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Archive for April 2010

Today I’m still thinking of Nancy Schaefer..

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  • Who cares about what happened to this woman — and her husband — who spoke up?
  • This is part of what probably caused their deaths:

  • The Corrupt Business of Child Protective Services | Nancy Schaefer

    Dec 5, 2007 … In this report, I am focusing on the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS). However, I believe Child Protective Services
     
  • I haven’t screened the sites below — you may.  Then it’s on your shoulders, how you evaluate them…..

    But, are we to take it for granted that, whether shot, reported as killing each other (when it’s dubious they did), or are incarcerated, and the voices shut off — that no one will step up and take their place in this travesty of agencies, bureaus, offices, and courts??

    I just want the info up there….

    “So what?” if the United States is trafficking in children?  It sells news, at least…

  • CPS Warrior Nancy Schaefer Gunned Down

    Mar 29, 2010 Infowars.com | The corporate media does not bother to mention that Schaefer exposed the abuses of CPS and the international child sex
    http://www.infowars.com/cps-warrior-nancyschaefer-gunned-down/ – Cached
  • Mar 27, 2010 Former Senator Nancy Schaefer Related Links 2010 Family Preservation Schaefer’s: Cut the Power of the Family Courts Nancy Schaefer’s CPS
    http://www.examiner.com/x-15873-Family-Rights-Examiner~y2010m3d27-Family-rights-advocates-mourn-death-of-NancySchaeferCached
  • Nancy Schaefer exposes the EVIL CPS

     

    10 min – Apr 14, 2009 –
             

    A speech given by Nancy Schaefer on Child Protection Services The System Can Not be trusted It does not serve The People of USA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TcDTJlPWbERelated videos

    Get more video results

  • Nancy Schaefer and Husband Dead Killed Husband CPS Corruption

    The children were taken to another county and placed in foster care. The foster parents were told wrongly that they could adopt the children.
    http://www.time2news.com/…/nancyschaefer-and-husband-dead-killed-husband-cps-corruption/ – Cached
  • Report of Georgia Senator Nancy Schaefer on CPS Corruption

    Feb 29, 2008 Report of Georgia Senator Nancy Schaefer on Corruption in Child Protective Services.
    fightcps.com/…/report-of-georgia-senator-nancyschaefer-on-cps-corruption/ – CachedSimilar
  • CPS Warrior Nancy Schaefer Gunned Down – Volconvo Debate Forums

    15 posts – 4 authors – Last post: Mar 30

    From the Associated Press: State investigators say the husband of former state Senator Nancy Schaefer shot his wife before turning the gun
    http://www.volconvo.com/…/29400-cps-warrior-nancyschaefer-gunned-down.html – Cached

    Get more discussion results

  • informationliberation – CPS Warrior Nancy Schaefer Gunned Down

    Mar 29, 2010 CPS Warrior Nancy Schaefer Gunned Down. From the Associated Press: State investigators say the husband of former state Senator Nancy
    http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=29709CachedShow map of 18 Capitol Square SW, Atlanta, GA 30334
  • kidjacked.com › familyCachedSimilar
  •  ========

    Written by Let's Get Honest

    April 29, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Are you in “The Loop” on what’s up?

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    We’re All Part Black, Even You White America
    By: Crystal P. Smith (Add to your loop)
    Fri, 10/09/2009 – 00:00

    Michelle Obama is part white, just like most Black Americans.First lady Michelle Obama’s genealogy has been traced back to a slave girl and an unidentified white male, who is her great-great-great-grandfather.

    Several scholars hope these findings will bring to light what many of us already knew, but what the mainstream doesn’t like to acknowledge — most African Americans are the products of interracial rape that occurred during slavery. The sex couldn’t be consensual, because the slave was property and had no rights. According to research by geneticist Mark Shriver at Morehouse College, 58 percent of African Americans possess at least 12.5 percent European ancestry or the equivalent of Michelle Obama’s one great-grandparent. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has said most of that lineage can be traced back to a white male who impregnated a black female, most likely a slave.

    All of this highlights what even a lot of adults don’t know: laws created during slavery in order to keep slavery alive continue to affect the social order. They were made to benefit white men, making sure they had overwhelming access to everything and could create wealth. Interestingly enough, white men today are still at the very top of the social order. The “changing of the rules” we see happening today with President Obama isn’t different from the strategies used during slavery when someone or something jeopardized that control.

    For instance, interracial marriages and unions were legal in the colonies until 1691, and it only became illegal when white women began marrying free black men. According to research conducted by my uncle, Wake Forest professor Dr. Anthony Parent for his book, Foul Means, many free Black men chose to marry white women because they didn’t have to pay for them like they did to marry Black female slaves. But white men didn’t want to compete with black men for white women, so interracial marriages were made illegal.

    Laws were also made to ensure the product of a white man and his Black slave remained a slave, after a mulatto, Elizabeth Kay, sued and won her freedom in 1655 due to her white paternity. By 1662, it became law that “children were bound or free only according to the condition of the mother.” This law gave white men further incentive to rape their slaves; now they could breed slaves instead of buying them.

    I trust readers are starting to see why I’m posting this under a family law blog.  Shared parenting, even if the woman has to dash out to save her life, or theirs.  Give me your kids! 

    So, while it’s interesting most Black Americans have European lineage, it’s even more striking that large numbers of white Americans have to have Black relatives. Not to mention the number of mulattos who were light enough to pass and integrate themselves into the white world, like the late New York Times critic Anatole Broyard. How many more “white” people like that have been lurking around in our midst?

    In his book, Parent also explores relationships between white women and Black female slaves and the many white women accused of killing their slaves over miniscule issues. Plantations populated with mulatto children were physical evidence of their husband’s sexual exploits. What woman wouldn’t be jealous and angry over that? Anybody ever seen Alex Haley’s Queen?

    I often wonder how much of what happened then affects our lives now. I know tensions between Black and white women still exist and many Black women aren’t comfortable with Black men dating white women. Black women were, from the beginning, meant to be used by their masters and their relationships with Black men were destroyed or discouraged. Today, the Black family is broken once again and Black women still are largely excluded from the mainstream’s definition of beauty.

    Things wouldn’t be so hard for us to understand if we learned the real history of our American past. But many details are purposely excluded from schools and the dialogue because revealing them would threaten the entire social structure. Yes, we have a Black president but he’s only one man who broke through. And just like laws were changed back then to preserve control, people like Congressman Joe Wilson, Glenn Beck and others who have a lot to lose, are working hard to make sure President Obama is a one-term wonder and things stay just as they are.

    Now that we have all been informed of the European heritage that exists in the White House, let’s finally discuss the stain Black blood and slavery left behind long ago.

    Crystal P. Smith is senior editor and writer at TheLoop21.com, where she focuses on pop culture, gender, social issues and race. She also writes the Inside the Loop blog.

    She is talking about a different issue, but THE issue is the power structure. 

    This is true in the family law system also. It’s those in power’s answer to women leaving abusive relationships.  PERIOD.  That’s what it’s about, as far as I have been able to tell. There was a window of time, apparently, we were let out.  That time has passed, and is passing, and now we are being shoved back in through this system, designed  — and the primary (a primary) organization affecting it even says this — to change the “old” criminal language of the law to “newer” (but — I say, NOT “better”) ways of the courts being used to “reconcile” marriages. 

    That’s an insult.  If I want to divorce, or need to — a huge step — let me divorce, without extortion or threats, OK?  I’m not a CHILD!  But women are continually treated this way.

    And there’s nothing better for drama than pitting women against each other.  Guess who’s back, laughing their ways to the bank on that one?

    Another article here (I have 3 minutes left, yet) talks about it’s not black/white, it’s the rich-poor divide.  I find this to be true.  Poverty, and Wealth, are MADE, and to address family law, we are going to somewhere have to take a much harder look at our social system. 

    http://theloop21.com/news/class-replaces-race-urban-centers

    http://www.ustreas.gov/education/fact-sheets/taxes/ustax.shtml

    And to do that, we have to look at our TAX system, which has its own, separate history.

    Written by Let's Get Honest

    April 27, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Brit versus US Family Law..”a profound distrust of the mass of the public..”

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    This was  ‘find” under googling “Origins of Family Law system in the United States” which should also be checked out. 

    Computer is slow today, but my take on the topics below is that the US is becoming more centralized, and less fragmented.  But — for the red, bold (mine) at the end, I think we need to look at this.  It’s an ATTITUDE thing, from top-down…  WIth religious conservatives in the ruling party….

    This review reads “2004” and I think he has mis-read the United STates.  We are rapidly becoming centralized, and as such, that’s socialized. 

    Let’s see if I can get one more “paste” in there with a different paradigm — that of  a “reconstruction” period, which I think applies to the gains in women’s rights, and the kick-back of them, in the last quarter of the 20th century..  From TheLoop21…

    FAMILY LAW IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY: A HISTORY

    by Stephen Cretney. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. 911pp. Cloth: $115.00. £75.00 ISBN: 0-19-826899-8.

     Reviewed by Lawrence M. Friedman, Law School, Stanford University

    This is a hefty piece of work, in every sense of the word.  The text runs to 775 pages, followed by over 35 pages of biographical notes, identifying the main players in the story.  The book, as the title tells us, gives an account-and an extremely comprehensive one-of the way family law developed in England in the 20th century.  The book also deals in some detail, as it must, with what came before (mostly in the 19th century).  In general, the first part of the book covers marriage and divorce, property arrangements after the death or divorce of a spouse, and the legal rights of unmarried couples (this somewhat sketchily).  Then come several chapters concerned with the legal status of children-legitimacy and illegitimacy, adoption, termination of parental rights in cases of abuse and neglect, and so on.  The book is quite long and very detailed; but it is well written, has a nice flow, and is full of interesting observations.  It does a quite admirable job of handling an intricate and complex subject.  The author is a former solicitor and a distinguished family law scholar.  One cannot fail to be impressed with his command of the subject.  There is nothing in the United States, on 20th century family law, that even approaches the scope of this book.      

    Cretney’s book is very lawyerly.   Of course, family law is one of those fields in which you simply cannot avoid talking about nonlawyerly things-things that are happening in the outside world, economic changes, political changes, the sexual revolution, and so on.  Professor Cretney does speak of such matters; but frankly, not in any great depth or detail.  The book focuses heavily on the legal history of family law, rather than on the socio-legal history of the subject.  In this regard, the book, I imagine, would not be to the taste of most readers of this review (nor to my own taste, quite frankly).  But I feel it would a bit churlish to stress this point too much.  The reader will find, scattered throughout this vast text, many places where Cretney discusses or points out aspects of the politics or social meaning of family law-for example, how the rhythm of elections, and the rise and fall of parties, affected various bills and proposals in Parliament; or the impact of two world wars on divorce rates and the demand for divorce; or how a shocking crime against a foster child impacted child welfare laws.  In general, we have to be grateful to Professor Cretney for his enormous achievement.  He has given us a thorough and definitive account of the case-law and legislation.  The narrative is valuable in itself; and the book can also serve as a very useful reference book and as a key to the literature and the sources. 

    Legal systems are by nature parochial.  They are jurisdictional, and they lose all their power at the national borders.  Family law is of course no exception.  The American reader will surely be struck by similarities and differences in family law on the two sides of the Atlantic.  The similarities are, to begin with, quite obvious.   English law has gone from tough divorce to easy divorce, has enacted laws permitting the adoption of children, eliminated the legal disabilities of illegitimate children, and so on.  There are other sorts of eerie parallels-for example, the moral panic over child abuse in the 1980s, complete with allegations of terrifying and satanic “organised ritual abuse” (p.721).   In general, English law echoes developments in American law, and also, one might add, developments in other western countries.  Each of these countries seems to have gone down the same road, though each at its own pace.

    The trans-Atlantic differences are also striking.  I used the word “echoes” in the last paragraph on purpose.   In many instances, an American reader will find the Brits astonishingly slow.  A case in point is adoption.  In the United States, a crucial date is 1851; in that year, Massachusetts enacted a general adoption law-a law which, basically, gave adopted children a status in the family which was much the same as the status of “natural” children, and set up a judicial procedure for the adoption of children.  In the next few years, most other states followed with their own versions.  The corresponding English statute was passed in 1926, seventy-five years after Massachusetts!  Before that time, there was no mechanism at all for legally adopting a child in England.  A law that gave mothers rights of guardianship of children equal to fathers was enacted in 1973-another date that American readers will consider surprisingly late.  In fact, these readers will be startled, time and time again, by the deep-dyed conservatism of English family law, at least until quite recently.  Here is a country which seemed to embrace a welfare state philosophy so much earlier, and so much more thoroughly, than the United States, and yet, in many matters of family law, was (by American standards) extremely slow and halting, and even retrograde.    

    But perhaps the structure of English government-perhaps reflecting deep differences in society as well-explains both features of English law.  There is, to begin with, the difference between a federal system and a centralized government.  Family law in the United States is a state matter.  Washington in the past had almost nothing to do with marriage and divorce, child custody, adoption, and the like.  Power is decentralized in the United States; and this is more than a matter of structure, it is also a matter of culture. 

    Structure, however, does matter.  It affects the distribution of power.  The United States is fragmented, decentralized.  This means that in towns, cities, and even states, a small-town lawyer, a successful Chevrolet dealer, a politically active dentist, even a master plumber, can be a person of political consequence.   American power-holders at the local level are often economically conservative.  They have no taste for anything that smacks of socialism to them.  

    They tend to find the poor despicable, and noblesse oblige plays no part in their psychic makeup.  But they do have some money, and a stake in society.  They own a house, a business, a piece of land.  Their stake in society predisposes them to want the right to form and reform family units, and they want these units to be legitimate, and to carry with them property and inheritance rights.  This has created a large, powerful class that exerted pressure on family law-pressure for formal recognition of adoption, and, more and more, for easier divorce laws.  

    Of course, especially in the case of divorce, there were strong forces on the other side, but the tangled history of American family law shows that the clergy, and the conservative “family values” people, had a desperate fight on their hands, and ultimately a losing one.

    The British case could not be more different.  Social conservatism had much more power in British society-in the houses of Parliament, in the administration, in the upper clergy, and in the highest circles of the civil service.  There were, as in the United States, crusaders for reform, at all times.  But they had to contend with powerful forces at the very heart of the polity.  The main characters, who walk through the pages of Cretney’s book, are for the most part members of Parliament (including the House of Lords very definitely), the higher civil service, bishops and archbishops, the Lord Chancellor’s office, and the judges of the high courts.  Proposals for reform get turned over to an endless parade of Royal Commissions, with extremely elite memberships-the Royal Commission on Divorce and Matrimonial Causes of 1912, for example, headed by Lord Gorell, and the Royal Commission on Marriage and Divorce of 1956, headed by Lord Morton of Henryton.    The Commissions issued reports, sometimes suggesting moderate reforms, sometimes not. 

    {{In our time, we do “task forces.”  Does this shed some light on my recent post “Points of View” Moderate, versus Urgent??}}

    These reports, along with White Papers from the government, and (after 1964) the work of the Law Commission, provide the basic documents, and the source materials for bills proposed and enacted in Parliament.  All of this activity was, of course, centered in London, and took place at the very apex of the national government.  The reports reflected, only at some very considerable difference, the needs and wants of ordinary people.  They did, however, have to take into account the opinions of members of the House of Lords (and not just Law Lords), the opinion of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and so on, often opinions in favor of doing nothing, or making only the most modest changes, and often reflecting a profound distrust of the mass of the public, at least when it came to marriage and divorce and sex

    The same top-down forces which permitted or even fostered the rise of the welfare state, with its emphasis on help for the poor and the humble, were extremely reluctant to interfere with “traditional family values.”  At least this was the situation until the last two or so decades, when the dam broke, and the sexual revolution among other factors swept away so much of what was left of the inherited family law system.

    I learned a lot from this book, with its richness of detail, and its illuminating and meticulous exposition of the complex maneuvering in Parliament and in the administration, which went into the making of family law.  For those concerned with the sociology of English law it will, of course, be a useful source-book-with regard to family law, and to the operation of the British government in law-making matters in general.  For those of us in the United States who are interested in family law as a cultural and political phenomenon, it will be equally valuable.  It provides a basis of comparison, a control group, as it were, which sheds oblique light on our own system, how it grew, and its multiple twists and turns over time.       

    *********************************************************************
    Copyright 2004 by the author, Lawrence M. Friedman.

    Written by Let's Get Honest

    April 27, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Who’s Changing Whom? Batterers v Institutions

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    This article was forwarded to me.  I’m pasting it for a few reasons —

    • I thought readers might appreciate a post which actually has consistent style and complete sentences throughout, which lots of mine don’t.
    • Another “take” on the Batterer v. Institution relationship.  I think we need to de-fang the batterer (although I accept they sometimes kill) as to the influence on institutions.  This is NOT a one-way street, my research (based on others’ road signs) has indicated. . . .  The institutions or those who work in them, ALSO recruit men (and sometimes women) actively for their programs; I’m speaking of the U.S., but the organization influential in this practice, is international.

    Men have been recruited, actively, through child support systems, in prisons, and elsewhere.  I ran across an information sheet in a law library which had overtly father-hood friendly (and acknowledged this) links on its “information” sheet at the kiosk.  This is a general informational sheet on various topics.  Program services are promoted in Family Court Facilitator’s offices, such as one I found recently in my area — the brochure was talking about “Parents Forever” but the Logo was of a figure in pants (indicating, male) and two children, one female, and one male.  No mother.  The sponsoring organization was AFCC, and there was no mention — whatsoever — about domestic violence.  It was a condescending tone, and at the end discouraged readers from picking up the yellow pages — better to consult one of our professionals (clearly implied). 

    So, t hey are being recruited.  The dynamic of the situation is, the batterer or abuser parent now has an audience, and is more likely to perform with rapt attention of hearers.

    These hearers have a responsibilty too — they are enablers. 

    But I don’t think the issue is about institutions not understanding these types of people.  I think it the issue is ALL types of people (including those not even in the court system) failing to understand the INSTITUTIONS. 

    I bet the writer of this article would enjoy sanctuaryweb.com, as it also talks about the larger social attitudes that perpetuate abuse.

    The Fine Art of Institutional Grooming

     
    from a (new) blog, “Australian Shared Parenting.”
     
     
    (That logo goes with a different post on the same blog; I couldn’t copy the banner.)..
     
    BELOW HERE IS QUOTE unless in {{…….}}’s…
     
    Institutional Grooming Defined and Explained

    A lot of people will have heard of the term “grooming”, but most will think of the term only as it is used in the context of child sexual abuse. What many people do not consider, is that grooming is an art that is practiced by most perpetrators of any kind of abuse, and, I believe, particularly by perpetrators of family violence.

    It is not only a perpetrator’s victims that are groomed (which would be considered emotional abuse), but the victims’ family and friends, the perpetrator’s own family and friends, and even public servants and medical professionals (in which case it is purposeful manipulation). The grooming of doctors, nurses, mental health carers, family support workers and other public servants is called “Institutional Grooming” and the perpetrator does it for the purpose of self-preservation.

    The targets of Institutional Groomers may include their victim’s General Practitioner, psychiatrist, psychologist, child health nurse, pediatrician, carers at a Family Day Care Facility, school teachers, counselors or therapists. The public servants targeted may be social workers, case workers, investigative officers or police officers employed by government departments such as the Department For Child Protection, the Police’s Family Protection Unit and the Department for Community Development. When done with enough finesse to be successful, institutional grooming ensures that any complaints alleged about the perpetrator are either disregarded outright, doubted and therefore not investigated thoroughly, or if acted upon, subsequently dismissed in a court of law.

    Why would a perpetrator go to such lengths to manipulate people other than their victims? Because when their victims, the victims’ family and friends, and the public service networks intended to support their victims are groomed successfully, the investment of all that hard work does not go to waste – the victims are then still available to continue to abuse.

    Some Thought Provoking Insights into a Victim’s Reality

    The scary thing about successful institutional grooming is that it substantially increases the harm done to the victims, not only because the abuse they face continues for longer, but because they lose their trust and faith in the world around them, in their family and friends, in the professional people who are meant to protect them, and most tragically, in themselves.

    The things that are said and done to hurt and manipulate a victim only occur behind closed doors, and it can be very hard to remember exactly what was said or done, where, in which order and at what time, when your world feels like it is caving in. An abuser will jump on this uncertainty to highlight a victim’s supposed insanity or make them seem dishonest, and to shift the focus away from his/her own appalling behavior.

    Once a victim’s memories of the abuse, the words said, things done and feelings felt during that abuse, have been twisted and distorted to deny, justify or excuse that abuse, one can understand why the victim begins to feel unsure about what really happened. Combine this with the common symptoms of complete and partial memory blocking and/or memory substitution in victims suffering from even mild cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and one can see how it can all combine to compound a victim’s confusion and distress, and deter them from objecting or trying to report it the next time it happens. One can also see how these factors can pervert the course of Justice.

    Grooming by Perpetrators of Family Violence and Child Abuse
     
    In the context of family violence, institutional grooming is done to discredit the non- perpetrating parent (who is often also a victim), and the effects of successful institutional grooming in these circumstances are almost always tragic. In best case scenarios, it can ensure debilitating emotional trauma and devastating long term consequences as the perpetrator is free to continue their abuse of both the child(ren) and the abused parent. In worst case scenarios, the results can be overwhelming, and may include horrific physical abuse, soul destroying sexual abuse or even premature death of the victim(s). The death of such victim(s) may be due to suicide, manslaughter, murder-suicide or violent murder. The most prevalent and obvious consequence however, is once again perversion of the course of Justice, and the undeniable failure of the Legal System’s purpose.
     
    Damned If You Do & Damned If You Don’t

    For clarification, consider this generalized example: If a mother seeks help with protecting her children in a situation where emotional and physical abuse of both herself and her children has already occurred, and/or where there has been inappropriate sexual talk and behavior in front of her children (that may or may not be sexual grooming), and the children have displayed signs that indicate possible sexual abuse (that may or may not have happened, and may or may not happen in the future), but where the perpetrator is skilled at the art of institutional grooming, that mother will often then be subjected to accusations of parental alienation and of perpetuating feelings of fear in her children. Instead of being taken seriously, she finds herself having to defend her actions and her parenting skills, and sometimes may even find herself being the one accused of abusing her children.

    If she seeks legal advice, she is advised not to make an application to the Family Court because it is likely that any application will result in 50/50 shared care of the kids. Further more, she is informed that under current Family Law, if she makes any allegations of abuse that cannot be proven, she risks being found guilty of parental alienation and quite possibly faces losing her children to the perpetrator in the likely event that interim orders would award him full residency, and allow her only a couple of hours of supervised contact per fortnight, while her children are sent to live with their alleged abuser. She may also be required to pay the legal costs for both parties.

    On the other hand, if she does not do anything about seeking help from the authorities, either because she has circumstantial evidence but no substantiated proof, and no other witnesses to testify on her behalf (her own testimony would be considered hearsay, and therefore discounted), or perhaps because she has been doubted and/or counter-accused before, then at some point in the future she may find herself being found guilty of neglecting her duty of care to her children, and face the prospect of losing her kids to foster care.

    What Justice?

    While I have no doubt that there are indeed parents out there who do not put the best interests of their children first, and who are in fact guilty of alienating their children against the other parent and perhaps even of fabricating false allegations of abuse, whether for revenge or some other reason, surely they must be the minority? Wouldn’t the majority of parents want to put their kids first?

    Further more, I ask this question: What about the mother who, in spite of her own abuse, subjugation and degradation, somehow finds the strength to trust her own intuition, and manages to intervene before her children become the victims of more serious physical abuse or devastating sexual abuse. Instead of being supported and respected for the strength she has shown in the face of her adversity, she is instead victimized, subdued and humiliated to an even greater extent. Where is the justice for mothers such as she? Instead she becomes a victim of the system, and so do her children. What happened to breaking the Cycle of Abuse?

    A Society-Sized Cycle?

    Has anybody even stopped to think that perhaps the term “cycle of abuse” now describes a far greater cycle of perpetual dysfunction than simply the personal relationships between perpetrators and their victims, a cycle that in fact occurs and continues on a much larger scale – one that encompasses modern society as a whole? I mean, who is more likely to be a liar? A victim or their perpetrator?

    Obviously there are exceptions to every rule, but in most cases, what would a victim get out of being a liar? Any parent who has suffered as a victim of family violence, then chosen to speak out against their family’s abuser, and then been consistent in their commitment to the ongoing and endless process of attending appointments with social workers, lawyers, medical professionals, psychologists, counselors, art therapy and group therapy sessions (for both themselves and their children), would agree that the financial costs, physical energy requirements, mental strain and emotional drain of post traumatic abuse times could simply not be worth it.

    Proactive parents who choose to engage in such an involved process, due to their genuine desire to heal their family’s wounds, to protect their children from further harm, and to ensure a positive, healthy change in their life circumstances, will have often maintained such efforts for months before the matter is brought before the court, and they will have to maintain their efforts for many months or even years after the court makes final orders, even if orders are reasonably suitable.

    In stark contrast, perpetrators who engage in such therapy will almost always only do so after being questioned about allegations of abuse, or in the weeks and days leading up to a court hearing. They only do so to preserve their false reputations, and their energetic last minute efforts will seldom last more than a few weeks past the need to be seen as the “poor victim” of a “vengeful” or “jealous” partner, rather than be exposed as the selfish, unrepentant perpetrators of abuse that they are.

    Morality and Proactive Logic versus Passive Ignorance

    I think that the Family Law Courts and some government departments are missing the whole point of what is in the best interests of the child. I am not saying that a perpetrator should be guilty until proven innocent, or punished without sufficient proof, but what is wrong with protecting our kids BEFORE they become victims? Why should the only evidence taken seriously enough to warrant supervised contact be substantiated proof of past abuse? Surely prevention is better than a cure?

    They cannot say that the cost of supervised contact would be too great if they compare it to the long term costs of abuse to our society, considering how many victims of child abuse go on to have life long psychological problems, alcohol and other substance abuse issues, often grow up to become abusers themselves, or in some cases resort to suicide.

    Considerations of a Responsible Government

    The purpose of Family Law should be the protection of our children, who are not yet capable of making their own choices, rather than any irrationally perceived justice for those adults who have chosen not to take responsibility for the destructive effects of their abusive behavior, or the unjust persecution of those adults who are trying to shoulder responsibility for both their own and the abusive parents actions, by trying to fight a losing battle that must be fought if they are to honor the duty of care they have to their children.

    It is essential that any reforms implemented as a result of the review of the 2006 Family Law Amendments (and any future changes) ensure there are no violations of the first and foremost Rights of our Children – their right to be protected from harm, and to live with out fear, in the warm, safe embrace of unconditional love.

    Surely the Government can see the necessity of making well informed decisions regarding the specifics of any changes. Hopefully those responsible for making these decisions will question the effectiveness of a Justice System that only takes into account substantiated proof (scientific fact?) when making judgments that are guided by Laws which have been based on inductively reasoned generalizations drawn from the observation of limited numbers of specific instances (philosophical opinion?). Even the existence of the many heated debates over Australian Shared Parenting Laws highlights the fact that those generalizations were a misrepresentation of the prevailing truth.

    The Laws that govern the Family Court System need to be decided by using deductive reasoning to draw valid, logical conclusions from the overwhelmingly substantial amount of relevant empirical evidence available, and most people would agree that those facts can be easily found in the historically prevalent and devastating long term effects observed in children who have witnessed and/or experienced any kind of abuse.

    {{yes, if quizzed, most people WOULD agree if you asked them this, possibly or probably.  But suppose you told the same people that the institutions that their wages help support (by taxes) have some seriously criminal minds not as the occasional bad apple, but as the visionary (but amoral) designers of those institutions?  …  I can’t speak for Australia (maybe you guys have more sense; I have some indications your education system might be better…) but I do know that concepts are being exported from the U.S. to other countries as to the family law system.  Not all our exports are good ones..}}

    {{I would rather take a cautious approach to society, now that I KNOW more than I used to, then be forced to continualy “trust” people or entities I know have been so untrustworthy that those who go through their gates end up dead.  Or emotionally, financially, and otherwise destroyed…}}

    The proven reliability of empirical knowledge obtained by making specific, logical and valid deductions based on vast numbers of instances that demonstrate very clear and consistent long term trends is surely what is required to ensure that the changes made to Family Laws are effective. It is essential that once amended, Family Laws consistently achieve their purpose of effectively guiding judgments in those cases where in there is a need to protect children from a risk of probable future abuse but where most often there is no proof other than circumstantial evidence, victim testimony and professional opinion based on hearsay. It is the only viable path to follow if we are to build a Family Law System in which Justice will actually serve in the best interests of the child.

    Once all that is achieved, time will confirm the truth and future generations will prosper from the positive, healthy, and wide spread evolution of our society. Their enlightenment will ensure that the wondrous gift of human morality will finally manifest in every aspect of society, propelling mankind into the peaceful bliss of a Golden Age filled with warmth, love and Light!

    {{Emphases mine:  My friend, that is a lovely (& utopian) vision.  If not a religious one.  While I realize society doesn’t change without visionaries, the U.S. model, at least initially, was based on the more cautious evaluation of human nature, and the intentional DILUTION of power among various branches of government, so no tyranny would result.  Right now, that has been essentially reversed, and through the medium of the courts not in small part. 

    After 10 years of abuse, basically, and 10 years attempting to get free from it, I have readjusted my philosophy from changing society to changing MY situation, individually, and seeing who else I can help.  I blog, sowing & throwing out ideas, but not fully developing them, in case others may wish to follow up. 

    I think we have to acknowledge that, religion or no religion, a good deal of our population IS religious, and that no religion, per se, is likely to change its opinion on the role of women unless women in it cease to provide their free services for that religion, and the men.  The losses they would experience, in doing this, would possibly parallel those of parents losing kids through the court.  I don’t think it’s about to happen, and my PERSONAL solution to this dilemma is to add talking back to churches (and boycotting them) to the general mix.  Religious belief is personal, and is immune to being changed, and these ARE indeed a subculture.  Their BEING a subculture (many sects & mainstream groups also) is part of their identity, and that’s not about to go away just because laws exist.  Who will enforce them? 

    When it comes to the difference between a law abiding citizen without means of self-defence (or who will be harshly punished for defending self and/or children), and a non-law-abiding citizen with weapons (guns, knives, and free access to the person being attacked) with a chip on (his) shoulder, which one do you think is going to win out?

    Expecting us to be helped by these institutions, I am beginning to accept, is asking for a police state.  Is that what we want? 

    I learned recently that many of the Founding Fathers were not the Calvinists (with the dark, and pessimistic view of human nature) but in fact fairly more liberal theologically, and trusting reason and rationality more — BUT with a healthy dose of, let’s LIMIT tyranny. 

    The challenge that they failed to face, til much later (if we have indeed faced it yet…) is to acknowledge that, while they believed that “all men were endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights”  some categories of people (ethnicity and gender) were, well, you know, not really fully human.

    Women were the last to get the vote.  What does that tell you?  There was feminism, and there was a backlash to feminism.  What does THAT tell you? 

    The laws protecting women from domestic violence date to at earliest (that I can see) around the 1970s, and 1980s.  Many of the INSTITUTIONS that are primary in the courts now, had their origin, not in clear public view, but close to government circles (i.e., at the highest levels) and as a far-reaching business model, at the latest in the late 1980s.  The Violence Against Women Act did not pass til 1994, but the National Fatherhood Initiative was RIGHT there, (also in 1994).  We have to look at those institutions, AND the concept that institutions are going to help us.

    The batterer doesn’t “fool” the courts.  The courts willingly listen to the batterers.  They are (I speak from my experience and what I have been able to research) WHERE batterers go to hide, when a crminal prosecution would NOT hide them.  For more, see JUSTICEWOMEN.org also.

    Nevertheless, I like this blog, and it’s going on my blogroll.  You make peopel think!

    The same struggle is still going on, and I suppose I have an other post on it, from a different source.

     

    Posted by Audrey at 3:32 AM  

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    Written by Let's Get Honest

    April 27, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    It Looks Different From Here — Advocates versus Litigants

    with one comment

    Note:  My internet time is very limited, and I rarely spellcheck or proofread posts.  Style is often consistent.  I simply get the ideas OUT, and trust (hope?) that some of them will take root on a thinking, activist populace.  Judging by the Feedjit counter, that’s a wide range of geographic and institutional viewers, especially for such a fly-by-night blog….

    The second function this blog fills is something of a track record.  Although I’m anonymous, people who know me could probably figure out who’s who.  As a woman who left an abusive relationship years ago, and has not been able to exit the system (the parties involved simply run out of steam, or money, periodically, until someone makes a move to get free, which can bring an escalation or counter-move.  IN fact, experientially, it’s not much different than the fabled “cycle of abuse” at all. Little did I know!  But I would STILL have left, even if I’d known, and I still assert that it’s been better to have had this experience now, than to have remained in a household where we were likely to become a statistic, faster, and have virtually none of the record public, or the story told.  I did experience some brief independence, exhilarating, while a restraining order was on, and partially (at least) respected.  I thank God for that.

    Put straight out, I am living day by day, and by faith, instinct, creative networking, continual adapation to situations, guts, and (let me say) the grace of God (not churches) and bunches of friends, nearly none of them dating from the years of in-home assault and battery spouse abuse.  I wanted a fresh start, and made one.

    I also pick my family where I find it, and sad to say, none of the biologically related ones, OR in-laws qualify for what family is supposed to be about.  This is not uncommon (see Lundy Bancroft books for more on the topic).

    POST INTRO:

    I read a post yesterday, and decided to address what I consider the inappropriate approach and tone of this post, although it’s calling for greater transparency in the courts and independent audits.  I have some familiarity with the organization and author of the article, and prior interactions with them.

    With hopes I don’t now alienate some other women I am networked with, I feel it necessary to say, THAT NONPROFIT DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ME, and my particular case crosses most of the major factors in family court abuse — it’s entailed domestic violence restraining orders, child-stealing (unreported and), stalking (current), and continuous involvement in this court venue (though both parties are broke! and no issues have been resolved) for just over ten years.  I know many women in similar situations.

    Posted at RightsforMothers.com, a site I stay in touch with in general, particularly as it has been reporting on the recent Linda Marie Sacks travesty in Florida.  This is a nice example of how it “works.”

    (more than one link to this story, above, and below):

    Linda Marie and Children

    Gina Kaysen Fernandes: To an outsider, Linda Marie Sacks had the perfect life. Her husband was rich, and they lived in a huge home in Daytona Beach, FL, where she spent her days shuttling her girls to school and various activities. Linda Marie describes herself as a “squeaky clean soccer mom” who “lived my life for my children.” Behind that façade, Linda Marie says she married a monster — a man who verbally and emotionally attacked her for years and sexually abused their two young daughters.

    When she finally left him and tried to take her girls with her, she encountered a new monster — family court. Rather than protecting Linda Marie and her two young daughters from a sexual predator, a family court judge denied Linda Marie custody and put her daughters into the hands of their sexually abusive father.

    Talk to mothers, divorce lawyers, and child advocates and you’ll hear tales of a family court system that’s badly broken. It’s one that routinely punishes women for coming forward with allegations of abuse by denying them custody of their children. Instead of protecting children from abusers and predators, the court often gives sole custody to the abusive parent, say child advocates. Mothers who tell judges their children are being molested or beaten are accused of lying and are punished for trying to intervene. Some are thrown in jail for trying to keep their kids from seeing an abusive parent. Women, many of whom have few financial resources at their disposal, are often at the mercy of a court system that is not designed to handle domestic violence.

    {{ In short, about 3 years, and $140,000 later, a woman who was thrown out of her own home for reporting child abuse (like we’re supposed to, and being a mother) is badly mistreated (what else is new) during a motion to UNsupervise her OWN visitation of her OWN daughters.  Rules of court are broken (what else is new).  She sticks up for her rights, and a number of groups are publicizing this one.  It seems (to me) to be a prime example of how pushing “supervised visitation” as if to enable kids to safely interact with both parents were actually for that purpose.  No, it’s been used to spawn a new profession (wealth transfer, in other words, from litigants and/or government) AND punish and extort mothers for expecting due process in the courts, and — as they’ve been coached by society to do — report that abuse and expect someone else to make it stop..

    {{Do the math on $140,000 divided by 3 years, divided among the court professionals that, so far, have NOT gotten these kids back to their mother, where they belong!

    {{If there’d been no money there, it’d have been funneled even faster (lightening-quick) through mediation only, providing demonstration grant material for other nonprofits to report (to each other) on, like mine was.  I’ve not seen my own kids that much in the past 3 years, probably, the only difference being, as money is gone from THIS family, no supervised visitation center is making a profit off us.}}

    Now for today’s Main Feature:

    Point Of View-1:  The Voice of Professional Advocates

    Typical Characteristics:

    1. Tone — Moderate.

    2. Recommendations — Moderate.

    3. Apparent Process.

    Gradually establish a reputation as speaking to the crisis, and through collaboration and compromise, get SOME reforms STARTED and repeatedly, prominently, call for more, while remaining employed…


    UPSIDES to this approach —

    • Speech and recommendations are not actually so offensive or radical as to actually cause (or even jeopardize) present professional direction or job loss, let alone personal whistleblower physical retaliation through assault by an “ex” or legal kidnapping of one’s own children through the courts.

    • As such (though I can’t say for sure), less likely to deal with PTSD in speaking out.  This moderte tone is certainly easier for other professionals in the systems being confronted to “take.”

    • Client referrals through getting one’s name in print, a quality shared with the family court professionals all trying to “help” the litigants.  There’s a great –or at least reasonable — living at fixing things, if it’s done right, and without actually completing the fix…

    • Reduced potential for becoming homeless, or extinct.  I.e., longevity.  This approach is not likely to turn a professional into a Nancy Schaefer or a Richard Fine or a Barry Goldstein, Esq.

    DOWNSIDES to this approach —

    (Note:  This is my personal “take,” and I don’t expect even all of the bloggers (see blogroll) might agree with me on it.  However, after some analysis and prior interactions, it’s the conclusion I came to, and why I am not otherwise associating or promoting this particular nonprofit’s attempt to address the family court crisis.)

    • The moderate voice is entirely inappropriate to the scope and extent of the crisis.  People are dying over this, and society is picking up the tab.  To me, such a situation would require the fastest and strategically MOST accurate and effective solution.
    • Timeframe/urgency for System reform and Timeframe/urgency for raising one’s children/stopping their abusers (or one’s own) are entirely different.  The second one is shorter.  A parent wants ONE thing FIRST (any good one):  To STOP his or her child’s abuse NOW.  (Or her own abuse), NOW.  It’s LIFE, then LIBERTY, then PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.  LIFE is first. Part of life is sustaining a livelihood…Getting closure, and getting on with life after divorce.

    Point Of View 2 — Of Litigants Whose Children’s Lives or their own are still at risk.

    (note:  this is my take on this point of view, those who disagree, feel free to comment).

    POV of Noncustodial Mothers struggling to stay alive, employed & housed, analyze “what happened and WHY?,” speaking out appropriately about these outrages, and keep see her children again, safely, yet knowing that justice is not likely to take place in the courts before the children age out.  Of Noncustodial mothers who are also kept traumatized by the continuous NONresolution of issues in the family court system, and forced contact with their ex-batterers — AND agents of their exbatterers, both in and outside the courtroom — through it.  Women who have been forced to take on repeated restructuring of their own lives when custody switch happens, and whose sense of betrayal includes not only (at times) the enablers of the former abuse, but the institutions which promised yet didn’t deliver help, and lied to them about the prognosis of the help delivered.  Who failed to distinguish in a timely fashion between civil and criminal protective orders and concealed conflicts of interest in the system.  Mothers who trusted family court attorneys, being led to (falsely) believe that they couldn’t adequately represent themselves, but then were sold down the river and deserted by attorneys when money ran out.

    TONE — STRONGER, and often less polished.

    Tends to rants at times.  Sarcastic, Stringent, and NON-compromising.  We have already been compromised to the ground.  Tendency to use figures of speech and more vivid vocabulary.  Don’t like to mince words.  Haven’t got time to attend all the conferences, and proper priority is (#1) Their children, and (#2) System reform.  It is NEVER in reverse order…  Our timeline is shorter and of indefinite duration until we are OUT of that system.

    APPARENT PROCESS

    Once help is found NOT to be up a certain tree, ceases barking up it, and associating with others (generally) who continue to.  Researchs and networks to find where shortest and most probable route to success is.  Continues Lethality and other risk assessments.  Willing to sacrifice just short of death and homelessness for this cause.  Willing to change perspectives when perspective has serious flaws (and mine did, in the first few years) and wishes to pass this knowledge on to the uninitiated.

    Less interested in nationwide collaboration than in where individual help for the case lives.  When a hot lead is found, blogs it.  Wishes to maintain more personal independence and personal voice because there is less time to screw around.

    Analyzes systems almost as widely as the policy-makers do, because this trail leads back to those policy makers to start with.  We take the system apart from the personal, experiential level upwards, not from the theoretical and “demonstration grant” (upon the public) downwards.  As such, it has some more legitimacy — at least on a per-family basis.

    UPSIDES to this approach —

    • Well, I think it preserves personal integrity and power base, rather than handing it over (yet again) to others who lose our story in translation and over interpretations.
    • One Mom who succeeds in a court case by exposing the fraud helps the next Mom by blazing that trail.  Moms who lose their fortunes, but eventually regain their children, still lost their fortunes.  This is no help to mothers who had none to lose.
    • Develops transferable skills in life, and by empowerment helps reverse the process that may have gotten them trapped in abuse to start with, or in ignorance that their kids were being molested.
    • Contributes to society by helping clean it up, one batterer or molester at a time, or one crooked judge, mediator, or other abuse-enabler.
    • The ability to analyze systems accurately and quickly is an entrepreneurial skill.
    • Approach isn’t built on the fantasy that the courts and attorneys in general consist of basically honest folk with a few bad apples.

    DOWNSIDES —

    • Fewer friends.  On the other hand, fewer fair-weather friends, too!  May lose family too, when family has become comfortable with abuse, or worn out with supporting the prolonged exit from it via the courts.
    • Sometimes one acts like a fool (case in point).
    • Gains a better understanding of how the world acts, and what place one wishes to occupy within it.
    • Learning by personal trial and error is one of the more effective.

    The voice of a Staff Consultant to a prominent California Nonprofit

    Reinstate Accountability To Our Courts: Pass Assembly Bill 2521

    Daily Journal

    Reinstate Accountability To Our Courts: Pass Assembly Bill 2521

    By Kathleen Russell

    No part of our government is more integral to fairness and justice than our court system. That’s why the people who must abide by the laws of our state deserve to see the courts administered with model efficiency, accountability and transparency. It is especially important that as taxpayers and businesses suffer the lingering effects of a deep recession, they see their tax dollars being spent prudently.

    Everyone from business owners, to abused and neglected children, to victims of domestic violence count on our courts to be accessible and reliable.

    Just a reminder, some victims of domestic violence are, and/or were, business owners, and some are children, too.  And, quite frankly, though we’d LIKE our courts to be accessible and reliable, I don’t think many of us any more COUNT on them to be this.  I believe the word is out that they’re screwing people over and causing trouble.  Nor are they truly “our” courts.  They have been co-opted by special interests.  I find this tone too moderate here.  It’s a conciliatory tone.  I don’t share it.

    Funding shortfalls from the state budget have resulted in courts being closed due to the public and massive layoffs of hard-working courts staff who serve critical functions like court reporting and collecting payments and fines.

    In an earlier interview on KFOG (SF Bay Area) in which Supervisor Gayle Steele participated or hosted, one caller was a court employee, who told of how some court staff followed a teenage child and convinced the child to change her decision and request, resulting in later violence (as I recall it).  Courts staff DO serve critical functions.  I wonder how ‘collecting payments and fines” came into play in this article.

    That makes wait times longer for simple transactions and means crime victims wait longer to see justice.

    CJE has been dealing, to my understanding, prominently with the family court venue, not law enforcement and police/criminal agencies.  This is a bit of loose wording, as family courts and criminal courts differ.  Nor is the wait time the issue in “waiting to see justice.”

    Yet at the same time, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the state agency that oversees court operations, has pursued a $2 billion computer system and given double-digit pay increases to its top staff, calling into question whether our courts are being administered with financial integrity.

    Again :  “Our” courts?

    The reference to Administrative Office of the Courts fails to mention– which Ms. Russell has been advised of, and didn’t really follow up on — that this office administers grants originating in father’s rights movements, and compromising court cases through a grants system that is not being properly tracked:

    From the California AOC:

    MATERIALS POSTED!
    The Center for Families, Children & the Courts announces the following new publications. For a complete list of CFCC’s publications, click here.

    California’s Access to Visitation Grant Program (Fiscal Year 2009-2010) (March 2010) (PDF) (note — this link is broken now — why?)

    THIS “AOC / CFCC” (Center for Families, Children & The Courts) is where many of the practices Ms. Russell’s group has been protesting (in public, & loudly) LIVE and are administered through, and she has rejected the assessment that this is taking place, from what I can see.  http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/programs/cfcc/resources/grants/a2v/research.html

    Legislative Report 7: Ten Years of Access to Visitation Grant Program Services (Fiscal Years 1997-2007) (March 2008). The grant program celebrated its 10-year anniversary in fiscal year 2006–2007. The report showcases programs funded, program successes and accomplishments, innovative promising practices, and program service delivery gaps and challenges. Although no formal recommendations are made in the report, it does identify various challenges and complexities regarding the administration and operation of the grant-related services that limit the ability of the grants to address the great demand for program services

    I have blogged and quoted excerpts from some of these reports and repeatedly directed readers to the HHS which is funding the grants.  These reports are fatherhood-oriented, and PAS-friendly.  Professionals in this area (including, to my understanding, Isolina Ricci, Joan Kelly, et al.) are pushing mediation and reconciliation on women attempting to leave abuse, a totally unfair power balance.  They tend to be active in the AFCC, an organization which also is where Gardner’s pedophile friendly philosophies reside.

    To JUST NOT SPEAK about this is just a travesty, and I’m tired of it!  I’d rather take a brusque, and/or offensive version of truth, and act on it (see nafcj.net) than a watered down version of it talking, why can’t we just collaborate, after all, we ALL want what’s good for our kids, don’t we?  This is an offence to me.  Again, I speak only for myself in that.  Ms. Russell knows better.

    California NOW (Family Law Page) has known better for a very long time.  A study back to 2002 (oft cited on my blog) studied the history and origins of family law, and details how due process is farmed out to other professionals.

    Other professionals themselves (source:  LizLibrary, Trish Wilson, and others) have also detailed this.  It’s an acknowledged issue, in the wider public.  WHY softpedal this?


    When a member of the public visits their local courthouse and [his/her] finds a “closed” sign on the door, they deserve [he or she deserves] to know if courtroom closures could have been avoided. But a loophole in current law shields court financial information from outside scrutiny.

    Every member of the public has a right to inquire about the use of nonprofit or federal funds funneled through or to the courts, even down to examining vendor payments.  This is what Marv Bryer (Los Angeles area) did a long time ago, and discovered the L.A. Judges Slush fund, and a private organization operating out of the county courthouse.  Look it up yourself — I did, and I’m a litigant.  How’s come more others didn’t?

    The unintended consequences of a well-intended law known as the Trial Court Funding Act of 1997 have allowed our courts to escape the same kind of outside audits required of other public institutions, such as school districts and county and city governments, even as our courts should stand as shining examples of the accountability and transparency we expect of our government. The Trial Court Funding Act put local court administration under a larger state umbrella that lawmakers hoped would provide greater stability in funding and better services to the public, but it did not include some basic accountability measures such as independent audits. This lack of adequately independent financial oversight is a problem at both the state level, where no regular audits are required, and at the local level, where the audits are conducted only by the AOC itself.

    The public is going to have to start doing these audits themselves.  Unless they want to charge the foxes guarding the henhouse with monitoring the other foxes over the same henhouse.

    Coming before members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee today, Assembly Bill 2521 is common sense legislation that will ensure that court finances are transparent by requiring independent annual audits of county courts and the AOC.

    AB 2521 is a good government bill that will correct one of the flaws of the Trial Court Funding Act. The goal of this bill is simple – to apply the same transparency requirements that apply to school districts, cities and counties to trial courts in California.

    Failure to conduct independent audits has serious consequences for our system of justice. For example, a multi-million dollar error resulted in layoffs of San Mateo Superior Court employees, a situation which hurts workers and families and compromised access to our courts.

    A lack of transparency prevents our government agencies from operating efficiently and openly. No agency that runs on taxpayer dollars should be free from public scrutiny. Our judiciary exists to serve the people, and reinstating accountability to our court system will give taxpayers back the right to know whether state agencies are doing just that, or whether the courts are failing in their mandate to serve the public interest.

    I think this bears following up on, and will attempt to do so.  On my “free” time.  MANY authors have written on the issues in the courts:

    Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

    Page 1 of 5 (Start over)

    The authors are selling books (presumably).  Mothers and fathers being drained, ARE NOT…..

    Here is ONE search tool that looks at nonprofits, and NONPROFITS get GRANTS which are influencing the COURTS.  Got it?  As NONPROFITS, we have a right to know what they are using the funds for:

    GuideStar – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    GuideStar USA, Inc. is an information service specializing in U.S. nonprofit companies. It provides information on more than 1.7 million IRS-recognized
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GuideStarCachedSimilar

    Now WHAT can you do with this handy tool?  You can look things up…

    For example, CJE’s EIN#, and their stated mission:

    TO IMPROVE THE JUDICIARY’S PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY AND And STRENGTHEN AND MAINTAIN THE INTEGRITY OF THE COURTS

    And their 2008 grants donations, etc. received (no earlier forms show up on Guidestar), which are around $215,000, and who are the executive officers (this is available for free on Guidestar).  Ms. Russell, being a staff consultant, presumably gets some of this for her efforts, which is only fair.  Workers are worthy of their hire.

    Ms. Sacks, noncustodial Mom, on the other hand (see above) is, rather, Spending her money to get justice, hopefully.

    Another thing I’ve learned to do is look at who’s on which board, and look them up too.    This is one way I learned that Family Violence Prevention Fund went the way of Fatherhood Funding, and –voila — the vocabulary, tone, and emphasis of this major, major nonprofit has changed, to mirror policies already in place at HHS.  While many social services are being cut, this particular group’s funding is in FINE shape (endabuse.org)…

    Are they going to compromise that funding just because it might not fix the problems in the courts???  What do you think?

    More from CJE’s website:

    The Center for Judicial Excellence, or CJE, is a community-based organization established to improve the judiciary’s public accountability and strengthen and maintain the integrity of the courts.

    Since 2008, the CJE board has made a special commitment to protecting the rights of children and vulnerable populations in the courts.

    CJE was founded to promote best practices, with a five-point plan of action – information gathering, education, collaboration, implementation and citizen review. The organization works to gather information and educate the community, the media and policymakers at all levels about the courts, judicial issues and best practices, as well as the dire need for judicial accountability and oversight.

    And staff:  An administrative assistant, and one consultant, Ms. Russell:

    CJE also benefits from a long-term consulting relationship with Kathleen Russell Consulting.

    Technically speaking, I believe citizens could ask to see receipts for that consulting.  Not that I’m saying, something is amiss, but I’m pointing out, that while Ms. Russell is working hard, and advocating for (us?), she’s getting paid for it.  We, litigants, are NOT, generally speaking. She also gets a reputation, and possibly business referrals.

    I actually just saw the salary (it’s on the IRS 990 if you register with Guidestar).  It seems to me that, along with a board of directors, and an advisory board, a website, and an administrative assistance, “CJE” in essence “IS” Kathleen Russell.  So when she puts her name, for pay, on what may purport to be MY story (stories of women in my situation), I just think the difference of viewpoint should be pointed out.

    I could educate both my kids and would’ve easily foregone child support (let alone social services of any sort) on, literally, one-TENTH of that salary. I  am certainly educated and experienced enough to speak to the issue.  I just wasn’t raised as a PR consultant, and hadn’t developed those connections over time.  Like many Moms, we stayed on the right side of the law and minded our own kids-raising, income producing business, and changed society through our kids, our volunteer work (as appropriate), or our professional jobs.

    I finally “got” how nonprofits operate when I had to resort to them for help while unemployed (after government agencies, not only the courts, had failed, and failed abysmally).  These nonprofits are accountable to their funders at least as much as their “clients” (the group that the nonprofit status claims to serve).  Pro Bono Buyer Beware.

    And had I foregone child support, after leaving abuse, there’s a GOOD chance that my girls would’ve continued living with me.  It’s that economic control that gets you every time, either while in the relationship, or while funneled INTO the family law system.

    Kathleen Russell Consulting

    Telling Stories Moving Mountains

    The question arises, naturally, WHOSE stories are being told?  This is where it gets a little interesting….

    Among a wide variety of clients (appropriate for any successful consulting firm, and a sign of professionalism, for sure…) is the Young Men’s Ultimate Weekend.

    The Young Men’s Ultimate Weekend (YMUW) is an initiation program for young men, providing them with adult mentoring and male support during their transition from adolescence to adulthood. By empowering young men with physical and mental challenges and providing strong adult male mentors, the YMUW helps young men develop confidence and leadership skills and learn the importance of teamwork through honoring what is RIGHT and embracing the principles of Respect, Intelligence, Gallantry, Humor and being True. KRC was hired by YMUW to conduct media and community outreach in the run up to the weekend event in the Santa Cruz Mountains

    YMUW

    In addition to lots of nice, positive press, if googled, we also find it listed alongside some serious cult-like behaviors that (from MY POV) sound quite similar to the male-bonding and “setting off” procedure that my own ex (batterer) was more and more prone to, particularly with his religions connections.

    And a whole SLEW of fatherhood groups.  I tracked this down a while back, and the “Dean Tong” mentioned (see Rightsformothers.com narration, or a narration it links to, summarizing Linda Marie Sacks’ situation:

    While these may be all very well and nice (though I don’t think all ARE…), I think it MAY explain why Center for Judicial Excellence and Kathleen Russell Consulting aren’t going to come down TOO hard on fathers’ rights, or fathers’ rights funding.  Although I don’t have a precise answer, I am deducing that MOVING A MOUNTAIN AND TELLING THAT STORY — about the Father’s Rights origins (1994 NFI, 1995 Bill Clinton Executive Order, 1998/1999 resolutions in Congress,  and the Religion Through Government Agencies narration) story, as soul-numbing as it is (if you’re not a man)  just wouldn’t be good for business.  And we all have a right to sustain our own businesses, right?

    In fact, every time I turn around there’s more “male bonding” going around. …  SOMEONE has to counteract those feminists…

    The New Warrior Training Adventure


    http://mankindproject.org/sites/mankindproject.org/themes/marinelli/img/banners/rotate.php


    The New Warrior Training Adventure is a singular type of life affirming event, honoring the best in what men have to offer the planet. We are only able to recognize the powerful brilliance of men because we are willing to look at, and take full responsibility for, the pain we are also capable of creating … and suffering. This is the paradox of modern masculinity, and it is a lesson we are dedicated to learning and teaching.

    The New Warrior Training Adventure is a modern male initiation and self-examination. We believe that this is crucial to the development of a healthy and mature male self, no matter how old a man is. It is the “hero’s journey” of classical literature and myth that has nearly disappeared in modern culture. We ask men to stop living vicariously through movies, television, addictions and distractions and step up into their own adventure – in real time and surrounded by other men.

    Among some of the topics, generally speaking, will be how to keep your woman (or women, as it may be) in line, and what you can talk with them about, and what you should NOT talk with your woman about.  I kid you not.  Back to feudalism….

    SO, there’s a living to be made, and stories to be told.

    Except family court litigants, one parties’ of which (or both) will most likely be destroyed — possibly permanently — in the process of being sripped of our civil rights.

    So, improving court excellence and saving children?  Of course, who doesn’t want to do THAT?

    Of course, that’s the purpose, ostensibly, of the millions (see below) already going to the courts, also, for example under “court improvement” and so forth.

    BELOW — some $$ figures from HHS on money going to the California Judicial Council to improve the courts and help noncustodial parents.

    I want a lively discussion on THESE figures, but most people don’t have the head, or heart, or will for it.  It takes a certain analytical and nosy mindset.

    Again, hope I didn’t offend TOO many good people, and apologies for any incomplete sentences in the first part of the post.


    This is not exactly the first time I posted this chart on-line, and I’ve emailed it privately enough also.  THis is only ONE of many programs running through the courts affecting outcome IN the courts, the grants ending “SAVP.”  You can also look up at least 3 other kinds of grants coming directly to the California Judicial Council, at the same source:  Taggs.HHS.Gov.

    For example:

    2009 0901CASCID 1 1 ACF 12-07-2008 $ 786,069
    2009 0901CASCIP 1 1 ACF 12-07-2008 $ 807,034
    2009 0901CASCIP 1 6 ACF 06-06-2009 $ 266,289
    2009 0901CASCIT 1 1 ACF 12-07-2008 $ 788,370
    2009 0910CASAVP 1 1 ACF 12-23-2008 $ 942,497
    Fiscal Year 2009 Total: $ 3,453,010

    Award Actions

    Printer-friendly Version

    State = CALIFORNIA
    CFDA Number = 93597

    Recipient: CA ST DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
    Recipient ZIP Code: 95814

    FY Award Number Budget Year
    of Support
    Agency Award Code Action
    Issue Date
    Amount
    This Action
    1998 9701CASAVP 1 ACF 2 05-31-1998 $1,113,750.00
    1998 9801CASAVP 1 ACF 1 09-01-1998 $1,113,750.00
    1999 9901CASAVP 1 ACF 2 08-16-1999 $987,501.00
    2003 9801CASAVP 1 ACF 7 02-24-2003 ($250,805.00)
    2003 9901CASAVP 1 ACF 5 02-25-2003 ($139,812.00)
    2009 9901CASAVP 1 ACF 8 09-14-2009 ($38,917.00)
    Award Subtotal: $2,785,467.00

    Recipient: CA ST DEPT OF CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES
    Recipient ZIP Code: 95741

    FY Award Number Budget Year
    of Support
    Agency Award Code Action
    Issue Date
    Amount
    This Action
    2000 0001CASAVP 1 ACF 3 08-24-2000 $987,501.00
    2001 0001CASAVP 1 ACF 4 10-06-2000 ($987,501.00)
    Award Subtotal: $0.00

    Recipient: CA ST JUDICIAL COUNCIL
    Recipient ZIP Code: 94107

    FY Award Number Budget Year
    of Support
    Agency Award Code Action
    Issue Date
    Amount
    This Action
    2001 0010CASAVP 1 ACF 5 10-10-2000 $987,501.00
    2001 0110CASAVP 1 ACF 1 08-23-2001 $987,501.00
    2002 0210CASAVP 1 ACF 2 08-06-2002 $970,431.00
    2003 0310CASAVP 1 ACF 1 09-11-2003 $970,431.00
    2004 0410CASAVP 1 ACF 1 09-15-2004 $988,710.00
    2005 0510CASAVP 1 ACF 1 09-14-2005 $988,710.00
    2006 0610CASAVP 1 ACF 1 09-19-2006 $987,973.00
    2007 0710CASAVP 1 ACF 1 07-20-2007 $950,190.00
    2008 0810CASAVP 1 ACF 1 01-30-2008 $957,600.00
    2009 0010CASAVP 1 ACF 8 09-14-2009 ($48,827.00)
    2009 0110CASAVP 1 ACF 4 09-14-2009 ($26,938.00)
    2009 0210CASAVP 1 ACF 6 09-14-2009 ($46,392.00)
    2009 0310CASAVP 1 ACF 2 09-14-2009 ($15,092.00)
    2009 0910CASAVP 1 ACF 1 12-23-2008 $942,497.00
    2010 1010CASAVP 1 ACF 1 11-25-2009 $946,820.00
    Award Subtotal: $10,541,115.00
    Total of all awards: $13,326,582.00

    What Color is Your Paradigm?

    with 2 comments

     

    When people are trying to force a paradigm down your throat, please regurgitate and activate the conceptual skills.

    I was struck by the “14 points to slavery” I found in a recent re-read of an older book called “None Dare Call It Conspiracy.”

    Point #7 is:

    “Compulsory psychological treatment for nongovernment wokers or public school children.”

    Another, #3,

    Detention of individuals without judicial process.

    Another, #14,

    “Any attempt to make a new major law by executive decree (that is, actually put into effect, not merely authorized as by existing executive orders).”

    I think we are starting to look at the structure behind the family courts, and had better start thinking in larger terms than men vs. women (as legitimate as these issues still are), but in federal co-opting of roles that were intentially diluted and dispersed in our Constitution (USA).

    I think some of the people BEST qualified to tell us how to resist going into slavery are some of those who have gotten out of it.

    Domestic violence is a FORM of this, as is child abuse.  And yet everyone is doing the talking for the victims, and their voices are silenced as those on the grants dole do the talking.  This has to stop.

    Just thinking aloud, more to come.

    Written by Let's Get Honest

    April 19, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    A recovered, stolen child, now grown, talks about the experience…

    with one comment

     

    THIS post is a comment reply from a man who is speaking up about his childhood abduction and recovery. 

    I think the story speaks for itself, in his voice.  Any emphases are mine, as well as paragraphing.  I tried to comment less than usual, but still did some..

    I would like to first thank you for the review of my book, Throwing Stones.

    {{I don’t actually have your book, will get it when I am able…  I reviewed the website in response to your earliest comment on this blog.  I also hope to write one.}}

    I wish to address a couple questions you raised in your review and also respond to the above comment, since the writer has asked me, the author, to answer: First, you emailed me a comment about the spelling of my last name. I could find no place on there where the spelling was not “Ken Connelly”. If you have found a place where ‘Connelly’ is not spelled that way, please point it out and I will have it remedied.

    Second, as to how I was recovered, well that was an interesting and very frightening experience- My father had managed to remarry at the end of our abduction.

    {{He was going to need some help with the children, obviously.  In our situation, he first found the new woman and then snatched.  At this point, I’m still not clear (being the Mom) of who was MORE provoking that snatch — the new woman, or the father.  This involving a 2nd adult caretaker figure to punish the first is cruel..}}

    My siblings and I were ordered not to tell anyone, especially his new wife and children our true past as abducted children. My father had a way about him that you did not cross. You have to remember, this person feeds you, clothes you, and gives you shelter. I often use the example that if you take a puppy and give it food, then while feeding it you hit it, the dog will grow up believing that pain is love.

    {{POW technique, traumatic bonding, sounds like…}}

    This can be seen in women who grow up with a violent father and then seek a relationship with an abuser. They may not go consciously looking for that personality type, but they end up with it.

    {{If I may inject the feminine perspective here — there is a grammar to this.  It takes two to tango, and men also know where to find submissive women, or women without strong family support who might counter future control & abuse.  The statement above doesn’t acknowledg it goes two ways.  …  Religious settings are great places to find submissive women taught not to protest violence against themselves..}}

    My father was pulled over on a traffic stop with his wife. The officer took him in once his alias popped up on the NCIC. I was for the first time going to a public school in Smithville, Texas. Upon leaving for the day, I seen my sister crawling out the back of the bus and running away.

    Unknown to me, my mother and grandfather were walking about the school after they were flown from California upon hearing we had been located. Of all the buses, mine managed to leave the school without being stopped.

     Within a few hours my dad was let go from the Bastrop County jail on a technicality. No court had ever held up the recent law, forcing out of state agencies to enforce kidnapping of one’s child as a felony/crime.

    {{Reframing this crime as a non-crime happens, I say, through the family courts.  I would almost rather not know this law existed, than know it exists to protect, but isn’t enforced, or even taken seriously, too often…}}

    After dad got out of jail he then attempted to remove us to Australia (a plan he attempted a year earlier). A sting was setup to have him come into court and believe he could win full custody once there. After coming into court, he was taken down to the floor and arrested by law enforcement.

    At the same time we we were taken out the back and then flown from Austin, Texas to California. My father was later extradited to California where he pleaded guilty to Child Stealing. This became the first time in United States History an interstate felony/recovery was successfully prosecuted. Oddly enough, only 70 miles away, Glen Schulz was arrested for kidnapping his children from out of state but was let go and later granted full custody. My father’s arrest and conviction set a new precedence [precedent] in the apprehension of child stealing.

    Three, as for abuse. I often had to endure hours of my father screaming and calling my mother everything from a witch to a lesbian on a daily basis. I began to sleep walk, have severe night terrors, developed turrets syndrome and tics that effect me to this day (although I mask them very well). I also have never been able to trust.

    My sister was raped by a stranger and although we disagree that she was taken to the hospital, she has had to deal with that her whole life.

    {{While you were in the abduction status, it sounds like??}}

    ( I say disagree because she believes she was taken to the hospital that night, I know she was taken earlier in the month over another issue requiring stitches. As any law enforcement officer, medical professional or mental health professional knows, when you bring in a 14 year old girl to the ER who claims she has been raped, the police do a background on them and the parent who brings them in to the hospital, of which I verified with the local agency that we lived under in Texas.

    Had a there been a police check, the false ID that later got him arrested would have popped up on her or him after the rape.)

    When I was found I was covered in chiggers (body parasite) and scabies. Just months before we were recovered, we were living in Burcher State Park, Texas and then in a house where we had an out house and when the water did run, it was reddish in color because of the rust. We also had to boil the bath water on the stove so that all of us could use the water to bathe. Again, everyone used the same bath water. I also had to get saved, learn to speak in tongues and when ever I was bad, I was reminded that I could grow up and become the anti-christ.

    {{Indicating that the abducting father was religious, or his new wife.   And that IS emotional abuse of a child.  Not to mention ignorance about that concept, “anti-christ.”  Severe emotional cruetly.  Good grief!!}}

    Four, yes psychology is a new science but there are basic truths that are universal. Although I attend to school (working on a degree that can be used in parental child abduction), I have been certified in Colorado, New Mexico and federally to work with juveniles that have been incarcerated. I have seen the effects of abuse, neglect and abandonment and I see a lot of similarities with parental child abduction. As to the writer of the above. Yes, without a doubt ( and I have experienced BOTH), parental child abduction is worse! To put it another way, when a stranger abducts a child, the child always knows that mommy and daddy are waiting for them when they come home. granted, it may be and will be a long haul to heal, but the trust in their parents is intact.

    So my question is, when a parent steals their child, tells them the other parent is dead, hates them, evil, abandoned them and so on, who does the child trust?

    If mommy or daddy lied and kidnapped you, who do you trust? The entire structure of what trust and family is is forever broken.

    As for seeing abuse, conflicts and hate, well upon return I found that my mother had been being assaulted by her new husband. See, professionals have found that many parents after their children have been taken tend to seek punishment for having their children ripped from them. My mother’s then husband hated that she was always sad and grief ridden over having her children stolen.

    {{I’ve worked different ways to handle this, but it has affected who I can become involved with, or not.  I know I’m not ready for involvement til some of these issues are closed.  It’s too much of a burden for any new spouse…}}

    Over the next two years I watched him beat her, knock her unconscious and steal her purse while driving down the alley way of our home pulling my mom and me, as my mom would not let go of the purse- which held our only money, he held out the window. Or the times he beat me down and mom had to jump on his back and break his black Ovation guitar over him to get him off me while I called the police. Finally on my 13th birthday I was forced to not go to school but get a job and pay rent to live in his home. My mother was finally beat unconscious in 1985 when her husband beat her so bad that he broke the toilet bowl with her face and left a blood trail on the hallway wall, all because I split his beer.

    {{“because” — that’s not the real reason, but that supposed “excuse” is common.  NOTE:  1985 is before the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) was passed, I suspect there were fewer options for her at the time, to get ou.}}

    Yes, I have seen both and I can tell you that the effects from the abduction were like wakes &amp; ripples that have effects to this very day. I never doubted my mom’s love or felt abused while with mom and her husband, and have talked to many other children who felt that they were able to overcome those abusive home environments. Now I am in no way down playing the abuse that went on upon return. in fact, I believe that both are relevant and need to be addressed. However, the abduction was worse. I started researching and building up all my documentation for book II, Wakes &Ripples, which covers this subject from the age of 11 to 17. I have had to pull together many interviews, police and school records. I have had to verify addresses and places of employment.

    This research is still underway as I have tried to avoid the pop culture idea of sensationalizing my story but trying to keep it pure and accurate as possible. I believe that by providing a case study, we can find ways to prevent, educate and inform others on how to stop this terrible crime. I can not tell you if life would have been different had I not been kidnapped.

    What I can tell you is that once you throw that rock in to the waters of childhood there is no going back, we must live with the change in the water’s course and the ripples that follow.

    To sum it up; kidnapping one’s child, and kidnapping is all it is, is the worst thing you can do to your child. If you are in a bad relationship there are outlets you can use to get help. Children are not our property in the sense of chattel. We have to think about what they need first and I have yet to have fond a parent who kidnapped their child who did not have some vindictive motive behind it.

    This is why children are often used as weapons in court during a divorce. Domestic violence is horrific! The years I lived with it, I was always frightened but, they did not have the impact as the years abducted. It was not because of the domestic violence years that ended my relationship with all my family. It was the abduction years. The actions my father made that tore a part our family in ways that I cannot begin to explain in this comment box. I hope I have answered your questions.

    Kindest Regards, Ken Connelly http://www.ken-connelly.com ken@ken-connelly.com

     

    Speaking of Psychology, another topic, here’s a link to a long discussion of Trauma and the nature of evil.  My printout is 34 pages long, and I enclose it because it deals with vocabulary changes, over the centuries (and across some faiths/cultures) to talk about the same thing.  It dates to 1996, and is by Sandra Bloom, for an organizational conference.  The website Sanctuaryweb.com, I think it makes sense.

    Written by Let's Get Honest

    April 19, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Wet Under the ears Grad students can get grants. Veterans of the street wars, probably cannot..they are the subject matter, or their offspring are.

    leave a comment »

     

    No apologies for long title….

    More on the NEW AMERICA (United States of??) FOUNDATION:

    Grant Opportunity: Child Care Research Scholars

    Author(s): Maggie Severns

    Published:  April 15, 2010

    Issues:  

     Are you a graduate student doing research related to child care? If so, you should know that federal grants are now available as part of the Child Care Research Scholars program. Letters of intent are due April 19; applications are due May 3. The program is funded through the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services.
    (source of fatherhood funding, and access/visitation grants ensuring that outspoken-about-abuse-of-their-kids (or themselves) mothers will have to PAY (supervised visitation) to see their children after custody-switch.  If they’re lucky, they will be “allowed” to pay to see them.  Or, not see them — take your pick…. in our free enterprise system….)
    WHY doesn’t that surprise me?  Again, for “HHS” think “Executive Branch of U.S. Government.”  For “U.S. Government” which is obviously a business entity itself, think “IRS” and “YOUR TAX DOLLARS.”  (if you pay taxes).
    The grants are designed to support dissertation research on child care policy issues and are available for 12 and 24-month projects, with awards of up to $30,000 for the first 12 months of a project and a maximum of $50,000 for a two-year project. Grants are open to doctoral level graduate students who, according to the funding announcement, are “enrolled in accredited public, state-controlled, and private institutions of higher education.”
    1/10th of ONE of those grants would’ve gotten me out of a dependency state, if I’d known about it in a timely fashion, and had wanted to study early childhood education after losing all contact with some kids I’d already raised, and being driven out of a profession (in the process) of working with children for decades, prior to being treated like a recalcitrant child during marriage, and during divorce….  Only the time and “freedom” of unemployment showed me where some of this stuff was.  Not a single nonprofit did, and CERTAINLY not any employment development department within commute distance…
    Yet THIS guy couldn’t get help, and was (like many women) at risk again for failure to pay up to the licensing agencies, per today’s headlines:
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/04/14/BAFS1CUK78.DTL

    Take a read.  And think about women leaving violence, too.  Same story.

    Written by Let's Get Honest

    April 15, 2010 at 11:58 am

    New America Foundation on “God’s Country” tribalization

    leave a comment »

    Blessed be the hands that feed us social services, and report on them too:

     Max Escher hands

     

    APRIL 15th in U.S.A., land of the Federal Reserve Currency System and the bottomless hole of debt in the name of every good cause under the sun. 

    • Land of Big Brother and the crisis in Fatherlessness.
    • Land where THINKING is relegate to THINK TANKS, and information gathering is via media owned by some of the same people funding the think tanks, and where experts are paid for.
    • LAND where good luck if you as an individual, or family, want to get the services promised for (luck will be necessary, or a loud squeak in the system…..)

    With a land like this religion will be necessary for revival — either faith (“take it on faith”) in this big brother, or in the collective consciences of the voters (and the honesty of the ballot processes) — or faith in God, Allah, Buddha, or the innate goodness of the human condition, when given proper environment, and watering..  This last will require also the fantasy-version of human history. 

    So I thought on Tax Day I’d write you about two things:  New America Foundation (you DO know we are already forming a “new America” right?  — or didn’t you catch that on the evening news?  The Constitution is evolving and the Bill of Rights (etc.) are anachronistic in the global economy….) AND an article by one of its authors, under one of the MULTIPLE “INITIATIVES” in this think tank, foundation, or whatever it is.  One thing I bet — IT’S not filing taxes and paying them today….

    The New America Foundation
    1899 L Street, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036
    921 11th Street, Suite 901, Sacramento, CA 95814


    The RELIGIOUS INITIATIVE (I clicked actually under Family & Workforce) is only one of many initiatives for this megalith (presumably).  You should know who’s running this part of it:

    David Gray

    Director, Workforce and Family Program; Senior Advisor, Education Policy Program; Coordinator, Religious Center Initiative
    gray@newamerica.net
     

    Rev. Dr. David E. Gray directs the New America Foundation’s Workforce and Family Program, which researches and develops solutions to social, economic and family policy issues. He also serves as a senior advisor to New America’s Education Policy Program and the coordination for the Religious Center Initiative

    <!–

    Image

    –>David Gray

    In case you wondered, he’s also a Presbyterian Pastor….and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and your academic pedigree, probably, can’t hold a candle to his.  How DARE You make decisions for your own family contrary to some of these foundation-funded, policy-studied, pronouncements?  Especially if you are a WOMAN– Look at this:

    David is the Senior Pastor of Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church, a chaplain at American University, and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a graduate of Yale, Harvard, Northwestern University School of Law and Wesley Theological Seminary

    While I doubt he’d subscribe, even (I hope) in his private thoughts, to the “Christian Domestic Discipline.com”, I wonder if he subscribes as well to the concepts embodied in the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, and other concepts that do not treat people as policy subjects….  I wonder if he cares that our country has become a child-trafficker through its own courts, and that some of the policies promising “help” have redefined the Constitution, and help, and are themselves a problem, if not THE problem, nationwide?  It’s an “attitude” thing…..

    SO, I”m going to post about “God’s Country” faith struggles which are actually economic struggles, and how it plays out.  The article is written by another, I’d bet highly-credentialed writer, whose work is I presume sponsored by this same foundation.  I think it’s a well-written article. 

    How I found this article:  Watching TV, and in particular a MSM (MainstreamMedia) protest that the federal government, really, really is doing great stuff for us, and should not be criticized — especially in Florida — look at the school system, look at this nearly blind woman whose Alzheimer husband has home help, look at the military installation — why aren’t we grateful for the hand that feeds us, etc.  — as I recall a spokesperson from New America Foundation was shown.

    (As usual with my posts, the intros can be long, personal and pedantic.  For the body of the post, scroll down to the article quote….  As it’s also MY post, I feel free to stray off topic and cast a wider context than the title.  The persistent, fast readers, or those with time to spare will get to the juicy center of it eventually, the faint of heart (or attention) need not apply.  Welcome to what’s on my mind today…)

    I may be wrong about the context where I heard this name, but I doubt I’m wrong about the heavy hand that foundations play in our daily lives, and government. 

    FOUNDATIONS:

    Foundations (tax-free, and typically from wealthy capitalist families, some of whose ancestors helped install the IRS, and progressive income tax, Federal Reserve Board, and other marketed viewpoints that help keep this U.S.A in permanent debt crisis) — have got my attention.  Previously, as this blog states, my attention was merely on getting free from domestic violence and back to a “normal” lifestyle which by my definition means (without abuse in the home) the freedom to:

    1.  Earn money where, how, and when I choose, within limits of demand for services I’m qualified to give and contacts I have made.  To someone leaving a battering relationship, that alone is like heaven.  It breeds HOPE and CONFIDENCE.

    2.  Spending that money with wisdom according to our particular needs and staying off the receiving end of social services once I’d gotten there.

    4.  Not subjecting my offspring to the bottom of the barrel educational model, which (as to our options) the public schools in this state ARE.  And are not about to change in the near future — at least for the better….They are war grounds for competing ideologies and breeding grounds for gangs and civil rights violations, through trauma and in general chaotic philosophies. 

    They are also — and I believe intentionally so — class sorters.  And they feed social scientists (and pharmaceutical companies) with nonstop substance in the form of young humanity, for projects of all kinds and with all kinds of motives.  Again, I came to this jaundiced view (after decades of working with multi-talented and smart kids  of all kinds in and out of the schools) after my bout with the family law system in this century.

    GOD’S COUNTRY, @ 2008…..

    (In the land of the brave and home of the free, this is when I first hit 100% unemployment through family court escalations and insanity, and my own “insane” and apparently religious faith, that there was some due process somewhere around…Instead, I found the alternate religion of therapeutic jurisprudence and courts as psychology.  It’s really all a matter of how you view the issues, and what language is used to describe them).

    NOW FOR TODAY’S ARTICLE — many parallels with USA.

    God’s Country

    By Eliza Griswold, New America Foundation

    Eliza Griswold

    Ms. Griswold bio:

    Eliza Griswold is a writer who focuses on conflict, human rights, and religion. Her reportage and analyses have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, and The New Republic, among other publications. She was a 2007 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and is the recipient of the first Robert I. Friedman Award for international investigative reporting. Her first book of poems, Wideawake Field, was recently published by Farrar Straus and Giroux.

    As a Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation, Ms. Griswold will continue to pursue her interest in conflict, human rights, and religion. She is at work on her first nonfiction book, The Tenth Parallel, an examination of the meeting place between the Christian and Muslim worlds, which will also be published by Farrar Straus and Giroux.

    If I have enough more decades of life left, I could get into this type of writing.  Hope you read the whole thing….

    March 2008 |

    It was an ordinary soccer pitch: sparse tufts of grass and reddish soil surrounded by cinder-block homes. The two candidates stood on opposite sides of the field as the people of Yelwa, a town of 30,000 in central Nigeria, lined up behind them one May morning in 2002 to vote. Whoever had more supporters would lead the town’s council. And whoever led the council would control the certificates of indigeneship: the papers certifying that Yelwa was their home, and that they had a right there to land, jobs, and scholarships. Between the iron goalposts milled ethnic Jarawa, principally Muslim merchants and herders; next to them were the Tarok and Goemai, predominantly farmers and Christians. For several years, their hereditary tribal chief, a Christian, had refused certificates of indigeneship to Muslims no matter how long they’d lived in Yelwa. Without the certificates, the Muslims were second-class citizens.

    As the two groups waited in the heat to be counted, the meeting’s tone soured. “You could feel the tension in the air,” Abdullahi Abdullahi, a 55-year-old Muslim lawyer and community leader, said later. A tall, thin man with a space between his two front teeth and shoulders hunched around his ears in perpetual apology, he was helping to direct the crowd that day. No one knows what happened first. Someone shouted arna — “infidel” — at the Christians. Someone spat the word jihadi at the Muslims. Someone picked up a stone. “That was the day ethnicity disappeared entirely, and the conflict became just about religion,” Abdullahi said. Chaos broke out, as young people on each side began to throw rocks. The candidates ran for their lives, and mobs set fire to the surrounding houses.

    After that episode, the Christians issued an edict that no Christian girl could be seen with a Muslim boy. “We had a problem of intermarriage,” Pastor Sunday Wuyep, a church leader in Yelwa, told me on the first of two visits I made in 2006 and 2007. “Just because our ladies are stupid and attracted to money,” he sighed.

    Economics lay at the heart of the enmity between the two groups: as merchants and herders, the Muslim Jarawa were much wealthier than the Christian Tarok and Goemai. But Pastor Sunday, like many others of his faith, felt that Muslims were trying to wipe out Christians by converting them through marriage.

    {{A book Now They Call Me Infidel talks about this}}

    “It’s scriptural, this fight,” he said. So he and the other elders decided to punish the women. “If a woman gets caught with a Muslim man,” Sunday said, “she must be forcibly brought back.” The decree turned out to be a call to vigilante violence as patrols of young men, both Christian and Muslim, took to the streets. What eventually transpired, in the name of religion, was a kind of Clockwork Orange.

    ****

     

    Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country, with 140 million people (one-seventh of all Africans), and it’s one of the few nations divided almost evenly between Christians and Muslims. Blessed with the world’s 10th-largest oil reserves, it is also one of the continent’s richest and most influential powers — as well as one of its most corrupt democracies. Last year’s presidential election in particular — in which President Olusegun Obasanjo, an evangelical Christian, handed power to a northern Muslim, President Umaru Yar’Adua — was a farce. Ballot boxes were stuffed by thugs or carted off empty by armed heavies in the pay of political candidates. Across the country, political power is a passport to wealth: according to Human Rights Watch, anywhere from $4 billion to $8 billion in government money has been embezzled annually for the last eight years. The state has all but abdicated its responsibility for the welfare of its people, roughly half of whom live on less than $1 a day.

    In this vacuum, religion has become a powerful source of identity. Northern Nigeria has one of Africa’s oldest and most devout Islamic communities, which was galvanized, like many others, in the 1980s by the global Islamic reawakening that followed the Iranian revolution. For Christians, too, in Nigeria, there’s been a revolution: high birthrates and aggressive evangelization over the past century have increased the number of believers from 176,000, or 1.1 percent of the early-20th-century population, to more than 51 million, or more than a third now. Thanks to this explosive growth, the demographic and geographic center of global Christianity will have moved, by 2050, to northern Nigeria, within the Muslim world.

    No one knows what this shift will yield, in part because neither faith is a monolith. Indeed, the most overlooked aspect of this global religious encounter may be that the competition within the faiths — between Pentecostals and orthodox Christians, or between Islamic groups that want to engage with or reject the modern world** — is just as important as the competition between the faiths. But it’s also true that the fastest-growing forms of faith on both sides tend to be the most effervescent and absolute. They promote a system of living in this world that promises heaven in the next, they see salvation in stark binary terms, and they believe they have a global mandate to spread their exclusive brand of faith.

     {{** In my last post about “christian domestic discipline” — a euphemism — is an example of the latter, who want to reject the modern world, and go back to wife-beating. }}

    While religion became a source of friction in Nigeria during the Biafran civil war in the late 1960s, the trouble between Christians and Muslims intensified in the 1980s, when the first oil boom fizzled and the ensuing economic downturn led to violence. Since then, thousands have been killed in riots between the two groups sparked by various events: aggressive campaigns by foreign evangelists; the implementation in 1999 and 2000 of sharia, or Islamic law, in 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states; the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan in 2001; and the 2002 Miss World pageant, when a local Christian reporter, Isioma Daniel, outraged Muslims by writing in one of Nigeria’s national papers, This Day, that the Prophet Muhammad would have chosen a wife from among the contestants. Most recently, in 2006, riots triggered by Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad left more people dead in Nigeria than anywhere else in the world.

    “These conflicts are a result of secular processes,” said Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, one of Nigeria’s leading intellectuals and a top executive of one of the country’s oldest banks, FirstBank. “It’s about bad government, economic inequality, and poverty — a struggle for resources.” When a government fails its people, they turn elsewhere to safeguard themselves and their futures, and in Nigeria at the beginning of the 21st century, they have turned first to religion. Here, then, is the truth behind what Samuel Huntington famously calls religion’s “bloody” geographic borders: outbreaks of violence result not simply from a clash between two powerful religious monoliths, but from tensions at the most vulnerable edges where they meet — zones of desperation and official neglect where faith becomes a rallying cry in the struggle for land, water, and work.

    ****

    In Nigeria, the two faiths meet along a band of terrain roughly 200 miles wide called the Middle Belt. This swath of land, for the most part (an exception being Nigeria’s southwest), marks the fault line between Christianity and Islam not only in Nigeria, but across the entire continent. A satellite image from Google Earth shows the Middle Belt as a gray-green strip between the equator and the 10th parallel, dividing the fawn-colored dry land from the vibrant sub-Saharan jungle canopy. It also separates most of the continent’s 367 million Muslims to the north from 417 million Christians to the south. Plagued by bad government, a shortage of water and arable land, and rising birthrates, the Middle Belt is also the victim of environmental change: growing aridity in the north (the desert creeps forward at slightly less than half a mile a year) and flooding in the south. Shifting weather patterns have made planting and grazing seasons unpredictable and allowed insect-borne diseases, such as malaria, to run rampant.

    Islam all but stopped its southward spread here in the late 1800s, because the traders, missionaries, and Sufi jihadists who had carried Islam south couldn’t handle the jungle terrain or the tsetse flies that plagued their horses and camels with sleeping sickness. Abdullahi’s people, the Jarawa, claim that their rights to the land go back to the days of Usman Dan Fodio, a Sufi teacher and ethnic Fulani herder who launched a 19th-century jihad to purify the faith, promote the education of women, and outlaw the enslavement of his fellow Muslims. Some of his jihadists, called his flag bearers, rode south over vast reaches of dry land until they reached the southern edge of the Sahel, roughly where the town of Yelwa is today.

    The high, dry ridges and rocky escarpments of the Middle Belt also provided an ideal defense against Muslim slave raiders for non-Muslim hill people like the Goemai. When Christian missionaries arrived 100 years ago, many targeted these “pagan” hill people. For some, the mission was to create a buffer against the southern “spread of Mohammedanism,” as Karl Kumm, one of the more uncompromising missionaries, put it. But many of his coreligionists had little interest in combating Islam. Instead, armed with the two B’s of Bible and bicycle, as well as with the imperative of self-reliance, they dispensed practical advice on health, agriculture, and eventually education, providing a form of “emancipation” for the historically disenfranchised hill people, who also gained a powerful collective identity in Christianity.

    The British colonial administration was ambivalent about missionaries, fearing that their efforts to convert Muslims would destabilize Britain’s plans for empire-building — as they had elsewhere in Africa. When the British overthrew the caliphate, then unified North and South Nigeria in 1914, the new colonial administration forbade missionaries to enter Muslim lands. Under the British policy of Indirect Rule, which was modeled on the Raj in India, Dan Fodio’s emirs were largely left in place. Many came to be seen as colonial agents, losing their religious legitimacy even as they amassed power and wealth. This colonial policy of favoring Muslims over minority Christians left a legacy of mistrust between the two groups.

    {{Doesn’t this sound like some of the forerunners of the Rwandan genocide, with Belgian basis?  In the bottom line, it’s about empire-building.  Americans, beware…}}

    “Every crisis is automatically interpreted as a religious crisis,” said Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the Anglican bishop of Kaduna. “But we all know that, scratch the surface and it’s got nothing to do with religion. It’s power.”

    ****

    One Tuesday at 7 a.m. in Yelwa, about 70 people were praying their morning devotions at the Church of Christ in Nigeria (founded by none other than the fiery Kumm himself). It was in February 2004, about a year after the elders had issued their edict that no Christian woman was to be seen with a Muslim man. As the worshippers finished their prayers, they heard gunshots and a call from the loudspeakers of the mosque next door: “Allahu Akhbar, let us go for jihad.” “We were terrified,” recalled Pastor Sunday, who had been standing outside the gate as the churchyard swarmed with strangers. He stayed near the church gate, but many other people fled toward the road behind the church. There, men dressed in military fatigues reassured them that they were safe and herded them back to the church. Then the men opened fire.

    Pastor Sunday fled; that’s why he survived. The attackers — who were not, in fact, Nigerian soldiers — set the church on fire and killed everyone who tried to escape. They chased the head of the church, Pastor Sampson Bukar, to his house next door and ran him through with cutlasses. They set fire to the nursery school and the pastor’s house. During my first visit to Yelwa in the summer of 2006, his burned Peugeot was still outside. The church had been rebuilt and painted salmon pink. Boys were playing soccer, each wearing only one shoe so that everyone could kick the ball. “Seven in my family were killed,” said Sunday as we sat in the churchyard. “We call them martyrs.” He pointed to a mound of earth not far from where we were sitting. On top was a small wooden cross: it marked the mass grave for the 78 people killed that day.

    “This is about religious intolerance,” he went on. “Our God is different than the Muslim God… If he were the same God, we wouldn’t fight.” For Pastor Sunday, the clash was millenarian and grounded in the literal words of Christian scripture. “The Bible says in Matthew 24, the time will come when they will pursue us in our churches,” he said. Matthew 24 foretells the Tribulation: the war that will precede Armageddon and the final coming of Jesus.

    ****

    A few hundred yards down the road from the church, there’s a cornfield. In it, a row of mounds: more mass graves. White signs tally the dead below in green paint: 110, 50, 65, 100, 55, 25, 60, 20, 40, 105. Two months after the church was razed, Christian men and boys surrounded Yelwa. Many were bare-chested; others wore shirts on which they’d reportedly pinned white name tags identifying them as members of the Christian Association of Nigeria, an umbrella organization founded in the 1970s to give Christians a collective and unified voice as strong as that of Muslims. Each tag had a number instead of a name: a code, it seemed, for identification. They attacked the town. According to Human Rights Watch, 660 Muslims were massacred over the course of the next two days, including the patients in the Al-Amin clinic. Twelve mosques and 300 houses went up in flames. Young girls were marched to a nearby Christian town and forced to eat pork and drink alcohol. Many were raped, and 50 were killed.

    Yelwa was still a ghost town of sorts in August 2006. In block after burned-out block, people camped in what used to be their homes. The road was lined with more than a dozen ruined mosques and churches, but the rubble was hidden in hip-high elephant grass; canary-yellow morning glories climbed the old foundations. When I arrived at the home of Abdullahi, the Muslim human-rights lawyer, his street was mostly deserted. He stooped on his way out of a low-ceilinged hut. Behind him, I could see the sour faces of a man and woman sitting on the floor by his desk. “Marital dispute,” he explained.

    It was the rainy season, so I waited out the noon deluge in another small hut on his compound. Finally, Abdullahi ducked inside, a worn accordion file under his arm. His wife followed, carrying a pot of hot spaghetti. In the beginning, he explained, the conflict in Nigeria had nothing whatsoever to do with religion. “Let me give myself as a case study,” Abdullahi said. He went to Christian mission schools and federal college, and never, as a Muslim, had any problem. “Throughout this period, I’d never seen religious segregation, because at that time the societal value system was intact. We were taught to respect each other’s beliefs and customs.” But as the population grew and resources shrank, people began to fight over who had the right to the land and its resources — who belonged as an indigene, and who didn’t.

    {{THINK ABOUT< NOW< THE TAX BURDEN IN USA, AND HOW THE FACTIONALISM BEGINS TO TAKE ON RELIGIOUS TONES, THROUGH THE GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS (FATHERHOOD, HEALTHY MARRIAGE, VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE, YOU NAME IT…)  IN THE BOTTOM LINE, DOES MONEY HAVE COLOR?  OR RELIGION?  OR NATIONALITY?  WHO IS FUNDING THE POLICIES, AND THE POLICY STUDIES?  }}

    Abdullahi has attempted to bring several cases of ethnic abuse to the government’s attention, but as with the church massacre, the government has done little to investigate or to try those involved. He handed me a folder with depositions from one such case. As I read them, Abdullahi returned with two young women, Hamamatu Danladi and Yasira Ibrahim, who had survived the incident detailed in the files. Danladi met my eye as she stood in the doorway; Ibrahim, with long upturned lashes and a moon face, didn’t. Abdullahi invited the women in, lowered his head, and left.

    During the Christian attack, the two young women took shelter in an elder’s guarded home. On the second day, the Christian militia arrived at the house. They were covered in red and blue paint and were wearing those numbered white name tags. The Christians first killed the guards, then chose among the women. With others, the two young women were marched toward the Christian village. “They were killing children on the road,” Danladi said. Outside the elementary school, her abductor grabbed hold of two Muslim boys she knew, 9 and 10 years old. Along with other men, he took a machete to them until they were in pieces, then wrapped the pieces in a rubber tire and set it on fire.

    When Danladi and Ibrahim reached their captors’ village, they were forced to drink alcohol and to eat pork and dog meat. Although she was obviously pregnant, Danladi’s abductor repeatedly raped her during the next four days. After a month, the police fetched Danladi and Ibrahim from the Christian village and took them to the camp where most of the town’s Muslim residents had fled. There, the two young women were reunited with their husbands. They never discussed what happened in the bush.

    “The Christians don’t want us here because they don’t like our religion,” Danladi said. “Do you really think they took you because of your religion?” I asked. The women looked at each other. “In Islamic history, there are times when believers and nonbelievers have fought,” Danladi said. “We think what happened here is part of the clash that will come. After the clash, people will see poverty and suffering and that’s what’s happening now. According to our ulamas [teachers], there is no way that the whole world will not be Muslim.”

    Later, I looked up Matthew 24, the verses that Pastor Sunday had cited. In many versions of the Bible, Jesus’ words are inked in red to show that these are the exact and inerrant words of the Lord. Down the rice-paper page, one red verse (Matthew 24:19) caught my eye: “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!” I thought of Hamamatu Danladi. After her rape, she told me, she didn’t give birth for four more months, which meant she carried that child for more than a year. Maybe I didn’t understand her. When I returned to visit her a year later, I asked again if I’d misunderstood. No, she said, she’d carried the baby for more than a year. Maybe, she thought, he simply refused to come into this world during the conflagration.

    ****

    At the time of the massacre, Archbishop Peter Akinola was the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, whose membership was implicated in the killings. He has since lost his bid for another term but, as primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, he is still the leader of 18 million Anglicans. He is a colleague of my father, who was the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in America from 1997 to 2006. But the American Episcopals’ election of an openly homosexual bishop in 2003, which Archbishop Akinola denounced as “satanic,” created distance between them. When I arrived in 2006 in the capital of Abuja to see the archbishop, his office door was locked. Its complicated buzzing-in system was malfunctioning, and he was trapped inside. Finally, after several minutes, the angry buzzes stopped and I could hear a man behind the door rise and come across the floor. The archbishop, in a pale-blue pantsuit and a darker-blue crushed-velvet hat, opened the door.

    “My views on Islam are well known: I have nothing more to say,” he said, as we sat down. Archbishop Akinola has repeatedly spoken critically about Islam and liberal Western Protestants, and he was understandably wary of my motives for asking his thoughts. For Akinola, the relationship between liberal Protestants and Islam is straightforward: if Western Christians abandon conservative morals, then the global Church will be weakened in its struggle against Islam. “When you have this attack on Christians in Yelwa, and there are no arrests, Christians become dhimmi, the vocabulary within Islam that allows Christians and Jews to be seen as second-class citizens. You are subject to the Muslims. You have no rights.”

    When asked if those wearing name tags that read “Christian Association of Nigeria” had been sent to the Muslim part of Yelwa, the archbishop grinned. “No comment,” he said. “No Christian would pray for violence, but it would be utterly naive to sweep this issue of Islam under the carpet.” He went on, “I’m not out to combat anybody. I’m only doing what the Holy Spirit tells me to do. I’m living my faith, practicing and preaching that Jesus Christ is the one and only way to God, and they respect me for it. They know where we stand. I’ve said before: let no Muslim think they have the monopoly on violence.”

    Archbishop Akinola, 63, is a Yoruba, a member of an ethnic group from southwestern Nigeria, where Christians and Muslims coexist peacefully. But the archbishop’s understanding of Islam was forged by his experience in the north, where he watched the persecution of a Christian minority. He was more interested during our interview, though, in talking about the West than about Nigeria.

    “People are thinking that Islam is an issue in Africa and Asia, but you in the West are sitting on explosives.” What people in the West don’t understand, he said, “is that what Islam failed to accomplish by the sword in the eighth century, it’s trying to do by immigration so that Muslims become citizens and demand their rights. A Muslim man has four wives; the wives have four or five children each. This is how they turned Christians into a minority in North Africa.”

    He went on, “The West has thrown God out, and Islam is filling that vacuum for you, and now your Christian heritage is being destroyed… You people are so afraid of being accused of being Islam-phobic. Consequently everyone recedes and says nothing… Over the years, Christians have been so naive — avoiding politics, economics, and the military because they’re dirty business. The missionaries taught that. Dress in tatters. Wear your bedroom slippers. Be poor. But Christians are beginning to wake up to the fact that money isn’t evil, the love of money is, and it isn’t wrong to have some of it. Neither is politics.”

    ****

    Democracy, Nigerians told me repeatedly, is a numbers game. That’s why whoever has more believers is on top. In that competition, Christianity has a recruiting tool beyond the frontline gospel preached by those such as Archbishop Akinola: Pentecostalism, one of the world’s most diverse and fastest-growing religious movements. In Nigeria, the oil boom of the 1970s brought a massive movement of people into cities looking for work. That boom’s collapse spurred the growth of the Pentecostal Gospel of Prosperity, with its emphasis on good health and getting rich; and of the African Initiated Churches, or AICs, which began about 100 years ago, when several charismatic African prophets successfully converted millions to Christianity. Today, AIC members account for one-quarter of Africa’s 417 million Christians.

    One bustling Pentecostal hub, Canaanland, the 565-acre headquarters of the Living Faith Church, has three banks, a bakery, and its own university, Covenant, which is the sister school of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Canaanland is about an hour and a half north of Lagos, which has an estimated population of 12 million and is projected to become the world’s 12th-largest city by 2020. With 300,000 people worshipping at a single service at the Canaanland headquarters alone and 300 branches across the country, Living Faith is one of Nigeria’s megachurches, and the dapper Bishop David Oyedepo is its prophet. The bishop, whose bald pate glistens above deep-set eyes and dazzling teeth, never wanted to be pastor: he had no interest in being poor, he told me. “When God made me a pastor, I wept. I hated poverty in the Church — how can the children of God live as rats?”

    Bishop Oyedepo built Canaanland to preach the Gospel of Prosperity. As he said, “If God is truly a father, there is no father that wants his children to be beggars. He wants them to prosper.” In the parking lot at Canaanland, beyond the massive complex of unusually clean toilets, flapping banners promise: WHATSOEVER YOU ASK IN MY NAME, HE SHALL GIVE YOU, and BY HIS STRIPES HE GIVES US BLESSINGS.

    The Pentecostal movement is so vast and varied, it’s a mistake to generalize about its unifying principles. But Pentecostals do tend to share an experience of the Holy Spirit, or the numinous, that offers the gift of salvation and success in everyday life — particularly in the realms of personal health and finance. Archbishop Akinola, whose own Anglican Church is more threatened in some ways by the rise of Pentecostalism than by the rise of Islam, finds these teachings suspect: “When you preach prosperity and not suffering, any Christianity devoid of the cross is a pseudo-religion.”

    But Bishop Oyedepo’s followers say that those who criticize don’t understand what’s happening in Africa. “There’s a kind of revolution going on in Africa,” one of the bishop’s employees, Professor Prince Famous Izedonmi, said. “America tolerates God. Africa celebrates God. We’re called ‘the continent of darkness,’ but that’s when you appreciate the light. Jesus is the light.” The professor, a Muslim prince who converted to Christianity as a child to cure himself of migraine headaches, was the head of Covenant University’s accounting department and director of its Centre for Entrepreneurial Development Studies.

    ++++++++++++++

    COMMENT:  I am beginning to think it is not possible to separate religion from government, because my understanding of “religion” is a vocabulary, an assignment of meaning to life (and who wants a government to do that?) and a set of priests, prophets, sacred tabus (thinks we can’t talk about) and of course the caste system.  The history of humanity is basically a history of human sacrifice, that is hard put to treat women & children kindly across the board, and is offended when some intend to do so.  The history of humanity IS a power struggle… 

    So I think the thing is, to limit it.

    An article today in the newspaper tells how an ex-homeless man is being kept in debt and penalized for his industry (I’ll try to put it up next).  But if you want to become an early child-care researcher, the heavens (grants) will open up for sure..  See next post.

    HAPPY APRIL 15th…..   And many more.

    WIKIPEDIA:

    United States House Select Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations and Comparable Organizations

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Jump to: navigation, search

    This article is about the 1952-1954 investigation into non-profits. For the 80s and 90s report on the People’s Republic of China’s covert operations within the United States, see Cox Report.

    The Select Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations and Comparable Organizations was an investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives between 1952 and 1954.[1] The committee was originally created by House Resolution 561 during the 82nd Congress. The committee investigated the use of funds by tax-exempt organizations (non-profit organizations) to see if they were being used to support communism.[2][3] The committee was alternatively known as the Cox Committee and the Reece Committee after its two chairmen, Edward E. Cox and B. Carroll Reece.

     

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/3768227/Dodd-Report-to-the-Reece-Committee-on-Foundations-1954

    All I know, is I wanted ANSWERS why the courts have become a farce.  I have a logical mind, in my own way, and like to look things up.  The more I looked the more foundations I saw behind policies that hurt my family.  These are identifiable traces, and I know the average person doesn’t have time (or sometimes the will) to find this out.  The average person, in short, is being lied to in regards MANY of the institutions that affect his or her daily lives. 

    I couldn’t have been battered at home for so many years without scores of “enablers” who just didn’t have the vocabulary to address this, or the commitment, risking THEIR times, livelihood (and at some level, when it escalates) possibly lives — and certainly, money — which seems to have been key — in failing to speak about it. 

    Speaking out can mean “ex-communication” from one’s supportive spheres, but shutting up does violence to the spirit of a person.  And if there’s one thing we need to sustain us in troubles, it’s that spirit. 

    I believe that the “thing” is to understand what’s going on in the very TOP (behind the media curtain and even behind the government curtains) and the very BOTTOM of society.  This will better explain the middle. 

    Currently, the very TOP does not really want to hear from the very BOTTOM.

    This is going to fall harder and harder on those in the middle who just don’t want to talk about it.  Particularly REALLY hard topics like, murder, and child molestation, government-sanctioned and promoted.  In the U.S.A.

    Sooner or later there may be no “middle,” so I suggest more of the “middle” folk start listening to the Bottom folk with their HEARTS, and EYES open, and without that patronizing, us/them, condescension, let us fix you mentality.  Get over yourself!  Get quiet, and start observing.

    (if that shoe fits, please wear it.  If not, ignore it).  Some burdens we have to bear alone, others we cannot. Stop being a spectator and start thinking — for real!

    Religious Promotion of wife-battering, co. 2006-2010

    with 6 comments

     

    “What the _ _ _ _?!?”

    It’s no longer “domestic violence” (an oxymoron, to start with.  What’s “domestic” about “violence”?  Cats, I can understand, or dogs — are domestic animals.  People who work in the home are sometimes called “domestics” (and treated at times like animals).  All in all the sense that you can somehow tame a person who has resorted to violence to get his way, good grief.  Yes, I said, HIS….

    This site actually exists.  No wonder church attendance is down when it comes to God-fearing people (who also use their minds to read, and hearts to feel when others suffer)…..

    This site turns my stomach, and it should yours, too. 

    CHRISTIAN DOMESTIC

    DISCIPLINE

     

    This website, as well as any information presented herein, is intended for purposes of education or entertainment only. Views or opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of ownership or management.

    This forwarded cite turns my stomach, and it should yours, too. 

    This is 2010.  This is copyrighted through NOW.  Now do you see why I’m against faith-based initiatives running humanist HHS programs to promote “healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood.”  I think you should know what it looks like from the fundies’ point of view. 

    The reason it turns MY stomach is that I had to live with this type of “bad attitude”, and watch it endorsed by people who ought to know better until I found some folk who DIDN’T believe in God, necessarily, but DID in the U.S. Constitution, and at least got a CIVIL restraining order (though criminal, I learned later from the definitions, was in order, and would’ve been better).

    We like to kid (numb) ourselves that the rank and file don’t get this extreme, but my experience is they DO.  This philosophy attracts sorts who (unlike Christ) seem — and choose — to really believe that women, of any age, are children.  “Lord help” their children, if this is what they grow up witnessing as to their mothers!

    Talk about “entitled.”  You don’t “educate” that over-entitled attitude out of someone with a batterers intervention program….even one with a Christian veneer. 

    Read, and shudder.  If you’re a decent human being.  Whoever these people are, they have the nerve to put it out there, and as a *.com, too!:

    And understand it’s a how-to manual.  Ladies, Christian women taking it on the chin, neck, or any other part of your body, when you speak up, or look crooked (or not submissive enough), Your man might not be out there doing porn (though it’s not incompatible with the same detached mentality we see below), he might be meeting with the guys to figure out how to restrain YOU. 

    The Foundation of Disciplining Your Wife

    Before a husband can effectively discipline his wife, he needs to build the proper foundation for said discipline. To attempt discipline without the fundamental foundational principles in place will inevitably backfire, and cause resentment and contempt. Let’s go over them individually.
    Your wife must know, feel, and be assured constantly that she is cherished. {{I.e., FAKE IT….}}  This is a prime need for any woman, just as it is a need of the Church to feel cherished by Christ. As a picture of Christ in the home, husbands must always remember that they are not simply dealing with the woman that they married, but the most beautiful, incredible perfect gift that the Lord has ever given to him, second only to eternal life itself. Love notes, gifts, intimacy, conversation, sharing, compliments… Shower this woman with your love every day to show her just how much she is cherished.

    {{Even if she isn’t…..}}

    Remember that your wife is only as beautiful as you make her, so lift her up as if she is without flaw or blemish. 

    {{That’s right, she has no prior existence, and doesn’t actually EXIST as a person even right now…  Keept that in the forefront, not, say, the Declaration of Independence and that hogwash about inalienable rights, or what the Bible says about God is no respecter of persons, and so forth…}}

    You must be the primary Bible teacher in the home.

    {{Even if you’re incompetent for lack of reading it or desire to practice it.  Surely THIS part of practicing “Bible” will appeal to the manly man a little more……}}

    Husbands, lead devotions in the home every day. Remember, it’s not you taking a half-hour or so out of your day to do this, but rather that the Lord gives you the remaining 23 hours or so to attend to your personal business. It’s His time, so don’t rob Him. And if your wife is more biblically knowledgeable than you are, and so more qualified to lead devotions, lead them anyway, and bone up on your Bible while you’re at it (I certainly had to).

     When the wife leads instead of the husband, the husband robs her of spiritual security. I cannot say it any stronger than this – husbands, if you don’t lead devotions in your home, don’t claim to be the covenant leaders of the home. You’re in abdication, and will be living under judgment for it; and it is your wife and family that will suffer the most. If you truly love your wife, lead her spiritually.
    Praise her in the gates. Understand that when Proverbs 31 speaks of this, it means that husbands need to praise their wives no matter where they are. Praise her at work, play, home or wherever your path takes you. Tell your friends, co-workers and even total strangers how wonderful the woman you married is. Praise her in the church, praise her to your children, and praise her to your boss. Will people think you’re strange for doing this? No, not really. I know this from experience – not only will your wife be edified, but so will Christ and even yourself. Never miss an opportunity to praise her, and be willing to create some opportunities as well.

    The Application of Discipline to Your Wife

    You must always remember those two sin dynamics common to all women, for the vast majority of your discipline will stem from her struggles concerning them. Of course, each wife has peculiar struggles for you to deal with as well, and you’ll need to be aware of them when they rear their heads.
    First, do not attempt to discipline your wife without first going to the Lord in prayer. No man alone is wise enough, and we must seek the Lord when faced with discipline issues.
    There are two primary methods to discipline in the home towards wives, and one necessary means of grace. Following are the methods of discipline:
    Exhortation. When your wife is sinning, exhort her with the Word. Use your Bibles, gents! This needs to be done with gentleness, and often you will need to repeat yourself several times (using similar words) before it sinks in. Remember always, when disciplining that the person before you is the most cherished, adored person in your universe. Treat her as such. If you have children, it may, depending on how her sin touched the children require that they be present. However, keep control of the situation. DO NOT LET THE CHILDREN EXHORT YOUR WIFE DIRECTLY! There are times when children may do so, but once you’re involved, it’s your show, Husband. If the children have something to say (and you feel that it needs to be heard) have them address you, and not her. You are your wife’s leader and authority in the home, not the children. Do not risk upsetting that balance.

    Rebuke and Lash.

    This is the harshest discipline a husband should administer, and it should always be done privately and with Godly, Biblical love. Usually, exhortation will have already taken place before this method is used, but there may come situations where this is the first step. The rebuke and lashing should be administered with a calm heart. Talk to your wife, let her know you are serious, and tell her why she is to be disciplined physically.
    When administering physical discipline, take caution not to deliver the lashes anywhere but the buttocks. The first attempt at this punishment should only be delivered by hand so you can get an idea of how many lashings are needed. The best position will be for you to sit at the end of a bed or on a chair (with no arms) and have her lay across your lap. She can also bend over a bed with arms tucked under her chest and your left hand on the small of her back. If a strap (belt) is to be implemented watch that each stoke falls directly on the buttocks and not higher. EDITOR’S NOTE: When using the hand, or a small, short implement, such as a switch or small “hairbrush”-type paddle, over-the-knee positioning can work quite well.
    A fearful wife may begin crying or pleading and find it difficult to remain still. Reassure her. of your intent and love (yes this will hurt, that is why it is a punishment) then instruct her to be still. Remind her that she is not in control of this discipline. You should continue the lashing through her tears and pleas for you to stop, until you are certain the message was received. This will insure her remorse and therefore stop the undesirable behavior.
    A sound lashing is five to ten strokes with your hand, or three to five strokes with a strap; some wives need more. To avoid brusing do not strike the same area in repetition. Gauge your decision to proceed based on your wife’s readiness to repent.
    You may find it difficult to cause your wife pain, but as a woman she needs the release of guilt that this form of punishment brings. Afterwards, help her up gently and hold her while allowing her to cry for as long as you both feel necessary. If you have children instruct her to wash her face before emerging from the room.

    Remember to stay in control at all times so her faith in you is not rattled.

    {{Also important is to remember to take the car keys before beginning, and of course never attempt this type of treatment if she has friends, or supportive people in her life who are NOT of this particular brand of back to the feudal-age-we-wish religion, or marriage.  Also, you might want to make sure she can’t afford to take a plane ticket OUT of there with your kids.  In fact, to be really secure and make this work, simply read what domestic violence IS, and DO it.  Because that’s what THIS is….  Criminal or misdemeanor, don’t worry — your male buddies will probably back this up, the pastor won’t say too much (lest the attendance, and funds that go with it drop, and if they do, there are always the federally-based grants to states to promote responsible fatherhood under which you might seek help to reassert control, after your ass gets thrown out of the home for this type of treatment!}}

     Her reaction after the lashing will let you know if this punishment works for her. She should be genuinely remorseful, tearful, and sore, but have an overwhelming desire to please you.
    This act also gives you, the husband, a release of anger and disappointment which allows your relationship to become immediately bonded in a closeness you may have otherwise never achieved.

    {{Commonly known as traumatic bonding…..or Stockholme Syndrome}}

    Because of your love and discipline, your fights no longer last for days or even hours. The quick resolve of immediate discipline allows you to reconnect, which in turn rapidly eliminates resentment.
    Do not make apologies for the punishment as this will cast doubt in her mind of your authority. The amount of rebuke and lash sessions may be high at first but should slowly decrease as she learns her new role in the relationship, and you embrace yours. Never use ad-homonym attacks and never bring up past sins that have already been forgiven. Deal with the issue at hand, and nothing more. The gift you give your wife in this act will lead to her soul’s full surrender allowing her to embrace her femininity.
    Once discipline is administered and repentance is given, we can hopefully move onto the next phase, which is forgiveness and prayer. Remember that you are a sinner too, and are not above reproach. Demonstrate this to her, and to the Lord. Once she has been convicted, be willing to forgive immediately. Don’t waste a moment, and show this forgiveness through praising her and showing her right then the extent that you cherish her. Remember that being cherished is the greatest enabling thing you can show her that gives her emotional and spiritual security, as well as builds her trust in your leadership. This is a crucial step; don’t neglect it!
    __._,_.___

    This is the graphic under the link “HUSBANDS.”  There is no graphic under “WIVES.” 

    Wow.  Note the abundance of scriptural backup for this kind of behavior (like NONE, here). 

    Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it…..

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    Written by Let's Get Honest

    April 12, 2010 at 1:03 pm

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