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Author Topic: Feminist needs some facts thrown at her  (Read 7713 times)
John Dias
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« on: March 18, 2010, 11:33:13 AM »

Article here.  Notice the projection of women's abuses onto men, in the form of an accusation.  If anyone cares to post a refuting comment on this article, please double-post within this thread first (in case they censor it); compose your reply here, then copy and post it there.

One thing that I have in mind is to echo Don Dutton, quoting published research which reveals that there is very little overlap between perpetration of intimate partner abuse and perpetration of child abuse.  Also, she quotes from only one source, Jay Silverman, using the status of the source as the foundation for her credibility rather than quoting a study that has been published in a scholarly journal.

Reproductive Rights, Parental Rights, and Family Violence: A Dangerous Intersection
http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2010/03/17/when-reproductive-rights
by Joan Dawson
RH Reality Check
March 17, 2010

When do reproductive rights end? Do they end at birth? Do they continue throughout a child’s life? Do reproductive rights extend to parental rights? These are questions we are just starting to ask. And finding the answer can be, in many cases, the difference between life and death.

Most agree that women have a right to control their own bodies. However, recent research shows that some men sabotage women’s use of birth control and some use coercion to get a woman pregnant. Abusive men use these tactics to control women. And in cases where a woman then has children in an abusive setting, what are the woman’s reproductive rights and how do these intersect with her parental rights? Surely, charges of “failure to protect” can be used against her if she or the child is harmed. But what happens when women flee such relationships or try to deny abusive parents access to their children? Does either the judicial system or society support her in her efforts to protect her children? Do we believe her? Provide her with protection? Deny abusers access to children?

We are actually witnessing an erosion of protections of women and children in abusive relationships. In this article, I examine the ways in which policies that reflect social biases painting women as “vindictive” liars, combine with the efforts of both alleged abusers to fight to regain control of their wives and children and fathers’ rights proponents  are harming women and children trying to escape abuse.

Approximately 100,000 contested child custody cases occur each year in the U.S. Two-thirds of these involve domestic violence, committed overwhelmingly (90 percent) by fathers, according to Harvard’s Jay Silverman, in a forward to the book Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody. Research finds that men who assault their wives are also likely to abuse their children. While we are likely to believe that the protective parent would gain custody, this is not often the case. In contested custody cases, men who seek custody get it up to 84 percent of the time. The Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence estimates that approximately 58,000 children a year go into unsupervised, joint or sole custody with an abusive parent. What’s a mother to do to protect herself and her child?

Failure to protect

In a recent case our judicial system was tested and failed. Katie Tagle sought a restraining order on Jan. 21, 2010 against her ex-boyfriend Stephen Garcia to stop him from having unsupervised visitation with their nine-month-old child. She told the judge Garcia threatened to kill the infant. The judge thought she was lying:



The court transcript records Judge Robert Lemkau as saying, “One of you is lying…” And later, “Mr. Garcia claims it’s total fabrication on your part.” Garcia also referred to it as “little stunts and games” that “she used” to deny him access to his son. Even when she mentions the evidence of the threats, he says, “Well, ma’am, there’s a real dispute about whether that’s even true or not.” And finally, “My suspicion is that you’re lying…” (said twice). He denied her the order (as did two other judges). Garcia took their son that day and drove off into the mountains. Ten days later they were both found dead.

If this were only an isolated case, it might end there. But it’s not.

Within two weeks of the Garcia-Tagle case, on February 8, 20-year-old Nicholas Bacon shot his nine-month-old son and then himself. Bacon had joint custody.  

Shortly after these two cases, 34-year-old Jesus Roman Fuentes shot his four-year-old son during a court-ordered visitation. The boy died at the hospital. The father, who had also shot himself, died this past week.

And following on these three cases, Mark Resch shot his seven-year-old son during a scheduled visitation and then committed suicide. The apparent motive was revenge against his estranged wife. In this case, the wife sought two orders of protection and police removed a gun from the household. Evidently, the family court judge still believed this man was a safe parent.

Mark A. Guenther was charged in the murder of his 18-month-old daughter this month. According to a commenter named Brokenhearten, who posted a comment on the news article:

Quote
Her mother tried and tried to get something done so that she did not have to go see her father. She had DFS out to his house, they found nothing...She filed for an order of protection on a couple different occassions...they were dismissed...She refused to let her see her dad until her back was up to the wall...the court systems had tied her hands and she had no other choices but to let her sweet baby go to her dads house and hope that everything was ok...


Once again, parental rights trumped safety and the system meant to protect children ignored the dangers identified by the mother.

Family court and fathers’ rights = A deadly combination

Historically, battered women have had problems retaining custody of their children. Mainly this was due to how they present; in a word, poorly. They cry, they’re frightened, they appear anxious and even hostile. Now add to this mix the Fathers’ Rights movement, a group referred to as anti-feminist, backlash and even, the “Abusers’ Lobby” and you have what amounts to a catastrophe, if not a deadly combination, for women and children. (In contrast, positive parenting or responsible fatherhood groups often work as allies with women.)

The Fathers’ rights movement (along with many Men’s rights activists), has introduced policies such as “friendly parent” policies, joint custody, punishment for false allegations and various syndromes to family courts across the country (as well as in many Western countries and in India). Most of these policies seem beneficial on the surface -- but have hidden dangers lurking underneath.

In today’s courts with friendly parent policies, a battered woman will look anything but friendly. So who gets custody? The one who appears most likely to share parenting responsibilities. Often enough, the batterer.

Joint custody is another policy that sounds fair in principle, but experts warn it is not ideal for couples with high conflict. Family court is, however, known to be “the place” for couples with moderate-to-high conflict. Most couples (roughly 85 percent) resolve parenting plans themselves. Those that can’t, and often enough those with some prior history of abuse or control, go to family court. Fathers’ rights groups would like to see family courts enforce presumptive or mandated shared custody. Experts in domestic violence would not.

Domestic violence experts also cringe at the idea of punishing false allegations, something the fathers’ rights groups actively promote. Since accusations of abuse can be difficult to prove – with evidence and witnesses – this can serve to punish parents for alledging abuse. Punishment deters reporting. Parents can be fined, jailed or denied custody if the judge doesn’t believe their accusation. Domestic violence expert Barry Goldstein says, “ seeking custody to pressure their partner to return or punish her for leaving. Although fathers are more likely to make false charges, courts are more likely to believe them.”

Parental alienation (PA) or parental alienation syndrome (PAS), the idea that a parent poisons the mind of the child(ren), is another idea introduced within the last two decades by fathers rights groups. Developed by Dr. Richard Gardner, PAS is highly controversial. Proponents claim parents (mostly mothers) turn their children against the other parent. Opponents claim PAS can mask child abuse. Indeed, research by Jay Silverman found 54 percent of cases with documented abuse were in favor of abusers. PAS was used in nearly every case.

In many of the cases I’ve cited, had the women tried to deny the fathers access to the children, they could’ve been countered with “alienation” or the judge could’ve immediately transferred custody over to the more “friendly” parent.

In a case stemming from November, for example, Danielle Horvat fled with her three-and-a-half-year-old boy, Garrett Aguilar on a day that she had a dispute with the boy’s father, David Aguilar. She stopped at one domestic violence shelter. Despite the fact that police did not investigate her claims of abuse, the court immediately transferred custody over to the father, as they often do when parents flee.

The incredible lightness of domestic violence

Thanks to the aid of the Internet, (mostly) men that make claims of being falsely accused or alienated find support, encouragement and targets for their anger -- which is aimed at their exes, or women in general and feminists in particular. Individuals and groups that promote studies referring to domestic violence as 50-50 or “mutual” also find supporters within this crowd. Many of these claims are based on studies that rely on self-reportage or pick up common couple violence. Their limitations include using self-report; not picking up severe violence or homicide; not putting violence into context (was it used for self-defense?); and not including violence during separation (the most dangerous time for a woman). What the promotion of these studies has done is introduce the element of doubt. If you combine this with women’s low credibility (due to societal bias and the biases of the legal system), you have danger.

Take the case of Timothy Frazier. In May 2009, Frazier convinced police his ex-girlfriend Candice Dempsey was a threat to their 21-month-old son. While Frazier made it very clear to police he did not have custody, police readily handed his son over to him. Two weeks later, both were found dead.

Even when the woman is believed, it is not often the father will have his parental rights terminated. Last year, Octavious Dupree Gilmore punched his ex-girlfriend in the head and threatened to kill her, their two kids and himself.  The Gaston Gazette reported him as saying, “"...(I)f I can't have you, nobody can," Gilmore allegedly told her. "I'll kill you, the kids, then myself." He was charged but later released. According to the article, he was told to "have no contact with the accuser outside of their child custody agreement," (emphasis mine). Despite an assault and death threats, the judge believed this man to be a safe parent.

In another case, charges of domestic violence were not given much weight, as they were not placed in context of the abuser’s history. Craig Alan Wall, Sr. was a suspect in his 5-week-old son’s death. He violated a protection order when he went to his son’s memorial. The prosecutor never mentioned that Wall was a suspect in his son’s case or that he had served a 14-year prison sentence for armed robbery. The judge released Wall on $1,000 bail. Two days later, he stabbed his ex-girlfriend (the child’s mother) to death. She was 29 and left behind a 6-year-old son.

Fathers rights do not trump women and children’s safety

In many of these cases, the women are doing what they are “supposed to do:” reporting domestic violence, filing orders of protection, using shelters, and so on. And yet, despite jumping all the hoops set up for them, in many of these cases, the system is failing them. The women in question are not finding justice for themselves or their children. As a result, we find women who feel forced to stay with an abuser or forced to share parenting rather than not be able to protect her children at all. These women are not “failing to protect,” but the judicial system is failing to protect them and their children from further harm, abuse and death. (For citations to research on women losing custody, see www.leadershipcouncil.org) [Note: organizations like Justice for Children do report men experiencing similar situations, but overwhelmingly we witness women facing this type of bias and injustice in family court.]

Many of the fathers rights guys think their reproductive rights extend to their parental rights. This should also be the case for women -- and, indeed, many mothers’ rights groups have sprung up in defense of these rights. So the question remains: When do our reproductive rights end? How can we we prevent women from losing custody of the very children they bear? How can we help them protect themselves and their children from harm? How can we help women receive justice in a judicial system that may not believe their claims and may actually punish them for making abuse allegations?  Fathers do have rights, no doubt, but their rights do not trump women and children’s safety. That is the balance -- the justice -- that we must seek -- and it’s a matter of life and death that we do so soon.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2010, 11:39:03 AM by John Dias » Logged
Mr. X
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2010, 11:41:18 AM »

Quote
Fathers do have rights, no doubt, but their rights do not trump women and children’s safety.
So if a man chooses not to work, that is trumped by a woman and child who need a bread winner?

Is she serious? She is literally endorsing forced servitude for women and children. Men's rights are trumped by their safety and security. As is the case she tries to make with DV, men lose their rights to fair trial or innocence till proven guilty in the name of protecting women and children.

THIS IS SLAVERY!

And what's worse, she is perpetuating patriarchy. She is wanting to force through law that men MUST give up their rights to support and protect women and children - PATRIARCHY!

Its like I keep saying. Feminism really cannot survive without patriarchy and its the BIGGEST benefactor of patriarchy.
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John Dias
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2010, 12:21:00 PM »

It's not patriarchy when the State supplants the role of the patriarch.
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LSBeene
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2010, 12:39:50 PM »

Jesus Freaking Christ - there is SO much wrong with this article I don't even know where to begin.

Let me pull out of few juicy quotes:

Quote
recent research shows that some men sabotage women’s use of birth control and some use coercion to get a woman pregnant.

Two things wrong with this:
1)  WOMEN often sabotage their own birth control with the INTENT of getting pregnant.  No mention of that here, in this wonderfully balanced article.
2)  Unless a woman is raped, she is not coerced.  If nagging, bringing up children, or threatening to leave is coercion we sure have a lot of women who need to be catagorized as batterers.

----------------------------------------------------
Quote
In contested custody cases, men who seek custody get it up to 84 percent


Do I even need to comment?  Moving on .....

-------------------------------------------------------------


This next one is precious:
Quote
Family court and fathers’ rights = A deadly combination

Historically, battered women have had problems retaining custody of their children. Mainly this was due to how they present; in a word, poorly. They cry, they’re frightened, they appear anxious and even hostile. Now add to this mix the Fathers’ Rights movement, a group referred to as anti-feminist, backlash and even, the “Abusers’ Lobby” and you have what amounts to a catastrophe

The "abuser lobby" - well, golly darlin' must be a bit of projection going on.  Family court, makes an absent father, which is the MOST deadly situation.  And violence by proxy is still violence.

Ya gotta love how she pretends a crying anxious woman is going to be scorned by a family court judge .... in what freaking universe is she living in?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

This next one DEFIES belief:
(all emphasis mine)
Quote
Domestic violence experts also cringe at the idea of punishing false allegations, something the fathers’ rights groups actively promote. Since accusations of abuse can be difficult to prove – with evidence and witnesses – this can serve to punish parents for alledging abuse. Punishment deters reporting. Parents can be fined, jailed or denied custody if the judge doesn’t believe their accusation. (Give me a fucking break - a woman going to JAIL for a false DV charge!? - Steven)   Domestic violence expert Barry Goldstein says, “ seeking custody to pressure their partner to return or punish her for leaving. Although fathers are more likely to make false charges, courts are more likely to believe them.”

Fathers are more likely to make false allegations!?  I don't think so.  And that's not me knocking on woman - it's logical.  Who gets help to make a complaint, to make it better, hitting the key points that matter in court?  Women do.  I have no idea which gender makes more false allegations, but only women, for the most part, have access to the counselors, lawyers, and aid workers the shelter has or refers them too.

In other words she's been coached.  She could be an honest victim, and they helped prep her for court - to that I say Cheers.  But the liars also get coached, and good liars got that way by PRACTICE anyways.

Men get no such help.

I can't read any more of this - it's pure ideological demonizing.

And I have Annual Training starting today - which is a positive thing.

Steven
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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2010, 12:55:36 PM »

Taking a strictly journalism perspective, this article appears to me to be nothing more than an opinion piece.  A lot of opinion pieces, these days, attempt to pass themselves off as factual articles and news media oft times seems inundated with more opinion pieces than factual reporting, IMO.  Yes, opinion pieces often try to support their viewpoint by quoting select sources and no they don't have to be balanced (present the other side).  In fact (no pun intended). an opinion piece is not supposed to make the other sides argument.  An opinion piece is arguing to persuade a group of viewers/readers to accept the viewpoint being presented.  Is the article an opinion?  Yep, IMO.  Is the article accurate and factual?  Nope, IMO.
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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2010, 01:15:44 PM »

So we are going to use a few anecdotes to throw a mans right to be a father to his children out the window huh? Well lets stack up men that have murdered their kids with women who have done the same. Women will outstrip men in this catagory by an order of magnitude. Especialy if you add children who are murdered by their mothers signifigant other/boy freind/husband.
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Mr. X
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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2010, 01:16:39 PM »

Quote
1)  WOMEN often sabotage their own birth control with the INTENT of getting pregnant.  No mention of that here, in this wonderfully balanced article.
True. I have NEVER heard of a man intentionally sabotaging a condom to knock up a woman. I have been the victim of a woman turning a condom inside out to get pregnant.

Unless the guy has some sort of preggo fetish, guys just don't do that.
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John Dias
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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2010, 02:22:35 PM »

Guys, if you bother to post a reply, then use the following debating tactic.  Rather than disproving her false claims by using evidence, simply challenge her to support them.  In two words (essentially) you'd say, "Prove it."  She made the claim; she should support it.  Only when she supports it should you provide evidence to the contrary.  To supply refuting evidence before demanding that she prove her claims is to lend undeserved credence to her claims, making them seem as the "other side of the coin."  Let her gather evidence to admit her claims into consideration for even being on the proverbial coin.
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The Biscuit Queen
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« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2010, 03:14:35 PM »

John, I took your tack. That article was discusting. I wonder if these women really truly understand what it means to give the government to power to unilaterally take parents from their kids. They will march step us right into Soviet Russia with their "good intentions".
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John Dias
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« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2010, 03:52:20 PM »

Thanks, BQ.  I may follow suit very soon.  Could you please post your comment here too?  You know how the feminists love censorship. 

In the meantime, I am personally formulating a critique of her arguments.  One critique is that she misstates the evidence when she claims that we are obscuring severe intimate partner violence, and instead focusing on the milder common couples violence.  But I have read citations of research that indicated that even severe forms of IPV are perpetrated by women more frequently than by men; specifically the citation is of Stets and Straus 1992.  But I couldn't find that study.  So I called Murray Straus today and asked him; he said that the study in question was actually published in the Journal of Family Violence (vol. 4) in 1989, and then once again in a book in 1990.  Since I'm not a college student I would probably have to pay a hefty subscription fee to view the JFV article, so I went ahead and purchased the book from Amazon.com for about $6.00:

"The Marriage License as a Hitting License:  A Comparison of Assaults in Dating, Cohabiting and Married Couples"
Jan E. Stets and Murray A. Straus
Physical Violence in American Families:  Risk Factors and Adaptations to Violence in 8,145 Families
Chapter 13
Transaction Publishers (January 1, 1989)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1560008288/ref=oss_product
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gwallan
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2010, 03:57:57 PM »

Hmmm.

I see the article but there are no comments and it's impossible to register because "RHRealityCheck.org is undergoing scheduled maintenance".

Bullshit.
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In 95% of things 100% of people are alike. It's the other 5%, the bits that are different, that make us interesting. It's also the key to our existence, and future, as a species.
John Dias
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« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2010, 04:52:10 PM »

I found BQ's comment here:

Quote
Your article is so slanted and biased I am not sure even where to start. I guess I would like you to post some supporting documentation proving your points, rather than using anecdotal incidents.

How many fathers total get sole custody of children? What percentage of child murders and abuse are perpetrated by the biological father (not stepfather?) What percentage of child murders are perpetrated by the biological mother? How many women do exactly what you accuse men-cheat or tamper with birth control to get pregnant? What are the motivations to lie about PAS vs outright abuse-who has the most support to do so, and the most to gain and how many are successful?  What percentage of domestic violence situations are mutually violent?  If mutual violence occurs, then should the kids go into foster care, since violent parents are likely to abuse kids? Are there cases where women kill their own kids to get back at their husbands?
 
What you are talking about here is trumping the rights of all innocent men (any man who has not been convicted of a crime by definition in the US btw) to preemptively keep fathers from their kids based on accusations alone. It is irrelevant if these accusations are occasionally true-that is sad, but it has to stand. Our country was built on basic principles of law which say you cannot punish someone for something without proving them guilty. What you propose is not only against the law, it is directly unconstitutional. Every person is innocent until proven guilty. What you propose is something out of Soviet Russia, or Nazi Germany. Do you really want the government to have that sort of power? WHat happens when you are the person they decide to expel next?

I hate to see stories where one parents kills the child out of retribution or spite. It is just as often women I hear about doing this, yet I would not support preemptively taking kids away from mothers on the unsubstantiated accusation of the father, either. There MUST be checks and balances.
Women and children are not one entity, they are separate people. A solid and factual arguement could be made that men and children are more likely to be abused than women; lumping the two together is a cheap way to bolster stats.  Reproductive rights for the mother  ends the moment that child is no longer inside the body of the mother; then they become two separate people.
 
 I really hope you are willing to provide documentation for your accusations. I am interested to see what you find to my questions above.
 
Jen
Submitted by JenK on March 18, 2010 - 5:08pm.
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Captain Courageous
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« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2010, 05:41:12 PM »

This article is fallacy-ridden! Shame on you!
"However, recent research shows that some men sabotage women’s use of birth control and some use coercion to get a woman pregnant. Abusive men use these tactics to control women." What recent research?

"We are actually witnessing an erosion of protections of women and children in abusive relationships. In this article, I examine the ways in which policies that reflect social biases painting women as “vindictive” liars, combine with the efforts of both alleged abusers to fight to regain control of their wives and children and fathers’ rights proponents  are harming women and children trying to escape abuse. No, I'm afraid you did not examine social biases, assuming they are social biases in the first place!

When and where and how did Jay Silverman become such an expert?

Who, besides him, makes the same assertions you make?

Since when do several anecdotes amount to conclusive proof of anything, much less social biases?


"Thanks to the aid of the Internet, (mostly) men that make claims of being falsely accused or alienated find support, encouragement and targets for their anger -- which is aimed at their exes, or women in general and feminists in particular. Individuals and groups that promote studies referring to domestic violence as 50-50 or “mutual” also find supporters within this crowd. Many of these claims are based on studies that rely on self-reportage or pick up common couple violence. Their limitations include using self-report; not picking up severe violence or homicide; not putting violence into context (was it used for self-defense?); and not including violence during separation (the most dangerous time for a woman). What the promotion of these studies has done is introduce the element of doubt. If you combine this with women’s low credibility (due to societal bias and the biases of the legal system), you have danger." You must prove that these are flawed studies, not just slip the accusation into your article and proceed from there!

Submitted by Santo Christoforo MD on March 18, 2010 - 7:37pm.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2010, 01:17:30 AM by Captain Courageous » Logged

John Dias
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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2010, 06:19:39 PM »

From the feminist's original post:
Two-thirds of these involve domestic violence, committed overwhelmingly (90 percent) by fathers, according to Harvard’s Jay Silverman, in a forward to the book Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Child Custody.


Here's the quote that she took from the actual source, Jay Silverman's book:
Quote
The importance of the problem cannot be overstated: there are approximately
100,000 contested child custody cases each year in the United States, with studies
indicating that two-thirds of them likely involve domestic violence. Conservatively
estimating
that 90 percent of such cases involve violence by fathers towards mothers,
these statistics imply that the fate of 90,000 children and adolescents who have been
exposed to violence against their mothers is placed in the hands of the family courts
every year.
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Captain Courageous
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« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2010, 07:04:00 PM »

dr e - your comment has been deleted!  angryfire
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