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  1. #61
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    Wages have been stagnant for many years and yet profits have gone up and the economy has grown.

    Money before people.

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  3. #62
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by giovonni View Post
    Now that this mess-hap is temporary settled ...

    Published January 20, 2019




    People line up to get a free lunch at a pop-up eatery for furloughed government
    employees and their families, on January 16, 2019, in Washington, DC.


    Shutdown Exposes How Many Americans Live Paycheck to Paycheck

    "Today marks the two-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration, and we have learned some hard lessons in the interval. The ongoing, historically unprecedented shutdown of the federal government has exposed Trump as one of the worst deal-makers ever to stand up in two shoes.

    It has further exposed the Republican Party’s bottomless disdain for marginalized people through its craven refusal to contain the man who has unleashed all this misery. It has exposed deep fissures in Trump’s once-unbreakable base as more and more of his supporters — battered by tariffs and now the shutdown — come to correctly believe they’ve been played for chumps.

    The shutdown has exposed something else far more personal and uncomfortable, something most folks don’t like to talk about because it is too frightening to contemplate, something they can’t see an easy way to fix. It is this simple, terrible truth: A great many people in the US are one missed paycheck away from complete financial calamity.

    This has proven true for many of the federal workers and contractors furloughed by the shutdown. The end of the month is less than two weeks away, and those furloughed workers will collectively owe more than $400 million in mortgage and rent payments, to say nothing of utility bills and child care expenses. Throw in food and gasoline, and the math becomes grim in a big hurry.

    This crisis is not limited to furloughed federal workers, however. According to a report by Forbes Magazine, a full 78 percent of all US workers are living paycheck to paycheck. One quarter of workers are financially unable to set aside any money for savings after each pay cycle. Three quarters of workers are in debt, and half of those believe they always will be. Most minimum wage workers are required to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.

    “What do professors, real estate agents, farmers, business executives, computer programmers and store clerks have in common? They’re not immune to the harsh reality of living paycheck to paycheck,” reports Danielle Paquette for The Washington Post. “They’re millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers. They work in big cities and rural towns. They’ve tried to save — but rent, child care, student loans and medical bills get in the way.”

    The situation becomes more concerning when considering the average worker’s inability to financially cope with an injury, emergency or turn of bad luck. “Can you cover an unexpected $400 expense?” asks Anna Bahney of CNN. “Four in ten Americans can’t, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Board. Those who don’t have the cash on hand say they’d have to cover it by borrowing or selling something.”

    And it’s all a great big secret, a problem most people struggle with but seldom discuss, because we have been trained to be embarrassed about such things. This is the greatest country in the world! With the greatest economy! Rugged individuals and bootstraps! If we are failing to amass a personal fortune, it’s because of our own inherent laziness or lack of incentive. Shame on us, right?

    Wrong.

    This situation has been created by decades of Reagan-born trickle-down capitalism and the moral cowardice of bought politicians of every stripe. These unbalanced economic policies favor the wealthy and shun the rest with deprecating propaganda that parks the fault for financial struggle squarely on the shoulders of the very workers who have been taken advantage of for generations.

    Many millions of people in the US spend their lives sprinting to stand still, financially speaking, desperate to squeeze every ounce of value from a dollar whose purchasing power seems to diminish with each passing year. It’s a damned expensive country to live in, especially if you reside with most of the population on the coasts. We don’t seem to get very much for the money we spend or the hard work we do, and our social safety net is weakening more each day.

    It’s a feeling and an experience the Donald Trumps of the world have never known. There you lay, the clock yelling 3 a.m. and you know your alarm is going off in two hours, but you haven’t slept because you have $46 in the bank, no savings to speak of, a fistful of maxed-out credit cards, bills coming every day. You need to eat, need to commute, need medicine and clothes and shoes, and the rent or mortgage is due next week. After paying for all that, you’ll be lucky to still have that $46 left over. Your stomach is a crater inside you, and you lie there, waiting to work another day and maybe break even so long as absolutely nothing goes wrong.

    The shutdown has shoved this stark reality in our faces, and it is high time we talked about it instead of pretending it isn’t there or being embarrassed by it. Those furloughed federal workers telling their stories of struggle on the nightly news are part of a huge majority in this country, the kind of super-duper majority that can bring wholesale change virtually overnight if we look each other in the eye and remember that this is not our fault. We are not the ones who have stolen the dream of upward mobility and replaced it with a treadmill, all the while preaching austerity so those who do fall behind have nowhere to turn for help.

    We did not create this situation. We are the grist in someone else’s mill. This is what happens when unions are broken, when “right to work” laws are allowed to stand, when the social safety net is stripped, when the minimum wage is stuck in the past and the only important people are the ones who are already flush and can afford to buy some pet politicians to lock down the status quo.

    Because it has been this way does not mean it always has to be this way. We did not do this. This was done to us, and we are legion. It is time we remembered that, and acted accordingly."


    By William Rivers Pitt
    Source: truthout.org
    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    Wages have been stagnant for many years and yet profits have gone up and the economy has grown.

    Money before people.
    Yes, like glimpsing a view of the U.S. economic underbelly ...

    Here's a very well researched/complied PDF that tells the tale of 'Going Nowhere' ?

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  5. #63
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    Thank you, and that's so depressing. How much do we really care about hard work? We say we do. But when the rubber meets the road profits come first and people are like what my brother said:

    "They're like pennies. You could just throw them away and you wouldn't miss them. They don't matter. They don't make a difference."

    He was paraphrasing the 20th century industrialist who described workers as "bolts on the warehouse floor".

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  7. #64
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    The latest ...

    FAMOUS GRAVE TOUR - Inland Empire (Roy Rogers, Rock Hudson, etc.)

    Hollywood Graveyard


    Welcome to Hollywood Graveyard, where we set out to remember and celebrate the lives of those who lived to entertain us, by visiting their final resting places. Today we conclude our tour through the deserts of the Inland Empire, where we'll find such stars as Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Rock Hudson, and many more.

    Full list of stars visited today: Dinah Shore, Alice Faye, Phil Harris, Harold Robbins, George Montgomery, Buddy Rogers, Jane Wyman, Jerry Vale, Vicki Draves, Guy Madison, Patsy Garrett, John Phillips, George Nader, Rock Hudson, Frank Capra, Alan O'Day, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans.
    Published on Feb 1, 2019

    19:33 minutes


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  9. #65
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    Thinking


    "Social values create society. This is what a society based on social wellbeing does; why can’t America do this? And please don’t tell me we can’t afford it, the usual conservative crap response. This is not about money it is about values.

    The Theorem of Wellbeing is very clear. Policies based on wellbeing are always easier to implement, more productive, more efficient, nicer to live under, longer lasting, and much, much cheaper." Stephan A. Schwartz





    How Finland Solved Homelessness
    With one ridiculously simple policy, it has almost completely eradicated street homelessness ...


    "Four years ago, Thomas Salmi was drinking to forget. He was homeless and living on the streets of Finland’s capital city Helsinki.

    He had a rough start in life. He wasn’t able to live at home because his father had problems with aggression. He ended up going to nine different children’s homes, before falling through the cracks of the system in his late teens. By 21 he was homeless. “I lost the sense of a normal life. I became depressed, aggressive, angry and I abused alcohol a lot.” He would drink up to half a gallon a day and then get into trouble. “I thought why would I care if I go to jail? I don’t have to be out there in snow and cold.”

    Salmi was sleeping in Helsinki train station when a social worker found him and told him he could help. He was put in touch with Helsinki Deaconess Institute (HDI), a Finnish nonprofit that provides social services. A year later he moved into Aurora-Tola, a 125-unit house run by HDI.

    Now 25 years old, he lives in his own studio apartment, works as a janitor and life is getting back on track. “I know that if I am in my house nobody is coming to get me out or telling me what to do,” he said, ”If I want to dance in my home, I can.”


    Thomas has decorated his apartment with things he has found in his work cleaning other apartments of the building, after someone has moved or passed away. Each item carries a story.

    "Salmi is a beneficiary of Finland’s much-lauded “housing first” approach, which has been in place for more than a decade.

    The idea is simple. To solve homelessness you start by giving someone a home, a permanent one with no strings attached. If they want to drink, they can; if they want to take drugs, that’s fine too. Support services are made available to treat addiction, mental health and other problems, and to help people get back on their feet, from assisting with welfare paperwork to securing a job.

    The housing in Finland is a mix of designated standard apartments sprinkled through the community, and supported housing: apartment blocks with on-site services, built or renovated specifically for chronically homeless people. A Salvation Army building in Helsinki, for example, was converted from a 250-bed emergency shelter to an 81 apartment supported housing unit.

    Formerly homeless residents have a rental contract just like anyone else. They pay rent from their own pockets or through the benefits afforded by Finland’s relatively generous welfare state.

    The approach is working. As homelessness rises across Europe, Finland’s numbers are falling. In 1987, there were around 18,000 homeless people. In 2017, there were 7,112 homeless people, of which only 415 were living on the streets or in emergency shelters. The vast majority (84 percent) were staying temporarily with friends or relatives. Between 2008 and 2015, the number of people experiencing long-term homelessness dropped by 35 percent.

    The reason? Finland approaches homelessness “as a housing problem and a violation of fundamental rights, both solvable, and not as an inevitable social problem resulting from personal issues,” said an analysis from Feantsa, a European network that focuses on homelessness.

    Traditionally, homeless people are told to straighten up and quit drinking or doing drugs as a precondition to housing. But critics point to the grinding difficulty of shaking addiction from the streets or from temporary shelter beds.

    “If something happens and you aren’t successful, like it always happens, it’s the nature of addiction, then you are back on the street,” said Heli Alkila, service area director at HDI which housed Thomas Salmi."

    A Salvation Army building in Helsinki was converted from a 250-bed emergency shelter to an 81-apartment supported housing unit.

    "Finland’s approach ultimately comes down to values, said Juha Kaakinen, an architect of the housing first approach and CEO of the nonprofit Y-Foundation. “The Finnish attitude is that we have to help people who are in the most difficult position, whatever the reason they have become homeless,” he said. “We understand very well that the main reasons behind homelessness are structural reasons.”

    In Espoo, a city two miles west of the Finnish capital, a housing unit sits overlooking a lake. This is Väinölä, a small development built in 2014, which is home to 35 formerly homeless people in 33 apartments.

    Eight nurses work on shifts to ensure someone is available 24 hours a day, and a work activity coach and coordinator organize work for those who can and want to do it. This could be anything from cooking meals to packing reflectors and it earns residents €2 ($2.30) a day.

    Teams of residents also collect trash locally. “The neighborhood loves it because they think this area is now cleaner than ever,” said Jarkko Jyräsalo, who runs Väinölä. “Sometimes housing units like this have problems with their neighbors, but we don’t.”

    Despite the different, sometimes severe, needs of residents, Väinölä is mostly peaceful. Jyräsalo credits weekly community meetings between residents and staff. “They are people who are used to solving their problems with fists or fighting. But now we have learnt to discuss things.”

    Väinölä, a supported housing unit in Espoo, Finland.

    "Finland’s success at cutting homelessness has attracted a huge amount of international attention, and the Y-Foundation’s Kaakinen is often asked to explain how the country mobilized such strong political will. For him, it boils down to this: “There has to be some individual politician who has the social consciousness.”

    In Finland’s case it was Jan Vapaavuori, now Helsinki’s mayor but then the housing minister, who drove the housing first approach. Vapaavuori’s politics – he’s in the center-right National Coalition Party – were important, said Kaakinen. When a radical idea is championed by a conservative politician, “it’s very difficult for others to oppose it,” he said. Since then, politicians of all stripes in Finland have continued to support the approach.

    It’s not just central government, either. It has been a huge collaborative effort also including cities, businesses, NGOs and state-owned gambling company Veikkaus, formerly Finland’s Slot Machine Association, whose profits go to social causes.

    While it’s expensive to build, buy and rent housing for homeless people, as well as provide the vital support services, the architects of the policy say it pays for itself. Studies have found housing one long-term homeless person saves society around €15,000 ($17,000) a year, said Kaakinen, due to a reduction in their use of services such as hospital emergency rooms, police and the criminal justice system."

    Inside one of the apartments at Väinölä.

    "The housing first approach has its critics. There are those who balk at the idea of people getting free housing when they are seen as having made bad choices. There are accusations that allowing people to continue using alcohol and drugs normalizes the behavior. “But no we don’t,” said Alkila of HDI. “Drugs are here, all these things are here, and we are just trying. It’s a human dignity question, you have to have a place to stay.”

    There are also criticisms from some of the formerly homeless people who benefit from the policy. Jyri-Pekka Pursiainen is one of them. A divorce and sudden unemployment knocked him off balance, and he found himself on the streets. For the last two years, he has lived in a studio apartment in a supported housing block in Helsinki, carved out of a former retirement home.

    But he is unhappy. “The place I am living now, you can’t call it home ... The whole building is moldy, it’s in really bad shape. People get sick there,” he said. He was told the apartment would be short term. But nearly two years down the line, he is still there with no clue when he might move on. He wants somewhere safe where his three children can visit him.

    Still, Pursiainen admits his situation is better now than when he was homeless. He has his own place, and he lives in the center of Helsinki paying a monthly rent of €331 ($379), less than a third of what a standard studio apartment would ordinarily cost there."

    A street in the center of Helsinki, Finland. More than half of the country’s homeless people live in the city.

    "None of the housing first advocates suggest that the approach is problem-free, but it’s a base from which people can start to rebuild. “Maybe it’s not perfect, maybe it’s not the dream you had when you were young but this is your own place,” said Alkila.

    Finland is not alone in following a housing first approach. It’s already being used in countries such as Denmark, Canada, Australia and also the U.S.

    Breaking Ground, a homelessness NGO that operates 4,000 housing units across New York and Connecticut, was one of the pioneers of a housing first approach, said CEO Brenda Rosen.

    They hear from critics all the time, she said, who argue people should need to address their issues before they get housing. “We fundamentally feel that that is backwards … rather than expending all your energy and trying to get through each and every day and figure out how you will eat your meals and survive another night through a cold winter, the most decent, humane and cost-effective way is to bring folks inside.”

    Housing first is effective in America, said Nan Roman, president and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, but the scale of the U.S. problem is just so much bigger and the political context is different. “The strategy works,” said Roman. “That’s not the issue. The issue is how much of it are you going to do, and all credit to Finland for having the social safety net and for having the commitment to say they’re going to go to scale or for going to scale. We haven’t done that.”"

    Thomas says his apartment is his sanctuary.

    Finland still has challenges. The demographics of the homeless population are shifting as new groups of people find themselves slipping through the cracks. Alkila points to women as a growing group, now making up around 23 percent of homeless people. Domestic violence and increased use of substances are among the reasons for women becoming homeless, according to a Y Foundation report. Some young people, too, are finding it hard to get a footing when affordable housing is so scarce.

    “We didn’t solve homelessness, we solved some part of it,” said Sanna Tiivola of the nonprofit No Fixed Abobe (VVA). But, she added, when she goes to other countries and sees they are still leaning heavily on emergency shelters as a solution, “I always think, ahhh you’re still here. Why? Why are doing this shelter thing, no, no, no don’t do it! So that’s a visible change ... and that’s why I think people say that Finland solved homelessness.”

    For Salmi, Finland’s housing first approach has changed his life. He has ambitions, he wants to retrain as a pipefitter. He still drinks but only on the weekends. He still struggles with mental health problems, but far less severely and far less often than he used to, and he said he no longer has suicidal thoughts.

    “My apartment is kind of a sanctuary … Before I lost my home I didn’t understand how much it meant, and when I lost it, within those three years, I kind of understand the little things in life make you happy,” he said. “I mean if I have dinner, little things, like if I have bread in my fridge later. Normal things.”"



    By Laura Paddison
    01/30/2019
    Source/additional links
    huffingtonpost.com



    HuffPost’s ‘This New World’ series is funded by Partners for a New Economy and the Kendeda Fund. All content is editorially independent, with no influence or input from the foundations. If you have an idea or tip for the editorial series, send an email to thisnewworld@huffpost.com

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    Dream empire - China’s real estate bubble | DW Documentary

    "In 2012 the Chinese real estate market was booming, but only a few years later that dream is threatening to evaporate.

    This documentary film takes a look behind the Chinese real estate industry’s glamorous facade. It focuses on Yana, a young woman from the countryside who has come to Chongqing to live her own personal "Chinese Dream." Attracted by the glamour and the fast money of the historic real estate boom, she and a friend founded a company that provides foreign actors for big PR events - often recruiting them on her journeys through Chongqing's nightlife. The more international they looked, the more popular they were with Yana's real estate clients. Yana gave her actors identities that were adapted to meet her clients' preferences, and marketed them directly at industry fairs. The actors were booked for dance and music shows at house-opening events. Ability wasn’t important; all that mattered was their foreign appearance, adding an international touch to the apartments advertised. Now, just a few years later, the chronic overcapacity of China’s real estate companies is slowly making itself felt. As the cities become saturated, construction companies are moving into the countryside to throw up modern, international metropolises there in next to no time. But instead of lively housing estates, more and more of them are becoming ghost towns. The system’s facade is crumbling, buyers who feel cheated out of their money are protesting, and the real estate bubble is threatening to burst. When Yana realized why her actors were being booked, she was shocked and began to have doubts. In the end, she had no choice but to sell her stake in the company."


    DW Documentary
    Published on Feb 3, 2019

    42:25 minutes

    Best viewed full screen
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




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  13. #67
    Senior Member giovonni's Avatar
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    Reminds me of my old catholic boarding school ...


    A school for Russia's young offenders | DW Documentary


    A boarding school in the village of Serafimovka in the Urals aims to re-educate juvenile offenders.

    Vadim is one of 70 teenagers who live in a boarding school in the village of Serafimovka in the Ural mountains. None of them are here voluntarily. The school is a re-education facility for juvenile offenders.

    17-year-old Vadim caused an accident with a stolen car, and was sent to a re-education facility for juvenile offenders in the village of Serafimovka in the Ural mountains. All the boys here have criminal backgrounds, from pickpocketing and assault to drug-dealing and even murder. They're here to be rehabilitated. Most of them spend about two years in Serafimovka. The teachers use both discipline and kindness, effectively standing in for the boys' parents – many of whom are alcoholics, drug addicts, or behind bars. Back in the outside world, many of the boys end up joining the Russian armed forces. A Report by Juri Rescheto.
    DW Documentary
    Published on Feb 4, 2019

    12:31 minutes


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  15. #68
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    California ...

    "The sole surviving relic of the San Francisco neighborhood cobbled together from old horsecars and streetcars."



    Carville today


    Last Known Carville House



    Back in the 1920's living on the beach

    "When cable cars and streetcars began replacing San Francisco’s old horsecars, the Market Street Railway Company needed to purge their outmoded horse-drawn inventory. So in 1895, they began selling the old horsecars for $20, or $10 without the seats. Some creative individuals purchased these horsecars and converted them into houses, offices, clubs, and shops on the outskirts of town.

    A Civil War veteran named Colonel Charles Dailey began renting three such horsecars from his friend, then-mayor Adolph Sutro, out near Ocean Beach and not far from Sutro’s Baths. Sutro hoped to lure people out toward the beach to sell what was largely undesirable property at the time, made up of sand dunes as it was. Dailey turned the three horsecars into the “the Annex,” a coffee bar decorated with items washed up from the beach.

    The bar became very popular, particularly among the bohemian crowd, and more people followed Dailey out to the end of the Park and Ocean railway line (at what is now 47th Avenue and Lincoln Way), buying their own various cars to live, work, or play in. The neighborhood that sprang up became known as “Carville” (or “Carville-by-the-Sea”), and was described by one historian as the “the oddest village in the world.”


    The Bar/restaurant


    "Carville was a very active community for many years, having an estimated population of 2,000 people in 1900. A decade later, in 1910, realtors began to take notice of the area and tried to lure people into normal houses. Pamphlets were made with the title “From Carville to Real Homes” and a symbolic public burning of a horsecar (which was previously used as a clubhouse for the all-female Falcon Bicycle Club) signified the beginning of the end of Carville. The Carville community then gradually shrunk as the “real homes” around them expanded, until it disappeared altogether a couple decades later."



    Some Americana


    "All of the known horsecars, streetcars, cable cars, and rail cars of Carville have been lost to history, except for one nondescript house along the Great Highway. Although you wouldn’t notice from the outside, the residence is made up two joined cable cars and one horsecar. The house was built in 1908, but the two cable cars that make up the second story date from the 1880s, and the side room is a horsecar from the 1870s, all of which were previously a part of the historical oddity that was Carville."



    The last one




    A look inside





    Original source: atlasobscura.com

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  17. #69
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    An up close look ...

    France's yellow rebellion - a movement against Macron | DW Documentary

    "Who are the "yellow vests” that have plunged France into crisis? Hundreds of thousands have been demonstrating to demand lower taxes and higher pensions. [Online until: 11.02.2020]

    What began as a spontaneous protest against high gasoline prices swiftly evolved into a mass movement that has caused a major crisis in France. The "yellow vests” have become synonymous with the widespread anger at the reform policies of President Emmanuel Macron - and constitute his greatest challenge since he took office. The protesters accuse Macron of being a representative of the rich while ignoring the plight of ordinary citizens. The wave of demonstrations was triggered by Jacline Mouraud and her video tirade on social media. Her subsequent fame has enabled her to continue criticizing politicians on TV talk shows. The "yellow vest” demonstrations have been organized almost exclusively online and without the involvement of opposition parties or unions.

    The protesters have a range of demands, from lower taxes to high pensions and a greater say in the running of the country. They feel neglected by the Paris elite, who they see as showing no interest in their economic duress and fears of social decline."

    DW Documentary
    Published on Feb 12, 2019
    _______

    28:25 minutes


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    Heart warming ...


    Finding Fukue (Long-Lost Friend Documentary)

    Real Stories

    "They were best friends, then pen pals — until one day, the letters stopped coming. Almost 30 years later, Jessica Stuart returns to Japan to try and solve the mystery of her long-lost friend, Fukue.

    It’s a mystery that spans decades, continents and cultures, and bridges one Toronto woman’s life with her childhood in Japan: what happened to Fukue?"

    Premiered 2/14/2019

    20:30 minutes


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  21. #71
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    Question

    When (if ever) that levee breaks ...



    Inside the horrifying, unspoken world of sexually abusive nuns

    Mary Dispenza and Cait Finnegan, who was sexually abused by nuns.

    "It’s the line from scripture that stayed with Cait Finnegan for nearly half a century as she tried to suppress the painful memories of the sexual abuse she says she suffered at the hands of her Catholic clergy educator.

    “God is Love,” Sister Mary Juanita Barto told Finnegan as she repeatedly raped her in classrooms at Mater Christi High School in Queens in the late 1960s.

    The abuse began when Finnegan was 15 and continued throughout her high school years — on school buses to out-of-town sporting events, at religious retreats in upstate New York, at Finnegan’s childhood home in Woodside and at a Long Island convent.

    “She was obsessed with me 24 hours a day,” Finnegan, now 67, told The Post. “The woman owned me.”

    After graduating high school in 1969, Finnegan struggled to deal with the abuse and tell her story, but her efforts fell on deaf ears.

    “Nobody wanted to hear about the Vestal Virgins back then,” she said.

    But after Pope Francis recently made the bombshell admission that some nuns were abused by priests and even used as sex slaves, dozens of Catholics have come forward to report a tangential, and just as evil, phenomenon — sexual abuse by nuns.

    “This is the next big thing for the church — the biggest untold secret,” Mary Dispenza, a director at Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a St. Louis-based advocacy group.

    “In the past, victims were very much ashamed and afraid to tell their stories, but they are starting to come forward and we are expecting that this may be as big as the priest abuse scandal.”

    The group has heard from 35 people in the last several days who claim they were physically and sexually abused by nuns, said Dispenza, a former nun who claims she was abused as a young girl by both a priest and a nun. Finnegan told The Post she approached SNAP for support a few years earlier.

    Dispenza, 78, has fought for more than two decades for justice for victims of clergy abuse and plans to take her fight to the Vatican on Monday. She and her group are demanding the Pope help victims of nun abuse and fire anyone who has covered up crimes by Catholic clergy.

    “We want them gone immediately,” she said.

    She also wants the Vatican to require Catholic leaders to contact police right away if they are confronted with abuse, rather than alerting local bishops or other church hierarchy first.

    And in states where the statute of limitations has been amended to allow victims of sexual abuse to file complaints, SNAP is urging them — some now in their 60s and 70s — to file claims against their alleged abusers.

    “Finally, they will have a chance at justice,” she said.

    Last week, New York opened up a window for old cases with the passage of the Child Victims Act. The measure, which had languished in Albany for more than a decade, allows a one-year window for alleged victims to file lawsuits against their attackers, no matter when the abuse occurred.

    Before the new law, New York had one of the most restrictive statutes of limitations for childhood sexual abuse. Victims now have until age 55 in order to file civil suits and can press for criminal charges until age 28. The old statute capped lawsuits at age 23.

    Dispenza, who spent 15 years in a habit before becoming an activist against the Catholic church, is bracing for an onslaught of cases against nuns, who typically run schools and orphanages, and spend exponentially more time with children than priests.

    “They are with kids at school every day from nine to three,” she said.

    They also far outnumber priests. There are 55,944 nuns in the US and 41,406 priests, according to statistics compiled by SNAP."



    Mary Dispenza when she was a nun


    "Eight years ago, when a handful of victims of nun abuse came forward to SNAP, Dispenza urged the Chicago-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an association of the leaders of congregations of Catholic nuns, to address the issue and reach out to victims of nun abuse. The group refused to put the issue on the agendas of their annual meetings, Dispenza told The Post.

    A spokeswoman for LCWR refused to discuss how many victims of nun abuse had reached out to them, and referred to a statement on the group’s web site that reads in part, “We encourage persons with grievances involving allegations of sexual misconduct by a woman religious to approach the individual religious congregation involved. We believe that it is at this level that true healing can begin.”



    Sister Mary Juanita Barto and Cait Finnegan in high school


    "In her 2014 memoir, “Split: A Child, a Priest and the Catholic Church,” Dispenza details the sexual abuse she endured at the hands of a Catholic priest in the gritty East Los Angeles neighborhood where she grew up. Despite the childhood rapes by the priest — who was trusted by her family — Dispenza decided to become a nun, only to be faced with similar abuse from a superior sister while she was a novitiate.

    “She took my face in her two hands, and kissed me all over my face,” she recalled of the encounter in a convent she would not name. “And then I just remember leaving. I felt the same way I felt as a child. I felt lost, I felt abandoned, I felt confused, I felt alone.”

    Finnegan said she also felt alone, and was unable to speak of the abuse she endured by Sister Mary Juanita who “vowed to chastity as she raped me.”

    Finnegan, a widow whose husband was a former Catholic priest, now lives in Pennsylvania where she has run a group home for needy children and is the minister of the Celtic Christian Church.

    Although her alleged abuser died in 2014, Finnegan said she still cannot bring herself to discuss the abuse openly, even after years of therapy and writing in her “Abuse by nuns” blog.

    “Well, the little girl in me wept because that kid had longed for Juanita to be a spiritual mother to me … that’s how I loved her, as a mother,” she wrote. “I remember when I met her I thought she was so smart and holy, oh yeah, and funny. Wrong.

    She said she never told her father — “I was afraid of what he would do to the nun when he found out” — and only summoned up the courage to tell her mother of the trauma just before her death in 2002.

    “Sexual abuse leaves scars that last for life,” she wrote on the blog. “Dealing with those wounds and scars, and surviving through daily life is a challenge for many of us. Silence sometimes is a kind of defense which allows victims to hide from the pain (for a while).”

    Some of her therapy was paid for by the Sisters of Mercy, Sister Mary Juanita’s religious order that has its origins in 19th century Ireland and now ministers to the poor around the world. The Sisters of Mercy taught the girls at her high school; the boys were taught by the Christian Brothers. In 1981, the school became the co-ed St. John’s Prep.

    Finnegan said she has suffered with PTSD and anxiety for most of her adult life and has turned to prayer and research on sexual abuse to try to forgive what was done to her. She will not describe in any detail how she was raped.

    “More than 14 percent of nuns have been sexually abused themselves,” said Finnegan. “It’s this unattended rage they live with. It’s going to come out as physical abuse of children and sexual abuse. I believe it’s what turns so many of them into nasty bitches in the convent.”

    When Finnegan finally summoned up the courage to confront Sister Mary Juanita in the early 1990s — more than 20 years after graduating high school in 1969 — she found herself tongue-tied.

    “I froze and became that 15-year-old kid again,” she said. “I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t move.”

    She was even too nervous to enter her office at a Long Island convent.

    “Sorry, I have to go,” she told the nun who had terrified her. And then she left."


    By Isabel Vincent
    Source: nypost.com

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    Senior Member palooka's revenge's Avatar
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    well, a year to come forward... this will surely add to the DISGUST load currently runnin' rampant thru our bones 'n blood!!!

    but it's about damn time!!!

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    It's so sad. The poor children. The poor people. Even those in the system who couldn't get out, couldn't stop it, couldn't control themselves... So tragic.

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    Senior Member palooka's revenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    It's so sad. The poor children. The poor people. Even those in the system who couldn't get out, couldn't stop it, couldn't control themselves... So tragic.
    problem is... the beast in the system is our own denials and mis-guided judgements...

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    Denial drives me nuts. Because people have the chance to see and know and do, and instead they go into denial.

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