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Federal judge should hear Arlington CPS case

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By: Barbara Hollingsworth | 11/15/11 8:05 PM
Local Opinion Editor
One of the most disturbing stories I’ve ever written for The Washington Examiner was about a 3-week-old baby girl who was snatched from her mother’s arms and placed in foster care by Arlington County Child Protective Services because she lost 10 ounces after birth. Baby Sabrina’s story hit me hard in the gut because that could have been me; my youngest daughter lost a whole pound postpartum.Newborn weight loss is normal, Sabrina was under a doctor’s care and had even regained all of her lost birth weight when she was taken. Kit Slitor, a freelance video editor, and his wife, Nancy Hey, a federal employee, were never charged with or convicted of child abuse or neglect, and the Virginia Department of Social Services exonerated them of any wrongdoing. It didn’t matter.

After doing everything social workers and the Arlington Domestic and Juvenile Relations Court, or DJR, demanded of them — including home inspections, supervised visitation, and psychological testing — their parental rights were terminated and Sabrina was put up for adoption. They spent more than $250,000 fighting for her, all the way to the Virginia Supreme Court, which declined to hear their case.

Four years later, their story still haunts me.

On Sept. 16, a class-action lawsuit modeled after a similar pleading in Massachusetts was filed in federal court in Alexandria on behalf of eight children — including Sabrina — who have been placed in foster care by Arlington County.

The list of serious accusations contained in the lawsuit against DJR Judges George Varoutsos and Esther Wiggins, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jason McCandless, and various Arlington CPS officials is long: perjury, RICO violations of civil rights, fraud upon the court, obstruction of justice, unconstitutional “ex parte” hearings, court orders that were never served, depriving parents of their due process rights, “missing” court orders, illegal searches and seizures, and felony removal of documents from court files, to name just a few.

Arlington CPS “has not implemented the reforms necessary to remedy the severe and persistent legal violations within its foster care system, despite its longstanding knowledge of these systemic ills,” the lawsuit alleges. The allegations are so grave that if the judicial system were working properly, an emergency restraining order against DJR would be issued immediately.

Don’t hold your breath. The “next friend” lawsuit was filed by nonlawyer James Renwick Manship, a disabled Navy cryptologist and court-appointed special advocate, on behalf of foster children and their impoverished parents. It’s the longest of long shots aimed directly at a corrupt, unaccountable system that holds every card in the deck.

Or almost every card. Judge James Cacheris caused quite a legal stir in May when he cited the landmark Supreme Court Citizens United ruling to strike down a ban on corporate political donations. Campaign finance is an important issue, but it pales in comparison with judicial kidnapping, which strikes at the very heart of Americans’ God-given rights.

If social workers and judges can take your child away without due process, the Constitution is nothing more than a piece of paper the powerful can continue to ignore with impunity.

There’s still a chance that Cacheris, who was appointed to the federal bench by President Reagan, will search his conscience, rise to the occasion, and allow this David vs. Goliath case to proceed to trial despite tremendous pressure from the legal establishment to ignore the compelling evidence of official misconduct and continue covering up this rot.

Stay tuned.

Barbara F. Hollingsworth is The Examiner’s local opinion editor.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2011/11/federal-judge-should-hear-arlington-cps-case#ixzz1eUbHxir6

  • Findbonnieb Moderator 11/20/2011 08:31 PM
    Let’s face it our our courts suck and social services are a total waste of tax dollars. These lawyers in robes are corrupt and are destroying our families . Probate courts continue to kill and steal  from the elderly and disabled in a total unconstitutional scheme called guardianship and the family courts are playing a game with our most precious assets, our children The judicial system is corrupt, the judges, lawyers and all the other “players” who are stealing and killing and then laughing all the way to the bank. Shame on our leaders for allowing this to go on when they know it is happening and they pretend not to.

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  • Clester772 Moderator 11/20/2011 05:30 PM
    I don’t understand how this travesty can take place and yet all across the nation Child Services Departments are understaffed and hardly able to keep up with the demand.  Time after time children are returned to abusive parents only to suffer again or worse… die.  All across the nation abused children are taken from their parents and put into an even more abusive foster situation, yet Child Services representatives say the reason for these atrocities are lack of funds and lack of educated staff.  Yet… here in Arlington perfectly decent parents are being robbed of their parental rights.  Wonder if there is an adoption racket going on under the surface?

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  • Clester you sound like a decent person.  The whole problem begins with “there must be a law to protect children”.  There already is a law, it is a law against assault and harming a human being.  It can simply be applied within a family as well as to n0n-familial assaults.  It should fall under criminal law.  You have a jury of 12, a prosecutor brings charges, the defendant is assumed innocent until proven guilty, and evidence (real evidence) is presented.  If the jury smells a rat coming from the prosecutor they rule in favor of the defendant.  That is all there is to it.  Also, simply involve the community.  Make help available for for parents in raising their children, financially or with volunteer labor and counsel.  In the interests of privacy and respect for Constitutional rights, the parent’s wishes should be respected as much as possible.  If egregious instances of child abuse occur, then pursue them in accordance with criminal law.  The worst thing one can do is have a non-jury, non-proof body of law and government agencies which go on a rampage fabricating false cases of “abuse” or “neglect”.  Funding “foster kidnapping” is an atrocious thing.  It is entrenched as a multi-billion-dollar Federally funded industry.

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  • Got a friend from Oklahoma that had a similar issue. She didn’t leave her abusive husband fast enough(nevermind she really had nowhere to go but a shelter, and since she had 6 kids if she did go to the shelter the result would have been the same) so they took her kids. They awarded custody to her mother in IL, who doesn’t even want them(she complains regularly that they take away from her free time and are too much to handle) and they wanted to adopt out the two youngest ones. They rushed through the paperwork in order to try to get it shoved through the system before my friend could get a lawyer because the state makes MAJOR money adopting those kids out. They’re worth more to the state putting them up for adoption than they are trying to rehab parents and reunite the families.. especially when there’s infants and toddlers involved. They try to reunite teens but the little ones are the ones wanted for adoption so they try to rush those ones through the system…

    The method they were using on my friend was completely illegal and they knew that if she had a lawyer they’d get…

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  • MommyNoMore Moderator 11/20/2011 06:23 PM
    Know whats worse than cps? neighbours who cant keep there prying eyes out of other peoples business. It is almost 4 years to the day that I lost my little baby girl all of vindictive neighbours who got there thrills phoning up the cops and taking advantage of a really bad time in my life.

    According to CPS, moms arent ever allowed to drink. You have one drink after work and they act like youre the worst child abuser ever to walk the earth. Should never discipline your kid however much they act out either because its better that they grow up into criminals. Oh and moms should never work either – better that they let the kid grow up in poverty than leave her alone for a few hours in order to make money after the drug dealing boyfriend leaves her. Must be great being one of those perfect parents with there perfect lives and perfect jobs with perfect sitters.

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  • Not_a_Criminal Moderator 11/20/2011 05:36 PM
    Perhaps the state’s side of this issue might be more fully considered if one read’s this 2007 transcript in which the rights were terminated. The mother herself posted the transcript, and it does indicate why the state did what it did, right or wrong, but unfortunately, links are not allowed.  That is a shame – it’s only presenting one side of the issue and I’m curious as to if the author investigated further.  It can be found through a search engine, thought.

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  • Keep An Eye on Kidnappers Moderator 11/20/2011 06:32 PM in reply to Not_a_Criminal
    The “state’s side of the issue” is just a lot of “jive talk”.  The “state’s side of the issue” is a united front including the CPS county agencies, the County’s Attorney and the entire judicial system.  It also includes the education-health-welfare-human services combine, rivaling the well-known military-industrial complex.  Since  juries are deliberately excluded, the united front (a racket-influence-corrupt organization, operating under color of law) rules unilaterally.  They hold all the cards in their deck and they play unfairly.  The process is rigged so that they win all the time. They simply put forth bogus reasons forth why babies are kidnapped by  county governments and given to a politically connected “foster kidnapper” couples.  The CPS bureaucrats, the County Government (which receives federal funds for every child kidnapped and given to “foster kidnappers”), the Famil” Court (aka Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court) and the higher-ups in the judicial system are all funded directly or indirectly by billions of dollars in Federal funds.   Initially the Democrats passed Federal laws to create and fund this racket.  The federal laws include CAPTA (pushed by Walter Mondale, 1974) and AFSA (pushed by Bill Clinton, 1997).  In all fairness, the Republican party does nothing to repeal these wasteful and unjust laws.  They are primarily concerned with helping billionaires pay zero taxes.  Republicans love big government, just so long as their main contributors keep feeding at the Federal trough or get removed from Federal scrutiny.  Hopefully little people on the left and the right will organize to overwhelm and overthrow the current system and replace it with something far more just.

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  • Interesting point of view. On the other hand, most of us like to actually understand the whole situation. I say this as both a foster father in another state and as best friend to a man who’s children have been wrongly taken from him by VA CPS and placed with their maternal grandparents, people who let their daughter be sexually abused as a child…. Understanding both sides of the story are important.

    Having said that, I think it likely that you’re right and the state’s story will be self serving, just like I’m sure the parent’s story is self serving.

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  • It is interesting how connected to the foster parenting system system bgregs2k seems to be.  He/she seems to follow this editorial’s comments for days and chew onto it like a pit bull.  Seems possibly like someone connected to Arlington County trying to cover its rear end, trying to do public relations damage control.

    Real folks get real jobs, they don’t “foster adopt” other people’s children and get $2-3000 a month for this dubious privilege.  “Foster adoption” is just another welfare racket.  More big government spending, more meddling.

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  • Wilhelm Ogle Moderator 11/16/2011 10:50 AM
    Not long ago the Washington City Paper documented a similar case in Washington, DC.

    I say similar because the agency’s internal communications showed that the agency acted only because the case worked wanted to teach white people a lesson.

    The family got their daughter back only after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and the case worker is still on the job.

    What can you expect from an agency that finds nothing wrong with storing children in freezers.

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  • Keep An Eye on Kidnappers Moderator 11/18/2011 07:24 PM
    This editorial is the truth.  The “child protective” and social dis-services industrial complex gets very nervous having the truth put out.  As for county hacks saying that their machinations are “confidential’ is just a cover up.  Just like “weapons of mass destruction”, where are the facts?  A grave injustice has been done because there are no juries, no rules of evidence. The “court documents” are interpreted and family-shattering decisions are made uni-laterally by a judge in cahoots with a corrupt, self-serving “child protective” bureaucracy.  This screams for a massive investigation. of all these cases.  Childrens names can be redacted, but the facts of the case, who made the false accusations of “child neglect”, the medical facts, the case presented by the parents whose children have been kidnapped by the state, these can easily be made public and widely investigated.  Light can be shed and corruption can be exposed.  This is what Arlington County and the other CPS racketeers in neighboring jurisdictions want swept under the rug.  That is what they call “confidentiality”.  It is like keeping Rodney King’s beating-by-the-cops video “confidential” and “off the record”.  Heavens forbid, riots might occur!

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  • I have personally witnessed Commonwealth’s Attorneys commit perjury, submit false representations, maliciously prosecute, hide exculpatory evidence, etc, pretty much everything listed in this article with IMPUNITY because they have IMMUNITY.

    No member of the BAR will risk their license and their livelihood to go against these criminals in black robes. It is men like James Manship who have devoted their lives to the pursuit of justice and have fought their way into the Courts, non-Bar, that are proving to be our only hope because they cannot be bought or sold.

    God Speed, most noble helper, God Speed.

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  • There is no justice to be found in the judicial system so long as Democrats and Republicans are in power. You do the math….

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  • Frank Hillman Moderator 11/18/2011 10:59 PM
    Lawmom3 is possibly an Arlington County lawyer, a judge or a CPS bureaucrat.   She is just an apologist for an outrageously unjust system.  I suspect she is a well-paid apologist. Taking away children from parents without a jury, without the the Prosecutor required to prove charges is incredibly draconian.  This is unilateral, authoritarian, banana republic “justice”, not justice at all.  Lawmom3 seems to prefer all the wrong types of law.  Barbara Hollingsworth got her story not only from the litigants, but lots of other sources.  That these sources tell a story far different from the “Party Line” of Arlington County, Incorporated is revealing in itself.  It is an elitist, wealthy ruling class county comprised of professional establishment-arian Democrats, government apparatchiks, or people who live off non-profit “grants”.   Arlington County is just as much part of the “1%” as any rapacious Wall Street banksters or military-industrial complex contractors.  They all make their living as predators, stealing from people (with their money or their children), killing innocent people, tearing families apart. At best they are clueless, at worst they are sadistic, socio-pathic fiends.  The ruling class, judges and bureaucrats of Arlington are part of the problematic “1%”.  The time to Occupy…

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  • I partly agree. But disagree with one point. Yes, they TAKE the children without due process, and that’s because they have no TIME for due process (or rather that’s the case in many other states and SHOULD be the case in all states!). Having said that, they must be able to submit to due process within a very short timeframe.

    Speaking as a foster father in another state, I’ve never had a child placed with my family that we weren’t in court within 3 business days to decide whether the kids should go back or stay in foster care.

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  • Keep An Eye on Kidnappers Moderator 11/20/2011 11:36 PM in reply to bgregs2k
    My advice to the writer above is to quit being a part of the child-kidnapping-for-Federal-Funds racket.  Find some other outlet for your “do-gooding”.

    Taking kids without due process, doing anything through the courts without due process is fascsim or totalitarianism.  If you really believe in the “American Way”, then try to live by it, rather than the Mao Tse Tung or Josef Stalin way.

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  • WHOOPIE BIG DEAL I guess you think you’re smart. I wonder how long it takes a child to have an anxiety attack, a moment? Do you know you’re a part of that happening to children? OH you have NO IDEA what due process means either. I guess you feel protected to BY YOUR IGNORANCE. Did anyone ever tell you that ignorance of the LAW is no excuse?
    WHY DON’T YOU READ THE 14TH BILL OF RIGHTS…AND WHY NOT IMAGINE SOMEONE TAKES SOMETHING THAT IS YOURS AND THEN SUES YOU 3 DAYS LATER IN COURT…TRY TO JUSTIFY IT LATER…YOU’RE LEVEL OF INTELLIGENCE IS BELOW THE CROOKS YOU WORK WITH.

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  • Anna, please disregard my first comment.  If anyone knows how a person can delete a comment, please let the forum know.  I made a snap judgment in that I thought you were responding to the comment immediately above, which was by “Keep an Eye on Kidnappners”.  Actually it seems you were replying to “bgregs2k”.  When I started reading the legal comments, I thought you were a lawyer defending Arlington County, but as it turns out your are simply defending the People’s Constitutional Rights and privileges.  To this writer you are a friend, and not a foe.  Sorry.

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  • Anna Winslow, nice set of ad hominem remarks and hysterics here.  Are you losing your composure?  Do you have an anxiety attack?  Could your doctor prescribe some calming down medication for you?  The people are getting tons of publicity on the child kidnapping scam conducted as a corrupt racket by “our” government.  The Occupy Movement might next be interested in occupying social “services” and family courts.   It would be fun to see the Keystone Kops of Arlington and other counties trying to bully thousands of protesters standing against the wholesale sell-out of this nation to the “1%”, of which you, Ms. Winslow, are.  CPS and foster adoption is just as corrupt as the military-industrial complex.  Slavery and human chattel should be illegal in this country.

    Do you work as a lawyer for Arlington County?  Are you employed by CPS?  Do you represent the interests of foster kidnapping parents  Are you one of those fourth-rate lawyers who works as a “guardian ad litem”?  Are you a foster kidnapper yourself?  Decent people don’t steal other peoples’ children.  Bourgeois liberals are hypocritical and they are a pestilence.

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  • Thank you, Ms. Hollingsworth, for this enlightening article.  I can certainly understand why you felt so disturbed about the baby Sabrina case.  I thought it was common knowledge that it was normal for babies to lose weight after birth.  That is not a reason for CPS to remove a baby from his or her parents, which I thought they were only supposed to do in cases where a child is being abused.  This could have happened to any new parent.  I had no idea that Arlington CPS was so corrupt, I hope that Judge Cacheris will do the right thing and bring some justice for these families.

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  • Judge Wiggins has a long history of making bad judgments regarding the
    placement of children. For example, she has awarded custody to abusive
    fathers including the father of Arianna Leilani King, who refuses to get
    his daughter necessary medical treatment for a blood condition she has
    which affects her immunity. She has also sent teen girls who have had
    minor scrapes with the law to a juvenile detention facility called the
    Aurora House, where they report having been abused.

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  • Juvenile court files and proceedings are confidential but these litigants have chosen to breach confidentiality by taking their story to the press, to Ms. Hollingsworth in particular, and essentially telling only one side of the story. The County cannot tell its side of the story, nor can the judges, nor can the social workers or other individuals involved in the case because that would be a breach of confidentiality, meaning that these people are free to represent their case any way they want without fear of public contradiction by anyone else involved.

    I’m familiar with Mr. Manship and am unaware of any court which is or has recently been appointing him as a special advocate. He’s not an attorney. The Virginia courts appoint attorneys certified as Guardians ad litem to represent the interests of children in such cases. If Mr. Manship has ever been any type of advocate then perhaps he was involved with the volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate program at one time. I can guarantee he’s not now because of his breach of confidentiality and what could be characterized as his dabbling in the unauthorized practice of law. I do know for a fact that Mr. Manship has been attempting to perform legal services in this and potentially one or two other cases even though he’s not an attorney and in fact he was in Arlington Circuit Court just a week or two ago trying to persuade an Arlington Circuit Court judge to let him represent a parent’s interests before the court, although I do not know if that was related to this case or another.

    I am not involved in this case and never have been, but I am a certified guardian ad litem and have spent many years in the Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Relations courts. When a child is removed for whatever reason the goal is ALWAYS return home in the absence of any compelling reason why that return cannot happen. The entire system is set up to accomplish that goal and periodic reviews are held to see what progress is being made toward that goal. Only in cases of compelling necessity, usually consisting of a persistent and irremediable problem such as severe domestic abuse, continuing substance abuse, crippling mental health problems, or other substantial issues which have persisted for a year or more is the goal changed from return home to termination. Hearings are conducted and the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court makes a decision and if the decision is to terminate parental rights the parent then has the right to appeal and have a trial de novo (from the start) before the Circuit Court. If the parent is aggrieved of the Circuit Court’s decision the parent has the right to appeal the termination to the Court of Appeals. In other words, there are a lot of hoops to jump through for a termination and the courts do not take such things lightly.

    Ms. Hollingsworth is no journalist and this is not a news story but a piece of public advocacy of something which likely is not even the real truth about the matter.

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  • Lawmom, it’s not always about credentials.  And, those with credentials can in fact be misinformed, be lying, be defensive of the system which provides them benefit.

    For example, in your comments, you make a number of policy statements in a public forum, yet as a GAL you are not a supervisor or designated spokesperson, and are acting outside your authorization for the department.

    Further, it is unwise to state that events don’t occur, when in fact a. you can’t possibly know and b. Children’s Services is paid to make them so.  Still further, you have unlikely experienced an intervention of your own brood.  Therefore, you are highly likely to foolishly minimize the often substantial and lasting damage that Children’s Services kidnappings create for children and their parents.

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  • Lawmom…Children Services uses the same cloak of secrecy to hide many things that they dont want the public to know,closed family courts keep secret the facts that many parents rights are trampled on everyday…impoverished families are at the complete mercy of a broken and corrupt system. Fabrication of evidence by CPS can and does take place,after all without families  to rip asunder you all would be without employment. There are many children out there who are being abused,all the while CPS usually goes after the easiest targets letting the kids who need help go without.

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  • LawMom, You evidently have no idea of the multitude of things that SS/CPS does in the state that are wrong.  They get federal money for every child they remove from a home, and more if the child is adopted.  If that’s not an inticement for wrongful acts, I don’t know what is.  I could tell you about a man that was fraudulently charged and tried for molesting a child, was found not guilty, his record expunged, yet CPS violated Va. Law in not staying his case in their office as required by Va Law and SS Codes, instead they placed him on their Registry for three years, and refused to remove him after he was found not guilty and his record expunged, violating another law. The variety of unlawful acts these people do is unbelievable, and I’m glad someone is finally taking them to Fed. Court where they will win.

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  • I wish I could agree that the goal is reunification but it isn’t. You are paid (or expensed) by CAPTA, as is the court, the social services group, therapists, doctors and nurses (school or otherwise),  and the foster parents – just to name a few.

    The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (Public Law 93-247) provides federal funding to States
    in support of prevention, assessment, investigation, prosecution, and
    treatment activities and also provides grants to public agencies and nonprofit organizations
    for demonstration programs and projects. Additionally, CAPTA identifies
    the Federal role in supporting research, evaluation, technical
    assistance, and data collection activities; establishes the Office on
    Child Abuse and Neglect; and mandates the National Clearinghouse on
    Child Abuse and Neglect Information. Please note this portion: CAPTA also sets forth a minimum
    definition of child abuse and neglect. The subsequent acts such as

    In order for you to retain your certification, you are asked for so many hours and that you agree with what the Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Relations courts say to do. If you contradicted them on a regular basis, how often would your services be required? Reunification takes money away from this system which so depends on it. In this instance even if all we know and all that CPS knew was that the child lost 10 ounces weight their bounds were overstepped. Ms Hey has Aspergers – a disability you clearly know little about from a functional perspective. My own son has Aspergers and is well capable of caring for a child.

    It appears that you and I have read much of the same material – shame on you for making the same mistake you accuse others of and holding it more noble because you are a part of the system.

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  • JusticeWhammo Moderator 11/20/2011 05:26 PM
    Sometimes the peoples justice is the only justice. Dragging these criminals out to the street and tried by a jury of 12 which is more than they afford the children they steal.  Carry out punishment immediately. One hand for each child they abduct via the “system” sounds like a start.

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  • The ballot box is no answer to the
    problem of ever growing, ever intrusive state bureaucracies because
    the bureaucracies are independent of the electoral process.

    But this is the big point to remember. CPS doesn’t show
    up at your door, people doing the evil of CPS show up.
    These individuals who commit these civil liberty crimes in the name
    of the state “protecting you” will continue to “do their job”
    bc they don not fear retribution for their acts. But I say they
    should.

    They need to be afraid of the people who they hassle. The need to
    fear that if they enforce these immoralities masquerading as laws
    “for your protection” there will be personal repercussions for
    them. Just following orders is no longer a valid defense.

    If your not comfortable with direct action against these people, then consider this fact. The
    police state runs on money. It gets money through the taxes you
    voluntarily pay which in turn pay the salaries of the bullies who
    show up at your door. Its harsh & painful to admit but its true
    that the taxpayer is as much a part of the system of oppression as is
    the guy with the badge & the gun.

    It’s like the school yard bully. He only tortures those who
    don’t fight back. Fight back & he thinks twice about hassling
    you. The bureaucrats are bullies in the same way. I say they should
    think twice before they go out & hassle someone. They are not
    innocent.  Just following orders is no longer an excuse.

    Don’t want to be oppressed? Rearrange your life so that you
    don’t pay taxes. Don’t be part of the problem be part of the
    solution. Live your politics!They only real power that a peaceful
    citizen has is to say NO! — and to live that NO! NO- I will not
    participate in my own subjugation.

    >>My name is Legion for we are many. We are Anonymous. We do
    not Forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.<<

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  • Justice Whammo, I know this issue gets some people indignant.  I’d settle for simply putting these criminals into a barbed wire compound, seize their assets, extract all the money from their bank accounts, and force them to do some hard manual labor.  It would be a life sentence.  I am a liberal, you understand.  I don’t want to hurt anyone.  Call me a bleeding heart.

    As for the false liberals, many of them are secret, or not-so-secret Social Marxists.  Let some hard core Marxist tactics and Chairman Mao treatment be meted out to them for a change.  Just sort of turn the tables on them.

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  • Of course I can’t know everything going on in Arlington County but my experiences were true for me. Over 12 years and 20 kids, I never saw any examples of wholesale baby-snatching. I am also on the Board of a national child welfare agency so I have some limited experience which can’t be negated simply because you don’t agree with my experience. I already said I stopped fostering so clearly I was able to see some negatives. But I am horrified that people are taking one situation — which is still unclear — and making all government workers, GALS and child welfare advocates into untrustworthy, horrible people. I believe we should listen to other people and learn from them rather than dismissing people whose views differ from our own. And hasty judgments based on something we read in a “newspaper” or on a blog are often proven wrong.

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  • All government workers, gals, and child welfare advocates are horrible people.  Their jobs are either to steal and give to the rich, lie their way out of trouble for their elected boss, or steal babies from unsuspecting families.   I have read so few stories of how CPS or any government child advocacy has actually worked out well.  To be honest it’s hard to paint a story of kidnapping a pretty color for the kidnapper.  I mean think about it.  The government can steal from anybody and then give it to anybody.  It’s stealing because they didn’t provide any service or incentive for the exchange and threaten punishment if you don’t pay, but they call them taxes.  Murder?  The government calls it capital punishment.  I doubt there is a statistic out there following weather hasty decisions are proven wrong or not, but there might be about how often CPS gets called in custody disputes.  Where one parent is trying to get another in trouble and has little concern for the child.  Or were the child called CPS themselves because they made the child go to bed with no supper for punching the neighbor kid and refusing to apologize.  I think the…

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  • I wish we could say it was just one situation, but it isn’t. There are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands out there. this one happened to have some outside, media-based agreement

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  • As a longtime — and often disgruntled — foster parent in Arlington County, I can say that in my 12 years of fostering I never saw any instances of “baby-stealing.” If anything, the two judges bent over backwards to reunify families…sometimes when I felt they were wrong. The entire foster care system is seriously flawed — and Arlington County DHS has its own unique issues — but I would not have given up months of my life to nurse back to health a neglected baby or to reassure a child that she was in fact loved if I had thought the county was “baby-snatching.”  Like many of my friends who also served as foster parents in Arlington County, I am college-educated and gainfully employed. I fostered out of a sense of civic responsibility and took in over 20 children in 12 years. DHS ensured that, when appropriate, there were family visits and a goal of reunification. Of those 20 children, all but two were returned to their birth families.

    I am not familiar with Sabrina or her story and am not in a position to judge what happened. But it would be a shame if the entire department and system were labeled because of one case. And those who would be hurt the most are the children who are so desperately in need of love and stability, even if for a short time. It’s not a class issue, it’s not a financial issue….it’s an issue about how we treat the most vulnerable among us.

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  • That’s true.  I certainly don’t think that all foster parents are bad, and Tamar may well be thinking he/she is doing a great thing, but also Tamar can’t know the story of every situation of every child in Arlington County that was placed in foster care against their birth parents’ wishes or whether it was justified.  I don’t even trust Arlington County to be truthful in the information they give their foster care poviders

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  • Tamar, this baby snatching does happen. I worked for a dss agency in Va.  A baby was taken away from the birth family, both hands and both feet burned, all limbs broken, ribs broken. The baby was only 3 months old. The father admitted to squeezing the baby’s stomach and heard breakage (ribs)! DSS removed the baby and put it in a foster home (a loving home) the baby thrived for three months, but because of who’s name the baby had in the area, it was a well-respected family . . . the baby was returned to the home only to die 3 days later! No one has ever been charged for this death and no one will ever be charged, as the CA is friends with the family! The Medical Examiners report stated “undetermined causes,” for the death.  This was the first child/baby the foster family ever had and will never take another baby again due to what they learned after the child was returned!  Yet, the same dss agency had parental rights of a child severed for less than this and the 2 yr old was adopted out.  It’s true, the agency gets money from the federal government for these adoptions.  And, if they are special needs children, they get monthly checks as well as Medicaid for this child! The system is corrupt.  Police do  not have to be called, there are no checks and balances in these scenarios. The judges take the words of these social workers as if they were gospel.  No police investigation!  Some investigators are clueless on child abuse and neglect for the most part.

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Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2011/11/federal-judge-should-hear-arlington-cps-case#ixzz1eUc0sjNm

Written by dawneworswick

November 23, 2011 at 2:45 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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