Sunday, December 21, 2008

South Dakota In The News


Well, Well, Well.  Glory Be!


Glory Be!  J.A.I.L. just received a South Dakota newspaper article forward to us by Bill Stegmeier who sponsored the 2006 South Dakota Judicial Accountability Initiative Law.


Therein we are informed that Bill’s previous personal attorney friend, who ran for South Dakota Judge, just got canned. Does not the Scripture say, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged:” Matthew 7:1 & 2. Below are the words of Bill Stegmeier: 


- Ron Branson


*  *  *


Oh my.  Who can we find worthy to sit in judgment of the rest of us now? 


At the same time that I was pushing the South Dakota Judicial Accountability Amendment, my attorney, Mr. Sean O'Brien was running for judge.  He got elected, which really bothered me because he was a decent guy, did good work for me when needed, and charged a ridiculously fair rate of only $ 80.00 an hour.  (Alright, fair compared to what his fellow snakes have been known to charge)


Well, it appears the good judge, being the decent guy I remember him to be, is having a little trouble coping with what the crooked South Dakota judicial system expects of him... to the point that he felt compelled to resort to alcohol to ease his now compromised conscience.  (My speculation you understand) 


He was found passed out in his car in front of some main street business.  A concerned passerby called the police, who promptly arrested Judge O'Brien for DUI. 


Now we all know the Irish can drink with the best of ‘em and Judge Sean O'Brien is no exception.  I would guess he made his clan fairly proud when he clocked in with a healthy point two three (.23%) under his belt.  As you know the legal limit in most parts is point zero eight (.08%)


Here's to you, laddie boy O'Brien!  May this experience guide you to long reign as a humble, honest, fair, and compassionate judge.  (If that's even possible)


(My comment is under "rollermillbill")


-Bill Stegmeier



PS – I might suggest that many of you who have opinions (Ummm – cough, cough) might have a word or two to post in this South Dakota newspaper comment section. Sorry, but you are limited to 1,000 characters. What can you say in 1,000 characters? I will be interested in seeing your comments.

- Ron Branson, the despised individual, and hated name in South Dakota by the entire Legislature, the Judiciary, the Governor, and last, by not least, State Attorney General Larry Long. (See



Friday, October 31, 2008

Fantasy of Flight! 8 days until Roar n’ Soar

The Countdown Continues!

FLORIDA: Join us as we count down unique events, activities; offers that will showcase the 2nd Annual Roar n’ Soar at Fantasy of Flight on November 8th and 9th.

#9 – Nitro Powered Radio-controlled Model Boats!

The Orlando Culvert Dodgers, Inc. will be running gasoline and nitro methane powered radio-control model boats in a race-like, oval course on Lake Agnes. In addition to racing, there will be many types of model boats on display to view, and take photographs. Click here for more >>

Purchase your Roar n’ Soar tickets now and save with free child admission (one free with each paid adult admission)!! Advance Sale Tickets with sales tax are $23 adult and additional Kids are $12 (ages 6-15). Click here to purchase tickets:

Fantasy of Flight
Polk City, Florida

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Parental Alienation Syndrome

It is sometimes referred to as "Parental Alienation Syndrome" (PAS). At its core it is simply the systematic vilification of one parent in attempts to alienate a child from the other parent. It occurs most often in the context of high conflict custody battles and is even seen by support groups like Parental Alienation Awareness Organization ( a literal form of child abuse.

The process typically involves the mental manipulation of a child in which they are convinced that the other parent, the ‘bad’ one, is an enemy to be feared, avoided or even hated. Studies have revealed that, in more severe cases, the child may suffer effects like headaches, vomiting, loss of sleep, and refusal to eat especially when they are faced with a visit to the “bad” parent. In milder cases the children may reject the ‘bad’ parent through verbal abuse, destroying gifts, or refusing to engage in previously enjoyable family activities. According to the Florida Bar Journal, "... Any attempt at alienating a child from the other parent should be seen as a direct and willful violation of one of the prime duties of parenthood.”

The Bible is not silent on the subject of parenting. It also touches on the issue of divorce, since God knew in eternity past the devastation it would cause – and especially the detrimental effects on helpless children engulfed in it. And in modern America, it can only be guessed as to how many find themselves in very dire circumstances along these lines.

But with that said, Ephesians 6:4 reveals the attitude that should display the traits of any Godly and loving parent. It mentions fathers specifically, but the principle can obviously be applied to moms as well. “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” The same basic idea is also recorded by Paul in his letter to the Colossian church where he writes, “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” (Colossians 3:21)

Also, there are serious related difficulties that surface in for those children involved in a severe “PAS” situation. The Apostle, in Ephesians chapter 6, addressed how children are to respond to their parents in verses 1-3, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth." Then he repeats this same basic thought in Colossians 3:20 where he says, “Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.” Simply stated, parents who openly criticize each other before their children can help hinder the attitude of respect due their mothers and fathers according to Scripture.

On numerous occasions Jesus interacted and spoke about the traits, attitudes, and value of children from a spiritual perspective. He spoke about their simple trusting faithand how it relates to salvation in Luke 18:16-17. He also warned strongly in Matthew’s account concerning the treatment and guidance of young impressionable hearts and minds. "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matthew 18:6) Those are strong and sobering words! Toying with, and twisting, the emotions and beliefs of precious children will bring serious ramifications in this life and even the life to come.

As long as unregenerate man walks the earth, sin will accompany him. Sinners will continue to use and abuse even the most sacred of human relationships. Fortunately there is an up side to the down side. It is concisely offered up in Romans 5:20. “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” So as long as the eternal God exists, those who belong to Him via saving faith can cling to that grace. They need never fear that anyone, or anything, will ever pry away their Lord’s affection for them or tamper with their blessed union with Him. And any seeking a prime proof text need not look farther than Paul’s bedrock testimony presented to the young church at Rome.

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

Bill Breckenridge

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Legal Abuse Syndrome

Karin Huffer has discovered why many people leave a courtroom frustrated and sick.

On Wednesday April 2, 2008 we presented a new program called FAMILY COURT - Part 2 -

Dennis Grover and Michael Nance are joined on the phone by Stephen Baskerville author of TAKEN INTO CUSTODY and Karin Huffer author of LEGAL ABUSE SYNDROME. Stephen shares his research into the atrocities of Family Court, where it came from and questionable tactics and implementations of its own rules that affect mostly children. Karin Huffer explores the foundation of Legal Abuse Syndrome and has proven that a constant negative result from any courtroom experience produces Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome in litigants. Before you go to any court, understand that Justice is not a part of the equation and prepare yourself for the possibilities of being in a situation that is based in judge and attorney created rules rather than common sense. The full program is available at $10.75 ppd. copying and sharing is encouraged.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Everyone Has a Role and Each Must Play Their Part.

Willie Lynch Letter & The Making Of A Slave

"I did not want to be mistreated, I did not want to be deprived of a seat that I had paid for. It was just time... there was opportunity for me to take a stand to express the way I felt about being treated in that manner. I had not planned to get arrested. I had plenty to do without having to end up in jail. But when I had to face that decision, I didn't hesitate to do so because I felt that we had endured that too long. The more we gave in, the more we complied with that kind of treatment, the more oppressive it became." ROSA PARKS

The Avenger Comes

As certainly as the dawn of new day, the Avenger comes,
but we cannot see him, and know not his character,
for darkness that engulfs us blinds our sight.
Is he a man of God; Christ Jesus come again?
or is he vengeful after his own cause, an Inquisitor,
who will inflict terror on those who oppose his rule?
We who seek and pray for justice must turn to God
for his solace is the hope of multitudes;
we must be diligent in our labors,
for the day of Righteousness comes.
But who approaches the near horizon --
the Son of Man, or another would-be god?

We stand at the gates of Babylon, her secrets exposed;
we have defrocked black-robed pretenders
who inflict the rule of private courts,
and have unraveled the myth of convoluted law.
These truths cannot be defamed -- they are candles
set in the midst of reprobates.
It is for them that the Avenger comes.

We who seek justice have touched the face of grief,
asking mercy for neighbor and friend;
we have labored to secure and expose the truth,
but have been rebuffed by proud, sanctimonious liars
who bloat themselves on pirated fruits,
the spoils of countrymen and kin.
How shall we greet the Avenger who comes?
Shall we demand justice, or again ask mercy,
That the reprobate, or at least his attendant, be spared?

Dan Meador; February 24, 1998; FMC-Lexington, at Lexington, Kentucky

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.
~Ayn Rand~

We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.
~Tom Stoppard~

Evil is unspectacular and always human,
and shares our bed and eats at our own table.
~W. H. Auden~

The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.
~Ben Okri ~

It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.
~Mahatma Gandhi~
Indian political and spiritual leader (1869 - 1948)

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.
~Mahatma Gandhi~
Indian political and spiritual leader (1869 - 1948)

Glitter Graphics

Sunday, July 27, 2008

On Parents' Day

America honors our mothers and fathers for their extraordinary devotion and for the great sacrifices they make to provide a hopeful and promising future for their children

Why Parents' Day?

In every culture and time period, the family has stood as the most fundamental human institution. Family is the starting point of life, the sustainer of well-being, and the school of love. A family begins with the joining together of man and woman, husband and wife, becoming father and mother – and parents. The most powerful of human bonds is the parent-child relationship.

Commitment to family has always been a core value. Tragically, however, what was often held as a common value, recognized as common sense, even understood as self-evident in the past, is sometimes not so today.

As our nation struggles with effects of family breakdown, youth violence and a host of other critical problems, more and more voices are calling for a re-examination of our priorities and fundamental values. Too often we have let other concerns take precedence over our responsibilities as parents. Yet is there any more important calling than that of nurturing and raising a child?

Unfortunately, our popular culture over the past several decades has emphasized self-fulfillment and self-gratification. Such focus on the self runs counter to the essence of parenthood, which fundamentally involves unconditional true love.

Parents' Day provides an opportunity to recognize and promote parenting as a central vocation for our families and communities. More than just a time to celebrate, it is an occasion to make a statement about what is important in our society. It is a chance to create a positive tradition based on a core axiom – that the role of parents is crucial in the nurturing and development of children, and thus requires investment, focus, and commitment.

By operation of federal law (US Code, Title 36, Section 135), the fourth Sunday in July is officially known as Parents Day, and every level of local, state and federal government is directed by this law to officially recognize the importance of parents in the lives of children "through proclamations, activities, and educational efforts" - i.e., for once, government HAS to agree with us, and also put it in fancy writing for us, and do something "educational" about it, just for the asking... You can also see the same law here and here and here.

One mayor practically declared war on behalf of parents against government intrusion in this Proclamation that was issued compliments of the

United Civil Rights Council of America.

So as you are enjoying this weekend, know that it is up to you, the press, our churches, our families to remind everyone that government should respect and PROTECT parental rights to be just that...parents.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Make a Donation Today - Support DCFestival2008

Help make your state the first to meet it’s goals for spreading awareness outside the various By Getting Involved and contributing to spreading the importance of parenthood throughout the airwaves surrounding Washington DC immediately before the event as well as covering some of the multi-track expenses for training, conference rooms, and public viewings of popular movies pertaining to various issues such as Parental Alienation, Child Custody & Support Reform, and more.

Monday, July 07, 2008

This is about a parents right to be fully involved with their children’s lives! Become involved

What is happening?

August 15th & 16th (Fri/Sat), downtown Washington, DC, at the Capitol Hill area (”on Capitol Hill”..). There are four (4) different categories of events all going on throughout both days, i.e., a true “festival” of events:

Get your letter of support of this national civil rights event faxed whether you are an individual, organization, agency, or association. Support letters should be faxed to 989-764-5920 or emailed with a PDF attachment to Address them to “Write to Parent” 5119 Highland Rd. #229 Waterford, MI 48327. Include your endorsement as well as the focus of your organization. 1-2 pages. These will be delivered with our national messages to all of Congress.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Political Office In Alec Baldwin's Future?

Actor Talks To Morley Safer About His Career, Personal Life, And Possible Future Plans

Morley Safer profiles actor Alec Baldwin, who talks candidly about his career and his personal life - including his very public divorce and custody battle.

Monday, April 07, 2008

April 25th is Parental Alienation Awareness Day

Parental Alienation is Child Abuse!

Please help put an end to these manipulative behaviors in your local area by joining together at a scheduled event, library or park.

**Public Service Announcement... please, pass it on.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

UCRCoA Believes

United States Citizens have been betrayed & knowingly violated by a government whose focus is of monetary gain and seeking the destruction of the Constitution adopted by our Founding Fathers. Therefore, our U.S. leaders have allowed our families to be destroyed by refusing to right the wrongs. Each organization has been invited to join together under United Civil Rights Councils of America in order to strengthen our voices in our demand that justice be disbursed according to the U.S. Constitution.

Our Duty Is Not To Disburse Justice But To Demand It

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Deputy dumps paralyzed man out of wheelchair

Feb. 13: Brian Sterner recalls being tossed to the floor by a Florida officer.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Message To Family Court Victims - Read This Book!

From Dr. Stephen Baskerville, political science professor & author of Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage & The Family.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


By Lynn Stuter

February 5, 2008

Our elected representatives are so elected to carry out the business of the people of the United States within the construct of their oath of office: to uphold the Constitution of the United States. The United States Constitution is a short but well-written document enumerating the powers and responsibilities of the three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial, establishing the God-given rights of the people as the masters of the elected, not as the servants of the government.

Yet what we, the people, have watched happen is our elected representatives in Washington DC overstep their power and responsibilities. No better example exists of this than the Bush Administration’s illegal invasion of Iraq with the consent of Congress yet without the required constitutional declaration of war required by the United States Constitution.

A recent report tells us that the Bush Administration precipitated and perpetuated a multitude of lies leading up to and following the illegal invasion of Iraq; lies specifically intended to justify the illegal invasion of Iraq.

At the time of the illegal invasion of Iraq, the Bush Administration promised a short and sweet action costing a few million at the most. Now, five years later, the cost is in the trillions with no end to the illegal occupation in sight; with the United States building the largest embassy compound in the world in the Green Zone in Baghdad; fortuitous of establishing a presence in Iraq for years to come.

Time and again, as graft and corruption have colored the illegal Iraqi invasion playing field, costing the American taxpayers billions of dollars in cost-plus contracts with companies known to be part of the military industrial complex; companies such as Halliburton, Blackwater, CACI International Inc, Titan, and Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR); with the Bush Administration and Congress taking no meaningful action to stop either the graft or the corruption.

Our young men and women come home from Iraq and commit suicide on an average of 22 personnel per week, with the United States government mouthing platitudes intended to assuage the grief of parents, wives and family and the anguish of a nation while doing nothing of significance to help these young men and women.

Our young men and women come home from Iraq wounded, disfigured, disabled, and sometimes totally incapacitated with the United States government doing nothing to help these young men and women; writing them off as a cost of doing business, of conducting a war that is illegal from the outset.

The Bush Administration claims to be conducting the business of the people yet Bush’s approval rating says he represents, at most, 1 of 3 Americans.

The United States Congress has put their stamp of approval on one free trade agreement after the next, selling out the American economy and American workers to foreign imports with the direct result of sliding wages for American workers as the American economy slides into third world economic status.

At a time when American companies are increasingly closing up shop, laying off American workers, and taking operations to countries where labor is cheap and the profit margin far greater because labor is cheap and benefits are non-existent, while the selling price of the product remains consistent with what it would be if made in the United States, the American people are watching the American economy slide into third world status while their paycheck won’t pay the bills. The result is a mortgage meltdown as more and more homes go into foreclosure; as the money to buy those expensive new cars, toys, even the necessities of life, dries up.

Our Constitutional Republic has been turned into a tyrannical dictatorship by the Bush Administration with the full consent and participation of the United States Congress.

The presidents of the United States, Mexico and Canada hold secret meetings intended specifically to merge the economies of the three countries into the North American Union, all the while the presidents of the three countries lying to their respective citizens, claiming they are doing no such thing, even though the people know and have proven they are.

While the Bush Administration claims the American economy is growing, the people know different, know that our economy is stagnating, shrinking, dying. The result will be the collapse of the American economy, the resulting depression (not recession) will make the Great Depression look like child’s play. This, it seems, is the goal of the Bush Administration and Congress who have sold out America and the American people repeatedly in what can only be termed acts of treason.

Gross mismanagement of public funds, collected through taxation, earmarked to pay for maintaining infrastructure, have been funneled, in a “rob Peter to pay Paul” move, to fund social programs with no definitive price tag and no accountability. To hide that gross mismanagement, government officials now tell us they must sell to foreign interests’ public lands owned by the American people.

Taxation has become a tool of robbing the working people of the United States; the money spent frivolously and with little to no accountability by a burgeoning bureaucracy that cannot and will not live within its means. Once a means of taxation is established, it is never abandoned or decreased. The tax burden on the working people of America continues to climb unabated while the bureaucracy spends with the abandon of an obese spoiled child. In Washington DC, billions of dollars are earmarked annually for pet projects while Americans cannot afford a roof over their head, food on their tables, needed healthcare, a vehicle to get them to and from a job. The same is true of the money that has been funneled into foreign aide, maintaining troops on foreign soil, and American intervention in foreign countries.

Fiscal responsibility is a concept long lost on the American bureaucracy, both state and federal.

And while the American economy continues to slide at an ever increasing rate into third world economic status, international corporations operating in the United States are posting exorbitant profit margins and CEOs continue to reap millions in pay per year. In the third quarter of 2008, Exxon posted a profit of $11.7 billion while working Americans cannot afford the gas to get back and forth to work; while energy prices soar. America is being raped by the big international companies while the Bush Administration and Congress do nothing. Big international corporations, through lobbyists paid for with profits made off the American people, buy elected officials like whores on a street corner.

American children are not receiving an education that surpasses the education of those who came before them. With each succeeding graduating class, the American children are receiving less and less education. Yet with each succeeding graduating class, the cost continues to climb. With no constitutional mandate to in any way address education, the unconstitutional U.S. Department of Education continues to interfere in the education of American children; establishing national curriculum, national standards, and national goals; forcing its agenda on states through discretionary grants that, for pennies on the dollar, control what states do in the area of education; insuring that all states coalesce the national agenda of turning facilities of education into workforce development centers. While the Bush Administration touts No Child Left Behind as a new direction in education, NCLB is nothing more than a new strategic plan replacing the Clinton Administration strategic plan known as the Improving America’s Schools Act; NCLB is nothing more than a furtherance of an education system intended, specifically, to not educate children whose parents put them in government schools.

While the Bush Administration leaves no opportunity vacant to focus the attention of the American people on the War on Terror, it becomes readily apparent that the War on Terror is for the specific purposes of rending from the American people their God-given rights. While the Bush Administration claims the events of September 11, 2001 to be the work of 19 Arab terrorists with box cutters, the borders of the United States, north and south, remain wide open to every illegal alien and terrorist who chooses to cross them with the Bush Administration and United States Congress doing absolutely nothing meaningful to secure America’s borders. To the contrary, those border patrol agents who have tried to defend America’s borders against criminal illegal aliens have been prosecuted by the United States Department of Justice and thrown in jail. While George W Bush was quick to commute the sentence of his good friend and political accomplice, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, he is silent when border patrol agents are unjustly accused, unjustly prosecuted and unjustly imprisoned.

In this same vein, the Bush Administration has illegally authorized the data mining of bank records, e-mails and phone calls of American citizens in violation of existing United States law; criminal acts which remain unaddressed by the United States Justice Department or United States Congress.

The United States Congress, at the request of the Bush Administration, has passed laws revoking habeas corpus, Posse Comitatus, and the 4th Amendment to the Bill of Rights prohibiting illegal search and seizure. In this same vein, and at the request of the Bush Administration, the United States Congress passed a law that defines anyone speaking out against the criminal acts of the United States government as a “domestic terrorist.”

Congress also passed a law prohibiting anyone considered to have a mental illness from owning a gun, including men coming home from war. Through the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, established by Bush, the push has been to label every American as mentally defective, especially those who believe in the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. The American Psychiatric Association, through the DSM-IV coding, established by a mere show of hands, has been most obliging. Drug companies manufacturing anti-depressant drugs, while being involved in the push to label every American as somehow mentally defective, are raking in millions from prescribed anti-depressants; while those same anti-depressant drugs send young people off the deep end, to suicide ideation and violence, to taking guns to school and killing teachers and classmates. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution has been effectively rendered impotent with the help of the National Rifle Association who presents itself as defending the Second Amendment.

This labeling of every American as somehow mentally defective is no different than the tactic used in the U.S.S.R. to label dissidents who refused to conform to the social psychology of oppression practiced by the communists to control the masses; the same social psychology now being forced on the American people.

This year the American people will supposedly choose a new president. But a growing number of Americans know that, through vote fraud in the form of electronic voting and electronic counting of paper ballots, the American people will not choose a new leader; that a new leader will be chosen for them through graft and corruption. Congress, well aware of this problem, has done nothing to stop the use of electronic voting machines or electronic vote counting machines, succumbing yet again to big money and special interests.

Mainstream media, doing its part, has made its role in the selection of the new leader of America for the people very apparent. The bias against the one true statesmen running for president is so blatant and so arrogant that even the most acquiescent are made uncomfortable by the fact of it. And the fact of what the one true candidate stands for scares the powers that be beyond measure for what that one true candidate stands for is truly a revolution that will carry on beyond the general election in November 2008.

The great awakening of the American people is in progress. It will not be stopped by other than force of action and the letting of blood. The American people intend to take back their country, return to their constitution, and reclaim American sovereignty.

May God Bless the Ron Paul revolution! May God Bless American patriots!

© 2008 Lynn M. Stuter - All Rights Reserved

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Are You a Fit Parent?

What is it that makes a parent 'FIT' for parenting?
Who determines that 'Fitness'?

Main Entry:
Inflected Form(s):
fit·ted or fit; fit·ting
Middle English fitten to marshal troops, from or akin to Middle Dutch vitten to be suitable
15th century
transitive verb

1 a: to be suitable for or to : harmonize with b archaic : to be seemly or proper for fits us then to be as provident as fear may teach us — Shakespeare>

2 a
: to conform correctly to the shape or size of fit me anymore

b (1): to insert or adjust until correctly in place <fit the mechanism into the box> (2): to make or adjust to the right shape and size <fitting the jacket to the customer> (3): to measure for determining the specifications of something to be worn by <fitted him for a new suit>

: to make a place or room for : accommodate

3: to be in agreement or accord with fits all the facts

4 a: to put into a condition of readiness b: to cause to conform to or suit something

5: supply equip <fitted the ship with new engines> —often used with out

6: to adjust (a smooth curve of a specified type) to a given set of points

intransitive verb

1 archaic : to be seemly, proper, or suitable
: to conform to a particular shape or size; also : to be accommodated fit into the car?
: to be in harmony or accord : belong —often used with in

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It Takes a Village to Undermine Parenthood

Friday, January 11, 2008

It takes a village ... to undermine parenthood

Posted: January 11, 2008
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Phyllis Schlafly

© 2008

When U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., showed television viewers the Christmas presents she wants to give us if she is elected president, her most important was universal pre-kindergarten, following closely after universal health care. Clinton was reminding us of her status as the grand dame of the ideology expressed in her favorite African slogan, "It takes a village to raise a child."

Indeed, there seem to be many busybodies who believe the village, i.e., government functionaries, should make major decisions about the upbringing of children, including what they are taught and how they are medicated. They may approach this incrementally, but their goal is always "universal."

We thought it was outrageous when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals proclaimed in the Fields v. Palmdale School District case in 2005 that the fundamental right of parents over the upbringing of their children "does not extend beyond the threshold of the school door." Now Clinton-style liberals are also acting as though parents' rights over their own children do not extend beyond the threshold of the local health clinic.

Massachusetts has just started to require that all children in Medicaid, 460,000 kids, must be subjected annually to mental health screening in order to detect signs of possible mental illness, autism, or depression. One of the criteria on the questionnaire used to identify mental health problems is that the child is "seeming to have less fun."

It's easy to predict that many children will be unfairly saddled with a false label, assigned to unnecessary and expensive treatment, and prescribed costly drugs whose effect may range from worthless to harmful. These costs to taxpayers will be expanded by the inevitable fattening of the pocketbooks of psychiatrists and psychologists.

Last year, there was considerable parental opposition to bills that were introduced into several state legislatures to require mental health screening of all children in public schools. Apparently Plan B is for the state to force the plan on Medicaid recipients, who are less likely to resist.

New Jersey just added four new vaccines to those already required of children who attend public schools, and has become the first state to require the flu vaccine. Children attending preschool or licensed day care centers must receive annual flu shots. New Jersey regulations also require the pneumococcal vaccine for preschoolers, the meningitis vaccine for sixth-graders, and a booster shot for the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis they already receive. Despite the protests of many parents, including the New Jersey Alliance for Informed Choice in Vaccination, these regulations will go into effect in September 2008.

Parents believe that this New Jersey requirement is a major encroachment on parental rights to make medical and other decisions for their own children. Parents also cite the potential dangers of vaccines for some children. Many flu vaccines and some meningitis vaccines contain the mercury-based preservative thimerosal. This is the first time that any state has mandated a vaccine containing mercury since the federal government adopted the policy in 1999 of encouraging vaccines to be mercury-free "as soon as possible."

The Food and Drug Administration advises pregnant women to avoid eating even small amounts of fish with high mercury content. But New Jersey is now demanding that 6-month-old babies be given potential mercury vaccines if they spend even one day a week in day care. Another toxic substance, formaldehyde, is also present in the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis and flu vaccines. New Jersey allows exemptions from vaccines for medical or religious reasons, but some parents claim that the process of claiming an exemption is made as difficult as possible.

In Prince George's County, Md., officials used the heavy hand of government to force vaccinations. Claiming that 2,300 out of 131,000 public school students had not received their hepatitis B and chickenpox vaccines, the state began what the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons called a "heavy-handed vaccine roundup."

State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey intimidated parents with what he called "legal action." He arranged to have letters sent to all parents who were "out of compliance" demanding that they must attend a court hearing where they would receive a verbal reprimand and their children would be vaccinated, presumably forcibly.

The letter directly threatened parents: "Unexcused absences by your child may subject you to a criminal charge." Few parents knew they could apply for medical or religious exemptions, and many believed they faced jail or heavy fines of $50 a day.

A decent respect for parental rights over medical treatment imposed on their own children should require that states allow vaccine exemptions for philosophical and conscientious reasons, in addition to medical and religious reasons. A few states do but, unfortunately, not New Jersey or Maryland.

Phyllis Schlafly is a lawyer, conservative political analyst and the author of the newly revised and expanded "Supremacists: The Tyranny of Judges and How to Stop It." Schlafly also is founder and president of Eagle Forum.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Custody Scam

Blog battle becomes free speech case

08:25 AM EST on Sunday, January 13, 2008
By Edward Fitzpatrick

Journal Staff Writer

The Rev. Anne Grant, who heads the Parenting Project, has appealed to the state Supreme Court a Family Court judge’s order concerning her blog,


The Providence Journal / Sandor Bodo

PROVIDENCE — The divorce and custody case involving children “Sara Doe” and “Mary Doe” might have remained just another of the bitter battles that play out in Family Court, deeply personal and unnoticed by the public.

But a retired minister began a blog that blasted the state Department of Children, Youth and Families and others involved in the case, saying they’d used a “bogus theory” to take a mother’s two daughters from her and to send one of the sisters to live with the father — after the father had been accused of sexually abusing the girl.

At DCYF’s request, a Family Court judge ordered the state agency to “advise” the Rev. Anne Grant to stop publishing the blog “as it pertains” to the two children. While the blog used fake names for the girls, DCYF said the blog included the children’s photographs, diary entries and medical information, and the site repeated the sexual abuse claim that a DCYF hearing officer had deemed “unfounded.”

Now, Ms. Grant — who heads the Parenting Project based at the Mathewson Street United Methodist Church in Providence — is asking the state Supreme Court to overrule Family Court Judge John A. Mutter, saying his order violates her constitutional rights to due process and freedom of speech.

And so, the case is emerging into a broader legal battle, which addresses both the right to free speech on the Internet and the privacy rights of children in Family Court. Each side says it is trying to protect the children.

“There is no question the Internet and blogging are the new frontier in free speech law,” said Rodney A. Smolla, a First Amendment scholar and dean of the law school at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. “One obvious reason is the kind of statement that used to be made in backyard gossip or around the water cooler can now be spread around the world. I think the courts are in the midst of an ongoing effort to translate traditional free-speech doctrines into this new arena.”

Different First Amendment standards have always applied when cases involve children, Smolla said. Courts are likely to uphold restraints aimed at protecting the identity and “significant privacy interests” of children, he said. But, he said, “That doesn’t mean you can ban all commentary on cases involving children.”

Smolla said this case might hinge on the wording of Mutter’s Aug. 17 decree, which said: “DCYF, as temporary custodian of the children, is to advise Anne Grant, author of, to remove any and all written and pictorial information pertaining to the children in the above matter, from the inception of publication to the present and henceforth, and to cease publication of the blog as it pertains to these children. That mother and father are ordered to facilitate cooperation in this process.”

“In this case,” Smolla said, “the soft spot is the word ‘pertaining.’ It seems broad and loose, and I can imagine an appellate court instructing a lower court to narrow the scope of the restraint.”

Thomas R. Bender, a Providence lawyer representing Ms. Grant, said she has removed all information about the case from the blog, and in the future she will not publish any photos or information that would identify the children. “Ms. Grant agrees that the blog’s content must preserve the privacy of the involved mother, father and children, and has been closed down to amend it for that purpose,” he wrote in a legal memo.

But Mutter’s order could prohibit Ms. Grant from publishing a much broader range of information and opinion, Bender said. So he is asking the state’s high court to overturn that part of the order.

“At the ‘core of the protection afforded by the First Amendment’ is the discussion of public issues,” Bender wrote, quoting from U.S. Supreme Court opinions. “The operation of the court system, obviously, ‘is a matter of utmost public concern,’ and ‘one of the demands of a democratic society is that the public should know what goes on in courts’ in order to judge the fairness and justice of their operation.”

The nation’s high court has recognized that, with chat rooms allowing anyone to become a town crier, the Internet is the “model for speech that the framers embraced,” Bender wrote. So, he said, “Governmental restrictions on core political speech over the Internet are entitled to ‘exacting scrutiny’ and upheld only where they are ‘narrowly tailored to serve an overriding state interest.’ ”

Ms. Grant thinks the central element of the case is the reliance on parental alienation syndrome, a theory which the child psychologist Richard A. Gardner developed “to describe his clinical impressions of cases he believed involved false allegations of child abuse,” Bender wrote. “To say that it is a controversial theory is an understatement.”

Ms. Grant said that from cases she has followed in Rhode Island and across the country, “alleged sexual molesters are able to have significant legal influence” by citing the “so-called parental alienation syndrome, which has been discredited.” She said, “They are abusing the system designed to protect children.”

Ms. Grant wants to use her blog to weigh in on that controversial issue, “focusing on the context of a specific case before the Family Court,” Bender wrote. But Mutter’s “injunction attempts to restrain her from doing so.”

In a Jan. 3 legal memo, the Department of Children, Youth and Families urged the Supreme Court to reject Ms. Grant’s requests.

“Nothing in the language of the order mandates Anne Grant to do anything,” DCYF senior legal counsel Martha J. Kelly wrote. In fact, the mother’s lawyer had argued it was DCYF’s responsibility, as temporary custodian, “to oversee the cessation of the blog.”

DCYF emphasized that the case is “protected by several levels of confidentiality.” In general, DCYF matters are “protected by confidentiality” under state law, and in this case, Mutter took the additional step of issuing a “gag order” on June 5, Kelly wrote. Also, the blog contained confidential health information that is “protected by state and federal law,” she said.

Despite these safeguards, the mother was, according to motions filed by the father, “facilitating the publication of that posted the children’s personal information, including a description of the residence, photographs of them (including one of a naked 3-year-old in a bath), unsubstantiated information regarding the respondent father and these children, medical reports, copies of pleadings, and assertions relating to the ongoing litigation and court rulings,” Kelly wrote.

Although the blog used fake names, the children were “easily identifiable to anyone with computer access,” Kelly wrote.

Ms. Grant said the 3-year-old girl was surrounded by toys in the bathtub and “there was absolutely nothing prurient about that photo.”

Mutter issued his decree on Aug. 17, and “as a courtesy,” DCYF sent Ms. Grant a redacted version of the decree along with an “explanatory cover letter,” which said: “If the information outlined in the order is not removed from the Web site immediately, the department will be forced to bring this matter back before the Family Court. I thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation with this court order.”

In her legal memo, Kelly told the Supreme Court, “This letter at no time threatened the Reverend Grant with any legal action. For the Reverend Grant to argue a clear implication of the cover letter is at best a misreading of it. Further, to state the obvious, the order speaks for itself, and at no time did Reverend Grant seek clarification of it.”

Kelly said the blog continued for a while after the judge issued his decree, and on Sept. 5, Ms. Grant’s Parenting Project sent an e-mail to the school system of one of the girls, “suggesting the child was in danger and slandering the father and directing” administrators and teachers to the blog. “This action amounts, at best, to a continuing flouting of the court order and confidentiality statutes by the respondent mother, and at worst, [Ms. Grant’s] continuing complete disregard for this child’s privacy and best interests,” Kelly wrote.

On Sept. 7, the DCYF filed a motion for review in Family Court and the father filed a motion to hold the mother in contempt, calling Ms. Grant as a witness. Based on testimony from Ms. Grant and the mother, “what was clear to the Family Court is that the parties suffering the most harm are the children,” Kelly wrote. “The Family Court thus determined that the existence of the blog violated the family’s privacy, created significant risk of harm to the children, and was not in their best interests.”

In going to the Supreme Court, Ms. Grant is seeking “a public debate on confidential matters entrusted to the Family Court for determination,” Kelly wrote. “The department will not address these issues, as it is clear that [Ms. Grant] is still seeking a forum to air her views. The children’s privacy rights [continue] to suffer with [Ms. Grant’s] seeking to publish her blog and violate the confidentiality protection in these cases.”

Bender replied in a legal brief filed Friday, saying the “DCYF’s representation to this court that the ‘letter at no time threatened the Reverend Grant with any legal action,’ even viewed in the kindest light, defies credulity. The letter was plainly designed to convince Grant she would face legal consequences in the nature of contempt proceedings if she continued to publish the Web blog.”

“She should not be subject to the specter of legal proceedings for what she might post,” Bender wrote. “Her exercise of core political speech must not be threatened or burdened by an order that can only serve that purpose.”

The Supreme Court, on Thursday, is to consider whether to review the case or vacate the order.