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Get Smart about “ALEC” (American Legislative Exchange Council)!

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ALEC is, of course, a nonprofit.   I was surprised to see a photo of it on TV the other day, and attempted a short and sweet post on the dangers of allowing this level of private planning to write model legislation to be delivered to state legislators BY state legislators — who are a good portion of the ALEC membership.

 

One good summary of how ALEC operates came from another nonprofit dealing with juvenile justice disparities; I researched this nonprofit and it background and got a good lesson in how & why the very real racism inherent in America’s Incarceration practices tends to lead to a conflicts between diversionary justice programs for youth, commissions and focus on “The African American Male” (etc.) – — and the fact that the fatherhood program as practiced in the custody system prejudices women of all color by definition, thereby breaking down whatever neutrality may have (potentially) existed in those courts.

It’s a highly appropriate topic for January 16, 2012, Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.  However, this post was too complex to post, really.  Even I hesitated to hit “Publish.”  It needed an introduction.

Today’s post may be a little different, and requests visitors to dedicate a little time to reading about ALEC.    It’s such a hard sell to get even parents with severe family court issues to consider even AFCC and CRC (for the most part) and how it ties into public welfare law (1996 and following revisions). . . ..

This would be far more important.  ALEC makes AFCC look like amateurs when it comes to pretenses, purposes, and intent to dominate the landscape for personal corporate profits.

At the bottom of the post, I’ll link to perhaps four links to “ALEC,” and save the narrative (plus more explanation) for tomorrow.

 

ReFLeCTiONs from Years of Tracking This Trail:

I usually am blogging about subterranean behaviors by nationwide nonprofits affecting, mostly, the family court system.  This is fairly specific and underreported, but it turns out to be woven into the very fabric of of our country from top to bottom.

I simply looked and kept following the trail, which often led upwards to HHS and from there to “Institutes” “Task Forces” and “Think Tanks” — plus naturally, it got round to the corporations funding the various studies.   I came to the conclusion that the entire “nonprofit” system was set up not to help the poor (which is probably where it was sold as) and for public purposes, but more likely to benefit the already wealthy, for tax write-offs, helping hide income, and influencing government favorably to accumulate more wealth and make sure that competition for jobs remains keen enough to keep wages down and profits high.

 

Unfortunately, looking at this material was like staring straight into the face of unbelievable arrogance, pride, and particularly prejudice towards anything “other,” starting with gender, then race, and of course religion.   The sense of betrayal and disgust in reading some of the academic verbiage (plowing through some of it, actually) to describe people in my situation, or others I have lived and worked with peaceably and know to be contributing positively to their communities — in short, the whole attitude stinks.  Not even so much that it despises others based on circumstances of birth (Y chromosome or no Y chromosome), but even more so, the attitude of the academically and emotionally “detached” and therefore supposedly somehow superior, or innately more competent. People are discussed in the plural as the substance to be manipulated; they do not have any individuality that can’t be tabulated, measured, and managed.

 

The closer one looks at this, the more networking and disheartening corruption surfaces.   A reason to continue has to come from somewhere, and it has to be based on hope and faith in something sustainable, or with prospects of being sustained at least a few months in a row.  However, after my exodus from a subterranean nightmare of a marriage in pretty good shape (all things considered), only to realize that by being one in this category,

SINGLE MOTHER BY CHOICE*

(*I chose life over fast-track to death)

The single plus having care and custody of young children basically put a Target on our home for people who perceive women as incompetent and single mothers as severely compromised (per se) when the fact it, there’s a huge energy and determination coming from the wellspring of Freedom From Abuse in many such mothers.  Yeah, we need some time to heal, but we are also rejoicing we’re OUT of the tunnel for a while, and — I know I did — worked diligently and speedily to rebuild a life, for the children and for ourselves.

In recent posts I explained how the “Domestic Violence” Rhetoric courteously cooperating with the Fatherhood Rhetoric, agrees to omit discussion of a minor detail — the state is going to make a play for your kids (and income); any protection order wasn’t an real exit, just a temporary hall pass in the larger scheme of program fundings.  The room in which the stripping takes place is generally called family court, although there are other means for detaching children from protective or otherwise non-abusive parents, particularly female ones.   So, our lives, because of things like government, corporate, and nonprofit/profit dynamic duos in these friendly and increasingly “United” States,  collectively, symbolically and sometime literally, still have something of this nature:

The GOOD news is that, as “Canaries in the Coal Mine” (except we choose to stay alive), we are indicators of how much the entire country has become a battlefield, littered with trenches and landmines which cannot be seen unless one has learned to be alert, and what they look like.    One cannot just look at the individual personalities in the local courthouses, or local politicians, because politics no longer ARE local.   It is necessary to keep one’s feet on the ground, in the present, as well as eyes, ears, and other senses functional, and to develop some tracking skills, which includes (like good bloodhounds?) refusing to get distracted from the scent.

Bloodhounds join search for toddler – San Antonio Express-News Feb 7, 2011 .yofoyox.web44.ne

Bloodhounds are distinguished from other breeds by their extraordinary olfactory powers, which enable them to hunt entirely by air-borne scent. They are the oldest breed of sporting dogs which hunt by scent, and Bloodhound Trials enable the hounds to demonstrate the remarkable abilities for which they have been bred – a fine illustration of dogs that are ‘Fit For Function: Fit For Life’.   (Flickr photo of bloodhound running)

And when people are trompling the ground* one can get a clearer perspective away from the crowd using basic search skills and information-gathering from actual sources.

(*as happened at BMCC, [See recent posts, also posted January, 2011) by refusing to discuss the obvious (that the conference from the start brought in DV professionals, which affected content, for I believe very obvious reasons), and insists that it takes an expert to interpret a battered mother’s voice or words (“read my lips!”), not to mention collecting people under the term that speaks of weakness, not strength:  “Battered” rhymes with “Tattered,” and focuses on bonding around the negative, not to mention chosen spokespersons, etc.).

Tracking is not a group profession — and it can get lonely — but the reward is the finds, and the service that the finds brings to others.  I happen (as a young person) to have read a book called ‘The Tracker” (Tom Brown), and adventures including getting stuck in a tree surrounded by a pack of wild dogs in (as I recall) the “Pine Barrens.”  He had to figure the situation out, and get out; it took a while.

I also seem to recall in his working with young people (teaching them “tracking”) who one of the most common maladies was — once they have labeled a plant an animal, they cease observing, and lose their curiosity.  Lack of curiosity in the young is a very sad thing.  However, people that have been placed in survival situations, and isolated, had their world repeatedly disrupted and behaving in strange and unfamiliar ways — tend to develop skills — tracking skills — over time.  They are valuable — but they are undervalued in our society, with its insistence that Ph.D.’s, Politicians, and Profiteers are the most important voices to ‘track.’

When one is hunted and/or huntING, and survival (whether huntED or huntING) depends on accuracy, I find the learning curve tends to accelerate!   Stalking (FYI) by an “ex” in person, or through third parties, and/or through the courts, is a form of hunting, as well as (at times) intimidation.    It is no joke; I have dealt with this over many years with  my ex, and also with the authorities who tend to discredit things that (women in this situation) know could spell life or death or simply a decent, free life, or a terrorized and distressed life.

So I want to show (us) some information from “Tom Brown, Jr.’s  The Tracker School” site.  This is not for entertainment — it’s an example for comparison to what mindset, what type of skills, are needed, today, to stay awake and — well, free — in the USA, when most of one’s neighbors are happily, or unhappily as it may be, asleep.  Or out occupying or protesting, at the direction of their leaders, before doing the basic scouting activity which might make better use of their time.   Sometimes a crowd is not a safe place to be!

First, about Stalking Wolf, “Grandfather” 

Grandfather

Stalking Wolf was raised free of the reservations in the mountains of northern Mexico. Born in the 1870’s during a time of great warfare and violence, he was part of a band of Lipan Apache that never surrendered. He was taught the traditional ways of his people and became a shaman and a scout. When he was twenty a vision sent him away from his people, and for the next sixty-three years he wandered, seeking teachers and learning the old ways of many native peoples, and others who lived close to the earth. Stalking Wolf traveled the length and breadth of the Americas, following the Creators call. He never held a job, drove a car, paid taxes, or participated in modern society. When he was eighty-three years old, he encountered a small boy gathering fossils in a stream bed. He recognized that boy as the person with whom he would spend his final years, and to whom he would teach all that he knew. That boy was Tom Brown, Jr. Tom became the recipient of not only all that Stalking Wolf had learned during his travels, but the distillation of hundreds of years of Apache culture as well. These are the teachings that Tom passes on at his famous Tracking, Nature, and Wilderness Survival School.

AND:

Tom Brown Jr.

Tom Brown, Jr is America’s most acclaimed outdoorsman, and a renowned tracker, teacher, and author. When Tom was only seven, Stalking Wolf (Grandfather), an Apache elder, shaman and scout, began coyote teaching Tom in the skills of tracking, wilderness survival, and awareness. After Stalking Wolf’s final walk, Tom spent the next ten years wandering the wilderness throughout the America’s with no manufactured tools—in most cases not even a knife—perfecting these Grandfathers skills and teachings. Tom came back to “civilization” and began looking for people interested in all that he had learned, but found none. He felt lost and confused until a local sheriff who knew Tom called him in to track a lost person. Tom found the missing person and, in the process, found his Vision.

Over the next few years Tom earned his reputation as “The Tracker” by finding lost people, and fugitives from the law. He has since worked with many law enforcement agencies, throughout the United States and internationally, on cases involving abducted children, lost hunters and hikers, and fugitives. He wrote about his experiences in a book titled The Tracker, which was published in 1978. Soon after, Reader’s Digest ran a condensed version of Tom’s story and included information on the Tracker School. That was almost thirty years ago, and today Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracker School is the largest of its kind, teaching people from all over the world and from all walks of life. Since the success of The Tracker, Tom has authored 16 books on tracking, awareness, nature observation and survival, including, Grandfather, The Vision, The Way of the Scout and a series of field guides, which have sold well over a million copies.

Interestingly (remember my “Tom’s River” post) The Pine Barrens in Toms River, NJ were part of his childhood.  Wikipedia article here, not for authority, but (again), I’m talking about this situation for purposes of comparison:

In his books, Brown states that from the age of seven, he and his childhood friend Rick were trained in tracking and wilderness survival by Rick’s grandfather, a Lipan Apache elder called Stalking Wolf, who had relocated to the Pine Barrens wilderness near Toms River to be closer to Rick’s family.[2]

Tom Brown’s brother, Dr. Jim Brown, the Dean of Science, Engineering, Health Sciences and Human Performance, and former President and Chairman of the Board of the New Jersey Public Health Association, has confirmed Tom Brown’s biography. Dr. Jim Brown writes in the Biography of Dr. Jim Brown:

Tom, his friend Rick, and Rick’s grandfather, Stalking Wolf (a native American and an expert in the Wilderness), were a huge influence on me and helped develop my love for nature. I use many of these experiences to enrich my teaching of biology and microbiology. Tom’s incredible abilities for teaching nature observation, pointing out minute details and relating them to plant or animal anatomy, physiology and ecological relationships strongly influenced my teaching style, especially using the laboratory and real life experiences to reinforce learning in the classroom.[8]

 

It sounds like he combined “minute observation” with relating the parts to the whole, including context.  That’s what I’m talking about; which contrasts from what we have now (in American politics) which is isolated “think tanks” framing the issue according to the funding, and failing to understand varying points of view.  The point of these think tanks is not to think, but to collaborate on what to preach — which is an entirely different mindset.

 

I have been blogging almost three years on wordpress here, including during a seriously “wilderness” time for me as a person, having had all primary social, work, community connections (basically) severed.  I was experiencing extremes in many ways, including how to get up when a day seemed hopeless by the traditional indicators, deal (alone) with my anger, sense of betrayal and frustration, and the lack of productivity and effectiveness which women (by and large) function well with.  This came from the repeated shocks of dealing with family betrayal, family COURT betrayal, failure of law enforcement, and the unnecessary drain on my personal friends — year after year — who helped sustain me, and (while they lived here), my kids under continual attack from a variety of sources.   I also was becoming increasingly aware of how useless major nonprofits were, and how many of them had simply lied to me, and other mothers, about their purposes.  There was no help available unless would become a client of a program, which compromised one’s liberty, privacy and freedom of movement.

I prioritized and began making better decisions about who to hang out with, and who was NOT a loss when it came to communications.  I also stayed alert to indicators (from afar) what was happening with my children.  To date, most of these have proved true (for what it’s worth), i.e., their father had abandoned them pretty quickly after obtaining custody (and a few other private matters).  I was ridiculed for speaking about this fraud, and outrage, and noticed that each time I sought help from the courts — or the District Attorney’s Office — they simply tried to pull in another program.   The larger context was manifesting itself more and more clearly.

I do not understand, yet, why so many mothers and women (and men) continue to prefer talk of personality, psychology, and only their local courtroom, and cannot see what is not a physical person in front of them, or a newspaper headline — that these things are organized in terms of networks connected to financing, and a basic setup, once solved, is often a pattern to how organizations work.

It is as though people are so used to being “Fed and Led” (Fed Information and Led to Respond only in certain ways) that they cannot change their path, even if leaving the comfort zone looks like a shorter route to success.   Perhaps the many hours I spent alone as a child, in one activity or another (and not highly supervised) simply allowed me to develop independently, and not feel so uncomfortable simply because I wasn’t on the beaten path.

Speaking of which, The Road Not Taken:

 

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

Robert Frost

 

Or perhaps it was curiosity, or perhaps the insistence on NOT following things that have been proven to make zero sense.  I’m sure living with domestic violence and learning how to respond QUICKLY to dangerous situations (in the home) including protecting the children (by fleeing or defusing, or avoiding, til I could get safe) helped.  I’m also sure that living with such a person (including the deceit, the tactics, the predictable patterns) also sharpened some recognition when it happens elsewhere.

 

So now, I am going to pull in just a few links to this ALEC and maybe talk about it more another day.

Like termites, or a computer virus, or underground pipe fissures, or an unsound foundation, some problems are not understood by the public until it’s simply too late, and then it’s often in the form of a disaster.   But the groups and people whose business it is can detect them earlier, but don’t always.  The fact is, our lives (speaking USA) are already so institutionalized, so internetworked and so interdependent by design that only the designers know for sure (if then) what the original purpose was, or guidelines.

But, by reading “historical” documents in some of these institutions — not just their own self-promotion, but a variety of critiques and explanations, and then pick which one MOST resembles current operating reality — we can get a better idea.  That’s one reason I am so interested in comparing documentation of groups I know to be running the court systems, at least parts of it, and contrast them with hard reality of the headlines, which include people dying around the divorce process, and no legal remedies within family law to stop the process of producing death-by-divorce, or death-by-saying-No!-to-abuse.

Language Change is a measure of thought — and operating systems — change.    In any society it is ALWAYS important to notice language and rhetoric, IF there is any intent to have a society with some basis in truth, and life based on some sort of sound principle, not just repeatedly responding to crises caused by craziness.

 

It’s probably time to revisit “Four Arguments For the Elimination of TV” by Jerry Mander, in which he talks about access to the airwaves, from the perspective of former publicist. Please review the article.  Here’s a small enough excerpt to remain, I believe, with in Fair Use compliance.  This was published (by permission) in Mother Earth News in 1978.

INTRODUCTION
THE BELLY OF THE BEAST

If this book has any basis in “authority,” it lies in the fifteen years I worked as a public relations and advertising executive. During that time, I learned that it is possible to speak through media directly into people’s heads and then, like some otherworldly magician, leave images inside that can cause people to do what they might otherwise never have thought to do.

. . .Here was a typical problem: A group of demonstrators would occupy a hotel lobby, demanding that blacks be hired at front-desk jobs, rather than bussing dishes in the coffee shop. Newspapers and television would run enormous stories about the demonstrations while editorially denouncing the tactics as “counterproductive to what might be worthy aims.” The stories concentrated upon sloppylooking demonstrators, moments of violence, and lengthy statements by officials about law and order. In an entire week’s news coverage there might be one passing reference to the fact that for forty previous years the hotel hadn’t hired a black person in a visible job. . . .

My evening clients, speaking of social issues, needed to organize hundreds of people into confrontative acts which could get them extensive, if often unfavorable, coverage. Or, if they chose less confrontative routes, they could spend weeks of time and all their hardwon nickels and dimes to organize press information programs which would, at their most successful, net them a few inches in the back of the newspaper.

Meanwhile, any of my daytime clients, speaking for commercial purposes, could and did buy advertising space and time worth tens of thousands of dollars. Then they would do it again the following week.

I already knew that, in America, all advertisers spent more than $25 billion a year to disseminate their information. Now, however, I was beginning to pay attention to an obvious, yet little noticed, aspect of this situation. Virtually all of the $25 billion was being spent by people who already had a great deal of money. These were the only people who could afford to pay $30,000 for one page of advertising in Time ($54,000 by 1977) or $50,000 for one minute of prime television time ($125,000 by 1977). Ordinary people and small businesses, even those which are successful by most standards, can rarely afford any advertising beyond the want ads, or a small local retail display. Only the very rich buy mass national advertising. And they do this to become richer. What other motive could they possibly have?

A.J. Liebling once said, “Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one.” I was learning that access to the press was similarly distorted by the possession of wealth. People with money had a 25-billion-to-nearly-zero advantage over people without money. The rich could simply buy access to the public mind while the not-rich had to seek more circuitous routes.
Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Nature-Community/1978-09-01/Subliminal-Messages-From-TV.aspx?page=4#ixzz1kzLxLbbh

He (Jerry Mander) had a social conscience and was struggling with ways to act on it:

corporate policies . . .antithetical to simple rules of human well being, or justice or planetary survival. They finally added up to a single generalization: Corporations are inherently uninterested in considerations aside from the commercial.

We began to feel that our balancing act was draining us personally. At last we saw that it was doomed to fail. Maintaining commercial accounts in the hope of using the income from them to finance other projects about which we cared more deeply was not going to work out.

So tried the nonprofit route:

We soon decided to dissolve the agency, and I began to work with a number of other people to establish a foundation-funded, non-profit advertising and public relations office. The first in the country, it was called Public Interest Communications and it was devoted solely to working for community. organizations which are largely excluded from media. The project was launched in 1972 with a grant from the Stern Fund. It succeeded for a little while in performing useful services for ecologists and farm workers, consumer groups, Indian rights activists and peace groups. But keeping it alive proved difficult. The problems were much like those we had faced at Freeman, Mander and Gossage.

Whereas I had formerly spent a major part of my day keeping the agency going by caring for the needs of corporations, at Public Interest Communications we spent a majority of our time seeking grants from the few foundations interested in media reform.

Even worse, there was a feeling that everything we were doing was ineffective. A nameless juggernaut was advancing unretarded. We felt as if we were throwing snowballs at tanks . . .Unemployment was growing and welfare lines with it, yet in the end economic reform measures always seemed to hurt the very segments of the population they purported to help while the rich got richer.

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Nature-Community/1978-09-01/Subliminal-Messages-From-TV.aspx?page=6#ixzz1kzN6ryMx

 

DO YOU SEE THE ISSUE?   As Michael Moore was heard recently (on Tavis Smiley show, a panel with several people on it, including Suzy Orman.  I only caught a snippet, but for once this made perfect sense).  What we fail to acknowledge is that the poor serve a purpose to the wealthy to keep (he said, as I recall) the middle class in line.  If the wealthy were really so concerned about the poor, they’d give away the wealth, they certainly have enough! (or, I say, change policies that stop creating the poor generation after generation unnecessarily).

I also believe that the wealthy need the middle class to keep working the jobs (whether white collar or blue collar) which keeps them too busy to analyze what the corporations are doing with their wages, i.e., it takes a lot of time to hold down a professional career.   Also, the middle class must be taught to buy into the concept that their taxes (withholdings, etc.) actually DO provide social services (even though we know well enough when they don’t) to keep the rabble of poor off their doorsteps, and away from their sons and daughters.    While they may not totally buy the concept, that doesn’t stop people on that track, usually, from staying invested in it, and hoping that they are not bounced off into the realms of the poor, THIS round.

So, what I see (now that I’ve been bounced around so much — though for different systems) is that you CANNOT, just CANNOT answer this question without handling the money system, the income tax system, and the federal reserve issues, which are key.  It’s that simple.   The nonprofits are hostage to their funders, and cannot vary policy too far from it.  The foundations are key players, and the largest ones drive social policy at a national (and international) level including through work at think tanks from Harvard (including JFK School of Government), Princeton, Yale, Columbia, you name it.  Cornell . . . . and in general at the University level.      They fund institutes, “centers of excellence,” and so forth — entire schools of study.  So I call this level of professionals (often Ph.D.’s) the Sheepdogs.  Their careers are made from grants provided by some of these foundations and connections to schools of higher learning, “Think Tanks,” and so forth.

 

I’ve looked, studied, and reflected on this for several years, because I deserve answers, my kids should they ever want the information, deserve answers, the people who supported this and other families as they underwent custody or other system nightmares, deserve some explanation.

The people best situated to analyze systems are those who have moved from one segment to another — and ended up at either the top, or the bottom, of the “class” section of society.  Whether or not you like it, this class section is defined in large part by tax laws, and education (or lack of it) on how to profit from them, as well as how money actually works, let alone how business works.

 

Understand the role of language and framing, and why conservatives are so great at it:

We see (or you should by now!) how far AFCC got with its policy of transforming language — and how it did so.

 

I want you/ us / people to read this report — at least the introduction!

It’s from “CJCJ” which is probably how I ran across it, as CJCJ itself appears to be a nonprofit formed through Model legislation spearheaded for implementation at the state level, through connecting a nonprofit (CJCJ happens to have been formed by an about-to-retire Washington Judge, a very active one, Bobbe J. Bridges) with someone in state government, in this case Susan N. Dreyfuss came along neatly in 2009 to head up the state health and human resources department (funding $20 billion).  It is now coming back to me that I ran across Dreyfuss on an AHA (That’s American Human Association) collaboration of some sort — the usual kind you know, stopping child abuse by putting more men back in their offspring’s lives.  As I researched her background — even scratched the surface — and looked at the associated nonprofit — (meaning, at its TAX RETURNS and PROGRAM PURPOSES/ACCOMPLISHMENTS) it became clear that every single one tied directly to a major foundation with an agenda.

Pam Roach Report: Susan Dreyfus To Head DSHS

pamroachreport.blogspot.com/2009/…/susandreyfus-to-head-dshs.ht…

Mar 31, 2009 – OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today named Susan N.Dreyfus, a Wisconsin executive with more than a dozen years of leadership experience

 

And that agenda was to reform justice, in a sweeping manner, according to anational model. And, I saw the blueprint discussed AS a national model.  Washington was a “Demonstration” state.

Hmm,  see this http://www.opd.wa.gov/Reports/Other%20Reports/2011_OPD_Proposal-SVP-Defense.pdf

NO, actually, that was a different group, CCYJ:

The Hon. Bobbe J. Bridge

CCYJ President and CEO, founded the Center for Children & Youth Justice in 2006. She served on the Washington State Supreme Court from 1999 to 2007 before retiring to lead the Center full-time in January 2008. She was a King County Superior Court judge from 1989 to 1999, served as Presiding Judge of the 51-member Superior Court for two years, and was the Chief Judge of King County Juvenile Court from 1994 to 1997. Before joining the bench, Justice Bridge was the first female partner at the Seattle law firm of Garvey Schubert Barer.

Recognized statewide and nationally as a leading advocate for foster care reform, domestic violence victims, truancy prevention, juvenile justice reform and a host of other issues, Justice Bridge also serves the community as a dedicated volunteer and philanthropist. She has been a member of the Boards of many nonprofit organizations, including YouthCare and the YWCA.

CCYJ is basically a mouthpiece of a variety of foundations (incl. Bill & Melinda Gates) with their ideas on how to reform criminal and juvenile justice, etc.  The phrase “out-come based” is welcome here, and shows up a lot.

 

CJCJ is a different group and based in a state South of Washington, like California

Here’s CJCJ “About Us”

Overview
Established in 1985 as the Western Regional Office of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives (NCIA), the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) is a nonprofit nonpartisan organization promoting a balanced and humane criminal justice system through the provision of direct services, technical assistance, and policy analysis.  CJCJ maintains a professional staff with diverse backgrounds and expertise. Our senior staff members possess over 30 years of experience in the criminal and juvenile justice field that includes program operations, policy development and analysis, technical assistance, nonprofit management, program evaluation, and organizational reform.  Headquartered in San Francisco, CJCJ is among the leading criminal justice agencies in the nation.

 

ANYHOW, at some point, it becomes impossible not to see how the pieces of the puzzle fit together.  We have corporate/foundation interests running our country, rewriting laws, and altering justice systems, too — to suit themselves, and without running it by the can’t stand up to them piddly state legislatures.  For a reminder, see my posts on MDRC, or go see it’s site again, look up “about us.”

 

The states also, including their budgets, are so radically tied to federal funding — particularly of welfare — that they can hardly be called independent any more.  And if the states are not independent from the Federal Government, neither are the citizens living in those states, which in fact, is proving to be so.

Here’s an excerpt to get you interested (I hope):

ABOUT THINK TANKS — and why conservatives are SO interested in forming lots of them.

 

Conservative think tanks have been successfully disseminating their message. The linguist George Lakoff has noted that:

Over the last 30 years their think tanks have made a heavy investment in ideas and in language. In 1970, [Supreme Court Justice] Lewis Powell wrote a fateful memo to the National Chamber of Commerce saying that all of our best students are becoming anti-business because of the Vietnam War, and that we needed to do something about it. Powell’s agenda included getting wealthy conservatives to set up professorships, setting up institutes on and off campus where intellectuals would write books from a conservative business perspective, and setting up think tanks. He outlined the whole thing in 1970. They set up the Heritage Foundation in 1973, and the Manhattan Institute after that. [There are many others, including the American Enterprise Instituteand the Hoover Institute at Stanford, which date from the 1940s.]

And now, as the New York Times Magazine quoted Paul Weyrich, who started the Heritage Foundation, they have 1,500 conservative radio talk show hosts. They have a huge, very good operation, and they understand their own moral system. They understand what unites conservatives, and they understand how to talk about it, and they are constantly updating their research on how best to express their ideas (Lakoff, 2003).

Think tanks are indeed powerful in today’s society. ALEC is one among many examples.

 

From the top of this report by the “CENTER ON JUVENILE AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE” by Randall G. Shelden, M.A, Ph.D Senior Research Fellow, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice — this is a research brief from April 2011 on the AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE EXCHANGE COUNCIL.  Please read this intro, which then segues into the Lakoff quote, above:

It is important to state at the outset of this report that conservatives tend to be significantly more punitive than liberals (Shelden, 2011). Since virtually all members of ALEC are conservatives it is only logical that their legislation would be punitive, which has been historically demonstrated by this organization.

ALEC is one among several hundred think tanks in the United States (plus many more in foreign countries). According to Source Watch (2011) “There are twice as many conservative think tanks as liberal ones, and the conservative ones generally have more money.” Indeed, as one writer stated “there is a big imbalance in the amount of cash that goes into left and rightwing think tanks. Over the past two years, [-] think tanks pushing the conservative agenda had received $295 million, while leftwing institutions were given just $75 million” (Teather, 2005). Most think tanks, both left and right-leaning, have “resident experts” with titles such as “senior fellow” or “adjunct scholar.” However, in the case of right-leaning think tanks this does not always indicate that they have an academic degree in their claimed area of expertise. While it is certainly true that outside funding can corrupt the integrity of academic institutions, this is even more prevalent with think tanks.

A problematic aspect of think tanks is that they “are like universities minus the students and minus the systems of peer review and other mechanisms that academia uses to promote diversity of thought. Real academics are expected to conduct their research first and draw their conclusions second, but this process is often reversed at most policy-driven think tanks” (Source Watch, 2011). One writer has noted that the term “think tank” is really a misnomer, saying “They don’t think; they justify” (Source Watch, 2011).

 

 

 

 

And an earlier one:

 

Corporate America’s Trojan Horse in the States 
The Untold Story Behind the American Legislative Exchange Council
Chapter One — OverviewThis report examines the history, finances, and activities of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a 501(c)(3) organization with headquarters in Washington, D.C., that bills itself as �the nation�s largest bipartisan, individual membership association of state legislators.�

As this report shows, however, ALEC is little more than a tax-exempt screen for major U.S. corporations and trade associations that use it to influence legislative activities at the state level. ALEC allows these corporations to do what they couldn�t attempt directly or openly without risking public criticism. They funnel cash through ALEC to curry favor with state lawmakers through junkets and other largesse in the hopes of enacting special-interest legislation � all the while keeping safely outside the public eye.

The organization�s national meetings appear to be mostly window dressing for policy decisions that have already been made, either within the organization�s offices in Washington, D.C., or in closed consultations with the corporations and other like- minded interests that finance virtually all its activities. Indeed, the state legislators who attend ALEC meetings are joined by the platoons of lobbyists, corporate executives, and representatives of assorted trade and professional associations who pay to have the lawmakers as their captive audience. 

The tie that binds is money, and ALEC�s major underwriters have included the now-disgraced Enron Corporation, as well as the American Nuclear Energy Council, the American Petroleum Institute, Amoco, Chevron, Coors Brewing Company, Shell, Texaco, Chlorine Chemistry Council, Union Pacific Railroad, Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, Waste Management, Philip Morris Management Corporation, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco and many other of the nation�s major corporations and trade associations. 

Founded in 1973 by conservative activist Paul Weyrich, ALEC occupies prime office space in downtown Washington, operates on an annual budget of roughly $6 million, and employs a full-time staff of around thirty. In its early years, reflecting Weyrich�s vision, ALEC focused almost exclusively on the hot-button social issues on the right-wing�s political agenda � anti-abortion, anti-feminist, anti-voting rights for the District of Columbia. In the late 1980s, however, ALEC abandoned most of these issues in favor of those that had the benefit of attracting substantial corporate donations.

Less talk from me = I hope more reading from you.

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  1. See also “interlocking Directorate” post. I’m also continuing to post on this theme on a different blog:

    http://thefamilycourtmoneymachine.blogspot.com
    And just did so yesterday (revised today).

    Once the roadmap is clear, it’s easier to read the signs. Complete with Judicial Tyranny through Judicial IMmunity (i.e., We The People are not equal in power to our own government, however we do own stock in a debtor corporation called the United States of America (HQ in WDC, other corporate HQ in London and Rome) — it’s not so hard to navigate. Although enough gas in the tank continues to be an issue ….

    I found these things out by way of curiosity, when the typical explanations of what I was experiencing and observing (and, through networking, found was typical, not atypical) simply didn’t held water.

    If you’re OK with your understanding being half-full of junk food, then so be it. Otherwise, keep that hunger (for truth and understanding of enough of the situation to make GOOD decisions about what to do next) — whetted; it is your best friend.

    Let's Get Honest

    April 5, 2012 at 9:37 am

  2. […] Get Smart about “ALEC” (American Legislative Exchange Council)! (familycourtmatters.wordpress.com) […]

    • I missed this comment when it was submitted, but good article, and other links. I’m going to add the link to your discussion on the language/regal/religious (names of gods) origins of money — to this blogroll.

      Also see newer wordpress blog I am just starting, Cold,Hard.Fact$

      DISCLAIMER: this blog post has lots of links, and by endorsing or promoting a single post, that doesn’t apply to the whole blog, which obviously I haven’t read.

      As someone whose “credit” was destroyed through marriage (the other partner made sure to get mine before we split, and has used it to his [not our kids]] advantage) and is all too familiar with the regal aspect of the courts, it makes perfect sense.

      Many truths surface when one starts paying attention to language, and the origins of various terms, and ideas….

      Let's Get Honest

      October 21, 2012 at 10:04 am


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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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