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Pressure Builds On Judge Over California Sexual Assault Case

By Alex Dobuzinskis and Amy Tennery

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer on Monday decried a California judge’s decision to sentence a college athlete to just six months in jail for sexual assault, and signatures on an online petition calling for the jurist’s ouster later passed 400,000.

The sentence last week by Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky against former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner gained international attention after a letter from the athlete’s father to the judge that was posted online described the assault as “20 minutes of action.”

“Six months for someone who viciously attacked a woman, especially after she was so brave to come forward, is outrageous,” Boxer said in a statement released late Monday.

Asked for a comment on the controversy over his ruling, Santa Clara Superior Court spokesman Joseph Macaluso said Judge Persky is prohibited from commenting on the case because there may be an appeal.

Last week, the victim in the case read a 12-page letter to the court detailing her feelings in the wake of the assault. It was later read millions of times online. The victim’s name has not been released to the public.

The uproar over the sentence is part of growing outrage in the United States over sexual assault on college campuses.

In the Stanford case, prosecutors said that witnesses saw Turner, 20, on top of the woman as she lay motionless outside a fraternity party in January 2015. When Turner ran away, two students tackled and held him for police, prosecutors said.

Turner in March was convicted of intent to rape an intoxicated and unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person. His lawyer said on Tuesday that he was considering appealing the conviction and had filed a notice of intent to appeal with the court.

An online petition at Change.org urging the removal of the judge had collected more than 400,000 clicks of support by Tuesday afternoon, in a largely symbolic gesture.

Stanford law professor Michele Dauber has vowed to start a more formal recall effort against Persky, but that is a difficult process rarely used in California.

International interest in the case has led media organizations to request interviews with the woman, but prosecutors said on Tuesday that she wished to remain anonymous.

In a statement released by Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Alaleh Kianerci to CNN, the woman said that in addition to wanting to protect her privacy, she could better represent all woman if her name and image were not known.

“I’m coming out to you simply as a woman wanting to be heard,” she said in the statement to CNN. “For now I am every woman.”

 

Additional reporting by Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago and Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Sharon Bernstein, Bernard Orr

Photo: Former Stanford student Brock Turner who was sentenced to six months in county jail for the sexual assault of an unconscious and intoxicated woman is shown in this Santa Clara County Sheriff’s booking photo taken January 18, 2015, and received June 7, 2016. Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department/Handout via REUTERS 

John Boehner Calling Ted Cruz ‘Lucifer In The Flesh’ Is Hardly The Worst Thing Someone Has Said About Ted Cruz

Former House Speaker John Boehner called Ted Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh” Wednesday, and made clear he would never vote for the presidential candidate in a general election.

Boehner has never hidden his deep dislike of Cruz, but his comments at a Stanford University gathering went farther than any he has made before about the Texas Senator.

“Lucifer in the flesh,” Boehner said, according to an article in the Stanford Daily. “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost anyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

In response, Cruz told reporters Thursday Boehner “allowed his inner Trump to come out.”

“The interesting thing is I’ve never worked with John Boehner, I don’t know the man,” Cruz said. “Indeed, during the government shut down, I reached out to John Boehner, to work with him to get something meaningful done. He said, ‘I have no interest in talking to you.'”

The former speaker is only one of many, ranging from his congressional colleagues to former Princeton roommates, who have spoken ill of Cruz, widely regarded as one of the most disliked members of Congress.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said in a televised broadcast earlier this year that if “you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.”

Rep. Peter King of New York said Thursday on CNN that maybe Boehner “gives Lucifer a bad name by comparing him to Ted Cruz.”

“Listen, what John Boehner was most concerned about was Ted Cruz perpetrated a fraud and a hoax when he brought about the shutdown of the government on some kind of a vague promise that he was gonna be able to take Obamacare out of the budget or to end Obamacare,” Rep. King said.

Cruz’s former Princeton roommate, screenwriter Craig Mazin, regularly tweets about the year he shared a room with Cruz, none of it flattering. One tweet described Cruz as a “nightmare of a human being.

Mazin told the Daily Beast in 2013 he would “rather have anybody else be the President of the United States.”

Boehner’s dislike, even hatred, of Cruz can be traced to the Texas Senator’s two attempts to shut down the government, first in 2013 over Obamacare, then again last year over cutting off federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Cruz led those pushing for a shutdown, mostly members of the Tea Party-oriented House Freedom Caucus. Boehner described them in his talk with history professor David M. Kennedy as “knuckleheads” and “goofballs.” Boehner’s office confirmed the authenticity of the report and quotes.

Boehner was encouraged to speak frankly as he was assured the talk was not going to be filmed or broadcast.

The former speaker vowed he would not vote for Cruz in November, and that he will vote for Trump if he is the Republican nominee.

During the talk, hosted by Stanford in Government (SIG) and the Stanford Speakers Bureau, Boehner also spoke of Hillary Clinton, initially in somewhat disparaging terms.

Boehner is reported to have mimicked Clinton and is quoted as saying, “Oh I’m a woman, vote for me.” He then praised her as accomplished and smart.

He told the crowd not to be shocked if they saw “Joe Biden parachuting in” should Clinton’s emails became a larger scandal ahead of the Democratic National Convention.

“Don’t be shocked … if two weeks before the convention, here comes Joe Biden parachuting in and Barack Obama fanning the flames to make it all happen,” Boehner said.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (not pictured) speak to reporters at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington October 7, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron 

Stanford’s New School For Aspiring Retirees To Mold Satisfying Second Careers

By Lisa M. Krieger, San Jose Mercury News

SAN JOSE, California—Stanford University is looking for a new kind of student: proven leaders, with 20 to 30 years of work experience, seeking to reinvent their futures.

A small experiment launched this week offers older students the opportunity not to retire but retrain — and commit to new and meaningful projects.

The yearlong Distinguished Careers Institute is not for everyone. It will pluck 20 high achievers and place them in one of the most elite educational environments in the world to swap experiences and insights with their generations younger classmates.

But the model, if successful, could be adapted by community colleges and other universities so the nation’s growing ranks of Baby Boomers could apply their knowledge, skills and professional relationships in new realms.

“Retirement in the traditional sense is not really healthy,” said Institute director Dr. Phil Pizzo, a 69-year-old pediatrician, researcher, and former dean of the Stanford School of Medicine who awakens by 4:30 a.m. each day to run six to seven miles.

“What you need to stay healthy is to be physically well, intellectually motivated and stimulated to take on new challenges and form social communities,” he said. “And to continue to do that over time.”

Enrollment is open now, for a school year that starts in January. The school is looking for candidates with 20- to 30-year histories of significant career achievement who are ready to explore new professional trajectories and who can pay the $60,000 tuition.

They’ll be mentored by some of the university’s brightest lights, such as Pizzo, School of Engineering Dean James D. Plummer and School of Business professor Margaret Neale, who will help develop personalized “scholarly pathways” toward achieving their goals. Participants can audit any of the university’s hundreds of academic offerings, take part in think tanks and seminars, and meet regularly with faculty and students.

Pizzo has met with nearly 100 experts, on campus and off, to plan ways to harness older workers’ skills and experience to catapult them into new endeavors. The university will work with global job placement centers to connect fellows with volunteer or paid employment.

The institute is on the frontier of a new range in higher education, “essentially school for the second half of life,” said Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Encore.org, a nonprofit organization focused on social careers for Baby Boomers. “The initiative holds the potential to pioneer a new model,” said Freedman, author of The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife.

In traditional retirement, elders are supposed to get out of the way and out of work. But a growing number of “second actors,” people like Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and Bill Gates, show what experienced second-career executives can accomplish.

Universities can expand their role in not just stimulating the first phase of a career but helping create mid- to later-career life transitions, as well, said Pizzo.

Few programs now exist to help. The leader is Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative that began in 2008. Its fellows are dedicated to finding solutions for societal problems. Unlike Stanford’s program, Harvard fellows come with a specific project mapped out.

Pizzo said that in a decade of thinking about the issues, two demographic facts caught his attention: Baby Boomers will represent one-quarter of the U.S. population by 2029. And they’re living longer and healthier lives.

He saw that some people resist the traditional retirement ideal of leisure, so continue working even though their skills have lost their edge. Others embrace retirement but quickly grow bored. Still others don’t have the financial ability to fully retire, yet don’t know what other work they can do. These people represent a huge untapped societal resource, he believes.

Photo: Phillip Taylor via Flickr

Stanford’s New School For Aspiring Retirees To Mold Satisfying Second Careers

By Lisa M. Krieger, San Jose Mercury News

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Stanford University is looking for a new kind of student: proven leaders, with 20 to 30 years of work experience, seeking to reinvent their futures.

A small experiment launched this week offers older students the opportunity not to retire but retrain — and commit to new and meaningful projects.

The yearlong Distinguished Careers Institute is not for everyone. It will pluck 20 high achievers and place them in one of the most elite educational environments in the world to swap experiences and insights with their generations younger classmates.

But the model, if successful, could be adapted by community colleges and other universities so the nation’s growing ranks of Baby Boomers could apply their knowledge, skills and professional relationships in new realms.

“Retirement in the traditional sense is not really healthy,” said Institute director Dr. Phil Pizzo, a 69-year-old pediatrician, researcher, and former dean of the Stanford School of Medicine who awakens by 4:30 a.m. each day to run six to seven miles.

“What you need to stay healthy is to be physically well, intellectually motivated and stimulated to take on new challenges and form social communities,” he said. “And to continue to do that over time.”

Enrollment is open now, for a school year that starts in January. The school is looking for candidates with 20- to 30-year histories of significant career achievement who are ready to explore new professional trajectories and who can pay the $60,000 tuition.

They’ll be mentored by some of the university’s brightest lights, such as Pizzo, School of Engineering Dean James D. Plummer and School of Business professor Margaret Neale, who will help develop personalized “scholarly pathways” toward achieving their goals. Participants can audit any of the university’s hundreds of academic offerings, take part in think tanks and seminars, and meet regularly with faculty and students.

Pizzo has met with nearly 100 experts, on campus and off, to plan ways to harness older workers’ skills and experience to catapult them into new endeavors. The university will work with global job placement centers to connect fellows with volunteer or paid employment.

The institute is on the frontier of a new range in higher education, “essentially school for the second half of life,” said Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Encore.org, a nonprofit organization focused on social careers for Baby Boomers. “The initiative holds the potential to pioneer a new model,” said Freedman, author of The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife.

In traditional retirement, elders are supposed to get out of the way and out of work. But a growing number of “second actors,” people like Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and Bill Gates, show what experienced second-career executives can accomplish.

Universities can expand their role in not just stimulating the first phase of a career but helping create mid- to later-career life transitions, as well, said Pizzo.

Few programs now exist to help. The leader is Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative that began in 2008. Its fellows are dedicated to finding solutions for societal problems. Unlike Stanford’s program, Harvard fellows come with a specific project mapped out.

Pizzo said that in a decade of thinking about the issues, two demographic facts caught his attention: Baby Boomers will represent one-quarter of the U.S. population by 2029. And they’re living longer and healthier lives.

He saw that some people resist the traditional retirement ideal of leisure, so continue working even though their skills have lost their edge. Others embrace retirement but quickly grow bored. Still others don’t have the financial ability to fully retire, yet don’t know what other work they can do. These people represent a huge untapped societal resource, he believes.

Los Angeles-based investment banker Skip Victor used the Harvard program to shift from a stellar career in corporate restructuring to build Academic Exchange, which organizes educational missions to Israel for scholars in political science, international relations, history, law and journalism. He also studied music composition, neuroscience, China and health-care law and policy.

“When you’re young, you’re trying to figure out what you want to do. Then you become focused on a specific set of questions and problems. It is just not possible to explore,” Victor said. “There is great freedom in being a beginner again,” he said. Now he mentors Harvard students who seek his advice in business and public service.

The Stanford program will “create change, 20 people at a time,” said Pizzo.

“If our fellows become models that deliver new organizations, they’ll be champions of the future.”

AFP Photo/Justin Sullivan