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Archive for April 2009

(Dis)Order in the Courts — get a perspective!

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Actually, I’m not totally sure what went down with The Hon.Judge Henriod, (Utah), in his jailing a woman for texting in court. She did 2 days of 30 assigned, with the rest hovering.  Was it about Order in the Court?  Was it about her attempting to help her ex hide assets, and so protecting the case?  It APPEARS to include some violations of due process.  

But this is as good an excuse as any to note that “Disorder in the Courts” (2002), while not as old as the VAWA act, which I HOPE your Senator supports full funding for this time round, is still relevant.


Humor me, here are the lead-ins: 

(1)  Texting and Driving — Crash & Jail


There are laws against texting and driving for good reasons:  the distraction can be fatal to others.  When it does, jail seems appropriate.


“Texting death crash woman” jailed

{{I’ve been through family court, and one gets called names in there frequently.  Can you imagine writing the by-line for this item:  “texting death crash woman?”  What a handle, what a claim to fame.}}

A motorist who sent and received more than 20 text messages before she crashed into another car killing its driver has been jailed for 21 months.

Philippa Curtis, 21, from Suffolk, was texting before she hit the back of a stationary car at 70mph on the A40 near Wheatley in Oxfordshire.

Victoria McBryde from Northamptonshire, who was dealing with a burst tyre, was killed in the crash in November 2007.

Curtis, of Bury St Edmunds, was also given a three-year driving ban.

Judge Julian Hall said it had been “folly and madness” to use a phone while driving and it had been “disastrous” for Curtis, Ms McBryde and her family.

‘Various calls’

Curtis, who was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving in December, had told Oxford Crown Court she felt there were times when using a phone while driving was acceptable...


~ ~ ~ ~ ~


(2)  Texting in court – Citation and jail


Now, on reading the articles, I am not fully of one opinion or the other.  It raises a few issues…  If I wanted to lambast judicial irresponsibility, this judge might not be the textbook case or poster boy, there are worse for sure.  Also, some said this woman was texting AFTER the hearing….

Woman jailed for texting is released

TOOELE — A young mother who was sentenced to 30 days in jail for text messaging inside a courtroom — sparking an uproar that reached national media outlets — was released Wednesday after two days behind bars.

However, the judge who imposed the sentence for contempt of court defended his actions Wednesday and said he believed the woman was helping her husband hide assets in a complicated debt collection case before creditors could claim them.

I have an affidavit from a woman who was sitting behind her who heard her and her mother-in-law talk about hiding assets,” 3rd District Judge Stephen Henriod said Wednesday.

Henriod had found Susan Henwood in contempt of court for text messaging her husband, Josh, during an earlier court hearing in which the judge believed the woman was tipping her husband off about collection measures for debts. Josh Henwood had said he was sick and could not attend the court hearing.

At issue is a legal battle involving a plaintiff, Bob Wisdom, who is seeking financial compensation from Josh Henwood. Wisdom’s attorney, Gary Buhler, said all his client wants to do is get paid and make the case go away.

Buhler decried media attention that focused on Susan Henwood’s youth and four young children, which he suggested painted her as a victim, while ignoring efforts that he said have been made to conceal or transfer ownership of a long list of assets that should be used to pay off debts.

The witness who sat by Susan Henwood said in her affidavit that she observed Henwood continuously texting someone during the hearing and remarking to an older female seated nearby that “Buhler is not getting that” and “we will just move it, they are not getting it.

Other quotes on this case:


But Susan Henwood’s attorney, Alan Stewart, said she has no experience with courts and was simply reporting what was happening to her ill husband using a method she thought would be the least disruptive in the courtroom. Stewart also noted that Susan Henwood is not a party to the debt collection case.

“You’re using his wife as collateral,” Stewart told the judge. “You’re saying, ‘We’ll take your wife as hostage.’ A judgment debtor has rights, too.”

Hilder said individuals can be held in contempt if they willfully defy a court order, or if they assist someone else to defy a court order. Judges also are charged with maintaining order in the court, which does not mean simply the physical environment.


And from worldnet daily, a different viewpoint of the arrest process:

Judge reviews case of texting courtroom spectator
Woman freed although contempt ‘conviction’ remains

Posted: April 30, 2009
12:30 am Eastern





By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

It was at some point subsequent to the hearings on her husband’s case a woman notified the judge there had been text messages sent.

Susan Henwood said she never would knowingly violate the law but was startled when she was cited. Then when she went to court Monday on the contempt citation, she said she was refused permission to testify on her own behalf.  


Susan and Josh Henwood


The complainant, instead, was allowed to testify unchallenged that Susan Henwood had been texting more or less constantly through the hearing, which apparently had gone unnoticed by the judge, the lawyers and the bailiffs at the time.  {{alert:  Hearsay??  Violation of due process, much??}}

Then the judge announced the 30-day jail sentence for her actions.  {A transcript of this matter would settle what happened}

She thanked the news agencies that reported on her predicament and that of her husband, left at home with four children under the age of 10.

. . .Just a quick refresher (and I am no lawyer):

14th Amendment:

Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

“Josh Henwood’s stepfather and Susan’s father-in-law, Dennis Jackson, reported there were no notices or warnings posted about the use of texting, a statement contradicted by the clerk’s office spokeswoman, who told WND that visitors to court were told of the judge’s ban on text messages. However, when asked how the warning was delivered, by sign or verbal statement, she said, “I have no idea.”

Conversely, in another case, Henriod gave a former teacher probation for having sex nearly 50 times with a 16-year-old boy.

“What is of primary importance to me is that [the boy] is doing well,” the judge ruled.” 


(3) Sex and School  — Probation Only

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ (It was felt that the woman did not fit the profile of a pedophile.  Interesting, someone else said that about the Huckaby case in Tracy, California also — but that has a gag order, now that she’s on death row for “special circumstances.”)  (“equal” protection under the law?)

It appears to me that at least WNDaily is following up on this, and that possibly the Judge had some cause for concern, HOWEVER, before jailing, a person should be allowed to testify.  I will not pronounce on all this (hearsay).

By the way, the “teacher” above was a woman (hover cursor over link for short comment on the story)

Another Perspective on No Child Left Behind?

{{I know, I’m kind of merciless on the NCLB theme.  Sorry, but I think the mentality that drives that thinking was related to why I lost my kids.  Ignore the DV, target the oddball parent who doesn’t support the federal almost-monopoly (give it time….) on “education.”  ALSO, that mentality and dialogue (dare you to find it on Whitehouse.gov….) ignores cases like this: }

Former Utah Teacher Gets Probation For Student Sex

Written by: Doug G. Ware 
Email: dware@kutv2.com 
Last Update: 10/19/2007 12:57 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – A former Utah high school teacher avoided jail time on Friday, instead being sentenced to serve three years of probation for having sex nearly 50 times with a 16-year-old boy.

Christy Anne Brown, 33, had pleaded guilty to having sex with one of her students while she was an English teacher at Cyprus High School in Magna.  But despite a recommendation for some jail time by Adult Probation and Parole officials, the judge decided that a probationary term was enough…(the boy’s parents didn’t want her jailed, particularly, either, it goes on to say…)

(What IS it about Utah, eh??)

(Maybe this is a commentary that we ought to go back to attempting to have young people become reasonably morally, character-wise, and behavior-wise a little more mature by the time the hormones and this drive start pumping through them. . . But again, this is a family court blog, not a  schools blog, I will restrain myself here). 


(4) Due Process, DOJ and the U.S., holding tanks:

(according to Glen Greenwald — and all I did was search “habeas corpus,” which thought was provoked by the Henwood case, above….):

The Obama DOJ is now squarely to the Right of an extremely conservative, pro-executive-power, Bush 43-appointed judge on issues of executive power and due-process-less detentions.  Leave aside for the moment the issue of whether you believe that the U.S. Government should have the right to abduct people anywhere in the world, ship them to faraway prisons and hold them there indefinitely without charges or any rights at all.  The Bush DOJ — and now the Obama DOJ — maintain the President does and should have that right, and that’s an issue that has been extensively debated.  It was, after all, one of the centerpieces of the Bush regime of radicalism, lawlessness and extremism.

Can I argue this case coherently, and have I been following loss of habeas corpus in these matters?  Not really — I’ve been much more concerned much closer to home — in re:  men, women, children, and the family law courts.  My daughters’ habeas corpus was violated — they were falsely imprisoned for a month, and no enforcement of any penal code against this.  As minors, the purpose of my prior attempt to get all parties in involved (and there were far more PEOPLE involved in this, both in my family and throught the courts, than literal “parties” in the actions at hand.  Only TWO parties were in the action at hand, involving custody in a divorce and domestic violence dynamic.  Those two parties were the parents of the children.).  Therefore, to my pea-sized brain, if I were to put some ORDER into my personal life — including work life, associations, weekly schedule, and what not — the most sensible way would to insist that the court ORDERS be enforced, consistently (perhaps it was the teacher in me that wanted this order), so that something profitable and practical could actually get accomplished in our lives.  In my case, that entailed making a living (despite repeated interruptions to that process) and raising children, which if you’ve done this, you understand has certain requirements attached, and takes both time, energy, and also money (food, housing, clothes, transportation, what not).

Which brings me to:


(5) DIS-order in the Courts

The title I sought was a publication by CANOW which addresses the topics I, and many on the blogroll, have been.  It is now such a commonplace google term, that we get hits such as this:





Jim Kouri, CPP October 13, 2005 NewsWithViews.com

New Jersey Superior Court Judge Stephen W. Thompson, who traveled to Russia to have sex with a teenage boy, was convicted by a federal jury last week on a charge of sexual exploitation of children. The judge also produced a videotape of sex with a minor and then transported that videotape back to the United States. Judge Thompson is associated with the North American Man Boy Love Association, a group which promotes sexual relations between adult men and children. NAMBLA is currently represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

After merely 10 hours of deliberations, the jury convicted Judge Thompson, 59, of one count of traveling in interstate and foreign commerce with the intent of engaging in sexual conduct with a minor for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of the sexual conduct. The jury found the defendant not guilty only by reason of insanity on count two, charging possession of child pornography.


This one got caught.  Finally.  Kind of undermines confidence in the judiciary, eh?  SUPERIOR court judge?  

When I taught music, it was a commitment/ a round the clock type of thinking.  I thought about it when not actually teaching or performing, although it is most certainly possible to dwell on other things, do other things, etc.  But for central passions in life, they influence you.  They are not just mindless occupations you pick up for some hours and put down.  I will say this for being a mother as well.  It’s not something a judge can rule that I have to cease being, and I can readily comply with that — internally.  It’s built-in, and a part of me, just like music.  Taking both of them out, that’s a rough call.  

So how about this judge having what clearly was a central passion (others, it’s money, others, I’m sure it’s “justice”)  – – this is going to cloud judgment.  Good thing he got caught.  How many were hurt, en route?  



“CA NOW recognizes that there is a crisis in the family courts.”  http://www.canow.org/ca_now_family_law/








Do you??

(Direct quote from the above page):

We have had hundreds of complaints from mothers whose divorce, custody and child support cases denied them their right to due process and failed to consider the best interests of the child.  CA NOW documented the results of analysis of 300 family law cases in our 2002 Family Court Report

About 40% of custody cases are contested today due to allegations of child abuse, molestation and domestic violence. Tragically, in some of these cases perfectly fit mothers are losing custody of their children to abusers. Pseudoscientific psychological theories are used as legal strategies to switch custody from or deny visitation rights to mothers of abused children.   In cases where fathers contest custody, they win sole or joint custody 40 to 70 percent of the time.


CA NOW published an e-book, Disorder in the Courts: Mothers and their Allies Take on the Family Court System, which is a collection of essays by mothers and their advocates addressing different aspects of the problems with the courts. 

Purchase your download of this e-book online, or contact CA NOW at 916.442.3414 x101.

We have lobbied for legislation that protects mothers and children, and against legislation that is harmful.  We have worked in coalition with other organizations to address the systemic problem of court injustice.  We have demanded accountability from officials, and utilized the media to bring attention to the issue. We have created and gathered resources for mothers, advocates and attorneys that you will find on the side bars of this page. 

CANOW does not provide legal advice, referrals, or funding for litigation. We are taking action for family court reform through political pressure and exposure, legislation, public education and working in coalition with other organizations. We encourage individuals to find others in their communities who can organize grassroots efforts to do court watches and to use public forums (speak outs, protests, media, etc.) to bring attention to the corruption in their courts.


So Does NOW NYS:


(From a link on this page:  This section refers to cronyism, misuse of taxpayer dollars, slowness to prosecute ethical violations, and it SPEAKS to the character of those who make crucial decisions in family’s lives.  Some of these cases (of judicial misconduct) do not just show one form, but multiple forms of horrible behavior, if not felony.  It BOTHERS me that people of this character still populate courts that I know (see post on “therapeutic jurisprudence?”) are an institution seeking to itself teaach and “reform” those on the lower spectrum of the socioeconomic radar, and make no bones about it either, with parenting classes, marriage promotion, batterer intervention programs of dubious efficacy, psychological analyses  as a short-cut to fact-finding, or at times even reading the court record/evidence already on it.  ):

The commission began probing Robin Garson four years ago after she told a grand jury that Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Michael Garson – her husband’s cousin – confessed to improperly taking $100,000 from his elderly aunt.

Michael Garson, who resigned in December, has been indicted on grand larceny charges for allegedly looting the nearly $1 million fortune his Aunt Sarah Gershenoff saved over 50 years as a legal secretary.

His trial is expected in October.

Robin Garson, Gershenoff’s personal guardian, also testified that the power of attorney Michael and Gerald Garson used to pilfer Gershenoff’s money was forged.

Ethical rules require judges to report criminal acts. She did not at the time.

Gerald Garson is now serving three to 10 years for taking cash, cigars, free drinks and meals from crooked lawyer Paul Siminovsky in exchange for awarding lucrative appointments and fixing cases.

Last April, NOW complained that Robin Garson “exploited her official status to obtain special privilege” during her husband’s trial, passing notes to defense lawyers and entering the courtroom through special doors reserved for officials.

In the Aug. 1 letter, NOW exhorted the commission to pursue Siminovsky’s testimony that Gerald Garson asked him to help Robin Garson’s election campaign as part of their corrupt relationship. {{NOTE:  Simonovsky is testifying because he was caught himself; part of the plea bargain was helping to catch this crooked, divorce-fixing-for-pay judge!!  The crooked relationship in question was the Simonovsky/Gerson one, let alone any Garson to Garson ones}

“Please be transparent in your investigation,” Pappas wrote. “Judicial canons require that judges maintain ethical standards and avoid any appearance of impropriety. Please help us rebuild our public faith and trust in the state judiciary.”


I ask you to visit the link above.  I am going to put most of it as a separate post, and underscore personally:

Here’s SOME of it:

When women come to court because of abuse they need help, not harassment
by Tracy S. Simmons and Mary Frost, edited by Gloria Jacobs, Esq.
Stop Shooting the Messenger:  When women come to court because of abuse they need help, not harassment.
A. Women are often afraid to report incidents of violence and abuse to the police as the law is often not upheld properly at that level.  The consequence of this action at the court level is it often gets treated as either a false allegation when she finally musters up the courage to seek help in court, or she is blamed for not seeking help sooner.  The Court punishes the victim for not handling the matter as they see fit rather than offer support up front. 
B. Guilt, trauma and fear are often misinterpreted as weakness, hysteria, overly emotional, overly protective and out of control.  Women are punished by the courts for being protective and nurturing.  It is often used as the litmus test to their credibility whereas men are not judged by the same standard. 
C. Even when there is evidence of physical abuse, the court uses a psychological smokescreen/syndrome/theory to vilify the protective parent.  The courts responsibility is to uphold the law and not to make decisions on what new theory will be medically acceptable.  That job is for the AMA, who does not accept Parental Alienation Syndrome.  Therefore it must not be acceptable for any court to allow any non medically accepted theories/syndromes and other non medical legal tactics, which only serves to fuel the multi million dollar cottage industry it has created by removing children from their mothers while rewarding the abusive party.  

D. Judges need to meet with the children during an on-going custody suit prior to making any custody decision.  Further, there should be a periodic review.  Children need a venue to be heard that will be safe.  The meeting should be recorded and not sealed.  It should be noted that contrary to the position LG/GAL’s often hold, children are often empowered by the ability to communicate and will do so willing and honestly to a Judge, given the chance. 

I (blogger) wish to qualify this:  children who are coming out from abuse understand, quite often, that there is retaliation for reporting it.  I have had my kids tell me, “no way” were they going to open up to a (mediator) who is to them a stranger.  Conversely, our mediator expressed to me the concept that I had (per se) that the children would much more readily confide in him (note:  they were girls) than me, their mother, or their father.  That’s narcissistic and shows no awareness of either the dynamics of abuse.  This particular mediator already knew of the original restraining order, too.  Trust me, the children read the adults better than the adults read the children, in general.

It needs to be understood that the children’s safety OUTSIDE the courtroom is paramount. 

E. Stop using discriminatory processes against women in court.  We can not choose to isolate and punish one specific group of people and not another for the same thing.  So called Parental Alienation Syndrome, and its many incarnations, is not used in criminal cases nor is it used against the angry neighbor screaming nasty comments over the fence in front of children.  It’s not used where intact families berate each other in front of the kids.  Its ONLY purpose is as a legal tactic used against divorcing woman, to diminish the legal consequences of abusive behavior and up the ante on an already unleveled playing field.   
F. Equal protection under the law….That includes women and children.

Orders of Protection (OP)

A. Grant orders of Protection for the abused NOT for the abuser:  Train judges so they are not issuing retaliatory OP’s to angry abusive husbands who receive an OP against them. 

Grant permanent OP’s where necessary.  We’re not seeing any permanent OP’s, even for the most dangerous offenders. {{IF I’d known such were available…}}

C. Orders of Protection  must be strictly enforced  {{If-Only….}}
D. Battery , assault and sexual abuse is a crime and must be treated as such.  These matters should not only be heard in the family or supreme courts, and women should be informed that criminal court is available to them.    {{When I found it — a few years into the family court process.  When it was driven home — after the child-stealing.}}}  Hold abusers criminally responsible even if there is a custody or divorce matter before the court, criminal matters need to be directed to the correct authority.


I am not, FYI, a member of NOW, and not about to become one.  There are some issues and priorities on which I differ.  But i question why it takes a feminist group to state the issues so clearly?    Thank God for them, and their groundwork!


Feminists have been targeted and namecalled in many sectors, but some forget where they came from to start with, responding to some very real, and very outrageous discrimination and civil rights violation.  I remind the fathers viewing this, that women got the vote ONLY in the last century.  Talk about “equal parenting time” coming up in a decade or so only is simply not credible.  

If you think you have “identity” problems — or are tired of participating in the rat race society that, I would just about bet, women (if they’d been making decisions) — I mean, ordinary women, not foundation owning women — we would have understood to allow for some time with our children, but not having this be our sole identity or talent.  Our corpus callosus” is thicker than yours; we naturally multi-task (perforce, also!), and the place your kids belong, when they are young, is in our arms, primarily, assuming we are decent.  Our hips are generally speaking set to have a kid on them.  We live longer.  We have more body fat in general.  We are designed for this, and a lot of smarts are developed in these categories.  Give us a _____-ing break in express-pumping milk for two-year olds (Toronto judge) so you can get equal time with your former wild oats.  

I’ve been a professional, including teacher, and worked many fields.  I was a Mom, and instantly (late 30s) I was supposed to drop that identity and STOP what i was doing.  But also, bring home the bacon.  But, stay home, barefoot, kind of, and car-less.  Then that didn’t satisfy my confused mate, and towards the end, I was told to work nights, but this didn’t produce any more household cooperation, either in house OR child care.  When I didn’t come up with enough $$ to compensate, I was lectured.  helpers were flown in to lecture me, in front of my daughters, on how to be a wife (this was shortly before I threw him out).  I later did a background check on the particular individual flown in to do this, and it wasn’t pretty.  


I then (mid-40s) took legal action to protect myself (himself, given the context) and our children.  I began repairing and rebuilding, and taking care of the children AND working.  Child support was finally ordered.  I moved for a fresh start, and then the hounding me, advising, lecturing, and attempting to direct me (not how to be a wife, but how to be a single Mom), came in, from another male (who had never raised kids), the same one that wasn’t smart enough to help us get a restraining order, or intervene in the wife-beating.  When I deterred from this enforced “advice,” the punishments resumed – out of court, in the courts, and economically.  I therefore had to restructure HOW to provide for us, and I had only two hands, not three.  Work, household, children was enough.  Fending off intruders and learning legalese was not on the map.

It is now.

I was told, then (approaching 50s here…) I was TOO enmeshed with the kids, then (as child support was withheld and jobs were lost, around the family law system) I was “abandoning them at home alone” (approximate quote), which, apart from being untrue, referred to at most, perhaps 4 hours a week of evening work, in my profession, necessitated by the prior reversal of schedules brought on by the court actions.  This is called knee-jerk co-parenting. It’s impossible, and not good for kids.


Women, sirs, are generally short of time, and frequently finances also.  If you want something done right the first time, perhaps you ought to ask us.  I believe that, generally speaking, we know the value of our time, our $$ (and yours) and I find it hard to believe that a growing being that spent +/- 9 months inside us is just a piece of property, or a meal ticket.  When and where that has happened, whose institutions has that young mother come through to start with?

Individually, and collectively,

we are personally unavailable for scapegoating from here on out.


For a counterbalancing view, see Chesler’s “Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman.”  It happens.


Profile in Courage — India, Age 12

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We had a “just say no” to drugs, and “There’s no excuse for abuse.”

Also, our administration is still paying top dollar to promote “Healthy Marriage” (whatever that is, but roughly translated it means, we want people off welfare) and even had “just say no to sex outside marriage” (abstinence education), which some religions at least say they endorse, and trying to get the young men (this was the initial rationale for the movement) who have been, many of them, through our educational system, to become “responsible fathers.” And paying top dollars, including dollars earned by single mothers and other women, for this. 

Meanwhile, in India, a fairly recent law says no marriage before 18 (girls) or 21 (boys).  (Photograph) 

Her story from the CS Monitor is below.

Rekha Kalindi, a 12-year-old girl living in Bararola, India,refused to get married when her parents tried to arrange one; she wanted to stay in school. Her revolt, and those of two other girls in the region, have halted new child marriages in their rural region of West Bengal, India. The legal age for marriage in India is 18 for girls and 21 for boys. But arecent study published in the Lancet found 44.5 percent of Indian women in their early 20s had been wed by the time they were 18. Of those, 22.6 percent had been married before age 16, 2.6 percent before age 13.

This is what I think, on the topic in USA:

(1st half blog:  me blogging.  2nd half.  The story which so inspired today, perhaps there is still hope.) 

Education and cultural values – USA style.

  • Thankfully no one married me off at 12.  Thankfully, I was allowed to complete not only high school, but also, college, twice.  I was not dealing with substantial gender issues, that I recall, in my work life.  Sometimes, but not primarily.  I also got my B.Th. from an organization that ordained women, and we worked alongside me in many fields.  I continued to also do music during these years, which were exciting and adventurous also.  
  • It was after marriage  – mid-30s (not that late, really, for our culture) — as a fully adult, functional, working, contributing member of society that the infantilization of me (by virtue of gender and the pro-forma definition of marriage in this person’s mind, which I didn’t know in advance) became, and was enforced for many years, with a vengeance.  I have come to realize that while I was taught to work, my family in particular taught me nothing (by example, or discussion) about marriage, but their actions indicated that having a man (live-in) was mature, and supposedly not, wasn’t.  When I finally threw him out, someone somewhere, relegated me back to immature status, and this is how I became exposed more fully to the dysfunctional segmentation of the college-educated liberal/progressive (childless) mindset, along with others in my family who did have children, but did the routine, farm them out, and get the high-paying job means of balancing the family budget.
  • This has been a painful process, and I recently began to appreciate much more my faith (which incorporates at least a coherent system of reference) and music (which, we’re told, DOES affect how one things and reacts and sees things in life).  It’s dynamic, and puts you in dynamic relationship with LOTS of people.  So, for better or for worse, does evangelism (although that was always the weaker aspect of my involvement, I didn’t LIKE it).  
  • Anyhow, this young woman got a hold of a 2nd point of view (perspective) on herself.  This is invaluable, an actual conflict of values, and then hopefully working out the differences.  We CANNOT avoid this in the global situation, it is necessary to hash it through logically, legally, and personally.  I h
  • I said, and say, “just say no” to domestic violence, and that the family court system, which ignores its own laws in order to satisfy other priorities, and support other professions, should not be dealing with these cases, at all.   And my thinking so is based on solid experience, a decade of it coming up soon here.  I know what a difference it made, financially, and as to safety, and as to what my daughters are being taught now which is the exact opposite of what my filing for a restraining order and LEAVING told them about limits between a man and a woman in marriage.  My state, California, has in practice undermined that standard (and our mutual standards of living, of civil rights, and many more urgent things that are not fully on the new administration’s scope, as examined by funding and relative rhetoric in the matter.  STILL, women are seen as channels to provide kids, who are the cash (and, too often, sex) commodity, and THIS HAS TO STOP!

Here, women who put the priority on mothering, working their fields around it, are also not as popular (these days) with feminist organizations. These organizations address multiple issues regarding women.  

But my issue (this blog), right now, is topic-specific, and venue-specific, i.e., the courts and the organizations that are working to undermine due process, many of which are outside the courts.  And that these “outside the courts” situations sometimes have body counts.  

If “women of faith” leave their man for due legal cause (having finally discovered the law, which I just about guarantee you will not be shared in those venues), they are often abandoned by that church for doing so (after all, the abuse happened while they were involved, $$, tithes, etc., are involved).  Thereafter, though charity can and occasionally refuge sometimes do (sometimes do NOT) trickle down from that tax-exempt source, that charity, or temporary refuge does not replace or fix what was broken.  Generally speaking, the tragedy doesn’t even cause the doctrine or practices of the church to even miss a beat.  They continue downplaying abuse, continue putting out ridiculous (no reference to the law) pamphlets about how to help someone caught up in it.  In this manner, the religious organizations (i’m talking Christian, which is my primary exposure) continue to set themselves above and apart / ‘special’ from the laws in place to protect women and children from violence — or, in the case of child support, from simply being robbed, which is another way to end up on charity (and how I was).

It takes money to run a church.  If violent men were properly confronted (and properly includes PUBLICALLY) and admonished, for an example to others, chances are THAT church at least would make it clear that within its ranks, this is unacceptable.  Oddly enough, I’ve found the ones that are real strong on no sex outside marriage (from the pulpit and printed materials) are quite weak on this issue.   I was recently in a prominent one here that was made fully aware (by me) of the situation:  child support arrears, children stolen, court orders violated, profession wrecked, I am on charity (again).  I had some hope they might put their regal authority (as pastors) and go down to the other place and simply let the other pastor/outfit know that those cute kids’ Dad was in violation of the law, will you please support and encourage him to get on the proper side of it?  In other words, I as a person in this place was respecting authority (and they had some) and clearly asking that it be wielded to help a single woman who had lost her children to a batterer  Nope.  But they did say something about going down to confront him on adultery.  Good grief!

So, it was made clear that there is a professional, I guess, no-competition law between these outfits.  Which is how I again deduced that “what it’s about” is something other than actual “righteousness,” but like any other business, profitability.  

We are OK to be recipients of charity, but not equal partners in crime, or as it may be “faith.”  When it comes to speaking, teaching, or almost any of the venues.  This is personally reducing a woman to her gender, but in all the other areas of life.  It is not ‘protective,’ but socially and spiritually eroding.  This is how it should go, in the courts (and also what the law says):

How hard is this?  Violence verified?  Then

NO contact with abuser.  No joint custody, no regular vistation. We are raising generations of children to accept a discrepancy between law and law enforcement, between crime and consequences.  This is basically re-writing the English language, and endorsing “double-speak.”

Sometimes years go by, in which a woman has to rebuild her relationships (social, work, etc.) often enough, and also heal, rediscover the non-abused, non-degraded, intelligent resourceful self.  During these years, sometimes child support is ordered, and that becomes another lever of control, as do the visitation exchanges (and mine were WEEKLY with my batterer, from the very start, practically.)  In my case, the family of origin, I suppose aghast that I’d gotten divorced (Which is odd, as we’re liberal, atheist, supposedly, and both my relatives married a man on his second wife, as did my own mother), and perhaps their oversight had been exposed.  Or, perhaps, it was that I didn’t take orders from them, after ahving stated clearly I wasn’t takeing them (in fact, giving a few) from my husband any more.  

When as she is rebuilding, he is, with support, continuing to tear down, this is extremely destructive.  Eventually, this can get to a family law venue, where she is told to “get along” with this clearly destructive (as measured by compliance with court orders, is one way, another is compliance with the law in general) personality, a literal impossibility.  

I say, and when a woman (or, OK, man?) is just coming out of that high-risk, potentially lethal situation, if there are children, they are taught by this state that it is NOT excusable to beat on a woman.  

This is not going to happen if the legislatures, law enforcement, judges, and (when they ARE necessary) custody evaluators do not get on the same page.  What is happening instead is that these personnel are getting together, out of real-time involvement with the public and people served, and gettting together on an entirely different page than what the law says.  They are on the “therapy” page.  Uninformed us, we read the literal law (and even case histories) and think that in this venue, it should have weight.


If a domestic violence restraining order is granted — we hope, properly — then he loses custody, PERIOD.  Visitation, maybe later.  No Joint Nothing.  No more high-conflict custody, and everyone get back to work.  Men are still paid more per $$ anyhow. And IF he physically abused her, financial abuse is also probably (although I’ve known cases where it isn’t).  

They are respected in light of their work and expected to succeed in it, this is what men in this culture have been rewarded for, and what supposedly “manhood,” culturally and religiously (see recent post).  Simultaneously, in the courts, and in divorce, there is a call to Have one’s cake and eat it too, and its not called p_ _ _ _   envy, but rather the other part, that we have, and that is a natural bond we sometimes have with children we have raised.  If you don’t believe me, then go back and read the 1984 Surgeon General’s declaration that breastfeeding is healthy.  (I have personally been attacked on this part, right after nursing, good grief!).    

Many times the violence is a matter of her “womanhood” to start with, and an entitlement to hit.  Why should it be part of “childhood” to see this at home?  Or to experience a protective parent (largely female, but that’s the term) thereafter being browbeaten in court, or even go homeless as a result of it (yes, it happens).   

DV = No Custody would at least, he would not prevent HER from getting back to work if he’s kept distance.  This is a punitive effect, and intended to be seen as so.  I am sick of the family court trying to “even the score” artificially in these situations.  This is called “lying,” with evasive, euphemistic jargon, and if there is anywhere it’s important not to lie, it’s in pursuit of “justice.”  There’s no excuse anymore for beating each other up.   Yet, we saw a case the other day (last post, Rosenberg article) where police arrived just in time to see a young man, blaming circumstances, decapitate his little sister, after having already killed another.  SOMETHING ain’t spiritually right in USA-land…).  I think we should teach women and girls self-defense, for real !  ALL of them….

As over here, in India, 

having a law as to safety of young girls (&  boys) & women doesn’t get it enforced or culture changed.

Thus, this article is not really “off-topic.”   

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

She just said “No!” to marriage.  At 12.

And was heard, and the ripple effect continued, helping others.

(In our country, we still have children saying “No!” to being sent to live with convicted child abusers, or women-batterers, and they are NOT heard.  Women who protect their children from this by failing to comply with court orders that violate existing laws have been jailed, and have had to figure it out).  

The story is self-explanatory and is below.  


India listens after a child bride says ‘I won’t.’

The girl’s courage has prompted India, where nearly half of all females wed before age 18, to consider the consequences of marrying young.

Nearly half of all Indian females get married before turning the legal minimum age of 18. The requirement has been in place for more than three decades, but centuries of custom don’t change overnight – and that’s especially true in Bararola, a land carved up into small farm plots and crisscrossed by dirt paths that takes at least a day’s journey to reach from Calcutta. But even here, some people are taking a stand.

Many locals eke out a living making beedis, a leaf-wrapped Indian cigarette. Rekha was rollingbeedis with her parents inside their mud-hut home when they broached her nuptials.

“I was very angry,” says Rekha. “I told my father very clearly that this is my age of studying in school, and I didn’t want to marry.”

With the help of friends, teachers, and administrators, Rekha accomplished what the law alone has not. No child marriages have taken place in the surrounding villages where she and two other girls refused to marry last summer, and similar approaches are meeting some success in other regions.

“We have a strong law and we need to find the people who can advocate for [it],” says Sunayana Walia, a senior researcher at the Delhi office of the International Center for Research on Women. “All the [successful] interventions are tapping the girls … so they are able to campaign on this issue, along with community participation.”



South Asia has the world’s highest levels of child marriage. A paper published in the Lancet,a British medical journal, in March found that 44.5 percent of Indian women who recently reached 20 to 24 years of age had been married by the time they were 18. Of these, 22.6 percent were wed before age 16 – and 2.6 percent before 13.

Child brides face greater health risks and their babies tend to be sicker, weaker, and less likely to survive childhood, according to UNICEF. The child-welfare agency also cites research from Harvard University that found that even a one-year postponement of marriage increases these girls’ schooling level by a third of a year, and their literacy by 5 percent to 10 percent.

Rekha learned about the dangers of child marriage firsthand when her older sister got married at age 11. She is now illiterate, and lost all four of her children within one year of birth.

“I had a talk with my sister,” Rekha says. “She said, ‘You have seen me, I’ve lost my children…. It’s good you stood against child marriage.’ “

Rekha had other motivations as well. Like many children here, she had to leave school to work for her family. But she was granted a rare second chance to improve her education through a goverment program called the National Child Labour Project, which, in her district of Purulia, offers remedial education to 4,500 children. Rekha says she did not want to stop school again on account of marriage.

“They love to come to school,” says Prosenjit Kundu, the district project director. “These schools are the only place where they are treated as children. Otherwise, they are workers.”

Yet they aren’t entirely sheltered from the adult world. Five children from each school are bused to extra lessons in the nearby city through the Child Activist Initiative, which is partly funded and supported by UNICEF. The kids, including Rekha, are given leadership training and informed of their rights on a range of issues from forced labor to the legal age for marriage. The girls think up solutions and teach others back in the village.


The Purulia program is new, but has already helped Rekha and two other girls refuse to marry under age – saving, by example, many of their friends from the same situation. Similar child rights programs backed by UNICEF operate across India and involve more than 60,000 children in Bangladesh. The programs are also credited with recently helping another girl in Nepal refuse early marriage.


In Rekha’s case, her parents initially did not listen to her. But she soon went to friends and teachers. They all came to talk with Rekha’s parents, including Mr. Kundu, the government official. That collective support for her and work with her parents was crucial, says Kundu. {footnote1}

“Children are not taken seriously in families,” he says. “A girl of 11.5 years who takes a decision for her own against the family members’ will – this is an enormous, courageous act.”

During a visit from two foreign journalists, the barefoot Rehka, dressed in bright purple and yellow, fielded questions confidently, despite the crowd the interview attracted. In February, she addressed a gathering of 6,000 beedi workers, asking them to allow their children to stay in school and delay marriage. Her best friend, Budhamani Kalindi, says she hasn’t gotten any pressure to marry now that Rekha has become such a role model.

“It’s terrific how you get that ripple effect of one being brave, sticking her neck out … and then others following,” says Sarah Crowe, a spokeswoman for UNICEF in Delhi.

Those ripples extend all the way to the president of India, Shrimati Pratibha Devisingh Patil, who, after reading about Rekha in the Hindustan Times newspaper, has requested to meet her. That makes her father happy, and he says he supports her staying in school.

The custom has proved hard to change, says Ms. Crowe, partly because it’s often embedded in poverty. Sometimes parents marry off a daugter to lighten their economic burden, though the problem extends into the middle and upper classes too, she adds. It’s also incorrectly assumed that an early marriage will protect the girl from violence and sexual abuse from men.

Enforcement of age laws, meanwhile, is hampered by the lack of birth records. Only 40 percent of births in India are registered; in Bangladesh, the number is just 10 percent.

“You can’t prove a child is a child if you’ve got no certificate,” Crowe says. The international community is working hard on birth registration, she says, but it’s a daunting task in a place like India that has more than 1 billion people.

Back in Bararola, one of those billions faces a brighter future. Rekha says she wants to be a teacher when she grows up.

Is she open to marriage eventually? “Anything after 18,” she says, “but not before 18 at all.”



{my “footnote1″}  Yes, the collective support is important.  While I do not mean to trivialize the differences, how is it that international organizations will support the law overseas, but within the U.S., when a variety of agencies sometimes come to judges and present evidence of abuse, this is discredited, or sometimes not even allowed to be considered, by a presiding judge?  When judges are not ethical, a country is going to go down fast!  I think that the U.S. needs to be more honest about what is going on within its own borders, and that includes mis-appropriation of federal funding to produce desired outcomes in court (vs. truthful/ just / due process ones).   This collective effort involved the input of a  young lady, and her friends.  

(The link also leads to a video of the reporter discussing how this situation came to pass.)

…”Reporter Ben Arnoldy discusses Rehka Kalinda, her family, and potential reasons behind her self-awareness.”

Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

April 27, 2009 at 6:38 am

Policy Multiple Choice: And you only get ONE of these:

with one comment

Dear Big Brother — Make up your mind!

How can you have healthy families and promote breastfeeding if she’s at work and her kids are in early, earlier Head Start to get them ready for the schools (that produced unhealthy families, and uninvolved fathers to start with?)


Think I’m kidding?  No.  

(No wonder we need an NIMH to clean up after the other depts…)

We are in the decade of the disappearing “mother.”  Obama et al. it seems want us out of the home, fast.  It is assumed that our children are better off in daycare, and school, than with us Moms.  You find me an at-home, nursing mother & nurturing mother in whitehouse.gov/agenda/family.  No, Moms are out, nurturing Dads are in.  Now, the littler, and littler, kids are heading out for Head Start while the nurses are heading back into homes where the next batch of low-income teen mothers (and supposedly the rest of us) are going to be taught how to Mother.  

(When do we actually get to PRACTICE this?)

But they DO want healthy marriages, involved fathers (if not responsible ones) and early, early, early head start, and more of it.  

We are having to invent new words, like “familicide,” to describe the social phenomenon observed in this developed nation whose primary federal budget is “health and human services (“HHS”)”

Martha Rosenberg, public health op-ed (etc.) commentator in Chicago area, summarizes it (with cartoon) HERE:


Not only can a bad economy and being destitute turn you into a “family annihilator,” say psychologists, so can the threat of losing your wife and kids which produces a feel of loss of control.

{LetsGetHonest pauses to note that it doesn’t read “husband” because it ain’t primarily women doing this}

{Blame it on the system that let this happen, including VAWA, CPS, no-fault divorces, and other pesky entities that made it into existence past those that persuaded then-President Clinton to endorse the Fatherhood 90-day national fitness plan.)

But of course the elephant in the room is that when people lost their jobs or wives in the past they didn’t kill their entire families in a burst–make that gun burst–of irrational rage. Not, at least, every week.

No, behind the deeds of Howard, Wood, Revelus, Harrison, Kalathat and McLendon et al–who are always called “depressed” and “bipolar”– no doubt are health care professionals thinking I shouldn’t have prescribed that psychoactive med and hoping the press doesn’t come around.

Especially as California psychiatrist Christian Hageseth III goes to jail for similarly prescribing Prozac to John McKay who killed himself.

and HERE, 


Although I still disagree with her analysis (having lived dealt with the gun/knife collection by (abusive) husband at home scenario, I wondered, in hindsight, how we mighta coulda shoulda evened the power balance in that matter).  In this she also mentions an 8 year old boy who shot, and points to the guns, and not the custody arrangement in his case, which has been much discussed in some of my circles.


Now, about Health and Human Resources being THE largest Federal expenditure, we ought to get acquainted, eh?


2000-2009.  Note:  the chart is highly interactive, and in this version I clicked on spending 2000-2009.

I note that something apparently happened in 2007, when the normally robust “Homeland Security” suddenly lost most of itself (the technology already in place?), like 30% of budget worth, and HHS suddenly upped by 30%+.  To get the full effect, remember to click on “Switch to $$,” keeping in mind that the figures reported are in Billions.  Education, Defense, and Justice are by comparison measly.  So I deduce that our government has switched its focus from actually educating us properly the first go-round (K-12) and got tired of housing us at public cost (see psychiatric hospitals and jails) as well as paying for those of us not in the above 3 boxes, or a work cubicle, via welfare. To reduce welfare, they decided to collect more child support.  To do this, as obviously Dad’s weren’t signing up for the privilege of supporting kids they didn’t actually get to see, up close & personal, we have the increased access/visitation grants (particularly where there were things that might be deterrents to custodial parent wishing to facilitate contact — such as an existing restraining order, etc.), and thereby declaring the child support due (when it was a GOVERNMENT agency contract, vs. a private one between the parents), less than it was before, and hope that some member of this now healthy family would pick up the tab.


If you are struggling with my phrasing above, just ignore it, click and observe.   You’d be struggling too, perhaps….  to understand why a department we are not scrutinizing all that carefully is THE largest sector of our federal spending, at least from what I can tell.

I thought I was obtaining some mastery on this doublespeak, according to who is speaking.  For example, in religious circles, Eve (et al) are to blame and should be punished.   In conservative circles, feminists are to blame for going back to work.  In “high-conflict” (that’s a euphemism, folks) divorces, VAWA and the presumption that a mother is the best primary caretaker is to blame.  This wasn’t too hard to change, over time, as it ain’t women designing the courts, primarily, although they do populate them.  If you are an educator, the parents are to blame.  If you are a homeschooling parent, the educational system (that you opted out) is to blame.    YOU figure it out, OK?

Just when I thought I had it down, I found out that this same department has long been, it says, “pro-breast=feeding.”  This is good for “healthy families” right (although mothers are not in the vocabulary of thsoe families these days — see prior posts — unless they are young enough to warrant an in-home visit by a Nurse, or an intervention suggesting that their pre-schoolers need to be pre-pre-schooled in order to be ready for — you guessed it — School.

When a woman wants to nurse her child — and is allowed to — she finds ways to do so.  For example, we used to shop very late at night (to avoid the rush).  I had my daughter in a comfortable child sling, and if there was a need to nurse (as evidenced by crying, or grabbing/nuzzling at my milk-distribution appendage), Dad would stand guard, and I would stand privately somewhere nearby, briefly.  NO prob.  There are many ways and places in which to nurse, besides at home also.  I even did this after my (you guessed it, male, elderly) oby/gyn M.D. said it is impossible to nurse and be pregnant at the same time.  That’s called sneak-nursing (after a call to a close friend, mother of many, and La Leche League expert).  The same fellow also said (actually, yes!) that he believed all women should be “put under” for delivery.  Yes, we should be anesthetized and snipped.  I showed him what-for, I stayed OUT of the hospital until ready to deliver, and dropped an Apgar-10 baby into the world, and no snipping til AFTER she was born (umbilical cord).  


What’s a goverment to do?  Silly question:  Don’t you know what governments do?  Form an initiative, a committee, hire your exports, and put it together into a proprietary form justifying this, AYE (at your expense) and then issue marching orders:

“HHS Blueprint for Action on Breastfeeding”


Enter the USBC (U.S. Breastfeeding Committee), and brilliant linguistics, such as “Breastfeeding as a Public Health Challenge.” or “1984  Surgeon General’s Workshop on Breastfeeding and Human Lactation”  I kid you not:

http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/NN/B/C/G/F/_/nnbcgf.pdf, from which I learn:



Gilbert A. Martinez, M.B.A. 

In 1971 the incidence of breastfeeding declined to its lowest level- 25%. Since then, breastfeeding has increased to 61.9% in 1982 and has declined marginally to 61.4% in 1983. 

(Figure 1) 

The duration of breastfeeding similarly declined in 1971 to its lowest level of 9% of women who breastfed 3 months or longer. Since then, breastfeeding for at least 3 months has increased to 40% of women giving birth in 1983. 


National Policies

What major policies are influencing breastfeeding promotion throughout the United States?

Within the Federal Government

Links to non-Federal organizations are provided solely as a service to our users. This link does not constitute an endorsement of this organization by USBC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. The USBC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at this link.

(I did in awe) some terminologies and how late on the scene (1984, 1991) these things were officially noticed.  {{Guess they didn’t read about Moses’ Mom & the bulrushes… or Hannah, who waited til her son (prophet Samuel) was weaned before farming him out for service to the priest. Samuel turned out all right, apparently.  Moreover, he advised against the people seeking a king, hmm…..)

This initiative also probably was necessary to counteract some of the Dr. Spock years, in which the patriotic thing (my mother, who complied) to do was NOT breastfeed, but buy formula instead.  At other times, the right thing to do healthwise, for women, is remove our uteri, (if they think losing a wife and kids drives MEN crazy and to family annihilations, how are women expected to handle “hysterectomies”) and get more estrogen into them to handle the other horrible time of life, menopause.  This “Greatest Experiment Ever Performed” (on us) had to be terminated, and you may look that up on your own time.  The fact is, we needed more progesterone, not estrogen, the counter-balancing hormone, which also happens to help bone density.  If there is a convoluted way to reach a certain ridiculously obvious outcome, our government, with or without the assistance of one of its more well-funded arms is sure to find it.  

I look forward to finding out how Obama is going to reconcile more headstart with proactive breastfeeding.

Here’s another man commenting on feminism, at a site talking about the Natural Child (Attachment, etc.)   Except for him finger-pointing the women on this idea (primarily), I agree.  Having been professional – abused Mom (though nursing) — left – accused of being single (guilty as charged) and still I guess not submissive enough, I got stripped of my kids again, and am now supposed to re-re-re-invent myself in a new profession, somehow, as the strip-down process KO’d the original (two) I’d been involved in, which revolved substantially around children (though not exclusively).


Some unintended consequences of equality feminism     Unfortunately, the working mothers/childcare juggernaut, once set in motion, develops a momentum of its own. In buying homes, two incomes outbid one and prices rise accordingly. Something is very wrong when many women in some of the world’s most affluent societies cannot afford to breastfeed and mother their own babies. The “economy” is said to require their labour, and the childcare “industry” has many powerful “players”, and for some it has become very profitable.


But who has a greater claim on a mother’s presence than her own baby? We were all babies once. That breastfeeding is of far-reaching health significance, and involves a foundational love relationship, not just a tank-filling exercise, is largely disregarded. {{THANK YOU, SIR!!}}

The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends breastfeeding for a year or more, and WHO/UNICEF urge at least two years. Danish adults who had been breastfed for nine months averaged six points higher IQ than those breastfed for less than a month, as reported in a rigorous study in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2002. Research consistently shows the greatest positive effects are on the competence of the immune system and on health, in ways that have major long-term cost implications for any modern society.

Ideology masquerading as science

Discussion of childcare is not meaningful without stating whether it is early childcare for infants in the first two to three years, or for preschoolers, or for children after school, since the implications are very different. We must acknowledge that there are risks in early childcare, and that professionals regard staff stability, with one carer per three (not five) infants under two years, as a preliminary requirement for infant daycare to be considered of “high quality”. This is inherently costly. Yet rather than promoting social settings which support healthy, more natural mothering of small children, many women {sic} gaining power in the social sciences, the bureaucracies and politics call for still more non-parental childcare, ignoring or downplaying the accumulating evidence of risks in their early childcare prescriptionsIn his editorial in The Wall Street Journal of July 16, 2003, Professor Jay Belsky described this bias as “ideology masquerading as science”.

{{Blame it on the women?  What about the men, like Presidents?}}

Maternal care and family mental health

Summarising evidence from much research, including the multimillion dollar US study into the effects of childcare by the Early Child Care Network of the National Institute for Child Health and Development (NICHD), of which he is a founding member, Belsky observed that, regardless of the type and quality of daycare, research shows that the more time children spend in any kind of non-maternal daycare before they are 4 1/2 years old, the more truly aggressive and disobedient they are – not just more assertive or independent. This has adverse implications for parents, as well as for teachers and fellow-pupils, who are all disadvantaged by the disruption to learning which such children can cause in the classroom.


The fruits of good mothering and early nurture are among the greatest blessings a person can have in life. In offering these to their babies, mothers and fathers are setting patterns of relationships which can be creative, mutually rewarding and last for the rest of their lives.

Fathers are certainly important, and share with mothers in being playmates, partners, parents, protectors and providers. But in all mammals, the roles of the two parents are different. In the natural breastfeeding period the role of mother is always primary. In primates this includes carrying and co-sleeping, which promote secure attachment. Programs which pressure young mothers into the workforce and promote early daycare carry long-term risks for community well-being. Our society needs to recognise the far-reaching developmental importance of breastfeeding and close, responsive mother-infant relationships in the early years, along with the close involvement of fathers, and aim to create social settings which facilitate and support them. If we are going to pay for quality infant care, why not support mothers to do it? Infancy cannot be re-run later.


Copyright © Peter S. Cook, Sydney, 2004. This article may be freely reproduced in whole or in part, with acknowledgement. If you do so, please notify this author, and send a copy to pcook62@optusnet.com.au or 62 Greycliffe St, Queenscliff, NSW, 2096, Australia.

Dr. Peter S. Cook is a retired Sydney, Australia child and family psychiatrist, who writes on preventive child and family mental health. He is the author of Early Child Care: Infants and Nations at Risk (Melbourne: News Weekly Books, 1997). Some references and related material may be viewed at http://www.naturalchild.org/peter_cook




  •  Obama and Biden will create Early Learning Challenge Grants to promote state Zero to Five efforts and help states move toward voluntary, universal pre-school.
  • Expand Early Head Start and Head Start: Obama and Biden will quadruple Early Head Start, increase Head Start funding, and improve quality for both.
  • Provide affordable, High-Quality Child Care: Obama and Biden will also increase access to affordable and high-quality child care to ease the burden on working families

Investments in Head Start:


Head Start:



LORAIN — A former Head Start bus driver, serving 30 to 90 years in prison for molesting children, was freed Tuesday because of a clerical error.

Nancy Smith, 51, walked into the arms of family and friends after Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge released her after more than 14 years in prison.

The reason: A sentencing document filed in court records failed to mention that a jury had convicted her in 1994. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled last summer that such documents must be kept in strict order.

The case created a maelstrom in Lorain because of the ages of the children and the nature of the allegations. Authorities said, and a jury agreed, that Smith drove her bus with children to meet Joseph Allen, a Lorain man who then sexually abused the children.

Allen, 55, was convicted of rape, felonious sexual penetration and gross sexual imposition and sentenced to life. Smith was convicted of attempted rape, rape and gross sexual imposition.

They denied the allegations and claimed they had never met. Authorities said Allen, however, had a sexually transmitted disease, and several of the children were subsequently diagnosed with the same disease 


Or, (2002, re: 1999 incident):


Boy traumatized after roaches used as discipline 
By Jeff Ehling 
ABC 13 Eyewitness News, April 15, 2002

Three years after they were used to discipline him, a young boy is still traumatized by cockroaches.(4/15/02) — Roaches are a pest to most people, but one teacher at the Coolwood Head Start program used them to discipline children. And now one family is still dealing with the traumatic affects the bugs had on their son. The roaches were used in an attempt to get a five-year-old to take a nap. The event happened three years ago, but that child is still terrified by bugs and his parents want the help that was promised them.

“There was a cup of flying cockroaches that they would put on my son,” explained Shannon Henderson, the boy’s mother.

The incident happened in 1999. According to the Harris county Department of Education, one teacher was fired and two others disciplined. The department admitted mistakes were made and set up a psychological evaluation. The report, dated January 2000, found the family may need to participate in periodic counseling. But the Hendersons say their son seemed ok until he enrolled at elementary school.

“He doesn’t even want to go outside and play. ‘There’s bugs flying around,'” Shannon Henderson said. “Even when there’s not bugs, he feels that there are. He’s ducking and dodging and he doesn’t want to go to the bathroom because he feels there’s bugs in the bathroom.

So now the Hendersons are ready to take the county up on its offer, but the family says that’s when the help ran out.

“After we got the report, we never heard from them, never heard from them,” laments Shannon Henderson. “I left several messages for Jane Whitaker, she never returned my calls.”

So we called the Harris county Department of Education, and spoke to Jimmy Wynn.

“We didn’t know this came up again,” said Jimmy Wynn. “We dealt with it at the time. The child was involved in counseling when the child left. There was not a request when he left for this to continue.”

Wynn says he can’t find anyone at the department who spoke with the Hendersons recently, but says that will not stop the agency from helping the child overcome his fear of roaches and bugs.

“We want to do whatever we can to help that family,” Wynn assured Eyewitness News. “We’ve given you information on how that family can contact us and we will, if they give us a call, we will make sure they have the help that they need.”


FOR, “WHOSE IDEA WAS HEAD START ANYHOW?” another day, another post perhaps:

Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

April 26, 2009 at 10:25 am

Post 2 of 2: Bipolar Presidential Rhetoric (1995)

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It’s time we took a look at two pronouncements from the sultry summer of 1995, within one month of each other.

Both by then-President Clinton (i.e., Bill, not Hillary)

This is a quote, but any font changes or other emphases are mine.  

I also add a few (#)s for footnote.


1995, June

June 16, 1995


SUBJECT: Supporting the Role of Fathers in Families

I am firm in my belief that the future of our Republic depends on strong families and that committed fathers are essential to those families (1). I am also aware that strengthening fathers’ involvement with their children cannot be accomplished by the Federal Government alone (2); the solutions lie in the hearts and consciences of individual fathers and the support of the families and communities in which they live. However, there are ways for a flexible (3), responsive (4) Government to help support men in their roles as fathers.

Therefore, today I am asking the Federal agencies to assist me in this effort, I direct all executive departments and agencies to review every program, policy, and initiative (hereinafter referred to collectively as “programs”) that pertains to families to:  

(A) ensure, where appropriate, and consistent with program objectives, that they seek to engage and meaningfully include fathers; (B) proactively modify those programs that were designed to serve primarily mothers and children, where appropriate and consistent with program objectives; (C) to explicitly include fathers and strengthen their involvement with their children;  (D) include evidence of father involvement and participation, where appropriate, in measuring the success of the programs; and (E) incorporate fathers, where appropriate, in government initiated research regarding children and their families.I ask the departments and agencies to provide an initial report on the results of the review to the Vice President through the National Performance Review within 90 days of the date of this memorandum.

The information gained from this review will be combined with information gathered through the Vice President’s “Father to Father” initiative and other father involvement programs to determine the direction of those programs for the future.   The National Performance Review, together with the Domestic Policy Council, will recommend further action based on the results of this review.

William J. Clinton

~ ~ ~ ~

For the scope of what ALL departments (and agencies, which are a subset of departments) mean, see my former post, or “USASpending.gov).  This is virtually a 3-month-makeover along the lines of a physical fitness guru, only we are talking about the entire U.S. Executive Branch, not just your body.

Well, I guess we are talking about your body, and pocket(book)s, if you also take into account how this weakens VAWA provisions, and some of the government-sponsored research involved.

My comments:

(1) At risk of disrespect, part of then-President Clinton’s commitment to his own family (not that he was the only such President) included being caught with his pants down, publically.  Just imagine what a shakeup if it were required for Presidents to practice what they preach in this arena! 

(2) This awareness that the Government alone cannot make fathers be cool will not prevent it from attempting to do so, anyhow, obviously displeased with the results of its former institutions/premises/experiments (choose one of the above) but failing to acknowledge this.  Ah, the vagaries of catch-all terms, like “fathers” and “families,” “consciences” and “hearts.”  

I keep returning to the educational/corporations system, but that’s just me.  Is not some of the premise of continuing this, while attempting to shut down and discredit homeschooling, etc., based on the premise that parents, unchecked, are incompetent?  WHO is going to ask, with me, who educated those supposedly incompetent parents?  In what institutions did they grow up?  Is education something a “government” should be doing?  Seriously, now. . .   

(3) flexible:  Further study (and experience) shows that what this entails flexibility on inludes:  (a) child support arrearages.  They are simply, by decree, reduced.  I witnessed this with my own eyes (33% off, and no evidence of any deterrents to the fathers’ unemployment actually existing, other than choice.  Incarceration was not one in our case, nor drug use, nor being a teen Dad, or otherwise disabled.  OR, uninvolved with the kids.  Nevertheless, 33% went off, and I went back to what I left — fundraising after job losses).  I have also studied the literature, and yes, friends this indeed was part of the deal.  

The other flexibilities included on civil rights (of protective parents, female or male), due process (through family courts — cases farmed out to mediation that shouldn’t be, many times), and the law (laws against rebuttable presumption that custody should NOT go to batterers ignored, as well as laws advising against joint custody in such cases, as well as substantial, already government-funded research that mediation is inappropriate in situations with violence due to the power imbalance.).  Ah yes, flexible indeed — bending over backwards, just about.  Also flexibility, as it turns out, encompasses the fiscal accountability arena as well.  

As to the a, b, c notes (above), I simply wish to call attention to them.  Also, phrase (c) has no object:  include fathers in WHAT is not specified.  However, (d)) is where the dollars are really flowing — not to the kids, but to people studying them.  See my posts on the TAGGS system and Acronyms.  

On any phrase, practically, I could insert a URL to serve appropriate, $$ interpretation, but not today.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now that then-President Clinton had spoken about fathers, families, and children (and directed that programs helping mothers be modified pro-actively to include more Dads (translation:  Increased Access ;; Access/Visitation grants, and all that goes with it– about that pesky child support:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


President Clinton’s Letter – OCSE 20th Anniversary

President Clinton issued the following letter on behalf of the Child
Support Enforcement Program’s twentieth anniversary.


The White House


July 11, 1995


Greetings to everyone gathered in our nation’s capital to mark
the twentieth anniversary of the National Child Support Enforcement
Program of the Department of Health and Human Services. [HHS]

Children are our greatest hope and our most profound responsibility.
Only when our young people are provided with the best upbringing
possible can we truly say that we are prepared for the challenges of
the twenty-first century. Yet, sadly, many AMERICANS avoid their
responsibility to provide basic economic support to their children.
That is why the national Child Support Enforcement Program was
created in 1975, reflecting a bipartisan commitment to giving
children the chance they deserve.

All of you in the National Child Support Enforcement Program–at the
federal, state, and local levels–have been instrumental in giving
hope and support to America’s children while fostering STRONG
FAMILIES and RESPONSIBLE PARENTING. [1] Through your efforts, more than
4.5 million
children now have a legally recognized father; more than
11 million children with A PARENT LIVING OUTSIDE THEIR HOME have
a legal right to the financial support of that PARENT; and more than
$62.5 billion has been provided for children by their noncustodial

As we celebrate the successes of the past two decades, we should
rededicate ourselves to working across party lines to pass the
strongest possible child support and welfare reform legislation.
Strong child support enforcement measures are crucial not only
because they help provide children with economic security, but also
because they send a clear signal to young men and young women that
they should not have children until they are prepared to care for
them.  And THOSE WHO DO HAVE children must not be permitted to walk
away from them. [3] Governments don’t raise children; PARENTS do. [4] We
cannot rest until PARENTS across our nation begin to shoulder that
responsibility. [5] We must act now to give our children the future they

I commend you for your efforts to put America’s children first. Best
wishes for a wonderful anniversary and for much continued success.

Signed: Bill Clinton


Italics = references to children.

BOLD CAPS = gender -neutral terms that, in context, really aren’t.  Note:  The fatherhood initiative is primarily going after fathers to get them re-involved so they will pay child support.  Why?  Too many mothers were on welfare.  This is not a gender-neutral issue, although many Moms are noncustodial and do pay child support (or go to jail).  Many, many MORE since these two memos went out, I must add.  

I have no problem with the government going after fathers to get them reinvolved and pay up.  I DO have a problem with the government, in public proclamations like this (I wasn’t there at this time, I was being slapped around my home, age 40-plus, and I had most definitely been a contributing member of society throughout, even during these years).  I DO have a problem with the government taking tax $$ and using them to BRIBE ALL fathers indiscriminately (simply because of their Y chromosome and some DNA relationship to offspring) into pretty please coming back, and with that goal in mind, bending the judicial process, law, and my civil rights (and my kids) in order to do this, with dubious success.  

I also have a problem with women my age, who are many times an absolutely STUNNING sector of America’s enterprise, creativity, workforce (especially at the support levels) and bearing, raising, and caring for children — or working as teachers of them — I have a problem with us disappearing from the Presidential rhetoric as mothers. If you think this isn’t so, you haven’t read my recent post on White House  and “same old wine.”

bold not-caps:  terms that are inclusive:  we, our, us, etc.  Then, the government says that “Parents raise children, it does not. Nevertheless, communally, they are “our” children.  Maybe it’s this kind of doublespeak rhetoric, please whoever you’re in front of at the time, that has contributed to the dropping mental health barometer, and increasing budget of the HHS??  That’s bipolar talk.

[1], [2] — this is the rhetoric of the fatherhood movement, and if you think this has changed, you have not looked at the family agenda of the Administration of “Change.gov” to see what has not.  Again, “whitehouse.gov // Agenda // family.  Then look at “strengthening Families at Home” and see if you can find a reference to a woman above the age of 20 (not including the nurses, possibly, who need to visit the teens having kids).  The word “noncustodial” clearly refers to a family law status.  Custody is settled in family courts, by decree.  This is the chosen venue of this movement, FYI.

[3]  Although parents are not to walk away from their children, this does not preclude other government programs snatching them, sometimes properly, sometimes not so.  (see CPS, or the recent 400-plus snatch of the Texas group).  (see, existence of a thriving foster care system, kids for $$).  (and related atrocities).  

[4]  This is debatable.

[5].  I was most at rest and personally stabilized while shouldering my God-given (or, at least biologically-given) responsibility to work and provide for my daughters.  I have had precious little rest since restless government rhetoric, reinventing itself, had a better idea, and allowed a child-snatch to become a custody-switch, wiping the slate of Dad’s responsibility to comply with the law almost clean, and my shot at getting free of him, too.  I now have to reinvent myself, along with all social relationships, as well.  What a great idea — WHOSE was it anyhow?  

Makes one almost wax religious:  (from Prov. 11 — I was looking for the first verse, here):

A FALSE balance is an abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight. 

When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

With his mouth the godless man destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the righteous be delivered.

Where no wise guidance is, the people falleth: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

I cannot think of anything more presumptuous, or proud, than an elected Chief Executive presuming to revise the entire government to conform to concepts he got from, really, large pressure from a small segment of it (see “Don & Wade” et al).

The lowly are the women and children on welfare.  Go talk to them!  Then report in their own words what it’s like!

It takes a belief in some set of universal truths day of accountability and secrets being exposed (whether “God” or not) to refrain from acting on behalf of God to parent an entire nation.  Also, I should think that thorough exposure to at least some religious text, processed through centuries, might yield to some more logical language than what we now here — doublespeak.  At least within those texts, some coherence of ideas pervades them.  

The idea of  universal, state-funded education I THINK originated in Rome, but I can’t swear it.  It originated in expansionist, imperialist, governments.  People FLED such governments to come to the colonies and start over again, not too long ago (a few centuries).    

Also is at the heart of the matter — whose kids ARE they, anyhow?  [In LOCO parentis?] I found out (in my situation) that when that child goes through the door of a public education institution, he/she/(of transgendered) does not, really, belong to the parents.  They do not, really, have control.  Ask Savanna Redding, who was strip-searched at 13 because of a tip that she might have drugs (a.k.a. Ibuprofen for cramps).  She is now 19, and never went back to that school, but instead got a GED, having been at the time an honor kid with no disciplinary problem.  Her parents sued.  Ask Michael Farris, HSLDA, and the parentalrights.org folk.  Ask Edwatch.org, a group in Minnesota is as upset as me about these situations (but less indignant than I that single parent means poor.  I voted for our current President in part because I knew he’d been through this process, had a single mother, and one would think, might have understood it).  Or, ask some of the parents of the juveniles who ended up in detention, suddenly, because two judges in Pennsylvania (caught, finally, thank God) had a kickback scheme going on.  

I am older and wiser now, and advise women (single Moms, moms owed child support) wherever and whenever possible to avoid that child support system entirely.  It is going to erode their due process and family  (if they still have one).  If their children’s father cannot be persuaded by family, church, or community peer pressure to show his face and get to work, then perhaps that family, church, or community ought to (if Dad is around, but not working) support them.  If he’s in jail, then the public is already supporting him.  If he’s missing, that’s another matter.  

I learned the hard way, this sequence of events, and that I do NOT, nor am I about to, have any control over what any Child Support Enforcement agency does with my money, or itself.  Trust me, I pursued this.  

Failure to distinguish from teen pregnancies and fathers who disappeared (or are working their way round a harem) and mothers who, leaving domestic violence — OR, leaving a primary care-taking situation of several years — and as such need help is wrong and misguided.  

My sequence was:  

1. DV — MANY years of it, a.k.a., survival mode.  PART of DV (and often the first part is economic control, which may answer some of your questions as to “why doesn’t she just leave?”).

2. Filing for separation through RO with KICKOUT (that’s “Restraining Order” in our state).  This is, again, a safety issue.

3. Being (actually, it took a year before this happened to me) to file for welfare.  Violence often destroys a family economically.

4.  When I got welfare, my county wanted its money back and went after the father.

5.  I got re-established, before the restraining order was removed, and in no small part by moving a few miles away.  He still saw his kids.

6.  His control was slipping, and he went after the remaining leverage he had over me:  my family of origin, and our kids, and got help removing the restraining order, in the process undermining not only my relationship with them, but also income.

7.  I thereafter had to divert energies from work, seriously so, in to self-preservation, help-seeking, and naturally, I wanted child support enforced.

8.  Through the family court venue, and because of this paradigm (see above Presidential memos, and many, many of the links I have on this site), a battering, non-working, aggressively hostile father was coached and rewarded in the family court venue to get more access to his kids, and his child support arrears reduced.  This reduced me to begging.  Eventually, there was a custody-switch.  Who is impoverished in this scenario?  Not just me!

Do not buy the ‘fatherhood” rhetoric.  It’s more often about something entirely different.  Do not even “buy” it from a President.  


Anecdotal, yesterday/today:

Last night, on our county TV channel, I briefly saw supervisors (including one I called in desperation about 3 yrs ago, and 2) discussing why food stamps are good for the community, because they allow purchases, which sustain jobs (in Safeway, etc.).  I know a woman about my age, and yesterday in heading down to the food bank, I saw her heading off to her underpaid night job at Safeway.  She has retrained herself as a physical therapist and looks forward to having a work day that doesn’t end at 2:30 a.m., on public transportation + ride from a friend.  I am retraining myself (these past few years) in other fields as well, particularly ones which I could do if I had to flee the next time the father of my daughters shows up suddenly at the front door.  

Both of us had left violent relationships; she situated her children, thankfully, with a guardian, who was a friend, and her boys are safe, and she can see them.  Mine went back to their abusively-controlling, still non law-abiding, unrepentant (about the battering, or child support arrears), underemployed father, and I cannot see them, nor do I consider this safe.  Today I am also going to, reluctantly apply for (and will probably get) Food Stamps.  That I am doing this relates to a combination of programs such as Fatherhood Initiative statements combined with Child-Support-Reducing bait (to get certain types of fathers more involved with their kids, and as a result working), plus the ongoing, communal denial of “what happened” with my own family of origin.  

I consider these to be moral issues, and lie in their hearts and consciences. 


I apologize for disjunct texts, and am considering switching blog domains — the technology of posting takes too long, and is painful here to get up.   Or, I could skip the commentary and just post links.  We’ll see.

I am coming to the conclusion of distrust of almost any federally-funded mandate (or initiative) to do what it claims to do.  Many times, the exact opposite happens.  We should probably go more local before we all go “loco.”

This just in:  I ehecked my inbox and realized I might be, at least acc. to DHS Secretary (unless she’s been forced down 

Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

April 24, 2009 at 8:45 am

Post 1 of 2: Delegation of Federal Dollars (2000-2009)

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It is time we discussed these two Presidential letters from a sultry summer in 1995.  That’s Post 2 of 2 today 1993-1995.

Post 1 of 2 — Present:  Spending Snapshot & (My) Sarcasm

USA “today” 2000-2009:


INTRO:  Follow the Money


Of all the discussions I’ve read concerning father’s rights, mother’s rights, and family court reform, even when such discussion discuss the issue of kickbacks or payoffs (which is an issue in these arenas), few blogs or pages on-line discuss the relationship between:  Welfare (reform), Child Support issues (“OCSE”) and this “Fatherhood” thing which has compromised justice in the courts, turned them into behavioral modification centers, and jumpstarted a host of new professions, trailing conferences, publications, pronouncements (PAS anyone?) and professional certifications throughout the nation.  

And what this blog is about, particularly as these things, these days, are leading to body counts and a consistent degradation of the average household mental health, barring those who are mentally asleep, solid in their faith (in an afterlife, or miraculous provisions in this one), or in the upper 4% or so of society.  . . .. OR, who are making a solid living studying the rest of us, or managing us.  As some people do not take kindly to being so managed, this also requires significant prison and police help.

On that matter, a WSJ blog article Wednesday declared:  

Recession Watch: Calif. County Won’t Prosecute Petty Thieves (By Amir Efrati)

Contra Costa County

Law-breakers in northern California’s Contra Costa County, population 1 million, stand to benefit from the county’s budget gap. On Tuesday District Attorney Robert Kochly told his county’s police chiefs that beginning in May, his office will no longer prosecute a host of misdemeanors because he has to lay off 20% of his staff, or about 18 prosecutors.

Which infractions won’t be prosecuted? The list includes non-DUI traffic offenses such as driving with a suspended license and reckless driving, simple assault and battery, lewd conduct, trespassing and shoplifting. Here are stories from the SFChron and ABC News.

Even some felony drug cases involving smaller amounts of narcotics won’t end up in court. That means anyone caught with less than a gram of methamphetamine or cocaine, less than 0.5 grams of heroin and fewer than five pills of ecstasy, OxyContin or Vicodin won’t be charged, according to the Chron story.

But bad boys (and girls) shouldn’t get too cocky: “Core” misdemeanors offenses involving domestic violence, drunken driving, firearms and vehicular manslaughter will still be prosecuted. And the Mercury News reports that the police department says it will still make arrests for all misdemeanors, meaning suspects could spend time in jail, even if they aren’t punished by prosecutors.

Since The Golden State can no longer, at least in this county, afford to prosecute its less nefarious residents, we the people should be policing where the money went.  Right???  Or, each other (not from afar, or from ivory towers), but perhaps in our own communities and homes.  Oh, I forgot, we aren’t IN those homes, we are out working, our kids are in child care, or their Moms are on welfare while the government (finally noticing this) declared — back in 1995 at least, you’ll see — that many of those Dads in prison (possibly for assaulting Mom — or someone else, see 1994) — should be fetched out, re-educated (what happened the first time around?  See budget..) and persuaded, if their child support arrearages are reduced, or if they can spend more time with their kids (and pretty please, this time, promise not to molest or assault, and get a job:  we trust you, since we just re-educated you in batterers programs and by court-appointed parent educators, etc.) — and replaced in front of their offspring.  This is called “Healthy Families.”  Meanwhile, a different policy is sending nurses INTo the homes and taking little kids out of them, earlier, for more Head Start.  


In short, few follow the money trail.  Some do, and I say more should.

Few connect the money with the rhetoric.  Many connect sexual misbehavior (or criminal behavior.  Or, natural behavior, if you’re Richard Gardner of “PAS” fame) with the rhetoric, but in the long run, it’s about the money.  The ship of state is rowed with money.  Without  money, who would pay the psychiatrists (including those at institutes, not those just analyzing why one parent is so distraught, or child, at contact with the other one, by looking at them, rather than looking at the CASE file, and searching for facts, not assertions).  

In short, this nationwide attempt, purportedly to get deadbeat FATHERS back to work, has actually been great business for the analysts.  And, say some, child-molesters and woman-beaters.

Both fathers’ groups and mothers’ groups complain about violation of due process in the family courts, just not towards whom it is biased.  Well WHAT type of incentive would get a whole institution to violate due process as a matter of general practice?  

We need to talk about the money.  To do this, we should look at the Executive Branch of Goverment’s statements that helped turn over the ignition in driving the programs that are using it.  (Yes, I know I just switched analogies.  I do not have cartoon capacity, otherwise, I’d post a few illustrations).  Let’s look at the Head of State (historically), and who turned HIS (maybe in the next decade or so, I will have to write “His or Her.”  Sorry, Secretary of State Ms. Hillary, but not this time.  Moreover, I’m going to talk today about what your husband wrote, turning the ship of state, almost 14 years ago.

http://www.NAFCJ.net talks about this connection.  I also see that StopFamilyViolence.org has posted a page by Trish Wilson on this connection between

(a) Government rising concern about WELFARE (costs),

(b) Government’s then “aha!” moment that the deadbeat Dads should help reduce these costs, and

(c) Government’s suddenly “aha!” that Dads are People Too.  

(Perhaps if it had interviewed a few of the struggling Moms, it might have come to this conclusion sooner — that their children were growing up in poverty in a female-headed household) (Another thing it might, perhaps, have asked is why are Moms leaving Dads, or Dads leaving Moms?  In this regard, I refer to the 1994 V.A.W.A. act, up for re-funding, please contact your Senator, if you’re not a libertarian, or a Dad who believes you were wrongfully thrown out of your house, and she was asking for it, to vote YES to refund).

Again, this is the problem:

 (a)  single mothers needing welfare because they are not staying with the fathers, and said fathers are not supporting the kids; (b) to fix this, child support was started, or upped.  However, because said collection sucks, we will now: (c) divert money from directly (government dole) supporting single mothers to re-engaging single fathers, including those that have been in prison for, either nonpayment, or other serious crimes, such as assault and battery, or worse (worse? well, see yesterday’s post).   This is supposed to help all involved — the Dads, the kids, and the public deficit.  

OK, I think I just flogged Balaam’s ass long enough on this point.  Here’s the hard data, the angel in the road with drawn sword, as it were.  (FYI, for the uninitiated, Balaam was a crooked prophet.  He prophesied for pay and went panting after it.  His bad behavior in the Bible’s Old Testament makes mention in the New (as an example of prophesying for pay).

I hadn’t intended the comparison to our family law system’s paraprofessionals, but I’ll let the serendipity resemblance sit.

Are they working, these policies?

(Also, related, is our current President changing THOSE policies?)

Well, I looked yesterday at a site called “USAspending.gov” and saw that, in order, the top three 2008 expenditures of the Federal government are, in order:  Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), Dept of Education, Dept. of Transportation. (see interactive map) Together in one year these comprised respectively  54%, 18% and 9%–rounded.  Do your mental math (if you did NOT come up through the US public school system in recent decades, chances are better that you can do this.  Or, if you’re poor, and are must stretch pennies to eat, stay housed, and get to and from work, assuming you have work).  This is about 81% or MOST of the pie.

 Considering 2000-2009 overall, the top three federal department expenditures were:

Dept. of HHS (30.5%), Homeland Security (26.4%), and SSA (25.0%).  To get the impact, also click on the “switch to dollars” link above.  Please review this! (skip the rest of the post, if need be!)  Overall (2000-2009) the Dept. of Ed. is suffering, at a merely 3.68% or $532. 188.  Did I say, Billion dollars?

It seems clear to me that we (this IS still government of the people, by the people, and for the people, right? (I may have even got the prepositions wrong, but at least I know what a preposition is, as well as preposterous PROpositions, and I don’t mean the stranger that has been trying to talk to me for three days here, failing to get my nonverbal “buzz off” and  my verbal “I don’t want to talk to you” messages to date.)  . . . 

It seems clear to me that “we” are dedicating 30 cents out of every dollar to studying ourselves, another 26 cents spying on ourselves, in part to answer why we let hijackers fly planes into the Twin Towers, demolishing both of them and killing thousands — and into the Dept. of Defense headquarters, taking a chunk out of it also (9/11/2001), and another 25 cents financially supporting adults who can’t or don’t support themselves & kids in poor households.  (note these are not 100% female-headed households, FYI), perhaps because?  the 3 cents we spent educating them, resulting in some of the dads being in prison or unable to work, or uninvolved with the family.  

Or possibly?, because of prior social engineering in the schools that kept kids so under-engaged in creative activities that sex was the best they could come up with, and violence.  When this happens, of course it’s still not the government’s fault from prior generations (of schooling or social engineering), but the parents.  This is the direct consequence of unmonitored government Of, BY, and FOR “the people,” a perceptual divide where WE (the people) farm out most of our vital force and dollars, trusting THEM (the elite, informed specialists) to steward OUR (or our parents’) money wisely, without OUR oversight.  Well, that’s bright, and perhaps a value system we learned under the 3cents worth.   Thats my two bits’ worth.  (FYI, that’s $0.025, and not $0.02).

I am a subject of some of these socially re-tooling society programs, and as such shouldn’t really have a voice.  Plus, I didnt’ graduate in a School of Behavioral Health, nor am I a Harvard psychiatrist.  However, my two-bit thinking thinks that if the Dept. of Education with its 30% had done its job right,  could teach the kids, while they’re growing up, about how to stay together as a family, at least as well they have been taught about how NOT to have one, or how to unburden one’s womb of an unwanted pregnancy (possibly gotten from some of the healthy-marriage-promoting relationships one developed while at school, and Mom at work).  

Perhaps the school environment could have itself modeled a healthy family environment — not the kind with 26 children, close in age to each other, and a rapidly changing assortment of parental figures (some of them molesting kids, others superb, some of them last-minute substitutes who don’t really know the children, for when the main teacher got stressed out or sick, or quit) going in and out of a kids’ lives and trying to keep them all entertained and engaged in learning. 

I mean, come to think of it, if we are going to teach kids how to have healthy marriages and families, if No Child is to be Left Behind, then perhaps the one-room schoolhouse with the teachers actually living with the families served, even rotating from house to house (what a commitment!) might be a slightly better model, than being taught by strangers.

(Could we safely say that apart from immigration as adults or halfway through K-12, and private, parochial or other religious, and homeschooling educational scenarios, MOST of the U.S. populace has come through this system, created in the late 1800s).  Now what has happened in “family law” is that another department, the Justice Dept. — which funding is far lower (see USAspending.gov) has become a remedial, therapeutic, educational institutional form of jurisprudence (see my post on this).  Perhaps, sooner or later, the entire US populace can receive employment, paid by taxes it pays itself, in studying itself.  Believe me, I have considered this alternate form of employment, once I learned who is being paid what to study what under the HHS / ACF department responding promptly and expensively to the Presidential Directive below.

Given the current economic situation and tenor of the news, how would you say this government by the people, of the people, and for the people is doing?  


I’ll let that question hang over the shadow of the last set of family wipeouts, or the little girl found in a suitcase at the bottom of an irrigation pond, last month.  I am today going to apply for Food Stamps for the first time in 9 years, and only second time in my life.  THe only reason I would do so is that attempts to enforce child support, create a safety zone (from prior violent husband) in which to safely and non-traumatizedly work, and to raise children while fighting constantly in the family court arena, AFTER  my non-welfare-receiving family was just about solvent and, apart from the thunderstorm brewing (because I was doing things that supposedly single mothers couldn’t do — and was told as much, in writing, by someone who didn’t notice, I guess, what I did while living in an intact household with an abuser).  Bus lines are being cut (my car is gone, as well as kids, as well as prior profession), and as much as I hate to go one more round with the government THIS decade, it seems a better use of my days to spend one applying for a little piece of plastic that will produce food, than hoofing it around on the buses to bring it back again.  That routine (as well as my body) is getting old.



Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

April 24, 2009 at 8:03 am

PAS posts: Pro, Con, & Corollaries

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This post will be updated later let’s hope.

This week several states, stupidly, are having “Parental Alienation Awareness Day.”

So I pause from tracking the funding of the “Fatherhood Initiative” and violations of due process in order to attain a government mandate to stop singlehood, I suppose (or is it motherhood?), to address this “Parental Alienation Awareness Day,” and question the thinking behind assigning single days, or months, of awareness  to this and then to that, nationally (or, internationally).  No wonder medicating for ADD & ADHD is big business:  The innocent observer trying nobly to make sense of it all will find his – OR her — brain darting too and fro, or asked to throw dollars at one problem/passion, ignoring the rest, then wonders where all those dollars went.

For a(nother) great example of bureaucratic dollar-throwing, see:

“Sexual predator settles locally”

State pays $30K per month to support twice-convicted child molester released from Atascadero State Hospital 

No, that is NOT a joke, unfortunately.  Meanwhile, at one local charity:  “Demand up, Donations Down, 5 items only.

The purpose of having an “awareness” of something is not a fleeting glance, but an incorporation of that awareness into one’s values, principles, and purposes.  Or, dismissing it.   

“PAA” Day:  I am utterly opposed to this terminology — because of its origins, and how “PAS” is used to divert the public conversation from much, much, more hard topics to face — and these have ugly names, but not nearly as ugly as ignoring them is to the people suffering them.   These topics are as ugly as (but not unrelated to) “Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” which (good planning on the part of PAS folk?) was about six months apart from this new “day.”    As this term is primarily (though  not only) directed against custodial Mothers (in order to help switch custody, or gain more access to children), how silly that one month later, we have “Mother’s Day.”  Yet, nationally the problem supposedly is “fatherlessness” — referring to a state of children, rather than actions taken previously by their parents (Huh?).    So, are you giddy yet?  No wonder the year starts out with the month of January, after the god “Janus,” looking two ways.  

Today I choose to post links to these ugly-content, hard-to-stomach topics, and to (again) talk about them.  The $30K/month link above I found from “lostinlimaohio” which blog somehow came up when I was tracking down why a judge placed a gag order on the Huckaby/Cantu case.  In that case, also a judge has (inexplicably) recused himself, and I heard that the DA had issued charges before he had either the coroner’s report OR reports or recordings from the 5-hour long interrogation leading to Ms. Huckaby’s arrest, without bail.  8-year-old Young Miss Cantu is physically GONE, she herself no longer has a future, but 28-year-old Ms. Huckaby is on trial for her life, without bail, and after sensational, high-profile, nationwide (at least) media coverage because of the horror of the accusation & crime (especially for a Sunday school teacher, female).  Anomalies caught my eye that I started (reluctantly — I’m busy!) following this.  Because it’s about confidence in the prosecutorial process, and due process, and more.  If  you want my input on that so far (and I may be wrong), post and I’ll reply.  Then they gagged it!

One upside of pursuing these topics is you run across other information and insights; and if life is not about insight so that we can live reasonably upright and effective lives, what is it about?

Anyhow,  I had no major persistent troubles with the seamy side of life (even after being mugged twice, without physical harm, and despite living in some dangerous urban areas), this side of life arose through and as a direct consequence of who I married, and who have had to deal with since attempting to separate.  Since the seamy side of life bit me pretty hard in the butt (and people associated with me, and related to), it bears addressing.  One of the most valuable lessons I learned is that some of the less seamy “characters” don’t look it on the outside.  If anything, they are in positions of policymaking, and good at dominating conversations, and people.

Meanwhile Mr. or Ms. lostinlimaohio appears to think like me.  And (I believe) posted under the title “Wouldn’t Prison Be Cheaper?” an article on the $30,000 state support of this middle-aged man:

Rasmuson’s first conviction for child molestation came in 1981 when a Santa Barbara [CA] court found him guilty of raping an 11-year-old boy. He was sentenced to state prison and conditionally released in 1985.  [Four years only?? see: 

25 yrs for a cat, 8 for a little girlIn 1987, Rasmuson was arrested again, this time for the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 3-year-old child, who was reportedly later found naked and abandoned in the Los Angeles foothills.

In other words, I think a little screw-up happened judicially, somewhere, or were the prisons just too crowded?  As usual, when government screws up, everyone pays, not just emotionally, and family-wide, but also through the nose, which is why the NEXT quote, I put in red, which this state (and nation) currently is, deeply.  

According to his neighbors, Rasmuson is living in a mobile home on the fenced acreage while repairs are being made to the house he’s renting on the land. Though the 47-year-old is employed, Rasmuson is still paying the state back for previous care and financial support, meaning taxpayers are also footing the $4,500 monthly rent on the $1.5 million property. In addition, according to the state’s Department of Mental Health, there’s an $800 daily expense for the court-ordered security detail assigned to protect him—for his safety and that of his neighbors. The current set-up is costing taxpayers close 
to $30,000 a month from the state’s general funds. 

Rasmuson won his freedom in 2007 on an appeal, after the courts initially denied his release from Atascadero State Hospital. Under the terms of release set forth in “Jessica’s Law,” Rasmuson is required be monitored by Global Positioning Satellite at all times and must live more than 2,000 feet away from a school or park where children congregate.

Do you know how abundantly I could (have) provided on that salary for my children, and me, and with $ to spare, had not local entities (who will be repeatedly named, on this blog — at least by function) not chosen, outside of my hearing or input, or even awareness, chosen to interfere with my livelihood with their (communal) It takes a Village to Remove [excuse me, ‘Raise’] a Child “help”? The last time I was in range of this salary, my kids disappeared,  overnight, despite my attempts to avert that virtually predictable event.  

Anyhow, many times, other people have said the thing better already.

I too, have my limits on what I can stomach in a day.  I am already missing my daughters (as every day) and simultaneously grieving the lost time, opportunities for all of us (professional, academic personal), but I think perhaps most of all, that when I went for help to the justice, law enforcement, and nonprofits of my geographic area, and the situation became worse.  ACTUALLY, in seeking to renew a restraining order, a relative? or? a spinoff employee/patron of the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood movement? helped my ex bounce it into family court, a more friendly venue to batterers, where he could better convince a judge of how much he “loved” his children, now (let’s not talk about the prior violence, OK?).  Not only analyzing this past (done, long ago), but doing so looking for how to (THIS time round) handle the present is a full-time occupation, just about.  One balances purpose, energy available, emotional health, statistical probabilities of succeeding in changing status qui (that’s plural, probably not in the correct cast, for you non-Latin folk), etc.  

There are also other issues I follow and things I do in life, many of them.  Like many of the people sponsoring blogs on these issues, in our own lives, the issues are not in “closed” mode, but the problems are ongoing and on-traumatizing also.  This can affect quality of blogging — I know in particular that my copyediting is sub-par, and that the appearance of this blog is less than professional (nevertheless, it is getting some international traffic, I note).  Some days, it’s better to defer to others who have already written, well, on the topic. 


Today, also, another group, Legal Momentum, discusses 15th Anniv. of VAWA…

I am delighted to announce that Legal Momentum, the nation’s oldest legal defense and education fund dedicated to advancing the rights of women and girls, will honor United States Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on April 22 with its Legal Momentum Hero Award at a symposium marking the fifteenth anniversary of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), initiated and championed by then-Senator Joseph Biden. The historic Act was the first comprehensive federal legislative package designed to end violence against women and put the issue on the national agenda….

The event will take place at Georgetown Law Center in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, April 22, 9:15 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  The complete list of speakers is posted on our Web site at: http://www.legalmomentum.org/news-room/press-releases/legal-momentum-to-honor-vice.html


Although seats are not available at this sold-out event, it will be broadcast live via the Web by Georgetown Law Center at this url:  https://www.law.georgetown.edu/webcast/



Randi James responds to a comment on her site called “PAS is real” and suggesting that we (mothers groups, fathers groups) on stopping this.  This is a teaser, the link above has more URLS than the post here I put this exchange in GREEN, for Go Take a Look!, but have not indented.  Therefore, all the (contiguous) green below is all quote:

Robert Gartner has left a new comment on your post “Mothers’ Movements“:

Your blog does an injustice to the non custodial women you mention. Everyone knows that family courts do not get it right all the time. Even those on death row, some of them, are innocent.

PAS is real. If your groups could get past that we might have a way to work together.

Posted by Robert Gartner to Randi James at Apr 22, 2009 12:33:00 PM 

Unfortunately for you and your ilk, I know that “PAS is Real” is a catch phrase you use to target unsuspecting noncustodial mothers and men who have been primary caretakers. I also personally know that you lurk around women’s boards, especial single mothers and abused women, in order to recruit them into your camp. It is an unfair, divisive tactic that fathers supremacists have been using increasingly.

It’s not that they really believe you…they need something to hold on to…something that seems to make sense. Mothers and innocent fathers do not understand the depth of the origination of the term parental alienation syndrome, a history that should not be forgotten or obscured.

Mothers are often the target of abusive husbands/fathers in relationships where the children have been taught to hate the mother, often taking the abuser’s side because of the perception of power that he has. This is trauma bonding through the use of maternal deprivation:

Maternal Deprivation, or Motherlessness, is occurring with alarming frequency due to the unethical treatment of women and children in family court. Maternal Deprivation is inflicting abuse by severing the mother-child bond. It is a form of abuse that men inflict on both the mother and children, especially men who claim they are “parentally alienated” from their children when there are complaints of abusive treatment by the father.

 Maternal Deprivation occurs when men seek to keep their children from being raised by their mothers who are the children’s natural caretakers. Some men murder the mothers of their own children. Others seek to sever the maternal bonds by making false allegations of fictitious psychological syndromes in a deliberate effort to change custody and/or keep the child from having contact with their mother when there are legal proceedings. 

Anyone reading old enough to remember the experiment carried out on young monkeys, who were forced to choose between a warm fuzzy (fake) mother and a wire metal, milk-dispensing mother.  Guess which one they chose?  In the earliest years, kids need to be held and hugged (and later on, too!).  I wonder what kind of personnel the new Zero to Five is going to attract to the expanded preschool industry, and who is going to monitor them (and at whose expense)….  


“PAS” doesn’t want to talk about cases like this:


Egregious case, but I provide it because a response to the post links to quotes from Richard Gardner, PAS-front-man (until he committed suicide, now adherents continue to carry the NAMBLA etc. torch in many venues):

I hope he suffers,” said the woman, who has not been identified because she is a sexual abuse victim. “I want him to die in there in jail because that’s what he did to me. He confined me,” the 29-year old daughter said whose assault started when she was just 6 years old.

She said her 48-year-old father, a martial arts instructor, threatened to kill her if she told anyone and kept her a prisoner at home, monitoring her movements using surveillance cameras and delivering fierce beatings during paranoid rages.

As her father was led away in handcuffs, the woman wept quietly and embraced her younger brother, who she said was also a victim of beatings by their father, the Los Angeles Times reported on Saturday.

DNA tests confirmed the daughter’s account, proving that Thibes was both the father and grandfather of her three children. All girls, they are 4, 7 and 11.

. . .

Her father, she said, grew fearful that her brother had told police about abuse at the home and fled to Las Vegas in 2003, taking her and her children. They lived in a motel, where, she said, Thibes told others that she was his girlfriend.

In April 2005, he stabbed her twice in the chest with a 10-inch kitchen knife, police records show. In interviews with police, he described her at various times as his wife, girlfriend or daughter.

The woman said she told hospital workers about the abuse once her father had been arrested and she knew her children were safe in custody.

A comment to THAT post links to a history on Richard Gardner, some of his less “choice” quotes.

CAUTION: some readers, especially survivors of sexual abuse, may find Gardner’s remarks deeply disturbing.  Indeed, we all should.  {{I chose not to post them.  Even the subtitles are offensive. However, they remain as the background and underpinning of “Parental Alienation Awareness Day” and in its tawdry history.  Now, when children (PAS in reverse?) are returned to the abuser, and then no longer bond with the protective parent (generally, not always, the mother), the feeling sure feels like “alienated” from this (case in point) perspective. However, there exist other terms already to address these actions and symptoms of such actions:  kidnapping, brainwashing, Stockholm syndrome, others.   

I think a difficulty arises in labeling something with which one has no personal acquaintance, or accepting this label (insert applicable epithet from other generations or ethnic, religious groups) wholesale.  We cannot farm out our THINKING to the experts for long!  


Quotes By Richard Gardner, the Father of “Parental Alienation Syndrome”

Battered Moms Lose Children To Abusers Blog does not agree with the pervertedly twisted philosophies ofRichard Gardner. The following information was posted at Stop Family Violence and is posted here to demonstrate that the philosophies of this man, such as “Parental Alienation Syndrome” (PAS) are all integrally related to his pro-pedophilia beliefs and misogyny. The whole idea of the theory is to recast disclosures of abuse as “hysterics” by women and children. But even worse, this sick man’s ideas on punishing children by forcing them to remain with their abusers while depriving them of their protectors needs to be denounced by everyone in the world who cares about the safety and well-being of children. For more info on Richard Gardner, see Cincinatti PAS.

So if you support Parental Alienation Syndrome theories, you agree with the theories of a pedophile supporter. 

Richard A. Gardner, M.D., is the creator of the creator and main proponent for the bogus Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) theory. Prior to his suicide, Gardner was an unpaid part-time clinical professor of child psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University . He made his money mainly as a forensic expert. PAS was developed by Dr Richard Gardner in 1985 based on his personal observation, not on scientific study, and on his work as an expert witness often on behalf of fathers accused of molesting their children. Gardner ’s theory of PAS has had a profoundly detrimental effect on how the court systems in our country handle allegations of child sexual abuse, especially during divorce.  Because Gardner ’s PAS theory is based on his clinical observations–not scientific data–it must be understood in the context of his extreme views concerning women, pedophilia and child sexual abuse. We provide Gardner’s views so that people can understand the radical, perverse thinking of the so-called “expert” who invented the bogus theory of PAS that has done so much damage.

NOTE: Stop Family Violence does not agree with the views espoused by Gardner – we find them disgusting, offensive,  and most importantly, they are not correct.  Gardner’s views are based in his own perverse thinking, not in anything scientists know, not in anything our laws condone, and not in anything our culture believes. To be clear – pedophilia is not natural, children do not enjoy, ask for or consent to sexual abuse, and mothers are not to blame if fathers commit such heinous acts against their children.

CAUTION: some readers, especially survivors of sexual abuse, may find Gardner’s remarks deeply disturbing.  Indeed, we all should. 

Read, and Think About This before you sign another PAS petition.  

THEN go to AFCC.net and look at the conference brochures, notice the similarity of terms, and consider:

Would you want your family’s future in the hands of these people?  

If not, then stay married, take more abuse, do something . because on the way out, with children, they are going to be.  Also, do a serious criminal background check before partnering up, and talk to former partners. Consider, they MIGHT be telling the truth. 

. . . And by the way, domestic violence is a clear precursor, sometimes to homelessness (if not death) (or, if not, extended undermployment, and documented health problems.  

Finally, the “lostinlimaohio” blog I discovered today, as I was so disturbed by a recent “gag order” on the Cantu / Huckaby case recently, where an 8 year old was discovered in a suitcase at the bottom of an irrigation pond, and a 28-year-old woman/mother is facing the death penalty or life in prison because of special circumstances.  Several details in this case flagged my attention as not passing muster.  Either my mind can’t conceive of the situation, or my instincts were right.  Either way, the case is now gagged.

I don’t know anything more about this blog than that I think the writing is good, it covers many aspects.

It appears to have more of a criminal focus than some of these others, but as the issues that routinely pass through family court halls many times ARE criminal in nature, but handled as psychological and relationship problems (and shunted off for mind-therapy on how to get along with that violent person you just threw out of your house, legally, because, long ago, or not so long about, one of you impregnated the other, and the female partner did not abort).  

I may need to separate the funding aspects of this blog into another one, but ALL these issues are related, of course.

Have a happy day…  Be “aware” of what you are asked to become aware of.  Pay attention to vocabulary, and who invented some of the jargon.

Same, old Wine on New Whitehouse.gov Website…

with one comment


 -but apparently what changed was the Dream.


I went looking for Former President Clinton’s 1995 Memo to all federal agencies, telling them to within 90 days revamp their programs to incorporate father-friendly-(funding, procedures, etc.), and found a memo, same president, same summer, addressing the 20th anniversary of the Child Support Enforcement Agency.  These are related, folks.

While looking this, I also found a very fine summary of the relationship (and the history of the Father-land Talk) dating back to 2001, which is at the end of this post.  I will add it to the blogroll also.

I’d already looked at the white house agenda and FY2010 proposed budget (see link, top right), seen its token reference to domestic violence, but detailed determination to take children from hospital through age 18 (at least) from the arms of their mothers (while, if necessary medicating their mothers, who are presumed incompetent til proven otherwise, which at this rate, they won’t be given much of a chance….).  I had already in previous weeks/months been (in some shock) looking at the millions and millions of funding for unbelievably gratuitous studies on this theme of Dads Are People Too.  


No one paid me for these studies.  But I’m publishing (here) anyhow.

The problem with a White House drunk on its own collective dreams is that tipsy with power, it has swerved:

The content of the dream changed from 1963.  

“I have a dream” to “we have a dream.”

Well, I have not been dreaming about forcing my version of utopia on the rest of the United States.  I never drank from that trough.  I was focused on the immediate (my family, work, etc.) with a long-view to their future.  

I’m getting tired of the Government as Nanny and Behavioral Interventionist Expert on things its Experts haven’t experienced.  What they are experienced at is obtaining federal funding to promote pet policies, as far a I can tell.

Kind of reminds me how April is “Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” “Child Abuse Awareness Month,” but also in several states across the U.S., I hear, “Parental Alienation Awareness Day” which might be properly re-named “S A N D”, i.e., “Sexual Assault Never Discussed” day, as its origins tie DIRECTLY to the reframing of many, hard-won women’s rights issues, such as not being slapped around in the home, especially not with kids watching.  And there is an overlap between kinds of bad behaviors.

We don’t have “Fatherhood Federally Funded” days, but that seems to be a permanent fixture in the Federal Budget, far more permanent that VAWA funding, or arts in the schools.  Hey, the family that plays (musical instruments), reads, learns, dances or does sports together stays together?  How about that for a federal policy?

At the bottom of this post (you have to scroll past my quotes, comments, and complaints first) is a coherent summary (dating to 2001) of what the ‘fatherhood initiative” is about, really.


But before then, crook your neck at this:


A Book for Men of Conscience

By John Stoltenberg


Now that I have your attention, and before you load any weapons, the Title above is a link to the Harvard Educational Review of it.  I have read this book, and it addresses the mythic thinking that is also behind some of these Fatherhood Fallacies.  In fact, as it’s 1995, the years seems appropriate, too:

“Stoltenberg presents a radical critique of the very concept “manhood,” arguing that it serves no socially desirable function — only hurtful functions that can and should be eliminated from men’s personal identities and social interactions. He presents a provocative alternative to most thinking about men and the problematic aspects of our behavior and identity. He bases his critiques on the claim that “manhood,” in all of its various masculine incarnations, is at odds with, and in fact mutually exclusive of, an authentic sense of “selfhood” — a selfhood necessary for relating to others in just, moral, and non-violating ways. He argues:


This book therefore rejects the widespread notion that “manhood” can be somehow revised and redeemed — the contemporary project variously described as “reconstructing,” “reinventing,” “remythologizing,” “revisioning,” and re-whatevering gendered personal identity so as to bring its hapless adherents back into the human fold. That project is utterly futile, and we all have to give it up, as this book will carefully explain. (p. xiv)

Stoltenberg’s book provides a detailed and complex analysis of gender relations and identity formation around his underlying argument that gender is nothing more than a means of social control that is harmful to individuals, families, and society because the culturally defined ways of “being a man” are generally at odds with intimacy and real interpersonal connection.”

As a heterosexual, male-friendly, but criminal-behavior-antagonistic woman and mother who has been searching for ways to address the language stupidities in many sectors, I really appreciate books like this.  They are a find, a real gem.  Thank you John Stoltenberg.  

It’s not uncommon to find women who have been able to put words to this, but while I’m hear one uncommonly good source is Dr. Phyllis Chesler, and her book “Mothers on Trial” seems to address the issues within the courts as well.  Perhaps these two books, along with “The Batterer As Parent” should be required reading (and in the possession of) the “family justice centers” across the country.  


Anyhow, is the Fatherhood = REAL Family, single-mother households, kindly exit stage left talk, going to change? Are they going to stop penalizing mothers who try to report or leave abuse and do NOT consider themselves ipso facto inferior persons?  Is it going to allow them to set a limit their personal exposure to violence without sacrificing their CHILDREN (and to similar futures)?

Not likely on this watch:  see whitehouse.gov, Agenda, Family:


“…[A]t the dawn of the 21st century we also have a collective responsibility to recommit ourselves to the dream; to strengthen that safety net, put the rungs back on that ladder to the middle-class, and give every family the chance that so many of our parents and grandparents had. This responsibility is one that’s been missing from Washington for far too long — a responsibility I intend to take very seriously as President.”

— Barack Obama, Spartanburg, SC, June 15, 2007


President Obama (and I voted for you), with all due respect, “the dream” above sounds quite different than the one with which I’m more familiar, although I am of different color and gender both.  My DREAM includes, along with seeing my daughters again, and that they understand that they are NOT on this earth to be someone else’s dream, except by their informed consent.

My dream didn’t include being given direction and handouts for me, my daughters, my relationships, and more.  My dream is a day where the words “dream” are not a collective trance, but that individual families can, without retaliation, choose different lifestyles for themselves and their children, and make creative use of existing resources to house, feed, and educate them.  To make a choice to leave a violent situation without having to become permanent welfare, permanently injured, or permanently lose contact with one’s offspring because of one’s gender.

My dream this particular week was to see these young ladies on their school break.  But because someone had coached someone in what venue to continue control and abuse of our family (and them), and break down a safety zone I’d set, they are in a situation where court orders are no longer safely enforceable — safe for them, me, or now an elderly relative also.  And in tracking down where this dream originated, and what it was about (it was NOT about the children, it was about balancing the federal budget.  Talking about children, families, fathers, dreams, and change are simply how funding is released and programs are re-focused.  I do not have a job, a car, a bank account, credit, or contact with my immediate family members.  

This is an artificial situation started that took government interference and squelching of initiative I showed post-marriage, and it was done now I am finding under programs that believe fathers — ANY fathers — are better than no fathers, no matter what the circumstances.  And the belief that single mothers — ANY single mothers (not just ones on welfare) were worse for their children than mothers in two-parent homes, no matter what happens in those homes.

How is this different than judging based on skin-color, please?

Should I quote the other “I have a Dream” speech?  OK…

This dream was about JUSTICE, not about DOLE-OUTS.  As characterized on “USConstitution.net”

In 1950’s America, the equality of man envisioned by the Declaration of Independence was far from a reality. People of color — blacks, Hispanics, Asians — were discriminated against in many ways, both overt and covert. The 1950’s were a turbulent time in America, when racial barriers began to come down due to Supreme Court decisions, like Brown v. Board of Education; and due to an increase in the activism of blacks, fighting for equal rights.

Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister, was a driving force in the push for racial equality in the 1950’s and the 1960’s. In 1963, King and his staff focused on Birmingham, Alabama. They marched and protested non-violently, raising the ire of local officials who sicced water cannon and police dogs on the marchers, whose ranks included teenagers and children. The bad publicity and break-down of business forced the white leaders of Birmingham to concede to some anti-segregation demands.

Thrust into the national spotlight in Birmingham, where he was arrested and jailed, King helped organize a massive march on Washington, DC, on August 28, 1963. His partners in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom included other religious leaders, labor leaders, and black organizers. The assembled masses marched down the Washington Mall from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, heard songs from Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, and heard speeches by actor Charlton Heston, NAACP president Roy Wilkins, and future U.S. Representative from Georgia John Lewis.

King’s appearance was the last of the event; the closing speech was carried live on major television networks. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, King evoked the name of Lincoln in his “I Have a Dream” speech, which is credited with mobilizing supporters of desegregation and prompted the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The next year, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

The following is the exact text of the spoken speech, transcribed from recordings.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

Martin Luther King, Jr., delivering his 'I Have a Dream' speech from the steps of Lincoln Memorial. (photo: National Park Service)In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.


So, President Obama, regarding “Agenda,” I never lost sight of that dream.  I am old enough to remember both it, MLK, JFK, RFK, and was raised on the musicians mentioned above.  I have also spent much of my life working in “multi-cultural” situations before the word was invented.  I attended the first college in the United States to admit blacks OR women (Oberlin College, Ohio) and from it, took a year to work in your stomping ground (meaning Chicago, South Side) in music, and continued working along these lines for many years.

Although I worked with choirs, my dream was not to force everyone to.  Although we also homeschooled, my dream at this point is not to force everyone to.  Although I am a Christian (although challenged in this with the treatment of battered women in that faith, as well as in others), I am not trying to convert everyone else, but simply walk the talk.  And although I had children, I am not trying to raise everyone else’s.  Although I didn’t have seven, or even four children, I have known terrific families with seven or nine kids that do very well.  Mom and Dad work it out one way or another.  We had one family that lost a father to cancer; the whole group pulled together and cooked meals for them, helped with rides, they supported that woman and children through her grief in a wonderful way.

Moreover, when my ex-husband escalated his aggressions towards me and continued to knock out jobs, and systematically withhold child support, some of these individuals stepped in to help our household as well.  

Even in the field of music, the trend nowadays is towards dynamic, small ensembles in a variety of styles, that can really pull out the best, as community choirs still continue (though fiscally challenged).  So why are we doing the one size fits all family, please?  As I formerly made a living for organizations putting back into schools what government took out, and I thereafter made a very decent living (when permitted to) for a combination of these groups and parents that had opted out of the system, why cannot you envision that something NOT regulated by the federal government and under the age of 18, just MIGHT be OK if left alone?

We are individuals, and have individual dreams.  I see that the tax burden on us to execute YOUR administration’s dreams is not going to permit this, apparently, any longer.  The dream has changed.  Again, let’s compare:


When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Will Smith, the PURSUIT of HAPPYNESS, remember?  This movie was about his pursuing and reaching, his goal, overcoming obstacles, and showing incredible tenacity and diligence to reach it, with his son.  He went from sleeping in the subway to successful stock broker, right?  The movie was about the PURSUIT of happiness.

The “I have a Dream” speech, here, talks about the “bank of justice,” not the “bank!”  It’s a metphor…

Where is the Federal Funding to stop the erosion of due procees in the family courts?  Laws are already on the books to protect women and children from abuse, and men, but these are being systematically ignored, to the destruction of their personal economies, mental health, stability, and at time, lives.

Now, the people for whom THAT dream (of opportunity equallity, and justice) is most important to me in 2009 are my immediate family and others I have become acquainted with since seeking to safely disengage from violence in the home, and failing to find this supported in the Family Court venue, at all.  Or in related arenas.  

I do not share the “dream” of enforcing my lifestyle nationwide, or endorsing funding for federal funds to study compare two-parent families with violence (etc.) vs. single-mother households without it; or of women working 9 to 5 with their children in child care and day care, ( if things continue as stated on your new Agenda, this would be ages 0 to 18) [Compartmentalized thinking, some of which i believe is a holdover from the manufacturing age, assembly-line production of a populace) over holding, cuddling, and nursing children longer, and engaging in competent homeschooling and, what often goes along with this, increased local community involvement.  I do not share a dream of putting violent and abusive (and unrepentant about it) fathers back with the people individuals they have abused in order to balance a corporate budget.  

Prior to marriage, I was also acting my dream, in service to nonprofits in urban areas, and I worked with children, youth and adults.  During marriage, this put on hold (many years) as an attempt was made to reprogram me about WHO I WAS and WHAT CHOICES I COULD MAKE.  WHAT THINGS I COULD PROVIDE FOR OUR DAUGHTERS.

After marriage, I resumed the original plan, only with children, who were not a burden to be farmed out, dumped off, or federally cared for in order that I could pursue work I wasn’t on this planet to do.  Rather, being an individual, and using what talents and education I already and had obtained, and with diligence and consistent effort, I resumed contributing to the communities around me, in the same field I’d attended a top U.S. college and been trained for since little, but adjusted which type of work I assumed to my children’s lives. There was a return of joy to my life, and I imagine it was noticeable.  “Do what you love and the money will follow” happens to have some merit to it, sometimes, because PASSION is involved, and commitment.

The sole cause of my need to return for enforcement of child support orders was interferences, repeated and escalating, in this pattern of re-engaging and making decisions independently of the father.  ALL of this took place primarily when our legal case went into family court.  I was legally forced back into a lifestyle already proven to lead to insolvency.  Repeated often enough and severely enough and for long enough, insolvency gets there.  Now I’m occasionally hungry, but that beats being beat, still.

Here’s the “Family” agenda:


Obama will make college affordable, reform our bankruptcy and credit card laws, protect the balance between work and family, and put a secure and dignified retirement within the reach of all Americans. President Obama has been a strong advocate for working people throughout his public life, and he will stand up to special interests and bring America together to reclaim the American dream.

Support Working Families

(Pause to acknowledge that mothers raising their children — without referring too much to bodily function, including “Labor,” I would like to point out that this IS work, which seems to have been forgotten somewhere in the list of topics here).  Under this topic, you have 10 bullets of agenda, and detailed plans.

Strengthen Families at Home

(pause to acknowledge that under this topic you have only 2 bullets)

Of these two bullets the first one is the same old same old (only probably MORE of it) “Fatherhood and Families”

and the second one which addresses your belief that teen mothers need more in-home visitation).

Therefore I presume that intelligent, lifelong-working, law-abiding, educated mothers (like me) whose work per se allows flexibility, and who chose not to buy into the one-size-fits all education OR the one-size-fits all definition of marriage, OR the one-size-fits all definition of employment, do not exist.  Nor do the women, such as Shirley Riggs, who at last count, was sitting in a jail because she, understanding (as do I, now) that no law enforcement or court agency was going to protect her four children from being sexually abused by their father and grandfather, which apparently had been established, and she FLED.  Or, women such as Holly Collins, who had to flee the United States with her kids for safety, or women such as are now in other more permament underground boxes, because they stood up for their civil rights, too, and for their kids.  They were mothers too, and they went to court for help.  

They didn’t need behavioral modification, they needed protection.  They had dreams, too, that they wouldn’t be denied due process because of their gendcr, or because they didn’t choose a wise partner.


ANYHOW, Trish Wilson, in this link, addresses, why not just stick with the welfare and allow women to BE single?

Now, I find that not only is CHANGE.GOV not changing the mixture of messages about this situation, but it is pretty darn similar to what was going on under Clinton and Bush as well.  We want “healthy families” and “involved fathers.”  Well so, sirs, did I.  Unfortunately, this was not available with both of us living at the same address.

At this point, I do not appreciate expert professionals  with VERY cushy government funding — in some cases whole institutes have been founded on this matter — who have not EXPERIENCED the direct economic, and physical/emotional impact of getting free from violence to be dragged back in through family court, until ones’ kids have just about aged out of the system and onesself has aged out of, just about, employability — I do not appreciate having my first-hand assessment of these matters challenged by people I cannot look in the eye and tell them where different parts of their anatomy are currently residing (metaphorically), or advising them how to put them there.  

I do not personally appreciate being the subject matter funding someone else’s research without my informed consent.  The only reason I am now informed is that a generous neighbor helped me get a laptop.  No charity or organization did that although I sought them there.  The laptop enables internet access.  The internet access enables job searches, communications, and networking, something women are good at as well as men.  It also enables a degree of research.

Until you’ve taken the time to study (or been personally thwacked by this policy), certain phrases will have a pleasant, noble ring to them.  On the other side off familycourtmatters as promoted by a desire to reduce welfare, and justified also by the child support agency carapaces getting harder and harder towards the people they are supposed to serve (I spent about 2 years trying to penetrate my local one, during which 2 years my kids were stolen.  To date they have not served him with a seek work order to my knowledge, and as usual are not collecting arrears either before or after that event, despite a substantial arrearage, still.  We recently went statewide as to distribution, and I have given up on translating the new, improved, computer system.) 

Consequence:  Stalemate.  If I am served with a child support order, I cannot pay — the process just put me out on the street almost, besides which I would simply point to what I am presently owed (in the thousands, naturally) and say, “take it off that.”  Who is hurt with this?  Primarily our children, but not only them..)  Worse:  If I serve a contempt order, I do not know the risk level, but I would assess it as high on the lethality scale.  Thank you, “Fatherhood and Family” corporate trancemakers.

Strengthen Fatherhood and Families: 

Barack Obama has re-introduced the Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act to remove some of the government penalties on married families, crack down on men avoiding child support payments, ensure that support payments go to families instead of state bureaucracies, fund support services for fathers and their families, and support domestic violence prevention efforts. President Obama will sign this bill into law and continue to implement innovative measures to strengthen families.


The parts I just italicized, above, in this context pretty much qualify as lies.  In practice what happens, I would qualify as lies.

What happens is that federally funded outreach (through child support payment offices many times, or family courts) endorsed by federally funded studies, make plea-bargains to reduce child support arrears in exchange for more visitation time wiht the kids, and COACH them how to do this.  On the way, (3rd italicized phrases), lots of people get referral work around the psychological evaluation of why Suzy doesn’t want to visit Daddy this weekend, or why Mommy is looking so distraught in court, or right after a visitation.  This is inherent in the design of the program, and in its conception too.  The reason I now have time to research this is that, through no crime except ignorance of how these things operate, I have been now unemployed for the longest time in my entire adult life, and I can document (in this particular case) that “the economy” had nothing to do with it.  At all.

read about it below.  The title of the link is a clue to the contents.  This was in 2001, and not much has changed since.

RE: Responsible Fatherhood, Child Support Enforcement, Preventing Violence Against Women, Healthy Marriages




I am now promoting a self-initiative (not federally funded) to speak about this and I advise women leaving abuse to AVOID the child support system if at all possible.  There is a better way to get free, if only the well-intentioned government would leave us alone (as they did during the violence, many times) to let us figure it out.  This is not the manner of government, however, and never has been.  


When it comes to Women:


Preventing Violence Against Women

  • Reducing Domestic Violence: One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Family violence accounted for 11 percent of all violence between 1998 and 2002. As a member of the Senate, President Obama introduced legislation to combat domestic violence by providing $25 million a year for partnerships between domestic violence prevention organizations and Fatherhood or Marriage programs to train staff in domestic violence services, provide services to families affected by domestic violence, and to develop best practices in domestic violence prevention.


These same partnerships have been diluting the protections we so needed.  I have seen it happen over the almost two decades I have been personally dealing with these issues.  I oppose such partnerships as fundamentally dishonest.

Let me see where a non-teen mother might be able to participate in mothering her child:

Early Childhood Education


  • Zero to Five Plan: The Obama-Biden comprehensive “Zero to Five” plan will provide critical support to young children and their parents. Unlike other early childhood education plans, the Obama-Biden plan places key emphasis at early care and education for infants, which is essential for children to be ready to enter kindergarten. Obama and Biden will create Early Learning Challenge Grants to promote state Zero to Five efforts and help states move toward voluntary, universal pre-school.


It is a short step from voluntary to compulsory, and the end of breastfeeding and other age-old healthy practices (like bonding with one’s parents)  as we understand them.  And I personally never had such a LOW goal for my kids as to be “ready to enter kindergarten.”  Both were reading easily before then, and when they got there, were coloring in large letters and doing other obviously busywork designed to handle large groups of children at once.  Most homeschooling Moms I dealt with reported similar experiences.  I have taught many kindergartners and younger over decades.  They are fun.  However, I conclude that most of them belong with their Mommies a little longer.  This is good for Mom and children both.  


  • Expand Early Head Start and Head Start: Obama and Biden will quadruple Early Head Start, increase Head Start funding, and improve quality for both.
  • Provide affordable, High-Quality Child Care: Obama and Biden will also increase access to affordable and high-quality child care to ease the burden on working families.


It seems clear to me that as mothers “pro-choice” does not include opting out of some of these expensive systems any more than out of a very violent marriage without forking over the kids to either a government program, or the Dad.

Please count me out of this corporate dream.  I want my own back, and this type of group-think off my back, and out of my “neck of the woods.”  It frightens me to wonder where the sound-thinking individuals are going to be found, in coming dccades. 


More Acronyms: HHS – OWH (Office of Women’s Health)

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(See link:)


There is a lot of talk about Responsible Fatherhood, Healthy Marriage, and the Administration for Children and Families.

These are all valid nouns.  But where is the missing gender?

Fathers, Marriages, Children, and Families. Great causes – but did you notice who ain’t there?  Where is the word “mother”?

I know where the word “woman” is (see this department), but what about mothers?

Think about it — children come in boys, or girls.  Occasionally there is a switch in that.  Marriages — except in (where is it, Vermont, Iowa?) can be two men or two women, but generally speaking, women are in there somewhere.

I’ve been poking around the operational divisions of the HHS also, Now, I realize that “TANF” (welfare) represents mothers where and when, as of divorce (or separation in a relationship), the children are with the mothers.  But, the word has lost its presence.  It’s as though we don’t exist, as such.  We are compartmentalized into heads of households, or noncustodial/custodial, or parental alienators, or  — good grief, it IS possible to be both a woman and a mother, or a professional something and a mother.  Or a wife and a mother.  One would think.  


Pause to Squawk About This a Bit . . . .

Apart from cloning, or any other version of fabricating a Cyperperson, when it comes to PEOPLE, at last count, does this not still requires (1) an egg and (2) at least one sperm? 

Whether that egg comes from an egg donor, or is removed, fertilized and replaced, or fertilized and then put in a surrogate mother  (put ingredients in pot, add heat, simmer til done) coming up with a family entails making children, requires a woman. Therefore becoming a responsible or irresponsible father STILL requires a woman’s participation (willing or unwilling) somewhere along the way.  Part of her, even if only and egg, has to contribute, and in order for part of her to contribute, SOMETHING has to go into, and then come out of her body.  Willingly or unwillingly, as we know (willingly being the best, of course).  And as to those little squigglers, it’s simpler and less invasive to get them out than it is to get an egg out.  Even when the destination is cold storage, generally speaking, I don’t think words like “extraction” or tools designed to do this are required.     Also, timewise, it takes less to start a baby than gestate one.  Women Count.  Women who provide eggs, or incubate them, are at least minimally “mothers” whether or not the procedures preceding this were.  So how come we can’t spend a few seconds, or have some HHS hyperlinks — which we know relates to public funding, policies and grants — pronouncing this word:

                                                  ~ ~Mother ~ ~

If we are going to allocate millions, hundreds of millions or in the case of Head Start (for children, right), Billions, to study and improve all these things, let’s get real at least about the cast, script, characters involved.  They aren’t Moms, they are “teen pregnancies.”   In the courts, also, it’s a “parenting” plan.  Trace the etymology of that word.  Similarloy, we (Moms, custodial or noncustodial) are so often not “mothers” but either “females” or “parents.”   We are “women” (and it’s true), but many of us — and every one of the children in the families, marriages, and households, etc., came out of someone’s womb.  That is the biological, at least anatomical, definition of “mother.”  

So, as a woman whose pregnancies were full-term, intended, and births that produced very healthy children, although the family, which had violence in it, was by that definition, NOT, I still was there and present.  For the majority of the “rigid gender role” marriage, I was often called by my functional name in front of others, not my given name (not including the other, less flattering ones).  Then I divorced, and became a “single parent” (not mother) at which the advice-givers and policy-makers moved in, as though as by filing something in court, and then beginning the clean-up, rebuild, repair process, I somehow became a child again and directionless.  In my 40s..

This vocabulary shift was something I didn’t envision in my 20s, in college, or in my 30s, in a variety of work and cities (and college again), or 40s (in marriage).  Why didn’t I know? that if my marriage didn’t pan out, my children would become public property and my life would become a free-for-all for family members with time on their hands or government policies with funded professionals and endowments.  Whoa, baby!  And the experience is common, I eventually found out.  

So, where is the word “MOTHER” when it comes to grants, fundings, centers for research, and government intentions about healthy families?  You don’t GET to family without mother.  We should at least make a passing mention, other than in documentation about how the major health crisis of our time is “fatherlessness” (in effect, Moms are again taking the rap, but don’t get a mention).

Seriously, one hallmark of the times is the absence of the word MOTHERS when it comes to these major grants. WOMEN occurs frequently.  Sometimes I feel the pools of discussion around this are muddied by lumping mothers in with the mix.  

Now that I have that off my chest, I do get email on Women’s Healthy Policies.  Today, I decided to poke around and see what was up regarding the issue of Violence, and if there was anything that addressed this problem in the family courts, custody switching, and putting kids in the hands of abusers, or child-stealing by either such abusers, or such parents to avoid abuse (male or female).

This only fair, because I am about to make a serious fuss about the “Fatherhood” funding and publicize (from publically available websites) just WHAT is being funded.

Why:  Policymakers engage Funding engages Research (helping to perpetuate the funding) which promotes Policies.

This may affect whether a child in a “fatherless” family gets a support check this month.  Pursuing the support check, on the behalf of the custodial MOTHERs has been proven dangerous to her, and/or her children’s life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.  It may result ina  custody switch.  It may result in a weekend snatch, or may result in a family wipe out.  Or it may NOT result in any of the above, but the fear of them may color the waking week, and curtail options, when there has been a pattern of either violence or retaliation.  Challenging authority is dangerous.  

Asking the government to fund studies of this is similar to asking scientists to do studies on their peers, and to do it consistently, thoroughly, and honestly.  I’m NOT sure it’s going to happen.

BUT, today, I felt that we should look at this office too, and its funding (if possible), and whether it addresses these issues.  My hypothesis is that failure to talk about mothers is a failure to realize the aspects of being one when it comes to research priorities, at least these days.  

OWH was founded in 1991.  Congratulations, United States of America, you recognized that women are anatomically different then men, which may affect our health issues.

O W H Logo






OWH Mission

The Office on Women’s Health (OWH) was established in 1991 within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Its Vision is to ensure that “All Women and Girls are Healthier and Have a Better Sense of Well Being.” Its mission is to “provide leadership to promote health equity for women and girls through sex/gender-specific approaches.” The strategy OWH uses to achieve its mission and vision is through the (A) development of innovative programs, (B) by educating health professionals, and (C) motivating behavior change in consumers through the dissemination of health information. 

{{There’s that pesky “behavioral change-ism.”  As I have been saying, “government” is basically, behavioral modification, at this point.  That’s why I posted about the Age of Spiritual Machines.  We have a bit of role confusion here, I think.}}

{{Establishment in 1991.  That event will have an interesting history, I am sure.  No, placing this department within the US DHHS is interesting, because some of these other DHHS programs are most definitely contrary to the “women’s health,” in practice.}}  

{{ensuring that ALL women & girls are healthier and have a better sense of well being”  sounds very noble; it is grand in scope.  I am touched to find out that an organization I did not know existed for many many years (my DV within marriage began n 1992, and no real consistent internet access til about 1996, and that at work).  In this context, not getting assaulted, battered, isolated, degraded, and such things would’ve done quite well for my “sense of well being,” and what’s more, to know and ensure that the children I brought into this world (yes, with participatory help of a man) wouldn’t be either.

In that regard, the aspects of the HHS programs which, in an equally well-intentioned (for theory we can presume this) intent to make responsible fathers and healthy children (ACTUALLY, the intent was to enforce child support, and reduce embarrassing deficits in that regard) in helping increase access for fathers in HOPES that this would persuade them to pay up, OR, in EXCHANGE for reduced child support obligations and arrears — that does NOT increase the sense of well being of children when it comes to their understanding they are not cash cows.  

In general, I don’t think that this department or any other should be assuming godlike functions, but place an inhibitory restraint on the, if I may be flippant, the more devilish ones, such as hitting, stealing, stalking, killing, threatening, or general irresonsible behavior.

I have been thinking these thoughts in the “down time” I had (under-employment, case stalled, children absent) and in desire to utilize the next decade of life a little more wisely than the last.  I have noticed the proliferation of human behavioral studies across the land, and it frightens me. I have also come to understand, locally, better, WHY some of these institutions were inappropriate for battered mothers with children to approach at all.  I wish to find out if there is an alternative for the next generations.

Humanity is dynamic, interactive, sensitive and responsive to its environments.  Some of the thrills and delights of human achievement include mastering danger, averting crises or surviving them, and creating.  Contributing.  And among these are raising healthy children.

NOT among these is delegating the raising of these children to corporations, institutions, or governmental policy and then, in one’s “spare” time (between jobs) attempting to be heard by those institutions, corporations, or governments.  

Many of us (mothers) it seems have passions and callings that relate to our professions, but many, many professions are NOT incompatible with child-rearing.  Mine wasn’t — I taught, self-employed, and at a higher wage than secretarial.  But if I was going to engage in ANYthing governmental, that was going to be the mindset.  that was the mindset even of my own family, who ought to have known better, given their college training.  In fact, the family members that gave me the most difficult had come through this same governmental process, absent, I suppose other softening or sensitizing exposures.  Who knows?  

I had a joy in my work and in relationships with the children, and not a smother-type one either.  

That is less measurable, and will create fewer research centers at universities, therefore, it was going to be an either/or.  If I was to get governmental help, I WAS going to have a standardized lifestyle, or be punished for it.  

The word “interdisciplinary” has to apply to all of us, not just to experts studying how to do something they wish done.

It is not any office’s sense to give me a Sense of well-being.  It is their responsibility to stay out of my way in the process of my obtaining it, by legal means, creatively, and non-violently.  Once the violence, intereference, and illegal behavior has occurred, then there are institutions supposed to do something about THAT.  ALL of these institutions are to be monitored by citizens, populations.  If we are too busy in traffic jams, or waiting in line at a fast food restaurant, OR longer lines at the General Assistance, Child Support Enforcement, or other bureaurcracies, we cannot do this.

Boxing up people’s schedules also affects their thinking.  We must learn to think OUTSIDE the boxes, and take a look at the ways our own lives got so boxed out.  I write this in a GORGEOUS spring day, just under 10 years after I filed a domestic violence restraining order with kickout, a procdure, though frightening, I recall had also a sense of peace to it.  As the marriage ceremony publicized a (supposed) mutual commitment to pursue a private love, and relationship, and probably family, so this legal action to me publically acknowledged the truth of what this had become over time:  that violence was present, and that restraint and kickout was needed because SAFETY was an issue.  

There is always a certain peace to truth, even uncomfortable ones.  It is the lies and presumptions, acted on, that hurt the most.   When it comes to things entailing millions of dollars and the rights to decide how these are spent, it is important that the concepts be realistic, and relevant, and that we get to look into the verbal boxes.  Boxes are not bad, per se, but as anyone who has moved before knows, there are times to rearrange the furniture, look into storage, and sometimes to repack the stuff.  In the repacking and reshuffling (demographically, etc.) of the last few decades of the 20th century, and the first of this one, the word “mother” has become something of a dirty word, when acted on in a different way than our government determines to be in “everyone’s” best interests . Such is the nature of largeness.

I am glad to hear of this department of the HHS  — in dealing with DV, I had mostly looked to the justice arm of things, and sought nonprofit help.  So this should be interesting, to see how it operates.  Thank God someone figured out that HRT increased cancer risks, and that progesterone exists.  Hysterectomies (in generally, women get medicated and cut too often, I mean within the institutions, not in their homes here), that perhaps relates to the general “hysteria,” and I don’t mean by the women.  But perhaps progress is being made.}}

History of OWH

The Office on Women’s Health (OWH) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was established in 1991 to improve the health of American women by advancing and coordinating a comprehensive women’s health agenda throughout the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to address health care prevention and service delivery, research, public and health care professional education, and career advancement for women in the health professions and in scientific careers. The Office also works with numerous government agencies, non-profit organizations, consumer groups, and associations of health care professionals. During the early part of this decade, the OWH focused on developing women’s health as a specialized issue for government action and attention. With women’s health now firmly rooted in the national health landscape, the OWH is focusing on women’s health priorities to meet the sweeping demographic trends of the next century and to focus on the millions of underserved women in America.

Functions of OWH

The Office on Women’s Health (OWH) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is the government’s champion and focal point for women’s health issues. OWH works to redress inequities in research, health care services, and education that have historically placed the health of women at risk. The Office on Women’s Health (OWH) promotes women’s health through its four basic functions.

  1. Coordinating and Promoting Collaborations among DHHS Agencies and Offices: OWH serves as the coordinating office for women’s health initiatives across the agencies of HHS, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other agencies and offices.
  2. Providing Information on Research, Prevention and Services to Assist Decision-Makers: OWH convenes and consults with federal departments, the scientific community, professional organizations, and consumer groups to support and advance women’s health.
  3. Identifying, Developing and Supporting Model Programs and Innovations in Women’s Health: OWH promotes the development and implementation of model initiatives in academic centers and communities all over the United States to address the health needs of women across different ages, cultures, races, and ethnic groups, including delivery of care to women and education of health care practitioners about women’s health.
  4. Educating Health and Wellness Professionals and Consumers: OWH promotes comprehensive health services for women across their lifespan. OWH also supports the development and use of culturally appropriate practices in medical education and research, so all individuals and communities benefit. Through its efforts, OWH brings reliable information on hundreds of health topics to women in every region of America. It also helps consumers, associations, and organizations voice their ideas about the federal government’s policies on women’s health.


The next steps are to look at this TAGGS system and find out what’s going on, to investigate whether this department is aware of the crises in the family courts, and whether any institutions are continuing to acknowledge, health-wise, what at least one major CDC/Kaiser study did a LONG time ago, in the “Adverse Childhood Events” study:


My friends, the study was done in 1985.  This newsletter dates to 2003.  It is substantial, and groundbreaking.

Please read.  

Stemming from closer inquiry into an obesity study, it was found that OBESITY (now acknowledged to be a national problem) in many people is an unconscious defense against unwanted sexual activity or physical attack.  This also relates to substance abuse.  WHAT do you think people are, often, trying to dull themselves against, eh?

I should make it an entire post.  Its conclusions are not hard to understand, just hard to accept.

“… That is to say, although obesity had conventionally been perceived as the problem, it was often found to be the unconscious solution to other, far more concealed problems.  The prevalence and severity of these problems was totally unexpected.  Many [of these other, far more concealed problems…], like childhood sexual abuse or suicidality, were shielded by social taboos against discussing these freely, even in medical settings.

Are these comfortable topics to discuss?  No, of course not.  They fry the brain.  However, fact is, these things happen, and they DO fry the brains.  

If I were then concerned about national obesity, and mental health, and setting policy, I would focus FIRST on the sources and causes of these repetitive traumas.  “fatherlessness” as a trauma does not equate with father-abuse of mother, or of sons or daughters, Or in institutional settings either.  

Unfortunately, this would force many professions to find a new one.  They can do it.  Where there’s a will, there’s generally a way.  And if funding dries up in one stream, one has to move on.  I have had to, and more than once….

Rather than pronouncing, proclaiming and more and more (privately made, publically funded and universally enforced) procedures to address the supposed causes of these troublesome things (criminal behavior, sickness, drain on the workforce, etc.), why not try to develop more of a culture and national standard of mutual listening, rather than conduit-style pronouncing?

In that matter, we need more, not less, arts and creativity, and less “measure, evaluate, grade, separate” of packs of people.

But public education would be a separate, though overlapping in symptomology, blog, eh?

Please read.

Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

April 14, 2009 at 6:58 am

Mastering Acronyms: “Forget PAS.” Study HHS through TAGGS.

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… for a while at least.

SEE ALSO A PAGE on this topics. This possibly ought to be mandated high school curriculum, to spend XX hours surfing the TAGGS site of the HHS. This may also indicate for high school juniors & seniors, which university to aim for, depending on their interests. For the rest of us,this is living, breathing history. I have learned in just the past 24 hours how an institution up in Oregon has received over $118 million in government grants in the 10+ years since President Clinton told Congress to revamp its agencies to study the newest crisis, supposedly, nationwide, called fatherlessness. (For more exact wording, see my blogroll — I’ll double check the link).

Tracking Accountability in Government Grants System (TAGGS) FY2008 Annual Report

 The image above is the link below:


The Fifty Recipients Receiving the Greatest Discretionary Funding Levels

FY 2008 Top 50 Recipient Dollars: $14,967,274,219
FY 2008 Top 50 Recipient Awards: 31,321


Universities and colleges represent 39 of the top 50 HHS discretionary grant recipients in FY 2008. The University of California received more HHS discretionary grant funds for more projects than any other recipient. Five state or city health and welfare organizations are in the top 50 HHS discretionary grant recipients. Three hospitals and four research organizations are in the top 50 HHS discretionary grant recipients.

(for chart, by top 10, top 50, click on the yellow chart above.  It’s a sight to see.)

NEXT:  the “ACF”

Administration for Children and Families (ACF)


Operating Division Grant Portfolios: 

Mission: Provides national leadership and creates opportunities for families to lead economically and socially productive lives, including helping children to develop into healthy adults and communities to become more prosperous and supportive of their members.

ACF Awards by Award Class
Award Class Awards Dollars
Discretionary 4,927 $7,659,770,829
Mandatory 2,872 $38,491,920,683
Total 7,799 $46,151,691,512

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) administers grant programs that promote the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals and communities. 

Are you curious about those $7.659 BILLION in discretionary awards.  For 2008, that is?  I am.  You betcha.

. . . . 

ACF leads the nation in improving the economic and social well-being of families, children and communities by administering mandatory and discretionary grant programs such as the national welfare-to-work program; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families; foster care; adoption assistance; Head Start; child care; child support enforcement; positive youth development programs; refugee resettlement; and services for those with developmental disabilities.

The majority of the awards go to nonprofits.  I daresay that many of these nonprofits came into existence in order to receive those awards.  

Pie Chart showing the percentages of ACF discretionary awards in FY 2008 by recipient type.

obvious, but most of us do not have $46 billion to play with or, outside the IRS et al, the ability to garnish paychecks, or to decide whether 9-5 work is or is not the standard definition of “work” when it comes to TANF.

I also might debate this in re: the ACF program, it is indeed a very broad claim.  

Just one final issue, if I may:

ACF Discretionary – Selected CFDA Programs
CFDA Program Name Awards Dollars
93.600 Head Start 1841 $6,677,528,436
93.086 Healthy Marriage Promotion and Responsible Fatherhood Grants 225 $118,310,126
93.010 Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) 187 $92,353,264
93.676 Unaccompanied Alien Children Program 25 $91,187,483
93.576 Refugee and Entrant Assistance Discretionary Grants 271 $80,459,555
93.567 Refugee and Entrant Assistance: Voluntary Agency Programs 17 $59,556,608
93.623 Basic Center Grant 387 $51,077,558
93.009 Compassion Capital Fund 187 $47,671,646
93.616 Mentoring Children of Prisoners 221 $46,203,627
93.550 Transitional Living for Homeless Youth 230 $41,441,819

For additional information on ACF programs and funding please visit the ACF Web site at http://www.acf.hhs.gov.

The Healthy Marriage Promotion and Responsible Fatherhood grants are of interest.

I find it odd that we are attempting simultaneously to promote these things (where is the safe woman promotion grant?), yet the single largest one is for Head Start, which is NOT uniformly accepted as being valuable.  It seems to me that our government wishes us to:

Not have sex before marriage.

Marry a lot and not leave, even if it’s violent.

Raise GREAT children.

But, put them in child care pretty early so we (mothers in particular) can work 9-5 jobs, although these jobs are the least likely to result in bonding between mother and children, after birth, let alone nursing (known to promote both health and smarts).  The reason they are to go into preschool earlier and earlier is so they can be prepared for the school system.  

How are we going to have healthy marriages if we don’t spend adequate time with either our kids, or our spouses?

Speaking as a single mother who has tried almost every version:  9-5 single (a stable day job) and my passion (music) in the evenings weekends.  Music (my passion) daytimes, and evenings and weekends, but for nonprofits, meaning a relatively student lifestyle for several years (low to moderate income).  Add social life, communities of faith, and I was working to pay off the piano, not to play it.    I have done Married, 9-5, Married with children telecommute // stay at home (a misnomer if there ever was one!), married self-employed from home, married, work FT nights (did I mention homeschool yet?) and single, as I recall all of the above.

The only one that was 100% incompatible with us, as a two-parent, two-household situation for the girls, was me working my profession and those girls in the public school system.  It was THE most inefficient use of their and my time, resources, and energy levels (high energy/low energy times of day).  I have seen it drive two-parent well to do households nuts, in good school systems too, it definiteloy drove my low-income, single-parent self into fatigue, as well as depression at the retardation of the educational opportunities (and levels) involved.  

So, I do question the emphasis on more, better, earlier, and for longer days, as a way to promote healthy  human beings, let alone families.  That’s a personal take.  Future posts will provide other “takes,” however with the TAGGS system, you now have been introduced (if it’s a first time) to some of the tools.

Non-U.S. Citizens, pay attention, we are spreading doctrines abroad, and they do propagate.  Our birth rate may not be going up, but our rate of initiatives, studies, doctrines, programs, and presumptions about human nature up and running at fiber-optic speeds.

Outrageous, Iatrogenic “Therapeutic” Jurisprudence

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The first two words seem to apply. The second two do not.

Just a sampler of outrageous cases<<<

  • Mom in jail for fleeing out of state for documented sexual abuse of their children by not one, but two men. (Riggs)
  • Three children drowned (dead) on weekend when a pediatrician mother begged that visitation not happen on the basis that the father had displayed suicidal tendencies. (Castillo)
  • Two children, and their father, dead (all, by the father, apparently) after being kidnapped  (Conolly/Leichtenberg).
  • A teenager having to flee to Los Angeles, where much of this nonsense, began, to get its help getting free from abuse (Krause).

The link I enclosed has samples from across the United States.  Please look at it.

If you are unfamiliar with what some of the warning signs ARE, look up: “Barbara J. Hart” or “Lethality Assessment Tool.”
Or read enough newspapers and look for the common threads. Or get, read, and then give to someone else the book called “The Gift of Fear.” Or read Lundy Bancroft book. Or LISTEN when a mother talks.

You, readers [I see blog hits from across the U.S. and another continent also] are not, probably, the ones signing the custody orders for unsupervised visitation to someone with a history of battering or child abuse, or making a livelihood off of such cases

I also don’t happen to think that any of you were (as some say) personally responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  However, it does kind of make a statement about human nature, particularly in crowd situations.  We pick scapegoats, are easily incited, picking up the latest chant circulating around:  “Crucify!  Crucify!”  (or, was it “Parental Alienation, Parental Alienation!” [a similar concept, with a different target]) and say it’s not our business.  I think, resurrection or not, this is something of the central message of that Book — that the logical end result of human nature, unchecked, is that someone is going to get crucified.

But must the ones getting crucified (abducted, alienated — from their protective parents reporting abuse! — drowned, noosed, or shot.  Or simply disconnected with those that raised them) continue to be so YOUNG? Or, be parents with their hands tied by court systems that declare themselves too much wiser, too much more powerful, and too much more equipped with a set of advisory ‘experts’ to take a protective parent at her word?

My children were stolen and hid.  There exists a law in the penal code of my state that PRECISELY describes what happened.  No one went to jail. The thieves was not the mother.   I looked up the code.  It’s clear, and it was clearly violated.  There are penalties listed and also penalties for those who aid and abet such things.  I looked these up and sent it to one of the participants.  The judge, ON the transcript, acknowledged understanding that custodial interference (at the very least) had been deliberately messed with.  Then, to “punish” the persons doing this, she gave them temporary custody, I suppose for their “initiative.”  Another reward for this criminal type of initiative is cessation of child support.  

Monday night quarterbacking (I still do it), I see some things I coulda shoulda, wish’d I’da known to do (in the heat of the courtroom).  Unfortunately, rather than boning up on litigation techniques, immediately prior to this life-shaking event, I (being a mother, and foreseeing it — the signs were very clear) focused in stead on preventing the event.  This was not easily done, and there was NO support for it from the powers one would think would care, or act when asked to.

I have resolved, since then, to learn to become multi-lingual, and to learn the languages that SOME in office appear to speak, and do.  Since they do not care (obvious at a glance), about the welfare (“best interests”) of our kids, or (in all to many cases, alas) the rules of court, or for that matter, court orders, OR for that matter, laws already on the books containing the words “rebuttable presumption AGAINST….”) there must be something such entitities DO care about.

In other words, it is necessary to get into the mindset of persons and institutions who are callous, or have become callous (deaf), to the welfare of supposedly inferior (more helpless) beings.  This is a very unpleasant place to go, especially when one had haunted the likes of Palestrina, gospel, folk songs, and positive interactions with clients and employers voluntarily so engaged.  However, I suppose beauty needs to be balanced with ugliness.  Chiaroscuro, El Greco, and all that.  So the mindset is, where is YOUR bottom line?  Where is the trail of accountability.

Meanwhile, children (mine) are growing up, and children (others) are entering and being hurt by this outrageous, iatrogenic, therapeutic jurisprudence mindset.  With any luck, “More” always being thought “better” for those in control, I suppose with our administration of “Change,” and extra extra funds for early childhood education (and less for welfare, general assistance, public transportation, and battered women’s shelters), newborns will be caught as their heads crowned, umbilical cords snipped even sooner (did you know, it’s good to wait a BIT before this?) and children will be scooped away from mothers who are deemed “at risk” of depression simply because they were pregnant.

That these things still happen, and that unfortunate drama and bad things will continue to happen, is inevitable.  BUT, the courts have to stop exacerbating the situation.  This is NOT a good alternative to population control.

So, although the problem exists, and was not “your” fault, one GREAT way to NOT participate in the next outrageous (set of) incidents is, the next time your state proclaims “Parental Alienation Awareness” day. simply promote a  “Doublespeak Awareness Day”  Acronym intentional.

IF the true crises of our times is fatherlessness, perhaps some of it is due to these wars men start with each other.  Perhaps it is due to the fact that some people finally passed some laws about beatings one’s wives.  Or, raping one’s sons and daughters (sorry, but this IS an issue in the highly contested custody cases, quite often).  Move to Germany.  America, love it or leave it.”  

Like the word “adolescence,” these terms have an origin.  They did not come from antiquity, the phrase has more recent organizations, they came, and it IS possible for them to also fade into history again, along with things.  Feminism had a history too, eh?

The concept that Jurisprudence should not be jurisprudence,

but rather therapy, is outrageous.
It is also Iatrogenic, meaning, causing the problems it purports to solve.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Remember that in a violent relationship, the violence is behavioral modification, a pattern of attempting to DOMINATE another person, by force if necessary. It is basically a pattern of punishment.

In cases where a woman has been treated like a child during her marriage (though she may have given birth to one or more children, nursed them, raised them, and protected them by attempting to leave such a violent situation) it is inappropriate to then in the courtroom treat both parents or even one of them, as a child.

If there is a childlike behavior around, it would be bullying, I say. It is contraindicated where civil rights exist, or laws, or constitutional rights, and all that is supposedly “American.” Supposedly. Or, if you are a religious person, all that is “godly.”

Why is it then that I so often realize the things have already been said, adequately?


This is today’s reading material, or tomorrow’s. What I have copied here is not the complete post.  Please click on its version, which is easier to process visually. . . . .  I first read this years ago, only a few years into the family court spiderweb.  From this side, it seems too gentle, too objective, and not passionate enough.  To be placid and detached in tone seems to me highly inappropriate.  But that’s just me.

However, as I believe Dr. Phyllis Chesler noted about 30 years ago, in “Women and Madness,” the typical outrage (or whistleblowing) is simple:

1.  Repudiate

2.  Isolate, and if not possible, then

3.  Medicate (or order counseling, at client or government cost).

This beats changing the status quo, or addressing what causes the outrage.

Or is it, “alienation” of children in divorce situation.

Link above, excerpt below.  Please consider.  Truths haven’t changed in the interim….


Reevaluating the Evaluators: custody evaluators child custody evaluations
Rethinking the Assumptions of Therapeutic Jurisprudence in the Family Courts

This article discusses the minimum disclosures every child custody evaluator, “best interests” guardian ad litem GAL [1], or parenting coordinator (herein called a “mental health professional” or “MHP”) [2a] should be required to make, responding satisfactorily and in full, before being appointed in any family law case to do anything beyond answering a list of limited, detailed, specific, and narrowly-crafted questions the answers to which are directly within the MHP’s field of proved expertise. This format is being used to help illustrate a problem, and with another purpose in mind. That purpose is to call for a revolt altogether against the notion of “therapeutic jurisprudence” — which has been proved to do little to benefit children, much to benefit the divorce industry, much to complicate and pervert our family laws, much to erode fundamental rights and liberties, and much to harm the families who become trapped in the system. There are many problems, of course. But they are symptoms. Step one is to get the agent of most of them out of our family courts. The Emperor has no clothes.custody evaluators child custody evaluations

There have been many calls for reform [2b], but for the most part, while they are admirable and well-documented intentions, they miss the boat; while they identify various problems and propose fixes in the system, they fail to identify and address the core reason the system is sick. Thus the proposals seek to treat only symptoms while failing to apply a cure to eliminate the disease.

Contrary to the public perception, and the perception that those seeking lucrative appointments in the court system wish to convey, a degree in some field of mental health does not qualify the individual to perform work that consists of open-ended investigating, evaluating, recommending, or decision-making about other persons’ families and children.


The milieu in which the MHP will be working is the justice system, in which litigants have certain rights of due process [6] and in which decisions made in connection with one issue can materially affect a litigant’s position as to seemingly unrelated issues in the same case, and in which milieu, inter alia, centuries of jurisprudence have honed certain concepts involving what constitutes reliable evidence, burdens of proof, and other legal aspects bearing on the ultimate resolution of a case. [7] Sociologists, psychologists, and even real scientists by reason of their formal training tend to have little understanding of or appreciation for these legal concepts. 

. . . .

[11a] They tend to be vested in protecting themselves, their paychecks, and their “behinds” as the first priority (contrary to the traditional definition of a “professional”) [11b], and they often appear to lack even a rudimentary understanding of why they are present, posturing as having a broad authority and expertise they do not have, coupled with fuzzy ideas about what they are supposed to be doing and their “role”. {{BLOGGER NOTES:  I HAVE GOTTEN PARTICULARLY FUZZY RESPONSES WHEN ASKING DIRECT QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS, AS TO COURT-APPOINTED ATTORNEY}}  For example, some think {{“OBJECTION:  HEARSAY.  WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT SUCH A PROFESSIONAL “THINKS” ONLY OBSERVABLE BEHAVIORS}} the sum total of a custody case is something called “the psychological best interests of the child” [12] which aside from not being the custody decision-making standard in any state of the United States, is itself an undefined concept; others have opined that they are ‘the child’s voice”[13a] or the “eyes and ears” of the judge [13b]; and others behave as if rather than being just another witness in a case, they are tantamount to being the de facto judge (the court, by calling them in, presumably having admitted to incompetence beyond uttering administrative orders for their benefit at the parties’ expense, and handling case minutiae.) [14] And yet, they and their organizations have been instrumental in moving law and public policy toward a revolutionary deform of our family court systems for decades.

But it’s not just a forensic investigation or opinion. Save for the pretext of parens patriae [15] and the state’s interest in children’s welfare, the child custody evaluation appointment would be akin in another context to a court saying to an agent of the state:

. . . . 

Moreover, having extensive experience doing child custody evaluations or parenting coordinations is itself fairly meaningless. [55b] This kind of experience provides training in things such as following practice guidelines and procedures (such as those promulgated by the APA [56] or AFCC [57], {{BINGO — SEE LINK TO RIGHT, SEE NAFCJ.NET}} which themselves have been published in order to promote the trade practice and create the appearance that the many problems with these ideas, such as are identified in this article, can be addressed with regulations — and preferably “self-regulation”). [58] It also serves to increase facility in writing reports [59], testifying in court [60], avoiding board complaints [61], and becoming familiar with what other evaluators like to do and think (such as gaining familiarity with customs in the practice or the prevailing views in trade literature about, e.g. attachment theory or relocation or domestic violence or parental alienation, whether right or wrong). [62] The prevailing “wisdom” tends to be clubbish, perpetuated by group think and informal schmoozing in psycho-legal organization conferences,


{{I read this article a few years — or should I say, pleadings — earlier.  From this perspective, I think the author has understated the problem.  the tone seems inappropriate, when the results are body counts and tossed-about children, and lives.  I think the appropriate attitude is outrage, indignation, and concerted action on that outrage and indignation.  ONE of the concerted actions could be exploratory, another writing, another speaking, another AUDITING some of these accounts, organizations.  

ANOTHER Action I (blogger) recommend is taking time away from something ELSE, and learning how our court systems work, your local rules of court, and in general, getting whatever education in these matters you didn’t get in K-12, or Grade 13-16 in your profession, should that apply.  This requires time to read, solitude, and forays in to fora (forums?) where these things can be discussed and compared.

[Article continued at above link… plus references….]

Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

April 12, 2009 at 4:28 pm

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