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Messages - Rakkasan

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11
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.

12
Father's Issues / RE: Medical Co-payment question
« on: Oct 10, 2005, 10:39:38 PM »
OK, here's the deal.  This weekend I received 35 pages of medical bills, Rx receipts, dental and orthodonic receipts.  

The court order requires the PBFH to carry health insurance and any uncovered medical and health bills are to be split 50/50.  I know I like to be optimistic so here is my take.  Since the order reads that she is to provide health insurance and then specifies that we are to split uncovered medical and health bills, I am thinking she sould have carried dental as part of the health insurance.  That being said I may not be responsible for 50% of the dental.

The next glaring item is the Rx expenses, aside from her loading Parkman with antibiotics, most of the Rx's originated with her brother a neurosurgeon in Washington state, while Parkman is in Kentucky and there are no medical bills from her brother for office visits.  :)  

I have called the DEA to ask about the legality of a Dr. prescribing meds for family members based on a diagnosis by non-medical personel.  Of course DEA was closed for todays holiday so I will try again tomorrow.

The next items are orthodonics and a surgery and physical therapy the Parkman apparently received in late 2003 / 2004.  This will need to be explained further by the PBFH, since I found in the original divorce decree that ANY NON_EMERGENCY MEDICAL EXPENSE OVER $100.00 I AM TO BE CONSULTED ON.   Since I was not consulted and the  surgery followed the physical therapy which meansit was not an emergency surgery.  I believe I shouldn't have to reimburse her for these items either.

This could possibly net me a savings of $2400.00.

We shall see how this all shakes out on Thursday.  Hopefully we will be before the Commisioner and not the bought and paid for Judge from hell.  

Thanks for all your input.


13
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

Thanks,

The Rak

14
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.








15
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.

16
Father's Issues / RE: I don't think that the letter was biased.
« on: Mar 24, 2005, 10:46:22 AM »
Please re-read the letter.  You are correct in that she did say "...domestic abuse is a serious problem for both men and women.", however the opening sentence in the letter is as follows "Did you know that a woman is physically abused every 9 seconds in the United States".  There is no mention of the rate at which men are abused and I doubt that statistic even exists for that would require some organization or angency to care enough to track these events.

Ms. Berns' bias is confirmed not only in the first sentence, but in the first part of the sentence that you quoted which reads "Whether a man repeatedly beats his girlfriend, uses intimidation to make her feel afraid, or denigrate her consistently to convince her she has no worth, domestic abuse is a serious problem for both men and women."  

Additionally, para:4 sent: 2 states "Women and their children suffer from the pain of abuse, ...". Not only does this sentence further establish her bias, but it implies that children are the domain of women and men have no interest in, concern for, or right to the children.   Further along in the letter Ms Berns state 3 statistics (without sources)

Medical services for women total an estimated $857 million dollars every year.

Battering is the leading cause of pregnancy complications.

Domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and children.


Finally inthe closing paragraph she writes "As women, we have the power to accept domestic abuse or stop it now."

The Rak

17
Father's Issues / RE: VOTE for your Favorite Bumper Sticker
« on: Feb 18, 2005, 07:04:39 PM »
My personal favorites are.....

"Decriminalize Fatherhood"

"Stop the Financial Abuse of Men"

"Save Our Children from Arrogant and Incompetent Judges"

"Andrea Yates and Susan Smith are not Exceptions"


AS THEY SAY IN CHICAGO "VOTE EARLY AND VOTE OFTEN"



18
It's final, I lost the appeal. Parkman is history.   I may be able to say more later, not now

The Rak

19
... As part of the training of these hairdressers does that state have the hairdressers inquire of the customer when she expects to complete the 12 step program at AA and get her license back so she can drive herself to her own appointments?  

20
If time is truly running out, you need to hire an attorney and fast.   Even if you think you can't afford one, work it out.   Sell your TV, stereo, tools whatever you can to raise the money.  

This is a one time deal, there are no time-outs or do-overs.   You have to decide what is more important, a relationship with your kids or your savings and accumulated stuff.  

Money and stuff can all be replaced later.  You only get one chance to be a parent to your kids.




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Decriminalize Fatherhood In Our Lifetime [/font][/marquee]


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