Sunday, May 22, 2011
Another gross miscarriage of justice by British social workers
Why would they not return a child to a loving father who wants her? It's just vindictiveness and shows absolutely NO regard for the welfare of the child
The man at the centre of one of the country's [New Zealand's] most public custody fights is about to lose his daughter for a second time. Kiwi Stephen Jelicich, who took baby Caitlin into hiding in 2005 in the middle of a bitter tug-of-love with his former Welsh wife Diane Ellis-George, has revealed his daughter is about to be adopted.
Ellis-George, a nurse, died two years ago of breast cancer and Caitlin was put in the care of her 27-year-old half-sister in the UK. In 2005, Jelicich sparked a police hunt with his actions after an Auckland court awarded the mum custody. After nine days on the run, he gave himself up.
Jelicich said he had hoped Caitlin, now aged 7, might eventually "be returned to me" - but he could not afford to fight for her any longer. The half-sister told him recently she would soon adopt Caitlin and "there's nothing I can do about it".
A teary-eyed Jelicich said he had come to accept Caitlin would grow up in Wales. But he was immensely grateful the half-sister had allowed him a little into her life now. He skyped Caitlin only a couple of months ago and sent her Christmas presents and sometimes penned letters too. "I let her know her dad is here and loves her and will always be here - and I hope to see her when she's old enough and wants to catch up."
Jelicich, 46, now a farmer in the Manawatu, has since become the proud dad to a 3- year-old daughter whom he wants to shield from publicity.
Asked if she helped heal his heart, Jelicich replied, "no". Both daughters "are separate", very much loved and neither could replace the other, he said. "You are going to make me cry again. I'm still not over it and will never be over losing my daughter," he said. "There's a hole in my heart and nothing can ever fill it ... not a day goes by that I never think of my daughter."
He revealed that he was a typical parent when it came to a relocation dispute - he had spent $30,000 fighting his case, almost exactly what Otago University researchers say parents spend on these types of cases. He is still paying off this debt.
The cost was worth every cent, he said, because "you can't put a value on having your child with you" and at least he knew he tried everything he could.
Jelicich said any parent who faced similar circumstances would have spent all their cash trying to get custody. He was not surprised some Kiwis spent close to $200,000 on custody and separation disputes.
He said fighting for custody through the courts was like "whacking your head against a brick wall ... but how could you not try [for custody]?"
Protest against Leftist/feminist infiltration of Girl Scouts
"Chances are, if you're naming your blog after a Taylor Swift album, your judgment's already suspect." That's Salon dismissing two teen girls, in a piece on the Girl Scouts and its liberal feminist tendencies. And, as it happens, the line itself actually speaks to the heart of the problem.
Think about what the young country star's songs often embody: A rooted goodness, and higher expectations than instant gratification -- for herself and for those she loves. Are those things that should be so scornfully patronized by the liberal chattering class?
Sydney and Tess Volanski, about to be a rising sophomore and high-school freshman, respectively, started the aforementioned Taylor-named website, Speak Now, when they left the Girl Scouts after eight years because of the group's values clash with their own -- namely, its ties to Planned Parenthood.
The rude awakening for the sisters was the reported distribution of a Planned Parenthood brochure, entitled "Healthy, Happy and Hot" -- which dealt with satisfying sexual urges and procuring a "safe abortion" while living with HIV-- at the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts meeting last year. But Volanskis' concerns go beyond that -- to the worldview of the Girl Scouts as a whole.
These girls are bent on reform, rather than destruction, however.
"We were part of a great troop," Sydney says. "We had our Bronze Award and were in the process of planning for our Silver Award. It was a great experience, only marred when we found out that GSUSA is not who they say they are. We were saddened by the fact that we were representing a group in name and financially that had moral viewpoints in direct opposition to ours."
Sydney tells me: "Many Girl Scouts are good, wholesome girls. The problem lies within the national organization's leadership's lack of adherence to their promise of neutrality," on abortion. Further, she adds, girls often need and "should get help, but Planned Parenthood and abortion -- what GSUSA is directing them to -- are not help. Abortion has serious risks for women, including breast cancer, infertility, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicide. Does this sound like help?"
"If we had a say," Sydney continues, "we would make it so they were truly neutral about a girl's health and sexuality, abortion and birth control and political affiliations, as they promise to be. We would put the focus where it should be, on character-building and leadership activities."
When I asked them if they were just doing the bidding of their pro-life mom, as Salon accused, Sydney told me: "We have passion for the pro-life cause on our own. We are old enough so that we can form our own opinions. Teenagers are not all as apathetic as society seems to think; we can care enough about something to take action. This is something that we cared about, so we took action and made this website because we wanted to."
Sydney and Tess are finding their voices at a time when they're far from alone among young people, and young women. Tess points to Lila Rose, the 22-year-old who has made an early name for herself doing independent pro-life undercover work: "I am inspired by the many amazing women who fight for life in our culture today. One who stands out is Lila Rose. Her commitment and courage are very motivating. We found in person that Lila is not only bold and courageous, but also very kind and compassionate."
The Volanski sisters' new attitude to the Girl Scouts puts them in a growing crowd. Patti Garibay is the national executive director of American Heritage Girls, which has grown in the years since its 1995 founding from simply an alternative to the Girl Scouts to the more fitting sister group to the Boy Scouts. Just this year, the Boy Scouts joined American Heritage in a joint "memorandum of mutual support." Garibay explains some commonalities between the two groups, "AHG and BSA are both centered on a duty to God, we are 'owned' by our charter partners, thus allowing our programs to serve as a ministry of the church, we are structured the same, AHG leaders use the BSA youth protection and outdoor skills training to name a few."
And, she adds, in response to some of the critics of those concerned about GS mission creep: "Yes, girls need to know about sexuality but why not within a moral framework of faith, family, and church." You can't build character without a moral barometer, Garibay argues.
Anna Halpine, who founded the World Youth Alliance adds: "A lot of good organizations affiliate with (Planned Parenthood) both nationally, (locally) and internationally, since they are the big banner organization that is promoting women and girls, and claiming to advocate their health and healthy lifestyles. I think that many of these groups would find their local and national chapters agitating to form alliances with other groups if those were available to them. In essence; we need an alternative to the current options."
It can be hard to be a good girl in our often over-sexualized culture. But it looks like the girls -- bolstered by parents or church or other prevailing bastions of sanity -- might just blaze the paths themselves.
You go, girls! And like in a Taylor Swift song or two, the guys might just follow -- and appreciate it more than you know.
Thou Shalt Not Criticize (some things)
On May 6th, Dr. Keith Ablow, a TV psychiatrist and university professor, penned a controversial article entitled, “Cameron Diaz Is Right -- 4 Reasons Why Marriage IS a Dying Institution.” The article, which was posted on FoxNews.com, received a considerable amount of criticism, as Dr. Ablow claimed that marriage is “one of the leading causes of major depression in the nation.” He even wrote that, “marriage is a dying institution . . . because it inherently deprives men and women of the joy of being ‘chosen’ on a daily basis.” Come again?
Did Fox News pull the article in the face of criticism? Certainly not. After all, the doctor is entitled to his opinion (even if his opinion is deemed inane) and, for a website and news agency, the more controversy the better – at least to a point. There are certain lines that one dare not cross these days, and one of those now appears to be the line of “transphobia.” (In case you’re not up on LGBT vocabulary, transphobia is to transgender what homophobia is homosexual.)
This, then, is what happened in the space of just two days. On May 17th, Dr. Ablow posted an article on FoxNews.com entitled, “Inside the Mind of Chaz Bono,” writing, “Chastity Bono, the daughter of Cher and Sonny Bono, has undergone gender reassignment surgery and now asserts she [that’s right, she] is a man. . . . I know my thoughts on this matter will be politically incorrect, but they are entirely biologically and psychiatrically accurate.”
Dr. Ablow continued, “First, Chaz Bono is not a man. She is a woman who has undergone radical surgeries and is taking male hormones in order to look like a man. That isn’t a political position, it’s a biological reality. Chaz Bono wants to be thought of as male, but she is not male.”
He explained, “Delusional disorders are notoriously difficult to treat. Paranoia . . . can require extensive psychotherapy and anti-psychotic medication. Sometimes, that isn’t even enough. So you can imagine that believing you are a man when you are a woman could require even more vigorous and dedicated attempts to alleviate the psychotic person’s symptoms. . . . “I think Chaz Bono, who is, in fact, a woman, will not escape, through surgery or manipulation of hormones, suffering that is far more than skin deep.”
On May 18th, just one day after Dr. Ablow’s article was posted, it was pulled from the Fox News website without explanation, apparently because of an uproar from the gay and transgender community, including threats of boycotts. When it comes to homosexuality and transgenderism, the message is plain and clear: “Thou shalt not criticize!”
Was this article any more controversial than his article attacking marriage? Hardly. After all, there is no genetic or biological indication that Chastity Bono is a man other than what she/he perceives in her/his head. (I say that with all respect to the struggles that Bono has passed through and without minimizing the very real needs of those who identify as transgender.) Perhaps Chastity could have been helped from the inside out? Perhaps some of Chastity’s inner turmoil had to do with the very unusual family environment in which she was raised?
When Chastity released her coming out story as a lesbian in 1999, we were expected to embrace her new identity with affirmation and approval, recognizing that this was who she truly was. Now we are being told that she was really not a lesbian at all but rather a heterosexual male trapped in a woman’s body. Is it so outrageous for a psychiatrist to question whether Chastity/Chaz is suffering from some kind of disorder? Apparently so.
In today’s upside-down world, a psychiatrist can make the claim that marriage is a dying institution, one of the major causes of depression, and that is perfectly fine. But let that same psychiatrist suggest that Chastity/Chaz Bono is suffering from a mental or emotional disorder (for the record, it is called Gender Identity Disorder), and his voice must be silenced post haste.
Consider the political climate in which we now live: Olympic gold medalist Peter Vidmar, the chief of the US Olympic team mission for 2012, resigned from his position under pressure from gay activists. Why? He supported Prop 8 in California, defining marriage as the union of a man and woman, and this was deemed too controversial. One week later, Rick Welts, the owner of the Phoenix Suns basketball team, openly declared his homosexuality and received nothing but praise and commendation for his candor. And “transitioning” from a woman into a man gets you a spot on Oprah and David Letterman, while questioning the rightness of sex-change surgery gets you silenced.
A queer thing, indeed, has happened to America. One can only wonder what is coming next.
Australia: Muslim radio stays on airwaves
A MUSLIM group accused of having links to a "radical cult" will keep broadcasting on radio in a ruling that mainstream Islamic groups have condemned.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has renewed 2MFM's community radio licence for five years, angering Muslims who say it is linked to a "fringe group that promotes extremist views".
Muslim Community Radio Incorporated, the operator of 2MFM, has ties to the Islamic Charity Projects Association, which is associated with the group Al-Ahbash.
Al-Ahbash was founded in Lebanon and critics say it is a violent cult, but members deny the claim and say they promote Islamic pluralism.
Station manager Malek Jouddawi said criticisms of the station were "utterly wrong … whoever listens to our radio station can tell very clearly that we're moderate … We don't want to waste time responding to these people."
The endorsement by the authority was "evidence that 2MFM is serving the community responsibly".
The authority approved the licence renewal on the condition the station encouraged greater participation by "members of the wider Muslim community".
But Keysar Trad, the president of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, said the condition would change nothing "because no Muslims in the wider community want to have anything to do with them - no one will go near them."
Mustapha Kara-Ali, a founder of 2MFM who has distanced himself from the group, said the condition could work but it was crucial "for the [Muslim] community to overtake the Al-Ahbash and run the radio station for the whole community."
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.