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.

Archive for February 9th, 2017

Vital Info: Formerly “Sticky” Posts (pared down from 15) [2/8/2017]

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The post’s former motto, displayed in top-right corner, was obscured by the title once I upgraded the blog. I moved the former motto into the title (Site Identity) area, and changed the motto. It’s still not fully visible, so, for the record, here it is as of “Q1” 2017:

‘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.

Clear references to two posts, NOT marked “Sticky,” but which do demonstrate my practices (“A Different Kind of Attention“) and basic question, based on those practices over now many years, “Suppose I’m Right Here?  What Would You Do When the Lights Go On?”  (Would it change your personal cause-focused social media behavior or “leisure time”?) If I’m right (and I typically link to supporting evidence and coherent connections between the various parts of it; if there is missing evidence or improper connections/assumptions others can see) what logical (even if seemingly impossible at first) changes should be made?

If you (personally) are just not willing or able to make any significant changes to what you repeat, parrot, re-blog or even what you look into on a regular basis — then on what basis are you complaining about government practices?

The second March 2014 post (Suppose I’m Right…)  is FULL of still-relevant information; I suggest using the scroll function to preview it.  It’s a call to identify the presence or absence of “pre-framing” questions vs. using the language of logic, and I call out those groups which are perpetuating incongruous and at times inane statements as part of their basic group identity claims.  You can see this throughout social media, like a brand name without the company name always attached.

I identify group-think: “knee-jerk-responses-solicited” language in by now established advocacy groups. I also look closely at some of the NIJ studies being cited as exciting new proof.  Who EVER does the drill-down and gets the context of the studies before learning the catechism of the movements?

Some entertainment is involved as well as (fair’s fair!) my own versions of some of the basic fables (storytelling) on some very serious subject matter making the rounds.

How many comprehend that part of discovering what TO do includes making sound decisions on what NOT to do before what TO do becomes self-evident, personally? Among the best things I’ve done in the past several years is to say “No” and “No more!” and meaning it when it becomes clear the various conversations are not raising the basic comprehension level of any group, or that group cannot or will not deal with its own cognitive dissonance.

Or censorship of discussion of basic, elemental material which if comprehended, discredits the group’s primary assumptions.

Amazing what you can learn [this blog is partial testament] when the schedule is cleared of talk with the crazies (“crazy” specifically referring to those who do not apply proper filters and fact-checks before sign-up, join-in, and become an unsponsored “affiliate,” using one’s own custody cases, to hucksters and — and this really does apply UNTIL you’ve looked up, read, and comprehended the tax returns, and tax returns of your friend’s friends and recommended resources — strangers] and spent some solitary time seriously scrutinizing available evidence in its specific AND larger contexts.

There’s a major difference between being able to argue the main points of a hypothesis of theory, as opposed to simply outshouting them, in comments fields, “forums,” or social media where dissident or disturbing information can be simply dismissed, and comments deleted before the public gets to read them.

It seems to be human nature to construct narratives of reality, especially about things one has some experience with and wishes to bond with shared experiences by others on. However this need for simplified bonding phrases can also ensnare individuals in self-defeating suppositions.

I have little respect for professionals, trained in mediating and facilitating groups who as professionals hold conflicts-of-interest professional affiliations but do not disclose these to the people they are “helping.”

In the fields of domestic violence, fathers’ rights (“responsible fatherhood”), “child maltreatment” / child abuse, divorce, custody and child support, that field is crowded with conflicts of interests. The ENTIRE family court apparatus itself represents exactly this kind of conflict of interest in its administration, its goals, and its operations — something which can be at least pursued and tracked historically through tracking the behavior of primary nonprofits (plural!) involved.  Speculation about and ongoing suggestions that one can professional cleaning up specific practices within single fields involving the family courts is, in the context, (and in my opinion) ridiculous.  FIRST, handle the conflicts of interest — financial, and close the doors to any money-laundering, and payment of bribes.

It shouldn’t take too long to figure out that this essentially means, closing the doors to court-connected corporations themselves, while welfare law (1996) and other acts of Congress before them (such as the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, “FVPSA,” I came to learn over time) specifically allocate funding for control of the field — coming through HHS.  Meanwhile, “HMRF” funding also comes through HHS.

I believe that individually (and not always organized under a banner, a group name, a nonprofit, or a “movement”) both women and men can make a significant difference by demanding honesty in personal associations (including on-line), and taking enough solitary time to do some basic, (BASIC basic) drill-downs (actually, “look-ups” might be a better word…) on their favorite philanthropies or nonprofits (pick one — it almost doesn’t matter), then look at some more.

Then go learn to look up (USA) some federal agency grants.  Not to mention contracts.  Pick up a LONG document full of numbers and words called the “Comprehensive Annual Financial Report” (CAFR) of SOME government entity you’re interested in — and read the table of contents, the transmittal letter up front, the “MD&A” (Management Discussion & Analysis) and even those “Notes” at the end.  While you’re at it, look at the numbers too. These CAFRs often have organization charts; they tell you what is and what is not being reported on, and often contain startling admissions.

Start to make some sense of the one in your hands.  Then read another — and you have something to compare the first one too.  Learn what are some basic — real basic — tools for looking things up and discover (I did!) in the process just in what condition they are, currently.  Think about that — what does it say about a country which continues taxing its citizens, but cannot and does not account for the receipts and provide functional databases (AND advertise where they are found on federal agency home pages!) so people may do their own lookups?

And then the same government makes a big deal about “public/private partnerships” why — just in case some people might get too close to the truth on the accountability gaps?  What a sure way to make money disappear — redistribute through a diverse set of interconnected nonprofits, blended government with private wealth, and then trademarking the programs, taking them national and international, and selling it as in the public interest.  Really???

In part, this is what I’ve done when curious about something, including on-line websites ending *.org and promoting some cause.  You’ll see it on this blog.  Do you prefer stories?  Do your stories have to have an individual’s name in them, a plot — distressed child, estranged spouse, bad judge, unfair custody evaluator, flawed practices and family courts not stopping child abuse (where they ever set up to do this??) — instead of an organization’s name, or a government entity’s name, or an accounting term describing the report form (Annual Report, Budget, Financial Statement, Tax return, etc.)?

Understandable, but perhaps it’s time to grow up.

(Note:  if that “shoe doesn’t fit,” which it might not for many readers, then the message wasn’t for you; don’t wear it!  IF someone else is writing in similar manner on these things (doing more drill-downs across-the-board, not just in one geography or one field, please submit links on a comment!).

[These paragraphs above added 3/18/2017.  Now, about the “Sticky” stuff:]


(This post is sticky, too!)

 Vital Info, or at least Formerly “Sticky” Posts (pared down from 15) [2/8/2017]

(That title is also an active link; its url is the generated “shortlink.”

It just happens to be yellow because the usual link color wouldn’t display so well.)

This post provides the former (as of its publication) Top 15 Sticky Posts in 15 IMAGEs (Screenshots), and above that in a separate, shorter list (minus the pictures) so I may unstick most of them with confidence the information won’t be lost among the 680+ posts spanning seven years (now almost eight) .

Anything I labeled “sticky,” meaning “stays near top of the blog,” holds concepts and contents I obviously considered vital.  Then again, so are my current posts, but the concepts on the sticky ones remain fundamental.


There are limits to how much re-organizing (“house-keeping”) of any blog is possible while still investigating, writing, and hoping to keep publishing; this move is overdue.  But it’s time to condense the “Sticky” posts — which stayed month after month and year after year at the top of the blog’s central column leading an ongoing parade of post.  With this re-arrangement that list of vital titles now becomes less “in your face” than I’d like, but helps especially people who have been following or know about this blog better scan the main area (not just side-bar “most recent posts” and Table of Contents formatting) for my current research and themes.  For the same reason (scanning for topics and themes) I continue to choose long, more than just “catchy” post titles — getting the topics as close to top-level visibility as possible, although in covering the topics, the posts are going to be long and sometimes, the juicy heart of them, further towards the bottom.

I kept this post “Sticky #1” of now only 7, and removed that “glue” from the others

This post exists to provide the former (as of its publication) Top 15 Sticky Posts in 15 IMAGEs (Screenshots).  The images are simply labeled #1,  #2, etc. and the date and time of the screenshots.

Each image caption will have a link to both the screenshot, and the individual post, so you can access them from this page.  Click “LINK” to go straight to that post, or date & time are to read the screenshot, basically a preview of its contents, full-size.  Post titles are visible in the images:  

[The images + captions are in the dark-green background section, but otherwise, with two links/image caption, look about like this.]

#4 (Screenshot Feb. 7 @ 833.20pm PST)

 LINK Sticky Post #4 (Screenshot Feb. 7 @ 833.20pm PST  

 

Also for those removed from the “top-of-the-blog” position, they are still listed in proper date order on the various tables of contents (<>2017,  <>2016 only, and <>Sept. 2012 – June 29, 2014)

ALSO, SEPARATELY, and FIRST( if you don’t need the Image to make up your mind), and FOR READER CONVENIENCE, I’m posting both the LINKS and links to screenprints of those images, all together at the top.  For each image, the same two links/each will be provided on their Captions also (except once where I mistakenly included two shots of one post, and another time where I deliberately took one screenshot of two posts).

IF YOU ARE MORE VISUALLY ORIENTED, SKIP THE SHORT SECTION IN LIGHT-GREEN BACKGROUND (It’s all text, 15 bullets divided into 3 groups of 5 each, and two links per item (bullet)) and LOOK FOR THE IMAGES IN DARK-GREEN BACKGROUND LIKE THIS.  Thanks in advance for telling others about my blog.
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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.

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