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Apparently Common Family Court Reform Practice (Why my Uncommon Approach is less “Flawed”) [Published May 12, 2019]

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Happy Mothers’ Day.  Good Mothers Give a Damn! (but not always about what others think of us while we’re doing so).  I hope you make it through this post which I published because I do, too.

“You are Here”~> Apparently Common Family Court Reform Practice (Why my Uncommon Approach is less “Flawed”) [Published May 12, 2019] (Case-sensitive short-link here ends “-9Qq”) (Produced earlier, moved here to shorten “More about these perspectives and key concepts (and actors)…,” published May 6, 2019. Its shortlink ends “-9MU”).  About 13,600 words including footnotes.

My May 6, 2019 post and its primary content.

I’m glad to have written all this but sad I had to gut the center of another post to shorten it and improve the chances of both being read.

That post begins (see nearby image)~~>

“PRACTICE”: There are apparently common family court reform practices, in the generic sense of the word “practice” not in the specialized sense as with a licensed professions (medical, law, etc. ).

Within family court reform, one can see the practices and the “practitioners” (in the most generic sense). Their own writings often show the theories and with the theories, the built-in assumptions on which those theories stand or, if based on false assumptions, fail logically — and will fail those the theories justifying the transformed practices purport to help.  The “unspoken & unproven theory” situation is so common, I classified it as a practice, and am further illustrating in a separate (upcoming) post because it is, as a practice, innately, tricky.  You have to Stop, Look (read), and Listen (to common sense & gut instinct).  Post full title, below.

Symptoms of “stealthily delivered” assumptions typically surface around the perimeter of any article, report, resolution or proposed solutions, even in the first sentence or paragraph.  Whether the deliverer/s knew or didn’t know (was just being used by others as a carrier of such assumptions) matters and sometimes can be shown by simply watching what happens after a challenge.

IF you give a damn about: due process, family courts (or children, families, or public accountability for use of public funds, i.e., representative government by consent of the governed), you should read this whole post.

Just before publishing here, I  decided to add an exhortation, some “red ink” bordered in red. If the color red means “STOP” in some cultures and in traffic signals, let it mean that now:  “Stop, Look, Listen!”  I laid it out briefly and I believe convincingly, but on a new page. Please read!

New Page: WHY? Should I Stop! Look! and Listen! (to such long posts)? [May 11, 2019] (with case-sensitive short-link ending “-9Sl,” where that last character is a small “L” not the number “1” or a capital “I”)..

This post Apparently Common Family Court Reform Practice … “amazingly” is comprised of a Top (“Introduction”), Middle (the section gutted from there (“More About Those Perspectives”) and deposited here; it summarizes and provides some details on “Apparently Common Family Court Reform Practices,” and contrasts with my approach), and a Bottom (footnoted comments from the intro).  In that sandwich, the slices of bread stacked together probably equal the juicy middle part in length, but each part has its own flavor and spices.

The top and bottom describe and define two basic categories the family court reform practitioners (so to speak) falling into two basic categories, and the middle, common practices I’ve noticed from one of those groups.

About that Middle Part:

In writing the middle part, I looked for a public link describing just one of the practices (“Safe Child” theme and “H.Con.Res.72” a Congressional resolution just passed in 2018). What I saw  occasioned another quick drill-down on an H.Con.Res.72-associated (lobbyist) organization.

That drill-down unearthed geographically and corporately other people and organizations that hold national and international significance, and expose developing situations among those people (and organizations). This is new material to me (networked chambers of commerce memberships lobbying through a regional businessman’s “council,” a specific nonprofit entity “Urban Land Initiative,” and local government planning departments or commissions are deeply involved) and I bet their collective connectivity is to most of  readers.  A spinoff post was inevitable and has been written (is in my post pipeline to be published).  Full title and link are listed further below.

That subject matter falls within the topics of <> regionalism/internationalization and <> continual, incremental compromise of jurisdiction (which, individually and taken together, eliminate any possibility of informed public consent), which I’d noted in my two preceding posts (published April 19, May 6).

Those developing situations (and “development” is a key feature, i.e., who owns and what’s done on the real estate involved) also show a disturbing consistency, given who is involved, in putting out inaccurate, scanty, and belated identification of business names and interests they are promoting and reporting as for the regional benefit.  Correct business names often omitted, legal domicile (in which state) obscured, and so forth, IF the state business entity registrations are to believed.  Tracking them down is, well, like becoming a “tracker” when this information should be reported honestly and kept honest from the start.  If the cause really is so legitimate, why wouldn’t it be reported accurately, honestly, and timely?  This will become more clear when the spinoff post is published.

So, towards the bottom of the middle section (but before the “Footnotes”) I explain the national and international significance and some disturbing aspects of those developing situations and their historic connectivity. Some very famous names are involved, which brings up why such a barely-known entity might be lobbying and possibly coordinating (?) with others in California along the same (illogically framed, in the context) “Safe Child” theme when family courts are involved. These are among the reasons that situation gripped my attention and I followed through with producing this post.

Further navigation/content guideposts to just this post, as it developed:

What started as an about 6,000-word summary with some key links and images, with my introduction and five (5) added footnotes is now about twice that. Or so. Adding to the word-count of the original (now middle section) 6,000-word summary of Apparently Common Family Court Reform Practices are the full titles of two more (coming up soon) spin-off posts and four (4) named footnotes to be posted separately along with the six (6) footnotes left in the originating post, resulting in a further “spin-off (“Footnotes”) post” (from both the original and this one) holding all ten (10) footnotes.  Like my titles, those footnotes tend to have long names.  Captions to the several images add to the total word count:  my captions often include identifying links and comments; they sometimes run long, too.  I like to make things explicit where I can, and also keep the blog media library well-labeled for future reference.

Overall, most of this post’s length at the top (Intro) and bottom (footnotes) comes from my continuing to define/further specify terms used to describe: the reform practices, the reform groups (and categories they fall into).Those definitions are a constant in my blogging because they’re so absent from most other blogging and reporting on the same topics.  They are not in common usage, and if I want to keep talking (even on this platform) or eventually discuss my concerns with others about these things, I have to keep at least some basic vocabulary and points of reference in circulation.

“The same topics” meaning  identified, often headlining, problems commonly accompanying the family courts proceedings, the socioeconomic symptoms they continue to display, as observable in the people who are run through these courts.  The symptoms surface sometimes right before, also during, and sometimes even years after one might THINK a process was complete.  These socioeconomic symptoms include a continual discharge of: “roadkill,” ~  estranged parents ~ estranged kids ~ intergenerational financial devastation of at least ONE of every two known parents.  Overall, the broadest symptom, is (probably) abject failure to resolve conflict, as can be seen by one, or sometimes both parents (and/or grandparents) continuing to initiate repeat actions, filings, and responsive actions and filings & visits sometimes spanning two, five, or even ten or more years PER FAMILY.

These symptoms are all now normal part and recurring accompaniment to the uniquely-constructed “reconciliation” processes advertised as reducing adversarial proceedings and parental/family hostilities and conflict… for the good of the families and (implied) society.***

I forgot to mention — while selling this as in the public benefit and continuing to receive public support for the same.  They were introduced and marketed (to that public and legislatures) as PROBLEM-SOLVING and PUBLIC (Judicial/Courthouse etc.) RESOURCE-SAVING courts.

Those are some of the typical problems that the “Family Court Reform Practices” typically claim intent to address, with each new report listing another aspect (symptom) of some serious problems.  I thought I might mention this when describing and responding to what I think of the same practices, and who’s promoting/practicing them.

Those definitions and scope are always important, but if you wish to see the about 6,000 words (and images) I moved, look about halfway down for:


There are just three sections: Top, Middle and Bottom.

Top (“Introduction”), Middle (above title/has the most images) and Bottom (Is footnotes, which I’m calling “SOME COMMENTS FROM (footnotes to) THIS POST,to distinguish it from a separate footnotes post for these three or four interconnected posts (this is the second to be published of about four) are displayed ALL CAPS, centered (nothing else on the page is) and in Bigger, Bright Red, and Bolded Font.

(A few little blue boxes enclosing fine print scattered within the post are my way of down-sizing commentary that didn’t qualify for a footnote… boxes like the one above or this empty one:)




More than one set of collaborative/collaborating groups claims to be addressing problems of the family courts and has tailor-made solutions for them.*

(*specifically in the USA, a situation I’m more familiar with because I’ve lived here, although we know the Atlantic (and Pacific, less so) Ocean is crossed frequently to align practice, as well as the northern boundary of USA’s 48 contiguous  — touching each other — states with Canada.  Within the USA, there are also family courts in the District of Columbia which we know is not a “State” specifically, in U.S. territories and in some Native American tribal lands.)

One set includes but is not limited to the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (“AFCC”) and its chapters (some outside the USA), whose activist members (judges, lawyers, behavioral health specialists and court administrators, etc. tend to be members) also claim, somehow, to be reforming and improving (what appears to me to be) their own creations — those courts.** That’s a bit of a split-persona (schizoid) stance.  They’re somehow both leaders and innovators, but “it went astray” and now they need to correct it going off-course.  Allegedly.

**Separately (from the main content of this post), one of my long-term goals is to figure out, decisively and in a way which might be proved or disproved, whether the family courts in the USA can, in fact, be effectively separated from this nonprofit, or would have even existed without it.  I have a hypo/thesis that IF everything specific to the AFCC protocol, agenda, guidelines (etc.) were taken OUT of these courts, they’d have no driving force and might not exist. IF that’s the case, then for the creators to be claiming to be the innovators for “problem practices” the question comes up quickly:  Whose idea were the problem practices in the first place?  (In other words, a bit of split-personality logic is in operation on where AFCC says it stands, overall, in the mix).  Not the main question today.

Leadership from this first (and earlier) group has been noted (and I’ve posted on it) also administratively creating other kinds of problem-solving courts, and programs to go with them.

(Example:  High-conflict regional court in Middletown, Middlesex Judicial District, Connecticut, on which I and others were posting and reporting ca. 2011-2012, Judge Lynda B. Munro (Ret. Fall 2014) (and friends)).**  One can do things like this when one is a presiding judge or administrative judge, or a retired judge consultant to an entire state ruling body, such as the California Judicial Council (Judge Leonard Edwards).

[Fact-checking, May 13, 2019] “Middletown” or “Middlesex Judicial District”?: Actually, looks like it WAS in Middletown.  My write-up seven years ago (on the Family Court Franchise System blog, not this one), “Connect-i-Cut’s High-Conflict Court” (March 1, 2012) has several quotes which say “Middletown.”  I’m not from Connecticut, wanted to correct this quickly today, will re-check that geography and provide another more direct link.  I’d remembered as “Middletown” then saw, below a 2008 quote (imaged and provided below with this post as published) which said “Middlesex” and thought I’d been mistaken.  Will follow-up and delete this paragraph promptly.]

. . .The courthouse for the Middlesex Judicial District is in Middletown.  The mix-up was understandable.  The official term, under “Special Sessions of the Superior Court” used by the Connecticut Judicial Branch is “Regional Family Trial Docket.”  Domestic Violence is also a “Special Session” but very little information about it is provided there: (Site checked May 13, 2019):

A special docket in the Middlesex Judicial District, 1 Court Street, Middletown, which handles contested custody and visitation matters referred to it from any Judicial District in the state. One judge presides over and manages the docket. The goal is to handle contested cases involving children quickly and without interruption. Cases are referred to the Regional Family Trial Docket by the family presiding judge when they meet the program criteria: child focused issue; ready for trial; family relations case study completed and not more than nine months old; and an attorney has been appointed for the children

“High-Conflict” (“Contested Custody.”).  That some of the cause for contesting custody might just be child abuse or domestic violence (or allegations thereof) is a given.  Due to the nature of AFCC and its general dim view of the reporting of domestic violence and child abuse, and generally, intent to reframe them as relationship issues, etc., you can see why if such a judge (either referring — as presiding judge) and/or the known AFCC-friendly one (while on the bench), Lynda B. Munro here, as the “ONE JUDGE” presiding over a case might easily lead to case-steering and abuse coverup.  Also note that another qualification of being referred to there is having an assigned attorney for the children.

See also (link on the same page) Guide to Special Sessions and Diversionary Programs in Connecticut (Superior Court | Criminal Division) (“JDR-CR137” rev. 10/2013) which features three types:  Community Court, Domestic Violence, and Drug Courts.  The DV Docket also mentions “one judge, one case.” Under “Diversionary Programs,” one of several is “Family Violence Education Program” (sounds like “Batterers’ Intervention Programming,” generally).

In preparing this reminder with links, this time I noticed that this Californian longstanding powerhouse Judge Edwards’ undergraduate education was at Wesleyan University in Middletown Connecticut.

Wesleyan seems to be upper-notch liberal arts with a privileged (student: faculty ratio 8:1, two-thirds of its classes under 20 students).  Its origins were Methodist (see “John Wesley” British evangelist to the unchurched in America in the 1700s, starting in Georgia). It broke ties, but probably not purpose (preparing students for social transformation functions).  Notably, his degree was in 1963, before civil rights era had really kicked in, and before women were admitted as freshmen (1972) or even transfer students) 1968.  His points of reference as a youth, are, in other words, an all-male, primarily white college experience.  Oddly (?) the next judge I thought of referencing also has strong Wesleyan roots but from a southern state..

**AFCC’s Connecticut Chapter: The organization was “outed” for operating in Connecticut out of public offices unregistered (apparently for decades), and has since, it seems, reformed as a Form 990PF filer, then shut down… I discovered it at the time when I was systematically looking up the chapters listed.

In The Washington Times under “Communities”, May 20, 2013 by Anne Stevenson, who was also “onto” AFCC at the time and at least since 2011 (we have conversed by phone and email but since gone our separate ways; never met) “CT Judicial Employees Face Tough Questions (as posted at “theLizLibrary.org”) is a short but effective and self-explanatory summary.  Look at page 2.  You can see the author was following the money and noting improper payments.  (Link added 5/13/19).

You’d never know it from the press release about her (soon after) Oct. 2014 retirement. (Same link as above)  Notice the types and number of activities and positions held and that now, presumably having some sort of state pension, she is also continuing to work along the same lines — for the good of families and children, mediators, dispute resolution, fair child support (and so forth).  “ADR” section.

This would seem to be a relatively illustrious and “respected by one’s peers” career curve. That privilege was not afforded to many of the parents who were funneled through that regional court in Middletown. Middlesex Judicial District.

The next three images are all from the same law firm’s website:  Two are from one page, and the third from the first link (her name) on the same.  Notice the “presiding” functions and state-level activism:

(Connecticut example, Cont’d.).

State of Connecticut Judiciary August 29, 2008 Press Advisory that Judge Lynda B. Munro is named “Chief Administrative Judge of Family Matters,” (see image) also at the bottom references her prior experience in that regional docket.  Please notice the fine print on the image that this court also handles “relief from abuse” cases (doesn’t even say “domestic violence” or “domestic abuse”).  The announcement is from the “External Affairs” Division and contains a phone number to them.

Starting Sept. 1, 2008, and in addition to her duties as chief administrative judge, Judge Munro will serve as the presiding judge of the Regional Family Trial Docket in the Middlesex Judicial District. She held that same position from August 1999 to September 2000, and from September 2003 to August 2004.

Or, when one is, as is still the case in Texas, a State Supreme Court Justice (Justice Debra Lehrmann.~~>This Wiki doesn’t mention her AFCC involvement, although it does her political party (Republican) and church (United Methodist; see below re: Judge Leonard’s undergraduate college) and background in Tarrant County, Texas.

Like retired Judge Leonard P. Edwards, Justice Lehrmann maintains major power-positions relating to families, children, child access and visitation, mediation, lawyer professional discipline, etc.  Identifies as a conservative. This “About Judge Lehrmann” does mention, but only in passing, her “past-President of Texas Chapter of AFCC” and “AFCC Liaison.” As I recall she was instrumental in bringing parenting coordination or access/visitation programming to the state, closely associated with fatherhood programming as is, in fact, Tarrant County Texas in general.

Alternately, presiding judicial members can in effect, executive-order (administratively rule) that court-connected business goes directly to specific service providers who happen to be (although this is rarely noted in the ruling) also members of this same private, tax-exempt association…  on which I’ve also posted (search “Cuyahoga County, Ohio” on this blog). I don’t know whether the presiding or administrative family court judge who made that rule in 1994? 1998? was AFCC, but it’s clear the beneficiary of its application to one out of only two specific authorized providers of the mandatory parent education classes (and Spanish-speaking) was (Jack Arbuthnot, Donald Gordon, Center for Divorce Education).

Those small examples given above lead to more fascinating information.  I’ve been publicizing this situation, generally, through this blog and social media (such as I participate, not that much outside of Twitter these days), but it just doesn’t seem to really register.

For the above references, I’ve set up another post:  That post (in draft now): Classic AFCC Combos, Collaborations, and Commonalities (Ret’d California Judge/Consultant Leonard P. Edwards, Texas Supreme Court Justice Debra H. Lehrmann) and What’s WITH Middletown Connecticut? (shortlink ends -9T3, material moved Mothers Day 2019)

{{I’d mixed up Middletown with the high-conflict court in Middlesex; not the same.  The write-up had been many (about seven) years ago, so….}}

Among other things (while focused on just two individuals), one topic that comes up is the American Inns of Court and their history.  Another is the religious commonalities (this time, Wesleyan / United Methodist) which I hadn’t noticed earlier as a factor in the California judge’s history.  Between these two and the longevity of both judges functional in such large states as California and Texas, it makes for relevant, and interesting, reading!

I don’t get the sense of people actually looking at the networked connections among AFCC members, or the sense of how they’re made and people are positioned for leverage in such key positions to achieve a PRIVATE entity’s goal (in association with other like-minded PRIVATE interests), but choose to use PUBLIC resources, real estate, and institutions to achieve it.  That goals isn’t just personal — it’s a cohesive goal of in which direction to move this country, through moving its COURTS and its LAWS away from accountability.

Those who participate are richly rewarded en route, with retirement pensions (if public employees not caught in any serious fraud or criminal activity) which can be supplemented by consultancies and/or just jumping in on some of the nonprofit associations (as providers or board members) their leverage helped establish steady income for while in office.  PUBLIC office. These also work cohesively to train up next generations of professionals to think and act similarly, preserving the specialized privileges that go with the system — and labelling it all in the common interest of vulnerable and ESPECIALLY  children and all people ESPECIALLY low-income people.

I removed the supporting documentation for the claims to make room for the intended focus o this post — the OTHER set of reformists I’m referring to in the above title.//LGH May 12, 2019, just another “Mothers’ Day, USA…”


Taken as a whole, such an organization while small, can leverage major influence, not always immediately perceptible to those not alerted to its presence, which “not alerting (others) to its presence” brings (me) to a second and much more recent set of collaborative/collaborating groups whose “reason for being” and primary output seems to be addressing custody decision-making problems of the family courts.

By saying “groups” instead of simply “organizations” I’m deliberately leaving room to include both legally registered organizations, formerly-registered organizations (still using entity business name as though it was still registered), and individuals who are not on the board of, apparently in the employ of, or citing themselves as a representative of specific organizations…

They just, however, have adopted (swallowed, and are regurgitating) the same policies and, generally speaking, promoting and seeking to effect the same types of solutions — as opposed to any others which might present themselves as sensible when the larger picture (missing elements of public debate) are considered.

For purposes of this post (and a whole lot of this blog), in saying “Family Court Reform” I am NOT referencing primarily the “AFCC” crowd or its friends (members) within NCJFCJ or the domestic violence “Coordinated Community Response” controlled networked, and federally-supported organizations (nonprofit corporations, that is).

Instead, below, I am referring organizations  frequently associated with and whose professionals often present at the New York / sometimes DC-based “Battered Mothers Custody Conference” (“BMCC”) from 2003 forward. Along with, of course the occasional actual battered mother who agrees with their policies.  There is some overlap: from near the start, the “BMCC” cluster has welcomed in leaders of NCADV (associated,, generally, with the federally-funded statewide DV coalitions).

The difference is important!  There’s a sliver of commonality too, also important.

Next below, I have an extended “IF/THEN” sentence (spanning several paragraphs) here.  The “Then” still refers you to a footnote, but let’s also remember the categories of activity family court reformists (?) engage in.

I say “reformISTs” because “reformeERs” implies they’ve actually reformed those courts, something I’d challenge, given how those courts are still functioning according to their apparent original blueprints and designs, with variations minimal, and not really “off-course.”  Maybe I just made up a word, but the word “reformer” (like “crusader”) sounds a bit too passionately noble and inaccurate for the reality.  Let’s keep this REAL, OK?

If you’re somehow still unfamiliar with the many groups involved calling for change..

[Reader Alert: VLS (Very Long Sentence] Upcoming!:  Thinking of the various groups, I’m listing character traits as shown by activities and, to a degree, simply how long they’ve been around]…

…and: running conferences, arranging certifications for advocates and would-be consultants, or service providers, and/or groups involving (or started by) family-court-involved professionals (some of who, from all sides, may also function as expert witnesses or become involved seeking to file (and filing) amicus briefs,

…and seeking to effect change at the federal, then state, and (last and VERY much least, local) level before local citizens are really aware of WHO’s ACTIVE IN THE “FAMILY COURT” FIELD,… (LET ALONE HOW THEY NETWORK AMONG THEMSELVES)

…and how these many groups (and specific people citing or affiliated with/running said groups) fall into mostly different behavior clusters and corporate age, geographic range, connectivity, & registration/filing habits, but with some agenda and traits in common

…then see FN2, “Family Court Reform contingents differ! Know which one you’re hearing from or I’m referring to,” below.FN2 has  its own internal footnote, “FN3 to FN2” with a long title you can read once there…

In the text below, you’ll see pre-existing footnotes moved with their surrounding paragraphs from my originating post, (“More about these perspectives and key concepts (and actors)…,” published May 6, 2019)  But you’re reading an introduction to the section I moved. I have some explanations (clarifications/definitions), numbered and named footnotes at the bottom of this post.  The ones which migrated with the other material are named footnotes.

Note This title doesn’t say my posts that is, message delivery style is less “flawed.”

See FN1, “My Less Flawed Approach =/= My Flawless Message Delivery,  at bottom of this post.

Delivery is one thing, approach is another.  My approach screens for basic flaws (basically false assumptions, gaps in logic/argumentation) the “common practice” doesn’t. My definitions generally are more complete and linked to more concrete points of reference than those produced (over time, continually and across many blogs and websites and in many contexts) by the family court reform groups and coalitions whose message I feel obligated to counter, whose collective messages are so far “off” as to be, in my opinion, suspect as to motive.

At best, the common practices, several of which I’ll point out below,  taken as a whole are unacceptably incomplete, which would be — at best — to say those promoting them are incompetent in their own declared fields of expertise (psychology, law, family courts, and protection from/prevention of child abuse and, less so, violence against women including those children’s mothers).

[A few paragraphs added here to follow through with the “at best” statement] At worst, they’re unacceptably unethical (engaged in omitting information which would legitimately discredit the key solutions sought to fix these courts) …  Like an auto mechanic aware of a certain situation, but more intent on selling an overhaul than a more sensible remedy, or letting word get out to others that a more sensible remedy existed. Or, an auto mechanic knowingly selling a faulty part..   Greed pre-empts genuine concern for the customer.

The “at worst” scenario is unpleasant to consider, and easy to emotionally avoid.

The “at worst” scenario has corollaries that engender bad feelings psychologically, at least initially:  
First, realizing one’s been duped (if one went along for long with the agenda).    That’s humiliating.  Second, realizing that the nice, concerned, empathetic, sincere, intense and apparently showing some progress/ success groups are, in fact, not what they seem to be.  That’s a bit scary.   It seems to me that those involved count on people already stressed through the courts not being able to handle yet more by admitting to themselves how bad this scenario just might be, and that even fewer people can be trusted.  And the question becomes “Then what?  If I can’t place some hope on these groups, then where do I place it — IS there any hope? What do I  (or others like me) DO?

In my opinion, the groups involved in the incomplete/censored programming (and attracting and working primarily only with those who go along with and further enable it) must count on people NOT being able to face their own tough emotions that facing the truth is likely to engender.  Unable to go with the truth, followers (old and new recruits) become easier and easier lead by lies — in this case, the primary lies comprise distraction.  

Such groups continue selling collective hope and a sense of group, perhaps some personal, social support in exchange for the unspoken loyalty of silence and compromise — on things some of the involved people know and have already been exposed to.

Faced with the collectively omitted information, one has to make a few hard choices — to either believe THAT evidence (which is hard to dismiss as (a) existing and (b) relevant) and with it one’s own eyes and ears or to continue going with the hearsay summary from experts and most media coverage (which typically defers to perceived experts anyway).

The mainstream* media coverage universally, consistently tend to dismiss or minimize THAT evidence and with it, more understanding stemming from awareness of it, such as awareness of widespread lack of accountability to the IRS and to the public for nonprofits, and widespread lack of accountability to the public by the federal government when reporting on its own distributed grants (* by “mainstream media” I have to also now include sponsored nonprofit investigative resources too; see middle section below for one recent example where I did a secondary drill-down on a tiny logo attached to a recent piece dealing with reunification programming for alienated children.  (That section has a light-mauve background).

That choice is critical. It’s a choice whether or not to delegate, to assign one’s own powers of observation, information processing, and making a sound judgment on what one has just seen to a group dynamic, collectivist opinion, and in general, implied authorities of self-selecting experts, self-declared (so many times, this phrase accompanies) “thought leaders.”

Some prior practice in delegating the process of thought, judgment, observation (etc.) seems common in certain religious circles.  When that process becomes habitual in one context, like worship, small group studies, and other mentoring, it’s not too much of a stretch to apply it to another. The first context I’m talking of is declining to engage in INDEPENDENT, direct engagement with, for the example of many Christians, the Bible, as opposed to only getting to it with extensive intervention, commentary, and with an anachronistic (a-historical) understanding.

See FN4, “Cultural Religious Presets to Delegate Decision-making and Active Attention/Observation,” at the bottom of this post.

But many white-collar professionals still called as expert witnesses in some cases, still working on expanding the appeals legal precedents around domestic or family violence (I can think of two nonprofits, one West Coast, one East Coast immediately), and psychologists concerned with  ethical vs. unethical application of psychological concepts (onto the family courts) find these omissions, I deduce, entirely acceptable.

In this post several captioned images illustrate, and headings make and illustrate them as best I could in the time available.  Where SPACE to make those points wasn’t available, I’ve already set up spin-off posts on this same blog, such as:

Reform, Solutions, Enhancements, Adjudication Improvements Built on WHAT? (Unproven Because Unspoken Assumptions about the Deliberate Design = the Deliberate Purposes of the Family Courts in the USA)., (“-9PC” started 5/2/2019)

and, before that:

What’s ARKANSAS** got to do with H.Con.Res.72? (Passed 2018, U.S. Congress Senses that State Courts Sorta Oughter Better Prioritize Child Safety in (and IMPROVE) Custody andVisitation Adjudications“(Short-link ends “-9Ot”)

(Short-link ends “-9Ot”, initial words under 4,000; post started Apr. 29, 2019. Middle character of that shortlink is a capital “O” as in Ohio, not a zero, as in “0” )….By Day Two (especially once I got into the Urban Land Institute’s relationship to this situation) it’s over twice that, 9,800 words.  Including a footnote and all image captions, of course.

Beyond that, as on the originating post, there are some NAMED FOOTNOTES (with long titles) in this color scheme, which can be read (when

published) on their own separate post. (Footnotes to “More about these perspectives … concepts (and actors)…”” (“-9Pt)   With the post breakout, some of the “back to” links from the footnotes will have to point here, rather than there.  Off-ramping texts with existing internal links to external footnote  posts multiplies the copyediting/link-checking work.

The standard practice in family court reform continues to ignore the historic bases (plural), founders, and (deduced from both the existing design and the declarations of what seems to be the original designers), the evident purposes of the family courts.  They ARE doing what they WERE DESIGNED to do, as deduced by those declarations.

Asking the public to believe that the designs were otherwise and the original designers and present operators (related in continuous progression through mentoring and through the involved private, networked associations and key activist personnel in high positions) were just unaware or ignorant that such design would lead naturally to the present damages and intergenerational disruptions, distress, and damages, is asking (us) to participate in dissociative myth-making, that is storytelling.  We are to suspend observation and judgment, not just temporarily, but as an ongoing condition.  Rather than placing ourselves in direct contact with reality (the “operational” reality as shown by the books!) we are to accept the intermediate interpreters to this reality (again, I’m thinking of and referring to economic systems that keep any business or government systems operational).

We are asked (implicitly) to “assume the position.”

Major information has been available on developments in the last quarter of the 20th and first of the 21st century that impact (as intended to) “family court practices.” Among those developments are even having family courts (and family court dockets, courthouse facilities, etc.) as they were established in jurisdiction after jurisdiction, not so long ago as one might think.


I remember the first time I was ushered OUT of a superior court on a hearing to extend an existing civil protective order against domestic violence, which had existed for three years– though weakly written and even more weakly enforced.  We were sent across the street in Oakland, California, to an entirely different building which, I learned, had its own, separate, courtrooms; we were ordered (mandatory in our jurisdiction) to schedule and undergo mediation with a court-appointed (male) mediator. Because the domestic violence matter was already on the record, this happened separately, at separate times.

In all subsequent times to court in that county, I never had another mediator, even when our children were stolen overnight, and I’d been living in a different county, and was told by law enforcement (who still refused to enforce the court order anyhow) that the crime had been committed in MY county (where the children had lived until stolen), it was still HANDLED in the originating county as though I did not.

I guarantee you judicial (family court/civil) and district attorney (prosecuting — or not/criminal) leadership** from both counties was well aware of the metropolitan/regional nature of their arrangements, of the private associations involved with the family courts and private judicial organizations with an agenda, working alongside domestic violence service providers to ensure that women and mothers did NOT know about the same.  ((**some from the same family lines, i.e., more than a bit of nepotism going on…))

All this was occasioned when my attempt, focusing on retaining the progress made so for in re-instating a successful work life as a single, now NON-battered, mother, resulted in having divorce papers served on me, as I recall, right outside the courtroom to reverse that process, if possible, 100%.  [See FN5: “Different Courts/Rules/Resonance, LGH’s ‘I remember'” at the bottom of this post: just two paragraphs.]

“What did this really represent?” I thought, at the time.  The domestic violence nonprofit which had initially helped me was, it turned out, engaged in triage only and did not accompany to the follow-through hearings, or even provide access to an attorney (just an intern/law student) to fill out the paperwork.  I was given entirely false assurances from that source.

Many years later (in repeat visits to this same place, as things go…), one time I noticed that almost ALL brochures published and offered to people in the “family court facilitators” room in that county had been published by “AFCC,” which name by then I’d become aware of.  Traffic directors, coaches, parsing information to the low-income (others could afford attorneys who might provide more information– or might not — but would at any rate be paid for their time).



Apparently Common Family Court Reform Practice (Why my Uncommon Approach is less “Flawed”) (Shortlink ends “-9MU” produced earlier, moved here to shorten a long post, “More about these perspectives and key concepts (and actors)…,” published May 6, 2019) (short-link ends “-9Qq”)

What IS apparently “family court reform” practice:

I am a ten-year witness now, and outspoken opponent, of family court advocacy spin  resulting in wheel-spinning problem-solving: the recommended solutions follow familiar ruts and the more energy and attention is applied, the deeper the ruts, whether from smaller coalitions, or entrenched ones, similar practices prevail when addressing or writing for the public. Withholding key information, a.k.a. censorship by self-appointed (NOT elected), self-designated “thought leaders,” is common practice.

The practice of withholding reference to and definitions in commonsense terms all relevant elements and actors that the withholding advocates reasonably know are contributing to the problems for which they are selling solutions should be questioned!  Consider WHY is there  no consensus to even name or correctly identify key actors or elements by professionals and nonprofit CEOs, boards of directors (etc.) who know those names and actors?

Omitting even such basics inhibits followers and target population from even getting their bearings — points of reference — cannot be happenstance.  It shows attitude, and it most likely also shows intent.  it’s a form of distraction and diversion when such key actors and elements HAVE exact names and CAN be identified and categorized — readily!  Easily!  It encourages dependency on self-appointed/annointed guides to the problems for which, again, solutions are already being sold.

These solutions are highly promoted and branded with mutual group on-line quotes, references, testimonials, linked websites (referrals, for example,  under “resources” or “for more information” and frequent personal names, featuring first-name colloquial relationships.   See title of this post.  I’m naming some in this post, and not for the first time!

Another practice: encouraging/soliciting women/embattled mothers, in particular, to file, or join lawsuits; then some groups, profile-building, sign on to amicus briefs on their behalf, often FAILING. That failure then becomes public relations leverage to seek more resources to try it again. (See “Younger Abstention & Rooker-Feldman” mini-section below).

I’ve read several of these lawsuits.  They are embarrassing to me as a member of the basic demographic “mother,” let alone “woman.”  I don’t sign on to them!

In a somewhat recent one promoted (though no link to it was provided) as “groundbreaking,” by a member of the so-called (self-described) “thought leaders,” a group I earlier had challenged to circulating weakly, if at all, documented number of children (“58,000”) being sent into “unsupervised” contact with documented abusers, I reviewed the list signing on to it.  ONE such name was not an entity (unless in some state someone has registered it as a trade name without my having found it yet).  A NON-entity has no standing in an amicus brief, but the point is, to pile as many impressive-sounding names together as possible to share group credibility.  ____ Link to my Tweet (March or April 2019) re: this to be provided. I started follow-up (looking up every named organizational participant where some were unknown to me) but have not further publicized.

Specific groups and individuals citing the failed lawsuits and continued problems (including deaths) then continue attempts to “fast-track” solutions, bypassing informed public support by bypassing honest assessment of the problems referenced.  Again, omission of key information is a key ingredient.

~~~> H.Con.Res.72, intended to apply to ALL “state courts” is one example of “standard practice family court reform advocacy.”  Open Secrets on H.Con Res.72 shows only two lobbyists, one of which is “Center for Judicial Excellence” (Kathleen Russell) and the other, “National Association to Protect Children Education Fund (Camille Cooper).  Despite now (per that link) 86 co-sponsors (slight majority Democrat) the original sponsor, Patrick Meehan (Republican, Pennsylvania) was in office 2010 – April 2018, when he resigned).

Neither listed lobbyist’s organization was from Pennsylvania, the “Kids for Cash” state after which the “Sandusky [child abuse] scandal” state.  In 2012 I set up a whole blog (at least one, the one now merged into WordPress here) and stayed active on a forum to feature and explain at least for some parents (the professionals were just not interested) the networked interests focused on the Family Courts (and some of their professionals) Lackawanna County, PA which in 2011 was hit by an FBI raid to prevent public disclosure of conflict of interest at the family court level, and in February 2012 had resorted to, unannounced, locking people in the courthouse (including parents with children to retrieve from school), herding them into the courtroom so an individual judge could lecture and threaten an individual which many of the parents (some just picking up court forms) had nothing to do with. ## [##See Footnote “Pennsylvania People and Paradoxes, cont’d.Footnotes are on a separate post]

(Use tabs at the above “Open Secrets” link for this information).

This resolution expressed “the sense of Congress” which “expressed sense” costs the legislators next to nothing,## but is a reputation-builder for those who helped get it passed…###Who is going to vote AGAINST prioritizing child safety (undefined) in “custody and visitation adjudications”? ### For why I object and more information, seeFootnote H.Con.Res.72 and/or my comments on this on the blog home page/s.  “Search” function on this blog at top right should bring it up.  I’ve also hash-tagged it some on Twitter (“#HConRes72”) Footnotes are on a separate post.

Clients lobbying on H.Con.Res.72: Expressing the sense of Congress that child safety is the first priority of custody and visitation adjudications, and that State courts should improve adjudications of custody where family violence is alleged.

“Feel free to distribute or cite this material, but please credit the Center for Responsive Politics. For permission to reprint for commercial uses, such as textbooks, contact the Center: info@crp.org”

The other listed lobbyist is the 501©3 “National Association to Protect Children – Education Fund” which corresponds to the (per Wikipedia) name-changed since 501©4 “National Association to Protect Children” now called simply “Protect.”  Going down (or is it up?) that thread — given its parallel work with a California-based nonprofit also registered as a lobbyist for H.Con.Res.72 — I encountered a fascinating story which leads back to Tennessee, North Carolina, and Arkansas, including Clinton Administration professionals and more regional development — by way of California, if you count Nelson Peacock, one of its board members.  Having just looked (for an hour or two) I’ll set that discussion aside for now… after the next 5 images (second row is an image gallery, 3-in-a-row).

But that (now) off-ramped section does include this text (=my writing):

From the entity website, briefly (Protect.org) I looked at the board of directors (didn’t recognize any of them).  One, Nelson Peacock, has come recently from California, which I only found  on a namesearch showing he’d been selected in June, 2017, for President & CEO of “Northwest Arkansas Council,”

Northwest Arkansas Council” (a membership organization; it files 501©6s**, and members are, it seems, chambers of commerce) its website says started in the 1990s, but was foreshadowed by the Arkansas Business Council (see “The Waltons” and banker connections who wanted better infrastructure (airport, highways, water authority) for their area and would of course expand the employment base in the process).

Nelson Peacock was in the White House and Homeland Security under Barack Obama before helping run UC-Irvine and the University of California system’s government relations (see link for better description), but he hails from Arkansas originally and (eventually I saw) his father Joe was a city attorney in (McCrory) Arkansas from 1972-2010 (when Joe Peacock’s long-time wife died), and had also been a state representative.

The ARKANSAS connection is also in part possibly (and it seems here as to serving in those White House administrations, before serving in the Obama admin) a Clinton Connection. As such, it’s worth looking into, especially when there are any other even partial red-flags, like why two tiny (respectively speaking) nonprofit leaders were able to get a resolution passed with endorsement (86 co-sponsors) by so many legislators

{{**There’s a related organization (a 501©3 started, if I recall it right, in 2012. This quote=Let’s Get Honest (=my) comments after a few hours of looking into this on-line}}

As of 2013 (per Wiki side-bar inset, above image, which unfortunately omits “legal domicile” and any EIN#) says “Protect” had just 1 employee and 24 volunteers, and under $200K revenues. Under “Grassroots Support” it lists a metallica band and ONE survivor of child abuse as an actor.

The “Financial & Legal” page under “Protect.org” cite the 501©3’s (not 501©4’s) EIN#74-3127927, at least on the top level) and mention Copilevitz & Canter as the registered agent.  That law firm name sometimes comes up in my blogging, and I blog primarily fathers’ rights and marriage/grantee organizations and networks.

The organization’s address is TENNESSEE but legal domiciles (both organizations) North Carolina, per North Carolina Business Entities Search.  Some tax returns, however mark legal domicile as Tennessee.

~~~>My post on the above subjects (when published) may be found under:

What’s ARKANSAS** got to do with H.Con.Res.72? (Passed 2018, U.S. Congress Senses that State Courts Sorta Oughter Better Prioritize Child Safety in (and IMPROVE) Custody and Visitation Adjudications”  (Shortlink ends “-9Ot”)

(Short-link ends “-9Ot”, initial words under 4,000; post started Apr. 29, 2019. Middle character of that shortlink is a capital “O” as in Ohio, not a zero, as in “0” )….By Day Two (especially once I got into the Urban Land Institute’s relationship to this situation) it’s over twice that, 9,800 words.  Including a footnote and all image captions, of course.

Fascinating information. From the start it was clear there’s more than immediately meets the eye. The post so far spans only about 2.5 days worth (not spent 100% on that topic) lookups, and of course, uploading them to the blog and describing them. The pattern of regionalism and private interests impacting entire regions THROUGH their influence on government particularly interesting here, where the Tennessee Valley Authority originally turned some lights on (per the Council of Foreign Relations/ David Mitrany writings) as to the power of getting citizens to forego rights under local jurisdiction for specific functions, that is “functionalism.” Now, exercising those rights (starting with obtaining adequate information from those to whom they relinquished it) has become an exercise in operating (by design) dysfunctional databases and improperly entered — late — data, combined with misleading reporting (in media-merged outlets describing the greater good of letting the billionaires continue to run entire regions and hoping they continue to dispense food (or employment enough to purchase it), housing, and — it’ll be needed — charity to the non-billionaires in the area helping make their billions (through working and through of course consumption of products and services).

Continuing my thoughts (opinion) from above, the context is ways to fast-track and bypass INFORMED public support through bypassing honest assessment of the problems addressed by each new proposed solution. (### See Footnote “True or Half-True? Legal Domicile Matters!” (Footnotes have been compiled on a separate post]   My post has more footnotes than usual… ))

It’s taken time, but the intent to “fast-track” and to “bypass informed public support” still apply when solutions promoted bypass honest assessment of the problems referenced.

H.Con.Res.72 is one.

This resolution demonstrates one way: To bypass informed public support for a Congressional resolution.

~~~>Demanding more oversight of reunification programs is another. Why are “reunification programs” around in the first place?

~~~>Demanding federal intervention without exposing to what degree and how federal government already IS involved and HAS been intervening is another — and that’s exactly what “Our Broken Family Courts Conference” (Arizona, 2012, sponsored by a foundation associated with the former head of Kaiser mental health’s foundations, Nicholas J. Cummings, Ph.D. and his wife) followed by “Initiative” and ensconced, as I recall in Florida’s Nova Southeastern University, with its own interesting history, too. There is of course a book by the same name. I began posting on this in FY2012 and it’s searchable on this blog.

BEFORE YOU SUE EVERYONE: “Younger Abstention & Rooker-Feldman”

File this with: “Another practice: encouraging/soliciting women/embattled mothers, in particular, to file, or join lawsuits; then some groups, profile-building, sign on to amicus briefs on their behalf, often FAILING.”  Or, if you’re planning to sue everyone after a bad family court decision (state jurisdiction) at least find out about these two issues which are common defenses by federal government (lower courts / i.e., District Courts) against getting involved with family court issues — although federal grants to the states to INDIRECTLY influence family court outcomes out to be publicized, because one practice tries to circumvent the other standards. NB: I’m not a lawyer, this is not legal advice, I’m just a (voracious) READER.  Understand it yourself or have grill an attorney on those two issues.  There seem to be attempts to overcome those objections. I’m only including enough information here for some points of reference to show why it matters.

{{…and, failure to warn about standard lawsuit appeals dismissals when a federal court is asked to become involved in a specific individual lawsuit, typically under appeal to a civil rights violation, i.e., “Rooker-Feldman” and “Younger Abstention.” (ABA reference; see internal link to “Younger v. Harris et al” in there — it dates to 1969/1971??) Abstention, including “Younger” (from Law.Cornell.edu/wex/.., with also internal link to the Younger case; Younger at the time was Los Angeles District Attorney and the issue was California Criminal Syndicalism Act.  Two plaintiffs which had joined the action did not, it was decided, have tht standing, unlike Harris, who was at the time actively being prosecuted) (Interesting case!)

Abstention in the Time of Ferguson” (Harvard Law Review, June 2018, Vol. 8, No. 131, 2283ff, by Fred O. Smith, Jr. (Associate Professor Emory University)) INTRODUCTION | QUOTE (p 2284)..//LGH 2019May2

(Another search result: “Abstention in the Time of Ferguson(Harvard Law Review, June 2018, Vol. 8, No. 131, 2283ff, by Fred O. Smith, Jr. (Associate Professor Emory University)) arguing for exceptions; deals with criminalization of the poor, systemically, by states. He is talking about people in jail awaiting trial because they can’t afford bail, or lawyers and dedicates it to the people of St. Louis County, Missouri).  It’s dealing with criminal prosecution and begins with a quote from James Baldwin (see image) on how expensive it is to be poor // the treadmill.

Abstention in the Time of Ferguson” (Harvard Law Review, June 2018, Vol. 8, No. 131, 2283ff, by Fred O. Smith, Jr. (Associate Professor Emory University)) arguing for exceptions; deals with criminalization of the poor, systemically, by states.//LGH 2019May2

…Still, while the Ferguson example is the most infamous, the town is far from unique with respect to allegations that cash-strapped residents are being used as ATMs for cash-strapped towns

I wouldn’t expect every individual to know about these (NB: I’m not a lawyer! But these keep coming up in dismissive rulings, wasting individuals time and certainly resources), BUT lawyers involved in Family Court Advocacy (example: DVLEAP, based at George Washington University in D.C.  leadership and any volunteer interns, where law students) and aware that people will be appealing, or signing on to others’ appeals, ought to make it known generally that these are common dismissals..  It seems they aren’t….Appeals filed should be prepared to overcome the predictable dismissals on those basis, if they can be overcome… Word should get out by now, and lawsuits should not be prepared with a hopeful “coin-toss” whether or not they’ll be dismissed based on Rooker-Feldman or Younger Abstention))

Abstention in the Time of Ferguson” (Harvard Law Review, June 2018, Vol. 8, No. 131, 2283ff, by Fred O. Smith, Jr. (Assoc Prof, Emory University) (obstacles to federal lawsuits about systemic state injustice incl. , Rooker-Feldman rule, sovereign & qualified immunity, and Younger abstention as “perhaps predictable gov’t’ defendants'” response to seeking federal involvemt…//LGH 2019May2

The Rooker-Feldman Doctrine: Toward a Workable Role” by Adam McClain (J.D. Candidate a UPenn School of Law, 2001), NOTICE HOW OFTEN IT WAS USED IN THE 1990s! //LGH 2019May2

My Rooker-Feldman reference here is dated (2001) and only from a J.D. Candidate (but, at UPenn Law School) and only for a brief identification of what it’s about.  Anyone can look further, and should.  ESPECIALLY if you’re about to participate in a lawsuit alleging constitutional violations by family court actors.  It’s simply wise to anticipate what the responses might be, and perhaps address them (ask a lawyer!).

The Rooker-Feldman Doctrine: Toward a Workable Role” by Adam McClain. who also thanks a law professor (his supervisor?), editors at the Pennsylvania Law Review, and  his parents and his wife for help.  He points out that it comes from two different cases six decades apart… (see image):


[Vol. 149:1555ff]


Rooker-Feldman necessarily arises in interjurisdictional contexts in which other doctrines, such as preclusion and abstention, also apply.

Before addressing Rooker-Feldman in any detail, it is important to consider these other doctrines to provide context for the discussion.

Abstention in the Time of Ferguson” (Harvard Law Review, June 2018, Vol. 8, No. 131, 2283ff, by Fred O. Smith, Jr. (Assoc Prof, Emory University) (obstacles to federal lawsuits about systemic state injustice incl. , Rooker-Feldman rule, sovereign & qualified immunity, and Younger abstention as “perhaps predictable gov’t’ defendants'” response to seeking federal involvemt…//LGH 2019May2

(Or, another example, just a blog post, Nov. 28, 2006, “Case Law Development: Rooker-Feldman Doctrine and Family Law Cases” (Margaret Ryznar, Indiana U., Robert H. McKinney  School of Law)

“Feldman” also interesting, deals with a situation (1970s) in the District of Columbia and his bar membership waiver.  Feldman had not gone to an accredited law school…


I began posting on many of these connections immediately upon discovering them, unlike many other professionals (involved in the courts) and nonprofits (promoting some of these professionals as they argued against “parental alienation”) who did NOT post or publicize (to a general audience or even self-selecting audiences known to be concerned about family court outcomes) information I’ve ascertained, generally and specifically they were aware of obviously intended to affect family court outcomes, although many of these same professionals were presenting, posting, conferencing, and in general pro-active promoting their cause/s in association with a conference, and groups historically associated as key presenters at that conference, named after “Battered Mothers.”

These advocates seem to regularly traverse the country (on-line, personal contact, periodic conferences) for traumatized mothers and giving them**, basically, “marching orders” (Join for the rally or march, write your senators or representatives to support this, promote this, link to this).

**HOW did I know? I’m in receipt of some of the distributed materials and, periodically, continue to check in for what’s the latest agenda on websites.  I also for many years was in contact with other parents following and participating (“in contact” includes by phone, email, by our various blogs.  We were problem-solving significant life challenges involving our own survival, safety and our children’s too, whether those children were still living with us or not). I had, up to a point, also contact with some of the leadership (again, some phone, email, and on-line was involved, both group and individual emails) up to a certain point when I got tired of knocking on those doors and having honest questions repeatedly dismissed.

The themes and banners may change some (I guess the phrase “Our Broken Family Courts Initiative” lost its impact or enough of my posts started to register — we can all dream, right?– so more recent themes, as exemplified in HConRes72, have been “SafeChild” concept, although NOTHING I’ve read on the origins and originators of the family courts as subdivisions of district court systems indicates they were set up to protect children, or even adultsso how does their failure to protect children even apply as a critique?  If anything, it seems more likely they were set up to protect batterers and felons who also happened to have families, through re-framing the discourse and inventing new terminology to describe known criminal activity, “differentiating domestic violence,” switch-and-bait, etc.

Whatever, the cause, one thing the family courts are effectively protecting is private interests associated with the entire system, at local through state and (due to the federal grants involved) federal levels of government.

Those complaining about child safety never, that I can see, go to any effort in the constant public relationship material, to prove the assumption that the family courts were ever intended to protect anyone.  That’s an unspoken, unproven, and (I believe) false assumption to which the proposed “solutions” infrastructure is added, by which time it’s likely to be “too far gone” to correct course.

Why should we even listen to arguments based on such a major unproven, unspoken assumption SLIPPED IN THE FRONT DOOR OF MANY REPORTS, EVALUATIONS AND SUMMARIES UNANNOUNCED.  For anyone who, like I did, attempted to find some evidence in the writings of groups and people who helped establish those family courts in the first place, that the purpose was in any way “protecting children”, the arguments that follow cannot and do not hold water.  They are seeking to dig in deeper a known design flaw, and get the public to clamor for expanded problem-solving infrastructures.

I ‘ve made this statement (again) separately.  It won’t fit in here!

“SEPARATELY” for now is at:

Reform, Solutions, Enhancements, Adjudication Improvements Built on WHAT? (Unproven Because Unspoken Assumptions about the Deliberate Design = the Deliberate Purposes of the Family Courts in the USA)., (“-9PC” started 5/2/2019)

which, for now, begins:

If it was built, it has a plan ….and planners… and people who hired the planners… and the planners had purposes.

When people continue to demand  that higher powers (here, the United States Congress) re-tool or get stage legislators and justices to re-tool the state-jurisdiction family courts to make them safer for children, based on complaints that they are failing to protect children,…

…then it’s time, again, to formally examine — to challenge — the inane unproven, unspoken, but obviously assumed proposition that family courts were ever designed to protect children.  (And any other inane, unproven, unspoken parallel or corollary assumptions upon with other reforms are being promoted and may be built, but this post just deals with that one).

~~~>Another disturbing tendency which tends to bypass informed public debate and consent among some of the “joined at the hip” (if not technically in a legal, contractual sense that has been identified; more like “group loyalty”) organizations is feeding articles, actual content, not just tips, to mainstream (before that, more local on-line) journals, and boasting about it, too.  The articles are then published under a journalist’s name as if original work, just with some financial help producing it.

Those “fed” articles typically lack referrals to potential contributing causes to the (family court-related) problems for which said advocacy groups have already determined what (in what areas) the solutions will — and will not — be, and continue to clamor for these types of solutions only.  I’ve tweeted and posted on these from time to time.

With the most recent one I noticed, on the topic of reunification programming for children resisting contact with a parent from whom they’d been alienated (terms sound familiar?) —  though there are many previous ones which make “the rounds” of socio-media concerned with the family courts, particularly among protective parents/mothers — the reporting nonprofit [1] had major foundation sponsorship, and technology assistance from a recently merged nonprofit. [2]  What’s more, the program or initiative name at the top [3] also had its various sponsors. (Author, Trey Bundy).

The next section in this background color extends the {1,2,3] footnotes in the preceding paragraph and names the points of reference.  Purpose? For this message: Become aware of the presenting platforms and of impact of media merger on just how processed (and how very possibly NOT in-depth) investigative reporting may be, even when it does investigate and contain specific details on specific examples of specific issues.  This is just one example of my having taken a second look at some pointers in an article relating to family court issues.

Paragraph footnotes: ([1] Center for Investigative Reporting’s “RevealWatch” and [2] “PRX” representing “Public Radio Exchange” which had just absorbed “Public Radio International” associated with a Boston station, “WGBH” and had its assets managed by a Minnesota-based entity with direct ties to a major apartment store change (now called “Target,” perhaps you’ve heard of it) and among the family scions a governor until just this year, i.e., Yale grad and great-grandson of the department chain, founder Governor Mark Dayton.**[3] RevealNews (programming originated 2015) although it’s run by “[1]” the CIR.**This is just a taste, to make my points, but regarding “[2]” above, the governor-PRX ties:

  • Ex-Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton was also son of Bruce Dayton, founder of  the “B Dalton bookstore chain.” (1966, at one point the nation’s largest operating mostly inside, guess where, “regional shopping malls; bought in 1987 by Barnes & Noble, finally liquidated when down to only 50 stores, in 2013).  When Barnes & Noble bought an entire book chain, did some profits go, perhaps to the Dayton family line, whose son, attending a private school then Yale, eventually grew up to become state Auditor, serve in the legislature and eventually governor?)
  • While it didn’t last, former Governor Mark Dayton also still married into the Rockefeller family (see the Wiki).

Again, as I comprehend it, the merged-out PRI (survivor is PRX) controlled by WGBH (of Boston) had a related organization (per its tax return) with an unusual company name, “Okabena” and which was charged with managing endowment assets.  It didn’t appear to be doing much of a job with that, however, that’s what led me to understanding the connection with Dayton-Hudson (now “Target” brand) and the recent Minnesota Governor…  It was managing the Dayton family assets too, apparently. PRI’s tax returns reported that name on a Schedule R, “Related entities,” as I recall.

My impromptu, by-recall summary here is about a week (or two) after spending a few days on look-ups and drill-downs, when I noticed the short logo “PRX” next to the article.  I already knew who [1] was.  I remember on seeing the article, and from its first sentence (which contains a built-in and rarely-challenged assumption.  It’s what I was also referring to in the section on my April 19 post title “Built-in Assumptions Snuck in the Front Door” although not the only one from similar sources (referring to those who took credit for launching the specific article/project at RevealNews — not to RevealNews itself (the initiative) or Center for Investigative Reporting (the nonprofit in Emeryville, California)  Just a recent example.

I have not yet posted on this (someone ought to! DNK if I can!), but this theme ties into the theme of specialty content-production, both public radio and podcasts. So far in my readings associated with PRX (Public Radio Exchange, Inc.), one way or another, the states spanned include (from my 2016 tax return drill-down and subcontractor look-ups): Massachusetts (Boston), California (Emeryville (SF Bay Area), Los Angeles, Beverly Hills Estates), Minnesota (I believe it was Minneapolis or Twin Cities), and North Carolina (Durham), and for one sponsoring foundation (one of two at the same location),  and through where I had to go to locate who/or what, Florida.  And Oklahoma City (!).  For further summary (this is not a full post on the situation), see ## [Footnote “Close to the Surface (After Basic Corporation/Tax return Drill-Down) Problems with PRX”

My impromptu by-recall summary may have minor errors because the information is not directly in my face at this moment, but my basic outline and these points are solid:

  • Investigative reporting presented, ongoing, in respectable and multi-media on-line platforms and formats still requires sponsorship (money). Paid staff or paid contractors, and their expenses incurred in obtaining the story; editors, etc.
  • That sponsorship shows it’s often still associated with powerful foundations (= powerful corporations) and not so “on behalf of the little person” as it may seem.  For the article I’m referencing here, I looked up ALL of the involved foundations and YOU could’ve, too, with internet access and the decision to make time for it.
  • Foundations, generally, are associated with major wealth, which increases over time unless deliberately run into the ground, mis-managed, or simply closed down intentionally.  Family wealth often comes from related corporate wealth, same-generation and/or prior generations, and this wealth retained in part through effective use of tax-exempt vehicles as an art form. IN other words, by giving away no less than 5% (per tax-exempt vehicle), major reduction on corporate taxes for the remaining non-charitable use income-producing assets is obtained.  Go read a Form 990PF for more info!
  • Ongoing consolidations of media platform control (proprietary for dissemination, exchange, and content-producing services) obscures alternate viewpoints from people who may have as much of an inside story as anyone else, but are not politically correct enough for the foundation sponsors.  In this case, which seem to be progressive in nature, but they are not always!
  • Focus on accelerated incubation and on content creation according to user demand (understandable up to a point) in an easily-distractible format doesn’t exactly help communicate complex concepts and encourage people to “fact-check before forwarding” or to fully digest the material.  The key theme is entertainment, really, hooked up with concepts of “in the public interest.”  Information overload through expanded, endless choices (and 24-hour streaming or availability) doesn’t encourage appropriate processing (evaluation) of sources. The “default” is to the most “in your face” or popular on common themes.
  • Generally, creative artists and content producers need a market, or need sponsors. In a constantly evolving field, how does this effect their production?
  • WHO dominates the multi-media fields at any given point in time?  It’s worth at least a look!  

You CANNOT know what you don’t know, or haven’t noticed, unless you look closer.  When it comes to media platforms on-line — that is WHEN YOU ARE ON-LINE — habitually(!) look at the “window frames” and credits/acknowledgements (fine print at the top and bottom of the pages, or near the author’s name, when it’s at the bottom of an article), which is where I found much of this information, or rather, points of reference leading to more information to be found on government-associated websites (among other places). As always, I was going to look for the corporate and nonprofit filings where they existed. Mergers or buyouts are also often reported and summarized with descriptions of the involved parties — and the financers — of such mergers.  Even when the companies involved may not be public, or required to file with the SEC.

AGAIN, THIS POST IS SOME OF THE “GUTS” MESSAGE FROM ” “More about these perspectives and key concepts (and actors)…,” published May 6, 2019, with its shortlink ending “-9MU” I JUST PUBLISHED MAY 6, 2019 (after some weeks working on it).  It references two others now in the pipeline (still in draft).

In addition, 4 footnotes from here, and 6 from the originating post will be made available (soon) on: (Footnotes to “More about these perspectives …”” (“-9Pt).   The footnotes are mostly commentary.  Some may become their own posts later as I follow up.

While it’s work, I always enjoy the learning curve that comes with putting together these posts (not so much the administrative/technical challenges of organizing them, or uploading and labeling all those images).  ONE of the spinoff posts will be capsulizing information I already know; the other (“Arkansas) one however is new ground to me, and leading — as these things go — to yet more understanding of regionalism, public/private relationships, politics (of course) and a region of the country which has been made famous by:

a former President and Governor (Bill Clinton),

a famous Senator with scholarships named after him (Senator Fulbright) who mentored that former President;

some of the wealthiest Forbes Families around (the Waltons, founders of Walmart — which is based in Bentonville, Arkansas), and even, if you think about it,

a famous Scientologist actor, i.e., Tom Cruise…in a 2017 film about CIA drug-running, the Nicaraguan Sandinistas, the Medellin cartel, and in general, how to move product out of privately controlled airports: American Made (<~~imdb) American Made (<~~Wikipedia):


In 1978, Baton Rouge pilot Barry Seal, who flies commercial jets for TWA, is recruited by a CIA case officer calling himself Monty Schafer. He asks Seal, who has been smuggling Cuban cigars into the country via Canada, to fly clandestine reconnaissance missions for the CIA over Central America using a small plane with cameras installed. At first Seal’s wife Lucy thinks he’s still with TWA, but eventually she is excited by the wealth generated by his “new company”.

Later in the 1980s, Schafer asks Seal to start acting as a courier between the CIA and General Noriega in Panama. During a mission, the Medellín Cartel picks Seal up and asks him to fly cocaine on his return flights to the United States. Seal accepts and starts flying the cartel’s cocaine to Louisiana. The CIA turns a blind eye to the drug smuggling, but the DEA tracks Seal down. To avoid the authorities, Schafer moves Seal and his family to the remote town of Mena, Arkansas, which slowly becomes the hub of all U.S. cocaine trafficking.



Apparently Common Family Court Reform Practice (Why my Uncommon Approach is less “Flawed”) (Case-sensitive short-link here ends “-9Qq”)


[FN1] My “Less Flawed” Approach =/= My Flawless Message Delivery.

I don’t have foundation backing or journalistic fellowships for not buying the standard approach to “fixing the family courts” or making them more safe for kids.  SOME REFORMERS DO.  I don’t have access to eager for clinical experience interns, and I don’t have even a low-paid professor’s or academic’s salary  SOME REFORMERS DO.  I don’t have the advantage of being free to present this in person, currently, and for the past decade I have rarely been litigation (or threat of it) free, or in a stable long-term housing situation of any sort.  SOME REFORMERS OBVIOUSLY DO.

I know!  Copyediting could be more thorough.  I am also (FYI) composing on-screen (laptop) not from a safe-at-home-desktop with the plans laid out.  The writing comes from my head, considering and talking about what I have learned, supplemented by existing notes (previously saved files) or on-line current references.  I am still writing informally for a blog — not a book, and not Chicago Style, or for a journal; I am writing conversationally because the primary intended audience is people who are not necessarily involved in family courts as professionals — and men and women who refuse to be cowed or overly coached by those who are and are committed and honest enough to take a hard look at themselves, not just everyone else, in these matters.   IF we were conversing in person, there’d be much more interaction, but I would still move from one point to another — and review several of them at times — in presenting a case (or argument) to prove my conclusions about the current state of affairs — and what NOT to do about them as an important piece of information leading closer to what COULD be done about them.

“FN2” “Family Court Reform contingents differ! Know which one you’re hearing from, or I’m referring to.”

I’ll look for a few links from this blog which name them.  One easy way to distinguish the two KINDS of approaches is that AFCC, in general, has a large component of judges, while the organizations focused on better trained judges as a solution may not.  The others one, generally, are also more recent creations or at least incorporations.  AFCC claims a 1963 origin.  Maybe “undercover in a county courthouse” that’s accurate, but the earliest continuously incorporated (under various names) seems to be 1970, and in Illinois. Another major difference between the two sets of organization is that AFCC has chapters, including some in other countries, and is not afraid to mention its own existence at least in its own conferences — while the orthervarious family court reform organizations, when presenting solutions or analyzing problems rarely references the AFCC, although (from what I’ve checked) the leadership surely knows it exists, and who and what it has been doing decade after decade.They just, apparently, don’t want to present their programs and theories to audiences who might openly talk about the AFCC, or where its agenda and historically promoted professions including created professions) intersects with those federal marriage/fatherhood and access/visitation grants — AND its perspective on the field of domestic violence prevention and services.

In effect, the “Family Court Reform” movement organizers/promoters, public relations assistants (sometimes, or formerly also characterized as “protective mothers” or “safe child” and before that, “Our Broken Family Courts” and so forth) I am referring to HERE seem to need dumbed-down,* but emotionally convincing members of the classes they claim to have such concern about, and seek to attract as followers.**  Skeptics like myself, also member of the classes these claim to be so concerned about, and mother of (now adults) another class they claim concern about — children ordered into “unsupervised contact” with or even custody of batterers and abusers, rain on that parade by informing others and asking leadership about the exact things I feature in this blog, and which I know the “thought-leaders” reasonably have known for years:  [See FN3 to FN2, “What Family Court Reform Thought Leadership has known for From 10 to 20 Years, but can’t afford Their Thought-Followers to Comprehend so Doesn’t Encourage them to Consider,” immediately below]

“Dumbed-Down” is a term borrowed from published books on the U.S. Public Education System, as well as various well-known guides with the two words  “…for Dummies” in them. After reading such guides, one is not so “dumb” about the fields they address.  I’m not calling those people “stupid,” other than failing to seek more than one source of information and to be able to assess (categorize) whether what seem to be different sources actually came from the same place might be called “stupid.”

##### *”DUMBED-DOWN” Note:  This includes followers with college degrees, even some PhDs and white-collar professional women/mothers too. By “dumbed-down” I mean in reference to this field (rejecting contradictory information rather than handling it, validating or invalidating/assessing its significance if valid), not overall.  Although, at some level refusing to look further (scan, search on-line, network, ask around outside social groups) afield for information other than the opposing “to-the-contrary” groups isn’t that intelligent; it is a kind of “dumbness,” some unique to white-collar professionals (tunnel vision) and graduate-degreed people (i.e., invested so much in their educations already).**Traumatized parents, aged-out abused children, and — more recently — studies of or (finally) references to child murders that have occurred in association with “flawed practices” and bad custody decisions by judges.

FN3 to FN2, “What Family Court Reform Thought Leadership has known for From 10 to 20 Years, but can’t afford Their Thought-Followers to Comprehend so Doesn’t Encourage them to Consider”

OK, So, I said “THOUGHT-FOLLOWERS.”  Here’s why:

Where there are thought-leaders, someone is being led in what or how to THINK, hence, “thought-followers” exist somewhere.  I’ve found plenty on-line, but thought-leaders don’t call them that.  The terms of address are usually group-oriented, i.e., “we’re all on the same page..”  “Friends,” “Us” “Our.”   How can all be on the same page when thought-leaders are sitting in important information, only releasing it (a) VERY belatedly, (b) in VERY diluted form, and © still fail to educate their followers how the same followers might seek independently, to assess the leaders’ positions?

Dogs-In-The-Manger, which lying around on information one isn’t personally about to use, other than for comfort and to obstruct others from using it, in effect IS, are hardly the same species as the bovines and other animals who might be in need of that hay… and do better to find elsewhere to graze on it! Shepherd Dogs are not Sheep — they are in fact more closely related to WOLVES (who might, in a fenceless situation and in some situations still do, feed on sheep) — and the said “thought-leaders” I’m referring to definitely present themselves and their groups as the good shepherds of the oppressed and/or scattered sheep).

NOW, the main point in this footnote is a “WHAT”: What Family Court Reform Thought Leadership has known…but Can’t Afford Their Thought-Followers to Comprehend…

NAMELY,  (key points).

AFCC exists and is who and what it is….

The US federal government has been providing grants incentives to the states (and territories, and tribes) to transfer “fatherless” children into the custody of former batterers of their mother, or their own direct abusers, and in general traffick them into the foster care system &/or other underground systems, or adding to the runaway problem.

The US federal government through welfare and social services has also been funding, again through grants incentives to the states (and territories, and tribes) and select others (i.e., nonprofits, university centers, etc.) the universal creation of a new field of practice to be sustained, ongoing, by the public (and propped up by private) to re-establish patriarchy — i.e., in particular, denigrating women as mothers. It’s called “fatherhood” and that it’s a field of practice, while still more openly discussed AWAY from domestic violence agencies’ “user-friendly” faces (or, it seems, directly with clients served, as judged by their websites), is increasingly less hidden than before. It has an aroma; the aroma has a way of filtering through closed doors, and those who follow it long enough will eventually come to the kitchens where it’s being cooked up.

The practice is also passive-aggressive; one “passive” part is grammatically eliminating any positive (or even, independent) association with the word “mother” near the word “children” or the word “families.”  The pronoun “their” is applied openly, and more (on specific participating websites) to fathers, although it’s obvious that every child had — however briefly or long– SOMEWHERE in this world, at least one biological mother (“At least” is a token gesture towards surrogacy). GO FIND THAT WORD IN THE RHETORIC.  Even former U.S. President Obama (despite a separate Office of Women and Girls) in speeches, followed this overall pattern when addressing “Families.”

TAGGS.HHS.Gov exists, and under it “CFDAs” (which also exist) can be explored.

Any person that gets as far as looking up U.S. grants via TAGGS.HHS.Gov (and understanding there are such program number identifiers as “Categories of Federal Domestic Assistance, i.e., CFDAs”) would quickly notice that there are also some categories also funded from HHS collectively seeking to control/standardize and dominate the “violence prevention” field, and that this is where the local domestic violence shelters or service providers often get their funds (i.e., through statewide coalitions), which is also sharing resources, information, and public relations output with specific other types of resource centers, some but NOT all of which have business names indicating they are preventing or seeking to stop family violence or domestic violence — or even just “Domestic Abuse.”  These are legislatively authorized (under, originally 1984-passed “Family Violence Prevention and Services Act” or “FVPSA”), which specifically allocates MORE money to FEWER resource centers, again, undermining the state level of representative government where government is to entail protection of its own citizens from, say, each other….

It simply doesn’t take that long, nor is it such a long hop, skip, or jump (in connecting the dots) that [A] the one research center (which comes to my mind off-hand, at least) whose business name makes zero reference to the topic of violence prevention, is the “National Council for Family and Juvenile Court Judges” (NCJFCJ) based (mostly) at the University of Nevada-Reno (there’s a Pennsylvania contingent) and [B] that NCJFCJ has worked and conferenced and engaged in regional trainings with AFCC (Membership categories overlap especially in the judicial profession!). And [C] That AFCC promotes antidotes to “parental alienation,” and features activist members, both male and female, favorable to fatherhood promotion and studies.  AFCC’s main “voice” (professional journal) has a board of editors which has included Richard Warshak, and others of influence with known agenda and attitudes toward the “parental alienation” as a handy substitute for “domestic violence” and the antidote to “false allegations” of it (and child abuse) allegedly driving custody chaos.

Or that [D] AFCC key promoted, and some created, professions (see that word “conciliation” in the business name) also just happen to frequently c-incide with the federal “Access and visitation grants” funding streams (CFDA 93597), such as mediation, parent education/counseling, and supervised visitation. The prevalence and “solution” of supervised visitation (and, closely related, batterers intervention) as an ESSENTIAL and PREVALENT, almost REQUIRED ELEMENT in public policy to stop violence against women (or domestic violence in either direction) was built-into the organizational DNA of resource center “Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs, Inc.” (“DAIP”, Ellen Pence, Michael Paymar, in Duluth, Minnesota, i.e., “The Duluth Model” or “Coordinated Community Response.”) In this model, ALMOST everyone needs to be trained — the batterers, the service providers, and (secondarily) access and visitation exchange centers are provided (i.e., for co-parenting purposes).

FN4, “Cultural Religious Pre-sets to Delegate Decision-making and Active Attention,  Observation and Information-Processing/Evaluating leading to Judgment to Others.  In Authority…. Who tend to be Men, either celibate, or Women married to a Man already in Authority.

(Elaborated on the title to include both priests, and (for the Protestants) the husband/wife pastor scenario).

Won’t elaborate more now, but people who’ve known me (in this context) for years, know I’ve brought this up repeatedly.

Some cultural habits are pre-set to delegate “thinking” and information processing to leadership. A subset of “cultural” is “religious.”  Religious groups have their cultures, too.. Among this leadership we now have, it’s been established, some who engage in child molestation.  I know experientially and it’s also been discussed how woman abuse is also an issue among religious groups (several different branches; I’m referring to and come from the Christian variety), and women’s attempts to stop violence against them in religious contexts disrupts existing power structures.  In the USA (and other countries, but I’m thinking particularly here), the reach and influence of this mentality into politics is wide, deep, and longstanding, and I am talking both Protestant and Catholic Christianity, whether evangelical, pentecostal conservative, Republican or (often found with progressive causes too), so-called liberal, Democrat and highly-educated, articulate (etc.) circles.

Another quality I thought of (polishing up the introduction to this post) deals with the concept, practice, and prevalent use of the term of “conciliation” and the usage of the religious term “reconciliation.” Don’t believe that discussion belongs here, though… I think about it often.

THE SAME CULTURE is also prone to being trained (affinity marketing) but that’s another topic for another time ALTHOUGH it does play into both welfare reform and the theme of private resolution of private  problems and, in effect, “reconciliation” vs. “litigation.”….. (see North Carolina organization “The Church Initiative” for just one, though a classic, example…)

. . .

FN 5: “Different Courts/Rules/Resonance, LGH’s ‘I remember'”

…From the start those filings included a response from my own family (in-law), as key to inciting a custody war by a man known then — and established later by abandoning our minor children in the physical care and custody of a non-relative, non-guardian, without even telling me., to not even want custody.   I also had it in writing years later, which I abandonment I tried to re-introduce to the same court in the same county, that he STILL didn’t want that divorce. I’d also brought it to the local district attorney (abandoning minor children is also a felony), who all but laughed me (sarcastically) out of their offices.  I was at the time both traumatized and angry — at myself for not having figured out how to bring a recording device in and angry at the district attorney’s representative trying to get rid of me instead of showing any concern for minor children with no parent in the home.Many specific details in his filings as well as personal refusals to commit showed me that this man at that time didn’t actually want a divorce — or even custody. But filing it did effectively at once postpone any hearing on continuing the personal protection afforded so far by that restraining order, and bring us eventually into the realms where domestic violence doesn’t REALLY matter so much.

. .

. .


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

May 12, 2019 at 8:55 am

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