Saturday, September 08, 2018
Friday, September 07, 2018
Safeguarding and advocating for children in divorce, separation and parenting disputes
Meet the Author
Q & A with Eckhartz Press Author Judge Michael Ian Bender (Ret.)
Question: Your book is chock full of legal information about protecting children in cases of divorce and separation. What is your personal experience in this area that inspired you to write this book?
Answer: In college, I focused on child psychology. I was fascinated with the development of the human mind from birth to adulthood. I entered Law School from which I graduated with honors and served on the Law Review Board. That presented me with the opportunity to serve as a Judicial Law Clerk in the Appellate Court, where I learned in detail the practice of many areas of law.
I then opened my own law practice and litigated almost every area of law, from civil rights, to personal injury, to criminal law. My passion, however, has always been helping children. I found my calling in family law, which is what I concentrated on for many years. I eventually joined a major family law firm. The greatest opportunity, however, always was representing children as a Guardian ad litem, Child’s Representative, or Attorney-for-the-Child.
Then in 2008, the State Supreme Court appointed me to serve as a Judge. My litigation experience was vast, and I was trusted with presiding over many different matters. I quickly, however, gravitated back to helping children. I was presented with the opportunity of my lifetime, serving as a Judge in the Domestic Relations Division.
As a Domestic Relations Judge, I was able to help over 40,000 children. My focus was always on ensuring that each child had the opportunity to grow into healthy, functional, independent adults. I learned so much, and developed so many skills. The most important was aiding children by minimizing trauma to them caused by divorce, custody, and other disputes in which their parents were involved.
I knew that I had to write it down so that others would be able to help now, and long after I leave this earth. There will always be children facing trauma when their parents are involved in conflict. There are so many ways to remove the trauma from their lives. These skill are important and can be used by parents, lawyers, and judges.
Question: If you had to generalize advice to parents--not knowing their individual situations -- what is the most helpful general advice that you would give?
Answer: Look at the world through your child’s eyes. It is easy to get lost in the conflict that you are facing, but your child did not ask to be born to you. That was a choice you made. Your child is entitled to a trauma free childhood.
Question: There is also a lot of great advice for attorneys in this book. What is the biggest or most common mistake made by divorce attorneys with regard to the children?
Answer: No matter who you represent, who the parents are, and how you know the parents, refuse to advocate a position that would harm a child. Judges are relying on you to help them get it right. Manipulation of the facts does not lead to justice, it causes injustice, which is inexcusable when a child’s life is involved.
Question: You're a judge, so it may be hard to answer this question, but judges also make mistakes. What advice do you have for your fellow judges?
Answer: Do not be afraid to interview a child. Children are the greatest source of accurate information. Even when they are not telling the truth, because they are afraid of hurting or betraying one of their parents, their body language will let you know the truth. Then you can do everything possible to protect him or her.
Question: One of the great things about this book is your in-depth look at how to deal with different age groups--from infants to toddlers to teenagers. There really isn't a "one-size-fits-all" approach to protecting children, is there?
Answer: That is very true. For example: infants obviously do not speak. As an attorney who represents very young children one is really looking for bruising, repeated injury, and comfort with the parent. Another example are young children who are mobile. They will waddle over to a parent for comfort unless there is an issue with that relationship. As children age, they become better communicators. This can clue you in to a great deal of information. With teens, it is vital that they know their thoughts and feelings matter; that they matter. That is how they learn to stand up for themselves, and avoid abusive relationships. At all ages, however, it is imperative that children are removed from abusive situations. They need to know that violence is not the norm. It is so important to break the cycle of violence. A person who abuses was abused himself or herself. Children are not born violent. It is a learned behavior.
Question: Who do you see as the audience who will most benefit from reading it?
Answer: We can all benefit from each other’s experiences. I was blessed with the opportunity of a lifetime, helping over 40,000 children have the opportunity that they deserve: to be healthy adults who can have healthy relationships - in the work place, with a significant other, and with their children. Many of the children I’ve helped found themselves in high-conflict family situations. This, obviously, was at no fault of their own. Parents, lawyers, and family law judges can make a real difference in these children’s lives. I truly believe that we can make the world a better place one child at a time.
HOLY SHIT— jordan (@JordanUhl) September 6, 2018
This is a real thing that was said on national TV:
"My book actually uses science & real data & true psychological theory to explain why it is quite possible that this president is the most sound minded person to ever occupy the White House."
Thursday, September 06, 2018
There was also a very tumultuous (but ultimately unrevealing...as always) Supreme Court confirmation hearing. I tried to watch as much of that as I could.
But because of those stories, this one went a little under the radar. You know how Twitter and Facebook have been under a lot of pressure to stop allowing Russian bots and various other forms of hate speech to influence the upcoming election? Well, conservatives now feel that this is somehow attacking them, and led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions (that's right--same guy), they are threatening to crackdown on the crackdown.
Seems like a big story to me. The Justice Department is coming down on the side of the Russians and hate speech. If that's mainstream conservative speech now (as they seem to be implying) maybe it's time for introspection instead.
Wednesday, September 05, 2018
But the excerpts are so explosive and so damning to the president that Trump has felt the need to deny everything and impugn the writer. That's not easy to do when dealing with Woodward, who literally has tapes of everything that was said to him, and comes to this process with nearly fifty years of credibility. (Oh, and by the way, he's a Republican).
When I heard about the book my first thought was "How is this going to be covered on Fox News?" I think Brit Hume's tweet below is a glimpse into the coverage...
Woodward’s accounts of chaos and dysfunction in the Trump WH suggest he has been repeatedly restrained by advisers from his most reckless impulses. And to think there are never-Trumpers on the right who think good people should not serve this president. Good thing they do.— Brit Hume (@brithume) September 4 2018
Okey doke. It's the never Trumpers who are to blame here, apparently, not the people who voted for this mess. Of course, if you read between the lines in this tweet, Hume is admitting the president is nuts.
Robert Feder posted the ratings by daypart. Here are the morning numbers...
1. WTMX 101.9-FM Eric Ferguson, Melissa McGurren and Brian “Whip” Paruch 7.7 (7.1)
2. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM Felicia Middlebrooks and Pat Cassidy 6.9 (6.6)
3. WVAZ 102.7-FM Steve Harvey 5.7 (5.5)
4. WOJO 105.1-FM Raúl Molinar, Carla Medrano and Andrés Maldonado 5.6 (5.1)
5. (tie) WDRV 97.1-FM Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle 5.2 (4.7); WLS 94.7-FM Dave Fogel and Kim Berk 5.2 (4.1)
7. (tie) WGN 720-AM Steve Cochran 4.0 (4.7); WSCR 670-AM Mike Mulligan and David Haugh 4.0 (3.9)
9. WXRT 93.1-FM Lin Brehmer 3.7 (4.1)
10. WKSC 103.5-FM Christopher “Fred” Frederick and Angi Taylor 3.0 (2.9)
Tuesday, September 04, 2018
And conservative heads exploded.
There were reports of people burning their Nike socks and shoes.
Nearly half of this country is completely nuts.
Monday, September 03, 2018
Well, the past 12 months have been quite a unique and interesting ride! In that period of time we’ve been included on the River’s annual trip south (this year to Puerto Vallarta and here’s hoping that becomes a yearly thing for us as well), celebrated a milestone birthday and was totally surprised by Susie and group of my good friends, was made aware that I would be a grandfather for the sixth time around December 1st, was nominated (for the 2nd year/unsuccessfully) for the Radio Hall of Fame (hey if it’s suppose to happen it will) and literally one year ago today my book was released: Doin The Cruise: Memories From a Lifetime in Radio & Rock n Roll.
As I look back on all the other events that clog the calendar, the shows, the station events with River staff and listeners, diners and gatherings with friends and family, this one simply overwhelms. I wrote the book for me, for my kids and grand kids so they knew at least some of what I had done with my life, but I also wrote it for all those of you who have been listening throughout years. We’ve spent a great deal of time together and I thought a chronology of the Chicago radio landscape, from my point of view, over the past forty-five plus years might be of some interest. I’m happy to say that the vast majority of those, I’ve heard from after their accusation of the book, have been very positive. I wanted to say thanks to my publishers Rick Kaempfer and David Stern from Eckhartz Press who did such a great job and a special thanks to Ken Churilla (my co-author) who spent two years listening, recording and writing down my stories. Ken was required to learn a brand new language for this project. He had to learn “Mitch Speaks” and he learned it very well.
Forgive me if this sounds like I’m reliving A Day in The Life, because that’s exactly what I’m doing! This day, one year ago was so special. It started with an interview on The Noon News at WGN-TV with Steve Sanders who turned out to be a fan. Big fun! Great guy!! Followed by a book release party later that afternoon, at Lloyd’s of Chicago, attended by old friends and co-workers alike. It was an amazing day! It’s been a whirlwind of a year and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m still doing what I love and will celebrate my fiftieth year in radio this fall. Let me say thanks to one and all and on to the next fifty!! Yeah Baby!!