Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Electing Barack better that saying we are sorry!

Date 02/13/08
By Terry Bankert Posted full article first to Flint Talk THEN summarized, for discussion, also posted to:
Full article at Google blog Good Morning Flint, with citations.(AT THE VER BOTTOM OF THIS POST) also posted to MLIVE Flint JOURNAL Flint Community blogs, Flint Citizen, Craigs list, Face Book, My Space and . Please circulate and post freely. Do you have suggestions for other sites to post to. Recent BANKERT VLOGG on :Mediation #1 ______________________


"A century ago, it was wrongly decided by officials of the Federal Government of this nation that Aborigines were not fit to raise their own children, that it would benefit those children to be taken - by force if necessary - away from their natural families and placed in institutional care, where they could be raised in the ways of white Australia. It has been estimated that as many as one in three, or as few as one in 10 Aboriginal and part Aboriginal children were taken from their families. [TDTC]

Apology to Aborigines hailed as historic shift for Australia [AFP]

The reading of Australia's apology and the parliamentary vote was broadcast nationally, and people across the country watched, from the Outback breakfasts to the school assemblies.[SFG]

I thought I would look at this because I know little of aborigines and also wondered how this may be like others requests for reparations [trb]


SYDNEY (AFP) — Australian media and analysts Thursday hailed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's apology to Aborigines for past injustices as marking an historic shift for the nation.[AFP]

A nation saying they are sorry to a " People". The closest we have come is the Jimmy Swaggart crying apology when he was caught.[trb]


"Today we honor the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history.
We reflect on their past mistreatment.
We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were stolen generations - this blemished chapter in our nation's history.
The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia's history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.
We apologize for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.
We apologize especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.
For the pain, suffering and hurt of these stolen generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.
To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry.
And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.
We the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation.
For the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our great continent can now be written.
We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians.
A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again.
A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity.
A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed.
A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility.
A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia. "—END RUDDS SPEECH—


With the word "Sorry" splashed across front pages in huge type along with pictures of weeping and cheering Aborigines, newspapers devoted entire sections to what the Daily Telegraph called "a unique and radiant moment."[AFP] see:,,5016323,00.html

Like most commentators, however, the paper said in an editorial "the brutal truth is that unless it is followed up with a program of substance and originality, the aftermath of yesterday will merely be a hollow symbolism."[AFP]


To find Wilcannia's Stolen Generation, you had to take a right turn at the pub and drive a few kilometers out of town until you reached the cemetery.[TDT]

And there, beneath endless mounds of dry red earth, many of them unmarked, they lay. [TDT]

There were the babies, faded stuffed toys and plastic flowers turned brittle by the heat covering many of their small dirt graves. There were teenagers and too many others in their 20s and 30s.[TDT]

There were generations of Wilcannia's people, the Barkindji and others, stolen by disease, by violence, by alcohol and sometimes by their own hand.[TDT]

The word "sorry" may have echoed around Australia yesterday. But its sound was faint by the time it made it here.[TDT]

The Australian described Wednesday's apology in parliament as "by any measure a historic day in the life of the nation, its parliament and, crucially, in relations between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians."[AFP]

The Sydney Morning Herald said the prime minister's speech generated "a nationwide emotional release -- a collective sigh of relief that this long-awaited moment had finally come."[AFP]


Thousands of people watching the historic ceremony jeered and booed while others turned their backs as Dr Nelson spoke in support of the apology, while rejecting calls for compensation for indigenous children taken from their families.[TDT]

In an address broadcast live on giant screens around the country, Rudd apologized to Aborigines for injustices over two centuries of white settlement, saying he wanted "to remove a great stain from the nation's soul."[AFP]

"We apologize for the laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians," he told parliament.[AFP]

Rudd also pledged practical measures to improve health, education and housing for Australia's most impoverished minority.[AFP]

"The reality of the apology, I hope, signals a far deeper intent to remedy the situation quickly with the participation of the Aboriginal leadership," said Pat Dodson, former chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation.[AFP]

Several Aboriginal leaders have also called for financial compensation for victims of the "Stolen Generations" policy under which Aboriginal children were forcibly taken from their families to be raised in white institutions.[AFP]

The symbolism is important, but the key to a lasting process of "reconciliation" is the eradication of the social inequities to which the majority of Aborigines - not just the Stolen Generation - are still heir. [TDTC]

High infant mortality, chronic poverty, high unemployment, high rates of imprisonment, chronic drug abuse and alcoholism, family violence and assault on children; they are the problems - and, it must be said, the identifiers - of Aboriginality in this country. Is an "apology" warranted for those wrongs as well? If so, let’s say we’re sorry, and let’s mean it. [TDTC]

"No one out there believes compensation is an issue that will go away," said indigenous leader Lowitja O'Donoghue.[AFP]

But, for the moment, newspapers reflected a sense of fundamental change in the nation.[AFP]
"Growing up as an Aboriginal child, looking into the mirror of Australia was difficult and alienating," Linda Burney, a cabinet minister in New South Wales state government, wrote in the Australian.[AFP]

"Your reflection was at best ugly and distorted, and at worst non-existent... There was always that nagging sense of not belonging, like a piece of a puzzle was missing.[AFP]

In Redfern yesterday, Aborigines wept silently as they received their apology.[TDT]

When it was over, a small group retreated to the top of Eveleigh St, where they sipped beer from long-neck bottles and quietly digested Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's words.[TDT]

Among the older generation, the reaction was gracious and dignified.[TDT]

Not for them the anger and resentment of previous decades - instead, they said they would accept the apology in the spirit it was offered and pledged to ensure their community's survival by leading it into the future.[TDT]

"Something like this just erases everything, that's what I say," said Enid Williams, who accepted the apology on behalf of several family members who were removed from their homes several decades ago.[TDT]

"We're going to be looked at differently as a result of this apology," she added. "We're getting the respect we want and truly deserve."[TDT]

"February 13, 2008, has allowed me to finally fill in the last piece of my jigsaw."[AFP]

We should understand an apology, by itself, will solve nothing. Commitment to change - by Aborigines as much as non-indigenous Australians - is what is needed[TDTC]

"This is a historic day," said Tom Calma, who was selected by Stolen Generations organizations to give a formal response to the apology. "Today our leaders across the political spectrum have chosen dignity, hope and respect as the guiding principles for the relationship with our nation's first people."[SFG]

Here you could start your own google blog for Flint Journal/MLIVE posting
Here you can register and join in the debate topice or start your own

Other internet access sites where you can participate
You can comment here to my dailey posts.
Join Facebook and become a FRIEND . I am creating a Flint area issues social/political/ community issues discussion group
Same intent as Facebook but becoming less used
A Flint Area Politcal Action discussion groupt. Three locals campaign have vased from here
You can comment on the VLOGGS

Posted here by
Terry Bankert

—where did this stuff come from---


The Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph Rudds Report

The Daily Telegraph
Changing is a True Apology

Who am I:

My Political party of Choice.

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Date 2/12/08
By Terry Bankert Posted full article first to Flint Talk THEN summarized, for discussion, also posted to:

Full article at Google blog Good Morning Flint, with citations.(AT THE VER BOTTOM OF THIS POST) also posted to MLIVE Flint JOURNAL Flint Community blogs, Flint Citizen, Craigs list, Face Book, My Space and . Please circulate and post freely. Do you have suggestions for other sites to post to. Recent BANKERT VLOGG on :Mediation #1 ______________________


We have a very progressive bench in Genesee Couty. Judges Weiss’s iniative to address the needs of babys in the judicial system is one example.[trb]

Every day parents crowd into Genesee County family court. Some are accused of abusing or neglecting their children; others are there because their child has committed a crime. [TV12 ]

In Michigan abuse cases are handled by "Department of Human Services policies on child abuse and neglect reflect laws of the state of Michigan, enacted by the state Legislature to safeguard children." [DHS]

The recent TV 12 progam on legal services for small children was excellent.[trb]


A Florida judge has discovered most of these families have something in common -- something that sounds so simple that could have made a life-changing or, in some cases, life-saving difference. [TV12 ]

And it all began before age 3.[TV12 ]

In a country some say is edging toward [TV12 ]

It's a community that has lost plants, jobs and homes. And a city that ranks among the nation's worst for violent crime.[TV12 ]

There, drugs and crime often tear apart families and leave behind countess victims who simply can't ask for help.[TV12 ]

Miam sounds like a big Flint![trb]
new program iniatives find their origions in agency actions and federal legislation before you seem the results on the street, so to speak. That a good thing. Here a State Infant Mental health Agency has stated publicly the needs of the infants.[trb]


MI-AIMH also believes that the failure to provide and maintain nurturing relationships, at least one, during infancy may result in significant damage to the individual and to society. [MIMH]

Therefore, MI-AIMH supports the following positions:
Early intervention is an essential social policy, important from both
a fiscal and a moral point of view.
Early intervention can be effective for the individual infant only if offered in a manner that promotes and supports the infant-caregiver relationship as both the primary source of strength and need.
Early intervention can be effective for society as a whole only as it is offered in a manner that is culturally sensitive.
Support, training and advocacy for early intervention must become a cooperative venture that bridges traditional cultural, disciplinary, administrative and political boundaries. [MIMH]

JUDGE CINDY LEDERMAN "a Draconian visionary"

"We started to realize that there is an invisible population," said Miami Judge Cindy Lederman.
Behind many of the problems that make headlines are children.[TV12 ]

"As a system in this country we're really not thinking about infants or toddlers," Lederman said.[TV12 ]


Judge Cindy S. Lederman has been the Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court in Miami-Dade
County, Florida since 1999. Elected to the Miami-Dade County Court in 1988, before her elevation to
Circuit Court in 1994, she was a leader of the team that created the Dade County Domestic Violence
Court and served as the court’s first Presiding Judge. Judge Lederman’s interest in bringing science and
research into the courtroom results from her 10 year involvement with the National Research Council and
Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences. Judge Lederman was a member of the
National Research Council’s Committee on Family Violence Interventions and Panel on Juvenile Crime,
Treatment and Control and has served from 1996 to 2004 on the Board of Children, Youth and Families of
the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. In 1999, Judge Lederman was awarded a
Fellowship from Zero to Three: The National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families in their Leaders of
the 21st Century Initiative. The Council of State Governments has awarded Judge Lederman a 2002 Toll
Fellowship. Judge Lederman is a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Council of Juvenile and
Family Court Judges. Judge Lederman serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on
Foster Care and is a member of the Healthy Foster Care America initiative.[casa]


They are children and babies who don't have much. They are often robbed of the one thing that can break the cycle: a parent, a mentor -- someone who in that crucial first few years of their lives teaches them how to love.[TV12 ]

"We form what we think about people based on early relationships, so if a child learns not to expect someone to be there for them, that's what they expect later in life," said Dr. Joy Osofsky.[TV12 ]


Joy D. Osofsky, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA; director of the Violence Intervention Program for Children and Families and the LSUHSC Harris Center for Infant Mental Health in New Orleans. She is Co-Director of the Louisiana Rural Trauma Services Center, a Center within the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Dr. Osofsky is past-president of Zero to Three and the World Association for Infant Mental Health. Following Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, Dr. Osofsky was asked to serve as Clinical Director for Child and Adolescent Initiatives for Louisiana Spirit, the ship housing first responders and their families. On August 29, 2006, she was honored with a Proclamation from the New Orleans City Council recognizing her work helping children and families in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. [Z3]


They are the children the child welfare system was designed to protect. It's a system Genesee County Judge Robert Weiss says is broken.[TV12 ]

There is seldom joy in the Child abuse and neglect court.[trb]

"I've seen it as a judge and I've seen it as a prosecutor," he said. "It doesn't fix anything. It just moves people along. We've got to fix it and fix it now."[TV12 ]

We need to break the cycle not just punish a parent.[trb]


Right now, a child born in Genesee County is nearly twice as likely to be abused or neglected than any other community in Michigan.[TV12 ]

Flints depression has a lot to do with these numbers.[trb]
He or she is far more likely to be removed from a dangerous home environment. Genesee County has the state's second highest number of placements.[TV12 ]

More are likely to live in poverty. Three out of every 10 children there do. And he or she is more likely to die before ever reaching age 1. Genesee County has the highest number of infant deaths in Michigan.[TV12 ]

"It's very dark," Weiss said. "We're just doing same thing again and again, knowing it doesn't work. I could not live with myself and don't think system should live with that concept."[TV 12]


Judge Cindy Lederman, champion of justice and advocate extraordinaire, bends the rules on the bench[MNT]

But now a community that has lost so much has found a ray of hope about 1,400 miles south in a Miami courtroom.[TV12 ]

Just a thought. This topic represent a changing paridigm of thought witghin professional associations and the court. Its is an e3volving process. Judge Lederman did not dream this up. She is just taking the first steps.[trb]

"When mom first came in, she was having a hard time understanding communication -- what a baby needs if it's crying, if it needs to be changed or fed," said mental health therapist Sylvia Alvarez McBride.[TV12 ]

Letisia Perez first entered Lederman's courtroom two years ago. She had lost custody of her baby Zoila because allegations of neglect were so severe that the judge feared for the child's safety.[TV12 ]

"She's a foster child herself," Alvarez McBride said. "She came into foster care later in life, at 9 or 10 because her mother had died and she stayed with an uncle who sexually abused her.[TV12 ]

"Being in foster care, she bounced around a lot."[TV12 ]

Girls like Perez appear in front of Lederman every day -- children who were part of the system, back in court for neglecting their own baby.[TV12 ]

"The saddest moment for every judge who does this work is when we've had a case for a while, a girl comes in, 9 or 10, abused by parents, grows up in the system, becomes 13 or 14, walks into the courtroom, and says, 'I'm pregnant.' It's just a devastating moment," Lederman said.[TV12 ]

What could be done? Lederman would find the answer after a chance meeting at a conference with Osofsky, a leading expert in early child development.[TV12 ]

Osofsky showed Lederman something that for years had been impossible to see from behind her bench.[TV12 ]

"We see babies as little as 6 months of age with very little affect," Osofsky said. "(They show) very little emotion, who just sit there blandly because they learn there is no one there for them in the world."[TV12 ]

They are the effects of a violent or neglectful home placed on the most vulnerable members of society.[TV12 ]

"Part of it was we didn't understand the science," Lederman said.[TV12 ]


"We didn't understand they really are harmed and don't just get over it. It's quite the opposite. These first few years are the most important in any human being's life and this is when we really have to intervene."[TV12 ]

This time is so crucial because abuse trauma and neglect can literally change the brains of young children.[TV12 ]

"Early in development there are a certain number of connections," Osofsky said.[TV12 ]
"What happens is they are reduced or pruned because of experiences. If there's less stimulation or neglect, it really impacts the brain."[TV12 ]

Osofsky says abuse can affect a child's ability to trust and to love, and can mean language, cognitive and developmental delays, along with behavioral problems.[TV12 ]


"The children who are abused or neglected have a 53 percent increased likelihood of engaging in delinquent behavior, and we can stop that. We really can, so we changed our focus here," Osofsky said.[TV12 ]

Lederman and Osofsky have created create an intensive program that literally shows moms like Perez and others how to be a parent.[TV12 ]

In a toy-filled room, it looked like Perez and Zoila were just playing with dolls. But Alvarez McBride was watching their every move.[TV12 ]

"Mom is doing a great job following her lead and really paying attention to what she wants to do," she said.[TV12 ]

Alvarez McBride taught Perez something most of us take for granted: How to listen to, care for and play with her daughter.[TV12 ]

Because of mental health problems and because she was a foster child herself, Perez simply didn't know how to be a mom.[TV12 ]

"It sounds so simple," Alvarez McBride said. "We start on the basics, which is if your baby is crying, you need to figure out what that means.[TV12 ]

"(It) may need to be changed or fed, something as simple as that. That's why play is so important to your daughter. Let her make choices, give her self esteem and self confidence."[TV12 ]

The sessions are a crucial part of Lederman's program. Mental health specialists at the Linda Ray Center work one on one with moms and dads who've lost custody of their children.[TV12 ]

They become therapists, advisors and at times surrogate mothers.[TV12 ]

"It's kind of overwhelming at first, yes," Perez said. "Sylvia helped me a lot. All the problems I used to have, I used to call her and she would tell me how to take care of it."[TV12 ]

"I think she needed to be cared about (and have) someone to be supported by and be cared about," Alvarez McBride said. "She felt alone, very much alone."[TV12 ]


Every case is different, but most people get 25 parenting sessions and therapists begin at square one.[TV12 ]

"I was surprised to learn the basic level of lack of knowledge about parenting," Lederman said.[TV12 ]

"I mean, I didn't think we would need to teach any mom that it's really important she smile at her child and explain that to her."[TV12 ]

But the difference these sessions can make is striking.[TV12 ]

"I thought I couldn't do it, but look where I'm at now," Perez said.[TV12 ]

Videotapes of early sessions help show just how far some of the young parents have come.[TV12]


One of the reasons Perez is doing so well is because Lederman's multi-disciplinary team is designed to become a safety net.[TV12 ]

"We needed a support system in place, find a family friend who could help with her daughter," Alvarez McBride said.[TV12 ]

The team takes care of things that would be unheard of in a typical court setting.[TV12 ]

"One thing was the bus situation -- two buses," Perez said. "I would take now just one."[TV12 ]
Helping young parents with transportation, finding jobs and seeking school placement are all part of the program, and so is asking some tough questions.[TV12 ]

Lederman even gives out books and toys to the children. And it's working.[TV12 ]

"I think it's wonderful," he said. "You are doing great. Tell Zoila happy birthday. We are very proud of you. Thank you. Keep up the good work."[TV12 ]

Of all the parents who completed the pilot program 100 percent, all of them have been reunified with their parents.[TV12 ]

"It gives you a reason to get up and continue to do this work because there is hope," Lederman said. "You are not just managing families; you are really hopefully stopping some of the maltreatment of the future."[TV12 ]

The program won't work for every family. Several parents drop out. Maybe it's drugs, alcohol, mental illness or apathy.[TV12 ]

But for parents who work at it and want it, the services and support are in place to give their child what they never had.[TV12 ]

"So when and if we have to terminate parental rights, we can sleep at night," Lederman said. "We can do it in good conscience. We've done everything now. It's time to get children what they need."[TV12 ]


To control a juvenile courtroom, a judge must be decisive and firm. Judge Cindy Lederman, who oversees the place, goes one step further. In the hallways she is known to be downright draconian. Dwarfed by her high-backed chair, Lederman glares through large glasses at defendants and at times barks that they should sit down and shut up. One defendant, who declined to give her name for fear of retribution, recalls Lederman announcing to no one in particular: "I don't like this family. This is a problem family." [MNT]

Yet at least eight lawyers and court officials who regularly work in dependency court contend Lederman illegally blacklists attorneys from taxpayer-funded cases. Critics believe she rejects those who advocate too aggressively for their clients or successfully challenge her rulings. The claim is corroborated by two years of monthly activity reports on the wheel, minutes from meetings of a committee that considers lawyers' complaints, and the accounts of thirteen others who work at the court. Only five lawyers would allow their names to be used in this story. Others interviewed would talk only on condition of anonymity, largely because of Lederman's reputation for vengefulness. [MNT]

The family court judge who has presided over the case of little Rilya Wilson since she became a ward of Florida was visibly agitated Monday morning at a status hearing for the 5-year-old who was missing for more than a year before the state realized she was gone. [CNN]

"It is absolutely despicable what happened in this case," Miami-Dade District Court Judge Cindy Lederman said at a hearing she convened. She singled out the former caseworker, Deborah Muskelly, with pointed criticism. [CNN]


Right now, Genesee County has more than 1,700 children in foster care, and almost one in three are under age 3. They are children once invisible, crying out to be seen.[TV12 ]


"We're terminating far too many parental rights in the system in my opinion and we need to put families back together," Weiss said.[TV12 ]

"If we can -- and we need to put every resource we can -- we're going to give it a try in Genesee County and the Flint area and see if we can make a difference."[TV12 ]


Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan is leading the push for pilot baby court programs for Michigan. Right now, Genesee, Midland and Wayne counties are trying to get started.[TV12 ]

And it's going to take a lot of money. Therapy for each parent and child at Miami's Linda Ray Center comes to around $7,000.[TV12 ]

Judge Carrigan has been in the news before. "The issue of second-parent adoptions made headlines around the state in the summer of 2002 when Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, Maura Corrigan ordered Washtenaw County judges to stop performing them. The move was controversial because judges are not permitted to order other judges to change policy or procedure without an actual case before them."[C]


Educate birth to three and family professionals in relationship-based practice that reflects the mission of MI-AIMH. [MIMH]

Diversify the infant mental health community, engaging professionals who represent many different ethnic groups, cultures and communities and who work in a variety of settings with or on behalf of infants, toddlers and families. [MIMH]

Advocate for the social, emotional and cognitive well-being of all infants and toddlers within the context of their caregiving families. [MIMH]

Endorse the infant and family work force, using standards that reflect competency and best practice promoting infant mental health. [MIMH]


Multiply that by more than 500 babies, and Genesee County would like to pull into their program.[TV12 ]
–end citations at bottom---

Here you could start your own google blog for Flint Journal/MLIVE posting
Here you can register and join in the debate topice or start your
Other internet access sites where you can participate

You can comment here to my dailey posts.
You can join! FACEBOOK
Join Facebook and become a FRIEND . I am creating a Flint area issues social/political/ community issues discussion group
Same intent as Facebook but becoming less used
A Flint Area Politcal Action discussion groupt. Three locals campaign have vased from here
You can comment on the VLOGGS

Posted here by
Terry Bankert Who am I:

—where did this stuff come from?---

[TV12 ]
WJRT TV 12 Flint MI
By Angie Hendershot

CARE 2/2005
Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health
Department of Human Services-Michigan,1607,7-124-5452_7119-21208--,00.html

CASA Columbia

Miami New Times
CNN 5/6/02
Genesee County Michigan

Zero to 3

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