Need+ Sample Ideas re Legal Reforms, All Topics, Esp.re Kids, Oct.2,2014 St. John'sUniv. SusanTitusGlascoff
(Please- google documentary, NoWayOutButOne, & also my name; see PS pg3)-10/5 minor edits+PPS pg4
I have one goal, RESULTS, meaning we must create enforceable checks & balances on our entire legal system that maximize fairness!! WHY do most feel it is often NOT fair? Because the goal has become Who CAN Win Versus What Is Fair, no matter the topic!! WHAT are the driving forces? Greed &/or punishment &/or Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde behavior. Isn't greed to varying degrees part of everyone's self-preservation instinct? When you are involved in a lawsuit, don't you hire a lawyer to win? Isn't the winner often who can find the most loopholes & drag suit longest, meaning who has the most power & control, often decided by money &/or influence? Thomas Jefferson said, “The germ of the destruction of our nation is in the power of the judiciary... it needs more checks & balances... the only remedy is to inform public discretion.” Everything is interrelated, hence compounding. Jefferson's germ is a cancer about to metastasize since it's been ~200 yrs. Compounding builds long dense flat base, then explodes!
What's the worst problem? How it affects kids. Why? Since how they turn out determines everything. Judges, lawyers, those in child protective services, teachers, CEOs, ETC. each have the same percent of dysfunction as the rest of us- influenced by childhood. A 1996-2006 study of just federal judges found ZERO sanctions given to ~843 judges in 29 states, despite 1000s of filed complaints! CA sanctioned 1, so not in the 29. No states yielded credible results. Advocates have long requested better training re abuse for family court issues. Judges ( Some have specialty in corporate law, etc. since family courts are deemed less prestigious.)must also rely on data provided, sometimes skewed by *GALs, by Dr.Jekyl /Mr. Hydes, case overload, politics, by money paid, etc. People fear criticizing judges & lawyers- result might worsen. Lawyers criticizing judges have lost license. To win appeals requires appellate judges to overturn colleagues' decisions- versus self-preservation! Tons of research, conferences etc have yielded little. Legal abuse has multiple facets. Increasing polarization of pay hurts families, hence kids. All contracts are legal documents. One CEO paid $400,000 to a lawyer to guarantee him $12 million severance pay if he was fired! Isn't that legalized thievery? Doesn't outrageous pay squeeze everyone? *Guardian ad Litems- lawyers appointed to supposedly represent kids' best interest
Since fact our health system needed better care at lower cost finally sparked enough discussion to begin getting results, why can't we insist on a similar dialogue re establishing legal accountability? Can't a compassionate, constructive approach help by emphasizing power of indoctrination & cycling abuse? NYT had recent article noting problem of pedophiles who'd served their time finding it impossible to find lodging since they had to remain 1000 ft from schools, etc. I wrote NYT that media in general, by failure to expose abusive custody & visitation, help create pedophiles & other dysfunction by ignoring court abuse. People are outraged when I say there's data supporting 58,000/yr abusive custody & visits!
HOW can we (YOU at this conference) halt this cancer, acting as catalysts to get media dialogue going to create sustained public demand for enforceable checks & balances on our legal SYSTEM? ANY IDEAS YOU HAVE ARE WELCOME! But consider theme- every court decision must pass fairness groundrules- every state must create an enforceable plan or have one imposed. Suggest contests with incentives for creative constructive ideas since resistance to change often hardens with accusations, even when well-documented & presented compassionately. HOW about we each agree to contact ONE influential source, state goal -must include broad coordination? Some ideas for contacts-
- former Mayor Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns (deBlasio joined)- since one key focus is how gun violence hurts kids; suggest extension to include how to stop courts hurting kids via excess incarceration, abusive custody & visitation & unfair equitable distribution that impoverishes one parent relative to other, & other insensitive & unfair practices, etc.,
- enlist major media such as 60 MIN, major newpapers, etc,(60MIN ignored July'12 request thru contact)
- investigative reporters- ex. 3x pulitzer prize winner, Walt Bogdanich-July 12,'14 NYT article, Reporting Rape &Wishing She Hadn't, describing known reluctance to expose rapists mostly since it hurts sports & college reputation. Again- protecting one's own/self preservation wins. Suggest sample pg2 statistics be combined re a few legal abuse issues.[STG will try, too-interviewed by him '98 re hlth advocacy topic]
I will digress from my focus on kids to briefly highlight other legal excess & show (to enlist interest) interrelationships. In 2011 Atty. Philip Howard wrote the book, The Death of Common Sense, which analizes studies showing how excess suing adds huge costs to business, health care, education, individuals, & families via suit, passing many costs to all taxpayers. He estimated ~30cents per health care dollar due to defensive practices & suits. In 2008 to help with another speech I was giving, a retired judge prepared a “guestimate” that it cost ~$4500 to operate one courtroom for one day in NYC. That's taxpayer expense which hurts families. (Much has been written about kids, esp.non-whites being incarcerated too easily & long, promoting cycling abuse;huge cost) NYT just published that legal costs for capital cases across U.S. are overwhelming state budgets since getting execution dates takes average of 16 yrs & can take 25 yrs! (Added 10/5- NYT editorial bd 9/27-A Group Shout on Climate Change giving verdict on UN Climate Wk- Sec. Gen, presidents, mayors noted alarming changes, U.S./China possible cooperation; “trick might be bottom-up movement”as 300,000 marchers. STG-might counter lots legal resistance
In 1995, our esteemed panelist, Karen Huffer, established international recognition via her book, Legal Abuse Syndrome, describing a public health menace -PTSD caused by varied legal abuse. A 1993 Reader's Digest reported lg % of kids of divorce do far more poorly in school, yet few yrs ago a google legal abuse site said abuse of legal system ranks divorce as biggest civil court money maker. Since I'm the director of the National Advisory Board to the National Coalition for Family Justice (501C3 since 1988), I was asked to start attending the Brooklyn Taub divorce case Feb. 5, 2007 since legal abuse had already been suspected from outset, June 2005. Case ongoing 9+yrs, & I'm still attending- its the worst case of the over 10,000 the coalition has tried to help. Some highlights are, even though the husband had federal fraud convictions in 1998, judges keep doubting wife. He stole custody of youngest son at 14 & mother never saw him since. Father got mere 3 months probation for extortion re covering up sex abuse of that son by a rabbi. When wife declared bankruptcy in July 2008, female judge said she'd done her homework & estimated Mr. Taub was worth at least $41 million, yet same judge & other judges ignoring he had been ordered to pay wife maintence & mortgage! He's currently claiming he must reduce the already low maintenance -he often doesn't pay- because he can't afford it due to retiring. The settlement also said neither allowed to disparage other or kids from first marriages. Yet now it seems husband will be allowed to testify in favor of oldest daughter's estranged husband getting custody even though he had criminal court order for supervised visitation for indicated finding of sexually touching 10yr old daughter. He has rarely paid child support, yet judge waived mother's right to sign passport so husband could take kids to Israel (with what money?).
Aspects of above case are rampant across the U.S. The American Tort Foundation ranks areas they label Judicial Hellholes, & NYC was recently ranked 3rd in the U.S. A RICO suit (federal racketeering for money-laundering, etc) was filed in Taub case but judge (who gets accolades in the news) denied it as “frivolous!” A new book, The Robert's Court, merely puts custody issues in a string of problems but doesn't elaborate, & briefly notes excessive legal bills make representation out of middle class reach.
I've been doing public advocacy my entire adult life. I'm in WWho in Amer, Business &Finance, etc, have masters in Health Advocacy & Math, 5 sons-2 step, 8 grndkds,1st married 23yrs to high-level atty.
PS-I'm clueless what's best wording, what samples to include, etc! As others have said, “Democracy pg3 is a team sport!” We are in danger of doing too little too late re many serious issues, with excess & outright abuse of legal system usually a factor, often controlling. Data overwhelms- decades of books, conferences, research papers, judicial forums, articles- ??results??- even though well-presented plus detailed appeals made to judges, lawyers, Att. Gen'ls, gov't, media.....I've contacted 100s, written tons!
WHAT'S the ELEPHANT in the ROOM? Failure to personalize- connect all the interrelated dots back significantly to YOUR doorstep. Sept/Oct 2014 Audubon mag.- climate change(& how it imperils over ½ of NAmer. Bird species by 2080) - “ biggest public myth is belief many scientists disagree... 97% agree! We're not good at recognizing incremental changes that could pose potentially calamitous risks...
We need a new relationship with energy to go with our evolving new relationship with climate....Major university studies show intentional strategy to sow doubt, but aerial pics of Miami show moon tides now pushing water on streets through storm drains...23 of 25 densely populated counties border coast... Lots analyses here & abroad- global transition to clean energy is technically & economically feasible. Barriers to achieving it are social/political.”“Political” includes legal barriers & increasingly apply to everything. 9/23NYT-Watchdog for Police is Accepting Complaints-let's bombard them, expand nat'lly.
WHAT'S ANOTHER ELEPHANT in ROOM? Not requiring only WIN/WIN ideas since greed, self-
preservation, & power of indoctrination are strong. Sept. 2014 Readers' Digest, pg 80- “Ancestors had to get 'carrots,' meaning food & mates. If don't get carrot today, get another chance tomorrow. But if fail to avoid predator- whap! Our brains became wired to hyper-focus on bad news.” Lots of studies show emotional brain damage from abuse, yet even when we get evaluation including mostly good, studies show tendency to focus on criticism. Cliché applies-“catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”
How about incentives for judges to get fewest filed complaints, all issues, but esp. re kids? How can we constructively expose contradictions- Megan's Law- keep pedophiles away from kids but abusive custody or unsupervised visitation- judges order kids to live with pedophile? AMEND-if doubt, err on caution, etc.Military, sports, colleges, police promote rape by not constructively handle abusers/ note cycling. Re lots issues-scrutinize plea bargains, rethink sealed records, citizen review bds, rewards.
Need to elevate prestige of family court judges, require better training(all court actors) & increase pay.
Team up with someone when you approach a source. Do your homework- appeal to their self-interest. Maybe google reviews of hopeful or helpful plus troubling books, etc. such as Animal Madness- How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots.... Help Us Understand Ourselves; HOW- How We Do Anything Means Everything in Business & in Life; Perfect Match (novel accurately portraying how courts fail kids & protective parents when sex abuse occurs); The Death of Common Sense (by lawyer re courts) Beyond Outrage- What Has Gone Wrong with Our Economy & Our Democracy & How to Fix It; Border Patrol Nation & also The Divide-each re how we are becoming police state, but esp. vs poor & esp. vs people of color- policies keep them poor; Positive Parenting for a Peaceful World (great short easy read); yr 2000 movie, Pay It Forward (challenge-make them entertaining enough to draw crowds).
Support & request entertaining, constructive media such as described on front page NYT Arts 9/23, A Marriage in Trouble in Triplicate, theater acting out- “This is the way we were, way we are, & way we will be. And we are fools if we think we can separate any of these versions from the others...3 sets of couples play same couple at different stages.” It was taken from 6-part TV series of 4 decades ago when marriage rates began decline. Since people want to be happy, I'm hoping re-evaluation ensues, to increase marriage & keep together or deal more constructively with divorce, esp. for sake of kids.
NYT, 9/23, America Out of Whack- growing doubts free market can distribute growth rewards to those making it possible. STG- Isn't that because legal SYSTEM is used as weapon vs those who seek fairness?
PPS 10/5- I ran out of time to get this pg ready for Oct.2 conference. Some ex's also came afterwards/pg4
1, 2, 4, 8.... Even I, a former math teacher, am always astounded by final amount!
2) NYT 9/27/14- a) Nicholas Kristof, Stranger Danger & Guns- reports extremely disturbing statistics- 92% of Americans & 75% of N.R.A. members favor universal background checks before gun purchases since other statistics show what we've often heard- homes with guns have lots more suicides, murders, accidental gun deaths, etc. b) Frank Bruni, The Wilds of Education, REMINDS us that education is supposed to challenge & expand young minds (How else would all sorts of inventions occurred?). He cites several examples where some parents have objected to books (that refer to rape, civil disobedience, etc, even though they're full of life lessons about responsibility,etc), commencement speakers, etc. despite many students protesting.
DO WE STILL HAVE DEMOCRACY IF less than 50% of voters DETERMINE LAWS, etc. FOR rest of us?
- NYT 10/3/14, Jim Dwyer, Bureaucracy Turns Hero into a Rogue, states “by omitting essential context suggested a therapist was acting in self-interest in fund-raising, when in fact principal & others were using it to enable a disabled kid to write a creative book.” The legal system VERY regularly allows cases to be determined via “omitting essential context!”
- NYT 5/21/14- Joseph Berger, 71 Are Accused in Child Pornography Case, Officials Say, noting 70 men & 1 woman, & said “we can no longer assume people who prey on children are drifters as they included a police chief, nurses, boy scout leader, etc.” THAT'S NOT NEW NEWS! Nor is fact most sexual abusers are male. So why do judges, etc continue to doubt mothers' claims?
- Phyllis Chesler's 2001 book, Women's Inhumanity to Women-“a peculiar silence surrounds woman's inhumanity to woman.” I agree. She says “women love & depend on each other, but can't change cruelty to each other till admit it. They often choose peace over conflict which often means accepting status quo & punishing anyone challenging it. More need to choose justice.”I've noted cruelty of some female judges.
- 4/11/14- Mothers' Day in Washington DC- 4-day conf. (?5th) re safe mothers who lost custody of kids to batterers & molesters. ALL-DAY SEMINARS TO TEACH MOTHERS HOW TO TRY TO HELP KIDS LIVING WITH ABUSERS!! Is this Iraq? When several studies have long shown fabrication of abuse is ~2%, WHY can't we focus on the kids, not fathers' rights? BUT NOT WITHOUT COMPASSION as many were 1st abused themselves, which is why we must do everything to stop cycling abuse of all sorts! 98% of divorces are not about abuse, but can't ignore ~58,000 divorce cases/yr have judges order kids to abusive custody/unsupervised visits!!
NYT letters to editor, 2/10 re 2/3/14, “The Middle Class Is Steadily Dwindling. Just Ask the Business World,” virtually all indicate belief capitalism can't survive when too few can buy what capitalists make; such wealth hasn't been seen since Gilded Age. I AGAIN EMPHASIZE THAT ALL CONTRACTS are LEGAL DOCUMENTS, henceVIA LEGAL SYSTEM we must ESTABLISH CHECKS & BALANCES FOR FAIRER PAY TOP TO BOTTOM. Note continued exploitation of parttime workers (Part-Time Schedules, Full-Time Headaches, 7/18- & there was flurry of too few efforts to “limit harshest effects,”
- NYT 9/21 Kristof- Alicia Keys Asks: Why Are We Here? Picture of nude (covering essentials) pregnant Alicia with peace sign on belly-to finally get attention,“galvanize infantry of fans from feeling frustrated to improving world.” She asks support for 12 groups; next steps -petitions, rallies, protests, fundraising...