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Illusion of Openness
If absolute power corrupts absolutely, does absolute powerlessness make you pure?
Panels Review Commission
Regretfully, I found out first hand when I drove a billion hours to get to the Panels Review Commission to speak - a day after they started - the last day scheduled and the day after Baca's aide suggested I go.
In my hand I had a one-page breakdown of the violations to my children and myself by numerous state and federal agencies, the main one being CPS. I attached a blown up 8.5 x 11 picture of my three children to each synopsis and made copies for all Panel Review Members.
I got there before set-up had even begun and watched as two women dispersed pamphlets, information and name tags onto tables. Men in suits began filtering in, setting up microphones, security and media areas. I watched quietly, my palms sweating, my heart hammering in my chest and the tears locked into the lump in my throat. People began coming in, asking questions, filling out forms.
Some even asked me if I was an attorney, my tattered self not visible behind the facade of control and collection. I wanted to scream but shook my head and feigned amusement.
I finally stood up and informed the woman near the registration table that I was there to speak and asked what the requirements were.
She asked if I was part of this group or that group. I said no to each then added that I had an ongoing CPS case two counties away, where there were numerous ongoing violations and that Congressman's Baca's aide had sent me, saying I should request to speak. Her face froze slightly but I mistook it as her inability to hide her stress.
She introduced me to two men who worked for some ethical/accountability organization, they nodded but made no attempt to show that they were interested. She introduced me to two others and then gave me a form to fill out with my 'complaint', the subject I'd be speaking on and a brief overview along with my recommendations for change.
She added that I may not be able to even speak until after 2 pm based on their scheduled itinerary. She also mentioned that I might not get a chance to speak at all.
As I sat filling out my card, sitting adjacent to the registration table, I overhear a women say... "Yes, the woman over there..." I glanced up fast enough to catch her eyeballing me. I lower my chin as if I'm reading my form but watch and listen as she tells the two men from the ethic and accountability organization that I was "one of those CPS parents" (rolling her eyes) then she lowers her voice (still audible to me) as she says, "Yes, and a whole bunch of them showed up yesterday and monopolized the entire day. Yes from American Family Rights. Yes, so that's why we are filtering people like her, they're getting annoying...". I knew then, my day was over.
I got up, walked to the bathroom, into a stall and bawled. I threw away the potato and straw, used for a visible and creative point I planned on making at the end of my speech. I dried my face, reapplied my lipstick, squared my shoulders again and left.
I walked over to the registration table, handed each of them my synopsis (with pictures) and politely requested directions on how to submit my story using one of their back-room computers in the Commission room.
I was led to the computers just as the session began and submitted my synopsis, grabbed paperwork and pamphlets, thanked everyone and left.
Absolutely the Illusion of Openness. In my opinion, beginning March 13, 2004 we were all led to believe that there were people in government who wanted change for atrocities such as ours. In light of this, Perhaps our ignorance in the belief that anyone planned on helping would best be served becoming as manipulative and illusionary as they've been.
Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer
Posted November 9, 2004