Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

Identify the Entities, Find the Funding, Talk Sense!

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. 


One Response

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  1. Replying to my own treatise, I often find the Brits say it better. Maybe it’s their schooling, I don’t know. But during the campaign, I often was concerned (as I was with, come to think W Clinton’s campaign) of the exorbitant promises made before election. And I do recall, during some of the campaign, reflecting that our President should not make promises more appropriate for the Messiah, especially given his stated Christianity.

    Cranmer says it, better, here:

    “Barack Obama promised change.

    So did Jesus.

    Barack Obama flew into London in Air Force One, as the President of the United States would be expected to do. He had an entourage of 500 advisers, chefs, medical staff and journalists, a private helicopter and a bullet-proof limousine. The crowds greeted him with rapturous applause and cries of ‘Barack! Barack!’, and they fawned at his feet and hung on his every word.

    Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, as the Messiah had been prophesied to do. He had a modest entourage of disciples. The ecstatic crowds greeted him with shouts of ‘Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’, for the Christ had come to them to usher in his kingdom: to bring hope, to bring hope, and to bring change.

    But he never promised freedom from tyranny or freedom from oppression. [Topic of my post, above]. And his promise of freedom from fear necessitates mastering the concept of perfect love.

    “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”

    And the opportunity for change he gives us is not as the President gives.”


    April 24, 2009 at 3:50 pm

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