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Topics - Rakkasan

Pages: 12
Father's Issues / If there are any of the old timers out there...
« on: May 24, 2006, 06:21:24 AM »
...who might remember me.  

I thought I would touch base with this site since it has always been like a second family to me.  

I found out last week that I have cancer in my left lung and it has spread to my right shoulder.   I have no idea at this point how bad it really is, what type of cancer or chances or survival.   I do have ral good health insurance, the company I work for actually makes alot of cancer drugs and anti-side effect drugs all of which will be available to me free of charge if the doctors decide to use them in my treatment.  

I go to see two oncologist on June 2nd who will lay out a treatment plan that will surely consist of Chemo and radiation therapy.  

Wish me luck

Father's Issues / Same thing would have happened to a man
« on: Jan 26, 2006, 11:54:58 AM »
No jail for mom with kids in car trunk
Judge orders 18 months probation

FREDERICK, Maryland (CNN) -- A judge threw out a reckless endangerment conviction Thursday against a woman who drove with three children in the trunk of her car.

Instead of handing down the suspended sentence prosecutors requested, Judge Milnor Roberts ordered Lanora Adele Lucas to serve 18 months of supervised probation.

As part of the sentence, the judge struck down her November 21 conviction.

Lucas has been attending parenting classes, defense attorney Alan Winik told the judge, and has made "substantial efforts to learn parenting skills."

"Children don't come with a guide, and we make mistakes," Winik said.

A video captured by the dashboard camera of a police car on June 4 showed Lucas opening her car trunk after being stopped by police. Three children -- two of hers and one friend -- crawled out and got into the back seat of her car.

"Why would you let the kids ride in the trunk?" the officer was heard asking Lucas.

She said the children wanted to get in the trunk and had crawled through a back seat access to get in it.

An off-duty Maryland State trooper had seen the children crawl out of the trunk in the parking lot of a convenience store and enter the shop. When they came back out, they climbed back into the trunk.

The off-duty trooper alerted local police, who stopped the car.

Prosecutors cited the testimony of the police officer, who overheard Lucas tell the children to remain hidden in the trunk as he approached the car, and said that the public is outraged that the former school bus driver is trying to minimize what she did.

Winik said his client drove a school bus from 1993-2001 and had no violations.

The prosecution said it did not recommend jail time for Lucas but it objected to the order of probation before judgment. Lawyers said they wanted an appropriate sentence to ensure the woman continued with counseling.

Father's Issues / Medical Co-payment question
« on: Oct 08, 2005, 06:53:16 AM »
Does anyone have any experience or case law with the following,

1)  An ex retains medical bills until they have reach an unmanagable dollar amount and then dumped them for immediate payment?

2)  Do the courts look down upon this behavior?

3)  If she save them for 4 or 5 years do the court allow 4 or 5 years for repayment?

4)  If a court order directs her to pay provide health insurance and you are to pay half of the deductable and co-payments.... does this include dental? Or is dental seen as something that needs to be spelled out separately?

5)  If the ex get braces for a child without consulting you are you required to reimburse for those expenses since they are a) cosmetic and b) a major expense that she had, unlike a broken arm, advance notice that the expense would be incurred.

Any responses would be welcome


The Rak

The Criminal Justice System, If Any

Stay Out Of Its Hands


What passes for a system of criminal justice in this country is positively scary. We've all see the stories in which a guy is on death row, or serving life for rape or murder, and DNA evidence proves that he absolutely didn't do it. It makes you wonder how many other innocents are behind bars. If you've seen the system at work, you wonder a lot.

Some time back I wrote a column about Bruce McLaughlin, now in the Loudoun County jail after being convicted of sexually molesting his children. He got thirteen years, which is fine by me -- if he did it.

Briefly, he confessed to extramarital affairs to his wife, who thereafter suddenly discovered the abuse of his four children. Criminal charges followed. Medical evidence being lacking, the conviction rested heavily on transcripts of interviews, by Child Protective Services, of the children -- who said he did it. Well, sort of said he did it. Who actually said he didn't do it. Or said mommy said he did it.

I read the transcripts from CPS shortly after the original trial. They stank. As I said at the time, reporters aren't good at much, but they know a con job when they see it. Everybody tries to con journalists. You come to recognize tendentious, the coached, the craftedly deceptive testimony. Which the transcripts were.

Over and over, the transcripts of the interrogation of the children contain passages like this one:

Stribling (one of the interrogators): "Is that something you remember?"

Nicholas (McLaughlin's son): "I think."

Leigh (a cop): "Do you remember it today?

Nicholas: "Huh?"

Leigh: When you're telling me right now, do you remember that happening?"

Nicholas: "Not really."

Or this. Leigh: "Let me see what else you have here. He had played with my penis. Tell me about that, do you remember that?"

Nicholas: "No. My mom told me that."

His mom told him? Coached, maybe?

Over and over, the kids say they don't remember being sodomized. Then, after insistence and leading by the questioners, with a suspicious consistency they say they do remember. Their testimony reeks of coaching. One, pushed, said McLaughlin had white pubic hair. No.

Curious about all of this, I got one of McLlaughlin's representatives to send me a transcript they made comparing an actual audio recording of the interviews to the transcrips the jury saw. At one point in it one of the kids twice says the children , ". . . came forward . . ." meaning told adults about the abuse.

Kids don't say, "I came forward." It's adult language. Interestingly, the phrase is omitted in the transcript that the jury saw. Don't let anybody tell you railroads are dead.

Now, why would CPS produce a deceptive transcript? Because child protective services tend to become highly adversarial. Just as defense attorneys and prosecutors become zealots, just as equal-opportunity watchdogs fill with people who see discrimination everywhere, those in CPS come to have a prosecutorial attitude. It isn't deliberate. They don't say to each other, "Let's imprison an innocent man." They merely find what the expect to find.

A conclusion: "The interviews with the children are flawed. They show evidence of suggestion on the part of McLaughlin's wife. They are not properly documented. They are loaded with leading questions ("Let me tell you what I think you're telling me . . .). There are many indications, especially in the interview with Nicholas, that, in fact, nothing is really remembered."

The foregoing paragraph isn't mine. It is from the decision of Michele Anne Gillette of the Virginia Department of Social Services who heard McLaughlin's appeal. She changed the finding from "Founded" to "Unfounded." She did it on the grounds that I noticed long ago, that she saw without difficulty, that you would notice if you read the transcripts. The word "fabricated" appears in her analysis.

It's nuts. A jury, listening to a prosecutor working for the state, found him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Yet the same state, as the Department of Social Services, determined the charges, by a preponderance of the evidence, to be unfounded. A preponderance of the evidence doesn't constitute a reasonable doubt?

Why is McLaughlin in jail?

This could happen to me or you, gang. McLaughlin is a middle-class lawyer with an ugly divorce. False allegations of abuse of children are a tool of divorce law. In this case Mrs. McLaughlin ran away to New Zealand with the children (in violation of a court order), which makes investigation difficult. It could be any of us. This is how criminal justice works.

An old column but still interesting.

Blowing Away Algebra Two

A Price For Drugging Our Kids?


Regarding the recent wave of killings by students in high school:

Might the reason for these shootings, just possibly, be Ritalin, the amphetamine-like drug used to pacify millions of fidgety boys?

Yeah, I know. Wild idea. But I'm not the first it has occurred to, and something is sure going on.

We've all wondered, unless we're dead or crazy, why kids in high school have taken to blowing away their classmates with guns. The premier example is the shootings at Columbine, but there have been many others. Why do boys, often from fairly ordinary families, decide to kill the kids in Algebra Two?

The media usually blame guns. (Ever look at the average SATs of students in journalism schools? You wouldn't be surprised.) Whatever one's views of guns, they aren't responsible for the wave of shootings. Guns have been around for centuries, and these shootings didn't occur. Something new is involved.

Another explanation is that divorce, and the advent of unrelenting anti-male propaganda in the schools, have left boys puzzled, alienated, and hostile. They therefore commit multiple murders. This doesn't really make sense. Killing a dozen people isn't a plausible response to being told that Sojourner Truth is more important than Isaac Newton. It's psychotic behavior.

What, then?

Well, depending on whose figures you like, something like twelve percent of boys in grade school and high school take Ritalin for what is called Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD. This means that they fidget, throw spitballs, and disrupt class. Whether such a condition in fact exists in a medical sense may be questioned. When I was a kid, acting up was called "being a boy." Dumb boys, who couldn't keep up, and smart boys, who were bored, particularly did these things. Now these kids are doped with Ritalin to keep them passive.

This is new. Like the shootings.

Ritalin is speed. It's a stimulant--specifically methylphenidate. It's like crystal meth, dex, Ecstasy, and so on. Stimulants in large doses can produce psychotic behavior. They alter brain chemistry. Odd: We tell kids that drugs are bad, and then give them speed.

In the mid-Sixties, I was a very young, very dumb kid in Istanbul, then a point of congregation for young travelers going to India. Countless kids met in the hostels of Sultan Ahmet, and did drugs. A favorite was--yep--Ritalin. Kids took it in large amounts, and discovered The Crash: The foul, angry, despairing depression when the beast wore off. Ritalin. The stuff your kids are on.

There are sites and stories on the Web which allege that the Columbine killers and the rest were on Ritalin, and that the pharmaceutical companies have gone to great lengths to keep this little fact from coming to light. The reason is said to be that a lot of money in profits is involved. Further, sez me, the legal liability, if Ritalin were implicated, would be about seven times the manufacturer's net worth. According to the stories, the medical records of the killers are routinely declared confidential.

True? I don't know. In a lot of years in journalism I've heard companies accused of all sorts of things that didn't happen--defense contractors who were said to be selling $600 toilet seats to the military, that kind of thing. Conspiracy theories are a dime a gross, and most of them are absurd.

But in this case the explanation fits, as nothing else does. The drug is of recent advent in the schools. So are the killings. The literature of pharmacology notes that heavy use of stimulants, including Ritalin, can produce violent behavior. For what it's worth, kids in high school are well known (ask your sprats about it) to sell Ritalin to each other.

What proportion of the killers were on what drugs? How many if any boys respond psychotically to long-term use at moderate dosages? I'd like to know. I don't know how you get around confidentiality of medical records. On the other hand, any parents who refused to answer the question might reasonably be assumed to have something to hide.

One thing is for sure: Something not yet understood is going on. Walking into a class room and killing--bang, brains all over the walls--is not what boys normally do when they get bad grades. If it were, half the male population would be in Leavenworth. We've all had problems as kids. Adolescents have been moody and depressed as long as there have been hormones.

And it isn't television. You don't watch Clint Eastwood splatter away some miscreant and then go kill half a dozen kids.

Maybe it's not Ritalin or any other of the drugs we routinely feed to kids. But I want to know it isn't.

It's final, I lost the appeal. Parkman is history.   I may be able to say more later, not now

The Rak

Father's Issues / Taxes....
« on: Mar 13, 2004, 08:02:15 PM »

Accounts Receivable Tax

Building Permit Tax

Capital Gains Tax

CDL license Tax

Cigarette Tax

Corporate Income Tax

Court Fines
(indirect taxes)

Dog License Tax

Federal Income Tax

Federal Unemployment Tax

Fishing License Tax

Food License Tax

Fuel permit tax

Gasoline Tax
(42 cents per gallon)

Hunting License Tax

Inheritance Tax Interest expense
(tax on the money)

Inventory tax IRS Interest Charges
(tax on top of tax)

IRS Penalties
(tax on top of tax)

Liquor Tax

Local Income Tax

Luxury Taxes

Marriage License Tax

Medicare Tax

Property Tax

Real Estate Tax

Septic Permit Tax

Service Charge Taxes

Social Security Tax

Road Usage Taxes

Sales Taxes

Recreational Vehicle Tax

Road Toll Booth Taxes

School Tax

State Income Tax

State Unemployment Tax

Telephone federal excise tax

Telephone federal universal service fee tax

Telephone federal, state and
local surcharge taxes

Telephone minimum usage surcharge tax

Telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax

Telephone state and local tax

Telephone usage charge tax

Toll Bridge Taxes

Toll Tunnel Taxes

Traffic Fines
(indirect taxation)

Trailer registration tax

Utility Taxes

Vehicle License Registration Tax

Vehicle Sales Tax

Watercraft registration Tax

Well Permit Tax

Workers Compensation Tax

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago and our nation was the
most prosperous in the world, had absolutely no national debt, had
the largest middle class in the world and Mom stayed home to raise
the kids.

What the hell happened?

Democracy will survive only until the politicians learn to bribe us with our own money.

Father's Issues / New text added to Judges oath of office...
« on: Mar 09, 2004, 12:48:38 PM »

Well it might as well be part of the oath :(

Father's Issues / Joke of the day
« on: Feb 06, 2004, 10:46:31 AM »
This is tooo funny

Calling in sick to work makes me uncomfortable. No matter how legitimate my excuse, I always get the feeling that my boss thinks I'm lying.

On one recent occasion, I had a valid reason but lied anyway, because the truth was just too darned humiliating.  I simply mentioned that I had sustained a head injury, and I hoped I would feel up to coming in the next day. By then, I reasoned, I could think up a doozy to explain the bandage on the top of my head.

The accident occurred mainly because I had given in to my wife's wishes to adopt a cute little kitty.  Initially, the new acquisition was no problem.

Then one morning, I was taking my shower after breakfast when I heard my wife, Deb, call out to me from the kitchen.

"Honey! The garbage disposal is dead again. Please come reset it."

"You know where the button is," I protested through the shower pitter-
patterand steam.  Reset it yourself!"

"But I'm scared!" she persisted. "What if it starts going and sucks
me in?"

There was a meaningful pause and then, "C'mon, it'll only take you a second." So out I came, dripping wet and buck naked, hoping that my silent outraged nudity would make a statement about how I perceived her behavior as extremely cowardly.Sighing loudly, I squatted down and stuck my head under the sink to find the button. It is the last action I remember performing...

It struck without warning, and without any respect to my circumstances.

No, it wasn't the hexed disposal, drawing me into its gnashing metal teeth. It was our new kitty, who discovered the fascinating dangling objects she spied hanging between my legs. She had been poised around the corner and stalked me as I reached under the sink. And, at the precise moment when I was most vulnerable, she leapt at the toys I unwittingly offered and snagged them with her needle-like claws.

I lost all rational thought to control orderly bodily movements, blindly rising at a violent rate of speed, with the full weight of a kitten hanging from my masculine region.  Wild animals are sometimes faced with a "fight or flight" syndrome. Men, in this predicament, choose only the "flight" option. I know this from experience. I was fleeing straight up into the air when the sink and cabinet bluntly and forcefully impeded my ascent.  The impact knocked me out cold.

When I awoke, my wife and the paramedics stood over me.  Now there are not many things in this life worse than finding oneself lying on the kitchen floor buck naked in front of a group of "been-there, done-that" paramedics. Even worse, having been fully briefed by my wife, the paramedics were all snorting loudly as they tried to conduct their work, all the while trying to suppress their hysterical laughter.... ....and not succeeding.  

Somehow I lived through it all. A few days later I finally made it back in to the office, where colleagues tried to coax an explanation out of me about my head injury. I kept silent, claiming it was too painful to talk about. Which it was.

"What's the matter?" They all asked, "Cat got your tongue?"

If they only knew!

Father's Issues / I know this has been here before, but...
« on: Feb 06, 2004, 09:21:07 AM »
... sometimes women just need reminding.

We Always hear "the rules" from the female side.
Now here are the rules from the male side. These are
our rules! Please note... these are all numbered "1"!

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl.
If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it
down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving
it down.

1. Sunday = sports. It's like the full moon or the
changing of the tides. Let it be.

1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going
to think of it that way.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one:

Subtle hints do not work!
Strong hints do not work!
Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to
almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help
solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your
girlfriends are for.

1. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a problem.
See a doctor.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an
argument. In fact, all comments become null and void
after 7 days.

1. If you won't dress like the Victoria's Secret
girls, don't expect us to act like soap opera guys.

1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't
ask us.

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways,
and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant
the other one.

1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us
how you want it done. Not both. If you already know
best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to
say during commercials (except during the Superbowl when commercials are part of the show).

1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions and
neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default
settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color.
Pumpkin is also a fruit.  We have no idea what mauve

1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," we
will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying,
but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to,
expect an answer you don't want to hear.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything
you wear is fine. Really.

1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you
are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball, the
shotgun formation, or monster trucks.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. I AM in shape. Round is a shape.

1. Thank you for reading this; Yes, I know, I have to
sleep on the couch tonight, but did you know men
really don't mind that, it's like camping.

Pages: 12
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