erupted frequently; teenagers often absconded in large groups. The homes, ACS informed Boys Town, would be under “heightened monitoring status” – first for three months, then for a full year.

Throughout that year, the same problems resurfaced again and again.

Boys Town lost numerous workers, leaving new, ill-equipped staff, some with just weeks of training, to watch over children with severe emotional problems. In July, five youngsters were arrested following a dispute with staff at one of the homes. In September, the number of runaways at a Boys Town home on St. John’s Place in Brooklyn had more than tripled. In November, Boys Town reported that residents were tampering with alarms and windows at the St. John’s Place home. In December, they managed to steal keys from a staff office.

But in December 2014, ACS saw fit to remove Boys Town from “heightened monitoring status” anyway. In a letter to Boys Town, ACS noted that, overall, violent incidents and runaways had decreased. City officials were still concerned that Boys Town lacked sufficient staff, but they approved of the organization’s plans to hire more and discipline those that were ineffective.

“We acknowledge and thank you for your engagement and commitment during this process,” a December 2014 ACS letter to Boys Town said. “And we look forward to continuing our collaboration to promote the safety, well-being and success of our youth back into their communities.”

Further, the city then allowed Boys Town to reopen another home, one it had closed a year before on Sixth Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn, due to a rash of violent episodes. The Sixth Avenue home would come to care for just three 16-year-old boys. Each had entered the Close to Home system in November 2014, court records show.

A ProPublica reporter intervieweds one of them on Rikers Island last summer. That boy said it did not take long for him and the others to rig the alarm systems at the Sixth Avenue home. He said they had done the same at the home on St. John’s Place.

From March through June, he said they fled the home, undetected, regularly. He said they would stuff their beds with pillows, climb out of a window onto a fire escape, get onto the roof of another building, and climb down another fire escape onto the street. They would stay out all night, the boy said, often using an assortment of drugs, including ecstasy, Xanax, ketamine, cocaine and marijuana.

How a City Agency Dragged Out a Request for Public Records for Nearly a Year

After eight proposed delivery dates, the Administration for Children’s Services still had not provided public records we asked for. Read the story.

‘No Place for a Kid to Go’

In Long Beach, California, a group home for troubled children sinks into crisis. Read the story.

Finally, in June 2015, the three boys were arrested for raping and robbing the woman in Chinatown after meeting her at a Internet café. Boys Town was forced to terminate its contract with the city a month later. Earlier this year, all three boys pleaded guilty to a variety of rape and robbery counts.

Kara Neuverth, a Boys Town spokeswoman, issued a brief statement: “Boys Town has consistently been committed to serving youth in New York and across the country. While we have decided to shift our work toward what we do best, we are glad that the city has developed new systems to provide these children with the care and support they need.”

When the Department of Investigation concluded its investigation of the Close to Home program last month, it said the violence was all “but inevitable,” and that, “Absent significant additional changes, there can be no further guarantee against such incidents.”

According to the most recent figures available, there are currently about 30 homes caring for more than 150 boys and girls each month.

ProPublica sent ACS a number of questions regarding its heightened monitoring system and the grave problems at some of the homes. Carol Caceres, deputy press secretary for ACS, said that between 2013 and 2015 the agency had made considerable progress in dealing with children fleeing the homes, implementing a number of measures that reduced the number of runaways. One step involved hiring former New York City Police Department detectives to help locate youngsters who had run off. Those efforts, Caceres said, had been enhanced this spring, when the agency increased its inspections of the homes, facilities fixed alarm systems, and New York police conducted security assessments of every facility.

Asked why ACS had allowed Boys Town to come off heightened monitoring, Caceres said that when Close to Home providers show improvement and complete their corrective action plans, they are removed from formal monitoring.

“Boys Town was a troubling example of a case in which the provider had complied with required improvement plan but continued to have practice gaps in other areas,” she added. “While a provider agency is on Heightened Monitoring Status, they must make measureable improvements in the areas of concern. If they do not, ACS will place the provider on a higher level of scrutiny and offer additional support. However, if they fail to make improvements, their contract may be terminated.”

Help us investigate: If you have experience with or information about Close to Home, child welfare or children’s mental health email joaquin.sapien

by Joaquin Sapien

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THE MACUR REVIEW — Part Two: THE £3m WHITEWASH

Rebecca’s assessment of the Macur Review continues…

REBECCA

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FOR DECADES North Wales Police have been accused of covering up a child abuse scandal.

Critics say the force failed to investigate allegations that residents of care homes were being sexually abused in the 1970s and 1980s.

Britain’s only child abuse inquiry — the 1996 Waterhouse Tribunal — was set up to examine these claims.

The Tribunal gave the force a clean bill of health:

“ … there was no significant omission by the North Wales Police in investigating the complaints of abuse to children in care.”

Rebecca has long argued this conclusion is suspect.

The Tribunal did not consider the testimony of a witness who claimed he reported the most serious abuser in the scandal — John Allen — to police in 1980.

This was 15 years before Allen was gaoled.

In 2012 David Cameron ordered two new inquiries into the scandal.

One was a police investigation, Operation Pallial: the…

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THE MACUR REVIEW — Part One: BLOODY WHITEWASH

Rebecca analyses the Macur Review..

REBECCA

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THE REPORT of the Macur Review — an examination of the work of the 1996-99 North Wales Child Abuse Tribunal — is a whitewash.

Lady Justice Macur’s report was finally published on March 17 this year — nearly three and a half years after it was commissioned.

She concludes:

“I have found no reason to undermine the conclusions of the Tribunal in respect of the nature and scale of the abuse.”

She brushes aside evidence submitted by Rebecca — one of the Tribunal’s major critics.

She also rules out the existence of a national paedophile ring:

“Neither is there evidence of the involvement of nationally prominent individuals in the abuse of children in care in North Wales, between 1974 and 1996.”

“Consequently, I do not recommend the establishment of a further public or private inquiry.”

But Lady Justice Macur is also highly critical of the Tribunal.

Her team has done…

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Philip Cairns murdered by Eamon Cooke? Sunday Times Article 19 Jun 2016

This article Did this DJ really kill Philip Cairns? is from the Sunday Times [1].

AT FIRST the story seemed fantastical and unlikely. The woman claimed to
know what had become of Philip Cairns, the 13-year-old who disappeared
after heading to school from his home in Rathhfarnham on Dublin’s southside
on the afternoon of October 23, 1986.

In a series of meetings with detectives, the woman recounted how she had
watched the convicted paedophile Eamon Cooke beat the teenager to death by
hitting him across the head with a metal object in a fit of rage. Some of
the details were specific; others less so.

The woman recalled seeing Philip lying on the floor of a studio at Radio
Dublin, a pirate station which Cooke operated from a ramshackle bungalow in
Inchicore in the 1980s. The woman, who was nine years old at the time, did
not know what happened next, however, because she fainted.

By the time she came forward, Cooke was close to death. The Irish Prison
Service freed him on temporary release on May 16, 2016, so he could be
admitted to St Francis Hospice in Raheny.

Detectives at Rathfarnham station arranged to visit Cooke as he lay on his
death bed. The former DJ, who was heavily medicated, is said to have given
“yes” and “no” answers when asked about Philip Cairns. He is thought to
have admitted that he knew the schoolboy, but volunteered nothing further.
He was offered the chance to speak to a solicitor or priest but declined.
He died on June 6, aged 79. The father of 11 was later buried alongside the
first of three wives, Lena.

So are gardai any closer to solving the decades-old mystery of what
happened to Philip? Did one of Ireland’s most notorious paedophiles really
abduct and murder the youngster after luring him to a radio studio? Or are
the gardai pursuing yet another line of inquiry which is likely to prove
fruitless, bringing no closure for the long-suffering Cairns family?

Until last month, Cooke was never suspected of involvement in the abduction
and presumed murder of Philip Cairns. Gardai had never even established
whether this was a random abduction or carried out by someone who knew the
missing boy.

The teenager had not shown any outward signs of being concerned in the
weeks before he disappeared, according to his mother Alice. There is no
suggestion he was killed to protect the identity of someone who had been
abusing him.

The most puzzling aspect of the case was the discovery of Philip’s
schoolbag in a lane just yards from his home on Ballyroan Road, six days
after he vanished. This suggested that the killer had returned to the
scene, or induced others to do so. Possibly, however, the gardai simply had
not searched the Rathfarnham area properly.

More than 100 officers were assigned to the inquiry at its peak but many
detectives now say the investigation was ineffective and insufficient by
today’s standards.

Cooke was never identified as a suspect although he was under investigation
for abusing young girls. By the 1990s several female victims had come
forward to say he sexually abused and assaulted them. The evidence gathered
as part of these investigations suggested that Cooke had a sexual interest
only in young girls, though he was once questioned about the alleged abuse
of a boy.

In 2003, Cooke was convicted of abusing four girls between 1976 and 1978,
but this was overturned in 2006 following an appeal. He was retried in 2007
and convicted on charges relating to two of the four original victims, and
sentenced to 10 years in jail. Charges arising from complaints made by two
other women were ruled inadmissable for legal reasons.

Cooke was known to gardai for other reasons. In 1957 he was convicted of
shooting at police in Bray, Co Wicklow. As a juvenile he was charged with
explosives offences.

Despite the serious nature of the convictions, some gardai in the Dublin
Metropolitan Area regarded Cooke as a Walter Mitty figure, who often
involved himself in garda operations and patrolled the city at night in
search of crimes.

At one time Cooke installed a CB radio and a blue flashing light in his
Jaguar car, and pursued stolen cars. He used the call-sign “Alpha 7” to
report the movements of stolen vehicles in central Dublin which he himself
pursued and rammed, according to Brian Sherry, a retired detective.

“He was a nutter. Time and again you would arrive at a scene and he would
be standing around. He seemed to draw pleasure from watching crimes,” said
Sherry.

When Philip Cairns disappeared, Cooke was before the courts charged with
conspiracy to commit arson. He pleaded guilty to the offence two days
before the teenager’s disappearance and received a suspended sentence two
weeks later.

At the time Cooke was the proprietor of Radio Dublin, a pirate radio
station which he operated out of the bungalow in Inchicore, where he also
lived. But Cooke also owned a house in Tallaght, south Dublin, where he is
thought to have abused children.

According to security sources, the witness who has implicated Cooke in
Philip’s abduction and murder was one of several girls from Tallaght whom
he sexually abused. Statements which she previously made about Cooke proved
accurate and stood up to scrutiny, say gardai, which helps explain why her
claims are being taken seriously and actively pursued.

Alan Bailey, a retired detective who served with the force’s cold-case
unit, a branch of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, said some
victims of child sex abuse came forward only after their abuser had died,
or was close to death.

“You can’t ignore evidence, even if it’s being provided 30 years too late.
People can remain silent for all sorts of reasons. Some sex abusers are
capable of instilling absolute fear into their victims. The very mention of
their names is enough to guarantee silence,” said Bailey, who described
Philip Cairns’s disappearance as a singular event in Irish history.

“In 1986, and even to this day, cases like this are virtually unheard of.
Philip was Ireland’s Madeleine McCann. Everyone knows what he looked like.
Everyone has wondered what happened to him. Everyone has a theory.”

Bailey said he couldn’t reconcile how “Cooke from Inchicore could be
connected to Cairns, the young schoolboy from Rathfarnham”.

Some of Cooke’s victims believe the paedophile was more than capable of
killing a child, however. One victim who testified against Cooke in both
trials said she did not believe he would have set out to abduct and murder
a child, but would have been capable of doing so in a fit of rage.

“Cooke abused children because it gave him a sense of power and control,”
she said. “He groomed children before he abused them and enjoyed
blackmailing them afterwards. With him, it was all about power. Could he
have abducted and murdered Philip Cairns? I would say yes, but possibly by
accident. He could fly off the handle.”

The case has been the subject of conspiracy theories from the start.
Anonymous letters began arriving at the Cairns household and at Rathfarnham
garda station within weeks of the boy’s disappearance. Some nominated known
sex offenders as the likely culprit.

Gardai say they have investigated every plausible claim. In 1994, they were
told that a group of schoolboys knew what had happened but had remained
silent as part of a secret pact. The suggestion was that Philip had been
killed or pushed into a river and drowned, and his body swept away.

Gardai have searched woodlands and golf courses in south Dublin acting on
tip-offs. In 2009, a woman came forward to say she believed the teenager’s
remains were buried at the Grange golf club in Rathfarnham, close to his
home in south Dublin. Nothing was found despite exhaustive searches.

The gardai say they are actively pursuing various lines of inquiry and have
confirmed they are treating the latest information as credible.

Philip Cairns’s old schoolbag may still hold vital DNA evidence. If gardai
can link any DNA samples found on it to Cooke’s victims, possibly children
he may have coerced, it would tend to confirm the story, providing them
with the grounds to search land he owned and where he might have concealed
a body.

Cooke owned several plots of land in remote parts of the Dublin/Wicklow
mountains, but also in rural Ireland. One officer, who investigated Cooke’s
abuse of children, last week remarked that if he did abduct Philip, he is
likely to have buried the boy on land that he owned. “He didn’t take
chances,” remarked the detective.

Last week Peter Duff, the superintendent who is leading the investigation,
urged people who may have been asked to leave the victim’s schoolbag in a
laneway to come forward. He did not mention Cooke by name, but said he
believed that children may have been coerced into placing the schoolbag
where it was found, and that their involvement may “now be playing on their
minds”.

“I am conscious that with the passage of time and changed circumstances,
these people may now be in a position to help,” said Duff, publicly
assuring any witnesses sensitivity and discretion.

“For the sake of Mrs Cairns and her family who have been suffering for 30
years, it is important that we bring this investigation to a conclusion.”

For the court appeals associated with the DJ, Eamon Cooke see 2015 Cathy Fox Blog Index / Timeline of Court Appeals and Documentation [2] ie Appeal 1 2003 [5] Appeal 3 2015 [6] Appeal 2 2009 [7]

There are also many other articles online eg 2016 Jun 14 Broadsheet Philip Cairns and a Trail of Disinformation [3]

Other articles relevant to child sexual abuse see [constantly updated] Index Timeline of Newspaper Articles on Cathy Fox Blog [4]

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. These links are generally UK based.

  • The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.
  • National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups.
  • Other useful sites are One in Four [C]
  • and Havoca [D].
  • Useful post on Triggers [E] from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog.
  • Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G] and Meditation [H] may be useful.
  • Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma [J]
  • Survivors UK for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men [K]
  • Voicing CSA group [L] helps arrange survivors meetings in your area

Links

[1] 2016 Jun 19 Sunday Times Did this DJ really kill Philip Cairns? http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/did-this-dj-really-kill-philip-cairns-wfgdblp6p

[2] 2015 Cathy Fox Blog Index / Timeline of Court Appeals and Documentation https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/a-timeline-of-court-and-ewca-documentation-on-cathy-fox-blog/

[3] 2016 Jun 14 Broadsheet Philip Cairns and a Trail of Disinformation http://www.broadsheet.ie/2016/06/14/philip-cairns-and-a-trail-of-disinformation/

[4] 2016 Cathy Fox Blog Index Timeline of Newspaper Articles on Cathy Fox Blog

[5] 2016 Jun 19 Cathy Fox Blog Eamon Cooke Appeal 1 2003 https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2016/06/19/eamon-cooke-appeal-1-2003/

[6] 2016 Jun 19 Cathy Fox Blog Eamon Cooke Appeal 3 2015 https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2016/06/19/eamon-cooke-appeal-2-2007/

[7] 2016 Jun 19 Cathy Fox Blog Eamon Cooke Appeal 2 2009 May 11 https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2016/06/19/eamon-cooke-app

[A] Sanctuary for the Abused http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.co.uk/2006/07/for-survivors-coping-with-triggers-if.html

[B] NAPAC http://www.napac.org.uk/

[C] One in Four http://www.oneinfour.org.uk/

[D] Havoca http://www.havoca.org/HAVOCA_home.htm

[E] SurvivorsJustice Triggers post http://survivorsjustice.com/2014/02/26/triggers-what-are-they-and-how-do-we-work-through-them/

[F] SurvivorsJustice Blog http://survivorsjustice.com/

[G] Jim Hopper Mindfulness http://www.jimhopper.com/mindfulness/

[H] Jim Hopper Meditation http://www.jimhopper.com/mindfulness/#cultivate

[J] 2016 Jan 5 Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma https://hwaairfan.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/an-indigenous-australian-approach-to-healing-trauma/

[K] Survivors UK website for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men https://www.survivorsuk.org/ and twitter https://twitter.com/SurvivorsUK

[L] Voicing CSA website – http://voicingcsa.uk/ helps arrange survivors meetings in your area. Voicing CSA supports the IICSA and VSCP and works to help adult survivors of child sexual abuse find their voice

This is all written in good faith but if there is anything that needs to be corrected please email ecooke

cathyfox

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” – Edmund Burke

“He who does not bellow the truth when he knows the truth makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers.” Charles Peguy

To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Original Article: https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/philip-cairns-murdered-by-eamon-cook-sunday-times-article-19-jun-2016/

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Which Way Croatia: Liberal or Illiberal Democracy?

Front: Tomislav Karamarko, HDZ president Back: Milijan Brkic, HDZ Deputy-president Photo: Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL

Front: Tomislav Karamarko, HDZ president
Back: Milijan Brkic, HDZ Deputy-president
Photo: Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL

Next week seems set to shed light as to whether Croatia’s Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic has indeed been a weak Prime Minister, failing to adequately implement the needed reforms that were promised to the voters of Croatia at last elections, late 2015, and whether he has, as Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ claims, been more preoccupied with his own political niche and agenda that is in contradiction with the technocratic, professional role (towards implementing set reforms) he was appointed as Prime Minister to pursue.

Croatian parliament will, during the coming week, entertain the subject of HDZ’s (Croatian Democratic Union/ majority party in coalition government) motion for vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic and Oreskovic will, as announced, step before it in an effort to defend himself. Hence, the end appears nigh for the current lot of tortuous speculations, allegations against specific members of Croatian government and endless sensationalism served by the media. Next week, then, is likely to deliver some reprieve to the confused, angered and tortured public. Furthermore, the Croatian independent authority deliberating on whether there had been a conflict of interest to pin against Tomislav Karamarko, leader of HDZ and the First Deputy Prime Minister, has announced it would publish its findings around noon Wednesday 15 June.

Hopefully, then, next week is likely to shed some further directional light as to the source/s of the staged political crisis Croatia has been exposed to ever since February 2016 or earlier when vicious attacks began against HDZ’s ministers and leaders.

Many Croats in Croatia and probably all Croats living in the diaspora had, as they fought and supported Croatia’s efforts to secede from communist Yugoslavia and grow into an independent democratic state, did so in the expectation that Croatian democracy would be modeled on the so-called Western democracy:

• On Liberal democracy that protects the rights of the individual and has those rights generally enshrined in the law;
• On Liberal democracy that defends and increases civil liberties against the encroachment of governments, institutions and powerful forces in society;
• On Liberal democracy that restricts or regulates government intervention in political, economic and moral matters affecting the citizenry;
• On Liberal democracy that increases the scope for religious, political and intellectual freedom of citizens;
• On Liberal democracy that questions the demands made by vested interest groups seeking special privileges;
• On Liberal democracy that develops a society open to talent and which rewards citizens on merit, rather than on rank, privilege or status;
• On Liberal democracy that frames rules that maximise the well-being of all or most citizens.

Indeed, on 30 May 1990, at the inaugural assembly of the Croatian Parliament, Croatia’s first president Franjo Tudjman said: “The new Constitution of Croatia must be free from all ideological dissents; it must be based on experiences of creating a Croatian state and in the spirit of the most democratic traditions of modern Europe and North American reality and science of law.”

This month. 25th June 2016 will mark 25 years since Croatian parliament voted for secession from communist Yugoslavia and thus, put in place the Liberal democracy its 1990 referendum sealed as its future path. Croatians have always considered themselves as being more Central European in culture and geography than being Balkan. Hence, the democracy they voted for, by a staggering 94% vote, in the 1990 referendum, was a Liberal one modeled on the “West” rather than some hybrid of democracy which could amount to an Illiberal one; the one reminiscent of government or significant elites’ controls they experienced under communist regime in Yugoslavia.

Tihomir Oreskovic Croatia's Prime Minister Photo: Marko Lukunic/Pixsell

Tihomir Oreskovic
Croatia’s Prime Minister
Photo: Marko Lukunic/Pixsell

The Financial Times’ recent article by Tony Barber widened my concerns about the slow and communist heritage stifled direction of democratic development in Croatia. Comparing the efforts signaled in 1990 for a Liberal democracy to the current and staged political crisis in Croatia one may indeed ask as to whether the crisis is associated with some political push to move Croatia further away from Liberal and closer to an Illiberal democracy, which has been taking hold of Poland, Hungary and perhaps Slovakia in Eastern Europe? Illiberal democracy “means a type of government that preserves the forms of democracy but falls well short of North American or Western European standards of freedom.”
So far Croatia has struggled in achieving the standards of Liberal democracy but the witch-hunt against individual HDZ members of the government and the feeling one gets that the Social Democrat opposition and its coalition as well as the Prime Minister appear to ignore and even downplay the individual’s right to a defense and due process against alarming allegations does make one question whether in fact there is a background truth in the thought that Illiberal democracy may indeed be at Croatia’s door, if it already hasn’t permeated in. One’s suspicions of this are ever more strengthened by the fact that the Catholic publication “Glas Concila” published 12 June a political commentary by priest Ivan Miklenic, Editor in Chief of that publication, which includes the following: “When the affair ‘the consultant’ (meaning HDZ’s leader’s wife’s consultancy business dealings with Hungarian MOL company prior to him being elected into current government) broke out in public and when it became more than clear that regardless of whether there was guilt under the law or responsibility, moral and political responsibilities unquestionably arose and instead of making moves that serve real common good came the moves that meant the saving of only one man (meaning Tomislav Karamarko, leader of HDZ) at all costs, at all high costs. There was no inclination nor will in the largest political party for the acceptance, the understanding and the realization of common sense reasoning in accordance to which neither a political party, or the Government, or Croatia cannot be a hostage to the interests of one person or one project… The question why the strongest political party, that has large merits for the creation of independent Croatia, is suddenly becoming incapable of recognising what it is that serves the common good, serves Croatian interests and what brings down that party and damages Croatia is likely to remain unanswered once again…”

Regretfully, it appears that this priest, the Chief Editor of the Catholic Glas Concila publication does not consider the rights of individuals as legitimate, as the most important rights Liberal democracy must uphold! This individual the above Glas Concila article refers to is indeed a member of the political party in government but in the eyes of the public he is still an individual with rights to due process that are same as the rights of individuals not in government. Indeed, to my view, the individuals in government must uphold and fight for the rights of individuals (including self) under any and all circumstances otherwise the door to illiberal democracy is wide open. How close reported Opus Dei activists in Croatia who are said to be among advisors to the Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic (e.g, formerly New York based Stjepo Bartulica) are associated with this appalling commentary in the Catholic Glas Concila is anyone’s guess, but certainly the guessing game does become easier once matters of possible influence are placed in the context of Liberal versus Illiberal democracy; the latter being considered as acting against rights of individuals and promoting pressure from political or other elite groups.

Zdravko Maric Croatia's Finance Minister Photo: hrt.hr

Zdravko Maric
Croatia’s Finance Minister
Photo: hrt.hr

If we look deeply into the fight Karamarko and HDZ are fighting right now it certainly is not about some conservative nationalism one sees in Poland, Hungary or Slovakia but it is more about individual rights as the cornerstone of Liberal democracy Croatia lost rivers of blood for in the 1990’s Homeland War. Those rights are of Croatia’s national interests and not some nebulous national rights those attacking HDZ and Karamarko are spitting out daily. Indeed, the faith in HDZ as a guardian of the cornerstone of Liberal democracy appears further justified by the fact that the party has Saturday 11 June decided to put forth Zdravko Maric, current finance minister, as the next Prime Minister of Croatia, hence demonstrating that its fight in the political crisis has not been about one individual’s position – Karamarko’s – but about the principles of individual rights and due process. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Original Article: https://inavukic.com/2016/06/12/which-way-croatia-liberal-or-illiberal-democracy/

https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/about/

Editors Notes:

I would remind you that this blog is produced free for the public good and you are welcome to republish or re-use this article or any other material freely anywhere without requesting further permission.

News & Views welcome always published as long as NO bad language or is not related to subject matter.

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1974 Harold Wilson Burglaries 1 – Articles from The Times 1976

This post contains a number of Times articles about the 1974 burglary on Harold Wilson and what became known as the “Wilson Papers”.

Harold Wilson was burgled on several occasions in 1974. Two men, Henn and Wafai, were charged on 5th March 1976. Harold Wilson announced his resignation on 16th March 1976. Henn had links to pornography and child sexual abuse images oddly not mentioned in these Times articles, see Cathy Fox Blog Wilson Burglaries 3 – Henn importing child sexual abuse images [7] For the appeals see Cathy Fox Blog 1974 Wilson Burglaries 2 – Maurice Donald Henn Appeals [6]

The whole story is quite odd and surely there is much more to come out.

  • 1976 Mar 5 The Times Man is charged with Theft of Wilson Papers
  • 1976 Mar 6 The Times Remand for two men on Wilson Paper Charges
  • 1976 Apr 22 The Times Two for trial on Wilson Paper charges
  • 1976 Jul 7 The Times Senior Yard Men to head leak Inquiry
  • 1976 Sept 9 The Times Tapes of HMS Tiger talks in stolen Wilson papers
  • 1976 Sept 11 The Times Defendant explains silence over Wilson papers
  • 1976 Sept 15 The Times Two Convicted over lost Wilson papers

Click on articles to enlarge

2016 Cathy Fox Blog Index of Newspaper and Journal articles [1]

2016 Cathy Fox Blog Index / Timeline of Court Appeals and Documentation [2]

1976 Mar 5 The Times Man is charged with Theft of Wilson Papers

The_Times_1976-03-05

1976 Mar 6 The Times Remand for two men on Wilson Paper Charges

The_Times_1976-03-06

1976 Apr 22 The Times Two for trial on Wilson Paper charges

The_Times_1976-04-22

1976 Jul 7 The Times Senior Yard Men to head leak Inquiry

The_Times_1976-07-07

1976 Sept 9 The Times Tapes of HMS Tiger talks in stolen Wilson papers

The_Times_1976-09-09

1976 Sept 11 The Times Defendant explains silence over Wilson papersThe_Times_1976-09-11

1976 Sept 15 The Times Two Convicted over lost Wilson papersThe_Times_1976-09-15

2016 Cathy Fox Blog Index of Newspaper and Journal articles [1]

2016 Cathy Fox Blog Index / Timeline of Court Appeals and Documentation [2]

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. These links are generally UK based.

  • The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.
  • National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups.
  • Other useful sites are One in Four [C]
  • and Havoca [D].
  • Useful post on Triggers [E] from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog.
  • Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G] and Meditation [H] may be useful.
  • Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma [J]
  • Survivors UK for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men [K]
  • Voicing CSA group [L] helps arrange survivors meetings in your area

References

1976 Mar 5 The Times Man is charged with Theft of Wilson Papers

1976 Mar 6 The Times Remand for two men on Wilson Paper Charges

1976 Apr 22 The Times Two for trial on Wilson Paper charges

1976 Jul 7 The Times Senior Yard Men to head leak Inquiry

1976 Sept 9 The Times Tapes of HMS Tiger talks in stolen Wilson papers

1976 Sept 11 The Times Defendant explains silence over Wilson papers

1976 Sept 15 The Times Two Convicted over lost Wilson papers

Links

[1] 2016 Cathy Fox Blog Index of Newspaper and Journal articles https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/newspaper-stories-index-timeline/

[2] 2016 Cathy Fox Blog Index / Timeline of Court Appeals and Documentation https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/a-timeline-of-court-and-ewca-documentation-on-cathy-fox-blog/

[5] Cathy Fox Blog 1974 Harold Wilson Burglaries 1 – Articles from The Times 1976 https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/1974-harold-wilson-burglaries-1-articles-from-the-times-1976/

[6] Cathy Fox Blog 1974 Wilson Burglaries 2 – Maurice Donald Henn Appeals https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/1974-wilson-burglaries-2-maurice-donald-henn-appeals/

[7] Cathy Fox Blog Wilson Burglaries 3 – Henn importing child sexual abuse images https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/wilson-burglaries-3-henn-importing-child-sexual-abuse-images/

[A] Sanctuary for the Abused http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.co.uk/2006/07/for-survivors-coping-with-triggers-if.html

[B] NAPAC http://www.napac.org.uk/

[C] One in Four http://www.oneinfour.org.uk/

[D] Havoca http://www.havoca.org/HAVOCA_home.htm

[E] SurvivorsJustice Triggers post http://survivorsjustice.com/2014/02/26/triggers-what-are-they-and-how-do-we-work-through-them/

[F] SurvivorsJustice Blog http://survivorsjustice.com/

[G] Jim Hopper Mindfulness http://www.jimhopper.com/mindfulness/

[H] Jim Hopper Meditation http://www.jimhopper.com/mindfulness/#cultivate

[J] 2016 Jan 5 Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma https://hwaairfan.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/an-indigenous-australian-approach-to-healing-trauma/

[K] Survivors UK website for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men https://www.survivorsuk.org/ and twitter https://twitter.com/SurvivorsUK

[L] Voicing CSA website – http://voicingcsa.uk/ helps arrange survivors meetings in your area. Voicing CSA supports the IICSA and VSCP and works to help adult survivors of child sexual abuse find their voice

This is all written in good faith but if there is anything that needs to be corrected please email wilson

cathyfox

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” – Edmund Burke

“He who does not bellow the truth when he knows the truth makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers.” Charles Peguy

To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Original Article: https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/1974-harold-wilson-burglaries-1-articles-from-the-times-1976/

https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/about/

Editors Notes:

I would remind you that this blog is produced free for the public good and you are welcome to republish or re-use this article or any other material freely anywhere without requesting further permission.

News & Views welcome always published as long as NO bad language or is not related to subject matter.

Thanks for following as always appreciate every like, mention , reblog or #tweet also our Our daily newspaper is added with all our posts daily:

Breaking News As It Happens When It Happens Daily & News Wire Reports Finance & Markets B4 It Happens Social & Media Food & Health History & Research Britain & History ScotlandFriends & Followers Sales & Authors#Tweet Your News Here PC-Help & Repair Featured Writers NewsroomChat & Bloggers News Shop & ShareHealthcare Sport & Reports Press Releases & Reports – ….. more to come.

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Croatia: Witch-Hunt Fever Spreads Threatening Collapse Of Government

Tomislav Karamarko Leader of HDZ/ First Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia

Tomislav Karamarko
Leader of HDZ/ First Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia

Following Croatia’s political developments that saw the mounting of scandal after scandal in efforts to destabilise the government since January 2016 these days is like being catapulted back to the Middle Ages when witch-hunts thrived, fever of confusion and moral panic ruled the day and truth and justice took a far back seat. This time, though, in Croatia the moral panic appears to seep in all shapes and forms from ex-communist and communist-minded echelons, threatened with full exposure and reckoning of the communist crimes their political forbearers committed against the Croatian nation. It’s also like riding on a beastly rollercoaster that cruelly gives no clues as to how turbulent, even how fatal, its next turn may be.

The most deeply disappointing element in this state of political confusion is that even the appointed (non-elected) Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic and minority BRIDGE/MOST coalition partner Deputy Prime Minister Bozo Petrov have both since Friday 3 June 2016 caught an insufferable dose of the terrible illness previously manifested mainly by the leftist opposition of Social Democrats and their political allies in the parliament. This terrible illness can be labeled: witch-hunt fever against Tomislav Karamarko, First Deputy Prime Minister and leader of Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ majority partner in the coalition government. This witch-hunt fever currently centres around the motion to the parliament by Social Democrat opposition seeking a vote of no-confidence on basis of Karamarko’s wife’s previous business consultancy as well as on basis of things Croatia media has reported Karamarko had at various times said!

To use this motion, prior to the appropriate authorities delivering a finding as to whether Karamarko has a conflict of interest case to answer, as a foundation in seeking his resignation in a country where democracy and due process are said to be the guiding principles and practices is tantamount to lunacy; to witch-hunt fever no citizen should be subjected to in the 21st century. The motion for no-confidence vote tabled by the Social Democrats is discussed in some political circles as a credible process even though facts of the matter have not been established nor truth certified by way of tested evidence! How someone can say they’ll vote for the motion of no confidence when it has not been established that Karamarko’s professional decision making capabilities for the government have been adversely affected by his wife’s business dealings prior to elections and his becoming the First Deputy Prime Minister, as Social Democrats seem to claim, can only be answered with repugnance.

Tihomir Oreskovic Croatian Prime Minister

Tihomir Oreskovic
Croatian Prime Minister

Croatia’s prime minister Tihomir Oreskovic on Friday 3 June 2016 in a surprise and seemingly sudden move urged his two deputies (Tomislav Karamarko and Bozo Petrov) to step down to end a political deadlock; he said he himself would not resign and that he did everything in his power to try and fix the broken relationship between the two deputies. The latest crisis erupted when Bozo Petrov from BRIDGE/MOST said during the past week it would support the Social Democrat motion to replace its partner’s First Deputy Prime Minister Karamarko.
I am not resigning and I didn’t plan to,” Oreskovic said Friday, insisting new elections are not necessary and would only slow down and burden Croatia’s economic recovery.
I hope they (deputies) will make a decision in the interest of the Croatian citizens,” he said.

The leader of the Croatian Democratic Union, Tomislav Karamarko, who said he was surprised by the prime minister’s decision, promptly rejected Oreskovic’s call.
Deputy premier Tomislav Karamarko, head of the HDZ party which dominates the government, refused to quit and said either fresh elections or a “reconfiguring” in parliament were now the only solutions adding that Prime Minister Oreskovic no longer enjoys HDZ’s trust.
MOST leader Bozo Petrov said he was ready to resign but insisted Karamarko should too.

Bozo Petrov Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia

Bozo Petrov
Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia

The fact that witch-hunt against HDZ leader Karamarko is at the forefront of Bozo Petrov’s mind is evidenced by his statement for HRT news Saturday 4 June 2016 when he said: “…I am now truly interested, after the ‘consulant’ affair (read Karamarko’s wife’s business consultancy) that arose and everything else that he is the one who presents himself as the one who is protecting (Croatian) national interests … if he really cared about the homeland, as he often said he does, then he would know that the term ‘political rsponsibility’ exists and if though nothing else then he would protect national interests by submitting his resignation …”

Petrov stated further on HRT news Saturday 4 June that if HDZ achieve a governing majority through reconfiguring then “that will resemble some hybrid monster, but that is their problem…”! Can you imagine a member of parliament saying this! Absolutely shocking – nothing that people elect into the parliament can be viewed as a monster of any sort! This Bozo Petrov needs to be ousted from the government – not Karamarko.

HDZ Presidency met on Saturday 4 June 2016 and confirmed its support for Tomislav Karamarko as its leader in both the Party and its parliamentary majority, despite a reported suggestion by HDZ vice-president Milijan Brkic that Karamarko could consider removing himself/resigning from First Depty Prime Minister position. Reportedly all options were at the table and the concluding agreements were that HDZ will work on finding a way as to how Prime Minister Oreskovic needs to be removed from the top job and how HDZ can push ahead by reconfiguring the parliamentary partners it may still govern with as majority coalition partner. Reports in the media that HDZ itself is split on the issue of Karamarko’s leadership do not seem to be supported by any visible threat to his leadership although, as any other party anywhere, HDZ is not immune from factions and fractions.

In the event of re-stacking or re-configuring parliamentary majority in order to save this HDZ led government possibilities do exist that some MOST/BRIDGE coalition members may abandon that coalition and cross to direct coalition with HDZ as “single seat” to help HDZ make-up the required 76 seats as Petrov loses his grip on MOST’s political coagulation of independents. Furthermore, the next week or so is set to show as to whether HDZ can assemble new alliances within the parliament in order to come up with majority seats and, hence, enter a new era of its coalition government. The alternative solution to solving the political crisis that has been created via false allegations and sheer political stupidity and sensationalism is said to lie in new general elections, which HDZ says is the last resort they would condone as elections take time and cost money Croatia cannot afford. Of course, there is always the possibility that Social Democrats’ motion for a vote of no confidence against Karamarko will be blown out of the water even before voting gets a place on the agenda of parliamentary day business. And then again, one could expect new scandals seizing the public space unless HDZ leader Karamarko sits firmly on government’s reform agenda, clears unstable HDZ elements/members and officers in its ranks to outer margins or insignificance, so to drown political scandals and affairs that prevent the government from doing its job properly. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Original Article: https://inavukic.com/2016/06/05/croatia-witch-hunt-fever-spreads-threatening-collapse-of-government/

https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/about/

Editors Notes:

I would remind you that this blog is produced free for the public good and you are welcome to republish or re-use this article or any other material freely anywhere without requesting further permission.

News & Views welcome always published as long as NO bad language or is not related to subject matter.

Thanks for following as always appreciate every like, mention , reblog or #tweet also our Our daily newspaper is added with all our posts daily:

Breaking News As It Happens When It Happens Daily & News Wire Reports Finance & Markets B4 It Happens Social & Media Food & Health History & Research Britain & History ScotlandFriends & Followers Sales & Authors#Tweet Your News Here PC-Help & Repair Featured Writers NewsroomChat & Bloggers News Shop & ShareHealthcare Sport & Reports Press Releases & Reports – ….. more to come.

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