Editorial in National Post today (Equal Parenting Bill C560 is being debated for Second Reading today March 25 in Parliament). Excerpt:

'In recent days, the National Post has brought forward two sides of the current debate on Bill C-560, An Act to amend the Divorce Act (equal parenting), set for second reading in the House of Commons today.

Although the two articles, by Barbara Kay (“After a divorce, equal parenting rights should be the norm,” March 19) and Tasha Kheiriddin (“Equal shared parenting laws don’t put kids first,” March 20) appear at first glance to present diametrically opposed positions, each expresses valid concerns in regard to the importance of maintaining parent-child relationships, ensuring continuity and stability in children’s lives, and containing parental conflict. The question is whether any one legal formula can be crafted to take on board all of these concerns.

The problem with Canada’s current “best interests of the child” approach, as codified in the Divorce Act, is that it relies on a discretionary method of determining children’s interests, in which judges have unfettered latitude in an area of child development and family dynamics in which they have little or no expertise. Thus, their subjective judgments about children’s needs and interests are variable, inconsistent and unpredictable.
Shared parenting is, not surprisingly, also the stated preference of parents and children themselves. Research from jurisdictions that have implemented a shared parenting presumption, including Sweden, Belgium and Australia, are highly encouraging.

The current adversarial system in family law is unsustainable. It is our responsibility to set aside polarized positions and work collaboratively toward supporting children and families during difficult times of family transition.'

Petition here. Would they dare try to do this to homeless women? Never. Instead, there'd be a nation-wide effort to find them places to live and get them medical and psychiatric care. Excerpt:

'Private labor contractors in Japan are "recruiting" homeless men and men to work in the disaster area of the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant, taking advantage of their desperation to pay them less than minimum wage and with no proof that their health is being protected.

In a devil's bargain between organized crime bosses and the nation's top construction firms, laborers are exploited by these contractors as they take in state funds for the cleanup, giving them miniscule cuts for the dangerous untrained work and then subtracting more for food and lodging.

We call on the government of Japan to investigate this shady practice, ensuring these workers are properly protected from the radiation and being well-compensated for the dangerous work. Don't let these companies keep preying on the homeless to expose them to radiation — write the Japanese government now!'

Story here. Excerpt:

'She lived in a 4,000-square foot, $1.4 million home and drove a bright green Camaro with vanity plates that read "MY SYN," but prosecutors said grandmother Erika Perdue's opulent lifestyle wasn't her darkest vice.

Perdue, who pleaded guilty to charges of trading and shipping child porn last year, was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison on Monday.

“I lost two granddaughters to this,” Perdue said in court Monday, according to the Dallas Morning News.

According to court records, the 43-year-old Dallas socialite downloaded and traded child pornography every day for 13 years while her successful lawyer husband was at work.

The Dallas Morning News reports that the activity only stopped once federal agents raided her home and arrested her in April 2012, finding more than 4,000 illicit images on her computer.

Following the raid, agents told WFAA that the images were extremely graphic, and included depictions of toddlers being raped by men and women.

The judge who issued the sentence said he was reluctant to reduce it from 20 years, but prosecutors said they'd agreed to it because the convicted woman suffers from “some pretty severe mental health” problems.
Once she was apprehended, Perdue cooperated with authorities, handing over her screen name, "Classybitch," which led to two additional child porn convictions, the Dallas News reports.

According to WFAA, Perdue's Facebook page, which appears to have been deactivated, reflected a coquettish persona complete with sultry photos.

Perdue's husband was not named in the criminal complaint against his wife.'

Article here. Excerpt:

'I like being a woman. I have never felt even remotely bad about being a female member of the species. Chalk it up to an adolescence miraculously devoid of the unrelenting glare of women’s magazines, a fantastic relationship with my supportive parents, or being born in the good ol’ United States of America, but I’ve always known that being a girl is pretty awesome.

And the only time it even occurs to me to feel bad about my sex is when feminists start telling me I’m doing everything wrong.

The most recent feminist triumph had nothing to do with advocating for the right of women to drive in Saudi Arabia or for the right to life of unborn children killed simply for the crime of being girls or any other such problem. It was a campaign organized by high-achieving and popular women such as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to, um, “ban” everyone else from using the word bossy. I already listed seven of the problems with this campaign (e.g. girls don’t need over-protection, victims of unduly assertive people need a word to use to combat bad behavior, not everyone’s a leader and it’s time to stop shaming people who aren’t.)

But one major problem with the campaign is that it has taken a word that wasn’t gender specific and made it into one. So in the name of feminism, we have forever joined the term “bossy” with “girl-trait” in everyone’s minds. What are you going to do for an encore, feminism?

In response to the campaign, Elle magazine came up with an even better idea: “While We’re Banning Stuff, Let’s Ban Sorry“:

Link here. Excerpt:

'* Scholarship Opportunity for 4 Weeks Work
*$37,715 - $44,460 p.a. + Generous Super
* Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Darwin, Hobart, Adelaide

A scholarship is offered in each state and territory every year for Australian women studying at TAFE or equivalent level, courses in electronics technology, electrical engineering, communications engineering, computer systems/shared technology or similar.

Successful applicants will receive four weeks paid work in the Technology Division of the ABC, plus a $1,000 educational book allowance.'

Article here. Excerpt:

'Connecticut Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers recently acknowledged in The Hartford Courant, there should be established guidelines for appointing guardians ad litem; there must be a mechanism for holding guardians ad litem accountable, including a method to limit their fees or remove them for failing to complete their required tasks in accordance with their orders of appointment; Guardians ad litem should be subject to a published code of conduct.

Connecticut legal pundit, Norm Pattis, has been joined by many members of the bar and the general public in criticizing the Chief Justice. She refuses to acknowledge that the system is broken.
My children have suffered at the hands of the Connecticut family court system; so I understand why people are quick to attack Chief Justice Rogers for her statement that the system is “not broken. ” If the system is actually designed to harm our children, we will be justified in condemning the head of that system. To interpret Chief Justice Rogers’ statement in this manner is wholly unfair.

I write to support the Chief Justice because I have served as a chief presiding judge and understand the limitations imposed by the Judicial Code of Conduct. I have presided over more than one thousand family related cases in nearly fifteen years of trial service in a foreign jurisdiction; and I have faced heat when I have publicly criticized obvious shortcomings in the judicial system.'

Story here. Excerpt:

'Penalization of Sexism

For the purposes of this Act, the concept of sexism will be understood to mean any gesture or act that, in the circumstances of Article 444 of the Penal Code,* is evidently intended to express contempt for a person because of his gender, or that regards them as inferior, or reduces them to their sexual dimension, and which has the effect of violating someone’s dignity.

Anyone found guilty of [such conduct] will be punished with a prison sentence of one month to one year, and a fine …, or one of these penalties alone….

* The relevant part of Article 444 Belgian Penal Code refers to the following circumstances/contexts in which the speech/conduct is required to take place:

“Either in public meetings or places;

Or in the presence of several people, in a place that is not public but accessible to a number of people who are entitled to meet or visit there;

Or in any place in the presence of the offended person and in front of witnesses;

Or through documents, printed or otherwise, illustrations or symbols that have been displayed, distributed, sold, offered for sale, or publicly exhibited;

Or finally by documents that have not been made public but which have been sent or communicated to several people.”
Vrielink reports that the law will indeed cover not just face-to-face insults, but also things said about people in print or in other forms of mass communications. Thus, I infer, it would be a crime to publish newspaper articles or blog posts that say a politician, journalist, criminal, or whoever else is inferior because of his or her gender, or intentionally show contempt for the person because of his or her gender, or “reduce them to their sexual dimension,” and which has the effect of violating someone’s dignity.

Article here. Excerpt:

'The departure of Alberta's first female premier this week, in the face of mounting public and party pressure, has reignited a familiar question: Did sexism play a role in her demise?
The Progressive Conservative premier made mistakes, McLellan said, but her caucus and voters — both male and female — had unfair expectations of her as a female leader.

"There seems to be some standard that somehow it's OK for men in public life to act a certain way. But if women do that, that makes them not nice ladies," she said.
Former Saskatchewan NDP premier Lorne Calvert said it may be telling that Redford isn't the only female premier to leave office recently.

Kathy Dunderdale, the Tory premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, resigned in January amid questions about her leadership and sliding approval ratings.
Before those departures, Canada made history by having six female provincial and territorial leaders. Three remain: Christy Clark in British Columbia, Kathleen Wynne in Ontario and Pauline Marois in Quebec.

Calvert would like to see more women in politics, but concedes they face more challenges on the job.

"I don't want to be sexist here, but in some ways the very nature of our legislative process — combative — has not been traditionally a role some women are comfortable in. And yet good governance will tell you that that's not all that effective anymore."
The Alberta Tories have forced out their last four leaders. Before Redford, they turfed Ed Stelmach and Ralph Klein.

"Gender is part of it," said Blakeman. "But so is character and management choices and political ideology and a really, really, really old party that's been here a long, long time."'

Article here.

'After a few male students accused of sexual assault sued their institutions under Title IX, alleging that they were discriminated against on the basis of gender in campus disciplinary hearings, experts suggested they faced an uphill battle in proving that to be the case.

But one of the more closely watched cases, that of the Xavier University basketball player Dezmine Wells, has survived the institution’s motion to dismiss. A federal district court said Wells’s allegations under Title IX were adequate to allow the case to proceed to the discovery phase, the Title IX Blog reports. The complaint recounts Xavier officials rushing to judgment, failing to train staff who heard Wells’s case, and denying Wells legal counsel and witnesses. Wells was expelled from Xavier and now plays basketball at the University of Maryland at College Park.

Meanwhile, more students are filing similar lawsuits under the very same law that women turn to for protection from assault.'

Article here. Excerpt:

A masculist crusader says feminism has come at the cost of men.

The comments were sparked by new research showing New Zealand blokes get a "raw deal" in education, health and wellbeing.

Men are more likely to fail at school, ditch university, end up in prison and commit suicide than women, according to the AUT study.

Meanwhile, females are racing ahead in education, commanding flexible working conditions and have longer life expectancy.

Self-described masculist Kerry Bevin said the women's rights movement went too far and men are paying the price in the "feminist aftermath".

"It's way out of kilter and the boys are suffering," he said. "You've now got men who are primary breadwinners but doing work at home and sports on the weekends. These guys are the true soldiers and don't get enough recognition."

Story here. Excerpt:

'Mel Gibson is reported to be considering another legal battle with his ex Oksana Grigorieva.

The 58-year-old is alleged to be seeking more custody of his four-year-old daughter Lucia that he shares with the Russian pianist, who he pays $20,000 a month in child support to.
An insider told the website: 'Oksana is terrified that Mel is going to go to court and ask Judge Scott Gordon to give him sole custody of their daughter, Lucia, because of a recent incident.
A report by TMZ claims that Grigorieva recently filed legal documents claiming she can only afford to pay $372 per month towards debts listed at $438,000.

The hard-up Russian pianist is in dire financial straits, with her position made much worse a fortnight ago when a judge ruled the Lethal Weapon star did not have to pay the $375,000 remaining on their settlement after she breached a confidentiality clause.

According to TMZ she is asking the court to clear the balance of her debts after five years, despite the fact she will have only stumped up $22,320, just five per cent of what she owes.

This amounts to just over one installment of the $20,000 she receives in child support from the Braveheart star to care for their four-year-old daughter Lucia.

Oksana filed for bankruptcy less than four years after knocking back a reported $15m child custody settlement offer from the megarich actor, who is worth an estimated $425m.

Previous legal documents filed showed she is claiming she is so broke she has just $10 in cash to her name, and has $48,000 in assets and $438,000 in debts.
During her bitter custody battle with the Mad Max actor she sacked more than 40 lawyers.

Story here. Excerpt:

'A judge granted bond, set at $50,000 in cash, to a former teacher charged with having sex with several students. The judge set bond for Lori Quigley for all three counts she faces.

Police arrested Quigley a week ago at her Georgia home. She resigned from her math teaching job about a week before her arrest.

An arrest affidavit shows investigators claimed Quigley had a sexual encounter in her classroom with two students at the school in September and October of 2012. A third encounter with one of the two students, according to investigators, took place at a Waffle House in Georgia this past January.

Judge David L. Cavender ruled Quigley must have no contact (in person, by phone, by email or social media) with students or former students of the county school system other than family members. She has to stay in the county where she lives and cannot leave the state of Georgia without prior approval of the court.'

Story here. Excerpt:

'A 21-year-old woman was sentenced to two years in prison for having forced sexual intercourse with an 8-year-old boy 50 times.

Loren Morris, who was 16 when the abuse started five years ago, was given the sentence on Tuesday, a month after she was convicted at trial at Worcester Crown Court in England. The abuse lasted two years and came to light after the child was heard bragging about the encounters at school.

The Daily Mail reports that Judge Robert Juckes QC gave Morris a more lenient sentence because she stopped sexually assaulting the boy after she realized it was "wrong."

"I take into account what has been said to me and the fact that you stopped the activity yourself," Juckes said in open court. "You realized it was wrong rather than being caught and forced to stop."
The Mirror reports that Morris, who "grinned broadly" as she headed to court with a cigarette between her lips, was convicted on three counts of sexual intercourse with a child under 16.

Morris is also barred from having any contact with a child without the parents' permission and forced to register as a sex offender for 10 years.'

Story here. Excerpt:

'An Arizona woman accused of convincing a boy she was a teenager and giving him a sexually transmitted disease may have had sex with other minors, police said.

Anna Areola-Hernandez, 23, was arrested Thursday and faces charges including sexual conduct with a minor, child molestation, unlawful age misrepresentation, and an adult posing as a minor for sexual conduct, according to AZ Family.

Court documents show that Areola-Hernandez had a six-month relationship with a 13-year-old boy she first met at a Phoenix mall. She allegedly told the teen that she was 15-years-old, and had sex with the child several times.

In February, the child's mother contacted the police after finding out Areola-Hernandez has lied about her age, and had allegedly given her son an STD.

In a call set up by officers, Areola-Hernandez allegedly told the boy's mother that she was pregnant, though police have yet to confirm if this is true.
Police said the suspect admitted that she had "friended" at least 20 kids online while posing as a teenager, and confessed to having sex with two children.

Court documents said Areola-Hernandez showed no remorse when talking about the allegations, and admitted to preferring younger boys, according to My Fox Phoenix.
Areola-Hernandez is being held without bail.'

Story here. Excerpt:

'Alan Cumming [link added] wants to tell you about his penis. He wants it to be a shining example to the world. In a candid interview with Drew Grant this week in the New York Observer, the 49-year-old Scottish actor reveals his strong opinions on “Girls,” naughty cellphone pictures, and, most controversially, circumcision. Or as he puts it, “genital mutilation.”

“There’s a double-standard, which is that we condemn the people who cut off girls’ clitorises, but when it happens to boys,” Cumming says. “I mean, it is the most sensitive part of their bodies, it has loads of nerve endings, and it can go horribly wrong. I’m speaking out against it … I’m just so suspicious of the medical industry, which just flings pills at people to ensure everyone is reliant on things. ‘Here are some pills, Mommy. Take them, and we’ll take your baby away and hack its thing off, and then we’ll bill you for that too.’”

This isn’t the first time Cumming has spoken strongly about the practice. Two years ago, he posted on his blog a piece he said the Wall Street Journal commissioned and then pulled, a story in which he proudly declared, “I, unlike the vast majority of American males, have not been genitally mutilated. I have a foreskin. I am intact.” After describing his own penis in pretty frank detail, Cumming went on to explain his affiliations with the organizations Intact America and Norm-UK, and declare, “When I say that we have stopped most of the other barbaric practices described in the Bible so why are we so keen to continue this one, nobody really wants to listen.”'

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