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(1) Fund for Educational Excellence. (2) Foundation for Excellence in Education (or ExcelEd). (3) Alliance for Excellent Education, and (4) ConnectEd (Note the backers) and I just showed (5) Communities in Schools (Remember the subcontractors). Also Consider (6) Brown University’s AISR ~Smart Education Systems~ based on Ted [Yale, Harvard]+Nancy Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools. [Publ. April 17, 2017]

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published April 17, 2017 (the day after Easter) at 19,000 words.

Tags (there would be many!) to be added later.

This post,

(1) Fund for Educational Excellence. (2) Foundation for Excellence in Education (or ExcelEd).  (3) Alliance for Excellent Education, and (4) ConnectEd (Note the backers) and I just showed (5) Communities in Schools (Remember the subcontractors). Also Consider (6) Brown University’s AISR ~Smart Education Systems~ based on Ted [Yale, Harvard]+Nancy Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools. (case-sensitive short-link ending in “-6pr”),

continues from the bottom of

Three (or Four) Famous, Privately Controlled Nonprofits Who Just Wanna Transform Public Education (and Urban Populations to Practice On (case-sensitive short-link ends “-6iI”) (just published, with a long introduction, April 3, 2017 mid-day),

and represents where the writing started after deciding on that title and subject matter.

Among other questions, I first remind us (and I have the standing as a parent, former teacher across a variety of systems, and more recently, investigative blogger of nonprofits and public/private partnerships and their self-reporting of programming while concealing, withholding, or delaying until forced to, their books — i.e., holdings (cashflow, etc.) to say this with confidence):

Controlling the education (esp. public school system) = controlling the next generation = controlling the nation, including the revenue-producing options of those same generations.

By “controlling” I mean “restricting” in order to keep most of the nation in its assigned places in society — NOT in the top echelon who control the investments, and steer the systems, and train their own offspring, marrying into each others’ family, to continue doing the same generation after generation.

Look for the matching questions I have about this agenda in similar-styled box quote below.  There is a discussion and several paragraphs inbetween.

Along these topical lines, you’ll hear a lot about “closing the achievement gap.” It may come from groups pushing charter schools and more choice,* or those opposed to the same.

From generic (Google) search results, 1st and 2nd page, you can easily see the variety of domain names discussing this, from NEA (National Education Association), to PBS to Www2.ed.gov (federal Dept. of Education), to what would seem to be product-specific domain names, and others, state-specific.  I looked at several of them, and no matter where I looked, I found those so enthusiastic about closing it were operating either as tax-exempts backed by other tax-exempts — or public/private partnerships, and when debating the issue of charter schools (as I just said, above), on closer look whether those for or those against, both are recommending more investments for systems change, and typically involving digital learning platforms.

Again, this conversation also tends to be partisan, with progressives complaining about conservatives and vice-versa.  Everyone seems eager to discuss the “big bucks foundations” backing the OTHER side, or blast for-profit schools — but neither side is discussing the tax-exempt sector AS a networked sector, drawing both finances, sponsored voices, and collections of assets available for investment (wherever the privately controlled group chooses) towards that sector and away from the low-income, poor people.   [Example in this 2013 document focused on Massachusetts, [“Threat from the Right focused on Massachusetts”] but see its pp.76ff discussion of “Foundation for Excellence in Education” w/ references to Betsy DeVos and the DeVos family, Bush, Broad, Gates, and others].  From reading it, one would think there was no substantial sponsorship of education reform from progressive foundations — but I’ve seen and posted on it at the highest levels (Open Society Foundations, Omidyar Fund Network, etc.).

It seems to be off the radar to discuss that the tax-exempt status itself might be a contributing factor — as opposed to a solution — to poverty in the USA, which has now passed its 100th anniversary in taxing all individuals except those able to drastically reduce, legally evade, or illegally, dodge accountability and paying it. IF that discussion were ever to be held fairly, as I through this blog consistently have intended for it to be, whether court-connected, or gender-war-connected (both sides), or as we have here, public-education-reform-connected, the fingerpointing would be equally at both political parties.

~ ~ ~ I’ll talk more about the Achievement Gap-Closing Group Debates, reviewing some of the top-level search results on the phrase, separately. Some fascinating data on the sponsors continues to surface (well, after I dug into the Form 990s) ~ ~ ~ (link active now, but accurate only when it’s published: “Tax-Exempts Against the Achievement Gap (Accounting Details ALWAYS provide a fascinating backdrop to the Cause-connected and Controlled-Debates SPONSORED Rhetoric) with case-sensitive short-link ending “-6zO” as in “October” not as in the symbol for “zero”)“) ~ ~ ~


This “closing the achievement gap” talk does NOT refer primarily to the significant gap between the schooling of those of inherited or significant (entrepreneurially-acquired) wealth, typically private schooling from grade or high school forward and the public schools, BUT INSTEAD basically achievement gaps within and across public school systems, according to defined demographic (racial, gender) or geographic (i.e., urban/inner-city or not) sectors and with a view to eventual utilization across country lines, too.

In this sphere of discussion, schooling in USA inner-city, impoverished, disadvantaged, low-income (etc) urban areas is compared for potential program application for schooling in conflict-ridden, violent zones in other countries. Programs have been and still are being developed with a view of working internationally, not just in the USA. There is a profit and self-propagation motive, which pushes back against the actual intention to solve poverty in the USA.

What we tend to forget: public schools as fantastic market testing place (just like the family courts also have been — so many people getting divorced, forced-consumption-of services on an unprecedented scale also, just like welfare reform — it’s a remarkable market niche for those with their eyes on it.

The USA just happens to provide (to people of this mindset) an irresistably wonderful, and wonderfully large testing ground in its massive school system, and (unlike some other countries) significant public education funding too. Our compulsory education laws K-12 and our Department of Education (Federal and state levels) with corresponding budgets, and supportive, supplemental “education foundations” are already and for decades (over a century) established;  common practice.  And, we are a large country.

Having filled themselves up well here as corporate entities with wealth poured into tax-exempt foundations (family, private operating, or public charity) and through social and class connections, able to fly around for conferences and networking to (spawn) more nonprofits, many nonprofits and their backers (working closely with for-profits providing the digital or other platformed, often proprietary) are eager to spread the good news in countries where there’s less competition with educational choice [private incl. some legal forms of homeschooling; public, parochial or other religious] or savvy middle and professional classes who might over here see the profit motive involved in school-reform entities operating primarily tax-exempt.

FOR AN EXAMPLE (of US Schools being used as educational laboratories): I have recently been hunting for WestEd‘s comprehensive, annual financial reports (audited) covering ALL its activities and stating ALL is assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses to date, for a specific year as, being a Joint Powers Agency, it has to produceAnyone who can locate such a report more current than, let’s say 2010 (WestEd was formed in 1996), please submit a link in a comment!

WestEd (a JPA formed from two previously-existing JPAs under California’s Joint Powers Authority Act; roughly translated, it’s a government entity under which citizens have no direct rights, although it is public-funded, probably mostly public-funded). runs an REL (Research) Regional Education Laboratories).  (The image this time = the link, also).

WestEd has been subjected to at least two negative audits I found while looking for their CAFR.  One, from 1998 (USDOE OIG) I already posted.  Here’s another one from the NSF: Audit Report OI8-08-1-011:

Attached is the final audit report, prepared by Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C., an independent public accounting firm, on the audit of NSF award number ESI-0119790 awarded to WestEd. The audit covers NSF-funded costs claimed from September 1, 2001 to June 30, 2007, aggregating to approximately $11.05 million of NSF direct funded costs and $1.25 million of claimed cost sharing. NSF requested and OIG agreed to conduct an audit at WestEd because of findings in prior A-133 and other NSF audits that identified that the policies and procedures WestEd used were inadequate to monitor and track award activity for subawards, cost sharing, and participant support.

The auditors identified four significant compliance and internal control deficiencies in WestEd’s financial management practice that contributed to the questioned costs, of which we consider the first to be a material weakness. Additionally, the first three of these control weaknesses were previously identified and reported in NSF OIG and A-133 single audit reports. Given the systemic and continuing nature of these compliance and internal control deficiencies it is likely that NSF’s eleven other current awards amounting to $13.6 million, as well as future awards are impacted by the same weaknesses.

…In case there was any question whether the US public school system, at public cost, is being subjected to “R&D” monitored by government agencies who have questionable internal control (reporting weaknesses).  SO DO MANY OF THE NONPROFIT NETWORKS WISHING TO FIX THE SCHOOLS, but the only real auditor of this sector as a sector seems to be the IRS, and public who get around to figuring out it might be a good idea to research.

This all seems obvious to me, but readers who question this are welcome to submit comments.

For more indicators of school-reform as “development” in conflict-ridden places (USA, Mexico, or on other continents) — also resembling the Boston Consulting Group, as I call it, “Harvard/Bain/Bridgespan” philosophy (see recent post with that phrase in it) of being the first or among the first in some new field and so able to define the terms and dominate it, as well as employ the “LBO” (Leveraged Buy-Out) practice on public institutions (by getting on the decision-making groups — for a private corporation it’d be board of directors; but for public institutions, it would require having councils to steer those “public/private collaborations” (or if more official, “partnerships”)  —  please review some of my earlier posts (2016) on the International Institute for Peace at Rutgers (http://iip.rutgers.edu), which lists the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (or similar title) in Southern California associated with it.  Notice the language.
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Written by Let's Get Honest

April 17, 2017 at 11:45 am

A Tale of Two LLCs (and One Brown University Institute): Fronting the Causes, Burying-Moving-Renaming-Abandoning/Reinstating-Geographically Dispersing and Building Umbrella Organizations (a.k.a. Shelters) for the Networks’ Actual Fiscal Identities and Relationships [Publ. April 11, 2017]

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A Tale of Two LLCs (and One Brown University Institute): Fronting the Causes, Burying-Moving-Renaming-Abandoning/Reinstating-Geographically Dispersing and Building Umbrella Organizations (a.k.a. Shelters) for the Networks’ Actual Fiscal Identities and Relationships (post title with case-sensitive short-link ending “-5gG”).

This post was drafted (Late Dec. 2016) after I’d discovered the Rhode Island (Brown University-related nonprofit) component which prompted the sarcastic but accurate title.  I BELIEVE THE RECORD SHOULD SHOCK ANYONE OF NORMAL SENSIBILITY (ETHICS) AND WILL ALERT THE PUBLIC TO WHO AND WHAT IT’S DEALING WITH WHEN ANY OF THESE INVOLVED NONPROFITS, PARTNERSHIPS, NETWORKS OR WELL-KNOWN PROFESSIONALS (not to mention sponsoring foundations’ leadership) PROMOTES ANSWERS OR SOLUTIONS TO KNOWN EDUCATION CRISES IN THE URBAN SCHOOLS.  WAKE UP!!  

SINCERE EXPRESSIONS OF CONCERNS ABOUT WELL-KNOWN SOCIAL PROBLEMS DO NOT EXCUSE UNETHICAL AND AT TIMES ILLEGAL BEHAVIOR WITH AN OBVIOUS  “FOR-PRIVATE-PROFIT” (AND POSITIVE PRESS) MOTIVE IN INSISTING THESE PRACTICES GO NATIONWIDE, PRIMARILY UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE SAME PRIVATE TAX-EXEMPT FOUNDATIONS’ (plural) WEALTH (BACKED BY CORPORATE WEALTH), PARTNERING WITH PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS SUCH AS THE SCHOOLS, ALREADY NOTABLE FOR SELLING NEED AND NOT EXACTLY ADVERTISING WHERE THEIR OWN FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (AUDITED!) MAY BE FOUND AND READ. THE CONTROL is THROUGH CONVENING, FUNDING, and DEVELOPING the NETWORKED TAX-EXEMPTS, etc.

WHO IS MONITORING INDIVIDUALLY, or COLLECTIVELY, each network, and each networks’ financial activities?  These are set up so as to avoid such monitoring by widely distributing funding and responsibility throughout the network, then (predictably) citing the various networks, or common leadership favorably on each other’s websites.  Public officials (“civil servants”) are also often involved in board leadership.  Placement at prominent universities (such as Brown — not the only one) also discourages criticism and hinders follow-up financial accountability.


The Brown University connection has at least two major founding components. One is The Annenberg Institute for School Reform itself (“AISR”), habitually described as an “organization” (but if so, where is it on the R.I. list of corporations, and if it’s a nonprofit, what is its EIN#?  Is it somehow exempt from filing tax returns so we may follow the funding and redistribution of efforts to transform the operating paradigm of the nation’s schools?)##  The other is the nonprofit Coalition for Essential Schools, Inc.,(“CES”) formed 1998 in Rhode Island and spawning more networks (organized regionally a few named after their states) by the founder (?) of the Institute.

~~~In addition, board members of one or both are typically involved in other significant, similarly-purposed foundations or nonprofits, often functioning also as networks (such as Public Education Network (“PEN, Inc.”)**  or — found in Ohio — the evanescent “Forum for Education and Democracy, Inc.” and its “developing” nonprofit “Common Ground Foundation,” which I discovered and referenced briefly on the post named in the next paragraph (waiting to be published in association with this one)).  Board members in common, or board members moving from one to another also occurs.

**A Public Education Network person (Wendy Puriefoy) was found on the AISR board.##  PEN member organizations (link above is from “Issuelab” and displays 75 members) include the San Francisco Education Fund (“SF EdFund.org”) which comes up in this post also.  If you look (PEN link again) on the right side, there’s an article under “VUE” image, featuring the Annenberg Institute for School Reform working alongside PEN.  Clicking on that link, we can see (per “Issuelab”) that AISR co-published with the six (6) following organizations:

CO-PUBLISHING ORGANIZATIONS (6)

This organization has co-published titles with …

You can look these up at 990finder.FoundationCenter.org (or CitizenAudit.org or similar sites).  I JUST DID.  By doing so, I have a quick-look at location, entity age, assets, and (Pt VIII revenues) of any tax return, relative sources of income, government grants vs. private vs. “Program service revenues” and the buying and/or selling of the massive securities most of the above already own.  From looking through Form 990 (IRS filing) tax returns over time, I will also quickly see whether these assets have been increasing substantially in the last two years (because that source produced last 3 years’ results in any search), whether there are similar but not identically-named entities around (and if so, who’s the largest) and legal domicile — by click-through; the State displayed on level one may not be the legal domicile.   These returns sometimes also reveal (on a Schedule R or otherwise in earlier years) related or disregarded entities with leadership and sometimes even real estate (office addresses) or employees in common.

Aspen Institute = Since 1949 – EIN#84-0399006 = Legal Domicile CO (despite “DC” address) = latest Total (Gross) assets $278M, main source or revenues — by far, private.  Substantial increase in assets from prior year = substantial increase in contributions.

Nellie Mae Education Foundation = Since 1998 – EIN# 0407255323  = Legal Domicile MA (It’s in Quincy, MA), Gross Assets over $500M.  It got $25M startup capital in 1998 and is living off this (contributions, nil), and it’s funding some of the other entities, including Annenberg, CCE (above), Great Schools Partnership (shown below) and more.  Latest return showed $19M of grants distributed. Its Total Assets are decreasing year by year recently.

It’s not quite that simple (I did some drill-downs), it involves “Sallie Mae” (SLM Holdings) which represents a privatized government operation originally dealing in federally-guaranteed student loans — bought out Nellie Mae Corporation (which had already created a “secondary market” in the same).

[See Wiki for active links, and further down on it for “controversies”] SLM Corporation (commonly known as Sallie Mae; originally the Student Loan Marketing Association) is a publicly traded U.S.[2] corporation that provides consumer banking. Its nature has changed dramatically since it was set up in 1973. At first, it was a government entity that serviced federal education loans. It then became private and started offering private student loans, although at one point it had a contract to service federal loans. The company’s primary business is originating, servicing, and collecting private education loans. The company also provides college savings tools such as its Upromise Rewards business and online planning for college tools and resources. Sallie Mae previously originated federally guaranteed student loans originated under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).[3] and worked as a servicer and collector of federal student loans on behalf of the Department of Education. The company now offers private education loans and manages more than $12.97 billion in assets. Sallie Mae employs 1,400 individuals at offices across the U.S.[4][5] On April 30, 2014, Sallie Mae spun off its loan servicing operation and most of its loan portfolio into a separate, publicly traded entity called Navient Corporation. Navient is the largest servicer of federal student loans and acts as a collector on behalf of the Department of Education…

This was used (so it’s said) to start up (fund) Nellie Mae Education Foundation in a large way and “free it to do its philanthropy.”  I saw quickly that any startup which about Year 1 gets $25M AND has “$143M” in program services already (??) after which their investment proceeds grow exponentially, has something a little “unique” going on.  There was a Nellie Mae, Inc., but the privately held corporations preceded the public foundation.  And they are dealing with the student loan industry — and the assets (even if in the form of debt) is phenomenal in size, obviously.  Investment Fees and salaries for board members of the nonprofits (who it even says, tend to be board members of those likely to get grants from it, as are the committee who recommends who gets to be on the board …..).

This interesting history goes back to the 1970s and 1980s and crosses major economic changes of those times, some including the word “bailout” and others “privatization” which of course was a primary characteristic of the 1996 Welfare reform act PRWORA.   I expect to post on it soon, in part because the money to fund some of the Northeast region (USA) “redesign the schools” networks  — of course intended to go national, if not digital and distributed-network along proprietary standardized ideas facilitated by smaller (sponsored) nonprofits — if it had federal origins in the first place — that’s public backing originally.

Sallie Mae (after purchasing Nellie Mae Corporation) kept some of the same leadership (such as Lawrence O’Toole) also on the foundation, has had its own controversies since then per the Wiki; and this foundation, while I don’t know if it’s also been controversial, I do know what I just saw on the tax returns (including moving millions of dollars (recent tax return – $94Million) into assets which then were moved to Central American and Caribbean investments (and among the “other Investments or Investments Other Securities, probably more are also offshore) while helping some disadvantaged students — and LOTS of the School Redesign 501©3s

Annenberg Foundation = if you can spell “LARGE” that will do. Heinz Foundation — no doubt the same.   (Any others, you can look up yourself. I know I have started.)

##I did find (while writing this) the corporate filing for AISR, valuable information as that also shows current and (back to only 2006) prior boards of directors, i.e., powerful connections.  I did not, yet, nail down whether it has an EIN# separate from that of Brown University itself, or must file tax returns associated with that EIN# and that business ID.  Screenprints and documentation shown below.  Why it matters:  $50 million dollars is a  lot of money for “startup” (so is the original, $5 million dollars).  Are our public school systems and private universities now just “for sale” to the very highest bidder?  ARE we, that is, is the USA, operating still as a republic, with government “of, by and for the people” and through representation of us WHERE WE LIVE AND WORK, thus helping fund all public schools,  in effect, or not?

However all these organizations may describe and promote themselves, my basic classifications START with, is it: (#1) Organized as a government entity (which is tax-exempt as an entity, regardless of its Revenues to Expenses or Assets to Liabilities status) or (#2) if not government it is by definition organized and/or incorporated as non-government that is, PRIVATE.   Private LLCs and “Inc.”s have to declare a legal domicile, and when regsitered in that legal domicile whether or not they are Stock, or profit — or non-stock, not-for profit, is identified.  So second question/classification for any PRIVATE entity is whether or not it’s  tax-exempt.

Notice above, that the list of co-publishers with the AISR are a looking like tax-exempts,  (anything labeled “Foundation,” will be and I did see the “Center for Collaborative Education is a nonprofit; leaving only two labeled “Institute” or “Program” to categorize.  Put another way, here are two images from ISSUELab (organized by “the Foundation Center”) on PEN (Public Education Network) — one describes it.  The second shows links (with thumbnails and a mini-abstract for each) “PEN” on the left, and on the right, a colorful image labeled “VUE”  (will show up again in this post) and an abstract referencing the AISR at Brown partnering with Pen on a National Commission (etc.).  VUE = Visions for Urban Education.  Brown University is private, and tax-exempt and its return is shown in this post because I was looking for the financials of the AISR “at” Brown University.

Basic principle — look for the financial footprint in a form that can be compared to other entities of similar classifications (private, or government), and which will show (in particular) where the assets are being held and invested while the organization is busy seeking more revenues besides those already available from the investments.  Notice how money is handled, and reporting.  Here, we are talking people that are declaring themselves (and their networks) as “the” problem-solvers for public school, in which the public has already so much invested. How do they report?  DO they report? Are they reliable, ethical, honest, and transparent in deed, or just in self-description?


If the government is to be representative, that, is held accountable, then the finances MUST be available to view by those paying for the services.  When so many obstacles to locating them are placed, while talk of “deficit” and lack abounds, and the benefits of streamlining, standardizing (etc.) and compromising on that balance-of-power governmental model is promoted — nationwide — then that is the underlying issue, not just “effectiveness” of teaching approaches a, b, c, or evidence-based-according-to-entity-XYZ “e.”

There is a back-story to both AISR and CES (the Rhode Island nonprofit), much, with references links, is found on a post I’m now publishing (about three-and-a-half months and a whole lot of lookups on similar situations later). Its name: (1) Fund for Educational Excellence. (2) Foundation for Excellence in Education (or ExcelEd).  (3) Alliance for Excellent Education, and (4) ConnectEd (Note the backers) and I just showed (5) Communities in Schools (Remember the subcontractors). Also Consider (6) Brown University’s AISR ~Smart Education Systems~ based on Ted [Yale, Harvard]+Nancy Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools. (case-sensitive short-link ending in “-6pr”),
____________________

From that post, referencing this one:

Here in this post, I also added a section on a sixth nonprofit (CES, started out of Brown University in 1984, followed by AISR, an Institute named after its well-known benefactor at Brown, started in 1993) on which [I, “Let’s Get Honest”]] had done some previous “drill-downs” (and was appropriately shocked at the corporate filing history), but not, as I recall, posted yet.  This is mentioned here because I feel it significant. It also demonstrates again whose money (such as Walter H. Annenberg of publishing wealth, starting in Philadelphia) is behind some of these reform efforts.

Overall, and sometimes individually (see last post!), these are networks and as nonprofits not necessarily huge (billion-dollar, or hundred-million-dollar) themselves, still have elite and influential backers

I am back here to check on this Dec. 2016 draft and reference it from another extensive section on the AISR/CES/Brown U. situation on the other post.

This situation had gripped my gut on the brazen “in-your-face” flaunting of basic corporate filing rules, and accountability for finances received and (re) distributed while skipping the state [East Coast to West Coast]– then coming back as itself.   The related entities (some of which I’ve also looked at) and boards of directors on similar, or cited by this institute (or its founder in his bio blurb) entities are also engaged in “odd” behavior as nonprofits, I found, between Dec. 2016 and April 2017.

Also meanwhile (between when I first flagged it and now)  the entity (“CES”) I’ve been complaining about on this blog has shut itself down after returning (per IRS returns) from California to Rhode Island entity address, getting another “we’re going to revoke you in 60 days for non-filing!” message after having just recently gotten a special legislative dispensation to avoid penalties and be considered retroactively as if never-revoked despite a baker’s dozen (looks like 13) years of non-filing (if they paid the fees and provided the annual reports — a very simple filing which could easily, for any honest entity, have been mailed in) then moving up to Maine and voting (Feb. 2017 only) to finally dissolve itself.  No, I am not making this up! (will be posted again, below):

CES 2012 REINSTATEMT Waiving All Penalties (for 13 Annual Rpts X20 Dollars fees only!) by Legislative Action (Jan 2012) From CES Filings @ Rh Island (several pages — not just the two images from it shown.  Check it out!)

CES Mar2001 Revocatn CERTIFICATE (1p) from RI (printedApr6 2017)

This is R.I. Business Entity #95304 (or, “000095304” and searchable that it dissolved on 2-21-2017 and its showing an address in Maine (images also shown below on this post):

482 CONGRESS STREET, SUITE 500A PORTLAND, ME 04101 USA, “the Heart of Portland’s financial District“(Loopnet.com has a photo) and where officer/director’s David Ruff has a “Great Schools Partnership, Inc. going (formerly contracted with CES for management services, says one of CES’ tax returns in the waning years).

Great Schools Partnership was formed in 2008 (CES founder Ted Sizer d. 2009), last year Gov’t grants $1M, private $2M+ and “Schools contracts” $947K.  Meanwhile, grants out from the entity were $610K, going in $31K and lesser installments back TO schools for “NextGen … Initiative.”  Looks like some are charter schools.

FY2014, David Ruff was paid $124K + benefits, alongside just one other FT officer (no trustees work more than 1hr/week) paid also over $100K.  Entity started up with $1M funding and Exec Director (Ruff) salary was then only $48K (FY2008 “initial/address change” GSP Tax Return)

Total results: 3. Search Again. (similarly named entity in TN isn’t acting similarly though).

ORGANIZATION NAME ST YR FORM PP TOTAL ASSETS EIN
Great Schools Partnership ME 2015 990 37 $2,562,643.00 26-3834610
Great Schools Partnership ME 2014 990 24 $1,905,627.00 26-3834610
Great Schools Partnership ME 2013 990 23 $1,000,668.00 26-3834610

A bill to forgive CES, a “transform the schools”-nonprofit  (who meanwhile went “AWOL” to California) its 12 years’ non-filing (i.e., “truancy”) and vacate its corporate revocation — if it catches up now and pays the fees (but, no penalties). Meanwhile, separately (not shown here) an nonprofit copying the CES concept formed in Calif in 2005 (SFCESS), didn’t register as a charity until 2010 and in 2011 (when CES had returned to RI as an address) the incorporator of SFCESS (Gregory Peters) is added in 2011 to CES board of directors. Look at the list of years!

(…looks like David Ruff is Exec Dir. — not a board member):

Great Schools Partnership (locale: Maine) Exec Dir David Ruff (viewed 4-2017 from website) still listed as Treasurer? of the recalcitrant (but forgiven by the State of Rhode Island) Coalition for Essential Schools

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OK, a bit on Great Schools Partnership, Inc. (Principals, Predecessors, and Public Education Officials On Board)

I saw that the first (before its first Tax Return showing an address change) street address of “Great Schools Partnership” (in Maine) matched a “Senator George J. Mitchell Scholarship Research Institute” (<==I looked at its 2015 return and recent audited financial statements — holding onto $20-$30M assets while donating $1M or so out in scholarships to Maine high school seniors, etc.; it was formed in 1999 (per tax return) or 1995 (per website) when the Senator retired from his more public pursuits.  David Ruff was Marketing for this institute at some point (next image), and the GSP 2008 return (under Pt XI, Adjustments) also shows it received $177K from the institute.  In addition, it had $1)M startup funds.

I see what they are doing, but that would have to be a separate post!  However, it does seem that GSP is an outgrowth of the Sen GeorgeJMitchell….Institute, which in its earliest shown (2002, 2003) returns says that the Maine Community Foundation was a related entity (and had a shared employee).  In addition, a “Duke Albanese” (later found presenting with David Ruff, and I learned “Education Commissioner” for the state) was in 2003 (at least) shown as among the highest-paid (over $50K) contractors, which IRS forms back then required to be listed.  While the main purpose of the SGJMInstitute is declared to be providing scholarships to Maine Seniors to attend college, a secondary purpose (and the grants show this) is transformation of the secondary schools.

In fact, this (From Bancroft & Company, LLC, School Improvement Efforts Under the Radar) (Bancroft being also a board member of GSP) calls the GSP an “affiliate” of the Mitchell Institute. (see the “About” page to realize that: Bancroft comes from a consulting (McKinsey & Company) background, is currently into growth equity investments and “coincidentally” is on the boards of this and yet another school-reform nonprofit in Maine. If you also click below on “Educate Maine” and read about the two principals first listed (J. Duke Albanese and Ron Bancroft) it’s clear that (like Sen. George J. Mitchell) Albanese attended the elite, almost-Ivy, historic (it pre-dates the formation of the State of Maine!) Bowdoin College — which only went co’ed (let the women in) in the 1970s… Kind of like Brown University….).

Ron left McKinsey in the mid-eighties for a simpler life on the coast of Maine, his native state. After several years in which he was a principal in the buyout of a large shipbuilder and the owner of a small wood products company, he established Bancroft & Company as a way to bring the value of his wide range of business experience to smaller companies.

In more than twenty years of strategic work with growth companies in a range of industries, Ron has established several long-term client relationships that have been mutually satisfying. His clients have tended to grow and prosper. They attribute part of that success to Ron’s unique ability to “value add” strategic facilitation to their businesses.  [[LBOs and Turnarounds — that Harvard/Bain/Bridgespan model I’ve been posting on !! Done with companies, why shouldn’t it also be done with schools?]]

At this stage of his career Ron is principally focused on Advisory and Board relationships in the Private Equity field. He is a Strategic Advisor to Industrial Growth Partners, a San Francisco-based firm that specializes in acquiring engineering-driven mid-size manufacturing companies.

In addition to his consulting practice, Ron has long been involved in education reform. He is a founder and former Chairman of both the Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education, a business/education coalition, and its successor organization, Educate Maine. He also serves on the Board of Great Schools Partnership, a leader in bringing proficiency-based education to New England High Schools.

Leadership and service have been consistent themes throughout Ron’s life. He is an honors graduate of the United States Naval Academy. ===>>>A Rhodes Scholar, Ron earned a Master’s Degree in Politics and Economics from Oxford University. <<===

GSP (Great Schools Partnership) website shows Ron Bancroft as President currently.  The latest tax return (above) is only FY2014, in which he is just a board member. Either way, the officers (not board members/trustees) are the ones paid.  Probably Bancroft is more than independently self-sufficient by now, and doesn’t need salary from this pipsqueak (size-wise) nonprofit…

And, these foundations (the Institute and the Maine Foundation) are obviously, bulking up their assets and paying a significant administrative overhead to their subcontractors or employees (such as investment managers) in the process of tossing some $$ towards some deserving high school seniors.  Or so the tax returns seems to narrate, over time.

Total results: 3Search Again.

ORGANIZATION NAME ST YR FORM PP TOTAL ASSETS EIN
Mitchell Institute ME 2014 990 41 $33,753,595.00 01-0523390
Mitchell Institute ME 2013 990 29 $31,695,095.00 01-0523390
Senator George J. Mitchell Scholarship Research Institute ME 2015 990 41 $35,840,829.00 01-0523390

ShowingD. Ruff association with a pre-existing nonprofit associated with a well-known Senator. See also a New England Secondary School Consortium (“NESSC” -ME, NH, VT, RI, and CT) [run BY GreatSchoolsPartnership and out of the same street address] and pushing of “NextGen” programming (see NGLC which  leads to Educause.edu, behind which find, predictably, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation). GSP, meanwhile, has trademarked something called “iWalkthrough.” In general these networks coach and professionally train, technically assist (etc.) SCHOOLS. GSP website explains how Policy, Practice, and Public Perception must all be addressed at once in order for it to succeed (like a Blitzkrieg of School Reform?)

GSP, Inc. a nonprofit gets a trade-marked product: “iWalkthrough.” With, of course, different applications (see image).

“iWalkthrough” applications

I understand that nonprofits focused on particular causes are going to have or certainly can have, boards of directors from many different states.  That’s not the only issue here — the issue is when their filings are not legitimate, and they are intricately involved with major public systems with intent to alter them while such institutions themselves aren’t the most open about their own funding, either.   A major issue here is overall loss of accountability for public funding of the public schools BY the public who (most of us) inhabit them, came through them, or our kids are likely to.  They have been part of the landscape for so long; perhaps our standards of expecting accountability have simply faded?So this post, after a brief insert on the AISR as an institute (not its founding, etc. which is on the other post as a subsection), showing where it is and what it’s doing, I am looking primarily (top part) at a single nonprofit, “Coalition for Essential Schools,” and at its filings.  NOTE: I am not looking at the related (in name, not as identified on tax returns) 501©3s in other places.  There is more than one “Coalition for Essential Schools” when geographic regions or state names are added to the term.  Part of the networking plan was setting these up, in addition to AISR itself also (see other post or their self-reporting) setting up operations in other states also. The target is particularly urban school districts.

990Finder ~Coalitn of Essential Schools~ Namesearch=>Results 1 page only~3 regions, 2 states + home org (2017-04-02 at 7.26PM

 

Not shown from a simple name search are no doubt other entities using the same concept (just as with marriage/fatherhood programming or domestic violence coalitions — the naming conventions of any nonprofit may change, while running same curriculum or operating similar if not identical programs).

I also found a San Francisco Coalition of Essential Schools (website SFCESS.org) formed (incorporated) in 2005, didn’t register til hunted down to do so by the California OAG (in 2010) and it seems, operating out of a street address which is a school building, i.e., a private entity out in public-purpose property.  I didn’t research whether the school owns or is leasing said building, but I did look up its corporate filing (SOS) and at its tax returns, + charitable details** after registering in California (going “legit.”).

**==> SF Coalitn of EssentlSmall Schools (3guys in SF+Berkeley) had to be almost hunted down to register+ are delinquent FOUNDING Dox do not include Founding Dox, EIN# 562544544 Details print.

These foundations were listed as partnering with one of the list below (from Los Angeles):

see “powerfuled.org” “About” page.

Besides sharing boards of directors and ideas, what else do SF CESS and CES (and maybe GSP) have in common?  Well, the CES website calls them “Affiliate Centers” — here’s a list:

(see link. Notice both GSP, Inc. (in Maine) and SFCESS (in California) are on this list. I looked also at the one in Boston (Center for Collaborative…) and will also take a quick look at the one in Southern Calif, whose website said it was started in 2003, but has already changed its name.

 

Formerly, says its footer banner at “powerfuled.org,” “Los Angeles Small Schools Center.” It cites powerful foundation partners, including — remember, readers? — James Irvine Foundation, California Endowment, California Community Foundation, and more…Footer says, started in 2003, but California Sec. of State says (showing the new name, not the old) in 2007.[See “CharitableDetails [Speckled History]” ~ Links will be active!]..

<==[Also in Caption of “Center for Powerful Schools” icon, referring to a Los Angeles Entity which was behaving something like SFCESS. I found discrepancies between reports to the OAG and its IRS filings, as well as having received a grant from Connected: The Center for College and Career” (see my other post) dated before IT registered as a Calif. charity, either… Yegads! Char Details [Speckled History!] for LASCC~CentrForPowerfulSchools (EIN# 260326342 CaEntity (2007) 2995924]

SFCESS — (not the Los Angeles entity referenced in the image below) After not registering for 5 years in a row (until 2010), as can be seen by the date “Jan. 2011” in first several rows of “Schedule” section above, it’s AGAIN delinquent — for not turning in tax returns recently, when turning in their annual required “RRF” (Charitable Registration, with fee and listing of (a) any government grants received, (b) if an audit was done — basically a one-page sheet of Yes/No questions with Header info identifying entity name, its mailing address, three categories of identifying #s (EIN#, Corporate Entity#, Charitable Registry #) and on a single line, its assets and revenues for the years.  This form is to be signed and dated by a responsible officer or director, and mailed in within 4-½ months of fiscal year end, with a sliding-scale fee.For a fiscal year ending June 30, which SFCESS shows, their RRFs would be due mid-November Fiscal year 2005 (its first year) ended 6/30/2006 = RRF was due by 11/15/2006.  Look at the pattern shown on the charitable returns (pdf link above).  In addition to simply not registering OR sending in any RRFs for 5 years, it thereafter continues to send them ALL (but one — year 2010 I think) in two or three seasons (about a half year or more) late, year after year.  And for the last two years shown, not accompanied by a Form 990:

SFCESS It takes the Calif OAG FIVE (5) ltrs to get it to register!

SFCESS Charitable Details (link to multi-page printout above) shows its most recent status still “Delinquent.” Also notice the date “January 2011” on Schedule for turning in documents (sev’l yrs in a row)

SFCESS (more recent filings, “Schedule” section) show an “N” where a “Y” should be for tax return also accompanied the RRF filing. (Notice revenues). Also, late filing of RRFS, and (Related Documents, 1st two rows) show “CT-2010.” CT = Charitable Registration (finally) and 2010 RRF-1 (i.e., the first RRF sent in, looks like!). In the pdf link I provided, the “Related Doc’t” section links should be active (clickable to view contents)

Next comes a substantial section here on SFCESS and three entities it’s partnering with (SFUSD, WestEd (which keeps coming up in these discussions, usually as a subcontractor — but here, as a “partner”), and SF Educational Fund or “SF EdFund.”).  Those three entities are mentioned by SFCESS on its most recent (available) tax return).

AFTER discussing SFUSD (showing some of its revenue sources, with a few images and how it advertises (or rather, doesn’t) its financial statements, I review who/what is the JPA (Joint Powers Agency) WestEd.

WestEd literally doesn’t seem to provide its own comprehensive annual audited financial statements  on its website AT ALL, but I did locate a 1998 OIG Audit of WestEd shortly after it was formed, showing initial practice in administering two MAJOR RELs (Research Education Laboratories) and purchasing and managing a building in Los Alamitos, CA (near Los Angeles) and in San Francisco, shows massive cheating on several fronts.  That is, per the US DOE OIG at the time.  I did locate a proposal (RFP) for someone to produce those statements for 2017, and if all goes well, 2018, and 2019 by WestEd, which characterized its annual revenue as $160 million.

I also found through listening to the “PR rhetoric” on WestEd’s “Wiki,” that it was filing trademarks for the developed products or services, i.e., teaching methods;  A simple search located 21 trademarks filed by WestEd in its, so far, short life.  One of them was shared with a single woman using a dba to imitate being a company (but, it was just a dba), with a B.A. from SF State in “Wisdom and Resiliency,” a Teaching Credential, and several certifications along the lines of executive coaching.  That is shown, leaving a large question mark:  Why did WestEd, recently, decide to start sharing its trademark status and fronting this individual with at best a moderate level of education from a local state school, and not even a legitimate incorporated business to her name?  Or was that the main point?

Then I look at SF EdFund (which was new to me) and discovered that two nonprofits started in 1964 and 1979, respectively did a 2009 merger when one’s assets were around $7 million, and that the originally named “SF EdFund,” being the non-survivor, left behind its old EIN# giving the surviving one (formerly “SF School Volunteers”) the now-unused business name of “San Francisco Educational Fund”). So the EIN track record of the current SFCESS partnership doesn’t pre-date 2009; however as SFCESS started in 2005, who knows whether it maybe dealt with the prior one.

AFTER all that, which takes a while, I then show how SFCESS — with which the above three entities (SFUSD, SF Edfund, and WestEd) gladly formalized partnership/s, at least as of FY2014 — did not register as a California Charity for fully five years after incorporating and beginning to receive assets — in fact, until forced to.   That this just doesn’t seem to faze its new and powerful partners (one of them a JPA even) is a reflection on them also.

I though this might be a simple task, to profile one “SF CESS” entity as a characterization of its program model which seems clearly taken from the Rhode Island-originated “CES” or “Coalition of Essential Schools.”   It was in concept, just long and somewhat tedious to present.  But  — fascinating.

AFTER all this (and written before it) comes my discussion of the AISR (in Rhode Island at Brown University) and, below it, the Rhode-Island initiated (I think!) “CES” both associated with Ted (and Nancy) Sizer.  CES behavior was — if possible — as a reporting entity, even worse, which evidence I have also posted.  

Towards the bottom third? of the post comes the “Two LLCs” (in Midwestern states) material also referenced in the post.  All told, we are looking now at 17,000 words, unless I “export” a section of it.

If you simply read through this post, including most of the annotations on those annotated images (i.e., backup for what I’m saying) I doubt that: school districts, nonprofits, tax-exempt foundations, possibly Ivy League Universities or elected public officials working in or at any of the above may never seem the same again.  

And perhaps a curiosity about the “RELs” (Regional Education Laboratories) run by WestEd — and possibly other Education-related JPAs — I hope will arise to the point of finding financial statements and where USDOE (or NSF, or US HHS) OIG audits exist, reading them.

If so, I’ve done half my job. These are NOT what they are portraying themselves as throughout — problem-solvers.  People lie, organizations may also exaggerate, or cheat, on their tax returns, but putting it together, the “Cold, Hard Facts” have a story to tell.  The other half is, what to do about it, and that I believe is an issue of government financing, i.e., taxation, and whether or not others can tear themselves away from the daily and often disturbing news (Yes, I read it, too!) and take a hard look at this kind of evidence — and “each one teach one” to the point it is collectively understood and evaluated.  

Because without accountability, we have no balance of power between government and those government.  Trust me when I say, don’t wait on your local legislators or legislatures to broach this subject matter!  They want more, better, bigger, and more positive-press-friendly public/private partnerships based on scarcity of public resources.

How about plugging the accountability holes first?  Why shouldn’t delinquent organizations be held accountable to admit they exist, and show their financials?  Why shouldn’t the public have a grasp on the scope of Joint Powers Authorities (and Agencies) and what this does to the relationship between local government (citizens) and federal contracts and grants on major infrastructure projects?

Why should we have, overall, school systems which are “too big to fail” (though they do), war over them along political (Left/Right) lines and no one minding the back office operations in the Regional Education Laboratories?

Stop taking so many public proclamations at face value, i.e., “on faith.”  Start calling enough of them out ,and possibly others will get the message.  I can’t do this alone (or, as a volunteer!).

Thanks for patience and reading tenacity this time

// Let’s Get Honest 4/9/2017

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Understanding University Models [Preface to the Post ” ‘Human Ecology’ (Colleges of), Psychology, and Cornell. Why The History of the American University System Still Matters.”) published March 4, 2018].

You are now on the page

Understanding University Models [Preface to the Post ” ‘Human Ecology’ (Colleges of), Psychology, and Cornell. Why The History of the American University System Still Matters.”) published March 4, 2018],”published the same day, and with Page short-link ending “-8JR.”

It has fewer than 1,000 words: I’m just making a few key points.  Before then, A few technicalities:

  • This PAGE has the title (with underlying link and identified “short-link ending”) and belongs with the POST shown below with separate title (and underlying link and identified “short-link ending”).  I keep posting “short-link ending” fragments for efficiency when citing related posts or pages; pardon the inconvenience!
  • This short preface — under 1,000 words — is a page only because it’s not enough for a complete post and I don’t know how otherwise to link it to the middle of my post as some webmasters might or other blog platforms/styles might facilitate.  It didn’t take long to write.  Its information belongs near the top of the post below. Since it’s already published, this page also shows up automatically on the sidebar (Vital/info links menu), but I have no plans to move it near the top of that long list.
  • After viewers browse the “preface”immediately below (inside blue lines, with white background, fine prints and one or two images and a few links), return to the original and related post using the link at the very bottom.  Thanks//LGH March 4, 2018.

From “Ivy League Reigns Supreme as Princeton, Harvard Yale come out on top for second year running in US college rankings” in Dailymail.co.UK (refers to 2014-15) (accessed from “The History of the Ivy League” link, nearby; image also has slide show with charts of the top 10 universities and liberal arts colleges)

[Preface to the Post ” ‘Human Ecology’ (Colleges of), Psychology, and Cornell. Why The History of the American University System Still Matters.”) published March 4, 2018, which post’s short-link ends “-8F5”]

Understanding those models is part of understanding one’s place as a citizen of the United States of America, college graduate or not; whether employed (including within academia!), an employer or unemployed, and whether long-term independently self-sufficient or not. Those not employed, not independently self-sufficient, or not college graduates especially ought to know: it sheds light on the available options and on the creation and inter-generational maintenance of income-disparities and class differences.

(Wikipedia lists members of the “Ivy League” — ALL of these are private!): Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University. The term Ivy League has connotations of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions, and social elitism.”

The History of the Ivy League” from “Best College Reviews.org” (chosen here because it’s a short, interesting summary, and names founding dates and home states of the above eight, and briefly explains and dates the term “Ivy League” (ca. 1950s)):

Accomplishments and Cultural Impacts”

Each Ivy League college has its own unique accomplishments that make it important. All carry a certain reputation with them, and each school has programs that excel primarily in the medical and law fields, making them some of the most sought-after schools in the world. Their admissions process is very selective, which helps the schools ensure that they only accept the best and brightest. Many famous people have graduated from Ivy League schools, including recent presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. This prestige leads many to believe that these colleges are only for the wealthy and elite. Often, companies look for Ivy League graduates as potential employees, usually preferred by law firms, medical facilities, and large corporations. It has long been coveted to have earned a degree from an Ivy League school. Today, there are other competitors that some claim to be just as good as their Ivy counterparts. Some of these well-known schools include Duke University, Johns Hopkins,** MIT, Vanderbilt, and Georgetown University, to name a few. The Ivy League schools are still excellent in both academia and in sports, and they have left a legacy of higher education with an exceptional track record and reputation to go along with them.

**bolded here only because it comes up in association with Cornell in today’s post….

The History of the Ivy League” from “BestCollegeReviews.org

Now — unlike when some of the most famous institutions were founded — as corporations or government entities, universities must declare their status — public or private.  If public under state administration, they’re tax-exempt as government entities; if private, they’re typically also tax-exempt, which itself helps attract wealth.  To look at or follow a financial profile of any university or its parts, one must start with its audited financial reports, which will come under one of two choices — those for public entities (CAFRs) or those for private ones (audited financial reports).

One difference between those two forms is availability.  Universities as government entities have to provide them.  Universities as private entities have to “make them available” but that can legally be “by request” and limited to only recent years — making comparison across time (let alone across universities) a project that requires either independent wealth OR a source of revenue to obtain staff.

Huge Size Defeats Following Finances of Specialized Centers within either kind of university from financial reports: In the 21st century, and writing this blog, I’ve continued to notice in place after place (both public and private) how many “centers” are named after their sponsors/donors and tend to produce related spin-off companies (often also tax-exempt) — but try climbing back up the financial trail, or even map it to locate the finances of such sponsored centers, or even professorships by looking at any university’s public-access financial reports — and you’ll quickly see it’s typically impossible. My perspective is that it shouldn’t be. These centers and endowed professorships are helping make and sustain public policy — and this dilemma is taxation without representation.

It has come up repeatedly within these blog dealing with some of the above list of universities (the “Ivies”) AND some of the largest  public research universities (public) filing as public institutions (U Minnesota, U Berkeley, etc.).  When you consider, as described above, that among the qualities of those top-notch universities are their MEDICAL and LAW programs — and role of medicine and law in government itself (and the public funds dedicated to it — that’s a major issue.


[Click to return the post==>> “‘Human Ecology’ (Colleges of), Psychology, and Cornell. Why The History of the American University System Still Matters.”) published March 4, 2018, short-link ending “-8F5”]

Written by Let's Get Honest

March 4, 2018 at 6:04 pm

Posted in

Promoting Page added May 27, 2017, on “The Whole Nine Yards”: Who’s Been REstructuring the PK-12 School Planning Infrastructure; the Capital Appreciation Bonds [raising funds for school facilities] Scam; CAFRs; Unbelievably Unethical, Internationally-Conferencing 501©3s; Where University Centers, each University’s Supporting Foundations (sometimes plural); and of course Many VFFs (Very Famous Foundations) Coordinate for Cradle-to-Career GLOBAL Control (of Education)

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Promoting Page added May 27, 2017, on “The Whole Nine Yards”: Who’s Been REstructuring the PK-12 School Planning Infrastructure; the Capital Appreciation Bonds [raising funds for school facilities] Scam; CAFRs; Unbelievably Unethical, Internationally-Conferencing 501©3s; Where University Centers, each University’s Supporting Foundations (sometimes plural); and of course Many VFFs (Very Famous Foundations) Coordinate for Cradle-to-Career GLOBAL Control (of Education).”  Here’s the ==> case-sensitive shortlink ending “-6WW” to that extended title!
The post here is (copies) about the top THIRD of the page it advertises, but represents the entire scope of topics).  The Page is accessible through the link below (repeated at bottom of this post) and through a link near the top of the main post on the blog.

After one week’s hard work on that page (and it’s up to nearly 18,000 words //this post, only 6,400 words) — with some off-ramps too), I decided it was time to copy (case in point, here) and put it out as a POST.  The dark teal background color you see below here mirrors the color theme of top post on the blog, which lists my “formerly sticky posts.”

My added May 27, 2017, Page title “About this blog motto…” isn’t that representative of its contents– the post title above gives a better idea.   The exhibits (show-and-tell visuals) get more lively in the bottom two-thirds (for which go to the page), but this part also will still challenge your preconceptions.  Thanks in advance for your focused attention on this important information. //LGH.

Recent visitors (per html counter, not the one on sidebar stuck in “San Francisco” mode, i.e., not Feedjit) include from a variety of universities, California Counties, HHS (today) and other countries, ongoing.Most visitors aren’t talking back, but some are staying hours at a time on the blog, so presumably they found something of interest enough to keep reading.  //LGH.

This PAGE goes with the TOP POST ON THIS BLOG from which it was removed, with its case-sensitive short-link ending “-5MQ” named Vital Info: Formerly “Sticky” Posts (pared down from 15)       [2/8/2017]  (<==Title was  adjusted to make more sense, but that link still works). Link will be posted again at the bottom.


[That] PAGE title, with its case-sensitive shortlink ending “-6TM” is:

About My Blog Motto (formerly on Vital Info/Sticky Links post, moved here  May 26, 2017).

Though published May 26, 2017, it spent four days in a state of “flux” (that is, see extended middle section) as I worked through — with the usual “show-and-tell” exhibits, annotated images, and connecting narrative — how to explain the continuing purpose of this blog but raising my most recent concerns on a specific subject matter which is close, but not a 1:1 match, to the subject matter of “Family Courts” or “domestic violence.”  

This more recent subject matter, however, still speaks to the abuse of power, how it has continued to expand, and what people concerned about such massive exploitation on the national level in the U.S.A., while their (so to speak) many public institutions (universities, justice systems, K-12 schools, etc.) are restructured for globalization, might do to rebalance the power back to representative government with the INFORMED consent of the people.
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Written by Let's Get Honest

June 1, 2017 at 8:49 pm

Challenging the Annenbergs’ Public Education Challenge Grants, Still Searching for AISR@Brown as a Form 990 filer, Still Scrutinizing Why We Accept that Privately Controlled, Synched, Billion-Dollar, Tax-Exempt Foundations Care about the Public as Much as About Controlling Their Collective Assets (and the Public, Lest It Start Demanding a Better Look at the Books!) [moved here Apr. 15, Publ. April 21, 2017]

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This sprang un-mid-wifed (?) from the belly of another post,** where it’d grown submerged under that post’s main identity until ready to burst forth into a free-breathing, distinct publication from the other, as itself, and at a different street address (url) on the same blog.  I have been pregnant (and carried to term; they’re young adults now), so I do know what it feels like getting around the last few months: cumbersome. That’s how the other post was getting.

**the post (published 4/17/2017) which gestated (? incubated) this one:

Others talk so freely about conceiving, founding, launching and incubating various projects (or nonprofits) under some larger fiscal agent, or donor-advised-funds community foundations until they are “spun off” or “born,” I figure I can talk about having “given birth” to another post every now and then.   🙂  Sometimes, when I’m tangling too close with certain subject matter (here, the University of Pennsylvania and University of Southern California’s “Annenberg School of Communications” Trusts, not to mention the Annenberg Foundation itself) unpremeditated offspring are conceived.

So, this one being my “baby” I gave it a nice long name, in the  family (“FamilyCourtMatters)”tradition:

The first several paragraphs here overlap from the originating post, before I “get into it,” scrutinizing some of the Forms 990PF and relationships between various Annenberg projects and their main foundation. *** [see below next para. and link]

As previously explained (on the last post, above), this is a large family foundation (well, at least one) whose primary wealth came from ownership of publications/media field — the sale of “Triangle Publications,” by a second-generation business success, Walter H. Annenberg.

As much as I might want to elaborate more on this, after starting to do so here, I ‘re-allocated’ this into a spin-off post, which is now (a day later) complete and ready to go when this one is, under the name:



***And whose family style of philanthropy, prior generation and the new one (daughter Wallis), tends to put its name on the things it funds and endows — like entire schools within at least two universities, and to advertise about the amazing, large-scale things it has accomplished by the sheer scope and size of commitments.  No question this philanthropy is appreciated by the recipients, especially the art museums, but I do have a “show-us-the money” (financial reports) issue with the private-university-located entity which not only seeks to transform the US Public School system but also I gather to privately steer how, and in what direction, and to do this nonprofit and somewhat fiscally underground.

I also believe it’s time to start questioning the university homes (here, private universities) who help hide the cashflow involved while publicizing the program and project aspects, both this one, and other related ones.   

About this principle: I am noticing the habit across subject matters and at other universities also (example:  National Center for Adoption Law and Policy at Capital University in Columbus Ohio turns out to have been a trademark of the university, and while its featured website was referenced repeatedly on-line at different sites ending “*.org” or as I recall “*.edu”, at the end of the day, the website for which $230,000 (for starters) HHS funds were obtained by a Capital University Alumna (and US Rep), looks to have never been put up; the domain name is for sale with no redirect, and what was “NCALP” then became FYLaw, equally untraceable, most likely. You can see this interest across several of my posts within the last half year.

That was “Child Welfare Training” subject matter, but it also occurs in domestic or “Intimate Partner” violence prevention fields also (Ohio IPV Collaborative).  In reality, it may be less the subject matter than the accounting and reporting practices we should be paying attention to. At some levels, I believe the stated “cause” may be functioning as a hook, to reel in public support for the private or public/private consolidated interests (wealth, in other words) to problem-solve and retrain all involved in the new way of thinking, communicating, or in of course new electronic databases or platforms for the same.


In this post, “AISR” stands for one of the advertised projects for which I’m having some trouble locating financial reports (showing gross receipts, program-related revenues and expenses (payments to others, including subcontractors), plus annual reporting of a balance sheet, showing where are its investments), despite how popularly and widely it is referenced both by the involved universities and some of the funded nonprofits, some of which are either themselves networked, or helped start one (i.e., “Coalition for Essential Schools.”

If there IS no such Form 990-filing entity by the legitimate name AISR (written out), thing, then I would question why a corporation by that name was ever set up, which, as I established in my last post, Rhode Island Corporations Division says does exist; it has a business entity and listed board of directors, is classified as a nonprofit, and a start date is listed.

“AISR” represents “The Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University” which is in the USA’s smallest state: Rhode Island or as the Secretary of State/Corporations Division website says “Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations.”

Here’s a street sign for the AISR but who can find its tax return (EIN#)?  I see there is a corporate filing for it.  Donations to it are coming (mostly) direct to Brown University EIN#; Brown being a private nonprofit, files its own Form 990s:

Ramifications: IF there is no proper EIN# (for example, if AISR is an UNregistered trademark of Brown University, or some other explanation), then what does that say about the famous Annenberg Foundation whose $500M to public education — and $50M of this to this institute named after the donors — is displayed on their website and recited faithfully in histories of the respective institutions?

If, by contrast (however) the secrecy and “catch-us-if-you-can” aspects of the cash flow TO the AISR is symptomatic of Brown University only, not the Annenberg Foundation whose claim is to have committed $50M gift to it months after its first $5M gift (and this in 1993), then PERHAPS the donee may be found by starting at the Annenberg Foundation end and working downwards as to the Public Challenge Grantees.

I cannot easily access EIN#s before this century, but early in this century did find a list of some of those grantees (but not named AISR and representing any EIN# outside of Brown U’s main #). Will show it below. This all will make more sense if you read the annotated images, not just the narratives around them.

What’s more, when a major foundation IS claiming to donate money which cannot be readily found on a financial report to an institute within a private university not subject to (or complying with requirements to) file — I figured perhaps it might be good to identify, in this situation, the OTHER “Challenge Grantees” specifically and see if, as a group, they are doing any better.  Perhaps also it is a symptom that something might be radically wrong with the entire picture; whether or not should be identified and whatever is wrong should be corrected. Where, for example, are the checks and balances?

CYC (found at AISR Brown University) Notice “Cradle to Career” is the goal.

At all points, when public schools major institutions are targeted for systemic change as sponsored by untrackable, or hard to follow private money, (projects of school districts across the country, who as specialized, special-purpose government entities, must maintain their pension funds, facilities management, maintenance, construction and acquisition at times (i.e. real estate), staff, administrative overhead, support staff, school security, books, computers and consumable classroom supplies, not to mention supply of properly qualified teachers, and security-screened for criminal backgrounds at all levels too — should we not already have familiarized ourselves with at least our own school districts’ financial statements too, how they are put together, and be able to tell when any unethical, immoral, or potential racketeering influence (RICO) might be operational?    And be talking about those financial statements with each other, as opposed to devouring the press and funded public relations material (only) about them?

If the school districts — and their projects, the schools —  are collectively a major “distressed asset” in which foundations wish to personally invest (or, have the public “divest” more and more) — shouldn’t we be able to see where they are dealing with the private contractors seeking to reform them in coordinated fashion based on theories from, for example, specific Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia University, Princeton or Ivy League models?  [This maroon font marks three paragraphs not on original post, in the “overlap” section].

From ANNENBERG FNDTN WEBSITE About Page 1989 – 1993 (School Reform) + 1958 School for Communciation at U of P (Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 1.32PM (Goes with next image):

The School Reform challenge is featured on Annenberg Fndtn’s own summary of itself, along with establishing schools of communication in 3 institutions, and substantial contributions to art museums and endowed chairs at universities. It also gives a size reference for the initial funding of the foundation — sale of a media empire (Triangle) for, judging by this, $3.6 billion, presenting another major problem to be solved — federal taxes on capital gains! And, public image vis a vis the less well-endowed (i.e., the working poor and middle class).

The foundation still has a Pennsylvania Address, although its surviving Annenberg family members and some of the staff/contractors seem to be more in Southern California (Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, etc.).

Timeline FAQs from its “Who We Are” (after identifying as a family foundation).  Notice the years, please.

  • 1989 The Annenberg Foundation begins operations on July 1 with $1.2 billion in assets. [see also annotated image to left]
  • 1990 To focus attention on the needs of historically black colleges, the Annenberg Foundation makes a $50 million challenge gift in what becomes, at the time, the most successful fundraising drive ever by the United Negro College Fund.
  • 1993 The Annenberg Foundation makes a $25 million grant to Harvard University. The grant will be used for scholarships, seminar programs and renovations to historic Memorial Hall, including the creation of a freshman dining facility named for the Ambassador’s son, Roger Annenberg.
  • 1993 The Annenberg Foundation makes a historic commitment to public education with the $500 million Annenberg Challenge. The Annenberg Challenge is one of the largest gifts in philanthropic history and works to revive and inspire school reform efforts across the nation. Eighteen locally designed Challenge projects operated in 35 states,** funding 2,400 public schools that served more than 1.5 million students and 80,000 teachers. [[More on how it identifies (or doesn’t) these projects, below, look for the “**”]]
  • 1993 The Annenberg Foundation grants $120 million to the University of Pennsylvania.## The grant endows the Annenberg School for Communication and creates the Annenberg Public Policy Center, which conducts research and convenes discussions on the critical intersection of media, communication and public policy.

“**” and “##” mark two footnotes I’m making to the organization’s summary page.  “##” is addressed first, and several paragraphs below that, and likely next to an image, **.” Look for both the symbols and titles in those two colors to tell one from the other.


## Annenberg School of Communication Financial Relations with the University of Pennsylvania and the Annenbergs:  

This 1993 $120M endowment for the (pre-existing since 1958, per description above) Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania (“ASC at UofP” for convenience here) becomes interesting when eight years later, the UofP endows a trust whose income goes to the school, but is still controlled by Annenberg and their historic financial and legal managers from other foundations or trusts.

I found a 2002-funded Trust which was initially funded with $100M (even) FROM the University of Pennsylvania [currently held in the UofP’s “AIF” and possibly from it in the first place] which was from the start under the control of (a) a Dean or Director from the ASC at UofP, Annenberg Family Members (originally Leonore + Wallis; Leonore the mother died in 2009, her famous spouse Walter H. in 2002), some lawyers from (as the Form 990PFs show) from a Philadelphia Law firm Dilworth Paxson also known for handling other Annenberg financial and estate matters.  One of these men (Wm. J. Henrich) was previously successor to Triangle Publications when its owner (Ambassador Annenberg) stepped down in, I believe the NYT article showed, 1984.

Closer looks at some of the respective tax return details reveals operation practices and the larger strategy.

(Shown again below:   tinyurl.com/1984Nov16NYTHenrichSuccdsAnnbg.  Not too long after, Triangle Publications was sold?)

“AIF” is a term I found on the tax return, and as seen on a financial statement (at university site) must stand for Affiliated Investment Funds” managed by a third party, it says:

AIF is Associated Investments Fund third-parties-managed, then 2’8B (excerpt from FY2001 UofP Financial Statemt)” (<==click for full-sized).

I will post more on this below; I’m still trying to understand it and wrap my head around how a university as large as the University of Pennsylvania, around since 1740 (!!), could be operating as a private nonprofit, and not as is seen in other states whose similarly-named universities ARE often state corporations or instrumentalities, or may have started as land-grants, but going by the name “University of Pennsylvania” similar to other states   Apparently.

This would mean that Annenberg has chosen two PRIVATE universities for Schools of Communications (here, and Univ. of Southern California) and private university Brown for its AISR.

The interesting feature to me here is that what I considered a state university, and would expect to be subject to “CAFR” filings, is apparently (judging by the size and description of “Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania) instead, just a humongous 501©3, that is, a private, nonprofit.  Each state may do its state-supported university systems in its own way, but that was a real surprise for me.  The ramifications?  It may not have to produce the type of detailed reports that other government entities have to.  For a contrast, I’m working on a separate post looking at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s CAFRs, not that this topic hasn’t been covered on this blog (and a related one) in earlier years.

Take a look! You’ll have to ignore the wrong name supplied by the FoundationCenter, again; the EIN# represented belongs to the “Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania” which a small image from the IRS “Exempt Organization Select Check” search page also shows.  Or, just click on any oddly named organization in the table here to see the Form 990 attached to it.

Total results: 3Search Again.

ORGANIZATION NAME ST YR FORM PP TOTAL ASSETS EIN
Out-Of-School Time Resource Center PA 2015 990 142 $17,230,855,000.00 23-1352685
Morris Arboretum PA 2014 990 238 $16,398,248,000.00 23-1352685
Institute of Contemporary Art PA 2013 990 204 $14,905,771,000.00 23-1352685

The IRS “Exempt Organizations Select” check search site verifies that contributions here are tax-deductible and who actually owns that EIN#:  “Trustees of the University of Philadelphia.”

$17 BILLION dollars of assets of course includes buildings, and liabilities to go with them.  BUT, a closer look shows it includes substantial investments and related companies (foreign and domestic).

 

Click to read Annotations and view full-sized (Sched E self-identification by U of P on its tax return)

The Annenberg Foundation “About Us” summary fails to mention that after it gave UofP $120M to endow the school named after the family and setting up another “Center” with the family name, eight years later, in 2002, the UofP then set up a trust controlled by ASC leadership and Annenberg family leadership, starting with $100M — and not too many years later, doubling in size, which income was to go to back to the University of Pennsylvania (i.e., the terms of the trust strictly controlled where its revenues went).  However, someone had to administer this, and over time I saw that the, or an independent subcontractor investment management firm (Bessemer) also had funds titled after itself in which the assets were invested, as well as being paid (as a subcontractors, plus separately, there would be also more “investment management fees”).

About Bessemer — this firm began when Phipps, who helped found Carnegie Steel, sold his share and (obviously) than had some investments to manage.  The investment company (1907 started) continued privately controlled, but by the 1970s began inviting in some of their kind (wealthy families, foundations, or trusts) to work with them.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessemer_Trust.  Still run by a Phipps descendant (as of this “Wiki”), it manages over $100 billion assets for its 2,300 clients, has offices all over the US in major cities, and the Cayman Islands, and London.  In 2001, this Bessemer Trust formed a partnership with someone from Morgan Stanley aimed at “middle market equity.” See next image:

Minimum investments to get involved in Bessemer Trust, if they want you, is $10M.

Guess what the 2001-formed partnership middle-market partnership specialized in?

“Lindsay Goldberg is an American private equity firm focused on leveraged buyout and growth capital investments in middle-market companies in such sectors as consumer products, commodity-based manufacturing, energy services, business services, financial services, energy transmission and waste disposal.[2]

The firm, which is based in New York City, was founded in 2001 by Alan Goldberg, who had previously served as chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley Private Equity (later Metalmark Capital) and Robert Lindsay, who played a central role in the Bessemer Trust private equity business, serving most recently as Managing General Partner since 1991. Goldberg and Lindsay had worked together in the 1980s at Morgan Stanley and were founding members of the private equity business in 1984.

The firm has raised approximately $13 billion since inception, across four funds. The firm raised $2 billion for its first fund in 2002.[3] In 2006, the firm completed fundraising for its second fund with $3.1 billion of investor commitments.[4][5] In 2008, Lindsay Goldberg commenced raising its third fund with a target of $4.0 billion. As of November 2015, $3.4 billion had been raised toward its fourth fund.[6]

Leveraged buyouts and growth capital.  Per this (brief) Wiki, there was also some press over a controversy regarding one of the projects, Duff Capital Advisors, which lasted about one year, period, 2008-2009.

Investment in Duff Capital Advisors[edit]

In 2009, Lindsay Goldberg received media coverage for controversies related to its investment of $500 million in seed capital in Duff Capital Advisors.[8][9] Launched by former Morgan Stanley CFO Phil Duff, Duff Capital was led by financial services executive Eileen Murray, who served as its Co-Chief Executive Officer and President.[10] Duff Capital Advisors started in March 2008 and shut down in May 2009 prior to moving into the 43,400 square feet of office space, complete with food court, showers, and other amenities, which the company had leased in an office park in Greenwich, Connecticut.[11][12] Subsequent to the closure of Duff Capital Advisors, Phillip Duff formed Massif Partners, another hedge fund; however, Lindsay Goldberg declined to make an investment in this enterprise.[13] Massif Partners went on to encounter similar challenges to Duff Capital.[14]

(For timeline comparison, the alteration in the UofP / Annenberg School of Communications financial setup involved moving $100M into a trust “fbo” (for the benefit) of UofP in 2002 and another one “fbo” USC (University of Southern California), looks like the same amount or close to it, also about the same time.)  However, they weren’t involved with the partnership, just Bessemer Trusts.  BUT, later on, you can see the investments are in funds named “Bessemer” part of the time.  [I do not recall on which tax return, but remember seeing this.  Perhaps it was on the foundation proper and not one of the ASC Trusts…Anyone is free to review; I’ve provided the EIN#s…]


But here’s an image from a UoP tax return showing that EIN# as part of its overall “related entity” operations.  I’ll show the table for the same EIN# below.

Trustees of Univ of PN EIN# 231352685 FY2014 990 Excerpt showing ASC Trust as supporting entity.  Meanwhile, see also the corresponding entity’s filing (the ASC Trust at U of PENN) FY2014 Form 990 acknowledging the Univ of Pennsylvania as its own Schedule R Related Entity (and the only one, in fact):


** Annenberg Public Education Challenge (footnote to the Foundation’s summary page)

(**18 projects in 35 states by definition indicates crossing state jurisdiction lines, which helps break down accountability with the departments of education and school districts within each state involved.  But that’s nothing particularly new in the field of public/private partnerships…)


Question:  Where are the Foundation’s Forms and audited statements for year 2015? I can understand why 2016 may not be out yet — but why not 2015? (2015 return has not shown up yet on the FoundationCenter search, either) — this is the latest year showing as of now, April 2017.  They are two to three years behind in reporting to their own openly transparent website.

ORGANIZATION NAME ST YR FORM PP TOTAL ASSETS EIN
Annenberg Foundation PA 2014 990PF 101 $1,663,095,893.00 23-6257083

Above represents FY2014 because at this point their FYr.=Calendar Yr. That means FY2015 isn’t posted yet, at least here (also not on their website).

Just a word on the relationship with the University of Pennsylvania and Annenberg School for Communications (started in 1958) and its endowment (and new name, Center for Public Policy) — who funded whom, and who controls whom, gets a little complicated when I read an Annenberg Foundation 2002 return stating that the “[Ann’brg.] School for Communications” had converted into a private trust. I looked up the private trust and found its initial return (2002) which shows a $100M contribution TO this trust:

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Written by Let's Get Honest

April 21, 2017 at 8:43 pm

Family Counseling for De-Radicalization Programs/Home Base, Germany? Daniel Koehler (Princeton/Free University Berlin) has a Grreat new Market Niche and References, courtesy 2015-formed “Center for Cyber and Homeland Security” (post published 8-1-2016)

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This post goes with my recent “Munich /  Strong Cities Network” which, after the “PREVIEW” stating some of my main concerns and reasons for posting, starts with some articles  and maps on the Syrian migration crisis and Germany’s leadership response to it.  (“Munich” as symbolic for recent terrorist events in Germany AND France).

 

In which a young man like this….
has a program to save (de-radicalize) young men like this…It’s too late for the one with the beard — this young Canadian-born Muslim convert man died fighting for Isis.


 

 

 

 

 

 

I just read, and sometimes when I read, I smell something familiar.  I smelled it on the first read-through of a certain address and bookmarked it mentally (and on wordpress).  The terms were unfamiliar to me, and it took (not too) long to figure out where they fit together — who goes with whom, and WHICH nonprofit was running the training curricular for behavioral modification programming aimed at the family level.

Terms such as BAMF, “GIRDS,” HAYAK, “Mothers for Life” and so forth make more sense when we have located them in geography (GIRDS didn’t make that too easy), type of entity (GIRDS website doesn’t self-identify, but others citing it do — it’s a German nonprofit) and in time, i.e., when was it started — not to mention, and personality / by whom.

Hayak Canada may have been a group, but as their GoFundMe and “Launchpad” didn’t really get off the ground, it looks like the Hayak (Canada) founder is staff on GIRDS.

BAMF — still working on this one — was a government institution also in Germany.

Eventually I came to this Center and underneath it — note, it doesn’t seem to show through cellphone, only from computers, and when viewed on computers, will be tab with a drop-down menu on the top banner, and it is from that drop-down menu that I was able to view “SENIOR FELLOWS.”

(website at GWU)

 

For a few bonus points (information learned), Koehler is a Fellow over at the GWU “Center for Cyber & Homeland Security” — with out of 10 FELLOWS, only 3 women, and only 1 from the USA (as to college).

After writing this and part of the next post, I found that yes there is a connection between Daniel Koehler, the young man to left, above as an expert CVE (Countering Violent Extremism) and the Strong Cities Network.  This was advertised at a Brookings Institution meeting back in November, 2015.  It took quite a bit of hunting to find this documentation — it’s not exactly showing at the front door of the organizations involved:

http://www.brookings.edu/events/2015/11/09-countering-violent-extremism-intervention (This link mentions Daniel Koehler, below, in passing as a family counselor at a German “Hayat” — and while mentioning GWU’s “Program on Violent Extremism” doesn’t really show his US background (Princeton) and involvement with Candians (Christiane Boudreau). This Nov. 2015 predates by about a MONTH the formation of GWU’s “Center for Cyber & Homeland Security” (and under there, “Program on Violent Extremism.” He is currently among 10 “Senior Fellows” there…

Let’s look at what that Nov. 9 “EVENT” link at BROOKINGS actually says:

The Islamic State’s recruitment of foreign fighters has thrust the debate over how to counter violent extremism (CVE) onto the center of domestic and international security agendas. How might nonconventional methods of early intervention such as counseling, education, and community building better prepare governments and communities for the CVE challenge?

I am finding, in my readings, that no matter what the subject matter “PROBLEM” is, certain sectors are going to push the same type of solutions.  The TIMING of this one precedes by one month the creation of GWU’s “CCHS” (see this post) and references featuring Daniel Koehler, who I mentioned in passing in the MUNICH post.  Altthough the Program on Extremism is mentioned, that Daniel Koehler is a “Senior Fellow” there (if he was at the time) or had any connection to it at the time, is NOT mentioned.  See also that “Institute for Strategic Dialogue” ?

That institute is based in London and is from where the Strong Cities Network is basically run — but does this BROOKINGS EVENT (abstract) mention this?  NO!.

On November 9, the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, in conjunction with the George Washington University’s Program on Extremism and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, hosted a panel of experts to discuss the causes and possible solutions to violent extremism. The panel featured Lorsenzo Vidino, director of the GWU’s Program on Extremism, whose work focuses mainly on developing policy solutions to violent extremism in the United States. The panel also featured Daniel Koehler, who has served as a counselor for Hayat, a German intervention program that helps families prevent relatives from engaging in violent extremism; Rashad Ali, who is trained in Islamic theology and jurisprudence, a former member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, and has worked on de-radicalization initiatives in prison, probation, and community settings in the United Kingdom for over five years; and Angela King, deputy director of U.S.-based Life After Hate, and co-founder of its Exit USA program, which supports individuals leaving far-right organizations and educates communities about root causes of violent extremism. Brookings Fellow Will McCants moderated the discussion.

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Written by Let's Get Honest

August 1, 2016 at 9:02 pm

Posted in 1996 TANF PRWORA (cat. added 11/2011)

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Accounting Literacy Matters. Cause-based Literacy Doesn’t. (Spring 2010, Ellen H. Brown tangles with Walter Burien’s info, or at least tries to.) [First Published 5-3-2014].

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It’s July  2017, I’m about to reference this post again, so I’m cleaning up some formats, changing its basic font, and adding post title with short-links to its contents as is now my habit.  Part of this habit is also from adjustment to the blog upgrade, which has a sort of sickly-looking background color, unless changed at the top of each post, I discovered after the upgrade…(!) The post title was also incorporated into the Blog Motto on upgrade, and it gets mentioned on my top “sticky” post and related page — so I guess over time I have considered the points it’s making still vital! They show in part a lawyer’s response who became involved in pushing the “public banking” model to someone knowledgeable of the significance of CAFRs and their presentation of collective revenues and assets of government entities, etc.

On the update, re-checked the IRS and found it unusual timing that just two weeks after this “never-registered”(as a charity) Public Banking Institute based in California was first published (May 3, 2014) the IRS revoked its status (May 15, 2014), shown below.  For status to be revoked requires three years of non-filing (tax returns) let alone the requirements to file as a 501©3 within the state of California. This sends an overall message that “rules,” and laws, are for someone else, not the reform-minded…So, I posted that information too, along with the EIN# which hadn’t been shown before, I believe.

Anyhow, enjoy!   //LGH on 7-7-2017.

Accounting Literacy Matters. Cause-based Literacy Doesn’t. (Spring 2010, Ellen H. Brown tangles with Walter Burien’s info, or at least tries to.) [First Published 5-3-2014].

This blog has been sitting in draft since January. I cleaned it up, fleshed it out and am publishing. Meanwhile, I’ll be over at Cracking the Cult of the Constitution by Clint Richardson, and tell you why when I get back. Particularly on the topic “Corporations Sole.” (3 part series from August 2013).

Look for these two colors in a side-by-side column format to see the conversation that inspired this post.  I’ve added material to a middle section one day after publishing this post (added Sun. 5/4/2014) because I think it’s relevant.  Alternating color scheme (dark green/light-beige with red fonts) section is more about the particular institute set up AFTER the conversations of 2010.

I wouldn’t bother with this, or all the pretty colors, except that attempting to communicate CONCEPTS through the cognitive dissonance of people who mis-understand why “government” and its “social services” and “justice systems,” aren’t solving the problems, even when the word “problem-solving” is appended (like “problem-solving courts.”), is getting old.

Half the understanding is a matter of basic vocabulary, and paying attention to others’ speech. Here, I’m listening in. For followers who are just interested in “the courts,” — too bad. The courts are part of government, and if you don’t get that, I can’t help you. I did my part!! (see blog).

I find the colors, and the conversation, interesting.  Hope you do too — but the point isn’t this person, or that person.  The point is, how to make sound judgments (it shouldn’t take that long) and assessments when authority figures, or would-be authority figures/leaders, start talking.  And notice what happens after you do NOT get a straight answer.

Some months ago, I also got entangled with the “Web of Debt” conversation; not because of CAFRs, in particular, but because I also live in California and wanted a few answers I wasn’t seeing on the site. 

The strange response to a single comment on a blog (from someone I was a complete stranger to) led to my further inquiries about “Inquiring Systems, Inc.” and some of the issues below.  What I see is someone trying to sound more intelligent than he or she is (see below), and trying to seem more concerned about the disenfranchised 99% (us poor slobs) than the associations and behaviors would indicate.

Which one was the attorney, well keep reading.


 

Remember, you cannot judge a book by its cover?”
 
Well, you can’t judge a corporation by its website, or by what causes it’s in favor of.
Yesterday (well, about 1/23/2014), I got another good, fast, one-day lesson on the Environmental/Green Progressive/OneWorldOnePlanet (Our planet = Our Plans) movement by simply paying attention to a passing conversation, and then follow-up.
See How and When to Change, Ditch (or Track) the Conversations of Public Interest Crusades.  While the public is supposed to be entranced by their messages, networks, and international connections, we should habitually change the focus BACK to the accounting practices, and then talk about it — and with these as the subject matter.

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The “Social-Sciencification” of America (Roosevelt’s Reorganization Act of 1939, the EOP, and: Brownlow, Merriam, Gulick– and Ruml)

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So, I just found this information, which sheds lights on “what time of day it is,” [and where due process went].   No way am I going to keep it to myself!

It’s said, we should kick ass and take names.  Well, these four men, like FDR, are no longer alive, but I have kicked the archives and unearthed some some names, and have identified their institutions, which have a way of outliving their founders through the miracle of incorporation.

File this under the page “Abolishment of Government through Presidential Executive Orders:  how 50 States became 10 Federal Regions”  Of course, some of the Executive Orders were preceded by Acts of Congress which were preceded by reports from select, appointed Commissions.   This is about one of those three-man commissions commonly known as the “Brownlow” Commission.  The same process is in effect today and can be seen, if you have eyes to see (which if not — get some!).   It predates my lifetime and intersects with the start of international CAFR reporting, and many other major actions of Congress “between the wars.”

To see this is to see oligarchy in action (in my opinion) how people with influence over the President, having determined (after being appointed by him to study the issue) that the basic concept is to expand and centralize government for efficiency — increased centralization of power, so we can provide democracy to ourselves and of course, other countries…

I had no idea who Brownlow, Merriam (though I guess “Merriam is  a familiar name if you read dictionaries), Gulick or Ruml were.

But I wanted to know why when we look for justice, or rule of law, or due process in the “family” or any other courts, we get social science administration instead.  Why when I go into a courtroom, its air and atmosphere should be drenched with Rockefeller and Ford-funded administrative policies on how to organize the place.  If the courts are “problem-solving” courts, then are not the litigants the “problem”?  And if the litigants (who are people seeking exercise of legal, or protection of human/civil rights they thought they had) are the “problem” when what, pray tell, is the “Final Solution” to the “problem” of human conflict, and human struggles for survival, or for what they believe anachronistically to be their perceived rights???

Is it getting rid of due process in favor of administrative management of the masses, or culling the masses (getting rid of some of them), chasing them out of the courtrooms where they might reasonably expect some rules and principles to apply (which are becoming anachronisms) and is, or is not, this eventually leading to simply getting rid of the masses, per se?  The current proliferation of “Collaborative Law” outfits around the country (AFCC personnel I’ll bet many of them) would seem to be, YES  Because there are too many of us, the courts are too crowded, the country is broke (lie #1: it’s not….), y’all should forfeit basic human rights (potentially life itself) for the good of the collective state.

Oh, should we??  Well, “shoulds” and other ideals aside, this may fill in some history blanks for many readers.

[next para. repeated below…with  minor word variations by me.]

This of course exhibits the PLANNED centralization of power, and that centralization of power of course relates to money – the tax system, the Federal Reserve system, and things hat happened now about 80-90  years ago.  I’m talking between the wars.  In fact another search on Gulick, says “Under Gulick’s new Nationalist Progressive creed, the President was the chief political leader AND the chief administrator, and as such was the elected official most likely to revitalize the American system of government [what, it was having problems, was it insipid or anemic??] through more centralized power.  Found in “Bureaucracy and Self-Government:  Reconsidering the Role of Public Administration in American Politics” by Brian J. Cook.

I have people trying to do this to my life (as we speak) and they just “don’t get” that it’s not about practicality from their point of view, when major legal, civil and human rights have been repeatedly violated.  My point of view is, get the justice basis rightside up, then the practical elements will handle themselves better.

While three of the men involved:  Brownlow, Merriam and Gulick were on a certain FDR appointed “Committee on Administrative Management,”  the side-reference in Brownlow materials at the University of Chicago archives to his friend “Beardsley Ruml” led me  (OK, my curiosity was involved as a catalyst) to look that up — and discover that Beardsley, bless his heart, a UChicago major in psychology and education (seem to be great prep. for a career in government these days — I guess then also), is known as the father of the pay-as-you-go income tax, which means, the Federal (USA, Inc.) government gets ITS revenues earlier (and can then use them to provide a nice ROI and bear interest, while those who coughed them up, in their own individual bank accounts, obviously could not) and prioritized government over the individuals, hardly something new, while saying this is in the individuals’ best interest (“obviousy”) because government (“obviously…”??) has individual rights and lives at the heart of all its policies.   And that was done after World War II.

The collaboration of these men around the University of Chicago at that time ,and its “1313 organizations” included, probably the onset of what Walter Burien has been reporting since the late 1980s, about how the GFOA (Government Financial Officers Association) organized and standardized the fiscal reporting of ALL subsidiary (to the federal) US governments into similar format, so the powers that be could assess their assets — while segmenting the reporting and (helped by a media blackout) keep those assets (and the returns from them) OFF the public radar, while clubbing them repeatedly over the head with talk of budget, debt, duty to society, the need to consistently cut services, and our collective duty to support this mess.  Most of which is, more closely examined, propaganda or in a word, bullshit.

THE GFOA is an Association (corporation) of both the USA and Canada — with it looks like, an associated “foundation.”  This “Mission” statement doesn’t tell the readers (not intended to be your average person) that they are an incorporation, probably nonprofit, and tax-exempt (at least USA) group for persuasion and training purposes of aligning accounting practices between (at least) two countries — one of which has a constitutional presidency and is a republic, I think (the US) and the other one which is a Commonwealth, and part of the Queen’s dominion in more ways than one.  It appears the Queen wants to know the extent of her assets in both countries which is better done of accounting practices are standardized?

Here’s a page from their recent “combined” (with their underlying? Research Foundation) consolidating financial report 2012-2013, identifying themselves corporately.  For quick reading only, please don’t get lost in the detail.    This is just one page of several.  The main thing is to be aware, they exist (“from 1906” says the main website).  They say, approximately 17,800 members (meaning, that’s not all the governments in even the US, let alone in both countries).

Also, I can’t but help note Rockefeller involvement in much of this.

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Written by Let's Get Honest

October 29, 2013 at 12:07 pm

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WGU (Western Governors’ University) — Public Servant Nonprofits + Technology + Some Clout, a few Gubernatorial Executive Orders, and ….

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And next thing you know, the profits are rolling in.

Western Governors University, I simply decided to look up as the last group on “THE LIST of Corporate Fellows” and which may be the only nonprofit on it. [Incidentally, that link shows where I found the list. This association, where the list was found, was instrumental in pushing fatherhood initiatives upon the states, BEFORE welfare reform of 1996. However, that’s not all it’s up to. You are supposed to make the connection between whose “List” it was (only one of many similar ones, but it does carry some serious clout), what is Western Governors’ University doing on that list, and who and what are these Governors’ Associations, ANYHOW? There’s a reason for it and a history behind it.


There also may be some closer than comfort connections to things like municipal bankruptcies, although billionaire multinational industry leaders have had it all under control for decades anyhow, given their ongoing clout with the federal government…


If you can comprehend that, and then understand how could some of the leaders of industry have met IN Detroit, in 2009, to “Plan the Future” (i.e., new presidency, right?) — and how could the City of Detroit be bankrupt? If you get that far, then maybe I can complete the post in draft showing what turned up on The Children’s Trust page of the Michigan State Government website, and what private corporations are promoting their wares through this high-profile, high-publicity statewide website, and how THEY connect to the wish to indoctrinate, excuse me, EDUCATE everyone at public expense, allegedly for the public benefit (which should put the condition of Detroit — or the honesty of those policymakers — into more clear focus. Then, hopefully, the soul-searching may start up again, although I’m not “banking” on it…)

Compare THIS to the Bankruptcy:


NATIONAL SUMMIT TO DEFINE AMERICA’S FUTURE” was held, sponsored by the Detroit Economic Club, and the Presenting Sponsors were FORD and DOW (as in DOW Chemical), hosted at the Marriott. Among the many speakers (see LIST and do explore the summit site) is DeRocco, on The Manufacturing Institute.


Are these people America’s primary spokesmodels, or just its current Managers?


At any rate, one of the Board members of Western Governors University was a speaker, that’s the only reason I knew about the 2009 conference…


(the Detroit material is enclosed in a table, to separate it from the WGU material).

Like Western Governors University, The Detroit Economic Club can be put in historic, self-description, Wikipedia Description, or “Look Up a Nonprofit” description (i.e., look at its tax returns [from that link, you can extract the EIN# and look up the others at foundationcenter.org. I notice that it’s called “Economic Club of Detroit” on that list) including who’s been running it. Its website (Self-description) contains the motto “Vital Issues, Prominent Voices, Business Connections, Educational Outreach.” Judging by what “Sponsorship” costs (from $5,000 up to $50,000), I’d say that Business Connection is probably the main issue driving the other three…The SPONSORS list.

Main point — it was formed in 1934. Someone was thinking strategically about the future… Chairman of the board is Wm. Clay Ford, Jr., there’s an “Honorable” or two on the trustees, and only one person, the Exec Director, is paid. It’s SOLE nonprofit purpose is running the conferences (costs, $1.2 million or so) 33 last year. (actually the two “Honorables” include the Mayor of Detroit, The Hon. David Bing, and Hon. Henry W. Archer, former Mayor of Detroit (1993-2001), first African-American President of the ABA (who didn’t allow African American MEMBERSHIP before 1943!!), and a former Michigan Supreme Court Justice. See link for other distinctions.


From the Fairleigh Dickinson link re: The Hon. Henry W. Archer:
April 2013 (conferred June 2013)

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:
Conferral of Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, by Emperor of Japan (Read, for why, in re: Detroit especially).
Named among “100 Most Influential Black Americans,” Ebony magazine, May 1984
Named one of the “25 Most Dynamic Mayors in America” by Newsweek magazine, November 1996
Named “Most Respected Judge in Michigan,” Michigan Lawyers Weekly, April 1990
Named among “100 Most Powerful Attorneys in the United States,” National Law Journal, April 1985
Named “Public Official of the Year,” Governing magazine, November 2000
Listed in Michigan Super Lawyers 
Listed in Best Lawyers in America
And in April 2013, he received an award from Japan:

Wikipedia also mentions a member of “Prince Hall” (Masonic) Lodge, a whole other issue as the lodges were also racist. With these leaders, whose futures don’t look anything close to bankrupt or distraught — how come Detroit as a corporation took the hit?

A small slice of Mr. Ford’s profile, other than being Henry Ford’s grandson:

Mr. Ford is Chairman of the Board of the Detroit Economic Club, a member of the Board of Trustees of both Henry Ford Health System and The Henry Ford, member of the Board of Directors of eBay Inc., and Chairman of the New Michigan Initiative of Business Leaders for Michigan. He also is a founding partner of Fontinalis Partners, LLC, a Michigan-based investment firm that acts as a strategic operating partner to transportation infrastructure technology companies around the world.
 
Mr. Ford was born in Detroit in 1957. He is an avid fly fisherman and car enthusiast, enjoys playing hockey and tennis, and is a black belt in the martial art of Tae Kwon Do. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Princeton University, a master of science degree in management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) [Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, 12 months, in 1983], and an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Michigan.


He’s not going to be hurting. People who aren’t so mobile, and don’t have investments in (or chair) international corporations ARE hurting in Detroit. Perhaps they should start reading the CAFRs and figure out a response.



.
“Western Governors University UT EIN# 84-1383926
[a table of its escalating yearly assets; with a few links to a tax return for that year)


 

 

2011 39 $81,700,540
2010   36 $66,047,009
2009 33 $46,331,464
2008   29  $33,652,167
2007 31          $23,666,707
2006 23 $19,588,480
2005 26   $11,516,913    
2004 27          $7,084,697
2003 24 $3,833,876
2002 25  $2,444,748

The IRS Select Exempt Check says WGU is a Salt-Lake City “Exempt” nonprofit, like any other. Contributions to it are 100% deductible. now, what sector of the economy might be attracted to donate to such a group?


EIN Legal Name (Doing Business As) City State Country Deductibility Status
84-1383926 Western Governors University Salt Lake Cty UT United States PC


If you actually start looking at these tax returns — the revenues are astronomical ($152 million for Year 2011) and also increasing by a GOOD chunk each year. However, they are hiring more (Salaries also increased) managed to give away more grants than the prior year. Question should be asked about where is the money flowing in from — meaning, the public contributions part. I’ve posted the tax return again down lower.
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How bad Is it? ~ Skirting the Truth at Cairo, Telling it in America, Turned Down at Brown, Left to Tell after Rwanda

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I was told to shorten my titles.  This was the original:

In Cairo, Obama Delicately Skirts the Issue of Islamic Violence Towards Women, but Chesler (Honor Killings), LetsGetHonest (DV and Christianity), Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Infidel), Nonie Darwish (They Call Me Infidel), Immaculee Ilibagiza (Left to Tell, 91 days in a Rwandan bathroom) shoot from the hip on the dangers of ANY pride/shame/hate-based culture

 

Note:  Of the above “notables” obviously President Obama’s OFFICE outranks the rest of us, but I’ve put 4 famous female voices (& mine) to 2 male to underscore, well, who and what the others have downplayed

Note:  LetsGetHonest’s voice here doesn’t mean she considers herself on a par with these feminist &/or COURAGEOUS for Truth women, but that my experience resonates to elements of their voices.  I have many role models, but these are among them, particularly Imaculee with her faith and Dr. Chesler with her decades of feminist writing & reporting, including on some matters regarding the courts.  
The two “Infidel” Books (“Infidel” and “They Call Me Infidel”) describes aspects of polygamy which  – – strangely — spoke the inbred emotional truth of my own family line, in ganging up against a grown, literate mother to (try and!) teach a lesson about authority, and the punishment being removal of children and “excommunication.”  (and my family line identifies itself, with apparent pride, as NOT believing in God, this is for supposedly inferior intellects and emotionally weak individuals).  

[Have been told to shorten the posts, too, not just the titles.  Working on it!]

 This post, July 2 (2 days before “Independence Day” USA)  had been on hold. Unlike several women featured here, I added my voice to theirs, telling it like it is, then self-censored out of fear:  I felt MY contribution was too radical, too out-spoken, and too indignant.

Well . . . . 

BUT, I have noticed the headlines since July 2nd — a litany of murder/suicides, family annihilations, and slaps on the wrist for men punching, stalking, kidnapping or threatening to kill women, after which they then kill.  I had my children stolen for daring to report abuse, violations of court orders, and for refusing to “submit” to arbitrary orders on how to dumb down my smart daughters.  I know what “shunning” is.  I know what “enabling abuse” is.  

I have never experienced fundamentalist Islamic violence against women, but the sense of the Christian version of it over here is starting to feel like a sort of ritual purging process.  It is starting to ffeel like “No Exit” unless there is a miraculous parting of the Red Tape, a CLOUD covering my behind and a FIRE leading the way.  We already tried the “appeal to reason” paradigm, or the “appeal to law” ONE, ALSO.  We also did the “it’s not in your best interest” reason, but some people will pay a lot of money for the privilege of refusing to stop abusing.  Like they say, truth is on the auction block, and was sold cheap, Lies fetched a higher price.

I pay attention, and have SEEN Protestant so-called Christian Caucasian men drilling young men how to dominate women twice their age in the name of their god, and been subjected to this as well.  Recently.  Yeech — Retch!  What kind of “sanctuary” is that??

However, now that a suburban California back yard finally released ,29-year-old Jaycee Dugard and her 11 year old and 15 year old girls fathered by the man who kidnapped HER when she was only 11, I felt this post is quite appropriate:

This case is shocking for its combination of statistics (18 years! Missed opportunities!  “We never knew!”  “But they looked like a nice couple!”  “I spoke with Jaycee on the phone, she was courteous and professional” (She was not only a sex slave, but also supported this man’s business while living in shack-like conditions in a back yard with her kids).  A WOMAN called the police reporting that people were living in the back yard.  Like my calls and reports to police that another man, their father, was going to kidnap MY daughters, her voice was not heard.

Are we willing to listen and change behavior YET?  The behavior “we” need to change is to get smart and act on hunches.  While people who take the scriptures too literally are castigated and censored, disdained in public media, how about some of us in the U.S. start taking the 3 charters of freedom:  Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights literally for a change?  Starting by knowing their INtents based on their CONtents!  And then recognizing that humanity is a DNA thing, not a color thing or a gender thing!  And the usage of “all men are created equal” in the first was NOT “men vs. women” and did not say, although it was so practiced, “all Caucasian landowning males.”  It meant ALL EQUAL and not to be colonized, or, like Miss Dugard (sr.) was, pimped.

 

I am United States citizen by birth, and was never beaten, or degraded because of my gender before I married.  Nor was I forced into marriage.  But women of faith or no faith nowadays who attempt to leave, risk being stripped of children, or killed, for the act of — leaving their marriage and asserting legal rights they already have.

While our current President has described the angst and sense of loss he felt not having his father in his life growing up, the rest of us describe some of what it’s like to be a target of violence and punishment for the crime of having been born without a Y chromosome, for some, a life sentence punishable by death.

 

President Obama, pre-election, helping out Senator Bayh in Indiana, with some more Mother-Omission:

2006 – EVER TRYING TO RAM THROUGH ANOTHER BILL, FINE-TUNING & REDEFINING FATHERHOOD AND HEALTHY MARRIAGE

As one of my fellow-bloggers commented in Indiana Mothers for Custodial Justice:  Evan Bayh is not his Father’s Son,

Senator Evan Bayh’s (fatherhood-promoted) own father Senator BIRCH Bayh, was in favor of equal rights for women:  so much for a chip off the old block, and passing down values from father to son, politically.  

According to this post (Verifiable Here) both Senator Evan and then-Senator Obama co-sponsored  YET ANOTHER “Healthy marriage and Responsible Fatherhood” bill, which was defeated in 2006.  

Like this Senator, and another well-known FR attorney from the Chicago Area,  both the Senators also remembered all the Hoopla around Father’s Day, Fatherhood, Father Celebration, and etc., etc. (can we say “patriarchal?”) in June PR (June is Father’s Day month, FYI), but forgot the same on Mother’s Day, in May.  Actually, in 2009 and (I found) 2008, PR around now-President and then-Senator Obama eclipsed this acknowledgement of where they came from, literally (they  had mothers, right?), as the word “Mother” has become, as I blogged elsewhere, virtually invisible linguistically in connection with “families” on the whitehouse.gov site.  The preferred term, for those of you not in the know, is “Parent” when it comes to the divorce situation, and “Women” when it comes to who’s having violence (including murder) perpetrated against them by, often enough by the father of mutual children.

~ ~ ~ ~

It is difficult to control a population aware of their “unalienable rights,” not intimidated by verbal derogatory talk, or economically dependent upon abusers or captive to them by the threat of death as they leave.  Now one factor that often gives a mother courage and motivation to LEAVE abuse is precisely her motherhood, so no wonder it would be threatening to any:

Fear/Shame/Pride-based culture or religion.

The mother/daughter/son bond, culturally needs to be degraded and broken (stepmothers will do) if we are to have a truly sheepish culture that will do what they are told without protest.  Family Court venue is GREAT for this, and I happen to believe was designed for the purpose, despite all the hoopla from under-funded (??), under-recognized (????????) fathers, especially those who like to minimize their own violence towards their own women, often prompting separation, which even that bill (above) recognizes is a primary cause of separation!

 

@@@

The link “parsing Obama” caught my attention, and led to an article from “Real Clear Politics” on the Cairo Speech.

I have just written on “Women” vs. “Mother” and the weak (# occurrences) presence of both when it comes to Family Issues being discussed under the current US Administration’s “White House” page.  Not only were the words barely absent, but their usage (which I didn’t analyze and post — but noticed) was also weak.  In looking for the word “mothers” I would have to assume that after the age requiring home nurse visitations, we don’t exist.  For example, the President’s own mother was transformed into the word “parent” in a  sentence highlighting absence of a father.  To people who haven’t been through systemic prejudice against their “mothering” it may not register, but when examined, it’s blatant PR omission.  It undermines the credibility of the whole page.  (granted, the month was the month of Father’s Day, however, if someone has a record of this page during May and wishes to countradict my post, please feel free to comment).  

SIMILARLY, when it comes to speaking in this nation, Egypt, the mention of Islamic violence (not bias, but violence) toward women, the omission is just as loud.

So, I just slapped up the article, with someone else’s commentary on it, for your consumption.  Then I searched out and pasted up interviews, articles or book reviews from several women who do NOT Delicately skirt the issue of violence towards women, and hate talk in general.  Two of these women came to America, and one of them, since coming, has converted from Islam to Christianity.  

A third woman from Rwanda didn’t convert, but was already Christian.  Her story isn’t about gender violence, but it was another “can’t put down” book of survival in the face of hate, and refusal to hate back.  The individual verbal abuse or hate talk that often DOES escalate to physical domestic violence got me (in marriage, after marriage) sensititve to moods and fluctuations in language that might indicate an “event” about to erupt also precedes genocides or attempted genocides.  The speech sometimes works the speaker or groups of speakers up, or justifies the abuse.  Whether the Holocaust or Rwanda, hate talk is a danger sign.  Just as PTSD from domestic violence does indeed have similarities with PTSD from actual war.

So, this had me also noticing books and commentaries on the languages preceding genocides or attempted genocides; Rwanda had caught my attention earlier from the book on which the movie “Hotel Rwanda” was based.  This book details times when pastors protected, and times when pastors betrayed, those that were being hunted down.  So I include the “Left To Tell” book because it seems relevant.

And I added my two bits.  And a few links indicating that this fatherhood stuff is turning to vigilante behavior, unfortunately.   And pointed out, again, what our Declaration of Independence was about….

On my blogroll to the right, is a little Youtube showing just how low my President bowed, casually, quickly, to the leader of a Muslim country, in the company of Queen Elizabeth and a G20 meeting.  This disturbs me, and was of some serious debate in a blogtalkradio dialogue (as I recall the source, anyhow) moderated by Dr. Phyllis Chesler and Marcia Pappas of NYS NOW.  Is he the leader of the free world, or at least part of it?  Then what’s that obeisance about?  Would he kneel to the Pope to be politically correct, kiss the ring and insult all those boys and girls abused by priests, and the concept upon which this nation was founded, Bill of Rights Number I?  

I myself am VERY disturbed at how domestic violence killings are starting to take on a vigilante nature, as if in retaliation to a woman leaving a family, or exposing a sin, how DARE she?  As a mature woman and mother who has been dumped by the roadside by a combination of my own family and my ex-batterer, apparently for — again, exposing family something or other — I am thinking about:  

  • How
  • Why
  • Who ARE these people?
  • What IS this world?

How many OTHER myths have I believed about life, my country, my family, the legal system, etc.?  I will tell you one I have let go of:  “The American Dream.”  I have switched this my dream from anything material, and am changing it to a character issue, a personal one with myself.  

I am calling upon the combination of my God (NOT the one that is a respecter of persons, or genders, or legalistically profiling and whimsical in judgment, that I have seen in certain places), and my courage, and putting my intellect a good bit lower, respectively, than it used to be.  Plus, from within, my emotions of concern and compassion for others, and whatever picture I can imagine.  Indignation about injustice only goes so far, and as the injustice basically never stops, another motivation must be found.

I think part of the trouble around here is that people pretend to be neutral and detached (a high value) when they aren’t anything of the sort.  They can incite to violence, ride roughshod over families, due process, and civil rights, as easily as any other nation or culture, but claim this is based on “evidence-based practices.”  In one place on this post, I included a Rwandan woman — the issue was not on men versus women, but the same principles:  hate talk towards a certain group of people (Tutsis) and how quickly it ignited. 

We have become an incredibly morally bankrupt place (as well as fiscally — and they are related), while drowning in certain materials and products.  However, the solution to this is not to be found in the institutions, but rather in the people who are aware that these institutions are not going to replace human basic functions of:  produce, protect, educate, alleviate, CREate (when it comes to arts, ideas, concepts, etc.), that which we have procreated.  If you’re new to this blog, you’ll notice that when I have a strong emotional reaction to a certain thing (or idea), I pile on labels, like sauce on a hamburger, or whipped cream on a milkshake, or, . . . . or. . . .    

 

I was referring to the churches, some of which I left voluntarily, and one of which I got thrown out of last month for being female, having understanding of a Biblical passage, and speaking up (even with permission).  How dare I think I knew something!  

See:

Family Values” Pundits not so upstanding themselves.

 

This is a new site to me:   REAL CLEAR POLITICS.  This dates to June 2009

I simply posted the whole article.  Any italics are my emphasis, some (not all) of the other style changes are mine, too:

 

Did Obama Say Enough About Women’s Rights?
Posted by Cathy Young | Email This | Permalink | Email Author

 

As I said in my previous post, I had a largely positive reaction to Obama’s Cairo speech.  However, I agree with David Frum’s criticsm of Obama’s comments about women’s rights — which should have been a key part of an “outreach to Muslims” speech.  In contrast to Obama’s strong affirmation of the principles of democracy, his discussion of women’s issues and Islam was too general, too weak, and afflicted with excessive even-handedness.

{{with which “even handedness, as I have beLABORED in previous posts, the Whitehouse.gov agenda on families is not even remotely afflicted.  It flat out ignores the fact, practically, that mothers exist.  Period.}}

Here is the passage in its entirety:  (OBAMA):

“The sixth issue that I want to address is women’s rights

“I know there is debate about this issue. {{“debate”?!?}} I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality. And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well-educated are far more likely to be prosperous.

Now let me be clear: issues of women’s equality are by no means simply an issue for Islam.

{{EXCUUUUUSE me?  Is this or is this not a dodge, or an understatement?  Was there a political or safety reason for this understatement at this particular conference?

http://www.phyllis-chesler.com/211/are-honor-killings-simply-domestic-violence

I have posted an excerpt below.  And photos.  OK, now you may continue reading President Obama’s speech…}}}}

 

“In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia, we have seen Muslim-majority countries elect a woman to lead. Meanwhile, the struggle for women’s equality continues in many aspects of American life, and in countries around the world.

Our daughters can contribute just as much to society as our sons, and our common prosperity will be advanced by allowing all humanity – men and women – to reach their full potential. I do not believe that women must make the same choices as men in order to be equal, and I respect those women who choose to live their lives in traditional roles. But it should be their choice. That is why the United States will partner with any Muslim-majority country to support expanded literacy for girls, and to help young women pursue employment through micro-financing that helps people live their dreams.”

Frum takes issue, in particular, with Obama’s remarks about the head-covering issue: he points out that not only “some in the West,” but many women in the Muslim world regard the hijab as a symbol of female submission (not to God but to man), and that many women who “choose” to cover themselves (sometimes not only their hair but their face) do so because of coercion and intimidation either by family members or by radical Islamic militias.  I do believe Obama was right to affirm a woman’s right to choose hijab; quite a few Muslim feminists regard it as a legitimate and positive form of religious expression, no different from the Jewish yarmulke, and quite a few moderately traditional Muslims are alienated by the categorical rejection of the hijab as oppressive.  However,  it would have been fitting to balance his statement with an assertion of a woman’s right to choose not to cover their hair — a right that, in some countries, they are denied not only by informal pressure and harassment, but by law and official policy.

As for the rest of this passage, it was nice of Obama to assert the importance of educational opportunities for girls and women, but that’s about as uncontroversial as it gets: who, except for the Taliban, disagrees?  In all too many Muslim countries, the main problems facing women are far more severe: forced marriage, vastly unequal treatment when it comes to divorce and child custody, and socially sanctioned violence.  How can one talk about women’s rights in the Muslim world and not mention honor killings?  Or the horrific recent public flogging by a Taliban militia in Pakistan of a 17-year-old girl whose apparent offense was to have stepped outside her house without a male relative escorting her?  Or cases in which Islamic courts have sentenced rape victims to death for fornication or adultery when the rape could not be proved under a stringent standard requiring two male witnesses?  (While we’re at it, how about the fact that in Islamic courts, the word of a female witness is officially given half the weight of a man’s?)  What about female genital mutilation?  Against the backdrop of these genuine horrors, literacy programs and micro-financing for young women’s employment look like a rather feeble response.   How about first ensuring that the girl who participates in a literacy program doesn’t get brutalized for showing a strand of hair in public?

In this context, Obama’s comment that “the struggle for women’s equality” is also a problem in America is also, to say the least, unhelpful.  Yes, there are still gender disparities in the U.S., though I think many of them are due to, as Obama put it, women not making the same choices as men.  But to mention what sexism still remains in American society in the same breath as the violent misogyny and patriarchal oppression still pervasive in much of the Muslim world today is a truly misguided attempts at even-handedness.  It’s a bit like saying that of course it’s a bad thing that of course it’s a bad thing that Joe locks his wife in the closet, beats her senseless, forbids her to talk to any other man and monitors every penny she spends, but hey, Bill spends only half the time his wife does on housework and child care and treats his own career as more important than his wife’s, so if he voices disapproval of Joe he’d better mention his own failings too.

Yes, of course it’s not only in Muslim countries that women face severe oppression.  (The issue of women being elected to lead in deeply patriarchal cultures is a separate, and fascinating, one, but I don’t think it’s a good measure of the overall status of women in society.)  And I know there is a vigorous debate about whether Islam is inherently more female-unfriendly than other major religions and whether an Islamic feminsm is possible.  Nonetheless, the fact remains that in recent decades we have seen a rollback of women’s rights in many societies — sometimes a drastic rollback — due to the influence of Islamic extremism.  Obama’s failure to mention this fact was extremely disappointing.  Talk about a missed opportunity.  In my previous post, I said that Obama’s comments on women’s rights deserved no more than a B-.  Analyzing them now, I’m lowering the grade to a gentleman’s C.

 

I give it an “F.”  See below:

PLEASE READ THIS ARTICLE:  I PASTE ENOUGH TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO GET OVER THERE AND READ IT!

 

Dr. Phyllis Chesler:

 

 

Are Honor Killings Simply Domestic Violence? (title is URL)

by Phyllis Chesler
Middle East Quarterly
Spring 2009

 

Families that kill for honor will threaten girls and women if they refuse to cover their hair, their faces, or their bodies or act as their family’s domestic servant; wear makeup or Western clothing; choose friends from another religion; date; seek to obtain an advanced education; refuse an arranged marriage; seek a divorce from a violent husband; marry against their parents’ wishes; or behave in ways that are considered too independent, which might mean anything from driving a car to spending time or living away from home or family. Fundamentalists of many religions may expect their women to meet some but not all of these expectations. But when women refuse to do so, Jews, Christians, and Buddhists are far more likely to shun rather than murder them. Muslims, however, do kill for honor, as do, to a lesser extent, Hindus and Sikhs.

 

{{Everything underlined here, was an issue in my Western, non-Muslim marriage.  I snuck education.  I was stalked, through my own family and individually for leaving to the point that I have had major fear to finalize this divorce, and have not;  I experienced retaliation consistently of engaging in activities outside the home, specifically anything that related to my former profession.  This retaliation could come in the form of interfering with me getting out the door, or sabotage — allowing me to start, but making it hard to complete, a simple season’s engagement; complaining about or withholding funding for something as elementary as a simple black skirt and shirt to perform in; display of weapons immediately after returning from a rehearsal, leaving the car with insufficient gas to get back from one, and other night-mare-inducing behavior.  This extended also to times my daughters were engaged in music as well; UNBELIEVABLE.  I have watched my piano be physically attacked, buried under virtual trash, and then I was mocked for not practicing it enough, which I barely could find time to do in a day.  I left home once, with an infant, in another state, for a week.  I was given extra tasks to complete before leaving, and I came back to a house that was dangerously trashed –NO dishes had been done, broken glass on the floor (and we had a baby), and a special plant/bush I’d given him had not been watered, and was dead.  Food in pots was moldy; I was stunned.  In subsequent (to marriage) public times, in court, he repeatedly talked about the condition of the house, as if I didn’t also work, or was solely responsible.  I had an unbelievable time getting access to a car, which was resented.  

Finally, when I was able to leave the family home for two weeks, for a music camp, with daughters, when I returned, I’d been thrown out of the bedroom, a lock installed, and in short, this was when I determined to leave.  These TYPES of activities continued, to this day, post-separation.  Every decision I made that entailed putting daughters in a music class, or lessons, was permitted reluctantly, but eventually stopped.  Then public declarations were made that I was isolating and depriving them.  I attended a VERY liberal Midwestern college, and as a young person, was not restricted or berated for anything regarding my gender.  The place I met this man was not illiberal — it ordained women, we preached in teams, and sometimes lived together.  

During this marriage, I began to doubt that I was indeed in America.  I had never heard of any experience like this, or known anyone who had experienced a situation like this violence, and abuse.  Speaking of it to the variety of people I did, indeed, come in front of year after year, few of them had words to describe this thing that was happening to me.  To this day, my “liberal” relatives will not use the word “domestic violence” or “abuse” in front of me, practically, and appear to be furious that I have actually spoken in these terms and insisted that this is indeed what happened.  The denial has taken it beyond the legal terms — there has been, within my family — a literal denial that any of the laws to protect people from domestic violence exist, apply, or have anything to do with our case, or my many difficulties. Experientially, it needs a name.  Now, gradually, through blogging, networking, reading, talking — and I have not been through ANYthing like the women below here — I have come to understand that this is a serious moral / emotional / social crisis our country is in.  There are powerful political factors that HAVE to say the words “domestic violence” with their mouths, because the cat is out of the bag, and the horse is out of the barn.  BUT, they are diluting, reframing, derailing the conversation and attempting, in many and disturbing ways, to turn back the clock on this matter of women saying NO!  You can NOT do this! and saying it through the courts.

Every woman has to determine how she is going to respond to this shunning, when women in our world survive, and are emotionally supported primarily through their connections with others.  that is the value that is respected (often) with American women.  We are in our communities, we have children  OR, we have careers, or juggle both.  For women of my age (middle, OK?) to have both lost children AND career, and contact with their family, but not be a radical feminist, is indeed interesting.  We can come into the church perhaps as ministers, acolytes (so to speak), or servants supporting its infrastructure.  I, for one, no longer care to support the infrastructure of anything so dysfunctional.  I consider myself to be courageous and independent (in certain ways), but there comes a burnout level.  I have PTSD, and when exposed to more “women, get thee behind me, Satan” talk in certain denominations (many of them), I simply have to speak up, then leave.  I will not hang out there.  At least I have a few options.  

To survive abuse, sometimes, one has to become two people:  a public one and a private one.  This includes sometimes with one’s spouse.  At some level, my soul was not going to show itself any more, for another verbal beating for mere existence.  Instead, I took the verbal tirades for being, supposedly, apathetic, wimpy, not caring and passive.  Well, being anything else got me physically assaulted, or some other form of escalation, sometimes involving property destruction, or attack on pets.  Children were in the home.  I just couldn’t keep that up, and guess what:  No one was backing me up.  No one was confronting this man, really.  At the end of the day, I had to come home to sleep.  He began accumulating guns, and large knives.  I don’t use these, or know how to, and it wasn’t too long (although more than a year) after this that I realized — we had to separate.  I cannot tell you the level of shame and embarrassment I had, with or without children, having to hide my mail, ask strangers for rides, or a few $$ to put in the ggas tank (if I had a car).  One night, I got stranded late at night in a downtown urban area after my night job.  I took a ride with what might have been a drug dealer to get to a gas station.  My ex came and got me, but with the news that someone had run over the cat that day, my favorite one (I always found this suspicious timing).  The concern for my personal safety was at zero level.  I kept journals.  My journals were targeted, and I had to remove them from the home for safekeeping.  He went after, and befriended the people keeping them, I got them back.  

NOW:  Now, I cannot live that dual personality way, and will not. When I go into a church and am expected to adopt a certain demeanor — I won’t.  It’s like violence to the soul.  I am one person:  I will tell someone (in my family) if I am upset with them, and why.

The Court System:

The Family Court system in this country has become a charade.  It rewards short-term performance in front of evaluators, mediators, judges, and other people.  No one really looks behind the scenes — there is no interest, time or resources to fully check facts.  For the most part.  This system rewards the batterer “snake” personality:  Charming, manipulative, dissembling.  Or, alternately, wounded and looking helpless.  I have seen a (female) judge leap to aid my ex, to the extent of testifying for him, as if he could not speak.  I have watched him interrupt an attorney and derail the direct question, and get away with this.  When I go to court, I am primarily PTSD, although I try pretty hard.  All such a person needs to do is get through the next appearance with some person in authority, get their way, and afterwards, do whatever they want.  

 

There are too many similarities between the hypocrisies and coverups of fundamentalist religion, and what I see in these courts.  It is going to take women, feminist women, to address it.  The other factor is, in this court, children are involved.  We are  not always 100% on board with the radical feminist regimes.  I cannot tell you how many women in my situation, leaving batterers, losing their kids to stand by helplessly as their kids are showing symptoms of abuse, including child sexual abuse, are themselves religious.  Many of them, their husbands or partners specifically targeted them in these circles — because the environment is male-domination-friendly.  

When I say in my posts, that churches are NOT havens for women leaving violence, or necessarily shelters for them, I am absolutely in earnest.  i hope, in my way, to be able to speak to this and do something about the shameful failure to support — or even SPEAK about — the laws against violence towards women, and children — in these venues.  They are in their own ether, with their own agenda, and their own intents.  I do not believe this is the genuine religion of, in my case, the man Jesus Christ as I read about him in scripture.  I read nothing about his abusive or dismissive treatment of women; in fact it is the opposite.  I think what we have now is a charade of that.  For the most part.  I don’t think most people have the guts to do what he did, but some do.

(WOW — where did THAT come from?  Well, I’ll post.  I may erase some of it another day…..)

 

Amina Said (L), 18, and her sister Sarah, 17, were shot dead by their father Yaser at their home in Irving, Texas, in January 2008. Said was upset by his daughters’ “Western ways” and was assisted in the killing by his wife, the girls’ mother. The victims of honor killings are largely teenage daughters or young women. Unlike ordinary domestic violence, honor killings often involve multiple family members as perpetrators.

Let’s Get Honest comments:

In “ordinary domestic violence” family members could be either hostages, victims, OR enablers.  The truth is, it takes enablers for a PATTERN of domestic violence to thrive and grow.  There is denial, there is incompetence, there is scapegoating, there is helpless ignorance in what to do.  Many people in my culture have very strong emotions, but in certain classes and circles, this is not “socially acceptable.”  So they suppress them behind circuitous speech, evasive answers, or simply no answers.  When I got, out, I had some strong emotions (anger) as I began to stop hating myself (which was safer) and be angry.  My anger was noticed – his violence, and the danger this represented — was not.  I only recently simply decided to forgive, and do this entirely detached from any reason to, other than a decision, and a desire to be free from anger, and reactionary mode, which is typically either anger, or depression, when the insults, aggressions, etc. continue.  That’s how I am choosing to handle it at this point.  

I am posting quite a bit here about Islamic violence towards women.  However, I am doing so with an understanding that forms of Protestantism (mainstream and nonmainstream) Christianity can still kill, destroy, and maim — physically and emotionally.  I am here to warn out country not to ignore this hate talk from governmental circles towards women.  In the lingo of domestic violence, denying it is a form of it (a.k.a. crazymaking).  Below, is a passage from “Infidel” about “baari.”  If I am able, I will find the passage from a Focus on the Family publication that sounds uncomfortably similar.  And I will say, the “shunning” and patronizing (social, psychological) takes a different form, but still exists, when a Christian woman throws out an abusive husband and then shows up in church unapologetic.  

And expecting to be treated with respect. Or worse, looking for an opportunity to actually speak or teach the Bible (this was why I got thrown out of the last place, and I was entirely too submissive in that as well).  I finally came to the conclusion that it was safer outside those buildings.

Another alarming trend, vigilante-style behavior  — AND TALK — around the issues of the family courts.  Continuing on the topic of Honor Killings, which was “skirted” nicely in the Cairo speech, above….

 

The United Nations Population Fund estimates that 5,000 women are killed each year for dishonoring their families. This may be an underestimate. Aamir Latif, a correspondent for the Islamist website Islam Online who writes frequently on the issue, reported that in 2007 in the Punjab province of Pakistan alone, there were 1,261 honor murders. The Aurat Foundation, a Pakistani nongovernmental organization focusing on women’s empowerment, found that the rate of honor killings was on track to be in the hundreds in 2008.

There are very few studies of honor killing, however, as the motivation for such killings is cleansing alleged dishonor and the families do not wish to bring further attention to their shame, so do not cooperate with researchers. Often, they deny honor crimes completely and say the victim simply went missing or committed suicide. Nevertheless, honor crimes are increasingly visible in the media. Police, politicians, and feminist activists in Europe and in some Muslim countries are beginning to treat them as a serious social problem…

(SO WHY ISN”T OUR PRESIDENT?)

 

 

PLEASE ALSO, READ THESE TWO BOOKS.  OK, THREE.  I DID.  I COULDN’T PUT THEM DOWN, IN FACT.  AND I FELT I WAS READING ABOUT MY OWN FAMILY.  I LIVE IN THE WEST.  I LIVE IN THE USA.  I DIDN’T EXPERIENCE, PHYSICALLY, AT ALL THE SAME AS THESE WOMEN.  WHY DID IT FEEL FAMILIAR?  

I FEEL AS THOUGH OUR FAMILY HAS BECOME LIKE A POLYGAMOUS CULT, AND WE ARE A SMALL, NUCLEAR, PROFESSIONALLY INVOLVED FAMILY, ABOUT 3RD GENERATION IN THE COUNTRY.  NO ONE HAS BEEN JAILED.  WHY DID THE BEHAVIOR SOUND SO FAMILIAR, AND WHAT’S GOING ON?  I BELIEVE THAT IT IS THE EMOTIONAL, SPIRITUAL CONTENT OF THE BEHAVIOR WHICH IS THE SAME, FROM CULTURE TO CULTURE, EXPRESSED DIFFERENTLY.  HATE IS STILL HATE.

 

This book, and woman, are so well-known, I don’t think there is too much to be added.  However, if not, READ.

WIKIPEDIA:  (evidently not fully current)

Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Nl-Ayaan Hirsi Ali.ogg pronunciation (help·info)Somali: Ayaan Xirsi Cali; born Ayaan Hirsi Magan 13 November 1969 in Somalia)[1]is a Dutch feminist, writer, and politician. She is the estranged daughter of the Somali scholar, politician, and revolutionary opposition leader Hirsi Magan Isse. She is a prominent critic of Islam, and her screenplay for Theo Van Gogh‘s movieSubmission led to death threats. Since van Gogh’s assassination by a Muslim extremist in 2004, she has lived in seclusion under the protection of Dutch authorities.

When she was eight, her family left Somalia for Saudi Arabia, then Ethiopia, and eventually settled in Kenya. She sought and obtained political asylum in the Netherlands in 1992, under circumstances that later became the center of a political controversy. In 2003 she was elected a member of the House of Representatives (the lower house of the Dutch parliament), representing the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). A political crisis surrounding the potential stripping of her Dutch citizenship led to her resignation from the parliament, and led indirectly to the fall of the second Balkenende cabinet.

She is currently a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, working from an unknown location in the Netherlands.[2][3] In 2005, she was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.[4] She has also received several awards for her work, including Norway’s Human Rights Service’s Bellwether of the Year Award, the Danish Freedom Prize, the Swedish Democracy Prize, and the Moral Courage Award for commitment to conflict resolution, ethics, and world citizenship.[5]

 

HERE IS A LINK TO A 2007 Interview (NY Mag Review of Books).  “The Infidel Speaks,” by Boris Kachka, Feb. 4, 2007

 

SHE SAYS SOME EXTRAORDINARILY RELEVANT THINGS.

I THINK IT EXTRAORDINARLY REMARKABLE THAT MY PRESIDENT DIDN’T MENTION MUCH ABOUT THE TREATMENT OF WOMEN, OR ANY OF THESE EXTRAORDINARY ONES, WHEN VISITING A MUSLIM COUNTRY.  NOTE (AS TO “CAIRO SPEECH”), NONIE DARWISH, BELOW, FLED EGYPT FOR THE USA, AND CONVERTED TO CHRISTIANITY.  HER YOUTUBE AND A PARTIAL INTERVIEW IS BELOW (SO LABELED:  THIS IS THE SOMALIAN SWEDISH AMERICAN WOMAN HERE:

 

 To her admirers, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a maverick, bravely defying the Netherlands’ political correctness to address Europe’s growing cultural rifts. To detractors, she’s a charismatic bomb-thrower with as little regard for her adopted nation’s safety as for her own. Both sides would have to admit that the former Somali-Dutch politician is a master of self-reinvention. After a rough childhood (circumcision, daily beatings) in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia, she escaped to Holland from a forced marriage, eventually joined the Dutch Parliament as a Muslim criticizing her own culture, and made a provocative film with Theo van Gogh that got him killed and sent her into hiding.

This is why I think that, just perhaps, President Obama might have been a little remiss to simply not address this issue in a Muslim nation.  Nonie Darwish’s father was killed in jihad, and she left Egypt for the US.  Now here is an American leader back in Egypt, speaking on this topic, and nothing substantial?

When a rival threatened to revoke her citizenship, the resulting furor toppled the governing coalition. But Ali just moved on, resigning and moving to Washington, D.C., where she now works for the American Enterprise Institute. It’s all retold in her eloquent new memoir, Infidel. Stopping by Soho House recently, she spoke with New York about life and politics in her latest adopted land.

  

You’ve been here for six months. How do you like the U.S.? 
That is the question they all ask! I love it. The most comforting thing is the anonymity. I’m not allowed to talk about security—to tell you who in this room is security and who is not—but the pressure cooker of Holland is over. I am now just one individual in the melting pot.

 

You’re at a conservative think tankperhaps an odd place for a harsh critic of religion in political life. 
I consider myself nonpartisan, but I’m a liberal—not in the American sense, because Americans seem to refer to communists as liberals. What we see in Europe, because of the welfare state, is government pretending to provide all sorts of services they shouldn’t be providing.

 

Let’s Get Honest comment:  My point EXACTLY, in many of these posts! 

But what do you make of Christian conservatives in your ranks? 
No one in the American Enterprise imposes their beliefs. We clash, and I think that’s what the West is all about.

 

But you’re with them on the whole “clash of civilizations” thing? 
When I was in Holland, the idea was, all cultures are equal and all are to be preserved. My idea was, no, all humans are equal but not all cultures are equal. In the culture of my parents, we never seemed to be able to succeed in such basic issues as getting food, interacting and living in peace with each other, or adapting to our environment, and the West, they’ve succeeded in all those. I’d been taught Western culture’s only bad. Maybe that’s good for your self-esteem, but it wasn’t taking us anywhere.

This woman comes from WHERE?  And she understands the Declaration of Independence (principles) better than we do?  It’s not the CULTURE, it’s the HUMANS:

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

THAT IS THE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENTS.  NOT DISHING OUT HAPPINESS AND HEALTH, BUT SECURING THOSE RIGHTS!

That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

 

LOCALLY SPEAKING, SOME WOMEN NEED TO DISBAND THEIR FAMILY UNIT, TO SECURE THEIR SAFETY.  WHO THE HELL IS THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO UNDERMINE THAT DECISION BY GOVERNMENTAL DECREE, AS HAS BEEN DONE IN THE FATHERHOOD RESOLUTIONS, GRANTS, INITIATIVES, AND TASK FORCES ??  ???  

THE MAIN QUESTION IN THESE MATTERS IS WHETHER OR NOT WOMEN ARE INCLUDED IN THE INCLUSIVE NOUN “MEN”  NOW, WOMEN HAD TO FIGHT FOR THIS, BUT IN 1920, AFTER SLAVES, WE MANAGED TO GET THE RIGHT TO VOTE.  THIS WOMAN CAME FROM A RELIGION, THE NAME OF WHICH MEANT, “SUBMIT.”  THE NAME OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, PER DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE FROM GREAT BRITAIN, ABOVE, IS IN ESSENCE, PERMIT.

NOW AS TO FAITH-BASED INITIATIVES, I’D LIKE TO CITE THE PRIMARY CHRISTIAN VERSE USED TO JUSTIFY WIFE-BEATING:  


 

 

You’ve dismissed accusations that you’re lashing out because of childhood traumas. So why write a memoir graphically detailing the abuse you and your siblings suffered? 
It became important to say, “Okay, you guys keep accusing me of using my past. Let me tell you my story, and my story shows that I do not blame the death of my sister on Islam. I do not blame female genital mutilation on Islam.” My whole awakening was triggered by the eleventh of September, and it did not affect only me, it affected a lot of people.

 

 

Do you regret certain things you said about Muhammad—like that he was a pervert and a tyrant? 
I don’t regret that. I’m still convinced that for Muslims to integrate fully into modern society, we cannot avoid discussing the prophet. We didn’t only deal with communism militarily, but we said it is a bad idea. The works of Karl Marx were discussed.

 

 

Maybe academia would have been a better—and less dangerous—venue. 
Politics is not a good thing for me. But I wanted to bring out the issue of Muslim treatment of women in Holland, and I could only accomplish that in Parliament. If I had been a professor, it would just have disappeared in a cabinet.

 

 

 

 

“the Territory that is now Somalia was divided between the British and the Italians, who occupied the country as colonizers, splitting it in two.  In 1960 the colonizers left, leaving behind a brand-new, independent state.  A unified Somalia was born.”  

Page 12 of her book “”Of course my mother had no right to a divorce under Muslim law.”  “a woman who is baari is like a pious slave

 

“If in the process of baari you feel grief, humiliation, and everlasting exploitation you hide it.  If you long for love and comfort you pray in silence to Allah to make your husband more bearable

 

Page 13 of her book

 

 

 

AND:

“They call me infidel”. Ex-Muslim Christian Nonie Speaks out

This was of interest to me because the author had experienced a regime change within her home country, and then come to America and experienced a change of religion.  So she spoke of the qualitative differences.

 (11/20/2006)

Egyptian-born Nonie Darwish is “too controversial” to speak at Brown University, where her invitation to speak was just taken back. The title of her new book about says it all Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror . Good luck with that one. Here, where we’ve been attacked by jihadists, we don’t like to hear about the enemy we face.

(THIS IS AN INTERVIEW.  EXCERPTS, HERE:)

LOPEZ: Are the majority of Muslim women oppressed? What can be done for them?

DARWISH: The majority of Muslim women are oppressed and that is due to Islamic sharia law which severely discriminates against women. Even the most educated and powerful Muslim women are faced with a legal system that is very discriminatory against women. Muslim women start the marital relationship from a weaker position. The Muslim marriage contract itself is unfair to women because Muslim men can add three more wives if he wishes. That changes the dynamic of husband/wife relationship even if a Muslim man does not exercise this right. Polygamy has a devastating impact on families. There are chronic social ills and tragedies stemming from this single right.

The court system is designed to oppress women, without a doubt.
 

{{Commentary:  I read her book.  She talks about how polygamy (one man, many women) pollutes relationships not just between the man and the woman, but also between women:  backbiting, whispering, intrigue.  I remembered my own case, which has many women involved in protecting a single man, vigorously defending his behavior, which was criminal, as though it were honorable, and I were the criminal for speaking up.  I could not put this book down, asking WHY? does this sound like my family?  I think these are spiritual issues, and that while the West does NOT endorse polygamy, within the court systems, at least, many of these dynamics are at play — first wives, second wives, etc.  They are used against each other, undermining ALL women.  }}

LOPEZ: How prevalent is “honor killing”?

DARWISH: According to Islamic law sex outside marriage is prohibited and the penalty for that is often death. The woman is always to blame because she is regarded as the source of the seduction. Muslim men’s honor is dependent on their women’s sexual purity. It does not matter how honorable the character of the Muslim man; but if his female relatives commit any sexual taboos, Muslim society will dishonor him. Arab culture is based on pride and shame** and a Muslim man cannot survive with this kind of shame unless he kills the source of that shame which is the female relative who have had sex outside of marriage. It is not known how common this crime of honor killing happens since it is often goes unreported and the police often looks the other way, but I believe it is common in certain parts of the Muslim world if the girl is discovered to be no longer a virgin or pregnant. That is why most girls in the Middle East remain virgins till marriage and there are very few births out of wedlock in the Middle East.

{{**I am concerned about the culture of “manhood” in the west being based on the same things.  It is not a good basis.  I also believe that, despite the level of indoctrination being nothing of the like, this same BASIS of education in the U.S. exists — and that is not a good basis for human behavior.  Rather, how much better, to respect accomplishment in a variety of life situations.  But school is NOT a variety of life situations, it is ONE of life’s many situations.  To teach people to be puffed up, or feel inferior, based on their grade performances (although it is good to study and learn, and be able to have those skills), is simply wrong.  How much better to be, rather engaged in the process of learning, and let that be the intrinsic reward.  We will have better people.  

I believe (opening up a bit here) that what happeend to me in music was, I was allowed to be more expressive, and less analytical, also less about, producing a grade.  I didn’t value grades — already had them.  They did nothing for me socially and weren’t hard enough to earn.  They di dnot increase my sense of self-worth at all, as an adolescent.  I learned to be ashamed about things that had no basis in shame, including my (good) grades, and so forth.  The act of going to and from a classroom is not exactly a major accomplishment in life.  The ability to help others learn to do something, or to engage as a human being; to build something, to design something, to perform something.  But to fill in the correct multiple choice answers on a test sheet according to data you were fed in a textbook?  That’s nothing; it’s for the convenience of the school comparing you to everyone else.  . . . ..  I remember failing on purpose, just to see what it felt like.  I still graduated at the top of my (public high school class).  The skills needed in college were entirely different.  Thank God, there were pianos and there was singing, which led to different types of social interactions.

I believe that what I noticed about this book was when she spoke about the intense hatred, rivalry and bitter suspicious, ongoing, between women in particular.  I have been dealing with this for the many years since I left my ex-husband, after the difficulties while dealing personally with him in the home.  It really is wearing to the soul, and saddening.  I am still seeking and believing for some of these family issues to resolve, but I feel sad when I see that, for the sake of eradicating my world view and values, my children were, literally, uprooted from contact with me, as if I might contaminate them somehow, with self-confidence, and the courage to be different.  The courage to expect a woman to have equal legal rights to a man, in America, our country.  So far, “NO DEAL”!!}}}}

LOPEZ: What’s it like to be a journalist in Egypt? Worse than life under the Patriot Act?

DARWISH: I was a journalist in Egypt in the early seventies when I worked at the Middle East News Agency in Cairo, Egypt. I was an editor, translator, and censor. As a censor I decided what was to be allowed for publication and what was not allowed. Egyptian media outlets at the time were controlled more or less by the government. Journalists were not really journalists in the Western sense of looking to expose government corruption and internal problems; they were more concerned in blaming the outside world. Military information was totally off limits in reporting. I once said to a fellow journalist that I met a Jew in one of my trips and that that was the first time I met a Jew. The colleague warned me that Arab journalists who communicate with Jews in foreign countries come back to Egypt in a box. Very few Arab journalists were even aware of the true role of media in a society. As to Western life under the Patriot Act, I think it the opposite Arab government controlled Media. In the West it has often become Media controlled government where freedom of the Press (having too much of a good thing) often comes before other important things in Western society, such as for example national security. Sometimes Western media has no tolerance for any restrictions and that can help America’s enemies.

LOPEZ: 
What made you leave Egypt?

DARWISH: I always regarded America as the land of hope, equality, and opportunity and that was my motivation. I also wanted to leave the Middle East with its problems, its jihad, its pride, anger, and anti-Semitism and above all the constant state of war with Israel.

I CAUTION, the United States of America, I CAUTION them to monitor the “us/them” mentality in every area of life.  I CAUTIOn them to keep a lit on this vigilante return to Fatherhood, and the farming out of any conscience, guidance, and education of their young to anyone such as those in those in the Executive Branch of Government, who are presently engaged in establishing, on one hand a national religion (through a variety of means) and on the other hand, a totalitarian system in which choice is the heresy.  Opting out of government involvement in the basic processes of life is a heresy.

There are aspects in which the fatherhood movement — as practiced, reminds me of the KKK.  It is the same type of hate speech.

I am going to talk about another, very uncomfortable genocide I have read in some detail about (it just came up, and I continued reading, OK?  It’s what I DO!)  Rwanda.  This is of interest to me because some churches protected, and some betrayed.  Here is a personal, amazing story I ran across.  Again, it is told by a woman:

 

LEFT TO TELL

 

 

In 1994, Rwandan native Ilibagiza was 22 years old and home from college to spend Easter with her devout Catholic family when the death of Rwanda’s Hutu president sparked a three-month slaughter of nearly one million ethnic Tutsis. She survived by hiding in a Hutu pastor’s tiny bathroom with seven other starving women for 91 cramped, terrifying days. This searing firsthand account of Ilibagiza’s experience cuts two ways: her description of the evil that was perpetrated, including the brutal murders of her family members, is soul-numbingly devastating, yet the story of her unquenchable faith and connection to God throughout the ordeal uplifts and inspires. This book is a precious addition to the literature that tries to make sense of humankind’s seemingly bottomless depravity and counterbalancing hope in an all-powerful, loving God.”
-Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review, March 2006

 

We all ask ourselves what we would do if faced with the kind of terror and loss that Immaculée Ilibagiza faced during the genocide in her country. Would we allow fear and desperation to fill us with hatred or despair? And should we survive, would our spirit be poisoned, or would we be able to rise from the ashes still encouraged to fulfill our purpose in life, still able to give and receive love? In the tradition of Viktor Frankl and Anne Frank, Immaculée is living proof that human beings can not only withstand evil, but can also find courage in crisis, and faith in the most hopeless of situations. She gives us the strength to find wisdom and grace during our own challenging times.” 
-Elizabeth Lesser, co-founder of the Omega Institute, and author of Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

“Left to Tell is for anyone who is weary of the predictable “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” trance most of the world suffers from. Immaculée Ilibagiza breaks that spell by bravely quelling the storm within, and contacting a force so powerful that it allows her to calm the storm “without,” and more important, to forgive the “unforgivable.” Her story is an inspiration to anyone who is at odds with a brother, a nation, or themselves.”
-Judith Garten, teacher and counselor of The 50/50Work© and a child of the WWII Holocaust

 

 

 

(As far as I got on this post July 2, 2009

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