Sunday, June 15, 2008


Sisters were abused in Taiwan, then shuttled among caretakers in the U.S. before finding a foster mother who helped change their lives.
By Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 14, 2008
Maggie and Rachel Lin have faced unimaginable adversity: As youngsters, the girls lost their father, who was murdered by a street gang in their native Taiwan; they suffered abuse at the hands of family members, made a harrowing journey to the U.S. and spent most of their childhood in a succession of foster homes, some where they suffered new cruelties.

Against those odds, Maggie headed off last year to Dartmouth College, and after graduating Friday from Pacific Hills School, Rachel will attend Vassar. Both have received nearly full scholarships from the schools.

Their success has been hard won. It is rare for a foster child to attend a private prep school like Pacific Hills in West Hollywood. In California, about 54% of foster children graduate from high school and only about 10% enroll in college. Fewer still are admitted to elite universities.

Yet somehow the stars aligned for Maggie, 19, and Rachel, 18, two strong-minded and resilient girls who found a foster mother who believed in them and a school that allowed them to blossom.

Growing up, neither one could have imagined this outcome.

When the girls moved in almost five years ago, Rachel was blunt: Thanks for giving me a place to stay, but I'm a renter and will always be just a tenant here, recalls the girls' foster mother, Kate Moulene.

"I didn't even bother to try to establish a relationship; I didn't even try," Rachel said.

"She was like a feral cat," Moulene said. "She trusted no one."

Moulene put locks on the windows of her Hollywood Hills home to keep the sisters from sneaking out at night. Rachel was in the habit of visiting her boyfriend in Walnut, where she had been living.

Maggie was scared but hopeful.

"Even though I deal with all of these trust issues, part of my way of coping with things is to believe that it's going to be different," she said. "I go into another home thinking, this is going to be all right."

Moulene, a former journalist and founder of a marketing firm, was a single mother of sons Cameron, 14, and Pierre, 12, and adopted daughter Anna Mei, 7, who was born in China and orphaned. The family had watched the movie "Cheaper by the Dozen" when the boys experienced an epiphany: Wouldn't it be fun to have more kids?

Moulene went to a website featuring foster children and within minutes saw a picture of Maggie and Rachel.

The two were used to getting calls, sometimes in the middle of the night, from social workers telling them to pack up to move. They were in the process of meeting another family when they were told of Moulene's interest.

After they met, Cameron confided to his mom that the only thing he wanted that Christmas was for Maggie and Rachel to move in.

The sisters paid a final visit to Moulene's home and the children huddled.

"They all talked about it and came down and said they decided to do it," Moulene said.

"She bought us online for free," jokes Rachel.

A self-described pessimist who doesn't easily make friends, Rachel is all in-your-face honesty and biting wit, which she uses like a wary fighter to keep an opponent off guard. She accuses Maggie of hiding behind a mask of pleasantry.

"Sometimes you need to put on different personas," counters Maggie. "It was required when we were moving around to different foster homes to keep sane."

Saturday, June 14, 2008


US scientists say satellite images confirm reports that the Ethiopian military have burnt towns and villages in Ethiopia's Somali region.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science says the images back up a Human Rights Watch's report

The US-based group says the troops are systematically ill-treating civilians in their counter-insurgency campaign.

Ethnic Somali rebels have been fighting for more autonomy for two decades in the region, also known as the Ogaden.

HRW also accused the United States and the European Union of ignoring widespread abuses there.

The Ethiopia government has described the report as "unfounded and baseless".


HRW cites evidence of extrajudicial detentions and killings, beatings and rapes in military custody, forced displacement of the rural population and the collective punishment of communities suspected of helping or sympathising with the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) rebels.

Human Rights Watch is engaged in misinforming the public based on the information of the ONLF

Government adviser Bereket Simon

"We found that over the last year the Ethiopian army has been killing, raping, torturing and systematically displacing civilians in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia," HRW's Georgette Gagnon told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

She said there was no doubt about the identity of those carrying out the abuses.

"All the victims and eyewitnesses that we interviewed clearly identified the Ethiopian army and soldiers as those who had raped them, for example, who had summarily killed people by strangling, and who had forcibly displaced them and burned their villages."

According to the AAAS, eight "before" and "after" satellite images identified by HRW as possible locations of abuses bore signs of attacks described.

These were primarily in villages and small towns in the Wardheer, Dhagabur, and Qorrahey Zones, the AAAS said.


One recurrent scenario was of the army's response to ONLF activity in a neighbourhood; they would call the inhabitants together and demand that they hand over the culprits, HRW says.

Failure to do so resulted in village elders and others being arrested, beaten, sometimes killed.

Young people, both boys and girls, were arbitrarily arrested and accused of being ONLF sympathisers; they were routinely beaten in custody and women often raped, HRW says.

The apparently arbitrary nature of many of the arrests was explained to HRW by a former judge in the region who said the army could not tell the difference between rebels and civilians, he said they were confused as to who was who.

The report concludes that the army is engaged in a deliberate policy of terrorising the local population; that the abuses are far too systematic and widespread to be considered simply the acts of rogue commanders.

But Bereket Simon, special adviser to Ethiopia's prime minister, said that HRW had based its findings on ONLF propaganda.

"Human Rights Watch is engaged in misinforming the public based on the information of the ONLF, whose forces have been destroyed by the actions of the Ethiopian government," he told AFP news agency.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Danish police have arrested a couple of Sudanese origin suspected of taking their two young daughters to Sudan to be circumcised.

Female circumcision usually involves the partial removal of the woman's genitals.

It is outlawed in Denmark but remains a widespread practice in Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia.

Police said the girls, now aged nine and 11, were circumcised in 2003 during a trip to the east African nation.

The 49-year-old husband and his 40-year-old wife were arrested after Danish social services alerted police to the fact that medical examinations showed the two girls had been circumcised.

The couple, who deny all wrong-doing, were also accused of having planned to take their third daughter, aged five, to Sudan to be circumcised.

A Danish judge remanded them in custody for eight days, pending further investigation.

If found guilty, they could face up to six years in prison.

Female circumcision can cause death through haemorrhaging and later complications during childbirth. It also carries risks of infection, urinary tract problems and mental trauma.

Some 100 to 140 million girls and women around the world have undergone genital mutilation, including 6.5 million in Western countries, according to a study by the French National Institute for Demographic Research published last year.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Reports from Iran say a boy aged 17 has been hanged, in violation of UN charters signed by Tehran and official pledges not to execute minors.
Mohammad Hassanzadeh is the second juvenile offender to be hanged in Iran this year. There were seven in 2007.
He was convicted of killing a 10-year-old boy two years ago.
Rights groups say Iran used to get round commitments not to execute minors by keeping them on death row until they turn 18, but now do not appear to wait.
Human rights activists say two other juvenile offenders due to be executed on Wednesday were given a one month reprieve.
Eight men were taken for execution at Evin prison near Tehran, however, bringing the total number of executions so far this year to 128 according to Amnesty International.
Failed reconciliation
Hassanzadeh was hanged in Sanandaj prison on Tuesday, Kargozaran newspaper reported on Thursday.
The paper said Iran's judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi had advised the local court to "settle the issue through reconciliation".
"None of our efforts to reach an agreement with the victim's family was successful and therefore the sentence was carried out," an unnamed judicial official was quoted as saying.
Under Islamic law, a victim's relatives can spare a murderer from execution by accepting blood money.
Convicted juveniles Mohammad Fadaie and Behnoud Shojaie were given another month to find an agreement with their victim's family.
A statement from the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran called executions of juveniles barbaric and tragic - saying Iran now accounts for two thirds of the under age executions in the world.
Iran is a signatory to international agreements such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which outlaw juvenile executions.
One human rights group says it knows of at least 106 offenders on death row in Iran who were juveniles when they committed their crimes.
One of those, Saeed Jazee, is due to be hanged later this month, reports say.
Murder, rape, armed robbery, kidnapping and drug trafficking are all punishable by death in Iran.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


There is too much dismal news everyday. Let's do something a little different.
copy and paste the link to enjoy a little bit if joy!

A Little Bit of Joy

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bond Set for Kidnapping Suspect

MIDLAND - A Midland toddler is back at home, and the bond is set at 25 thousand dollars for the woman accused of kidnapping the child for three days.

Police say 33-year-old Melody Dawn Weise, the step grandmother of 22 month old Madaysn Franklin, took the child to the store thursday and never returned.

Odessa Police spotted Weise's black 1998 ford mustang saturday evening.

Weise faces the kidnapping charges in Midland but is still in the Ector County Detention Center awaiting extradition.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


B.A.C.A.: Advocate groups offer support for children

By Matt Smith

Bikers, mothers and law enforcement officials may seem an unconventional alliance. But representatives from all three are working, separately and together, to raise awareness of and give voice to crime victims.

Four advocacy groups — among many similar groups that operate in the area — situated either in Johnson County or the North Texas region stressed how essential it is to focus on the victims of crimes, inform them of their rights and help them through the legal and healing processes. Police and prosecutors care and try to help victims as much as they can, representatives from all four organizations said.

But they also have new cases to move on to after the initial criminal investigations and trials, which often leaves little time for victim follow-ups. This is where victim’s advocate groups fit in.

Much has been done to increase the focus on and call attention to the rights and plights of crime victims over the last 25 years, group representatives said. But much remains to be done. Representatives from the four area groups and service providers are working hard to ensure it is done.

Bikers Against Child Abuse

Many Bikers Against Child Abuse, or B.A.C.A., members look like the type a person would expect to find brawling in a roadhouse dive on a Saturday night. But they’re men and women with compassion in their hearts whose actions speak volumes. A child who falls victim to a crime of abuse may find that B.A.C.A. members become the best friend he or she has ever had.

A licensed child therapist founded B.A.C.A. in Utah in 1995. From there it spread to several states, including Texas. B.A.C.A. also has chapters in Australia.

“When talking to kids in counseling sessions, he would make headway,” said Jester, state vice president. “But he realized that when the kids were on the street the perpetrator could still hassle them. And he hit on the idea of taking kids for rides with a motorcycle group he rode with.”

Jester and other B.A.C.A. members go by their road names, bestowed when they become full-fledged members of the organization.

“My wife and I call each other by our road names at home,” joked Fort Worth Chapter member Doc-P. “Some of the members, I don’t even know their real names.”

B.A.C.A. members are true bikers, Jester said. They lean toward Harley-Davidsons although some members ride other brands. B.A.C.A. is not a club or gang, Jester stressed. It’s an organization focused entirely on empowering and protecting abused children.

Nor is B.A.C.A. a vigilante group, according to the organization’s Web site.

“We do not search out and hunt down bad guys, nor do we pursue those who are under suspicion of hurting children,” an organizational pamphlet reads.

Still, perceptions and prejudices against biker groups prevails and can be tough to overcome, Jester said.

“The image is a blessing and a curse,” Jester said. “That bad motorcycle image is what works for us. If you’ve got a guy in a suit, or in a polo shirt and khakis telling a kid he’s going to be safe versus a guy dressed up in leather, a dew rag and dark glasses who looks like he could take on half the world, who do you think the kid’s going to trust more?

“The curse is that police and others in areas where we’re not well known think at first that we’re probably just a bunch of bikers out to raise hell every weekend.”

Children, on the other hand, tend to take to B.A.C.A. members quickly.

“When I’m driving my pickup, no one pays attention,” Jester said. “But on my bike, they love me. They’re looking and giving me the thumbs up. Some kids are shy at first, but they warm up and want to play pretty quick.”

Doc-P agreed.

“Sometimes they’re timid at first or hiding behind their parents,” Doc-P said. “But we’ve been trained to get them to open up. And they love the sound and color of the bikes. Soon enough, we’ll be coming to visit them, and they’ll be standing outside waiting when we’re three blocks away.”

Authorities can be standoffish at first, Jester said, but not always.

“They’re heroes to these kids, said Dan Leal, Children’s Advocacy Center of Denton County executive director. “The stereotypes are there and some counties don’t use them, and I really don’t know why.”

Anyone with a motorcycle and a desire to work is a potential B.A.C.A. candidate, but it takes much more than that. Candidates undergo extensive training and background checks. They must also ride with the club and a mentor for a year before receiving their B.A.C.A. patch. Those precautions keep people who shouldn’t be there out of the organization and discourages weekend bikers looking for a thrill who might grow bored and wander off two months later.

“These kids have had promises broken and their trust busted so much that we only want the most trustworthy members who are going to be there for them,” Jester said. “But, we have everything from ditch diggers to doctors and lawyers. So, if you ride a bike, can pass our background check and keep up with us.”

Tank, a Cleburne member agreed.

“We want to know who you are and what you’re in it for,” Tank said. “Besides, there’s just too much work involved for someone who’s only looking to ride for fun.”

Even after being patched, a B.A.C.A. member is never alone with a child, said Trappy, Fort Worth Chapter president. At least two members accompany the children at all times.

“Our goal is to empower the kids so they can be themselves again and not be afraid of the world,” Tank said.

B.A.C.A. only accepts referrals where a police report has been filed and an appropriate agency, such as Child Protective Services, a district attorney or a child advocacy center, has interviewed the child. They then meet and, if all involved agree, adopt the child. (B.A.C.A. members asked that no children be named, photographed or interviewed.)

Adopted children receive vests and their own road names. B.A.C.A. members will guard a child’s home around the clock if that child feels threatened by his or her perpetrator, Jester said.

“We’ll camp out 24/7 as an obstacle to perpetrator,” Jester said. “We don’t go out to look for him, and if he shows up, we don’t go out to meet him. But we will block his way between the house and the kid. By that time the police are usually there anyway because we call anytime a perpetrator does show up.”

B.A.C.A. members don’t involve themselves in the specifics of the case so they can remain in the courtroom when a child has to testify, Jester said.

“We do have an impact in the courtroom,” Jester said. “They can look at their perpetrator where before they were afraid. And testimony, especially in sexual abuse cases, is one of the biggest impacts of putting a perp away.”

Crime victims face challenges long after the crime and trial. For that reason, B.A.C.A. members stay in touch with their adopted children and let them know they continue to be there for them, Trappy said. The group hosts several events throughout the year for their kids, Doc-P said.

B.A.C.A. has helped several children in Johnson County and hosted an adoption ceremony for at least one child. They want to get word out and increase their presence in the county, Trappy said.

Tammy King, Children’s Advocacy Center of Johnson County executive director, praised the organization.

“They’ve been really good about bringing their motorcycles and visiting with the parents and kids,” King said. “The kids sit on the motorcycles, get their pictures taken, get the B.A.C.A. tattoos. So, it’s great fun; they love it.”

On the Web:

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Kidnapping is a terrifying experience, but you possess more personal resources than you may be aware of to cope with the situation. Remember, you are only of value to them alive, and they want to keep you that way.

The common hostage responses of fear, denial, and withdrawal are all experienced in varying degrees. You may be blindfolded, drugged, handled roughly, or even stuffed in the trunk of a car. If drugs are administered, do not resist. Their purpose will be to sedate you and make you more manageable; these same drugs may actually help you to get control of your emotions, which should be your immediate goal. If conscious, follow your captors’ instructions.


A hostage-taking situation is at its worst at the onset. The terrorists are nervous and unsure, easily irritated, often irrational. It is a psychologically traumatic moment for the hostage. Violence may be used even if the hostage remains passive, but resistance could result in death.

If taken hostage, your best defense is passive cooperation. You may be terrified, but try to regain your composure as soon as possible and to organize your thoughts. Being able to behave rationally increases your chances for survival. The more time that passes, the better your chances of being released alive.

Behavior Suggestions

Each captivity is different, but some behavior suggestions apply to most:
Try to establish some kind of rapport with your captors. Family is a universal subject. Avoid political dialogues, but listen attentively to their point of view. If you know their language, listen and observe; and if addressed, use it.
Plan on a lengthy stay, and determine to keep track of the passage of time. Captors may attempt to confuse your sense of time by taking your watch, keeping you in a windowless cell, or serving meals at odd hours. However, you can approximate time by noting, for example, changes in temperatures between night and day; the frequency and intensity of outside noises—traffic, whistles, birds; and by observing the alertness of guards.
Maintain your dignity and self-respect at all times.
Manage your time by setting up schedules for simple tasks, exercises, daydreaming, housekeeping.
Build relations with fellow captives and with the terrorists. If hostages are held apart, devise ways to communicate with one another. Where hostages are moved back and forth, to bathrooms for example, messages can be written and left. However, do not jeopardize your safety or the safety or treatment of others if attempting to communicate with fellow captives seems too risky.
Maintain your physical and mental health; it is critical to exercise body and mind. Eat food provided without complaint; keep up your strength. Request medical treatment or special medicines if required.
Establish exercise and relaxation programs. Exercise produces a healthy tiredness and gives you a sense of accomplishment. If space is confined, do isometrics. Relaxation reduces stress. Techniques include meditation, prayer, daydreaming. · Keep your mind active; read anything available. Write, even if you are not allowed to retain your writings. If materials are not available, mentally compose poetry or fiction, try to recall Scripture, design a house, even “play tennis” (as one hostage did).
Take note of the characteristics of your captors and surroundings: their habits, speech, contacts; exterior noises (typical of city or country); and other distinctive sounds. This information could prove very valuable later.

If selected for early release, consider it an opportunity to help remaining hostages. Details you have observed on the terrorists and the general situation can assist authorities with a rescue.

You can expect to be accused of working for the government’s intelligence service, to be interrogated extensively, and to lose weight. You may be put in isolation; your captives may try to disorient you. It is important that you mentally maintain control.

Avoidance of Capture or Escape

Efforts to avoid capture or to attempt escape have in most cases been futile. The decision, however, is a personal one, although it could affect fellow hostages by placing them in jeopardy. Several other considerations should be weighed.

To have any chance of success, you should be in excellent physical condition and mentally prepared to react before the terrorists have consolidated their position. This, also, is the riskiest psychological time. You would need to have a plan in mind, and possibly have been trained in special driving tactics or other survival skills.

If you are held in a country in which you would stand out because of race or other physical characteristics, if you know nothing of the language or your location, or if you are held in a country where anti-American or anti-Western attitudes prevail, you should consider the consequences of your escape before attempting it. If you conclude that an escape attempt is worthwhile, take terrorists by surprise and you may make it. If their organization has a poor track record of hostage safety, it may be worth the risk.


The termination of any terrorist incident is extremely tense. If an assault force attempts a rescue, it is imperative that you remain calm and out of the way. Make no sudden moves or take any action by which you could be mistaken for a terrorist and risk being injured or killed.

Even in a voluntary release or surrender by the terrorists, tensions are charged and tempers volatile. Very precise instructions will be given to the hostages, either by the captors or the police. Follow instructions precisely. You may be asked to exit with hands in the air, and you may be searched by the rescue team. You may experience rough treatment until you are identified and the situation has stabilized.

Finally, it’s worth keeping in mind three facts about terrorism:
The overwhelming majority of victims have been abducted from their vehicles on the way to or from work.
A large number of people taken hostage ignored the most basic security precautions.
Terrorist tactics are not static. As precautions prove effective, they change their methods. There is a brief “window of vulnerability” while we learn to counter their new styles.

Additional Precautions

Do not settle into a routine. Vary times and routes to and from work or social engagements.

Remember, there is safety in numbers. Avoid going out alone. When traveling long distances by automobile, go in a convoy. Avoid back country roads and dangerous areas of the city.

A privately owned car generally offers the best security. Avoid luxury or ostentatious cars. Keep your automobile in good repair and the gas tank at least half full. Driving in the center lane of a multiple lane highway makes it difficult for the car to be forced off the road.

[Source: The United States State Department]

Friday, June 6, 2008


Australian police arrest 70 in global child porn crackdown
1 day ago

SYDNEY (AFP) — Seventy men in Australia have been arrested in a global crackdown on Internet child pornography and more will be detained, police said Thursday.

The Interpol-led probe involving 170 countries was launched after a hacker posted 99 child porn images on a European website, which attracted 12 million hits in just 76 hours.

More than 2,800 computer Internet protocol (IP) addresses were traced back to Australia and federal police identified all of them in a six-month operation, Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said.

"You will see more arrests, the investigations are continuing," Keelty told reporters.

Keelty said the first arrests were made in cases where children might be in danger and four children had been taken from their homes.

Several teachers, a federal police officer and a sports administrator were reportedly among those arrested.

"It's really one of the largest single operations we've done on child pornography with our international partners and our state police partners here in Australia," Keelty said.

"You're talking about 12 million hits from around the world but in a small time period of three days.

"In Australia the operation has netted over a million images of children, and these are not children in passive positions, these are children who are being abused."

The children range in age from babies to 18 years old, he said.

"They come from various countries, the real tragedy of this is that we don't know the origins of a lot of these children.

"We don't know whether these children are still being the victims of child abuse."

The flood of hits on the website came after word got around online paedophile networks that the images were available and the website's address was circulated, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Almost 150,000 different computer users from 170 countries accessed the otherwise obscure website in just 76 hours, the paper said.

The assistant director of police high tech operations, Andrew Colvin, told reporters all those arrested were men but they were impossible to stereotype.

"We've seen everything from teenagers, 19-year-olds, through to 80-year-olds," he said.

"We've seen school teachers, police officers... people in positions of trust, positions of responsibility, farmers, bankers, pharmacists, every walk of life."

Keelty said the child porn network was a vicious cycle.

"To get in you've actually got to be supplying something yourself and that means more children will be abused," he said.

"The viewing of these images continues the abuse, it's an horrific crime."

The maximum penalty for possessing child pornography is 10 years in jail.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Man accused of kidnapping, rape on trial
Alleged victim, now 84, present for 1st-day testimonies

By Schuyler Kropf (Contact)
The Post and Courier
Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The rape trial of a man accused of brutalizing an 82-year-old woman inside her James Island home began Monday with a detective reading the suspect's post-arrest statements to the jury.

Brandon Vernard Johnson, now 24, was arrested at the scene on June 9, 2006, after a neighbor reported seeing him on top of the victim inside her Harbor View Road residence.

Charleston County sheriff's Detective Matthew Lariccia testified that after the arrest, Johnson asked to speak to authorities. His comments included the admissions "I need help" and "I wish there was something I could do to undo what I did," Lariccia read.

Though he admittedly was drunk that day, Johnson also reported that he thought he'd had sex, the statement said.

Johnson of Summerville is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping. He is accused of keeping the great-grandmother captive while repeatedly raping her for nearly nine hours. He allegedly locked her inside the home after escorting her back from a grocery store.

The woman, now 84 and reportedly suffering from dementia, was in the courtroom Monday for the start of the trial.

In her opening statement, 9th Circuit Assistant Solicitor Elizabeth Gordon said the concerns of the woman's neighbors, who heard noises from her apartment that night, led to Johnson being caught.

"Thank goodness for nosy neighbors," Gordon told the jury.

Gordon added that the rape shattered the woman's life and erased all the freedoms she'd enjoyed while living on Harbor View Road for 30 years.

"Her home and her independence were taken away that day," Gordon said, adding that "after that night, she has never been able to return to that house."

Defense lawyer Beattie Butler told the jury that things are not always what they seem in a criminal case and noted that Johnson couldn't fully remember everything that happened.

The attack is alleged to have begun about 8 p.m. on a Friday and lasted until early in the morning on a Saturday when deputies were called, authorities said.

Johnson was free on bail on drug trafficking and gun charges in Summerville at the time of the incident.

The trial is expected to last several days.

Monday, June 2, 2008


We must beware of those offering false or weird ideas for they hide behind closed doors and control the minds of the weak. Brenda A. Ysaguirre

Sounding off: Did CPS go too far?
12:00 AM CDT on Saturday, May 24, 2008
Darryl E. Brown, Richardson
CPS is seriously understaffed. If they were a private firm, they would be put out of business. CPS does about as well as a one-armed paper hanger.
Darryl E. Brown, Richardson
Laws pertaining to under-age marriage and polygamy in this case should never have been enforced. The children had been housed, fed, clothed, educated and were wanting for nothing. Yes, CPS overreached into the realm of religious freedom.
Phil Mendershausen, Dallas
There is something deeply disturbing about the sight of the government moving into a religious compound and essentially breaking up a community. I certainly don't support polygamy, but couldn't the government remove the men from the compound, and leave the women and children together under supervision until a complete investigation takes place?
Martin Greenberg, University Park
After years of accusations of "not doing enough," CPS has stepped up to the plate and done what is necessary to proactively protect a mass of abused children. What to do with them? I wish I had the answer. That will take study.
Kurt Wolfenbarger, Dallas
Children must be protected at all costs. The heartache of these separated previously abused mothers in the polygamist case is nothing compared to what these young girls (and boys) have had to psychologically and physically endure because of the sexual appetites of older men. Yes, CPS is understaffed and verworked, but what would we do without these dedicated caseworkers, who attempt to alleviate such suffering for children everywhere.
Mrs. Marty Walker, Dallas
Child Protective Services cannot win. They are over-stretched, under-funded and need to respond to the public's outrage at a societal problem. To make matters worse, we won't fund solutions to problems that we think shouldn't exist (e.g., homelessness, drug addiction, child abuse.)
Stephanie Mueller, Dallas
It would be preferable to remove all of the men from the compound, allow the women and children to stay in familiar surroundings with caseworkers on premises, and then sort through each family individually.
Beverly Lowry, Dallas
Any community's first priority should be the welfare of our children. Many immigrants came to America to avoid religious persecution; however if one's religion promotes illegal activities, then the law must step in.
Debbie Gallagher, Cedar Hill
Voices: The above residents are regular contributors to this forum.Keith A. Brown
Pleasant Grove musician, aircraft machinist and volunteer
CPS overreached. The men who have committed crimes should have been the focus of a government action, not the women and children. As a member of a minority religious sect, I would keep the children with their mothers, simply providing education on Texas laws regarding polygamy. CPS has a daunting task. Overall, I give them a passing grade.
Sharon Garner-Davis
Duncanville Realtor and business owner
I would work to liberate the thinking of the moms. I would then offer them the opportunity to regain custody of their children by agreeing to refrain from the practices of polygamy, incest and facilitation of statutory rape. I think that CPS is doing the best they can under the worst of circumstances.
Jeanette Khan
Richardson freelance journalist
I definitely think CPS has overreached in this case. They are ripping children, who have lived very secluded and sheltered lives, into a world that may be confusing and overwhelming to them. Also, separating the children from their mothers' can have a devastating lifelong effect. The state should provide for safe housing for both the mothers and their children.
Ellen Raff
Lake Highlands writer
I believe CPS has doneits job according to the letter of the law, and I believe the paternal society of the religious sect is exploitative of the young women and detrimental to the male children as well. The problem is that life outside the compound is, in some ways, tougher. Coming of age in foster care is not a wonderful alternative; neither is the reality of being a teenager in today's pop culture.
Laurie Dodic Steinberg
Highland Park full-time mother and volunteer
As a lawful society, we didn't have much of a choice other than to remove the children due to the sexual misconduct they were being subjected to without knowing any different. I wish there was a way to just to remove the grown men from the compound and leave the children with their mothers. I think for an understaffed, overworked agency, CPS does the best it can.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Baby girl fights for life as police arrest her parents for stabbing her brother, 5, and sister, 4, to death in their bedroom

This is the baby girl who was fighting for her life last night after her two siblings were stabbed to death in their bedroom at home. Their parents, who are both from Sri Lanka, were arrested on suspicion of stabbing all three children