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 ‘Feminists

A Few FAQs on Major Family Court Programs (NYEve 2012 Reflex on the Gender Gap)

leave a comment »

(Written the last day of 2012) This post is about 10,000 words and was edited supplemented several times after publishing [INCLUDING IN 2014, when I was formatting a Table of Contents] .
FYI, that’s typical of my blogging… Also thanks for patience with formatting, as I deal with a different input device and fewer “buttons.” It’s cumbersome, only lets me compose in HTML mode..) [extra horizontal lines may appear as forced “paragraph breaks” which otherwise, get erased.

I am, to tell the truth, having an awful day, struggling with computer issues, web access, and, apart from the electronic struggles, with grief.

Also the long-term effects of chronic, for lack of a better term, Family Violence — in its ugly, needless, heartless, dishonest, deceitful and extortionist self. People reach a limit, and because I am NOT of the inclination to behave like those who have a conflict with me — i.e., my faith doesn’t endorse the criminal behavior part — I am finding it just this much family violence, all this just too much.

Normally this article wouldn’t be much of my concern — it’s talking about “Wage Gaps in MBA Programs” — I mean, a woman that has got through an MBA program is not likely facing the same issues I have been.

But from my perspective (year after year, there has been a return to literally begging status around the court fiascos, which is hardly unintentional from a systems, or my ex’s part; I’d been promised before separation that he knew how to get out of paying child support (wonder where learned it from….), but well, I just didn’t know at the outset of the program how many other parties profit from this. In fact I didn’t know til I revisited Liz Richards’ NAFCJ.net site and worked through the basics — almost no one else at the time was talking about the grants incentives…..


So what happens when WAGE GAP is multiplied by REPEATED WAGE DISRUPTIONS AND DECREASES (when an employee has to miss too much work, move for safety, return to court to try to contact one’s kids — often — deals with stalking and has to re-arrange work life for protection from it, has to take into account client/employer safety in future business dealings, and word gets around that the individual has “family problems” which interfere with work problems, and that’s chronic? The main concept behind having a sustainable work life is that it’s sustained. Or moves are strategic, or for exploring different options?


So, look at this from SFGATE.com (San Francisco on-line, it was also in the print edition, page A1):

MBA Wage Gap between Men, Women Grows” Dec. 29, 2012

[Alison Damast is a Bloomberg Businessweek reporter. E-mail: adamast@bloomberg.net] Ten years ago, the wage gap between men and women graduating from top MBA programs appeared to have been nearly erased. {{that’s astounding, considering the rest of society..}} That suggested that women would launch their careers on an equal footing with men and then experience a gender-blind sprint up the corporate ranks. A decade later [i.e., NOW], a far more sober picture is emerging: The pay gap among graduates of elite business schools is widening, according to new research from Businessweek’s biennial survey of MBA graduates. On average, female grads from top MBA programs now earn 93 cents for every dollar paid their male classmates.

{{that still didn’t grab my attention. At least they are working!!}}

At about a third of the top 30 U.S. business schools, women earn less than men – sometimes considerably less. Female MBA graduates from the class of 2012 at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, for instance, earned 86 percent of male wages, while those at Stanford Graduate School of Business earned 79 percent.

{{Now, that has my attention. (I’m also remembering that Catherine Austin Fitts attended Wharton. Of course she had a lot of other things going for her personally as well, I saw some MIT in the background, time in China — she’s no slouch…)…Two more short sections of this article here:}}

“The gap numbers at the beginning are not very large and can be mostly accounted for by differences in grades, course selection and the fields people are starting in,” says Marianne Bertrand, an economics professor at University of Chicago Booth School of Business, citing results of studies on compensation among female MBA graduates from her school.

What is much more striking is how much that gap grows over time.The pay gap is especially wide for women heading to finance jobs.

A study of 2010 census data by Bloomberg found that among the six categories with the largest gender gap in pay were insurance agents, personal advisers and securities sales agents.

Women in those jobs earned 55 to 62 cents for every $1 men pulled in, the census data showed.

In 2010, research from Catalyst, a nonprofit group that focuses on expanding opportunities for women in business, found that female MBAs were being paid, on average, $4,600 less in their first job than men, a disparity that grows to $30,000 by mid-career, says Anna Beninger, a senior associate in Catalyst’s research department.

{{Add to this the fact that the dollar is hardly stable, you can imagine it makes an increasing difference!}}

Even women placed in high-potential leadership development programs often miss out on what are considered hot jobs, or projects most critical to career advancement, Catalyst found. Says Beninger: “Women’s careers lag behind men from day one.” . . . .

[Alison Damast is a Bloomberg Businessweek reporter. E-mail: adamast@bloomberg.net]

Read the rest of this entry »

How Much Mileage Can DV Advocates get out of the press on San Francisco’s Ross Mirkarimi/Eliana Lopez case?

with one comment

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 |

(255)

Share1069

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!!

ABOUT THIS BLOG (@11/2011) There’s (still) No Excuse For Abuse, Including Economic Abuse of Taxpayers to Allegedly ‘EndAbuse.’

leave a comment »

A Few FAQs, but first

let me invite readers to something normally beyond my social media skillset: a Tuesday Night Blogtalk Radio show

My email alert said

“It’s going to be a hell of a show.”
(it was).
This is not your typical Battered Women’s Protective Mothers–Reform CPS–Involve More Fathers  show.
(Nor is my blog typical)
Like me (nowadays) I don’t want to hear it.  For one, we already tried (to cite a Bible reference) the
“widow and the unjust judge” theme, the “two women before King Solomon” theme,
and many also tried actually reporting to what we considered the proper authorities such things as:
Violations of Court Orders, Domestic Violence (or threats, stalkings, etc.) against us, violations of due process,
and in some cases, M.I.A. children the context of an ex who had threatened to run off with them.
ALSO this 64/34 effect show is NOT about
~ ~holding Congressional Hearings and Rallying in front of the White House in hopes that
the residential Change Agent (President Obama) will please help our cause ~ ~ ~  do something ~~  do anything! ~~ just make us feel heard!!
(As some have felt might be more effective the the representative form of government called one’s state & federal legislators)

NOPE.  It is different.  So I hope you will call or tune in next Tuesday at 9pm EST (til further notice):

THIS TUESDAY NIGHT @ 9pm, Abuse Freedom Presents: The 66/34 Effect Radio Show,
Funding in the Courts
With Host Athena Phoenix
November 15, 2011 at 9:00 p.m. EST
This week ABUSE FREEDOM UNITED welcomes our newest team member, Athena Phoenix to help us improve the justice system by bringing reformation to the apathetic and corrupt divisions of our state and federal governments.
Dear Abuse,
(From the Show Description, continued):
Have you ever wondered why the justice system and the media ignores some predatory CPS or child support enforcement programs which target and exploit families? Are courts and the Department of Children and Families receiving financial incentives from the Federal government to increase conflict in family court cases by awarding custody to unfit and unwilling parents, and even taking kids out of good homes and into the system?
Abuse Freedom Radio invites you to tune in this Tuesday night at 9:00 EST to welcome Host Athena Phoenix to the AFU family and support our newest program, The 66/34 Effect: Funding in the Family Courts with host Athena Phoenix.  Guests this week will be:
  • LIZ RICHARDS, Founder of National Alliance for Family Court Justice (www.nafcj.net) For over 20 years, Liz has been a pioneer in the mother’s rights movement a national expert on HHS funding research, fraud, and political reform.
  • FRED SOTTILE, President of the LA Chapter of Fathers 4 Justice, author, radio host, and a prominent TANF Title IV-D abolition activist.
  • JACK KELLY, Democratic party political activist, Boston based blogger and columnist who wrote about the Penn State scandal.

See Jack Kelly’s article here:

A Message To PennState Prez

Rodney Erickson: Clean House!

November 12, 2011

By 

Find out from special guest Fred Sottile why father’s rights groups are joining the fight to cut $5 billion in wasteful spending on IV-D TANF programs, including fatherhood programs funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS].  Also learn about Fred’s work on judicial reform and transparency with activists like Richard Fine, Full Disclosure Networks, and Judicial Watch.

Liz Richards will educate listeners on the politics of HHS Fatherhood and Healthy Families program funding, and how these funds are used to effect the outcome of court cases. Are grant programs administered through child support enforcement agencies, such as Responsible Fatherhood programs and Access and Visitation programs meeting their funding and accountability requirements? Is there a connection to the Penn State scandal and Occupy Wall Street?
Please join us, and feel free to call in and join the discussion as we find ways to improve the system.
Sincerely,

Jane Boyer & Josie Perez

Abuse Freedom United

IF HHS PROGRAMS ARE FAILING FAMILIES, WHY DO WE KEEP FUNDING THEM?  What can we do to reform them?
Why is child support enforcement creating TANF programs which waive due process, collecting billions in child support, then fail to disburse it to the children it is intended to benefit? How much does your judge know about HHS funding and family services? How much of your tax dollars is being used to support programs like CPS, foster care, The Second Mile nonprofit, and Penn State who failed to protect the children raped by Coach Sandusky? Tune in and find out.

Join Athena Phoenix
Tuesday Nights at 9:00 p.m. EST  

GUEST CALL-IN #
(646) 595-2134
PRESS #1 TO SPEAK WITH GUESTS OR ATHENA
9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
4:00 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time
5:00 p.m. Alaska Standard Time
6:00 p.m. pacific Standard Time
7:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time              8:00 p.m. Central Standard Time


                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

I believe this 11/15/2011 show is now available to hear, and it will be weekly (though with which guests, I don’t know).  However, the “64/34 Effect” — which has nothing to do with what most “expose the impact of domestic violence” or Train The Judges to recognize it — movements talk about.  That 64/34 effect, however, has had greater influence in preventing families from getting out of it.

You’ll also note that there are both men and women on the show, and (for the record) that’s not men and women who are all pro-feminist, or pro-father.  Rather, at least some people have started figuring out it’s time to stop playing the Good Cop Bad Cop (Men v. Women) themes that have been fed us by media campaigns — and instead look at some of what I have begun to (for some years now) report on this blog.  I report on organizations, nonprofits, foundations, and funding behind the policies that messed with my family (yes, even my ex, who was also a batterer) and compromised our futures –badly.

(I hope the show is helpful//for the record, I’m not a regular listener and don’t know about previous episodes), or the hosts Boyer & Perez)

NOW —

ABOUT ME (& the Let’s Get Honest BLOG)

I am What I am, which is changing with time. . ..  (so is the blog, only it’s an it).

  • I don’t tag consistently, so if you’re hunting for something, use the search field.
  • I don’t proofread, copyedit, and once the thing is off my chest and published, usually that’s it’s format (love it or leave it).
  • I know — and deduce, from who’s watching it — that this blog has information on it you will NOT typically find elsewhere.  I know that, because I’m a diligent person and voracious reader, and I explored the usual alternatives –consistently and hard — during a seven-year period (and thereafter) between filing a domestic violence restraining order with kickout, and watching my children have a custody-switch overnight (not getting to say goodbye to them, or vice versa) after which they basically disappeared out of my life.  This was a planned event, and an enabled event — and in this blog, I am going to talk about the CONTEXT in which planned and enabled events of this sort take place.
  • I quit dealing with nonprofits, or asking them for help, after I realized who they are actually answerable to — and that’s their funders, NOT their clients, who represent warm bodies that come and go through their doors, justifying the funding.  This includes all kinds of nonprofits.
  • The most important things needed for a mother (specifically, but it can also help nonabusive fathers) to know in the court system — to possibly stop getting screwed with (pardon the French) will NOT be found on domestic violence prevention sides, family court self-help sites (naturally), or even protective mothers sites.
  • I can document a family law case (Sacks v. Sacks) that had all of the above type groups backing it from Florida to the Supreme Court of the USA (where it was declined for a hearing) and back, which chose to ignore what I blog, and think that the case was “about” their individual judges, custody evaluators, attorneys, or situation.  It’s not.  Get over it.  Deal with it.   Grow up.  What happens in the courtroom — in the bottom line — is NOT about you, and in many cases, the outcome is often settled before you get there (if you have the privilege, which some don’t).

(Sample of the language — notice the drama — and people are supposed to write the judges about all this:)  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

WE ARE ALL WITH YOU LINDA MARIE

We thank you Linda Marie for your courage, faith, and strength to speak for those who have been silenced by their abusers and the courts.

CASE UPDATE: JUNE 27, 2011 CASE

US SUPREME COURT: “WE DONT DO FAMILY LAW”

THE US SUPREME COURT DENIED LINDA MARIE SACKS PETITION FOR CERTIORARI IN SACKS V SACKS. WE ARE DISSAPOINTED BUT NOT SHOCKED AT THE US SUPREME COURTS COMPLETE DISREGARD FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN. DESHANEY V WINNEBEGO, CASTLE ROCK V GONZALES, TITELMAN V TITELMAN ARE PRIME EXAMPLES OF OUR NATIONS HIGHEST COURT IGNORING THE PLEAS OF PARENTS TRYING TO FIND JUSTICE FOR THEIR CHILDREN WHO ARE SEVERELY ABUSED OR MURDERED. OVER AND OVER AGAIN THE STATE SUPREME COURTS AND THE US SUPREME COURT REFUSE TO PROTECT VICTIMS AND POLICE THEIR OWN. WHY HAVE SUPREME COURTS THAT ARE DEAF TO THOSE MATTERS THAT REALLY COUNT. IS BURNING OUR FLAG, STRIP SEARCHING OF SCHOOL CHILDREN, SCHOOL PRAYER, AND THE LIKE-MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE RIGHT OF PARENTS TO PROTECT THEIR CHILDREN FROM ABUSE AND MURDER?

READ MORE  www.CenterforJudicialExcellence.org

Write the judges in SACKS V SACKS   

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ All the groups involved should thank her for free (negative) publicity at her children’s expense.  However, ignorance — and this WAS ignorance, and pigheaded refusal to smell the coffee – – – – is no excuse, either.  (I wouldn’t say this, but tried to present information to this mother as well.) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

This  Petition for Writ of Certiori, i.e., to be heard by the US Supreme Court under “Other Authorities” cites Dr. Phil and the O (Oprah’s) magazine, a SF online weekly, a radio interview of Linda Sacks, and basically a laundry list of the nonprofits and individuals that did NOT inform this parent about what just happened to her.  Or  why a Supervised Visitation Center — or having a person on her case (Dr. Deborah O. Day) who just happened to be a founding board member of the Florida AFCC, and a Certified Family Mediator and is big on Munchhausen’s by Proxy — might relate to the problems she, like others, has been having. Instead, she focused on being “squeaky clean” and how unfair the system was to her — rather than studying the system.  The groups cited (see the writ) don’t talk about AFCC, either, nor does a recent tome called Domestic Violence, Child Abuse and Custody (see the groups listed).

 

Meanwhile — in Lancaster, Pennsylvania very recently– a forum exists “Expose Corruption” exists, which reports on its local courts and potential corruption, and the moderator (I think it’s the moderator) simply sent off a “Right to Know” information request on one of the court personnel, and got payment vouchers,* (*it doesn’t look like Ms. Sacks ever did this) discovered no contract exists for the person in question, found out  what a nice living she is making at public expense, as either Guardian Ad Litem or Parenting Coordinator.  She sued him for inadvertently posting SS#s that the responding officials “forgot” to redact on the vouchers, and the game’s on.  But it began with someone noticing that judges were steering cases to certain profiteers, and inquiring about the profit.

FBI searches court administrator’s office

BY BORYS KRAWCZENIUK (STAFF WRITER)
Published: November 15, 2011
FBI agents executed a search warrant on Lackawanna County Court Administrator Ron Mackay’s office Monday afternoon as part of an investigation into a program that provides lawyers for children in family court cases.

Mr. Mackay declined to answer questions about the visit and answered “no” when asked if he would provide The Times-Tribune a copy of the search warrant.

The visit lasted less than an hour.  For a while, as agents worked in his office, Mr. Mackay was required to stand in a waiting room outside the suite that houses his office. An FBI agent stood near Mr. Mackay guarding the entrance to the suite.   Eventually, four men dressed in plain clothes, only one of whom acknowledged being an FBI agent, walked out, with one carrying a box with white papers sticking out of the top.

. . .The FBI has been investigating the county’s guardian ad litem system, which is in the hands of one lawyer, attorney Danielle Ross. The county court sometimes appoints a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of children in family court disputes between parents, often in cases of divorce or when custody is at stake.

Late last month, agents served subpoenas at the county courthouse and administration building as part of their investigation. In September, a federal grand jury subpoena ordered County Controller Ken McDowell to produce all bills, invoices, receipts and statements for every case assigned to Ms. Ross.

Now THAT’s how you investigate!

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/fbi-searches-court-administrator-s-office-1.1232356#ixzz1e62IvTLL

 

Funny how Sacks’ coaches and/or centers of reference:   Battered Women’s Custody Conference, Barry Goldstein, The Leadership Council, California Protective Parents Association, Center for Judicial Excellence, etc. But ordinary citizens (well, perhaps some “extraordinary” is involved here) on a forum can pick up:

(etc.)(who you know I’ve been looking at too — as I can’t see where Termini & Boyan are currently incorporated — and I don’t think they are.  Termini’s making a good living in Lancaster County at the courthouse, since (it seems) about 2008.  Coincidentally?  The “National Association for Parent Coordination” in Georgia got dissolved in about 2008 (same dynamic duo in charge).  now they run advanced parent coordination training (for a stiff price) and well they should — because in Lancaster at least, it seems to net $60/hour, plenty of referrals (and without a contract even??). . . We, too, can do “right to know” or “FOIA” inquiries, and should do more.

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

On the other hand, knowledge — and knowledge you can act on locally — is empowering, even if the scenario is daunting.  I have learned so much by having all systems fail in the family law, family, (religious institutions), criminal justice system (i.e., law enforcement), and a few more along the way.  I know I am a better woman for it, though sorry it took so many years (i.e., I got older in the meantime) Forgot to add

  • I’m longwinded.  The posting has really gotten out of hand, and while it may be a warm blanket to me, I’m getting ready to let go of it and go Facebook, Twitter, or something else.  I don’t seriously believe anyone reads the entire posts.   It’s where I keep (SOME, FYI, not all), of my research, for the record.  The research has borne out, and there IS a clearer picture (in my understanding) of what to ignore and what to pay attention to in these systems.  And of the country I live in (shudder!) as a woman, particularly a woman beyond kicking out some more babies, or with an appetite for raising someone else’s.  That frees up a lot of thought time ..  … ….
  • Oh yes — there are about 9 different pages on here.  But only the main page, generally, is added to.  It’s structured like this.  I write until I’m done (and only a small portion of the screen is visible at a time; no hardcopy printouts or second drafts).  When I’m done –or sometimes several paragraphs beyond that, then I stop, and usually hit “Publish.”
Whatever I am saying, visits are steadily coming from state & county & city governments, various court systems, law firms, the California Judicial Council, 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Alaska Court System (209.165.166.194) [Label IP Address]    0 returning visits
United States FlagAnchorage, Alaska, United States
(No referring link)
16 Nov 13:00:29

– – – – – or, say:

Total Visits:1

Location:San Francisco, California, United States

IP Address:City & County Of San Francisco (204.68.210.39) CA CityCnty of SF – KT artklReferring URL:

(No referring link)

Visit Page:

 – – – – -or, say:

Total Visits:1

Location:San Francisco, California, United States

IP Address:American Lawyer Media (208.8.241.6) [Label IP Address]Referring URL:

(No referring link)

Visit Page: familycourtmatters.wordpress.com/2011/02/27/lets-get-honest-about-kids-turn-and-judges-profit/

– – – – – or …

State Of New Jersey (12.195.10.99) NJ State of (undistrib CS)    0 returning visits
(No referring link)

16 Nov05:35:30

 familycourtmatters.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/66-to-34-undistributable-child-support-collections-and-why-hhsoas-is-more-concerned-about-its-share-than-kids-getting-theirs/

Total Visits:

United States FlagSouth Amboy, New Jersey, United States     Show Full URLs


1Location:Baltimore, Maryland, United States

IP Address:Psinet (38.112.73.146) [Label IP Address]

Referring URL:(No referring link)

Visit Page:    familycourtmatters.wordpress.com/tag/parents-day-comes-from-true-parentsunification-church/

   [[that post has a lot of corporation / charitable regisration lookups on some well-known California Marriage Promotion groups — more on that later]]
or, ..
County Of Los Angeles(159.83.4.157)[Label IP Address]    0 returning visits
(No referring link)

15 Nov14:02:52

 familycourtmatters.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/pc278-5-arresting-moms-at-least-for-felony-child-stealing/

United States FlagLong Beach, California, United States

or … (i’m not sure if this is good news, or not good news….).

Executive Office Of The President Usa (198.137.240.197) WDC EXEC OFC PRESIDNT! 9/2/11    0 returning visits
United States FlagWashington, District Of Columbia, United States     Show Full URLs
(No referring link)
2 Sep 08:55:24familycourtmatters.wordpress.com/page/18/?pages-list
 
(No referring link)
15 Nov 05:53:57familycourtmatters.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/ocse-child-support-enforcementfederal-grants-to-states-lets-look-at-the-taggs-hhs-charts-cfdas-93-563-93-564/
Executive Office Of The President Usa(198.137.241.197)WDC Exec Ofc Pres!198137241197    0 returning visits
United States FlagWashington, District Of Columbia, United States     Show Full URLs
(No referring link)
2 Sep 08:55:17   familycourtmatters.wordpress.com/category/wheres-mom/page/2
(No referring link)
15 Nov 05:53:55

 

– – – – – Or (just one last one!):

Calnet2 St Of Ca Judicial Council (aoc San Francis(63.202.171.143)CA SF CalJudiCouncil SFAOC    0 returning visits
United States FlagSan Francisco, California, United States     Show Full URLs
(No referring link)
26 Jul 12:23:39familycourtmatters.wordpress.com/2011/05/28/whats-money-got-to-do-with-it-calif-legislators-judges-at-play/
(No referring link)
4 Aug 11:34:38familycourtmatters.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/afcc-coordinates-parenting-coord-and-the-courts-democrats-spearhead-next-fatherhood-legislation-hr-2193/
 
(No referring link)
18 Aug 14:28:21familycourtmatters.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/how-nonprofit-status-all-nonprofit-status-large-small-leads-to-abuse-of-individuals-money-flows-towards-the-visionary-dictatorial/
(No referring link)
14 Nov 09:22:46familycourtmatters.wordpress.com/2011/06/05/say-no-to-sb-557-contd-local-connections-faith-focused-ovw-grants-all-in-the-family-but-whose/
(I’m not going to keep posting visitors here, but the posts they chose to look at are an indicator of possibly something YOU might want to look at.  Also, I believe we should keep certain public entities on their toes (if possible), particularly ones that have been on our HEELS, dogging us, driving us — and for what?  For profit?  For someone’s career track?  To bring world peace or solve world poverty?
(besides which it was seriously difficult to get those stats into the WordPress margins… ) 
 
 
 
IN THE BOTTOM LINE, THE QUESTION BECOMES — WHOSE LIFE IS MINE?  WHOSE MONEY IS THE MONEY I EARN?  
WHAT ABOUT CHILDREN?  IF A MOTHER AND FATHER HAVE CHILDREN AND A CUSTODY DISPUTE, WHOSE CHILDREN ARE THEY?    
By law, the ANSWER is here, and the answer is NOT his or hers….
 
The UCCJEA talks about which STATE has jurisdiction, when it’s a multi-state custody matter.  But what about within a single state?
 
JURISDICTION:
So what is jurisdiction?  It is the right, the power, and the control that the court will have over a certain legal issue or subject.  Thus there is geographical jurisdiction (where can the case be heard?), subject matter jurisdiction (which court has authority to hear and decide this particular legal issue?), personal jurisdiction (does the court have the power to make a person obey its orders?) and there are other jurisdictional questions. 

What we normally call FAMILY COURTS ( as I am understanding this) are actually by statue “CONCILIATION COURTS….Now the type of people going to the family law system are not typically the happily married couples, but couples with often “irreconcilable differences” this may come of a bit of a shock — while you are figuring out how to separate, the court is actually (by legal purpose) trying to get you back together, apparently (I’ll use that word a lot so no one thinks about accusing me of practicing law ….).

No, seriously …..

WHAT IS A “CONCILIATION COURT” (ever heard the term?)

Conciliation Courts

California was one of the first states to establish conciliation courts. The purpose of a conciliation court is to encourage families to attempt reconciliation and reduce litigation in family law cases. In California counties with conciliation courts, parties may petition the court for help in resolving disputed family law matters prior to, or even after, filing an action for dissolution. While the matter is under advisement by the conciliation court, neither party may file an action for dissolution without permission of the court.

(taken from Robert L. Lewis site; San Jose Family Lawyer)

How many mothers or fathers are even aware that in having ANY custody dispute and going before a judge to settle it, they have entered “Conciliation Court Land” (I think.  NOTE:  I’m not an attorney, and reader is advised to consult, law, a licensed attorney or a better source before acting on any FYI information I post, from other sites, hereon!)

Basically when there is a custody DISPUTE (parents cannot work it out separately) in — I believe most counties in the US, but don’t know for sure — that opens the doorway for all THIS:

(CALIFORNIA LAW — which may explain where all the behavioral scientists get off in studying your children and collecting data from courthouses about this or that):

 FAMILY CONCILIATION COURTS (California Code 1800ff (part, below:)

1814.  (a) In each county in which a family conciliation court is
established, the superior court may appoint one supervising counselor of conciliation and one secretary to assist the family 
conciliation court in disposing of its (ITS, not YOUR) business and carrying out its functions. In
counties which have by contract established joint family
conciliation court services, the superior courts in contracting
counties jointly may make the appointments under this subdivision.
   (b) The supervising counselor of conciliation has the power to do all of the following:

   (1) Hold conciliation conferences with parties to, and hearings
in, proceedings under this part, and make recommendations concerning
the proceedings to the judge of the family conciliation court.
   (2) Provide supervision in connection with the exercise of the
counselor's jurisdiction as the judge of the family conciliation
court may direct.
   (3) Cause reports to be made, statistics to be compiled, and records to be kept 
as the judge of the family conciliation court may direct.
   (4) Hold hearings in all family conciliation court cases as may be
required by the judge of the family conciliation court, and make
investigations as may be required by the court to carry out the
intent of this part.
   (5) Make recommendations relating to marriages where one or both
parties are underage.
   (6) Make investigations, reports, and recommendations as provided
in Section 281 of the Welfare and Institutions Code under the
authority provided the probation officer in that code.

(7) Act as domestic relations cases investigator. 
 (8) Conduct mediation of child custody and visitation disputes.
   (c) The superior court, or contracting superior courts, may also appointwith the consent of the board of supervisors, associate counselors of conciliation 
and other office assistants as may be necessary to assist 
the family conciliation court in disposing of its business.
Which, for the record, may or may not relate to YOUR business or intents in being there.
In fact, the two purposes are often at odds.  But did you know what its business was to start with?
This is not told you in the basic self-help legal center, but it appears to be so....
The associate counselors shall carry out their duties
under the supervision of the supervising counselor of conciliation
and have the powers of the supervising counselor of conciliation.
Office assistants shall work under the supervision and direction of
the supervising counselor of conciliation.
   (d) The classification and salaries of persons appointed under this section shall be determined by: 
(1) The board of supervisors of the county in which a noncontracting family conciliation court operates.

(2) The board of supervisors of the county which by contract has the responsibility to administer funds of the joint family
conciliation court service.

OK, Let’s review this:  COUNTY (financial) vs. STATE (pays judges) responsibilities and associations:

And State to Federal ….

The county commissioners (or, “Board of Supervisors of the County”) in which a conciliation court operates appoint the classification and salaries of people helping there work. Got that? (Judges, in California, are to be paid by the state — not the counties).

SO — when here comes the United States (federal) Child Support & Welfare System and says — “we will fund you, only it’s a $2/$1 relationship (or the 66/34% effect), …

provided you follow our rules — some of which includes, we want to do social studies on your families, (Just whatever the Head (Secretary) of HHS says to ….)

and we also believe that you should be running some marriage, fatherhood promotion, abstinence education, supervised visitation, mediation, counseling and parent education classes too, or other “access/visitation” programs — to reduce the overall divorce rate, which WE assert relates to the overall POVERTY RATE  for which we are (see?? ) giving your state $XX b/million per year — if you want it that is…”

— GENERALLY SPEAKING, THE STATES (AND COUNTY SUPERVISORS OF CONCILIATION COURTS) ARE GOING TO LISTEN.

AND JUDGES ARE LIKELY TO ORDER SERVICES — THAT’S HOW WE GET THE INAPPROPRIATE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN SOME OF THESE NONPROFITS AND INDIVIDUAL JUDGES ON SPECIFIC CUSTODY CASES THEY ARE TO HELP PARENTS SETTLE THEIR “DISPUTES,” and this JUST — PERHAPS — MIGHT INVOLVE FORCING THAT COUPLE TO GO SIT IN FRONT OF A COUNTY-PAID COUNSELOR (OR MEDIATOR), OR TAKE CLASSES BY A JUDGE- LAWYER-RUN PROGRAM THAT QUALIFIES FOR SOME OF THE GRANTS. . .

.Which may explain why American Lawyer Media — (or quite a few others visiting the same site) are somewhat interested in my post on “Kids Turn” . . . or why the California Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts (perhaps) may be interested in my reporting on the A/V grants, or OCSE — or “AFCC” which includes personnel with a penchant for ordering a whole lot of these types of income-producing programs:

(CODE, continued — but in more normal print so it will wrap to the margins right):

  1815. (a) A person employed as a supervising counselor of conciliation or as an associate counselor of conciliation shall have all of the following minimum qualifications: {{NOTICE THE FIELDS}}

(1) A master’s degree in psychology, social work, marriage, family and child counseling, or other behavioral science substantially related to marriage and family interpersonal relationships.

(2) At least two years of experience in counseling or psychotherapy, or both, preferably in a setting related to the areas of responsibility of the family conciliation court and with the ethnic population to be served.

(3) Knowledge of the court system of California and the procedures used in family law cases. {{notice this is qualification #3, not #1}}

(4) Knowledge of other resources in the community that clients can be referred to for assistance.

(5) Knowledge of adult psychopathology and the psychology of families.

(6) Knowledge of child development, child abuse, clinical issues relating to children, the effects of divorce on children, the effects of domestic violence on children, and child custody research sufficient to enable a counselor to assess the mental health needs of children.

(7) Training in domestic violence issues as described in Section 1816. {{notice this is #7, not #2, although DV issues do result in disputed custody situations that come before this court!}}

(b) The family conciliation court may substitute additional experience for a portion of the education, or additional education for a portion of the experience, required under subdivision (a).

(c) This section does not apply to any supervising counselor of conciliation who was in office on March 27, 1980.

 

Does that explain why your life as a disputed custody parent (if that’s you) are now filled with these social science, behavioral modification, psychopathology & psychology of families & psychotherapist personnel?

NOW — a voice from 1977.  I notice that it was published in the National Council on Family Relations.  
Who are they?  Well not in this post, but this is the grant they got recently from our government (HHS) to keep marriages together or help persuade more people to marry
Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
NATIONAL COUNCIL ON FAMILY RELATIONS  MINNEAPOLIS MN 55421-3900 ANOKA 078679974
$ 1,286,457
(click on name to see what the grant 90FM0001 was about, from 2004-2008)(then click on the grant# and see that its 2011 continuation for only $785,612 was continued at Utah State U.  Utah appears to be a very marrying state, one might think, given the prevailing religion..
 

CONCILIATION COUNSELING:  THE COURT’S EFFECTIVE MECHANISM FOR RESOLVING VISITATION AND CUSTODY DISPUTES

(excerpt)
The Family Coordinator © 1977 National Council on Family Relations

Abstract

Counseling processes utilized by the Santa Clara County Conciliation Court in in resolving litigated visitation and custody disputes are described. The responsiveness of parents and their children is discussed as are the roles of both counselor and judge in these matters. A sample case reflecting a broad range of family dynamics is presented and the procedure by which cases are received and evaluated is reported. The practical and salutary features of this court-oriented program are set forth.
 
(Excerpt):  “It has been acknowledge for some time by judges and lawyers, as well as those inviduals affected (note order — judges & lawyers 1st, affected people, 2nd) that the process by which custody and visitation issues are decided is in need of change.  With that in mind, THE CONCILIATION SERVICE OF THE SANTA CLARA COUNTY (California) SUPERIOR COURT  IN 1972 LAUNCHED A PILOT PROGRAM WHICH HAS SINCE BEEN FULLY INTEGRATED INTO ITS FAMILY COURT PROCEDURES (caps & emphases= mine).  PROFESSIONAL MARRIAGE AND FAMILY COUNSELORS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PROGRAM’S IMPLEMENTATION….
 
At the calling of the Family Court Calendar each morning and each afternoon, all those awaiting hearing on visitation matters are promptly and directly referred to the court’s Conciliation Service.  (etc.)
That’s how the counselors get in there. . . .  Note the date –1972.  The AFCC (which is an association of judges, lawyers, and exactly these types of counselors — must be coincidence!) didn’t actually finish getting caught and forced to incorporate (in IL) til around 1975.  No-fault divorce was here or near, and FEMINISM was on the Ascent in America….  This caused some marital issues, obviously. ….
 
 

WHAT I WAS NOT TOLD — EVER — BY ANY COURTHOUSE I ENTERED< ANYWHERE< OR ANY MEDIATOR:

WERE YOU?  WHOSE CHILDREN ARE THEY?  

WHO HAS JURISDICTION IF YOU HAVE A CUSTODY DISPUTE?

THIS IS A 2009 blog from an attorney who works in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.  It’s not hard to understand, it’s fairly clear — but were you told?

L.A. Divorce Blog (Nov. 24, 2009)

When a controversy exists between spouses, or when a controversy relating to child custody or visitation exists between parents (regardless of their marital status), and the controversy might otherwise result in divorce, annulment, legal separation, or the disruption of the household, and there is a minor child of the spouses or parents whose welfare might be affected thereby, the Family Conciliation Court has jurisdiction over the controversy, the parties to the controversy, and all persons having any relation to the controversy. Where the controversy involves domestic violence, the Family Conciliation Court has jurisdiction over the controversy, whether or not the parties have a minor child.

The purpose of filing a Petition for Conciliation is to invoke the Court’s jurisdiction to preserve the marriage, to effect a reconciliation of the parties, or to amicably settle the controversy to avoid further litigation over the issue.

While this is talking specifically about someone wishing to stop the divorce via a “petition of conciliation,” the existence of this code – has affected all “custody disputes” and also how domestic violence is adjudicated.  Cindy Ross (also of California, and who writes better) described:

(notice — this is an older post, 2/19/2003) and talks more about the impact.

AFCC was originally established in California as the means to enact Conciliation Court Law (CA Family Codes 1800-1852), an obscure set of codes used to prevent divorce in counties where the court itself deems it necessary to “promote the public welfare by preserving, promoting, and protecting family life and the institution of matrimony“. [15]  While the Conciliation Court identifies children’s rights to “both parents”, it is used only to assist fathers take custody away from mothers and/or to otherwise gain inappropriate or illegal “access” to children.

Enacting Conciliation Court Law gives the family court jurisdiction over domestic violence cases, in violation of appropriate family codes and “child’s best interests” laws. For example, in California, while Family Code §3044 establishes a presumption that sole or joint custody for a parent convicted of domestic violence is not in the best interests of children,  Conciliation Court codes are used not only to assist abusive men get custody, but to help them avoid criminal prosecution. [16] Because blame is shifted to mothers by concealing evidence of paternal crimes against women and children, in the Conciliation Court, victims of abuse (not perpetrators) get convicted in accordance with PAS “threat therapy”. [17]

PAS court-ordered threats include jail terms for mothers and institutionalization of children to convince them that the abuse never occurred, but their mothers are crazy. [18] PAS threats have been linked to the death of at least one child. When forced to “choose” between visiting his violent father in a positive frame of mind, or having his mother jailed for his refusal, Nathan Grieco chose suicide instead. [19]

The Conciliation Court uses PAS methodology to give abusive men the legal upper hand. However, “shared parenting” has become the rallying cry of the fathers’ rights movement, primarily because joint custody also means no child support obligations. When AFCC affiliates assist fathers get custody and get out of paying child support, they instigate frivolous litigation for their own financial gain. They take kickbacks and other improper payments to rig the outcomes of the cases.

She hasn’t reported on a few others factors, but at least this explains why, when coming in for a divorce, the court seems more interested in assigning you a few (dozen) experts.  As also explained (again, long ago) on

Dedicated to Exposing Illegal and Immoral

practices in the court

… Particularly the Family Law System which includes the Courts, Attorneys, Family Services, Psychologists and Therapists,Visitation Monitors, Ad-Litems, Social Workers, Child Protection Agencies and all of the agencies that support these so-called professionals.

Collusion among individuals within the family law system takes place to extract assets from troubled parents. The system is designed to increase the wealth of the family law professionals at the expense and heartbreak of families. Corrupt practices abound. This website is dedicated to exposing the corruption in detail. Areas where corruption exists are identified below.

To which I’d add — and related federal programs, as they may be available.

To people who file civil restraining orders — this information is not shown them (last I heard), but if children are involved, they are then escorted (at least in my area) to a quick run by the local family mediator –who just happens to be in this conciliation court.  The place looks, acts, and sounds like a courthouse, but in fact it is a support service, under conciliation law, to a conciliation court.  Funny that, when divorce actions sometimes read “irreconciliable differences” — and yet someone is going to give it a try, for public benefit.  Or at least pretend to.  Heck, it’s a job, right?

I know many women who filed for safety and ended up in this court before they knew what hit.  Sometimes the actions are consolidated Ex Parte to get them into this venue.  Then we wonder why, when we talk about matters of law, due process, (particularly DV law), or even crimiinal matters, the judges, GALs, and evaluators jsut cannot hear — and talk a different language (as above, see the code).

 
The entity which lobbied for conciliation code to start with, in California, is known as the AFCC (association of family and CONCILIATION courts — get it?).  Their job is to extract as much wealth as possible for as long as possible (this may include from extended family, foster care situations, adoptive families, you name it) and try to convince — or force — you to believe that this is in the best interests of what you think are YOUR children, but they know (by knowing about this section of code) are actually NOT your children — not until you and the Dad can agree.
 
Your judge or lawyer is bad?  Your ex done you wrong?  Start a blog and unload there — but I am more interest in system change and reporting how systems have changed over time.  When I feel I’ve said this well enough (or as well as I can on this blog), then I’ll stop saying it.  Don’t hold your breath.
 
 

SO, ABOUT THIS BLOG:

Scroll down to “READ THIS FIRST” page for a history of family law starting from the consequences of it, back down to the shady beginnings, one generation after women got the vote and between the world wars. Yep, that’s when the first law was passed, which eventually morphed, evolved, or as one summary puts it, “metastasized” into what we have now. And, like Hollywood, and other exports, this one seems to have originated in Sunny California, Southern part…

  • This post doesn’t contain any porn, graphic violence, or disgusting images (as I recall), but it is going to include plain talk on what comes from papering over these things.
  • [2011 update]. I investigate and report on corporations and nonprofits taking business from the court system, and taking diversionary monies from needy families through the 1996 TANF welfare reform and OCSE loopholes.
  • Originally the blog was intended to develop and report on matters covered (since ab. 1993) at http://www.NAFCJ.net and others, which at least gave a sensible explanation for weird behaviors by family court officials. I continued researching, observing, and learning.
  • A good deal also covers the “Faith-Based Behaviors” which have been enabled to expand beyond even the “Fatherhood Factor Funding” of 1994 & 1995. In 2001, GWB began office with two executive orders, 13998 and 13999, which opened the door for these (crooks).
  • Recently, articles are hitting the press about the scandalous “take the money and run” grantees, the “steer the money to our friends” process exhibited by program managers at the state level, and more. Not to mention, the black hole of undistributed child support collections, which (as reported in part by Richard Fine in 1999) shows a system of bribery and kickbacks are steering custody results, and kicking too many kids into bad situations — or state care.

I also note that tools available to the public to study these things are indequate and limited; that there exists — both on database and (some indications) literally, a dual-docketing system, such that decisions made with a parent’s or child’s name on them — which bring federal program funding opportunities — can continue without that parent or child’s knowledge. Some of these do not seem to require a judge’s signature. Others may have such signature, but litigants somehow can’t get a copy of their own files.  The database TAGGS is not set up to produce truly flexible reports which would help track down who is doing what and for whom.  It is there for an appearance of transparency, as far as I am concerned.  Before I re-read NAFCJ.net (Liz Richards’ site) and began my own research, I didn’t run into a single protective mother or DV advocate who even used this database, or told women — or men — about it.

Above all, it’s time to let the idols, the myths about justice hit the dust (which is where idols belong anyhow) and go roll up the sleeves and start looking things up.

My blog is dense to read, and shows affects of PTSD (many times) — BUT I’ll bet you will not find many others reporting what I do.

Fathers in custody battles need to know — it’s NOT about you, or your story, or a particular judge; it’s about the system. Fathers also need to know that SOME of us mothers, while we do not back up one inch on abuse is wrong, or buy your stories about how much false allegations of it exist, we do know that you, too, have been extorted by at least the OCSE system, and we will work along the non-rabid community of fathers to do something about the kickbacks and lack of accountability.

And I personally wish to tell leaders of domestic violence coalitions and certain other agencies receiving major HHS and/or DOJ funding that — we mothers exiting abuse do NOT appreciate our legitimate needs having been SOLD OUT by your groups, to take funding for speculative theories and PR/educational campaigns on what “prevents family violence” let alone “poverty.”

NOW –that’s the N.O.W. — has no excuse for basically dropping the ball, not when in 2002 an excellent Family Court Report laid out the roadmap, and 2005 your California Leader called for an investigation of HHS use of Fatherhood Funds.  (What she didn’t realize then is WE have to do this investigation, then bring it to legislators).  NOW is still active in matters of domestic violence, and has a Family Law Task Force — but other priorities. NOW has done a lot (and I think them), but here — for all to see — is a clear indication that (as with other DV groups) the “Family Law” issue is not seen as a Violence Against Women issue:

Key Issues

NOW’s Top Priority Issues: (the top 6, and the “other important issues”)

Other Important Issues:

Suffice it to say, I think a more singular focus is needed, and as NOW didn’t continue to report some of the material about Bush, Fatherhood, Welfare Reform, and other issues. I don’t even share 100% of those issues, or agree with all of them.  I want to stay alive and exercise my rights, and my kids to NEVER have to repeat what happened and what they witnessed, while growing up, half in violence, and half in a custody war with a basis in extortion from more than one sector, with them, their distress, their simply being minors, as the bait.  But we all need some NOW — because without a dose of them, it’d be The USA of Shari’a (Christian, Jewish, Muslim & Mormon versions, plus the same general themes among the agnostics and atheists).  It’d be off the deep end and in over our heads.  But they lost the focus on the HHS matters, which are also national matters because they involve the economy and systems change to push marriage and fatherhood programs (notice, I didn’t say to push marriage, or fatherhood — but to push the programs).

LIKEWISE:

The NCADV and Domestic Violence Statewide Coalitions have no excuse.  Stop SELLING stuff (including conference attendances, memberships) and start reporting — for free– on welfare reform and what it did to battered women who are also mothers’ chances of EVER getting completely free from such dangerous relationships.    You do NOT speak for mothers who have their lives or kids’ lives on their line.

Family Violence Prevention Fund is now “Futures Without Violence” (facelift, namechange, physical move to the SF Praesidio).  I went up down and around the SF Bay Area looking for help, only to find out (once I got regular internet access and knew to look) that you, too, believe that the real way to prevent violence by men against women is to take funding from wealthy foundations who believe that the way to stop violence against women is to make sure that there is a man in all their homes, and a father in every abused child’s life.  Then I learned you were a resource center for women like me, and I know lots of us in the area.

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND  SAN FRANCISCO CA 94103-5177 SAN FRANCISCO 618375687 $ 22,368,114
Family Violence Prevention Fund  SAN FRANCISCO CA 94103-5178 SAN FRANCISCO 618375687 $ 31,000
FY Award Number Award Title Budget Year of Support Award Code Agency Action Issue Date DUNS Number Amount This Action
2005 90XA0109  CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT 1 0 ACF 08-03-2005 618375687 $ 496,000 

That’s from Health and Human Services.  Overall (not that this site is usually complete) USASPENDING.GOV shows the OVW funding as well:

  • Total Dollars:$41,512,886
  • Transactions:1 – 25 of 92

$34 million of this was straight grants, some was contracts…..

Somehow (when I check “Grants/HHS” at USASPENDING.gov — only $13 million shows up)

so often, “Discretionary”:

Program Office Recovery Act Indicator Award Number Award Title Budget Year Action Issue Date CFDA Number CFDA Program Name Award Class Principal Investigator Sum of Actions
CB  90XA0109 CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT 1 08/03/2005 93670 Child Abuse and Neglect Discretionary Activities DISCRETIONARY ESTA SOLER $ 496,000
Used to write up a report on yourself?
Title: International Center to End Violence: Addressing Domestic Violence, Child Abuse and Neglect. Final Report to: DHHS/Administration on Children, Youth and Families under CAPTA. Grant Number 90-XA-0109. October 31, 2007.
Published: 2007
Available from: Children’s Bureau
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/
Administration on Children, Youth and Families
1250 Maryland Avenue, SW, Eighth Floor
Washington, DC 20024
Abstract: This final report discusses the activities and outcomes of the federally funded Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF), an organization committed to building safer and stronger families by ending domestic violence, sexual assault, and other forms of abuse against women and children. Major activities and accomplishments of the FVPF are described, including: the development of an Interactive Learning and Exhibit Center, the development of the International Center to End Violence,** and the implementation of training programs and experiential learning for engaging everyday gatekeepers and young students. Activities of the FVPF’s Teacher Training Academy are also highlighted, as well as public educational and engagement activities and school-based programming.
Results 1 to 1 of 1 matches.

**

by Philip V. Scribano, Pediatrician

and here:

New International Center for Family Violence Prevention Fund

Quote from Ban Ki Moon

(in case graphic doesn’t show…)

“Violence against women is an issue that cannot wait . .. and we know that when we work to eradicate violence against women,
we empower our greatest resource fro development; mothers raising children; lawmakers in parliament;
chief executives; negotiators; teachers; doctors; policewomen; peacekeepers and more.”
..Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General, United Nations
And we were the first to engage men – as coaches, mentors, and positive role models to boys.

New Home, new name – in the SF Praesidio  (while – in this area — I know women who went homeless after custody-switch in the family courts; I almost did.  That’s partly a child support matter, and a child support motivation.  Where’s your blog — your website — your publication of how child support and the state of the OCSE/welfare reform affects custody decisions??  Which, in the case of women leaving violence — affects their and their kids’ safety and well-being?)

Montgomery Street Barracks

Built in the 1890s, the six red-brick Montgomery Street Barracks that frame the Main Parade have become Presidio icons. All will be rehabilitated and will feature activities and services for visitors, such as restaurants, galleries, and cultural institutions. Activities will spill out on to the Barracks’ expansive front porches and the Main Parade Ground. The Walt Disney Family Museum opened in one of the barracks in fall 2009 and the International Center to End Violence will open in another in spring 2011.

(OVW grant for this center includes a 2009 one of $2,000,000)

Yes you did engage boys and men — jumped on the bandwagon:  Fatherhood as a tool to stop domestic violence.

I saw the funding surge behind the change of tune, too:

National Institute on Fatherhood and Domestic Violence

Fatherhood can be a strong motivator for some abusive fathers to renounce their violence. Some men choose to change their violent behavior when they realize the damage they are doing to their children.

 In partnership with the Office on Violence Against Women, we have trained practitioners from over 40 communities across the US, including: DV advocates, supervised visitation, batterers intervention and fatherhood programs, judges and other law enforcement, and child protection workers

Did you train whoever trained Scott McAlpin?  Scott DeKraii? Cody Beemer?

(yet — no mention, for the sake of the single, female-headed households in the State of Ohio, that it has a Fatherhood Commission, Fatherhood Practitioners, Fatherhood Summits, and that a Legislator is still running around strengthening fatherhood to stop child abuse (like that’s the solution); that it had an Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, that is ripping off the public – in a large way — in an effort to turn back the clocks to the 1950s, pre-feminism and pre-VAWA?

in 2011, it’s up to $3,000,000

FY Award Number Award Title Budget Year of Support Award Code Agency Action Issue Date DUNS Number Amount This Action
2011 90EV0401  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION & SERVICES 2 0 ACF 08-04-2011 618375687 $ 250,000 
2011 90EV0414  FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND SERVICES 1 0 ACF 09-17-2011 618375687 $ 1,100,000 
2011 ASTWH110025  PROJECT CONNECT: A COORDINATED PUBLIC HEALTH INITIATIVE TO PREVENT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN 1 00 DHHS/OS 08-26-2011 618375687 $ 1,650,000 
Fiscal Year 2011 Total: $ 3,000,000

Never-Ending Education . . .

2010 ASTWH090016  FY09 HEALTH CARE PROVIDER RESPONSE TO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN – EDUCATION, TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM 1 03 DHHS/OS 11-17-2009 618375687 $ 1,500,000 

And taking money and direction from Annie E. Casey Foundation, which virtually ensures that NONE of your media campaigns are going to tell women such as myself the relevant facts about 1996 Welfare Form, of the existence of the National Fatherhood Initiative (from the start, 1994, same year as VAWA) or how these funds have been used in family court situations.  It sure has changed the tune — if, indeed, the tune ever was anything other than media campaign, technical assistance, and training since about 1997ff…   While I am very thankful to be informed that strangulation, for example, is a high indicator of lethality, as a mother experiencing it in the home, I had that figured out (particularly in contexts of the talk that went along with it). Or that my dentist should’ve reported or further questioned (he didn’t) a certain suspicious & bloody incident involving my teeth.

Sample Annie E. Casey Fatherhood program (this is a small one)

“On Thursday, October 20th, eighteen men graduated from the Newark Y Fatherhood Program. Funded through the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 167 men have participated in our workshops during the past year. …A major highlight of theFatherhood Graduation was the presentation of  awards from President Barack Obama to the Y’s CEO, Michael Bright and the Director of the Fatherhood Program, Daryl Brown. ThePresidential Award was given in recognition of their  “devotion to service and for doing all you can to shape a better tomorrow for our great Nation.”

FVPF Program purpose (from the tax return, the 2009 Form 990, below):

“1. TO PREVENT VIOLENCE WITHIN THE HOME, AND IN THE COMMUNITY,

TO HELP THOSE WHOSE LIVES ARE DEVASTATED BY VIOLENCE BECAUSE EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO LIVE FREE OF VIOLENCE.”

4.  Describe the exempt purpose achievements for each of the 3 largest program services by expenses:

  • INTERNATIONAL AND SOCIAL JUSTICE – THE FVPF HAS HELPED CRAFT LANDMARK FEDERAL LEGISLATION, CO-FOUNDED A NATIONAL NETWORK TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST IMMIGRANT WOMEN , AND CONTINUES TO MUSTER THE FINANCIAL, POLITICAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE RESOURCES TO SAFEGUARD IMMIGRANT WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN – AMONG THE MOST VULNERABLE POPULATIONS. THE FVPF HAS FORMED PROGRAMMATIC PARTNERSHIPS AROUND THE WORLD IN REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CLINICS TO EXCHANGE WISDOM, IMPROVE HEALTHCARE, AND RAISE PUBLIC AWARENESS.
  • HEALTH – THE FVPF HAS HELPED EXPOSE A CONNECTION BETWEEN HISTORY OF ABUSE AND CURRENT HEALTH,** FURTHER SPOTLIGHTING THE CRITICAL NEED FOR SUSTAINING ASSESSMENT, INTERVENTION, AND ADVOCACY IN CLINICAL SETTINGS. THE ORGANIZATION PROMOTES A HEALTHCARE RESPONSE THAT CONSIDERS THE ENTIRE LIFESPAN AND THAT INCLUDES PREVENTION. THE FVPF OPERATES THE NATION’S HEALTH RESOURCE CENTER ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROVIDING TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND INFORMATION TO THOUSANDS OF HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS AND OTHERS EACH YEAR. THE ORGANIZATION HAS ALSO DEVELOPED AND IMPLEMENTED STATE-WIDE PLANS FOR A COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

**astounding.  And this was figured out when? …..

  • (this is the “We Got Fatherhood Funding” segment)  PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS – THE ORGANIZATION LAUNCHED THE FIRST-EVER NATIONAL PUBLIC EDUCATION CAMPAIGN ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – THERE’S NO EXCUSE FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – IN 1994. {{yes, but this is 2009!}} NOW THE ORGANIZATION IS REACHING YOUNG MEN AND BOYS THROUGH THE COACHING BOYS INTO MEN CAMPAIGN, ENCOURAGING MEN TO TALK TO THE YOUNG MEN AND BOYS IN THEIR LIVES THAT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IS WRONG. THROUGH MEDIA AND THROUGH WORK WITH ALLIED ORGANIZATIONS, COACHES, AND OTHERS WHO REACH MEN AND BOYS, THE FVPF IS DELIVERING THE MESSAGE THAT MEN CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. THE ORGANIZATION’S RELATED FOUNDING FATHERS CAMPAIGN ENCOURAGES MEN TO STEP FORWARD ON FATHER’S DAY AND JOIN IN MAKING A PUBLIC STATEMENT ABOUT ENDING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN.

ORGANIZATION NAME

STATE

YEAR

TOTAL ASSETS

FORM

PAGES

EIN

Family Violence Prevention Fund CA 2009 $26,157,567 990 16 94-3110973
Family Violence Prevention Fund CA 2008 $22,018,363 990 31 94-3110973
Family Violence Prevention Fund CA 2007 $17,917,034 990 33 94-3110973
Family Violence Prevention Fund CA 2006 $13,612,574 990 33 94-3110973
Family Violence Prevention Fund CA 2005 $9,114,506 990 31 94-3110973
Family Violence Prevention Fund CA 2004 $7,045,197 990 24 94-3110973
Family Violence Prevention Fund CA 2002 $6,261,569 990 22 94-3110973
EIN# 94-3110973

Also described by them at

Grants — $11.5 million

Program income — $181K

Salaries this year — $4 million

One resource is ERI (Economic Research Institute or “http://www.eri-nonprofit-salaries.com&#8221;) which runs comparisons on non-profit organizations salaries;

 the search I just did shows their assets about $22million — and their contributions and expenditures similar, at around $13 million.  It shows a nice chart (I searched by EIN#)and has nice summaries, bar chats, etc.

Salaries in 2009 — not that running a large non-profit shouldn’t be well-rewarded.  They have offices (it says) in Boston, Washington, D.C. & San Francisco.

Except that this group — in an area where women are still being stalked, robbed of (their children, among other things), having child support reduced to nothing or being forced to pay their former batterers (innumerable), finding next to no response with law enforcement when this occurs, women have been burnt and found hogtied around a road sign (2006, unidentified, Oakland-Temescal), kidnapped from their homes, stabbed repeatedly, then dropped off on the side of the road to bleed to death in front of motorists  (Oakland/Orinda Elnora Caldwell), shot at work while IN tollbooths (2009, Ross), shot in church parking lots on a weekday morning (2007, McCall, Oakland), doused with gas and burnt alive, murdered and put in car trunks, shot (along with 6  others in beauty salons (2011, Seal Beach, CA Fournier 8 killed, 2008 Torres, Martinez 3 killed including responding officer),. . .

killed at court-ordered weekend exchanges and buried in a shallow grave only to be found when the murderer father plea-bargained it down by agreeing to locate the body (Wife missing 2006, conviction 2008, Oakland Reiser).    Children have been also kidnapped galore, sometimes being murdered afterwards by overentitled fathers, while D.A.’s are soliciting campagns to standardize their Family Justice Center model in D.C. and in the California Legislature.    I haven’t even linked to children and bystanders in this list; nor is it complete — but  a LOT of it happened around divorce, separation and child custody — and yet where is even a mention of the AFCC, CRC, or the welfare reform that funds “increased noncustodial parenting time” and forces women to try to co-parent with their batterers under fatherhood theory — such as you also have??

Here is the California Charitable Registration results for their 2010 filing (as “Futures WIthout Violence”):

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: Rejected

(For the record, it was incorporated as a nonprofit in California, in a simple filing with Esta Soler and a few others, in August 1989.  To get the VAWA passed in 5 years is indeed an accomplishment, or may reflect connections the women had initially, I do not know.)

Entity Number Date Filed Status Entity Name Agent for Service of Process
C1648791 08/30/1989 ACTIVE FUTURES WITHOUT VIOLENCE ESTA SOLER
  • September 10, 2010 notice from California Attorney General — they forgot their fee:
  • FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION FUND CT FILE NUMBER: 077397 383 RHODE ISLAND STREET, NO. 304 SAN FRANCISCO CA 94103-5133

RE: NOTICE OF INCOMPLETE REPORT

The Annual Registration Renewal Fee Report submitted on behalf of the captioned organization is incomplete for the following reason(s):

1. The $225 renewal fee was not received. Please send a check in that amount, payable to “Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts”.

  • LETTER from California Attorney General, who handles charitable registrations:

RE: NOTICE OF INCOMPLETE REPORT (August 26, 2011)

The Annual Registration Renewal Fee Report submitted on behalf of the captioned organization is incomplete for the following reason(s):

1. The $225 renewal fee was not received. Please send a check in that amount, payable to “Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts”.

In order to remain in compliance with the filing requirements set forth in Government Code sections 12586 and 12587, please provide the requested information, together with a copy of this letter, to the above address, within thirty (30) days of the date of this letter.

Must’ve just forgot — I’m sure they can afford $225.

  • Another notice says they forgot to attach a list of contributors; also 8/26/2011.

FUTURES WITHOUT VIOLENCE CT FILE NUMBER: 077397 100 MONTGOMERY STREET, PRESIDIO – MAIN POST SAN FRANCISCO CA 94129

RE: IRS Form 990, Schedule B, Schedule of Contributors

We have received the IRS Form 990, 990-EZ or 990-PF submitted by the above-named organization for filing with the Registry of Charitable Trusts (Registry) for the fiscal year ending 12/31/10. The filing is incomplete because the copy of Schedule B, Schedule of Contributors, does not include the names and addresses of contributors.

The copy of the IRS Form 990, 990-EZ or 990-PF, including all attachments, filed with the Registry must be identical to the document filed by the organization with the Internal Revenue Service. The Registry retains Schedule B as a confidential record for IRS Form 990 and 990-EZ filers.

Within 30 days of the date of this letter, please submit a complete copy of Schedule B, Schedule of

Contributors, for the fiscal year noted above, as filed with the Internal Revenue Service. all correspondence to the undersigned.

I think that along with this many people earning over $100K per years, someone should’ve taken – I did — maybe an hour of their precious PR time to read some of the material put out by UNpaid mothers who have watched and documented what the family court systems is doing to their current safety levels.  It’s not as though we aren’t on the web and aren’t talking !!!

2009 SALARIES OF FVPF, or, currently the ICEV:  (Salary to left, “estimated other compensation from other organizations”) to the right of each name

$234,229 ESTA SOLER PRESIDENT + $71,069

$168,216 THOMAS FERGUSON CFO,CAO + $14,717

$ 166,265 DEBBIE LEE SR.VICE PRESIDENT + $34,928

(also a program director for a joint project with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, “Start Strong, Building Healthy Teen Relationships”)

Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in collaboration with Futures Without Violence, formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Blue Shield of California Foundation* are investing $18 million in 11 Start Strong communities across the country to identify and evaluate best practices in prevention to stop dating violence and abuse before it starts.

Or — take a look at the assemblage of personnel on the campaign to end teen pregnancy, underneath this study of “What Research Tells Us about Latino Parenting Practices and their Relationship to Teen Pregnancy” starting with Thomas Kean, Chair of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (and former Governor of NJ). These are, basically, the rich studying and categorizing the poor — by ethnicity and about every other category — in order to better manage the population.  They are particularly interested in breeding habits, which I think is borne out of fear of being outbred (take a look at the U.S. Congress by ethnicity and gender, and make an educated guess why….)

$ 163,251 LENI MARIN SR.VICE PRESIDENT + $50,806.  (That would probably, with creativity, feed & house 3 families in the Bay Area on those benefits alone….)

$ 196,620 RACHAEL SMITH DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR + $21,418

$ 148,996, BRIAN O’CONNOR DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC COMMU + 13,426

$ 148,841 MICHAEL RUNNER DIRECTOR OF LEGAL PROGRA + $20,176

$ 136,681 KIERSTEN STEWART DIR OF PUBLIC POLICY PRO + $18,891

$ 125,685 LONNA DAVIS DIR OF CHILDREN’S PROGRA + $16,601

$ 112,139 COLLIN CASEY DIR OF ADMINISTRATION  + $29,491  (any relationship to the Annie E. Casey people?)

In addition, contractors over $100K included:

LAURA HOGAN,  PETER D. HART RESEARCH ASSOCIATES, INC., (WASHINGTON, DC),  DEBORAH KARNOWSKY

@ $144,737. $143,855. $139,731. == for respectively:  Project Building, Project Building, and Campaign Building.

Other projects on the 990 — grandiose in scope — described on Schedule O:

FORM 990, PART III, LINE 4D, OTHER PROGRAM SERVICES:

WORKPLACE – THE NATIONAL WORKPLACE RESOURCE CENTER ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT BETWEEN THE FVPF, EMPLOYERS, AND UNIONS AROUND THE NATION THAT HAS REACHED MILLIONS OF AMERICANS. THIS PROJECT MAKES POSSIBLE EMPLOYER AND UNION DISSEMINATION OF HELPFUL, EASY-TO-FOLLOW INFORMATION TO EMPLOYEES AND UNION MEMBERS ON PREVENTING AND REDUCING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, DEVELOPMENT OF WORKPLACE POLICIES ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, AND WORKPLACE SUPPORT OF EMPLOYEES WHO ARE VICTIMS. THE ORGANIZATION PROVIDES RESOURCES ONLINE THAT GIVE WORKPLACE LEADERS WHO WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE CLEAR AND IMMEDIATE EXPERT ASSISTANCE.

EXPENSES $ 110773.

and for   “CHILDREN / YOUTH / YOUNG FAMILIES:  EXPENSES $709,895 (no description) and “PUBLIC POLICY / NEW PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT” exp. $80,900.

and the plan to end all plans:

  • INTERNATIONAL CENTER TO END VIOLENCE – THE ORGANIZATION IS CREATING AN INTERNATIONAL CENTER IN SAN FRANCISCO AS A HUB OF EDUCATIONAL AND LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY TO ADVANCE US TOWARD A VIOLENCE-FREE SOCIETY. THE CENTER SEEKS TO PROMOTE THE VALUES OF RESPECT, EMPATHY, AND RESPONSIBILITY; EXPOSE THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE AND ITS IMPACT ON FAMILIES AND SOCIETIES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD; ASSIST THE PUBLIC IN EXAMINING ROOT CAUSES OF VIOLENCE AND ITS INTERCONNECTIONS TO BIGOTRY AND HATE; AND ROUSE INDIVIDUALS EVERYWHERE TO TAKE A STAND AGAINST VIOLENCE, HATRED and BIGOTRY.   

EXPENSES $ 220,101

and of course:  another expense was “LEGAL  $501,366

Well, I’ll find some of the descendants, if any, of the women mentioned above and tell them they didn’t die in vain, the 

International Center to End Violence has a plan...

I believe a better use of time would for be for these directors to go hang out in homeless camps and at soup kitchens and ask the people how they came to be homeless, and in need of eating at soup kitchens.  In the years that FVPF funds were doubling and increasing, I have noticed more and more women in those lines.  Preach for hire  in an open marketplace– not at their expense!  While this group is not actually (that I can see) taking money direct from money dedicated to welfare, they ARE taking a helluva a lot from the HHS pot to forward the fund’s personal (shared by others, but it is personal to the fund) belief (or assertions) that more training will stop violence.  Really?   You just want my children and future grandchildren, currently this is in the USA, to fund your vision about fixing the WORLD?  While in the entire time of their childhoods here, I can’t identify ONE thing that this group did to stop the battering in my home, or the family court gauntlet that followed.  (And under what name is it doing business in San Francisco, anyhow?)

Incidentally (see TAGGS grants) — many of the grants which would otherwise go to shelters are going to this type of “training and technical support” activity – it’s lumped under the same labelThen.

To be fair, here is a 2010 statement with a California Assemblyperson naming FVPF (Futures without Violence) founder Esta Soler his 2010 Woman of the Year.  It also says the organization was started — with a federal fund — in 1980 30 years ago.  Perhaps in DC or Washington – the charitable and sec of state records in California both say about 21 years ago (as of 2010), i.e. 1989 – 1999 – 2009 -that’s 20 years.

Contact: Quintin Mecke @ (415) 557-3013

Sacramento, CA – Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) chose Esta Soler, the head of the Family Violence Prevention Fund, as his 2010 Woman of the Year.

“I am proud to announce Esta Soler, one of the world’s foremost experts on violence against women and children, to be Woman of the Year for Assembly District 13”, said Ammiano. “Esta is a pioneer who founded the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) nearly 30 years ago and made it one of the world’s leading violence prevention agencies.”

Under her direction, the FVPF was a driving force behind passage of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 – the nation’s first comprehensive federal response to the violence that plagues our families and communities. Congress reauthorized and expanded the law in 2000 and again in 2005.

“It’s a tremendous honor to receive this award from Assemblymember Ammiano, a wonderful friend to all of us working to end domestic, dating and sexual violence and help victims,” said Family Violence Prevention Fund President and Founder Esta Soler. “At a time when state funding for domestic violence programs is in peril, we especially appreciate champions like Tom Ammiano.”

Esta Soler first established the organization with a federal grant in 1980.

This 1980 is commonly cited — BUT unless it’s in Washington, D.C. (a corporations search page I can’t seem to sign into yet), the SF one was definitely 1989 — and thus the 1980 statement is an exaggeration.  If the grant was received in 1980, I’d like to know how much, from which department and under what name.  Most on-line databases don’t go back that far.  I hope to research this a little further perhaps to better understand this organization.

It has become the nation’s leading expert on violence against women and children, the source of numerous trailblazing prevention and intervention campaigns, and a major force in shaping public policies that prevent violence and help victims in the U.S. and worldwide.

Soler, along with the honorees, was recognized today in the 2010 Woman of the Year ceremony. Each year, members of the California State Assembly and California State Senate honor a woman from their district who has distinguished herself in service to her community.

MINNESOTA-STYLE DV ORGANIZATIONS

The Minnesoh-tans (DAIP, MPDI, BWJP, Praxis, et al.) have done heroic things — but that’s no excuse for ‘taxation without representation” and the early-on insistence that your model CCR and its institutional ethnography become a nationwide model, without proof it works.  And, it doesn’t.  I hit on this particular set of nonprofits pretty hard throughout this blog, s am giving them a break today, except to mention that it took me a long time to realize that what “MINNESOTA PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT INC.” was actually about — (and which its name says) — developing (and selling) programs, 

Not stopping domestic violence

and some pretty good grants behind that business, too….

STATEWIDE COALITIONS AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:  Standardized & co-opted, used as heat shields for marriage entitites, didn’t include enough mothers leaving violence in their plans.  DIDN’t PUBLICIZE FATHERHOOD COMMISSIONS, FAITH-BASED OPERATIONS, IN THEIR RESPECTIVE STATES.  Didn’t teach women the 1996 welfare reform information in its context.

This sounds harsh, so here’s an example:

Tim Carpenter reportedrecently some juicy details about a secret April meeting to design Brownback’s marriage agenda. The Topeka Capital-Journal uncovered some information on Brownback’s plans  through a Kansas Open Records request.

The Kansas government spent $13,000 to bring together 20 mostly far-right marriage “experts” for the closed door meeting.

Organizations represented included the Heritage Foundation, Institute for American Values, Georgia Family Council, National Center for Fathering, Stronger Families, Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, Marriage Savers, Kansas Healthy Marriage Institute, and National Center for African American Marriages and Parenting.

Thanks to information from Carpenter and sources, we know something of what Brownback has in mind, even though the details of the meeting remain confidential.

And (from a link in this article to another one) — ALL of these characters should be knowledgeable, household names, to anyone sitting under CADV state teachings or in their meetings. They deserve to know how things got started, and where they are going now, above the din of same-sex marriage and abortion rights issues.  This affects mothers AND fathers:

Brownback program promotes marriage

July 2, 2011, Tim Carpenter, the Topeka-Journal

(listing attendees)

Wade Horn, who redefined President George W. Bush’s faith-based initiatives in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, preached a gospel that encouraged poor women to marry their way out of poverty.

Marriage Savers creator Mike McManus said clergy members typically did a lousy job preparing couples for marriage and secular therapists were more likely to increase divorce among spouses in crisis.

This threesome was among 20 people who met behind closed doors in Topeka to share marriage program ideas with Brownback and executives at the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

…In his follow-up letter to Brownback obtained by The Topeka Capital-Journal, [[Mike]] McManus said Kansas should prohibit no-fault divorce unless there was proof of physical abuse or adultery. A Kansas law ought to be passed, he said, allowing judges to select a “responsible spouse,” which would always be the person opposed to divorce. The statute would allow the responsible adult to receive up to 66 percent of child visitation and 100 percent of family assets in the divorce.

Any idea what this exposes women to?   (read on).  They are already being used as disposable wombs in too many marriages; if the beatings or abuse or virtual slavery (it happens!) can be severe enough that SHE wants out, then in Kansas he doesn’t even have to go through the motions of fighting for most of the kids and ALL of the assets!  This does not protect women or children!

Horn, who resigned from HHS to take a job with Deloitte Consulting, departed the Bush administration amid reports of cronyism in awarding federal grants to the National Fatherhood Initiative he founded.

Helen Alvare, a member of the law faculty at George Mason who also was invited to Topeka, said she admired Sarah Palin’s devotion to family and professional achievement. In 2008, Alvare said Palin was “what a lot of women aspire to be on their best day.”

California writer Christelyn Karazin, who had a child out of wedlock before marrying, believed so strongly in the power of a man and woman to raise children she organized an event called “No Wedding, No Womb.”

This is portrayed as spontaneous blogging “NWNW” — so what was she doing in a secret meeting in Kansas?  Flown in at Kansans’ expense, and in the company of people such as David Blankenhorn and Wade Horn? !!   She saw the light (is now married) and so everyone else must see it the same way?  Listen to some ex-married women, girl!

It was primarily a call to the black community to take action against the birth of children without the “physical, financial and emotional protection” of a father and mother, she said.

Joyce Webb, who works with Catholic Charities’ Kansas Healthy Marriage Institute, recommended SRS divert $1 million from federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to pay for a new marriage program. TANF money is earmarked for families living in poverty.

Syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher, who was included in one published list of participants but didn’t attend, said during a speech about the pro-marriage movement that Catholics and Christians had to be the “visible light” for people failing to grasp intricacies of the institution of marriage.

SRS Secretary Robert Siedlecki, responsible for implementing the governor’s marriage initiative, said thousands of Kansans who divorce each year lacked the skills and knowledge to form sustainable relationships.* Brownback wants SRS to help fill that information gap, he said.

*that “lack the skills” phrase is a buzz word to bring on the marriage educators, which is also a growing HHS trend and probably public law by now.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat who voted against confirmation of Brownback’s choice of SRS secretary, said he was intrigued by the governor’s simultaneous talk about removing government from the lives of the average Kansan and creating a state marriage program drenched in faith-based advocacy.

Siedlecki hired Richard Marks, the Jacksonville, Fla., director of the Marriage for Life, to join SRS and be involved in the initiative

(A little QUICK research on my part here   See the URL above:  He’s Baptist, Regent University, a Minister, adapted the PAIRS (which I think got HHS funding) curriculum for Christians, and just changed the FLorida nonprofit’s name to “CONNECTUS4LIFE, INC.” in 2002 (per Florida corporations search page called “sunbiz.org.”     EIN#562283483.  This is specifically incorporated as a “faith-based organization” and talks about the preachers involved.  This one (I just looked) seems a tidy little income — $60K raised, he gets $16K as head of the nonprofit, and gets to write off $42 of expenses running marriage enrichment seminars.

“Believing that marriage is a covenant relationship ordained by God,

we as pastors and ministers in the Greater Jacksonville area are committed

to ensure that these marriages (WHICH ones?) will endure til death.”

That’s a creed — not an incorporation!

“we are dedicated to strengthening marriages as we seek to”

I attended domestic violence support groups, being a Christian, towards the end of my “cohabitation” (with my spouse).  Getting there was not easy; they were night-times.  Want to know what % of the women there were pastor’s and deacon’s wives?  I can’t name names, but the answer is — PLENTY.  At least one had tried to kill his wife; the deacons knew, and it was a LONG time before he lost that position….

He also had a role in Florida Government:  Served “four years on FLorida’s Commission on Marriage and Family Support Initiatives.”  That commission name was a new one on me, so I just looked up, to find out, from “www.Floridafathers.org” that:

Commission on Marriage and Family Support Initiatives

The 2003 Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 480, replacing the Florida Commission on Responsible Fatherhood with the Commission on Marriage and Family Support Initiatives as of July 1, 2003.

FamilyThe new commission will take a broader approach to strengthening families by detailing comprehensive statewide strategies for Florida to promote safe, violence-free, substance-abuse-free, respectful, nurturing and responsible parenting; including connection or reconnection of responsible parents, both mothers and fathers, with their children.

From the Kansas article, above, we now know what is meant by “responsible” parent.  It means the one that, if he resists divorce, will get 100% of the assets and (at least) 66% of the children.  Mom can struggle to enforce 34% of her visitation after she’s kicked out of the house with 0% of the assets, which has already been the case when women FLED the home for safety (with or without kids).  So, is this progress?  But the CADVs should’ve been monitoring and reporting on these things — although I know that FL CADV had their hands full with FL-AFCC on “parenting coordination” matters, around this time as I recall.

The Governor, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives will each appoint six members to the commission by August 1, 2003, with at least half of the commissioners representing the private sector

The wording starts like this – and yes indeed, Florida did vote this Commission into existence in 2003:

383.0115 The Commission on Marriage and Family Support Initiatives.

(1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT. The Legislature finds that:

(a) Families in this state deserve respect and support. Children need support and guidance from both mothers and fathers, and families need support and guidance from community systems to help them thrive.

(b) There are many problems facing families.

(and it gets even more brilliantly deductive from there.  I provided the link).

. . .

(e) Assisting states to end dependence of low-income parents by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage and assisting states in encouraging the formation and maintenance of two-parent families are the two of four stated purposes of federal welfare reform enacted in 1996 which have been largely neglected by states and for which states are now urging Congress to designate 10 percent of all welfare funds, specifically for relationship education and skills development, responsible fatherhood programs, and community support as it seeks to reauthorize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Act in 2002.

. . .

(2) ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMISSION.

(a) There is created within the Department of Children and Family Services, for administrative purposes, a commission, as defined in s. 20.03(10), called the Commission on Marriage and Family Support Initiatives. The commission is independent of the head of the department. The commission is authorized to hire an executive director, a researcher, and an administrative assistant. The executive director shall report to, and serve at the pleasure of, the commission.

This “independence within a department” is key to steering grants to cronies.  I’ve seen it in Ohio and we’re (above) witnessing it in Kansas, 2011, as we speak.

To understand some of this subculture — and after I’d been looking at the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative website for a good long while I finally noticed who was pushing the statewide Marriage Initiative, starting with at GRAB of TANF funds, and this was held up to other states as an example . . . .

I noticed “Jerry Regier” — and, for an example, here is the Wikipedia Timeline of his Job Descriptions.  He came from OK in 2002, and by 2003, Florida is voting for a Commission on Marriage and Families within the Children and Family Services.  (Mr. Regier eventually had to quit this post in FL under some scandal about steering grants to his, as I say, cronies — but ended up, for our purposes, in yet a worse place — back at HHS as Assistant Secretary of the ASPE (evaluates things) where he presided over glowing reports about his former work in Oklahoma.  That’s how the Bush-based Babies Cookie-cutter commissions (etc.) generally crumbles.  Scandal, scoot to another state, repeat…  So look at this chart with some care, OK?

Jerry Regier
Florida Secretary of Children and Families
In office
2002–2007
Preceded by Kathleen A. Kearney
Oklahoma Secretary of Health and Human Services
In office
April 6, 1997 – January 16, 2002
Governor Frank Keating
Preceded by Ken Lackey
Succeeded by Howard Hendrick
Executive Director of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs
In office
April 6, 1997 – January 16, 2002
Governor Frank Keating
Preceded by Ken Lackey
Succeeded by Robert E. Christian
President of the Family Research Council
In office
1984–1988
Preceded by Post created
Succeeded by Gary Bauer

So, Jim Marks’ “Marriage for Life” organization was formed (I just learned) in 2002 as a “faith-based” organization — i.e., in the wake of GWBush’s open door executive orders for faith-based organizations of 2001.  Many of these groups form to get the grants, spend the money, and then RUN, disbanding, or being dissolved for failure to file with the IRS (or their state).

In Kansas (this is yet another article on the same issue):

SRS says Faith-based initiatives are still around, just not getting as much attention**

Oct. 23, 2011 by Scott Rothschild in “LJworld.com”

**I have 1 or 2 comments on there on these matters.  You’ll recognize which ones (just submitted another).

In a pre-Memorial Day (2011) announcement, Siedlecki reorganized SRS, which included putting Anna Pilato in a new position called Deputy Secretary for Strategic Development and Faith-Based Community Initiatives.

Are you getting a feel for this yet?

Pilato had served for five years in the Bush administration, including as director of the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

But Pilato, who is making $97,500 per year, says that in her job she wears two hats — strategic development and faith-based initiatives — and that the strategic development part of her job, which includes overseeing the design and development of staff for SRS, is by far the larger of the two.

. . .

Recently, SRS applied for a $6.6 million grant to pay for either faith-based or secular counseling that encouraged unwed parents to marry. Under the proposal, if the couple completed counseling, the state would pay the $86.50 marriage license fee.

But the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rejected the grant.

Kansas Health Initiative published the list of who attended.  Recommend Memorizing.  Coming to your state (or what’s left of it) soon.  What’s kind of funny — Occupy Wichita made an appearance in the middle of a speech by Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation.   (Protestors Disrupt Governor’s Poverty Forum (apparently, today 11/16/2011, KHI News service.  I’m starting to like KHI…)):

A Wichita police officer tries to restrain a member of Occupy Wichita who protested at a town hall meeting on poverty Wednesday in Wichita.

Protesters interrupted the second of Gov. Sam Brownback’s town hall meetings on childhood poverty Wednesday, standing up during the keynote speech and reciting some of their objections to Brownback’s policies.

One of the 14 protesters was arrested and another was detained for a short period.

The protest began as Robert Rector, a Heritage Foundation fellow invited to give the keynote speech, delivered his remarks advocating marriage as a key way to end poverty. Protesters, most of them members of Occupy Wichita, stood silently with their backs to Rector for about 10 minutes, then began chanting their grievances once he completed his speech.

Organizers stopped the meeting for about 15 minutes, resuming after the protesters had left the downtown hotel where it was held.

That Rector should’ve had the podium at this second town hall, or the first, is a dire sign for Kansas:  (article links to this):

By Jim McLean
KHI News Service
Nov. 14, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Reducing the number of children born to single mothers is the most effective way to combat childhood poverty.

That’s according to Robert Rector, the Heritage Foundation fellow picked by Gov. Sam Brownback to keynote the first of his administration’s three planned meetings on childhood poverty this week.

. . .

Strong reaction

Shortly after Rector finished his remarks, Kari Ann Rinker, Kansas coordinator for the National Organization for Women, left the meeting room in anger.

“I was offended in there,” Rinker said. “The things he said, the inferences he made about women and women’s worth were offensive. As I looked around the room, I saw many other people looking to each other in shock and amazement.”

Rinker said the steady increase in births to young, single women was a cause for concern. But she said making available low-cost birth control and improving the women’s self-esteem and education would more effectively address the problem.

“The silver bullet is not wedded bliss,” she said.

Ms Rinker (appears very young, no?) should — with Kansas NOW — have been on top of this situation, should be teaching women about welfare reform and how the fatherhood movement got its two bits in on the situation diverting programs to promote fatherhood and marriage.   (The information has been available on the web since 1993).  For example, Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation (the article says) was instrumental in Welfare Reform.  The Congressional Record debates ON this welfare reform are framed in concern about too many women of color having babies !  (in other words, it has severely racist overtones).   To let him get up there and spout off, the same rhetoric — which is PAID FOR INFORMATION!

The number one factor behind poverty here in the state of Kansas is the death of marriage,” he said, noting that 38 percent of children in Kansas today were born to unmarried women, compared to about 5 percent in the 1960s. “This is the most dramatic social transformation in the 20th century.”

OH?  How about a few world wars (creating untold orphans) and women getting the vote, the creation of the personal income tax, taking currency off the gold standard, and the assassinations of JFK and Martin Luther King, Jr.?   How about the advent of the internet, the decline of public education,  — and how about the 2001 enablements of people like Robert Rector to get up and speak at government functions and expect faith-based organizations to drive the primary institutions around?

Kari Ann Rinker, President of the Kansas Chapter of NOW,

on how the Budget Cuts have Affected the Justice System

 Kari Ann Rinker, President of the Kansas Chapter of NOW, on how the Budget Cuts have Affected the Justice System

Kari Ann Rinker is the President of the Kansas chapter of NOW and she joins us to talk about the budget problems in Topeka that led to end of prosecuting domestic violence cases.

Listen or Download Audio MP3

The protests illustrated how serious the issue of poverty is, said Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, D-Wichita.***

“These people are using this as an avenue to voice their opinion and exercise their freedom of speech,” she said.

(***search her name on my blog.  She supported the last round of fatherhood initiatives in Kansas….  I commented on this).

The Heritage Foundation in Kansas is neither surprising, nor to be ignored.  It explains a whole lotta backwards movement when it comes to safety for women and freedom for Americans — both genders, all ages.

I remember this site from a long time ago on the Heritage Foundation.

POWER ELITES: THE MERGER OF RIGHT AND LEFT

A. K. Chesterton once said: “The proper study of political mankind is the study of power elites, without which nothing that happens could be understood.”

He added: “These elites, preferring to work in private, are rarely found posed for photographers, and their influence upon events has therefore to be deduced from what is known of the agencies they employ.”

Chesterton described those agencies: “Their goal was to work through such agencies, and financial support received from one or other or all three big American foundations–Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford — provides an infallible means of recognizing them.”

The Rockefellers made $200,000,000.00 from World War I. Henry Kissinger’s brother Walter heads the Allen Group. The super-wealthy (with the exception of some Du Ponts and the Fords) have long supported the Republican Party — the party of plutocratic oligarchy. “If not kings themselves, they are king-makers.” They have quick access to the White House no matter who is President. Other super-rich, such as the Rockefellers, affiliate with the Democratic Party. Politics in the U.S., no matter what party, is under the control of the super-rich, large corporations and the international bankers.

A 1995 Wall Street Journal observed the formidable influence of the Heritage Foundation on government policies since the Reagan era:

“WASHINGTON — With the Republicans’ rise to control Congress, think-tank power in the nation’s capital has shifted to the right. And no policy shop has more clout than the conservative Heritage Foundation.

“When GOP congressional staffers met in June with conservative leaders to help map current legislative efforts to cut federal funding for left-leaning advocacy groups, the closed-door meeting took place at Heritage headquarters. The group’s involvement wasn’t unusual. ‘Heritage is without question the most far-reaching conservative organization in the country in the war of ideas.’ House Speaker Newt Gingrich said early this year.

“Think tanks have long churned out studies that have wound up in official policy proposals. During Democratic times of power, the more liberal Brookings Institution has been a leading player here. Now, the 21-year-old Heritage Foundation, which rose to prominence in the Reagan years, is taking academic involvement to a new level.

“Over the first 100 days of the current GOP Congress, Heritage scholars testified before lawmakers 40 times–more than any other organization, Hill staffers say. Its scholars are credited by congressional members and staff as key architects of the House-passed welfare-overhaul plan and with inspiring some provisions in the GOP balanced-budget plan. ‘They talk to me sometimes 12 times a week,’ said Heritage budget analyst Scott Hodge earlier this year, explaining his ties to the staff of the House Budget Committee. ‘We–I mean House members–are putting together a final list of cuts.'”(5)

FACIST CONNECTIONS
Paul Weyrich – considered the architect and mainstay of the conservative revolution – calls for “reclaiming the culture” and a “second American Revolution.” A look at the inflammatory, extremist rhetoric with racial and Inquisitorial overtones on the Free Congress Foundation web site should alarm Christians as to Weyrich’s real intent:

(etc.)

I encourage people to read this write-up on The Heritage Foundation from “SourceWatch.org” and understand (as I am beginning to)its relationship both financially and in purpose (ending TANF completely and eliminating the public education system in the United States) follows up on some serious international influence in the 1980s and 1990s.  It took me a while to keep running across the information and understand it — but the Heritage Foundation, The Unification Church and its leaders’ intent to establish  ONE world religion with him at the top (yep!) and the means by which the “faith-based operatives” (as I call them) move in and out of state-level, national-level posts and agencies, restructuring them IMMEDIATELY upon being hired (as happened with the Kansas SRS, above) – these are related.  The fight is on.  Read a segment — but don’t forget to go to the site and consider the international influence in covert wars by the US as well:

HERITAGE FOUNDATION – SOURCEWATCH

The Foundation also leaped to the defense of Ronald Reagan’s description of the former Soviet Union as an “evil empire,” a description that generated wide global rebuke as potentially inviting nuclear conflict and, at the very least, further poisoning East-West relations. But with strong support by Heritage and other influential conservatives, Reagan stood by the statement, refusing to retract it until the Soviet Union began to crumble.

In an attempt to build on its foreign policy influence, the Foundation also engages in domestic and social policy issues, but its effort in these two areas has never quite matched the influence it wielded (in the late 1980s and early 1990s) in altering the debate over American foreign policy. Yet, the Foundation continues to weigh in on these topics with varying levels of success. One of its undeniable successes has been serving as a breeding ground for many of the nation’s leading neo-conservative activists and intellectuals.

The following comments by former Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey, published in the summer 1994 issue of the Heritage Foundation’s Policy Review, exemplify the Heritage philosophy:

 (Dick Armey being a Texas Republican during the “Contract with America” years.   Below this quote…**)

Liberation is at hand…. A paradigm-shattering revolution has just taken place. In the signal events of the 1980s – from the collapse of communism to the Reagan economic boom to the rise of the computer – the idea of economic freedom has been overwhelmingly vindicated. The intellectual foundation of statism has turned to dust. This revolution has been so sudden and sweeping that few in Washington have yet grasped its full meaning…. But when the true significance of the 1980s freedom revolution sinks in, politics, culture – indeed, the entire human outlook – will change…. Once this shift takes place – by 1996, I predict – we will be able to advance a true Hayekian agenda, including…. radical spending cuts, the end of the public school monopoly, a free market health-care system, and the elimination of the family-destroying welfare dole. Unlike 1944, history is now on the side of freedom.”

(**Contract with America

In 1994, Armey, then House Republican Conference Chairman, joined Minority Whip Newt Gingrich in drafting the Contract with America. Republican members credited this election platform with the Republican takeover of Congress, rewarding Gingrich with the position of Speaker and Armey with the number two position of House Majority Leader. Gingrich delegated to Armey an unprecedented level of authority over scheduling legislation on the House floor, a power traditionally reserved to the Speaker. Armey has been accused of being involved in a 1997 attempt to oust Gingrich as Speaker,[7] something Armey has strongly denied. In 1995 Armey referred to openly homosexual Congressman Barney Frank, as “Barney Fag“. Armey said it was a slip of the tongue.[8] Armey and his staff, especially spokesman Jim Wilkinson, took the lead in spreading the idea that Al Gore claimed to have “invented the internet.”[9][10][11]

then-President CLINTON had to do something to respond to the Republican “Contract with America”  — and 1996 TANF (Welfare Reform) was what he did — or at least signed.  This 1996 TANF is a major topic of the post and has affected custody situations for years in “Conciliation Court.”  It is also affecting the economy, diverting welfare money to support needy families into more and more brutal and upfront declarations that women should marry their way out of poverty — when many women are poor and single because they fled domestic violence in the home, which might have resulted in their deaths (and sometimes still does, after separation) had they stayed, valuing “marriage” good enough to satisfy these people.    So, important to understand some of the context.  More on Armey from Wikipedia (as the above segment was):

Focus on the Family

According to Armey, he also sparred with Focus on the Family leader James Dobson while in office. Armey wrote, “As Majority Leader, I remember vividly a meeting with the House leadership where Dobson scolded us for having failed to ‘deliver’ for Christian conservatives, that we owed our majority to him, and that he had the power to take our jobs back. This offended me, and I told him so.” Armey states that Focus on the Family targeted him politically after the incident, writing, “Focus on the Family deliberately perpetuates the lie that I am a consultant to the ACLU.”[20]Armey has also said that “Dobson and his gang of thieves are real nasty bullies.[21]

Yes they are!  Of course, here’s how they describe themselves:

Focus on the Familyhelping families thrive

They are just — and this whole divert welfare into marriage promotion and abstinence education and “responsible fatherhood” etc. — are just “helping families thrive.”

(The individual, especially not the individual female or mother,  does not exist.…)

Whereas the truth is a lot closer to this:

2009-02-2

God’s Batterers: When Religion Subordinates Women, Violence Follows

 The Washington Post | On Faith blog
by Rev. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite

Evangelical Christian ministries such as those run by Rev. Rick Warren at his Saddleback Church or James Dobson of Focus on the Family all stress “submission” as the Christian family role for wives. At the same time, these Christian Evangelical ministries staunchly deny that submission is a cause of violence against wives.

Some Evangelicals strongly disagree and have explicitly charged that it is submission that is responsible for wife battering in the “Christian” home. James and Phyllis Alsdurf, in Battered Into Submission: The Tragedy of Wife Abuse in the Christian Home, have noted that conservative Christian women can’t even get help because of this religious ideology of submission. “When she [the battered wife] musters up the courage to go public with ‘her’ problem (very likely to her pastor or a church member), what little human dignity she has retained can soon be ‘trampled underfoot’ with comments like: ‘What have you done to provoke him?’ ‘Well, you’ve got to understand that your husband is under a lot of pressure right now,’ or ‘How would Jesus want you to act: just submit and it won’t happen again.'”

In fact, Jesus gets invoked a lot to justify wife battering, especially as a model for suffering.

2006 Budget

In calendar year 2006 the Heritage Foundation spent over $40.5 million on its operations. That year the foundation raised over $25 million from individual contributors and $13.1 million from foundations.

While corporations provided only $1.5 million – 4% of Heritage’s contributions in 2006 – they none the less have significant interest in the foundations policy output. There’s defence contractors Boeing and Lockheed Martin, finance and insurance companies such as Allstate Insurance, Mortgage Insurance Companies of America, and American International Group (AIG), auto company Honda, tobacco company Altria Group (Philip Morris), drug and medical companies Johnson & Johnson,GlaxoSmithKlineNovartis, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, oil companies ChevronTexaco and Exxon Mobil, software giantMicrosoft, and chipping in over $100,000 each, Alticor (Amway), PfizerPhRMA, and United Parcel Service (UPS). [2]

Historical funding

Between 1985 and 2003, Media Transparency reports that the following funders provided $57,497,537 (unadjusted for inflation) to the Heritage Foundation [4]:

It goes on — but these are foundations that are to be found behind (funding) so many fatherhood and responsible marriage studies, “Fragile-families” “Strengthening Families” etc. type projects.Whether or not these projects produce as they are supposed to, they continue getting funding and supporting Ph.D.s (Sarah McLanahan of Princeton? comes to mind) to justify more of the same.

When Dobson told Dick Armey that Focus on the Family (& friends, no doubt) “Delivered” the Christian conservatives, now they want something in return — he was probably telling the truth:  Look at the amounts:

ORGANIZATION NAME

STATE

YEAR

TOTAL ASSETS

FORM

PAGES

EIN

Focus On The Family CO 2006 $94,999,184 990 45 95-3188150
Focus On The Family CO 2005 $97,414,767 990 59 95-3188150
Focus On The Family CO 2004 $107,423,724 990 38 95-3188150
Focus On The Family CO 2003 $102,442,464 990 35 95-3188150
Focus On The Family CO 2002 $98,175,843 990 37 95-3188150
Focus on the Family CO 2010 $79,825,383 990 53 95-3188150
Focus on the Family CO 2009 $90,996,703 990 61 95-3188150
Focus on the Family CO 2008 $93,072,558 990 45 95-3188150
Focus on the Family CO 2007 $92,427,223 990 43 95-3188150
Focus On The Family Action CO 2008 $3,565,169 990O 23 20-0960855
Focus On The Family Action CO 2007 $2,452,377 990O 20 20-0960855
Focus On The Family Action CO 2006 $3,035,923 990O 21 20-0960855
Focus On The Family Action Inc. CO 2009 $3,953,111 990O 39 20-0960855
Focus On The Family Action Inc. CO 2005 $4,286,071 990O 19 20-0960855 

RIGHTWING WATCH partial bio of James Dobson gives an idea of the scope of influence and pull:

  • Dr. Dobson has been heavily involved with Republican administrations as an expert on the “family.” Dobson was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the National Advisory Commission to the office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1982-84. From 1984-87 he was regularly invited to the White House to consult with President Reagan and his staff on family matters. He served as co-chairman of the Citizens Advisory Panel for Tax Reform, in consultation with President Reagan, and served as a member and later chairman of the United States Army’s Family Initiative, 1986-88. Dobson served on Attorney General Edwin Meese’s Commission on Pornography, 1985-86.
  • Dobson also consulted with former President George H.W. Bush on family related matters.
  • In December 1994, Dr. Dobson was appointed by Senator Robert Dole to the Commission on Child and Family Welfare, and in October, 1996, by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission.
  • James Dobson also founded and helped establish another successful conservative group, Washington, DC’s Family Research Council. Established in 1981 by Dobson, the group was designed to be a conservative lobbying force on Capital Hill. In the late 1980’s the group officially became a division of FOF, but in 1992, IRS concerns about the group’s lobbying led to an administrative separation.

  • James Dobson has a PhD in child development from the University of Southern California.
  • Read PFAW’s in-depth report on James Dobson.

The Family Research Council (nndb listing of who’s on the board.)

Erik Prince Business 6-Jun-1969   Founder of Blackwater Worldwide

Erik Prince

Military service: US Navy (SEAL Team Officer, 1993-96; Bosnia, Haiti)

Erik Prince is a multi-millionaire fundamentalist Christian, who co-founded the security and mercenary firm Blackwater Worldwide in 1997 with Gary Jackson, a former Navy SEAL. He is a major Republican campaign contributor, who interned in the White House of President George H.W. Bush and for conservative congressman Dana Rohrabacher, campaigned for Pat Buchanan in 1992.

His wealth came from his father, Edgar Prince, who headed Prince Automotive, an auto parts and machinery manufacturer. Prince’s sister Betsy DeVos is a powerful conservative in her own right — married to the son of Richard DeVos(Republican bankroller and co-founder of Amway), she served as chair of Michigan Republican Party in the 1990s.

Father: Edgar Prince (d. 1995, billionaire)

Dobson’s family background (He’s on the board too, obviously) included:

Dobson’s own family was a bit out of the ordinary. His father was a preacher who often told the story that he had tried to pray before he could even talk. His mother routinely beat their son with her shoes, her belt, and once, a 16-pound girdle. His parents somehow instilled so much guilt in young Dobson that he answered his father’s fervent altar-call, weeping at the front of a crowded church service and crying out for God’s forgiveness for all his sins, when he was three years old. “It makes no sense, but I know it happened,” Dobson still says of being born again as a toddler.

Families will fall apart, Dobson argues, if homosexuals have the right to marry, adopt, or raise children. For this reason, Dobson and FOTF support a Constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one women. Dobson and FOTF are also against abortion, against feminism, against pornography, against the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, against Oregon’s law allowing euthanasia, against Take Our Daughters to Work Day, etc.

(yes, women should stay home, that’s their business, really….)

He has proposed an innovative end run around “liberal” judges. The Republican-controlled Congress should, Dobson suggests, simply stop funding courts where judges make too many “liberal” rulings — stop paying salaries, stop sending security guards, stop paying the electric bills. “Very few people know this, that the Congress can simply disenfranchise a court,” Dobson says. “They don’t have to fire anybody or impeach them or go through that battle. All they have to do is say the 9th Circuit doesn’t exist anymore, and it’s gone.”

Well, he was raised with abuse at home, and bullying, and has grown up  basically the same, as Dick Armey said.

or ….

Kenneth Blackwell Government 28-Feb-1948   Ohio Secretary of State, 1999-2007
Elsa Prince Broekhuizen Relative c. 1932   Conservative financier, mother of Erik Prince
Kenneth Blackwell
Under Blackwell:

  State Treasurer Ohio (1994-98)

  Council on Foreign Relations
Family Research Council Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment
Federalist Society
Freemasonry  (!!!)
The Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow
(etc.)

Well, in case you want to know why I’m becoming more and more activitist — these are the stakes.  The principles of

  • LIFE
  • LIBERTY
  • PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Bear a slightly different tone when one is dealing with the corporate giants and conservatives complaining that the republican congress and presidency they’d helped deliver weren’t delivering their constituency enough of the “goods” they wanted.  While these people (most of the time) themselves have become unbelievably wealthy through corporations, foundations, or simply being born into it (Erik Prince, for example) — the society they are structuring is how to create “responsible fathers” who are willing (like them) to tweak the judicial AND legislative process, go get jobs — most likely low-paying ones — in (whose???) corporations and make sure they don’t let their females get too uppity.   When legislative restrictions get in the way, they figure out an end-run around them.  I have been seeing this in state after state (thanks to the internet, and networking with others).

I also witnessed this philosophy completely destroy 3 generations of my family line when I fought for the right not to be battered in the home AND the right to work independently to support what was left of this household in a profession of my choosing and for which both my own parents sacrificed to get the college training in.  Throughout the court craziness — that would put any normal business underground within a year, without being propped up artificially — I had situations where a 20 minute hearing, or a short rubberstamping by an official who didn’t know our family, obviously hadn’t read the court record, and didn’t respect the existing laws (or court orders), even ones in his own hand — would completely restructure my, and my children’s lives.

We should be aware that the act of going before a “Conciliation Court” is going to expose people — your family & friends — to this treatment.

We should be aware that the act of taking ANY form of welfare (whether for food, cash aid — or, Moms, child support) is also exposing you to the same thing.  I tried to get out – -and was pulled back in, as are others.  We need forms of living which enable us to fight back against the complete undermining NOT of “Family Values” but of the US Constitution (which is probably in suspension by now, but it should not be so easily forgotten).

The public pays — and I have blogged this, after becoming aware — for public employees to pay membership in private nonprofits designed to help them run the child support business.  At these meetings — in my state it calls itself a “COALITION OF EXPERTS COLLECTING BILLIONS FOR CALIFORNIA’S CHILDREN” — the collaborate and plan how to EXPAND the welfare state, not reduce it.  They look for ways to have more families become “Title IV-D” families, which brings on the programs, brings program funding to the counties, and etc.

It’s a ridiculous state of affairs — and as far as I can tell the groups in this chart below have not been reporting on it or doing anything about it:

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
ALABAMA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  MONTGOMERY AL 36101 MONTGOMERY 004344078 $ 3,793,073
ARIZONA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  Phoenix AZ 85012-1263 MARICOPA 867401366 $ 3,204,336
CONNECTICUT COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  EAST HARTFORD CT 06108 HARTFORD 088978429 $ 3,204,334
D.C. COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  WASHINGTON DC 20013 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA $ 35,000
DC COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  WASHINGTON DC 20001 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 942435124 $ 3,204,341
DE COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  WILMINGTON DE 19899 NEW CASTLE 025256293 $ 5,391,930
FLORIDA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  TALLAHASSEE FL 32301-2756 LEON 053274101 $ 7,878,370
HAWAII STATE COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  HONOLULU HI 96819-2391 HONOLULU 160292587 $ 3,214,275
ID COALITION AGAINST SEXUAL ABUSE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  BOISE ID 83712 ADA 129850590 $ 4,104,341
ILLINOIS COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  SPRINGFIELD IL 62703-1716 SANGAMON 168547040 $ 3,204,337
INDIANA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, INC  INDIANAPOLIS IN 46202-1002 MARION 024387230 $ 1,184,809
INDIANA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, INC  INDIANAPOLIS IN 46205-2460 MARION 105913375 $ 2,019,532
IOWA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  Des Moines IA 50312-5259 POLK 942559469 $ 3,204,336
KANSAS COALITION AGAINST SEXUAL & DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  Topeka KS 66603-3706 SHAWNEE 179971957 $ 5,646,199
LOUISIANA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  BATON ROUGE LA 70879-7308 EAST BATON ROUGE 837763630 $ 3,204,339
MICHIGAN COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  OKEMOS MI 48864-4209 INGHAM 027986889 $ 7,025,767
MISSISSIPPI COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  JACKSON MS 39296-4703 HINDS 927529420 $ 3,204,340
MISSOURI COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  Jefferson City MO 65101-7801 COLE 184477318 $ 2,438,927
MISSOURI COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  Jefferson City MO 65101-7801 COLE 868492646 $ 718,239
MONTANA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  HELENA MT 59624 LEWIS AND CLARK 036541035 $ 5,648,340
NEW MEXICO COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  Albuquerque NM 87102-3842 BERNALILLO 847508405 $ 3,274,336
NEW YORK STATE COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, INC  ALBANY NY 12206 ALBANY 009343934 $ 5,453,061
NEW YORK STATE COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, INC  ALBANY NY 12206 ALBANY 790031702 $ 1,814,609
NH COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC & SEXUAL VIOLENCE  CONCORD NH 03303 MERRIMACK $ 35,000
NORTH CAROLINA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  DURHAM NC 27701 DURHAM 957020266 $ 5,926,704
Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Inc.  HEMPSTEAD NY 11550 NASSAU 947923397 $ 381,000
OREGON COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC & SEXUAL VIOLENCE  PORTLAND OR 97202 MULTNOMAH 790033500 $ 2,921,826
PENNSYLVANIA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  HARRISBURG PA 17112-2669 DAUPHIN 156527558 $ 39,965,461
PENNSYLVANIA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  HARRISBURG PA 17112-2669 DAUPHIN 166527558 $ 945,000
RHODE ISLAND COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  WARWICK RI 02888-1539 KENT 025869715 $ 5,688,523
SOUTH CAROLINA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  COLUMBIA SC 29202-7776 RICHLAND 035406367 $ 3,204,339
SOUTH DAKOTA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  Sioux Falls SD 57103-7029 BROWN 556435980 $ 718,239
SOUTH DAKOTA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  Sioux Falls SD 57103-7029 BROWN 614771058 $ 2,486,098
SOUTH DAKOTA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  PIERRE SD 57501 HUGHES $ 34,271
TENNESSEE COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC & SEXUAL VIOLENCE  NASHVILLE TN 37212-0972 DAVIDSON 787712454 $ 3,204,339
WASHINGTON COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  OLYMPIA WA 98501 THURSTON 059534409 $ 3,254,000
WEST VA COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  CHARLESTON WV 25302 KANAWHA 192491629 $ 3,204,338
WISCONSIN COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE  MADISON WI 53703-3517 DANE 171537392 $ 6,931,703

(this has been rather an exhausting page to put up… but… it may prevent some detours in understanding the FAMILY courts specifically — which, after all, are really conciliation courts.)

Just a few words on the NCADV which is a Denver, Colorado-based nonprofit, and what they are marketing:

http://www.ncadv.org/membership/MembershipBenefits.php




  (http://shop.ncadv.org/)

It is a membership organization (you don’t see it on the above states list, right?).  It has sliding scale membership fees — but the public IS paying its dues, because the state organizations pay by % of their budget or   — well, as it goes:

State Coalitions and National Organizations—0.1% of your annual budget, ($500 minimum) . . .

I think you can deduce at least some things they are selling, along with memberships — and it’s information and conference attendance, plus some other perks:

Programs and Agencies:

Non-Profit DV, SA or Dual Program—0.1% of your annual budget, ($250 minimum)

  • 15% discount on NCADV products and merchandise
  • Special discounted registration rates to NCADV’s national conferences and trainings
  • NCADV electronic newsletters
  • Access to NCADV special publications such as The Voice: The Journal of the Battered Women’s Movement
  • One National Directory of Domestic Violence Programs for $84.95 (reg: $99.95)
  • Savings on Mutual of America’s Hotline Plus Retirement Plans
  • Discounts on ReadyTalk audio and web conferencing rates
  • Discounts and savings on AmCheck payroll processing services
  • Unlimited job and event postings on NCADV’s website

Other Non-Profit* or Government Agency** (includes law enforcement and military)—$250*/$300**

  • 10% discount on NCADV products and merchandise
  • Special discounted registration rates to NCADV’s national conferences and trainings

(etc. etc.)  Great deals — if you’re in the business.  As you can see, they are marketing to DV PRACTITIONERS. .  They also do the conferences, where more speakers can also cross-market to attendees.  Here’s 2012:

NCADV’s 15th National Conference Domestic Violence
and
NOMAS’ 37th National Conference on Men and Masculinity

Preserving Our Roots While Looking to the Future

July 22-25, 2012
Denver, CO

Special Keynote Speaker: Ellen Pence 

The fact that Ellen Pence is speaking (who is a Duluth person) shows the similarity of approaches.

Denver Registration:  NCADV has been around since 1992 in Colorado (as a “foreign” corporation):

Found 1 matching record(s).  Viewing page 1 of 1.
# ID Number Document Number Name Click here to sort in ascending order. Event Status Form Formation Date
1 19921036251  19921036251 NATIONAL COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Application for Authority/
Entity Name
Good Standing FNC 04/07/1992

and in 2008 picked up another trade name (good to check out where one can):

# ID Number Document Number Name Status Form Effective Date Comment
1 20081544805  20081544805 Domestic Violence Protection & Prevention Coalition Effective FNC 10/13/2008 03:53 PM

I found a group called “CFC” which lists (that new name) as “Best of the CFC” and links to an automated payroll deduction for contribution to it.

WHAT I WiSH TO SAY:

Our kids were not your kids to bargain their rights away for supervised visitation, batterers intervention, parent education classes, or for that matter the more recent “Family Justice Centers.” I personally am recommending a boycott of Verizon (which helps fund these) for that very reason, after a season of being unable to even obtain a single cell phone to help replace the last lost job through the “HelpLine” or anywhere locally that promised this.

I am not very hopeful for the USA, but I live here, so this is part of my contribution as a citizen to report, and part of the legacy I could NOT leave my daughters because they were taken overnight, illegally, and with no remedy: primarily to satisfy someone’s too-large ego, and enabled by what law enforcement, in our case, was not. What was the price? They don’t even have all the facts in their own case, yet, or why society wouldn’t let me simply live and let live after throwing out, or why pro bono legal services for women basically won’t touch this with a 10-foot pole; they are focused on the low-income noncustodial males, and their career tracks, while enabling the rich ones to torture insubordinate exes through the courts. (Note: not my situation, but I see the cases).

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. . . . .

Let’s Eliminate OCSE — the Office of Child Support Enforcement — and why.

with 6 comments

No, that’s not a joke.  I’m serious.

Or, we could just continue to watch this institution gradually eliminate the Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Constitution, in fact the entire concept of individual rights whatsoever, in favor of social(ism) science run amok.

This post also ran amok (as you can see) but the links are valuable.

The OCSE has to go.  It’s out of control, and is hurting men, women, and children — generation after generation– while loudly proclaiming it is, instead, helping society, families and kids.

WHAT DO YOU WANT — A SOCIAL SCIENCE SOCIETY, OR LIBERTY?

Obviously, it’s either/or, not Compromise/And.  Even the experts know this:

Do government sponsored marriage promotion policies place undue pressure on individual rights?

Karen Struening

Abstract

The dominance of social science research in the debate over the Bush Administration’s Healthy Marriage Initiative may explain why questions regarding the proper role of government in regulating adult intimacy (!!!) have received little attention. Social science research focuses on outcomes such as well-being and health. In contrast, rights-based legal theory considers whether state action undermines the rights of individuals. In this article, I intend to shift the debate over marriage promotion policy from questions of child well-being to questions of individual rights. I will ask the following questions: Do individuals have a liberty interest in making their own choices about intimate relationships, such as marriage? Do federally-financed (and frequently state-run) marriage programs compromise this liberty interest? Are there any constitutional grounds for objecting to marriage promotion policy?

Either we recover the OCSE from its fatherhood-dispensing-propaganda (and fundings) — repeal (or defund) the Access/Visitation grants system entirely.   There is no question, whatever its grandiose proclamations, the system is rife with corruption, has failed, and hasn’t even reduced TANF, allegedly the purpose for its existence.

Let alone the dubious ROI for this agency — Can you spell Four Billion?

Yes, +/- Four Billion (federal incentives), courtesy the IRS, to fix families, support children by adding “fatherhood.” which as I point out elsewhere, is one of several “hoodlums” used to justify stealing time and money from honest people and transferring them to dishonest.

$4,000,000,000

I’ve uploaded (hopefully) and linke two PDFs to this post to illustrate the cost and the personnel investing themselves into the system.  One is primarily charts the other, primarily rhetoric.   Please browse the Dept of HHS/Administration for Children and Families (“ACF”)

(Federal) 

PAYMENTS TO STATES FOR CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT AND FAMILY SUPPORT PROGRAMS, including for FY 2012, and historic back to 2002.   Its charts speak loudly as well as this paragraph justifying some of the expense:

Promoting Access and Visitation. The budget provides $570 million over ten years to support increased access and visitation services and integrates these services into the core child support program. The first step in facilitating a relationship between non-custodial parents and their children is updating the statutory purposes of the CSE program to recognize the program’s evolving mission and activities that help parents cooperate and support their children. The proposal also requires states to establish access and visitation responsibilities in all initial child support orders. The proposal also would encourage states to undertake activities that support access and visitation. Implementing domestic violence safeguards is a critical component of this new state responsibility. These services not only will improve parent-child relationships and outcomes for children, but they also will {{??}} result in improved collections. Research shows that when fathers are engaged in the lives of their children, they are more likely to {{or is it “will”??  the program has been going on over 15 years.  Don’t we know which it is yet — “more likely to,” or “will”?}}meet their financial obligations. This creates a “double win” for children – an engaged parent and more financial security.

and paragraphs like this:

Budget Request – The FY 2012 request for Child Support Enforcement and Family Support programs of $3.8 billion reflects current law of $3.5 billion adjusted by +$305 million assuming Congressional action on several legislative proposals, including those supporting a newly proposed Child Support and Fatherhood Initiative. The Budget promotes strong family relationships by encouraging fathers to take responsibility for their children, improving distribution policies so that more of the support fathers pay reaches their children, and continuing a commitment to vigorous enforcement. The Budget increases support for states to pass through child support payments to families, rather than retaining those payments and requires states to establish access and visitation arrangements as a means of promoting father engagement in their children’s lives.*** The Budget also provides a temporary increase in incentive payments to states based on performance, which continues an emphasis on program outcomes and efficiency and will foster enforcement efforts.

**(This program has been known to promote mother ABSENCE from lives of the children after custody-switching enabled through mis-use of program funds in conflicts-of-interest with custody hearings…Despite more and more mothers becoming noncustodial, this program still remains father-centric. )

Child Support and Fatherhood Initiative

The CSE program plays an important role in facilitating family self-sufficiency and promoting responsible fatherhood. Building on this role, the FY 2012 budget includes a new Child Support and Fatherhood Initiative to encourage non-custodial parents to work, support their children, and play an active role in their children’s lives.

After I sent this document to Liz Richards, of NAFCJ.net, I got the following response:

OCSE cannot override federal and state law; it cannot initiate legal disputes without the approval of both the assumed litigants.  It cannot override standing court orders.
But this IS what the OCSE agency and been doing for years – and they believe they can get away with this fraud, because nobody is scrutinizing them.

You should not believe anything they claim about their policies and procedures which sounds good.  They have been hiding their corruption with “sounds good” analysis for  as long as I’ve been following them. They say one thing – and do the opposite.

Of the hundreds of women who contacted me each year, some are custodial mothers, and nearly none of them actually collect the support owed to them.
The local state agencies stonewall them for months and even years.

Once woman with a N. CA child support case got told by the San Fransico c.s. agency they couldn’t send her the support check because they hadn’t [earned] enough interest on it yet.  After she made strong complaints about this dishonest practice – they sent a check a few days later.

The OCSE even admits they have a policy of “retaining” undistributed but collected support to earn interest on it and to declare it “abandoned” and split this collected money 60/40 between the federal and state c.s. agencies.  (eg illegal confiscation of other people’s money).***  Even the HHS General Counsel, David Cade, admit to me this was the official policy.

I believe the whole agency should be shut down and the few vital services they have be transferred to Dept of Treasury.

Liz Richards

(**great example discovered by Richard Fine, resulting in the infamous Silva v. Garcetti lawsuit.  This extremely disturbing case over county abuse of privilege in MILLION$$ IN L.A. County CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS ALREADY COLLECTED shows how corruption responds to corruption uncovered —  Mr. Fine in jail, an attempt to intimidate him and a warning to others who might think to follow in his footsteps.  As far as I can tell, this case was eventually dropped, although eventual Mr. Fine was released from solitary coercive confinement, at age 70!)

(This BUDGET document is found at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/olab/budget/2012/cj/CSE.pdf)

AGAIN — what ROI, what overall good really comes out of this department, as reported by anyone who is not in on some of its many scams?   She writes:  “I believe the whole agency should be shut down and the few vital services they have be transferred to Dept of Treasury.”

I’m so glad she’s come around to my way of thinking, after I read enough rhetoric to gag on justifying the elimination of child support for most kids, and the inability of actual, legitimate abused children and/or spouses (primarily mothers) to EVER get free from abuse, resulting sometimes in their deaths at the hands of a father over a court-ordered visitation and after death threats and molestation had already been identified.  Alternately, they can just be impoverished needlessly, and society can be robbed of working parents while these parents instead go to court and suffer more legal abuse and trauma, often for years.

I ALSO UPLOADED a “Reviving Marriage in America:  Strategies for Donors” philanthropy roundtable talking about the foundations backing to these movements.  File it under “what your social worker and child support advocate,  your local domestic violence agency, or local legal aid office, didn’t and won’t tell you — but should have — about who’s really behind the fatherhood movement.“)

Looking at both these documents, I have to ask:  how much priming the pump is needed to produce a few good fathers, or get child support enforced? Are these indeed producing good fathers, and if not, who gives a damn?  The jet-setting, conference-presenting, politically connected fatherhood program administrators?  The family law judges, attorneys, evaluators (basically, all AFCC membership categories) whose nonprofits profit from this arrangement?   The funeral homes, who get extra business when some Dad goes haywire after separation?  The press, who reports the casualties?

An article from the “Institute for Democracy Studies” (Sept. 2001, VOl. 2, issue 1), lead article by a “Lewis C. Daly” focused on the “Charitable Choice:  The Architecture of a Social Policy Revolution” cites the Bradley Foundation’s influence, and provides a flowchart with National Fatherhood Initiative and the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives central underneath.  They point out the “Heritage Foundation” connection (which I’ve noticed) and that a certain Kay James (directing the US Office of Personnel Management at the time — and as such placing “vast numbers of individuals throughout the White House national security apparatus, government agencies (etc.) ) endorsed the resolution of the 1998 Southern Baptist Convention (regarding wifely submission to husbands) — an endorsement that caused former President Carter to resign from this group in protest of its treatment of women.

O Say Can You See?” what’s happened to the “land of the free” (or even the concept of the land of the free….)

“OCSE”:  CLEAN IT UP OR SHUT IT DOWN:

The more I read about this, the more outraged I get at tax dollars being used for social science rhetoric — most of it a combination of belief, myth, and confusion of results with causes.

  • While promising delivery on child support — the fact is, it extorts both mothers and fathers in the courts to consume services and classes they don’t need, such as parenting education classes produced by judges-and-attorney-run nonprofits with unholy alliances with the family courts (kids turn, etc.).  (Kids Turn & look-alikes)
  • It s a guaranteed formula for reducing and eliminating child support, sold under the guise of doing the opposite.
  • The Access Visitation grants system, per se, while not huge — is the doorway to ever-expanding initiatives (fatherhood, marriage-promotion, etc.) — that undermine due process and individual rights.
  • Its own regulations indicate that the purpose of this grants system enables ONE Person in ONE Executive Branch Office to run demonstration social science projects on the populace, through the states, as I have pointed out before in reviewing 45 CFR 303.109:   As such, it’s anti-democratic, and contrary to the purpose of having three separate branches of government, which was to counter potential tyranny.  Section (a) basically says, there’s a need to monitor these grants.  Here’s (b):
(b) Evaluation. The State: (1) May evaluate all programs funded under Grants to States for Access and Visitation Programs; (2) Must assist in the evaluation of significant or promising projects as determined by the Secretary; (of HHS).

These significant or promising projects are going to be fatherhood promotion or marriage promotion projects.  They are poorly monitored, especially after going to subgrantees once they hit the sole state agency in each state that dispenses them.
For a quick sample, tell me why the Texas Office of Attorney General (generally associated with matters of law, right?) even HAS a “Deputy for Family Initiatives,” let alone why are they using this post to expand opportunities to turn this office into more therapeutic, right-wing, family intervention schlock?    (See RandiJames.com’s 2009 post, “Michael Hayes wants to Build Family-Centered Child Support” and how:
Before his current post, he helped create and was director of the Texas Fragile Families Initiative, a statewide project involving community-based, faith-based, and public agencies to support fragile families.”
See also my comment on that post, showing Mr. Hayes flying up to Minnesota to present at a Fatherhood Summit.    And about his plans for the “evolution of child support.”)
Now, when you have an Office of the Attorney General coming straight from a “Fragile Families Initiative” this tells me there is at least one foundation behind the scenes.  While Michael Hayes may have got this going in Texas, “FFI” has been going strong, courtesy of at least the Ford Foundation, in NY and elsewhere, and typically links a researcher, a reputable university (or several of them) such as Columbia, Princeton, Cornell, etc.  — and someone with a personal agenda getting paid to produce social science studies on how to fix America.  For example, Ronald D. Mincy, Ph.D., of Columbia’s
Black people will never reach economic parity if Black children have to depend on one income and White children depend on two,” says Mincy, the architect of the foundation’s “Strengthening Fragile Families Initiative.
{{i.e., while Mr. Hayes may have got it started in Texas, Dr. Mincy got it going, period.  This is the “foundation connection.”  As with President Obama’s stuttering on the word “mother” regarding his own mother, despite his obvious success in life (US President = success, right?), Dr. Mincy’s pedigree includes Harvard, and a Ph.D. in economics from MIT, teaching at Swarthmore, and heads up a
The multi-million dollar initiative focuses on increasing research about these poor fathers and their families, and working with policy-makers to create policies that encourage unwed parents to work together for the benefit of their children.

Since 1994, the Ford Foundation has spent a total of roughly $14.5 million on this issue. It is one of too few major foundations, according to Mincy, engaged in this work.

These days Mincy crisscrosses the nation giving speeches and meeting with child support officials and advocates for fathers as he tries to take advantage of the convergence of circumstances that has made fatherhood the issue de jour.

But there is a compelling personal reason why Mincy is so interested in this issue — he also grew up without his father. …

…So did many children, whose fathers served in the various wars our country has been involved in– Civil War, World War I, II, Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, etc.   Wars definitely contribute to  fatherlessness.   So did slavery, which routinely broke up families.   Of all people who should know this, I’d think an economics expert would.  Of all people who also should (and I bet does) know that “jobs” =/= “wealth” or financial independence stemming from assets which spin off enough income to live on.   No, the experts are focused obsessively on “jobs” while themselves functioning, often as not, from their connections to foundations & government or university research institutes.
However, the “fatherhood” field developed in the LATE 1900s, not the EARLY 1900s or before.  Why?  When it was the air people breathed, there was no need to push the ideology.  But now, there is some competition — and it has to be pushed.  The most natural place to push fear of women, fear of feminism, is through institutions already controlled by men — faith-based ones, Congress, etc.
The “fatherhood” promoters did so in response to  at some level, I believe, gut-level primal fear of women and feminism, a feminism in possible in part because women can indeed vote.  It is also in fear of the reproductive capacity of people of color; this is clear from the boardroom discussions and the Congressional record.   The conservative’s push into inner city churches and ministries helped split off some of the progressive and civil rights activities in those areas, and partly clean up their image, just as the recent nonprofit group “Women in Fatherhood, Inc.” [WIFI] is a more recent formulation to help clean up the obvious gender bias in the “fatherhood” policies to start with.

After graduating from Harvard, Mincy went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned his doctorate in economics in 1987. He taught economics at Swarthmore College, the University of Delaware, and Bentley College, before heading to the Urban Institute in 1987.

{{“obviously” no father in the home dooms a child to academic, professional and financial failure, case in point.}}

While at the Urban Institute, Mincy directed a policy-research project on the urban underclass. His work on poor, unwed families caught the attention of the Clinton administration and he led the Noncustodial Parents Issue Group for the Presidents Welfare Reform taskforce. The group’s mission was to figure out how welfare reform could accommodate poor men. His experiences in the Clinton administration laid the groundwork for the Fragile Families Initiative.

He’s now at Columbia, degreed, decorated, publishing and promoting.  Note the Foundation Connection throughout ….

Bio:

Dr. Ronald Mincy teaches Introduction to Social Welfare Policy; Program Evaluation; Economics for Policy Analysis; and Advanced Methods in Policy Analysis, and directs the Center for Research on Fathers, Children and Family Well-Being.

Dr. Mincy is also a co-principal investigator of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, and a faculty member of the Columbia Population Research Center (CPRC).

He came to the University, in 2001, from the Ford Foundation where he served as a senior program officer and worked on such issues as improving U.S. social welfare policies for low-income fathers, especially child support, and workforce development policies; he also served on the Clinton Administration’s Welfare Reform Task Force.

This tells me, he may have had input into the Access & Visitation factor of 1996 Welfare Reform.  And, he’s as much as stated he has a chip on his shoulder from childhood.  However directed at low-income noncustodial fathers this work has become, by targeting the child support system, this re-balancing of “welfare” has been exploited by all levels of fathers (including some multi-millionaires) and has resulted in lots of noncustodial (and some homeless) mothers after processing through this wonderful child support system plus therapy-dispensing family law system.  It has pushed social science dispensaries (whether institutes or initiatives) to the top of the administrative heap.  The discussion is no longer of individual rights, due process, bias — but of outcomes, of best “practices” and “promising projects.”   Such language keeps the research $$ flowing and sets up a subject/object relationship between the researchers and the poor slobs with the actual problems and lives affected the most.

Only through the internet have we become more able to “eavesdrop” in on some of these conversations, and hear the incredible logic behind them, pick on the tone of how policymakers view the nation, of how Federal entitities attempt to set up a trainee/dog relationship with the states (good states get more treats [incentives], bad states will have treats withdrawn….  Clearly in such an environment, the obvious line of work is dog trainer — if one is not of sufficient drive, connections, inspiration, pedigree, (etc.) or luck to be the ones paying the dog trainers.

NEXT QUESTIONS:

HOW MANY FOUNDATIONS DOES IT TAKE

TO ELIMINATE THE US CONSTITUTION AND BILL OF RIGHTS?

Whose idea was it, to switch society’s main institutions from the concept of individual rights (eventually — at least in theory — including minorities & females, in that order) in favor of “social science” (next step — back to eugenics….)?

Whose idea was it to centralize rule under Executive Dept. initiatives (versus the original idea — three branches of government).

Whose idea was it to eliminate the restrictions on sectarian religion on public government?

Well, in my book, this is in great part, a 4-letter word:  “B.U.S.H.” (GWB), aka Government by Executive Order.

CONSIDER THE IMPACT OF THE

Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

The Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI), was established January 29, 2001, when President George W. Bush “issued twoexecutive orders related to faith-based and community organizations. The first executive order established a White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. The second order established centers to implement this initiative at the Department of Justice, along with the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Housing and Urban Development.  (wikipedia)

NOT a good idea for women…..

Let alone this particular President’s (and other right-wing Republicans) curious connection with the Unification Church.  Don’t laugh.  See my “Shady-shaky Foundations’ post and look at that picture of Sun Myung Moon being crowned in a US Senate building.   And rethink all this “Family” and “Marriage” promotion agenda in terms of this known money-laundering, criminal-enterprise cult headed by the world’s “True Parents.”  Or read from the Steve Hassan’s “Freedom of Mind” site on Moon/Bush:  Ongoing Crime Enterprise (2007 article) :

By the early 1980s, flush with seemingly unlimited funds, Moon had moved on to promoting himself with the new Republican administration in Washington. An invited guest to the Reagan-Bush Inauguration, Moon made his organization useful to President Reagan, Vice President Bush and other leading Republicans.

Where Moon got his cash remained one of Washington’s deepest mysteries – and one that few U.S. conservatives wanted to solve. …

While the criminal enterprises may have been operating at one level, Moon’s political influence-buying was functioning at another, as he spread around billions of dollars helpful to the top echelons of Washington power.

Moon launched the Washington Times in 1982 and its staunch support for Reagan-Bush political interests quickly made it a favorite of Reagan, Bush and other influential Republicans. Moon also made sure that his steady flow of cash found its way into the pockets of key conservative operatives, especially when they were most in need. […]

Throughout these public appearances for Moon, Bush’s office refused to divulge how much Moon-affiliated organizations have paid the ex-President. But estimates of Bush’s fee for the Buenos Aires appearance alone ran between $100,000 and $500,000.

Sources close to the Unification Church told me that the total spending on Bush ran into the millions, with one source telling me that Bush stood to make as much as $10 million from Moon’s organization. . . .

The senior George Bush may have had a political motive, too. By 1996, sources close to Bush were saying the ex-President was working hard to enlist well-to-do conservatives and their money behind the presidential candidacy of his son, George W. Bush. Moon was one of the deepest pockets in right-wing circles.

The “Marriage Promotion” and “Fatherhood” fanaticism definitely has Unification overtones.  I first began comprehending this summer 2009, while protesting another round of fatherhood funding at the Senate Appropriations Committee.  This was headed up by Rep. Danny K. Davis.  Naturally, I looked him up, some, and discovered the Moonie (Unification Church) connection.  I told some friends, and now they think I’m nuts for the assumption…   When our leaders start crowning kings in Senate Buildings, and don’t apologize for it – which Rep Davis did not — we have to start wondering where their heads are at.  (Hover cursor over the “Danny K. Davis” link for the incredible/incriminating details… When our leaders start play-acting coronations and it’s somehow a joke, I think it’s time for someone else to be put on the stand and questioned.

Now that I think of this, several Judges in the SF area were found in a similar charade.   Poormagazine.com alerted us to this.  Photo is from 2002 AAML (Amer. Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers) gathering, apparently.  It was accompanied by a spoof of the tune to “Camelot,” called “Familawt.”   Compare to “coronation” photo(s)

The Round Table 
Queen Dolores Carr (San Mateo) 
Queen Charlotte Woolard  (SF)
Queen Marjorie Slabach (SF)
King James Mize (Sacramento) King Gary Ichikawa (Solano)King David Haet (Solano)
Queen Beth Freeman (San Mateo) not pictured

Compare:

I’m not against a little light-hearted fun, but given the state of the family law system (and the increasing god-like attitudes found in the Executive Branch overall, towards the rest of the country), this is more than disturbing — perhaps it represents the true regret of some elected leaders and public “servants” (such as the judges/commissioners) that there is no title of royalty available, at least per our founding documents, in this U.S.A., which got its start protesting such abuses of power from England….

There is also a unification connection to an Arizona legislator, (1998 article on “Parents Day”). Sorry I’m not an Arizona resident following their elections, but here’s a 2007 article:

(www.bizjournals.com)  “Arizona state legislator and member of Unification Church weighs bid for US Congress”

The Business Journal of Phoenix — August 29, 2007
by Mike Sunnucks, The Business Journal

State Rep. Mark Anderson, R-Mesa, is considering a challenge of freshman Democratic Congressman Harry Mitchell in next year’s elections.

Anderson, who is in his seventh term in the Arizona Legislature, has formed an exploratory committee for a possible run against Mitchell.

Anderson is a Realtor and a member of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church.  If elected, he would be the only member of Congress to be part of the Unification Church.

The Republican lawmaker cited Congress’ low approval ratings in considering a run.  In the Legislature, Anderson has favored tuition and school tax credits; abstinence education programs; and removing junk food and sodas from public school vending machines.

UNIFICATION CONNECTION:

Given what this particular organization represents, worldwide (criminal enterprises, money laundering, and cult activity), the simple math should tell us:   (1) The Office of Faith-based Initiative comes from Bush by Executive Order, not popular mandate (2) Bush & GOP ties close to Moon & Moon’s money.   (3) Some faith-based groups are just too danged misogynist, and turn a blind eye to wife-beating and molestation.  Some women became single to start with, because they found no way to stop this in their local communities.  Moreover, many faith-based (husband = head of the household) groups also encourage men to control the finances, thereby when they separate, actually CAUSING, rather than SOLVING, additions to the welfare role.

The co-founders of the influential National Fatherhood Initiative include the first appointee to this Office, i.e., Don Eberly.  The other co-founder of the National Fatherhood Initiative is Wade Horn.   Successor (?) Ron Haskins was instrumental in passing the Access/Visitation funding mentioned above.  Combined with the powerful influence of foundational wealth, their social-science, religious-based myths rhetoric is distributed nationwide, and also funded unwittingly

Then come back here.

The HERITAGE FOUNDATION (with Unification church ties….) has its FAMILY & RELIGION page, and objectives, including developing a rhetoric. Yep:

  1. Cultivate an environment in which the permanent institutions of family and religion can flourish and fulfill their role in maintaining ordered liberty in America.
  2. Develop the best research and accompanying rhetoric that will strengthen and unify the current pro-family constituency and win over new target audiences to preserve the institution of traditional marriage and restore the family to its central role.
  3. Unite religious and economic conservatives more effectively around the goal of restoring the family to its central role, both legally and culturally, and reviving religious liberty.
  4. Shape a healthy public discourse that appreciates the historic and continuing significance of religion and moral virtue in American civic life.  {as signified by the pedophile priest scandal, and coverups?}

THEY SAY:

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

Family and religion are foundational to American freedom and the common good.** For example, the married family plays an important part in promoting economic opportunity: children raised by never-married mothers are seven times more likely to be poor when compared to children raised in intact married families. Meanwhile, religious institutions and individuals form the backbone of America’s thriving civil society, providing for the welfare of individuals more effectively than government programs. Yet the role of these institutions in maintaining ordered liberty is poorly understood, and policy and social developments have factored in undermining their important contributions.

**Not for young women, and middle-aged women honor-murdered for being too Western, or for divorcing.

**This must be why we have the First Amendment, to enable Congress — naw, let’s just work through other arms of government — to establish a state religion called “marriage and family/fatherhood”  etc….. and facilitated by some of the most misogynist groups around, including faith groups that don’t permit ordination of women, require celibacy for their priests, and believe that Eve is responsible for bringing sin into the world, primarily because she acted independently from Adam in talking to someone besides her husband.

Here’s a sample Abstract of a Heritage Foundation report on Marriage as the cure for poverty:

Marriage: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty

Published on September 16, 2010 by Robert Rector

Abstract: Child poverty is an ongoing national concern, but few are aware that its principal cause is the absence of married fathers in the home. Marriage remains America’s strongest anti-poverty weapon, yet it continues to decline. As husbands disappear from the home, poverty and welfare dependence will increase, and children and parents will suffer as a result.

The rationale for pushing fatherhood through the child support system is that these engaged fathers will then contribute child support to the home, which would then help reduce poverty.  Seems to me that using kids as child-support bait is not a good idea.   Seems to me that anything that requires THIS MUCH POLICY PUSHING (and rhetoric-production) IS NOT COST-EFFECTIVE FOR KIDS.

Has anyone considered the custody-battle factor?  When Moms go for child support, Dads go for custody and have federal help in this.  Perhaps PART of the poverty factor is that both parents are being taken out of the workforce to litigate, but only one of them is getting the federal government on HIS side in the family law venue.   Besides which child support contractors such as Maximus, Inc. (look ’em up!) have been caught in embezzlement, fraud (repeatedly, and in the millions) yet still get multi-million-dollar contracts after paying millions to settle.  I personally think that until we either make a determination to root out fraud from this system — which would have to be consistent, local, diligent, and probably done by mothers and fathers NOT in think-tanks or on the federal (county, or state) “teat,” — we can safely assume that this is where a good deal of the nation’s wealth and GDP is going.   Everyone gets a cut but the actual children….

Look at Maximus, Inc.’s range of services:

Look at one review of this group in TN, and the cases, to date, involving embezzlement & fraud:

Thursday, May 28. 2009

Maximus signs $49M Tennessee child support deal

Your private information may have just gotten more vulnerable in state of Tennessee. In a deal that is qualified as the largest state privatization deal up to this point has been awarded to “Government Health Services Provider Maximus, Inc.” to provide services that the state is paid to provide to its residents under a federally mandated social security program known as Title IV-D. (42 USC 651). The contract details, we are working on, but Maximus, Inc. will be doing the government’s job in locating absent parents, establishing paternity, carrying out support orders and medical support orders, processing interstate cases, and providing customer service. This comes as a surprise because just last month there was a Former Child Support Services Employee Arrested in Tennessee for selling confidential records.

I am in the process of obtaining the government’s documents associated with these contracts, stay tuned for more information. We have some legitimate fears of access to citizen’s private data that have not been found guilty of any crimes being placed in unregulated databases that are accessible by unsavory characters that aim to make a profit with identity theft.
Over the past several years we have noticed a climate ripe for embezzlement, identity theft, invasion of privacy, and more. Just this year the Federal government removed some protections to the taxpayer to stop the continuous growth of these agenciesThe reversal of the tax payer protection policy that was originally implemented under the Budget Deficity Reduction Act of 2005, paves the way for more disastrous consquences for taxpayers.

Just in June 2008, Delaware Child Support Program Employees were caught stealing from taxpayers and the children. Just over a year ago, we demonstrated how Theft was Running Rampid in State Child Support Programs. The widespread lack of accountability in these programs continues, without sufficiently limiting access to private data and ensuring digital fingerprints are placed on all data in the various systems nationwide, there will continue to be fraud on the taxpayers and the participants of Child Support Enforcement programs.

The Child Support Enforcement program continues to be plagued over the past several years of documented fraud, identity theft, embezzlement, bribery schemes, and more.

Here’s a report from Canada complaining that this giant company has already run into problems in 5 US states:

B.C. Contractor Maximus Mishandled Public Funds in U.S.

Liberals, as part of privatizing push, gave a $324 million contract to a firm with a history of controversy in five states. A TYEE SPECIAL REPORT

By Scott Deveau, 3 Dec 2004, TheTyee.ca

In its move to privatize PharmaCare and the Medical Service Plan, the provincial (CANADIAN) government hired a company that was found by the state of Wisconsin to have misappropriated public funds.

The same company, Virginia-based Maximus Ltd.,  has been embroiled in controversies in four other states, involving accusations of mismanagement, overspending or improperly receiving information while seeking a contract. … …

 U.S.-based giant

The company, which is one of the largest providers of outsourced business and information technology to governments, has 280 offices in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and more than 5,000 employees worldwide. It provides a range of services from welfare, educational and judicial programs, to debt collection agencies on student loans and child support.

Bill Berkowitz tracks a lot of conservative funding, and wrote a famous article nailing Bush’s payoffs to certain individuals pushing marriage promotion (Wade Horn, Maggie Gallagher, etc.).  This 2001 report Prospecting Among the Poor:   Welfare Privatization (co. May, 2001, Applied Research Center) summarizes the situation and deals with the Maximus, Inc. group, first, including its troubling practices in Wisconsin:

Discriminatory Practices

The Milwaukee Business Journal reports that, on top of the company’s financial shenanigans, “16 formal gender or racial discrimination complaints have been filed with the Milwaukee office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, against Maximus or one of its subsidiaries. In addition…as many as a dozen internal grievances were filed with the company’s human resources office related to unfair promotion practices.”34

Linda Garcia is an organizer with 9to5, a national nonprofit grassroots organization working to empower women through securing economic justice. Garcia has observed the activities of Maximus first-hand from the front lines in Milwaukee. “The public has not been served well by privatization, “ she says. “The standards of accountability and monitoring have been practically non-existent. We’re not seeing decent services provided to the community or a decrease in poverty or homelessness.” Garcia, who has been working on behalf of the women involved in the discrimination suit against Maximus, believes discriminatory practices “may be widespread” at Maximus’ MaxStaff entity, which seems to be “funneling women to low-paying jobs in order to quickly receive the bonus staff gets for placements.”35

2001 Prospecting Among the Poor- Welfare Privatization~ Berkowitz

The bonus principle cited here exists in virtually any custody battle; in court cases easily become the “kickback” principle, opportunities to overcharge or double-bill, and opportunities to “buy” a decision, especially as the family law system is known for wide discretion given to judges.

In the Access and Visitation grants (and the expanding other grant systems they attract or work alongside, through the child support agency, as in Texas), the presence of (poorly-monitored) federal incentives, multiple nonprofit sub-grantees, and program facilitators with connections to the courts, makes an atmosphere ripe for case-steering when the stakes are, children and child support.

So I recommend scanning this report and considering its implications.  I’m glad that people like Mr. Berkowitz have reported on events that took place while I, and other families, were struggling with their individual cases, and also to survive in their own households.  Excerpts:

INTRODUCTION

Even before the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 was signed, sealed, and delivered to the states, the conservative Reason Foundation’s William Eggers and John O’Leary had lauded “aggressive” privatization initiatives in New York, California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Georgia.

New York Governor George Pataki, chair of the Privatization Task Force of the Republican Governors Association, had argued at a meeting of governors that it was time for the immediate repeal of federal barriers to privatization at the state and local levels:

The privatization of welfare was a triumph for many Republican as well as some Democratic governors, and for conservative national and state legislators.

Policy analysts at right-wing think tanks and policy institutes were also elated. In a 1997 speech, Lawrence W. Reed, President of the conservative Midland, Michigan-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy, touted privatization as the wave of the future:

….

Bernard Picchi, growth stocks analyst for Lehman Brothers, estimated that the potential market (for welfare privatization) could easily be more than $20 billion a year. Others placed the target figure as high as $28 billion, more than 10% of the national expenditure on welfare recipients.15

…CHARITABLE CHOICE:

In addition to unleashing predatory corporate forces, the Personal Responsibility and Work Reconciliation Act of 1996 contains the first enactment of a concept conservatives call “charitable choice.” Far from expanding anyone’s choices, “charitable choice” forces state and local governments to include religious organizations in their pool of bidders for service-delivery contracts.

Cathlin Siobhan Baker, Co-Director of The Employment Project, explains although religious organizations have received government funding over the years for emergency food programs, childcare, youth programs, and the like, they were expressly prohibited from religious proselytizing. Baker writes: “Gone are the prohibitions regarding government funding of pervasively sectarian organizations. Churches and other religious congregations that provide welfare services on behalf of the government can display religious symbols, use religious language, and use religious criteria in hiring and firing employees.”50

 …

On January 29, [2001] amidst great fanfare and surrounded by Christian, Muslim and Jewish religious leaders, President George W. Bush signed an executive order cre- ating a new White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. As governor of Texas, Bush has been a strong advocate for charitable choice, supporting the notion that faith-based organizations take over a large part of the provision of a broad array of government services. One of the things the new White House Office will do is help religious groups compete for billions of dollars in government grants.

During the presidential campaign, Bush called for “armies of compassion” fielded by “faith-based organizations, charities and community groups” to help aid America’s poor and needy. In an opinion piece for USA Today, Bush laid out his plan for taking “the next bold step in welfare reform,” proposing $80 billion over 10 years so that faith-based organizations can become “our nation’s most heroic armies of compassion.” He also proposed a $200 million federal initiative to “sup-port community and faith-based groups that fortify marriage and champion the role of fathers.”51 The ceremony at the White House was only Bush’s first step toward fulfilling his campaign promises.

Right-wing ideologues find charitable choice attractive because it not only reduces government involvement in service-delivery but also injects their religious and “moral framework” into the welfare debate. Welfare is no longer a question of poverty or the economic inequities in our society; the debate is framed within such time-honored right-wing moral premises as an epidemic of out-of-wedlock births and the lack of personal responsibility – behaviors that conservatives believe contribute to the general moral breakdown of our society.

Not only has the web changed the workplace, it has most certainly also changed government.  However the policies forced on the poorer population are geared to the industrial economy, a 9 to 5 mentality, a public education mentality, a faith-based mentality.

The welfare concept eliminates and discourages single parents from supporting themselves in creative ways (including through this internet).  Its assumption that poverty has to do mostly with fatherlessness is nonsensical, and dishonest — when many times it may relate instead to a present, and abusive, father.  Failing to distinguish one case from another, and listening primarily to their own rhetoric, social scientists in key positions + political appointees force basic “solutions” on the entire society, and stick society with the bill as well.   It is basically taxation without representation.

The only people escaping this taxation without representation are those profiting from it — who run or own nonprofit businesses, have or benefit from private foundations or wealth — or in some other way have learned to maximize profits, reduce expenses, and make their expenses, including conferences on how to keep the systems going, tax deductions.

These people are not uniformly two-parent income, or even stable-marriage families.  Heck, some (including Presidents & legislators) are not even faithful to their own wives.    So how dare they preach to the rest of us, who are not quite so wealthy, or don’t have backing to get into political office, on our morals and work ethic?

In the “Payments to States for Child Support Enforcement and Family Support Programs” (links above), on page “271” there is an Appropriations History Table, from 2002 through 2009.  Its simple, (two-column) and speaks volumes.     The costs range from $2+ billion to $4+ billion, and always with an advance of $1billion or so.  ALWAYS the appropriation is higher than budget.

The Philanthropist Roundtable (Reviving Marriage in America, link above) lists these benefits to Marriage.  Are you in agreement with all of them?  If not, do you want your IRS payments to go towards pushing marriage education, (let alone abstinence education for parents), do you want families EXTORTED into high-stakes custody litigation through the child support system, do you really believe that we should have such foundations running our lives through major institutions?

If not, take some time to read the links I’ve provided here, which prompted this piecemeal protest post.   Really these are TAX issues.   Perhaps more of us should focus on establishing foundations and stop working W-2 jobs;; there has to be a better way.  Anyhow, rich conservative foundations declare:

The Benefits of Marriage 


Benefits for Adults

1. Married men and women have lower mortality rates and tend to have better overall health than their single counterparts.

2. Married couples tend to have more material resources, less stress and better social support than people who are not married.

3. Married men are less likely to abuse alcohol.***

[[potential cause of divorce — wife gets tired of living with a chronic alcoholic.  Hence, those who stay married might indeed drink less…]]

4. Both married men and women report significantly lower levels of depression and have better overall psychological well-being than

their single, divorced, widowed and cohabitating counterparts.**

[[Exceptions:  marriages with abuse, or chronic infidelity.  Which definitely is depressing and affects psychological well-being!]]

5. Married African-Americans have better life satisfaction than those who are single.

[[! ! !  How are these people checking out African-American’s “life satisfaction” quotient?   Apparently, it’s important not to have too many angry, dissatisfied African-Americans around. After all, the prisons are already overcrowded, and with US already the largest per-capita jailor on earth, what’s a ruling elite to do if the anger spills over?]]

6. Married men report higher wages than single men and have been found to be more productive and more likely to be promoted.

[[So women should marry and stay married to encourage men to work.  Single working parents, single nonparents should also contribute to the federal marriage movement, because without  marriage, men are simply not as motivated to work.  Potential cause — the wife at home is supporting the guy, or the wife at WORK is supporting the guy.  What about married mother’s wages or likelihood of promotion?  Knowing the high potential for divorce, women should (sure, yeah….) most definitely go for marriage, because it’s good overall for the nation, even if they sacrifice their financial futures post-marriage, ending up eventually on welfare, in court, and fighting for custody of their children with a federally-funded fatherhood mandate run through the child support system?]]

7. Married women tend to have substantially more economic resources than single women. The economic benefits of marriage are especially strong for women who come from disadvantaged families.

[[I really wonder where this statistic comes from…  There are obviously exceptions, some of them in abusive religious marriages, some where, at times, a woman was sought from another country to make some babies for a US resident.]]

Benefits for Children

1. Children from families with married parents are less likely to experience poverty than children from single-parent or cohabitating families.

2. Children born to cohabitating couples have a higher chance of experiencing family instability, a factor that has been linked to poor child well-being.

3. Children from married, two-parent families tend to do better in school than those who grow up in single-parent or alternative family structures.

4. Children from intact, two-parent families are less likely to experience emotional-behavioral problems.

5. The more time children live in a married, two-parent home, the less likely they are to use drugs.

6. Children who grow up in a married, two-parent family are less likely to have children out of wedlock in their future relationships.

7. Women with married parents are less likely to experience a high-conflict marriage.

8. Single mothers report more conflict with their children than married mothers.

[**depending on date of this report, one factor may be this agenda being run through the family law system to start with — as it has been since 1996 at least, which guarantees ongoing court litigation where one parent wants to struggle, and the case was flagged for program funding to help ONE side do this.]

9. The rate of infant mortality is lower among married parents.

10. Children living with their married, biological parents are less likely to experience child abuse.**

[[see note on married men drink less.  Child abuse by either parent is a deal-breaker for most marriages.  And, what about also the ongoing situations where the child experiences abuse on visitations with the noncustodial parent — such cases would fall under “not living with their married biological parents” — but who is the perpetrator?  If someone is willing to abuse a child initially, whether married or single, would life be better if such parents were together, and the abuser had daily access??  This statements imply doesn’t handle many situations.]]

  • What this entire report fails to address is that domestic violence can turn lethal within marriage, or leaving a marriage.
  • Moreover, an on-line “find” (search) in this report of the word “father” (which covers fathers, fatherhood, fathering etc.) shows 23 occurrences.  The corresponding search on “mother,” only 7.  That’s imbalanced, and typical of certain sites sponsored by conservative foundations.

A token reference to the fact that for some, marriage has problems occurs here, in context of the tail end of an inset about marriage education movement.  Notice, no mention is made that some marriages result in death by femicide.  This is virtual denial…..

“Feminist leaders at the time emphasized the dark side of marriage for women whose husbands refused to be equal partners to their working wives and women trapped in abusive relationships. {{note order:  not equal partners, and just a token, vague reference to “abusive” which is then dropped.  Completely:…}}

The mainline Christian  churches emphasized pastoral sensitivity to divorced people and single parents, which seemed inconsistent with proclaiming the unique value of life- long marriage. {{meaning, to be consistent, churches who believe in lifelong marriage should be harsh to divorced people and single parents?  which harshness of course would be inconsistent with the gospel record of their hero, Jesus’, sensitivity, including to a woman caught in adultery, a poor widow, a woman with an issue of blood, and so forth…}}

The conservative Christian churches still preached about life- long marriage but were not organizing programs for couples to help them achieve such relationships.”

OK, so the Bradley Foundation acknowledges there are churches with thoughts about divorce.   But ….

Do we or do we not have other religions in this country?  (But none mentioned here?).  How about Islam — what about Shari’a?    Does marriage promotion apply here also?  Because the Muslim and the Christian/Jewish (let alone agnostic/atheist) concepts of marriage are radically different from each other. Should the US move towards the Shari’a model because marriage is “good” for a nation?   How could any discussion of this topic among conservative foundations just “forget” other major world religions, let alone that First Amendment is intended to protect religious choice — not push one variety of it on all of us through governmental institutions.!

Nonie Darwish at Temple University (April 2011) — these are Youtubes of a presentation, and a following Q&A.  I haven’t viewed them (fresh off a Google search to you), but have read at least one of her books:

Nonie Darwish:  Shari’a Law & America at Temple University

Q&A to the above presentation

This is another reason why the US should NOT allow religious groups to be grabbing federal funds to collect child support and promote fatherhood.  What if the group favors shari’a law, which goes like this:

Shari’a, that is Muslim law, controls the private as well as the public life of the woman.

In the Western  World (including America ) Muslim men are starting to demand Shari’a Law under which wives can not obtain a divorce and men have full and complete control of their children.  It is amazing and alarming how many of our sisters and daughters attending American Universities and other parts of the Western world are now marrying Muslim men and submitting themselves and their children unsuspectingly to the Shari’a law.

By publicizing the information below, I hope to help enlightened American and other women avoid becoming slaves under Shari’a Law:
1. In the Muslim faith, a Muslim man can marry a child as young as 1 year old, consummating the marriage by 9. 
2. A dowry is given to the family in exchange for the woman who becomes a slave. 
3. Even though a woman is abused she cannot obtain a divorce. 
4. To prove rape, a woman must have four male witnesses. 
5. Often after a woman has been raped, she is returned to her family and the family must return the dowry.  The family has the right to execute her (an honor killing) to restore the honor of the family. 
6. Husbands can beat their wives ‘at will’ and do not have to say why the beating occurred. 
7. A husband is permitted to have 4 wives and a temporary wife for a limited period at his discretion. 

The goal of radical Islamists is to impose Shari’a law on the world, ripping Western law and liberty in two.  If that happens, Western civilization will be destroyed. Westerners generally assume all religions encourage a respect for the dignity of each individual.  Islamic law (Shari’a) teaches that non-Muslims should be subjugated or killed in this world.

Peace and prosperity for one’s children is not as important as assuring that Islamic law rules everywhere in the Middle East and eventually in the world.

While Westerners tend to think that all religions encourage some form of the golden rule, Sharia teaches two systems of ethics – one for Muslims and another for non-Muslims. Building on tribal practices of the seventh century, Sharia encourages the side of humanity that wants to take from and subjugate others..

While Westerners tend to think in terms of religious people developing a personal understanding of and relationship with G-d, Shari’a advocates executing people who ask difficult questions that could be interpreted as criticism.

This woman should know — and has earned the right to speak on it.   The blurb:

“Darwish was born in Cairo and spent her childhood in Egypt and Gaza  before immigrating to America in 1978, when she was eight years old. Her father died while leading covert attacks on Israel. He was a high-ranking Egyptian military officer stationed with his family in Gaza.  When he died, he was considered a “shahid,” a martyr for jihad. His posthumous status earned Nonie and her family an elevated position in Muslim society.  But Darwish developed a skeptical eye at an early age. She questioned her own Muslim culture and upbringing and later abandoned Islam.” (For Christianity, incidentally).

What about a woman who has escaped a violent marriage, and may wish to partake, for once, in a better one — but because of the family law system, is doomed to struggling with custody until all kids turn 18?   Should she suffer, should the next potential partner suffer alongside, because some people believe that the problem with this country is out-of-wedlock fertility, unhappy AFrican American couples (read the list!) and of course the cause of child abuse and poverty is fatherlessness – not failure to prosecute child abusers properly, or economic policies that exploit wage-earners and outsource child support collections to corporations like Maximus, Inc., famous for fraud, gender discrimination, embezzlement, and poor performance?

We do not need cults (Unification Church), Crooks, or Misogynist Faith Institutions running the child support system as if there was a war on fatherhood by virtue of women having gained some options in the mid to late 1900s, including to vote, and an uphill fight that was.

We do not need another caste system — or royalty — created through welfare policies based on myths, which then undermine the primary documents on which our country has been founded by trying to tip the court favor towards fathers based on a job-based workforce system and inferior educational system.

As Berkowitz wrote in 2001 (above), Welfare Privatization is a cash cow, a big one, and Charitable Choice may fall hard on women overall, given how many religious groups already do.   Those in the (expanding) bureaucracy get to inhabit lofty positions writing about the poor while those poor often live lives at risk from their partners, their neighborhoods, and the myth that the legal system exists for them — and not for those running it.

OCSE – TANF – FATHERHOOD PROMOTION, MARRIAGE PROMOTION — PRIVATE CONTRACTORS CAUGHT IN EMBEZZLEMENT AND FRAUD — GOP PRESIDENTIAL CONNECTIONS WITH INTERNATIONAL MONEY-LAUNDERING, CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE (the Unification Church) & CULT — and PRIVATE WEALTH (whether honestly or dishonestly gotten) RUNNING AND RESTRUCTURING GOVERNMENT, HIGHER EDUCATION, LOWER (EARLY CHILDHOOD) EDUCATION, AND SO ON.

Let’s begin with this Eliminating this Child Support System — which garnishes wages and has the power to put a man or a woman in jail, or homeless, if they don’t pay up, farms out collections to companies known for gender, race discrimination, fraud, embezzlement, and poor performances (Maximus), selling private information and in general tearing up the lives of innocent people (but still getting multi-illion$ contracts).  While its federal fatherhood focus is indeed sexist, it is also  equipped to turn on EITHER gender, depending on the case, and get away with it.  Which, while the original concept was — child support — the “evolution” of it is becoming more and more like an episode of “Aliens” only more frightening.

Which is just too big and too entrenched.

Sounds like a good idea, on the surface:  I briefly took welfare (food stamps) and the county went for the father to pay themselves back.  They could be the “bad guy” in the situation, protecting me.  But in practice, I see, they’ve had a makeover, and are more interested in being the nice guy (and enrolling men in fatherhood programs, access visitation programs, etc.).

I thought it was a great transitional idea immediately after marriage to have someone besides myself (for a change) asking the father of my children to pull his own weight, like I was, and to do so without in-home assault & battery privileges.  We got a child support order when I got welfare help (rather than ask him for help myself).   Not having the operational structure laid out in front of me, I thought that my getting OFF the system would be the end of the story, and they could go their way, and I mine, end of acquaintance. What did I know about the federal incentives, or how the interest income — of pooled, undistributed collections — was a real low-hanging fruit for the operation, and by withdrawing

Not so, not with all these grant programs and federal incentives flying around the place; not when within my own state, the same jurisdiction that basically spawned the family law industry was caught with its pants down, sitting on millions of collected child support (and its interest) until one father and one attorney caught them at this (John Silva, Richard Fine).    

SO, LET’s ELIMINATE — OR AT LEAST BOYCOTT — THE ENTIRE AGENCY.  HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS NOT NEED CHILD SUPPORT.    KNOW WHAT IT MEANS IN ADVANCE.  WARN MOTHERS LEAVING VIOLENT RELATIONSHIPS.   AND TELL YOUR LOCAL LEGISLATOR (FIND OUT IN ADVANCE IF HE OR SHE IS ON A “NATIONAL FATHERHOOD INITIATIVE” LEGISLATIVE TASK FORCE — MANY ARE…) THAT ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!  If a program takes over $4 BILLION just to enforce, and is still resulting in increased welfare loads, is not well-tracked, and has already been caught in repeated scandals — then it’s simply not worth the investment.

Mothers of minor children can only do so much, but one thing we can do is boycott (boycott seeking child support if you can.  Or marriage — or sex (believe me, it’s been discussed in some groups I know) — or the family law system.  You might get dragged in, but don’t go voluntarily — and publicize — put the warning labels out on blogs — they won’t reach mainstream media — and encourage them to find another way to live; there has to be one.

Decent Single Mothers AND Decent single Fathers AND decent non-parents (single or married) should figure out what we have in common, start asking hard questions about this OCSE agency and how it spends its funds.  Meanwhile, we should work TOGETHER (unilaterally) to boycott it until it gets the message we are serious.

Most will not, or cannot, because their lives are already so entwined in and dependent upon this system, whether for work, for their kids’ school, or they are simply already employed by the huge bureaucracy.  Or, their free time weekends is soaked up volunteering at the local faith-based organization…

FOUNDATIONS AND WELFARE POLICY:

Foundation after Foundation are writing the policy, through government institutions….  When one considers what foundations are, to start with, tax-exempt, one wonders about the arrangement.  The Lynde and Larry Bradley Foundation (who published the “Marriage Guidebook — strategy for donors” I linked to, above) also is sponsoring another welfare think-tank in Wisconsin, with the “same old” players included that re-wrote welfare to include more Dads.   Hmm.  Wasn’t Wisconsin having LOTS of fiscal/political problems recently?

During the conference, an eclectic group of national thinkers will address the intersection between welfare policy and issues such as:  parental involvement, especially fatherhood; {{now WHY doesn’t that surprise me?}} child well-being; marriage and divorce; family living arrangements; and non-marital sex, pregnancy, and child birth.  Attendees will gain a better understanding of what the state of Wisconsin — and the nation as a whole — can (and can’t) do to build a welfare policy that has strong, stable families at its center.
The discussions will be moderated by former White House and Congressional welfare-policy advisor Ron Haskins of theBrookings Institution in Washington, D.C.  The luncheon speaker will beWade F. Horn, a former Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports WPRI.
This is hardly an “eclectic” group.  Where are the feminists, where are the representatives from people affected by these policies?   Where are the atheists who believe in separation of church and state?  However the phrase “group of national thinker” (what is a “national thinker”? someone who wants to run the nation???) reminds me of the National Fatherhood Initiative self-description as having been founded by a “few prominent thinkers” (egotism, much?)…..
Presenters:
  • RON HASKINS — INSTRUMENTAL IN TACKING THE “ACCESS AND VISITATION” LANGUAGE ONTO WELFARE REFORM AT THE 9TH HOUR…
  • WADE HORN — CONFLICTS OF INTEREST (PRIVATE NONPROFIT WITH HHS)
ALSO GOING TO BE PRESENTING:  DAVID BLANKENHORN:
  • “David Blankenhorn is founder and president of the Institute for American Values, a nonpartisan organization devoted to strengthening families and civil society in the U.S. and around the world. Blankenhorn is the author of several books, is a frequent lecturer, and has been featured on numerous national television programs.”
{{another Bush appointee, per Wikipedia:  “In 1992, President George H.W. Bush appointed Blankenhorn to serve on the National Commission on America’s Urban Families.[4][2][5] Blankenhorn helped to found the National Fatherhood Initiative, a nonpartisan organization focused on responsible fatherhood, in 1994.“}} Blankenhorn is anti-gay, but not anti-polygamy, it seems……

“Why Shariah?” (Noah Feldman, at CFR), “Islam’s Double Standard” (Arthur Frederick Ides) and {No Feminine Nouns at} the Michigan Family Forum’s home (Brian Snavely): But First, Four Women…

leave a comment »

This blog should be filed along with my ones about the Gulag Archipelago, and Bahrain Archipelago.

With respect and appreciation intended this season towards:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Dr. Phyllis Chesler, Nonie Darwish, and Immaculee Iligibazi, who survived the Rwandan Holocaust in a cramped bathroom in a pastor’s house, although others who sometimes sought shelter in churches then, didn’t find it.  In their books (I haven’t met any of these women, all activist and all authors, and all who overcame many odds and losses), and in reverse order:

  • Immaculée

Immaculée Ilibagiza was born in Rwanda and studied Electronic and Mechanical Engineering at the National University of Rwanda. Her life transformed dramatically in 1994 during the Rwanda genocide when she and seven other women huddled silently together in a cramped bathroom of a local pastor’s house for 91 days! During this horrific ordeal, Immaculée lost most of her family, but she survived to share the story and her miraculous transition into forgiveness and a profound relationship with God.

(title of page also: “From a country she loved to the horrors of genocide:  A journey to understanding and forgiveness.”)

I love what I think this country stands for.  I understand we are in a period — perhaps we have always engaged in this – of  a different sort of “genocide” and the “genus” we are involved in eradicating is the word Mother and Woman as a functional reality in the major institutions of life — except we comply and fit in.  what we are expected to fit in with is becoming nonpersons, and religious and sectarian violence against us and our children because we spoke up against violence and weren’t aware ahead of the family law system that is designed to STOP such speaking up and leaving it.  As formerly it was “not without my children,”  Nowadays it has become, “OK, but ONLY without your children…”

I think that story needs to be heard, too, and how having children, then losing them to systems, transformed each of us personally, and our relationships with the rest of the world, particularly any religious segments of it.  If the U.S. is the BEST for women, then we are indeed in trouble throughout the world.

  • Nonie:

(Wikipedia entry).

Nonie Darwish (Arabic: نوني درويش‎) (born 1949[1][2]) is an Egyptian-American human rights activist, and founder of Arabs For Israel, and is Director of Former Muslims United. She is the author of two books: Now They Call Me Infidel; Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel and the War on Terror and Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law. Darwish’s speech topics cover human rights, with emphasis on women’s rights and minority rights in the Middle East. Born in Egypt, Darwish is the daughter of an Egyptian Army lieutenant general, who was called a “shahid” by the Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser,[3] after being killed in a targeted killing in 1956. Darwish blames “the Middle Eastern Islamic culture and the propaganda of hatred taught to children from birth” for his death. In 1978, she moved with her husband to the United States, and converted to Christianity there. After September 11, 2001 she has written on Islam-related topics.[3]

She was too outspoken.  Respectable organizations headed for the hills when

Shari’a in the Ivy League

By: Pratik Chougule
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Where are the moderates of the Islamic world? The question has befuddled Americans since the September 11 attacks. Indeed, while President Bush and other leaders of the West have fervently defended Islam as a “religion of peace,” there has been a conspicuous dearth of prominent Middle Eastern leaders openly willing to criticize radical Islam or defend the United States and Israel in the War on Terrorism. A recent incident at Brown University this past November sheds light on the perplexing issue.In late November, Hillel, Brown University’s prominent Jewish group on campus, invited Nonie Darwish to give a lecture in defense of Israel and its human rights record, relative to the Islamic world.  

Her father, Mustafa Hafez, founded the Fedayeen, which launched raids across Israel’s southern border. When Darwish was eight years old, her father became the first targeted assassination carried out by the Israeli Defense Forces in response to Fedayeen’s attacks, making him a martyr or “shahid.” During his speech nationalizing the Suez Canal, Nasser vowed Egypt would take revenge for Hafez’s death. Nasser asked Nonie and her siblings, “Which one of you will avenge your father’s death by killing Jews?”

After his death, Darwish’s family moved to Cairo, where she attended Catholic high school and then the American University in Cairo. She worked as an editor and translator for the Middle East News Agency, until emigrating to the United States in 1978, ultimately receiving United States citizenship. After arriving in the United States, she converted from Islam to evangelical Christianity based on her belief that even American mosques preach a radical, anti-peace message. Due to her decision to convert, Darwish instantly became branded as an “apostate” in several prominent Muslim circles. After 9/11, Darwish began writing columns critical of radical Islam, and authored a book Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror. She is also the founder of the organization Arabs for Israel, which pledges, “respect and support the State of Israel,” welcome a “peaceful and diverse Middle East,” reject “suicide/homicide terrorism as a form of Jihad,” and promote “constructive self-criticism and reform” in the Islamic world.

When Hillel announced its decision to invite Darwish to speak, the Brown University Muslim Students’ Association promptly insisted that Hillel rescind the invitation. Their reasoning: Darwish is “too controversial.” Similarly, the Sarah Doyle’s Women’s Center, which Hillel had contacted to cosponsor the event given Darwish’s advocacy of women’s rights, refused to support the lecture.

After a brief period of internal debate, Hillel buckled to the pressure and withdrew its invitation. In an open letter explaining the decision, Hillel cited a “desire to maintain constructive relationships” with the Muslim Students Association. Inviting Darwish, they argue, “would not be a prudent method of Israel advocacy.” Defending the decision, one member of Hillel stated that Jews “should be especially sensitive about comments which criticize strict religious observance and deem it unacceptable in America.” This member was particularly concerned that his Muslim peers “were extremely offended by this characterization of them as ‘extremists.’”

Amidst a flurry of negative press, including stories in the New York Post,

National Review Online, and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the University moved into damage-control mode.

A woman, presumably Brown student, responds in the Daily Herald (newsletter) “Nathalie Alyon ’06:  Nonie non grata?“:

The recent Nonie Darwish cancellation betrays Brunonian*  values

Published: Thursday, November 30, 2006

{**a.k.a. “Brown,” give me a break with the language, eh?}

I was shocked to read a Jewish Telegraphic Agency report that Nonie Darwish, a Palestinian peace activist, would not be speaking at Brown because the Muslim Student Association, the Muslim chaplain and the Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life are afraid what she has to say is controversial (“Free speech controversy builds as pro-Israel speech canceled at Brown,” Nov. 20). What happened to the Brown I know and love, the haven of liberal education that encourages free thought and debate? Apparently, we have turned into a university easily intimidated when the subject matter gets sensitive.

And, may I add, possibly when the speaker is also female… (and a mother at the time, I think)….

What about Darwish is so offensive to Muslims that Hillel students decided to cancel her appearance to avoid jeopardizing the wonderful relationship between Jewish and Muslim groups on campus? …

Are the Muslim Student Association and the Muslim chaplain not willing to face the reality that there are people using Islam to incite violence, promote terrorism and spread hate across the world? Would they rather keep things simple, inhale hookah smoke with a couple of Jews in the name of multiculturalism and call it a day?

I think the answer there is self-evident….

Now that we know who is not allowed to speak on campus, let’s take a look at some events that have taken place

Good.  This young woman (presumably) is on the right track to feminism {a.k.a. females speaking their minds} in the real world…

By the way, isn’t Nonie Darwish (along with President Obama) a PURRRfect example of what risk any fatherless child is of teen pregnancy, runaway, drug use, etc.  Look at her disgraceful track record, educationally, and as to contributions to this world.  What a burden on society.

(my point being — WARS, too, help make fatherlessness; don’t blame the Mamas!)

She also got silenced at Princeton and Columbia — so mothers silenced in the courts are perhaps in good company?  Granted, both quotes from known conservative ezines (exception the BrownDaily, which I don’t know about). But it kinda makes you wonder, eh?

Nonie Darwish, the executive director of Former Muslims United and author of Cruel And Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law, was scheduled to speak at Columbia and Princeton last week, but both events were canceled under pressure from Muslim groups on campus.

Darwish, a soft-spoken ex-Muslim and daughter of an Islamic martyr, is a champion of the rights of women and non-Muslims in Islamic societies, and leader of the group Arabs for Israel. She had been planning to speak on “Sharia Law and Perspectives on Israel.” She is one of the few courageous voices who speak out against Islamic anti-Semitism and the oppression of women under Sharia.

She is eminently qualified to speak about this, having lived it.  Her education is fine.  It’s the topic which is politically incorrect even in “liberal” circles..

At Princeton, she was invited three weeks ago and was scheduled to speak last Wednesday. But on Tuesday evening, Arab Society president Sami Yabroudi and former president Sarah Mousa issued a joint statement, claiming: “Nonie Darwish is to Arabs and Muslims what Ku Klux Klan members, skinheads and neo-Nazis are to other minorities, and we decided that the role of her talk in the logical, intellectual discourse espoused by Princeton University needed to be questioned.”

??Character assassination, sounds like to me…  Good grief, here’s a Princeton Commentary on it:

Darwish herself, who has never advocated violence against anyone, pointed to this unfounded moral equivalence to neo-Nazism as “the worst kind of intimidation and character assassination aimed at those who dare to question, analyze, or criticize.” And she found it ironic that while her punishment for speaking out as an apostate against Islam’s worst practices was silence at Princeton, it would be death under Sharia law.

But more than the issue of free speech, the scandal has exposed in the religious community a problematic link between faith and politics, one that is the root of any inter-religious conflict. When asked if the religion of Islam were inseparable from politics, Imam Sultan explained, “There are a whole host of theories on how Islam can interact with politics, from the least imposing to the most imposing ways. I find myself agreeing more with the former, but I cannot deny that it is a source of great debate and difference of opinion among Muslims.”

(in “Censored:  The Politics behind silencing Nonie Darwish” (Dec. 09, in “THE PRINCETON TORY A JOURNAL OF CONSERVATIVE AND MODERATE THOUGHT)

While I have not met any of the above women (who are writer and speakers, I sometimes consider — of recent two years — my mentors, as I struggle to find a metaphor or “handle” to put the experience of the U.S. “FAMILY” court system (as well as my own particular extended family – actually a very small in number family, but intensely Western (so they think, I believe) and intensely “liberal”), I have read Chesler books since I was young (don’t think the age difference is that great) and I have written her often, with alarm, about my concerns how the family law system is moving towards shariah, as seen my Christian/NOT fundamentalist background.  I do not feel that some women who while understanding that certain more radical, secular views of domestic violence may not “get” this, they too, may not “get” how (relative to the rest of the US culture, overall) this evangelistic and highly patriarchal (or else) sector has sprung from the same roots.  So, I decided to post THIS 2009 article, which addresses it.

Yesterday, I completed a QNA with the National Review about honor killings/”honorcides” which appears there today and which you may readHERE. I also did a long interview with a major new service on the subject which is slated to appear tomorrow. Like many other wire services and like the mainstream media, ideas such as mine are usually sidelined, marginalized, attacked, or simply “disappeared.” I do not think this will happen tomorrow.

And now, I have a number of honorable allies. One surely is NOW-New York State President, Marcia Pappas who is now also being attacked for her having linked the Buffalo beheading with “honor killings,” with “Islam,” and even with “Islamic terrorism.” Indeed, she was attacked yesterday by a coalition of eight domestic violence victim advocacy providers in Erie County where the Buffalo beheading took place. I quickly posted a blog which dealt with this, (it deserves a longer piece), but I mainly praised the recent rally in London which was sponsored by One Law For All.

Lo and Behold: A second honorable ally wrote to me. I want to share what he said. His name is Khalim Massoud, and he is the President of Muslims Against Sharia Law, an international organization. After reading my most recent blog HERE, he wrote me as follows:

“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that (the) Buffalo beheading is a honorcide. We, Muslims Against Sharia, prefer this term to honor murder. Beheading is not just a murder, it’s a ritual. It’s a form of control and humiliating a family member who “stepped over the line,” in this case, wife taking out a TRO (order of protection) and planning to divorce her husband.

Ms. Pappas must be commended for her courage to call a spade a spade. (The) PC-climate presents considerable danger for future honorcide victims. Trying to sweep cultural/religious aspects of honorcide under the rug keeps the problem from being addressed. While most of the media wouldn’t touch the issue with a ten-foot pole, (for) fear they would be portrayed as Islamophobic, a few brave women, the true feminists, like Marcia Pappas and Phyllis Chesler are speaking out on the subject just to be slammed by so-called victim advocacy groups because they dare to expose Islamism’s dirty laundry. Muslim women in America are at great risk because Muslim establishment, with help of the media, wants to portray honorcide as fiction.

Honorcide has no place in the modern world, but especially in the West. It must be forcefully confronted; not written off as domestic violence. Almost a year ago, MASH started STOP HONORCIDE! initiative. The goal is to have honorcide classified as a hate crime. The Buffalo case is a perfect example why honorcide should be a hate crime. The suspect is being charged with the 2nd degree murder. If honorcide were classified as a hate crime, he’d be charged with the 1st degree murder.”

Khalim Massoud
President
Muslims Against Sharia

OK, now again briefly (since I mentioned above), Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

Again, I find it a little disconcerting she is a scholar at a conservative think-tank also known to have “fatherhood” advocacy within its ranks… (AEI.org).

Biography

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an outspoken defender of women’s rights in Islamic societies, was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. She escaped an arranged marriage by immigrating to the Netherlands in 1992 and served as a member of the Dutch parliament from 2003 to 2006. In parliament, she worked on furthering the integration of non-Western immigrants into Dutch society and defending the rights of women in Dutch Muslim society. In 2004, together with director Theo van Gogh, she made Submission, a film about the oppression of women in conservative Islamic cultures. The airing of the film on Dutch television resulted in the assassination of Mr. van Gogh by an Islamic extremist. At AEI, Ms. Hirsi Ali researches the relationship between the West and Islam, women’s rights in Islam, violence against women propagated by religious and cultural arguments, and Islam in Europe.
Here is a beautifully written article (on this ugly topic) and well-posed question. As I worry about the direction the courts are taking women, and religion is taking (or should I say, HAS taken) the U.S. Constitutional protections, I realize, yes I’m privileged, but feel also, we need to still wake up, HERE, and NOW, even though by comparison, other places are worse.  Women have physical lives and emotional lives and social lives.  We have come to demand meaning and purpose in our lives, here, and feel entitled to it.
However, if the whole social climate goes heirarchical (men, particularly pale ones, on top) and religious (Collaborations, faith-based initiatives and out-come based court processes…), we are in trouble.  And we are.  I wasn’t born in Egypt or Yemen.  I was born HERE, U.S.A.  What is it, if family law becomes shariah law in so many words, because men are afraid of empowered women?  Of non-dominated women?

We were on our front yard of white sand. It was a hot day, like almost all days in Mogadishu. There was nothing unusual about the flies that irritated us or the ants that I avoided for fear of their sharp, agonizing bites. If they happened to crawl under my dress or I sat on them accidentally they would punish me with a sting that made me shriek with pain. That shrieking and hopping about would earn disapproval and even a slap from Grandmother.

I think I was 6 or 7 on that day, maybe younger, but I know I was not 8 because my family had not yet left Somalia. Grandmother was moralizing as usual. On that day, like all other days, she was admonishing me to remember my place.

There was yet another thing I did wrong and I did not have the ability to set right. If only I wasn’t so dimwitted; if only I understood how I was to blame for the flaw that granny abhorred so much.

“Cross your legs,” she said, “lower your gaze. You must learn not to laugh, and if you must laugh then see to it that you don’t cackle like the neighbor’s hen.” We had no chickens but the noise of the neighbors’ hens screeching and hooting and trespassing was enough for me to get the message.

“If you must go outside make sure you are accompanied and that you and your company walk as far away from men as possible,” she said.

To my grandmother’s annoyance, I responded with the question: “But Grandmother, what about Mahad?” My brother Mahad never seemed to invite this kind of endless preaching from Grandmother. She answered me like the obtuse child she decided I was.

“Mahad is a man! Your misfortune is that you were born with a split between your legs. And now, we the family must cope with that reality!”

I thought: There was yet another thing I did wrong and I did not have the ability to set right. If only I wasn’t so dimwitted; if only I understood how I was to blame for the flaw that granny abhorred so much.

“Ayaan, you are stubborn, you are reckless and you ask too many questions. That is a fatal combination. Disobedience in women is crushed and you are disobedient. It is in you, it is in your bone marrow. I can only attempt to tell you what is right.”

Grandmother pointed to a piece of sheep fat on the ground. It was covered with ants, and flies were zooming above it, landing on it, sucking it. It was a vile piece of meat that was being warmed by the sun, and a trickle of fat seeped out of it. She said: “You are like that piece of sheep fat in the sun. If you transgress, I warn you men will be no more merciful to you than those flies and ants are to that piece of fat.”

A lot has changed in my life since those days in the sun with Grandmother. Today when I look back I see that I have proven her wrong. I disobeyed, true to my nature, I transgressed, but I avoided the destiny of the sheep fat.

Sitting in an airplane, I have on my lap the memoir of Nujood Ali. The title of the book is “I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced.” My reading list contains another book, by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is called “Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia.” The reason I associate the two books is because of their description of marriage and divorce, and particularly the word “painful.”

Nujood was 8 years old when a delivery man approached her father in Sana, Yemen. After the initial expression of hospitality, the delivery man stated his business: He was looking for a wife. Nujood’s two older sisters were already married, so she was the logical bride, regardless of her age. Her father accepted $750 in dowry money and gave away his 8-year-old daughter. When Nujood’s mother and sisters appealed to him, pleading that she was too young to get married, the father responded with the excuse used by all Muslim fathers who marry off their daughters before they come of age: “Too young? When the Prophet wed Aisha she was only 9.”

In fact, Muhammad wed Aisha when she was 6. According to Scripture, the Prophet waited for Aisha to begin menstruating before consummating the marriage. Nujood’s new husband, Faez, showed no such restraint.

In painful detail, Nujood describes a real nightmare on her wedding night: How she runs away, how she seeks help, how she struggles, how he touches her and she wriggles out of his arms, how she calls out to her mother- in-law. “Aunty,” she screams, “somebody help me!” But there was silence. She describes how he gets hold of her, his awful smell, a mixture of tobacco and onions. She recounts the childish threat she makes–“I will tell my father”–and the husband’s reply: “You can tell your father whatever you like. He signed the marriage contract, he gave me permission to marry you.”

From the time Nujood was able to gather her wits about her she set about planning her escape. The story is recommended reading for anyone who seriously wants to understand what Muslim women can be subjected to.

In Yemen, Nujood’s father, her husband, the judges, the policemen and the broader society–with the exception of a very few–view her situation as normal. And Yemen is by no means unique.

When I turn to Elizabeth Gilbert’s description of a painful divorce it becomes clear to me what feminism has accomplished in the West. Gilbert decides to divorce her husband not because he was forced upon her, but because there is something intangible that he cannot give her. She chose to marry him. Every decision she made was voluntary: to marry him, to buy property with him, even to try for a child. Yet still she felt unfulfilled.

The deep sense of dissatisfaction leads her to abandon her marriage, the life of a privileged woman. She goes to Italy to find a piece of herself, the pleasure of eating. She goes to India to find another piece of herself: the pleasure of devotion. In Indonesia she finds yet another piece of herself: the balance between the pleasures of eating and praying. In India she finds a guru who answers her spiritual needs.

Gilbert’s story shows what feminism can achieve elsewhere, especially in the Muslim world.

But her story also demonstrates something else. Those women in the West who, like Gilbert, have harvested what the early feminists fought for have almost no affinity for women like Nujood–and like me when I was a little girl.

This is not to pass judgment on Gilbert. On the contrary, I admire her intellectual honesty and her pursuit of self-knowledge. The woman I have become in the West now feels closer to the Gilberts of this world than the Nujoods. But I find myself asking as I read these two books: What can current Western feminism offer the Nujoods?

I often am asked by my Western audiences: “Where did feminism go wrong?” I think the answer is staring us in the face. Western feminism hasn’t gone wrong at all–it has accomplished its mission so completely that a woman like Elizabeth Gilbert can marry freely and then leave her husband equally freely, purely in order to pursue her own culinary and religious inclinations. The victory of feminism allows women like Gilbert to shape their own destinies.

But there is a price for this victory: The price is a solipsism so complete that a great many Western women have lost the ability to empathize with women not only in the Islamic world, but also in China, India and other countries; women whose suffering takes forms that are now largely unknown in the West, save in the ghettos of immigrants. They are too busy hunting for the perfect prayer mat or pasta to give two hoots about a case of child-rape in Yemen.

The best we can hope for is not for the West to invade other countries in the hope of emancipating their women. That is neither realistic nor desirable (and remains our least plausible war aim in Afghanistan).

The best we can hope for is a neo-feminism that reminds women in the West of the initial phases of their liberation movement.

“If you transgress, they will show no more mercy than flies on  sheep fat.”  This grandmother warned her little girl how to survive, grown up.
Here, women who grew up with some feminism (but didn’t pay for it), went to college maybe, and married, perhaps wrongly — they find out soon enough how society treats them after childbirth and exiting the marriage….
So, here we are on New Years’ Eve — and I’m quoting an article comparing a ittle girl, because she is female, to a piece of sheep fat with flies crawling on it, and writing about child rape, by older man, socially accepted (which, FYI, is some of the prime subject matter of the contested custody cases — basically they are gender issues, and treated as a problem by the social agencies addressing divorce as a crime, — although it’s supposedly “no fault.”)
Now I”m about ready to post 2 to 3  more brief articles or links to make my point:  The wide discretion given in the family law judges makes many laws meaningless.  REALLY meaningless.  A certain outcome is desired.
I’ve not done the right thing with the last day of the year, but I feel I have connected (virtually, here) with three real human beings, remarkable women who are aware of this issue and doing something to make their world better as they go through it.   There is always something “human” about “truth” and correspondingly unreal about this season of the year in the electronic-soaked West.
. . . .
We need to wake up, and I’m not talking Tea Party, who will make a brief appearance (but not the word “mother” or “women” in any prominent place, — like a subject heading!) in the next post.
. . .

From “Our Bodies, Ourselves” to “Our Courts, Ourselves”…

with one comment

 

The topic of mediation, especially mandatory mediation, is a hot one within the family court venue, and particularly among domestic violence advocates.  Many have come up opposed to it.

On the other side of the fence (??) are those who are advocating mediation to cut down on the caseload in these courts, and attempt to reconcile opposing parties for the best interests of the children, supposedly.

While looking through the RAND corporation policy papers, available on-line, I was astounded to find almost nothing whatsoever on violence against4 women, or women per se (although there were articles about the education gap for men and boys of color, with the kneejerk recommendation, more and earlier preschool.  I happen to disagree, I think there’s enough subject matter for child development scholars to study throughout the educational, penal, and court institutions in this country already…).  There was next to nothing current on domestic violence, although a few articles dating back to 2004/2005 actually used this word.

However, there is this interesting take on mediation.  My limited technique can’t paste in the image, so I recommend taking a look at:

All I’m going to say about Our Bodies, Ourselves, is that it is reminiscent of the feminist movement (after all, these ARE our bodies, if it’s women involved), and another era.  For more info, read Dr. Phyllis Chesler, including Women & Madness, Mothers on Trial, and Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman.  Don’t forget to also take a serious look at Honor Killings vs. Domestic violence (articles), and so forth.

Now about, Our Courts Ourselves — I believe  a takeoff on that title:

http://www.rand.org/pubs/reprints/2005/RP1090.pdf

“Our Courts, Ourselves:  how the Alternative Dispute Resolution Movement is Reshaping Our Legal System.”

It says plainly what I have deduced, in using the phrase “Designer Family” and in sarcastically stating that a world without conflict IS indeed possible — if everyone is drugged, asleep, or simply not paying attention.  . . . .  Which appears to be an imminent possibility, or business goal in some arenas…  I mean, as slavery is supposedly abolished, SOMEONE has to do life’s dirty work, for cheap or free….  Women got the vote, heck what next?  ???

This tends to verify my observations:  (from page 168, Section II, “Puritans Populists and Utopians.”)…

Members of America’s utopian societies yearned for social harmony and eschewed conflict.  One of their goals was to eliminate adversarial legal processes.  In Edward Bellamy’s Utopia, depicted in his wildly popular 1988 novel Looking Backward, citizens are inducted into the armies of a corporatist state into which all contribute and from which all receive the necessities of life….

Are you frightened yet? 

As communitarian values replace private interest, economic competition, social conflict and adversarial processes are eliminated…Wise citizens take the place of judges and juries in deciding how and when to punish bad behavior, lawyers’ services become superfluous, and the law itself is discarded.

(My quote here, since I can’t cut & paste from the pdf, is from memory, for speed — check source yourself)

Bellamy’s novel inspired a new political movement called Nationalism, comprised of a series of grassroots organizations dedicated to creating a utopian society devoid of economic and social conflict and gave rise to the establishment of the Populist Party.. . .

Many in the Nationalist Movement had ties with Theosophy, a contemporary religious movement….  substituting “Universal brotherhood and cooperation for competition..”  but the roots of Theosophy lay in spiritualism, and elevating the divine spirit within the individual.  Their leaders eschewed social justice and activism, and eventually the movements parted paths.

To those who are somewhat versed in one of the “Abrahamic” religions (i.e., Judaism, Christianity, Islam), this utopian vision and non-involvement in social justice are at odds with fundamental beliefs that man’s nature needs redemption (i.e., “the Fall”) and that a future resurrection and judgement await. 

At the very least, then, this utopian philosophy goes against the core of a substantial portion of the world’s population.  Experientially, someone has to become the “wise citizens” and of a supposedly superior, elitist, caste to inform and educate the plebians in how to get along.

The philosophy that CONFLICT is bad, and that PEACE AT ANY PRICE (and sacrificing safety, or justice in the process) is the primary good is — to my reading — a violence against the concept of justice, balance and equity. 

Hence, the jargon calling a divorce or process in which women protesting abuse of themselves, or their children, even when sexual abuse has been involved and documented, a “high-conflict” custody comes from this worldview.  That is not the primary characteristic — only according to a certain view.

As to “our bodies, ourselves,” an 11 year old in Wisconsin and (I recently heard) a 14 year old in Michigan, have learned that they are property, not people.  Michaela Tipton went back to her father to get her mother out of jail.  A young man, A student, spent a night in detention for refusing to visit his father also. 

 http://www.macombdaily.com/articles/2009/11/21/news/srv0000006883874.txt#blogcomments
Teenager incarcerated for refusing to visit his father
Published: Saturday, November 21, 2009

A 14-year-old boy was thrown into the county youth home overnight and handcuffed for about four hours after refusing to follow a judge’s order to visit his father, as part of an ongoing custody case.

The boy, Jacob Mastrogiovanni of Warren, was ordered Thursday to spend three days in the youth home by family court Judge John Foster, who lifted the sentenced Friday following protests by his mother and a night of incarceration for her son.

The uncommon occurrence of a contempt of

court sentence for a child in a child custody dispute angered his mother, Dawn Platevoet, and several of her relatives, including the boy’s grandmother. They picketed in front of the county courthouse in downtown Mount Clemens on Thursday and Friday, garnering media attention.
“A judge shouldn’t throw an all-A student in jail for refusing to visit his father,” Platevoet said. “There are other ways to handle the situation, and apparently the judge agreed because he let him out.”
Jacob was slated to remain in the Juvenile Justice Center until 7 p.m. Sunday but was released by Foster about 12:30 p.m. Friday. Foster had Jacob brought from the youth home in handcuffs about 8:30 a.m. Friday to appear in front of him in Macomb County Circuit Court later that morning. Jacob waited in a holding cell.

Moments after he was released Friday, Jacob said Foster didn’t specify why he freed him.
“He said that I don’t decide whether I see my dad or not,” Jacob said. “It was kind of like a warning, this time, I guess.”
Foster’s secretary said the judge did not want to comment.

Jacob and Platevoet wouldn’t delve into many details of why he won’t visit his father, Victor Mastrogiovanni of Chesterfield Township. She said Jacob began resisting in July following an unspecified incident.

They said when Jacob has visited Mastrogiovanni recently that he is forced to stay in his room without any contact.

On Foster’s order, the three have been attending weekly counseling sessions since early September. {{That’s the racket, folks…}}  But they and the therapist have been unable to resolve the disagreement.

Platevoet and Mastrogiovanni never married and have had some disputes for years {{OBviously.  The boy is 14!}}regarding custody and support issues, they said.

Mastrogiovanni, who has been married for two years and has a 15-month-old child, [[IE 2nd marriage, new kid]]said he did not want to comment specifically about the dispute.

“I love my kid very much and want what’s best for him,” he said.

Platevoet said she would like her son to visit his dad but can’t force him.

“What am I supposed to do? Grab him by the back of the head and put him in the car?” she said. “He’s a teenager and wants to do teenager things.”

She said Jacob “listens to me” about other things but not about the visits

//

ANYHOW, you are either awake or asleep in this matter about trying to create a utopian society where wise citizens (NOT due process and facts/evidence, etc.) choose punishments, and where all the requirements of life are also obtained from the state.  Hence, “Health & Human Services.” 

The question is, Who is Being Served?  And being served What?

2nd largest federal expenditure, Educational Department, making sure (that’s a laugh!) no child left behind.  What isn’t being openly marketed — where they are marching, goosestep style, who is paying the drummer, and what is the origin of the tune.  Not only can we not make medical or health choices for our kids, we as a populace aren’t smart enough to resource or network our life choices and also help them get educated.

You cannot really deal with the courts entirely separate from the educational system.  For one, the courts are trying to run cleanup after educational (moral/value) failures, all at the expense of taxpayers (not those who can write off expenses as business owners and investors, etc.).  For another, I am simply not interested in an oligarchy, a dictatorship, or any of that.  After all, it’s my own body here, and the children that came out of it are NOT state property, or fodder for others’ professional careers in psychology, mental health, law, pharmacology, etc.  I respected their father’s contact with them, and the law.  In return from this, I lost all contact with them, and made a mockery of the process.

Several entities are laughing all the way to the bank on this one.  The thing is, to get an audit of those statements. 

Anyhow — take a look at that rand document — it’s for sure informative.  Then also realize that what takes place through the courts, when it does — that’s not mediation in the proper sense of the word.  That’s basically program marketing, and “required outcome enforcement” from things such as the Access Visitation Grants, Responsible Fatherhood/Marriage, and such-like. 

Enough for today!

 

 

%d bloggers like this: