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Archive for March 2010

“The Transition to Fatherhood” (File under “while you were sleeping…”)

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We are cutting back on social services at the lower end — libraries, bus routes, courts & DMVs closing more, we are all in a budget crisis (except, of course programs like “Early Head Start” or others of a social service research nature, including fatherhood, healthy marriage, how to stop violence against women, and in general, whatever knowledge is missing on the total sphere of human activity, which MUST be categorized, labeled, and  — this is probably the goal — controlled. 

Human behavior, another “controlled substance.”

I mean, get real!  Read this abstract — $4 million grant to Cornell University Endowed Colleges.  From TAGGS.hhs.Gov, and underutilized database source of what your GUV is doing:

Award Number Award Title OPDIV Program Office Sum of Actions
P01HD045610  TRANSITION TO FATHERHOOD  NIH  NICHD  $ 4,880,378 

 

10-MAR-2005 / 28-FEB-2010
Abstract DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Policy makers and others are concerned that many young men today are only loosely attached to their children and their children’s mothers. This concern has been fueled by rising rates of non-marital childbearing, delays in the age of marriage, increases in the share of children being raised in female-headed families, and the failure of some biological fathers to provide economic support to their children. The aim of this proposal is to form a multi-disciplinary team of research collaborators who will meet on a regular basis to plan and conduct coordinated analyses on topics relating to the transition to fatherhood using multiple data sets. The four projects included in this proposal address the following related issues: 1. What are the economic, policy, psychological, and sociological factors that influence the timing of biological fatherhood and the circumstances under which fatherhood occurs? What is the role of men in the timing and circumstances of sexual initiation, contraceptive use, pregnancy, and childbearing? 2. What is the relationship between the transition to biological fatherhood and other transitions to adulthood, such as marriage, educational completion, and entry into the workforce? 3. What are the determinants of responsible fathering, and, in particular, what is the role of family process within and across generations? 4. What are the social, economic, policy, relationship and individual factors associated with men having additional births after they have already become fathers, and what factors lead men to have additional births, with more than one partner? Each project will conduct parallel analyses across multiple data sets, and similar data sets will be used across many of the projects. The data sets used in the four projects include National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 and 1979; Add Health; National Survey of Adolescent Males; National Survey of Family Growth; Fragile Families; Early Head Start; Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort; National Survey of Families and Households; Panel Study of Income Dynamics-CDS. Our strategy will enable us to obtain a much fuller understanding of the factors that influence the transition to fatherhood. We also propose two infrastructure cores: (A) Administration and Dissemination and (B) Data Management and Methodology.
Thesaurus  
PI Name/Title H E PETERS  
PI eMail  
Institution CORNELL UNIVERSITY ITHACA 120 Day Hall ITHACA, NY 14853
Department  
Fiscal Year 2009
ICD NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CHILD HEALTH AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
IRG ZHD1

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Good grief!

See Ecclesiastes 12, the end.  Keep it Simple, eh?

Written by Let's Get Honest

March 30, 2010 at 11:57 am

Who’s monitoring the Stop VAW Grant recipients? (Oregon)

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Anne Caroline Drake website, with characteristic pointed questions and pulling facts together, asks about:

Oregon’s new “Domestic Violence Czar,”

Erin S. Greenwald

And whether cleaning up the DV IN-house will be on the agenda, as shutting up women trying to leave DV if they are NOT on the government payroll, or federal dole.

(This is just an excerpt — her site has photos & details.)

Will Greenawald Clean Up the Mess?

Ms. Greenawald is being paid $97,008 under a federally-funded Stop Violence Against Women Act Grant:

Greenawald will be responsible for developing training materials, best-practice policies and other publications to improve the identification, investigation and prosecution of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Given the fact that a high percentage of recent dometic violence in Oregon were committed by her peers, I would have hoped her first priority would be to rid the ranks of Oregon’s criminal “justice” system of domestic violence perpetrators.

Kroger must not have done a basic Google search of Ms. Greenawald before he hired her.  The first thing I found was a very disturbing YouTube video.  I had read about the case featured in the video earlier today in a comment by PearlWhitcomb to a story in the Oregonian about Ms. Greenawald’s appointment:

 

My next post shows more on the studying fatherhood grants, just a tiny sampler I think we should know about, involving Cornell University…

Whether Fatherhood or Violence Against Women Acts,

WHO IS MONITORING THE GRANTS RECIPIENTS?

Again, “GUIDESTAR.org” is a good start.  Start LOOKING at some of the 990s, and then asking, how long are we going to fund “studies” before some actually practice (like stopping it!) gets into place.

The scam, my friends, is that the US population (certain sectors of it, male and female) ARE the study.  I know that wasn’t Anne Caroline Drake’s point, above, but it’s mine. 

What kind of characters are attracted to these positions?

And isn’t DV about simply abusive inordinant control and out-of-control-dictatorship behavior by the abuser?

So then what is the word “CZAR” doing in there?  I mean, think about the connotations.

Think also about the connotations that you can “domesticate” “violence.”

Animals are domesticated, like cats & dogs, and cattle.  What is this person going to “rule” over — domestic violence itself? 

At what point does language become meaningless, and how many years past that point are we, in these matters?

The Courage to Confront Corruption is Costly…

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There are some things in life that one can’t just ignore and move on with life as normal.  Of course trauma affects people, and a collective social sort of trauma is going to affect how society works.

Today’s post I’m slapping up here in under 5 minutes, after hearing about the recent death of a former, female, Georgia Senator who showed extraordinary courage and concern, adn spoke up to report that a system in her state — and probably nationwide — was so broken as not to be fixed.  She reported it as out of control and beyond reform.

My point of view is that the size of institutions, however well-intended, naturally tends to that state.

Some of us (noncustodial moms) already in shock about our own situations, and the systems that didn’t do squat to fix, but instead worsened them in every identifiable category, for us, our children, and the society at large (EXCEPT those in the businesses profiting from this), are now in shock about the Schafer reported murder-suicide situation.

Within the next 3 minutes, I’m going to try & paste 3 posts.  Check this out yourself.

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http://www2.wsav.com/sav/news/local/article/former_senators_death_apparent_murder-suicide/109880/

Associated Press
Published: March 27, 2010

» 0 Comments | Post a Comment

Investigators say the husband of former state Sen. Nancy Schaefer shot her in the back and then killed himself.
   
The couple’s bodies were found in their north Georgia home on Friday in an apparent murder-suicide.
   
Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that investigators concluded that Bruce Schaefer shot her once in the back in the bedroom and then shot himself in the head.
   
Bankhead says investigators found a handgun and a suicide note written by the husband to family members.
   
The newspaper reports that the bodies were discovered by one of the couple’s five children. The daughter lives in the same Clarkesville neighborhood and entered the home when she wasn’t able to reach them.

http://kidjacked.com/family/schaefer.asp

From the legislative desk of Senator Nancy Schaefer 50th District of Georgia

November 16, 2007

THE CORRUPT BUSINESS OF CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES

BY: Nancy Schaefer

Senator, 50th District

My introduction into child protective service cases was due to a grandmother in an adjoining state who called me with her tragic story. Her two granddaughters had been taken from her daughter who lived in my district. Her daughter was told wrongly that if she wanted to see her children again she should sign a paper and give up her children. Frightened and young, the daughter did. I have since discovered that parents are often threatened into cooperation of permanent separation of their children.

The children were taken to another county and placed in foster care. The foster parents were told wrongly that they could adopt the children. The grandmother then jumped through every hoop known to man in order to get her granddaughters. When the case finally came to court it was made evident by one of the foster parent’s children that the foster parents had, at any given time, 18 foster children and that the foster mother had an inappropriate relationship with the caseworker.

In the courtroom, the juvenile judge, acted as though she was shocked and said the two girls would be removed quickly. They were not removed. Finally, after much pressure being applied to the Department of Family and Children Services of Georgia (DFCS), the children were driven to South Georgia to meet their grandmother who gladly drove to meet them. After being with their grandmother two or three days, the judge, quite out of the blue, wrote up a new order to send the girls to their father, who previously had no interest in the case and who lived on the West Coast. The father was in “adult entertainment” . His girlfriend worked as an “escort” and his brother, who also worked in the business, had a sexual charge brought against him.

Within a couple of days the father was knocking on the grandmother’ s door and took the girls kicking and screaming to California.

The father developed an unusual relationship with the former foster parents and soon moved back to the southeast, and the foster parents began driving to the father’s residence and picking up the little girls for visits. The oldest child had told her mother and grandmother on two different occasions that the foster father molested her.

To this day after five years, this loving, caring blood relative grandmother does not even have visitation privileges with the children. The little girls are in my opinion permanently traumatized and the young mother of the girls was so traumatized with shock when the girls were first removed from her that she has not recovered.

Throughout this case and through the process of dealing with multiple other mismanaged cases of the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS), I have worked with other desperate parents and children across the state because they have no rights and no one with whom to turn. I have witnessed ruthless behavior from many caseworkers, social workers, investigators, lawyers, judges, therapists, and others such as those who “pick up” the children. I have been stunned by what I have seen and heard from victims all over the state of Georgia.

In this report, I am focusing on the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS).

However, I believe Child Protective Services nationwide has become corrupt and that the entire system is broken almost beyond repair. I am convinced parents and families should be warned of the dangers.

The Department of Child Protective Services, known as the Department of Family and Children Service (DFCS) in Georgia and other titles in other states, has become a “protected empire” built on taking children and separating families. This is not to say that there are not those children who do need to be removed from wretched situations and need protection. This report is concerned with the children and parents caught up in “legal kidnapping,” ineffective policies, and DFCS who do does not remove a child or children when a child is enduring torment and abuse. (See Exhibit A and Exhibit B)

In one county in my District, I arranged a meeting for thirty-seven families to speak freely and without fear. These poor parents and grandparents spoke of their painful, heart wrenching encounters with DFCS. Their suffering was overwhelming. They wept and cried. Some did not know where their children were and had not seen them in years. I had witnessed the “Gestapo” at work and I witnessed the deceitful conditions under which children were taken in the middle of the night, out of hospitals, off of school buses, and out of homes. In one county a private drug testing business was operating within the DFCS department that required many, many drug tests from parents and individuals for profit. In another county children were not removed when they were enduring the worst possible abuse. Due to being exposed, several employees in a particular DFCS office were fired. However, they have now been rehired either in neighboring counties or in the same county again. According to the calls I am now receiving, the conditions in that county are returning to the same practices that they had before the light was shown on their deeds. Having worked with probably 300 cases statewide, I am convinced there is no responsibility and no accountability in the system

Written by Let's Get Honest

March 29, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Uninformed Consent — medical/legal parallels

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In the last post, I mentioned that it’s perhaps time we stopped presenting ourselves or our children to become the stuff of behavioral modification research, and our problems to fund other’s professions, which prolong the problems.  Among other things.

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Particularly in the field of Psychology. 

Did you read that article yet?:

What Is Psychology?

Psychology has as its aim the understanding of human behavior, and as a secondary goal, the treatment of behaviors deemed abnormal. Almost immediately upon the formation of the field, efforts were made to place psychological studies on a scientific basis. Early psychological studies were conducted by Wilhelm Wundt at the University of Leipzig, Germany. One of his students, G. Stanley Hall, then went on to establish the first American psychological laboratory at Johns Hopkins University.

Hmmm. Wasn’t JOHNS HOPKINS? referred to on yesterday’s posts, about “Ten Key Findings on Responsible Fatherhood?” (Or whatever variation of studying the practice of “fatherhood” that particular, grants-funded report was on…)

The Urban Institute scholar moved over to Johns Hopkins School of Social Policy and continued collaborating and reporting on how poor folk respond to interventions…. 

This is social engineering, for sure, just as surely at the CFFPP

CFFPPCenter on Fathers, Families, and Public Policy

(or is it The mission of the Center on Fathers, Families, and Public Policy?

(just a little verbal confusion there — is it about Family?  Or Fathers?  Or does the “family” consist of fathers and children only? Do mothers get a mention?)

Either way, it’s to transform society:

 (CFFPP) is to help create a society in which low-income parents – mothers as well as fathers – are in a position to support their children emotionally, financially, and physically.

 BACK TO IS PSYCHOLOGY A SCIENCE? and its uncomfortable German connection….

Then, in 1900, Sigmund Freud introduced psychoanalytical theory in his book “The Interpretation of Dreams.” This was the first ultimately large-scale effort to apply psychological knowledge to the problem of treatment or therapy.

Human psychology and the related fields of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy achieved their greatest acceptance and popularity in the 1950s, at which time they were publicly perceived as sciences. But this was never true, and it is not true today – human psychology has never risen to the status of a science, for several reasons:

Ethical considerations.

If you want to study the behavior of rats or pigeons, there are no significant ethical limitations – you can kill them, you can cut them up, you can dress them out in EEG probes while they play violent video games, no one will complain. They are expendable, they are animals.

But as to the study of human beings, there are severe limitations on what kinds of studies are permitted. As an example, if you want to know whether removing specific brain tissue results in specific behavioral changes, you cannot perform the study on humans. You have to perform it on animals and try to extrapolate the result to humans.

One of the common work-arounds to this ethical problem is to perform what are called “retrospective studies,” studies that try to draw conclusions from past events rather than setting up a formal laboratory experiment with strict experimental protocols and a control group. If you simply gather information about people who have had a certain kind of past experience, you are freed from the ethical constraint that prevents you from exposing experimental subjects to that experience in the present.

But, because of intrinsic problems, retrospective studies produce very poor evidence and science. For example, a hypothetical retrospective study meant to discover whether vitamin X makes people more intelligent may only “discover” that the people who took the vitamin were those intelligent enough to take it in the first place. In general, retrospective studies cannot reliably distinguish between causes and effects, and any conclusions drawn from them are suspect.

Think about this for a moment. In order for human psychology to be placed on a scientific footing, it would have to conduct strictly controlled experiments on humans, in some cases denying treatments or nutritional elements deemed essential to health (in order to have a control group), and the researchers would not be able to tell the subjects whether or not they were receiving proper care (in order not to bias the result). This is obviously unethical behavior, and it is a key reason why human psychology is not a science.

. . .

This raises another ethical issue, that of informed consent. Has the client been properly informed as to the nature of the procedures — will the sessions consist of research, diagnosis, therapy, or some mixture? But there is no remedy for this problem, because the clinician can’t tell the client what is going to happen, because he doesn’t know, and he is certainly not going to resist publishing any interesting, unforeseen results as research findings.

Overall lax standards.

The items listed above inevitably create an atmosphere in which absolutely anything goes (at least temporarily), judgments about efficacy are utterly subjective, and as a result, the field of psychology perpetually splinters into cults and fads (examples below). “Studies” are regularly published that would never pass muster with a self-respecting peer review committee from some less soft branch of science.

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RE: HARVESTING A POOR, LONG-DECEASED BLACK WOMAN”S CELLS, and blood from her relatives, and PROFITING FROM IT:

In a far earlier post, I’d put up “A Woman’s Undying Gift to Science” about how cells were harvested and used for research:  Henrietta Lack:

Books of The TimesPublished: February 2, 2010

(review) by Dwight Garner.

The woman who provides this book its title, Henrietta Lacks, was a poor and largely illiterate Virginia tobacco farmer, the great-great-granddaughter of slaves. Born in 1920, she died from an aggressive cervical cancer at 31, leaving behind five children. No obituaries of Mrs. Lacks appeared in newspapers. She was buried in an unmarked grave.

To scientists, however, Henrietta Lacks almost immediately became known simply as HeLa (pronounced hee-lah), from the first two letters of her first and last names. Cells from Mrs. Lacks’s cancerous cervix, taken without her knowledge, were the first to grow in culture, becoming “immortal” and changing the face of modern medicine. There are, Ms. Skloot writes, “trillions more of her cells growing in laboratories now than there ever were in her body.” Laid end to end, the world’s HeLa cells would today wrap around the earth three times.

Because HeLa cells reproduced with what the author calls a “mythological intensity,” they could be used in test after test. “They helped with some of the most important advances in medicine: the polio vaccine, chemotherapy, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization,” Ms. Skloot writes. HeLa cells were used to learn how nuclear bombs affect humans, and to study herpes, leukemia, Parkinson’s disease and AIDS. They were sent up in the first space missions, to see what becomes of human cells in zero gravity.

Bought and sold and shipped around the world for decades, HeLa cells are famous to science students everywhere. But little has been known, until now, about the unwitting donor of these cells. Mrs. Lacks’s own family did not know that her cells had become famous (and that people had grown wealthy from marketing them) until more than two decades after her death, after scientists had begun to take blood from her surviving family members, without their informed consent, in order to better study HeLa.

Ms Skloot, who wrote the book:

Ms. (had she lived at the time “Ms.” was used) Lack & (husband) David:

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 U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, New York to Speak at HERS 2010 Hysterectomy Conference

http://hersfoundation.org/conference.html

Now here’s one on the over-use of Hysterectomy — and upcoming conference (NY) from the HERS FOUNDATION on the inappropriate cutting on women, and taking personal CHUNKS of them out unnecessarily, and without INFORMED CONSENT on the aftereffect and consequences.  This has now happened (not this exactly, but the process) in 3 generations of females in my line, myself being the middle one.  I can’t speak about any potential others because I don’t know my forebears that well, but I know that one of them was getting whanged on by her husband while attempting to raise children.

I am going to paste the particulars, because a number of parallels between showing up for medical help, and showing up for the courts exist; two of the attorneys showing up here have dealt with that, as in, class actions. Place information is at the link above.


Conference Agenda
Saturday, April 24, 2010


8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Registration
9:00 – 9:10 a.m. Welcome
9:10 – 9:40 a.m. Keynote Speaker
U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, New York
Chair of House-Senate Joint Economic CommitteeMaloney has been a powerful advocate for women’s rights since before her first election to the House in 1992, dubbed the “Year of the Woman” for the number of females elected to Congress. Closely allied with groups like Emily’s List and the National Organization for Women, she has taken an active role in pushing for passage of virtually every major piece of women’s rights legislation.In 2008, Maloney published “Rumors of Our Progress Have Been Greatly Exaggerated,” a book detailing the ongoing struggle for women on a number of fronts, including equal pay, healthcare and politics.
9:40 – 10:00 a.m. The Medicalization of Women
Sybil Shainwald, JD
The Law Offices of Sybil ShainwaldShainwald is dedicated to advocating for safe and effective healthcare for women. She pioneered DES litigation and was co-counsel in Bichler v. Lilly, the nation’s first DES Daughter legal victory in 1979. She proved that DES-exposed individuals had been harmed after the pharmaceutical industry failed to test the safety of DES, and continually promoted the drug even after it was known to be a carcinogen and absolutely ineffective.
10:00 – 10:30 a.m. The Female PelvisMitchell Levine, MD
Clinical Instructor
Tufts and Harvard Schools of MedicineWhat the pelvis looks like when the uterus and ovaries are removed, and what fills the empty space. What happens when the blood supply, nerves and ligaments attached to the uterus are severed.
10:30 – 10:45 a.m. Break
10:45 – 12:00 p.m. The Voices of ExperienceModerator
Nora W. Coffey
President, HERS FoundationPanel
Jen Bandes
Nicole Choate, RN
Sylvia Gill
Melanie Miller
Tawanda QueenWomen describe what they were told before and after hysterectomy. They discuss the impact of the surgery on every aspect of their lives.
12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 – 2:00 p.m. Your Vote is Mightier than the Lobbyist’s DollarIndiana Representative Bruce Borders
District 45
Member of Insurance CommitteeThe legislative process, and what you can do to help pass a Hysterectomy Video Informed Consent Law.
2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Common Conditions, Treatment Options, and Consequences of HysterectomyMitchell Levine, M.D.
Clinical instructor
Tufts and Harvard Schools of MedicineAlternatives to hysterectomy for common symptoms and conditions, including ovarian cysts, fibroids, endometriosis, hyperplasia, prolapse, HPV, pelvic pain and obstetric hemorrhage.
3:30 – 3:50 p.m. Proud Flesh: A Hysterectomy JournalGenevieve Carminati, M.A.
Associate Professor of English
Coordinator, Women’s Studies
Montgomery CollegeReading from the journal she began shortly after she underwent a hysterectomy at the age of 25.
3:50 – 4:00 p.m. Break
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Medical Malpractice: The Legal and Medical IssuesRobert E. Myers, J.D., L.L.M.
Senior Trial Attorney
The law firm of Coffey Kaye Myers and Olleyhttp://www.felaattys.com/protect-your-rights.php(When Injury Strikes)….

What constitutes medical malpractice, what to ask a lawyer, and what you should expect from your lawyer. An expert in medical malpractice, Myers will discuss the basic elements for pursuing a claim and establishing damages. 

5:00 – 6:00pm Round Table DiscussionSpeakers and AttendeesBruce Borders
Genevieve Carminati
Nora W. Coffey
Mitchell Levine
Carolyn B. Maloney
Robert E. Myers
Sybil Shainwaldh ttp://www.sybilshainwald.com/

The primary thrust of Sybil Shainwald’s practice has been, and continues to be, women’s health law. Ms. Shainwald pioneered Diethylstilbestrol (DES) litigation. She was co-counsel in the nation’s first “DES daughter” case, Bichler v. Lilly. Since that time, she has represented thousands of women and men, from around the country and worldwide, who were exposed to DES. She has been given numerous awards for her work, including an award by the DES Cancer Network.
Throughout her years of practice, Ms. Shainwald has litigated cases involving drugs and medical devices that have inflicted harm on women and their offspring. She was a member of the national Plaintiff’s Negotiating Committee for the court-appointed Plaintiff’s Steering Committee in the silicone breast implant litigation. She was also named as the Chair for the Foreign Plaintiff’s Subcommittee representing all the interests of foreign women.
Not only has Ms. Shainwald been an avid litigator of women’s health issues, but she has been active in numerous women’s health organizations as well. She has also appeared on every major TV network, written, testified and lectured extensively on obstetrical malpractice, IUDs, unnecessary hysterectomies, hormone therapy, and products liability litigation

 

NOT TO MENTION;

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The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women

Exploding the Estrogen MythThe Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women

Barbara Seaman

 

Reviewed thus in 2007:

Seaman is a science journalist and cofounder of the National Women’s Health Network. She takes on the drug industry in this book, condemning the common use of hormone replacement therapy, especially estrogen. She has studied women’s health both during fertile years and post menopausal. Physicians prescribe hormone replacement therapy for many women’s health purposes, from birth control to menopausal ailments. Seaman believes that hormone replacement therapy is over prescribed and dangerous. The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women examines how the drugs have been used since their beginnings back in the 1940’s and 1950’s. She talks about the different cancers that the drug has been known to cause and others that the medical field won’t admit but she believes has caused. Seaman gives a good history of female medicine going back hundreds of years to different herbal remedies that have been used for menopause.

Seaman doesn’t call for estrogen and other hormone replacement drugs to be banned, although it’s close in this book. Instead she advocates using them sparingly and at the lowest doses possible. Over the past 50 years the dosages keep lowering as problems start appearing. Yet this is the type of drug that has very long term effects not only on women’s bodies, but the sexuality of both sexes. She scathingly reduces the medical field to a “men’s only” club that pat the little woman on the head, tell her that they know best, and send the female patient out with a medication that could cause death.

 

I’m not saying that men, too, or girls & boys, are not “experimented” on, improperly, and often for frightenly racist, if not “eugenic” reasons.  This is an INSTITUTIONAL issue, as well as an ATTITUDINAL.  Some of this is frightening to consider:

As of just about a full year ago (April 19, 2009):

Gov. Charlie Crist has ordered the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate 31 graves near the school. “Please determine whether any crimes were committed and, if possible, the perpetrators of these crimes,’’ Crist wrote.

Gov. Charlie Crist has ordered the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate 31 graves near the school. “Please determine whether any crimes were committed and, if possible, the perpetrators of these crimes,’’ Crist wrote.

For their own good: a St. Petersburg Times special report on child abuse at the Florida School for Boys

By Ben Montgomery and Waveney Ann Moore, Times Staff Writers

. . .

They remember walking into the dark little building on the campus of the Florida School for Boys, in bare feet and white pajamas, afraid they’d never walk out.

For 109 years, this is where Florida has sent bad boys. Boys have been sent here for rape or assault, yes, but also for skipping school or smoking cigarettes or running hard from broken homes. Some were tough, some confused and afraid; all were treading through their formative years in the custody of the state. They were as young as 5, as old as 20, and they needed to be reformed.

It was for their own good.

Someone is always needing to be taught a lesson, apparently, if not medicated for failing to comply with social norms. 

Using Psychology to discredit normal human reactions to extreme circumstances aint’ exactly new, and sometimes simply approaches, not ‘therapeutic jurisprudence,” but basic namecalling…. 

Women’s Mental Illness

A Response to Oppression

OR,

Women and Madness

by Phyllis Chesler
Palgrave Macmillan, 2005
Review by Tony O’Brien, M Phil on May 31st 2006

Women and Madness is the reissued, revised edition of a book first published at the height of second wave feminism in 1972. The Female Eunuch (Germaine Greer), and Sexual Politics (Kate Millet) were published in 1970. Chesler’s book has a more specific focus than the other two; it is concerned with ‘madness’, or perhaps more correctly the social construction of madness in western patriarchal societies.
. . .

Women and Madness was written at the time of the DSM II, a diagnostic system that was used to support the sorts of subjective value judgments Chesler rightly complains of. How ironic then, that the use of the more objective criteria of the DSM IV makes little difference to the gendered distribution of mental illness. It will come as no surprise to Chesler to see that despite the influence of political arguments such as those of Women and Madness, change has been limited. Public health literature is depressingly consistent in showing that despite increased knowledge of risk factors, it is still the poor and the oppressed who experience the worst health outcomes. Chesler is under no illusions that the struggle she articulated three decades ago continues.

Women and Madness is a revolutionary book.

NOW —

While He Saids and She Saids still abound, and the hate flows around, the new/old theme is basically that protest – or conflict — or disagreements — are now a “sickness” to be fixed. 

Enter the Family Law System, in one of its primary organization’s own words. . . . . With a lot of help from the Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage funders….  We need to FIX people!!!  No longer is it “what happened in re: law” but whoever protests the loudest is the bad guy.  The pendulum has swung from “irreconciliable differences” (some of them very legitimate) to the 20th/21st century version of “Arbeit Macht Frei,” (although I do NOT mean to diminish the comparision, only refer to the principle of establishing agencies to force reconciliation “for the sake of the kids). 

The principle is to look at the “fixers” and the guardians of what is “correct” acceptable social behavior…  In this case, it is the social science (with heavy religious overtones in many cases) superstructure of foundations & grants to nonprofits (and “principal investigators”  – sounds like an experiment to me, or research, right?  On PEOPLE …)

 that is driving the court system in the ditch (or, rather has) and made a mockery of its purpose, methods, and end goals, which used to include the concept of “Justice” and a bit of fair play…

Next June (maybe catch it after the HERSFOUNDATION one on informed consent about hysterectomy)

http://www.afccnet.org/conferences/afcc_conferences.asp

Denver Conference Brochrue

CHANGING THE CONCEPT, FIXING MARRIAGES, the JUDGE AS THERAPIST (or Dispensary);

In 1975, Review Editor Meyer Elkin editorialized on the language of family law:

Why do we continue to use the language of criminal law in family law? Is it primarily tradition that causes us to continue to use the old words in family law? Or is it something else? Is it a reflection of the prevailing ambivalence of this society which, on the one hand, tells people that divorce is okay, but by its actions, or lack of it, shows that many still do not accept the idea of divorce in a pair-oriented society? We need to develop new words that will alleviate stress on the divorcing family rather than add to stresses already present….Family law is entering a new period. There is now present an opportunity for introducing new practices and procedures—and words that will represent the combined expertise of both law and the behavioral sciences who, after all, are equally concerned and have similar goals regarding the strengthening of the family. Lets us now start the search for the words.

AFCC members and courts continued to lead the way in developing new services throughout the 1970s.  In 1973, the Los Angeles Conciliation Court began a pilot program to mediate custody and visitation disputes.  Divorce education workshops for parents began to emerge in several AFCC member courts.

…The dilemma that fathers have in this venue, is that it’s a powerful tool WHEN the cookie crumbles in the right (towards them, if a batterer or abuser, or simply uninterested in that Child Support Thang…) direction.  Then the cries are loud and doleful about violation of constitutional rights (particularly among religious groups not particularly friendly to the concept of WOMEN as HUMANs….).  It’s a tough choice — play victim?  Or go with the flow?

Could you have it much clearer?  For sure, it’s a combo of behavioral science AND law.

Let’s see if a site promising women help with protection against violence is actually going to SAY that up front that mediation, for example, is   inadvisable when there is domestic violence issue, BUT that to have a “required outcome” of more noncustodial parent time (to get them female-headed households off welfare, and provide nonpaying parents an incentive — not of course, to continue endless litigations til someone ‘breaks,” but to man-up and support their offspring), and moreover, they’re mandatory, too, and funded by a huge ($10 mil/year/nationwide) federally funded program called “Access/Visitation,” and so forth…

It says:  “JUSTICE IS NOT SERVED TIL VICTIMS ARE.”

 

(in a nice logo) and has a nice executive director, with background in — Sociology, and passing the bar in 1997.

Nadia Davis-Lockyer, Esq.

Nadia Maria Davis-Lockyer graduated from U.C.L.A. in 1993 with a degree in Sociology and from Loyola Law School in 1996. She was admitted to the California State Bar in 1997. Her deep commitment to empower others and assist the underprivileged is inextricably linked to every aspect of her personal and professional life.

She is currently the Executive Director of the Alameda County Family Justice Center, a one-stop service delivery center comprised of multiple public, non-profit, and government agencies with the single mission of providing easily accessible, coordinated, and culturally sensitive services to victims of domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse and sexual assault and exploitation.

married to

Bill Lockyer, California State Treasurer.

 

About us

The Alameda County Family Justice Center (ACFJC), under the leadership of Executive Director Nadia Davis-Lockyer, Esq., is a new community initiative launched by more than 50 organizations and 150 people who have joined together to provide comprehensive services required by domestic violence victims and their families.

Cal Watchdog talks about this, some:

Her 2003 marriage to Lockyer –30 years her senior – came as a shock to political watchers statewide. They had, according to an April 19, 2003 Los Angeles Times story, been dating for a year when they got married that spring. In fact, she was already pregnant when they took their wedding vows.

At least one of her supporters believes her age is an advantage. “It’s great to have the participation of a relatively young person who can better understand what students are going through,” John Hanna, a Rancho Santiago Community College District trustee who has worked with Davis-Lockyer on education issues for years, said. “The Board of Governors is typically drawn from an older population that’s not a reflection of the student body.”

Then again, all this may be academic. Stern said he believed that the “doctrine of incompatible offices” would kick in if Davis-Lockyer gets elected to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, forcing her to give up her Community Colleges Board seat. When asked if this was true, Paige Marlatt Dorr, a spokeswoman for California Community Colleges Chancellor Scott, said her office’s legal advisers weren’t sure and would ask the state Attorney General’s office for a legal opinion should Davis-Lockyer win the election.

A call to the AG’s office asking whether the incompatible offices doctrine was relevant to Davis-Lockyer’s case was also not conclusive. “That question would require legal analysis, which we are not able to provide to the public,” Christine Gasparac, press secretary to Attorney General Jerry Brown, e-mailed on Feb. 2. Gasparac added that I was free to refer to the AG’s 204-page Conflict of Interest pamphlet. Chapter 11, which deals with incompatible offices, seems to indicate that Stern is correct.

“The doctrine of incompatible offices concerns a potential clash of two public offices held by a single official,” states the pamphlet. “When a person holds offices with two governmental entities and there is overlapping geographical and subject matter jurisdiction the offices generally are incompatible.” The pamphlet then lists a dozen examples, the first of which is “county board of supervisors member and community college board member.”

 

Well, that’s all for today.  …

Responsible Fatherhood and (ir)Responsible Social Policy — MY informal findings…

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OK, it’s my indignant rant, but I bet you’ll admit an informative one….

You have NO idea what’s up in the honorable and well-funded halls & courts (that’s regal, I’m talking, not legal) of social policy.

In-breeding in Federal Programs to Examine Fatherhood….

The courts are biased against fathers? Yeah, and what other religious myths are still circulating? ??? Poor dears…..

Fact is, rather, the bulk of the US populace is being used, wherever possible, for wide-scale, years-long, federally funded (and let’s look at which foundations are involved, not just non-profits whose money comes from foundations and the feds) social demonstration projects — often without informed consent — and questionable summaries of “findings” in order to justify more expenditures. And more. And more.

This apparatus could simply NOT be sustained if there were concerned, and NOT desperate for basic survival — individuals around in sufficient mass and with sufficient memory of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, what they were about to start with — who fought back about being “used” for elitist pyschologists (etc.) with what is too damn close to a dissociative Nazi mentality willing to run experiments on OPK (Other People’s Kids). And the parents. And report to each other (out of earshot).

Here’s (just one — just one) piece of evidence that fathers are NOT underrepresented (the opposite is true) in these circles, and that the LAST thing we need is more Warren Farrell’s to sell their wares to men objecting to the women they couldn’t keep actually getting free without being punished for it. And roping in plenty of (2nd wives, etc.) women to support their misogyny and need to continue access to young boys and girls “for their own good.”

Ten Key Findings from Responsible Fatherhood Initiatives

February 2008

Prepared for:
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Prepared By:
Karin Martinson and Demetra Nightingale
The Urban Institute

This report is available on the Internet at:
http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/07/PFF/KeyFindings/

This report is part of a larger project:

{{Did you GET that??}}

 
Partners for Fragile Families (PFF) Demonstration Projects

Printer Friendly version in PDF format (12 pages)

At the end of the report is, naturally, credits to the authors. Although they appear to come from two reputable institutions, The Urban Institute and Johns Hopkins, a quick Google search shows that one author (Ms. Nightengale) was formerly principal at The Urban Institute itself, i.e., professional referrals, apparently). cf. Wade Horn, formerly of HHS, but also of The National Fatherhood Institute (f. 1994)…. Real independent…

You can look at the report here — but these are the authors credited for it:

About the Authors

Karin Martinson is a senior research associate in the Urban Institute’s Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population. Her research interests include welfare reform, employment and training programs, service delivery systems, and work supports. She has worked on numerous program evaluations in these areas, with a focus on implementation studies of programs and services for low-income families.

Demetra Nightingale is a principal research scientist at Johns Hopkins University. An expert in social policy, she has focused for more than 30 years on issues related to employment, welfare, poverty, and the alleviation of poverty. She has written many reports, books, and articles.


SPOKE.com lists her as a principal researcher at The Urban Institute

Here (from The Urban Institute) is a list of 51 articles, some shared with Karen Martinson:

View Research by Author – Demetra Smith Nightingale

// And here’s the Google search on Dr.. Nightengale — obviously a social policy researcher…

And here is a bio blurb:\from where she is now:

DEMETRA NIGHTINGALE, PH.D.

Dr. Nightingale holds a Ph.D. in public policy from the George Washington University. She has directed numerous program evaluations and policy studies, publishes extensively, and sits on many advisory groups, boards, and task forces. Before joining Johns Hopkins, for over twenty-five years she was at the Urban Institute, most recently as a principal research associate and program director in the Labor and Social Policy Center.

Understand, I’m not PERSONALLY criticizing a person who obviously can write and research and has chosen social policy as a field. I’m sure there are reasons she and others in the field ended up in their fields, just as there are reasons why I, a former teacher and musician (and dual-degreed) ended up marrying a man who didn’t respect woman, and having a helluva a time just staying a live, let alone involved in that profession, during and after marriage. My research on this blog is in part of an intent to know WHY I shouldn’t be able to leave and get on with life, given that my only apparent crime was poor choice of spouse and giving that marriage “the old college try” before leaving, shortly before it got lethal, as opposed to merely dangerous.

I believe the answer lies in the fact that what we expect to be halls of justice and law (let alone expecting the soon to be nationalized school system, either, to be as involved in education as in behavioral conditioning) have become dispensers of pop psychology and use of the human populace as a research subjects, and doing so at public expense — ALL of the public who pays taxes…

On my last post, I posted writings from an attorney, and a Ph.D. The Ph.D. (Warren Farrell) probably gets more press, but I found her reasonings to be more sound. I think we are entering into an age in which the presence of “Ph.D.” in any social science field should be a contra-indicator, not a positive.

=======

This is an adequate living, apparently, all this research (note. None of mine produces a dime…)

“Evaluation of the Partners for Fragile Families Projects” (Acting Project Director 2003; key
senior analyst); 2001-2007 Contract with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Urban Institute contract.
“Evaluation of the Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ Demonstration” (Senior
Evaluator, with MDRC prime contractor and Urban Institute); 2002-2009, Contract with U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation

HHS (translation: Your federal taxes, if you are in US and paying them…) is paying this salary. MDRC is another contractor I aim to report on one of these days, along with more on CPR (Center for Policy Research) and Thoennes/Pearson (both Ph.D.s I believe also), who show up in this featured report today:

So, let’s talk more abound the “independence” of this report, project, or others like it, in looking at its bibliography.



This brief was completed by the Urban Institute under contract to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of the Partners for Fragile Families evaluation, under contract number 100-01-0027. The authors gratefully acknowledge the guidance and comments provided by their project officer, Jennifer Burnszynski. Helpful comments were also provided by Linda Mellgren of ASPE and by Margot Bean, Eileen Brooks, and Myles Schlank of the Office of Child Support Enforcement in the Administration for Children and Families/HHS. The authors also benefited from comments by Burt Barnow and John Trutko and editing by Fiona Blackshaw.

From the Bibliography of the Reporters summarizing the programs they are paid to evaluate, and quoting some of the key contractors profiting from those programs, in the year 2008 in which (in my county) there were, I believe, 10 deaths (femicides) from domestic violence, and women attempting to leave such marriages, some of them tearing up businesses and claiming a police officer also, and a bystander or so…. Not to mention the 18-year imprisonment and repeated rapes and impregnation of Jaycee Dugard by an improperly monitored Phil Garrido, who had already been in jail for kidnapping in rape, there was contacted by a woman, married her, and with her, got that adolescent girl, and IMPRISONED her. Her childhood was stolen, while these studies marched on, and on, and on. She worked from a ramshackle set of tents and out-buildings, supporting her kidnappers own business in a professional manner and raising two children fathered by him.

Quite a different persepctive…

Anyhow, here is “CPR” footprint on this report, under the Bibliography.

Office of Child Support Enforcement, Responsible Fatherhood Programs

Pearson, Jessica, Nancy Theonnes, David Price, and Jane Venohr. 2000. OCSE Responsible Fatherhood Programs: Early Implementation Lessons. Denver, CO: Center for Policy Research and Policy Studies, Inc. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/rpt/process.htm.

Pearson, Jessica, Nancy Theonnes, Lanae Davis, Jane Venohr, David Price, and Tracy Griffith. 2003. OCSE Responsible Fatherhood Programs: Client Characteristics and Program Outcomes. Denver, CO: Center for Policy Research and Policy Studies, Inc. http://fatherhood.hhs.gov/Stability/RespFaPgmsClientChar.pdf.

If you are comfortable with us becoming, instead of a republic with 50 states, a single nation carved up into regions on which demonstration projects about us will be run at our expense, and supporting a bureaucracy which would be jeopardized if this was stopped, then just stop reading, and thinking, and go on paying taxes without thinking, and demanding, accountability. Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT, teach your youngsters to use the internet to research nonprofits and look at their IRS forms, and connect the dots. Do not, in fact, teach them about economics, history, or money in any coherent manner.

Just keep showing up to be demonstrated upon, and believe (like a religion) that this is going to improve someone’s lot in the long run, or our society. Sure.

And make sure NOT to look at the conversation between a family rights lawyer (Kates, Esq.) and a man who provides expert testimony — for fathers — and help getting their attorneys to coach the mother’s attorney to cave in, or risk losing custody to him (Farrell, Ph.D.). Don’t read the decades earlier conversations between Kates & Farrell on the Positive qualities of Incest, and quoting the Penthouse article (by Farrell) on it.

If Incest is acceptable, then by all means, let’s change the laws.  however, if the laws against this are still pertinent, then I suggest we get the Dept. of Health and Human Services 100% out of the courts, and defund anything resembling Farrell & friends!  I for one, am opposed to the concept, as are, I trust, most underage girls, or boys, who have been subjected to it.

Anything else is pure Cognitive Dissonance, and part of the problem.

Cover of PENTHOUSE December 1977, containing the article INCEST: THE LAST TABOO by Philip Nobile

I realize the survival benefit of denial, but at some point, it reaches a point of no return. That point is directly related to the SIZE and WEIGHT of the institutions influencing our individual lives, and whether we are going to also farm out reflective, informative THINKING to experts who have run amok, like a pack of dogs running out of meat and without restraint.

Sorry, sort of, about that last analogy, but it sure seems appropriate, if you are not dazzled by 3-syllable words.

Did I mention that one of the founders of the Center for Policy Research is among the founders, also, of the humongous AFCC (that group of professionals that seems to hearken back to a tax-dodging group run under the Los Angeles County Courthouse, and under its EIN#, but consisting in effect of a slush fund for judges…)

When you have the same personnel PROPOSING projects, CONDUCTING projects, and REPORTING on/EVALUATING on those projects to each other (i.e., policy makers reporting on policy), when the words “demonstration” are used on PEOPLE, then, Houston (and Plano, TX, if you’re there) we indeed have a problem. The ship isn’t going to come in, ever, and that dog ain’t gonna hunt…. until it is recognized HUMANITY is not correlative to educational and $$ status.

Catch you later — — —

Meanwhile, check out this: If the Fatherhood Guys aren’t able YET to totally get the balance swung back in their favor, adn if women as a whole aren’t willing to boycott sex, parenting, marriage, and child support to make a point (perhaps for even just 3 months in a row), it is going this direction sooner than later, while you were, probably, waiting for a court hearing, or wondering (moms) where your kids were on that weekend or joint-custody visitation time….. or between paying to see the children you gave birth to, so your interactions could be further studied and reported on by social policy makers, like those above…..

The Artificial Womb

If you didn’t see this coming, you haven’t been paying attention.

Copyright © 2009, Paul Lutus

ACTUALLY, I was going to link to the IS PSYCHOLOGY SCIENCE page..

To further motivate you to actually READ ‘Is Psychology Science?” (and a close reading will show he’s not particularly female-friendly, but poses some good question), here’s one:

  • During the 2006 meeting of the American Psychological Association, psychiatrists admitted they have no scientific tests to prove mental illness and have no cures for these unproven mental illnesses (more here). I’ve always thought the first step to learning something new is to acknowledge one’s own ignorance. It seems the professionals are willing to take this first step.

Conclusion

At this point it must be clear to the intelligent reader that clinical psychology can make virtually any claim and offer any kind of therapy, because there is no practical likelihood of refutation – no clear criteria to invalidate a claim. This, in turn, is because human psychology is not a science, it is very largely a belief system similar to religion.

Like religion, human psychology has a dark secret at its core – it contains within it a model for correct behavior, although that model is never directly acknowledged. Buried within psychology is a nebulous concept that, if it were to be addressed at all, would be called “normal behavior.” But do try to avoid inquiring directly into this normal behavior among psychologists – nothing is so certain to get you diagnosed as having an obsessive disorder.

In the same way that everyone is a sinner in religion’s metaphysical playground, everyone is mentally ill in psychology’s long, dark hallway – no one is truly “normal.” This means everyone needs psychological treatment. This means psychologists and psychiatrists are guaranteed lifetime employment, although that must surely be a coincidence rather than a dark motive.

This article also raises the question of ethics, as does Liz Kates, Esq., in her “Therapeutic Jurisprudence” article. Unlike her, I don’t think that the family law venue can be cleaned up of the practices, because I believe that its originators and promoters (family law DOES have a history, it didn’t just pop out fully formed, like Venus (unclothed) on a clamshell, or Athena (?? fully clothed and armored) from the head of her male forebear divinity..

EVERY institution has a Daddy somewhere. The field of psychology and social science don’t have very honorable ones… a little too close to Hitler’s minions, for my comfort:

If society correctly evaluated human psychology as a loose grouping of subjective cults and fads, the above summary would not pose any kind of social problem. But in fact there are people who still think human psychology is based in science, all evidence to the contrary. The sad result is that society’s engine of legal and social authority is sometimes steered by psychology, sometimes with unjust and terrible consequences. Here is a brief list of historical examples in which psychology’s bogus status as a science has produced harm (it is by no means a comprehensive list):

  • During World War I, psychologist R. M. Yerkes oversaw the testing of 1.7 million US Army draftees. His questionable conclusions were to have far-reaching consequences, leading to a 1924 law placing severe limitations on the immigration of those groups Yerkes and his followers believed to be mentally unfit – Jews and Eastern Europeans in particular. Yerkes later thoroughly recanted his methods and findings in an 800-page confession/tome that few bothered to read, and the policies he set in motion had the dreadful side effect of preventing the immigration of Jews trying to escape the predations of Hitler and his henchmen later on.The original test results happened to dovetail with Yerkes’ explicit eugenic beliefs, a fact lost on nearly everyone at the time.
  • In an effort to answer the question of whether intelligence is primarily governed by environment or genes, psychologist Cyril Burt (1883-1971) performed a long-term study of twins that was later shown to be most likely a case of conscious or unconscious scientific fraud. His work, which purported to show that IQ is largely inherited, was used as a “scientific” basis by various racists and others, and, despite having been discredited, still is.

(photo, ABOVE)

  • Walter Freeman performing a lobotomy

    In the 1950s, at the height of psychology’s public acceptance, neurologist Walter Freeman created a surgical procedure known as “prefrontal lobotomy.” As though on a quest and based solely on his reputation and skills of persuasion, Freeman singlehandedly popularized lobotomy among U.S. psychologists, eventually performing about 3500 lobotomies, before the dreadful consequences of this practice became apparent.

    At the height of Freeman’s personal campaign, he drove around the country in a van he called the “lobotomobile,” performing lobotomies as he traveled. There was plenty of evidence that prefrontal lobotomy was a catastrophic clinical practice, but no one noticed the evidence or acted on it. There was — and is — no reliable mechanism within clinical psychology to prevent this sort of abuse.

These examples are part of a long list of people who have tried to use psychology to give a scientific patina to their personal beliefs, perhaps beginning with Francis Galton (1822-1911), the founder and namer of eugenics. Galton tried (and failed) to design psychological tests meant to prove his eugenic beliefs. This practice of using psychology as a personal soapbox continues to the present, in fact, it seems to have become more popular.

What these accounts have in common is that no one was able (or willing) to use scientific standards of evidence to refute the claims at the time of their appearance, because psychology is only apparently a science. Only through enormous efforts and patience, including sometimes repeating an entire study using the original materials, can a rare, specific psychological claim be refuted. Such exceptions aside, there is ordinarily no recourse to the “testable, falsifiable claims” criterion that sets science apart from ordinary human behavior.

One might think that psychology might have learned from its past errors and evolved into a more strict and scientific enterprise. In fact the reverse seems to be the case. Here are two contemporary examples:

Facilitated Communication


Facilitated Communication to me is uncomfortably close to what gets termed (but isn’t) “mediation” in the courts.  We are not adults able to speak for ourselves, neither are our children (regardless of their ages), therefore a Mediator must “intervene” and produce a “required outcome” of the “due process” which results in “increased noncustodial parenting time” (the A/V grants and fatherhood thesis, in application), thereby shattering the concept of facts, evidence, and law.

As this DOES produce endless income, no wonder the shattering of the legal process is not of primary concern among the social policy makers….

Perhaps if we can BOTH mock and boycott, something might change.  But this won’t be easy…  And it requires sustainable livelihood to do this, which is getting scarcer and scarcer, as the evaluations and declarations get “curiouser and curiouser.”

{The next subtitle in this article is about “Recovered Memories” and he discredits it.  However, there is a factor where denial serves to protect the nervous system; I have experienced this in a (recent, not childhood) sense, and there IS a ‘dissociation” which seems to occur to preserve survival under extreme circumstances.

When society itself gets dissociative, then we have substantial problems.  I think the desire to change society should be done like Jesus did it — with self-sacrifice, and on a case-by-case basis.  When HE confronted the political-religo-combo, it was threatened, and (as the account goes in the Bible, at lesat) they crucified him.  Wars are still being fought over that, so perhaps if we could cool it on the institutional SIZE, the RELIGIOUS aspects of any institution might be minimized and deflected.

As I write, my President is pushing the HEALTHCARE initiative, which I oppose on the basis of it’s going to end up, soon enough, in who merits living, and who merits dying, who can have babies and who can’t, and after producing them, whose kids ARE they?  All the linguistics I’m hearing (press, TV, etc.) is that they are “OURS.”  That simply defies the concept of biology, until a real artificial womb takes its proper place beside artificial insemination, fatherhood practitioners, and domestic violence advocates, CPS, Child Support agencies, and the rest of them.

What a “village” to raise all these kids…

Therapeutic Jurisprudence, and other OxyMorons (Kates, Farrell)

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I have to curtail postings for a while, and leave you two required readings for “spring break.”

REQUIRED READING #1

Why Therapeutic Jurisprudence Must Be Eliminated From Our Family Courts, by E. Kates

Prefatory note: The phrase “therapeutic jurisprudence” is used in this article to mean “a mental health approach to the law.” The term originally was coined in 1987 by Professors David Wexler of the University of Arizona and Bruce Winick of the University of Miami School of Law to mean the study of the therapeutic or anti-therapeutic effects of law and legal procedures. It also has come to be more widely used to mean therapeutic applications in the law, as well as the influx of mental health therapeutic and forensic practitioners into the courts, both of which somewhat predate the coinage. The growth of these ideas in family law, however, has been exponential over the past two decades. Much of the therapeutic jurisprudence currently being applied in family courts around the country, as well as the laws furthering these practices can be traced to trade promotion ideas conceived and lobbied for by various psychological and multidisciplinary trade organizations.

The Unacknowledged Problem

There are many problems with therapeutic jurisprudence in the family courts, which now runs the gamet from all manner of alternate dispute resolution procedures, to excessive guardian ad litem practices, to various court-ordered therapies, to extensive psychological opining and forensic evaluation in court cases. One of the problems with the rise of therapeutic jurisprudence and the placement of non-legal systems and non-legal professionals into the courts has been the subtle denigration of long-established precepts of lawyer independence and due process. One of the many ways this happens in the family courts has been, ironically, through the introduction of subtle and often unrecognized conflicts of interest afflicting lawyers’ representations of their clients, created through the common development of multidisciplinary collegial relationships and business referrals, both informally and through the very multidisciplinary organizations which are promoting therapeutic jurisprudence ideas.

The conflicts of interest arise because most lawyers represent different kinds of clients on ideologically oppositional sides in different cases. The typical family lawyer sometimes represents the wife, sometimes the husband, sometimes the “good guy”, and sometimes the “bad guy”. If a lawyer coming into a case runs up against an expert with whom he has a referral or employment relationship in other cases, and that expert takes a position adverse to the lawyer’s client in the new case, the lawyer will have a very difficult time adequately representing his client. Appropriate representation may require the lawyer to strenuously object to the expert’s testimony — or even the expert himself. But if the lawyer needs the good will and cooperation of that same expert in connection with the lawyer’s other clients’ pending cases, he cannot do that because he may put those other cases at risk.

The legal community, even in urban areas, is limited and often close-knit. Lawyers in the same area of practice regularly encounter each other in different cases. The pool of forensic experts and guardians ad litem (GALs) tends to be even smaller. The repeated association time and again of these specialists in cases means that at any time and from time-to-time any given one of them may show up on the “wrong side” of a lawyer’s case — and simultaneously also be on the “right side” of other of the lawyer’s cases, whether as a hired expert or a court-appointed expert. This creates many of the same dilemmas that ordinary client conflict-of-interest issues do.

How the Conflicts of Interest Affect the Lawyers and Their Clients’ Cases

Lawyers in these positions will be tempted to rationalize to themselves, as well as maintain the posture in the community at large, that the expert’s opinions, even when they are adverse to his client, are scientifically valid — even when they may not be, even if they are deeply flawed or completely specious. These lawyers may rationalize to themselves that the validity of the science itself is not their responsibility because, after all, lawyers are not “scientists”. The lawyer who naively or purposefully steps down the path of multidisciplinary practice, regularly exchanging referrals and engaging in other close associations with nonlawyer case participants simply cannot avoid encountering this problem.

Lawyers and these other participants in the system have very different roles. When lawyers directly hire paralegals, experts, and others to assist them, there is not as much of a potential conflicts problem, even when these individuals are independent contractors. First, their work is covered by attorney work product unless and until they testify. Second, because they were hired by the lawyer, they are subject to the same conflict of interest rules as is the hiring lawyer, as far as their involvement in other cases and with other people. This is not true, however, in the case of “independent” experts, such as custody evaluators and guardians ad litem. These individuals who render opinions “for the court” as so-called “court-appointed experts” are a very different matter.

These same kinds of conflicts also do not arise when lawyers engage in professional relationships with other lawyers who regularly are on the opposing sides of cases, because unlike the lawyer colleagues, the practitioners of therapeutic jurisprudence are actually case participants — witnesses and even parties. Although ostensibly working “for the court”, they are not akin to neutral judges or magistrates, bailiffs or other courthouse personnel. None of these truly neutral courthouse persons advocates for a position in a case, testifies as a witness, or participates as a party proper as do some GALs. Contrary to the rhetoric, court-appointed evaluators and opining GALs are not neutral participants in the system. Even if they initially were hired under that rubric, once their reports are rendered, and their opinions formed and ready to be given, they have become advocates for one or the other side or issue in a case. Thus, at a point, they are, just as any party would be, pointedly in favor of certain outcomes, and adverse to others.

The routine broad involvement of these expert witnesses thus must be recognized by the legal profession as the egregious misjudgment it is, fostering legal ethical violations that must be addressed by state bar ethics rules.

Ironically, the problem is worse for lawyers who are not ideologues, because these lawyers are more likely to advocate for different client perspectives. Such a lawyer confronts an unresolvable dilemma when an expert the lawyer is relying on in one case takes a similar position, including one that may lack scientific merit, against another of the same lawyer’s clients in a different case. Because the expert and the lawyer have been, are currently, or will be in cahoots in these other cases, the lawyer is placed into a conflict, unable zealously to discredit the expert when that is necessary to protect his current client. Bar ethics rules must address this.

The legal profession actually does recognize that the experts themselves have the same temptation to manipulate their opinions to please those lawyers with whom they have ongoing relationships and receive referrals. This undoubtedly contributes to yet more corruption of the judicial system, and even has led to calls to banish these third parties (see e.g. Margaret Hagen’s Whores of the Court, Regan Books, 1997). Nevertheless, lawyers have not, as a group, either recognized or acknowledged how these practices have affected their own ethics and practices.

Why Has No One Said Anything Before?

One possible reason that multidisciplinary ideas have taken such hold in the area of family law and (except for the drug court idea where they are also increasing), otherwise kept in check in other areas of legal practice, is that unlike lawyers who practice in many other substantive areas, and who may retain their clients for years, family lawyers typically need a steady stream of new one-shot clients. Also, family lawyers tend to work in smaller firms, where they are not cross-referring the same clients among different lawyers in different practice areas of the same firm. So family lawyers value those who send them business. As a result, it appears that too many family lawyers, perhaps without recognizing or acknowledging the conflicts of interest that have caused their discomfort and unwillingness adequately to represent some of their clients in some of their cases, in fact have sacrificed these clients on the altar of maintaining their professional relationships, associations, and referral sources.

Some busy family lawyers do admit to feeling “burnout”. Some have rationalized that their unwillingness to zealously advocate for their clients, as well as their vague discomfort with some clients and positions, stems from the frequent “high conflict” created by unreasonable clients, or the high emotional toll their cases are taking on them. Others have retained their enthusiasm by becoming ideologues, including proponents of bad science favored by their own favorite therapeutic jurisprudence colleagues. These lawyers take only those cases in which they will not feel conflicted or simply suspend their judgment and integrity in the interests of churning cases and making money. For example, this is seen among lawyers who assert in case after case with very different facts that their clients have been the victims of “parental alienation”. The fathers’ rights advocates also would lay this charge on the domestic violence practitioners. Whether the ideological lawyer is taking cases which do involve only one kind of client position, or whether the lawyer just “sees” the same things in different cases is not the issue. The issue is that the lawyer has resolved his cognitive dissonance by committing to propositions outside of law and outside of the lawyer’s academic expertise, and — maintaining a deliberate self-serving ignorance — is carrying both good and bad ideas into the media of the legal field. This alone explains the constant propagation in family law of bad science, and the seemingly endless “controversies” over bad psychological ideas that are pervasive in the justice system but which do not get resolved by any amount of publication of “good science”.

Some lawyers caught in this vortex have justified their lack of vigorous representation, and the coerced settlements they’ve foisted on some clients, as hailing from a pretextual concern for “the best interests of the [nonclient] children”, or as taking the reasonable compromise position, or the high road, or “just helping people to get along”. These lawyers have attempted to redefine their jobs, paternalistically, as dictators who must “control” their clients, instead of being agents at law for them. And again, therapeutic jurisprudence explains why this problem has become so much more pervasive in family law than in other areas of law.

Other lawyers profess to themselves and each other and everyone else around a great affinity for mediation and therapy and collaborative resolution, and all manner of alternate dispute resolution (therapeutic jurisprudence) as being superior to traditional justice system litigation and negotiation practices, and in the interests of everyone, because they have been encouraged to think this way by a steady drip of literature emanating from the mental health trade organizations — as well as new referral retainers. Little in the way of objective research substantiates these opinions, or the resulting negative impact many of them have on formal justice system procedures and due process. This kind of thing again is just not as pervasive in other areas of the law, no matter how heated the conflicts get, and it is one substantial reason the public has such a generally dim view of the family courts and family lawyers. “Therapeutic jurisprudence” is a primary reason the family courts are seen as not working, unjust, and broken.

How Are We Going To Fix This

Given that clients are entitled to their choice of attorneys, and are entitled to independent, unconflicted agents at law who are committed to furthering their interests and goals (as the client, not the attorney, has defined them), one immediately viable solution would be a rule of disqualification of any GAL or forensic expert who previously was associated in any prior case with either of the lawyers in a current case, and the striking and nullification of all testimony and reports of that expert, no matter at what stage the lawyer may have entered the case.

Court appointed witnesses and parties in other people’s private civil cases are interlopers in the justice system and must be excised. The very integrity of the justice system is at stake. To the extent well-meaning individuals promoting these ideas did not fathom the repercussions of them, and were swayed by sweet-sounding “solutions” that simply do not work well in practice, it’s time for an honest reappraisal.

In addition, the loss to the justice system, if any, would be slight. It does not actually take an “expert” to do a home study or to investigate readily observable facts. The proof of this is in how often court-hired opiners are not specialists at all, but lawyers and laypersons, and in how often cases in which funds are unavailable to engage so-called mental health experts manage to be reasonably adjudicated WITHOUT THEM. The perception of need for psychological expertise in most family law cases is especially misguided too, because, unlike scientific and technical experts in other fields, the field of applied psychology is overrun with political machinations, nonsensical theories, and outright misrepresentations (see generally, Robyn Dawes, House of Cards, The Free Press, 1994, and other criticisms of applied psychology). Too often what is posited as within the realm of a psychologist’s or other mental health practitioner’s expertise is not close to research-based or experiential technical knowledge. Much of the time, it is more akin to an expertise in astrology, or theology: there is high familiarity with complicated ideas and methods of calculating answers, and the body of literature that discusses all of that, but the professional output otherwise is somewhere between unhelpful and misleading when it comes to ascertaining the facts and guiding reasonable decision-making.

It is time to start substantially limiting, and even eliminating the use of forensic experts, GALs, and other therapeutic ideas in family court. In the vast majority of cases, custody evaluators and mental health practitioners have no actual expertise to offer. When this is objectively understood, and then considered in light of the problems their presence creates, the solution is no longer arguable.

Required Reading #2:  Background of one of the Trainer’s Trainers (Esalen, Incest-friendly, and repeatedly citing (former?) NOW connections, highly-educated, and “expert” witness (for fathers),

Warren Farrell, Ph.D. (as in, “Piled Higher, and Deeper”….)

Dr. Warren Farrell’s books are in 15 languages (e.g., Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Hebrew, Arabic…), in more than 50 countries. The Financial Times selected Dr. Farrell as one of the world’s top 100 Thought Leaders.

Warren Farrell | Activist

Dr. Warren Farrell’s support for women and women’s issues is reflected in his being the only man in the US ever elected three times to the Board of Directors of the National Organization for Women ( NOW ) in New York City. He has also taught in the Department of Women’s Studies at San Diego State University.

Dr. Farrell’s ability to articulate both sexes’ perspectives is reflected by his selection as the only man to speak at former California Governor Wilson’s conferences on women and also his conference on fathers.

Dr. Warren Farrell’s work on family roles has received awards from the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists; the Onstep Institute for Mental Health Research in New York; and the Professional School of Psychology (in San Diego) awarded him an honorary doctorate.

Dr. Farrell has been training psychologists and helping professionals throughout the world on parenting, gender and couples’ communication issues since the early 1970’s. For example, in 2007, the Vermont Psychological Association sponsored an all-day training of its psychologists. Dr. Farrell was their only trainer. He testified before the West Virginia and the Arizona legislatures as one of the few national experts on the value of shared parenting in non-intact families.

Decades prior to the publication of Father and Child Reunion, psychologists, MFTs, MSWs and Nurses received approval to obtain Continuing Education Units for graduate training by him in the U.S., Canada and overseas.

Warren Farrell | Inspiration

Dr. Farrell has taught the psychology of gender roles and parenting at the California School of Professional Psychology, and at the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. He has taught in five different disciplines, including at Rutgers, Brooklyn College and Georgetown University.

Dr. Warren Farrell has been a resident lecturer at Yale, and been selected as a speaker for the Distinguished Lecturer series at Stanford and more than fifty universities in the U.S. He was chosen by President Johnson as one of five young educators to be invited to the White House Conference on Education.

The American Psychological Association’s official publication on gender, Bridging Separate Gender Worlds, published in 1999, recommends all three of Dr. Farrell’s books that were published prior to 1999. (He is the only scholar for whom they recommended three books.)

At Esalen, the country’s Mecca for leading psychologists, Warren Farrell both trains their staff and also conducts weekend workshops in couples’ communication. Most of these couples have children. Psychologists, MSWs and MFTs are all awarded advanced credit for the courses they take with him. Similarly, Psycho-Legal Associates, the leading West Coast trainer of psychologists for Continuing Education Units (CEUs), has used Dr. Farrell to train their psychologists on the unique and interdependent contributions of dads and moms as parents.

WHY AM I PUTTING LIZ KATES, ESQ. & WARREN FARRELL, Ph.D. ON THE SAME PAGE?

Well, I think she has him pegged correctly, assuming the quotes are legitimate, on the LizLibrary (search for his name on it).  It’s in ALL of our interests to understand what these family courts are doing to our country.  Is this REALLY what you want for anyone’s children?  Or for your money (parent or non-parent) to be supporting — the changing of courts into mental health dispensaries, nationwide, and also internationally?

Is it too late to stop this?  You judge..

Written by Let's Get Honest

March 25, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Hearsay in Kidnapping played up by the Press

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I have blogged on child-stealing, because I’ve already experienced the police enabling the father of my children to take the law (and our kids) into his own hands, in violation of a standing custody order. 

I’ve blogged on the laws which exist to prevent this happening.

I’ve YET to blog on exactly HOW the family court venue (already a place where batterers are able to hide with impunity, and continue destabilizing a family unit based on hearsay being taken as the truth, and so forth) downgrades what the law calls a crime into a non-crime.

I have come to the conclusion that these laws, which I thought were written, and APPEAR to be written with a note to protective parents — found in the language of the code, at least in my state — are actually written for fathers.

There have been front-page news on bereft fathers telling the press — mournfully and with convincing emotion — that their exes were fabricating allegations of abuse, and were just sore losers in the custody venue.

This is now a new class of behavior and reporting, and citizens need to WATCH this type of reporting.  Those who are examining the case files MIGHT find something different.

Police are not the only agencies qualified to determine whether child abuse (or DV for that matter) has or has not occurred.  Psychological assessments do not tell whether or not certain acts have happened; fact-finding does.  Whether or not fact-finding ever takes place, or even an appearance of it, IS a factor in whether facts were ever FOUND.

I’m only giving two more links — from Washington State.  No, I have not read the articles, but you can, now that I’m posting them.  Then, if you are so minded, you could at least probably read the record of court actions, and/or some of the players (professionals) involved in the case.

It is of supreme importance if we are going to live even a nominally law-abiding society, that the courts are credible when orders are made (i.e., due process, no gender bias, no conflict of interest for monetary reasons or professional referral reasons.  I just about eliminated the family law profession in this statement… and when you add in the finances at stake in these cases — i.e., child support, etc.  — there are a mixture of possible motives for any custody action.

But a paper printing a father’s quote assessing his ex’s REASONS for steailng the children, when there are issues of molestation is suspect.  When are these papers going to go into the jails and get her side of the story and print a QUOTE?  Along with a history of the case actions?  Now THAT would be reporting.  It’s what some of the bloggers on my roll ( to the right) often do, and share with each other, and it is sure informative.

One case, two links:

http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/sirens/2010/mar/15/mom-98-kidnapping-due-spokane-soon/

http://www.dailyitem.com/archivesearch/local_story_071220549.html

Again, HEARSAY should be balanced when reported on….

Written by Let's Get Honest

March 17, 2010 at 2:37 pm

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