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Old 04-23-2008, 10:20 AM   #81
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YFZ: "It takes a villlage" versus "It takes a government"
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Old 04-23-2008, 11:19 AM   #82
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ahh....this is kind of interesting....in all the early reports of the call from "Sarah" i've read something to the effect of:

Quote:
a terrified 16-year-old girl to a family-violence shelter who accused her 50-year-old husband of beating and raping her
as quoted from the article linked in the first post of this thread.

....or from Slate's preface of the affidavitwhich led to the warrant, something like

Quote:
The raid was conducted in response to telephone calls on March 29 and 30 by a teenager who told child-safety and shelter workers that she and her 8-month-old infant were virtual prisoners inside the sect grounds.
even the affidavit states:

Quote:
the teenaged mother had called local family violence shelters
now from this story comes this little detail:

Quote:
She made the calls to Flora Jessop, a former FLDS member who now runs Child Protection Project, which helps girls and women escape from the sect
not so oddly, the authorities in this matter haven't seen fit to call attention to the fact that
*Sarah*'s bogus call went to the Child Protection Project, an organization that specifically targets the FLDS and who's focus is to:

Quote:
expose the abuses inside polygamous groups in an effort to free the victims and also to demand action on the part of government and law enforcement.
at the very least, Flora Jessop et al are as responsible for the hoax as "Sarah" -- they are familiar enough with the FLDS that they could have easily ferreted out the hoax had they wanted to.

and it also demonstrates how eager the CPS was to find a pretext--that they would uncritically accept a call from a group with an unequivocally stated axe to grind against the FLDS is silly.

(I also like how the cps always carefully states that "a number of minors" are pregnant, if the "number" were a big number, I bet we'd know what that number is...you know 1 is technically a number and 2 also....)

i'm also inclined to think that the extent to which this little tidbit has been concealed suggests that the State knew it was something to hide.




-------------------

addendum:
Quote:
In a sign of continuing chaos surrounding the case, DFPS on Monday revised the number of children in protective custody from 416 to 437.

"We didn't get a good count. They were moving around, some of them were in different rooms when we were counting," explained Shari Pulliam of DFPS. And some teens said they were adults when they were really minors.
hmmm....my earlier statement: "the State has made another bargain with the mother's, this one being that only mothers who are themselves minors may remain with the children, thereby putting women who are not minors in the position of lying to help the State make it's case if they want to see their children."
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Old 04-23-2008, 02:56 PM   #83
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http://www.liftingtheveil.org/foster04.htm

Quote:
A recent class action lawsuit filed on behalf of foster children in the State of Arizona serves well to indicate the extent of sexual abuse of children in state care.

The suit alleges that over 500 of an estimated 4,000 foster children, a figure representing at least 12.5 percent of the state's foster care population, have been sexually abused while in state care.
If that allegation is approximately correct, or at least if the allegation is no more exaggerated than the State's charges against the FLDS*, then this would suggest that the FLDS girls are about 10 times more likely to be sexually abused now while under the protection of the State than before when they were on YFZ.

I think those who aren't bothered by the grotesque abrogation of natural rights could at least attempt to explain how 10 girls getting raped by strangers is better than 1 girl getting raped by a family member.


(*I note that most of the charges the State has made have not held up, such as the notion that Sarah was beaten and raped etc., etc... as well as the inflammatory notion that the presence of a cot in a church was evidence of systemmic ritualized rape as part of a worship service.

Also, I'm generously assuming that of the "number" of minors who are pregnant or have children, none of these are 17 year old girls who hooked up with a boyfriend nor are they 16 or 17 year old girls who are quite legally married, thus explaining their maternal condition.)
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Old 04-23-2008, 04:48 PM   #84
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I'm just catching up on this story...thanks to especially to Alex for his thoughtful and fair opinions on this...

I am certainly no fan of polygamy(in philosophy or practice)...but it looks like the State might have really over reached its bounds on this one.

Taking hundreds of children from their mothers when there is no evidence of any abuse from the mothers is insane to me.
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Old 04-23-2008, 09:33 PM   #85
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Unfortunately, this is what CPS does... I have known several people who's children have been taken from the home, for far lesser accusations. They were eventually returned, of course... but this is how CPS operates. They take the children away, and then ask questions... and they don't have to go to the FISA court to get permission either.

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Old 04-24-2008, 10:32 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefelump
Unfortunately, this is what CPS does... I have known several people who's children have been taken from the home, for far lesser accusations. They were eventually returned, of course... but this is how CPS operates. They take the children away, and then ask questions... and they don't have to go to the FISA court to get permission either.
in the case of the many of the FLDS parents, I find it hard to believe that anyone could have their children taken from them while being accused of less -- most (like > 95% most) haven't been accused of anything other than teaching their children that it's good to have large families.

seriously:

Quote:
"There are young girls who feel the pinnacle of their existence is to get married whenever they are told and have as many children as they can have," she [agent Angie Voss] said.
buried in all the evil things that evil fundie mormons do, the essence of the State's case against the fundie mormons is not that they have abused the kids, but rather that they teach their kids wrong. As I say I can't imagine anyone having their kids taken from them while being accused of less.

and regardless of how the cps may normally abrogate citizen's rights, they are nonetheless a goverment agency and therefore bound to respect the 4th amendment if they are to act lawfully.
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:13 AM   #87
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This is going to be a naive question. But if there is anyone who is familiar with how the interface between law enforcement and the legal systems works, I'd appreciate the insight.

I imagine it's a routine occurrence, but I keep having an uneasy feeling about the fact that the judge who issues the astoundingly broad warrants, is also the judge overseeing the hearing determining the removal of the children. This seems like a real weakness to the system--allowing one judge's decisions to cut so deep and so wide without anyone else ever even having an opportunity to say, "Hey, but wait a second.....".

I obviously don't understand the nature of the hearing either. Who testified on behalf of the parents? Was any rebuttal (or cross examination) permitted? From media reports, it sounds as if CPS was allowed to make unsupported allegations, which the judge and the judge alone accepted, resulting in the removal of 450 children, without any opportunity for the parents to challenge them. How can it be that one judge alone can rule with such flimsy evidence, that doesn't even pass the smell-test or the straight-face test?

Doesn't this leave the system vulnerable to one person's prejudices, or one person's gullability, or one person' manipulability, or one person's corruption even? The judge in question is an elected official, facing election in the coming year, who is rooted in the community, and whose spouse is a prominent radiologist in the community. Does it have to be pointed out that the judge's career (and to a large extent her family's livelihood) is subject to the influence of how she is seen in the community? That she is subject to "co-operating" somewhat uncrticially with local law enforcement agencies, and to going along with local public opinion, without regard for an unpopular religious minority's right to due process?

I don't kid myself either that it wouldn't be that difficult for The System to get two lackeys to give a judicial rubber-stamp that would result in pretty much the same abuses, but seriously.......all of this with just one judge's approval?
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:48 PM   #88
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you know, people are quick here to criticize the quick grab of kids, both in this circumstance and others, by CPS... but i GUARANTY that there would be much more criticizm if the CPS had a breath of a hint that there was a problem before a tragedy (a child killed or seriously abused) and hadn't moved fast and hard enough to prevent it.

the fact is that they are a (probably) understaffed group (meaning the folks actually hitting the street investigating this sorta crud) tasked with doing a damn delicate job with wispy and amorphous information... PLUS they are a bureacracy wrapped within a larger bureacracy that has operate within fairly tightly defined guidelines with the judiciaciary ANOTHER large bureacracy. Lets agree that in this scenario they are not going to be able to change direction with nimble agility of a speed boat... they are a supertanker, in a fog, on a small creek.

fact is there are grounds for moving fast with scanty information here, because type I error (failure to prevent a heinous act agaist children) is usually much worse than type II error in this case (temp move a child out of a house where after the dust settles it is apparent that they shouldn't have).
<<< this, of course, assumes that the children aren't abused by the very system that was designed to protect them>>>

now ^^^ this ^^^ is all general discussion... in this case lots of you are quick to alledge not only that CPS moved in a situation where they should've stood down but thtat they ALSO moved for politically motivated religious persecution reasons.... I'll wait for some of the dust to settle, and facts to emerge (other than blogosphere "facts") before I make a judgement on this particular case.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:33 PM   #89
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Minority Report?
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:18 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcsluggo
....in this case lots of you are quick to alledge not only that CPS moved in a situation where they should've stood down but thtat they ALSO moved for politically motivated religious persecution reasons.... I'll wait for some of the dust to settle, and facts to emerge (other than blogosphere "facts") before I make a judgement on this particular case.
Most importantly, I don't think public relations concerns trump the 4th amendment, so whatever pubic outcry the CPS may have faced is neither here nor there.

And to clarify, it's not so much that I argue that the CPS shouldn't respond to pleas for help, even if the pleas later to turn out to be bogus. Rather, it is beyond dispute that the State of Texas had long been looking for a pretext to raid those people and furthermore the State has re-written laws with the express purpose of catching these folks in a trap. That is, inasmuch as the State of Texas has targeted these people and laid legal traps for these people, it is certainly quite prudent to seriously question the process where the State's probable cause was established with a lie. You say that:

Quote:
the fact is that they are a (probably) understaffed group (meaning the folks actually hitting the street investigating this sorta crud) tasked with doing a damn delicate job with wispy and amorphous information...
This is not a fact at all -- they had been investigating this group for four years and they went in with SWAT teams, helicopters, automatic weapons, and armored personnel carriers. This was not something done on the fly nor on the cheap -- this was a tactical plan and an end goal waiting on a pretext. That they had waited this long for any good reason to go in, and that the best the State had after that long of a wait was something which is not real, ought to give us pause to reflect on why we should fear more a Type I error with regard to this bunch as compared to any other bunch.

The Type I error type reasoning, in my view, begins with a pre-judgment of these folks based on their religion. Now, I won't go so far as to say that it is entirely unreasonable to pre-judge these people based on their religion. But I will say that it is very unreasonable and most annoying to simultaneously pre-judge these people on the basis of their religion and to say this isn't about their religion.

But anyway....even if we imagine the State of Texas was operating in good faith and within the spirit of the law (a big leap of imagination, imo), we still must take note that an the basis of an allegation about one girl, the state has taken 437 (100%) of the kids at YFZ. This leap from 1 to 100% must be accounted for. I cannot imagine that there are more than a couple of ways in which the CPS makes this leap:

1) after the CPS entered the compound and requested to speak with one girl who does not exist, the fundamentalist mormons there promptly paraded hundreds of bruised and battered children from 100% of the families at YFZ before the CPS. This voluntary parade of the systemically abused demonstrated probable cause that 100% of the parents at YFZ were abusing their children; or

2) the CPS saw a couple of girls who looked young and were carrying babies, and knowing that the sect practices (or reserves the right to practice?) polygamy they took this as prima facie evidence of abuse by 100% of the adherents of this religion (at any rate, they did not regard this as evidence of teens having sex or of young women being legally married, neither of these being abuse). That is, they judged them collectivly as a group rather than affording each of the parents (and their children) rights inherent to individual citizens.

Inasmuch as the State practically brags that #2 above is the case, I'd say it's far past too early to say that the facts have emerged and the state is prosecuting (and persecuting) a religious group based on their religious beliefs....(fwiw, I don't necessarily call this a politically motivated persecution, rather it's more a matter of the hubris of incessant do-goodism coupled with a disdain for those who fall outside the mainstream)

Moreover, it is a fait accompli that the State has taken custody of these children. Either the parents have custody of their children or they don't. Either the state has custody or it doesn't. There is no "temporary" qualifier to be had nor found.

The State has taken their children, and it has done so because of their beliefs as FLDS. These facts have well emerged and it is none too early to judge them.
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:45 PM   #91
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I hope this doesn't interfere with Big Love ratings.
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:48 PM   #92
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i gotta think this will take big love through the roof.
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Old 04-24-2008, 05:02 PM   #93
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Default State of Texas Continues to Abuse Rights of Children and Mothers

The State determines that birth certificates CAN be used to convict, but CAN'T be used to exonnerate.

Quote:
25 mothers taken from FLDS ranch now believed to be minors

SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) — The number of children in Texas custody after being taken from a polygamist retreat now stands at 462 because officials believe another 25 mothers from the compound are under 18.

Child Protective Services spokesman Darrell Azar says the girls initially claimed to be adults but are now in state custody. Earlier they had been staying voluntarily with their children at a shelter at the San Angelo Coliseum.

The official number of children taken from the ranch controlled by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been rising since a state raid three weeks ago. One reason is that some mothers under 18 claimed to be adults.

Roughly 260 children remain at the coliseum. The others were bused to foster facilities.
Shameful. No level of the State will protect these people's rights.
When will the Feds step in?
Quote:
April 24, 2008, 3:22PM
Appeals Court says state can take children to foster homes

AUSTIN — An appeals court rejected pleas from the mothers of more than 400 children seized from a polygamist sect to immediately stop authorities from busing their kids to far-flung foster homes, but it agreed to hear arguments in the case next week.

The children, who had been staying in shelters in San Angelo since officials removed them from the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado on April 3, were boarding buses Thursday.

The state won temporary custody of the children from state District Judge Barbara Walther last week. Child welfare officials removed the children on suspicion of physical and sexual abuse after a family violence center received a call from a female saying she was a 16-year-old girl inside the compound whose 49-year-old husband beat and raped her.

Authorities suspect that the call may have come from a woman in Colorado who has a history of making fake calls to authorities. The 16-year-old caller has not been identified among the 437 children in Texas custody.

Attorney Robert Doggett appealed the lower court's ruling on Wednesday and sought emergency action to halt the removal of the children to foster group homes as far away as Houston — 500 miles away — and elsewhere around the state.

The Third Court of Appeals did not address the request to allow the kids to remain nearby, but set a hearing for Tuesday.

"Obviously, we're disappointed with the court of appeals failure to act timely," said Doggett, an attorney representing 48 mothers in the case. He said "having a hearing after the fact" was pointless.

Attorneys for the mothers argued that a two-day custody hearing for all the children together — which devolved into a legal circus spread over two buildings with hundreds of lawyers jockeying for a single judge's attention — was inadequate.

Without adequate hearings for each child, removing them from their mothers is "in plain violation of Texas and federal law," attorneys said in the motion.

The youngsters will be held in foster group homes around the state until individual custody decisions can be made. Those hearings are expected to wrap up in June.

Two buses partially filled with women left the San Angelo Coliseum Thursday to be returned to the ranch owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — a renegade Mormon sect — in preparation for moving the rest of the children out in the coming days. One woman held a hand-written sign out the window that read: "SOS. Mothers separated. Help."

Cynthia Martinez, a spokeswoman for legal aid attorneys representing the mothers, said the women were gathered and told that children older than 1 year would go with CPS. They weren't allowed to say goodbye, she said.

CPS officials did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment.

"It could very well be there's some good reasons to remove some of those children, absolutely," Doggett said. "But to suggest all of them be painted with this broad brush because they belong to a particular religion is a very dangerous thing and that's why we have courts."
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Old 04-24-2008, 05:07 PM   #94
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SAN ANGELO, Texas (AP) — The number of children in Texas custody after being taken from a polygamist retreat now stands at 462 because officials believe another 25 mothers from the compound are under 18.

Child Protective Services spokesman Darrell Azar says the girls initially claimed to be adults but are now in state custody. Earlier they had been staying voluntarily with their children at a shelter at the San Angelo Coliseum.

The official number of children taken from the ranch controlled by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been rising since a state raid three weeks ago. One reason is that some mothers under 18 claimed to be adults.
this is where we're supposed to completely forget that the State effectively said, "if you want to see your children, you have to say that you're a minor."

april 20, 2008 link...

Quote:
Child welfare officials allowed adult mothers with children ages 4 and younger to stay together when the state took custody of the rest of the children from the ranch. Now, only mothers younger than 18 will be allowed to remain with their children once the sampling is complete.
sometime ago the CPS told these women they couldn't see their kids unless they went to a shelter for abused women. lo and behold, days later reports rang out that "a number" of women had entered abused womens shelters.

Then they tell these women that they're to be separated from the children aged 4 and under unless they're minors, and lo and behold we find that a whole bunch of these women are now claiming to be minors. Bear in mind that the State has said it can't determine how old these kids (and adults) are, hence the only way they have of ascertaining that this pack of girls who now claim to be under 18 are under 18 is that the girls claim it to be so.

now if you were a 22 year old girl (this includes you, sike) who has never worn make-up, never drank caffeine, never drank alcohol, never smoked cigarettes, etc., etc....ie, if you were a 20 year old girl who could very easily pass for 17 and someone said to you "if you want to see your baby daughter, you have to say that you are 18....."

Would you a) hand your baby girl over to some stranger that you've been long taught to greatly distrust; or b) lie and stay with your daughter?

You would lie and you would stay with your daughter is what you would do, and in doing so you would provide ammo to the state to make the case that underaged women are being sexually abused.

Be very assured that the choice these 18+ mothers are faced with has crossed the State's mind -- what the State is doing is using the love these women have for their children against them.

that's fucking sick, psychotic behavior and prima facie evidence that however imperiled these children may be with the flds, they are now in the hands of an even sicker, more dispicable group of people.
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Old 04-25-2008, 12:05 AM   #95
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Honestly, I don't know what I think anymore. My one foray into serious political conversation took way too much out of me.

But I do think El Dorado has some serious explaining to do.
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Old 04-25-2008, 06:15 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack.Kerr
You might make one more note: The Bapitst Child and Family Services social services organization was directly involved in the arrest and displacement of the children, and was the lead organization involved in providing detention facilities for the children, at a reported estimated cost of $60,000 per day, to be reimbursed by the state.

The organization has also indicated that it would take an active role in relocating and adopting (selling) the children to good Christian homes. <ahem>

It's a beautiful picture--Government and Fundamentalist Baptists working hand-in-hand to rescue and re-progam the children of a deviant culture, all for the glory of God, and the enrichment of religious organizations at taxpayer expense.

No publicly announced plans yet to confiscate the YFZ Ranch and convert it into a Baptist youth church camp and indoctrination center, but....stay tuned and keep your eye on who owns the property 5 years from now.
Religious-affiliated organizations profiting from actions of State.

Quote:
Baptist Children’s Youth Ranch accepts
75 children removed from FLDS compound

By Craig Bird

Baptist Child & Family Services

LULING—Seventy-five children removed from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ranch by the Texas Department of Child Protective Services have been placed with Baptist Children’s Home Youth Ranch near Luling.

This will allow for large groups of siblings to remain together at the facility which has been adapted to house FLDS children exclusively, administrators explained.

By court order, 462 children removed from the FLDS compound near Eldorado are being moved to children’s homes all across the state.

Baptist Children’s Home is a division of Baptist Child & Family Services, a BGCT-affiliated agency based in San Antonio.

BCFS Health and Human Services, another division of BCFS that provides emergency management and incident management, has been in charge of the San Angelo unified command of state and local government, as well as other nonprofit responding organizations since April 5. At the peak, more than 1,000 responders were involved in the San Angelo operation.

“The children are being treated with the utmost consideration, care and respect like all people we care for and we will continue to protect their privacy,” BCFS President Kevin Dinnin said. “Special attention is being paid to ensuring their special dietary and religious needs are honored and met. The children’s education needs are also being met.”

The San Angelo shelters kept more than 50 BCFS incident management team members and more than $1 million of BCFS assets in San Angelo three weeks, including two mobile medical units and the mobile feeding unit supported by Texas Baptist Men.

The transfer of children was expected to be completed April 25. More than 1,000 people from numerous state and nonprofit organizations were slated to participate in a critical stress management process as part of the demobilization plan.

“Though there are significant differences, there is a common denominator between what we are doing in this situation and what we did for Hurricane Katrina evacuees and victims of the Sri Lanka tsunami and what we’re doing to help fight the international sex trafficking in Moldova,” Dinnin said. “We didn’t create the situation but are working to meet the needs of those affected.”
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Old 04-26-2008, 01:22 AM   #97
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It is standard procedure for the state to reimburse those who provide shelter and care for children removed from their homes by CPS. When the state doesn't have the manpower or resources to do what it is supposed to do, it looks for help from others. It should be a happy sign that our government reimburses those who help, rather than making it a free "volunteer" initiative.

Just because there's a religion attached to the name of a group of people doesn't mean there's a conspiracy. Unless you've got some evidence of money being paid as a kickback or gift to these religious organizations, the whole thing just looks like non-profit organizations offering to help bail the state out of a monstrous administrative/resource nightmare. Non-profit doesn't mean free.

And if you're concerned about the early involvement of these organizations, I think it is encouraging that the state had its ducks in a row first... rather than removing hundreds of kids without adequate housing locations, and THEN reaching out desperately for help as kids and mothers slept on the floor of a crowded CPS office. Imagine the outrage if that had happened instead.
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Old 04-26-2008, 03:07 PM   #98
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To the best of my knowledge the only child abuse allegation of any possible substance made by the CPS has been that a "number" of minors are either pregnant or have children. There haven't been any other allegations -- no beaten and bruised little mormon babies, no broken bones, just a "number" of pregant minors or minors with kids.

I've waited quite patiently to try to figure out just what that "number" may be, and according to this article it looks like that number might be right around 2 pregnant, and perhaps there are a couple under the age of 18 who have kids.

That's roughly 2 out of 400 kids pregant, and I dare say that if you wander through any highschool in the state of texas you might find just as many pregnant teenagers (i can recall one pregnant girl out of my class of less than 100, and no i wasn't the daddy)

anyhoo, i think it's fair to ask, just how many pregnant minors in a community are sufficiently few that it is not justifiable to round up one-hundred percent of the children, including the children of parents who don't have any pregnant minors in their family, just so that we may err on the safe side?

but i digress...

Quote:
FLDS attorney challenges Texas count of pregnant minors from polygamous sect
By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

SAN ANGELO, Texas - An attorney for FLDS families in Texas challenged the state's allegations of a "pervasive pattern" of underage girls having children, saying the state's own documents show just three teenagers in custody are pregnant. Of those girls, one will turn 18 in a few months and another merely refused to take a pregnancy test, said Rod Parker, a Salt Lake City attorney representing families at the YFZ Ranch. "That leaves us with one," he said. Parker also said Friday that one state document includes a woman whose first child was born mre than a decade ago. He said he based his statements on a copy of a list created by an investigator for Texas Child Protective Services. "I challenge CPS to come forward with the pregnant minors," said Parker. Investigator Angie Voss submitted the chart last week during a two-day court hearing to bolster the state's contention that all children at the ranch were at risk of abuse....
and here we have the CPS spokesperson noting that "20 listed in the court document as pregnant or as mothers" may overlap with the group of 25 girls who claimed to be adults but are actually minors. We can be reasonably certain that the CPS knows they are minors because these girls tell the CPS they are minors, and moreover it is fairly evident that these girls changed their claim about their age at the precise time when claiming to be minors allowed them to stay with their children*.

Quote:
The count of children in custody rose again Friday after CPS determined that 25 girls who claimed to be adults are actually minors, said spokesman Chris Van Deusen. That group may overlap with the 20 listed in the court document as pregnant or as mothers, he said. "The only thing we can say is we're aware of 20 young girls who became pregnant when they were between the ages of 13 and 16," Van Deusen said. "That's not to say that there are 20 now, but at the time they conceived they were 13, 14, 15, or 16. "That establishes that there was some sexual abuse here," he said [nb: umm, no it doesn't establish that there was some sexual abuse here, it establishes that somewhere some woman had sex when she was a teenager with someone, and it establishes nothing more]....
It is telling that it doesn't seem to cross the mind of the cps spokesperson that these women are lying about their age.


(*at some point in the distant or not too distant future, some or many of these women will change their story and say that they are, in fact, over the age of 18. some noxious people will then cite their dishonesty in their dealings with the state as further evidence of their guilt, as if undeniably a mother should exhibit more loyalty to her state than to her own children.)
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Old 04-26-2008, 04:58 PM   #99
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two excellent posts by a dude who really gets into Texas laws regarding child abuse and the kidnapping, er, the protection of kids who have been allegedly abused by the cps...

that is, protection by the cps, not abuse by the cps, notwithstanding that the two statements are virtually synonymous.

anyway, two good posts...

one

two

....................

ps....up until now I've mostly accepted that Texas authorities were acting on something approximating good faith with regards to the hoax that started it all, or at least i haven't thought it made any difference whether they did or didn't act in good faith...

....mmmm.....not so sure anymore, buddy.

I mentioned earlier that the "hoax" phone call went at one point through one Flora Jessop....

We might also recall that the Schleicher County Sheriff David Doran has stated that he has relied upon an informant who is an ex-member of FLDS for about 4 years....

link...

that link, btw, is a picture of Doran and Flora Jessop from April, 2004. four years ago, kinda like the exact time which Doran claims he has been working with an ex-member of the FLDS....

so...if (and that is an "if") Flora Jessops is Doran's informant, then we have a case where the state of texas acted upon a hoax call which originated from someone who was actively trying to get law enforcement agencies to target this group and who also happened to be an informant to a sheriff who quite unequivocally says that he was waiting on the right pretext to go after the group. where there's that much stink, there's bound to be at least a little shit.
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:07 PM   #100
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http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/...n4048476.shtml

There. Now, the main media is taking up the cause.
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:33 PM   #101
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http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_9056589?source=rss

It appears that all they have found is 20 women who have had children at an age that constitutes statutory rape. That includes women currently in their 30's and 40's where the math shows that their first child/pregnancy was at a young age.

So, how many of those roughly 470 children are the result of statutory rape (I won't call it polygamy because they aren't married and if we call it polygamy then every man with children from two women that he had a concurrent affair with is a polygamist)?

So, what is the logic legally to seize all the children?

Again, the logic is that the whole group is guilty by culture and religion of setting an environment where maladaptive children MIGHT occur.

Again, that means to be consistent, CPS will need to invade a high percentage of America and take their children for reasons that I have listed before. The legal precedent here is very dangerous...
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:37 AM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexamenos
To the best of my knowledge the only child abuse allegation of any possible substance made by the CPS has been that a "number" of minors are either pregnant or have children. There haven't been any other allegations -- no beaten and bruised little mormon babies, no broken bones, just a "number" of pregant minors or minors with kids.

I've waited quite patiently to try to figure out just what that "number" may be, and according to this article it looks like that number might be right around 2 pregnant, and perhaps there are a couple under the age of 18 who have kids.

That's roughly 2 out of 400 kids pregant, and I dare say that if you wander through any highschool in the state of texas you might find just as many pregnant teenagers (i can recall one pregnant girl out of my class of less than 100, and no i wasn't the daddy)
yes... because those 2, 3 , and 4 year old boys just keep on refusing to get pregnant...
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:17 AM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcsluggo
yes... because those 2, 3 , and 4 year old boys just keep on refusing to get pregnant...
fair enough -- that was a poor comparison on my part.

nonetheless, i think the question i raised is still one deserving of a reply:

Quote:
... how many pregnant minors in a community are sufficiently few that it is not justifiable to round up one-hundred percent of the children, including the children of parents who don't have any pregnant minors in their family, just so that we may err on the safe side?
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:18 AM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmbwinn
http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_9056589?source=rss

It appears that all they have found is 20 women who have had children at an age that constitutes statutory rape. That includes women currently in their 30's and 40's where the math shows that their first child/pregnancy was at a young age..
and as i belabor to point out, that 20 women also includes any number of women who changed their story about their age at precisely the same time as the State all but told them that they can only see their children again if they are under-age.

...............................

and from the Stein article you linked....

Quote:
Can't someone say the obvious here? That in this case, it's not the Mormons who are the criminals, it's the government of Texas.
I completely agree with Stein here, and this is where my political heresies really start to part way with my more orthodox bretheren. Governments, being comprised of men (of both sexes), are generally about as prone to criminal behavior as any other group of people, but inasmuch as they write and enforce the laws it's that much easier for them to get away with their lawlessness.
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Old 04-28-2008, 04:27 PM   #105
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link....


The State gets a bit more specific....

Quote:
Texas: 31 of 53 teen girls from FLDS ranch have been pregnant
By Michelle Roberts

SAN ANTONIO -- Texas child welfare officials say that more than half the teenage girls swept into state custody from a polygamist sect's ranch have been pregnant.
Child Protective Services spokesman Darrell Azar says 53 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 were living on the ranch in Eldorado. Of that group, 31 already have children or are pregnant.
State officials took custody of all 463 children at the Yearning For Zion Ranch more than three weeks ago after a raid prompted by calls to a domestic violence hotline.
CPS says there was a pattern of underage girls forced into so-called "spiritual marriages" with much older men at the ranch.
if this is correct, i nevertheless have a problem with the way the state handled things vis a vis mother and child, i very much have a problem with the collective guilt approach to law enforcement, but regardless the 18+ year old males out at the compound ought to be strung up by their 'nads asap.

stilll...i'm a wee skeptical of this pronouncement by the CPS spokesperson....hmmm....it comes on the heels of the increase in the kid count which followed the policy of only letting minor moms stay with their kids. but then again, 53 out of 460 odd kids sounds about right for the number of teenaged girls aged 14-17, given an equal number of boys and girls and equally distributed ages.
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Old 04-28-2008, 07:34 PM   #106
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I may be old-fashioned, but I think the state (along with parents and communities) has failed the non-Mormon community as well by allowing the current high level of teenage pregnancy and promiscuity. Maybe this is a great time to reevaluate what exactly we are letting our own children do.

Generally, laws and law enforcement aren't exactly the best situations to apply "let he without sin cast the first stone."
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Old 04-29-2008, 10:35 AM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkFTW
I may be old-fashioned, but I think the state (along with parents and communities) has failed the non-Mormon community as well by allowing the current high level of teenage pregnancy and promiscuity. Maybe this is a great time to reevaluate what exactly we are letting our own children do.

Generally, laws and law enforcement aren't exactly the best situations to apply "let he without sin cast the first stone."
you're touching on an aspect of this that actually bugs me the most, but yet it's an aspect I have the hardest time addressing.

any such discussion I may venture into usually ends with something like, "oh yeah, will what if they decide to boil their children alive and then barbecue them and then have sex with the boiled and barbecued remains of their children because it's part of their religion?" (as is if screwing the corpse of a barbecued baby is morally equivalent to a 28 year old male having sex with a 17 year old female)....but anyhoo....broadly speaking my terribly inchoate thoughts on the matter go something like this.....

1. mores regarding sexual relations are very, very dependent upon cultural context -- what is deemed appropriate sexual behavior in a largely lutheran community is plausibly quite different from appropriate behavior in a San Francisco bathhouse.....not that i've spent much time in any lutheran communties....

2. sexual mores are based by and large upon religious convictions -- at least in the West, the notion that thou shalt have one wife and one wife only (ie, monagamous relationships good, non-monagamous relationships bad) is a Christian sacrament going back to the earliest of times....even in bible times the dudes were fighting like cats and dogs over whether a woman could get a divorce.....they took their monagamy quite seriously, but I digress....

3. laws governing sexual relations are basically extensions of the predominant religious millieu....laws prohibiting sodomy, adultry, prostitution, etc., etc.... are all basically extensions of religious taboos regarding sex....and so too polygamy in the monagamous christian west. Point being, the only way I can say that polygamy (per se) is objectively wrong is to say that the Bible tells me so, and I don't know how I can reasonably expect everyone else on earth to see the soundness of that reasoning.

4. the age of majority, so to speak, is likewise a very culturally sensitive thing as well as a very individual thing. Presently in our culture we have 30 year old males who are not capable of providing for themselves -- they're basically large, hairy, 30 year old children. Through the ages men have fought in wars at 15 and younger -- women have married at the age of 14 or 15 (Mary the mother of Jesus as I recall was 13 or 14, and arguably impregnated by an older man).

Point being, when a male (female) becomes a man (woman) is hardly a static thing -- it's not like one day a person is a child and then the next day he is a fully formed adult capable of borrowing money and getting porn on the internet and voting. The process from childhood to adulthood is really a continuous and on-going process which begans at a young age and continues without end (well, until death). It is silly to draw a firm line and say with something approaching moral certainty that a girl who is 17 years 363 days old is not capable of consenting to a sexual relationship but a girl who is 17 years 368 days old has reached an age where she may consent.

5. I can hardly say that with any moral certainty that life as a thrice divorced, college-educated, childless accountant is a morally superior calling to life as a third wife of FLDS bishop and mother of five. Hence, it's hardly my place to say what these people should teach their children in this regards (and, as you may recall, it is this teaching by the flds that having babies is good is much of the basis of the CPS' complaint)...

6. So, to summarize, we have moms and dad telling their 16 year old daughters that they can and should get married, and I have a hard time saying that this is objectively wrong. We have 16 year old daughters agreeing to do this, and I have a hard time saying they are incapable of making this decision. We have 16 year old girls getting married and impregnated by (in some cases) men as old as 40 who may already have a wife or two, and I have a hard time saying this is criminal behavior (see, for instance, The Girls Next Door) which ought to be punished any more severely then the punishment commonly doled out for sodomy.

7. On the other hand, we have the State of Texas taking babies from their mommas, and if taking a baby from it's momma ain't wrong then nothing is wrong.

--------------------

addendum:

with respect to my earlier statement that "the 18+ year old males out at the compound ought to be strung up by their 'nads asap"--this was a) an emotional reaction based upon my prejudices rather than a more reasoned and thoughtful considerations; and b) why I qualify my opinions on the matter as "inchoate" in the first place.
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:06 AM   #108
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who knew ...... the rocket had a suite at the FLDS ranch ?
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/ba...r_fling_w.html
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:06 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by alexamenos
i'm a wee skeptical of this pronouncement by the CPS spokesperson.....
and my wee skepticism has thus-far not been shown unreasonable:

Quote:
New statistics released Monday indicate that 53 of the girls are between the ages of 14 and 17. "We believe that 31 of them either have children or are pregnant," Crimmins said. "In most cases, that's what the girls have told us."

Of those 53, Crimmins said 26 claim to be 18 or older. "But we don't think they are," he said.
....that 26 helps explain how the number went from about 5 to 31, and the explanation "we don't think they are" tells me something about how firm a foundation the "31 in 53 kiddies are mommies" charges rests upon.

and bear in mind that the State wouldn't let things like State of Texas issued drivers licenses and birth certificates serve as proof of a persons age.....

link
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:08 AM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcsluggo
who knew ...... the rocket had a suite at the FLDS ranch ?
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/ba...r_fling_w.html
hey little girl, can i show you my curveballs?
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:06 PM   #111
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link....

Quote:
FLDS update: Under guard, sect teenager giving birth in Texas
By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune

An FLDS female whose age is in dispute was in labor in a San Marcos hospital Tuesday, accompanied by Texas Rangers and CPS workers, an attorney said.
Attorney Rod Parker, an FLDS spokesman, said Pamela Jeffs is 18 - the same age shown for her on a court document prepared by Texas Child Protective Services.
Jeffs is one of 26 females CPS has now classified as minors
, an assessment that the FLDS said Monday was erroneous.
"Her husband is 22 and they are a monogamous couple," Parker said. He said Jeffs' husband is not at the hospital with her.
The couple also have a 16-month-old son, who is being held at The Children's Shelter in Austin.
so....it looks to me like the following is true or at least true as far as the State of Texas knows;

1. Pamela Jeffs claims to be 18;
2. A court document prepared by CPS shows her to be 18;
3. Pamela Jeffs and her husband are monogamous (not unlikely if he is in fact 22, as far as I can tell it takes several, several years for a fundie fellow to accumulate 3-5 wives);
4. Pamela Jeffs was apparently 16 when she had her first child;
5. Girls can legally get married in Texas at the age of 16 so long as their parents consent;
6. Pamela Jeff's 16 year old month son shows no signs of abuse (the CPS agent in charge testified that the children were, by and large, healthy and loved and the only substantive indication of abuse was pregnant kiddies);

If the above is true, or even if at least the State of Texas has no sound reason to believe otherwise, then the State of Texas has taken the 16 month old son of a legally married couple for no reason other than that the State cannot abide the religious affiliation of the parents. Furthermore, the mother is being touted by the CPS as further evidence that children or being abused, notwithstanding that the only plausible reason the mother went with the CPS in the first place was to remain with her young son.
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:51 PM   #112
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Most underage girls conceived
On Monday, CPS announced that almost 60 percent of the underage girls living on the Eldorado ranch either have children or are pregnant.

Of the 53 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 who are in state custody, 31 either have given birth or were expecting, Azar said.

Under Texas law, children under the age of 17 generally cannot consent to sex with an adult. A girl can get married with parental permission at 16, but none of the sect’s girls is believed to have a legal marriage under state law.

A number of girls first listed as adults were reclassified as minors as Child Protective Services, a division of Family and Protective Services, moved the children last week from a mass shelter in San Angelo to foster care facilities around the state, including some near San Marcos, in central Texas.

Church officials have denied that any children were abused at the ranch and say the state’s actions are a form of religious persecution. They also dispute the count of teen mothers, saying at least some are likely adults.

All the children are supposed to get individual hearings before June 5 to help determine if they’ll stay in state custody or if their parents may be able to take steps to regain custody. The first hearings have been set for May 19.

No one has been charged since the raid, which was prompted by a series of calls to a domestic abuse hot line, purportedly from a 16-year-old girl forced into a marriage recognized only by the sect with a man three times her age. That girl has not been found and authorities are investigating whether the call was a hoax.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24388249

__________________________________________

The above is interesting. As I pointed out earlier, these "fundies" avoid the anti polygamy laws by not getting married. They are "spiritual" spouses which means they were "married" by their church but not in a way recognized by law.

Now, this "end around" technique to avoid the polygamy laws is going to bite them in the backside because now the pregnant girls aged 16-just under 18 are pregnant by statutory rape. They could have married their "spiritual husbands" with the consent of their parents (which they did under "fundie" church rules) but they are not legally married.

So, now all of the 16-17 (not quite 18) year old girls have been raped/abused according to the statutory rape laws...

So, the "fundies" escaped the law on a technicality and are now getting slammed by the laws under similar technicalities...
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:45 PM   #113
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:48 PM   #114
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wmbwinnn....

Quote:
On Monday, CPS announced that almost 60 percent of the underage girls living on the Eldorado ranch either have children or are pregnant.

Of the 53 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 who are in state custody, 31 either have given birth or were expecting, Azar said.
it should be noted that the State has said that it knows those 31 girls are between 14 and 17 because they look like they're between 14 and 17, notwithstanding the fact that these girls claim(ed) to be over the age of 18 and the State won't accept State of Texas issued driver's licenses or birth certificates as proof of age.

it should also be recalled that the State is not adverse to dishing out the most inflammatory case possible in the press.
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Old 04-30-2008, 03:06 PM   #115
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not debating the objection of Alex above. Only pointing out how the "fundies" got around the law regarding polygamy and how that strategy to avoid the polygamy law now sets them up as guilty under the statutory rape law.
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:02 PM   #116
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I find it very interesting that all the talk in the media seems focused around the underaged girls who are "spiritually married" to older men, and yet nobody seems to care about the identities of the men who have impregnated them (or should I say "raped" them as wmbwinn points out). I suppose the court's mandated DNA testing will ID the fathers, but that's only if they have the corresponding male specimens for comparison. And given all the hoopla over this, the men have had plenty of time to flee the state, if they so choose.
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:19 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefelump
I find it very interesting that all the talk in the media seems focused around the underaged girls who are "spiritually married" to older men, and yet nobody seems to care about the identities of the men who have impregnated them (or should I say "raped" them as wmbwinn points out). I suppose the court's mandated DNA testing will ID the fathers, but that's only if they have the corresponding male specimens for comparison. And given all the hoopla over this, the men have had plenty of time to flee the state, if they so choose.
The prime interest in the CPS is the children. But, I bet that law enforcement goes after the men if they prove widespread statutory rape.

The legal proceedings are going to be interesting. If they charge them with statutory rape (since the polygamy laws don't apply due to the abscence of a real marriage), will they be defended on the basis of the "spiritual" marriage and consent of parents? If they defend them based on that arguement, then they are admitting polygamy...

And, then there are the pregnant girls younger than 16.

Then, as Alex pointed out, there is the issue of proving age in the first place. Apparently CPS is throwing out birth certificates and state IDs as falsified or erroneous. If those records are proven to be erroneous, then there are some more criminal charges to be levied for falsifying records. But, if those records are proven to be inaccurate, then how do you prove age?

The law here is interesting. They are not guilty of polygamy (no marriage). They are guilty of statutory rape IF the girls are younger than 18. Or, they can argue that they were married by their church (which is an admission of polygamy) which would clear them of statutory rape charges unless the girl is younger than 16 (then it is statutory rape under any reading of the law).

Until they prove either statutory rape or prove polygamy, they have nothing to charge the men with. CPS can seize children based on suspicions and then sort out the facts later. But, the ability to seize all the men in the "fundie" group is a different matter. Right now, the men and women are not formally charged with any crimes. The children are just removed "for their safety."
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:19 PM   #118
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Quote:
From the msnbc article linked by wmbwinn:
Concern about kids and broken bones
Although Cockerell didn’t elaborate on the broken bones, a report by his department’s Child Protective Services division said medical exams and interviews indicated “that at least 41 children have had broken bones in the past.”
Gee, I have had broken bones in the past too... and so has my wife... so does that mean we were abused too? 41 children out of a population of 464 seems to be low to me. I wonder what the national average is. And of those 41, I wonder how many have had broken bones due to their own mishaps (like falling out of a swing or something similar), unrelated to possible abuse...
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:25 PM   #119
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Quote:
From wmbwinn:
Until they prove either statutory rape or prove polygamy, they have nothing to charge the men with. CPS can seize children based on suspicions and then sort out the facts later. But, the ability to seize all the men in the "fundie" group is a different matter. Right now, the men and women are not formally charged with any crimes. The children are just removed "for their safety."
By the time the state gets around to putting family units together and filing charges against the men, they will be long gone.
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Old 04-30-2008, 05:14 PM   #120
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http://www.breitbart.com/article.php...show_article=1

Looks like New Mexico is following suit, although against a different religious group.... and more targeted towards the children abused (allegedly).
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