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Archive for November 2009

Decisively Addressing Dangerous Conduct

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Maybe we’d be much better off if cops — who understand life-threatening situations — ran family law, rather than psychologists and mental health professionals (oh yes, and mediators, evaluators, and organizations where all these get together).  Maybe not — but I enjoyed the common sense in this article below.

Too bad it’s not applied when a family law case is involved.  Rather, the real “danger” is fatherlessness, for which a whole profession has been spawned (like that reference?  🙂  ), Supervised Visitation.  This facet is also handy for chastising protective parents, and is also a field for futher federal funding of how-to conferences (in addition to the existing parent education, and so forth).

Disclaimer:  I am posting fast, due to reduced internet access, and more stuff to do in the limited hours (kind of like family law, right?).  My purpose is only illustration and to provoke some thought.

Thank you, retired police officer Steve Gray.  May as much common sense start — SOMEday — to be used in “domestic disputes” throughout the land.

Right now, when dangerous or illegal behavior shows up in the context of divorce and in family courts, the opposite tactic and policy is being intentionally! used:  Rather than removing the catalyst [parent who engaged in illegal behavior]– the policy is to force repeated and  stressful contact with the catalyst (where abuse or violence has ALREADY occurred) and then sell services — and/or drugs? — to  force the unwilling party/parent to conform to this treatment, on the philosophy that a person’s biology and family role is more important than his character, or humanity.

Readers Forum: BART officer acted properly, but the Times didn’t

By Steve Gray
Guest Commentary Posted: 11/28/2009 12:01:00 AM PST

As s gratefully retired police lieutenant and enduring Times subscriber, your editorial chastising the BART officer for the arrest of the “bombastic” rider left me with one lasting impression: I’m glad the Times is not in charge of recruitment and training of cops.

Officers understand that discussion with an obviously belligerent provocative suspect, in a confined space, with the possibility of retaliation from persons either hostile to or allied with the suspect, only exposes the officer and others to unnecessary risk.

The principal rule in any hostile arrest situation is to remove the catalyst — which the officer did. Had the officer waited to act, the possibility of escalation would increase exponentially.

Add into consideration that the officer was alone, was likely afraid himself, and had no idea whether the suspect was armed, makes The Times editorial posture not only specious but dangerous.

Officers are aware that any arrest situation exposes them to acute risk. During my career three of my fellow officers were disarmed and shot with their own firearms. One of those officers, Sgt. Jim Rutledge of the Berkeley Police Department, was fatally wounded. The suspect in that case later shot and killed a child hostage.

Cops must carefully weigh and measure not only the risk to themselves, but as in the BART situation, the risk to multiple passengers as well. A passive response may result in a riotous or retaliatory situation; an aggressive response may do the same. Either choice may minimize the risk to bystanders, but escalate the risk to the officer and/or suspect.

It is axiomatic that there is no singular manner in which a cop should respond. Each situation is fluid. The principal rule is that police officers should decisively address dangerous conduct, which is exactly what the officer in the BART incident did.

I found it ironic that the same day the Times published the article critical of the BART officer, it also published an article naming two Bay Area cities as among the nation’s most dangerous. The juxtaposition of these two seemingly different articles supports a syllogism that police have long understood: Police confidence and community safety are directly correlated. If officers sense that a community supports criminal conduct, they will passively respond to calls for help.

That is why the Times editorial is not only myopic, but dangerous. If officers get intimidated and feel they don’t have community support in addressing lawlessness, they will conform to community standards and adjust their responses accordingly. Before responding assertively to calls for help from our wives, parents and children, officers will first be wondering “how will this affect me.” That should be a frightening prospect.

This is not an endorsement of police misconduct. Officers are — and should be — held to extremely high standards. Scrutiny and transparency are very important, and there is historical evidence of police misconduct that justifies such scrutiny.

However, I believe that the Times has a responsibility to carefully evaluate and measure what appears on the editorial pages. That includes approaching an issue from different perspectives.

What is chronically missing is any substantive discussion of the consequences of governmental agencies being dissuaded from doing their duty. That represents corruption of a different type, but corruption nonetheless. The Times has a journalistic responsibility to meticulously consider editorial content, and clearly understand the impact of such editorials.

I think it is important to note that the officer involved in the BART incident was injured representing the interests of the persons on the train being victimized by the offender’s behavior. I only hope that other cops continue to do their job protecting us and are not dissuaded or intimidated from doing so by editorials or a political minority posing as a political majority.

It was refreshing that the BART passengers, recognizing the propriety of the officer’s actions, applauded when the offender was removed. Your editor should be applauding as well.

[[Gray was a police officer for 31 years in Berkeley, Hayward and Mountain View and he retired as a lieutenant. He is a resident of Martinez.]]

Well-written!  Let’ s not be “Mypioc” and “Dangerous” when dealing with dangerous situations.  Clear and present danger is  NOT  “lack of resources in Family Law” (see last post) but spousal batterers, and that’s per a law on the books, California legislature.  Cops understand that

Courts, I believe, also do, but apparently simply have a different agenda. 

Again, people talk about what’s important to them.  So why are these all these “court” organizations and professionals focusing on lack of finances, when the mothers involved have stayed focused on safety — their own, and their children? 

Perhaps if they squandered less of the federal grants with “Required Outcomes” of custody matters, there’d be less financial pressure on the parents, and fewer family wipeouts. 

Again, just think about it.

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

November 30, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Rocky Mountain High– if you’re in one of these professions…

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or should I say, Rocky Mountain HYbrid?  Sure looks like one here….

A.k.a.  Carpet Bagging on Divorce Distress, at high altitudes…

I just had an odd question:  Why is  SF’s famous, and well-established Family Violence Prevention Fund, a pace-setter and leader in the field of violence preVENtion conferences and training, promoting conferences like this?

I mean, I just got on “endabuse.org” and searched for “family law,” to see if they actually address some of the rampant troubles with the family law system.  After all, they are a FAMILY violence prevention fund….

Here are links on top right, first page”:

Do you see anything about preventing violence against WOMEN?  In fact, women show up, if they’re immigrants.  A search of “fathers” versus a search of “mothers” on this site pull up entirely different stats — you should try it some time.

 This came up on page 1 of search results, only the 4th item:

clipped from Google – 11/2009

The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts 46th annual conference will be held at the Sheraton New Orleans and will examine how family law research, practices and processes have evolved.**   It will feature 70 workshops, including three-hour advanced sessions, three plenary sessions and a choice of six daylong pre-conference institutes.
Sessions will address challenges to conventional child custody wisdom including assertions about 50/50 parenting, the child’s role in the process, the resiliency of children after divorce, the changing role of court systems in resolving family disputes, and more. For more information, click here.  

**:have evolved.”  Wake up.  Want to know how?  Look at AFCC’s “About us” or history page — this was not accident, it was intentional transformation, and “how” they evolved was particularly through conferences such as the AFCC puts on, policies which the FVPF has now more overtly (i’m not sure for how long they were ever truly independent) bought into….

I DID “click here,” which brought me not to New Orleans, but to Denver.  At which point, this post was conceived and “evolved” — we deserve to know that the organization called “endabuse” is advertising for, and sponsoring conferences for, the organization that is promoting doctrines specifically originated to cover up domestic VIOLENCE (not “abuse”), Child Abuse (is the term, although it does violence to children), and incest, etc. . . .   To cover up criminal behavior and change it into something else, linguistically.

/ / / / /

Let me clarify “AFCC”, in case you’re under 20, IN one of these professions, and haven’t been a parent involved in divorce:  Custody Switches Happen.  HOW do they happen?  When something is confronted by one parent, or reported by a children, generally speaking.   WHY does this occur?  Well, a variety of reasons, but generally in retaliation for reporting.  (From what I can see).  I mean, what’s the common (?) or $$-and-cents for pulling a sole-custody switch midway through a growing child’s life?     It’s  $$ and sense from a certain perspective…  The “best interests” of the child is not as common sense as we might wish to think (see my blog on slavery & domestic violence, a recent one).

But I’m blabbing here:  AFCC, per Liz Richards of NAFCJ.net, and I have to agree after my studies, at least of grants patterns and some of the printed materials, not to mention experiences:

This and other factors show that the fathers rights movement was a creation of a ring [of] judges who dominate the family court system and public policy  in many states.  These judges are not only hearing a large percentage of domestic litigation, they are also writing the state laws covering custody, divorce and child support.  In addition they influence HHS-ACF agency which controls most of the grant funds going to the state level agencies and courts. Their people are getting the grants and using for the fathers rights cases. 

AFCC: Association of Family and Conciliation Courts   
AFCC is the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts – an interdisciplinary and international association of professionals dedicated to the resolution of family conflict.” . . . .

The AFCC claims their focus is on training judges, custody evaluators and mediators about custody and divorce issues. But in reality they are a father focused organization and promoting alienation theories to explain away family violence by men. In reality they act as a “clearinghouse” for organized case rigging.  They hold conferences about parental alienation but never mention the many professional experts who have condemned it [[using this PAS to retaliate against those reporting abuse, including sometimes sexual abuse of minors]]as harmful to children or the link to incest promoter Richard Gardner.  Their  scheme involves “recruiting” male litigants through fathers groups and federal HHS programs managed by the local child support agencies for program “services” which are ostensibly for helping non-custodial fathers get their visitation rights so they would have less incentive to default on child support obligations.


The LEGAL disincentive for defaulting on child support obligations is a contempt of a court order action.  There was no problem in using this against the protective mother in Oconto Wisconsin, recently, so I know the judges “understand” the concept.  But when a father is involved, somehow we need to give them “incentive” to care about their children’s welfare by helping “bribe” (you give me this, I may give you that, perhaps) them to carry this out in the form of stepping up to that child support plate.  That alone is suspect to me, as well as many other aspects of the child support system.. . . . . Women are supposed to care, men have to be bribed to?
ALSO, Is that what any type of courts are FOR?  To resolve family conflict?  I thought that’s what counseling and therapy was for.  Sounds like we have a confusion of purposes somewhere (and should throw out the Constitution as irrelevant, as well as laws).  ANYHOW, here they are:

Dedicated to improving the lives of children and families

 Exhibit and advertise at AFCC
47Th Annual Conference
June 2-5, 2010
Denver, Colorado
More information>>

 AFCC Training Programs In Baltimore, Maryland
December 7-8 & 9-10, 2009More information >>

AFCC Training Programs In Houston, Texas
February 22-23 & 24-25, 2010More information >>

Subscribe to the AFCC free Monthly eNews



‘Traversing the Trail of Alienation:  Mountains of Emotion, Mile High Conflict


 …AFCC’s Annual Conference is the premiere event for family law, mental health and dispute resolution professionals.  AFCC’s 47th Annual Conference will bring together between 800-1000 judges, lawyers, mediators, social workers, psychologists, parenting coordinators, parent educators and others.


I’d like to pause here for a brief prayer:  “Lord, deliver us from all do-gooders, parent educators, and unsolicited profiteering helpers that may cross my life, or my children’s this day, in Jesus name, Amen.”      (I’d rather SEE a sermon than attend a parenting seminar any day.  This is parenting: you get your kids SAFE, FIRST, and teach them right from wrong based on behavior, character — not family function.  You do not assault & batter yourself, and you protect them from those who do, to the best of your ability, and empathize at least when you can’t.  How many of those parenting educators have actually GONE through what family law system has put us through, and after DV, too in many cases? Moreover, I’m not paid for being a mother.  In some contexts, doing this can be criminalized as resulting in family “conflict,” i.e., taking a stand somwhere along the line!)


The exhibitor forum is centrally located in a high traffic area near conference beverage breaks and is designed to maximize visibility of exhibitors. Exhibitors receive admission to all conference sessions, meal functions and networking opportunities, including AFCC’s famous Hospitality Suite.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to build your business with AFCC


Join AFCC for a look at innovations and interventions for addressing our most difficult

work. This conference will build on a special issue of

guest edited by Dr. Barbara Fidler and Professor Nicholas Bala. The program and journal will examine the latest interventions

designed to address family conflict involving allegations of alienation, featuring unique perspectives from

judges, lawyers, mental health and dispute resolution professionals.

Family Court Review on alienation, forthcoming in January 2010,

FVPF should not be promoting this!  Why are they?  Oh– I forgot to tell you:



Fiscal Year OPDIV Grantee Name City Award Title CFDA Program Name Principal Investigator Sum of Actions
2009  ACF  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $- 1 
2009  ACF  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  SPECIAL ISSUE RESOURCE CENTERS FOR INFORMATION AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  DEBBIE LEE  $ 1,353,812 
2009  DHHS/OS  Family Violence Prevention Fund  SAN FRANCISCO  FY09 HEALTH CARE PROVIDER RESPONSE TO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN – EDUCATION, TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM  Advancing System Improvements to Support Targets for Healthy People 2010 (ASIST2010)  LISA JAMES  $ 31,000 
2008  ACF  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  SPECIAL ISSUE RESOURCE CENTERS FOR INFORMATION AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  DEBBIE LEE  $ 1,323,812 
2007  ACF  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  SPECIAL ISSUE RESOURCE CENTERS FOR INFORMATION AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  DEBBIE LEE  $ 1,394,127 
2006  ACF  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  SPECIAL ISSUE RESOURCE CENTERS FOR INFORMATION AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  DEBBIE LEE  $ 1,145,872 
2005  ACF  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT  Child Abuse and Neglect Discretionary Activities  ESTA SOLER  $ 496,000 
2005  ACF  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 1,240,689 
2004  ACF  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 1,215,689 
2003  ACF  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 1,133,236 
2002  ACF  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 1,113,796 
2001  ACF  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 958,542 
2000  ACF  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES – SPECIAL ISSUE RESOURCE CENTER  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 804,542 
1999  ACF  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES – SPECIAL ISSUE RESOURCE CENTER  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 698,710 
1998  ACF  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 50,000 
1998  ACF  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES – SPECIAL ISSUE RESOURCE CENTER  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 678,710 
1998  ACF  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION SERVICES  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  LRNI MARIN  $ 50,000 
1997  ACF  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES – SPECIAL ISSUE RESOURCE CENTER  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  ESTA SOLER  $ 637,604 
1997  ACF  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  P.A. FV-03-93 – DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: HEALTH CARE & ACCESS: SIRC  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants  JANET NUDELMAN  $- 9,549 
1995  ACF  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO  P.A. FV-03-93 – DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: HEALTH CARE & ACCESS: SIRC  Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Grants to States and Indian Tribes 



JANET NUDELMAN  $ 451,525 

Do you see the word “discretionary” in the “grants to shelters” ??label?  Really, it’s about conferences and training, not actually STOPPING violence.  For another, perhaps, because they can:  I mean — this is 2009, alone.

Recipient Name State Federal Funding (for this search) DUNS Number
FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND   California $10,825,813 618375687 

Funding is going GREAT for THIS nonprofit:

Assistance to Recipient(s) “family violence prevention fund”
(FY 2000-2010)

Federal dollars: $33,745,685
Total number of recipients: 1
Total number of transactions: 67

Look at which branches are funding it now — the best of both worlds, from HHS and DOJ both.  One is promoting fatherhood through federal grants, another is spouting out millions (and that’s literally) to organizations like this, and others, to “train” judges how to recognize domestic violence (clue:  look in the law, look at the facts, look at the bleeding, look at the casualties) and be good and address it, supposedly. 

Top 5 Agencies Providing Assistance

 DOJ – Office of Justice Programs $18,464,457
 HHS – Secy. of Health and Human Services $11,107,290
 HHS – Administration for Children and Families $4,071,752
 HHS – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention $102,186

HERE”s the CALIFORNIA chapter of AFCC, transforming the words “clear and present danger” (lifted DIRECTLY from the legislature’s own definition of a spousal batterer) into a budget crisis — which the same group has contributed to!

2010 Annual AFCC-CS Conference

Whose children ARE they now?  Are they your subject matter or the progeny of two parents?  When you see a kid, do you see a $$ sign for your profession?

Apparently so, and government grants to ENDABUSE.org going to promote AFCC — a membership charging organization — for professionals to hawk their wares, while too many parents are UNaware of it.

Which I hope to stop, obviously!

That’s what I call Carpetbagging, no matter what the altitude.

Would like to analyze a bit more, but time and technical limitations prevent.  Check this out yourself….


From “Our Bodies, Ourselves” to “Our Courts, Ourselves”…

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The topic of mediation, especially mandatory mediation, is a hot one within the family court venue, and particularly among domestic violence advocates.  Many have come up opposed to it.

On the other side of the fence (??) are those who are advocating mediation to cut down on the caseload in these courts, and attempt to reconcile opposing parties for the best interests of the children, supposedly.

While looking through the RAND corporation policy papers, available on-line, I was astounded to find almost nothing whatsoever on violence against4 women, or women per se (although there were articles about the education gap for men and boys of color, with the kneejerk recommendation, more and earlier preschool.  I happen to disagree, I think there’s enough subject matter for child development scholars to study throughout the educational, penal, and court institutions in this country already…).  There was next to nothing current on domestic violence, although a few articles dating back to 2004/2005 actually used this word.

However, there is this interesting take on mediation.  My limited technique can’t paste in the image, so I recommend taking a look at:

All I’m going to say about Our Bodies, Ourselves, is that it is reminiscent of the feminist movement (after all, these ARE our bodies, if it’s women involved), and another era.  For more info, read Dr. Phyllis Chesler, including Women & Madness, Mothers on Trial, and Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman.  Don’t forget to also take a serious look at Honor Killings vs. Domestic violence (articles), and so forth.

Now about, Our Courts Ourselves — I believe  a takeoff on that title:


“Our Courts, Ourselves:  how the Alternative Dispute Resolution Movement is Reshaping Our Legal System.”

It says plainly what I have deduced, in using the phrase “Designer Family” and in sarcastically stating that a world without conflict IS indeed possible — if everyone is drugged, asleep, or simply not paying attention.  . . . .  Which appears to be an imminent possibility, or business goal in some arenas…  I mean, as slavery is supposedly abolished, SOMEONE has to do life’s dirty work, for cheap or free….  Women got the vote, heck what next?  ???

This tends to verify my observations:  (from page 168, Section II, “Puritans Populists and Utopians.”)…

Members of America’s utopian societies yearned for social harmony and eschewed conflict.  One of their goals was to eliminate adversarial legal processes.  In Edward Bellamy’s Utopia, depicted in his wildly popular 1988 novel Looking Backward, citizens are inducted into the armies of a corporatist state into which all contribute and from which all receive the necessities of life….

Are you frightened yet? 

As communitarian values replace private interest, economic competition, social conflict and adversarial processes are eliminated…Wise citizens take the place of judges and juries in deciding how and when to punish bad behavior, lawyers’ services become superfluous, and the law itself is discarded.

(My quote here, since I can’t cut & paste from the pdf, is from memory, for speed — check source yourself)

Bellamy’s novel inspired a new political movement called Nationalism, comprised of a series of grassroots organizations dedicated to creating a utopian society devoid of economic and social conflict and gave rise to the establishment of the Populist Party.. . .

Many in the Nationalist Movement had ties with Theosophy, a contemporary religious movement….  substituting “Universal brotherhood and cooperation for competition..”  but the roots of Theosophy lay in spiritualism, and elevating the divine spirit within the individual.  Their leaders eschewed social justice and activism, and eventually the movements parted paths.

To those who are somewhat versed in one of the “Abrahamic” religions (i.e., Judaism, Christianity, Islam), this utopian vision and non-involvement in social justice are at odds with fundamental beliefs that man’s nature needs redemption (i.e., “the Fall”) and that a future resurrection and judgement await. 

At the very least, then, this utopian philosophy goes against the core of a substantial portion of the world’s population.  Experientially, someone has to become the “wise citizens” and of a supposedly superior, elitist, caste to inform and educate the plebians in how to get along.

The philosophy that CONFLICT is bad, and that PEACE AT ANY PRICE (and sacrificing safety, or justice in the process) is the primary good is — to my reading — a violence against the concept of justice, balance and equity. 

Hence, the jargon calling a divorce or process in which women protesting abuse of themselves, or their children, even when sexual abuse has been involved and documented, a “high-conflict” custody comes from this worldview.  That is not the primary characteristic — only according to a certain view.

As to “our bodies, ourselves,” an 11 year old in Wisconsin and (I recently heard) a 14 year old in Michigan, have learned that they are property, not people.  Michaela Tipton went back to her father to get her mother out of jail.  A young man, A student, spent a night in detention for refusing to visit his father also. 

Teenager incarcerated for refusing to visit his father
Published: Saturday, November 21, 2009

A 14-year-old boy was thrown into the county youth home overnight and handcuffed for about four hours after refusing to follow a judge’s order to visit his father, as part of an ongoing custody case.

The boy, Jacob Mastrogiovanni of Warren, was ordered Thursday to spend three days in the youth home by family court Judge John Foster, who lifted the sentenced Friday following protests by his mother and a night of incarceration for her son.

The uncommon occurrence of a contempt of

court sentence for a child in a child custody dispute angered his mother, Dawn Platevoet, and several of her relatives, including the boy’s grandmother. They picketed in front of the county courthouse in downtown Mount Clemens on Thursday and Friday, garnering media attention.
“A judge shouldn’t throw an all-A student in jail for refusing to visit his father,” Platevoet said. “There are other ways to handle the situation, and apparently the judge agreed because he let him out.”
Jacob was slated to remain in the Juvenile Justice Center until 7 p.m. Sunday but was released by Foster about 12:30 p.m. Friday. Foster had Jacob brought from the youth home in handcuffs about 8:30 a.m. Friday to appear in front of him in Macomb County Circuit Court later that morning. Jacob waited in a holding cell.

Moments after he was released Friday, Jacob said Foster didn’t specify why he freed him.
“He said that I don’t decide whether I see my dad or not,” Jacob said. “It was kind of like a warning, this time, I guess.”
Foster’s secretary said the judge did not want to comment.

Jacob and Platevoet wouldn’t delve into many details of why he won’t visit his father, Victor Mastrogiovanni of Chesterfield Township. She said Jacob began resisting in July following an unspecified incident.

They said when Jacob has visited Mastrogiovanni recently that he is forced to stay in his room without any contact.

On Foster’s order, the three have been attending weekly counseling sessions since early September. {{That’s the racket, folks…}}  But they and the therapist have been unable to resolve the disagreement.

Platevoet and Mastrogiovanni never married and have had some disputes for years {{OBviously.  The boy is 14!}}regarding custody and support issues, they said.

Mastrogiovanni, who has been married for two years and has a 15-month-old child, [[IE 2nd marriage, new kid]]said he did not want to comment specifically about the dispute.

“I love my kid very much and want what’s best for him,” he said.

Platevoet said she would like her son to visit his dad but can’t force him.

“What am I supposed to do? Grab him by the back of the head and put him in the car?” she said. “He’s a teenager and wants to do teenager things.”

She said Jacob “listens to me” about other things but not about the visits


ANYHOW, you are either awake or asleep in this matter about trying to create a utopian society where wise citizens (NOT due process and facts/evidence, etc.) choose punishments, and where all the requirements of life are also obtained from the state.  Hence, “Health & Human Services.” 

The question is, Who is Being Served?  And being served What?

2nd largest federal expenditure, Educational Department, making sure (that’s a laugh!) no child left behind.  What isn’t being openly marketed — where they are marching, goosestep style, who is paying the drummer, and what is the origin of the tune.  Not only can we not make medical or health choices for our kids, we as a populace aren’t smart enough to resource or network our life choices and also help them get educated.

You cannot really deal with the courts entirely separate from the educational system.  For one, the courts are trying to run cleanup after educational (moral/value) failures, all at the expense of taxpayers (not those who can write off expenses as business owners and investors, etc.).  For another, I am simply not interested in an oligarchy, a dictatorship, or any of that.  After all, it’s my own body here, and the children that came out of it are NOT state property, or fodder for others’ professional careers in psychology, mental health, law, pharmacology, etc.  I respected their father’s contact with them, and the law.  In return from this, I lost all contact with them, and made a mockery of the process.

Several entities are laughing all the way to the bank on this one.  The thing is, to get an audit of those statements. 

Anyhow — take a look at that rand document — it’s for sure informative.  Then also realize that what takes place through the courts, when it does — that’s not mediation in the proper sense of the word.  That’s basically program marketing, and “required outcome enforcement” from things such as the Access Visitation Grants, Responsible Fatherhood/Marriage, and such-like. 

Enough for today!



Oconomowoc, not Oconto, Wisconsin. Quiz for my readers…

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OK, skim through the articles below — I did.  And here are a few questions.

(1) Was this a “family” matter?  If so, how many states (and countries) are involved, to date?

(2) The little boy involved was 4 years old (and now his Mom is dead and father in jail, on $2 million bail).  He was in a fatherless home. To correct this situation, his father (allegedly) hired someone ELSE to kill her so he could get custody (since the courts weren’t about to fork over the kid),  solving the “noncustodial parent” issue, and so forth. 

My question is, whose mug shot isn’t up here? 

Three arrested in Smith murder

Posted: Nov. 19, 2009 

Justin Patrick Welch, suspected of killing Kimberly Smith of Oconomowoc in October, was taken into custody at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday by Mexican authorities as he tried to cross the border into California. Authorities were notified because he was driving a stolen Jeep Patriot.
Also taken into custody yesterday at the Mexican border, at 1:10 p.m., was  Jack E. Johnson, 65.  He formerly resided in Waukesha and has close ties to Darren Wold, who was also arrested last night at his residence in Texas without incident. Wold is the father of Smith’s 4-year-old son Jackson.
Johnson and Welch are being held in the San Diego County Jail on $2 million bail. Johnson is being held for party to first-degree intentional homicide, Welch for first-degree intentional homicide. Wold is being held in Lubbock, Texas, also on $2 million bail on the charge of party to first-degree intentional homicide.
Police say it appears at this time that Wold conspired with his lifelong friend Johnson to have Smith murdered in an attempt to get custody of their son.
All three are awaiting extradition to Wisconsin.


3 arrested in Oconomowoc slaying; plot to gain child’s custody alleged By Mike Johnson of the Journal Sentinel Updated: Nov. 19, 2009 1:31 p.m.

Waukesha — Kimberly Smith was murdered in her Oconomowoc home Oct. 1 as part of a plot for her ex-boyfriend to get custody of their 4-year-old son, authorities said Thursday in announcing the arrests of the ex-boyfriend and two other men on homicide charges. Darren Wold, 41, the ex-boyfriend, is accused of conspiring with a longtime friend, Jack E. Johnson, 65, formerly of Waukesha, to kill Smith, and Justin Patrick Welch, 26, of French Camp, Calif., is accused of traveling to Wisconsin and stabbing her to death, Chief David Beguhn said during a news conference at the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department. Authorities on Oct. 27 had identified Welch as a suspect in the homicide after his DNA was found on a knife and latex/vinyl-type gloves recovered in a sewer drain near Smith’s home in the 300 block of S. Maple St., according to court records. An arrest warrant was issued for Welch that charged him with first-degree intentional homicide. At the time, police said Welch might be driving a Jeep Patriot that was reported stolen in California. Investigators launched a nationwide manhunt for Welch, and through their investigation, connected him to Johnson, of Obrero Rosarito, Mexico, Beguhn said. Authorities placed an alert with U.S. Customs and Border Protection asking that they be notified if Johnson attempted to cross the border. Johnson was taken into custody about 1:10 p.m. Wednesday as he attempted to enter the United States. About 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Welch was arrested by Mexican authorities after a brief vehicle pursuit near Rosarito, Mexico. Police were attempting to stop the Patriot because it was stolen, Beguhn said. Welch was turned over to U.S. authorities. Both Welch and Johnson are being held in the San Diego (Calif.) County Jail. Johnson is charged with party to first-degree intentional homicide. Wold was arrested Wednesday night at his Lubbock, Texas, home. He is being held in jail there on a charge of party to first-degree intentional homicide. All three men are being held on $2 million bail. Smith, 39, was found dead about 9:30 a.m. Oct. 1 in her home in the 300 block of S. Maple St. Her hands were bound and she had been stabbed a number of times, court records state. Her 4-year-old son, Jackson, was home at the time of the slaying but did not witness the killing. Smith’s current boyfriend, who lived with her and Jackson, found Smith’s body in the living room and called 911. The boyfriend said he had left for work about 6 a.m. and returned after learning that Smith didn’t show up at her job, according to Beguhn. Welch’s ties to Wisconsin are not known, and investigators do not know if Smith knew him. Smith’s relatives told investigators that they do not know Welch.


Oconomowoc investigators get break in murder of Kimberly Smith

Bob Moore FOX 6 Reporter

October 27, 2009

WITI-TV, MILWAUKEE – Oconomowoc investigators get their first and only break in in the murder of Kimberly Smith. Smith was found dead on October 1st. Tuesday morning, a Waukesha County judge issued an arrest warrant for a California man, Justin Welch.

Police collected evidence from an Oconomowoc home on the morning of October 1st. Last Friday, a DNA analysis of several items matched the DNA of 26-year-old Justin Welch.

Welch is now the focus of a nationwide manhunt. The Waukesha County arrest warrant is for first degree intentional homicide. He’s suspected of killing Kim Smith. Welch is wanted in California on a felony, no-bail warrant for a parole violation.

Police are now trying to determine the connection between Welch and Wisconsin. They suspect Welch and Smith may have connected on the internet.

If you have any information about where authorities might fight Welch, you’re urged to call the Oconomowoc Police at 262-567-4401 or the Waukesha Co. Sheriff’s Dept. at 262-446-5070.


Kim Smith remembered for big smile, thoughtfulness

Oconomowoc murder victim identified

By Katherine Michalets and Jeff Rumage Freeman Staff

Oct 3, 2009

. . .

According to a news release, Smith was found dead in the living room of her residence at 334 S. Maple St. The police department was notified by dispatch at 9:32 a.m., and officers and rescue personnel arrived on the scene within two minutes. 

    Oconomowoc Police Chief David Beguhn said the boyfriend that she lived with left for work at 6 a.m. When he called her at the Waukesha County Department of Health and Human Services where she works, he was told she had not come in, so he returned home to find her dead body, Beguhn said.

    Police believe the murder took place sometime between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.

    Smith was also living with her son, who was unharmed by the event. After the murder, the young boy underwent a forensic interview at a specialty care center in Waukesha. Based on those interviews, it did not appear the young boy witnessed the event, Beguhn said. The boy is staying with his grandmother, he said.

    Online court records show Smith was involved in a yearlong custody battle with the father of the boy. Beguhn said police contacted the man Thursday, and he was in Texas, where he lives.

Police File Four Sealed Search Warrants In Oconomowoc Homicide Case

No Arrests Have Been Made

POSTED: 6:50 pm CDT October 6, 2009
UPDATED: 10:47 am CDT October 7, 2009



  • These are the ages involved:

26, 4, 65, 41, 39

  • These are the geographies (state/country):

Wisconsin, California, Texas, Mexico

  • These are the last names, not including the boy:  Welch, Wold, Johnson, Smith, Beguhn

Question1:  Who’s who?

Match age to state to last name — quick now…  can you keep them straight?

Question 2: How many generations, so far, has this one event affected?

(answer — apparently, four.  youngster, 20 yr old, 40yr olds, 65 yr old.)

Question 3:

  • Did anyone (article) mention domestic violence yet?  Want to place a bet whether there was or was not such a criminal record?  (I’m thinking, probably not).  Would a restraining order have helped her somehow?  Was she aware of her danger (lethality assessments)?    (Note:  3rd party involved, bound hand and feet, she maybe didn’t have her first cup of coffee or get out the door to work yet).  Was she in an  unsafe place?  YES:  Her home, after a custody battle.

Question(s) 4: 

  • What was Dad doing in Texas?  Did having Dad in Texas make anyone safer?

Question(s) 5ff:

  • Did fast response by police, or a live-in boyfriend make her any safer?  No, she’s dead.  But his fast response helped probably catch the killer.
  • Did her expertise in Health &Human Services make her any more alert to the danger?  (Apparently not).


Do I have time to analyze this one? 

Answer:  no.

Instinctive response  (no wrong answer):

What word comes to your mind in regards this case?  Summarize/label it…. Answer must be in 3 words or less.

You know what word comes to mine?  In light of the:  Wisconsin/California/Texas/Mexico connection, plus a 4 year old boy and willingness to KILL to get custody….  what a dedicated father. . . .

Child-trafficking.  But maybe that’s just me.

Sure, it’d have been better if they’d had a better marriage, or married, or stayed married.  But suppose there had been a mismatch, and there had been violence — should she have kept herself and her son around for more?

What about that shared parenting theme?  Wasn’t Dad interested, or wasn’t he allowed?  It’s dangerous pissing off a Dad these days, apparently….  Maybe that’s part of the formula with this fatherlessness thing.  It’s countercultural, it’s not accepted culturally, and that can get REAL sticky with cultures (or religions) that place themselves above the law.  Or individuals.


Here’s another excerpt from (I think) first article link, above.  Catch the drift?

Long-running dispute

Smith was entangled in a custody dispute with Wold, and the proceedings were favoring her.

Question:  Which one of my posts handles the hazards of actually winning in court? 

Court records show that Smith and Wold, who previously lived together in Germantown and in Pennsylvania, have been fighting for more than two years in Washington County Circuit Court over custody of the boy.

As these things can go, that ain’t ‘squat.’  Look at the Oconto County, WI case.  There are ways to keep it going, and going, and going. . . .

In July, Wold was ordered to spend 60 days in jail after being held in contempt of court, but the jail time was to be imposed only if he failed to follow certain conditions for a year, records show.

He had lied about where he was living and failed to make court-ordered payments.

LYING, in court especially, about where one is living is a character indicator.  Courts ought to wake up.  Guess this was a family court…

QUICK now, before you’ve thought about this, one there are others.  I can’t keep up, myself…

Religious Ramblings from Child Molesters

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This may be the world’s quickest post — newsprint articles that raised questions in my faith-filled but sexist/abusive-institution-rejecting mind:

These came up, searching for the Garrido article, and are on-theme:  Connection between religion and child or minor sexual abuse.

Sorry about the dark topic, but without some sunlight, such things just continue….

January 24, 2005

Deal exposes dark chapter from De La Salle’s history

Alleged molestations have left lasting scars


from THIS newsvine site, MSNBC article, here is a victim’s response:

I am a survivor of rape, for 2 1/2 yrs. I was the a victim of my father’s. After his release I lived in fear for my life for many years, until I found out that he was dead and had been for 2 yrs., at that time. The reason I had to find out for myself after a lot of digging, Texas dropped the ball. The officers in Amarillo (where he was supposed to be) never went out and verified his address, a registered sex-offender on parole. After I found him dead in Arizona they weakly appologized and gave a lame excuse about inadequate staffing. I agree that staffing is inadequate in many police departments, but not in numbers, but in intelligence. I have known many parole and peace officers that would go out of their way to check up on a sex offender in their areas, a couple of them helped me find a sex-offender that was not in their area.

It is time for victims of sex offenders with stories where law enforcement failed them to find lawyers and start filing class-action lawsuits. It is time to DEMAND longer MANDATORY sentences that make NO room for early release. If they wish to find God they can do it behind bars. I am personally all for the death penalty, but I understand where that could be unreasonable. Each state as well as the federal government should be held accountable for their negligence. I understand that until the crime is commited there is nothing to be done. But there is NO excuse for KNOWING that someone is an offender and allowing them to fall through the cracks. This whole story could have been avoided, and because of this cutback or that cop not wanting to stay late on his/her shift filling out a report he was set free AND ALLOWED to do this heinous act to this young woman.

The chief of police says that they are beating theirselves up. WHATEVER!!!!!! I hope that the people of Antioch run you all out of town, parole officers too. I hope that when you apply for a new job and they see anything on your resume in law enforcement in that town for the last 18 years they arrest you for imitating a peace officer. Embarassed should not even begin to cover how they should feel. THEY FAILED!!!!!! Completely and utterly, they failed. If I were Jaycee’s mother or step-father I would hold the state and local officials COMPLETELY responsible. They are the ones that allowed Garrido to touch their lives, they are the ones that FAILED time and time and time again to end her captivity and their hell. SHAME on all of you that failed this young woman and her family, that could have been YOUR daughter. So go home and watch your daughter and hug her and tell her how much you love her and remember how utterly you failed Jaycee. May you always feel incredible remorse everytime you look at her or hear her voice. You are as guilty as Garrido, you helped him hold Jaycee captive.

It is time for the state and federal governments to be made responsible and the only way to do it is to call them to court. It is time for their to be serious punishment for sex offenders that is upheld and maybe even serious consequences for those that neglect to do their jobs, directly allowing a sex-crime to be commited.

  • 4 votes
#1.17 – Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:26 PM EDT
Well, my internet search capacity today isn’t up to snuff.  Here are some other Garrido articles by the same reporter, but not the one I was looking for:

Jaycee Dugard case: Garrido filed to open home institute

The man accused in the abduction and years-long sexual abuse of Jaycee Dugard in 2006 sought to start an institute at his home near Antioch. Whether Phillip Garrido meant to open a school for children — a claim careening across the blogosphere — is …

From JOHN SIMERMAN, Inside Bay Area,  14 Oct 2009

Questioning of Dugard, Garrido detailed

condition to Garrido’s lifetime parole from his Nevada conviction for the 1976 rape of a woman he kidnapped in South Lake Tahoe, the report says. He was now barred from being around minors. But the parole agent and his supervisor looked past the new …

From JOHN SIMERMAN, Inside Bay Area,  5 Nov 2009

Report to detail how California parole agents supervised Phillip Garrido

it a federal case. SACRAMENTO — State officials will release a report today detailing the parole supervision of Phillip Garrido, now charged with holding a young kidnap victim for 18 years and fathering two children with her in the backyard of a home …

From JOHN SIMERMAN, Inside Bay Area,  4 Nov 2009

The article I was looking for is dated 11/14/2009, and relates how Garrido’s same excuse of religious tranformation (and his ramblings) were heard by his 1976 Kidnapping/rape victim as well.  He was “expecting a religious rebirth after troubles with LSD and marijuana use.”  The judge didn’t buy that, and this DA ain’t either.  The fact is, all of us might enjoy some transformational experiences from time to time.  The thing is, not using other people, especially against their will, and especially minors, (or abusing substances) in the process. 


El Dorado County D.A. Viern Pierson says, “It is clear he is attempting to manipulate the process, the people involved in the process, and most significantly, his prior victims.”  Articles stated how Jaycee/Alyssa at first denied the claims; only after she heard Garrido had been arrested, did she confess her real name.

Eerily similar, and same timeframe:

Evangelist Tony Alamo Sentenced to 175 Years for Taking Girls Across State Lines for Sex

Monday, November 16, 2009

  {{{The Cocky S.O.B. !!!}}}Evangelist Tony Alamo was sentenced Friday to 175 years in prison for taking little girls as young as 9 across state lines to have sex with them.

The decision punishes him for the rest of his life for molesting children he took as “brides” in his ministry.

Alamo, 75, had denied the charges, claiming they came from a Vatican-led conspiracy against the church he led, called the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries.

During Friday’s hearing in Texarkana, Ark., some of Alamo’s victims testified about how their families were destroyed while the evangelist took over their lives.

Alamo was convicted in July on a 10-count federal indictment. U.S. District Judge Harry F. Barnes said Alamo used his status as father figure and pastor and threatened and threatened the girls with “the loss of their salvation.”

“Mr. Alamo, one day you will face a higher a greater judge than me, may he have mercy on your soul,” Barnes said.

Just before Barnes sentenced Alamo, the evangelist offered a brief statement to the court praising God then later adding:  

“I’m glad I’m me and not the deceived people in the world.”

Alamo’s lawyers said they planned to appeal Barnes’ ruling. His defense offered a doctor who said he suffered from hardening arteries, diabetes, glaucoma and other health problems.

On cross-examination the doctor acknowledged he saw Alamo only once in 2004 and that the purpose of Alamo’s visit was to get an eye lift to make him appear younger.

The evangelist will stay in Texarkana pending a Jan. 13 hearing in which Barnes will decide whether Alamo’s victims will get restitution from him. After that hearing, Barnes said Alamo would go to a federal prison that has hospital facilities.

A woman Alamo took as a child “bride” at age 8 challenged the evangelist from the witness stand Friday to submit himself to God’s judgment. Reading from lined notebook paper, she said Alamo tore her family apart by taking her as a child bride and described how she shook uncontrollably when he first molested her.

“I’m glad I’m me and not the deceived people in the world.”

Alamo’s lawyers said they planned to appeal Barnes’ ruling. His defense offered a doctor who said he suffered from hardening arteries, diabetes, glaucoma and other health problems.

On cross-examination the doctor acknowledged he saw Alamo only once in 2004 and that the purpose of Alamo’s visit was to get an eye lift to make him appear younger.

The evangelist will stay in Texarkana pending a Jan. 13 hearing in which Barnes will decide whether Alamo’s victims will get restitution from him. After that hearing, Barnes said Alamo would go to a federal prison that has hospital facilities.

A woman Alamo took as a child “bride” at age 8 challenged the evangelist from the witness stand Friday to submit himself to God’s judgment. Reading from lined notebook paper, she said Alamo tore her family apart by taking her as a child bride and described how she shook uncontrollably when he first molested her.

Here’s another link, same story:

Alamo’s ‘Child Bride’ Says Evangelist Leader Controlled All Aspects of Life

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Alamo was a prophet, she’d been taught. He was “God’s chosen one.” And she was scared.

“I felt uncomfortable asking Tony to see my dad,” the woman, now 20, testified at his federal trial on charges that he took underage girls across state lines for sex.

“So you had to ask Tony’s permission before you could go outside and see your father?” a prosecutor asked.


The woman, who left Alamo’s compound in Arkansas three years ago, was one of many witnesses whose testimony offered a rare glimpse inside the evangelist’s secretive ministry. They said Alamo made the decisions: who got married, what children were taught in school, who got clothes, who was allowed to eat . . . The church had a language of its own: . . . Families were prohibited from keeping food at their homes, the 20-year-old woman said. Alamo also banned his followers from eating meat or dairy products. At one point, on a layover at a Las Vegas airport, the woman said she and another Alamo “wife” committed a sin — they ate a cheese pizza.

That type of:

Total Control, defining crimes, training those controlled not to report, a peculiar language to the group, and plenty of wealth (and sex with underaged girls, or boys), and in short — abusive domination of other individuals, redefining families, etc. . . .


You see why I constantly mock the Fed’s DESIGNER FAMILIES” and harp on the transformational language of the Family Law Venue?  Why I say, “follow the money?” 


Yes, total, inappropriate, shaming/punishing/restricting access to basics (including contact with one’s own family members) are indeed family court matters, and for those (who like me) have had religious tolerance and justification for their own violence or abuse (which I did), based on, for example, gender, and so forthwe recognize the similar abusive religious behavior in secular garb.  I do.

Again, let’s reconsider Lorraine Tipton and Michaela, in Wisconsin.

You shocked at the Garridos and Alamos?  Well, consider the extent of what’s going on across the country (and to an extent, world) in the courts.  Misogyny in action.  Abusive eradication of what were once “unalienable rights” to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness — as defined NOT by the state, but by the individuals.

Our children, the majority of the country (US) attend public schools where strip searches and lockdowns are now routine words.  Is that what we REALLY want for their future, or our future leaders?  To accept intrusion and daily civil rights violation, condescending attitudes, etc.? 

Do we want wealth diverted and due process excluded?  Not me!

Freedom of religion DOES include not imposing it on everyone else, and a commonality of not committing crimes one against another.  Religion is defined as abusive control of thoughts, behaviors, and so forth.  Faith, and spirituality, are different.

When it comes to minor children, they need a variety, and not proselytizing and shock therapy in any form.  Let them see their mothers, and go outside the home, and stop dissolving families in the name of a better, improved one.  The time to dissolve a family is where abuse HAS occurred, and it is not (repented of) or stopped — PROMPTLY and TOTALLY.

There is no excuse for it.  If none of us know our neighbors, we can’t protect each other, locally.

Well, just those thoughts coming out today.  …


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

November 18, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Give us your huddled masses, your underage daughters: Oconto Co Wisconsin locks up Lorraine, . . .

with 5 comments

Earlier, I (and colleagues — see those buttons on my blogroll!) posted  on the 30-plus individuals involved in ONE mother reporting sexual molestation (and more) of her little girl in Wisconsin,  after CPS workers in 2 counties confirmed it. 

As reported Oct. 17th (DV awareness month, much?) on another blog (calling her a “teen” daughter was inaccurate.  Though the abuse started earlier, my understanding is, she is 11).  You should click on this link also — someone’s comment (wife of a police officer) is relating another account.

Wisconsin Mom Lorraine Tipton (Oconto County) is under fire because her teen daughter refuses to go on visitation with her abuser father, who makes her sleep on the floor and drives with her drunk in the car.  The father, Craig Hensberger, managed to convince the father’s rights judge, Judge David Miron, in power there, to threaten Lorraine with jail if her daughter does not go.  Her daughter was in the emergency room this past Thursday night, sick and frantic, and is currently home with her mom, medicated and scared.  The abuser’s mommy has not picked her up as she threatened to do.  So Lorraine faces jail on Monday.  Please say a prayer for her. 

Here’s a StopFamilyViolence release on it at “RandiJames.com”  File it under “a Thanksgiving to remember…”  I guess…

Daughter Won’t Visit Father? Jail Mommy!

November 19, 2009

Irene Weiser
Stop Family Violence


(Oconto Falls, WI) Today an Oconto County family court judge sentenced a mother to jail because she was unable to force her daughter to court mandated visitation with her abusive father. The daughter will be sent to foster care if she refuses to live with her father while the mother serves her sentence.
Circuit Judge David Miron sentenced Lorraine Tipton to 30 days in county jail for contempt of court, for her failure to follow the custody order requiring her daughter to live every other week with her father, Craig Hensberger.


NOTE:  Anyone see this work in reverse, father jailed for refusing visitation to mother?  If so, let me know — it’s my situation.  I miss my (daughters) too!  And if I file for a contempt (further upsetting someone) knowing the courts or enforcement will do nothing, leaving an angry male on the loose.  Same deal with “certifiably insane restraining orders.”  But there’s not a single qualm about restraining protective mothers.  Fork them little girls over, we want a fresh supply of young flesh, plus that adrenaline rush that comes from dominating a woman,  for those who feel entitled, or have become addicted to this need.

These are country-wide, generational nightmares.  When’s the wakeup call?  What will it take to stop it?


She’s terrified of going; she has night terrors and severe anxiety” says Tipton, who admits her daughter hasn’t visited with her father since August.
“I thought the court was supposed to look out for the best interests of the child, not the best interest of the father,” Tipton continued. “I thought once I got out of the abusive relationship everything would be fine. Instead, my abuser is continuing his abuse of me and my daughter with the help of the court.”

Over the course of their on and off 8 year relationship Hensberger was arrested three times for domestic violence and once for child abuse. Since their separation in 2005, Hensberger has been arrested twice for DWI, including once while the daughter was in the car.

Although the court has ordered Hensberger into alcohol treatment and ordered “absolute sobriety” when having visitation, the daughter claims he continues to drink to excess when she is visiting. The father told the court he had stopped drinking completely. The mother recently had a private investigator follow the father, who found that the father drank heavily on a night he was scheduled to have visitation. In court today the father admitted to his continued drinking; nonetheless the judge still sentenced the mother to jail.


Clearly this judge marches to the beat of a different drummer, or is it $$?  One wonders…

Hensberger achieved his local 15 minutes of fame in Oconto in March of this year, when he forced his daughter to enter 3 different fishing tournaments using the same fish so that he could collect the money – a story covered widely by local news. While the local media angle related to his transportation of fish against DNR regulations, Ms. Tipton’s concerns were for the well-being of her daughter, who was being taught to lie, cheat and steal by her father. Since this incident, the daughter’s relationship with the father has deteriorated, Tipton claims.
Additionally, the father’s employment is irregular, his house is in foreclosure and he currently resides with his mother. The daughter claims she is forced to sleep on the floor in the living room or in the unfinished basement since there is no bed or private space for her in the small 2 bedroom house.

“Sadly, this case typifies the problems we are seeing in Family Courts nationwide,” says Irene Weiser, executive director of StopFamilyViolence. org. “Family court judges are failing to recognize signs of abuse, and are placing children in harms way. {{I DISAGREE.  THEY SEE IT, BUT CHOOSE TO IGNORE IT.  The KEY TO THIS PROBLEM IS WHAT ARE THESE JUDGES PAYING GREATER HEED TO THAN THEIR JUDICIAL MANDATE HERE?}}  Even worse, instead of investigating the abuse allegations, they accuse the parent making the allegations of being vindictive and punish them for taking actions to protect their children. Often judges seem more concerned with maintaining the child’s relationship with the father than ensuring the child’s safety.”


Apparently this mother is now out of jail, and her daughter is back in a different kind of jail sentence, and we will just have to figure out how to grow up around all this.  And the reporters will continue wondering why we have so much rape, violence, and substance abuse, let alone, mental health problems in our country.  Gee, let’s take a wild, educated, guess…

Again, folks, this is not anomaly, some aberration, some weird exception in upstate (or wherever) Midwestern Dairy State (?) .  No, this is the pattern, this is the intent, and this is the practice in the family courts.  You are watching it.  Watch your headlines….

At the risk of hammering in this point of HOW it happens, and why (i.e., pointing to probable cause, not just effects), here’s an excerpt from the NAFCJ.net website as to this practice. 

Further down on this link the “Center for Policy Research” group is mentioned.  Check it out — it’s a key player, and sets a pattern for similar groups…

Meanwhile, I am saying my prayers for the Tipton family (and mine).

Child Support role is often a key factor.  Don’t know if it was this time, but t ypically it is.  A broke Mom can’t stick up so well for her rights. 

ANYTHING below this line is a quote from that NAFCJ site, though not so formatted, which ends my post today. 

One reason I understand this pattern to make sense is watching the pattern of abuse, individually, between the family of origin and my ex, and the role of finances, etc., develop over the years, and a progression to the careful vocabulary / jargon used to justify it. 

There is most definitely a system to the chaos. In fact, chaos is the desired status, from what I can see.  (See also Naomi Klein, “The Shock Doctrine,” referring to continental lockdown, etc.)  When people, or a nation, is in shock, it is vulnerable to dictatorship.  That’s why we must FIGHT LIKE HELL for Constitutional rights for all citizens:  male/female, young or old.  This is a language issue, and then practicing what the Constitution says, eliminating something else in one’s life, and forcing legislators, judges, attorneys, and lawyers to practice what they swore an oath to.  It requires checking public records and trying to stop kickbacks, racketeering, double-dipping, and so forth.  This is the price of freedom — vigilance.  And yes, it matters, if it’s not your immediate neighbor!


Read about Meyer Elkin’s  role in the AFCC is discussed  toward the bottom of their site  AFCC: History page  .  
Completely omitted from this AFCC history is the very relevant fact that Meyer Elkin also co-founded in 1985, the leading fathers rights group – Children’s Rights Council.  Study these people and their site carefully because it is the “blueprint” of how the courts are organized to rig cases for their paid-up allies.  Nobody has to slip an envelope full of cash into the pocket of a co-conspirators to rig court cases for these people.  It is all done for them by the government.  They get their bribes paid for them !

The  AFCC never mentions the multiple cross-affiliations between AFCC officials and the fathers rights group including Children’s Rights Council (CRC), founded by David Levy  in 1985, along with several other key AFCC people.  While this vital fact is no where to be found on any of their recent literature, it did appear in the early (pre-Interent) CRC hardcopy newsletters,  which NAFCJ possesses, and uses to discredit this group and the judges who collude with them.  Also in these older CRC newsletters was discussion of grants they received from HHS and the people who worked with them on those grants – people like incest promoters Richard Gardner and Warren Farrell.  CRC allies were put into high-level HHS-ACF position such David Gray Ross, as Commission for Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) -starting in 1993 through approx 1999..  Ross was a Maryland Judge, who people who knew him say was a dead-beat dad himself.  He spent his time as OCSE commissioner instituting regulations, programs and policies favorable to fathers and CRC.  He essentially set up OCSE to be a fathers rights child support avoidance and custody switching agencyThis perversion of  OCSE’s  agency’s original legislative mission continues to-date.  This is the reason why so many custodial mothers can’t collect on their child support arrears, while non-custodial mothers are hounded incessantly and even jailed for support obligations assessed beyond standard guide-lines and beyond their ability to pay.   Other evidence taken from HHS Inspector General Web site reveals even worse corruption at HHS-ACF/OCSE.

The AFCC claims their focus is on training judges, custody evaluators and mediators about custody and divorce issues. But in reality they are a father focused organization and promoting alienation theories to explain away family violence by men. In reality they act as a “clearinghouse” for organized case rigging.  They hold conferences about parental alienation but never mention the many professional experts who have condemned it as harmful to children or the link to incest promoter Richard GardnerTheir  scheme involves “recruiting” male litigants through fathers groups and federal HHS programs managed by the local child support agencies for program “services” which are ostensibly for helping non-custodial fathers get their visitation rights so they would have less incentive to default on child support obligations

{{COMMENT: This has absolutely been my experience, and the Center for Policy Research link, and many others, tend to verify it.  I pressed for child support, my kids were STOLEN, and this was rubberstamped.  Have barely seen them for dust since….}}

Instead the fathers get deals to have their support obligations closed and sent to a program paid attorney to litigant [“litigate”] for custody.  The judge hearing these cases proves [“provides”?] payments to the court-colluding fathers attorney and other supposedly “neutral” court evaluators.   None of this is disclosed to the targeted female litigant who sometimes is also ordered to pay the fees of these court professionals (e.g. illegal double billing).. 

The father is encouraged to file repeated motions (usually on frivolous claims of visitation denial or alienation) so the co-conspiring court professionals can get a steady stream of government payments.  {{GOT THAT??}} It appears the judge handling these cases gets a kickback from those being paid (with his approval) based on a few exposed examples.  This is what keeps their litigation game going and going.  They label it high-conflict bitter custody litigation to hide their own fraud.  The blame the mother for everything and keep her away from her children so she will be desperate to go back to court and get a chance to convince them of the truth (which of course they already know, and are exploiting perversely against her).

Basic Judicial ethics prohibits judges from belonging to organizations with people who appear before them in the court cases.  However, this doesn’t stop the crooked  AFCC affiliated judges from appointing Guardian at Litem (child’s attorneys) or court psychological evaluators who are AFCC members to the same cases which the AFCC member judge is handling.  Also the AFCC conducts joint conferences with the CRC – fathers rights group – usually on the subject of Parental Alienation – which they all know has been discredited as being not a valid method for use in court evaluations.

{{NOTE:  Like other organizations (me talking, again), AFCC may have some fine members.  I know some.  However, like our educational system, this system’s history and intent of the organization stands, and I stand by the above summary of it.}}

Other people on AFCC’s Board of Directors are many people closely associated with the Children’s Rights Council.  Their  favorite researcher  —  Sanford L. Braver, Ph.D. — was a recipient of a $10M federal grant.  Braver,  found, astoundingly, as a result of his study that after divorce, women do as well financially as men!   Bradford and many other purported “neutral” expert evaluators all work in concert behind the scenes to issue rubber-stamp anti-woman, pro-abusive father evaluations for the primary intent of deliberately covering up for abusive fathers (as a protection racket fueled by federal program graft).  

Another AFCC founding official is Jessica Pearson, President of Center for Policy Research of Denver, Colorado, which is a primary consultant to the Department of Health and Human Services – Administration for Children & Families (HHS-ACF) which includes OCSE.  Pearson/AFCC have been using their influence for many years to create pro-father programs and protocols which are steered to the pro-father court professionals who train others in the anti-mother evaluation tactics such as PAS.  She has been a frequent speaker at CRC and AFCC conferences and works closely with other fathers rights collaborators to promote PAS in government programs. 


The AFCC has many state chapters which conduct conferences, seminars and workshops on their “latest” practices for handling divorce, custody and related family & children litigation.  Most of the identified AFCC professional members routinely practice anti-woman, pro-abuser father PAS tactics against mothers who complain of child abuse by the father.  Most have a documented history of rubber-stamping every mother as an mentally unstable alienator who is the cause of all the problem and unfit to be around her children.  Of course, they know the truth of what they are really doing – is to trump up reasons to make the mother look bad so they can justify recommending sole custody a father accused of domestic violence, child abuse or support delinquencies
{{GOt those 3 avenues?  Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, Child Support arrears.  She protests, on behalf of the kids, she loses contact with them.  More business for the court.  Alternately, for a supervised visitation center, another “racket” as far as I am concerned.  LetsGetHonest speaking in that regard, not everyone agrees with me on that.  Jack Straton, Ph.D. and a few others seem to have already, though…”What’s Fair for Children of Abusive Men?”}}
This tactic actually works well for them, because so many people are inclined to believe that women can’t take the pressure of martial break-up they “go-crazy”, imagine or even fabricate problems in their attempt to “get-back’ at him.  These tactics are effective against even professional and prominent women.  The commonly heard “bitter custody dispute”  really means: “crazy lying accusatory woman” who drives the man to violence out of shear frustration (lets call this the Alec Baldwin excuse)



Left from previous news release above…
StopFamilyViolence. org is a national activist organization that works to ensure safety, justice, accountability and healing for victims of family violence. Irene Weiser coordinates the Family Court Reform Coalition, a coalition of advocates, professionals and organizations formed in response to the national crisis in the custody court system, where all too often, judge’s order children to live with abusers and punish, silence, or jail the parent who tries to protect the children from harm.

Irene Weiser
Executive Director
331 W. 57th St #518
New York, NY 10019


OK, my commentary again.  See next post (11-17-09) for next installment in this fiasco (or, business as usual, depending on one’s perspective)….

This mother eventually DID go to jail for failing to force her underaged daughter to allow her father to force himself on her, drive drunk, and other forms of child abuse.  What a few judges with an agenda can do in a system that allows this . . . .  We were pissed off, appropriately.  I’m tired of that!  This mother was sentenced to jail, in 30-day stints, until her girl went back for more of the same (as I heard it). 

When the girl caved in, her mother was released.  This story is still unfolding. 

USA, folks, this is not Guantanamo, this is motherhood, USA.  And she wasn’t even a single parent, this time.  How’d you like to marry into that situation? 

Unjustice and abuse affects EVERYONE….

It affects the next generation, assuming they live that long. 

Over the past decade or so, researchers at McGill University in Montreal, led by Michael Meaney, have shown that affectionate mothering alters the expression of genes in animals, allowing them to dampen their physiological response to stress. These biological buffers are then passed on to the next generation: rodents and nonhuman primates biologically primed to handle stress tend to be more nurturing to their own offspring, Dr. Meaney and other researchers have found.

Now, for the first time, they have direct evidence that the same system is at work in humans. In a study of people who committed suicide published Sunday in the journal Nature Neuroscience, researchers in Montreal report that people who were abused or neglected as children showed genetic alterations that likely made them more biologically sensitive to stress.

[After Abuse, Changes in the Brain by BENEDICT CAREY

StopFamilyViolence.org, Feb. 23, 2009]


Richmond, CA Rev. talks sense about alcohol’s role in gangrape.

with one comment

Yesterday, being off-line (not including a miniature and slow cell phone, without a keyboard), I reviewed some local newsprint.  In fact, lack of access to the internet has caused a variety of “bad hair” days, and some dashed off, ill-formatted posts.  I became a Mac fan, glad to learn how this works, and a real convert.  Then it went MIA, and it’s back to figuring out strange computers display/paste, etc. vagaries, on the fly.  Moroever today, as far as hair is concerned, for me it’s a bad hair day (literally) as well.  Consider yourself forewarned. 

Domestic violence (of which sexual assault by any family member would be part of, though not the case here) and/or child abuse are definitely crimes that involve enablers, standers-by, and those who fail to report.  As we know.  The Richmond gangrape shocked everyone, and shock was appropriate, however, what indeed are our illusions about the public school system to start with? 

While it’s appropriate to express shock at the number of passers-by that allowed this young lady to be gangraped after a homecoming dance, few articles have mentioned that she had been drinking underage, too.  While that’s NO excuse, I feel this article handled it sensitively enough.

I haven’t posted for some days.  While there’s no shortage of topics, I looked forward to posting this article, if no other.  Someone needs to say it.  And, seeing as I tend to ramrod religion from time to time, and may in a few minutes here, I was glad to see this Rev. at least brought up the topic of, what was this 15 year old doing drinking?  What was that context?  No, that’s no excuse — she didn’t provoke this.  However, it was an element of the vulnerability here, and deserves some press.


Perspective: Alcohol abuse at heart of Richmond rape case

Rev. Alvin C. Bernstine
Guest Commentary

Posted: 11/15/2009 12:01:00 AM PST

Tuesday Nov 3
Please know that I do not mean to minimize the crime nor suggest that the victim’s inability to physically repel her assailants makes the crime less horrifying. I do, however, believe that more attention must given to the fact that a contributing factor to this horrifying crime was the abuse of alcohol, and possibly other substances.

I also know that adults make bad decisions, use poor judgment and do stupid things when intoxicated, and that heavily stimulated youth on alcohol is a recipe for violent behavior.

The lack of attention to the presence of alcohol abuse in this horrifying instance does nothing to minimize that nearly 60 percent of all high school students are drinkers of alcohol, and that in 2005 more than half of all Americans age 12 or older reported being drinkers. In one report “alcohol has been tried by 41 percent of current 8th graders, 63 percent of 10th graders, 75 percent of 12th graders, and 87 percent of college students” (Drugs and Society).

Young people are using alcohol at alarming rates, and the use of alcohol or some psychoactive substance is present in nearly all violent crimes committed by youth.

Alcohol diminishes the capacity to engage in moral reasoning, which radically impairs one’s ability to make judgments. In a culture where women are daily objectified, young men impaired by alcohol are not likely to control their impulses and are more prone to herd behavior in regard to women. Alcohol has been a constant among teen activities, and the use of it is a kind of rite of passage into adulthood.

While we pursue the assailants of this brutal act, let us be mindful that there is also some irresponsible, sleazy adult, possibly a parent, who assisted in making alcohol available to youth.

It seems that children may have engaged in a horrible crime, but some adult contributed to this damnable behavior. I pray our outcry to this crime would include efforts at educating children about substance abuse, particularly alcohol, and making adults accountable who contribute to the delinquency of minors.

I pray more parents step up and serve as monitors for school activities, which would reduce alcohol use and curtail violent behavior among youth. If parents are afraid to attend youth functions, then we probably should not let our children attend. Our children should know that the use of alcohol among children is not something that we can tolerate.

Rev. Bernstine is pastor of the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Richmond.


Meanwhile, same incident, a career public educator moralizes on the immoral status of our educational system, in re: this same incident.  PR key — never lose a chance to moralize (I try not to, right?). . . . .   I include this link for those interested in reading the 70 comments, including those who thought the author was a “blooming idiot” and another one who blamed — what else, single parents, father absence (not of the victim, but maybe we could go blame some of the rapists, then?) and them danged immigrants.  Notice the difference in tone from what’s above:


Paul White: Gang rape watchers a product of schools’ moral void

Full story: LA Daily News

THE refusal by dozens of students and adults to intervene in a two-hour gang rape at a Richmond, Calif.. . . .  [[(read it yourself…)]]
What are you “standing by” in your life these days? . . . . Think about it..

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

November 16, 2009 at 5:35 pm

My gut reaction to more news of a fathering court.

with 2 comments


It takes but a few moments of passion — and a woman  — for a man to start a child. 

Between funding of abstinence education, healthy marriage initiatives, fatherhood initiatives, a “fantastic” public school system (USA), trailing the industrialized world in several core topics, like reading and math, and rampant crime inside and outside the schools; between initiatives preventing parents from knowing whether or not a teen daughter has gone to have an abortion on school time (Google “Pacific Justice Institute”), and so forth — PERHAPS with all these, plus federal funding womb to tomb, more studies and evaluations of those studies, and of course the “help” of the child support system in setting reasonable and consistent standards in assigning — and collecting the child support to relieve the welfare load (supposedly) — and of course with more, and more prominent active fathering courts replacing the rule of law and common sense

we might find a few good men with moral integrity and empathy for the welfare of their offspring.

Actually, from what I can see, the idea is with ENOUGH props, such men can be made — or bribed — to shape up, and care about their offspring. 

This is among the many causes our debt-ridden country has decided to espouse. 

As a mother, I didn’t feel it necessary to bribe and/or threaten my children to excel at their studies (which they did), and I am puzzled why this approach is thought to be so important to make sense as applied to grown young (or older) men in order to step up to the fatherhood plate.   

So . . . re :
Jackson County Pioneers Missouri Move to Fathering Courts

I add my sarcastic italicized comments so the text doesn’t blithely slip down reader’s gullets and a  warm fuzzy feeling about the nobility of this enterprise get assimilated into the thinking system.  This is a first-response post.  

Then again, what you assimilate is your choice.  When you read, remember that every Court Comissioner, Defense prosecutor, and public prosecutor mentioned is, I would think, on public dole also.  Welcome to the OK Corrale..  Everyone feels better after a few sessions in there.

This post is based on an emotional gut reaction to the concept.  Perhaps my “reasoning” as such is fuzzy, but I don’t see how it could be much fuzzier and emotionally based than what I’m commenting on.  Judge for yourself.  Please! – – -these are government-supported policies (and therefore $$), so keep it real!

Jackson County Pioneers Missouri Move to Fathering Courts
John Holt, edited by Jason Vaughn
November 6, 2009
KANSAS CITY, MO – Kevin Gainey was on top of the world. A good job as a bail bondsman, a lake home, and custody of his young son following his divorce.

{{FUNNY, I thought there was gender bias against men in family courts.  That’d be an interesting  case to look up. . . . Maybe  Mom must have abused substances, abandoned children, been a slut and was off witha nother man, or simply a stay at home Mom who was financially outclassed somehow.   Maybe she was a working Mom and he was a stayathome father?   Or, maybe she just gave them to him, not being financially independent and called that a good deal.  Or perhaps she was not emotionally connected to her son.  There are a thousand reasons this father, not mother, may have gotten custody of his son after a divorce, all of which might be relevant to the story, and shed a different light on the situations, and the wisdom — or lack of it — of whichever judge decided to allocate custody of his son to a Dad.  Boys should be with fathers {{no matter the character…}} was maybe the thinking, I guess.  H OW OLD was the son?  Who had been previous caretaker?  Was his former Mom a stay at home Mom?  Was the divorce contested or amicable?  What was that background story???}}

But bad habits caught up with him, his son moved back with his mom, and Gainey lost his job.

{{“bad habits caught up with him.”  Yeah, let’s gloss over that aspect. 

Poor fellow, couldn’t run fast enough.  Was it meth, crack, heroin, alcohol, pornography, — WHAT bad habits.  No matter, poor dear, he couldn’t outrun himself..

Also, I note, “moved BACK with his Mom,” meaning, she had custody, then lost it.  Maybe not.  But if so, Gee, sound familiar, folks? — except the actually getting to move back with Mom part…}}

“Wasn’t always accountable for my actions,” Gainey now says. “A lot of it had to do with my substance abuse problem.”

{{So what did the rest of it have to do with??}}

{{Externalizes the problem —  I am so familiar with this language pattern!  Not his fault, still..}}

{{Notice he didn’t say:  I wasn’t always accountable, I abused substances (and which one[s])..and “I hurt my son” }}with what ramifications…was it endangering his son most likely?  What was he doing to support his “bad habits” and “substance abuse” problem that caused a radical custody switch?)

With no money, doing odd jobs, and a sobriety issue {{SO it was alcohol…}}, Gainey fell behind in his child support, and wound up facing criminal charges.

{{Again poor dear, he was drinking, making holding a job difficult– apparently AFTER he lost custody of his son, as child support was involved.  I say apparently, because I don’t know for sure, but it seems likely…}}

 Despite that, prosecutors deemed him a good candidate for a diversion program that could give Gainey a fresh start and keep him out of prison: fathering court.

{{FORMULA:  State & Court order child support.  Child support not paid.  This is contempt of a law, and a quasi-criminal situation that can land a parent in jail, the purpose of which is to communicate that child support is a serious issue and to be paid.  However, there’s a way to dilute that message that child support IS for children, IS important, and that neglecting it IS negligence, when the potential to pay exists (i.e., stop drinking, and instead work, or at least seek work….  get help yourself…)

Enter — voila! —


((Somehow, I sense as systemic setup — do you?))  ((My blog talks about the Father’s Resolutions passed in 1998 & 1999 in US Congress, and posts some links and excerpts of the horror that XX% of African American children are sleeping in homes wi thout their fathers in them nationwide, and how Congress can stop th is travesty….

Note:  The 15 yr old girl gangraped, with passers by, in Richmond, CA recently had a father in the home.  He just wasn’t at the door leaving the dance to get her.  The victim, and it’s STILL no excuse, but she was 15 and inhaled a good deal of alcohol first.  She had a father.  Must have been a statistical anomaly.  Meanwhile, in another state here, to protect young sons (like the one exposed to substance abuse, above) and the young daughters (like the one whose  currently devastated Dad, I’m sure, did NOT show up needy and underemployed in a fathering court, apparently) we need MORE, not LESS< “therapeutic jurisprudence.” 

In fact, let’s actually just SKIP the jurisprudence part (except for the labels on the door) and go straight to therapy, just CALLING it “court.” 

Gag me with a spoon.. . .Or show me the up and coming “mothering” courts.  No one gives us that rope, that I’ve seen!   

It will not change the wheels of the institutions — we still need more fathering intervention nationwide, and grants to fund them, and to alter the philosophical basis of law to accommodate a “required outcome” of more father-contact, and to bribe, cajole, coach, and help men  to understand they must actually help FEED those they BREED. 

Launched in 1998, Jackson County’s fathering court is modeled after its drug court: parents, most often dads  {{Well, THAT”s a shocker….}}, get help meeting the challenges that may be holding them back through an initial screening. Regular follow-up court appearances are designed to keep them on track.

“I think that’s the role of fathering court. To identify the barriers that are preventing payment of support, and then to direct them to the services that resolve those issues,” says Family Court Commissioner Patrick Campbell, himself a father of two.

Commissioner Campbell presides over the court which meets weekly in Division 43.

{{Let me get this straight:  He presides over this court, presumably making decisions and signing court orders affecting men, women, and their mutual children, and THINKS he understands its purpose?  Does this Commissioner have a law degree in any state?}}

{{Are there any actual rules of court which apply in this situation?  By the way, people have a right to be heard by a judge, not a commissioner, if they choose, or so I heard.  I suppose that’s not highly publicized over there…}}

On a recent morning it was a crowded docket, as Commissioner Campbell greeted men who must demonstrate that they are making progress, make some kind of regular payment toward child support, and attend a 12 week parenting class.

{{Yes, there’s no problem on earth that a good parenting class can’t solve.  }}

“Congratulations”, Campbell tells one dad. “I told you when you graduated and got a job I was going to raise you up a little bit. So I’m going to raise each of them to 150 a month.”

To another dad, the commissioner urges contact with his kids: **”These three kids have one dad and you’re it,” he tells the man, who admits he hasn’t seen his children much.

**I am a mother.  I am having to fight pretty damn hard for contact with my kids, and there’s not one court commissioner, court-appointed attorney, mediator, judge or any one else assisting me.  But because I wasn’t abusing substances and in trouble with the law, there were no “services” offered to help.  In fact, when I went seeking them — after child-stealing on an overnight– they weren’t found.  Period.  If anything, these courts were resisting.  I didn’t understand this fully til, again, I looked up the “Access Visitation” grants system and “REQUIRED OUTCOME” for grant recipients.  You can research this, too — my blog, others, or the internet.  THAT’s what this is about.  NOT the kids…

To other men he’s a cheerleader, a task master, a coach, urging some to get something as simple as an email address so they can receive job listings sent to them by the program.

“You try to make a quick decision as to whether this is a time to encourage them or is this a time to push ’em where they’re not comfortable,” Campbell says later.

{{I am so sorry to find that the public servants in this country feel the need to parent parents, and have forgotten their assigned duties and oaths of office (for th ose who are also attorneys).  The President of the USA had to swear an oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution.  This includes due process, and laws.  What’s up with this crowd?  ???}}

A prosecutor and defense attorney stand at the bench with each of the dads, but unlike other settings, they appear more like a team, working with, rather than against each other in a court where there is no court reporter, and nothing is on the record.

{{WOW.  That’s wonderfully reassuring that all decisions will be ethical, fair, not subject to any forms of bribery or kickback, and protect the interests of the children involved, and the rest of the society not to have to pick up the tab….}}

“They see that we’re all trying to help them get to where they need to be,” says prosecutor Rebecca Leavett, who calls fathering court her favorite docket. “And I think they get more relaxed and trust us, they open up to us more about the issues that are actually going on in their lives.”

{{Translation:  some of them can be disarmingly open — when there’s money at stake.  I am so glad that the prosecutor and the defense attorneys — in an adversarial system designed for the truth to come out, through due process, and fair judgments be made — are in truth not even PRETENDING to do “bad cop, good cop,” but admitting that it’s all a show.  . . . . . .   }}

{{I”m so glad that these hardened attorneys get to have some moments of warm fuzzy feelings of do-goodism.  Perhaps the single mothers (if applicable) and fatherless children can take that warm fuzzy feeling and serve it up hot for dinner, or hug it as a pillow on a cold night.  Perhaps th ose attorneys might want to empathize with those not actually present in court, in their warm fuzziness on the law…and accountability…. AA for effort, eh??  }}

Her counterpart agrees.

“This isn’t a time for secrets, this isn’t a time for somebody to come up and say ‘whoa that’s attorney-client privilege, I want to keep this between me and my attorney,” says Gaurika Anand, a public defender who works with most of the dads.

Along with court transcripts, adversarial process designed to elicit truth, we now also want to do away with attorney-client privilege.  Gee, I wonder what ELSE is on the docket here??

Are the sons and daughters of these child-support-deprived kids going to grow up realizing, as their Dads now have, that it’s not actual performance, but just a public effort, that actually counts in life?  We can’t expect real standards based on real needs, after all…. 

I say this as a teacher, most of my adult professional life.  I know that failing to make standards clear, and then get a consensus to excell at reaching them — accomplishment and stretching those standards upwards by effort (not bribery…) produces the warm fuzzy feelings.  Not cheating them by constantly reducing the bottom line…}}


This year, Missouri lawmakers saw the eleven year old Jackson County court as a good model, and approved the concept statewide. So far several circuit courts have expressed interest, but there’s little money for launching new fathering courts. A state court spokesman says it’s expected the concept will eventually spread when the state’s economy improves.

Gainey is just happy he had the concept to benefit from in Jackson County. Initially reluctant to attend the parenting classes, he eventually did, and is grateful for the opportunity. He’s slowly whittling down his $17,000 back child support bill, has attended rehab, and says he’s now sober and working toward a better life.

When Gainey and other dads graduate, the criminal non-support charges are gone, so long as they continue to work to pay down their child support debt.

“There’s no way I could disrespect the opportunity family court’s given me,” he says. “This is gonna’ happen.”

That’s what Commissioner Campbell wants to hear from more of his participating dads.

“In this court you actually see people make changes.” he says. “I would never tell you it would be all of those making changes, but you see a lot of people make primary fundamental changes in their life. And that’s a very encouraging thing to see.”


When you mix this scenario in with domestic violence, just know that economic abuse is a common factor.  While I’m VERY jaundiced, there’s a reason —  my personal experience, which is not unique, as a mother, watching the impact of sporadic child support payments, the NONresponse of the system to do anything about it when I worked and invested diligent time to get them to (and involved others).  When the children lived with me, it stalled, delayed, obstructed, and gave me double-talk answers to direct questions.    This affected my children, and my relationship with them.

The second the custody switch happened, this same system that would NOT move for a single mother, went aggressively to bat for a father who’d just responded to my attempts to collect by snatching the kids! 

This will all come out in the wash eventually.  Warm fuzzies (I don’t share them, in this matter) in one place don’t compensate for hungry children elsewhere.

For those new to these posts — the OCSE (That’s federal Office of Child Support Enforcement) are administering the grants to the states for increasing noncustodial parent (translation:  FATHERS) involvement with their kids through mandated mediation, parenting plans, and other issues designed to —    I hate to keep repeating this truth, but it’s the truth– diverting the evidence and fact-finding process from OUTSIDE The courtroom (and off the record — see this above case!) — to court paraprofessionals whose BUSINESS is apparently custody-switching, titles to the contrary….

How far away is the Gulag Archipelago from this Designer Family Concept?

Not too far, from what I can see.

Gag me with a spoon…..

For further reference on this topic.


For more on Kansas, Google (or search my post also)   Claudine Dombrowski, Oletha Faust-Goudeau (and etc.).  Kansas thought ANOTHER fatherhood initiative was needed recently.  Guess they forgot about all the other programs racing through the courts, governments, county jails, chidl support agencies, faith-based nonprofit organizations, and university advanced social sciences programs, and — did I miss a venue?  No matter, fatherhood initiatives wi’ll turn up there sooner or later.  Just you wait…

LOOK:  If it’s a court, let it be a court.  If it’s therapy, let it be therapy.  Tell the truth on the label outside the door.  Also tell all the mothers involved what’s being done, out of their vision, hearing, and awareness, with the Dads of their children.  So they can, like me, put their two bits in.

Failure to call things what they are in my book is simply called lying.  No wonder confusion is rampant and mental health professionals are swamped, and stressed out with clients. 

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.  In order to put SOME kind of order to thoughts, it’s necessary to have a somewhat standard point of reference for the words used to describe them.

What I read about here — that’s not court, that’s a farce of a court process.  Everyone might as well go laughing to their various banks, those that have them, while the single mothers, scourge of our nation, go find a 3rd job, and then get criticized openly in family court for their “relationship” with the latchkey kids.

Some of these Dads had legitimate problems.  How many of them were screened for prior domestic violence and use of the child support system to apply pressure on the  mothers of their kids?  If so, why do they get the kid glove, and the families the backside of the hand?

I advise people to totally avoid the child support system, if at all possible.  I do not think it’s redeemable at this piont.  Too large, too much power, and too many people are dying when people get pissed off at its proclamations.  the office shooting in Orlando, FL had a child support debt element, for those who noticed.  The shooting (one died) took place in an office, but it was a Dad, with history of controlling and abuse, and a child support debt of over $11,000.   

Was it a fair ruling?  Quite possibly that system is adding to the stress factors.

I was within range of not needing child support, but I couldn’t get the protection to my own work life and relationships to make it all the way home.  Somehow, that doesn’t seem (in retrospect), “accidental” at all.  Strong, independent, law-abiding single mothers upset the  machinery here, and it seems courts like these, and other programs, are intent on doing away with us, and our connection with our kids.  We may maintain it, but it will cost us — whether through supervised visitation, or thousands in lawyers in the family law system; once entered — exit is difficult.

If these comments are helpful (or your gut reaction to them is like mine to the article), please feel free to comment on-line.

Have a nice day.

Men’s Rights, Women’s Right, or plain old WHAT’s Right?

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This is a quick post, and on again reflecting on the He vs. She wars, which are not possible to win, let alone ridiculous in premise, here’s a little book:


Is it true that all of us, not just poets, speak in metaphors, whether we realize it or not? Is it perhaps even true that we live by metaphors? In Metaphors We Live By George Lakoff, a linguist, and Mark Johnson, a philosopher, suggest that metaphors not only make our thoughts more vivid and interesting but that they actually structure our perceptions and understanding. Thinking of marriage as a “contract agreement,” for example, leads to one set of expectations, while thinking of it as “team play,” “a negotiated settlement,” “Russian roulette,” “an indissoluble merger,” or “a religious sacrament” will carry different sets of expectations. When a government thinks of its enemies as “turkeys or “clowns” it does not take them as serious threats, but if the are “pawns” in the hands of the communists, they are taken seriously indeed. Metaphors We Live By has led many readers to a new recognition of how profoundly metaphors not only shape our view of life in the present but set up the expectations that determine what life well be for us in the future. (from introduction in The Conscious Reader)

“Metaphors We Live By” by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson

. . .

It is important to see that we don’t just talk about arguments in terms of war. We can actually win or lose arguments. We see the person we are arguing with as an opponent. We attack his positions and we defend our own. We gain and lose ground. We plan and use strategies. If we find a position indefensible, we can abandon it and take a new line of attack. Many of the things we do in arguing are partially structured by the concept of war. Though there is no physical battle, there is a verbal battle, and the structure of an argument–attack, defense, counter-attack, etc.—reflects this. It is in this sense that the ARGUMENT IS WAR metaphor is one that we live by in this culture; its structures the actions we perform in arguing. Try to imagine a culture where arguments are not viewed in terms of war, where no one wins or loses, where there is no sense of attacking or defending, gaining or losing ground. Imagine a culture where an argument is viewed as a dance, the participants are seen as performers, and the goal is to perform in a balanced and aesthetically pleasing way. In such a culture, people would view arguments differently, experience them differently, carry them out differently, and talk about them differently. But we would probably not view them as arguing at all: they would simply be doing something different. It would seem strange even to call what they were doing “arguing.” In perhaps the most neutral way of describing this difference between their culture and ours would be to say that we have a discourse form structured in terms of battle and they have one structured in terms of dance. This is an example of what it means for a metaphorical concept, namely, ARGUMENT IS WAR, to structure (at least in part) what we do and how we understand what we are doing when we argue. The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another.. It is not that arguments are a subspecies of war. Arguments and wars are different kinds of things–verbal discourse and armed conflict–and the actions performed are different kinds of actions. But ARGUMENT is partially structured, understood, performed, and talked about in terms of WAR. The concept is metaphorically structured, the activity is metaphorically structured, and, consequently, the language is metaphorically structured.

At the back of this (1980 publ.) book is a section that talks about the CONDUIT method of communication — and cites how this leads to untold evils.  At best, communication is negotiated, with respect for differences, until some basic consensus is reached.

However, there are limits to this, and there ARE people who have no intention of doing so.  In such cases, then the dialogue becomes fruitless, if not dangerous.  In pursuing Life, Liberty and Happiness – – – an individual should be allowed to set some LIMIT on how long to continue in fruitless or possibly dangerous negotiations. 

The timeframe within family law is generally 18 years from the birth of the  youngest child, unless you get lucky, wise, rich, or out of there by some other means, depriving untold professionals of a captive audience.  No matter, there are more where the first batch came from . . . .

Now, to understand what’s going on in the family law venue, it’s necessary to ADMIT that there are religious groups — and I include people who religiously cling to hating the opposite sex, whether or not they self-classify as agnostic, atheist, or whatnot — that’s a theology, that’s an -ism, and that’s a worldview that only ONE worldview is acceptable — these groups perceive giving women rights, per se, is an “attack’ on their gender

Look — when can we return, USA, to the “metaphor” that is contained in our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence.  Given those, then the main struggles are to recognize people that don’t look like “us” to be actually acknowledged as human beings, in these unalienable rights.  These CIVIL rights. 

We are raising a nation of bigots.  It’s frightening.  The main point is not statistics, but due process, and uncorrupt judges, mediators, and attorneys.  As to the family law venue, I’m real jaundiced these days, and will bite my tongue, at least for today, other than to assert that it’s become two things:

1.  Therapeutic Jurisprudence.  Guess what?  Law and Therapy are two SEPARATE fields, and I do believe the former one holds more sanity,a nd possibly precision, than the latter, which presumes a subject/object relationship I happen to think conflicts with the entire premise of having a court to start with.  If it’s law, do law.  If it’s therapy, then count me out — I’ll find a qualified therapist when that’s  the priority, IF it becomes one, but the thing that appears to create the need for it is this circus, to start with!

2.  Business for Social Scientists, turning our nation more and more into a complete bureaucracy, where actual productive, creative activity is draining out of the workplace, as if the taxes supportinga ll this weren’t enough drain to start with.  Public SERVANTS???  Then let them actually read the case files, obey the rules of court, stop ignoring evidence, and cease ruling on hearsay and personal opinion.  These are ETHICAL matters.

Tolerance, please for formatting (can’t access regular computer).  Not my best post, but I borrow from better writers above and below:

And here’s an article:

Men’s Rights” Groups Have Become Frighteningly Effective

“They’re changing custody rights and domestic violence laws. Posted: Thursday, November 5, 2009 7:45am”

By Kathryn Joyce

[Kathryn Joyce is a freelance writer based in New York City and the author of Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement]

This article is fairly long, mentions so many players in this venue, and a reader who actually looked up several of them would be better informed on the field.  I have blogged on some of the individuals or items in here already.

My comments, for now:  Public, WAKE UP!  !!!  The time is now. . . .   And I do not think the solution is to pick a side, but to look at what has been forgotten in this process.  There are plenty of groups who would be  just fine for all men vs. women war (and ideology) to keep on going — business is good, after all, in these circles, and unlike other sectors of the economy, there is no lack of clients in the family law venue, especially when fights over custody are bitter.

Is it possible to have a non-polarized view of these events, without projecting one’s own woes and bad experiences onto the entire field?  I know, I’m  guilty of doing this during my blog.  On the other hand, how many blogs do you know that actually point to the federal funding of these dramas? 

The woman who wrote this has authored a book on Christian Patriarchy.  I say that Christian and Patriarchy are mutually exclusive.  WIthout COMPLETELY revealing my identity (let’s hope), and for where I’m coming from, see either righthand column, or one of my earliest blogs which says this:

If you can bear with my theology, or allow some poetic license here, for rthe sake of argument:  The “Jesus Christ” I read (that’s past tense, present tense) about in the Bible — which I’ve been doing for decades, complete with the intellectual background, the degrees, a good deal of Greek, and trying to live the stuff, the professional multicultural variety (yada, yada, yada),  – – and whether or not one considers the accounts reliable, but as written — the guy confronted the religiosity, hypocrisy, failure to care for — or for that matter, basically notice — the poor, the sick, the weak  and basic oppression of his own religion —  and got crucified for it. 

I’ve had “Christian Patriarchy” in my face, on top of me, and calling me  names, and I have stared straight into the angry face of a personality that didn’t see a PERSON, but a GENDER, and, as such, an ENEMY.  I have been called Satan, and Eve, straight-out, and the dude had weapons, too, and had this hitting habit, too.  I have had to go around and try to counter some of the dudes that were egging him on to “win” and to “dominate” ( that’s brave, dominating a pregnant woman whose car, bank account, and etc. you’d already commandeered for the cause.  How manly ….).  I believe I have as much a right to criticize and address this as the next person, while still acknowledging that feminISM isn’t a reliable theology either.  However, I do believe it began as a  reaction to injustice based on gender, and that injustice based on gender DOES have a religious basis, no matter what the color or jargon — Christian, Muslim, Jewish, agnostic.  Misogyny is misogyny, as is basic narcissism.

It’s a sad day when the dialogue has degenerated into ISMs and IANITIES…  Talk about inane.  Father’s rights countering women’s rights, countering being assaulted in the home, underpaid and etc.  It gets down to economics sooner or later.  Add to this, for some interest, CIVIL rights, racism, and in short the US/Them mentality for defining what’s right and what’s wrong.

I would LIKE to say NO!  STOP!  Trying to answer “who”  is wrong, is wrong.  But in a lawsuit, or legal process, the question is, WHAT is wrong.  It’s a WHAT not a WHO. 

Unfortunately, family law is set up to do the character evaluation thing, not the evidence thing (see my last post). 

Lying to get one’s way– especially bearing false witness under oath, stealing, murdering, and if you’re in a marriage, I say adultery, although most folks are, who cares?  I call those wrong.

Defrauding other individuals through the court process, which happens, is wrong.  Part of this includes lying, suppressing evidence, violating rules of court (how many of us even know them?), intimidating witnesses has GOT to be morally near the bottom, and so forth.  Extortion, like I mentioned last post.  These THINGS are wrong.

And if this sounds uncomfortably close to the 10 commandments, then let’s go with some penal codes instead.  This still leaves the same problem  also detailed in the Bible — who’s going to judge, and who’s going to enforce?  Suppose those judges are taking bribes (won’t be the first time in history, right?).   The sons of Samuel, as I recall, a top-notch prophet, were causing a ruckus sleeping with women who came to the temple.  Nothing new under the sun, for sure, in that matter. . . . . . See Alanna Krause case — two of the individuals influencing her case — as a minor daughter — were in bed together.  Fat chance she had of justice with that going on.

So, HERE is the article. I may return for paragraphing, and commenting — but it talks about key issues and players.

Like most such articles, it does NOT follow the money trail through the government grants system, and it doesn’t really show which organizations are in bed with which other ones.  However, this is informative, and I’ll slap it up here today (sorry for the analogy).  Suggest googling the individuals and organizations mentioned, then look some of them up on TAGGS.hhs.gov or usaspending.gov.  For starters.

Have a nice day!

At the end of October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, members of the men’s movement group RADAR (Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting) gathered on the steps of Congress to lobby against what they say are the suppressed truths about domestic violence: that false allegations are rampant, that a feminist-run court system fraudulently separates innocent fathers from children, that battered women’s shelters are running a racket that funnels federal dollars to feminists, that domestic-violence laws give cover to cagey mail-order brides seeking Green Cards, and finally, that men are victims of an unrecognized epidemic of violence at the hands of abusive wives.
“It’s now reached the point,” reads a statement from RADAR, “that domestic violence laws represent the largest roll-back in Americans’ civil rights since the Jim Crow era!”
RADAR’s rhetoric may seem overblown, but lately the group and its many partners have been racking up very real accomplishments. In 2008, the organization claimed to have blocked passage of four federal domestic-violence bills, among them an expansion of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to international scope and a grant to support lawyers in pro bono domestic-violence work. Members of this coalition have gotten themselves onto drafting committees for VAWA’s 2011 reauthorization. Local groups in West Virginia and California have also had important successes, criminalizing false claims of domestic violence in custody cases, and winning rulings that women-only shelters are discriminatory.  
Groups like RADAR fall under the broader umbrella of the men’s rights movement, a loose coalition of anti-feminist groups. These men’s rights activists, or MRAs, have long been written off by domestic-violence advocates as a bombastic and fringe group of angry white men, and for good reason. Bernard Chapin, a popular men’s rights blogger, told me over e-mail that he will refer to me as “Feminist E,” since he never uses real names for feminists, who are wicked and who men “must verbally oppose … until our flesh oxidizes into dust.” In the United Kingdom, a father’s rights group scaled Buckingham Palace in superhero costumes. In Australia, they wore paramilitary uniforms and demonstrated outside the houses of female divorcees.

But lately they’ve become far more polished and savvy about advancing their views. In their early days of lobbying, “these guys would show up and have this looming body language that was very off-putting,” says Ben Atherton-Zeman, author of Voices of Men, a one-man play about domestic violence and sexual assault. “But that’s all changed. A lot of the leaders are still convicted batterers, but they’re well-organized, they speak in complete sentences, they sound much more reasonable: All we want is equal custody, for fathers not to be ignored.”

One of the respectable new faces of the movement is Glenn Sacks, a fathers’ rights columnist and radio host with 50,000 e-mail followers, and a pragmatist in a world of angry dreamers. Sacks is a former feminist and abortion-clinic defender who disavows what he calls “the not-insubstantial lunatic fringe of the fathers’ rights movement.” He recently merged his successful media group with the shared-parenting organization Fathers and Families in a bid to build a mainstream fathers’ rights organ on par with the National Organization of Women. Many of Sacks’ arguments—for a court assumption of shared parenting in the case of divorce, or against child-support rigidity in the midst of recession—can sound reasonable.
But do any of their arguments hold up? Many of the men for whom Sacks advocates are involved in extreme cases, says Joanie Dawson, a writer and domestic-violence advocate who has covered the fathers’ rights movement. The great majority of custody cases, in which shared parenting is a legitimate option, are settled or resolved privately. But of the 15 percent that go to family court—the cases that fathers’ rights groups target—at least half include alleged domestic abuse.
Unsurprisingly, this argument is missing from MRA discussions of custody inequality and recruitment ads, which cast all men as potentially innocent victims “just one 911 call away” from losing everything they have earned and loved. These rallying calls, and the divorce attorneys hawking men’s rights expertise on MRA sites, promising to “teach her a lesson,” serve as what Dawson sees as a powerful draw for men in the midst of painful divorces.
While MRA groups continue to expand their base of embittered fathers and ex-husbands, they’ve cleaned up their image to court more powerful allies. RADAR board member Ron Grignal, the former president of Fathers for Virginia and a former state delegate candidate, organizes the group’s Washington lobbying activities.

{{It’s spelled “Grignol” and here’s a PIPL link…and this, apparently, is what he thinks of protective orders, based on “Death by Protective Order” from the organization above.  Predictably, it wasn’t to protect herself, it was to gain a strategic advantage in divorce:  ”

“In fact, protective orders are very often and too easily misused by one parent to gain advantage in a child custody battle and are a device to keep the family home in a property settlement. Once one spouse has gained custody of their minor children and the house through a protective order, it is difficult for the other party to secure significant custodial time with their children and almost impossible to regain the house.

Protective orders can also {{But is this what they DO?}} provide cover and shift blame from spouses who may have initiated the break-up by having an affair or simply becoming bored with the marriage.

Lawyers and other advocates willingly take part in this protective order fraud through the advice they give their clients. Judges and magistrates err on the side of caution because they don’t want headlines of a murder or serious injury if they don’t grant a protective order”

If so, where is the evidence of handwringing or hair-tearing-out on the part of judges and magistrates for the headlines that have already occurred?



In 2008, RADAR partnered with Eagle Forum for a conference at the Heritage Foundation about the threat that VAWA poses to the family.

{{This link is from 2006, and lists other organizations involved, including “ACFC” — note similar acronym to “AFCC”…}}

Grignal argues that state interpretations of VAWA are so broad they could cast couples’ money disputes as domestic violence, enabling unwarranted restraining orders that then win women’s divorce cases for them. Politicians, Grignal says, are increasingly on board with men’s rights movement concerns.
“On domestic violence, I’ve had both state and federal legislators tell me they know that this process is out of control,” says Grignal. “They’re afraid if they support [reforms] they’ll be tagged as ‘for domestic violence.’ But I’ve had Democrats on Capitol Hill tell me they agree with everything I say. A member of the Congressional Black Caucus told me that his brother can’t see his kids, and his wife threatened to throw herself down the stairs to ruin his political career.”
Some domestic-violence protections do seem to have unintended effects, such as mandatory-arrest policies that compel police to take someone into custody in response to any domestic-violence call—a policy that has been criticized by RADAR as well as by some domestic-violence advocates, who say it imposes an absurd equivalence between largely nonviolent family spats or insubstantial female violence and serious abuse. But groups like RADAR are criticizing the law for the wrong reasons. In fact, the effect of mandatory arrest in conflating women’s low-level violence with battery, seems very close to RADAR’s campaign for viewing women as equal domestic abusers.
One potent idea advanced by MRAs is the claim that men are equal victims of domestic violence. Mark Rosenthal, president and co-founder of RADAR, makes a very personal argument for the phenomenon. Rosenthal, who doesn’t call himself an MRA, grew up with a mother who he says terrorized the entire family and hit her husband frequently. The true impact of the violence, he says, was more than physical and eclipsed his petite mother’s ability to inflict serious injuries. Rosenthal wants to see an appreciation for women’s nonphysical abuse incorporated into domestic-violence policy. “It’s not about size,” he told an audience at a law enforcement domestic-violence training. “It’s not exclusively about physical attacks. However, it is about a pathological need to control others, and women are as prone to this as men.”
RADAR and other MRA groups base their battered men arguments largely on the research of a small group of social scientists who claim that domestic violence between couples is equally divided, just unequally reported. Most notable are the studies conducted by sociologist Murray Straus of the University of New Hampshire, who has written extensively on female violence (and who Dawson saw distributing RADAR flyers at an APA conference).

Straus’ research is starting to move public opinion. A Los Angeles conference this July dedicated to discussing male victims of domestic violence, “From Ideology to Inclusion 2009: New Directions in Domestic Violence Research and Intervention,” received positive mainstream press for its “inclusive” efforts.
While some men certainly are victims of female domestic violence, advocates say the number is closer to 3 percent to 4 percent, rather than the 45 percent to 50 percent RADAR claims. Jack Straton, a Portland State University professor and member of Oregon’s Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force, argues that Straus, critically, fails to distinguish between the intent and effect of violence, equating “a woman pushing a man in self-defense to a man pushing a woman down the stairs,” or a single act of female violence with years of male abuse; that Straus only interviewed one partner, when couples’ accounts of violence commonly diverge; and that he excludes from his study post-separation violence, which accounts for more than 75 percent of spouse-on-spouse violence, 93 percent of which is committed by men.
All in all, advocates say that cherry-picked studies from researchers like Straus, touted by the MRAs, amount to what Edward Gondolf, director of research for the Mid-Atlantic Addiction Research and Training Institute, calls“bad science.” Statistics suggesting gender parity in abuse are taken out of necessary context, they say, ignoring distinctions between the equally divided “common couple violence” and the sort of escalated, continuing violence known as battery—which is 85 percent male-perpetrated—as well as the disparate injuries inflicted by men and women.
“The biggest concern, though, is not the wasted effort on a false issue,” writes Straton, but the encouragement given to batterers to consider themselves the victimized party. “Arming these men with warped statistics to fuel their already warped worldview is unethical, irresponsible, and quite simply lethal.”
In this, critics like Australian sociologist Michael Flood say that men’s rights movements reflect the tactics of domestic abusers themselves, minimizing existing violence, calling it mutual, and discrediting victims. MRA groups downplay national abuse rates, just as abusers downplay their personal battery; they wage campaigns dismissing most allegations as false, as abusers claim partners are lying about being hit; and they depict the violence as mutual—part of an epidemic of wife-on-husband abuse—as individual batterers rationalize their behavior by saying that the violence was reciprocal. Additionally, MRA groups’ predictions of future violence by fed-up men wronged by the family-law system seem an obvious additional correlation, with the threat of violence seemingly intended to intimidate a community, like a fearful spouse, into compliance.
MRA critics say the organizational recapitulation of abusive tactics should be no surprise, considering the wealth of movement leaders with records or accusations of violence, abuse, harassment, or failure to pay child support. Some advocates call MRA groups “the abuser’s lobby,” because of members like Jason Hutch, the Buckingham Palace fathers’ rights “Batman,” who has been estranged from three mothers of his children and was taken to court for threatening one of his ex-wives.
Contrary to RADAR’s claims, domestic-violence advocates say that not only do abuse accusations not automatically win custody cases for women; there are a rising number of custody decisions awarded to abusive fathers, as judges see wives eager to protect their children as less cooperative regarding custody. More than half the time, studies have found, wives’ accusations of domestic violence are met with counter-accusations from husbands of “Parental Alienation Syndrome”—a medically unrecognized diagnosis that suggests mothers have poisoned their children into making false accusations against their fathers.
In one recent case, Genia Shockome, a Russian immigrant, was fighting for custody of her two children with her ex-husband, whom she charged had beaten her so severely that she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and who had told her she “had no right to leave” since he’d brought her to the United States. The judge in the case sided with her husband’s counter-claims of Parental Alienation Syndrome and awarded him full custody (and later sentenced Shockome to 30 days in jail while she was seven months pregnant).

When her attorney, Barry Goldstein, co-author of the forthcoming book Domestic Violence, Abuse and Custody, criticized the judge in an online article, the judge retaliated with a complaint, and Goldstein was given a five-year suspension. Goldstein says the sanction represents a chilling pressure on attorneys, who may now fear penalties for criticizing a court’s gender bias that will interfere with their duties to their clients and that could result in women deciding not to leave abusers out of fear they won’t get a fair trial.
If cases such as Genia Shockome’s are the fodder of mainstream fathers’ rights advocates like Glenn Sacks—who ridiculed her claims and loss of custody as an uncredible “cause célèbre” for feminist family-law reformers—what Sacks calls the movement’s “lunatic fringe” is more vitriolic yet.
Within the ranks of the men’s rights movement, vigilante “resisters” are regularly nominated and lionized for acts of violence perceived to be in opposition to a feminist status quo. In a few quarters of the movement, this even included George Sodini, the Pittsburgh man who opened fire on a gym full of exercising women this August, killing three and leaving behind an online diatribe journaling his sense of rejection by millions of desirable women.
Sodini’s diary was republished widely, including on the website of a popular men’s rights blogger, “Angry Harry,” who added his assessment of the case. “MRAs should also take note of the fact that there are probably many millions of men across the western world who feel similar in many ways, and one can expect to see much more destruction emanating from them in the future,” he wrote. “One of the main reasons that I decided to post this diary on this website was because the western world must wake up to the fact that it cannot continue to treat men so appallingly and get away with it.” In a phone interview, Angry Harry said, “Of course there will be more Sodinis—there will be many more,” likening him to Marc Lépine, a Canadian man who killed or wounded 28, claiming feminists had ruined his life, or Nevada father Darren Mack, who murdered his estranged wife and attempted to kill the judge in their custody battle. (Also among this number is John Muhammad, the “D.C. Beltway Sniper,” whose involvement in a Washington father’s rights group and history of abuse is described in his ex-wife Mildred’s newly-released memoir, Scared Silent.) Perhaps, Angry Harry mused, that as the ranks of online MRAs grow, “the threat” of their violence “may be enough” to bring about the changes they desire.

Glenn Sacks dismissed Angry Harry as an “idiot” without real power in the movement, and yet he cautiously defends him. “I want to be careful in wording this,” he says, “but the cataclysmic things I’m seeing done to men, it’s always my fear that one of these guys is going to do something terrible. I don’t want to say that, like, I condone it or that it’s OK, but it’s just the reality.” The movement seems eager to supply more martyrs. After Sacks wrote about a San Diego father who shot himself on the city’s courthouse steps over late child-support payments, numerous men wrote Sacks, telling him, “They’re taking everything from me, and I want to go out in a big way, and if I do, will you write about me?”

The SF-Oakland Bay Bridge and Family Court systems.

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I’m often searching for a comparison to communicate the scope & severity  of the family court matters, as opposed to the lack of urgencyThe Bay Bridge remains closed to cars as repairs continue... Noah Berger / Special to The Chronicle to address it.  Seem to have found one. . . . .

Talk about a Halloween nightmare — – a high-profile engineering failure, and urgent, though disruptive, efforts to fix — although:  No Serious Injuries Caused.  Obviously the potential for multiple serious injuries was there…



Rachel Gordon, Chronicle Staff Writer

Saturday, October 31, 2009

(The next 2 paragraphs below appeared in article after the 3rd & 4th– see link for original order).

The bridge has been closed since Tuesday evening when a 5,000-pound steel beam and two steel tie-rods that were holding together a cracked structural support failed and rained down on the upper deck, damaging three vehicles but causing no serious injuries.

Engineers failed to take into account how vibrations from wind and 280,000 cars a day would affect a patch fix to the bridge’s cantilever section made over the Labor Day weekend.

Crews on the Bay Bridge struggled Friday to craft a fix that would prevent vibrations from wind and traffic from causing pieces of a structural repair to come crashing down.

. . .Crews on the Bay Bridge struggled Friday to craft a fix that would prevent vibrations from wind and traffic from causing pieces of a structural repair to come crashing down.

CONTRAST this urgency with the “business as usual” treatment of another system so engineered that serious injuried, and too often literal deaths, occur.   Because these are more widespread, perhaps they still don’t warrant serious attention.  Read on:\

States must reform a system

that too often rewards custody to the abusive parent.**

by Kathleen Russell, San Rafael, California, published 10-14-09 in the Christian Science Monitor.

[story of one individual highlights the issue]…I’m numbering sentences for comments below.  I also just alternate colors for easier reading.   CSM policy discourages reposting whole article, reading it all is a summary of –part of — the problems with family law.  system.

In a system with so much at stake — for the litigants, and their children — for those associated with the litigants and their children in work, school, play, at home, or as relatives — and with the short, short time span in which impressionable youngsters grow up — can even ONE false assumption be made in the process of fixing it? 

In the Bay Bridge — a HUGE project — they forgot about the wind vibrations plus the vibrations from the traffic load would affect a “patch fix.”  Seems to me that vibrations when it comes to a bridge is basic engineering vocabulary. 

The FIRST sentence of this article reads:

When a parent harms his or her own child, family courts are supposed to step in and safeguard the victim.”

Ohh??  I thought that stepping in was the province of Child Protective Services and law enforcement, since harming a child (as also a spouse, or other human being) IS a criminal act.  The concept that the family law venue is set up to handle criminal actions is a misconception.  To clarify, see www.justicewomen.org or anywhere that talks about the difference between civil and criminal venues, and family court vs. criminal prosecutions of domestic violence. 

Harming a child is domestic violence, and little to no training in this is required even to become a certified family law practitioner.  I believe I still have a link off to the side.

Association of Family & Conciliation Courts (AFCC) — see my blog — states clearly in their history page that one of their key founders was OPPOSED to the use of the “old” criminal language, and preferred newer, better terms to describe things like — child molestation or domestic violence, or things that show up as criminal acts.  I blogged on it — search here, you’ll see.

However, the CPS, the law enforcement and the family law venue most certainly DO bounce back and forth off each other, at least in this area, and listen to each other in crucial decisions, I found out (alas). 

This is a repeated refrain in the family law venue, so much so as to be characteristic.  It is just about a DEFINING quality of these courts — and no, they do NOT exist to protect children.  I believe that family law is where batterers go to hide, and was designed in part to receive them and allow them continued access.  That this also just happens to be big business, and a perpetual motion (as in, legal motions) machine, is unlikely to be an afterthough, methinks…

 None of the authorities she approached would effectively intervene to protect her daughter [1]. So in 2000, Ms. Rogers eventually felt that she had no choice but to flee with her child to protect her [2].

More than three years later, this protective mother was caught and jailed for five months, while her daughter was immediately handed over to her alleged abusers [3]. Rogers faced criminal charges for violating a court order by fleeing with her child [4]. After considering the evidence in her case, a jury of her peers completely exonerated her of all wrongdoing [5].

The very same evidence that exonerated her in the criminal court had been called “frivolous” by the family court judge and disregarded [6]. Despite her acquittal, Rogers was never granted custody of her daughter, who lives with her alleged abusers to this day [7]. She is now forced to pay a fee to visit with her daughter a few times a month in a supervised visitation facility [8].


 [1], [2] — women are trained to generally go the authorized route first.  This mother did.  When it failed, her motherhood instincts kicked in (see how THOSE can help in reading about which cops — male, or female — caught, and which overlooked (male or female) Phil Garrido and the two kids he’d fathered by (kidnapped * 18-years imprisoned) Jaycee Dugard this past year.  Again, I blogged this.  A policewoman noticed something amiss in two kids; her alertness started the process saving them and their mother.

 [3] Protective mother caught and jailed. . . .   Why don’t readers just google that phrase and see what comes up.  See also Stopfamilyviolence.org.  Women have fled to other countries — sometimes getting asylum! — to protect their children from assault & battery or molestation.  The brave U.S. is not negligent to try and go fetch them back.  Google, if it’s still on-line, Sheila Riggs.  Or another, Joyce Murphy.  Or Holly Collins. 


[4].  Some states have an actual EXEMPTION for protective parents fleeing when it comes to felony child-stealing.  The catch is, it’s enforced in reverse!  This woman, being a Californian, should’ve been protected by California Penal Code 278, but obviously wasn’t.  Who didn’t protect her — law enforcement?  A judge? 

[5]  It seems (on a fast read] that this mother THEN got into a criminal charge, and as such, actually got in front of a jury.  Because she might be jailed, this was proper.  Unlike the family law, where mandatory mediation, and hearsay rules the day, an actual jury “considered the evidence in her case.”  That’s why the exonerated her.  It appears she was innocent and shouldn’t have been jailed.  NEVERTHELESS, she still DID spend 5 months in jail.  How do you think THAT affected her relationship with her daughter?

If being jailed wasn’t bad enough for an innocent mother, while she was in jail, I’m sure that knowing her daughter was now in the total custody — without her intervention, or ability to help mitigate this any more — of the alleged abusers — was worse punishment.  While California jails are overcrowded, hear tell women’s are less so.  They can be TOUGH.

[6].  Statement “6” above, as is, might as well be the motto of the family law venue.  If you understand this, you understand enough.  Due process doesn’t count.  Being innocent — or guilty — matters not. 


[7] I have a question:  WHY didn’t custody automatically go back to her?  If she fled to protect, and the evidence said there was something to protect AGAINST (if she was exonerated, it must have, right?) then WHY is that child still living with the abuser?  Because the illegal and wrongfully punishing process of a protective mother destroyed her ability to have a child?  Or because the family courts simply couldn’t be bothered to acknowledge a ruling coming from outside its own venue?

[8]  Supervised Visitation fees.   I TOLD you this was a business model.  Someday, perhaps more people will start actually believing this. 


Protective parents not only lose custody of the children they are trying to protect, but they lose their life savings, too. Many cannot even afford a lawyer to represent their interests, but are saddled with hefty supervised visitation fees and often threatened with a loss of custody if they object to paying the bevy of court-appointed experts that the judge assigns to their case.

Hmm. . . . threatening to take your kid, and have him/her [further] hurt, seriously, if you can’t pay the court-appointed experts.  And this is NOT extortion, and NOT the Mafia??  No, they are all in here to help poor people settle their squabbles, and to protect –NOT traffick in — children.

Fees quickly add up to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many such parents go bankrupt, making court appeals impossible. The family law “machine” operates as Big Business, and a sophisticated cottage industry has sprung up that appears to be preying on desperate parents and children who are trying to escape family violence.

The author recommends, and then talks about a “major overhaul” of the family law system.  Sister, I don’t think this is about to happen, the problems are foundational, and built  into it.  It is designed to extract cash from parents, (one side will generally be rich enough, or if not, government grants will do instead, for court-appointed attorneys, mediators, and so forth, let alone the dang judges!) and hand it over to those in “the court.”  (Think royalty).  If you’re in, you’re in, if you’re out, you’re out. 

Thus weakened, one parent will certainly have to fork over a child. a few drops more will of course be extracted, if some are left, because what protective parent does NOT want to see a child, even if under strained and artificial conditions — a lesson also for the next generation — and wouldn’t scrape together the funds to do so?  Notice — supervised visitation SUPPOSEDLY exists to protect a child from a violent parent, or one incapable of self-restraint enough to be UNsupervised.  It is typically used to punish a parent after a switch, rather than for its intended purpose.  At least, so I am coming to believe. 

Bay Bridge with thousands of daily commuters, commuters at risk (not yet dead), the fix is made.  Why?  Probably someone remembers the Loma Prieta earthquake, which DID cause deaths when this bridge collapsed.  Probably because it affects BUSINESS more than families.  I don’t know — you tell me!

Family Law Venue, with probably by now thousands of genuine casualties, including abductions, family wipeouts, jailed Moms, or Dads, and fractured relationships, lost work time (for the litigants — not the court folk) and a drain on the social services of the United States of America — and, resistance to changing BUSINESS as usual is high. 

This is a quick post, and I hope within the framework of CSM quotation guidelines.  Have a nice day!

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