Wednesday

Belize Survivor, part 100

That evening, after a delicious meal of lobster bisque, rice, and baked grouper, Alexis tucked the tired and sun-browned little boy into bed. Kissing him tenderly, she walked back out on the beach under the stars. Meanwhile, Max was on his way to the bar, and returned a few minutes later with two piña coladas. Reclining in the lounge chair in the sand just outside the cabaña, Alexis settled herself in his arms. It felt like the old days.

"Look at those stars," she said, softly. "There are so many of them, like a blanket, more stars than sky. In fact, the sky looks like it did when I was a little girl. Not so many years ago in Key West, I remember thinking that maybe there weren't as many stars as there used to be. But now I know it was only the pollution. Belize has its faults, but the air is absolutely pure."

"That's one of the reasons we came here, to provide a clean environment for our children," said Max. Alexis sensed something in his tone. "I want another baby," he admitted, quietly. Instantly, a thousand thoughts raced through Alexis' mind. No longer naive, she knew what was involved in child bearing and rearing. Max had made tremendous demands on her during Jordan's infancy. She thought of the long heavy pregnancy, the pain of childbirth, the rewards of giving life, the burden and joy of responsibility for a brand-new human being.

"You know I don't believe in people having irresponsible numbers of children,” he continued. “The focus should be quality, not quantity. We already have a fine son, and I would love to have a beautiful daughter. She would be a miniature of you, a little girl to spoil and love – someone for Jordan to play with. Haven't you ever thought about having a little girl?"

Of course she had. In her early childhood, Alexis loved her dolls and had spent hours of make-believe as their mother. She had bathed them and fed them, changed them and cuddled them when they pretend-cried. And of course, during the fifties, all dolls were girl-dolls. What little girl didn't want a real live baby girl when she grew up?

"You don't want Jordan to be an only child,” he added. “Do you?"

"No. But it's a big decision. I'd need some time to think it over."

"That's fine, Ntombi. We don't have to rush into it."

That night, Max made love to Alexis with a tenderness she never thought possible. That night he was the man with whom she'd fallen in love, and when the sound of seagulls awoke her the next morning, she stretched like a sleepy cat, still caught in the spell of the magic the night before. Max sat framed in the open doorway, looking out on the ocean, the yellow orange sunrise behind him.

"Jordan’s out here playing in the sand,” he said. “Want some tea? I’ve got two cups here"

"Perfect. I'd love some."

She sat up and Max propped two pillows behind her as he handed her the steaming mug. “So what’s on the agenda for today?" asked Alexis.

"Swim in the ocean, get a tan, scope out the town in general, and see what we can buy and sell,” Max answered, smiling. “I'd like to try to meet some of the gringos that live on the island. There aren't many, but a few have started up some partnerships with the San Pedranos. I'm sure they could give us some insight into what's happening out here."

As they talked, Alexis suddenly became aware how normal and unstilted their conversation was. For the first time in years, she had let her guard down; they were talking like regular people. What was a common occurrence for most couples was a rare moment for her, and she wondered if this trip could be more than a new start, maybe a complete renewal of their relationship. Whatever it was, it was great, and she didn't want it to end.

They made many new friends and business associates during the course of the next few days. They swam and snorkeled inside the reef, went for boat rides, and Jordan caught his first fish. After a life of relative solitude on the farm, the little boy knocked himself out playing from dawn to dusk with dozens of children and the next morning surprised both his parents by speaking a few words of Spanish. Alexis met many of the hotel owners and sold some of her finished products. She also sold wholesale silver wire, chains, and other findings to the local craftsmen, exchanged valuable carving tips, and bought a pound of raw black coral from local divers. Max also made the rounds of the village, getting new ideas for other wood products that might be saleable on the local or international market. On the third day, he was breathless with excitement.

"Ntombi, you won't believe what I found. You've got to come and see."

"What is it?"

"It's a chair,” he said happily. “In fact, it’s THE chair – a chair that is going to take us down the road to success. It's a great design. It's wood, it folds, and we've got almost everything we need to manufacture it. I bought one as a sample to take back to Cayo. We'll take it apart, improve the design, and turn it into a first class product." Ceremoniously, he led her into their cabaña with his hands over her eyes. "There it is. What do you think?"

Uniquely designed, the chair was made of mahogany slats. Each individual slat had been drilled and cleverly sandwiched with the others to form a comfortably contoured seat. The slats were held together with hidden pieces of heavy-gauge wire, and the overall effect was that of a pair of inverted hands folded in prayer with four slats extending beyond the main body to form the legs. Of course, this inelegant prototype had been made by a Mennonite or San Pedrano using limited tools; it was short, stumpy, and rough. But its weight and low center of gravity made it the ideal deck chair. Alexis understood Max's excitement. He was right; the chair definitely had major possibilities.

Monday

Belize Survivor, part 99

"I can't believe we're going to do this,” said Alexis, happily. "Actually taking a vacation." Compared to the old Land Cruiser, the little

Chevy truck allowed them to ride in unparalleled air-conditioned comfort as they headed east towards Belize City.

"Hey, why not,” said Max, magnanimously. “We've been working hard and deserve a break. Besides, after hearing about San Pedro for all this time, it's ridiculous that we've never been there. Lots of tourists think Ambergris Caye is Belize. Many of them never come to the mainland at all.”

"Where are we going to stay? The hotels are expensive."

"I don't think it will be a problem. Eric told me about a guy named Raul, who has a nice hotel for tourists, but also some little cabañas that he rents to locals for cheap.

"Are we considered ‘locals'?"

"I would think anybody who's living here on the Belizean economy would qualify, and your jewelry business with the army is what's supporting us. Speaking of which, we'll buy some more raw black coral while we're in San Pedro. Also, we’ll take the bulk silver wire and other findings, just in case any of the island artisans are interested in components. That way we can combine business and pleasure." It made sense, of course, but somehow Alexis was disappointed that their trip wouldn't be a business-free vacation. But it would still be a break, and she decided not to make an issue of it.

"Are we going by boat or by plane?" she asked, instead.

Jordan looked up from his picture book as he heard the magic word. He had always loved to watch the helicopters flying over Emoyeni. Now he ran over with excitement.

"Airplane, Daddy! I wanna go on the airplane!"

"Could we Max?” Alexis pleaded. “Just this once? I know the boat is much cheaper but it also takes five hours to get there; the plane takes fifteen minutes."

Max thought about it. "Okay," he conceded. "We'll take the plane. Just for you, Jordan."

Arriving at the tiny municipal airstrip in Belize City, the single-engine Cherokee was a five-seater, the tiniest plane Alexis had ever seen. It shuddered and shook down the potholed runway, threatening to lose its wheels before getting up enough speed for takeoff. A little nervous, Alexis thought it was like flying in a Volkswagen with wings, but Jordan wiggled with excitement, his nose pressed hard against the window. As the small craft gave a final bounce and vaulted into the air, he cried out with exhilaration. In seconds, the aircraft was across the open ocean, beginning the climb to its cruising altitude of a thousand feet. Belize City had never looked so beautiful, and, far above the squalor, it was easy to believe that below them lay a shining city of cleanliness, charm, and grace. As the minutes passed, the city faded in the distance and the little plane continued on its northeasterly bearing.

"Look, Mummy, the houses are so small,” said Jordan. “We're really flying." Max and Alexis smiled indulgently and their eyes met. Things had been good between them and this break from routine felt like the beginning of a new phase. Alexis gazed down on the brilliance of the sunlight reflecting on the Caribbean. Small cumulus clouds floated beneath her, and beyond them, the sea, in deep shades of cobalt, turquoise, and aquamarine, brought back memories of the Déjà Vu.

Ten minutes later, the island came into view, the palms shading a string of red-roofed houses and the odd rustic hotel. Expertly, the young pilot manipulated the rudders to compensate for the crosswinds, and the wheels touched down lightly. Jordan was first out of the plane, and he skipped around in eager anticipation as Max and Alexis retrieved the luggage.

There were only fourteen vehicles on the island, and Raul was the proud owner of the newest. He had driven his pickup to the airstrip to save his guests the mile-long walk back to his hotel. As a budding middle-aged entrepreneur, Raul had the beginnings of a beer belly and a delightfully casual manner. Business on the island was so informal and relaxed that most of Raul's transactions were conducted from a hammock strung under the palms. One of his daughter's had playfully pinned a sign on the hammock that read: Office.

Elevated on short four-foot stilts, Raul's cabañas were constructed of tasíste stalks and finger-leaf bay palm brought over from the mainland. The room was simple, lacking in artistic flair, but it was clean and adequate to their needs. There was a double-bed and a single portable cot, sink, shower, and twenty-four hour electricity. Alexis lifted the suitcase onto the bed, but before she could unpack, Jordan stripped himself naked and dashed for the water. Laughing, Max ran after him, tiny bathing suit in hand, explaining to the youngster that, although he didn't have to wear much clothing in San Pedro, minimal decorum was still required, and no peeing in the bush.

The Family Court System Purposefully Masks the Abused and the Abusers

From The Shared Parenting Disaster:

Abusers vs. The Abused


There is no logic in tip- toeing around the subject of who these movements are and what they really are about.

On one side we have the movement that promotes the following messages:
  • Children are brainwashed by their mothers(Parent Alienation Syndrome)
  • Statistics on violence against women are false(RADAR)
  • Pathways to full custody for fathers(Shared Parenting)
  • Mothers are mostly abusers(RADAR)
  • Abused Children and Mothers are liars(false allegations)

On the other side we have a protective movement that promotes the following messages:
Fathers are responsible for the most dangerous forms of abuse that lead to death and disability.

  • False allegations are a small factor in the Family Courts
  • Violence against women and children is on the rise and acknowledged by Untied Nations as a world wide issue across all cultures and classes.
  • Shared Parenting is inclusive of violent fathers
  • Fathers are responsible for the most dangerous forms of abuse that lead to death and disability.
  • Most allegations are not investigated in Family Courts and this process is often halted and sometimes legally barred from access to investigations in other courts.

The Family Court supports:
  • Reporting cases to the media that are aligned with the first movements interests.
  • Patriarchal models of family where the mother must do all of the work to foster relationships between the child and father even if they are abusive.
  • That the Father is always right and the mother is mentally ill if she disputes this.
  • Full custody to abusive fathers if the mother voices her concerns.
  • Unsupervised access to fathers regardless of criminal histories of pedophilia, murder, drugs and violence.
  • Punishing the child for speaking about abuse.
  • Punishing the mother for trying to protect her child.

Family Court psychologists support:
The Family Court supports patriarchal models of family where the mother must do all of the work to foster relationships between the child and father...

  • Using diagnosis's that have not been approved by any scientific organization in the world.
  • Recommending abusive practices such as Gardner's, "Threat therapy" which involves threatening the child with isolation from key-stakeholders that can document and provide evidence of abuse.
  • Nineteenth century recommendations on the model of family.
  • Coercive control of the mother for the sole goals and purposes of ensuring that she will eventually break down.
  • Using tests that are confirmatory bias towards mothers.

We have three movements that are aligned against one movement. This one movement has managed to not only survive but thrive regardless of the stakes. The reason why they have survived is that all actors strive to ensure that the facts that are circulated are correct and the motives are child focused with a secondary concern for mothers. In cases of family violence, the issues of abuse for both the mother and child are intertwined. The priority for the safety of both members are crucial, but not nearly enough to reach the status of protected from further violence and permanent damage from the current climate.

It is largely a case of organizational abuse where women and children in already vulnerable situations go to the family court believing wholeheartedly that these courts will provide orders to protect them. The problem is that most of the key-stakeholders are men that are fathers and some who have abused or are currently abusing. The best way to understand how these interests have dominated the family law practice is to look into previous cases of genocide and how large organizations aligned to commit it. One of the most well known cases is the holocaust, where thousands of members of the jewish community were murdered.
The problem is that most of the key-stakeholders are men that are fathers and some who have abused or are currently abusing.
It all began with the gold star, documenting how many there were of them and then isolating them into an area where they were tortured, murdered or enslaved. The techniques that were used back then were primitive, but effective in carrying out their goals. Today, we have a more complex world with more of an ability to monitor the masses more effectively.

Networking to achieve goals are now at our fingertips and thanks to facebook - we can track who is loyal to who. Compilation of information in the wrong hands could lead to future genocides. Most of our private information is available to anyone and in some countries people can find out where you live just by googleing your name. In the family court system, women are required to inform the courts if there is any violence or child abuse often at the beginning. The catch is that throughout the proceedings, lawyers (including yours), child protection workers and family consultants will work in unison to undermine your claims and even destroy the evidence that you have provided them.

On a mental level, they will they will often say that you don't have evidence even if you have provided them hospital reports, affidavits from specialists and the abuser has a criminal history. Sometimes, they might include processes that don't exist or obey only processes that were pushed in by the abusers movement. Most Family Courts have too much power to make decisions upon their own accord similar to the old, "at her majesties pleasure" which leaves a lot of room to instigate what some have considered an act of torture. Each case is often isolated to lead the victim to believe that they are the only one and that they will "help" protect the child. It is often too late before the victim discovers that the members worked together to not only diminish your ability to protect yourself and your child, but to ensure that either no one will know or that no one will believe you. That is why a majority of mothers that lost custody were for the reasons of mental illness and is not consistent with the average statistics of mental illness out side this organization.

A majority of the cases are only diagnosed by one practitioner - the family courts practitioner. In the process of pursuing information on what appears to be deciding on the best interests of the children, the information that is most valuable is often how much you might be aware of psychology, whether you could prove them wrong and how many people outside of the court community knows about your case.
a majority of mothers that lost custody were for the reasons of mental illness and is not consistent with the average statistics of mental illness...
In cases like these, one of the first instincts are to go to an authority about it. Most authorities are so ignorant or involved that these cases are often ignored. Thus continues the monopoly. The next instinct is to contact the media, but family courts can either order suppression of the case by using the child as a justification or in some countries use a general law that prohibits any discussion without the courts approval. This means that only cases that compliment the courts interests are getting out in the mainstream media. It also means that deaths that were a result of court orders are also withheld, causing more pain to families. So what we have here is a silent genocide. where children and mothers are being killed and no one knows who and why they are dead. The manipulation that goes on to ensure that grieving families do not speak out is abhorrent, but all too common. Like the Holocaust, the ones that are not dead are often tortured by their abuser and isolated from the only one that can help them - the mother.

Each time protective groups try to advocate they have the family courts abusers lobby group either bullying the media or threatening the advocates into silence and oppression. Maternal alienation was a grooming strategy that began with pedophiles in order to lock in the abuse. It is now a widely used systematic tactic to not only alienate the children from the mother, but deprive them for life. This is because they know that the earning potential when a protective mother has lost custody is more than the father as we know that fathers often give up a lot sooner and thus not as much revenue from court attendance and lawyers. They know that a protective mother will continue to return to the courts begging them for the children, especially when concerns for the child is amplified by the abuser. Keeping this extra business concealed from the public is a major priority that these courts will often attend to and worth investing in. It does not surprise me to see shared parenting councils have a public relationship with chiefs of courts or the government funding fatherhood programs that they know continue to harvest family violence. The downfall is that they often expect that survivors will indulge in the feeling of being beaten down or that they will forever be afraid of the laws that violate universal laws. More and more mothers are now discovering that breaking this silence is saving not only their children's lives but also the lives of others. People who never knew what the inside of court room doors are beginning to know what is actually happening.

The united nations is beginning to work on divorce for families affected by violence and reporters have learned that the courts cannot stop them from reporting if everyone reports it in synchronicity on the internet.
shared parenting councils have a public relationship with chiefs of courts or the government funding fatherhood programs that they know continue to harvest family violence
The propaganda that has been spread out by the abusers is falling apart because it simply does not match the masses experiences. We've all been touched by family violence in some way or another. Not one person I know has not had a mother sister, daughter, grand-daughter or aunt affected by it as it is that common. As a society, we have just begun to learn the consequences of giving feeding abusers and now more and more people are making an effort to stop it from occurring. It is about time that family courts start to move with the rest of the world and let go of the interests that harm. If you are a human resources worker, then you have the power to change this by changing the culture of the courts so it reflects a real sense of transparency. If you are one of the law makers, then you have the opportunity to be the first to role model best practice laws in protecting children and women from violence. None of them are working as there is always a loophole that transform into a gateway for the abuser to the abused. Really listening to the women and children that have been affected by it is the first step, putting in tough laws that protect them and provide equal access before is the last step towards stopping violence from continuing and a conviction that you and your country do not tolerate violence against women and children. Only then do western countries honestly say that they do not tolerate it and have conviction when they ask other countries to do the same.

Saturday

Single Parents May Do As Well As Two--No Shit!

My favorite website, Yahoo!, has put up an article from Health Day entitled, Single Parents May Do As Well As Two. Can someone please tell me how I can get some grant money to study utterly obvious bullshit? (and yes, I know, I know, if I were doing fatherhood research I could get thousands/millions from the Department of Health and Human Services, DHHS) I mean, when controlling for resources, the main one being financial, the other one being emotional, a child will do just fine in any environment. The stigma, of course, is the single parent that we (and the author) are referring to, is the MOTHER. And in that this is such a mother-bashing, woman-blaming society, people ultimately believe that mothers are incapable of raising sound children in absence of a "father" (on the contrary, see Father Absence Harms Children?).

No, No, not just a father figure will do anymore, "they" are talking about the actual biodad as a requirement for successful child-rearing. An entire movement has sprung up (concurrently with the invention of the child support system) declaring how necessary fathers are for child growth and development (see They Have Their Statistics, and then There is the Truth...Somewhere). Decades of developmental research has been abandoned and new false research has been air-brushed into "reality" (see Fatherlessness "Research" is Overly Simplistic, Biased, and Sexist). Not having a biological father is considered pathological (on the contrary see Mother Absence v Father Absence). Protecting a child from a dangerous father is pathological (see Psychological Theories on Why Mothers Are Alienating Kids from Fathers).

From the article:

A single parent marrying or moving in with a partner may be as disruptive to a child as a divorce, the author suggests.
Right, because disruption is disruption, and we all know kids need stability and continuity (the same stability that can NOT occur in 50/50 custody)

"Based on this study, we can't say for sure that marriage will be a good thing for the children of single mothers, particularly if that marriage is unhealthy and does not last,"
Mothers? Why, I thought this was about "parents"?

Every mother knows that juggling a new intimate partner along with motherhood, can be a difficult task. We don't need a study to tell us that if the new relationship isn't good, that it will negatively affect the children. Duh! But I stand to guess that a major reason that single mothers re-partner is due to economic resources. The new partner brings money into the household either directly through employment, or indirectly by allowing the mother to retain employment minus child care expenses.

Only in black families did Kamp Dush find a particular advantage in children always living with two parents as opposed to growing up with only one. Black children from stabled married families scored better on reading and math tests than those from single-parent families.
There HAS to be more to this. Could it be that Blacks are on the lowest end of the economic spectrum? And so, it would take dual incomes in a Black household to equal one decent salary that a White woman may have? Can we tie in the racism/classism factor?

The findings appear in "Marriage and Family: Perspectives and Complexities," a recently published book that Kamp Dash co-edited. She looked at information gathered from nearly 5,000 households nationwide during two long-term periods over three decades.

Oh yes, and Professor, please expect the vocal minority of father's rights groups, aka father's supremacists, to trash your research in it's entirety. It doesn't matter the scope or depth, none of it suits their agenda.

Moms have known for a long time that moms do a good damn job raising their kids by themselves...as evidenced by the old adage:

I can do bad all by myself.

(see Guess Who's Killing the Children)

Friday

Belize Survivor, part 98

The magnificent barrier reef lay off the eastern coast of Belize, extending almost two hundred miles from its northern end to the southernmost tip. The reef varied in width from several hundred yards to just a few feet wide. In some areas, pinnacles pierced the surface among the thrashing breakers. In other places, it lay below the surface by eighty feet or more, where vicious riptides and turbulence created massive ravines and canyons. Consisting of calcium carbonate and trace minerals, the hulking reef had been created through infinite eons of time, as billions of coral organisms added their skeletons to the myriad formations on the ocean floor. There, marine life was bountiful. Nestled within the cradle of life, the living coral reef was a microcosm of the ocean as a whole, a stage upon which the drama of life and death was played out. From the tiniest plankton to the giant goliath grouper, the reef provided for each species to feed on the weak and inferior in the presence of superior predators, all in accordance with survival of the fittest.

Like sparkling jewels flung across the sea, a chain of tiny tropical islands sheltered inside the barrier of protected waters. Fine white coral sand glistened on the windswept beaches, while borders of coconut palms guarded the salt marshes of the mangrove interior. Most of the cayes were inhabited solely by thousands of seabirds: brown pelicans, gulls, frigate birds, cormorants, sandpipers, and red-footed boobies. Only a few islands supported human habitation.

The northernmost island, Ambergris Caye, boasted unspoiled miles of windward beaches and a small fishing village of perhaps two hundred people. The islanders were proud of their heritage, and they enjoyed a financial stability superior to that of the mainland, even in the early days before gringo tourists made their debut. Their success was due to a rich fishing industry and the San Pedro Co-op, which had enabled them to export fish, shrimp, and lobster to the United States.

The sea was their life. Once a year, the villagers held a somber celebration to St. Peter, the patron saint of fisherman. The midnight mass continued long into the night and ended with a silent procession to the beached boats. In the last hours of darkness, each boat was blessed with a votive candle and fervent prayers were offered for the safe return of the fishermen. As dawn broke on the horizon, the candles were blown out and the men paddled into the pink misted dawn.

Thursday

Psychological Theories on Why Mothers Are Alienating Kids from Fathers

Dear Reader,

If you're seeking a psychological theory, you may be better off asking Sylvia Browne (better yet, try this one) or your local astrologist. Psychology is NOT a science...it only has "ideas" about things. Richard Gardner, pro-pedophilic founder of parental alienation syndrome, wrote it best (emphasis mine):

"Psychodynamic psychiatry, to an even greater extent, psychoanalysis, is probably the most speculative of all the alleged scientific disciplines. In fact, it is reasonable to say that it is much more an art than a science. We spin off the most fantastic explanations for human behavior and often come to believe our own delusions.

Although the concept of scientific proof may be of importance in such fields as chemistry, physics, and biology, the concept is not as applicable in the field of psychology; especially with regard to issues being dealt with in such areas as child-custody disputes, and sex-abuse accusations." Id. at 12.


But going back to the root of your inquiry, ask yourself, why might you alienate your own child from someone else? A grandparent or other family member, a friend. Matter of fact, take out the word alienate, because it has too many connotations in this false PAS climate right now.

Why might you keep your own child, or loved one, away from someone else?

Come on, you can come up with something....

Maybe because of that person's behavior, or how that person makes you or your child feel...right????

No theory required.

Here is a helpful list of characteristics of "y" person that may cause "x" person (and their child) to not want to be around them:


Angry

Abusive

Violent

Coercive

Controlling

Threatening

Intimidating

Demanding

Domineering

Harassing

Stalking

Tyrannical

Oppressive

Forceful

Manipulative

Deceptive

Unethical

Un-empathetic (Lacks Empathy)

Entitled

Immature

Self-centered

Neglectful

Guilt inducing

Pushy

Intentionally tries to humiliate

Harsh, rigid and punitive parenting style

Outrage at child’s challenge of authority

May use force to reassert parental position

Dismissive of child’s feelings and negative attitudes

Vents rage, blames mother for “brainwashing” child and takes no responsibility

Challenges child’s beliefs and/or attitudes and tries to convince them otherwise

Inept and unempathic pursuit of child, pushes calls and letters, unannounced or embarrassing visits

Read it from an adult who's parent exhibited some of these characteristics during her youth: http://americanchildrenunderground.blogspot.com/2009/09/domestic-violence-by-proxy-clarity-on.html

See Also: Maternal Deprivation

Thank you for reading. Good luck!

Wednesday

Belize Survivor, part 97

As Alexis carried the large box of clothing upstairs, she noticed Miss Carmen's primitive Jesus painting still hanging on the wall of the living room. The blue eyes of the conspicuously Caucasian face stared oddly from the flat canvas, and his steady gaze seemed to follow her around the room. Not only had the Belizean artist fallen short of divine inspiration, the painting was almost a caricature. With the bleeding heart and eternal flame superimposed over Jesus’ chest, it was creepy-looking, and Alexis was at a loss as to what she should do with it. Somehow, she couldn't just throw it in the trash. It was too corny to give away, too awful to leave in view. Finally, she slipped the painting behind a cabinet against a wall and forgot about it.

The house wasn't spacious, but it was adequate. Upstairs there were two bedrooms, the jewelry room, kitchen, and living room, and the whole lower story would serve as a woodworking shop. There was a toilet all right, but it had been starkly installed, sans privacy, in the corner of what was now the jewelry room. There was no actual bathroom, so Max built two little dividing walls, one with a door.

Most people in Cayo still had an outhouse in the backyard. Indoor plumbing was just starting to become fashionable for some of the more affluent townspeople. In Miss Carmen's last years, her son had bought her the flush toilet and tied it into the town's new sewer system. Had it been on the first floor, the city water pressure might have been sufficient to fill the toilet's four gallon tank, but on the second floor, there was no chance. So, as in every other place they'd lived, one of Max's first jobs was to buy a water tank and build a tank stand above the level of the second floor. By diverting the rainwater from the roof into the tank, he created a secondary water supply to make up for the deficiency in pressure. Rising to the occasion always brought out the best in him.

In the backyard was a rickety structure of rotting wood that served as a bath house, but it was nothing more than a wooden floor surrounded by four walls and no roof. Max made a few improvements by repairing some of the existing wood and adding a soap and shampoo rack. Still, there was no running water in the stall itself. For the next year and a half, the routine would remain the same. To bathe, Alexis had to fill a white plastic bucket of water at the foot of the stairs and then carry it to the stall in the backyard. Once inside, she used a coffee can to dip into the bucket and pour the cold water over her body.

Alexis rapidly learned that living in San Ignacio didn't mean that public utilities such as water, electricity, and sewers were more sophisticated. It simply meant that instead of being within their control, she and Max would now be subjected to all the inadequacies and inconsistencies of town life in the third world.

Monday

Belize Survivor, part 96

A paragon of superstition, the old woman had lived alone for years in the house on the hill in San Ignacio. Even on the brightest days, she'd kept the boarded windows shut tight against the forces of the Evil One. The spirits were coming for her, she knew. It was just a matter of time. Ever since her son's funeral, she no longer left the house, not even to shop for provisions. If it hadn't been for the daily meals left at her door by her daughter-in-law, Carlita, she would have starved.

Two months before, her son had died a gruesome death. A freak accident at the lumber mill had occurred when the workmen were squaring a large rosewood log. The six-inch-wide blade on the huge band saw became lodged in the cut. The resistance of the wood broke the welded seam, and the fifteen-foot blade had sprung from the carriage. It coiled like a serpent around the man's body, cutting off anything protruding beyond its wicked teeth. Within five minutes the man had bled to death.

Life was already over for old Miss Carmen as she sat and waited for the demons of the darkness to come and take her. She rarely ate, she did not sleep, and the only word she spoke was her dead son's name. "Emil. Emil."

On the hill in San Ignacio, not far from the hotel, a little Spanish boy hesitated before he climbed the back steps of the old two-story frame house. The tin can he held contained a fat toad and his friend, Juan, watched from the soccer field behind the house to see if the dare would be carried out. On the landing at the top, Julio stopped and drew a deep breath. He pushed hard on the lower corner where the wood was rotten, and shoved the toad through the triangular opening. As the door sprung back into position, the toad's rear leg was caught and crushed. The boy ran away laughing.

Miss Carmen was familiar with the sounds of the kitchen, the cockroaches and scuttling rats. Now the mutilated toad, its one leg dragging, crabbed into the darkened room where the woman sat. She heard soft plopping noises and the scratching of tiny feet. Cold terror gripped her. She tried to focus her failing vision on the demon but could not see it. Suddenly the slimy body dragged itself across her bare foot. The old woman clutched her chest and something clamped down on her heart and lungs like a vise. She could not breathe.

"Emil, Emil," she cried as she lurched sideways and fell to the floor.

The next morning Carlita discovered the food still outside. She opened the door and called out, but heard no answer. The house was a tomb of stale air, further befouled by urine, lard, and human sweat. Cautiously, she entered the kitchen and opened a window. A beam of sunlight fell on the long forgotten dishes, scummy with thick mold. Pots encrusted with spoiled food squirmed with white wormy maggots. Steeling herself, Carlita walked across the living room floor stepping over heaps of filthy rags, soft drink bottles, wire hangers, papers, and trash. Flinging open another window, cruel daylight streamed in on the prostrate body of the woman. Miss Carmen had been scared to death. The hungry rats and cockroaches had eaten away most of her face.

Saturday

Minnesota Supreme Court Allows Judge Timothy Blakely to Profit from His Fraudulent Earnings

Judge Timothy Blakely was "caught" referring steering divorce cases to the firm that was handling his own case.

Judge Timothy Blakely earns $123,000 per year as a judge.

Judge Timothy Blakely received $64,000 in discounts on his own divorce (as a result of those referrals).

Judge Timothy Blakely will be suspended from practicing and without pay for 6 months.


$123,000 divided by 2, equals a $61,500 loss...plus $64,000 equals $125,500, which is a $2500 profit on top of Judge Timothy Blakely's usual salary, PLUS a half of a year's vacation!!!

What a great deal!!!!! Where can the rest of us sign up?

Plead ignorance
Acknowledge that was you did was possibly bad
Get your comrades and peers to sit your on case
and perhaps
Offer them something under the table...

This is what should be called an impressive collusion. This is such a clear example of what we call the fox guarding the hen house--and why most judges, regardless of which injustices they have done, stay on the bench.


Supreme Court suspends Dakota County judge for six months without pay

High court opts for suspension in legal referrals
By Frederick Melo
[email protected]
Updated: 09/17/2009 11:46:00 PM CDT

The Minnesota Supreme Court has chosen to discipline — but not fire — a judge who received a deep discount on his legal bills after steering cases to his own divorce attorney.

District Judge Timothy Blakely, who hears cases in Dakota and Goodhue counties, will be suspended from the bench for six months without pay, the state's highest court ruled in an opinion filed Thursday. Blakely earns more than $123,000 annually.

The suspension begins immediately. He also is publicly reprimanded as an attorney and cannot return to legal work until the suspension is over.

"In essence, he cannot practice law for six months, be it as a judge or as a lawyer," said Martin Cole, director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

The U.S. attorney's office opened a separate inquiry into whether Blakely's actions constituted mail fraud, but it is unclear if a federal grand jury was ever convened, said Doug Kelley, an attorney for the Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards.

"We have received a subpoena and we have complied with a subpoena," Kelley said. "The subpoena asked for documents ... and we provided the documents that were requested. I do not know whether anyone has been called to a grand jury or not."

Thomas Kelly, Blakely's attorney, said he was unaware of any federal investigation.

Justice Alan Page took no part in the court decision and Justice Paul Anderson argued for the more severe sanction of suspension until June 30,
2010.

Blakely was elected as a judge in the 1st Judicial District in 1998 and re-elected to a six-year term in 2004. His current term expires in January 2011.

In May, the Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards recommended that Blakely, 46, of Eagan, be the fourth Minnesota judge to be dismissed from the bench in 40 years. Two members of the 10-member board argued instead for suspension.

As an automatic result of the board's recommendation, Blakely had been suspended with pay since May.

A legal fact-finding panel appointed by the board determined that over 3 1/2 years, Blakely referred at least 17 divorce cases to his own divorce lawyer for mediation or related services, in addition to referring people he knew. The arrangement resulted in a discount of more than $64,000 — nearly two-thirds of his legal bill in his own divorce.

Blakely hired the St. Paul law firm of Collins, Buckley, Sauntry and Haugh in 2002 to represent him in the divorce, anticipating a quick settlement, according to his statements last year to the panel. Instead, the case dragged on and his legal fees exceeded $109,000.

Through a series of e-mails, Blakely urged his attorney, Christine Stroemer, to accept a smaller lump sum.

"There is also very substantial past, and future, benefit to you from significant business referrals we have made in excess of the compromise we are asking for," he wrote in an e-mail dated Oct. 19, 2005.

Stroemer responded two days later: "Tim, I would certainly consider a compromised [sic] lump sum payment in lieu of future small monthly payments. I certainly appreciate the mediation referrals you have sent my way and hope that you continue to do so."

Blakely later told the fact-finding panel that by business referrals, he was referring to friends and acquaintances he had sent to Stroemer, and not to cases appearing before him as a judge.

The Supreme Court noted, however, that Blakely made no effort to clarify their arrangement then or in subsequent e-mails in which he offered her firm $31,000 from the sale of his house.

In 2007, Blakely's ex-wife filed a complaint with the Board on Judicial Standards accusing Blakely of misconduct.

During two days of testimony before a fact-finding panel in November, Stroemer and another partner from her firm noted this was one of the largest discounts the firm had ever agreed to.

Blakely said he never thought the arrangement might appear inappropriate until he reviewed the series of e-mails to Stroemer while responding to the Board on Judicial Standards. He later asked to be publicly censured and not suspended or removed from office.

Neither the board nor the Supreme Court, in its written opinion, went so far as to determine that Blakely actually entered into a "quid pro quo" arrangement and should be punished for it. Instead, the court found that his actions reflected "a serious lack of judgment" for failing to inform the parties in the cases before him of his connection to Stroemer and of his unpaid legal debts to her firm.

The potential appearance of impropriety was at least as troubling as the arrangement itself, they found.

Under the state Code of Judicial Conduct, judges cannot accept gifts or special arrangements that could "reasonably be perceived as intended to influence the judge in the performance of judicial duties."

Reads the Supreme Court opinion: "There is no question that substantial grounds for judicial discipline are present here. ... The purpose of judicial discipline is not to punish the offending judge, but to protect the public by preserving the integrity of the judicial system."

The Supreme Court, which has final say on punishing the state's judges and lawyers, stopped short of removing Blakely from office, noting that only three judges have been forced from the bench since 1972.

Harvey Ginsburg was removed in 2004 after assaulting a 14-year-old boy and threatening to charge him with a felony if he called police.

In 1984, Robert Crane Winton lost his judgeship after soliciting 15 to 20 male prostitutes, including one who was 16 years old.

And Jack F.C. Gillard was removed in 1978 after a number of incidents came to light involving dishonest dealings with legal clients before his appointment to the bench.

Frederick Melo can be reached at 651-228-2172.

Friday

Homicides During Exchanges for Visitation

UPDATED 9/20

Dear Reader,

I'm not sure if there are any specific reports that detail the amount of homicides (or attempted homicides) that occur during exchanges for child visitation, but it would be interesting information. More and more incompetent, misinformed judges are awarding joint custody and shared parenting between parents who have a history of family violence (Florida is the most recent state to enact such foolishness as a result of major propaganda campaigning by the father's supremacists). Mothers are court ordered to maintain contact with their abusers, and their children's abusers, via child visitation orders. Mothers are forced to facilitate relationships and visitation exchanges at police stations and/or the homes of THEIR OWN friends and family, in order for their children to have a forced relationship with their abusers.

The biggest money-sucking grant-funded idiocracy right now is "supervised visitation centers" (see But What About Visitation?)...so now, visitation between children and abusers can take place in the comfort of a completely controlled, false environment...and then after the abuser "proves" what a great job is being done, the killing can take place outside the visitation center.

As a result, women and children are placed in danger that the family court system often overlooks, or disregards. Ultimately, when a violent, controlling man does not get his way, he will murder. It's not the economy, it's not his job loss, it's his damn attitude and vengeance.

For stories from 2009 about homicides during exchanges for visitation, please see Violence Against Women and Children News Central and do a label search for children, divorce, custody, etc. Also please visit Dastardly Dads, Justice's Posterous, and most definitely, Why Are They Dead?

Northfield man gets 15 years for killing mother of his five children


Story By LYNDA COHEN Staff Writer
Posted: Friday, September 18, 2009

MAYS LANDING - Friday used to be the day Louis Ceresa took his five children out for pizza.

But this Friday, instead of picking them up, the Northfield man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for killing their mother.

Ceresa admitted in July that he strangled Amanda Carmen, 34, while the two sat in her minivan outside his Revere Avenue home during a scheduled custody exchange Jan. 11.

Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury called the plea agreement's recommended 15-year sentence "lenient," but said that Ceresa's willingness to admit his guilt spared his children from a painful trial and his eldest from having to testify in court.

The couple's 11-year-old son witnessed the killing.

"I can't tell you what I did that night or why I did it," Ceresa, 33, told the judge Friday. "I don't know what happened."

When he pleaded to aggravated manslaughter in July, Ceresa said "I exploded" after Carmen told him she was moving away with their children.

"I didn't mean for this to happen," he said at the time.

"To lose a child, at any age, from illness or accident is horrific," Carmen's mother, Margaret, said in a statement read in court by victim counselor Trisha Hayek. "But to lose her because someone was angry and just 'didn't mean to kill her' is unbearable."

Now, Carmen's children will not have their mother with them for all the important things in life, she said: "What Louis did will have an effect on our family not just now, but also for generations to come."

"I have no excuse for what I did," Ceresa said.

He apologized to his children - who were not in court - as well as the dozen family members there to support him. He also apologized to the Carmens, explaining, "they were my family for many years."

And once again, as he had when he pleaded, Ceresa professed his love for Carmen.

"Louis claims he loved Amanda," Margaret Carmen wrote. "How do you put your hands around the throat of someone you love and watch them take their last breath of life? How is his defense, 'I didn't mean to'?"

But defense attorney Anthony Previti said the killing was an anomaly, and Ceresa is a good man who has shown consistent remorse since the killing.

Previti said Ceresa asked that nothing positive be said about him in court, "but I am compelled to say it."

"I don't feel like a good person," Ceresa said. "I do feel rotten. I do feel like crap, and I should. I'll make sure I come down on myself for the rest of my life."

For at least the next 12 years, that life will be in prison. He must serve 85 percent of the imposed sentence before he is eligible for parole.

By that time, the victim's mother said, the children "will have the time to grow up and understand the situation and how they feel about it."

She said she would like to see Ceresa spend the rest of his life in jail, but the family accepted the plea deal to spare her 11-year-old grandson "the agony of having seen his mother strangled to death by his father and then have to testify and put his father in prison."

It is more time than the nine years Millville police Sgt. Robert Vanaman received after admitting during jury selection for his murder trial in March that he killed his wife and tried to cover up the crime in 2006.

In August, DeLury sentenced Rosina McKinnie to nine years in prison under a plea agreement in which she admitted to fatally stabbing her live-in boyfriend Aramis Smith during a 2008 party at the couple's Pleasantville home. There was a history of domestic violence against McKinnie in that case.

Previti told DeLury on Friday how the judge often said domestic violence cases are one step away from homicide. But in this case, "there was no warning," Previti said.

Police had not broken up fights between the two. Ceresa had no criminal background.

"I don't believe he's even had a parking ticket," Previti said.

But there was daily alcohol consumption and a history of cocaine use, DeLury pointed out.

"This defendant was not entirely a law-abiding person, as evidence by his frequent (drug) abuse."

Ceresa relinquished his parental rights. The children, ages 5 to 11, now live with their maternal grandmother in Egg Harbor Township.

"I lost my children. I lost Amanda. I lost everything over something stupid," Ceresa told the judge. "When I die, I'll pay for this again. I'll be judged again."

Monday

Whoops, My Bad, Y'all!

Belize Survivor episodes will resume on Monday, September 14th; normal blogging will resume when my head is screwed back to the front. I'm alive and well, listening to R. Kelly, feeling bad about it, but damn, the new song is hot!

Sunday

What, Exactly, is an Anomaly?

I've arisen from hibernation, briefly, to address something that has just caught my attention. There have been our usual weekly father-murder-suicides and mass killings, (http://domesticviolencenews.blogspot.com), and beatings and other malicious acts (http://dastardlydads.blogspot.com) in my absence and I haven't the time, nor energy to continue to report them (thank you to the bloggers who do) --all the while the fathers' groups still touting the 1, 2, 3, "celebrity" poster boys of male victims of domestic violence (neither of which are accurate) and how women are so equally violent.

Anyway, Yahoo is my homepage and so when this Lousiana husband/father-murder-suicide broke to the front page, I felt obligated because of this statement by Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office Chief of Operations Perry Rushing,

"It's very unusual to have this many victims. This is an anomaly by any stretch of the imagination."


Anomaly:

1. a deviation from the common rule, type, arrangement, or form.
2. someone or something anomalous
3. an odd, peculiar, or strange condition, situation, quality, etc.
4. an incongruity or inconsistency


Mr. Officer Rushing,

You've got to be shitting me!