Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?…' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

What It’s Still About….(… in Summer 2013)

with one comment


(Post title changed to remove “Election Year Update 2012.” The message is still appropriate now….Also in reviewing this post (and adding some quotes) I’m temporarily moving the “more” link further down the page, (in other words, the “abstract” is almost post-length) to call attention to the material.)


[This post is “sticky” and stays on top.  New posts are beneath . ..Some additions, March 2013…(As I learn more, it shows up on the blog). ~ Or see “The Last Seven Let’s Get Honest Posts” links, on sidebar ~ better yet, See also my other blog Cold,Hard.Fact$]; 


This blog has VALUABLE INSIGHT on the family courts money trail (a trail of tears), and about many crisis intervention groups who are in on it (and hence, won’t blog it), and from some of whom I sought help, solace, or actionable information — and got NONE.  


Question: WHY would any group which truly wants to save lives withhold relevant information, tools to find that information, and prior ground-breaking conversations about that information — in the amounts of billions of dollars of federal incentives to the statesaffecting — custody outcomes (as to the child support system, HHS/OCSE) while feeding less helpful information to their clients?Another Question: You should also ask why — where is that money coming from, and why does our government always want to raise taxes when they can’t keep track of what they already collected (MUCH more than is commonly realized) and when a lot of that is simply fed to fraudulent or evanescent corporations that don’t stay registered at the state level?

When it’s a matter of eminent domain and someone gets sued over bribery, then it makes headlines and people get indignant. Daily News 2001, Los Angeles Area.

COURT MAY RECEIVE CLOSE AUDIT. 2001. Similarly, and around the same years, other people were asking questions about “court-connected” funds of a different sort. 2002, this one, there was a series of articles:‘SLUSH FUND’ PROBE POSSIBLE KUEHL MAY ASK FOR INQUIRY INTO JUDGES’ PROCEEDS.[one has to actually read these – I’m not outlining them for those who won’t….]
This one in PARTICULAR shows that in 1999ff Marv Bryer and others were doing what I do now — reading tax returns, looking at the fronts of checks, looking at the BACKS of checks, and noticing that what’s written out to ONE fund sometimes gets deposited into another, which fund happens to be a private judges’ association.

Here’s a yet more detailed one (best: read the series; see “related articles”):

GILDING THE GAVEL? SUPERIOR COURT PAYMENTS DEPOSITED IN JUDGES’ PRIVATE ‘COFFEE’ FUND.

(Now that you’ve read it, naturally, with attention…..)


WHICH, was operating out of the county courthouse (and under its EIN#, improperly) for DECADEs. When this is discovered, then naturally some judge is going to have to rule on what to do about it — and then Presiding Judge James Basque (who was one of the judges on the association and probably had drawing rights from the fund as a result) says, “we can’t go back that far and separate comingled (to about 1960, this being about 40 years later!!) funds….”

So, “someone oughter AUDIT it, right? The AUDITOR does, and says, well, we can’t prove that it influenced any custody decisions…. Then someone else says, well I don’t have the right to order an audit of a PRIVATE judges’ association….guess it all falls between the cracks (reminds me of 2011 or so, Lackawanna County Courthouse raid by FBI over the SAME TYPE OF ISSUES — and then the Pennsylvania AOPC comes out with their self-audit, revealing (after about 112pp++) that one of their own (Ann Marie Termini, parent coordinator supreme) had been functioning without a contract since about 1997. In the courthouse. Joe Pilchesky had challenged that in a taxpayer’s suit; then the FBI raided, and eventually a GAL (hardly a “big fish” but a connected GAL to the system) got accused of tax evasion, or something similar). SO, audits by the foxes et al. in the henhouse, of (foxes in the henhouse) will naturally produce better results than, say the farmers figuring out how to examine the contents themselves. That’s my approach — I recommend that we start understanding who’s funds are being used to set up these courthouses (i.e., the public) and start acting like we own the place, rather than we are hoping to be serviced by the place. This alas, requires acting like people who own things — which is to figure out how they run, and whether the people hired to run them are honest, and all sorts of great transferable b usiness skills.

Like reading tax returns and annual financial statements, looking up corporations, getting a hold of canceled checks, if it applies (front AND back), and in general getting the evidence and making sense of it, while others are outside arguing whose rhetoric (or psychological theories) is the BEST rhetoric (or psychological theory).. I’m just pointing out that, language counts — and so do business skills. If you don’t have them, go get some or hang out with people who have some!


If you actually read this, they were learning in the 1990s from it that private mixes with public without separate EIN#s which PRIVATE is supposed to have, and that judges form their own associations. You learn that there are funds, and then there are funds…and obviously we, the people for the most part don’t understand the concept of FUND accounting by government, or how to do any sort of checks and balances on waht’s going out and what’s coming in. Isn’t that someone else’s job? Outta sight, outta mind….

Why wouldn’t this be taught along with teaching math in the K-12 public schools? At least by high school — it definitely has some applications. The only reason I can think to NOT teach something this relevant is that some smart(ass) kids (youth) might instead of raising hell, dealing drugs, or raping //impregnating each other, and getting extra pharmaceuticals sometimes if they don’t pay attention well enough (which of course has nothing to do with the quality of what they’re supposed to be paying attention to, or how relevant is seems to be to life, in general) — they might actually figure out that the school districts are a unit of government and ALSO have funds — and that they’re not so broke as they’re constantly made out to be. …


Let’s Consider Again, How the Script Might’ve Played out IF people knew to read CAFRs and that a Budget =/= a CAFR?

(see my many links on this, or walter burien, clint richardson, carl hermann, et al.

(background-color change= insert re: budget versus CAFR). (What we could’ve known earlier, IF we knew to look!)
I am seriously looking these days at whether: kids for cash (Luzerne County), all the trouble in Los Angeles County with this (slush fund) and many other troubles could’ve been averted IF the public had been informed and conditioned to look at the financial reports and balance sheets of their own governments.That no one was really alerted to this by GOVERNMENT or Mainstream MEDIA for so many decades is a “consumer alert” that we were not meant to know, but to instead, be defrauded, misled, stolen from, and traumatized for better “management.” That itself is a huge red flag to what we might, or might NOT, expect from the courts.A budget is not a report on the county’s financial condition — it’s a report on what they hope to spend, = vs. -.

Los Angeles County BUDGET 2012-2013. Read the Preface and that start browsing the multiple types of funds. Somewhere, write down what’s in the General fund. This is just for ONE of California’s 58 counties, Los Angeles..Plenty of court-related funds…

Los ANgeles County CAFR YE 6/30/2012 (220pp). Page 5 (printed, not PDFs): “The County’s Funds are Classified into Three Categories: Governmental, Proprietary, and Fiduciary.” Under “Governmental” it lists these types: GENERAL funds, SPECIAL REVENUE funds, DEBT SERVICE funds, CAPITAL PROJECT funds, and PERMANENT. That’s a lot of types of funds, eh?).

Under FIDUCIARY (3rd category of the county’s funds) are these whoppers: PENSION trust fund, PRIVATE-PURPOSE trust fund (???) and AGENCY funds — how many do you think there are? Well, how many agencies does Los Angeles County have, ya’ think?

p. 9 shows a pie chart (revenues/expenses, color-coded) confirming that taxes aren’t the only source of revenue. Compare top and bottom. These multiple funds just don’t sit there like a flat pancake — but they are bubblingi — they produce revenues. P. 12 “Regional Park and Open Space District reported year-end funds balance of $322 million.” This being for Los Angeles ONLY, the state of California was threatened to close 70? parks if they couldn’t come up with extra donations to cover it. They had mud on their face when a “whistleblower” employee revealed there was $54 million sitting around in another fund. Heads rolled, someone had to step down as department head, and back to business as usual — NOT paying attention to these funds….).


Page 6: Net assets exceeded liabilities by $12.131 billion (in “Government-Wide”)

So, re: this information, now over a decade old: GILDING THE GAVEL? SUPERIOR COURT PAYMENTS DEPOSITED IN JUDGES’ PRIVATE ‘COFFEE’ FUND.

The purpose of this (or any) news article isn’t to tell us the whole story. It’s to alert us of a further untold story and that we need to understand more than we do ….However, all along there were Los Angeles County CAFR’s (if not online they did exist) which is where it has to report its “FUNDS.” Not until around 1989 did (as I recall) Walter Burien start publicizing them, with others. Search “Carl Hermann” to hear about some more of them, in Los Angeles specifically.

And, again why isn’t this skill taught in public schools?

(Possibly because students and parents might go look at the CAFRs of the School Districts Themselves, or CALPERS and get a handle on what the money is being used for, invested in, or characterized as…People might get a new concept of who is government, and what’s it doing here — other than trying to extract some occasional justice from it in courthouses….).

Los Angeles Superior Court judges have used an obscure fund supported by lawyer contributions, court monitors and legal seminar fees for nearly 40 years to cash personal checks, pay for retirement parties and other nonjudicial functions.

Throughout most of the four decades, what judges call the “coffee and flowers” fund operated under the county’s tax number, and its records were kept by county employees – practices that were ended under pressure in recent years.

Details of the fund – which has carried six-figure balances at times – have emerged out of a running legal battle between the Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Association and a group of parents who claim they were victimized by the family court system because of the financial interests of the judges.

The parents allege in a lawsuit that the “coffee and flowers” fund is really part of a multimillion-dollar “money-making web,” a slush fund operated improperly for the benefit of judges without independent oversight.

“It is a cause for concern when money that attorneys thought was going to pay for training or classes went into a private fund that was used for any kind of personal expenditures for judges,” said state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Encino.

“I understand there was one expense for jewelry and even one for cash. I think if those allegations are true it’s definitely a matter that should be the subject of an audit or brought to the attention of the attorney general.”

Judges association attorney John J. Collins said the money comes from donations, training seminars and continuing legal education classes judges give to lawyers. It is deposited into the account to pay for retirement dinners, flowers for deceased judges’ families and as a source of spending money for some of the county’s 428 judges.

“It’s not a slush fund,” Collins said. “There was nothing improper. Zero.”

Jerrianne Hayslett, Superior Court spokeswoman, said it would be premature to place credence in criticism of the fund because the disgruntled litigants have not proved their claims.

“The allegations are full of misrepresentations,” she said. “It’s an attempt to discredit the court. We have some very well-intentioned people trying to do good things, and it’s been perceived differently. We didn’t realize there would be any impropriety or any perception of impropriety.”

Still, Superior Court presiding Judge James Bascue (who is on that association?0 has responded to new questions being raised about the fund by asking the judges association to arrange for an independent audit.

Controversy over the fund has been stirred by several dozen families involved in lengthy custody fights who felt they did not get fair treatment in the family court system.

La Crescenta resident Marvin Bryer, 62, a retired computer analyst, has spearheaded the effort, spending more than $100,000 and years of effort trying to help his daughter Karen, 32, in her custody battle over her 12-year-old son Nicholas Van Meter.

Bryer, former San Fernando resident Irene Jensen and Sierra Madre resident Idelle Clarke have filed various motions in their family law cases and lawsuits in recent years attacking the judges’ fund because of the contributions from lawyers and court-appointed visitation monitors who profit from child-custody battles.

Well, they do profit from child-custody battles, no question about it!


This is the “DROPPED material, en masse,” and it was dropped for discussions on trauma, battered mothers, parental alienation, and which psychological theory was better than others. The entire analytical mindset, exemplified by both men and women above, and relating to their demanding and explanaing of “WHERE’S THE MONEY?” and personally demonstrating that it was there, what it was called, what was being done with it, and how you go get it — was LOST, for discussions (with much more pathos) about injuries, molestations, and custody considerations. It was an entire change of perspective and adoptation of the domestic violence lingo (which, while it’ shandy for discussing domestic violence, doesn’t without this other discussion about what these funky family court systems are doing here to start with, STOP domestic violence while such things as court-diversions into batterers programs and supervised visitation setups (which are then flipped and used on the mothers — ALSO exposed in 1999 by some of the same crowd) — replaced the “SHOW ME THE MONEY!” discussions and organizing.Helen Grieco, then Exec. Director of California NOW, went on to teaching young women self-defense, and NOW National backburnered (without completely dropping) this issue, which at one time in California was in the forefront.

If others had — as some are now — at THAT time made the connection between these things and the welfare system (1990 PRWORA, and the engagement of HHS in influencing an “out-come-based courts system”) — we would’ve been in a different place now.

As I look at it historically, I can see how the “it’s just disgruntled litigants –and take it on faith, we’re not misappropriating money!” forces continued to prevail was in part through setting up nonprofits, conferences, selling the conference materials, selling the conference attendances (billing it to the public coming and going) and at the multi-state, international conferences, strategize for “what kind of courts do WE want?” and going about to write it into law, before the public knew what happened.

2011-2012-2013


Individual Blogging and Reportings is making a Dent, where Talking about the Trauma, hasn’t, really…

Anne Stevenson has been writing up such things as the Danger of HHS programs to women and children, acknowledged by both fathers and mothers, and DIRECTLY tied into welfare reform, “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act” (PRWORA) of 1996. We are at least STARTING to mention the sheer existence of a nonprofit sponsored by major father’s rights activist attorney Jeffrey Leving, out of Chicago, namely http://fathersandfamiliescoalition.org and how its conferences are one way the fathers’ rights groups that no one has a problem mentioning in the vague, fairly useless generalities exist — actually get the grants to help tweak custody cases in favor of men, get child support arrearages compromised through forced reunification programs, etc.


Some of this material is self-explanatory — once you look at it. What’s also distressing (or, infuriating….) is actually investigating at the state level, many of the grantees and finding they aren’t staying incorporated, while they continue, “hidden out in open,” receiving millions, and we wonder why things aren’t improving fast enough.


Meanwhile, find even a glimmer of this information in about ten years of conferencing at “Battered Mothers Custody Conference” [“BMCC”] in New York State; if you can — or in the materials of any of its sponsors or presenters.


Formerly BMCC was held in January, near NY State Capital, but now they are bringing the attendees and presenters to the country’s capital, in May (for “Mothers’ Day”) and Washington, D.C. Meanwhile (at the end of the same month) and a continent away, AFCC is going to hold ITS conference about how to continue creating more of the troubles BMCC talks about, in Los Angeles. I have a sense that mothers stuck in custody battles will not to be able to afford attending both conferences in one month; however it’s a moot point, as BMCC doesn’t see fit to even tell such mothers about AFCC, its influence, or how it operates, and to understand the latter is to understand how deceptive (or, at best analysis — off-track — the former is), and continue in the dumbed-down “sell me something” mode. I say this with appreciation of individual women I know who endorse and follow the BMCC agenda, for reasons best known to themselves. However, commonsense (reason itself) has coached me to detach, expose the coverup, and provide the connection of this niche-market information to the US economy overall, and demand (or at least ask) that people NOT stuck in the courts (yet) take a stand on it.

As to why do I keep coming back to this topic? Because I believe that if women’s energies could be directed to the truth, they would be further POSITIVELY inspired and focused by it, including the awareness that their comforters in some senses have been comforting and empathizing at a very high cost — at the cost of the truth.

Truth, and knowing how to get it, I find more empowering than ongoing associations with PhD’s or PsyDs (or former attorneys) who while publishing and writing, on and on, have systematically failed to consider how to empower (their addressees) with the tools to even look up a single corporation, a single grant, or even the concept that this should be done! Also, if constructive criticism isn’t welcomed — any group becomes inbred, and the air within it, well, if I inhale what you consistently exhale, and vice versa? how are both of us going to continue getting Fresh Air? The same goes with language.


The list of “Confirmed Presenters: the Nation’s Top Experts in Domestic Violence/Child Custody Issues” [such a modest description!] will, collectively, tell “battered” and “protective”** mothers LESS than anyone could learn by reading Ms. Stevenson’s Huffington post blog, Marv Bryer’s 1997 “Exposing and Prosecuting Judicial Corruption through Common Law Discovery” (Posted herein), Liz Richard’s NAFCJ.net (since 1993) explanation of AFCC and case-rigging through federally paid blogs, Cindy Ross’s explanation of Conciliation Court law and its connection to a high-profile massacre in D.C., or for that matter, a cursory reading of “smartmarriages.com” or many other resources. [**I used quotes because those are conference and buzzwords, not because the terms aren’t accurate]

Try this:

Scroll down through “Smartmarriages.com” and, if you can, count the number of trademarks programs, or check out some of the links (at least one is a multi-million-dollar HHS grantees nonprofit with staying-incorporated-problems) whose primary goal is making it hard, if not dangerous, to divorce in this century, while the entire FIELD got its jumpstart grabbing money originally allocated to help children who needed such things as food and housing, and diverting it into moralizing about the values of marriage.

And, understand that the same Mo Hannah, Ph.D., whose name leads off the promoters of BMCC conference, is well aware of SmartMarriages.com and its owner — but has simply, to date, seen fit to inform attendees that it exists — and has existed since at least 2000 — and what it’s doing. Nor has co-editor of a 2010 book being promoted at BMCC, Barry Goldstein. (Search the web and see if it’s mentioned in his material — anywhere, let alone in the book).

One has to ask WHY (not). The question does come up, what’s in it for these professionals to keep the mothers under-informed and clueless, such that they continue rallying under their banner and buying products, services, and rhetoric which also doesn’t direct them to tools or basic understandings of the fields), or helps get them OUT of distressed mode and INTO effective mode.

BMCC’s Strange and Collective Silence on the AFCC

After showing some of the prominence, diligence, and above all monotonous persistence of the AFCC, I have to point out the strange absence of any significant discussion of its existence by the 2003ff Battered Mothers Custody Conference. That one seems to have begun largely in Los Angeles, and the other in New York is hardly an excuse — both conferences (battered mothers, and “of conciliation courts”) began with more than one state involved, and both have involved coast-to-coast presenters, sponsors, and attendees.

To discover the unreported information REALLY DOES put a different glisten on the tears and hugs of empathy shed by the presenters. They do know better, and could’ve done better than to simply “forget to report.” They are not on the same page as the mothers in this regard — because it was in the mothers’ best interests to know about, for example, the things on this blog (not that I’m the first one to start reporting these issues, at all….)

Which just goes to show — if you want something done, being a member of a certain class of people (defined by experiences) — you’d better do it yourself and be cautious about delegating to professionals, who generally speaking have their own filters in place — or be damn good at communicating to them YOUR position.

A distressed mother is not an attorney or custody evaluator representing her. One has more safe options, and is less likely, on an ongoing basis, to get killed in the line of “duty,” particularly during court-ordered exchanges. They will take some heat — but they’re less likely to get killed, jailed, or have their children stolen for a court-connected ransom. And that’s a significant difference.

So when the organizing and conferencing is led by others than the members of the class (which is NOT true for AFCC), it really does make a difference.

[sorry about that rather laborious explanation. It comes from years of trying to speak across the static of the victim/”but PAS isn’t a legitimate theory!” rhetoric to too many BMCC attendees who have also been friends…and fellow-bloggers….] Who cares that it’s not a legitimate theory? Trainings are run as if it is…. Can we talk about the training — and eventually let on that a certain organization exists, and teach mothers a few new tricks — like Looking Things Up?? And putting the pieces together into a sensible whole that has more to glue it together than a few choice sound-bytes?]]


As of 2013, AFCC is rejoicing in its first 50 years, and looking towards the next 50 — while BMCC to date hasn’t systematically informed its attendees that AFCC exists!

Even though the BMCC for years has conferenced in New York (Albany) and one of its presenters is a graduate of Hofstra University (also in NY) which co-produces the Family Court Review (and has for years) with AFCC. On the west coast, similar (and participating in the BMCC conference) California Organizations have not spoken about AFCC (which started in the Los Angeles County courthouse, from what I can tell) or how they marriage/fatherhood programming is sponsored at the university level (see Pepperdine University, out of Malibu, “Boone Family Center,” as in, Pat Boone).

Upstate New York’s BMCC and Long Island (New York, i.e., NYC) Private Hofstra University (co-publishing for AFCC: Two freighters passing in the night?

From “Kvelling for Family Court Review On Its Fiftieth Anniversary” by Andrew Schepard, there is neat summary of how Hofstra is involved:

Exploring how FCR has grown since Volume 1, Issue 1 will help show that in its own way it too was a quiet landmark. Meyer (Mike) Elkin, the then supervising conciliation counselor of the Los Angeles County Superior Court Conciliation Court, was the editor of Volume 1, Issue 1. It was actually more of a newsletter than an academic and research journal. It contained short reports from six California Conciliation Courts. All were written by conciliation court counselors. The reports consisted of a brief summary of operations, a biography of the counselor providing the report, and a profile of the community that the court served. The entire issue was a total of ten pages long.

Today:

FCR publishes law and social science articles from judges, lawyers, researchers, mediators, and mental health professionals from around the world.
FCR’s editorial staff consists of:

  • A law professor as editor;
  • A psychology professor as associate editor;
  • A distinguished international, multidisciplinary editorial board; and
    Hofstra law students, who conduct research, draft and submit Notes for publication, and edit and cite-check articles.
  • FCR is published by Wiley-Blackwell, one of the world’s leading academic publishers.

  • Volume 49 of FCR was 841 pages in four quarterly issues.


Over 4600 people from around the World subscribe to FCR’s print edition as a benefit of their Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) membership. In contrast, the circulation of traditional law reviews has been plummeting for a generation; the most famous and widely circulated of them, the Harvard Law Review (for which I was an articles editor), has seen its subscriber base dwindle from 10,895 in 1963–1964 to 1896 in 2010–11.FCR is available at 3505 institutions (mostly university libraries) worldwide. This figure does not include the availability of FCR at institutions that subscribe to Lexis and Westlaw, two leading legal databases.
FCR had over 115,000 article downloads last year from the journal publisher’s (Wiley-Blackwell) Web site.

FCR is included in Westlaw and Lexis, which means that legal academics, judges, lawyers, and researchers worldwide have access to it.

FCR articles have been cited by legislatures and in court decisions around the United States, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

How did FCR achieve this growth and development from its early days? By building on core principles evident in Volume 1, Issue 1 of the California Conciliation Courts Review, FCR was able to firmly establish itself as a leader in family law.

The first core principle is a sense of mission and purpose. Later in this issue, Michael Sinai and Jessica Barnes empirically document FCR’s consistent commitment to promoting core values from its inception, values they identify as: “(1) respecting and promoting the interdisciplinary nature of family law. (2) including international perspectives regarding family law matters, and (3) providing special recognition to the families and individuals served by family law professionals.” [[meaning ???]] Volume 1, Issue 1 began FCR’s commitment to these core values. It promoted the growth and development of the California Conciliation Courts because conciliation counseling was a better alternative for many parents than the disintegration of the marriage and an adversarial divorce.** It was worth a try to divert families from the traditional, court-based litigation divorce process to an alternative dispute resolution process focused on cooperation.

**notice the private determination of what was “better” for many parents…


From Hofstra University itself, we see that “Faculty Editor-in-chief” is Andrew Schepard (see “Board of AFCC”) in a dual role:

Family Court Review
Welcome
Editor-in-Chief: Lauren Wylie
Telephone: 516-463-5926
E-mail: FCR@hofstra.edu

Family Court Review (FCR) is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal published under the auspices of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC). Family Court Review is an international, interdisciplinary family law journal — a forum for the exchange of ideas, programs, research, legislation, case law and reforms. The journal’s editorial staff, under the direction of Faculty Editor-in-Chief Andrew Schepard, is based at the Law School. Its fundamental premise is that productive discussion of family law is facilitated by a dialogue between the judiciary, lawyers, mediators, mental health and social services communities.*** AFCC is an interdisciplinary, international association of judges, counselors, evaluators, mediators, attorneys and others concerned with the constructive resolution of family conflict.

At the end of each year, students are selected as members of the editorial staff of Family Court Review through a writing competition conducted in cooperation with the Hofstra Law Journals. Special consideration is given to students who are seriously interested in family law and family dispute resolution. [[Where many AFCC members make their livings..]]

Contact
Telephone: (516) 463-5926
E-mail: FCR@hofstra.edu

**notice complete LACK of interest in discussion of family law with the people most affected by it — the parents, in their communities, at their street level. this is an elite round-table, and the commoners are not expected to understand, or participate except through connection to some of the elite..

The key is: membership of a private nonprofit (AFCC) also holds simultaneous posts of influence at law schools, in courts (including as judges, or as Directors of “Family Court Services”, in administrative offices of the courts, or elsewhere — including, for example, at “CFCC”s set up within a law school, or a court (as with Schepard) — or in general, in positions of influence and power. The closer to the top the better. Or, the closer to the training circuit.


Battered Mothers Custody Conference doesn’t appear to have mentioned to its participants (at least systematically) that this organization, which has been structuring, staffing, lobbying for laws to accommodate their desired changes, and handling grants directed to the family and conciliation courts — EXISTS, or encourage anyone to even think about it. I have to ask, WHY NOT? And as they are a leadership force among battered women, like leader, like followers. An understanding of this organization is very close to an understanding of the courts, and their focus on engaging as many “mental health practitioners” as possible in custody matters as possible (that link, right bar, shows Andrew Schepard on an AFCC Task Force). [“Special Issue: The Role of the Mental Health Consultant in Child Custody Evaluation” — see who’s presenting…see footnote: FCR, co. AFCC)(They even have a (regular?) presenter who is a Hofstra graduate and Domestic Violence Advocate, from Hawaii. You’d think there’d be a trickle-down mention of the group helping publish the Family COurt Review out of Hofstra, which group is also a known Parental Alienation Promoter (which DV advocates like to speak out about) — yet where’s the consciousness raising about it? Not seen on line…This woman would rather talk about the Holly Collins case (2009 post) than inform people what’s been happening in the states…from a systems analysis point of view.

To understand AFCC would show the model of the multi-state strategizing/nationalizing factor that this nonprofit provides, and also (if people then began to understand that a nonprofit is NOT government, shouldn’t be attempting to act unilaterally AS government, or unduly influence the courts, or judges In government — they would be better requipeed to resist the intrusion of this private-interest trade association into individual lives, and say, “GET OUT!” instead of continuing to engage with them, and tolerate the salesforce for mental health services at public expense in the courtrooms.


Also, in understanding the AFCC model and its leadership’s behaviors, including at Law Schools (like Hofstra), it would be a window into the attempt to standardize (internationalize) the courts to a global model, which of course is going to conflict with the US model where the concept of “rights’ and Bill of Rights” is still at least kicking, if not alive and kicking….


Instead, this particular BMCC conference, historically –Overall, while preaching about how they system works, the most consistent leading edge symptom of this BMCC conference and its presenters (whether individual professionals OR nonprofits), has been the near-blackout on the basics of the entire field! This includes among what I see is now SIX sponsoring organizations — listed here: California Protective Parents Association (Connie Valentine et al), DVLEAP (Joan Meier) NOMAS (Barry Goldstein I believe associated with) , NCADV (Rita Smith?), National Court Watch Project (Renee Beeker)**, the Siena Psychology Club . . .
[[**note, names in parentheses are people who to my recall (i’m not re-checking) have been associated with these groups, and probably still are. I also do not know if these six co-sponsors were only for the 2013 Washington, D.C. conference, and not regularly for all of them, although for sure some of the groups have been):


NATURALLY, I am not making many friends among battered mothers with custody issues by stating this. On the other hand, this approach has not befriended me, or my children, by failing to disclose probably about 75% of the driving forces in the courts, and then theorizing about how judges and custody evaluators (not to mention “Batterers”) think and what it takes to get them to change their thinking… Such as realizing that their decisions are hurting kids (and THAT’s news???)


They focus on subject matter expertise and seek to become the next generation of judicial trainers in identifying domestic violence or child abuse in custody cases, as if a current ones didn’t exist, or even have names — and then create an intellectual dependency [In party by simply going on, and on, and on — and maintaining networks among battered mothers — on this set of information — while rejecting other relevant information they already have been confronted on, repeatedly, by others. Again — when integrity of basic information has been this compromised, the problem-solving groups are part of the problem.


In fact, in general, why are so many Americans (and I have been one most of my professional life) content to go through life without understanding THOROUGHLY how government works, basics of the legal and court systems, and most important — the economic history of this country, and how that plays into the setup of the family courts?Why are we so content with a model based on feudalism, or should I say, the plantation? We can say “Constitution” all we want, but if the bottom line is the economic system, that trumps law, it would seem. As I learned, an unenforceable court order (law enforcement doesn’t feel like enforcing it) — isn’t an order; shouldn’t we know this before going through the challenge of getting one?

After surveying SOME of the damage (as I looked things up), I finally ran across a more sensible (and coherent) understanding of the situation from completely outside the “family court reform” field — but this is the room in which that field indeed operates. I shouldn’t have had to lose my kids to learn about Fatherhood.gov or access/visitation grants, and I wish it hadn’t taken about three MORE years of research to finally run across a commonsense — but documented, and independently verifiable — proof that the overall problem relates to our tax system and the economically dumbed-down public. For that, we have also to thank increasingly centralized ownership of mainstream media.



So, as a mother, domestic violence survivor, and United States citizen looking at “what next” and how can I best put my energies into a better future for others (primarily my children) — I have to look at this source of information. If readers don’t believe information is true unless attached to the right pedigree (as opposed to whether it’s actually true or not), this one is Harvard. However, he’s citing people you’ve perhaps not heard of, who aren’t “Harvard”….or Yale….

CAFR: US agencies have billions, trillions in investments while crying budget deficits

POLITICS MAY 22, 2010 BY: CARL HERMAN in “Examiner.com”

Gerald Klatt and Walter Burien are unrecognized heroes. These individuals are national leaders who have communicated how government agencies conceal American taxpayers’ money in surplus accounts that collectively total trillions of our dollars. The data is found in government agencies’ Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs).

What CAFRs reveal is a communist-style policy whereby the US taxpayers surrender enormous assets to the state, who then “invest” these collective trillions that swell in these accounts. Concurrently, taxpayers are informed of budget deficits to either squeeze more taxes from them and/or cut public services. To add insult to injury, the state lies in omission by never reminding Americans of their hard-earned and withheld trillions as they eliminate jobs, reduce education, and attack the quality of our lives.

The American Constitution is a contract of limited government whereby the public informs and is informed by our representatives. CAFRs are damning public documents that expose “leadership” from Left and Right as exactly what leading economic voices have said: an absolutely corrupt and self-serving oligarchy.

Let’s look at the economic data revealed in CAFRs.

For example, California has a budget deficit of ~$20 billion. The combined investments of CAFRs for the state of CA, Los Angeles County, and the City of Los Angeles is over $450 billion; over 22 times the amount of the budget shortfall (documentation page numbers below). . . .

To put this into an analogy, I’ve modified the one used by Walter:

This is like a juvenile claiming he needs money because his front pants pocket is empty, which he dutifully shows (budget). What he’s not telling you is that his back pockets have over 100 times the money he says he “needs” (shown in various places of the CAFRs). Whenever he’s asked about the money in his back pockets, which he never volunteers in discussing his empty front pocket and never invites for consideration to move some into the front pocket, he says, “Oh, that money is designated for other uses. I can’t touch that.”

So far, the silence of corporate media and political leadership from Left and Right has brought us to today. Of course, “I can’t touch that” is a lie of omission because it can be touched the moment policy changes. So the real issue is the heart of economics: what are the costs and benefits of different choices?

[emphases in the quote, mine]

How the Feds get in the family courts (without really taking responsibility for their intervention) — is through the Social Security Act-based “public health and welfare” law — in short, Poverty Theory. This is where “Fatherhood.gov” starts, apparently. Two-parent families are national federal policy, because we say so. We can’t force it on the state courts, but we can “induce.” . . . . and all this is based on raising up the children out of poverty, as was, collecting all that child support upfront (in addition to income taxes….). Thus the courts must be transformed into conciliation conduits magnetically attracting federal money — and the public is led to believe (through the CAFR media blackout) that this is necessary for the public good.. In reality, there is a great sucking sound — land AND money is being sucked away from individuals, and with the gap in the balance of power, individuals are fighting to protect themselves against this — without the understanding of what they’re up against.

Or, see also same article on “wanttoknow.info” a source of other information you might actually NOT want to know — it’s bound to provoke and disturb — unless you are truly dissatisfied with the standard rhetoric about why we must put up with courts bankrupting families and some of those family members actually dying, in the name of “in the best interests of the children,” or why the public should be contributing to welfare funding which has a clear intent to expand its roles, while promising the opposite. Or what’s the real difference, if any, between Republicans and Democrats, if you are, for example, female (females are still the majority in the US, just not in Congress, etc.), or a minority (which looks like, those running the place may become in just a few years, after decades of targeting social programs towards how to control profiled ‘minority” populations, such as “low-income families.”


Once that tax money if out of our hands (culled up-front through income taxes, added to through service taxes, added to at the courthouses through filing fees, etc.) it’s as though (collectively) our consciousness of it also goes, and we expect public servants and political leadership to do THEIR job of stewardship as well as we, for example, might be doing OUR jobs of working for our employers (if we didn’t do these jobs well enough, might get fired). Hence the economy is job-dependent, while the country’s leadership is investment and ROI-dependent. Then we pay judges and attorneys TOO MUCH to control the stuff (public servants) and expect them to be more ethical than we, collectively are. Is that reasonable? We drop our kids off at schools and go to work (if lucky).

The public still doesn’t “get” this as they don’t “get” the extent of violence and abuse which has become normalized in many families (and in many marriages). But if the system is understood, and then observed in action — and, as it can be, traced back to at least the early 1900s (pre World War I) or late 1800s; if we are given the right VOCABULARY to understand the TECHNOLOGY of government, and of money — then perhaps there’s hope for a different future. Here’s from another summary by Mr. Hermann (dated March 2, 2013) in “Washington’s blog”

Ready for Victory? Or do you uphold unlawful wars, bankster economics, dishonored rights?

Fraud is the crime of misrepresentation that causes harm. The US bankster economy uses fraud to transfer trillions annually from We the People to them. This criminal “1%” represent our “debt-supply” as a “money supply,” represent bank debt that they made out of nothing as “loans,” and represent escalating government debts as having no solutions except our austerity rather than presenting obvious solutions. This fraud costs Americans increasing work (if they can get work), increasing debt, inflation, deprivation of public services, and a transfer of wealth to a criminal-colluding 1% that hide ~$20 to $30 trillion in protected tax havens

Once this type of information is out, it demands a response, and that response should be to either validate it — and act on it; or invalidate it (good luck with that!) and come up with another explanation for why we can’t get honest government — or honest courts (good luck with that, too — you’ll need it!).

Throw up one’s hands in resignation to an (increasingly) dangerous form of government, and cling to hope that, if I’m not lucky, I might avoid becoming part of a target population (or family), and maintain the job until retirement, get some benefits, continue to survive until the economy implodes or explodes, etc. Or continue to repeat the mantra — “it’s not my business; why can’t these families manage THEIR personal (family matters) business better?”

In other words, “Yes, others have contributed to these problems, but NOW, it’s time to look in the mirror: WHY did I believe so many lies, and what can I personally do (myself, my choice, within my being) to not swallow so many myths whole, and undigested? Where was my head at???

One response I had — and it is work; it takes mental effort, and it’s not easy — except that truth goes down a lot better than lies — (again, I’m looking for the largest, consistently relevant, set of principles to understand the most critical parts of life TODAY, in dealing with others I have immediate contact with, etc.).

We have to “get honest.” And part of that honesty is economic honesty. RIght now, “go with the flow” is not a moral choice. I also found that this mentality of “justice is someone else’s job” is a mindset that uniformly affected my life over two decades as no one aware of the violence in my home (and others we knew) had the internal self-respect, and integrity — to do anything about it! Two decades is a large chunk of anyone’s life, and it was of mine, starting in the prime of it. For children especially that’s a huge chunk of time.

I believe that the mentality of collective passivity towards our largest institutions is (a) intended, and (b) the problem. Moreover, we have not kept our basic technologies (of organization, communication, financing, and mutual support when under attack) sufficient to withstand the opposition.

(as well as so many people’s livelihood being dependent on a salary from them — civil servants at every level; courts, schools, county offices, human services offices) and then the major sector of religious institutions not only exempt from taxation (and proper reporting) but ALSO having housing allowances for their leadership, tax-exempt — is a factor in the complete mindset of “running the country is someone else’s job.”


This probably explains why it took so long for women to get the vote, and why we are barely represented in Congress, either: “What Do Women Really Want?

(parable? with  Sir Lancelot, the The Round Table, an ugly old witch, a beautiful maiden, and the smartest answer I’ve yet heard. Hint: Did not come from Mel Gibson’s fount of wisdom. {found 12/12/12. Would YOU have bypassed this one?}).

{{Note:  From this woman to whichever man came up with the tale, the answer — with some qualifiers — is right on!  That really is what we want,*see bottom of post*}} …

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. (The post needs some font-corrections. Yours truly will be back and make them…..WHen in doubt, skip my commentary and click on the links and read them, that’ll work well too….).

    Let's Get Honest

    August 10, 2013 at 7:58 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?...' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

iakovos alhadeff

Anti-Propaganda

Red Herring Alert

There's something fishy going on!

The American Spring Network

News. by the people, for the people. The #1 source for independent investigative journalism in the Show-Me State, serving Missouri since 2011.

Family Court Injustice

Mom & Kids Need "Just Us" to Fight Family Court Injustice

The Espresso Stalinist

Wake Up to the Smell of Class Struggle ☭

Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence

Finally! The Truth About Domestic Violence and The Church

%d bloggers like this: