Archive for January, 2011

Some of my Mexican friends do not agree.  Alejandro González Inárritu is one of nowadays rare directors of Bergman, Kubrick or Resnais’ caliber.  I just saw his last movie, “Biutiful”. Stunning, almost as powerful as “Amores Perros.”

“Biutiful” is incidentally about fatherhood. In fact, it is about having everything in order before dying. Uxbal (Bardem) has two kids, a girl and a boy. He wants them to remember him after his death. He has custody of them, and therefore sees them. That helps.

By the way, the non-custodial, bipolar mother Marambra (Maricel Alvarez) is genuinely lovable.

A must see.

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Encarnacíon Bail Romero (photo New York Times)

It is amazing how slow justice is, and even slower at fixing its own mistake; mistakes, which in the case of family justice, are profuse and leave incurable wounds.

Missouri Supreme Court finally gave back Encarnacíon Bail Romero the parental rights that she had lost in Jasper county circuit court. More than two years ago, an admirable knight of family values, judge David C. Dally, deprived Bail Romero of her custody rights of Carlos, her son. Why? She was an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, in jail after the poultry plant where she was working (plant whose owners, I bet, are one of these folks who would tell you very seriously that taxes and Obama’s health care law kill private- sector hiring) was raided by the I.N.S.  After Dally’s ruling, the then two-year old Carlos was given for adoption to an American couple.

John De Leon, a lawyer of the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry, declared that the Supreme Court had recognized that immigrants have the same rights than anyone else. I would not go that far. Bail Romero has still to go through another trial to regain Carlos’ custody.

I have not found anything in the media about Jasper circuit court judge David C. Dally. I wish the Missouri Supreme Court had removed this fellow from his job and had been creative in his sentencing. I would gladly see Dally sentenced to  work in the very poultry factory Bail Romero was working, and his wage given to her as long as she is separated from her son Carlos.

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On the first days of this new year, the New York State Justice system is crawling under problems. New York State Judges are

Dog the Bounty Hunter

asking for the first pay raise in twelve years; they are even considering forming a union-like group (these folks are so nineteenth century!); The justiciables of the State of New York too are having problems of their own. Theoretically, they are presumed innocent.  Yet, they will rot in jail while waiting for a trail unless they can buy a bond to remain free. The problem is that the New York bail system is as well regulated as the US financial system. Bondsmen surrenders defendants when they feel like it and then seize part or all of the the collateral of the bond’s buyer. This is not helping already overcrowded State prisons.

As usual, the family court system has eluded the attention of the press. However it stinks as much as the rest. It takes one flimsy accusation of abuse and your right to see your kids is gone. And there is no buying of a bond that would allow you to see them. You are now under the regime of supervised visitations. Your trial will take years and during all this time, your only option to see your kids is through the private sector, with one of these totally unregulated businesses called Family Something, that will pretend to assess your parenting abilities and whose activity is not even checked out by the law guardian -the lawyer of your kids- and the  family court judge.  The outcome of the mix of biased law, private sector involvement and lack of regulation is that non-custodial parents on trial loose their rights to see their kids.

What is the solution? Certainly not more market in the justice system. Let us start by regulating all these loose cannons that the justice system is working with.

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Check out that story:

That’s part of the problem of the justice system in this country. In all courts but family courts, anybody, pets included, can be part of the jury. In secretive family courts, there is no jury, no public,  and judges and support magistrates rule the way they want.

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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 25,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.


In 2010, there were 30 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 127 posts. There were 60 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 17mb. That’s about a picture per week.

The busiest day of the year was February 17th with 165 views. The most popular post that day was Does Sarah Palin Have Anything in Common with Sicko Ex-Wives?.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were lauramartinez.wordpress.com, en.wordpress.com, search.aol.com, facebook.com, and miblogestublog.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for jordi, david and goliath, insane asylum, goliath, and sumos.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Does Sarah Palin Have Anything in Common with Sicko Ex-Wives? September 2008


Is Child Support Supporting Children or Well-Off Custodial Parents? March 2009


In Memoriam Jordi Seriola November 2008


Manhattan Family Court Writes the Law as It Goes May 2009


Non Custodial Fathers’ Survival According to New York State March 2010

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Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.