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

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

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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

One Response

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  1. In Toronto, after brief affair producing a baby, which obviously Mom is caring for, she’s already under fire — because of breastfeeding — for “equal parenting rights.” Can we write some laws about condoms, diagphragms, and maybe we ought to go back to that old one about no sex outside of marriage AND no beatings inside of it? I’m tired of this nonsense. I think women would’ve designed a better society to start with, that would’ve encompassed actually caring for our little kids. WHo made up this one? Why have we continued in the “less for more” version of making a livelihood, and without regard of cost-to-benefit analyses?

    Anyhow, here it is. I got this from some women with whom I am discussing the concept of how feminism and motherhood are NOT polar opposites. Since we raise so many of the country’s kids (er, at least for a few years, and rapidly geting to be fewer and fewer per kid), I think Moms should be less the subjects of all these misogynist policies and more the creaters of them. And I mean biological Moms, not that 2nd or partner that someone found to help have one’s cake and eat it too, after separation.


    TORONTO, April 27 (UPI) — A Canadian judge in Toronto has ruled a mother is using her breastfeeding schedule to restrict access to her 29-month-old daughter by her natural father.
    The court heard the child was born in June 2006 after Carl Cavannah, 42, and Jennifer Johne, 35, had a brief affair, the Globe and Mail reported Monday.
    Justice Alan Ingram said the father has shown every interest in being a good parent and had taken courses and quit his job to move closer to the child. However, Johne was limiting the time Cavannah could spend with his daughter because of her insistence the child be breastfed, the report said.
    * * * By law, a mother and father are equally entitled to custody of a child, and the judge said Johne needed to recognize that. * * *

    < < >

    We are heading for an even more traumatized society if this keeps up. “Without natural affection.” There wasn’t, apparently, much natural affection conceiving this kids, but if she is taking the time to nurse, she is taking the time to at least hold that child, and it’s good for her (physically, after childbirth) too. Like I said above, at least in USA, pick a policy & stand by it. Don’t fund contradictory policies, to the detriment of us, and our children and grandchildren’s bottom lines!

    “Jen has been unwilling to give a timetable as to when the breastfeeding will end,” the judge wrote in an eight-page ruling. “But now the time has come for Jen to have greater consideration for the relationship between the child and Carl. If she used a breast pump and provided the milk to Carl, he would be willing to give it to (the child).”

    Johne’s lawyer told the Globe her client is considering an appeal.

    If he wants to see the child, why doesn’t he marry the child’s mother and get it together, man! If she wasn’t marriage material, then what is he doing sleeping with her without adequate protection? Let’s put THAT on the record.

    Have a nice day.


    April 27, 2009 at 8:11 am

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