Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Strong Women? And What of Strong Men?

Strong Women, Strong Girls program grows at Northeastern


(photo by By Kristina Finn)

Northeastern University student Jennifer Glynn has seen her university chapter of Strong Women Strong Girls mushroom in four years -- from 21 mentors at five program sites, to 60 mentors at 14 sites.

“I think the types of women that are attracted to joining this program are just unreal,” said Glynn, from Wappingers Falls, NY. “I mean so incredibly talented, they inspire me to do more and be more.”

The Strong Women Strong Girls program matches college-age mentors with groups of girls, ages 7 to 10, from city elementary schools. The program, which meets on a weekly basis, helps at-risk youth develop skills to succeed.

But Glynn and other volunteers say the interactions are as beneficial to them as to those they serve. They say the program has attracted more mentors in recent years because of the rewards it offers college students looking to make a real-world difference in the lives of young girls.

Glynn, 22, said she enjoys being able to instill confidence in girls who face obstacles, both internal and external. She recalled reuniting at the annual SWSG fieldtrip with one student she had met in the program when the girl was 7 years old. She remembered the girl being “always on a sugar rush” and not being able to hold a conversation with her.

“When I saw her at the fieldtrip last year, she was a completely different child,” Glynn explained. The once out-of-control girl was now helping her peers to keep their focus and behave well.

“It was just amazing to see how much she had matured and how she had really come into her own as someone that the girls looked up to,” Glynn said.

Glynn said the girls are offered strong female role models through both the mentors and successful women they learn about, in various fields. For instance, to boost confidence in the girls as strong competitors, they are told about Shree Bose, a Texas high school student who recently was named the grand prize winner of the Google Science Fair for work in cancer research. Her hard work and dedication were balanced by a friendly disposition with her competitors, the SWSG mentors explained.

“We were able to explain to the girls how these things were really unique and would help them find themselves,” said Glynn.

SWSG was founded in 2000 by Lindsay Hyde, then a student at Harvard University. The program stemmed from a project Hyde did for school and was first established in the Boston area. The program thrived and was later replicated in Pittsburgh, PA, and South Florida.

When the program started in Boston, there were only two sites and six volunteer staff. Now, there are 55 sites and 155 volunteer mentors in the Boston area.

This year, Hyde is launching an experiment with the Northeastern University chapter to expand the number of mentors and program sites. Usually, colleges that participate produce 20 to 30 mentors. But Hyde hopes to increase that to 50 to 75 at every college involved. The pilot expansion at Northeastern will help Hyde determine whether the increase is beneficial or too massive an undertaking.

“I have to say it’s been really fantastic (so far),” Hyde said.

SWSG consults with school counselors, social workers and teachers to decide which youth would benefit from the program, Hyde said. Each meeting begins with the girls sharing events from their week with the group. They are able to vent, get advice or share their achievements.

Because the program is gender specific, Glynn sees a strong sense of community develop among the girls. They learn about different cultures, neighborhoods, schools and backgrounds, she said.

At a recent meeting at the Yawkey Boys and Girls Club in Roxbury, staffed by three mentors, seven elementary school girls cheered as their peers competed in a rock, paper, scissors tournament. The tournament was intended as a way to teach the girls how to compete. That lesson is part of a research-based curriculum offered to the girls, who participate in the program for 90 minutes a week during the school year, said Hyde.

After the activities concluded, the girls were handed personal journals and asked to reflect on what they had learned. The mentors helped them to develop a story that used the characteristics they had learned about that day. As the meeting ended, the girls gathered to recite the closing cheer:

“I am strong! I am proud! I’m not afraid to shout out loud! Strong Women Strong Girls, Strong Women Strong Girls, Strong Women Strong Girls!”

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Bad Joke" is Being Kind

Dissenting judge rips this thing to shreds, but it doesn't matter, dad is blown away from his son and HIS SON IS TAKEN FROM HIS FATHER. Of course, no one gives a shit about that. Sons count even less than dads.

Iraq War Veteran, Fit Father Has Parental Rights Terminated

December 19th, 2011 by Robert Franklin, Esq.

A veteran of the Iraq war has had his parental rights terminated despite having in no way wronged his child or the mother. Read about it here (Booneville Democrat, 12/8/11).

The facts of the case are straightforward. Edward Glover served in the U.S. armed services. He was deployed to Iraq. His wife, Michelle, gave birth to a child, E.G., in November of 2008. While Edward was serving abroad, Michelle took up with one Maliki Raheem, who had a history of domestic violence. In April, 2009, it came to the attention of the Arkansas Department of Human Services that E.G. had been severely abused by Raheem. Here is how one Arkansas Court of Appeals judge described the child’s injuries:

The abuse was severe: E.G. had scalding on his chest and abdomen, bruising, blood inside his eyes, head injuries, perforation of his stomach, a liver contusion, three rib fractures, bilateral retinal hemorrhages, bruising around the eyes and scalp consistent with trauma, a possible lung contusion, and burns to the abdomen, shoulder, right thigh, and left scrotum.

Edward Glover obtained emergency leave and returned home, but was sent back to Iraq 10 days later. Glover remained deployed oversees while legal proceedings played out. The ADHS of course took E.G. into foster care and eventually succeeded in terminating Michelle’s parental rights. At all but two hearings, Glover was neither present in person nor represented by counsel.

Irrespective of the fact that Glover had done nothing wrong and was never even accused of any form of wrongdoing toward anyone, the trial court, at the request of ADHS, terminated Glover’s parental rights. The Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling. Indeed, if there was a claim by anyone at any time that Glover had ever in his life done anything to indicate unfitness as a parent, neither the trial nor the appellate court mentioned it.

So how is it possible for a father without a single black mark to entirely lose his rights to a child, born during his marriage and therefore presumptively his? Apparently the reason the trial judge terminated Glover’s rights is that he didn’t follow the court’s orders to avail himself of certain ADHS “services.”

Now, remember, that ADHS is an agency of the State of Arkansas, but during most of the court proceedings, Glover was nowhere near Arkansas and therefore could not be ”served” by ADHS. More importantly, the “services” ordered were clearly aimed at a parent who has abused his/her child. Here they are:

-provide complete medical history for juvenile
-parenting classes
-anger management classes
-forensic psychological evaluation – follow recommendations
-random drug screens
-remain drug free
-remain alcohol free
-provide vital info for fetal alcohol syndrome assessment
-drug and alcohol assessment – follow recommendations
-medication assessment and follow recommendations
-maintain stable and suitable housing
-attend staffings at DHS
-cooperate with Department
-maintain contact with Department
-attend visitation with juvenile
-demonstrate improved parenting
-maintain reliable transportation or seek reasonable assistance from DHS
-complete affidavit of Financial Means
-refrain from criminal or illegal activity

So what we have is a state agency and four separate judges who couldn’t quite grasp the fact that, although there was an abused child and although there was a father in court, the father hadn’t abused the child. Glover didn’t need any of the “services” ADHS said he needed.

Likewise, the fact that he was out of the country most of the time and in the hospital part of the time when he returned from abroad (after being honorably discharged from military service), and therefore unable to avail himself of the “services,” never seemed to make an impression on the judges or ADHS.

Late in the game, the court appointed counsel to “represent” Glover. I use quotation marks around the word “represent” because the dissenting justice at the appellate court described that representation this way:

The quality of the appointed counsel’s representation at this late stage of the case supports an inference that the purpose of the appointment was not to assist Mr. Glover in negotiating his way through the juvenile courts to gain custody of E.G., but rather to facilitate his exit by terminating his parental rights.

The dissent’s description is given considerably more weight by the fact that Glover’s lawyer made no effort to assert at trial any of the very obvious legal issues presented by the termination of a fit father’s parental rights. Having failed to assert them at trial, they couldn’t be asserted on appeal. To make her malpractice still more obvious, Glover’s attorney filed his appeal but under a “no-merit” procedure. That’s one in which the lawyer files the appeal because her client demands it, but tells the court it has no merit. This was “zealous representation” by an attorney? It’s more like a bad joke.

In short, the lawyer worked hand-in-glove with ADHS and the judges to cut the father out of his child’s life. My strong belief is that ADHS wanted that all along. That’s why its counsel convinced the judges to order the long list of “services” for Glover to comply with. ADHS hoped that Glover wouldn’t comply due to his deployment overseas and failure to comply would lose him his parental rights. And that’s just what happened. Some people may call that justice. I call it a conspiracy.

Not surprisingly, Glover lost his appeal. The appellate majority said he hadn’t raised any of his issues on appeal, so there was no way he could win. Fair enough. Or was it?

On the contrary, the dissenting judge, Josephine Hart, completely destroyed the majority’s summary dismissal of Glover’s appeal. She points out that, due to a case decided by the Arkansas Supreme Court (the Mahone case) during the pendency of Glover’s case, the state cannot interfere with the parenting rights of a fit parent.

The Mahone court overruled Judkins and held that custody of a child taken from a custodial parent should result in first shifting custody to the nonoffending, noncustodial parent.

Importantly, the Mahone court relied on U.S. Supreme Court precedent in so ruling.

The United States Supreme Court has stated that it is a fundamental right to parent a child without interference by the state. Accordingly, there first must be a showing of unfitness before the state may intervene. The fact that one parent is unfit does not alter the state’s burden to prove that the other parent is also unable to care for the child before it may interfere in the family… Without a finding of unfitness, the state has no constitutional authority to exercise that power. Under current Supreme Court authority, the existence of a single fit parent, regardless of the acts of the other parent, negates the state’s ability to interfere in the family unit.

Those are, once again, Judge Josephine Hart’s. She was writing at the appellate level in Mahone and, when the case got to it, the Arkansas Supreme Court agreed.

More importantly still, the trial court in Glover’s case had no jurisdiction. In order to exercise any authority over his rights, it had to first find that he was unfit. It didn’t because he wasn’t. Therefore, the matter could be raised for the first time on appeal.

It can therefore be raised before the Arkansas Supreme Court. From here, it looks like a slam-dunk win.

To date, however, the lesson Edward Glover’s case teaches us is just how determined child welfare agencies are to cut fathers out of the lives of their children and how willing courts are to comply.

Monday, December 12, 2011


That's what the "family law" folks are. Cracked. Without a legitimate care for reason, justice, rights, or families. They support mom #1, try to all but kill mom #2 and throw dad from the frying pan into the fire. Then pat themselves on the back for making things "right." Their ideas of who is right and who is wrong ARE PRECONCEIVED FROM THE START. A child could figure that out by now.

Give me a break.

Read a hundred of these - MAKE IT A THOUSAND - or more and tell me I'm exaggerating:

New Hamshire Family courts are a joke:

You notice she’s unequivocal. To her, it’s the most important decision divorcing parents can make. Strong words, but she knows from experience.

Apart from her experience as a child of divorced parents, it turns out Haas has some hard-learned lessons about the parental side of divorce court. It seems her husband is a non-custodial father whose ex-wife has refused to allow him to see or contact his children for two years. Has he received any help whatsoever from the New Hampshire courts in dealing with that flagrant violation of his and his children’s rights? He has not.

Into the bargain, the state child support agency screwed up the billing on his account. So he’s ended up paying far more than he should have, and is still behind. Has he received any help whatsoever from the New Hampshire courts in dealing with that flagrant abuse of his rights? He has not.

I’ll let Samantha Haas tell it. Here’s her letter to the Honorable Ed Kelly, judge of the court that should be doing something about her husband’s outrageous case, but apparently hasn’t.

Honorable Ed Kelly;

My name is Samantha Haas. I am a wife and mother from Hooksett, New Hampshire.

Mr. Kelly, your Courts are destroying my family.

We have suffered severe emotional distress, financial hardship and estrangement from my two stepdaughters.

My husband was denied his right to Due Process as his Constitutional Rights have been violated and the essential base on the concept “fundamental fairness”.

A mathematical error in the Court on November 20th 2006 has followed my family ever since, with my husband always being held in contempt on an inability to pay.

Ignored or denied pleadings, a Guardian ad litem who withheld evidence of abuse on my husband and children by his ex-wife, turning into not seeing his two daughters since September 26th, 2009.

My husband has paid over $120,000 in child support in the last four years [JB: $30,000 a year!?!? For 2 kids? That's $2,500/month!!!! WHO THE FUCK CAN POSSIBLY JUSTIFY THAT NUMBER?!?!], has a $250,000 life insurance policy on his two daughters naming his ex-wife as the beneficiary, pays for the children’s medical and dental insurance, and pays for half of all uninsured medical and dental expenses.

Yet, he has not seen his daughters in two years.

Every attempt to see them has been blocked by his ex-wife, who has perjured your very Courts since 2006.

My husband and I have been damaged financially because of the ongoing litigation. We have been getting food at our local food pantry and are on the verge of bankruptcy.

I am a full time student and my husband works in fund accounting for towns and schools, and is also a Hooksett Town Official as a member of the Budget Committee.

On June 17th 2011, my husband was falsely incarcerated at Manchester Family Division on his inability to comply with paying for the mathematical error from 2006.

Mr. Kelly, I felt like I lost my life that day. It was Father’s day weekend and my son (Nicholas’ stepson) and our daughter were without their dad because he was in jail.

It became my responsibility to find $10,000 cash bail to have him released. It became my responsibility to fight for my husband’s freedom and his right to be a father and not be faulted for an error the court made.

We have filed with the Supreme Court. We continue to file with Manchester Family Division with no response.

Why? Why are we being denied our rights? Our rights as people and our rights as parents?

Our family desperately needs relief, Mr. Kelly.

The longer this is allowed to continue, the older the children are getting and they already have a two year old sister they have never met.

Please show us what to do.


Samantha & Nicholas Haas

That’s about as good a summary of family law in the United States as I know of. It’s almost all there. The screw-up by the child support system resulting in payments he can’t make. The ever-increasing penalties. The inability to get the judge to care or pay attention. Impending bankruptcy. An ex-wife who perjures herself, a pro-mother guardian ad litem who withheld evidence. Refusal to enforce the visitation order. Depriving the children of their father indefinitely. And what must be counted the crowning achievement of the whole sorry affair, the father’s arrest on Fathers Day due to the court’s mistake.

About the only thing missing is for the dad to learn he’s not the actual father and to be made to keep paying anyway.

I hate to tell Ms. Haas, but she and her husband are far from alone in this. Similar things are happening to fathers all across America; it’s as common as dirt.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Film Star Ryan Gosling


From Wikipedia:

His parents divorced when he was a child and he and his older sister, Mandi, were raised by their mother,[6] an experience Gosling has credited with programming him "to think like a girl."[7]

He was bullied in elementary school[8] and had "no pals"[9] – "not in a sad, ‘poor me’ way. I didn’t want any. I liked being alone. It was only when I was 14, 15 I got friends."[10] "I hated being a kid. I didn't like being told what to do, I didn't like my body, I didn't like any of it."[5][11] In Grade 1, having been heavily influenced by the film Rambo: First Blood, he brought steak knives to school and threw them at other children during recess. This incident lead to a suspension.[12] While attending Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School, he was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), prescribed Ritalin, and placed in a class for special needs students. He was unable to read which he found "pretty frustrating. I couldn't absorb any of the information, so I caused trouble."[13] Consequently, his mother quit her job and homeschooled him for a year.[14] Gosling has said that homeschooling gave him "a sense of autonomy that I've never really lost".[5]

"I Never Wanted To Do What I'm Doing"

I'm at a loss for words here. In summary, they are all just a big, fat mess. Where is the accountability? Where is the responsibility? No one's perfect. Including me. Feelings are strange things. But people, when you start getting married and having kids, ITS TIME TO GROW THE FUCK UP. DON'T LIE, DON'T CHEAT, DON'T STEAL. DON'T TELL PEOPLE THINGS THAT ARE NOT TRUE, DON'T GET INVOLVED WITH ANYONE YOU DON'T INTEND TO LOVE AND COMMIT TO FOREVER. UNDERSTAND!?!?!?!?

Want your kids to end up in a mental institution, or in pornography?!?!?!

Its not easy. It can be quite scary. You're really scared? Take marital arts - then you can defend yourself if attacked. Now you'll be just fine. Be a big boy or girl and stand up and tell someone what you want and how you feel OR WIND UP IN BIG, STEAMING PILES OF CRAP LIKE THIS!

I never wanted to get married

Comments (692) Posted by Meredith Goldstein December 9, 2011 08:55 AM

This one's messy. Remember to give constructive advice. :)

Q: Dear Meredith,

I have been married for almost a year, together with my now-husband for almost a decade. We moved in after a year of dating and were happy for a couple of years before he started pressing the issue of marriage. I never wanted to be married and I made this clear when we first met -- no marriage, no kids. He said he was OK with that but apparently he wanted to "have" me, and being happy with me in our relationship wasn't enough.

Fast forward four years and I caved. We signed the papers and I hoped for the best. Over the past nine months I have tried to work on myself and have come to realize how controlling and manipulative he can be. Friends and family say I've changed for the worst over the years and I am starting to think they might be right. From gaining weight and losing interest in the things I used to love, to losing touch with close friends and family. We became each other's only friend/hobby and I know that's not healthy. He is a great guy and I've loved him dearly (otherwise I wouldn't have made him my whole world for so many years). The problem is, the moment I want to do anything myself -- shopping, talking on the phone, anything that doesn't include him -- he throws a fit and I'm tired of it. I know part of this is my fault ... I've allowed this to happen for a long time.

Now on to the next issue (because the marriage isn't bad enough?!). Six months ago I reconnected with an old crush and we began a friendship that has turned physical over the last two months. We have so much in common. Back when we met I wasn't married, though I later found out he was. Though we lost touch, I never forgot about the what-if. When we reconnected it started with talking, which turned into coffee, which turned into talking on the phone, and now here we are. Now, ready for the worst part?

A month ago he found out his wife is pregnant. The wife he claims to be so unhappy with. Which of course has left me wondering if his home life is as unhappy as he has led me to believe. Before he found out the news, he told me he never wanted kids, but every now and then I question whether or not he was just lying to me all along. Then when I'm with him, all of my fears and doubts instantly slip away and it feels right.

He says it feels like she’s having the baby to try to save the marriage and he wants a divorce regardless -- that he can be a father without being with her. He sees a future with me. In the meantime, what about me? What if he watches her growing belly and can't leave? Then, even if he does, I've never wanted kids, and regardless of how amazing we are together and our feelings for each other, I’m just not sure I can stay with him with a kid in the picture.

Where do I go from here? Divorce? Wait and see if HE gets a divorce? Work on my marriage? Break it off with everyone and be alone?

– Lost in Love, Boston

Friday, December 02, 2011

We'll Investigate Ourselves! What Could Go Wrong?

Since 1999, there have been 339 investigations of police misconduct in Quebec.

But only in three cases did police officers subsequently face charges.

Bill 46 states that when a person perishes during a police operation or detention as the result of a serious injury or a gunshot wound from a police weapon, the police force informs the minister.

The minister then names another police force "to ensure impartiality" to conduct "an independent inquiry."


Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Quebec+bill+would+civilian+panel+oversee+police+investigating+police/5802119/story.html#ixzz1fP9AbFad

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Domestic Vioence: Its Plain

This won't go over well because Kris Humphries is 6'9", 235 lbs and Kim Kardashian is MUCH SMALLER than that. But facts are facts. Hauling off and hitting someone (even though YOU estimate they are "too big to really feel it") doesn't matter. Hitting someone like you mean it is all there is to it. It is domestic violence. Man on woman. Woman on man. It doesn't matter. She could've stomped on the guys toes or missed and punched him in the stomach or groin or hand, for all I know. It doesn't matter. Let's suppose Kris, or even a guy much smaller than him, thew a punch at Kim - what would you all say? THROW HIS ASS IN JAIL! There is no mulligan for women. I don't care how big you are. Taking a swing, is taking a swing, no matter how "tough" you figure your man is. My ex used to bite and scratch. It was funny for 5 seconds - then she REALLY starting biting and scratching me. It hurt like Hell. I pushed her back - had she called the cops, they would've arrested ME for violence despite the marks all over my hands and arms. This is BULLSHIT, plain and simple. Women have learned, it does not matter - they can do whatever they like and no one will even MENTION the fact that they are PHYSICALLY ATTACKING someone they profess to care about and this is NOT ALRIGHT. IT IS IN FACT WRONG AND THEY SHOULD IMAGINE IT BEING DONE TO THEM. Many women don't give it a second thought because they simply don't think its any big deal. No one expresses surprise or outrage at their actions. So why not? they think. Wind up. Slug him in the arm or the stomach. If it goes further? Hey, no one said anything the first time!

Its unacceptable. Period. At present its simply another milestone in the land of our absurd double-standard system.