Thursday, May 22, 2008

"M" for Marvelous

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24777095/

The Appeals Court has only just ruled in behalf of 48 (out of how many?) FLDS mothers; that is a victory for them all, of course, but only legally applies to the 48. We don't know how many children they have between them. And yes, it is likely that CPS will file a counter appeal.

As for this ever reaching a Fed court, that would be a rare thing indeed; as in the past, Fed courts tend to stay well away from family matters, leaving such to the States.

This is all good news. But these abused people are not out of the woods by a long stretch.

For anyone thinking that I am surprised by this, I am not: merely relieved that the situation in Texas isn't as bad as my fears and imagination painted it. The same thing happened back in '53: some over-zealous authorities charged in and threw their weight around, got burned badly and retreated (the AZ governor lost his bid for reelection over the fallout).

It appears with each further piece of evidence coming out of the actions of the legal defense for the FLDS, that the normal behavior of these families puts under-age "brides" in an extreme minority and nothing like the pervasive abuse that many have believed it to be.

I suspect, believing as I do in the overwhelming sense of love and duty to children that parents everywhere feel, that the "lost boys" phenomenon will also turn out to be focused in only a comparatively few families and nothing like a religion-condoned practice among the vast majority. The missing teen boys at the YFZ Ranch could have been missing for other reasons than simply being cast out into "the lone and dreary world". But those 2/3's missing are a great concern and this needs to be followed up as this whole mess is investigated.

What I do not want happening as part of this, is the Law dropping all effective investigation of the FLDS, and other religious whacko sects: I don't want the State getting burned and backing off scared. What I want, rather, is that the Law determine where crimes are being committed and prosecute the perpetrators.

None of this, however, should require the removal of all the children. Once they are returned to their mothers, and the State is starting to arrest the men who have engaged in sexual abuse of under-age girls, and forced out under-age boys, I will be content to move onto the next crisis that rears up to threaten innocent people in this Nation. I hope that others in great numbers do likewise, wherever they live.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Maudlin over muddled messaging

http://www.captivefldschildren.org/Pres%20Bush%20Letter%205-10-08.pdf

As the discussion has plodded on, I raised this interesting addition to the evidence of Texas CPS and police using excessive force and outrageous behavior as they raided the YFZ Ranch. And the "vocal" anti-FLDS group (interestingly, apparently all female, a point made by one of them and cited as significant for no specified reason) have not commented, not even after being prompted twice more by myself. Instead, they have all gone in a body over to "Hell", where one of them started a thread using my handle in a very rude and slanderous way. I have refused repeatedly to participate in their brand of "free speech". And they can't talk me around on the FLDS thread in "Purgatory", so they have now departed and are off to write rude observations about me on "my" thread.

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Last peek I made of it, that Hell thread was already up to eight pages, that's over 350 posts. The letter is being denigrated as mere media hype to gather sympathy.

And I am getting to be quite the infamous fellow in some very limited circles in cyberspace. Which is too bad, since affecting others that way is counter-productive to why I even bother such lengthy exchanges over this issue. But I have to say what I must say. If only I could say it better....

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mods modelling model behavior

http://forum.ship-of-fools.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=011395;p=10

The FLDS thread has been reopened!

The Ship of Fools Admins are not fools (a community that deprecates itself by such a title probably is not staffed by Fools: I thought that was probably true, all this time, and it is good to see that my assumption was justified).

Come and see Merlin the Mad in battle against "100 to 1" odds, defending "truth, justice and the American way." Not defending the FLDS per se. I don't like the FLDS! But I dislike Texas CPS right now even more, and for better (as in justified) reasons.

The thing that continues to puzzle and amaze me is that so many people can apparently read what I say and then respond as if I didn't say it or mean what I said. Case in point: a lengthy reponse on that page claims that I haven't addressed the issues raised: then proceeds to rehash the statistics of pregnancy among the endangered age group (making a comparison to the much lower pregnancy rate amoung girls in public schools), the evident number of "lost boys" from said-age group: and then raise the specter of education (are these children getting the schooling they are entitled too?). The inference is that somehow I have missed the point of why CPS had to take away those children. My response? Of course CPS is supposed to remove all children "in imminent danger", not to mention the children already being abused. I have said as much all along. What I will not be quiet about is the children of prepubescent age, because no imminent danger has been shown. Claims that State foster care is the correct answer for little children living in the abusive environment of seeing their older sisters pregnant and older brothers turned out into the world, are denying other claims that CPS is very reluctant to take children away except only in the most extreme cases of abuse. No evidence of "imminent danger" has been shown; much less anything to suggest extreme abuse, justifying a claim that State foster care (which has a four times higher death rate among children than in family-based life) is better than leaving them with their families: where, years later, they might be sent away, if boys, or married before legal age, if girls.

Monday, May 5, 2008

More Ship of Fools fascination

http://forum.ship-of-fools.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=2&t=011434#000017

Originally posted by Emma Louise: A friend of mine has announced she's started going to a Mormon church. My general knowledge of Mormonism is that its not regarded as "Christian" by many other churches in the UK - but I'm not entirely sure why. I think they also have another "divine revelation" (is this the Joseph Smith one?) and some rather dodgy beginings.

EL: I know I've also encountered their missionaries (very smart young boys in suits...) who tried to convert me, despite being a Christian.

EL: Anyway - I'm not really looking for a slanging match (They're Christian/no they're not etc) but a genuine question as to what the core beliefs are that mark them out as different, what have peoples impressions been etc.

EL: I got muddled up with 7th Day Adventists (they're the no coffee/alcohol/healthy living ones aren't they?) when talking to her so I've made a bit of a muddle already!!

EL: Thanks

MerlintheMad: Wow, where have you been this last week or so? ;)

MtM: Being a "Mormon" by birth, upbringing, marriage and family connections, etc., I am qualified to give you a reasonable facsimile of "An Insider's View of Mormon Origins" (that's a book, btw, by a Mormon scholar, Grant H. Palmer, and I can recommend no better place to start getting the real skinny on questions you may have).

MtM: Here'a an ironic parallel on the "Mormons aint Christian" perspective: the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, does NOT consider the "Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" to be "Mormon", either. But the great majority of "outsiders" to either religion do consider the LDS and FLDS the same, i.e. Mormons-all

MtM: (In light of the latest insufferability manifested by some jocular denizens of The Ship, and some Hosts, this thread will now close down: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6,....)

Monadism masquerading as moderation!

Originally posted by Mad Geo:....Oh yes, You've been called to hell.

MerlintheMad: I do not go to Hell, in case you didn't notice.

Mad Geo: Paint me surprised. Since that is the freest free speech zone on the Ship, I guess that really says something about your REAL position(s) on the Constitution/free speech. In the meanwhile, everything you need to know about your position(s) are now on that thread where they now have to be.

MerlintheMad: I dislike watching seemingly intelligent people demean themselves, by taking the time to come up with "clever" and inventive ways to use the "F" word; when they could take the same amount of time to express themselves with some thoughtful use of the vocabulary they no-doubt possess. How stupid is it to resort to crap language, when you've got all the time in the world to compose something with some class?

HOSTING: What an extraordinary piece of self-sabotage. I couldn't care less whether you "do not go to Hell" - you DO NOT participate in a Hell thread by importing it into Purgatory and making a personal attack on Mad Geo here. As you correctly said, MerlintheMad, that was the last warning.This thread is permanently closed and the embargo on any thread in Purgatory about the FLDS, child abuse, child marriage, the Texas CPS or any combination of those topics is in place until further notice. Duo Seraphim, Purgatory Host.

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And there we have it: the inevitable shutdown, again, of any further talk about the FLDS, "child marriage", and the rest of it. Ironically, to me, I get blamed for making a so-called "personal attack." Anyone reading my response can see that I was explaining why I do not go to "Hell": how can you explain that without talking about what it is about people's behavior there that you find disagreeable?

In case you want to personally check out why discussion on the Ship of Fools "Hell" board is such a complete waste of time, you can take a tour of the place: then you will see why any discussion on this issue there would be ultimately pointless. http://forum.ship-of-fools.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=004225 See what I mean? Hardly any of the posts to that sad excuse of a FLDS topic thread have anything to do with discussion of the issue. Even the title of the thread is a personal slam, linking me with child molesters. The nerve and lack of integrity of some people's kids....

If there is a place populated by a high density of the "Three Deficiencies", it is Hell. (The Three D's are: deficient in textual analysis; deficient in courtesy; deficient in self-confidence: reading comprehension skills leave much to be desired, rudeness and "driveby" behavior is manifested, and "winning" an argument is the paramount goal, not discovering truth.

The Internet continues to disappoint me. I have been holding too high an assumption that the human race is enlightened. The amount of bigotry focused upon an unpopular people has opened my eyes. Most critics are not interested in anything that defies their construct defining those people. At best, that is bad enough. At worst, if a mob formed physically nearby, they would join in and "hang the bastards up by their dangly bits." (That is a direct quote from the individual I have been accused of "attacking personally.")

Friday, May 2, 2008

Meditating over mendacious meddling

Over on another forum (Ship of Fools) http://forum.ship-of-fools.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=2&t=011395&p=8#000376 , I have been "having it out" with practically everyone participating there. A few others have been reasonably averse to the actions taken by the State of Texas CPS. Altogether, the climate of debate has for the most part been coherent. Compared to "the forum(s) that shall not be named", where I got into trouble earlier last month, Ship of Fools is positively penetrable as clear running water. But, the acrimony over this issue is such that, even there, the moderators this morning have threatened to close down the thread and forbid any further discussion of the FLDS "issue", if there is one more incident of personal attacks ("pigtail pulling"). So I added my "rebuttal", because I don't trust everyone there to play fair: someone will want to close down discussion (probably because they feel that they are "losing"), and get the thread closed and the subject banned from discussion. I have posted my rebuttal below:

As we have received our last warning; and as I don't trust some people participating here to not deliberately sabotage this thread, and close down any and all future speaking to the FLDS problem on The Ship, I want to hasten to say a few things:

As a final rebuttal, let me just say that there is much about our Nation's concepts of what is and is not Constitutional that are at great variance with each other, and much that needs addressing at the Supreme Court level.

The FLDS situation is very complex, made more so by the extreme action taken by TX CPS: removal of ALL the children is what has sparked this heated debate from the grassroots level all the way up to the Supreme Court; for make no mistake, the Justices are already talking about this too in private conversation.

What I expect to come out of it is immaterial. My personal views are immaterial. My views do not come clearly out of the snipped collection Mad Geo provided above: the context of my statements is lost. And trust this: I express myself in rather lengthy prose, not in snippets. So snippets do not convey the whole thought I was getting into.

What will come out of this is going to be good and bad for both the FLDS and for the State of Texas, and the Nation as a whole.

I hope mainly that the rights of parents are upheld and strengthened: this will require that Texas CPS is held accountable for excessive response to the FLDS problem.

I also hope that age of consent laws are upheld as Constitutional: in other words, that nothing the FLDS may throw at the existing Statutory Laws will succeed in vitiating said-laws as they apply to protecting minor-aged people from being victimized by adults. The freedom to practice religion will not include violating Statutory Law as it is established in this Nation at this time.

The main (most guilty) perpetrators of such past violations will be arrested, prosecuted, and join Warren Jeffs, Tom Green, et al. in prison for Statutory Rape.

Should the FLDS gain any victory, I hope it will be nothing more than an overturning of the Statutory Law currently prohibiting adult to minor age differences.

I have a concern that monogomous-only marriage will be shot down as unConstitutional as an outcome of all this, and I hope that doesn't happen. If it does, then the door to the FLDS system will be wide open.

If polygamy never is legally allowed, then the FLDS will be prevented from any free exercise of "child bride" so-called marriages: because bigamy/polygamy will remain illegal, ergo, no "parental consent" to illicit sex will be condoned. The FLDS will, perforce, have to wait to "marry off" their daughters until they are 18.