And baby gets screwed: Bernice Yeung's article about Alanna Krause's lawsuit in Marin County family court was good ["Girl, Interrupted," Dec. 18]. However, it does not go far enough in explaining the significance of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) methodology and how and why it is routinely used to prevent children from having normal relationships with their mothers, to endanger children in the "custody" of abusive fathers, and to jail and institutionalize women and children to silence and punish them.
Parental Alienation Syndrome does not exist except as a legal strategy crafted to rig the outcomes of cases in favor of male abusers in family court, so as to divert funds through these bogus cases. This is accomplished through the appointment of numerous attorneys, custody evaluators, special masters (mediators with quasi-judicial authority), and other court "professionals" affiliated with the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (now called the Association of Family, Court, and Community Professionals).
PAS was originally crafted as the means to defend child molesters by AFCC "professionals" who are affiliated with so-called "fathers' rights" groups (especially the Children's Rights Council). PAS calls for covering up evidence of family violence and child sexual abuse and shifting blame to women by dismissing reports of abuse as "false allegations" of malicious and crazy mothers. When PAS is used, any batterer or child molester can get the legal upper hand and perpetuate abuse of his victims through court-ordered PAS "threats." (See http://www.rgardner.com/refs/ar2.html and http://www.rgardner.com/refs/ar3.html.)
Because the vast majority of fathers are not unfit, PAS is only used in cases where court appointees turn "high conflict" (i.e., abuse) cases into cash cows, to divert federal grants and other funds earmarked for "Responsible Fatherhood," "Access to Visitation Enforcement," and similar "family" and "conciliation" programs. This is accomplished by citing the "Conciliation Court Law" (in California, family code sections 1800-1852) to turn abuse cases into custody disputes, thereby assisting abusers avoid criminal prosecution and child support obligations.
What happened to Alanna Krause is horrifying, but Alanna's case is only one of hundreds occurring across the country, through the questionable actions of family courts.
National Alliance for Family Court Justice
I munch, therefore I am: Bravo, Meredith Brody ["From Smog to Fog," Dec. 24]! I first visited San Francisco when I was deciding where to attend college. Everyone assumes it was the academics, rolling hills, and red tile roofs that lured me to Stanford, but it was really the incredible spectrum of eateries I drooled over as we drove through the streets of the city I became determined to call home.
I've been here seven years now and continue to work my way through one restaurant after another. I've been to the French Laundry twice, as well as the Indian restaurant that also serves pizza down the block. I've learned to pair foie gras with Sauternes, or the best Mission burritos with ice-cold Corona. This city has surpassed every food dream I had, and fueled many more. I will eagerly anticipate Brody's reviews and especially appreciate the historical perspective she is able to provide.
What's the diff if they get fat on a scooter or in a car?: Matt Smith should be ashamed of himself ["Showing Segway the Highway," Dec. 18]! While I would never ride one of their scooters (I drive an SUV), I would think that the fact that these machines could potentially eliminate cars participating in the daily commute in the congested Bay Area would offset any obesity concerns. After all, what does it matter if you are getting fat in a car or on one of these.
Get a grip and have some more relevant concerns.
Kansas City, Mo.