Trends, and Alerts, December 28, 2003
Date: 12/28/03 9:13:17 PM Mountain Standard Time
Parts of Dave Hansen's newsletter about Christmas Day Legislative Visits
2. Accountability Utah Update
2. AccountabilityUtah Update
I recommend all of you go to www.accountabilityutah.org for an update on our DCFS Christmas event. The best part of the day was hearing a battered woman repeatedly tell us that it was the best Christmas she has had since she lost her children to DCFS many years ago. She told us she has contacted legislators and officials for over a decade to no avail, and has been earnestly praying for years that the truth would be exposed. She was our “flier Ninja”, and we often had to hunt for blocks to find her after the rest of us had run out of fliers!
Citizens Join Victims' Christmas Mourning… What is Next? YOU Decide.
On Christmas Day, dozens of victims and other citizens fliered the neighborhoods of Sen. Patrice Arent (D), Rep. Scott Daniels (D), Sen. Dan Eastman (R), Rep. Pat Jones (D), Sen. Paula Julander (D), Rep. David Litvack (D), and Rep. Roz McGee (D). Learn about their horrible voting records, a conniption fit by the two-thirds-super-majority, and what happened at
IN OTHER NEWS...
Democrats Flounder for Sympathy
Sen. Patrice Arent, Rep. Pat Jones, and Rep. Roz McGee each vie for the role of Scrooge on Christmas morning. See their Flounder Quotes at
Coming Soon! Sen. Dan Eastman Reveals His Views on DCFS & Due Process
The co-chair of the Child Welfare Legislative Oversight Panel, Sen. Dan Eastman, exposes why "child advocates" who are ignorant of very basic constitutional principles are too dangerous for public office.
2.a. Bernick assails Christmas event
Yule protest plan assailed
By Bob Bernick Jr.
Some Utah legislators and state bureaucrats may get an unwelcome visitor on Christmas — and it's not the Ghost of Christmas Past.
A legislative watchdog group, Accountability Utah, plans to knock on the front doors Christmas morning of the homes of selected lawmakers, state attorneys, Human Services department heads and others as part of a protest over the state's handling of child protective custody cases, says David A. Hansen, one of the group's organizers.
But the protesters' timing stinks, says Chris Bleak, executive director of the Utah Republican Party.
"This is an asinine move," he said. "We ask enough of our public officials. They should get a day, like Christmas Day, off."
Hansen said he hopes to have up to 50 people show up to spend a couple of hours knocking on doors and then passing out fliers in the officials' neighborhoods.
Bleak said he notified GOP state senators, House members, Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and Gov. Olene Walker's office, with the hope that Shurtleff and Walker will give those handling Division of Child and Family Services cases "a warning" that they may not want to be home between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. — the time posted on the Accountability Utah Web site for the home visits.
"I'm not notifying Democratic (legislators). My guess is this group will be visiting" Republicans, said Bleak. Republicans hold two-thirds majorities in both the Utah House and Senate, while Walker and Shurtleff are Republicans. And several of the founders of Accountability Utah have been active in GOP politics for years and critical of GOP leaders.
Why Christmas Day for a protest?
"The Grinch may have stolen Christmas, but these unresponsive officials are helping (the state) steal people's children, not just steal Christmas away from these victim families," said Hansen. "Some of these laws they have passed are 1,000 times worse than what the Grinch did. Doing this on Christmas makes a point; an important point."
Hansen then read from an e-mail letter he said came from a single mother, who had her children taken from her by DCFS and plans to attend the protest.
"Holidays are the hardest, especially when you have been diagnosed with chronic severe depression," Hansen read. "I should be enjoying the blessings of watching the gleam in my daughters' eyes as they open their presents on Christmas morning; not wishing Christmas had never been started in the first place."
Bleak said there's plenty of other times for public officials to be contacted.
"And why should (the protesters) be spending Christmas Day this way?" he asked.
Child welfare protection vs. parental rights has been a controversial issue for years in the Legislature. But it blew up this summer over the Parker Jensen case. Daren and Barbara Jensen took their 12-year-old son Parker to Idaho after they questioned Parker's cancer diagnosis, and the state went to court in an effort to force treatment.
Now, some 50 proposed bills dealing with parental rights and child welfare are expected to be introduced in the 2004 Legislature in January.
"It's not just the Jensens," said Hansen. "There are hundreds of cases out there. We have to stop this harassing of families. Stop the kidnapping of our children. We have to tell doctors to stop supporting misdiagnoses, for they are aiding and abetting DCFS. Some people are afraid to take their injured children to hospitals for treatment, afraid the state will take their children away."
Hansen declined to say which public officials' homes his group will visit.
"We have a list. We don't want to warn them. We want them home," he said. "We're going to give them a candle, ask them to stop this. And then we're going to pass out fliers in their neighborhoods so their neighbors will know what is going on."
Said Bleak: "We need to support our public officials in making these tough decisions like child custody. I'm sure our legislators will be glad to make an appointment to meet with Accountability Utah on Dec. 26 or some other appropriate day. Maybe DCFS makes some mistakes. But there are certainly times where it is appropriate for the state to step in — and the Legislature has to draw up those guidelines."
Bleak said the Utah Republican Party itself will take no action against any party member — even if he holds a party office — who may participate in the Christmas Day protest.
"We believe in freedom of speech," he said. "Although I'm sure most party members would not agree with doing this on Christmas Day."
2.b. Perverse incentive factor
Long Beach Press Telegram
Money motive in foster care
Children: Half of county placements unnecessary, often driven by desire
Saturday, December 06, 2003 - Up to half of Los Angeles County's foster children were needlessly placed in a system that is often more dangerous than their own homes because of inancial incentives in state and federal laws, a two-year, Los Angeles Newspaper Group nvestigation has found.
The county receives nearly $30,000 a year from federal and state governments for each child placed in the system money that goes to pay the stipends of foster parents, but also wages, benefits and overhead costs for child-welfare workers and executives. For some special-needs children, the county receives up to $150,000 annually.
"Called the 'perverse incentive factor,' states and counties earn more revenues by having more children in the system whether it is opening a case to investigate a report of child abuse and neglect or placing a child in foster care,' wrote the authors of a recent report by the state Department of Social Services Child Welfare Stakeholders Group.
Since the early 1980s, the number of foster children in California has gone up fivefold, and doubled in the county and nation. About one in four children will come into contact with the child welfare system before turning 18, officials say.
This has overwhelmed social workers who often don't have time to help troubled families or monitor the care children receive in foster homes.
The hundreds of thousands of children who have cycled through the county's system over the years are six to seven times more likely to be mistreated and three times more likely to be killed than children in the general population, government statistics reveal.
Officials acknowledge that more than 660 children embroiled in the county's foster care system have died since 1991, including more than 160 who were homicide victims.
"The county's foster care system makes Charles Dickens' descriptions look flattering,' said Mark Rosenbaum, legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.
David Sanders, who took over as director of the Department of Children and Family Services in March, said experts estimate up to 50 percent of the 75,000 children in the system and adoptive homes could have been left in their parents' care if appropriate services had been provided. He said DCFS comes into contact with nearly 180,000 children each year.
"There were probably issues the kids and their families were facing, but if they had some kind of support services, the kids could have stayed home,' Sanders said. "At the extreme, there are clearly parents who never should have had their children. They torture their children and everyone in the community would agree that they should not have their children.
"On the other end, you clearly have situations where families have done things, but may be under stress one day, have every intention of taking care of their children and are not dangerous, but involvement by child protective services ends up being much too intrusive.'
The newspaper group investigation of the child-welfare system, which is shrouded in secrecy by confidentiality laws, involved the review of tens of thousands of pages of government and confidential juvenile court documents, studies, computer databases and several hundred interviews.
As the investigation progressed, state and county officials acknowledged that the financial incentives built into the laws encourage the needless placements of children in foster care, and officials have started taking steps to reform the system.
Social worker Anthony Cavuoti, who has worked 14 years for the county, said DCFS employees use the most liberal of guidelines in deciding whether to remove a child from their home. Some parents have had their children removed for yelling at them, allowing them to miss or be late to school or having a dirty home.
"The service that DCFS now provides is worse than the abuse that most abused children ever experienced. The trauma they inflict on ordinary children is unspeakable.'
Sanders said he thinks caseworkers have sometimes been too eager to remove children from their homes a practice he is trying to change.
"I think children should only be removed when there is an imminent risk. I've said consistently that we do have too many children who have been removed,' he said.
"We need to provide the kind of supports to keep these kids at home.'
As early as 1992, the state's Little Hoover Commission cited experts who estimated that 35 to 70 percent of foster children in California should never have been removed from their families and have suffered deep psychological trauma as a result. On any given day, a total of 175,000 children are now in the state child protective system.
In recent months, parents in several states have filed class-action lawsuits and testified before Congress, alleging that thousands of their children have been wrongfully taken from their homes.
State and county officials admitted recently that they have placed too many children in foster care, especially poor and minority children. California has 13 percent of the nation's total child population, but 20 percent of its foster children, statistics show.
Minorities make up 85 percent of foster children in the county and 70 percent statewide. experts say so many minorities are placed in foster care because the federal government pays for most of the costs of caring for foster children from poor families while states and counties are expected to pick up most of the tab for foster children from wealthier homes.
"That's exactly right,' Sanders said. "The eligibility for foster care reimbursements is poverty driven.'
State and county officials say not enough has been done to help troubled families and the system has deteriorated into an "adversarial and coercive' one that places too much emphasis on investigating families for alleged mistreatment and removing their children.
About 80 percent of foster children in the state and county are removed for "neglect,' which experts say is often a euphemism for poverty-related conditions, such as dirty or cramped homes, a lack of money to provide enough food, clothing and medical care to children or a single mother who works more than one job, can't afford child care and leaves her children unattended.
The Reason Public Policy Institute, a Los Angeles think tank, released a report in 1999 that found the current child protective system undermines parental authority, wrongfully accuses hundreds of thousands of innocent families and leaves many children at risk of mistreatment.
The study's author, Susan Orr, a former U.S. Department of Health and Human Services child-abuse researcher, said too many unfounded allegations drain the system's resources.
She noted that nearly 50 percent of child-abuse deaths occur in families that have had some contact with children's services agencies. That statistic, say experts, shows the system is failing in its basic mission of protecting children from truly abusive parents.
A review of more than $25 million in foster care lawsuit settlements and judgments in Los Angeles County since the early 1990s found about half involved the unnecessary removal of children and their subsequent mistreatment or wrongful deaths, according to the county's own admissions of wrongful seizures in county Claims Board documents or assertions by the families' attorneys.
In a newspaper group review of 139 claims against the county an action that usually precedes the filing of a lawsuit against the county 26 of the claims involved allegations of wrongful seizures of children. In two cases, parents alleged their children were seized by the county for financial gain because local governments receive revenue for every child taken into the system.
Parents also have alleged in dozens of recent appeals to state appellate courts that their children were needlessly taken from them.
"It's legal kidnapping to make a profit,' said Lancaster resident John Elliott, a 54-year-old former Warner Bros. special-effects technician, who filed a claim alleging social workers made false allegations against him and placed his daughter in foster care.
After he spent $150,000 fighting to get his daughter back, the county ultimately admitted it was mistaken in taking his daughter and returned her to him.
"They tell lies to keep your kids in the system,' Elliott said. "My daughter was abused the whole time she was there. It's a multibillion-dollar business. It's all about profit.'
Santa Ana attorney Jack H. Anthony, who won a $1.5 million verdict in 2001 in a case involving the death of a foster child burned in scalding bathtub water, said parents often call asking him to file lawsuits over the unnecessary placement of their children in foster care. But, social workers are generally immune from liability for the wrongful placement of a child in foster care, Anthony said.
"It's very difficult to hold anybody responsible for making a negligent decision to take the children,' Anthony said. "In most of the cases I see, the children would have been better off had they not been taken from their parents.'
For years, DCFS had no clear standards defining what child abuse or neglect was. The decision whether to remove a child was often left up to overworked social workers' hunches about how safe children were in their parents' homes, Sanders said.
Bruce Rubenstein, DCFS deputy director from 1991-97, said the department intimidated social workers into removing children for little or no reason after a couple of high-profile cases where children returned from foster care to their parents were murdered.
"The word was, 'Remove everybody. Remove all the kids.' It's pretty fundamental that the county was breaking up families that didn't need to be broken up,' Rubenstein said. "Only new leadership giving clear messages can free that department from this sickness.'
DCFS recently began training social workers in a research-based tool called "structured decision-making,' that Sanders hopes will help them make better decisions about when to remove a child. The method has been successful in reducing unnecessary foster care placements in other states and counties.
The stakeholders report found the vague definition of neglect, unbridled discretion and a lack of training form a dangerous combination in the hands of social workers charged with deciding the fate of families.
Despite a quadrupling in reporting of child mistreatment cases since 1976 due to greater awareness of the child abuse problem in the nation, the number of actual cases of abuse and neglect annually has remained flat.
Unfortunately, experts say in explaining the large number of false accusations, the DCFS Child Abuse Hotline has become a weapon of choice for malicious neighbors and angry spouses and lovers in child custody disputes.
"A lot of people use child protective services for revenge,' Cavuoti said. "About half of the cases we get are completely bogus. They are just people calling to get back at a neighbor.'
While about 7,500 children enter the county's foster care system each year, only a small percentage are reunified with their families. A recent study found that nationwide 76 percent of children are returned home from foster care within a year. But in Los Angeles County, only 19 percent are returned home within a year of entering foster care.
Coming Monday: Following years of scandals and heartbreak in the nation's largest child-protective system, Los Angeles County officials and child advocates hope a new director and innovative ideas will dramatically improve the lives of local foster children.
2A. SL Tribune Account of Christmas Day Event
Activists knock on the doors of lawmakers
By Brent Israelsen
It was a crisp, snowy, picture-perfect Christmas morning as a group of residents caravaned from city to city, neighborhood to neighborhood, door to door.
They were not out to spread good tidings of great joy, however.
The dozen or so people distributing leaflets on this merriest of holidays were up in arms about what they say is continued "tyranny" of the Utah Division of Child and Family Services.
If Christmas Day were good enough for George Washington -- who crossed the Delaware River on Dec. 25, 1776, to engage the Hessian army -- then why not for aggrieved parents in 2003, said David Hansen, one of the organizers of Thursday's event.
"We're sacrificing our Christmas so that these families can have Christmas next time," said Hansen, referring to cases in which children allegedly have been wrongfully removed from their homes by DCFS.
The Legislature empowers the state agency to take custody of children who are being harmed or neglected by their parents. But that power is being abused by DCFS, according to Hansen, a Kaysville resident who co-founded a new parental rights group called Accountability Utah.
The group's cause célébre is the family of Daren and Barbara Jensen, whose 12-year-old son, Parker, was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. The parents refused to treat the boy with chemotherapy, so DCFS tried to remove him from their custody.
Among those joining Hansen in his yuletide protest were Richard Mack, Libertarian candidate for governor, and at least two mothers whose children have been taken away by DCFS.
The protesters -- which Hansen had hoped would be 50 or more strong -- met at a business park in Murray, in front of a building they said resembles Philadelphia's Independence Hall. After signing waivers promising to behave and respect private property rights, they formed carpools and headed out.
Their first stop was state Sen. Patrice Arent, D-Murray, who was just pulling out of her driveway when the protesters handed her a flier accusing her of "refusing to take meaningful action to help innocent families get their children back or to restore the rights of all innocent parents -- including the right to be tried by a jury of our own peers."
Arent, who was on her way to help feed the homeless downtown, later told The Salt Lake Tribune that she does not understand why she was targeted: "I've always tried to balance parental rights with the rights of the children."
The flier, which was distributed to at least 20 of Arent's neighbors, urged people to call Arent to complain. The flier did not identify its source.
Protesters also visited Rep. Roz McGee, D-Salt Lake City, who was handed a flier at her door by Hansen.
"If I hadn't seen TV cameras, I'd have thought it was a neighbor coming to give me a Christmas gift," McGee quipped.
She would not comment on the flier's allegations, saying they were not specific.
In general, though, she said she believes DCFS is working and that there are sufficient checks and balances in place to stop abuse. She says more state funding should be available to aid the legal defense of parents who cannot afford it.
In addition to McGee and Arent, the parental rights group targeted Sen. Paula Julander, D-Salt Lake City; Rep. Scott Daniels, D-Salt Lake City; Rep. Patricia Jones, D-Holladay; Rep. Peggy Wallace, R-West Jordan; Rep. David Litvack, D-Salt Lake City; Sen. Dan Eastman, R-Bountiful, and Richard Anderson, director of DCFS.
Some neighbors watched curiously as the protesters -- with news media in tow -- navigated their slushy streets and cul-de-sacs.
It was unclear, though, if the leafleteering will have any impact.
Said Don Olsen, a neighbor of Jones', "I don't believe in politicking on holidays. It's bad enough it happens during the rest of the year."
2B. Deseret Morning News Account
Child advocates go door to door targeting lawmakers
By Donna Kemp Spangler
While most families were giving Christmas cheer Thursday, some Utah lawmakers were receiving jeers.
Dozens of protesters from the legislative watchdog group Accountability Utah spent Christmas Day canvassing the neighborhoods of selected lawmakers to turn up the heat in what they see as legislative inaction on reforming the Utah Division of Child and Family Services.
They targeted mostly Democratic lawmakers, handing out fliers in lawmakers' neighborhoods imploring them to call their senator or representative. The fliers listed their lawmakers' names and telephone numbers, saying they have refused to "take meaningful action to help innocent families get their children back, or to restore the rights of all innocent parents — including the right to be tried by a jury of our own peers."
Rep. Pat Jones, D-Cottonwood Heights, was one of eight lawmakers singled out. Others were Sens. Paula Julander, D-Salt Lake; Patrice Arent, D-South Cottonwood; Dan Eastman, R-Bountiful; and Reps. Scott Daniels, D-Salt Lake; Rosalind McGee, D-Salt Lake; David Litvack, D-Salt Lake; and Peggy Wallace, R-West Jordan. Richard Anderson, executive director of DCFS, also made the list.
"We picked (the lawmakers) based on their votes against family rights," said David Hansen, one of the group's organizers. "They have done nothing meaningful and voted for secret courts."
Jones, who refused to confront the protesters outside her home, told the Deseret Morning News that the Christmas Day confrontation was unfortunate.
"I don't like to be defensive. If they have a point to make they have an interesting way to do it on Christmas morning," she said. "Most of us are fighting for kids, and to suggest that any one of us isn't is so disingenuous."
The balance between child welfare and parental rights has been a controversial issue for years in the Legislature. It became an even bigger issue this summer over the Parker Jensen case, where the state and Jensen's parents were at odds over Parker's cancer diagnosis and state-mandated chemotherapy.
Now, some 50 proposed bills dealing with parental rights and child welfare are expected to be introduced in the 2004 Legislature in January.
It wasn't just the Jensen case that brought protesters out Christmas morning.
Richard Mack, a Libertarian candidate for governor, and his wife, Dawn, drove on snowy roads from Provo to Salt Lake City to speak out on the issue.
"I kind of felt like being home with my family on Christmas Day is kind of hypocritical when there are children being taken away from their families," Richard Mack said.
Arent was on her way to the St. Vincent de Paul homeless shelter when she was ambushed by protesters outside her South Cottonwood home.
"Why aren't you helping our families?" shouted Stephanie Muir, whose four children were taken from her by DCFS 5 1/2 years ago.
"I have been helping," Arent said. "I don't know why you are picking on me," she added. But before she drove away she told Muir she'd be happy to meet with her later.
Daniel Newby, one of the group's organizers, said Arent has voted against family rights. "She's an embarrassment," he said.
But Arent said later that she was totally blindsided by the protest and didn't have a clue why they targeted her.
"I've always tried to balance rights of parents and rights of children," she said. In fact, her parental choice bill that would allow asthmatic children to carry inhalers with parental and physician consent has widespread support.
Some of Arent's neighbors found the ambush obtrusive.
"This is Christmas Day!" yelled Arent's neighbor who refused to let protesters onto his property to hand him fliers.
Robert Latham, an attorney who has handled many child protective custody cases, said a couple of hours of knocking on doors and passing out fliers is the least he could do for the parental rights movement that has been gaining momentum in recent months.
"For many of us, just representing clients in court isn't enough," he said. "We need to do more."
2C. KSL Version
Advocacy Group Protests at Lawmakers' Homes
Dec. 25, 2003
A group went door to door this morning, not to spread Christmas cheer, but to make a point.
The advocacy group knocked on the door of lawmakers to push for a change in child custody cases.
The group approached a surprised and shocked State Senator Patrice Arent with pictures and a flyer as she was pulling out of her driveway.
Arent's neighborhood was stop number one in a pre-planned tour of legislator's homes and neighborhoods.
'Accountability Utah' is sponsoring this unusual--and to some untimely--push for parental rights.
Larger parental rights issues are demanding attention from an active, but relatively small group, because of the Parker Jensen case.
Last summer, the State Division of Child and Family Services threatened to remove Parker from his parents, after they refused to begin chemotherapy treatments for the boy.
Several doctors have diagnosed Parker with the deadly cancer Ewing's Sarcoma.
The case has been a rallying cry for other families who claim the state has disrupted their families unjustly.
Dave Hansen/Accountability Utah: "This is 10,000 time worse than the Grinch stealing Christmas. This is people stealing our children. They don't have their children on Christmas because of legislators."
Yet in the Legislature, at least 50 bills are proposed, specifically dealing with parental rights, waiting for the upcoming session.
In the neighborhood of yet another legislator, the group marched up the front steps.
Kimball Halliday/Accountability Utah: "Due to her atrocious record on family rights and her votes to keep secret jurisdictional juvenile courts." "What was her response?" "Merry Christmas."
The Christmas Day surprise political protest was seen as distasteful and inappropriate by many neighbors and legislative targets alike.
Rep. Pat Jones/(D) Holladay: "Today's a special day for everybody. And I think it's a shame that they would use Christmas day to make a political statement that doesn't make any sense to me."
This protest was an effort fueled by emotion and frustration, an attempt to spark change.
But it will more likely be remembered as an unpleasant aspect of Christmas 2003 for the officials who unknowlingly answered their door.
Yesterday, Republican party officials gave GOP lawmakers a heads up about the protest planned for today. In fact, the protest targeted mostly Democrat lawmakers who were not warned.
2D. ALERT! Arent/Jones/Moss-Spackman Public Meeting
From Rob Latham,
After I finished distributing flyers in Sen. Paula Julander's neighborhood, I went to my family Christmas open house. There, I saw a mailer jointly sponsored by Sen. Patrice Arent, Rep. Pat Jones, and Rep. Carol Spackman Moss.
They are holding a joint public meeting on Thursday, January 8, 2004 at 7PM at Olympus High School.
It may be another good opportunity to generate some dialogue and awareness on this issue.
Please attend if you can, especially if you live in their senate/legislative districts.
2E. Legislature’s DCFS Agenda
From an anonymous legislator:
We have a lot of DCFS bills. A better picture will be available after the 1st. Mike Thompson has 6-7, and Parley Hellewell has 12. Wayne Harper has an awesome bill. He really understands this issue and it will help us to have a perceived moderate to run it. Eric Hutchings is running a bill on Guardian Ad Litems and abolishing the office and making it an appointment process of private attorneys. Mike Morley has a bill, Dave Thomas has a bill which is troublesome because it tries to define what a "competent" parent is so those would be able to determine the medical care of their children if they were "competent." Greg Hughes will have a bill, LaVar Christensen has a bill or two, Tom Hatch, John Dougall, Chad Bennion. Lyle Hillyard has some troublesome bills again trying to bolster DCFS and, from what I have been told confidentially, Greg Bell and John Valentine are concerned about the "crazy" nature of many of the anti-DCFS bills this coming session. Those two really need to be worked on.
This promises to be one very interesting session!
3. Kathy Gritton’s first-hand account of DCFS Christmas event
I spent most of my time caroling and delivering fliers, the contact with the Legislators was minimal, only a polite notice that their neighbors were being given fliers letting them know about their refusal to stop DCFS abuses of families. All were Democrats except one who happened to, I believe, Chair the Committee, he totally did not understand. He and his wife talked with many of our people for quite some time, keeping them from doing their fliers. He told us, "we (the Committee) give them (DCFS) as much [money] as we can possibly give them!" That was the problem, and he thought that he had been doing good to do so. Perhaps he will consider the real issues in the future, but I strongly perceive that his district needs some serious educating.
The Senator's wife told us to be patient, one mother there said she has been patient for fourteen years and still does not have her son back, in another 4 years it will be too late. I personally have known this victim for over ten years all the while she has been fighting and being labeled by jerks who want to avoid responsibility for their actions.
In some districts, I ran into others who have had someone in their families who have been abused by DCFS or the courts. They wanted to talk longer than we had time for, but were so grateful that someone cared, and was standing up for the victims. I met lots of nice people who responded warmly to my "Merry Christmas!" Lots of kids were out with their new Christmas toys, some were sledding in Arent's district. Arent was on her way to help with food distribution for the homeless or something like that. I guess this kind of exposure needs strong countermeasures.
I was cold and tired and wet all day, my shoes had to be duck-taped together so I could continue, lol. I was unaware of all the rivers we would run into. Our 2- to 4-hour event turned into 7 hours of hard work. The company was great! The donuts were good, the cocoa hot, and many mothers we stood for, stayed home crying or praying. Most were afraid to attend for fear of retaliation against them, I understood that, and was happy to represent them….
3A. Grateful Citizen
I just want to say thank you to yourself, and all of the volunteers who spent part of their Christmas day petitioning legislators on behalf of the children and families of this state. Many may say it was inappropriate, however I say, what better time than at Christmas. I feel it gave a more personal approach concerning the issue of child custody, and family solidarity for families who have been torn apart by DCFS without any legitimate cause. I hope that our legislators take a good look at the police state they have been promulgating for so long, on this and other constitutional, and family issues.
Let me share a brief poem which I wrote after observing our courts in action on a first hand basis (DCFS was involved in the issues I write about, though no direct statement concerning them was placed in the body of the work).
I went to court
What a sham
A bitter judge
I should have lied
Alas, my friend
Please remember, that though this is a case where a man has lost, ergo-his children, it could have been anyone, male or female that I wrote of. This poem may be used so long as due credit is given me if used.
I hope you had a great Christmas, and that we may all have a wonderful new year.
3B. Pat Teucher on Pat Jones
I thought Rep. Pat Jones' response to yesterday's visit by Accountability Utah was very telling of what our society has sunk to. So much for Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men. She just as well could have said on the KSL news report I watched "LET THEM EAT CAKE"!!!!
Thanks for your efforts. Sorry I had to miss it.