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

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

Posts Tagged ‘Declaration of Independence/Bill of Rights

Join or Start a Conversation on Family Court Matters. Jump in Somewhere!

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[Looks like this one started around May 16, 2013; it was then left “pending” for a long while, and now being re-published along with original comments on November 16, 2013 (after some days of adding too much, then splitting off the added insight from later months after all). I apologize for the inconvenience and for not having figured out what the Contact Form was earlier in the blog!

Believe it or not, I do want feedback.  Comments have always been open, and some of my ongoing network comes from people who commented; we are continuing to compare practices across jurisdictions and problemsolve, support, etc.  

The “contact” form here raises general topics and asks for feedback for any post (or link) on the entire blog. Don’t miss the “drop-down” menu on one of the fields below.  I have participated in “forums” before, but they are time-intensive and not usually set up for problem-solving.  I’m looking for people who perceive issues, can state them, and want to do something about it.  

Usually this is people who are already stuck in, or have been devastated by (current or past) the courts.  Of those people, who else is ready to frame the discussion and can actually handle the existence and relevance of the material I blog?

If disagree — what’s the basis?  If agree…..

I’m looking for better ways to organize and communicate the material, as well as better understanding of what does, or doesn’t communicate to people IN custody situations.   I have a lot of personal feedback through networking, and from some people who took time to comment and I can tell from other groups who formerly resisted talking about some of these essentials who now, have had to — because their followers also read this blog. Word is getting out.

I can show which direction human beings are driving this entire system (the Titanic ship of state, including the courts) based in a common language of economics and evolving corporate structures. Whether or not that’s a good or desired direction, matters.   Wouldn’t this knowledge be helpful for whether to start “fixing the broken courts” (tinkering with their settings) or dismantling them for other, different options?

In 2016 this blog (and my life) are at different states of awareness, and urgency. A significant 2016 insert follows because I’m going to either make this post “sticky” or re-post it, showing that three years ago, I was responding to the symptoms of what can now be better documented and defined — in part because I found documentation in the course of continuing to read, and in part because in the past three years, the means to continue changing the public perception of what “Paradigms” ought to reflect government itself, continue their expansive momentum, and showing more of their true character.


But First, As usual, “In My Opinion.”   Please argue it if you disagree, or state your own elsewhere, including in the contact form!  Bulleted commentary on, essentially, the conference circuit and its publications, may be helpful insight.

In my opinion, some of those who set this up maybe foresaw this day and have carved out other professional niches involving fewer judges, called “collaborative Justice.”

In other words, perhaps planning was made for the eventuality that the public catches on…. and shuts it down by simply refusing to feed the system, particularly as more of (us) start exposing how the system is actually fed, the funding… Read the rest of this entry »

National Top Domestic Violence/Child Custody Experts continue trying to Dumb Down Moms

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This has been a long time coming.

I barely tapped the tip of the iceberg in January 2011 in asking “What Rhetoric Are You: Mother, Father, or Mediator?” after a recent Battered Mothers’ Custody Conference in which to my awareness, no one explained how the Health and Human Services (HHS) has been diverting welfare funds to marriage promotion, that things called “fatherhood practitioners” exist, or that Access/Visitation funding exists.

This post also barely taps the tip of the iceberg in how much lies BELOW THE SURFACE in the Coalition of Conferencing Nonprofit Professional (Leadership) among what I am summarizing as the “Crisis in the Courts” Crowd. Or, I may sarcastically refer to as the “Our Broken Family Courts Initiative.” Instead, this initiative is (my opinion, here) USING the emotional distress of mothers (which is genuine) and people who have been indeed assaulted and battered — by a partner, and/or thereafter the courts in association with the same battering partner, and/or ditched by their religious groups (where applicable) — to follow a certain blueprint which highlights the leadership organizations – not, impartially — the actual cause, effect, and potential solutions to the issues they raise.

Women — mothers — are highly motivated, intelligent, and have tremendous energy, commitment, and leadership potential. The movement encouraging them to wear loss and victimhood like a badge and tell their stories — has diverted a tremendous energy from the real story behind this — which is Who Altered the Courts, How, and Why? Instead, they are to rally, report, trust, and follow according to the blueprint laid down for them by simply another set of experts. Proper skepticism and critical thinking — outside the platform being fed — is always in order in situations of this magnitude.


[[Comments welcome; the matter I’m raising here IS a matter for debate! Make up a name if you want… but let’s talk about this! See form…]]]
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Quips, Thinks and Links on the Most Essential Matters… (on a signature block)

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Post published 8/2/2012, became “Sticky” 4/15/2016, slight revs to top part 12/15/2016

From this post:

There has to be a way to check facts and assemble a workable theory that doesn’t entail slavery for most and freedom for some.  That alone is an ECONOMIC matter, a COMMERCE matter, and as such, has to be dealt with — what are these courts really for?  We can say “kids for cash” and “stop child-trafficking” til we are blue in the face, but sooner or later such things as the murder/suicide of Georgia Senator Nancy Schaeffer and her husband — which was most likely NOT anything close to a murder/suicide — have to be dealt with

My Ideal signature block would show my Current Understanding as Quips with Links for “thinks.”

This is how it looked 4-5 years ago for use in a public forum:

  • JURISDICTION sets RIGHTS.
  • USConstitution Title28/IV sets Jurisdiction
  • Citizenship in USA, Inc. = YOU became collateral for U$A Debt 
War=Debt Collection.   pSILENT weapons = biological warfare by few to enslave MOST.
 I blog FAMILY COURT aspects @ LGH ~ FCF~ LACKaWantsTo (& here*)
pm me for outline, links & blogs

In 2016/2017, I probably would change some links, but retain the basic concepts.   (Will be repeated again, below.)
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How Much Mileage Can DV Advocates get out of the press on San Francisco’s Ross Mirkarimi/Eliana Lopez case?

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This has been headline news for how long?  It definitely brings up mixed feelings on my part — knowing how many women are receiving far more severe battery, false imprisonment, endangering children and intimidating witnesses throughout the Bay Area, and have been for years — many years.  While each time there is some press, someone from one of the organizations gets quoted.

March 31, 2012, last Saturday, Section “C,”* an article laid out at top of the page, full width, and by Columnist C.W. Nevius), reads:

(*Bay Area section of the SF Chronicle)

Wife’s anger misdirected in Mirkarimi case.”

Eliana Lopez is furious at the way her domestic violence dispute with her husband, suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, has been handled.

Too bad. Because the process worked perfectly.

Was it messy and painful? Absolutely. But it is also important and worthwhile.

This week, Myrna Melgar, a survivor of domestic violence,**  wrote a passionate account – with Lopez’s blessing – of her friend’s devastation and anger in how the case was handled. While the opinion piece in the Bay Guardian had some fascinating details, it missed the main point.

Neither Lopez nor Mirkarimi seems able to get beyond the anger toward neighbor Ivory Madison, who called attention to the alleged abuse and then provided the damning video of Lopez crying and pointing to a bruise.

Melgar wrote that the process empowers people “to make decisions on this woman’s behalf, against her consistent and fervently expressed wishes.”

That’s right. It does. And that’s what it should do.

“This is why domestic violence advocates have been seen as evildoers,” said Kathy Black, executive director of La Casa de las Madres. “They say we are breaking up families. The helper becomes the one who is blamed.”
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/30/BANI1NSJ36.DTL#ixzz1quHv5VFi

**not sure this is the same “Myrna Melgar, just included the LinkedIn profile which shows her professional/civic leadership in the area.  It probably is)

This is the Bay Guardian article, and it seems well written enough.  I’m glad someone filled in a few of these details, including a factor that until 5 Mr. Mirkarimi was raised in a bi-cultural family (Russian Jewish mother/ Iranian Muslim father), and then was separated from his father.  There seems to be a sense of father-absence here:

(The bulk of my post is addressing topics raised in this article, particularly a certain reference to a Canadian sociologist for insight into this Californian incident).

03.27.12 – 3:01 pm |

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By Myrna Melgar

Myrna Melgar is a Latina survivor of childhood domestic violence, a feminist, and the mother of three girls. She is a former legislative aide to Sup. Eric Mar.

Eliana Lopez is my friend. I have asked for her permission to put into words, in English, some observations, thoughts and insights reached during our many conversations these past few weeks about her experience with San Francisco’s response to the allegation of domestic violence by her husband, Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi  . . .  (Please read the article).

. . .According to Eliana, the context of what happened between them on December 31 actually started much earlier. Ross grew up as the only son of a single teenage mother of Russian Jewish descent and an absent Iranian immigrant father. Pressured by the opposition of her family to her relationship with an Iranian Muslim, Ross’s mother divorced his father by the time he was five. Ross was raised on a small, nearly all-white island in New England, with no connection to his father. When he had the opportunity, Ross traveled to Chicago, where his father had remarried and built a new family with two sons. Ross’s father turned him away. In Eliana’s analysis, Ross’s greatest fear is that his painful story with his father will be replayed again with Theo.

I can just see the fathers’ rights groups (which are mens’ rights groups) spinning this one to blame Mr. Mirkarimi’s abuse of his wife on his lack of a father (and not perhaps some of the standards that might have been learned in the first five years of his life, or anything else).

Eliana Lopez came to San Francisco from Venezuela with hope in her head and love in her heart. She decided to leave behind her beautiful city of Caracas, a successful career as an actress, and her family and friends, following the dream of creating a family and a life with a man she had fallen in love with but barely knew, Ross Mirkarimi.

Whirlwind romance, charmer?  Another article (reporting on this one) adds:

Heather Knight Thursday, March 29, 2012

Melgar’s piece describes how Lopez came to San Francisco after she and then-Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi became pregnant on one of his visits to her native Venezuela

(He got his girlfriend knocked up in the course of leisure? or business?  Not mentioned — were they married at the time?

(Michael Macor/The Chronicle)

Eliana Lopez, wife of San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, speaks to the news media about the three misdemeanor charges against her husband, on Friday Jan. 13, 2012, in San Francisco, Ca

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/28/BAS31NRKL3.DTL#ixzz1qv1dHpDm

Bay Guardian Op-Ed, cont’d.:

Well-educated, progressive, charismatic, and artistic, she made friends easily. She and Ross seemed like a great match. Both were committed environmentalists, articulate and successful. They had a son, Theo. {{see above…}} As they settled into domestic life, however, problems began to surface. The notoriously workaholic politician did not find his family role an easy fit. A bachelor into his late forties, Ross had trouble with the quiet demands of playing a puzzle on the floor with his toddler or having an agenda-less breakfast with his wife. Ross would not make time for Eliana’s request for marriage counseling, blaming the demands of job and campaign.

Now, about prosecuting the low-level domestic violence against the wife’s wishes:

How did it come to be that a system that was intended to empower women has evolved into a system that disempowers them so completely?

I don’t know Ms. Melgar’s life story (or whether she’s currently married — sounds like not).  However, there are TWO ways the District Attorney’s Office can disempower women — if this is correct, prosecuting against the woman’s wishes when it’s supposedly a “minor” event.  Or (and this was my situation and MANY other women’s) NOT prosecuting them despite severe domestic violence, when prosecuting them  might save a life, or save ongoing destruction of life.  See

And in this politically charged event — MADE TO ORDER for anyone who didn’t want Mirkarimi’s Progressive Politics disrupting the city (notice — nothing to do with domestic violence in that phrase) — because the events had some validity.

INTERJECTION — information from Purpleberets.org — and the topic is well-covered at the Sonoma County (Northern CA, not too far from SF) “Women’s Justice Center.”  This is talking about much, MUCH more severe cases where DA refused to prosecute.   (And if you know my blog, the case underlying it — and which eventually led to my blogging habit — was when district attorneys in TWO Counties refused to stop a child-stealing in action, or to prosecute it — ever.  The general practice over a number of years (by law enforcement, specifically — I’m talking police in a number of cities, county sheriffs in more than one, and the district attorney’s office.  As it turns out later, the person in charge of the “Alameda County Family Justice Center” (a hybrid creation by DA’s office and others modeled on San Diego’s one which came out of the City Attorneys’ Office — I’ve blogged this plenty elsewhere), Ms. Nadia Lockyer, then went on to win the position of County Supervisor (with help of a $1 million campaign funding and  very, very, very  well connected spouse 30 years her senior) — had a substance abuse problem, started an affair with someone (closer to her age) she met in rehab — himself getting off ‘meth’ — and had an incident requiring 911 assistance in a Newark (California) motel early a.m.   This is the Bay Area leadership . . . . . it’s typically about politics and careers — and NOT about preventing violence against women and services to them.  In the larger scope.

So, re: the immense power of the District Attorney’s Office: Written, I believe, around the year 2000:

California Passes Tough New Domestic Violence Laws — by Maria DeSantis, director Women’s Justice Center

In effect since January 1, 2000, a patchwork of new California domestic violence laws is already providing added help for domestic violence victims. The laws, however, still leave untouched some of the biggest obstacles victims face.

. . . .

District Attorney Power Still Unfettered

A critical area for victims of rape, domestic violence, and child abuse that has been left ignored by legislators this year and in years past is the district attorney’s absolute power to refuse to file charges no matter how solid the evidence. Even if a district attorney refuses to file charges on a whole crime category, there is no legal remedy for victims. This unrestricted prosecutorial discretion is particularly dangerous for women in Sonoma County where D.A. Mike Mullins’ rate of conviction on domestic violence is one of the lowest in the state, and where he systematically under-charges cases of violence against women and children.

For example, at this writing, we at Women’s Justice Center have a case of three days of spousal rape, sodomy and beatings which the district attorney has filed only as misdemeanor domestic violence. The detective in the case states there is ample evidence to file multiple felonies.

In another case of a woman beaten to the point of a fractured skull, the D. A. refused to file at all for five months until one day the perpetrator went out and committed another assault with a deadly weapon on another victim. In yet another case of spousal rape, the district attorney and Cloverdale Police have been fighting for six months over who should pay for translating key evidence. Sadly, those are just a few of many examples.

Not only are all women put in direct and great danger by the absence of any legislative check on the district attorney’s denial of justice to women, but the D.A.’s refusal to file proper charges on these cases also suffocates and discourages police efforts. We need to work with our legislators to give them the fortitude to put restrictions on district attorney discretion now.

(For Spanish translation of this and other violence against women information, see the WJC website:www.justicewomen.com )

Back

© Marie De Santis
Women’s Justice Center
You can copy and distribute this information at will
if you include credit and don’t edit.

Back to Myrna Melgar’s article, minimizing the incident:

Unquestionably, there are women in deeply abusive relationships who need assistance getting out, who may not be able to initiate an escape on their own. Eliana’s relationship with Ross did not even come close to that standard.

It seems Myrna is oblivious to the fact that, through the family court, if Eliana did decide (later) to go to Venezuela without her husband’s assent, he could — in a moment, and don’t think such a person is unaware of this — charge her (or find someone to charge her) with parental kidnapping, put an arrest warrant out for her, and in the meantime get practically ANY family law judge in San Francisco — unless they had a personal grudge or other political reason to not do this — to switch sole custody to him, demand some sort or extradition, and/or have her thrown in jail if she came back to work things out.  And don’t think that this isn’t a possibility.  Maybe they would’ve worked it out — or maybe not.  But one thing’s for sure — I read a LOT of material put out by domestic violence groups, and have networked with hundreds, literally, of mothers over the years, and most of them were completely ambushed by the concept that appealing to domestic violence laws to protect themselves and kids, even if they were IN a battered womens’ shelter — was no shield at all for later transfer of their children to their abusers.  This is literally a third line of advocacy, now — “protective parents.”  So, while it did not NOW rise to that abusive level, it certainly could’ve later.

Yet in the eyes of Ivory Madison, Phil Bronstein, District Attorney George Gascon, and even the Director of La Casa de las Madres, once her husband had grabbed her arm, Eliana was simply no longer competent and her wishes were irrelevant.

In other words, an action done by a man, over which a woman has no control whatsoever, renders the woman incompetent and irrelevant, and empowers a long list of people — most of whom are male — to make decisions on this woman’s behalf, against her consistent and fervently expressed wishes. No one in the entire chain of people who made decisions on Eliana’s behalf offered her any help — besides prosecuting her husband

 How ironic — because it is literally true, and how I WISH someone would’ve intervened in this manner during the abusive years, while our kids were growing up, in a Bay Area County.   The most dangerous place for ME to be in that county was in my home, which was one reason I became an excellent networker and made sure to get those children into a variety of activities (“healthy,” they’d be called now) in nonabusive environments and connected with other kids their age and families, too.   Police came after incidents more violent than this one (I think — I wasn’t a witness to Eliana’s case) and didn’t arrest — ever.  So they left, and the violence continued, until finally I got out, before the “fatherhood”movement was in full swing — although it was definitly operational and almost prevented me from getting a restraining order at the time.  I hadn’t been assaulted recently enough (in part, because over time one learns how to avert, avoid, dodge and diffuse situations, i.e., live like a near-fugitive in one’s own home).  This man NEVER spent a night in jail on my behalf — but it’s quite likely that if he had, earlier on, he might have woken up and mended his ways.  Maybe.
My kids and I will never know, because no officer ever arrested him.  And now that he’s been very well informed that there will be NO prosecution beyond the initial restraining order with kickout type of even (apparently the DV organizations’ funding is tied to some sort of head count on “clients served”??) — my and my kids’ lives afterwards — though there was a noticeable improvement — no one could assault me IN my house — there has been stalking, serious, harassment around (times right before and right after) my work, repeated job losses surrounding this, and long-term litigation in the family law system, which utterly drained my resources, and finally stolen, then abandoned by their father, children.
So in light of that, I am in favor of more aggressive early intervention — although it’s not quite cldear to me how to label this high-profile case, except it highlights the hypocrisy of who is, and who is not, prosecuted.
Consider, however, if there’d been a subsequent argument around the same issue after Mirkarimi had been installed as sheriff and was still in that role.  How endangered might Eliana be at that time?  I have, literally, taken a phone call from a terrified women form a (DV) support group who had just learned that her (police officer) husband had been released.  She was headed off to a shelter.  Yes, law enforcement can be abusive –and plenty abusive.
From the same article, I want to address these two paragraphs, by Eliana’s friend Ms. Melgar, which make me wonder about her other professional connections in the area:
So here is the challenge to domestic violence advocates and progressive folks who care about women: A more progressive approach to Eliana and Ross’s particular situation, and to domestic violence in general, would be to work on emphasizing early, non-law enforcement intervention and the prevention of violence against women in addition to the necessary work of extricating women from dangerous situations
I.e., she is 100% unaware of one of the largest groups in the nation doing EXACTLY this — and based in San Francisco?  (the Family Violence Prevention Fund, formerly) — and yet has this Op-Ed in the Bay Guardian, a well-respected (progressive) publication?
Professor Laureen Snider at Queens University in Ontario has argued that criminalization is a flawed strategy for dealing with violence against women.
So what? if this person argued so?  And the one anecdote (ms. Melgar’s own life) which would indicate the re-socialization of men (in particular) to not assault family members actually worked in her case.  Perhaps along with the education cited in her case, her father was also aware that criminalization would get them all deported, and that was a factor in his change?   Meanwhile, in this particular area alone (and California, even moreso) we have ample evidence that this policy is a failure — women are still being shot, attacked, stabbed, beaten, burned, stalked, and sometimes put homeless — and what’s more, bystanders are now getting increasingly shot in the process too.  Seal Beach, California.  This has happened, moreover, around the arena of the family law and custody matters, and AFTER separation from violence!!
For the record, we are in the USA, and not Canada, and under a different system of law?  Got it?  They don’t have the Bill of Rights, to my understanding.  They have closer ties (i THINK – am beginning to wonder) to a country with a monarch!  And Dr. (Ph.D.) Snider is a sociologist.  Why would this writer bring in this viewpoint – are there no adequate viewpoints on this matter of an inbound sheriff violating domestic violence laws in the USA?

Laureen Snider

Laureen SniderDepartment of Sociology, Queen’s University, Canada

Laureen Snider, a Professor of Sociology at Queen’s University, has published numerous studies on corporate crime, regulation and governance including Bad Business: Corporate Crime in Canada (Nelson: 1993) and Corporate Crime: Contemporary Debates (University of Toronto Press, 1995, co-edited with Dr. Frank Pearce). Her present research centres on the asymmetries of surveillance, comparing the monitoring of employees versus that of employers (“theft of time”); and the surveillance capabilities of traditional police forces against traditional criminality (“crime in the streets”, versus those of regulatory agencies against corporate criminality (“crime in the suites”). Recent publications include: “But They’re Not Real Criminals”: Downsizing Corporate Crime” (in B. Schissel & C. Brooks, eds., Critical Criminology in Canada . Halifax: Fernwood, 2008: 263-86); “Economic Crimes”, (in J. Minkes and L. Minkes, eds.,Corporate and White-Collar Crime. London: Sage, 2008: 39-60), “Safety Through Punishment?”, (in M. Beare, ed., Honouring Social Justice, Honouring Dianne Martin. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008) and “Accommodating Power: The “Common Sense” of Regulators”, Social and Legal Studies 18(2), 2008 (forthcoming).

Faculty website: http://www.queensu.ca/sociology/?q=people/faculty/full-time/sniderl

Queens University, Ontario, Canada, is also a known hangout of some serious AFCC propaganda — In looking up Ms. Snider (who may or may not be involved in such things), the same brochure has a large inset designed to honoring Nicholas Bala (search my blog) in association with AFCC.  He is a definite supporter of PAS theory — i.e., minimizing child & wife abuse, or reframing it as NOT a criminal, but a “relationship” issue, as much as possible.  “Coincidentally” the international organization AFCC has a wide membership among relationship counselors and another psychological sorts, plus a clos connection to the fathers’ rights (= mens’ rights) movement in general, no matter what they “say” about how it’s all about the children…
http://law.queensu.ca/alumni/queensLawReports/lawReports2008.pdf  Here he is in this brochure, being honored (photo visible at the link):

Professor Nicholas Bala is introduced as the recipient of the Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award by Bill Howe, a board member of the Association of Family and Conciliatory Courts, at its 45th Annual Conference in Vancouver on May 29, 2008.

BALA RECOGNIZED FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO FAMILY AND DIVORCE LAW

On May 29, 2008, Bala received the Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award from the Association of Family and Conciliatory Courts (AFCC) in recognition of his outstanding work in family and divorce law. “I am deeply honoured by this recognition,” Bala said, “particularly in light of noteworthy contributions from previous winners.”

Bala became the first Canadian to win the award from the AFCC, an international organization of professionals involved in the family court system striving to empower families and promote healthier futures for children. Most of the award’s previous recipients were leading American researchers in the mental health field, including such scholars as Sanford Braver, Joan Kelly and Janet Johnston, whose work focused primarily on the effects of divorce on parents and children. . . .

In contradiction to the concept of “no-fault” divorce law…

As one of Canada’s leading family and children’s law scholars, Bala has a distinguished reputation for his innovative and traditional research methods and his diverse range of publications. Scholars in Canada and abroad frequently cite Bala, and Canadian lawyers and judges frequently quote his research. In its recent decision in R. v. D.B., the Supreme Court of Canada cited Bala’s work for the 25th time.

In addition to Bala’s traditional legal scholarship, much of his research draws from a variety of disciplines: he collaborates with psychologists, criminologists and social workers to address the problems children and families encounter within the justice system.

“I have not only been involved in consuming the research of social scientists about the justice system; I’ve helped to produce it,” Bala says. “My collaboration with mental health professionals and social scientists has allowed me to appreciate both the value—and the limitations—of their work for the justice system.”

Besides his interdisciplinary work with the Child Witness Project, Bala has been taking a closer look at how domestic violence is handled in the family-law arena. He has been working with three mental-health professionals {{Want to bet $100 they’re all AFCC members?  I could use a little extra cash to upgrade some of the blog….!}}} to produce a series of papers on this issue, and the group recently created a model to address the effects of family violence on the determination of child custody and access. **

**Jargon translation:   wife-beating is no reason to restrict a child who witnessed this having access to their biological father.  Let us do supervised visitation, etc.  — hence (in the US) HHS “Access/Visitation” funding, with help from the (also international) Children’s Rights Council, which developed the term “access” to replace the term “visitation.”   This model will be ADMINSTRATIVELY or PRACTICALLY begun (or has been already) and then other highly placed individuals (state by state in the US) will suggest — hey, why not make it a law?  (Example:  PA:  Commission on Justice Initiatives:  Changing the Culture of Custody).

The team’s article about their family-violence-assessment model, which was published in the most recent issue of the international journal Family Court Review, {{Co-produced with AFCC & Hofstra Univ. School of Law in NY}} is already being cited in a number of countries.

The Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award (Stanley Cohen being a principal in the development of AFCC) is Bala’s second major award in three years for his valuable research contributions. He won the Queen’s Prize for Excellence in Research in 2006 during an annual university-wide competition. For more information about this award, see “Nicholas Bala Wins Top University Research Prize” on page 2 of the 2007 issue of Queen’s Law Reports at http://law.queensu.ca/alumni/publications/lawReports2007.pdf

Last I heard, United State of America claims to be somewhat of a unique country, based on its Constitution, Bill of Rights, and reputation for freedom, right to trial by jury, protections of due process, etc. — people immigrate here for a better life.  We are labeled (or maybe were, not too long ago) the “leadership of the free world.”
So why this urgency to bring all our legal institutions — especially one dealing with families, and raising the next generations of children — into consonance with international standards, including socialist countries, countries such as the UK, which still maintain a Queen, a national religion, and until about 100 years ago, were about as imperialistic, colonizing and enslaving a country as could be found on the globe?  HUH?
And why is Ms. Melgar quoting someone who hangs out at a University which is known (at least as to family law) as an “AFCC safe harbor”?  Because she’s a feminist? California doesn’t have enough feminists to reference?    (The New Transparency group) (the Conversation:   Snider blurg:)

My major research interests lie in the intersection between knowledge, punishment and law. I have applied this in several substantive areas, in studies examining the poisoned water disaster in Walkerton, Ontario, the reception of knowledge claims on corporate crime, and the constitution of the punishable woman.

Experience

  • Professor of Sociology, Queen’s University – present

Education

  • Toronto University, B.A., M.A., Ph.D
Site “The Conversation” (Obviously I am just looking up Laureen Snider and wondering why she’s quoted in re: prosecution of a SF inbound sheriff):
OUR CHARTER
  • Give experts a greater voice in shaping scientific, cultural and intellectual agendas by providing a trusted platform that values and promotes new thinking and evidence-based research.
  • Unlock the knowledge and expertise of researchers and academics to provide the public with clarity and insight into society’s biggest problems.
  • Create an open site for people around the world to share best practices and collaborate on developing smart, sustainable solutions.
Not that it may be enforceable at this point, but I happen to live in a country where the underlying concept was NOT an “aristocracy of the experts” to solve social problems, but a government of “We the People” through institutions that limited any resurgence of the tyranny of religion, individual interests (including royalty from other countries), and, to the extent we have taxation, and pass laws, they are to come from our elected representatives, who are accountable to the people living here (i.e. ,citizens) — and are not to be imported laced with concepts NOT innate to the US, and for which it fought a serious “war for independence” — from Great Britain — in the 1770s!  ! !! (not a topic to be developed in this post, but there’s a lot more depth I’m learning these days about HOW we became a country of collective debt to an international banking cartel, etc. etc.)
 The matter at hand here has to do with an  official — appointed Sheriff – a government employee of the USA — not Canada.  have the discussion, but the prosecution, leadership and the dialogue around domestic violence advocacy groups here (mostly nonprofits which take some HHS funding, I’m fairly sure) is not an international matter — as pertains to should or should not it have been prosecuted…
 CONTINUING. . . . .  Bay Guardian article:
Snider argues that feminists and progressives have misidentified social control with police/governmental control. In other words, we are substituting one oppressor for another — and glossing over the fact that in the judicial system, poor people of color fare worse than white middle-class people. We have punted on (forward) the hard work education, and of shaping and reshaping men’s definitions of masculinity and violence, of the social acceptance of the subjugation of women, of violence against children. We have chosen to define success in the fight against domestic violence by women saved from horrible situations and incarceration rates for their abusers — rather than doing the difficult work of community and individual change necessary to prevent violence from happening in the first place
Perhaps Dr. Snider (who operates and was educated in Canada — exclusively — it seems, but shares through internet and other means (I don’t know) an international dialogue on certain issues of interest to her and them) is completely unaware of the heavily subsidized ‘Minnesota Program Development Fund,” the “Duluth Model,” the prevalence of the term “CCR” (COORDINATED COMMUNITY RESPONSE) in this country, thanks in great part to Ellen Pence, who, I note was college-educated also in Toronto:

Ellen Pence

Ellen Pence (1948 – January 6, 2012) was a scholar and a social activist. She co-founded the Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Project[1], an inter-agency collaboration model used in all 50 states in the U.S. and over 17 countries.[2] A leader in both the battered women’s movement and the emerging field of institutional ethnography, she was the recipient of numerous awards including the Society for the Study of Social Problems Dorothy E. Smith Scholar Activist Award (2008) for significant contributions in a career of activist research. . .

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Pence graduated from St. Scholastica in Duluth with a B.A. She was active in institutional change work for battered womensince 1975, and helped found the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in 1980.

She is credited with creating the Duluth Model of intervention in domestic violence cases, Coordinated Community Response (CCR), which uses an interagency collaborative approach involving police, probation, courts and human services in response to domestic abuse. The primary goal of CCR is to protect victims from ongoing abuse.[citation needed]

She earned her Ph.D in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 1996. She used institutional ethnography as a method of organizing community groups to analyze problems created by institutional intervention in families. She founded Praxis International in 1998 and was the chief author and architect of the Praxis Institutional Audit, a method of identifying, analyzing and correcting institutional failures to protect people drawn into legal and human service systems because of violence and poverty.[citation needed] Ellen pence died [RECENTLY] at the age of 63 , from breast cancer .

PRAXIS means “practices.”   Who is practiced upon?  (Sorry, this wasn’t brought before our voters — except it went through the US Reps House Appropriations Committee,  I guess. . . ..

Not before endorsing and propagating a system of educational institutions — taking public funding — based on social theory, and which have attracted a host of inappropriate misappropriations of public employees times, and which set up a built-in HIERARCHY — the exact OPPOSITE of what women, particularly mothers, leaving abuse need.  This hierarchy is a lose/lose situation for any person imagining he/she has enforceable, legal rights in the USA — as an INDIVIDUAL.   It sets up the hierarchy of the TEACHERS (for hire // mercenaries) versus the “TAUGHT.”

The social science THEORY that one can educate or train men out of violence is just taht — a theory.  It is also contrary to the american (USA) form of government, which is to expect people to keep an identifiable law, and maintain a fair process of assigning punishments for those who choose not to.  This means all people can be informed of WHAT their laws are — and leaves no room for speculations on the social  impact of father-absence, single-parenthood, or even violence against women — and then millions of $$ which the public (and private interests) fund to tinker with the demonstration projects each time they get it wrong.

Back to the C.W.Nevius article (top of post), which continues:

Witnesses save lives

“Most cases are not this public,” said Beverly Upton, executive director of San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium. “But if anyone made this more difficult, it was Ross Mirkarimi. There was a lot of activity trying to silence the witness, and that doesn’t usually happen. What we know is that witnesses coming forward saves lives.”

Mirkarimi was initially charged with three misdemeanors related to domestic violence and eventually reached an agreement to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment. Mayor Ed Lee also filed charges to permanently remove him from office.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/30/BANI1NSJ36.DTL#ixzz1quqyOPjT

FYI, I do not live in San Francisco (some may wonder), but have lived in the area for over two decades, and worked frequently in the city and in surrounding counties — both during and after my “domestic violence” marriage.  I notice that whenver there’s a high-profile event, here is this SF DVConsortium and Beverly Upton being consulted for help.  I never got any help from them, nor did I get ANY help from the Family Violence Prevention Fund, although, they do throw a great conference, and how validating to know that domestic violence is a health risk (like, I didn’t know that?).  It did NOTHING to address the ongoing violence enabled by the family law system to any and all mothers who, after doing the right thing, but having for some reasons, very persistent Exes — are thereafter psychologically, economically, legally and in other ways tortured (if not extorted) — in the custody realm.

This group apparently could care less, so long as they get their funds and keep up the reputation for protecting women from violence – without addressing the land mines ahead of them.   SEE MY BLOG!  no one gave me a federal fund to publicize this, and apparently the more other groups immunize themselves from DV rhetoric, the better it is for BOTH pro and con grantseekers.  So, here — for a quick update — this “Consortium” consorts in getting public grants to continue their agenda.  I gather this is a progressive agenda because it’s under the umbrella of the (very large) TIDES Foundation, which also sponsored the nonprofit “Stop Family Violence” — which appears (best I can tell) to consist of a website, and one or two professionals who got to fly around to conferences nationwide (Irene Weiser, i forget who the other person was) and now is perhaps inactive, although the website is still up there.

Members of this agency

aka SFDVC and/or DVC) founded in 1982, is a network of seventeen domestic violence service agencies that come together with the goal of providing high quality, coordinated and comprehensive services to San Francisco’s victims of domestic abuse. {{ABUSE?  or VIOLENCE?  Make up your mind!!}}

The services of the individual agencies include emergency shelter, transitional housing, crisis lines, counseling, prevention programs, education and legal assistance. Services are available in the many different languages of San Francisco’s diverse populations. One of the main activities of the SFDVC is networking. SFDVC agencies share information, learn about issues that impact their work and coordinate their services and activities with a particular focus on public funding, specifically coordinating grant proposals and conducting advocacy/lobbying of government departments as to the importance of funding domestic violence services.

The SFDVC is a nonprofit organization and a project of the Tides Center. The SFDVC is led by its co-chairs and committees. The SFDVC recognizes that San Francisco is a diverse city and domestic violence is a problem in all communities regardless of ethnicity, race, class, physical ability, religion, age, immigration and economic status, sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Obviously this is important work — HOWEVER — notice the collective grants-obtaining clout they have?  That must be HOW there has been such coordinated and collective silence on the fathers’ rights grants and movement I report, and so have other UNsponsored INDIVIDUALS.  Do they teach women about to file a kickout order about the upcoming Access/Visitation grants (in place, $10 million a year since 1996), how the Federal Incentives to the Child SUpport Enforcement system include running demonstration grants on how to increase noncustodial (father) time with the children, and how if they go on welfare, they are quite likely to be ex-parte consolidated into a divorce action, and thrown to the family court wolves, whose funding is MUCH larger?

NO — not last I heard.

Do they say anything about the organization AFCC, which practically runs the local Family Courts, let alone the Family Court Facilitators’ offices where people NOT as well-off financially (probably) than Ms. Lopez will end up seeking remedies?  AFCC publishes most of the brochures available there — and (I checked in recent years) the coverage of domestic violence issues is highly diminished.  So, what does that say about women’s right to know and make an INFormeD decision about whether to confront their batterer (sometimes with a civil protective order — not even mentioned in these dialogues), or call the police and hope a criminal one is instated?

LASTLY (and that’s enough for today!), I wanted to also show the Mayor Ed Lee catering to the FUTURES WITHOUT VIOLENCE organization, which currently owns prime real estate (or owns the organization that owns the real estate) in the SF Praesidio.  Futures without Violence, indeed.  The antidote to tyranny in our country (whether by domestic individuals within their family walls, or outside them by public officials) is a balance of powers between (1) the government and (2) the people, and fair enforcement of crimes against the state which jeopardize the safety of the public — which domestic violence DOES, and there’s plenty of evidence in the form of innocent bystanders shot, businesses disrupted, as well as responding police officers.  We live in one of the more violent countries in the world, in many levels, and despite decades of advocacy by DV groups, their inherent demand for public funds to “coordinate services” and educate — the world, essentially — they are not open to criticism from the street level about this agenda.

TOO BAD – it’s here, it’s coming and I’m not going to stop, if I can help, this outrage.  I have one-third of my adult life thrown down this rabbit hole ,and the concept of betrayal is absolutely high.  MSM is owned, and is never going to tell the whole story.  More bloggers are needed — bloggers that cite their sources where possible, and make sure that this situation is no longer covered up, or specially framed when it comes time to renew the funding for the VAWA act and the counterintuitive simultaneous funding of the next round of fatherhood/marriage etc. grants.  No wonder this keeps going on, perhaps — our society is so stressed and compartmentalized, and has been already pre-trained to have their income taxes garnished, so garnishing wages for child support is a short step away.  No privacy, no safety, and no justice.  Just more debt!

My parting shot, I think:  The Mayor that wants Mirkarimi out references Futures without Violence.  Label this:  “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours!”

Siana Hristova / The Chronicle
S.F. Mayor Ed Lee delivers the keynote address at a national domestic violence conference
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/30/BASJ1NSMGF.DTL#ixzz1qux42sTZ

Without mentioning Ross Mirkarimi by name, Mayor Ed Lee on Friday delivered an indirect rebuke of the man he suspended from the sheriff’s job after he pleaded guilty to a domestic-violence-related charge of false imprisonment of his wife.

The mayor made his remarks during a brief keynote address at a national conference on domestic violence under way in San Francisco sponsored by the Futures Without Violence organization.

Seizing on sentence

Mirkarimi was elected sheriff in November after serving seven years on the Board of Supervisors. He was sworn in to his new job on Jan. 8 and was arrested less than two weeks later for allegedly bruising his wife’s arm during a New Year’s Eve argument in front of their 2-year-old son. The district attorney charged him with misdemeanor domestic violence battery, dissuading a witness and child endangerment.

The new sheriff pleaded not guilty to those three counts, but on March 12, under a plea-bargain agreement, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment. He was sentenced to three years’ probation, weekly domestic violence intervention classes, and one day in jail with time served for when he showed up at the Hall of Justice for booking; he did not serve time behind bars.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/30/BASJ1NSMGF.DTL#ixzz1qv2FUQhL

I have yet to find out a news article actually naming who is the provider of the weekly classes!  But this whole deal sure does give us a picture of how political the entire field is.  NOT TO MENTION — that once they get their mileage and some funds (he has to take those classes, right?) with the case, and the press — these programs that didn’t teach a county supervisor how to behave to his wife — and I’ll bet he probably approved some of the programs too — are going to continue, with MSM coverage while the private tragedies, ongoing, and far larger in scope, danger to the women involved, and near-lethal or lethal — surrounding the insane institution of the family courts — will continue, probably.  Talk about rocking the power structure to the center– if THAT story got out, I seriously doubt MSM (mainstream media) would take it!
They are right to suspend the guy.  Not that there aren’t others in the area that ought to lose their nonprofit standing for simply not profiting the public — like the huge Futures without Violence!
Full Name: FUTURES WITHOUT VIOLENCE FEIN: 943110973
Type: Public Benefit Corporate or Organization Number: 1648791
Registration Number: 077397
Record Type: Charity Registration Type: Charity Registration
Issue Date: 12/31/2005 Renewal Due Date: 5/15/2011
Registration Status: Current Date This Status: 5/16/2007
Date of Last Renewal: 9/23/2010
Address Information
Address Line 1: 100 MONTGOMERY STREET, PRESIDIO – MAIN POST Phone:
Address Line 2:
Address Line 3:
Address Line 4: SAN FRANCISCO CA 94129
Annual Renewal Information
Fiscal Begin: 01-JAN-01
Fiscal End: 31-DEC-01
Total Assets: $8,143,898.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $10,345,721.00
RRF Received: 25-MAR-02
Returned Date:
990 Attached: Y
Status: Accepted
Fast forward 10 years, some additional Annie E. Casey participation and of course the concept of “Fatherhood” as a tool to prevent domestic violence (see my blog), and an institute (downloadable trainings?) to promote that concept:
Fiscal Begin: 01-JAN-09
Fiscal End: 31-DEC-09
Total Assets: $26,157,567.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $11,614,069.00
RRF Received: 12-AUG-10
Returned Date:
990 Attached: Y
Status: Accepted
Fiscal Begin: 01-JAN-10
Fiscal End: 31-DEC-10
Total Assets: $36,603,585.00
Gross Annual Revenue: $17,118,149.00
RRF Received: 14-JUN-11
Returned Date:
990 Attached: Y
Status:
The extra $10 million in ASSETS between 2009 & 2010 is most likely the acquisition of the real estate at the Praesidio.  I dare you to look at their (rejected) tax return to the IRS, and figure out why it was rejected (letter uploaded to the same site).  this is the Office of Attorney General’s site, and anyone can search through it, and should:

(STATE CHARITABLE RETURN FOR 2009) FORM RRF-I INFORMATION REGARDING GOVERNMENT FUNDING STATEMENT 14 ART B, LINE 6

  • U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAM 810 7TH STREET NW, 5TH FLOO~ WASHINGTON, DC 20531 NEELAM PATEL, 202-353-4338  — AMOUNT   $2.9 million
  • U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 370 L’ENFANTE PROMENADE, 6Tl FLOOR
  • WASHINGTON, DC 20447  — AMOUNT  $1.5 million
  • U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DHUMAN SERVICES INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE 801 THOMPSON AVENUE ROCKVILLE, MD 20852 — AMOUNT $86K
  • NATIONAL COUNCIL OF JUVENIL! AND FAMILY COURT JUDGES P.O. BOX 8970 RENO, NV 89507  — AMOUNT $91K
  • OTHER GOVERNMENT GRANTS (whose?)  AMOUNT $30K
  • TOTAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING  $ 4,649,368
(that was year 2009)….
the heavy involvement of the US HHS and the NCJFCJ — which is a family court organization (and, the current head of the office of VAW, Susan D. Carbon, used to be president of the NCJFCJ, I heard) — ensures that no real critical analysis of the feminist backlash in the family court system is going to take place — that would be biting the hand that feeds them!
There were (year 2009) TEN (10) paid directors of this NONprofit — and their combined regular compensation was about $1.6 million, with Esta Soler’s being the largest salary ($234K & $71K “other”), and the lowest of any of the others being $112K.   If you add “other compensation” for all ten, the total is NEARLY $THREE MILLION  ($3 mil).
In addition, campaign /project manager professionals — $428,323….three individuals.
There are (moreover– see that tax returns), TWO real estate LLCs and ONE real estate “C-Corp” (an “Inc.”) with the word Praesidio in them, at the same street address (383 Rhode Island #304, SF) of the then-FVPF.  At least one of these is 100% owned by FVPF.
Futures without Violence is international in scope, but heavily supported — year after year (actually decade after decade it seems — I think it began ca. 1989) by US taxpayers, while being itself free from income tax (as a corporation) and investing in real estate.  GO FIGURE!  They are living “high on the hog” and running the show, while men, women and children around them continue to get molested, have their income, lives and assets SQUANDERED through ongoing litigation in the family law arena, which is funded in good part by similar corporations behind this monster DV agency.
I have heard Esta Soler speak, and she’s impressive.  What they have done is impressive.  However it doesn’t compensate for the intrinsic disparity of influence between this group — and actual mothers who need protection and help, and to keep their kids away from violent fathers — AND vice versa.
AND — in 2010 — they decided not to report their Schedule B — List of Contributors, including names and addresses (see amounts, above).  The notice was sent to the group in August 2011 — and the situation apparently has not yet been corrected.  Nor did they send in their annual $225 fee (notice also sent August 2011).  Perhaps this group is going to pull up roots, sell its real estate to a foreign-based corporation and simply stop dealing with the American law and order system entirely.
It should be looked into. It’s not too big to look into.   Why do we need a multimillion$$ NONprofit to run campaigns and things like “Coaching Boys into Men” — that’s the job of schools and parents.  take that money down and make better schools, or almost any situation might be preferable.
Publicize the actual LAWS against such violence on their sites and teach pastors, teachers, and others to report.  I reported to plenty of individuals in mandatory reporting positions during my marriage.  None of them, for the most part, did much.  They must have figured out it was someone else’s job.
Can you imagine running a ‘Batterers Intervention Class” for Ross Mirkarimi?  And can we imagine that a politician of this stature couldn’t convince anyone that he’s absorbed and believed the material?  There’s a LOT more than meets the eye to this case.  I’m glad he got suspended, not that this would have made him an inappropriate county supervisor or other political leader.  Just not sheriff!!

“Three Cities that Rule” Factoids — Bet You Hadn’t thought of This…

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And I was wondering why hunting down Washington, D.C. doings is like chasing the wind – – – – – why more than half the Congressmen in U.S. are millionaires, and they seem to be intent that while their own wealth is NOT from jobs, we must try to get OURs from jobs.

The real reason being, the debt will never get balanced anyhow, not with the interest.

From “Prisonplanet” forum, thread “Empire cities:  Three Cities that Rule The World.”

It’s pretty darned important to figure out whether or not any legal basis exists for anything we (civilians) are trying to get done in the courts, wouldn’t it make sense?

>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City-stateVatican City (A Sovereign City-State)
Main article: Vatican City
Until 1870, the city of Rome had been controlled by the pope as part of his “papal states”. When King Victor Emmanuel II annexed the city in 1870, Pope Pius IX refused to recognize the newly formed Kingdom of Italy. Because he could not travel through a place that he did not admit existed, Pius IX and his successors each claimed to be a “Prisoner in the Vatican”, unable to leave the 0.44 km² (0.17-square mile) papal enclave once they had ascended the papal thrones.
The impasse was resolved in 1929 by the Lateran Treaties negotiated by the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini between King Victor Emmanuel III and Pope Pius XI. Under this treaty, the Vatican was recognized as an independent state, with the pope as its head. The Vatican City State has its own citizenship, diplomatic corps, flag, and postal system[clarification needed]. With a population of less than 1,000, it is by far the smallest sovereign country in the world, and widely recognized internationally as such.
“Macro History site”
title

Nationalism and Empire within Europe, 1850-1900

Romania and Italy; discontent in Ireland; the Austro-Prussian War; Austria-Hungary and nationalism; Franco-Prussian War and German unification;
the Balkans and path toward Europe’s Great War of 1914; Germany seeks alliances

The Papacy Loses Rome and Latium

With the fall of Napoleon III in September 1870, the Pope lost the protection of French troops for his territory of Rome and Latium. On September 20, 1870, troops sent by Italy entered Rome. Pope Pius IX refused to accept Italy’s occupation of the city, and he withdrew to his palace at the Vatican and declared himself a prisoner. Italy annexed Rome on January 18, 1871, and King Victor Emmanuel saw the unification of Italy complete. Addressing Italy’s parliament he said:

The work to which we consecrated our life is accomplished. After long trials of expiation Italy is restored to herself and to Rome.

On May 13, Italy issued its Law of Guarantees, which left papacy with the Vatican and other palaces. On May 15, Pope Pius IX responded with an encyclical, stating:

When We were defeated by Our enemies in accordance with the mysterious design of God, We observed the severely bitter fortunes of Our City and the downfall of the civil rule of the Apostolic See in the face of military invasion …

We are suffering to be established and to thrive to the ruin of all authority and order. May God unite all rulers in agreement of mind and will. By removing all discord, claiming the disturbance of rebellions, and rejecting the ruinous counsels of the sects, may these rulers join in a common effort to have the rights of the Holy See restored. Then tranquility will once again be restored to civil society. [note]

City of London (A Non-Sovereign City-State)
See also: City of London Corporation
Although the City of London (a geographically small city within Greater London) is not commonly considered a city-state, it does have a unique political status (sui generis), a legacy of its uninterrupted integrity as a corporate city since the Anglo-Saxon period and its singular relationship with the Crown. Historically, its system of government was not unusual, but it was not reformed by the Municipal Reform Act 1835.
It is administered by the City of London Corporation, headed by the Lord Mayor of the City of London (not the same post as the more recent Mayor of London, who presides over Greater London). The City of London is a ceremonial county too, although instead of having its own Lord-Lieutenant, the City of London has a Commission, headed by the Lord Mayor, exercising this function.
(LGH insert here:::)
(hover, to see how many things are situated so close.  “B” is the corporation….)

Washington, D.C. (A Non-Sovereign City-State)

Not being part of any U.S. state, Washington, D.C.’s government operates under authority derived from the U.S. federal government. The city (generally referred to as “the District) is run by an elected mayor and a city council. The council is composed of 13 members: one elected from each of the eight wards and five members, including the chairman, elected at large. The council conducts its work through standing committees and special committees established as needed. District schools are administered by a chancellor, who is appointed by the mayor; in addition, a superintendent of education and a board of education are responsible for setting some educational policies. There are 37 elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners that provide the most direct access for residents to their local government. The commissioners are elected by small neighborhood districts, and their suggestions are given “great weight” by the city council and city agencies. However, the U.S. Congress has the ultimate plenary power over the District. It has the right to review and overrule laws created locally and has often done so. The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which grants to states all rights not belonging to the federal government, does not apply to the District. Residents of the District do not have voting representation in the U.S. Congress.

UNBELIEVABLE.  People who live in washington, D.C. have NO congressional representatives and do not live in any of the 50 united states…

I keep telling women (and men) to think in terms of corporation & business / sales when they want legal reform.  Looks like I should’ve been looking a little higher up myself.   What comes to mind is — what kind of people have the time to unearth and post all this stuff?  (childless singles without a social life? noncustodial parents?  the independently OK, but not actually wealthy?)

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The Roots of Welfare DeForm — An Off-Road List of Links — and the Virtues of Educating Oneself

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At bottom are the links from the blog  “The Family Court Franchise System.”  In one of the recent posts I said, “I’m not your mother” and suggested people educate themselves.  Plus two interesting links, “Educate Yo’self” and “Educate Yourself” which is where I got part of my education.

Where I got the habit of educating myself goes far back — but in these matters, it came from having relied on others’ information, which — though true enough — was (1) not the overview– critical elements were missing, and (2) given what was missing, almost irrelevant.  Instead they (includes Lundy Bancroft, and classic DV rhetoric) talked psychology and group dynamics and some law — something anyone living through what I did has already figured out (though how nice to have the correct terminology).

But they should’ve talked finances — and corporate influence, federal incentives, and private nonprofit associations running demonstration social science projects on as many POOR people (or other distressed populations) as possible, allegedly for the public’s benefit, and definitely at the public’s expense.  In fact, public and private are so blurred at this point, it might be best to ignore what the law says about domestic violence and criminal behavior, and rebuttable presumptions against custody going to the batterer (after all — plenty of judges, family law attorneys, custody evaluators, guardians ad litem and child support professionals most certainly do.  And we have to deal with them anyhow, so why not figure out what’s going on!

ROUGHLY in TWO PARTS:  I.  “EDUCATE YOURSELF” — and several examples.  And then II. (as to the Roots of Welfare) — some links to do so.  (under 7,000 words this time).  That’s if you care to.  I’m not your babysitter, I do this for conscience, possibly for therapy, and for a track record. But they are — as this shows — hauling off (kidnapping) children systematically from good parents, to get drugged under foster care.  They are, when there are two parents fighting for custody, able to prolong and make horrible the fight for years — and so “justify” major grants continuations (under TANF, which makes this possible) to promote marriage and fatherhood, and other very chauvinistic (antifeminist) ideas.  At the heart of this is the concept that it’s OK to force indoctrination (“education”) on poor people to address why they are poor, that the elite are appropriate in “molding” the poor — through force — to understand their function and place in society.  Religion is a good aid to this policy.

Too much of this policy comes from places like the British monarchy, or the Nazi apparatus, or prior to that, Prussian educational ideas.  Too much of it depends on free time to philosophize on the backs of workers that barely make ends meet and have far less freedom or mobility simply because they have no family wealth (assets), whether earned, or inherited.  Add to this things like eminent domain (government condemning, then seizing, then selling to cronies, private property) and we’re headed back towards the concentrations camps.  Depending on when “Judgment Day” comes — or does not.  Whatever the status of “judgment day” — there is nothing “just” or equitable about Welfare Reform, which enables flexible grants to the states, and gives bribes to states for going along with federal policy.  Federal policy rubberstamped by Congress — but managed by the Executive Branch (White House and friends) through a grants system.  The grants system itself is based on the TAX system — and there you go.

This is commonly called fascism ,centralization and we know already where that heads off to.

I know what dictatorship is at the family level, the personal level — and am pretty hot and bothered to see how far down the line it is at the national level as well.  When one’s life’s work is repeatedly interrupted, and finally stopped — talking about the essential things one has done in life — one has to rethink the “hold a job til retirement model,” particularly being a female of a certain age in the USA, Post-Bush1 & Bush 2.

(Read PART I, those comments will make more sense).

PART I

Educate Yo’self was actually the domain name of a link someone else passed along.  What a source!

The Declaration of Independence – 1776
The Articles of Confederation – 1777
The Constitution for the United States – 1787
Its Sources and Its Application

Commitment One: To Freedom

The commitment of greatest importance is a DEDICATION To FREEDOM at all levels of society, and in all dimensions of our existence.

A commitment to freedom, at all levels, is automatically a commitment to Rigorous Honesty, the Truth of Reality. After all, once freedom is insured, why would one need to lie?

Any “security” that is gained through loss of freedom is a Commitment to Fear. Any nation that puts “national security” above personal freedom has lost its power base

And, tidbits such as (from 2008 — an election year. Worth a review this year?):

545 People Responsible for America’s Woes
by Charley ReeseHave you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits? Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don’t write the tax code. Congress does. You and I don’t set fiscal policy. Congress does. You and I don’t control monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices – 545 human beings out of the 300 million – are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered but private central bank.

. . . .Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault.    . . .

REPLACE THE SCOUNDRELS . . .

They continue to re-authorize the bastard child called “Welfare Reform,” which has simply expanded the ways to steal from the public, without proper monitoring, to infinity.  Go review the beginnings of the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative (I’ve blogged).  Or, how from state to state, the We, the People method of disciplining criminal judges (leaving ethical ones on the bench) — which was the grand jury — was replaced by “judicial complaint boards.”

It was passed in 1996, a Bill Clinton year.  See “From the Transvaal to TANF” talking about “triangulation” and how Clinton promoted this version of the “contract with America” as inbetween and somehow “above” party politics.  The fact is, the Republicans had succeeded in shutting down government over this, his ass was in trouble with Monica Lewinsky, and there was the Hillary problem; in fact there were plenty of problems.

The “Transvaal’ refers to Cecil Rhodes.  Bill Clinton, among others, was a Rhodes Scholar.   The purpose of the Rhodes Scholarship, and the beyond-my-liftime-goal of Mr. Rhodes, was to regain the British control of the world, particularly the return of “the US colonies” to their master.  Some people were born to lead, others were born to serve, obviously.  Now, fast-forward to TANF reform and look at who it’s targeting for program indoctrination on how to stay married, and quit propagating outside of marriage, etc.

The fact is, were it not for the artificial income tax / fiat currency situation (our $$ is off the gold standard), were it not the need for extremely wealthy corporations to maintain their wealth by a constant flow of competition for jobs in their industries (i.e., keep wages down, profits up) and to through a HUGE variety of means — including trying to designate everyone, almost, a behavioral health case, and where possible, proscribe some nice medication for them (i.e., control by medication, even sterilization) — it would be a piece of cake for an intelligent, motivated and in control of her own infrastructure single mother (or single father) to handle their own affairs.

One of the affairs the largest mistakes made by OUR forebears (generally speaking of USA citizens), over a century ago, was to hand over the raising of our kids to the government in the form of compulsory public education — which is compulsory time-wasting and dumbing down, and has been for decades.  It’s an ABSOLUTE disgrace and has become simply a values battleground anyhow.    And as to equalization — go check your senators — and all the representatives in the state — how many of them are sending their kids to public schools, and were themselves the product of public schools.  How many of them came from honest working backgrounds and were not raised with a silver spoon, or a political spoon?

Some of the greatest minds and leaders had the least traditional schooling — for themselves.   Horace Mann fits that example, and it appears 1837 was the first year there was a “Secretary of Education” at least in massachusetts.  Now we have a Secretary of Health and Human Services (more control over this country than you realize, and the current one is from Kansas), plus the “Czars” — interesting term, huh?  Look at him:

HORACE MANN‘s SCHOOLING

” The Father of American Education”,” Horace Mann, was born in Franklin, Massachusetts, in 1796. Mann’s schooling consisted only of brief and erratic periods of eight to ten weeks a year. Mann educated himself by reading ponderous volumes from the Franklin Town Library. This self education, combined with the fruits of a brief period of study with an intinerant school master, was sufficient to gain him admission to the sophomore class of Brown University in 1816” (4, Cremin). He went on to study law at Litchfield Law School and finally received admission to the bar in 1823 (15, Filler). In the year 1827 Mann won a seat in the state legislature and in 1833 ran for State Senate and won.” Throughout these years Horace Mann maintained a thriving law practice, first in Dedham and later in Boston” (5, Cremin).

” Of the many causes dear to Mann’s heart, non was closer than the education of the people. He held a keen interest in school policy. April 20, 1837, Mann left his law practice and accepted the post of the newly founded Secretary of Education” (6, Cremin). During his years as Secretary of Education Mann published twelve annual reports on aspects of his work and programs, and the integral relationship between education, freedom, and Republican government. He wanted a school that would be available and equal for all, part of the birth-right of every American child, to be for rich and poor alike. Mann had found “social harmony” to be his primary goal of the school. (8, Cremin).

Horace Mann felt that a common school would be the “great equalizer.” Poverty would most assuredly disappear as a broadened popular intelligence tapped new treasures of natural and material wealth. He felt that through education crime would decline sharply as would a host of moral vices like violence and fraud. In sum, there was no end to the social good which might be derived from a common school (8, Cremin).

SO — how’d you say THAT’s going?  Because in Los Angeles, they had a schoolteacher feeding blindfolded teaspoons of his own semen.  THIRD-graders.  Has poverty, violence and fraud been primarily despite the school system, or perhaps as a consequence of it?
Horace Mann had one thing — freedom.  He had another thing — access to the library.  He was also male, and he could vote — it was another century, from his passing the bar (1823) before women could!  Rather than trying to train a nation (how egotistical!), what about establish these basic rights, and make available justice (and libraries).
Horace Mann and Education Reform
Reformers, some influenced by the Prussian education reforms of the early 1800s, emerged at an incredible rate hoping to change the general form and ideals of American education to keep up with the evolving country. No longer would small rural schoolhouses, untrained teachers, or limitations in education opportunities suffice. A more defined system, which, as Mann and others had hoped, would also be free and universal, slowly garnered both grassroots and governmental support. The goal was to mold individuals from all socio-economic backgrounds into good people and good citizens through education. It was believed that in doing so everyone would be able to achieve to their fullest potential.
I would always much rather see a sermon than hear one.   Moreover, we ought to take care about importing Prussian OR German ideas.  Germans tend to be real organized, excessively so, — and I think it’s fair to say, Centralized. There is a LOT of literature out, particularly I’m thinking about Alice Miller, and “The Drama of the Gifted Child,” (d. 2010; she was a Swiss psychoanalyst, the book is about the consequences of repressed trauma)– talking about how the attempts to “mold” good strong citizens with cruel child-rearing practices (from Germany) may have helped created the cruel, socially-detached, amoral child molesters and sociopaths of today that we are now cleaning up after.
Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment
And yet, we have in TANF, a government intent on even more education of the public — in morality issues like fatherhood, marriage, abstinence, and so forth.  The truth is — at least as to TANF — I believe it’s simply another form of wealth-transfer; and it’s a VERY high profit-margin on downloading information by the internet, setting up a franchise system, having people BUY into it to be qualified as a marriage educator (etc.) — it was a real smart development for some very dishonest people.

What about Ben Franklin? (1706-1790)– was he adequately schooled?  Methinks not:

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston on January 17, 1706. He was the tenth son of soap maker, Josiah Franklin. Benjamin’s mother was Abiah Folger, the second wife of Josiah. In all, Josiah would father 17 children.

Josiah intended for Benjamin to enter into the clergy. However, Josiah could only afford to send his son to school for one year and clergymen needed years of schooling. But, as young Benjamin loved to read he had him apprenticed to his brother James, who was a printer. After helping James compose pamphlets and set type which was grueling work, 12-year-old Benjamin would sell their products in the streets.

What about Albert Einstein’s schooling?(1879-1955) (from a UK site): (take some time, here…)

Albert Einstein was born on 14th March, 1879 at Ulm, Germany. He spent his early life in Munich, where his family owned a small manufacturing business. He studied Judaism at home, where he also was taught to play the violin. He showed a great interest in Mathematics and taught himself Euclidian geometry at the age of 12.

What sort of education did Albert receive?

Albert Einstein began school in Munich, but does not seem to have been particularly interested in what was offered there. . .

He was already a self-motivated learner, with experience in (I presume) language, music, and geometry.  Are schools BORING the gifted? along with how many others?

Einstein hoped to become an electrical engineer and, at the second attempt, enrolled at the Swiss National Polytechnic in Zurich in 1896.

It seems that he continued to show little respect for his teachers, as he was not a regular attender at lectures. He spent considerable time studying physics on his own. Despite the lack of time in lecture halls, he graduated as a teacher of physics and mathematics in 1900, but was unable to obtain a post in the university. It has been suggested that he had not impressed his professors enough, which is perhaps not surprising, given his attitude, and so did not receive their all-important backing for an academic career.

Perhaps this lack of respect comes from someone who found something better to do with his time, working on self-assigned projects of interest.

What did he do next?

Albert Einstein became a temporary teacher of mathematics, first at the Technical High School in Winterthur, and secondly at a private school at Schaffhausen.

In 1902 he began work at the Swiss patent office in Bern as a technical expert third class. He remained there until 1909, having been promoted, in 1906, to technical expert second class! He married Mileva Maric, by whom he had two sons, in 1903. They later divorced.

During his time there, Albert Einstein devoted a great deal of his spare time to the study of theoretical physics, and in 1905, received his doctorate for a thesis entitled On a new determination of molecular dimensions. He also published three important papers on theoretical physics

 Anyone who’s honest today will admit that a major function of public school education is babysitter — to soak up the TIME of individuals so their parents (both their parents, if there are two) can go to work and pay their taxes to fund the teachers, among other things (or pay off some interest on the national debt).  As such, the kids (and youth) in school are going to have other things they would rather be doing, and/or exploring — so a good deal of the school day goes into administration and managing the kids.  And (now at least) running mental health screenings on them to see if some drugs can be marketed (see recent whistleblower on TMAP, PennMAP, who documented this).   More on Einstein:

In 1952, he declined the offer of the presidency of Israel and continued his work towards the world renouncing nuclear weapons.

Albert Einstein died on 18th April, 1955 at Princeton and was cremated that day at Trenton, New Jersey. He is, perhaps, the best known scientist of the 20th century

And just imagine — he was bored in school from the start, skipped a lot of classes, didn’t brown-nose enough in Swiss National Polytechnic around the turn of the century, resulting in his having a fairly humble job which left him time to study things of personal interest — eventually a Nobel Prize, etc. What does public education in the US do today?  Soak up time, DELETE a lot of music because not enough children are learning to read and write, substitutes values education, and when that (obviously) fails, recommend more money and start kids earlier and have longer school days and years.
The existence of the public school system, and its lower quality, is a caste-sorter, and intentionally so.   Where did our politicians go to school, prior to sponsoring initiatives to train the rest of us about the purpose of life, relationships, sex, and what and what is not healthy?  For example (to bring us to 2012 Presidential Candidacy, and which conservative do you want….)
Mitt Romney went to a private school from 7th grand onwards, where he met his wife, who also attended private schools.  Described as (Wikipedia):
Cranbrook Schools is a private, PK–12 school located on a 319-acre (1.29 km2) campus in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The schools comprise a co-educational elementary school, a middle school with separate schools for boys and girls, and a co-educational high school with boarding facilities  …Romney went to public elementary schools[17] and then from seventh grade on, attended Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, a private boys preparatory school of the classic mold where he was the lone Mormon and where many students came from even more privileged backgrounds.[18][23][24][25] He was not particularly athletic and at first did not excel at academics.[18] While a sophomore, he participated in the campaign in which his father was elected Governor of Michigan.[nb 2] 
Cranbrook Schools is a private, PK–12 school located on a 319-acre (1.29 km2) campus in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The schools comprise a co-educational elementary school, a middle school with separate schools for boys and girls, and a co-educational high school with boarding facilities. Cranbrook Schools is part of the Cranbrook Educational Community (CEC), which includes the Cranbrook Institute of Science, the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and Cranbrook House and Gardens. (Nearby Christ Church Cranbrook remains outside this formal structure.) The Cranbrook community was established by publishing mogul George Booth,
 Cranbrook was designated a National Historic Landmark on June 29, 1989 for its significant architecture and design. It attracts tourists from around the world. Approximately 40 acres (160,000 m2) of Cranbrook Schools’ campus are gardens.  As of 2006, Cranbrook Schools had an endowment of $191 million, among the 15 largest held by America’s boarding schools.[1] In addition, the Cranbrook Educational Community, of which the Schools is a member, has an endowment in excess of $300 million.[2]
Where did he get his wife from?

Ann Lois Romney (née Davies) (born April 16, 1949) is the wife of American businessman and Republican Party politician Mitt Romney. From 2003 to 2007 she was First Lady of Massachusetts.

She was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and attended the private Kingswood School there, where she dated Mitt Romney. Influenced by their relationship, she converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1966. She attended Brigham Young University and married Mitt Romney in 1969. She completed her undergraduate education through the Extension School at Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in 1975.

As First Lady of Massachusetts, she served as the governor’s liaison for federal faith-based initiatives.

Now THAT is disturbing . . . .

Her background — daughter of the mayor of Bloomfield Hills, who was anti-organized religion.  So, she converts to LDS (like Mitt) and her college is put on hold while he completes his.   Their marriage, being Mormon:

Ann Davies and Mitt Romney were married by a church elder in a civil ceremony on March 21, 1969, at her Bloomfield Hills home, with a reception afterward at a local country club.[4][12] The following day the couple flew to Utah for a wedding ceremony inside the Salt Lake Temple; her family could not attend since they were non-Mormons, but were present at a subsequent wedding breakfast held for them across the street.[4][14]

When she fell ill, she had access to mainstream and alternative treatments for MS (a very serious disease) — such as equestrianism.  Suppose this had been one of her children — they’d have had that access also.

Ann was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998 and has credited a mixture of mainstream and alternative treatments with giving her a lifestyle mostly without limitations. In one of those activities, equestrianism, she has consequently received recognition in dressage as an adult amateur at the national level and competing professionally in Grand Prix as well
The topic is EDUCATION DISPARITIES by WEALTH — as contrasted with Horace Mann’s vision:
By contrast with the ONE child of a black single mother (also in Michigan), who — on finding out that her daughter, having developed complications possibly related to a vaccine, then was given Risperdal — and when that had even worse effects, like any good Mom, she took her child OFF it — and then all hell (including with tanks and helicopters) eventually took place.  (Link is below).  It “just so happened’ that the community they lived in was supposed to do what it was told with their kids, and not buck the system or seek — as Mrs. Romney could — non-mainstream ways to stay alive or keep their kids alive and healthy.  That’s cause for losing one’s kid to the state, apparently.
Ron Paul Op-Ed on Ms. Godboldo in context of overmedication of chidlren in foster care, forced mandatory psychiatric screening of children (think they get that in the Cranbrook Educational Community nowadays?):

“No Mandatory Mental Health Screening For Children!” by Ron Paul

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 Op-Ed by Congressman Ron Paul

Maryanne Godboldo, a mother in Michigan, noticed that pills prescribed by her daughter’s doctor were making her condition worse, not better. So Mrs. Godboldo stopped giving them to her. That’s when the trouble began. When Child Protective Services (CPS) bureaucrats became aware that the girl was not receiving her prescribed medication, they decided the child should be taken away from her mother’s custody on grounds of medical neglect. When Ms. Godboldo refused to surrender her daughter to the state, CPS enlisted the help of a police SWAT team! On March 24 of this year a 12 hour standoff ensued and young Ariana was taken into custody. The drug involved was Risperdal, a neuroleptic antipsychotic medication with numerous known side effects. Ms. Godboldo had decided on a more holistic approach for her daughter. She is still engaged in a costly legal battle with the state over Ariana’s treatment and custody.

This is one example of how government’s increasing proclivity to medicate children with questionable psychiatric drugs violates the rights of parents. Just recently, the Government Accountability Office released a report on the astonishingly high rate of prescriptions for psychotropic drugs for children in the foster care system. It is absolutely astounding that nearly 40% of kids in foster care are on psychotropic drugs, some of them taking up to 5 different pills at a time. Some of these children are under one year of age – too young to safely take over the counter cold medication!

 Another account:

Ethan A. Huff,
Natural News
December 15, 2011

The horrific saga of Maryanne Godboldo’s battle with domestic terrorists in the government of her home state of Michigan appear to finally be coming to an end. TheDetroit Free Pressreports that two higher courts have confirmed the ruling of a lower court several months ago that Godboldo’s refusal to administer the dangerous Risperdal drug to her daughter was fully legal, and that all charges and actions taken against her by the state were unwarranted.

In case you missed the story, Child Protective Services (CPS) in Michigan sent a SWAT team and tank to Godboldo’s Detroit home back in April after the mother refused to keep giving her 13-year-old daughter Risperdal (risperidone), a dangerous schizophrenia drug that had been causing her daughter to experience severe adverse reactions. Godboldo’s doctor had recommended that she discontinue use of the drug, but CPS felt otherwise, and decided to launch a full-scale terrorist raid on the woman’s home, where they proceeded to illegally kidnap her daughter (http://www.naturalnews.com/032090_M…).

In one of the series of articles on this raid, the demographics of the community spoke loudly as to what happened.  It wouldn’t happen in a gated community, and I’ll bet it wouldn’t happen in Bloomfield Hills, either.  However, another clue shows up in this (april 2011) article — not only was this woman acting — in accord with the doctor’s advice to stop Risperdal — not only was she single and African-American, she was also homeschooling her daughter!
Godboldos focus on daughter’s release:  April 17, 2011, The Michigan Citizen, Eric T. Campbell
“This case is very simple,” Defense Attorney Allison Fomar told the Michigan Citizen. “The child was taken out of the home without any legitimate, lawful authority. They took her in the most drastic way they could think of, which was to involve Detroit police.

. . .Ariana has been in state custody since March 25 without medication.

“If the issue was medication, where is the justice?” Penny said. “Why isn’t she home with her father right now? He has complete authority after Maryanne. To me, they sent her into harms way.”

Penny {{the mother’s sister and a dance teacher at Margrove College}} says her niece was active and normal growing up in a home-schooled environment. She was active in church and received lessons in piano and horseback riding.   “There were absolutely no mental issues with her until she had the immunizations and even more with the Risperdal,” Penny said. “It’s been a hell ever since.”

Ron Scott of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality  . . .“The child has a father and an aunt and that’s where the mother thought the child was going when she released her,” Scott said. “Judge Pierce says she’s an advocate for families, so we’ll see what happens.”

According to Scott, CPS knew the daughter was doing fine without Risperdal and she was not considered an imminent danger to herself or anyone else. 

August, in this same case (good article — read it all!)

JURY RULES AGAINST MARYANNE GODBOLDO IN CUSTODY TRIAL

Posted on 08/16/2011 by Diane Bukowski

DETROIT – Despite testimony that Mia Wenk, a “social services specialist” with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, authorized the  psychiatric hospitalization of Ariana Godboldo-Hakim, 13, and the administration of four dangerous psychotropic drugs, without reviewing the child’s  medical records, a jury found Aug. 9 that it was Ariana’s mother Maryanne Godboldo who had neglected her.

Godboldo, who obtained alternative holistic treatment for her daughter from a medical doctor, testified earlier that she was suffering from a reaction to immunizations administered in Sept. 2009. She said Ariana had been diagnosed with encephalitis, not a psychiatric disorder. Neither she nor Ariana’s father Mubarak Hakim authorized their daughter’s treatment at Hawthorn Children’s Psychiatric facility after an army of police seized her from her home on Blaine near Linwood in Detroit March 24, 2011. 

Wenk said that as she watched the stand-off with police that resulted at Ariana’s home, her only concern was, “I didn’t want her to end up shooting her daughter.”**  Wenk is currently facing a federal lawsuit  filed by Nathaniel Brent (see next story) for taking his five children, who are of Native American heritage.

Captions: Maryanne Godboldo speaks at rally July 17, 2011 . . . Children’s Center recruits foster parents in billboard off John C. Lodge Fwy.; they are paid $34 per day per head by DHS for each child they take

(**Wenk provoked the crisis to start with, which seems to be pretty standard protocol, where possible to get away with.   It also signifies a serious attitude problem, job description or no job description.   In this situation, they simply didn’t reckon with an armed mother, and a supportive community expressing its outrage AND investigative reporting on it!  The problem is the presence of a system which enables this.  That the SWAT team would come in this situation shows that Wenk and friends hold far too much sway.  Meanwhile, over in Connecticut, a little boy (and across the country this is happening) is being tortured with symptoms BOTH medical and behavioral, as attested to by doctors — and the GAL in the case still has custody with the father who is doing this!  WHy not remove THAT child?) (Answer:  money in the family hasn’t been sucked out yet. See CT page on my other blog).

I keep finding more — and very disturbing — information on this case.  First of all — we note that this is a mature mother, not a teen mother (see photo, and article below says she’s in her 50s).  She is dedicated to taking care of her daughter who is an amputee, and was doing a good job of it; the troubles began with a school-required vaccination, and reactions to it.   And although parents are separated, this was not a case which could be played Mom VERSUS Dad.

Police use Assault Weapons and Tank against Home School Mom wanting to protect daughter from Dangerous Medications.”

Health Impact News Editor

According to the Detroit News, a 56-year-old woman faces multiple felony charges and is being held on $500,000 bond after a 10-hour standoff with police, claiming she was protecting her 13-year-old daughter from unnecessary medication. The story which led to this incident, as reported in the Detroit News and The Voice of Detroit, is quite disturbing.

Maryanne Godboldo’s daughter was born with a defective foot that required amputation of her leg below the knee, which led to Maryanne becoming a stay-at-home mother after her birth. Maryanne and her sister Penny now run a dance school in Detroit. Penny Godboldo reported in the Detroit News her niece’s confidence grew, and despite her handicap, she swam, sang, danced and played the piano. However, as she approached middle school age, she apparently wanted to start attending school, and therefore had to “catch up” on required immunizations.

As the Detroit News reports:

We believe she had an adverse reaction to her immunizations,” Penny Godboldo said.

She began acting out of character, being irritated, having facial grimaces that have been associated with immunizations.

Evans said Maryanne Godboldo sought help for her daughter from The Children’s Center, an organization that helps families with at-risk children, where a medical and mental health treatment plan was developed. Godboldo told relatives the medications ordered by the doctor worsened symptoms, including behavioral problems.

“It is an undiagnosed condition, but the doctor had given her psychotropic drugs that caused a bad reaction, made things worse,” said the girl’s father, Mubuarak Hakim. “Maryanne’s decision to wean her from that was making a difference, making her better, helping her to be a happy kid again.

Maryanne Godboldo apparently has a good reputation in her community, and during the 10 hour standoff many people from the community offered to help with the negotiations, including ministers and community activists, according to reports in the Detroit News. Ironically, it was Wayne Circuit Judge Deborah Thomas, a former polio sufferer and advocate for the disabled, who finally convinced Maryanne to surrender

Embarrassed — or exposed? — although the mother had her criminal charges dropped, and her child back (late December) the Wayne County District attorney, per spokesman, is thinking of re-instating them.  They are crazy — but smart enough to know that this case is probably a good chink in the wall.

http://www.miweekly.com/news/85-detroit/5705-mom-in-police-standoff-awaits-decision-on-charges

Last Updated: December 10. 2011 1:00AM

Doug Guthrie/ The Detroit News

Detroit— A judge is expected to announce his decision Monday whether to reinstate criminal charges against a mother who resisted police who forced their way into her home to take her teenage daughter during a dispute over medications. . . .

Acting on a call from a Wayne County Child Protective Services (=CPS) worker, who told police she had obtained an order to remove the child on a claim of medical neglect, the officers responding to Godboldo’s home accused her of firing a handgun at them through a plaster wall after she refused to let them in. Godboldo was talked out of the house. She was jailed for several days until her release on bond, and her daughter was held in a state psychiatric facility for almost two months.

Godboldo was charged with resisting and assaulting police, as well as use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Giles tossed out the charges in August because he said the order used by police as authority to enter the house was invalid. It was never authorized by a judge, but had a rubber stamp signature. Police also testified they don’t normally enforce civil court orders, but had been told by the protective services worker it was a criminal warrant.

And the police didn’t LOOK at the warrant?  Do criminal and civil warrants look different from each other?

http://justice4maryanne.com/

Some excellent reporting.

Talk about the disparity of viewpoints:  Family, Community — versus the System who wants the child to be medicated.

My reading has led me to the conclusion — this is a class war, and at the bottom of the barrel (as to scapegoating) are women who look and act like this one.  Like Albert Einstein, Horace Mann, and other leaders, her daughter’s education was not traditional — and part of schooling these days is getting the vaccinations (I even found a reference to James Franklin — Ben’s older brother — protesting vaccinations in his time!).   Drugging people is a form of medical control — not just profits — get it?  If certain classes of people are being used as test cases for the effects of dangerous drugs, then this comprises a class war against them.   Why should this mother AND her community have to wage a legal battle to “buy” back a daughter which had been kidnapped improperly?   Why should anyone have to?

At some level, we have got to start acknowledging that mature, independent mothers are a threat to the status quo.   For the rest of us, the family law system with its fatherhood funding gets the job done without SWAT teams.  But both methods are extortionist.

Listen to “Managing Oneself” (found by checking out the spelling: Onesself or Oneself?)

(Peter Drucker, Harvard Business Review, 1999)  It’s password protected from copying a single sentence, but (bottom of page 5 or so) talking about what a knowledge ecomony we have, and how one must manage oneself, including knowing one’s learning style.  Are you a writer or a reader?  For those who learn by writing, he says, school is pure torture– writers learn by writing  — not by listening and reading (guess I’m one of those!).  Because schools don’t let them learn that way, they get poor grades (speculation, I suppose, as to cause)….

Schools do not accommodate the different learning styles, forcing everyone to learn “the way the school teaches” is “sheer hell for students who learn differently.”   

“Success in the knowledge economy comes to those who know themselves, their strengths, their values and how they best perform.”

Easy to say, but that Michigan Mom seems to be someone who knows herself, her strengths (and her daughters) and certainly her values — so why should she catch this kind of hell, and have her daughter in a psychiatric institution for two months or more, where there is some question whether or not she was also sexually assaulted (some news accounts bring this up) — in the land of the free and the home of the brave?

In case you can’t guess why this case has so grabbed my attention, even though I don’t have a disabled child, while my children were not (to my knowledge) forcibly medicated, the “kidnapping” was enabled around accusations of educational neglect (among others, none of which were proved, as is common) which was in fact educational choice, and an informed one.  When we’ve come to kidnapping and tanks/helicopters to prop up a bad decision by a CPS worker, and (see Voice of Detroit reporting, plus I recognized some of the companies investigated, and the system) everyone has to go into behavioral health testing grounds EXCEPT those who are rich enough and independent enough to escape the target range of these programs – then I have to ask –  what are we putting our lives and taxes toward to start with?  Is THIS something you want to really endorse?

 

A closer look is warranted at the entire system, and its background.  It’s already “culling” the population and in a crisis (see Katrina) guess who gets sacrificed.  Now read from Transvaal to TANF, read the congressional testimony just prior to enacting 1996 Welfare Reform (or even read some of the current talk/writing — if you can do so without regurgitating — and, in the mirror, ask whether this was accidental or planned.)

It took me a while to come to the conclusions I have, and I don’t expect others to agree immediately — or ncessarily ever.  But I do stand my ground — pay less attention to the talking heads, the mainstream media, and a lot more to your legislators and do NOT underestimate the influence of the family court system.  After all, a lot of money is going missing in the process — so what’s that money going INto?  Drugs?  Legal or illegal, or is there a difference?

 

It takes a good deal of context to separate Info from DISinfo. And it’s work, too.  With time, it gets a lot easier, though.

At bottom are the links from the blog  “The Family Court Franchise System.”  In one of the recent posts I said, “I’m not your mother” and suggested people educate themselves.  Plus two interesting links, “Educate Yo’self” and “Educate Yourself” which is where I got part of my education.

 

Where I got the habit of educating myself goes far back — but in these matters, it came from having relied on others’ information, which — though true enough — was (1) not the overview– critical elements were missing, and (2) given what was missing, almost irrelevant.  Instead they (includes Lundy Bancroft, and classic DV rhetoric) talked psychology and group dynamics and some law — something anyone living through what I did has already figured out (though how nice to have the correct terminology).

But they should’ve talked finances — and corporate influence, federal incentives, and private nonprofit associations running demonstration social science projects on as many POOR people (or other distressed populations) as possible, allegedly for the public’s benefit, and definitely at the public’s expense.  In fact, public and private are so blurred at this point, it might be best to ignore what the law says about domestic violence and criminal behavior, and rebuttable presumptions against custody going to the batterer (after all — plenty of judges, family law attorneys, custody evaluators, guardians ad litem and child support professionals most certainly do.  And we have to deal with them anyhow, so why not figure out what’s going on!

 

ROUGHLY in TWO PARTS:  I.  “EDUCATE YOURSELF” — and several examples.  And then II. (as to the Roots of Welfare) — some links to do so.  (under 7,000 words this time).  That’s if you care to.  I’m not your babysitter, I do this for conscience, possibly for therapy, and for a track record. But they are — as this shows — hauling off (kidnapping) children systematically from good parents, to get drugged under foster care.  They are, when there are two parents fighting for custody, able to prolong and make horrible the fight for years — and so “justify” major grants continuations (under TANF, which makes this possible) to promote marriage and fatherhood, and other very chauvinistic (antifeminist) ideas.  At the heart of this is the concept that it’s OK to force indoctrination (“education”) on poor people to address why they are poor, that the elite are appropriate in “molding” the poor — through force — to understand their function and place in society.  Religion is a good aid to this policy.

Too much of this policy comes from places like the British monarchy, or the Nazi apparatus, or prior to that, Prussian educational ideas.  Too much of it depends on free time to philosophize on the backs of workers that barely make ends meet and have far less freedom or mobility simply because they have no family wealth (assets), whether earned, or inherited.  Add to this things like eminent domain (government condemning, then seizing, then selling to cronies, private property) and we’re headed back towards the concentrations camps.  Depending on when “Judgment Day” comes — or does not.  Whatever the status of “judgment day” — there is nothing “just” or equitable about Welfare Reform, which enables flexible grants to the states, and gives bribes to states for going along with federal policy.  Federal policy rubberstamped by Congress — but managed by the Executive Branch (White House and friends) through a grants system.  The grants system itself is based on the TAX system — and there you go.

This is commonly called fascism ,centralization and we know already where that heads off to.

I know what dictatorship is at the family level, the personal level — and am pretty hot and bothered to see how far down the line it is at the national level as well.  When one’s life’s work is repeatedly interrupted, and finally stopped — talking about the essential things one has done in life — one has to rethink the “hold a job til retirement model,” particularly being a female of a certain age in the USA, Post-Bush1 & Bush 2.

(Read PART I, those comments will make more sense).

 

PART I

Educate Yo’self was actually the domain name of a link someone else passed along.  What a source!

The Declaration of Independence – 1776
The Articles of Confederation – 1777
The Constitution for the United States – 1787
Its Sources and Its Application

Commitment One: To Freedom

The commitment of greatest importance is a DEDICATION To FREEDOM at all levels of society, and in all dimensions of our existence.

A commitment to freedom, at all levels, is automatically a commitment to Rigorous Honesty, the Truth of Reality. After all, once freedom is insured, why would one need to lie?

Any “security” that is gained through loss of freedom is a Commitment to Fear. Any nation that puts “national security” above personal freedom has lost its power base

And, tidbits such as (from 2008 — an election year. Worth a review this year?):

545 People Responsible for America’s Woes
by Charley ReeseHave you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits? Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don’t write the tax code. Congress does. You and I don’t set fiscal policy. Congress does. You and I don’t control monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices – 545 human beings out of the 300 million – are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered but private central bank.

. . . .Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault.    . . .

REPLACE THE SCOUNDRELS . . .

They continue to re-authorize the bastard child called “Welfare Reform,” which has simply expanded the ways to steal from the public, without proper monitoring, to infinity.  Go review the beginnings of the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative (I’ve blogged).  Or, how from state to state, the We, the People method of disciplining criminal judges (leaving ethical ones on the bench) — which was the grand jury — was replaced by “judicial complaint boards.”

It was passed in 1996, a Bill Clinton year.  See “From the Transvaal to TANF” talking about “triangulation” and how Clinton promoted this version of the “contract with America” as inbetween and somehow “above” party politics.  The fact is, the Republicans had succeeded in shutting down government over this, his ass was in trouble with Monica Lewinsky, and there was the Hillary problem; in fact there were plenty of problems.

The “Transvaal’ refers to Cecil Rhodes.  Bill Clinton, among others, was a Rhodes Scholar.   The purpose of the Rhodes Scholarship, and the beyond-my-liftime-goal of Mr. Rhodes, was to regain the British control of the world, particularly the return of “the US colonies” to their master.  Some people were born to lead, others were born to serve, obviously.  Now, fast-forward to TANF reform and look at who it’s targeting for program indoctrination on how to stay married, and quit propagating outside of marriage, etc.

The fact is, were it not for the artificial income tax / fiat currency situation (our $$ is off the gold standard), were it not the need for extremely wealthy corporations to maintain their wealth by a constant flow of competition for jobs in their industries (i.e., keep wages down, profits up) and to through a HUGE variety of means — including trying to designate everyone, almost, a behavioral health case, and where possible, proscribe some nice medication for them (i.e., control by medication, even sterilization) — it would be a piece of cake for an intelligent, motivated and in control of her own infrastructure single mother (or single father) to handle their own affairs.

One of the affairs the largest mistakes made by OUR forebears (generally speaking of USA citizens), over a century ago, was to hand over the raising of our kids to the government in the form of compulsory public education — which is compulsory time-wasting and dumbing down, and has been for decades.  It’s an ABSOLUTE disgrace and has become simply a values battleground anyhow.    And as to equalization — go check your senators — and all the representatives in the state — how many of them are sending their kids to public schools, and were themselves the product of public schools.  How many of them came from honest working backgrounds and were not raised with a silver spoon, or a political spoon?

Some of the greatest minds and leaders had the least traditional schooling — for themselves.   Horace Mann fits that example, and it appears 1837 was the first year there was a “Secretary of Education” at least in massachusetts.  Now we have a Secretary of Health and Human Services (more control over this country than you realize, and the current one is from Kansas), plus the “Czars” — interesting term, huh?  Look at him:

HORACE MANN‘s SCHOOLING

” The Father of American Education”,” Horace Mann, was born in Franklin, Massachusetts, in 1796. Mann’s schooling consisted only of brief and erratic periods of eight to ten weeks a year. Mann educated himself by reading ponderous volumes from the Franklin Town Library. This self education, combined with the fruits of a brief period of study with an intinerant school master, was sufficient to gain him admission to the sophomore class of Brown University in 1816” (4, Cremin). He went on to study law at Litchfield Law School and finally received admission to the bar in 1823 (15, Filler). In the year 1827 Mann won a seat in the state legislature and in 1833 ran for State Senate and won.” Throughout these years Horace Mann maintained a thriving law practice, first in Dedham and later in Boston” (5, Cremin).

” Of the many causes dear to Mann’s heart, non was closer than the education of the people. He held a keen interest in school policy. April 20, 1837, Mann left his law practice and accepted the post of the newly founded Secretary of Education” (6, Cremin). During his years as Secretary of Education Mann published twelve annual reports on aspects of his work and programs, and the integral relationship between education, freedom, and Republican government. He wanted a school that would be available and equal for all, part of the birth-right of every American child, to be for rich and poor alike. Mann had found “social harmony” to be his primary goal of the school. (8, Cremin).

Horace Mann felt that a common school would be the “great equalizer.” Poverty would most assuredly disappear as a broadened popular intelligence tapped new treasures of natural and material wealth. He felt that through education crime would decline sharply as would a host of moral vices like violence and fraud. In sum, there was no end to the social good which might be derived from a common school (8, Cremin).

SO — how’d you say THAT’s going?  Because in Los Angeles, they had a schoolteacher feeding blindfolded teaspoons of his own semen.  THIRD-graders.  Has poverty, violence and fraud been primarily despite the school system, or perhaps as a consequence of it?
Horace Mann had one thing — freedom.  He had another thing — access to the library.  He was also male, and he could vote — it was another century, from his passing the bar (1823) before women could!  Rather than trying to train a nation (how egotistical!), what about establish these basic rights, and make available justice (and libraries).
Horace Mann and Education Reform
Reformers, some influenced by the Prussian education reforms of the early 1800s, emerged at an incredible rate hoping to change the general form and ideals of American education to keep up with the evolving country. No longer would small rural schoolhouses, untrained teachers, or limitations in education opportunities suffice. A more defined system, which, as Mann and others had hoped, would also be free and universal, slowly garnered both grassroots and governmental support. The goal was to mold individuals from all socio-economic backgrounds into good people and good citizens through education. It was believed that in doing so everyone would be able to achieve to their fullest potential.
I would always much rather see a sermon than hear one.   Moreover, we ought to take care about importing Prussian OR German ideas.  Germans tend to be real organized, excessively so, — and I think it’s fair to say, Centralized. There is a LOT of literature out, particularly I’m thinking about Alice Miller, and “The Drama of the Gifted Child,” (d. 2010; she was a Swiss psychoanalyst, the book is about the consequences of repressed trauma)– talking about how the attempts to “mold” good strong citizens with cruel child-rearing practices (from Germany) may have helped created the cruel, socially-detached, amoral child molesters and sociopaths of today that we are now cleaning up after.
Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment
And yet, we have in TANF, a government intent on even more education of the public — in morality issues like fatherhood, marriage, abstinence, and so forth.  The truth is — at least as to TANF — I believe it’s simply another form of wealth-transfer; and it’s a VERY high profit-margin on downloading information by the internet, setting up a franchise system, having people BUY into it to be qualified as a marriage educator (etc.) — it was a real smart development for some very dishonest people.

What about Ben Franklin? (1706-1790)– was he adequately schooled?  Methinks not:

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston on January 17, 1706. He was the tenth son of soap maker, Josiah Franklin. Benjamin’s mother was Abiah Folger, the second wife of Josiah. In all, Josiah would father 17 children.

Josiah intended for Benjamin to enter into the clergy. However, Josiah could only afford to send his son to school for one year and clergymen needed years of schooling. But, as young Benjamin loved to read he had him apprenticed to his brother James, who was a printer. After helping James compose pamphlets and set type which was grueling work, 12-year-old Benjamin would sell their products in the streets.

What about Albert Einstein’s schooling?(1879-1955) (from a UK site): (take some time, here…)

Albert Einstein was born on 14th March, 1879 at Ulm, Germany. He spent his early life in Munich, where his family owned a small manufacturing business. He studied Judaism at home, where he also was taught to play the violin. He showed a great interest in Mathematics and taught himself Euclidian geometry at the age of 12.

What sort of education did Albert receive?

Albert Einstein began school in Munich, but does not seem to have been particularly interested in what was offered there. . .

He was already a self-motivated learner, with experience in (I presume) language, music, and geometry.  Are schools BORING the gifted? along with how many others?

Einstein hoped to become an electrical engineer and, at the second attempt, enrolled at the Swiss National Polytechnic in Zurich in 1896.

It seems that he continued to show little respect for his teachers, as he was not a regular attender at lectures. He spent considerable time studying physics on his own. Despite the lack of time in lecture halls, he graduated as a teacher of physics and mathematics in 1900, but was unable to obtain a post in the university. It has been suggested that he had not impressed his professors enough, which is perhaps not surprising, given his attitude, and so did not receive their all-important backing for an academic career.

Perhaps this lack of respect comes from someone who found something better to do with his time, working on self-assigned projects of interest.

What did he do next?

Albert Einstein became a temporary teacher of mathematics, first at the Technical High School in Winterthur, and secondly at a private school at Schaffhausen.

In 1902 he began work at the Swiss patent office in Bern as a technical expert third class. He remained there until 1909, having been promoted, in 1906, to technical expert second class! He married Mileva Maric, by whom he had two sons, in 1903. They later divorced.

During his time there, Albert Einstein devoted a great deal of his spare time to the study of theoretical physics, and in 1905, received his doctorate for a thesis entitled On a new determination of molecular dimensions. He also published three important papers on theoretical physics

 Anyone who’s honest today will admit that a major function of public school education is babysitter — to soak up the TIME of individuals so their parents (both their parents, if there are two) can go to work and pay their taxes to fund the teachers, among other things (or pay off some interest on the national debt).  As such, the kids (and youth) in school are going to have other things they would rather be doing, and/or exploring — so a good deal of the school day goes into administration and managing the kids.  And (now at least) running mental health screenings on them to see if some drugs can be marketed (see recent whistleblower on TMAP, PennMAP, who documented this).   More on Einstein:

In 1952, he declined the offer of the presidency of Israel and continued his work towards the world renouncing nuclear weapons.

Albert Einstein died on 18th April, 1955 at Princeton and was cremated that day at Trenton, New Jersey. He is, perhaps, the best known scientist of the 20th century

And just imagine — he was bored in school from the start, skipped a lot of classes, didn’t brown-nose enough in Swiss National Polytechnic around the turn of the century, resulting in his having a fairly humble job which left him time to study things of personal interest — eventually a Nobel Prize, etc. What does public education in the US do today?  Soak up time, DELETE a lot of music because not enough children are learning to read and write, substitutes values education, and when that (obviously) fails, recommend more money and start kids earlier and have longer school days and years.
The existence of the public school system, and its lower quality, is a caste-sorter, and intentionally so.   Where did our politicians go to school, prior to sponsoring initiatives to train the rest of us about the purpose of life, relationships, sex, and what and what is not healthy?  For example (to bring us to 2012 Presidential Candidacy, and which conservative do you want….)
Mitt Romney went to a private school from 7th grand onwards, where he met his wife, who also attended private schools.  Described as (Wikipedia):
Cranbrook Schools is a private, PK–12 school located on a 319-acre (1.29 km2) campus in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The schools comprise a co-educational elementary school, a middle school with separate schools for boys and girls, and a co-educational high school with boarding facilities  …Romney went to public elementary schools[17] and then from seventh grade on, attended Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, a private boys preparatory school of the classic mold where he was the lone Mormon and where many students came from even more privileged backgrounds.[18][23][24][25] He was not particularly athletic and at first did not excel at academics.[18] While a sophomore, he participated in the campaign in which his father was elected Governor of Michigan.[nb 2] 
Cranbrook Schools is a private, PK–12 school located on a 319-acre (1.29 km2) campus in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The schools comprise a co-educational elementary school, a middle school with separate schools for boys and girls, and a co-educational high school with boarding facilities. Cranbrook Schools is part of the Cranbrook Educational Community (CEC), which includes the Cranbrook Institute of Science, the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and Cranbrook House and Gardens. (Nearby Christ Church Cranbrook remains outside this formal structure.) The Cranbrook community was established by publishing mogul George Booth,
 Cranbrook was designated a National Historic Landmark on June 29, 1989 for its significant architecture and design. It attracts tourists from around the world. Approximately 40 acres (160,000 m2) of Cranbrook Schools’ campus are gardens.  As of 2006, Cranbrook Schools had an endowment of $191 million, among the 15 largest held by America’s boarding schools.[1] In addition, the Cranbrook Educational Community, of which the Schools is a member, has an endowment in excess of $300 million.[2]
Where did he get his wife from?

Ann Lois Romney (née Davies) (born April 16, 1949) is the wife of American businessman and Republican Party politician Mitt Romney. From 2003 to 2007 she was First Lady of Massachusetts.

She was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and attended the private Kingswood School there, where she dated Mitt Romney. Influenced by their relationship, she converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1966. She attended Brigham Young University and married Mitt Romney in 1969. She completed her undergraduate education through the Extension School at Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in 1975.

As First Lady of Massachusetts, she served as the governor’s liaison for federal faith-based initiatives.

Now THAT is disturbing . . . .

Her background — daughter of the mayor of Bloomfield Hills, who was anti-organized religion.  So, she converts to LDS (like Mitt) and her college is put on hold while he completes his.   Their marriage, being Mormon:

Ann Davies and Mitt Romney were married by a church elder in a civil ceremony on March 21, 1969, at her Bloomfield Hills home, with a reception afterward at a local country club.[4][12] The following day the couple flew to Utah for a wedding ceremony inside the Salt Lake Temple; her family could not attend since they were non-Mormons, but were present at a subsequent wedding breakfast held for them across the street.[4][14]

When she fell ill, she had access to mainstream and alternative treatments for MS (a very serious disease) — such as equestrianism.  Suppose this had been one of her children — they’d have had that access also.

Ann was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998 and has credited a mixture of mainstream and alternative treatments with giving her a lifestyle mostly without limitations. In one of those activities, equestrianism, she has consequently received recognition in dressage as an adult amateur at the national level and competing professionally in Grand Prix as well
The topic is EDUCATION DISPARITIES by WEALTH — as contrasted with Horace Mann’s vision:
By contrast with the ONE child of a black single mother (also in Michigan), who — on finding out that her daughter, having developed complications possibly related to a vaccine, then was given Risperdal — and when that had even worse effects, like any good Mom, she took her child OFF it — and then all hell (including with tanks and helicopters) eventually took place.  (Link is below).  It “just so happened’ that the community they lived in was supposed to do what it was told with their kids, and not buck the system or seek — as Mrs. Romney could — non-mainstream ways to stay alive or keep their kids alive and healthy.  That’s cause for losing one’s kid to the state, apparently.
Ron Paul Op-Ed on Ms. Godboldo in context of overmedication of chidlren in foster care, forced mandatory psychiatric screening of children (think they get that in the Cranbrook Educational Community nowadays?):

“No Mandatory Mental Health Screening For Children!” by Ron Paul

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 Op-Ed by Congressman Ron Paul

Maryanne Godboldo, a mother in Michigan, noticed that pills prescribed by her daughter’s doctor were making her condition worse, not better. So Mrs. Godboldo stopped giving them to her. That’s when the trouble began. When Child Protective Services (CPS) bureaucrats became aware that the girl was not receiving her prescribed medication, they decided the child should be taken away from her mother’s custody on grounds of medical neglect. When Ms. Godboldo refused to surrender her daughter to the state, CPS enlisted the help of a police SWAT team! On March 24 of this year a 12 hour standoff ensued and young Ariana was taken into custodyThe drug involved was Risperdal, a neuroleptic antipsychotic medication with numerous known side effects. Ms. Godboldo had decided on a more holistic approach for her daughter. She is still engaged in a costly legal battle with the state over Ariana’s treatment and custody.

This is one example of how government’s increasing proclivity to medicate children with questionable psychiatric drugs violates the rights of parents. Just recently, the Government Accountability Office released a report on the astonishingly high rate of prescriptions for psychotropic drugs for children in the foster care system. It is absolutely astounding that nearly 40% of kids in foster care are on psychotropic drugs, some of them taking up to 5 different pills at a time. Some of these children are under one year of age – too young to safely take over the counter cold medication!

 Another account:

Ethan A. Huff,
Natural News
December 15, 2011

The horrific saga of Maryanne Godboldo’s battle with domestic terrorists in the government of her home state of Michigan appear to finally be coming to an end. TheDetroit Free Pressreports that two higher courts have confirmed the ruling of a lower court several months ago that Godboldo’s refusal to administer the dangerous Risperdal drug to her daughter was fully legal, and that all charges and actions taken against her by the state were unwarranted.

In case you missed the story, Child Protective Services (CPS) in Michigan sent a SWAT team and tank to Godboldo’s Detroit home back in April after the mother refused to keep giving her 13-year-old daughter Risperdal (risperidone), a dangerous schizophrenia drug that had been causing her daughter to experience severe adverse reactions. Godboldo’s doctor had recommended that she discontinue use of the drug, but CPS felt otherwise, and decided to launch a full-scale terrorist raid on the woman’s home, where they proceeded to illegally kidnap her daughter (http://www.naturalnews.com/032090_M…).

In one of the series of articles on this raid, the demographics of the community spoke loudly as to what happened.  It wouldn’t happen in a gated community, and I’ll bet it wouldn’t happen in Bloomfield Hills, either.  However, another clue shows up in this (april 2011) article — not only was this woman acting — in accord with the doctor’s advice to stop Risperdal — not only was she single and African-American, she was also homeschooling her daughter!
Godboldos focus on daughter’s release:  April 17, 2011, The Michigan Citizen, Eric T. Campbell
“This case is very simple,” Defense Attorney Allison Fomar told the Michigan Citizen. “The child was taken out of the home without any legitimate, lawful authority. They took her in the most drastic way they could think of, which was to involve Detroit police.

. . .Ariana has been in state custody since March 25 without medication.

“If the issue was medication, where is the justice?” Penny said. “Why isn’t she home with her father right now? He has complete authority after Maryanne. To me, they sent her into harms way.”

Penny {{the mother’s sister and a dance teacher at Margrove College}} says her niece was active and normal growing up in a home-schooled environment. She was active in church and received lessons in piano and horseback riding.   “There were absolutely no mental issues with her until she had the immunizations and even more with the Risperdal,” Penny said. “It’s been a hell ever since.”

Ron Scott of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality  . . .“The child has a father and an aunt and that’s where the mother thought the child was going when she released her,” Scott said. “Judge Pierce says she’s an advocate for families, so we’ll see what happens.”

According to Scott, CPS knew the daughter was doing fine without Risperdal and she was not considered an imminent danger to herself or anyone else. 

August, in this same case (good article — read it all!)

JURY RULES AGAINST MARYANNE GODBOLDO IN CUSTODY TRIAL

Posted on 08/16/2011 by Diane Bukowski

DETROIT – Despite testimony that Mia Wenk, a “social services specialist” with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, authorized the  psychiatric hospitalization of Ariana Godboldo-Hakim, 13, and the administration of four dangerous psychotropic drugs, without reviewing the child’s  medical records, a jury found Aug. 9 that it was Ariana’s mother Maryanne Godboldo who had neglected her.

Godboldo, who obtained alternative holistic treatment for her daughter from a medical doctor, testified earlier that she was suffering from a reaction to immunizations administered in Sept. 2009. She said Ariana had been diagnosed with encephalitis, not a psychiatric disorder. Neither she nor Ariana’s father Mubarak Hakim authorized their daughter’s treatment at Hawthorn Children’s Psychiatric facility after an army of police seized her from her home on Blaine near Linwood in Detroit March 24, 2011. 

Wenk said that as she watched the stand-off with police that resulted at Ariana’s home, her only concern was, “I didn’t want her to end up shooting her daughter.”**  Wenk is currently facing a federal lawsuit  filed by Nathaniel Brent (see next story) for taking his five children, who are of Native American heritage.

Captions: Maryanne Godboldo speaks at rally July 17, 2011 . . . Children’s Center recruits foster parents in billboard off John C. Lodge Fwy.; they are paid $34 per day per head by DHS for each child they take

(**Wenk provoked the crisis to start with, which seems to be pretty standard protocol, where possible to get away with.   It also signifies a serious attitude problem, job description or no job description.   In this situation, they simply didn’t reckon with an armed mother, and a supportive community expressing its outrage AND investigative reporting on it!  The problem is the presence of a system which enables this.  That the SWAT team would come in this situation shows that Wenk and friends hold far too much sway.  Meanwhile, over in Connecticut, a little boy (and across the country this is happening) is being tortured with symptoms BOTH medical and behavioral, as attested to by doctors — and the GAL in the case still has custody with the father who is doing this!  WHy not remove THAT child?) (Answer:  money in the family hasn’t been sucked out yet. See CT page on my other blog).

I keep finding more — and very disturbing — information on this case.  First of all — we note that this is a mature mother, not a teen mother (see photo, and article below says she’s in her 50s).  She is dedicated to taking care of her daughter who is an amputee, and was doing a good job of it; the troubles began with a school-required vaccination, and reactions to it.   And although parents are separated, this was not a case which could be played Mom VERSUS Dad.

Police use Assault Weapons and Tank against Home School Mom wanting to protect daughter from Dangerous Medications.”

Health Impact News Editor

According to the Detroit News, a 56-year-old woman faces multiple felony charges and is being held on $500,000 bond after a 10-hour standoff with police, claiming she was protecting her 13-year-old daughter from unnecessary medication. The story which led to this incident, as reported in the Detroit News and The Voice of Detroit, is quite disturbing.

Maryanne Godboldo’s daughter was born with a defective foot that required amputation of her leg below the knee, which led to Maryanne becoming a stay-at-home mother after her birth. Maryanne and her sister Penny now run a dance school in Detroit. Penny Godboldo reported in the Detroit News her niece’s confidence grew, and despite her handicap, she swam, sang, danced and played the piano. However, as she approached middle school age, she apparently wanted to start attending school, and therefore had to “catch up” on required immunizations.

As the Detroit News reports:

We believe she had an adverse reaction to her immunizations,” Penny Godboldo said.

She began acting out of character, being irritated, having facial grimaces that have been associated with immunizations.

Evans said Maryanne Godboldo sought help for her daughter from The Children’s Center, an organization that helps families with at-risk children, where a medical and mental health treatment plan was developed. Godboldo told relatives the medications ordered by the doctor worsened symptoms, including behavioral problems.

“It is an undiagnosed condition, but the doctor had given her psychotropic drugs that caused a bad reaction, made things worse,” said the girl’s father, Mubuarak Hakim. “Maryanne’s decision to wean her from that was making a difference, making her better, helping her to be a happy kid again.

Maryanne Godboldo apparently has a good reputation in her community, and during the 10 hour standoff many people from the community offered to help with the negotiations, including ministers and community activists, according to reports in the Detroit News. Ironically, it was Wayne Circuit Judge Deborah Thomas, a former polio sufferer and advocate for the disabled, who finally convinced Maryanne to surrender

Embarrassed — or exposed? — although the mother had her criminal charges dropped, and her child back (late December) the Wayne County District attorney, per spokesman, is thinking of re-instating them.  They are crazy — but smart enough to know that this case is probably a good chink in the wall.

http://www.miweekly.com/news/85-detroit/5705-mom-in-police-standoff-awaits-decision-on-charges

Last Updated: December 10. 2011 1:00AM

Doug Guthrie/ The Detroit News

Detroit— A judge is expected to announce his decision Monday whether to reinstate criminal charges against a mother who resisted police who forced their way into her home to take her teenage daughter during a dispute over medications. . . .

Acting on a call from a Wayne County Child Protective Services (=CPS) worker, who told police she had obtained an order to remove the child on a claim of medical neglect, the officers responding to Godboldo’s home accused her of firing a handgun at them through a plaster wall after she refused to let them in. Godboldo was talked out of the house. She was jailed for several days until her release on bond, and her daughter was held in a state psychiatric facility for almost two months.

Godboldo was charged with resisting and assaulting police, as well as use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Giles tossed out the charges in August because he said the order used by police as authority to enter the house was invalid. It was never authorized by a judge, but had a rubber stamp signature. Police also testified they don’t normally enforce civil court orders, but had been told by the protective services worker it was a criminal warrant.

And the police didn’t LOOK at the warrant?  Do criminal and civil warrants look different from each other?

http://justice4maryanne.com/

Some excellent reporting.

Talk about the disparity of viewpoints:  Family, Community — versus the System who wants the child to be medicated.

My reading has led me to the conclusion — this is a class war, and at the bottom of the barrel (as to scapegoating) are women who look and act like this one.  Like Albert Einstein, Horace Mann, and other leaders, her daughter’s education was not traditional — and part of schooling these days is getting the vaccinations (I even found a reference to James Franklin — Ben’s older brother — protesting vaccinations in his time!).   Drugging people is a form of medical control — not just profits — get it?  If certain classes of people are being used as test cases for the effects of dangerous drugs, then this comprises a class war against them.   Why should this mother AND her community have to wage a legal battle to “buy” back a daughter which had been kidnapped improperly?   Why should anyone have to?

At some level, we have got to start acknowledging that mature, independent mothers are a threat to the status quo.   For the rest of us, the family law system with its fatherhood funding gets the job done without SWAT teams.  But both methods are extortionist.

 

 

PART II LINKS:

 

First set of links are ###  some stats (food for thought in a land flush with marriage/fatherhood theory — and grants).

Second set of links are $$$ — including some searchable databases to know about.

The three links beginning with  “—” I just felt were important summaries.  Right about now, J.A.I.L.4Judges is making a whole lotta sense (see site).  I also put my “What Rhetoric Are You” up there just to remind us — be aware whose rhetoric you are hearing.  It’s in the tone, language, and framing.  The third “—” link is an unbelievable account (except it’s happening nationwide; the rarety here is what a mother did to stand up, and that her case was eventually turned around) that we should read, it’s symptomatic.  (Maryanne Godboldo case).

After that, I go into some chrono links — at least a few references by year.

After that, it’s alphabetical by some of the organizations.

 

There’s a reason librarians are paid — and I’m not one.  But I felt that if I continue writing posts, and writing posts — no one will get through this information.  The best learning — anyhow– is situation relevant, and from people who are highly motivated to acquire the understanding or skill RIGHT NOW to address a problem facing them.  In other words, the best learning is self-taught, and from someone or some source you’ve checked out as reasonable, which knows more than you do.  Period.

Failure can be a far better teacher than success.  Perhaps that’s why I can’t look to those still holding on to their middle-class or lower-middle class jobs to figure this out.  People who’ve been treated like tetherballs IN the public institutions tend to be better reporters; they’ve had to work harder to regain their center of balance.  I am one of many such people around; look for loners, not followers! And always check out FIRST (as to organization) are they honest in (1) corporation status (2) filing tax returns with the IRS and (frequently missing) (3) filing with their local state as required by corporation and by charitable trust, if required.

Another common lie I find is date of the beginning of some organization.  When the corporation “begins” it has a record with a year attached.  Unless mythology is OK, check talk to incorporation.  You’d be amazed what’s out there.

“It’s Elementary” — The Links Tell The Story

Previous posts of this blog have had a little yellow flag labeled “Expose Corruption” up next to some of the posts on parenting coordination and/or Kids’First.  From Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania (next to the infamous Luzerne County).  The visuals (which a forum Administrator only could put up) have rather changed in quality recently, which exposes — well, the mentality or an assumed mentality that’d discredit the gravity of the situations they are handling, namely racketeering, money laundering, child abuse coverups, in general corruption of public officials.
Without saying too much more, I have had some private conversations (there is a messaging function) on the board with its moderators, who were first a couple, then just the wife.  It seems to me that the present graphics are hardly her style, and they do resemble Mr. Pilchesky’s style — but then again, what do I know?  With any forum, there can be multiple identities and some gamesmanship to keep the discussions going.
Either way, FYI:

Also, after several months on a forum in Scranton, the forum message board is posting a photo of a targeted public person (I gather) in his briefs.  JUST FOR THE RECORD — in the past week or so of 2012, the leading photos have featured a hooker leaning over onto a police car, a crude graphic of a man trying to plug a damn with water spouting out through his ear (i.e., flowing through his body) and then this.  Either Mr. Pilchesky is back on board, or something happened — but FYI, I wouldn’t have put out all that research onto the site with this level of visuals, and (though it’s been deleted since) inf act spoke up about some of this in 2011.

 There’s a line between expression and simply sharing the same gutter, and this is over it. There are individuals taking legal action to change the dynamics, but part of life is definitely who you hang out with.  That’s just plain offensive; it doesn’t help the cause at all, and may have been intended to hurt it by association.

PART II LINKS:

First set of links are ###  some stats (food for thought in a land flush with marriage/fatherhood theory — and grants).

Second set of links are $$$ — including some searchable databases to know about.

The three links beginning with  “—” I just felt were important summaries.  Right about now, J.A.I.L.4Judges is making a whole lotta sense (see site).  I also put my “What Rhetoric Are You” up there just to remind us — be aware whose rhetoric you are hearing.  It’s in the tone, language, and framing.  The third “—” link is an unbelievable account (except it’s happening nationwide; the rarety here is what a mother did to stand up, and that her case was eventually turned around) that we should read, it’s symptomatic.  (Maryanne Godboldo case).

After that, I go into some chrono links — at least a few references by year.

After that, it’s alphabetical by some of the organizations.

There’s a reason librarians are paid — and I’m not one.  But I felt that if I continue writing posts, and writing posts — no one will get through this information.  The best learning — anyhow– is situation relevant, and from people who are highly motivated to acquire the understanding or skill RIGHT NOW to address a problem facing them.  In other words, the best learning is self-taught, and from someone or some source you’ve checked out as reasonable, which knows more than you do.  Period.

Failure can be a far better teacher than success.  Perhaps that’s why I can’t look to those still holding on to their middle-class or lower-middle class jobs to figure this out.  People who’ve been treated like tetherballs IN the public institutions tend to be better reporters; they’ve had to work harder to regain their center of balance.  I am one of many such people around; look for loners, not followers! And always check out FIRST (as to organization) are they honest in (1) corporation status (2) filing tax returns with the IRS and (frequently missing) (3) filing with their local state as required by corporation and by charitable trust, if required.

Another common lie I find is date of the beginning of some organization.  When the corporation “begins” it has a record with a year attached.  Unless mythology is OK, check talk to incorporation.  You’d be amazed what’s out there.

“It’s Elementary” — The Links Tell The Story

Previous posts of this blog have had a little yellow flag labeled “Expose Corruption” up next to some of the posts on parenting coordination and/or Kids’First.  From Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania (next to the infamous Luzerne County).  The visuals (which a forum Administrator only could put up) have rather changed in quality recently, which exposes — well, the mentality or an assumed mentality that’d discredit the gravity of the situations they are handling, namely racketeering, money laundering, child abuse coverups, in general corruption of public officials.
Without saying too much more, I have had some private conversations (there is a messaging function) on the board with its moderators, who were first a couple, then just the wife.  It seems to me that the present graphics are hardly her style, and they do resemble Mr. Pilchesky’s style — but then again, what do I know?  With any forum, there can be multiple identities and some gamesmanship to keep the discussions going.
Either way, FYI:

Also, after several months on a forum in Scranton, the forum message board is posting a photo of a targeted public person (I gather) in his briefs.  JUST FOR THE RECORD — in the past week or so of 2012, the leading photos have featured a hooker leaning over onto a police car, a crude graphic of a man trying to plug a damn with water spouting out through his ear (i.e., flowing through his body) and then this.  Either Mr. Pilchesky is back on board, or something happened — but FYI, I wouldn’t have put out all that research onto the site with this level of visuals, and (though it’s been deleted since) inf act spoke up about some of this in 2011.

 There’s a line between expression and simply sharing the same gutter, and this is over it. There are individuals taking legal action to change the dynamics, but part of life is definitely who you hang out with.  That’s just plain offensive; it doesn’t help the cause at all, and may have been intended to hurt it by association.

1996-2010: How “Ending welfare as we know it” morphed to [so far…] Statewide Marriage and Relationship Education –for Everyone

with one comment

Some of my friends scold me for showing too much and not just telling.  They’re right.    But as I like to SHOW (and then TELL, too) — posts run to triple-length size,  then I split them up with new — and long — titles.

(Those of you who know me — this is a “Conversational Public Data Dump.”  You are forewarned!)

(see also my comment — it has a major double-pasted section in it, too.  I will printout & purge the duplicates….  The value of this post is in the narrative, plus the links).

This post began as a TANF introduction to another one on a specific Healthy Marriage Grantee.

You may not think this information relevant — but, it has already landed in your back yard; it is restructuring the United States; it is a financial issue with global ramifications.  The story of HOW this happened (and through whom) will help us pay better attention in the future, and should rule out certain distractions — such as choosing which battle to fight, and which diversionary propaganda to ignore.

However, someone has to protest the incremental removal of civil liberties going along with incremental spending down of public dollars, diverted to . . .. for lack of a better word . .. Bush appointees, and Obama cronies.  And when it comes to THIS category, I don’t hear a lot of specific protests.

Want to Occupy Something?  Occupy This — your senators and representatives voted welfare infinite expansion, for private profit actually, into being through public laws.  How could that be?

Well, we have  public school systems that still (apparently) teach U.S. Mythology, not Accounting, that are places for Values & INdoctrination Wars.  Somehow, the importance of the House Ways and Means Appropriations Committee — let alone about how corporations and government actually interact, were not considered pre-requisites for graduation. Meanwhile,  people LIVE in neighborhoods where they can observe this discrepancy, know that the common explanations do not hold water, but may not have a coherent explanation of what does, of what happened (historically).

Moreover, there is a digital divide and closed-doors deliberations.   We are not [certainly anyone ever on welfare is typically not] given or pointed to the best tools to finding out how things work. The cult is of the experts — who teach the uninstructed and presumably not smart enough to “get it.”

The tools available to the unfunded public (like TAGGS) have been also tinkered with, obfuscated and otherwise screwed with, to beyond credibility (accuracy) – although they do reveal traits and patterns to a degree.  TAGGS cannot be reconciled with USASPENDING.gov (and isn’t) even when just looking up HHS grants only on the latter.  I have not made up my mind yet which is more in error, but USASPENDING.gov already has its accuracy critics –and so few people seem to ever USE TAGGS, that leaves me.

Name me ONE other blog or public website that began posting those HHS grantee & project charts before this blog did (earliest, 2009) and recommending their use.  Yet its data goes back to 1995.

Now a point has been made, by the structure AND content of this resource — well read, clearly understood — that this information is NOT reliable; moreover that it’s not reliable — or in really useable form — is no accident.

For example — a big stink since 2001 has been made about laying down the red carpet for (and building capacity for) the faith-based organizations to go help the poor hungry, under-educated slobs get some jobs and visit their sons and daughters, and be taught how to “relate” better to the other parent.

YET — TAGGS has no designation (or classification) for  Faith-based organization.  It’s been 10 years since Bush Executive Order, and the word “faith-based” is all over government (federal state, and nonprofit groups, such as CNCS), other sites — and yet no field has been added to the database to designate “Faith-based” or NOT Faith-based.    The same goes for the fine distinction between “Marriage” grantees and “Fatherhood Grantees.”  yet there is one CFDA (93086) for both — and, moreover, marriage and fatherhood activities could be in, literally, almost any category of federal domestic assistance, such as social welfare research and demonstration, which are NOT under “93086.”  Or in Head Start.  So what’s that about, eh?

Is this really about promoting responsible  “Fatherhood”?  I don’t think so.  Responsible Fathers (note:  this does not include Glenn Sacks or Nicholas Soppa!) like some accountability here and there, and deserve resources to get it, just like others do, and can come to a debate that is not predetermined, and occasionally lose a point or two (i.e. humility).  I don’t know any decent father who’d advocate stealing from the public under false pretenses, and attempting to cover one’s tracks, yet this IS what’s happening.  Or a responsible father helping set up any systems which, after about 53 failures, are still going full force, in the same manner – which many faith-based groups are.  Or which INTENTIONALLY undermines separation of church & state, OR the separation of powers in the federal government — and does so for personal sense of power, fame (or for profit).  Responsible fathers are willing to sacrifice, not specialists in sacrificing others, or what’s right.

this entire responsible fatherhood movement is, essentially (to quote Liz Richards/National Alliance for Family Court Justice, in testimony before the House Ways & Means Committee, Appropriations — in June 2010) – An Expensive Solution looking for a Legitimate Problem:

Protective Mother’s Response to Ways & Means Income Security & Family Support June 17, 2010 hearing for re- reauthorizataion of Responsible Fatherhood program funding.

AN EXPENSIVE REMEDY IN SEARCH OF A LEGITIMATE PROBLEM!

The June 17th 2010 “Responsible Fatherhood” hearing testimony supporting the administration’s reauthorization request for $150,000,000 for a program which has failed to offer any verifiable data on program implementation or specific outcomes, such as the easy to verify job skill training and improved child support compliance factors. Program promoters have become defensive, or hostile, when their operations or intent is questioned. They reject complaints from protective mother advocates who describe serious systemic problems occurring with divorcing and “absent” fathers. In short – the Responsible Fatherhood program advocates have never shown any interest toward the very people who they purport to be helping- divorced or separated mothers of the fathers enrolled in their programs..

Responsible Fatherhood programs have been funded since 1996, but have yet to offer any outcome data or analysis verifying positive impact on mothers and children. Instead they rely on vague claims of involvement of domestic violence specialists to claim [their] activities are not causing mothers any problems. HHS ACF officials confirm they do no requirement for collecting or reporting program enrollment or outcome data.

{Heck, HHS/OIG/OAS can’t even keep track of millions of undistributed child support already collected at the state level, and eschews responsibility for doing so — after all, isn’t it TANF blocks to the states, for flexible use? so long as federal incentives are met for their $2 of ours for $1 of yours, and they get some back, who’s going to rock that boat?  Yet in part it’s from child support enforcement funds that Fatherhood Promotion is done!}

Why should they be getting millions more if they won’t verify the millions already spent are producing positive results, or any other performance or outcome information? Why don’t the fatherhood promoters know anything about the protective mother movement, or show any interest in the concerns of divorcing and separated mothers?

(actually, some of these DO know about this movement and viciously attack it in print and on on-line forums — see Peter Jamison, SFWeekly earlier in 2011)

We believe their data omissions are done deliberately to cover up another agenda – which our members observe and are negatively affected by – which is recruiting dead-beat and abusive men into lucrative high-conflict litigation. I alone have over 2000 victim intake contacts from nearly all US states. NAFCJ has state leaders, in over 15 states collaborate with other protective mother leaders. I have been communicating with fathers’ rights and fatherhood leaders and activist since as early as 1992, have attended their conference and have determined the two movements are one [and] the same.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

LGH Note:   Since last June 2010, I have seem more influences than just the fathers’ rights upon these grant series, but still believe it a valid factor nevertheless at the “street” and HHS etc. level)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I note that this 2010 testimony (filed on-line) also refers to the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005:

The US Senator who sponsored the earlier $150,000,000 Responsible Fatherhood earmark in the 2005 deficit Reduction Act has been a fathers rights supporter since he was a state legislator and has been collaborating with the fathers right leader and founder from his state from state since the start. This fathers’ right founder also has collaborated with Dr Richard Gardner on specific case litigation. Gardner’s writings included heinous remarks – such as ( in paraphrase): “mothers who complain about father’s sex abuse of children should be told to get a vibrator and become more sexually responsive to her husband so he won’t have to seek sex from his daughter.” This and other sick and deviant opinions from Gardner and other publish pro-incest men (e.g Ralph Underwager and Warren Farrell) are the reason why Responsible Fatherhood promoters conceal their relationship with the father rights people.

In order for the Responsible Fatherhood promoter to conceal their history of collaborating with the deviant fathers rights movement, they use domestic violence counselor as a “heat shield” to make themselves look pro-woman. But our movement of litigating protective mothers, many of whom have been in domestic violence shelters, have never observed any officially designated fathers representatives collaborating with domestic violence representative or producing and positive actions or outcomes for them. What we do hear from d.v. victim mothers who have gone from her home into shelter with her children – only to be arrested and put into jail a few days later for “kidnapping” the children. Most not allowed any contact with their children, because they are then deemed to be a flight risk. An ex- parte sole custody order is establish for the father is without any notification or hearing for the mother. The d.v. shelter people refuse to support them or testify for the mother and ignore her concerned about the father’s abuse of the children. Many of these falsely arrested mothers don’t see their children again for months {{or years…}} on grounds she is a flight risk. Unfortunately our movement is very dissatisfied with the d.v. movement and believe they also need reforming. However, some of their leaders are working with us to correct this part of the system failure

If I get the rest of the follow-up post out — there is a demonstration of this “heat shield” phenomena — at the “Domestic Violence Coalition” level, typically.

and she also wrote:

All the evidence I’ve observed indicates the Responsible Fatherhood programs are merely a cover for recruiting bad dads with offers of child support abatements into high-conflict litigation, giving sole custody of the children to the father and getting the mother out of picture and forcing her to pay excessive child support obligations to him

Then there are (I learned through the Kentucky example:  “Turning It Around”) the times fathers in arrears were, literally, extorted into participating in programs such as fatherhood classes, parenting skills, self-esteem, ABSTINENCE education (for a father?), and more — which have their promoters throughout the system, usually with a for-profit organization selling the materials behind any nonprofit group.   These are not so many or varied that they are hard to locate and recognize the presence of, any more…

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _OK, enough of that particular angle . . . . . . .

Personal:

My interests and activism took another “sea change” after documenting (some, at least) of the Sea Changes at for example California Healthy Marriage Coalition, which boasted on outset of its programs of THE largest HHS marriage promotion grant yet ($11 million over 5 years).

Again, at the corporate level (California Secretary of State) a search of the words ‘Healthy Marriage” (singular) produces this chart:

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C2629035 11/08/2004 SUSPENDED CALIFORNIA STATE HEALTHY MARRIAGE INITIATIVE CHRIS GRIER
C2896098 06/01/2006 ACTIVE FRESNO COUNTY HEALTHY MARRIAGE COALITION, INC., A NONPROFIT PUBLIC BENEFIT CORPORATION ROBYN L ESRAELIAN
C2271911 03/07/2001 DISSOLVED HEALTHY CHALLENGES MARRIAGE, FAMILY AND CHILD COUNSELING PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION ELIZABETH LEHRER
C2884897 06/23/2006 SUSPENDED NATIONAL HEALTHY MARRIAGE RESOURCE CENTER DENNIS J STOICA
C2884898 06/23/2006 SUSPENDED ORANGE COUNTY HEALTHY MARRIAGE AND FAMILY COALITION DENNIS J STOICA
C2955473 10/04/2006 SUSPENDED RIVERSIDE HEALTHY MARRIAGE COALITION, INC. LEGALZOOM.COM, INC.
C2650745 05/12/2004 ACTIVE SACRAMENTO HEALTHY MARRIAGE PROJECT CAROLYN RICH CURTIS
C3210304 05/29/2009 ACTIVE SAINTS HEALTHY MARRIAGE PROJECT REGINA GLASPIE
C2860238 03/02/2006 ACTIVE STANISLAUS COUNTY HEALTHY MARRIAGE COALITION JAMES CARLETON STEWARD
C3013354 08/13/2007 ACTIVE YUBA-SUTTER HEALTHY MARRIAGE PROJECT WILLIAM F JENS

and “Healthy Relationship,” this one:

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C3073670 01/16/2008 SUSPENDED CALIFORNIA CENTER FOR HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS, INC. LEGALZOOM.COM, INC.
C2746528 05/13/2005 ACTIVE HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS CALIFORNIA PATTY HOWELL
C2790720 06/09/2006 ACTIVE OAKLAND BERKELEY INITIATIVE FOR HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS ** RESIGNED ON 06/20/2011
C2494811 01/06/2003 DISSOLVED THE CENTER FOR HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS, INC. TAMARA ILICH

Meanwhile — as far as the 990 finder (which uses IRS filings) is concerned, the Sacramento Group has indeed changed its name by 2010, and there IS no “California Healthy Marriage” nonprofit around.

Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project Dba Relationship Skills Center CA 2010 $64,938 990 31 13-4280316

Now, on TAGGS, this ONE EIN (13480316) pulls up a slightly smaller set of grants, but two different DUNS# — why? (I put these here for readers to click on)

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project  SACRAMENTO CA 95821 SACRAMENTO 147288935 $ 2,446,593
Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project  SACRAMENTO CA 95821 SACRAMENTO 827612631 $ 1,148,512

  

Showing: 1 – 2 of 2 Recipients


Searching by Principal Investigator “Curtis” (within California) we see some — not all — of the grants:

Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project NON Other Social Services Organization 90FE0015 HEALTHY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION, PRIORITY AREA 7 93086 CAROLYN CURTIS $ 549,256
Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project NON Other Social Services Organization 90FE0015 HEALTHY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION, PRIORITY AREA 7 93086 CAROLYN R CURTIS $ 549,256
Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project Other Social Services Organization 90FE0015 HEALTHY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION, PRIORITY AREA 7 93086 CAROLYN R CURTIS $ 1,647,768
Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project Other Social Services Organization 90IJ0205 COMPASSION CAPITAL FUND (CCF) TARGETED CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAM – MARRIAGE 93009 CAROLYN CURTIS $ 50,000

and of course the last one, a new award, goes to — “CAROLYN CAROLYN” (i.e., FN FN)

Grantee Name City Recovery Act Indicator Grantee Type Award Number Award Title CFDA Number Principal Investigator Sum of Actions
Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project SACRAMENTO NON Other Social Services Organization 90FM0059 FLOURISHING FAMILIES PROGRAM 93086 CAROLYN CAROLYN $ 798,825

SO, this $3 million plus is going to an organization in Sacramento (California State Capitol) that is not maintaining is nonprofit status with the state of California — is this affecting our budget?  Please also note that of these 5 awards, two are “Recovery” (ARRA) awards — totaling $1,647,768.  In another OMB or GAO report, we found that ARRA awards specifically have been tagged as notoriously NOT paying their still-due payroll and other taxes (even were the nonprofit legitimate):

(posted July 14, 2011 at Patton Boggs, LLP, with the alert that this is general information — and not legal advice)

Federal grant award recipients should carefully review their own federal tax compliance and use vigilance when engaging subrecipients and contractors, based on recent Senate testimony from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

On May 24, 2011, a GAO representative testified before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs that thousands of contract and grant recipients under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) owe hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid federal taxes. The testimony summarized GAO’s April 2011 report of its investigation of 15 entities that had collectively received some $35 million in ARRA funds despite federal tax delinquencies totaling roughly $40 million. GAO referred all 15 entities to the IRS for possible criminal investigation.

ARRA grant award recipients may face risks to their projects stemming from federal tax delinquencies even though, as the GAO acknowledged, federal law does not generally prohibit applicants with unpaid federal tax debts from receiving federal grant awards. With federal debt continuing to climb, and federal spending far outstripping tax revenues, Congress may at least examine changes to the law to impose new restrictions in this area. In addition, in many cases, the tax delinquencies stem from  unpaid payroll taxes, meaning that even entities exempt from federal income taxes may be affected.

The GAO accounts.  It has no teeth.  Congress has to act….  More from the GAO site indicates that groups such as these may be included, i.e., if they don’t includ amounts from groups that have not filed federal tax returns 

At least 3,700 Recovery Act contract and grant recipients–including prime recipients, subrecipients, and vendors–are estimated to owe more than $750 million in known unpaid federal taxes as of September 30, 2009, and received over $24 billion in Recovery Act funds. This represented nearly 5 percent of the approximately 80,000 contractors and grant recipients in the data from Recovery.gov as of July 2010 that we reviewed. The estimated amount of known unpaid federal taxes is likely understated because IRS databases do not include amounts owed by recipients who have not filed tax returns or understated their taxable income and for which IRS has not assessed tax amounts due. 

(Back to TAGGS and our HM grantees)

And the $15 million went to an organization incorporated by Dennis Stoica (in Leucadia) that had its corporate status suspended, as well as the OTHER two organizations he formed, around the same time.   Patty Howell’s nonprofit, who carried on the name — is still associated with the bad behavior (by association) with CHMC’s originals.

Yet the only one of the BUNCH that I can see actually filed (with California, where they are) with the OAG — as required to — was the Sacramento Healthy Marriage (Carolyn Curtis, Ph.D.)

The California Healthy Marriage (Stoica, Suspended) became, somehow “Healthy Relationships California” (Howell) — think Leucadia, San Diego Area.

Meanwhile, the SACRAMENTO HM group (Curtis) — not that its ‘charitable status is, er, current — at least created one with the OAG, which looks like this

(on the actual site, the headings background color would be BLUE).  I am coding it GREEN, to match the PATTY HOWELL group – and indeed, the letter on this site (From the OAG) saying’ hey whassup, is addressed to “Sacramento Healthy Marriage”

Organization Name Registration Number Record Type Registration Status City State Registration Type Record Type
HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS CALIFORNIA CT0149740 Charity Delinquent LEUCADIA CA Charity Registration Charity
1

TAGGS grant for This one, EIN# 6806790  (which I believe I’ve gone over before, at some length) shows:

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
California Healthy Marriages Coalition  LEUCADIA CA 92024-2215 SAN DIEGO 003664535 $ 7,883,475
California Healthy Marriages Coalition  LEUCADIA CA 92024-2215 SAN DIEGO 361795151 $ 7,142,080

Or, in the latest ACF announcement (just to make life a little harder for the novice in all this) as:

Healthy Relationships California

Leucadia

CA

$2,500,000

Which is it not called, any more — on the TAGGS  – – – OR, on the website itself, because Patty Howell’s  actual organization “healthy Relationships” apparently subsequently bought (or, at least claimed) the registered name “California Healthy Marrriage Coalition.”

Website — not that this group is current as a charity in California any more, but at least Ms. Howell’s nonprofit founded JUST a bit earlier than Mr. Stoica’s, saved the day and kept the name — it’s still showing up as:  California Healthy Marriages Coalition and (I see) features a “Dads & Kids” relationship education initiative, …

stating that this is funded in part by:  “Partial funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant: 90FE0104. “

ward Number: 90FE0104
Award Title: HEALTHY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION, PRIORITY AREA 1
OPDIV: ADMINISTRATION FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES (ACF)
Organization: OFFICE OF FAMILY ASSISTANCE (OFA)
Award Class: DISCRETIONARY

Award Abstract

Title Healthy Marriage Demonstration, Priority Area 1 
Project Start/End  /
Abstract Healthy Marriage Demonstration, Priority Area 1
PI Name/Title Howell, Patty   Vice President of Operations
Institution

There are 7 award actions (4 of which read “$0”) and the other three (discretionary) $2.3 million & $2.4 + $2.4 million from 2006, 2009 & 2010= $7,142,080.  The grant is labeled “healthy marriage” and “FE” and the use was for Dads & Kids relationship building — which just so happens to be another business Ms. Howell is in.

Quite honestly, I don’t remember now (or feel like checking) whether it was Howell, or Curtis — on both nonprofits, receiving $32K for work on the one, and $7K for work on the other.

HM/FR GRANTEE BEHAVIORS

I am now learning that their behavior is typical — not atypical– for the healthy marriage/responsible fatherhood grantees.  As such, I am starting to comprehend that the entire system wasn’t even nominally set up to promote marriage, but to deconstruct the lines of authority between federal and state, to divert welfare funding SPECIFICALLY from single mothers (who, even when under attack are still a force to be reckoned with) towards fathers, and change language acknowledging us as both mothers and citizens (individuals) with equal rights under the law — which, by the way, we DO have.  But not safely enforceable.

The Child Support monster is just that — and as it feeds gas in to county & state agencies, and (diversionary programs) — it has been spilling, and some of these spills turn into conflagrations where people get hurt.  Men, women and children.   Other than that, it often drains an economy — but DRIVES the bureaucratic economy.  Whatever it may have been, it is now a monster.  It recruits, it solicits — but it does not produce and does not contain viable checks and balances.

WHO VOTED THIS AGENDA IN?  AND WHO PUT THEM IN OFFICE?

I am gradually understanding that it was THE United States Congressmen, and some (not many) women that voted for these laws, from TANF (1996/Clinton), through DRA (2005/Bush) through ARRA (2009/Obama) and through 2010 Claims Resolution Act (also Obama).  It took me a while to realize that these years paralleled the hell extended nightmare of a marriage, followed by what at this point, I’d call worse — because it destroys hope of an off-ramp, EVER, and has definitely altered my family line’s wellbeing — in EVERY measurable category — for the far worse, since we first met the courts.   And people who go through this marginalization tend to listen to others who have; mine is no isolated instance; it’s a systemic situation.

This is relevant history to current history, on its course.   Don’t we want to know who helped set what in motion, and how?  Particularly when history tends to run over the very families (and economy) it is pretending — or purporting — to help?

Normally, this subject matter wouldn’t be on my radar.  It only got there when I demanded a reasonable explanation for a clear double-standard based on gender in what I assumed (wrongly, as it turns out) to be courts of law, i.e., “family courts.”   Of course my opposite gender’s proponents have been saying for decades that these courts are biased against THEIR gender, and must be adjusted to compensate.  They have now (far’s I can tell) been saying this with impunity for FAR too long.

SO — in some detail, and FYI  —

PRWORA 1996, DRA  2005, ARRA 2009 and 2010 Claims Resolution Act.  Slippery slope to evolving definitions of welfare and child support enforcement – incremental tipping of the purposes of TANF from Purpose #1

(1) provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives

towards Purpose #4 — and then expanding the application of Purpose #4 beyond anyone who might have actually needed the resources from Purpose #1.

(4) encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families. . . .

We are in the new millennium, which kicked off (after surviving the Y2K scare) pretty much with a possibly stolen election, and a King in the form of a President.  Kings, as their manner is, like to rewrite laws, restrict civil liberties, protect their cronies, equate their causes with “godly” causes, and protect THEIR, not the People’s Interest.  Such was definitely true the moment G. W. Bush took office in 2001, being sworn in to office under the same oath as previous Presidents.

The way was paved before him with 1996 Welfare Reform, which granted to states, allegedly, some of the co-dependent power it took from them, by allowing them “flexibility” (Block grants to states for TANF / welfare) to better address the needs of their citizens and reduce the welfare caseload.  If you are not “up” on this then research it some.  Center on Budget & Policy Priorities gives a brief recap.  These are good basic readings if you are, say, living and working in the United States.  Even if you are not doing this as a legal resident, or permanently, it may potentially affect situations such as were found in Seal Beach, California, when the father of a little boy, having 56% custody (despite prior violence, threats, and significant issues that would otherwise alert a reasonable person to danger) — being an ex-Marine — walked into a beauty salon with guns (and a bulletproof vest) and “offed” 6 people in the room (starting with a man, then his wife, then everyone else in there — a 73 yr old mother I heard survived serious wounds — and, who knows why, another innocent man sitting in a parked vehicle outside.  The joint custody policy comes from a combination of groups such as AFCC/CRC AND policies such as set in welfare reform.   These are not isolated incidences; they are recurring incidents (with more or less victims depending on circumstances) and their occurrences has not modified either welfare reform, or AFCC/CRC policy and agenda one whit, that I can see.  So, as a US resident, you will at some level be both funding these policies — and paying for clean up.   This is what we get for not paying closer attention to our legislatures, and doing WHATEVER is necessary to make time to do so, where at all possible!

From the “Center on Budget & Policy Priorities” whose board includes a person from the Brookings Institute, the Urban Institute (and Marian Wright Edelman of Children’s Defense Fund).  This nonprofit was founded in 1981, it says, and focuses on policies regarding low-income families, among other things.  I may not agree with all the viewpoints, but this outlines some of the facts:

They are going to detail some points about 1996 PRWORA, 2005 DRA, 2009 ARRA, and (let’s not forget the most recent, although I don’t know if this details), 2010 Claims Resolution Act

Sooner or later, (I hope), the public is going to wake up and ask just WHAT is its Congress authorizing when it comes to promoting marriage and fatherhood, and taking away from the original purpose of “AFDC” (Aid to Families with Dependent Children), or even the original purpose of TANF (aid to needy families), let alone the original purpose of the Child SUpport Enforcement (which was, child support enforcement).  Whatever the original purposes were — it’s clear which direction things are heading — which expansion of purposes, programs, and applications, and undermining of the ORIGINAL concept to a more circuitous, theory-based concept of how to help feed hungry children, and adult caretakers (including, like, parents?!)  in the households where they live, in America.

Policy Basics — an Introduction to TANF

What Is TANF?

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a block grant created by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, as part of a federal effort to “end welfare as we know it.” The TANF block grant replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, which had provided cash welfare to poor families with children since 1935.

Under the TANF structure, the federal government provides a block grant to the states, which use these funds to operate their own programs. States can use TANF dollars in ways designed to meet any of the four purposes set out in federal law, which are to: “(1) provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives; (2) end the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage; (3) prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and establish annual numerical goals for preventing and reducing the incidence of these pregnancies; and (4) encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.” . . .

The law that created the TANF block grant initially authorized funding through the end of federal fiscal year 2002. After several short-term extensions, Congress reauthorized TANF in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and made some modifications to the program;**TANF is now authorized through the end of federal fiscal year 2011 (September 30, 2011).

Who Is Eligible for TANF-Funded Benefits?

States have broad discretion to determine who is eligible for various TANF and MOE-funded benefits and services. In general, states must use the funds to serve families with children, with the only exceptions related to efforts to reduce non-marital childbearing and promote marriage . .

. . .

What Level of Funding Does TANF Provide to the States?

The basic TANF block grant has been set at $16.6 billion since it was established in 1996. As a result, the real value of the block grant has already fallen by about 28 percent.

The 1996 law also created supplemental grants for 17 states with high population growth or low block grant allocations relative to their needy population, as well as a contingency fund to help states weather a recession.** Congress regularly extended these supplemental grants, but the most recent extension covered only three of the four quarters of federal fiscal year 2011, and these grants expired July 1, 2011. This year represents the first time since 1996 that Congress has not fully funded the supplemental grants.

As noted above, states must spend state funds on programs for needy families as a condition of receiving the federal TANF block grant.

(Notice the #1 goal.  However, in Oklahoma, Ohio, other states, the emphasis was on goals 4, 3, 2 & 1, in approximate order, as shown by their policies.  I have blogged on the “OMI” before.

Apparently the DRA (2005) allowed states to categorize “MOE” expenses to NON-needy families (this is a footnote to a 2007 CRS report by the same person, Mr. Gene Falk):

 FN 15 Prior to the enactment of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA, P.L. 109-171) MOE funds used to achieve TANF’s family formation goals were restricted to expenditures on “needy” families with children. The DRA had a provision that allows a state’s total expenditure on activities to achieve these goals to be counted without regard to a family’s need. However, HHS regulations issued on February 5, 2008, limit MOE expenditures related to the family formation goals except for activities related to promoting healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood. (See Appendix, “Families Considered “Engaged in Work” (the Numerator of the Participation Rate)” later in this report for a listing of these activities. For a discussion of this regulatory provision, see Federal Register, vol. 73, no. 24, p. 6517-6318.

THIS, friends, is how one can encounter divorce or custody cases in which one side is a millionaire, but still benefitting from the priorities these programs set up in the courtroom, i.e. promoting more noncustodial (meaning father) parenting time by means of — supervised visitation, counseling, mediation, parent education, etc.  Court-referrals..

Using Federal TANF Grants

Federal TANF grants may be used for a wide range of benefits and services for families with children. Grants may be used within a state TANF program or transferred to either the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF, the “child care block grant”) or the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG). Unused TANF funds can also be reserved (saved), without fiscal year limit.12

FN12 Before the enactment of the ARRA, reserved funds could only be used for the purpose of providing “assistance” (often, cash welfare). The ARRA eliminated this restriction to the use of reserve funds, so that reserve funds can be used to provide any allowed TANF benefit or service.

**what Oklahoma did with its contingency fund, and other states (or certain appointees in other states) seem to like this model.  The ACF/HHS site mentions Oklahoma Marriage Initiative  as a model of how to use MOE funds, after first asserting that:

Healthy marriages are vitally important to the long term well-being of children. Beyond the economic advantages important for supporting children, the experiences and examples shown to children being raised by parents who enjoy a loving and long-term commitment yields tremendous developmental benefits for children. Forming and sustaining a happy and healthy marriage requires, in part, good fortune and, in larger part, parents possessing the knowledge and commitment to exercise healthy relationship skills that form the basis of healthy marriages.

(From the Director of HHS’s Office of Family Assistance, year, 2004.)

Certainly inherited wealth, circumstances of birth including where and to whom — have little to do with this; really, it’s about skills moreso.  Therefore, forget those other factors, let’s focus on the “healthy relationship skills” Well said, from an organization that distributes, but apparently doesn’t track too well, the funds!

Since the inception of PRWORA, Oklahoma has capitalized on the flexibility of TANF funds by investing $10 million in the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative (OMI). OMI was established under the third and fourth statutory purposes of TANF. OMI currently delivers marriage and relationship training statewide through social service systems, educational systems and volunteer organizations. Participants access training in diverse settings such as workforce development classes, high schools, military bases, prisons, first time offender programs, churches, universities and many more. In 2003, Oklahoma reported{{who checked??}}  that 938 workshops were conducted, serving 1,250 participants and training 1,200 individuals to provide future workshops. For additional information on Oklahoma’s Marriage Initiative please visit:http://www.okmarriage.org/services/healthyrelationships.asp

As I blogged before, the Governor of Oklahoma pushed this one from the top, with help from “expert speakers” and the head of his HHS, who pointed out there was TANF money sitting around.

The economic researchers found some social indicators that were hurting Oklahoma’s economy. They mentioned the high divorce rate, high rates of out-of-wedlock births and high rates of child deaths because of child abuse. One OSU economist wrote in an editorial, “Oklahoma’s high divorce rate and low per-capita income are interrelated. They hold hands. They push and pull each other. There’s no faster way [in Oklahoma!] for a married woman with children to become poor than to suddenly become a single mom.”

(Child abuse, of course doesn’t happen within marriages, and abuse of one’s kids is not a cause of divorce.) Then “Governor and First Lady’s (day-long) Conference on Marriage” with speaker..

(See, as recounted on a “smartmarriages.com” list-serv in 1999, how Gary Smalley & Wade Horn of the NFI were there…”Marriages must be strengthened for the sake of America’s children”

Theodora Ooms with the Family Impact Seminar in Washington
D.C. called the marriage conference historic. "You are pioneers here in
Oklahoma. I have been trying for ten years in Washington D.C. to get this
on the agenda and get some money to work on this issue and no one in
Washington will talk about it.

The Conference also included breakout sessions with attendees discussing
how the various sectors can work together and how government policy can
also impact the success of marriages. Among the items discussed:

Tax laws-possibly eliminating marriage penalty
Possible repeal of no fault divorce
Public education- emphasize the positive aspects of marriage to young people
  • Covenant marriages
  • Emphasis on premarital counseling, possibly even legally requiring it
  • Making laws more “family friendly”
  • e laws
  • The Governor and First Lady¼s Conference on Marriage was facilitated by
  • Jerry Regier, the Governor¼s Cabinet Secretary for Health and Human
  • Services. It was privately funded by several groups and individuals,
including the Burbridge Foundation and the Baptist General Convention.

Good grief.   the Baptist General Convention got with the Governor and helped propose taking welfare funds to promote marriage,

since their own Sunday Sermons weren’t persuasive enough?  That’s “ripe.”

BURBRIDGE INFO (random, from Internet) — PART 1:

Burbridge Foundation, I’m going to look up, obviously.  From “TheLostOgle.com” (apparently some Oklahomans having some fund poking fun at their state, although I note, “*.com”)  This foundation was #93 on the top 100 most embarrassing things about Oklahoma (from 2007, its centenary?):

Top 100 Oklahoma Embarrassments: 100-91

Posted on Monday, July 16th, 2007 under Best of OKCDean BlevinsOKC Music,Oklahoma City AlumniOklahoma City MediaOklahoma City RadioThe Sports Animal,Top 100 Oklahoma Embarrassments by Tony

For the eight of you out there who didn’t realize it, 2007 marks the 100th anniversary of the state of Oklahoma. To mark this, various publications around the state have been featuring all sorts of Top 100 lists that have provoked virtually no controversy and have not been talked about at the water cooler. In fact, we’ve heard so little discussion about these lists that we wonder if anyone is actually reading them. We sure don’t.

It does seem, though, that the focus has been on the more positive elements of Oklahoma. While we celebrate those things just like the rest of the world, it seems wrong to ignore the more humiliating aspects of the state of Oklahoma. Naturally, we’re here to fill that void, in this ten-part series that will run every Monday. Today, numbers 91 through 100 of Oklahoma’s Biggest Embarrassments..

. . .

93. Bobbie Burbridge Lane

Those commercials for the Burbridge foundation are possibly the most annoying thing on local radio, which is saying something. When listening to Burbridge Lane lecture us about pornography or religion being taken out of public schools or whatever the pet issue of the day is, we’re convinced that Burbridge Lane wants to return the United States to the 1950′s, which probably sucked really bad. 

There’s usually some truth on the heels of humor, and this one rings true:

BURBRIDGE INFO (random, from Internet) — PART 2:  Could THIS be why The Burbridge Foundation is so big on Marriage (dates to 1974).

(read for comic relief): (from “law.justia.com”)

496 F.2d 326: The Burbridge Foundation, Inc., Appellant,

v. Reinholdt & Gardner et al., Appellees

Robert E. Hornberger, Fort Smith, Ark., for appellant.

G. Alan Wooten, Harper, Young & Smith, Fort Smith, Ark., for appellees.

Before VAN OOSTERHOUT, Senior Circuit Judge, and LAY and ROSS, Circuit judges.

PER CURIAM.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit. – 496 F.2d 326

Submitted March 14, 1974.Decided May 15, 1974

. . .(The present suit is basically an action in rem seeking relinquishment of certain stocks held by the stakeholders, Reinholdt & Gardner. The Foundation’s memorandum in the trial court stated that ‘the relief specifically sought is the return and delivery to The Burbridge Foundation of its stock deposited with that defendant (Reinholdt & Gardner). …

Upon registry of a personal judgment arising from a divorce decree, Velma Jean Holloway, formerly Velma Jean Burbridge, obtained a writ of garnishment from the Chancery Court of Sebastian County, Arkansas, against Reinholdt & Gardner, a stock brokerage firm, to attach any stocks belonging to her former husband, R. O. Burbridge. The brokerage firm denied holding any stock in Burbridge’s name, but admitted it had an account in the name of The Burbridge Foundation. The Burbridge Foundation intervened in the state court proceedings. Shortly thereafter, The Foundation brought suit in the federal district court against Reinholdt & Gardner, seeking recovery of the stocks. In its complaint, The Foundation made the same allegations it raised as intervenor in state court, i.e., that the stocks belonged to it and not R. O. Burbridge personally. In addition The Foundation for the first time asserted that the Arkansas garnishment statute was unconstitutional in that it sought to deprive The Foundation of its property without due process of law.1 Reinholdt & Gardner answered that it could not relinquish the stocks until ordered to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction. The Holloways2 intervened in the federal action and moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The district court sustained the motion to dismiss. The Burbridge Foundation appeal.  (and apparently lost).

(SMILE): [2]Russell B. Holloway was the divorce attorney for Velma Jean Burbridge (now Holloway) and was awarded $12,000 in attorney’s fees. He was also a party to the state garnishment suit
So, Velma Jean divorced Mr. Burbridge, eventually married her divorce attorney, and seems to have gotten some of his stock, too, this being 1974;
So in 2000, here is this Burbridge Foundation sponsoring a let’s support marriage (and potentially institute covenant marriage / eliminate no-fault divorce, etc.) in Oklahoma.  Moral:  There is usually a back story to most public policy, somewhere . ..   and more than not, based in someone’s personal issues.  But wealth & power tends to think large (how do we think they got wealthy & powerful in the first place?), and the rest of the world should conform to their  theories…

BURBRIDGE INFO (Random, from internet) PART 3:   Self-description on website:

The Burbridge Foundation is a Christian foundation dedicated to working solutions to problems impacting our families and our culture. We do this by bringing public awareness to these problems, by working alongside other faiths and concerned citizens interested in strengthening the fabric of our community character, and by providing leadership support to organizations of like vision.

Is sponsoring a meeting/conference with the Governor which then results in him intentionally bypassing the Legislator to get this Marriage Promotion Process going — “Christian”??

From OMI site:

  • Governor Keating was aware that his support of a marriage promotion agenda was controversial and would not be immediately popular.
  • As evidence of his serious commitment to this issue, Keating put his Cabinet Secretary for Health and Human Services, Jerry Regier, in charge of developing a plan of action for the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative.  (after committing funds from HHS)  In addition, Public Strategies (PSI), a small public affairs/public relations firm, was awarded a project management bid and, from the beginning, national experts advised various aspects of the Initiative. {{We showed who some of these were, including Wade Horn of National Fatherhood Initiative}} This leadership outlined the main themes and components of the OMI. They deliberately decided not to appoint a Commission to “study” the issues, nor did they propose a legislative package of reforms. 

At the legislative level, they might have faced a fight, and been forced to justify — TO OKLAHOMA RESIDENTS — the diversion of TANF emergency funds to marriage promotion!

I looked up Jerry Regier, and Voice of Freedom (albeit a gay rights publication?) says “Gov. Bush’s Appointment Of Jerry Regier For The Dept Of Children & Families Is More Than A Right-Wing Extremist; He Leaves A Record Of Increased Child Abuse & Neglect” (apparently from OK he was going — courtesy of the brother of then-President George Bush — to FL).  Look at the commentary: (color:  TEAL)

And what we found is not good for the children and families of Florida. Here is what Oklahoma Governor did not tell Jeb:

August 24, 1999: Secretary for Health and Human Services Jerry Regier is violating both the spirit and the letter of a new state law in his zeal to hasten the downsizing of Eastern State Hospital in Vinita

Sept. 20, 2000: Health and Human Services Secretary Jerry Regier is trying to dodge responsibility for recent problems

April 11, 2001: Associate Press: State Office of Juvenile Affairs charged the state and federal government $1.2 million more than it was eligible to receive during a period of 19 months. Jerry Regier, secretary of HHS, said that once a program is in place, an acceptable error rate would probably be 5 percent or less. Last fiscal year, Oklahoma County had an error rate of 59.2 percent. Tulsa County’s error rate was 26 percent

April 12, 2001: Regier Skirts Competitive Bidding Laws – A controversial political consultant was awarded more than $1.2 million in state contracts without having to compete for the business, according to state records.

(this seems to be a hallmark of certain faith-based groups; I’m thinking of the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based (whatnots) in Ohio, re:  Krista Sisterhen.  It’s all over the web; she was there 2003-2006; eliminated otherwise qualified groups to get a contract to a group (formed only in 2000 and not in-state) called “WeCare” which then screwed up.  And — had ties to Bush Administration. )

Oklahoma KIDS COUNT Fact Book 2001:
     Reveals that 2 key benchmarks tracked worsened when compared to data from a dozen years ago:

  • Child abuse & neglect
  • More than fifteen thousand (15,518) are abused or neglected
  • More than two hundred thousand (210,470) Oklahoma children live in poverty an increase since 1998 (Regier took office in 1997)
    This brief synopsis points to an administrator whose track record is not favorable for the task at hand. Although he received honors as a good administrator, the fact that child neglect and abuse increased while he was HHS Director demonstrates a lack for a sense of priorities, in this case the welfare of our children. Florida does not need more scandal; downsizing or political mismanagement in the Department of Children and Families, Regier has got to go! 

By

  • Initial activities were funded with private foundation monies and discretionary state dollars. Howard Hendrick, Department of Human Services (DHS) Director, pointed out that using TANF monies to fund the initiative fit within the intent of the family formation goals of the 1996 federal welfare reform law. {{YES — as I said, of the four purposes, it as purpose #4 only}} The DHS Board set aside $10 million of undedicated TANF funds for OMI activities. The funds were earmarked primarily for developing marriage-related services, and leaders acknowledged that efforts should be made to make them available to low-income populations.

TANF was at this time FOR low-income populations.   FOR helping children be cared for in their own households, as much as possible.  For leaders to say “well TRY to offer them to low-income populations” while targeting the entire state of Oklahoma — NOT the needy populations  (not all of who is poor, but obviously many of who have been divorcing) is OFF-purpose.   $10 million is a LOT of money to set aside, to some families.  How many mouths would’ve been fed, for sacrifice of rhetoric?

  • Thus, the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative was launched and has grown to become the broad-based social service prevention project that it is today.

More on REGIER — guess where he was in December 2006?  Sitting as “US Department of Health and Human Services Washington, DC 20201

Jerry Regier, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation” {{ASPE == a Program Office or OpDiv of HHS }}and writing a glowing recommendation of the OMI.  In this brochure (which has his name on it), it says that Jerry Regier — as Cabinet Head of HHS — prodeed the Governotr to get this started, citing specifically 1996 TANF reform.  The economic studies were secondary…. 

Nearly eight years ago, Oklahoma’s then-Cabinet Secretary for Health and Human Services, Jerry Regier, encouraged then-Governor Frank Keating to take action to strengthen Oklahoma’s families, in response to emerging research and the increased emphasis on two- parent families in the 1996 federal welfare reform legislation.

So the REAL question is — where was Regier before this, and how did he get to be in the Cabinet Position in Oklahoma?

This Brief is a good (short read) showing that when the TANF-Reformers come to town (carrying NFI-ideas), they are going to force system change.  For example, the system change in Oklahoma was definitely focused on pushing MARRIAGE to people from ALL sectors of life — not alleviating poverty and helping poor or needy families.  Moreover, there was a connection somehow, to the Denver Crowd (who produced PREP).

The brief comes right from ACF.HHS.GOV/healthy marriage site. In the flow chart, a central square reads ” PRIORITY 2:”  BUILD DEMAND FOR SERVICES”

and from that, arrows to 3 boxes, the top one of which reads:  “TRAIN AGENCIES (like child support!) TO MAKE REFERRALS”

OK (I think I have it).  First, Jerry Regier was formerly president of the ultraconservative “Family Research Council” prior to Oklahoma

But this report (2004) from Florida — where it seems he went next — is scathing, and — in short — read it.    I can’t say it more emphatically.

  • How could Bush not have seen this mess coming? Regier was a GOP party
    hack in Oklahoma with an undistinguished track record in the family
    services bureaucracy. An ultraconservative Christian, his byline had
    turned up on two published papers that espoused spanking kids, even if
    it caused “welts and bruises.”
A scalding report by the governor’s chief inspector general has
revealed that high-ranking DCF officials handed out fat and dubious
contracts to pals and political cronies, and accepted gifts, favors
and lodging from outside contractors.

As a result, three of Regier’s top administrators have quit, and
Regier himself has been reduced to defending his own outrageous
socializing with a DCF contractor.

It’s much more than the mere “appearance of impropriety.” It is the
greedy, rotten essence of impropriety — profiteering at the expense of
Florida’s neediest and most vulnerable children.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars that could have been spent hiring
more caseworkers and investigators were instead doled out to
well-connected firms as part of Regier’s rush to “privatize”
child-welfare services.

In recent weeks, the Miami Herald’s Carol Marbin Miller has documented
the DCF gravy train in infuriating detail. A few of the lowlights:

  • A $21 million contract to fix DCF’s computer system was awarded to
  • American Management Services, although another company had been ranked
  • first after the initial screening process.
  • The lobbyist for American Management happened to be Greg Coler, a
  • former chief of the state child-welfare agency and a close friend of
  • Regier. Sitting on American Management’s board of directors was former
  • Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating — the man who recommended Regier for the
  • DCF job in Florida.

—DCF Deputy Secretary Ben Harris gave out a $500,000 no-bid contract,
split between two of his friends, for computer ‘‘kiosks’’ that
dispense food stamps.

ACTUALLY — WIKIPEDIA pretty much lays it out.  Jerry Regier worked for the elder Bush administration.  Best read in sequence:  (and I now have a 20,000 word post, too….)

Includes this section:

Family Research Council

Regier, in cooperation with Dr. James Dobson, founded the Family Research Council, a conservative, Christian right group and lobbying organization, in 1983. Regier served as that organization’s first President from 1984 until 1988. Gary Bauer, a domestic policy advisor under President Ronald Reagan, succeeded Regier as President.

Federal government career

President Ronald Reagan appointed Regier in 1988 to the National Commission on Children, an advisory body in the United States Department of Health and Human Services on children’s issues. Reagan’s successor,George H.W. Bush, reappointed Regier in 1991. Regier continued to serve on the Commission until 1993.

(SIGH — I looked up “Family Research Council” and found among its board members, the mother of the man tied to Blackwater, and a board member of

The Council on National Policy among other things — here it goes, a 2008 “Muckety Site” (visual diagram of relationships).  This relates to tracking down a single person influential in starting

the “Oklahoma Marriage Initiative” (Jerry Regier), learning of his former Bush & FRC connections, and looking up FRC.  WHich just goes to show, when is it time to stop!?)

Story by Laura Bennett, Oct. 2008, posted at “Muckety” under “Erik Prince’s Mom gives $450,000 to stop same-sex marriage in California

I’m less concerned about that than the Blackwater connection, who else this woman is funding.  See Diagram:

Focus on the Family (one of the followers) figured in my life personally, exacerbating already virulent abuse, to the point that I ended up quitting a FT night job, that had been supporting our family.  I’m talking WHILE I was married.  My husband loved James Dobson, and listened to his stuff also

Speaking as a heterosexual Christian — I don’t know WHO these guys are — they do not do a resemblance of what I see in the Bible; and in person, and in influence are virtually terroristic to women.  If I’d NOT been a Christian, I’d probably have bailed out of the marriage much faster — and this might (not sure, but MIGHT) have been better for our kids.  When I hear WHO is behind some of these groups (years later) it somewhat validates the personal experiences (not mine only) that they are essentially domestic terrorists — unless one submits willingly.

Two Voices from a while back warn us on this movement:  Patricia Ireland, (NOW) and Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jr. Both are responding to the Promise Keepers’ “Stand in the Gap” rally on the Washington Mall.  Listen to them!  ”

We are talking, 1997!….(I don’t have the date of Rev. Jesse Jackson’s speech).

Recently, hundreds of thousands of religious American males were on display at the Promise Keepers‘ “Stand In The Gap” rally in the nation’s capitol. What could possibly be wrong with men bonding, praying and pledging to be better Christians, with the goal of becoming better and more responsible husbands and fathers, and active in their local church? Nothing that I can see.

There is certainly nothing wrong with men exercising their First Amendment rights to peaceably assemble and to enjoy the freedoms of speech and religion. There is absolutely nothing wrong with acknowledging that we have done wrong, we recognize our weaknesses,confess our sins before God and the public and vow, with God’s help, to change our ways, to do better and to be better men in the future. The genuineness and validity of the religious experience for any of the participants, and any long-range good that comes from it, must be affirmed and respected.

There is nothing wrong with any of that, if that’s all there is to it.

(and he goes to accurately characterize the group):

Women now want to be priests, pastors and preach in pulpits. These demands come from a feminist and womanist theology and biblical interpretation born of experiences of denial and oppression from conservative and non-liberating Christian men.

As Christians, we all read the same Bible, but our biblical interpretations are born of our varied life experiences. It was Martin Luther’s experiences with Roman Catholicism that led to a critique (95 Theses) that began the Protestant Reformation. Similar experiences have led to modern critiques and new interpretive contributions of scripture and theology that run all the way from the birth of our nation — a theology that gave us a liberal democratic and constitutionally-based government to replace a traditional, conservative and God-based Monarchy— to a Latin American-oriented liberation theology; to an African American-originated “Black” theology; to a female-led feminist and womanist theology; to a gay and lesbian theology; all of which respect all religions, advocate for human rights and equal protection under the law for all regardless of race, national origin, sex or sexual orientation, and all of which are liberation theologies reflecting a God of the oppressed.

The Promise Keepers deny the legitimacy of most, if not all, of these theological and biblical interpretations that have grown out of experiences of oppression, and resent our commitment to not go back –theologically, biblically, socially, politically or culturally.

QUITE FRANKLY — this is where a lot of “Christian Domestic Violence” (contradiction in terms – the false term there is “Christian”) comes from — it is an outraged insistence on previously inherent male dominance.  Enforced physically and all other kinds of ways, and acknowledged by the male bonding in surrounding institutions, and well-tamed females in them also.  This is why I no longer frequent — or even darken the door of — churches, if I can help it.  Maybe for a music event — not for worship, not for socializing, and not for any form of support.  Life is too short.

That which, in the past, has been identified as “religious” and “Christian” has not always been liberating and quite often has been oppressive. In South Africa it was the Dutch Reformed Christian Church that provided the religious foundation for apartheid. In the United States’ South it was the Southern Baptists and other mainline churches that practiced and theologically justified slavery and Jim Crow. The Ku Klux Klan identifies itself as a Christian organization. It was white Christian ministers who attacked Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Birmingham, Alabama for fighting racism that brought forth his “Letter From A Birmingham Jail.” At our foundation, good Christian men owned slaves and defined African Americans as three-fifths human in our Constitution, they committed genocide against Native Americans and stole their land, and they denied women the right to vote. In Congress today,many who call themselves religious and Christian, vote against laws to provide food, health care, housing, jobs, education and an equalopportunity to millions of Americans. There’s an old Negro Spiritual that speaks to this point. It says, “Everybody talkin’ ’bout heaven ain’t goin’ there.”

The Promise Keepers’ answer to that very real problem is not to look to the future with hope and confidence, confronting the changes needed and reinterpreting male identity in terms of gender equality. Instead, Promise Keepers try to give men identity and, therefore, security, by returning to a familiar past. Their preaching and teaching, mostly subliminal, though not exclusively so, was to reveal a fear of that future. The Promise Keeper answer is to retreat and recapture this biblical past.

SO NOW HERE COMES THIS REVELATION — OF THE CONNECTION BETWEEN FOCUS ON THE FAMILY (Types) and BLACKWATER.  I  can’t say I’m really surprised.

And I do believe — especially seeing the Bush/Regier/OMI/FRC (etc.) connections that when we are looking at any Healthy Marriage / Responsible Fatherhood grant, program, or initiative — even though there may be innocent and sincere participants — this is the essence of what we are seeing — which is the intent to dominate, control, force to submit, and (this being a necessary means to dominate in a country with a Bill of Rights — to force institutions to line up, removing the due process and civil rights, permanently.

(to be continued)

(ELSA PRINCE) Broekhuizen is the mother of Erik D. Prince, founder of Blackwater Worldwide, the controversial operation that provides security services to federal officials in Iraq and other countries. Her daughter, Betsy DeVos, is a former Michigan GOP chair and wife of failed gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos.

Broekhuizen’s first husband, Edgar, founded an auto parts company that was sold after his death for $1.4 billion. She later married her pastor, Ren Broekhuizen.

An assistant told the Grand Rapids Press that Broekhuizen gave to the campaign because the issue is “very important to her. It’s near and dear to her heart. She likes to give from her heart and not for public recognition.”

Broekhuizen heads the Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation, which had assets of more than $42 million in 2006 (the last year for which tax returns are publicly available). The foundation and Broekhuizen personally are longtime supporters of religious organizations and conservative political groups such as the Haggai Institute, Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council.

BURBRIDGE FOUNDATION — A CHRISTIAN FOUNDATION — helped this happen, then.  Make a note of it, because this was wrong!

We continue to work across the country with individuals and organizations combating the scourge of pornography – a deadly and often underestimated cancer assaulting the family. For information on the “WRAP Campaign” and other information on fighting porn go to www.moralityinmedia.org.

Our current effort focuses on Christian leadership development. In 2007, we reached out to several Oklahoma City Christian lay leaders with a vision for the creation of “salt and light leadership training” to leaders of this and other cities. This has now become the “SALLT Fellowship” which can be found at www.saltandlightleadership.com.

Soli Deo Gloria  (Latin: to God only be Glory; JS Bach used to sign his manuscripts with this, hear tell)

“We are not a direct grant-giving organization.”
Also at the same street address is “Character First”

Our Approach

Character First is a professional development and character education program that is delivered many ways—training seminars, books, magazines, curriculum, email—that focus on real-life issues at work, school, home, and the community.

Gee, then why might they NOT sponsor such a conference with the Governor on curriculum-based ways to strengthen marriages?

Communities & Character Councils

Character First works with government leaders and community organizations around the world who want to promote character on a local basis.

[[website says “Character First” began in 1992 at an Oil & Gas-servicing company called “Kimray”]]

To do this, many communities form a “Character Council” (often a non-profit, non-religious charitable organization) to promote character in all sectors of a community—including business, government, education, law enforcement, media, the faith community, and families.

The following communities have taken various steps toward promoting character, such as passing resolutions, forming character councils, implementing Character First, and organizing special events.

AND also at this address (3rd organization):
Strata Leadership, LLC is a small consulting firm located in Edmond, Oklahoma focused on helping individuals and organizations succeed.

Strata Leadership, LLC.

And here is where we see some Dispute Resolution background, familiar in the anti-divorce courtrooms around AFCC personnel as well:

hrough Strata’s partnerships with other organizations such as Character First!, our team consists of nearly 15 full-time employees.  Strata is led by our executive leadership team of Strata President, Dr. Nathan Mellor and Executive Vice-President, Wayne Whitesell.

[Photo of young-looking Caucasian guy]

Dr. Nathan Mellor is a co-owner and president of Strata.  He is a popular speaker who makes 125-175 presentations per year across America and around the globe.  He has spoken in over  states and in countries such as: Australia, Belize, Guyana, Jordan, Mexico, Russia and Rwanda.

Dr. Mellor holds the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Master of Science in Education (MSE) degrees fromHarding University. He earned the Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law – Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and the Doctor of Education (EDD) in Organizational Leadership degree from Pepperdine University.

STrata’s Partners (at least 2 at the same address):

Strata is proud to partner with and promote the work of the following friends:

Copyright © 2009 Strata Leadership, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

Products — pricey!

The “other” sponsors of the Governor and First Lady’s year 2000 Conference are not mentioned, but I think we get the general idea…

Choice quote:

Even with a lack of comprehensive data about why the problem exists, the research information clearly demonstrates that something must be done. (: (:
OK -- just DO something -- and afterwards, maybe, look for actual cause & effect connections....  "Lack of Comprehensive Data"
* According to data provided by the CDC, Oklahoma has the 2nd highest
divorce rate in the nation, by state of residence.
   Only Arkansas has a worse divorce rate.
- Only 14% of white women who married in the early 1940's eventually
divorced, whereas almost half of white women who married in the late
1960's and early 1970's have already become divorced. For African-American
women, the figures are 18% and nearly 60%
Presumably some men, then, also divorced.  Any stats about them??  Go figures -- a NFI participatory event is going to
talk about the women! (behind their backs, too).

It’s Oklahoma!  Notice, the emphasis on divorce rate, by race.   …   Here, amazingly, is the 2002 Testimony of that Director of HHS for OK:

United State Senate Finance Committee Thursday, May 16, 2002 10:00 A.M.

Room 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Issues in TANF Reauthorization: Building Stronger Families

Testimony of Howard H. Hendrick Oklahoma Cabinet Secretary of Health and Human Services and Director, Oklahoma Deparment of Human Services

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the privilege of appearing today to share the genesis and status of Oklahoma’s strategy to strengthen marriages and reduce divorce. In Oklahoma, we are spending TANF funds for this purpose because the research clearly shows that child well-being is enhanced when children are reared in two parent families where the parents have a low conflict marriage. …

(Governor Keating):   He hosted the nation’’s first ““Governor and First Lady’’s Conference on Marriage”” in March, of 1999. Based on the information learned there, Oklahoma’’s Marriage Initiative was launched. The Governor took key steps to ensure that the goal of reducing divorce and strengthening marriage was more than simply a political statement. Specifically the governor:

␣ Took the bold step of setting a specific, measurable goal – to reduce divorce in Oklahoma by 1/3 by the year 2010.

Question:  What right does any Governor have to even TRY and do this?  (Notice, by this time both houses of US Congress had already voted National Resolutions to Support Fatherhood:  1998, 1999).  By 2002, they had already chosen a curriculum, “PREP(r).”  This curriculum, well — as 2002 testimony says:

We selected PREP® (the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program) as the state’’s curriculum because of its research basis and its evaluation record. It is a curriculum that has been used in the military for many years. PREP can be tailored to a variety of constituencies and the long-term efficacy of the twelve hours of education has been validated in a variety of research settings.

We are presently in the training stage of implementing the service delivery system. These skills are beginning to be offered in workshops throughout Oklahoma. The training includes identifying substance abuse risks and presentations by the Oklahoma Coalition against Domestic Violence. . .

(Concluding statement):

Based on what we’’ve learned so far, we continue to support the use of TANF funds to fund activities that strengthen families by growing healthy marriages.

GROWING HEALTHY MARRIAGES?  Then, literally, they are farming their populace — which is objectionable!

The input of “Theodore Ooms” of “Family Impact Seminars” was noted.  Here is the “Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars (PINFIS).  “Surprisingly” it is funded by many of the responsible fatherhood grantees I have come to recognize over the years, such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation:

The Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars aims to strengthen family policy by connecting state policymakers with research knowledge and researchers with policy knowledge. The Institute provides nonpartisan, solution-oriented research and a family impact perspective on issues being debated in state legislatures. We provide technical assistance to and facilitate dialogue among professionals conducting Family Impact Seminars in 28 sites across the country. If you are a PINFIS Affiliate, please click here to login.

The Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars is currently funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and the William T. Grant Foundation. Past supporters include the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Copyright © 1993-2011. Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy.

26 States + D.C. get seminars from this Wisconsin-based (presumably nonprofit) group based at UW-Madison/Extension.  “The Seminars target state policymakers, including legislators, legislative aides, governor’s office staff, legislative service agency staff, and agency representatives. The traditional format of the 2-hour seminars consists of three 20-minute presentations given by a panel of premier researchers, program directors, and policy analysts. For each seminar, discussion sessions are held and a background briefing report summarizes high-quality research on the issue in a succinct, easy-to-understand format.”

UMichigan reveals they’ve had 16 Family Impact Seminars since 2000— and that the Kellogg Foundation is helping them receive this also.  This 2000 report, on one page sites a survey of “9 barriers to employment that single mothers face” and doesn’t mention — domestic violence at all.  However, on page 17, in a page dedicated to Domestic Violence, the two authors note:

Background Data and Research

Families who experience domestic violence are often also victims of poverty. Studies examining the association between domestic violence and poverty have found:

 Of current welfare recipients in Michigan, 63% have experienced physical abuse and 51% have experienced severe physical abuse during their lifetimes[12].

• Physical abuse/being afraid of someone was cited as the primary cause of homelessness (in a survey of homeless adults in Michigan) [7].

• Half of homeless women and children report being victims of domestic violence [5,7].

AND,. . . . well, here is the rest of the page:

These barriers consist of:

• Psychological effects of domestic violence (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, or anxiety)

• Sabotage by the abuser (destroying homework assignments, disabling cars and alarm clocks, interference with child care efforts, or harassment at work)

• Manipulation by the abuser (leaving marks and/or bruises that prevent the woman from attending work or an interview, or undermining self-confidence

These employment barriers can lead to tardiness, absenteeism and lack of productivity. Research shows that between 23% and 42% affected by domestic violence report that the abuse had an impact on their work performance [4,5,12].

A study conducted by the University of Michigan suggests that domestic violence by itself is not a barrier to employment,** but that the more barriers one has, the more difficult it is to leave welfare for work [2]. Further research is needed on multiple barriers to employment resulting from domestic violence.

**personal.  True, it’s possible to work — at times, and as allowed by an abuser — with domestic violence.  I have done many things competently immediately after and immediately preceding devastating attacks, some physical, some threats, some involving threats to our children, and once even after they were removed illegally, overnight, and despite law enforcement having been alerted to the threat shortly (same season) before.  Yes it is possible, depending on the person and the relationship, to hold down a job or series of jobs and simply take the abuse at home going or coming.  But, over long-term, the violence does escalate, and a person has to take action on it.  And it DOES cut down on productivity.   It is also possible to work, and in a relationship, not be able to spend the proceeds from one’s own work on one’s kids’ welfare.  Also because work tends to empower women, with men threatened with that independence, it is sometimes a time of increased harm, as he’s torn between wanting the money from that work, but realizing that “his” woman is going to have some work relationships he may not be able to utterly control.

A recent study found that approximately 70% of domestic violence victims did not disclose the abuse to their TANF caseworkers [10]. The same study found that 75% of those that did reveal information about the violence did not receive the appropriate support or services. These results imply that without the proper services, many victims of domestic violence and their children are forced to return home to their abuser.

(from page “Domestic Violence and Poverty Deborah Satyanathan and Anna Pollack”)

In a climate (see Oklahoma Marriage Initiative) where the powers that be believe — or say they do — that it’s lack of marriage (and not really, violence in marriages or other forms of abuse impacting work & home life) causing poverty, the only alternative individuals have, who are caught up in that — is to request the state to honor its laws against such abuse.  If the state, based on ITS own decisions made with help from The National Fatherhood Initiative and others, based on their theories — chooses to overstep Executive Authority, as Governor Keating of OK specifically intended to, and did, do — then he just weakened the very state (as a member of states under the US Constitution — at least at some time in the past century or two, we were) in the name of “strengthening families.”

This Study quotes the “Center for Budget & Policy Priorities” I cite also for a TANF summary (above).  They cite 4 barriers to work, NONE of which applied to many of the women I knew in DV support groups in the 1990s and have known since (to this day) in custody battles for their children, in the 2000s, where judicial discretion wins the day, and judges sit on the boards of nonprofits taking business from access visitation and other TANF-funded activities!   This study from a group named in influencing the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, relates:

Four of the major barriers identified by analysts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities include [2]:

1. Little or no employment skills or education

2. Little or no prior work experience

3. Substandard housing conditions or lack of affordable housing

4. Having a child with special needs

I am sure these are relevant areas — but NOT for all families that are being driven ONTO (not helped OFF) TANF!  None of these applied to my case, nor many women I network with.  They are women (at least one, homeless), some have done jail time over failure to pay allotted child support (after being stay at home mothers, then forced to fight for custody), others have had to drop out of school; whatever it was they were doing in life — had to STOP to accommodate the machinery of the courts, and with activists and attorneys — neither of them — telling which end was up, until common sense said, those were poor answers (to the circumstances) and some began looking other places for rational explanations of the behavior of those making critical decisions about our lives and our kids.

It makes zero sense to at least acknowledge the role of DV in work sabotage, sometimes long-term, and not continue to insist that to receive help, someone absolutely needs coaching.  I had work experience AND degrees, and as it happens, many educated and/or professional women leaving abusive relationships, where part of this abuse was economic control under duress, did not need more “job skills.”  What we needed was quite different, namely a SAFETY ZONE with which to rebuild.   However, thanks to dynamics, and Governors like Governor Keating in OK, or any other Governor who is enabling some administrative or executive agency to undermine legal rights of the states’ citizens (regardless of race, gender but with regard to marital status), women like us, mothers innocent of child abuse or any criminal wrongdoing — have been literally destroyed and taken out of the work force, while the concept that somehow faith-based organizations give a damn, and deserve special-status red carpet in order to grab those grants and ram marriage & relationship education down peoples throats — and from a VERY narrow range of potential marketeers, several of who already receive federal funding to run demonstration studies on citizens in the military, in prison, on welfare, paying child support (or not, as case may be), in schools — and even in Head Start — to fine-tune how to produce THEIR desired result in society!

Public Strategies Inc. of Oklahoma continues to get its share — $2.5 million, this last round — of GRANTS (not just contracts) to do more of the same and expand it — as the situations in which TANF funds may be applied to form two-parent families continues to expand.  The OMI knew — from the start (Testimony in 2002 shows) that the curriculum of choice, PREP(r) was going to be used.

Notice who paid for that first “Governor and First Lady’s Conference.”

The phrase “low conflict” is typically an AFCC one.  Wonder what there input was here.

More — this is not a half-bad summary:

The amount states must spend is set at 80 percent of their 1994 contribution to AFDC-related programs. (In some cases this “maintenance of effort” (MOE) requirement can be reduced to 75 percent.) In 2009 states spent roughly $15 billion in state MOE funds. The amount states are required to spend (at the 80 percent level) in 2009 is about 45 percent below the amount they spent on AFDC-related programs in 1994, after adjusting for inflation.

* * *The Deficit Reduction Act also provided $100 million per year to support programs designed to promote healthy marriages.

When TANF was created in 1996, Congress provided $2 billion in a contingency fund; this fund was not used much until the current recession but a number of states have received contingency funds for one or more years between 2008 and 2011. The fund is now depleted and states only received partial allocations for 2010 and 2011. In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act {{ARRA}} (sometimes referred to as the “stimulus” bill), Congress created a new and temporary Emergency Funddesigned to provide aid to states that see increases in assistance caseloads or certain program costs as they address the needs of families during the economic downturn. Congress appropriated $5 billion to this new Emergency Fund for 2009 and 2010 — by the time the fund expired in September 2010, the $5 billion had been fully used.

Another Summary, from CRS (Congressional Research Service), prepared in 2007 — this is an outline

However, money taken from the public, collected in the U.S. Treasury, and reallocated out from there, usually has strings attached.  The strings attached to the restructuring of the child support system (Title IV-D) were significant; i.e., states needed to centralize their child support distribution system, and they were blessed with access visitation grants from a $10 million/year pool, proportionate to some stipulations based on their population, by Congress somehow, and this could be maintained IF the states were GOOD boys and complied.

The states have NOT been complying, but they are still getting the money, so I am presuming that there is some mutual benefit involved between state and local government stakeholders.  By the way, the word “Stakeholder” never usually applies to the people most drastically affected by policies set by stakeholders — which is those not at the table when policies are set, and likely in need of the services being restructured, recirculated, reframed, and redirected.

We are in the new millennium, which kicked off (after surviving the Y2K scare) pretty much with a possibly stolen election, and a King in the form of a President.  Kings, as their manner is, like to rewrite laws, restrict civil liberties, protect their cronies, equate their causes with “godly” causes, and protect THEIR, not the People’s Interest.  Such was definitely true the moment G. W. Bush took office in 2001, being sworn in to office under the same oath as previous Presidents.

The way was paved before him with 1996 Welfare Reform, which granted to states, allegedly, some of the co-dependent power it took from them, by allowing them “flexibility” (Block grants to states for TANF / welfare) to better address the needs of their citizens and reduce the welfare caseload.  If you are not “up” on this then research it some.  Center on Budget & Policy Priorities gives a brief recap.  These are good basic readings if you are, say, living and working in the United States.  Even if you are not doing this as a legal resident, or permanently, it may potentially affect situations such as were found in Seal Beach, California, when the father of a little boy, having 56% custody (despite prior violence, threats, and significant issues that would otherwise alert a reasonable person to danger) — being an ex-Marine — walked into a beauty salon with guns (and a bulletproof vest) and “offed” 6 people in the room (starting with a man, then his wife, then everyone else in there — a 73 yr old mother I heard survived serious wounds — and, who knows why, another innocent man sitting in a parked vehicle outside.  The joint custody policy comes from a combination of groups such as AFCC/CRC AND policies such as set in welfare reform.   These are not isolated incidences; they are recurring incidents (with more or less victims depending on circumstances) and their occurrences has not modified either welfare reform, or AFCC/CRC policy and agenda one whit, that I can see.  So, as a US resident, you will at some level be both funding these policies — and paying for clean up.   This is what we get for not paying closer attention to our legislatures, and doing WHATEVER is necessary to make time to do so, where at all possible!

From the “Center on Budget & Policy Priorities” whose board includes a person from the Brookings Institute, the Urban Institute (and Marian Wright Edelman of Children’s Defense Fund).  This nonprofit was founded in 1981, it says, and focuses on policies regarding low-income families, among other things.  I may not agree with all the viewpoints, but this outlines some of the facts:

They are going to detail some points about 1996 PRWORA, 2005 DRA, 2009 ARRA, and (let’s not forget the most recent, although I don’t know if this details), 2010 Claims Resolution Act

Sooner or later, (I hope), the public is going to wake up and ask just WHAT is its Congress authorizing when it comes to promoting marriage and fatherhood, and taking away from the original purpose of “AFDC” (Aid to Families with Dependent Children), or even the original purpose of TANF (aid to needy families), let alone the original purpose of the Child SUpport Enforcement (which was, child support enforcement).  Whatever the original purposes were — it’s clear which direction things are heading — which expansion of purposes, programs, and applications, and undermining of the ORIGINAL concept to a more circuitous, theory-based concept of how to help feed hungry children, and adult caretakers (including, like, parents?!)  in the households where they live, in America.

Policy Basics — an Introduction to TANF

What Is TANF?

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a block grant created by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, as part of a federal effort to “end welfare as we know it.” The TANF block grant replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, which had provided cash welfare to poor families with children since 1935.

Under the TANF structure, the federal government provides a block grant to the states, which use these funds to operate their own programs. States can use TANF dollars in ways designed to meet any of the four purposes set out in federal law, which are to: “(1) provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives; (2) end the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage; (3) prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and establish annual numerical goals for preventing and reducing the incidence of these pregnancies; and (4) encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.” . . .

The law that created the TANF block grant initially authorized funding through the end of federal fiscal year 2002. After several short-term extensions, Congress reauthorized TANF in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and made some modifications to the program;**TANF is now authorized through the end of federal fiscal year 2011 (September 30, 2011).

Who Is Eligible for TANF-Funded Benefits?

States have broad discretion to determine who is eligible for various TANF and MOE-funded benefits and services. In general, states must use the funds to serve families with children, with the only exceptions related to efforts to reduce non-marital childbearing and promote marriage . .

. . .

What Level of Funding Does TANF Provide to the States?

The basic TANF block grant has been set at $16.6 billion since it was established in 1996. As a result, the real value of the block grant has already fallen by about 28 percent.

The 1996 law also created supplemental grants for 17 states with high population growth or low block grant allocations relative to their needy population, as well as a contingency fund to help states weather a recession.** Congress regularly extended these supplemental grants, but the most recent extension covered only three of the four quarters of federal fiscal year 2011, and these grants expired July 1, 2011. This year represents the first time since 1996 that Congress has not fully funded the supplemental grants.

As noted above, states must spend state funds on programs for needy families as a condition of receiving the federal TANF block grant.

(Notice the #1 goal.  However, in Oklahoma, Ohio, other states, the emphasis was on goals 4, 3, 2 & 1, in approximate order, as shown by their policies.  I have blogged on the “OMI” before.

Apparently the DRA (2005) allowed states to categorize “MOE” expenses to NON-needy families (this is a footnote to a 2007 CRS [Congressional Research Service — you see their bill summaries also at Thomas.loc.gov) report by the same person, Mr. Gene Falk, Social Policy Specialist):

 FN 15 Prior to the enactment of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA, P.L. 109-171) MOE funds used to achieve TANF’s family formation goals were restricted to expenditures on “needy” families with children. The DRA had a provision that allows a state’s total expenditure on activities to achieve these goals to be counted without regard to a family’s need. However, HHS regulations issued on February 5, 2008, limit MOE expenditures related to the family formation goals except for activities related to promoting healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood. (See Appendix, “Families Considered “Engaged in Work” (the Numerator of the Participation Rate)” later in this report for a listing of these activities. For a discussion of this regulatory provision, see Federal Register, vol. 73, no. 24, p. 6517-6318.

THIS, friends, is how one can encounter divorce or custody cases in which one side is a millionaire, but still benefitting from the priorities these programs set up in the courtroom, i.e. promoting more noncustodial (meaning father) parenting time by means of — supervised visitation, counseling, mediation, parent education, etc.  Court-referrals..

Using Federal TANF Grants

Federal TANF grants may be used for a wide range of benefits and services for families with children. Grants may be used within a state TANF program or transferred to either the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF, the “child care block grant”) or the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG). Unused TANF funds can also be reserved (saved), without fiscal year limit.12

FN12 Before the enactment of the ARRA, reserved funds could only be used for the purpose of providing “assistance” (often, cash welfare). The ARRA eliminated this restriction to the use of reserve funds, so that reserve funds can be used to provide any allowed TANF benefit or service.

**what Oklahoma did with its contingency fund, and other states (or certain appointees in other states) seem to like this model.  The ACF/HHS site mentions Oklahoma Marriage Initiative  as a model of how to use MOE funds, after first asserting that:

Healthy marriages are vitally important to the long term well-being of children. Beyond the economic advantages important for supporting children, the experiences and examples shown to children being raised by parents who enjoy a loving and long-term commitment yields tremendous developmental benefits for children. Forming and sustaining a happy and healthy marriage requires, in part, good fortune and, in larger part, parents possessing the knowledge and commitment to exercise healthy relationship skills that form the basis of healthy marriages.

(From the Director of HHS’s Office of Family Assistance, year, 2004.)

Certainly inherited wealth, circumstances of birth including where and to whom — have little to do with this; really, it’s about skills moreso.  Therefore, forget those other factors, let’s focus on the “healthy relationship skills” Well said, from an organization that distributes, but apparently doesn’t track too well, the funds!

Since the inception of PRWORA, Oklahoma has capitalized on the flexibility of TANF funds by investing $10 million in the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative (OMI). OMI was established under the third and fourth statutory purposes of TANF. OMI currently delivers marriage and relationship training statewide through social service systems, educational systems and volunteer organizations. Participants access training in diverse settings such as workforce development classes, high schools, military bases, prisons, first time offender programs, churches, universities and many more. In 2003, Oklahoma reported{{who checked??}}  that 938 workshops were conducted, serving 1,250 participants and training 1,200 individuals to provide future workshops. For additional information on Oklahoma’s Marriage Initiative please visit:http://www.okmarriage.org/services/healthyrelationships.asp

As I blogged before, the Governor of Oklahoma pushed this one from the top, with help from “expert speakers” and the head of his HHS, who pointed out there was TANF money sitting around.

The economic researchers found some social indicators that were hurting Oklahoma’s economy. They mentioned the high divorce rate, high rates of out-of-wedlock births and high rates of child deaths because of child abuse. One OSU economist wrote in an editorial, “Oklahoma’s high divorce rate and low per-capita income are interrelated. They hold hands. They push and pull each other. There’s no faster way [in Oklahoma!] for a married woman with children to become poor than to suddenly become a single mom.”

(Child abuse, of course doesn’t happen within marriages, and abuse of one’s kids is not a cause of divorce.) Then “Governor and First Lady’s (day-long) Conference on Marriage” with speaker..

(See, as recounted on a “smartmarriages.com” list-serv in 1999, how Gary Smalley & Wade Horn of the NFI were there…”Marriages must be strengthened for the sake of America’s children”

Theodora Ooms with the Family Impact Seminar in Washington
D.C. called the marriage conference historic. "You are pioneers here in
Oklahoma. I have been trying for ten years in Washington D.C. to get this
on the agenda and get some money to work on this issue and no one in
Washington will talk about it.
The Conference also included breakout sessions with attendees discussing
how the various sectors can work together and how government policy can
also impact the success of marriages. Among the items discussed: 

Public education- emphasize the positive aspects of marriage to young
people
Covenant marriages
Emphasis on premarital counseling, possibly even legally requiring it
Making laws more "family friendly"
Tax laws-possibly eliminating marriage penalty
Possible repeal of no fault divorce laws 

The Governor and First Lady¼s Conference on Marriage was facilitated by
Jerry Regier, the Governor¼s Cabinet Secretary for Health and Human
Services. It was privately funded by several groups and individuals,
including the Burbridge Foundation and the Baptist General Convention.

Good grief.   the Baptist General Convention got with the Governor and helped propose taking welfare funds to promote marriage,

since their own Sunday Sermons weren’t persuasive enough?  That’s “ripe.”

BURBRIDGE INFO (random, from Internet) — PART 1:

Burbridge Foundation, I’m going to look up, obviously.  From “TheLostOgle.com” (apparently some Oklahomans having some fund poking fun at their state, although I note, “*.com”)  This foundation was #93 on the top 100 most embarrassing things about Oklahoma (from 2007, its centenary?):

Top 100 Oklahoma Embarrassments: 100-91

Posted on Monday, July 16th, 2007 under Best of OKCDean BlevinsOKC Music,Oklahoma City AlumniOklahoma City MediaOklahoma City RadioThe Sports Animal,Top 100 Oklahoma Embarrassments by Tony

For the eight of you out there who didn’t realize it, 2007 marks the 100th anniversary of the state of Oklahoma. To mark this, various publications around the state have been featuring all sorts of Top 100 lists that have provoked virtually no controversy and have not been talked about at the water cooler. In fact, we’ve heard so little discussion about these lists that we wonder if anyone is actually reading them. We sure don’t.

It does seem, though, that the focus has been on the more positive elements of Oklahoma. While we celebrate those things just like the rest of the world, it seems wrong to ignore the more humiliating aspects of the state of Oklahoma. Naturally, we’re here to fill that void, in this ten-part series that will run every Monday. Today, numbers 91 through 100 of Oklahoma’s Biggest Embarrassments..

. . .

93. Bobbie Burbridge Lane

Those commercials for the Burbridge foundation are possibly the most annoying thing on local radio, which is saying something. When listening to Burbridge Lane lecture us about pornography or religion being taken out of public schools or whatever the pet issue of the day is, we’re convinced that Burbridge Lane wants to return the United States to the 1950′s, which probably sucked really bad. 

There’s usually some truth on the heels of humor, and this one rings true:

BURBRIDGE INFO (random, from Internet) — PART 2:  Could THIS be why The Burbridge Foundation is so big on Marriage (dates to 1974).

(read for comic relief): (from “law.justia.com”)

496 F.2d 326: The Burbridge Foundation, Inc., Appellant,

v. Reinholdt & Gardner et al., Appellees

Robert E. Hornberger, Fort Smith, Ark., for appellant.

G. Alan Wooten, Harper, Young & Smith, Fort Smith, Ark., for appellees.

Before VAN OOSTERHOUT, Senior Circuit Judge, and LAY and ROSS, Circuit judges.

PER CURIAM.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit. – 496 F.2d 326

Submitted March 14, 1974.Decided May 15, 1974

. . .(The present suit is basically an action in rem seeking relinquishment of certain stocks held by the stakeholders, Reinholdt & Gardner. The Foundation’s memorandum in the trial court stated that ‘the relief specifically sought is the return and delivery to The Burbridge Foundation of its stock deposited with that defendant (Reinholdt & Gardner). …Upon registry of a personal judgment arising from a divorce decree, Velma Jean Holloway, formerly Velma Jean Burbridge, obtained a writ of garnishment from the Chancery Court of Sebastian County, Arkansas, against Reinholdt & Gardner, a stock brokerage firm, to attach any stocks belonging to her former husband, R. O. Burbridge. The brokerage firm denied holding any stock in Burbridge’s name, but admitted it had an account in the name of The Burbridge Foundation. The Burbridge Foundation intervened in the state court proceedings. Shortly thereafter, The Foundation brought suit in the federal district court against Reinholdt & Gardner, seeking recovery of the stocks. In its complaint, The Foundation made the same allegations it raised as intervenor in state court, i.e., that the stocks belonged to it and not R. O. Burbridge personally. In addition The Foundation for the first time asserted that the Arkansas garnishment statute was unconstitutional in that it sought to deprive The Foundation of its property without due process of law.1 Reinholdt & Gardner answered that it could not relinquish the stocks until ordered to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction. The Holloways2 intervened in the federal action and moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The district court sustained the motion to dismiss. The Burbridge Foundation appeal[ed].

(and apparently lost).

(SMILE): [2]”Russell B. Holloway was the divorce attorney for Velma Jean Burbridge (now Holloway) and was awarded $12,000 in attorney’s fees. He was also a party to the state garnishment suit”
So, Velma Jean divorced Mr. Burbridge, eventually married her divorce attorney, and seems to have gotten some of his stock, too.  This being 1974; so in 2000, here is this Burbridge Foundation sponsoring a let’s support marriage (and potentially institute covenant marriage / eliminate no-fault divorce, etc.) in Oklahoma.  Moral:  There is usually a back story to most public policy, somewhere . ..   and more than not, based in someone’s personal issues, but wealth & power tends to think large (how do we think they got wealthy & powerful in the first place?), and the rest of the world should conform to their  theories…
(Is this the same Burbridge Foundation as in Oklahoma, or that sponsored that Governor’s Leadership Conference?  Possibly.  I’m not going to stress over this today.)

BURBRIDGE INFO (Random, from internet) PART 3:   Self-description on website:

The Burbridge Foundation is a Christian foundation dedicated to working solutions to problems impacting our families and our culture. We do this by bringing public awareness to these problems, by working alongside other faiths {{REALLY?  I’d like to see that — because the  “SALT & LIGHT LEADERSHIP TRAINING” below indicates non-Christians need not apply, and the carefully balanced photo on there  (with middle-aged Caucasian an at the front of the pyramid) doesn’t even contain a single African-American woman — does Oklahoma not have any?  There is an African-American male, at the back of the triangle, too….}} and concerned citizens interested in strengthening the fabric of our community character, and by providing leadership support to organizations of like vision.

We continue to work across the country with individuals and organizations combating the scourge of pornography – a deadly and often underestimated cancer assaulting the family. For information on the “WRAP Campaign” and other information on fighting porn go to www.moralityinmedia.org.

Our current effort focuses on Christian leadership development. In 2007, we reached out to several Oklahoma City Christian lay leaders with a vision for the creation of “salt and light leadership training” to leaders of this and other cities. This has now become the “SALLT Fellowship” which can be found at www.saltandlightleadership.com.

Soli Deo Gloria  (Latin: to God only be Glory; JS Bach used to sign his manuscripts with this, hear tell)

“We are not a direct grant-giving organization.”
Also at the same street address is “Character First”

Our Approach

Character First is a professional development and character education program that is delivered many ways—training seminars, books, magazines, curriculum, email—that focus on real-life issues at work, school, home, and the community.

Gee, then why might they NOT sponsor such a conference with the Governor on curriculum-based ways to strengthen marriages?

Communities & Character Councils

Character First works with government leaders and community organizations around the world who want to promote character on a local basis.

[[website says “Character First” began in 1992 at an Oil & Gas-servicing company called “Kimray”]]

To do this, many communities form a “Character Council” (often a non-profit, non-religious charitable organization) to promote character in all sectors of a community—including business, government, education, law enforcement, media, the faith community, and families.

The following communities have taken various steps toward promoting character, such as passing resolutions, forming character councils, implementing Character First, and organizing special events.

AND also at this address (3rd organization):
Strata Leadership, LLC is a small consulting firm located in Edmond, Oklahoma focused on helping individuals and organizations succeed.

Strata Leadership, LLC.

And here is where we see some Dispute Resolution background, familiar in the anti-divorce courtrooms around AFCC personnel as well:

hrough Strata’s partnerships with other organizations such as Character First!, our team consists of nearly 15 full-time employees.  Strata is led by our executive leadership team of Strata President, Dr. Nathan Mellor and Executive Vice-President, Wayne Whitesell.

[Photo of young-looking Caucasian guy]

Dr. Nathan Mellor is a co-owner and president of Strata.  He is a popular speaker who makes 125-175 presentations per year across America and around the globe.  He has spoken in over  states and in countries such as: Australia, Belize, Guyana, Jordan, Mexico, Russia and Rwanda.

Dr. Mellor holds the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Master of Science in Education (MSE) degrees fromHarding University. He earned the Master of Dispute Resolution (MDR) degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law – Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution and the Doctor of Education (EDD) in Organizational Leadership degree from Pepperdine University.

STrata’s Partners (at least 2 at the same address):

Strata is proud to partner with and promote the work of the following friends:

Copyright © 2009 Strata Leadership, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

Products — pricey!

The “other” sponsors of the Governor and First Lady’s year 2000 Conference are not mentioned, but I think we get the general idea…

Choice quote:

Even with a lack of comprehensive data about why the problem exists, the research information clearly demonstrates that something must be done. (: (:
OK -- just DO something -- and afterwards, maybe, look for actual cause & effect connections....  "Lack of Comprehensive Data"
* According to data provided by the CDC, Oklahoma has the 2nd highest
divorce rate in the nation, by state of residence.
   Only Arkansas has a worse divorce rate.
- Only 14% of white women who married in the early 1940's eventually
divorced, whereas almost half of white women who married in the late
1960's and early 1970's have already become divorced. For African-American
women, the figures are 18% and nearly 60%
Presumably some men, then, also divorced.  Any stats about them??  Go figures -- a NFI participatory event is going to
talk about the women! (behind their backs, too).

It’s Oklahoma!  Notice, the emphasis on divorce rate, by race.   …   Here, amazingly, is the 2002 Testimony of that Director of HHS for OK:

United State Senate Finance Committee Thursday, May 16, 2002 10:00 A.M.

Room 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Issues in TANF Reauthorization: Building Stronger Families

Testimony of Howard H. Hendrick Oklahoma Cabinet Secretary of Health and Human Services and Director, Oklahoma Deparment of Human Services

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the privilege of appearing today to share the genesis and status of Oklahoma’s strategy to strengthen marriages and reduce divorce. In Oklahoma, we are spending TANF funds for this purpose because the research clearly shows that child well-being is enhanced when children are reared in two parent families where the parents have a low conflict marriage. …

(Governor Keating):   He hosted the nation’’s first ““Governor and First Lady’’s Conference on Marriage”” in March, of 1999. Based on the information learned there, Oklahoma’’s Marriage Initiative was launched. The Governor took key steps to ensure that the goal of reducing divorce and strengthening marriage was more than simply a political statement. Specifically the governor:

␣ Took the bold step of setting a specific, measurable goal – to reduce divorce in Oklahoma by 1/3 by the year 2010.

Question:  What right does any Governor have to even TRY and do this?  (Notice, by this time both houses of US Congress had already voted National Resolutions to Support Fatherhood:  1998, 1999).  By 2002, they had already chosen a curriculum, “PREP(r).”  This curriculum, well — as 2002 testimony says:

We selected PREP® (the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program) as the state’’s curriculum because of its research basis and its evaluation record. It is a curriculum that has been used in the military for many years. PREP can be tailored to a variety of constituencies and the long-term efficacy of the twelve hours of education has been validated in a variety of research settings.

We are presently in the training stage of implementing the service delivery system. These skills are beginning to be offered in workshops throughout Oklahoma. The training includes identifying substance abuse risks and presentations by the Oklahoma Coalition against Domestic Violence. . .

(Concluding statement):

Based on what we’’ve learned so far, we continue to support the use of TANF funds to fund activities that strengthen families by growing healthy marriages.

GROWING HEALTHY MARRIAGES?  Then, literally, they are farming their populace — which is objectionable!

The input of “Theodore Ooms” of “Family Impact Seminars” was noted.  Here is the “Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars (PINFIS).  “Surprisingly” it is funded by many of the responsible fatherhood grantees I have come to recognize over the years, such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation:

The Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars aims to strengthen family policy by connecting state policymakers with research knowledge and researchers with policy knowledge. The Institute provides nonpartisan, solution-oriented research and a family impact perspective on issues being debated in state legislatures. We provide technical assistance to and facilitate dialogue among professionals conducting Family Impact Seminars in 28 sites across the country. If you are a PINFIS Affiliate, please click here to login.

The Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars is currently funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and the William T. Grant Foundation. Past supporters include the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Copyright © 1993-2011. Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy.

26 States + D.C. get seminars from this Wisconsin-based (presumably nonprofit) group based at UW-Madison/Extension.  “The Seminars target state policymakers, including legislators, legislative aides, governor’s office staff, legislative service agency staff, and agency representatives. The traditional format of the 2-hour seminars consists of three 20-minute presentations given by a panel of premier researchers, program directors, and policy analysts. For each seminar, discussion sessions are held and a background briefing report summarizes high-quality research on the issue in a succinct, easy-to-understand format.”

UMichigan reveals they’ve had 16 Family Impact Seminars since 2000— and that the Kellogg Foundation is helping them receive this also.  This 2000 report, on one page sites a survey of “9 barriers to employment that single mothers face” and doesn’t mention — domestic violence at all.  However, on page 17, in a page dedicated to Domestic Violence, the two authors note:

Background Data and Research

Families who experience domestic violence are often also victims of poverty. Studies examining the association between domestic violence and poverty have found:

 Of current welfare recipients in Michigan, 63% have experienced physical abuse and 51% have experienced severe physical abuse during their lifetimes[12].

• Physical abuse/being afraid of someone was cited as the primary cause of homelessness (in a survey of homeless adults in Michigan) [7].

• Half of homeless women and children report being victims of domestic violence [5,7].

AND,. . . . well, here is the rest of the page:

These barriers consist of:

• Psychological effects of domestic violence (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, or anxiety)

• Sabotage by the abuser (destroying homework assignments, disabling cars and alarm clocks, interference with child care efforts, or harassment at work)

• Manipulation by the abuser (leaving marks and/or bruises that prevent the woman from attending work or an interview, or undermining self-confidence

These employment barriers can lead to tardiness, absenteeism and lack of productivity. Research shows that between 23% and 42% affected by domestic violence report that the abuse had an impact on their work performance [4,5,12].

A study conducted by the University of Michigan suggests that domestic violence by itself is not a barrier to employment,** but that the more barriers one has, the more difficult it is to leave welfare for work [2]. Further research is needed on multiple barriers to employment resulting from domestic violence.

**personal.  True, it’s possible to work — at times, and as allowed by an abuser — with domestic violence.  I have done many things competently immediately after and immediately preceding devastating attacks, some physical, some threats, some involving threats to our children, and once even after they were removed illegally, overnight, and despite law enforcement having been alerted to the threat shortly (same season) before.  Yes it is possible, depending on the person and the relationship, to hold down a job or series of jobs and simply take the abuse at home going or coming.  But, over long-term, the violence does escalate, and a person has to take action on it.  And it DOES cut down on productivity.   It is also possible to work, and in a relationship, not be able to spend the proceeds from one’s own work on one’s kids’ welfare.  Also because work tends to empower women, with men threatened with that independence, it is sometimes a time of increased harm, as he’s torn between wanting the money from that work, but realizing that “his” woman is going to have some work relationships he may not be able to utterly control.

A recent study found that approximately 70% of domestic violence victims did not disclose the abuse to their TANF caseworkers [10]. The same study found that 75% of those that did reveal information about the violence did not receive the appropriate support or services. These results imply that without the proper services, many victims of domestic violence and their children are forced to return home to their abuser.

(from page “Domestic Violence and Poverty Deborah Satyanathan and Anna Pollack”)

In a climate (see Oklahoma Marriage Initiative) where the powers that be believe — or say they do — that it’s lack of marriage (and not really, violence in marriages or other forms of abuse impacting work & home life) causing poverty, the only alternative individuals have, who are caught up in that — is to request the state to honor its laws against such abuse.  If the state, based on ITS own decisions made with help from The National Fatherhood Initiative and others, based on their theories — chooses to overstep Executive Authority, as Governor Keating of OK specifically intended to, and did, do — then he just weakened the very state (as a member of states under the US Constitution — at least at some time in the past century or two, we were) in the name of “strengthening families.”

This Study quotes the “Center for Budget & Policy Priorities” I cite also for a TANF summary (above).  They cite 4 barriers to work, NONE of which applied to many of the women I knew in DV support groups in the 1990s and have known since (to this day) in custody battles for their children, in the 2000s, where judicial discretion wins the day, and judges sit on the boards of nonprofits taking business from access visitation and other TANF-funded activities!   This study from a group named in influencing the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, relates:

Four of the major barriers identified by analysts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities include [2]:

1. Little or no employment skills or education

2. Little or no prior work experience

3. Substandard housing conditions or lack of affordable housing

4. Having a child with special needs

I am sure these are relevant areas — but NOT for all families that are being driven ONTO (not helped OFF) TANF!  None of these applied to my case, nor many women I network with.  They are women (at least one, homeless), some have done jail time over failure to pay allotted child support (after being stay at home mothers, then forced to fight for custody), others have had to drop out of school; whatever it was they were doing in life — had to STOP to accommodate the machinery of the courts, and with activists and attorneys — neither of them — telling which end was up, until common sense said, those were poor answers (to the circumstances) and some began looking other places for rational explanations of the behavior of those making critical decisions about our lives and our kids.

It makes zero sense to at least acknowledge the role of DV in work sabotage, sometimes long-term, and not continue to insist that to receive help, someone absolutely needs coaching.  I had work experience AND degrees, and as it happens, many educated and/or professional women leaving abusive relationships, where part of this abuse was economic control under duress, did not need more “job skills.”  What we needed was quite different, namely a SAFETY ZONE with which to rebuild.   However, thanks to dynamics, and Governors like Governor Keating in OK, or any other Governor who is enabling some administrative or executive agency to undermine legal rights of the states’ citizens (regardless of race, gender but with regard to marital status), women like us, mothers innocent of child abuse or any criminal wrongdoing — have been literally destroyed and taken out of the work force, while the concept that somehow faith-based organizations give a damn, and deserve special-status red carpet in order to grab those grants and ram marriage & relationship education down peoples throats — and from a VERY narrow range of potential marketeers, several of who already receive federal funding to run demonstration studies on citizens in the military, in prison, on welfare, paying child support (or not, as case may be), in schools — and even in Head Start — to fine-tune how to produce THEIR desired result in society!

Public Strategies Inc. of Oklahoma continues to get its share — $2.5 million, this last round — of GRANTS (not just contracts) to do more of the same and expand it — as the situations in which TANF funds may be applied to form two-parent families continues to expand.  The OMI knew — from the start (Testimony in 2002 shows) that the curriculum of choice, PREP(r) was going to be used.

Notice who paid for that first “Governor and First Lady’s Conference.”

The phrase “low conflict” is typically an AFCC one.  Wonder what there input was here.

More — this is not a half-bad summary:

The amount states must spend is set at 80 percent of their 1994 contribution to AFDC-related programs. (In some cases this “maintenance of effort” (MOE) requirement can be reduced to 75 percent.) In 2009 states spent roughly $15 billion in state MOE funds. The amount states are required to spend (at the 80 percent level) in 2009 is about 45 percent below the amount they spent on AFDC-related programs in 1994, after adjusting for inflation.

* * *The Deficit Reduction Act also provided $100 million per year to support programs designed to promote healthy marriages.

When TANF was created in 1996, Congress provided $2 billion in a contingency fund; this fund was not used much until the current recession but a number of states have received contingency funds for one or more years between 2008 and 2011. The fund is now depleted and states only received partial allocations for 2010 and 2011. In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act {{ARRA}} (sometimes referred to as the “stimulus” bill), Congress created a new and temporary Emergency Funddesigned to provide aid to states that see increases in assistance caseloads or certain program costs as they address the needs of families during the economic downturn. Congress appropriated $5 billion to this new Emergency Fund for 2009 and 2010 — by the time the fund expired in September 2010, the $5 billion had been fully used.

Another Summary, from CRS (Congressional Research Service), prepared in 2007 — this is an outline

However, money taken from the public, collected in the U.S. Treasury, and reallocated out from there, usually has strings attached.  The strings attached to the restructuring of the child support system (Title IV-D) were significant; i.e., states needed to centralize their child support distribution system, and they were blessed with access visitation grants from a $10 million/year pool, proportionate to some stipulations based on their population, by Congress somehow, and this could be maintained IF the states were GOOD boys and complied.

The states have NOT been complying, but they are still getting the money, so I am presuming that there is some mutual benefit involved between state and local government stakeholders.  By the way, the word “Stakeholder” never usually applies to the people most drastically affected by policies set by stakeholders — which is those not at the table when policies are set, and likely in need of the services being restructured, recirculated, reframed, and redirected.

Here’s a 2010 (June 24, 2010, to be specific) Heritage Foundation article complaining about increasing entitlements Obama’s escalation of welfare roles (true) and how the “success” of TANF should be applied to other federal programs.

Confronting the Unsustainable Growth of Welfare Entitlements:

Principles of Reform and the Next Steps

June 24, 2010

  • Do you know who the Heritage Foundation is?
  • Do you know who funds them? or where to find out?
  • Do you know who they fund, or where to find out?
  • Could you participate pro or con in this argument, supporting it with any facts?
  • Do you agree or not?
  • Can you put those arguments in a different context than they do?

They proclaimed:

Abstract: The growth of welfare spending is unsustainable and will drive the United States into bankruptcy if allowed to continue. President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2011 budget request would increase total welfare spending to $953 billion—a 42 percent increase over welfare spending in FY 2008, the last full year of the Bush Administration. To bring welfare spending under control, Congress should reduce welfare spending to pre-recession levels after the recession ends and then limit future growth to the rate of inflation. Congress should also restore work requirements in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and apply them to other federal welfare programs.

They also said of TANF that it was a success.  Yet — in reality — it is the means by which expansion of the welfare state — particularly after faith-based organizations were invited in — was assured.   The track record is that MANY of these are not just incompetent — but chronically dishonest, and when caught (as I tend to stay) in one state, simply hop over to another.  I can name names and organizations and dates, sometimes States, of the “hops.”   They obtain web resources through HHS “compassion capital” or other grants, and this last season, our government just gave over $1 million GRANT to ICF International, LLC (or whatever it’s proper current name is) a group currently doing $1 BILLION business with the Feds, and with an agenda to transform communities through (basically, media domination).

Listen to this:

Reform should be based on five principles:

  1. Slowing the growth of the welfare state. Unending government deficits are pushing the United States toward bankruptcy. The U.S. simply cannot afford the massive increases in welfare spending planned by President Barack Obama. Welfare spending is projected to cost taxpayers $10.3 trillion over the next 10 years.[1] Congress needs to establish reasonable fiscal constraints within the welfare system. Once the current recession ends, aggregate welfare spending should be rolled back to pre-recession levels. After this rollback has been completed, the growth of welfare spending should be capped at the rate of inflation.
  2. Promoting personal responsibility and work. Able-bodied welfare recipients should be required to work or to prepare for work as a condition of receiving aid. Food stamps and housing assistance, two of the largest programs for the needy, should be aligned with the TANF program to require able-bodied adults to work or to prepare for work for a minimum of 30 hours per week.  (see ## my footnote)
  3. Providing a portion of welfare assistance as loans rather than as grants. Welfare to able-bodied adults creates a potential moral hazard because providing assistance to those in need can lead to an increase in the behaviors that generate the need for aid in the first place. If welfare assistance rewards behaviors that lead to future dependence, costs can spiral out of control. A reformed welfare policy can provide temporary assistance to those in need while reducing the moral hazard associated with welfare by treating a portion of welfare aid as a loan to be repaid by able-bodied recipients rather than as an outright grant from the taxpayer.
  4. Ending the welfare marriage penalty and encouraging marriage in low-income communities. The collapse of marriage is the major cause of child poverty in the U.S. today. When the War on Poverty began, 7 percent of children in the U.S. were born out of wedlock; today, the figure is over 40 percent.[2] Most alarmingly, the out-of-wedlock birthrate among African–Americans is 72 percent. The outcomes for children raised in single, never-married homes are greatly diminished.Current means-tested welfare programs penalize low-income recipients who get married; these anti-marriage penalties should be reduced or eliminated. In addition, government should provide information on the importance of marriage to individuals in poor communities who have a high risk of having children out of wedlock. Particular emphasis should be placed on the benefits to children of a married two-parent family.***
  5. Limit low-skill immigration. Around 15 percent ($100 billion per year) of total means-tested welfare spending goes to households headed by immigrants with high school degrees or less.[3] One-third of all immigrants lack a high school degree.[4] Over the next 10 years, America will spend $1.5 trillion on welfare benefits for lower-skill immigrants. Government policy should limit future immigration to those who will be net fiscal contributors, paying more in taxes than they receive in benefits. The legal immigration system should not encourage immigration of low-skill immigrants who would increase poverty in the nation and impose vast new costs on already overburdened taxpayers.

**Never mind that this has been done now — for years — and at statewide level.  Can we reasonably assume that no one at the Heritage Foundation knows this?

##FN2 — how about requiring recipients of diversionary programs from child support and TANF to document that THEY worked at least 30 hours a week?  And have incorporated, and that their incorporations have actually been proper, are current, and if required to, filed a 990?  I’ve seen dropped loose ends of $50K a pop (SolidSource in Van Wert, OH comes to mind) or others have found dropped loose ends of $227,000.  MOreover, we have child support privatized to outside organizations, such as MAXIMUS — themselves caught in fraud and overbilling — and THEY continue to receive government benefits from the US in the form of renewed contracts, even after paying, for example $30 million in settlement fees over these matters.

So I say, let’s put the focus on the MACRO-ECONOMIC trends — namely allowing corporations and HHS / DOJ /DOE to get in bed with them to determine whether future employees of these corporations eat, have safe drinking water, and have access to decent educations (not just skills training for globally noncompetitive jobs in the same corporations!)

POINT 4, above:

. . .encouraging marriage in low-income families.   The Collapse of Marriage is the Major Factor in Child Poverty Today.

No it’s not.  That’s a single-source, single-interpretation of the causes of poverty.

Now, I could debate that at least logically, following the words “Sez who?” and “Who Sez those are the only experts?” and then poke some holes in the rhetoric.

Could You? Should You?  Or don’t you care about the use of taxes and public policy any more?

Go to the actual laws:

THE LAWS IN QUESTION:

PRWORA link:

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA,Pub.L. 104-193, 110 Stat. 2105, enacted August 22, 1996) is a United States federal law considered to be a fundamental shift in both the method and goal of federal cash assistance to the poor. The bill added a workforce development component to welfare legislation, encouraging employment among the poor. The bill was a cornerstone of the Republican Contract With Americaand was introduced by Rep. E. Clay Shaw, Jr. (R-FL-22) who believed welfare was partly responsible for bringing immigrants to the United States.[1] Bill Clinton signed PRWORA into law on August 22, 1996, fulfilling his 1992 campaign promise to “end welfare as we have come to know it”.[2]

(Wikipedia note — TANF Reauthorization was contained in this);  
 The reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program was also contained in the bill, as was the provision for the Digital Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005. Part of the TANF reauthorization reduces the threshold for passport denial for child support arrearages under 42 USC 652(k)to $2,500.
 
 

Senate bill S. 1932 passed the Senate, with a tie-breaking vote cast by Vice PresidentDick Cheney, and House bill H.R. 4241 passed the House 217-215. The Senate bill was signed by PresidentGeorge W. Bush on February 8, 2006.[2]

[Dispute over legal status

A dispute arose over whether both houses of Congress had approved the same bill. Those contending that the bill is not a law argue there were different versions of the same bill, neither of which was approved by both the House and the Senate. They argue that the document signed by the President would not have the force of law, on the ground that the enacting process bypassed the Bicameral Clause of the U.S. Constitution.  (For what wikipedia is worth, find this interesting….)

 

P.L. 109–171, Approved February 8, 2006 (120 Stat. 4)

Deficit Reduction Act of 2005

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

SECTION 1. [42 U.S.C. 1305 note]  SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Deficit Reduction Act of 2005”.

Has sections on TANF & Child Support.

SEC. 7101. TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES AND RELATED PROGRAMS FUNDING THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2010.

(a) [None Assigned]  In General.—Activities authorized by part A of title IV and section 1108(b) of the Social Security Act (adjusted, as applicable, by or under this subtitle, the amendments made by this subtitle, and the TANF Emergency Response and Recovery Act of 2005[275]) shall continue through September 30, 2010, in the manner authorized for fiscal year 2004, and out of any money in the Treasury of the United States not otherwise appropriated, there are hereby appropriated such sums as may be necessary for such purpose. Grants and payments may be made pursuant to this authority on a quarterly basis through fiscal year 2010 at the level provided for such activities for the corresponding quarter of fiscal year 2004 (or, as applicable, at such greater level as may result from the application of this subtitle, the amendments made by this subtitle, and the TANF Emergency Response and Recovery Act of 2005), except that in the case of section 403(a)(3) of the Social Security Act, grants and payments may be made pursuant to this authority only through fiscal year 2010[276] and in the case of section 403(a)(4) of the Social Security Act, no grants shall be made for any fiscal year occurring after fiscal year 2005.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

SEC. 7301. ASSIGNMENT AND DISTRIBUTION OF CHILD SUPPORT.

 (etc.)

The Deficit Reduction Act also reauthorizes welfare reform for another 5 years. Welfare reform has proved a tremendous success over the past decade. By insisting on programs that require work and self-sufficiency in return for Federal aid, we’ve helped cut welfare cases by more than half since 1996. Now we’re building on that progress by renewing welfare reform with a billion-dollar increase in child care funding and new grants to support healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood programs.

One of the reasons for the success of welfare reform is a policy called charitable choice which allows faith-based groups that provide social services to receive Federal funding without changing the way they hire. Ten years ago, Congress made welfare the first Federal program to include charitable choice. The bill I sign today will extend charitable choice for another 5 years and expand it to the new healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood programs. Appreciate the hard work of all who supported the extension

of charitable choice—including the good- hearted men and women of the faith-based community who are here today. By reauthor- izing welfare reform with charitable choice, we will help millions more Americans move from welfare to work and find independence and dignity and hope.

The message of the bill I sign today is straightforward: By setting priorities and making sure tax dollars are spent wisely, America can be compassionate and respon- sible at the same time. Spending restraint de- mands difficult choices, yet making those choices is what the American people sent us to Washington to do. One of our most impor- tant responsibilities is to keep this economy strong and vibrant and secure for our chil- dren and our grandchildren. We can be proud that we’re helping to meet that respon- sibility today.

Now I ask the Members of the Congress to join me as I sign the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.

NOTE: The President spoke at 3:31 p.m. in the East Room at the White House. S. 1932, approved February 8, was assigned Public Law No. 109– 171.

{{He also began by distinguishing between DISCRETIONARY and MANDATORY spending:

At the same time, my budget tightens the belt on Government spending. Every American family has to set priorities and live within a budget, and the American people expect us to do the same right here in Washington, DC.

The Federal budget has two types of spending, discretionary spending and manda- tory spending. Discretionary spending is the kind of spending Congress votes on every year. Last year, Congress met my request and passed bills that cut discretionary spending not related to defense or homeland security. And this year, my budget again proposes to cut this spending. My budget also proposes again to keep the growth in overall discre- tionary spending below the rate of inflation

AND ARRA:
Wikipedia:

 (Pub.L. 111-5) and commonly referred to as the Stimulus or The Recovery Act, is an economic stimulus package enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009 and signed into law on February 17, 2009, by President Barack Obama.

To respond to the late-2000s recession, the primary objective for ARRA was to save and create jobs almost immediately. Secondary objectives were to provide temporary relief programs for those most impacted by the recession and invest in infrastructure, education, health, and ‘green’ energy. The approximate cost of the economic stimulus package was estimated to be $787 billion at the time of passage. The Act included direct spending in infrastructure, education, health, and energy, federal tax incentives, and expansion ofunemployment benefits and other social welfare provisions. The Act also included many items not directly related to economic recovery such as long-term spending projects (e.g., a study of the effectiveness of medical treatments) and other items specifically included by Congress (e.g., a limitation on executive compensation in federally aided banks added by Senator Dodd and Rep. Frank).

The rationale for ARRA was from Keynesian macroeconomic theory which argues that, during recessions, the government should offset the decrease in private spending with an increase in public spending in order to save jobs and stop further economic deterioration.

TEXT of the LAW:

(thomas.gov)

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – (Sec. 5) Designates each amount in this Act as: (1) an emergency requirement, necessary to meet certain emergency needs in accordance with the FY2008-FY2009 congressional budget resolutions; and (2) an emergency for Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) principles.

TITLE II (Commerce, Justice, ….)

Makes supplemental appropriations for FY2009 to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for: (1) the Office of Inspector General; (2) state and local law enforcement activities; (2) the Office on Violence Against Women; (3) the Office of Justice Programs; (4) state and local law enforcement assistance; and (5) community oriented policing services (COPS).

. . .

Subtitle B: Assistance for Vulnerable Individuals – (Sec. 2101) Amends part A of title IV (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) (TANF) of the Social Security Act (SSA) to establish in the Treasury an Emergency Contingency Fund for State Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Programs (Emergency Fund). Makes appropriations to such Fund.

Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to make a grant from the Emergency Fund to each requesting state for any quarter of FY2009-FY2010 if the state’s average monthly assistance caseload for the quarter exceeds its average monthly assistance caseload for the corresponding quarter in the state’s emergency fund base year. Requires the amount of any such grant to be 80% of the excess of total state expenditures for basic assistance over total state expenditures for such assistance for the corresponding quarter in the state’s emergency fund base year.

. . . .

(Sec. 2102) Extends TANF supplemental grants through FY2010.

(Sec. 2103) Makes technical amendments to the authority of a state or Indian tribe to use a block grant for TANF for any fiscal year to provide, without fiscal year limitation, (carry over) any benefit or service that may be provided under the program funded under the block grant, including future contingencies.

(Sec. 2104) Amends SSA title IV part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) to suspend for FY2008-FY2010 the prohibition against payments to states with respect to their plans for child and spousal support collection on account of amounts expended by a state from support collection performance incentive payments received from the Secretary of HHS (thus allowing such additional payments during such period).

(just pointing out, from the CRS summary, that certain parts affect TANF & Child Support, I.e., TITLE IV-A, IV-D of Social Security Act. 
 
CLAIMS RESOLUTION ACT OF 2010 (passed one year ago — 11/19/2010!)(you may need to re/search from Thomas.loc.gov)  111th Congress, H.R. 4783
Title VIII: General Provisions (AND YOU”LL SEE WHY FATHERHOOD ORGANIZATIONS, PLUS MARRIAGE EDUCATORS, WERE REJOICING OVER THIS ONE):

Sec. 802) Amends part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) of title IV of the Social Security Act to require an employer to report to the state Directory of New Hires, in addition to other information, the date services for remuneration were first performed by a newly hired employee.

Subtitle B: TANF – (Sec. 811) Amends part A (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [TANF]) of title IV of the Social Security Act to continue grants to states for temporary assistance for needy families programs through September 30, 2011.

(WONDER WHERE WE’RE AT ON THIS NOW …..)

Requires preference for healthy marriage promotion and responsible fatherhood grants to be given to entities that have previously: (1) been awarded funds; and (2) demonstrated the ability to carry out specified programs successfully.

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES, DO YOU THINK, THAT (2) WILL BE MONITORED?

Directs an entity seeking funding for both healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood promotion to submit a combined application assuring that it will carry out such activities: (1) under separate programs; and (2) without combining funds awarded to carry out either such activities.

Revises the definition of “healthy marriage promotion activities” to include marriage education and other specified programs for individuals in addition to nonmarried pregnant women and nonmarried expectant fathers.

THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN MARRIAGE AND FATHERHOOD ACTIVITIES DOES NOT REALLY EXIST.  FOR EXAMPLE, HEALTHY MARRIAGE GRANTEE (I THINK IT WAS ORIGINALLY “SACRAMENTO HEALTHY MARRIAGE COALITION” (Carolyn Curtis, Ph.D.) was characterized in a recent AZFFC.org publication as the “Sacramento affiliate” of this fathers and families coalition — although the title then said “Healthy Marriage” and recently reads something like (last I heard) “Relationship Education Institute” or such.

Appropriates (out of money not otherwise appropriated) for FY2011: (1) $75 million for healthy marriage promotion activities; and (2) $75 million for promotion of responsible fatherhood activities. (Current law authorized $150 million, combined, for both programs in specified fiscal years.) Limits appropriated funds awarded to states, territories, Indian tribes and tribal organizations, and public and nonprofit community entities, including religious organizations, for activities promoting responsible fatherhood to $75 million (current law has a $50 million limit). Requires amounts awarded to fund demonstration projects testing the effectiveness of tribal governments in coordinating the provision to tribal families at risk of child abuse or neglect of child welfare services, and other tribal programs, to be taken in equal proportion from such separate appropriations for healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood activities.

Appropriates (out of money not otherwise appropriated) to the Contingency Fund for State Welfare Programs such sums as necessary for payment to the Fund in a total not to exceed: (1) for FY2011, such sums as are necessary for amounts obligated on or after October 1, 2010, and before enactment of the this Act; and (2) for FY2012, $612 million. (Current law reduces such appropriations by specified amounts.)

Well, I may regret hitting “PUBLISH” on this one, but here goes. . . . .
martinplaut

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