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Archive for May 2010

Can you say “Mama”? Apparently our President Can’t…

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OK, folks — pls. review the post about “copyediting” (why I don’t).  Fact is, I process information, read on topics (or, case in point, react to them) while out and about.  I have less than 2 hours a day to compress something into this spot — not my own PC — and then print out what I read.  Or sometimes even published. 

Last post, for example, had the usual word errors (some related to the topic, others to brain full of processing, not editing).  For example, a man was “reserved” a restraining order.

I referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and perhaps the woman not wanting to challenge them directly because “they’re armed…”  THAT statement refers to my own reticence about challenging armed law enforcement who refused to enforce the law (or court order) in a number of situations in my own case.  My mistake. 

The point I thought of, afterwards, was:  While Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, and Sotomayor protest a citizen in an “organized” state (say WHAT??) taking the criminal justice system into (her) own hands — and protest breaking that principle — How’s Come they didn’t “GET” that the crime of assault and battery IS a citizen (a male one) taking the law into his own hands, or rather, breaking it. 

And overall, I’d say that the concept of protecting women from getting KO’d by an ex hasn’t exactly worked yet, in this country. 


In Bulgaria, per NYT, women can be an asset.  Glad to hear it…..

Bulgaria News – Breaking World Bulgaria News – The New York Times

Women’s Influence Grows in Bulgarian Public Life. By DAN BILEFSKY. Prime Minister Boiko M. Borisov has in recent months promoted several women,
topics.nytimes.com › WorldCountries and TerritoriesCachedSimilar
On the other hand, can you find the word “mother” anywhere, or “women” in concert with “families” and “children” in this transcript at the prayer breakfast by our President (February 2010). 
This is reflected on the issues page (at least formerly) under “Families.”  The verbiage doesn’t include the word “mom.”  Probably because kids are supposed to be in early child care where they can be researched by Govt. Scholars….
In my next two minutes (and I’ll fix it later), here is a post of that transcript, and some more Obama favorites.  I’ll be back:

Feb. 4, 2010 – Washington, D.C.



[*] OBAMA: Thank you so much. Heads of state, cabinet members, my outstanding vice president, members of Congress, religious leaders, distinguished guests, Admiral Mullen, it’s good to see all of you. Now, let me begin by acknowledging the co-chairs of this breakfast, Senators Isakson and Klobuchar, who embody the sense of fellowship at the heart of this gathering, two of my favorite senators.

Let me also acknowledge the director of my faith-based office, Joshua DuBois, who is here. Where’s Joshua? He’s out there somewhere. He’s doing great work.


I want to commend Secretary Hillary Clinton on her outstanding remarks and her outstanding leadership at the State Department. She’s doing good every day.


I’m especially pleased to see my dear friend, Prime Minister Zapatero, and I want him to relay America’s greetings to the people of Spain.

OBAMA: And, Johnny, you are right: I am deeply blessed and I thank God every day for being married to Michelle Obama.


I’m privileged to join you once again, as my predecessors have for over half a century. And like them, I come here to speak about the ways my faith informs who I am as a president and as a person.

But I’m also here for the same reason that all of you are, for we all share a recognition, one as old as time, that a willingness to believe, an openness to grace, a commitment to prayer can bring sustenance to our lives.

There is, of course, a need for prayer even in times of joy and peace and prosperity, perhaps especially in such times prayer is needed to guard against pride and to guard against complacency.

But rightly or wrongly, most of us are inclined to seek out the divine, not in the moment when the Lord makes his face shine upon us, but in moments when God’s grace can seem farthest away.

Last month, God’s grace and God’s mercy seemed far away from our neighbors in Haiti, and yet I believe that grace was not absent in the midst of tragedy. It was heard in prayers and hymns that broke the silence of an earthquake’s wake. It was witnessed among parishioners of churches that stood no more, a roadside congregation holding Bibles in their laps. It was felt in the presence of relief workers and medics, translators, servicemen and women bringing food and water and aid to the injured.

One such translator was an American of Haitian descent, representative of the extraordinary work that our men and women in uniform do all around the world, Navy Corpsman Christian Bouchard (ph). And lying on a gurney aboard the USNS Comfort, a woman asked Christopher, “Where do you come from? What country? After my operation,” she said, “I will pray for that country.” And in Creole, Corpsman Bouchard (ph) responded, “Intanzini (ph),” the United States of America.

God’s grace and the compassion and decency of the American people is expressed through the men and women like Corpsman Bouchard (ph). It’s expressed through the efforts of our armed forces, through the efforts of our entire government, through similar efforts from Spain and other countries around the world. It’s also, as Secretary Clinton said, expressed through multiple faith-based efforts, by evangelicals at World Relief, by the American Jewish World Service, by Hindu temples and Mainline Protestants, Catholic Relief Services, African-American churches, the United Sikhs, by Americans of every faith and no faith, uniting around a common purpose, a higher purpose. It’s inspiring.

This is what we do as Americans in times of trouble. We unite, recognizing that such crises call on all of us to act, recognizing that there but for the grace of God go I, recognizing that life’s most sacred responsibility, one affirmed, as Hillary said, by all of the world’s great religions is to sacrifice something of ourselves for a person in need.

OBAMA: Sadly, though, that spirit is too often absent when tackling the long term, but no less profound issues facing our country and the world. Too often, that spirit is missing without the spectacular tragedy, the 9/11 or the Katrina, the earthquake or the tsunami, that can shake us out of complacency.

We become numb to the day-to-day crises, the slow-moving tragedies of children without food and men without shelter and families without health care.


We become absorbed with our abstract arguments, our ideological disputes, our contests for power. And in this Tower of Babel, we lose the sound of God’s voice.

Now, for those of us here in Washington, let’s acknowledge that democracy has always been messy. Let’s not be overly nostalgic. Divisions are hardly new in this country. Arguments about the proper role of government, the relationship between liberty and equality, our obligations to our fellow citizens, these things have been with us since our founding.

And I am profoundly mindful that a loyal opposition, a vigorous back-and-forth, a skepticism of power, all of that is what makes our democracy work. And we’ve seen actually some improvement in some circumstances. We haven’t seen any canings on the floor of the Senate anytime recently.


So we shouldn’t over-romanticize the past, but there is a sense that something is different now, that something’s broken, that those of us in Washington are not serving the people as well as we should. At times it seems like we’re unable to listen to one another, to have at once a serious and civil debate.

And this erosion of civility in the public square sows division and distrust among our citizens. It poisons the well of public opinion. It leaves each side little room to negotiate with the other. It makes politics an all-or-nothing sport where one side is either always right or always wrong, when, in reality, neither side has a monopoly on truth.

And then we lose sight of the children without food and the men without shelter and the families without health care.

{{Did he read this, or had he practiced the phrase enough.}}

{{I know some homeless women.  Apparently President Obama, at least here, doesn’t.  There are also some families who became fatherless and motherless when a father, re-inspired perhaps by the fatherhood programs, asserted his rights to not be left by killing her.  Then himself…  THAT’ll show them who’s in charge…}}

Empowered by faith, consistently, prayerfully, we need to find our way back to civility, and that begins with stepping out of our comfort zones in an effort to bridge divisions. We see that in many conservative pastors who are helping lead the way to fix our broken immigration system. It’s not what would be expected from them, and yet they recognize in those immigrant families the face of God.

We see that in the evangelical leaders who are rallying their congregations to protect our planet.

We see it in the increasing recognition among progressives that government can’t solve all of our problems (inaudible) talking about values like responsible fatherhood and healthy marriage are integral to any anti-poverty agenda.

Stretching out of our dogmas, our prescribed roles along the political spectrum, that can help us regain a sense of civility.

Civility also requires relearning how to disagree without being disagreeable, understanding, as presidents said, that civility is not a sign of weakness.

Now, I am the first to confess I’m not always right — and Michelle will testify to that…


… but surely you can question my policies without questioning my faith or, for that matter, my citizenship.


Challenging each other’s ideas can renew our democracy, but when we challenge each other’s motives, it becomes harder to see what we hold in common. We forget that we share at some deep level the same dreams, even when we don’t share the same plans on how to fulfill them.

OBAMA: We may disagree about the best way to reform our health care system, but surely we can agree that no one ought to go broke when they get sick in the richest nation on Earth.

We can take different approaches to ending inequality, but surely we can agree on the need to lift our children out of ignorance, to — to lift our neighbors from poverty.

We may disagree about gay marriage, but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are, whether it’s here in the United States or, as Hillary mentioned, more extremely in odious laws that are being proposed most recently in Uganda.

Surely we can agree to find common ground when possible, parting ways when necessary, but in doing so, let us be guided by our faith and by prayer, for while prayer can buck us up when we are down, keep us calm in a storm, while prayer can stiffen our spines to surmount an obstacle — and I assure you, I’m praying a lot these days — prayer can also do something else.

It can touch our hearts with humility. It can fill us with a spirit of brotherhood. It can remind us that each of us are children of an awesome and loving God.

Through faith, but not through faith alone, we can unite people to serve the common good. And that’s why my Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships have been working so hard since I announced it here last year. We’ve slashed red tape and built effective partnerships on a range of uses, from promoting fatherhood here at home to spearheading interfaith cooperation abroad.

And through that office, we’ve turned the faith-based initiative around to find common ground among people of all beliefs, allowing them to make an impact in a way that’s civil and respectful of difference and focused on what matters most.

It is this spirit of civility that we are called to take up when we leave here today. That’s what I’m praying for.

I know, in difficult times like these, when people are frustrated, when pundits start shouting and politicians start calling each other names, it can seem like a return to civility is not possible, like the very idea is a relic of some bygone era. The word itself seems quaint, “civility.” But let us remember those who came before, those who believed in the brotherhood of man even when such a faith was tested. Remember Dr. Martin Luther King, not — not long after an explosion ripped through his front porch, his wife and infant daughter inside, he rose to that pulpit in Montgomery and said, “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” In the eyes of those who denied his humanity, he saw the face of God.

Remember Abraham Lincoln, on the eve of the Civil War, with states seceding and forces gathering, with a nation divided half-slave and half-free, he rose to deliver his First Inaugural and said, “We are not enemies, but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.” Even in the eyes of Confederate soldiers, he saw the face of God.

Remember William Wilberforce, whose Christian faith led him to seek slavery’s abolition in Britain. He was vilified, derided, attacked, but he called for lessening prejudices and conciliating goodwill, and thereby making way for the less obstructed progress of truth. In the eyes of those who sought to silence a nation’s conscience, he saw the face of God.

Yes, there are crimes of conscience that call us to action. Yes, there are causes that move our hearts and offenses that steer our souls, but progress doesn’t come when we demonize opponents. It’s not born in righteous spite.

Progress comes when we open our hearts, when we extend our hands, when we recognize our common humanity. Progress comes when we look into the eyes of another and see the face of God. That we might do so, that we will do so — all the time, not just some of the time — is my fervent prayer for our nation and the world.

Thank you. God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.





Did Peter Orszag hear Obama’s speech on fatherhood?



The affairs of Peter Orszag appear to be quite a source of amusement for Washington’s political and intellectual elite. The town is abuzz with talk of Obama’s nerdy budget director, a divorced father of two, who, it turns out, is the father of another baby born to ex-girlfriend Claire Milonas in November and who recently announced his engagement to ABC correspondent Bianna Golodryga.

As for the child born out of wedlock? “What’s the big deal?” seems to be the thinking. Orszag and Milonas released a statement this week saying, “we are both thrilled she is happy and healthy.”

Maybe I should leave this alone. Unfortunately, I have trouble squaring Orszag’s behavior with his boss’s views on family and fatherhood.

In a Father’s Day 2008 speech http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2008/06/15/obama_delivers_fathers_day_ser.html to the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama told the congregation: “Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that family is the most important. And we… recognize and honor how critical every father is to that foundation.”

Obama didn’t mince words. “If we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing – missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.”

He continued: “We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes a man is not the ability to have a child — it’s the courage to raise one.”

On that Father’s Day, president Obama was talking to and about men in the African American community.

Do those presidential views also apply to Peter Orszag?


AND, here we have a February 2008 commentary on Our Chief Executive/Big Brother as the nation’s Father-promoter.


Obama on Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act of 2006



From his issues page on poverty, he mentioned the Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act that was introduced in 2006 he co-sponsored, but nothing ever happen to it. Here are just a few of the findings by Congress

(1) The most important factor in a child’s upbringing is whether the child is brought up in a loving, healthy, supportive environment.(2) Children who grow up with both parents are more likely to finish high school, be economically self-sufficient, and to have a healthier lifestyle than their peers who grow up in single-parent homes.(3) Father-child interaction has been shown to promote the positive physical, social, emotional, and mental development of children.



As of MARCH 2010, I hear, the “pretense” that healthy marriage/responsible fatherhood actually includes a resident mother (as opposed to putting single Dads back into kids’ lives, at whatever cost, and by whatever means, including sometimes unceremoniously tossing out the resident Mom – or forcing her back into poverty through repeated court hearings hoping to regain contact with her children, or protect them, or in short, function like a decent mother.  Like, say, President Obama’s …  I think she did all right, eh?










Contrast with the Picture on the ABA Family Law page in California:





Is the Obama administration trying to divorce the federal government from the marriage business? Yes, the White House is ditching the only real federal effort to strengthen the institution of marriage, say some marriage-movement activists, who are already lamenting the loss of the Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood grant program.

But others, including those involved in federal and local fatherhood programs, say not really – its replacement program is an important adjustment in family policy.

Still others say the marriage money may be gone, but people should save their tears – government funds have already done what they can to till the soil and it’s now time for private enterprise and religious groups to step up and revive America’s marriage culture.

The center of this debate is located in two lines of the Obama administration’s 2011 budget.

One zeroes out the $150 million Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood grants, and the other creates a $500 million Fatherhood, Marriage and Families Innovation Fund, aimed at issuing three-year competitive grants to states. The new fund absorbs the funding of the George W. Bush-era marriage and fatherhood grants.

{{TO make this more interesting, the average MOTHER “in a family [law] way” doesn’t even know these millions of grants exist – to help her lose custodial time with her kids.  Courtesy (in Calif. At least) a lot of tweaking by the county child support agency}}

The change perplexes Nisa Muhammad, founder of Wedded Bliss Foundation, which has celebrated the weddings of more than 100 low-income couples in recent months.

“Marriage” is in the title of the new innovation fund, she said, but “when you read deeper … where’d it go?”

The description of new fund’s purpose is even more discouraging for marriage watchers. Half the money is slated for state-initiated responsible fatherhood and employment programs, “including those with a marriage component,” budget language explains.

The other half will go to programs for “custodial parents,” i.e., single mothers.

{{“Lord almighty, we’re  helping single mothers again.  There goes the neighborhood…”}}

Fundable activities include job training, substance-abuse treatment, child-support enforcement and other anti-poverty activities that already receive funding from dozens – if not hundreds – of federal programs.

“Job-training programs have been going on for years and years, and now we want to revert back to that? We are in a different state and time,” Mrs. Muhammad said. “There’s really a disconnect” in Washington, she added. “They really don’t understand what the breakdown of the two-parent family means for children.”


 PS.  A woman got killed by her ex (who then killed himself) in San Jose last week.  What else is new.  Shon Box and Miriam Olivo….


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

May 26, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Wykenna Watson challenges a plea-bargain on restraining order violation. Her criminal contempt IS upheld. But Supreme Court Justices: C.J. Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy & Sotomayor “Strongly Dissent..”

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This just in. . . . .

These notable Honoraries, from the Highest Court in our nation, which court’s Chief Justice gets to swear in the President of the United States in an oath to protect & defend the Constitution, . . . . .  are objecting to her actually expecting the violation of a RECENT restraining order to be taken seriously, for once, and not plea-bargained.  This may go a ways towards making such restraining orders less “certifiably insane.” 

This Washington Post article tells how a woman challenged a DISMISSAL of charges on a 2nd assault by her boyfriend, which assault was also a violation of a restraining order (probably of the criminal one…)

She is saying “NO!” to those who plea-bargained him OUT of an assault AFTER a civil restraining order was in place.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office let him off easier, and she said NO by filing for criminal contempt.

She can’t exactly go after those who plea-bargained him quite so easily.  For one, they are armed…..So she went to uphold the concept of “ORDER” meaning “ORDER” and violating it intentionally as SERIOUS. 


By Josh White  |  May 24, 2010; 2:30 PM ET

The U.S. Supreme Court today dismissed a case originating out of the District that challenged the ability of a private citizen to bring criminal contempt charges against someone else in a domestic violence case.

Split 5-4, with a strongly worded dissent by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court declined to interfere with a lower court decision that upheld guilty findings on criminal contempt charges against John Robertson, who was convicted in the District of violating a restraining order against him.

But as part of a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Robertson agreed to plead guilty to the first attack if prosecutors were willing to dimiss charges for the second attack, which they did.

Watson, dissatisfied with the outcome, later that year herself filed criminal contempt charges against Robertson. After a two-day trial, Robertson was convicted, sentenced to an additional year in jail and ordered to pay Watson $10,000 in restitution.

Ms. Watson showed some real courage & savvy in doing this, as the 2nd assault itself represented (in context) a form of retaliation for saying no the first time. 

Speaking for myself, and many other women, we have been discouraged by repeated failures of the CRIMINAL section of government (D.A. on down)’s failures to arrest, prosecute, and keep in jail, batterers who escalate their actions after being confronted. 

This article doesn’t say (upfront) whether mutual children were involved, which adds another layer of possible intimidation and threat to the woman confronting abuse. 

I have found it very frustrating to experience all the results of crime, including trauma, job loss, and curtailed social connections, and repeatedly return to “family court” and have our case funneled through mediation as if it was still a personal squabble.   SPeaking for myself only, I have been treated with disdain and disrespect (repeatedly) in seeking this. 

Failing to prosecute or show consequences for assault & battery, whether misdemeanor (THIS time) or felony-level, sends a clear message to the perpetrator:  “no holds barred, go ahead, we won’t really punish you….” and it also sends a message to people who support the woman in noncriminal ways.  It taxes their resources also.  I believe this is WHY California law had this clause, even though it’s largely ignored in practice:

Google search of “clear and present danger” only pulled up references to spousal abuse on the 2nd page of searches.  That the first one was from my blog! tells me it’s not a common topic of conversation these days….

Search Results

  1. Clear and Present Danger”…fuzzy usage by AFCC « Let’sGetHonestBlog

    Dec 1, 2009 The Legislature hereby finds that spousal abusers present a clear and present danger to the mental and physical well-being of the citizens
  2. [DOC]

    Domestic Violence, by its Nature, Frequently Results in Forfeiture

     – 3 visits – 10/15/09

    File Format: Microsoft Word – View as HTML
    Domestic violence victims frequently fail to assist in their batterer’s prosecutions. ….. “[Since] spousal abusers present a clear and present danger to the mental Code § 273.81 (West 2005) (establishing Spousal Abuser Prosecution
  3. CHAPTER 2.5. SPOUSAL ABUSERS – Sections 273.8-273.88 – California

    The Legislature hereby finds that spousal abusers present a clear and present danger to the mental and physical well-being of the citizens of the State of
    law.justia.com › … › California CodeCalifornia Penal CodeCached
  4. A Critical Look at Janet Johnston’s Typology of Batterers by Lundy

    Janet Johnston’s work attempts to make this sort of clear demarcation, ….. A new, negative image of the other spouse is crystallized out of this desperate how batterers present in public, including some of the most dangerous. Johnston’s work may, in the aggregate, be contributing to the danger of the

The fact that sometimes people die, or suffer serious injuries, or kids are kidnapped and cut off with contact from the other parent, bypassers sometimes are hurt, and  property (houses, businesses) may get trashed in the process — is, I’d say, an “indicator” of “clear and present danger” to more than just those “intimate partners.”

But in Family Law and Civil Law La-La-Land, you couldn’t tell, in practice.

I keep general tabs on the local courtrooms or “family court services” areas in at least two counties in California.  Well, I’ve been in the system for years, also.  And I have noticed that the material even “Saying” the words “Domestic Violence” are becoming rarer and rarer.  They are replaced — even when distributed right next to a window whose title is “restraining orders,” with brochures published, for the most part (in one county) by the ubiquitous “AFCC” (see my blog, search term, or search the web) and/or Child Support Brochures, all aspects of parenting.  I.e., a marketing plug for the professionals in memberships of AFCC. 

In the other county, there were multiple brochures put out by the local State Bar.  The ONLY one (of same format) put out which said “Domestic Violence” on it was put out by a family-law section of this state bar.  By now, most of us should know that to become a certified (even) family law specialist doesn’t require much training at all in domestic violence, and less in child abuse issues, which overlap. …. 

In the social services office, at another address, again, a large (and well-populated!) room, as I usually do, I looked for materials on domestic violence.  There was ONE brochure, and the word is (FYI no longer “violence” but “Abuse.”  However the same group that put this very small brochure about “abuse” out (even though the nonprofit’s name contained the word “violence”) had a duplicate one more about parenting issues.

We have become a nation of family counselors and psychologists, judging by the courtrooms, and where the public funding is going.  Forget crminal prosecution for criminal acts — the line has blurred.

Into this, walks a woman whose case hit the Supreme Court, AND I notice that there was “STRONG DISSENT” that private citizens should actually take action to treat contempt of a court order as serious, in addition to an assault on a woman by a man after he’d already been reserved a restraining order.

Well, she’s right, and I think we just see where the Supreme Court considers the government/private citizen divide.

We might well wonder who switched the priorities from government — for whom citizens pay — serving the citizens, to the citizens serving the government.  Anyhow, continuing with this article……

Robertson appealed, arguing that any such charges against him were in violation of his plea agreement with the government, and could not be initiated by a private citizen. The Court of Appeals rejected that arguments, finding that the criminal contempt prosecution was brought as a private action and not in the “name and interest of the United States or any other governmental entity.”

In a case that garnered great interest from defense attorneys and those who work to fight domestic violence alike, the Supreme Court ultimately opted not to get involved, with a one-sentence opinion letting Watson’s victory stand and appearing to validate D.C. laws that allow victims to initiate such prosecutions regardless of plea agreements with the government.

In other words, there’s hope for actual consequences for violating court orders saying “Don’t Tread On Me!”  Good.

(please read rest of article, link above).

NOW, let’s take a look at that dissent, and WHY the Supreme Court doesn’t want to let go some of the power of the criminal sector to actually go towards its designated end, stopping crime, if a lowly WOMAN, and a Private Citizen, takes action to defend her rights to expect the courts and police and prisons (etc.) to defend her physical person…

Remember, “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.”  Which one of those comes first, and which one of those should we really leave up to a distant politician, legislator, or US Attorney’s Office to plea-bargain out?

I read on-line often enough of criminal sector complaints that women sometimes drop charges.  A lot of conferences and discussions takes place on those bad women for not participating in the prosecution.  There have been discussions on whether it’s appropriate to hold a WOMAN in contempt for NOT participating in being a witness, or in the prosecution of criminal level domestic violence.  In some of these cases, she is weighing what the system will (or in too many cases, WON’T) do against the safety of herself, and/or, her family members (kids or parents).  To fail to weigh this is to be flippant with human sacrifice — it bears weighing, this “life” thing….

Now a woman IS participating in the prosecution, and here’s the “STRONG DISSENT” from the highest court in the land:

Roberts’ 12-page dissent, joined by Justices Scalia, Kennedy and Sotomayor, strongly argues for the issue to be revisited.

“The terrifying force of the criminal justice system may only be brought to bear against an individual by society as a whole, through a prosecution brought on behalf of the government,” Roberts wrote, arguing that changing that concept gives rise to “unsettling questions” about defendant rights. “Our entire criminal justice system is premised on the notion that a criminal prosecution pits the government against the governed, not one private citizen against another. The ruling below is a startling repudiation of that basic understanding.”


Here is the dissent:

Per Curiam

NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the preliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested tonotify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Washington, D. C. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in order that corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.


No. 08–6261



[May 24, 2010]


ER CURIAM. The writ of certiorari is dismissed as improvidently granted.

It is so ordered.


In March 1999, Wykenna Watson was assaulted by her then-boyfriend, John Robertson. App. 40. Watson soughtand secured a civil protective order against Robertson, prohibiting him from approaching within 100 feet of her and from assaulting, threatening, harassing, physically abusing, or contacting her.


Id., at 20. At the same time, the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) was independently pursuing criminal charges against Robertson arising from the assault.

This puts her case in a situation that not all women get to — some of them (us, in my case) don’t even get the police, or DA’s office to start the criminal charges.  I wonder if this had been a family law case if it wouldn’t have been shunted to the local Family Law Facilitator’s Office before she knew what happened to her.  Did it involve a kickout, or was it closer to what society actually recognizes as wrong — assaulting a woman in public or about her business, rather than “behind closed doors.”???  In which case it’s easier to discredit.

On June 26, Robertson violated the protective order by again violently assaulting Watson. On July 8, he was indicted for the previous March incident; shortly thereafter, the USAO offered, and Robertson accepted, a plea agreement resolving those charges. Id., at 26–30. At the top of the boilerplate plea form, the Assistant U. S. Attorney added in longhand: “In exchange for Mr. Robertson’s plea of guilty to attempt[ed] aggravated assault, the gov’t agrees to: DISMISS the [remaining] charges[,] [and] [n]ot pursue any charges concerning an incident on 6-26-99.” Id., at 28.

i.e., Are such plea forms so common, there is a “boiler plate” for them.  But this Assistant U.S. Attorney went one farther and said, he’s not really a bad guy, he just was disturbed by the breakup of the relationship, and if he’ll make OUR job (if not her life) easier, we’ll let him off without the full punishment.


 The Superior Court accepted Robertson’s plea and sentenced him to 1 to 3 years’ imprisonment.

That there’s a lot.  Wonder what the quality of the first assault was.

Id., at 30, 46, 53. A few months later, Watson filed a motion to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against Robertson forviolating the civil protective order, based on the June 26 assault. See D. C. Code §16–1005(f) (2009 Supp.); D. C.Super. Ct. Domestic Violence Rule 12(d) (Lexis 2010); In re Robertson, 940 A. 2d 1050, 1053 (D. C. 2008). After a 2day bench trial, the court found Robertson guilty on three counts of criminal contempt and sentenced him to three consecutive 180-day terms of imprisonment, suspending execution of the last in favor of five years’ probation. The court also ordered Robertson to pay Watson roughly $10,000 in restitution. App. 2, 63–64. Robertson filed a motion to vacate the judgment, which the court denied. Id., at 1059–1060.

He said, “I don’t want to take responsibility for the assault.”

Robertson appealed. Criminal contempt prosecutions,he argued, “are between the public and the defendant,” and thus could “only be brought in the name of the relevant sovereign, . . . the United States.” Brief for Petitioner 8, 10 (quoting Brief for Appellant in No. 00–FM–1269 etc.

(D. C.), pp. 20–21, and 940 A. 2d, at 1057; internal quotation marks omitted). So viewed, the prosecution based on the June 26 incident could not be brought, because the plea agreement barred the “gov[ernment”  from pursuingany charges arising from that incident.

The Court of Appeals rejected Robertson’s arguments, in a two-step holding. Step one: “the criminal contempt prosecution in this case was conducted as a private action brought in the name and interest of Ms. Watson, not as a public action brought in the name and interest of theUnited States or any other governmental entity.” 940

A. 2d, at 1057–1058 (internal quotation marks and brackets omitted). Step two: because the criminal contempt prosecution was brought as an exercise of private power,that prosecution did not implicate a plea agreement that bound only the government.

And so forth.  This next paste is from the end of the dissent:

Allegorical depictions of the law frequently show a figure wielding a sword—the sword of justice, to be used to smite those who violate the criminal laws. Indeed, outside our own courthouse you will find a statue of more than 30 tons, Authority of Law, which portrays a male figure with such a sword.

{{para. added by blogger}} According to the sculptor, James Earle Fraser (who also designed the buffalo nickel), the figure sits “wait[ing] with concentrated attention, holding in his left hand the tablet of laws, backed by the sheathed sword, symbolic of enforcement through law.” Supreme Court of the United States, Office of the Curator, Contemplation of Justice and Authority of Law Information Sheet 2 (2009) (available in Clerk of Court’s case file).

A basic step in organizing a civilized society is to take that sword out of private hands and turn it over to an organized government, acting on behalf of all the people.

Indeed, “[t]he . . . power a man has in the state of nature is the power topunish the crimes committed against that law. [But this]he gives up when he joins [a] . . . political society, and incorporates into [a] commonwealth.” Locke, Second  Treatise, §128, at 64.The ruling below contravenes that fundamental proposition, and should not be allowed to stand. At the very least,we should do what we decided to do when we granted certiorari, and took the unusual step of rephrasing thequestion presented: answer it.

I respectfully dissent from the Court’s belated determination not to answer that question

As to that, I refer to the Declaration of Independence…. when highest officials in a state, or country, violate its own laws (with impunity) and retaliate against those who protest, we in a different context than the actual separation of either CHURCH & STATE, or — and I have done some homework on this — “PRIVATE MONEY” and the state. 

I’d have given a lot for any male figure with a weapon in his hand and the laws in the other hand.  But in the past 20 years, I’ve yet to find one willing to intervene between me and the male figure I married, who at times had weapons in his hands, and I assure you, there was no consideration of the laws, or upholding them, in context.  To this day, I wonder how life might’ve been different had I been “woman enough” to “man up” and fight back.  But as I was pregnant and a mother at the time, I had other considerations. . .

So, I have not examined this in detail, but am posting it as recent, and relevant.  I hope readership will consider it the article & the dissent, and those issues in more detail. 

When it’s “blown off” as a misdemeanor, or not take seriously, the overall standard of what’s acceptable — in our country (or locality) goes downhill.  It sends a message that this WILL be tolerated.  It’s OK to assault your girlfriend.

I’m a woman, and I’m a mom.  I had daughters, not sons.  I do NOT think it’s OK to assault one’s girlfriend, or boyfriend, and I know how hard it is to breakup from a “committed” relationship, although I must say, from the start, my own was a nightmare.

I also know where support is, and isn’t (mostly isn’t) in these matters.  DOn’t ask your pastor to stick up for you, or priest, in most cases.  Maybe on a short-term, but when it gets stuck in the courts?  Who’s going to help then?

  (dates to 1987, but old doctrines — especially Calvinist — die hard….)


Sexual and Family Violence: A Growing Issue for the Churches

by Lois Gehr Livezey

Dr. Livezey is assistant professor of Christian social ethics at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey. This article appeared in the Christian Century, October 28, 1987, p. 938. Copyright by the Christian Century Foundation and used by permission. Current articles and subscription information can be found at


www.christiancentury.org. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted & Winnie Brock

. . .

John Calvin wrote the following words to a battered woman seeking his counsel:

We have a special sympathy for poor women who are evilly and roughly treated by their husbands, because of the roughness and cruelty of the tyranny and captivity which is their lot. We do not find ourselves permitted by the Word of God, however, to advise a woman to leave her husband, except by force of necessity; and we do not understand this force to be operative when a husband behaves roughly and uses threats to his wife, nor even when he beats her, but when there is imminent peril to her life . . . [W]e . . . exhort her to bear with patience the cross which God has seen fit to place upon her; and meanwhile not to deviate from the duty which she has before God to please her husband, but to be faithful whatever happens [“Letter From Calvin to an Unknown Woman,” June 4, 1559, Calvini Opera, XVII, col. 539, in P. E. Hughes, editor, The Register of the Company of Pastors of Geneva in the Time of Calvin (Eerdmans, 1966) , pp. 344-345].

{{Let’s Get Honest comments: That’s all of this post for today, I provided the links, you do the legwork!}}

(Custodial) Parents Beware– Family Court, Child Support Services

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I  look at the brochures in the family courts, child support, and social service offices when I am in some of them.  Sometimes I make a special detour into the wonderful

“Family Court Services”

of my local courthouse, to find out whether the concept of domestic violence has disappeared from general use.  FYI, it has.  And where it shows up, it’s no longer called “violence” but “abuse” (that’s more PC).

However the word “Violence” attracts a lot of federal funding.  I know where a good deal of this goes — both now, and formerly (see this blog!).

A new “twist” on the Expert Conference-Talks is to “collaborate.”  While these groups (who are paid to run conferences, and set up websites — and institute after institute — after all, a guy (and a whole lot of white, conservative middle aged males are typically included) has to make a living, right? — want to hear the flavor of the month (which JUST HAPPENS to match federal grants programs with the same flavor names), the one voice they don’t want to hear is mine, or women like me.

For one, we don’t complete our sentences, and our websites (well, mine at least) aren’t as “tight” and colorful.  For another, some of us are just dang pissed off.

And some people put this flyer in the San Diego Family Courts.

Take a look!

San Diego Family Court Protests (Fall, 2009)

In late October 2009, one or more people distributed a large quantity of flyers inside the San Diego family law courts.

Reportedly they were stuffed in books, free magazines, and other literature in the courthouses.

The flyers protest the use of expensive professionals in child custody cases, in particular section 730 psychological evaluators.

Criticisms are also directed at minor’s counsel attorneys, exchange and visitation monitors, and consulting psychologists.

While this criticism is appropriate, it seems these people are unaware of federal policy recommending this, via Access Visitation funding…(search term on my blog, or search “required outcome”)

You can see a scanned PDF of the flyer.

The text of the protest flyer has also been posted on Courthouse Forum, one of the sites hosting discussions about the scandal. Some other web sites with related public discussions are:

Some of the discussions mention the courts sealing the Tadros v. Doyne case after it started to be discussed publicly. Perhaps the courts want to “protect privacy” or maybe simply cover up allegations of their misconduct. Whatever the case may be, you can read the text from this quote in case the link or discussion thread becomes unavailable:

DOYNE case leads to the accreditation of a CAT, as I recall.  However, the whole issue is turning courts into psychological dispensaries to the public, under duress.   The HHS department is set up along the lines of a prominent psychologist, Wade Horn, and with help from such heavyweights as David Blankenhorn (who receives/d grants to write “The Future of Marriage”) and so forth.  It’s not just at the courts level, or at the individual practitioners level.

Here’s the flyer (and see original link for more information on this):




Judges regularly order parents into Private Child Custody Evaluations and appoint a specific evaluator. Yet no one in the Court, including the Judge, verifies the education, credentials, training, or competence of the appointees. The Court deems itself “not responsible” for private sector practitioners, yet they make orders that force you to sign a contract and pay for what could only be called a “disservice” to your children. The evaluator then coerces you to sign a service agreement, medical releases, and other documents, when no legally binding contract existed prior to your signature being received. If the Court is allowed to make this kind of order, why is your signature required?

 But you will do this. You will do this because your lawyer (who probably told you it was a good idea and suggested an evaluator), the Judge, and the evaluator themselves will deem you “uncooperative” and imply that you will lose all custody of your children if you don’t.

 Parents, WE, AS CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY, have no right under the U.S. or California Constitutions to raise or even have contact with our own children.

FALSE, I say.  First of all, the Declaration of Independence talks about “inalienable rights” meaning — that the government is NOT our master, but our servant.

How this relationship was changed around through the tax system (which affects grants, which affect the courts and nearly every other aspect of life) is the topic of future posts.  I’m not a Constitutional expert.  But we know that family courts basically PER SE violate due process. 

Those in the business of the “Justice Factory” know this and will exploit your fear of losing your child to serve themselves and feed the mill.

Yes they do.  NOW, the question is, what can we do about this?  At this point (many years after our case entered, and still has stalled, in the family law system) is that we must boycott it entirely, one way or another.  It’s a large net, and trawling for fish. 

Either that, or continue to enter this slot-machine venue.  Keep pumping in quarters, but the house generally wins.

Regardless of these facts, the Judge will enter any report an appointee generates into your Court file under California Evidence Code §730, without verifying that the evaluator followed the legal procedures and/or complied with the orders they issued in your case. Once released to the court, you have no independent access the report you paid for.If you are ordered into a 730 Evaluation, your only chance at 50/50 custody is if:a) You are paying the “right” Family Law Attorney ($250+/hr.), and;b) You agree to pay for ½ the evaluation, in advance of the report….….which has no set limit as to how long it can take or how much the evaluator charges hourly. Evaluations can cost as much as $30,000 and you may be required to participate in more than one!!! As well, you may be “farmed out” to their partner marketed colleagues for “therapy”, “mediation”, “parenting coordination”, “supervised visitation”, “coaching” and a few other “services” these same people provide.THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A “COURT APPROVED” PRIVATE EVALUATOR – DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY HAVE BEEN TOLD* Please download PKT-036 at the link provided belowHOW THIS COULD HAVE HAPPENED?In 1992, the Federal Government enacted The Child Support Recovery Act. The States were at risk of having welfare funding cut. In response, California dismissed “Argos Minimum Child Support Standards Act of 1984”, in favor of “The California Child Support Guideline” (Family Code §§4050-4076). Child support was thereafter based on “time-share” rather than meeting the minimum needs of the child.

Non-custodial parents, previously disinterested in custody but ordered to pay child support or face criminal charges, flooded the Court seeking custody. Resources exhausted, the Court, in its infinite business sense, created measures allowing the “out-sourcing” of services at the parents’ expense.

Whoever this author is, the narration is PARTIALLY true.  The focus should not be only on those noncustodial parents (although there’s an element of truth in this).  The Child Support System is recruiting.  From there, grants administered BY OCSE are used to help tweak the system and the litigation, as described herein.  It’s NOT just a natural flooding from deadbeat Dads (or Moms) who don’t want to pay.

It’s recruiting.

For my witness, en route here today, I saw AGAIN, full-scale, HUGE posters at the main commuter train line (I have now seen them at at least 3 stations), you see them coming, going, while ON the platform waiting for an arriving train, and I saw another TWO today, HUGE, each of them at least (I’d say) 10 feet long by about 2 feet tall, and pasted at an angle behind a long bench where people could be waiting either for a taxi, a bus, or someone to get their car, inside the station.  They read, and I quote:




TURBOCOURT.COM  (and an 866, plus a logo, for the county’s child support agency).

The photo (I didn’t get a close look from the one across the platform) has a variety of kids (multicultural) together, and below it, one of two (white) kids in front of a suburban home.  This billboard was pasted in a VERY wealthy neighborhood.  Another one had a picture of what looks like a man’s wallet. 

There was no picture of any women, or child, needing child support…

I have another question:  why does it say do you PAY or RECEIVE (in that order) versus RECEIVE or PAY?  Answer:  It’s aiming at noncustodial parents.

Grants to States for Access and Visitation Programs (93.597)


(Formula Grants) FY 08 $10,000,000; FY 09 est $10,000,000; FY 10 est $12,000,000


93.597 Grants to States for Access and Visitation Programs

Federal Agency

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Office: Administration for Children and Families


Social Security Act, Title IV, Part D, Section 469B, Public Law 104-193.

Program Number


Last Known Status



To enable States to create programs which support and facilitate access and visitation by non-custodial parents with their children.

{{NOTE:  this does not work for mothers after custody-switch, that I’m aware of .  And I know lots of mothers who lost their kids to that switch..}}

 Activities may include mediation, counseling, education, development of parenting plans, visitation enforcement and development of guidelines for visitation and alternative custody arrangements.

Types of Assistance

Project Grants


Back to the SAN DIEGO FLYER text……

The Court enticed private practitioners by calling them “expert witnesses”, such that their “work product” was immune to lawsuit, under Evidence Code §730.

With HMO’s and PPO’s limiting payments to doctors for mental heath services that were not “medically necessary”, psychologists who formerly refused to be involved in the Court system, suddenly saw a “cash cow”. The public was now required to pay their full hourly rates for an indeterminate length of time, in hopes of continued, meaningful contact with their children.

 Such practitioners in the Golden State should be well-heeled, as the Terminator is now threatening to entirely Terminate CalWorks, and reduce mental health services (as paid for by federal grants) and in general, things that might help keep children and their families off the streets. 

To this day the Court takes no responsibility to ensure that the credentials, training and education of the 730 Evaluators they appoint meet the legal standards. Lorna Alksne, Supervising Judge of the Family Court, recently told Channel 10 News that it is the responsibility of the parents to verify credentials of an appointed evaluator.** In other words, they “scapegoat” their incompetence, corruption, and deliberate ignorance on you, at the cost of your home, your retirement, your children’s savings and college funds and most important, your child’s psychological, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing… 


“730’s”: Stephen Doyne, John C. Parker IV, William Dess, David Green, Lori Love, Russell Gold, Steven Sparta, Robert Simon, Yanon Volcani, Breffni Barrett, Neil Ribner, Linda Altes;Marketed Partners: Hannah’s House, Family Connections, Monika Konia, Penny Angel-Levy, William Eddy, Terrence Chucas, Dave Schulman, Margot Lewis….and more too numerous to list here.LINKS

 That’s all the time I have to flesh out that post. 

My Recommendation:

If your noncustodial parent is willing to cough it up for child support without any agency involvement, live with it or do without (for more, see Randijames.com).  If he (or the occasional she) is NOT willing to, then still maybe do without, because sooner or later such a person is going to find some unethical sorts to get his way, and we know where they live & thrive.

If you still don’t “get” this, check out this 1981 organization:

Evaluation of the Noncustodial Parent Services Project
Their QUICK LINKS exactly match federal program grants.  Take a look yourself.
Contract with Arapahoe County (Colorado)2008 – 2009

Project AbstractEvaluation of a program to utilize TANF funds to deliver services to noncustodial parents involved in child support enforcement.

  Employment Partnership Project
Child Support Division of the Texas Office of the Attorney General2003 – 2006

Project AbstractEvaluation of a project to test ways of helping noncustodial parents secure employment and pay child support through collaborations between the court, the child support agency and the workforce development board.

  Multi-Site Responsible Fatherhood Programs
Subcontract with Policy Studies Inc.Contract with Office of Child Support Enforcement

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

1999 – 2001

Project AbstractMulti-site evaluation of eight responsible fatherhood projects to assess various methods of outreach, client intake and service delivery to noncustodial parents in an effort to promote their financial and emotional participation in the lives of their children,

{{ROUGHLY TRANSLATED, give them legal help to get more custody and so reduce child support arrears.  This happened to me….}}

and to assess the effectiveness of a management information system developed to for use at the sites.

  Ford Responsible Fatherhood Programs
Ford Foundation1999 – 2001

Project AbstractFollow-up evaluation of client outcomes at eight responsible fatherhood programs, with special attention to employment, child support payments, and parent-child contact.

  The Colorado Fatherhood Initiative
Colorado Department of Human Services1997 – 2000

Project AbstractDevelopment and evaluation of services for unemployed and underemployed fathers in El Paso County aimed at increasing their financial and emotional involvement with their children.


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

May 14, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Monkeying with Mothers, Lovely (but motherless) Russian Orphans, and “Child Care Research Scholars”

with one comment


Mothers Day, the Day After: 

Articles that make you go “Hmm…..”

Let’s connect a few dots here. . . . .

We are going to look at Harry Harlowe, the man that made Monkey Mothers “noncustodial” and how & why he did this….  back in the 1970s….

I remember seeing photographs about this Maternal Deprivation study in (as I recall) a glossy publication called “The Family of Man.”  I looked at this book a lot growing up.  It emphasized the HUMAN aspect, including emotions…

The Steichen exhibit described in Wikipedia:

The Family of Man was a photography exhibition curated by Edward Steichen first shown in 1955 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

According to Steichen, the exhibition represented the ‘culmination of his career’. The 503 photos by 273 photographers in 68 countries were selected from almost 2 million pictures submitted by famous and unknown photographers.[1] These photos offer a striking snapshot of the human experience which lingers on birth, love, and joy, but also touches war, privation, illness and death. His intention was to prove visually the universality of human experience and photography’s role in its documentation.

The exhibit was turned into a book of the same name, containing an introduction by Carl Sandburg who was Steichen’s brother-in-law. The book was reproduced in a variety of formats (most popularly a pocket-sized volume) in the 1950s, and reprinted in large format for its 40th anniversary. It has sold more than 4 million copies.

The exhibition later travelled in several versions to 38 countries. More than 9 million people viewed the exhibit. The only surviving edition was presented to Luxembourg, the country of Steichen’s birth, and is on permanent display in Clervaux (50°03′15″N 6°01′49″E / 50.054246°N 6.03025°E / 50.054246; 6.03025Coordinates: 50°03′15″N 6°01′49″E / 50.054246°N 6.03025°E / 50.054246; 6.03025). In 2003 the Family of Man photographic collection was added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in recognition of its historical value. [2]

The exhibit elicits, among other things, compassion, empathy, and perhaps some understanding that we don’t all live the same, but we share common human emotions and challenges across the cultures.

BY CONTRAST, let’s take a closer look at what the U.S. (and other countries) have become, in their quest for categorizing, studying, and producing (on demand) these same human emotions.  First, let’s start with the primates, it’s a little more politically acceptable, at first….

(I cited “The Family of Man” for the opposite of this:)

The Pit of Despair (posted May 1st, 2010)

Someone forwarded the article to me.  One has to ask, why wasn’t the man who would do this to monkeys being psychoanalyzed, rather than the monkeys. Talk about “detachment” — on the part of the researcher.

The question I also ask is:   Who would FUND this kind of a study?  I mean, what is the profit of knowing how to scientifically CAUSE trauma, anti-social behaviors, and depression on the part of the experimented-upon population (here, primates).

And from under which rock did this type of (male) researcher crawl?  Because it makes my skin crawl….

Think about it. . . . .


A rhesus monkey infant in one of Harlow’s isolation chambers. The photograph was taken when the chamber door was raised for the first time after six months of total isolation.

Much of Harlow’s scientific career was spent studying maternal bonding, what he described as the “nature of love”.

Read on, and you might conclude, like me, that Harlow’s own childhood might have been a little maternal love deficient..  Did he have kids, and did he watch those kids with their mother???

These experiments involved rearing newborn monkeys with surrogate mothers, ranging from toweling covered cones to a machine that modeled abusive mothers by assaulting the baby monkeys with cold air or spikes. The point of the experiments was to pinpoint the basis of the mother-child relationship, namely whether the infant primarily sought food or affection. Harlow concluded it was the latter.

Note:  Why not give the infant both, and be done with it?

In 1971, Harlow’s wife died of cancer and he began to suffer from depression. He submitted to electro-shock treatment and returned to work but, as Lauren Slater writes, his colleagues noticed a difference in his demeanor. He abandoned his research into maternal attachment and developed an interest in isolation and depression.

Harlow’s first experiments involved isolating a monkey in a cage surrounded by steel walls with a small one-way mirror, so the experimenters could look in, but the monkey could not look out.

FYI, a good deal of the current family law system is designed in this manner. It’s not transparent.  You have to go looking to see what’s the gas in its tank, and it takes some time.  Just show up to be “demonstrated” upon, and you’re in for a rude awakening.  After a while, it’s damn hard to get all the way out.


The only connection the monkey had with the world was when the experimenters’ hands changed his bedding or delivered fresh water and food. Baby monkeys were placed in these boxes soon after birth; four were left for 30 days, four for six months, and four for a year.

After 30 days, the “total isolates,” as they were called, were found to be “enormously disturbed.” After being isolated for a year, they barely moved, did not explore or play, and were incapable of having sexual relations.

When placed with other monkeys for a daily play session, they were badly bullied. Two of them refused to eat and starved themselves to death.

Wow, that’s starting to sound like some of our current public school systems:  bullying, anorexia, and other behavioral problems….

 Harlow also wanted to test how isolation would affect parenting skills, but the isolates were unable to mate. Artificial insemination had not then been developed; instead, Harlow devised what he called a “rape rack,” to which the female isolates were tied in normal monkey mating posture.

A rape rack???  At about this point, perhaps the doctoral students should have suggested he try it first….

He found that, just as they were incapable of having sexual relations, they were also unable to parent their offspring, either abusing or neglecting them.

“Not even in our most devious dreams could we have designed a surrogate as evil as these real monkey mothers were,” he wrote.

With typical detachment.  The evil originated in him, and was forced onto the moneky mothers by repeated trauma, (including rape), torture and systematic intentional behavioral modification. Yet in his reports, he describes the monkeys, not himself, as if there was no correspondence between his treatment of them and their behavior. 

Today, as it pertains to human beings, we call this “domestic violence” (or should I say, “USED to call that”).

Having no social experience themselves, they were incapable of appropriate social interaction. One mother held her baby’s face to the floor and chewed off his feet and fingers. Another crushed her baby’s head. Most of them simply ignored their offspring.

These experiments showed Harlow what total and partial isolation did to developing monkeys, but he felt he had not captured the essence of depression, which he believed was characterized by feelings of loneliness, helplessness, and a sense of being trapped, or being “sunk in a well of despair,” he said.

He was PAID for this???
(This web page lists a lot of subtitles, and below the next excerpt, references).

The technical name for the new depression chamber was “vertical chamber apparatus,” though Harlow himself insisted on calling it the “pit of despair.” He had at first wanted to call it the “dungeon of despair,” and also used terms like “well of despair,” and “well of loneliness.” Blum writes that his colleagues tried to persuade him to not to use such descriptive terms, that a less visual name would be easier politically. Gene Sackett of the University of Washington in Seattle, one of Harlow’s doctoral students who went on to conduct additional deprivation studies, said, “He first wanted to call it a dungeon of despair. Can you imagine the reaction to that?”

Note, the doctoral student, here, was more concerned, apparently, about the REACTION to calling it what it was, than the actual doing of this. 

Again, think about it.

Most of the monkeys placed inside it were at least three months old and had already bonded with others. The point of the experiment was to break those bonds in order to create the symptoms of depression. The chamber was a small, metal, inverted pyramid, with slippery sides, slanting down to a point. The monkey was placed in the point. The opening was covered with mesh. The monkeys would spend the first day or two trying to climb up the slippery sides. After a few days, they gave up. Harlow wrote, “most subjects typically assume a hunched position in a corner of the bottom of the apparatus. One might presume at this point that they find their situation to be hopeless.”

Stephen J. Suomi, another of Harlow’s doctoral students, placed some monkeys in the chamber in 1970 for his PhD.

He wrote that he could find no monkey who had any defense against it. Even the happiest monkeys came out damaged. He concluded that even a happy, normal childhood was no defense against depression.

The experiments delivered what science writer Deborah Blum has called “common sense results”: that monkeys, very social animals in nature, when placed in isolation, emerge badly damaged, and that some recover and some do not.


The experiments were condemned, both at the time and later, from within the scientific community and elsewhere in academia. In 1974, American literary critic Wayne C. Booth wrote that, “Harry Harlow and his colleagues go on torturing their nonhuman primates decade after decade, invariably proving what we all knew in advance that social creatures can be destroyed by destroying their social ties.” He writes that Harlow made no mention of the criticism of the morality of his work.

Charles Snowdon, a junior member of the faculty at the time, who became head of psychology at Wisconsin, said that Harlow had himself been very depressed by his wife’s cancer. Snowdon was appalled by the design of the vertical chambers. He asked Suomi why they were using them, and Harlow replied, “Because that’s how it feels when you’re depressed.
Harlow’s colleagues and doctoral students also expressed concern. Sackett told Blum that, in his view, the animal liberation movement in the U.S. was born as a result of Harlow’s experiments.  


Thereby revealing his motivation.  He was working out his own (severe, I’d have to guess) psychological issues on helpless subjects.

MY point is,  he was also paid for doing this, and he had Ph.D’s working under him, too.  They were getting their doctorate degrees and learning how to abuse animals.  Tranferable later (if the outcry over animals got too loud) to the human behavioral sciences spheres….  Business is business….


Another of Harlow’s students, William Mason, who also conducted deprivation experiments elsewhere, said that Harlow “kept this going to the point where it was clear to many people that the work was really violating ordinary sensibilities, that anybody with respect for life or people would find this offensive. It’s as if he sat down and said, ‘I’m only going to be around another ten years. What I’d like to do, then, is leave a great big mess behind.’ If that was his aim, he did a perfect job.”




Leonard Rosenblum, who studied under Harlow, told Lauren Slater that Harlow enjoyed using shocking terms for his apparatus because “he always wanted to get a rise out of people.”




POINT.  … This study, years later, provokes indignation & outrage.  BUT, after that, it reminds me of where we are, these days, only using human subjects more and more overtly.  Think about it:  What was the funding behind those Harlowe experiments?  The federal income tax as distributed by which departments?  Or was it private money? 
  • Article Two:  

    Russia’s 700,000 Orphans

Russian Orphanage Offers Love, but Not Families  (The New York Times: posted & printed May 4th, 2010 )

. . .

MOSCOW — There is nothing dreary about Orphanage No. 11. It has rooms filled with enough dolls and trains and stuffed animals to make any child giggly. It has speech therapists and round-the-clock nurses and cooks who delight in covertly slipping a treat into a tiny hand. It has the feel of a place where love abounds.

What it does not have are many visits from potential parents.

Few of its children will ever be adopted — by Russians or foreigners. When they reach age 7 and are too old for this institution they will be shuttled to the next one, reflecting an entrenched system that is much better at warehousing children — and profiting from them — than finding them families.

The case of a Russian boy who returned alone to Moscow, sent back by his American adoptive mother, has focused intense attention on the pitfalls of international adoption.

But the outcry has obscured fundamental questions about why Russia has so many orphans and orphanages in the first place.

In recent days, senior Russian officials have begun to acknowledge how troubled their system is.

The chairwoman of the parliamentary committee on family and children, Yelena B. Mizulina, spotlighted what she said was a shocking statistic: Russia has more orphans now, 700,000, than at the end of World War II, when an estimated 25 million Soviet citizens were killed.

Ms. Mizulina noted that for all the complaints about the return of the boy, Artyom Savelyev, by his adoptive mother in Tennessee, Russia itself has plenty of experience with failed placements. She said 30,000 children in the last three years inside Russia were sent back to institutions by their adoptive, foster or guardianship families.

“Specialists call such a boom in returns a humanitarian catastrophe,” she said.

She reeled off more figures. The percentage of children who are designated orphans is four to five times higher in Russia than in Europe or the United States. Of those, 30 percent live in orphanages. Most of them are children who have been either given up by their parents or removed from dysfunctional homes by the authorities.

Now let’s review again:  What constitutes a “dysfunctional” home, and who decides what is dysfunctional?  Of those “dysfunctional home,” how did they get that label dysfunctional, and what, if any, role did the same government play in that “dysfunction.”

This is the land (isn’t it?) of “The Gulag Archipelago…”  You are either functional or you ain’t.


It’s a SYSTEM.  What caught my attention — the NYT is reporting on this “humanitarian catastrophe” as it occurs in Russia, not the ongoing one in the United States ….


  • Article Three:  

  • “Grant Opportunity:  Child Care Research Scholars:”

  • I believe I posted this around April 15th, also, so we know what noble causes those taxes are going towards.  Some doctoral students (who are obviously more important than mothers in the lives of little kids) can get from $30,000 — $50,000 to STUDY child care situations.  (Why else do you think there is the huge push for “supervised visitation” in the family law system?  To help families somehow? ???)

    Administration for Children and Families

    Child Care Research

    Child Care Research Scholars, 2007-2010


    Funds for Child Care Research Scholars grants are available to support dissertation research on child care policy issues in partnership with State Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) lead agencies.

    Since 2000, Congress has appropriated about $10 million per year of CCDF discretionary funds to be used for child care research and evaluation. These funds have supported projects that add to our knowledge about the efficacy of child care subsidy policies and programs in supporting employment and self-sufficiency outcomes for parents, and providing positive learning and school readiness outcomes for children. Previously funded Child Care Research Scholars have made significant contributions to the child care policy research field.

    To ensure that research is responsive to the changing needs of low-income families, partnerships between the graduate student, their mentor and the State CCDF lead agency are essential. This partnership ensures the research will be policy-relevant and is the foundation that fosters skills necessary to build the graduate student’s career trajectory of successful partnership-building and contributions to the policy and scientific communities.

    The specific goals of the Child Care Research Scholars grants are:

    1.  To directly support graduate students as a way of encouraging the conduct of child care policy research

    (and so forth…..)

    I’m so glad that federal funding is going to support graduate students and encourage them to enter the arena of “child care policy research,” rather than, say the mother-daughter (or -son) bond such that we might have fewer maternal deprivation, trauma, depression, and other symptomology as created by other institutions which BREAK Up the family at will, and for ulterior motives, usually the old one, the profit motive.

    NB:  Wasn’t that a feature of slavery?  The disintegration of the family, at will, by the masters, and farming out the kids to work, for no or low pay in unknown conditions, for the profit of — THE KIDS?  of SOCIETY? ??  of the PARENTS???

    I don’t THINK so..

    This google search shows that where these are being advertised are sites ending, primarily, in *.edu or *.gov, and some *.org.

    Posted on April 15, 2010 by Nancy Cruz

    The Early Ed Watch blog posted information on a new grant opportunity for graduate students focusing on child care policy issues. According to the post,

    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. 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.”


    Also advertised on this site, the “New America Foundation,”


    Click on link to see the cute puzzle graphic.  The “New America Foundation,”  has many “initiatives.”  I blogged earlier on the Conflict between (and among) Christians & Muslims in Nigeria, from this same foundation. 

    Here’s the foundation of the “OLD” America:

    HERE, by the way, is the purpose of Government as defined in the U.S. Declaration of Independence:

    “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness — That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among men.”


    The forces, and deeds, that changed the U.S.A. from a government BY PERMISSION of the people to a People ENSLAVED by the Government has a lot to do with the tax system, which is providing endless grants to study human subjects at will, and often enough without their informed consent.  And to separate mothers (and fathers) & children and raise up a generation to usher in the new utopia by forgetting the original foundations.

    The philosophical question of USA is NOT whether or not the Constitution was a “good idea” but to stop redefining who was, and who was not “Men.”  As a member of the gender that got the vote 2nd, I STILL prefer the usage “Men” to “Human,” which is a different point of view.  Wake up folks, unless you want the fringe groups who do NOT acknowledge non-WASPS and non-MALES, and whose specialty is distrust of the “other” (when it comes to religion, too) to co-opt the original principles. 

    here, by contrast, is the Greek mythological version of “equality”:

    Procrustes (proh-KRUS-teez)
    Procrustes was a host who adjusted his guests to their bed. Procrustes, whose name means “he who stretches”, was arguably the most interesting of Theseus’s challenges on the way to becoming a hero. He kept a house by the side of the road where he offered hospitality to passing strangers, who were invited in for a pleasant meal and a night’s rest in his very special bed. Procrustes described it as having the unique property that its length exactly matched whomsoever lay down upon it. What Procrustes didn’t volunteer was the method by which this “one-size-fits-all” was achieved, namely as soon as the guest lay down Procrustes went to work upon him, stretching him on the rack if he was too short for the bed and chopping off his legs if he was too long. Theseus turned the tables on Procrustes, fatally adjusting him to fit his own bed

    [edit] Procrustes in Greek Mythology

    In the Greek myth, Procrustes was a son of Poseidon with a stronghold on Mount Korydallos, on the sacred way between Athens and Eleusis. There, he had an iron bed in which he invited every passer-by to spend the night, and where he set to work on them with his smith’s hammer, to stretch them to fit. In later tellings, if the guest proved too tall, Procrustes would amputate the excess length; nobody ever fit the bed exactly because secretly Procrustes had two beds.[1] Procrustes continued his reign of terror until he was captured by Theseus, travelling to Athens along the sacred way, who “fitted” Procrustes to his own bed:

    “He killed Damastes, surnamed Procrustes, by compelling him to make his own body fit his bed, as he had been wont to do with those of strangers. And he did this in imitation of Heracles. For that hero punished those who offered him violence in the manner in which they had plotted to serve him.”[2]

    A Procrustean bed is an arbitrary standard to which exact conformity is forced.

    A Procrustean solution is the undesirable practice of tailoring data to fit its container or some other preconceived stricture. A common example from the business world is embodied in the notion that no résumé should exceed one page in length.

    A Procrustean solution in statistics, instead of finding the best fit line to a scatter plot of data, one first chooses the line one wants, then selects only the data that fits it, disregarding data that does not, so to “prove” some point. It is a form of rhetorical deception made to forward one set of interests at the expense of others. The unique goal of the Procrustean solution is not win-win, but rather that Procrustes wins and the other loses. In this case, the defeat of the opponent justifies the deceptive means.

    GET IT?  This is the Family Law System.  It ain’t what it pretends to be.

    Nor, any more is this country.

    I recommend we start looking at what those taxes are going for, as well as the tax structure itself.

    Start here:  It took me less than one day to (re) read this 1970 publication:

    Money, Bona Fide or Non-Bona Fide

    by Dr. Edward E Popp, D.D.S.Wisconsin Education Fund
    P.O. Box 321 • Port Washington
    Wisconsin 53074To my EdithCopyright © 1970 by Edward E. PoppMANUFACTURED IN


      Preface 7
    1. Some Useful Definitions 9
    2. Media Of Exchange 17
    3. Money Is A Document 31
    4. Media Of Exchange Used In The United States 42
    5. Borrowed Money As A Medium Of Exchange 52
    6. Value Of Money Or Purchasing Power Of Money 59
    7. How To Introduce Coins In A Country, Where No Money Exists 68
    8. Who, With Justice, Has The Right To Issue The Medium Of Exchange? 72
    9. How Much Media Of Exchange Should Be Issued? Who Should Determine The Amount? 78
    10. How To Make A Bona Fide Medium Of Exchange Acceptable 80
    11. Foreign Trade 90
    12. Inflation And Deflation 95
    13. Interest, Just And Unjust 104
    14. Conclusion 118


    May your Mothers and Fathers & Sons & Daughters prosper.

    And may you stop leaving your legacy to mediators, custody evaluators, litigators, and those who don’t teach this stuff to your kids.

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

    May 10, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Glenn’s Sack is STILL brimful of resentment towards Noncustodial Mothers, and plans to get even” with us through Legislature, child support offices, and plays the “poor men” (which he obviously isn’t) tune. As we approach Mother’s Day weekend.

    with 2 comments


    I am a Noncustodial mother who lost her children illegally coming up on 4 years ago because of California’s Failure to Enforce its own laws. 

    Readers. . . . . I am blowing off steam here, and the paragraphs may not be in order.  All things considered, I’m doing it OK, and society should be glad that — unlike the man I left years ago — I blow off steam with my fingers on a keyboard and not with my finger’s on someone else’s neck (etc.) as I experienced before finally filing for a domestic violence order with kickout.

    NOTE:  The prior post on Evan Stark, I do not agree totally with his perspective (after a re-read).  He is not addressing the primary issues, but simply reframing them.  In looking at the Glenn Sacks link to “Evan Stark,” I found no mention (at first look) of his name on the Glenn Sacks site.  Today’s post is in (irate) response to the hypocrisy of the blog about child abduction, on this site.

    I don’t know whether I’ll be too coherent (below), but I do know that I’ll say my piece, particularly as it’s not being heard in the courtroom, or other places.

    To expect mothers who can’t see their kids and who have been stuck in the court system for years to act “rationally” approaching this holiday — well, don’t expect too much of this. 

    I actually think that these holidays — MOST of them — and “awareness” months (or days) should just be boycotted.  It gives the general public ADHD while simply providing more business for Hallmark, and psychotherapists who handle whichever distraught parent doesn’t get to see his or her offspring.

    I[ll try again (better) another time.

    Readers also might be aware that I have no regular internet access, and have to put up first drafts on short timespans these days.

    I personally am emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally exhausted from another attempt to do something through the family law system.  On the bright side, going there didn’t provoke PTSD like it normally does…


    As I approach yet another Mothers’ Day weekend, realizing I am not going to likely see either of my children, and fully 10 years after separating from an abusive husband, who never spent a night in jail, even though the abuse lasted almost 10 years, and was at a felony level, causing serious injury as defined by law, and for which zero (0.00) compensation was ever received, I am coming up on over a year since I have seen my younger daughter by face, or heard her voice. 

    The last time I considered fleeing this area for my OWN safety (even though like many women I’ve lost everything to these systems, which endorse & reward criminal behavior, let alone simple sloth, while promising to do something remedy and relieve it) the other thing I’ve lost is my respect for authority in general.  I am honest in court and have enough self-restraint not to commit crimes, and realize that this means in this culture, I will not be allowed to contact, or transmit these sane values to my own offspring.

    How a woman handles this, I don’t know.  We have choices — dissociate, and not care?  Or care, and take the law into our own hands (which will likely just result in jail time or a total identity change meaning our lives just got cut in half, and whatever the first half was spent working towards, GOES), or we are continue to hurt and work, but forever changed.  The meaning of language changes.  The alienation towards major institutions — ALL of them — changes.  Speaking for myself, my desire to participate or even support any community which allows the widescale trafficking in children, and women, while loudly protesting it’s AGAINST this — is gone.

    My case:

    Prior to the last time I saw my daughter (2009), it was almost two years without visual contact.  The seven years prior to that, the father had generous weekly visitation, alternating holidays (and I gave him more) and two weeks in the summer. 

    The moment they were put in his care, I didn’t see either daughter on a single major holiday except one of them once, the first year nor did I get any summer vacation.  Within a year, the visitation was hammered down to one phone call a week, which I didn’t get consistently then, and do not get AT ALL now.  I requested in court that the children be required to call me, which was granted verbally, but didn’t make it into the court order (which the father was allowed to write).  So, the emotional abuse of not getting through continues to this date.

    During this first, critical year of separation from my children (right about as they hit puberty), I was able to talk myself into two local conferences by expert organizations in the field of domestic violence and child abuse.  NOTE:  I didn’t receive notice, mailing, and was not able to AFFORD attendance, but managed to get in anyhow. 

    During this first, critical year of separation, women continued — in the same city — to be stabbed, shot, in one case as I recall, burned, and in general drop like flies while trying to leave an abuser.  I ran into a triple homicide (police cars, TV cameras) one Thanksgiving evening, causing severe PTSD.  This also turned out to be family related.  The court, failing to answer my repeated requests it state a REASON for the custody switch, also failed to acknowledge that outside the courtroom I was being intimidated as well.

    Instead, they assigned another court personnel (who draws a salary, I’m sure) who MUST have walked by at least one of these domestic violence murders, high-profile, en route to my courtroom telling me to go fly a kite.

    I sought to ascertain the scope or practice from this children’s attorney, and (she) couldn’t give me one.  I communicated to her when my own daughter (who’d already been abducted) sent me a troubling email about another Amber Alert of a girl her age, and was ignored.  I faxed that the father had stalked me (and credible witness of this was in the court file) in response to my attempts to see my daughters, per the court order.  I received, in return, a scathing long-distance psychological analysis by a woman whose initials after her name read “Esq.” and not “L.C.S.W.,” although if they had, she’d still be more professional to at least MEET with me once, or show some evidence that the court file had been at least read through once.

    My court order says I am to see the children on Mother’s Day and their father on Father’s Day.  That hasn’t happened in approximately four years.  The court orders are unenforceable. 

    After my kids were stolen on an overnight visitation based on FALSE claims that I was an abduction risk, and several other facts not proved in any court, and because law enforcement simply refused to honor the existing physical custody order, I foolishly believed a Family Law Judge would have some interest in the facts of the case, and once those facts were compared with the law, would return my children both to this household and their schools.

    At the time of the abduction, the father was thousands of $$ behind in child support, which was set at a VERY minimal level.  The child support order itself was the first time this man was actually forced to support his own children without financially pimping me, i.e., I worked, took abuse, had my credit stolen, and lived in fear and half in and half out of a car (when a car was actually available) until finally, my life (then at risk) was spared by a CIVIL restraining order.  I knew nothing about criminal ones, although they would’ve been more appropriate.

    Two days ago, I cooled my heels for a morning in front of a judge who had been in the DA’s office during the years I was getting slapped around my own home, and during the year that my children were stolen. 

    I later looked up who he was (and the intermingling of family connections in this area).   I found out (and may write him, as our case isn’t going anywhere, and if it does, any court orders issued won’t be enforced before both kids turn 18) that by the time he got his first bachelor’s, I was getting ready to get my second.  I am beginning to tire of the “attitude” taken towards family court litigants once they get in there.

    Without a second thought, my matter was dropped and I was sent back to the self-help desk which had not helped me to start with, because I’d been unable to SAFELY serve this man. 

    FYI, Financial Devastation typically follows entry into the family law case.  I couldn’t afford service, was not allowed to serve by mail, and I no longer have associates willing to go there.  I sure as hell am not going anywhere near the father, who lives in another city, and particularly not without a vehicle (the original abduction resulted in lost work and — predictably over time — lost vehicle). 

    Thereafter, the same date as I sat in court a half day to receive 10 seconds of judge’s time, the father (who had been at least by PHONE informed of this case, and requested to come drop his divorce action, since he was stalking me and had in writing his intent to reclaim me — against my will – as his wife (having abandoned our children with his former mistress) continued to make phone calls, and waste more of my time. 

    This process is utterly exhausting, and NOT possible to work around.

    I cannot speak for all marriages, obviously, but in ours the difference in education was significant (I have two college degrees to his none) and the intent from the start of this marriage, rather than for us both to be elevated by working together, was to put me down lower than he already was.  It began, continued, and has continued like a total bulldozer, whirlwind, and I am thankful that at least all of us are still alive — all though there is one daughter I’ve had no contact with for a very long time.

    As we head into ANOTHER “Mother’s Day” weekend, probably a few more Moms and/or children will die, in punishment for confronting Dad about something, and Fathers & Families, ignoring this, will continue to advocate to further bury us alive financially, legally, and emotionally because — long ago and legally  — SOME of us second-class-female-gender-Moms said ENOUGH! and said it with court orders.

    Japan had it right folks — they understand that women are better mothers.  Men are too often in the habit of importing women for the purposes of babymaking (I’m not saying this is the current case) and then when the mother says NO, they have an issue.

    I think God had this one right too — for nine months, generally, we bond with growing life inside our bodies.  Once we give birth — or sometimes before — the battle is on for “whose kids are they” in our current environment. 

    Glenn Sacks, your Sack is full of hot air, and whatever God you worship, if there’s a just one around, He will sooner or later set it straight, I hope.  I long ago ceased hoping for balance in the courts OR from law enforcement, as they are so inbred it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference.  If any parent is so foolish as to think that this is where you go for anything other than to get fleeced, you deserve it

    The practice to get unwilling participants INTO the family law system against their will, and from there into mediation, which is by way of saying “Outcome Based Litigation” (i.e., no due process), is consolidating a restraining order with a divorce order.  She wants restraint, he files for divorce, and voila — she loses her kids, and ends up paying him.  Or else. 

    Now, people in the U.S. want to threaten the nation of Japan like it was a recalcitrant child.  Let’s remember in what country Hiroshima is, and in what country American Citizens with Japanese blood in their veins were rounded up and incarcerated several decades ago.  Decades later, this is discussed on public television stations, but at the time, it was another matter.

    Right now, we are rounding up noncustodial mothers who said NO! to their husbands, and when the law didn’t protect them, they took it upon themselves to protect their own kids.  The SPIN that we are all lying (based on our female gender), and that somehow the odds need to be evened towards fathers is the same mentality that said Japanese Americans are  a risk to our nation, and need to lose THEIR homes, businesses, and in some cases, childhoods til it gets figured out.  Racial profiling, Gender profiling — what’s the diff? 

    MANY women fail to realize how deeply the OCSE (Child Support System) is involved in the fatherhood movement.  Glenn here is at least honest enough to say it up front.  Here’s the quote, from the site:

    Fathers & Families has an ambitious legislative agenda and has helped pass family court reform legislation in over two dozen states. Below are updates on Fathers & Families’ current legislative projects. To learn more about our legislative and other achievements, click here.


    Child Custody Reform Bill AB 2416 Passes Assembly by Unanimous Consent, Moves to Senate

    F & F Introduces 5th CA. Family Court Reform Bill—SB 1188 

    F & F Helps Amend CA. SB 1266 to Include Both Mothers and Fathers

    F & F Introduces 4 Family Court Reform Bills into California Legislature

    F & F serves on Department of Child Support Services Programs Workgroup, the only advocacy group included {{Note:  the only link not to be a hyperlink, here…}

    The last time I ran into a mother who’d been deprived of her children and was stuck in the family law court was this MORNING.  For 14 years, she’s been involved in this.

    WHO is stupid enough to think that this is going to help a child or adult, to keep the litigation going for so long?

    That is, other than those whose livelihood is IN the courts….

    They are recruiting fathers from child support office, and from prisons, to get free legal help to reduce arrears.  “Poor Fathers…”

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Liz Richards ~ http://www.nafcj.net ~ out of Anandale Virginia has documented this and has been blogging the connections for over 15 years.  I took the time to research her statements, and have found them to be accurate.  The paths are clear, if you delete the “spin” and simply look at the federal funding, and see how far-thinking were some of the corporations that positioned themselves to keep “researching” the problems” (without ever solving them or, that I can tell, saving a single life) on the public taxpayer dole.

    I started this site to continue posting links and some studies to follow that money trail for those who choose to.

    The more I read, the more radical I became.  In the meantime, I quit churches, on the basis that enough is enough of USING women, and SILENCE on domestic violence.  I tell women to avoid the child support trap — and beware its gifts.  If you get there by receiving cash aid after support, you have just signed over your rights to advocate YOURSELF on child support.

    I also say, forget it on restraining orders and (a) leave and (b) take a self-defense class, and take it SERIOUSLY.  A restraining order is just going to piss off your ex, and Glenn Sacks & Company, and fact is, they right now have more powerful access to media and government than you do.  If you doubt me, look at the makeup of the U.S. Congress. 

    Do you think that the VAWA and Statewide Coalitions and other groups are going to help you?  Victims of Crime compensation?  For lost income, lost teeth, medical reimbursement for counseling and so forth?  If you are such a Mom who was so helped, please add your comment (and identifying information, if safe to do so) HERE.  I wasn’t. 

    So here it is on Child Abduction. Hypocrites!   Listen to an employed businessman, apparently (it’s a *.com site, right?) with postings by a lawyer, and Fathers & Family advocating in the Child Support Agency (like it wasn’t already heavily biased towards minimizing child support for fathers, and switching custody when the come into the offices for help), piping up for a pity party that it’s too easy to get a restraining order, and that child abduction prevention orders are not being inforced…

    If I could spit on screen, I would.  Women who DO comply with court orders are going to lose in this venue.  Men who don’t will be rewarded.

    FL Passes Law Against Parental Child Abduction – Or Does It?

    May 7th, 2010 by Robert Franklin, Esq.

    This article tells us that the Florida Legislature has recently passed, with no ‘nay’ votes, a bill entitled the “Child Abduction Prevention Act.” (Capitol Soup, 4/22/10). The governor is expected to sign it. Here’s a link to the amended bill. It’s a pretty serious bill. The legislators look like they’re intent on preventing parental child abduction out of Florida to another state or to a foreign country.

    {{Well, that’s less business for Florida, right?}}

    So they’ve given judges the power to issue orders prohibiting a parent leaving the jurisdiction, requiring parents who seem to pose a risk of abduction to post bonds, requiring them to turn over children’s passports, notifying U.S. passport authorities of the order against the parent, refusing permission to travel to any country that’s not a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction, and more.

    Of course the judge has to hold a hearing and receive evidence that suggests that one parent may be about to flee the jurisdiction.

    Not in my state (same general wording in the bill) they don’t.  All that was needed was for law enforcement officers to threaten to call in CPS if I didn’t cede my children to the father, whose residence at this time was unidentified, who had a habitual pattern of repeatedly violating all court orders, which this station knew of, and when these law enforcement officers had in front of them a court order NOT 24 HOURS OLD — DENYING him his request for immediate ex parte total removal of my daughters on the basis that I (and not he) was the abduction risk. 

    When I requested that if these officers were GOING to allow my ex to actually commit felony child-stealing (which I later learned was the description) they would — right now — issue a report that he was at a minimum violating my sole physical custody order.  They mocked me and refused, and taunted me that they would issue this — many weeks later. 

    This provoked a crisis requiring us to go to mediation.  I was in shock and trauma over this, UTTERLY devastated that this could happen.  The same mediator that ignored (totally) the original domestic violence order was my only option, or fail to get to court because no other mediator was available.  He was required — by rules of court — to provide me an intake form.  He skipped it this time, no intake form was provided.  Each of the two prior times I had (truthfully) related the former violence and the current situations. It’d been several years, and the form had been updated to include, as a “check mark” “CHILD-STEALING.”

    LOOK:  Is it a felony or is it a check mark on a mediator’s intake form? 

    Either way, I received no intake form and was asked by this jerk how was my “relationship” with my kids.  I repeated, several times, my children are MIA, they have been stolen by their father, and I do not know where they are.  He then, doltish, asked me if they were in school.  I repeated, they are not in the school I just enrolled them in, they are truant, and I DO NOT KNOW WHERE THEY ARE AND CANNOT REACH THEM BY PHONE.  THEIR FATHER AND GIRLFRIEND HAVE TAKEN AND CONCEALED THEM. 

    We go to court.  The theft provokes a hearing.  The hearing provokes BUSINESS for a family lawyer, obviously, as the mother, I’m going to hire someone to get my kids back.  That’s how it works, folks….

    At the hearing, the mediator, ignoring the felony child-stealing, ignoring (which is on the record) that I actually qualified, if I myself had done this, as a domestic violence victim, having had a prior restraining order, and ignoring that for three weeks these children for the first time in their lives had no contact with their mother (something that had never been done to their father).  He produces a report — which I obviously wasn’t given before the hearing, nor was my attorney — containing lies and material factual error, and ignoring the crime.    My attorney, quick on his feet, requests the court to provide the LEGAL and FACTUAL basis for switching custody, which it is required to do by law.

    The judge complains about this request (that she comply with custody laws in our state) and, complaining, sets the matter for a short trial to find out what happened (although what happened is already obvious).  The father, now with control, proceeds to violate even more court orders than before, and in essence, this is about the last time I see my children, even though they live not too far away.  When I protest and try to seek enforcement of the drastically reduced court order (less visitation than he had even immediately after being thrown out of our home), I am personally threatened by stalking, plus continued arguing, by the father of our daughters.  Whose employment, at this time, is (while I’m at it) under the table. 

    The same child support agency that stalled — for a few years, when I sought its help — acted quickly — within a month — to terminate all current arrears, and continued (for 12 months) to deliberately stall and fail to file a seek work order on my recalcitrant mate, meaning, I went quickly into poverty, as did the children (they ended up receiving NO child support, as I lost my profession over this, and their father was already failing to work at his in order to punish me for seeking standards, and leaving him….). 

    Thereafter, in the family law venue, per the law, the judge is require

    That evidence includes not having secure ties to the community, not having financial interests in the community, obtaining passports, selling a residence, etc. And no one pretends that the law will prevent all child abductions by parents.

    The Sean Goldman kidnapping is a good example.

    There, the mother said she was taking the boy to visit her relatives in Brazil and never returned. Nothing in the Florida bill would have prevented that from happening, even if Goldman had lived in that state. Still, there are things legislation can accomplish and things it can’t, and, reading the bill, it’s clear that the lawmakers are trying to put teeth into the new law. They’re doing what they can to prevent parents from depriving their exes of contact via abduction. Until, that is, they get to subsection 7 (b) on page nine. At that point, the elected representatives of the People carve out an exception through which one could fly a 747 en route to Japan. Although you can guess what it is, here’s the language:

    This section, including the requirement to post a bond or other security, does not apply to a parent who, in a proceeding to order or modify a parenting plan or time-sharing schedule, is determined by the court to be a victim of an act of domestic violence or provides the court with reasonable cause to believe that he or she is about to become the victim of an act of domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28.

    An injunction for protection against domestic violence issued pursuant to s. 741.30 for a parent as the petitioner which is in effect at the time of the court proceeding shall be one means of demonstrating sufficient evidence that the parent is a victim of domestic violence or is about to become the victim of an act of domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28, and shall exempt the parent from this section, including the requirement to post a bond or other security. So if a parent has “reasonable cause” to believe that “he or she” is about to become a victim of DV, “he or she” can abduct the kids to any location desired, including any non-Hague Convention country. Once there, as we’ve seen in Paul Toland and Christopher Savoie’s cases, the kids might as well be on the dark side of the moon for all the contact dad will have with them. Significantly, all a litigant needs to show to a judge is that an injunction has issued against DV. Recall that I recently posted a piece on the process for getting a TRO in Florida. The “how to” website I linked to pronounced getting a TRO “easy,” and that looked to me like an accurate description. Just toddle down to the courthouse, ask the clerk to give you a form, fill it out, have it notarized and Presto!, there’s your TRO. No muss, no fuss, no evidence, no judge and no troublesome opposing party. We know that a domestic violence TRO need neither allege nor prove that any form of actual violence has ever occurred. If the person requesting the order fears that it will, the TRO will issue. That’s true of an injunction against DV too; fear of DV is sufficient. So what we have is this: any parent who wants to abscond with the kids can do so based on his/her ability to convince a judge of their belief that DV may occur. Given that the vast majoriy of DV TROs are issued to women, and that judges almost invariably “err on the side of caution” it’s beginning to look like Florida moms at least will have little to worry about from the “Child Abduction Prevention Act.” Thanks to Barbara for the heads-up.

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

    May 7, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Who is Evan Stark?

    with 7 comments

    THINKING makes me happy, and this is what I am thinking about after hearing that another Ph.D. has got my story right, in:

    Coercive Control: How Men Entrap Women in Personal Life

    as posted by “ANGELFURY” on:

    Battered Mothers-A Human Rights Issue

    which was obtained, I gather, from “theLizLibrary” which many of us are familiar with.

    THIS bit is MY Commentary:

    I expect the tongue-in-cheek aspect may not come through in print; assume it’s there….

    Women are “always” being interpreted by men, and the ubiquitous assumption that, because we are women, or because we are in the family law system, or because we actually reported violence, sought restraining orders, or want to report that our children are being hurt or compromised in one way or another — we just cannot get our own stories straight, did not mean what we said, and need someone with a Ph.D. to interpret it for us into psycho-social-jargon that strips the genuine emotion (and identifiable detail) out of it. For example:

    What kind of rational reasoning would say, in defiance of all known biology, that a full-grown woman came out of a man’s side after the Lord put him under, and that while she waited (presumably fully conscious and capable of speech) after he regained consciousness, and seeing as he had already named all the animals, she waited until he came to himself, after which he figured out a name for Her (and not vice versa), i.e., “WOE-Man.”

    Her primary sin, from what I can tell in reviewing Genesis, was (1) listening to someone outside her husband (i.e., seeking a 2nd opinon) and (2) combining the act of speaking and thinking independently.

    Atheists like to mock those who believe this account, but look at the same brilliant logic when it comes to childbirth:

    Well, today, there’s Caesarians and hysterectomies and the concept that childbirth is a horrible and unnatural experience better endured while unconscious and with the aid of a scalpel and without the aid of, say, gravity! Guess which gender thought THAT process up! And how long did it take to figure out that the doctors ought to wash their hands between patients– somewhere in the early 1900s? ???

    The brilliance of it is the sheer irrationality of it. The only way it can be grasped is by faith, either thesis.

    Now let’s talk about women who have given birth to children, which you have to admit takes SOME persistence in life, come into the courtroom. And suddenly, we are supposed to turn speechless again, and unable to say what we mean:

    “HELLO, I’m an adult, and this is what EX (with the Y chromosome) did on mm/dd/yy in violation of court order ##-#####. This action, from what I understand of the Penal Code, was indeed a felony, that action, a misdemeanor, that a clearly intentional violation of an existing court order, and the last time we were in court, THESE rules of court and in THAT manner, my right to due process was violated, resulting in THIS waste of our time.

    “Let’s remember, Your Honor, that you are on a payroll and I, in this courtroom, am not.

    (And so forth)….

    That woman has a bad attitude, and needs to be put in her non-expert, non-Ph.D’d place (even if she has a Ph.D.), WE know she has an ulterior motive….

    What about, for once, some restraints, judges (etc.) on your treatment of ME in this courtroom? You know how friggin’ long it took me to figure out where those rules of court were that were violated the last time we were in court? You know what my billable $$/hour is, that I spent looking that up, which could’ve been spent “parenting” or, say, working? ??

    I’m getting a crash court in the United States Government, broken law by broken law, and civil rights violation by civil rights violation. By the time I hit retirement age, I will have probably qualified to pass my state Bar, but obviously unless I actually DO that, what I say will not be taken seriously, because of my gender, or because we are in the family law venue…

    Just because I’m in this courtroom seeking those laws, or your rules of court, to be enforced, or because one of those prior court orders was just flat-out ignored, doesn’t mean I don’t mean what I’m saying, or have some nasty hidden motive for reporting what I have seen and experienced to those who say they care about these issues. Speak for yourself!

    Or someone whose livelihood depends on an ongoing stream of adults and children unable to speak for themselves, in other words, those hired by the courts to reframe our truths into ITS perspective.

    Add to this, people who want access to the “fruit of our wombs”, have a perspective that differs from, say, those who own the wombs.

    Add to this, the second partners of the divorcing or separating partners want to just “get on” with THEIR relationship too, let’s accept, and as such, to totally discredit (or eliminate) the former partner — of the same gender — is in some senses, understandable biologically. That is, if we are all to reduce our behavior to worse, from what I can tell, then a pack of dogs, who eventually figure out a pecking order unless there is a hominid around who’s breeding canines to fight in order to place bets on which dog will kill the other first… Men who do that to dogs suffer worse penalties and social shunning than men who do the similar thing to women and children.

    And a dog is NOT a man’s best friend. ….. Although they can be very friendly and fulfil many other roles in life.

    To add to this, people who apparently believe that the social sciences hold the answer to life’s problems, and that just some more funding will really help the experts to collaborate until they all agree . . . . . and that if only enough experts agree (and have access to the use of force to elicit “agreement” from their subject matter), that this foolish plague of religion and human fallibility can be wiped clean from the earth.

    The experts are likely to totally agree when, either one club totally dominates all the other clubs (i.e., professional memberships). We already tried that with “religion,” and the wars, last I looked, still continue……

    ANYHOW, so when someone male with a Ph.D. or who is published seems to “get” what “coercive control” IS, my mind is curious, say, who IS that dude?

    Well, for one he’s a dude who has a business, and has published some books:

    He’s a Dude that Glenn Sacks is blogging:

    Evan Stark – GlennSacks.com

    Glenn Sacks is a men’s and fathers’ issues columnist, radio commentator, and blogger.
    He’s got connections with Rutgers:

    Faculty/Staff Detail

    Evan Stark, PhD, MA, MSW

    Chair, Department of Urban Health Administration

    Primary Affil: Rutgers University-School of Public Affairs & Administration, Professor and MPH Program Director
    SPH Department: Urban Health Administration
    Units: N/A
    Campus: Newark
    Building: Hill Hall
    Room: 722
    Phone: 973.353.5093
    Fax: 973.353.5907
    Email: eds203@juno.com


    PhD, 1984, State University of New York
    MA, 1967, University of Wisconsin
    MSW, 1991, Fordham University

    Global Public Health Experience:


    Research Interests:

    Health Management; Organizational Development; Violence and Health Policy

    And he’s a middle-aged? white guy…

    OK, here’s what he wrote. Seeing as we are approaching Mother’s Day, how appropriate to let a man say it for us….

    NEW Coercive Control: Review by Diane Post clip_image002 Despite its great achievements, the domestic violence revolution is stalled, Evan Stark argues, a provocative conclusion he documents by showing that interventions have failed to improve womens long-term safety in relationships or to hold perpetrators accountable.

    Stark traces this failure to a startling paradox, that the singular focus on violence against women masks an even more devastating reality. In millions of abusive relationships, men use a largely unidentified form of subjugation that more closely resembles kidnapping or indentured servitude than assault. He calls this pattern coercive control. Drawing on sources that range from FBI statistics and film to dozens of actual cases from his thirty years of experience as an award-winning researcher, advocate, and forensic expert, Stark shows in terrifying detail how men can use coercive control to extend their dominance over time and through social space in ways that subvert womens autonomy, isolate them, and infiltrate the most intimate corners of their lives.

    Against this backdrop, Stark analyzes the cases of three women tried for crimes committed in the context of abuse, showing that their reactions are only intelligible when they are reframed as victims of coercive control rather than as battered wives. The story of physical and sexual violence against women has been told often.

    But this is the first book to show that most abused women who seek help do so because their rights and liberties have been jeopardized, not because they have been injured. The coercive control model Stark develops resolves three of the most perplexing challenges posed by abuse: why these relationships endure, why abused women develop a profile of problems seen among no other group of assault victims, and why the legal system has failed to win them justice.

    Elevating coercive control from a second-class misdemeanor to a human rights violation, Stark explains why law, policy, and advocacy must shift its focus to emphasize how coercive control jeopardizes womens freedom in everyday life. Fiercely argued and eminently readable, Starks work is certain to breathe new life into the domestic violence revolution.

    More comments on-line here by the author, Dr. Stark.

    clip_image003 Coercive control is a model of abuse that attempts to encompass the range of strategies employed to dominate individual women in personal life. Alternately referred to as coerced persuasion; conjugal, patriarchal or intimate terrorism; emotional or psychological abuse; indirect abuse; or emotional torture, it describes an ongoing pattern of sexual mastery by which abusive partners, almost exclusively males, interweave repeated physical abuse with three equally important tactics: intimidation, isolation, and control.

    The easiest way to understand coercive control is to contrast it to the widespread equation of partner abuse with “domestic violence.” Domestic violence laws and most research in the field take an incident-specific focus and weigh the severity of abuse by the level of force used or injury inflicted what I call a “calculus of harms.” In marked contrast, the coercive control model relies on evidence that most battered women who seek help experience coercion as “ongoing” rather than as merely “repeated” and that the main marker of these assaults is their frequency or even their “routine” nature rather than their severity, a fact that gives abuse a “cumulative” effect found in no other assault crime. Physical harm and psychological trauma remain important in the coercive control model. But its theory of harms replaces the violation of physical integrity with an emphasis on violations of “liberty” that entail the deprivation of rights and resources essential to personhood and citizenship. In this view, the psychological language of victimization and dependence is replaced by the political language of domination, resistance, and subordination. . In the coercive control model, what men do to women is less important than what they prevent women from doing for themselves.

    In the forensic context where I work, women’s right to use whatever means are available to liberate themselves from coercive control derives from the right afforded to all persons to free themselves from tyranny not from the proximate physical or psychological means used to do this

    The domestic violence model emphasizes the familial, cultural, interpersonal and psychological roots of abusive behavior. The coercive control model views the dynamics in abusive relationships from the vantage of the historical struggle for women’s liberation and men’s efforts to preserve their traditional privileges in personal life in the face of this struggle. The incredible strides women have made towards full equality, particularly since the l960’s, have been widely documented. These gains make it increasingly difficult for men to ensure women’s obedience and dependence through violence alone. In the face of this reality, millions of men have expanded their oppressive repertoire to include a range of constraints on women’s autonomy formerly imposed by law, religion, and women’s exclusion from the economic, cultural and political mainstream, in essence trying to construct a “patriarchy in miniature” in each individual relationship, the course of malevolent conduct known as coercive control. Although the aim of this conspicuous form of subjugation is to quash, offset or coopt women’s social gains (taking the money they earn, for instance), this strategy relies for success on the persistent inequalities based on sex that remain, including the huge gap in job opportunities and earnings that continues to advantage men.

    Coercive control shares general elements with other capture or course-of-conduct crimes such as kidnapping, stalking, and harassment, including the facts that it is ongoing and its perpetrators use various means to hurt, humiliate, intimidate, exploit, isolate, and dominate their victims. Like hostages, victims of coercive control are frequently deprived of money, food, access to communication or transportation, and other survival resources even as they are cut off from family, friends, and other supports through the process of “isolation.” But unlike other capture crimes, coercive control is personalized, extends through social space as well as over time, and is gendered in that it relies for its impact on women’s vulnerability as women due to sexual inequality. Another difference is its aim. Men deploy coercive control to secure privileges that involve the use of time, control over material resources, access to sex, and personal service. A main means men use to establish control is the microregulation of everyday behaviors associated with stereotypic female roles, such as how women dress, cook, clean, socialize, care for their children, or perform sexually. These dynamics give coercive control a role in sexual politics that distinguishes it from all other crimes.

    The coercive control framework does not downplay women’s own use of violence either in fights or to hurt or control men or same-sex partners. Numerous studies in the United States indicate that women of all ages assault male and female partners in large numbers and for many of the same reasons and with much the same consequences as men. However, there is no counterpart in men’s lives to women’s entrapment by men in personal life due to coercive control.

    The Origins of the Coercive Control Model

    The coercive control model reflects two concurrent realities, that the domestic violence is stalled and that our current predicament can be traced to the gap that separates how abuse is understood and the actual experiences of battered women with abusive men.

    Nothing in the coercive control model is meant to discount the enormous gains achieved by the domestic violence revolution since we opened the first battered women’s shelters in the l970’s. Nor, as some critics of our movement have argued, do I want to turn back the clock by retreating from the important protections we have won for women in the legal, criminal justice, health or mental health arenas. Hundreds of thousands of women and children owe the fact that they are alive to the availability of shelters and to criminal justice and legal reforms. What is less clear is whether women as a group are safer today or are less likely to be beaten, controlled, or killed by their partners than they were before the domestic violence revolution began.

    Partner violence against women is no longer just life. But anyone with reasonable sympathies and a passing acquaintance with interventions to stem men’s abuse of woman will sense the failure of a range of systems to mount an adequate response, the justice system included. Among the most dramatic facts are these:

    • Partner homicides have dropped precipitously. But this change has benefited men far more than women. The number of men killed by female partners has dropped dramatically since we opened the first shelters, particularly among blacks. But the number of women killed by male partners has changed very little. While severe violence by men against women has dropped, the so-called “minor” violence that makes up the infrastructure of coercive control has increased sharply. Women as a group are not appreciably safer today than when the domestic violence revolution began.

    • Though domestic violence is an ongoing crime and is almost always complemented by acts of intimidation, humiliation, isolation and control, in most communities abuse is treated as a second-class misdemeanor. While victims repeatedly insist that “violence isn’t the worst part” and mounting evidence points to structural constraints on independence and personhood as the most devastating aspects of abuse, these dimensions remain officially invisible. Millions of men may be arrested each year for domestic violence. But the chance that a perpetrator will go to jail in any given incident is just slightly better than the chance of winning a lottery.

    • Batterer intervention programs (BIPs) are widely offered as an alternative to incarceration. But these programs are little more effective than doing nothing at all. Regardless of intervention, the vast majority of perpetrators continue their abuse.

    • Shelters are the core response to abused women and so they should remain. But in hundreds of communities, shelters today are indistinguishable from the traditional, paternalistic service system they arose to challenge.

    . Perhaps the key fact is that the domestic violence revolution appears to have had little or no effect on coercive control, the pattern evidence shows characterizes between 60-80% of the relationships for which women seek outside assistance. Refocusing on coercive control would be a giant step toward changing this situation. The domestic violence movement began with a vision, to provide women worldwide with a safety net that protected them against harm in personal life. Such a net is in place in most countries. But long-term protection still eludes us.

    The limits of current interventions can be directly traced to a failure of vision, not of nerve. Conservatives attack the advocacy movement for exaggerating the nature and extent of abuse. In fact, because of its singular emphasis on physical violence, the prevailing model minimizes both the extent of women’s entrapment by male partners in personal life and its consequences.

    Viewing woman abuse through the prism of the incident-specific and injury-based definition of violence has concealed its major components, dynamics, and effects, including the fact that it is neither “domestic” nor primarily about “violence.” Failure to appreciate the multidimensionality of oppression in personal life has been disastrous for abuse victims. Regardless of its chronic nature, courts treat each abuse incident they see as a first offense. Because well over 95% of these incidents are minor, in that the physical assault involved is not injurious, almost no one goes to jail. In custody or divorce cases, because abuse is framed as incident specific or as only involving injurious violence, when women or children present with claims based on the ongoing, multidimensional and cumulative nature of abuse, these are often treated as fabricated. Worse, a protective mother may be blamed when her expressed level of concern or fear is at odds with evidence of assault: in the dependency court, her children may be placed in foster care; in family court, she is alleged to be engaged in alienating her children from the “good enough father.” As calls to the police or visits to the emergency room are repeated over time, the helping response becomes more perfunctory and may actually contribute to making abuse routine, a process called normalization.

    Coercive Control

    The coercive control model is built on earlier work that has remained marginal to mainstream intervention, a mountain of data that contradicts every major tenet of the domestic violence model; and a growing body of literature documenting the prevalence of tactics to isolate, intimidate and control women in abusive relationships. But its major source is the real-life experiences of perpetrators and victims of abuse

    As I’ve suggested, the most important anomalous evidence indicates that violence in abusive relationships is ongoing rather than episodic, that its effects are cumulative rather than incident-specific, and that the harms it causes are more readily explained by these factors than by its severity. Among these harms, the dominant approach identifies two for which it fails to adequately account, the entrapment of victims in relationships where ongoing abuse is virtually inevitable, and the development of a problem profile that distinguishes abused women from every other class of assault victim. The prevailing view is that women stay and develop a range of mental health and behavioral problems because exposure to severe violence induces trauma-related syndromes, such as PTSD or BWS that can disable a woman’s capacity to cope or escape. In fact, however, only a small proportion of abuse victims evidence these syndromes. Most victims of abuse do not develop significant psychological or behavioral problems. Abused women exhibit a range of problems that are unrelated to trauma, the vast majority of assault incidents are too minor to induce trauma, and abuse victims can be entrapped even in the absence of assault. The duration of abusive relationships is made even more problematic when we appreciate that abuse victims are aggressive help seekers and are as likely to be assaulted and even entrapped when they are physically separated as when married or living together. Thus, whatever harms are involved can cross social space as well as extend over time and appear to persist regardless of how women respond. If violence doesn’t account for the entrapment of millions of women in personal life, what does?

    The answer is coercive control, a strategy that remains officially invisible despite the fact that it has been in plain sight at least since the earliest shelter residents told us in no uncertain terms that “violence wasn’t the worst part.” Cognitive psychologists in the late 1970s and 1980s tried to capture what these women were experiencing by comparing it to “coercive persuasion,” brainwashing, and other tactics used with hostages, prisoners of war, kidnap victims, and by pimps with prostitutes. Largely ignored by researchers, the understanding of abuse as coercive control was developed in popular literature and incorporated at least implicitly into how various practitioners approached the problem. Working on men’s control skills has provided one template for batterers programs since the founding of Emerge in Boston. Prosecutors are increasingly charging batterers with stalking, or harassment as well as domestic violence, crimes that typically involve a course of intimidating and controlling conduct as well of violence. Scotland and Canada are examples of countries that now define violence against women or abuse from a human rights perspective that includes a range of coercive and controlling behaviors in addition to assault. The most widely used graphic representation of abuse is the Power and Control Wheel introduced by the Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DAIP) in Duluth, Minnesota. Although violence is the hub of the original wheel, its spokes depict isolation, economic control, emotional and sexual abuse, and other facets of coercive control. This attention is merited. The several dozen studies that attempt to measure control and psychological abuse suggest that victims have been subjected to multiple control tactics, among which the denial of money, the monitoring of time, and restricted mobility and communication are prominent.

    Despite these inroads, coercive control remains marginal to mainstream thinking. It is rarely acknowledged in policy circles, has had almost no impact on domestic violence policing or criminal law, and commands no special funding. Although providers and advocates may ask about elements of coercive control, I know of no programs or interventions that address it. Everyone acknowledges that domestic violence is about power and control. But we have yet to incorporate this truism into our understanding of abuse or our response.

    The major source for the model of coercive control are the victims and perpetrators of abuse with whom I and others have worked. The women in my practice have repeatedly made clear that the most serious harms they have suffered involve how their partners have kept them from fulfilling their life projects by appropriating their resources; undermining their social support; subverting their rights to privacy, self-respect, and autonomy; and depriving them of substantive equality. This is the evidence on which I base my claim that coercive control is a liberty crime. Preventing a substantial group of women from freely applying their agency in economic and political life obstructs overall social development .

    The new model is rooted in the same tenets that gave birth to the battered women’s movement—that the abuse of women in personal life is inextricably bound up with their standing in the larger society and therefore that women’s entrapment in their personal lives can be significantly reduced only if sexual discrimination is addressed simultaneously. In the early shelters, the interrelatedness of these tenets was grounded in the practice of empowerment, whereby the suffering of individual victims was mollified by mobilizing their collective power to help one another and change the institutional structures that caused and perpetuated women’s second-class status, an example of women doing for themselves. Our challenge is to resurrect this collective practice and broaden its political focus to the sources of coercive control.

    Control: Invisible in Plain Sight

    The victims and perpetrators of coercive control are easily identified. Many of the rights violated in battering are so fundamental to the conduct of everyday life that is hard to conceive of meaningful human existence without them. How is it possible then that it has attracted so little attention?

    I have already pointed to the prominence of the domestic violence model. Another explanation is the compelling nature of violence. Once injury became the major medium for presenting abuse, its sights and sounds were so dramatic that other experiences seemed muted by comparison. The radical feminists who led the fight against rape and pornography also inadvertently contributed to the invisibility of coercive control. Placing so much political currency on violence against women as the ultimate weapon in men’s arsenal made it a surrogate for male domination rather than merely one of its means. It was a short step to replacing the political discussions of women’s liberation with the talks of “victims” and “perpetrators.” Another explanation for why coercive control has had such little impact is that no one knows what to do about it.

    The entrapment of women in personal life is also hard to discern because many of the rights it violates are so basic—so much a part of the taken-for-granted fabric of the everyday lives we lead as adults, and so embedded in female behaviors that are constrained by their normative consignment to women—that their abridgement passes largely without notice. Among my clients are women who had to answer the phone by the third ring, record every penny they spent, vacuum “till you can see the lines,” and dress, walk, cook, talk, and make love in specific ways and not in others, always with the “or else” proviso hanging over their heads. What status should we accord to a woman’s right to have toilet paper in the downstairs bathroom or to the right of a woman I will call Laura who had to beep in periodically so her boyfriend would know her whereabouts or who could not go to the gym without being beeped home? Given the prominence of physical bruising, how can we take these little indignities seriously or appreciate that they comprise the heart of a hostage-like syndrome against which the slap, punch, or kick pale in significance? Most people take it for granted that normal, healthy adults determine their own sleep patterns or how they drive or laugh or make love. The first women who used our home as her safe house described her partner a tyrant. We thought she was speaking metaphorically.

    Violence is easy to understand. But the deprivations that come packaged in coercive control are no more a part of my personal life than they are of most men’s. This is true both literally, because many of the regulations involved in coercive control target behaviors that are identified with the female role, and figuratively, because it is hard for me to conceive of a situation outside of prison, a mental hospital, or a POW camp where another adult would control or even care to control my everyday routines.

    What is taken from the women whose stories I hear almost daily—and what some victims use violence to restore—is the capacity for independent decision making in the areas by which we distinguish adults from children and free citizens from indentured servants. Coercive control entails a malevolent course of conduct that subordinates women to an alien will by violating their physical integrity (domestic violence), denying them respect and autonomy (intimidation), depriving them of social connectedness (isolation), and appropriating or denying them access to the resources required for personhood and citizenship (control). Nothing men experience in the normal course of their everyday lives resembles this conspicuous form of subjugation.

    Some of the rights batterers deny to women are already protected in the public sphere, such as the rights to physical integrity and property. In these instances, law is challenged to extend protections to personal life. But most of the harms involved in coercive control are gender-specific infringements of adult autonomy that have no counterpart in public life and are currently invisible to the law. The combination of these big and little indignities best explains why women suffer and respond as they do in abusive relationships, including why so many women become entrapped, why some battered women kill their partners, why they themselves may be killed, or why they are prone to develop a range of psychosocial problems and exhibit behaviors or commit a range of acts that are contrary to their nature or to basic common sense or decency.

    In the late 1970s, we reached into the shadows to retrieve physical abuse from the canon of “just life.” Now it appears, we did not reach nearly far enough.


    Evan Stark


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

    May 3, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    California, Protecting Marriages, (unless void or voidable….)

    leave a comment »

    The idea I guess being to give us more interesting headlines, and fewer deaths…Less real drama…

    You have to get the Beauty of this — it’s the simplicity.  Should this come to pass, I predict that no one is going to get married from henceforth. …. for any reason whatsoever.  So maybe it’s a healthy “jolt to the system…” in that regard.

    This is California, 2010, where there’s war over whether or not marriage requires differences in (sexual) anatomy, or not . . . . .

    And we all know that war is good for SOMEONE’s business.   If  you wish to email this “joker” to find out whether he’s in earnest, the address, handwritten on the image, says “Please direct all correspondence to John@badmouth.net.”

    California 2010 Marriage Protection Act

    This takes the Healthy Marriage Responsible Fatherhood idea to a WHOLE new level — once in, no way out unless the marriage is declared null or void.

    Guess what phrase I was looking up when I ran across this . . . . . . .

    Section 7.6 is added to Article I of the California Constitution: 

    No party to any marriage shall be restored to the state of unmarried person during the lifetime of the other person unless the marriage is void or voidable as set forth under Part 2 of Division 6 under the Family Code.

    This may be (just joking) why, you can find under this logo and at this California Attorney General’s site:

    10-0001 PDF logo [PDF 16937 kb / 160 pg] Title and Summary Issued on March 03, 2010 PDF logo [PDF 71 kb / 1 pg] REWRITES THE ENTIRE STATE CONSTITUTION. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

    The logo on the main page states,

    “With Liberty and Justice under law.”

    It just forgot to say “for whom” and “by whom.”

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

    May 1, 2010 at 3:23 pm

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