A friend recently alerted me that Twitter allows pornography. I was surprised to find that it has tens of thousands of graphic pornographic videos. Despite several layers of protection at my home, these videos were just one click away.
Parents of seven told: Your children are too fat, so you will never see them again
By JANE SIMPSON
Last updated at 9:14 AM on 5th September 2011
Four obese children are on the brink of being permanently removed from their family by social workers after their parents failed to bring their weight under control.
In the first case of its kind, their mother and father now face what they call the ‘unbearable’ likelihood of never seeing them again.
Their three daughters, aged 11, seven and one, and five-year-old son, will either be ‘fostered without contact’ or adopted.
Either way, the family’s only hope of being reunited will be if the children attempt to track down their parents when they become adults.
The couple, who have been married for nearly 20 years and are not being named to protect their children’s identities, were given a ‘draconian’ ultimatum three years ago – as reported at the time by The Mail on Sunday.
Warned that the children must slim or be placed in care, the family spent two years living in a council-funded ‘Big Brother’ house in which they were constantly supervised and the food they ate monitored.
But despite subjecting them to intense scrutiny, social workers did not impose rules on what food the children should eat, and there was apparently little or no improvement.
News of the decision to remove them was broken to the couple, from Dundee, on Tuesday. Critics called it a disgraceful breach of human rights and a chilling example of the power of the State to meddle in family life.
In an emotional interview, the 42-year-old mother said: ‘We might not be the perfect parents, but we love our children with all our hearts. To face a future where we will never see them again is unbearable.
‘They picked on us because of our size to start with and they just haven’t let go, despite the fact we’ve done everything to lose weight and meet their demands. We’re going to fight this to the bitter end. It feels like even prisoners have more human rights than we do.’
The couple have not committed any crime and are not accused of deliberate cruelty or abuse. Their solicitor, Joe Myles, said there was ‘nothing sinister lurking in the background’ and accused social workers of failing to act in the family’s best interests.
‘Dundee social services department appear to have locked horns with this couple and won’t let go,’ he said, adding that the monitoring project caused more problems than it solved. ‘The parents were constantly being accused of bad parenting and made to live under a microscope.
The couple have three older children who are all distraught and angry at the ruling.
Speaking through tears, their 15-year-old daughter said: ‘The social workers should hang their heads in shame. A person’s weight is their own business and only we can do anything about it, not them. My parents are good people and they love us all. The four little ones don’t know what is about to happen to them.’
Social workers became aware of the family in early 2008 after one of the sons accused his father of hitting him on the forehead. In truth, he had fallen and hit his head on a radiator – a fact he later admitted. However, the allegation opened the door to the obesity investigation.
While the couple admit experiencing what their lawyer calls ‘low grade’ parenting problems, which would have merited support, they were aghast when the issue of weight was seized on as a major concern.
A council report at the time said: ‘With the exception of [one of the names], the children are all overweight. Advice has been given regarding diet but there has been no improvement. Appointments with the dietician have been missed.’
At that point their then 12-year-old son weighed 16 stone; his 11-year-old sister weighed 12 stone; and his three-year-old sister weighed four stone. It is not known how much the four younger children weigh now.
The couple were ordered to send their children to dance and football lessons and were given a three-month deadline to bring down their weight. When that failed, the children were placed in foster homes but were allowed to visit their parents.
After the couple objected to this arrangement, the council agreed to move them into a two-bedroom flat in a supported unit run by the Dundee Families Project. They insisted on the couple living with only three of their children at a time.
At meal times, a social worker stood in the room taking notes. Doctors raised concerns that the children put on weight whenever they spent time with their parents, a claim they vehemently denied.
The couple and their children also had to adhere to a strict 11pm curfew. This involved ‘clocking’ in and out by filling in a sheet held by an employee who lived on site.
Although the children’s weight was the major concern, other allegations were included in a report. It showed that social workers were worried when the youngest child was found crawling unsupervised. The parents point out they were never far away and the flat had no stairs.
They also found her ‘attempting to put dangerous objects’ in her mouth. The family say this is natural in toddlers and she was never successful.
Social workers were further worried when she crawled through the contents of an upturned ashtray – an ‘unfortunate one-off incident’, claim the parents. All the concerns were dismissed by the family’s legal team as ‘low grade’ problems.
It is understood the father crumbled under the strain of being so closely monitored in January this year and moved into a council flat elsewhere in the city.
In the next few months, the mother breached the lunch and dinner meal observations, by her own admission, on ‘several’ occasions while taking the children to see their father.
She personally never broke the 11pm curfew but once allowed her seven-year-old daughter to remain at her father’s flat after she fell asleep. She did not want to disturb her and argued the child had ‘two parents, not one’ and was in ‘good hands’.
These breaches led staff to declare the trial a failure and the mother was asked to leave the unit in April this year. She moved in to her husband’s flat but the children were then handed over to foster parents.
Her solicitor said he planned to use independent experts to prove that the children want to live with their parents and have been damaged by the social workers’ intervention. He added: ‘We may ultimately look towards human rights laws.’
The father, aged 56, said: ‘We have tried very hard to do everything that was asked of us. My wife has cooked healthy foods like home-made spaghetti bolognese and mince and potatoes; we’ve cut out snacks and only ever allowed the kids sweets on a Saturday. But nothing we’ve done has ever been enough.
‘The pressure of living in the family unit would have broken anyone. We were being treated like children and cut off from the outside world. To have a social worker stand and watch you eat is intolerable. I want other families to know what can happen once social workers become involved. We will fight them to the end to get our beloved children back.’
It is estimated 26 million British adults will be obese by 2030, with obesity levels running at an all-time high among children. Official statistics show those who are overweight spend 50 per cent more time in hospital, placing extra strain on the NHS.
Tam Fry, honorary chairman of the Child Growth Foundation, said: ‘This is a disgrace. These parents have clearly attempted to comply. They have, if you like, played Dundee City Council’s game and yet they are still losing their children.’
Dundee City Council said: ‘The council always acts in the best interests of children, with their welfare and safety in mind.’
This guy looks nice enough. Unfortunately, he is in the club of the worlds worst dictators.
He desperately wants to hold onto power. He is using all the usual tricks employed by tyrants. Unfortunately, murder isn’t enough. He’s taking peoples children: torturing and mutilating their bodies in order to keep parents of others quiet.
UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. children’s agency UNICEF called on Syria on Tuesday to investigate reports of “horrific acts” of violence against children detained during the current wave of unrest in the Arab country.
The call came after The New York Times reported on Monday that an online video showed a 13-year-old boy, arrested at a protest on April 29, who it said had been tortured, mutilated and killed before his body was returned to his family.
Protests against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad broke out in southern Syria in March and have spread across the country. Human rights groups say 1,000 civilians have been killed and 10,000 arrested in a government crackdown.
In a statement, UNICEF said use of live ammunition against demonstrators had reportedly killed at least 30 children, although it said it could not independently confirm that figure or the circumstances of their death.
The agency said it was “particularly disturbed by the recent video images of children who were arbitrarily detained and suffered torture or ill-treatment during their detention leading in some cases to their death.”
“We call on the government to thoroughly investigate these reports and ensure that perpetrators of such horrific acts are identified and brought to justice,” it added.
UNICEF did not specifically cite the case reported by The New York Times, involving Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, arrested in Jiza, a village near the southern city of Deraa, where the protests first erupted.
Video posted online (link requires a sign-in because of the graphic nature of the images) shows his battered, discolored face. His skin is scrawled with cuts, gashes, deep burns and bullet wounds that would probably have injured but not killed, The New York Times reported. According to an unidentifed narrator, his jaw and kneecaps are shattered, and his penis chopped off.
“These are the reforms of the treacherous Bashar,” the narrator says in the video. “Where are human rights? Where are the international criminal tribunals?”
Relatives told Al Jazeera that the boy’s parents were shocked when they saw their boy, who reportedly spent about a month in the custody of Syrian security forces.
“When Hamza’s mother came to see the body she was only shown his face,” a cousin, who was present at the time, told Al Jazeera.
“We tried to tell the father not to look, but he pulled the blanket back. When he saw Hamza’s body he fainted. People ran to help him and some started filming – it was chaos.”
The reported torture demonstrates a “total collapse” of the Syrian government’s willingness to listen to its people, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“President Assad has a choice, and every day that goes by the choice is made by default. He has not called an end to the violence against his own people, and he has not engaged seriously in any kind of reform efforts,” she added.
“Every day that goes by the position of the government becomes less tenable and the demands of the Syrian people for change only grow stronger,” Clinton said.
UNICEF reminded Syria Tuesday that as a party to the 1990 U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, it was bound to ensure children’s right to life, to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and protection from violence, exploitation and abuse.
It said the government had a primary responsibility for the well-being of those affected by the unrest and a duty to ensure continuation of basic social services.
So where are the leaders of other Muslim nations on this? Saudi Arabia? Iran? Kuwait? Malaysia? Anyone? Bueller?
Silence is acceptance.
I just saw some deeply disturbing images that made me want to cry, lash out and fight. There were two images. The first was an artist rendition of a partial birth abortion. The second was an actual image of the result.
To some extend I feel like I need to parade such images in front of liberals to shame them. Showing such a horrendous scene to it’s supporters would be shameful to them. The goal of course would be to change their beliefs and behavior. However, something inside me tells me it isn’t the right thing to do.
“I have not been true to my values…” That is what Tiger Woods said in his apology. You know, there are times when you should just keep your mouth shut. This statement just puts him further in the whole as far as I am concerned.
In making this statement he is either deliberately lying or he’s delusional. If a guy robs banks every week for years and then says, he hasn’t been true to his values–what are you going to think? Tiger may be thinking internally that his values don’t include adultery but his behavior says otherwise. You simply can’t do it that consistently and have it be a big deal to you. Do you think Bill Clinton really thinks monogamy is important?
I don’t ever condone adultery but there are different levels of offense. Tiger is a record breaker and he broke all standards of infidelity. He didn’t get lonely one night after weeks on the road. He systematically built a harem of woman in cities around the country and perhaps the world.
In a day when adultery is joked about as naive, consider a few things:
- He planned trips for the sole purpose of immortality.
- He looked his wife in the eyes and made up stories for why he needed to leave town
- He got his wife pregnant and cheated on her while she was not only carrying a baby but caring for his small daughter at the same time.
- He put his wife and children at risk of painful, debilitating and deadly diseases.
Anyone can repent but he’s only sorry he got caught. The purpose of his apology is to do one thing–preserve revenue. It has nothing to do with contrition or trying to overcome personal failings. It’s about limiting the damage he is done to his career.
For years I’ve rooted for Tiger. After all this I will continue to root for him. I will root for him to lose.
“ZURICH, Switzerland (CNN) — Woody Allen, Pedro Almodovar and Martin Scorsese have “demanded the immediate release” of fellow filmmaker Roman Polanski, who was arrested in Switzerland.”
Wo! Woody Allen demands his immediate release. We all better get going on this. After all, Woody is an authority on having sex with underage girls.
“It seems inadmissible to them that an international cultural event, paying homage to one of the greatest contemporary filmmakers, is used by the police to apprehend him.”
This is a revealing statement. It shows how important they believe “International cultural events” are to society. Obviously they think it is more import than the rape of a child. I think it is bad for society to consider apprehending the rapist of a child less important than giving an award.
Isn’t a part of punishment a recognition that you did wrong? Fleeing justice is not a display of remorse. 45 days in jail for the drugging, rape and….I’m not going to get into the details, of a 13 year old girl is not justice. Part of the problem is that Hollywood is so immoral that they equate the value of virginity roughly equivalent of a car stereo.
I don’t care about his past struggles or his so called talent. That doesn’t in any way excuse him for this horrific crime. Horrific is what it is. Rape is horrific.
I wonder if Hollywood would be picketing for the release of Roman Polanski if he were an Exxon executive.
One of my all time favorite movies is “Rudy”. I was able to watch it today on AMC. This morning I watched “Willy Wanka and the Chocolate Factory” which was also on AMC. Despite watching these to classic movies, I’ve decided to take AMC off our channels list. It’s just not worth seeing their smutty commercials.
In November 2008, Charlie Collier was named president of AMC. It appears that his first order of business was to sign an advertising contract with Extenze, the penis enlargement product. They show their commercials 2-3 times each hour.
I don’t know if Mr. Collier has any children but I wonder if he cares as little for them as he does for the rest of the children in this country. I wonder if Mr. Collier put himself through college selling drugs at the local junior high school. Based on what I see that’s the type of individual that he is—someone who puts his career ahead of the good of our nations children.
He will be known as a pioneer in the industry. It’s just a matter of time before these commercials are on ABC, NBC and CBS. About a week after that they it will be shown on Disney, Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Channel. ABC Family is probably already showing them.
Today it was announced that Jay Leno will begin hosting a prime time talk show. I can only hope that he will clean up his act (literally). Ever since his mother died he has been absolutely filthy. His jokes remind me of a junior high locker room. We don’t ever need that sort of programming much less during prime time.
Prime time television has been much worse the last few months. On the Travel channel I witnessed an ad for a vibrator. A few weeks later I saw an ad on AMC for male enhancement. That reminds me, I still need to write a letter for AMC.
This is a dangerous situation. Now you can’t have a business without providing specific offerings for gays. How far are we going to take this?
Suit forces eHarmony to offer gay dating service
Wed Nov 19, 3:33 pm ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Online dating service eHarmony has agreed to create a new website for gays and lesbians as part of a settlement with a gay man in New Jersey, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General said on Wednesday.
The website will provide a dating service with “male seeking a male” or “female seeking a female” options, the Attorney General’s office said in a statement.
eHarmony said it will launch the new same-sex dating site, named “Compatible Partners,” by March 31.
The settlement was the result of a discrimination complaint filed by Eric McKinley against eHarmony in 2005, which will be dismissed under the settlement agreement.
eHarmony was founded in 2000 by evangelical Christian Dr. Neil Clark Warren and had ties with the influential religious conservative group Focus on the Family.
The New Jersey complaint is not the only legal action to be brought against eHarmony for failing to provide a same-sex option.
In March, lawyers in California brought a lawsuit against the company on behalf of San Francisco resident Linda Carlson, who was denied access to eHarmony because she is gay.
“We believe that this case is now essentially moot, and we’re confident that we will prove that in court,” eHarmony vice president Antone Johnson said in a statement about the California case.
This is a filthy, immoral show yet it’s on ABC Family. Give me a break!