I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Is Dear Abbey going to talk about Parental Alienation ~ Yes on November 3/08

The following is a note from the http://crispe.org/blog/ Posted on by Semper Fi The Dear Abbey of November 3/08 follows.

Children’s Rights Initiative for Sharing Parents Equally

DR. PHIL AND PARENTAL ALIENATION. Dr Phil wants you! 1. DR. PHIL. The Dr. Phil show called CRC. They are seeking a husband and wife, or separated husband and wife, engaged in a custody battle, involving such things as denial of access (visitation) or parental alienation. Both the mother and father would have to agree to appear on the Dr. Phil Show. If you know of any such couples, please get word to CRC asap.

2. PARENTAL ALIENATION. For the first time, we have a definite date from the Dear Abby column as to when the article on parental alienation will appear. It is Monday, November 3. Dear Abby will respond to a person who asks about parental alienation, by criticizing the practice, and by referring her readers in 1,400 newspapers to the Children’s Rights Council, and our website. Some of you may get calls from readers. Between now and Nov. 3 you may wish to contact the local newspaper that carries Dear Abby or other media and offer your own comments or possible interviews with victims of parental alienation.

If you can be on the show please e-mail: crc_sandiego@yahoo.com

November 3/08

today's Dear Abby


DEAR ABBY: Parental alienation is a topic I have never seen addressed in your column. It is a problem with many divorces involving children. I think my brother is a victim of it. He lives in a different state than his little boy, but pays child support.

Abby, his ex continuously harasses him via text messaging and late-night phone calls, accusing him of things she thinks happened when they were together. You'd think she hasn't moved on, but she has a new husband!

She agreed that my brother could call his son twice a week, but she rarely answers the phone during these scheduled "visits." She is now trying harder to keep my brother out of his son's life. She even told my nephew that the presents my brother sent him for Christmas came from her new husband!

My brother can't afford a lawyer right now, but he is moving to Florida in the near future and I would like to help him resolve this issue. What are your thoughts on parental alienation? -- FRUSTRATED SIS IN FLORIDA

DEAR FRUSTRATED SIS: The kind of anger, selfishness and vindictiveness you have described are unhealthy for everyone involved. Obviously, your former sister-in-law has not moved on. She's still stuck in trying to retaliate against your brother. She's expending the energy and attention she should be devoting to her new marriage and new husband to punishing her last one.

And as for your nephew, when a child grows up believing his father thought he was unimportant and expendable, it can negatively affect his sense of self-worth.

There is an effective resource available to your brother -- the Children's Rights Council (CRC). For many years this organization has worked to prevent children from being victimized by their parents' divorces, something which happens all too often. The CRC has 57 chapters in 37 states, and its Web site is www.crckids.org. Its president, David L. Levy, J.D., is a nationally known expert on children and edited "The Best Parent Is Both Parents" (Hampton Roads Publishing). Please advise your brother to contact this group.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tragic Lesbian Domestic Violence

We'll see more and more of this now that Lesbians can legally marry and go through the strains of breakup. It is tragic but also demonstrates the feminist mythology of the inherent gentleness of women and the inherent violence of men has no credence. Keep in mind not only do females have this in them but they do it to children in far greater numbers than do men. MJM

Police: Ex-lover killed woman in rage in Boynton Beach

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

BOYNTON BEACH — Carol Anne Burger killed her former lover by stabbing her 222 times with a Phillips-head screwdriver and then took pains to hide her crime, police said Wednesday.

Jessica Kalish, who shared a house with Burger despite breaking up with her more than a year ago, was found last Thursday stuffed in the backseat of her gun-metal BMW sedan, abandoned behind a medical office at 2300 S. Congress Avenue. Her blood was splashed around the rear end and undercarriage of the car, as if her killer had tried to load her into the trunk. The driver-side window was shattered.

Murder-suicide in Boynton
The victim: Jessica Kalish Jessica Kalish, 56, a successful software executive, was found dead in her BMW. Post a tribute The killer: Carol Anne Burger Carol Anne Burger, 57, a writer, was upset over the breakup. Map View larger map See the search warrant

Examining the body, detectives absorbed what had been done to her. Stab wounds were clustered around the back of her head and stitched across her back and arms and face. Most were between an inch and an inch-and-a-half deep. A blow to Kalish's neck probably killed her, investigators determined.

At a news conference Wednesday, police laid out what they'd learned during a week of investigation. They said the evidence pointed to one conclusion: Burger killed Kalish, a 56-year-old software executive whom friends described as worldly and intelligent, and then tried to throw investigators off her trail.

What pulled the trigger in Burger?

Her friends, the ones who can bring themselves to believe what police said about her, turn the question over in amazement.

If this could happen to someone like her, they said, what does it mean for the rest of us?

Burger, a 57-year-old writer, did yoga, had a fondness for Shark Week on the Discovery Channel and preferred to watch musicals in theaters with Dolby Sound. She recently stopped drinking coffee. She thought Jackson Browne's For a Dancer was good to listen to when you were sad, and she refused to take anti-depressants despite her relationship problems with Kalish.

Their situation really was a bad one, friends said, but for financial reasons Burger and Kalish had continued to share the house they'd bought together in 2000.

Burger, who on Oct. 7 was tapped to cover the election for the Web site, The Huffington Post, still sometimes felt sad and isolated. Kalish, whom Burger had married in Massachusetts in 2005, had met another woman.

At 3300 Churchill Drive, Burger had her half of the house, a room and office where she would write and read and surf the Internet, and Kalish had hers, where she would spend hours absorbed in cyber dates with her new companion, friends said.

All in all, the former couple seemed to be doing the best they could as their lawyer drew up plans to sell the house and divide the money. But secretly, police said, something was building up in Burger that would explode in a sudden, sustained burst of rage.

Minutes after someone called their home and said he had found Kalish's wallet and keys near 548 E. Gateway Boulevard, Burger reported Kalish missing Thursday afternoon. She told police Kalish left for a workout Wednesday night and never came home.

As investigators studied the case, several telltale signs, including the ferocity and personal nature of the attack, pointed to Burger, they said.

But before they could question her, Burger walked out into her back yard, pressed a gun up under her chin and pulled the trigger, police said. Detectives found her body there last Thursday but couldn't locate a suicide note.

In the days that followed, detectives and crime scene investigators put together this theory:

On Wednesday night, Kalish exercised at LA Fitness at 2290 N. Congress Ave. and was home by 9:30 p.m. A confrontation ensued, and she probably was dead by midnight.

After stabbing Kalish, Burger put her in the BMW and drove her to the Congress Avenue site. She walked home, a distance of about 2 1/2 miles.

Burger cleaned up the garage and used the washing machine and bathroom sink, where traces of Kalish's blood were later detected. She got into her Toyota Celica, drove to Gateway Boulevard and tossed out Kalish's keys and wallet.

On Tuesday night, detectives proved their theory, said Lt. Gary Chapman, who heads the department's major crimes squad.

Using Luminol, a chemical agent that causes blood traces to fluoresce under ultraviolet light, they found a "tremendous amount of blood" splattered throughout the garage, where the attack must have taken place, Chapman said. The Luminol also revealed Burger's glowing sneaker prints on the garage floor, mapping her steps after she walked through her old flame's blood.

"We believe the process of killing Jessica was pretty lengthy, in and out of the car," Chapman said. "She obviously was out of her mind."

Some of Burger's friends at first refused to believe she was capable of such savagery.

"My gut tells me that it's impossible and that something else is going on," said Helen Gale, Burger's close friend and confidante. "This is just beyond belief."

During the past several months, Burger e-mailed Gale, who often visits Delray Beach from California, in a series of messages that charted her ups and downs.

"I'm feeling pretty isolated myself," Burger wrote on Aug. 13. "Part is simple depression, I suppose. The other part is simple withdrawal whenever I'm depressed. I just can't bring myself to punish people with my sad self whenever I'm down. But I usually bounce back in time."

Other messages offered insight into her strained relations with Kalish.

"I was really annoyed when I found out that Jess let her life insurance lapse for lack of payment," Burger wrote on Oct. 15. "She's the beneficiary of everything I own and I have insurance on me that she would collect if I should drown in that triathlon I'm doing this weekend. But if she had a car crash I'd be up a creek!

"Today when I told her about it, she just said too bad and said she'd pay me back. (I won't hold my breath)."

Scanning those e-mails now, with everything police discovered still spooling in her head, Gale reflected on the horror of it all.

"It's horrendous," she said, "what human beings are capable of doing to each other."

Staff researcher Niels Heimeriks contributed to this story.

Science Daily ~ University of Washington link Teen Violence to DV

Science News

Teenage Violence Linked To Later Domestic Violence

ScienceDaily (June 26, 2007) — Researchers tracing the development of violent behavior have found a link between teenage violence and domestic violence.

Adolescents who engaged in violent behavior at a relatively steady rate through their teenage years and those whose violence began in their mid teens and increased over the years are significantly more likely to engage in domestic violence in their mid 20s than other young adults, according to a new University of Washington study.

"Most people think youth violence and domestic violence are separate problems, but this study shows that they are intertwined," said Todd Herrenkohl, lead author of the study and a UW associate professor of social work.

The study also found no independent link between an individual's use of alcohol or drugs and committing domestic violence. In addition it showed that nearly twice as many women as men said they perpetrated domestic violence in the past year including kicking, biting or punching their partner, threatening to hit or throw something at their partner, and pushing, grabbing or shoving their partner.

Data from the study came from the on-going Seattle Social Development Project which has been tracing youth development and the social and antisocial behavior of more than 800 participants. It began when they were in the fifth grade and continues to follow them into adulthood.

That project earlier showed four patterns of youth violence taken by teens between the ages of 13 and 18.

  • Non-offenders, the largest group (60 percent), did not engage in violent behavior in adolescence.
  • Desisters (15 percent) engaged in violence early on but stopped by age 16.
  • Chronic offenders (16 percent) began violent behavior early and it persisted at a moderate level up to age 18.
  • Late increasers (9 percent) became involved with violence in mid adolescence with the behavior increasing up to age 18.

The new study found that individuals from the last two groups were significantly more likely than non-offenders to have committed moderately severe forms of domestic violence when they were 24 years old. At that age, nearly 650 of the original students had a partner and about 19 percent of them, or 117 individuals, reported having committed domestic violence in the past year.

The finding that a perpetrator's use of alcohol is not significantly related to domestic violence was somewhat surprising since other studies have shown such an association. The reasons for this are unclear, according to Herrenkohl, who speculated such a relationship may have shown up if more severe forms of domestic violence, such as those requiring hospitalization had been measured.

The study also showed a number of personal characteristics, partner characteristics and neighborhood conditions that increased an individual's chances of being involved in domestic violence as a young adult. Being diagnosed with a major episode of depression or receiving welfare were significantly related to committing domestic violence, as were having a partner who used drugs heavily, sold drugs, had a history of violence toward others, had an arrest record or was unemployed.

Disorganized neighborhoods where attitudes toward drug sales and violence were favorable also increased a person's likelihood of committing domestic violence.

"Individuals who have a history of anti-social behavior may be more likely to find a partner with a similar history and re-create what they experienced as children. They may also be more likely to be in places in their communities where they interact with people with the same types of behavior," said Herrenkohl.

"The take-home message from this study is that it may be possible to prevent some forms of domestic violence by acting early to address youth violence. Our research suggests the earlier we begin prevention programs the better, because youth violence appears to be a precursor to other problems including domestic violence."

Co-authors of the study were Rick Kosterman, a research scientist; W. Alex Mason, a research analyst; and J. David Hawkins, professor of social work. All are affiliated with the UW's Social Development Research Group. The paper appears in the current issue of the journal Violence and Victims and the research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Mental Health.

Men are More Likely Than Women to Be Victims ~ University of New Hampshire Study

Men are More Likely Than Women to Be Victims in Dating Violence, UNH Expert Says By Erika Mantz, UNH Media Relations A 32-nation study of violence against dating partners by university partners found that about a third had been violent, and most incidents of partner violence involve violence by both the man and woman, according to Murray Straus, founder and co-director of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire. The second largest category was couples where the female partner was the only one to carry about physical attacks, not the male partner. Straus’ new research also found that dominance by the female partner is even more closely related to violence by women than is male dominance. These results call into question the widely held belief that partner violence is primarily a male crime and that when women are violent it is self defense. “In the 35 years since I began research on partner violence, I have seen my assumptions about prevalence and etiology contradicted by a mass of empirical evidence from my own research and from research by many others,” Straus said. “My view on partner violence now recognizes the overwhelming evidence that women assault their partners at about the same rate as men. However, when women are violent, the injury rate is lower.” Straus will present his controversial research at the Trends in Intimate Violence Intervention conference in New York City May 22-25, 2006. This research is part of the International Dating Violence Study, a multinational study of violence against dating partners by university students. A consortium of researchers around the world collected data from 13,601 students at 68 universities in 32 nations. In the paper, Straus calls for an end to the focus on men as the only perpetrators of dating violence, saying the refusal to recognize the multi-causal nature of the problem is hampering the effort to end domestic violence and ignoring half the perpetrators. As recently as December 2005, the National Institute of Justice refused to consider applications for funding that dealt with male victims. “Changes in policy that acknowledge men are not the only perpetrators of partner violence are needed immediately,” Straus said. “It is time to make the prevention and treatment effort one that is aimed at ending all family violence, including spanking children, not just violence against women.” Straus is the author or co-author of more than 200 publications, including "Beating the Devil Out Of Them: Corporal Punishment By American Parents and Its Effects on Children." More information on the International Dating Violence Study and papers reporting results are available at http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/. Editors: Murray Straus can be reached at 603-862-2594 or murray.straus@unh.edu until 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 22. Beginning the evening of May 22 he will be in New York. Interview requests can be faxed: May 22-24: Washington Square Hotel, fax: (212) 979-8373. May 25-27: Garden Inn, fax: 212-974-0291. He will also be on e-mail: murray.straus@unh.edu.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Barbara Kay: Dallas Transit throws all men under the bus in male-bashing ad campaign

Thousands of emails, fax's and phone calls descended upon DART yesterday to protest these discriminatory ads using children as bait. MJM
Posted: October 29, 2008, 4:00 PM by Jonathan Kay

The images you see here are taken from an ad campaign about domestic violence that has been running on, and inside, Dallas City buses since October 1. The young boy with the cheerful smile announces that one day he will beat his wife. The demure, sweet-faced girl shyly asserts that one day her husband "will" (not may) kill her.

The ads were created for a nonprofit domestic violence shelter called The Family Place, which paid $25,000 for 45 bus-side and 300 bus interior placements. A spokesman for Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), which serves 10 million commuters, all of whom will see these ads continually for two months (the campaign finishes November 30), said the DART board considers the ads to be "consistent with community standards." If true, it's hardly flattering to the citizens of Dallas that "community standards" countenance unwitting children being enlisted to deliver messages that are tantamount to hate speech against an identifiable group of their fellow citizens.

Other organizations were less cavalier about them. Two major billboard companies - Clear Channel Outdoor and CBS Outdoor - rejected the ads. A CBS spokesperson said the ads could be read as "both misleading and disturbing."

Do Not Marry, Do Not Have Children


Do Not Marry, Do Not Have Children

Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D



Marriage is a foundation of civilized life. No advanced civilization has ever existed without the married, two-parent family. Those who argue that our civilization needs healthy marriages to survive are not exaggerating.

And yet I cannot, in good conscience, urge young men to marry today. For many men (and some women), marriage has become nothing less than a one-way ticket to jail. Even the New York Times has reported on how easily the divorce court leads to a jail cell, mostly for men. In fact, if I have one urgent piece of practical advice for young men today it is this: Do not marry and do not have children.

Spreading this message may also, in the long run, be the most effective method of saving marriage as an institution. For until we understand that the principal threat to marriage today is not cultural but political, and that it comes not from homosexuals but from heterosexuals, we will never reverse the decline of marriage. The main destroyer of marriage, it should be obvious, is divorce. Michael McManus of Marriage Savers points out that divorce is a far more grievous blow to marriage than today's challenge by gays.? The central problem is the divorce laws.

It is well known that half of all marriages end in divorce. But widespread misconceptions lead many to believe it cannot happen to them. Many conscientious people think they will never be divorced because they do not believe in it. In fact, it is likely to happen to you whether you wish it or not.

First, you do not have to agree to the divorce or commit any legal transgression. Under no-fault divorce laws, your spouse can divorce you unilaterally without giving any reasons. The judge will then grant the divorce automatically without any questions.

But further, not only does your spouse incur no penalty for breaking faith; she can actually profit enormously. Simply by filing for divorce, your spouse can take everything you have, also without giving any reasons. First, she will almost certainly get automatic and sole custody of your children and exclude you from them, without having to show that you have done anything wrong. Then any unauthorized contact with your children is a crime. Yes, for seeing your own children you will be subject to arrest.

There is no burden of proof on the court to justify why they are seizing control of your children and allowing your spouse to forcibly keep you from them. The burden of proof (and the financial burden) is on you to show why you should be allowed to see your children.

The divorce industry thus makes it very attractive for your spouse to divorce you and take your children. (All this earns money for lawyers whose bar associations control the careers of judges.) While property divisions and spousal support certainly favor women, the largest windfall comes through the children. With custody, she can then demand child support that may amount to half, two-thirds, or more of your income. (The amount is set by committees consisting of feminists, lawyers, and enforcement agents all of whom have a vested interest in setting the payments as high as possible.) She may spend it however she wishes. You pay the taxes on it, but she gets the tax deduction.

You could easily be left with monthly income of a few hundreds dollars and be forced to move in with relatives or sleep in your car. Once you have sold everything you own, borrowed from relatives, and maximized your credit cards, they then call you a deadbeat dad and take you away in handcuffs. You are told you have abandoned your children and incarcerated without trial.

Evidence indicates that, as men discover all this, they have already begun an impromptu marriage “strike”: refusing to marry or start families, knowing they can be criminalized if their wife files for divorce. “Have anti-father family court policies led to a men’s marriage strike?” ask Glenn Sacks and Dianna Thompson in the Philadelphia Enquirer. In Britain, fathers tour university campuses warning young men not to start families. In his book, From Courtship to Courtroom, Attorney Jed Abraham concludes that the only protection for men to avoid losing their children and everything else is not to start families in the first place.

Is it wise to disseminate such advice? If people stop marrying, what will become of the family and our civilization?

Marriage is already all but dead, legally speaking, and divorce is the principal reason. The fall in the Western birth rate is directly connected with divorce law.

It is also likely that same-sex marriage is being demanded only because of how heterosexuals have already debased marriage through divorce law. The world of no-strings heterosexual hookups and 50% divorce rates preceded gay marriage, advocate Andrew Sullivan points out. All homosexuals are saying…is that, under the current definition, there's no reason to exclude us. If you want to return straight marriage to the 1950s, go ahead. But until you do, the exclusion of gays is simply an anomaly and a denial of basic civil equality.

We will not restore marriage by burying our heads in the sand; nor simply by preaching to young people to marry, as the Bush administration's government therapy programs now do. The way to restore marriage as an institution in which young people can place their trust, their children, and their lives is to make it an enforceable contract. We urgently need a national debate about divorce, child custody, and the terms under which the government can forcibly sunder the bonds between parents and their children. We owe it to future generations, if there are to be any.

Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D., is assistant professor of government at Patrick Henry College and President of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children. His book, Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family, has just been published by Cumberland House Publishing

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Convicted rapist Bill Coleman claims he's innocent, and he's starving himself to death to prove it.

A more recent column on Mr. Coleman's situation follows. Given the facts I cannot understand why the appeal is taking so long. False accusations during custody hearings by bitter ex's are prolific and how a conviction was registered is questionable.MJM Op-Ed: Hearing William Coleman’s Hunger Strike

by Jane Mills | September 19, 2008 8:59 AM Posted to Opinion

Photo courtesy of the DOC

Photo courtesy of the DOC

Editor’s note: The views expressed in this editorial are those of the author.

Connecticut prison inmate William Coleman has been on a hunger strike for a year and started refusing liquids on Tuesday, which means without intervention, he may not make it to the weekend.

In Connecticut, where autonomy in medical decisions and free speech rights do not particularly persuade in court, the Department of Correction won the power to force-feed Coleman in January. They have not acted on it, but may before the end of this week.

National and international medical ethics standards advise against any doctor in Connecticut forcing a feeding tube down his nose against his will.

His hunger strike should be protected political speech and a private medical decision. He’s been found competent to make those decisions. His living will directs doctors not to force-feed him and they are bound by it. In fact, Coleman has met every condition under the ethical guidelines of the World Medical Association that say force-feeding protesters is unjustifiable.

In August 2007, the American Medical Association, which is a member of the World Medical Association, published a commentary saying, “physicians can and should prevent the force-feeding of competent prisoners by refusing to approve or participate.” It particularly warned doctors working in prisons to resist dual loyalties to the patient and the prison and pressure to capitulate ethical decision-making.

The University of Connecticut Health Center, which provides the doctors and nurses to Connecticut’s prisons under a state contract won’t comment on the ethical dilemma, referring even this question to the Department of Correction. It is not clear whether UConn physicians would be involved.

The ACLU has been fighting for his rights.

There is a tradition of the Irish that when gravely wronged and denied all other recourse, an Irishman might sit on the doorstep of the party who wronged him in a hunger strike that forces that party to confront his rotting Irish corpse. Who gets to say this freedom will be denied anyone?

Coleman is protesting a criminal justice system he has observed to be susceptible to wrongful convictions and is therefore a threat to the public. He says the system is easily manipulated by spouses making criminal accusations during divorce or custody proceedings, according to court papers and a personal statement publicly released. He was accused by his ex-wife of rape while they were involved in a bitter custody dispute over their two young sons. No rape kit was ever performed. He was convicted by a jury in Waterbury Superior Court in 2005 in a case that was rife with worrisome questions about thin evidence covered at the time by the press and has served over four years of an eight year prison term. He will register as a sex offender upon his release if his conviction is not overturned and if he lives to see that day. He has not seen his sons since his incarceration. He says he is innocent and the signs read clearly to him: he and others would not be in prison but for lax, cynical, and downright corrupt practices by prosecutors, judges and defense attorneys. He filed a petition of Habeas Corpus in 2005 that is still pending in Rockville Superior Court seeking his release or a new trial.

Hunger strikes are last resort free speech. They are the voice of the voiceless. They are testimony that no one has listened to every other attempt to speak. They are testament of a voice robbed of credibility. The message of hunger strikes is just that. They should be provocative, causing the so-called “system” to reflect on whether it cares about truth and justice, it’s imperatives, or whether it has forsaken its highest duties. They ask the public to stop and listen with an open mind.

Coleman might be right. Has any close observer of the courts in the state of Connecticut not found the standards for reasonable suspicion, probable cause and beyond a reasonable doubt too often suspiciously the same?

Can any competent observer not acknowledge the open secret in the courts that prosecutors pass weak cases over to judges who pass weak cases over to juries, juries often consisting of members who have no idea of this virtuoso bureaucratic insensitivity to truth? Is any competent observer who is aware of this unaware that the motive for this is not devotion to truth and justice?

William Coleman does not appear to be a man trifling with the interests of the state, he appears to be pointing to fundamental issues of free speech, autonomy and justice and he seems only to be asking that people hear what he is saying.

He will either die this week or be violated by the state if he does not choose to eat or drink. Is it right that we have nearly ignored him for a year? Do we not believe that his First Amendment right is relevant to ours, his right to refuse medical treatment the same as our Aunt Bessie’s? Are they not identical? Is this where our tax money is going? From arrest to force-feeding, dare we ask if any of this six-year ordeal has served any legitimate government purpose?

No one wants William Coleman to die. So shall we allow the state to quash his speech and steal his medical choices or shall we urge him to eat so we can hear him out and look closely at his claims? The following are, in part, my comments left on the New Haven Advocate site. http://www.newhavenadvocate.com/article_print.cfm?aid=10323 This is an unbelievable story. The man has been painted as an evil abuser yet no evidence has been produced to prove his guilt other than the word of his spouse. Whatever happened to "beyond a reasonable doubt." If this was the 3rd world one could better understand an "immature" justice system. What is the USA coming too - a feminist dominated and controlled justice system and government where if a female yells rape a man is already convicted. Do you know what the proportion of false allegations of abuse are during divorce compared to proven abuse? I'm appalled and disappointed. Perhaps all the evidence presented at trial paints a different picture. I hope so. The relationship Coleman had with Parle, his ex, sounds pretty dysfunctional but its a big leap from two kinky people having threesomes to rape. Given some of the statements he admitted to, particularly the washing off the ex's family in the shower, it would certainly appear he was controlling. That is grounds for "dumping" him by his ex. but a far cry from rape. Having no knowledge of all the facts of the case gives one less than adequate insight. Given the ongoing false allegations that occur ( this week's edition is the female McCain campaign volunteer Ashley Todd blaming a non-existant black Obama supporter for a viscious assault comes to mind) . The http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/ reports from the book "Until Proven Innocent," a painstaking study of the Duke Lacrosse case, Stuart Taylor and Professor K.C. Johnson examined all of the major studies dealing with false claims of sexual assault and explained that the exact number of false claims is elusive but "the standard assertion by feminists that only 2 percent" of sexual assault claims "are false, which traces to Susan Brownmiller's 1975 book "Against Our Will," is without empirical foundation and belied by a wealth of empirical data. These data suggest that at least 9 percent and probably closer to half" of all sexual assault claims "are false . . . ." (Page 374.)" The intense pressure and stress of a divorce does create many falsehoods about abuse. I have no sympathy for cowardly rapists and if Coleman did the deed he deserves what he gets - but if it is a "setup" one has to believe there is something very wrong in CT. It will be interesting to see how he makes out with the torture allegations and the writ of habeus corpus.
Posted by Mike Murphy on 10.28.08 at 12.36
New Haven Advocate Starvation Diet Convicted rapist Bill Coleman claims he's innocent, and he's starving himself to death to prove it. Thursday, October 30, 2008 By Daniel D'Ambrosio David McGuire, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut, received a panicked call last Tuesday from hunger-striking inmate Bill Coleman in Suffield's McDougall-Walker prison. Down from 250 pounds to 128 pounds, Coleman had been moved from his room in the infirmary at Osborn prison in Somers to isolation at McDougall-Walker. Prison officials had begun force-feeding Coleman through an intravenous drip at Osborn in late September. A British citizen in the country illegally, Coleman began refusing solid food on Sept. 16, 2007, to protest what he claims was his wrongful conviction in 2005 of raping his wife. This September, on the one-year anniversary of his hunger strike, he began refusing liquids as well. Coleman, 48, told McGuire he'd had a tough night at McDougall-Walker. "He was cuffed up, shackled up, brought into the hospital unit and put in isolation," says McGuire. "There are orders that he has no inmate contact." Two days later, McGuire received another distressed call from Coleman, who said prison staff had unexpectedly taken him to a "medical appointment" he was unaware of, where he was strapped down and force-fed through a tube inserted in his nose and into his stomach. Coleman has not outlined any demands that would end his hunger strike. Instead, he maintains he is exercising his free-speech right to protest what he says is Connecticut's broken and corrupt judicial system. Coleman was convicted solely on the testimony of his ex-wife, without forensic evidence, and no witnesses were called on his behalf. Because of the continuing support of his family in England, his story has drawn international, as well as national, attention, and his ex-wife says she is being victimized all over again by his manipulation of the press. Force-Feeding In testimony before the Superior Court last January when the state Department of Correction was arguing for a temporary injunction to force-feed Coleman, Suzanne Ducate, DOC director of psychiatry, testified that a nasogastric tube is the "preferred means" of feeding an inmate on a hunger strike. She had been involved in ending six hunger strikes in the Texas prison system, where she previously worked. Ducate said the tube, inserted into a sedated prisoner, piped "nourishing liquid" directly into the stomach. "It is not a medically difficult procedure, and, in her experience, inmates who are so fed begin to eat normally soon thereafter," wrote Superior Court Judge James T. Graham in his decision granting the temporary injunction. But Coleman described a far different experience to McGuire. He said he was not sedated for the procedure, that his arms and legs were strapped down, and that a plastic mesh was secured over his chest and shoulders, leaving him able to move only his head. Coleman said cameras to videotape the procedure were turned off by Dr. Edward Blanchette, the DOC's clinical director, after things started to go wrong. He said Blanchette held his head while the tube was inserted in his nose. On the first attempt to insert the tube, it developed a kink and hung up in his nasal passage. "He was screaming in pain, begging them to stop," says Patrick Doyle, education program manager for the ACLU-CT. "Since the procedure, Mr. Coleman has been sneezing up blood." The medical staff was able to successfully insert the feeding tube, although Coleman claims the procedure remained torturous. "I could feel it going down my throat and into my stomach. I was gagging, choking and vomiting," he said in a statement released by the ACLU-CT. Coleman said the cameras weren't turned back on until the feeding was completed after about 30 minutes, and the room was cleaned up. When McGuire visited him later that day, he said Coleman still had vomit on him. Coleman's brother, Geoff, sent the Advocate an e-mail when he learned of the nasogastric feeding, calling it a "brutal and barbaric act." "I can never understand how a trained medical person can inflict this suffering on someone who does not wish it to happen," wrote Geoff Coleman. "This has set the medical profession back 200 years and puts the already corrupt justice system (in Connecticut) back to the stone-age." Brian Garnett, spokesman for the DOC, says he could not address a particular inmate's medical or mental health condition because of confidentiality concerns. In earlier comments, Garnett had characterized Coleman's hunger strike as the most prolonged in anyone's memory in Connecticut, and said the DOC had no choice but to begin feeding him. "In a very general sense, without talking about particular cases, inmates are placed in our care and custody by courts," said Garnett. "We have a legal as well as moral obligation to preserve that person's life." But Coleman says he has a constitutional right to starve himself as a form of political speech, and the ACLU-CT agrees. In January, the civil rights organization will argue against the DOC's attempt to get a permanent injunction to force-feed Coleman, and will seek to lift the temporary injunction. "We're arguing for his right to refuse medical treatment as a competent person," says McGuire. "We're arguing for his free-speech right, a form of political speech." Civil vs. Criminal Coleman's ex-wife Jillian Parle is also a British citizen. She is living and working in the Waterbury area, raising the couple's two young sons. I reached Parle, 45, on the telephone at work. Although reluctant to say anything on the record, she did send me a statement via e-mail. "The continued coverage of this story is re-victimizing my children and myself and allows the defendant to continually harass me through the media. I have received calls at home and at work and the facts about the assault have been printed several times, both of which are harmful to me," wrote Parle. "I am concerned that the media seems to be accepting as gospel the defendant's remarks and recitation of the facts of this case; yet he is a convicted felon who's attempting to manipulate the system through his acts." Parle did not address her ex-husband's hunger strike. The gist of Coleman's protest is his contention that Connecticut's criminal justice system can be manipulated to serve the purposes of those locked in civil litigation. Put simply, Coleman claims his wife made a false allegation against him to beat him in divorce court, where he had filed for sole custody of their two young sons. He points out that she went to the police three days after he filed his motion. "What Connecticut citizens should know, even if they don't care about my children and me, is that they are one 'falsely accused' arrest themselves away from my nightmare," wrote Coleman in a statement. Coleman was convicted of sexual assault in a spousal relationship and other charges in February 2005 after a jury of four men and two women deliberated for nearly four days. He was sentenced that May to 15 years, suspended after eight years, meaning he would be released on the last day of 2012. Coleman passed a lie detector test, but the tests are not admissible as evidence in Connecticut. Waterbury State's Attorney John A. Connelly, whose office prosecuted Coleman, says only that the jury "heard the evidence and reached a verdict." He says it is not unusual for a rape conviction to be based solely on the victim's testimony. Oddly, Coleman did not take the stand himself in his criminal trial, and no witnesses were called on his behalf by his defense attorney, Michael Gannon. Gannon's license to practice law was suspended in June 2007, and he was placed on a further administrative suspension this year for not paying fees required from all attorneys. Asked about the trial, Coleman declined to comment, saying it was "pertinent to current legal proceedings." The legal proceeding to which Coleman refers is the only one he has left: a pending writ of habeas corpus filed by the Office of the Chief Public Defender in Rocky Hill. Coleman lost an appeal of his conviction in a September 2007 decision. The following month the Connecticut Supreme Court declined to take up his case. A habeas corpus petition, which has roots in English law going back to the 14th century, must show that a legal or factual error was made in the trial. The U.S. Supreme Court has characterized the writ of habeas corpus as "the fundamental instrument for safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary and lawless state action." The odds are against Coleman, given the generally low success rate of the "great writ." Request Denied My contact with Coleman came solely through letters conveyed to me by McGuire, who visits Coleman regularly as his attorney. I had arranged through the Department of Correction to interview Coleman in person on Sept. 30, but, the day before, received a call telling me the interview was off. I was told only that a high-ranking official in the DOC had decided over the weekend that it would not be a good idea to allow the interview to go forward. My request to view the videotapes of Coleman's force-feedings was also refused. "At this point the videotapes are not going to be available for viewing for the reason this is an ongoing security operation," says Garnett. "We never want to tip our hand about how we do things." McGuire described Coleman's room at Osborn as measuring about 8 feet by 10 feet, with drab concrete walls lined to simulate cinder blocks, a stainless-steel sink and toilet, and a wall-mounted C-shaped "desk" stacked with files and paper. "He's a prolific writer," says McGuire. "He has written a lot of stuff for me." McGuire sat in one of two chairs in the room when he visited his client, glancing out the room's single window to the prison recreation yard beyond. In a corner of the room was Coleman's twin-sized bed with "DOC Infirmary Unit 3" written in marker on the pillow case, and four brown leather restraints for Coleman's hands and feet. This is where officials strapped him down. Coleman says prison staff treated him professionally during the IV drip feedings at Osborn, and he did not struggle with them. "Even though they follow the 'illegal' court order issued in Connecticut they nevertheless are very respectful," wrote Coleman in a letter. "My arms are placed in restraining straps and I lie on the bed for between 3 to 5 hours while fluids enter me." Before each videotaped session, Coleman made a statement for the camera. "My name is William Coleman. I'm a competent adult. I do not consent to this force feeding, which violates international law." A Marriage Unravels In August 2004, after a nine-day divorce trial in which Bill Coleman represented himself, Superior Court Judge Lynda B. Munro ordered the dissolution of the marriage, granting Parle sole legal custody of their children. The couple's life together had been tumultuous, as detailed in the decision written by Judge Munro. Coleman and Parle had immigrated to the United States in 1988 on temporary visas to work at a camp in Hebron after Coleman divorced his first wife. The couple returned to Liverpool, England, their hometown, in 1994 to marry. After a summer at the camp, Coleman held a variety of jobs, including management trainee at Dairy Mart, before landing a position in 1996 as the head women's soccer coach at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. Coleman had played soccer all of his life, including years as a semi-professional player in England. Parle got a job at a family firm in the Waterbury area. In December 1998, Parle returned to England after learning her father was gravely ill, only to find out that he was already dead. The decision was made by her family not to tell her until she arrived. Coleman was left alone with the couple's two young children, one only six months old, and soon became overwhelmed. He claims it was this incident that sent his previously happy relationship with Parle into a tailspin. He admits his conduct at the time — insisting that Parle return to Connecticut eight days before her father's funeral, and raging against her family because of the way they had handled the death — was wrong. Parle said her homecoming was a nightmare "The plaintiff (Parle) stated that the defendant (Coleman) kicked her, spit on her and punched her, made her crawl outside on the deck and take showers to 'rub her family off her skin,'" wrote Judge Munro. "The defendant denied all of that other than insisting she take the shower to rub her family off her skin." Against this background, the couple's marriage slogged on. In February 1999, after a short stint in a women's shelter, Parle and her mother, who had come to be with her, took the kids back to England without telling Coleman. Coleman called Parle almost daily, alternately begging her to come back and suggesting they should get divorced, while also, unbeknownst to Parle, inquiring through the Hague Convention about forcibly getting his kids back. Parle finally agreed to return, but was refused entry into the country at JFK, later re-entering the country through Canada. It was August 1999. She went back to work at her previous employer, and moved back in with Coleman. All was not well. In 2000, Coleman's contract with CCSU was not renewed after it was revealed he'd had an affair with an assistant coach, and that his immigration status was illegal. (If Coleman survives and is eventually released from prison, it's almost certain he'll be deported.) After his affair was revealed, the couple separated and Coleman moved to Newport, R.I., where he began working with abused and neglected children and teaching parenting groups and anger management classes for an area agency. (Go figure.) Parle brought the boys to Newport for a visit every weekend, and, working steadily, was able to buy a house in Waterbury. She started a relationship of her own with another man around July 2002, just before Coleman decided he would move back in with Parle and the children some time in late August, 2002, according to Munro. Learning of her relationship with another man, Coleman alternated between imploring his wife to choose him and their boys over her lover, and asking her to sign a letter "resigning" from their family. By mid-September, Coleman had decided he would take the boys and return to England. In the days leading up to the alleged rape, Parle's car had broken down. Coleman at first refused to pick her up from the repair shop, but then showed up at the same time as friends she had called for a ride. They called the police when they saw the mood Coleman was in, but the responding officers determined Parle felt safe going home. Once home, Coleman told Parle he was filing for sole custody of their children and taking them back to England. Later that day, the family went for ice cream, meeting a friend to look at Parle's car. The next day, the couple drove to the Waterbury courthouse, where Coleman filed papers seeking sole custody. Over the next two days, Oct. 1 and Oct. 2, Coleman drove Parle to and from work, and searched for a bunk-bed for the boys, according to Judge Munro's account. The next morning, Parle told a friend that Coleman had raped her. She invited the friend to dinner that night, and testified later at the divorce trial the friend left around 10:30 p.m. Coleman claimed the friend stayed late into the night and that the three of them had sex. The friend testified she had no memory of what happened after dinner that night. On Oct. 4, Parle went to the police and Coleman was arrested. Family Relations Counselor Sylvia Richard wrote in a report for Judge Munro that Parle said Coleman had "held her hostage" and sexually assaulted her during that week. Coleman denied it. "The alleged sexual assault remains a he-said, she-said situation, as Ms. Coleman did not go for a medical exam subsequent to the abuse," wrote Richard. "It remains difficult to ascertain which client is actually telling the truth." In a story following Coleman's guilty verdict, the Waterbury Republican-American reported the case had "hinged on the victim's testimony," and quoted the prosecuting attorney as saying the absence of forensic evidence "is not necessarily conclusive to whether or not a crime took place." Richard's report for Munro included the fact that both Coleman and Parle acknowledged they shared a "non-traditional intimate sexual relationship where three-way sexual encounters were a fairly common practice for them." At trial, Parle contended she had been repulsed by the three-way sex and more, including pornography. But Munro remained unconvinced. "After listening to all of the evidence as to these three-party sexual encounters by these parties with others, the court concludes that both parties were consenting adults," wrote Munro. United Nations Called In On Monday, the national ACLU together with the ACLU-CT, called on the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture to review last week's forced nasogastric feeding of Coleman that allegedly went so wrong. The UN Commission on Human Rights established the special rapporteurs in 1985 to investigate claims of torture around the world. In a written statement, Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU Human Rights Program said "brutally force-feeding" Coleman violated his basic human rights and his right to make a political statement by refusing food. He said he is hopeful the Special Rapporteur will take up the case, and called on the DOC to immediately implement any suggestions the UN agency makes. "Bill's protest is passive, his treatment is aggressive," wrote Geoff Coleman in his e-mail to the Advocate. "Shame on the people who have violated his rights, his mind and his body, shame on a justice system that fails the very people it sets out to protect." editor@newhavenadvocate.com © 2008 New Haven Advocate

It is truly Inspiring to watch this 11 year old girl's reaction to seeing her dad

If you are a dad get a tissue before watching this video you will need it, especially if you have been emotionally and/or physically torn from your children. Read the story then click on the link below. Watch the video again...and again... As I understand it the couple are divorced but the mom has been a good parent in allowing her daughter to have a relationship with her dad. Kudo's to this mom. You are doing what all good parents should do - let your children love both mom and dad. What better reward could a parent have after putting your life on the line for your family and country than to see what is probably the most important person in his life. It is truly touching to observe a warrior have his child race toward him like that. The feeling he would have would be better than being a rock star in front of adoring fans for certain. When it happens to you - you clearly know it. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/27277530#27277530 By Bob Considine
TODAYShow.com contributor
updated 10:31 a.m. ET, Mon., Oct. 20, 2008

It is a scene that can melt the heart of anyone who has one: Eleven-year-old Siri Jordan reunited with her father, Dan, at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport when he made a surprise return home from the war in Iraq.

And the replay of it may be enough to help Siri when she misses her father again, after he goes back to serve his country once more.

“I thought that it was very surprising,” Siri told TODAY co-host Meredith Vieira on Monday. “I was wondering why he was here, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s here!’ ”

A white lie Carefully planned by Siri’s grandmother, Joyce, the tearful reunion was captured on video by NBC affiliate KARE-11. Because military plans can change at a moment’s notice, Joyce Jordan didn’t want Siri to endure the disappointment of expecting her father and then not seeing him. So she told the little girl from Burnsville, Minn., that they were going to the airport to pick up a friend.

“I lied!” Joyce Jordan told Vieira. “[But] I think God’s forgiven me.”

In the video, which TODAY replayed, a shocked Siri sees her father approaching after waiting several minutes near the baggage carousel. Then the powerful reunion takes place.

“That’s Dad! That’s Dad!” Siri shouts while running for her daddy’s arms. “Oh my God! Dad, what are you doing here? Oh my God! You didn’t tell me!”

The emotions also got the best of Dan Jordan.

“I just wanted to come home to my little one,” he said.

Long road home Sgt. 1st Class Dan Jordan has been a reservist with the National Guard for 25 years, and is currently part of the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade in Balad during his second tour of Iraq. He performs safety inspections of American combat units.

Jordan has not been home since June. But his unit provided him with an R&R opportunity this month, and he was keen to take the 12-day leave, knowing that he likely would face restrictions leaving in 2009.

“They had openings for October, and [Siri] had been calling me on the phone and telling me that ‘it would be really nice if you came home,’ ” said Jordan, who works as a trucker in Burnsville when he’s not serving.

Cameras captured Siri Jordan’s surprise reunion with her father, Sgt. Dan Jordan, at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Siri’s parents are divorced. While living with her mother, she has been able to talk or e-mail with her father just about every day. But her one repeated wish, particularly over the past few weeks, was for her father to come home.

While Jordan calls his daughter “resilient,” Siri has had nightmares of him getting hurt while overseas.

“I tell her we all hope that we will come home safe, but she knows that if I don't, I'll be up in heaven looking down,” Jordan said.

Until next time Dan and Siri arrived in New York over the weekend for some quality time. Their weekend of sightseeing included a visit to Times Square, a trip to Ellis Island and a carriage ride in Central Park.

“We got to go through Central Park and the gentleman was very nice to take us around,” Jordan said. “She saw places where they filmed ‘Enchanted.’ ” There’s also a plan for the family to appear on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show before returning to Minnesota.

But soon enough, Siri’s father will have to go back to Iraq. After this return home, Jordan cannot return again until next June. He is promising Siri he will be back for her 12th birthday on June 13 — one day before Flag Day.

The tough months ahead may be somewhat eased by the Webcam connection Jordan is setting up, so Siri can actually see her father, in addition to communicating with him via e-mail or phone calls.

But when those transmissions aren’t quite enough for Siri, she can still think back to the memory of her father’s unexpected return and a special weekend spent in New York.

“[Dad] told me that if you feel upset, just do something to make you feel happy or look at a picture,” Siri told Vieira.

Senator Ann Cools speaks to members of the Toronto Police Services on DV

Senator Ann Cools speaks to members of the Toronto Police Services on the subject of domestic violence and fraudulent information statistics being promoted by women shelter advocates.

Positive parenting

I don't believe in physical discipline of children of any kind and ran across this article this morning from the Philippines. I hadn't realized October 19 was the Global Day of Action for the Elimination of Corporal Punishment of Children. Physical punishment is just sending the wrong message to children. It is teaching them hitting is OK and it is not. If a mother or father hits a child what lesson does that teach. If a mother hits her son is she not teaching the son that it is OK to hit others. If a woman hits a boy does that not tell the boy that hitting a female is OK, especially if they are also taught about equality of the sexes? It can be a very confusing method of so-called discipline. Boys are naturally more rambunctious than girls and it is not the kind of lesson they need. Ask any teacher who has to manage boys and girls which group requires the most energy to supervise. I have been a volunteer on class outings and even in lower grades boys are far more energetic and potentially mischevious. That is not a bad thing but it is the way we are born and socialized. We ought not to be hitting our children at all for any reason. Yes - many of us were spanked and for those who went to catholic schools in the 50's we were also "strapped" by the nuns. A terrible lesson for children. All it did for boys was to ensure we put on our bravest face to show all the class how unafraid we were as the nun visciously beat us across the hands with her weapon, providing a humiliating experience for all to see.

Cebu Daily News / Opinion


THINK BITS Think Bits : Positive parenting

By Ricky Poca Cebu Daily News

Posted date: October 28, 2008

I’m sure not many knew that October 19 was the Global Day of Action for the Elimination of Corporal Punishment of Children. Allow me to share with you what corporal punishment is and its alternative.

It’s time to stop hitting our children.

This piece is by Maria Naomi N. Poca, M.D., member of the Central Visayas Cluster for Child Protection & Restorative Justice.

Maria, a four-year-old girl, suddenly lets go of her mom’s hand and runs across the street. For this, mom whacks her bottom for doing a bad thing. Now, Maria can’t sit to enjoy her fries and hamburger because her bottom hurts.

Tony, a nine-year-old boy, returns home from school after his family has had dinner. Father hits him with a belt causing Tony’s body to turn black and blue all over.

May, who is 15 years old, spent the night drinking with her barkada. On learning about this the following day, her father cuts her long, beautiful hair unevenly to stop her from leaving the house.

Junior eagerly helps mom serve drinks to their guests. While doing so, he spills a drink on the newly cleaned floor. Mom scolds him as a dozen pairs of eyes look at them and a dozen pairs of ears hear the harsh words coming from mom’s mouth.

There are many more of these stories from children who have been hurt and harmed by their loved ones. Children have been slapped, kicked, burned, choked, beaten, pinched, whipped, had their ears twisted, threatened, terrorized, ridiculed, cursed, belittled, etc. all because they behaved badly, disobeyed their parents or authorities, failed to perform tasks or chores to the satisfaction of adults, or because they did not listen to what the adults had just told them.

The infliction of such physical or emotional pain by adults on children because of an offense that they had committed is called corporal punishment. It is the use of physical force with the intention of causing some degree of pain or discomfort no matter how light or the use of humiliation, denigration or threats is practiced by adults for the purpose of disciplining, training or controlling the child.

Treating children this way must stop. Children do not benefit from corporal punishment. It hurts them physically and emotionally, leaving them with feelings of fear, pain and confusion. Children only remember such punishment as a painful experience.

Corporal punishment is harmful to children’s health and development. Its use only perpetuates violence in society as it teaches children to resolve conflicts by using violence and to believe that it is justifiable for strong people or groups to use violence against the vulnerable and powerless. Furthermore, corporal punishment is an ineffective means of disciplining children as it does not teach or give them guidelines. It does not help them learn self-discipline and to take responsibility for their actions.

More importantly, corporal punishment is a violation of children’s human rights. It violates the child’s rights to dignity, physical integrity and equal protection under the law, the very same rights that adults demand and enjoy.

What, then, should adults do to children who misbehave, are “hardheaded,” commit a mistake or disobey an adult while affording them respect and equal protection from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment? The answer is, POSITIVE DISCIPLINE.

Positive discipline is an approach to parenting that teaches children rules, values and good behavior that respect their rights and the rights of others. It is a technique that guides children’s behavior at the same time treating them with respect by listening to them and encouraging their participation in learning. Children learn more through cooperation and encouragement than through conflict and punishment.

The aim of positive discipline is to provide long-term solutions that develop children’s self-discipline and life-long skills. It is about teaching nonviolence, empathy, self-respect, human rights and respect for others.

The use of positive techniques in rearing and educating children will help them grow to be responsible and caring citizens as children are given the venue to learn, think for themselves, think of others and take responsibility for their actions.

Positive discipline is definitely not permissive parenting. In positive discipline, unacceptable behavior is not permitted to continue as the child’s attention to the negative behavior is called by the parents. The child is made to understand the harmful effects of such behavior on others, on property and on the child him/herself. The child and the parent discuss the consequences of the child’s action and the steps that could be taken to repair the harm that was done. Both decide on what will happen if the negative behavior is repeated or not corrected. Children say that such process where he/she is listened to and allowed to participate in decision-making encourages them to do better by not committing the same mistake in the future.

Maria’s Mom could have discussed with Maria what would happen to her if she suddenly crossed a street. Maria would not have only learned about looking right and left before crossing the street; her confusion as to where “right” or “left” is would have also lessened.

The fathers of Tony and May could have told their children how sickly worried they were as they had not gone home before dark. May’s father could have discussed the dangers of drinking at such a young age. With these actions, Tony and May would have felt their father’s love for them.

Junior’s mom could have gently said, “That’s okay, son, accidents do happen. Be careful next time. Please mop the floor before someone slips on it.” (Mom knows she, too, is not perfect.)

Let’s all stop hurting our children and begin a positive and caring relationship with them starting today. This may just be the answer to peace in our country and the world.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Moms vs. Dads ~ Two conferences in parallel ` Two Solitudes

Moms vs. Dads

Overlapping Toronto parenting conferences agree on little

Craig Offman coffman@nationalpost.com

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Just like mom and dad, motherhood and fatherhood scholars might not concur on every domestic issue, but they do agree on two things: mothers are stereotyped for doing too much, and men for doing too little.

A motherhood conference this weekend at Toronto's York University conveys that very message, invoking revolutionary goals of maternal independence, creativity and spontaneity -- all in an effort to push moms out of the house and onto the streets. Across the city at a downtown hotel, however, scholars at a groundbreaking conference on fatherhood discussed topics that sounded a little more domesticated: "The Importance of Infant Sleep for First-Time Dads," "How Children Affect Fathers' Health" and "Father Involvement in the Context of Breast-Feeding."

While some of these topics might sound like send-ups for clueless guys, conference organizer Kerry Daly begs to differ.

Prof. Daly, who teaches family relations at the University of Guelph, emphasizes that the emergence of these issues proves that fathers are answering their partner's call to lighten their domestic workloads. "Men have been responsive to the feminist cry of the double day," he said. "To say that dads don't chip in is unfair and inaccurate."

Ending yesterday, the 2008 Father Involvement Research Conference is an unprecedented event in paternity's checkered history, the first time that scholars from around the world have gathered in one spot to discuss the progress that men of the house have made.

If the recent preponderance of ads of balding dads nuzzling babies is any indication, the nurturing father is gaining momentum, crossing the wimpy divide into a more accepting world.

Still, experts say, negative stereotypes prevail. "Look at the connotations," Prof. Daly said. "When you say mothered, you think of nurturing, warmth and comfort. When you say someone is fathered, you think of sperm."

While the trope of the buffoonish, useless Everyone Loves Raymond kind of dad is rampant, Prof. Daly observes that men have steadily devoted more time to parenting and household chores. "They are working longer hours, but they are still trying to find a complementarity of contributions."

There is a growing recognition among mothers, he adds, about how time spent with children is evaluated. A father, for example, taking a child to a softball game could be considered as meaningful as the time a mother might spend carpooling.

Andrea O'Reilly, a York University professor who organized the motherhood conference, said that she faced an entirely different set of obstacles when she started a local motherhood movement. "We had to prove it was legitimate, when most people saw motherhood as biology or instinct."

In contrast, she added, many perceive fatherhood as a choice, a novelty, a disembodied biological experience that many see as being inherently less instinctive. "You can step out of fatherhood at any given time, but with motherhood, you can't."

When read some of the topics being discussed across town, she sounded a little incredulous. "If I had written for a grant and I had 'baby time' as one of my categories, it would have been tossed."

Beginning with the emergence of DNA testing, however, several trends over the past decade have influenced the way that mothers and the motherhood movement look at their male counterparts --and vice versa.

Invoking a phrase from Mary O'Brien's influential book, The Politics of Reproduction, Prof. O'Reilly said that fathers would suffer from "alienation from the seed," but that might have changed with the advent of genetic testing.

Men once had to trust women that the baby they were carrying was theirs; now it could be verified, perhaps altering, on a subconscious level at least, a father's sense of responsibility. "It's only been 10 years since we've been able to prove who the father is," Prof. O'Reilly said.

Around the same time, academics began to realize that mothers would often judge their partners' performance on their own terms, what experts call a "deficit model of parenting." In other words, they focused on men's inadequacies as parents--a phenomenon that could be called a form of reverse sexism: when it comes to parenting, men are useless.

"It was looked at through a matriarchal lens," said Carleton University professor Andrea Doucet, who spoke yesterday at the fatherhood conference on "I'm Still Their Mother: Fathers Mothering and Maternal Gatekeeping."

But Prof. Doucet, the author of the book "Do Men Mother?", noted that women typically discounted activities such as coaching, or driving to sports, because they were considered "fun," when instead they potentially could involve crucial developmental moments.

In 1996, however, a landmark collection of essays, Generative Fathering: Beyond Deficit Perspectives, helped shift the paradigm in the academic world, showing that men could offer varied, positive approaches to parenting. Invisible fathering traits such as risk-taking -- and even a little rough-and-tumble play -- could be positive for a child's development.

Prof. Doucet said that while mothers are still in the driver's seat, doing most of the planning and organizing, they need to find ways to encourage men to step to the plate -- all of which makes communication and negotiation between fathers and mothers all the more important.

"It's important to talk about them in relation to each other," she said, unwittingly raising a point about the segregated nature of these two conferences.

If communication is so important in this increasingly equitable relationship, how could it be that the two parenting events with a few days of overlap cold have no interplay whatsoever? Symbolically at least, what does it say about motherhood and fatherhood?

Both organizers said that neither knew the other was planning a conference until it was too late.

Or as Prof. O'Reilly aptly put it, "We're just a busy couple and we didn't check in with each other."

Copyright © 2007 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest MediaWorks Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Spike in youth crime in Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Read The Sault Star article then my letter to the editor following it. The letter was published in the paper on Friday, October 24/08. You can view it here until it disappears.


Council to probe spike in youth crime

PROBE:Group to map strategyWill strike committee to develop strategy


Alarming statistics that show a significant rise in youth crime in Sault Ste. Marie has Ward 3 Coun. Bryan Hayes calling for a committee to identify the problem and determine what solutions exist.

Hayes told city council Monday he was alarmed by the statistics in a council report that show 2007 youth crime increased by 28.9 per cent over the prior year.

He wants to better understand why the statistics show the trend, which at first blush, seems to be significantly higher than average for Northern Ontario municipalities.

"Youth are our future and children are our thermostat of the community," Hayes said, suggesting that the community is "not doing so well" and the problems must be identified and fixed.

Hayes admits he doesn't know whether the problem lies with how police keep their statistics or whether the problem stems from the failure of local services and resources, educational system challenges or elsewhere.

Earlier this year council was told a youth curfew would be unenforceable. Council has also declared 2008 the year of the youth in Sault Ste. Marie.

Wardmate Pat Mick noted the statistics don't indicate that 28 per cent of youth between the ages of 12 and 17 are committing crimes; the number of crimes committed are usually multiple crimes by fewer individuals.

But Ward 2 Coun. Susan Myers questioned what the city would do with its fact-finding mission and whether it would be prepared to ante up for the solutions.

"We don't need more talking heads. I'm sure there are counsellors and experts who will tell us what the problem is very quickly but I need to know whether the city will invest financially into the solution," she said.

Myers noted the attempted teen centre failed in Sault Ste. Marie and community services such as the soup kitchen now see more youth seeking assistance.

Ward 5 Coun. Frank Fata said he believes the city has serious drug trouble that contributes to the youth problem. Council approved Hayes' suggestion to establish the committee of council, which will study the issue and report back with a strategy.

October 21, 2008 Dear Editor: Let me provide council with a way point for its road map on getting to the bottom of the increase of youth crime in our fair city. It might want to start with our local family court and then expand it outwardly across our vast nation. Gun crime by gangs is on the increase in our major centres across Canada. In London England gun and knife crime is on the rise despite the UK having one of the toughest gun laws in the universe. Why is youth crime increasing? Could it be related to our family courts withdrawing fathers from their children on an unprecedented scale. Most fathers end up the loser in a divorce or separation financially and emotionally. So are the children as a result. If lucky these fathers will only get to see their children 14% of the time in any given month if they are lucky. There is a nine to one ratio of females getting custody thus marginalizing fathers to the sidelines. Children do much more poorly in single parent households headed by females. Start there and work your way up. Get stats on the number of single parent households and then relate the crime increase to where the children reside. It might help. Want to know a way to resolve it. Get your MP and MPP to change the laws so that a presumption of equal and shared parenting is the norm, barring abuse, and watch our children do better. Watch the divorce rate drop and a reduction in teen pregnancies, suicide, truancy and criminal behaviour. Mike Murphy Coordinator, Sault Ste. Marie Fathers-4-Justice Canada