Thursday, December 30, 2010
A tragedy. A shock. Extremely sad news for all who knew this special man. Minister Ron Smith was one of the best friends I have ever known. Minister Ronald Smith passed away on Friday September 5, 2008 from a heart attack. I am still very shook up from this news and will let our readers know more as soon as I get it. He was such an incredible man and just recently brought the 2008 Million Man March to Michigan. Minister Ronald Smith was also the founder of the National Fatherhood Summit and was one of the co-founders of the Family Preservation Festival. Minister Ronald Smith was co-author of the book Cheated. Minister Ronald Smith was the CEO of Children Need Both Parents, Inc. Most of all Minister Ronald Smith was an amazing father and husband!
Minister Ronald Smith was actively involved with Michigan House Bill 4564 (shared parenting) and Michigan House Joint Resolution NN (2008) (Parental Rights)
My thoughts are with Ron and his family right now.
Below is a very well known video of Minister Ronald Smith. Incredible speech which I had the pleasure of filming and watching live in Iowa.
God Bless Ron - We ALL love you! "My brother from another mother"
Family rights advocates across the country are mourning the death of former Senator Nancy Schaefer. The bodies of Schaefer and her husband Bruce were found by their daughter Friday. They were both in the bedroom of their home in Georgia, and each had been shot once.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that The Georgia Bureau of Investigation found a suicide note written by Bruce, who was alledgedly suffering from cancer. Nancy had been shot in the back and Bruce was shot in the chest. People who knew Nancy balked at the idea that she committed a murder-suicide, as had been reported earlier, claiming a devout Christian wouldn't do such a thing.
Several people have posted on facebook that they had just spoken with Nancy, some saying they'd recently been with the couple. Each one saying that everything seemed fine. Mary Cadei Johnson wrote that she and Nancy had discussed, "the excitement of being able to meet each other in DC this July," adding, "she wanted to help me with a speech for my oldest daughter to give at the [Family Preservation] festival regarding Sibling Alienation."
Conservative Nancy Schaefer gained respect from both conservative and liberal family rights advocates for her bold and brave work exposing the corruption in Child Protection Services (CPS) and the US family courts. She gave a speech at the World Congress on Families in the Netherlands last year where she described how the US govt. was involved in human trafficking. View the speech HERE. Another speech on the subject can be seen in the video below.Rumors abound that the couple were murdered for her work exposing this corruption, and that it was made to look like a murder-suicide.
One of the brightest, articulate and assertive advocates of Child Protective Services reform, Bill Bowen, has died of a heart attack.
Before his death, Bowen was trying to raise money to produce a full length version of his 30 minute documentary film, Innocence Destroyed. Innocence Destroyed exposes the deaths of thousands of children while in the care of Child Protective Services.
I had several long late night conversations with Bill Bowen via telephone this summer and while we talked about everything, and while he had many irons in the fire, his top priority was finishing Innocence Destroyed as well as helping people initiate class action lawsuits against Child Protective Services agencies in all fifty states.
Bowen, a former fire fighter and federal investigator, is also known for exposing the New York City Fire Department in a book, Radio Silence F.D.N.Y. The Betrayal of New York's Bravest, which he coauthored with Battalion Chief John Joyce. The book describes how 125 New York City firefighters and numerous civilians lost their lives on 9/11 due to problems with their two-way radios.
Many of us only became friends with Bill in the past year. Some of us hooked up with him on Facebook, where he had many friends.
We will all miss him.
My hope is that a filmmaker will take up where Bill left off and finish his documentary because I believe it is what he wanted to leave as his legacy.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Gov.-elect Rick Snyder has told Michigan Department of Corrections Director Patricia Caruso, recently named the country’s top corrections director, that her services won’t be needed after Jan. 1. That’s not surprising, even though Caruso wanted to stay — governors normally bring in their own cabinets — but it does raise questions about the drift of the department, especially its nationally recognized re-entry programs. Snyder has not announced a replacement. I hope he asks former Gov. William Milliken for some advice (though Milliken told me today he's not interested in the job himself).
Milliken, who supported and is reportedly close to Snyder, has shown more guts and intelligence on criminal justice issues than any highly visible public official in Michigan. In an interview on commutations two years ago, he told me: “When an injustice occurs, a wrong needs to be corrected, and a governor is the only person who can do it.”
As a Republican governor, Milliken made mistakes he lived to regret, including signing Michigan’s notorious 650 lifer law in 1979. The law was aimed at kingpin drug dealers but instead handed out life sentences to many addicts and small-time dealers. Milliken later said that signing the law, eventually overtured by the Legislature, was the biggest mistake of his administration, calling it harsh and vindictive. He spent years lobbying and speaking about smarter and more humane criminal justice policies.
Whoever follows Caruso would do well not to throw out efforts to rightsize Corrections, or prisoner re-entry programs that aim to give parolees a better chance to succeed in the community. The administration closed 13 of the state’s 47 prisons while crime rates went down, and Michigan’s re-entry programs got national and even international attention. This month, the Association of State Correctional Administrators named Caruso outstanding director.