Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Analysis of Housekeeping and Parent Rights

I just finished Housekeeping, an intriguing novel that seems to read more like poetry than prose. It is the story of two orphaned girls, first raised by their grandma, then their great aunts, then their aunt.

The problem is their aunt is a transient who rides freight trains. Eventually, the younger sister goes off to live with a teacher, and live a "normal" life. The older sister, the narrator, is threatened by the locals to be forcibly removed from her aunt. Instead, they burn their house, and escape to the hobo life. The town assumes them dead.

In the book, the author talks of family togetherness. It is ultimately the government that force a terrible choice: break up the family, or become a drifter. It seems that too often this is the case with various government organizations. In trying to force people, they end up creating the very situation they were trying to avoid. In trying to help, they end up hurting.

I highly recommend the book for both it's artistry, and it's depth. However, it is a book that requires you take your time.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Analysis by Criminal Defense Attorney John Floyd and Paralegal Billy Sinclair

This rather extensive analysis Floyd and Sinclair really hits the nail on the head. Thanks to Hugh for pointing it out.

we do believe that polygamy is a fundamental tenet of certain religions and we have no problem with that practice, just as we have no problem with same-sex marriage, civil unions, common law marriage, or state-sanctioned ceremonial marriage. Laws should not be based on religious tenets. Laws should be secular.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Who is Christopher Clark, and how is he related to Rozita?

This is a very interesting question of who Christopher Clark is, and how exactly he relates to Rozita Swinton. Perhaps I will have more to post in the near future.

UPDATE -- Hugh McBride at Modern Pharisee came up with the answer.

He's a bartender in Albion ID, and has made statements regarding Rozita that would make it appear she is his foster child. He had a MySpace page plastered with her pictures from Thanksgiving of 2008, some of which were from the "Ace Hardware" store in Burley ID. Rozita in turn commented on that MySpace page several times. I have copies of all of them. I am unable to publish them here because someone gripes that I am infringing on copyright, and again I don't have the wherewithal to dispute that.

According to alleged or claimed foster "mom" Mary Catharine Nelson, Ms. Nelson has been in the pacific northwest as well. There are a lot of confusing stories about Rozita's youth out there, and no one with the time and money has been willing to investigate them.
Thanks for the answer, Hugh. Christopher Clark is possibly the one complaining about copyright infringement. There was a "Christopher Clark" signature on the takedown notice I received. "Chilling Effects" is slow posting takedown notices but after asking google I received a scan of the letter with personal information removed. Since it will be posted on Chilling Effects anyway, I do not feel bad about breaking out his role.

Now, it is entirely possible that someone else wrote and signed the letters. That is the reason I wanted to contact him directly. It would be nice to know if someone else was writing up the letters and signing them in his name.

I publicly invite Christopher Clark to comment on this matter.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Scoreboard: FLDS 439, Texas 0

Last child was released today. Combine that with the earlier veto, the actions of the Texas Supreme Court, and time on the Oprah Winfrey show. It seems that many crucial parts of the battle are not going the way the anti-FLDS planned. There is still a ways to go, but it is wonderful to see such amazing progress.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

New Blog focusing on political concerns

I have started a new blog to better address some of the more political problems I see that are not as closely related to parental and family rights. You might find it interesting.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Video from Iran

Video from the street in Tehran. Unbelievable. Of course, given the Eldorado roundup, maybe it will happen here as well. I could well imagine a mob calling themselves "kindred spirits" with helmets and batons, swinging away.

I hope you wear green in support of Iranian youth.

Green Ribbon on my antenna to support the youth of Iran

This morning I purchased green electrical tape and put it on the antenna of my car. This evening, I added a green ribbon. When I go out tommorrow, I will be wearing a green ribbon on my wrist.

For one of the first times in my life I feel there is hope for peace in the middle east. That hope rests, in part, on the youth of Iran, and their courage in the streets of Tehran. I am reminded of a song I love - "Chimes of Freedom Flashing" as sang by the Byrds, but in this video by their lead singer Roger McGuinn.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

$2 Million Parking Ticket?

What if your child or grandchild got hit with a $2 Million parking ticket? Would you think that is excessive? So would I. Yet it is the punishment the jury decided on in a recent court case for something that I believe is fair use. Here is the letter I wrote to my senators and representative.

Can you imaging paying $2 million for a parking ticket? In my mind this is what has happened today in a trial in Minnesota. A Woman has been fined $2 million for non-commercial sharing of music. If this same penalty were applied to all shared music, it would result in a fine of $400 Trillion. Let me repeat that number: $400 Trillion. How is there any sanity in this kind of award? However, even though the damages were excessively high, the industry felt an award almost twice as high was appropriate.

You represent Virginia. It is your duty to stop this nonsense. Non-commercial sharing is far different than commercial piracy, and should be treated as such. Sharing songs should not carry a penalty similar to a parking ticket, not a penalty similar to murder, especially when the music industry has yet to prove they are damaged.

Please hold hearings on non-commercial file sharing, and call the music industry to task for this gross abuse of justice. Also, please support and/or sponsor legislation that gives a sane penalty for non-commercial sharing, commensurate with the 79 cent price of the file.

Friday, March 13, 2009

"Race to the Pole" and anti-Mormonism

I recently finished a very interesting book - Race to the Pole: Tragedy, Heroism, and Scott's Antarctic Quest, by Sir Ranulph Fiennes. When I picked it up I thought it would be an interesting book about how early explorers lived and died in their quest for the antarctic. I only later found out I was stepping into a historical controversy.

Sir Fiennes is a modern explorer of note. He has apparantly crossed Antartica on foot, and performed a number of other extrordinary feats. In the mid-1970s a biography came out that was highly critical of explorer Robert Scott. From this book, the contemporary view of Scott has become one of a bumbling idiot, according to Fiennes. According to Fiennes, the book even went so far as to accuse Scott's wife of an affair, and the head of the Royal Geographical Society of being a homosexual, all with no substantive evidence. Further, Fiennes pointed out that the other author had never been to Antartica.

I have yet to read the other book, so I can not comment on it directly. However, much of what Fiennes said about the way Scott kept his diary and the nature of scientific expeditions resonates with my own experiences. Thus, it gives merit to his book in my mind.

Now, I have not researched the history of Scott enough to resolve this historical question to my satisfaction. However, I see Sir Fiennes engaged in a very similar struggle to that of polygamists. They are contending against sensationalist writings that have become considered "common knowledge." Just as such things as the weather conditions in March 1912 have come to light with further research, items such as the "FLDS on welfare" fallacy have been debunked by adversarial witnesses such as Texas officials. It is clear that "common knowledge" has been wrong, it is more a matter of seeing how far it has drifted.

A couple of good parenting sites

Commenter Saif Ali Pervez has a couple of good parenting sites. Since it was in the comments, which can often get lost, I thought readers would appreciate it if I "bumped" the sites in the post.

Parenting Tips

Early Childhood

I will say, though, the question has been raised as to whether the NAEYC should be renamed the "National Association for Acreditation Nightmares. ;)

Copyright infringement a $150,000 Crime?

Note - Given the pointing out of errors in my earlier post, I have edited the earlier edition. This may leave some comments sounding strange.


Copyright infringement carries a fine of up to $150,000 per incident. While the penalties on copyright infringement are ridiculous, so are the penalties on polygamy. But those who promote the importance of following stupid and overreaching laws should first make sure that they are obeying all the stupid, overreaching laws.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Very Interesting Take on Abuse at School

Kurt Schulzke really picks up the "story behind the story" on this one. Sex abuse in the public school system is a serious problem. How often does it happen? Is there a better way that is less prone to abuse?

My children are in public schools right now. The schools have a policy of trying to keep parents away from the schools. I had to be fingerprinted during normal working hours to be a volunteer! It made me wonder if it was worth it. Certainly, there needs to more parental oversight of public schools. Like the mother in the article, am I being intellectually dishonest if I say "I’m very protective about my children,” since my children are in public school? Of course, my wife would say I'm not being protective when I allowed and encouraged them to wrestle this year. ;)

Has she been a bad girl this year?

While nothing has been proven, it seems there is a preponderance of evidence that Swinton made the fraudulent phone calls. She is free, and Texas is totally dragging their heels in bringing her case to court. I can not say with certainty that Rozita is responsible for the kidnapping of 460+ children. Bigotry certainly played a large role. But she is certainly an accomplice to kidnapping, guilty of fraud, and guilty of religious persecution if the charges are true. When is Texas going to bring her in for a hearing? Why have they not persued her case with any speed or interest? How can this possibly be reconciled under the "equal protection" clause?

Fall of Reynolds - Coming soon to a nation near you!

There is some interesting insights posted on a blog with the provocative title "The Fall of Reynolds." Renn OldsBuster posts a very insightful article on "Siamese Polygamy." Why would it be wrong the two ladies joined together to marry one man, or two? Would it be illegal? Would the law allow them to live their own life the way they choose, as it is certainly not hurting anyone else? I would hope sanity would reign.

Unfortunately, a BluesMan did not respond to that article as near as I can tell. Also, BluesMan neglected to tell Mr. Oldsbuster how his predictions were wrong about the appeals court, wrong about the Texas Supreme Court, and wrong about the question of the search warrant coming to trial, and is wrong about a JD being a real doctorate. Perhaps the last error is part of the reason for the first three, as his ego and "Javert Syndrome" prevents him from seeing imperfections in laws.

Mohammad's birthday

The Jawa report says that today is the birthday of the prophet Mohammed. I must admit I have not found corroborating evidence, but since the Muslims use the lunar calendar it may be difficult to track.

Either way, I once participated in a "Interfaith Dialogue club" that was started by Islamic students. In addition to participating in discussions, I was MC at a three-night guest speaker seminar, and spoke myself at a Ramadan dinner. In addition, we have had Islamic neighbors from Egypt who were good friends, let their children come over to our house, and even came to a 4th of July picnic with us. One of my sons best friends had a father from Lebanon, and the family was also Islamic.

Ironically, the father had been betrothed to a cousin in Lebanon before he fled to the United States. His wife confessed to mine that at first she was worried if he ever went back to Lebanon he would marry her, since the betrothal can not be broken. But, when they did go back, she met the lady, and was really impressed. She said that if her husband did decide to marry her, it wouldn't be a terrible thing. Though this is all third hand, I thought it an interesting attitude as my wife absolutely abhors polygamy -- one reason among many others I will never become a polygamist.

Anyway, back to Mohammed. Wikipedia reports that he had 13 wives, and it is commonly assumed that several thousand Muslims practice polygamy. It seems to me that many people have found spiritiual inspiration in the teachings of Mohammed, and have lived a better life because of it. I think Muslims that want to practice polygamy should be allowed to practice it without the government forcing them to choose between their conscience and the law. It seems to be a very reasonable arrangement for families to have that flexibility.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Another FLDS case in Texas bites the dust

Modern Pharisee comments on Malonis being pushed out of the case due to the freeing of Teresa. Sore Toes and a Bleeding Heart comments on the Conspiracy aspect. Moroni has an "Virginia" sign as he discusses working a job in South Carolina.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Strange developments in FLDS case

It seems that strange things are happening in the FLDS case in Texas. The Modern Pharisee chimes in with a trio of articles analyzing Doran's recordings, Malonis being blindsided, and an attorney requesting to withdraw.

The picture is from Bill at Seems to really summarize the salient point in this whole mess.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

FLDS speaking out, Family planning in China

Here is an article dealing with the One Child Policy in China. Ironically, the policy reversed an earlier policy in which the Chinese government encouraged large families, at least according to a native Chinese that I used to carpool with. My carpool associate also pointed out that ethnic minorities could have more than 1 child. However, it all begs the question, why should government be interfering in family life? Obviously, it should not.

A new book on the FLDS is coming out, and it is by an FLDS member, Betty Jessop. It has already provided an interesting counterpoint to a book written by her mother - Carolyn Jessop. In a CNN interview discussing the two, Carolyn has already contradicted statements in her book. How accurate is the book when the author confirms contrary evidence? FLDSView also provides some comments from the authors sister, Maggie Jessop. Will Oprah give the new book the same red-carpet treatment she has given anti-FLDS books? Will the other promoters of sensationalism give equal time? Will the main stream media even recognize that Carolyn is confirming her own testimony to be false? Unfortunately, objectivity and fact checking seem to be missing ingredients to most main stream FLDS coverage.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Civil Rights Day

Here is a poster from the Chinese Cultural Revolution. According to Wikipedia, it is captioned " "Smash the old world / Establish a new world." The worker is crushing a crucifix, Buddha and classical Chinese texts with his hammer.

As you may know, the Cultural Revolution was one of the cruelest of the 20th century despotic "purges." I happen to have worked with and been friends with survivors and the children of survivors. Those that had different opinions, belonged to the wrong social group, or were suspected of either agreeing with, or being in politically incorrect groups were targeted for persecution, and in some cases death.

It seems to be a fitting image for many family rights challenges this nation is currently facing. State agencies employ their workers to destroy those things that are most precious to politically incorrect groups. I hope that in the future civil liberties will be extended to families of those persecuted by the United States and Canadian governments.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Abuses in Arkansas and North Carolina, a few interesting sites

Legally Kidnapped has a link to an article, as well as a comment from a mother of one of the girls that the state kidnapped. Persecution of an unpopular religion once again seems to come into play here. Once again, no objective reporting by the main stream media. However, the families involved in this case posted videos of an abusive interview by the FBI, and sent it to the white house as well. This has force the main stream media to deal with real facts, and not just the typical government whitewash.

North Carolina has some serious problems with CPS abuse, including forged signatures and other overt illegal actions. Government officials once again abusing power, with family suffering as the fallout.

Here are a couple of sites that may be of interest to readers. Those with Jewish heritage are aware of the dangers of bigotry and persecution. Thus, the Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership have a rather clear position. Also, the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform has some good resources and ideas on their website.

Sore Toes and a Bleeding Heart
recommends that the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts have a "FLDS family Day," just as they are having a Chinese family day. There is also a link to an article in which Hildebran admits that mistakes were made. However, he does not take responsibility for his own mistakes and bigotry, preferring to take the immature route of blaming others.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Canadian Fundamentalists - Primary Sources

In any scholarship, it is always desirable to consult primary sources. For far too long the mass media has only considered one side of the story. When is the last time Oprah interviewed a current FLDS member with the same level of sympathy with which she treated various anti-FLDS bigots and profiteers? Politically powerful people with bully pulpits have use the mass media to spread their propaganda without having to face any opposition to their ideas.

Fortunately, that has changed somewhat recently. While the Canadian politicians have had their say, and the canadian newspapers have largely followed the party line, we our fortunate in having the other side. Here is the rest of story, courtesy of Winston Blackmore.

It seems that too many times only having one side of the story perverts justice, denying protection of family rights to the politically incorrect. Sensationalization and lack of balance in reporting creates an environment which endangers parent and family rights.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Another Great Blog, Post on Plural Life

The "Freedom and Separation" blog has a couple of good articles on Canada, and the Texas CPS trying to turn Merianne away from her FLDS heritage. I like the statement "The audacity of this rogue agency is nauseating," as I think it aptly describes the "Jim Crow" way that CPS has acted.

There is also good press coming from Canada, researching the realities of such things as the Charter of Rights. It is refreshing to see some defense of religious liberty after the initial articles were extremely one-sided.

Here is an edited post I made on the plural life blog about the changing times we now live in. The original topic was an article about a blog post by Bill Medvecky that was being passed around the courtroom. Did it help or hurt the case? Perhaps it doesn't matter, as the long-term implications are more important. Here it goes:

Good generals know there is a difference between a temporary battle and the overall war. The immediate battle right now is over the custody of Merrianne. But, there are two long-term wars: the war between FLDS and anti-FLDS, and the war between CPS/DFPS organizations and parents.

On the FLDS vs. nonFLDS front, the fact that Bill is being quoted is a definite long-term win. Instead of all the lies being spread by the anti-FLDS profiteers, the media is quoting a pro-FLDS site. Main-stream media has finally been lured into pro-FLDS territory. It is a subtle but very important twist, and one that is becoming much more common. Before, new books or congressional hearings would report only the anti-FLDS side of the story -- now they are reporting both. Things that had previously been reported as fact, such as "infant grave yards full of murdered children" and "vast stores of weapons," are now seen by any reasonable person as wildly distorted rumor at best, and more often as as the intentional libel it was.

Now for the second war -- Government vs. parents. The entire FLDS case has focused more energy and complaints on extra-constitutional abuses of various agencies such as CPS - a spotlight they certainly did not want. Using a court room to had around anti-CPS blog posts indicates that CPS has become sensitive to the criticism, and are worried about their reputation. The long term war here is whether voters and elected officials will protect parents rights, as opposed to supporting bureaurocratic abuses. The fact that there is a blog complaining about their abuses, and that it is still actively updated, is a long-term threat to their power and survival.

In the long term, what Bill has done is a victory in both wars. There has been an inflection point, the sands are shifting, and the winds have changed. Bill's post being handed around is more evidence. It is time to write to your state representatives and demand a Parents Bill of Rights.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Canada has bigots, too.

Here is the story from Fox News on the polygamy charges in Canada. Here's blog posts from Messenger and Advocate, Free the FLDS Children, and Modern Pharisee.

This kind of bigotry is unbelievable. It certainly makes the case for Canada needing a Parents Bill of Rights.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Great site for Credit Cards, Online Bank Accounts, Debt Consolidation, and Credit Reports

I highly recommend Credit Card Land for all your consumer credit needs. They have a long list of credit cards, as well a "tips" section and a large selection of credit report companies. This is the best site that I have seen for choosing a credit card, and I hope you have the same excellent results that I have had.

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