Saturday, November 29, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
She agreed to share her expert view and to offer advice to victims of domestic violence.
Perhaps not one moment in my life was more pivotal than the day my mother took me to the YWCA Family Violence Shelter to volunteer at just eight years of age. Little did I know, my life would become consumed in helping victims of domestic violence; providing the personal commitment to help those without a voice, voices that had been silenced by the threats and violent acts of their abusers. This is my area of expertise. I help women who are victims of abuse, and I do not take any cases in which the spouse is abusive. I believe in my client’s cases and, because domestic violence litigation in still in its “toddler years,” I learn everyday how to better protect my clients and their children.
When I was asked to write a “guest blog,” I had recently been hired to represent a dear friend on a divorce/custody action involving domestic abuse, which unfortunately has spun out of control, causing my friend and client pain beyond belief. Yes, I became personally involved. Yes, I became angry. I realized how, even though we have made great strides in domestic abuse legislation, there is simply not enough protection for those who have been or are being abused. A travesty of injustice remains for victims of abuse, which is why advocates like myself would like to give you information on what you need to know if you are, think you are, or know someone who is being abused.
When the issue of domestic abuse arises in a court proceeding, the obvious question is “Where is the physical evidence?” However, more often than not, the case surrounds emotional and/or verbal abuse, or a repeated pattern of the same, followed by physical abuse. The physical abuse can take many forms other than simply hitting, slapping, or punching; for example, forcing sexual intercourse, grabbing, choking, or threatening bodily harm with a weapon. Verbal abuse and emotional abuse constitutes a pattern of intimidation, humiliation, degradation, belittling, criticizing, control and manipulation. For example, a woman who is controlled by her spouse is often told how and what to eat, what to wear, how to style her hair, what church to attend, that she is to provide sex on demand, clean and cook to the abuser’s expectations, and is belittled, berated, and shamed for not providing such in the manner the abuser expects. Emotional and verbal abuse can be much more exhausting than physical abuse because it leaves a trail of scars that do not go away with time. The scars are very real, harsh and run deep, often affecting the victim’s children.
Here are some of the key warning signs of domestic violence:
· Physical Abuse: Hitting, slapping, kicking, choking, pushing, punching, beating, forcing you to leave and locking you out of the house.
· Verbal Abuse: Constant criticism, making humiliating remarks, using abusive language, not responding to what you are saying, mocking, name-calling, yelling, swearing, interrupting, changing the subject.
· Disrespect: Interrupting, changing topics, not listening or responding, twisting your words, telling you what to think and how you should feel, putting you down in front of other people, saying bad things about your friends and family.
· Minimizing, Denying & Blaming: Making light of behavior and not taking your concerns about it seriously, saying the abuse didn't happen, shifting responsibility for abusive behavior, saying you caused it.
· Sexual Violence: Forcing sex on an unwilling partner; demanding sexual acts that you do not want to perform, degrading treatment.
· Isolation: Preventing or making it hard for you to see friends and relatives, monitoring phone calls, reading mail, controlling where you go, taking your car keys.
· Coercion and Pressure Tactics: Making you feel guilty, pushing you into decisions, sulking, manipulating children and other family members, always insisting on being right, making up impossible rules and punishing you for breaking them, rushing you to make decisions through "guilt-tripping" and other forms of intimidation, sulking, threatening to withhold money, manipulating the children, ordering you around.
· Harassment: Following you, or stalking you, embarrassing you in public; constantly checking up on you, refusing to leave when asked.
· Economic Control: Not paying bills, refusing to give you money, hiding or withholding financial resources, not letting you work if that's what you choose to do, interfering with your job, taking your car keys or otherwise preventing you from using the car, refusing to work and support the family.
· Abusing Trust: Lying, breaking promises, withholding important information, being unfaithful, being overly jealous, not sharing domestic responsibilities.
· Threats and Intimidation: Threatening to harm you, your children, family members and pets; using physical size to intimidate, shouting; standing in the door way during arguments to stop you from leaving; keeping weapons and threatening to use them.
· Emotional Withholding or Neglect: Not expressing feelings, not giving compliments, not taking your concerns seriously, not paying attention, not respecting your feelings, rights and opinions. You never know where your relationship stands. Not spending time with family.
· Abusing Authority: Always claiming to be right (insisting statements are "the truth"); telling you what to do or not to do; making big decisions; using twisted "logic."
· Destruction of Property: Destroying furniture, punching walls/doors, throwing things, breaking dishes, kicking or hurting pets.
· Self-Destructive Behavior: Abusing drugs or alcohol, threatening self-harm or suicide, driving recklessly, deliberately doing things that will cause trouble (like telling off the boss).
If you are a victim of domestic violence/know a victim of domestic violence, I would like to “arm” with you the following advice:
1) Find support, whether it is an attorney, a police officer, a friend, a family member, or a support group. The fight will not be an easy one; you will need someone to stand beside you and be your “rock” so that you simply will not give up making your voice heard.
2) If you have not already, LEAVE your abuser. Go to your support system to help. Do not stay in an unsafe situation for you and your children’s sake. Gather clothes for yourself and your children, along with your children’s birth certificates, and store them in a safe place – with a friend, relative, neighbor, or somewhere your abuser cannot find them.
3) Contact a domestic violence shelter and see if there is an opening for you and your children. Bossier City will open its first Family Justice Center in May 2009, at 1513 Doctors Drive, Bossier City, Louisiana. The center promises to bring to domestic violence victims all the services she needs. I am proud of our District Attorney for this accomplishment, and hope our city will band together to make this program a huge success.
4) Find an attorney who is experienced and has successfully fought cases in which women were abused. Your spouse’s attorney will throw up many challenges and will fight much like your spouse, to abuse and bully you and attempt to control the case until you are emotionally defeated. Find an attorney willing to fight for you, and willing to take the appropriate avenues to help your case. This may mean going above and beyond, spending a day at the courthouse, escorting you to a shelter and/or police station, or finding a judge who will listen. You may not have a lot of money to hire an attorney initially. Talk to family, friends, your church and raise funds. Call the bar association and ask if there is a pro bono section of the bar that may help you.
5) Create a paper trail. This is the best way to make the State recognize there is a pattern of abuse. Make a journal of everything that has happened so far. Write down witness’s names, addresses, phone numbers and what they can testify to. Save any emails, text messages, and/or any other correspondence your abuser has sent you. Go to the police and file reports each and every time you are being abused, harassed or stalked, no matter how small a matter you think it was. Even if the reports do not achieve fruition, you have created a trail showing a repetitive pattern of abuse.
6) If you have been physically abused, go to the hospital and have them make a medical record. Tell them you have been abused, and ask for the police. Make sure you have a medical examination and pictures made of the scars, bruises, etc.
7) File a protective order and file for divorce under the domestic violence statutes. Arm yourself for your protective order hearing with witnesses and evidence. If the protective order hearing is unsuccessful, appeal your case to a higher court.
In conclusion, never stay in your home and allow yourself to be abused. There is hope, there are people who care and there are people who are willing to fight. Stay strong, and make your voice heard!
For Further Resources see:
Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, http://www.lcadv.org/
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, http://www.ncadv.org/
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
She was killed by her father when he threw her into a door jamb.
Lance Thamm was charged by DA Schuyler Marvin with 1st degree murder. A status conference is set for December 2. We will let you know the results of that, probably more motions, but perhaps a trial date will be set.
The whereabouts of Isabella's mother, Vanessa Ferris, is unknown. A warrant was issued for her in May for violation of probation in a disturbing the peace conviction that was related to domestic violence.
In the next week or so, we will take an overview of domestic violence in Bossier Parish. We will feature a guest blog by Bossier City Attorney Samantha McAllister, who specializes in family law, and particulary in cases involving victims of violence.
A positive note in all this is the effort by DA Marvin to establish the Family Justice Center, which will provide comprehensive aid to all victims of domestic violence. He deserves our thanks for his work on this crucial project.
If you need to familiarize yourself with Isabella's case, I am providing links to our other blog posts about it, and the video we put up in January.
· Killed by Her Protector
· Thamm Charged Twice for Domestic Violence
· Mother of Murdered Child on Probation
· Guest Blog from Isabella's Mother
That, coupled with the fact that I remember a carload of teenagers going to see Goldfinger when it came out in 1964.
Here's the trailer from Goldfinger (1964)
Monday, November 24, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
While some of this property development was fueled by starry-eyed speculators, a lot of this boom was financed through cold hard cash. Modern day Chinese are some of the thriftiest people on the planet, saving roughly 56% of their wages – which makes the seemingly stingy Japanese appear as spendthrifts. Guess what level America is still at?
For instance, due to a number of variables including a relatively uncertain political climate, many members of the nascent middle class will park their savings in entire floors. And I don't mean burying the money inside the walls. They will purchase an entire floor of office space rationalizing that in the long run, it could be safer store of value than many monetary instruments (e.g. stocks), or banks themselves. And unlike their Spanish and Dubai counterparts which have created partially built ghost towns (video), not only were most of these buildings funded without taking out foreign loans or utilizing debt-based financial vehicles, but until recently, tenants were required to put a down payment of 30% on a unit. It has now been knocked down to a miserly 20%.
Yes, that's right. The West is not only reeling in overcapacity brought on by numerous perverse factors (e.g., artificially low-interest rates), but millions of apartment and housing units are either going into foreclosure or already on the chop block due to lax lending standards that involved zero money down.
Yet in China, even with deflating property values that have dipped more than 40% from their peak, the construction boom continues marching on due to stronger fundamentals such as solvent customers that have real jobs.
The Expo was expected to turn out 5,000 people. So far, no word on how many actually attended.
From KTBS, a video on how the Haynesville Shale has affected northwest Louisiana
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Oyster was proud of his 87%, and that is impressive. My Bossier, however, scored a super manly 94%.
Maybe it’s all the cussing and spitting over here, I have no idea.
But I like it.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
In Shreveport, hundreds of former and current General Motors workers -- both management and rank-and-file -- rallied outside the gates of the truck assembly plant, calling for the federal bailout.
Watch the video.
Local blog We The People has some thoughts on the proposed bailout too.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
The mission of LOGA is “to provide our industry with a working environment that will enhance the industry.” There is nothing wrong with that, but just be aware of who they are.
Among the members of LOGA are:
EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc., Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Devon Energy Corporation, Petrohawk Energy Corporation, Plains Exploration & Production Company, Samson, XTO
Members of the Board of Directors:
Don G. Briggs, LOGA President
Don is a native of Miami, Florida and a 1964 graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette). Don began his career in the oil industry with Owen Drilling Company, while attending USL.
CeCe Richter, Assistant to the President
CeCe started her career in the oil and gas industry in 1975 with Texaco in New Orleans; progressing through the administrative ranks to end her 20 year career at Texaco in 1995 as Assistant to the Vice President.
Benjamin Fournet Broussard, Marketing Manager
Ben is a native of Lafayette, Louisiana and is a 2002 graduate of Louisiana State University. Before joining with LOGA in 2006, Ben spent four years with the Enterprise Leasing Company of New Orleans.
Gifford Briggs, Legislative Director
Gifford serves as the Legislative Director for the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association. Gifford’s involvement started at an early age working for his father in the pipe yards of Lafayette Louisiana.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Never mind the fact that he is a historical figure, they believe they own his image.
How about the Lincoln family? I have seen a few publications with pictures of Obama and Lincoln.
Friday, November 14, 2008
The basis of the $100,000,000 investment in the CIC was, of course, that it would bring up to 10,000 new jobs to the area. Now that the Air Force has announced that they will not create Cyber Command as a separate entity, and have in fact based it in Colorado, how is the CIC adjusting to ensure that our investment will have a return?
KTBS is taking a look at the Cyber Innovation Center and asking the same questions we have asked in 15 posts:
Work on the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, a civilian research facility that would work with the Air Force cyber warfare system, continues -- despite a letter from the Air Force sent months ago cautioning cities looking to land cyber command against investing in new buildings.
The city, parish and state are building the facility next to Bossier Parish Community College as the first building in a research park dedicated to cyber technology. It is expected to open in a year.
Director Craig Spohn expects to have commitments from prospective tenants by April. They are looking to land high-tech companies that have military contracts and would work with cyber warfare, wherever in the military system it is located. He doesn't think taxpayer money is being wasted -- despite questions of why build a $100 million Cyber Innovation Center if the Air Force won't have a separate command for cyber warfare.
"We were never intending to be a one trick-pony with respect to the Air Force. The Air Force provided us a good catalyst and still does because of the things at Barksdale Air Force Base and it's not scheduled to go away.
"There are new businesses coming to town," Spohn insisted. "There are actually millions of dollars worth of research in the cyber field today that weren't here a year ago."
Perhaps Mr. Spohn could share the names of the businesses that have been lured here by the CIC, and give us examples of these millions of dollars of research that CIC has helped create. We could feel much more comfortable about the $100,000,000 if we had some specifics.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
A Presidential Inaugural Ball will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 20 at the Bossier City Civic Center.
According to a press release, hosting the event will be Don and Linda Rushing and friends, Heavenly Gates Funeral Home-Shreveport, Gardner Adams, Wesley Adams, Marie P. Williams, David Henderson, Collier Mikle, D.L.H. Limo Service-David and Phyllis Henderson, and attorneys Billy Casey, S.P. Davis, Jacqueline Scott and Willie Singleton.
Ticket donations are $50. Call (318) 469-0617 or (318) 222-8010.
Monday, November 10, 2008
The approval rating of congress is at about 10%, or conversely, their disapproval rating is at 90%. This is well deserved.
Both parties are more interested in power than in serving the people.
In his remarkable farewell address on leaving the presidency, George Washington warned us of the results of party politics.
Do you think his prediction has come true?
Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party, generally.
This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism.
The legislative branch of government is the first branch, so recognized in the U. S. Constitution. This is because most of the power resides in this branch. The executive department (the president) is charged with carrying out the wishes of the congress.
The executive may propose programs, wars or whatever – but only congress has the authority to authorize and to fund them.
This is where the dangers of party are at their worst. Whenever we have an executive and a congressional majority of one party, be it George Bush and the Republican congress of 2000-2006, or Barack Obama and the Democratic congress that will be seated when he takes office, an imbalance of power causes abuses.
Until the people, in whom the ultimate power resides, stand up and put a stop to this nonsense, it will continue.
In the 4th District we have a unique opportunity to make a difference. In the general election on December 6th, we have not only a Democrat and a Republican running, but two Independents.
In our opinion, Gerard Bowen, Jr. would represent the people of the 4th District well. Go to his website, read about Gerard and his background, study what he says on the issues, and consider voting outside the (party) box.
Until we vote for true change, there will be no change.
Vote for Gerard Bowen on December 6th (changed from November 4th due to Hurricane Ike).
Please take 2 minutes and listen to Gerard.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Complete story in The Advocate
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Emanuel, who was a senior advisor to Bill Clinton, has been selected by Obama to serve as his Chief of Staff.
October 14, 2008 press release:
On September 16, 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Comprehensive American Energy Security & Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 6899) to help increase domestic production, ensure a clean renewable energy future for generations, create new green-collar jobs, and help consumers struggling with high energy costs. Key provisions from U.S. Representatives Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) and Dan Boren’s (D-OK) New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions (NAT GAS) Act were included in the bill, including tax incentives to build the refueling infrastructure for natural gas vehicles.
On September 22, 2008 Barack Obama proposed a similar bill in the Senate:
Democrat candidate and Illinois Senator, Barack Obama, still found time last week to introduce legislation (S.3506) that would increase the tax credit for individuals that purchase natural gas vehicles and extend the credit through to the end of 2017. The Senator proposes increasing the incremental price eligible for a credit from 50/80 percent to 100 percent for all weight classes of vehicle, and a doubling of the tax credit for fleets that purchase more than 100 NGVs in a year. This last provision is identical to one proposed by Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) in the Congressman’s NAT GAS Act (HR 6570). In addition, the Senator proposed increasing the amount the EPA can pay for alt fuel school bus from 25 and 50 percent to 50 and 75 percent (depending on the vehicle’s emissions), and reauthorizing the Clean School Bus Program at $110 million per year from 2010 through 2015. The program is currently authorized to be funded at “such sums as are necessary” until 2010.
A few are suggesting a Palin-Jindal ticket. In my opinion, this will never happen. I think that by 2012 Palin fever will have cooled dramatically, while Jindal will have been working the rubber chicken circuit, fundraising and making lots of new friends.
Jindal says, of course, that running for president is the furthrest thing from his mind.
That's why he will be in Iowa later this month for a fundraising appearance.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Voters in Bossier City started lining up outside Airline Baptist Church 30 minutes before polls opened at 6:00 this morning.
Many were there early to avoid the anticipated long lines.
Central La. Politics describes ‘largest election day turnout I’ve ever seen’ in Alexandria.
Voters swamp the polls in New Orleans
Election Day Dawns in Acadiana
Two hour lines at LSUS
Shorter waits this afternoon
This year, for the second time in history, Dixville Notch voted for the Democrat. In 1968 they supported Hubert Humphrey.
Thanks to We Saw That for the video.
This is how Dixville Notch has voted since 1960.
Richard M. Nixon - 9
John F. Kennedy - 0
Barry M. Goldwater - 8
Lyndon B. Johnson - 1
Hubert H. Humphrey II - 8
Richard M. Nixon - 4
Richard M. Nixon - 16
George S. McGovern - 3
Gerald R. Ford Jr. - 13
James E. Carter Jr. - 11
Eugene J. McCarthy - 1
Ronald W. Reagan - 17
James E. Carter Jr. - 3
John B. Anderson - 2
Ed Clark - 1
Ronald W. Reagan - 29
Walter F. "Fritz" Mondale - 1
George H. W. Bush - 34
Michael S. Dukakis - 3
Jack Kemp - 1
George H. W. Bush - 15
H. Ross Perot - 8
Andre Marrou - 5
William J. Clinton - 2
Robert J. Dole - 18
William J. Clinton - 8
H. Ross Perot - 1
Harry Browne - 1
George W. Bush - 21
Albert A. Gore Jr. - 5
Ralph Nader - 1
George W. Bush - 19
John Kerry - 7
Barack Obama - 15
John McCain - 6
Monday, November 3, 2008
She will, however, be posting results on the clerk’s website so if you have a problem getting Bossier results, you can go there for the latest.
Also please note that the clerk's office is closed to the public November 4th for the election.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
That's why I love to do this to you.
So here goes, stolen from Grandmère Mimi who stole it from Fran who stole it from God knows where.
KTAL reported on the blood drive yesterday, in which a number of Bossier City police officers gave blood for Jackson. You can watch the video of that story here.
In the story on their website, Jackson's dad says ""If it was me I couldn't do it. I don't know how he does it"
Kennedy says he can't believe his son's strength.
"He's still playing baseball," said Kennedy. "He's still going to school doing everything that normal 7-year-old's do. As a matter-of-fact, he was athlete of the week."
But even with Jackson Kennedy's can-do spirit there are some things he can't do without. Yet, after a recent hospital visit he was forced to do just that.
"We went last time and they told us there was no platelets and sent us home," said Kennedy.
"I knew when they started sending out emails through the department about the blood drive that I'd be coming down here to give," said Murray Wells, Bossier City police officer.
Officers gave nearly 70 units of blood.
Now you can help by visiting Lifeshare Blood Center and asking to have your donation applied to account number R_jk.
There will also be another blood drive Saturday, November 29th at Lifeshare Blood Center.
Jackson Kennedy has Surgery
More on Jackson Kennedy
Help Jackson Kennedy
Saturday, November 1, 2008
The city also agreed Friday to drop all charges against Angela Garbarino, city attorney Terri Scott said. In turn, she said, Garbarino and her attorney Gary Bowers have agreed not to pursue any legal action against the city or the former officer involved, Wiley Willis.
Talks began about 9 a.m. Friday and resulted in an agreement by midafternoon.
The settlement is not an admission of guilt by either the city or Garbarino, Scott said.
Click on title above for full story in The Times
If you don’t know who the candidates are and what their beliefs are, please don’t vote.
If you have never read the constitution and don’t understand the powers of each branch, and if you can’t grasp the importance of the separation of powers, then stay home.
If you don’t believe that the protections of the constitution are inviolable, please don’t vote.
Why do we think it is wise to hold massive voter registration drives to enlist ignorant people to vote? They know they have the right, and if they don’t have enough sense to get themselves registered, then why do we think that they will be informed voters?
It’s such a fuzzy, feel-good thing. Every TV anchor in town will be telling you to be sure and get out to vote.
If your reason for voting is that the guy on the tube said you should do it, by all means please don’t vote.
I know people will tell you ‘if you don’t vote, you can’t complain!’.
Ignore them, of course you can gripe. That is one of those rights spelled out in that constitution that you don’t understand.
By the way, if you believe that neither candidate is fit to serve, and if you believe that neither will fulfill the duties incumbent upon the office, then don’t feel that you have to cast a vote.
If the powers of government are indeed derived from the consent of the governed, and if you don’t want either of these people to have that power, then why consent?
Just food for thought.
Watch the videos below, they are enlightening.