From “No Excuse for Abuse” to “Truth is No Defense”: Terrorizing Terrorists with Civil Litigation
Maybe “all roads lead to Rome” but it seems that religious conflagration is more Middle Eastern in origin.
Today’s article quote (the longer one) is from the Middle East Forum (I finally figured out — I am on some legal mailing lists, including FindLaw.com, which publishes opinions and recent cases in specific fields). This email list I got from my interest in the feminist writings by the author of “Women & Madness” who also understands extra punch packed by a fist, or practices, incited by religious beliefs of women’s inferiority, or (at best) secondary place in society, or else.
Nov 6, 2008 …Phyllis Chesler. ‘How Afghanistan shaped my feminism’ …. marathon tea-drinking and pistachio-eating, my polite smile was stuck to my face. …
Monday, June 8, 2009
It is a Catholic woman’s right to become a nun and shave or cover her hair; it is an Orthodox or Hasidic Jewish woman’s right to shave or cover her hair; and it is a Muslim woman’s right to cover her hair and her face–as long as those women who refuse to do so are not browbeaten, beaten, ostracized, stalked, stoned to death or honor-murdered. I have written about just such cases in the West right here, at this blog, cases in which young American- and Canadian-Muslim girls were tormented, then killed because they refused to wear hijab.
In Europe, where there are many more Muslims, there is a veritable epidemic of such exceedingly dishonorable and incredibly gruesome “honor” murders.
But there’s something more. Let’s face it: The Islamic face-veil and headscarf have become symbols of “jihad” and Islamic religious apartheid or intolerance in the West. And, it is spooky, even frightening to see women, (or are they men?), face-veiled or wearing full-body shrouds. Masked people, hooded people, have cut themselves off from human contact; they can see you, but you can’t see them. You cannot see their expressions in response to what you are saying. I would not want to appear before a masked judge, study with a masked teacher, hire a masked lawyer, etc. Would you?
Whether I approve of their clothing choices or not, Hasidic (ultra-orthodox or anti-modern) Jews and Catholics are not threatening western civilization and are not out there be-heading those who leave Judaism or Catholicism. Nor are they force-converting Muslims and Hindus. Muslims are doing just that at this very moment in history when America’s President has reached out to the entire Islamic world.
What’s more, Jews and Catholics are not honor-murdering their daughters and wives because they refuse to veil their faces, their hair, or their bodies. Mainly Muslims do that.
No, nothing like that. By the way — did the readers not that the man in Buffalo who beheaded his wife claims she was abusing him? Sound like a familiar theme?
ALthough “nothing like that,” it’s increasingly getting to be like that, as I sometimes email Dr. Chesler, while she still takes heat, I’m sure, for alliance with conservative Christian groups in some forums. Someone will listen, one of these days, of where the THEORIES (if not the practices, including familicides) unite. Can you say “faith-based collaborative” and “Fatherhood.gov”? There are dramatic differences, but too many striking parallels, between these groups. The atmosphere on the “family” issues is changing. Can you say “Islamification” and “Islamophobia’ in the same breath?
So these topics, mine and hers, seem doomed to overlap, time and again.
Today being 01/11/11, and as I have recently posted on my feelings of the similarity between the family law system and Shari’a law system (keep it in the family, right?), one has to wonder whether this family law system is intended to overwhelm independent “parents” (Moms) such that they return to dependence on at least the state, or their extended support systems. Leaving abuse amicably? Hell, no! What has this world come to? How else are older immoral* men going to continue their unfettered access to young girls, and boys?
[(*I’m NOT talking about the decent ones)]
I’ll bold or change font color on a few key terms. Understand, I am not following this case, or theme, in detail — BUT, it’s getting to be a smaller and smaller world. As a “noncustodial mother” (I suppose the term ceases to have meaning when children have all turned 18, at which point it may mean that one regains contact with grown children, or one does not. If not, then does the word “mother” apply at all? Historically, yes — but in present tense? . . . . As the dear old AFCC decided long ago to find a newer, better language to describe criminal actions (battering, kidnapping, assault, stalking, and molesting minors, including but not limited to incest), it is gradually transforming society into generations of traumatized kids, and at public expense.
At the BMCC [“Battered Mothers Custody Conference” in Albany, New York] recently, the Holly Collins case was featured, and she spoke, and her son. She fled to the Netherlands. Another woman who also fled there, was outed (Melissa Stratton), particularly after the child’s father bicycled through Europe and broadcast his distress — and after a ruling by the court-appointed psychologist that she’d imagined it all. She was an intelligent, educated woman who it seems to me considered the available options (grim, if one considers the situation) and chose a hard one. When we talk, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Denmark, and indeed almost ANY country these days, it’s likely that some high-profile cxustody case is attached. South Korea (NJ judge orders woman jailed on returning, although abuse charges were under way in Korea); Brazil, Canada, you name it, some Dad and friends has probably gone after some legislator to, gol, dang it — bring me back my kids! A Rep. in N.J. wants India and Japan to sign the Hague convention to make this a little easier.
The article below deals with Denmark, among other places — well, you can see.
Meanwhile, nursing infants in the family court system are STILL subject to a judge’s court order about what nipple they get to suck it from, and whether that’s accompanied with Mom’s smells, voice, embrace, or arms, or some with a leaner muscle mass, most likely, AFTER a domestic violence court order has already been issued. Kind of makes ya’ wonder…. Didn’t Germany try this kind of child-raising some generations ago? Dads can be nurturers, too, right — but at certain ages, an infant needs a reliable parent, a MOM, on-call. Her reassurances are a need, and a foundation for later independence. When society can’t respect this, when men (SOME men) are so needy personally that a child is an interruption to the fulfilment of their own narcissism, or possibly an alteration in a sexual relationship, society is sunk. When Moms, in a changing society are to be punished for adjusting to it in ways involving employment, or running a reasonable business while also being Mom — society is sunk. We’re already beyond that through this system in the U.S, and hardly contained within it.
That system has a religious basis, on the rights of males (notice, I didn’t say “man,” generic) and females as lesser, which we know because “God said so.’ The consequence to a man of listening to a woman’s voice (Eve) is that the fall of the world, and a curse. Talk about primal fears! For any woman thereafter to trust her own inner voice without running it first by her man, or if she doesn’t have one, a local religious leader, is an outrage to the stability of the world, and we will fight a few wars to drive the point home.
This site says detached kids make for genocides. Possibly true…. given the child-rearing practices. USA isn’t far behind with early childhood education (universal, ideally), and getting MOm into those low-paying jobs and her kids to the local child center, and Dad back into the kids’ lives after abuse and incarceration. She will be dependent to SOMEONE a lifetime — a man, an employer, a preschool being reliably available, etc. Unless she is wealthy, and possibly even then, if dumped.
This is a disturbing read readers might do well to read, about what kids went through, previously, growing up. Don’t mock it — the U.S. had Spock which said breastfeeding was not advised, and which many Moms listened to. Now, I suppose, we have “Dr. Phil” and judges.
(my commentary, not the quote)…
It is a very disturbing read, however, after two decades of incredible (in supposedly free U.S.A.) punishments for simply existing, and showing independence, or expecting input into family decisions based on mutual information — not dictatorship — one has to deal with what are the origins of this shock, and becomes more sensitive to boundaries, and to violations of personhood and exercise of one’s simple WILL, from totally unexpected sources. I absolutely am witness (not here, in detail, obviously) to my own case that the underlying principle is that I must not make decisions, or even influence them, about my own basics of life, including work, sleep, come, go, finances/banking, transportation, education (i.e., continuing mine, or continuing in the field I had upon marriage), or budgeting, MAIL, and so forth. This was promulgated to me on the basis of Christianity, and “unfortunately,” for the husband, I actually read the scriptures. While they may be more restrictive than the wider society, nothing in them justified what he did to me, and what pastors witnessing it continued to allow.
As a participant, researcher (after my fashion) and narrator of what’s UP with these systems, I have come to the conclusion that while an enraged, or angry person is indeed dangerous, and can hurt, or kill, or destroy — it’s nothing so frightening to me personally as a cold, detached personality claiming in sanitized terms to analyze a volatile and flesh-and-blood situation. Or, speaking in group terms, clinical terms about horrors, as if they were population research and functions in society, ONLY. There is something particularly Nordic about this attitude, and I find the social scientists — when placed near legislators — of far more concern than inflammatory rhetoric that shows its inflammation and anger, and is recognizable as emotionally based.
Feminists have been called “feminazis,” but it’s the very, very masculine “Nazi” that is the concern here. This site talks about it better than I just did, below. The social denigration of women, and girls — even down to baby girls — has hurt society badly. Not the fact that now, they can work, or other civil rights! It’s passed down through the generations.
THIS REMINDS ME OF HOW LITIGATION CAN BE DISABLING AND LIFE-THREATENING, IF IT NEVER STOPS! (STRESS, PRESSURE, ADDITIONAL PRESSURE FROM POVERTY, AND PARTICULARLY WHEN NOT IN A JUST CAUSE OF ACTION. THAT ALONE WELL DESCRIBES THE LITIGATION THAT IS PROMOTED AND PROLONGED ON OUR FAMILY LAW COURTS — THERE IS NO WIN/WIN IN SOME SITUATIONS, THOSE SITUATIONS BEING IN WHICH A WOMAN & MOTHER IS LEAVING FOR REASONS OF SAFETY FOR HERSELF, AND/OR THE CHILDREN SHE GAVE BIRTH TO…. THE FAMILY LAW SITUATION WAS ITSELF DESIGNED (I BELIEVE) AS A HYBRID TO MAKE THIS VERY ACCESSIBLE TO FATHERS ACROSS MANY LANDS. HERE, THE SIMILAR IDEA (ALTHOUGH I REALIZED FAMILY LAW IS NOT A “CIVIL” CAUSE OF ACTION IN THE U.S.) IS BEING PROMOTED AS A WAY TO STOP TERRORISTS, A CATCH-22 ABOUT TESTIFYING! AND ACKNOWLEDGED AS HAVING BEEN USED BY THEM IN DENMARK.
The latest terrorist tactic: litigation
by Daniel Huff
The Daily Caller
January 11, 2011
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On December 29, Scandinavian authorities arrested five terrorists planning an attack in Denmark. Almost as interesting as what they targeted is what they spared and the lessons it holds for future counterterrorism efforts.
The plot was to storm the Copenhagen newsroom of Jyllands Posten and murder its staff. It was the fourthattempt this year by Islamic extremists to punish the newspaper that published the Mohammed cartoons. But the terrorists are guilty of selective prosecution. They have yet to strike Politiken, which also published the cartoons, even though its offices are literally next door.
It is logical that Jyllands is the principal target because it sparked the controversy. It was Jylland’s editor, Flemming Rose, who originally commissioned the cartoons in 2005. A Danish comedian had told interviewers he would publicly urinate on the Bible, but would not dare do the same to the Koran. Rose’s message was that Islam should be treated equally, not specially.
Nevertheless, there is a second reason Politiken is not a target. It already surrendered, vanquished by the nonviolent instrument of a civil lawsuit.
In 2008, extremists nearly murdered Kurt Westergaard, who drew one of the original cartoons. In response,Politiken reprinted the cartoons as part of a unified stand against intimidation of the press. The defiance didn’t last. A Saudi law firm claiming to represent 94,923 descendants of Mohammed threatened it with legal action and the paper caved. On February 26, 2010, it effectively apologized for defending free speech.
This is a textbook illustration of how litigation has become a complementary and sometimes superior strategy for Islamic extremists who traditionally relied on physical violence alone to intimidate their opponents.
In Europe especially, their cause is aided by vague hate speech laws that make it all too easy to punish legitimate discourse on Islam. Last month, a Danish Member of Parliament pleaded guilty to violating hate speech laws with comments he made on Islam’s treatment of women. He had agreed to forgo parliamentary immunity in order to fight the charges on the merits only to discover that truth is no defense.
[Paragraph by LGH blog] On January 24, another Danish politician, International Free Press Society president Lars Hedegaard, will stand trial forsimilarly speaking his mind. He also faces a potentially costly libel suit. There were reports last summer that Denmark’s hate speech laws would be reformed to prevent abuse, but this has yet to happen.
THIS author is saying, fight back, using the same weapon. I wish battered mothers, protective mothers, and etc. would at least get smart about what weapons ARE being used against them in their War for Independence (meaning, the right to leave destructive relationships WITH their children, and without being held hostage a lifetime to suits for custody, and sometimes more suits).
In the meantime, authorities can borrow from the extremists and use civil litigation as a complementary strategy in counterterrorism operations, particularly in the US.
This tactic was used consistently on me since I left the abuser. The battles were won OUTSIDE the courtroom, and it was made clear that any stand against other outrages would be met by escalation. I was specifically told this while still married — “don’t ever oppose me, or I will escalate til I win.” One of the few martial vows that has been kept, another one having been how to disappear, beat the system and not pay child support. That, I could understand, however, forcing me out of jobs so that I can’t survive AFTEr leaving him is off the charts. This was done by entering the family law venue. How hard was that? Not hard — the U.S. Government is all into “families” these days, and are sponsoring the concept, while the word “mother” is rapidly becoming an anachronism, when found in association with a backbone and in the face of danger to herself or her kids, including after damage has already occurred.
Forcing terrorists to fight simultaneous criminal and civil proceedings would make it difficult for them to focus their defense resources effectively. This has been the experience in white-collar cases when the Justice Department and a regulatory agency pursue parallel investigations against a target company.
PRECISELY WHAT ABUSERS (AND WAR STRATEGISTS) DO. WEAKEN THE ENEMY ON MULTIPLE FRONTS.
While criminal defendants can get court-appointed lawyers, civil defendants pay out of pocket and the plaintiff’s burden of proof is typically lower. In addition, the broader scope of discovery [[Did you know that? I didn’t!]] in civil cases may produce information otherwise unavailable to prosecutors. Finally, parallel lawsuits can pin terrorists between remaining mum in the civil suit and likely losing, or fighting back and forfeiting their right to “plead the Fifth” in the criminal case. Defendants might dodge these difficulties by delaying the civil proceedings, but courts do not always permit that.
This plan presupposes a clear basis for civil suits. In 1994, Congress passed a bill making it illegal to use force against persons exercising abortion rights and permitting victims to sue for damages. With only minor modifications, this law could be expanded to cover threats against free speech rights as well.
For example, officials are investigating whether the recent plot is connected to the 2009 arrest of two Chicago men for conspiring to attack Jyllands Posten. According to the indictment, Tahawwur Rana and David Headley gained access to Jylland’s offices on the pretext of purchasing advertising for their immigration services company. Once inside, they conducted videotape surveillance of the premises which they provided to co-conspirators in Pakistan who recommended using a truck bomb.
Headley pleaded guilty in March, but Rana goes on trial in February. Were the proposed law on the books now,Jylland’s staff could sue for damages using information from the indictment and guilty plea. This would be particularly disruptive to Rana as he tries to focus on preparing for his criminal trial.
More broadly, a law along these lines would allow victims to go on the offensive against Islamic radicals who terrorize them instead of having to hope authorities continue catching these extremists in time.
Daniel Huff is Director of the Legal Project at the Middle East Forum and a former counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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I realize that either this last conference, or the new year, or the Tuscon, Arizona mass-shooting is more timely blogging. However horrible, SIX DEAD is not entirely unprecedented in the family law field, and if this is multiplied by how often — think about it. it’s just how, and who died, that was the issue here.
Yet, today is January 11, 1/11/2011, and I still remember 09/11/2001, an event that while in the forefront of the nation, happened and was played out in my case when I was hard at work leaving an abuser who had himself threatened suicide, talked bout his fantasies of it, and whose own father had recently followed through with the deal. I have yet to find a venue that took this seriously, as I still have to, given the entrenched position. The intent to destroy me, along with himself, seems to be one thing he hangs onto. Forget about the kids — they are already abandoned, and again, do the courts care about this, when it doesn’ produce income, or a warm body under 18 years old to attract income and justify the institution?
The answer is, no.
Truth is no defense in family law because it’s so nebulous, one cannot define it.
But, if one does, there exists within the system an easy out and a contradicting “truth,” and networks to disseminate it. Truth, like beauty, is in the eye(s) of the beholders, who are often attracted by things that glitter and repulsed by women reporting abuse. Nasty, filthy topic, you must be mad, have imagined it.
What we need instead to examine is the “ranking” of “truths.” Why should PAS get more attention than “rebuttable presumption” and why should “family” get more priority than “safety” and individual rights.
It’s no longer possible, Moms, to continue ignoring the delivery structure of what passes for justice. And for this, the infrastructure and sponsoring organizations that foot the billl, have to be defined as a whole — just as you, individually, are going to have to look at your entire budget if you are wondering “what happened?”
There are some holes in the plumbing. Like lead in plumbing in other famous civilizations, our asbestos, in our lifetimes, it will take its toll if things don’t change. And as to that on/off breastfeeding schedule, kids need breast milk when growing to at least toddlerhood (ideally) unless she’s on drugs, alcohol, or so stressed by abuse that hormones, I’d suppose, flood that system, or improper nutrition.
You can’t get much more stressful than Dad throwing Mom around, or Dad who threw MOM around (which requires obvious strength), or assaulted her, now in possession regularly of a fragile infant who represents, to him, HER, possibly. I mean think about it. Either that judge is going to have to recommend she pump her own breast milk for Dad’s use on alternating days (have we gone that far in court orders invading a woman’s biology and self-care) to having baby just do one breast milk, and one formula. Unless Dad has another willing and lactating female to draw from (pun unintentional). There is no odditiy, no outrage, no contradiction of common sense I’d not put beyond this system, most have already occurred within it, I hope.
It did talk to a mother with children who was in this situation at the conference, and more outrageous. I question whether women should “submit” to that at all, and should remember to warn others beforehand.
The healing from trauma is not likely to progress while while trauma is ongoing. When trauma comes from being unable to help — or even know the condition of — an immediate relative –one that fights have been fought over — while the aftermath of the last few assaults remain — the issue is FIRST to rectify that situation, and then to deal with the trauma more seriously, I believe. I’m saying this to explain the length of this post, and in deed many of mine. It helps me to write, and there are other (non-offending) ways to manage, one of which is to focus on something else, and do so for a good while. I’ve just attended a conference I’ve heard about for years, but couldn’t afford to get to (other side of the USA), and put face and voice, and observed in action, the professionals that are supposed to be stopping these outrages (in the courts) and assaults on free speech in the courts about important matters.
Mothers are getting gag orders, as well as thrown in jail. I have not heard of a father getting a gag order about his case, to date — have you? Although I’m years in the system, from what I can tell, things have n’t changed much.
And the “buy our book” people, I witnessed in action some attempts to handle reasonable questions from Moms lined up at microphones, and they had no answers, for the most part, to some very critical ones, namely, “what do you do if your judge is a crook?” The entire business was based on the premise that they aren’t — they “just don’t understand — but we can train them, maybe, so they “know better.”
I find that sadly lacking in reason. Writing, here, diverts some of the alarm about the situations.