Saturday, May 31, 2008

Maybe FLDS just drew a really bad judge: Walther spitefully delays sending YFZ kids home

Is San Angelo District Judge Barbara Walther the worst judge in Texas?

There are many jurists competing for that lowly dishonor, but I'm beginning to wonder if Walther's name shouldn't be placed on the short list for discussion. After her petulant display in the courtroom yesterday, it's increasingly clear the judge has taken rebukes by higher courts personally and begun to behave like a pouting 9-year old. Here's how the San Angelo paper described yesterday's events:
A proposed order, which seemingly was approved by CPS and attorneys representing the families, was introduced at the beginning of the hearing that states the department would begin returning the children at 8 a.m. Monday.
The proposal also stipulated the parents would undergo parent counseling and cooperate with the ongoing investigation, and that the parents wouldn't leave the state, at least until Aug. 31.
Technically the order was for just the mothers in the original appeal, but the implications were for all children, Walther said.
Walther took a break and countered with a proposal that put more restrictions on travel and other stipulations.
Her proposal gave the same time frame for releasing the children. However, it also said that if children were to travel more than 60 miles from their designated residence, the CPS must be given at least 48 hours' notice.
It also said case workers should have access to the ranch at "any and all times necessary to the investigators."
As well, it states case workers could interview and examine the children, which could include medical, psychological or psychiatric examinations.
Lawyers for sect members objected to the new proposal, saying it wasn't what they had originally agreed to, and that the court has no authority to impose those stipulations because there is no evidence those sect members broke any laws.
Walther countered that the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the court can put conditions on reunification to keep the children safe.
The Supreme Court ruling seemed to indicate Walther has some latitude to order parents to refrain from removing their children "beyond a geographical area identified by the court" while a thorough investigation continues.
Lawyers argued it does not give her the authority to allow some of the conditions she put in her version of the proposed agreement.
Walther eventually ruled that if each parent signed the agreed-upon ruling, then the court would sign it as well. ...
Laura Shockley, an attorney representing a mother and several children, said attorneys are usually allowed to sign such orders for their clients.
"The effect is that all children will be unlawfully detained for at least 48 hours and probably more," she said.
Andrea Sloan, an attorney who represents several disputed minors, said many mothers are scattered across the state near their children, and reaching them so they can sign the order will put a further strain on attorneys and the families.
Still, she said she is confident in the court system of Texas to get the children home.
Jessop was incensed that Walther didn't sign the order and wanted clarification.
"The judge left the court in total disarray," Jessop said. "There is no way to know when relief will be here to fix what happened on April 3. It's total confusion."
So bottom line, Walther demanded MORE restrictions on families than CPS had agreed to, injecting herself as a party in the dispute rather than an arbitrator. After hours of wrangling, the judge backed off her demand that FLDS parents agree to extra stipulations, but insisted that each FLDS mother sign the agreement instead of their attorneys, just to inconvenience them and make their lives more difficult. Then she stormed out without explanation, leaving attorneys to guess what she meant.

That said, by all accounts, before her abrupt exit, Walthers backed off on the extra requirements and consented to sign the agreement between CPS and parents if they all put their signatures on it. While FLDS could take this to the 3rd Court, their interests might be better served simply by hustling everybody back home and getting them to sign the damned document. If the Judge flip flops again, there's plenty of time to appeal to the 3rd Court. I'd guess that, at this point, the subsequent bench slap wouldn't be long in coming.

There's no justification I can see for Walther's ill-tempered departure nor the arbitrary delay it created - at least none except spite and mean-spiritedness. It's as though she doesn't realize that her actions are playing out on an international stage, that she's in danger of having her name transformed into a verb, like Duke lacrosse prosecutor Mike Nifong, where people whose children have been seized without cause have been "Walthered."

With yesterday's decidedly un-judicial display, Judge Walther disgraced her robes and embarrassed her constituents. Her actions displayed the same brand of disrespect for the law and parents' rights - in the 3rd Court's words, the same "abuse" of her "discretion" - that caused her earlier rulings to get shot down

Judge Walther deserves a lion's share of blame for everything that's gone wrong during this fiasco.

97 comments:

blog648 said...

The judge has been at the head of the lynch mob, in fact, she's the one holding the rope. It's becoming more and more apparent that this is not an impartial judge. Her mind's already made up, but she just can't get enough cooperation from all the other parties involved, including her victims. The tracks are falling apart on the railroad.

Fred said...

What About the Rights of the Parents?

by Tim Giago

The upstanding and righteous Christian community had to do something. The people living near them had a religion that was so different than their own that it had to be considered as heathen. They didn't believe in Jesus Christ so they had to be on the wrong path.

And what's more, they were living in deep sin by practicing polygamy. Why some of the men had as many as three or four wives. What kind of damage was this doing to the innocent children?

The Christian community saw only one conclusion. They had to go in and rescue the children. If that meant sending law enforcement officials into the community to forcibly take the children from their parents, so be it. It would lead to a much better life for the children so the parents be damned. After all, what did these backward people know about raising children properly?

No, I am not talking about the fiasco at San Angelo, Texas. I am talking about what happened to the children of Native Americans across America in the late 1800s.

Crusty said...

First of all, hearty congratulations to Grits for a great blog! I have enjoyed reading it the past week or two.

Unfortunately I don't think Walther is as bad as they come in Texas (or Alabama, Minnesota, Georgia, ...). Texas has a long history of prejudiced rulings. Walther and Texas CPS may though set back real child welfare in the US by several decades with their hugely over-reaching collusion in this case.

Hugh McBryde said...

FLDS actions indicate they bargain in good faith and have nothing to hide. If in fact some "crime" is discovered later, it would seem they are as interested in discovering it as Texas is.

At this point I would not trust Texas at all, I'd just want my kids back and I wouldn't sign anything until I found out how far the court of appeals would go to just get the children back without conditions. Whereas before, I would have stood my ground and stayed in Texas, at this point I think I would leave.

I've proposed also that they go with some sort of security contingent to each and every place that their kids are being kept and take the Supreme court and Appeals court decision with them, and demand their children back. I'd like to see how they are dealt with when they showed up demanding their children. It would put local law enforcemen in the position of recognizing Judge Walthers over the Supremes. High drama and very instructive.

The worst that could happen is that they would be turned away, the best is they would be given their children on the spot.

TheSanAntonian said...

Impeachment anyone?

Anonymous said...

Judge Walther is an excellent judge, and time will bear that out.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

4:35, then why is she behaving like a spoiled child?

IMO what time will bear out is what Crusty wrote above: "Walther and Texas CPS may though set back real child welfare in the US by several decades with their hugely over-reaching collusion in this case."

Maybe both are true. Maybe this is an aberration. But from the issuance of the search warrant going forward, she's made gross errors and outrageous rulings at every step. Time certainly will, and HAS borne that out.

Anonymous said...

While the judge may be incompetent, she is no different than many Texas judges who have been rubber stamping CPS' nonsense for years. Now with FLDS getting ready to form a voting block, she may not be a judge for very long. Poetic justice?

Anonymous said...

Judge Walther has indeed enjoyed the reputation of "Excellent Judge" in San Angelo.

I feel sure she has worked long and hard to enjoy that reputation.

Problem, she has worked long and hard in the "Good Ole Boy Network" of San Angelo. She has an excellent understanding that small town justice depends upon money connections including the local church and what they would do.

Now that she is on the national stage, she seems lost. The "Good Ole Boys Network" answers aren't working and her excellent reputation doesn't seem to reach beyond the County line.

Of course the Good Ole Boys are no where to be found when you need them.

rage said...

4:35:

I was wondering where Karl Rove was going to end up. You're doing a heckofa job, Karl!

Michael said...

Is San Angelo District Judge Barbara Walther the worst judge in Texas?

Omigod ... did something terrible happen to Sharon Keller?

Anonymous said...

email link here:

SEND BARBARA A MESSAGE THIS WEEKEND!<--- CLICK THIS


http://www.flds.ws/

Anonymous said...

She's stalling in hopes of getting get the DNA before she has to release the kids. The DNA is all she ever wanted.

Bad, bad, bad! I sincerely hope this maneuvering is against the law and she cannot manipulate the law to get her way.

beowulf1723 said...

Anonymous @0547 PM said:

"She's stalling in hopes of getting get the DNA before she has to release the kids. The DNA is all she ever wanted."

Manipulating DNA evidence is one of the things that got Mike Nifong in trouble.

kbp said...

Now it's personal, sorta!

I go out to mow the yard and come back in to find the noun "walthers" transformed into a verb!

It might be obvious which classes I hated in school (!), but I see "walthers" as the name of an action.

I will certainly be open to an explanation that corrects me.

:)

Anonymous said...

Judge Walthers is not the only bad judge in Texas. There is one in Harris County, female who was voted second worst judge in Harris Co., just by lawyers.

I would like to see both of them replaced and impeachment for both sounds good to me, or removed from the bench on grounds of incompetence.

When a judge lets her/his personal feelings into a court case, then she/he should be removed from that case and severely reprimanded by the State of removed from the bench!

Anonymous said...

OPEN LETTER TO BAPTIST CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES

To: Kevin Dinnin, President Baptist Child and Family Services (BCFS) San Antonio, Texas

cc: Randel Everett, Exec. Dir. Baptist General Convention. BCFS Partners: Dowell Loftis-Shearer Hills Baptist Church; Jerry Daley, Macedonia Baptist Church; Neil Bennett, Churchill Baptist Church; Robert Welch, Park Hills Baptist Church; Charles Price, San Antonio Baptist Association

Sir:

I understand that you, Mr. Dinnin, and/or related associates, were the incident commander who helped unlawfully seize and hold hundreds of babies, children and women, taken at gunpoint, from the FLDS ranch in Eldorado, Texas. In addition, as governor Rick Perry allowed, most of Texas’ fostercare/adoption ’services’ are ‘outsourced’; meaning, you are under contract with the state of Texas. Your web site reports that you are still holding 75 FLDS children.

Two higher Courts have determined that the State took illegal custody of FLDS children, and the courts order their return.

I am not FLDS, I am not Mormon. Rather, I am a born-again Bible believer of over 35 years.

As the child of holocaust survivors and a citizen of the United States, I insist that you do the righteous and lawful thing.

1. Return the 75 children, taken at gunpoint, that you are now holding at your Luling (or other) facility that you, as ICS commander, helped the State of Texas kidnap in your Gestapo-style raid.

2. Repent for participating in violence and the denial/violation of citizens constitutional rights. These denied rights include major portions of Amendments 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (attached below). The courts have cited other unlawful violations, as well. Restitution includes paying four times damages to each victim (Luke 19:8, Exodus 22:1).

3. Return the blood-money to the victims and taxpayers that you/your affiliates received for your atrocities.

4. Resign from all positions of leadership in any organization that claims the Bible as authoritative.

5. Your suspense date is 9 Jun 08. Post your public repentance and your restitution plan on your website.

The following scriptures are invoked if you fail to do your Christian duty: Matthew 10:14-15, James 3:1, John 20:23, Matthew 25:45, Matthew 5:19, 2 Peter 2, 2 Timothy 2:19, Luke 13:25-27, Matthew 23.

# # #

EMAILS OF ABOVE–IF YOU WANT TO WRITE: these are public email addresses, as provided, on their own web pages.

Kevin Dinnin–head- info@bcfs.net (is 'auto blocked')--probably to keep parents from writing about the release of their kids.

So, for Dinnin use: news@bcfs.net

BCFS Partners: dloftis@shearerhills.org ; randel.everett@bgct.org ; nbennett@churchillbaptist.org ; welch@parkhillsbc.org ; charlesp@sanantoniobaptist.org; psitton@shearerhills.org ; rteaff@shearerhills.org ; suzii.paynter@bgct.org ; lcf@yahoo.com ; donwilkins@parkhillsbc.org

Doran williams said...

Hey! Its good ta be da judge.

kbp said...

Grits

"...But from the issuance of the search warrant going forward, she's made gross errors".

Unless the lacking the mathematical skills needed to calculate the span between dates of certain events could explain it, one has to wonder what she thought when she read in the affidavits that the poor victim had been left to fend for herself five days after the initial report.

To seriously ponder on that question, one has to assume she took no part in putting the attack plan together.

Of course her recent conduct leaves that possibility open for consideration also.

doran williams said...

One of the many, many statements by tx which was actually on point and accurate, was that Walthers is playing to her local constituency. However, the natives may be getting restless and there are rumblings, or at least mutterings from below decks. The following is from the LA Times online, reproduced at www.lonestartimes.com




Many here cheered the raids, but on Friday residents were fuming. "I absolutely don't agree with what they do," Curtis Phillips, 33, said of the FLDS as he worked the register at the town's feed and mercantile store. "But blowing in that ranch like cowboys and taking all those kids -- that was just stupid. That's why people like me don't trust the government."

Curtis Griffin, 45, owner of the local fuel depot, counts many FLDS members as customers. He blamed Sheriff David Doran, who is up for reelection, for mischaracterizing the entire sect as pedophiles.

"I said from the word go, if there's sex with underage girls, nail their butt," said Griffin. "But nail the right people. We're going to wind up with a $30-million bill here in this little county because these people didn't have their ducks in a row."

Jami said...

Grits, I'm not disagreeing with you on this ... but, because I've also seen first-hand of how CPS DOES benefit children and society, how about some balance?

Maybe a future story on successes of CPS intervention?

Anonymous said...

All judges involved with CPS do the exact same thing - rubber stamping CPS accusations, plans etc without evaluating the evidence. The majority of people on their payrolls (psychologist and parent class administrators, etc) also rubber stamp CPS opinions. After all, you wouldn't be in their courtroom, parenting class, or counseling office if you weren't guilty, would you?

CPS is so used to not having to bring evidence to court that when they finally are involved in a real trial (to terminate parental rights) they don't bother to bring anything to court and when the jury says "no way" they blame eeveryone but themselves. Talk to lawyers who have been involved see what their recommendations are to their clients: what can it hurt to sign away access to your medical records, take parenting classes, or go to family therapy. Just do it and you will get your kids back.

How many cases where a child was removed result in termination of parental rights? criminal cases?

Yes, CPS has a lower burden of proof, but thir proof should exist of more than just their their testimony.

The majority of parents do not have attorneys willing to appeal in any way. Why is that?

Anonymous said...

NEED HELP PLEASE:

Is this truth or speculation?

Does anyone have any writings documenting that the sheriff Doran knew: 1) Dale Barlow had not been in TX (as the search warrant named him wrongly--as molesting never found "Sarah") and 2) did Doran know that the reporting call came from out of state or from hoax caller Swinton's phone number before the raid? But, Duran did the raid anyway--knowing these 2 things?

Anyone got any articles or documentation of this?

Anonymous said...

ADDENDUM:

I found the grits thread showing the TRLA writ to the 3rd.

It answers the first 2 questions as indicating Doran did know.

THEN:

Any documentation to support the contention the Sheriff Doran, did "judge shopping" to get his warrant because several had turned him down?

Anonymous said...

NONE DARE CALL IT CONSPIRACY.

What do ya'll think of this?

Let’s not forget a curious twist. Several weeks ago we all got to see a picture of the black Colorado woman who made the original call to CPS. The Texas Rangers were in Colorado pursuing her. Then not a word more!

Who can order the Rangers to quit the search?–the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry. Who is Rick Perry? He is a young southern republican, exactly what McCain needs on his ticket. When did Texas kidnap the children?–days after McCain was on a political tour with Romney in the south (I believe in Texas).

Mormon Romney gets knocked down politically by the bad press against Mormons related to this case. My perception is that Perry gave the go ahead to CPS on this case, and they paid this woman to make the call, or simply had someone use her number to call from since they had the number from previous false abuse claims.

Judge Walther is not stupid like many claim. She is in damage control mode by not yet releasing the children and trying to get parents to sign over authority to the state–not to protect herself, but to protect a high government official (Perry?)”

# # #

Comment: I knew some were theorizing that Swinton, hoax caller, and Obama state delegate, had done her deed to knock Romney out of the VP spot–thereby strengthening Obama’s chances to gain presidency. McCain would be weakened…without Romney–so that theory goes.

However, the above makes an interesting case on Rick Perry possibly wanting to knock out Romney.

We do know that Perry is tight with GW … and we know Perry wants that VP spot.

AND, surely as I know Texas–this is being orchestrated from the top down.

subpatre said...

Scott asks: "Is San Angelo District Judge Barbara Walther the worst judge in Texas?"

It doesn't matter. The NYT, LA Times and (more ominously) the Washington Post are in the process of shifting positions. All are left of center papers that wholeheartedly supported the original action. No longer, the fable is unraveling.

There's a lot of similarity with the Salem witch trials, Short Creek, or the day-care hysterias. Walther's latest act is clearly malicious to the kids and parents.

Whether the case goes to the 5th Circuit or not, social welfare structures live by federal aid. If Texas hopes to keep a fraction of their share, the time to act is getting close.
**********
"Is Judge Barbara Walther the worst judge in Texas?"

It doesn't matter, she's the worst liability to Texas and you all need to declare her that before it's too late.

beowulf1723 said...

In re: Anonymous @0846 PM's conspiracy theory.

I guess you missed my post yesterday about Bush having a visit with the head of the Mormon Church.

Nice try, although the Perry angle might be worth persuing.

lowery.shirley said...

"I'd not known that the raid actually started at 9 P.M. on April 3,
and continued through the night as well as for another week.
Lovely, just lovely, of those bastards to show up just after dark
and continue their terrorism through the night."

Is this info correct?

lowery.shirley said...

On April 16 Authorities were in Colorado City and assisted in the arrest of Swinton. She is on probation and facing other charges there but TX did not charge her with anything.To do so would acknowledge her existence.
Swinton made the calls.The authorities have tape. I think Flora Jessop knew of her criminal background and headed her in the direction of FLDS.
Abbot and Perry were in this up to their eyeballs and it had nothing to do with McCain. This was personal.

Anonymous said...

Where is Rosita Swinton?

How can anyone not know...or care.

Where is the media on this?

Grits...why not make a mission of finding Swinton? And, why no charges?

Where are the investigative journalists and bloggers?

Let's get busy and find her and the status of her seemingly cover up.

Hugh McBryde said...

There are a number of things coming out now about Rozita. My blog is full of information on her, and the Salt Lake Tribune just did three articles on her as well, today.

Kevin said...

Between Judge Walther in Texas and the California Supreme Court out here in California, the Judiciary is taking real public beating.

BTW, the SLC Tribune has an in depth article on Rosita Swinton, including a picture. She is pretty scary and had quite a history of this type of stuff. Difficult to believe that there wasn't a reasonable effort made at verification.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

More than once while reading an account of Judge Walthers' comments in Court, I have been struck by an eerie similarity between her comments and the sorts of things my dad says.
My dad has dementia.

This was one of them:

She said her client could hypothetically be construed as bipolar because she's laughing one minute "and crying the next ... but the only reason she's crying is because all of a sudden she remember's it's Matt's birthday." Matthew Jeffs is one of the couple's children in state custody.

"I don't want my client to be forced to take psychotropic medications," she said.

It was at that point that Walther interjected and wanted it made clear on the record that no parents had been forced, at this point, to take any medications


Honestly she sounds like a total idiot there. Or, a person with dementia. Can somebody order her to take pychiatric exams?

kbp said...

HM

Good observation. The excuse might be a simple one: she's in over her head.

****


Rozita

The only question I have is who helped her. After that is answered, you can put her in the rubber room and work on any other details over the years she's there.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Maybe somebody here can help me out- I'm trying to find the story from early on in the case- before all the kids had even gone to group homes, when the attorneys kept going to Walthers trying to get her to make CPS behave itself, and she said she didn't want them coming to her for every little thing, she didn't want to have micromanage everything- they needed to work things out without her.
In effect, this gave CPS carte blanche, of course.

And I think it's bizarre, in view of that earlier 'let me be hands off' comment, that she basically threw out the deal that CPS had agreed on and wrote her own.

Hugh McBryde said...

I've been blogging on Rozita Swinton for a MONTH and doing so largely without any help. I've done a bit of research on my own which is extremely curious. Digest these things.

Rozita is mentioned in two books by "Kate Rosemary." One is titled "Raising Shane" and the other "After Disclosure," both of which are published by the vanity publisher, "Westview" in Nashville TN.

Except, originally the book "After Disclosure" was titled "The Feminization of Job" and the author was not "Kate Rosemary" but "Merry Cate Noel" who claimed a Masters of Divinity. I have a picture of the cover to document the original Title and Author.

None of the associates of "Kate Rosemary" that I have contacted (all of them "blurb" writers for her books) will say they have ever met her in person. I doubt that the Salt Lake Tribune article writer has done anything more than exchange emails. I doubt seriously she has met "Kate."

In an exchange of emails with "Kate" she would not even go on the record as denying she and Rozita are one in the same.

"Kate" has an email address, "kate.rosemary@recycleddreams.org" and the site is listed as being owned by a Dr. Peggy Ann Way, former professor at Vanderbilt and Eden Theological Seminary. I have been unable to reach Dr. Way for comment.

kbp said...

Jami

"...CPS DOES benefit children and society

Why is it EVER the opposite, and so often?

Thotman said...

Julie Worth wrote, and I agree with her

What’s still ongoing is a conspiracy organized at the highest levels of Texas government. A conspiracy to deny these people their constitutional rights--a crime under Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242, which states:

Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States...shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both...

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Shirley, Swinton was arrested in Colorado SPRINGS, not Colorado City, which is the polygamist dominated town on the Arizona border.

Ron in Houston said...

I sure have mixed feelings about this case. On one hand it really shines a light on the typical heavy handed CPS tactics and the rubber stamps of the judiciary.

On the other hand, the creepy picture of Warren Jeffs says that these people aren't worthy of much sympathy. They don't see anything wrong with Jeffs (they actually revere him as a sort of prophet) or what's happening in that picture.

In a way I'd say that both CPS and FLDS are getting heavy doses of karma.

Anonymous said...

thotman: "conspiracy?" Don't you think that's a little too extreme.

Plato

doran williams said...

There is an unusually good article on www.chron.com.

Jack Sampson gets close to a meaningful criticism of CPS; Judge McCowan blames the CPS problems on the ferociousness of all those volunteer lawyers (YeaH!!! Way to go lawyers!!!); and the Guv and DPS are now pointing fingers at each other.

Beautiful, just beautiful. And about as close as we ever get in this country to a functional equivalent of Night of The Long Knives.

doran williams said...

the May 31 online issue of the Houston Chronicle.

kbp said...

Looks who is in the Chron Article Doran mentioned above.

"Richard Wexler, executive director of the Virginia-based National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, said CPS will have no one else to blame if anyone on the ranch gets away with child abuse, now.
"Their blundering and their hubris created this mess," Wexler said.

He said the case exposed the broad powers granted to CPS agencies in most states.

"But the families to whom this normally happens are overwhelmingly poor and disproportionately minority," Wexler said. "They rarely have good legal representation. And everything happens in secret."

kbp said...

More from Doran's article:
""The (Department of Family and Protective Services) was overwhelmed by the number and ferociousness of the lawyers," said Scott McCown, a former state district judge familiar with the case. "They just didn't have the legal capacity to meet the legal challenge.""

"...the legal challenge"

They needed an attorney that could LEGALLY transform 19 building into a single household?

I said from the start that CPS was selected to be the fall guy here. Their defense will always be "need more staff, a budget increase...".

No mention of Sheriff "violate civil rights" Doran, another puppet.

Rather surprising there was no mention of Judge walthers. That "en masse" hearing was the key to this problem growing WAY out of control.

kbp said...

One has to wonder what walthers did with that stack of motions in which she whined in the hearing about them limiting the space in her office.

Overlook an important motion or two or dozens(!) and this mess just gets bigger.

Anonymous said...

The problem for CPS in this case is that they went in looking for evidence of a nonexistent person and when they couldn't find her, assumed the FLDS had moved her. So they got furious and decided to use all of the state's power to try to force her out. The problem is that after cooking up the false charges, they aren't willing to go to court and admit the truth. Now, there may be several teenage girls who've had sex before they were 18 and gotten pregnant. But really does the state actually provide for teen mothers better than the FLDS were? The state has never shown they do, the best they can show they offer equal care. The law doesn't allow removal to someplace with equal care when they can remain in place and receive the same.

Some of Judge Walther's actions impinge on client-attorney privilege: how can they see their lawyers in person under her rules when they may be more than 60 miles away? The restrictions should have been simpler: they not move away from the 51st District nor leave the state without notification, and the court will grant permission liberally while retaining jurisdiction.

Jami said...

kpb, I can't answer that question. I wish there were never mistakes in any of our institutions. I wish there were never victims to begin with.

One thing I know for sure, when mistakes are made, whether it's CPS, or TDCJ or any other government organization, RARELY are the mistakes admitted.

Until problems that exist are admitted and agencies are made accountable, then fixing problems will be difficult.

We certainly don't need more organizations, agencies, officials, legal officials, etc, covering up the mistakes ...

rl said...

"Doran, who has been sheriff here for 12 years, downplayed that. "I'm not worried about it. The citizens have always stood behind me, and if the community feels this is an attempt to take over Schleicher County, I know they'll stand together. Once we begin impaneling some grand juries and the criminal case comes to light, we'll see the tide turn once again.""

from the houston chronicle, sheriff doran on possible criminal charges.. what do we think about this?

Anonymous said...

CPS and the Courts are in dire need of a 12 Step program.

Fred said...

09:28:00 AM,

That is assuming CPS and the authorities actually thought there really was an underage minor (after 5 days) on the ranch. Maybe "they got furious" not because they couldn't find her but because those on the ranch weren't sufficiently servile (meaning they thought they had some rights). It could be something like "contempt of cop" after a high-speed chase and the cops beat the crap out of the suspect for his contempt. And maybe "they got furious" because what they knew was a false allegation wasn't instilling enough submissiveness. We won't know until we have all of the Swinton story which is likely why Texas is keeping hush-hush.

Ted Clayton said...

GritsForBreakfast -

The new info that Judge Walther withdrew her modifications to the agreement late in the hearing is very encouraging, and also serves to help show she was losing control of her own role ... 'experimenting' ill-advisedly, then retracting her action. Tsk tsk.

Anonymous Anonymous 05:47 -
& beowulf1723 05:51 -

Yes, I'm inclined to agree that CPS, Judge Walther and the general 'prosecution' (persecution?) are pinning a lot of hope on the DNA.

Genetics & biotech are wonderful & fascinating stuff, but the new views it allows us more closely resemble a peep-hole, than a display-window. People who know more about it, tend to be more cautious about what it can be coaxed to tell us.

Jami 07:11 -

"... how about some balance [on CPS intervention]?"

I agree, Jami. Demonizing CPS across the board, is, for one, the same as demonizing the FLDS across the board. Same cheap, not-very-bright tactic.

We all know in general why we have CPS in our society. We agreed amoung ourselves to enact this little end-run around the main body of our law, so that CPS would have mechanisms to remove kids from bad situations, BEFORE we had the bodily injury & death to PROVE that an offense HAD taken place.

We obviously compromised our own law, and set the stage for various froms of shady practice on the part of CPS agencies (et al), but we know why we did this, and we collectively accepted the cost.

Still, CPS has indeed been controversial most everywhere. Being CPS is, pardon my French, a downright shitty job, and therefore many more-qualified workers find some more-pleasant field of work, leaving CPS agencies to make-do with bottom-of-the-barrel hires. It often shows.

So we know why we have CPS, and we know what the down-sides of the general enterprise are. CPS is obviously seriously imperfect, but so are millions of parents in our country.

We should seek to identify problems within FLDS, and take specific corrective measures, without trying to use the transgressions to tar the whole community. Same applies to CPS.

beowulf1723 said...

Functioning link to HousChron article.

HM-ZK:

I don't think Walther has any kind of dementia, but I think the strain is getting to her and affecting her judgment. I think that she thought -- or was told -- that this was going to be relatively easy but instead it blew up in her face. I really would like to know her thoughts when she heard about the SCOT's decision.

One villain in this little Verdian nightmare that hasn't been talked about much is Mark Shurtleff, the Utah AG. He testified to the Lege on how to change the laws to "get" the FLDS but won't prosecute them in Utah, lest he have to face the wrath of his Mormon constituency. So TxCPS gets hired out like a bunch of Hessian mercs to do his dirty work. Maybe Perry should send the bill for this fiasco to the governor of Utah.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

As per KBP's request, I wanted to mention I'd added yet another YFZ post.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Regarding demonizing CPS across the board- CPS keeps saying they didn't do anything different in this case than any other case- they were just following their usual practices. That indicates to me something is seriously wrong here.
As long as CPS does not have to abide by the Bill of Rights we have created a special class of government that does not have the checks and balances it ought to have. Are there good and noble CPS employees, foster parents, and judges- of course. Are there horrific and abusive parents who should not be in the same house with their own children? Absolutely. Should we have a special class of crime for which you are guilty until proven innocent and can be punished by the worst sentence a parent can face- losing your children? No.

You might want to look at this story of the Velasquez family who had a run-in with CPS and lost their child for two years- and nearly forever, when they were completely innocent. I was stunned at the parallels between CPS' actions with them and how they handled the YfZ case.

They say this is typical- and this is their defense. That indicates to me there's something fundamentally flawed with 'typical' as CPS sees it.

What CPS does right, trained law enforcement could and should do. There is no worse punishment a parent can endure than to lose their children into foster care. Why is it acceptable that this horrendous punishment can be imposed on a parent with a backward system of proof (guilty unless you can convincingly prove your innocence beyond a shadow of a doubt) and with less evidence required for conviction than it would take to slap the parent with a fine or a 60 day jail term?

beowulf1723 said...

A nice summary of the rules that CPS is supposed to follow. The CPS minions didn't even try to follow them.

Yes, HM-ZK, there is a bifurcation in the legal system between the Anglo-Saxon "innocent until proven guilty" system of penal laws and the European style "guilty until proven innocent" system of bureaucratic laws. CPS operates under the latter, and that needs to be changed ASAP.

Anonymous said...

Headmistress, you're absolutely correct, CPS did not do anything differently in this case than they do in nearly every case (with the exception of allowing the mothers to come along for a short ride. This is seldom done.)

Additionally, this explains the actions of the judge, because she has not done anything differently than she otherwise would during the course of any CPS case. This one just happened to be a little more complicated due to the number of children involved. However, in typical fashion, this judge relied upon CPS to provide the definitions of several terms in the statute.

After reading the code, one would get the impression that it was written specifically to prevent CPS from taking advantage of the system by requiring judicial oversight for nearly every step they make. The flaw in the thought process of the Lege when coding these statutes was that the judicial oversight would be wise and prudent. In theory, the system is sound.

In practice, CPS only does things the judge allows them to get away with. Likewise, the judge allows CPS to get away with anything they want. This practice is not isolated to this particular case, this particular district, nor this particular State. This practice extends across the Nation and is enacted every day to much lesser (meaning 'no') media exposure.

This is not a Chicken Little "The sky is falling down" post, it is simply post about a fact that most U.S. Citizens are simply not aware of, and most don't care about.

Hopefully this specific case will cause the pendulum to begin swinging back in the other direction again. A simple solution would be for judges that preside over these matters to begin actually requiring a higher standard of evidence to prove their cases. That single action would resolve most issues, and lead to better cases, and better PR for CPS.

lowery.shirley said...

The pendulum won't swing back without a lot of help. As someone said earlier, we bought it but we don't have to live with it.

If a child is in danger the proper thing to do is call 911. Police should always be the first line of defense.They can quickly size up a situation and call in whomever is needed.

Anonymous callers are usually someone that got pissed off and they can sit back and laugh over their payback techniques. All such calls should be reported to law officers. If the cops start showing up instead of CPS a lot of the vengeance calls will stop. And, if there is an alternate # for 911 surely we can afford to equip it with a tracking system.

Ted Clayton said...

Headmistress, Zookeeper 11:06 -

"What CPS does right, trained law enforcement could and should do."

Absolutely. Dead-on. As I understand it, the objection-in-principal to CPS, the nature of the compromise that was incurred in creating this service, is that it amounts to the Legislature enacting a covert Executive (police) role for themselves, via a surrogate in the form of the CPS agency.

The argument/defense CPS uses that their actions in this instance (not to mention by clear-enough implication, the case itself) is "typical" seems awful strained to me. Really, the whole situation is atypical-looking to my senses - very large numbers, and a 'constituency' with which CPS rarely has contact, compounded by elaborate institutional 'information warfare' in which they appear quite inexpert. I think they're blowing smoke with this 'typical' language.

You'll notice the "real" public figures and "actual" political functionaries are managing to navigate the FLDS-case minefields with a good deal better success.

Fundamentally, agencies like CPS are extra-Constitutional. I personally object, formally & consistently, to their existence. They amount to a Fourth Branch of Government.

"The People" (We) demanded CPS (or something like it) from our Representatives. They in turn used our legitimate concern for helpless children, to aggrandize their own Office - by enacting in essence Police (Executive) functions for themselves, via a surrogate agency which is directly dependent on and answerable only to themselves.

It's a subterfuge. A corruption. A perversion. A sly device to acquire powers specifically assigned by the Constitution to one Branch of Government, by another branch that is specifically not supposed to have those powers.

As long as the citizens really understand what they are doing when they allow the creation of compromises like CPS (we have & accept an ensemble of such devices) then I accept that is the "Will of the People". Problem is, the Legislature is not very forthcoming about the nature of the arrangement, and many (many) citizens are clueless...

While I object to the blanket "demonization" of CPS, I also admit that if an enraged populace rejects the CPS-mechanism strongly enough, the Legislatures may decide their self-serving surrogate is too expensive, and may replace it with a more Constitutionally-valid agency (with the Police-department, you & I would hope), which may also, we can hope, be more effective as well.

lowery.shirley said...

Then we need to get rid of this 4th branch off government before it consumes the rest.
HM & Ted,
Could you put your facts together in a single post so we can put it out for reaction? Please provide an e-mail for response.

lowery.shirley said...

" Gritsforbreakfast said...

Shirley, Swinton was arrested in Colorado SPRINGS, not Colorado City, which is the polygamist dominated town on the Arizona border."

Thanks, Grits. I know this but can't seem to get it correct in print. Help keep me straight.

lowery.shirley said...

HM and Ted, please check out
www.ipetitions.com and see if we can put the idea in this form. It will go to a lot more places.

Ted Clayton said...

Lowery.Shirley 04.27 -

Starting with perhaps the last first: CPS has been highly controversial for many decades, not merely for the frequent mistakes they make, but due to their flawed underlying legal nature.

That means, for instance, you will occasionally encounter anti-CPS crusaders & activists who will say forthright "I don't care/It doesn't matter" that CPS does perform a certain level of good service (they do, contrary to the CPS-as-pure-demon narrative). Their objection is that CPS is a legally improper and Constitutionally unhealthy means by which the Government exercises unlawful powers.

That is specifically, that CPS function as cops: They seize people. They take property. They perform forced searches. All of these behaviors are Constitutionally restricted to the Executive Branch: The cops are agents of the Executive (the Governor, in the case of States), and it is strictly & absolutely illegal in the most serious possible terms, for the Legislature to field or deploy cops.

The Congress - our national Legislature - cannot under any circumstances deploy cops or military forces. The FBI, the Secret Service, the military, are all under command of the White House, the President, who is our lawful, Constitutional Executive Officer.

Yet ... CPS are thinly-veiled cops, under direction of the Legislature. This is a serious problem ... totally irrespective of whether CPS does a good job or not.

Now, to address your request for help on this subject: There are people who's mission in life it is to combat the CPS. They are on the Internet. You can find a great deal of material online. I ask that you first try some searches yourself. You will have to 'wade', 'dig' and 'surf' ... this is the cost of the wonderful 'Net.

#1: Use Wikipedia. Google 'cps wikipedia'. Then add more search-words, and drop 'wikipedia'. Try 'opposition', 'fight' 'legal', 'constitution', 'legislature', together with 'cps'. Exclude words that drag in too many off-topic search-returns. To do this, put a minus-symbol in front of the word to be excluded. Use '-horror, -horrible', to trim huge piles of horror-stories off your reading-list.

The information is out there. Yes, most of the anti-CPS activity flogs the audience with child-abuse horror-stories, and this tends to overshadow and hid the discussions of the legal liabilities & weaknesses behind the creation of CPS agencies.

Lastly, I am actually not an anti-CPS activist, and won't be getting involved in a campaign against them. But if you need more help finding the path that leads where you want to go, I can do that.

cheriamee1 said...

Impeach Judge Walther website.

I have just visited GoPetition and found the following page very interesting:

http://www.gopetition.com/online/19682.html

Regards

lowery.shirley said...

Thanks, Ted. I have never been an anti-CPS activist either but silence will be taken as approval.
I know this is a national problem but I always thought CPS workers were employed and overseen by individual states. Gov. Rick Perry had the authority to give CPS broader powers which gives the impression that he is higher on the totem pole. The former comptroller went to Perry with her concerns about CPS. I don't understand the relationship.
The main players in the raid were a TX ranger, county sheriff, district judge, state senator, governor and attorney general. Who had the authority to call in the troops?
Please be patient with me. I am trying to learn things that I have never needed to know.

Anonymous said...

She's always got Jack Skeen of the 241st District Court in Tyler to be compared with. He makes any judge look pretty good. There's no way she's going to be the worst judge in Texas as long as he holds his bench.

The Local Crank said...

Judges make bad rulings, or incomprehensible rulings, all the time. Comes with the territory, But there's really no possible justification for a judge out and out REFUSING to make a ruling. That's what they get paid to do, after all. And requiring all litigants (much less litigants scattered all over the state) strikes me as petty. Lawyers are officers of the court; we do not sign off on decisions that our clients don't know about or might not agree with. If we do that, we get disbarred.

"Omigod ... did something terrible happen to Sharon Keller?"

Sadly, that was the first thought that popped into my head as well.

Anonymous said...

Ted Clayton, you sure seem to be anti-CPS. If you will do some research you will find that CPS is under the Texas Family Code and they do not seize property or arrest people, therefore they are not cops. They have the authority to remove children who are alleged to be in danger, and that is just what they did at YFZ. Yes, I said "alleged". You cannot leave a child in a potentially dangerous environment while investigating a case, so they had the power to remove all 400 plus children. Hindsight is always 20/20, but what would everyone be saying now if YFZ would have holed up in their temple with all of their children and made this into another Waco?
CPS is like a two-headed beast that no one likes but it is there for a purpose. Would I want CPS to remove my children, no, but I am not abusing my children or grooming child brides either.

womankine said...

I see no indication that Walthers is a bad judge. She has been preceded in this case by a good reputation.

Judges are not normally dumped in the middle of managing so many lawyers, some of whom have competing interests. And the polygamist compound is in and of itself an abnormality. Most verbal children can and will identify their birth parents. Most parents can and will identify their birth children.

All indications are that she believes there are grounds for abuse investigation and she is charged with protecting children from that abuse. I have to say, that reading this blog, that's not the focus of either the blog owner nor the folks who post here. You're interested in parental rights.

It was fairly clear on Friday, that she was demanding terms that would avoid further trips back to her court by TX CPS(DFPS) and that would ensure protection of the children. It looks like she got them.

TxBluesMan said...

Judge Walther has apparently signed the release order, see Coram Non Judice for more info.

Ted Clayton said...

anonymous 09:36 -

In my message of 02:44, I cleanly set aside a paragraph to identify my leanings. I said:

"Fundamentally, agencies like CPS are extra-Constitutional. I personally object, formally & consistently, to their existence. They amount to a Fourth Branch of Government." [emph. added]

I had been invited to participate in organized opposition to CPS, and I declined, saying that I am not an anti-CPS activist. That is perhaps where you perceived me to be contradicting myself. [I am also a country boy with an honest antipathy for cities, but I do not mount campaigns against them.]

Ted Clayton said...

Womankine 09:52 -

"You're interested in parental rights." [rather than err on behalf of childrens' well-being]

In my case, Womankine, I am less pro-parent, than alert to/worried about what I consider excessive government, 'running over people'. It's only coincidental that it's a group of parents that are being ran over.

Others here are also motivated by government-excess issues, but you will find those who are responding as parents.

My objections to Judge Walther's actions is specific, as was the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin, and the Supreme Court of Texas. Specifically, to remove children abruptly on an emergency basis (which is what took place) the law stipulates that there must be real "evidence" that there is an "immediate" threat of actual harm to the children. Judge Walther erred in not requiring legally-admissable evidence that bad things were going to happen to those kids right away. Lacking this evidence, the law states that children must be left in place with the parents, while the authorities go about working with the family situation.

While there are those who are most concerned that parents/families were disrupted without due process (the actual complaint/conclusion of both the 3CoA and SCOT), my main concern is that the State & Court felt at liberty to 'run fast & loose' with their own clearly extra-legal ideas/interpretations, even though those notions were in direct contradiction & violation of the baldy-obvious laws that pertained in the given situation.

I agree with you, that Judge Walther is not a "bad judge", expecially not merely on the basis of the present case. Practically all judges are occasionally reversed on appeal. They are all human, and we don't stipulate that they be eliminated if evidence of error or imperfection comes to light. In this case, Walther made certain errors (and may be inclined to repeat them..) - not just 'in my opinion', but as determined by law & the higher courts. She also appears to now be quite 'hacked off' about being corrected (and critcized) ... which may be a more serious issue than the mere fact of her initial judicial & legal errors.

I'm glad to see your thoughtful participation on the blog!

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

have to say, that reading this blog, that's not the focus of either the blog owner nor the folks who post here. You're interested in parental rights.

Rather, I'm interested in Civil Rights, and in most cases parental rights do, in fact, coincide with childrens' safety and wellbeing. Children are not well served when the state can remove them from their families without solid evidence.
Children have a right to live in their homes, with their parents, without fear of some state agent with an agenda that may or may not be theirs can come and force them out at gunpoint.
Removing children from their homes is never 'erring on the side of the child.' It is always deliberately choosing a known and certain trauma over a possible one.
There has to be a very high probability of certain and immediate evil if they are left in their homes before the State removal of those children becomes the *lesser* of those two evils.

Acerbic said...

headmistress, zookeeper,

well said, i agree 100%

chartelle said...

Besides the action of CPS in wrongfully seizing those children,
under authority of that megalomaniac judge (I now feel a better term for her is, the" incubus"), this coerced agreement - as to conditions for their release - is absolutely ridiculous. I would
hope that such an agreement does not reflect the legal skills
of the attorneys for FLDS and the children...but,instead, was only signed because of the urgency to terminate the emotional and mental stress which those children have been enduring as captives of the state.

One would expect such agreement to be accepted only if
CPS had proven all of the vile accusations and speculations
they have used to justify their abuses of authority. But the
rulings by the higher courts, in effect, said such actions
by CPS ,together with the lack of a fair, impartial and con-
stitutional judicial process/proceeding, conducted by that
incubus, could not stand. In short, she was reversed.

Therefore, under that reality, how does she have any legal
standing to impose such harsh conditions and restrictions?
Indeed, such strictures are not even imposed upon a
career criminal let out of prison on parol....or a person on probation.

I can only hope those attorneys for FLDS and children
added in that agreement, "this agreement is signed under
protest and duress...and does not constitute any waiver of
defendants right to appeal this agreement, or take any other
legal actions which defendants may take in response to
those actions by officials of the state of Texas in wrongfully
entering the private property of FLDS without probably cause,
and in illegally seizing and holding the children of FLDS members against their will - and , in violation of the protect-
ions afforded to citizens by the US Constitution.

The Local Crank said...

I think the point is well-taken that Judge Walther (rather than being evil personified) was more likely overwhelmed by the scope of the case and the intense national scrutiny. In my experience, the greater the pre-trial publicity and the more unusual the facts & circumstances of the case, the more likely it is that the judge will do something wrong and/or just plain ridiculous. Making a bad ruling does not make Walther a bad judge; storming out of the courtroom in a snit DOES, however.

CaptainAhab said...

Sign the petition to impeach Judge Barbara Walther at http://www.gopetition.com/online/19682.html

womankine said...

What children deserve, first and foremost, is assurance of physical and mental safety and well-being, HeadZoo. That is the most basic of all civil rights. Freedom to abuse your child is not a recognized civil right in this country. I believe in the need for a CPS that can act immediately and directly. For those of us who see horrendous cases of child abuse; it is a necessity.

The FLDS compound represents an unusual situation because of the fact that it functions as a large commune, with polygamist, as opposed to single, families.

They further promoted the definition of their compound as one family by acting in unison to obstruct the CPS investigation. Even to the point of lying about who their children were.

There is still evidence that there is child sexual abuse occurring in the compound and that same child sexual abuse is supported and promoted and hidden by the adult members, as a group. Given that fact, it's understandable that there are those who believe that the lesser of the evils was to remove the children from their homes.

Civil rights and the FLDS demonstrates a case of polar opposites. It's a challenge for those of us who support civil rights or human rights to sort through the issues(and the law) regarding a totalitarian community that happens to use religion as justification for terrible human rights violations.

We're not just talking about impressing young girls into early plural marriage and motherhood. We're talking about young males disenfranchised and divested of their birthrights and cast out of the community; uneducated and unprepared for the real world. And males who are likewise cast out, with families "reassigned" to other men. Children and adults working in a near-slave capacity......

If we justify the denigration of civil rights by the belief that adults have made the choice to relinquish same, we still have to cope with the issue of whether or not children and young people can summarily be divested of their civil rights, through compulsion by the parents and authoritarian leaders.

womankine said...

I submit to the rulings by the Third and Supremes, Ted Clayton.

And I have no doubt that there was a degree of "fast and loose" with the laws. However, I attribute that, at least in part, to the highly unusual nature of the polygamous compound, lack of precedent, the fact they still believed that they would find Sarah, and the fact that CPS seemed genuinely not able to sort through the very basic task of assigning children to parents. This, in turn, was caused by a concerted effort by the compound to thwart their efforts to do so.

It may not be as obvious as you think, regarding the "immediate danger" nature of harm. Common practice, in some states and areas, can allow for translation of code to allow for the immediate danger being emotional harm. In this case, that would have been the grooming of children for criminal activity.(statutory rape)

In hindsight, the State should have taken the Supremes' recommendation and simply tossed those obstructing justice in jail and then waited for DNA match-ups and examination of the bishops' records. Of course, the first action might also have necessitated children being taken into custody.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

"Freedom to abuse your child is not a recognized civil right in this country."

This is a straw man, and you are quite intelligent enough to know it. It is a particularly despicable and dishonest straw man, and one entirely of your own creation. It has nothing to do with anything anybody in this comment thread has said.

The rest of your argument is of a piece with this sort of intellectual dishonesty.

womankine said...

From your blog postings, I am not aware that you have ever advocated for the civil rights of abused children, HeadZoo. Thus I feel I have not misrepresented your argument.

Let me make it clear that you did misrepresent my argument. I have never advocated for removing children from a home where there is not clear and imminent "evil". However, there is a lot of room for disagreement as to what constitutes same.

Hugh McBryde said...

Actually, it's not a strawman, it's complex question. Stating that we don't have the "civil right" to abuse children as a rational for what CPS has done in this case is the equivalent of asking if they have stopped beating their wives.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

From your blog postings, I am not aware that you have ever advocated for the civil rights of abused children, HeadZoo. Thus I feel I have not misrepresented your argument.

As it happens, kine, neither your self-assessed 'awareness' of my blog postings nor your feelings happen to reflect reality. Nothing I have written anywhere could be construed by an honest person as conveying the idea that 'freedom to abuse your child is a protected civil right in this country.'

You are dishonest.
You have also given ample evidence of your inability to assess reality.

For those who are not aware, this is womankine's assessment of that photograph of a woebegone little girl on a bus which Grits posted here, linking to Brooke Adams' blog, where womankine wrote the following:
Please note that in this one the little girl appears happy.

Perhaps she's just been stripped of the ability to have emotions by abusers who accept nothing beyond the controlling state of Stepford "being sweet".

Or, perhaps she understands that she may have options in life besides being someone's personal sex slave and baby factory. And real choices as to what she thinks and believes.

She also complained that she saw no grief whatsoever on the faces of the mothers.

womankine said...

I stand by what I wrote, even though you, in all your "honesty", have chosen to edit, HeadZoo.(A little like calling Martha Jessop merely a guardian, without adding that she was related to the molester?)

My earlier posting may put it into context:

"This story begins with a description of "pain etched into the face" of an FLDS mother. One of my problems in closely following this story, is that I don't SEE pain at all in the overly detailed television coverage. I WANT to see pain. I EXPECT to see pain. I even try to impose the pain that I could imagine, if my own children were taken from me.

Instead, I see women who have been systematically so robbed of emotion, that most cannot even shed a real tear. We watch them attempting to give the camera what their lawyers have probably urged:grief. Indeed, I believe they WANT to FEEL grief. Instead, there are alligator tears and blank faces.

To rob another human being of basic emotions, as a means to better control them, is one of the severest forms of abuse."

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

I looked for your quotes about not seeing grief on the face of the mothers, but couldn't find them. I am glad you reposted them. They are even worse, and more out of touch with reality than I remembered.

I stand by what I wrote, even though you, in all your "honesty", have chosen to edit, HeadZoo.(A little like calling Martha Jessop merely a guardian, without adding that she was related to the molester?)

speaking of editing...

Martha Jessop says she was married to the man who raised Flora's father- who is the only person I know of charged with molesting Flora. Flora told her story of being molested to Martha, who took her to Martha's husband (Flora's 'grandpa') to tell the story, and Flora's father went to jail and Martha was appointed legal guardian of Flora.
You continue to misrepresent me, and you don't seem to have read the article on Flora very well, either.

Unless and until you come up with a single instance where I, or anybody else commenting here, has said anything that could be construed as "Freedom to abuse your child is a recognized civil right in this country" your dishonesty remains quite obvious.

I would also challenge anybody to look at the picture of the child on the bus and see just how 'happy' she looks, and ponder what it means that somebody who can see that child's face as happy might be in a position to make decisions about other people's children.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Oops, I just realized the link to Grit's post with the photograph is wrong. It's here.

Brooke's blogpost where it, and womankine's assessment of the child as 'happy' is here.

And the thread discussing how her legal guardian's account of Flora's upbringing differs from Flora's is here

womankine said...

Perhaps, instead of becoming frustrated and relying on ad hominems and an obsession with interpretations of a photo, it would serve you better to concentrate on constructing a counter-argument.

Perhaps you could outline the ways that you support the civil rights of a child and what safeguards you propose to insure that no children are abused at the FLDS compound.

lowery.shirley said...

The abuse that has been heaped on these children by the courts and CPS was uncalled for. There may well be child sex abuse but it sure isn't confined to the ranch. Sexual abuse is never right but there are worse things and these kids have just experienced some of them.
These people live the same life every day. The lives of the children were not in danger, If sexual abuse is taking place it has been that way all along. These residents weren't going anywhere so waiting for proof and getting the right people would have saved so much agony.
I understand the desire to save kids from sexual abuse but not if they are to be subjected to something worse. When it comes to a child's virtue people lose all sense and think the end justifies the means. It doesn't.
If there is proof of wrong doing why weren't the men ordered off the ranch? I have a feeling that the men would have agreed to go if anyone had bothered to discuss it with them.
I certainly want children safe and sane, sensible solutions are needed in this country. But society is not concerned with dead children unless sex is involved. When that sort of high-profile case comes along people go nuts.
Until people stop equating sexual assault with death there will be no solutions. We are much closer to killing victims than helping them. We have already made laws that have the same sentence whether or not a child is killed so why not kill what may be the only witness? What kind of people would make and support such laws?

Ted Clayton said...

Womankine 08:55

"Common practice, in some states and areas, can allow for translation of code..."

We are not addressing conditions in "some states", the case is in Texas, where the law is spelled out clearly & specifically. The 3rd Court of Appeals rapped the Judge on this very point, and the Supreme Court confirmed it.

"... the State should have taken the Supremes' recommendation and simply tossed those obstructing justice in jail... "

Other legitimate points & arguments you have are hobbled by tying them to irrational, baseless, and patently uneducated statements like this.

Leave the puffery & nonsense on the editing-room floor, and let your good points come through nice & clean.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

In other words, womankine, you know perfectly well that you cannot come up with any statement I have made to support your accusation that I believe that child abuse is a protected civil right, and so you prefer to fall back on a guilty until proven innocent approach, challenging me to prove that your fantasies are false.

No.

That's just not how it works. You made the accusation up out of whole cloth. Back it up or be known for what you are- dishonest or deluded.

womankine said...

You've completely missed my point, HeadZoo. Your point, above, was that the civil rights of children are bound to their parents. My point is that they can exist as quite an independent entity.

The ultimate meaning of dishonesty is to sling personal attacks, when intellectual discourse is beyond your abilities.

womankine said...

".....the case is in Texas, where the law is spelled out clearly & specifically. The 3rd Court of Appeals rapped the Judge on this very point, and the Supreme Court confirmed it."

My point is that I believe that Walther - and other TX legal minds - had good reasons to interpret code in the way they did. It IS a matter of interpretation, regardless of the fact that the 3COA and SCOT interpreted differently.

"... the State should have taken the Supremes' recommendation and simply tossed those obstructing justice in jail... "

I have read the SCOT decision. The wording may not be that of SCOT, but they provided that very blueprint for CPS regarding obstruction.

TBM provided the following link to someone who has the same reading of SCOT.
http://tinyurl.com/5ajvmd

lowery.shirley said...

New petition
Abolish TX CPS
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/voices/

some of the wording will be familiar. An attorney is checking it for accuracy.

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